Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Cracked Wheat Kesari


I am going to send this recipe for the JFI event. Thanks to Manjusha for informing me about this contest.

When I heard the main ingredient for this contest was wheat, the first thing came to my mind was this sweet. This is the cracked wheat prasadam served at Annavaram Satyanarayana Swami temple in A.P. And for the first time I am making this since I started cooking 3 years ago. The sweet aroma from this dish reminded me of the times I visited the temple in my childhood.


Cracked wheat - 1 cup
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 table spoons (the more you add ghee, the better it tastes)
Cardamoms - 3 no.
Cashews and Raisins - handful (for garnishing)

  1. Heat 1 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry cashews and raisins. Set them aside when they turn brown in color.
  2. In the same pan add cracked wheat and fry for 5 mins. Set it aside.
  3. Add 2 1/2 cups of water to the pan, add jaggery and cardamom. When water starts boiling, add wheat and cook until it is soft.
  4. Add the remaining ghee and cook for 1 min.
  5. Garnish with cashews and raisins.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Paramannam (Sweet Rice Pudding)


Paramannam or Annam Payasam is a traditional sweet for festivals and poojas in South India. It is a must have for House warming/ Gruha pravesam. We prepared this today morning as prasadam to God on the occasion of Ugadi.


Rice - 1 cup (washed and drained)
Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 chunk (~ 3tsp)
Moong dal - 4no. ( Tradition, mom says don't ever offer plain white rice to God, add some colored dal to it, don't know why ????)
Cardamom (grounded) - 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts and Raisins - for garnishing
Ghee - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch


  • Wash and soak rice in water for 10 min.s.
  • Pour Milk in a bowl and bring it to boil. Add rice to the milk and cook until rice is soft, stir for every 4-5min.s so that rice will not stick to the bottom of the bowl. Cover the pan with lid for fast cooking.
  • Add sugar and jaggery to the cooked rice mix and boil for another 5min.s.
  • Add salt, which adds a great taste to the dish.
  • Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashew nuts and raisins.
  • Garnish the nuts and the cardamom powder on top of paramannam.

Happy Ugadi


విరోధి నామ సంవత్సర ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు.

Ugadi marks the beginning of Telugu new year. It is believed that the creator Lord Brahma started creation on this day - Chaitra suddha padhyami or the Ugadi day.
Traditionally, we celebrate Ugadi by listening to panchangam or yearly calendar ("Panchangasravanam" - predictions for the year) and having the Ugadi pachhadi, which includes all the 6 tastes(Shadruchulu - bitter, tangy, sweet, salt, sour, and hot).


Neem flowers - as required ( thanks to the Indian grocery store for carrying the dried Neem flowers. If you don't have these, use anything with bitter in taste like Bitter goard/Karela).

Tamarind - Lemon size

Salt - 1/2 tsp

Jaggery - as required

Chilli powder - 1 tsp

Raw Mango - 1/4 cup (small pieces)

  • Soak tamarind in water for 1 hour. Extract the tamarind juice.
  • Add jaggery, salt, chilli powder, Mango pieces to the tamarind juice.
  • Add Neem flowers to this juice. And serve with all the ingredients.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Maida Biscuits


Ugadi is approaching and relatives are coming for weekend, so thought of making these sweet little treats for the festival. My Mom uses clarified butter for these but I am substituting the recipe with unsalted butter. I love the crispy nature of these biscuits.

This recipe yields 12 medium size cookies or 24 small ones.


Maida /All-Purpose flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Clarified Butter / Unsalted Butter(melted) - 1/2 cup (or little more)

  • Mix Maida and sugar in a food processor for 3min.s.
  • Add melted butter slowly to this until the mix forms a tight dough, just enough to make round balls.
  • Preheat oven at 325F and grease the cookie sheet with oil and line the sheet with parchment paper.
  • Make small rounds with the dough and flatten them like a cookie/biscuit shape. Place these in the cookie sheet with enough gap between the cookies.
  • Bake for 15-20 min.s , if the backside of the cookie starts brown in color, remove the tray from oven.

