October 28, 2007

Stir-fried vegetable and cheese tortilla

I just came across the Weekend Breakfast Blogging event. The October event deadline for submission is quite close, but I decided to try meeting it! We have omelettes occasionally and I just realized I hadn't made one in a while. I try to pack in as much nutrition as I can into a lot of my cooking to make sure my daughter eats healthy. She is usually game, especially if the process and final product seems exciting or unusual. A tortilla is a spanish omelette usually made with eggs and potatoes. This recipe takes a bit longer to make than the average omelette, but then this is a tortilla for Sunday Brunch!

4 medium eggs (I used 2 eggs and 2 egg whites)
1 tsp cornflour
¼ cup milk
1 cup approx. vegetables (I used capsicum, carrot, cabbage- all juliennes, potato diced, and some frozen corn and peas)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp grated processed cheese
2 tbsp crumbled paneer
¼ tsp crushed black pepper
¼ tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp butter + 1tsp oil
Salt to taste

Break eggs into a bowl. Add the milk, cornflour, black pepper, chilli flakes, herbs and salt. Beat well with a fork till blended.
In a non-stick skillet, melt butter and add oil. Sauté onions till golden. Add all the vegetables, except the capsicum. Sprinkle a little salt and stir-fry till almost done. Now spread the vegetables so they cover the base of the pan evenly. Pour the egg mixture and turn the heat down. Cover the pan and let the omelet cook slowly. Make sure the underside does not burn. When the top has set, slide the tortilla onto a plate and then back into the skillet so the other side cooks. After a minute or so, slide the tortilla back onto the plate again and back, once again into the skillet and sprinkle the cheese and paneer over it. Cover again for about ½ a minute till the cheese just melts. Switch off heat and remove cover.
Served warm (with or without tomato ketchup) alongside wholemeal toast and fruit, this tortilla is a complete meal. Hope you enjoy it.

This is my entry for Weekend Breakfast Blogging #16
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October 26, 2007

Parippu Pradhaman (South Indian Style Lentil, Coconut Milk And Jaggery Pudding)

This is my first recipe posting and I thought I would start with something sweet. One of my personal favourites among Palakkad Iyer desserts, our traditional cuisine, is Parippu Pradhaman . Actually, we do not have the concept of dessert, which is served at the end of the meal, as is known in the Western world. In most regional cuisines of India, traditonally a sweet ot sweet dish is preapared for festivities mostly and either served along with the meal, as a stand-alone dish in between mealtimes or sometimes served at tea time like a snack.

In Indian, depending on the region of the country, a very common sweet that is served as festive fare is the Indian equivalent of the rice pudding. In the North this rice pudding is called kheer and in my community we refer to this as "Payasam".
Kheers and Payasam come in many variations and can be milk or coconut based and made with rice, broken wheat, vermicelli, etc and is sweetened with either sugar or jaggery (unrefined form of sugar).

A pradhaman is a payasam(kheer/dessert) from the South Indian state of Kerala and is usually made using jaggery and coconut milk, though it is sometimes made with milk and sugar. A Pradhaman is typically festive fare and usually one of the sweets served at a "Sadhya" (festive meal). The name "Pradhaman" means "the first one" and it is typically the first item served during the Sadhya.

Parippu(lentil) pradhamans can be made using either moong dal or chana dal, or a combination of rice and moong dal.
I usually make this using a combination of moong dal and chana dal, which we like. A Pradhaman is generally a little thicker in consistency than a Payasam/ Kheer.
As always, there are as many versions of this dish with minor variations, and this is mine.
Parippu Pradhaman


1/4 cup moong dal
1/4 cup chana dal(bengal gram dal)
1 to 1 1/2 cups powdered jaggery( depending on the sweetness of jaggery)
coconut milk from 1 coconut(I use Maggi coconut milk powder when I am short on time)
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp halved/ broken cashewnuts
1-2 tbsp coconut slivers(optional)
1 tsp powdered cardamom

Coconut milk extraction:

I'm sure everyone knows this but am including it anyway.
Add a couple of tbsps of warm water to the grated coconut and blend. Squeeze out the milk- this is the 1st milk. Add just about 1/2 cup of warm water to the residue and blend again. Squeeze out the milk-this is the 2nd milk.


