Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Spring Rolls/Chinese Spring Rolls

Chicken Spring Rolls is a very popular appetizer or tea time snack. I have used chicken and mixed veggies as the stuffing. You can use only veggies or scrambled eggs and veggies as per your choice. This is a very ezee to make snack/starter if you have the spring roll pastry handy. So friends try this out and Enjoy with a cup of hot tea/coffee or as a great appetizer for parties !!!!!


  1. Spring Roll pastry sheets - I used 10 out 20 sheets
  2. Chicken breast - 1
  3. Carrot - 1
  4. Cabbage - 1/2 cup
  5. French Beans - 1 or 2
  6. Bell pepper red and green - 1/2 cup
  7. Spring onion - 1 
  8. Garlic - 2 pods finely chopped
  9. Soy Sauce - 1tbsp
  10. Black pepper - 1tsp
  11. Salt to taste
  12. Oil - 2tbsp + oil for deep frying
Preparation Method:-
  • Keep out the spring roll pastry wrappers/sheets 30-40 minutes before use.
  • Finely chop the spring onions into strips and set aside. Wash and finely slice all the other veggies and set aside in another bowl.
  • Wash and cut the chicken into strips, sprinkle little bit(1/2 tsp) of salt, toss well and set aside.
  • Heat up a kadai/pan to smoking hot and pour 2 tbsp oil, add in garlic and chicken strips and saute till chicken is almost cooked.
  • Add in all the chopped veggies except spring onion and stir fry for another three-four minutes till all the veggies become crunchy. 
  • Add in pepper, soy sauce and salt(if desired) and stir well for another two more minutes or till mixture becomes dry(make sure there is no gravy in the mixture). Switch off the stove and add chopped spring onion and saute well to mix.
  • Take out a pastry sheet and keep it diagonally(diamond shape-as shown in the picture). Keep a tbsp of chicken-veggie mixture on one corner, start rolling tightly and folding in the sides as you roll.

  • Apply a drop of water on the open edge and seal. Repeat the process with rest of the spring roll sheets.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai/wok on medium heat. Slide the rolls two or three at a time and deep fry till they turn golden brown and crisp.
  • Serve warm with Ketchup or any sauce of your choice

Sending this to Tea time snack event hosted by Akheela @ Torview

Friday, January 27, 2012

Paal Payasam/Rice Kheer/Rice Pudding and My 100th Post

This recipe marks my 100th blog post, its been three years since I started this blog. Three years and just 100 posts, sounds nothing right? I know. I'm not claiming of accomplishing something great but yes I'm really happy that I could keep this blog alive. My son was around one year when I started this blog and I thought this is something that can keep myself engaged and lively since I stopped working from quite sometime. This blog was born because of my friend Shifali. When she gave me the idea of blogging I knew nothing from how to start the blog to how to keep it alive. I started posting couple of recipes whenever I find time but I was not in touch with anybody in blogger's world since I didn't knew how it works or I didn't even knew things like reaching out to other blogger's profile or commenting on other's recipe or giving any kind of publicity to this blog that can generate traffic or rather I didn't even give it a thought that way and I was happy in 'my own world' putting up some recipes and pictures and writing my experience behind some of the recipes.

Days passed by and I totally forgot 'my blogger baby' from the time I was expecting my younger cutie as I was too busy taking care of my son who was still a baby then and I was fully involved with my sweet little family. I'm really thankful to one of the wonderful cookys group 'fc' in Facebook where I started posting my recipes a year back. When things started picking up and many among the group started appreciating the recipes tats when I remembered my poor little blogger soul which I ignored. I slowly started posting recipes in my blog and many thanks to all those wonderful readers, blogger friends and followers who took sometime to stop by my little space and leave some valuable comments. 

