Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Indian Style Pasta - Semiya Bath

When one is bored of the Rava upmas , semia upma is good for a change. I have used the pre roasted variety of semia made from durum wheat. Though the upma appears lumpy when it is hot, it loosens out once it cools down . This makes a good , filling, tiffin box meal too.


Semiya ( vermicelli ) - 1 1/2 cups, roasted
Water - 3 cups
Onion - 2 medium , sliced
Green chilly - 5 no.s
Ginger - 1 tbsp , finely shredded
Oil - 3 tbsps
Cinnamon - 1'' piece
Cloves - 3
Elaichi - 1
Carrot - 1/2 cup, juliennes
Beans - 1/2 cup , juliennes
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 spoon
Coriander - a little
Salt - to taste


Drop the whole spices into hot oil to release it's flavors.
Stir in the chillies & after a minute add the onions, ginger & vegetables & stir fry till done.
Pour the measured water & add the salt & bring to a boil.
Toss in the semia & cook till all the water is absorbed.
Put off the gas & mix with lemon juice & sugar.
Garnish with coriander.


Can use tomatoes to add some color & tang.
Fried cashews & coconut shavings would make an attractive & tasty garnish.

Nellikayi ( gooseberry ) Chitranna

The magical ingredient of today is Nellikayi. Come winter , it is a joy to see cartloads of these nuggets in the markets in all their green glory. Amla is revered & held supreme in Ayurveda system of medicine. As we all know , it is excellent source of Vit C. And this vitamin happens to be a good anti oxidant. It ia a combination of sour, sweet & astringent tastes. And used for many home remedies. It preserves well in the form of murabbas & pickles, & also dried as suparies. For starters, I'm presenting a easy , tasty rice using this wonder fruit.


Rice - 1 cup , cook & cool
Peas - 1/2 cup , cooked
Coriander - 2tbsps , to garnish
Grind , with a tsp of water -
Goose berry - 3 No.s, sliced
Coconut - 2 tbsps grated
Green Chillies - 8 No.s
Jaggery - 3/4 tbsp
Salt - To taste
To Temper-
Oil - 3 tbsps
Mustard, jeera, Urad dal, Channa dal, curry leaves , turmeric powder, Hing


Temper the oil . When the dals get golden color, toss the gooseberry mixture in & stir fry till the raw smell goes for a couple of minutes.
Now add the rice , peas & mix well till the rice is hot.
Garnish with chopped coriander.


Try using Red chillies in place of green chillies.
As a variation vegetables like carrot & beans can be used.
A handful of peanuts can be stir fried along with the tempering .
Cashew can be used for garnish.

This is my contribution to the APS - Rice event.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jeerige Chutney

Jeerige chutney, with distinct aroma of jeera coming thro' , makes a flavourful accompaniment with rice. Having coconut as it's base, it is balanced with the sweet & sour tastes from jaggery & tamarind. It is a very simple & tasty chutney using very few ingredients. One can also benefit from the many therapeutic properties that jeera is know for.


Coconut - 1 cup, grated
Jeera - 2 tbsps
Red Chilly - 4 & 4 ( guntur & byadigi )
Tamarind - 1 tbsp , soaked
Jaggery - 3/4 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp, for tempering
Mustard , Curry leaves & Hing


In a pan, stir fry coconut, jeera, red chillies till the moisture in the coconut reduces & a good aroma emanates.
To this add the tamarind , jaggery & salt & grind to a chutney with little water.
Temper with mustard & hing.
Serve with hot rice, roties etc.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Flavorful Methi Pulav

Methi leaves are in season & I'm perpetually trying out different ways of using them while the season lasts, by trying out various recipes. The Blogosphere , is of course , of immense help. This time , Methi leaves added a additional dimension to the regular vegetable pulav.
Lightly spiced with the whole spices & the coconut milk takes the rice to another level.


Rice - 1 cup , wash & soak for 20 mins
Methi leaves - 2 fistful, pinch out leaves from stem , wash & drain
Coconut milk - 1 cup
Water - 3/4 cup
Carrot - 1/2 cup , chopped
Peas - a handful
Onion - 2 medium, sliced
Green chillies - 8 , slit
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tbsps
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 2''
Marati moggu ( capers ) - 4
Cashews - a few
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp


In the Pressure cooker temper the oil with the whole spices. Drop the cashew and stir till done . Drop in the chillies & stir for a minute till white blisters appear on them.
Saute' the onions lightly, turn in the carrots, peas & methi leaves & stir fry for a few minutes till the leaves wilt.
Drain the rice & add it to the vegetables & stir it for 2 minutes let the rice get coated with oil.
Pour in the the water & coconut milk and bring it to a boil with sufficient salt .
Cook on high flame till 1 whistle, reduce flame and simmer for another 10 minutes.
Open after the pressure is released . Mix the lemon juice.
Serve by itself or with Raitha.


Basmathi rice can be used.
Beans , potatoes, cauliflower are the other vegetables that could be used in the pulav.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Creamy Custard with Bananas

Custard with fruits is an ever so popular dessert & one never gets tired of eating this over the years. It is made with wholesome milk, enriched with the addition of fruits & dry fruits. It allows easy variations & I've suggested some of them below.


Full Cream Milk - 1/2 liter
Custard powder ( Vanilla Flavor ) - 3 tbsps
Sago - 1 tbsp
Bananas - 2 cups chopped
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Cashew - 2 tbsps, broken,


  • Mix the custard powder with a couple of tbsps of cold milk / water & set aside.
  • Bring the milk to a boil, lower the flame, pour in the reserved custard powder mixed in milk, stirring all the while. The custard should coat the spoon , is a good way to check for the right consistency of the custard. If not add some more custard powder mixed with water & cook till thick.
  • Add the sugar & cook till it dissolves. Put off the fire. Cool the custard to room temperature , stirring in between to discourage the formation of scum.
  • Fry the sago in a few drops of ghee for a while. Pour in some water & cook till soft.
  • When the custard is cool , mix in the chopped fruits , raisins , Cashew bits, cooked sago & refrigerate .
  • It makes a yummy dessert when served cold.

