BM #98 Week 3 Day 3 -

For the last festival food in this series, here is my personal favorite, Khoya Rava Laddu. Our family loves Rava Laddu in any form and so I make different variations to enjoy them.

So far I have already made Gulkhand Rava Laddu, Rava Laddu, and Rose Rava Laddu

I made this for a Diwali potluck party and all my friends loved these laddus. 

Ingredients -

Rava 2 1/2 cups
Sugar 2 cups (A little less is fine too)
Khoya 1 cup
Almonds, coarsely crushed 1 cup
Coconut Powder 1 cup
Cardamom Powder 1 tsp
Cashews and Raisins handful each
Milk, warmed 1 cup
Ghee 3 Tbsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated kadai/deep pan , add a Tbsp of ghee and fry the cashews and raisins until the cashews are golden brown in color. Keep them aside in a separate bowl.

I made khoya freshly and set aside.

In the same kadai, add the remaining ghee and add the rava and coarsely crushed almonds. Roast until it gets a golden hue and gives out a good smell. Add in the warm khoya and mix well. Break up lumps of khoya if any. 

In the warm kadai, roast the coconut powder too. 

In a mixing bowl, add the roasted rava, coconut, cashews and raisins. Add fine sugar and gently mix. If the sugar grain is too granulated, it is better to grind it to a powdered form. 

Now gradually add warm milk to the mixture and check if if the consistency is right to make a laddu. Take small portions of the mixture and make laddus by gently bouncing the mixture in your hand. Take care not to press the laddu too hard as they would become very hard upon drying. 

Gently place the laddus in a plate to let them air dry. When they are dry enough, store them in an airtight container. They usually never survive beyond 3 days at our place!!


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 80

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BM #98 Week 3 Day 2 - 

Here is another kheer which comes handy on a festival day and fit for a party as well.

I found that soaking almonds, removing the skin and making a paste to use in the kheer is a very tedious process when making the kheer for a crowd. So I tried using the blanched almond flour which is commercially available and it turned out to be a blessing.

I made this a while ago to offer as Prasadam and so the measurements are for a large crowd. Please scale it down as needed.

Ingredients -

Sago / Saggubiyyam 1 cup
Almond Flour 2 cups
Milk 8 cups
Sugar 1 1/2 cup (adjust as per taste)

Semiya / Vermicelli 1/2 cup
Ghee 1 tsp 

Cashews and Raisins 1/4 cup each

Method Of Preparation -

Wash sago and pressure cook with 2 cups of water for 15 minutes.

Boil milk and add the almond flour, sugar and the pressure cooked sago.

Add in the roasted semiya and let the kheer simmer.

Meanwhile, heat a teaspoon of ghee in a small pan and roast the cashews and raisins.

Add them to them simmering kheer.

Remove the kheer from heat and serve it warm or chilled.


Preparation Time 45 minutes
Makes 10-12 cups

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BM #98 Week 3 Day 1 - 

This week I shall showcase some easy festival dishes. Today's kheer / payasam is an easy and quick one to prepare in a jiffy. now that summer is around the corner and we would be flush with ripe mangoes, I thought this kheer might be a good way to start the festival er.. mango season.

I came up with this combination as I had a little of store bought sugar free mango pulp in my refrigerator and I started with just sooji and half way through I realized that I had added too much of milk and the kheer was very runny. So I added semiya and then almond flour to thicken the kheer. 

The kheer turned out so good that the sweet lovers at home had a great time. I am so looking forward to try it out with fresh mangoes this season..

Ingredients - 

Milk 1 1/2 cup
Semiya 2 Tbsp
Sooji / Rava 1 Tbsp
Almond Flour 2 Tbsp
Sugar 2 Tbsp (or to taste)
Mango Pulp 2 Tbsp
MTR Badam Powder 1 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

Boil milk either in the microwave or on stove top. In a different pan, boil water and cook semiya.

After the semiya is cooked, drain most of the water retaining about 1/2 cup of water. Transfer the semiya and the 1/2 cup of water into the simmering milk.

Add roasted rava, almond flour, sugar and MTR Badam Powder. Let it simmer and cook well for about 4-5 minutes.

Remove from heat. Allow it to cool for about 5-10 minutes. Mix in the mango pulp and garnish with roasted nuts.

Serve warm or cold. [Please note that the kheer thickens as it cools down.]


