Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pudina Pulao and ABC tag

We were having some guests over at short notice - well they called to say they would stop by and say hi but Mom wouldn't have any of it. They said they would in 1/2 hour and she had a simple menu of pulao, paneer and raita nearly ready before they got in. I thought she would make Jeera rice but instead she surprised us with this flavorful yummy rice. She probably put the whole menu together in 1/2 hr... I was amazed at the speed she can whip a whole meal together while I picked toys around the house. The rice was amazingly flavorful and simple which I am posting here. She doesn't measure anything of course and I was not really paying attention while she made this, so the measurements are approximates...


1 bunch of mint - cleaned
1/2 cup of yogurt
1/2 cup of small cut carrots
1/2 cup of cut beans (you can use frozen ones , if needed)
2 cups of cooked Basmati rice
2 green chillies
1 onion - sliced thinly
1 tea spoon of ginger garlic paste

2 cloves
2 cardamom
2 small cinnamon pieces
1-2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon - ghee
salt to taste

How To

Take mint leaves and salt and grind in a mixer. Add a pinch of salt and blend to fine consistency without adding any water. Mix well with the curd and keep aside.

Heat ghee on medium heat in large pan. When it is hot, add the spices (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves) and saute them.

Then add the green chillies and onions, saute until onions turn translucent.

Now add the ginger-garlic paste and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Now add the vegetables and cover and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the cooked rice and pureed mint paste. Fry for 1-2 minutes and turn off the stove.

The combination of the mint with the curd and the whole garam masalas is amazing.

My son loved it and calls it the green rice... He just ate the plain rice by himself and made a big mess, but I am not complaining... We had a very nice evening chatting and enjoying the simple delicious meal....

Also Lone Acorn has tagged me. Thanks dearie for thinking of me...

1. A – Available/Single? Nope

2. B – Best friend? Gang of 7

3. C – Cake or Pie? Cake

4. D – Drink of choice? Hot chocolate

5. E – Essential item you use every day? Laptop

6. F – Favorite color? Pink

7. G – Gummy Bears Or Worms? Gummy Bear

8. H – Hometown? Cuttack

9. I – Indulgence? Blogging and chocolates

10. J – January or February? None - both are too cold

11. K – Kids & their names? 2 , A and A (Princess and Prince)

12. L – Life is incomplete without? My Family

13. M – Marriage date? A Memorable Date

14. N – Number of siblings? None

15. O – Oranges or Apples? Oranges

16. P – Phobias/Fears? Cockroaches

17. Q – Quote for today? Have to think of one...

18. R – Reason to smile? Seeing my kids in the evening when I get back from work

19. S – Season? Summer - miss it a lot here

20. T – Tag 3 People? Shubha , Rekha , Chitra

21. U – Unknown fact about me? Hmmm, wont be so unknown then

22. V – Vegetable you don't like? Spinach

23. W – Worst habit? Procastination

24. X – X-rays you've had? Dental X-rays 5 year back

25. Y – Your favorite food? Goat Biryani

26. Z – Zodiac sign? Taurus

The Rules

1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share the ABCs of you.
4. Tag 3 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let the 3 tagged people know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so that there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Baked Samosas

One of the favorite snacks for my kids is Samosas. We had my husband's cousin N coming over in the evening and of course the vote was for making samosas as an evening snack. But I knew N's hubby didn't like fried food, so I tried to make my healthy version of samosas. If you want to see the fried version, follow this link. But this is a short cut version and the kids and the guests loved it.


For the filling
3 large potatoes cut into small pieces
Salt to taste
1 small Onion cut into small pieces
1 tea spoon coriander powder
1/4 tea spoon garam masala (skip if you don't want)
minced mint leaves
handful of peas
Oil (1 table spoon)

For the Outer layer
Mini pastry shells (I used 3 boxes)

How to

In a large pan, heat 1 table spoon of oil over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until the onion turns golden brown.
Add the salt and then the potatoes and fry for a few more minutes.
Then add the green peas and coriander powder and garam masala powder.
Add the minced mint leaves and remove from heat.
Stir to combine, then adjust the seasoning, to taste.
Let it cool until it is easy enough to handle. (You can prepare this ahead of time and put away in the refrigerator, when needed warm and use).

Take the mini shells and get them to room temperature, if frozen (as per instructions).
Spray a little olive oil on the shell.
Scoop 1 tea spoon of filling into the shell and bake the shell at 350 for 12-15 min, until the shell turns golden brown.

Enjoy it warm off the oven... We had ours with mint chutney... It was a big hit with the guests and N called me that weekend to get the recipe... So this post is dedicated to her!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Typical Oriya meal

Shanthi a blogger friend is hosting an event to honor foods from different states. Since I have a site dedicated to Oriya food, I feel its apt to have a posting dedicated to it. Shanthi great idea and keep up the good work. I am posting links to my old posts here for her event.

