Let me share a Joke, which I read in Baltimore metro today's news paper . Okay, I said it's JOKE.. so you gotta laugh!! Ha ha ha...
It's been a while since I made Okra curry, so I thought of making it for today's lunch.

Okra chopped - 2 cups
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Green chillies - 1
Garlic - 5
Red chilly powder- tbsp
Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1tsp
Curry leaves- 5
Tamarind Paste- 1tbsp
Cilantro - bunch

Heat oil in a pan, add green chillies, chopped garlic, curry leaves, onion and fry till onion turns golden brown.
Mix the chopped tomato, and salt. let it cook for 2 mins.
Add the spices and chopped okra. Mix gently to coat the okra in all the spices.
Add some water if its too thick, and tamarind paste. Let it Cook for 10 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice :)
This vegetable Pattie is very simple and can be made in 25 mins with any sort of vegetables :)) In India, it's called as Vegetable Cutlet. It can be taken as a snack or as a breakfast with burger buns. I just love this with ketchup.
Fresh bread slices - 2
Egg - 1 (optional)
Milk or Water- 1 tbsp
Boiled Vegetable - 2 cups (I used potatoes, peas, beans)
Cumin - 1tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1tbsp
turmeric powder - 1tsp
Fennel seeds- 1 tsp (optional)
Garam masala - 1 tbsp
Pepper powder - 1tsp

Mix the fresh bread pieces with egg and milk or water. Let it soak for few mins and mash it in to paste.
Add the spices(cumin, fennel seeds, red chilly, turmeric,salt,pepper powder,garam masala, ginger garlic paste) in to the boiled vegetables.
Mash it well.
Mix the mashed vegetables and mashed breads together well.
Take a spoonful and place it in hot skillet greased with oil.
After a minute turn around to other side, heat till it turns just golden yellow.

AND.... the hot patties/cutlets are ready to eat. Enjoy with Ketchup.
A very quick snack to munch :)

Chopped onion - 2 cups
Gram flour (Chickpea flour) - 1/2 cup
red chilly powder - 1/2 tbsp
Dry Fenugreek - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tbsp
oil - to deep fry

Mix all the dry ingredients and bind well using little water. If it gets too water add little more flour.
Heat oil in frying pan, add a spoon full and fry till it turns golden brown.

Serve with tomato ketchup or hot salsa :)
This curry can be prepared using Garbanzo, Black eye or any type of beans you like. It is a very tasty and wide known curry in india, Perfect combo for any indian bread. You can also use the canned one instead dry(dry requires 7 hrs soaking). I prepared this curry using the mix of garbanzo and black eye peas.

Dry Garbanzo - 2 cups
Dry Black eye peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 big size
Tomato - 1 medium
Red chilly powder - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
Pepper corns - 1 tbsp
Ginger - 1 " inch
Turmeric - 1 tbsp
Garam masala- 1 tbsp
Dry Fenugreek leaves- 1 tbsp(optional)
Thyme - 1 tsp(optional)
Tamarind paste - 1tbsp

Soak the garbanzo and black eye peas in water for 7 hours. Cook them in 1 cup water, salt and turmeric. Keep aside.
Take one hand full of cooked beans, ginger, cumin, pepper corns, garam masala,tomato,chilly powder and ground to fine paste.
Heat oil in pan, add the chopped onion and fry to golden brown, add the ground paste and let in cook in medium heat till the raw smell fades.
Add the cooked beans in to the gravy and add water if its too thick, dry fenugreek, thyme,1 tbsp of tamarind paste and cook in low heat for 5 mins.
Serve hot with Indian bread.

Note: Before serving the curry add a tea spoon of lemon juice. It enhances the taste.
Cinnamon is the very first dessert I have tasted in US, and its my no.1 favorite dessert too.
It tastes best when it served warm with a loads of cream cheese frosting.. I love 'em... Cinnamon bun is originated in Sweden and named as Kanelbulle(meaning - 'Cinnamon bun') Sweden celebrates October 4th as a cinnamon bun day.
I made the cinnamon rolls using the ready mix from a leading brand, it turned out really well. I also kept only half hour waiting time for the dough to rise.

Base Ingredients:
1/2 cup Luke warm water, 1 egg, 2 cups dough mix (contains the mix of 2 cups flour and 1/8th sugar and pinch of salt), 1 tbsp active yeast.
Extra spoon of all purpose flour for kneading.
Blend egg and water , add the dough mix and yeast till it forms a dough. Use flour for kneading and to remove stickiness from hand.

