Bharwan Tamatar and an Award

Friday, January 30, 2009

After making the yummy “Stuffed Capsicum Gravy” I wanted to try Stuffed tomatoes also called the “Bharwan Tamatar”.Generally they are made without any gravy,but with the gravy they taste a lot better.Jes the gravy with plain rice or hot phulkas is soooo perfect!

Tomatoes are fruits or vegetables???? Well this was always a matter of discussion.Tomatoes are technically fruits but used as vegetables. While browsing i read that in 1887,the confusion on Tomato being a Fruit or Vegetable reached the Supreme court.And the ruling was-Its a vegetable,so legally it seems Tomato is not a fruit

I personally like it a lot coz of the taste it adds to any dish. It can be used to make a simple curry,act as a base for many dishes and not to forget its tangy taste is jes so heavenly! They are delicious as well as nutritious too.I agree with what Laurie Colwin had said about Tomatoes - "A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins."


Tomatoes – 6 – 8 nos

For the filling:

Potatoes – 2 (boiled and mashed)
Paneer – ¼ cup
Peas – ¼ cup(optional)
Green Chillies – 3 (finely crushed)
Amchur Powder – 1/2tsp
Garam Masala – ¼ tsp(optional)
Salt – as per taste

For the Gravy:

Onion – 1
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Chili powder – 1tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Cumin podwer – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Kitchen King Masala – 1 tsp
Cream – 1 cup
Cilantro/Coriander leaves – for garnishing
Oil – 2 tsp
Salt – to taste


1.Slice the head of the tomato and scoop out the pulp. The pulp can be used for the gravy.
2.Mix all the filling ingredients(as mentioned above) and stuff it in the tomatoes.Rub li’l oil around the tomatoes.
3.Bake at 300F for about 15-20min or until cooked. Allow it to cool.

4.For the gravy,Blanch onion and grind it to a fine paste.Also,grind the tomato pulp separately
5.Heat oil in a Pan,add Ginger garlic paste,cumin seeds, when it splutters add onion paste,sauté until the oil leaves the sides.
6.Pour the tomato paste along with all the powders.
7.To get the gravy consistency, add water as per your requirement.Once cooked add the cream and switch if the flame after 5 mins.
8.Just before serving, place the tomatoes in a serving bowl,pour the gravy on top of it and garnish with cilantro.

I also used Paneer for garnishing.

Cashewnut powder can also be added to the gravy to give a richer taste.Initially, I had planned to send this for CLICK RED hosted by Jugalbandhi,but I don’t think this would fit into that category, coz once the tomatoes are baked their color changes.

However,this was made specially for my husband so it goes for Just For you event hosted by Alka of Sindhirasoi.

Vidhas of Appetizing Recipes has passed this "Lemonade Award" to me.Thank you so much.You are the first one to give me an award...i am thrilled.Thanks again:)

I would love to pass this onto new and old fellow bloggers:) Sowmya,Sriharivatsan,Varsha,Gita,Cham,Rak's Kitchen,Vijaya of Daily Meals,Anudivya and to Lubna who has been the most helpful blogger!


Vegetable Puffs/Patties

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Puffs are also called Patties???? Ya, this was new to me too, it’s defined as baked patties stuffed with mixed vegetables. My in-laws have spent almost 30years of their lives in Kolkota.Once in Chennai,my FIL mentioned about an Iyengar Bakery making amazing patties which sell in no time.I was wondering how a bakery would be selling Patties…coz I was thinking about “Ragda Patties”.

After a li’l wait, I saw hot Vegetable puffs in front of my eyes.They are Patties not Puffs said my FIL,well that’s how they are called in the North. It tasted Yumm…guess the Iyengar Bakeries make the best ones:D.

I’ve never made an attempt to make it from scratch. At a friend’s place I came across Puffs using Puff Pastry and tried it for my husband who likes this alot.I made a spicy sabzi for the filling, this definitely is an easy appetizer!

Ingredients –

Puff Pastry – 1 sheet ( good enough for 10 small puffs)
Corn starch – 1 tbsp
Mixed vegetables – 1 cup boiled( Carrots,French Beans,Potato,Peas etc)
Onions – 1/4th cup (finely chopped)
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Salt – as per taste

Method –

1.Heat oil in a pan,add cumin seeds and Onions.Saute until translucent.
2.Add all the cooked vegetables and the other ingredients .Mix well.
3.Check for taste and allow it to cool.
4.Thaw the Puff Pastry sheet using cornstarch and cut them into small pieces.One sheet can be cut into three layers and further each layer can be cut into five pieces each. Keep altering the size as per your requirement.
5.To make the Puff, place in a spoon full of the veggie mixture (a spoon full) in the centre of the cut pastry sheet, rub a l’il water along the sides and fold ,seal them and bake in an ungreased tray at 400F until it turns golden/ brown.It took me 25mins.

