Friday, December 31, 2010

Hosting my First Event - 'Only' Salads

I am about to complete over two years of blogging but I have never hosted any event so far in my blog.When Pari of Foodelicious approached me to host her event,I was really excited as it is my first time experience.The fact that it is a healthy event adds to the excitement.
So,here I announce my first ever event - 'ONLY' SALADS started by Pari Vasisht of Foodelicious,who has a wonderful collection of yummy recipes in her blog.I really like the passion that reflects in each and every dish she has posted.

Now coming to the details.This event has two giveaways.
1.The first giveaway is from the CSN stores for US/Canada/Germany and UK readers.Check out Pari's space for more details of the give away.
2.The second giveaway is exclusive for Indian readers from the well known Indian cook book author Tarla Dalal's 'Healthy Soups and Salads'.You can also visit her website for interesting recipes.

When pari gave me the options to choose the event I chose her Only Salad's event as I believe that it is a very healthy event and it would be a great experience for me to learn different kinds of salads.

Winters are the best time to get fresh greens and vegetables in abundance and is the best time for making tasty salad's.It is very important to include salad's in our regular diet as the greens and vegetables are used in larger proportions which helps in supplementing necessary vitamins, minerals, nutrients,dietary fibers to our body.In short,we can say 'A Salad a day keeps the doctor away'.
Salad's are very versatile and can be made with a wide variety of ingredients like whole grains, legumes, vegetables, greens,pasta,fruits,eggs,croutons and nuts.Salad's can be served as an appetizer or a main dish or a fruit salad as a dessert in a meal.One can be innovative to use the various ingredients and dressings to make a salad with attractive toppings like nuts,fruits and croutons.

This is the beautiful Logo designed by Pari for the event.

I will try posting this month various salad recipes for the event.To start up check out few salad recipes in my blog which I have posted earlier .
  1. Wheat and Jowar whole grains salad
  2. Tomato Lettuce Salad
  3. Fattoush...Lebanese Salad
  4. Moong sprouts Salad
  5. Cous Cous Salad
Rules for the event:

1. Any number of fresh entries can be sent but only 2 entries from the archive will be accepted. Archived entries to be re posted, else will not be accepted.
2. Only vegetarian entries (eggs allowed) will be accepted.
3. Use of logo is compulsory/mandatory as it helps to spread the word.
4. The entry should be linked back to this event announcement and Pari's event announcement page.
5. The winner of the book will be chosen by me using
6. The CSN winner will be chosen by Pari Vasisht from the comments, name and links left in her event announcement page.
7. Format of entry
- Name
- Blog Name
- Blog URL
- Recipe name
- Recipe link
- Pic resized to 300 pix
- Country
7. Roundup will be posted in 1st week of Feb 2011 unless any emergency situation.
8. Guest Host cannot win the giveaway.
9. Non bloggers can also participate, by sending entries by email to with or without photograph.
10. Disclaimer - CSN giveaway is only for US/Canada/UK and Germany entries and 2nd giveaway is for entries from India.

Feel free to contact me regarding the event details or any other information required.I expect your maximum support and participation in this event to make my event successful.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Coconut Choco Truffles...completely Indianized !!!!

I am back from my vacation and I hope that every one is enjoying the most joyful holiday week of the year with Christmas and New year celebrations.Even I had a wonderful holiday and got to spend good two weeks away from my regular house chores and cooking. And now coming to the description of how this Indianized truffles evolved.Before I was leaving I was on kitchen cleaning spree and was left with a small coconut.I initially thought of making the regular coconut burfi / kopra pak with it and when I was talking to my mom about this she suggested me to try coconut burfi by adding cocoa powder.I preferred to make this with jaggery instead of sugar to get the natural brown color to it and when I was making the burfi,somehow the idea of Truffles stuck in mind and I was very excited about the idea of turning the burfi to truffles.To my surprise they turned out too good,they were chewy and the bite through the cocoa powder takes the regular coconut balls to a completely different level.On the whole I really enjoyed making them and packing them in wrappers and these Indianized truffles can also be given as a christmas/festive gift and is apt for the season now.

