Punjabi Kadhi Pakora or Kadi Pakoda
Learn how to make Punjabi kadhi pakora.

 photo 12953246_10204436099381209_504059479_o_zpsdd8yhjgy.jpg

This recipe has been in my to-do list  for quite some time now. Bitten by lazy bug always, I never tried my hands. I always felt it was too complicated. Mr.P never liked Kadhi Pakora. He always used to respond that it is Khatta. Read he is anti tamarind or anti khatta guy home. I find it very difficult to cook sambar without much of tamarind pulp or pulihora without too much tamarind. Thanks to his Bangalore days, he developed liking towards Kadhi Pakora. I now have a reason to make kadhi pakora instead of dishing up 2 different dishes. One lazy afternoon when I realized that I ran out of basic vegetables stock and I was still scratching my head that what our lunch is gonna be. I remembered Kadhi Pakora. I had Besan just about the right amount.

 photo 12948477_10204436098101177_724622435_o_zps7s401rrs.jpg

I prepared this flavorful crunchy kadhi pakora. Let the pics do the talking.

Punjabi Kadhi Pakora/ Kadhi Pakora

Preparation Time: 20 mins | Cooking Time:30 mins
Recipe Category: Side Dish | Recipe Cuisine: North Indian - Punjabi

For Kadhi
Curd - 1 cup

Water -  1 cup
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder- 1 tspRed Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Besan - 1 n 1/2 tbsp

For Pakora

Onion - 1 big thinly sliced and separated.
Besan - 1/2 cup
Water - as required
Salt - to taste
Green Chilly - 1 chopped finely
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsps chopped finely
Jeera - 1 tsp

For Tempering
Oil - 1 tbsps
Jeera - 1 tsp or more if you like (I use 2 tsps)
Garlic - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilly - 2-3 broken

Oil - For deep frying

1) Mix all the ingredients required for pakora except water. Once done, add 1/2 cup of water and make a batter of medium consistency.
2) Meanwhile heat oil. Drop a small ball of pakora batter and see if it rises up immediately. If it rises up, hang on that's the right temperature.
3) Drop a spoonful of batter and make small pakoras.
4) Fry until golden brown and crisp. Do not keep the flame high. You may end up getting not cooked pakoras.

 photo 12948319_10204436099901222_1041941749_o_zpsw2jv1bli.jpg

5)  Meanwhile, whisk curd until smooth, add salt, chilly powder, turmeric powder and besan. Make a smooth paste. Now add water and combine all the ingredients.
6) Now bring this mixture to a boil. It will take about 8-10 mins and you will get nice aroma.
7) Taste a bit and check, you shouldn't be getting the raw taste of besan.
8) Once it is slightly runny, switch off the flame.
9) Once this mixture cools, it will thicken.
10) You can dunk pakoras right away or just before serving. I like mine crunchy though.
11) Heat oil in a small tadka pan and fry all the ingredients listed under to temper. Now add this to the prepared kadhi.

 photo 12953004_10204436098261181_1697539996_o_zpslxiseafg.jpg

1) I don't like sour kadhi so I use fresh curd. if you like a little sour, then use sour curd.
2) Switch off once nice aroma wafts when you boil the besan curd mixture. The more you boil, this mixture will thicken. Leave it at pouring consistency.

Bisi Bela Bhaat or Bisi Bela Baath -
Learn how to make Bisi Bela Bhaat - Kannadiga style.

Bisi Bela Bhaat has always been my infrequent love. Yeah, you read it right. Like I forget about its existence for some time and then all of a sudden I'd read about this on some random blog/website and then I am all gaga over it. For next few weeks, this makes it to my every week's menu and then all of a sudden I forget about it and then the same story repeats.

 photo 10584851_10204203152717688_1908600795_o_zps8hwlmpis.jpg

I have fond memories associated with Bisi Bela Bhaat, I was like 10 years or so, I remember this conversation between dad and mom. He came from his Bangalore trip and then he told my mom that he had something sambar rice type with vegetables and then it was served in a pot and all. He started describing its taste but couldn't remember the name. 

