Jan 30, 2010

Ragi Idiyappam/ Ragi Sevai

This is one authentic South indian breakfast which has the goodness of ragi/finger millet flour combined with rice flour and pressed using a press to make thin noodles. It is then steamed and can be served with various sides. We made it simple and had it with some fresh shredded coconut and sugar. It goes well with vegetable stew or made as a savoury sevai.

This is the recipe I used..

Ragi Flour - 3/4 cup
Rice / Idiyappam Flour - 1/2 cup
Boiling water about 1 1/2 cups
Salt to taste


Mix the rice flour, ragi flour and the salt together. Add the boiling water slowly and mix with a spoon. Keep it covered for about 3 to four minutes. Once it has cooled enough to be handled with the hands, knead to form a thick dough.

Slightly grease the idiyappam press and the steamer/ idly moulds. Using the idiyappam press, make thin rice noodles on the idly moulds.

Steam using the pressure cooker without the whistle or whatever methods you generally use for steaming. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Allow it to cool slightly and transfer to plates.

Serve with whatever condiments you like!
Sending this to JFI:Ragi hosted by Madhuram and started by Indira.

Also sending the following entries:
Ragi Malt with jaggery
Ragi puttu
Ragi Koozh / Finger Millet Porridge

Sending the ragi Idiyappam to Kidz Delight: Wholesome breakfastand to Cooking for Kids - Creative food hosted by Sara and started by Sharmi

Jan 27, 2010

Spinach Banana Smoothie

I'm Popeye the sailor man!!!

I got several interesting answers for the guessing game yesterday!

My smoothie consisted of
Spinach - 1 cup
Banana - 1
Cold Milk - 3/4 cup
Oats - 1/2 cup

Wash the spinach thoroughly. Chop the bananas roughly. Add all the ingredients to the blender/juicer and pulse till you get a smooth smoothie!

Just delicious!
The banana masks the raw taste of spinach. If the banana is not ripe enough you could add a spoon of honey/ agave nectar for more sweetness. I did not add it though.

This smoothie contains the goodness of the superfoods - spinach, oats and banana and has a good serving of fruits n veggies. What more could one ask for! There was no compromise in the taste aspect as well.

Do try this and get hooked on to its taste!

Also do check out my other smoothies!

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
Quick breakfast Smoothie
Dates Milkshake
Blackberry Smoothie
Mango Lassi

Sending all these recipes to No Cook Event and also to Cooking for Kids - Creative food hosted by Sara and started by Sharmi

Jan 26, 2010

Guess my Breakfast Smoothie!!

This is the breakfast smoothie I had for my breakfast today! It was so so delicious!

Guess what are the ingredients in it???
It has exactly four ingredients in it..

Will post the answer tomorrow!

Jan 24, 2010

Homemade Bean Burritos with Buffalo Rice

It is the time to Taste and Create again! This month I was paired with Nicole of For the Love of Food. She has an amazing blog with recipes from various cuisines. Her photographs are really amazing! I had a variety of recipes to choose from from which I made these delicious bean burritos. However, I used a few store brought ingredients for the burrito instead of making my own refried beans.

I made a few additions to the recipe. I added guacamole and a dollop of sour cream.The burrito tasted much like the seven-layer burrito from Taco Bell!

Refried Beans - 1 cup
Basmati rice - 1/2 cup
Hot sauce - 1 tablespoon
Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese - 1/2 cup
Salsa - 1/2 cup
Tortillas - 4 or 5
Guacamole - 4 tablespoons
Lettuce - 1/2 cup shredded
Sour cream - a dollop for each burrito

To prepare the spanish rice, cook the basmati rice with 1 cup of water until nice and fluffy. Add the hot sauce to the cooked rice and mix well until evenly coated. What a quick way to make spanish rice!
To assemble the burritos:
Warm the tortillas on both sides by heating on a skillet.

Here is an easy way to wrap the burritos perfectly as Nicole says:
1. Layer refried beans down the middle of the tortilla – don’t use too much or it won’t roll! Stay at least 3 inches away from the ends.
2. Sprinkle some cheese over the beans.
3. Cover the beans/cheese with rice.
4. Close the tortilla by:
a. Folding in the sides (right and left) in towards each other
b. Fold the part closest to you over the middle, there will be 2 little “wings” sticking out, fold those in, and tuck the large flap under the beans as well as possible.
c. Fold the top flap towards you making sure to fold in the little “wings” and tucking below the burrito.
d. Place seam-side-down on a serving plate
5. Top with salsa, lettuce, and any other topping you desire. Some enchilada sauce would also be nice!

