Monday, December 31, 2012

Best of 2012 ~ Wrapping up for the year!

Mother earth has outlived the Mayan prediction and saved its beloved beings once again! The human race, amidst dilemmas debates about the end of the world, celebrated Christmas with peace and joy as always and is looking forward to the birth of yet another hopeful year!

For us, bloggers? Yes, another year to wrap up; to review, feel proud and to showcase the best posts of the year.
In spite of the hard work and the time involved for a blogger; food or general, he or she would admit the fact that the amount of enjoyment while working and the cheer that went along with them while sharing with their friends and readers!

So now talking about me, I believe I had been blogging without long breaks in between as I do otherwise.
I took special attention to the quality of posts and  pictures. I had taken extra efforts for the stepwise and they have paid well too!

The posts/recipes are selected considering appreciations in the form of  positive comments, mails, messages, google searches, 'likes', 'shares', 'pins' and also feed backs after trials from the readers.

Coming to the toppers...
Read More »

Friday, December 28, 2012

Easy Spicy Potato Roast

After the over doze of Christmas cakes, cookies, puddings and everything sweet, this potato roast served as an accompaniment for our simple meal, today.
This dish is something I make very frequently for children, particularly as a side dish for their pack away lunch. An absolute kid freindly accompaniment!

Today we woke up to see the cloudy dull morning.With no vegetables in the crisper, I decided to make this instantly, with plain hot rasam and fiery kothamalli chutney! :-)

Easy Potato Roast 
Serves two

Total time needed - 20 minutes
 [For Preparatory -10 minutes
 For Cooking -10 minutes]

Read More »

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Date & Cocoa Raw Truffles

There are a few recipes you come across while surfing that develop an instant urge to try. It isn't the impatient need to savour but to t.r.y (and b.l.o.g right away if you are an obsessive blogger)
Sometimes it's because of the simplicity of the recipe; at times being classic and mostly we get hooked because of its elegance and the way it is presented.
Date & Cocoa Raw Truffles are one of those I came across a while back and couldn't wait to try (and blog) because of its simplicity, elegance, being classy and classic presentation.

Read More »

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thumbprint Cookies

My son loves anything jam-centred. He has them as a meal apart snacking them. Surprisingly he wanted cookies instead of cakes this Christmas and I found myself searching for a simple cookie recipe of his kind.

"Thumbprint Cookies are a very popular holiday cookie. They are made with a shortbread-like dough that is formed into balls and then rolled in either finely chopped nuts or dried coconut. The name 'thumbprint' comes from the fact you use your "thumb" to make an indentation into each ball of dough and then fill it with jam."
Read More »

Monday, December 10, 2012

Kothu Parotta with Egg

Kothu Parotta is a famous street food in both Kerala and T.N. Astonishingly the ingredients and the method are the similar! Well, parottas are the favourite for both Malayalees and Tamils. Personally I love the kothu parotta version than the regular parathas with khurma. Undoubtedly parathas / parottas are gaining a  parallel fame about how unhealthy the dish is. Inspite of the controversies parottas sweep the street sides / restaurants / homes of the Keralites and the Tamils in all avatars and still dear to the people.

My step by step elaborate version for making parottas is here.

Kothu Parotta / Shredded Parathas, Seasoned with Spices and Masala
Serves 2-3
Read More »

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lime Rice

Lime rice, lemon rice or elumichai sadam is one of the simplest variety rices in T.N. It's undoubtedly one of the easiest to make and a very common lunch in the state. Since the meal is flavourful and tasty by itself, no accompaniments are needed and hence this serves a regular pack away meal for the school / office goers.
This had again perhaps been the first dish I learnt as a married girl from my husband's granma, who used to make the tastiest 'elumichampazha sadam' extra spiced and all soaked in 'nallennai'. The whole family loved to savour the large morsels she used to offer when each of us passed by the kitchen :)
Read More »

Monday, November 26, 2012

Pori Urundai / Sweetened Puffed Rice Balls) for Karthikai

Deepavali just got over and I can't believe the next festival is almost here!  Thiru Karthikai !
Deepavali and Karthikai have way different stories of origin according to Hindu Mythology but both the festivals are similar in two main aspects. Festivals of  lamps and light. Festivals of fresh sweets.

