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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Aval Upma | Poha Upma- Simple South Indian Breakfast Recipes

Aval Upma / Poha Upma is a simple breakfast recipe. It is very easy to prepare and is ready in minutes. So when there is crunch for time, surely this dish comes in handy. There are lot of variations that can be made with this aval/poha. Today I am posting the basic upma recipe. I have posted another poha recipe with variation-Peas Pohe, some time back.
aval upma recipe, aval recipes
Aval Upma
The ingredients needed:

Aval/ Poha/ Flattened Rice Flakes - 2 cups
Oil, 2-3 teaspoons
Mustard, 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dal/ Ulutham paruppu/ Black gram, 1 teaspoon
Peanuts, a handful (as needed)
Large Onion, 1 no
Green Chillies, 2-3 nos
Grated Ginger, 1 Tablespoon
Curry leaves, 1 sprig
Salt as needed

poha upma, poha recipes
Poha Upma
How it is made?
  1. Wash Poha in running water and drain the excess water and let it aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet, add mustard seeds, when they crack add urad dhal, Peanuts and fry for a minute.
  3. Then add chopped onions, slit green chillies, grated ginger and curry leaves and saute for few minutes, then add the soaked poha and salt to taste, mix well and serve.
It serves 2-3 persons.

easy aval recipes

  • If the poha is thick, then let it soak in water for 5 minutes, then squeeze and drain the excess water and use.
  • If poha is thin, washing will be enough. So depending on the variety of the poha you use follow the procedure.
  • I have used roasted peanuts. If using raw peanuts, roast before and use. If you dont prefer peanuts you can omit them.
  • Instead of Urad dhal, you can use channa dhal/kadala paruppu too. You can also use a combination of both.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Naan Recipe (using yeast) on Stove Top

Naan is a leavened flat bread usually cooked in the clay oven(tandoor). Everyone at home just love this naan and I make it often at home in the stove top using yeast. The naans come out really soft and fluffy. I wanted to share this recipe for so long, but couldn't get the pictures. So finally I am posting this recipe here.

soft naan using yeast, naan on stove top

What are the ingredients needed?

Warm water (@temperature of 110F), 3 Tablespoons
Active dry yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet)
Sugar, 1 teaspoon
Warm milk, 1/2 cup
Yogurt, 1/4 cup
Melted Butter, 4 Tablespoons
All Purpose flour, 3 cups
Baking Powder,1/2 teaspoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
Melted butter, as needed

easy naan recipe, naan prepared on stove top

How it is made?
  1. In a bowl, mix sugar dry yeast and warm water and let it sit for 6-7 minutes till it is frothy.
  2. In another bowl combine All purpose flour, baking powder and salt. 
  3. To this add the warm milk, yogurt melted butter and mix well and keep kneading, then add the yeast mixture continue to knead, (if water is required add little) keep kneading until the sticky dough turns out to be pliable dough and is not sticky.
  4. Take a bowl and grease it with butter and place this dough in the bowl, cover it with plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and let it rise for 3-4 hours or until it is doubled in size.
  5. Then punch the dough and knead for few minutes. Divide the dough into equally sized balls and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Then using rolling pin roll the balls into the shape of the naan.  
  7. Heat tawa/griddle on high heat , apply melted butter on the naan and gently lay it on top of the griddle and cook till bubbles start to appear on the surface of the naan, then apply butter to that side and flip it to the other side and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  8. Repeat the process till all the prepared naans are cooked.
  9. Serve it warm with side dish of your choice

easy naan recipe, naan on stove top

Friday, May 24, 2013

Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting - Birthday Cake Ideas

Today's recipe is Butter Cake with Chocolate Butter cream Frosting, the cake I baked for my son's second birthday. Actually my son cut 3 cakes for this birthday. Cake 1 was baked by Thaara with little help from me, though the decoration is all hers. It was cut in the midnight. Cake 2 is this cake, We cut in the evening of his birthday after coming from temple. Then Cake 3, for the Party, which we got from store.

