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    January 16th, 2011MammuDesserts, Indian Sweets

    Freshly harvested rice which is also the first rice of the year is used to cook Payasam, which gives extra softness to the rice when cooked. You can also use regular rice by soaking it in water for few hours. Spilling over some milk while the milk boils, make a good start for the year indicating wealth and joy will be spilled over through out the year.

    Preparation Time: 20 Minutes
    Servings: 4

    1. Rice – 1 cup
    2. Jaggery/Bellam – 1 1/2 cup
    3. Chana dal – 2 Tablespoons
    4. Milk – 2 Cups
    5. Cardamoms – 4, Separate the seeds and finely crush.
    6. Cashews and Raisins – 2 Tablespoons each, fried in ghee.

    Cooking Procedure:

    1. Wash and soak rice in water for 1-2 hours.

    2. Add 2 cups of water to 2 cups of milk and bring it to boil under medium heat. Drain any excess water from rice and add it boiling milk. Add the soaked chana dal. Close the lid and keep checking until the rice is fully cooked.

    3. Reduce heat to low flame and add the crushed jaggery to the cooked rice. Close the lid and let the jaggery melt in the rice and cook for 10 more minutes. Keep mixing in between so that rice won’t stick in the bottom. Add the cardamom powder, cashews, raisins and turn off heat.

    Serve hot with ghee and plain dal.

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    December 31st, 2010MammuRice

    Preparation Time: 40 Minutes
    Servings: 4

    1. Rice – 3 cups
    2. Tamarind Paste – 3-4 table spoons
    3. Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    4. Curry leaves – 10, pinch them to halves with hand
    5. Oil – 1 table spoon
    6. Salt – 3-4 tea spoons
    7. Green chillies – 4, split into halves
    8. Hing – 1/4 teaspoon

    For tempering/talimpu:

    1. Peanuts – 1/2 cup
    2. Urad dal – 2 table spoons
    3. Chana Dal – 2 table spoons
    4. Red chillies – 4 (Optional)
    5. Cumin seeds – 1/2 table spoon
    6. Mustard seeds – 1/2 table spoon
    7. Oil – 2 table spoons

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Cook the rice and transfer it into a big wide bowl, so that its easy to mix. Keep separating the rice while you transfer it, to avoid any lumps.

    2. Add turmeric powder, 1 table spoon oil, salt, curry leaves (raw, so that they spreads their original smell) to the rice and mix thoroughly. Now add tamarind paste to the rice and mix well. Adjust salt and tamarind paste as per taste.

    3. Heat 2 table spoons oil in a small pan, and add all the ingredients for tempering. While they are half done, add the green chilies and let them fry. Add hing and turn off the heat. Add this mixture to the prepared rice and mix thoroughly.

    Tip: You can also fry some salted chilies (Uppu mirapakaya) separately and serve with pulihora. They make a great combination. Yogurt also makes a great combination with pulihora.

  • Idly

    October 16th, 2010MammuTiffins/Breakfast

    Preparing Idlys is very easy but need to plan ahead. It usually takes 24 hours for the whole process to complete and the batter will be ready to use. You can prepare the batter once, refrigerate and make idlys multiple times. I usually prepares the batter for 2 weeks and makes them 3-4 times.
    Idly is simple and very light breakfast. You can serve Idlys in a different combinations with peanut chutney, coconut chutney, karam podi, sambar. I also love eating them with sugar and Ghee 🙂


    1. Urad Dal – 1 cup
    2. Idly rava – 2 cups
    3. Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoon

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Soak separately urad dal and idly rava over night. Rinse them 3-4 times with cold water. Grind the urad dal to fine batter adding around 3/4 cup of water, and transfer to a big bowl that fits double the quantity of the batter, to allow it for fermentation with out overflowing. Squeeze out all the water in the idly rava and add to the urad dal batter. Add salt, mix the batter thoroughly and let it ferment for 12-24 hours.

    2. When you are ready to cook them, grease the idly plates with very little oil, and fill them with the fermented batter. Place these idly plates in a pressure cooker, cook under low flame for 10 mins, medium flame for 5 minutes and again simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off the heat, let the pressure go away from the cooker and carefully remove the plates out. Using a spoon, separate the idlys from the plates and serve immediately.

