Saturday, March 31, 2012

Event Announcement- "Only" Snacks And Starters

The very popular "Only" event started by Pari of Foodelicious has come to Vegetarian Tastebuds. Thanks Pari for giving me an opportunity to host this event. The theme for this month is " Only- Snacks & Starters".  Everybody is fond of eating snacks anytime and when we go to restaurants, starters is the first thing we order and eagerly wait to dig into. Evening tea is incomplete without munching on snacks and some times most of us do have midnight snack cravings. Now a days most of the people being health conscious like to have healthy snacks but still occasional binging on fried stuffs like pakoras, murukkus, mixtures, samosas, kachoris etc is must. Also starters or appetisers or entrĂ©es as one may call them are any meals highlights.

So here is the event where I invite you to share those special snacks and starters which you make and treat your families and guests with, those special fingerlicking good recipes for which your guests keep on visiting your house again and again.

Now to the exciting part of this event, there is a giveaway sponsored by . The giveaway is open to followers/ readers (publically) of Pari's blog FoodeliciousThe giveaway will be shipped only in India and the winner will be chosen by Pari from Indian entries. Others who can provide an address in India should also link their entries under Indian category and are eligible for giveaway. Those who cannot provide Indian address can  link their entries under "Other Countries" linky tool, but they are not eligible for giveaway.

Rules for the event-

  • The event will run from Aril 1st to April 30th.
  • Any number of fresh entries can be sent but only two entries from the archives will be accepted, provided they are reposted again.
  • Use of logo is mandatory as it helps spread the word.
  • Only vegetarian dishes ( eggs are allowed) are accepted.
  • Link your post to this event announcement page and Pari's event announcement page.
  • Non-bloggers if interested in participating, can send me the recipe and pic to 
  • Use the linky tools only to link your recipes, however if you face a problem using the linky tool, mail your entry to me. My linky tool subscription has expired so kindly mail me your entries at and I will publish them during the round up. 
  • There will  be two linky tools, those participating in the giveaway leave the links in first Linky "Indian Entries" and Others who cannot give Indian address link your entries under second tool of "Other Countries". Mail me your entries along with your name, country (If you can not provide Indian address then I will publish your post under other countries), post link. No need to send the picture as I will take them from your post, however if you do not permit right click in your blog, just send me the picture.
Kindly make sure to adhere to the rules while linking your entries.
Looking forward for wonderful entries. 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Panagam / Jaggery & Lime Cooler

Ramnavmi is coming on April 1st this year. This is the day when according to hindu mythology Lord Rama was born, on this day special pooja (prayers) are performed across temples and neivedyam of Panagam, kosambari is offered to the lord.

Panagam is made with jaggery, lime and ginger and some other spices are added to it. This also makes a very good cooler for the body.


Water- 4 Cups
Jaggery- 2/3 Cup ( add more or less according to the sweetness )
Juice Of Two Small Limes
Green Cardamom- 4
Dry Ginger Powder- 1/2 tsp
Edible Camphor- A Pinch
Saffron- Around 10 Strands
Nutmeg- A Pinch


Powder cardamom and saffron in a mortar. Dissolve jaggery in water, to this add lime juice, dry ginger powder, camphor, nutmeg and cardamom and saffron powder. Stir till everything dissolves well. Filter using a fine mesh. Offer to god and drink as it is or chill in the refrigerator for some time.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post~Sweet & Healthy Ground Rice Balls "Aggala" From Farwin Of Love And Other Spices

This is the first guest post at "Vegetarian Tastebuds"and I cannot be more happy that it comes from a wonderful friend Farwin Simaak, the creator of yummilicious blog "Love And Other Spices". In this virtual food blogging world we make many friends whom we know via their blogs, with some we connect in facebook , with some we engage in chats but there are only few with whom we get to meet and talk.

 Farwin is one such dear friend whom I met here in Dubai, she is a lovely person, talented blogger and above all a super mom of twin boys. She clicks beautiful pictures which are a treat for the eyes and also makes superb dishes. Farwin hails from Sri Lanka and we can see glimpse of her beautiful country in the food she cooks. Have a look at her Srilankan Milk Toffee With Nuts, Mint Custard Pudding and Coconut Roti & Sambal... you can see how unique these dishes are and her presentation is simply beautiful. 

Before few days we were chatting over phone and I asked her to write a guest post for me, she being such a sweetheart did not even think twice and immediately said yes. I was very thrilled as she is the first ever guest I invited at my space. I requested Farwin to make any traditional Srilankan dish for me, and when she sent me her mail with these Sweet & Healthy Ground Rice Balls called "Aggala" in local language, I was super thrilled to see her beautiful post with gorgeous pictures. Thanks a bunch Farwin for being such a sweetheart and providing me with a lovely guest post. 

Please welcome Farwin and do not forget to check her Facebook page and follow her on twitter

It's no myth that blogosphere has so many wonderful things to offer.Recipes that has amazing and an uncommon list of ingredients to the mouthwatering and saliva drooping food photos,you name it,you got it all. The most wonderful thing that offers, according to me is the hand of friendship. Isn't it amazing to find a friend who has the same tastes,similar opinions towards life and above all, blogs to discuss about ? We could go on for hours chatting. I met Raji online through the Fooderati Arabia and met in person at one of the foodie tours around Dubai. We clicked off immediately. She is this warm,friendly,down to earth person. And we have some meet ups planned and I'm sure we're going to enjoy it. Raji,thanks for giving me this opportunity. Apologize for the delay in submitting the blog post even though you wanted it some times back.