Cinnamon Topping Ingredients :
1 cup brown sugar, 1 tbsp cinnamon powder, pinch salt, 2 tbs unsalted butter.

kneading is the key to get soft cinnamon rolls. Knead well till it gets non sticky in hands,
transfer the dough to lightly floured surface and roll out the kneaded dough to a rectangle.
Spread 2tbsp butter and sprinkle generously the cinnamon topping on the surface, Roll up the rectangle dough in to a tight cylinder and cut in to small slices and place in a greased pan with distant from one another. Cover with foil and let it stand for 30 mins to rise. Pre-heat the oven to 400F and cook for 17 mins.
Remove from oven and coat with cream cheese frosting or with plain icing,
Cream cheese Icing Ingredients:
1/4 cup cream cheese, 3 tbsp milk, 11/2 cups white-powder sugar.
Serve warm with a hot cup of coffee :) .. Yummm Enjoy!!
Rice - 1 cup
yellow lentil (Toor Dal) - 1/2 cup
Vegetable of your choice - 1 cup
Turmeric - 1 tbsp
Sambhar powder - 1 tbsp
Cashews- 1 tbsp
Cilantro - a bunch
Onion - 1
Mustard - 1 tsp

For- wet spices:
Coriander seeds - 1tbsp
Coconut - 3 tbsp
cinnamon - 1" inch
Cloves- 2
Tamarind paste - 2 tbsp
Cumin - 1tbsp
Red chillies - 4

Cook rice, lentil, vegetable with 5 cups of water and 1 tbsp of turmeric.
Dry fry the wet spices and ground to fine paste by adding enough water.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard, onion and fry till onion turns golden brown. Add the ground paste, sambhar powder and fry till the raw smell subsides. Add salt and pour in to the cooked rice. Gently mix well till the rice coated with all the ingredients and add tamarind paste.
Heat 1tbsp of clarified butter and fry cashews and add in to the rice.
Garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with raita.
Zucchini - 2 cups chopped
Cumin seeds - 1tbsp
Red chillies - 1
Mustard - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1tsp

Heat pan with oil, add the mustard, cumin, red chillies and turmeric.
Mix the chopped zucchini and fry for five mins without adding water.
Add salt and mix well.
Serve with Indian bread or Rice .
This is the mixture of yellow split peas, onions and spices, that are ground to coarse paste and deep fried in oil. Very simple recipe and a quite filling snack for any time of the day. These are called as 'Dhal vada' in India and 'Gateaux Piments' in Mauritius.

Split yellow peas - 1 cup (Soaked in water for 2 hours)
Onion - 1
Green chillies- 1
Red chillies- 1
Ginger - 1" inch
Fennel seeds (optional) - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1tbsp
Pepper corns - 5
Curry leaves (optional) - 10
Turmeric powder - 1tsp

Step 1.Remove a 2 tbsp split peas mix it with turmeric, curry leaves, cumin, salt and keep aside.
Step 2.Grind the remaining soaked split peas, onion, chillies, fennel seeds, pepper, ginger, to coarse by adding only 2 tbsp water.

Step 3.Mix the step 1 and 2 together, and make very small flat balls out of it.
Step4. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry, till it turns golden brown.
Step 5. Enjoy with tomato ketchup or any kind of chutney :) Yumm!!

Mauritius is well know as a vacation spot. It is truly a romantic place, natural beauty and very relaxing place as well. I had been there for couple of weeks before few years, still it stands out to be my favorite vacation spot. The best compliment to the country is the weather during the summer or atleast I enjoyed the weather in summer! I remember the quotes from Author Mark Twain : "Mauritius was made first and then the heaven was copied after Mauritius". May be its purely depends on the way you see it!

I never had a problem for Indian food when I was in Mauritius (City-Port Louis). The Mauritian Culinary contains the combination of French, Indian, Chinese and African. I was even surprised to find some road side shops which has authentic biriyani and falooda as we do in India :) The deep fried lentil cakes are also known as 'Dhal Wada' in India and they are named as 'Gateaux Piments' in Mauritius. Even though the native language is Creole, people are fluent in English (the national language) and French. But most of the Indian-Mauritians still have their roots and speaks in Hindi(Indian national language).
I must say, for the first time in my life I saw a very graceful sea (there wasn't much of a wave) and the water was so clear.