A 'Thank you' cannot really convey my happiness when I read each and every comment at my space. Still I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all your kindness and support. I do not know many of you in person, I haven't seen your face, I don't know your family but each one of you stay close to my heart. I'm not bluffing but I feel there is something that keeps me connected with each one of you. I love to read many of your write ups, I admire most of your recipes, I like the way most of you present your dishes, I envy those wonderful bakers and their decorative Icing and yes many more in the list. But sometimes I do not get enough time to come and appreciate on all your wonderful recipes and much appreciated dishes. As many of you even I get busy with my kids and daily chores and there are days I do not even touch the computer. So let me take this opportunity to thank those wonderful fellow blogger friends and followers - I love you all, you guys are the best. Take care guys, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging :)

I'm sharing this delicious Paal Payasam/Rice Kheer as my 100th recipe. Enjoy!!!!!
Paal Payasam as we call it in Kerala is one of the simplest Payasam/Kheer that can be made in very less time. The pressure cooker preparation makes it more easier and kids just enjoy this lip smacking dessert. My son sometimes have this craving for payasam's and I prefer making 'Neypayasam' since I feel for kids ghee and jaggery is better and healthier option over sugary payasam. My son sometimes comes up saying 'I want White Payasam' and then this is what the quickest one I make. So guys here is my way of making ezee Paal Payasam.

  1. Basmathi Rice/Raw rice - 1/2 cup
  2. Water - 2 cups
  3. Milk - 2 cups
  4. Evaporated milk - 1 tin(I used Nestle carnation milk - not condensed milk)
  5. Sugar - 1 1/4  cup(or more if desired)
  6. Rasins and cashews a handful(optional)
  7. Cardamom pods(or cardamom powder) - 4
  8. Slivered almonds - 1/4 cup
  9. Ghee/Clarified butter - 2 tbsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Wash the rice well two tothree times, drain the water completely and set aside.
  • Heat up a pressure cooker, keep in temp in medium heat. Pour ghee, saute cashews and raisins till cashews are golden brown and raisins pop up. Take out and set aside.
  • Add rice to the same ghee and saute for a minute or two so that rice absorbs the aroma of ghee.
  • Pour water to the cooker and stir well till the bottom of the pan. Cover and pressure cook for two to three whistles and switch off the stove. Let it cool completely.
  • Open the pressure cooker, pour the milk and stir well till the bottom of the pan and switch on the stove. Bring the milk n rice to boiling and let it cook for five minutes. Keep stirring in between so that rice do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add sugar and stir well again and let it boil for another five minutes. Now pour the carnation milk and let it cook for another ten minutes in low-medium heat till the rice absorbs the sugary taste and the payasam turns creamy
  • Crush the cardamom pods well in a mortar and add it to the payasam along with the cardamom skin and stir well(I do not like to throw the cardamom skin since I love the fragrance of it when I get to chew it in the kheer ;) you can just add powdered cardamom if you do not like the skin)
  • Switch off the stove and add roasted cashews and raisins. Serve warm or chilled topped with slivered almonds.

  1. You can use a tin of condensed milk instead of carnation milk, make sure to reduce the amount of sugar then.
  2. If you do not have carnation milk or condensed milk add two more cups of milk and let it boil in low-medium heat for another five-ten more minutes stirring in between.
  3. You can add only roasted cashews and raisins or only slivered almonds or pistachios instead of adding both. I like to add slivered almonds a lot that gives crunchy bites in the payasam.
Check Out More Payasam/Kheer Recipes Here

Off this go to the Desserts event hosted by Ramya @Ramya's Recipe, Valentines Day Event @ AnzzCafe,    Let's Cook ~ Rice @ Ticking Palates, Valentines Day Event @ Teenz Yummy Delights, Kids Delight hosted by Kavi @ Edible Entertainment and The Kerala Kitchen Event hosted at Kaveri's Palakkad Chamayal, Sweet Luv @ Zesty Palette


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Soybean Masala Rice

Soybean Masala Rice is a very ezee rice recipe which my kids and husband really love. Normally I make it by preparing Soybean masala and adding cooked rice to it but this version is made quicker by the pressure cooker method. Last week I was sick and down with fever and was not in quite good mood to cook different sabzi's and curries and more, so I was making all these quick one pot meals. Soybean chunks is one thing my kids love now and I believe if made well the taste resembles a lot like meat(mutton/lamb) and cooking takes no time - just drop them in the boiling water for few minutes and its soft and good to go. Many of my friends do not like the soybean chunks taste and when we discuss about the same I always tell them to wash it very well couple of times by rubbing well with hands once they are boiled and squeeze out all the water out of it and prepare it. Soybean chunks are just awesome and really healthy and protein rich substitute for meat for both kids and adults. So try this out and Enjoy!!!!!