Sending this to Food for 7 stages of life hosted by Radhika and Sudeshna

Jan 21, 2010

Methi and Lima Beans Rice

I know this is a weird combination for a rice. But this was really so delicious and packed with nutrients. This combination was born as a result of cleaning out my fridge. I had a pack of frozen lima beans or fava beans lying around for a long time. I was in a hurry to prepare something for our lunchboxes. So I was planning on making a one pot meal with rice. I used fresh methi leaves from my garden for this recipe. It could be replaced with any greens or herbs.

The fresh methi leaves along with the lima beans when cooked with aromatic basmati rice resulted in this wonderful combo! We had it with some cucumber raita and chips!

Basmati rice - 2 cups
Frozen baby lima beans - 1 cup
Fresh methi leaves(fenugreek leaves) - 1 cup packed
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 3
Oil/ghee - 1 spoon


Wash and soak the basmati rice for 20 to 30 minutes.

In a pressure cooker, add the oil or ghee and fry the onions until translucent. Add the ginger garlic paste and green chilies and fry for a minute. Then add the tomato and salt. Once it turns mushy. add the frozen lima beans and chopped fresh methi leaves and give it a stir. Add the garam masala and the turmeric powder and saute for about two minues. Add the soaked and drained basmati rice and saute again.

Add about 3.5 to 4 cups of water and pressure cook until 3 whistles.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve warm with raita and chips. Great for lunchboxes!

Sending this to MLLA: 19th helping hosted by EC and started by Susan and also to APS: Rice hosted by Anita

Also sending this to Grow Your Own hosted by Nate and Annie and started by Andrea.

Jan 19, 2010

Show Me Your Salad!

I am here with the next edition of Show Me Your.. series. After enjoying all those festive foods, it is the time of the year to eat healthy with all the new year resolutions coming in. Salads are a great way to include fresh vegetables, fruits and greens in a normal diet. They are easy to put together and requires minimum preparation time. Anything and everything can go into a salad and it tastes great with a simple dressing.

So get ready to toss your salads.

Here are some guidelines for the event.

Prepare your salad and post it on your blog.

You could send any number of entries.
Try to keep the salads as healthy as possible.
You could include any type of fruits, vegetables and grains in the salad. Non-vegetarian salads are also allowed.
You could also give the recipe of the dressing you used if you like.
Please link back all entries to the announcement post.

Archived entries are allowed but you need to repost them and also link back to the announcement.

Send me an email to divyablogs[AT]gmail[DOT]com by February 28th with the following details.

Name of salad:
URL of recipe/post:
Picture attached:

Feel free to use the logo. non-bloggers can email me your entries.

Also do check my previous editions of the event. I will be posting the roundup of Show Me Your Cake shortly.

Show Me Your Breakfast Part I
Show Me Your Breakfast Part II
Show Me Your Sandwich
Show Me Your Omelette
Show Me Your Lunchbox

Jan 17, 2010

My Blog turns 2!!

Yes! I am really happy to say that my blog has turned two! Time flies!

It all started a day without much thinking inspired by all the blogs out there. I just wanted to record all my kitchen experiments being a newbie to cooking. Blogging has introduced me to several new friends, people from all parts of the world and also to various cuisines. I have acquired a few photography skills as well. Blogging gave me the courage to venture into the world of baking which has become my favorite pastime now. I also tried a few authentic and traditional recipes as well. I was able to contribute to several events and contests. I was able to host a few of my own events as well.

Thanks to my dear husband who is a good critic and gives feedback on all my cooking and waits patiently to eat until I photograph all my cooking! I also thank all the bloggers out there for encouraging me with your valuable time and comments.

Here is a quick glimpse of some interesting things at DilSe.. in the past two years...

My very first recipe Sweet Pongal!
The first thing I ever baked! Sweet Coconut puffs.

My first baked bread!

My first baked cake! Pear Walnut Cake

First Icecream! Watermelon Yoghurt Icecream
My first Jam! Plum Jam

First event and giveaway at DilSe.. Diet Foods

Show Me Your series of events..
Show Me Your Breakfast Part I
Show Me Your Breakfast Part II
Show Me Your Sandwich
Show Me Your Omelette
Show Me Your Lunchbox

My first comment by dear DK
"Hey Divya! This is so simple and delicious! The Pic makes me grab a cup of it and have it with my rice! Total bliss! Thanks for sending it my way :)"

My first non-food blog!

