Monday, June 20, 2011

Rava Dosa / crispy semolina pancake

Rava Dosa is a crispy pancake of South India. It is a derivative of the popular Dosa. This variety of dosa does not require fermentation. It is usually considered as a light meal which can be served for breakfast or dinner.

Semolina/ Sooji rava/ Farina- 1 cup 
Maida / All purpose flour- 1/2 cup
Rice flour- 1 cup
Ginger- 1 inch (chopped)
Green Chillies- 2-3
Cumin seeds- 1-2 tsp
Crushed black pepper- 1 tsp
Few broken cashew nuts (optional)
salt to taste
oil / ghee to make dosa

Mix the above ingredients with water and bring it to butter milk consistency. Heat a flat pan and sprinkle the batter evenly on the pan with your hand. Add ghee or oil  and cook it on a medium high flame. You would get a crispy Rava Dosa. Rava Dosa can be served with coconut chutney and sambar.

Suggestion: Finely chopped cabbage can be used as a topping for the dosa.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Home-made Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun is a popular Indian dessert served at festivals and major celebrations like marriages. I got this recipe from my very good friend Janaki who got it from one other common friend of us Nitai Prem. Janaki often says that "Nobody can go wrong with this recipe" and I ackwoledge her statement that its very very simple and easy to make it. We often make this for our spiritual gathering and I assure that "no one can eat just one".
gulab jamun
2 cups-  milk powder 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp melted butter
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 pint heavy whipping cream

oil for deep frying

2 1/2 Cups sugar
4 cups water

few strands of saffron
cardamom powder 1/4 tsp (optional)

In a bowl mix the ingredients of gulab jamun and make it into a dough and leave it for an hour. Grease your hands with ghee and and make small balls out of the dough. Heat oil in a pan in high flame and then reduce it to medium flame and fry the balls in a medium flame until the balls become evenly brown. The balls doubles its size once dropped into the hot oil so give enough space for the balls to fry. In the meantime, dissolve the sugar in water and boil them. Keep stirring until it dissolves. Add cardamom powder and safforn strands. Allow the syrup to boil for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Drop the fried gulab jamuns in the syrup and let them rest for 15-20 minutes prior to serving. 

Note: Adding whipping cream makes the gulab jamuns soft. But be careful not to add too much as this might make the gulab jamun so soft that it might not be a firm ball.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spinach Noodles

These green spinach noodles have a very interesting texture and flavor--but they taste better . Use in soups, or serve noodles they are great either way. This is an easy recipe, and you'll get lots of compliments . You would never have thought of this combination! But spinach noodles tossed with cheese and colorful vegetables results in an absolutely delightful treat.


Spinach Noodles - 1 packet
Yellow Bell pepper - 1 ( cut them Length wise)
Green Bell Pepper - 1 ( cut them Length wise)
Red Bell Pepper - 1 ( cut them Length wise)
Carrot - 1 ( cut them length wise)
Broccoli - one cup
Bean Sprouts - 1/2 cup
Asparagus - 1 cup
Oregano - 1 tsp
thyme - 1 tsp
Black pepper crushed - 2tsp
Parmesan Cheese - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and refresh in cold water.
In a wok add oil ,once it becomes hot add veggies except Bean sprouts and fry it for 2 mins.
Then add oregano , thyme , boiled & drained noodles.. Toss it well .
Now add black pepper ,salt and bean sprouts . Mix well until all the dry leaves blend well with the spaghetti. Before serving add Parmesan cheese.
Serve hot.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ragi(Finger Millet/Red Millet) Dosa

Ragi is rich in calcium and extremely good for vegans and vegetarians. It is the best source of calcium. 100 gms of ragi contains approx 350 mg of calcium. We make ragi dosas very regularly at home to get our required calcium intake. Women should have a good amount of calcium in the diet as with age and deficiency of calcium, the bones become porous and cause problems. This recipe is from my mother. Very simple to prepare and goes very well with the Tamarind Cilantro Chutney that I had posted earlier.


Ragi Flour (Red Millet/ Finger Millet) – 2 cups
Urad Dhal - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
Salt according to taste


Soak the urad dhal and fenugreek seeds for 45 minutes and grind the same like we do for our regular dosas adding water in a mixer. Next mix the ground urad dhal, ragi flour and salt together. Add water and mix everything well. The batter should be slightly thin than the regular dosa batter. Keep this batter covered overnight.

In the morning mix the puffed up batter very well. On a medium hot tava pour the batter with a help of a ladle and spread it slowly.

Sprinkle some oil on top. Flip and cook the other side. Serve hot with chutney or sambhar.

The above picture shows the ragi dosa served with the Tamarind Cliantro chutney.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sev Tomato Sabji

I tasted this recipe at a Rajasthani restaurant in Chennai. I just loved it with roti. Since it didn’t have any vegetables I thought it should be real easy to make this one. The following Sunday, I googled and landed on this recipe. The tangy taste of tomatoes and the light sweetness of jaggery mixed together gives this recipe a wonderful flavour. Just try it and you will love it. Please make sure you use good quality sev because that’s the highlight of this sabji.


