Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies

When life gives you peanuts, make peanut butter cookies. 
Calling all you peanut butter lovers out there!

These classic peanut butter cookies are SO good, SO easy- perfect for any novice baker!! 

If I recall correctly, these are the first things I learned to bake. 

I was totally amused at how easy it is and how decadent my first baked treat was.

H & I are big fans of peanut butter.. We add it to anything and everything; smoothies, waffles, cookies, noodles, dessert quesadilla.. PBJ, how can I forget the epic PBJ sandwich!!
These cookies can be made with flour or even flour-less.
It can be made soft&chewy or crunchy.
Today, I'm sharing the recipe for crunchy cookies made with wheat flour and decadent peanut butter.

makes 25 cookies
  • Egg- 1
  • Wheat flour/all purpose flour - 1/2 cup
  • Peanut Butter- 1 cup
  • Sugar- 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 °F.
  2. In a bowl, cream together egg and sugar until frothy.
  3. To this, add peanut butter and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Combine baking powder with flour and mix it with peanut butter mixture.
  5. Scoop out a spoonful of dough about 2 inches apart onto a cookie sheet.
  6. Using the fork, create a criss-cross pattern on top of the cookie.
  7. Optionally, you can  sprinkle some(very less) sugar/salt on top of cookie.
  8. Bake for 11 mins or until slightly browned on the sides
  9. Remove from oven and let the cookies rest on baking sheet for 5 mins before you transfer it to wire-rack for cooling.
  10. Store the cookies in air-tight jar in room temperature for a week.

  1. Make sure you use room temperature eggs.
  2. You can use brown sugar too.
  3. If your dough is thin , refrigerate for 30 mins.
  4. Make sure you keep the baking sheet in middle rack.
  5. Cookies will be soft when you take it out, but it ll set by itself when left on the baking sheet and when cooled on wire-rack.
  6. If you don't have a wire-rack, just take out a rack out of oven(when it is NOT hot, of course)
Linking this post to:
Hearth n Soul blog hop

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spicy Tofu Noodles

I have been preparing vegetable hakka noodles for sometime now and even posted it a while ago. I got bored of preparing the same recipe again and again, so I decided to recreate the recipe and spice it up a little. Spicy tofu noodles is simple to make, divine in taste and the kids will love it as well... 


  • Plain noodles - 2 cups
  • Extra firm tofu (drained & cut into cubes) - 1 cup
  • Cabbage (juvenile cut) - 1/2 cup
  • Carrot ( juvenile cut ) - 1/2 cup 
  • Capsicum ( juvenile cut ) - 1 cup 
  • Garlic (finely chopped) - 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce - 1 tbsp 
  • White vinegar - 1 tbsp 
  • Red chili sauce - 2-3 tbsp 
  • Salt - as needed 
  • Pepper - as needed 
  • Oil - as needed  


  • Keep water in a pan and bring it to boiling point, then add little salt, oil and noodles. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Make sure it's not over cooked. Drain water completely and wash it in cold running water, so that the noodles will separate from each other. Add a tsp of oil so the noodles will not stick together until you cook them.
  • In a pan add a tsp of oil and add tofu, pan fry it. Cook till golden brown color. Keep aside. 

  • Heat a wok with oil, add garlic and fry for a second without burning

  • Then add all veggies, fry for a half a minute. Now add salt for veggies along with soy sauce, chili sauce, white vinegar and pepper. Give a quick stir.
  • Now add noodles, give a quick toss. Lastly add tofu and give a quick toss in high flame. Once done turn off the flame.
  • Hot and spicy noodles is now ready to be served with your choice of manchurian or you can have as such. 


  • You can add spring onion at last. I didn't have it so skipped it. 
  • Don't over fry the garlic. 
  • Sesame oil and olive oil works best for this recipe. 
  • You can use any colored capsicum. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Masala Vada/ Spicy Fritters

TGIF! Thank God I’m Fabulous! Just kidding – you know what I mean! I haven’t been this excited about Friday since like…. ummm last Friday. Days have been really crazy of late and I am preoccupied with so many other things!

Although, I do cook every single day, by the time I am done with it, all I want is - that food to get inside my hungry tummy, that very second…even before I can think of taking pictures. 

If you have been following me on my Instagram (psst, maybe you should! click here to follow @madras_gurl) , you might have known that I have been doing some DIY Home Projects, but again to share the tutorials , I would need – pictures, pictures, pictures! But I promise it is going to be like this for just few more days and I should soon have my posts organized.

I recently made these Masala Vadas/Spicy Fritters for a potluck and I personally felt it came out really good! I paired it with red and white chutney which apparently was a great combination. And as I already said, I missed taking pictures- yet again! I am so sorry!

But luckily, I have a smart friend ‘A’ who suggested stalking my own Instagram profile. And there it was – some old pictures of these vadas. I am so glad I found it. Although the picture quality is not great, I hope you get the idea of it! They are spicy, crispy and everything that you need to make it the perfect appetizer/snacks.

