April 25, 2007


Dal Saag (Beet Greens with Chana dal) and Missi rotis are my entries to both JFI "Greens" and WBB #10 this month.The JFI event's creator Indira from 'Mahanandi', who is hosting this month's JFI, also hosting Nandita from 'Saffron Trail' blog's WBB #10 event as well.Thank you Indira!:)

Dal Saag aur Missi Roti:
When I heard about JFI and WBB theme is Greens,I immediately thought of Makki di roti and Sarson ka saag and then I thought somebody will cook those and changed my plan to cook Missi Roti and Dal saag with beet greens and Spinach instead.Now I see one of you smart girls (aka coffee!), made Missi rotis too even before I publish this post but I see nobody made dal Saag with Beet greens!!!;D
In addition to delicious Dal Saag and rotis,I am also posting my Mysore grandma's authentic Spinach Sambhar,which is called Soppina saaru in Kannada to be served with rice and papad if you like.Enjoy!!

Beet Greens:

Beet greens are used as just as you would use spinach and equally nutritious.Fresh beet greens will have dark-green colored leaves with rich red veins and fairly long, upright stalks.Avoid if the leaves that are wilted, yellowing or have dark green patches on them.

Dal Saag:
(Mashed Chana dal-Beet greens)Beet Greens are a wonderful choice for making dal Saag,which gives it a slightly reddish color and tastes great as well as you can see.It cooks down just like Spinach,may be needs to cook few mins longer than the Spinach.Do not add salt and any tomato,tamarind ,mango pd etc while cooking with Chana dal,you can add those later if you like while cooking.

You Need:
Beet greens from 3-4 beets,one cup chopped Spinach,1/2 cup Chana dal(split red gram)soaked in water for 2 hrs, 2 garlic minced, 1" piece ginger minced, 1 green chili, 2 tsp coriander seeds powder, 1/2 tsp Garam masala(optional),salt to taste,1 tsp of jaggery or sugar,2 tbsp corn flour or corn meal(Makki ka atta).
For seasoning: 2 tbsp ghee and oil, 1 tsp cumin deeds,2 green chilies, cut into rounds,1" ginger, cut into long thin strips, 1/2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder or paprika.

How to make it:
1. Wash,de-vein and chop the leaves and tender stems,cook with drained dal in 1 cup of fresh water, ginger, garlic and green chili in a pressure cooker on medium heat for few mins or in a pan covered and cook for 20 minutes.Open the lid.
2. Mash a little, add coriander pd,corn flour,sugar,garam masala,and salt,simmer on a low heat until it thickens,keep stirring to prevent sticking.It should not be thin or very thick like a big lump.
4. Heat ghee, saute cumin seeds, ginger strips, green chilies rounds until it changes color slightly, remove from the heat and add chili powder.
5. Add this seasoning to Dal saag and mix well.

Missi Rotis:
(Rotis made with wheat flour and Besan(Chickpea flour))Makes about 10
Missi rotis are made from a mix of wheat flour and Besan(chickpea flour) with little spices to give them a zing! They are tasty ,aromatic and healthful and great to scoop up thickish dal saag and relish the meal.Enjoy!:))

You need:
1 cup besan (Chickpea flour), 2 cups atta (wheat flour), 2 tbsp oil or melted ghee, enough salt, 1/2 tsp chill pd, 1/4 tsp turmeric,1 tsp ajwain(carom seeds), 1 tsp mango pd and 1 tsp minced ginger+ enough warm water to mix the above ingredients to a firm, smooth dough.

How to make them:

1. Mix both flours first. Add all other ingredients, knead to a smooth dough but not very soft dough.Leave it to rest covered for 30mins.
2. Shape into 10 balls. Roll out each ball to a slightly thicker than chapatis, 4-5" discs.Cover while the Tawa or griddle is heated.
3. Cook it on hot tawa on both sides until you see the specks of brown.Brush some melted butter or ghee on the hot roti and serve warm.

