Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fruit and Nut Cookies with Powdered Oats

 Its kind of monsoon in Salt Lake during the month of August, also heavy rain back in Kerala, where my cousins in "Kuttanadu "enjoying school holidays because of flood, but this year its less compared to last time when  they said they could do  fishing while sitting in their bedroom ...what a wonderful thing to do :)
Though I know people are suffering too its not easy to get back to normal, once this happens. 

Love the smell of soil when it rains , love to watch rain and the  next interesting thing to do when it rains is to enjoy some snacks , any thing fried is what everyone prefers but this time I decided to go healthy.
Cookies are a great addition to our pantry shelf too as these are snacks which kids prefer to have any time of the day, came out really well , hence a must try recipe for anyone who likes to bake cookies at home. 


May make these with only All purpose flour but then addition of powdered oats makes it super nutritious.

Oats - 1/2 cup (I used Old Fashioned Oats)
All Purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1/4 tsp
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Vanilla essence - 1/4 tsp
Butter - 1/2 cup (In room temperature)
Dry Fruits and Nuts - 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup - I used chopped Dates , Blue berries, Raisins and cashew Nuts


* Preheat Oven to 300 Degree F

* Bake old fashioned oats in a tray in 300 F for 5 to 8 minutes , remove from tray and grind to fine powder. (May even fry these constantly stirring for 10 to 15 minutes until they turn light brown ,then grind)

* Sift together All purpose flour + Powdered Oats + Baking powder + salt , keep aside.

* Beat Butter(in room temperature) with powdered sugar , slowly add the flour ingredients (Sifted ingredients) to it and mix , add vanilla essence , gently knead these to a nice smooth dough.

* Add the dry fruits to the dough and knead again, make Lemon sized balls with the dough and arrange these on to a baking tray lined with parchment paper or foil.(Leave space in between each ball's as they expand while baking)

*  Lightly press the top part of each dough - ball's to flatten it a bit (Not much) and bake in 300 Degree F for 15 to 20 minutes , until the sides looks brown (it would be good if you turn the baking tray in between to get all cookies evenly baked and stays crispy too)

Notes : May use instant oats instead of old fashioned oats if then , may grind it without heating it too, though heating or baking the oats (before powdering) helps to grind'em easier. 
           : Dough may look dry , use hands to combine the ingredients together as then its easy , if still dry may use a couple of table spoon of melted butter just to make'em combined. 

Listening to a  romantic song from a Malayalam movie - featuring Rain , love and "Kuttanadu " ;) 

Happy Weekend....


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Eggs in Spinach Gravy / Poached Eggs in Palak / Spinach based Gravy.

This was shown in a cookery program , which I watch daily as part of my personal Relaxation Therapy,
I think if am asked to watch a cookery show while in my deep sleep also would I be happy to do....
This curry was striking as the host while during her presentation narrated that this was something which was  prepared usually during olden days in Kerala as most of our Grand parents would know this.

 I wonder why then such a nutritious and attractive idea got eliminated from our Kitchen....anyways I tried it and it came out good , and I now listed this among a very nutritious side dish for Chapathi/ Indian Flat Bread.


Spinach / Palak - 1 bunch finely chopped
Eggs - 3 no's (Or more)
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Ginger - 1/2 tsp Crushed
Green Chili's /Thai Pepper's - 3 No's (Adjust as per your preference)
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder- a pinch
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala / or Egg Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Salt to taste


* Heat oil in a pan , add fennel seeds followed by crushed Ginger , Garlic , chopped Onion and Green chili's, saute till the onion looks golden brown, add turmeric Powder , Cumin powder , Coriander powder and Garam Masala powder or Egg Masala powder.

* Add chopped spinach , stir adding 1 cup water and salt, cover and cook till the spinach is done (5 to 7 minutes)

* Check if there is enough water in the gravy for the eggs when dropped gets cooked /Poached,
 if not add more water and wait for'em to start boiling, crack eggs in to the boiling gravy.

 (Leave some space between each eggs) do not stir  at this point, cover the pan and cook for 5 to 8 minutes till the eggs gets cooked in the spinach gravy.

* Serve hot !

