28 MODAK AND PANCHAKHADYA - Indian Cooking Challenge

The challenge for the August month had 6 recipes out of which we had prepare at least two. I chose Modak and Panchakhadya.

Recipe for Panchakhadya

1 cup grated dry coconut
4-5 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
4-5 dried dates (Maharashtrians call it kharik)
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
4-5 tbsp coarsely powdered mixed nuts (almonds,cashews, pistachios)
pinch of nutmeg powder

Procedure -
1. Dry roast grated coconut on a very light heat and set aside
2. dry roast poppy seeds and grind them coarsely after cooling them for 5 minutes
3. take the seeds off the dried dates and grind them coarsely as well.
4. Mix all these ingredients and nuts powder, cardamom, nutmeg, powdered sugar together and offer to Ganesha as prasadam

**************************************************************** Modak

Stuffing -
2 cups freshly grated coconut (can use frozen unsweetened coconut)
1 cup jaggery (grated)
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tsp cardamom powder
one pinch nutmeg (optional)
2 tbsp water ( can also use milk)

Cover -
1 cup rice flour
1.25 cup water
pinch of salt
1 tbsp oil

Preparation for Stuffing -
Roast poppy seeds in a small skillet and let it cool down. Grind it coarsely and keep it aside.
In a heavy bottom kadhai mix all the ingredients for stuffing except poppy seed powder and let it sit for 15 min. Now start heating the mixture over medium heat. In about 10-12 minutes, the mixture starts boiling and stuffing will turn yellowish brown and will be sticky. Take the kadhai off the heat, add poppy seeds powder and mix well. Set it aside to cool down.

Preparation for cover -
Take vessel that has tight fitting cover. Start boiling water in that vessel, add salt and oil. When water starts boiling, lower the heat and slowely add rice flour. Please do now dump everything at once. Start mixing vigourously with a heavy spoon. Now close the lid and take the pot off the heat. Let the covered pot cool down for 15 minutes or so. Then with wet hands, mix the dough properly. It will warm so be careful and use cold water to keep your hands from burning but do not use too much water. if you think the dough is little sticky, I will suggest add 1-2 tbsp maida to it and make the dough.

Making Modak (Final Product) -
Start boiling water in a large vessel that can fit a steamer. I use a stainless steel steamer that fits on a pressure cooker and water doesnt touch the steamer and use stainless steel plate to cover it. Oil the steamer and set it aside.
Make about 20 balls of the dough and 20 parts of the stuffing. Start making small puri with the dough ball on a oiled paper/aluminum foil. Keep one part of stuffing in the middle of the puri and gather the puri gently to make shape like modak. You can see the picture here - http://www.hotelshreyas.in/photo/modak.jpg. You will have to handle the dough very gently. Follow the step to make remaining modaks. Now dip each modak in cold water and put it in the steamer. Put the steamer on boiling water and cover it. Let the modaks steam for 20 minutes on medium to high heat. Take the steamer off the vessel and let it sit for 5 minutes before removing moodakd from steamer.

These are my entries to Srivalli's ICC

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I have tasted maida murukku many times at a friends place in my hometown Bangalore. They were very much in light color and used to just melt in the mouth. Whenever mom visited me here in US, I used to crave for this snack and asked her to prepare it for me. It used to taste great but the color was darker just like other murukkus and not like the ones that I tasted in my friends place. But, it was not a problem at all, they tasted really super and got over very soon. Recently tried this snack when one of my friend here was mentioning that she had lot of maida and did not know anyway to use them and also wanted to use it them as it was stored for long days in her kitchen pantry. Here I share the recipe of my mother's Maida Murukku that we made last week.

Maida/All purpose flour - 2 cups
Urad dhal powder - 1/2 cup
Pottukadalai powder - 2 - 3 tbsp( Fried channa dhal, split dalia)
Butter - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1tsp
Salt as needed
Oil for frying

Dry roast urad dhal till light brown... cool and powder it finely. If using urad dhal powder , then powder till it gives out a good aroma.

Transfer the maida( just as it is and that too without adding anything ) in a vessel that can be placed in a pressure pan/cooker. Heat little water in the pan/cooker and place the vessel, cover and cook for 2 whistles or steam on high for 25 - 30 mts. Remove and cool. Later press to see if they are lumps or not... if so then first crumble them very well and transfer to a mixing bowl. To it add urad dhal powder, fried channa dhal powder, salt, cumin seeds, sesame seeds, melted butter and mix well. Slowly add water and prepare a dough just like you make other murukku dough. Grease the murukku presser with little oil and place the dough little by little and press them in hot oil. Fry well till nice brown and remove from oil.