A plate of Dal-Saag and Missi Roti,the ultimate comfort food!:))

To serve: Serve with little butter,lemon slices,raw onion rings,fresh green chillies if you are brave enough and freshly made Missi rotis and a big glass of cold sweet or savory Lassi!!!Are you drooling yet?!:D

Grandma's Soppina Saaru:
(A traditional Karnataka Spinach Sambhar,Soppu means any greens in Kannada and saaru is gravy,a simple but delicious bonus recipe for you to enjoy!!
There are many variations of making this Soppina saaru of course.This is the way my Mysore grandmother makes it.It tastes great with a cup of rice or as a healthy soup if you use less chill pd in it.My ajji(dad's mom) used a lot coconut everyday in her cooking since their coconut farm is down the road with a never ending supply of those!!:D I do cut down the coconut to 1/4 cup or less without losing the same taste. Enjoy!:))

You Need:
1/2 cup Tuar dal(split red gram),3-4 cups fresh or a pound of frozen spinach,turmeric,2 Tomatoes sliced,salt,1 tbsp tamarind juice,little piece of jaggery,cilantro.
Masala paste: Dry roast 2 tbsp coriander seeds,1 tsp pepper corns,1 tsp Mustard seeds,2-3 dry red chillies,1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds ,1 tsp Poppy seeds,1 tsp uncooked rice grains,1" cinnamon(dalchini) and grind these with 1/4 cup fresh or 3 tbsp dry coconut,1 tsp chana dalia(yellow roasted gram/chutney dal) )few pieces of onion,1 small garlic,few stems of cilantro and few curry leaves to a smooth paste with enough water in the grinder.Keep aside.
For seasoning: 2 tbsp oil and ghee,i small onion chopped,1 tsp cumin seeds,1 red dry chilly,2-3 garlic sliced,curry leaves.

How to make it:
1. Pressure cook dal ,turmeric and spinach with 2-3 cups of water until soft.Cool and take off the lid.
2. In a pan,heat oil/ghee,and add all the seasoning.When onions are reddish,add the dal spinach mix and tomatoes etc as given above with dal and heat.
3. When it boils for 5 mins and the tomatoes are soft,turn down the heat,add the ground masala paste and simmer gently for 5 mins or so.
4. If it's too thick,you can add some water,it should of pouring consistency.

Tasty soppina saaru is ready to eat with rice,papad and sandige(sun dried and fried wafers).Tastes even better the next day.You could add a little hing(asafoetida) if you like to the seasoning but my ajji never used it but I do!:))

Wheat Flour Kodubales:
NO!! This is nothing to do with the "greens" but a variation of the Karnataka snack Kodubale I posted 3 weeks ago.My teenager reader Sneha tried the Kodubale(a bangle shaped snack with horns)with Wheat flour or atta bcos she didn't have the flour at hand.That got me curious and made Kodubales with atta instead of plain flour with bigger circles with the same recipe. Not only they look good and it tasted great too.Thanks Sneha for a great idea!:)

I wanted you to see what I meant by Kodubale ie bangle shaped with horns! Look at the top Kodubale with round shape and see the horns on top,that's the way they are all supposed to be made.I just made one just to show you,too much work to do all of them!!;D

A new bird house in our backyard!
This little bird house looks amazingly similar to our house except for one level(we have two levels),thought I post this photo!!:D

Alrighty then, that's it for this week.Have a great weekend and I will see what I can bring you next week!Don't forget to smile,life is too short to be unhappy.You never know, right?!:))

April 18, 2007


Vanakkam!!(Hello or Namaste in Tamil) Hope you all had a great Vishu celebration and welcomed the New year with joy!!:)

I am so happy to participate in this 'Regional Cuisines of India' event, Lakshmi K from 'Veggie Cuisine's brain child, which showcases each state of India and her cuisine.We are beginning with Tamil Nadu this month.Rumba nandri Lakshmi K!:))

Here we go....

Situated in the southernmost part of India, Tamil Nadu is referred to as the 'cradle of the Dravidian culture', the ancient Indian culture distinguished for its unique languages, customs and architecture. The culturally rich temples with their towering gopurams (gateways), intricate stone carvings, evocative music, classical dances, Tirukkural(oldest book of wisdom!) and, of course, the cuisine! Tamil Nadu provides us a wide variety of delicacies, both vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian,though most food in Tamil Nadu consists of grains, lentils, rice and vegetables.Spices are added to give a distinctive taste to this cuisine.(info:Wikipedia)

I chose most of these recipes from this book which is written by Ranee Kuttaiah,a Coorgi,who is a short story writer,Culinary adviser for a group of 5 star hotels in India, who lived in Tamil Nadu for many years.These recipes are quite authentic,and are delicious as you can see.So, let's cook some of them....

