May 30, 2010

How to make Ragi oats dosai- easy breakfast recipes

            This dosa is quite similar to the rava dosa I had posted a couple of days ago. I just played with the quantity of ingredients and added some ragi and oats to the batter to make it a tad healthier. It was also a good change from the usual dosas we have for breakfast. I find the preparation of these kinds of dosas so easy and it goes very well with the pre prepared milagai podi though I managed to serve them with tomato onion chutney.
ragi oats dosai
Rava/semolina- 1cup
Maida- 1/4 cup
Rice flour- 1tbsp
Ragi- 1/2cup
Oats(instant)- 1/2cup
Curd- 2 cups
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves- few

     Mix all the ingredients (except salt) together. Leave the mixture overnight.
Next day, add the salt to the batter. Add little water if necessary to make the batter of a pouring consistency.
     Heat a tava. Pour the batter on the tava and spread to make a circle. If the batter does not spread well, pour into a ring first.Then pour some on the center and them combine both with the bottom of a ladle to form a circle. Pour few drops of oil on the sides and cook till its cooked and browned at the bottom and flip  on the other side and cook well.
         Serve hot with chutney or milagai podi.
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May 26, 2010

Sennaikizhangu roast/ roasted elephant yam/suran - South style recipe

   Its high time I updated my tamil recipe index with some new post title. But now, this is going to be a new Tamil delicacy included to the list. And I promise that in future, I come up with more and more new and simple traditional south Indian dishes.
   I am not quite sure, yam would be a favourite of anyone. I did not enjoy this at all earlier while my hubby simply adores this one. He loves all the unusual veges (unusual for me) such as sephakizhangu (colocasia), yam, raw plantains etc , due to which I had to include them in my menu. Devising new ways of cooking these veges made me like them after all.
  This one is a traditional way of making yam and it goes very well with rasam mixed in hot rice.
seppangkizhangu roast

Sennaikizhangu/ Suran/elephant yam- 1
Sesame oil- 3-4 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Udid dal- 1tsp
Channa dal- 1tsp
Curry leaves- few
Dried chillies- 4-5 nos.
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Salt to taste

   Remove the thick hard skin from the yam and then chop them into thin long pieces. Place the pieces in hot water for sometime. Alternatively, cook them in boiling water for not more than 5 to 7 minutes. (I did not cook.)Drain the water completely.
      Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, udid dal and channa dal followed by dried red chillies and curry leaves. Now add the chopped yam along with the turmeric powder, red chilly powder and salt. Keep sauteing in between.Mix well and cook till the yam turns tender, crispy and slightly brown in colour.
      Serve with rice and rasam.
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May 25, 2010

How to make Paneer bhurji - Paneer recipes

           Do you know that when you lose weight, its necessary that you lose the fats but retain the muscular weight. For this, you have to get enough calories which is utilised a lot by the muscle tissues. When the calories are insufficient, there is loss of muscle tissue and it also causes protein deficiency. But the fats are still retained in the body which will be ready to be used up during crisis /starvation. So in this process , you are not losing the weight in a proper fashion. So to lose weight, choosing the right kind of food is important. Eat small meals of low carb and low fat foods.Aerobic excercise atleast every alternate day is a must. Adequate rest is also equally important for you to lose weight. That is because, muscle is actually built when you sleep!!
    So eating cheese is safer than indulging yourself in some chocolate or cookies!! So then how about some paneer?
          As always paneer is a family favourite. Paneer bhurji is a vegeterian version of egg bhurji and this makes a good breakfast too.This one is the easiest to make among all the other paneer dishes. And this along with some chapatis constitutes a filling delicious meal especially during the lazy weekends.

