Plain Dosa

Plain Dosa is a typical breakfast item in south India. This recipe helps you prepare Plain dosa


Sada Dosa


300 gms Rice
100 gms Split black gram
30 gms Gingelly Oil
Salt to taste


Soak rice and gram separately. Grind rice coarsely and gram to a smooth and fluffy consistancy. Mix them together and leave overnight so that it can ferment. Next day morning, add salt and lukewarm water to form a pouring consistance. Heat griddle and grease lightly with gingelly oil. Pour a spoon full of mixture and spread it on the griddle to form a round shape of about 13 to 15 cms in diameter. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn it over, cook for another 1 or 2 minutes. Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar.

N.B. A cut onion may be used to wipe surface of griddle if batter is inclined to catch or stick to it.

Serves : 4
Difficulty : Hard
Prepration Time : 10 Minutes

Spinach Omlette

Nutritious Palak Omlette


egg 1 nos
palak( spinach) 5 leaves medium shize- finely chopped
carrot grated 1 spoon
cabbage 2 sppon
tomato finely chopped 1 small one
salt as per tast
turmeric as per taste
oil 1 spoon


beat an egg and then mix all the ingredients as above said .
Heat the girdle/Tava/ Pan
spread oil on it when the girdle is hot so that egg batter doesnot stick.
Pour the egg batter and spread evenly, cook on low flame
turn the other side once its cooked on one side
dont over cook
your nutri omletter is ready to eat, should be served hot
ideal for children who says no to veg

Whole Foods Market revolutionizes modern-day cookbook

Whole Foods Market announced the availability of an application on the App Store that provides iPhone and iPod touch users with the store’s entire selection of over 2,000 online recipes, as well as several other handy features.

The new App allows users to search by ingredient, special diets and other keywords like “family friendly.” Each recipe contains detailed preparation instructions and nutritional information, which can be copied and pasted, saved as a personal “favorite,” and e-mailed from within the App itself. Other features include, the “On Hand” option, where customers can enter ingredients and get back meal recommendations.

“We’re delighted to provide iPhone and iPod touch users with yet another way to explore their passion for food and health,” said Bill Tolany, global coordinator of Integrated Media for Whole Foods Market. “We’re particularly excited about the “On Hand” feature as a way to answer the ever so popular ‘What’s for dinner?’ question.”

A store locator for nearby Whole Foods Market locations and other Whole Foods information is also included.

[trackbacks By Anna McGrath,]

Puran Poli – The Sweet Stuffed Bread Depicts Gujarati Instinct For Luxury & Maharashtrian Food’s Elegant Fruga lity Well

TAKE toor dal, or channa or moong dal sometimes. Wheat flour. Jaggery if you want to be traditional, sugar if not, and sometimes a mix of the two. And ghee, though vegetable oil can also be used instead (in one case, for religious reasons). With just these few ingredients you can tell the food stories of most of Western India’s communities as they come together to make puran poli.

That this sweet stuffed flat bread is seen as belonging firmly to Western India is no accident. Food reflects geography, and that of Western India inclines its food to austerity. Not for this region the rich milk-based sweets of the river plains and deltas of Northern and Eastern India, or the coconut crammed concoctions of lush Kerala in the South. Western India’s geography gives it a thin fertile strip along the sea, but it is dominated by the Deccan, dusty and dry behind its rampart of the Ghats.

This does not automatically condemn Western India to ascetism – the happy abundance of Gujarati, Parsi and Goan food is proof against that. Yet there is an underlying austerity, especially in regular home food, and puran poli’s filling, based on that most homely of ingredients, dal, reflects this. The region’s difficult geography and relative lack of riches also meant that it was never much coveted by conquering powers. Even its native conquerors, the Marathas, wanted to get out and gain other lands.

The consequence is that Western India was never dominated by a community like the Mughals in North India, Bengali bhadralok in the East or Tamil Brahmins in the South. Different communities dominated at different times, but no single one shaped the region. Instead communities dominated in different areas – professionally, like the Gujaratis and Parsis in trade or Hindu Maharashtrians in scholarship or agriculture, or geographically like Catholics in Goa or Bene Israeli Jews on the north Konkan coast.

