Monday, December 31, 2007

Restaurant Style Navaratna Kurma

Whenever I think of a rich fruit based dish,, one dish which stands out is the Nine Gems Kurma also called the "Navaratna Kurma".. This dish is a combination of flavour, richness & simplicity.. The blend of vegetables with fruits in a rich broth makes this extra special..
I have tried varieties of recipes to prepare this dish as my mytaste buds.. One which stands out and one which I personally love is below

You Need
boiled Mixed vegetables -1cup ( I have used water based veggies without strong colors like chayote, knool coll, potato & white pumpkin)
1onion chopped
1tomato chopped
1 apple chopped
1 slice pineapple cut into chunks (if you find crushed canned pineapple, you can use 2tbsps)
6-7 white grapes
tooty frooty/cherries 1/2 cup
Fried panner cubes-1/2cup
garam masala 1tsp
red chillie powder 1/2tsp
ginger powder or fresh ginger 1tbsp

Grind to a fine powder
2tsp poppyseeds
3cardamom pods

Grind to a fine paste with 1/2 cup milk
10 deskinned almonds

In a pan, add 2tbsp oil.. when heated, add onions and fry till translucent.. To this add the ginger powder and fry for 2mins.. Now add the tomatoes and mix well.. Add salt and close the lid for
2mins till the tomatoes cook well.
Meanwhile boil/microwave the mixed veggies till tender.
Now add the fruits to the onion tomato mixture and mix well. Apples cook very fast. Add the almond paste and the masalas and boil till the flavours blend. Add the boiled veggies and panner and mix well till the right consistency is attained.. Garnish with grated paneer and enjoy...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

"Fruit & Nut Halwa"!!!!

Going Nuts with a Nut.........
Delicious Fruit & Nut halwa..

Almond is called the "King of nuts"..This nut is almost used in a varitey of cuisines, oils, soaps, creams, therapies etc etc..
I wanted to use this nut in one of my favourite sweet treats.. which is the authentic "Bombay Halwa"..I used to indulge in the sweet often, wrapped in a flimsy plastic wrap and colorfully chewy this halwa is divine in its taste...
Here is one version of this halwa which is very simple to prepare and uses a combination of fresh fruit & ofcourse the Nuts....

To Prepare this, you need:
1can mixed fruits (I have used peach, pineapple, cheeries, apple)
1/2cup maida
1/4 cup corn flour
1cup water
1/2 cup melted butter/ghee
1tsp fresh cardamon powder
Nuts: sunflower seeds/melon seeds, slivered almonds--1/2 cup
sugar 1cup
food color:optional

In a thick bottom pan, add sugar and 1/4 cup water and boil till the sugar melts.. Mix corn flour, maida with the rest of the water till no lumps are formed and add this to the sugar mixture and keep stirring in a medium heat..Now add the fresh fruit and 1/4 cup butter and keep stirring for 7-8 minutes to make sure it doesnt stick to the pan.. Now add the cardamom powder, the nuts and the remaining butter along with the food color and mix well and stir for another 3-4 minutes till the butter leaves the sides of the pan and the mixture becomes like a thick mass.
Grease a plate and spread the mixture with a spatula.. Garnish with nuts of your choice..When it is cooled. cut it into chunks and wrap it into individual treats in a plastic film..
This serves as an excellent gift during festivals..

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Menasina Kootu/Broccolli Black Pepper Kootu

Pepper is believed to have many medicinal properties...Pepper loses flavour and aroma through evaporation, so airtight storage helps preserve pepper's original spiciness longer. Once ground, pepper's aromatics can evaporate quickly; most culinary sources recommend grinding whole peppercorns immediately before use for this reason. Handheld pepper mills (or "pepper grinders"), which mechanically grind or crush whole peppercorns, are used for this, sometimes instead of pepper shakers, dispensers of pre-ground pepper.

Pepper kootu is one of the traditional recipes during the winter months.. This is very nutritious and can be used with a combination of vegetables..I have used brocolli and tomatoes as the base vegetable for this kootu which makes it even more healthy..

