December 28, 2010

South Indies: Chutney Pudi

Hope all of you had a time celebrating Christmas !!! We usually go out for dinner with friends on Christmas & that was what we exactly did, this year too ..

December has been a busy month for me, & I was not able to post recipes as much as I had intended to. Anyways, I have one last post for the year 2010, My Mom's Chutney Pudi recipe ...

chutney pudi

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Bengal Gram
  • 1 cup Black Gram
  • 1 cup dry coconut/kopra/kobbari - Grated
  • 25 - 30 dried Red chillies - Byadagi Variety
  • 1 tbsp Jaggery
  • Tamarind - A small lemon sized ball / 1 tbsp Dry Tamarind powder
  • 1 1/2 cups - Curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp - Hing/asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp Oil
How To:

  • Dry roast Bengal Gram & Black Gram separately until they are aromatic & turn slightly reddish.
  • Roast Red chillies separately with 1 tsp oil until slightly brown
  • Roast curry leaves with 1 tsp oil for 2 mins
  • Dry roast grated dry coconut until it turns slightly reddish
  • Roast Tamarind for a minute
  • Mix all the roasted indredients along with jaggery, asafoetida & salt
  • Gring coarsely into powder. DO NOT powder it very smooth as it will not taste very good.

Serve with Idli/Dosa/Rice/Upma/Curd Rice or just about anything .. ENJOI !!!

NOTE: You can alter the taste by adding more jaggery if you want this mix to be slightly sweet. You can also add less/more curry leaves as per your taste.

December 8, 2010

Potato & Leek Soup

There is something special about soups, when there is a nip in the air, Isn't it?? I love having soups throughout the year, but a Hot bowl of soup with some warm garlic bread on cold winters is a real heart warmer.

Potatoes & Leeks are an awesome together. The flavors combine really well & is quite filling too because of all the starch from the potatoes.

Potato & Leek Soup

You Will Need:
  • 2 Leeks - thinly sliced
  • 2 large Potatoes - peeled & cubed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock/water
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • Chives for garnish
How To:
  • Heat Oil in a pot, Add chopped garlic & bayleaf. Saute for a minute. Later, add chopped leeks & cook for 2-3 mins till the leeks are tender.
  • Add cubed potatoes & water or vegetable stock with some salt& red chilli powder. Cook covered until the potaoes are fully cooked.
  • Discard the bayleaf & blend the soup in a blender. Return the soup to the pot & reheat. Add freshly cracked pepper & check for Salt. Garnish with Chives
Serve HOT !!! Enjoi !!!!

The original recipe does not call for Red Chilli Powder, but I added it to satisfy my Indian tastebuds.
I had this yummy soup with some warm garlic bread & it definitely was a winter warmer.

November 26, 2010

Kabuli Chana Stir Fry

My Dad got me a Tarla Dalal cookbook a few days ago. The recipes were very simple & it had some lovely food pictures too. I tried this Kabuli Chana Stir Fry from the cookbook & I was quite pleased with the results.

This is very similar to the Curried Chickpeas that I had made long ago. What I loved, is the addition of crisp potatoes & Chana Masala powder. Its almost like a dry version of choley, but with a nice twist.

Kabuli Chana Stir Fry

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup boiled Chickpeas/Kabuli Chana
  • 2 Potatoes - boiled, peeled & cubed
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies - slit
  • 2 tsp Chana Masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Aamchur/Dry Mango powder
  • 2 tbsp Oil
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped onions for garnish
How To:
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, add ginger-garlic paste & green chillies. Fry for 30 secs.
  • Add boiled potatoes & saute until the potaoes become slightly crisp. To this, add tomatoes puree, Chickpeas, Chana Masala powder, Garam Masala, Aamchur powder & mix well for the spices to coat. Add salt a sprinkle some water & cook covered for about  mins.
  • Turn off the stove & garnish with fresh cilantro & finely chopped onions

Serve HOT as a starter or even as a side dish with Rice & Dal .. Enjoi !!!

November 19, 2010

South Indies: Keerai Masiyal/Mashed Spinach

Keerai Masiyal is a typical Tambrahm dish & this probably is the purest form in which spinach can be eaten. I love dishes that bring out the flavor of the main ingredient. That's where this one stands out.

Its just mashed spinach & some mild seasoning. It really can't get better than this, can it? It just took me 10 mins to make this one. I ate this with steamed Rice & Rasam &  I went into a different world.

