October 28, 2007

Spicy Eggplant Discs - MEC: Snack

These are some yummy "Spicy Brinjal Discs" which I made for Srivalli's MEC:Snack Event. and I absolutely loved them.. simple, quick and yet tasty. I made few changes to the original recipe to suit my taste buds..

Adaptation: Viewer's Recipe at Tarladalal.com
Prep Time: 10mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves: 2


1 medium Eggplant (Long/Chinese type)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Tomato Puree/ Spaghetti Sauce - 2 tbsp

For marinating:

Turmeric - 1/2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Chilli powder - 1/2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tbsp
Amchur Powder - 1 tbsp

How to make:
1. Cut the eggplant into round discs. Sprinkle some salt over them and let it stand for 10 - 15 mins till the bitter juices are extracted.

2. Rinse the brinjal discs under running water and pat them dry.
3. Mix the ingredients listed under "For Marinating" in a bowl and evenly coat it on the brinjal discs. Keep Aside for 5-6 mins.
4. In a MW bowl, heat oil for 1min, then add the marinated brinjal discs - MW for another 6-7 mins.
5. Finally, sprinkle evenly the sphagetti sauce/tomato puree over the discs and MW for another 1 min.
6. Serve hot as a snack or a side dish.

These spicy discs were so yummy, that I ate off all of them from the MW bowl itself.. couldn't wait to be served..hehe..:)

... another look..

October 26, 2007

Lofty Smokies and Me...:)

You all know that I went for Lofty Smokies last weekend and now here I am with some beautiful pics capturing the true fall colors of this season .
"Incredible" and "Out of the World" would be appropriate words to sum up my trip to the lofty smokies - truly nature's abode for scenic splendor and serenity.
The night stay was at Fontana Cottage at Bryson city - a remote cabin surrounded by beautiful trees with leaves turned red. But,the amazing part of the trip was the 8 mile trekking and 2 hour white-water rafting on the river Nantahala.

We also trekked up the Clingmans Dome - the highest point of Smokies and truly, the breeze, the view of lofty mountains spread over all around.. wow.. the experience is just awesome... a lifetime experience , I would say...:D

Smoky Mountains are definitely a place one must visit gurls...:) and Hope u liked the photos I shared with you all. Take care and have a lovely weekend..:D

October 18, 2007

Dussehra Sambaralu....

Dussehra is a festival of triumph of good over evil. There are numerous legendary stories associated with this festival. Here is one such interesting story from the epic Ramayana.


When Ravana, the king of Lanka abducted Lord Rama’s wife Sita, and held her hostage in Lanka, a fierce battle ensued. Although there were huge casualties on both sides, Ravana could not be defeated. So Rama decided to seek the blessings of Shakti or Goddess Durga in order to defeat the 10-headed demon.

But Rama needed 108 blue lotuses for the worship of the Divine Mother, while Rama had managed to procure only 107. He was on the verge of laying one of his eyes that was lotus-shaped and blue in color at the Goddess’s feet when Shakti, satisfied with the measure of his devotion, granted her blessings. And the righteous eventually triumphed.

Another well-know story is the defeat of the demon, Mahishasura at the hands of Goddess Durga.

All stories have the same moral of - "Victory of Good over Evil". It teaches us to destroy the 10 ugly faces of - deceitful, hypocritic, treacherous, malign tendencies and march forward in the path of righteousness and morality.


Ok, with no further delay, Let me show what I did I cook on such an auspicious day: Aloo Pulao, Palak-Methi Paneer with Carrot Halwa.

Aloo Pulao: Its one such savory mostly cooked, when one observes fasting on Navratri.


2 cups of Basmati rice
3 potatoes peeled,diced and boiled
1 bunch pudina leaves
1 bunch methi leaves
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp Dhania powder
1 tsp Jeera
1 Onion - thinly sliced
Salt - to taste
Oil/Ghee - 2 tbsp


1. Cook rice with 3 cups of water. Try not to overcook. Keep aside.
2. In a pan, heat some oil/ghee, Saute jeera and onions until brown.
3. Now add potato, pudina & methi leaves, salt, garam masala and dhania powder. Mix well and let it cook for few minutes.
4. Then add rice, mixx well. Cook the contents on low-medium heat for 5-7 minutes.
5. Garnish and Serve hot.