What you need:

Brocolli florets(1cup)
2tomatoes chopped
cooked & mashed toor dall (1/2 cup)
milk 1cup
1tsp honey/little jaggery
oil 2tsp
seasonings: mustard, curry leaves, hing

To dry fry and grind

2tbsp coriender seeds
2tsp black pepper corns
3dried red chillies
1tsp jeera

In a pan add the seasonings with oil.. Now add the brocolli and tomatoes , 1/2cup water and boil the vegetables for a few minutes till they r well cooked.. Now add the boiled and mashed dall and mix well.
Now add the dry ground masala, salt and mix well..Add 1cup milk , honey and close the lid and boil the kootu for another 5minutes till all the flavours blend and the consisstency is right..
Serve this with hot rice or chapatis...

Microwave cooking tips:

Tip: The entire dish can be prepared in less than 10minutes in a microwave.. You can precook the toor dall ahead and add or dry grind 2tbsp toor dall which has been fried lightly for 2mins . Add this dal powder with the cooked vegetables and microwave adding water and milk.Make sure you stir the mixture every 2minutes once the masala and milk is added to the boiled veggies...

Tip 2: It is always helpful to fry toor/channa dal lightly till nice aroma comes and grind it into a fine /coarse powder and store. This will be very handy in microwave sambhars/rasam/any other gravies with a dal base. This will cook much faster and the consistency can be very well adjusted..

Friday, December 28, 2007

"Masala Chunky Potatoes"

Potato is the most versatile vegetable which is filled with carbs & energy.. The creativity with this wonder vegetable is amazing...Whether it is fried/boiled/baked it tastes divine and very filling..
Here is a very unique spicy masala aloo which is simple to make & very tasty with a unique flavour..
I found this recipe from a Regional cook book and I have tweaked to create my own version of this recipe ..

Here is what you need:
3 medium sized potatoes (peeled and cut into chunks)
a big tomato chopped
chopped coriender leaves to garnish..

To fry and grind
3tbsp coriender seeds
3tsp saunf/fennel seeds
2tsp jeera
1/4 tsp pepper
3 dried red chillies

Other masalas:
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2tbsp oil
1/2 cup milk


fry all the ingredients to fry with a tsp of oil till nice aroma comes and dry grind it into a fine powder..
Heat oil in a pan and add a tsp of fennel. Now add the potato chunks, turmeric powder and fry for a fw minutes till the oil coats the potatoes.. Now add the ground powder and mix well till the potatoes are coated.Add the tomatoes and 1/2 cup milk, salt and close the lid. After 6-7 minutes the potatoes will be fully cooked with the spices and tomatoes.. garnish with cilantro and serve with hot chapatis..

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Eggless Cinnamon Fruit Cake.....

Merry Christmas All...

Needless to say, Christmas is incomplete without the traditional fruit cake..
I love the fruit cake.. but more than that.. something which really makes my mouth water is the Plum cake often found in Bangalore Nilgiris.. I am sure this cake is found in all parts of India but my memory goes to the Nilgiris bakery which serves a delicious rich plum cake.. I have always tried methods of getting a recipe for an easier version of this cake but invain.. i am sure its out there somewhere.

Here is a version of eggless cake for all the vegans.. The dry fruits can be selected as per the taste.. This cake is also simply good with cranberries and pistachios.. I have used a mixture of regular tooty fruity mix with dried plums and raisins.. If you dont like cinnamom, you can use just a tsp....
This is my entry to the "Think Spice" event hosted by Sunita's blog

2 cups self raising flour
2teaspoon cinnamon powder
1/2 level teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup butter
3/4 cup dried mixed fruit ( I have added dried plums to this to get the flavour of plums)
1/2 cup sugar
12 tablespoons hot water
1/4 cup pepsi/thumpsup

1/2 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
flaked almonds

soak the dry fruit and plums in pepsi for 30mins.-

Put the cinnamon spice, nutmeg, butter, dried mixed fruit, sugar and water into a saucepan.- Place the over a medium heat and stir the mixture until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.-

Bring to the boil and then simmer for 3 minutes.- Remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.- Add the bicarbonate of soda and stir.-

Put the flour into a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center of it.- Pour the lukewarm mixture into this. -

Mix well and pour into a greased cake pan(i have used rectangular)- Smooth the top of the mixture and sprinkle with nuts if u wish to.- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 1 hour 15 minutes at 375 F- Turn onto a wire rack to cool

(tip: you can use any combination of dry and mixed fruits..the natural gum of the dried fruit peel actually acts as a binder here so I have used more fruit peels and soaked fruits than regular dried fruits...)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bangalore Iyengar Bakery toast.../Masala Sandwich

Bangalore has given a start to some of the finest eateries, whether it is a quick fast food darshini or a sit in place like udupi garden/shanthi sagars/sukh sagar etc, the most oldest tradition is the bakery.