Paneer - 2 cups crumbled
Onion- 1 big Chopped fine
Tomato-1 big chopped
Garlic- 1 crushed
Ginger- 1" Crushed
Green chillies- 2 finely chopped
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Salt- to taste
Coriander powder- 1tsp
Garam masala- 1tsp
Oil- 2tsp
Jeera- 1tsp
Coriander leaves- Chopped fine to garnish

    Heat oil in a pan.
Add the jeera followed by ginger, garlic and green chillies.
Then add the onion and saute till they turn translucent.
Add the tomatoes.
Add the turmeric powder, salt, coriander powder and garam masala.
Cook till the tomatoes are soft.
Now add the crumbled paneer and mix well.
Cook for another 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander.
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May 24, 2010

Puri urulaikazhanga / potato curry with puri from HIM For the His cooking event

          I wouldn't say that my hubby loves cooking . But he does manage to whip up something interesting to satisfy the hunger pangs especially during the weekends. I would definitely say that he makes the best out of the world potato curry which goes very well with puri(my favourite combo) or sometimes  with the absolutely delicious lemon rice which is my hubby's favourite combo. He prefers to cook this combo. He says that the hot spicy potato curry he makes is very similar to the one he use to eat at a small eatery in his native. He used to add a small amount of orange food colour too to the curry, but since I dont prefer food colours, he stopped adding it.
         He has made this  several times by now, but somehow I  never managed to take a photo. But Priti's His cooking event made me take a photo promptly and now this finds a place in my blog. When he made this recently, I also sent some of this food to a friend who stays nearby along with some puris and  a lentil subji made by me. Later , she sent me a message telling that potato curry tasted awesome. I love envy my hubby for the complement he got!!!
       So here comes the popular புரி  உருளைகழங்கு (urulaikazhanga in tamil means potato) curry ( My hubby's version)from the South Indian kitchen.
  Note- This is not the original potato stew made with puris in south India. I will post that sometime soon.
potato curry
Potatoes- 4 big
Onions- 1 big chopped fine
Ginger- 1''chopped fine
Garlic- 1 clove chopped fine(optional)
Green chilly- 1 chopped fine
Curry leaves- few leaves
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Red chilly powder- 1tsp
Salt to taste
Sambar powder- 1tsp
Asafoetida- a pinch
Coriander chopped fine
Oil- 1tsp
Mustard seeds- 1tsp
Jeera- 1tsp
Lemon juice- 1tsp optional
potato curry
    Peel the skin from the potatoes and cook them in a pressure cooker till it becomes very soft.Cut them to pieces. Heat oil in  a pan. Add the mustard seeds and jeera followed by green chillies, ginger ,garlic and curry leaves. Add the onions and saute till they turn a golden brown. Now add the cooked potatoes along with turmeric powder, red chilliy powder, sambar powder , asafoetida and salt. Mix and stir  to mash the potatoes well. Add some chopped coriander leaves.
   Cook for few more minutes. Squeeze some lemon juice on the curry if you want.Serve hot .
This one goes to Priti's His cooking event.
   For CSN Giveaway post click here.
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May 20, 2010

CSN giveaway!!!

Hello readers and finally the wait is over. Here comes the awaited giveaway from the CSN stores!!!

       I am quite thrilled to announce the giveaway which is open to all the bloggers and even non bloggers who are interested in winning a  80 dollar promo code to be used on any order of any  product mentioned on their site. CSN stores have millions of products in their 200 sites for you to choose from. So thats a lot. What more can you ask for? Isn't it?

How can you win the giveaway?
1. Comment on this post by telling me about what you would like to buy from  CSN stores if you won the giveway.

Additional chances to win the giveaway
2. Like Creative Saga (That is become a fan of Creative Saga on Facebook.)
3. Follow Creative Saga through twitter.  Tweet about this giveway with a link to this post.
4. Subscribe to Creative Saga through mail and activate the subscription.
5. Blog about the giveaway and link back to this post.
           When you have done any of the above, leave an extra comment to this post with your Mail Id.

The giveaway will end on 30th of may. The winner will be announced on May 31st 2010'.
      Shipping will be done by the CSN stores to only US and Canada. People living outside of US and Canada can use it to buy something for their family and friends living there.

Giveaway is courtesy of CSN stores. No monetary or any other form of compensation is received by me.

