Showing newest posts with label Pasta. Show older posts
Showing newest posts with label Pasta. Show older posts


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.


Curried Macaroni / Spicy Macaroni

Curried Macaroni:

Cook mac' as per the box directions, and get creative. I just added, some mint leaves, garlic powders and lots of crushed tomatoes. Garnished with parmesean cheese, dinner ready:)


Pesto Pasta / Green Herbs Enriched Pasta - Pasta with Snow Peas

Pesto Pasta:


For Pasta:

Extra virgin olive oil
Pasta - your fav' shell.

For Sauce:

Basil leaves 1 bunch
Parsley 1/2 a bunch
Pine nuts toasted 1 table spoon
Extra virgin olive oil

...Wet grind them to thick paste.

For Toppings:

I used snow peas
Parmesan cheese to garnish


Cook pasta as per the directions.

In a wide wok, heat oil...add snow peas and stir-fry for couple of minutes. Add the sauce and followed by pasta. Cook briefly or until the sauce gets absorbed...garnish with cheese.

Serve warm as a main dish.


Spaghetti with Vegan Meat Balls/ Spaghetti with Soya Chunks

Spaghetti with Soya Chunks:

Listen up ladies, I know this recipe isn't gonna win any sort of culinary awards for innovation or anything. But for a routine traditional cook, it was pretty darn easy. I fixed this spaghetti for dinner, last week' altered the regular meat balls with some soya chunks! Now, was that cooking or what? It turned out to be a best meal, with minimal effort:)


Chinese Chow Mein / Chao Mian - Chinese Fried Noodles

Shrimps And Veggies Chow Mein:(Chinese Style)


Spaghetti - a bunch
Bell peppers/Capsicum
Eggs 2 - scrambled
Shrimps with shells 1 cup
Sesame oil
Chinese 5 spice powder
Red chili flakes
Ginger 1" grated
Garlic 2 minced
Thick soy sauce
Chili sauce
Garlic-sesame soy sauce
Honey 1/2 spoon
Green onions to garnish.


Cook the noodles alias pasta as per the direction. My should be done, but never over done:)

Stir-fry veggies with pinch of salt and MSG. Set aside.

Marinate shrimps with soy sauce and stir-fry till crisp. Set aside as well.

In a wide heavy bottomed wok, heat oil. Add 5-spice powder, chili flakes, ginger-garlic and the noodles...fry over high heat, until oil coats on it, evenly.

Now add all the sauces plus honey. Further add the fried shrimps plus veggies, eggs etc. Fry over high heat. Garnish with green onions.

Serve warm as a main dish. Its a complete meal:)


Vegan Pasta Biriyani - Recipe Adopted from Gita's Blog

Pasta Biriyani:

Over the past few years, as more and more I traveled, the more I tasted and experimented quite a different decadent recipes:) Since, my days are already sorted out with working commitments, cookery classes and regular damn chores...I hardly ever get a chance to try those cakes, soups, salads, pastas from my fellow bloggers' that keep tempting me endlessly, even in my dreams:)

So, when Gita kept ranting all about healthy food and stuff...I was gleefully eager to incorporate some of her wise ideas.:) Particularly, I am bit inclined towards Biriyani(Okay okay, easy...I know you all knew that). When I saw her recipe for Pasta Biriyani' it certainly went deep inside my heart and got crystallized there, the next moment I am with shopping cart, at super market...looking for quality pasta on the aisle. Well, if you haven't tried fusing Italian stuff with Indian herbs, probably you might want to give it a try...the complexity and richness all in one simple recipe, definitely guaranteed satisfaction:)

Here is the Original Recipe:)

Below is my Tweaked Recipe:


Radiatore Pasta 1 cup
Soya chunks 1/2 cup
Green chili 1 chopped
Onion 1 small bulb - grated
Tomato 1 small - pureed
Ginger 1" grated
Garlic 1 clove minced
Mint leaves few
Cilantro leaves few
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 1 stick
Bay leaves few
Garam masala powder 1/4 spoon
Olive oil few spoons.
Tomato wedges to garnish
Cilantro leaves to garnish
Parmesan cheese to garnish(optional).


Cook pasta as per the directions behind the box, set aside. I add salt and a spoonful oil to it while boiling, in case if you want to try that:)

Boil the soya chunks with enough water and salt for about 7-10 minutes. Once it is done...squeeze the excess water out, retain the chunks.

In a wide skillet, heat oil. Add the whole spices, followed by chilies, onion, ginger and garlic...fry real good, maybe till the raw odor is gone.

Further add the tomato puree, mint, cilantro leaves and garam masala powder.

Now add pasta and soya chunks to it...fry over high heat, briefly.

Garnish with chopped tomatoes, cilantro leaves and Parmesan cheese.



Pasta Alfredo - Pasta it is!!!