The signature Iyengar bakeries exist everywhere throught bangalore. Whether it is cakes, pastries, honey cakes, buns, cookies, puffs the taste is simply delicious. One of the finest creations ever made in these bakeries is the Iyengar toast...
Whenever I see bread , the first thing that comes to my mind is the colorful, spicy, savoury iyenga toast which is not only filling but extremely tasty....

Here is my creation of the famous Iyengar Bakery toast given by my mom which almost replicates the taste...

1carrot grated
2 medicum onions chopped (not too fine)
3tomatoes ripe ( chop tomatoes and squeeze out the water)
1tsp turmeric
2green chillies
chopped cilantro
2tsp oil

a pinch ofnutmeg(optional but will definetly give a twist to this toast)
Fresh salt bread

In a pan , heat oil.. add the green chillies and onions and fry on a medium heat till the rawness of the onion goes away.. Dont brown the onions as this will change the flavour. Now add the chopped tomatoes and grated carrot and mix well.. Add turmeric, nutmeg and salt and close the lid for 2minutes till the tomato cooks..
Now add cilantro and mixwell and switch of the heat..
Toast the bread and apply the above mixture generously on the toast and serve...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Low Cal Malai Mutter/Batani Saagu

Rich food doesnt have to necessarily contain heavy fatty ingredients...
Sometimes using simple ingredients could result in a delicious equally rich tasting food without the extra calories..
Here is a very low calorie malai mutter which is very rich, flavourfull, full of healthy vegetables and very low calories...The best part of this dish is it takes less than 10minutes to prepare without the hassles of grinding anything..

This is also my entry for the "Grindless Gravies" food event... the details of the event can be found here....

1cup fresh green peas (boil till tender)
1 ripe tomato
1 onion finely minced
1tsp ginger-garlic paste
1tsp red chillie powder
a pinch of turmeric
3tbsp skimmed milk powder
1tsp oil..
cracked pepper 1/2tsp(optional)


Heat oil in a pan..To this add ginger garlic paste, onion and fry till it turns light golden brown.. Now add chopped tomato and mix well for 2minutes.. Add the turmeric and chillie powder and salt and close the lid for 2mins till the flavours blend..
Now add the boiled fresh peas and any other veggies(optional) and mix well.. Take skimmed milk powder in a bowl and mix it with water to a fine paste.
Add this paste to the pan and mix well.add cracked pepper and close the lid for 4mins till the mixture cooks well. Serve with chapatis/roti

Tip: You can add finelly chopped brocolli/chayoti/any other green veggies you like with peas ..
This dish takes only a tsp of oil and literally calorie free but extremely delicious and rich...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Oatmeal Uppittu/Oatmeal Porridge

Quaker Oatmeal not only tastes delicious, it's good for your heart...

Oats have numerous uses in food; most commonly, they are rolled or crushed into oatmeal, or ground into fine oat flour. Oatmeal is chiefly eaten as porridge, but may also used in a variety of baked goods, such as oatcakes, oatmeal cookies, and oat bread. Oats are also an ingredient in many cold cereals, in particular muesli and granola. Oats may also be consumed raw, and cookies with raw oats are becoming popular.

Here is a 5minute Oatmeal Uppittu/porridge which is not only healthy but extremely tasty.. For all the busy folks who cannot afford to spend more than a few minutes for making a healthy breakfast.. try this and you will not be disappointed...


