Prawns Chilly and My 100th Blog Post

3/24/2012 Raksha Kamat 2 Comments

100th blog post is it ??? Yes, it is :)

I started my blog to actually stop my addiction to playing Farmville on Facebook and to dedicate time to something interesting.It took me a year to hit my 100th blog post.  Apart from giving me a platform to showcase my cooking, it has given me an identity as a writer and a food lover.

 I have started liking blogging about food because this is something I love to do. I share my family recipes and also the recipes that I innovate in my kitchen. Prawns Chilly mentioned in this post is something delicious and finger licking that I innovated in my kitchen. I know that to be a good cook, you should innovate and learn. Learn from others and innovate by applying your own thoughts.
My family also has started recognising my talent and they too help me with innovative ideas.
My mom keeps giving me unique tips about food to share on my blog and the facebook page.

My colleague who shares my cubicle in office, keeps saying that I have a lot of patience to cook, decorate, click and share. She keeps admiring my skill. There are many more fans. Still I do not blog seriously. I just dedicate 1 hour per week to my blog. Rest of the time I keep for myself and my day to day chores.

Check the Prawns Chilly recipe below which I innovated in my kitchen. A picture speaks 1000 words. The dish had turned so yummy, that even the picture of it makes me eat it :)

10 prawns
2 onions/ spring onion whites
1 tomato
1/2 capsicum
6-7 pods of garlic
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 chicken Maggi cube

De-shell the prawns and marinate them by applying 1/2 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp salt.

Cut the capsicum into 1/2 inch cubes.
Chop the onions and tomatoes fine.
Make paste out of the garlic or chop it fine.
In kadai, add 2 tablespoons of oil, fry onions, when they turn brownish,add garlic and tomatoes. When the tomatoes turn mushy, add capsicum and the marinated chopped prawns.
Let them get cooked for a while.
Now add the sauces and the Maggi cube and mix well.
Garnish with chopped coriander or serve as it is.
Serve with rice or chapatis.


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Palak Soup

3/18/2012 Raksha Kamat 7 Comments

Palak soup is a very healthy way to consume palak or spinach leaves. There are numerous health benefits of consuming spinach. It is a rich source of dietary fiber, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc and vitamin E. In addition it also has Omega-3 fatty acids, niacin and selenium.

Palak Seeds are useful in treating urinary stones, inflammations of the lungs and the bowels, pains of the joints, sore throat and sore eyes, lumbago (rheumatic affection of the lions), cold and sneezing. Apart from this it is used in treating ring worm, scabies and leucoderma and in finishing vomiting tendency, biliousness and flatulence. Nutritive value Palak Seeds are beneficial in fevers, leucorrhoea, urinary disorders, lumbago and also diseases of the brain and the heart.

Fresh juice of the green plant is a good remedy in urinary stones, as it is good diuretic also. The seeds are laxative and cooling. They are also used in breathing difficulties, inflammations of the liver and in jaundice.

Care should be taken not to over cook this vegetable. Over-cooking palak destroys all the nutritional benefits of palak. But cooked palak is rich source of iron.  Nowadays I have become very health conscious and make it a point to drink palak soup everyday.

 Ingredients:                                   Prep. Time: 30 Minutes, Serves: 4
1 bunch Palak/Spinach
1 tomato
2 garlic flakes
2 peppercorns
1/2 inch Cinnamon (optional)

Chop palak and tomato.
Boil all the ingredients together.
Let them cool down.
After cooling, grind them in a mixer. Strain them through a strainer so that you will get clear soup.
Discard the pulp.
Add salt to taste.
Serve hot.

Note: You can garnish the soup with butter and toasted bread.

For more soup recipes, click here.
For more recipes with palak or spinach, click here.

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Instant Rawa Idlis

3/15/2012 Raksha Kamat 21 Comments

We used to always have Rawa Idlis at Adigas. Adigas at Bangalore is the only place where I love to have South Indian Food.If you happen to go there, you will hardly get a place to sit.