Preparation Time 15 minutes + 10 minutes cooling time
Makes 2 cups

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BM #98 Week 2 Day 3 - 

Vegan Mexican Stew is a delight to have for dinner and very easy to put together. The instant pot makes it an easier one.

I spent about 10 minutes chopping, 5 minutes sauteing and I was off on my errands. The instant pot took care of the rest. The simple flavors were comforting and my soup/stew hating daughter loved it. That is 
a big relief for me. She even saved a serving for her midnight snack :) .

The various versions I referred online have Hominy listed as one of their ingredients. But I substituted it with Frozen corn kernels.

Ingredients - 

Olive Oil 2 tsp
Garlic grated 2 cloves
Onions finely chopped 1 medium
Tomatoes Diced 1 14 oz can or 3 large tomatoes chopped
Frozen Corn Kernels 1 cup
Potatoes diced 2 medium 
Carrots chopped 2 big 
Celery chopped 2 stalks
Salt, Cumin Powder, Red Chili Powder as needed
Green chilies chopped as needed
Water or Vegetable Broth 4-5 cups (Adjust as needed)

Method Of Preparation -

Make sure the Power for the Instant Pot is on with the inner pot in place and dry.

Set it to 'Saute' and when it indicates that the pot is 'Hot' add oil and saute the grated garlic and onions until golden brown.

Add in the diced tomatoes, diced Potatoes, chopped carrots, frozen corn and chopped celery.

Sprinkle the salt, cumin powder, red chili powder and chopped green chilies to taste.

Pour 4-5 cups of water or vegetable broth. Mix well.

Cancel 'Saute'. Put the Instant Pot lid in place. Set it to 'Pressure cook' or 'Manual' for 6 minutes.

Let the pressure release naturally. Adjust the flavors and consistency as needed. Let it simmer on 'Saute' for a few minutes before serving.

Garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve hot with a side of Tortilla chips.


Preparation Time 

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BM #98 Week 2 Day 2 - 

For the second day, I have chosen this variation of a Burrito bowl with cauliflower rice.

We love such Burrito bowls where the components are all customizable. I have observed that my kids don't complain about the beans in such bowls. The kids love when the bowl is arranged with vibrant colors. 

My older one felt the spices a little bland to her taste and so I drizzled some hot sauce in her portion whereas this was perfect for my little one. Needless to say the adults needed some hot sauce as well.

This made for a wonderful weekend lunch.

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Cauliflower Riced 1 cup
Black Beans, cooked 1/2 cup
Sweet Corn 1/2 cup

Mukimame 1/2 cup (I found these shelled edamame in the freezer section of the local grocer)
Guacamole 1/2 cup
Lettuce, chopped 1/2 cup
Salsa 1/2 cup

Onions thickly sliced 1/2 cup
Bell Peppers sliced 1/2 cup (I used only the red peppers)
Lime wedges as needed
Cooking Oil as needed
Spices as needed 
[I used Garlic Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Cumin Powder, Paprika, Red Chili Powder]

Method Of Preparation -
To Prepare the Riced Cauliflower - 
Wash and grate or pulse cauliflower florets in a processor until they are riced. 

Steam the riced cauliflower until they are soft. [I cooked them in the microwave for about 2 minutes.]

In a heated pan, add a splash of oil, add the steamed cauliflower rice. Saute for a minute. Sprinkle Salt, Cumin Powder, Salsa and chopped cilantro. Mix well and remove from heat.
To Prepare the Black Beans - 
Wash, soak and cook the black beans with sufficient water. Or rinse the canned black beans.

In a small pan, add oil and toss the cooked black beans, season with salt, red chili powder and lime juice or any other flavors which you prefer.

Stir Fry the Onions and Peppers - 

In a pan on high heat, add a splash of oil and stir fry the onions until they are slightly charred but retain their crispness. 

Add in the red peppers and saute for a couple minutes. Sprinkle Salt, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder and Paprika. 

Toss them well. Remove from heat.Other Ingredients - 
Steam the sweet corn, mukimame and season as needed.
Get the guacamole ready.
Chop lettuce as needed.

Assemble the Burrito Bowl with all the components - In a bowl, add a portion of cauliflower rice, black beans, sauteed peppers and onions, guacamole, Salsa, lettuce, corn and mukimame. A splash of lime hot sauce are highly recommended. Serve immediately


Preparation Time 30 minutes
Serves 2-3

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BM #98 Week 2 Day 1 - 

This week I have chosen to explore the breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas from Mexico.