Heat 1 tbsp ghee and fry cashewnuts till golden. Keep aside. In the same ghee, brown the coconut pieces and keep aside.
Now put the moong dal in whatever ghee is left in the pan and roast till pinkish and an aroma rises. Do not brown. Pressure cook the moong dal and chana dal with about 1 cup water till soft. Slightly mash the dal. The moong dal should be more or less completely mashed with some part of the chana dal still whole.

In a heavy bottomed or non-stick deep dish, pour in 1/4 cup water. Add the jaggery, dissolve and strain to remove impurities from jaggery. Keep the jaggery solution back on heat and bring to boil. Add the mashed dal and allow to come to a boil. If using natural coconut milk, add the 2nd milk now and bring to a boil. Otherwise, let the solution boil on medium heat and thicken.

Once a thickish consistency is reached, turn down the heat to minimum and add remaining 1 tbsp ghee and then 1st coconut milk. If using preserved forms of coconut milk, add now ( I dissolve the coconut milk powder in 1 cup of water). Switch off the heat immediately. The coconut milk will split if boiled. Also add the cardamom, cashewnuts and coconut pieces and stir well till blended.

Traditionally, this pradhaman is served warm. Can also be served chilled.
P.S. Shortcuts are convenient but nothing brings out the taste quite like natural coconut milk!
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October 24, 2007


I am Aparna and welcome to this small virtual corner of mine, My Diverse Kitchen. I am the newest member of the food blogging community. I stumbled upon the world of food blogs while browsing for a recipe, some time back. Since then, I have been toying with the idea of sharing my experiences in my kitchen.

My daughter, the biggest fan of my cooking, has been after me to get going and even came up with the title for my blog.
So, what would be a better day than today, Vijayadashami (Vidyarambham), to make a start in this direction?

We are a food loving family and as long as the food is vegetarian (we do eat eggs) and looks good enough to eat, we are willing to give it a try. We are rooted in our traditional Palakkad Iyer cooking, and this is what is at our table for most of our meals. Yet we love the variety of other cuisines and are quite enthusiastic about exploring them.

My regular cooking includes a lot of diverse dishes sourced from family, friends and cookbooks. I have also come up with some originals, from cooking over the past few years! Another thing I truly enjoy, cooking-wise, is baking.

My Diverse Kitchen is open to you all with recipes from me. Please feel free to step in and also provide me with feedback. You may write to me at aparna@mydiversekitchen.com
Thank you and here’s to Good Food.

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October 23, 2007


Writing and blogging about food has led me to discover an interest in photography. Here you will find a collection of links to the sites and portfolios of some excellent photographers who also have a keen interest in food photography.
Further down is a list of links to some excellent tutorials on food photography and finally some sites where you can see a coollection of some of the best amateur food photgraphy on the net.


Adriana Mullen

Aran Goyoaga

A Table For Two

Dario Milano

Edward Pond

Ellen Silverman

Helen Dujardin

Ilva Beretta

Indranie Dasgupta

Jim Scherer

Jean Cazals

Jennifer Davick

Judd Pilossof

Lakshmi Wennäkoski-Bielicki

Lara Ferroni

Leesa O'Reilly

Lou Manna

Matt Armendariz

Michael Ray

Mike Kelvang

Paula Walters

Rina Jordan

Saba Ghaziyani

Sabra Krock

Shubhangi Dhaimade



Food Photography Blog

Kitchen Wench

Food Photography For Bloggers (Vegan Yum-Yum)

Food Pixels

Food Props On Sunday (Lucullian Delights)

Gourmande In The Kitchen

Learn Food Photography

Nikas Culinaria

Still Life With...

Tasteful Food Photography


White On Rice Couple




Serious Eats/ Photograzing




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This is a collection of breads that a group of food bloggers bake with me every month. We explore all kinds of yeasted breads. While all of us stick to one basic recipe, we bake the variations that suit our indidvidual tastes. Links to all the breads baked each month can be found at the end of my post for the month.


