Thursday, March 29, 2012

Capsicum Chutney

This delicious chutney recipe is from my friend Anjani. It can be used as a side dish for Rice/ idli/ dosa.

  • 1 Red Capsicum chopped
  • 1/4 Green Capsicum chopped (Optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts
  • 1 green chilly
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 1/4 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp oil
  1. Dry roast the sesame seeds and peanuts and keep aside.
  2. Heat the oil. Add the green chilly and capsicum and fry till the capsicum is cooked and then cool it.
  3. In a Mixer add the fried Capsicum and green chilly, Roasted Peanuts and sesame seeds, Tamarind paste, salt and 1 tbsp water and grind them into a smooth paste. (Add more water if required).
  4. Serve the chutney with hot Rice/ Idli/ Dosa.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Stir Fry Gobi Manchurian

This is great recipe that tastes almost similar to the Gobi Manchurian but is a low calorie version. It can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish with Vegetable Fried Rice/ Hakka Noodles. The original version of the recipe can be found at Veg Indian recipe. I have modified the quantities of the ingredients to suit my taste.

  • 1 small Cauliflower cut into medium size florets
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon Ketchup
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt (Adjust to Taste)
  1. Heat a large skillet or wok over medium heat and add oil.
  2. Add the grated ginger and stir-fry for few seconds.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets and stir fry for 5 to 6 minutes or until crisp tender.
  4. Add chopped cilantro, soy sauce, ketchup, black pepper powder and salt, mix well.
  5. Stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes and Serve Hot!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookies

The Chocolate Chip Cookie is America's most famous cookie as it was invented here. The original recipe uses eggs, so this is my eggless version below and they are just as awesome.

  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup Butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 3 teaspoons oil   
  • 4 teaspoons hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or Any nuts of choice)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Mix the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth.
  3. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add this to the bowl with salt and mix well.
  4. Stir in the Flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.
  5. Mix everything well and Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls about 2 inches apart onto a baking tray.
  6. Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges turn brown.
  1. You may replace All purpose flour with Whole Wheat Flour to make it a healthier snack.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spinach Sambar

I like to add Spinach to my Sambar to make it more nutritious. This is one way I can get the whole family to eat Spinach!

  • A bunch of Spinach (Washed and chopped)
  • 1 Tomato cut into halves
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp Sambar powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • A pinch of Asofoetida
  • 1/4 cup Toor dal
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • Mustard seeds
  • Fenugreek seeds
  1. Cook the toor dal with tomato and turmeric in pressure cooker.
  2. Heat a saucepan with oil and add asafoetida, mustard and fenugreek seeds.
  3. When the mustard starts to splutter, add the spinach and sambar powder and fry the mixture for a minute.
  4. Add 2 cups of water, tamarind paste and salt. Allow it to boil till it becomes slightly thick.
  5. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the sambar and simmer. Taste and adjust for salt/ spice/ sourness.Add more water if the sambar is too thick
  6. Serve hot with Rice.

Sambhar Powder

  • 2 1/2 cup dry Red chillies
  • 8 cups Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup Channa dal
  • 1/2 cup Toor dal
  • 1/2 cup Urad dal
  • 1/2 cup Fenugreek seeds
  • 4 tsp Turmeric powder
  1. Dry roast all the ingredients in the same order on medium heat till they turn golden brown.
  2. Allow them to cool and grind in a mixer to a fine powder.
  3. Cool it and store it in an airtight container. No need to refrigerate the powder. It will last for more than 6 months.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rice Cutlet

This is another of my mother's invention. It can be made as a snack/ appetizer, especially if you have a lot of rice leftover.

  • 2 cups Cooked Rice
  • 1/4 cup Besan (Gram Flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Vegetables (Carrots/ beans/ peas)
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/2 cup Bread Crumbs
  • Oil to fry
  1. Cook the vegetables in the microwave for 2 min with 1 tsp water, so that they are partially cooked.
  2. Mash the rice nicely in a bowl and add besan, coriander leaves, salt, green chillies, cooked vegetables and asafoetida and mix well to form a dough.
  3. Heat oil in a wok/ kadai.
  4. Make small balls of the dough and roll them on bread crumbs so that they are fully covered all over and then slightly flatten each to form a disc.
  5. Check the oil if it is ready to fry by dropping a small bit of the dough. If it sizzles and comes up immediately then the oil is ready.
  6. Drop the cutlets one by one and deep fry them till they are crisp and brown on both sides.
  7. Serve hot with Cilantro Chutney or ketchup
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. If you dont want to deep fry them, you can shallow fry them or just toast them with a little oil on a skillet till they are golden brown on both sides.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Akki Roti

Akki Roti is made of Rice flour and is my daughter's favourite. It is a very healthy dish that can be served as breakfast or snack. They are crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside.

