Thứ Tư, 30 tháng 11, 2011

Meetha Gulkand Paan/ Betel leaf mouth freshener with rose petal jam

Dear friends- The holiday season is around the corner and the holiday fever is catching up in my household as well. Just wanted to let you know that I will be taking a little time off during the holiday (a well deserved one as hubs tells me :). Will surely see you in a little bit.
Happy Holidays

hewing the Betel leaf or Paan, as it is called in Hindi, loaded with fragrant and flavorful fruit, herb and spice mixes, is the ubiquitous mouth freshener in the Indian sub-continent. If you think chewing gum is the most common form of freshening up your mouth, think again. Now I am no historian but the tradition of chewing the leaf has existed in the culture since the beginning of recorded history and is very much prevalent still in the modern age. To give you an idea, I do not think there is any public street in India where within five minutes you could not walk up to a little stall right on the side of the street selling this delight. This post would be incomplete without giving you a little description of that ever-present 'paan-dukaan'. A little makeshift stall made of plywood, roofing sheets and any other material nailed together to make a box like structure and propped up on four wooden legs, sometimes as small as five by five feet with a person barely managing to sit inside with a small counter in front of him. You walk up and ask him or her for the kind of flavoring you want and lo and behold within a matter of seconds he is ready with your instant gratification. In some places you pay as little as five rupees (a dime, no kidding) for a serving and walk away.
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Thứ Năm, 24 tháng 11, 2011

Parval/Patal Dopyaza

arval or Patal, as it is sometimes also referred to as, is a common green vegetable that most if not all folks from India are familiar with. I looked around on the web and there seems to be a lot of confusion on its english name so I would rather not mention any here. It is especially common in northern and eastern part of the country and definitely well loved in the region in India where I come from. Growing up parval used to be abundant during the summers. So much so that it almost became a staple for those couple of months. It would either be aloo-parval with rice for lunch or parval bhunjiya with roti for dinner or even sauteed stuffed parval as a side, it would show up in some shape or form with every meal. You got tired of eating it eventually but you still liked it.
Coming to the US, I was pretty disappointed that folks here did not even know what parval was let alone eat it or even sell it. I would occasionally find the frozen kind in the freezer, tried a few times, but was even more disappointed. For someone trying parval for the first time, I would strongly advise not trying the frozen ones, not even close. We had to go without the fresh ones for a few years until we started seeing it in little containers in Indian grocery stores, tucked away in a corner as if it were an orphan vegetable that no one desired. The first time I laid my eyes on the little box in the corner seemed like a distant dream. I picked one up and held it close to my eyes turning it in different directions until my senses told me I was in fact looking at a fresh parval (aah the things you take for granted). The excitement however was short lived as almost immediately my sight fell on the little handwritten price tag that read $6.99/lb. "You gotta be kidding me", I thought and with a heavy heart put the one I had in my hand back in the basket and passed it by. Yes, I did turn around.
Since then I do buy a couple of pounds every now and then and handle it like gold. Hubs and I both enjoy it with rice or roti while chatting through our meal on everything I just wrote above.
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Thứ Tư, 23 tháng 11, 2011

Donne Biryani Recipe

  • It all started with a simple donne (plantain leaf cups) which is hand made or machine pressed. the donne has a very nice aroma when food is served in it...through out south India you can find people using these cups.

