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.