Cool for 5min.s and keep them on a 2-layered tissue paper to absorb the ghee/butter . Store these in an air-tight container for 1 week.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sambar (Pappu Chaaru)


Sambar (lentil soup) is a popular vegetarian dish in South India. It is an easy and healthy dish made with dal and vegetables like carrots, drumsticks. Here is my version of sambar (Andhra style) -


Toor/Tuvar dal - 1cup
Water - 5 cups
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Tamarind paste - 4 table spoons
Oil - 4 tsps
Onion - 1 no.
Tomatoes - 2 no.
Mixed Vegetables/Carrots - 1 cup
Drumsticks - 1 (cut into 2 inch pieces)
Popu mix (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal) - 2 tsps
Curry leaves - 1 stem
Salt - as required
Red Chilli powder - as required

  • Pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water until 1 whistles. Mash the daal and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add popu mix, curry leaves. As soon as the mustard seeds begin to pop, add the onion slices and fry till golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste. Fry for another 2 mins.
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric, tamarind paste, salt, mixed vegetables and drumstick pieces and cook until the vegetables are soft.
  • Add 3 cups of water to the above mix and as the water starts boiling add the mashed dal, chilli powder and mix well. Cook for another 10mins.
  • Serve with idlies or rice.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Radhakrishna Emboss Painting


I always wanted to paint this beautiful picture of Radhakrishna. Since I don't have the time or the skill to draw it from scratch, I bought this emboss painting kit when I visited India recently. The kit includes an outline of the picture (plenty of choices to choose from), few color bottles and a paint brush. You can be creative with the choice of colors and a beautiful painting will be ready to frame. I usually decorate the painting with kundans and beads.

Dasavatharam - Kondapalli Bommalu


I bought these Kondapalli bommalu at Lepakshi Crafts exhibition the last time I visited India. These represent the ten incarnations of Lord Vishnu.

Matsya: God's first incarnation was Matsya meaning Fish. This is consistent with the modern theory of evolution according to which the earliest multi-cell beings were aquatic.

Koorma: God's second incarnation was Koorma meaning turtle. God wished to create another creature that could live in water and on the land.

Varaha: Vishnu's next incarnation was in the form of a boar. The boar can live on land only suggesting that land based animals evolved next.

Narasimha: This incarnation was half-human (Nara) and half-lion (simha). According to this incarnation, God will protect those who are devoted to him.

Vamana: Vamana means a dwarf. God took this incarnation to show people that they should live a benevolent life.

Parasurama: This was the sixth incarnation of Lord Maha Vishnu. It was to show mankind that their anger and restless as parsurama is always is their own biggest enemy. Even the most powerful man will be destroyed by his own anger.

Sri Rama: Rama avatar is also known as Dharma avatar. He not only overcame the 'adharma' or the evil forces but also taught mankind how to lead a perfect life of truthfulness, kindness, and obeisance to parents.

Balarama / Buddha:
I am confused about this avatar. Some people say this avatar was Balarama while some say it was Buddha.

Sri Krishna: In this avatar, Lord Krishna gave Bhagavat Gita to mankind. It is a sacred Hindu scripture that serves as a guide to attain enlightenment.

Kalki: Avatar yet to come.

Banana Lassi


Bananas - 2 (ripe, peeled and sliced)
Plain Curd/Yogurt - 1 cup
Honey - 3 table spoons (or as required)
Water - 1/2 cup
Cashew nuts - to garnish (optional)

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. If your blender has a whip option, whip it for 5 min.s
  • Garnish with nuts and serve immediately.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Moong Dal Dosa / Pesarattu


  1. Moong dal (or Mung beans) - 1 cup
  2. Salt - as required
  3. Green chillies - 2 (or as required)
  4. Ginger - 1/2"
  5. Garlic cloves - 3
  6. Oil - for making dosa

  1. Soak moong dal in cold water for 4-5 hours.
  2. Grind the dal along with salt, chillies, ginger, garlic and water to make a dosa batter.
  3. Heat dosa pan at medium high, sprinkle little oil on top of the pan.
  4. Pour the batter on the pan making a round circle starting from center towards the edges.
  5. Smear oil along the edges of the batter.
  6. Remove the dosa from pan when it is golden brown in color.

Parathas with Egg Burji


I tried this recipe from Manjula's kitchen on YouTube and parathas turned out ok, not as great as I expected. They tasted just like regular chapathis/rotis that we make at home.

My husband loves rotis/chapathis with egg burji more than any other side dish. I usually make the egg burji with lots of green leaves and use green chillies instead of chilli powder.