Each of these communities took up the same ingredients and fashioned them subtly to their own ends. The ingredients of the region are often common, like fish, coconuts and rice, yet a multiplicity of little known cuisines have come from them. The differences between them are subtle, and often based on social differences such as the souring agents used in Goa: vinegar by the Catholics who could drink the alcohol it was based on, kokum by the Hindus who could not.

Puran poli shows how these socially derived variations work even better, since as a sweet it more easily crosses the barriers of vegetarian/non-vegetarian, halal, kosher, home-made and other such restrictions. So the Gujarati instinct for luxury comes out in its small, fat puran polis, bursting with the filling of sweetened cooked dhal and doused to dripping in hot melted ghee. They are the most dangerous items on a traditional Gujju thali since once you have two – and they are too delicious to have just one – all your appetite for the rest vanishes. By contrast Maharashtrian food’s elegant frugality is seen its larger, thin, bone-dry puran polis that must be moistened before eating, with coconut milk on the coast, cow’s milk or ghee in the interiors.

Maharashtrians also often economically make a tangy-hot curry to eat with the puran poli from extra dhal or even just the liquid in which the dhal for the filling cooked. Of all the puran poli variations it is these austere versions I like best, though I find them impossibly hard to make. Luckily in Mumbai one can buy them from places like Tambhe Arogya Bhavan in Dadar, to eat dipped with milk and not the least pleasure is finally eating the sweet sludge of filling that always forms at the bottom of the bowl.

Parsis used the ingredients and techniques of their Persian homeland to make something startlingly different of puran poli. They made it into dar-ni-pori, a sturdy thick thing, filled with dried fruits and nuts and looking almost like a cake. Katy Dalal’s final instructions in the recipe in her book Jamva Chaloji 1, confirm this: “Cut into wedges and serve hot with tea”. Simple puran poli has gone genteel, as a pastry to serve on porcelain plates, with forks for five o’clock tea.

Another West Coast community with foreign roots stayed simple, but with a religious adaptation. The Bene Israelis make two versions, one with vegetable oil and one with ghee, depending on whether there is meat in the rest of the meal, so keeping kosher strictures against mixing dairy foods and meat. Esther David in her novel The Book of Rachel tells us that they are a festive food: “Puranpoli is made on Purim in memory of the liberation of the Persian Jews and the festival of Queen Esther…”

Konkani Muslims also make puran poli but not, my friend Rafique Baghdadi tells me, with religious connotations: “It’s fried crisp on the tava and is utterly delicious.” Further south, near Karnataka, puran poli blends into the huge family of holiges, the sweet breads of that region. Across the West Coast almost every community turns tricks with puran poli, with the odd exception of Christian communities. As far as I’ve been able to find the closest they get is the steamed rice cakes with coconut-jaggery filling called patoli or patalio in Mangalore and Goa, or sometimes with the sweet dal as an optional filling for the deep-fried crescent pastries called nevries.

Neither one is quite puran poli, and the reason for this omission could again be rooted in community history. Because the one big change, almost the identifying one, made by Christian communities was to give up unleavened flatbreads for oven baked pav and other such yeast raised breads. In the process they may have forgotten puran poli, the one loss from all the variations that they added to the foods of Western India.


The real thing. Or is it?

In a kitchen in the south of England, two women are devising a recipe that could change the world. James Flint reports

On a kitchen table two young women have assembled a variety of items. There are brown bottles, bags of white powder, a pestle and mortar, a collection of funnels, a roll of silver gaffer tape. There is a drill. There is a whisk.

Are they making bombs? Are they making drugs? No. They are doing something far more likely to change the world we live in. They’re making their own version of Coca-Cola.