The recipe of the cake I got from Wilton site. I just halved the recipe, since I didn't want a large cake. I made a 2 layered 9 inch diameter round cake, filled it with chocolate whipped cream and then covered it with chocolate butter cream frosting. 

 Butter Cake

Recipe Source: Wilton

What are the ingredients needed?

Butter, 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks)
Sugar, 1 cup
Eggs, 3 nos
Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
Almond Extract, 1/4 teaspoon
All Purpose Four, 1 1/2 cup
Baking Powder, 1 teaspoon
Salt, 1/4 teaspoon
Milk, 1/3 cup

How it is made?
  1. Pre heat the oven to 325 F. 
  2. Prepare two 9" dia cake pans by greasing and flouring it. 
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together till it is light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs, one by one and continue to beat and add vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well.
  5. In another bowl, Sieve together all purpose flour, salt and baking powder.
  6. Add the flour mixture little by little to the butter mixture, alternating with milk and mix well to form a homogeneous mixture.
  7. Divide the batter equally in the prepared cake pans and bake for 17-20 minutes till it is done.
  8. Cool the cakes for atleast 10 minutes before removing from the pan.

Chocolate whipped cream (for the filling & decoration)
Recipe Source: Joy of Baking

What are the ingredients needed?
Heavy whipping cream (cold), 1 cup
Un-sweetened Cocoa powder, 2 Tablespoons
Sugar, 3-4 Tablespoons
Vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Place the mixing bowl and the whisk in the freezer for atleast 15-20 minutes.
  2. In the bowl place sugar, cocoa powder and vanilla extract, to this add 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream to form a thick paste. 
  3. Then add the rest of the heavy cream and start to beat it till it forms stiff peaks.
  4. Cover and refrigerate it till it is ready to use.
Chocolate Butter cream frosting

What are the ingredients needed?
Butter, 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar, 1 1/2 cup
Unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup
Vanilla extract, 1/2 teaspoon
Milk, 2 tablespoon

How it is made?
  1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter till it is smooth and creamy.
  2. Then add the cocoa powder and vanilla and continue to beat. 
  3. Then gradually add sugar little by little and continue to mix and add milk and whip till the frosting is light and fluffy.

For the final assembly
  • Butter cake
  • Chocolate whipped cream
  • Chocolate Buttercream frosting
  • White candy pearls (for decorations)
How it is made?
  1. Level the cakes, if required. The domes formed in the cake is sliced to give a even surface.
  2. Place one layer of cake and spread chocolate whipped cream then place the other layer of the cake.
  3. The spread the chocolate butter cream frosting on the cake till the cake is fully and evenly covered in all the sides.
  4. Then fill the piping bag with whipped cream frosting and using star tip made stars all around the cake in the bottom and also in the top. Place candy pearls on top of each star.
  5. You can use any other decoration of your choice. 

  • I used two 9 inch dia cake pans. you can also use 8 inch dia cake pans.
  • You can double the recipe for a thicker layer. then accordingly the baking time increases.
  • The whipped cream I prepared was right enough for the filling and the star tip decorations  in the cake. You can use whipped cream for frosting the cake too.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

My Son's Birthday Party Menu- Indian Party Menu Ideas

My Son turned 2 last week and we had a birthday party at home. Just thought will share the party menu here. We had invited around 35 guests with 50% of vegetarians and 50% of non vegetarians. So I wanted options for both. So accordingly did the menu planning. I cooked for the party and of course my friend Geetha helped me by preparing rasam and with frying the pakodas.   I was so satisfied with the way the dishes turned out and the guests loved it too.

Party Menu Ideas

The Menu for the Party is as follows:

Main Course:

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mambazha Payasam/ Mango Kheer/ Aam ki Kheer

Dear Friends, 
You might wonder where I disappeared suddenly. It has been more than a week since I posted anything, blog hopped or even I haven't been active in Facebook. My son turned 2, last week and we had a party this weekend. Preparing for the party and cooking took up all my time so couldn't spend time for blogging. Now that the party is over, I am back to blogging and will be sharing the recipes I made for the party in the coming days.
Today's recipe is the Mango Kheer I made for the party and I am so glad that everyone loved this kheer.