Tomatoes - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Corriander powder - 2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves 3-4
Jaggery 2 tsp
Asafoetida – ½ tsp
Oil 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro for garnishing


Cut the tomatoes into small cubes. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.When they start to splutter add hing and curry leaves. Add the tomato pieces, chilli powder, turmeric powder, corriander powder, cumin powder and salt as per taste. Add 3/4 cup water, mix well and let it cook till the tomatoes become tender. Add jaggery and cook till it melts completely. At the time of serving, fill half of the serving bowl with the tomato gravy and top it with the sev. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Add sev and serve the recipe. (Mix sev at the time of serving otherwise it will lose its crispiness). Serve hot with roti, wheat dosa or puri.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chow Chow (Vegetable Pear/Bengaluru Brinjal/Chayote/ Alligator Pear) Chutney

This chutney is an alternate to our regular coconut white chutney. I am person who gets very conscious while eating coconut chutney, because too much coconut is not good for health. But the fact is most of the south Indian items like idly, dosa, pongal go well with coconut chutney. I always wished we had some alternative which would just taste the same as coconut chutney but doesn’t have coconut. Wow that sounds nice but I did realize that in fact we can make something like that with our Chow Chow. This chutney has the same ingredients as the coconut chutney but minus coconut and add Chow Chow. Please try it and you too will realize like I did and love this one. In the picture the chutney looks a little pale because I didn't have green chilles so I added red ones.


Chow Chow – 1 medium
Green chillies – 2
Tamarind – 1 very small ball
Roasted Channa Dhal – 3 tbsp
Ginger – 1 inch
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For Seasoning:
Mustad seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Channa Dhal – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 1
Gingely Oil- 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 strand


Peel the skin from the Chow Chow and cut into small cubes. Add 1 tsp oil to a pan and fry the chow chow for a 5 minutes. Add all the mentioned ingredients and the chow chow to the mixer and blend them to a smooth paste. Next heat oil in a pan and get the seasoning ready and add it to the chutney. Mix well and serve with hot idly, dosa, pongal etc

Monday, May 2, 2011

Rice flakes (Aval) Uppuma

This is my favourite uppuma. I have always had this dish made by my mother and it will be ready in a matter of 20 minutes. I tried this one fine day and it came out well. Now I don’t wait till I go to my mum’s place to have rice flakes uppuma. The mouth watering combination for this is coconut chutney. Please keep in mind that you always have to serve this dish hot else the rice flakes will be become dry and hard.


Aval (Rice Flakes) - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split channa dhal – 1 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 2 Split into two vertically
Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind water – 3 tbsp
Lemon – ½
Curry leaves - few
Salt to taste

Method :

Squeeze the lemon juice and mix with the tamarind water. To this add the turmeric powder and salt. Clean and wash the rice flakes. Mix and soak rice flakes in the tamarind water mixture for 10 Min's. Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds and urad dhal. When it splutters add channa dhal, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chillies and fry well. Add the soaked rice flakes to it and mix well and cook on low flame for 2 Min's and serve hot immediately.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Tomato Channa Dhal Chutney

This recipe is from my mother-in-law. Simple to prepare. The best combination for this chutney is Kuzhi paniyaram or plain dosa. I generally do not add any seasoning for this chutney, as its taste fine just like that. I don’t grind this chutney to a smooth paste, rather leave it a little coarse.


Tomato – 4
Red chillies – 3
Cilantro (coriander leaves) – 4 - 5 strands
Tamarind – a little
Channa dhal – 2 - 3 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Asofoetida - ½ tsp
Gingely Oil – 1 - 2 tbsp
Salt as per taste


First cut the tomatoes into cubes. Heat oil in a pan, add the red chillies, channa dhal and fry them till the dhal becomes light golden brown. Next add asofoetida, curry leaves, tomato and salt. Allow the tomato to cook for 4 – 5 minutes so that the raw smell leaves and tomato becomes soft. When done add the cilantro and allow it to cool. Blend the mixture to a slightly coarse paste. Serve it with hot kuzhi paniyaram, idly or dosa.

Ekadesi Idly (Moriya/Samo Idly)

This idly is made out of moriya (generally called 'Samo') that we use for ekadesi. These idlies are very simple to prepare. I learned this recipe from one of my senior god sister. I was once talking to her saying that I am bored of dosas for ekhadesi, she immediately gave an answer make idlies. This how I landed on this recipe and now it’s a very regular ekadesi item at home.


Moriya - 1 cup
Curd - 2 cups
Carrot – 1
Capsicum – 1
Ginger – 1 small piece
Green Chillies - 2.
Curry leaves – a few
Corriander leaves – a small bunch
Salt – as per taste

Method :

Mix the moriya and curd together. Do not add water, the water in the curd itself is sufficient. Next mince the carrot, capsicum, cilantro leaves, curry leaves, green chillies and ginger. Add the minced items to the moriya and curd mixture. Keep it aside for 30 – 45 minutes. Make idlies from this mixture and serve hot with any ekadesi chutney or gravy.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Corn Pakora

I loved doing experimenting the pakoras recipe, this time used baby corn.I made this over the weekend while we were mostly in a mood to take deep fried snack. A very quick snack if you happen to have some baby corns in your fridge.
whenever , i prepare pakoras remember my office colleagues. I was working in India for a few years before moving to the U.S, and we all friends at office used to enjoy going out for a short coffee break! There were plenty of snack shops in the canteen and we used to enjoy hot pakoras ,samosas, veg. puffs etc with Tea. To me that was a good fun time with friends. I miss those good old days. Well, about this recipe. It's really a perfect snack for the evening.


