Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mushroom Noodle Soup

There are times when I feel that the jewel of my kitchen is my Microwave. I can sometimes even feel the waves of envy from the other appliances towards it. And no wonder why…I use it everyday, and for almost everything! Even for my cooking experiments.

And speaking of experiments, this noodle soup was one of the rare ‘make it up as you go’ recipes. And luckily, it turned out tasty.

And I say ‘luckily’ because half my experiments end up in the dust bin :D.

This is my entry for the last day of Blogging Marathon 24, under the theme : Cooking with Electrical Appliances. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more themes and more recipes from the participants.

Ingredients:

  • Noodles                    :             1 packet, cooked per packet instructions
  • Carrot                       :             1 medium, sliced thin and long
  • Mushrooms             :              4-5, sliced
  • Spinach leaves        :             4-5 leaves, shredded
  • Veg.Stock/Water   :              2 cups (or more)
  • Salt & Pepper

Method:

  1. Cook noodles per packet instructions and keep aside. I usually immerse them in water, with a pinch of salt and a tbsp of oil, and cook for 3-4 minutes in MW. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a MW proof bowl, add the sliced mushrooms, carrots and cook for 2-3 minutes till it is soft, stirring once in between.
  3. Once its cool, add water or stock and seasonings and the spinach leaves to it. Cook again for a minute or two. Add the noodles and more water, if required, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Check seasonings and serve hot.

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Filed under Beverages, Soups and Salads

Mushroom Methi Rice

Like the saying ‘You cannot see the forests for the trees!’, you cannot see my kitchen for the appliances in there! On the counter, you have the OTG, Microwave, Food processor and the kettle. Open any of the cupboards, you are sure to find a less used appliance tucked in there.

My poor sandwich maker, toaster, hand mixer, coffee maker, rice cooker, induction stove are all tucked in somewhere to save the counterspace. I don’t even know how many more appliances I have in there!! May be, I should finish this post and go count them :))

Thanks to the ‘Cooking with any Electrical Appliance’ theme, some of them are going to be featured here this week. Yesterday it was OTG, today it is Rice cooker and induction stove (preparation in the stove and the actual cooking in the Rice Cooker).

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more themes and recipes from the participating bloggers!

Recipe Source : Seduce Your Tastebuds

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice                        :            1 cup
  • Mustard seeds                    :             1/2 tsp
  • Methi (Fresh or Dry)        :             1/4 cup ( 1/2 of it if using dry variety)
  • Green Peas                          :            1/4 cup
  • Mushroom                           :            1/2 cup sliced (optional)
  • Garlic & Green chillies       :            1 tsp each, chopped fine
  • Ghee/Oil                                :             1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder                  :          1/4 tsp
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice. Drain after 15 minutes and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee or oil in a rice cooker, I did this in an induction stove. Add mustard seeds, garlic and green chillies. Once the seeds crack, add the mushrooms, turmeric powder and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the green peas, methi and the rice. Saute for 2-3 minutes. Take off the heat.
  3. Now, move this to a rice cooker. Add two cups of water, salt and let it cook.
  4. Serve hot with raita or curd and pickle.

Linking this to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, for this month’s theme : Healthy Lunch Box Recipes hosted by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds

7 Comments

Filed under Rice, Pasta

Vegetable Empanada

Vegetable Empanada

Last week of Blogging Marathon 24 and this time its ‘Cooking with appliances’ for me. For the first day, its an OTG (Oven Toaster Griller) recipe here.

I use a 28L Prestige OTG and its been with me for about 3.5 years. All my baking is done in that, though I am yet to try any grilling recipe in it.

Empanada was the Daring Baker Group’s challenge recipe sometime last year. I couldn’t do it then, but it sounded like a fun recipe to try. So I made it much later and it is getting posted here only now.

Check out the other particpants and their preparations here in the Blogging Marathon page.

