Sunday, August 25, 2013

Indo Chinese - Egg Fried Rice

Ingredients :

For the rice :

  • Basmati rice - 1 1/2  cup
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • Rice to Water Ratio - 1:1.5
  • Soak Basmati rice for 20 mins

Other Ingredients:

  • Eggs - 2 big or 3 small
  • Carrot - 1/4 cup  finely chopped
  • Beans - 1/4  cup finely chopped
  • Capsicum - 1/4 cup chopped finely
  • Cabbage - 1/4 cup finely shredded
  • Spring onions (white part) - 1/4 cup  finely chopped
  • Spring onions (green part) - 2-3 tbsp finely chopped
  • Celery - 1/2 tbsp (optional)
  • Garlic - 2 big cloves finely chopped
  • Soya sauce - 1  tsp
  • Chilli Sauce - 1  tsp
  • Green Chillies - 2-3 (optional) Incase you want to avoid green chillies, all 1.5 tsp pepper pwdr.
  • Vinegar - 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper  powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste


Wash rice , add salt and cook  with sufficient water (rice :water ratio is 1:5) in an electric cooker or pressure cooker .Once the rice is cooked, gently fluff the rice with a fork and spread it on a plate and apply 1 tsp of oil and keep aside until the rest of the ingredients are ready.

Chop all the vegetables finely and set aside. Keep in mind that the veggies have to be sauteed on medium high flame to retain the crunch and cook them partially.

 Take a pan or wok and add oil to it. Once the oil is hot, add garlic and green chilles and fry till the garlic turns light brown. Adding green chillies is optional. You can just substitute them with black pepper powder and chilli sauce. 

Then spring onion whites and carrot and  saute on medium high for 1-2 mins.

 Now add rest of the veggies - beans, capsicum and cabbage and  saute for 1-2 mins.

Then add soya sauce, vinegar, chilli sauce, pepper pwder and salt and saute on medium flame for 2 mins. Keep in mind that we already added some salt while cooking rice and add the required salt .

Now, add the rice which was resting in the plate to the veggies and mix gently. Take care while handling the rice to ensure that the rice grains dont break.

Take another pan and add a tbsp of butter. When the butter melt, add eggs and scramble and fry them. Add very little salt for the egg seasoning. Now add these scrambled eggs to the rice and veggie mixture.

Garnish with spring onions. and serve with your favorite manchurian . We enjoyed it for a lazy weekend with Gobi Manchurian as side dish :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eggless Vanilla and Chocolate Zebra Cake.

There are people who love Vanilla flavored cakes and well as Chocolate flavored cakes.  For people who love both Vanilla and chocolate flavors  together, a "Vanilla and Chocolate Zebra Striped Cake" is the perfect recipe. Kids gets excited when they see such patterns and stripes.

This recipe doesnt require any whipped creames or icing for the topping. Those simple stripes and patterns make it exciting enough.

Enjoy it with a cup of tea or coffee...Kids would surely love it with a cup of warm milk.
I was planning to make small patterns for my muffin tray for a party and used the leftover batter to bake a thin  striped cake.


  • 1.5 cups all purpose flour / maida
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp  hot water, divided ( 1 tbsp  for the chcolate batter)
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp - granulated sugar ( 1 tbsp  for the chcolate batter)
  • 1/2 cup oil 
  • 1/2 cup Indian yoghurt or sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


Lightly grease the base of a  8” or 9” round pan and dust it with plain flour and tap to remove excess flour.

In a large bowl, assemble the dry ingredients- the flour, baking powder and baking soda and sieve together to make the mixture uniform and prevent lumps in the flour mixture.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.

In another bowl put in the 1/2 cup hot water and sugar and blend with a mixer until the sugar partly melts. Quickly stir in the oil and the yogurt and mix well.

Stir in the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, add the vanilla extract and mix well using a hand mixer until you get a smooth batter, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Divide the batter into 2 halves. Keep the Vanilla flavored batter aside. In another bowl put in the cocoa powder and extra 1 tbsp water  and sugar into one half. Mix well and beat for a minute until the mixture is smooth.
The  batter is to be divided to --- 1/2 vanilla batter + 1/2 vanilla batter with cocoa

Remove half of the batter and set it aside in a bowl. Sift the cocoa powder in the remaining batter. Add  1 tbsp hot water and 1 tbsp sugar to the cocoa flavoured  batter in the mixing bowl. Mix for about 30 seconds.
 Be sure to use a sifter to avoid cocoa lumps in the batter.

