Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce | Easy Pasta Recipes

Pasta comes in our menu once in a while to get rid of the boredom of the usual breakfast routine. Last time I got fusilli pasta and tried a simple tomato sauce with it. I've already tried penne tomato pasta but this time its a variation with ingredients and with no pasta sauce as last time I had few readers asking for substitute for pasta sauce.
Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce Recipe

Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce Recipe
Serves 2

  • Fusilli Pasta - 3/4 cup
  • Tomato puree - from 1 big tomato (approx 1/2 cup)
  • Garlic paste or garlic finely chopped - 1 tsp
  • Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp
  • Tomato - 1 chopped
  • Capsicum - 2 to 3 tbsp cubed
  • Pepper - 1/2 tsp
  • Cheese - 1 tbsp (just for garnish)
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce Recipe
  1. Boil water and cook fusilli pasta with salt until slightly soft yet crunchy enough to bite.Drain water and Keep aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic paste and saute until slightly browned. Then add chopped tomatoes and capsicum toss it a min.Then add tomato puree and saute until raw smell totally leaves.Add required salt and pepper, give a quick stir.
  3. Then add the cooked pasta and mix well, add tomato sauce and sprinkle little water if the mixture is too dry. Allow it to boil 2-3 mins until the pasta is coated well with the sauce.
  4. Switch off and garnish with grated cheese while serving.
Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce Recipe
My Notes:
  • You can also add a hint of mint leaves paste to it to give a nice flavour.
  • Adding onions also gives a nice crunchiness and taste.
Fusilli Pasta in Tomato Sauce Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Monday, November 28, 2011

Potato Fry Recipe - Urulaikilangu Varuval Recipe

Potato Fry
Potato fry is my all time favorite either with rice or even wit rotis. This is the easiest fry when you are running out of time and pairs well with your meal.We are enjoying the showers here and the climate is so chill that our winters wears are already out. Easy and comforting food has been our daily routine these. I've already posted a different version of potato curry but this potato fry is mittus most fav. This is a very easy and quick version of potato fry. Simple lunch menu ready - Rice,Rasam and Potato fry
Potato Fry Recipe

Easy Potato Fry Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Side dish | Recipe Cuisine: South Indian

Potatoes - 2
Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a generous pinch
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder - a generous pinch(optional)
Salt - to taste

To temper:

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Split Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Oil - 2 to 3 tsp


  1. Pressure cook potatoes until soft say for about 3-4 whistles. Peel of the skin and cut into bite sized pieces and keep aside.Heat oil in a kadai(I used iron kadai, you can use on stick too) - add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves - allow it to crackle.
    How to make potato fry - Step1
  2. Add ginger garlic paste fry for a minute. Then add onions and fry till golden brown. Add the cooked cut potatoes, add turmeric, chilli,sambar, garam masala powders and give a quick stir.
    How to make potato fry - Step2
  3. Give a stir and fry until the potatoes turn golden brown. Turn over to cook evenly on all sides.
    How to make potato fry - Step3
Serve with rasam and rice. It goes well with curd rice too - my fav combo :)
Potato Fry

My Notes:

  • Add ginger and garlic while adding potatoes to reduce gastric problems.
  • While tempering you can add replace urad dhal with jeera / fennel seeds(sombu).
  • The advantage of using a nonstick kadai is that even if you add less oil the veggies get roasted well.
  • The bhaji goes well with toasted bread too.
  • Dont skip butter as its the main ingredients which makes this chat tastier.
Potato Fry Recipe
Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mcvities Biscuits - Product Review

I have never thought about reviewing products until I got a mail from Mcvities asking me to review their product. I think most of us like biscuits so do I.....And so when they said the biscuits are healthy as most of them are with whole wheat flour I readily accepted the offer.
Mcvities Biscuits

I sent the address and totally forgot about it and thats when 2 days back I received a pack of 8 biscuits in different varieties. All their biscuits claim to be Zero cholestrol and no transfat.....How nice is that?!

