Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Soya Chunk Pulao

This was a recipe i saw at another website and tried it minus the onion and garlic and it came out well. Its simple, easy, and takes very little time to prepare. The quantity mentioned here is for two persons. You can change the ingredients according to your requirement.


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Bread (cubed and slightly fried) - 2 slices
Cashewnuts- 5-6, slightly fried
Cinnamon stick - 1 piece
Cloves- 3 no
Coconut fresh - 6-7 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1''
Green Chillies- as required
Mixed vegetables- Available ones like carrot, beans, cauliflower, peas, potato etc
Soya Chunks- 8-10 pieces (boiled till soft)


1. Wash rice and soak well for 5-10 minutes. Keep aside
2. Dry roast Cinnamon, Coriander seeds, and Cloves.
3. In a grinder, make a fine paste of ginger, cloves, cinnamon, coriander seeds, green chillies, coconut and keep aside.
4. In a pressure cook, heat oil, and add cumin seeds. And then add the ground paste and fry for a minute. Now add the vegetables and fry well so that the veggies are well coated with the paste.
5. Add soya chunks and mix well. Add salt. All this should be done on low heat.
6. Add soaked rice and cook (pressure cook)
7. When rice is prepared, add fried bread and cashews and mix well.
8. Serve hot with cucumber raita.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Vegetable Kurma

This is recipe is from my mom and can be made very quick and easy. We can make this kurma for ekadesi also, just make sure you don’t add kuskus and instead of coriander powder use whole coriander. We at home call this kurma as Vaishnava Kurma as its without onion and garlic. You must have heard from people that kurma will not taste good without onion and garlic. But just give this a try and you will prove that statement wrong.

Ingredients :
For Masala :
Green chilies - 4
Ginger – thumb finger size
Cardamom - 2
Cloves – 2
Cinnamon - 1 piece
Corriander powder – 3 tbsp
Coconut - half
Cashew nuts - 12
Kuskus – 2 tsp
Fennel seeds(Sombu) – 3 tsp
Others :
Cut Vegetables - 2 cups(You can use Carrot, Beans, Paneer, Peas, Potato, Cauliflower, Tofu, Capsicum, Soya)
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Bay Leaf - 1
Tomato - 2
Corriander leaves – a small bunch
Salt as per taste

Method :

Add all the ingredients listed under the masala section to a mixer and grind it to a fine paste. In a pan add the ghee, heat it and add the bay leaf. Next add the tomato and the vegetables and fry well. Next add the ground paste and fry for a minute. Then add needed quantity of water and salt and allow the kurma to cook, until the raw smell goes and the vegetables are cooked. You have to keep stirring every 5 minutes to make sure the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom of the vessel. Once ready garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or parotas. If you want to have it with rice make it a little more watery.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ragi Roti (Finger Millet Pancake)

Some facts about Ragi(finger millet) -
  • It's known for nutritional properties and it's a dietician's delight.
  • 100 grams of ragi has 328 kilo calories of energy, has a good combination of minerals, especially iron, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Also contains methionine, an essential alpha amino acid that is not present in other cereals like polished rice or maize.
Method -

  • Take 200g ragi flour
  • Add finely cut green chillies, a cup of grated coconut and salt
  • Add water and keep mixing so as to get a thick batter that can be rolled into balls
  • Spread a plastic sheet, smear it with a little bit of oil, and flatten the batter to circular shape
  • Heat a pan, put the pancake on it and add a spoonful of oil around the corners
  • Roast it on both sides
  • Ragi pancake is ready to serve

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Crunchy Chocolate Chip Cookies(eggless)

Chocolate chip cookies is America's most famous cookies. Cookie is an all time favourite snack for kids and even adults. This is my first baked recipe. Crunchy chocolate chip cookie with hot milk makes an amazing combo. I learnt to bake these eggless chocolate chip cookies from the Los Angeles ISKCON temple kitchen.
Unbleached white flour- 2 1/2
Sugar- 1 cup
Melted Butter- 1 cup
Baking soda- 1/2 tsp
Baking powder- 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Chocolate chips- 1/4 cup

Shift the white flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, pinch of salt in a bowl. Add the chocolate chips. I used Hersheys semi-sweetened chocolate chips. Add melted butter and mix well. Make small balls out of it and gently flatten it in between your palms and place them on a cookie sheet. Preheat the oven to 375 degree F and place it  in the oven and bake it for 15- 20 mins. Remove from the oven and cool it before serving.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Soya Balls

This is my aunt’s recipe and can be made very quickly. We love this at home and make it at least once a week. Hot soya balls with tomato ketchup is a treat during the winter season. One weekend we so tired at home that after an early breakfast on Saturday, we dozed off to wake up only at 4 pm. We were so hungry and thought we will have curd rice, but decided we need something crunchy with that, and you won’t believe soya balls was ready in 20 minutes. Just try it and you will love them.
Ingredients :
Soya Chunks - 1/2 pack
Green chilies - 2
Ginger - 1 finger size
Fried gram dhal(Chutney Kadalai) - 2 tbsp
Fennel seeds(Sombu) - 2 tsp
Jeera - 2 tsp
Corriander powder - 1 tbsp
Corriander Leaves – a small bunch
Curry Leaves - 2 strands
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1 piece
Salt - according to taste

Method :
Add the soya chunks to a vessel and add water and a pinch of salt and bring to boil. Allow the soya chunks to cook for 5 to 7 minutes. After that drain the water and wash the soya chunks with cold water twice. Next squeeze the water out of the soya chunks completely. Do this by taking 3 or 4 at a time and press with your hands so that all the water is out. Add the remaining ingredients to a mixer and mash it to a coarse paste without adding water. Once all the items are coarsely ground, add the soya chunks and grind it to a smooth paste. Again please make sure you don’t add water. Next remove the paste from the mixer and make balls and deep fry them. Serve the soya balls with no onion no Garlic Tomato Ketchup. For people who are health conscious, instead of making balls we can make cutlet shaped patties and shallow fry in a tawa.