One fine day I was so tired and I wanted to try something easy. Checked my fridge and luckily found a cup of curds and some veges. Had Rawa/Sooji in my pantry. Thought of trying something new. Tried these Rawa Idli's and believe me, they turned out superb. They are fast and easy to cook.
 My hubby loved them and hubby was surprised, because I was damn tired after returning home from office. This was the first time that I prepared Rawa Idlis from scratch. Prior to this I used to get a packet of MTR Rawa Idli's mix. But now I found the secret behind these Instant Rawa Idli's.

1 cup rawa/sooji
1 cup curd
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup onion cup length wise
1/4 cup finely chopped capsicum
Handful of chopped coriander leaves
10 curry leaves
1 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp cooking soda
Home-made ghee for greasing the idli moulds

Roast the rawa on gas till a nice aroma comes from it.Let it cool for sometime.
Mix the rawa and curd, add soda to it and keep aside.
The batter consistency should be like normal idli batter.

In a pan, add oil and to it add mustard seeds.
After the stop spluttering, add curry leaves and urad dal.
Fry for a minute and add onions and fry.
After the onion turns pinkish, add the other vegetables and fry for sometime.
Sprinkle coriander leaves over it.
Switch off the gas and let it cool.

After cooling, mix the rava idli batter and the sauted veges from the pan.

Grease the idlis moulds with home-made ghee. Add sufficient quantity of idli batter to it and cook them in a idli cooker.

Linking this to Pari's 'Only'Event for March i.e. South Indian Recipes.
This recipe belongs to the South Indian state of Karnataka.

Also linking My Favorite Idli Sambar which belongs to Karnataka to Pari's 'Only' Event for March.

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PinXX - A Restaurant Review

3/10/2012 Raksha Kamat 0 Comments

As a part of Kingfisher Explocity Restaurant week I got an opportunity to do a restaurant review. This is my first experience doing a review for a restaurant.

On the weekend of the Restaurant week, I got a call from Mr. Varun to come and collect a dinner voucher for 2 at PinXX, Royal Orchid Central.

We had a warm welcome at the restaurant. The staff at the restaurant asked us to choose a table of our choice. The ambiance was sort of romantic one. The music was very soothing. It was neither too loud nor too low. Only thing was that the AC was too low.

Cool Ambiance
We started our lunch with the chicken broth. I could hardly find any chicken pieces in it, but the taste was good. While taking soup I just happened to look at the spices which were displayed very nicely. After soup we ventured to the salads and starters section.
The salads were nicely laid in separate plates. Most of the salads laid were raw, like  finely chopped onions, carrots, chopped tomatoes, lettuce, celery, cucumber slices, boiled beetroot, boiled cauliflower florets, boiled chicken pieces and boiled eggs.
There was no Russian salad or any other type of salads. Also we could not mix the veges and make our own salads as the salad dressing was not a part of the spread. But we felt it was a healthier option to eat salads raw :)
Salads Spread

There was no starters. Neither veg nor non-veg. When enquired with the staff, they said that chilly pakodas were veg starters and mentioned something as non-veg. But we never found it on the table spread.

We then went to the main course. The main course had a variety of food. For non-veg  it had Mutton biryani, some chicken gravy and grilled fish in cheese and garlic sauce. Veg menu had paneer tikka masala, Singapore noodles, jeera rice, dal palak, aloo ka salan, Okra subzi, white rice, and an ultimate dish with bell peppers and red peppers. Apart from this there was raita, curd rice and dahi wada too.

Grilled fish in garlic sauce
The main course was excellent. The chicken was cooked to perfection. The Grilled fish in garlic sauce was the dish of the day. It had an excellent taste and was really good. I asked the staff what was the name of the fish and they said it was "Sea Bass". Mutton biryani was also good, but had a little less salt. The dish with bell peppers  was the best veg dish. Okra subzi had a very homely taste. Only Aloo Ka Salan was not so good.