Mixed assorted fruits or any fruit of your choice can be used.
Dry fruit assortment of choice can be used. Chopped wet dates go well with the custard.
Set jelly & cut into cubes . This will make a great garnish for the custard.
Cooked Vermicelli could be mixed in as a variation in place of sago.
China grass can be set , cut into bits & mixed in the custard for variety .
Could there be more possibilities ........can anyone suggest ?

Sending this to RV's & Sudeshna's Desserts & Ice cream event.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Delectable Sweet Corn Curry

My ongoing quest for Side Dishes brought me to this recipe by Tarla Dalal. I like her style & would want to try many more of her recipes.
This dish , as the name suggests uses corn as the main ingredient. I have deviated from her recipe slightly by using tomatoes to off set the sweetness of the corn & also to add a contrast color. Also , I crushed some of the corn . This will not only bring out the flavors of the corn , it will also add body & thickness to the gravy along with the coconut & poppy seeds. It turned out to be a mildly flavored, tasty gravy which is certain to win over one and all.


Sweet Corn Kernels - 2 cups, cooked
Coconut milk - 2 cups , Extracted from 1 cup of coconut
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Tomato - 2 no.s, chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Spices - 2 cloves, 2 cardamom, 2 cinnamon

Grind the following :
Green chillies - 6 no.s
Onion - 2 med. , chopped, sauteed lightly
Fresh coconut grated - 1 tbsp
Coriander - a handful
Garlic - 8 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece
Poppy seeds - 1 tbsp , toasted lightly


Take a tsp of oil in a pan & lightly saute the onions & grind with the rest of the ingredients into a paste with some water.
Use oil & ghee & temper the whole spices when the oil is hot .
Stir in the masala paste & fry for a few minutes till the raw smell goes.
Crush half of the kernels roughly in the blender . Add it along with the whole kernels.
Pour in the coconut milk & add salt. Adjust the consistency.
Add the tomatoes too.
Bring to a nice boil.
Put off fire & sharpen with lemon juice.

This is off to Think Spice Think Poppy Seeds Event, run by Rv and Sunitha

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Egg Fried Rice

I regularly prepare Vegetable Fried Rice , but Egg dishes are a new terrain to me. I have always been a vegetarian , but as my children like Non - Veg food & eggs , occasionally I try something with eggs for their sake. I fancied the fried rice using eggs in Yummy food by Lubna , & set out to try the same. I have always admired this blog for the exquisite photographs & recipes as many others.
I made some minor changes to the recipe to suit my style , & it was a super duper hit. Eggs are nutrition - dense, & have high quality proteins. It is not only colorful visually, but a treat to the taste buds also.
This recipe goes out to everyone who love their EGGS !
Carrot Bundles have been used as a garnish. I've par-boiled carrot sticks held together by spring onion leaves.

Jeera rice - 1 cup
Oil - 4 tbsps
Cinnamon - 2'' piece, broken up
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1
Green Chillies - 5 , slit
onion - 1 medium size, sliced thinly
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tsps
Tomato - 2 small, remove seeds & chop finely
Eggs - 2 No.s
Mixed cooked vegetables - 1 cup ( carrots, beans , corn, peas )
Spring Onion - 1 cup , chopped
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Coriander - 2 tbsps , chopped.


Soak rice for 15 minutes, drain water & cook with 1 1/2 cups water & cool.
Take oil in a pan , temper with the spices - cinnamon, cloves , cardamom.
Tip in the green chillies & stir for a minute .
Add the onion & saute till is transparent.
Ginger garlic goes in next , stir till the raw smell fades.
Tomatoes go in now. Stir & let cook till it is soft.
Beat the eggs lightly , pour in & cover for two minutes . scramble, & stir it till it is dry.
The cooked vegetables can be added now & half of the spring onion also. Stir fry for two minutes.
Finally, the rice goes in .
It is a good time to season with pepper powder & salt.
Mix well till all the flavors blend in & the rice is hot.
Garnish with the other half of the spring onions & chopped coriander.
Serve hot with Tomato sauce or any other sauce of choice, & indulge.

Sending this to simply,food - create and carve event.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

On the Chutney Pudi trail..

This chutney pudi is my family's All time favorite. Previously it used to be hand pound. But we have long since given up this method because domestics these days are no game for it. Now we resort to the good old blender. This pudi goes well with almost all breakfast dishes.
Pudi & curds is a good combination for onion roti or chapathi. Chutney pudi anna which comprises of hot rice mixed with this pudi & pickles & ghee is everyone's delight.
Need I say more .......enjoy the superlative !


Chutney dal ( roasted Bengal gram dal)- 2 cups
Copra - 1 cup , grated- 1 cup
Red chilly powder - 4 tbsps
Salt - to taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Tamarind - ping pong size ball , made into pieces
Jaggery - 1 1/2 tbsp
Curry leaves - 3/4 cup, loosely filled
For tempering-
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard, hing, curry leaves


Dry grind the chutney dal first & keep aside.
Dry grind the rest of the ingredients coarsely.
Mix both & run in the blender for briefly.
Crackle the mustard etc in the oil , reduce the fire & stir in the powder for sometime.
Put off the fire & allow to cool in the pan. Later fill into the bottle.


If using garlic, grind it along with the masala.
A handful of chopped coriander can be added into the finished chutney powder & then stirred into the tempering.

