Weekend brunch: Doodhi thepla etc.

Hi friends, how are you all doing?
Here is a tasty and brunch menu for those of you who like to eat and laze around at home on a weekend.

Doodhi (opo) thepla with wheat and barley flour
Broccoli and potato subzee
Gujarati dal or South Indian rasam


Ingredients for doodhi thepla:
1. 1 cup shredded doodhi
2. 1 cup wheat flour
3. 1/4 cup barley/jawar flour
4. 1/4 tea spoon turmeric
5. 1/2 tea spoon red chili powder
6. 1 table spoon oil
7. 1/4 cup yoghurt
8. 1 tea spoon finely cut green chili
9. A Pinch of hing
10. 1/4 tea spoon grated ginger

Mix all the ingredients and make a dough soft enough to roll into rotis. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Roll into thin 5-6 inch diameter rotis and cook on both sides for about 30 seconds smearing oil or ghee on sides.


Pastel de Tres Leches

Feliz Día de San Valentín!

Tres Leches Cake – “Three Milks Cake” – is a popular dessert from Mexico and Latin America. This rich cake oozes with the goodness of three milks: Sweetened condensed milk, Evaporated milk and cream. Ever since I had this cake at the Cafe Versailles in Miami, I couldn’t wait to make it at home. If you have a sweet tooth and like milk, you’ll love this cake.

Tres Leches Cake

Feliz Día de los Enamorados!

For the Cake:
1 cup Flour
4 eggs
1 tea spoon Baking powder
1 tea spoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Sugar
¼ cup milk

For the Tres Leches (Three milks) Mix:
1 ½ cup evaporated milk ( I boiled 2 cups milk for about 20 minutes; You can use store-bought evaporated milk)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used nestle brand available in a can)
½ cup cream

For the Icing:
1 cup whipping cream
3 table spoon sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
3. In a wide bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
4. Separate egg whites and yolks.
5. In a blender, mix yolks and ½ cup sugar for about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup milk and the vanilla extract and stir into the flour mixture gently.
6. Similarly, whip Egg whites and ½ cup of sugar for about 3 minutes and stir into the flour mixture gently.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes. 8. Keep an eye on the cake after 25 minutes. You will see the cake browning lightly soon after you put it into the oven. Don’t get alarmed.
Take the cake out from the oven and let it cool.
9. As the cake cools, mix the three milks.
10. Prick the cake all over with a fork (7-8 times)
11. Pour the three milks all over the cake, including the slides.
For the icing:
12. Whip the cream with sugar for 2-3 minutes until stiff. Spread it on the top and sides of the cake.

13. At this time, if the presentation is important, transfer the cake to a decorative tray/plate, along with the extra milk floating on the sides. Make sure you pour the milk gently on the sides of the cake.
You can decorate the top of the cake with strawberries or raspberries.

14. Keep the cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
15. To serve, cut a slice of the cake, arrange it on the serving dish and drizzle 2-3 table spoon of the milk sauce on the sides.

Mexican Dip

Niners or no Niners.. the show must go on…

Here is a zesty recipe for Mexican dip to set the mood for the Superbowl XLVIII Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos. I had found this recipe in my collection of handwritten recipes years back and since then have made it many times. It’s always a hit.

Mexican Dip

1 ½ cup refried beans
¼ cup cooked black beans (optional)
1 Avocado
2/3rd cup regular or low-fat sour Cream
¼ cup pack regular /low fat Cream Cheese
1 cup Salsa (I used a combination of Tostitos and Pace, Hot)
1 ½ table spoon taco seasoning
2 table spoon spoon Mexican Hot Sauce
¼ cup of pickled jalapenos and olives
2 tbsp. finely chopped green onion
1 cup of shredded cheese
A bag of Mexican chips

1. Remove skin from avocado and mash it.
2. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and avocado to form a smooth paste.
3. Add ½ tea spoon salt, taco seasoning and Mexican hot sauce and mix well. Taste to adjust salt/spices.
4. In an 8 inch round tray, spread the refried beans evenly.
5. Spread the black beans, if using.
6. Layer with the smooth paste we made in step 2 above.
7. Spread the salsa.
8. Top with pickled jalapenos, green onions, olives and cilantro.
9. Sprinke the shredded cheese on top.

Enjoy with tortilla chips.

Mirchi Ka Salan

Here is a wonderful Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan recipe from the blog: Http://amusrecipes.blogspot.com/ Amarendra, the blog writer seems to be a passionate cook and has many great recipes on his web site. Thanks Amarendra for the recipe.

I followed the recipe just the way it is written in the blog except that I added a small piece of jaggery/gud along with the other spices. Salan is typically served with Biriyani but I think it tastes best with hot roti or paratha. Also, instead of green chilies, other vegetables like eggplant/brinjal, capsicum/bell peepers  can be used.


Silver Cleaning Playbook

Kitchen was closed today until noon. Most of the morning was dedicated to silver cleaning and polishing. I have a decent collection but mostly items my parents gave as part of the Indian bridal trousseau. I adore and cherish each piece; from Ashtalakshmi chambu/ghada/pot to the Arati holder; beautifully crafted and carefully selected by my mother. Indian festivals and other family events give me ample opportunities to use them throughout the year.