Donne Briyani can be prepared with mutton or chicken...donne briyani is famous all over Bangalore rich or poor everyone enjoys this amazing street food. the intense spices and methi (fenugreek leafs) aroma sets this  amazing recipe apart. I would suggest people visiting Bangalore...should try this recipe. now and then we get tired of traditional food I crave for donne briyani we have an amazing donne briyani angadi (donne briyani center) near my home dad would always parcel some for me....I simply ♥ donne briyani...:P

This unique recipe will be a new addition for all briyani lovers out there if you try my recipe do post your comments...:)
Briyani Masala:
2 Medium Size Onions
6-8 Green Chilies
Fist full Mint and Coriander leafs
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
2-3 Strands Javithiri
5 Black Pepper Corns
2 Inch Sticks Cinnamon
3 Cloves
3 Cardamom Pods
2 Tbsp Oil
1 Tbsp Ghee
  • Heat a wok add  oil and ghee add the above list of ingredients leaving out the mint and coriander leafs fry till the onion turns transparent then add the mint and coriander and fry all the ingredients.
  • Allow the fried ingredients to cool before grinding to a smooth paste.
  • Add the ingredients to a blender and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Add very little water to grind the masala paste.
Marinate Mutton:
1/2 Kilo Lamb Meat
1 Tsp Chilly Powder
1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 Cup Yogurt
1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • Add the above listed ingredients to the meat and marinate for 15 to 20 minutes.
Lets Prepare Briyani:
  • Heat 2 Tsp oil in a pressure cooker add the marinated meat and fry for 10 minutes add 2 to 3 cups water and salt cover place the whistle  pressure cook till meat is tender for 5 to 6 whistles.
  • Once the mutton has cooked separated the stock and meat set aside.

  • For this recipe we need to use 2 cups seeraga samba rice.
  • Wash the 2 cups of rice thrice drain and set aside.
  • Heat a pressure cooker with 2 tbsp oil and 2 tbsp ghee.
  • Add 2 cloves 1/2 inch cinnamon 2 cardamom and a bayleaf fry a bit.
  • Add the masala paste and fry till oil surfaces.
  • Add the cooked meat to the masala and fry a bit.
  • Add the rice and fry a bit for 3 to 4 seconds.
  • Add 1tbsp  kasuri methi and fry a bit.

  • Measure the mutton stock and water. we need to add 3 cups of liquid for 2 cups rice.

  • Add the liquid to the rice mix well.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Add 1/2 lime juice mix all the ingredients well.
  • Bring to a boil and cover place a whistle and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to reduce before opening the cooker. once the briyani is done mix well and serve hot in a donne with raita and boiled eggs....enjoy...:)

The ratio for this mutton briyani is 1/2 kilo mutton and 1/2 kilo rice. 
liquid measure: 1 cups rice add 1 1/2 cups water.

Recipe demo video...:)

Thứ Ba, 22 tháng 11, 2011

Peppa Zzing Bangalore Review

Peppa Zzing is located at No. 92, Kedia Arcade, Infantry Road, Bangalore, Karnataka - 560001. First of all I must thank both my cousins pavi and vicky who told me about this place its just a year old and they are so famous for giant and monster burgers peppa zzing is centrally located and very nice place to organize birthday parties.

Finally dad and myself made it to peppa zzing after a long wait we heard its packed during weekends and every afternoon so we made it by 8pm it was empty and we had the place for ourselves and enjoyed.
Kids and people who love fast food are surely in for a treat the menu is short and simple they serve regular size burgers, monster burgers which have 2 patties and extra toppings and then the ultimate giant burger which is huge and also served with extra topping if needed. they serve beef, chicken, lamb, veg burgers, pasta and hot dogs. 

My cousin was the first person to tell me about the place once I heard about it I was pestering dad to take me there i was so excited to see the giant burger but was sad at the same time just wished I could have gone there with few more friends and family . we ordered for Giant lamb burger and french fries ultimately we could  not finish what we ordered for....:)
After watching shows of Man vs Food I always wanted to see how a giant burger looks and tastes...If you want to enjoy the Adam Richman way then your in for a treat in our own city...YaY...:)

Serious yummy goodness the burger patty is mildly spiced very tender and juicy. I loved the sweet mayo...its upto you...can change and order for extra cheese in your burger.

