Monday, 26 August 2013

Vara Lakshmi Vratham

Varalakshmi Vratam is performed by married woman for the well being of all the family members, especially husband, to get progeny etc. It is believed that worshipping Goddess Varalakshmi on this day is equivalent to worshipping Ashtalaksmi – the eight goddesses of Wealth, Earth, Learning, Love, Fame, Peace, Pleasure, and Strength. 

On this day many women observe this traditional festival praying Varamahalakshmi for her blesses in the form of wealth and well being of their family. There is a strong belief that Varalakshmi is one who grants boons (Varam).

Varalakshmi pooja at my home

Varalakshmi pooja at friend's place

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Garden Makeover

Summer really makes us think newly., and brings some fresh thoughts and in turn some fresh energy. I thought to utilize this energy for good purpose and the result is ......

My garden makeover.......

It took me ages to convince my man.....

He goes., what is there to change ......

It was like this before....

And changed into this.......

Put the floor..... in front of the shed....and left the other bit as green.....
placed some nice plants to cheer us up.....

we have painted our small shed....

Bought a swing., and a trampoline for kids....
This would be the perfect place to enjoy with the family members on a sunday....

And finally.........
Imagine to sip a cup of coffee in the swing......on a cloudy day...... 

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Bread potato rolls

I had some left over bread. Thought of doing some snacks for kids. Instead of making them in the regular circular shape, I made them into oval shape which will be handy for little hands. Served them with loads of salad.

Bread Potato roll served along with salad


Bread slices - 4 make them into crumbs
Potato - 2 medium sized boiled and mashed
Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Green Chilli - 2 finely chopped
Coriander - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Crushed Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil to deep fry


Except oil, mix all the other ingredients with hands in order to bind them well. If necessary, sprinkle some water and make them into rolls.

Heat the oil in a broad pan. When it is hot enough, gently slip the rolls into the oil and fry them till golden.

Serve them with salad or sauce... your choice....

Friday, 29 March 2013

Dubai Airport

It is a major airline hub in the Middle East. There are some tremendous shops in the Dubai airport. I have taken couple of snap shots during my visit.

DDF Gold shop at Terminal 1

ha... the golden palm tree

Gorgeous scent bottle

Beautiful jewellery box 

The precious Swarovski diamonds

Amazing art...

Beautifully studded wine set

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Courgettes curry

This is a simple vegetarian recipe. Courgettes simmered with onion, tomatoes and yoghurt in a fragrant mix of spices. This dish tastes good if served with chapathi but you can serve it with boiled rice, too.


    Vegetable oil – 2 tbsp
    Onion - 1, thinly sliced
    Courgettes - 2 peeled and cut into circles
    Ginger+Garlic paste – 1 tsp
    Chilli powder – 1 tsp
    Turmeric – 1/8th tsp
    Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
    Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
    Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
    Tomatoes - 4, chopped
    Yoghurt – 2 tbsp


Heat oil in a large sturdy pan over medium heat.
Sauté onion until transparent. Add Ginger garlic paste and sauté everything. Add chopped tomatoes, mix and cook them until mushy by covering the pan with the lid.
Now add courgettes, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin powder, garam masala and yoghurt and combine thoroughly.

Add about 100 ml of water, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 – 15 min, stirring occasionally.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Veg Sandwich

I have tasted this during my school days. I used to study in a residential school where they serve some healthy snacks in the evenings. One among them is this snack.


Bread slices – 8

For the stuffing –
Onion – 1 cut into small pieces
Shredded Cabbage – 1 cup
Shredded carrot – ½ cup
Green chilli – 2 chopped into small pieces
Mustard + Cumin - ½ tsp
Turmeric – 1 pinch
Oil – 1 tbsp

Heat the pan with oil. When is warm enough, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add chopped green chilli. Saute for a minute and then add onion with a pinch of salt. Fry the onion till it turns transparent. Now add the shredded cabbage and carrot. Sprinkle some salt and turmeric powder. Stir everything and cook the vegetables covered till tender.

Trim the dark edges, place the stuff on one slice and cover it with another slice. Cut them into 2 triangles.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Warm Spring

A warm welcome to the spring....

Candle lights bring a warm look to the bathroom......

In another mode...

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Toor daal / Kandhi Pappu Paratha

This is a dish I found to be very tasty when there is left out dals. I had some left over mudha pappu. Thought to make parathas. Instead of stuffing the daal mixture, I just added this to the wheat flour, mixed every thing and kneaded into soft dough same as the roti dough. Fry them with ghee and serve them with spicy red chilli pickle.


Wheat flour – 2 cups
Cooked Tour daal – 1 cup
Ajwain / Carom seeds / Vaamu – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Oil / ghee to fry the parathas

Cooked Toor daal / Mudha pappu and Wheat flour


Mix the wheat flour, cumin seeds, ajwain seeds and salt in a bowl, add gradually the cooked toor dal / Kandi pappu and knead everything into smooth dough (add water if necessary)..Keep aside for 30 minutes...