Palak-Methi Paneer:


2 cup Palak/Spinach
1 cup Methi/Fenugreek leaves
1 Onion-finely chopped
2 Finely chopped Green Chillies
1 cup Paneer pieces
3 tbsp Oil/Ghee
1/2 tbsp turmeric
1 cup cream (or milk)
Salt - to taste

For Ground Masala:

1/2 medium onion
1 tomato- pureed
1/2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp garam masala
1/2 tbsp chilli powder


1. Cook palak and methi leaves with some salt and water till wilted, on low flame. Cool it down and then puree. Keep aside.
2. Grind all the ingredients listed for 'Ground Masala" with some water/milk.
3. Take some oil/ghee in a skillet, saute onions untill brown, add green chillies and ground masala. Cook for 2-3 mins.
4. Add pureed palak and methi leaves; Mix well. Cook for 2 minutes.
5. Then add salt, turmeric and cream. Stir the contents well and let it simmer on low heat for 5-6 minutes. Finally add paneer cubes. Cook for 3-4 mins so that they are finely coated and soaked in the masala..:)
Not: Adding 1 tbp of corn flour to thicken the gravy.
6. Garnish with cream or coconut milk. Serve hot.

Carrot Halwa: This simple and quick carrot halwa would be an awesome dessert after cooking an elaborate spread.


2 cans of sweeteneed condensed milk
2 cups of milk (to thin it out)
1 lb grated carrots
Nuts and Raisins

Note: Sugar is not needed as condensed milk already has it..:D


1. Boil condensed milk and milk together until its little thinned in consistency.
2. Add grated carrot. Stir the contents well.
3. Cook for about 15-20 minutes.
4. Fry some nuts and raisins, also some cardamom powder.Add to the halwa for nice flavor.

This is my entry to JFS:Dussehra event hosted by dear Vee of Past,Present and Me and also Viji's RCI: Tamil Festivals.

Off I am to lofty Smokies this weekend... see ya next week with loads of beautiful pictures and the adventures I did..:DD

Shrikhand for Think Spice

I know that I already posted 'Shrikhand' before, but when dear Sunita announced 'Saffron' as her monthly Think:Spice theme, I couldn't resist myself to post again for the event. Here is the recipe...

We need:

Sourcream 16 oz
1 canned fruit/ fresh fruits
Confectionary Sugar - 1 cup ( adjust depending on our taste)
Elaichi powder
Saffron Strands - few

To make Shrikhand: Drain the canned fruits. Mix all the ingredients and garnish with nuts and saffron strands. Serve chilled..:D

Want to know some interesting facts about South-Asian Spices? Then, this is an interesting read.

Enjoii folks and Happy Vijayadashami to all of u... will be back soon with my "Dussehra Sambaralu" post.. until then Chao..:D

Last, but not the least, "A Big Thank You to all you wonderful people out there who made FAHC a huge success".

October 16, 2007

Vegetable Pot Pie for Vegeterian Awareness Month Event

'Vegetable Pot Pie' is a meal in itself. It becomes a beauty when its savory aroma tempts a hungry family to the table with all its luscious taste and flavors. I make this all the time; hence, I can assure this as a well-tested-successful recipe.
I added Paneer in my potpie instead of mozzarella/cheddar cheese which is optional of course if you are concerned about excessive calories.