Empanada

I used a potato masala filling for the bread and we liked the savory bread.

Ingredients:

  • AP Flour                      :            3 cups
  • Dry Yeast                    :             2 tsp
  • Sugar                           :             1 tsp
  • Warm Water              :            1 cup
  • Salt                               :            1 tsp
  • Oil                                 :            1/4 cup

Filling: ( I used leftover masala dosa filling)

  • Potatoes                     :        3 medium  , boiled and mashed
  • Onions                       :        2, chopped
  • Green peas                :       1/2 cup
  • Ginger garlic paste   :      1 tsp
  • Salt, green chilies        : to taste
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Prepare the dough. Mix yeast, sugar and warm water. Once the yeast is dissolved, leave aside for 15 minutes for the yeast to foam.
  2. Mix everything else together and add the frothy yeast mixture to it. Mix and knead until you get a smooth elastic dough. Cover and leave in a well oiled bowl until the dough doubles in size, about 1.5 hours.
  3. Meanwhile prepare the filling. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and saute the onions and ginger garlic paste. Add the cooked and mashed potatoes and cooked green peas into it. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and chili powder or green chilies and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Take off the heat. Keep aside. Since this is a filling, its OK with you increase the spice level a bit.
  4. When the dough has doubled, deflate it and divide it into two equal portions. Roll one of portions into a 9″ circle of uniform thickness. Spread the filling evenly, leaving some space around the edges.
  5. Take about 1/4 cup of dough from the other portion, this is for the decorations on top. Roll the other portion into an 8″ circle (one inch less than the base). Place this on top of the base and filling. Pinch the edges together. You can make frill like patterns too.
  6. For the decorations on top, roll the small portion. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Stick this on top of the empanada. Re roll and use up all the dough kept aside for decoration.
  7. Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake this bread for about 40 minutes or until the top is golden. Brush with melted butter.

Veggie Empanada

Linking this to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, for this month’s theme : Healthy Lunch Box Recipes hosted by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.

11 Comments

Filed under Cakes and Bakes

Pull Apart Breads: Sweet & Savory

Pesto Cheese Pull apart bread

For the past couple of months, I have been trying to overcome my fear of yeast. For Christmas this year, I baked a Chocolate Cranberry Yeasted Bread and a Banana Yeasted Bread.

Finally I am at a stage where breads don’t resemble bricks anymore!

So, when I saw a post in Facebook from Aparna Balasubramanian about baking breads together as a group, I joined. 12 breads for 2013, a new bread each month - ‘We Knead to Bake’ (such an apt name!) was born.

This month’s recipe was Herb & Cheese Pull Apart Bread.

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I started baking the bread when some friends were there. In my excitement, I took the bread out before it was fully baked and served everyone. Luckily the bread tasted so fine that we didn’t pay much attention to the underbaked part.

The spice was just perfect for the Indian palette and a bit of cheese and pesto took the bread to a whole new level. Wish I had paid more attention to the baking time, though!

Pesto Cheese Pull apart bread

So I made up my mind to try this recipe once again, this time with a sweet filling. I had tried making the tutti frutti filling for a Russian rose bread before, so I tried the same filling. This was meant for kids at a pot luck party, so to be on the safe side, I added a handful of chocolate chips as well. A sweet bread with colorful tutti frutti and chocolate chips – that’s happiness in a nut shell ( for me at least! :) )

Tutti frutti Pull apart bread

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • Warm Milk                 :           1/2 cup + 3/4 cup (approx)
  • Yeast                            :            2 tsp
  • Sugar                           :            1 tsp
  • AP Flour                      :            2 3/4 cups ( + 1/4 cup, if required)
  • Butter                          :            25 gms, ,softened (Or oil)
  • Salt                              :             1 tsp
  • Garlic                          :             1 tsp, crushed (omit for sweet bread)

(**Sugar: 1/4 cup, if you are making sweet bread)

Filling:

Savory:

