Super blogger sunday: Madhuram of Eggless Cooking

Meet Madhuram from Eggless Cooking blog this week in the Super blogger sunday series. Her blog is one of the best blogs dedicated to eggless recipes. There is also important information related to egg substitutes, vegan recipes, healthy baking and so on..The amazing collection of recipes is a treat to every reader's eyes..go ahead and read more about Madhuram and her blog.

EC: Tell us something about yourself. Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ?

Madhuram: My blog will turn 2 in another 3 months. Wow! I can't believe it myself. It all started like an hobby but it's more than that now. I got interested in baking after watching all the Food TV shows religiously. Being a vegetarian I was not comfortable bringing eggs home (though we eat store bought baked goods made with eggs). So I started looking for egg free baking recipes and stumbled upon Indira's Banana-Carrot Cake recipe. That was the first egg free baking recipe I ever tried and it came out very well. It was so good that I used to avoid eating bananas and let them over-ripe purposely just to make the cake. Then I started visiting blogs from her blog list and came across a lot of eggless baking recipes in those blogs too. I began to bookmark them and the list was getting out of control and that's when I told my husband that I too wanted to start a blog just to create a directory of eggless baking recipes. At that time I didn't even have the slightest clue that I would be baking so much. The idea behind my blog was just to put all the links under one roof.

Before blogging became an inevitable part of my life, I have often wondered what was I doing with my life. I was of course happily married and a stay at home mom of a toddler son. Often times I felt that I was wasting my time, I wanted to do something, but I didn't know what "that something" was. Now after a year and 9 months later, with my husband's tremendous technical and moral support, my blogging friends' and visitors' encouragment and appreciation I'm very happy that I'm doing something worthwhile.

EC: The garnishing on ur cakes are wonderful..can u share some tips on it

Madhuram: I too am a novice. I have always had interest in cake decorating but until recently I did not get the chance to join the Wilton's Cake Decorating courses. It's a 4 part series covering the basics to some extent of advanced cake decorating techniques. There are a lot of videos on YouTube for cake decorating, but I would definitely suggest taking the course. It is really very helpful.

EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??

Madhuram: Yes a couple of times. It was not by fellow bloggers but by these crooked/smart people who sort of got RSS feeds from my blog and updated theirs with my content as and when I posted. My husband took care of it by calling our web host and blocked their IP address.

EC: What are your sources for recipes ? Do you follow them as given or make changes to suit your taste buds?

Madhuram: Initially I was following baking recipes (from books/websites) to the T. I always mention the source of the recipe if it is not mine. Now with little experience I'm making a lot of changes and substitutions to the original recipe and sometimes come up with baking recipes of my own.

EC: If you were to suggest one of your recipes for a first time baker, which would it be and why ?

Madhuram: I'm having a hard time to choose between these 2 because both are very easy to bake and very tasty too.







EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe


Khaman Dhokla (Steamed Lentil Squares)

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

I learnt this from one of my gujrathi frend at the temple where we used to go do seva.

Ingredients

2 cups chana dal/bengalgram dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 cup urad dal/ blackgram dal
1/4 coconut grated
2 lemons
2 tbsps coriander leaves chopped
1 tsp green chilli-ginger paste
8 curry leaves
4tsp asafoetida
4 tbsps ghee
1/4tsp soda bicarb
Salt to taste
1 tsp sugar

Soak chana dal and urad dal for 8 hours. Grind finely. Mix ginger and green chilli paste to the dal paste. Add soda bicarb, asafoetida, salt and sugar. Heat two tbsps ghee and pour into the dal mixture. Put the mixture in a vessel. Cover and leave overnight. Add the juice of two lemons in the morning. Spread the mixture in a greased thali or pan and steam cook. When dhokla is ready, test by piercing with a knife. It should come out clean. Remove and cool. Cut into squares. To season, heat remaining ghee, add mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and curry leaves. When they pop, pour over the dhoklas. Garnish with grated coconut and green coriander leaves and serve.

This is her tenth and final entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog


Just one day more for the event to end ...Do rush in your entries

Black Bean or Black eye bean curry

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

This curry can be made either with black beans or black eyed beans.

Ingredients

1 cup Black Beans or black eyed beans soaked for atleast 8-10 hrs
1 tomato
1 green chilly
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Coriander leaves
1/2 inch ginger
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp of oil
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt as per taste

Soak the beans for atleast 8-10 hrs. Pressure cook the beans. Make a paste of tomato, ginger, green chilli and coriander leaves. Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Once the seeds get fried well and a nice aroma comes out, add the tomato, ginger, chilli and coriander leaves paste. Fry the paste for sometime till the paste is cooked. Once the paste is cooked, add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin seeds powder and garam masala. Once the masalas are cooked, add the cooked beans and salt, mix well and boil for 5 min. This dish is now ready to serve with bread or chapatis.