To make the stripes spoon about 3 tablespoons of vanilla batter into the center of the cake pan. Next, spoon 3 tablespoons of the chocolate batter into the center of the vanilla batter. This causes the vanilla batter to spread out. Continue to alternate batters, in bulls-eye fashion until all batter is used. You will now have thin rings of each batter on the outer edges of the pan, thicker rings towards the center.Don’t worry if it’s not very neat.

Bake in the middle rack of an oven at  180C/350F. After 15 minutes lower the heat to 150C/300F and bake for 30 minutes more or until  the cake is cooked through.

 To check whether the cake is cooked or not, insert a skewer or tooth prick into the centre and it should come out clean. If the skewer is clean, turn the cake out onto a wire rack to cool before serving. If not, bake for another 4-5 mins and recheck.

Annavaram prasadam / Cracked Wheat Halwa

Annavaram Devasthanam is one of the most famous temples in Andhra Pradesh. Broken Wheat Halwa  is served as prasadam in this temple and is so much famous that it is popularly known as  "ANNAVARAM PRASADAM". It is made with the best quality jaggery and wheat of the season.

When I planned to prepare prasadam for the Satyanarayana Swamy Vratam event in the temple, “Annavaram  Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Prasadam” came in my mind. To my surprise, this idea of preparing this Annavaram  prasadam for the Satyanarayana vratam was a hit….
Annavaram prasadam has its own unique taste and flavor and can be made with minimal ingredients at home.
Lets get started with the recipe.


  • Cracked Wheat (Godhuma Rava) - 1 cup 
  • Milk - 2 cups
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Jaggery - 1 ½ cup
  • Sugar - ½ cup
  • Cashew - Handful
  • Raisins   - Handful
  • Ghee:  minimum 4 tablespoons ( the more the better :) )
  • Cardamom / Elaichi Powder : ½ tsp

Method :

Place a pan on the stove and add 1 tbsp of ghee and fry Cashew nuts  until golden brown. Add the raisins and as soon as they blow up and change color, switch off the flame and keep them aside.

Fry Broken wheat in 1 tbsp ghee in a medium flame until it turns brown. It may take around 5-8 mins.
Meanwhile , take a heavy bottomed vessel (preferably nonstick ) and add the Milk and water and  bring them to boil. Add the wheat ravva and stir continously.

Stir the wheat until it  is almost cooked until soft. The milk and water should have be absorbed by the wheat ravva at this stage.

On a low flame, add the jaggery, sugar and cardamom powder and stir continuously until all the sugar and jaggery is dissolved .

Add ghee to the mixture and stir continuously on low flame.

When the water and milk are totally absorbed , and the ghee starts leaving the edges, switch off the flame. The consistency of the prasadam should  be as shown in the picture. It should be grain and sticky by now.

Garnish with   fried cashew nuts and  raisins . Cover and close it with a lid for about 30 mins until it cools down.

Now your Annavaram Sri Satyanarayana Swamy Prasadam / Broken wheat halwa / Broken wheat pudding  is ready to serve.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Palakoora Janthikalu / Palak Sev

Ingredients :

  • Spinach - 2 cups 
  • Rice Flour - 1.5  cup
  • Chickpea Flour / Besan : 1 cup 
  • Green Chillies -  8 - 10 ( adjust acc to spice of chiili )
  • Ajwain Seeds / Vaamu - 1 tsp
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch ( optional ) 
  • Hing - a generous pinch
  • Salt to taste
  • Hot oil/ghee - 2 tbsp
  • Oil for deep frying


Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water for a few minutes and drain the excess water.  Grind the spinach. ginger and green chillies into a smooth paste and set aside.

Combine the rice flour, chickpea flour, ajwain seeds, salt, hing and 2 tablespoons of hot oil in a mixing bowl. Then add the ground spinach and mix very well.
Slowly add water little by little to make a soft dough, just soft enough that when  pressed, it should pass through easily though the holes of the Janthikalu press. Test the dough for salt before frying.

Take a small portion of dough and fill in the murukku / chakli press. 

Now lets test the oil for frying. When you drop a piece of flour, your oil is ready for frying if it rises up slowly and floats. Please keep in mind that during the entire process, the flame should be in medium and the oil shouldn't be piping hot.

Carefully press the murukku press over the hot oil. Deep fry them on a medium flame until light golden color and turn over gently to the other side and let it also cook evenly.

Use a slotted ladle to remove onto an absorbent paper and cool. Repeat the same process till the rest of the dough is done. Cool down completely and store in a airtight container.