Read More »

Monday, November 12, 2012

Diwali Greetings and a few easy to make recipes

Finally, the festival is almost here!
The festival of victory of good over evil, the festival of happiness, cheer, sharing and love!

Here are a few easy to make Diwali recipes, posted earlier, which you may find interesting.

                                                   Godhumai Jira / Instant Wheat flour Halwa 

                                                                          Kaju Katli

                                                                      Godhumai Appam


                                                             Vellai Vadai/ Jaggery Donuts

                                                                   Fried Modakams

                                                      Pasi paruppu Urundai / Moong dal Ladoos


                                                                Almond and Carrot Kheer



                               Wishing you all a fun filled and safe Diwali!

Lots of love,
Bharathy :)
Read More »

Friday, November 9, 2012

Rasmalai for Diwali

Rasmalai. The irresistible Indian sweet. I doubt if anyone would hate this divine dessert. The spongy and mildly sweet paneer balls dunked in the richness of milk, creaminess of nuts and mingled flavours of cardamom and saffron. Heaven!

I had been making rasgullas for the past few years inspired by a video recipe and when I slowly mastered the art of making  the perfect I was confident enough to go to the next step; the richer avatar of the same delicacy dunked in Rabdi. Rabdi is nothing but thick and concentrated full fat milk.This in turn is sweetened adding sugar and flavoured with cardamom or rose essence. I am still unaware of the fact that the rabdi used in rasamalai is further enriched by the powdered nuts, but anyway I did it as my family loves it this way!
Basically I refer vahchef for the recipe. Trust me, making rasagullas is not at all tough. Even a first timer can make it perfect without flaws.

Read More »

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Pasiparuppu Urundai / Moong dal Ladoos

Diwali is round the corner. Busy streets, people carrying heavy shopping bags, buzzing happily, children laughing, crowded sweet shops and there is merriment everywhere.
I decided to start with the easiest sweet to welcome the festival. Moong dal ladoos or Pasi paruppu urundai is one among the easiest to make in the list. This healthy sweet has a good shelf life and I am reserving for my children who are turning up soon for the holiday!

Read More »

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Kerala Chicken Curry / Nadan Chicken Masala (stepwise method)

caIn't believe the fact that it has been 3 weeks since I posted here. The reason is nothing else but holidaying/relaxing at mom's place. Brother and sister are here to add to the fun and time flies! Ignoring the heavy showers, sister and me strolled along the streets enjoying shopping. Under the same umbrella, literally drenched, we loved the feel of rain and buzz of the town after a long time. Bliss!

Read More »

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Rustic Wheat, Date & Walnut Bread

I came across this beautiful looking bread in Chinmayie's space. Ever since I had been dreaming baking this, taking pictures and savouring the heavenly stuff!

The attractive part was that, the recipe of this bread seemed to be flexible and I loved the way she'd described..

Read More »

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Rava Dosa / Sooji or Semolina Dosa

                          Rava Dosai served with 'Tiffin Sambhar' and 'Thengai Chutney'

Rava Dosai or Rava Dosa is a Tiffin ( I love the way the Tamil name it ) which I hadn't mastered so far. I go 'bumper' every time I try. I come out with under cooked, torn,  or rather overly done dosas and go bonkers.

Ah! here?
The perfect dosas!
Who makes them?
My ma in law's co-sis Uma Chithi! :)

Read More »

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Adding Some Life to Your Photograph - Exercises in Food Photography #5 by Aparna

I haven't tried shots of food someone holding for me, though I had been coming across lovely pictures of the same much around in blogosphere. Aparna's Photography lesson 5 finally inspired me to try the lovely theme of Adding some life to my Photograph!

My daughter was home for a couple of days for Ganesh Chathurthi when I thought of making her pose for the shots. We could have done it better but before I imported the pictures from the camera, she got back to her hostel.

Here are a few we managed to do...