Pasta Alfredo with Stir-fried Vegetables and Fried Shrimps on the side:

Cook Penne pasta as given in the box-directions.

Rinse and retain the shells. Mix with your favourite Alfredo's sauce, I like the one which has lots of garlic and mushrooms.:) Sprinkle a lot of Parmesan, as though you were waiting for me to suggest...duh!

Now for the side dish, if you're vegetarian...choose your favourite veggies. I picked broccoli and zucchini...not that I liked, but just had them in the fridge, lol.

Well, heat olive oil...add garlic powder?(yeah powder), salt and chili flakes(optional). Stir-fry vegetables briefly and set aside.

Here I come, Shrimps:) Okay, heat up the skillet, add olive oil. Put-in the garlic powder, chili flakes and shrimps...stir-fry for couple of minutes and add the tomato puree. cook over high heat...until the shrimps turn crisp and aromatic. Wow, its done.

Well, arrange them in a platter and treat yourself or others.


Kitchen Mishaps - Event Round Up

Cooking Disasters - Share, Laugh and Learn!!!

Kitchen Mishaps:

Many (at least few, who spoke to me offline) think, that I am a decent cook! My friends were so excited that I cooked (huh, at least I could trick them into believing that). Some unknown sweet friend asked me 'how to make Christmas fruit cake'(to me?!). Gosh, wish she had seen my Lousy Cake Episode!

Last Christmas, I made a major fire accident in my house...left a pot of oil on the hot stove and stepped out for shopping...after that terrible experience, I had a huge success rate of avoiding host parties altogether!!!

Very rarely(frequently), when it turns out completely inedible...I bury those in my backyard (Yes, I am a sneaky person). Sometimes I take pictures (why? why? how could I?)...just to release copyright free pictures, ha ha. (See, my damn pictures have been plagiarized several times, just a revenge).


Cooked anything that was totally unpalatable(accidentally or intentionally)! Come on, feel free to share with me.

Do you have a funny story related to cooking disaster! What could be more fun than self-deprecating?! Please share and laugh with us.

What were the kitchen mishaps that still haunt you?

Rules and Regulations:

1. Lousy food pictures are invited but not mandatory.

2. Interesting anecdotes, food pictures and recipes are most welcome.

3. All are invited (Newbie, amateurs, experienced cook and chefs) and don't be shy.

4. Multiple entries are encouraged. If you have a previous entry for this theme(just in case)! Please re post them and link back to this Event Announcement.

5. Non-Bloggers - please mail me your experiences, recipes and photographs.

6. Bloggers - Please add the logo to your post and link back to this Event Announcement.

7. Send me your entries to

Event Roundup

1. Rebecca
How to Make an Appam?

2. Gina Says

When reading this, the first thing that came to mind was a disaster that happened before I started blogging: I was trying to multitask and was cooking dinner on the stovetop while also preparing a wonderful dish of brownies for dessert for my husband (who at the time was my boyfriend I was trying to impress). The dinner was done first so I removed everything from the stovetop. A few minutes later the brownies were fully baked (I was very impressed at my timing!), however when I took the brownies out of the oven, I placed them on the stove (that was still HOT) and left the kitchen. Minutes later we heard a huge CRASH and came into a kitchen full of shattered glass and brownies...oops, now I'll remember not to put glass on top of a hot stove!

The other mishap I've had while blogging was an attempt at a tomato sauce that turned more into a watery mush... :(

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato and Garlic

3. Priya Prashanth
1) Rich Fruit Cake: Rich fruit cake looks really rich, isn't it?. Well it does tasted very good, but instead of maida i dropped rice flour in story is, the maida got over and i didn't know it, my maid had put rice flour in the same bottle and stored it in the same place where maida was originally there.

And thus the confusion, i didn't know it was the rice flour till it came out as biscuit instead of soft spongy cake. As the taste was good, it got over by evening, Everyone ate it as biscuit..haha!

Well i tried it the very next week end with maida, and now after repeated failures i got it right!...It was good and the recipe is there in my drafts, will post it soon!

2) Wheat Halwa: This is another disaster, which is suppose to be a halwa. But it tasted too sweet that nobody could have even half a piece. The ingredients were wheat flour, jaggery and ghee. It was my try actually ( just thought of combining all these together).

Wheat Halwa

Rich Fruit Cake


Me, Microwave and Mouse! -

I'm alone. Just to kill my loneliness I started cooking. Meant to say, cooking my own food. A man who cooks for himself must be bachelor or a Tom Hanks of Cast Away. Later may not fit to me at this moment..!

Always I took this cooking mission with pinch of salt.

Okay... prelude over here; let's get in to the kitchen. It has a microwave oven, gas stove, utensils, sink, veggies, cutleries and a mouse (not the desktop one)

That day I got a full bottle of my favorite tipple - it's a Smirnoff Citrus Twist vodka!

