Monday, January 20, 2014

Instant Rava Uttapam

Instant Rava Uttapam

This is one of the favorite Sunday breakfast in my family. Preparation time for these uttapams is very little. You can add any kind of vegetable available but it should be very finely chopped or grated. It is prepared from a batter of semolina(sooji) and curds and fresh vegetables.. so a very healthy food for kids.

Though its a breakfast item but generally it becomes a complete dinner at my home because everyone wants to have more of it!

Makes : 7 uttapams.

Ingredients :

Semolina(sooji) : 1 1/2 cup
Curds : 1/2 cup
Water : 1 1/2 cup (approx)
Onion : 1/2 cup
Carrots (grated) : 1/2 cup
Cabbage (grated) : 1/2 cup
Salt : to taste
Chilli flakes : 1/2 tsp
Oil : to cook

Procedure :

1. Mix semolina, curds and 1 cup water. Keep aside.
semolina-curd mixture

2. Grate or finely chop the vegetables.

finely chopped onion, grated carrots and cabbage.

3. Put the vegetables in to the semolina-curd mixture and prepare a batter of pouring consistency using some more water, if required. 

4. Add all the seasoning. Mix thoroughly.
Final batter

5. Heat a non-stick tawa/griddle, simmer the flame, pour a ladle full of batter and spread it into a flat thin circle by moving the ladle and dragging the batter with it into a circular motion. Fill up the gaps, if any, using more batter.

uttapam on griddle

6. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the sides of uttapam and turn the flame medium-high.

7. When uttapam appears dry on the upper side, lift the edges and check if it has turned golden on the underside. If yes then flip it over and let it cook till reddish-brown spots appear.

after flipping the uttapam once.
reddish-brown spots.

8. Now apply a very little oil on the front side and flip it once again to get a crispy uttapam.
9. Cook for 30 sec more and the uttapam is ready.
Uttapam Ready!

Serving Suggestion : Serve it hot with Nariyal Chutney, Tomato Ketchup, chili pickle or mango pickle.

These uttapams take time in cooking and you have to cook them one-by-one, so to make them speedily, I always use two griddles at the same time. For spreading the batter, I always use non-stick one and when its done on one side, I flip it onto the Iron griddle and start spreading another uttapam on the non-stck griddle again.
two griddles to speeden up the procedure

Friday, January 17, 2014

Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa (Low Calorie)

Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa (Low Calorie)

As the winters come, I wait for the bright red carrots to hit the supermarkets, so that I can cook my winter-special dessert i.e. gajar ka halwa.

Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa (Low Calorie)

Besides its awesome taste, it gives us many health benefits. Carrot halwa is a rich source of vitamin A. With healthy eyes, it gives us anti-aging benefits, glowing skin, healthy teeth and gums.

Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa (Low Calorie)

In the recipe mentioned below, I've used toned milk, but for a rich taste and texture you should use full-fat milk and if you want to further enhance the taste of your halwa then you can go on to add a 100gms grated khoya/mawa to it after boiling the milk or you can also add 2 tbsp condensed milk, the same way.

Ingredients : 

Carrots : 1 kg
Milk (toned) : 1 liter
Sugar to taste
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried Cranberries - 1 tsp
Chopped Cashewnuts - 1 tsp
Chopped Pistachios - 1 tsp
Chopped Almonds - 1 tsp
Raisins - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Coconut (Shredded) - 2 tbsp for the garnish

Procedure :

  1. Wash, peel and grate carrots.
  2. Boil milk in a wide bottom pan.
  3. Add grated carrots and cardamom powder to the boiling milk, give it a boil again and turn the flame medium.
  4. Keep stirring the milk-carrot mixture after regular intervals and make sure it does not stick to the bottom.
  5. After 15-20 min, carrots will be cooked and milk evaporated, add sugar. Mix.
  6. Cook for 2-3 min more so that all the liquid evaporates.
  7. In a seperate pan, heat ghee and saute lightly all the dry fruits except coconut.
  8. Add all the dry fruits to the carrot halwa.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Delicious carrot halwa is ready. Serve warm or cold garnished with shredded coconut.
Tips for the beginners : 
  • Use a Non-stick pan to avoid the risk of milk burning at the bottom of pan.
  • While stirring the carrot-milk mixture make sure that spoon touches the bottom of the pan.
Gajar ka Halwa/ Carrot Halwa (Low Calorie)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Simplest Salad

onion-tomato salad

This is the simplest salad one can make with lunch or dinner. A good accompaniment to dal-roti meal.