Moong Dhal Payasam

This a delicious dessert that I love so much. But never had a chance to make it by myself. So yesterday we had guests at home and we planned to make my favourite moong dhal payasam. You won’t believe on debut it came out very well. Actually this payasam can be made very quickly. So on the days when you have guests coming with short notice then make sure you include this in your dessert menu.

Ingredients :
Green gram dhal (Moong Dhal) - 1 cup
Water – 1 1/2 cup

Jaggery (powered) - 1- 1 1/2 cups
Cardamoms - 4-5
Milk - 1 cup
Coconut milk – ¾ cup
A few cashew nuts
A few raisons
Small piece coconut, cut into tiny thin pieces
Ghee - 1 tbsp

Method :

Roast dhal to a light brown colour. Remove, cool and wash.Add water and boil. When dhal has cooked, mash thoroughly.Add jaggery in a vessel and with the water, continue to cook till the jaggery has dissolved and becomes a little thick. Now add the cooked dhal and mix well and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.Add milk, boil further for 3-5 minutes. After that add the coconut milk and keep it for a minute and remove from fire.Heat ghee, fry cashew nut pieces, coconut pieces and raisons, each separately. Add cardamom powder, mix all of it into the payasam. Hot payasam is ready to serve.For people who like it cold, refrigerate and serve.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Potato Stew

This is a Kerala based dish mainly because the main ingredient here is the coconut milk. Very simple and easy to cook. This dish can be made real quick if the coconut milk is ready. Do not use the ready to use coconut milk available in the market. This dish will turn out good only if we make the coconut milk fresh at home. This is a best combination with hot idlies.

Potatoes – 2
Coconut – 1 (medium size)
Ginger – 1 finger size
Green chillies – 6 (You can add more based on your need)
Salt - According to taste
Gram flour (kadalai mavau) - 2 tsp

First we need to make the coconut milk. For that break and cut the full coconut into small pieces and put it in the mixer and grind it first without adding water till all the coconut becomes as though it was grated, then add 2 cups of water and grind it completely till you feel all the juice from the coconut is out. Next drain the liquid alone using a strainer. This is the first milk and it will be thick. Again with the coconut that is drained add 2 cups of water and follow the similar procedure to take the second milk. Once this is done mince the ginger, slit the green chillies into two halves vertically, boil the potatoes fully and break them into small pieces with your hand after peeling the skin. Next add the potato pieces, ginger, green chillies and the second milk into a pan and allow it to boil till the water in the second milk separates and the green chillies and ginger are cooked and have become tender. This takes about 15 minutes. Next after that add the first milk, salt and mix the gram flour in little water and add it to the stew. After adding the first milk do not allow it to boil for more than 5 minutes. At this stage the stew will be a thick white gravy. The potato stew is now ready. This can be served with hot idlis, dosas or appam. We can minus the gram flour and use it for ekadhesi.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baked Vegetable Rice

The other day I made vegetable Rice, because had a lot of vegetables in the fridge. This is one of my favorite dishes and it is probably the easiest and quickest to make.This recipe results in a mild Vegetable Rice which hopefully will appeal to everyone regardless of their spice tolerance.The vegetable rice was light, colourful and loaded with all the good stuff. I served the Vegetable rice with some Cucumber raita and it was very fulfilling.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Butter- 1tbs
Vegetables (broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, celery, peppers)-1 cup
Cloves -3
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaf - 1
Fresh Ginger - 1/2 tsp (grated)
Fresh Mint - One fistful (finely chopped)
Fresh Coriander - One fistful (finely chopped)
Green chili - 2
Tomatoes - 2 ( finely chopped)
Coconut milk - 1 cup
yogurt - 5 tbs
Salt to taste

First, chop the vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes,Celery. After that, slit the green chilli , Grate the ginger.When you have done that, wash the basmati rice and soak it for 15 minutes.Melt the butter in a deep saucepan. After melting, add cinnamon sticks,Bay leaf and cloves. Fry the mixture for a few seconds. Add fresh coriander and mint leaves and stir. Then add the chili and ginger.Add in the tomatoes and stir until the tomatoes are soft.Next, add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes.After that add coconut milk, yoghurt, stock and some salt and stir. Use a colander to filter the water from the rice.Transfer the rice to the vegetables and mix everything slowly for a few minutes, making sure not to break the rice. Preheat the oven 350 degree.Bake this in the oven until the rice is cooked (30 -40 minutes).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Corn Capsicum Masala

This goes well with chapati and even plain basmati rice. I actually tasted this dish at our favourite restaurant in Chennai “ Copper Chimney”. Then after getting back home I googled to find a lot of corn and capsicum masala recipes but, with onion and garlic :-(.I,then did my own additions and deletions and landed up on an awesome corn capsicum masala. And these days we don’t have corn capsicum masala at Copper Chimney, because we make it at home. Jai

Capsicum - 2 large ones
Corn – 2 cups
Oil – 1 tbs
Ghee – I tbs
Tomatoes - 6 large ones
Green chilies – 2
Ginger – 1 finger length
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chili powder – ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Bay Leaf – 1
Fresh Cream – 3 tbs
Coconut milk – 2 tbs
Salt as per taste
Sugar – 1/2 teaspoon(Optional)
Coriander leaves – a small bunch

