Friday, December 31, 2010

Microwave Coconut Balls

Ha, the end of another year has come. So here is a simple and a sweet way to say goodbye to 2010 and welcome 2011. This is an easy sweet that can be done in the microwave. It is essentially my version of Brazilian kisses. You can use sparkling sugar to make it attractive for the little ones. This can be made a couple of days ahead. So a huge hit in parties.. Hopefully you will try this in one of your parties.

- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes (See notes)
- 1/2 tsp butter
- sparkling sugar/coarsely ground unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)

1. In a microwave safe bowl add the butter, condensed milk and the coconut flakes. Give it a good mix. You need not reduce the power of your microwave. Start with 3 minutes. Remove and stir. Now cook for another minute. Remove stir. Do this till your mixture becomes one big lump. It took me about 7 min in my microwave oven. Just be sure you remove and stir it frequently.

2. Cool this and roll them into balls. If it is too sticky apply little bit water when you roll these. You can then roll these balls in sparkling sugar or the ground coconut flakes. Arrange them in a cute muffin paper liners and serve.

Notes - I had to buy my coconut flakes in a health store and I used Bob red Mill Try to use the unsweetened variety. The sweetened kind makes these ball really sweet. Sometime you do not get the right size flakes. If it is too big then just give it a whirl in your mixer.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spinach and Angel Hair Pasta

This is a simple and flavorful recipe from Honey, What's cooking The best part was the use of whole wheat pasta, spinach and nuts which are all very good for your health.

- Whole wheat angel hair pasta (I used a box)
- 1 packet (about 10-150z) washed baby spinach chopped (You can use frozen too)
- 1 cup chopped walnuts and almonds
- 1 small onion chopped (I am not a big fan of garlic so I use onion)
- 1 tsp red chili flakes (adjust to taste)
- 1/2 cup chopped basil leaves
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tomato chopped
- salt to taste

1. Cook your pasta as per the instruction in the package. When you drain the pasta reserve some of the cooking liquid.
2. Heat a small pan and add the nuts. Toss them till they start to crisp. This takes a couple of minutes. Now keep this aside.
3. Meanwhile heat a big pan and add the olive oil, onion and the red pepper flakes. Cook till the onion is slightly brown. Add the toasted nuts.
4. Add spinach, salt and cover to cook this. The spinach will start wilting in the heat in about 3 minutes.
5. Add the cooked pasta and toss it well with the spinach. Add the chopped basil and tomato. Toss it till the tomato heats through. Serve this hot.

Note - If you like you can grate some fresh Parmesan cheese on top. I wanted it to be a healthy dish so I avoided it.

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipe's hosted by Priya.

and to Hearth and Soul


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red lentil puluv

I love cooking with red lentils. They cook really fast and they taste great. This is an easy one pot meal where you mix your dhal, rice and vegetables. It is slightly different from our traditional kichidi which is just dhal and rice for the most part.

- 1 cup red lentils
- 1 cup rice (If you prefer more dhal then reduce rice to 3/4 cup)
- Mixed vegetables (carrots, beans, peas, potatoes, cauliflower) to suit your taste
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- salt to taste

- 1 tsp jeera
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
- small piece of cinnamon stick
- few cloves
- 1 anise seed (I love the smell)
- 1 tsp oil
- few drops of ghee
- 1-2 green chilies (Slit into half)
- 1/4 tsp of ginger


1. Wash and soak the lentils and rice in water for 10 - 15 minutes. Meanwhile prepare your vegetables. Cut all the vegetables to the same size so they cook easily.
2. In a wide pan pour the oil and ghee. Once it becomes hot add your seasoning ingredients. Wait till they turn slightly brown. Add your ginger and chilies last.
3. Now add the onion. Saute till it becomes slightly limp. Add the rest of vegetables and give them a quick toss.
4. Add the soaked lentils and rice. Mix it all well. Now add water. I start with 2 cups of water. Bring this to a boil and now reduce the stove to a medium heat.
5. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Do not walk away from this. You might need to add some water if you find the rice to be undercooked. Typically I add a 1/2 cup more water.

Remove from the heat, garnish with cilantro leaves and serve with a few drops of ghee for added flavor.

(Note: You can make this dish using your pressure cooker too)

Sending this lovely recipe to My Legume Love affair - MLA#30 hosted by Priay of Mharo Rajasthan Recipes. The event was started by Susan

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Whole grain pasta with Spinach pesto

I have to apologize for the poor quality of the picture. But let that not deter you from trying this awesome spinach pesto recipe. The good thing is I did not use much oil and neither did I use any cheese. So it is perfect for a vegan meal and on top of it the whole dish comes together in about 15 - 20 minutes.