Preparation time: :20 minutes
Cook time: :20 minutes
Bake time: :45 minutes


1. Eggplant - 1 small
2. Broccoli - 2 tbsp
3. Pastry Puff sheets - 1 sheet
4. Onions - 1
5. Red Capsicum - 1
6. Green Bell Pepper - 1
7. Sweet Potato - 1 ( or normal potato)
8. Carrots - 1
9. All purpose-flour - 2 tbsp
10. Milk - 1.5 cups
11. Paneer - 1/2 cup ( instead of Parmesan/Feta cheese)
12. Butter - 3 tbsp
13. Nuts - 2 tbsp
14. Egg - 1
15. Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
16. Salt & Pepper - to taste
17. Bay leaf - 1

How to make:

1. Heat some olive oil in a pan, add all the chopped vegetables one by one and cook properly. Season with salt and pepper.
2. I made a classic cream sauce (Rue sauce) for this pie. For that, melt some butter in a pan and add bay leaf. Now, add flour over medium high heat. Mix until the mixture looks like dough - "RUE". Slowly add milk stirring rapidly until the desired consistency. Finally add the nuts and cook for 2 mins and keep aside.
3. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add to the vegetable mixture over medium-low heat.
4. Now, add the rue sauce and mashed paneer to the vegetable mixture and cook for few minutes.
5. Brush the round pie dish with melted butter or oil and then spread the vegetable mixture evenly in it.
6. Cover the pie dish with the long strips of pastry puff sheets ( roll it with a belan if needed) and press the edges to seal.
7. Coat the top of pastry sheet with egg mixture for nice texture.

8. Cut out shapes from pastry top to allow steam to escape or simply punch small holes in the pastry sheet.

9. Bake for 35-40 mins or until the pastry is golden brown and puffed.

10. Cut into pizza like pieces and serves hot. I served with some baked sweet potato fries..:D

Spring, Summer or Winter - 'Vegetable PotPie' is a mouthwatering meal.. Enjoi..:D

October being a 'Vegetarian Awareness Month' - this is my entry to VAM event hosted by dear Coffee and Vanilla. For details of the event - Click here.

- Shriya

UPDATE: One can use Phyllo dough instead of pastry puff sheets, but remember to use a bunch of them (phyllo dough sheets) with a brush of butter between them..:)

October 14, 2007

Lets Chip In to Feed an Hungry Child....

Quoting the words of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen - "A person may have little means of commanding food if he or she has no job, no other sources of income, no social security. The hunger that will result can coexist with a plentiful supply of food in the economy and the markets." ..

Its hard to believe the fact that - " According to UNICEF, rate of malnourishment in India is worse than Africa".... Yes, its true - In India, a whoping 46% of children under the age of three are undernourished....
Its unfortunate that we talk to about booming economy of India, where are children are starving and dying out of malnutrition......:(

.....and this calls for a responsibility from us to lend a helping hand to stop this hunger epidemic and contribute our level best to raise to funds for campaigns like FAHC.
'Feed A Hungry Child', initiated by our fellow blogger VKN of My Dhaba, is a mission to collect $ 3,360 by Oct 23rd 2007. Lets ChipIn to bring smiles to these FAHC children .
Spread the word, donate smiles....and realize that tackling children's malnutrition is no child's play. Its a serious problem that needs to be addressed through greater synergy from all of us and campaigns like FAHC...:)

How to Contribute:

1. Click on Chip-in to donate funds using PayPal or a valid credit card. Please be patient as it could take a few seconds to load. Each $25 donation will give you one raffle ticket for a prize of your choice.
( The prizes are listed below.)

2. After you donate, please forward your payment confirmation message to donatesmiles@gmail.com, clearly specifying which prize or prizes you are interested in. Do mention how many tickets per prize, for example, a donation of $50 will buy you 2 raffle tickets for a cookbook.

3. For all correspondence by email, please use the same email address that you have used for your Chip-in contribution. This helps us validate your entry to the raffle and to contact you should you win a prize.

4. The event will be close on 23rd October, 2007 and raffle prize winners will be announced on 25th at Mahanandi, Jugalbandi and at Siri's Corner.(The drawing will be done manually).

More about FAHC campaign: Click here and here.

