Friday, September 29, 2006


I'm back.......but first I am posting only Gokulastmi pictures. The reason that I am not yet putting up the GOLU pictures is that I don't want my friends to see it on the web before they come home. There has to be some surprises na.....

So here are some pictures for you...

I have one more special picture for you. Can you guess what this is?

YES....ur absolutely right, it's RAVA DOSA. This is Prema Sundar's recipe and is a must try. It really is mouth-watering. Thanks Prema for sharing this with us.
I made Vanamalaka chutney to go with it. Vanamalaka means dry red chilly. This is a versatile chutney which goes very well with anything. Here's my mom's recipe:

2 small onions
a few sprigs of coriander leaves
1" piece of ginger
3-4 cloves of garlic (optional)
2 ripe tomatoes
a pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp of dhania seeds
3-4 dry red chillies or according to spice desired
salt to taste
oil for seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
a pinch of heeng

Take a tbs of oil in a kadai, fry dhania seeds, red chillies, onions, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, and coriander leaves till onions turn transparant and a nice aroma picks up. Add a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Grind this mixture into a paste without adding water since onions and tomatoes give out their juices. Incase you feel the chutney is too thick, go ahead a add little water. Take a tsp of oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, jeera and heeng. When it splutters, add this paste and fry till oil separates. Check for salt and add a pinch of sugar at the end. Enjoy this chutney with steaming hot idlis, dosas, pongal or even rice.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Hey there......nine nights of pomp and show. Navarathri is here! Wish you all a very happy Navarathri. I have been really busy since Gokulastmi. Shankranthi, Gokulashtmi and Navarathri are the biggest festivals for us Iyengars. We celebrate these on a grand scale. Back home, it's different......lots of people to share the festivities, lots of fragrant flowers to adorn the dieties as well as yourself. the saying goes "count your blessings.." I'm happy to be able to keep our culture alive and kicking.

We have a tradition of exhibiting dolls, otherwise known as GOLU. I have always kept 3 steps or padis. This year I have kept five. That means more dolls. The tradition is to keep Golu every year since the time you are married. To start of, parents of the bride give a set of special dolls called "MARAPACHI BOMMAI" or "PATTADA BOMBE", which simply means dolls made out of a wood which is medicinal in property. It's very symbolic, and is given to a daughter when she gets married. It symbolises 'fertility'. So from then on, the daughter has to follow the tradition of exhibiting dolls during navarathri and keep adding on dolls every year.

I brought with me to the US only the Pattada Bombe. Here I started collecting dolls from dollar stores. Every time I visit India I make it a point to bring back some traditional dolls. So to sum it up, I have a pretty good collection which I intend to improve.

I will be posting the photos of the golu in a few days with some recipes. So please bear with me for some more time and I promise I'll not wander off. SEE YOU SOON.......

Monday, September 11, 2006


Thanks to Asha of Foodie's Hope and Madhu of Ruchi, I am being tagged for the first time. I was really hoping someone would. Now it's my turn to be in the limelight, wanna know more about me right?

I WAS: a few pounds lighter last year

I AM FROM: the wonderful, (not anymore)garden city of Bangalore

: the fun times I had with my friends in college

I SAID: I would exercise regularly but I'm feeling lazy today

I WANT TO: be the best daughter, sister, wife and mother ever

I WISH: my dad was alive

I REGRET: depending on my hubby because I'm scared to drive

I HEAR: my son coughing....poor Saakash is having a bad cold and cough...hate to see children sick

I AM: planning to do my AA degree in Child Development

I DANCE: no more......I used mom's a bharatnatyam dance teacher

I SING: film songs, bhaavageethe, rhymes as I rock Saakash to sleep

I CRY: when i think of my dad.....

I AM NOT: outgoing and bold like my sister

: very creative...I love crafting

I WRITE: recipes and monthly accounts ( not that i'm making an effort to save)

I CONFUSE: myself....I'm very absent-minded, I don't think before I speak

I NEED: to load the dishwasher....boring

I LAUGH: when my hubby sings 'Humpty Dumpty' to Saakash. He can be so funny at times

I VALUE: friendship and marriage

I LOVE: my family, dogs and my mom's cooking

I THINK: I'll skip kick-boxing today

I HOPE: I can make my life more interesting

I TAG: Sumitha of Kitchen Wonders and Sonpari of Sonpari's world

Thanks guys, I had a great time writing about myself.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Masala Toast

Bangalore is full of iyengar bakeries. The tantalizing aroma from the bakeries is just mouth-watering. It's really sad that we don't have any iyengar bakeries in this part of the world. So to bring back those memories, I have a very simple and very tasty recipe of the famous "MASALA TOAST".