I decided to cook. This decision itself enthralled me..! And, I continue to thrill my kitchen and myself just by cooking.

This was the plan or plot:
Item: A Miso salad


Handful of noodles (or Magi)
Frozen sweet corns
Frozen peas
And what ever you get in the kitchen (except the mouse)

My blogging experience must be flattered. As I got some wonderful recipes from my blog-mates everyday, I encouraged myself to the state of what-ever-you-cook-goes-to-you-only and no worries about the comments.

Please make it simple at least. My cooking doesn't require any mandated preps or deco. Just I'd to take some solid item with my drink.

I blended all the ingredients in a microwave safe dish and gave it to the biggest mouth of the oven. Turned it to 4 mins. After whistling, air-guitaring and watching TV, I'd to return to my oven. I could feel the aroma (it’s from my kitchen only... really!!)

I took the stuff and add to my dine table along with my main dish, Vodka. It' was a perfect combo I'd say. The yellow label of the bottle, thick yellow of the bowl, corn-peas colored dish, pappad, cucumber salad and the loneliness made a perfect blend of colors there (see the pic)

I was bit worried to have a salad. You know something the salad is the costliest item in the restaurant and cheapest one in our home. I chopped some veggies and made a plateful of rounded veggies.

Just settled.... Started with my Smirnoff... I took the salad as side-dish.

2, 3 and 4 rounds were over. I heard a noise from my kitchen. It was just ki-ki-kichh only.

As a common man, I would bit stay away from ki-kis. But that time something charged me and gave me visa to visit my kitchen. I went to kitchen and first time I'd to have a face to face meet with my kitchen mouse.

I bet that 4th round of vodka really turns on the '007' in you. Believe me... I grabbed a dosa spatula on my hand and ready to attach the mouse. Only in that time I caught how the mouse commutes to my kitchen in an out. It's through a cable that connects my microwave oven to the externally fixed wall socket which is out side of the kitchen window.

First time I've seen how a mouse can walk over a hanging cable. Wonders apart, just I hit the cable by spatula and mouse fell down.

Spatulas are stronger than your nightmare and the mouse. I tried it out..! Mouse died..! First time in my life, I took the photo of a corpse (see the pic) I've to write more to explain how I disposed the mouse. Phew! Not here!

…. And, the rest of the story… I had 5, 6 and 7th rounds... without touching any of the items I cooked that day.

Miso salad and the veg salad were untouched. I felt terribly hungry. I went to my regular restaurant in that night and ordered Kerala parota and veg curry. It was around 10:40 pm. The waiter bowed to me and said,

'Very sorry sir... all items over'

'Hei, but I am starving ... please get me something to eat.'

He must have smelled the breath of vodka from me. He calmly got in to the kitchen and returned after few mins.


'Sir, I can get you some dosas. Would you like..?'

I was starring his face for a minute I sure (tipsy!??). Then, I quitted the restaurant with empty stomach.

There must be some late night platform shops over the Bangalore streets where I can fetch some bananas. I walked with a belief.

5. Peanutts

Chocolate Eclairs

6. EC

Zebra Cake

7. Nithya

Disaster Halwa


Sago Vada and Microwave Chocolate Cake

9. Sowjanya

Sending out trays and trays of aromatic dishes from the kitchen is an art. And to get to that level of confidence and comfortable cooking is a whole big story. And to rectify the mistakes you make in the kitchen and be able to present it as whatever it turned out to be and you can still smile..priceless

I’ve been there in the kitchen couple of times..blinking, confused, wondering what to do and quickly thinking of how to cover up the disasters.

Since I grew up pampered by mom and sis, I never bothered to learn cooking for a long time till I had to leave home to join University. I thought cooking was simple, stir fry, boil or bake. If only I knew how many technics are there in stir frying itself!

The first thing that comes to my mind about mishaps is when I made rava kesari(sheera) for my mom one day for her pooja. I assured her that I’d make it by the time she is home. I was in high school at that time and thought all the sweets were made of sugar syrup. I patiently made a sugar syrup, and poured all the rava into it. Two minutes later, I was not even able to pull out the ladle from the pan as it was stuck to the pan with fevicol strength We had to soak the pan with all the contents in hot water to get rid of the gooey-rava.

There are a couple of other stories like that too, but apart from cooking disasters, for me, the major issue is the instructions given and the language it is given.

My husband speaks a bit of kerala-tamil as he is originally from palagad of kerala and I am from tamilnadu. This incident happened just a week after we moved to the US after our wedding.

We were invited to a get together and like nice daughter in law I made this list of dishes I could prepare to take it along. Hubby glanced at the list and said to me ,” Why dont you make Varatti, that would be nice”.

I was literally shocked and I was speechless. For a minute I didnt know what to do. In tamil, varatti is literally cow-dung used as a bio fuel. Or was he indicating that my cooking was like that?