The following are the prizes you can win by participating in the event:

1. Grains, Greens and Grated Coconuts by Ammini Ramachandran - by Indira.
2. A Gift Box of Spice Extracts - by Anjali Damerla of Supreme Spice.
3. Two copies of Complete Digital photography by Ben Long - by Bee and Jai.
4. Two autographed copies of Indian Home Cooking by Suvir Saran - Donated by the chef and author Suvir Saran.
5. Two autographed copies of the just released cookbook American Masala by Suvir Saran - Donated by the chef and author Suvir Saran.
6. Two prizes: Dinner for two each, wine included, at Suvir Saran’s restaurant Dévi in New York City - Donated by chef and owner of Dévi, Suvir Saran.
7. Two ready-to-wear children’s sarees in red and green colors.- by Manisha of Indian Food Rocks.
8. Two Fair Trade Goodie Bags - by Padmaja of Spicy Andhra.
9. Mountain Valley Oil Painting - Shilpa of Aayi's Recipes.
10. A beautiful Personalized Ceramic "Vindu" Plate - by Mythili of Vindu.
11. Dark Chocolate made with Icewine - by Richa of As Dear As Salt.
12. Cooking at Home with Pedatha by Jigyasa Giri, Pratibha Jain - by Shruthi.
13. Dakshin: Vegetarian Cuisine from South India by Chandra Padmanabhan - by Shruthi.
14. Essential Andhra Cookbook with Hyderbadi & Telangana Specialities ~ by Latif I Bilkees - by Shruthi.
15. Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian - by Shruthi
16. Indian Cooking ~ by Madhur Jaffrey - by Maria
17. One Year Subscription to “The Red Chilli” at www.sanjeevkapoor.com by Madhuli of My Food Court.

To add to this list is Rachel Ray's '30-minute meals' cookbook.

Rachel Ray is a best-selling author of many cookbooks and well-known for her quick, yet tasty and delectable meals. Yumm-O !!
You can find the review of the book here.
Amazon Link : here

The list is getting bigger and bigger.. So, contribute and win a chance to grab one of these goodies. These prizes make great gifts, and each item will be sent to the raffle winner neatly packed and shipping expenses paid.
Thanks to Indira and B&J for their wonderful thought.

On an ending note, October 15th is BLOG ACTION DAY - to create awareness about our environmental problems. and they say:

".....don’t forget that if you can, it would be great if you could either tag your posts with the words “Blog Action Day” or simply use those three words somewhere in your post as we will be measuring how many times the phrase appears in the blogosphere today ...."
So, do mention the words - "BLOG ACTION DAY" in your posts..:D

- Siri

October 13, 2007

Bi Pong Moun [ Egg Glorified with a CLICK...]

Bi Pong Moun is a simple Cambodian dish of just fried eggs and steamed rice & this is my entry to CLICK - event initiated on food photography by dear Bee & Jai with a theme of EGGS....:D

......added some tweaks using my imaging software.. and here they are.....


Another glowy look:

Also sending 'Bi Pong Moun' as an entry to dear Kanchana's WBB # 16:Omelette event...

Have a great weekend folks..:D

October 11, 2007

Stepping into a New Competitive World....

Hi friends, Its time for me to step into the ocean of opportunities and competetiveness. Till now, I was in a safe and secured pond where I did things at my own will and wish, where I had fewer deadlines, fewer assignments, just few courses in hand, friends, roommates... "All in Over now".....

I graduated... :)..

Should I be happy?...

Or Should I feel sad that my student life has come to an end?... I don't know... but I have so many lovely memories to cherish my life long. As 'S' says, Life is like a train journey, we have many stations, people come and go, some leave good memories and some bad.... But, Life goes on..:)

Cooking is my hobby, I love experimenting in the kitchen, even when the outcome is good or bad..:D.....I was a silent visitor of Ashaji, Bee's Jugalbandi (absolutely adore the way she writes..), Yum Blog - just to mention a few.. Then, one afternoon I started my blog ( though I was apprehensive of my writing skills ).... and in this one month of food blogging I made so many friends, I got so much appreciation for whatever I cooked... A very Big Thank You to all of you folks..:)

I may seldom post from now on.. But, I promise to post often enough that you would remember me..:D....By the way..I am "Siri" from Siri's Corner..hehhe .... :)

I need all your good wishes, so that I can get a job as soon as possible, settle in life and be a proud daughter of my proud parents... :))

October 10, 2007

Its all about what we eat.....

