Archive for November, 2012

CTO Sandwich

When I asked my family to guess what this sandwich was, they had no clue. They were confused and said so many things, and finally when I gave them some hints that CTO didn’t mean anything related to my work, they guessed it right. Were you able to guess it?

Anyway, without much suspense, here is what it means – Carrot, Capsicum, Tomato and Onion sandwich.
CTO Vegetables CTO Vegetables


  • 3 Carrots finely grated
  • 1 Big Tomato
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 1/4 Capsicum
  • 10 sprigs Cilantro
  • 8 Curry leaves
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp Cumin/Dhania Powder, 1/2 tsp Turmeric/Haldi, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp Jeera


  1. In a microwave safe bowl, cook capsicum and carrot for 4 minutes.
  2. In a pan, add 2 tsp oil. When the oil is hot, add Jeera and curry leaves.
  3. Next, add onion and fry for a few minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes and fry them as well.
  5. Next, add Turmeric/haldi, red chili powder, and Cumin/dhania powder.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Now, add the cooked carrot and capsicum.
  8. Add salt, and cover and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes.
  9. Garnish with cilantro.
  10. Place spoonful of the vegetable/palya in two slices of bread and warm then in a Skillet/Tava or a sandwich maker.
CTO Palya

CTO Palya

CTO Sandwich

CTO Sandwich

Another look

Another look

P.S: If you don’t eat Onion, you can just skip using it in this recipe and it still will taste good.

Banana, Apple, Strawberry Milkshake

I perform Shri Raghavendra Swamy Seva every year. While doing so, I eat just one meal at noon, no breakfast or dinner. However, I still need energy to do the seva, work, and perform all the household chores. My parents and my husband strongly insist on me eating at least fruits and having milk in the night. I just can’t drink milk at all. So, when my daughter brought this plate of wonderful fruits for me once, I added 2 more to these and prepared something quick, delicious, and very healthy milkshake for all of us. And, now I am sharing this with you all. Banana, Apple, Strawberry milk shake.

Banana, Apple, Strawberry

Banana, Apple, Strawberry

So, when you are fasting from now on, do remember to stay healthy and still follow the wonderful tradition we have.

With Water and Milk

With Water and Milk

As you see in the below picture, chop all the fruits into big chunks and put it in a blender along with water and milk. Add sugar as per your needs. I add water to make it low fat. You can eliminate the same and just use 2 glasses of milk.

Chop big chunks

Chop big chunks

Blend it until smooth. Refrigerate for a few minutes and serve.

Serves 3

Serves 3

I also had earlier posted the recipe for Apple Milkshake here.

P.S: Take a look at this web site to see what nutritional value you are getting out of these 3 great fruits:

1. Fruit Chart
2. Fruit Expert

Story of Tirupathi laddus

Just remembering Lord Venkateshwara or Srinivasa as he is called in my household, makes me feel so happy. And just remembering the laddus from Tirupathi, makes your mouth water. My brother, Ramesh has written a wonderful article in his blog about Tirupathi Laddus. Read on …..


Curd (Yogurt) for Health and Beauty

In our Indian food culture, curd or yogurt has carved a special place for itself. No Indian meal is complete without a cup of curd and rice, most commonly called Mosaru Anna in south. Curd is eaten both with salt and sugar. Salty curd usually called Majjige is prepared with 1 cup curd, 1 cup water, coriander leaves, and curry leaves all ground together.

As far as various dishes prepared with curd, the list is endless. Raitas, pachadis, mosarubajis, kadhi, dahiwada etc etc. Be it north, south, east or west, every region has its own specialty in preparation using curd.

Curd is also used with some green leafed plant. One which comes into my mind is the Doddapatre plant. The leaves of this plant are fried and ground and mixed with curd and eaten. It was grown in our backyard. I have seen many growing this plant in pots also. It’s said that any kind of rash on the body vanishes after you eat this leaf.

Did you know curd is also a beauty aid? Mix besan, haldi in curd and apply on your face. Leave it for 10-15 minutes. Wash away. It keeps the wrinkles away. Who knew?

In our temples, we do use curds everyday to prepare Panchamrita, right? Tastes so good.

So let us continue to use more and more of curds and benefit from it on a daily basis.

Some other benefits of Curd are listed below:

  1. It boosts Immune response .
  2. It Lowers LDL, Raises HDL Cholesterol
  3. Yogurt May Reduce the Risk of High Blood Pressure
  4. Yogurt May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
  5. Lower Body Fat Linked to Consumption of Calcium-Rich Foods
  6. Calcium-rich Dairy Foods Boost the Body’s Fat Burning After a Meal
  7. Boost the Body’s Ability to Build Bone
  8. Help Prevent and Heal Arthritis

Here are some of the recipes I have in my blog for yogurt.

Do you want to share any curd recipe? Let me know, I will post them here of if you have a blog, provide a link for your page.

P.S: I guess these are the reasons why we were made to eat curd after every meal, right? I still remember my mom saying “You can’t leave the kitchen without eating Mosaru Anna”. Thanks MOM.