(Spiral flour snacks)

My all time favorite snack,which is also called Chaklis in Karnataka.They are made of rice and dal flour and lightly spiced and fried,makes a great crunch munch with Coffee or Tea!
You need:2 cups of rice flour,1/4 cup Urad dal, 2 tbsp softened butter,salt,2 tsp Cumin seeds,2 tsp Sesame seeds,1 tsp dry red chilli flakes.Chakli or Murukku apparatus like this or a cookie press.
To make them:
1. Roast Urad dal until reddish,cool and powder.Heat oil to deep fry at 375F.
2. Add Urad dal powder to all the other ingredients,mix well.Add enough water to make a stiff dough.It should be thick enough to roll into a tube to insert into chakli mold.Do not make it soft or your chakli will not be crisp.
3. Using a star plate,stuff the dough in the mold and squeeze out round wheel shape on a plastic.When the oil is hot enough,carefully drop chaklis in to the oil and fry until crisp.
4. Drain on paper towels and cool before you store.I used the same dough with just round holes to make the other kind.Enjoy with coffee or tea.

Poosanikai Mor kozhambu:
(White Pumpkin/Lauki/Bottle gourd in Yogurt sauce)
One of my favorite gravies,this sauce made with yogurt,Pumpkin and spices makes a fabulous lunch with rice and papads.This recipe is similar to what we call Majjige saaru in Karnataka.I use fat free sour cream for this which makes it creamy and tangy without adding the additional fat!

You Need:
3 cups of white pumpkin(Ash Gourd),cut into cubes and boiled with turmeric powder and salt till soft, 1 1/2 cups of sour yogurt or fat-free sour cream, well beaten.
To grind: 1/4 cup grated fresh coconut, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2-3 green chillies, 1/4 tsp salt, 2 tsp uncooked rice grains, 2 tsp yellow roasted gram (pottu kadalai).
For tempering:
1 tbsp oil and ghee, 1/4 tsp each mustard and Fenugreek seeds, a pinch of asafoetida, 1-2 broken dry red chillies,few curry leaves and I like to add few garlic ,peeled and chopped as well.
How to make it:
1. Grind coconut, cumin seeds, chillies ,yellow gram and raw rice. Keep aside.
2. Mix the well beaten sour cream in 1 1/2 cups of water and add the ground masala.
3. Heat the oil in a pan and put the mustard,fenugreek seeds along with the rest of the seasoning into the hot oil.When they are reddish,add 1/4 cup water and turn down the heat to low.
4. Add the yogurt mixture with the cooked pumpkin, and let it to simmer for 1/2 an hr or more.
NOTE: NEVER boil as curd and water will separate or will curdle. In case this happens, immediately add 1/2 cup of cold milk. It may just save this dish.(advice from the author!)

Madurai Kozhi Khozhambu:
(Madurai Chicken Curry)
Madurai,a beautiful town which has the most magnificent Hindu Temples you could ever see, also brings the most delicious regional cuisine.This is one of them,enjoy!:)

You Need:
2 lbs chicken breasts, cleaned and cut into small pieces,1/4 tsp turmeric powder,salt to taste.
To grind: 1/4 grated coconut, 1 tsp aniseeds (saunf), 1 tsp peppercorns, 2 dry red chillies,1/2 tsp paprika, 1" piece of ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 tsp roasted gram (pottu kadalai), 1/4 tsp turmeric powder,2 plum tomatoes and 2 tsp coriander seeds.
For seasoning: 2tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp bengal gram dal(chana dal), 1 onion, finely chopped, few curry leaves,1-2 dry red chillies.
How to make it:
1. Rub 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt on the chicken pieces and keep aside.
2. Heat the oil/ghee in the pressure pan,put in mustard seeds and chana dal.When reddish,then add the onions,curry leaves, chillies , chicken pieces ,stir-fry and add the ground masala.
5. Fry on a low heat for a while. Then fry on a high heat by adding a little water from time to time to prevent scorching the bottom (I know what you are thinking now!;p) of the PAN!
6. When the masala turns a rich shade of red, turn down the heat,add a cup wateror more to make the gravy,mix and pressure cook for 3 minutes or so.Adjust the salt and add the cilantro.
7. The gravy should be medium thick to serve with rice or Idiyappam.