The brand positioning for the same being ‘Change your habit to a healthy habit’ they have come up with a quirky way of getting the message across to all the health conscious people out there. The concept is to show a spoof on a popular Bollywood character and convey how he’s changing his habit to a healthy habit. This animated spoof features Aamir Khan from Ghajini in a tongue in cheek manner, getting the message across in a hilarious manner :McVitie's Gajhinee Spoof

Mcvities Biscuits - Butter Cookies

The first one I tasted was the digestive biscuits and it was totally my kind with less sweetness a bit salty perfect to go with tea time. Additionally they are made with:
  • Wholewheat flour
  • No artificial flavours or colors
  • High fibre
Verdict : Must try for all who love their biscuits to go with their tea

Mcvities Biscuits - Butter Cookies
The next one I tasted....Ok I agree my daughter opened these :) was the butter cookies and they were just apt for the name just melts in the mouth, crispy and yummy.
They are also
  • Rich in calcium
  • Melts in the mouth and
  • No transfats again

Verdict : As the wrapper tag says its Simply Butterlicious!!

Mcvities Biscuits - Oats Honey CookiesThis is my most favourite biscuit of all oatmeal honey cookies and they call it as hobnobs with the goodness of natural honey, oats and wholewheat...they are healthy and yummy!

Mcvities introduced the wonderful recipe of honobs in 1984. Since then it has perfected the art of baking a delightful oats biscuits complete in its goodness of natural ingredients
So the main ingredients included are :
  • Oats for a healthy heart
  • Wholewheat for a strong and fit body
  • Honey for overall health

Verdict : I can have it anytime of the day, super delicious and healthy biscuits. Oats is not finely powdered, you can even feel the crunch in every bite - that the best part of it. I relished eating each one of them :)
Mcvities Biscuits - Orange CreamsThe last biscuit variety I tried was the cream biscuits (as I am not more interested in cream biscuits much but my daughter gave me the feedback even before I tasted them) and these biscuits seemed to have a burst of orange flavour in them. These biscuits are:
  • Vitamin C enriched
  • Tangy orange flavour
Verdict : A must try for all cream biscuits lovers!

Overall McVities biscuits have been enjoyed the world over since 1850. Baked to perfection, these biscuits are made with the finest and wholesome ingredients.

Disclaimer: This is an unpaid review and my review totally depends on my taste and preferences.

Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Aloo Chana Chaat | Easy Chaat Recipes

What do you do those days when you crave for chats? When you cant go outside all the way to the chat shop to satisfy your craving?! This is what I make - Aloo Channa Chat, easy to put together at the same time healthy too.
Aloo Channa Chat Recipe

Aloo Channa Chat Recipe
Serves 2
  • Channa - 1 cup
  • Potatoes - 1/4 cup
  • Chat Masala / Garam masala powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli powder - a pinch
  • Green Chutney - 1 tbsp
  • Dates Chutney - 1 tbsp
  • Onions - 1 small sized chopped finely
  • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped finely
  • Sev - 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Salt - as required
  • Lemon juice 1 tsp

Aloo Channa Chat Recipe
  1. Soak channa overnight for atleast 6-8 hours.Pressure cook channa until soft, drain water and keep aside.
  2. Pressure cook potatoes for 3-4 whistles until soft. Peel off the skin and mash it roughly, keep aside.
  3. Now in a bowl add channa and boiled potatoes, combine it with chat masala powder, lemon juice, chilli powder, salt, green chutney, dates chutney and mix well. Finally add onions and garnish with coriander leaves and sev on top.
Aloo Channa Chat Recipe
This is sure a healthy alternative to other chats as its oil free.I usually make the chat chutneys at home but this time when I saw the sweet chutney named bhel puri chutney at Nilgiris I readily picked it up as its very handy. Making green chutney is a breeze so now making chats is no excuse :)

My Notes:
  • You can also add raw chopped tomatoes. The recipe is totally flexible to our preference so do experiment and enjoy.
  • You can alternatively use black channa too.
  • This can be served as salad too skipping the chutneys alone
Aloo Channa Chat Recipe

Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Caramel Pudding (Caramel Custard Pudding) / Flan Recipe

Rajma Masala
I tried this pudding from vahrevah and have made this 2-3 times and its a no fail recipe. The ingredients are easy to fetch from ur pantry with no mess, it comes out perfect everytime.

Rajma Masala Recipe
My lil one who loves pudding enjoyed this too and whenever she sees the ramkeins she would ask for pudding :) She likes most of the puddings either chocolate or plain custard pudding but she loves this egg pudding a bit more than the other puddings.