    Tip: While grinding the urad dal, don’t over heat the batter. Give it a pause and grind again. But make sure to grind to very smooth, so that Idlys will be soft. Batter ferments well in warm weather, so if its cold outside preheat and store it inside your oven overnight. Make sure to leave enough space in the bowl for the batter to expand while fermenting, or else it will over flow.

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    September 25th, 2010MammuSnacks

    Crispy pakodas is a famous snack found in street side stalls from many years even before chat stalls appeared in Andhra. The key to these pakodas is adding as little water as possible, just enough to coat the onions.

    Preperation Time: 30 Minutes

    Servings: 3-4


    1. Besan Flour / sanagapindi – 1 Cup
    2. Onions – 1 cup, finely sliced length wise
    3. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    4. Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon, lighly crushed
    5. Masala Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    6. Green chilies – 3, finely chopped
    7. Baking Powder – 1/2 teaspoon (or a pinch of baking soda)
    8. Oil – to deep fry

    Cooking Procedure

    1. In a wide bowl swift together besan flour, salt, baking powder and coriader seeds and keep aside.
    2. Heat oil to deep fry. When the oil is getting heated, mix the chopped onions with the besan flour fix. Sprinkle very little water on the flour, and mix so that the flour sticks to onions and its not powdery any more. Donot add more water as it gets soggy and wont turn crispy. (Not more than 3-4 table spoons for 1 cup of flour)
    3. Slowly add the coated onions to oil and fry till golden brown. Keep mixing in between so that they will be evenly fried.

    Drain on a paper towel and serve hot with ketchup or hot sauce.

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    September 13th, 2010MammuTiffins/Breakfast

    Rava dosas do not need any prior preperation like other dosas. This is one quick option when ever we crave for dosa but dont have the batter ready at home. You can customize these crispy dosas by topping with onions, chilies, ginger etc while its cooked.

    Preperation Time: 15 Minutes

    Serves: 8-10 Dosas

    1. Sooji/Semolina/Upma rava – 1 cup
    2. Rice flour – 1/2 cup
    3. All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
    4. Salt – 2 teaspoons / Adjust to taste
    5. Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
    7. Green chilies – 2, chopped
    6. Oil – To drizzle on dosas

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Mix together sooji, rice flour, all purpose flour, salt, cumin seeds, green chilies with water to make it a very thin batter, should look like butter milk consistency.(I added around 4 1/2 cups water)

    2. Heat a tawa/flat pan on medium-high heat. When its hot enough, using your hand sprinkle the batter on the tawa, so that it spreads evenly over the tawa.

    3. Drizzle some oil over the dosa, let it cook, gently scrape it and fold. We do not turn it cook on the other side for rava dosa.

    Serve instantly with some chutney or sambar.

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    September 9th, 2010MammuRice

    When ever I am running out of vegetables, I think of cooking some thing with rice itself like pulao, kichidi, tomato bath etc. I opts in Tomato Bath when ever I feel like eating simply with out a lot of spices in it. Made this for dinner last night and loved it.

    You can also make this on stove using a regular pan, but I feel its more easy for me cooking directly in a rice cooker, so that it leaves me just one vessel to wash 🙂

    Preparation Time: 30 Minutes
    Servings: 2

    1. Rice – 1 rice cooker cup
    2. Tomato – 1 large(1 Cup chopped)
    3. Onion – 1/2 small (1/3 cup chopped)
    4. Green chilies – 2, Split
    5. Cilantro – 2 tablespoons chopped
    6. Cloves/Lavang – 2
    7. Dhaniya powder – 3/4 teaspoon
    8. Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
    9. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    10. Curry leaves – 5
    11. Oil – 1 tablespoon

    For tempering/talimpu – Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon each and few curry leaves

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Add oil to rice cooker pan, and turn it on in cook mode. Close the lid and let the oil heat for 2 minutes. Open lid, add tempering/talimpu ingredients, let them splutter. Add onions, ginger garlic paste, saute for minute. Add Tomatoes, green chilies, mix thoroughly, close the lid. Let them cook for 6-7 minutes until soft.

