Showing newest 11 of 43 posts from April 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 11 of 43 posts from April 2011. Show older posts


Mutton Keema Masal Dosa - Restaurant Delight

Kothu-kari Masal Dosai:

Other Names: Mutton Kheema Masal Dosa. Kaima Masal Dosai. Minced Meat Dosa. Minced Meat Stuffed Crepes.


Dosa batter

For Masala:

Minced meat 1/4 kilo
Green chilies3 sliced
Onions large 2
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Tomato 1 crushed
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Garam masala 1/4 spoon
Fennel seeds 1 spoon
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons
Cilantro leaves few.


Cook minced meat in a pressure cooker, till tender. Set aside along with its water.

In a wide wok, heat oil. Add the tempering spices, followed by chilies, onions and ginger-garlic paste. Wait till its reddish brown and fragrant.

Then add tomatoes, turmeric and chili powder. Cover and cook briefly.

Followed by minced meat along with its water. Remove the lid and cook over high heat, till oil separates.

Finally garnish with cilantro leaves.

Use this as a topping for dosa.


Quail Tomato Curry - Hot Food Lover:)

Kaadai Thakkali Kuzhambu:

Other Names: Kaadai Curry. Fiery hot Quail Curry. Hot and Spicy Quail Curry. Kaadai Thakkali Masala.


Quails 1 pound(Cage free bird/ peasant bird)
Garlic 2 whole head, peeled and grated
Country Tomatoes large 3-6 (made into puree)
Dry Red Chilies 10-15 (Roasted and Powdered)
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Lemon 1 large fruit
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Dry red chilies 3 - crisply fried for decoration
Curry leaves crisply fried for decoration
Sesame oil 1 cups


In a large non-stick wok, heat oil. Add mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Let them pop and splutter well. Set aside to garnish.

Marinate the birds with salt, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder and pinch of turmeric.

In a wide wok, add oil. Add garlic and fry them till fragrant. Then followed by chili flakes/powder...fry till fragrant.

Stir-in marinated meat along with its juice. Fry real good till opaque.

Now add tomato puree to it. Cover and cook over medium heat. This gravy will splatter around your stove top. So keep it covered.

Once gravy consistency is achieved and oil shows up on top, remove from heat.

Squeeze lemon juice if necessary. Garnish with the tempering spices(step 1).

Serve warm to go with you plain steamed rice, idly, dosa or barotta/roti.


Alu Qorma - Miss Mommy's Touch!!

Baby Potatoes Korma:

Other Names: Urulaikizhangu Kurma. Aloo Korma.

My Mom's style of cooking is pretty good, but with quite standard predictable kind of menu. As my Dad doesn't like surprises at the dinner table, she never attempted anything adventurous in the kitchen! Though my Mom handed down a bunch of authentic specialty recipes to me,I rarely took a look at it!!! As I traveled a lot, got introduced to newer dishes, tasting different foods became a hobby and whenever I chanced upon locally available ingredients, I never failed to experiment. Yes, my cooking has definitely become more varied over time! However, now looking back...I just crave for Mommy's preparations! I am the one, who said "can't you try anything different Mommy"!! All my relatives and friends swear that my Mom's Korma is the best in the world. They are absolutely right, she makes some incredible korma...just like that?!:)


Baby potatoes 7-10
Fresh coconut milk 1 cup
Poppy seeds paste 1 teaspoon
Green chilies 3 slitted
Onion 1 small - grated
Onion 1 small sliced
Ginger-garlic paste 1 teaspoon
Tomato 1 crushed
Tomato 1 chopped
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Cinnamon 1 stick
Cloves 3
Fennel seeds 2 teaspoons
Cardamom 1 crushed
Bay leaf 1
Curry leaves few
Mint leaves few
Cilantro leaves few
Ghee / butter 1 table spoon.


Scrape the potatoes and prick with fork on all the sides and allow this to stand in cold water, to avoid discoloration.

In a wide crock pot, heat ghee. Add the tempering spices. Followed by chilies, onions sliced + grated and ginger-garlic paste. Fry real good until fragrant.

Now add tomatoes too, fry real good until it turns pulpy.

Further add salt, turmeric and chili powder. Followed by potatoes, add 2 cups of water. Cover and cook over low-medium heat. Once the potatoes are half the way done, add poppy seeds paste and coconut milk. Boil without lid until oil separates and potatoes turn tender.