First wash the tomatoes and boil them with water till their skin starts coming out.After that drain the water and cool it. Next peel the skin and add them to a mixer.Add the green chilies,ginger and grind them to a fine paste. In a pan add the ghee and heat. Add the Bay leaf. Next add the ground paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, cumin powder, and coriander powder and mix well.After cooking for a 5 minutes. Next add the coconut milk and also water based on your need. I usually add 1 to 1 1/2 cup. Stir at regular intervals and make sure the gravy doesn’t stick to the bottom. This will take 10 to 12 minutes. In the meantime heat oil in pan and add the chopped capsicum and corn. Roast the vegetables till they become crisp and slightly brown here and there. Now, to the gravy add the garam masala, salt and sugar(optional). Mix well. Allow it to cook for 2 minutes.Now add the vegetables and then after another two minutes reduce the flame and add the cream. Mix well again and allow to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and yummy Corn Capsicum masala is ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Oats upma

Upma is a quick and delicious comfort food that it is prepared in every household at least once a week.When upma is being prepared at home, the aroma from the vegetables makes one’s appetite for breakfast, lunch or dinner even stronger. It’s a no fuss dish and needs a very few ingredients and is sure a crowd pleaser. Here is the recipe for Oats Upma. Oats contain more soluble fibre than any other grain.


Oats - 1 cup ( rolled oats)
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 ( slit length wise)
Mixed veggies - 3/4 cup ( i used frozen mixed veggies)
salt - to taste
cilantro - 1tbs finely chopped
water - 2 cup
Lemon Juice - 2 drops
Curry leaves - one string
Cashews - 10 ( optional)


In a pan,dry roast the oats in medium flame for 2 min. Heat oil in a wok and add the ginger,green chillies,curry leaves, cashews and saute. Now add the veggies and salt. Mix well. Add 2 cups of water. When the water comes to boil , add the roasted oats.Allow it to cook till the water absorbs.Turn off the gas then add lemon juice and finely chopped cilantro.

Note : Oatmeal, which is one of the most nutritious cereals, is generally tolerated by almost everyone that has some form of cereal allergy. Oatmeal does not go through any form of refined processing, which makes it an integral food because it does not lose any of its nutritional value.

Macaroni-Pineapple Salad with Thousand Island Dressing

This is very healthy and very easy to prepare salad.Always serve the dressing separately. If we mix it and keep the vegetables generally let out water and the whole salad will be watery. If the salad is going to be served immediately then we can mix it and serve. I pack this salad for my husband for his dinner at least two days a week and he loves it.Just toss it up and have fun.

Boiled Macaroni 2 cups
Pineapple diced 1 cup
Tomato 1 cored and diced
Cucumber diced 1 cup

Lettuce chopped 2 cups
Capsicum diced ½ cup
Lime Juice – 1 tsp

Salt and pepper as per taste

¾ Cup Thick Yogurt whisked with a fork or spoon to creamy texture
¼ tsp crushed raw mustard
A pinch or 2 of salt
Few drops of lime juice
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp finely chopped capsicum
1 tbs Tomato ketchup( No onion No garlic from Kissan)

Boil Macaroni till it becomes soft. Drain the water and cool it immediately by pouring cold water on it.Mix all the above mentioned ingredients of the salad in a salad bowl. Garnish with Little boiled corn, pomegranate,coriander leaves and cheese.For the dressing mix all the mentioned ingredients in a bowl.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Wheat Poori - Crispy

Poori is a Asian puffy bread made from a dough of atta (whole grain wheat flour), and deep fried in oil.Its a very traditional and delicious recipe and you can serve this poori with any types of curries. It tastes good when its hot, serve it immediately.


Wheat flour - 1 cup
Semolina/suji /Farina- 1 1/2 tbs
salt to taste
water - 1/4 cup ( as required)
Oil for deep frying


Soak semolina in a little water for 15 mins.
In a mixing bowl ,take wheat flour,semolina,salt & water and knead to a fine dough
Heat enough oil to sink the poori in a pan.
Make small balls of the dough and roll it into flat and round shaped poori sheets. Make thin crustwith a rolling pin and deep fry in oil.
Apply flour if the dough sticks while rolling. Now this sheets are ready to deep fry.
Deep fry the puris till they become light brown.

Note : Add a little salt to the oil to keep it from smoking.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Carrot Milk Shake

This is a healthy drink and a excellent beverage to cool down during hot summer. I got this suggestion when I was doing the service in* LA Iskcon Temple * Deity Kitchen.. A pinch of cardamom powder gives a nice aroma and it does taste yummy. This can be consumed as a good breakfast and beverage for lunch.


Cold Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Carrot - 1 large
Sugar - 1 1/2 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 2 pinch
Blanched Almonds - 4 ( optional )


Clean and wash the carrot
Cut the carrot into fine cubes
In a blender add the carrot , milk, sugar , cardamom powder , Almonds ( optional )
Blend it until the carrot mixed well with the milk
Pour in a glass serve it cold

Note : Strain through a sieve if you don't have a extractor jar

Peanut Chutney

Peanut chutney is a simple chutney and makes great accompainment to idly, dosa, upma and pongal. It is my favorite chutney and I make it very often.. When served with rice it should have a thick consistency and a bit dilute for idlis and dosas . Hot rice, ghee and peanut chutney is like feast for us! Here I have prepared a simple chutney with raw peanuts and you can prepare this during Ekadesi by eliminating mustard,urad dal, Asafoetida .Worth a shot – here goes the recipe.

1 cup peanuts
5 Red Chillies- adjust to your taste
Tamarind lemon sized
Fresh Coconut - 2 Tbs
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal (white lentils)
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
Asafoetida - a pinch
4 curry leaves
1 tsp Olive oil

Dry roast the peanuts in a pan for few minutes along with Curry leaves,Fresh Grated Coconut,Red Chillies.Turn off the fire when you see the peanuts turn to golden brown color. Cool it down and blend it into a smooth paste by adding little tamarind.Heat oil in a pan. Once the mustard crackles, remove from heat and pour it to the chutney.