1 cup quick oats ( I have used quaker oats)
1.5 cups water
For seasoning: 2tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1tsp jeera, 4-5 green chillies chopped, a twig of curry leaves, 2tsp cashew bits
a pinch of turmeric
grated coconut(optional)
juice of lime --1tsp

In a pan heat oil, add the seasonings, add green chillies and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Now add turmeric and mix well. Add water and boil.. When the water comes to a boil, add coconut, limejuice and salt and mixwell. Now reduce the flame and add the oats and mix well...Close the lid for a minute till the oats cook well.
Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Masala Hakka Noodles

Chinese noodles are generally made from either wheat flour, rice flour, or mung bean starch, with wheat noodles being more commonly produced and consumed in Northern China and rice noodles being more typical of southern ...

Here is a quick and delicious Chinese Hakka noodles which are spicy,sweet and tangy....

1pack Hakka noodles (you can use any thick noodles/maggie noodles)
1/2 cup shredded carrots (boil for 3mins in a microwave)
1/2 cup sliced string beans (boil for 3mins in a microwave)
1bunch scallions
3garlic cloves
2tsp tamarind date chutney
2tsp red chillie chutney/schezewan sauce
1tsp tomato ketchup..
3tbsp oil

Prepare noodles per instructions and strain them and cool them..In a pan, heat the oil till it smokes.. Add garlic and scallions and fry till till the garlic gets golden brown.. Now add the tamarind chutney, red chillie chutney and ketchup and mix well. If you want more sweet and tangy taste add a little more of tamarind date chutney..Adding salt is optional since the sauce may already have salt.. Now mix the strained veggies.

Mix this masala with the cooled noodles till its coated well. Garnish it with scallions and serve....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Menthya/Methi Pulav

This mildly bitter herb is believed to have medicinal properties. Dried leaves, either whole or ground, are called kasuri methi, and they're a good substitute for fresh..

In the early hours in Bangalore, many "Soppu" vendors bring home different kinds of greens to sell in baskets.. I have always adored all the greens. They are fresh and best used immediatly. The taste is amazingly good. Whenever mom used to purchase Menthya soppu, this rice delicacy was always a must.. Its very delicious and simple..

Fresh Menthya soppu/Methi bunches: 2 bunches (clean and strip the leaves from the stem)
cashew nuts: 2tbsp
turmeric:1/2 tsp
Vangibath powder/Sambhar powder: 3tsp
lime juice
seasoning: 2tbsp oil, mustard, hing, curry leaves, dried red chillies
jaggery/honey: 1tsp (optional)

Clean the leaves thoroughly and spread it on a clean paper towel/kichen towel to dry.. Chop the leaves roughly.( Avoid chopping the leaves when wet since it bruises the leaves)..

In a pan, heat oil, season with mustard, hing, curry leaves, dried red chillies. Now add broken cashew bits and fry for a few minutes. Now add the chopped Menthya leaves and mix well. Add lime juice and fry for a few minutes till the menthya leaves are cooked.. Now add the masala powder and salt. Mix well till the oil separates. Cool and mix with rice and serve with raita of your choice...

Tip: This gojju can be made and stored in the refrigerator and used as needed..

If Vangibath powder is not available, fry 1/2 inch piece of cinnamom and 2 cloves. grind it with sambhar powder with 1/4tsp pepper. This will give a very good flavour..

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Persimmon Apple Spread

Persimmons are eaten fresh or dried, raw or cooked. When eaten fresh the peel is usually cut/peeled off and the fruit is often cut into quarters or eaten whole like an apple. The flesh ranges from firm to mushy and the texture is unique. The flesh is very sweet and when firm possesses an apple-like crunch. It can be used in cookies, cakes, puddings, salads and as a topping for breakfast cereal. Persimmon pudding is a dessert using fresh persimmons

Here is a delicious Indian Persimmon Apple spread, which can be served with fresh bakery rusk or a toasted bagel/bread..
4 ripe Persimmons (peeled and pulped)
2 ripe Apples( peeled and chunked finely)
1tsp cardomom powder
1 cup sugar
2tsp fresh honey
a pinch of nutmeg
in a thick bottom pan, add the strained pulp of persimmons. To this add apple chunks, sugar and mix well. Boil on a medium flame and keep stirring. After 7minutes, add honey, cardamom powder and nutmeg and mix well. Again keep stirring on a medicum flame till the consistancy starts getting thicker. Now switch off the heat. Cool the mixture and store it in a clean jar..
(This can be done in a microwave aswell. Make sure the mixture is stirred often in close intervals to prevent it from burning and sticking)..
Serve this spread with crackers/Rusks/toasted bread/bagel or eat with a chapati.. Kids love this spread.

