Monday, November 29, 2010

Yam Roast / Senaikizhangu Roast

Yam or Suran or Senaikizhanguis a tuber that grows underground. It has a very wonderful earthy flavor to it and is used in many South Indian meal preparations. I had some guests over last week and I wanted to serve them some special appetizer than the usual store bought ones. So decided to make this Yam Roast. It is a very easy and a very simple appetizer to make. You can try the same dish with different tubers like Potato, Taro Root and Sweet Potato. I used a convection oven to bake and roast these Yam and it is healthy too as there is much less oil than the actual frying.The taste was so awesome that they just could not stop munching.


Yam - 2 Cups
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Paprika Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/4 Tsp
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp
Olive oil - 2 Tbsp
Salt - Taste


  • Cut the Yam into bite sized pieces and add them into a bowl.
  • Add the Olive Oil and coat all the Yam pieces well with the oil.
  • Mix all the dry spices in a different bowl so that they get blended into a homogeneous mix.
  • Now add all the dry spices to the Yam cubes and mix well so that all the spices are well coated on the yam.
  • Add the Lemon Juice and mix well and marinate for about an hour. The spices will be absorbed by the yam.
  • Take a baking sheet lined with a aluminum foil and spray it with an olive oil spray. Place the marinated Yam cubes on the sheet.
  • Pre-heat the oven to about 350OF and place the baking tray in the oven.
  • This should take about 12-15 minutes until it gets done completely.
  • Serve hot and enjoy the Yam Roast with Tomato sauce or with any dipping of your choice.

A Great Start

The first day of the week and the day has started off on a very very good note. This mini-post is to share that very special news. I got my first "One Lovely Blog Award" from Priya Sreeram of Bon Appetit. Check this out on her space Bon Appetit.

Thank you Priya for sharing this lovely award with me. Hearty Congratulations to the other bloggers who have received blog awards. I would like to extend a very big thanks to all the fellow bloggers who have constantly supported me and have been so very encouraging. For new bloggers like me who have just started off into the blogging world it is very exciting and very encouraging to get nice comments and awards. Thank you all again. All of you have a great week ahead. Take care.

Palak Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy

Palak Paneer is a big favorite in my home. It is very rich in antioxidants and has a creamy texture to it. Addition of Indian Cottage Cheese / Paneer makes this dish very exotic. This dish goes very well with any  Indian flat bread like Roti, Naan, Kulcha or even with any simple rice dish. This recipe includes authentic  but simple spices in its preparation and is very colorful with red, white, green colors with a little bit of yellow hue to it. It is a very easy recipe to make and requires very few ingredients in its preparation.


Spinach - 2 Cups
Tomatoes - Diced - 1 Cup
Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese - 1 Cup (Cubed)
Butter - 2 Tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Cumin powder - 1 Tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - To Taste

  • Take the spinach leaves and wash it well to remove any mud from the leaves. Baby spinach comes prewashed and tastes the best when used for this dish.

  • Take a pan and add some water  and heat it. Now add the spinach leaves to it.

  • Let the Spinach wilt for sometime and turn off heat.

  • Drain the spinach well and blend it into a fine puree.

  • In a pan, melt 2 Tbsp of butter.

  • Now add the cumin seeds.

  • Add the Paneer cubes and saute it well until it gets a light golden crust.

  • Now add the diced tomatoes to this and mix it well and cook for about 3-4 minutes. 

  • To this add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.

  • Then some add cumin powder and coriander powder.

  • Now add the Spinach puree to this and mix well.

  • Mix all the ingredients well and cover and cook for about 7-8 minutes.
  • Keep stirring in between once or twice so that it does not burn at the bottom.

  • Serve hot with any Indian bread of your choice and enjoy. 

Friday, November 26, 2010

Mini Sweet Puri's

I was wanting to make Puri's from a long time. But wanted a sweet taste to the Puri's. So I tried making something different and ended up with Mini-Puri's. They are small puffed breads and are coated with a sugar glaze and makes a perfect tea-time snack.


All purpose Flour - 1/2 cup
Semolina - Fine Sooji - 2 Tbsp
Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup
Clarified Butter / Ghee - 2 Tbsp
Water- To make the dough
Oil - For Frying

For the Glaze:

Water - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 1/4 cup

  • In a bowl,sift the flour, powdered sugar and mix well.

  • Now add the semolina and mix all together.

  • Add the Ghee / Clarified butter and mix well to form a crumbled mix.

  • Add water little by little and knead it into a firm dough.

  • Now make very small balls out the dough and roll out mini - puri's.
  • Make as many as you want and keep it aside.
  • In a pan heat some oil.Once the oil is hot, add the mini  puri's one by one.

  • Fry then until the sizzle from the oil stops and they are light golden in color.

  • Drain out the excess oil by placing them on a paper towel and allow them to cool.
  • Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, add 1/4 cup of sugar to make the glaze.

  • To the sugar add about 1/2 cup of water and heat it.

  • Heat this mixture till the solution thickens to form a string like consistency and take off the flame and allow it to cool.
  • Once the puri's and the glaze liquid have cooled, take a pastry brush and glaze the sugar solution on the Puri's.

  • You can add roasted and chopped dry nuts or dry fruits on these puri's to give it a rich taste.
  • Enjoy the Mini Sweet Puri's.

  • You can also use a cookie cutter and make different shapes if you want to. It will be a favorite homemade snack for all the kids.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Parangikkai Vathakuzhambu / Butternut Squash in Tamarind Gravy

Vathakuzhambu is a typical Brahmin household dish. I love the tangy tamarind taste of this dish and it goes best with steaming rice with a little bit of ghee and also with Venn Pongal. It is a very very simple dish to make and can be made with a variety of veggies like Okra, Shallots, Banana Squash, Taro Root, Drumsticks and Sweet Potato. It can also be made with dried Vathals like Manathakkali / Black NightShade and Sundakkai / Turkey Berry.


Banana Squash - Chopped - 1 cup
Tamarind Concentrate - 1/2 cup
Sesame oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 3-4
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1Tsp
Asafoetida - A pinch
Sambar Powder/ Vathakuzhambu Powder - 1 Tbsp
Curry Leaves - A few
Cilantro - A few to garnish
Salt - To Taste


  • Peel and cut the Banana Squash into bite sized pieces and keep it aside.

  • Take a lime sized ball of tamarind and soak it in hot water and squeeze out the pulp concentrate in a bowl.
  • If you are using tamarind paste, dissolve 1/2 tbsp of the paste in hot water and keep it aside.

  • In a pan, heat the sesame oil and add the mustard seeds.

  • Once the mustard seeds have popped, add the chana dal.

  • Then add the fenugreek seeds and the dry red chillies.

  • Add the Banana Squash and mix it well with the seasoning.

  • Allow the squash to cook on medium heat for 3-4 minutes and add the tamarind concentrate to the squash.

  • Add about 1/2 cup of water to the squash mixture.

  • Then add turmeric powder and red chilli powder.

  • Add a pinch of asafoetida and add some salt according to taste.

  • Add Vathakuzhambu powder/ Sambar powder and cook for 3-4 minutes.

  • Add some curry leaves to the Vathakuzhambu / Sambar.

  • Allow the gravy to thicken. The Vathakuzhambu / Sambar has to reduce and form a sauce like consistency.

  •  Then add some Jaggery to this and simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

  • Garnish the Vathakuzhambu / Sambar with cilantro and serve hot.

  • Vathakuzhambu tastes the best when served hot and goes very well with Venn Pongal.
  • Enjoy !!