Vegetarian Tostadas

Too many types of Bondas. Lets eat something else now. Tostadas is an all time favorite to my daughter and also my two nieces. I like to watch them eat, with sour cream all over their faces, lettuce all over their plate. I like making this since without their knowledge they would have eaten at least 3-4 varieties of veggies. You can make it in many ways, and I even do this without cheese whenever my sister comes. So, before I even give you the recipe for my super hit tostadas, guess what’s all within this covered Tostada?

Ok, let me tell you what all was inside the covered tostadas. There were the following items within them:

  1. Black beans
  2. Cheese
  3. Salsa
  4. Onion
  5. Tomato
  6. Cucumber
  7. Lettuce
  8. Topped off with Sour cream

Enough of all the hide and seek, let me tell you how to do this. There is very less of cooking, except for preparing the black beans and lots and lots of chopping.


  1. 1 can of black beans
  2. 1/2 finely chopped onion
  3. 1/4 tsp crushed pepper
  4. 1/2 tsp hot sauce
  5. 2 tsp oil
  6. salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a pan, add crushed pepper and onion. Fry for a few minutes. Next, add the drained and rinsed black beans. Fry for a few minutes. Next, add hot sauce, salt and pepper and fry for another 3-4 minutes. I never mash the black beans.

Place 6 tostadas in a baking sheet as shown below.

Next, spread black beans on each of these tosatdas as shown below:

Add chesse on top of each of these tosatadas and keep in a 300 degree pre-heated oven for 6-7 minutes.

After 6-7 minutes and the chesse has melted, take it out of the oven and leave for 5-6 minutes. Make sure they are cool. Now lets start topping it with all the remaining ingredients I mentioned above. Here is the order in which the item are topped.

1. Salsa

2. Onion, Cucumber

3. Tomato

4. Lettuce and Sour Cream

6. Top off with another tostada on top and serve.

Eggplant Fritters or Badanekayi Bonda

It is raining bondas at my place. Just kidding. These recipes were in the draft for several months now. Since we had 4 days holiday for Thanksgiving, I worked a little bit on the blog and was trying to reorganize the posts.

There was this huge eggplant sitting in the refrigerator, and so I decided to make eggplant fritters. My daughter who is very very picky about vegetables, doesn’t eat eggplant. I used capsicum instead of eggplant for her. She was home for Thanksgiving.


  • 1 cup gram flour or besan
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida or hing
  • A pinch of baking soda (optional, I never use it)
  • A pinch of Turmeric or haldi powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Eggplant sliced into circles


Chop the eggplant into circles and put them in cold water. Put the gram four in a bowl. Mix the red chilli powder, turmeric, hing, and salt. If you are using baking soda, mix it as well. Slowly add water, mixing simultaneously with a spoon until you get a smooth batter of medium thickness.

Put oil in a wok and set over medium heat. When the oil is medium hot, dip the eggplant in the batter and drop them in the oil, one by one. See the picture below for the consistency of the batter.

Click on the pictures to see a bigger image.

Fry both sides until the fritters turn crisp and golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove fritters and drain the excess oil on kitchen paper. Server hot.

P.S: Serve with chutney, or tomato ketchup, or hot sauce or just as is. You can also use cauliflower florets, Capsicum cut into thin strips, potato cut into circles instead of eggplant. It’s just the method you need to know. You can use any vegetable you want.

Alu Methi Pakoda or Potato Fenugreek Leaves Fritters

This weekend we had brought 2 bunches of fresh Methi leaves from the Indian Store. I prepared 2 varieties with these yummy leaves. One was Methi vegetable bath , which my Mysore Ajji used to prepare and the other one was Alu Methi Pakoda. This recipe was so simple, quick and of course very tasty.

Besan – 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
Alu/Potato – boiled and shredded – 1 cup, I used 1 large Potato
Methi leaves – 1/2 bunch, washed and finely chopped
Dhania Powder – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.

Mix all the above ingredients. The consistency should be as shown below in the picture.

Fry in low heat until the pakodas are golden brown. Serve with Tomato Sauce or ketchup.

Vegetarian Pizza

Simple yet so flavorful, this pizza topped with green and red pepper is an easy dinner solution prepared once a week by my dear hubby. You can use any vegetables of your choice like Onion, Olives, Tomato etc. BTW, the dough from Trader Joe’s costs just 99 cents. All other ingredients are also available at the same store. 

Click on the picture below to see a bigger image.



  • Fresh Pizza Dough( 1 lb dough brought from Trader Joe’s store)
  • 1 can of pizza sauce, enough to cover the dough (about 2 cups)
  • chopped vegetables – 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper
  • Grated Mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)


Preheat the oven for 10 minutes to 425 degrees F. Allow the pizza dough to thaw, if it’s frozen. Scatter a bit of corn meal or all purpose flour into a pizza pan. Roll the dough and transfer it to the pan. Cover thinly with pizza sauce. Next add the cheese, and add vegetables. Bake about 20 minutes at 425-450 degrees F, bake until the cheese has completely melted and starts to turn brown around the pizza’s edge.