As I do not eat garlic and onions, I asked my mother in law to try adding onion and garlic to the masala paste. That is she made a paste of onion, tomato, ginger, green chilly, garlic and coriander leaves and she said that it tastes really great. So its for those who eat onion and garlic go ahead and try it.


This is her ninth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Moong dal kheer

Guest author: Gauri Karmali


This kheer is my favroite sweet. Its so easy to make. I really love to make and eat it.

Ingredients

1 cup moong dal
1/2 coconut's extracted milk
1/2 cup jaggery - adjust jaggery as per taste
Pinch of elaichi powder
Dry fruits of your choice

Dry roast the moong dal till it is brown in colour and the raw smell goes away and a nice aroma comes out. Now pressure cook the dal with 2 cups of water. The dal needs to be little mashy. Now add the coconut milk and jaggery to the mashed dal and boil it for sometime. Do not cook for more time. Add the elaichi powder, dry fruits and mix well. Serve hot. This kheer becomes a little thick after cooled.

This is her eight entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Budding blogger: Sanjana

Budding blogger series introduces new bloggers (those blogging for less than a year) every wednesday and promotes their blogs through Simple Indian Food. If you are interested in being a part of this series, please mail me a short description about your blog, the cuisine you specialize and your objective/inspiration in blogging to easycrafts@gmail.com.


This week meet Sanjana from KO Rasoi. She appears to focus on vegan food, eggless baking and most importantly shares the secret of Gujarati cuisine..Check her blog for all these and more..

Sanjana feels

KO Rasoi is about all the important things in life... Families, food and happiness through creativity. For me, KO Rasoi is a place where I can share the Vegetarian Gujarati recipes my family and I grew up eating. I believe I inherited my passion for food from my two late grandfathers who were both superb chefs. I like to cook both traditional Indian food and also fusion dishes which combine ingredients and cooking styles from all over the world. I don't think food is about fancy presentation- food is about flavours, colours and the way dishes makes you feel when you eat them. Do they bring back memories? Do they make you think of long lost friends? Or perhaps your family? If so, then KO Rasoi is the place to come and share your memories of food and perhaps to learn a little bit about mine. Hope to see you there sometime...


Channa dal with sabudana kheer

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

Ingredients

1 cup channa dal/bengalgram dal
Half handful of sabudana/sago
1/2 coconut's extracted milk
1/2 cup jaggery - adjust jaggery as per taste
Pinch of ealichi powder
Cashews

Soak channa dal for about 8-10 hrs. Soak the sabudana. Pressure cook the channa dal. Mix the channa dal, jaggery, sabudana and coconut milk and boil for sometime. Do not overcook as when it cools it becomes very thick. Add elaichi powder, dry fruits and serve hot.

This is her seventh entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

All dal dosa

Guest author: Gauri Karmali


I learnt this dosa from my mom she makes it really good. I have tried it and it comes out very good. Everyone should try this healthy recipe.

Ingredients

1 cup urad dal
1/2 cup moong dal
2 tbsps toor dal
1/4 cup channa dal
2 cups of raw rice
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
2 cut green chillies
Salt

Soak all the dals together and rice separately for atleast 8-12 hours. Then grind the dals and rice separately to a smooth paste. Mix the rice and dal pastes and let the paste ferment overnight. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, ginger and green chillies. Fry these ingredients and add it to the fermented mixture. Add salt and mix the batter well. Heat a tava or a heavy griddle, spread some oil. Take a ladle full of the dosa batter and pour onto it. Spread it in a circular motion to make it as thin as possible. Pour a little oil around the dosa and on it. Once it is cooked crisp on one side, flip it over for few seconds and serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.

This is her sixth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Dal with corander sticks

Guest author: Gauri Karmali


Ingredients
1 cup toor dal
1 tomato
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 cup coriander sticks (which we usually throw after picking out the coriander leaves but they are very nutritious for health and we can still use them instead of throwing them out)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetedia
1 tbsp of ghee

Pressure cook the toor dal with the tomato and the coriander sticks. Once they are cooked, just grind them in the mixie. After the dal, tomato and the sticks are blended well, just take it out and boil the mixture by adding salt, pinch of turmeric and red chilli powder. Temper the dal mixture using 1 tbsp of ghee, mustard seeds and add pinch of asafoetedia. Now the dal is ready to be served with rice.