  1. Basmathi Rice - 1 cup
  2. Water - 2 cups
  3. Soybean Mini Chunks - 1 cup
  4. Water - 3 cups or more to boil the soya chunks
  5. Onion - 2(finely chopped)
  6. Tomato -1(finely chopped)
  7. Green chilly - 3(chopped)
  8. Ginger, garlic crushed - 1 tbsp
  9. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
  10. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
  11. Garam Masala - 2 tsp
  12. Curry leaves a sprig
  13. Coriander leaves chopped - 3 tbsp
  14. Cinnamon stick - a small piece
  15. Cardamom pods - 3
  16. Cloves - 3
  17. Salt to taste
  18. Oil - 2tbsp

Preparation Method:-
  • Wash and drain the rice and set aside
  • Drop soy chunks in boiling water, give it a stir and let it boil again for a minute. Take off the stove and drain into a colander. Keep the colander under running water, rub with your hands and wash the soy chunks very well two three times. Squeeze out all the extra water and set aside.
  • Heat up the pressure cooker, pour oil, add cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves, few curry leaves and saute for a minute. Add the crushed ginger-garlic and saute for a minute or two, add onion, green chilies, salt and saute till onion turns light brown.
  • Add the chopped tomato, few coriander leaves and saute till tomato turns soft. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and m masala and saute till everything blend well.
  • Add the soya chunks and saute well to mix. Pour two cups of water and let it boil. When the gravy start to boil keep them in medium heat, cover(without gasket on) and let it cook till raw smell goes off for around five-seven minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir till the bottom of the pan and check for the salt, add salt if desired. Close the pressure cooker and wait for just one whistle(My cooker takes only one whistle to cook normal basmathi rice, wait for as many whistles as yo do for your cooker basmathi rice cooking)
  • Wait till the pressure fully goes off, open the lid and leave it for few minute say ten minutes till the steaming hot comes down.
  • Gently stir rice with a spatula and move to a serving plate. Garnish with few more coriander leaves. Serve warm with Raita, papad, pickle or anything of your choice. Enjoy!!!!!
1. As I mentioned earlier if you are not using the pressure cooker method, do not add too much of water. Just add enough water needed for the gravy and add the cooked rice to it.
2. I have used soybean mini chunks, if you are using soybean chunks which are bigger in size, chop them into half after boiling(optional)
3. I have not used chilly powder while making soybean masala since I use homemade Garam Masala which already contains red dry chilly and is hot enough. If your garam masala is not too spicy you can add a tsp of chilly powder as well :)

Sending this to Let's Cook #11 ~ Rice hosted by Radhika at Tickling Palates and Zesty Palette Series #3 - New "U" hosted by Vardhini @ Zesty Palette


Wednesday, January 25, 2012




Friday, January 13, 2012

Cabbage Thoran with Green Peas n Carrot/Cabbage Stir Fry with Green Peas n carrot(Sabzi) and an Award

Cabbage thoran is Keralite's favorite side dish, very simple and elegant sabzi that holds a very important place even in 'Kerala Sadya'. This is one of my family favorite side dish that goes well with boiled Rice and can be served with Roti as well. Most of the time I add carrot and green peas along with cabbage to make it a veggie pack side dish and the color combo of three is just great. So sharing with my readers the simple and humble Cabbage thoran with Green Peas and Carrot. Enjoy!!!

  1. Cabbage - 1/2 lbs
  2. Carrot chopped - 1 
  3. Green peas - 1/2 cup
  4. Onion chopped - 1
  5. Green chilly - 3
  6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Dry red chilly - 2
  8. Urad dal- 1 tsp
  9. Curry leaves a sprig
  10. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
  11. Salt as needed
  12. Coconut oil or any oil of your choice - 2 tbsp
  13. Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Preparation Method:-
  • Chop the cabbage into fine strips, wash them well in a colander and let the water drain completely. 
  • Heat up a kadai/frying pan, pour oil, crackle mustard seeds. Add urad dal, few curry leaves, dry red chilly, green peas, chopped carrots, salt and stir fry for two-three minutes. 
  • Add the turmeric powder and stir to mix. Add chopped cabbage, stir fry for a minute. 
  • Cover and cook in medium heat for another two-three minutes, check for the salt and switch off the stove.
  • Add grated coconut and stir well to mix and move to a serving plate.
  • Serve warm with Rice/Roti
Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen Event hosted by Kaveri @ Palakkad Chamayal

