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Feb 23, 2009

Kadle bele or Gram dal chutney for rice

I used kadle bele (otherwise called gram dal or chana dal) to make a quick and tasty chutney. Rice with this chutney and some javarisi vadam is heaven. I sometimes side this rice with curd if the chutney is too spicy.


Gram dal / kadle bele - 1 cup

Grated fresh coconut - 2 tablespoons (frozen fresh coconut shredded/sliced can be substituted. Thaw it before use) - increase or decrease the quantity to your taste.

Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and chopped

Red chillies - 2

Green chilli - 1

Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch

Tamarind concentrate - half teaspoon or raw tamarind a pich or two

Salt as required

Oil - a teaspoon for roasting dal

Curry leaves - a sprig (optional)

Oil - a teaspoon for seasoning

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Urud dal - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Water - half cup or as required


Using a teaspoon of oil roast the dal until it is golden brown. Keep stirring as you roast.

Once done, reduce the heat and add ginger, curry leaves (if using) and red chillies. Turn off the heat. Allow the content to cool down.

When it is cooled down completely, grind the content with coconut, green chilli, tamarind, asafoetida powder, little salt and water. Just enough water to grind. Do not add too much water.

Note: use less salt as the final quantity will be very less.

Transfer it to a bowl.

Now, heat a teaspoon of oil and pop the mustard seeds. Also add urud dal and wait until it turns golden brown and then pour the seasoning over the chutney and stir.

Serve this with white rice. Add a dab of ghee with this chutney rice for extra flavor.

This chutney is my entry to three wonderful events chutney/dip mania hosted in mane adige, Lentils mela hosted in Ashwini's spicy cuisine and My legume love affair - eighth helping hosted in The well seasoned cook. Waiting to see all the roundups.


Feb 20, 2009

Rava laddu / sooji laadoo

Satisfying a sweet tooth is all the more simple when there are sweets that can be perpared in no time. One such sweet is the rava laddu otherwise called sooji laadu or rave unde. Mix few ingredients and the tadaaaa... the sweet is done. Here is how it's made.


Roasted coarse rava/sooji - 1 cup

Granulated sugar - 2 cups

Saffron strands - a pinch (optional)

Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon

Ghee / clarified butter - 2 tablespoon

Ghee roasted cashewnuts - a handful

Milk - quarter cup


Grind the rava and sugar together to a fine powder.

Note: American granulated sugar crystals are way too smaller than the Indian granulated sugar. In case you are using Indian granulated sugar, grind the sugar and rava separately and mix them together. Reduce or increase the sugar proportion as per your taste.

Transfer it to a mixing bowl. Add cardamom powder, saffron strands, ghee roasted cashews and ghee. Mix well. If the mixture is not moist enough to make a ball, add drops of milk. If you do not want to use milk, mix in more ghee.

Make small balls out of the mixture and the sweet is ready. A delicious sweet cannot be more simpler than this. This is my all time favorite sweet. Try it and you'll love it.


Feb 19, 2009

Khana Khazana in Sunnyvale,CA

What's Khana Khazana?
No time to cook? or craving for home made Indian food? here's Khana khazana for you, where homemade fresh & tasty food is made to order.
Who prepares food & what food is made to order?
My dear friend has been doing catering service for quite some time. She makes almost all kinds of Punjabi & Gujrati food. Specialized in parathas, rotis, vegetable curries/gravies, vada pav, pav bhaji, samosas, kachoris, dabeli (Mumbai fast food) to name a few. Vegetarian only.
Food quality?
The food is prepared using only high quality ingredients and prepared in a clean vegetarian kitchen.
She accepts party orders too. For more information or to contact my friend, please send a mail to me at mythreyee[at]paajaka[dot]com and I shall reply with all details requested.


Feb 17, 2009

Cauliflower curry

Here is one delicious curry with the star ingredient cauliflower. Cauliflower is one vegetable that can be added to most of the gravies. Goes very well in gravies that has onion/tomato base. In this curry, the cauliflower is infused with all the basic masala that we use everyday. A very simple dish and goes well with either rice or roti. A perfect spicy dish on a cold winter day.