Punjabi Rajma Masala Recipe

Caramel Pudding / Flan Recipe - Ingredients

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 50 mins | Serves : 2
Recipe Category: Dessert | Recipe Cuisine: World

For caramel:

Sugar - 20 gms
Water - 3 tbsp

For vanilla pudding:

Milk - 500 ml
Sugar - 50 gms
Eggs - 3
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp

Note:Check out my Eggless Vanilla Pudding Recipe posted earlier
Check out my Eggless Chocolate Pudding Recipe posted earlier


    For making caramel :
  1. Add sugar in a dry pan and leave it untouched until the sugar melts down completely and turns slightly brown.Add water and the sugar syrup will start bubbling up.Do not stir just swirl to heat up evenly.
    How to make rajma masala - Step1
  2. Once the mixture turns golden brown then pour the caramel into moulds or ramekins immediately so that spreads to fill the base. Take a large baking pan and pour water upto 1 inch height. Arrange the ramekins inside the pan with water.
    How to make rajma masala - Step2
  3. For making vanilla pudding:
  4. Beat eggs until fluffy then add sugar and beat it well until the sugar dissolves completely. I used my whisk to beat until fluffy.
    How to make rajma masala - Step3
  5. Heat milk and allow it to boil. Once boiled, remove it from flame and cool it down for few mins then add it to the egg sugar mixture and beat for few mins. Add the vanilla essence , give a quick stir. Strain this through a strainer to remove undissolved egg white strands.
    How to make rajma masala - Step4
  6. Now pour the milk egg mixture into the prepared ramkeins.Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C. Now leave the pan with ramekins arranged on lower rack of the oven. Bake in 375°F/190°C or 35-45 mins. Check by inserting a fork if it comes out clean, then ur pudding is ready.
    How to make rajma masala - Step5

Punjabi Rajma Masala
Allow it to cool for a while then refrigerate for an hour atleast before serving. At the time of serving run a knife around the edges of the pudding to loosen a bit then invert the ramekins on the serving plate. A delicious caramel coated vanilla pudding or flan is ready :)

The caramel taste hides the eggy flavour giving it a nice outer coating. I luved the way the caramel drops when inverted. A rich and delicious dessert easy to whip up too.
Punjabi Rajma Masala

My Notes:

  • Dont let the caramel get more dark then the pudding will have a bitter tasting caramel.Also the colour purely depends on your taste.
  • Also allow the caramel to spread through all sides of the bottom base of the container you use for setting the pudding.
  • The pudding that went inside the oven had a golden top while the outer ones had the normal cream top. But the taste of the pudding doesnt get affected at all.
Rajma Masala Recipe

Written by: SHARMILEE J
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Monday, November 21, 2011

Peanut Butter Granola Bars - Healthy Snack Bars

If I have the option of having the same snack daily I would prefer these granola bars...Yes I like these bars so much. I relish every bite of it and go sad for the last bite everytime.You can check the other version of granola bars with stepwise here .
Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe - Ingredients
Makes 8 bars

  • Quick cooking oats - 1 cup
  • Cornflakes - 1/2 cup
  • Honey - 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
  • Peanut Butter - 1/4 cup
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Demererar Sugar - 1 tbsp (You can use normal sugar too)
  • Water - 1 tbsp
Nuts & Dry Fruits - 1/2 cup
  • Almonds - 1/8 cup (broken roughly)
  • Walnut - 1/8 cup (broken roughly)
  • Golden, black raisins, figs and dates / (any other dry fruit) - 1/4 cup

Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe
  1. First dry roast oats, cornflakes, nuts and dry fruits in a pan until a nice aroma comes and oats starts slightly browning up. Keep aside.
  2. Now in the same pan, add butter heat it till it melts. Now add honey, peanut butter, demererar sugar and water, heat it until the mixture starts bubbling up.
  3. At this stage add the roasted oats, cornflakes and nuts mixture and mix well until honey-peanuts mixture is coated on all sides of the oats cornflakes mixture.
  4. Then transfer to a butter paper and spread it using a spoon or a wooden laddle to 1/4 or 1/2 inch thickness. Straighten the edges and make it as a square or rectangle.
  5. Cover it with another butter paper and press them down gently.Allow them to cool for 5mins then cut into bars.Bake the bars at 200 deg C for 5-7 mins to make it more crispy , this step is optional but it will retain the bars crispness for a longer time. Cool down and store it in an airtight container.
Peanut Butter
My Notes:

  • Dont over roast , as it will give a burnt flavour and spoil the taste.
  • Dont reduce the honey or peanut butter, then making bars will be tough.Also it will stay as a bar even without baking but make it as a square(when opted for longer bars you need to bake for it to be perfect bars without crumbling)
  • You can use any type of nuts and dry fruits, the only thing to note down is the quantity.
  • Baking them at the last step makes the bars stay crisper for a long time.Store them in an airtight container and enjoy them any time.
  • Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe
    The granola bars can be stored for about a week in an airtight container. I have been experimenting these bars with various combinations and this one is my fav.

    Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

    Whenever I go to Nilgiris my first entry to the grocery basket will be Nature Valley granola bars, I have almost tried every combination of it and all of them tastes yummy.As I've already told, me and amma are greatly addicted to it so make these bars often at home too.

    Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

    Mittu loves peanut butter thats when I started trying peanut butter at home. Its easy, quick and all the more satisfies us that it is homemade. But this time I got funfoods peanut butter(creamy version) for making these bars.

    Peanut Butter Granola Bars Recipe

    Written by: SHARMILEE J
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    Saturday, November 19, 2011

    Potato Podimas Recipe (Urulai Podimas)

    Potato is my fav since childhood days...who doesnt like potatoes?! It is such a flexible veggie when made either as a curry, or podimas or fry or even when added in kurmas it tastes just yum. Potato podimas is my fav , I luv it more than the fry so thought to share it here.
    Potato Podimas Recipe

    Potato Podimas Recipe - Ingredients
    Serves 2
    • Potatoes - 2
    • Green chilli - 1 slitted
    • Onion - 1 small chopped finely
    • Ginger - 1 tbsp chopped finely(optional)
    • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
    • Coconut - 1 tbsp grated
    • Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped finely
    • Salt - to taste
    To temper :
    • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
    • Urad Dhal - 1/2 tsp
    • Hing(Perungayam) - a pinch
    • Curry leaves - few
    • Oil - 1 tsp

    Potato Podimas Recipe
    1.Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, urad dhal let it splutter. Add curry leaves, hing, turmeric powder, green chilli and ginger fry for a minute.Add onions fry until slightly browned.Cut the potatoes into half and Pressure cook potatoes for 4 whistles . Mash it well, keep aside
    Potato Podimas Recipe
    2.Add mashed potatoes, required salt and mix well.Saute for 2-3 mins - add coconut and coriander leaves and switch off. 
    Potato Podimas Recipe
    Serve with hot rice and sambar.

    My Notes :
    • You can also add 1 tsp lemon juice for the tangy flavour.
    • While tempering you can even add chana dal.
    Potato Podimas Recipe
    Written by: SHARMILEE J
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    Friday, November 18, 2011

    Rajma Masala / Rajma curry | Sidedish for rice and rotis

    Rajma is mittus favourite I make sure to stock it up in my pantry. This time I used a variety called jamun rajma - as the name says it all, the texture was like jamun very soft and creamy and it cooks faster than the normal variety. This curry I had bookmarked long back from Mahimas space, tried it and loved hte aroma of the gravy.
    Rajma Masala Recipe

    Rajma Masala Recipe - Ingredients
    Recipe Reference : Indianvegetariankitchen
    Serves 2
    • Red kidney beans(Soaked overnight) - 1 cup
    • Yogurt - 3 tbsp
    • Lime juice - from 1/2 lime
    • Coriander leaves - to garnish
    • Salt - as required
    To temper :
    • Oil - 2 tbsp
    • Jeera - 1 tsp
    • Onion - 1/2 chopped finely
    To grind to a fine paste:
    • Onion - 1/2 chopped roughly
    • Tomatoes - 2 to 3 small chopped roughly
    • Ginger - 1 inch piece
    • Garlic pods - 3
    • Cinnamon - 2 inch stick
    • Cloves - 3
    • Star anise - 1(crushed)
    • Cardamom - 1
    • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
    • Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
    • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
    • Coriander powder - 1 tsp

    Rajma Masala Recipe
    1. Pressure cook red kidney beans with enough water until soft.
    2. Grind all the ingredients listed under 'to grind' to a fine paste without adding water.Keep aside.
    3. Heat oil in a pan, add jeera allow it to crackle then add onions. Once onions turn slightly browned, add the ground paste. Add little water(say 1/4 cup) and bring it to gravy consistency.
    4. When the mixture starts boiling, simmer and let it cook on very low flame till oil starts to seperate - it may take around 15 - 20 mins.Add required salt.
    5. Add cooked kidney beans and yogurt, and simmer for another 5 minutes. Squeeze lime juice on the gravy just before serving. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot rotisor rice.
    Rajma Masala Recipe
    My Notes:
    • Simmering the gravy for more time gives a nice taste.
    • You can use the same method for making any lentil based curry.
    • I simmered for more time and the gravy was thick, you can take it a bit runny too depends on how you like/want it to be :)
    Rajma Masala Recipe