Serve to go with pilaf or soft rotis.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts - Cooking for Others:)

Kilai Koss Varuval:

Never been a big fan of Brussels Sprouts!! Have you heard this before? Sometimes we don't live for ourselves, sometimes we have to do things that we don't like and sometimes we have to mingle with people we hate. Well, I dislike Brussels Sprouts in all forms! I dunno, I was never particular when in comes to food! But it gives me creeps to enjoy this veggie alone!! Even the best preparation in the world doesn't tempt me at all!

And cooking for others could be equally fun too. I fix this quite often with utmost care and love, during my cooking sessions and to significant others. My mantra is treat others like you treat yourself. In fact, nothing feels so great than feeding others:)


Brussels sprouts 7-10
Extra virgin olive oil 1/2 tablespoon
Lemon juice few spoons
You favorite seasoning 1 teaspoon.


Wash and clean the vegetable. Remove the outer bracts and trim the stalk.

Now coat them with olive oil and sprinkle salt. Cover and bake them for about 30 minutes.

Once the veggie is done, remove the foil(cover) and add seasoning and lemon juice. Now broil the same briefly for 4-7 minutes, often turning their sides to get that rich roasted flavor.

There you go, its done. Maybe drizzle few spoons of oil before serving.


Yam Leaves Curry - Grandma's Recipe For Success!!!

Oxford News A severe tornado passed by my little town (Oxford, Mississippi). Since yesterday night...the weather has been pretty wild. Storm with 80 km speed, lightning, thunder and rain!

Today, as I heard the siren warning in the noon, I rushed to the basement (hurricane shelter) in my house. I stayed there trapped for more than 2-4 hours! First time, went nuts without power supply. Absolutely no way to connect with world, no phone, no net, can't open the garage, food and cooking is out of question...good that everything was back to normal by evening.

Later this was very depressing to discover that severe property damage in our neighborhood! Just about 500 feet away from my home (subdivision); the trees uprooted, electric posts toppled, pavements broke, lakes are overflowing and some houses are knocked down. Good that so far there is no life loss, just few accidents have been reported here and there. Though everything turned back to normal, it gave us a fright. This is the time, we value life.

Tornado Video

Tornado Damage Pictures

Keerai Kuzhambu:


Yam leaves 1 bunch
Thuvar dal cooked 4 cups
Tamarind milk 1 cup
Green chilies 3 slices
Onion 1 chopped
Garlic 7-9 cloves crushed
Tomato 1 diced
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon

Tempering Spices:

Thallippu Vadagam
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon
Fenugreek seeds 4
Peppercorns 2
Dry red chilies 3
Urid dal 1 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few
Sesame oil few spoons.


Saute the greens briefly and wet-grind the same, set aside.

In a wide wok, heat oil. Add chilies, garlic, onions and tomatoes. Fry real good, then followed by cooked lentils. Cover and cook for few minutes.

Then, add the greens puree to it. Further add salt, turmeric, chili powder and tamarind milk. Cook without lid, until oil separates.

In a separate pan, heat oil and temper the spices. Now run this seasoning over the gravy prepared.

Serve warm to go with steamed rice.


Stuffed n Broiled Eggplants Masala - For the Love of Food!

Sutta Kathirikai Masala Varuval:

Other Names: Stuffed and Grilled Aubergine Spicy Stir-Fry. Stuffed n Broiled Egg-plants in Indian Spicy. Gutti Vangaya Masala Kura.

Delicious dishes are all made alike; Whereas, every ruined preparation is done in its own way! Does this make any sense?!

I mean...I have used this famous first sentence of Tolstoy's great novel Anna Karenina: Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way! What he meant is actually in order to be happy; a marriage must succeed in many different respects...such as, opposite gender attraction, agreement on finances, discipline of off springs, extended family members-in-laws, and other vital issues. So, failure in any one of those essential factor ruins a perfect couple's happiness!!