  • Butter                              :               2 tbsp, melted
  • Mint Coriander Pesto  :               1/4 cup
  • Grated Cheese               :                1/4 cup
  • Chilli Flakes                   :               1 -2 tsps (per taste)
  • Jeera                                :                1 tsp

Sweet:

  • Tutti Frutti                     :               1/2 cup
  • Chocolate Chips            :              1/4 cup
  • Butter                              :              2 tbsp, softened

Method:

  1. Mix warm milk and the dry yeast. Add sugar, mix and leave aside for 10 minutes to bubble. If the yeast doesn’t foam up, then discard it and start again.
  2. In a big wide bowl (or food processor), add the flour, salt, crushed garlic(if using), butter and whisk once. Pour in the yeast mix and another 1/2 cup of milk to form a smooth dough. You might have to adjust the milk quantity a bit to get a smooth elastic dough.
  3. Knead in a floured surface till you get a smooth, non sticky elastic dough.Set aside in an oiled bowl for about 1.5 hours or until the dough doubles in size.
  4. Punch the air out once the dough has risen and knead for a minute. Roll it out into a 12X12 inch square. Brush the melted butter on top and spread the pesto on top. If you are using tutti frutti filling you will have to mix it with softened butter and then spread it on top.
  5. For savory filling, sprinkle the grated cheese uniformly across the dough. For sweet bread, its the chocolate chips that gets sprinkled. Press the filling lightly with a rolling pin so that it doesnt fall off.
  6. Cut the dough into 6 equal strips using a pizza cutter. Keep the strips on top of each other so that you have a single stack with 6 pieces.
  7. Measure the width of the loaf pan. Slice this stack into pieces, again using a pizza cutter, with each piece equal to  the width of the pan.
  8. In a loaf pan, stack the pieces. Cover with an aluminium foil and set aside to raise till the dough reaches the top of the pan, about 1 hour.
  9. Pre heat an oven at 200C for 15 minutes. Bake this bread for 30 to 40 minutes until it is done. Brush with melted butter and serve.

Tutti Frutti Choco Chips Pull Apart Bread

Linking this to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, for this month’s theme : Healthy Lunch Box Recipes hosted by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.

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Filed under Cakes and Bakes

Pesto Chapati

stuffed chapati

I am never short of words. I always have more than one person’s share to talk. But there are times, even for people like me, when the words just don’t seem to come. I am going through such a phase when it comes to writing here in this small space of mine.

My son is growing up fast, I am not able to catch up with him or run along with him (literally and philosphically). He says things, which I enjoy at that moment and then totally forget it later because he has done some other new thing. I am not able to capture those here, so I have just decided to enjoy the moment. Whenever he says something funny, my mind unwinds and a smile comes in my lips despite my trying to be stern. Little things in life really makes it worth living!

It is definitely a blessing when the only worry in your life is ‘What to cook for dinner tonight?’. A real blessing, actually!

peas masala

Valli makes even the toughest question of the day (What to cook today) easy with her BM themes. This week its stuffed breads, so here is a chapati with a different version than usual. A chapati with an Italian pesto filling!

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more themes and more recipes from other participants.

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour : 2 cups (makes about 6-8)
  • Water to make the dough
  • Salt
  • Mint Pesto, about 2 tsp per chapati

Method:

  1. In a big bowl, make the chapati dough. Add water in quater cup fulls to get a stiff yet pliable, soft dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes
  2. Divide the dough into 6 or 8 lemon sized balls. Roll into 2″ circles, keep the pesto filling. Close from the edges so that the filling is sealed inside. Roll again into round chapatis. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  3. Heat a tawa, cook the roti on both sides till brown spots appear. Serve with Green Peas Masala.

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Linking this to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, for this month’s theme : Healthy Lunch Box Recipes hosted by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.

