Tuesday, March 31, 2009


Without my usual ramblings, today's post is just going to be an appreciation post for the Blogger-aid team who are doing an awesome job. They came up with a fund-raising effort of publishing a cookbook with recipe contributions from we all bloggers! How thoughtful! Kudos to those three ladies who came up with this idea. The funds raised from this will be donated to School Meals, a programme of World Food Programme (WFP). Ever since I read this announcement, I've been waiting to contribute to blogger aid. But as usual I had other distractions and I almost missed the deadline. Fairly late in the game, last week I was going through a myriad of recipes from my very own recipe treasure to figure out what to submit. It was tough to pick a original recipe that I have not posted on my blog yet. Well, I finally decided on this Butter Chicken Recipe that mom used to make often. I almost forgot this recipe in the recent years, and it was a pleasant surprise when I saw it in my cookbook.

It was not until I made it today that I remembered how much I had loved it while growing up. Whenever this dish was made there were no leftovers. A vibrant chicken dish with an awesome blend of spices! I thought this may be an ideal dish to contribute for the cookbook. And the interesting part is not to reveal the recipe in my post! I have just posted a couple of pictures of the dish and will leave it to you on guessing the ingredients and recipe :) To see the recipe, you have to purchase the cookbook that will be on sale on Amazon around Nov-Dec 2009 timeframe. I've seen a lot of delicious recipes already been contributed by my blogger friends to Blogger-aid and I can't wait to buy the cookbook!

See you all in my next post with my usual chit-chats and ramblings :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Rainbow Chapathi - Kids Lunch Box Special!

I know, I know.. its been 2 weeks since I posted anything. I just can't figure out how two weeks passed so quickly. I was busy doing nothing! You all must have been tired of seeing my Mocha picture for several days when you open my page. I actually sat down to write this post three times last week and everytime there were distractions in some way, but nothing I can remember. My thoughts were cloudy and immature. But I've been blogging in my mind :) One thought leads to another when I'm alone, but I just let it go and can't remember anything when I sit to write. This post has been sitting in my drafts for more than a week now. And, after receiving a yell from my sister today, I finally was able to post it today.

Not too long ago, I received an email asking if I would like to participate in a "Cooking for Kids" contest and my reaction was, boy that's tough! Though I didn't have time to participate, ever since I saw that email, I've been constantly thinking about making something different that can be healthy and nutritious and my daughter can actively participate. Cooking for kids - I realize lot of us have this challenge in our day-to-day life. I pack her lunch box everyday and very often I run out of ideas for her lunch box. So everyday a considerable amount of my time goes for planning my daughter's lunch. If I can't pack just one lunch-box, I sometimes really wonder how mom used to pack 4 lunch boxes, well actually 5 including dad, lunch boxes everyday. Well, I think the answer is quite clear. We were never fussy with food. While growing up, like many of us, we had only two choices - eat or leave. There were never any meals customized for any of us in the family and its usually mom's choice of menu for the day.

But now, whining and complaining in the dining table is a very usual scene in my place. As far as food goes, it takes really hard to please my daughter. Her list of favorite foods is very small. If she likes something, then it has to be *really* good. I can never get her to try new foods and partially I should be blamed too for not being strict as mom, but I keep complaining that she has adopted this fussy nature from her dad! The good news is she's getting better these days and is willing to try some new recipes once in a while. Well, however she is, there's no doubt she brings a bundle of joy to my life. And I adore her as always. No matter what.

So, wanting to try a different lunch dish for her lunch box I tried this rainbow chapathi for my daughter last week. Mild and colorful, this dish naturally appeals to kids and has nutrients bundled in one meal and, most importantly, my little one loved it! This may be a little time-consuming recipe for some of us (for me, it is!), but to save time you can prepare the batter over the weekend and store it in freezer and leave it outside the night before making it.

This recipe also goes to SriValli's Monthly Mingle - Kids Lunches event. The Original Event
was hosted by Meeta.


  • Spinach - 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
  • Beetroot - 1/2
  • Carrot - 1/2
  • Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Chapathi flour - 3 cups
  • Butter
  • Whipped cream - Optional


  • Peel and finely chop the beets and carrots.
  • Cook the spinach, beets and carrots separately with a pinch of chilli powder, salt and little water. I microwaved each of them for 3 - 5 mins.
  • When they are completely cooked blend each of them separately to a paste.
  • To one cup of chapathi flour, add the spinach paste, a little bit of ginger/garlic paste and knead to a soft dough. Add little water if required. Repeat this step with beats and carrots too. You will now have 3 different dough as shown in the picture.

  • Make each of them to a long string dusting them with flour as shown here:

  • Cut them in equal sizes (approximately to 3 pieces) and roll them to a flat ball as shown here:

  • Now make chapathis out of them by frequently dusting them with flour. You will get a colored pattern like this:

  • Heat a pan and cook the chapathis well by applying little butter on each side. Serve with whipped cream on the top!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Caramel Mocha - A coffee delight

How many of you are coffee lovers? I'm sipping my hot coffee right now. Can you smell it? There's a fantastic aroma originating from my kitchen now. Its late afternoon, dark outside and raining. Enjoying coffee on a rainy day is one of those simple pleasures of life. I have always noticed myself in an elated state whenever I enjoy my coffee. I am usually an incoherent amoeba until my first cup of coffee. But a dose of caffeine does magic to my mind and body. Complicated things seem to be simplified after a cup of coffee! It gets me going for the day. Fortunately, we both are coffee lovers and my hubby makes coffee much better than me. Since he's an early-morning person, he makes it every morning and I usually wake up smelling the aroma of freshly brewed coffee filling our house. His coffee has been a big hit in our friends circle and parties at our house never end without his yummy coffee.