Mango Kheer

What are the ingredients required?

Vermicelli, 2-3 Tablespoons
Milk, 3 cups
Condensed milk, 1/4 cup
Sugar, 2-3 tablespoons
Mango Pulp, 1 cup
Ghee, 2-3 Teaspoons
Raisin, 7-8nos.
Cashews, 7-8 nos
Cardamom, 4 nos.
Pistachios, for garnishing.
Fresh mango, (peeled and diced), 1 no. (optional)

Mambazha Payasam

How it is made?

  1. Peel the cardamom, discard the skin and Powder the seeds with a tablespoon of sugar and keep it aside.
  2. In a pan heat a teaspoon of ghee and fry the vermicelli till it is lightly golden.
  3. Then add the milk to it and let it simmer till the vermicelli is cooked.  
  4. Then add the sugar and condensed milk and bring it to boil and let it simmer for few minutes.
  5. Then add the powdered cardamom mix well and turn off the heat. 
  6. Then let it cool completely, then add the mango pulp and mix well. 
  7. Fry cashews and raisins in ghee and then mix with this and also add the diced mangoes and mix well and serve. 
  8. It tastes best when served cold.

Mango Payasam


  • I have used canned sweetened mango pulp so used less sugar. In case if you are using fresh mango pulp adjust the sweetness accordingly. If  you prefer less sweet you can omit the sugar too.
  • Instead of vermicelli you can use sago/javvarisi too. I have prepared this combo once before and i just loved the combo.
  • The kheer can thicken up after sometime, so before serving dilute it with milk to the required consistency. 
  • The amount of cashew and raisins can be added as per your personal preference. 
  • Adding fresh fruit is purely optional. But I would recommend adding it.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Naan+ Pizza = Naanizza (Pizza with Indian Touch)

Today's recipe is Naanizza. You might wonder what naanizza is? With naan as a base, paneer gravy as sauce and with bell pepper and mozzarella made these pizza. It tasted awesome and everyone at home just loved this.This is so easy to make and is ready in few minutes. This is a great way to use leftover naan too. 
Naan pizza , Pizza with Indian touch
What are the ingredients needed?

Naan Bread , 2 nos.
Paneer Butter Masala, 1/2 cup - 1 cup (depending on the size of the naan)
Bell pepper, 1/4 (diced)
Shredded mozarella, 1/4 cup or as needed
Olive oil, as needed
Pizza with Naan, Naanizza,
Pizza with Indian Touch
How it is made?
  1. Preheat the oven to 425F
  2. Brush olive oil in one side of the naan and place it on a baking sheet and bake for 3 minutes.
  3. Then take out, spread the paneer masala as needed, leaving 1/4 inch border around the naan. Then arrange the diced bell pepper, and then sprinkle mozzarella and bake for 6-7 minutes. 
  4. Then take out, slice and enjoy.
Pizza with naan, paneer pizza

  • You can use home made or store bought naan.
  • Depending on the size of the naan the requirement of gravy varies. My naans were on the smaller side and they required less than 1/2 cup of the masala.
  • You can use any other gravy of your choice too. 
  • You can use different toppings of your choice too.
  • The quantity of cheese is also based on your personal preference.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Basil Pesto Pizza with Tomato & Mozzarella (Personal Pan Pizza)

I baked Basil Pesto Pizza recently. The pesto is used instead of the regular pizza sauce. I made basil pesto pizza with tomato and mozzarella and also made them as personal pan pizza. The pizza crust was so soft and pesto was full of flavor. Everyone at home loved this pizza. I am going to bake pizza quite often from now on.

Basil Pesto

Coming to the recipe,
 For Basil Pesto

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart
What are the ingredients needed?
Basil, 2 cups
Walnuts, 1/4 cup
Olive oil, 1/4 cup
Garlic, 2-3 cloves
Ground pepper, 1 teaspoon
Salt, to taste
How it is made?
  1. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts first.
  2. Then to that add garlic and pulse. Then add basil leaves, salt and  ground pepper and pulse.
  3. Then add olive oil and run till it is smooth.

