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Showing posts from 2009

Top 12 Searches on Renus Kitchen in 2009 and Happy 2010

This was my first year in blogging world and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey.....hope to have a rocking 2010 in blogosphere.I wish a very Happy and a Prosperous 2010 to all my readers and their families!!!

Top 12 Searches on Renus Kitchen in 2009 !!!
 .[Click each picture to find the recipe]

Eggless Carrot Cake

Eggless Oatmeal-Walnut


Lobia Curry
[black-eyed peas]

Jalebi [Indian Muffle Cake]

Hyderabadi Dahi Bhindi

Zebra Cake

Bell Pepper & Potato Fry

Potato-Moong Vadi Curry

Baked Methi Muthia

Chocolate Cake

Urad Daal Laddu

Sending this to Srivalli's  "Best of 2009" event

Easy Veggie Lasagna [Spinach, Zucchini, Carrots]

This is my second attempt with Lasgna and each time its getting better. This recipe was passed by a friend, made a teeny tiny change and here it is for you to savor :)

No boil Lasagna noodles
Tomato-basil [aka. Marinara] Sauce - 1 bottle [store bought or home-cooked]
Italian herbs, oregano herbs, basil herbs - fresh or dried
Parmesan cheese
Zucchini, carrots, broccoli - 1-1.5 cups, chopped
Ricotta cheese - 5-6 tbsp
Spinach - fresh or frozen - 1/2 cup[frozen] or 1 cup [fresh]
Salt and Pepper
Sugar - optional

Adjusted the taste and consistency of store bought marinara sauce by adding more salt, sugar, dried herbs and water. Warm the sauce to blend the contents and keep it aside .Thaw frozen spinach in a microwave or just run it under water. Squeeze excess water and mix with ricotta cheese. Add salt, pepper and some dried herbs and let it it sit.

Arranging the lasagna:
Take the baking dish [mine is 8'x8'], pour 2-3 scoops of marinara sauce. Place the 2 uncooked lasagna n…

Paav Bhaji [ Butter toasted buns with spicy mixed vegetables]

Paav Bhaji is a very popular western Indian street food where 'Paav' means bread and 'Bhaji' means vegetables.
Ingredients Potatoes - 3 medium
Tomatoes - 3 medium, ripe
Onions - 2 medium
Carrots - 2 medium
Green beans - 1 cup
Bell pepper - 1/2 cup, chopped
Cabbage - 1 cup, grated
Ginger - 1 inch
Lime jiuce
Green chillies - optional
Paav bhaji masala, preferably MDH brand - at least 3 tbsp*
Turmeric powder- 1.5 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp
Butter[un-salted] - 2-4 tbsp**
Boil and grate potatoes. Steam chopped carrots and beans. Chop bell peppers, green chillies, ginger, onions and tomatoes.
Heat oil [preferably butter], add cumin seeds and let it crackle. Now add chopped ginger, green chillies followed by onions and saute'.Throw in steamed carrots, beans followed by cabbage and bell pepper. Cook the vegetables till they are tender. Add pav bhaji masala,turmeric powder, salt,tomatoes and cook well. Add water to get desired consistency and bring…

Spiced Persimmon Cake

Persimmons are generally light yellow-orange to dark red-orange in color, and depending on the species, They are high in glucose, with a balanced protein profile, and possess various medicinal and chemical uses. When eaten fresh, the skin is usually cut/peeled off and the fruit is often cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. How to choose Persimmons: Choose persimmons with deep red undertones and are round, plump, have glossy and smooth skin. Choose ripe persimmons if you want to eat immediately. Store them in the refrigerator when ripe. Firm and raw persimmons can be ripen at room temperature in a paper bag with an apple or banana.


*Whole wheat bleached flour - 1 cup
Persimmon fruit- 2 in number and chopped
Curd - 1/4 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Nutmeg powder- 1tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1tsp
Salt -1/4 tsp
**Egg white - 1
Vanilla essence - 1tsp
Lime juice -1/2 tsp
Milk 1tbsp
Vegetable oil - 1/4 cup
Sugar - 2/3 cup

Brown sugar - 2/3 cup

Quinoa and Mixed Vegetable Burgers

Quinoa [Keen-Wah], native to South America is a highly nutritious food. It has well-balanced content of amino acids required for human nutrition. When compared with other grains, it has superior quality and quantity of proteins.