Ingredients :

Onion (medium size) - 1 roughly chopped
Tomato (medium size) - 1 roughly chopped
Salt to taste
Red chili flakes - a big pinch
Sugar - 1 tsp

Procedure : 

Mix all the ingredients and leave for 5 min, so that sugar dissolves completely and salad absorbs the spices.  

Mushroom Caps

Its a very good and unique starter. Tastes completely different from the other deep fried snacks. You can prepare it for the tea-time. Its a good accompaniment to soups, mocktails and cocktails

This recipe has four steps :
1. Preparing the mushroom caps.
2. Preparing the filling.
3. Preparing the batter.
4. Deep frying the caps.

Step 1 : Preparing the mushroom caps.

Ingredients :

Mushrooms (medium size) - 6-7

Procedure :

Clean the mushrooms. Remove stem and make them hollow from underside so that they can be stuffed.

Step 2 :  Preparing the filling.

Ingredients :

Bell Peppers (red, yellow, green) (finely chopped) - 2 tsp
Green chilies - 1 tsp
Paneer (Cottage Cheese) (grated) - 2 tsp
Cheese (grated) - 2 tsp
Fresh Coriander (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste

Procedure :

Mash and mix everything with your fingers.

Step 3 : Preparing the batter

Ingredients :

Maida : 2-3 tbsp
Cornflour - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Procedure :

Make a batter of all the above ingredients using a little water. Batter should be of coating consistency.

Step 4 : Deep frying the caps

Procedure :

  1. Stuff the paneer-cheese filling into the hollow mushroom caps.
  2. Dip the stuffed mushroom caps into the batter.
  3. Take cornflour in a plate and coat the dipped mushroom caps with the dry cornflour.
  4. Press lightly between palms and deep fry in hot oil on medium flame for 2-3 min.
Note : You can also use boiled mushrooms, in case of boiled mushrooms, deep fry for 1-2 min in the step-4.

Tip : You can use small size capsicum, tomato, zucchini, cucumber, kakdi or any other vegetable that can be hollowed to make caps.

Paneer Fritters

A finger food that can be served as a starter or a tea-time snacks.
Also a nice accompaniment to mocktail/cocktail.
Nowadays, we call them fritters, as a child we used to call them paneer pakoda. This batter of cornflour gives a crisp texture to the fritters and they remain crisp even after an hour or two of deep frying.

Ingredients :

Maida : 2-3 tbsp
Cornflour - 2 tbsp
Fresh Coriander (finely chopped) - 1 tsp
Dry Oregano - 1 tsp
Chili Flakes - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Bell Peppers (red, yellow, green) (finely chopped) - 1 tbsp
Paneer (cut into long thick slices) - 10-12

Procedure :
  1. Mix everything except paneer slices.
  2. Prepare a thick batter using little water.
  3. Dip each paneer slice into the batter and deep fry them in hot oil till light golden.
  4. Drain on absorbent paper.
  5. Garnish with finely chopped bell peppers.
  6. Serve hot with tomato sauce or pudina chutney.
Tip : In place of fresh coriander, fresh parsley/dried parsley can be used.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Valentines Paneer

This dish is just perfect for your valentines day main course. Cook it and just wait to see that sweet smile on your valentine's face when he/she catches the first glance of your special preparation for the day :)

The added advantage of this paneer sabji is that its gravy is prepared using buttermilk i.e. its a low calorie recipe so you can have it without any guilt :D

Ingredients :

Onion (medium size) - 1
Tomato (medium size) - 2
Paneer (cottage cheese) - 200 gm
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Shahi Paneer Masala - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri Lal Mirch Powder - 3/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Buttermilk - 1 Glass
Cornflour - 1/2 tsp (dissolved in 1/4 cup of water)
Oil - 2 tbsp

