Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Peach Tart, Sago Pudding and Navratri Neivedyam

I had to make something out of peach as Mansi was sweetly threatening me to participate in her event AFAM-Peach:) I made some mini tarts with peach and other fruits.
I also made sago pudding for Durga pooja which is my entry for Think Spice-Saffron.

Peach Tarts


2 tbsp Custard Powder
1 cup whole milk
2-3 tsp sugar
4 Mini pie crusts (I used ready made pie crust)
1 tbsp butter
Peach slices
cherries, grapes and pomegranate


You can use any kind of fruits to create a tart. I also used custard for filling instead of cream cheese. Prepare a thick custard by mixing up custard powder, sugar and whole milk.
The mini pie crusts I bought are made of gram crackers so I brushed them with melted butter and baked them for 5 minutes at 375 degrees. This way the crust becomes crisp. Cool the custard by refrigerating it for 30 minutes.
Fill the custard after it gets cooled and arrange the fruits. Quick dessert is ready.

Durga Pooja

I made Sago pudding, Black channa, green gram/Moong dal and Sabudana/Sago wada for Durga pooja.
The Green gram is inspired from Viji's blog. The Sabudana wada recipe will be posted later.

Sago Pudding


1/2 cup Sago
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
a pinch of Saffron Strand
1/2 tsp Crushed cardamom
1 tbsp Cashew nuts
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp Clarified butter/ghee


Soak sago for 3 to 4 hours in water. Strain the water. Warm up the milk and add the sago to it. Also add crushed cardamom. In a tbsp of milk soak saffron separately.
Once the sago appears transparent that means it is cooked. Add sugar and bring to boil. Turn off the heat and add saffron soaked milk to it.
In a pan add ghee and fry the cashews and raisins till golden. Add this to the pudding. Delicious Sago pudding is ready.

This one also goes to RCI Tamil Festivals and JFS:Dassera

The recipes for green gram and black channa can be obtained from Viji's blog

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Eggplant Gravy / kathirikai kulambu / Baingan ki subzi

This is a delicious gravy made onions and cashew nut paste. Baby eggplants are fried and then dropped in this rich gravy.
I am not able to post regularly because my little one is suffering from cold and chest congestion. When kids fall sick the house and schedule becomes a big mess.
I am not able to keep up with the event list too. If I am not able to leave comments in your blog please do bear with me.

Here is the recipe:

For the paste:

2 large medium chopped red onions
1 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
3-4 Green chillies

For the gravy

10-12 baby eggplants
1 tsp Coriander/ dhaniya powder
1/3 cup of thick tomato puree
1 cup Tamarind water
1tsp turmeric powder

For tempering:

1/3 tsp Mustard seeds
5-7 curry leaves
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
a dash of asafoetida


Slit the eggplants in to four with out cutting them apart in to pieces. In a pan fry the eggplants by adding 2-3 tbsp oil. Fry them on medium heat till they become soft from all the sides and get cooked from inside. Handle them gently so that they don't break. Remove it from the pan and keep aside.
In the same pan add onions and a tsp oil. Fry till slightly soft. Grind the onions along with the rest of the ingredients given to make a paste.
In a pan temper the given ingredients and add the tamarind water, turmeric, salt and coriander powder. Once it comes to boil, add tomato puree and the ground paste. Let it come to a boil. If the gravy gets too thick you can add water. Once the gravy comes to a good boil, add the eggplants. Leave it for 5 minutes and remove from fire. Rich and thick gravy goes great with hot rice, dosas or even rotis.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feed A Hungry Child and Donate Smiles!

World hunger and poverty facts:

852 million people across the world are hungry, up from 842 million a year ago.

Every day, more than 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes--one child every five seconds.

In essence, hunger is the most extreme form of poverty, where individuals or families cannot afford to meet their most basic need for food.

Hunger manifests itself in many ways other than starvation and famine. Most poor people who battle hunger deal with chronic malnutrition and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, which result in stunted growth, weakness and heightened susceptibility to illness.

The issue of global hunger is a complex one that is deeply tied in with the poverty and other economc forces as well. The problem isn't alleviated with simply supplying food.

About- Feed a Hungry Child is a not-for-profit charitable organization formed in a collaborative effort of the like-minded people from all around the world. It aims to replace the empty plates of the underprivileged children and replace them with ones of food. While FAHC addresses the holistic needs of each children it supports, it believes illiteracy, malnutrition, and other concerns can only be addressed when hunger is appeased.

Immediate Mission:

* Join the fight against global poverty.
* Help feed hungry children one by one.

Larger Vision: aims to improve the lives of a good many underprivileged children in their efforts to support themselves, their families, and their communities by giving them the chance for better food, better education, better healthcare, and other welfare.