                                                                  A Hot Offer :)

Read More »

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kothu Chapathi with Egg ~ stepwise pictorial

A blogger would know about the mid life bloggers' crisis.
One of my buddy talks about having a bunch of exotic recipes drafted, but reluctant to push out to blog just because she loses words for the introductory part.
Over the years we find ourselves improving in cooking skills, selection of recipes, photographic talents, earning readers...fame... but doesn't really apply when it comes to the 'writing intro part'.. it's monotonous.. stale..boring when it comes to me.

Read More »

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Easy Breezy Coconutty Pepper Chicken

The past few days had been eventful. A visit to my husband's native place, sick son and a cradling ceremony. Now that he has recuperated well, we sent him back to his hostel. Every moment spent with my in-laws was special. It makes me feel I am back home after my mom's home stay! Too much love, too much care, too much food and too much in-laws made me and my sick son feel so comfortable that we miss them..just too much!

Read More »

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Banana Walnut Bread - without eggs!

                                                Tastespotted and Foodgawked

I admire her.
So does she.
I appreciate her talents and creativity.
So does she.

Read More »

Friday, August 24, 2012

Aval Payasam for Thiruvonam!

...when I imagine the crispers and store rooms and pantries of every Malayalee around the globe, brimming with vegetables, fruits and groceries...children dressed in all colours flying kites and enjoying the newly tied swings... some of them still busy preparing for the Athappoo, the beautiful floral carpet... the last minute shopping... last minute garment alterations at the tailors'....

Thiruvonam !!

Read More »

Friday, August 17, 2012

Milk to Butter - a stepwise tutorial journey!

    Homemade Butter.
     Doesn't that sound good?

Read More »

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bisibele Bhath with Drumsticks

Well, after a break it requires a real lot of energy to get back to blogging for me.

 After loads of food; literally 'pigging out' breakfasts, lunches and dinners cooked by seasoned chefs around the world (did I tell you we were on a Royal Caribbean cruise in the Baltic for the final week of the holiday?) we realised the exquisiteness of the so called 'world cuisine'! French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Greek, Thai, Mexican, name it! they have it! ( the only regret you hold to would probably be the extra pounds you'd gained along side :))
Read More »

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Break

 I' ve heard my friends or people around me saying, "I have no time for that!", particularly to do something you had requested, wondering whether he or she shares the same interest as you do.

I personally feel, it's really 'not' the lack of time as they mention, but the 'interest' and the way they 'prioritise' their things for the day.

For example, a good friend of mine asked me how long I spend a day reading newspapers.
My snappy answer was that "I absolutely have no time in the mornings!"

And here comes another friend's ( much irritating) question..
Bharathy, "Oh My! You look F.A.T ! How long do you exercise a day?..not even half an hour like I do eh?"

"Ah! I know! I am not an early riser and the evenings keep me pretty occu..pie..d"
[ ^%$# Oh Yeah! You run and puff and pant on your treadmill for half an hour a day and mind you, you still look like a Whale! I go for swimming.. when I feel like.. and you are looking at my 'well toned muscles' .. not F.A.T....ummf ]

So now, lately... pressed between  lots of travel, family functions, commitments, sick son, and crazy power shut downs it had been a struggle to post, even once a week!

No food photos, no new recipes, no drafts....yet announcing a break throws a wet blanket on my positive mood...forced to forget my space at least for a month as already off for a 3 week holiday...

Miss you and see you soon with tons of new recipes!

Lots of Love,
Bharathy :)

Read More »

Monday, June 18, 2012

Less is more, so let's keep it simple!

Less is more, so lets keep it simple! says Aparna in her much inspiring series of food photography- lesson #2.

Core Idea -
Less props, making the food the hero, thereby allowing one's eye to concentrate on the main focal point of the composition without distractions.

Well, I would like to talk less too so that the photography gets more attention :)

                                                                  Blueberry muffins 
                                                       Recipe adapted from Joy of  Baking

                                                             Dull mood, less props
                                                   Did I drag your eyes to the muffins?
                    Shot this around 9.30 in the morning when the muffins were piping hot and my glass window refused to let through the diffused sun light as in my general shoots which happen around mid day.
Tried to create a shadowy surround with  just a folded napkin underneath and let the dull morning light fall on the muffins from the right through the window...