  • 1 cup Rice Flour
  • 1/4 cup Dill Leaves chopped
  • 1 green chilli finely chopped
  • 1/4" piece ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 Carrot grated
  • Water (as needed to make the dough)
  • Oil to cook the Akki rotis
  1. Mix all the ingredients except oil to form a dough.
  2. Divide the dough into small balls and heat a skillet.
  3. Apply some oil on the palms of your hands and take one of the dough balls flatten it on your palm.  Don't make it too thin. It can be a 1/4" thick.
  4. Place it on the skillet and apply oil on the roti.
  5. When it turns slightly golden brown at the bottom, flip it and add some more oil till the other side too turns golden brown. Cook it till it becomes crisp and golden brown on both sides by adding more oil if needed.
  6. Serve hot with pickle!

  1. If you don't have dill leaves, you may replace dill with 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and 1/4 tsp ajwain in this recipe for a different flavour and aroma.

Suggestions/ Notes
  1. My Akki Rotis are small, about the size of my palm as it is easy and less messy to make it that way. In case you want to make big Akki Rotis, take a Ziploc cover/ plastic sheet and rub it generously with oil and flatten the dough to make a big circle. Carefully peel it off the Ziploc sheet and place it on the skillet.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kaaradaiyaan Nonbu

Karadayan Nonbu or Savithri Vratham is a traditional Tamil Nadu festival of fasting wherein married women pray for the wellness and long life of their husbands. This is similar to the Karva Chauth festival celebrated in the north. The origin of this festival dates back to Mahabharata. You can read the full story here.

The neivedhyam/offerings for this festival are Vella Adai and Kara Adai along with butter. On this day we first tie a nonbu charadu (yellow thread with a flower tied in the middle) around the picture of the Goddess of the house and then all the women in the house tie one around their neck reciting the following mantra.

"Urugaadha Vennayum OrAdayum Naan Notren
OruKaalam yen Kanavar piriyaada Irukka Vendum".

Even the young girls of more than one year old, tie the nonbu charadu to get the blessings of God.

Now for the recipes... These are again my mother's recipes and the measurements are so accurate that I didn't face any issue while making...

Vella Adai/ Sweet Adai

  • 1 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp Karamani Beans
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Jaggery
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  1. Soak the Karamani in water overnight.
  2. Fry the Rice Flour in a Kadai till it begins to turn a golden brown.
  3. Dissolve the jaggery in the water and add the ghee and bring it to a boil.
  4. Add the cardamom powder and the rice flour and mix well. Switch off the stove.
  5. Cool it and then make small balls of the above dough and flatten it and make a hole in the center so that it resembles a small donut.
  6. Place all the adais in a idli stand and steam them for 10 min in a idli cooker/ pressure cooker like how we do the idlis.
  7. Vellai Adai is ready for Neivedhyam. Serve with Butter!

Kara Adai/ Savoury Adai

  • 1 cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tbsp Karamani Beans
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dal
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1 Green Chilli finely chopped
  • 1/4 inch piece of Ginger finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 spring Curry leaves
  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1 tbsp grated Coconut
  1. Soak the Karamani in water overnight.
  2. Fry the Rice Flour in a Kadai till it begins to turn a golden brown.
  3. Heat a large saucepan and add oil to it.
  4. Add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chilli and ginger.
  5. Add the Water and salt and bring to a boil.
  6. Add the rice flour and coconut and mix well.
  7. Cool it and then make small balls of the above dough and flatten it and make a hole in the center so that it resembles a small donut.
  8. Place all the adais in a idli stand and steam them for 10 min in a idli cooker/ pressure cooker like how we do the idlis.
  9. Kara Adai is ready for Neivedhyam. Serve with Butter!