Make 10- 12 medium sized balls from the dough, dust the balls with enough flour and roll them into round parathas using rolling pin.

Heat few drops of oil in a tawa, gently place the flattened paratha, cook the paratha on both sides, drizzle oil if needed. 

Serve with any sort of spicy side dish..

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Potato / Aaloo Kurma

This is a must have recipe in each and every house of India whether it is Southern or Northern part. A nice companion for pulao rice / Biriyanis as well as chapathis. Adding fennel will give the unique flavour to the curry.


Fresh Coconut grated / thin slices – 2 tbsp (heaped)
Khus khus / Poppy seeds / Gasa gasalu – 1 tsp (heaped)
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Cashew nuts - 
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cloves – 3-4
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Cardamom – 1
Onion – 1 small chopped into small pieces
Tomato – 1 large chopped
Potato – 300gms
Oil – 2 tbsp

Fresh coconut, khus khus, Fennel seeds, green chilli, cashew nuts


Wash, Peel and dice the potatoes and keep them immersed in salt water

Fry the Khus khus, Fennel seeds, cloves, cinnamon under very low flame.

Allow them to cool down. Add enough water and grind them into smooth paste along with green chilli, coconut and Cashew nuts.

Heat a pan with oil. When it is hot enough, add mustard, jeera, curry leaves and red chilli
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for few seconds.
Add chopped onion along with a pinch of salt and fry until they are transparent.
Add the ground masala and fry until the oil gets separated.
Now add coriander and Chilli powder.

Add chopped tomatoes and potatoes.

Mix everything. Add some turmeric and required amount of salt.
Add some water and cook until the raw taste goes away and the potato is soft.

Shower  some chopped coriander and remove from the flame.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Potato Fry with Spicy Coconut Powder

A simple recipe with minimal ingredients and can be done with less than 10 minutes. Another time management art. Steaming the potato and parallel to this, prepare the seasoning and mix them together with the final touch of coconut powder.


Potato – Medium size 3
Onion – Large – 1
Mustard – ½ tsp
Cumin – ½ tsp
Curry leaves
Dry chilli – 2
Chana daal / Bengal gram – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp

For Coconut powder click here

Wash and peel the potatoes and cut them into small bite size cubes. Spread them in a microwave proof plate or bowl and steam them for 2-4 min by stirring in between. By doing this we require little oil.(Again the time may vary depending on the Microwaves).
Simultaneously, heat a pan with oil and add the seasoning and then chopped onion. When the onion turns tender, add the steamed potato and stir in between for 3-4 minutes.

Finally sprinkle the coconut powder and remove from the fire.

Serve with daal and warm rice

Note: Alternatively, you can add the potato cubes to the seasoning and fry them, which will take a bit more time to cook.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Capsicum chutney

Capsicum also called as Shimla mirch in India. There are various colours of capsicums and interestingly each one has got a unique taste. I have tried to make chutney with this by blending it with some daals, onion and yes, green chili too.

Capsicum Chutney

Capsicum - 1 large
Green chilii - 3
Onion - small 1
Coriander - Handful
Chana daal / Senagapappu - 1 tbsp
Urad daal - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp


Dry roast chana daal, urad daal and cumin seperately.
In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and when it is warm enough, toss the capsicum chunks. Leave them as crunchy. Remove them and keep aside.
To the same pan add chopped chilli, onion and coriander one after the other.
Allow them to cook till soft.
Now bring everything to the room temperature and pulse it by adding enough salt.

Ready to pulse

Friday, 25 January 2013

Dondakaaya Pallila koora / Ivy gourd curry

Ivy Gourd - Gentleman's toes. Isn't it interesting., It has got lots of medicinal values which controls diabetes. The leaves of Ivy gourd are applied on the skin for the wounds. 

We can make lots of recipes using these little wonders. Today, I have prepared a gravy variety which can be served with either rice or chapathi. The ivy gourd is sauted and cooked in peanut sauce.

For the peanut masala

Onion chopped and  fried in oil until transparent– 1 small
Roasted and skinned Peanuts – 3 tbsp
Roasted Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Green chilli – 3-4
Garlic – 2-3 cloves
Coriander powder
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Aamchur powder -1/4 tsp (optional)

Grind all the above into smooth paste by adding some water

Slit the ivy gourds length wise by keeping one end intact.
Fill each one with the peanut masala.

Heat a broad pan with 1 ½ tbsp of oil.
Add 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, few curry leaves and 1 tsp of chana daal.
Add the ivy gourd and fry them for a while by adding some salt and turmeric.

If you want, you can par boil them. As I like them crunchy., I have added them directly.

When they leave the raw aroma, add the peanut masala paste and fry for a minute.
Pour 1 – 1 ½ cup of water and cook under medium flame by covering the pan.

When the oil gets separated sprinkle some chopped coriander and remove from the fire.
Leave it for a while to get it thickened by covering the pan with the lid.
You can have this with rice or roti.

Ivy gourd in peanut sauce