He called his B'lore friend and asked - Can you believe he actually described the entire dish to his colleague and then he told him that it was Bisi Bela Baath or Bhaat. My dad quickly scribbled its ingredients and gave it to my mom. When my mom prepared it, I liked it but then it was more like Dal - Chawal, so I didn't understand why my dad was so gaga over it. Because Dal makes it to our everyday menu and it tasted the same.

 photo 12499079_10204203168118073_1515346918_o_zpsswafwgrn.jpg

Later on, mom noted this recipe from a popular Telugu cooking show and this has been a keeper ever since then. I remember last week when my mom told me that she prepared Bisi Bela Bhaat for lunch and that it turned out yum. Quickly noted this recipe and I am documenting it here so that I don't forget it ;)

Bisi Bela Bhaat/ Bisi Bela Baath

Preparation Time: 20 mins | Cooking Time:30 mins
Recipe Category: One Pot Meals | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Rice - 1/2 cup,
Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal or Tuvar Dal- 3/4th cup

Water - 4-5 cups
Salt - as per taste
Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp


Carrot - 1 med Size diced into cubes
Beans - 10-12 cut into 1-inch pieces
Potato - 1 med Size (Cut into squares)
Green Peas - 1/4th Cup (I used frozen)
Onion - 1 med Size (cut into squares)

For Grinding

MTR Bisi Bela Baath Powder - 2 tbsps
Tamarind - Goose berry sized
Jaggery -1 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 1-2 tbsps (refer notes)
Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp (Optional)
Water - 3 tbsps

For Seasoning

Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsps (adjust)
Asafoetida- 1 generous pinch
Dry Red chillies - 2-3 broken
Ghee - 2-3 tbsps
Oil - 2 tbsps
Coriander -1 small bunch finely chopped

1) Wash and pressure cook rice, pigeon peas, for 4-5 whistles. Also, add salt and turmeric powder. Make sure you add enough water.
2) Once pressure releases, mash this rice + dal mixture.
3) To make life easy, you can even pressure cook vegetables in a separate bowl.
4) Grind the ingredients mentioned under for grinding list with water - 3 tbsps approx.
5) Heat a tbsp of oil and add the ground mixture. Fry until the raw smell subsides and add 1/2 cup of water. Make sure this is lump free.
6) Now add this mixture to rice and combine all the ingredients well. Add vegetables as well.

 photo 12192723_10204203172078172_585642925_o_zpsopahpxhh.jpg

7) Taste and adjust salt if required.
8) Heat ghee in a pan and add ingredients listed under seasoning. Fry for 20 secs. Make sure that you do not burn this.
9) Add this mixture to dal. Combine all the ingredients well.
10) This should be of pouring consistency.
11) Garnish with Coriander
12) Serve hot immediately with fryums, papad and pickle as sides.

 photo 12789794_10204203162597935_1892227731_o_zpsnk5srbdt.jpg

My notes:1) You have to serve this recipe hot. As it cools, it becomes hard and may not so tasty.
2) This rice should be of pouring consistency. So add water adequetly.
3) You can use vegetables of your choice.

Chilly Butter Garlic Noodles
I love Noodles... Like I can have them as if there is no tomorrow. My mom often smirks at me and tells me that I should have been Chinese. I love to carry Noodles for lunch and eat the same thing for dinner and next day for breakfast as well and still not get bored of it. I'm happy to share my life with a North East guy(read North East which is almost close to China according to my terrible geography). He is more like me or should I say we click together because of our love towards Chinese/Indo-Chinese food. So I can give him Schezwan Noodles, Veg Noodles or Chilly Butter Noodles in a week and he will happily complete his dabba.

 photo 028_zpslx44xllk.jpg

When I went to Mainland China like a year back, Mr.P ordered Chilly Butter Garlic Noodles.  I loved it to the core - it was buttery, garlicky and very mildly spiced.I wanted to replicate the same at home and went by  what I could guess. My first 3 attempts were bad. After a couple of trial and error methods, I was able to come up with this dish and it is pretty much close if not there.

 photo 027_zpsnhmpk373.jpg

This recipe is surely a keeper and a winner as well.