Please contribute to help Feed A Hungry Child! For more details visit
You can also click on the ChipIn widget on the right to contribute.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Making of Ghee/ clarified Butter

After many experiments, I now regularly make Ghee/clarified butter at home. It make me feel happy and tastes good too. In India my mom collects cream from milk and makes butter and then ghee out of it. It used to be a wonderful process.
This is how I make it here in US.


Drop 2 sticks of unsalted butter in a deep bottomed pan and heat it on medium low flame. once the sticks have melted lower the flame slightly and leave it for about 10 minutes. Never increase the flame to high. The butter will be of a pale yellow color and it will start changing its color to light golden. once the color starts changing, turn off the flame, else it will burn. The heat of the pan will complete the process of making Ghee. It is a very delicate process and once you understand when to turn off the flame, you will get a very nice consistency of ghee.

Ghee / Clarified butter is a very important ingredient in Indian cooking especially in sweets. Along with Ghee I contribute all the following recipes to RCI Tamil Festival hosted by a very talented cook and lovely fellow blogger Viji of Vcuisine.

Urad dal vada/ ulundu vadai


3 cups urad dal
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp crushed pepper
1 tsp crushed ginger (optional)
2-3 crushed green chillies (optional)
Oil for deep frying


Soak urad dal and fenugreek seeds in warm water for one hour. Grind the dal by adding very little water as possible. The batter should be very thick. When the batter is dropped in water it should float as a ball without getting dissolved.
Mix Salt, pepper, ginger and green chillies to the batter.
In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil. Wet your hands with little water so that the batter does not stick to the hands and make a donut shape out of the batter. Drop it in hot oil and deep fry till golden brown. Crispy vadas are ready!

Janmashtami Seedai

Dry fruit laddus

Sakkarai pongal


Rama Navami Panakam

Rava Kesari

Paruppu vadai/ masal vadai

Tamil Festive Food

There is a new member in our family! Wanted to share with you guys pictures and pleasure of our new "Toyota Highlander".

Friday, October 5, 2007

Eggs, eggs everywhere!!

Ever since Bee and Jai have announced their event named Click, my brain started thinking about how to give a special effect to the eggs. Then I got the idea of shooting the eggs at its birth place "The Nest".
The eggs seem pretty happy at their home! The nest was created by me.

My Camera is Canon power shot G7, 10 mega pixels. I used the color accent technique in my camera to give a natural feel to the picture.

I had shot about 100 pictures and went mad selecting the best one!! The eggs too had to go through a lot of torture posing differently:)

I liked this one the best!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Amish Friendship Bread !

Amish Friendship Bread is a type of bread designed to be baked and sent along in a manner similar to a chain letter. The idea is very simple: a friend gives you a cup of yeast culture (also known as "starter") and a copy of instructions. Following the instructions, you add sugar, flour and milk and it rises. Eventually, you end up with 4 cups of the starter. You use one cup to make bread (the instructions provide you with the recipe), keep one cup to start a new cycle and give two cups to your friends. Each of your friends also gets a copy of the instructions for what to do with the yeast starter. The latter part makes it somewhat like a chain letter.

The first time "Amish Friendship Bread" was discussed on Usenet was in a posting on February 5, 1990. The results yielding from a traditional Amish Friendship Bread recipe is a sweet quickbread with a taste and crumb very similar to a cake. The starter, however, may be used to make lots of different types of bread.

DAY 1 This is the day you receive the starter. It is never refrigerated, just left on the kitchen counter.

DAY 2, 3, 4, 5 Mash the bag to mix up the contents.

DAY 6 Feed the starter: Add 1 Cup all-purpose Flour, 1 Cup Sugar and 1 Cup Milk to the bag. Squeeze the bag a few times.

DAY 7-9 Mash the bag to mix up the contents.

DAY 10 Place starter in a bowl. Add 1 1/2 Cup flour, 1 1/2 Cup sugar and 1 1/2 Cup milk and mix well. Now place 1 cup starter into each plastic bags you want to send your friend, and use the remaining to make 1 loaf of bread.

The starter was sent to me by a dear friend and fellow blogger Swapna of Swad.
I made a simple coconut and walnut bread out of this starter. I don't like my bread to be too sweet, so reduced the amount of sugar.

Making of the Bread


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup oil
2-3 tbsp sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup sweetened coconut flakes
3 tbsp chopped walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
To one cup starter add all the dry ingredients like flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder and fold together.
To this add the wet ingredients and mix well. At last fold in the coconut flakes and walnuts.
Bake for 1 hour and insert a dry knife to see it come out clean.
Let it cool. The bread tastes great.

I passed 2 cups of starter to Susan and Sig in the blog sphere. The 3rd cup was passed to one of my friend Neitha.