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.