Chakkarai Pongal

Chakkarai Pongal or Sweet Pongal is the main dish made during the Pongal festival (which is the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu). It is also made on all important functions or festivals at home. They are also offered as Prasadam in most of the temples. This recipe is another of my mother's treasures and an ultimate sweet dish.

  • 1 cup Rice (Sona Masoori)
  • 1/2 cup yellow moong dal
  • 2 cups Water
  • 3 cups Milk
  • 2 1/2 cups Jaggery
  • 3/4 cup ghee
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • A pinch of cardamom powder
  • A handful of Cashews and Raisins
  1. Wash and add the Rice and Dal to the pressure cooker along with milk and water. Cook for 6 whistles.
  2. Melt the jaggery in a big pan with 1/2 cup water and allow it to boil. Pour 1/4 tsp of the jaggery syrup in 1/2 cup water. If it dissolves then the jaggery syrup should still boil. If you can make it into a small ball, then simmer the stove.
  3. Mash the cooked rice and dal and add it to the jaggery syrup. Be careful while adding as it may splutter.
  4. Then add the 3/4 cup ghee and cardamom powder to it and mix well. Simmer for 2 more min and switch off.
  5. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a small pan and fry the cashews and raisins and pour it over the chakkarai pongal.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Aloo Paratha

This Aloo Paratha is everybody's favourite in my house. I learnt this recipe from a caretaker of the hotel where I stayed when I was in UK. It is such an easy recipe that will never fail you.

For the Paratha:
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • Water as needed
  • Pinch of salt  
  • oil to cook the paratha
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour for rolling
For the Potato filling
  • 2 medium potatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 chopped green chili
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchoor powder
  • 1 teaspoon chat masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ajwain

1) Mix flour, salt and water together to make a soft dough. Cover it and allow it to stand for 30 min.
2) In the meantime, boil and peel the potatoes and add them to a bowl.
3) Add all the ingredients for the potato filling to the bowl and nicely mash the potatoes with the spice mixtures.
4) Divide the dough into 8 small balls (approx) and divide the potato filling into 4 small balls (approx).
5) Take 2 dough balls and roll into two 3" circles as show below.

6) Take a portion of the potato mixture and spread it on one of the rolled dough.
7) Cover this dough with the second rolled dough.
8) Press and seal the edges of both the rolled dough firmly.
9) Apply some dry flour on both sides and slowly roll into a disc of about 8 inches or till the sealing and the filling stays intact. Add more flour while rolling and keep flipping and roll on the edges first before doing the center.
10) Now put the rolled aloo paratha on a hot griddle.
11) After a few seconds add oil to the paratha and flip it over.
12) Again, flip the paratha and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula. Add more oil and flip again and press with the spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides.
13) Serve hot with a blob of butter on top and pickle or curd.

Suggestions/ Notes
  • The Spices/ herbs add to the potato filling can be varied according to your taste. You could even add coriander seeds, pomogranate seeds, kasuri methi or just any spice of your choice.

Chocolate Layer Cake

For this Valentine's day I made a chocolate layer cake and my daughter helped me decorate the cake. My husband was really surprised at the cake as this was my first cake and I also tried some decorating stunts on it.

My search for a moist eggless chocolate cake ended at Chowtimes.The cake came out awesome and was super soft and moist and delicious . Since I wanted to make a layer cake I used two 9" cake pans and made it into layers as this cake is very soft and may break if you try to slice it and make a layer out of that. Then I used chocolate frosting to frost the entire cake.

  • 3 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 2 teaspoons Baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 6 tablespoons Cocoa powder
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Sift the dry ingredients i.e. flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder in a large bowl. 
  3. Whisk the sugar and wet ingredients, i.e water, vanilla, lemon juice and oil in a medium bowl until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
  5. Pour the batter into two greased and floured (or parchment lined) pans.
  6. Bake for 35-40 minutes or till the toothpick inserted comes out clean from both the pans.
  7. Cool the cakes completely on a wire rack and carefully cut the dome part from both the cakes.
  8. In the meantime prepare the chocolate frosting / vanilla frosting / Any frosting of your choice.
  9. Frost the top part of one of the cakes and place the other cake on top of it. Now frost the entire cake by doing the sides first and then the top.
  10. Then decorate the cake to your liking!
Suggestions/ Notes
  • The original recipe uses Vinegar but I substituted it with Lemon Juice and it still came out fantastic.
  • The cake is super soft, so you have to be very careful while cutting the dome part from each of the cakes or it may break.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Whole Wheat Classic

This recipe is a variation of the Classic cookies but with Whole Wheat flour.