Enjoy a nutritious side dish with Chapathi/ or any Flat bread.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Varutharacha Fish Curry / Fish in Roasted coconut Gravy - Kerala Special

During the month of August we have a very famous Snake Boat Race called the Nehru Trophy in Alleppey
- a trophy named after the first Prime Minister of Independent India - Jawaharlal Nehru.
The boats are long enough to accommodate up to 110 Rowers and hence called Snake Boats
or Chundan Vallam in Malayalam - our Language.
The event is definitely an eye catching sight for any tourist who visits Kerala , where the Tourist season starts from August, when the land is all wet and greener with the monsoon rain slightly slows down its pace.
For the people in Alleppey preparation for Onam - the most popular festival of Kerala , starts with this Boat Race.

Picture of a team practicing.
Photo Courtesy to

Different clubs from in and around Alleppey takes part in the event, where they have a fiercely fought Boat race , though its an event which shows communal harmony too as there are Hindus , Christians and Muslims sitting in the same row for the grant feast.
Here's a video showing how a snake boat looks like - taken from you tube

I cherish those lovely moments, when my Achachen /Dad used to take me and my brothers in his scooter  to "Punnamada " the place where this event occurs.
The Celebration , huge crowd , Naadan Paattu -Kerala songs and the Snake boats used to lifts us to high spirits.

Since I was reminded of my place , decided to make a specialty fish curry , though not popular in my place , its a curry made with roasted coconut which gives the dish a nutty flavor - the flavor of Kerala.
Have been wanting to try this curry for sometime now and last week I could make it.


 I took Tilapia fillets - 4 number's sliced
Coconut Oil -2 to 3 Tb Sp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger crushed - 1tsp
Garlic Crushed - 3no's crushed
Green Chili's - 2 no's slit
Onion - 1 medium sliced
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind paste (Sambar Puli) - 2 Tb Sp (If taking fresh tamarind pulp use more)
Tomato - 1 cubed
Curry Leaves - 1 spring
Salt to taste

For Grinding

Coconut - 1 cup
Chili Powder - 1 tsp to 2 tsp (Adjust according to your preference)
Coriander Powder - 2 Tsp
Shallots / Pearl Onions - 4 to 7 no's
Pepper Corns - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 spring


* Dry roast Coconut in a pan , stir continuously , when light brown add shallots , 1 spring of curry leaves , pepper corns and stir for another 2 minutes.

* Add then the powder's (Coriander Powder and Chili Powder) switch off the heat immediately and keep aside to cool, once cooled grind these with little water to make a fine paste.

* In a Chatti/ Clay pot or any pan heat oil , add fennel seeds first followed by crushed ginger , garlic , green chili's and onion, saute till the onion becomes golden brown. Add turmeric powder and the ground Coconut paste to this and stir.

* Add tamarind paste to it, 1 cup water (Approx) and salt, cover this pot to let it boil, when it starts to bubble add the fish slices and keep the heat to medium - low , cover the pot again and cook.

* When the fish is almost done add sliced tomatoes and curry leaves. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes till the fish is well done and the curry reduces a bit ,switch off the heat.

 Let this curry sit for a while to let all the flavors gets in to the fish.

Serve with Rice.

Notes : I didn't roast the coconut till dark brown , if then the curry would have had a brown color too,
if trying this dish, do roast the coconut till nice brown color to get that color for the fish curry. (Do stir vigorously while roasting)


Friday, August 15, 2014

Fruit Popsicle

India is Celebrating 68th Year of Independence.
Country which is diverse in Culture, Religion , Food and Languages as there are over 780 languages spoken in India.
A country which enjoys "Unity in Diversity"

Feeling Patriotic :)

Fruit Popsicle is an idea to treat our body this summer, though will start to miss summer soon :(
Blend any of your favorite fruits to make Popsicle's like these, I used Avocado ,Water Melon and some Vanilla Ice cream as I wanted to make an Indian flag colored Popsicle,though the saffron color is missing here, have a reddish color instead from the melon.