    2. Add 1 1/2 cup of water (adjust as per your rice), dhaniya powder, salt, close the lid and let the water bubble. Now drain the soaked rice and add it to boiling water. Stir it, close the lid and let it cook like regular rice.

    Garnish with Coriander and serve hot with raita.

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    September 7th, 2010MammuVegetarian

    Preperation Time: 30 Minutes
    Servings: 4

    1. Round Cucumber/Dosakai – 2 cups, chopped to 1 inch pieces
    2. Potato – 1 Cup, peeled and sliced to 1/2 inch pieces
    3. Tomato – 1/2 cup
    4. Green chilies – 3, halved
    5. Onion – 1/2 cup, chopped
    6. Oil – 2 tablespoons
    7. Pinch of turmeric

    For tempering/talimpu: cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chana dal – 1/4 teaspoon each and few curry leaves

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Heat oil in a deep, narrow pan, add ingredients for tempering one by one and let them splutter.

    2. Add onion, tomato, green chilies, turmeric, close the lid and let them cook till soft. Now add potato pieces, mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes till they are half cooked. Now add the cucumber, salt mix thoroughly, close the lid and cook for another 10 minutes. Keep checking in between and add very few water if its sticking to the pan.

    Serve hot with white rice or roti.

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    September 3rd, 2010MammuNon Vegetarian, Rice

    This is the first time I cooked prawns in Biryani and it turned out yummy!! Prawns get a very unique flavor when cooked with spices and these flavors incorporated with basmati rice, gave it a nice aroma and taste.

    This preparation is similar to chicken dum biryani, with slight variation in ingredients.

    Preparation Time: 45 Minutes
    Servings: 2-3

    For marinating prawns:
    1. Prawns – 1 pound
    2. Ginger garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
    3. Red chili powder – 2 teaspoons
    4. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    5. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon

    For cooking prawns:
    1. Cloves – 4
    2. Bay Leaves – 2
    3. Mace – 2
    4. Black cardamons – 1
    5. Green cardamoms – 2
    6. Garam Masala powder – 1 teaspoons
    7. Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    8. Onions – 1/2 cup thinly sliced length wise.
    9. Mint – 2 tables spoons, chopped
    10. Green chilies – 3, split into halves
    11. Oil – 4-5 tablespoons

    For cooking rice:
    Basmati rice – 2 cups (rice cooker cups)
    Cloves – 2
    Bay leaves – 2
    black cardamon – 1
    green cardamoms – 2
    Salt – To taste
    Oil – 1 tablespoon

    Also, a pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 tablespoon milk and some chopped cilantro.

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Wash thoroughly prawns, drain all the water and keep them in a bowl. Add the the ingredients under marinating prawns and mix well. Let it sit for 15-30 minutes.

    2. Cooking prawns: Heat oil in a wide pan, add cloves, bay leaves, mace, black cardamoms, green cardamoms and saute for 1 minute. Now add bay leaves, saute for 30 seconds, add onion and fry them till golden brown. Now add green chilies, mint and fry for 1 more minute. Now add the marinated prawns and fry until they are half done. Turn off heat, and let it sit in the same pan. we are going to add cooked rice on top of this.

    3. Bring to boil 3 liters of water in a deep pan. When the water is bubbling, add all the ingredients under ‘cooking rice’ except rice. Adjust salt so that water is is salty enough for rice. Now add soaked rice and cook until rice is 90% cooked.

    4. Drain all the water from rice, and add it on top of cooked prawns immediately. Spread evenly, drizzle the saffron water over rice, add cilantro and cover the pan with a thick cloth. Place a tight lid, so that steam wont go outside and the flavors from prawns blend into rice. Cook for 10-12 minutes under medium heat and turn off heat.

    Mix thoroughly and serve hot with some lemon, onion and raita.