Procedure : 

  1. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to get 6-7 heart shaped paneer pieces. If the pieces are too thick, slice them horizontally too.
  2. Heat a non-stick kadhai/wok. Drizzle a few drops of oil and saute the paneer pieces till they get golden-red on both the sides. Remove from pan and keep aside.
  3. Roughly chop onions and boil it (or microwave high for 4 min with 2 tbsp water).
  4. Cool and blend in a mixer to get a paste.
  5. In the same wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and add the boiled onion paste.
  6. Keep stirring. After 2 min add the pureed tomatoes to the wok.
  7. Add all the spices. Cook till the masala mixture leaves oil on the sides of wok.
  8. Add the cornflour paste and buttermilk. Stir well. Simmer the flame and cook for 5 min.
  9. Add the paneer pieces and cook for another 3 min on sim flame.
  10. Valentines Paneer dish is ready to serve!
Serve it hot with roti/paratha/naan.

Note : Do not cook on high flame after adding the buttermilk as it may curdle.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Capsicum Rings

This recipe can be served as a tea-time snacks or as a sabji with the meal. This dish can also be served as a side-dish on a maincourse menu for a party.

Ingredients :

Capsicum (medium size) - 3
Potato (medium size) - 3 (boiled and mashed)
salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander Powder - 1 tsp
Chaat Masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil to cook

Procedure :
  • Slice the capsicums into 1-1/2 inch rings. to get 8-9 rings.

  • Preapre the stuffing by mixing all the spices into the mashed potatoes.

  • Stuff the capsicum rings with the potao mash.

  • Heat a non-stick griddle/tawa. Put some oil on tawa and place the stuffed capsicum rings. Cook the rings on medium flame till the potato filling gets reddish-brown on both the sides.

  • Capsicum rings are ready to serve. Relish the stuffed capsicum rings with hot tea or as an accompaniment to dal-roti or paratha.

Feeni Roll

This is a Makarsakranti special recipe. It's a no-cook recipe. Beginners can prepare it very easily. This dessert is so quick to prepare that you can make it post-dinner in a few minutes while the guests are busy chit-chatting and serve it immediately.

Ingredients :

Khoya/mawa - 1 bowl
Pistachio (roughly chopped) - 1 tsp
Almonds (roughly chopped) - 1 tsp
Strawberry Crush - 2 tsp
Sweet Feeni (broken) - 4 tsp

Procedure :

  1. In a bowl, mix khoya, pistachios and almonds.
  2. make small balls of the mixture
  3. take broken feeni in a plate and press the prepared balls over it to cover them thoroughly with the feeni threads thoroughly.
  4. Feeni roll is ready to serve.
Tip : you can use the broken feeni left in the storage container of feeni.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Shagna di kheer

Its a lohri special recipe. Can be prepared as a welcome dish for guests and friends.
Though the preparation is very much like rice kheer but the addition of chana dal and carrots gives it a different flavour.


Milk - 1 glass
Rice (soaked in water for 1 hr)  - 2 tsp
Split bengal gram (Chana dal) (soaked in water for 1 hr) - 2 tsp
Carrots (grated) - 4 tsp
Sugar - to taste 
Cardamom (Elaichi) powder - 1/4 tsp
Cashew nuts (broken) -1 tsp
Pistachio slivers - 1 tsp
Almond slivers - 1 tsp
Some pistachio slivers for the garnish


  1. Boil milk in a pan.
  2. Add rice, chana dal and carrots. 
  3. Cook till rice and chana dal are cooked, stirring the mixture time to time.
  4. Cook till the kheer is of thick consistency.
  5. Add sugar, cardamom powder and all the dry fruits.
  6. Mix it well.
  7. Dish out in a serving bowl and garnish with pistachio slivers.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Walnut fudge

Families that love sweets will definitely love this delectable dish. It has the crunchiness of walnuts and coconut plus the softness of milkmaid.
This recipe is so simple that even kids can prepare it!!
Beginners can surprise people by preparing such a relishing munch-on.