Garlic-icious Rice

This is an extremely simple preparation with a robust flavor & is an instant appeal to the garlic lovers. Garlic is a pretty versatile condiment & has numerous health benefits too. I belong to the I LOVE GARLIC camp & pity the ones that are missing out on this wonder bulb.
Try out this rice once & I promise you will be hooked on to it permanently.


Rice - 1/2 cup, cook & cool
Copra - 2 tbsps, grated
chutney dal - 2tsp
Red chillies - 4 guntur & 4 byadigi , lightly toasted
Garlic- 1-2 tbsps
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - 1 tbsp, soaked
Jaggery - 1 ts
For tempering-
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard, urad dal, curry leaves

Dry grind the dry ingredients first , then add in the rest & with a little water grind into a paste.
Temper the oil , add in the paste, stir & immediately add the rice. Mix well.
Serve hot & relish.

This is off to the EFM : Variety Rice Series hosted by Me and my kitchen.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Methi Capsicum Masala

This recipe does not call for the use of methi leaves. But since they are in season now & I had some fresh leaves on hand , I was tempted to add them into this masala. Otherwise this masala is similar to the one used in brinjal gravies. Stuffing this masala into whole small capsicum is also a good idea.


Capsicum - 2 cups , diced bite size
Methi leaves - 1 cup , chopped
Peas - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 cup, diced bite size
Tomato - 2 no.s , diced bite size

Coconut grated - 3 tbsps
Ginger - 1'' piece
Garlic - 10 cloves
Onion - 1 no. , copped roughly
Peanuts - 3 tbsps , toasted
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp , toasted lightly
Red Chilly - 10 no.s ( guntur & byadigi mixed )
Dhaniya seeds - 1 tbsp
Clove - 1
Cinnamon - 1'' stick
Tamarind - 3'' piece, soaked
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Oil - 3 tbsps,
Mustard, hing - for tempering

Coriander leaves- 2 tbsps, chopped, for garnishing.


Toast Red chilly, Coriander seeds, cloves, cinnamon & grind into a paste with the rest of the ingredients with some water.
Take oil in a pan & temper . Saute the onions, methi leaves, peas & capsicum till done
Add the masala paste , water to the required consistency & bring to a boil.
Garnish with the coriander leaves.
Serve with Rotis.

Sending this to the CWS Event hosted by RV , Started by Priya.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Methi Podi Kura

This is a dry side dish, prepared by my mother. To my knowledge , it is commonly prepared in Andhra households. This preparation combines the goodness of the lentils with the flavorsome methi leaves having a pleasant bitter edge. This wonder herb is packed with minerals & fiber , which can also be consumed raw in salads. The dry leaves, Kasuri Methi, are crushed & sprinkled over finished curries.
Passing the flavorsome Podi Kura to all the foodies out there ....


Thoor Dal - 3/4 cup, soaked for 1 hour
Methi leaves - 2 cups, packed, chopped
Onion - 2 med, chopped
Red chilly powder - 2 tsps
Salt - to taste
Garlic - 1 pod, peeled
Amchur Powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsps
For Tempering - Mustard, jeera, turmeric powder, hing, curry leaves

  • Drain the red gram lentils, pressure cook in a colander. When the pressure builds, put off the gas. The lentils have to retain their shape & be just cooked, as it is a dry subzi.
  • Temper the oil, & saute the onions & garlic , & add in the methi leaves & cook till done.
  • Toss in the cooked lentils, chilly powder, salt , sugar & Amchur powder.
  • Mix well till all the flavors combine & put off the gas.
This makes a good side dish to go with hot rice & rotis as well.
Methi leaves can be swapped with grated carrot or grated ( radish ) mooli, to get other variations.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Baby Alu Methi

I have always fancied Baby Alu & this time I actually bought a bag of them. Alu methi was all I could think of doing. Surfing for a recipe , I liked Sailu's style. I changed it a wee bit, making a few omissions & commissions. And here is how I made it ,


Baby Potato - 1/2 Kg
Methi leaves - 2 cups packed
Onion - 2 medium, chopped
Green Chilly - 3 no.s , split
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsps
Mixed spice powder - ( 2 cloves, 1'' cinnamon, 1 cardamom )
Chilly powder - 2 tsps
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsps , for tempering
Oil - 2 tbsps
Lemon juice - 2 tbsps
Sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste


Pressure cook Baby Potatoes & remove skin .
Take a tbsp of oil, add in the green chillies & saute the onions & fenugreek leaves till done. You can add a chopped tomato at this stage & cook for a couple of minutes & keep this aside.
In the same pan, add another tbsp of oil & temper with the cumin seeds , stir in the ginger garlic paste, toss in the cooked potatoes & stir fry till a nice crust is formed.
Mix in the sauteed methi leaves, Chilly powder, spice powder, salt , turmeric powder, sugar & put off the fire.
Finally add the lemon juice & mix well.
Next time I would add a tbsp of toasted sesame seeds in the end.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Insatiable Basundi

It was my son Achyuth's Birthday. What shall I prepare ? I asked him. He thought for a few seconds & said " Basundi ". And Basundi it was....
Basundi - a high calorie & fat intense milk preparation. It is a rich & creamy dessert & beckons you for more. Pure indulgence of the sinful kind. It was the first choice while eating out as kids, relishing it to the last drop. Full cream milk is reduced to 50 % & garnished with sliced Almonds, pistachios , Charoli nuts & saffron strands, chilled & served.


Whole Cream Milk - 2 lts
Sugar - 1/2 cup approx
Saffron strands - a few
Almonds & pistachios - sliced
Charoli nuts - some
Sweet Almond essence - 1 drop , optional


Take milk in a wide mouth , thick bottomed pan & evaporate the milk , stirring between to avoid scorching at the bottom.
Collect the thick layer of scum which collects on the top from time to time in another container.
Continue evaporating the milk till it reduces to 50 % of the original quantity.
Add the saffron strands & put off the fire. Add the sugar also.
Tastes good if it is mildly sweet, so be careful with the sugar.
Can add a drop of the essence when it is warm. It tastes good even without the essence.
Add in the layers of cream collected, when warm.
Drop in the sliced nuts & refrigerate . Serve cold.