Baby Corn - 20 (cut into thin Strips)
Ginger - 1 inch
Red Chili - 1
Green Chili - 1
Cilantro leaves - 1tbs
Gram flour / Besan Flour - 1 cup
Corn Starch - 1/4 cup
Carom Seeds - 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
water for binding
Oil for deep frying


Cut the baby corns lengthways into two, set aside.
Grind together the green chillies,red chilli, cilantro and ginger to make a fine paste adding little water.
Combine maida, cornflour,carom seeds, salt, blended paste,and water to form a soft batter.
Take a skillet and heat oil in it.
Dip each baby corn in the batter and fry until crisp and golden.
Baby Corn Pakodas are ready to serve.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Quick Tomato Briyani

As the name goes, you can get this done real quick. On the days when you have not been home for a few days and you don’t have any specific vegetable available you can opt for this. The Baby Corn Potato Fry that I had posted earlier along with this Tomato Briyani is an awesome combination. Please try it and you’ll like it too. I was in a hurry so once again please excuse me for the picture.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Capsicum - 1 (sliced into small pieces)
Ginger – 1 inch
Green Chillies - 2
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Gram Masala powder – ½ tsp
Carom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Tomato – 5
Coconut Milk – 1 cup
Salt according to taste
Bay leaf - 1
Mint leaves – a small handful
Cliantro – for garnishing
Oil/Ghee – 2 tbsps


Cut the tomato into small cubes. Slice the capsicum into half finger length pieces. Silt the green chillies vertically into two. Peel the skin and grind the ginger to a fine paste. In a pan, add the oil/ghee. When the ghee is hot add the carom seeds and bay leaf. Next add the ginger paste, green chillies, capsicum and fry well. After a few minutes add the tomatoes and allow it to cook well for a few minutes. Next add the red chilli powder, gram masala powder, mint leaves and salt. Cook until the tomato becomes soft. Transfer the contents to a rice cooker. Wash the basmathi rice and add it. Next add the coconut milk. Mix salt as per taste. Then add required amount of water. The tomatoes will already have some water so add based on that. For one cup basmathi rice I add two cups water, here we have added one cup coconut milk, the tomatoes will have a little more than quarter cup water, so I generally add another ¾th cup water. Mix well and allow it to cook. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with raita.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tamarind Cilantro Chutney

This is my mother’s recipe and it’s very very simple to prepare. The best combination for this chutney is Raagi or plain dosa. This chutney is a regular at home for us. This chutney has to be seasoned with gingely oil else you won’t get the authentic taste.


Tomato – 1 big
Green chillies – 2
Cilantro (coriander leaves) – 1 small bunch
Tamarind – 1 small lemon size ball
Coconut – 5 finger size pieces
Curry leaves – 1 strand
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Mustad seeds – ½ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp
Channa Dhal – 1 tsp
Red chillies – 1
Gingely Oil- 1 tbsp
Curry leaves – 1 strand


Add all the mentioned ingredients to the mixer and blend them to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a pan and get the seasoning ready and add it to the chutney. Mix well and serve with hot idlies, raagi or plain dosa.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Mixed vegetable moong sprouts curry

Sprouts are considered as wonder foods. They rank as the freshest and most nutritious of all vegetables available to the human diet. By a process of natural transmutation, sprouted food acquires vastly improved digestibility and nutritional qualities when compared to non-sprouted embryo from which it derives. Moong sprouts are rich source of protien, Vitamin-C and iron. With moong sprouts I usually make salad or just  a simple dal. This is the first time I tried cooking the sprouts with different kinds of veggies and spices and the outcome was a real hit. Adding veggies to the tthe moong sprouts makes it more healthy and Panchpuran- bengali spice mix adds up to the flavour of the dish.  Its a low fat dish as I have used very minmal oil, just for the seasoning..
Homemade Moong dal sprouts- 3 cups
shredded carrots- 2 tbsp
cabbage finely chopped- 1/4 cup
spinach- I cup (chopped)
yellow pumpkins- 1 cup (cubed)
ginger- 1 tsp (shreded0
green chilli- 1(chopped)
tomato- 1 (chopped)
corriander powder- 1 1/2 tsp
cumin powder- 1 tsp
Badshah Rajwadi garam masala- 1 tsp
Dry mago powder (amchur)- 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
Hing- 1 generous pinch
Panchpuran- 1 tsp
oil- 1/2 tsp
coriander leaves(cilantro) to garnish- 3 tbsp

  • In a presurre cooker add the home made sprouts, all the veggies, ginger, chillies, turmeric powder and cook them with 3 1/2 cups of water. (Please check Home-made Moong dal sprouts post to make your own healthy sprouts.)
  • Heal oil in a small wok, add panchpuran. 
  • When the mustard cracks add, hing, corriander powder, cumin powder, dry mango powder and garam masala and fry for 1 minute in low medium flame. 
  • Add 1/4 cup of water and boil them and add it to the cooked sprouts and allow it to cook for 5 minutes. Mixed vegetable moong sprouts curry is ready to serve.This can be serve with rice or chapati.. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Home made moong dal sprouts