  • 1 cup - Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cup - Sugar
  • 1/2 cup - Ghee
  • A pinch of Cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup - Cashews/Almonds/Any Nuts of choice (Optional)
  1. Add the Whole Wheat flour, sugar, cardamom, ghee and nuts (if you are adding nuts) into a mixing bowl and combine the ingredients to make a dough.
  2. Pinch off small bits of the dough, shape it into a small ball and flatten it slightly and transfer it to a baking tray. (I also added an almond on top of all cookies.)
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F and bake the cookies for around 10 minutes or till the bottom of the cookies are slightly golden in colour.
  4. Transfer the cookies from baking tray to a wire rack and cool.
Suggestions/ Notes :
  1. When you take the cookie out of the baking tray it may crumble as they are extremely soft till they are completely cooled. Hence use caution while transferring the cookies to the wire rack.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Fruit and Nut Cookies

I love the Karachi biscuits that is very famous in Hyderabad and wanted to try a similar cookie, so here we go for the delicious fruit and nut cookies recipe.

  • 1 cup Maida/ All purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Butter (at room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup powdered Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Rose water
  • 1/4 tsp Cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cup Tutti frutti
  • 1/4 cup Cashew finely chopped

1. Mix the Maida, butter, sugar, rose water and cardamom powder to form a dough.
2. Divide the dough into two portions.
3. Flatten one portion of the dough into a 1/4" thick square on a parchment paper/ wax paper and spread half the tutti fruiti and half the cashews on the dough as shown below
4. Spread the remaining portion of the dough on top and add the remaining tutti fruiti and cashews on top.

5. Cover this with another wax paper or parchment paper and freeze it for 10 min.
6. In the meantime preheat the oven to 350F or 180C.
7. Remove the dough from the freezer and slice them into squares and bake them for 10 min or till the bottom of the cookies are golden brown.
8. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool them and then store in an airtight container.

Bisibele Bath Powder

Mostly I use the store bought Bisibele Bath powders but occasionally I make it at home too. This powder can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container and refrigerated or frozen.

  • 8 dry Red chillies (Adjust according to your spice requirements)
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 2 tsp channa dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 3 kapok buds (marati moggu)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1″ piece cinnamon
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1/2 ” piece mace
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1/4 tsp white poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp grated dry coconut (copra) /desiccated coconut
  1. Dry roast all the ingredients in the same order on medium heat till they turn golden brown.
  2. Allow them to cool and grind in a mixer to a fine powder and store it in an airtight container.
  3. Keep it refrigerated or frozen so that it doesn't lose its aroma.

Bisibele Bath

Bisibele Bath is famous in Karnataka and is an easy single dish meal. It is very healthy and filling and can be made in a jiffy especially if you have guests visiting your place. This recipe serves 4.

  • 1/2 cup Rice (Sona Masoori or any short grain rice)
  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups diced Vegetables (Carrots, Potatoes, Beans)
  • 1/4 cups Peas
  • 1/4 cup Lima beans
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 tsp Tamarind paste (adjust as per taste)
  • 1 tsp Rasam powder
  • 2 tbsp Bisibele Bath powder
  • 2 tsp Ghee
  • 1 tbsp Salt (Adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard
  • A pinch of asafoetida 
  • 1 spring Curry Leaves
  • 1/4 cup Cashews/ Peanuts
  1. Wash and soak the rice and toor dal for 15 min
  2. In a pressure cooker, drain and add the soaked rice and toor dal, vegetables, peas, Lima beans, tomato and turmeric. Mix well.
  3. Add 5 cups of water, tamarind paste, rasam powder, bisibele bath powder and salt. Mix everything well and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
  4. Taste and adjust for salt/ spice/ sourness.
  5. Heat ghee in a small pan and add the mustard. When it crackles add the cashews/ peanuts and fry them till golden brown. Then add the asafoetida and curry leaves.
  6. Add the seasoning to the bisibele bath and serve it hot!
Suggestions/ Notes
  • The Rasam Powder and Bisibele Bath Powders can be either homemade or store bought.
  • The vegetables added to the Bisibele bath can be anything of your choice. But if you are adding, capsicum/ cauliflower/ broccoli/ any veggie that gets cooked fast, cook them separately and add it in step 4 and stir well. Cover and simmer for 5 min so that the veggies soak in the flavour.