Most of the souvenir are represented in the form of a cute bird, I was so ignorant, I admit! that I don't know what that bird called as until I ask the customs officer at the airport;why this bird is so special and displayed in the form of toys in almost all the stores? He laughed at me and said its Dodo (pronounced as Do-Du) Mauritius was the only know habitat for the Dodo bird!! Hummm interesting! I bought two Dodo toys, one as key chain and other a big fur toy.
The botanical garden was so wonderful and I could not believe that I had looked at the lotus leaves which were bigger than the ears of an elephant.. huh... ears of a huge elephant. That is the uniqueness of this garden. No where in the world that carries a record of a lotus leaves bigger than this one!!Shown the pic below:

Things to Do! when you visit Mauritius:

  • Very basic thing is to enjoy the clean beach as much as you can!
  • Try the authentic food
  • Have a quick peek in the botanical garden
  • If you are interested in Diamonds, just ask your local guide they will guide you to the diamond market. I had been there its worth the visit.
  • Diving in Mauritius is a pretty cool things, Don't miss it.

  • If you are a water sports lover - So many are in the way.
  • Seven Colored Sand - You can see multi colored sand due to volcanic rocks that became ashes with time in Chamarel
  • Chamarel Waterfall - wonderfull waterfall in the village of Chamarel
  • Tamarin bay - well know for Surfing

My favorite month of the year is about to start, yes I am talking about December(Holiday time). I gotta plan for my holiday trip. See you soon with a different travel-holiday spot.

Kurma or Korma can be prepared with any types of Vegetables. I had a pack of Soy Nuggets to add in to the kurma. You can get Soy chunks in any Indian Groceri shops. Soak the soys in warm water for 2 hours before cooking.

Soy Nuggets - 1 cup (soaked in water for 2 hours)
Cauliflower - 2 cup (Big chunks)
Potato - 1 cup chopped
Peas - 1/2 cup
Lima Beans - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium size
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tbsp
Dry Methi leaves - 1 tsp (optional)

To grind:
Coconut chopped - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 15
Red chillies- 4
Fennel Seeds - 1tbsp
Cumin - 1tbsp
Poppy seeds - 1tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Pepper Corns - 10
Cinnamon - 1" inch
Cloves - 2

Make fine paste of all the 'to grind' ingredients using enough water.
Heat pan, with 1 tbsp oil, fry the lima beans for 3 mins. Remove and keep aside.
In the same pan, fry the soy-chunks for 5 mins, remove and keep aside.
Add onion in the same pan fry till it turns golden brown, add turmeric powder, coriander powder fry till the raw smells subsides.
Mix the chopped tomato, salt and potato. Fry for 2 mins.
Add the ground paste and bring to a nice boil. Mix the cauliflower, soy chunks and lima beans allow it to cook in medium flame for 7 mins.
Add the Peas and let it cook for 2 mins. (Peas only takes two mins to cook) and turn off the heat.
Garnish with Methi leaves Or Cilantro.
Serve hot with rice or roti and Enjoy!!
Tomato Korma or Thakkali Kurma (as we call it in one of the Indian languages) tastes very delicious with any type or idli or dosa.


To grind:
Coconut - 1cup
Chick peas - 1 tbsp
Cinnamon - 1" inch
Clove -2
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Pepper Corns - 1tsp
Red Chillies - 4
Cilantro - a bunch
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp

To fry:
Onion - 2 cup chopped
Tomatoes - 3 cups crushed
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Asafotida/Hing - 1 pinch (optional)
Curry leaves - 10

Grind all the mentioned (To grind) ingredients to fine paste using enough water and keep aside.
heat pan with little oil, add mustard seeds,Curry leaves, onion, hing, turmeric and fry for 5 mins. Add the chopped or crushed tomatoes and allow to boil.
Add salt, 1 cup water and the ground paste in to the boiling gravy. Let it cook in low heat for 15 mins ans turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
Serve with idli or lentil pancake or Dosa.
Paruppu Dosai is very healthy and usually prepared with two or more lentils. This is even easier than the regular dosa. There is no fermentation needed. This is served as breakfast or dinner.


To grind:
Toor dal - 1 cup
Channa Dal - 1 cup
Moong Dal - 1 cup
Red lentil - 1 cup
Urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Par Boiled Rice - 2 cups
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp

Red Chillies - 3
Ginger - 1" inch
Cumin - 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves - 10
Cilantro - 1 bunch
Asafotida - pinch
Turmeric - 1tsp
Onion chopped - 1/2 cup
Coconut finely chopped - 1 tbsp

Wash and soak the grind ingredients for 4 hours, grind to fine paste by adding red chillies, ginger and salt. keep aside.
Heat pan with oil, add cumin, curry leaves, coconut, onion, asafotida & turmeric. let it cool and add this mixture and cilantro in to the lentil paste and mix well.
Heat the flat pan and pour a spoon full of batter and make dosa.
Serve with sugar or Aviyal, Sambar.
kavuni is the name of this red rice. This is a authentic recipe from Southern part of Tamilnadu in India.
Many use the kavuni rice to make desserts.

