Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Majjige Huli

Majjige Huli it is....
A typical south indian meal includes Majjige Huli which is a tangy curry made with curd & ground channa dal(kadlebele)..This is very similar to the Gujarathi Kadhi which again has curd and chick pea flour.. It takes in water based veggies like cucumber, white pumpkin, squash or snake guard.. Okra is an excellent vegetable for Majjige Huli as well. Here is a East Karnataka version which takes a unique vegetable (rather a leaf) which is the "Taro Leaf" which is also called Colocasia/Patra/Kesuvu/Chamaaku..
My vegetable garden this summer gave me fresh Taro plants with bright green tender leaves and I couldnt wait to make this Karnataka speciality..

You need:
3-4 tender Taro leaves
2tbsps besan
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (use frozen coconut if available)
3 dried red chillies, 2 green chillies
4-5 strands of coriender leaves /cilantro
1/4tsp black pepper
1/2tsp jeera
1.5cups curd/yogurt

Grind all the above ingrediants except the taro leaves..

For tadka: 2tsp oil (use coconut oil if you like since this gives a very unique flavour), 2 small cinnamon sticks, 1tsp mustard, 1tsp jeera, a strand of curry leaves and hing..

To make:
clean the Taro leaves under running water. Chop the leaves into very thin filaments. In a pan, heat oil. To this add hing, mustard seeds till they crackle. Now add jeera, curry leaves and cinnamon sticks and mix for a minute. To this add the Taro leaf filaments and fry them for 3-4 minutes till the leaves turn dark green and cook well. Now add the ground paste and mix well. Close the lid for 2minutes till the flavours incorporate. Now finally add well beaten curd and salt and mix well. Turn off the heat..
Serve this with any rice dish or roti...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mysore Thali..

A typical Mysore thali consists of many many delicious mouth watering items.. Here is one simple Thali where the common ingredient is Green gram dal or Hesarable which incorporates one salad, one vegetable, a rice item, dal and a dessert.. Most of these dishes are made everyday almost in any South Indian home. Nevertheless, for the benefit of those who are beginning to cook, here is how you make…

Carrot Kosambari

This is very simple and nutritious dish..

You need:
1 cup grated fresh carrots
½ cup green gram dal/hesarabele (soaked for 20mins till they plump up)
2tbps-fresh grated coconut (optional)

To season
1tsp oil, a pinch of hing, 1tsp mustard, 1 chopped green chillie, 1tsp urad dal, 1tsp channa dal

Salt to taste
Juice of a lime

Mix drained soaked hesarabele with grated carrot and coconut. Heat a tsp of oil and add all the tempering ingrediants. Mix it with the carrot mixture. Add lime juice and keep it aside for 5mins. Just before serving add salt and serve..

Cabbage playa

You need:

2cups chopped/grated cabbage
2tbsps soaked green gram dal (soak for 10mins)
2tbsps coconut optional

To season
1tbsp oil, a pinch of hing, 1tsp mustard, 1 chopped green chillie, 1tsp urad dal, 1tsp channa dal


In a thick bottom pan, heat oil and temper with hing mustard seeds, chillies, and dals. Make sure they don’t burn. To this add the chopped cabbage mix well. Now add the soaked dal and sprinkle a hand full of water. Close a lid and in a medium flame let the vegetable cook. Cabbage leaves out lots of water and the dal gets cooked in this water. Once cabbage has cooked, which usually takes 6-7 minutes, add coconut and mix well. Again add salt just before serving to retain crispy playa..

Hesarable thovve/Green gram dal

Among all the dals, I love this dal the most. It gives out a unique flavour. To get the most of this dal, do not overcook hesarable. The grain should be soft and separated but not like a paste..

You need:

1cup hesarable (dry roast this with a tsp of ghee)
1 ¼ cup of water
1 green cucumber deskinned and chopped
1/2cup chopped coriander
Juice of a lime
Salt to taste

To season
1tbsp oil, a pinch of hing, 1tsp mustard, 1 chopped green chillie, 1tsp urad dal, 1tsp channa dal


Pressure cook the dal until it is soft but not mushy. In a pan, add the seasonings, add the cucumber and mix well. Close the lid for 5-6 minutes till the cucumber is soft. Now add the cooked dal, coriander leaves, juice of a lime and salt to taste and mix everything well. This goes very well with hot rice and ghee..

