Pina Colada (Virgin)!!

When I first started my blog, I participated in most of the events that I came across in the blogosphere. But lately, my work, my growing daughter, her classes and just cleaning up takes away most of my time in a day. As summer approaches, I tend to unveil a long list of to do things, list of recipes to cook and blog and giddy with excitement. So many things to do and so little time....

What better way to kick of my long list with a cool Summer drink. I have decided to make Pina Colada(non alcoholic) with freshly made coconut milk and chopped Pineapple.

Coconut Milk in Ayurveda is considered very healthy and according to Wiki, it can cure Ulcers. Pineapple is a good source of Vitamin C and is a good antioxidant.

This goes to Sukham Coolers, hosted by Jigyasa and Prathibha of Pritya Books. The event is started by Siri as Healing Foods.

1 1/2 cup Chopped Pineapple
1/4 cup Coconut Milk (To make Coconut Milk, see below)
1/4 cup fine sugar
1 cup ice
  • Blend all the ingredients.
  • The juice will have the pineapple pieces. If you do not like it and would like a smoother texture, strain through the sieve.
Coconut Milk

1 cup of Fresh grated Coconut
1/4 cup Water

Blend the Coconut with a quarter cup water and blend it till it is smooth.
Some of the blenders cannot make it too smooth. In that event, please strain through a fine sieve.

Stay Cool!!

Paal Paayasam(Rice Pudding)

Between a fancy dessert and a rice pudding, the rice pudding will be the winner for me.Any Day!Paayasam is so simple yet the most delectable dessert.Some recipes carry Condensed milk but I thought just simple milk would do the trick as my mom always made this rich dessert with out any condensed milk.This one is for a good friend of mine who is not from India but is fond of Spicy Indian food and Rice Pudding.I am glad I made it for her and I hope she and her family enjoyed!!

10 cups of Whole Milk
3/4 cups of Basmati rice
1/2 cup Sugar
1 tsp saffron mixed with a 3 oz of warm milk
1/4 cup Jaggery; If Jaggery is unavailable, use Brown Sugar
1tbsp Ghee
6 Whole Cardamoms, crushed
1/4 cup of Cashews
1/4 cup Raisins

  • Dissolve Saffron in warm milk and set aside for about 15 min
  • In a heavy non stick pot, boil milk and sugar.
  • Stir it constantly
  • Continue to simmer until the milk reduces in half
  • Add the sugar and Jaggery/Brown sugar. Do not add the jaggery before boiling the milk as it tends to curdle the milk
  • Stir it until it is well combined
  • Add the saffron with the milk. This gives the paayasam/pudding a subtle yellow color
  • Heat the ghee in a small saucepan, and add cashews, raisins, cardamoms;Let the cashews brown slightly and the raisins plump
  • Add it to the Pudding
  • Simmer for about 1o more minutes until the mixture gets thicker.
  • Serve warm or cold;Personally I like it cold.

Vegetable Lasagna

Every time I think of Lasagna, Garfield is what comes to mind. Garfield(comic strip)a cat born in the Italian Kitchen is very fond of Lasagna, actually obsessed is the right word.I read this comic strip once in a while or when I come across.It is undeniably hilarious.

While there are many funny jokes/quotes, this is one of my favorites and one I could find on the internet. It is not quite often that you find a meatless lasagne in an Italian Restaurant.The lasagna, a one pot dish,is usually a crowd pleaser with its rich flavors and great textures, with alternating layers of Vegetables & cheese and cooked noodles. There are plenty of recipes in the internet but the inspiration comes from

16 - 18 sheets of Lasagna Noodles
6 cups Marinara Sauce, store bought
24 ounces Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Italian Seasoning
32 Ounces of Italian blend of cheeses
1 egg plant,cut in circles
6 Zucchini,cut in circles
2 cups of Fresh Spinach
1 cup Broccoli
1 cup Mushrooms, chopped
2 Onions, sliced
2 cans diced tomatoes
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • In a sauce pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • Saute the veggies until the water from the veggies evaporates
  • Stir in the Italian Seasoning
  • Boil the Noodles as per the instructions on the package
  • Preheat the oven to 350F
  • I used a 8X13 rectangular glass pan
  • Spread a table spoon of Marinara sauce on the bottom of the pan
  • Layer 3 - 4 noodles in the bottom
  • On top of the noodles, spread 1/3 of the Marinara Sauce, 1/2 of the Ricotta Cheese, 1/2 of the vegetable mixture,and 1/2 of the Italian Cheeses
  • Cover it with Noodles again
  • Repeat the process one more time
  • Layer the remaining noodles on the top.
  • Spread the remaining Marinara sauce and if you would like more cheese
  • Cover the pan tightly with an aluminum foil and bake it for 35 minutes
  • Remove the cover and bake for an additional 10 min at 450F
  • Remove the pan and let it sit for about half hour
  • Cut the Lasagna into 2X2 squares and serve with more cheese if desired

Samosa Chaat

There have been endless evenings with never ending arguments and profound reasonings - all because of Food.My Mom and I always had arguments leading up to fights about me eating food on the streets. She never approved of me eating from street vendors, of course, for valid reasons.However,that never seemed to stop me from eating out and falling sick. Now that I am a Mom, I know what she said, what she meant and what she felt!