7 Comments

Filed under Flat breads

Vegetable Stuffed Naan

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‘You will forget, Mommy! I will write it in a paper and give it to you.’ That’s kiddo’s dialogue now a days. I guess thats his way of accepting that I have a pathetic memory!

So when kiddo and hubby sat together and made the dinner list for the week, they put it down on a paper, so that ‘Mommy won’t forget!’ (The list hasn’t helped much, but we are still trying to make him eat.)

For Thursday, its dosa per the list, but I served him rice and dal. Kiddo, who now checks before he eats,  took his school ID card - checked his dad’s number from there and called him.

Imagine my embarassment and my hubby’s surprise when he gets a call from kiddo, saying :’Mommy is not making me the dish from the list. She has forgotten to check it again, Daddy!’.

A minute after the call, I was back to where I was the week before. Making dosas, and serving them hot.

And I am doing the same in the blog. Serving you the same naan I made a week back, for the Restaurant theme. For this week’s Blogging Marathon, I have chosen ‘Stuffed Bread’ as the theme. And the naan fits the bill well :)

I modified the recipe at Experiments at Kailas Kitchen.  I added 3-4 tbsp of yogurt and used all purpose flour for the naan. I added some crushed garlic too to the dough. I will update the recipe here later.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more recipes and more themes.

naan

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Filed under Flat breads

Bhindi Masala & Dal Fry

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Day three of Blogging Marathon 24 and I have put together a meal from the take away menu of India House Veg Restaurant. There is a dish each from their Hari Bhari Subjiyam (Dal Fry), Hamari Pasand (Bhindi Masala) and Koyle Ki Khan Se (Stuffed Garlic Naan). I skipped the Breakfast section, since it wouldn’t suit with these dishes.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page  to see whats cooking up!

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Bhindi Masala : This curry was a bit of a let down after all the work that went in it. It tasted OK, but nothing like what you get in the restaurants. It may be because I didn’t deep fry the bhindi. Anyway, this is what I did!

  • Wash, clean and pat dry 500 gms of ladies finger. Coat them in a tablespoon of oil and microwave for 5-6 minutes, without lid.
  • Saute one chopped onion, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 2-3 green chillies in a tablespoon of oil. Add one chopped tomato once the onion turns pink. Add 1 tbsp coriander powder, salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Mix and cook for two minutes. Check the seasonings. Take off the heat, cool and grind into a paste. This is a standard paste for all curries and can be made in advance and frozen for making life easy!
  • For the curry, saute an onion in a spoon of ghee or oil. Add the cooked bhindi and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Donot mix too much since the okra might break, but do stirring it now and then carefully. Add half a tomato, chopped to this mix, followed by the prepared paste. Let everything come together and check and adjust seasonings if required.
  • Add 2 tbsp coriander leaves, 1 tsp of garam masala and mix. Take off the heat and serve hot with chapatis/roti/naan.

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Dal Fry Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Moong dal                 :              1 cup, cooked
  • Onion                         :              1 medium, chopped
  • Tomato                      :              1/2 of a medium one, chopeed
  • Ginger                        :              1 tsp, shredded
  • Red chilies                :              1-2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder    :              1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala         :              1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves     ;              2 tbsp
  • Jeera seeds              :              1 tsp
  • Ghee/Oil                   :             2-3 tsps
  • Water
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Wash and clean half a cup of moong dal and pressure cook for 4 whistles or till done. Mash and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan, add the jeera and red chilies. Once jeera splutters, add the onions and cook till pink.
  3. Add tomatoes and after a minute, add the dal, turmeric powder and salt. Mix and add half a cup water if its too thick. Once you add water, ensure that you mix everything together and the water doesn’t form a separate layer on top. You might have to add more water, if the dal is too thick.
  4. Add the coriander leaves. Let it boil. Keep mixing at regular intervals, though I do this out of habil than of need :D. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings. I sometimes add red chili flakes if I want a bit of spice. You can add chilli powder or green chillies or more red chillies at the beginning itself.
  5. Take off the heat, serve hot with rice or chapatis.