It tastes better when served hot. You can make the veggies as per your choice. Earlier, I had picked the Filo dough sheet thinking it to be the puff pastry, but then later I found the Pepperidge Farm ready to use puff pastry sheets which was the right one. Also am not sure if this is available in India.

Gita passed on the Lemonade award to all her bloggers magnanimously,here it is.A first award on my blog...thanks Gita!

This one is off to Sindhirasoi's "Just for you" hosted by Alka.


Oat-fashioned Strawberry Dessert

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Am crazy about “Strawberries”. I think they are the best fruit that God has ever made:-P. The fruit by itself is not only a treat to the eyes,but great in taste too. They look so cool - a fruit which is something like a heart shaped valentine and not to forget they contain high levels of Vitamin C too.

Ummm....Don't they look heavenly????

I picked up almost three pounds of strawberries and kept thinking what to make.Before I could come up with any recipe,I had already finished eating half of them. After reading Anudivya’s Banana Popsicles I was tempted to make “Strawberry Chocolate dip” which would be on similar lines.

In the meanwhile, I was going through “Taste of Home” a book that I had picked up long back and found a different yet interesting recipe called “ Oat-fashioned Strawberry Dessert”.The name actually amused me alot. I had made “Scandinavian Pecan Cookies” earlier with the help of this book. So I had the confidence of going ahead with this as I didn’t want to waste the yummy berries.

I did add few ingredients as per my choice and here it is…


Fresh Strawberries – 4 cups(sliced)
Whole wheat flour – 1 ¼ cup
Quick cooking Oats – 1 ¼ cup
Brown Sugar – 1 ¼ cup
Baking Soda – ¼ tsp
Cold Butter – 12 tbsp
Sugar – 2 tbsp
Salt – 1/8tsp
Ground Cinnamon – ¼ tsp
Pecans – ¼ cup (chopped)
Cashewnuts and Pistachios – ¼ cup (chopped)

Method :

1.In a large bowl,combine flour,oats,brown sugar,baking soda,Pecans,Cashews,Pistachios and salt.
2.Cut and add butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3.Reserve 1 ½ cup of the mixture for the topping.
4.Pat remaining crumb mixture into a greased 9 inch square baking pan.
5.In a bowl,combine sugar,Strawberries and Cinnamon powder.
6.Spoon over the prepared crust.
7.Sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.Bake at 350F until golden brown.Serve warm.

I couldn't stop taking another one....

It took me 35mins for baking.Fresh berries should always be refrigerated and washed before use.This goes well with a scoop of Vanilla Icecream too....yummy!


Sesame Peanut Spaghetti

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I enjoy watching Ina Gartin’s Barefoot Contessa.She comes up with fine cuisine,great tips,mouth-watering and scrumptious food. It gets too tempting to eat what she makes.The other day, I was watching her make “Crunchy Noodle Salad” were she used Spaghetti,Snap Peas,Olive Oil,Sesame Oil,Sesame seeds,Scallion,Garlic and few other ingredients to make a lovely salad. You can look for her salad here -

I like experimenting with things from time to time. Since am not a salad eater, I tried using most of the ingredients that was used in the original recipe along with few additions as per my choice and made my own “Sesame Peanut Spaghetti “.Yes, I gave it a different name as it was not a salad and not even close to the original one. After I was done with the dish, I felt I could add could something more…How about some roasted eggplant ,tofu???? Ummmm, I will probably keep these for my next experiment and for now here it is…


Spaghetti – ½ pound (thin) – cook as per instructions
Sesame seeds – 2 tbsp(toasted/roasted)
Peanuts - 3 tbsp (roasted and crushed)
Snap Peas – ½ cup (cook in salted water for 5mins until tender)
Bell pepper(any color) – 1 cored and seeded, thinly sliced
Onion – ½ cup (roughly chopped)
Scallions – ¼ cup (chopped) (optional)
Honey – 2 tsp
Parsley/Cilantro – for garnishing
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green Chillies – 4 nos(crushed)
Soy Sauce – 3 tbsp
Vegetable Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt – as per taste

Method –
1.In a large wok, heat Oil, add ginger garlic paste , Green chilies and Onions. Sauté until translucent.
2.Add the Bell Pepper and cook till tender.
3.Add Soy sauce and sauté for about 2-3 minutes and add honey, snap peas & scallions.
4.Gently toss the Spaghetti along with the mixture. Add salt.
5.Ensure all the ingredients are mixed well. In the end add the peanuts and roasted sesame seeds and mix it slowly. Garnish with Parsley/Cilantro. Serve hot.

