Vazhapoo Thoran/Banana flower stir fry

Did I tell u that my mom is one of those ppl who makes super yummy dishes from super simple ingredients!!
This is one such dish…:-)

She makes most of the specialty dishes like this is her fav cast iron skillet and till date I believe that it’s her magic skillet..
Anything and everything that comes out of it drooooool worthy

I always nag my mom telling…see I followed the recipe you said and it didn’t come out that well…
…. probably you should pass me the Magic Iron skillet …:-)
Ya, I have my eye set on will be in travelling from Kerala to Singapore soon:-)

Anyways back to the recipe…

You will need
1 Small banana flower
8 shallots
2 tbspn Whole Urud dal
2 stems Curry leaves
3 table spoons grated Coconut
½ Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
½ tspn chili powder
½ tspn Jeera
1 tspn coconut oil

Peel off the first 2-3 layers of the banana flower till the color of the flower starts to lighten.
Finely chop the banana flower . Now let it soak in water for a few minutes and drain.

Heat oil in a skillet.
Add the urud dal. Once it starts to brown, add the chopped shallots and curry leaves and stir fry for a minute
Add the banana flower, salt, turmeric and ¼ cup water.
Cover and cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes
Meanwhile mix the coconut, chilli powder and jeera in a mortar or you can use a blender and blend it for few seconds.
Once the water is almost absorbed, add the coconut mix to the cooked banana flower and stir fry for 2-3 minutes..

Off this goes to KeralaKitchen


My first daring bakers challenge..
This month’s Challenge is hosted by Astheroshe from  accro.
When I saw the challenge I was a bit taken back..hmmm….this was going to be a real challenge for me..
However once I started the drum roll it was not so bad as I thought…
Asteroshe have explained it soo well that it came out well on my first try …yeyyyyyy

For Patterned Joconde-Décor Paste
4 tablespoons butter
60g Confectioners' (icing) sugar
2 large egg whites
60 gms cake flour

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy
Gradually add egg white and beat continuously.
Fold in sifted flour.
Spread the batter in a baking sheet, about ¼ in think.
I used a wilton scale and drew the pattern .
Freeze it for 20 minutes

Meanwhile make the Sponge

For Joconde Sponge
30g almond flour/meal
25gms confectioners' (icing) sugar
1 Table spoon cake flour
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon white granulated sugar
1 tablespoon butter melted
1 table spoon Cocoa powder

1. In a clean mixing bowl whip the egg whites and white granulated sugar till soft peaks are formed. Keep aside
2. In another bowl Sift almond flour, confectioner’s sugar, cake flour and Cocoa powder
3. Add the eggs and mix well ntil smooth and light.
4. Fold in one third reserved whipped egg whites to almond mixture to lighten the batter. Fold in remaining whipped egg whites. Do not over mix.
5. Fold in melted butter.

Once the décor paste has been hardened, pour the sponge batter on top of the pattern
Bake at 475ºF /250ºC until the sponge cake bounces back when slightly pressed, approx. 15 minutes.
Let it cool .Do not leave too long, or you will have difficulty removing it from mat.
Flip cooled cake on to a parchment paper.

I forgot to add the butter and my sponge turned out to be a bit dry and it cracked a bit

For filling
You can use almost anything..mousses, pastry creams, Bavarian cream, cheesecakes, puddings, curds, jams, cookie bases, more cake, nuts, fresh fruit, chocolates, jelly

I used Butterscotch pudding. I used the instant version. Just mix with milk and stir well …Your pudding is ready.

Line the side and bottom of the spring foam pan with parchment paper.
Now trim the dark crispy edges.
Cut a long rectangular strip, so that it fits the diameter of the spring form pan.
Press the cake strips inside of the mold, decorative side facing out
I lined the bottom of the spring pan with a layer of sponge cake as well.
Pour the pudding on top of into the spring foam pan, and let it set.