Codenamed “Merchandise 7X”, the list of ingredients that go into Coke – 922 million litres of which were drunk in the UK last year – has been kept carefully shrouded in mystery since the drink’s inventor, a medicinal chemist called John Pemberton, first wrote it down in 1886. These days it is supposedly kept under 24-hour guard in a vault in Atlanta, Georgia, which is odd considering that author Mark Pendergrast published it in his exposé of the cola industry For God, Country & Coca-Cola (Basic Books) in 1993. The company maintains that this recipe is not the same as the one it uses.

Kate Rich and Kayle Brandon are bar managers at the Cube Microplex, an “alternative” cinema in central Bristol. Opposed in principle to the business and environmental practices of the Coca-Cola corporation, the Cube bar has never served Coke. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a demand for it. “We’d tried Pepsi and Virgin Cola and various others too,” says Brandon, “but they weren’t really a positive alternative. They were acceptable, but they weren’t Coke. And people really want Coke.”

After conducting various taste tests, they felt the preference had less to do with flavour than the power of the brand. Any alternative they were going to offer had not only to taste almost identical but overcome the incredible pull of Coca-Cola’s marketing. “Given that most of the Cube’s customers come because they like the place’s DIY attitude,” Brandon explains, “one way of doing that was to make the cola ourselves.”

Cola is basically a mix of caramel, caffeine, sugar, fizzy water, citric or phosphoric acid, and eight essential oils. It’s the precise blend of these oils that lies at the heart of the 7X secret formula. A trawl of the web soon uncovered several 7X-type recipes, the most promising of which was adapted from the one in Pendergrast’s book.

But turning the recipe into a palatable drink turned out to be more difficult than it looked. “The oils we had to import from the US,” says Rich. “The caramel had to be sourced direct from DD Williamson, a large operation based in Manchester which actually provides the caramel for all the Coca-Cola manufactured in the UK. And the caffeine we found at, a body-building website.”

When they had assembled most of the kit, they invited friends along to an “open lab” to help them make the drink. “Unfortunately none of us had any scientific knowledge whatsoever, and it’s quite a scientific process,” says Rich. “We spent half our time running out to get ingredients that we didn’t have, and we kept having to go round to the local post office to weigh things on their parcel scales.”

Though they came up with something like cola by the end of that first day, they couldn’t replicate their success. The problem was getting the oils to mix with the other ingredients, a process called emulsification, or binding together.

The emulsifier used in most soft drinks is dried acacia sap, better known as gum arabic. But Rich and Brandon couldn’t get this to work. “We managed to destroy a whole series of kitchen mixers, completely trashed them. The gum arabic scoured the sides, the blades snapped … it was really violent and very distressing.”

After the fourth mixer went west they realised it was time to seek help. A mass email to the Cube’s mailing list uncovered Dr Peter Barham, adviser to the Fat Duck restaurant and expert in food emulsification. He pointed out that they were using the wrong kind of gum arabic. “We’d bought ours from the local Indian food shop, but it wasn’t particularly homogenous, so each time it was giving us different results.”

Barham also pointed out that making an emulsion was all about force. Rich and Brandon had scaled up their quantities, but not their mixing power. They were looking forlornly at the constituents of their cola lab when they noticed the tubular metal handle on one of their hand whisks was about the same thickness as a large drill bit. Bingo! Whisking the mixture with a hammer drill produced the desired effect.

All they needed to do now was to add caffeine, caramel, sugar, citric acid and sparkling water – and suddenly, from a single cup of emulsion, they had enough cola for a month.

So how does it taste? First, we try the real Coca-Cola. A restrained sweetness, low cool notes of caramel, dry on the tongue, quite flat on the palette. Very refreshing, but with little depth.

Now for Rich and Brandon’s home-made product. The initial surprise is that it really does taste like Coke. Very slightly sweeter than “the real thing” but less acidic. A satisfying, complex flavour, subtly different from the brand leader, but easily as good.

Having found their liquid gold, Brandon and Rich plan to sell concentrate kits to other small bars and businesses. They maintain that they are not out to challenge the Coca-Cola hegemony, but they “do hope that along the way we’ll help produce a small reality-shift. It’s social change through science and baking. Sort of DIY aesthetic meets the WI.”