Instead of Spaghetti,even Hakka Noodles can be used.


Stuffed Capsicum Gravy

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It is the cold time of the year.I’ve always waited for it and now that am witnessing it I feel why the “hell”???.Winter is jes not about snowfall; it’s much more than that. Its white and white everywhere which makes it beautiful but darn painful. Driving gets difficult, I don’t get to go out as often as I used to,severe cold & so on.Today is the worst day,the coldest winter where in temperature dropped to -21 F ie.,-26 C. Huh, we went out for Dinner and in spite of the layers and layers of clothes it was terrible.

Winter is the time for comfort ,for good food and warmth,for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire;it’s the time for home – Edith Sitwell.

And to enjoy the comforts of good food we hosted a Dinner and laid a feast to few very good friends. I tried out “Stuffed Capsicum Gravy” for the first time and it was surely a “hit”.It ended up a l’il spicy but then I toned the spice down by adding cream and it made the dish all the more rich,creamy and tasty!

Ingredients :-

For the stuffing:

Capsicum – 3 (smaller the better)
Potato – 2 boiled and mashed
Frozen Peas – ¼ cup(optional) – cook as per instructions
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin/Jeera powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt – as per taste


Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
Tomato – 5 (pureed)
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Cumin/Jeera seeds – 1 tsp
Kitchen King Masala – 2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1tsp
Kasoori Methi – 2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Cream – ½ cup
Cashewnut Powder – 2 tbsp
Crumbled Paneer – for garnishing(optional)
Cilantro/coriander leaves – for garnishing
Salt – as per taste


1.Mix all the stuffing ingredients except for the Capsicum and set aside.
2.Cut the Capsicum into two halves, deseed and cut the stalk .Stuff the above Potato mixture inside the capsicum.
3.Apply oil around it and bake it for 250F until it gets soft (You’ll see the wrinkles).Let it cool.It took me about 25 mins,am sure the timings completely depends on each oven used so it may vary.

4.Heat oil in a kadai,temper jeera,once it starts crackling add ginger garlic paste, onions and sauté until translucent.
5.Add the Tomato paste,salt,chilli powder,turmeric powder,coriander and jeera powder. Add water (1 ½ - 2 cups).
6.Onc e the raw smell disappears add Kitchen King Masala,Cashewnut powder and Kasoori Methi.
7.Stir well,add cream and switch of the flame.You’ll end up with a tangy thick gravy.

Before serving,place the Stuffed Capsicum in the serving bowl and pour the gravy on top of it.Garnish with cilantro and crumbled Paneer.

The Capsicum's that I used were large so i had to cut the halves again,the smaller the better. Depending on the requirement,use more Bell Peppers/Capsicum.I wanted to make it rich,hence added Paneer and cashewnut powder,these can be avoided too.Also, more water can be added to get the gravy consistency.


Carrot Milk/Carrot Kheer

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

There is only one difference between a long life and a good dinner: that, in the dinner, the sweets come last - Robert Louis Stevenson.

Think of Deserts…ummmm my mouth is watering!

There are a lot of restaurants that I like only for their desert section.In Bangalore(India) one such amazing place is “Frescos” in Cunningham Road. A friend of mine took me there and I fell in love with their deserts. This place has a separate room…yes a room only for deserts:P Variety of deserts are displayed,You gota go there and then make your choice. Once done,they serve it with a great combination of sauce/nuts. The way it is served/presented is a treat for the eyes and makes it all the more tempting.

I’ve always ended up making Halwa’s, Jamuns,pastries or Kheer for deserts.I had enough carrots at home, used a few of them for making Pulao and the rest for making Carrot milk or call it Carrot kheer….its a rich,tasty and a perfect drink!

As a kid, I hated carrots. Somehow the concept of eating raw vegetables never appealed to me. I know eating raw veggies such as Raddish,Beetroot,Cabbage etc are healthy, but I am not a great fan of it!