Friday, March 9, 2012


This is an easy and delicious Rasam recipe from my mother. It is very nice to mix it with hot rice and have.

  • 1 tsp Rasam Powder
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Paste
  • 3 cups Water
  • 1 big ripe Tomato
  • 1/2 tsp Salt (Adjust to Taste)
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp ghee
  1. Cut the tomato into half and microwave it on high for 2 min or till it is completely cooked. Cool it and squeeze it with your hand to extract only the juice after discarding the skin.
  2. Heat water in a vessel and add the rasam powder, tamarind paste, salt and the tomato juice and bring it to a boil.
  3. Taste and adjust for salt/ spice/ sourness.
  4. Heat ghee in a small pan and add the mustard. When it crackles add the jeera and when that crackles add the asofetida and pour it into the rasam.
  5. garnish it with the coriander leaves and serve hot.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. If you are using Tamarind, then add it to the tomato with 2 tbsp water and microwave it as in step 1. It will then be easy to extract the tamarind juice.
  2. If you would like to add the cooked Toor Dal or the Dal water, add it after step 2 and simmer for 2 min and proceed with step 3.
  3. You have to cover the Rasam immediately after adding the seasonings and the coriander leaves to trap the nice aroma.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rasam Powder

This recipe is from my mother. She is an expert in Rasam and you can find her Rasam recipe here. So do check it out.

  • 3 cups Coriander seeds
  • 1 cup Whole Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Cumin seeds
  • 1 cup Toor Dal
  • 1 cup Dry Red chilly
  • 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  1. Take all the ingredients in a microwave safe bowl and microwave it on high for 1 min to just warm it up.
  2. Grind it to a fine powder in a mixer.
  3. Allow it to cool completely and transfer it to an airtight container.  
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. In the olden days the ingredients are kept in the sun to warm it before grinding but since all the modern kitchens are now equipped with a microwave, we can use that instead, as given in step 1.
  2. This powder does not need refrigeration and can be kept in an airtight container for even 6 months.

Vanilla Frosting

I like to use the Vanilla Frosting for decorating the cakes. You may double the quantity if you would like to frost the entire cake.

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups icing sugar/ powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  1. Beat all the ingredients in a bowl until light and fluffy.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • We can add food colours to this recipe to get the desired colour for decorating the cakes.

Chocolate Frosting

Chocolate Frosting in cakes is everyone's favourite in my house. This recipe will be sufficient to frost a 9" cake with layers.

  • 3 1/2 cups icing sugar/ powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder (Adjust to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  1. Add the icing sugar and cocoa powder to a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add butter, milk, and vanilla and beat everything until smooth and free of lumps.
Suggestions/ Notes
  • This frosting can be made in advance and refrigerated. Before using, thaw it on counter top and mix it well until smooth.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Pumpkin Erisseri

  • 1 cup yellow Pumpkin/Mathanga cut into big cubes
  • 1/2 cup Red chori /vanpayar
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1/4 tsp Chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 4 Dry red chillies 
  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds 
  • 1 spring Curry leaves
  • 1 tsp Coconut Oil
  • 1 tsp Salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup coconut
Grind To Paste
  • 1/2 cup Grated coconut
  • 1 tsp Black pepper corns
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder 
  • Water as needed to grind into a smooth paste
  1. Pressure cook the vanpayar till done and set aside.
  2. Take a microwave safe bowl and add the pumpkin, turmeric, chilli powder, sliced green chillies and 1 tbsp water. Microwave it on High for 3 min or till the pumpkin is cooked but firm. (Alternately you may use a pressure cooker to cook them for 1 whistle. Add more water if using a pressure cooker.)              
  3. In a saucepan heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, add the dry red chillies, curry leaves and the grated coconut and fry it till it turns brown.
  4. Add the ground paste, the cooked vanpayar, the cooked pumpkin and salt to the saucepan and mix well.
  5. Check for salt and add water if needed to adjust the gravy according to your consistency and remove from heat.
  6. Serve hot with rice.  