I immediately demanded an explanation and he was laughing like anything. To him , varatti is chakka varatti a traditional sweet made in kerala, almost like a jam and made out of jack fruit. And he did not know what varatti was in tamil.

Now, if and only if I had packed what I thought it was to serve for dinner, that would have been my ultimate kitchen disaster.

10. Shifa


As soon as I saw the title of the event, I was totally YES to participate in the event, as it was original, new and something out of the usual titles and moreover, I have collected a good number of blunders in my kitchen.... in so many years of cooking experience and my trials and my re-trials to excel a dish, imagine how many times I'd have messed up!!

I've gone through all sorts of disasters, from deserting the boiling milk on the stove to over cooking the ingredients....and I can go on.....yes, I do make mistakes like any other normal human being...and after all I beleive that I make mistakes to learn better....:):):)

You remember my last post Flan/ Crème Caramel that I did for my Papas's Bday? well, the recipe is fine and I got it well..... no doubts in that!!!!

well, actually I had all the ramekins filled and there was a little more of the cream left and ofcourse a lazy bug like me would never want to take the pain to wait and cook it in the next batch...instead of doing that, I filled up quickly another oven-proof dish; PS: I filled up without even greasing the dish (urge to finish up the work and to quit the kitchen soon) and didn't bother to coat the sides with the caramel either!!! In fact, as I was finished with the caramel which became a rock by that time, ofcourse I wouldn't take the time to do the caramel once again, no, no, no, it's too much of work!!! and sothis is how I illtreated my flan without any caramel and baked, as it is, along with my other ramekins.

12. Spice

Fate Could Not Be Escaped


I Know all of you must be thinking why do we need to see the picture of boiling milk. I really wanted to share this tip with all of you because it really works.Few months back i read it in some magazine that when you boil the milk put a wooden spoon on top of the pot and when the milk is boiling it won't fall off. So last month, while making pudding I decided to give it a test, and as u can see in the picture it really works and did saved my day, but I never got a chance to post this. I took the picture approximately after 50 seconds of boiling process and I believe any body who has ever boiled milk knows what a mess it is when milk over boils & it's all over the stove top.

I did stir the milk after every minute or two because i didn't wanted to burn the milk. BUT I think it's a good tip to keep in mind so that next time, when you are in the situation where milk is boiling & you turned your back on it just for a second and uh...oh...

Now you must be thinking if this tip saved my day then what's with the title of the post "Fate could not be escaped". So, here how it goes One fine morning, I woke up and as my daily ritual went to the kitchen, got all the stuff out for breakfast & lunch..... started getting food ready.... served my DD her favourite cereal with milk, she happily finished everything & off to school. Next I served breakfast to DH, & the story starts.....

He : this milk has a smell.
She : really ????? I opened the milk jug just two days back only.
He : r u sure?
She : yes.....DD just had it...didn't complained.
He : no words spoken...trying to finish his breakfast.
She : I guess they(milk producers) must have changed the cow's diet....hence the smell...

Situation : everything went O.k. he's off to forward to 1 the milk jug out, pour it in my cup, got a thought in mind let me smell it....oh, boy it does have a little smell.....checked the milk jug for expired 4 days I get it, he was right after all. What happened was that this milk jug was lost somewhere at the back of the cooler box after we used half of it last week. So, mystery is solved now, crossed my fingers & did little prayer to the God, DD & DH don't get upset stomach because of the spoiled milk (through out the day every phone call scared me). Finally when DD came back home, checked how was your day and answer was was a relief....

Back to the I'm thinking what to do with this milk.....should I make a curd(home made yogurt), NO that's not a good idea......O.k decided paneer(Indian cheese) is the right option. Put the milk to boil, and went on with other things....kept checking it in between, milk is almost done may be another 3-4 minutes, turned the stove to low put the wooden spoon on top.......went outside the kitchen for a minute to see little, little one saw mommy & wants, mommy picks the little one and forgets all about the milk and spends good 20 min. or so to help little one sleep.......came back to the living room & wondering why I left the kitchen light on....OMG, it's the milk....ran to the kitchen & saw that my wooden spoon has saved my day, thank God. Quickly took the action & tadhaa....paneer(Indian cheese) is ready, I strained it directly in my steel strainer & left it on top of the pot to get all the water strained out........and thinking, wow, I saved the money going down the drain(get it, instead of throwing the spoiled milk i turned it into cheese...isn't it great).

Fast forward 2 hours, time to fix the lunch......saw that cheese, looks like still have some water in it as I didn't put any weight on it. Took that same wooden spoon, you all know that they have round handles and not flat kind, using my thumb on the handle try to squeeze some water out of the cheese and uh....oh....Fate could not be escaped. Thumb slipped, lost control of my hands & cheese is all over the kitchen. Little one came running to the kitchen, saw the mess & gave me a big smile as if saying Thanks mommy for setting up a big mess & eating from the kitchen floor game......let's start playing now.........and yes, did I said, I still saved some cheese around quarter of a cup.