Thanks again everyone for supporting me!!

Happy Cooking!

Jan 15, 2010

Moong Dal Halwa for Indian Cooking Challenge

For this month's Indian Cooking Challenge Srivalli chose Moong Dal Halwa. I was skeptical in the beginning as I have never ventured making halwas of any kind and have never eaten any halwa made with dal. I however gathered up the courage and prepared this delicious halwa according to Simran and Lata's recipe.

I especially loved the color of the halwa. Since I did not have kova, I tried the second recipe suggested. Here is the recipe as given by Valli.

Split (Yellow) Moong dhal - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.


Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight. Next morning, grind to a paste.

Heat a heavy Kadai, take initially only 1/2 of the ghee and heat it.

Add the dhal and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.

Keep the heat at the lowest and keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick.

Add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.

Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.

Keep the fir low at all times and break lumps if formed while adding the sugar and water/ milk mix.

Cook until the ghee surfaces.

Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Use a thick bottom pan or better nonstick pan.
Don't leave the halwa unattended. The dal can stick and it can go from just done to burnt in a second so keep stirring as much as possible. You should remember to keep stirring to prevent dhal from sticking irrespective of the ghee added.
You aren't looking for the halwa to get too thick when you turn off the heat. It was thicken as it cools.
Cook until ghee surfaces on the sides and the halwa attains a very nice shine.
Initially, it may appear that all the ghee is being used up. But as the dhal cooks the ghee separates. So the ghee measure is sufficient.
In both recipes depending on how you got the moong dal paste, you may require slightly more ghee to get the texture.

Jan 14, 2010

Enga Veetu Pongal

இனிய பொங்கல் நல் வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

Looking back, sakkarai pongal (sweet pongal) was the first post in this blog! That was my thalai pongal and I had hardly learnt to cook!

It was the first time I made pongal and it turned out quite okay!! The above picture was taken this morning - Pongal 2010!

Delicious pongal recipe from my mom!

Raw rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 3/4 cup
Split moong dal/ Passi paruppu - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Cashews and raisins - 2 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1 teaspoon
Milk - 1 cup

Wash the rice and dal.
In a pressure cooker, add the rice and dal together along with 3 cups of water and 1 cup of milk and pressure cook until the rice and dal is fully cooked and turns mushy.

Powder the jaggery finely. Add the jaggery and cardamom powder to the rice-dal mixture. Stir it thoroughly. The jaggery melts in the heat and gets incorporated well.

In another saucepan roast the cashews and raisins in the ghee until the cashews turn golden brown and the raisins plump up.

Garnish the pongal with the roasted cashews and raisins!
Delicious pongal is ready!

Sending this to The repost event hosted by Desi Soccer Mom.

Also do check out my non-food blog here!

Jan 12, 2010

Sweet Potato - Carrot Soup

I had a couple of sweet potatoes lying around for a while after making sweet potato fries waiting to be used up. It was soup night! Yeah I have been trying to make healthy soups for dinner atleast once a week. I googled for recipes with sweet potato and found several methods. I decided to roast the sweet potatoes because I feel that roasting enhances the flavor of the veggies.

Check out my Roasted Tomato and Beet soup !

This soup tasted very similar to my pumpkin-zucchini spaghetti soup I tried in the fall. I added carrots because I wanted to finish it up. It resulted in a colorful, hearty and filling soup which was perfect for a chilly evening..


Sweet Potato - 2 large ones
Carrots - 2
Onion - 1
Tomato - 2
Olive oil - 2 tablespoons
Garlic - 4 cloves
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Chicken stock/Vegetable stock/water
Fresh basil / thyme chopped - 1 teaspoon
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese and red chilli flakes for garnish (optional)

Preheat oven to 400F
Peel the sweet potato and dice them roughly. Also dice the carrots. Spread the carrots and sweet potato in a single layer on a baking sheet.
In another baking sheet , toss halved tomatoes in the vinegar and olive oil.
Roast the sweet potatoes, carrots and tomatoes in the oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Once it has cooled a bit, collect all the ingredients from the baking sheets including the juices from the tomatoes.

In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the butter and add chopped garlic. Saute for a while and then add chopped onions and saute until translucent. At this point you could also add chopped celery.