Serve hot, topped with red crushed pepper. Also server any soda of your choice.

Click on the picture below to see a bigger image.

Pizza Sauce: To make your own Pizza sauce, mix the following ingredients and use it. This has no onion or garlic. Store leftover sauce in the fridge.

1.  1 can Tomato paste

2. Pinch of salt

3. 1 tsp crushed pepper

4. 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

5. 1/2 cup Olive Oil

Hot and Spicy Sabudana Khichdi

There are many ways of making Sabudana Khichdi. Over many years I have prepared this, this is one method which is quick and easy and comes out the same way every time I prepare. One of the favorite dishes of my daughter. So, here are the detailed steps to make this. Click on the pictures to see a bigger image.

1/2 pound Sabudana/ Sabudani
2 medium sized potato, finely chopped as shown below in the picture
and microwave for 5-6 minutes until tender.

Thinly sliced potatoes
salt to taste
1 tsp haldi
1 tsp mustard seed,
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
hing to taste
6 tbsp oil

Grind the following ingredients in the food processor into coarse powder.
5 tsp groundnuts
5 tsp Putani – Dhalia
6 green chillies
4-5 sprigs Coriander leaves
5-6 curry leaves


Wash Sabudani, drain water completely and leave for a couple of hours in the colander.

Sabudani soaked in a colander

Keep sprinkling water as and when you see that the Sabudani is getting dry.
Sabudani ready

Grind all the ingredients listed above, Mix with the Sabudani.

Sabudani with the ground ingredients mixed

Add salt also to this mixture. Heat oil, add mustard seeds, hing, channa dal, urad dal. Next add the potatoes and fry for a few minutes. Add Sabudani and mix well. Keep stirring so that the Sabudani doesn’t get burnt at the bottom of the pan. Add water if the Khichdi looks too dry.
Serve with Yoghurt.

An Amazing Comment from Ms.Thamilarasi Venkat

Ms. Thamilarasi Venkat has been following my blog for several years now. I received an email from Ms. Thamilarasi a few weeks back. It was amazing to read her email. Emails such as these make me more and more motivated to share whatever little I know about our religion. I always strive to share whatever I know, be it in my own home, this blog, or my professional career.  So many of you ask me where do I get the time for this blog.

Attached below is the email I received from Ms. Thamilarasi which I thought would be an awesome place to share with you all.

Dear Mam,
I am a great fan of your blog,have been reading every article of yours twice thrice and tried out your receipes too. First I should appeciate the neat look of your blog. It is very friendly to the eyes, the arrangement of topics is excellent, the content crisp and also gives all necessary details. I should also say that the pooja arrangements in your house, the way you lay out the idols,lighting lamps and keep them neat and presentable is a real treat to one’s  eyes.
 I have learnt a lot from you mam,  thanks for being my Dronacharya. 🙂 I have some pictures of my swarna gowri vrat and varalakshmi pooja. Kindly give your suggestions and comments. The swarna gowri pooja was purely done reading your blog every bit. I made note of every detail and tried to do it exactly as you have mentioned. I also tried the pooja display to be as neat s your, ofcourse it is no way near yours but you have been a great inspiration in my life. Any festival, I refer your blog to see how to worship,what to cook as neivedhya, its like an encyclopedia for me.Thanks is a very small word for what you have done to me but I have only that to tell for now.Thanks for such an excellent blog, please continue the good work.
and below are some details about Ms. Tamilarasi.
About me..I was a teacher, have given up my job now and do online trading for my expenses.  I have a 16 year old daughter, she is in class XI this year. My husband is a mechanical engineer, designs fixtures for CNC machines. He runs a machining unit with two more friends. We live in Hosur.
 I am also a devotee of Rayaru and I keep searching for articles on him That was how I stumbled upon your blog.  From the day I saw your blog, I have been reading all your posts and am so happy that this blog was up since 2007, so much more to read :) happy.
 My parents are from deep south where worship of shiva is prominent. Since I’m married to my own cousin, traditions did not change much and there was no way for me  to know of krishna jenmashtami,varalakshmi pooja or any other vaishnavite festivals. But my fav god is krishna. Thanks to ISKCON. We came to hosur 5 years back and thats when I started seeing varalakshmi pooja, swarna gowri pooja . I was so interested  and would ask my neighbours for details. So far I have been observing these festivals only with the help of them. Now seeing your blog I am troubling them less.
For me god, the supreme power is one, we call him by diff names and any number of times to remember him, practice thiyaga and vairagya by way of fasting and adhering to certain rules are means to reach him fast. I fasted the whole day on jenmashtami and woke up alone till midnight after reading your blog. Thanks to you. Your blog and the details you have shared about your family tradition helped to follow a festival in the right way. Earlier i used to see for recipes but that blog only had recipes not much of details, should mention the wonderful photographs there. They are breath taking!! Your blog had detailed write up on how to worship also. So i started reading yours deeply. Please keep up this novel work, it is so helpful.
Thanks for the wonderful blog.
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