And btw, you should totally follow my smart friend ‘A’ too on Instagram! She posts really cool stuff! Click here to follow @akaleidoscopicdream.

Make these spicy fritters for your next party or enjoy them as your casual evening snack. I am sure you will love them as much as I did.

Recipe adapted from here with slight modifications


Channa Dal – 2.5 cups
Fennel Seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger – ¼ inch
Garlic – 2 cloves
Black Pepper Powder – ½ tsp
Green Chilli – 2 finely cut
Coriander – handful, coarsely chopped
Mint – handful, coarsely chopped
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Salt – to taste
Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Oil – for deep frying


1. Soak channa dal in slightly salted water for 5 hours.
2. Drain the water completely from the dal.
3. Add channa dal, fennel seeds, ginger, garlic and black pepper to a mixer and grind by adding not more than 1 tablespoon of water.The batter should be coarse and grainy. It should have some 'almost whole' and 'coarse' dal.
4. Refrigerate this mixture for 30 minutes.
5. Add the other ingredients - green chilli, coriander, mint, onion, salt, red chilli powder and give a good mix.
6. Heat the oil in a pan.
7. Make small balls of the batter and flatten it.
8. When the oil is hot enough, add the flattened balls to oil and fry until golden brown.
9. Transfer the vadas/fritters to paper towel to drain the oil.
10. Serve hot with your choice of chutney.


1. Do not add onion and salt to the batter until you are ready to fry.
2. You can check if the oil is hot enough by dropping a small amount of batter. If it rises to the top, the oil is ready for frying.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spicy Okra Fry

Growing up, I was told by my mom that I need to eat okra/bhindi to score well in math. Considering that's the only subject I used to score well I din't wanna take that risk, so used to eat bhindi/okra obediently. My mom used to mercilessly give whole credits to this damn vegetable; so much for slogging day and night :/ Not complaining! I used to secretly love this vegetable.. This and potato are the only two veggies I remember eating as a kid. I just assumed that I din't like other bunch of veggies, which I now like :D
If you hate okra and math, you and my brother can be good friends!! But, this dish changed his opinion about okra forever. This okra fry/ kurkuri bhindi is the crispiest and spiciest form of okra you'll ever eat! 

Byebye slimy okra, hi crispy okra!

I make this very rarely since it involves deep frying. But when I crave for it, I make it and relish it to heart's content. You can have it as a side with roti, dal rice, curd rice, sambar/rasam rice or even as a snack!! Okay, let's get to the recipe already!


  • Okra/Bhindi/Lady's finger - 200 grams
  • Oil- for deep frying
  • Besan flour/ Chickpea flour - 3 tbsp
  • Rice flour- 3 tbsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - to taste

  1. Rinse the bhindi/okra in water and pat dry it with a paper towel. 
  2. Slit the okra vertically into 4 or 2 pieces and transfer it to a  bowl.
  3. Sprinkle all the spice powders and salt one by one and toss them so that the okra pieces gets evenly coated.
  4. Now sprinkle the flours and 2 tsp oil and toss again so that the okra is evenly coated
  5. For deep frying, heat a pan with oil and once the oil is ready, slowly drop the okra pieces and fry them until crisp and golden brown.
  6. Transfer the fried okra pieces to a paper towel so that the oil gets drained.
  7. Continue the same for the rest of the okra pieces.
  8. Enjoy the crispy okra!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Kaima Idli


Do you like spicy food & don't like to waste leftovers? Then this post is just for you ;). I don't like to waste leftover idlies, so I always refrigerate them and then make kaima idli, chilli idli, Manchurian idli, idli upma or podi idly. 

Kaima idli tastes so yummy, actually it doesn't taste like idli at all. The masala which we blend with the idli and cook is lip smackingly good. Onion raita is the best side as it helps to cool down the spice in the recipe. I'm sure everyone will love this recipe. If you are making for kids avoid green chillies and add more tomato ketchup. Here you go with the recipe.


  • Leftover idlies - 5-9
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1
  • Tomato (finely chopped) - 2
  • Green chillies (slit into two half) - 2
  • Green peas - 4tbsp 
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1tsp
  • Pav bhaji masala - 1tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1tsp
  • Tomato ketchup - 2tbsp
  • Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 2tbsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig 
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2tsp
  • Salt as needed 
  • Oil as needed 


  • Refrigerate the idlies (This will help in easy deep fry, absorbs less oil, doesn't stick in the laddle while frying). Cut idlies into small pieces.
  • Deep fry the idly pieces in hot oil until crispy, golden brown color. Set aside in a paper towel to remove excess oil.
  • Heat kadai with oil, pop the fennel seeds and then add curry leaves.
  • Add green chillies, chopped onion fry till transparent pink color, then add ginger garlic paste fry till raw smell goes. 
  • Add chopped tomato and salt. Cook till mushy. 