 I had to parcel all the left overs and we enjoyed the next day as well mom liked the burger a lot.
The service and food is awesome its truly a treat for kids they will enjoy the most. do visit this place  This is not a sponsored review its solely done by me...Thanks for visiting my review...:) 

Thứ Hai, 21 tháng 11, 2011

Roasted Curried Butternut Walnut Soup with Spicy Cheese Straws

uickly browsing through my recipe categories, you will realize that I am not much of a soup person. There are very few kinds, actually only a couple, that I would even allow myself to taste and that too made at specific places or by specific people. This soup is one of them. My first encounter with butternut squash was aboard a Caribbean cruise liner out in the middle of that vast blue spread of the Atlantic. It was an acquired taste. Hubby tells me I made a sorry face when I first tasted it but the expression soon changed with the second and third sips. Very seldom happens to me. I either like something or I don't. Things don't normally 'grow' on me, but this was different. Having remembered seeing butternut squash on the shelves of the grocery stores, yes of course I decided I would try it at home. 
Since then this soup has been either a part of the entire dinner for us on several occasions. I normally accompany it with some salad and bread toasts or these cheese straws using puff pastry sheets - the supermarket wonder. Of course the cheese sticks are a winner combo so I picked them for the post here. A savory, spicy, cheesy crunch is all you need to clean your palate when enjoying this hearty soup. A few touches that I prefer with this soup is I like the version with the squash roasted better. Also I add some Indian masalas and some walnuts for that spicy nutty taste. Regardless of the twists and the masalas, each time I make this soup, the fond memories of the cruise vacation still pass my mind and I feel myself seated on the deck looking at the vast blue nothingness with the breeze in my hair sipping slowly from a hot bowl.
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Thứ Tư, 16 tháng 11, 2011

Methi Matar Malai with a Fragrant Saffron Cumin Scented Pilaf

ppears that my last few posts have been about making dishes with my favorite ingredients. Here's a dish featuring another one of my very favorite, fresh Methi or Fenugreek. To give you an idea how much I love it, whenever I am at our local Indian grocery I eagerly scan through each one of those yellow wooden plank boxes sitting randomly on the floor where the nail is still sticking out from where the lid was forcibly pried off, secretly hoping to find one such box with bunches of fresh methi leaves stacked up. When I lay sight on such a box, my pulse does go up a few beats a minute, I kid you not. Hubby is well aware and when he goes grocery shopping by himself and get me a couple of bunches, he sure earns a few points ;) I also grow them in my backyard as well to have a limited yet regular supply. Last but not the least, I always keep a box of Kasoori methi or dried fenugreek leaves in my pantry just in case I run out in my backyard and the stores don't have it either, proof enough? lol.

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Thứ Hai, 14 tháng 11, 2011

Spiced-up Nutella Hot Chocolate

inter is around the corner. Yay! It is getting cooler by the day. Well its sixty degrees so some of you might not think it to be much of 'winter' but that is how us south Floridians see onset of winter. lol and I totally love it. Talking about what else I love - Fridays - the best day of the week, well who doesn't huh. Waiting for five long days and nights for Friday evening is not easy. I get to go out and have lots of fun. Be it movies, catching up with friends, eating out, shopping etc. Can watch TV late into the night no school, no office, can sleep in till late the following morning and have two full more days to relax. lol.
The only other thing that can top a cool cozy winter friday evening is curling up on the couch with my two sweethearts (daughter and  hubs) with a hot cups of cocoa (you knew chocolate was coming, didn't you)... aaah... Sipping this blissful heavenly hot cocoa and watching an old Hindi movie with cheesy dialogues but soulful songs.
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Thứ Năm, 10 tháng 11, 2011

