March 31, 2008

Mysore Masala Dosa | Masala Dosa Recipe

I experimented with a different kind of aloo paratha last weekend. To the potato filling, I added a generous amount of garlic to make it garlic flavoured. Unfortunately, that was made for dinner and were gobbled up too quickly for me to take pics and blog about it. But, with the leftover filling, I made masala dosa the next day and it tasted better than the parathas.

I made Mysore Masala Dosa, with some sprinkled idli podi and it was really out of this world!

How to make yummy Mysore Masala Dosa

To make the dosa batter take rice : urad dhal in 3 : 1 ratio, soak overnight (or atleast 5-6 hours) in water separately, grind separately and then mix together, adding salt. This batter should be kept covered for another 5 hours or so before you can start making the dosa.

For the Potato Masala Filling for Masala Dosa:

Potatoes - 2 big, boiled and mashed fine.
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 1, chopped
Crushed garlic - 5-6 pods
Red chilli powder - 1 pinch
Coriander/Cilantro leaves - a bunch, chopped
Salt - to taste

How to Make Mysore Masala Dosa

1. Mash the potatoes till your fingers cry out in pain (the more sophisticated people can use a potato masher!)

2. Add all the other ingredients to the potato and mix well.

3. Pour one spoon dosa batter on a griddle and spread out into thin dosas. Spread the potato filling and sprinkle some idli podi along with it. Lightly sprinkle gingelly oil over this, cook well, fold, turn around and cook for a while more.

Serve hot with tiffin sambar and coconut chutney.

March 29, 2008

Apple-Pear Salad with Honey Dressing {Recipe}

Summer is here and with it, end of March which brings in additional 'heat' of pending deadlines for events. I made this salad last week but was not very happy with the pictures. One would think I am quite used to posting bad pics on this blog but somehow, I feel bars have been raised now :D I didn't have time to make this again, so the post will have to do with bad pics.

Pears are known for its mild flavour and firmness. This is why I like them best in salads and maybe poached. Wiki also says that in some varieties, its difficult to tell apart apples and pears. This was quite surprising to me since we get only one kind of pear in Hyderabad and maybe a couple of varities of apples. And really, it's not difficult to tell them apart easily.

Anyway, I used up a couple of pears and one apple in this salad. I also experimented with some spices and flavours for the dressing and was quite pleased with the results.

March 26, 2008

Masala Chai - Masala Tea Recipe-Spiced Indian Tea

This was my original entry idea for MBP this month, focussing on Mixed Drinks. I slightly digressed and posted the spiced buttermilk instead. Blame it on the weather. After the summer showers, Hyderabad is cooler now and a hot cup of malasa chai is just what we crave. The recipe is from none other than Asha from her awesome blog, Foodie's Hope.

Whenever I make tea, it's usually ginger tea or cardamom tea, but never both, leave alone other spices. It just never occurred to me, though I have all the common spices in my kitchen at all times. This was such an obvious yet brilliant idea and I really relished the drink.

In Singapore, Masala Chai is one of the most popular drinks in Indian restaurants when I go out for meals with non-Indians. The hotels here add condensed milk instead of milk which gives a wonderful flavour to the tea although it's not practical for us to make tea with condensed milk at home all the time.
Here is how I make Indian Masala Chai
Boil 1 tbsp tea leaves in half cup water. Add 2 cloves, 1 cardamom, a few cinnamon pieces and some grated ginger. Add 1 cup milk and bring to boil again. Do not boil for too long, simmer add required amount of sugar and remove from fire. Serve hot
Other Drinks Recipes On This Blog
Ginger Tea
Spiced Buttermilk
Lichee Lemon Cooler

March 21, 2008

Kerala Sambaram / Majjige / Mor / Spiced Buttermilk Recipe

When Sig announces an event, there is no way I am going to miss it. She has been ever supportive in all my events and even otherwise, when I email her with really silly questions and doubts about blogging. March has been an incredibly eventful month for me so I was almost expecting to miss out on MBP this time. The other day I was randomly browsing through Sailu's blog and chanced upon this wonderfully refreshing drink - Majjige or Sambaram as well it in Malayalam - that fit in perfectly with the weather.

The merciless Hyderabad summer has started and temperatures can sore to upto 38 degrees centrigrade. There is no escaping it and weekends are even more horrid cuz you just don't feel like stepping out of the house. Moreover, it differs from the Kerala summers to which I am used to. In Hyderabad, its hot, but not humid. The sun will scorch your skin and leave you completely dehydrated.

Kerala Sambaram / Majjige / Mor / Spiced Buttermilk Recipe

Buttermilk is known for its hydrating and refreshing properties. In Kerala, traditional Nair families used to give mildly spiced buttermilk or Sambharam to their guests. Even Christian families are known to have pacha moru (spiced salted buttermilk) or kachiya moru (buttermilk tempered with chillies and curry leaves) with their lunch. Buttermilk is known as Majjige in Telugu, Majjige Huli in Kannada, simply Mor in Tamil and Sambharam in Malayalam.