Cauliflower - 1 - large - Cut into florets

Red onion - 1 - chopped

Tomatoes - 2 to 3 - finely diced

Bay leaf - 2 (optional)

Cinnamon - 1 inch (optional)

Oil - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder - half teaspoon

Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

Salt as required

Roast the following in a teaspoon oil

Dhania - 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Sesame seeds (white) - 1 teaspoon

For masala, after roasting the above ingredients, grind it with the following to a smooth paste using very little water.

Chopped onion - 1 tablespoon

Fresh ginger - 1 inch - peel the skin and chop

Fresh garlic - 3 to 4 pods

(if not using fresh ginger and garlic , use readymade paste - 1 tablespoon)

Green chillies - 3 to 4

Tamarind concentrate - half teaspoon

Anaardhana seeds - (pomegranate seeds) - 1 teaspoon (optional)


Heat oil in a large kadai. Add mustard seeds. When it pops, add the onions and saute until almost translucent. Add the bay leaf and cinnamon if using them.

Add the ground masala and saute it for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry for another 3 to 4 minutes.

Add turmeric powder, asafoetida powder and salt. Stir well.

Add the cauliflower florets and mix well. Close with a lid and cook until cauliflower is tender. Stir occasionally. Add only half a cup water if you think there is not enough moisture for the cauliflower to get cooked.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it hot with rice or roti.

This is my entry to the JFI - cauliflower hosted by me. Thank you so much Indira for initiating JFI. I am glad I am hosting this event this month.


Feb 2, 2009

Announcing JFI: Cauliflower

'Jihva for Ingredients' (JFI) is a monthly event that celebrates an ingredient every month and was initiated by Indira of Mahanandi. I am very happy and honored to host this esteemed event this month here in Paajaka recipes.

The ingredient I have chosen is Cauliflower. Everybody loves Cauliflower. It is such a versatile vegetable that can be be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but are most often discarded.

Cauliflowers are included in different vegetable gravies like kurma, gobi mutter etc., few rice delights like biryani, fried rice, pulao etc. and flat breads like gobi paratha. Every cuisine uses cauliflower, for example cauliflower augratin, gobi manchurian and cauliflower kababs to name a few.
Let's celebrate Cauliflower. Cook something in which cauliflower is or one of the main ingredients.

Send in as many entries as you can. Don't worry about sending the picture, I will get it from your blog.

The dish can be from any cuisine.

While you send in your entry, don't forget to mention your blog name and name of the dish. the link needs to be a permalink to that recipe and not the link to your homepage.

Please include a link to Indira's Mahanandi blog in your post and a link to this event announcement. Please feel free to use the logo.

If you are sending from archives, edit the post and include a link to this announcement and Indira's Mahanandhi.

The dish should be strictly vegetarian, I mean no eggs or meat. The dish can be appetizer, main course or even dessert. Anything and of course anything that's edible.

Please send in your entries to mythreyee at paajaka dot com on or before 1st of March, 2009.

Entries from non bloggers welcome. Please email your recipe with picture of the dish and I will post the recipe in my blog mentioning your name.

Below are some facts and information that I got from Here, Here and Here.

Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed.

Cauliflower lacks the green chlorophyll found in other members of the cruciferous family of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale, because the leaves of the plant shield the florets from the sun as they grow. It has a compact head (called a "curd"), usually about six inches in diameter that is composed of undeveloped flower buds. The flowers are attached to a central stalk. Typically, only the head (the white curd) is eaten while the stalk and surrounding thick, green leaves are used in vegetable broth or discarded.


Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate. Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances. A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.

Health Benefits

Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, and kale, contain compounds that may help prevent cancer. These compounds appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens.

A Weekly Serving of Cruciferous Vegetables Halves Advanced Prostate Cancer Risk

Spicing Your Cauliflower with Turmeric Could Help Promote Men's Health

Protection against Rheumatoid Arthritis

Cardiovascular Benefits

Cooking cauliflower

Cooking cauliflower in an aluminum pot will intensify its odor and turn its creamy white anthoxanthin pigments yellow; iron pots will turn anthoxanthins blue green or brown. Like red and blue anthocyanin pigments (see BEETS, BLACKBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES), anthoxanthins hold their color best in acids. To keep cauliflower white, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, or milk to the cooking water. Steaming or stir-frying cauliflower preserves the vitamin C that would be lost if the vegetable were cooked for a long time or in a lot of water.

So, let's get started. Cook something with one or combination white/purple/orange/green cauliflower and send in your entries. If you have any questions, please mail me or leave a comment. Thank you.