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    September 1st, 2010MammuVegetarian

    Many of us have tough time when it comes to eating greens, especially for kids. I like it when its sauteed and if I do not smell it green anymore(coconut-chili paste makes wonders in this recipe). I was surprised when I saw Amarnath leaves in mexican markets, as I thought they are available only in India and then came to know that this is called ‘Chinese Spinach’.

    I usually cook one bunch of Amarnath leaves for either dinner or lunch and make sure I dont have any leftovers. First thing it tastes good while its hot, and second this its not recommended to reheat, as they have high nitrate levels.


    1. Totakura/Amaranth Leaves – 1 Bunch
    2. Onion – 1/2 medium sized (1/2 cup chopped)
    3. Dry coconut powder – 2 tablespoons
    4. Garlic Cloves – 3
    5. Green Chilies – 3-4
    6. Oil – 2 tablespoons
    7. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon

    For tempering/talimpu – Cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon each.

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Chop amaranth leaves along with tender stalks, wash and drain them. Grind together coconut powder, garlic, green chilies, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and keep aside.

    2. Heat oil in a pan, add tempering/talimpu ingredients, let them splutter. Now add onion, cook for 2-3 minutes till soft. Add Amarnath leaves and let them cook for 3 minutes.

    3. By this time, amarnath leaves will start shrinking their size and will be able to toss them in the pan. Add chili-coconut paste, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix thoroughly. Close the lid, cook for about 12-14 minutes till the leaves are cooked completely. Open the lid, saute for 2-3 minutes to let water evaporate if any and turn off the heat.

    Serve this healthy delicious dish with roti or chapati.

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    August 30th, 2010MammuAppetizers, Indo-Chinese


    1. Cauliflower/Gobi – 1 Medium sized
    2. Spring onions – 1 bunch, finely chopped, keep the whites and greens separate.
    3. Garlic Cloves – 6, peel and chop into 4 pieces each.
    4. Oil – To deep fry
    5. Salt – A Pinch

    For coating cauliflower:
    1. Corn Flour – 4 tablespoons
    2. All purpose flour/Maida – 3 table spoons
    3. Rice flour – 1 tablespoon
    4. Chili garlic sauce – 1 teaspoon
    5. Ginger garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
    6. Salt – 1 teaspoon

    Whisk together the following sauces in a bowl:
    1. ketchup – 3 tablespoons
    2. Soy Sauce – 4 tablespoons
    3. Maggi chili sauce – 2 tablespoons

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Separate cauliflower florets, wash with warm water and keep aside. Mix together all the ingredients listed under ‘coating cauliflower’ with 3/4 cup of water. This batter should be a little thicker than dosa batter consistency.

    2. Heat oil in a pan to deep fry, dip cauliflower florets in the batter and add them to oil one by one till the pan is filled with gobi, don’t overload. Fry until they turn to golden brown, repeat the same for remaining florets. Drain on a kitchen paper.

    3. In a wide bottom pan heat 1/2 tablespoons of oil. Add the chopped garlic, saute for 1 minute, transfer in to a plate and keep them aside. In the same pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, add chopped spring onion whites, pinch of salt and saute for 1 minute. Add sauce mix and cook for 1 minute. Now add fried gobi, mix thoroughly for 2 minutes so that the sauces are evenly coated to the cauliflower. Turn off the heat.

    4. Garnish with sauteed garlic, spring onion greens and serve instantly.

  • scissors
    August 27th, 2010MammuTiffins/Breakfast

    This is one of my favourite breakfast item since childhood. For special occasions or when we have guests, this dish always come first in the menu. Olden days this is considered as a rich dish, both in nutrition and cost wise. I tried adding dill leaves to regular garelu recipe from my mom and they turned out really yummy with a nice flavor.

    Preperation Time: 40 Minutes
    Serves: Makes 12 Vadas

    1. Urad Dal – 1 Cup – Soaked in water over night.
    2. Chopped Dill leaves – 1/3 cup
    3. Chopped onion – 1/3 cup for vada and 1/4 cup for grinding.
    4. Chopped Ginger – 2 table spoons
    5. Green Chilies – 5, Finely chopped
    5. Water – 1/2 cup
    6. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
    7. Oil – to deep fry

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Wash urad dal 3-4 times thoroughly with water. Drain all the water from urad dal, add 1/4 cup chopped onions and mix well. Grind to a coarse paste in small batches adding very little water(Do not add more than 1/2 cup water for the quantity in this recipe). Do not make it too smooth, vadas with get a nice texture if you can see small pieces of urad dal.