2 cups heaped grated fresh coconut
1 1/2 cups Jaggery or Sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

3 tbsp chopped cashewnuts
3 tbsp ghee

for dusting:
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp icing sugar

  • Grate the coconut carefully,scrape only the white part leaving the brown edges behind.
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small pan and add chopped cashew nuts and fry until light brown in color.
  • Place Jaggery with 1-2 tbsps of water/milk in a thick wide bottomed vessel on medium heat and let it come to boil.Let the jaggery dissolves completed and blends well with milk and forms syrupy liquid(to reach one-string consistency).The process of achieving string consistency syrup liquid is important in order to get a tasty sticky truffle.
  • Now add grated coconut,fried cashewnuts,elaichi powder and 3 tbsp ghee to it and stir well.Let it cook by stirring it constantly until the edges of the mixture in the vessel is bit dry and flaky.It approximately takes 10-12 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and add cocoa powder and mix quickly and let it cool down a bit.
  • Mean while mix cocoa powder and icing sugar and sieve it onto a wide plate to get a uniform mixture.
  • Now take a small portion of the coconut mixture and make a ball out of it.Repeat the process to make all the remaining balls.
  • Roll them in the cocoa powder mixture and place them on a dry plate and let them set for 30 mins to one hour.
  • Now pack them in colorful chocolate wrappers,I packed mine in small pieces of aluminium foil as I did not have chocolate wrappers at that time.
Store it in air-tight containers and eat them at any time of the day as a simple sweet/dessert/snack. They stay good for 4-5 days outside and upto 15-20 days when refrigerated.I am sure that they will not last that longer,they are surely irresistible and would be over within 2 days.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dum Aloo Chutney Wale

I have already posted a recipe for Dum Aloo here,but this version is quite different from the regular Dum Aloo recipe.The addition of ground mixture of greens,sourness from the beaten yogurt,richness from magaz paste,dum cooking takes the taste of this curry to a different level and is really a great party recipe.One should follow some critical tips while cooking the gravies based with curds or milk,if we do not follow them we will end up having curdle mixture.The entire process of cooking this gravy is done without closing the lid and cooked over a low flame in order to retain the green color of the gravy.Try it once and I am sure you will definitely love it.

(Recipe Source : Nita Mehta)

10-12 baby potatoes or 3 big potatoes,cut into 4 pieces

for chutney:
1 cup fresh coriander
1/2 small raw mango or 1/2 tsp amchur powder
1/2 cup mint
4 green chillies
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar

for gravy:
4 tbsp oil(I used just 1 tbsp oil)
2 onions,ground to paste
1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 cup yogurt beaten,mix with 1 1/2 cups of water
2 tbsp cashewnuts or 1/4 cup magaz seeds(watermelon seeds)
1 tomato,finely chopped
1/2 tsp Garam masala
salt to taste

  • Wash potatoes and pressure cook for 1 whistle and peel them.The original recipe asked for deep frying the peeled potatoes with out cooking them.But I shallow fried them in a spoon of oil until brown by turning them over in between.
  • Grind the ingredients mentioned under the section chutney to a smooth paste.
  • As I used magaz(watermelon) seeds,I ground them with 4 cashew nuts to a smooth paste using little water.The original recipe called for only cashew nuts but I like the special taste of magaz seeds in the gravy.
  • Beat yogurt properly and mix with the ground magaz/cashew nut paste and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai,add onion paste and fry until the oil leaves the masala.
  • Add jeera and stir fry for a minute.
  • Add ground chutney and red chili powder and stir for a minute.
  • Remove the kadai from fire and keep it aside for a minute.Add yogurt-cashew nut/magaz mixture and stir it and keep it back on the flame.Stir continuously and cook over a low flame till it comes to boil.This step is critical,if you do not do it carefully you will end up having curdle mixture.Do not cover kadai while cooking this.
  • Now add the fried potatoes and salt.Simmer uncovered for 5 mins until oil leaves the masala and gravy thickens.
  • Add finely chopped tomatoes and garam masala and stir well and bring to a boil.
Serve it hot with Roti/Naan/Kulcha/Jeera rice/Biriyani.