Now you can unmold the spring foam pan and lift the base.
Carefully take off the parchment paper from sides

And there you have it…

Spinach n Tofu Soup

I haven’t been feeling too well, especially under the weather and travel…Feeling too bloated:-(
I was soo craving for some comfort food ,my mom’s food to be exact....her hot vegetable soup would b the best comfort food on a raining evening
How I wish there was teleportation…..sigh sigh…
Anyways I was in no mood to cut all veggies and slow cook it. So I decided to settle for Spinach soup.
It is pretty simple n quick and is an amazing healthy n comfort food:-)

All you need is
200 gms Spinach
Tofu 30 gms- Cut in small cubes
Small Piece of Ginger
Salt and Pepper to taste

Roughly chop the Spinach and sauté it for 2 -3 minutes till the leaves turn tender.
You do not have to cook it fully; once the leave starts to turn soft you can switch off the flame.
Let it cook for a while and Puree it in a blender with a Piece of ginger
Transfer the puree to a pot
Add in a cup of water and finely cubed tofu ,
Add salt and pepper to taste and let it simmer for 8-10 minutes

Yes, thatz it..!! Enjoy the soup with a Piece of Baguette:-)

This is my entry to Food Palette Green series

Baked Pumpkin Pudding – A vegan Recipe

Frankly I am not a big fan of pumpkin!!!
But when I saw these small cute pumpkin in Cold storage, I couldn’t help…I got one:-)
As usual it was happily sitting in my refrigerator ....for days :-)
...Untill I came across the Pumpkin pudding recipe while  flipping through the Joy of Vegan baking cookbook

Even a “not pumpkin fan” like me loved the pudding…
Trust me, when the pudding is getting baked your entire kitchen will be filled with spicy aroma... from Dried ginger…cinnamon…oooooooooooo

Recipe adapted from The Joy of Vegan Baking by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau

Here goes the recipe
200g Pumpkin Puree
80 ml Almond Milk
¼ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Corn flour
Pinch of salt
½ tea spoon dried ginger grated
½ tea spoon all spice powder
½ tea spoon Cinnamon
½ tea spoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180 Degree
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and mix well using an electric mixer
Pour the mix into ramekins.
Bake for 30 minutes till the top begins to turn golden brown.
Let it cool and server chilled…

The creaminess of pumpkin coupled with the spiciness is just yummmm..

Me me...I have been tagged..

Revathi from Kaarasaaram has tagged me…so here goes a small me me

Who inspired you to cook or start a food blog?
To cook…two ppl, my dearest mom who amaze me with her speed n creativity and Lakshmi Nair who is the host of Magic Oven [To all non-mallus out there ,Magic oven is a popular cookery show popular in Kerala ]
I grew up watching ...Mom in Kitchen , cooking great food using simple ingredients and Lakshmi nair on TV sharing great recipes.
I have to say both ladies have the sweetest smile in the world:-)

To bake, all chefs from Asian Food Channel and Food network Asia…And all amazing n great bloggers out there:-)

What is your take on organic food? Is it a big deal for you?
Hmm..not really….I usually pick fresh veggies from supermarket and I totally trust my vegetable /fruit wash

You try a new recipe and and it does not turn good. What will you do?
Depends …there are some recipes I lost sleep over..
One would be Ginger bread recipe, I tried thrice on the same night till 1 AM in morning..
There are some which I don’t care much..:-)

Do you have a new year resolution and will you be sticking to it?
Nah….not a new year resolution person..

Do you time your breakfast, dinner and lunch or eat when you are hungry?
Yes, indeed. Infact I am a bit particular about timing. I have to have breakfast before 8 on weekday. Weekends I wake up around lunch time
Same for dinner, before 8 no matter weekday or weekends…a secret..I don’t eat anything after 9 pm.
Somehow I have this feeling my digestive system’s cut off time is 9 PM…I know I know it sounds stupid…

Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it?
Oil ,Sugar ..and I might reduce the amount of eggs..

Name three things you use in most recipes?
Freshly ground pepper and Cumin if cooking
Vanilla essence and Cinnamon powder if baking

How important is eating together as a family to you?
Back at home…yes, entire family will be at Dining table for lunch and dinner.
After marriage, meal buddies are 4!! Hubby, me , TV and sofa and we 4 stick together for all meals..
Poor dining table…always left alone ,we rarely use it..

You do not like the food at your favorite restaurant, what will you do?
Mostly, I keep it to myself as long as it is edible. But if it is disgusting, I will surely talk to them..

Lemme tag some of my blog friends..

Khandvi....ICC for the month of January

My first Indian Cooking Challenge
Thank you Valli for hosting such a wonderful event:-)
When Valli posted Khandvi as the ICC for January, I was really looking forward to making it!
I love Dhoklas with Spicy Coriander/Mint Chutney and make it from time to time.So I thought another Gujju snack, thatz great..
I started with all confidence asking my hubby to be ready to eat Khandivi…

Man, my first try failed miserably, I under cooked it and batter was too runny and never dried up for rolling.
Second try... failed again, I overcooked and it became lumpy.
I started to panic; I am running out of Besan:-(

Oooo finally my third attempt came out well..