Our family is a great fan of Mexican food and so I thought to introduce them to other Mexican foods other than the Tacos and Tortilla Chips - Salsa they so frequently enjoy.

I found these breakfast tacos to be very filling and perfect for a lazy weekend breakfast/brunch. It is totally customizable and it can be personalized by each person. 

I let the kids personalize their tacos and you don't want to know how messy the platter and the dining table got :).

Recipe Source here
Ingredients - 

Tofu 4 ounces
Black Beans, cooked 1/2 cup
Sweet Corn 1/2 cup
Guacamole 1/2 cup
Lettuce, chopped 1/2 cup
Salsa 1/2 cup
Whole Corn Tortillas 4
Lime wedges as needed
Cooking Oil as needed
Spices as needed 
[I used Garlic Powder, Salt, Onion Powder, Cumin Powder, Paprika, Red Chili Powder]

Method Of Preparation -

To Prepare the Tofu Crumble - 
Drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels and put under a heavy skillet or pan and set aside for a few minutes so the tofu is drained out of any liquid.

In a pan, add oil and crumble the tofu. Saute for a few minutes until it turns golden brown.

Sprinkle salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin powder and red chili powder. Add about a teaspoon (or more) of salsa.

Mix well and cook for a few more minutes. After the tofu crumbles are coated with spices, remove from heat.

To Prepare the Black Beans - 
Wash, soak and cook the black beans with sufficient water. Or rinse the canned black beans.

In a small pan, add oil and toss the cooked black beans, season with salt, red chili powder and lime juice or any other flavors which you prefer.

Other Ingredients - 
Steam the sweet corn and season as needed.
Get the guacamole ready.
Chop lettuce as needed.
Warm the Tortillas on a hot griddle or in the microwave.

To Assemble the Breakfast Tacos - 

In a serving platter, arrange the corn tortillas, put in each of the components. Black beans, Tofu crumble, Corn, lettuce, salsa, guacamole and a squeeze of lime juice.

Wrap each of them and serve immediately.


Preparation Time 30
Serves 2-3

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BM #98 Week 1 Day 3 - 

Cooking pasta for just two is definitely a challenge for me. But I make pasta so very often and so I had an estimate of how much pasta my kids take in their lunch boxes. The sauce is a totally different ball game :).

For spaghetti I use the marker (sometimes a triangle or a circle) on the box. For pasta I just measure two fistfuls as one serving and it works well with my kids.

I knew my kids like Avocado Pasta and so I asked them if they would mind if I tweak that recipe and add some spinach as well. They were okay with it though the older one refused to take this 'new green pasta' for her lunch the first time I made it. I have since made this umpteen times per request. I rest my case. 

I have tried different variations, with almonds, without almonds, with and without cilantro etc. The kids didn't know the difference and loved all versions.

Ingredients - 

Spaghetti / Pasta 2 servings
Corn kernels 1/2 cup (I used frozen sweet corn)
For the Sauce - 
Avocado 1/2 
*Spinach / Palak 1 cup
Almonds 8-10 (Optional)
Green Chilies as needed
Cooking Oil 1/4 tsp
Garlic 1 Pod
Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Cilantro handful (Optional)
Pasta water 1/2 cup + more if needed
Salt as needed

* I have tried using the fresh spinach as well as frozen chopped spinach. If using frozen spinach thaw about 1/2 cup and use in the recipe.

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pot, add about a teaspoon of salt and boil about 6-7 cups of water. Cook the spaghetti / pasta al dente as per the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water.

If using fresh spinach, blanch the spinach and set aside. If using frozen spinach, just thaw and continue.

In a small heated pan, add oil and saute the garlic until the raw smell is gone. Remove from heat and set aside.

Steam some corn and set aside. (I just microwave the frozen corn  for about 90 seconds).

In a blender jar, add the blanched spinach, chopped avocado,  sauteed garlic, cilantro, almonds, green chilies, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup of pasta water. Blend into a fine paste. Adjust the consistency by adding pasta water as needed.

Add the spinach sauce to the cooked and drained pasta. Add in the steamed corn, mix well and serve warm.