"What should I eat?"
"Is the food I eat healthy?"
"How should I differentiate between the right carbs and bad carbs?"....... I always have so many questions about the food I eat everyday. Gone are the days where people used to ask to "Get lots of carbohydrates". We now know that the staple of most diets, carbohydrates, aren't all good or all bad. Some kinds promote health while others, when eaten often and in large quantities, actually increase the risk for diabetes and coronary heart disease.

Carbohydrates come from a wide array of foods - bread, beans, milk, popcorn, potatoes, cookies, spaghetti, corn, pies etc. and they mostly abundant in sugars, fibers, and starches. The digestive system converts most digestible carbohydrates into glucose (blood sugar) with Fiber as an exception - It is put together in such a way that it can't be broken down into sugar molecules.

"Glycemic Index" (GI) is a new system to measure how fast and how far blood sugar rises after you eat a food that contains carbohydrates. High-GI foods get converted to blood sugar almost instantly, while Low-GI foods take a while to digest completely.
Also, High-GI foods have been linked to an increased risk for both diabetes and heart disease. While lower GI foods help to control type 2 diabetes. Want to know more about GI and calculate the amount of GI of your food intake? Here is a searchable database maintained by University of Sidney. Its also important to note that GI does not tell us the relative amount of carbohydrate in a given food.
Addition of good carb foods such as whole wheat bread, brown rice, whole-grain pasta etc, high fiber content foods and all in all maintaining a balanced diet keeps us Fit 'n' Fine..:D..

Click here to celebrate 'October' as Vegetarian Awareness Month...:) and here for the details of the event.

Source: Article on Carbohydrates by Harvard School of Public Health.
Cartoons from: Google Images

October 9, 2007

WBB # 16 - Denver Omelette

When Kanchana announced the theme for WBB # 16 as Omelette, I jumped with joy...:D being an ardent lover of eggs.
I already send my Garden Veggie Frittata as my first entry and this is my second. This time, I made Denver omelette and I have no idea why is it called so...:)
The traditional Denver omelette has ham and bacon in it and here is my vegetarian version of a classic Omelette.

Preparation Time: 10mins
Serving : 1


Eggs 2
Butter 2 tbsp
Chopped Onion - 2 tbso
Chopped Green BellPepper - 2 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 1/2 tbsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Salt & Pepper
American Cheese - 1 slice

How to make:

1. Take some butter in a skillet and saute onion, peppers and garlic for few minutes and keep aside.
2. Beat the eggs, milk , salt and pepper in a bowl.
3. Melt the remaining butter in a flat griddle, Pour the egg mixture and let it cook for 3-4 mins.
4. Now, spread the filling on one side of omlette and place the slice of american cheese over it. Fold the other half over the filling.

5. Serve hot as a snack or breakfast...:)

October 8, 2007

Its Dessert Time folks!!! - Mango Jello and Shrikhand..

Do you like desserts?.. I can hear most of you saying 'Yes Yes !!', so thought why not make some lovely, simple recipes for you all. and I am not a kind of a person
" who will hang curd in a thin cloth, wait till all the water gets drained of....... then make Shrikhand"...
I like things to be easy and fast.. and these are two such recipes.. Hope you all will like them..:D

Mango Jello


Mango pulp 1 can
Sour cream 8 oz or 200 gms approx
Sugar (optional)
Unflavored Gelatin 1 packet

How to make:

1. In a pie pan, Pour 3/4th can of mango pulp, add sour cream and heat in MW for about 3 minutes. Add sugar if desired.
2. Take the remaining 1/4th of mango pulp in a bowl and add a packet of unflavored gelatin. Beat the contents well and make sure there are so lumps formed.
3. Mix both the contents well in the pie pan and refrigerate for about 45 mins.
This time may vary, so check it from time to time till it get a jelly type texture.
4. I drizzled some choclate syrup over it and garnished with some sour cream and choclate chips.