....giveaway is closed......
The winner is cool lassie.
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May 18, 2010

Spaghetti with soya chunks and baby corn recipe

           Few days back, Sean from CSN contacted me with an unique opportunity to do a giveaway for my readers and I happily agreed to do so. I went through their website and was amazed to see that they have almost anything and everything under the sun. They sell millions of different products and you can find just about anything you can imagine on one of their 200 sites.
          They have everything from kitchen gadjets, cookware, home/office decor, fitness equipments, kids room furniture, ultramodern furniture and even lighting options which include ceiling and  wall lightings,recessed lightings to lamps at very reasonable prices. Just hop into one of their sites and am sure you will be thrilled.
        A giveaway will follow and so please do wait for more news about it very soon!!!
 And now getting back to today's recipe which is inspired from Priya's easy and tasty recipes. She had sent me this as a entry for my pasta event and I just loved it. I used a slightly different and very simple and easy recipe for the sauce with the available ingredients and also added some baby corn along with the soya chunks. It was just delicious and you can see that even my kid loved it.
Spaghetti- 200g(1 small packet)
Soya chunks- 2 cups
Baby corn- 5 slit lengthwise
Tomato puree with herbs- 1tbsp(store bought)
Tomato ketchup- 1tbsp
Ginger garlic paste- 1tsp
Salt- to taste
Pepper- 1tsp
Olive oil- 1tsp
soya chunks spaghetti

    Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 10 minutes till they turn soft. Heat oil in a pan. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute for sometime.Add the baby corn and shallow fry till they turn soft and crispy. Now add the soft soya chunks followed by the tomato puree and ketchup. Add the salt and pepper according to the taste you prefer. Add some hot water if the gravy is very thick and boil for sometime till the sauce thickens again.
      Boil the spaghetti in hot water with some salt. Drain the water and wash under running cold water.
Serve the spaghetti hot with the sauce. 
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May 17, 2010

How to make Banana payasam - payasam recipes

          It feels so good to be back to blogging after almost a week. I had taken a break with the intention of relaxing and spending quality time with my family. But things do not always turn up as expected. It was not a good time for us last week. I know it could have been worse and I am so much thankful to God that things are back to normal again.
          When I began checking my mails this weekend, It was a sweet and a  pleasant surprise for me to see Usha's(of veg inspirations) mail stating that I was the winner of her Healthy salad event which she had hosted some time ago. I felt so happy and I believe that it was some kind of reward for me after undergoing a bad phase. Thanks a million Usha.
         And now talking about today's recipe which is the next sweet thing, the recipe was given to me by my hubby from a  tamil recipe book. As he has a sweet tooth, he wanted me to make this sometime. Banana payasam was something new and interesting for me. It tasted just divine.It was all over in no time. Lucky, I could get to eat the last cup before taking the photo. This could be made as a prasadam during Indian festivals.
banana dates payasam
Banana- 2 large (ripe but firm and sweet ones)
Dates- 1/2 cup(seedless)
Cashews- 8 to 10
Jaggery- 3/4 cup
Coconut milk- 1cup
Grated coconut- 1/4 cup
Ghee- 1tbsp

 Chop the bananas and dates to tiny pieces. Heat ghee in a pan. Add the chopped bananas and dates and fry them till the bananas turn a golden brown. Remove and keep them aside. Also fry the cashews in ghee til they turn golden brown.
       Now add approximately half a glass of water along with the jaggery in a pan. Allow the jaggery to dissolve and then boil. Keep stirring in intervals till the jaggery dissolves and starts boiling. Now add the ghee roasted bananas, dates and cashews along with the grated coconut. Stir till everything mixes well. Add the coconut milk and boil for five minutes.
    Serve warm or chilled.
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May 8, 2010

Chocolate cranberry cake...Mother's day and my first cute gift!!!