(Steamed Rice noodles)
I had made this easy soft and white rice noodles once,thought I would make it again which goes fabulously with any spicy gravy.I must say I was little confused about whether Idiyappam is a Kerala dish or Tamilian! I googled many times and found that both states make Idiyappam!Please don't blame me if it's not Tamilian!!:D

How to make it:
1. Boil 1 cup water with 1/2 tsp and 1 tsp oil.Turn down the heat to low and add about 3/4-1 cup rice flour or as much as it takes to make a stiff dough.
2. Mix well and cover with a lid,leave it on heat for 3 mins.Turn off the heat,cool.
3. Make a thick roll of rice flour ,stuff into the Chakli press like above for Murukku but with a plate with several small round holes.Squeeze out the noodles on to idli plate ready to be steamed.
4. Heat the pressure cooker with water,place the plate inside the cooker and steam on high heat for 10-12 mins like you do for Idlies without the weight on the lid.
5. Open the cooker,take the plate out.Transfer the cooked noodles on to a serving plate and garnish with cilantro,coconut gratings,salt and pepper if needed.
6. Serve with any veg or non-veg Kozhambu or gravy.Enjoy!:)

Sweet Pongal:
(Sweet delicacy of rice and dal)
Time for dessert!!:) When I think of Tamil Nadu ,I think of "Pongal"!!Here it is, a delicious blend of Moong dal,rice,sweetened with Jaggery,flavored with cardamom,saffron and clove and garnished with Almonds and Raisins!:))

You Need:
1 cup rice,1/2 cup Moong dal,1/2 cup or more Jaggery or sugar,1 tsp Cardamom pd, 2 cloves,powdered, 1tbsp Raisins,1 tbsp Almonds or Cashews,2 cups or more milk with pinch of Saffron.2 tbsp ghee or butter.
How to make it:
1. Heat Ghee or butter in a pressure pan,add raisins and Almonds,fry until they puff up,take them out and keep them aside.
2. Add moong dal and fry until golden.Add milk with Saffron,sugar or Jaggery and bring it to boil,turned down the heat.Add rice and pressure cook on low heat.
3. Open and add all the flavorings and cook the pongal down until thick and shiny on top.Add fries raisins and Almonds.Serve warm or chilled.
Easy Microwave way:
Cook rice first and cool.Microwave all the others including fried Moong dal until dal is soft,add cooked rice,MW again to reduce it to thick mixture.Add fries Raisins and Almonds and mix well!!

Thank you for all these delectable dishes Tamil Nadu and for your beautiful Temples and Tirukkural, a book of Wisdom, the oldest text of India!!:))

Tirukkural: the great poetic work by saint Tiru Valluvar, embodies values that are ever relevant and unchanging. The greatest classic of the Tamil language, it dates back anywhere between 2 BC and 8 AD. It comprises two parts, 'Tiru' and 'Kural': 'Tiru' can mean sacred, as well as beautiful, and 'Kural' means concise.More here.

About wealth, he says:

"He is poor though a millionaire
Who neither gives nor spends." ~ Kural: 1005

Wasn't that delightful to be in Tamil Nadu this month?! Now watch out for JFI Greens next week. Until then my dear folks,be good!!:)

My veggie patch!
Watch this veggie patch we created in my backyard in a sunny spot, 1 1/2 ft feet above the ground and about 8x4 ft. wide, filled with rich soil and organic manure.I did get some early red radishes already but will begin to plant Tomato etc from next week.As they grow ,I will update late in the Summer in one single post!:)

April 11, 2007


No! No! My mom's not here to cook all these! Mother's day is around the corner,thought I would cook some of my mom's recipes! I know it's a little early!:D

Beautiful Tulips for mummy as I call her! I prefer the flowers to stay where they belong instead of a Vase!