I think garlic can be used in this dal while tempering, may be it will taste good. I think who eat garlic can try using and let me too know how it exactly tastes. But without garlic it tastes delicious.

This is her fifth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Super blogger sunday: Supriya of Red chillies

Meet Supriya of Red chillies this week in Super blogger sunday series. She manages the Food world aggregator that showcases the recipe updates from more 200 bloggers. She clicks amazing pics and has a nice collection of Vegetarian recipes..It is amazing to note her time management considering her personal commitments, her blog and the work involved in food aggregator..Read on to know more about her


EC: Tell us something about your blog and the reasons and inspiration behind starting it.


Supriya: First of all thank you EC for giving me the opportunity to talk about me and my blog. I have been blogging since July 2007 and so RedChillies is about 2.5 years old.
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After I took up the mantle of cooking I discovered that I enjoy cooking, experimenting and also trying out new dishes. When I found the medium of food blogging I decided to use this platform as a way of keeping track of my recipes (more like an online cookbook) in an organized way, recording my experiments, mis-trials etc. Currently blogging has become my passion and I am enjoying it very much.

It must have been about 3-3.5 years ago that I discovered food blogs through some Google searches and had been hooked onto them. I loved the concept of presenting recipes through photography, narration, musings, user interaction etc. After seeing many Indian food blogs amongst them, I thought why not give it a try myself? After all food is a part and parcel of daily life and there is something cooking in our kitchen everyday. So I started blogging as a way of recording my recipes and culinary adventures. Initially I started out privately, but after some nudging and encouragement from my husband I decided to make the blog public.



EC: How frequently do you post, do you cook specially for the blog?


Supriya: Now that I am caught up in this whirlwind of blogging I try to post twice a week, (depending on my schedule). As I have said before I have zeal for learning and trying out new recipes, and now that I blog that cooking interest gets intensified. Now add photography to that equation and the enthusiasm gets compounded.

EC: Food world aggregator is a boon to the food blogging community. Tell us something about how you came up with this idea and the efforts behind it.


Supriya: Thank you and I am glad that this effort is able to bring the bloggers together. The idea of FoodWorld was inspired by FBD (another blog aggregator) started by Indira, Mathy and also TOI started by Sailu. When I was new to the world of food blogging I found FDB, TOI to be useful to make my blog known not only to the other like-minded bloggers but also to a wide range of interested audiences.

When FBD closed down, I thought why not give it a try and create one myself? Luckily I succeeded and that is how FoodWorld got created. It is an aggregator and is an opportunity to provide free platform for other food bloggers to showcase their work to wider audience.

EC: The pictures on your blog are so attractive. Give us some tips for good photography


Supriya: Thank You. I am still a beginner and I have a long way to go. I believe that photography skill comes through experience and experimenting. There are lots of articles, videos on the web that I find very useful. You can find some of the links here.
It is very important to go through the cameras manual and try out the different modes.
Some tips to share that I have learnt:

· Just changing the mode from “Auto” to “Portrait” or “Macro mode” makes huge difference.
· Take time to think through the setup, look at some food magazines, and online websites like TasteSpotting for inspiration, ideas on the setup.
· Take pictures in bright natural light as far as possible. Do not add the flash.
· Take lots of pictures of food from different angles, not just from the top. It is important to bend and take a picture from top level of the food container. This gives some depth to the pictures and does not make it appear flat.
· Use glass cutlery as far as possible. This works well for me as I have not had good results using steel or transparent glass containers.
· Last but not the least, use editing software to crop out unnecessary part and change the brightness, contrast of the picture as required.


EC: How do you manage to keep posting on your blog, the aggregator and your daily chores as well?

Supriya: I think it depends on setting up priorities. I have a four year old boy and I also work full time. My family, home and work takes priority and blogging is something that I do during spare time and weekends. I take pictures after I am done with the cooking. The draft, working on posts is something I do during night times. I thoroughly enjoy blogging as my hobby and I feel that at the end of the day it is a good way of de-compressing from the daily grind. It sure is a stress buster

EC: Have your recipes or pictures been copied anywhere without your permission. How would you deal with plagiarism??


Supriya: To be quite frank, I am not aware if my pictures or recipes have been copied elsewhere. On the same token I do have to mention that I feel very strongly and critical about plagiarism. I feel that stealing content from other sources without permission is just outrageous. It is just day light robbery and cannot be tolerated. It annoys me no end when people steal our content, threaten us and publish it as their own. I just cannot understand as to why people do not ask permission or give credits to the original creator.



EC: To what extent one must have technical knowledge for blogging?