Sprouting whole moong dal is quite simple. Here is a step by step tutorial for sprouting the moong dal.
  • On Day1 night wash and soak a cup of moong dal with surplus water.
  • On Day 2 morning, wash the moong dal in cold running water and soak them again.
  • On Day 2 night drain the water and sprinkle some water on top of the it and leave them in a dark place.As the weather was cold I placed the moong dal in my oven. If you are staying in warmer places, then you can put the moong dal in a muslin cloth tie them and hang it in a dark place.
  •  Day 3 morning check the dal if it has sprouted. It would have sprouted if you are in living in a warm climate. If you are staying in cold places the moong dal would have just started sprouting and hence sprinkle some water and put them back in the oven.
  • The moong dal sprouts would be read by Day 4 night.
  • The sprouts can be stored in a glass contained and refrigirated and it stays good for a week.

Moong sprouts are good source of proteins, Vitamin -C, potassium and iron. These sprouts can be used in raw salads and also making curries although it is best eaten raw or very lightly cooked.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Broccoli Pakora

It was one of those day when your refrigerator is almost empty and you are trying to push one more day before grocery shopping. I was in that scenario when I found only Broccoli in my refrigerator and nothing else. And right at the moment an idea of Broccoli recipe sprouted. How about Broccoli Pakora I thought... I added stem also not just broccoli florets. A must try recipe....

Broccoli - 1 cup
Besan Flour - 1/2 cup
Corn Starch - 1/4 cup
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala Powder - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafetida - 1/4 tsp( less than that)
fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - one string
Cilantro - 2 tbs
Salt to taste
Water as needed
Color powder - A pinch
Oil for deep frying


Wash the broccoli florets and slightly trim the stem.Dry the broccoli florets.

Mix gram flour ,Corn Starch , Curry leaves, Cilantro and spices together and little by little add water. Batter should not be too runny or too thick.

Now heat oil in a frying pan. Drop a little of batter if it comes up right away that means oil is perfect.

Dip each broccoli floret in the batter making sure it is coated from all sides and drop in hot oil. Fry them in small batches till they turn golden in color.

Drain on paper towel and Serve it hot!!!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Oats dosa

Oats are becoming a part of life now. We can prepare many delicious recipes with oats or add it to our regular recipes. These oats dosa/ crepes make a perfect breakfast or weekend brunch. This dosai turned out very soft and could be made very crisp too. Serve them hot with any chutney or pickle of your choice.


Oats - 1 cup ( dry roast & Blend it finely)
Rava /Semolina - 1/2 cup
Rice Flour - 1/2 Cup
Besan Flour- 1/2 cup
Buttermilk - 1 1/2 cup
Pepper Powder - 1tsp
Cumin Powder - 1tsp
Fenugreek Powder - a pinch
Salt to taste

Mustard - 1tsp
Curry leaves - one string
Cilantro - 2 tbs ( finely chopped)

Dry roast oats for 2 mins and powder it finely. Transfer to mixing bowl.
Mix together the first four ingredients in a large bowl/ container and mix well.
Add buttermilk slowly, mixing it in to form a batter that is free flowing but not too runny. With these proportions this quantity of water was perfect for me, if you change quantities, err on the side of getting a thicker batter when adding water, that can be corrected easily. Keep the mixed batter aside.
Add salt, powders to the batter and mix well.
In a small pan add the seasoning ingredients and add it to the batter.
Heat a non stick tawa or frying pan.
Pour one ladle of the batter. Wait till it becomes a little brown, and then turn it for the other side to cook. Enjoy ur crispy oats dosa hot.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Red Basmati Rice Khichdri

A couple of  weeks back my husband got a new variety of rice called red basmati rice from the Indian stores. This rice is a product of Srilanka. But we could also get this kind of rice at Whole Foods market. Red basmati rice is considered as an aromatic rice. Similar to the brown rice this rice takes long time to cook and the rice slightly splits when its cooked.. It takes about 45 minutes to cook 1 cup of rice in a rice cooker. It resembles cooked wild rice and has an aroma  reminiscent of popcorn. This rice is also rich in dietry fibre. We both started liking the rice and started making it for our regular lunch. Last week I tried making Khichri and it came out really well.

Red Basmati Rice- 1/2 cup
toor dal- 1/4 cup
Mixed vegetables- one cup (carrot, string beans, peas, potatoes, corn)
Tomato (chopped)- 1
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
corriander powder- 1 tsp
cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
chilli powder- 1- 1/2 tsp (accoding to spice level)
grated ginger 1 tsp
garam masala- 1/2 tsp
salt to taste
coriander leaves (cilantro)- 1 tbsp , chopped (to garnish)

mustard seed- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds(jeera)- 1tsp
curry leaves- 1 string
asafoetida- 2 pinch
ghee- 2 tsp

  • Wash the dal and rice. In a vessel boil 3 cups of water. Add the rice, dal and turmeric powder and cook them on a medium flame. 
  • When the rice and dal gets half cooked add the mixed veggies, tomato, corriander powder cumin powder, tomatoes, salt, ginger, chilli powder and aloow it to cook on a medium flame. 
  • Stir the khichri in between to make sure that the ingredients at the bottom of the vessel doesn't get burnt. 
  • When the rice gets 75% cooked add the garam masala and continue to cook on a medium flame.  Add 1/2 cup of water if necessary.
  • When the rice and dal along with the mixed veggies get cooked fully, turn off the heat. 
  • In a small wok heat some ghee add mustard, cumin seeds. When the mustard cracks add hing and curry leaves and pour the seasoning on the khichri. Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves(cilantro)
  • Serve hot khichri with pickle and yogurt.(curd).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chilli Paneer / Spicy Cottage cheese