Carrot – 6
Cardamom powder – a pinch
Milk – 3 cups
Sugar – ¾ cup(increase it as per ur taste)
Cashew Powder – 2tbsp(Plain Cashews coarsely grounded)
Cream – ½ cup

Method :-

1.Peel the carrots ,pressure cook/boil them in water until soft and grind to a fine paste.
2.Bring milk to boil,add the carrot paste,sugar and cardamom powder.
3. Add Cashewnut powder & allow it to boil for about 8-10mins, stirring it occasionally.
4. The milk would thicken a li’l,add the cream and switch of the flame.
Serve it hot/cold.

Personally I like it cold. You can also add chopped Pistachios/Almond or even Kesar.P has a very sweet tooth,so I always make it extra sweet.You can increase/decrease based on your liking.

This will be definetly loved by kids,hence sending this one for Preety's Cooking for Kids(milk/milk products) originally started by Sharmi from Neivedyam

This goes to Varsha's Recipes for the rest of us - Desert event originaly started by Ramki of One Page cookbook.


Scandinavian Pecan Cookies

Friday, January 9, 2009

I wanted to bake some cookies that was easy and found this “Scandinavian Pecan Cookies”. I had picked this book “Taste of Home” few months back and took the recipe from there. While making it, I added few ingredients and also increased the quantity as per my choice .

Scandinavia is in Europe,Northern Europe to be precise.Denmark,Sweden & Norway are a part of Scandinavia.Heard about “Danish cookies”???? Yes - they are world famous.Danes are internationally known for their Pastries,cookies etc. We had my husband’s relative visiting us few months back, the things he mentioned about Norway totally surprised us.I believe they only have few hours of sunlight(might be during winter not sure though) which means complete darkness otherwise. Huh…even here the sunsets by 16:45hrs,but definitely better than Norway. I landed here during Summer and I remember Sun used to set only after 2100hrs.I was zapped! . In India, I have read about the four seasons in the books but never got to see them . The best thing about this place is I get to see all the four seasons distinctively .Of all the seasons "Fall" is beautiful.

Anyways coming to this, I made the Pecan cookies yesterday.I ran out of Pecans in between,so I also used cashewnuts to coat few cookies.


All Purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups
Brown Sugar – 1 cup
Egg – 1 separated
Butter – 1 cup (softened)
Pecans – 1 cup( finely chopped)
Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
Cardamon Powder – a pinch(optional)

Method :

1.Cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.Add Vanilla essence and Egg yolk.Beat well.
2.Add the flour,cardamon and mix well.
3.Shape into small balls,flatten a li’l and dip them onto the egg white(beat it before use) and roll in pecans.
4.Bake at 375F for about 10-12mins or until edges are slightly brown.
5.Cool it well before use.

Once done,it might appear to be soft,allow it to cool and you’ll see the difference.


Spinach Rice

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I am very fussy when it comes to food.My Mom always says that its too difficult to please me:-D Am lucky to marry someone who is just the opposite to me. My Husband doesn’t mind anything I cook,so I don’t bother asking him what he likes to have,what to make etc. I had some green Onions at home and the first thing that came to my mind was “Fried Rice”.Since I had frozen Spinach also,I wanted to come up with something new. I tried making “Spinach Rice” and it turned out well. This is also a healthy dish, coz Spinach is rich in Iron & Calcium


Frozen Spinach – 1 cup
Onions – 1 small(chopped)
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1tsp
Green Chillies – 4-5 (crushed)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce – 1 tbsp
Green Onions – 1/2 cup chopped
Basmati Rice – 2 cups(cooked)
Salt – As per taste

1.Cook the Frozen Spinach as per the insturctions mentioned in the packet. Squeeze excess water and set aside.
2.Heat Oil in a wok,add ginger garlic paste,Green chillies & Onions one after the other
3.When the Onions turn translucent add the Soy Sauce and Stir for a min or two.
4.Drop the chopped green Onions and spinach.
4.Allow it to cook for about 5mins and add rice. Add salt and mix well.

Serve Hot!

I always grind Green Chillies in abundance and refrigerate it,its easy to use it as & when required. I believe adding salt to it helps to keep it for longer.


Matar Paneer

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Flavour/Flavor is determined by taste and smell.One main ingredient that gives flavor to my cooking is the “Kitchen King Masala”, this gives an extra zing to all my north Indian recipes.I would call it my secret ingredient too….Shhhh!