The mega corporation remains unfazed. “As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” says a Coca-Cola spokesman. “But our product is unique. Anyone with a selection of ingredients could make a type of cola, but there can only be one Coke.”

Thanks to Rich and Brandon, we have a much better idea of what that really means.

Brew it yourself

NB. 1 batch of 7x formula will produce three batches cola syrup, or approximately 54 litres of cola.

Step 1: 7x formula:

Using food-grade essential oils, assemble 3.75ml orange oil; 3ml lime oil; 1ml lemon oil; 1 ml cassia oil (nb. reduce cassia content for next production); 0.75ml nutmeg oil; 0.25ml coriander oil (6 drops); 0.25ml lavender oil (6 drops); 0.25ml neroli oil (optional/removed due to high cost).

Using a measuring syringe, measure out the oils into a glass or ceramic container. Keep covered to avoid volatile oil fumes escaping. Then dissolve 10g instant gum arabic (equivalent to 22ml) in 20ml water (low calcium/low magnesium, Volvic is good) with one drop vodka – Cube uses Zubrowka. (Be aware that total quantity of vodka will be 0.0007ml per litre of Cube-cola).

Place the gum/water/vodka mix in a high-sided beaker – stainless steel or glass are best. Using a high-power hammer drill with kitchen whisk attachment, whisk the gum mixture at high speed while your assistant droppers the oils. Mix in steadily with the measuring syringe. Continue to whisk at high speed for 5-7 minutes, or until the oils and water emulsify.

The resulting mixture will be cloudy. Test for emulsification by adding a few drops of the mixture to one glass of water. No oils should be visible on the surface. You now have a successful flavour emulsion, which should hold for several months.

Step 2:The mixers

This makes two allied concentrates, Composition A and Composition B, which can be stored separately before being mixed into cold syrup with the addition of sugar and water.

Composition A

Mix 30 ml double strength caramel colouring (DD Williamson Caramel 050) with 10 ml water. While stirring, add 10ml 7x flavour emulsion (oils/gum/water mix).

Composition B

Mix 3 tsp (10ml) citric acid with 5-10ml water, then sieve in 0.75 tsp (2.75ml) caffeine. Mix thoroughly using a pestle and mortar until caffeine granules are no longer evident. The mixture may behave erratically, turning either white or clear for no apparent reason. If it goes white, add more water. Pass through muslin or jelly bag to remove any anomalies.

At this point, A+B can be packaged separately and later reconstituted into cola syrup.

Step 3: The cola syrup

2 litres water; 2kg sugar

Compositions A & B

Make a sugar syrup (mix in a cooking pot on low heat to dissolve quickly) using 1.5 litres of the water and all the sugar. Filter if unsure. Mix Composition A into the remaining 500ml water. Add Composition B, then the sugar syrup. You now have 3 litres Cube-Cola syrup or approx 18 litres cola.

Step 4: The cola

As required, make up your cola as a 5:1 mix, five parts fizzy water to one part cola syrup. Cube uses 350ml syrup in a 2l bottle of Tesco Ashford Mountain Spring.

This cola recipe is released under the GNU general public licence.


Dunkin’ Donuts to offer healthier menu items

NEW YORK (AP) — Looking to entice those hungry for a healthier option, Dunkin’ Donuts will begin offering a new slate of better-for-you offerings in August.

The menu, which will debut in stores Aug. 6, will feature two new flatbread sandwiches made with egg whites. Customers will be able to choose either a turkey sausage egg-white sandwich or a vegetable one. Both will be under 300 calories with 9 grams of fat or less, the company said.

”We just felt it was important to provide some choice in our menu,” said Will Kussell, president and chief brand officer.

The new menu will be called DDSmart and will include all current and new items that either have 25 percent few calories, sugar, fat or sodium than comparable products or contain ingredients that are ”nutritionally beneficial,” the company said.

Current products that will join the new sandwiches on the menu include a multigrain bagel and a reduced-fat blueberry muffin.

Kussell said Dunkin’ will continue to add products to the menu and is currently developing several new offerings, but would not disclose any details.

