Mar 31, 2010

Vegetable Spring Rolls

Spring Rolls, i didn't make them often as felt it's too much to do from scratch but that was until i was not using ready-made spring roll wrappers and preferred making them at home. This time i made it using ready-made spring roll wrappers and believe me one of the fasted and easiest to prepare dish !
So here we go... Enjoy the Spring Rolls :)

Let's collect Ingredients:

Spring roll wrappers
2 cups mixed vegetables ( shredded cabbage, grated carrots, french beans, green bell peppers cut into strips)
3/4 cup bean sprouts
1 onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup spring onion with greens, finely chopped
2 tbsp vegetable oil ( i used chilly oil)
2 tbsp Soya sauce
1 tbsp hot and sweet chilly sauce
1 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp garlic powder
salt to taste

Let's start cooking:

1. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add onions and carrots and stir-fry for half a minute.

2. Add green bell peppers and cabbage and continue to stir-fry for one minute. Add the ginger, garlic powder, white pepper powder, salt, soy sauce and hot and sweet chilli sauce.

3. Add bean sprouts and spring onions with greens and cook until veggies are crisp-tender. Set aside to cool until they are lukewarm.

4. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).

5. Divide the veggie mixture into equal portions.

6. Lay a spring roll wrapper on a dry flat surface. Place a spoonful of the filing mixture in one corner of the wrapper.

7. Roll the wrapper over the filling, folding the sides as you go to form a small spring roll. Press the seams together with a little water and seal the edges.

8. Lightly brush the rolls with vegetable oil or whisked egg whites.

9. Bake 15-20 minutes, then flip on the broiler for a few minutes until they turn golden brown.


1. You can also add noodles relacing sprout beans with them.
2. In stead of baking you can also deep fry them in oil till golden brown. I find baking healthier.

Have a nice time this weekend, Have a Good Friday and Happy Easter weekend. :o)

The growing trees, the new flowers
And birds that sweetly sing
Whisper to me that it’s Easter
Here is wishing warmth for your soul
On Easter and always!
Happy Easter !!

Mar 30, 2010


Dosa is South Indian cuisine. It's simple and comfort food, we can have it anytime, we love it.

Let's collect Ingredients :

1 cup raw rice
1 cup urad dal
2 tbsp cooked rice (Optional can be skipped )
2 tbsp poha ( Optional, can be skipped)
1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seed
salt to taste
oil for cooking

Let's start cooking:

1. Wash the rice and urad daal well. Add the fenugreek seeds and soak in a little water overnight.

2. The next morningdrain all the water from the rice and urad daal, leaving a little water and soak along with the poha and cooked rice for 2 hours.

3. Grind to make a smooth paste with a little water. The consistency of the batter should be such that it thickly coats a spoon dipped in it.

4. Now add salt to taste and keep the Dosa batter aside in a warm, dark spot, covered, for 6-8 hours. After this fermentation, stir the batter well. It is now ready to make Dosas.

5. Heat a non-stick pan and grease it lightly with oil.

6. The correct amount of oil is such that it is barely visible on the pan. Now turn on the heat/ flame at medium high. Now begin to spread the batter in sweeping circular motions to form a pancake of roughly 8" diameter.

7. As soon as you have finished spreading the batter out on the pan, dip the basting brush in cooking oil and drizzle the oil all over the surface of the dosa and also around its edges.

8. Cook on one side. When crispy, fold over and serve hot.

Have it with potato bhaji, coconut chutney, sambhar.