Come to think of it,I am much better cook than my mother is! It's true!:p But she does have some very tasty recipes which I am going to post here and in my future posts which are my favorites.Since she was married very young (at 16!) and had to learn cooking basics from her Mysorean mother-in-law, her recipes are the combination of Mysore and Hassan (coffee plantation/Coorgi style)where she is from.She always had helpers in the kitchen unlike me,so it took her a long time to learn to really cook well but she did it in the end!:))

So here we go with some of her authentic Karnataka dishes:

Tomato Chutney,
Aloogedde Palya,(Potato Gravy),
Kodubale`,(Flour ring snack),
Kesari Bhaat.(Saffron Semolina dessert)

Chitranna:(Turmeric/Yellow/Lemon rice)
Chitranna is a simple Karnataka dish to make and serve in a hurry.Tangy and very flavorful lemon rice, it can be served with crisps and yogurt.

How to make it:
1. Cook 2 cups of rice,long grain or Basmati,spread in a wide pan and cool.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil,add in 1 tsp each mustard seeds,cumin seeds and curry leaves.When they splutter,add 2tsp each chana dal,Urad dal and Moong dal,stir until reddish.
3. Add in 3-4 fresh red or green chillies split,2 large onions sliced thin,1/2 tsp turmeric,little salt,fry until onions onions are transculent and not reddish.
4. Squeeze 1/2 tsp lime/lemon juice,mix and set aside.In a separate pan,saute 2tbsp peanuts and Cashew nuts until they are crisp and keep aside.
5. Squeeze juice 1 lemon or more to the cooled rice along with enough salt,onion mix and fried nuts.Mix all these well,adjust the salt and lime/lemon juice.
6. Serve the delicious Chitranna with plain yogurt or raita.
Instead of Lemon/lime juice,you can saute 3 plum Tomatoes sliced with onions as well for a different taste. You can also add some fresh grated coconut to mix with rice to serve or replace the peanuts with Cashews.

Tomato Chutney:
A very tasty and easy to make Tomato chutney which goes well with Chapatis,Dosas or as a condiment for rice dishes.

How to make it:
1. Chop 6 Plum Tomatoes and Keep aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp oil,add 1/2 each tsp mustard seeds,cumin seeds,few Curry leaves and 2 red dry chillies..When they splutter,add 1 tbsp Chana dal 2tsp Urad dal, fry.
3. Add 1 small onion chopped,3 garlic minced,fry until just soft.Add tomatoes and cook on high heat until thick and all the water has evaporated.
4. Put in 2tsp coriander seeds powder,salt,1/2 tsp chill pd and turn down the heat,reduce the chutney until it's shiny on the surface.Adjust the spices and store in a bottle in the fridge when cooled.

Aloogedde Palya:(Red Potato Gravy)
This is my favorite Mirchi Aloo of all times and my mom's recipe which goes fabulously with Chapatis,parathas etc,.Hope you do try this dish.

Make masala powder first:
Dry toast 2 tbsp Chana dal(split red gram),2 dry red chillies,2 tsp Cumin seeds,1 tsp Fenugreek seeds,2" cinnamon(Dalchini),2 tbsp dry dessicated coconut until reddish,cool and powder in a blender with little Turmeric.
How to make it:
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil/butter,add 1tsp Mustard seeds,1 small onion minced and fry until red on the edges.Add 1/2 cup water mixed with 1 tsp (marble sized and soaked)tamarind juice,simmer.
2. Add in all the ground masala powder,salt,1/4 cup cilantro,simmer until oil shows on top.Add 1 more cup water to thin it and add 3 medium Red potatoes ,cooked and cubed to the sauce,salt and simmer until the sauce is thickish.It does thicker as it cools.Adjust the spices to your taste.
3. This tastes great after a day, enjoy.