Lipsmacking kurkure chat

"Chaat" makes mouth water..The moment I think of chaat, I visualise all those pani puri vendors out there. Whether it is North, South, East or West chat has become a common wonder snack liked by people of all ages..Whether it is pani puri, Samosa chat, masala puri or papdi chat.. the list is endless and the creativity is so amazing..

Here is a semi homemade quick and delicious snack which the whole family can enjoy anytime of the day..This is semi homemade because I have used store bought Kurkure, cheerios and a few other farsans(optional) to bring in flavours and save tons of time..

Kurkure has become a common snack pack throughout India.. Whether it is a grocery shop or a posh super bazaar the kurkure packs are always handy and the flavours they come in are so amazing..I have found kurkure packs in Indian stores these days aswell since I live in the Northeast USA.. If it is not found, you can replace it with fried tortilla chips, other farsans of your choice or simple rusk bits..


1pack kurkure ( I have used Hyderabadi tamarind flavour)

1cup cheerios(either honeynut or plain cheerios)

4-5 rusk broken into bits

1/4cup raisins

1/2cup salted peanuts(any other nuts if available)

1big onion finely diced

a bunch of cilantro chopped

juice of one lime

2big tablespoons tamarind-date chutney

1big tbsp red chilly chutney( you can make this at home or use maggie red chilly or any other brand of your choice)


First in a clean bowl mix diced onions, cilantro, peanuts, raisins and the chutneys till all are coated well and mixed well. Now mix lime juice. Now add the kurkure, cheerios, rusk bits , toss well and serve immediatly or else they will get too soggy..( You can make the onion mixture before hand and just before serving mix kurkure and other farsans to prevent them from being soggy).

Mysore Masala Dose/South Indian Crepe

The dosa is a South Indian crepe which is high in carbohydrates and proteins, is a typical South Indian breakfast recipe. Needless to say, this food is a speciality in Karnataka & the variety is varied.. Different types of dosas can be prepared with different textures, batter and ingredients.. One of the most authentic breakfast which I personally await every weekend is the special mysore masale dose which my dad makes. It is so far the best I have eaten ..

It is served with Potato Palya, Coconut chutney & a dollop of fresh butter. The crepe itself is smeared with a special red chilly chutney which gives a special flavour..
Dose Ingredients:
3cups raw long grain rice (soaked for 4-5 hrs)
1.5cups urad dal (soaked for 4-5 hrs)
1cup mashed rice (poha) (soaked for 2hrs)
1/2tsp fenugreek seeds
1tsp salt
method: Washed the soaked ingredients. Grind all the soaked ingredients to a fine batter adding 1.5 cups of water. Ferment this batter for 5hrs in a warm place till it rises.
tip: never use the soaked water for grinding as this spoils the batter soon.
Potato Palya Ingredients:
4-5 potatoes (boiled and coarsly mash it so that chunks remain)
4 green chillies
1tsp broken cashew bits
1tsp mustard
1tsp urad dal
1/2tsp turmeric
curry leaves
1tsp lime juice
Method: In a pan add 2tbsp oil and season with mustard, urad dal, cashews and curry leaves. Now add turmeric and green chillies. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well and add lime juice. garnish with coriender leaves..
Coconut chutney ingredients:
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut
a handful coriender leaves
1/2 inch ginger shredded
2tbsp fried gram dal
a lemon size tamarind ball
Method: grind all the above ingredients adding water to a desired consistency.. This can be seasoned with a tadka of oil with mustard seeds and a pinch of hing..
Red chilly chutney recipe:
7dried red chillies(soaked in water for 10mins)
1garlic clove
Grind the ingredients to a fine paste..
Putting it all together: Take a flat plan/Dosa pan.. brush it with a dab of oil. When the pan is heated, take a laddle full of dosa batter and spread it with the base of the laddle to a nice circle..
Add a tsp of oil around the edges of the dosa..After 2mins smear a tsp of red chilly chutney around the dosa..When it starts getting crispy, add a tbsp of potato palya on a side and fold over the dosa. Serve it with chutney and a tsp of butter..