Mar 24, 2010

Carrot Raisin Cake

I was wondering what to do with carrots lying in my fridge for some days now. And then i came across idea of preparing Carrot raisin cake. Ashu has been asking me for cake since quite a few days and i thought what a perfect combination, use of my carrots and fulfilling his wish. hehehe

Let's collect Ingredients :
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of whole wheat flour
3/4 cup of white sugar, add more if you like it sweeter
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 Cup Vegetable oil (I used 1/2 cup melted butter )
4 Eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon. ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon. ground ginger
2 Cups Carrots, peeled and grated
1 Cup chopped walnuts/cashew
1/2 cup raisins
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Let's start baking:
1. Pre-heat oven at 350F.
2. Combine all the dry ingredients except sugar, in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. Beat eggs, combine sugars, vegetable oil, vanilla extract,in a large bowl; stir until all ingredients are well blended.
4. Add this to the flour mixture, along with carrots,walnuts,and raisins blend it well.
5. Grease and flour cake pan (8 or 9 inch). Pour this batter and bake it for 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
6. Let the cake pan cool for 10 minutes; invert it on wire racks.

It can be served warm or cold, as you prefer. You can find egg-less version at A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine.

I love it with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream.

Mar 20, 2010

Hakka Noodles

Hakka noodles is one of the most popular dish in Chinese restaurants in India. Here is an indianised version of Hakka Noodles.

Let's collect Ingredients:

1 pack Hakka noodles
4-5 garlic, finely chopped
2 Red chillies, broken in the pieces
1 cup cabbage, thinly diced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 spring onion with green part,chopped finely
1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced
2 tsp soya sauce
2 tsp red chili sauce
2 tbsp Brown Vinegar
2 tsp sweet & spicy sauce
1/2 tsp chinese salt / Ajinomoto (optional)
3 tsp oil
salt to taste

Let's prepare Hakka Noodles :

1. Boil water and add 1 tablespoon oil and salt. Add the noodles, allow the water to come to a boil, and then simmer till the noodles are cooked.

2. Remove from the fire and drain out all the water. Pour some cold water on the noodles to stop further cooking.

3. Let all the water drain out and ensure that the noodles do not contain any moisture. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and mix lightly. This will prevent the noodles from sticking together.

4. Heat a pan or wok to high. Add garlic and red chili. Stir-fry.

5. Add onion, white part of spring onion, cabbage, bell pepper and carrots. Stir for 1-2 min.

6. Add the sauces, vinegar, Ajinomoto and salt. Mix well.

5. Add noodles, mix it well and cook for a min.Garnish with green parts of spring onion. Serve hot.

Chinese salt/ Ajinomoto gives the typical chinese taste but it is optioal, can be skipped.
Amount of sauces and vegetables can vary as per taste.

Mar 14, 2010

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta has always been one of my favorites ( even my mom's fav ) and so when i saw this post at A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine, i had to cook it again.

Like typical of any Mughlai food, this dish is also characterized by rich and creamy curry with a distinct aroma and taste of spices.

Let's collect Ingredients for Kofta's:

3-4 Potatoes, boiled and mashed.
2 Green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese (Paneer), grated
1/2 Cup Carrot & Peas, par-boiled & squeezed to remove excess water
2 tablespoon Cornflour/ corn starch
1/4 cup Raisins & Cashew nuts
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep Fry

Let's collect Ingredients for Gravy:

2-3 Onions
1 Cup Tomato puree
2 tablespoon Ginger-Garlic paste
2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp .Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Cumin (Shah Jeera)
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 Cup Cream
Salt to taste
1 tsp Sugar to taste
Oil 3 tablespoons

Let's prepare Koftas :

Put all the ingredients together in a bowl and mix them well.

Divide the mixture into equal sized parts forming balls or oval shaped balls.

Deep fry in hot oil until slightly golden brown. Drain and keep aside.

For healthier version it can be baked in oven. Spray little oil on koftas and place them in oven for 10-15 mins in pre-heated oven.

Let's prepare Gravy :

Peel and cut onion in pieces and boil with a cup of water for ten minutes. Drain excess water, cool onions and grind them into a smooth paste. Set Aside.

Heat oil in a non-stick pan (kadai), add cumin (shah jeera), boiled onion paste and cook for five minutes.

Add ginger- garlic paste, few chopped green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Cook for a minute.

Add tomato puree and red chilli powder and cook on medium flame untill oil separates from gravy.

Add cream, garam masala powder and sugar. Simmer it for ten minutes on a slow flame. Stir occasionally.