    2. Transfer to a bowl, add ginger, green chilies, dill leaves, salt and mix well.

    3. Heat oil in to deep fry vadas. Scoop about 3 table spoons of vada batter, make a round ball and place on a plastic paper, or wet cloth. Gently press with your fingers to make like a flat cookie, and make a hole in the center. Gently flip the vada on to your palm and slowly dip it in oil. Add about 4-5 vadas in a batch and deep fry till golden brown.

    Serve instantly with Peanut or ginger chutney.

  • scissors
    August 26th, 2010MammuSandwiches

    When ever I have any type of bread left at home, I make these sandwiches and wraps up my dinner quickly. With left over tikki mixture, I make more tikkis next day and that serves my evening snack too.

    Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

    Serves: Makes 6-8 tikkis


    For Tikki:

    1. Potato – 1 medium sized
    2. Onions – 3 tablespoons chopped
    3. Green peas – 1/2 Cup, soaked in water for 1-2 hours
    4. Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
    5. Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon
    6. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    7. Oil – 2-3 tablespoons

    For sandwich:

    1. Lettuce
    2. Tomato Round slices
    3. Avocado – 1, Sliced – optional
    4. Onion Slices
    5. Ketch up

    Cooking Procedure

    Preparing Tikki:

    1. Cook together potatoes and green peas in pressure cooker. Let it cool and peel the potato. In a bowl, smash together potato and green peas with hand or a spatula. Don’t add any water or grind it, else it will become soggy.

    2. Add the remaining ingredients for preparing tikki, mix well. Heat a non stick pan/tawa/griddle on medium heat and drizzle some oil on it. Scoop tikki mixture, place on plastic sheet and press to desired shape (round or square depending on your bread).

    3. Gently flip them on to your palm and place on pan. Shallow fry till golden brown, flip over, drizzle some more oil and fry on the other side also. Place as many tikkis you can fit on the pan, leaving some space to flip them over, in this way you can prepare tikkis faster.

    Arranging Sandwich:

    1. Gently warm the buns on a pan, not more than 30 seconds. Arrange lettuce, tikkis, tomato, onions, avocado on base side of bun and squeeze over some ketchup. Lightly spread mayonnaise on the top half of bun and keep it on top the arrangement.

    More Ideas: For sandwich you can add other vegetables like cumber, zucchini etc. You can also add a slice of cheese if you like to. Onion, tomato slices can be lightly grilled on the pan along with tikkis, if you don’t like eating them raw.

    You can use any type of bread, I prefer to use hamburger buns or garlic bread.

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    August 24th, 2010MammuVegetarian

    For those who dont like bitter taste of Karela, this recipe takes out the bitterness and gives a sweet and spicy taste. I like to eat this with mudda pappu/plain dal and ghee or pappucharu.


    1. Karela – 4, cut into thin circles (about 3 cups).
    2. Chopped onions – 1 cup
    3. Red chili powder – 2 tablespoons
    4. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    5. Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
    6. Garlic Cloves – 3
    7. Grated Jaggery – 1 tablespoon, Optional (You can substitute with sugar)
    8. Oil – 4 tablespoons
    9. Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
    10. Curry leaves – 10-15

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Grind together red chili powder, garlic, 3/4 teaspoon salt and keep aside.

    2. Heat oil in a wide bottom pan, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, let them splutter. Now add sliced karela pieces, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, turmeric and saute for 10 minutes under medium heat. Karela starts changing the color by this time. Now add the chopped onions and fry for another 10-15 minutes till karela pieces turn dark golden brown in color. Keep checking in between so that they wont turn black.

    3. Now add the red chili, garlic powder, mix well for about 1 minute. Add the jaggery, cook for 1 more minute and turnoff heat.

    Note: You can skip adding jaggery if you don’t like the dish to have some sweet touch.