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Saag Paneer a different version of Palak Paneer. Tastes good with chapathis/Parathas and are very easy and simple to prepare.

Palak/Spinach leaves - 2 Bunch ( I used a pack of baby spinach leaves)
Paneer - 1/2 - 3/4 cup grated
Onion - 1 chopped fine
Tomato - 2 small or 1 medium chopped fine
Ginger garlic paste - 3/4 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 slit long
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp
Lime juice - 2 - 3 drops

Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, wait for few seconds and add chopped onions. Fry till they are golden brown and add ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute and add chopped tomatoes. Mash and cook they are pulpy and mashed really well and water has left fully. Next add roughly chopped greens. Keep stirring now and then till the leaves are shrinked and cooked. Next add chilli powder and mix. Finally add grated paneer and salt and mix well together for 2 - 3 minutes. ( you can also add fried paneer cubes). I have added grated paneer. Switch off flame and add lime juice and mix well. Adding lime juice is optional. Tastes good when added just before serving.
Instead of grating or crumbling the paneer, you can as well cut into thin long strips/pieces and add them.

Awards :-

Sarah Naveen has passed on these lovely awards. Thanks a lot Sarah.

Also have been tagged by Rekha Shoban. You can read about my ABC's that I have posted here. Thanks Rekha.

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Cooked rice or left over rice - 1 - 1 1/2 cups
Boiled potato - 1
Left over cooked veggies - little
Green chillies - 2 chopped
Onion - 1 small chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Maida/ All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
Bread crumbs - 1 cup( or as needed)
Oil - for frying

Mash the cooked rice well with hands and to it add the vegetables( potato and any other veggies just make sure they are not soggy), green chillies, onion, ginger garlic paste, salt and mix well. Make balls and press to desired shapes.
Adding potatoes gives a good binding to the cutlets.
(Pleas note: Do not mash the rice in a blender/mixer..it will get very soggy...I have tried it once and it did not come out good...so best is to mash by hand...no need to mash it very fine).

In a different bowl make a dilute paste by mixing maida with water( If needed you can add a pinch of salt, but not very much required). Dip the balls in this paste and roll them in bread crumbs.

Shallow fry both sides in oil until golden brown and serve with Tomato Sauce/ketchup.

Alternatively You can spray some oil on top and keep it in the oven under broil for some time. Check and turn over to cook both sides.

My mom used to make these a lot with leftover rice and veggies and also with rawa upma. They used to come out in good shape and tastes awesome.

Reposting this entry to send it to Shama's First cooked food event.

After marriage we got to stay very few days in In laws and parents house and were mainly visiting relatives/temples and shopping stuff that we could get back here to US. As a new bride at in laws place they did not let me or ask me to enter the kitchen much. It was just eating goodies prepared by SIL's and hubby's aunts who stayed back until we left back. One day just after lunch my SIL came mentioning about lot of left over rice in kitchen and I suggested her this cutlet which mom used to make often dipped with bread crumbs. She who also shares my name is also a good cook and very innovative and an expert cook wanted to try out immediately, but there we no bread or bread crumbs. So instead we tried dipping with rawa that too upma rawa( sooji coarse). The cutlet came out good but the outer cover was so rough that everyone felt it was too hard and could feel the roughness. It was then when we had to remove the layer after frying and serve, but the shape was not in a position that we could hold, dip and eat. The ladies did not complain a lot, they had it without removing, it was just the guys who were my hubby and SIL's hubby :) who had fun commenting.
Now when I make these cutlets at home, hubby enjoys and eats them :D.


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Soya Chunks - a handful
Green peas - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Onion - 1 large chopped fine
Tomato - 2 or Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1tsp
Dhaniya powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Cream - 2 tbsp( or can substitute with 1/2 cup of milk or cashew paste for gravy thickness and extra taste)
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt as needed

Heat few drop of oil in a pan and in low heat fry the soya chunks and immerse/soak them in hot water till they are soft. Later squeeze the water and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon and cumin seeds, wait for few seconds and add chopped onions. Fry till golden brown and add ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute and add chopped tomatoes or tomato paste. Saute well till they mashed and pulpy ( or for just a minute if using paste). Next add all the powders and mix well. Now add the soya chunks and the fresh green peas( if using dry ones then soak and cook them seperately till 3/4th and add). Also add a cup of water and salt- cook till they are cooked well. If needed can add cream add cook in low flame for 2 -3 mts and remove. Serve with any type of chapathis and parathas.