Kussell said Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc. will spend several million dollars marketing the new menu.

A number of restaurants have added better-for-you options to their menus in the past few years to take advantage of a trend toward healthier eating.

”We’re staying very true to our brand and very true to our heritage,” said the company’s executive chef Stan Frankenthaler. ”We’re just growing and evolving.”


Satisfy your sweet tooth with this cardamom-flavoured low fat paneer kheer, made with sugar substitute in replacement to sugar.

Preparation Time : 5 mins.
Cooking Time : 15 mins.

Serves 4.

 3 cups low fat milk
 1¼ cups grated low fat paneer (cottage cheese) 
 2 teaspoons corn flour mixed with 1 tablespoon low fat milk
 A pinch of cardamom (elaichi) powder 
 3 teaspoons (approx.) sugar substitute

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Ordinary Consistency Creates an Extraordinary Restaurant

I like the Corner Bakery. It’s a quick serve sandwich/soup/salad restaurant chain that’s almost as fast as fast food, but with menu choices that are real and fresh. I’ve been to several of their restaurants in more than one state, and it’s the high quality consistency of their food that’s impressed me the most. Until today.

Today I stopped on my way home to grab an early dinner instead of sitting in rush hour traffic. I ordered a scrambled egg sandwich from their breakfast menu and even though they’re not an all-day breakfast kind of place, they didn’t even hesitate to comply with my request. When my order was delivered, though, there were things on my sandwich that I didn’t order. As soon as I walked back up to the counter with my plate in hand, before I said anything, the cashier, Monica, said, “You didn’t want ham!”

Not only did the cooks have to make a breakfast item at the wrong time of day, now they had to make it twice for the same customer. Some very few minutes later Monica walked up to my table with a new steaming hot sandwich in one hand and a big hunk of my favorite chocolate cake in the other hand. (Besides being friendly, apparently the Corner Bakery employees are psychic too!)

What happened next is something I rarely experience as a customer. Monica said, “I’m sorry for the mixup.” No excuses. No justifications. No attempt to make me feel guilty for my unusual order. Monica made a simple, sincere apology, smiled, and walked away. Five minutes later the manager walked up and said, “How is your new sandwich?” With my mouth full, I nodded and smiled while he said, “Sorry about the first one.”

It was Service Recovery 101. They did nothing extraordinary, but it was not an extraordinary situation. Just like with their menu, the Corner Bakery team delivered a service recovery experience with rock solid consistency. They gave me a new reason to be impressed.

What is the measure of success at the end of a typical retail day? Sales? Number of transactions? How about the number of times you give a customer a new reason to be impressed? That’s a goal that any customer can get behind. It’s what motivates me to say things like, “I really like the Corner Bakery!”


The generously spiced gravy combines with the vegetables and low fat paneer to provide a double dose of flavour, fibre and vitamin A. Serve hot with Kashmiri Rotis.

Preparation Time : 30 mins.
Cooking Time : 15 mins.

Serves 6.

8 medium sized capsicum

For the stuffing
1 cup chopped mixed boiled vegetables (french beans, carrots, green peas)
½ cup crumbled low fat paneer (cottage cheese)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
1 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste

For the gravy
2 cups chopped tomatoes
½ cup sliced onions
¼ cup chopped red pumpkin (kaddu)
1 clove garlic, chopped
½ teaspoon grated ginger
1 stick cinnamon (dalchini)
2 cloves (laung / lavang)
½ teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon corn flour mixed in ½ cup low fat milk
2 teaspoons oil
Salt to taste

Other ingredients
½ teaspoon oil for greasing


Use low fat paneer and minimal oil to cook these light and elegant tikkis, guaranteed to keep you going till lunch or dinner.

Preparation Time : 5 mins.
Cooking Time : 5 mins.

Makes 6 tikkis.

1 cup grated low fat paneer (cottage cheese)
4 tablespoon finely chopped mint (phudina)
½ teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
1 tablespoon corn flour
Salt to taste

Other ingredients
2 teaspoons oil for cooking
For serving
1 teaspoon chaat masala