Archive for the ‘Holiday/Festival’ Category

Happy Makar Sankranti!

Wishing you all a year filled with blessings, happiness, and peace!

Barley Sakkarai Pongal

This recipe couldn’t have come at a better time… As you may know, I am on a challenge to clean out the cupboards around here, and looking for uses for barley, condensed milk, among other things including moong dal, dried fruits. Perrrfect.

I saw this at Veena’s and the original recipe which I followed is at Priya’s.

Couldn’t be more simple!

1/2c pearled barley
1/2c split moong dal
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2tsp cardamom powder

Wash well, then pressure cook dal and barley with 3c water for 4 whistles. Release pressure and add condensed milk. Cook a 5-10 mins until thickened. In meantime roast cashews and raisins in ghee. Add to the pongal with cardamom powder.

So yummy!

Click here to read more about Pongal from Lakshmi.

Sending this to Kurinji’s Pongal Feast Event!

Pongalo Pongal! Happy Pongal to all my Tamil friends!


Eleven for ’11

New Year’s Eve. A time for reflection. I haven’t been blogging that long, but I still love the idea of reminiscing about favorites of the year.  I picked out my ten best (and one worst)dishes. You may notice that it leans slightly on the sweeter side, hehe.  All of these were new recipes or new variations that I tried this year. Hope you like them! 🙂

Pumpkin Swirl Brownies

Spicy Arancini

Black Beans Chili

Moussaka with Quinoa, Lentils, Walnuts

Honey Oatmeal Bread with Raisin Cinnamon Swirl

Brownie Pudding


Orange Cranberry Chocolate Chip Scones

Broccoli Cheese Soup


Oh, maybe you are wondering about that one worst. Well, what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t admit my mistakes? Oh yes, there are definitely flops from time to time, but this one was completely salvageable! Had to go straight to the trash. A pity too, since the batter tasted pretty good!

Epic Fail!

This was supposed to be an eggless chocolate banana bread with walnuts and chocolate chips. Its probably my fault for trying to combine two totally different recipes AND make my own adaptations. The batter was way too dry, so I had to keep adding more and more milk. This was in the oven for an hour and a half and I don’t know if the picture shows it, but its still raw and gooey. The edges were like rubber. And not the soft rubber, like, tire rubber. And then theres the ski slope where the middle completely sunk in. Total failure, hehe!


Early Christmas Gifts and My First Award!

A knock came at the door while I was… .Well, okay, I admit it, I was taking a nap!!! Ooooh there’s a package! What could it be???

A package from India!!

Yes, okay I knew it was on its way, but that doesn’t take away the joy of receiving goodies from loved ones across the world, right?

Here is some of the yummies that were inside:

So, first things first, there is the mysore pak, yum! A pressure cooker gasket, and that ADORABLE  little mortar and pestle. Good Indian coffee, too.

And all the homemade spice mixes!! Priceless. Clockwise from top there is upma mix(which somehow always tastes better than mine), chutney pudi, uchalu pudi, vangibath, menthya & pepper for bisi bele bath, dry coconut, palya pudi, sambhar pudi, and last but far from least… 2 kinds of red chilies (guntur and byadagi).

Uchalu is the most unique of these and as far as I know, specific to Karnataka regional cuisine. Made from niger seeds, red chili, garlic and jaggery it is mostly had with jowar roti or chapathi. This page has some more info, and a slightly different recipe. I’ll be posting a couple recipes using this in the weeks to come.

Another wonderful surprise I received was my very first blog award from dear Akila at Akila’s Kitchen. Thank you so much!!

Akila hosts events with Dishes starting with “letters of the alphabet” starting from A. Great concept! The current one is letter “D”.  She also has “D”elicious recipes on my must try list,  like idli 65 and mango rasam!

I would love to pass this along to these fabulous bloggerettes!

Thanks to all who visit me here, I appreciate every one of you!

Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This is not macaroni and cheese. I refuse to call it that. I have never liked mac n cheese. I think I have something against those elbow shapes, for no apparent reason. So to my mind, this is pasta with a cheese sauce or if I want it to sound extra fancy, I will call it mornay (french cheese sauce). Now, I always add veggies to my pasta, and sometimes beans or chickpeas too, so its not that much of a stretch to add in some pumpkin. It gives the sauce a lovely color too, adds fiber and nutrients, and allows me to use less cheese and milk to get the creamy consistency. It even gives a hint of sweetness. Now onto the recipe for mac… I mean, well, you know.

This recipe makes four servings. Here is what I did:

  • 2TBS butter
  • 2Tbs flour
  • 1c milk
  • 1/2c pumpkin liquid (or use more milk)
  • 1TBS dijon or wholegrain prepared mustard
  • 1/2tsp turmeric (do you know about turmerics health benefits? Throw some in everything!)
  • 1 tsp red chili powder or cayenne
  • 1/2c pumpkin puree
  • salt to taste and lots of pepper
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 4 oz cheese, grated(I used this cheddar-gruyere blend that I found at Trader Joes)
  • 2 c (or half a bag) of pasta – I used fuscilli

Optional Topping:

  • 2oz cheese- grated
  • 2TBS butter
  • 3TBS panko breadcrumbs

Boil the pasta in water as directed.

In the meantime, start to make the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan, once melted add in the flour. Stir it around and get out any lumps. Let the flour cook in the butter for a couple minutes. This is called a roux and thickens the sauce. Then whisk in the milk/liquid slowly. Add in the mustard and spices. Let the mixture boil until it is thickened (enough to coat the back of a spoon). Then mix in the pumpkin and the cheese. Once melted, turn off the heat.

Drain the pasta and mix it into the sauce. At this point you could serve this as is. But if you want to go fancier, not to mention add the delectable crispy crust (which just might be the best part) continue on.

Preheat the oven to 375 while making your sauce. Melt the butter and mix with the breadcrumbs. Spoon the pasta into an oven proof baking dish. Top with some shredded cheese and then the breadcrumbs. Bake for about 20 mins or until breadcrumbs are golden brown. We love to have this with hot sauce or pesto.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!!!

I am submitting this to Vegetarian Foodie Fridays 🙂

Happy Deepavali

Recipe to come..

For some facts about the fireworks industry and pollution, and also info on Karnataka check here.

Happy Halloween

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