Chilly Butter Noodles
Noodles - 2 packets (200 gms each)
Oil- 1 tbsps
Water - as required for boiling

For Masala
Butter - 1/2 stick (You gotta be liberal if you are watching your waistline carefully then replace it with olive oil or regular oil)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2-3 tbsps finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Schezwan Paste - 2 tbsps
Salt- as per taste
Tomato Ketchup - 2 tbsps
Soy Sauce - 1 tsp
Green Chilli Sauce - 1 tsp
Sugar - a pinch
Oregano - 1 tsp (optional)
Spicy Garlic Powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Pepper Powder- 1 tsp

Vegetables - 1 and 1/2 cups (Capsicum, Carrot and cabbage (cut into strips), beans cut into 1-inch pieces, cauliflower florets, green peas, baby corn)
Onion - 1 medium cut into squares

 photo 026_zpsup0kfohb.jpg

1) Cook noodles as per packet instructions. Drain and add little oil and mix it. This prevents sticking.
2) In a pan, melt butter and add oil as well.
3) Fry ginger and garlic until the pungent smell subsides.
4) Add onions and fry for 30-40 secs. They need to be crisp not soft.
5) Add remaining vegetables and turn the flame to high. Fry for a min.
6) Now add Schezwan paste + sauces, salt, pepper powder, garlic powder, oregano.
7) Fry for 2-3 mins. Now add noodles. Combine all the ingredients well so that vegetables and masala coat the noodles.
8) Check salt and serve hot.

 photo 026_zpsup0kfohb.jpg

1) I used Chings Veg Noodles. You can even use Egg Noodles.
2) If you don't like too much of garlic just reduce it to 1/2 tsp.
3) You can even minus the schezwan paste and add red chilly paste instead

Eggless Instant Mayonnaise
I have been thinking of getting back to blogging like before with a decent number of posts to brag about every month. I really hope to stick...But you never know when work kicks in and I'm all under the weather.

 photo 20151226_121619_zpst6znxhc3.jpg

My shift advanced by a couple of hours and I'm finding it very very difficult to manage and I'm almost like a zombie when I get back to work the next day. I hardly get to cook or even clean my house. Oh.... I'm not ranting.
So mostly I rely on instant or healthy alternatives like brown bread or some salad or so. I usually find bread slightly bland and just can't butter toss it. So I wanted something that I can actually slather (read generous amounts) and keep nibbling all the way to work or in between those calls or meetings.

Oh Boy, I love mayonnaise but that "egg" factor puts me off and hardly find a stock of eggless Mayo at my place, so I end up not picking up at all.

 photo 12665710_10204022867250664_1369044478_n_zpsnxbghoob.jpg

So I got these easy peasy and one week lasting Eggless Mayo. It's a no mess and no fuss recipe that you can do in flat 10 mins. Yes, that's right.

Let's hit the road.

Eggless Instant Mayonnaise Recipe

Preparation Time: 10 mins | Cooking Time: 5 mins
Recipe Category: Spread/dips | Recipe Cuisine: America

Milk – 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup
Corn flour (Corn Starch) – 3 tbsps
Olive oil or refined oil – 3-4 tbsps
White Vinegar - 1 tsp
Sugar – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/ English Mustard Sauce – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder – 1/2 tsp or more
Salt – 1/2 tsp

1) In a bowl, mix half a cup of milk and cornflour without any lumps. Keep it aside
2) Bring the remaining 1/2 cup of milk to a boil. Now add milk + cornflour slurry to it.
3) Keep stirring this mixture and allow it to thicken. 
4) Once done, allow this mixture to cool.
5) Using a mortar and pestle or grinder, powder your mustard seeds into a coarse mixture.

 photo 12168050_10204022851930281_907235173_n_zpstoon8feq.jpg
6) I'd ask you to use freshly ground peppercorns rather than pepper powder. 
7) Now run your corn flour and milk mixture through food processor or blender. Make it to a smooth paste.
8) Add remaining ingredients like vinegar, sugar. mustard seeds, pepper powder, olive oil and salt. 
9) Mix well and store in an airtight container.

 photo 12596404_10203989221249535_657469121_n_zps8doevo5i.jpg

1) You can add red chilly flakes as well for a spicy kick.
2) I love pungent flavor of mustard so i used like 1/2 tsp and little over that. You can keep it to 1/4th tsp if you do not like too much of mustard flavor.
3) This stays good for a week in fridge. The moment you see cracks in this soft creamy mixture, you'll need to discard.