To add more body to the dish, fresh bread crumbs of a couple of slices can be added when warm, & then chilled.
Alternately, a tsp of fine rava is toasted in a few drops of ghee & added in the final stages before taking off the fire, to get a thick consistency.
Fruit Basundi is another variation that is possible. Either mango pieces / pulp, or custard apple pulp, or apple pieces or any other seasonal fruit / tinned fruit of choice can be topped on the chilled Basundi & served.

Sending this to the Desserts cake & ice cream event, by RV & sudeshna

Avarekalu Uppitu

Come Avarekkai season in karnataka, there is this frenzied new found every day activity ( till the season lasts ) in many of the households , of shelling these beans . These beans find their way into a variety of dishes like dosa, roti, uppitu , pongal, rice ..... I should say EVERYTHING, to cut the long story short. These fresh beans lend their signature flavour & are compatible with any dish , transforming & elevating the simple dish to gourmet.
The humble uppitu also called as Khara Bath is one such favourite , in which avarekkalu is commonly added. Come & taste uppitu, our style.


Medium Rava / semolina - 1 cup
Avarekalu/Indian Field beans/ lilva papdi - 1 cup
Onion large - 1 no. , chopped
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies - 1 tbsp, chopped
Oil - 3 tbsps
Mustard, Jeera, Urad Dhal, Hing, Curry Leaves - For Tempering
Water - 2 cups
Lemon juice - 2 tbsps
Coriander - 2 tbsps, finely chopped


Dry toast the rava till the raw smell goes .
Pressure cook the field beans in 2 cups of water.
In a thick bottom pan, take the oil & temper. Toss in the chillies , ginger & onions & saute till the onions are transparent.
Pour in the cooked field beans along with the water. Add salt. Bring the water to boil.
Reduce the flame & stir in the toasted Rava, stirring all the while. Else you could end up with a lumpy uppama.
Cover & cook till all the water is taken in & the uppama is leaving the sides.
Add the lemon juice & coriander leaves & mix well.
Delicious Avarekalu uppitu is ready to devour.


Can use finely chopped , cooked vegetables like carrot, french beans, Potato along with the field beans , to get a yummy vegetable uppitu.
This uppitu is served with pickles & curds.
Fresh grated coconut is used as a garnish traditionally.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Delectable Rava Idli

This Idli does not require fermentation, so it can be considered to be an instant Idli. All you need to have at hand is some yogurt. Though Rava Idli mix is available off the shelf, I prefer the Home made blend. It is actually very simple & no Rocket Science.


Medium Sooji/semolina/Rava - 1 cup
Sour/plain curds - 1 1/2 cup approx
Oil - 3 tbsps
Mustard, Jeera, Urad dhal, Hing, Curry leaves- for Tempering
Onion - ( optional ), 1 chopped finely
Grated carrot - ( optional ) 1 No.
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Coriander - 2 tbsps
Green chillies / green chilly paste - 1 tsp
Cooking Soda- 1 tsp
Cashew pieces - 1 tbsp


Dry toast the Rava lightly & keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan , & temper. Can add the cashews now. Add the ginger pieces & onions ( if you are using ) & stir briefly. Add in the chilly /chilly paste & pour in the toasted Rava & put off fire.
Cool it slightly & mix in the curds , to get a loose consistency. Add the salt , coriander. Add the soda & mix well till you get a light batter.
Grease the Idli plates. For a good presentation, drop in a piece of fried cashew, in each of the Idli plate, sprinkle some grated carrot & coriander for color, & spoon in the batter 3/4 full, leaving room for the idli to rise.
Place the Idli stand into the ready, hot steamer, & steam for 8 minutes after the pressure builds up. Open the steamer after a couple of minutes & unmould the idlis.
Serve hot with chutney.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mint Chutney

Pudina chutney , with it's distinctive taste & smell is an all time favorite.
This refreshing , green chutney is a good dipping sauce as well as a spread.
It is customary to serve snacks like samosas & kachories with this spicy dip.
Pudina is better known as a digestive & After Eight Mints are well known.
It makes a delicious spread for sandwiches. Addition of tomato slices, cucumber slices & cheese to this sandwich make a filling, tasty meal. It is very easy to grow this herb in pots as they grow wildly & does not call for any care.
This chutney can be stored in the fridge for a week.


Mint leaves - 1 fistful
Coriander leaves - 1 fistful
Green chillies- 8
Salt - to taste
Peanuts - 1 fistful, toasted
Tamarind - 2'', soaked
Jaggery - 1 tbsp


Wash the leaves well.
Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste, using water if required.


Coconut / garlic / onion / lemon instead of tamarind can be used for the chutney if preferred.

Gimme RED .....tomato thokku

A Vibrant , Spicy ,Tangy Thokku.
It can be made in a jiffy & the burst of flavors from this thokku rejuvenates the bored taste buds .If you are looking for a quick - fix solution to meal time blues , such thokkus come in handy , as they serve as a good accompaniment with not only with hot rice , but also go well with dosa & roti varieties.
My Co-sister, Rajini, who is from Bellary , Karnataka, introduced us to this recipe. Ever since , I even make Tomato Rice using the same recipe.
For the flavoring , temper the oil with aromatic spices like Cinnamon , cloves , elichi, Bay leaf. Then drop some of this thokku & stir, add in cooked & cooled rice with peas , a dash of salt & Viola! you have a tasty mixed rice ready.