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I will be sharing the recipe of the naan later! The naan and the daal fry compensated for the OK tasting bhindi. The naan esp. took the meal truly to a restaurant level.

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Filed under Flat breads, Side Dishes

Kerala Green Peas Masala

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Day two of Blogging Marathon 24 and we dine at Balaji Bhavan today. I choose one dish each from their Rice/Noodles section (easy peasy Jeera Pulao), Tandoori Kadai (Side dish- Green Peas Masala) section, Fruit extracts (Lemon Juice & ready made pomegranite juice) and Any timers (Chapati, no kurma – though!).

Now, isn’t this is a hearty meal?

Check out the other marathoners here in Blogging Marathon page.

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Jeera Pulao

Makes : 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • Basmati rice           :       1 cup
  • Ghee                         :       2 tsp
  • Jeera                         :       2 tsp
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 15-20 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan, add the jeera seeds. Once it cracks, add the rice, saute for a couple of minutes. Take off the heat.
  3. I usually cook this in a rice cooker. So at this stage, I move the rice to the rice cooker, add salt, two cups of water and cook until done. This can be pressure cooked too, for two whistles.

IMG_0553

Recipe Source: Peas Masala

Ingredients:

  • Green Peas             :       2 cups(Fresh,Frozen or Dry, but cooked)
  • Onion                      :        2, chopped
  • Red Chilies             :        2
  • Coriander Powder :        1 tbsp
  • Chili Powder           :        1/2 tsp
  • Tomato                    :        1, chopped
  • Coconut milk          :        1 cup, thick. I use Maggi Powder.
  • Salt
  • Oil

Method:

  1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and saute the onions. Add the ginger garlic paste, red chilies- cook for a minute more. Add tomatoes, cook till they are mushy. Add coriander powder, chili powder and turmeric powder. You can add a tsp or two of water, to prevent the masalas from burning. Take off the heat, cool and grind. Keep aside.
  2. Heat a tsp of oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. This step is optional. Once mustard crackles, add a cup of water and add the peas. You can add more water later, if needed. Add the ground onion masala, salt and bring everything to a boil. Add the coconut milk finally, and bring again to a boil. Check seasonings and adjust, if required. Serve hot with chapati or jeera rice. Tastes even better the next day!

Note : Sometimes I think instead of adding coconut milk, roasting 2-3 tablespoon of  coconut separately and grinding it together with the onion mix will suit this curry better. Should give it a try sometime!

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Filed under Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes

Vegetable Manchurian

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‘India is going to burn and we are all going to die! My classmate told me.’ Kiddo informed me, while travelling to my home town for Christmas Vacation. (That was his classmate’s version of the Mayan Calender).

‘What else did he say?’ I asked.

‘My friend told me that we will die, but God will bring us back.’ : Kiddo

‘Why do you want to come back, Shreyas?’: Me.

‘So that I can play with my toys!!’ Silence, lost in deep thought and then ‘Mummy, is God powerful?’

‘Yes, Shreyas. God is very powerful.’ : Me.

‘Is He more powerful than Way Big?’ ,asked the Ben 10 fan.

‘Oh Yes! God is there everywhere – just like air! Why, God is there inside everyone. All you have to do  is listen to your mind and God will tell you what is right and wrong.’ Me.

Kiddo got busy with some other things, but he hasn’t forgotten the conversation yet. Because, even now, I get  a lot of ‘Mummy, God is telling my mind that I need to eat chocolate (or play in the park or not to go to school and what not!)’.

But then, the God inside the mother always wins ;-)

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Blogging Marathon 24 is here and so here I am. This week’s theme is Cooking From Restaurants. Its an interesting theme with the participants having to choose from one of the online take away menus. I have chosen starter, noodles and a side dish all from the Chinese menu section of ‘Akbar’s Indian Restaurant’.