 Here's how I made it


For the Green color 

Avocado - 2 no's
Water - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup(Adjust according to your preference)
Juice from 1 lime

Middle Layer is just Vanilla Ice Cream

For Red Color 

Water Melon
Sugar (Optional , use as per your preference)


* For the Avocado Layer - Heat water in a pan , when it starts to boil add sugar , wait till the sugar dissolves and reduces, switch off the heat and let it cool. Blend Avocado's in a blender till well mashed , add the sugar -water and lime juice , blend again to combine.Spoon in these mixture to the bottom of the Ice Pop Molds and freeze to set (1/2 and hour to 1 hour until firm)

* Once the first layer is firm, Spoon in some Ice Cream for the next layer and freeze again for another 1/2 an hour to 1 hour

* Blend Water melon with some sugar (If using) , pour this over the ice cream layer  and freeze again for 4 to 6 hour's or overnight.

To Un-mold 

Briefly dip the molds in warm water, till the pops loosen , Gripping the handles gently pull upwards.
Simply let the Ice pop sit at room temperature until they can be easily removed from the molds
Run Individual molds under Warm water.

Notes :
          As usual I was little impatient in Unmolding Ice pops and couldn't unmold the first 2 pops successfully but then learned to do it, only after letting it sit for some time.

           Use your favorite fruits to make these, as am not sure if all kids would like to have Avocado's in their Popsicle, I made it because I was feeling patriotic today ;) and wanted green in it.
           May blend avocado's with milk and sugar instead of lime juice and sugar syrup.

Happy Independence day to all Indian Citizens :)


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Beetroot Masala Curry

First time making beetroot curry, I have written about my dislike to Beets in some of my previous posts, still planted some in my vegetable garden this year and today I harvested first batch of beetroots.....Happy Happy  :)
That's NA helping me in the garden 

Wanted to make it fresh..hence did some experiments with it.
Came out good for me as this is the first time that am enjoying a dish with beets in it,
 but for Soccer man  "It was just a curry"  :(


Beetroots - 3 medium cubed
Potato - 1 medium cubed
Tomatoes - 2 medium finely chopped
Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Green Peas - 1/4 cup (Optional)
Garlic - 3 no's crushed
Ginger - a small piece finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chili Powder - 2 tsp(Adjust as per your preference)
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red chili's - 2 nos crushed (Optional)
Curd (Thick)  - 1 cup lightly beaten
Vegetable Oil - 2 Tbs
Salt to taste.


* Pressure cook beetroot pieces along with potato, tomatoes , turmeric Powder, Cumin Powder and 1/2 cup water. Cook till 1 whistle heard and switch off the heat , once the pressure leaves , add green peas to this and boil again in medium to low heat for another 5 minutes.
 (May cook in open vessel until nicely done - do check water in between).

* In an other pan heat oil , pop mustard seeds, then add cumin seeds and dry red chili's (If using) , saute finely chopped ginger , garlic and sliced onion , till onion looks golden brown.

* Add Garam Masala and Red chili powder, stir well and add  in the cooked vegetable's (Beetroots , potato mix ) allow it to boil and reduce a bit if there's more water in it.

* After 5 to 7 minutes, switch off the heat allow the curry to cool down a bit (2 to 3 minutes ) stir first and then add lightly beaten curd. Stir again and its done.

* Serve with any Roti /Indian Bread.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Strawberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Made these as NA was asking for strawberry cake for quiet some time now, wonder how she loves strawberries as none in the family likes the same.
Waiting for my strawberry plant to be fruitful before Winter starts or else next year I wont have reasons to argue with my sponsor spouse that planting fruits at home can be part of cost cutting.

as buying organic strawberries every time are expensive.
How ever NA was not very happy to see the muffins as she expected a cream cheese frosted Strawberry flavored theme cake , instead I made a cream cheese filled Strawberry muffins anyways it was soft,tasty and healthy too

Do try it if you are a fan of Muffins.

Adapted from -


Wheat Flour - 1 cup
All Purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 1 Tbs
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Milk (2%) - 1 cup
Vegetable Oil or Canola Oil - 1/4 cup
Egg - 1
Chopped Strawberries - 1 cup (Approx)

For the Filling 

Cream Cheese - 1/2 cup (In room temperature)
Sugar - 4 Tb Sp
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp


* Preheat the oven to 375 Degree F. Spray Muffin liners with Cooking spray and place these in to a muffin tin/tray.