Ripe Tomatoes - 7 medium size, diced into chunks
Red chilly Powder - 2 tsps
Rasam Powder - 2 tsps
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste
Tamarind - 2 '' soaked
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard, Jeera , Curry leaves , Hing - For Tempering


Puree the tomatoes with minimum water.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai & do the tempering.
  • Pour in the puree & cook stirring in between till some of the water has evaporated.
  • When half thick, add the tamarind Extract , salt, jaggery , turmeric powder & cook to the required consistency.
  • Cover the kadai & cook , if there is splattering.
  • Add the spice powders, stir & put off the flame.
  • Taste & adjust the flavors.
  • Store in a dry container in the fridge.

Use more tamarind if the tomatoes are not sour.
The spice powders, salt & jaggery has to be increased accordingly.
Crush a couple of garlic cloves into the thokku in the final stages , if you like.

I'm sending this recipe to the Pickles 'N Chutneys event , hosted by Sireesha of Mom's Recipes.

Spicy Curry Leaves Powder

Murraya Koenigi, that is the botanical name for curry leaves.
Curry leaf is native to India & is a important flavoring ingredient in the south Indian cuisine.
It is used as a tempering ingredient & it's delicate aromatic flavor is infused into most of the sambars, rasams, chutneys & curries & other savory dishes. It is also widely used in the traditional system of medicine to treat nausea & digestive disorders. It is rich in micro nutrients & also a antioxidant & high in fibre.It is common to find this in every Indian kitchen.

It is used as a main ingredient in the preparation of spice powders & also chutney. So when there was surplus of curry leaves in the house , the first thing that came to my mind was Karepaku pudi ie Curry leaves spice powder. Pudis are relished with hot steaming rice & ghee.
Pickles & pudis kind of creates appetite & sets the tone for a hearty meal. It is a combination of lentils & spices & balanced with the tanginess of tamarind & sweet from the jaggery.

First the curry leaves have to be washed & wiped dry or spread on a cloth for the moisture to dry. Either these leaves can be made crisp in the sun or for quicker crisping use the microwave.To proceed with the recipe ,

You will need,

Curry leaves- 2 cups packed, wash & measure & made crisp.
Bengal gram dal- 4 tbsps
Urad dal- 2 tbsps
Coriander seeds - 3 tbsps
jeera ( cumin )- 2 tbsps
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 12
Tamarind - 3" piece
Salt - to taste
Jaggery - 1 tbsp
Dry Copra, grated - 1/2 cup
Oil - 1 tsp
For Tempering - Mustard, jeera & hing

  • Toast the dals with few drops of oil till it changes color on low flame.
  • Add the the other spices also to the dals when almost done & toast lightly.
  • Cool & dry grind them with the curry leaves , salt .
  • Add the tamarind, jaggery & run the blender.
  • Finally add the copra & whizz again.
  • Take a tsp of oil in a pan & temper the mustard, jeera & hing. Add the spice powder , stir a couple of times & put off flame.
  • Transfer to a air tight bottle when cool.

Goes well with hot rice & ghee.
Fenugreek seeds & garlic can also be used if preffered.
It keeps good for more than 2 weeks. But longer storage reduces the flavor.

Sending this to the CWS Event , hosted by RV , Started by Priya.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spicy Tangy Amruthpala

Amruthapala is a traditional dish made in the rice growing belt of South India. The month of Sraavana hosts a string of festivals , & the use of rice & coconuts are a part of the puja ceremonies. This dish was innovated to use up the rice & coconut used as offerings for the puja , or so it is said.

This savory dish is also made using Rice flour. A sweet version is also prepared using jaggery. And sometimes this is also known as Halbai, in kannada. I shall share these recipes in my future posts. Now to the Divine preparation,

Ingredients :

Rice - 1 cup, soaked for 3 hrs
Green chillies - 8 nos / as required
Coconut - 1/4 cup
Sour buttermilk - 2 cups

For Tempering

Oil - 3 tbsps
mustard, cumin seeds, urad dhal, chopped curry leaves, Hing

Onion - 1 large , chopped
Coriander - 2 tbsps , chopped

What you can do now
  • Rice can be soaked for 3 hrs or overnight.
  • Grind rice to a smooth paste, with green chillies & coconut, salt.
  • The funda is to use 3 cups of ( water , buttermilk ) for 1 cup of rice.The proportion of water & buttermilk can be adjusted according to availability . Use the measured water for grinding also. Then mix in the balance of the liquid to the batter & keep aside.
  • In a thick bottom pan , heat the oil & temper . Saute the onions till done.
  • Pour in the batter & stir continuously to avoid lump formation, till it all comes together as a mass. At this stage , cover & let cook for brief intervals , stirring between.
  • If the mixture does not stick to the wet hands when touched , it can be considered done.
  • Mix in the coriander & put off the heat.
  • Grease trays & level this mixture with wet / greased palms. Cut into pieces when cool / warm.
  • Tamarind extract / citric acid can used , if the buttermilk is not sour enough.
  • Chopped greens like Methi / dill can be sauteed along with onions , according to preference.
  • Tastes good even at room temperature.
  • Can be used as a snack or breakfast dish.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Puri Uppitu

Puffed rice is also known as murmura, mandakki, borugulu, kallepuri.
Preparation of Bhel Puri using this puffed rice is better known by most of us.
Puri uppitu is prepared as a breakfast dish. Borugulu oggani with merapakayi bajji ( mirchi bajji ) is a famous combination in the Rayalseema area of Andhra Pradesh. Poppula pudi ( spice powder made of roasted gram ) , oggani & Mirchi bajji make a hearty breakfast, & is even prepared in large scale as breakfast in weddings & other functions.
Nowadays , we find packed puri on the shelves of super markets. More commonly they are sold by street vendors carrying bulky bags on their back , calling on the regular houses & are measured by the liters
In Bangalore , we commonly find 2 types of puffed rice. The lighter, more porous type is called bangalore puri, which is also used for Bhel Puri This requires just 5 minutes of soaking time. The other one is mysore puri, which is less porous comparatively & this needs to be soaked for at least 15-20 minutes to soften.
This is soaked in a big wide container with lots of water. As they are light , they have to pushed into the water, time and again. Take handful of puri at time & squeeze out all the excess water , as a pre- preparation.

