Ulli Garelu/Indian Savory Onion Donuts

Happy Srirama Navami!!

I recalled my childhood memories and there is not even one festival I could remember of that passed by without making garelu in our house. My mom used to grind the batter on the morning of the festival in a wet grinder and used to set up a big kadai on mud stove (Kattela Poyyi) to make garelu. hmmm...Good old days..I miss them a lot...
Well enough of my memories and stories here is the recipe for tasty ulli garelu..Enjoy guys!!


Palli Chutney/Peanut - Coconut Chutney

This is not a regular Palli chutney or Kobbari chutney on its own. I am not a big fan of Kobbari(Coconut) chutney on its own but I like a hint of it in my chutney. So I came up with this one. Adding lemon juice is my addition to this chutney which leaves a unique kind of after taste in your mouth.  This chutney goes well with almost any kind of Indian savory breakfast items.



Chicken Quesadilla

Next to Indian if I have to pick one cuisine, without second thought I will pick Mexican. Starting from the chips and salsa I love each and every dish from the Mexican cuisine. Be it Tortilla soup or Tacos or Fajitas or Tamales or Chimichanga or the one recipe I am going to write below. You name it I love it :).  That is how much I love Mexican food.

Here is my version of Chicken Quesadillas...


Cinnamon Toast



Ingredients
12 slices Bread
2 sticks Salted Butter, Softened at room temperature
1 cup Sugar

Panakam / jaggery pepper Drink

This sunday is Srirama Navami and the first thing that came to my mind is Panakam.

Srinava Navami falls on first navami(9th day) of the Hindu calendar. It is celebrated as the birthday of Lord Rama every year. Panakam and vadapappu are the two things that are must offered as nivedyams(offerings) to Lord Rama on this day.



Here is how my mom used to make the Panakam.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

This is one of my favorite recipe in the whole world. When it comes to soups, my favorite soup any give day will be Tortilla soup. I can have this every day(well may be for 4 days in a row).

The broth is what makes this soup so special. Tortilla soup is made out of chicken broth which is light and combined with roasted tomatoes, onion, chiles and tortillas, cut into strips and fried. Well with very little modifications, here is my version of Tortilla soup.


Chicken Biryani

Chicken Biryani Pakki style

The dish I am presenting today is one of the first dishes I have learned to make after I came to states. The procedure might look big and might take a little longer but trust me, it is worth it. Once you taste the dish you will forget all the effort you put into making this dish and you will get carried away to food heaven. Just the aroma of the dish will make you drool (No kidding!!!).

Dum biryani can be made two ways: Kachi and Pakki. A lot of practice is needed to master the Kachi biryani. But Pakki biryani is lot easier to make and it just tastes almost the same. Pakki means cooked where we cook all the different components separately and assemble them at the end.  You do not need lot of experience to make this recipe. All you need is little patience and time :). 

Fried Onions

Ingredients

1 large onion chopped thinly length wise
2 cups thick butter milk
1 1/2 cup maida / All purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
Oil for frying

Method
In a bowl soak the onions slices in butter milk. Keep aside for an hour.

Mutton Keema / Ground Lamb


Ingredients
1 lb ground lamb/Goat
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 green chilli minced fine
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tbsp red chilli powder (Adjust as per spice level)
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp lemon juice
4 tbsp green peas (optional)
1 tbsp oil
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp turmeric (optional)

Almond Butter Cookies

Cookie time!!! Honestly I am not a big fan of cookies or any sweets for that matter. To the contrary my hubby dear is fond, fonder, fondest of any sweets..Well there are couple of advantages with that..Number one there will be no fight for the last cookie or sweet..Number two, as I am making this for my hubby dear, I do not have to clean the dishes....Number three, as I am lazy to do work outs, not eating sweets will save me some(not some but a lot of) calories YAYYYYY!!!!

Okie okie I understand the look on your faces. I am coming to the recipe. Below is my version of almond butter cookies:

Badusha

Happy Ugadhi to all!

For who does not know what Ugadhi means, Ugadhi is our New year. New year for us does not fall on same date every year which makes it interesting. Usually back in India, people treat and celebrate New year as a festival, make sweet and savory items and offer them to God before eating them.

Here is a recipe for Badusha which is a big satisfaction for people with sweet tooth. People who are watching calories better stay out of this recipe (Just Kidding!!!)....

Chinese potstickers/Dumplings

 We used to live in Houston couple of years back. There used to be this Chinese place in downtown which used to serve vegan dumplings during weekdays. I would easily eat a dozen in a minute. Those dumplings were so yummy..
We moved from Houston and every time we go to a Chinese place here we ask if they have vegan dumplings and the answer was a big fat NOOOO.. This is it. I was determined to make some on my own and here is the recipe for my version of dumplings. To my surprise(actually to my hubby's surprise) they turned out real good and my husband ate them all. He begged me to make more next time.Yay!! I do not have to clean the dishes for today :)..

Here is the recipe

Chinese Dipping sauce


This is one sauce that goes well with any kind of dumplings or spring rolls or fried wontons. Add a tbsp of honey to make it a bit sweet and sticky...

Ugadhi Pachadi

My mom used to make the Ugadi pachadi every year for Ugadi. This is my mom's recipe with my little twists to make it a bit tasty.