Valli shared  two recipies with us one from Lataji and one from Anupama Krishnamoorthy.I chose the latter one.

You will need
Besan / Gram flour - 1 cup
1.5 cups yoghurt
Water - 1.5 cups
1 green chili + 1 inch of grated ginger- Made to a paste
Salt to taste
Turmeric ¼ tsp
Asafetida / Hing - 1/2 tsp
Oil – 1 tbspn

For Tempering
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp

For garnish
Grated Coconut - 1.5 table spoon
Finely chopped Coriander - 2 table spoons

Mix the batter ingredients, except oil, in a bowl and stir well so that it has no lumps.

In a non-stick fry pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the batter and cook on medium-low flame stirring constantly.
The batter will start to coagulate, no worries..continue to stir.
Just keep stirring.Using the back of the laddle press any lumps so that the batter is smooth.
Be patient n stir till the batter turn to semi solid, infact more toward solid but still smooth.
It took me little more than 10 minutes
Spread the parchment paper on a flat surface, Spread the hot batter into the paper as thinly as possible
You can use the ladle and spread it in circles and you would do a dosa or crepe.

While still warm, cut strips with a knife so that you have 1’’ by 3’’ strips. Gently start rolling from the 1’’ side.

Place the rolls in a serving bowl

Heat 2 table spoons oil .When the oil is hot enough, add the mustard seeds.
Once Mustard seeds start to sputter , spread the tempering on top of the rolls.
Sprinkle the Grated coconut and Coriander leaves on top

Broccoli Mushroom Stir fry

This is a very common dish you will find in Singapore food courts.
It is simple , fast less than 10 minutes and packed with flavors...

The crunchiness of Broccoli, the chewiness of mushroom and tanginess from Soy sauce n Chilies…The combination is just great

All you need is
1 small Broccoli
150 grams Button Mushrooms cut lengthwise
1 Table Spoon Dark Soy sauce
2 Red Chilies Finely Chopped
2 tspn Sesame Oil

Cut the Broccoli into Small florets.
Now you need to cook the broccolis partially. You can either microwave it for 2-3 minutes, steam it or Blanch it.
Heat Oil in a wok. Once the oil is hot, add the Chilies, sauté for a few seconds
Add the Mushrooms and sauté for a minute or two.
Add in the partially cooked Broccolis, Soy sauce and stir well. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Done….there you have a flavorful vegetarian Side dish.

Bread Pockets

Are you one of those people, who always pick up bread when you are in supermarket?
Yes, I am one…I always have to have bread at home. Whether we eat it or not is a different story .. not relevant here:-)

Anyways this is a super easy and the most yummilicious snack you can make using left over bread…

If you have whole meal bread, it would be better. White would be just fine as well

So without further adieu, lemme introduce you to my beloved bread pockets..

All you need is
8 Bread slices
1 Chilly Chopped
1 Potato grated
1 carrot grated
1 Onion Chopped
1 tspn Oi l+ Quarter cup for shallow frying.
Salt to taste
½ tspn Garam Masala [Optional]

Heat oil in a wok.
Sauté Chilies and Onions for a minute.
Add in the potatoes and Carrots. Sprinkle salt and garam masala
Stir well and cover and cook for a 3 minutes till potatoes are cooked. Don’t overcook, else the mixture will turn mushy
Cut of the edges of the bread and dip you hand in water and gently pat the bread so that it is moist.
Add one spoon of mixture to the center of the bread and bring two opposite side to the center.
Wet your fingertip and moisten the sealing to that it won’t open up. Repeat the same for other 2 sides as well.
Next step is very important; place the filled bread pockets, seal side down. Gently press it down to make both sides flat. Let it rest for about 5-10 minute.

Heat Oil in a wide bottomed pan and add about quarter cup oil. You just need enough oil for shallow frying [Not deep frying]

Place the bread pockets, seal side down to the heated oil. Cook on medium heat till the sides start to turn golden brown.
Flip to the other side and cook till it becomes golden brown.

Its tastes best and super crispy when it is hot.