You will need,

Puri - 12 cups ( approx 250gms )

For tempering:

Oil- 2 tbsps
Mustard, urad dhal, bengal gram dhal, curry leaves, hing

Green chillies- 6 ( chopped finely/ paste )
Onion- 2 nos, chopped
Tamarind Extract / lemon juice
Roasted gram powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander - to garnish
Grated coconut / grated copra - ( optional )

What you need to do next :

  • Prepare the puri and keep aside.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan , heat the oil & do the tempering.
  • Throw in the chillies & saute for a minute.
  • The onions go in next. Saute till done.
  • If using tamarind extract , add it now & stir till all the moisture is reduced.
  • Salt can be added now.
  • Toss in the prepared puri, & stir to combine . Cover & cook for brief intervals , stirring between till the puri is hot and done.
  • Check for seasoning. This uppitu tastes good if it is hot & spicy. Add more chilly paste if required.
  • If using lemon juice, it can be added now.
  • Roasted gram powder is added and mixed well. It acts as a binding agent to hold the puri together. Put off fire.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander & coconut .
Tastes good when served hot, by itself or with poppula pudi.
Bon appetite.

Bhendi Chutney

This is an off beat chutney made using Lady's Finger. I had seen it on a cookery show & I was skeptical to try this out at first. But as the lady who had presented this dish had confidently assured , I gave it a try & it was well received. This chutney goes well with hot rice & as well as rotis.


Ladies Finger - 2 cups , chopped
Red chillies - 6 no.s
Coconut grated - 3 tbsps
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coriander - a handful
Curry Leaves - a few
Tamarind - 1'', soaked
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard, Hing - For tempering


Dry toast mustard & methi lightly . Toast the chillies also.
Saute ladies finger in the oil till done. In the end add the coconut & stir for 2 minutes.
Grind all these along with the rest of the ingredients with little or no water into a chutney.
Temper with the mustard & hing.

Sending this to the Pickles 'N Chutneys event , hosted by Sireesha.

Masala Dhal

Masala poppu. This dal is my All time favorite. Mummy used to make it with Jowar roti & it was quite a hit with all of us as children. It is mildly spiced with the masalas & laced with garlic flavor. However garlic can be omitted totally , and it can be still made tasty , if that is your preference.


Thoor dal- 1 cup
Onions- 2 medium , diced
Oil - 4 tbsp
Tamarind - 1 tbsp , soaked
Jaggery - 3/4 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Temper - mustard, curry leaves & hing
Grind -
Coriander seeds - 2 tsps
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Pepper corns - 10 no.s
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red Chillies - 12
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Coconut - 3 tbsps , grated
Copra - 1 tbsp , grated
Garlic - 6 cloves
Poppy seeds - 2 tbsps


Pressure cook the dal in sufficient water, with some turmeric powder till just done. Preferably the dal should retain it's form & not get mushy. Put off the gas after the pressure builds up & just before the first whistle . Open after 10 minutes.
Toast the dry masala, right from coriander seeds to chillies. Add the poppy seeds in the end & put off the fire. Cool & powder dry first. Then grind with the other items with some water into a paste.
In a thick bottomed pan, heat the oil & temper. Saute the onions till done . You can use garlic cloves at this stage also , if you like. More the merrier , for people who are fond of garlic.
Pour the cooked dal into the onions. Add the masala paste. The tamarind extract, jaggery & salt are all combined & the consistency is adjusted. Bring to a boil & it is ready.
Serve with rice roti, rava roti, chapathi, jowar roti.
Believe me , it is very tasty .

This will my contribution to SE who is hosting CWS, started by Priya.

And also to CWS event , hosted by RV , and of course started by Priya

Corn Capsicum Curry

Adapted From :

There are some days , when the usual fare looses it's sheen, & you want to get over with the humdrum of preparing the meal with as little fuss as possible using the odd capsicum lying in some corner of the fridge with the remainder of the frozen corn beckoning it's turn from the freezer. It was one such day Shilpa's recipe , which I had book marked earlier , came to my aid.
It is a very simple , straight forward , tangy , bright colored dish , which uses fresh spices in lieu of store brought Garam Masala. Gets done very quickly & the results are promising!
A sure shot mood - enhancer !

Corn - 1 cup, cooked
Capsicum - 1 cup, diced into big chunks
Onion - 1/2 cup, diced
Oil - 1 tbsp

Saute & grind-
Cloves - 1
Cinnamon - 1 '' stick
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Red chilly- 6 No.s
Garlic - 6 cloves
Ginger - 1/2 '' piece
onion - 1 medium size, chopped
Tomato- 1 large , chopped
Coconut grated - 1 tbsp

Lemon juice- 1/2 tbsp
Sugar- 1 tsp
Coriander - 1 tbsp, chopped

Method -
In a Saute Pan, heat a tbsp of oil & saute onion & capsicum till just done. The corn kernels can also be cooked with these vegetables. Keep them aside.
In the same pan , heat a couple of tsps of oil, drop in the cloves, cinnamon & coriander seeds , Red chillies & stir for a minute. Tip in the crushed garlic & ginger & stir for a couple of minutes. Add the onions & stir for a few minutes, then the tomatoes & stir again. Add in the coconut too. Let cool a little & grind into a paste, with some water.
Combine the cooked capsicum mixture with the masala , add salt & required amount of water & simmer. Add in the lemon juice & sugar , mix & check the seasonings.
Finally garnish with coriander & serve with Rotis / chapathis.