Not many use this in their cooking,I got to know about this thru my husband’s Aunt.She had invited us home for dinner,we feasted on Cutlet,Bisibelebath,Poori,Dum Aloo(this one was a lil different,as the tomato base was cleary seen and made it very tangy) and so on…Oops not to forget the yummy desert - Aam Ras.She actually mentioned abt Kitchen King Masala to me and that’s how I even got to know about it.

This powder contains cumin seeds,Pepper,Coriander seeds,Chillies,Turmeric,Garlic,Dry ginger,Cardamom,Fenugreek,Poppyseed,Clove,Nutmeg,Asafoetida,Dry Fenugreek leaves(Kasuri Methi) etc…..Isn’t this enuf to be a good ingredient? While the usual Garam Masala does have a few ingredients mentioned above but not all.So the “Kitchen King Masala” is definetly the “King” of all masalas:-P

In one of my earlier posts, I had mentioned about some easy North Indian recipes. Another one to the list would be “Matar Paneer”. I had a lot of Frozen Peas & Paneer lying in the refrigerator for long and I kept thinking as to what to make using them. I was in a mood of easy cooking and started off…

Ingredients :

Frozen Peas – 1 ½ cup
Paneer – 1 cup (cut into cubes)
Red Onion – 1(finely chopped)
Tomatoes – 3(pureed)
Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 2-3 chopped & crushed-(Optional)
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp
Kitchen King Masala – 1 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp(optional)
Turmeric Powder – 1/2tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1tsp(increase as per individuals spice levels)
Cilantro – for garnishing
Salt – as per taste


1.Heat oil in a Kadai, add cumin seeds ,Ginger garlic paste,Green Chillies(optional) &Onion. Saute till the Onions turn translucent.
2.Add the tomato puree ,Turmeric Powder,Red Chilli powder and cook till you see the oil disappearing from the sides.
3.Now add the Frozen Peas and little water to let it cook.Cover it with a lid.
4.Once done,add Kitchen King Masala and Garam Masala(optional).Saute for about 5-7mins
5.In the end, add the Paneer ,mix gently.Close the lid for few minutes and garnish with Cilantro. This goes well with any Indian Bread/Rice.

I grinded the green chilles along with the Tomato Puree,as it is better to grind than to crush.Not many use Green chillies in Aloo Matar as Red Chilli powder does the job.I have also seen people adding both the masalas(kitchen king & garam masala) so I've mentioned it above too.


Mixed Rice Noodles

Monday, January 5, 2009

It has been days since I’ve written anything. Before I hit the bed, I keep thinking of all the things that I did during the day and there is nothing much I cud think off, coz “I did nothing”. I’ve been procrastinating blogging for days. I shouldn’t be saying that I was extremely busy and had absolutely no time for blogging…..this isn’t right as I have/had all the time in the world….its jes that “ I’ve become tooooo lazy” these days.

The winter here is killing me,temperature is like 0F…its horribly cold. Probably it’s the weather that’s making me lazy. However things go, the time I spend in Kitchen doesn’t change. I still enjoy cooking, my husband ends up being the guinea pig most times.:-P

I remember eating Noodles and Rice together in a Chinese Restaurant in India, I seldom remember the name. I came up with my own recipe by just keeping the taste in mind.

Anyways,I call this Mixed Rice Noodles.


Chinese Noodles – 1/2 pkt (I picked up the Veg Hakka Noodles from the Indian Grocery)
Basmati Rice – ½ cup cooked
Capsicum – ½ cup(sliced)
Cabbage – ½ cup(thinly sliced)
French Beans & Carrots – ½ cup ( thinly sliced)
Onions – 1 cup (diced)
Ginger Garlic and Green chillies paste – 1tbsp
Crushed peanuts – ¼ cup (optional)
Spring Onions – ¼ cup(finely chopped)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Soy Sauce – 2 tsp
Salt – as per taste


1.Cook the noodles as per the instructions in the cover.
2.Heat oil in a large wok,drop in the ginger garlic and green chilli paste(I grinded all the three together)and saute the chopped Onions and Capsicum till they turn soft and glazed.Add the veggies on to it.
3.Once they are done, add the soy sauce. Saute it for about 2mins and add the noodles.Toss well.Peanuts can be added before adding the noodles(this is optional)
4.Now add the rice and salt.Sauté for about 5-6mins & garnish it with spring onions and serve hot.

This goes well with Gobi/Veg Manchoorian or any other gravy(chinese cuisine)!Ensure the cooked rice doesn't stick to each other.Instead of Basmati Rice,regular rice can also be used.

This is off to Trupti's Winter Treat Event.


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