Hesarabele chitranna

You need:

2 cups cooked rice

Roaste: 1tsps hesarabele, 1tsp jeera, hing.. till it leaves out nice aroma. Grind everything with ½ cup of grated fresh coconut and green chillies..

In a pan, add 2tbsps oil, Add mustard, dals for seasoning, dried red chillies and a few peanuts and mix for 2minutes. To this add the groundpaste, a pinch of turmeric and mix well till the oil separates. Cool the mixture and mix with rice. Add salt and lime juice and enjoy…

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Squash -black pepper Gojju/ Kumbalakai Menasina gojju

The Yellow Summer Squash is one of the most versatile vegetables available in the market.. This summer, the yellow squash graced my vegetable garden and fully in harvest.. The first dish I wanted to try with this fresh homegrown squash is the authentic black pepper gojju from my good old days. This was originally made with pumpkin, but Squash is a very good alternative for this dish..

To make this you need..
a tender yellow squash ( remove the seeds and cube them)
a raw green tomato
juice of lime
Dry roast
1tbsp black pepper corns
2tbsps black gram dal
1tsp jeera
2-3 dried red chillies
1 cup fresh grated coconut
Grind everything together with coconutand water into a paste

a tsp of oil, hing, mustard seeds

To make
First boil the squash cubes till tender. The young squash hardly takes 8-10minutes in the microwave. In a pan, take oil, season with hing and mustard seeds. Now add chopped raw tomato and fry for 2-3 mins. Now add the ground paste and mix well. fry for 2-3 mins. To this add boiled squash with some water, add salt and mix well till everything incorporates. This takes about 3-4 minus. Add some lime juice for a hit of sourness if you like.

Enjoy this authentic gojju with chapatis or as an accompaniment with rice..

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vegetable Pizza

Pizza!!!!! the name represents comfort food, colorful, cheeesy and delicious..People of all age groups enjoy this Italian delicacy.. Here is a simple home made version of a Pizza. The toppings really can go with imagination..

For the pizza dough
2 cups maida
1 cup warm water
1tsp salt
a pinch of sugar
1 tsp ghee
mix everything into a soft dough and allow it to rise for 2 hours in a warm place..

Tip: if you want to use a semi homemade version, pizza dough is available fresh in almost all the grocery stores. It is very similar to our Poori/ chapati dough.

Tomato pizza sauce:
blanch fresh tomatoes (4) and remove the skin. Make a puree of the tomatoes. To this add salt, sugar and dried herbs of your choice (I have used oregano and fresh crushed black pepper)

The list is endless.. I have used fresh tomatoes sliced, onion rings, green pepper stripes and a few fresh basil leaves
You can go with pineapple, eggplant, olives, jalapeno, banana peppers, apples, zucchini, brocolli etc...

To make:
roll out the pizza dough on to a round oven pan and bake it in the oven for 6minutes at 375 F.
To this spread the homemade tomato sauce allround.Sprinkle a combination of your favourite cheese . I have used a mixture of mozzerella and cheddar cheese.. Now arrange all the veggies per ur imagination. Bake this for 20minutes at 400 till the cheese is bubbly and the edges of the pizza dough get golden brown. Enjoy the pizza...

Hint: To get the best results, always use very fresh ingrediants.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Kothambari Chitranna/Coriender Rice

Coriender has a wonderful flavour. This herb is generally used to garnish almost any dish in the regular Indian cooking. Here is a rice dish made exclusively with Coriender/Cilantro.

You need:
1 bunch fresh green coriender leaves (cleaned and chopped)
2tbsp fresh grated coconut
1 small tamarind ball ( de seeded and made into tiny pieces)
Grind all the above into a coarse paste without adding any water.

for seasoning
Oil, turmeric, curry leaves, 1tsp channa dal, 1tsp urad dal, 1tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of hing, 2 dried red chillies..
Salt to taste
2 cups boiled rice ( boil the rice till the granules separate and not very mushy)

For chitranna
In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil. To this add the seasonings . Make sure the dals are not burned as this will change the flavour of this rice. Dont over heat the oil while seasoning. To this add the ground coriender paste and fry for 2 minutes. Now add salt and switch off the heat..
When the rice is cooled, spread rice in a wide pan, add the mixture and mix well. Adjust salt based on taste..