Shooting this to the CWS Event hosted by RV, started by Priya.

Dhal Payasam

Payasams are delicious , healthy, & one does not get bored , in spite of having them thro' so many years. Their charm never wears out. They are very easy to make & use wholesome ingredients. It is a must - have dish in our traditional menus.
Ordinary ingredients like Rice, dals, vegetables are ingeniously transformed into yummy , lip smacking desserts .
Today's post focuses on Split green gram dal payasam, Peasraballa payasamu in Telugu. Generally this dal is lightly toasted before cooking it. It is then sweetened with jaggery. Milk is mixed to the required consistency, flavored with elichi & finally garnished with nuts fried in ghee. It is devoured by all with delight.


Split Green gram dal - 1 cup, lightly toasted
Jaggery - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
Cashew - 1 tbsp
Milk - 2 cups / as required
Elichi - 2 no.

For Garnishing :
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cashew - 1 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp


Lightly toast the dal & cook either in the pressure cooker or in a open vessel using water. Dals should be just cooked to get the bite in the payasam.
Add the jaggery & cook stirring till it dissolves.
Make a paste of the coconut , poppy seeds & cashew in a blender using some water.
Add this paste & cook for a few minutes .
Put off heat. Add the elichi powder. After some time , add milk when the payasam cools slightly to get the consistency required.
Garnish with the cashew & raisins fried in ghee.
Sample it & add sugar if required.


It tastes better when sugar & jaggery are combined.

Sending this post to the Bean 'n legume recipes you can count on , event.

Arbi Fry

Chaama Dumpala Merrapudi . This is a starchy root vegetable also known as Colocasia, Chaama gadda, Taro. They generally grow in the swampy areas during the rainy season. Some varieties cause irritation in the throat when ingested, because of the presence of a toxin . However this can be reduced by soaking these tubers in water overnight , even cooking cuts down this effect.
A well known delicacy called pathrode is prepared in the south canara , Udipi regions using the leaves of this plant.
As it is a root vegetable, it has to be washed well in water prior to cooking. To peel off the outer skin, it has to be cooked in water in a open vessel or in a pressure cooker . Switch off just when the pressure starts to build in the pressure cooker , or it will become soggy & overcooked. Peel out the skin when cool. Cut into slices & deep fry till crisp.
To prepare the fry, you will need


Colocasia - 1 kg (the final yield reduces after all the cooking & frying Process )
Red chilly powder - 2 tsps
Dhania powder - 1 tsp
Grated Copra - 2 tbsps
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp, toasted
Oil - for deep frying

Method :
  • Whizz the dry powders with the copra in a blender. Mix in the toasted sesame.
  • Sprinkle this powder on the fried , crisp arbi as soon as it is drained from the oil.

It makes a tasty accompaniment with hot rice. It goes well with Rasam rice/ dhal rice /curd rice as well.
It is ideal to fry this quantity in 2 batches .

Badam Angoor

Diwali , The Festival of Lights , comes with loads of fun & festivity. Gifts , sweets & dry fruits are exchanged and there is generally a sense of excitement in the air. Varieties of sweets are prepared in homes & everybody indulges in the choicest treats.
I prepared this sweet for Diwali , decided to present this badam sweet in a different form & christened it Badam Angoor. Be warned , it is quite addictive & leaves you wanting more.


Almonds - 1 cup
sugar - 1 cup
milk - 1 cup
Sweet almond essence - 2 drops
Water - 1/2 cup

Method :
  • Wash the Almonds & bring to boil in a couple of cups of water. The skin of the almonds loosens up. Put off the gas & drain out the water . Peel off the skins.
  • Blend these Almonds with milk to a smooth paste.
  • Take sugar in a heavy bottomed pan & pour water to cover the sugar. Boil to get a one - string syrup.
  • Pour in the almond paste & stir till it leaves the sides of the pan. Add the essence & put off Flame.
  • When it cools a little , make marble size balls & decorate with silver wark & Sprinkle toasted almond flakes.

White Orchids in all their Glory !

These orchids have been in bloom in our pot in Bangalore, for the past 4 weeks or so. As soon as I saw that manisha's color was white this time , I knew that they were meant to be celebrated in the blogosphere.This particular variety is called Phalaenopsis & belong to the Orchidaceace family. They are tropical orchids & very easy to grow in the homes. I'm so happy to share this beautiful flush with the whole world this time.

A spike of these flowers look like butterflies in flight & are outstanding in their beauty.

Sending this picture of White Flower to Flower Fest hosted by Manisha , my first contribution to any event.

Flower Fest - the A-Z of Flowers

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Dried Grapes ( Raisins ) Gojju

The spotlight for today's post is on the Yummy & Lip-Smacking Ona Drakshi Gojju .
The word Gojju in kannada conjures up images of a Thick
& Tangy Tamarind Sauce , which is balanced with Chilly powder, Spices, jaggery & salt. Chosen fruits & vegetables like Tomatoes, pineapple, fresh grapes, star fruit, ladies finger, bitter gourd, green mango find their way into this sauce individually. Usually they keep good for a few days outside the fridge & longer inside.

Pineapple Gojju holds a special place in the traditional menu of weddings & ceremonies of karnataka & is a much sought after item in a meal. They make a good accompaniment with rotis, dosa etc & especially with Curds rice.

The recipe of today is unique in a sense ' cos it uses Ona Drakshi ( Raisins ) , used less often comparatively, in Gojjus. This recipe is adapted from a kannada cookery book called pakadarshi , by Bhoopalam Surykanthamma. I love to try out recipes from this book.

