Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Sheera: Prasadam for Shirdi Sai Baba

Every Thursday is Termed 'Baba Day' in my household..Thanks to my Mom's visit last year, I have a small Baba Idol to perform pooja. Mom is a staunch Baba devotee, Although I am not as staunch, I do have immense faith in him. Baba has become a part of our family and Vkutty calls him 'Baba Thatha' (Grandpa) :) and does 'Ummachi kaapathu' (Prostrates) to him every single morning.
Friends who know me well, Also know that On Thursdays I don't eat anything before my Baba Arathi and Sheera Neivethyam. 
Sheera is a Delicious form of your regular Sooji halwa, with slight variation, Of course :) 
Time and again friends have asked me for the recipe..so here goes:-


Rava -1/2 cup
Sugar-1/2 - 1 cup (per taste)
Milk - 1 1/2 Cups (warm)
Ghee - 2 Tbsp
Elaichi/ Cardamom - 1 Tsp (crushed)
Saffron - A pinch full (immersed in a spoon of cold milk)
Cashwes and Raisins fr Garnish


Heat Ghee in a Kadai or a heavy bottomed vessel and add the rava..
Stir constantly to avoid burning. It should not turn brown
Once the rava is well roasted, add Saffron immersed in Milk and mix well.
Now add the 1 1/2 cups of Milk, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
In a few minutes the Rava and Milk will start to thicken. 
Now add Sugar and stir. 
The whole mixture should to come together in a loose halwa form and the ghee will start to separate around the corners. 
Stir for another 5 minutes and turn the heat off.
Garnish with Roasted cashews, Raisins and Cardamom powder.
Sheera is Ready for Neivethyum.

Tip: I add the Cardamom powder while roasting Cashews and Raisins for extra flavor. 

The pic does no justice to this Delicious Halwa..I need to get a bit more professional on the 'Presentation and Food Image capturing' Area :(...

Hope you guys enjoy this Yummolicious sweet. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Celebrating my Darling Niece, Bhavna Balachandran...Happy Birthday Bhav kutty :)

She is an Angel who flew to the Earth
Her wings disappeared at the time of her Birth, 
One look in to her eyes and you will never be the same..
A blessing in every way and "BHAVNA" is her name...
Cute as a bug and sooo precious to hug..
She is turning 2 and All i want to say with all my heart is "I love youuuuuuuu" :)
Happy Birthday Bhav kutty...Miss u soo very much..

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Back to Blogging :) and this time its for Real :) :)

Its been a real long time since I posted something here....
Have been thinking about getting back to blogging...There is soo much going on and sooo much has happened in the recent past...Soo much to blog about, soo much to catch up on...
Have to start somewhere,,, Now, seems to be the perfect time for that :) )

Thanks Laks and Rajji for the push :):)..Rajji, I will keep your words and ideas in mind for future posts...Thanks..

Come back soon Y'all and I promise to keep this place updated...
This time around, I intend to keep my promise :) :)...

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Life is Goood :)

On Maternity Leave, being pampered by my dear darling mom & doting Husband and feeling the baby move every single minute is sheer bliss.....

All I can say is, Life is good :)

I am in my 37th week and the excitement keeps building...Well, the nervousness and excitement that is...Nervous about how the whole birthing experience is going to be and excited about the first time I will hold my little man!!!!

Will keep all you guys posted on the happenings!!!!
Take care...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Anjappar Chettinadu Restaurant

So i know what you are thinking.....She is back to the blog world after a Real Loooong time and the first post has to be a Restaurant Review??????? Well, what can i say?? I am a Certified Foodie :) :)but trust me...i tried to refrain from doing this and was ready to post many many more thoughts on many things unsaid for soooo long. But Man oh Man, this is by and far the best South Indian Non Vegetarian Restaurant I have been to in the Bay Area....

For the past 6 years +, I have been on the look out for a good Chettinad Restaurant....well, when we can have Saravana Bhavan, Madras Cafe, Komala Vilas etc catering to the vegetarian crowd, why not an Authentic Chettinadu restaurant for us poor Non Veg eaters!!
Well, I am not completely denying the fact that there are a few good places like Kabab and Curry, serving Excellent Dum Ka Biryani and Spice Hut, serving Fried fish etc...I have heard there used to be this "Karaikudi Chettinad Restaurant" not far from where I live...but don't think they really survived that long...

Coming back Anjappar....Last week on a drive back home from work, Mr. R asked me, "Have you heard of this restaurant chain, Anjappar"???? I turned and looked at him like he had just confessed of some big crime known to man kind....I go, "Are you trying to tell me you have never ever heard of this restaurant before"??? He goes, "No"..Having said that, I know he did not spend much time in Chennai exploring the street food or any local delicacy or its authenticity :) :) ...I forgave..
He goes, "Well, one of my coworkers mentioned about this restaurant which just opened on the 23rd of March, 2009, in Milpitas...."
Oh Sweeet Jesus.....This was music to my ears...I was like, "Less Go Less go.....Please Please Please" :) :)He was shocked to see me react this way....Actually, My pregnancy has been very low key, with no major cravings or weird requests. [Oh and that was my way of announcing "I am Pregnant....12 weeks t0 EDD" :) :) ]..So, R was a little happy and a little concerned. He is one of those husbands who looks at every thing edible in my plate and thinks, "Is it safe for her and my baby"...? Trust me, I love him to no end for watching out for me and try to refrain from eating anything and everything unhealthy and greasy, even though this is my only chance at getting what i want...But I was determined this time to sink my teeth into this heavenly chettinad food.