Chocolate biscuits (coarsely crushed) - 1 bowl
Milkmaid - 2tsp
Walnut chunks - 1/4 bowl
Cocoa powder - 1 tsp
Coconut powder - 1 tsp
Aluminium Foil


  • Mix all the ingredients except aluminium foil.
  • Shape it into a cylinder and wrap in the aluminium foil.
  • Place it in the fridge for 1 hour
  • After an hour take it out and slice it to make 10-12 cookies.
  • Store in an air-tight container.
Tip : Can be stored for 1 month.
Paneer Jalfrezi

This is a very quick and simple paneer sabji. A good recipe to try for beginners. An easy preparation yet  very  tasty.

Note : This  dish  is  prepared  on  high  flame.  The  vegetables should  not  loose their crunchiness


Onions (sliced into thin long strips) - 1 bowl
Capsicum (sliced into thin long strips) - 1 bowl
Tomato (sliced into thin long strips) - 1 bowl
Paneer cubes (cottage cheese)  -  1/2 bowl
Tomato puree - 1/2 bowl
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Fresh corriander leaves to garnish (optional)
Oil - 1 tbsp


  • Heat oil in a non-stick wok/kadhai. 
  • Saute onions on high flame stirring continuously till translucent pink.
  • Add capsicum and saute it
  • Add tomatoes and all the seasoning. mix well
  • Add paneer cubes. mix properly. 
  • Garnish with fresh corriander and serve hot with roti/naan/paratha.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Italian Macaroni Salad

Its a very simple and wholesome salad. Tastes best when chilled but otherwise also tastes very good (in case if you cant wait for it to get chilled... like me!! :D ). the salad is ready in just a matter of 2-3 min if you have boiled and cooled macaroni in hand. its a very nice accompaniment to lunch or dinner but this dish alone may take the place of lunch/dinner if you are bored of daily routine meal.

Ingredients :

1 bowl boiled and greased macaroni
1 onion (finely chopped)
1 tomato (finely chopped)
1 boiled potato (finely chopped)
1 tsp chopped coriander/cilantro
1 tsp fresh cream
2 tsp beaten curd
1 tsp sweet chilly sauce
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/2 tsp oregano
salt to taste.

Procedure :

Mix everything in a mixing bowl. Keep in refrigerator for 1 hour so that macaroni can absorb all the flavours.
Serve chilled.

Coconut Balls in Chocolate Sauce

This is a pudding. Tastes best when served chilled.

Recipe has three steps.
Step 1. Making coconut balls.
Step 2. Making chocolate sauce.
Step 3. Assembling the pudding.

1. For coconut balls - 

Ingredients : 
Milkmaid - 2 tpsb
Coconut powder - 4 tbsp

Procedure :
1. Mix both the ingredients and make 4 balls out of it. Keep aside.

2. For chocolate sauce -

Ingredients : 

Milk - 1 glass
Sugar - 1 1/2 tsp
Coco powder - 1 tsp
Chocolate powder - 1/2 tsp
Coffee powder - 1/2 tsp
Cornflour - 1 tsp

Procedure :

1. Put milk and sugar in a pan and let it boil.
2. In a bowl take 2 tbsp cold milk and put rest of the ingredients. mix well.
3. Put the prepared mixture into the boiling milk.
4. Let it cook for 4-5 min.keep stirring the mixture.
5. Allow it cool down to the room temprature.

3. Assembling the pudding -

Ingredients :

Fresh cream - 1 tbsp
Choco chips - 1 tsp
Pistachio/almond slivers.

Procedure : 
  1. Take a long pudding glass ( prefer martini) and set 3-4 coconut balls in it.
  2. Pour the prepared chocolate sauce over it to cover the coconut balls completely.
  3. Now pour the fresh cream so that it forms a clear white layer over the chocolate sauce.               
  4. Garnish it with choco chips and pistachio or almond slivers.
  5. Serve chilled.

Note : the fresh cream used in 3rd step is unsweetened and unbeaten.

Tip : For this recipe you can even use leftover coconut ladoos or leftover coconut barfi.