Supriya: I don’t think technical knowledge is necessary for basic blogging. Just simple know-how is sufficient to start off with blogging. The platforms like Wordpress, Typepad and Blogger are user friendly and pretty easy to use. However if additional changes are necessary to the design/template then a good bit of technical knowledge especially HTML helps. There are lots of free on-line tutorials and it is not that difficult to learn.



EC: Your favorite vegetarian recipe

Supriya: I think this is the toughest question so far. I have about 200+ vegetarian recipes in my blog and picking just one is tough. However I would gladly settle for this one: Poori and Vagetable saagu, my all time favorite.




 
 

Moong / Green channa or whole masoor Goan curry

Guest author: Gauri Karmali


This curry can be made either with moong / green channa or whole masoor. This curry is really the heaven of goa and best i can think of when i m really really hungry.


Ingredients

1 cup whole masoor/Green Channa or moong - any one can be taken
2 cups of raw scraped coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
2-3 red chillies
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
a small ball of tamarind
3-4 cloves
1 inch cinamon
3-4 peppercorns
1 tbsp of oil
salt and sugar as per taste

This curry does not need sprouted beans.

Soak the masoor or green channa or green moong overnight and Pressure cook the beans. Heat 1 tbsp of oil and fry the cumin/coriander seeds till they are light brown, then remove them. In the similar way fry the cloves, cinamon and peppercorns. Lightly fry the red chillies. Finally in the remaining oil roast the scraped coconut till it is brown. Mix the roasted coconut, fried spices, red chillies, red chilly powder, turmeric and tamarind and grind it to a smooth paste. In the mean time put some water in the cooked beans and boil it for 5 min. Add the ground paste to the beans and add salt and sugar as per taste. Boil it for a while and add coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapati or rice.

Onion can be used in this curry and it becomes good too. So while using onion just fry the onion in the oil till it is golden brown and grind it with the coconut, spices paste.

This is her fourth entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Moong sar/soup

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

One day it was a rainy night and I saw some green moong soaked. Didnt know what to do, so decided to try out something new and guess what the trial was something really good, tasty and healthy.

Ingredients

1/2 cup green moong beans(Not sprouted)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Pinch of asofoetedia
1 to 2 green chillies as per taste depending on how hot you want
1/2 inch of ginger crushed
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 tsp oil
Salt as per taste

Soak the moong beans overnight and pressure cook the beans. Heat 1 tsp of oil, add the cumin seeds when the seeds crackle, add asoefotedia. Then add the green chillies and crushed ginger once the chillies and ginger is nicely fried in the oil. Add the pressured cooked moong beans and add water as much as you want. Add coriander leaves and salt and let the soup boil for a while. Serve hot with rice or it tastes just good to have it like soup.


This is her third entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Usal pav

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

Usal is a very healthy and easy maharastrian recipe with legumes like moth beans,moong and whole masoor. Its mostly eaten with bread or fulkas. I love this dish it just makes up my day.

Ingredients

1/2 cup whole masoor sprouted
1/2 cup moth beans sprouted
1/4 cup green whole moong sprouted
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Pinch of asofoetedia
2 tsp oil
1 tomato cut into snall pieces
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ginger/green chilli paste
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 tbsp scraped coconut
salt/jaggery as per taste


Soak all the beans together overnight and then put them in a cloth and tie them tightly so that they get sprouted. Once the beans are sprouted, heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai. Add 1 tsp cumin and mustard seeds. Once the mustard and the cumin seeds splutter, add asofoetidia, ginger/green chilli paste, fry the paste well in oil and then add the cut tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are cooked and mashy then add little turmeric, red chilli powder, cumin and coriander powder and garam masala. Let all the masalas get cooked well in the tomato and once a nice aroma of the masalas come out add the pressure cooked beans. Mix the beans with the masalas, add salt and jaggery as per taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and some fresh scraped coconut.

Chopped onion can be used in this recipe - just cut the onion and fry in oil before the tomatoes till the onions are lightly brown.

This is her second entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Budding blogger: Priya Prasanth

Budding blogger series introduces new bloggers (those blogging for less than a year) every wednesday and promotes their blogs through Simple Indian Food. If you are interested in being a part of this series, please mail me a short description about your blog, the cuisine you specialize and your objective/inspiration in blogging to easycrafts@gmail.com.


This week's budding blogger is Priya prashanth from Priyas recipes. Blogging for less than 6 months, Priya has published more than 140 recipes and is still going great. Here is what Priya has to say about her blog and the variety of food she cooks-

My blog priyas recipes is all about south indian easy to make recipes. Most of my recipes are my own experiments in my kitchen, which turned out very well. and others are my mom's recipes.