I have used whole wheat bread in this recipe since it's more healthy. You can substitute with any kind of bread of your choice.

Whole wheat bread - 4 slices / as required
Carrots grated -> 1 cup
Onions finely chopped -> 1 big
Tomatoes finely chopped -> 1 medium
Green chillies finely minced -> 2
Coriander and Curry leaves chopped -> a few sprigs
Red chilly powder -> 1/2 tsp
Turmeric -> a pinch
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar

Take 2 tbs of oil in a wok. Season with mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, jeera. When they splutter, add green chillies and onions and fry till onions turn pink. Mix in grated carrots, tomatoes, salt, chilly powder, turmeric, sugar and fry till tender. Garnish with coriander and curry leaves.

Butter the bread slices and spread this masala on top. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and bake the masala topped bread slices for a few minutes. Then broil for a couple of minutes till the bread turns crisp. Serve with tomato ketchup or any chutney of your choice. Tastes good even if eaten as it is.


Hi there.......I know I know, it's been ages since I updated my blog. I'm guilty and won't give you any more excuses. Infact....I'll get right to the recipes rather than boring you with my talk. Sorry again.

Another Karnataka favourite....Bisibelebath (BBB). There are a lot of recipes out there for BBB. Store bought powders are good but preparing fresh powder brings out the intense flavors of all the spices used and the taste is heavenly. This is my mother-in-law's recipe and an all-time favorite in our family. I guarantee you will be pleased with yourself when you prepare this dish. You'll see it's not that a big deal to make BBB too. Come on in and we'll gather all the ingredients....

Serves 4:
Toor Dal -> 1 cup
Rice -> 1/2 cup
(Sona Masoori or regular kind, not basmathi)
Mixed Diced vegetables -> 2-3 cups ( more the veggies,the healthier)
( Beans, Carrots, Potato, Capsicum/green pepper, Onion, Chow-chow/chayote, Knol-kohl/kohlrabi)
Dry Copra or dry coconut -> 1/4 cup grated

Take a big vessel and add about 2 Tbs of oil, washed toor dal, a pinch of turmeric and 6 cups of water. Boil till the toor dal is almost done. This will take about 1/2 an hour. Toor dal can also be pressure cooked but make sure it's not overcooked. While the dal is getting cooked , step 2 can be prepared.

STEP 2 - BBB powder ingredients:
Channa dal/ Kadlebele -> 2 tsp heaped (i normally use the white plastic disposable spoon)
Urad dal/uddinbele -> 1 tsp heaped
Dalchini/cinnamom bark/ chakke -> 6-8 half inch pieces
Lavang/ cloves/lavanga -> 5-6
Elaichi/Cardamom/yelakki -> 2
Methi seeds/ menthya -> about 8 seeds
Dhania seeds/ coriander seeds -> 1/4 cup
Dry red chillies -> about 10 depending upon spice consumed
Curry leaves -> a few sprigs

Take a drop of ghee/clarified butter and fry all the above dry ingredients in the same order....dals first and once they turn reddish-brown, the others follow. Fry till a nice aroma picks up. Cool and powder it.

Wash and drain the rice and add to the boiled dal along with the mixed diced vegetables. Add water such that the vegetables are just immersed and boil. When the rice is half done, add salt and dry copra. Mix in about 1/2 tsp of tamarind paste and stir well. By now the consistency should have picked up to a semi solid state.

Add water to the BBB powder from step 2 and make it into a paste. This avoids the powder getting clumped. If powder is added directly to the boiling mixture, clumps form and the powder dosen't get mixed in well.

STEP 5 - Bringing it all together:
Mix in the BBB powder paste to the step 3 mixture and check for salt. Make sure the BBB is a little watery otherwise it will become hard when it cools. Switch off the stove after a single boil. Season with mustard seeds, Asafoetida/heeng and curry leaves. Enjoy with a dollop of ghee and potato chips or papad.