I'm really thankful to Julie @ Erivum Puliyum for honoring me with this Happy Blogger Award. Julie is a very enthusiastic and active blogger who comes up with very innovative recipes and always encourages the fellow bloggers with her comments and suggestions. I'm really happy to have her on my small space and happier to follow her space to check on her culinary skills, so friends check out her space @ Erivum Puliyum to find some great recipes and ideas :)

Now let me pass this award to these wonderful fellow bloggers :)

  1. Manju's Eating Delights
  2. Mayeeka
  3. Kurryleaves
  4. My Favorite Foods
  5. Good Food
  6. Cook With Fun
  7. Ruchi
  8. Kitchen Corner - Try it
  9. Spicy Treats
  10. Torview

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Vazhakoombu Thoran - Plantain Flower Stir Fry(Sabzi)

Ingredients Used:-
  1. Vazhakoombu/Plantain flower - 1
  2. Onion Chopped - 1
  3. Green chilly chopped - 2 
  4. Grated coconut - 3 tbsp(more or less)
  5. Turmeric powder - 3/4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Coconut oil - 2 tbsp
  8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Parboiled Rice - 1tbsp
  10. Curry leaves a sprig or more
  11. Dry red chilly - 2

Preparation Method:-
  • Remove couple of dull petals of vazhakoombu/banana petals till you see soft n fresh colored inside.
  • Finely chop the flower leaving the bitter n harder part inside.(shown in the picture)
  • Wash well once or twice to remove stains, squeeze out any excess water.
  • Add chopped onion, green chilly, few curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder, grated coconut and toss with a spoon or mix with your clean hands(I mix them well with hands)

  • Heat up a kadai or frying pan, pour coconut oil, crackle the mustard seeds. Add dry red chilies, curry leaves and parboiled rice and saute for a minute or till rice pop up. Add the vazhakoombu/flower mix and stir well.
  • Cover and cook in medium flame, open and keep stirring in between. Switch off the stove when done.
  • Move to serving dish and serve warm with boiled Rice/Roti

Sending this to The Kerala Kitchen event hosted by Kaveri @ Palakkad Chamayal and the New U event hosted by Vardhini @ Zesty Palette

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Chocolate Mocha Cake with Whipped Cream Frosting - A Wedding Anniversary Cake

Yet another Wedding Anniversary, five years of togetherness - Yes we have been wedded for five years. Seems like it was just yesterday, It is so wonderful when you lay back and think of the days passed by. Life takes new turn every now and then some expected and a lot unexpected. 'Sree' as I call him though a Keralite is a typical 'Mumbain' says my cousin sister because of the way he speaks Malayalam ;-)

Sree- brought up in Mumbai, lived in USA for quite long time is a typical street smart professional and myself  a simple homely girl who do not give up in any challenges of life. I'm a clean freak who likes to see things well arranged neat and tidy, he- like a school boy who just throws his backpack, shoes and stuffs when he is back from work and often vanishes from home for which ever game he is called for. I cannot bear much loud noise but the tele volume for the football games at our home is louder than in a musical concert auditorium. Sounds funny right??? Yes we are total different blend in many perspective buttttt just the same when we wind up our thoughts and suggestions. My MIL says - I cannot support 'one' of you since you both share the same logic in two different ways'. And I feel may be we are not perfect individual on our own but yea we had been perfect for each other :-)

I'm thankful to myself for felling in love with the language 'Hindi' right from my school and preferred taking the same as second language in my 12th and Bachelors. Thanks to all those Hindi soaps and movies as well which helped me talk this language very fluently or else to stand up with him would have been really tough at the initial days of our marriage. When we were newly wed I told him once to make it a habit to speak only Malayalam at home and he had his eyebrows up as he thought why would he need to make it a practice since I was pretty much comfortable speaking Hindi. He burst into laugh when I said 'I think it would be easy for me to teach you Malayalam rather than teaching my granny Hindi now in her 70's '. And yes, he learned talking in Malayalam quite well and insist our son to speak our language at home. As said my grand-moms were really happy on our first India trip since they were able to communicate with him so well, my grandma just love to talk a lot and he was/is the best companion for her.