Keeping your silver looking its best is quite a job.  I use the following few methods to clean and polish. The results are spectacular. Chakamak Chandi! Here is a picture with some of the pieces to show off the results of my labor.

1. If your silver is moderately tarnished but otherwise clean, use the following method. This method is found at this website: http://www.ehow.com/how_2312088_clean-silver-soda-aluminium-foil.html

a. Boil a gallon (about 4 litres) of water with 1/3 cup baking soda.

b. Line another pan with aluminium foil. Make sure your pan will accommodate all the items you want to clean.

c. Put all the silver items in the lined pan, and add the hot water with baking soda to cover all the items.

d. Allow to cool. Remove and rinse off each silver piece and dry with a clean soft cloth.

e. Throw away the water and the aluminium foil.

2. For Silver that needs both cleaning and tarnish removal, Mr Metal wipes. These are fantastic. Available at Amazon in a single pack or in a case of 12.

Dosa with Yellow Squash Gojju

Yello Squash Gojju

I have blogged about Gojju, a specialty from Karnataka, in one of my previous posts. It’s one of my favorite side dishes.  It’s usually eaten with Rice or Rotis but today, we ate it with Dosa, My friend Madhu dropped by yesterday to give me her home-grown Yellow squash. That was really sweet of her. I decided to make Gojju with it and have it with dosa instead of the usual green chutney. It turned out to be an excellent combination. I would imagine that phoolka rotis with this gojju would make an unbeatable combo.

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2 cups yellow squash cut into small to medium size pieces (about 1 inch)

½ cup fresh grated coconut (Optional)

1-inch diameter ball of tamarind

1 table spoon jaggery/gud

¼ tea spoon turmeric/haldi

For masala paste:

½ tea spoon fenugreek seeds/methi seeds

½ tea spoon mustard seeds

½ tea spoon sesame seeds/til/yellu

1 tea spoon jeera

1 tea spoon chana dal

7-8 dry  red chilies

1. Soak tamarind in ¼ cup warm water for a few minutes. Crush the tamarind softly with your fingers  and  extract juice. Throw away the pulp.

2. Heat 2 table spoon oil, and do a vaghar/tadka with ¼ tea spoon mustard seeds, a pinch of hing.

3. Add cut squash pieces and turmeric and cook on medium-low heat.

4. On the side, fry all the ingredients for masala powder in ½ tea spoon ghee or oil for about 3 minutes.

5. Grind the fried masala  to a fine paste by adding about ¼ to ½ cup of water.

6. When squash is almost cooked, add tamarind water and cook for another  2-3 minutes.

7. Add the masala paste, jaggery and salt to the Bhindi and bring everything to boil.

8. Add about ½ cup to 1 cup water to make the gravy a little less thick. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and  shut off the stove.  Gojju will thicken slightly after it cools down.

Gobi Manchurian

Monday dinner: Gobi Manchurian, an ever popular appetizer from the Indian subcontinent, with a glass of lassi. I urge you to try this recipe if you like  spicy food with Asian flavors.

For Fried Gobi/Cauliflower:

1 medium size cauliflower (U.S. size) This would be equivalent to approx. 2 small Indian cauliflowers.

½ cup Corn flour

6 table spoons Maida/ all-purpose flour

½ tea spoon grated ginger

½ tea spoon finely chopped garlic

½ tea spoon salt

¾ cup water + few table spoons to get the desired consistency

Approx. 3 cups of oil for frying

For masala:

2 medium size onions, diced into small pieces

4-5 table spoons chopped bell pepper/capsicum

4 table spoon oil

1 tea spoon grated ginger

1 table spoon finely chopped garlic

4 green chilies finely cut

2 table spoons soy sauce

4 table spoon tomato ketchup

3 table spoon chili sauce

1/2 tea spoon red chili powder;

1 table spoon Manchurian sauce (I used ching brand available at Indian grocery stores)

1 flat tea spoon salt

To garnish:

2 table spoons chopped green onion

To make:

  1. Cut Cauliflower into medium size florets. Boil them in water for 2-3 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towel or cloth towel to dry.
  2. In a bowl, make a paste by adding the ingredients mentioned under ” For Fried Gobi/Cauliflower”.  The batter is fairly thick. Kind of like dosa/pancake batter.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, coat each floret nicely in batter and drop in oil. Make sure oil is medium hot. Deep Fry all florets in batches. To make crispy florets, fry them for at least 10 minutes on low heat turning them around a few times. Remove to a plate.
  4. For the Manchurian masala, Heat 3-4 table spoon  oil a broad, flattish pan. Add ginger, garlic, onions and bell peppers. Fry for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Add soy sauce, chili sauce, ketchup, and Manchurian sauce.
  6. Add Salt.
  7. Saute on high heat for a minute.
  8. Add the deep fried cauliflower florets and mix well keeping the heat high. It’s important to keep the heat high to retain crispiness.
  9. Taste to see if you want to add more sauces / salt.
  10. Empty onto a serving plate and garnish with finely chopped green onions.

Manchurian is best eaten fresh and hot, straight from the tava.

Easily serves 4.