Do not cover the kadai with lid while cooking the gravy as it changes the lovely green color of the gravy.

This is again going to participate in Sara's "Only Greens" event started by Pari of Foodelicious.
I am going on a vacation and would be away for two weeks from blogging.I will try peeping into your blogs whenever I get a chance,but I apologize as I would not be commenting to your wonderful posts.I will see you guys only after christmas.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Makai Palak Paneer...Grilled Corn Palak Paneer

I can't stop myself to buy when I see fresh corn in the market.I love to grill it and eat it hot and spicy with fresh lime and masala smeared all over it.One corn was left over in the refrigerator untouched after having a over dose of grilled corn.So,thought of using it in a curry and as I had spinach in hand thought of mixing them both.I actually grilled the corn and marinated it with lemon and salt and the idea actually worked,it gave a nice taste to the corn in the curry.As I had only one corn I even added paneer to make it sufficient for both of us.The crunchiness and tangyness of corn in each and every bite is really amazing and I just loved it.

250 gms Homemade Paneer (or store bought),cubed
1 regular fresh corn
1 big bunch spinach
1 big onion,diced
1 medium onion,finely chopped
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
4-5 green chillies
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp roasted cumin powder
1 tsp Garam masala
a pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp kasuri methi(optional)
1/2 tsp amchur powder
2 tbsp fresh cream(or 1/4 cup milk)
salt to taste
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp oil

  • Boil water in a big pot and add cleaned spinach leaves and whole green chillies and blanch for a minute.Add a pinch of sugar while blanching it in order to retain the green color of spinach.Strain the spinach(save the water to dilute the gravy later) and quickly run the blanched spinach under running water and squeeze out extra water.You can even saute the spinach but you should be really quick in doing it otherwise you will loose the beautiful green color of spinach.
  • In that hot water(in which we blanched the spinach)soak the paneer cubes until its uasge.This way the paneer will be soft.
  • Grill the corn on the flame until light black spots appear all over the corn.Quickly rub it with lemon wedge dozed with salt all over the corn and let it marinate for some time,aproximately 10 mins.Take a knife and cut the corn to get the corn kernels.
  • Grind diced onion with ginger and garlic paste and keep it aside.
  • Grind the spinach and green chillies to a fine paste.Open the mixer and keep it,otherwise it will change the color.
  • Heat oil and butter in a big kadai and crackle cumin seeds,add finely chopped onions and fry until translucent and add ground onion mixture and fry well.
  • Add coriander powder,cumin powder,amchur powder,slightly crushed kasuri methi and mix well.
  • Add spinach puree and cook over medium flame.Add salt,grilled corn kernels,paneer cubes(slightly squeeze them after removing from hot water) and garam masala and mix well.If required add the strained water to dilute the gravy to get the required consistency and ook for 2-3 minutes.Do not cover the kadai while you are cooking,otherwise you will loose the green color of spinach.
  • Add cream(or milk) and mix well and cook for a couple of minutes and remove it from stove.Add lemon juice and give a quick stir.
Serve it hot with roti/kulcha/naan/jeera rice.

  • You can just make this with grilled corns and call it Grilled Corn Palak or you can use only paneer and call it Palak Paneer as the recipe is almost same for both of them.
  • I do not add tomato in any of the spinach based dishes as I some how believe the combination of spinach and tomato leads to the formation of stones in kidney.So I avoid tomato and use instead amchur powder or lemon juice for the sourness.
This is going to participate in Sara's "Only Greens" event started by Pari of Foodelicious.

Check out other Paneer recipes in my blog:
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