The virtual menu card and the real meal experience was a nice, since I hardly make a whole meal in restaurant style at home. The menu for the day was Spring rolls, Veg Hakka Noodles and Veg Manchurian.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more themes and more recipes from the participants.

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Making of the dishes turned out to be more easier than I thought it to be. I did take some short cut methods, by keeping the spring roll filling and the vegetable Manchurian balls the same. I did the deep frying of the balls and the rolls also together, so I could finish both the dishes at the same time.

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Vegetable Manchurian Recipe, adapted from Tarla Dalal.

Serves Two

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • Bean sprouts                                     :        1/2 cup
  • Minced Mixed veggies                  :        2 1/2 cups (Carrot/Cabbage/Capsicum)
  • Spring onions                                    :        1/4 bunch (1/4 cup each of white and green)
  • Corn Flour & AP Flour                  :        2 tbsp each ( Will have to adjust a bit if the balls don’t come together)
  • Salt & Pepper & Chili flakes
  • Oil for deep fry

For Sauce:

  • Spring onion white                                   :        1/4 cup 
  • Capsicum, chopped fine                        :        1/4 cup
  • Green chilies                                               :        2 (I didn’t add)
  • Ginger                                                            :        1″ piece, shredded (I didn’t add)
  • Water                                                            :         1 cup
  • Maida/Corn flour                                    :         2 tsp mixed with 1/2 cup water
  • Soya sauce                                                   :        1 tbsp
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Oil

Method: 

  1. First prepare the balls. Heat a pan and add a tbsp of oil. Saute the vegetables and the sprouts for 3-5 minutes. This step is optional, but since I was using the same filling for spring rolls, I did it. Add chili flakes, salt and pepper. Check the seasonings.
  2. Take off the heat and once cool, add the corn flour, AP flour. Take a spoonful of the mix and shape it into a ball. You can sprinkle a little of water to bring it together.
  3. Heat oil for deep frying and fry these balls till they are cooked. Set aside to drain.
  4. Prepare the sauce. Saute the spring onion whites in 2 tsps of oil in a pan. Add the shredded ginger and after a couple of minutes of sauteing, add capsicum and chilies. Cook for two minutes and add one cup of water.
  5. Add the soya sauce, salt (be careful here since the soy sauce may have salt in it!), corn flour mix and bring it to a boil. Do a taste test and adjust the seasonings. Drop the manchurian balls into the gravy and cook for a minute or two. Serve hot with Noodles or Fried rice.

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Veg Hakka Noodles:

  • Cook noodles per the packet instructions and keep it aside.
  • Heat a tbsp of oil and add two tsp of crushed garlic in it. Add one tbsp of chili flakes and cook for a few seconds. Add shredded vegetables – I used a combination of cabbage, carrot, capsicum and spring onions, and cook for 2-3 minutes. The vegetables should not loose its crunchiness, but since we like it a bit soft, I cooked these a bit more. 
  • Add salt and the cooked noodles. Mix nicely. Add spring onion greens. Serve with veg manchurian on the side.

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17 Comments

Filed under Any Time Foods, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes

Happy New Year!

My niece playing in sand

My niece playing in sand

Four days into 2013 and my new year resolutions are already under a third review! I don’t usually make resolutions nor I share them with others; but this time weight loss being the target, I thought it best to say it out aloud.

I started off with a definite weight loss target initially. Then slowly it got switched it to ‘Eat sensibly and Exercise more’. And now it’s only ‘Exercise for a better life’. In case I really get around shedding some kilos, I will let you all know :D.

The good thing is that I get to reintroduce my resolutions again in March as Birthday Resolutions. Well, this blog was born as a result of such a resolution in 2011, so lets hope I will see this one through too!

Happy New Year and Happy New Resolutions!

This post is off to Fifty-2 Weeks of 2013 by Sra and Aparna. This week’s theme is ‘New Year Resolutions’.

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