There is a story behind the Ugadi pachadi I used to hear all the time while I was a kid. This pachadi consists of six tastes (shadruchulu) which represents all the different emotions of life. This Pachadi tells you that just like this combination of all the different ingredients makes the pachadi tasteful, life is combination of all different emotions and you have to work it out to finally make your life meaningful. Also, Ugadi is the beginning of a another year and making this pachadi symbolically tell you that may the year ahead is filled with all the emotions in the right measurements to make it a golden year.


Enough of my story.. :)..here is the recipe

Vankaya Tomato Pachadi/Eggplant Tomato Chutney


Ingredients 
1 big eggplant/Brinjal (about a pound)
2 big tomatoes
5 to 6 green chillies(depending on the spice level)
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 large lemon sized tamarind
salt per taste

Chilli Chicken

Give me chicken any form - I will eat it...hold on....I will take my words back..Give me  cooked chicken any form and I will eat it.  yeah now I said it right :)..

Of all I like chicken deep fried. Fried chicken coated with spicy sauce is like icing on the cake! Here is one recipe which exactly fits my spicy fried chicken cravings ----- Chilli Chicken it is!!!! mmmm mmmm and a big mmmmm..

The beauty of this recipe is you can get this as much or as less spicy as you want. .Ever since I tasted this dish for the first time, I fell in love with this dish.

Stories apart..Here is the procedure to whip up this dish and I bet you will fall in love with this dish too....

Eggplant/Brinjal Fry




Ingredients
1 lb eggplants/Brinjal
1/2 large Onion chopped
salt and red chilli powder for taste

Fruit Smoothie

There is a saying about meals. Eat breakfast like a King.. eat lunch like a Minister and eat dinner like a Queen... which translates to have a heavy breakfast, moderate lunch and a light dinner..

For me I am not a cereal person and to make breakfast every morning is next to impossible because I am not a morning person...I figured out a way to keep me filled..A SMOOTHIE!!!!!!!!! easy to make..serves your daily fruit and most important thing is it is nutritious and keeps me filled and focused..

I tried out a gazillion recipes to make smoothies..common not exactly gazillion..but made many varieties of smoothies. I wanna share one of my favorite smoothie here..

Chicken 65

It is raining outside and my palette demanded for something spicy, tasty, cruncy and chickeny. Wait.. Is chickeny a word? who cares ..it is for me :)... The very next thing that came to mind is Chicken 65..

Do not ask me why they call this dish chicken 65. I heard a lot of stories but none made sense to me. All I can give you is my version of this yummy recipe and I know that is all you want too :)

Here is my version of Chicken 65.


Vegetable Biryani

This weekend I was going through my fridge and freezer and there are lot of veggies waiting for me to be used. The only thing that came to my mind was Vegetable Biryani!! This is a one dish wonder which is spicy yet healthy.


Raitha/yogurt sauce

Here is a dish without which Biryani is not at all a complete dish as per me.. Writing this will make my mouth water for sure..


Here is a tasty recipe for Yogurt Raitha!!

Murg(Chicken) Musallam

Today I made a Awadhi style chicken curry. This dish is rich, creamy, flavorful and can be served with rice/roti/naan. This dish calls for some time and little bit of patience for preparation. At the end I promise that you will appreciate yourself for making such a rich and tasty dish.





Mini Phyllo cups

I am a big fan of finger foods when it comes to appetizers. I love foods which can be picked up and can be finished in one single bite without any mess.

Here is a simple recipe which is super easy yet looks fancy and which makes you a super hero in front of your guests.


Majjigacharu/Perugu charu


This is a simple and delicious dish which my mom used to make all the times. There are lot more variations in cooking this dish. This is my version of a simple yet yummy dish..





Ingredients

2 Lb Fat free Yogurt
1 1/2 large onions

Healthy Fruit Juice

I think beetroot is the most underrated vegetable. But the fact is beet is a good antioxidant. It is also a good source of lot of nutrients. Do not get fooled by the dark red color :).

Here is one great juice recipe which includes beets yet tasty..


Chicken Chettinad

Ingredients
1lb Chicken
1 medium Onion
1 large tomato
1 tsp red chilli pwd (adjust per taste)
1 tsp turmeric
4 curry leaves

Creamy Chicken Lasagna

Well..It is cold outside and I am in the mood for some yummy comfort food....I am really in a good mood for cooking :)..On my way back home from office I stopped for grocery shopping...Wandering in the aisles figuring out what should I be cooking for dinner, these oven ready Lasagna sheets caught my eye...Voila ..There you go...Chicken Lasagna it is!!!

Ok..enough of my story..Below is the recipe to make my version of Chicken Lasagna.


Rava Kesari

Ingredients
1 cup of sooji/semolina/suji
1 1/2 cup of Sugar
5-6 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cardamom powder
1 cup of milk
1 1/2cup of water
1 tbsp of cashews
1 tbsp of raisins
Pinch of Saffron 

Pesarappu/moongdal payasam

I wanted to make some sort of payasam and I do not want to go the traditional route. I was browsing on the net and this one recipe caught my eye. The combination did not sound right to me at first but I tried making it anyways... I was surprised by the way it turned out. It was tasty..very rich and creamy, not too sweet to palette which I like. Try it and I bet you will be surprised by the way it tastes...

Baklava

Baklava is a Middle Eastern specialty. Baklava is made in many shapes I decided to make them in rolls. Instead of honey I used combination of sugar and honey to glaze and flavored with cardamom.

Baklava is made using phyllo dough; it is available in frozen section where you can find puff pastries in supermarkets. I bought Athens Pyhllo dough at Target.
Recipe will make 24 pieces