May 25, 2010

Tips and Tricks for thick Home-Made Yougurt

You must be wondering aaahhh what is she up to. But many a times we do fail in doing simple stuff, this when we need tips on how to make them better. To tell you very frankly I did fail to do it when I initially started it too. We live in PHX this is one of the points why I like to live in a warmer place. My husband loves homemade yogurt unlike me, Hence I ended up learning it rather doing it :). I love the Mountain -High full fat yogurt. But I learnt how to make that kind of thick cake like yogurt eventually, let me share it with you. Heat the milk on the stove instead of the microwave leave it twice longer on the stove than you generally do. This will give you a very yummy yogurt which I fell in love with.


Vitamin D Milk
Red Chilli's - 2


Boil the milk on stove and leave it up to 3-5 bumps
Add the preexisting Cultured milk after the Milk is Lukewarm


Add as much as culture as you want but not less ( I generally add like 5 tbps)
Whisk it once you add it with a coffee whisker to ensure its mixed in well
Place this container in a dish with uncooked rice
Try adding a couple of red chilli's to the milk when you add the culture
Try keeping this container in the oven with the light on
If yo don't have a light preheat the oven until it is warm and switch it off and place this container
If you don't have an oven place it on a wooden plank / wooden dining table to a cozy corner
Never forget to cover it
Try to keep it refrigerated before serving it helps to thicken it
Obviously do not disturb the container

Semi-Homemade Breakfast - Croissant sandwich

Wanted to share the most easiest breakfast that you can ever make but still get sky high points for it. Abhi loves this Sandwich. We generally get freshly baked Butter Croissants either from Whole foods or from Costco. All I do is slightly toasted the Croissants, slice them and place on Omelet in between and topped it of with a slice of cheese. For chocolate lovers like me slice the croissant and spread Nutella's hazelnut cream and you will have a yummy chocolate croissant ready.
Eggs - 2
Green Chillies - 4
Salt - A pinch
Milk- 3 tbsp (Optional)
Cooked Spinach - A bunch (Optional)
  • Cook the spinach with an open lid and a pinch of salt for 5 miutes
  • Whisk all the ingredients mentioned above and add some milk if needed
  • Pour it in a pan
  • All it to cook slowly with a medium flame

May 20, 2010

Sorakaya Pala Pindi Mirayam

This is a Andhra special curry. My Mom was born and brought up in Hyderabad so she is not too much into Andhra dishes. I got this recipe from my MIL, as Abhi wanted to eat it. It was indeed tasty it had jaggery which gave a slight sweet taste (kammani), pepper added the spice, the powder gave a nice gravy to the curry.


Sorakaya /lauki- 1
Milk - 1/2 Cup
Salt - To taste
Jaggery- 2 tbsp

Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Rice-2 tsp
Dhanya- 1tsp
Chana Dal - 2 tsp
Red Chilli - 2
Dry Coconut - 1 tsp
Menthulu-1/4 tsp

Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Chandal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 10
Hinge- A pinch
Oil - 3 tbsp


Take all the ingredients mentioned under the powder heading and dry roast them and make a very fine powder
Steam cook the sorakaya/Lauki
Add the thadka and add in the steam cooked sorakaya, and jaggery
Add in the powder and allow it to cook
Pour boiled milk and remove it, but I allow it to cook for some time

Also called: Pindi Miriyam / Sorakaya pindi miriyam/ Pala pindi miriyam


Poori and Pitla go together. Whenever I heard the word pita it always used to have a tag poori. This was one of my favorites that my mom used to make. The only thing with pitla is it has to be served HOT. This reminds me of Sunday morning when my mom used to wake me up saying "Pita challarithey bagodu, levandi lechi thinandi" (Get up pitla dosnt taste good when its cold). I used to have n number of pooris and my mom used to get worried and she used to stop serving, She was always worried my sister and me might put on weight :). This is one of the fastest cooking dishes once the onions and tomato's are done it hardly takes any time for the basin to cook. Try it out and let me know how it works!


Basin - 1 cup
Onions- 3
Tomato's - 4
Oil - 1 tbsp
Paprika - 1 tea spoon
Green Mirchi - 3
Cilantro - To garnish
Cashew - To garnish
Milk / Water- 1/4 cup

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chilli's
10-12 curry leaves


  • Add oil to a pan and put the thadka
  • Add onions in a pan and allow them to cook until transparent .
  • Add tomatoes and allow them to cook until you find traces of oil oozing out
  • Add salt, paprika to this onion and tomato mixture
  • Take a bowl and add cold milk and basin and blend it well to ensure no lumps of basin are left
  • Pour this mixture into the pan and allow it to cook
  • Garnish it with cilantro and Cashews

Pudina Rice

Pudina rice is one of the best variety of rice that I love because of its aroma.
Mint - 2 Bunches
Onions - 1
Tomatoes - 1
Oil- 2 tbsp
Cilantro - To garnish
Cashew- To garnish
Garlic- 3 cloves
Basmati Rice-2 cups
Salt- To taste
Green Chillies- 5 small


  • Add finely chopped onions to the pan with some oil

  • Once the onions are transparent, add mashed garlic, green chills and tomatoes along with a pinch salt and allow them to cook

  • Add finely chopped mint and stir occasionally

  • Grind the entire mixer by adding some water if need be and pour the paste into a cooker

  • Add rice to this mixture check for salt and allow it to cook for 25 minutes on medium flame.