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Raw Banana/Plaintain fry (Balekai palya)

Balekai/Aratiya/Plaintain Plantains can be used for cooking at any stage of ripeness, and very ripe plantain can be eaten raw... Here is a quick Plaintain spiced fry which is very easy & can be served with rice and a dollop of ghee or can be eaten with roti/partha.

3 small plaintains/Raw bananas/Balekai (peeled and sliced into small chunks)
2tsps sambhar powder
2tsp lime juice
2tbsp fresh grated coconut
a pinch of turmeric

For seasoning:
2tbsp oil, hing, mustard, jeera, curry leaves and dried red chillies..

First peel and remove any fibre from the raw bananas and slice it into little chunks. Now add turmeric and lime juice and mix the chunks well and set aside for 5mins.

In a pan add oil and season with mustard, jeera, curry leaves and dried red chillies. Now add the chunks and fry for a few minutes till the chunks get crispy and golden brown. Now add sambhar powder and coconut, salt and mix well for 3minutes.. Do not cover the pan with a lid at any point of time if you want crispier chunks...Enjoy..

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Potato-Shallot Sambhar/Eerulli Alugadde Huli

I remember when I used to go jogging early morning during my bangalore days.. My dad and me made it a point to visit a different eat out cafe after jogging for a steaming idli with sambhar. This sambhar always fascinated me. The flavour was so enticing. Potato Shallot sambhar is almost served in any eatery throught Karnataka and tastes delicious nomatter where it is served. Nothing can go wrong with this combination.

Here is an authentic version of this sambhar from my grand mother which I cherish...

1cup potato cubed
1cup shallots
1/2cup toor dal
1/2 cup moong dal
2tbsp fresh grated coconut
a small piece of jaggery/sugar can be used if jaggery is not present
3tsp sambhar powder
1tsp tamarind paste
oil, jeera, mustard, hing, curry leaves for seasoning
For sambhar powder
2tsp dhania
1tsp jeera
1tsp pepper corns
2tsp urad dal
handful dry red chillies
Fry all the ingredients till nice aroma comes and grind it to a fine powder.
In a pan, add 2tsp oil, add hing and shallots fry for 3mins. Now in a pressure cook both the dals along with potato, tomato and the shallots in oil together adding little water till the dal is well cooked. Dont overcook since the shallots may disintegrate.
In another vessel, add the seasonings and now add the pressure cooked mixture, add sambhar powder, jaggery, coconut and salt and mix everything and boil for 5minutes. Now add tamarind paste and boil for 2mins more. Garnish with coriender.
Serve this sambhar with idlis/vadas/rice or drink it as it is like a soup...

Cluster Beans delight/Gorikai Palya

Guar/Mattikaya/Cluster Bean/Gorkikai/Jawalikai is an interesting flavourful legume.
It is an annual legume crop that provides with a natural source of hydrocolloid.It is consumed as a bean, livestock fed and also in the form of manure in the fields. India is a very dominant producer of this crop. This is a common vegetable used in Karnataka aswell. My most favourite part of this bean is its color, rich bright green color especially the young beans.

Here is a classic recipe with cluster beans which can be served with plain rice or with any roti or eaten as it is. This recipe can be made dry or in a gravy form as needed. For all the people dont like green, once you taste this, you will never complain about eating green again...Looking forward for your comments..