Sending this entry along with the remaining ones down to Viki's "Side Dish for Chapathi" event
Navarathna Kurma

Mushroom Kurma

Aloo Palak

Whole Masoor Masala

Palak Paneer

Butter Beans Kurma

Palak Channa

Ridgegourd Masala

Dry Val Dhal

Black Eye Beans Kurma



Ragi Sevai - 1 pack ( I have used Anil semiya brand)
Onion - 1 large chopped fine
Green chillies - 3 chopped fine/or slit long
Ginger - 1/2 inch chopped/grated
Curry leaves - few
Grated coconut - 2 - 3 tbsp
Cilantro/coriander leaves - few chopped
Mustard seeds and Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 -2 tbsp

Immerse the sevai in water along with salt just enough for the sevai for 2 - 3 mts. Later drain water completely and place them in a greased idli plate and steam on high for 6 - 8 mts( can also use a microwave ). Remove and keep aside. In the meantime heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds and urad dhal, when they splutter up add chopped onions and curry leaves. Saute for 3 -4 mts and add green chillies and ginger and little salt . Fry till onions are nice brown and then add in the steamed ragi sevai and mix well. Also add the grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Sending this entry to Ashwini's FIC - Zodiac Sign an event started by Sunshine Mom of Tongue Ticklers

( My zodiac sign is Virgo - so my color for the event is Brown)

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10 Tagged Alphabetically

Tagged by Preethi

The Rules:
1. Link the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share the ABCs of you.
4. Tag 4 people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let the 4 tagged people know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
6. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so that there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag.

The Tag:
1. A – Available/Single? none
2. B – Best friend? Many
3. C – Cake or Pie? Cake
4. D – Drink of choice? Water
5. E – Essential item you use every day? Laptop, Phone
6. F – Favorite color?Green, Blue
7. G – Gummy Bears Or Worms?Don't like both
8. H – Hometown? Bangalore
9. I – Indulgence? Chaats
10. J – January or February?Makes no difference to me.
11. K – Kids & their names? 2 Boys -Prithvi and Harsha
12. L – Life is incomplete without? Family and friends
13. M – Marriage date? 15th November
14. N – Number of siblings? 2 - 1 sister, 1 brother
15. O – Oranges or Apples?Oranges
16. P – Phobias/Fears?Lizards
17. Q – Quote for today? Forgive and forget
18. R – Reason to smile? Nice words, praise
19. S – Season?Spring
.20. T – Tag 3 People?Scroll down to the bottom of this post
21. U – Unknown fact about me? Unknown
22. V – Vegetable you don't like? Brinjal, Brocolli
23. W – Worst habit?
24. X – X-rays you've had? I dont remember
25. Y – Your favorite food? Bisibelebath
26. Z – Zodiac sign? Virgo

I would like to tag Parita, Valarmathi, Sanghi and Shama.
Please pick them up and share your ABC's :D
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22 Awards Time

Received this fabulous blog award from Sangi of Simply Delicious and Rekha Shoban of Rekha's Recipes. Thanks a lot Sangi and Rekha for your encouragement and support.

Received this Scrumptious award from Sushma of Authentic Food Delights, Priyaraj of En Samayal and Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights. Thank you so much Sushma,Priya and Sanghi for passing on this lovely award.

It is the Scrumptious Blog Award -a blog award given to sites who:
Inspire you
Encourage you
May give Fabulous information
A great read
Has Scrumptious recipes
Any other reasons you can think of that make them Scrumptious!

Received this kreativ blogger award from Jyoti of Panchpakwan. Thanks a lot Jyoti for thinking of me and passing me this lovely award. It is really makes me feel great. Few things about me

Received these awards and the tag from Nivedita of Nivedita's Kitchen. Thanks a lot Nivedita for sharing these lovely awards with me.
The tag details click here

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Basil fried rice

Recipe from my friend Prema.

Basmati - 2 cups
One large bunch of fresh basil leaves
1 shallot pod or 5 garlic pods
Green onions - 1 small bunch
Vegetables to your taste and need( can use beans, carrot, colored bell peppers, cabbage - all thinly sliced - add around more than a cup)
All purpose marinade - 3 tbsp
Soy Sauce - 5 tblsp
Aginomoto - 1/2 tsp(optional)
Chillie garlic sauce - 2 tbsp
Ching's Schezwan sauce mix one pack
Onion - 1/2 chopped
Jaggery marble size(Optional)
Salt to taste
Oil ( can use sesame oil)

Wash and soak rice for 30 mts.