  • Add green peas, fry for 2 minutes. Then add chilli powder, coriander powder, pav bhaji masala. Add tomato sauce and fry until all masala blends well with each other.
  • Add fried idlies and toss well. Then add 1/4 cup of water and bring it to boil at high flame. Then switch off.

  • Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves. 
  • Serve it hot with onion raita. 


  • Deep frying is optional. It gives nice color and helps in holding the shape.
  • You can replace pav bhaji masala with garam masala. 
  • You can add chopped capsicum which also enhance the flavor.
  • Don't boil for long time after adding water.
  • 1/4 cup of water is approximate measurement which will help to coat the idlies well with the masala.   


Friday, February 6, 2015

Crispy Corn

“Dear Chennai, I am not sure if there is any easier way to say this, but yes ‘I miss you’! I never really thought I will be gone far away to miss you. But here I am, thousands and thousands of miles away and I miss everything about you."
PC : ask.fm
Of course, nothing can quantify how much I miss my family back home.

But there are few other things too that I badly miss – F.R.I.E.N.D.S (what will I even do without them!), getting all dressed up for weddings and other occasions, bumping into someone you know wherever you go, temples, climbing up the St. Thomas hills, The Marina, even the ‘not so great’ roads and super hot summers. I can go on and on about it and you may soon get bored not knowing where I am taking this to. There is literally a story behind everything.

And how can I just not mention the bond that connects us altogether – FOOD which is just sinfully amazing! For a vegetarian like me, you have so many options that you will never know what to pick which is not always the case elsewhere. One such restaurant is my all-time favorite, ‘Barbeque Nation’. I can never get tired of it. Although, the spread is more for a person who prefers meat, it never disappoints the vegetarians!

Of all the dishes, ‘Cajun Spiced Potatoes’ and ‘Crispy Corn’ are my absolute favorites. You don’t know how crazy I am for these. If one of these was a person, I would have by now taken it to Vegas and got married with it (Sorry, husband!).

Ummm.. so these two were haunting my sleep for the last couple of weeks. I JUST HAD TO HAVE IT! India vacation now was not an option so that leaves me with just one thing –  make it myself.

That is the super long story behind these ‘Crispy Corns’! I tried this recipe last week and even if this is not the ‘Barbeque Nation’ original, it was a really close copycat version and I absolutely enjoyed every bite of it. So now, I know how to deal with these little fellows when they haunt me the next time.


Corn kernels - 2 cups
Corn Flour - 2 tbsp
All Purpose Flour - 2 tbsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp

Oil - Deep frying

Oil - 1 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chilli - 2 chopped
Green Onion - 1 finely chopped
Soya Sauce - little less than 1 tsp


1. In a mixing bowl, add corn, salt, pepper powder and give it a good toss.
2. Add corn flour, all purpose flour and mix well . The amount mentioned is just an approximation. It should be just enough to coat the corns evenly.
3. Heat oil for frying. Once the oil is hot, sprinkle handful of corns and fry them for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.
4. Fry them in batches and transfer them to a paper towel to drain the oil.
5. Heat 1 tsp of oil . Add garlic, green chilli,green onion and soya sauce and saute for few seconds.
6. Add fried corns. Mix well so that the sauce blends well with corn.

Crispy corn is now ready to serve.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Masala Paal


Masala Paal is also called as spiced milk. It's a famous drink back home in Chennai. This drink has an amazing taste with a hint of saffron and richness from nuts like almond & pistachio. We were stuck home due to a brutal winter storm in Chicago and I decided to spice things up with my all time favorite drink. Masala Paal can be served hot in winter and cold in summer. It's a healthy drink for all ages. Let me stop here and get to the recipe. 


  • Milk (2%) - 2cups
  • Sugar - 2tsp 
  • Palm sugar crystal - 1tsp
  • Cloves - 2
  • Cardamon - 3
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/2 stick 
  • Pepper corns - 1/4tsp
  • Almond - 5
  • Pistachio - 4
  • Saffron - few 


  • Soak Almond and Pistachio in hot water for 15 minutes then peel off the skin and chop them finely. Soak saffron in luke warm milk and keep it aside.
  • Meanwhile coarsely powder cardamon, cloves, cinnamon and pepper corn all together and keep aside.

  • In a sauce pan heat milk and bring it to boil. Add the spice powder, in medium flame, boil for 1-2 minutes without getting burnt at the bottom. 
  • Now add saffron, palm sugar crystal and sugar. Allow it to boil for 3 minutes. 
  • Switch off and serve it hot with chopped nuts and saffron for garnish.


  • You can add whole spice to the milk without coarsely powdering. When it starts to boil discard the whole spice. 
  • After discarding the whole spice mix, you can add chopped nuts and allow it to boil.
  • Adding palm sugar is optional, if you don't have just add sugar. 
  • You can also grind the nuts to fine paste. 

Enjoy the milk hot or cold!   

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