However the rebel in me never sticks to the original model. I have to change something & you bet I did it this time too ! And to my luck it worked out fine. Now this is how it goes...

You will need :

Any variety of Raisins - 100 gms, soaked in warm water for sometime

To toast :

Urad dhal - 2 tsps
Bengal gram dhal - 2 tspns
mustard - a little
Red chillies - 10 nos or as per requirement
Methi ( fenugreek seeds ) - a few, in the end.

Dry Copra, grated - 2 tbspns
Curry leaves - a few

Tamarind - lemon size ball, soaked in water
Jaggery - Equal to tamarind

To temper:

Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- little
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves- a few


  • In a dry pan, toast Urad dhal, Bengal Gram Dhal, Mustard, Red chillies & in the end put in the methi seeds. Now dry grind all this with copra & curry leaves. Add a little water & run the blender again to get a paste.
  • To temper, take the oil & when warm add the mustard, Turmeric powder , Hing & curry leaves.
  • Tip in the spice paste from the blender. Tamarind extract , Crushed jaggery, Salt can go in at this stage. Add water to adjust the consistency . Bring to boil. In the end add in the soaked raisins & allow to simmer for a few minutes.
  • It is hard to be precise with the exact measurements. It is best to adjust flavors to suit your palate.
Sending this to Nithu's - Think beyond the usual Event.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Choco Almond Banana Cake

What a cake it turned out to be !!!!
Sooo delicious , light, quick and a no-fuss recipe. And a healthier version too !
Goodness of atta instead of All purpose flour, vegetable oil in place of butter, Honey, a natural sweetener replaces white sugar ; can't ask for more.

Incidentally I'm baking this cake after a gap of few years because my old oven packed up. I bought a new one just recently. In a way this is my first cake of season 2. Fortunately I chose to make Sunitha's recipe & it has turned out to be promising start.

As we were taking a day trip with the family which counts 15 the next day, I had to bake a 2nd batch too, to ensure everyone got a piece at least. The second time round I added a tsp of instant coffee powder, dissolved in a little water to the original recipe & substituted cashew instead of almond slivers as I had run out of almonds. The caffeine kick it imparted turned out to be even better.

This is one of those which leaves you asking for more. Many many thanks to Sunitha for sharing such a great recipe. I now know where to look when I want to try out a sure shot recipe. For the recipe please refer to sunitha's world.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Green Tomato Chutney

Kayi Tomato Chutney. My ongoing Quest to try out something new propelled me into trying out this recipe . Using Raw Tomatoes is something I have never tried . I had noted this recipe from a TV cookery show as I am a avid follower of these shows almost religiously.

Approach to this chutney is a little different but the outcome says it all. It has a refreshing green color & tang of the tomatoes, off set by jaggery & the nutty feel of the peanuts & sesame.
Goes well with rice as well as rotis.

The recipe goes like this........

Ingredients :

Green Tomatoes - 3 no.s , roughly chopped
Green chillies- 7 no.s (use as required )
Curry leaves - 5 sprigs
Garlic - 6 pods , crushed
Coconut grated - 2 tbsps
Jaggery - 2 tsps
Peanuts - 2 tbsps, toasted
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp, lightly toasted
Cooking oil - 2 tsps
Hing - a pinch
Turmeric powder

Method :

Lightly saute the chillies & then toss in the tomatoes & curry leaves. Cover & cook , stirring now & then till just done.
Now add the garlic , turmeric powder & the coconut & stir a couple of times . Let cool.
It is time to run it all in the blender without using any water.
Turn all this into the blender with the peanuts, sesame seeds, salt, jaggery & run on low speeds a couple of times. Or use the pulse button a few times . This will ensure in retaining the crunch of the peanuts.
Lastly , temper with mustard, Hing & curry leaves and enjoy a different chutney.

Sending this recipe to the
Pickles 'N Chutneys event, hosted by mom's recipes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bell pepper with roasted gram

The simplicity of Raji's post of the same title from here caught my attention. I have book marked many recipes from this site , but this happens to be the first one to see the light of the day in my kitchen.
I started off wih this recipe, but somewhere along the line became a little adventurous. Other than the addition of a couple of cloves , a stick of cinnamon , some curry leaves & a few cloves of garlic , little sugar to the existing spice powders , I followed the original recipe to the T.
Needless to say that it was well liked by my family. Thanks Raji for putting out all those lovely recipes for us to enjoy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Dosala karam is onion chutney in a sense for spreading on the dosa. It is typically a Andhra speciality & something to die for. It is also a very common street food which is available in many a bylanes of Andhra towns & is an irresistable urge to any self respecting local to dig into a Karam dosa ( especially the ones which are made with ghee ) when hunger pangs strike.

It is made more interesting with many varieties of spice powders ( podi ) that are dusted on the chutney spread. Poppula podi ( Roasted gram spice powder ) is one of the more common ones. The accompaniments with the chutney are pretty versatile & can be customised according to personal preferances . Like for eg Alu masala ( of the the masala dosa fame) also goes well with this karam. Or any other spice powder that you have on hand. There are many a versions in the preparation of the Karam also . I'll share a version which is prepared by my mother.

You will need,

Ingredients :

Roughly chopped onions - 2 1/2 cups
Roasted Gram Dhal - 250gms
grated copra - 85 gms
Soaked tamarind- 20 gms
Red chilly powder - 25 gms
Jaggery powdered - 20 gms
salt -25 gms

Method :

Powder all the dry items first, tip in the onions & tamarind & use the pulse button of the blender a few times for very short durations. A little water is added to get chutney consistency. It is better to have the onions only lightly crushed to get a spreadable consistency.

This karam is spread on the dosa after the 2nd side is cooked. Spread the karam, dribble some oil/ghee , roast well & serve hot.

The photo quality is not much to speak off as I am learning the ropes of the game.