Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrating Women’s Day and my first Award with Choconutty Banana Bread

Happy Women's Day to all you lovely ladies! May you all be blessed with health, happiness and wealth. Please feel free to use the above plaque in your blog to bring a smile on the face of all visitors. I am elated on receiving my first award from Poornima Nair. This award will always remain very special to me as it is my first! Thanks a ton Poornima. You've brightened my day. This award comes with a responsibility. The responsibility to adhere to the norms as below:

"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement (? big word, lol). Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I would like to present this award to 8 fellow-bloggers who have always encouraged me through their comments and suggestions and request them to forward the chain.
  1. Srivalli of
  2. Sujatha of
  3. Namrata of
  4. Usha of
  5. Gayathri of
  6. Sia of
  7. Gayathri of
  8. Trupti of
Two reasons to celebrate and what better way to do it than bake someting really nice. The last time I made banana bread it was a big hit with S. It got over in the blink of an eye! So I tried it again, but with a difference and the result was good. The bread was soft and tasted just perfect.

  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla essence
  • 3-4 ripe bananas, mashed ( I used a blender)
  • 2 cups maida
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 6 tbsp milk
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup walnuts chopped


  • Preheat the oven at 250* C for 10minutes.
  • In a large bowl cream together sugar and butter and blend well till light and fluffy.
  • Add eggs one at a time (blend well with each addition).
  • Add vanilla essence and mashed banana and beat/blend to mix the content well.


  • In a separate large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, salt and oatmeal.
  • Add the banana mixture into the above mixture and blend well.


  • Divide the prepared batter into two equal portions.
  • Keep one portion of the batter as it is (plain).
  • Add 2 tbsp cocoa powder to the other portion of the batter and mix well.
  • Add 3 tbsps of milk to each of the two batters and stir well to smoothen both.


  • In a greased loaf pan/cake tin pour the plain batter and let it spread evenly by itself (do not do it manually).
  • Sprinkle the chopped walnuts on the top layer.
  • Pour the chocolate batter on top of the nuts, let it sit.
  • Bake for 50- 60 minutes, or till a knife pierced comes out clean.

All the pics here are my entries to Gayathri's Magnificient Click Contest

Friday, March 6, 2009

Bhajji upkari ( greens sabzi)

Bhajji upakari (greens sabzi) is one of my favourite dishes, this is the one dish which marked its presence almost daily on our dining table at Amma's place.The beauty of the dish is.. it's simple, tasty and healthy. Amma says that greens are good for a healthy long life and that's my Ammamma's(grandmother's) health tip passed on to mom and from her to me :)

Greens are amazing store house of nutrition. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K.
Research has it that vitamin K helps to regulate blood clot, protects bones from osteoporosis. Not only that including greens in meals on a regular basis may help prevent diabetes, and protect our eyes from age related problems. So next time when you're shopping for veggies don't think twice when you see those green beauties! :)
The recipe for Bhajji upkari :

2 bunches of spinach
1/4 cup grated coconut
1tsp chana dal
1tsp urad dal
1tsp mustard
1-2 tsp oil
2-3 dry red chillies, each broken into pieces
6-7 curry leaves
1 tsp sugar/ crushed jaggery
salt to taste


  1. Finely chop the spinach and soak it in salt water for sometime.
  2. Drain the water, rinse it once more with fresh water. squeeze out excess water and keep it aside.
  3. Heat oil in a kadhai/wok add chana dal,urad dal and fry till it lightly browns
  4. Add mustard, curry leaves, red chillie pieces and wait till it begins to splutter.
  5. Put in the chopped spinach, sugar/jaggery, salt and saute so that the contents mix well.
  6. Cover and cook till the greens are completely done by stirring inbetween occassionally.
  7. Once done sprinkle grated coconut and let it set for sometime.
  8. Mix well gently just before serving
  9. Tastes good both with rice and roti.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Aaloor Dum

I first tasted this Aaloor Dum when I’d been to Kolkata with S about a year ago. The small roadside stalls near Esplanade serve such authentic and finger licking food. I just fell for the flavour of the masala. This dish looks very oily but it really isn’t! The liking made me try out a few variations of Aaloor Dum recipes (they didn’t vary much) just to see which one matched the one that I’d tasted in Kolkata.

My first 2 tries were not so good (flops actually). Then I decided to try out for one last time and told myself ..If this time too the Aaloor Dum doesn’t match up to my satisfaction, I should give up trying. But thank God! The dish turned out very well. S too appreciated my effort. And I’ve stuck to the recipe ever since that day. Here’s the recipe.


  • 10 boiled baby potatoes
  • 1 tsp onion paste
  • 1 small tomato, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp hing (Asafoetida)
  • 1 tsp jeera powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp aamchur (dry mango powder)
  • 3-4 tbsp curd
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt to taste
  • A handfull of finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


  • Mix jeera powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, aamchur powder in 3-4 tbsp of curd and keep it aside (don't allow any lumps to be formed) and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add bay leaves and asafoetida (hing), add onion paste, sugar and fry till it becomes pinkish.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté till it blends well.
  • Add the masala mixture to the pan and remove the pan from the flame for a couple of minutes.
  • Stir well and again keep it on the gas stove on medium flame and saute till oil separates from the masala.
  • Add the baby potatoes and mix it well so that the masala completely binds the potatoes.
  • Add a little water and salt to taste and sauté for sometime.
  • If you want your Aaloor Dum with gravy, take it off the flame. If you prefer it with thick gravy, sauté a little longer.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.

P.S: Along with Aaloor Dum I made raw banana thoran using Superchef's basic thoran recipe. It tasted nice. My thanks to Manju (Superchef):))

Click on the link for the recipe.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chicken Curry

A recipe for those days when you want to cook chicken but don't have the time for something elaborate. A recipe passed on to me by my husband from his bachelor days. It is a simple and quick recipe and tastes really good with both rice and roti. You can also try it with bread.

  • 500 g chicken
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1" cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 large onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 200 g curd
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • Grind 2 onions, cut the other two into thin slices and finely chop the tomatoes
  • Marinade the chicken with curd, ground onion paste, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, 1 tbsp oil and salt and keep aside for half an hour
  • Heat the remaining oil in a kadhai, add the bay leaves, cinnamon and cloves
  • Then add the sliced onion and fry till it is golden brown. Keep aside one third of the fried onion for garnishing
  • Add just the marinaded chicken pieces to the fried onions and continue to fry for 5 minutes
  • Then reduce heat, add the left over marinade to the kadhai, cover and cook till the chicken pieces are almost done
  • Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook till the chicken pieces are done
  • Garnish with the fried onions and serve