Exposure  0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture   f/2.8
ISO           200
Lens Used- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

                                                          Bright mood, less props
                           I am successful if I had drawn your attention on the muffin mount :)
                                                         Oh!  plzz say Yes ;)

This was intentionally a bit over exposed by increasing the ISO. To have a bluish white surround to make your eyes focus 'only' on the muffin. The other attributes were also adjusted accordingly.

Exposure   0.025 sec (1/40)
Aperture    f/3.5
ISO           400
Lens Used- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8

Like Aparna, I have limited stocks on props and dishes. I pull in shells, conchs, colored pebbles, glass jars and napkins which I use at home otherwise to create a novelty/style in each of my posts.

Now, I love the concept, "Less is more" for two reasons..

1.The ultimate food photo is still classy. Coz you're learning the art called 'photography!'
2.The intensity of relationships don't go "Less" ;) (you see a piece of rag you had yearned for a while, a dainty sheet of hand made paper or a glamorous cut glass in your friend's/relative's house and you never fall for it) ;)


Read More »

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kathirikkai Kadalai Koottu / The Lentil based curry with Peanuts and Brinjals

A curry with groundnuts as the main ingredient was something totally new to me as a newly wedded girl in my husband's home.
Soon I realised that this side dish gained a unanimous support in the 10 member family! When the general lunch menu of the house called for dal, sambhar, rasam, poriyal and curd to finish off, this curry was a rescue for the lazy days. Kadalai Kathirikkai Koottu served as a sumptuous meal with hot steamed rice, rasam and curd!

This is a 'Koottu' ( lentil based curry) I make at least once a month for years since then.

  Get ready with:

  Pacha Kadalai / de-shelled peanuts or groundnuts - 1 cup
  Kathirikkai / brinjal - diced 1 cup
  Moong dal, lightly roasted - 1/2 cup
  Finely minced shallots - a tbsp
  Jeera powder-1/2 tsp
  Turmeric powder- a fat pinch
  Sambhar powder - 1/2 tsp
  Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tsps

 To Season,

 Oil- a tbsp
 Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
 Urad dal- 1/4 tsp
 Finely minced shallots - a tsp (optional.. I don't add this.. but it enhances the flavour of the curry)
 Red chillies- 1 or 2, broken to three pcs each
 Curry leaves- a sprig


Soak groundnuts overnight. Rinse and pressure cook ( I use a 3 ltr pressure cooker body) till soft with enough water and salt. Remove to another vessel along with the cooked water.
Give a quick rinse to the roasted moong dal. Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce and while it simmers, stir in shallots and the powders (jeera, turmeric and sambhar). Add salt. Stir along the brinjal pieces and coconut gratings lastly. Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles (not more than that).

Open the lid after the steam vents off and season the curry. You know how to do it, right?
Heat the oil in a separate kadai, crackle the mustard seeds, brown the urad dal, followed by the minced shallots. Caramelize them, throw in the red chilly bits and the curry leaves. Pour this over the curry and you are done.
Check the final consistency of the curry. It shouldn't be too thick nor watery. It does thicken while cooling down.

The softly cooked groundnuts combine well with the brinjal chunks soaked in the moong dal base, seasoned to perfection! The 'Koottu' is healthy, mild and flavourful. Goes well with steamed rice, rotis and phulkas.

Read More »

Monday, June 4, 2012

Bitter Sweet Dark Chocolate Cake with Oreo Cookie Frosting

Bitter Sweet Dark Chocolate Cake with Oreo Cookie Frosting                                            

For the Cake:

All purpose flour- 1 1/2 cups
Granulated sugar- 1 cup
Butter, softened- 1/2 cup (you may also use 1/4 cup butter + 1/4 cup oil)
Eggs- 2
Salt- a pinch
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Baking soda- 1 tsp
Vanilla essence- 1 tsp
Boiling water- 1 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder- 1/2 cup + 1 tspful 
Coffee powder- 3/4 tsp

1. Boil a cup of water in a wide saucepan. Switch off the stove and dissolve coffee and cocoa powders well without any lumps. Keep aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Powder sugar. Sift the dry ingredients 3-4 times. (ie, flour + salt+ baking soda+ baking powder). Keep aside.

