Seduce Your Tastebuds

Seduce Your Tastebuds

Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Peek Into The Past - Best of the year 2011

This is one of the posts that I always look forward to writing year after year.A post that fills me with nostalgia as I travel down the recipes recollecting the wonderful time I spent creating and serving the dishes.

This post is a little lengthy since I want to share with you all the glorious things that happened around my blog this year......

I started the New year as always with a sweet dish -Microwave Dates Fudge, which was also featured as a part of the Indus Ladies free E-book published for Diwali.

I celebrated my 700th post in January with a Giveaway -$75 gift certificate from CSN stores and this yummy Rose flavored Agar agar pudding

Then I started an event series - Herbs and flowers in my platter which is almost a year old now....

I enjoyed doing the blogging marathon started by Srivalli and met loads of bloggers who became my friends and now we are more like a family...

This year was quite lucky for me.I had some fabulous wins !I won the book Sukham Ayu for the dish -Gujarati dal in the February edition of Indian Cooking Challenge.

Blog junta choose my post - Kala Channa and Spinach Gravy as editors choice , blog junta of the month - April under the veteran blogger category.

I also won the goodie bag giveaway @ Vani's Mysoorean blog that was a part of her 5th blogging anniversary.

My blog reached the much awaited 1 lakh visitor hit on March 17th and has now crossed 2.4 lakh hits!!

March 2011 was a very exciting month for me. I received a mystery ingredient from Archana for the Arusuvai Friendship Chain. I prepared Mangodi Ki Khadi with the 'mystery' ingredient...

No. of posts this year has reduced a bit this year. 200+ posts when compared to last years 356 posts,the reason being travel and other domestic issues.
No. of events @ Seduce Your Tastebuds - 4.

Now comes the most interesting part of this post- the favorite posts / recipes...

Chettinad Potato Roast got the highest number of comments for the month of January. My favorite post for the month is this exotic Dragon Fruit Salad.I fell in love with is exotic fruit after I tasted it in the orient and it has remained one of my favorite fruit ever since.

February saw me churning out loads of Chaats and Batata Vada and Vada Pav got the maximum comments and my favorite post is the restaurant recreation of Paneer Butter Masala. I made this rich and creamy side dish at home instead of getting it from the restaurant and the taste was awesome.Everyone at home loved it.

Lil Angels favorite Pretty Pink Poori got the top comments for the month of March and as for my favorite post,it is the Vegetable Pasta Soup which happens to be another dish that Lil Angel enjoys.

Though this post - Tips for a better blog post did not get the highest number of comments for the month of April, it was the most viewed post and it remained in the top post category for quite a few months. Low Calorie Bread Thayir Vadai is my favorite post for this month and it also happens to be my favorite snack.Guilt free vadai can prepared and relished in minutes!

The month was May was really hectic with a lot of traveling. In spite of that I managed to squeeze in some posts.Dragon fruit-Banana smoothie got the highest number of comments and delicious Chinese style Potato Vegetable is my favorite post.This dish goes well with Noodles or can be savored as it is.

I cooked a lot of dishes with Oats in June and Oats Chutney was rewarded with a lot of comments. My personal favorite is the recollection of the dinner we had at a restaurant in my town [in China] named Tacos.

The spinach chutney that I tried out from the book I won -Sukham Ayu was tied with the highest number of comments for the month of July along with Chinese Spicy Potato Shreds. This post also happens to be our family favorite.This stir fry is the one I recreated at home after tasting it in our favorite restaurant.

As for August, the Fruity breakfast crunch was highly appreciated and we loved the Uggani and Mirapakaya Bajji which I prepared from Srivalli's blog.An awesome combo...

In September, Cucumber Raita was voted the best recipe by my readers judging by the number of comments that it got. However I liked the Gingered Carrot Soup which I prepared for Taste And Create.

Sugarless Dates Ladoo was the star of October and Eggless Cherry Biscuits were a hit at home.My folks loves it so much that I have been getting repeated requests to bake them often.

A simple tutorial on How To Blanch Almonds In the Microwave stole the show in November and this Minty Lemon Rasam has become my favorite appetizer..

Rice served with minty lemon rasam , brinjal roast , Curry leaves chutney

Blogging took a back seat in December and so far Eggless Yellow Sponge cake was well appreciated and is also the one I like...

Hope you liked traveling with me to the posts that were favored by us and also those that were our family....

This recap goes to Srivalli's Best of the year 2011 event....