Kashmiri Pulao - Easy Version
If I happen to find Kashmiri Pulao on the menu, I'd look no further and order it right away. I have fond memories associated with Kashmiri Pulao and my mom loves it to the core. Way back in Vizag when I was like around 8, every sunday we would routine to Green Park Hotel. Our frequent order was Kashmiri Pulao served in a pot. Steaming hot Kashmiri pulao... I still remember that aroma and taste. I used to wait for Sundays just for this Pulao. I asked my mom to prepare this at home but she always thought Kashmiri Pulao was something that was not so easy to prepare. She felt that Kashmiri pulao was limited to restaurants only.

 photo 1sr_zpsfyrrzvrz.jpg

Current - I was discussing with my colleague on easy peasy rice recipes which do not involve much chopping and elaborate methods considering the time crunch. Oh boy, I just had a shift change wherein my shift got advanced by 2 hours. Can you imagine my plight of getting early, running and cooking?
We made a list of rice recipes like Jeera Rice, Schezwan Rice, Fried Rice, Tahari, Aloo Bhendi Cashew rice, Navratan Pulao and Kashmiri Pulao.... I was like are you sure about Kashmiri Pulao, she confidently told me that I can dish it up in flat 2 hours. I must admit, she was right. I found this recipe in a local magazine and it's a keeper.

 photo 2_zpsredjoiwb.jpg

So let's hit the road...

Kashmiri Pulao - Easy Version

Preparation Time : 30 | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 2-3
Recipe Category: Main Course | Recipe Cuisine: Kashmiri

Basmati Rice/Long Grained Rice - 1 and 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cup
Water - 1 and 1/2 cup

Whole Spices
Bay Leaf -2
Cloves - 5 - 6
Cardamom - 3-4
Black Peppercorns - 6-8
Dry ginger powder- 1/2 tsp
Shah Jeera - 1/2 tsp

For Assembling
Golden Fried Onions - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 2 tbsps (broken)
Almonds - 2 tbsps chopped finely
Raisins - 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Apple - 1/4th cup (cut into small pieces)
Pomegranate - 2 tbsps
Paneer - 1/4th cup

Oil - for frying
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Salt - as per taste
Sugar - 1/2 tsp (optional) but recommended

1) Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan and throw in all your whole spices one by one.
2) Fry for a min or until they are fragrant.
3) Add Milk and water to this mixture.
4) Allow it to come to a boil. Now add washed rice. Add salt and sugar as well.
5) You can either pre soak it for 30 mins or add it just like that.
6) Cook rice until done. I transferred the entire mixture into electric cooker and cooked rice. I'm somehow not so confident about cooking rice in a pan. I mushed it up many times or burnt it. I wanted to play safe considering the time constraint.
 photo 12436077_10203848375688484_1485285511_n_zpskxawag2b.jpg

7) Once rice is cooked, allow it to cool and then fork it up.
8) For golden fried onions, thinly slice 1 medium sized onion and fry until golden brown.
9) In a pan, heat oil/ghee and fry paneer pieces until golden brown.
10) Fry cashews, raisins and almonds separately until golden brown and keep them aside.
11) You can discard whole spices from rice. I don't like them in my rice so i do it. You can choose to ignore this step.
12) In the same pan, add rice and dry fruits, onions and coriander. Mix everything well. Allow it to cook for 2-3 mins.
13) Add coriander, paneer pieces, apple and pomegranate seeds just before serving.
14) Serve hot.

 photo 3_zpsw3sz3tik.jpg

My Notes:
1) You can even use pineapple pieces and grapes.
2) Rice needs to be separate and grainy. So please take care while cooking rice.
3) Kashmiri Pulao is mild and sweet. You can serve it with a spicy gravy based curry or eat it just like that.

Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant Style
I lost the count of videos I watched over youtube to nail this recipe. I always had this feeling that something lacked in my home style recipe over the one they serve in Restaurants. I've never been a big fan of Paneer but still sometimes I give in.

 photo 119_zpsndsue13x.jpg

Coming back to the videos I was talking about, they are so many recipes with quite elaborate or very fancy method of preparation. I believe that for perfect Paneer Butter Masala recipe the texture needs to be right and then followed by the color and creaminess.
I combined 3-4 recipes and came up with this adapted version and Viola, I am right there. Well, I am not bragging but Mr.P who is a big time foodie told(read complimented) that this is the best paneer butter masala he had until now. This is a no fail recipe and my keeper as well. I made this like 4 times before posting this here and it always tasted good.