I know I'm making it quite boring and I know I am not good in write ups so let me come back to this cake recipe. This is a very basic mocha-chocolate cake with simple whipped cream frosting. I used some left over chocolate ganache instead of chocolate/cocoa powder since I wanted to finish them off. I made an 8 inch round cake and a small round cake just to give a wedding cake look (even though it do not reallyyyyy look like one ;-) ) I was planning to make it a fondant cake but then after a lot of reading I felt the best frosting for fondant cake is butter cream frosting and  fondant remains perfect on it(that is just my understanding). Nothing against butter cream frosting but I always feel it very heavy compared to whipped cream or cream cheese frosting and I've seen my kids and husband not really enjoying them when we go to many birthday parties while eating all those theme cakes which normally uses butter cream frosting. So I dropped the plan of making the fondant cake and end up making this lovely mocha cake. So let me put up this recipe for you all, bake it for any festive. Enjoy!!!!!!

Mocha Chocolate Cake:-

Ingredients Used:-
  1. All purpose flour - 1 1/4 cups
  2. Baking powder - 1 tbsp
  3. Sugar - 1 cup
  4. Eggs  - 3
  5. Left Over Chocolate Ganache - ½ cup(You can use 3 tbsp cocoa powder or melt 1/4 or more chocolate chips or any choc in MW and use it as well).
  6. Instant Coffee Powder - 2 tsp(I used Nescafe Sunrise)
  7. Softened Butter - ½ cup
  8. Water - ½cup 
  9. Walnut chopped - ½ cup(optional, I used them to decorate the sides of the cake. u can use slivered almonds or anything of ur choice)
Whipped Cream Frosting
  1. Heavy whipping Cream - 1½ cups
  2. Icing Sugar - ½ cup
  3. Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Preparation Method:-

Whip Cream Frosting:- 
  • The bowl in which you are going to whip the cream should be clean and dry. Refrigerate the bowl and whisk for 30 minutes before using if possible.
  • Place the whipping cream, vanilla essence in the bowl and beat till the cream start to thicken. Add the sugar little by little and beat till they are thick and stiff peaks form. Cover with a cling wrap and chill till they are ready to use.
Cake Preparation and Assembling:-
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350 Degree Fahrenheit. Grease an 8 inch round baking pan and another small round baking pan and set aside(Any size lesser than 6 inch should be fine, I used a smaller one though).
  • Microwave water to hot and add the instant coffee powder. Stir well to dissolve the powder fully.Set aside to cool completely.
  • Sift together flour and baking powder and set aside.
  • In a wide bowl add the sugar and butter and beat them from low to medium speed till they become creamy. 
  • Add eggs one by one and beat them in medium speed to creamy. Add the coffee and chocolate ganache(or melted chocolate) and beat just for a while to blend everything well and mix evenly.
  • Add the sifted flour little by little and beat in low speed till everything is blended well and mixed without any lumps(Add some milk at room temperature if the batter is too thick).
  • Pour the batter to the greased pans and gently pat the pan on the counter top to remove air bubbles formed if any.
  • Bake it for 45- 50 minutes or until a cake tester or sharp knife inserted comes out clean.
  • Take out and let it cool completely. With a serrated knife cut off the top bulged out part carefully from both cakes to get a perfect flat leveled cake to make frosting easy. 
  • Place the big cake on the bottom and spread the frosting on top and sides. Top up with the small cake and spread the frosting on its top and sides as well. 
  • Decorate them as you wish, I used the open star #16 tip to make those small decoration and I applied chopped walnuts on the sides ;-)  I'm not into much cake decoration yet :)

Sending this to Chocolate Fest event hosted by Sravani @ Srav's Culinary Concepts, ABC Series: Desserts event hosted by Ramya @ Ramya's Recipe and since I used leftover Ganache in this I'm sending this to Cooking with Leftovers hosted by Veena @ Veg Junction 
Also sending this to Amy's Food Corner for her Decorating Challenge # 3 - Valentine's Day Ideas, Sweet Luv @ Zesty Palette

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