  • You can use blanched almonds instead of walnuts too.
  • You can use this pesto to the pasta too. Cook the pasta as per package instructions, mix this pesto and serve.
  • This can be prepared in bulk and frozen too. Thaw and use as required.

Basil Pesto Pizza with Tomato & Mozzarella- Personal Pan Pizza

Personal Pan Basil Pesto Pizza

Recipe Source: Martha Stewart

For the pizza dough,

Warm water, 1 1/4 cup
Sugar, 1/4 teaspoon
Dry active yeast, 2 1/4 teaspoon
Salt, 1 teaspoon
All purpose flour, 2 3/4 cup+ more for dusting
Olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoon + more for the bowl

For the assembly

Fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced),8 oz.
Basil Pesto from the above, half the quantity
Tomatoes, 3 no's (thinly sliced)
Grated Parmesan, 1/2 cup

Basil Pesto Pizza with Tomato and Mozzarella

How it is made?

Making pizza dough:
  1. Take warm water, mix the sugar and yeast and let it sit for 7-8 minutes till the yeast becomes frothy.
  2. In a bowl combine all purpose flour, salt and to this add the yeast mixture and start kneading.
  3. Then add the olive oil and continue to knead. The dough will be sticky knead till the dough is not sticky anymore.
  4. Take a bowl, oil the surface and place the dough and cover it with plastic wrap and place the set up in a warm spot till the dough has doubled, almost 45 minutes.
  5. Then punch on the dough, knead for few minutes and let it rise for another 40 minutes.
  6. Now again punch the dough and knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 equal parts.
  7.  Roll them into balls and let it sit for another 5 minutes
Making Pizza - Assembly
  1. Preheat the oven to 450F.
  2. Take a round cake pan, oil the surface and take one dough ball and roll out and place on the cake pan such that it fits the cake pan with the raised edges.
  3. Then spread the basil pesto, arranged the sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and sprinkle grated parmesan on the top and bake till the edges turn golden brown and the cheeses are melted, approximately 15 minutes.
  4. Take out and slice and serve immediately.
It yields 4 personal pan pizzas.

  • I made personal pan pizzas so used round cake pan of size 8" diameter.
  • You can also make 2 regular pizza of 14"- 16" diameter.  It depends on the thickness of the crust.
  • If using pizza stone, pre-heat the pizza stone for at least 30 minutes before transferring the pizza on it to bake.
  • Also while using pizza stone, sprinkle/dust corn meal all over the base of the pizza so that it slides from the pizza stone.
  • You can add toppings of your choice too. Increase or decrease the cheese as per your personal preference.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Today's recipe is Pineapple Upside Down Cake. It has been a while since I baked a cake and I had a pineapple sitting at home. So tried this Pineapple upside down cake and it came out really wonderful. My kids loved it and it was over so soon. I am looking forward to bake it again.

Recipe Source: Joy of Baking

What are the ingredients needed?

For the Topping:
Butter(unsalted), 1/4 cup
Light Brown Sugar, 3/4 cup
Pineapple,  1 (peeled, cored and sliced)
Candied Cherries/ Maraschino cherries (optional)

For the Cake
All Purpose Flour, 1 1/2 cup
Baking powder, 2 teaspoons
Salt, 1/4 teaspoon
Butter(room temperature), 1/2 cup
Sugar, 1 cup
Vanilla Extract, 1 teaspoon
Eggs, 2 nos.
Milk, 1/2 cup 
Cream of tartar, 1/4 teaspoon

How it is made?
  1. Prepare the 9 inch cake pan by greasing and flouring it.
  2. Break open the eggs, separate the egg whites and yolks and set them aside.
  3. Preheat the oven  to 350F
For the Topping
  1. In a saucepan, add butter and sugar and stir in a medium heat till the butter is melted and the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Then continue to cook without stirring until the bubble starts to appear around the edges. Now turn off the heat and pour it into the prepared pan.
  3. Next arrange the sliced pineapples on top of the mixture. You can also arrange cherries, if you want.