Chilli paneer is an Indo-chinese dish. This is also one of the popular appetizer in the  Indian restaurants. Although branded as an appetizer this makes a great combo with vegetable fried rice and vegetable pulav . The recipe is simple and I leant to make this from my aunt Mrs.Parvathy. Now lets take a look at the ingredients needed for making chilli panner.
Paneer- 250 g
corn starch- 3 tbsp
all purpose flour- 2 tbsp
water- 5 tbsp
chilli powder- 1/4 tsp
oil for deep fry

capsicum (bell pepper)-  1 cup chopped (green, red, yellow)
cabbage (chopped)- 1 cup
ginger- 1 tsp + 1tbsp
tomato sauce- 4 tsp
soy sauce 2 tsp + 1 tsp
chilli sauce- 1 tsp
water 1/4 cup
ajnamoto- 1 pinch
oil- 1 tbsp
salt to taste
asafoetida(hing) - a pinch


  • In a bowl mix the corn starch, all purpose flour, chilli powder, pinch of salt, 1 tsp grated ginger and 5 tbsp of  water.
  •  Cut the paneer in cubes of 1" size and marinate in the batter for 20 minutes. 
  • In a deep pan heat some oil about one inch deep. Fry the panner until golden brown and drian them on a paper towel. The remaining batter can be used in making the sauce. 
  • In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add 1 tbsp of grated ginger, chopped cabbage, bell pepper(capsicum) and a pinch of hing. 
  • saute them until they become tender and add a tomato sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, a pinch of ajnamoto, the remaining batter, water, salt and cook for 2 minutes. 
  • Now add the fried paneer and mix well and cook in low flame for 5 minutes.
  • Turn down the heat and serve hot.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Kidney Beans (Rajma) Pulao

This has been a protein week at home. We didn’t decide that we going on a high protein diet but it turned out so. As a fitting finale I tried the Rajma Pulao. I landed on this recipe in a website when I was looking for a different rice variety. Again the website recipe had onions which I dropped and added a few items to the menu and landed on this one. But please excuse me for the picture coz we were running late to office already, so no time to decorate. The picture has been captured directly from the rice cooker. Hope you enjoy this one.


Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Kidney beans – 1 cup
Capsicum - 1 (sliced into small pieces)
Ginger – 1 inch
Green Chillies - 2
Cumin powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Dry mango powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Salt according to taste
Bay leaf - 1
Curd – 2 tbsp
Mint leaves – a small handful
Cliantro – for garnishing
Oil/Ghee – 1 tbsp


Soak the kidney beans overnight and cook them three fourth in a pressure cooker. In a pan, add the oil/ghee. When it is hot add the bay leaf, ginger, green chillies, capsicum and the spices. Cook until soft for about 3- 4 mins. Add the cooked kidney beans and mint leaves. Transfer the contents to a rice cooker. Wash the basmathi rice and add it. Mix salt as per taste. Then add curd and required amount of water. Allow it to cook. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with raita.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Green Gram (Whole Moong Dhal) Dosa / Pesarattu

I am a big dosa favourite and love to try different types. This green gram dosa is my mother’s recipe. Its real easy to make and very healthy protein rich item. This one is a regular at my house. Hope you like it too.

Ingredients :

Green Gram (Whole Moong Dhal) – 1 ½ cup
Rice - ¾ cup
Red chillies – 5
Cumin seeds – 1 ½ tbsp
Asofoetida - 1 tsp
Salt according to taste

Method :

Soak the green gram over night for 6 - 7 hours and rice for 3 - 4 hours. Wash the green gram and rice. Add both along with the other ingredients to the grinder and grind the mixture to a smooth paste. Add salt and mix well and leave it outside over night. You can start making the dosas in the morning for breakfast. Actually before making the dosa we can actually cut and add little green chillies, carrot, capsicum, curry leaves, cabbage, ginger and coriander leaves. But this is optional only, we can make the dosa plain as well. This dosa goes well with coconut chutney or tomato thokku.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Palak Roti

One of my friends at work use to bring Palak Roti regularly and I always thought I should try this. But the recipe she gave me had garlic. So I went hunting on the internet and landed on two different types. I kind of did a mix of both and landed on an awesome Palak Roti. Since I was kind of nervous as to how it’s going to taste I made only 10 numbers and after tasting it, me and my husband realized that it’s not going to be enough for us. Hope you enjoy this healthy recipe.


Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Bengal gram flour - 2 tbsp
Palak (Spinach) leaves - 1bunch
Ginger - 1 inch
Green chiliies - 2
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Carom seeds - 1/4 tsp
Few cilantro leaves
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder - a little less than 1/4 tsp
Curd - 2 - 3 tbsp
Water to knead


Wash the palak leaves well, boil in hot water for 2 mins and wash them with cold water. Grind all the above ingredients excluding the wheat flour and besan flour to a fine paste. While grinding the paste make sure you don’t add water, the water in the curd itself should be fine, else the dough will become very watery. Mix this mixture with the flour, add salt and make malleable dough. Roll out the rotis, fry on both sides with oil and apply little ghee. Serve hot with curd and pickle.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

VenPongal / South Indian Khichri / Steamed rice with lentils

A popular breakfast/dinner option is the Ven Pongal. "Ven" means white. Mildly spiced (according taste preference) it is served with Coconut (White) Chutney and Sambhar. Pongal - Vadai - Sambhar is one of the commonly sought out combination at restaurants. No restaurant menu card in Tamil Nadu is completing without pongal. Each restaurant have their own way of preparation, the recipe below is the way most of the families in Tamil Nadu make pongal at home. Ven pongal is not only famous in restaurants, but it is very popular in many temples in south India. Pongal is commonly referred to savory pudding made with beautiful combination of lentils and rice tempered with spices and nuts sautéed in Hot Ghee. This is very easy to prepare and the taste is filling and yummy.
Here is the easy to cook and ready to serve recipe for you…:)

Ingredients For Pongal :

To go the Cooker

Raw rice / Sona Masoori rice – 1 cup
Split Moong Dal – ½ cup
Water – 4 (1/4 )cups
Hing – 2 pinch
Salt - As required

Ghee – 3 tablespoons
Cashew nuts – 10 to 15 broken
Ginger – 2 teaspoons finely minced
Curry leaves – One string
Whole pepper corns – 15 to 20
Cumin seeds – 3 teaspoon


Wash the rice and dal. Then measure water and mix the dal and rice. Add salt and hing powder. Now cook this mixture in rice cooker or in normal pressure cooker.
In a separate pan add ghee and let it heat. Followed by whole pepper corns then cumin seeds, ( you even crush the pepper & cumin seeds coarsely) when the cumin seeds turns light brown color add the minced ginger fry for few seconds then add cashew nuts, hing powder and let the cashews fry and finally add the curry leaves and let it splutter then remove from the heat and add it to the cooked pongal and mix it well.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Parangikai Arachu Vitta Sambar / Spicy Yellow pumpkin Lentil soup

Sambar is a famous and common dish in South India especially Tamil Nadu. Sambar is a vegetable stew with broth made of tamarind and toor dal. Each state in south India adopts typical variations in preparing sambar. Sambar can be made with an instant spice mix called sambar powder or the spice mix can be fresh ground. The sambar made with fresh ground spice mix is called arachuvitta sambar in. I learnt to make this sambar from my motherin-law  Mrs.Jayalakshmi Narasimhan who specialises in authentic tamil cusines.  Sambar can be made with different vegetables like brinjal, carrot, tomato, potato, beans, drumstick, pumpkin, chayote squash, bell pepper (capsicum), okra (lady's finger) and so on. In this recipe I used the yellow pumpkins.

Toor dal- 1/2 cup
tamarind- small lemon sized
turmeric- 1/4 tsp
asafoetida- 2 pinch
chopped tomatoes-  1
Yellow pumpkin- 1 1/2 cup (chopped, big cubes)
salt to taste

To grind
corriander seeds- 1 1/2 tsp
red chillis -10
chenna dal- 1 tbsp
cyrry leaves- a string
shredded coconut- 4 tbsp
fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

oil- 2 tsp
mustard seeds- 1 tsp
curry leaves- a string
asafoetida (hing)- 1 generous pinch


  • Wash and cook the toor dal with the yellow pumpkin, turmeric and asafoetida.
  • Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes to make an extract.
  • Heat a wok and dry roast the ingredients to grind, on a medium flame until the chenna dal turns golden brown. Cool it and grind them into a smooth paste with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Now boil the tamarind juice in a vessel with a cup water until its raw smell disappears and add the chopped tomatoes.
  • Once the tomatoes become tender and cooked add the ground paste and salt.
  • Mash the dal slightly( Make sure you dont mash the pumpkins) and add them to the boiling tamarind juice. 
  • Allow them to boil for 10 mins and turn down the heat. Sambar is almost ready except for the seasoning.
  • Heat some oil in a small wok, add mustard. When it cracks add asafoetida and curry leaves and season it on the sambar
Note: I made this sambar for rice and hence the consistency was little thick. In case if you want to use this same sambar as a side dish for dosas or idly add 1/2 cup of water and a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp of crushed jaggery and boil them and garnish with cilantro leaves (coriander leaves). This would taste like the restaurant sambar.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Aloo Bonda / Potato Dumplings

 It was raining down from the skies; neither wasn’t pouring cats and dogs, it was a pleasant cold weather in the evening. So, thought of making some deep fried snacks. Today, I am coming with one of the famous dish Aloo bonda. Aloo Bonda's are balls of mashed lightly spiced potatoes dipped in chickpea flour and deep fried till golden brown. On a rainy evening this will taste heaven. Oh, it brings back many cherish memories. I remembered the rainy days in India; we used to buy it from the road side tea shops. Myself, my brother & sister used to have a tug of war to get more portion..

I wish there was someone to make this for me so I could enjoy them really hot…so hot that you’d have to huff and puff on them before you eat them and still manage to scald your tongue!