          It was a pleasant and a sweet surprise to all mothers who were waiting for their darling kids to come out of the playschool yesterday. As soon as the class door opened, all the kids cried out "mama" looking out for their respective moms.This is such a pretty sight and I enjoy watching this moment almost everyday. Everyone had some pretty colourful thing hanging around their wrists. It was a small gift for mothers ,the kids made with the help of their teacher on the occasion of mother's day. They had pasted a small glass on a paper plate and then decorated it beautifully by colouring it and pasting muffin paper cups on the edges. Finally the small glass was filled with potpourri. It was so beautiful and so touching, a lovely gesture. We were all so thrilled and I was so happy to receive my first mother's day gift from our son.
    Also a small note of thanks to the playschool teacher who was so thoughtful to do all this!!
            So Creative Saga celebrates mothers day with a delicious chocolate cranberry cake which I made for my son a couple of days ago. Happy mothers day eveyone and enjoy your weekend!!
        I am going on a vacation and so will be on a blogging break for a week. See you all soon.
chocolate cranberry cake
Self raising flour- 140 gm or 1 cup
Butter- 170g
Sugar- 140g
Cocoa powder- 50gms
Cranberies- 3/4 cup
Egg-1 ( Dont use if you want it completely eggless)
Yogurt(thick)- 1 cup
chocolate cranberry cake
     Combine the sugar and butter and beat well to form a creamy mixture. Then add the egg if adding and mix well. Add the yogurt and mix well.
      Combine the dry ingredients i.e flour and cocoa powder. Add this slowly to the above mixture mixing well simultaneously.
      Now fold in the cranberries. Pour the batter in a greased cake tin. Bake this in a preheated oven at 160c for 40 minutes or till the knife comes out clean.
       Cool the cake and invert it on a plate. Cool completely before you cut them to slices.
chocolate cranberry cake
Frost if you wish. I just spread some nutella on the slice before serving it.
chocolate cranberry cake
      This one goes to the bake off event.
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May 5, 2010

How to make Vegetable fried rice - rice recipes--Indi chinese recipes

       Indo chinese cuisine is so popular nowadays. I am no less and am fond of this cuisine too. I just love manchurian, noodles and fried rice among them. A common topic which arises when we discuss about this cuisine is about the use of mono sodium glutamate commonly known as ajinomoto. This crystalline salt is believed to enhance the taste of the indo chinese food. But recently , we have been hearing a lot of controversies regarding the use of this flavour enhancer. I just googled to find the reason and found some mixed opinions. Regarding the side effects,  it is believed to cause headache, dizziness and nausea in some people and is also not suitable for asthamatics. I also read about it causing brain damage and is one of the reasons of autism. While there is another class of people who say that it is an essential ingredient in the chinese cuisine and does give an authentic taste to food. It imparts a mild sweetness to the food , but people recommend using a little sugar in lieu of this ingredient. Mild amounts of this salt does not cause harm and glutamate is essential, some people say.
            But I personally stopped using ajinomoto a couple of years back. I dont find much difference in the taste. But its one's personal decision whether they want to include it in their diet or not as some may opine that we dont make or eat this everyday after all!!!
Do state in your comments what do you feel about the use of MSG?

veg fried rice

Rice- 1 cup
Spring onion- a big bunch chopped fine
Garlic- 2 cloves crushed
Cabbage-1 cup shredded
Carrot- 1 (cut into thin long bits)
French beans- 12-15 beans cut int long pieces
Capsicum- 1 cut in long pieces(I did not use)
Dark soya sauce- 1tbsp
Salt to taste
Pepper- 1tsp
Oil- 1/2tbsp
  Cook the rice taking care that the grains are seperate.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped spring onions along with garlic. Saute for a minute. Then add the chopped cabbage along with carrots,beans, peas and capsicum if using. When the vegetables get soft and cooked(yet crispy), add the soya sauce along with salt and pepper.(Be careful while adding salt, soya sauce contains salt too). Remove from flame. Spread the cooked hot rice on a plate. Now add the cooked vegetables on the rice and mix carefully.
   Serve hot.
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May 3, 2010

Coconut cardamom cookies - using wheat flour

        I wanted to use the pilsbury multigrain atta in the cookies finally, after successfully using them in cakes, muffins and bread before. I decided to follow the usual nankhatai (an Indian cookie ) recipe which I am so fond of. Cardamom has always been a favourite, gives a lovely aroma to the flour as soon as you add them. I found some dessicated coconut in the pantry and decided to use them as well. That gave a nice crunchy texture and taste to the cookies.
            I used the granulated white sugar and butter without any substitutions.As I was already using multigrain atta(wheat flour), I did not want to experiment on any other healthy or low fat substitutes and create any hinderance to the taste and flavour.
     As a result , the cookies were really good - soft , crunchy and delicious. I would love to bake some more of these soon. I do have a different ingredient in my mind instead of multigrain atta flour which I will be trying soon. Will post about it if it comes out good ,until then its a secret!! Do try these cookies till then..they are awesome.
coconut cardamom cookies