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Help for Migraine Headaches - Magnesium and riboflavin help to reduce frequency of strokesCardiovascular Health - Magnesium relaxes blood vesselsSignificant Cardiovascular Benefits for Postmenopausal Women- 6 servings of quinoa is good for postmenopausal women with high cholesterol, high blood pressure or other signs of cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Read more here


Quinoa, well-rinsed under cold water - 1/4 cup
Carrot, grated - 1 medium
Beans, steamed and cut - 1/4 cup
Green onions, chopped - 2
Green Chillies, chopped - 1
Ginger, chopped - 1 inch
Boiled potato, cubed-2.5 cups b
Ground cumin, roasted - 1 tbsp
Amchoor [Dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Cooking oil
Burger buns

To go on side:
Ripe Tomato, sliced
Sweet Onions, thin …

Eggless Oatmeal-Walnut Cookies

Finally I baked eggless oatmeal cookies...its been on my list for very long time, for some reason kept pushing. While searching for the recipe today I came across Chef in you , I liked the idea of roasting oatmeal and walnuts and grinding them to fine powder. The author has used maple syrup and rice syrup in the recipe. In order to replace these ingredients , I used Madhurams idea of adding sugar and honey. End result, my cookies turned out just great!!!!


Oatmeal [quick cooking] - 1/2 Cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Walnuts - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil [Canola] - 2 tbsp
Honey - 2 tbsp
Brown or white Sugar - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1tsp
Vanilla extract - 1tsp
Salt - a pinch
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp

Soak raisins in water and keep it aside.
Combine walnuts and oats and dry roast in a pan until it turns little brown and emits aroma. Cool and grind in a blender to make powder. Add salt, baking soda and cinnamon powder
In a separate bowl blend oil, honey, sugar a…

Tofu Curry

Indian version of a Tofu dish.....I don't like the raw smell of tofu, therefore I like to sauté tofu before dumping them in tomato gravy. It really takes the "beany" smell.... This dish cooks very quickly and is one of my Saturday meals when I am not in mood of cooking something elaborate, yet healthy :)


Tofu- extra firm - 1 small packet
1 onion [chopped] - chopped
1 tomato - chopped
Corriander powder - 1.5 tsp
Garam masala - 1tsp
Zeera powder - 1tsp
Kashmiri mirch -1tsp
Cumin and mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cooking oil[canola oil] - 2 tbsp

Cut open tofu packet, drain water and cut tofu in 1 inch long small pieces
Heat 1tbsp oil in a non-stick pan and saute tofy pieces and keep aside
In another or same pan , heat 2 tbsp oil, add cumin and mustard seeds and let it cracklesauté onions till they are pinkish and glazed with oil. Add chopped tomatoes and all the dry powders. Sauté well till the powders and tomato gets cooked and don't smell raw.Ad…

Couscous Upma [Spicy Couscous]

Couscous is staple grain of North Africa same way as we have rice. It also resembles polenta or farina. Couscous is often considered Moroccan, however it is home to most North African countries.

This is a great light complete meal. When I have nothing in my pantry or not in mood to cook something elaborate, yet healthy I cook up this one! It prepared the same way as suji (rava, semolina) upma.

A properly cooked couscous should be fluffy and not slimy. Read more about Couscous here


Whole wheat CousCous - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium - Sliced
Green chillies - to taste
Curry Leaves - 5-7
Roasted peanuts - 2 tbsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Corriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin [zeera] seeds - 1/4 tsp
Mustard [Rye] seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste
Lime juice - to taste
Any Vegetable Oil - 1.5 Tbsp

Boil water , add couscous and few drops of oil and cook for 5 minutes . Fluff with the fork and keep it aside.In a frying pan heat oil, add zeera and rye seeds, let it crackle. Throw…

Beetroot Halwa / Chukandar Halwa [Beetroot Sweet Dish ]

Did you know that beets have amazing blood cleansing properties!!!
Beetroot is a good source of folic acid, iodine, organic sodium, potassium, chlorine and digestive forms of sugars. The iron content is of fine quality, which makes it ideal for blood production.

Health Benefits:[Read more here]
Fights AcidosisA great blood builderExcellent solvent for calcium deposits in arteriesNormalizes blood pressureRelieves constipationBeet juice when mixed with vinegar makes a good anti-dandruff solutionThe chlorine detoxifies the liverWhen mixed with honey, heals gastric ulcerBeet juice and carrot juice together cures gall and kidney problemsPrevents varicose nerves by maintaining elasticity of arteries
Enjoy Beetroot [Chukandar] Halwa !!


Beetroot [Chukandar in Hindi] - 2 medium
Milk - 2 Cups
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Clarified butter [Ghee] - 1 tsp
Choicest Nuts and berries - handful
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - optional


Grate and steam the peeled beetroots for 5-10 minutes […

Eggless Carrot Cake and Award

This is my second egg-less cake and again the result is awesome!!! It came out very moist and had beautiful texture. Again I replaced the eggs with yogurt and looks like its working for me.