Potatoes - 4 ( boiled potatoes)
Green chilies – 1 or 2 finely chopped
Ginger – ½ tsp (grated)
Curry leaves – 1 string
Salt to taste
Asafetida -1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro Leaves – 2 tbs finely chopped
oil -2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp

Oil – as required, for deep-frying the bondas

For batter
Besan/Gram flour-1/4 cup
Rice Flour – 3 tbs
Salt to taste
Chili Powder -1/2tsp
Turmeric powder -1/4tsp
Asafetida -1/4 tsp
Baking soda – 2 pinch
Water – ½ cup


In a bowl mix gram flour, Rice flour, turmeric, chili powder,asafetida,salt,Baking soda and water to make a thick batter..

Next, get the filling ready. Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, when it pop add urad dal, asafetida, curry leaves, green chilies, ginger, turmeric & coriander powder. Stir well. Mash the pressure cooked potatoes and add them to the wok. Add salt, if you want, add coriander leaves also. When cool make the mixture into small balls.

Heat oil in the kada/wok, dip the balls one by one into the batter and deep fry them…Drain on paper towel..So the tasty potato bonda is ready to serve..Serve hot with chutneys or sauce ….

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Vazhakkai Poriyal (Raw Banana Stir fry)

Raw banana commonly know as Vazhakka in Tamil Nadu, India is a good source of dietry fibre, pottasium, magnesium, Vitamin C and Vitamin B6. I usually make a simple stir fry with these raw bananas and not adding much spices. But I got bored with the routine recipe and tried to spice up the dish and the flavour was pretty good.

Raw banana - 4
tomato (chopped)- 1
shredded coconut- 1 tbsp
ginger- 1"
turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
corriander powder- 1 tsp
sambar powder- 1 tsp
chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
cumin seeds (jeera)- 1 tsp
asafoetida(hing)- 1 pinch
curry leaves- 1 string
oil- 1 tbsp

Wash and peel the raw banana. Cut them into cubes and put them in a dish with water and a pinch of turmeric to prevent them from turning black. Grind the shredded coconut with a piece of ginger without adding water. Boil water in a vessel and add the  turmeric powder. Strain the raw bananas and add them to the boiling water. Remove the raw bananas from the boiling water when they are half cooked. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When the mustard cracks add asafoetida, curry leaves, chopped tomatoes and saute them until the tomatoes become tender. Add the ground mixture and saute them. Now drop in the half cooked raw bananas, corriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and sambar powder. Stir them so that the spice gets mixed evenly on the raw banana. Sprinkle some water and cover it with lid and allow it to cook for 10 minutes in low medium flame and turn down the heat. This makes a great combo with rice and Vathal Kuzhambu.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gulab Jamun

Gulab Jamun…. Oh my God! My mouth is already watering thinking of a hot gulab jamun with cold ice cream melting in my mouth.This is a classic sweet dish,dried milk dumplings,deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup makes a favorite subcontinent sweet.It is a perfect dessert for any occasion like wedding, birthday party, potluck or dinner.I used the Gulab jamun mix from the store.

Gulab Jamun Mix - 1 1/2 cup
Whipping cream - 4 tbs

For sugar syrup
Water – 2 cups
Sugar – 2 cups
Rose Essence – few drops, optional
Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp or to taste
Saffron – few strands, optional
Oil – for deep frying

Make the syrup in a pan by adding Water, Sugar, Rose Syrup, Cardamom Powder and Saffron. Put the pot on the flame and bring to boil. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and allow it to simmer.

In the Meanwhile, get the oil for deep-frying ready. Heat up the oil on low-to-medium heat.
For the dumplings,sieve the gulab jamun mix and add the whipping cream little by little. Slowly start mixing a make a dough.
Allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Make sure they are smooth and do not have any creases.Take each part and press in the palm and roll it into fine balls.
Drop the balls in the hot oil at medium flame and fry these balls until they turn golden brown color.Take them out into a paper towel.
Bring the syrup to another quick boil and drop in the dumplings.Turn off the flame and cover the Gulab Jamuns and let them soak in the syrup for an hour or more.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yard Long Beans Lemon Rice

I tasted this recipe in the life member prasadam counter in Mayapur. Actually I am not a big fan of Lemon Rice but this one was out of the world. The lemon rice gets a unique taste because of the yard long beans. So I decided to try this at home and it did come out well. Moreover for office goers this is a real quick dish to prepare.

Rice - 1 cup
Lemon - 1
Yard Long Beans – 10-12
Turmeric powder – 1tsp
Ground Nuts - a few(optional)
Green Chillies - 3.
Curry leaves – a few
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad Dhal – 1 tsp
Channa Dhal – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Corriander leaves – a small bunch
Salt – as per taste

Method :

Wash and cook the rice in a pressure cooker.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon and keep it.
Cut the yard long beans into 2cm size pieces.
Heat oil in a pan, add the beans and fry well till the beans becomes tender and soft.
Remove the beans from the oil and keep it separately.
Next in the same pan to the oil, add the mustard seeds and once they burst add the urad dhal and channa dhal. When they become golden brown add the green chillies, curry leaves and ground nuts and fry well.
Next add the fried beans, then add the asafoetida and the turmeric powder.
Next add the cooked rice, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
We can also add little dry grapes and cashew if need along with the ground nuts and fry them.(This is optional) Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve Hot.