By the way,if you are wondering how long it took me to write this post, think no further as I am about to reveal it right now.I took 1 whole year to pen this!!Yes folks, I started writing this as soon as I finished writing about 2010 .I used to update this post as and when something goes on in my blog that was worth writing about.This, in a way, helped me to save time. I would have sat and thought and thought endlessly and missed some entries if I were to write it at the end of the year....

Till we meet again, Take care....

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Eggless Yellow Sponge Cake

I have embarked on a 'bookmarks clearance' spree. There are so many recipes in the bookmarks folder that if I start trying them out, one at a time, I will have enough recipes for eons to come! Today's post is one such recipe that I bookmarked from Harini's blog - a delicious yellow sponge cake.This recipe uses whole wheat flour and custard powder.I have already used custard powder in Microwave eggless custard powder snack cake so I could sort of imagine how this cake would turn out.It was indeed very spongy and delicious!!

I used:
Recipe Source - Tamalpaku

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
All purpose flour / Maida -1/2 cup
Custard powder[Vanilla flavor] - 1/2 cup
Sugar -1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
Milk-1 cup
Baking powder- 2 teaspoons
Baking Soda- 1/4 teaspoon
Oil- 1/4 cup [ See note below]

1.Sift whole wheat flour,all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda.Transfer it to a bowl.

2.Warm milk with sugar. Heat it only till the sugar melts. Add the oil and mix well. Add custard powder little by little taking care that there are no lumps.

3.Add this milk mixture to the sifted flour mixture. See to that there are no lumps.Do not over mix.

4. Spoon out the batter into the tins and tap to remove air bubbles / empty spaces...

5.Bake in a preheated [@160 degrees for 10 minutes] oven in the middle rack at 160 degrees for half an hour or till a tester comes out clean when inserted in the center.

6.After removing from the oven, let it cool on the wire rack.

7. Slice after it is completely cool.

Serve as such or with a generous helping of your favorite jam......

Note :
  • The actual recipe calls for 4 tablespoons butter along with oil. I forget to add it. It should be added to the second step along with oil.
  • In case you want to omit butter, add 1/2 cup oil.
  • The original recipe uses 3/4 cup of sugar. I added a little less. It was just of the right sweetness. You can add more for a sweeter touch.
  • For the same quantity of ingredients,the original procedure says it takes 40-45 minutes to bake but mine got done in 30 minutes. So bake accordingly.
  • I did not get a batter consistency when I mixed the flour and milk mixture. It was more like a sticky dough. So I added a little milk, around 2 tablespoons, to get the consistency as you can see in step 3.
  • I used disposable aluminium boxes.If using a cake pan, grease and dust or line with baking sheet before pouring the batter into it in step 4.

Sending this to Radhika's Let's cook - Baked goodies event

Pari's 'Only' event with the theme Only cookies and cakes

Srivalli's Snack Mela

Srav's CC-Holiday Baking

Julie's Christmas Delicacy

Bake Fest #2 hosted by Sangeetha, conceptualized by Vardhini

Kavi's Jingle All The Way event...

Bon Appetit...

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Chettinad Poondu Puli Kuzhambu | Garlic Gravy from Chettinad Cuisine

The day I set my eye's on Reva's Poondu Puli Kuzhambu, I was determined to make it as soon as possible.The best thing was I made it a few days later and it was as awesome as it looked on the post.....

I used:

Garlic - 20 pods, halved
Pearl onions - 10
Tamarind paste - 2 tablespoons
Red chillies- 2 ,broken into bits
Mustard- 1 teasopon
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves- a few
Asafoetida powder- a pinch
Sesame seed oil- 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Saute with a little sesame seed oil and grind to a smooth paste with a little water

Pearl onions- 5, chopped
Garlic- 5 pods, chopped
Ginger- 1" piece
Coriander seeds- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Black peppercorns- 1/2 teaspoons

  1. Heat oil in a pan and put in mustard seeds and asafoetida powder.
  2. When it splutters add the fenugreek seeds, red chillies, curry leaves,onion and garlic.
  3. Saute till the garlic and onion turn a little brown.
  4. Put in the ground paste and mix well.Add a little water[around 1/4 cup]
  5. Cook on medium heat till the oil floats on top. Stir once in a while.If the mixture dries up add a little more water.
  6. Put in the salt,tamarind paste mixed in 2 cup warm water.Bring to a boil.
  7. Simmer and let it cook till the raw flavor of the tamarind disappears[around 15 minutes] and the gravy thickens a little.
  8. Remove from heat and serve with steamed rice.

Note :

  • Sesame / Gingelly oil is best suited for this dish. If it is not available any cooking oil can be used.
  • Adjust the quantity of tamarind to suit your taste but just remember that this gravy should be a little tangy
  • Similarly you can increase the quantity of red chillies to suit your taste. 