Cook the soaked rice in such a way that you get single separate grains. Let it cool and add 2 tblsp to 3 tblsp soy sauce and you can set this aside ahead itself. In a wok add 4 tblsp oil of your choice. Put in the veggies of your choice along with shallots/garlic and onions and the bottom part of the green onions. Saute it for few minutes with 1tsp ajinomoto. Then add one ingredient after the other slowly. Like add the schezwan sauce mix and then all purpose marinade and then chillie garlic sauce and the remaining soy sauce, jaggery and salt and let it get cooked for about 10 minutes in low flame. Need not add water since we already have the sauces. Add the Basil leaves and the green onions and remove from flame and add this to the rice mix well and the food is ready to be served.
Adding basil leaves gives a very good flavor and taste to the rice.
You can make your own schezwan sauce by making a paste with red chillies, vinegar, little salt and few garlic pods.

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Couscous pronounced as kus kus is a very nutritious grain. We also get them in multi colours. To know more about couscous click here.In this recipe I have used the plain ones and have used with some veggies and made as upma. Sometimes I prepare it as plain upma and also as kichidi. Will post those 2 recipes gradually :)

Couscous - 2 cups
Onion - 1 chopped fine
Green chillies - 3 or 4 slit long
Ginger - 1/2 inch chopped/grated fine
Mixed vegetables - 3/4 cup( I have used a mix of colored bell peppers and greenpeas)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Channa dhal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp - 2 tbsp
Water - 3 cups

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dhal, cumin seeds and channa dhal... wait for few seconds till they splutter up and add chopped onions, fry till they are transparent and add chopped ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Fry till light brown and add the vegetables. Saute for another 4 - 5 mts till they soft but crisp. Next add water and salt. Allow it to boil very well till it bubbles up. Reduce flame and add the couscous( no need to keep stirring it as we do for rawa as it does not get sticky or form any lumps) slowly. Mix well and cover to cook for 3 -4 minutes. Swtich off flame and allow it to set for another 3 - 4 mts. Can also add some coriander leaves then mix and serve.

Sending this entry to EC's WYF: Breakfast
Also sending this below entry to the same event.

Whole Moong/Moong sprouts Upma

And also got these awards from Parita of Parita's world and Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delights.
Thanks a lot Parita and Sanghi for thinking of me and passing on the awards dears. It really means a lot for me to get some awards from friends like you :D
You can read about me here

Just wanted to answer to their new questions
From Parita

Which is your favorite international cuisine ?

Your favorite kitchen tool?

From Sanghi
One vegetable you have not tasted yet?

What do you think is the ‘big Plus’ which keeps you unique from others?
Very helpful

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31 "DOSA CORNER" second(Final) Round up

Here I am with second/final round up of my " Dosa Corner' Event. Have a look at both the round ups and come out with or try many more delicious dosas.
Thank you all for your support and encouragement.

Link to my First Round Up - First Round Up
Kids Friendly " Dosa Corner"

Paneer Dosa from Rekha Shoban @ Rekha's Recipes
Five Flour Dosa from Nivedita @ Nivedita's Kitchen
Pizza Dosa from Ann @ Happy and Healthy Cooking
Cheese Dosa from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Pizza Dosa from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Dosa Roll from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Sandwich Dosa(Click Here) from Rama Devi( Guest/ Non bloggers)


Wheat/Oats/Ragi/Bajra " Dosa Corner"

Oats Carrot Dosa from Renuga @ Ideas for a wonder Home Maker
Soya Wheat Flour Dosa from Valarmathi @ Simple and Yummy Recipes
Ragi Dosa from Kavitha and Gayathri @ Kavithavin Kaivannam
Oats Dosa from Kavitha and Gayathri @ Kavithavin Kaivannam
Ragi Dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 cook Recipes
Oats Dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 cook Recipes
Wheat Dosa from Sanghi @ Sanghi's Food Delights
Oats Dosai from Aarthi @ Aarthi's Kitchen
Oats Dosa from Rupali Jain @ North Ki Rasoi Se
Jolada Dose/Sorghum Flour Dosa from Lakshmi @ Taste of Mysore
Ragi-Black Chick Pea-Mung Bean Dosai/Savoury Pancake from Sadhana @ A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine
Bajra Dosa from Abbhirami Rajagopal @ Soulful Creations
Ragi Dosa from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Kambu Dosa from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Wheat Dosai(Click here ) from Ramya Subash ( Friends/Non bloggers)
Dhidir Dosa(Click Here) from Prema ( Friends/Non bloggers)