  • Garnish it with cashews and cilantro

Best when served with Raita

May 12, 2010

Veggie Pizza

Pizza is one of the fastest dish that I ever made. I used a pre-made base from whole foods, made the tomato sauce and rest was just spreading and adding the toppings over the pizza. Baking is alot easier you need not stand near the stove and stir it, all you have to do is set the timer run all your errands and come back and serve dinner :) . I got two pizza bases in the same pack so I made the tomato spread sufficient for two bases the second time all I had to do is spread and put it in the oven. Works when you are lazy :)


Base :
All purpose flour - 2 cups
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - A pinch
Sugar - A pinch
Yeast - 2tsp

Tomato Paste:
Tomato's - 5
Onions - 1 Large
Basil Leaves - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1tsp
Raagu sauce : 2 tbsp
Dhanya- Jeera Powder- 1 tsp

Toppings :
Green Pepper
Red Pepper
Red onions (dipped in vinegar)
Mozzarella Cheese (grated)
Cheddar Cheese (grated)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil spray (EVOO)


Base preparation :

  • Take the flour in a broad container so that it is easy to kneed it, add a salt and a pinch of sugar to it along with little oil.

  • Kneed the flour by adding warm water as needed and spread the dough flat, if you want a thinner crust spread it until the base is thin enough.

Tomato Sauce and Pizza assembly:

  • Take a pan add oil and the add in the finely chopped onions let them cook until they are transparent.

  • After the onions are cooked add finely diced tomato's and salt, close the lid and let them cook

  • After the onions and tomato's are cooked add paprika, dhanya-jeera powder, garam masala and basil leaves

  • Add in the raagu sauce this is optional and I prefer doing it as it adds nice red color to the paste

  • Now the tomato paste is ready, Preheat the oven for 20 minutes at 350F.

  • Take the base spray some EVOO and spread the tomato paste on the base

  • Layer the two types of cheese that we grated

  • Add in all the vegetable toppings that we have and place it in the oven for about 25 minutes and the pizza is ready!

May 11, 2010

Veggie tart / curry puff

Vegetable tart reminds me of Universal Bakers in Secunderabad. It was one of my must order appetizer when ever I visit that place. I used Pillsbury crescent roll dough which made my things easier. You must be wondering how different it is from the puff pastry sheet. This is indeed something different to try. Abhi and me hate some vegetables so I try to use such vegetables here as it will taste yummy in the end no matter what.


Filling for the tart:

Mixed Vegetables ( with all the vegetables you want)
Dhanya-Jeera powder

Base for the tart:

Pillsbury Crescent roll



  • Fry Onions in a pan with very little Oil and add a pinch of salt for the onions to sweat.
  • After the onions are done add dhanya-jeera powder.
  • Add the chopped mixed veggies to the pan and cook them with a lid closed.
  • Add salt and paprika as per taste.

Making of the tart:

  • If crescent roll sheets are frozen remove them 15 minutes in advance and place it on all purpose flour to avoid the roll to become mushy.
  • Spread the sheets and slightly press them with your fingers and make the base to the thickness that you want.
  • Fill the sheets with the filling prepared and close them on all sides as seen in the picture
  • Spray some oil and put the uncooked tarts in the oven which has been preheated for 25 minutes at a temperature of 325F
  • Set the alarm for 20 minutes and the veggie tarts are ready.

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May 5, 2010

Homemade Sambar Powder

I used to get it from India initially and later started loving MTR sambar powder and never attempted to make powder at home. Recently I was done with powder that my MIL made during her last visit to phx. So I decided on making some powder. Trust me the effort is worth it. Especially when the powder is fresh the sambar would taste Yumm!! Do give it a shot its not rocket science.


Chana Dal - 1 Cup
Urad Dal -1 Cup
Dhaniya - 1 Cup
Red Mirchi - 8-10
Paparika - 1/4 Cup
Jeera - 3 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp


Fry the above ingredients with a medium flame until they are golden brown in color.
Blend them in a Mixy (Preferably Indian with four blades in it) until it turns out into a very fine powder.
Precedence of what to fry first is the next question that might pop up in your brain-- Initially fry Chana Dal until its semi done add Urad dal then dhanya jeera and last would be red chillies.

You can also add dry coconut powder but I was afarid it wouldnt last long, if you feel missed out on that flavor you can add it while making Sambar also.