- 4-5 cup of whole wheat pasta (Penne or shell should work)
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp of pine nuts and walnuts for garnish

For Pesto
- 1 cup spinach (I used baby spinach)
- 1/2 cup basil leaves
- 1/3 cup roasted walnuts
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 2-3 sundried tomatoes in oil (1 used about 2 tsp of oil that comes with the tomato)
- 1 onion chopped and sauted to golden brown.
- garlic (if you like)

1. Cook your pasta as per the instruction in your package. Toss the pasta with the olive oil. Reserve 2 cups of the cooking water from the pasta.
2. Grind the ingredients for the pesto to a smooth paste. If you need to use the cooking water for the pasta.
3. In a big saute pan pour add the pasta and the pesto sauce and toss it around. If you feel it is too dry then add the reserved cooking water from the pasta. Mix them sauce until the pasta is well coated.
4. Sprinkle the pasta with the pine nuts and walnuts. This adds a crunch to the pasta.

Optionality serve it with some fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Preasure Cooker Baingan Bharta/ Eggplant in a spicy tomato sauce

Most of my readers must be familiar with Beingan Bharta. Eggplants are roasted and smashed and this is blend with a flavorful spicy tomato sauce. I typically use my oven to make this as I have an electric stove. I was browsing this site (she has some awesome recipe) when I came across the recipe where she cooks the eggplant in a pressure cooker. I wanted to try it and it was a great hit in my house.

Ingredients :
- 2 big eggplant (I used the big American eggplant)
- 1 big onion chopped
- 2-3 tomatoes chopped
- 1 tsp chili powder (adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp garam masala

- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tsp jeera

1. Peal the skin from your eggplant. Cut it in half. In a pressure cooker add some water and the eggplant. Cover and cook for 1 whistle.
2. Meanwhile in a pan pour oil and add the jeera. Once it is brown add your onions. Cook till it really shrinks. This takes at least 10 minutes in a slow heat.
3. Now add tomatoes, chili powder and cook till they become very soft. Let it be on a slow heat for at least 15 minutes
4. Now remove the eggplant. Mash it with a fork. As they are cooked in a preasure cooker they mash very easily. Add this to the pan. The longer you cook the better it tastes. I cooked mine for 45 minutes at a very low heat mixing it periodically.

Garnish and serve it hot with rice or better with roti's or Nan

Sending this to Bookmarked Recipe's hosted by Priya and also to Heart and soul.


Monday, December 13, 2010

Easy Paruppu Thogayal

I learnt this paruppu thogayal from my MIL. This is a very easy and tasty thogayal. It goes very well with spicy kulambu like milagu kulambu or vetha kulambu. It has no spice in it so you and your kids can also have this thogayal.


-2/3 cup Yellow Moong dhal
-1/4 cup Shredded Coconut
Salt to taste


1.Dry Roast Moong dhal until it turns light brown color.
2.Soak it in water for 1 hour.
3.Grind the moong dhal with coconut and salt.

Serve it with rice and vetha kulambu. Perfect for a cold winter day.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Quinoa Eggplant rice

This recipe is a total inspiration from Priya's blog. This one was a brilliant use of the super nutritious quinoa in our traditional cooking. I got her inspiration but I used my mom's method of making this dish. I would have never guessed quinoa to go well with eggplant but this dish was super yummy.

Ingredients :
- 2-3 eggplants cut to bite size pieces(I used the Japanese eggplant)
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste

Seasoning :
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dhal
- 1/2 tsp jeera
- pinch of hing
- peanuts (optional)
- curry leaves (0ptional)

1. Wash the quinoa and then add two measure of water for one measure of quinoa. Microwave it for 20 minutes. The grain will turn into a glossy color. You can fluff this with your fork.
2. In a large pan add the oil and the seasoning ingredients. Once the urad dhal turns brown add your chopped eggplant. Add turmeric and salt and cook till the eggplant becomes soft. Now add the curry masala and mix till the spices coat the eggplant well.
3. Turn the heat down and add the cooked quinoa and mix it well. Use a fork for this other wise the quinoa breaks a lot.

Serve hot with raita or papad.

Sending this recipe to
Bookmark recipes created by Priya of Mharo Rajasthan and and hosted by US masala.
Cooking with whole grains guest hosted by Priya Mitharwal and started by Kiran

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