I enjoyed this refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon, around 2pm in the afternoon. It was so refreshing that I felt like just relaxing and taking a nap after it.

How to Make Sambaram or Kerala-Style Spiced Buttermilk

2 glasses of buttermilk (made from 4 parts water and 1 part curds)
1 green chilli finely chopped
½” ginger piece grated
few curry leaves
salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients and chill. Serve cold.

Kerala Sambaram / Majjige / Mor / Spiced Buttermilk Recipe

Try some Sambaram this summer and keep yourself hydrated and refreshed.

March 13, 2008

What's a Good, Balanced Breakfast

"Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper." - Adelle Davis

We have heard this one a lot, haven't we? But starting from school, my food habits have always been the other way around. I almost always used to skip breakfast, have meagre lunch and come home famished, only to hog for dinner. This went on till I reached Hyderabad. Somewhere, mom's warnings and information from websites started getting me to think and I thought I might as well correct the mistakes before I get too old to do it :D

Now, my meals are as balanced as possible, and food in office helps me to do this immensely. We have a wide range of options in our office cafe and every day is a new and fresh day as far as meals are concerned.

March 10, 2008

Avarakkai Paruppu Curry / Broad Beans Paruppu Curry Recipe

I came across this really simple recipe at Sra's and immediately wanted to try it with the beans I had lying idle in my fridge. I had only about 10-12 beans so added more toor dal than in her original recipe. The taste was very similar to beans parippu usli but the broad beans gave it a slightly different look and flavour.

Avarakkai Paruppu Curry Recipe

Broad beans / avarakka - 12
Toor dal - 1/2 cup, soaked in water for 30 mins
Chopped garlic - 6 pods
Red chillies - 4, broken into 1" pieces
Jeera powder - one pinch

How I Made It:

1. Boil the beans in some water till tender. Leave aside.

2. Temper mustard seeds in little oil and fry the chopped garlic till brown. Add the chillies and jeera powder.

3. Mix in the beans and toor dal and fry well for another 3-4 minutes. Add salt and remove from fire.

It was really yummy with some tangy rasam. Quick to make with minumum ingredients - my kind of recipe :) Thanks Sra!

March 6, 2008

Mushroom Masala-Mushroom Gravy-Mushroom Recipes

This dish happened one lazy afternoon when I went for a nice signature massage at Latitudes Spa, where we get a sexy Googler discount, and casually picked up a packet of button mushrooms at Food World. I have always loved cooking with mushrooms and coming up new kinds of mushroom recipes. Mushroom Masala is probably the easiest Mushroom Recipe I have come up with with the spices and ingredients easily available in my pantry.

Mushroom Masala-Mushroom Gravy-Mushroom Recipes

Since shelf life of mushrooms is just about a day, I had to quickly act on it the next day. The quickest way to cook mushrooms has got to be mushroom masala recipe. It was just yummy with some warm toasted bread or roti / chapati.

March 3, 2008


How to make simple and easy Pound Cake

I am sure that at some point or the other in our lives, we would have tasted this simple yet yummy cake. It gets the name pound cake from the traditional and original recipe which called for one pound each of all ingredients - flour, sugar, eggs and butter. I remember my mom too making it in this manner where she used to weigh all the ingredients and take equal quantities, even the eggs! Her weighing the eggs used to put my young mind into eternal confusion but that never stopped me from stirring the batter and licking it off the bowl in the end :D

The recipe has evolved and changed over time but I tried it the traditional way. Since I normally cook for one, I used 100gm of all the ingredients and then adjusted it a bit here and there to my taste.

Vanilla Pound Cake Recipe

Flour - 100gm
Butter - 100 gm (at room temperature)
Eggs - 100 gm (approx 2 medium sized eggs)
Sugar - 100 gm (I ended up using around 1/2 a cup and a bit more, since it seemed like a lot after powdering)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Salt - one pinch (optional)

How to make Pound Cake:

1. Beat the eggs till soft. This might take upto 2 mins on a hand blender. I don't own an electric hand blender so I used the good old mixie to get the eggs whipped up.

2. Next, lightly beat the butter and sugar together till nicely blended. Add the beaten eggs to this. Ideally, the butter and sugar should be at room temperature, otherwise you will find that it curdles. Panic not! It happened to me but everything is fine when the flour is folded in.

3. Once the egg-butter-sugar mixture is well blended, add the vanilla and salt and mix gently.

4. Gently fold the flour in. I used a wide wooden spatula for this. The idea is to not loose the fluffiness of the beaten eggs. The batter will seem slightly thicker than the normal cake batter. Again, panic not! :)

5. Transfer to a greased tray and bake in a pre-heated oven for 30-35 mins at 350 degrees. The top should turn a lovely golden brown, a toothpick inserted into the centre should come out clean and your neighbours should get the lovely aroma! At that point, your cake is done.

I normally don't like frosting on homemade cakes so I had mine with a generous helping of Nutella :D

For all those who asked, yes, Nutella is very much available in India, thank God! And for those who said they haven't tried it yet, you absolutely should!! Its divine (provided you like the flavour of hazelnuts).