Gently put all of these kofta's in the gravy when ready to serve.

Simmer for another 2 mins and enjoy this rich, creamy Malai Kofta.

Malai Kofta is a very well known mughlai dish. It goes well with paratha / nan, Basmati rice.
It can be decorated sprinkling coriander leaves / coconut flakes on top.

Tips :
Fry one kofta and check for binding, if it breaks, add a little more cornflour. Deep fry in hot oil.

Mar 10, 2010

Indi-Italian Fusion Sizzler

I was missing my favourite sizzlers from Cafe Upper Crust.
If one has lived in Ahmedabad, India, will know this place, a very popular joint amongst collegians.
I just loved sizzlers over there and my craving for the same lead me towards preparing this one.

One thing that i have realised it over the time here is, more i cook more i can imagine a taste looking at ingredients and also more i come closer to recreating a taste from my memory. After some Googling, some experimental visualisation i came up with this.

We simply loved it, one of the yummiest treats.

Let's collect ingredients for Veg pancakes :

1 cup potato, boiled and mashed
½ cup Cauliflower, grated
½ cup carrot, grated
½ cup cottage cheese (paneer), grated
2 to 3 tablespoons corn meal
3 to 4 tablespoon Bread crumbs
1 teaspoon butter
1 tablespoon chilly paste
salt , pepper, sugar to taste

Let's prepare Veg. pancakes :

Combine all the ingredients together except the butter and shape into pancakes, approx 75 mm. (3") in diameter.
Cook over a medium flame on a non-stick griddle (tava) using a little butter, till both sides are golden brown. Keep aside.

Let's collect ingredients for Tangy Sauce :

1 cup vegetable stock ( I used 1 ready made veg stock tablet available )
1 teaspoon green chili paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
¼ cup brown vinegar
¼ cup sugar
¾ cup water
2 tablespoons corn flour
1 tablespoon soya sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
¼ cup Tomato puree
2-3 tablespoon Tomato ketchup

Let's prepare Tangy Sauce :
Combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a pan, mix well and bring to a boil. Cook until the sauce is thick. Keep aside.

Let's collect ingredients for the buttered vegetables :

½ cup carrots, peeled and cubed
½ cup potatoes, peeled and cubed
½ cup cauliflower
1½ teaspoons butter
salt, pepper, cayenne pepper to taste

Let's prepare the buttered vegetables :

Parboil all the vegetables and immerse them in cold water.
Heat the butter in a pan, add the vegetables, salt and pepper and toss for a few seconds. Keep aside.
Let's collect ingredients for penne Pasta :

2 cups penne pasta, cooked
½ cup onions, sliced
½ cup green bell pepper, sliced
¼ cup tined pineapple cubes
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 tablespoons cream
2 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste
chilli flakes
2 tablespoon tangy sauce

Let's prepare Pasta :

Heat the oil in a pan, add onions and garlic.
Add sliced green bell peppers and pineapple cubes and toss.
Add 2 spoons tangy sauce and mix well. Add salt, pepper and cream. Mix well.
Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and adjust the seasoning. Keep hot.Just before serving, toss the pasta in this sauce and mix well.

Let's assemble the Sizzler :
Heat sizzler plate over an open flame till they are red hot. Place them on their respective wooden trays. ( I have induction stove, so heated it in oven )

Put a few cabbage leaves on cast iron plate as first layer covering iron surface.
Spread Pasta over cabbage leaves. Top with 2 veg pancakes on sizzler plate.
Top it with tangy sauce.
Add some buttered vegetables on one side of sizzler.

Pour the oil-water mixture on the sides of the cast iron plates for a sizzling effect.
Serve immediately.