One of my best experiences every time I visit India is enjoying that wonderful filter coffee at my hometown, I can even taste it when I close my eyes! Especially when I go home after a long time, that familiar coffee smell with which I grew up makes me feel so comfy! Though we still make our traditional filter coffee at home everyday, it didn't take a long time for us to get used to the coffee here. The first time we had coffee after coming to the states was at North Carolina. It was our first week in this country and our friends took us to this coffee shop in our neighborhood. We ordered and after a while, the girl came back with a big white cup (actually, its a bowl!) with a dark liquid in it. It took a few mins for us to realize that was it! It was watery, bitter and had a wierd flavor added to it (we later learnt it was hazelnut!). It was just shocking to know that coffee could be so different from country to country! We couldn't take more than two sips and had to dump the rest. We still feel so sorry for it, as my friends had paid for it. But surprisingly we adapted pretty quickly, perhaps there was no other choice in our work places. Nowadays I enjoy every flavor of it like latte, mocha etc. and I get fascinated with those fancy blended coffee at starbucks.

Well, last weekend I thought I deserved a pat on my back after finishing up my long pending pantry re-arranging project. I wanted coffee but I was also in a mood to prepare something elaborate (just coffee, not dinner!). So I made this Chocolate Caramel Mocha which I always relish. I've made this several times and keep tweaking with some variations everytime. This time I added a pinch of cinnamon powder and it tasted great! If you are a coffee lover, this is a treat for you!

Ingredients: (for 2 cups of Mocha)
  • Instant Coffee Powder - 2 tsp
  • Caramel - 1 tbsp
  • Chocolate Syrup - 1 tbsp
  • Water - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Hot milk - 1 cup
  • Whipped cream - Optional.
  • Heat the water in a pan. When its about to boil, add coffee powder, sugar, caramel, chocolate syrup and cinnamon powder. Stir until everything is completely dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • If you have the patience, whip up the hot milk for a min or two until it forms foam on the top. This just gives that extra kick, but even otherwise it tastes great!
  • In two serving glasses, fill up half of the glasses with the coffee mixture, then fill the remaining with the hot milk seprating the foam. Top it up with foam and whipped cream. Sprinkle with instant coffee powder and cinnamon powder.
There you go! Delicious Chocolate Caramel Mocha is ready!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Nariyal Puri (Puris with a spicy coconut filling)

Friends share a lot of things.. news, food, clothes, shoes and ofcourse recipes! Lately, I have been hearing a lot of recipes from my friends outside this blogging world. As if I don't have enough recipe collection obsession (from cookbooks, internet, blogging), I now have another new list of recipes heard from friends, which is also growing rapidly. Looks like if I have to try all these recipes, I have to cook three times a day for several months! But I'm sure thats not going to stop me from exploring new recipes in my kitchen as and when I have time.

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you should be knowing by this time that I'm not a big fan of time consuming cooking. I should tell you that a lengthy cooking process and I have a very troubled relationship. While I love to eat and enjoy the end-products that come out after a lengthy cooking process, the mere idea of a prolonged cooking process, chokes me. Don't know why, but I'm too impatient to have frequent walks to the kitchen and watch it like a hawk and wait for a long time between each steps. Those super complicated steps like separating the eggs, folding the whites etc. just haunt me. I really want to be one of those people who can be really patient and innovative and try some slow-cooking recipes and with all those nice decorative & presentation skills, but it just isn't going to happen. After all these years, I know myself pretty well.

So, going back to my long list of recipes-to-try, whenver I decide to pick from my recipe list, my first choice would be to try something rather simple and quick. This is one such easy and yummy recipe that I got from my good friend. She had mentioned that she got it from Sanjeev Kapoor's recipes and that she herself tried it for the first time. If you are reading this, dear friend, thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe and sorry for taking such a long time to try it. I should say this is one of the yummiest snacks I've ever had and I fell in love with this snack the very first time I tasted it. The coconut stuffing was too good and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

  • Rava - 2 cups (unroasted)
  • Shredded coconut - 1 cup
  • Besan/Gram Flour - as required
  • G.chillies - 4 small
  • Corriander leaves - a hand full
  • Oil - for deep frying.


  • Soak the rava with as little water as possible. You can start with 1 cup of water and mix it, and then keep sprinkling more water until everything is wet. Leave it for 2 hrs.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the stuffing. Mix the shredded coconut (fresh), besan, g.chillies, salt and corrinader leaves until it forms a thick mixture. You should be able to make balls out of it.
  • After 2 hrs, knead the rava well and make it into a dough. If required, you can add some chapathi flour and make it to a puri dough consistency.
  • Make small balls with the dough, roll them to small circles, add the stuffing mixture, close the circle and make a ball of it one more time. Roll them into small puris and deep fry in oil.
  • Before serving, sprinkle some chat masala and a pinch of chilli powder on the top. Serve with green chutney or sweet chutney.