I planned to do a snack well known to me while I was growing up. It's called "Aggala" in local language. Actually I'm not quite sure how to call it in English.It's made with roasted  and ground rice,coconut and jaggery. I was thinking of calling it "Rice balls". But that would be similar to  rice balls dipped in various sauces found in Oriental cooking.This is something entirely different. Energy balls ? Sure they will give you loads of energy with all the coconut and jaggery content along with nuts. And it can definitely pass the healthy food test. I think I would settle on "Sweet and Healthy Ground Rice Balls".

According to Sinhalese folk lore, this snack was carried by travelers on a long journey to satisfy their hunger cravings and for energy needs. Back at home mom would prepare these for tea. This is also a popular snack when visitors arrive on a short notice. For us lankans,rice,coconut and jaggery are staples. If we are short on jaggery or coconut,a quick run to the grocery store a couple of blocks away is all we got to do. We never used to serve biscuits or shop bought goodies,it's always homemade snacks like this with tea for visitors. I still remember a distant aunt of mine who is famous for "Aggala" . For some reason,she never got bored of making these. Whenever we visit her,we are sure to find these along with"Aval" a snack made with flattened rice, with tea.

This snack is a breeze to make apart for roasting the rice. White raw rice is normally used for this,but I happen to have some brown basmati rice waiting to be used. I used  Kithul or black Jaggery. I didn't use any sugar. Use sugar if you are after some intense sweetness. Hope you'll like this simple and satisfying snack.

Here's the recipe.

1 cup rice
1 cup grated fresh coconut
125g jaggery (shaved or grated)
finely chopped nuts
pich of salt
water about 1/4 cup
desiccated coconut to garnish

Wash the rice under running water twice or thrice or until the water runs clear. Once it's fully drained,keep it aside.

Heat a heavy bottom skillet and add the rice.Roast the rice,stirring continuously for about 10 minutes until you hear the rice pop. Roast till the rice turns light brown in color. Make sure to keep the the flame, low to medium lest you burn the rice.

Transfer the rice off from fire to a bowl, and let it warm. When it's warm enough to handle,grind the rice on a food processor.Not very fine,though. It's ok to have a few grainy pieces.

Mix the flour with a pinch of salt,coconut and jaggery. Add water bit by bit and mix until it forms a mass. Add the chopped nuts.

Wet your palms with water,take a piece of the dough and roll it into a ball. Add more water if you feel the dough is breaking apart or not coming together.

Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

You can garnish with dessicated coconut and extra chopped nuts.

Linking this to Sensible Vegetarian's Cook Eat Healthy Desserts originally founded by Raven.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Rosewater Scented Thandai Spiced Biscuits

It has been quiet here from sometime and I am finding myself short of words now, it was difficult to stay away from my passion of food and blogging and I could not resist myself to come back with a post. 

We have been experiencing quite a few sandstorms since last month, usually I avoid going out in dusty weather but blame my fate, we went out on one such dusty day and I  subsequently fell ill with very bad allergic cough, which was not settling since weather continued to be bad, and after N number of doctor visits, drowsy days, sleepless nights, 5 boxes of tissues, 4 bottles of cough syrup and lots of homemade medicines later, I am finally al right...phew..what a relief.  

I missed playing holi and stayed away from Thandai, but I badly wanted to drink thandai and as drinking anything cold was not an option for me, I made biscuits instead with the thandai spice. These biscuits were super good with spices like fennel, cardamom and black pepper and fragrant with rose and rosewater. They were perfect for tea time.


Powdered Sugar- 75 Grams
Butter- 100 Grams
Salt- A Pinch
All Purpose Flour- 150 Grams
Corn Flour- 30 Grams
Baking Soda- 1/4 Tsp
Ground Thandai Masala - 1/4 Cup 
Rose Water- 2 Tbsp


  • Beat sugar, butter and salt together with a hand held beater on medium speed till creamy.
  • In a separate bowl sift together all purpose flour, cornflour, baking soda, thandai spice powder.
  • Add this flour mix into the butter mixture. Now add in rosewater.
  • Mix everything together to form a dough. Divide  the dough into two parts. Out of one part make a rectangular log . Wrap the log in cling film. Repeat the same with other round of dough.
  • Keep both logs to chill in the refrigerator for about an hour.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degrees C.
  • After an hour take out the logs and cut them into approx 1/8 inch thick slices.
  • Arrange the slices about 1/2 inch apart in a greased baking tray and bake in the pre heated oven initially for 12 minutes then flip the cookies and bake again for another 5-6 minutes. 
  • The cookies will firm up on cooling.
  • Once completely cool, store in an airtight container.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Round Up Of Healthy Diet Event~Baked Goodies

Most of us are fond of baked goodies, but the challenge remains to make them healthy, so that after eating we are not burdened by the guilt of consuming too much empty calories. I was really thrilled to see so many healthy bakes. I would like to thank Priya for letting me host this event.

As I have not been well for last some time, I was not able to personally mail every body for their lovely entries, so through this round up I want to thank each and every blogger who has sent me their wonderful goodies.


Post From The Past

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