Lentils(Mixed Dhal) "Dosa Corner"

Mixed Lentils/Dal Dosa(Bele Dosa) from Jyoti V @ Panchpakwan
Spicy Dal Greens Dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 Cook Recipes
Spicy dal greens wheat and peppered wheat dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 Cook Recipes
Satvic- Lentil Dosa from Ann @ Happy and Healthy Cooking
Paruppu Urappu Adai from Sanghi @ Sanghi's Food Delights
Godhumai Rawa Adai from Lata Raja @ Flavours and Tastes
Green gram dal Dosai from Aarthi @ Aarthi's Kitchen
Moong dal and udad dal Dosa from Saritha @ My Kitchen's Aroma
Whole Moong Dosa from Jayasree @ Kailas Kitchen
Adai Dosa from Sree @ Tastespell
Mixed Dal Dosa from Ganga Sreekanth @ My Favourite Foods
Azhagar Kovil Dosai from Viki @ Viki's Kitchen
Pesarattu from Viki @ Viki's Kitchen
Nava Dhanya Adai Dosa from Viki @ Viki's Kitchen

Healthy Mung Healthy Moong Dal Dosa [Mung beans Crepe] from Renu @ Renu's Kitchen
Paruppu Adai from Lata Raja @ Flavours and Tastes
Adai from Mriganayini @ Mriganayini
Yadni from Preeti Nilesh @ Khaugiri
Horsegram Dosa from Pavithra @ Dishes from my Kitchen
Toor Dhal Dosa from Pavithra @ Dishes from my Kitchen
Toor Dhal Dosa(Ver II) from Pavithra @ Dishes from My Kitchen
Black Urad dhal Dosa from Pavithra @ Dishes from My Kitchen
Moong dhal Adai from Pavithra @ Dishes from My Kitchen
Paruppu Adai from Pavithra @ Dishes from My Kitchen
Green Moong Adai from Prathibha @ The Chef and Her Kitchen
Adai from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Pesarattu from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Adai( Click here) from Athi( Friends/Non Bloggers)


Oottappam/Uthappam "Dosa Corner"

Wild & brown rice oottappam from Sailaja @ Sailaja's Kitchen
Carrot Uttappam from Kavitha and Gayathri @ Kavithavin Kaivannam
Wheat Onion Oothappam from Shama @ Easy 2 Cook Recipes
Aariyum Thakkali Uthappam from Lata Raja @ Flavours and Tastes
Tomato Uthappam from Ashwini @ Ashwini's Spicy Cuisine
Mixed Vegetable Uthappam from Sadhana @ A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine
Five taste Ootappam from Pavithra @ Dishes from My Kitchen
Carrot Uthappam from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Vegetable Uthappam from Me @ Padma's Recipes


Rotti and Onion " Dosa Corner"

Atte Jo Chilro from Avisha @ Simply SIndhi Recipes
Onion Dosa from Sanghi @ Sanghi's Food Delights
Onion Dosa from Saritha @ My Kitchen's Aroma
Onion Dosa from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Akki Rotti from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Ragi Rotti from Me @ Padma's Recipes
Ragi Rotti(Click here) from Geetha ( Friends/Non Bloggers)


Vegetable " Dosa Corner"

Bottle gourd mini Dosa from Srinithya @ Andhra Ruchulu
Carrot Dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 Cook Recipes
Beetroot Dosa from Shama @ Easy 2 Cook Recipes
Soraikkai Dosai - Bottle Gourd Dosai from Lata Raja @ Flavours and Tastes
Sanna Polo(Spicy Yam Dosa) from Varsha Prabhu @ A Healthy Option
Vegetable Dosa from Vanamala @ Mala's Kitchen
Southekai(Cucumber)Dosa from Keerthana @ Kitchen Vibes
Beetroot Dosa from Pavithra @ Dishes from my Kitchen
Cucumber Dosa from Mangala @ Recipes 24 Seven
Vegetable Dosa from Prathibha @ The Chef and her Kitchen
Heerekayi(Ridgegourd) Dosa from Sushma @ Savi-Ruchi
Carrot Dosai from Vidhas @ Appetizing Recipes
Carrot Dosa (Click Here) from Priya ( SIL)

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