I had to nudge myself to type this up for a sweet lady(Smita - Ms.S) whom I got to know in the recent times. Albeit we've met virtually but I have a feeling that I have known her from quite long and that we've established that bonding between us. So this post is dedicated to her.

 photo 122_zpsd4w3yq66.jpg

So let's hit the road...

Paneer Butter Masala - Restaurant Style

Preparation Time : 15 Mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 3
Recipe Category: Side Dish | Recipe CuisineIndian

Paneer/Cottage Cheese - 200gms (Cubed)To Grind
Tomato - 2 big chopped roughly
Onion - 1 big chopped roughlyCinnamon - 1/4 inch piece
Cloves -4
Cardamom - 2 pods
Bayleaf - 2
Cashews - 8-10 whole (Soaked in hot water for 20 mins)For Gravy
Fresh Cream - 1/4th cup
Salt - to taste
Butter - 2 tbsps Oil - 2 tbsps (1+1)
Jeera - 1 tsp (1/2 +1/2 tsp)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece grated
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder - as per taste (1-2 tsps)
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Garlic - 6-7 pods peeled.
Kasuri Methi - 1 big pinch.
Tomato Ketchup - 1/4th cup (read notes)


1) Heat oil in a kadai and add 1/2 tsp of jeera. Let them sizzle. Now add whole garam masala - cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick.  Fry for 1 min or until fragrant.
2) Now add garlic cloves and fry until they are slightly golden brown in color.
3)I prefer to grate ginger while this entire mixture is slightly turning turning. It gives a very nice aroma and takes the dish to a new level altogether. 
4)Add onions and fry until translucent or soft.
5)Now add tomatoes and cook them until soft.

 photo 117_zpsl6whvjxd.jpg

6) Take this mixture off flame and allow it to cool. Add cashews to this mixture and then grind this mixture into a smooth puree by adding 1/4th cup of water.
7) In the same kadai, melt butter and add another 1/2 tsp jeera and bayleaf. Fry this for a minute and add tomato +onion paste.
8) Cook this mixture until oil leaves the sides of kadai. Add salt,chilly powder and garam masala. Give a quick mix.
9) Did we forget about Paneer all this while?
Oh yes! if you are using frozen paneer bring it to room temperature till use. I have a short cut method here, if your paneer is frozen put it in some water and heat this mixture up. Allow it to come to a boil and take it off the flame. Keep paneer immersed in hot water until use.
10) If using tomato ketchup, you can add it to the gravy. Crush kasuri methi with your palms and add it. Add fresh cream. 
11) If you think, the gravy is too thick you can add 1/2 cup of water. Adjust salt if required.
11) Add Paneer and allow this mixture to cook for just a minute. Serve hot with roti or plain basmati rice or Jeera rice.

 photo 124_zpscxffaqey.jpg

My Notes:

  1. If you are using local or desi tomatoes, then exclude tomato ketchup. If you use both you may end up getting tangy curry.
  2. I used hybrid or Bangalore tomatoes, so for slight tangy taste I added tomato ketchup.
  3. Kashmiri red chilly powder gives nice color to the gravy. You can even use normal red chilly powder instead.
  4. Taste the curry after you add red chilly powder to the gravy. If you feel that the flavor of cloves, cinnamon stick very evident then don't add garam masala. Dish can be slightly over hyped with too many flavors if the flavor is evident.
  5. If the gravy is boiling - before even you add cream. Then add 1/2 cup of water and give a mix. Then add fresh cream. If you are adding cream when the gravy is rolling boil, your cream will curdle. So reduce the heat, add water and then add cream.
Chilly Garlic Momos with Schezwan Dip
I am sure regular readers of my blog know that I love Momos. Momos in any form, shape and with any stuffing (Veg) gets a yes please from me. All of a sudden or may be just to get rid of those monday blues, I decided that i am gonna make Momos for lunch. I thought I am gonna wake up early that morning, but as usual I ended up getting at 10 AM. I realized that I do not even have the basic stuff like carrots, beans. I was turning frantic and I am sure that I am gonna mess up my day routine. I rushed to the local vegetable vendor and I was really lucky to get the right stuff.

I was a happy camper. I kneaded the dough and threw all my veggies in my chopper and it did a fabulous job of fine chopping :) and let the pics do the talking.

 photo 12242176_10203693232970013_1036153871_n_zpsyyxtkc6a.jpg

Off to the recipe.