For the cake Batter:
  1. In a bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
  2. In another bowl beat butter and sugar till they are fluffy. 
  3. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add vanilla extract and mix well. Continue to beat adding one egg yolks at a time.
  4. To this add 1/2 of flour mixture and 1/2 of milk mix well. Then add the rest of the flour and milk and mix well.
  5. Take a clean bowl whisk the egg whites with cream of tartar until it forms a stiff peak.
  6. With a spatula fold the egg whites gently with this mixture.
  7. Pour this batter to the prepared cake pan, smooth the top evenly and bake for 35-40 minutes or until the tooth pick inserted comes out clean (make sure the toothpick doesn't get inserted all the way through the fruit)
  8. Let it cool for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges and turn it upside down on a serving plate.
Slice the cake and serve.

  • You can also use canned pineapples instead of Fresh Pineapples.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Aloo Methi Recipe | Potatoes with Fenu greek leaves

 Today I am here with  Aloo Methi recipe- Potatoes cooked with Fenugreek leaves. Who does not like potatoes? The potatoes get an incredible flavor from the fenugreek leaves. Also these are healthy. They can be a wonderful side dish almost for anything, be it rice or rotis.  

What are the ingredients needed?

Potatoes- 3-4 nos (medium sized-peeled & chopped to cubes)
Fenugreek leaves- 2 cups (cleaned & Chopped)
Onion - 1 small sized (chopped)
Oil, 1 Tablespoon
Cumin seeds, 1/2 teaspoon
Dry red chillies, 2-3 nos.
Asafoetida, a pinch
Garlic, 3-4 cloves(finely minced)
Ginger, 1 small piece(finely minced)
Turmeric Powder, 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder, 1 teaspoon
Salt, to taste.
Amchoor Powder, 1/2 teaspoon(optional)

How it is made?
  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add cumin seeds and then add red chillies and fry for a minute.
  2. Then add chopped onion, ginger, garlic and asafoetida and saute for few more minutes.
  3. Then add the turmeric powder, Chilli powder, Coriander Powder and chopped potatoes, mix well. Then add salt to taste, mix well, sprinkle some water and cover and cook till the potatoes are half cooked.
  4. Then add chopped and cleaned fenugreek leaves, mix well and sprinkle some more water(if needed), check the salt  and cover and cook till it is completely cooked.
  5. Then add amchoor powder, mix well and serve.

  • If you dont prefer onion, garlic, ginger you can avoid them.
  • Adding amchoor powder is optional.
  • You can also prepare aloo methi in this method-
  1.  Boil, peel and cube the potatoes.
  2.  Heat oil in a skillet, fry cumin seeds, chillies, asafoetida and other listed ingredients.
  3. Then add the fenugreek leaves, mix well, cover and cook.
  4. To this add the chopped potatoes and mix well, cook for 2 more minutes and then turn off the heat.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mango Kulfi

Today's recipe is Mango Kulfi. The weather is getting warm here and It feels nice to have something cold. Recently I came across this recipe from Nalini's site. I had all the ingredients and was easy to make. So decided to give it a try. Wow! It was so yummy & we all loved it. 

What are the ingredients needed?

Milk, 2 1/2 cups
Condensed milk, 1/2 cup
Milk powder, 1/4 cup
Cardamom, 3-4 nos.
Sugar- 2 Tablespoons
Mango Pulp, 1 cup

How it is made?
  1. Powder the cardamom along with sugar and set it aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom pan, mix milk, condensed milk, milk powder without any lumps, heat it and bring it boil, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, add the powdered cardamom mix well & Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  3. Once it is completely cooled, mix mango pulp to this and pour the mixture into the kulfi/popsicle mould and  freeze it for 6-8 hours for it to set completely.
  4. Un mould the kulfi and serve.

  • I have used sweetened condensed milk and sweetened canned mango pulp, so except for powdering the cardamom, I have not added any extra sugar.
  • In case if you are using fresh mango pulp, then add sugar according to your taste.
  • To un mould the kulfi, run it in tap water for 30 seconds and pull them gently.