Note : I use cumin seeds & curry leaves on Ekadesi for seasoning...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Vegetable Biryani

Vegetable Biriyani is a spicy rice based food made with different kinds of spices and vegetables. The word biryani is derived from Persian word called beryan which means fried or roasted. Biryani was brought to the Indian sub-continent by the muslim travelers and merchants. There are many versions of making biryani.
I made this vegetable biryani without  onion and garlic.  I got some tips in making this biryani from my aunt Mrs.Parvathy Dharmarajan and my mom Mrs.Geetha Sundaram. This my husband's favourite dish.

Basmati rice 1 1/2 cup
Ghee- 4-5 table tsp
carrot- 1
beans- 7
potato- 1
cabbage- 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
tomato- 4
paneer- 1/2 cup (small cubes)
green peas- 1/2 cup
cauliflower- 10-15 florets
green chillies- 2 ( adjust according to taste)
ginger- 1 inch
mint leaves- 1/2 a bunch
cilantro- 1 cup (finely chopped)
yogurt- 1/2 cup
corriander powder- 1 tsp
red chilli powder- 1 tsp (adjust according to taste)
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
garam masala 1 tsp
shahi jeera- 1/2 tsp
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
cinamon stick - 1 (1 inch)
cloves- 2
cardamom- 3
hing- a pinch
food colour (orange)- a pinch
cashews- 15
Bread slices- 2

Wash and soak the rice for 20 mins. Cook the rice in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cup of water and 1 tsp of ghee.
Transfer the cooked rice in to a wide bowl and work on it slowly so the rice doesnt break. Chop carrot and potatoes length wise and evenly. Grind the tomatoes, cinamon stick, cardamom, cloves, green chillies and ginger in a blender to a paste. Heat 2 tsp of ghee in  a wok. Add shahi jeera, fennel seeds. When it cracks add hing and chopped cabbage and fry them till golden brown. Now add the ground paste along with a cup of water. Add the garam masala, turmeric powder, corriander powder, red chilli powder and allow it to cook for 2 minutes. Add the other veggies and salt and allow it to cook for 5-7 minutes. When the veggies are cooked add yogurt and paneer and finely chopped mint leaves and saute them for 2-3 minutes until the water gets absorbed and becomes a thick vegetable curry. Mix the food colur in a tablespoon of water and add it to the rice and mix gently. Take a large vessel and put half of the rice. Then layer it with the vegetable curry. Add the remaining rice and layer it with the remaining vegetable curry. Close the vessel with a lid and shake it nicely upwads and downwards and sideways so that the contents get mixed well. Open the lid and stir it gently. Make sure the rice doesn't break and the veggies doen't get smashed. Pre-heat the over for 10 minutes and keep the biryani in the oven for 10 minutes. Now heat 1 tsp of ghee and roast the cashews. To make bread croutons , cut the bread in to small cubes.  Heat 2 tsp of ghee in a pan and fry them until golden brown. Remove the biryani from the oven. Garnish the biryani with cilantro leaves, roasted cashews and bread croutons. Spicy vegetable biryani is ready. This can be served with any kind of raita.

Note: Normally basmati rice requires 1: 1 1/2 cup of water for cooking. But for the kind of basmati rice I'm using it requires only 1:1 cup of water.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Carrot Halwa/ Gajar Halwa

Halwa is a dense sweet confection served across the Indian subcontinenet. Carrot halwa is one of the most popular traditional Indian dessert. Carrot halwa also known as gajar halwa is made of carrots and cooked with milk, ghee, reduced milk and garnished with dry fruits and nuts. I often make this sweet for ekadashi.
Carrot (grated)- 4 cups
Milk- 4 cups
sugar- 1 cup
ghee- 3 -4 tbsp
broken cashews- 1 tbsp
Raisns- 1 tbsp
blanched almonds- 1 tbsp
pistachio- 1 tsp
cardamom- 1/4 tsp

Fry the dry fruits and nuts in ghee and place it aside. Boil 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottom vessel to make khoa. Boil the remaining 2 cups of milk in a heavy bottom pan. Add the grated carrot in it and cook until the carrot gets cooked and also the milk gets shortened and becomes thick. Keep stirring continuously so that the bottom part is not burnt. Add the khoa and sugar in it and continue stirring until you get a thick consistency.  Add the cardamom and the fried nuts along with ghee and keep stirring for a minute. Remove from heat. You can serve the halwa hot.

Suggestions: Carrot halwa can be served as a topping for ice cream.

Tomato Red Capsicum( Bell pepper) chutney

Chutney is a class of spicy preparation which is usually served as an accompaniment with the main course. Its usually wet have a coarse to fine texture. There are a wide varieties of chutney available in Indian cusine. I tried making chutney with tomatoes and red bell pepper (capsicum).
Tomatoes- 4
Red capsicum( bell pepper)- 1/2
ginder- 1 inch
green chillies- 2
peanusts- 1 tbsp
cilantro (coriander leaves)- 3 tbsp
cumin seeds- 1/4 tsp
oil- 1 tsp
hing/ asafoetida- a pinch
salt to taste

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan. add cumin sedds. when it cracks add a pinch of hing and peanusts and fry them. then add chopped ginger and green chillies and fry them for a minute. Then add chopped tomatoes and red capsicum( bell pepper). Add salt. Fry them until they become tender. Turn of the heat and allow it to cool. Blend them and serve with Buckwheat dosa.

