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Thursday, September 19, 2013

My Very Bold, Spicy and Tangy Tex-Mex Cranberry Salsa

Halloween and Thanksgiving are  around the corner. This would be a perfect appetizer/side dish for all fall season parties and for Halloween and  Thanksgiving. 


This recipe was inspired by my dear friend Sulu.
I had Cranberry Salsa about 2 years ago at her house and I loved it !! She emailed me the recipe, Thank you Sulu :) However I deleted it by mistake, before I could make the salsa.



I did buy some cranberries and put them in the freezer thinking that one of these days I will make this salsa, but never got around to it.

I was trying to remember the recipe and came up with the ingredients from the taste that I remembered at her house and bits and pieces from the email from my memory.

One 12 oz bag of fresh or  frozen cranberries
One yellow onion chopped
2 green onions chopped with green part
1 fresh Jalapeno pepper
1/2 cup pickled Jalapeno pepper with its vinger
2 fresh limes
1 bunch of fresh Cilantro
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of red wine vinegar
2 teaspoon of ginger paste (optional)

1/4 cup of chilli garlic sauce from Oriental store
or  6-8 pods of garlic
1/4 cup of Paprika powder
2 table spoon of cayenne pepper powder
1 table spoon of powdered roasted cumin seeds
Salt to taste

Chop onions, cilantro,  fresh jalapeno pepper.
Fine grind onion, cilantro, green onions, pickled jalapenos and fresh jalapeno in food processor.
Add lime juice from 2 fresh lime.
Add frozen or fresh cranberries and grind everything to desired consistency.
Add salt, paprika, cayenne pepper, chili garlic sauce, ginger paste, sugar and red vine vinegar.
Puree everything to desired fine consistency, I like mine to be pureed well.


 Serve with variety of corn chips to compliment all the beautiful fall colors.
Can refrigerate this for up to 2-4 wks.

This recipes yields about  3 quarts. I must say it came out delicious.  I made it yesterday and more than half of it is already gone !!

Enjoy :)

Recipe adapted by Surekha from a recipe given to her by her dear friend Sulu
Photographs by Surekha.
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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Poha Dhokla

What is Poha: 
Flattened rice (also called beaten rice) is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when added to liquid, whether hot or cold, as they absorb water, milk or any other liquids. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin (the more expensive varieties) to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain.

Flattened rice can be eaten raw by immersing it in plain water or milk, with salt and sugar to taste, or lightly fried in oil with nuts, raisins, cardamoms, and other spices. The lightly fried variety is a standard breakfast commonly known as Aloo poha, (recipe on this blog) where is is cooked with lightly frying with mustard seeds, turmeric powder, chili powder, finely chopped onions and potatoes and then moistened poha is added to the spicy mix and steamed for a few minutes.
Flattened rice is in a way, a  convenient food and very similar to bread in usage.
I almost forgot about this recipe until I had these at one of local Indian restaurant for a Gujrati buffet.

3 cups  of Poha A(available at  local Indian grocers and Not to my surprise also at
1 table spoon sugar
1 and 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1and 1/2 cups water
1 tbs green chilli paste
    1 tbs ginger paste
    3 tbs oil
    1 teaspoon turmeric powder
    Salt to tast
    Lime juice from 2 fresh limes
    2 small packets of  fruit salt
    1 table spoon fresh cilantro chopped

For Tadka
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek seeds (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds (optional)
2 tablespoon of sesame seeds
1 dried red chilli
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Handful of curry leaves
1-2 chopped green chillies (I used Jalapenos)
Pinch asafoetida
1/4 cup chopped cilantro for garnish


- Mix together poha, salt, sugar and water and yogurt
-Set aside unit poha are soft
-Puree the mixture until smooth
. Add oil, turmeric powder lime juice, green chilli paste, ginger paste and fresh cilantro.
-Divide the paste in to 2 ladles each 
-Add Eno salt to this divided batter when steaming individual tray
- Pour mixture into a greased trays. (follow Khaman dhokla recipe on this blog for steaming)
- Steam dhokla for 10 minutes on high heat.
- When cool, Cut dhoklas into desired shapes
- Heat oil for tempering in a pan, when hot add mustard seeds, sesame seeds,cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds if desired and  asafoetida
-Add dried red chillies, chopped chillies and the curry leaves.
- Pour this onto steamed dhoklas.
- Garnish with cilatro
- This recipe yields about 4 servings
- Serve hot

Enjoy :)

Information on Poha source ""

Recipe adpated by Surekha from her Mom's recipe and  Photographs by Surekha.
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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seasoned Yogurt Rice

Yogurt rice also called Curd rice is a dish commonly served in south India.  The word "curd" in India usually refers to plain yogurt.

In the state of Tamil Nadu it is so popular that this food is one of the chief offerings to the God in many Shiva and Vaishnavite Temples which is later distributed as 'prasadam' (blessed food) to devotees.
Yogurt rice can be served at room tempreture is often eaten accompanied by South India Pickles such as those of mango or lime. In South Indian home cuisine, it is standard to eat curd rice at the end of lunch and dinner, which helps ease the effects of the spicy main dishes.  It is also said to aid digestion.Garnishing may vary with region and range from grated carrots, pomegranate seeds, raisins, green and purple grapes, fried cashewnuts, grated raw mango and boondi.

Yogurt rice is a true soul food for me as this was the fist thing I learned to eat as baby without all the seasonings of course. Then as child I saw my mom make this seasoned yogurt rice with different variation and over years  I adapted this recipe from her.

1 cup Jasmine rice
2 cups of water
Salt for rice
1 teaspoon of Olive oil for rice
2 cup Plain unsweetened Yogurt   (homemade or any store brand)
½ cup fat free sour cream
Salt – to taste for yogurt rice
1 seedless cucumber peeled and diced into small cubes
4 table spoon oil
3 teaspoon black mustard seeds  
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 dried red chillies
¼ cup urad dal
¼ teaspoon asfoetida
Handful of fresh curry leaves
1 Jalapeno pepper chopped (optional)
1 teaspoon ginger paste (optional) 
¼ cup of water or milk
1 teaspoon of butter
¼ cup chopped cilantro



* Wash rice, add water, salt and olive oil and and cook rice. (I cook the rice in microwave, recipe in this blog)
* Mash the rice a with wooden spatula and let it cool.
* When rice is cool, mix yogurt and sour cream in it.  
* Add salt, and chopped cucumber to above yogurt rice, mix well. 
* Heat Oil in a small pan. 
* When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, and cumin seeds, 
* When these seeds crackle, add red chilli, and urad dal 
* Stir for few seconds until dal is light brown. 
* Add asafoetida and curry leaves and chopped jalapeno and ginger paste turn the heat off. 
* Pour this mixture over Rice and Yogurt, may add little unsalted butter on rice and yogurt mixture when pouring this hot oil with the seasoning for flavor – mix well. 
* Add 1/4 of water or milk to the pan that you heated the oil and did "tadka" in, rinse with this milk or water and pour it onto the rice.
* Mix everything well. 
* Garnish with chopped Cilantro leaves. 

Serve at room temperature and Enjoy :) 

As mentioned earlier may garnish with  grated carrots,  or pomegranate seeds, or raisins, or  fried/roasted peanuts or cashew nuts, and or grated raw mango or boondi for extra crunch and taste based on whatever your palate desires.

This recipe yields 6-8 servings.

Information on yogurt rice source ""
Recipe and photographs by Surekha adapted from her mom's recipe.
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