Chilly Garlic Momos
For Momos
Maida or All purpose flour - 1 cup
Salt - as required
Sugar - 1/2 tbsp (optional)
Oil - 2 tbsps
For Stuffing
Garlic Pods - 3-4 finely chopped
Carrots,beans,cabbage and onion - 1 cup finely chopped or you can run through chopper like thrice
Pepper Powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilly Flakes - 1 tsp
Salt- As required
Soy Sauce - 1/2 tsp
Chilly Sauce - 1 tbsp
Olive Oil - 2 tbsps

 photo 12233437_10203693234490051_745838321_n_zps7wxfvssx.jpg

Knead a soft and pliable dough using Maida, sugar, salt, oil and water as required. Cover it with a wet cloth until use.
Heat oil in a pan and fry garlic until golden brown in color.
Add all the vegetables and saute them for 2-3 mins
It's time for all the sauces and spice powders. Add them all and give this mixture a good stir.
Fry this mixture for 2 mins and then you are done with the stuffing.
Allow this mixture to cool.

 photo 12233155_10203693234690056_1628400901_n_zpsqyui3zdp.jpg

Let's prepare momos.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Now you will get 2 logs. Cut these logs equal slices or you can actually make small balls (gooseberry sized).
While you work on the first log, you can cover the second one with a moist cloth.
Roll each ball or slice into 2-3 inch diameter disc. Make sure it is thin and even disc.
Add a spoonful of stuffing in the center and start pleating. You will need to grab the ends of the disc and start pleating. Once done, join these pleats in the center and then twist gently towards one side.
You can refer to this video for details.
Repeat this procedure.
If your electric cooker is steamer compatible, then your life is much easier else you can use steaming basket (boil some hot water in a large pan and place the steaming basket over it) - Please refer to notes.
You can use idli cooker or pressure cooker and place momos on idly plates.
I used electric cooker and steamed them for 7-8 mins. The outer covering will become glossy and that's when you can call it done.

 photo 12270316_10203693233970038_1969812764_n_zpsmrmkfvce.jpg

Schezwan Dip

Dry Red Chillies - 15
Garlic Cloves - 20 finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 tbsp chopped
Soy sauce - 1 tsp
Tomato Sauce - 1/2 cup
Salt- as per taste
Olive oil - 2 tbsps

Procedure - Boil dry red chillies in hot water (say 1 cup) and allow them to cool. Now grind them into a fine paste using the same water. Heat oil in a pan and fry garlic and ginger until the pungent smell subsides. Now add dry red chillies paste. Cook this mixture until oil leaves sides of the pan. Add the remaining ingredients and allow this mixture to bubble up. That is it. You're done.

Serve it with momos.

Everyday Sambar - South Indian Style
My Schedule got really haphazard that cooking for myself took back seat. I am mostly depending on quick fixes or something less than 20 mins. Driving myself to even put the pressure cooker up and chop vegetables for lunch is getting difficult. So I usually reserve my weekends for elaborate meals and compensate my body's nutritional requirements.

Sambar happens to be every weekend affair for me. I am quite opinionated that a perfect Sambar requires time and effort. That perfect mom made sambar requires everything just right to get the right taste. Star ingredient remains to be seamlessly put together sambar powder. Though my sambar is store bought owing to the convenience factor, I can say that taste doesn't come up. Somewhere those homemade flavors get diminished and the sambar tastes little sour and little tangy.  When I got a chance to review Eastern Masalas , my eyes directly fell on Sambar powder and Brahmin Sambar Powder.

 photo 20150801_143301_zpslj4kuh5d.jpg

The name brahmin Sambar was very interesting and without giving much thought I knew what's in on my lunch menu. I must say that I loved the flavorful sambar with strong asafoetida flavor. I got the perfect and tasty sambar which Mr.P was all thumbs up. Just that you need notch or knock off asafoetida from your tadka, else it will be little overboard for anyone to handle.