Pilsbury multigrain atta- 1 cup
Maida- 1/2 cup
Baking soda- 1/2tsp
Butter(unsalted)- 1/2 cup
Sugar- 3/4 cup to 1 cup(according to the sweetness you prefer)
Cardamom powder- 1tsp
Dessicated coconut- 1/2 cup
coconut cardamom cookies
    Combine the sugar and butter and mix till it turns creamy. Add the cardamom powder followed by the atta, baking soda,maida and the dessicated coconut. Combine everything well to form a dough.
          Now take a tiny portion of the dough(lemon sized). Make a small ball with it. Slightly flatten it. Repeat the same with rest of the dough. Place them on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake them in a preheated oven for 20 minutes at 150c.
          They may be slightly soft  and crumbly when hot from the oven. Cool them on a cooling rack. They will become firm when they cool. The texture will be soft and crispy. You can bake for 5 more minutes if you find them too soft and crumbly. But try not to over bake it and make it too hard for you to bite!!!
coconut cardamom cookies
These cookies along with my Cardamom spiced cake are on their way to priya's - cooking with seeds- cardamom event.
 By the way , did you try the fat free dahi wada?
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May 1, 2010

Fat free dahi wada - microwave method

     "Food cooked using or without altering the original recipe always tastes good and delicious" said one of my friend while we were discussing about deep fried foods the other day. "Just deep fry some brinjal slices and sprinkle some spices on them and serve your kids. They will love them.But microwave and serve them the same way, they will certainly find out the difference " ,she went on. Very true, isn't it? When you try to substitute fats with something else , it looses its original flavour and taste.
      For me, I really wouldn't mind having deep fried foods or adding cream in subjis once in a while. Because I dont make them frequently. When it comes to bajjis or pakodas or koftas, I will prefer the deep fry method. I would love to have paneer subjis rich with cashew paste or cream atleast sometime.
    But for people who are on a very strict diet and are on a look out for fat free dishes, microwave comes as a good option. I saw the recipe of fat free dahi wada in Tarla Dalal's microwave cookbook and tried making them. I was sure, it wouldn't taste like the  deep fried crispy dahi wadas dunked in fresh curds. But when I tasted this fat free ones, they weren't bad either. Infact , they were quite close to the usual dahi wadas. It tasted really good with the spices and made a quick evening snack great for this hot weather.
fat free dahi wada
Mung dal/yellow lentil- 1/2 cup
Green chillies- 1-2 nos
Unflavoured fruit salt- 1/2tsp
Unsalted buttermilk- 2 cups
Salt to taste
Oil for greasing
Fresh thick curds- 2cups
Milk- 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Red chilly powder- 1/2tsp
Chaat masala- 1/2tsp
Cumin Pepper powder- 1tsp
fat free dahi wada
Soak the dal in warm water for atleast an hour. Drain out most of the water and grind it to a smooth paste in a blender along with the chillies and salt. Add the fruit salt and mix well. Pour the batter in a microwave dish and microwave for 2 minutes and 50 seconds.
  Remove and allow it to cool. Cut them into small pieces as shown in the first picture.Soak them in salted buttermilk for few minutes till they are soft. Drain and squeeze out any excess water. Place on a serving plate.
How to proceed-
  Whisk the curds with the milk and salt and pour over the soaked wadas. Garnish with chilli powder, chaat masala and pepper cumin powder.
   Serve chilled.
1. You can also pour the wada batter in 8 small greased microwave bowls of 2"diameter. Microwave 4 at a time each batch for 1 minute and 15 seconds.
2. In my microwave , it took 2 minutes and 55 seconds to cook. You have to check  every two minutes in case you microwave the whole batter in a single dish as I did.
3. For garnishing, do add some tamarind chutney on the top. It tastes delicious. Also sprinkle some coriander leaves while serving.

I am sending this fat free dahi wadas to the following events-
1. Priyanka's MEC- party food for kids, an event originally started by Srivalli.
2. Srivalli's Thanda mela.
3. Indrani's spotlight-summer food and drinks
Read More »

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