13. Sharmilee


14. Padma

Chilli Gobi

15. Abhirami

Rock n Roll Roti

16. Kanchan

Mong Dal Chilla

17. Cooker


Since the cupcakes etc flopped so badly, I wouldn't want to give out the sources!
A double flop.

The recipe for the cupcakes was from a favourite blogger. Maybe the there is nothing wrong with the recipe. Maybe it was a bad idea to substitute cake flour for all purpose flour (the box of cake flour said it was ok to do so).
The result were these cupcakes which looked good and smelt great but tasted horrible. Extremely pasty to taste and very doughy.

The recipe for the frosting was from a favourite magazine. For once I followed the recipe to the letter. The result, nonetheless, was terrible. The recipe was unusual. Sugar, milk, and flour (yes, flour) was cooked to create a goopy consistency. Butter was beaten into the cooled goop to create something nasty.

I have baked plenty of disastrous. But so far everything that I've tried from this blogger or the magazine have always turned out just right and so the disappointment is greatly magnified.

18. Nithya Balaji


Kaju Kathli

19. Nivedita

Tried and tasted by Nivedita

Hi All,

Is there any one who learnt cooking before messing up the whole kitchen, self painting your face with flours or burning poor vessels!!! I really feel very bad for the vessels in the kitchen, these are our victims which tolerate all our crime on them. But may be even the vessels will feel happy if our food turns out good, which is not regular for new bees.(hey, just for fun)

Sending it to Kitchen Mishaps - Event Announcement! by Malar Gandhi of Kitchen Tantra - tease your palate.

I do not believe in PRACTICE MAKES MAN PERFECT!! NO! Because no one is perfect in this world.


So Girls, do not loose your hope if you are not getting success in the beginning.

Now coming to the title, I started thinking about my funny, bad or very bad experiences or mishaps. But these are not funny to sit and enjoy the reading.

As I told before, first thing I learnt to make was Upma. When I learnt(at the age of 7) and started making it, first it was always either more watery or was half cooked with raw onion smell. But as the days passed I learnt to make it tasty and edible.

Next I remember is to make Jowar rotis. I really do not remember how many rotis I might have wasted either while patting it or frying or cooking. But I learnt it after very long time practice.

And then comes the TEA. I always used to get scoldings from my uncle(Father's brother), because he never liked my tea. Either it used to be like hot water or it used be more sugary or some times like only plain milk!!

My most worst mishap is with sago kichadi! It becomes like rubber always. Now also, if kichadi comes out perfect, its like a celebration for me.

Then comes the rice preparations, Till 6 months back , I always got scared to make any type of pulao, bath, biryani!It always turned out to a disaster. No one liked my rice as it was always bland without salt or any masala. But as my daughter loves to take rice for her lunch I forced my self to learn more of these dishes and now I can make variety of rice!

Now a days my most disaster food is baking the cake. My cake always turns out like a stone!!! or comes out with dark burnt ring on the edge. Or my cake is never cooked.

But!! I do not have any pictures taken when these mishaps took place.

I hope you will visualize the photos and read it. Sorry!

20. Sudeshna
I just came across the event organized by Malar this month. It’s a lovely event, the theme tells you everything about it – Kitchen Disasters. Kitchen disasters are not a new thing in probably anybody’s kitchen, especially for those who recently got married or just moved away from home. When I started cooking a year and a half back even I faced such problems frequently. Kitchen mishaps have now gone down because of the practice, but of course it’s not extinct. But when it comes to baking I am always there to do some kind of mishaps. The main reason behind this probably lack of a proper baking oven. I always try to bake something in the microwave oven and it turns out to be awful. Just last month, after much searching on the internet I got hold of a youtube video which taught to bake a cake in a cup in the microwave. I followed the steps, and the result was horrible. The first one was hard like a stone with an entirely blackened core. One burnt cake could not turn me down, I tried with the other one – that was even worse than the first one, it looked like a cake, but couldn’t eat it. It was so spongy, that my sister and myself started pulling from both sides to tear it into two pieces.

I clicked an image of this disaster, and was waiting for the right time to publish this. And what better way can I find but to send the entry for an event. The burnt cake chapter never turned me down, and so I was again in search of something to bake in the microwave oven. This time it came to my google reader, a post on microwave cookies by Indrani. I was very happy to get this post. First, the post was from a very loving person. Second, the cookies were baked in the microwave oven. I followed almost the same way as Indrani’s but made a little change but preparing two types of dough – one with honey and the other with chocolate, just to bring a little color to the cookies. I used the Cadbury chocolate, broke them down into small pieces. The cookies, to my utter happiness turned out to be good, at least not burnt or having some disastrous textures. But, they were a little hard which was probably because of over baking them. When I asked Indrani about it she said to Microwave the cookies for a less time.
Baking Disasters and Microwave Cookies

21. Usha Rao

Few months into blogging, I started writing a post about cooking experiments gone south. At that point, I had at least two experiments to write about. Soon after I started drafting that post, I became an inactive blogger and completely forgot about it. Last month when Malar of Kitchen Tantra asked us to share our kitchen mishaps with her, thats when I remembered this post. That is when I decided to complete this post and if I don’t do it now, I think I will never finish it.