So let's get started
Everyday Sambar - South Indian Style
Cooked Dal (Toor dal) - 3/4th cup (mash it up)
Vegetables - 1 and 1/2 cup (carrot, beans, sweet potato etc - Steamed/boiled)
Onion- 1 diced
Tomato - 2 quartered
Salt- to taste
Jaggery - 1-2 tbsps (I go with 2 usually as we like slightly sweet sambar)
Tamarind - 1 gooseberry size extracted in 1/4th cup of water
Water - 1 n 1/2 cup
Coriander- 1 bunch
Chilly powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4th tsp
Eastern Masalas Brahmin Sambar powder- 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Ghee or oil - 2 tbsps (Ghee recommended)

For Seasoning/Tadka
Ghee- 2 tbsps
Cumin Seeds/ Jeera - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
Dry red chillies -2-3 broken

 photo 20150801_143330_zps32izn33h.jpg

1)Heat ghee or oil in a sauce pan. Now add onions and fry until translucent. Add tomatoes and cook until they soften.
2) Time to add all the vegetables along with masalas and salt. Give it a good stir and ensure that masala coats all vegetables.
3) Cook for 2-3 mins so that masala binds vegetables. Now add dal. Mix it up.
4) Now add tamarind water, jaggery and water.
5) Place lid and let this mixture cook for 6-7 mins. Let it come to rolling boil.
6) Remove the lid and taste to see if salt is just right. You can adjust any masala by mixing with a tbsp of water if you feel that the taste isn't showing up.
7) Once you get the desired consistency, switch off the flame.
8) Add freshly chopped coriander.
9) In a tadka pan, heat ghee and throw all the ingredients listed under seasoning. Just fry for 15 secs or so.
10) Add this mixture to sambar. You will get sizzling sound which means your seasoning is just right. Cover the sambar with lid.
11) This step will ensure that flavors blend well.

Chefs note:
1) Adjust water according to your desired consistency.
2) I added Coriander powder, along with other spice powders. So if you like to, please feel free.

My Hunger Tales- Random Ramblings
Knock Knock.....

My mom opens the door with a warm smile. It lightens me and I quickly exchange a sigh and then crash on the sofa. My mom gets me a cuppa of South Indian Filter coffee. I take a sip and I feel my senses getting recharged. She gets me piping hot soft idlies which I dunk in sambar and let a burp.. Oops. That was loud.


By this time, she'd set my bed and asks me to go ahead and sleep because she thinks that night shifts are too harsh on my body. My pup juju who sleeps under my cot wakes up and wants to play with me real bad. It keeps pulling my tshirt or pant till I get up and my mom takes it to our living room and ties it there. So that I am not disturbed.


Fast Forward....Fast Forward 3 years now.

No more those smiles...no more warm coffee cups...no piping hot idlies..... Life isn't that smooth as it sounds to be. It feels good to be independent but to stay away from parents is a tearing feeling. Food is the last that things comes to your mind. When you have to cook for yourself everyday, you do not feel good about it. May be that's the reason why my food blog which once was flooded with recipes is now dormant just like me. Like a dry spell cast, I do not feel motivated to cook.. Not that I am lazy. When you work for 14 hours a day and you are in back to back meetings or calls from Monday to Friday, the last thing that comes to your mind is food. Mostly I quickly nibble some junk so that I don't fall unconscious somewhere. There have been times wherein the food I cooked was just good to be trashed as I messed on something really basic or the day I actually took so much time to prepare just right and I don't get time to eat.


I was in the verge of turning a zombie with these haphazard eating habits and endless cups of tea made me look slightly older than my age. That struck me bad. Should I say that?
On my facebook page, I had this friend of mine who spoke about online food ordering apps. Well I don't say I am cut off with the world but just that I do not get time to even watch a 30 mins quick news recap. I would rather prefer to sleep that extra 30 mins over watching news :P


So they were too many listed like Food Panda, tinyowl, eatz, Faasos etc. Tiny Owl name fascinated me and I quickly google searched what exactly is its concept and how it works. Though I was interested, my day schedule backed me off.

Current. It is 9:58 PM Sunday night and I am sitting here...typing this blog post as a quick breather while I have been working for more than 6 hours now and I am sure I will get promoted. But before I get promoted, I can get promoted from healthy to sick (y)... Unfortunately, I forgot to cook and I am too tired even cook Maggi (oopps... scratch it....It isn't a option anymore). I remember tinyowl and thought its worth a try. I quickly downloaded the app.

It's a simple, no mess and user friendly app. I like its layout and the cutsie owl logo.
It asked me to enable my GPS, once done it showed me restaurants near my area. I quickly selected Punjabi restaurant near my place and the menu had details showing what they got to offer. That was such a breeze. No mess...no gas...no interruption.