    Written by: SHARMILEE J
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    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Pani Puri Recipe (Golgappa Recipe) | How to make Pani Puri

    I love chats and my fav is always dahi puri(recipe coming up soon) and pav bhaji. I have tasted pani puri only once and am not very fond of it but still once in a while I like it mainly for the burst of different flavours - spicy, tangy, sweet and yummy. I admit that I made this just for this post sake as I didnt have any craving for pani puri ;) but reserved the puris for making my fav dahi puri :)
    Pani Puri Recipe
    Puri Recipe - Ingredients
    • Maida(APF) - 1/4 cup
    • Whole wheat flour(Atta) - 1/4 cup
    • Semolina (Rava / Sooji) - 1 cup
    • Baking Soda - 1/4 tsp
    • Salt - as required
    • Oil - to deep fry
    I tried a slightly different version of puri from vahchef you can check it here with stepwise

    Pani Puri Recipe
    How to make puri:
    1. Combine rava, wheat flour, maida, baking soda and salt, add water little by little to make a stiff dough like how we make for puris.Allow it to rest for atleast 15-30mins.
    2. Knead the dough once again and pinch equal sized lemon sized balls. Using the chapathi roller, roll out thin rotis and cut with a lid or cookie cutter as a small round puris.
    3. Heat oil in a kadai(it shouldnt be piping hot) slide 3-4 puris at a time and using the laddle press in the center and along the edges to make the puris puff up.
    Pani Puri Recipe

    4. Flip over to other side and cook to golden brown on both sides.Drain in a tissue paper.Cool and store in an air tight container and use when required.

    Pani Puri Recipe
    Pani Recipe - Ingredients

    • Tamarind - 1/4 cup firmly packed
    • Water - 2 cups
    • Chat masala / Amchur powder - 1 tsp
    • Roasted Cumin Seed (Jeera) Powder - 1 tsp
    • Coriander Leaves - 1 tbsp for garnish
    • Mint leaves + coriander leaves - 1/4 cup
    • Black Salt - to taste (I used normal salt)
    How to make pani:
    1. Soak the tamarind in ½ cup of water for approximately 1 hour. Strain out all the pulp through a sieve.
    2. Combine this pulp with the remaining ingredients(chat masala/amchur powder, roasted jeera powder,mint,coriander leaves) except salt and grind it to a fine paste.
    3. Transfer the paste into a large bowl and combine with the 2 cups of water, salt and mix well.
    4. Chill for at least an hours after making for the flavours to blend well.
    Pani Puri Recipe

    Pani Puri Recipe - Ingredients

    • Puri - 12 to 15 pooris
    • Pani - 2 cups
    • Onion - 1 chopped finely
    • Potatoes - 2
    • Chilly powder -1/2 tsp
    • Turmeric powder - a pinch
    • Sprouted green gram - 1/2 cup(I soaked green gram for 4 hrs and pressure cooked for 1 whistle, you can use sprouted green gram too)
    • Mint chutney - 2 tbsp
    • Sweet chutney - 2 tbsp
    • Sev / Oma podi - 1/4 cup
    • Salt - for taste

    How to assemble Pani Puri:
    1. Mash the boiled potatoes, mix turmeric, chilli powder and salt, Keep aside.
    2. Crack a small hole in the centre of each puri. Drop a tsp of mashed potatoes, then a tsp of green gram , then add mint chutney, sweet chutney and then chopped onion. Finally top it up with sev and pour the prepared pani.
    3. Serve immediately and enjoy the explosion of the sweet tangy and spicy flavours together.
    Pani Puri Recipe

    Serve immediately as the puris will tend to be soggy after some time. Pani Puri is said to be the king of chats and is a famous street food in north india. These days we find pani puri stalls more common even in south india too.

    Pani Puri Recipe
    My Notes:
    • You can use sprouted green gram too instead if cooked green gram.
    • Resting the dough is very important is making the puris perfect. You can store them in airtight cointainer for about a month and use it when required.
    Pani Puri Recipe
    Written by: SHARMILEE J
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