My blog will contain variety of sandwiches, different combination of juices, veg - non veg cuisines.

I started blogging as a hobby, but when i started taking it seriously, i got addicted to it. I am actually not a foodie, but now i always think about different combination of ingredients to make a tasty recipe. Love to experiment with cooking. At first i was totally blank about blogging, it was because of many people's support. First of all my friend rekha of rekha's recipes who supported and guided me all the way, my dear hubby who encouraged me and my mom who taught me variety of kerala recipes. Last but not the least, my friends in this blog world, who is my main support for encouraging me with their lovely comments and award, which is still keep me going.

Moong patties for burgar

Guest author: Gauri Karmali

Its always when we want a burgar we go out to food joints or get the frozen patties. I was just thinking eating deep fried patties could be unhealthy. This lead me think about these healthy patties.

Ingredients

1 cup green moong beans
1 boiled mashed potato
1/4 cup of soya chunks soaked in water for a while.
Green chillies as per taste or 1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 inch of crushed ginger
Pinch of asofotedia
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 tbsp oil
Pinch pf turmeric powder

Soak the moong at least for 8 hrs. Pressure cook the beans. We will need to slightly over cook the beans as we will need to mash them. Boil or pressure cook the soya chunks. Mash the moong beans, add the mashed potato and once the soya chunks are cooked just squeeze all the water from them and mash them. Add it to the mashed moong and potato mixture.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil, add cumin seeds and once they splutter add asafoetedia, green chillies, ginger. After the chillies and ginger are fried well, add the mashed mixture, garam masala and mix the masala well with the beans and the potato mixture. Add coriander leaves, lemon juice and salt. Switch off the gas. Let the mixture cool for a while. Then make burgar patties and shallow fry them by coating bread crumbs or little semolina. They could be shallow fried just without coating anything too.

These patties can be used as burgar patties. Just put them in between the buns, then keep a lettuce leaf, add little tomato sauce and enjoy.



This is her first entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog

Puneri aloo



Ingredients

¼ kg potatoes
Salt to taste
Few roasted groundnuts
2 tsp cumin seeds
Few curry leaves
2 Green chillies ( add more if required)
A bit of sugar
1 tsp oil
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Remove the skin of the potatoes and cut them into small cubes.

Heat oil and add cumin seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. When it splutters, add the chopped potatoes, salt and some water to it. Cook till soft. To make the process easier, even boiled and chopped potatoes can be added.

Add crushed peanuts and sugar and mix well for a minute. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
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Super blogger sunday: Ramki of One Page cookbooks

This week's featured blogger is Ramki sir from One page cookbooks..One of the most unique blog with a much more unique concept of introducing 100s and 1000s of recipes in a single page instead of the traditional cook books. He even proved the worthiness of this style of recipes by cooking for a large group single handedly using these one page cookbooks which are a boon to newbies as well as those excited about learning new cuisines. Hats off to this great personality whom I adore





EC: Tell us something about yourself

Ramki: I'll let The Hindu talk on my behalf. I was running a dotcom and had to travel abroad frequently. Eating out was not always an easy option. When I started on regular recipe books, many of them had this " just do what I say" approach to cooking, which did not suit me. After botching up numerous dishes, I had an 'aha' moment when I realised that I do not need to create taste - it is inherent in the ingredients. All I needed to do was to ensure I do not spoil this inherent taste. Cooking then became fun and creative. After I managed to retire early, cooking became a full time passion and now I spend most of my time cooking, reading about different cuisines, food history , trying to deskill / demystify traditional dishes and writing One page cookbooks.


EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ??

Ramki: I get my kicks from getting newbies to realise that cooking can be fun & easy. All my cookbooks are aimed at people who have never cooked before. That is why there are no exact measurements or no complicated steps. Motivating newbies to start cooking was the inspiration behind one pagers.


EC: How did you come up with this concept of one page cookbooks which is a boon to newbies in cooking?

Ramki: I stumbled upon the fact that each cuisine has a set of key building blocks, various combinations of which give rise to innumerable recipes. For example, all the hundreds of south Indian curries are various combinations of just four building blocks - Tamarind, Tuvar dal, Yogurt and Coconut. A one page chart is all you need to show these variations.


EC: How much time and efforts are involved in preparing each of the one-page cookbooks ?

Ramki: Understanding what makes a recipe tick is the first step. Once I get comfortable with a recipe, I search around for the numerous variations, all of which get distilled into the One page format. Some one pagers take just a couple of days and some take weeks.


EC: Among all your one-page cookbooks which is your personal favourite and why?

I'm still delighted that the vast myriad of indian curries and Chaats can be captured in a single page !


