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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Tis the Season to eat berries.
Strawberries are not only so beautiful to look at but delicious at the same time. They are packed with nutrients. Around this time of the year you'll always find fresh succulent strawberries at your local grocery stores. They are very perishable . Strawberries should not be washed until right before eating or using in a recipe.

1) 1 cup fresh strawberries(diced)
2) 1 ripe banana
3) 1 cup plain yoghurt
4) 1 cup milk
5) 1 tbsp honey
6) 1/2 cup crushed ice

1) Combine all the ingredients in a blender.
2) Blend until smooth
3) Serve immediately

Serves 2.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

A Smoothie is a super easy, fast and a healthy beverage. They could also be considered a snack.
Since the Food Pyramid suggests 2 to 4 servings of fruit each day. I believe smoothies are the best way to achieve that. As mothers we are constantly looking for ways to make our kids eat healthy. So I guess smoothies are a blessing for us and they taste so delicious too.
1) 1 ripe Banana
2) 1 cup fresh blueberries
3) 1 cup plain yoghurt
4) 1 cup milk
5) 1/2 cup crushed ice
1) Combine all the above mentioned ingredients into a blender.
2) Blend until smooth.
3) Serve immediately.

This recipe serves 2.

1) You could use frozen blueberries. Then crushed ice would not be required.
2) You could even add 1 tbsp of honey to this recipe. That would give you the added sweetness.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Chole or Chana Masala

It's also called Kabuli chana , chick peas or Garbanzo beans. Chole is a staple in north Indian households. Chole goes best with bhature. Hence the name Chole Bhature . You could even serve this with roti, paratha, naan, jeera rice and even bread.

2 cups soaked Chick peas or Canned Chick peas (500 gms)
2 medium size red onions
4 tomatoes
2 tsp of garlic
2 tsp ginger
3-4 green chillies
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
2 black cardamoms
1 stick cinnamon(dal chini)
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil
Fresh Cilantro for the garnish

1. Now the traditional way is to soak the Chole overnight. I guess thats the best way. But if you are pressed for time then you could even soak the chole in hot water(almost boiling) for around 30-40 minutes .
2. Now pressure cook the chole with enough water, turmeric and salt for upto 4-5 whistles. If you were to use canned chole you skip this step.
3. In the meanwhile you could chop the vegetables. I make 3 kinds of purees . One for the onions , one for the garlic/ginger/green chillies and the last one is the tomato puree. Now for the onions I don't grind it too fine, just leave it a bit course so it adds a good texture to the chole masala. Its like a finely grated texture. You could even just grate the onions.
4. Now take oil in a pan. Once it warms up add the cardamom and the cinnamon stick. Next add the onion paste. Saute the onion till it becomes golden brown . Now add the garlic/ginger/green chilli paste. Saute for about 2 minutes and then add the tomato puree. Fry for another 2 minutes and then add the red chilli powder and the coriander-cumin powder. Let it cook until the oil leaves the surface (about 5-6 minutes). Now add the chole with the liquid and let it simmer covered for about 20 minutes.
5. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and serve with parathas with thinly sliced onions and a piece of lemon on the side.

Ajwain Paratha

Paratha is an Indian flat-bread. It could be round, square or triangular. They could be plain or stuffed. Mostly stuffed parathas are served with pickle and yoghurt. Plain parathas could be served with vegetables , meat, chicken and paneer dishes. The sky is the limit when it comes to parathas. They are very versatile. One can be very creative when it comes to making stuffed parathas. You can have endless possibilities. But I guess by and large aloo(potato) parathas are the most popular.
Ajwain is also known as carom seeds or Bishop's weed and they are mainly used as they help in digestion.

Ingredients :

3 cups wheat flour

2 tsp ajwain


1 tsp oil

1 cup of water (to knead the dough)


1) Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough for the parathas. Now for someone who is trying to knead the dough for the 1st time. Slowly add the water to the mix and keep on kneading. Keep on adding water till the dough is not too sticky or not too hard. You would need a little more than 1 cup of water. But if you add too much water the dough would be too sticky to roll the parathas.
Now keep it aside for 15-20 minutes.
2) Now to roll the parathas. Divide the dough into golf size balls. Roll it into a small circle. Apply some oil to the circle. Now fold the circle into a semicircle. Fold it again and it would become a triangle shape. Apply some flour and roll over the triangle gently to the desired size.
3) Heat a tava( griddle) and roast the paratha on medium heat with ghee , oil or butter. Cook on both sides until they are golden brown.
4) Serve hot with yoghurt and pickle or as an accompaniment to a main course dish. This would make around 10 -12 parathas.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

About Me.

Who am I.I'm Dolly a food enthusiast who enjoys the pleasure of healthy and good eating. Right now I'm a homemaker and a full time mother to my kids. I have been in Sales- IT (Information Technology) as well as Retail. Have been in IT development and also been a teacher. I'm a die hard optimist who believes in Karma. Most of the time I think with my heart. I Love going for long walks and a big time dreamer. I would sum it up saying An Ordinary girl with Extraordinary Dreams and who Is'nt afraid to Dream....thats Me.

How was Curry and Beyond Born.It was really born out of the fear of being home after being so busy(professionally) all my life. I wanted to have an identity of my own. After the birth of my younger son, he's 2 now. I stayed home to take care of him and my older 6 year old son. My husband was working longer hours and I felt one of us needed to be home for the kids. So it was Mother's Day 2009, I kind of said to myself if I really wanted to do something that was a great day to do it . It would be an awesome gift to myself. So Curry and Beyond was Born. I must say this has been a gift which keeps on giving.