Here is the recipe for egg burji -


Eggs - 2

Onion - 1 (finely chopped)

Spinach / Methi leaves - handful ( finely chopped, optional)

Green chillies - 2 (finely chopped)

Salt - as required

Popu mix (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal ) - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - 1 stem

Oil - 3 tsp

  • Heat oil in a pan, add popu mix and curry leaves.
  • When mustard seeds start popping, add chillies and onion. Fry till onion turns brown in color. Add salt and spinach/methi leaves and fry for 2mins.
  • Crack the eggs and pour the contents into the pan. Mix with rest of the ingredients.
  • Fry till egg is cooked, adjust salt according to the taste.
  • This curry goes well with rotis/parathas and rice.

Perugu Chaaru


It's the easiest side dish to prepare and it's supposed to cool the body especially in summer. In our place, we call it Majjiga chaaru even though it is made using yogurt. It is similar to raita, but we add popu mix to it. And it goes well with any kind of rice and/or vada.


Plain yogurt - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (chopped into small pieces)
Green chillies - 2 (finely chopped)
Red dried chillies - 2
Popu mix (cumin seeds, mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal) - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 stem
Ginger - 1 tsp (small pieces)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as required
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
Oil - 2 tsp

  • Heat oil in a pan. Add popu mix and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start popping, add red chillies, green chillies and fry for 2 mins.
  • Add the ginger pieces, turmeric and onions and fry till onions turn brown in color.
  • Turn off the heat and add this mix to the curd in a bowl along with salt. Mix well.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.




I am Lakshmi and I would like to share my passion of cooking and crafting through this blog. "We are what we eat" - I strongly believe in this. I try to keep my recipes healthy and wholesome. I like to make different arts/crafts using simple things and I collect different handicrafts that portray Indian(Asian) culture.

About me, I am a software professional currently living in the US and waiting for the right opportunity to continue my career. My twin interests of cooking and arts/crafts keep me engaged during this lull in my career.

I am fortunate to get a lot of support and encouragement from my husband, my parents and my sister to pursue my interests. My husband is my greatest critic (either it's cooking or it's crafting) which makes me better to the best.

You are always welcome to try and modify my recipes according to your taste. And if you tried and/or liked something from my blog, please feel free to post your comments/feedback. Btw, your comments will get published on the blog only after my approval.


Crispy Moong Dal Dosa


This is my favourite dosa among all kinds and it's so crispy that it will give restaurants a run for their money. Moong dal has more nutritional values than other dals in it's family. This dosa is prepared with a combonation of yellow moong dal and rice. Here is another recipe for Moong dal dosa using whole Moon dal.


Yellow Moong dal (or Mung beans without husk) - 1 cup
Rice - 1 cup
Salt - as required


  • Soak dal and rice in water overnight.
  • Grind the dal and rice with water like a dosa batter.
  • Add salt as per taste.
  • Heat dosa pan at medium high, sprinkle little oil on top of the pan.
  • Pour the batter on the pan making a round circle starting from center towards the edges.
  • Smear oil along the edges of the batter.
  • Remove the dosa from pan when it is golden brown in color.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Idlies with peanut chutney



lentils- 1 cup
Idli ravva - 2-1/2 cups
Soya beans - 2 spoons (optional)
Salt - as required
  • Soak white lentils (these taste good compared to black ones) along with soy beans overnight (min. 8hrs). I usually soak idli ravva too in a seperate bowl.
  • Grind the white lentils in a mixer adding water little at a time, add ravva to the batter and mix for 2-3 mins.
  • Add salt to the batter.
  • Take idli plates and grease them with little bit oil. Spoon the batter into the plates and keep them in a cooker.
  • For the first 20 minutes keep it on medium high and check with a fork or a toothpick whether the idli is cooked or not. Keep on low for another 5 minutes if required.
Peanut chutney
Raw peanuts - 1 cup
Oil - 4 tsps
Chillies(green/red) - 4
Salt - as required
Tamarind paste - 2tsps
Cumin seeds - 2 tsps
Musturd seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, gram dal (popu mix)- 2 table spoons
Curry leaves - 1 stem
  • Roast the raw peanuts in a pan until they turn brown. Cool them and peal off the peanuts skin.
  • Grind the peanuts along with tamarind paste, chillies, cumin seeds, salt and water. Add water depending on the consistency required for the chutney.
  • Fry oil in a pan and add popu mix and currey leaves. Mix with grounded peanuts.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Carrot Milk (Carrot Juice)