Likewise, for some of the soul food preparation, I need plenty of ingredients to go into trigger that nostalgic past, reflecting nativity, reminding ethnicity, re-kindling authenticity, perfecting gourmet sentimentality and finally teasing the palate with that sensuality:)

Therefore, in order to bring one simple family recipe, I have to shop around the globe! Am giving a bit of my shopping trail list. Just in case, if you are living in the country side, deep south...probably you may find it very useful:)

Rice - Call up my friend who ships it to me or buy whenever I travel to the big cities!
Indian whole spices - I bring it from India, yearly once! Use them religiously with care:)
Powdered spices - Mail order it! Always better than shopping around!
Indian Native vegetables - International market & Chinese / Korean Market (that's right) at nearby cities 200-300 miles! Shop once in a blue moon!
Sesame oil, Curry leaves - Indian stores, which is only 150 miles away
Tamarind pulp - Mexican stores
Fresh coconut, Pearl Onions - Local Farmer's market
Other Ingredients - Kroger, Wall-mart (good only 20 miles from my home)


Indian Eggplants - 5
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Fresh tamarind 1 large pod
Sesame oil 1/2 tablespoon
Curry leaves few.

Spices Required:

Dry coconut 2 spoons
Coriander seeds 2 spoons
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 spoon
Poppy seeds 1 teaspoon
Dry red chilies 7-9
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Peanuts 1 fistful

To Serve:

Steamed rice to go with.


Dry toast the spices and powder the same.

Slit the eggplants lengthwise twice but by still holding their shape. Don't trim their stalk either...can be used as a stick to hold, hehe:)

Now stuff half of the powdered spices into the eggplants, smear oil if necessary.

Either grill or broil the vegetable to bring a nice burnt odor!

Meanwhile, extract tamarind milk and set aside.

Heat up the griddle, add oil and tempering spices if needed. And followed by remaining powdered spices. Further add salt, turmeric, chili powder and tamarind milk. Cook over low-medium heat, without lid.

When oil separates, add the eggplants and cook briefly.

Serve warm to go with your steamed rice. Enjoy your meal:)

Navadhanya Dosa - An Insight Into Nine-Planets!

Nine Planets (Navgrahas / Navagragangal):

Sun (Surya/Suriyan) -Wheat (Geghu/Gothuma)
Moon (Chandra/Chandhiran) -Paddy(Chawal /Arisi)
Mars (Mangal /Chevvai) -Lentils (Toor/Thuvar dal)
Mercury (Budh/Bhudhan) -Green gram (Hara Moong/ Pachai Payaru)
Jupitor (Guru/Brihaspati) -Garbanzos (Chana/Kondai Kadalai)
Venus (Sukra/Sukiran) -Val Beans (White Rajma/Avari)
Saturn (Shani/Sani) -Black Sesame (Ellu/Til)

Two Satellite planets (Ubha Gragangal):

Rahu -Black gram (Ulundu/Urad)
Kethu -Horse gram (Kollu/ Uluva)

The very idea of seeing the planets position, stars, and other celestial bodies as living entities is a rich source of knowledge with myth entangled to it! It has been observed cross-culturally around the world with numerous citations. Almost every known old civilization has its own story to tell.

According to Prasna Marga (Astrological treatise) all the planets: Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn; the Sun and the Moon; Rahu (Ascending lunar node) and Ketu (Descending lunar node) are all cosmic powers. Astrologists claim that zodiac sign influence the minds and life style of human beings.

Many believe that performing navagraha pujas and conducting homas (yakhna) will please the gods. It brings an instant gratification and an emotional well-being state. As most of the rituals are still centered around brotherhood, charity, sentiments, sharing and enjoyment. Should it be the way of life?! Well, I never fail to acknowledge the wisdom at unusual places!

In Hinduism, nine different cereals are used to worship each deity. Whereas, I used my culinary ability to bring this into one dish:)

Navadhaniya Adai:


The Nine Cereals that I mentioned above, each about a fistful.
Salt to taste
Dry red chilies 3-5
Ginger 2" grated
Peppercorns 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1 teaspoon
Curr leaves few
Sesame oil few spoons for making dosas.


Soak all the above mentioned cereals overnight. Wet-grind the same along with spices mentioned above. Add just enough salt and water.

Heat up the griddle and make thin crepes or thick pancakes, as you please. Cook both the sides, drizzle with few spoons of oil.

Serve warm with chutneys.


Special Gifts - I am on Cloud Nine!