I am not an expert cook but I can confidently say I cook decent and edible food. No cook is perfect and even professional chefs have their share of disasters and mishaps in the kitchen, and I am no exception. When I first came to US after marriage, I had many burnt pots and pan and I still do have some, once in a while. The last time I burnt my pot was 3-4 weeks ago. I was boiling chopped bottle gourd to freeze it for later cooking. I put the pot on medium high flame and went back to my desktop to work on something. I completely forgot about it. Since I was just boiling the vegetable, I didn’t switch on the vent either. At least the vent noise would have reminded me of the pot on the stove! Half an hour later, I smelt something burning and thats when I realized I had a pot of vegetables boiling on the stove. The bottle gourd pieces at the bottom of the pot were charred black and stuck to the pan. I soaked the pan all night and scrubbed it hard to clean the burnt pan. This is how it looks after 4-5 washes…

You can imagine how burnt this pot was when this disaster happened This pot requires one more scrubbing with comet!

I have one 1 quart pot which I use extensively to warm dals and shorvas, and boil pigeon peas and lilva beans. This poor thing has the worst fate of all the pots and pans in my kitchen. Since this is the smallest pot, I use it very often to boil and reheat food. Obviously, the quantity I cook in this pot is small and my cooking burners are too big for this pot. You can image the state of this poor little guy! It always has burnt marks all around and in it. I once used this pot to deep fry mirchi bhajji and fortunately, there was no fire in the kitchen!

Coming to the food disasters, I have a few pictures to share. This past year, since I wasn’t an active blogger, I have not noted down any disasters that I had in the kitchen. Here are a few pictures that look terrific and tasted terrible.

I tried coconut~kobbari karijalu back in Jun or July of 2008, for AFAM: Coconut. I spent more than an hour preparing these karijalu. I hand wove the karijalu, which was time-consuming. I took step by step pictures as I made them and they looked perfect until I tasted them.

I should say those were rocks, not karijalu; they were hard, brittle and difficult to bite. After that, I never again attempted making karijalu. Both U and I are not very fond of traditional Indian snacks, and did not even bother to figure out why and what went wrong. I was not going to make them anyway. So why bother.

Then there is this Pongal and Pachi Pulusu. I made this 8-9 months ago, according to the date stamp in the photo. Pongal is prepared by cooking rice and mong dal together in some ghee/clarified butter along with some spices. Pachi pulusu is raw tamarind juice tempered with spices and red chilies. White rice, dal and pachi pulusu is an awesome combination. Since pongal is made with rice and dal, it complements pachi pulusu. As I made this a long time ago, I don’t remember what went wrong with this preparation. I either made pongal very spicy and added too much ghee , OR made pachi pulusu very sour or very sweet, OR both pongal and pulusu turned out bad. Obviously it was not up to the par to put it on the blog and I don’t even have a draft for this recipe.

Few weeks ago, I made mushroom biryani for the first time. I love mushrooms and love biryani as well! So, how could I go wrong with mushroom biryani? One friday afternoon, I experimented with it. As soon as made it, I took pictures and sat down to eat. I was very hungry and it was almost 2 pm and it tasted ok. I had some left over and put it in the fridge. Next day, I asked my cousin over for lunch, who is a vegetarian on Saturdays, and I didn’t bother to check on the food as I had this biryani. I re-heated the food and gave it to her. Rest of us had chicken biryani. Towards the end of my meal, I tasted some mushroom biryani and you would not believe me, rice was hard and dry. Poor thing, my cousin didn’t say a word and ate it. I was very embarrassed. Looking at the picture, you would say I am lying or I have gourmet taste buds. But believe me, I have a witness to vouch for me here! I am not giving up on this biryani yet. I am gonna try it again and share the recipe with you all very soon.

Then there is this dessert I tried out from a very popular blog. I have a very bad habit of not sticking to the recipe. I think I am an expert cook and tweak the recipes a little bit here and there. This time, I tweaked it a little too much and the result was awful. The recipe called for gelatin sheets and I substituted it with gelatin powder. I think I used too much gelatin and the dessert was very firm. I also messed up the syrup and it tasted bad.