Kavuni rice - 2cups
Sugar - 10 tbsp
Milk - 1 tbsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Water - 5 1/2 cups

Rinse and soak the rice for half hour.
In wide pan, add rice and 51/2 cups of water. Cook in medium heat, till the rice gets the texture shown in pic or till the rice gets cooked.
Mix the sugar and milk. Stir well till sugar dissolves completely.
Turn off the heat and add the grated coconut.
Serve as dessert or snack.
This is a very famous Kerala dish from South-India, prepared traditionally using shallots. It can be made with different vegetables. I used bottle gourd, goes well with rice, roti, puttu and idli, dosa.

Bottle gourd - 2 cups chopped
Baby onion/ Shallots - 1 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
Asafotida/hing - pinch
Red chillies - 4
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tbsp
Pepper corns - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds -1 tsp
Curry leaves - 10

Dry fry red chillies, coriander,gram dal, grated coconut, cumin, pepper corns. Let it cool and grind to fine paste. keep aside.
Heat pan with 1 tbsp oil, add mustard, curry leaves, asafotida, turmeric, onions, and chopped vegetables. Let it cook for 5 mins.
Add the ground paste, tamarind juice and water. Bring to boil.
Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
Sundal is a very healthy and tasty snack.

Garbanzo - 2 cups cooked
Red Chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Asafotida(Hing) - pinch
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 5

Heat oil, add mustard, cumin, hing, ginger paste, red chillies, curry leaves and salt.
Mix the cooked garbanzo and saute for a minute and serve.
Lemon rice is very simple to make. You can prepare this with the left over rice or with freshly cooked rice. Each grain should be separated, adding a spoon of ghee or oil while cooking rice can help in the separation of the grain.

Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
Basmati Rice - 3 cups cooked rice.
Cashews - 1tbsp
Peanuts -1 tbsp
Gram dhal - 1 tbsp
Red Chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 5
Cilantro - bunch
Asafotida/ Hing - Pinch
Turmeric - 1tbsp
Cumin - 1 tbsp
Mustard- 1 tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Urad Dhal - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 2

heat oil and add the mustard seeds, after it splutters add the gram(channa) dhal, hing,cumin, red chillies, urad dhal, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger, turmeric powder.
Stir for 30 seconds.
Add the 3 tbsp of lemon juice and salt.Stir for 10 seconds.
Mix the cooked rice and gently mix well to coat all the rice in turmeric.

Hint: After cooking the rice, allow the rice to cool completely, in that way each grain will stand out separately and coated nicely in turmeric.
Sometimes, I feel my day starts just to have the lettuce sandwich as my breakfast with herbal tea. This ain't no joke, I'm telling ya the fact! Seriously, its dead boring to think of having the universal standard- cereal and hormone injected milk in the morning.

I'm quite particular in having my breakfast before 8a.m, why? may be I'm having a ridiculous belief that, its gonna boost up my metabolism and keep my energy level up through out the indolent day.

Since I take lettuce bread sandwich on seven days a week, I'm having a big lens over the nutrition facts of the bread.

I love Whole Grain and Multi Grain breads. This has low GI value (GI - Glycemic Index; responsible for converting the Carbs in to Glucose in our bloodstream. The more low it dissolves in to blood, the better.) Whole grain has low GI index(50), good source of fiber, it helps in weight management and really tastes yum. Multi Grain has GI - 48, apparently it is lesser than whole grain. There are interesting varieties in grain bread like flax seed, 7-grain, 12-grain, sunflower seed, so you would never go disappointed with the taste. I prefer the 'Bakers Inn whole grain'. Trust me, I am not endorsing this product, it just has a longer expiry period than the usual ones.

If you think that you are addicted to the taste of Whole Wheat ( GI - Medium- 67) and White bread (GI - high-71), you should look atleast for Whole Grain Wheat and Whole Grain white breads instead blindly choosing plain white bread.

White bread is clearly not for my cup of tea :0) Lets eat consciously and live healthy.
Today is the 2nd day of Navrathri festival. I prepared Sweet pongal for tonights pooja.

Rice - 1 cup
Moong Dal - 1 cup
Jaggery (type of brown Sugar) - 2 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup
Clarified butter - 2 tbsp
Cashews - hand full

Cook the rice and dal together with 5 cups water.
Once the rice is cooked, add the jaggery and stir well.
Add the milk and let it cook in low heat for 2 mins.
Fry the cashews in clarified butter and mix in to the cooking rice.
Stir well for 2 min's and turn off the heat.
Serve hot or cold.