Note: Since I made this chutney on ekadhasi I have not done the seasoning. On non ekadhasi days I used to tamper the chutney with mustad seeds, urad dal a pinch of hing (asafoetida) and curry leaves. This chutney goes well with any kind of dosas or idly.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Cilantro Powder/ Kothamalli podi

It's been a long time that me and Swarnavalli were not blogging .. Now, we are in action again :-)..
Spices podis have always been a favorite one with me. Spiced powders or Gun powders are common terms for podi. There are varieties like Kothamalli podi (Coriander powder), Pudina podi (Pudina powder) ,Tenga Podi (Coconut powder). These are usually had as an accompaniment to our daily meals, idli, yogurt Rice, Plain white rice or Roti. Here is the recipe for kothamalli podi .Coriander (Kothamalli/ Dhania), also known as Cilantro is an annual herb whose leaves, stems and seeds are edible.


Cilantro - 3 bunches
Red Chillies - 3
Tamarind - Tiny marble size (dry)
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Gingerly Oil - 1 tbs


Wash the coriander leaves and also the stems, if they are tender, and spread on a cloth to dry, preferably overnight
I used only the leaves with little stem ( if you want you can use the entire stem ).
Dry roast the red chillies . Once coll down , blend red chillies with salt.
Grind the dried cilantro, dry tamarind , powdered red chillies and salt into a paste. Ensure there is no water in the blender ..
In a hot pan add oil , followed by mustard seeds, asafoetida.When mustard seeds splutter, add the blended cilantro masala and fry it often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. Turn off the fire after 10 mins..
Store in a air tight container and refrigerate it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Cauliflower sabji

Cauliflower is one of the favortie versatile vegetable that I enjoy eating them in any cooked form. I love this cauliflower recipe is because it is so easy to make especially during the busy weekdays. Also, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K. This sabji goes well with Roti, Dosa and Rasam Rice.

Mustard -1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds -1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Fennel Seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Cauliflower – ½ kg ( chop into small florets)
Blend ginger and green chilli ( ½ inch , 1green chilli)
Cabbage – ¼ cup ( finely chopped)
Tomaotes – 4 ( finely chopped)
Corainder Powder – 2tsp
Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
salt to taste
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Cilantro leaves – 2 tbs finely chopped

Wash and cut the cauliflower into small florets.Blend green chilli and ginger.In a pan add oil , mustard seeds,cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves. Now, add blended green chilliginger paste followed by finely chopped cabbage and asafoetida. Sauté it for 2 mins. Now add the chopped tomatoes,fry it till becomes mushy. Now, add corainder powder,chilli powder,turmeric powder and salt. Saute this for 2 mins then add finely chopped cauliflower florets.Bring the fire to a medium flame,cover andcook for 8 mins.Add the garam masala, cliantro leaves and fry it for 2 mins or saute until oil separates from the curry . Turn off the fire.

Note: Add the Garam masala at the end to get a nice aroma

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Aval Dosai/ Flattened rice (beaten rice) pancake

Aval or flattened rice is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. This is normally used to prepare a snack or a light and easy fast food in different Indian cuisine styles. I tried to make dosas with the flattened rice which is not very popular variety of dosa.

Aval/ Flat rice- 1 1/2 cup
Raw rice- 1 1/2 cup
Urad dal- 1 tbsp
oil/ ghee to make dosas

Wash and soak the Aval, Raw rice and urad dal for 2 hours. Wet grind them into a fine batter. Add salt and mix well. Heat a flat pan. grease some oil or ghee over the flat pan and once the pan is hot enough take a laddle full of patter and put it on the centre of the flat pan and gently spread the batter evenly in circular form. Add little oil of ghee and cook them for 2-3 minutes and then flip the dosa gently using a spatula and cook the other side for a minute. Remove from the heat and serve hot with coconut chutney or any other chutney and sambar.

Note: The dosa has to be handled carefully when flipping them, as they are soft, they tend to break. If you prefer you can season the batter with mustard seeds, chenna dal, curry leaves, green chillies and a pinch of hing.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Aloo Paratha/ Potato Stuffed Flat Bread

Growing up in a typical South Indian home Aloo Paratha was a very special and occasional food that was prepared at home. Roti is stuffed with mashed potatoes and spices which make it soft and tasty. This is one of the best and easy recipes I can prepare. The spice levels of the potato mixture can be adjusted to ones palate. Aloo parathas taste best when served immediately from the pan.

All purpose flour– 1/2 cup
Wheat flour – 1 1/2 cups
Butter – 2 tbs
Water – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Potato – 3 medium sized ( boiled and smashed)
Garam masala – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ¼ tsp
Cumin Powder – ¼ tsp
Chili Powder – ¼ tsp Turmeric – 3 pinch
Lime Juice – 2tbs
Corainder leaves – 2 tbs
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder – 2 pinches
Green chilies – 1 (finely chopped)
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp

Mix all the flour in a bowl, add salt, butter and water. Mix it until becomes a pliable dough. Add more flour if it’s sticky or little oil if it’s too dry. Set it aside for 15 mins.
Mix all ingredients from garam masala to turmeric powder in the potato and knead well. Heat oil in a wok and add cumin seeds, finely chopped green chillies. Now, add the potato masala in the wok and continue to cook till the sides of the mixture turns brown.
Take a small amount of the dough and roll it in your hands to make a ball shape. Take some flour for dusting. Now, dust this ball shape dough with little flour and press it with your palms to flatten it a bit. Use a rolling pin to flatten it a bit more. Take a small amount of the filling and make a small ball shape. Place this filling in the centre of the dough. Now cover the filling with the dough by bringing the ends upwards enclosing the filling all sides. Pinch the dough together on the top to cover the filling completely. Make sure the filling is completely covered. Use a rolling pin to flatten the filled dough /bread. In a hot pan /tawa, place the paratha and apply some little oil on all sides and on top. After 2 mins flip to another and repeat the process the rest of the parathas.

Note: The filling should be dry. Serve hot with any Indian pickle/raita.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Keerai Kulambu/Spinach Gravy

Keera kulambu is the healthy south Indian dish served with rice. Keerai/Spinach is cooked with dal & Indian seasonings. This is my mom’s signature dish. This taste great with potato fry, beetroot poriyal and papad / Appalam. Cooking is just as creative and imaginative activity. Cooking requires the real passion rather than exact measurements.