This is a very flavorful cake especially the spices add inviting flavor to it. The carrots provide nice color. Try it for your self, you will love it !


*Whole wheat bleached flour - 1 cup
Carrots - 2
Indian curd (thick) or Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Canola oil - 1/2 cup
Brown sugar - 2/3 cup
Nutmeg powder- 1tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1tsp
Vanilla essence - 1tsp
Milk 1tbsp
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt -1/4 tsp
Raisins - handful
Walnuts, chopped - handful


Pre- heat the oven at 360 degree Fahrenheit and grease the baking pan and keep it aside

Combine all the dry ingredients [except sugar] and sieve it through at least 2 times

Blend oil, thick yogurt, sugar and vanilla with a beater for 1 minute at medium speed

Next fold in the dry ingredients and mix gently without running t…

Low Fat Baked Shakarpara [Sweet Dough Cookies]

I found this recipe at I followed pretty much what he did except replaced 1/2 cup of clarified butter[ghee] with 1 tbsp ghee and 1/4 cup of canola oil. Also used whole wheat bleached flour instead a mix of regular wheat flour and all purpose flour [maida].

My Shakarparas came out very good, almost melts in the mouth. Its really a guilt free snack, enjoy ....


Bleached whole flour* - 1 cup
Canola oil - 1/4 cup
Clarified butter [ghee]- 1tbsp
Powdered Sugar** - 4 tbsp
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Crushed fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp


Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough using cold water. Cover the dough and leave it to set for 30 minutes. Pinch the dough into five balls and roll each ball one at a time into 0.5 cm thick chapati like sheet [use flour dust to ease the rolling process] Using knife or pizza cutter cut the sheet into the form of diamond and place it over greased baking tray. Repeat the same process with other dough ba…

Hearty Healthy Carrot -Tomato Soup

For the past few weeks my little one had been on hunger strike, refusing to eat anything offered. I really didn't know what to do, then my mum suggested to try soups and it worked like a LO is back to eating business :)

This soup is very nutritionally rich. It provides lycopene from tomato and beta carotene from carrots, both necessary for proper eye-sight development and immunity. Garlic and onions help improve blood lipid profiles and broccoli offers folic acid , minerals and vitamins.

Recipe For Toddlers [12 months onwards]


Carrots - 2 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium
Onions - 1/2 medium
Garlic - 1 clove
Broccoli - handful[optional]
Bay leaf - 2
Salt - according to taste
Sugar - a pinch
Olive oil/ Clarified butter - 1.5 tsp
Water - enough to get desired consistency

Make tomato purée by blanching in a microwave for 5-8 minutes [make sure to remove all the seeds by passing the tomato pulp through sieve]
Heat oil/butter add bay leaves and chopped garlic.…

Badam-Sooji Ki Kheer [Almond-Semolina Milk Pudding]

Semolina or Cream of White [Sooji/Suji/ Rava] and Almond pudding is a good combination of carbohydrates and proteins. This can be a healthy snack/dessert for infants and toddlers, provided sugar is added to minimum. This kheer is equally liked by adults and is prepared the same way with little variation.

For Infants and Toddlers [12-36 months]


Semolina [Rava or Sooji] - 3 tbsp
Whole Milk - 2 cups
Sugar - just enough to make it little sweet
Raw Almond - 8
Clarified Butter [Ghee] - 1tsp

Soak almonds overnight or blanch them in boiling water. Remove the skin and make a smooth paste with milk in a regular mixer. Add more milk to finely grind the almond and keep the paste aside
Heat ghee in thick bottomed pan and roast semolina till it starts releasing aromaSlowly add milk and almond paste and cook till semolina softens and reaches the desired consistency [keep stirring to to break lumps if any]Add sugar and its ready to serve warm or cold !
For Adults

Just increase the a…

Homemade Diwali Diyas From Dough


This year for Diwali I made diyas [Diwali lights] at home!! They came out pretty nice ! I prepared it very simple but you can get creative by painting, glue small mirrors , beads and other stuff.