Add all the roasted vegetables (sweet potatoes, tomatoes and carrots). Saute for a minute. Add stock/water enough to cover all the veggies. Also stir in the basil/thyme. Add salt and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes until all the flavors blend through.

Once the soup has cooled a bit, blend all the contents in a blender/mixie.

Bring the soup back to the pan and heat it up just before serving.

Garnish with some parmesan cheese and some red chilli flakes.

Serve with some warm bread!

Sending this to Monthly Mingle:Winter Vegetables and Fruits hosted at Cook Like a Bong and started by Meeta.
Also to Healthy Inspirations Event - Soups

Jan 8, 2010

Roasted Beetroot and Tomato Soup

This is sure a healthy and nutritious soup which I made last week for our dinner. It has a lovely deep red color from the beets. I roasted the veggies in the oven to give more flavor to the soup. We had it with a piece of bread and it made a filling and nutritious meal. The recipe can be tweaked according to the ingredients available. The soup looks really pretty and the photos do not do justice to the recipe as they were taken in a hurry at night before our dinner.

Beetroot - 2 medium sized
Tomatoes - 3
Carrots - 3
Onion - 1
Garlic - 4 cloves
Bay Leaf - 1
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Dry herbs - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Garlic salt - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Vegetable stock - (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375F.
Dice the carrots, tomatoes and beetroot into cubes of equal size. Spread in a single layer in a baking dish and sprinkle with garlic salt and dry herbs and bake for about 30 minutes.
You could absolutely skip this step by roasting the veggies in a stovetop on medium heat with a teaspoon of oil until the veggies turn crispy and slightly cooked.

In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat the oil and add the bay leaf, chopped garlic and onions and saute for two minutes. Add the roasted vegetables, chilli powder, salt and pepper and saute for a while.

Add enough vegetable stock or water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Allow the entire mixture to cool.

Remove the bay leaf and blend using a hand blender or in a mixer/blender to form a smooth liquid. Take care while blending. If the mixture is hot, it might burst on you.

Bring the soup back to the stove in a heavy bottomed vessel. Once it heats up, adjust salt and ladle into soup bowls. Garnish with some red chilli flakes and some parmesan cheese.

Serve with some warm bread!

Sending this to Healthy Inspirations event-Soups
Dont forget to send in your entries for Show Me Your Cake event by Jan 15th!

Jan 6, 2010

Murungakeerai Poriyal / Stir Fried Drumstick Leaves

I remember having this poriyal often at home since we had a drumstick tree back at home. Drumsticks used to find its place in several dishes and we almost got tired of having it so often. Here I hardly find fresh drumsticks. During our trip to the Indian store, I found a bunch of fresh drumstick leaves and without thinking what I would be making with it, it just landed in our shopping cart.
I got this recipe from amma and made it the next day. And we really liked it. We had it with dal, rice and some papads. Makes a wholesome, nutritious meal!

Drumstick leaves - about 2 cups
Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons
Split moong dal - 1 tablespoon
Oil - 1 spoon
Onion - 1/2
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few
Green chillies - 2
Salt to taste

Wash and remove the drumstick leaves from the stalk. Soak the split moong dal in water for a few minutes so that it cooks quickly.
In a skillet, add the oil and do the tempering with mustard seed, urad dhal and curry leaves. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute for a minute. Add the washed drumstick leaves, salt and soaked moong dal. Cover and cook for a minute.
Do not allow the leaves to get mushy. Finally add the grated coconut and mix well. Remove from heat.

Serve hot with rice and curry.

Jan 4, 2010

Khara Biscuit / Indian Masala Cookies

Happy New Year to everyone. I am here after the holidays and after a short break. Hope all had a great Christmas and New Year vacation.

I baked these savoury cookies during the holidays after having loads of sweets and cakes. This is an Indianized version with all the masalas. The recipe could be easily tweaked and modified to suit ones tastes. I wanted to make something along with tea and was in no mood of elaborate cooking. I had very little time and I baked these delicious cookies in about half an hour from start to finish!
All-Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 cup
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 4 tablespoons
Egg - 1
Garam masala -1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon chopped


Preheat oven to 400F.

In a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except coriander leaves and egg and mix together. Add in the egg and coriander leaves and sprinkle very little water and knead to form a soft cookie dough.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Shape the dough into small balls and flatten them slightly. Bake for about 13 to 15 minutes.

Cool the cookies in a wire rack and store in airtight containers.
Serve with tea!
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