A Date with Chocolate Cake :)

n case you did not notice the nifty badge to your right, US Masala is proud to announce that it has been featured on and has been 'Certified Yummly'.
Now on to this post.
A date with chocolate! Now that's a date I'd never pass on. If you have been a regular visitor to my blog you must know by now that I have a clear obsession with chocolate. Most of my baked goodies are either chocolate based or consist of nutella or both. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so-much-so that every time I eat anything sweet, I immediately need to eat something savory or spicy to 'clean' my palate. With chocolate, the story is a little different. Every time I think of dessert, I think chocolate. Even when I am online looking for ideas, I type chocolate based search words... even when I am blog hopping, the category I check is chocolate baked goodies. You get the idea.
I regularly make a date based breakfast cake that hubs loves to eat with his cereal before he leaves for work every morning. This time around, when I was in the mood to bake some cake with the leftover dates I got the other day, while mixing the batter came the bright (read:obvious for me) idea of adding chocolate and the result was magical, a soft chocolaty perfect breakfast cake. Added bonus is now I can eat it for breakfast too. Being butterless and eggless makes it even better.
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Thứ Hai, 7 tháng 11, 2011

Paneer makani naanizza!

eftovers can be an issue at times. Mostly hubs will not want to eat it the following day (he says he does but I can tell he'd rather not). It is more of an issue when your leftovers are dishes that are close to your heart and you just spent your entire weekend cooking them up. It just so happened this past weekend that I had leftover Panner Makhani and Naan, two things that I just cannot explain how much I love. Now of course I couldn't eat it all by myself and it would break my heart if I had to throw away paneer in any shape or form.
You of course guessed where this is leading up to. Long-story-short, all my leftovers were gone in no time. Not until later, when I pointed out, is when hubs realized they were leftovers. This was not the first time I had made these insanely delicious fusion pizzas that kiddo and I like to lovingly call 'nanizza'. It never fails me as was the case this time around. Kiddo totally loved it too - the result that pleases me the most.
Naan based pizzas are becoming increasingly popular, so much so that the frozen version of it have started to appear on regular grocery stores. I have made it with different toppings like aloo gobhi, palak paneer and even baingan bharta and this time it was paneer makhani. 

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Thứ Tư, 2 tháng 11, 2011

Chilli Paneer dry/Paneer cheese in a spicy chilli soy sauce

o tantrums and food have any relation for you? Well, in my case, growing up they had quite a lot to do with each other. This is what my dear mom used to cook especially for me when me - the brat - used to tell her "mom, you don't love me anymore", count to her all the occasions when I was refused an ice-cream, a barbie doll, Shahrukh's poster and the bestest most expensive dress in the mall! She knew how to get me back to behaving normally... lol.
I love Chinese food but I have a certain (very strong) bias towards Indian-Chinese (aka indo-chinese) cuisine. We Indians have had a long-lived love affair with Chinese food. Long before pizzas, burgers and junk food became popular, it was Chinese food that most of us wanted when we craved something exotic and different. One may argue that Indo-chinese is not really chinese food as it is not very close to authentic chinese food. It has been totally adapted and re-flavored to suit an Indian palette. But hey, that is what fusion food is all about, right? Who knew the marriage of a little soy sauce with Indian spices could be so delicious! A big bright star of the Indian Chinese cuisine, featured on almost every menu of an Indian restaurant, be it upscale or roadside.
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Thứ Hai, 31 tháng 10, 2011

Semiya Pulao/Indian Style Stir Fried Noodles

uss free food is always welcome but quite often these recipes are very underrated. We make them quite often whenever we are racing against the clock to put food on the table but when it comes to showcasing your work we often put them in the back burner as 'yeh to ainvayi hai'. This is one such dish atleast in my household. I cannot remember how many times I have made it. Many different occasions - be it a quick lunch or dinner, pack something in a hurry for hubs occasional lunchbox or on kiddo's sudden demand of 'noodles'.  Every time I made it I always got applauded on how good it was. Never gave it much thought. Gradually it started to grow on me. The proverbial last straw was when I saw several foodies on the world wide web talking about how their semiyan got soggy and sticky when they tried this dish. That is when I decided it was time. So here goes - a savory indian noodle dish kicked up a notch with indian spices and ready in no time.

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