Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Weekend Herb Blogging # 352 - The Roundup

It has been an absolute pleasure to see a variety of recipes drop into my inbox specially made for Weekend Herb Blogging # 352 all through the week. Thanks to Haalo for the opportunity to host this week's edition..:-)

Let's dig into the entries (in no specific order). Shall we?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Eggplant Parmigiana - a Step by Step Recipe

There are some recipes which make your mouth water just by the very mention and some which are considered as "comfort food" which pep you up on a not-so-good day. For me, Olive Garden's "Eggplant Parmagiana" fall into both the categories. This classic Italian-American dish is a lovely way to serve eggplant. The very combination of fried eggplant with tomata sauce, pasta, cheese and basil on the top is too good to resist. It is a scrumptious vegetable dish, perfect for any parties or potlucks.

Instead of baking in a casserole dish, I chose to assemble the fried eggplant individually on a bed of pasta & tomato sauce. Since its just two of us eating dinner most of the times, this works as I don't need to worry about left overs.

But, for a bigger group, to make things simple - in a shallow baking dish, arrange fried eggplant slices with cheese, pasta and tomato sauce as layers to form a stack and bake until cheese bubbles. Top with shredded basil leaves. Yum!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dates and Sesame Poornalu | Poornam Boorelu | Sukhiyan Recipe


May Lord Ganesha shower his blessings and fulfill all our wishes. :-)

As promised in my yesterday's post, here I am with recipe of Dates and Sesame Poornalu. The traditional stuffing for such poornam boorelu is - (pressure cooked + mashed bengal gram (chana dal), jaggery, shredded coconut with a hint of cardamom powder). These are very commonly made in Andhra households during almost all festivals. The twist of (dates with sesame seed combo) is just as delicious as our classic version and will be a crowd pleaser. Do give them a try.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Vaidehi Ashram - Ganesh making workshop


“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”  ~ Mark Twain

Yesterday was one of most beautiful days of my life. A day filled with loads of joy, warmth and happy little smiles all around. For the occasion of Vinayaka Chaturdhi, folks from Roshini, an NGO based out of Hyderabad conducted a clay ganesh making workshop for Vaidehi Ashram girls. The excitement on their faces is something I will remember and cherish for years to come and am so happy to be a part of it.

Below are some pictures taken during the workshop to share with you all. They put up the best ones for sale and we got some home which made our festival extra special this year. :-)

an idol made by one of the girls. Isn't our Lord Ganesha beautiful.

Weekend Herb Blogging # 352 - an event announcement

After almost 3 yrs and 8 months i.e around 193 weeks of remarkable hosting of this super popular, ever illustrious event in blog-o-sphere, its my opportunity to guest host Weekend Herb Blogging, yet again. Much has changed with this blog since then. But WHB remained true to its roots of introducing a whole new gamut of recipes where plants/fruits/vegetables/herbs are the real star. Kudos to both Haalo of Cook (almost) Anything at Least Once and Kalyn, who originally conceptualized this event for doing such a wonderful job.

Please join me in cooking and celebrating the natural goodness a variety of seasonal produce  all through this week.

Below are some simple rules of participation: (from Haalo's post)

1. Entries to Weekend Herb Blogging must be posts written specifically for Weekend Herb Blogging. This means they cannot be cross-posted in other events. Photos used in the posts however can be submitted to photo events like DMBLGIT.

2. Weekend Herb Blogging entries should have the goal of helping people learn about cooking with herbs or plant ingredients. Only two types of entries will be accepted:

* Recipe posts where a herb or plant ingredient is one of the primary ingredients in the recipe
* Informative posts that spotlight one herb or plant ingredient, particularly including information about how they are used in cooking. Naturally, posts can be a combination of both these criteria.

3. Posts must contain the phrase Weekend Herb Blogging with a link to this announcement post and Haalo's original WHB post.