  • scissors
    August 22nd, 2010MammuDesserts, Indian Sweets


    1. Sooji/Semolina/Upma rava (coarse) – 1 cup
    2. Sugar – 1 1/4 cup (Add little more if you like more sweet)
    3. Ghee – 1/2 cup
    4. Chopped almonds, cashews – 1 tablespoon each
    5. Raisins – 1 tablespoon
    6. Cardamoms – 4, Powdered
    7. Saffron/Orange food color – A Pinch

    Cooking Procedure

    1. In a wide pan, heat about 2 tablespoons of ghee. Simmer heat, roast cashews, almonds, raisins. Transfer to a plate. In the same pan, add another 1 tablespoon of oil, let it heat, add sooji, roast by turning it over and over under medium heat till the aroma comes out. Transfer roasted sooji to a bowl and keep aside.

    2. In the same pan add sugar to 2 1/2 cups of water, stir and bring it to boil. Add cardamom powder, saffron/color to the water and stir. Simmer heat, slowly add sooji and keep stirring thoroughly while the sooji is added to make sure there are no lumps formed. Once you add all the sooji, add remaining ghee, stir continuously until the ghee is fully incorporated (takes about 10-15 minutes). Turn off heat.

    3. Add roasted nuts, raisins to the Halwa. This can be served cold or hot.

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    August 20th, 2010MammuNon Vegetarian, Rice

    There are many versions of Hyderabadi biryani and this is one of the easiest recipes I found. I been following this recipe from over 2 years and my family love this. I felt the chicken is more tasty if marinated over night, and home fried onions adds special taste to the dish.

    Each ingredient contributes its own taste and flavor to the dish, so I suggest you to add all these ingredients though it looks like a big list 🙂


    For Biryani:
    1. Basmati Rice – 4 Rice cooker cups (I measure rice with rice cooker cups and rest with US standard cups)
    2. Chicken – 2 pounds/1kg, with or without bones cut into medium sized pieces
    3. Oil – 1 tablespoon
    4. Salt – 2 tablespoon
    5. Cardamoms – 2
    6. Star anise -1
    7. Food color/Saffron – Soak in 1 tablespoon of water.

    For marination:
    1. Cloves/Lavang – 6
    2. Cinnamon/Dalchini – 1 inch piece
    3. Cardamom/Elachi – 4
    4. Star Anise – 2
    5. Black Cardamon – 2
    6. Bay leaves – 5-6
    7. Black peppers – 20
    8. Javitri/Mace – 2
    9. Shaji Jeera/Black Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
    10. Yogurt/Curd – 1 1/2 Cup
    11. Green chilies – 2, Split
    12. Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
    13. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    14. Mint – 1 cup, chopped
    15. Cilantro – 1 cup, chopped
    16. Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons
    17. Turmeric – 1/2 teaspoon
    18. Ginger Garlic paste – 2 tablespoons
    19. Oil – 2 teaspoons

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Wash chicken pieces and drain completely. Make small slits into the chicken pieces with knife, in this way the spices incorporates well into the chicken. Add salt, lemon juice, turmeric and leave for 10 minutes. Add rest of the ingredients for marination and refrigerate overnight, or at least 3-4 hours.

    2. Rinse the rice and soak it in water for 30 minutes. In a heavy deep pan boil about 2 liters of water. Let the water bubble, add salt, cardamoms, star anise, oil to the boiling water and cook for 1 more minute. Now add rice and cook for just 5-6 minutes under medium-high heat(7 out 10 flame setting).

    3. Drain the rice immediately. In a different pan add the chicken pieces, spread them flat and add the rice on top of the chicken pieces. Spread rice in the pan, pour saffron water, so that it spreads on some of the rice. Cover with a cloth and keep a plate or some heavy item on top so that the flavor wont go away, and cook for 10 minutes under medium heat(5 out of 10 heat setting) , 10 minutes under high heat(7 out of 10 heat setting) and again 10 minutes under medium heat(30 minutes total).

    4. Transfer the rice and chicken pieces into a wide bowl and mix them together.

    Garnish with some onions, lemon and serve hot with sherwa and raita.