Aloo Masala/Potato tikki chat

Here is a tasty snack with potato and dried white peas. This dish is inspired by the famous chat "Ragada Patties" but more on the southern tinge...

For the Aloo patties:
3 big russet potatoes (boiled and mashed)
4 wheat bread slices (you can use regular white bread if you want)
1tsp tamarind date chutney
1tsp chillie powder
a pinch of turmeric and a pinch of hing
1/2 cup chopped coriender

soak the bread slices in warm water for a minute. Squeeze out the water and mix the mashed bread with mashed potatoes. to this add the powders and hing and the chutney and mix well. Add the coriender and mix. Make patties on your palm and shallow fry in a pan with a tbsp of oil till brown and crispy

For the Masala
1 cup dried white peas (soak it overnight and pressure cook with salt and a bay leaf till soft)
1 onion chopped
2 raw tomatoes, 1tsp sambhar powder, 1//2 inch cinnamon stick, 2 cloves to a paste.
In a pan, add a tsp of oil, fry the onion and add the ground paste. To this add the boiled peas and in a medium flame boil the masala for 10mins till all the flavours blend and the consistency is right. Add salt to this.

Putting it together
Serve by adding the patties to a ladleful of masala . Garnish with chopped onion..

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Masala Akki Rotti

In most parts of Karnataka, one of the easy breezy breakfast dish is the Akki rotti. Needless to say, this versatile rice flour bread incorporates variety of vegetables. Here is one version of this rotti, where I have used "Sabsige Soppu/Dill leaves" to flavour this bread. This really brings out a sharp flavour which is extremely delicious in this rotti.

To make you need:
1 cup rice flour
1cup chopped fresh dill leaves/Sabsige soppu
2tbsps fresh grated coconut
2tbsps fresh grated carrot
1tbsp jeera
2 green chillies chopped
1 cup sour curd
salt to taste
Process: In a pan, combine all the above ingredients to form a chapati like dough. The consistency should be soft but not watery. Keep this mixture aside for a few minutes till the sourness of the curd spreads in the dough.
In a flat pan, grease your hands, grease the pan if it is a not a non stick pan. Take a portion of the dough (a medium sized ball) and tap from inside out on the pan till it spreads out evenly. Depending on your taste you can roll it with your palm very thin or a little thick. Now place it on the stove and on a medium flame cook this adding a tsp of oil around this rotti till it is crispy and cooked on all sides evenly.
Serve it with a dollop of butter.

Gulpavute/Wheat Flour Laddus

The rich nutritious Gulpavute is one of my most favourite desserts. With minimal ingrediants and a simple procedure, this quick and easy laddus can be a time saver when you have unexpected visitors or you are looking for a quick something sweet to eat...

Here is how you make this..


1 cup wheat flour

1 cup jaggery ( you can use brown sugar if you prefer)

1tsp cardamom powder

2tbsp mixture of your favourite nuts (almonds, pista, walnuts) powder them

water 1.5 cups

1tbsp pure ghee(optional)


The most important part of making this laddus is to dry roast the wheat flour patiently for 8minutes till the flour turns golden brown and a nice aroma comes out and keep it aside.

Take a heavy bottom pan, add water and jaggery and wait till the jaggery melts fully. Once it is melted, boil this mixture for 3-4 minutes adding ghee and cardamom powder till bubbles form. Now mix the wheat flour and the nut mixture together and add this powder to the jaggery mixture slowly on low heat stirring constantly till no lumps are formed. Make sure there are no lumps in the mixture. Now switch off the heat, keep this mixture aside till it cools a little. Now damp your palm with water or rub ghee on ur palms and make laddus from this mixture.

To add an extra effect , you can sprinkle confectioners sugar if you have and enjoy these nutritious laddus..