Tomato Tofu

This recipe is from one of my dearest friend, Jinzhou

On and off we meet up and cook lunch together.
Both of us love cooking …so we cook up at least 2 Chinese and 2 Indian dishes and will have a splendid Lunch !
She introduced me to many Chinese foods…like fungus…lotus seeds..Bai yee tofu…black sesame paste…etc etc and of course.. Chopsticks:-)
In due course, I played my role as an Indian Guru diligently ,schooling her on many Indian Snacks , dishes and even tried to teach her to eat with hands…failed there miserably…

This is one of her favourite tofu mine too:-) . It’s quite easy n tasty recipe and an excellent side dish for noodles or rice.

Here goes the recipe

3 Tomatoes Cut
1 Pack Firm tofu
2 Chilies
2 tspn Sesame Oil
Salt to taste
Chinese celery [Optional]

Cut the tofu in small Cubes and dry on a kitchen towel.
Heat the oil in a wok.
Once oil is hot enough, add the finely Chopped Chilies and sauté for few seconds.
Add tomatoes and continue to sauté till the tomatoes become slightly tender.
Add in the tofu and gently mix in. Sprinkle some salt and chopped celery leaves.
Cover and cook for a 3-4 minutes.

Serve hot with a bowl of noodles..

Venn Pongal

Venn Pongal is a breakfast dish popular in Tamilnadu.
I had a taste of it when I moved to Chennai for my first job.

It was my friend Priya, who introduced me to different varieties of Pongal made during Thai Pongal, the harvest festival.
Our favorites were Venn Pongal and Sakara Pongal from Murugan Idly shop:-)

Here goes the Venn Pongal recipe
1 Cup rice
1 /3 Cup Moong Dal
1 tspn Cumin
1 tspn Black pepper
1 tspn Dried Grated Ginger.
1 tbspn Cashew Nuts
2 tspn Ghee
3 Cups water
Salt to taste

Wash the rice and Dal and let it drain
In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee.
Once the ghee is hot enough, add the Cumin, Black pepper and Cashew nuts
Sauté till the cashew nuts turn golden brown.
Add the rice and dal and sauté till the rice and dal are well coated with ghee.
Add the water and salt to taste and let it cook.
Pressure cook for two whistles. Once the first whistle comes, let it cook on low heat for one more whistle.
Open the lid and stir well.

Serve with Sambar or Coconut Chutney.

My entry to Pongal Feast Event hosted by Kurinji

Vegan Mango Sorbet

Coming from India, the land of hundreds of mango varieties, I am a big big fan of mangoes.
Yes, I love it it…………………………….love it

I love to make gobble mango chiffon cake, mango cup cakes, mango pan cakes and mango milk shakes..yes yes…mango madness….

The latest entry to my mango wish list is Mango Sorbet.

All you need to make the delicious Mango Sorbet is
1/3 Cup Sugar
1/3 Cup Water
1 /2 Cup Freshly made mango Puree or Canned Mango Puree
1 tea spoon Lemon Juice

I used the canned Mango puree as I hardly find fresh mangoes in Supermarkets these days.

Bring water to boil and add the sugar. Continue to stir untill the sugar is completely dissolved.
Let it cool. Once its cooled down, keep the Sugar syrup in freezer for 15 minutes.
After fifteen minutes, transfer the Sugar syrup, Mango puree and lemon juice to a blender and blend well.

Pour the mixture to a bowl and keep in freezer for 1 hour.

Once again transfer to blender and blend it well and back to freezer again:-)

I stopped it here as I cudnt wait anymore..

If you are patient ,you can repeat the above step once more. The blending helps to incorporate more air.

Sautéed Baby corn in green sauce

Who doesn’t like the small cute baby corns?
This is a simple n tangy baby corn stir fry recipe..
And yes it involves no cutting or chopping :-) ..I am loving it…..

Here is what you need
12 Baby Corns
1 Tablespoon low fat yogurt or sour cream
3 stems of coriander
2 Stems of mint leave
1 Green Chilly
I small garlic clove
Salt to taste
1 tea spoon Olive oil

Blend all the ingredients except the Baby corn in a blender till smooth
Now make very small stripes on the baby corn using a sharp knife.
Marinate the baby corn in the Green sauce for 15 minute.

Add the Baby corn together with the sauce in a pan ,cover and cook on low heat for 10 min till the baby corn becomes soft.
Once baby corn is cooked, increase the flame to high.
Add the oil at this state and stir fry till dry.