I was browsing through for the Shrikhand recipe and landed on this one. Amrakhand is nothing but Aam plus Shrikhand where Aam means Mangoes and Shrikhand supposedly means Ambrosia of the Gods. Shrikhand is also the name for a traditional Maharashtrian dessert made from yogurt, nuts and saffron. So this version of Shrikhand which uses Mango as its central taste factor is termed as Amrakhand. In simplest western terminology you can call this Mango Smoothie. It came out very well and we loved it. One added advantage is that you can make this for ekadesi also.

Curd - 400gms.
Sugar - 5- 6 tbsp
Cardamom - 3.
Few strands of Saffron
Milk – 1 tbsp
1 fresh mango, to make about 1 small cup mango pulp (you can use canned mango pulp too)
1-2 tbsp charoli nuts for garnish
few fresh slices of mangoes for garnish


Tie curd in a clean muslin cloth overnight. (6-7 hours). Put into a bowl. Powder the sugar and cardamom and mix it with the curd. Rub saffron into 1 tbsp. milk till well broken and dissolved. Keep aside. Beat well till sugar powder has fully dissolved into curd. In case the saffron strands have not dissolved completely, add them along with the milk to the mangoes. Make the pulp and add it to the curd mixture and Mix well. Empty into a glass serving bowl, top with the nuts and mango slices. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cauliflower in tomato sauce (Ekadhasi recipe)

On the austerity of Ekadhasi - every time I think what to prepare differently .. I tried this cauliflower recipe for the buckwheat dosa it turned out really good. A combination of tomato with few ingredients transform this simple vegetable dish into a delight for the senses.


Cauliflower - 1 whole ( i used small size)
Tomatoes - 5-6
Green chili - 1
Ginger - 1 inch
Cashew nuts - 15 whole
cilantro - 2 tbs
water - 1/cup
salt - as required
cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
curry leaves - few strands


In a blender add tomato ,green chili,ginger,cashew, cilantro and process it well. Make it into a smooth paste.
In a wok add oil ,cumin seeds once it started crackle add the curry leaves. Immediately pour the blended gravy in the wok and add water to it.let it boil for sometime. Once the raw smell of the tomato goes add the cauliflower florets in the tomato gravy and salt. let it boil till the cauliflower is cooked. Once the gravy thickens ,sprinkle cilantro and serve it with hot Dosa.

Cauliflower on FoodistaCauliflower

Vegetable Dum Biriyani/ Spicy Vegetable Rice

I saw this recipe on a website and thought the person had made it really well. It looked yummy and tasted the same when made. It is definitely a time consuming process but worth every minute of it. Please try this out sometime. I am sure you will love it

The Rice:
§ 1 and half cup basmati rice
§ 2 green cardamoms
§ 2 black cardamoms
§ 2 cloves
§ 1 cinnamon of 1 inch
§ 1 bay leaf
§ 2 mace strands
§ 3 cups water
§ Salt
The Vegetable Gravy:
§ 1/2 medium sized cauliflower, florets removed
§ 1 medium sized carrot, diced
§ 1 medium sized potato, cubed
§ 1 cup of chopped french beans
§ 1/2 cup frozen/fresh peas
§ 1 green chili, slit
§ 2 tbsp julienned ginger
§ 2 green cardamom
§ 2 black cardamoms
§ 2 cloves
§ 1 cinnamon of 1 inch
§ 1 bay leaf
§ 2 mace strands
§ 1oo gms whisked curd
§ 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
§ 1/2 tsp red chili powder
§ 2 tbsp cashewnuts
§ 1 tbsp raisins
§ 2 tbsp almonds, blanched, peeled and sliced
§ 3 tbsp ghee
§ salt
Herbs and Spices for the assembling:
§ 1/2 cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
§ 1/2 cup mint leaves
§ 100 gms whisked curd
§ a few saffron strands
§ 1 tbsp milk

Method :
Cooking the Rice:
§ Pick and clean the rice in running water. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
§ Now you can microwave or pressure cook the rice. You have to cook the rice till its 3/4th done. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.
§ In a pressure cooker or a microwave cooker, add the pre-soaked rice, all the spices mentioned above, salt. Cook till almost done.

For vegetable gravy:§ Heat ghee in the cooker or pan.
§ Add all whole garam masala: cardamoms, mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves. Fry the garam masala till they crackle. Add green chillies and Ginger.

§ Add the turmeric and red chili powder. Give the mixture a stir

§ Now add the vegetables and stir for a minute. Add curd, stir, add 3/4 cup water and salt. When the vegetables get cooked, add raisins and nuts.

Assembling the Biryani and slow cooking it on Dum:

§ Warm the milk. Add saffron to it. Let this saffron-milk mixture cool. Add the curd to this mixture and mix well.

§ In the same vessel with the cooked vegetables, sprinkle half each of saffron-flavored curd/yoghurt, mint and coriander leaves. Spread half the rice. Add the saffron curd mixture again, sprinkle rest of mint leaves, coriander leaves and spread remaining rice. Place moist cloth on top, cover the lid and seal the edges using kneaded wheat dough. Place the vessel on a tawa and slow cook for 20-25 minutes. Mix well before serving.

It is a big recipe and i apologize if the fonts and typing is not very good.

 Hope the recipe won't disappoint you.