Soup - Cream of Celery

The inspiration to try out new dishes got a shot during my visit to Anand and Nandini's home. I understand Anand is a master of soups and tries out different recipes. During my visit, he made a Chinese bottle gourd soup which was excellent. Hope to bring out his recipes one by one.

But for now wanted to prepare something quick and at the same time yummy for our monthly meeting of Kannada Sangha of Sacramento. (Hush.. I don't miss this as I go mainly to taste different foods! Preeti misses the fun every month as the meetings are always held on Sunday evenings. I come back and enter the home silently at 11 PM like a thief Preeti's words)

This is the first time I am actually trying Celery. Don't know what the original recipe is and what all goes into it but try this one from my end.. Its simple, fast and I am sure what comes out will surprise you.


Celery - 5 to 6 sticks Chopped
Potato - 1 Peeled and Chopped
Onion - 1 Cut or sliced
Butter - 1 table Spoon
Milk - 1 Cup
Salt and Pepper - To taste
Carrot -1 minced (Optional)

Heat the butter in a Pot and Saute the Onions. When tender, add Celery & Potato, saute a little, add water and bring it to a boil. When Cooked well, allow it to cool. Then grind the mixture to a puree in a Mixie or Blender. Add water if you want.

Transfer this back to the pot. Add milk and bring it to a boil. Add water to adjust the consistency of the soup. The amount of consistency is relative and varies with every individual. Its your preference and so I leave it to you. Add Salt and Pepper to Taste.

Total Cooking time - About 30 Minutes.

Optional : When you add the milk and bring it to a boil, you can also added minced carrot. I like it.

I used 2% Milk.. Some recipes may call for heavy cream but try it with 2% and its tastes fine. Eat healthy. Good tasting food need not contain too much fat. This soup is an example to prove the point.

Curry - Baby Potato in Yogurt Sauce

This comes straight out of a Recipe book we borrowed from our Roseville Public Library. We went in search of some Indian Cuisine books and got only two. As one may guess, they had only a few Veg recipes. We tried a few of them and I will post those in my subsequent ramblings.
Very simple to make and for the effort that went in, the taste the came out is worth trying this dish.


Baby Potatoes - about 15
Curd /Yogurt - 1 1/2 Cup (Thick)
Corriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tps
Salt - to taste
Cilantro (fresh Corriander) - 1/2 Bunch - Chopped
Vegetable Oil - 2 Tsp
Green Chilli (Optional)

Boil the Potatoes in salted water until they are cooked (or just tender). Drain and set aside. Mix together Yogurt, Coriander powder, Cumin powder, Turmeric, Chilli Powder and Salt. In a saucepan, heat the oil and add Cumin Seeds till it gets roasted. Add the mix of spices in Yogurt and let it remain on heat for about 2 minutes. Add the Potatoes and fresh Cilantro and let it be on medium heat. Initially because of the heat, the yogurt gravy becomes watery but on cooking for about 15 to 20 mts, you can see the water evaporate and it leaves a fine coating on the potatoes. Done.

Total Cooking time : About 45 mts.

Preeti's tip - Poke some holes in the baby potatoes with a fork and the flavours seems to penetrate it better. I am not sure if the dish tasted good because of this.. but I am sure my golden hand played a part.

Sweet - Microwave Thirattipal

This is a interesting recipe which I learnt from Nandini Anand during my visit to their home last month. Maybe some of you already know this. I have tried Microwave Peda and it turned out to be excellent. This is a good addition to my collection.

I would even call it very innovative simply because each of us who have tried making it the "traditional way" of boiling the milk and splitting it know that to get 1 cup of "Thirattipal" we have to boil more than a gallon of milk. Add to it the time & fuel spent in cooking this.

The recipe shared by Nandini was so simple that after I saw her making it on Tamil New year (April 14th), I tried it at my home and pleasantly surprised Preeti with the results !! The quantity I got also was quite good. Try it out.. This is what I used. Some of you who have tried it may have used different proportions. Let me know.

Ingredients :-

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 Tin
Ghee - 2 Tea Spoon
Curd - 3 Tea spoon (I used home made)

Mix all these in a Big bowl and microwave on High. Time - May take 8 to 10 mts... (please use your judgement and look for the signs below on when to stop - This depends on the wattage of microwave)

Initially after a few minutes into microwave cooking you will start seeing the ingredients loose its viscosity [ the way as per wikipedia..Viscosity is a measure of the resistance of a fluid which is being deformed by either shear stress or extensional stress. In everyday terms, viscosity is "thickness"] and starting to boil and one can see lot of froth. Make sure you use a big bowl so that this doesn't spill over.

Continue cooking and you will see that the froth slowly subsides (water is getting evaporated) and once in a while remove from microwave and see the consistency. You need to stop cooking just before it starts to become dry. We need a little moisture content so when it cools down, this setteles into a good thick Thirattipal.

Try it out and let me know how it came out..

Diwali at Autumn Oaks

Diwali was celebrated at Autumn Oaks on Friday the 9th Nov 07. There was enthusiatic particpation from all the families.

There were some games for children and adults. While all the children got some prizes for their participation, Kaplana & Senthil took home the prize for winning the game "Musical Arms" for the 'old people' !

Mr & Mrs Kulkarni (visiting grandparents of Pranav and Pranshu) were the winners in the Paper dance game.

Venu "our official photographer" captured some pictures of the event and here is the link from his album. Thanks Venu for sharing the photos.

Thanks everyone for your participation and especially the womenfolk who took the lead and put this show together. We hope to celebrate many more festivities together.

Yummy ...

Happy Diwali

What a great way to start this blog than to begin writing about some good work on this auspicious occasion.


Hindu organisations around the Sacramento area are coming together to prepare and donate food for homeless. Plans are in place for giving food to 500 people. This is being organised at a place called Loaves and Fishes in Sacramento.

More info on this initiative can be had in

I will come back with some photos and blog on the event.

At least I am really excited to COOK for 500 people !! Just getting ready with an alternative profession in case SAP falls down

Diwali Celebrations

Many Indians in our apartment community came up with an idea to have a get together on Diwali. It was really heartening to know that almost every Indian family in our community is participating and this initiative is entirely driven by our womenfolk (as usual....Thumbs up to them ). I will upload some photos in my next posting.

I am signing off with warm Diwali Wishes to you and your family and remember ....

“The virtues of donations are great because it helps the needy and at the same time it gives an opportunity to the donor to give the surplus to the people in need. It helps the needy to sustain himself. ”