Spinach / Keerai – A bunch - Separate the leaves and wash well.
Toor Dal – ½ cup
Green chilies – 2
Tomato - 1 (if its small use 2 tomatoes) finely chopped
Salt to taste
Mustard – ¼ tsp
Hing/Asafetida – 2 pinch
Cumin Seeds – ¼ tsp
Red chilies – 2
Water – 1 cup

In a pressure cooker, put toor dal, green chilies, Tomato, spinach, salt and water. After three to four whistles turn off the fire and let it cool down. By using hand blender smash the cooked ingredients in the pressure cooker. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard, cumin seeds, hing, red chilies and add it in the Pressure cooker/cooked spinach.

Note : Serve with rice...more of this spinach gravy and less amount of rice.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Buckwheat Dosa

Buckwheat dosa is a ekadhasi recipe. Usually on ekadhasi people who fast from grains would commonly take milk, milk products, milk sweets, fruits, sabudhana khichdi. Instead of these routine ones we can make crispy dosas made of buckwheat which are as good as the normal dosas made of rice. I got this idea from my friend Vishaka Lila Devi Dasi in Seattle. It is not necessary that one should cook this recipe for ekadhasi only. You can  make it on any other day and enjoy the delicasy.

Whole hulled buckwheat- 1 1/2 cup (available in whole foods)
whole black pepper- 1/4 tsp
cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
cilantro (coriander leaves)- 1/4 bunch
curry leaves- a string
salt to taste
oil/ ghee to make dosa

Wash the buckwheat and put it in a blender. Add black pepper, cumin seeds, cilantro leaves, curry leaves, salt. Add required amout for water to so that the batter's consistancy is appropriate to make dosa. Blend it into a smooth batter. Heat a flat pan. Pour the dosa batter on the pan and spread it evenly in circular motion and then add ghee or oil and allow it to cook. Then flip the dosa and allow it to cook on the other side. Remove the dosa from the pan and serve hot with tomato chutney or peanut chutney or any vegetable curry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paneer with Mixed Veggie Paratha / Cottage Cheese Veggie stuffed Flat Bread

Paratha is our all time favorite and we make different types of paratha. One of them is paneer mixed veggie paratha which is my favorite. I add grated paneer to make mixed veggie paneer paratha. Adding Panner always enhance the food in my kitchen. Traditionally parathas are served with some ghee or butter, simple raita and spicy Indian pickle.

All purpose flour– 1 cup
Wheat flour – 2 cups
Butter – 2 tbs
Water – 1 ½ cup
For Filling
Paneer – 400g grated
Cabbage – 1 cup
Tomatoes – 21/2 chopped finely
Cashews – 10
Mixed veggies – 1cup ( I used frozen )
Coriander powder – 1 ½ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Amchur powder – a pinch
Madras Curry powder- ½ tsp
Garam masala powder – ¼ tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Cilantro – 1 tbs finely chopped
Cumin seeds -1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds- ¼ tsp
Salt to taste

Mix all the flour in a bowl, add salt, butter and water. Mix it until becomes a pliable dough. Add more flour if it’s sticky or little oil if it’s too dry. Set it aside for 15 mins.
Grate the panner. In a hot wok, add oil, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, cashews and cabbage. Fry it for 3 mins. Now add tomatoes, all the powdered ingredients and fry them for till the tomato becomes mushy. Now add the mixed veggies, cilantro and salt. Leave this for 5 mins. Finally add the grated paneer and mix it for few mins. Turn off the fire.
Take a small amount of the dough and roll it in your hands to make a ball shape. Take some flour for dusting. Now, dust this ball shape dough with little flour and press it with your palms to flatten it a bit. Use a rolling pin to flatten it a bit more. Take a small amount of the filling and make a small ball shape. Place this filling in the centre of the dough. Now cover the filling with the dough by bringing the ends upwards enclosing the filling all sides. Pinch the dough together on the top to cover the filling completely. Make sure the filling is completely covered. Use a rolling pin to flatten the filled dough /bread. In a hot pan /tawa, place the paratha and apply some little oil on all sides and on top. After 2 mins flip to another and repeat the process the rest of the parathas.

Note: The filling should be dry.

Punjabi chole / Spicy Black chick pea gravy

Chole or chenna masala is a spicy gravy with chick pea from Punjabi cuisine. There are two main kinds of  chickpeas namely Desi and Kabuli. Desi varieties are small, dark seeds and rough coated. Kabuli varieties are larger seeds, light coloured and smooth coated. I have used the Desi variety in my recipe. The spices that I have used for my recipe are fresh ground which gives a nice aroma to the dish.

Black Chick pea/ Desi chena/ Garbanzo beans - 1 cup
Tomatoes - 2-3 (medium sized)
ginger (grated)- 1 tsp
hing/ Asafotida- a pinch
Amchur powder/ Dry mango powder- 1 tsp
kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- 1 tsp
Bay leaf- 1
Channa chat masala- 1 tsp
salt to taste
cilantro (coriander leaves) to garnish
Baking soda- a pich (optional)
butter- 1 tbsp


corriander seeds (dhaniya)- 1 tsp

cumin seeds (jeera)- 1 sp
cinamon stick- 1 (1 inch)
Black pepper- 1/2 tsp
Red chillis- 2
cloves- 3-4
cardamon- 1

Boil the chickpeas in a pressure cooker with a pinch of Baking soda. Stain the boiled chick peas and save the stock. Dry roast the ingredients for the masala. Cool it and blend them with a handful of boilded chickpeas to get a fine paste. Heat a pan and add butter. Add grated ginger, chopped tomaotes, hing, kasoori methi and saute them till the tomatoes become tender. Add the masala and amchur powder and fry it for two minutes. Add the chick peas along with the stock and salt allow them to cook. Add channa chat masla and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro and serve with lemon wedge.