3. Position a rack in centre of the oven and pre-heat to 350 F/175 C. Grease and flour, two 8 inch cake pans.

4. In another wide n large bowl, beat butter until fluffy using an electric mixer and gradually add the powdered sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time; add the vanilla and beat again until light for a minute or two. Fold in the dry ingredients alternating with the cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

5. Divide batter between the prepared pans, smoothing the tops. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.

6. Cool the pans on a wire rack.Run a knife around the edges to loosen from the pans and turn layers out on the rack, placing one upside down and the other right side up.

Frosting: (Oreo butter)

I had some reserve of this from the oreo cookie cake which I used up, that complimented well, for this cake.

1/2 c sugar, powdered
3/4 c butter
3 Oreos, crushed with hands

In a small bowl, beat together sugar and butter till fluffy and pale. Stir in the cookie crumbs and spread it evenly over the cake.Cover the sides too, if you prefer.

Read More »

Monday, May 28, 2012

Kerala Green Peas Masala

The basic recipe I follow for Green peas masala is just the same as for Mushroom masala. The onions, tomatoes and ginger- garlic all sautéed and ground for the gravy part into which the cooked peas is simmered. This recipe calls for an extra ingredient- coconut extract. And I should admit the fact that it the flavour is transformed to a huge extend by the addition of this single ingredient!

Read More »

Monday, May 21, 2012

Frosted Oreo Cookie Cake

 My sudden cravings for fudgy chocolate cakes are giving way to Oreo cookies these days.It happens all of a sudden, I get dressed, walk steadily, barge in the nearest super market which is 8 mins away from home, grab a pack and munch on the way! Weird, but let me be honest about it.

Read More »

Monday, May 14, 2012

Fish Molly ~ a cooking demo at Green Woods, Thekkadi

astweek we had a two day break in Thekkady and the cute little resort we opted to stay was a new property named Green Woods. We were, quite relaxed with our stay, enjoying the extensive shirodhara, swimming in the pool, going happy with the food and most importantly strolling in the woods mesmerized by the faint aroma in the air.This is so special about the place, the aroma of the woods soaked in rain and let me tell you this made me feel home, absolutely!

...or did I miss home and happen to d.r.a.g the family to such a destination  for the short holiday? ;)

Read More »

Friday, May 11, 2012

Album For The Week ~ Malaichamy Kovil

It had been a while since I posted for 'a picture of the week series'. These pictures were shot in Theni on our way to Thekkadi last week.

I had thought of sharing just a picture but decided upon posting a few just to get the feel of the place as an album, though an overload  :)

Read More »

Monday, May 7, 2012

Vegetable Broken Wheat Biriyani

These days I find myself substituting rice with whole wheat, surrendering to the pre occupied notion that wheat is healthier than starchy polished rice! Be them, idlies or upma I find comfortable enough with the variety of easily available broken whole wheat grains in the market.
The vegetable broken wheat biriyani made here is a one pot meal after my hit recipe easy tomato biriyani :)
The recipe and method for this one is entirely different and a bit elaborate but you can always preserve the masala coated veggies which stays well in your chiller even for a week, until you can mix up and heat it with rice of broken wheat to make the meal!
Flavourful and loaded with vegetables, healthy too...

Read More »

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Whole wheat Coconut and Cashew cake baked with Coconut Oil

Ihappened to see this interesting combo ultimately made into perfect moist muffins in Dershana's space and I found myself whipping up the cake the very same day!
Dershana, a charming girl, hails from my native town, grew up in the same little community and completed her graduation from the same old college I had been, is my classmate Archana's cousin as well.
This interestingly combined cake batter, she admits, is her invention instilled by the demands of her cute little school going kid! So, obviously this is a kid friendly recipe.
The flavour of  fresh coconut, wheat, coconut oil and cardamom is a delicious melt in your mouth combo complimented by the richness of the cashews!
Read More »
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...