Puli Inji

Puli Inji is a delicious side dish mostly used as a pickle and is a must in any Kerala Sadhya. It is sweet, sour and at the same time spicy. The Ingredients given below are only approximate and can be adjusted to your liking. This recipe yields around 1 cup of Puli Inji.

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped Ginger
  • 3 tsp Tamarind concentrate
  • 3 Green chillies finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Chilly powder
  • 4 cubes Jaggery or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup Water 
  • 2 tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 spring Curry leaves

  1. Heat water in a deep saucepan and melt the jaggery in it. (Filter the jaggery if required.) Add the tamarind paste, turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt and bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer.
  2. In the meantime, heat the oil in a small pan and splutter mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chillies. Simmer the stove and add the ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry till ginger turns golden brown.
  3. Transfer all the ingredients from this pan to the saucepan where the tamarind and jaggery mixture is simmering.
  4. Adjust the tamarind and jaggery as per your taste.
  5. Once more bring it to a boil and then let it simmer till it thickens.
Suggestions/ Notes
  1. The Puli Inji thicken more on refrigeration. So switch off at the right consistency.
  2. It can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for a month.

Sending this to EP Series-Herb & Spices" ~ "Ginger &Pepper Powder" Event  hosted at Prabha's Cooking

Vegetable Pulao

The Vegetable Pulao is a one dish meal and very easy to make. I have used only carrots, beans, potatoes and cauliflower in this recipe. But you may add or subtract the veggies to suit your taste. This recipe serves 4.

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice
  • 4 tbsp Ghee / Oil
  • 2 cups chopped vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Cauliflower)
  • 1/2 cup Peas
  • 2 tbsp Cashews
  • 1 tbsp Raisins (optional)
  • 2 tsp Salt (Adjust to Taste)
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
  • 1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 1 star Anise seed
Grind to Paste:
  • 1 Inch Ginger
  • 3 Green chillies
  • 2" Cinnamon stick
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1/4 cup Mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Coriander leaves
  • 3 green Cardamoms   
  1. Heat 1 tsp of Ghee is a pan, fry the Cashews and Raisins and keep them aside.
  2. Heat the remaining Ghee/Oil in a thick bottomed vessel / Cooker and add the Bay leaf, Asafoetida and Cumin seeds.
  3. When the Cumin seeds start crackling, add the Ground paste and fry it till the oil separates from it.
  4. Now add the Vegetables, Turmeric powder, Chilli powder and  Coriander powder and mix everything well.
  5. Wash the Rice and add it along with 4 cups of Water and Salt. Stir well and simmer the stove.
  6. Cover and cook until the rice is done.
  7. Add the fried Cashews and Raisins to the Vegetable Pulao and serve hot with a Raita.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Croissant Upma

This Upma is very tasty and easy to make too. This recipe serves 3.

  • 6 Croissants cut into pieces
  • 2 Tomatoes chopped
  • 2 green chillies slit lenghtwise 
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt ( adjust to taste)
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, turmeric and salt and fry them till the tomatoes are cooked.
  2. Then add the croissants and mix everything well and cook it on low flame for 1 min with the pan closed.
  3. Take the pan off the stove and garnish it with the coriander leaves.
  4. Serve Hot!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Hash Browns

My whole family loves Hash Browns, so I tried it at home today and it came out very good. Making at home is a healthier alternative as the store bought ones will have many preservatives and the nutrition of the dish will also be less compared to the freshly made ones. Hope you like it too. This recipe makes 6 medium size hash browns.

  • 2 - Potatoes
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  1. Peel and grate the potatoes and transfer them to a microwave dish and microwave it for 1 min or till the grated potatoes are semi cooked. (Dont over cook them)
  2. Then transfer them to a cheese cloth and squeeze the moisture out. (Dont squeeze too hard and make them mushy.)
  3. Now shape them into small rectangles and place them on a frying pan/ tawa.
  4. Add a little oil or butter and after a few minutes check if that side has browned.
  5. Flip it over and cook till both sides are brown.
  6. Sprinkle salt and pepper and serve hot.

Sending this to the Event Any One Can Cook: Series 43

Curries for Indian Flatbreads

Paneer Butter Masala
Methi Malai Mutter
Channa Masala