Note: Chole goes well with pooris and Batura. I can also be serve with rotis and rice.

Health facts: Chickpeas are good source of proteins, folate and zinc. Desi variety in particular has a higher dietary fiber content than the lighter ones and hence it is a healthy source of carbohydrates for persons with diabetes or insulin sensitivity.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Fenugreek Rasam/Venthiya Rasam

Rasam is very good for digestion. Greek Hay or fenugreek is a herb which is easily availble in the stores. It is prevalent as a spice to enhance the taste of various culinary dishes. The tanginess of the tomatoes dominated the bitterness of these fenugreek seeds and we love having this healthy, delicious tangy rasam with some simple potato fries, this rasam is quite healthy for diabetic. It can also be served as a soup during cold weather.

Tomato – 2 nos
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Asafoetida – a
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Tamarind – a small ball size ( soak in warm water for 15 mins)
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves
Water – 1 ½ cup
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Red Chillies – 2
Pepper corns – 10 nos
Coconut – 2 ½ tbs ( shredded)

In a hot oil pan , fry the masala ingredients till golden brown color and then blend them by adding little water. In a wok add oil when it becomes hot add mustard seeds. When they splutter add asafoetida, chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder fry them well on medium fire until the tomatoes are well mashed. Now, add the tamarind extract, the blended masala,chopped cliantro,curry leaves, with enough salt and water. Turn off the fire after 10 mins.

Note : You can add ghee at the end for nice aroma.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bread Pakora

Bread Pakora is tasty and delicious snack. This Pakora is stuffed with mashed potato, then dipped in besan batter and fried .You can even make a plain bread pakora just by dipping in the besan batter without stuffing too. One can experiment with the filling inside the bread by using paneer/cottage cheese, potato, cauliflower, cabbage, peas or combination of your favorite veggies. Here I have used grated potato. Bread Pakora is an easy snack and simple recipe to prepare when sudden guest come over to serve kids in the evening. Bread Pakora goes well with green chutney and tomato sauce.

Bread slices – 4

Besan Batter /Chick pea batter
Besan – ½ cup
Red chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Amchur powder – 2 pinches
Garam Masala – ¼ tsp
Salt to taste
Water for the batter

Potato – 3
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – ½ tsp
Green chilies – ½ finely chopped
Ginger- Finely chopped (few pieces)
Red chilli Powder – ¼ tsp
Cilantro leaves - 2 tbs
Salt to taste

Boil the potatoes; peel and mash the boiled potatoes. In a hot oil pan add cumin seeds, green chilies, ginger, red chilli powder, coriander powder, smashed potatoes, salt, and cilantro. Fry it for 2 mins. The stuffing will become dry. Now take besan in a bowl, add salt, amchur powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and add little amount of water ( 1 ½ tbsp) and mix well to make a smooth paste. Now cut the edges of the bread and spread the potato mixture on the bread slices. Cover it with another bread slice. Cut the bread into four slices/ two slices. Heat the oil for deep frying. Take the prepared bread slices and put them in the oil. Fry them two sides till they turn golden brown in color.

Note: Popularly white bread is used, however brown bread can also be used.

Baked Masala peanuts

Masala Peanuts is a favorite Indian snack that makes the round at every party. Peanuts coated with a spicy besan mixture and give a crunchy taste. I love them when they are made spicy. Traditionally, these masala peanuts are fried, but here is a more convenient Oven version.

1 cup Peanuts
½ cup Gram flour
3 tsp Rice flour
¼ tsp grated ginger
¼ cumin Seeds
¼ tsp Ajwain
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1tsp Red chilli powder
Asafoetida a pinch
1tbs chopped coriander leaves

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl expect peanuts, add little water (2tbs to this mixture. Mix it until it has no lumps and the consistency should be thick. Now add the peanuts and mix it well, consistency should be dry. Spray little oil on the baking tray and place the peanuts mixture. Preheat the oven to 350 degree and bake it for 20 mins or until it turns golden brown.

Note: Peanuts is rich in protein.

Khandvi / Chickpea flour rolls

Khandvi is a delicacy from the Gujarati cuisine which is made of Chickpea flour (Gram flour).This can be served as a snack or a light fast food or as an appetizer. I learnt to make Khandvi from Srimurti Devi Dasi, who cooks amazing preparations for Their Lordships Sri Sri Rukmini Dwarakdish, at Los Angeles ISKCON temple.

Gram flour/ Chickpea  flour- 1 cup
yogurt- 1 cup
water- 1 cup
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
hing/ asafoetida- a pinch
green chilli- 1
ginger- 1 inch
salt to taste

Mustard- 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Hing- 1/2 tsp
curry leaves- 1 string
shredded coconut- 3 tbsp
oil- 2-3 tsp

cilantro for garnishing

Shift the chickpea flour and mix it with yogurt, water, salt, turmeric powder, hing. Grind the green chilli and ginger to make a paste and add it to the chickpea flour yogurt mixture. Mix them well and make sure that no lumps are left. Pour the mixture in a heavy bottomed vessel and cook it on a medium flame stirring continuously to make sure that the paste doesn't burn at the bottom. Continue to cook until it becomes a thick paste and starts leaving the side of the vessel. Turn off the heat and with a spatula spread the paste immediately on a clean  flat surface evenly. Leave it for 5-6 minutes. Cut them vertically and roll them to desired size. To prepare the seasoning for khandvi, heat the oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, sesame seeds. When the mustard seeds splutters add shedded coconut, curryleaves hing and turn of the heat and pour over the khandvis. Garnish with cilantro(coriander leaves). Serve them with Tamarind dates chutney and green chutney.