JANUARY Pane Siciliano (Sicilian Sesame Seeded Semolina Bread)

FEBRUARYBlack Forest Buns

MARCH - Kummelweck (Kimmelweck)  Rolls & A Vegetarian Weck Sandwich

MAY -  Orange And Cinnamon Swirl Bread 

JUNE - Maritozzi Con La Panna (Roman Cream Buns)

JULYTingmos/Ting Momos (Tibetan Steamed Buns)

AUGUST - Mexican Cemita Buns 

SEPTEMBERYeasted Banana Sandwich Bread

OCTOBER - Barmbrack or Speckled Bread – Irish Halloween Fruit Bread/ Cake

NOVEMBERSpiced Pumpkin Bread Rolls For Thanksgiving


 JANUARY - Focaccia Caprese (Focaccia Topped With Tomatoes, Mozarella & Basil)

FEBRUARY - We Knead To Bake #14 : Ciabatta Rolls (Bake Your Own Bread)

MARCH - We Knead To Bake #15 : Japanese Melon Pan (Crunchy Cookie Covered Bread Rolls)

APRIL - We Knead To Bake #16 : Flaounes (Cypriot Savoury Easter Cheese Pies)

MAY - We Knead To Bake #17 : Petit Pains au Lait (French Milk Bread/ Rolls)

JUNE - We Knead To Bake #18 : Komaj  (Persian Date Bread With Turmeric & Cumin)

JULY - We Knead To Bake #19 : Gibassier ((A French Anise & Orange Flavored Loaf)

NOVEMBER - We Knead To Bake #22 : Sheermal/ Shirmal (SaffronFlavoured Flatbread)

DECEMBER - We Knead To Bake #23 : Julekake or Julekaga (Norwegian Cardamom Christmas Bread)


JANUARY - Herb & Cheese Pull-Apart Bread Loaf

FEBRUARY Classic Croissants

MARCH - Hokkaido Milk Bread With Tangzhong

APRIL - Torcettini di Saint Vincent (Sugar Crusted Twisted Cookies from the Valle d’Aosta)

MAY - Bialys (Chewy Rolls Topped With Caramelised Onions)

JUNE - Baked Yeasted Doughnuts (Regular, Glazed or Filled)

JULY -  A Savoury Kugelhopf

AUGUST - Crunchy Hard Pretzels With Spicy Garlic & Herb Cheese Sauce & Honey-Mustard Dipping Sauce

SEPTEMBER - Khaliat Nahal (Honeycomb Buns or Bee’s Hive Buns)

OCTOBER - 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

NOVEMBER - Kanel Snegle/ Kanelbullar (Swedish Cinnamon Snails/ Rolls)

DECEMBER - Bienenstich Kuchen (German Bee Sting Cake)

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October 22, 2007

HOW TO..........???

There are many times when a recipe alone is not enough to explain the the whole process of cooking or putting together something in the kitchen. In such instances, a visual representation always makes things easier.

There are many food bloggers who are adept at presenting detailed step-by-step posts with pictures or videos, but I am most definitely not one of them. I find it difficult enough to manage my pots, pans, ladles and ingredients without adding my camera to this mix. I also am not willing to risk having bits of flour, oil and other such stuff anywhere near my camera or lenses.

However, I have found the internet to be a wonderful source for such visual tutorials whenever I have needed help. This page is a collection of links showing detailed or step-by-step explanations of various recipes or cooking processes that I have found useful in my kitchen. You may occasionally find a link to my blog here.



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This is a collection of various blogs/ sites I have stumbled upon in the times since I started my own food blog. I follow them as often as I am able to because I find them good/ interesting either for the food, the mouth watering photography, the style of writing, or all of these.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and I will keep updating this list from time to time.



A Mad Tea Party

AZ Cook Book

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Welcome to this page. This page will take you to all the recipes and posts I have written since I started blogging here at My Diverse Kitchen. To make the recipes easier to go through, they have been categorised under various headers, given below.
Please click on the respective header/ title link above each picture to see the full listing of all the recipes under that header.
Happy Browsing!












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October 21, 2007


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October 20, 2007


Mysorepak - Indian

Strawberry Kulfi - Indian

Ukkarai - Indian

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