Here is my favorite snack I used to eat a lot in Mysore from a bakery just outside huge Mysore vegetable market.It's a simple but delicious recipe."Kodu" in Kannada means horn and "Bale" means bangles.In essence,Kodubales look like round bangles with the ends curve and turned up like horns of an animal!:D
Anyway,you don't have to be that perfect when making them.Just make sure your dough is stiff, not soft like Chapati dough!You can make these into bigger circles as well and not fuss about making horns.Hope you try!:))

You need:
3 cups plain flour,1 cup Rice flour,1/4 cup hot oil to mix,salt and 1-2 tsp chilli flakes(optional) or crushed pepper corns,enough water to knead.
To make it:
1. Heat enough oil to 375F.Heat 1/4 cup oil separately to mix with the flour.
2. Mix all the above with hot oil,adjust the salt and spices,knead well with just enough water to make a thick dough.Do not make it too soft.
3. Take a lump of dough,roll into 1/2" thick rope,break off 4" pieces and roll each around your index fingers to make circles.If you want to make bigger circles with longer ropes,it's fine too.Repeat with repeat of the all the dough.
4. Deep fry until done,don't over fry.You will know when you taste one batch whether to fry less or more.If you have added chill pd,it will be reddish when fried,without it they look lighter or golden.Cool before you store.Enjoy!:))

Kesari Bhaat: (Saffron Semolina/Cream of Wheat)
Finally, a eternal favorite dessert of all Kannadigas,this Bhaat is can be made in a jiffy.You can add any nuts or fruits you want like Bananas,Pineapple etc.It tastes wonderful.You can this thinner by adding more milk or water or thick like this.

To Make this:
1. Heat 3 tbsp ghee or butter in a non-stick deep pan,saute 1 tbsp Cashews and Raisins until raisins plump up.
2. Add 1/2 cup Rava/semolina/Cream of wheat and stir-fry until it is slightly reddish and add 3/4 cup or (more or less) sugar,mix well.
3. Meanwhile,heat 1 cup milk and 1/4 cup water and add 1/4tsp saffron and add to the cooking semolina and keep stirring to prevent lumps.
4. As it thickens ,add in 1 tsp Cardamom powder and mix well.When it becomes semi-solid, pour into a dish.
5. You can serve this warm or chilled.You can also add some fruits like pineapple,Banana when it's cooking if you like.Enjoy the traditional Kannadiga dessert!:)

Delicious dishes I tried and loved from other bloggers:

Latha's(Masala Magic) delicious south Indian Aloo Methi

Suma Gandlur's Eggplant curry

That's it for this week.I do have some more mom's dishes to post,I will post next month.Enjoy these and see you all in Tamil Nadu next week!;D

Smile and be happy!:)

April 04, 2007


Have a wonderful Easter celebration! :)


Have noticed that my blog is a "Kind Blog" now? (check my sidebar)

That means I pledge to be nice to everybody and leave kind comments and "Choose civility" when communicating with you! And I expect the same from you.If you don't like any blog and what they write, you can always choose to leave that blog rather leaving sarcastic,tongue in cheek and hurtful remarks and make any blogger unhappy! Or if you must say something,then choose civility and communicate your thoughts politely and tastefully. You know what they say "If you can't say something nice,you better not say it at all!" (I came to know about "Choose civility" message from Anali's blog!)You too can become Kind blogger(click on the link),that is only if you think like me!:))

What's on the menu this week?:

A yummy Eggplant dish called "Imam Bayildi",

and a Carrot-Walnut cake/Bread for the the Easter bunny!:)

Some more beautiful Spring colors of NC on display too.

A big purple Eggplant to make the dish which made Imam faint with delight!:D

I chose to make Imam Bayildi after surfing the net for Arab recipes out of curiosity,found many interesting dishes with Eggplants,Chickpeas and meat!When I chanced upon the hilarious story behind this delicious dish,couldn't help but to share the story and the dish with all of you this week!:)

Here is that hilarious story!


"There are many stories about the origin of the name of this dish. One of them we heard while visiting Ankara, Turkey's capital. A long time ago a Turkish Imam (a clergy man ), known for his love of good food, surprised his friends by announcing his engagement to the young daughter of a wealthy olive-oil merchant. The friends did not know about her ability to cook. But they presumed part of her dowry would include olive oil. They were right. For her father gave the groom twelve jars, each one large enough to hold a person, of the precious oil. After her marriage the bride proved to be an excellent cook and each day prepared a special dish for her epicurean husband. One of them, eggplant cooked in olive oil, became his favorite. And he ordered that his wife prepare it each night for dinner. This she did for twelve consecutive days. On the thirteenth, however, the dish was missing from the meal. Queried about its absence, the bride replied, "Dear husband, I do not have any more olive oil. You will have to purchase some more for me." The lmam was so shocked that he fainted. And since that day, according to the story, his favorite dish has been known as Imam Bayildi, The Imam Fainted!"
Story is from "Epicurean", and the recipe idea is from the "Recipezaar" with some of my own changes.