A typical Oriya meal consists of rice, dalma, 1 vegetable or non-vegetarian curry (with gravy), 2 or 3 dried curries or bhajas and a khatta. No Oriya meal is complete without sweets though. Usually the sweet is kheer or mitha dahi or some paneer based sweets. All food is cooked fresh and women in the household spend 3-4 hours in the kitchen for each meal...

So here is a medley of dishes dedicated to Oriya meal and to the State Special event.

Rice : could be plain rice or jeera rice or fried rice (depending on the occasion)

Dalma : there are several version of dalma. I think each family has its own speciality. The dalma tastes different depending on the combination of vegetables, dal and spices. Here is a simple one with dal and eggplant and potatoes.

Some curries that I love are :
Ghanta :

Patua :

Chatu Rayee or mushroom in mustard sauce:

Khatta is nothing but a sweat and sour dish. Its very common in a meal. Even I usually have something in the refrigerator that I use as a side dish. The famous khattas are Dahi Baingan and Tomatoes Khatta and Amba Khatta

Also would like to thank Shanthi for passing on the the Scrumptious Blog Award.

This is a blog award given to sites that:
Inspire you
Encourage you
May give Fabulous information
A great read
Has Scrumptious recipes
Any other reasons you can think of that make them Scrumptious!

The rules are:Put the logo on your blog or post.Nominate at least 7 blogs
Let them know that they have received this Scrumptious award by commenting on their blog.

All blogger friends, please accept this award. You have both encouraged me and inspired me to put this blog together. Heartfelt thanks to Shanthi for passing it on.

So Happy Ganesh chaturthi and God bless friends...

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Baingan Ambila

This post is a few weeks late. I have a big backlog of work since I am back from vacation. On the day of Rakhi, I was running late in the evening to get sweets and Rakhi gift for my daughter. I knew she was looking forward to a special treat too. There was no time to make anything too special, so tried this Eggplant Sweet and Sour side dish.... It was such a hit with her, though she didn't really touch the eggplant, but happily slurped on the curry.

Ambila is a typical Oriya side dish. It is enjoyed with Rice, dalma and mixed vegetable curry. You can make ambila with mixed vegetables like Carrots and Radish too, but my pantry had only eggplants...


8 small eggplants
1/2 cup jaggery (less or more depending on the sourness of Imli)
1 tablespoon of Imli paste
handful of curry leaves
2 red chilies
1 tablespoon of panch phutana
1 table spoon fried Jeera and fried Methi powder
1 table spoon of oil
1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder
salt to taste

How to

Slit the small eggplants. Put them in a pan with a little water, salt and turmeric powder and cook until the eggplant softens (about 10 min). Keep aside when done.
Heat oil in a pan. Add panch phutana.
When they start to crack add curry leaves and red chilies.
Add 1 cup water, jaggery and imli paste and mix well.
Once the jaggery is is dissolved, add salt and jeera and methi powder.
Add the boiled Eggplant and cook for a few minutes.

Serve hot or cold. This stays fresh in the refrigerator for a week.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Janmasthami Bhog

Happy Janmasthami everyone. It was a lovely Day celebrating Krishna's birthday. Even my daughter tried fasting for a few hours in the morning. I had started when I was 8 years old and it was nice to see her attempting it too....
Back home lots of items are made for Krishnastami. In my (Aei) grandma's place, at least 20 + items are made. My aunts cook all day (we have a big joint family) for the puja and feast at night. But my mother-in-law being a working woman who lived in Bengal had a different recipe for all fast days. She would make a simple chana dal, puris and fried vegetables. Here is an adaptation of her puja meal.

I am sending the chana Dal for the Festive food event conducted by Purva and Priti.

Chana Dal

1 cup of Chana dal washed and soaked for 3-4 hours
1 tea spoon Turmeric powder
1 tea spoon Chili powder
1 tea spoon whole Cumin Seeds
2 tea spoon garam masala powder
couple of Bay leaves
handful of Raisins
handful of fresh coconut (optional)
1-2 green chilies
1 table spoon ghee
Salt to taste

How To

Boil the Dal with turmeric powder, chili powder, bay leaves and salt. Once it is nearly cooked, take off the heat.
Heat the ghee in a pan. Add Cumin seeds and green chilies. Once it sputter, add the chana dal and boil again. Add garam masala and raisins.
Add a handful of fresh coconut before serving.

Fried Cauliflower

Deep fry the cauliflower, roll it in a bed of dhania powder and chili powder. Sprinkle salt and eat it hot. Yum! Do the same with thinly sliced potatoes or eggplant.

I am not sure if these 2 dishes count as fast food or feast food, but they are a treat. We enjoy these on fast days only - guiltless pleasures!

I had a nice lovely short break. I went to visit few friends and met few relatives too. My mom got to spend some precious time with her old childhood friend and she has a glow about her since she is back.