Mar 5, 2010

Stuffed Jalapano Peppers / Mirchi Pakoda

I love stuffed vegetables and stuffed Jalapanos is such an exotic combination, i just love them ! :)

Let's collect Ingredients:

4-5 Big Jalapenos
Oil for deep frying

Basic Batter:

1&1/2 cups Gram flour (Besan)
1/2 tsp paprika
A pinch baking soda
Salt to taste
3/4 to 1 cup water

Potato Filling:

2-3 Potatoes, boiled
1 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp ginger, grated
1/2 tsp garlic, grated
1/2 tsp Green chilly, crushed*
1/2 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam Masala
1 1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp amchur (mango Powder)
2 tbsp Gram Flour
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Let's prepare Potato filling first:

1. Mash the potatoes well.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan.
3. Add Cumin Seeds, let them splutter.
4. Add Gram flour, ginger, garlic. and chilly paste*.
5. Quickly add all the dry spices and turn off the gas.
6. Mix this with the Potatoes and Mix well and keep aside.

Let's assemble the Pakodas:

1. Wash the Jalapenos well and dry them.
2. Slit them length wise making sure not to cut it in half.
3. Remove some or all the seeds from inside. (This is optional, if you can take the heat then skip this step, I removed all the seeds as we don't eat that spicy)
4. Fill each jalapeno with the Potato filling and keep aside.

Let's prepare the Batter for Pakodas:

1. Mix salt, paprika, coriander leaves together in a bowl.
2. Add the baking soda in 1/2 cup of water and mix well.
3. Add this 1/2 cup of water with the soda to the besan mix.
4. Mix in the rest of the water to make a smooth batter. The batter should be thick enough to coat the jalapenos. Make sure not to make it too liquid-like / runny.

Let’s start cooking:

1. Heat the oil for deep frying.
2. Once hot add about 1 tbsp of the hot oil to the batter and mix the batter well.
3. Take the Jalapeno, dip in the batter, coat well.
4. Slowly drop it in the hot oil, and fry it on medium temperature, to make the sure it’s cooked through inside.
5. Once it is golden brown in color, remove and drain on paper to remove excess oil.


You can also add the chopped onions and fresh coriander leaves in Potato filling if you like, I didn't.
Make the Batter just before you are starting to fry them.

*You can skip adding chilies in Potato filling if you think variety of Jalapenos you have are very spicy, you can play around with the dry masalas to suit your taste.

Mar 3, 2010

Sevai Kheer

Monday was festival of Holi, the festival of colors.
No Indian festival is complete without sweets. We have some sweet associated with these festivals, typical to have it on those festival and after talking home with family i ended up preparing my customised version of "Savaiya", or "Sevai kheer" to be in-line with them. :o)

Let's collect Ingredients:
1/2 litre full-milk
1/2 cup fine vermicelli, broken
1 tsp. ghee
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. cardamom, crushed
15-20 strands of saffron, crushed in 1 tsp. hot milk ( I didn't put it, as i didn't want colour )
Dryfruits of your choice, handful ( I put thinly slivered almonds, a few cashews, a few raisins )
Let's start cooking :
* Take 2 table spoons ghee and heat it on medium high in a heavy deep pan.
* Add the half cup vermicelli to the ghee and let it roast till it becomes golden brown.
* Keep the flame on low and keep stirring as you roast to roast evenly.
* Once the vermicelli gets brown add the hot milk to it. Take care since the milk may splatter.
* Add sugar and cardamom powder.
* Keep stirring on a medium flame since milk may boil and overflow.
* Add cardamom, saffron and dry fruits. ( I added chopped almonds,cashwes and raisins )
* Reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes, stirring frequently so that it doesn't stick at the bottom of the pan.
* Once the milk reaches a desired consistency, remove from the heat.
* Serve hot, garnished with more chopped almonds if desired.
One can also serve it chilled.
Tips :
In Indian cooking, vermicelli ( We call it Sev in west - India ) that we use is a bit different in look and feel than Chinese vermicelli. (Specially in this dish ) So i call it Indian vermicelli.
Kheer is normally more liquid but i made it a bit like pudding with thickness by keeping it on stove for some more time to let milk evaporate and thicken and it was truly yummy... yummm :o)
Don't thicken it much if you intend to eat it chilled.

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