Well, it isn't just another bunch of awards to be shared! This is a special token of love and hearty appreciation from my friend Sangeetha. Yet another fellow food blogger turned buddy beyond the web world:)Thank you sweet heart:) She said, these awards are exclusively to Kitchen Tantra dot com for my sincerity, hard work and passion:)

You know what? I never won anything in my life to be proud about!! So, whenever there is love in the air, it feels right! A way for me to connect with world and great people:)

Actually, I am kind of trying to be content and satisfied with little things that I do in my life! However, can't deny the fact that it is overwhelmingly blissful to receive a honest feed back, sometimes! In that way, I truly respect and enjoy this award shower to the core:) Certainly, it means a lot to me:) Yes, I am on cloud nine:)

Let me take this opportunity to thank blogging world! And million dollars thanks to Sangeetha. Am going to cherish this lovely moment forever:)

These flowers from my garden goes to Sangee:)
Orange flowers symbolize kindness and gracious acceptance:)

And yellow flowers symbolize gratitude:)

Oven Baked Okra in Yogurts Based Curry - Healthy Option!

Vendaikai Mor-Kuzhambu:

Other Names: Bhindi Kadhi. Vendaka Mor Curry.


Okra 1 large bowl full
Yogurts 4 cups
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Oil few spoons.

Wet Grind these to a Thick Paste:

Pepper 1-2 spoons
Green chilies 5
Thoor dal 1 cup - soaked
Tomato 1
Ginger 3-4 inch size. peeled.
Garlic 4 -5 cloves

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon
Urad dal 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Dry red chilies 3
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons
Oil for shallow frying.


Spray oil in an oven safe tray, spread the vegetables. Bake for 20-30 minutes over 350 degrees. Once the okras turn crisp on the outside and not so sticky anymore, remove from heat.

Heat oil in a wok, add wet ground paste to it. Fry them till the raw odor is gone.

Further add asafoetida, salt, turmeric and baked veggies. Mix them well. Then add yogurts and bring it to boil.

In a separate pan, heat oil. Add mustard, cumin, asafoetida, red chilies, pepper and curry leaves. Fry for a while...till they pop and splutter. Run this seasoning over the gravy made above.

Serve warm along with plain steamed rice.


Chicken Manchurian - It Can Only Get Better!

Chicken Manchurian:

Of course I love chicken. And Chicken manchurian is something I cook several times but somehow missed posting this recipe! You know what? Its only gets better the each time, slightly improvised than before!

Otherwise nothing much to rant with high spirits has been a usual weekend...the shopping, gardening, cleaning, movies and books. And yes, some experiments in the kitchen:)


Chicken breast - boneless, skinless cubed 2-3 cups
MSG 1 pinch
White pepper 1 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Food color - red 1 pinch
Garam masala 1/4 spoon
Soy sauce light
Corn flour
Egg whites from an egg
Lemon juice few spoons
Oil for deep frying.

For Dressing:

Tomato sauce
Soy sauce heavy
Hot sauce(optional)
Green Onions finely chopped
Green chilies 3-4 chopped
Garlic 7 cloves chopped
Ginger 2" chopped
Corn starch (optional)
Chicken broth/stock 1 tablespoon
Bell peppers 1-2 diced
Sesame oil few spoons.


Marinate chicken with salt, MSG, pepper, chili powder, food color, soy sauce, flour, garam masala, egg white and lemon juice. Maybe overnight or at least 2-4 hours.

Now deep fry them in smoky hot oil, till golden to reddish brown.

In a separate pan, heat sesame oil. Add all the above mentioned ingredients and bring it to sauce consistency. Then add the fried chicken to it.

Let the sauce coat well to all the sides. Remove from heat and serve warm as an appetizer.


Cilantro and Pistachios Pesto - Boredom Breaker!

Home-Made Pesto Sauce:

Eating a block of cheese right away from the fridge used to be a bliss of spinster-hood (Am not under any surveillance, duh) !! Not being obligated to feed anyone but myself made it a very easy choice to settle down with whatever lies in the pantry or have it delivered! When I was studying...I befriended bunch of take-out center boys to deliver my lunch promptly during exam time!!

Sometimes, cooking for myself is not only a time-consuming process but also a thankless chore. Even if I make an effort to bring something healthy my concentration is completely out of control! The biggest challenge is to cook for one! However, rather than snacking on the junk food all the time, it is better to play with ingredients! It could be a boredom breaker and who knows, eventually one will learn something (edible or not-so-edible) as a result!!! See, I started with single burner electric skills have improved more than mere whipping Maggie noodles! So, there you go...get ready for cooking!


Cilantro leaves alone 1 cup
Pistachios nuts 1 fistful
Garlic 2 cloves
Lemon juice few spoons
Salt as per taste
Olive oil few spoons.


Blend all the above mentioned ingredients together. Use this puree as a sauce for your pasta, spaghetti etc. Enjoy home-made delicacy.