Where do I get the recipes for Curry and Beyond.I know when I say this I speak for many of us. I have learnt cooking from my mom who's an awesome cook as well as my grandmom and aunts. Growing up around them you just learn by watching them. My sister and sister in laws are great too. So have learnt many things from them. In fact my sister has her major in Food and Nutrition. Last but not the least my mother in law is great in this department as well. She's really good. So for North Indian dishes my Mom is the go to person and my MIL for the south Indian dishes. See I get the best of both worlds. Also I'm blessed with so many great friends and blogpals , from whom I learn something new each day. The internet has been and will continue to be a great source as well.

Why the name Curry and Beyond.The intention was, when you see this name, you will get the essence of what this blog was going to be all about. I personally believe food brings people together. It surpasses all boundaries. I've always been open to new recipes and love cooking new kinds of food in my kitchen. I'm always excited to know about different cultures and food. It has always fascinated me and I would love to showcase all kind of recipes on this blog. So its not just restricted to Indian cooking but you will find Italian, Mexican, Thai, Vietnamese etc recipes to name a few. Hopefully I will be adding recipes from all over the world.

Who all are the Contributors and authors.Well I would say we are a family who love to cook together. Some recipes are contributed by my DH. Some Clicks have been taken by my older son, who is also my baking buddy. My younger one is my tester/taster. He also comes up with great ways to describe a dish, So there you go he helps me with the feedback for my blogpals as well. His 3 favorite food words are Wow, Yummy, Awesome. Now you know the secret of how I write my feedback.

My Other Blog.I do have another blog as well which is not food related. Its called My Journey Through Life. It basically is about some moments from my day to day life revolving around my family , friends and current events. So could describe it as, A blog about Everything and Nothing in Particular.

Feedback - Please feel free to give me your feedback and suggestions. Bloggers thrive on feedback, thats the only way we can keep going.

Contact Me @ Dolrama@yahoo.com

Disclaimer - Though all the recipes have been tried and tested in my kitchen , when you try out a recipe from Curry and Beyond, do so at your discretion and use your judgement as well . Please refrain from using the material or pictures from Curry and Beyond, without the prior approval from the author. All the contents including the text and pictures have been copyrighted.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mattar Paneer Pulav

Ingredients :

2 cups Basmati Rice
2 cups Paneer diced (bigger pieces)
1 cup frozen peas
1 medium size green Bell pepper diced (optional)
1 cup onion diced
1 cup tomatoes diced
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp freshly grated garlic
2-3 green chillies slit and cut lengthwise
Clilantro finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground red chilli
1 tsp ground cumin-coriander
6-7 peppercorns
4 cloves
1 bay leaf
1-2 sticks of cinnamon


1) Wash and Soak 2 cups of rice in 4 cups of water. You will not need to add anymore water to make the pulav. Just use this rice with the water. Keep this aside for around 15-20 minutes.

2) In the meanwhile you can cut and chop all the vegetables.

3) Now heat some oil in a pan . Now once the oil has warmed up add cloves, peppercorns, bay leaf, and cinnamon sticks. Then add onions. Roast it till it gets golden brown in color . Now add the garlic paste. Next add ginger, green chillies and tomatoes. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then add turmeric, salt, red chilli, cumin/coriander powder. Now add the paneer, peas and bell pepper. Let is cook for about 2 minutes. Now add the chopped cilantro and then add the rice with the water which we had kept aside earlier.

4) Let this cook uncovered on medium flame. Now when you see that most of the water has dried up (like 85-90%) set the stove to the lowest flame and c0ver the pan with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes.

5) Its ready to serve. Serve with Raita and pickle. The entire process should not take more than 35-40 minutes.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Carrot Cake.

With Father's Day coming up. I decided to try my hand at making a carrot cake. I dedicate this cake to my wonderful dad on father's day and to my husband who is an awesome father to our kids. Also my goal was to keep it simple with minimum ingredients which you will always find it in your pantry. You could also let your kids help you in making this cake. The cake did turn out soft and moist.

For our carrot cake you will need :

Ingredients :
  •  2 cups all purpose flour
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  •  4 eggs
  •  1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar 
  •  1 cup vegetable oil
  •  2 1/2 cups grated raw carrots.
  •  1/2 cup diced fresh pineapple (optional).
You could add 2 cups sugar. I did not want the cake to be too sweet as we also have to account for the sweetness of the carrots.


1) Preheat the oven at 350 degrees F . Butter and flour a 9-inch round and 3-inch deep cake pan.
2)Grate the carrots. (2 1/2 cups)

3) Now in a bowl just take all the dry ingedients. Sieve the flour , baking powder, baking soda , salt, ground cinnamon .

4) In another bowl beat the eggs till light and frothy. I just whisked the eggs manually , maybe for a minute or so. Then add the sugar and the oil and keep on beating till it is light colored and everything is incorporated well .

5) Then slowly add the dry mix to this batter. Keep mixing constantly so as to avoid having lumps. After all the dry mix has been added , slowly add the grated carrots and then the pineapple.

6) Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
7) Remove from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes and invert the cake onto the Platter. Serve as is or you could frost the cake. We normally like it without the frosting.