Yippie, I just paid and guess what I even got discount and that makes me more happy and gives me another reason to try Tinyowl again. Sometimes, you order and have to wait hours for your food to be delivered. But the coolest reason here is you know when it is expected and your app even shows the clock ticking - that's the remaining time left for you to expect your order

After 40 Mins....
My food waits for me... Sorry I can't type anymore... I am a hungry wolf here and Tinyowl you are a hunger savior.

Need I say more that Tiny owl finds its space on my mobile.

Tiny Owl is India's Coolest food ordering app.... If you want to download it...check the below:

Gift of Love to your bundle of joy.
 I was pleasantly surprised when I got an email from Blog adda that I was going to be a part of their Mummy Knows Best Campaign. I wanted to give it a shot. After 5 days, I received a package from Blog Adda.  Though I am not a mom, I had my bestie's niece who stays next door. My bestie Syeda has a cute and sweet 10 month old niece Alina. She is pumpkin and sweet little munchkin engaging us all with her chuckles, gurgles, cries, demands, threats etc.

Every day after work, I'd routine to spend some time with her. She takes her evening bath by the time I reach her place. Her mom gives her a nice oily body massage before she gets her to the bath. So when I got the invite, I know Alina is going to get that treat.

Her mom was initially reluctant to test as her parents had suggested to use the first pressed sesame seeds oil for the baby. So she wasn't convinced to try anything else. After 2-3 talks, she said she will try it.

Alina's mom and I had opened that brown carton with all excitement and  minds running all over with the product package or the branding details and other nuances.

There we go, we found  3 cute and neatly cling wrapped 100 ml bottles. The packaging specifically is a kid friendly with a cute elephant holding some weights. Well, that indicates that it's a sign of strength and health.

The colors on the outer carton are very vibrant and fresh. I love those colors.

Quickly we run through the components/ingredients along with the benefits. Dabur baby Massage oil with Olive and almond is enriched with the natural goodness of olives and almond as they have a key role in the baby's development.

The fragrance was mild and pleasant. I liked the soft smell and mild fragrance which gives the baby a soothing feeling.

Alina's mom read over and over all the ingredients and did a little research. Post which she was completely convinced that she is gonna give it a try. It was bath time or should I say time for us to pamper her with a nice massage.

We applied liberal portions of oil massage and I was sure that she was enjoying it. The fragrance is very mild and soothing on her. She was all smiles and it was obvious that it was very relaxing for her.

Her mom says she is a little cranky when she gets an oil massage and her today's behavior comes as a surprise to her. I found the first pressed sesame oil little dense and sticky owing to its properties unlike Dabur Baby Massage oil with Olive and Almond.It is very light and non greasy.

It gently moisturizes the baby's tender skin and makes it soft and supple. After 30 mins, she gets a bath and Alina sleeps peacefully. Her mom was happy with it and wanted to try it once again. After a couple of tries, she was ready to bid goodbye to the good old' traditional oils and was completely aware of the benefits Dabur Baby massage oil was giving.

Here is what she has to say about the benefits:(In her words)
1) Alina is less fussy and sleeps peacefully for long durations.
2) Her skin is very soft and moisturized. I used to find the previous oil little thick. After her bath, I used find the skin dry and little chapped with the normal oil. But Dabur Massage oil, retains moisture quotient.
3) Whenever I give her a massage, I can sense a relaxing feeling in her and she responds well.
4) I love this product and this will now be a part of my monthly shopping routine for my baby.

As a mother, I would recommend it to all the new moms. Lastly, this fragrance lingers even after bath and that makes me cuddle and touch Alina often. She smells so good.

Go grab this product at First cry

Alina's awesome experience is making its way to https://www.liveveda.com/dabur­lal­tail/products/dabur­baby­massage­oil.aspx and www.blogadda.com

I am writing about Dabur Baby Massage Oil with the goodness of olive and almond for the #FirstLove activity at BlogAdda.com</a>.

'#HugYourDad ' today & tell him how much he means to you! Blog about it! 

Nominate your blog for WIN 2015 if you think your blog deserves to be awarded at WIN 2015!

Blog for the Ready for Rewards blogging activity at BlogAdda.

Honour a fellow blogger with #YouMakeMeWIN!