EC: How was your experience with "1 for 500" event..Tell us something about it

Ramki: When One pagers became popular, critics accused me of oversimplifying recipes. A demo was the best way to answer them. I also wanted to prove to myself that these indeed work, even on a large scale. This was an idiotic thing to do, as a lot of things could have gone wrong, I never have cooked for a crowd larger than 20 and I grossly underestimated the difficulty n handling super sized equipment. Starting from scratch was another blunder as I had to chop up mountains of vegetables - I could have easily injured myself and that could have brought the event to an inglorious halt. But thankfully, with a good dose of luck, I was able to pull it off !


EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism ??

Ramki: I guess the format protects the recipes. So thankfully I have not experienced plagiarism till now. I guess lodging a protest to all concerned authorities as soon as possible is still the best response.


EC: Your favourite vegetarian recipe

Ramki: 1001 Rotis is my favourite recipe list. So easy to make and infinitely variable, I think these will delight us for ever !

Mixed lentils side dish

Guest author: Mrs Seethalakshmi Suresh

Ingredients :

1/2 cup Rajma( Red Kidney Beans )
1/2 cup Kabuli Chana ( Chick Peas )
1/4 cup Lobia( Black eyed beans )
1 tsp Arhar/Tur dal ( Split Pigeon Peas )
1 tsp Masoor dal( Black Lentil )
1 tsp Red Masor dal ( Red Lentil )
1 tsp Moong dal ( Split GreenGram )
1 tsp Moong dal with husk ( Green Gram with husk )
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

For Tempering :

Onions chopped : 2 medium
Garlic cloves : 4-5
Ginger : A small piece
Green chillies slit : 2
Tomatoes pureed : 4 medium
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Asafoetida ( Hing ) : A pinch
Red chilly powder : 1 tsp
Ghee ( Clarified Butter ) : 1 tbsp
Cilantro / coriander leaves: small bunch
Curry leaves : Few twigs
Garam masala(Spices powder): 1 tsp

Method :

Wash and soak all the dals & legumes overnight or for 4-5 hrs. Drain the water and wash them thoroughly again. Pressure cook them with enough water and turmeric powder for 3 whistles.. All the dals & legumes must become tender but not mushy.. Allow the steam to settle down.

Meantime make a paste of ginger, garlic & green chillies. Now for tempering, heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add asafoetida, onion, ginger-garlic paste and saute for a while.

Now add the pureed tomatoes and stir till the oil starts seperating from the mixture.
Now add the boiled dals over the tadka and mix well. Add salt, garam masala, red chilly powder and simmer the dal on low heat for about 5 mins.

Garnish with curry & coriander leaves.

This goes very well with rice or chapatis and is punched with a high amount of proteins which forms a part of the healthy diet.

This goes to to the MLLA-19th helping event started by Susan and guest hosted this month by my blog.

Carrot Methi sabzi



Yet another way to incorporate methi in daily food

Ingredients

2 cups chopped and cooked carrots
1 cup cleaned and chopped methi leaves
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp bengalgram dal
1 tsp blackgram dal
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp vangi bhath powder

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, blackgram dal and bengalgram dal. When it splutters, add curry leaves and chopped methi. Sprinkle some water and cook the methi. When done, add cooked carrot, salt and vangi bhath powder. Mix well till dry.

Serve hot with rice.
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Stuffed malai kofta



A small variation of making the koftas stuffed with onions and cheese to the usual malai koftas

Ingredients

For koftas-

1 cup grated paneer
2 boiled and mashed potatoes
2 tbsp cornflour
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder

For stuffing-

1 finely chopped onion
1/2 cup grated cheese
Bit of pepper powder

For gravy-

1 medium tomato pureed
2 onions pureed
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Finely chopped coriander leaves
3 tbsp cream

Others-

Oil to fry

Mix all the ingredients of the koftas and make balls of it. Mix the ingredients of the stuffing seperately.



Make a depression in the kofta balls, stuff the onion cheese mixture in it and cover it well. Press well without changing the shape of the kofta. Repeat for the rest of the koftas and deep fry till golden brown.




Heat oil, add tomato and onion puree. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and water as required for the gravy. Allow it to boil and get a bit thick. Finally add in the cream and coriander leaves.

Just before serving, add in the koftas and serve hot with rotis/pulav
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Budding blogger : Swathi

Budding blogger series introduces new bloggers (those blogging for less than a year) every wednesday and promotes their blogs through Simple Indian Food. If you are interested in being a part of this series, please mail me a short description about your blog, the cuisine you specialize and your objective/inspiration in blogging to easycrafts@gmail.com.