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    August 17th, 2010MammuCakes & Cookies, Desserts

    I have been seeing this cake from a while in many blogs, websites and thought of giving it a try. I tried a bunch of recipes with little tweaks and found this one more tasty.

    Cooking Time: 1 Hour

    Servings: Makes a 9 inch cake, serves 8-10


    1. All purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups
    2. Eggs – 4
    3. Butter at room temperature – 1 cup (You can substitute with oil also)
    4. Sugar – 1 1/2 cup
    5. Vanilla Essence – 1/3 teaspoon
    6. Baking Powder – 1 table spoon (you can substitute with 1 teaspoon baking soda)
    7. Dark cocoa powder – 2 table spoons (I used Hershey’s brand)
    8. Whole Milk – 1 Cup

    Cooking Procedure

    1. In a large bowl, mix together eggs, sugar and beat with a blender until its creamy. Add milk, oil and continue beating until well blended.

    2. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, vanilla powder and baking powder. Slowly add this flour mixture to the eggs-sugar mixture and beat just until the batter is smooth and the flour is completely mixed.

    3. Divide the mixture into 2 equal portions. Leave one portion like it is and add cocoa powder to the second portion and beat until the cocoa powder is fully incorporated. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Grease baking pan with some melted butter.

    4. This is the most important step: Assembling the cake batter in baking pan. Add 3 tablespoons of plain batter into the middle of the baking pan. Then add 3 tablespoons of cocoa batter and pour it in the center on top of the plain batter (added pictures for this step). Repeat this until the batter is all done, do not stop and wait for the previous batter to spread, keep going.

    5. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes. Do not disturb the cake while its baking, don’t open the over door at least the first 20 minutes or the cake will shrink and will not rise. To check if the cake is ready, insert a toothpick into the center. It should come out clean when ready. Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.

    Tip: Do not spread the batter or move the pan to distribute the mixture. It will spread by itself and fill the pan slowly.

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    August 15th, 2010MammuTiffins/Breakfast

    I tried to find ragi semiya in Indian stores here in LA, but no luck. So I tried this version of adding ragi flour to regular semiya and it turned out good. Steam cooking ragi flour is the key concept in this preparation. My friend Pavani told me this secret of steam cooking ragi flour, so that all the nutrition is preserved in the dish.

    Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

    Servings: 3-4


    1. Semiya – 2 Cups
    2. Ragi Flour – 4 tablespoons
    3. Peanuts – 1/2 Cup
    4. Red chili powder – 1 teaspoon
    5. Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoon
    6. Ginger – 1 Inch piece, finely chopped
    7. Green chilies – 2, finely chopped
    8. Onion – 1 cup finely chopped
    9. Oil – 2 tablespoons
    10. Lemon – 1 small
    11. Turmeric – A pinch
    12. Chopped Coriander – 2 table spoons

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Dry roast peanuts and let them cool. Grind together peanuts, red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt to a coarse powder, keep it aside. (Don’t make it too powdery as it sticks to the mouth when added with semiya).

    2. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 6 cups of water and bring to boil. While the water is boiling, heat the oil in a separate pan, add ginger, chilies and saute for 30 seconds. Add onions, turmeric and saute for 6-7 minutes. While the onions are getting cooked, add the semiya to the boiled water and cook for 3 minutes under medium heat. Drain semiya and add this to cooked onions immediately and mix well.

    3. Add ragi flour on top the semiya as shown in picture below, sprinkle some water on the ragi flour, don’t mix it, let it sit there, close the lid, simmer the heat and let it cook for 5 minutes. Ragi flour will be steamed cooked. Now add the peanut powder, mix gently if there any lumps, add coriander and turnoff the heat.

    Squeeze some lemon and serve instantly.

    Tip: Don’t cook the semiya for more than 3 minutes, or until just soft, else semiya will become soggy.

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    August 13th, 2010MammuAppetizers, Snacks

    This is one quick and easy snack snack, which will be ready in few minutes with few ingredients. Rain, pakodas, cup of tea…..I love this combination. I always make some extra pakodas to cook pakoda curry, my husband loves that curry. I will post the recipe for pakoda curry soon.

    Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

    Servings: 4


    1. Besan Flour – 2 cups
    2. Spring Onions – 4 stems, cut into 1 inch pieces
    3. Onion – 1/2, sliced length wise, 2 inch long
    4. Red chili powder – 2 teaspoons
    5. Green chilies – 2, finely chopped
    6. Ajwain/Vamu/carom seeds powder – 1 teaspoon
    7. Salt – 1 1/2 teaspoons, adjust to taste
    6. Oil – To deep fry


    1. Mix together besan flour, ajwain powder, salt, spring onion and onions. Add about 1 1/4 cup of water slowly and mix to form a smooth batter.
    2. Heat oil in a deep pan, take the batter coated onions 1 or 2 at a time and slowly dip in the oil. Fry until golden brown and drain on a paper towel. Repeat in small batches.

    Serve instantly with green chutney or ketchup.

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    August 11th, 2010MammuRice

    Thai is one of my favorite cuisine after Indian food. I love to eat Thai fried rice when ever I crave to eat some thing spicy and non Indian. I tried to prepare Thai fried rice a couple of times, here is the final winner recipe which gave the restaurant taste after a bunch of failures.

    Cooking Time: 20 Minutes

    Servings: 2


    1. Cooked jasmine rice, chilled – 3 cups
    2. Red pepper – 1
    3. Green pepper – 1
    4. Onions – 1/2 small
    5. Serrano peppers – 3 (Add more if you like it very hot)
    6. Garlic cloves – 6
    7. Olive Oil – 3 tablespoons (you can use any cooking oil)
    8. Basil leaves – 2 cups
    9. Oyster sauce – 1 1/2 tablespoon
    10. Fish sauce – 1 tablespoon
    11. Soy sauce – 2 tablespoon
    12. Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
    13. Sugar – 1 teaspoon
    14. Tofu – 1/2 lb, cut into 2 inch pieces. (You can replace with sliced chicken)

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Cut lengthwise red peppers, green peppers and onions into thin slices. Grind together the serrano peppers, garlic cloves and about 10 basil leaves.

    2. Heat about 1/2 table spoon oil in a pan and fry the tofu for 5-7 minutes. Keep it aside.

    3. In the same pan heat the remaining oil, add the garlic-serrano pepper paste and saute for 30 seconds. Add the oyster sauce, fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the red-green peppers, onion, salt and saute for 5-6 minutes. Don’t over cook the veggies.

    4. Raise heat to high, add the tofu, rice, remaining basil leaves and stir quickly until the sauce is blended with the rice. Use a spoon to break the rice if sticking together.

    Garnish with cucumber slices and serve hot with chili sauce.

    Tip: If you don’t like to use fish sauce and oyster sauce, you can substitute them by Soy sauce. You can also use Thai chilies instead of Serrano peppers.

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    August 10th, 2010MammuVegetarian

    We used to call this as pappula kura(lentils curry) back home.


    1. Chopped Tomato – 3 cups
    2. Chopped onion – 1 cup
    3. Chana Dal – 1/2 cup, soak in water for 30 minutes
    4. Green chili – 2, finely chopped
    5. Salt – 1 teaspoon
    6. Red chili powder – 1 tea spoon
    7. Masala Powder – 1/4 teaspoon
    8. Curry leaves – 10
    9. Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
    10. Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
    11. Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
    12. Oil – 2 tablespoons
    13. Coriander – Hand full

    Cooking Procedure

    1. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add curry leaves, turmeric and after 30 seconds add chopped onions, tomato and green chilies. Close the lid and cook for about 10 minutes under medium heat until the tomatoes are soft.

    2. Add soaked chana dal and let it cook for another 15 minutes. Keep smashing tomatoes in between with a spoon. Once chana dal is cooked, add salt, red chili powder, masala powder, cook for 2 more minutes, add coriander and turn off heat.

    Tip: If you don’t have enough time to soak chana dal, you may soak for 5 minutes and microwave them for 3-4 minutes to cook.

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