Contest March 2010 Winners

Once again, this month was very difficult in choosing a winner as there were so many great entries. But in the end, I had to make a choice and the winners are listed below. Be sure to try their recipes!

Sharmila Krishnamurthy - Cauliflower Parupu UsliFIRST PLACE:

  • Sharmila Krishnamurty from San Diego created a dish called Cauliflower Parupu Usli which comes from the region of Tamil Nadu. The full recipe is listed below.

“I can’t tell you how thrilled I am at winning first prize! As a child I never helped my mother in the kitchen but would happily assist my father fix things around the house. After getting married I insisted that my husband and I live close enough to my parents’ place. The first few trials at cooking were an absolute disaster. My husband and I then settled on a routine where we would go to my parents’ place almost every single day for food. I started cooking here in the US as I had no other option and with the help of websites like yours plus my husband’s backing, I have reached a point where I can gladly announce that I am now a confident cook.”

Shina Goel - Cauliflower KoftaSECOND PLACE:

  • Shina Goel also created a great recipe called Nutty Cauliflower Chickpeas Kofta. Her recipe is also listed below.

I would also like to congratulate our other top contributors. Thank you so much for participating and I hope to see more for next contest:

  • Sumona Saha
  • Sunil Sandhu
  • Bharatha Bhushana
  • Spoorthy Prasad
  • Rinku Sharma
  • Noopur Srivastava
  • Katherine Melton
  • Rashmi Krishnappa
  • Kayalvizhi Porselvi Kalidass
  • Archana Singh
  • Rekha Muniganti
  • Mahitha Santhosh
  • Anjana Thakur
  • Rosni Ramesan
  • Sharba Roy Chowdhury
  • Shweta Gupta
  • Reeta Shukla
  • Adelina Moraru
  • Angie Smith
  • Aditi Agarwal
  • Shweta Srivastava
  • Chand Bagwan
  • Antara Banerjee
  • Viji Murali
  • Sowjanya
  • Ankita Wakade
  • Shruthi Udupa
  • Roopam Garg
  • Viji Venkatesan
  • Darshana Chauhan
  • Janki Desai
  • Priya Suresh
  • Jayeeta Chakraborty
  • Maitreyee Shah
  • Prathima Naveen
  • Meredith Tummeti

Sharmila’s Cauliflower Parupu Usli

This is a recipe that was given to me by my dear mother in law. Parupu usli is a popular method of making dry sabzis in Tamil Nadu and the cauliflower is often replaced with beans or cabbage.

Probably enough for 2-3 people.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower – 1 small ( approx 3 cups of cut florets)
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt  to taste

Initial Seasoning:

  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 2 or 3

For parupu usli:

  • Toor dal – 3 Tbs
  • Channa dal – 3 Tbs
  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Dry red chillies – 3 or 4
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Soak the toor dal and channa dal in hot water for about 5 mins. Grind into a coarse paste with asafoetida, red chillies, salt and a little bit of water
  2. Then steam cook the above paste for about 20 – 25 mins on medium high flame in a cooker without a whistle (just like how it is done for idlis or muthias). This step drastically reduces the amount of oil required to make this dish. This will turn the paste into a crumbling mixture of cooked dals also known as parupu usli.
  3. Take 5 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the turmeric and   salt to the boiling water. Blanch the cut florets in that water for about 5 mins or till the florets are semi cooked such that they still have some crunch left in them. Drain the florets and keep aside.
  4. Take a pan and put in a tsp of oil. When hot enough add the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves as initial seasoning. Add the parupu usli and roast till slightly brownish. Then
  5. add the drained florets and a little bit of salt (only if required). Cover and cook on low heat for about 4-5 mins.
  6. Serve hot with mor-kozhambu (a South Indian kadi) and piping hot rice.

Shina’s Nutty Cauliflower – Chickpeas Kofta

Ingredients:

Koftas:

  • 1 cup cauliflower shredded
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1-2 tbsp chickpea flour or gram flour (besan)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 cup boiled chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup shredded paneer
  • 4 tsp finely chopped cashews nuts
  • pinch of salt
  • oil for deep frying

Gravy:

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger paste or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 cup of chick peas paste
  • 1/2  tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup mashed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Green cliantaro (hara dhania)

Method:

  1. Wash and saok the chickpeas in water overnight or at least 7-8 hours.
  2. Add water and ½ tsp salt. Boil it in pressure cooker until tender.
  3. Drain the water of chickpeas and save it for the gravy.
  4. Mesh ¾ of the chickpeas in bowl with the back of fork or potato masher, it should not be very fine for the kofta.
  5. Shred the cauliflower and squeeze the water from cauliflower by keeping it between palms, save this water for mixture.
  6. Now put cauliflower, cashew nuts, chickpeas, paneer and all the koftas ingredients together and mix well, if it is very dry add the cauliflower water, the mixture should be soft dough and not too watery.
  7. Make small 1-2 inch diameter balls with greased hands and keep them in a greased plate.
  8. Place the kadhai on medium heat for frying of these koftas, put the oil 2 inches of the height of kadhai. Koftas should be dipped fully once when dipped in oil.
  9. To check the heat try small amount of mixture if it float in oil means oil is ready. Now put the koftas one by one in kadhai but do not fill the kadhai all once otherwise kaoftas will burst and mix together.
  10. Fry the koftas at medium heat otherwise koftas will not cook from inside.
  11. Turn the koftas occasionally and when it turns golden brown at all around, take out on a paper towel.

Gravy

  1. Take 2 tbsp of oil in a pan and keep it at medium heat. To check the heat first add 1-2 seeds of cumin if cracks, add cumin, and asafoetida.
  2. Add tomatoes, ginger and all spices, stir it until it becomes half or tomatoes start to leave the pan.
  3. Now add yogurt and stir it for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Make the paste of chickpeas in grinder and add it and fry it for a minute.
  5. Now add cauliflower water and chickpeas drained water if needed add some normal water. Approximately 1 cup water should be added in the gravy. Stir it and leave it to boil. Water can be adjusted according to taste.
  6. After coming to boil the gravy, add koftas and boil it for another 3-4 minutes and put the heat off.
  7. Garnish the koftas with hara dhania and serve hot with chapatti, parantha or rice.

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24 thoughts on “Contest March 2010 Winners

  1. Jaya,
    I completely agree with you in regards to everyone’s negativity regarding the contest winners. If gitsingh and chinky are so dissatisfied with the results maybe they should start their own website and create a contest to their own liking. It’s very hurtful to Manjulaji to have to listen to these constant criticisms and slams when she was only trying to do something good for everyone. It’s her contest and she can do with it what ever she well pleases. They’ve gone on long enough about how they don’t agree with the winner or the process. Enough already – if they were so concerned about not winning maybe it’s because they are sore losers for not winning the giftcard? Get over it people and apologize to Manjula – she very well should NOT have to put up with this or she might as well decide to cancel the contest.
    I really don’t think that Manjulaji has the time to sit there and print certificates to all those who participated – It seems a little grade scool for most to receive a certificate which will wind up being put in a drawer somewhere after a few days? She probably doesn’t have the time – why not let Manjulaji concentrate on coming up with her wonderful recipes instead of getting bogged down in the minutia. Her good intentions for this contest have gone astray with everyones negetivity and criticism and burdonsome comments.

    1. madam u dont take it so much personally, i never participated in this contest, i just appreciate manjulaji site. dont take it so personally.

  2. It is not fair to the winner of this month’s contest for others to post negative comments.

    Sharmila entered her recipe along with many others and everyone had a fair chance. Her entry was chosen and she should not be made to feel badly about it!

    Auntyji has put a lot of work into this website and so many of us have enjoyed and learned from her efforts. Keep the negativity out of it please.

    1. Jaya,
      I completely agree with you in regards to everyone’s negativity regarding the contest winners. If gitsingh and chinky are so dissatisfied with the results maybe they should start their own website and create a contest to their own liking. It’s very hurtful to Manjulaji to have to listen to these constant criticisms and slams when she was only trying to do something good for everyone. It’s her contest and she can do with it what ever she well pleases. They’ve gone on long enough about how they don’t agree with the winner or the process. Enough already – if they were so concerned about not winning maybe it’s because they are sore losers for not winning the giftcard? Get over it people and apologize to Manjula – she very well should NOT have to put up with this or she might as well decide to cancel the contest.

      1. there is nothing to apolize what i felt i said ,and i have rite to do it….and if u havent seen my last few comments then pls go through them , i have thanked manjula ji long back..u dont need to say tht..its not ur site

        1. True – it’s not my site but I bet everyone is tired of people commenting on a contest that took place a month ago and yet people still keep going on and on and on about it.
          It’s not for us to say how Manjula picked the winners or or to contest the decision (after all – she’s the pro and not us) and it’s just getting old to keep hearing people go on and on about what she should do for the next contest, etc… Time to quit crying over spilled milk.
          Does anyone think she has time to start printing the other recipes, give certificates to participants, etc?
          Not trying to offend you – it’s just how I feel.