* Sift together All purpose  flour + wheat flour  + baking powder + salt. keep aside.

*  Whisk egg with sugar , milk and  oil until well mixed , add this mixture to the sifted flour ingredients.
    Mix with a wooden spoon, add chopped strawberries and fold again until well combined.

* In an other bowl , mix together ingredients for filling (Cream cheese + Sugar + Vanilla).

* Put 2 Table spoons of the flour batter in the bottom of each muffin tins (Muffin Liners) then add a tablespoon of the cream cheese filling.

* Top these again with the flour batter. (liners should be just 3/4 rt filled or else it tends to overflow while baking)

My first experience making a cupcake at home was a catastrophe, as it overflowed and fell on the coil inside the oven , started burning and then smoke in the whole house, from then I learned to place a tray underneath this muffin tray every time I bake cupcakes or muffins, if in case it overflows too there wouldn't be smoke ;)

* Bake these in 375 Degree preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes , until a toothpick when inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

* Cream cheese filling inside will stay soft / Liquid y  even after baking.

May pour some strawberry syrup over the muffins before serving.

Enjoy !


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Vegetable Cutlets

This is the first time that I have taken a break for more than 2 weeks from my blog,
 we went for a short trip which was planned for just 4 days but got extended for a week and so myself and Nadia enjoyed our unexpected Looooooooong holidays in California :)
Stayed with our cousins in LA and San Francisco, one of them have 3 kids and my NA had fun time there. Watching the kids play and converse was the best part, friendship without considering common interests, light quarrels and the quick reconciliation was fun to watch.
Beaches in LA , San Francisco Zoo and the Golden Bridge was attractive.More than anything I cherish the time I spent with all lovely people there, close - knit family and the happy moments they shared makes me wanting to visit them again :)
Just getting back to the normal schedules, my house was like as if hit by some-sort of cataclysm, but
 I wanted to make something special after a break from cooking.

For Vegetable cutlets, there is no set vegetable's to be included, other than the potatoes , which helps it to bind together and stay intact while frying, may bake it too.
Do let me know if it comes out well as I haven't tried baking any cutlets.


Potatoes - 4 Medium sized boiled and mashed.
Vegetables of your choice I used

Carrots - 2 Small no's grated
Beets - 1 Medium grated
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Spinach - 1 bunch chopped
Cilantro - 1/2 a cup chopped
Onion - 1  finely chopped
Garlic - 3 cloves chopped
Ginger - 1 tsp chopped
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp (Optional)
Amchur Powder /Dried Mango Powder - 1 tsp (Optional)
Green chili's or Red chili Powder or Paprika - I used Chili Powder 1 tsp (adjust as per your preference)
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 Tb Sp

Oil for frying
Salt to taste
Egg and Bread crumbs to coat the cutlets before frying , may use buttermilk instead of egg too.


* Heat 2 Tb Sp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds , followed by chopped ginger , garlic ,onion and the grated vegetable's (Carrots and the beets) Cook stirring occasionally for 7 minutes in medium heat. Add green peas and cook for another 2- 4 minutes.

* Add all the spices -Turmeric Powder and Amchur Powder (If using) , chili powder or green chili's, Garam masala powder and stir to combine. Then add the mashed potatoes, and the leaves (Spinach and Cilantro/Coriander leaves)

* Add salt and Combine everything well, switch off the heat, keep aside to cool. Once cooled shape it as you like, I made small oval shapes, it better to keep these thick as otherwise it tends to split. If the mixture looks loose add bread crumbs to make it thick enough to shape it.

* Dip these first in lightly beaten eggs then coat each of'em in bread crumbs. (May use Butter milk instead of eggs here but then do it just before frying it) If using eggs to coat these , may store it in air tight containers, ready to be fried. Stays up to a week in the refrigerator.

* Heat oil in a frying pan , may deep fry it or else shallow fry these as I did, Oil should be very hot, flip to the other side after 3 minutes , fry till the cutlets are brown.

* Serve with Ketchup or Salas (Onion salad with Vinegar)

Enjoy hot fried snack packed with all healthy ingredients.Store extras in the refrigerator.

Super excited  to hear that there are people who follow this blog :)
Thanks for all the support and inspiration.