2cups chopped cluster beans (boil it and drain the water)
salt to tast
To grind:
1/2cup fresh grated coconut
4-5 green chillies
1tsp jeera
2tbsp channa dal soaked for 15mins in boiling water
a handful coriender leaves
To season
2tsp oil
hing, jeera, mustard, 1tsp urad dal, 1tsp channa dal, currey leaves, 2dried red chillies
Grind all the 'To grind" ingredients adding little water to a fine paste. In a thick bottom pan, add oil and season with all the seasoning ingredients. Now add the ground paste and mix well in a low flame. Add little water if the paste starts to stick to the pan. Now close a lid and let it cook for 10mins. Then add the boiled cluster beans, salt and mix well and serve.
This can be eaten as it is and extremely healthy since it contains high protein and very little fat and sugar. It can be served in hot rice with a dollop of ghee or served as a curry with roti.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dahi vada/Curd Vada

During my bangalore days!! my often favourite joint was the SLV/Adigas chain of cafes filled with people the hustle bustle and ofcourse the tasty aroma from the sambhar and vadas. I would not pass by those streets without tasting the Dahi vada/mosaru vade which was my alltime favourite brunch or snack.

Dahi Vada is a very fulfilling recipe of dal dumplings dipped in flavoured yogurt. These dumplings when soaked would be soft and juicy. Here is the recipe

1.5 cups Black gram dall( soaked for 3hrs)
1tsp rice flour
1tsp black pepper corns
1/2 cup of fresh coconut pieces(you can use grated coconut if you dont have pieces)
2cups hot water
salt to taste
oil for frying
For Dahi
2-3cups of fresh yogurt(beaten and smooth adding little water)
1/2 cup grated carrot
salt to taste
1tsp sugar
For garnish
oil, mustard, hing, curry leaves
2tbsp boondi (optional)
Grind the dal adding as little water as possible till you get a nice paste. It shouldnt be watery. Mix the rest of the ingredients and let it sit for 2hrs.
Meanwhile mix grated carrot to dahi and season dahi with oil, mustard and hing (tadka/vagarne).
Fry the vadas making a little dip in the batter to form a vada and deep fry in oil till crisp and golden brown. Immedatly dip the vadas for 5mins in hot water. Now squeeze the water from the vadas and add it to the dahi mixture so that they can soak and absorb the flavours...Serve with boondi..

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Festive Lemonade (Panakam)

Panaka/Panakam I would call is a very festive drink which is extremely refreshing & delicious. The speciality lies in its simple blend of flavours using simple ingredients. It is a very soothing drink often offered in many festivals especially Rama Navami. Any pooja or rituals in any auspicious occasions is incomplete without this cooler.

Here is a very simple Panakam recipe which is extremely soothing & quick to make.

3cups of store bought lemonade
4cardamom pods (powder it fresh)
1/2 inch ginger grated
1/4cup water
1/4tsp saffron
a few rose petals(optional)


micrwave 1/4 cup water adding grated ginger, saffron & cardamom powder for 2mins till the taste of cardamom and ginger infuses in the water. Set aside for a few mins to cool and then strain the infused liquid.

Add this strained liquid in 3cups of store brough lemonade. Mix well and chill if needed. Serve it with garnished rose petals. This recipe is definetly an eye catching hit...

Try it and let me know your comments

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Toor Spiced Rice (Togari Bath)

Toor/Tuar is one of the most versatile legumes. Toor Dal is known by many names such as Arhar dall, Tuvar Dall, Yellow Spilt Peas etc. Through out india this pulse is used as a basic pulse for making dals, chutneys, sambhars, rasam and curries.

This recipe is very nutritious, quick & extremely delicious. It is very different than the regular masala bath/pulavs but equally flavourfull. Hope you all like this recipe as much as I do..


Tool dal/Togari bele --dry ones 1cup

Red dried chillies--5-6

Garlic pods--3


hing--a pinch


tamarind pulp--2tsp/ or lime juice can be used.

grated fresh coconut--2tbsp

Cooked rice-1.5 cups


1tsp sugar

1 papad either microwaved or fried in oil


Dry roast the tool dall without oil in a pan till nice aroma comes and cool it on a plate. In the same pan, add a tsp of oil and add garlic pods, dhania and hing and fry for 2mins till the rawness from the garlic goes. Now add the dried red chillies and fry for a minute.

Grind all the above into a coarse paste with tamarind pulp/lime juice adding little water.

Take cooled boiled rice in a plate, add the ground paste above and mix well. Add salt and sugar and mix again. Finally add the fresh cocunut and break the papad and mix well.