This poondu kuzhambu was a part of our meal along with,Minty lemon rasam , Curry leaves chutney and brinjal roast.

This Day That Year....

2010 - Galettes de Sarrasin - French Buckwheat crepes

2009 - Pavta Batata - Maharashtrian Potato- Lima beans curry

Bon Appetit...

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Karuveppilai Thuvaiyal #2 | Curry Leaves Chutney

An abundance of curry leaves in our backyard is always a source of  this fresh herb for the meal. When ever the need arises,which is everyday,I just go and grab a handful. Since we use this herb for seasoning most of our dishes, the presence of this fresh herb seems like a blessing for me.

Today, I made this curry leaves chutney with a slight variation.Usually I add a variety of roasted dals to this chutney but today recipe has no dal.It is curry leaves in the concentrated form.

Curry leaves - 2 bunches
Roasted mustard- 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic - 5 pods
Ginger - 1" piece
Tamarind paste- 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Coconut grated - 2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Oil-1 tablespoon

  1. Heat oil in a pan and put in asafoetida,garlic cloves and chopped ginger.Saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Reduce the heat and add the curry leaves, grated coconut.Saute for 2 minutes.Switch off flame and let it cool.
  3. Grind the roasted ingredients along with mustard, tamarind paste,salt.[Add water according to the consistency you prefer.]
  4. Remove into a dish and serve with steamed rice.

Here are some other recipes with curry leaves

Karuveppilai Thuvaiyal #1
Curry leaves flavored rice # 1
Curry leaves flavored rice rice # 2
Curry leaf powder
An easy way to Dry curry leaves at home in your microwave if you have surplus and use later.

This Day That Year....

2010 - Carrot rice with flax seed spice mix
2009 - Potato Podimas

Bon Appetit....

Friday, 2 December 2011

Neer Dosa | Paan Polo

A tasty breakfast from Karnataka, Neer Dosa, gets its name from the watery batter that is used to prepare this dish.[Neer in kannada means Watery]. This dosa is soft and very delicious.The highlight of this dosa is that it needs no fermentation. Just soak and grind rice and the batter is ready to be used!!!

I used:

Raw rice -2 cups
Grated coconut- 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

  1. Soak rice for around 3 hours.
  2. Wash the rice and grind to a smooth paste with the salt and coconut. The batter should be watery.
  3. Remove the batter into a vessel.
  4. Heat a griddle and sprinkle a little water on it.If it sizzles, the griddle is ready.
  5. Pout a ladle full of batter on the griddle and swirl the griddle so that the batter spreads. [So not spread with a ladle.].There should be plenty of small holes in the dosa.
  6. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes.
  7. Fold into half and again fold to a triangle.
  8. Remove from griddle and serve hot with a chutney of your choice

Note :

  • The batter has to be really very thin,somewhat similar to buttermilk consistency.
  • Some recipes say coconut is optional but it tastes excellent when coconut is added when the batter is being ground.
  • Do not pile the dosa one over the other before serving. They will stick together. So let the dosa go straight to the serving plate from the griddle.

This Day That Year....

2009 - Aviyal

Bon Appetit...

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Gingered Cauliflower- Capsicum Sabzi

Almost a year ago, out of sheer necessity I 'invented' a Instant ginger pickle on a lazy Sunday morning and the recipe clicked with the family .It has become a regular one these days. Then one day when I wanted a different flavored vegetable curry, I added a couple of spoons of this pickle and the simple cauliflower curry was the hit of the meal.....

Cauliflower - 1, broken into florets
Instant ginger pickle - 3 teaspoons[ Add more if you prefer a pronounced gingery flavor]
Onion- 1, sliced
Tomato- 1, chopped
Capsicum- 1 small, chopped
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Chili powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Mustard- 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds- 1 teaspoon
Oil- 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

  1. Microwave the cauliflower florets with a little water till almost done. Keep aside.
  2. Heat a pan with oil and put in mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  3. When the mustard splutter,put in onion and saute till translucent.
  4. Next in goes the tomato and cook till soft.
  5. Put in turmeric power,chilli power, ginger pickle and capsicum.
  6. Saute the capsicum for a few minutes. The capsicum should be cooked till just done. It should still have a slight crunch.
  7. Put in the cooked cauliflower , salt and mix well.
  8. Simmer for a couple of minutes for the flavors to blend.Remove from heat and serve as a side dish with steamed rice.

This Day That Year....

2010 - Shrikand
2009 - Carbohydrates

Bon Appetit...