Let's all swoon together now! Here is that truly delicious Imam Bayildi! ;D

To make these, you Need:

1 large eggplant,salt,3 medium red onions, finely sliced into rings,4 sliced Plum Tomatoes,6 thick slices of Bell pepper of any color you like, 4 tbsp Extra Virgin olive oil and 1 tbsp butter,2 large cloves garlic,1/2 Cup or more water or stock,2 tbsp parsley, 1 tsp cumin,pinch of cinnamon,Lemon juice ,chilli flakes.

Slice the Eggplant inti two lengthwise,score with knife making sure not to cut the skin and scoop the middle as shown.Discard seeds etc.Sprinkle some and lemon juice quickly.Heat a pan with some olive oil,saute the sliced onions till soft and reddish on the edges with little salt,cool.Saute the garlic as well.Now ,rinse the Eggplant slices,dry and place in oven proof dish.Drizzle olive oil,salt,lemon juice,chilli flakes and Cumin and cinnamon pd.

Pile up with onion and garlic.Place some cut butter on them,layer with peppers and Tomatoes.Pour water or stock on top.Sprinkle parsley now or you can do that after it's cooked.Bake in the 375F oven for 30-40 or until done or you can microwave it too,first covered and then open until done.I can not give you the exact time,check often for soft Eggplant.

That's it! A beautiful tasting and looking Imam Bayildi is ready to dig in and swoon.Don't worry about 1 1/2 cup Olive oil Imam's wife used.You don't really need that much olive oil for this to taste as good as her's!!Really!!!:D

A plate of Imam Bayildi with slice of bread on the side:
Pita would be a great bread with this,I didn't have it on hand and also plain rice will taste excellent with this too.Hope you try!

Well..let's bake a easy Carrot-Walnut cake for our Easter bunny, shall we?!:D

Here is a quick ,rich,moist and no butter Carrot cake or bread,my favorite dessert!This is a quick bread rather than the regular carrot cake but equally delicious.I didn't post step by step photos,since you just need to gather up all the ingredients,mix and bake in a jiffy.Carrot-Walnut cake is glazed Cream Cheese frosting.You can skip that if you like or just dust some Sugar pd on top.(Recipe from Beatrice Ojakangas "Quick Breads")

Carrot-Walnut Cake:

You Need:Makes 1 large or 3 small loaves.

2 cups all purpose flour, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts,1/4 cup Raisins, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar packed, 3 teaspoons baking powder, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 cups finely shredded fresh carrots, 1/2 cup milk, 1/3 cup vegetable oil, 1 egg.

How to bake:

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Spray with no-stick oil inside one 9 1/2 x 5 1/2" loaf pan or three 5 3/4 x 3 1/2 inch loaf pans.

3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, nuts, sugars, raisins, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients just until moistened. 4. Spoon into pan or pans. Bake 50 to 60 minutes for a large loaf, 35-45 minutes for small loaves, or until they are baked in the middle.

5. Cool on a rack before glazing.Place a wide plate under the cooling rack to glaze.


1. mix 1/2 pack of Cream Cheese, 1cup powdered sugar or more or less than you like,1 tsp Vanilla essence,drop or two Orange food color,and add enough milk to make it thin enough to pour to coat the cake.

2. Heat this for 40 secs in the microwave,not more than that.Whisk and pour on the cake with a plate underneath the cooling rack to catch the extra glaze.

3. Let the get firm on the cake and replace the plate with another and pour the glaze again on the cake until evenly coated.Garnish with baby carrots and walnuts.

3. Cover and chill the cake if you like or keep it in the cake dish covered.Tastes great the next day with all the goodness of Carrots and Walnuts!:)

Another look:

Have fun baking and enjoy the Easter!:)

Beautiful North Carolina in Spring!

Have a great weekend while I sneeze up a storm!!;D

Keeping with Arabian dishes theme, here's a delicious "Umm Ali" if you have missed!Enjoy!:)