5. Send in your entries to info (dot) siri (at) gmail (dot) com with subject "WHB" with following information. If you don't recieve an acknowledgement for 48 hrs of your submission, please feel free to ping me by commenting on this post as sometimes email communications get lost.

Your Name
Your Blog Name/URL
Your Post URL
Your Location
Attach a photo (any size)

6. I will accept entries posted from now to till September 23rd 2012. 11pm Sunday - Indian Standard Time/ 3pm Sunday - Utah Time/ 10pm Sunday - London Time/ 9am Monday - Melbourne (Aus) adjusted for daylight savings time. You can use this converter to find out the corresponding time in your location.  No late or previously published entries please. Roundup will be published by Monday, September 24th midnight (IST).

Happy Cooking and I will be eagerly awaiting for your beautiful creations,

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Amma's Recipes: Paneer and Spinach (Palak) Parathas | Paneer Paranthas | Indian Cottage Cheese Parathas - a Step by Step Recipe

If there is anything in the world that comforts me on a dull, dreary monsoon day is amma's cooking. Whether its her Chana Dal Wadi ki Kadhi (Lentil Dumplings in Yogurt Gravy) with steamed rice or Hyderabadi Double Ka Meetha | Bread Pudding with Nuts and Raisins, she has a knack for bringing smiles with comforting meals to people around her.

Its raining cats and dogs since past few days here in Hyderabad and the weather in general is not-so-good for any physical activity. I just want to curl up into bed and sleep for long hours without anybody reminding me of the never-ending to-do-list. Well, that's just a dream distant now, but one thing I can definitely do is pester my mom to make something delicious and just relax. At least I don't have to worry about some good food getting on to the plate. Isn't it.

Our dinner last night were these subtly spiced Paneer and Spinach Parathas and Oh my, these taste so so good. I just couldn't take off my hands as these parathas were flying off the griddle. But, there was a job (to photograph them) at hand. So, I quickly clicked a few and quietly enjoyed my meal. I was in food-heaven you see! :-)

Now it your turn to make these and Enjoy!

Paneer and Spinach Parathas with fried green chillies to give it a dhaba-like feel. 

{Recipe} Paneer and Spinach (Palak) Parathas 

Makes around 10-12 parathas


For the dough:

3 cups Whole wheat flour (atta)
1 bunch or 1 cup tightly packed of spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp olive oil (or ghee or any oil)

For the stuffing:

250 gms of paneer/indian cottage cheese, grated
2 small bunches of coriander or cilantro leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp cumin powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp amchur /dry mango powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
salt - to taste
1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

To serve as accompaniments - Fried green chillies, Yogurt, Pickle


1. Gently mix all ingredients listed under "For the stuffing". Keep aside.

grated Paneer Stuffing
2. Blend together spinach, lemon juice and 1/4 cup water until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add flour, salt, olive oil and spinach paste. Mix and knead until smooth dough by adding enough water. Make into lemon-sized portions.

3. Roll out each portion of the dough.

4. Place a tbsp of stuffing in the middle.

5. Seal all edges like you do for a dumpling.

6. Do the same for rest of the dough portions as well. It is important to not to roll out these stuffed dumplings immediately. Rest them for 5-10 mins.

7. Place sealed side down and gently roll out into a paratha.

8. Heat a griddle and cook both sides of the paratha with some oil or ghee. Repeat with rest of the parathas as well.

Fry some green chillies until charred and serve them as accompaniment to these parathas along with yogurt and pickle. Truly dhaba-style! :-)

Thank you Amma, I Love You.

Amma's recipes is a column on this blog, which is very close to my heart. These are the recipes which my mother perfected over many many years and reflects how awesome a cook she is. It is also fun to just photograph once in a while, without thinking about what and how to make a recipe, worrying whether it would turn out well or not. She Cooks, I Photograph. That is the deal. :-) If you guys have any question, do drop in a line or comment on this post. My mom will be more than happy to answer all of them.

until next time,

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Weekend Breakfast: {Recipe} Egg in a hole | Egg in the basket | Gashouse Eggs | One-eyed Jack with Roasted Vegetables + giveaway winners announced

“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"

"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"

"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.

Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.” 

Mr.Pooh is so very right. I think everybody should regularly ask that question to ourselves instead of just skipping the breakfast. It sets the mood for rest of the day to follow and eating a proper one is the secret of a healthy living. For me, breakfast is eggs as they are readily available & easy to prepare. Even a simple boiled egg + salt + pepper with a glass of milk is filling and a good source of essential nutrients..

More sumptuous breakfast-egg recipesSoft Scrambled EggsBombay French Toast, spicy ish-tyleRoti on an EggVegetable Frittata MuffinsEasy Garden Veggie Frittata

Breakfast is ready, in minutes.

Today's recipe is a twist to a very classic - "Egg in a hole". I am sure these are a childhood favorite for many out there. May be you call it a different name: Eggs in a pocket, One-eyed jack, Baby in the hole, Bird in a nest, Egyptian eggs, just to list a few. The classic breakfast version has an egg fried within a crispy ring of bread. To make it more sumptuous and filling, I roasted a bunch of beautiful vegetables with olive, salt and pepper and placed them around the ring & then crack an egg. Also how well the eggs must be cooked is a personal choice. Some like over easy, sunnyside up or completely cooked through. No matter how you make it, this will remain a favorite breakfast option passed on for many generations to come. :-)

Try to cut these veggies equal sized so that they are evenly roasted.

{Recipe} Egg in a hole with Roasted Vegetables


Serves 1

1 slice of bread (of any kind)
2-3 tbsp of butter or olive oil
1 egg
few tbsp of roasted veggies (recipe below)


1. Wash and pat dry any kind of firm vegetables. I had one of each - zucchini, red & yellow bell peppers, onions, tomatoes (no juice), green chilli and coriander on hand. Cut them into long, equal sized strips. Preheat oven to 190 C or 375 F.

2. In a large mixing bowl, place veggies and drizzle generously with olive oil. Sprinkle some salt and pepper. Arrange them on evenly on a baking sheet and roast them for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and tender. Cool and store in an air tight container if not using immediately. Refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

3. Using a small, sharp jar top, cut a hole out of the center of the slice of bread. Heat a bit of butter in a skillet and pan roast the bread with its cutout on one side. Turn it over and place a layer of roasted vegetable around the hole. Melt a small nugget of butter inside the hole and crack an egg in the middle. Cook over low-medium heat for 2-3 minutes or more depending on how well you want the egg to be cooked.

If you want to cook it through, carefully flip it over and cook for 2 minutes. To use up the left over veggies, the next day for dinner I topped this with one more piece of bread and made it into a sandwich. Two of these with a glass of fruit juice we were stuffed. Yum!

 Giveaway Winners

Randomly chosen, this time by Mr.Husband: Here are the winners.

The lucky winner for a a pair of "Mended" Stoneware Mugs, hand crafted by Rekha Goyal along with a Rs 1,000 Flipkart gift voucher is - Preethi of The Meal AlgorithmHere is her version of Chilli Cornbread

Am making this, or a variant of this now for snacks... :) Will link back :)
Congratulations on this milestone! :)

..and for $50 Amazon gift card, the lucky winner is - Nags of Edible Garden. Looks like lady luck wanted her to have this giveaway. Nags, you should really thank TH to pick your number. ;-)

Congrats Siri! It's been wonderful going on this food blogging journey with you, meeting you in MV, having that long chat in Sakshi's car as we dropped you.. and many more :) Your pics are amazing these days, you seem happy to be back home in India and that fund drive you did really made me move my behind and do something to give back. 

Kudos and here's to many more years!
PS: I am totally angliing for the giveaways. I like you already, follow you already, subscribed already on Reader, and I just tweeted too. I am in it to win it ;) HUGS!

Hearty Congratulations to the winners and Thanks all for participating in my 5th year blog-anniversary giveaways. Have a great weekend ahead.

until next time,

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