          1. its open discussion and i said so..let me end discussion today bcoz looks like u wont stop commenting on all… as if u r running some speak positive only contest.. and thos who commented for contest can comment once its done and reciepes are revelead ( mind u not contestant name) its not crying over spilled milk and i never stated to print gift certifcate, neither i ever particpated in contest..
            better i will end
            thk u

          2. its open discussion and i said so..let me end discussion today bcoz looks like u wont stop commenting on all… as if u r running some speak positive only contest.. and thos who commented for contest can comment once its done and reciepes are revelead ( mind u not contestant name) its not crying over spilled milk and i never stated to print gift certifcate, neither i ever particpated in contest..
            better i will end
            thk u

  3. ya even i agree that madam should disclose other recipe too next time …
    Sharmila dont take it personally that we dont like your reciepe ..it just there is no creativity and variation as per contest rules..am damm sure..other participants must have made a difficult recipe with creativity and variation, after all thats what everyone wants to learn from this contest VARIATION AND CREATIVITY..(a regular tamilian veg )..which you made, many participants must have made it or can make it but nothing new to learn..as i mentioned earlier it can be google out easily, when we go to manjula madam site we look for creativity.

  4. Even I didn’t find the winners this time appropriate.Anyways,congrats to the winners.

    In the participant list there are a few blog links and I would like to appreciate the bloggers they are doing amazing job.I did try out a recipe from Ankita wakade’s blog “sago Ladoo”and they came out really good.

    I would appreciate if Manjula aunty could give all participant a certificate and start a section on her blog where all the partcipant entries are visible.

    1. Smita,
      With all due respect and honesty – do you really think that Manjulaji has the time to sit there and print certificates to all those who participated? It seems a little grade scool for most to receive a certificate that most of us will wind up putting in a drawer somewhere? She probably doesn’t have the time – why not let Manjulaji concentrate on coming up with her wonderful recipes instead of getting bogged down in the minutia. Her good intentions for this contest have gone astray with everyones negetivity and criticism and burdonsome comments.

  5. First, congrats to the winners. Keep it up!
    To follow the thread of discussion, I respectfully disagree with the choice of parapu usli as first winner. This dish is a classic in Tamil Nadu and anything classic cannot be original, unless altered. I have seen my mom-in-law and sisters-in-law make the same dish over and over, just like described above. And neither do I see a variation of any of the cauliflour recipes Manjula has. I enjoyed the second prize recipe a lot though.

    But it is not for me to judge, and I respect Manjula’s choice. Maybe, as a suggestion, how about having a panel of judges? Just an idea. And also, if possible, can we see other people’s entries? It would be a lot of fun to learn how others are employing in their creativity. More than the prize, it is the idea of sharing that keeps us, cooks, come to the net and learn about cooking.

    1. hey sowjanya.. how can u say excellent choice for the contest?????
      we havent seen other reciepes?????rite…
      ..anyways…all the best to all particpants for next contest..and ya manjula ji we would appreciate if u share other recieps too
      thank u

  6. I loved sharmila’s recipe. It was simple, great tasting, non fatty and most important for me, easy to remember! Thanks for sharing it. Thanks for all the many other recipes in this website too. -Natalie

    PS: just my opinion…would love to see such websites and contests remain a healthy forum to share recipes and try them out, rather than bashing each other’s

    1. ya shamila u r rite but this contest was not about some simple, fast , healthy receipe, its about creativity and variations in cauliflower, which i personally i dont see.its not on the spot fast recipe contest. so i would not agree completely with u.well everyone have their own perspective..
      thank u

      1. I usually would not dignify that with a reply but I think it is for Manjulaji to decide on this contest and you are questioning her decision.

  7. hey chinky i agree..i am regular follower of madams site, and follow contest..winner is not properly selected this time march contest madam.. sorry..on what basis she is no1 winner??..as even i dont see creativity, its a simple dish..
    Thank you manjula ji

  8. i have never particpated madam, but i gues contest winner no 1 has nothing much in recipe, nothing much variation and creativity its very simple and common dish in tamilian…as my husband is tamil…all tamilian will agree and it can be goggle out very easily..second receipe is excellent shd be no1.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Chinky,
      My criteria for selecting the best recipe:
      The selection process is very difficult as I am receiving many deserving entries. In order to pick and select the winning recipe, I have devised a check list to help me judge each entry. In general I will only consider recipes that I feel are complete in regards to ingredients, measurement, and instruction. From there I am looking for creativity and a recipe that my viewers would enjoy to prepare on their own.

      Below is my checklist:

      1.Ingredients should be listed with measurements
      2.Method is explained clearly, so it’s easy to follow
      3.Spices are used in balance
      4.Creativity

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