Traditional way: The yogurt is tied in a thin cloth and hung until all the water has drained off to get a thick and creamy yogurt. Add sugar, cardamom powder and saffron. If you mix 'mango' to Shrikhand, its called - "Amrakhand".


Sourcream 16 oz
1 canned fruit/ fresh fruits
Confectionary Sugar - 1 cup ( adjust depending on our taste)
Elaichi powder
Saffron Strands - few

To make Shrikhand: Drain the canned fruits. Mix all the ingredients and garnish with nuts and saffron strands. Serve chilled..:D

Another view....

October 7, 2007

Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad with Lemon dressing

"To insure good health - eat lightly, breathe deeply, live moderately, cultivate cheerfulness, and maintain an interest in life." - William Londen

"Food" is one of life's dependable pleasures and it can be a wholesome experience, if you're eating the proper food. The main purpose of this Fit 'n' Fine meal series is to introduce such recipes which are rich in good carbohydrates and fats, nutrient-dense whole foods, lean sources of protein and plenty of fiber which both are tasty and also satiate our hunger. These are a wide variety of salads, interesting soups and other less calorie-right carb recipes one can easily incorporate in their day-to-day cooking.

Here is my recipe - Mediterranean Chick Pea Salad with Lemon dressing.


1. Chick Peas - 1 can
2. Chopped Cucumber, Onion, Celery, Coriander, Tomatoes, Lettuce - can also include Peppers, Romaine, Broccoli, Carrots and other veggies.
3. Salt - to taste

For Dressing:

1. Olive Oil
2. Lemon - 1
3. Garlic - 2 cloves
4. Black Pepper - 1/2 tbsp

To make salad: Drain and wash the chick peas and layer them in a salad bowl. Then add all the veggies and salt. Mix well.

To make the dressing: Mix olive oil, lime juice, garlic and pepper.

Drizzle the dressing over the salad. This can also be substituted with any kind of ready-made dressing available in the market. Also, I garnished the salad with few nuts to make it more exciting....:D

Nutrition at a glance:
Per Serving(approx): 500 calories, 20g of Protein, 25g of Carb, 38g of Fats and 6g of Fiber.

This is my entry for WYF-Diet Food Event hosted by our dear Hima.

October 1, 2007

Simple Tomato Pilaf

A Large tomato, Onions and Rice with some spices - what can go wrong. It has to be yummy.. Isn't it. Today, I was so lazy to prepare something elaborate; so thought of preparing some of my oldies: recipes I used to make so often - until I get bored, yet they are so handy and easy in such lazy times...:D.

Tomato Pilaf/ Rice is one such oldie. My mom taught me this when I was in my 6th class. Others were aloo fry, egg bujji and plain dal. I was so proud of myself when I made tomato rice for the first time and I must have told for a dozen people that I was the one who cooked it. hehe.. I miss all those childhood days...:)

Ok enough of boring you guys, I will go straight to the recipe now...


Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Tomatoes - 2
Onion - 1
Green Chillies - 2
Salt - to taste
Garam Masala - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - for garnishing


1. Wash the rice and keep aside
2. In pressure cooker, add oil, cumin seeds and let them splutter. Then add onions and ginger garlic paste - Saute them till golden brown.
3. Then add tomatoes, green chillies,salt, turmeric, garam masala and chilli powder - mix the contents well and let them cook for few mins.
4. Add rice and 3 cups of water to the mixture.
5. Pressure cook the contents for 2 whistles max.
6. Garnish with coriander and Serve hot with onion raita or plain yogurt.

Have you ever tried having the tomato rice with rasam. Ooooooh.. it tastes awesome.. I just love the combo. I know its wierd but do try it once after food is all about fun right..:D. :D.. Adieu for now guys..
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