The pasta can be garnished with cheese. I garnish it when serving fresh but skip it when packing in lunch boxes.


Preparation Time 20 minutes
Serves 2

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BM #98 Week 1 Day 2 - 

For day 2 of cooking for two, I chose an easy way out by making this smoothie. I have been trying to make this smoothie forever but never got around to make.

My little one and I are the only smoothie loving people and we loved this combo. Next time I would add a couple of dates as this smoothie was a little on the bland side for my little one. I later realized that both avocado and cucumber have overtaken the flavor and hence masking the sweetness of banana.

While I was taking these pictures, my camera suddenly stopped working [the auto focus stopped working] and gave me a hard time to finally figure out the solution [Accidentally the AF button was moved to Manual]. So I had to take these pictures on my mobile.

Ingredients - 

Avocado 1/2
Cucumber chopped 3/4 cup
Banana 1 medium
Almonds 8-10
Milk 1 1/2 cups
Mint leaves few (Optional - I have tried with and without)

Method Of Preparation -

Blend all the ingredients together into a smoothie.

Garnish with Dried Mint Powder and mint leaves.


Preparation Time 5 minutes
Serves 2

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BM #98 Week 1 Day 1 - 

Welcome to another edition of Blogging Marathon. This week I shall showcase recipes which are scaled down for just 2 servings as the theme is 'Cooking for two'.

After I signed up for this theme, I realized that it is a huge task for me to cook for just two without any leftovers. I took up this challenge and tried making these applesauce cookies for just two people. The oatmeal fans at home are just my little one and me. 

This idea of using applesauce in the cookies was given by my little one. She loves these Oatmeal banana cookies and when I asked her for new healthy cookie ideas, she immediately replied that I could make the same cookies with applesauce.

These cookies turned out so good - a little tart, a little sweet. I didn't want to add extra sugar and these turned out surprisingly flavorful.

My little one later on said that I should have made more cookies and frozen for later :).

Ingredients - 

Rolled Oats 1/4 cup
Apple 1 medium size
Lime/Lemon Juice 1 tsp
Almonds 7-8
Chocolate Chips 1 Tbsp

Note - A typical serving of Rolled oats would be 2 Tbsp.
  Method Of Preparation -

Coarsely Crush the rolled oats and set aside.

Wash, peel and grate the apple into a microwave safe bowl.

Add a teaspoon of lime juice and mix well.

Cook the grated apple in the microwave for about 3 minutes in 45 second increments or until the apple sauce reaches a saucy consistency. Allow it to cool. 
[I did not let it cool and so the chocolate chips I added melted and got mixed into the batter :)]

Add the coarsely crushed rolled oats and coarsely crushed almonds to the applesauce.

Add in the chocolate chips and gently mix.

Divide the mixture into 4-tablespoon portions and place on a parchment lined baking tray. Pat each of them to resemble a flat cookie.

Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow them to cool for a few minutes.
[I used a countertop oven which doesn't need to be preheated but if using the regular oven, please preheat the oven to 400 °F.]

Enjoy the cookies with a glass of freshly squeezed Orange Juice.


Preparation Time 5 minutes + Baking time 10 minutes
Serves 2

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BM #97 Week 4 Day 3 - 

Loaded with the goodness of broccoli and the cheesy tater tots, these are a major hit with the kids.

Earlier, tater tots meant only the potato tater tots. But we have Sweet Potato Tater TotsZucchini Tater tots and now these Broccoli tater tots as well.

My kids are fond of broccoli in any form but now these tots are their new favorite.

Recipe Source social media feed
Ingredients - 

Broccoli florets 2-3 cups
Almonds handful
Bread Crumbs 1 cup (2 bread slices)
Cheese 1/4 cup
Salt as needed
Sriracha Sauce or Tomato Chili Sauce or Hot Chili Sauce as needed

Method Of Preparation -

Steam the chopped broccoli. Pulse the steamed broccoli.

Coarsely crush almonds. 

In a mixing bowl, add the shredded broccoli, crushed almonds, bread crumbs, shredded cheese, salt and any sauce of your choice.

Pinch two teaspoons of the material and make oblong shaped tater tots.

Place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Preheat to 425 °F.

Bake for about 30 minutes turning them half way through so they brown evenly.

Serve with Ketchup of any dipping sauce of your choice.


Preparation Time 40 minutes
Serves 3-4

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