I have used Frozen Samosas in this recipe-

12 Mini Samosas, frozen
3/4 cup Chick Peas
1 potato, cubed and boiled
1/2 cup Red onions, chopped finely
1/2 cup Tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
1/4 cup Tamarind Date Chutney
1/4 Cup + 2tbsps Mint Chutney
1/2 cup Fresh Coriander, chopped
1/4 cup Fine Sev

  • Deep fry the Samosas
  • Once the Samosas cool down, Mash the Samosas with a fork gently, just enough to crack the shell
  • Layer the Samosas on a plate.
  • Add the Chickpeas, Boiled potato, Onions, Tomatoes and 1 tbsp Mint Chutney
  • Combine all these gently with a spoon
  • Drizzle Yogurt, Mint Chutney and Tamarind Date Chutney
  • Garnish with Coriander and Sev
  • Yummy or What??!!


If there is an obsession for desserts, it should start with Tiramisu! Tiramisu,which literally means 'Pick me up' is an Italian layered dessert.It almost adorns every Italian Restaurant dessert menu. It is elegant and can easily seduce you with its rich layers of Mascarpone cheese and lady fingers.
In my fascination for desserts, I like to think I can conjure up any dessert when I look at one in a restaurant, but of course, it is not that easy.
Mascarapone cheese is a cross between Cream cheese and creme fraiche in taste and resembles thick butter in texture.You can find it in most Speciality food stores.Skipping the rum will alter the taste but the taste is equally good.


6 Egg Yolks
3 tbsps Sugar
1 lb Mascarapone Cheese
1 1/2 cups Espresso
2 tsps Dark Rum (Optional)
24 Lady Fingers(Saviordi)
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate shavings
1/2 cup cocoa powder

  • In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until thick and pale, for about 5 min
  • Add the mascarapone cheese and beat until smooth.
  • Add a tablespoon of espresso and mix until well combined
  • In another dish, combine espresso and rum.
  • Dip each ladyfinger in to the espresso-rum mixture for 1-2 seconds with out making the ladyfinger too soggy
  • In a 8X8 square pan,start placing the lady fingers vertically. If needed, break them to fit in the pan.
  • Once the lady fingers are layered, spread 1/2 of the mascarapone mixture on top.
  • Once again, layer another set of lady fingers on top of the mascarapone mixture. Spread the remaining masacarpone mixture.
  • Cover the pan with plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight
  • Using a sieve, sprinkle cocoa powder.
  • Cover and refrigerate for another half hour
  • Cover with chocolate shavings before serving.


Last year, I was amused to see that every blog I visited had the Kachori recipe. I later realized it was part of ICC Challenge. At the time, I was not willing to touch any event that had 'challenge' in the title with a 10 foot pole.But I have always admired the exceptional recipes these folks cooked, be it Macaroons of Daring Bakers or Kachoris of ICC. But now, I guess I am willing to experiment even if that means to bring the dish to ruins.Luckily, this turned out to be fabulous. But, let me confess- some dishes that I made were beyond recognition.I know, I know!! But believe me, I have not posted those dishes on this blog....

While you could make the filling 3 ways, I made the traditional filling with Moong Dal..
Recipe - DK
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
Moong Dal Filling
  • 1/2 cup Moong Dal
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • Pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 tsp of Curry Leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp of Green Chilli
  • 1 tsp of Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Chat Masala
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • Salt to taste
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Adding Oil slowly, mix the flour until it forms some bread like crumb
Knead until it forms soft dough about 5- 8 min
Cover and keep it aside for half hour. Do not leave with out covering.

Filling -
  • Wash and soak Moong Dal for an hour. Do not soak for more than 4 hours.Drain
  • Grind the dal coarsely
  • In a pan, heat a tsp of oil. Add the Cumin Seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
  • Add the dal
  • On a low heat, cook the dal until it turns light brown.
  • Add the masala and cook for a few more minutes
  • Add salt.
  • Remove it from the stove and cool it down.
  • Make sure that the mixture does not have too much liquid/water
  • Roll the dough into a small ball
  • Flatten the ball and shape it into a small circle with your palms.
  • Place a 1 -2 tsps of the Dal mixture into the middle of the circle
  • Cover the mixture by bringing around the edges over the filling.
  • Seal the edges
  • Repeat the process until the dough is over.
  • Now, slightly press the balls making sure the filling is not coming out.
  • Heat oil for deep frying
  • Drop a small dough into the oil; If it comes up to the top, the oil is done
  • Place 2 balls slowly in the oil.Fry both sides until they are cooked and light brown in color.
  • Fry the remaining balls.
  • Serve with Mint/Tamarind Chutney

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