This Thanksgiving, I made Chocolate Mousse. This time I didn’t tweak the recipe at all and followed it exactly as it was given. The only change I made was freezing mousse, when the recipe called for refrigeration for few hours. I did not have few hour on hand, instead froze it for about an hour. The result was a disaster. Mousse was hard, more like hard chocolate and no texture of a mousse what so ever. Surprisingly, U finished his bowl of mousse with ease where as I struggled to finish it. Don’t ask me about my niece and nephew! It was a torture for them. They worked on it for almost an hour and eventually gave up on it.

Oh, I almost forgot the worst food that I cooked in recent times, broccoli rabe. This was 3 months ago when U’s aunt visited us. This stir fry went straight from the cooking range to garbage can. The taste was awful; pungent, bitter and a weird smell. At least my other disasters that I mentioned here were edible; but this one takes the prize for the worst food I ever cooked in recent times. I don’t even want to attempt cooking this vegetable again!

I think I was successful in recollecting quite a few disasters. When I resumed drafting this post, I could hardly think of 3 incidents and managed to come up with seven. I enjoyed doing this post and I think I should do this more often, perhaps once a year? Every december, along with “Best of”, I ought to do “Worst of” as well. That will be fun.

The moral of this post for novice and newbie cooks is, don’t be intimidate by the art of cooking. Everyone has gone thru this face and you are no exception. Get into your kitchen and whip up a concoction and who knows, that might be your most cherished recipe.

22. Swathi
When I saw kitchen mishap event, I thought oh my god I have only a few events to send, like burnt ghee, while making some homemade ghee, or burnt cracker’s, making some graham cracker at home. Then come two good episode of disaster while baking in my kitchen stories.

I was planning and intended to make a cornmeal cake similar to Brazilian cornmeal cake with coconut milk, cornmeal and all purpose flour. I wanted to make it eggless at the same time along with the use the spotty banana from my kitchen counter. My hubby says I will get over enthusiastic about something especially baking something new. I started as usual measuring everything, mixing and preheating the oven.

It didn’t rise even after 45 minutes of baking, so the chef in me thought that it is okay, since I didn’t add egg, so it won’t puff up a lot. Then comes the taste test, it tasted somewhat under cooked. I was literally crying over my banana, coconut milk and walnuts I have wasted.. After my taste tester (dear hubby) agreed with my finding, entire thing found a nice place in my garbage bin.

Disaster's No 1 and 2 Recipes

23. Sadhana & Muskaan

Oats Almond Macaroon? - Sadhana

There are three things which i regularly bake - Bean burgers, Vegan Oat Bar(will post the recipe soon), Cookies using Almond & Oats Flour.
Thinking of saving energy when using the oven, i bake all these things on the same day.
This was one such day, i had the Oat & Almond flour, beans, Oats and nuts all sitting on my kitchen countertop and i wanted to finish all
the baking and cooking before my Kids come back from school. The vegan Oat Bar uses banana as the binder and i added two bananas to be pureed
to my food processor. Suddenly the phone rings and while talking in the phone i proceeded to finish the baking job. Distracted with the conversation
instead of adding the banana puree to the Oat bar, I added it to the Cookie flour and without realizing mixed it. Only after thoroughly mixing it, i realized
my mistake. Thus was born this Oats Almond Macaroon or suggest me a good name for this. When i baked them they were crisp on the outside and crumbly
in the inside, the next day they were all spongy. But before eating i put them in the toaster oven and toast for around 5 minutes and it gives a crunchy
texture on the outside and of course they all tasted good. Why not, might be i might try making these once again when i have some ripe bananas
in the hand. Now let us get on to the recipe.

24. Gita

This post is my entry for “Kitchen Mishaps Event” conducted by my friend Malar . Thanks a lot Malar for holding up your post for one more day for me :) This is a very interesting event, I am looking forward to read the entries of my foodie friends. I don’t have any photographs of my messes (I keep deleting all the disheartening photos periodically….that would have made this a good post) I guess, but I do have some funny stories to share. Some of my friends whom I have met recently think I am a great cook, but I have had my fair share of kitchen mishaps and disasters starting from over spicy foods to too-sour-to-touch curds, even some burns or cuts, wherein I would call my hubby and cry over the phone :(. Recently I even had a small accident while making seedais. Luckily I managed to escape this with two burns on my hand but hot oil spilled all over the kitchen starting from the cabinets and floor, to the ceiling. It took hours for me to clean everything.

During the initial days of my marriage when we were staying in Hyderabad, my grandma was staying with me for a couple of days and one day we decided to make puris for breakfast. She asked to mix the dough. I started to mix the flour, water, and oil and when I mixed everything the dough looked strange and it was too smooth to touch until I realized that instead of maida (all purpose flour), I had used rice flour! Luckily, grandma prepared thattais from that dough, so it was not a total disaster.