Here is how I prepared:


Whole wheat flour
Water-just enough to prepare the dough
Food color - yellow [optional]


Pre-heat oven at 200 degree Fahrenheit. Line the baking tray/dish with un-greased foilCombine flour, water and color in a bowl to prepare little stiff dough Pinch out small balls from the dough and shape it into diyasBake it in the oven for 20 minutes [during the process I gradually increased the baking temperature to 300]Cool diyas at room temperatureThe diyas should feel little hard, if not just leave it in the sun Roll out some cotton wool to make wick, add some oil and light your Diya !!!Tips:
While preparing the dough you can add some fresh petals to add beautiful patternDuring baking, one of my diya's base puffed like chapati, it can hap…

Broccoli Pakora/ Bajji [Broccoli Fritters] and Award

It is a tasty snack goes well with hot tea on a rainy day. I also like to eat it with plain rice and simple tadka daal


Broccoli - 1 c of florets
Besan [Gram flour] -1.5 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - according to tatse
Asfotedia - 2 dashes
Red chilie powder - 1/4 tsp
Corriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin [Zeera ]seeds - 1/2 tsp
Water - as needed
Canola Oil 2 cups


Wash the broccoli florets and slightly trim the stem

Mix gram flour and spices together and little by little add water until you get pancake- batter like consistency [maybe little thicker than that]

Heat enough oil in a wok [kadai] on a medium flame

Dip each broccoli floret in the batter making sure it is coated from all sides and drop in hot oil. Fry them in small batches till they turn golden in color.

Drain on paper towels and they are ready to serve !!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My Entry for High Tea Treats hosted by Aparna and started by Meeta ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I revived Kreative …

Classic Oat - Wheat - Date Bars

This is a very healthy quick home-made energy bar. I pack these in my bag when I know I will be out of the house for long time. I made this for the first time, and quite happy with the results. My DH thinks it tastes like a pumpkin pie :) however, there is no pumpkin in the ingredient ....


All purpose flour [Maida]- 1/2 cup
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Steel cut quick oats - 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1/2 cup
Honey - 1/2 cup
Vegetable oil - between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
*Dates - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp


First prepare date syrup:
Boil around 1.5 cups of water and add chopped dates and cook for 10 minutes Cool to room temperature and add vanilla essence and keep it aside
Pre-heat oven at 350 degree Fahrenheit and line the 8 inch x 8 inch baking pan with greased foil

Combine all the ingredient except the date syrup with fingers

Press half of the oat mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Spread date mixture over and …

Urad Dal Laddu / Sunnundalu [White Lentil Sweet Balls]

Urad Daal Laddu is a very popular sweet dish of Andhra Pradesh . I made this for the first time, came out quite good. It has a very different flavor which makes it unique. It also has high nutritional value, therefore good for kids! I am going to make this again for Diwali. This is my ds's second Diwali and am sure this time he would like to try this one !

Read more about Urad daal [White Lentil]here


Dhuli Urad Daal [black skin removed]- 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup or less [powdered]
Ghee [Clarified butter oil] - 3-4 tbsp or more
Nuts and Raisins - handful


Dry roast urad daal in a heavy bottomed skillet till its golden brown and starts emitting pleasant aroma. Cool and grind it into fine powder [sand like consistency]

Fry nuts and raisins in 1tsp of ghee and keep it aside

Combine urad daal powder, jaggery, nuts and rub in warm ghee. Mix the mixture well with hands or spoon and start making golf sized balls. Add more ghee if necessary. Store them in a air tight containe…

Lobia Curry [Black-eyed Beans Curry] and Award

Black-eyed beans are also called black-eyed peas and Lobia in Hindi. It originally belongs to Africa. They are rich in soluble fiber, which helps to eliminate cholesterol from the body. They are also high in potassium and low in sodium, therefore help in reduce blood pressure. They are also good source of folate, copper, phosphorous and manganese.


Black eyed beans [Lobia] - 1.5 cup
Onion - 1 large
Tomato - 1.5 medium
Ginger-garlic paste - 1tsp [optional]
Green chillies - 1 large [optional]
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Asafoetida [hing]- 2 dashes

Dry Spices Powder

Turmeric powder - 1.5 tsp
Corriander powder [dhania]- 1.5 tsp
MDH Garam Masala - 1 tsp
MDH Kitchen King Masala - 1 tsp
MDH Kashmiri Mirch - 1tsp
Canola oil - 3 tbsp

For garnishing

Few sprigs of cilantro
Lime juice [optional]

Soak the beans overnight and pressure cook with 3 cups of water, maybe 2-3 whistles. Release the pressure and keep the boiled beans aside [keep in mind that you don't want to over cook it at this point as I…


Thank you Sangiof Simply Delicious for passing this Fabulous Blog Award...My blog is fabulous because my readers are Fabulous !

I want to pass this award to Yasmeen of Health Nut, Dipti of DipsKitchen, Priti of Indian Khana


I want to thank Sanghi of Sanghi's Food Delight for passing me Gold Friend Award!!!! I congratulate you for reaching 100th post !!!! wish you good luck and may you keep posting wonderful recipes

I have been TAGGED :)

Dipti of Dipskitchen has tagged me with the following questions.....Thank you Dipti for remembering me :)