Paneer Tikka Masala and WHite Rice
There were a variety of breads and the rotis were served at the table. The table service was a bit slow and we had to ask for drinking water and rotis.


Soon I went to the desserts spread. There were a variety of desserts and everything was just superb.
To name a few there was Ghavar, strawberry pastry, chocolate roll, chocolate brownie, Rasmalai and mango mousse.

Ghavar was the best dessert and the other pastries were also very good. I felt that they should have kept separate bowls for rasmalai, so that we could have eaten the sweet dish properly.
3 varieties of fresh fruits namely pineapple, papaya and watermelon were also laid across the dessert spread. There were ice-creams too, but ice-creams were not a part of the spread. They were served only on special request.

Chocolate Roll and Chocolate Brownie

Wonderfully presented Mango Mousse

There was a juice and buttermilk counter too. I did not take the juice but the butter milk was just good to end the meal.

Juice and Buttermilk Counter
There was a live pasta counter but no one making and serving the pasta.

A non-functioning live pasta counter
 The live kitchen was transparent and we could see the chef cooking the dishes.

Live Kitchen
We also had a look at the menu card. There are a variety of dishes including international dishes. Most of the dishes were priced at 300+.

The rate per plate for lunch is Rs. 525 + taxes which comes to Rs. 645/- and for dinner buffet it is Rs.700+.
Overall the taste and quality of food was par excellence. Considering that there were no starters, no chat and  a non-functioning pasta counter, I felt that the the rate per plate i.e. Rs. 645/-  was too high.

My verdict - If you want to eat tasty and good quality food regardless of the price, PinXX is worth a try.

Average Meal for two : Rs. 1290 /-
Food Type : Multi-Cuisine

PinXX, Royal Orchid Central,
Manipal Center, Dickenson Road,


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Kangachi Nevri / Sweet Potato Dumpling

3/04/2012 Raksha Kamat 18 Comments

It was a really funny incident how I landed up making these sweet potato Nevri's.

My mom-in-law had got these "special variety" of sweet potato. These have a bitter taste. In Konkani we know them as "Kaate Kanga". Just to translate " Bitter sweet potato's". I was wondering what to do with these. On the same day I met my friend Arya online. I casually told Arya that I have boiled some sweet potatoes and what to do with these. She suggested to prepare these dumplings. With the normal sweet potato my mom used to prepare  Kangachi Nevri and they always turned awesome.

Kaate Kanga / Thorny bitter sweet potatoes

I tried the same recipe but with a different variety of sweet potatoes. It was a really good experiment and it was worth a try. The Nevri's turned awesome and my hubby finished them all as soon as I made them.

The filling which we have used is known as "Choon" or "panchagaad" in Goa. This panchagaad is always prepared as Prasad during some pooja's. This is the first time that I prepared panchagaad too.


2 tsp Oil/ ghee for frying

For the covering:
3-4 sweet potato
1 tablespoon wheat flour

For the filling:
2 cups grated coconut
1/2 cup grated jaggery
1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Boil the sweet potatoes by adding a pinch of salt. After cooling, peel and grate them. Add the wheat flour to the grated sweet potatoes and mould it into a ball by applying oil to the hands. Do not add water.

In a kadai, add the grated coconut and jaggery and mix them together over a low flame. Add cardamom powder and mix.Once they get mixed switch off the gas and let them cool.

Fry them till they turn golden brown on both sides
Make small balls out of the mould made out of sweet potatoes. The size of ball can be slightly bigger then the puri ball. Take a plastic sheet and apply water to the plastic and to your hands. Make small circle out of the sweet potato ball. Put one tablespoon of the coconut filling on one half of the circle and fold the other half and seal the 2 sides by using water.

On a tawa, apply little oil/ghee and fry the Nevri/Dumpling till it becomes brownish on both sides.
Serve hot.


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