There was one incident that happened the first week of my stay in Hyderabad. I was a new bride then and a newbie at cooking. I think it was the very first day when my parents left me and went to Pondicherry. Hubby dear was too confident of my cooking and invited a friend for lunch the very same day (he never made that mistake for a long time after that…these days we have friends frequently at our place to hang out). I panicked, but I managed to bring out a decent meal at least that’s what I thought. I prepared vatha kuzumbu, rasam, omelette, rasam and we managed with a few store-bought items. Turns out that I didn’t add tamarind for the kuzumbu and I didn’t know at that time that the onions should be sautéed at first before adding them to the eggs….oops! that was a total disaster, it was one huge lumpy omelet.

There was another incident when I was staying at my sister’s place. We learnt a good lesson that day, never make gobi Manchurian with besan. We ran out of maida and corn flour, so we prepared cauliflower bajjis and added them into the gravy. It was a soggy mess but the taste was ok.

These are a few funny incidents with my cooking, for the rest, you need to ask my guinea pig (my hubby). He is sure to have a lot more stories. I hope all of you had a good laugh over this post :)

25. Viki Xavier

I am a person who believes in the proverb 'Failure is the stepping stone to success'.
Here I am narrating how I climbed my stepping stones to land at this delicious ice cream cake. After that heavy turkey biryani on Thanks giving day , a scoop of this cake made me tell Worth the effort !

The plan:
Last month I planned to prepare an Icecream cake for our Thanks giving celebration.
Hubby was pestering me to do this for an year and somehow I got some courage to try this time consuming cake.

The major problem I dealt was with the melting time of the ice cream and my frosting speed. You all know , I am not a professional baker, so my skills on frosting (according to me frosting means - apply cream on cake) the cake was so limited.

My 3 layers were very perfect. So I was kind of floating ....guess what happens now:)

I had the guidance of a website, which told me to take out the ice cream to melt before we start applying. I had it on my counter top, finished dinner and even did my dishes and started the icing process....hi hi..what could you expect! Mindless viki poured all the ice cream over the cake just like a heavy cream and stashed it in to the freezer. After all my bed-going rituals, when I opened it there was a huge shock....all the ice cream I poured and leveled were on the freezer floor....myself started panicking:(

Plan B:
Then I somehow made up my mind ....started doing the research. Took out the cake, kept it in fridge area, cleaned the freezer and again kept it in freezer.
Now I figured out that the website didn't tell me the timing to freeze it.

Luckily I started doing this experimentation by Monday....3 more days left for Thanks giving day. So I used another pack of ice cream and finished doing it by Tuesday.

Lesson learned:
1.Always have some back up plan and extra groceries if you plan a new recipe.
2.Start preparing the time consuming dishes very ahead.
3.Stick to the recipe and be sensible if we follow any newer dish.

26. Indu Srinivasan

1. While trying to make badam burfis, they did become very soggy and turned out to be badam halwa
since I could not draw a line and cut the pieces.
Here is the picture which turned out opposite to what I had wanted.

2.Another cooking disaster is related to the potatoes which I had put in the kadai with masalas and was stirring and cooking.

While I was just stirring the potato I got my usual gossip phone calls. I was having a very peppy and juicy conversation with one friend after another and totally engrossed in deep conversation and totally forgot about the potato on the gas. Suddenly I could get a very bad nauseating burnt smell in the mist of my joyous conversation. I just told my friend to hang up and remembered that I had the potatoes on the gas in quite a high flame.

Can u just imagine they had all turned charcoal black, and hubby dear was supposed to be home within the next 15 minutes or so for lunch. I was angry at myself and also dissappointed and had to quickly make something for him to have with rotis. I had to throw all the burnt potato cubes in the trash and furthermore had to scratch the kadai to remove the strong burnt residue all over and in the middle.
I have still not forgotten about that. Now I try to be careful and alert.

27. Malar Gandhi

Stuffed Pasta - Screwed!

Screwed Pasta Salad:

Created a new dish (blunder), which still needs a sincere 'Title'(or stuffed pasta for the time being)!!! This recipe goes to my Kitchen Mishaps Event.:)

It was way past dinner time and I was pretty hungry plus very sleepy! Why? why I do this, what on earth I was thinking?? Took a pot of water. Now the pasta goes into the pot...the pot goes on to the stove, and the cook(myself) goes for a little nap!!! Good news, I saved the pasta.:)

Now, comes the creative mood', smeared the pasta with tomato pickle' (Yes, not that bad idea at all). Stuffed the shells with sliced eggs(Yep, looks good huh). Yes, it was, all until I planned to decorate it with Parmesan cheese and microwave! Cheese never melted, Pasta went dry and Eggs spluttered!!! I was all bananas (why it should be always nuts).

Each time, threw some more cheese and heated it...tried and tried (until I got tired). But the resulted dish, remained the same! And then what??? The food was pitched to the bin. End of story.:) Still I wonder...what I was aiming for, the whole time.:)

Lesson: Never attempt a new dish when you are terribly hungry or sleepy!!!