This week's budding blogger is Swathi from Zesty South Indian Kitchen. A simple, clean and uncluttered blog template with an increasing number of recipes are the key things about her blog. See what she has to say about herself and her blog --

I am a passionate cook, and mom of a little one, learning to cook every day by experimenting in my micro kitchen and testing it on poor loving husband. I would like to keep my blog as a recipe diary. I was lucky to grow up around good cooks like my mom, grandma and aunts who made great tasting simple dishes. Hence I want to recreate the great dishes that I tasted during my childhood by trial and error,

My specialty is cuisine from Kerala, but I also try other cuisine. I love to try new and tasty food.

My cooking philosophy is to make tasty food that need not require elaborate procedures, and be simple to make

Please visit my blog and give valuable suggestions and comments.

Looking forward to meeting you in my blog

Appalam kuzhambu



Ingredients

2 fried urad papads (plain- as made in South India)
2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp bengalgram dal
1 tsp blackgram dal
Few curry leaves
Bit of asafoetida
1 cup juice from a small ball of tamarind soaked in warm water
2 tsp sambar powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, bengalgram dal and blackgram dal. When it splutters, add curry leaves, asafoetida and tamarind juice. Add turmeric powder and boil for few minutes. Add sambar water, salt and 2 more cups of water and allow it to boil for some time. When a bit thick, add the fried appalam broken into uneven pieces.

Serve with rice.

Optional- Can add some onions also before adding tamarind extract and fry for a minute.
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Multi-legume vadai


Ingredients

Multi legume batter (2 cups of mixed legumes, 2 red chillies and 1 cup of rice soaked overnight and grind to coarse batter with less water)
Finely chopped onions (optional-I didnt use them as we made it for a festival)
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves
Bit of asafoetida
Oil to fry

Mix all ingredients except oil. Heat oil in a kadai. Make balls of the batter and flatten them to give them the vada shape. Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown and cooked. Remember to cook on low to medium flame so that the batter is well cooked inside.

In case the batter is loose and you are unable to make vadas, just add a little rice flour to it and mix before making vadas.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar

This is my second entry to the MLLA-19th helping - an initiative of Susan, guest hosted this month at my blog
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Super blogger sunday: PJ of Seduce your tastebuds

This week's featured blogger is Padmajha Suresh from Seduce your tastebuds. She is one who loves to cook and experiment new dishes. She has an amazing collection of vegan recipes too..Read more about her




EC: Tell us something about yourself

PJ: Hi EC !Thanks for this wonderful opportunity…

Basically I am a dietitian and a health educator but for now a home maker.

My blog-Seduce your tastebuds, is just about to celebrate its second birthday in a couple of months. I conceived the plan for a blog six months earlier to starting it ,did the ground work and published my first post on January 1st 2008.

When it came to selecting a name for the blog,I chose Seduce your tastebuds, coz the way to a man’s [or anyone, for that matter] heart is through his stomach. To do that you got to seduce your tastebuds with delicious dishes. Cooking is an art that many think is difficult to master but here in my blog I have put together recipes that are tasty yet simple to prepare and requires no special knowledge / skill.

At first I just wanted to post 1 recipe per week and I had even scheduled post for the time when lil angel was due [That was one month after I started my blog!]. But later I was so hooked on to blogging and I increased the number of posts .Now my blog has become a part and parcel on my life.

I cook for my family and write about in my blog. Sometimes I cook specially for blog events. I also write about nutrition and food facts.

I spend most of my time taking care of the needs of my family and lil angel keeps me on my toes. When she is asleep or when hubby is at home to take care of her, I write for the blog. Blogging is a kind of relaxation for me.

Recently I stared another blog ‘My footprints on earth’ to write about my travel experiences.

My other interest include Carnatic music,philately,photography and Rangoli



EC: Who and what inspired you to start food blogging ??

PJ: After my wedding we moved to China and I was a bit lonely here and hence wanted to do something to kill time - thus was born my blog. Another reason to start a blog was my friends who used to ask me to share recipes and I thought this medium was better than sending them thro mail.

Right from my school days I got into the habit of collecting recipes .I have a huge collection of hand written recipes and cookbooks. After starting my blog, I have tried out many recipes from my vast collection.

Blog is also a place where I can preserve some traditional recipes and festivals and the special recipes that I learnt from mom.



EC: What changes has blogging brought in ur life?

PJ: Blogging has increased my passion for cooking. I want to try out dishes that I have never cooked before .I also want to try out recipes with ingredients I have never used before like buckwheat, kiwi fruit etc which I normally don’t use in everyday cooking. My family is very happy to taste my creations!!!