Bangalore Vankaya Kootu / Chayote Stew

Bangalore Vankaya / Chow Chow  / Chayote  often known as  "Bangalore vankaya" in telugu is very rich in amino acids and vitamin C. Kootu basically refers to a dish made with vegetable and dal and can be eaten with an accompaniment to hot steamed  rice as well as roti. .  For this kootu, I have used Chana dal but you can also prepare this with moong dal. The same  recipe  can also be used for bottle gourd, ridge gourd and cabbage.
I used to cook chayote as an ingredient in  Majjiga pulusu  or a simple curry by just sautéing it and adding grated coconut. I got this recipe from a tamil friend of mine and after trying this,  I loved the kootu so much that now a days I hardly use Chayote any other recipe.
Here goes the recipe….


  • Bangalore Vankaya / chayote - 1 ( peeled and chopped into pieces)
  • Channa dal / Moong dal - 1/4 cup 
  •  Onion-  1 medium sized ( finely chopped)
  • Turmeric - a generous pinch 
  • Salt  - to taste

To grind

  • Coconut (freshly grated) - 1/4 cup
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies - 3-4 (adjust acc to spice of chilli)

To temper/ popu:

  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch


Cut the chayote into cubes. It is better to soak chana dal in water for half an hour before cooking. Pressure cook the chana dal, Chayote , turmeric and salt for about 2 -3 whistles . Dont make it very mushy.

Meanwhile grind the coconut,chillies,cumin seeds into a  paste.

After the pressure releases add this ground paste  to the vegetable and dal mixture and mix well. Boil them for 2-3 mins on medium flame and bring to boil.

Take a vessel for tempering. Add oil and when hot add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, chana dal, asafoetida and curry leaves followed by the finely chopped small onion and mix well.

Serve with rice or also as an accompaniment to chapathi/roti . 
My kootu in the picture isnt in a flowy consistence and is more or less like a curry...My hubby likes it that way. You can make it in a dal like consistency. Anyways, it tastes great  and makes a mild, comforting and healthy meal.

Dry Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian is a very popular Indo-Cinese fusion dish. Indo Chinese cuisine is the adaptation of Chinese seasoning and cooking techniques to suite Indian tastes. It is a very simple  and delicious appetizer and a must try for beginners.  Basically, it’s a simple two stage preparation where in the first stage cauliflower florets  dipped in seasoned corn flour batter are deep fried and the second stage involves a preparation of spicy  sauce and sauteing the deep fried florets in it. Whether it is elders or children, everyone would love this snack.  So, lets get started with the recipe…


  • 2 cups cauliflower florets, cut into bite size pieces
  • Oil to deep fry

For the batter:

  • 5 tbsp maida / plain flour
  • 3 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp pepper powder or 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • salt to taste
  • Water for mixing batter

For the sauce:

  • 1 small onion / spring onion whites – finely chopped
  • ¼  cup capsicum-  finely chopped
  • ¼ cup carrot – finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 ½  tbsp finely minced  garlic
  • ½ tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1-2  finely chopped green chillies ( adjust to taste)
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tbsp green chilli sauce
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp vinegar
  • ½ tsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste (check the sauce before adding salt)

  • ¼ cup spring onion – chopped finely to garnish


Soak and blanch the cauliflower florets in hot water for 3-4 minutes. You can also microwave them for 3-4 mins. Drain the florets and prepare the batter for coating. It is very important to drain the florets well to ensure the batter is not diluted.

In a bowl, combine corn flour, maida, rice flour , pepper, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste, chilli powder, salt, and water to make a thick paste. Dip the washed and drained florets into the batter such that its well coated. Let them marinate in the batter for 15 – 20 mins.

Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel.  Place each floret that is well coated with the batter into the hot oil. You can use a spoon to drop these in the oil to keep your hands clean. Deep fry the florets in oil on a medium flame. Turn the fried florets once to evenly fry in all sides.

Remove the fried florets and place it in a paper towel to drain the excess oil. Repeat the above steps to fry all the remaining florets

Prepare the sauce:

 Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large wok , add the chopped garlic and ginger and stir fry for a few seconds followed by  the green chillis. Fry all these on high for  few more seconds.

Add the whites of spring onions or chopped onion and fry for few seconds continuously tossing them. Add the sliced capsicum and carrot and stir fry for another 2- 3 mts.  All these vegetables should be fried on high flame by continuously toss them to avoid burning.

Add the soya sauce, chilli sauce , tomato ketchup,  vinegar and brown sugar and fry them on medium heat.

Cook for 2-3 mins. In case the sauce looks a bit thick,  add a bit of water.

 Add the deep fried cauliflower florets to the sauce and combine them well. Toss on high flame for 1-2 mts. Turn off heat and Garnish with  chopped green spring onion.

In case you are preparing this recipe for guests, you can prepare the deep fried florets and sauce well ahead. Just before your guests arrive, toss the cauliflower florets  into the sauce and fry them on high flame for 1-2 mins  to  retain the crunch of the gobi. For best results, serve it immediately.