This is my favourite carrot juice recipe learnt from my Mom, takes about 30min.s of my time every week. It's a must have item in my fridge. Cooked carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A, a good source of potassium, and contain vitamin B6, copper, folic acid, and magnesium. Cashew nuts are significant sources of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium. Cashew nuts also contain significant amounts of phytochemicals with antioxidant properties that protects the body from cancer and heart disease. Almonds are rich in vitamin E and are a useful source of calcium.
I was always afraid of using nuts as I heard from someone that they increase body fat but eating limited amounts of nuts will do good rather bad, learnt it from my favourite show (Good Eats by Alton Brown).


Carrots - 8 medium in size
Almonds - 10
Cashews - handful
Milk and Sugar - as required (or substitute sugar with honey)
  • Pressure cook the carrots, nuts with water.
  • Peel off the almonds and grind the cooked carrots and nuts.
  • You can store this puree for 1 week in freezer.
  • For 1 cup of milk, add 3 tablespoons of the carrot puree and sufficient sugar.

Dark Chocolate Cake


"Save the Earth. It's the only planet with chocolate". - My favourite quote :).
This is my all time favourite chocolate cake. Tasted many chocolate cakes but never beat this cake in taste. I got this recipe from Hershey's website.

I am sending this recipe to "For the Love of Chocolate - April 30th" event.


Unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's dutch processed) - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 1-3/4 cups
All-purpose flour - 1-3/4 cups
Baking powder - 1-1/2 teaspoons
Baking soda - 1-1/2 teaspoons
Salt - 1 teaspoon
Eggs - 1
Milk - 1 cup
Vegetable oil(Canola) - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 2 teaspoons
Boiling water - 1 cup

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or spray oil) two 9-inch round baking pans.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  • Add egg, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin).
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.

I made the chocolate Ganache using the below recipe:


Butter - 1 stick
Cocoa powder - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/3 cup
Powdered sugar - 1 cup (or as required)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

  • Melt butter, add cocoa and boil 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread while warm.

Enjoy the rich moist dark chocolate cake.

Banana Muffins


This recipe makes 12 medium size muffins. It's easy to make and takes about 30 mins.


Bananas - 3 no.
Sugar - 3/4 cup (or depending on your taste)
Egg - 1
All-purpose flour(Maida) - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Canola oil - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp
  • Mix the egg, sugar and oil in a bowl with hand mixer, add bananas one at a time to this mixture and mix well.
  • Mix the dry ingredients (flours, salt, baking soda) in a separate bowl and add them to the above wet mixture. Make sure there are no lumps.
  • Grease the muffin pan with oil and pour the batter 3/4th full in the cups. Sprinkle nuts and raisins on the batter.
  • Preheat the oven to 350F and bake for 20 mins.
  • Test the baked muffins with a toothpick. If you feel the center of the muffins is not cooked properly, cover the muffin pan with aluminum foil and bake for another 6-7mins.

If you have overripe bananas or don't like to eat banana as a fruit, this is a nice way to have them.




All-purpose flour(Maida) - 2 cups
Plain yoghurt - 1 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup or little less
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp
Vanilla essence - few drops
Oil for deep frying
For syrup:-Sugar - 3 cups, water - 1 1/2

  • Mix the curd and add 1-2tsp sugar and ghee to make a foaming consistency.
  • In a food processor, pour this liquid and add the flour, baking soda and blend for 2 - 3 mins. No need to add water. If needed, add curd.
  • Make it into a spongy dough. Make small lemon size balls and roll in between palms hardly and make a thump impression in center.
  • Cover with a damp cloth and keep them in the fridge for 20 mins.
  • Prepare the syrup of 2 string consistency and keep it warm. Add vanilla essence and lemon juice to the syrup.
  • Take the badushas from the fridge and keep in the room temperature for 2 mins.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when oil is hot simmer the flame to medium. Let the badushas cook on a low heat to golden brown. (If oil is too hot, badushas will break.)
  • Remove from oil and drop them one by one into the syrup.
  • Allow the badushas to soak in syrup for 12 -15 mins.

Welcome to Lakshmi's Kitchen. Your feedback is always welcome. Happy reading.


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