This chutney can be made ahead and refrigerated for long since it does not contain coconut. This makes an excellent recipe for leftover rice and also for a large party cooking. Kids especially love this rice with papad bits. This will surely be a party hit.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Avarekalu Rotti

Avarekai reminds of the most authentic aromatic dishes like Rotti, kodubale, nippattu, sambhar the list is endless. In bangalore the deskinned avarekalu called 'hitaka bele' is sold in a few places. The rotti and sambhar with this is out of the world.

In English the name of Avarekai is either Flat Beans or Field Beans .They are grown in India and elsewhere, mainly during summer.The definition of a field bean - Old World upright plant grown especially for its large flat edible seeds but also as fodder.Other names for the field bean is:broad-bean, broad-bean plant, English bean, European bean, Vicia faba..

Rotti is a flat pancake made it either rice flour or Finger millet flour(ragi). Avarekalu rotti represents typical karnataka breakfast food. Here is the recipe


Avarekalu (papdi lilva)/Hitakabele if available -- 1cup

Grated coconut or fresh coconut pieces--1/2 cup

Rice flour -2cups

jeera 1tbsp

Sabsige soppu/dill-1small bunch

butter milk--1/2 cup

oil , salt and water..


microwave avarekalu till tender with a pinch of salt. Drain and reserve the drained water. In a mixing bowl, add rice flour and all the other ingrediants with chopped dill and mix it with buttermilk. If the mixture is too dry, add the reserved water for mixing. The consistency should be like a soft chapati dough. Now smear this with 2tsp oil and keep it aside for 15mins.

Take a non stick pan, smear your hands with oil , take a small piece of the dough and using your fingers spread it around the pan. The oil on your palm will help you expand the dough to the thick ness you want..

on a medium flame cook the rotti till brown spots appear. smear it with ghee or butter and serve with cold yogurt.

Optional: cook the rotti and garnish with fresh grated coconut and serve..

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chitranna--a spicy rice delicacy

Chitranna represents a quick fulfilling breakfast item or a part of a big lunch..It is always a part of festive food.
There are varieties of chitranna. Sometimes it is made with lemon juice or mango or tamarind. My most favourite chitranna is with a combination of coriander with tamarind. This is one of my most favourite recipes given to me from my mother.

1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
a small piece of tamarind (soak a small piece of tamarind in water and remove seeds or break tamarind into little bits)
coriender-a bunch
green chillies--4-5

For seasoning:
2tbsp peanuts
1twig curry leaves
4 red dried chillies
1tsp mustard seeds
1tsp urad dal
a pinch hing

1) grind coconut, coriender leaves and the tamarind pieces in a mixer without adding any water. The mixture need not have to be finely ground.
2) In a pan, add 2tbsp oil and when heated add mustard seeds , urad dal and hing. When it splutters add chillies, curry leaves and peanuts and fry till the peanuts turn brown
3)Now add the ground mixture and fry for 2-3minutes.

Voila.. the mixture is ready to be mixed with boiled rice .Add salt and enjoy..

Shavige-gasagase payasa

This is a classic recipe which I learnt from my mother in law..Its a rare and tasty combination of vermicelli & poppy seeds with a unique mouth tingling taste..

For all the Payasa lovers who are looking for a refreshing change with shavige.. this is a rewarding change.

Ingredients :
shavige(vermicelli) - 1 cup
Gasagase(poppyseeds) - 2tbsp
Ghee-2 tbsp
Cardamom - 4 (peeled and powdered)
Dry fruits - 2tbsp
Jaggery -- 1cup (if brown sugar used, use 1.5 cup)
Milk - half cup (optional)
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup

1) Fry vermicelli in a tbsp of ghee on a medium flame till golden brown..
2) In the same pan, fry the poppyseeds till the raw smell goes away.
3) Grind the poppy seeds with coconut and cardomom into a watery paste.
4) Take another pan, add 1/2 cup water and boil the vermicille, when almost done, add jaggery and boil for a few more minutes till the jaggery melts.
5) Now add the poppy seeds paste in this pan and mix everything. Based on the consistency water could be added or milk could be added.
6) for more richer taste coconut milk can be added too.
7)Fry all the dry fruits and nuts in the left over ghee and garnish the payasa.This can be served warm or cold..