Malabi - Milk Pudding

Malabi is a simple Israeli milk pudding which can be made in less than 10 minutes.
Its also popularlity known as Muhallibieh in many Mediterranean countries

I have been posting a lot of Mediterranean recipies lately…Lemme tell you why
I visited this amazing Lebenese/ Mediterranean restaurant here in Singapore…
And the best thing was that they had hell lot of recipe books there…so I managd to flip though many vegetarian recipies

So I these are my attemps to recreate them:-)

The recipe is super simple..

All you need is
1 Cup Milk [I used low fat version]
1.5 Table Spoons Corn flour
2 Table Spoons water.
2 Table Spoons sugar
1/ 4 tspn Rose water
Pistachio for Garnishing.

Start by heating the milk in medium low flame.
Mix the corn flour in with water, stir well .
Add the corn flour mix and sugar to milk .
Bring the flame to low and stir continuously.
After 4-5 minute the milk will start to thicken.
Switch off the flame and let the mix cool .
Transfer to the pudding moulds and refrigerate.

Just before serving add the chopped nuts, you can add date Syrup for more flavoring.

This is my entry to
Food palette series -White

And 15th Mediterranean Cooking Event – Israel
15th Mediterranean cooking event - Israel - tobias cooks! - 10.12.2010-10.01.2011

Pita Bread

Originally from Middle east, Pita is a simple flat bread with a a pocket.

It is traditionally eaten with dips like Hummus or Baba Ghanoush .
You can also fill the pockets with falafel and some salads and enjoy it as a sandwich as well

Recipe from Dede
3 cups flour + 1 cup flour for kneading
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water
1 packet Instant dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/2 cup warm water
olive oil

In a bowl mix yeast, sugar and 1/2 cup warm water and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl mix 3 cups flour with salt and make a well in the middle.
Slowly stir in yeast mix and 1 cup warm water until well combined .The dough will be very sticky at this stage. So use a wooden spatula to mix in.
In a large bowl add 1 tbspn olive oil and spread all over to keep dough from sticking.Place dough in oiled bowl, cover with a towel, and let sit for 2 hours in a warm place.
After 2 hours and dough has risen, add flour on to table surface and knead dough for 10 minutes
Form dough into small balls and let sit in a plate for 10 minutes. Cover with a damp towel.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Roll out balls to 1/8 the inch between parchment paper, this will avoid the dough from sticking to the rolling pin/board and you do not have to use extra flour for dusting while rolling.
Place on flat cookie sheet and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side or until lightly brown and dough puffs up.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a Mediterranean dip similar to Hummas , which uses eggplant instead of Chick peas.
This is an excellent accompaniment for Pita bread ond Falafel

Adapted from Dede’s recipe
1 Large Eggplant
1.5 Table Spoon Lemon Juice
1 Garlic
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup of Tahini
Parsley,Olive oil /Paprika powder for garnishing

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Poke the eggplants using a fork on all sides.
Roast it in oven for 30-40 minutes till it shrinks in size and becomes soft.
Remove the egg plant from oven and let it cool for a minute or two . Then transfer to a platic bag.This is to make the peeling easier.
After 10 minutes, take the eggplant out and peel it, it will be sooo easy to peel it
Place the egg plant pulp, tahini, lemon juice , garlic,salt in a belder and blend till smooth.
Spread in a bowl and garnish with parsley ,olive oil and paprika powder.

Pita bread is puffing up in my oven…Will be posting the recipe soon..

This is my entry to this months Healing food series-Eggplant hosted by Kavitha and Siri

Tahini - Sesame seed paste

Tahini is a Middle Eastern pantry essential .Its like the mayonnaise of the Middle East.

It is basically a ground paste made from hulled sesame seeds.

It has good amounts of omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids and phytosterols

It is quite easy to prepare and you can store it in refrigerator . It will come in handy when you are making Hummus and Baba Ghanoush

Recipe from Dede
You need
1/2 Cup Hulled sesame seeds
2 table spoons Olive Oil

Preheat oven to 400 degree
Line a cookie pan with parchment paper and spread the sesame seeds in the parchment paper.
Place in the oven for 4 minutes.
Once the roasted sesame seeds has cooled down , add it to a blender together with olive oil and blend it till a smooth paste is formed.

Happy New Year

Cheers to a New Year…

Let the New Year bring bright hopes, new success and many many new reasons to smile to all of you

I hope you all had a great New Year day…

I had quite an crazy eventful day with friends and hubby…had dinner at Arab street..Saw the fireworks at midnight...Roamed around the city till morning..took the first MRT of 2011:-)

Here is one shot I captured..


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