I'm dedicating this recipe to my mom for Mother's day. This is one of her favourite dish which she herself has never made at home and I learnt to make it. "Amma you have done so much to me for which I'm indebted". I dedicate this Khandvi dish to you as a token of love.

Sending this recipe to Mother's day event hosted by Panchpakwan

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Palak Paneer/ Cottage cheese in Spinach sauce

A rich and healthy delicacy goes well with any kind of roti. Palak Paneer is also known as saag paneer. If paneer is not on hand and you want a diary free option you can also use Tofu or veggies like potato/Cauliflower. Spinach is one of the good sources of vitamins and also the most nutrient-dense vegetable. Palak Paneer is absolutely wonderful with naan / Basmati Rice.

Spinach /Palak - one large packet/ 3 bunches
Tomatoes - 3 large tomatoes ( finely chopped tomatoes)
Paneer - 10 - 15 cubes
Green Chilies - one ( slit length wise)
Ginger - Finely chopped
Nutmeg Powder - A pinch ( Optional )
Coriander powder - 2 1/2tsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
Fenu greek Leaves-1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 3 pinch
Cumin Seeds- 1/4 tsp
Whipping cream - 1/2 tbsp (Optional)
Salt to taste

Wash the spinach and put in boiling water. Let it boil for 4 mins and turn off the heat. Wait few minutes to cool and put them in the blender. In a hot oil pan add cumin seeds, ginger, chillies, and tomatoes. Fry it for 2 mins . Now add coriander powder,cumin powder, Chili powder, Turmeric, Garam masala and salt. Cook it on a medium flame till the tomatoes cooked / mashed well. Then add fenugreek leaves, nutmeg powder and blended spinach into the tomato sauce pan. Saute till the masala and spinach cooked/ cook it on low flame till 10 - 15 mins. Add the paneer cubes at the end. Let it simmer for 2 - 3 mins and turn off the heat. Add little cream to the palak paneer and give slight stir.

Note: Lightly sauté paneer cubes in one teaspoon of ghee till they are golden brown. (This is optional; you can add paneer cubes just as they are.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chole Masala/ Chickpea Gravy

Chole gravy is also known as chick pea in tomato gravy and it is a common side dish in the state of Punjab and it is usually served with Batura. Garbanzo beans/ Kabuli channa/ white chick peas belong to the pea family. Chick peas are very good source of proteins as well as minerals such as iron, copper, zinc and magnesium. As a good source of fiber Chick peas help low cholesterol and improve blood sugar level. This makes them a great food especially for diabetics and insulin resistant individual.

White Kabuli Channa - 2 cups
Tomato - 6
Ginger - 2 inch
Green chillies - 1
Turmeric - 2 pinch
Cilantro (coriander) - 1 tbs finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - a pinch
Garam Masala - a pinch
salt to taste

Coriander seeds- 1 1/2 tbs
Cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp
Amchur powder - 2 pinch
Mace - 2
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Anardhana powder - 3 pinch
Red Chillies - 2
Bay leaf - 1

Soak the white Kabuli Channa for 10 hours, with little * soda bi carbonate *,  green chillies slit in length wise, turmeric and cook it in the pressure cooker with enough water for nearly 20 mins.
Blend tomatoes and Ginger together in a blender. Keep aside
Dry roast the masala ingredients and powder them in a blender. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds when it splutters, add hing immediately followed by tomato paste. cook it for 5 mins then add the ground masala, salt. Mix well and turn the flame on low to medium heat and after 10 mins/ until thickened.
Open the pressure cooker and smash few chickpeas, now add the chick pea in the pan and give a mix. Add a pinch of garam masala. Boil till the thick gravy enough to serve. Just before turn off the heat, stir in finely chopped fresh cilantro.

Note: You can also avoid sodium bi carbonate. Keep the remaining leftover refrigerated. This curry taste very good the next day.

Malai Muttar Paneer / Creamy cottage cheese curry

Malai Muttar Paneer is a delicious dish from the Punjabi cuisine. Malai  means cream, muttar refers to green peas and paneer is Indian cottage cheese. This paneer dish is very rich and creamy and there are high chances that you get addicted to it. This is not a very complex recipe and is relatively easy to cook, but does not compromise on its quality and taste. When I learnt about this recipe I was just amazed how such simple recipe could taste so great.

Paneer- 200 gms
Peas- 1 cup
tomatoes( chopped)- 2 (medium size)
ginger- 1 inch (grated)
cabbage (chopped)- 1/4 cup
whole cashews- 10
broken cacshews- 5
blanched almonds- 5 (chopped)
raisins- 6-7
fresh cream/ whipping cream- 1 cup
milk- 1/2 cup
coriander powder- 1 tsp
cuminpowder- 1/2 tsp
red chilli powder- 1 tsp
garam masala- 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)- 1 tbsp
cardamon powder- 1/4 tsp
hing/ asafotida- 1 pinch
butter- 2 tbsp
cilantro (coriander) leaves to garnish

Grate the paneer. Soak the whole cashews for half an hour. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in a pan. Add the chopped cabbage witha pinch of hing until golden brown and then add the chopped tomatoes and ginger and fry them until they become tender. Allow it to cool and grind them along with the soaked cashews into a fine paste. Now heat 1 tbsp of butter and add the broken cashews, blanched almonds, Kasoori methi and cardamom powder and fry them until golden brown. add the raisins, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala and fry them for a minute in medium heat and then add the ground paste. Add required water so that the paste doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and also to get a perfect gravy consistancy. Add green peas, grated paneer and salt and allow them to cook for 5 minutes. Then add milk and cream and cook for 5- 10 minutes. Remove from heat and granish with cilantro leaves.

Note: Malai paneer can be served as a main course with roti, naan, pulav for lunch and dinner. It is also party favourite.