To give you a brief history of Anjappar:- They are a chain of Chettinadu Restaurants in Chennai, India. They started out in 1965 as 'Anjappar Chettinadu Military Hotel' and have since spread their wings out to Dubai, Singapore, Srilanka, Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Canada and now the Us of A.

So this weekend, R and I decided to check this place out...I have been to the Chennai Anjappar, many many times and absolutely love it...I was hoping this does not change my idea as this was too far from home (A reason why lots of chains have compromised on quality)....
We walk in for Lunch and were seated by the Hostess. The first thing that struck me was the aroma, of "Garlic Roasted chicken, Keema (halal meat, of course), Kotthu barotta Chettinadu style..." and at this point, i had started salivating :) :)....The ambiance is clean and the place could easily seat 50 people (or more)...

I pray for one last time before peeking into the menu, hoping its the same as the Chennai one (yes, I know their Menu by heart, dudeeee)...And Voila, I see all my favorites Lined up...Koli Rasam, Elumbu Rasam (Bones), Naatu koli Varuval, Kheema Dosa, Kheema parotta, Anjappar Chicken roast etc etc.....I also see a few new additions catering to the North Indian crowd, who would probably be lost if they were to land here. Chicken Fry, Dum Biryani etc etc...
A few dishes on the North Indian Menu is not a part of the Chennai restaurant but I am going to over look this aspect as this is the Bay Area (Nuf Said Peeps!)

R was not too impressed (poor guy) with the menu...All he read was "Fried, Roasted, Deep Fried, Cashews" which translated to Carbs, fat etc etc...He loves NV but is a little health conscious (aren't we all? ???? he he he)...
To start with, I ordered the "Koli Rasam" (Fine Chicken pieces cooked in Stock, reduced with pepper corns, Tomato and Garlic paste)....This was Divine and the perfect way to start your meal...The spice was just right to open up your ear drums :) :) and if you are not an avid Hot food eater, then please request them to make it a little soft with Ghee....they will do that...But honestly, its best if had the way it is made....
I wanted to try the Elumbu Rasam/soup (
Extract of Coastal Spices with mutton Chest Bone), but decided for next time...

There was a section in the menu that read "Anjappar Signature":- Anjappar Special Chicken Masala, Pepper Chicken, Naatu koli roast, Mutton Sukka varuval, Fish Fry etc...Man, they were singing to me.....This is exactly where I was hoping to land for the past 6 Years...Thank you thank you for bringing this to me at least now.....

We ordered the Anjappar Special Chicken Masala
Dry(Tender pieces of chicken marinated in chefs hand made masala and cashews and roasted to taste)...They also have it in gravy form. For R's sake, i decided to letgo of the Cashews. Mind you, there is not much for Veggie eaters, except for a Vegetarian Thali, some gobi 65, a Rasam/ vegetarian soup and Vegetarian Kurma...

We ordered the Kurma, just to try.......
Our food arrived after 15 minute wait....The Anjappar Special Chicken Masala was MIND BLOWING!!!! It had tender pieces of Garlic cloves with the chicken, which added to the whole flavour.. You can taste the peppercorn based marinade...This was heaven with Rice and Pappad.
The veggie Kurma was not all that...Maybe it would have gone well with Parotta or Ceylone Parotta, as they are called here :) :)....

I could not try a whole lot, as I have to be watchful of what I eat right now (Thanks to Gestational Diabetes..Grrrr)...But I swear, I will be back with another avid NV eater, my dear friend M, who i am sure will enjoy all this once she pops (Yup, she is Preggers too!!!) :) :)...

Other items I would vouch for:
Mutton Sukka Varuval
(Fresh tender cuts of lamb marinated in crushed pepper corns fried with chopped onions and curry leaves - A Signature dish from the restaurant)
Naatu Koli Roast
(Turkey Fried with Shallots and special Chettinad spices)
Vanjaram Fish Curry (King Mack Fish)
(Fish cubes cooked in hot tamarind sauce)
Mutton Kheema Parotta
(Layered bread w/ stuffed ground meat)
Mutton Kotthu Parotta
(Shredded parotta tossed over fire with mutton, egg, onion spices and herbs)
Kheema Dosai
(Crispy rice pancake filled with Keema)...

Note that I have not added any Vegetarian dishes to this list....Honest opinion, if you want Vegetarian food, go elsewhere...This place is only for serious NV Eaters and is TOP BANANA!!! :)

Try it out and let me know your thoughts.....

Anjappar Chettinad Restaurant
458 Barber lane
Milpitas, CA 95035
(408) 435-5500


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I am Back Babyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy

Hello Lovlies....I am back to the blog world....Now, I know I have been MIA for a real long time....But I promise never to let this happen...Thanks to all my friends for your constant support and encouragement to restart this Blog.....

I am Back Baby!!!!!!! :)

Monday, August 11, 2008

Christian, The Lion

This video really moved me!!!