Another good thing is that I meet people with similar interests through blogging and now I have a huge group of friends.



EC: You write on cuisines of India and food related topics. Which is ur favorite and why


PJ: I love Indian food. Each state has so many specialty dishes. Because of this very fact, I blog more on Indian food. Occasionally I do try out international dishes. With nutrition and dietetics being my area of specialization, I write on diet and food too.

EC: What are your recipe sources? Do u follow them as it is or bring in some changes

PJ: My mom and the huge collection of recipes and cookbooks, are the chief sources. Sometimes I try out recipes from fellow bloggers as well. I follow mom’s recipes to the T as her dishes are so flavorful but when it comes to cookbook and recipe sources, I tweak it up a little to suit my taste.


EC: Have your recipes been copied anywhere without your permission..How would you deal with plagiarism??

PJ: So far I have not seen my recipes or photos in any other site [Touchwood!] but I think it is a very shameful act and needs to be condemned. It is really awful to steal photos and recipes from someone’s blog as everyone knows how much of time and effort one has to put in to create and maintain a blog.


EC: Your favorite vegetarian recipe

PJ: Oh my!! There are so many of my favorites. Its really hard to choose .Anyways,
I would like to share an easy pasta dish with lots of cheese- Cheesy pasta, that is sure to please kids and adults alike! Easy to prepare but a tasty treat….



Arbi fry in idli batter


Ingredients

1/4 kg colacassia/arbi pressure cooked
1 cup idli batter
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Oil to fry

Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder and red chilli powder to the idli batter and keep aside. Remove the skin of the cooked colacasia and cut into small rounds. Dip it in the idli batter and deep fry till golden brown. Drain excess oil on a tissue paper.

Serve with rice varieties.
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Methi cheese pakoda



Ingredients

1/2 cup chopped methi
2 cups gram flour
1/2 cup rice flour
Salt to taste
Bit of asafoetida
Bit of pepper powder
1/2 cup grated cheese
Oil to fry

Mix all the ingredients except oil by sprinkling some water. Heat oil and put in small pieces of the mixture and fry till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with tomato ketchup/sweet chutney.

P.S. When you use methi, remember to chop it only just before you mix it with the flours..else it will turn out to be bitter.
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Peas Masala curry



Ingredients

2 cups boiled peas (frozen/dried/fresh)
2 small tomatoes (pureed)
2 onions (pureed)
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
3 tbsp cream
Bit of sugar
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Heat oil, add cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the onion and tomato puree and cook for 2-3 mins. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt, sugar and stir it well. Add water as required for gravy and allow it to come to a boil. Add the cooked peas and cream. Mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis/pulav/pooris
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Budding blogger: Cool Lassie

Budding blogger series introduces new bloggers (those blogging for less than a year) every wednesday and promotes their blogs through Simple Indian Food. If you are interested in being a part of this series, please mail me a short description about your blog, the cuisine you specialize and your objective/inspiration in blogging to easycrafts@gmail.com.

This week's featured budding blogger is Cool Lassie/ Lady Behind the Mask from Pan Gravy Kadai Curry blog. Within three months period, she has already crossed a 100 recipes and continues to do a good job by focusing on her blog..Here is what she has to say -

Who am I?

In a word, a Certified-Foodloving-Flexatarian who spent entire childhood and early-teen days in TamilNadu and late-teens->youth->adult transformation happened in the US which makes me an AGCD(American Grown Clear-minded Desi). I am also a proud mom of a 2-year old boy who has taught me to be a little more patient, a lot more loving, a little less snappy and a lot less lazy. So it is really true when they say "Having a baby changes everything".


Why a cooking blog?

Even though cooking slightly falls behind Eating and Traveling in the Passion-meter, it is something that I have to do frequently to:

1.Eat, my first passion, duh! &

2.Live, to tell my tale and to travel, my second passion, yea!

'Pan Gravy Kadai Curry' is the name I came up for the blog since I will be posting both eastern and western recipes. PanGravy->West and KadaiCurry->East. Get it?

Why the nickname 'Cool Lassi(e)'?

Like how most writers have a pen-name, I thought I should have a blog-name. I wanted to call myself Mango Lassi(e) due to my unwavering love for the drink but ended up with Cool Lassi(e) instead.The name can be perceived either as a cool drink or a cool girl. You Call. LoL.

For a long version of the same, click here.

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Disclaimer

Simple Indian food blog (author- EC) is the legal copyright holder of the material and pictures in this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without the written consent of the author. All the measures used in the recipes are approximate. Please adjust the spices as per your taste. For any queries, please email us at easycrafts@gmail.com