Keerai Masiyal

You Will Need:
  • 2 cups spinach - washed & chopped
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 red chillies - broken
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
How To:
  • Cook spinach in water with some salt & turmeric added to it. Cook till spinach is fully cooked.
  • Mash the spinach leaves with the help of a vegetable masher ( I used a Pav Bhaji Masher ) into a fairly coarse texture.
  • Temper with mustard seefds, red chillies & Urad dal.
  • Pour over mashed spinach & mix well
Serve with HOT steamed rice .. Enjoi !!!

A few of them add a tbsp of rice flour & cook it with mashed spinach. I guess this is to thicken the gravy. I didn't feel the need to use it.

I had some leftover Keerai Masiyal for dinner & I ate it with Phulkas & it tasted great :) Who says, you can serve it only with rice??

November 12, 2010

Kobhi Zunka/Cabbage Zunka

Hope you guys had a cracker of a Diwali ... We had a great one too. I tried quite a few dishes this Diwali & I was meaning to share it with you guys. But, I was quite tired at the end & I certainly didn't have the patience to photograph the dishes .. Anyways, there is always a next time.

I was wanting to do a post for quite sometime now. But, I was so lost in all the festivities that I took quite a while to get back to the routine.

Have I told you guys that I love Maharastrian food. That cuisine is very honest & I somehow associate it with our very own Karnataka cuisine. Maybe because, it is very similar to North Karnataka dishes.

I love their Kande Pohe, which is similar to our Avalakki Oggarane. And, I love their Pithle & Zunka. So very basic & so comforting.

Kobhi Zunka

There are numerous variations to the basic Zunka. I added cabbage to mine. You can make this with just onions, methi leaves & even scallions.  I ate mine with phulkas, because, I cannot make Bhakri :)

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Cabbage - shredded
  • 1 onion - finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup Besan/Gram Flour
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • Salt as per taste
How To:
  • In a pan, dry roast Gram flour until it slightly changes color & aromatic. Set aside.
  • Cook cabbage in the microwave or on stove top until crisp & fully cooked. Drain excess water & set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat oil, splutter mustard & cumin seeds, add asafoetida & turmeric.
  • Add chopped onions & saute until it turns pink. Add cooked cabbage, red chilli powder, Gram flour & mix well.
  • The gram flour absorbs all the moisture & will tend to form lumps. Break the lumps & cook them.
  •  Cook on low flame until the besan gets cooked completely.
  • Check for salt &
Garnish with some raw shredded cabbage & chopped cilantro Serve with Bahkri .. Enjoi !!!!

October 29, 2010

Quick Aloo Tikki

These tikkis are super yummy. The moment my friend Rajini, told me about these, I came home & tried it immediately. I had about 2 large potatoes, so I made around 8 tikkis & ate all of them by myself  :)

Quick Aloo Tikki

You Will Need:
  • 2 large potatoes - Boiled, Peeled & Mashed
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 tbsp boiled green peas - mashed
  • 1 tbsp grated Carrots
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala
  • 1 tbsb finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt as per taste
  • Oil for Shallow frying

How To:
  • In a large bowl, Mix together mashed potatoes, green peas, carrots, semolina, green chillies, Chaat Masala & salt. Knead well to form a dough.
  • Divide into equal sized portions & shape them into tikkis.
  • Heat the griddle & shallow fry until golden brown

Serve HOT with Mint chutney or Tomato Sauce .. Enjoi !!!!

October 22, 2010

South Indies: Radish Chutney/Moolangi Chutney

This is my favorite way of eating Radish. A simple chutney made with raw radish. This does not involve any kind of cooking on the stove top. So, this can be put together in about 10 mins flat

If you are not too fond of radish, you may not really like it .. But, it does taste great with plain steamed rice & its good for digestion too :)

Radish Chutney

You Will Need:
  • White Radish - 3 large
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut - fresh/frozen
  • Green chillies - 4
  • 1 tbsp tamarind extract
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • A lemon sized lump of Jaggery
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 3 red chillies - broken
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp cooking oil
How To:
  • Peel & grate radish & set aside
  • In a mixer, grind together grated radish, coconut, green chillies, tamarind extract, Jaggery, turmeric & some salt into a smooth paste adding very little water.
  • Transfer to a bowl, Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves & red chillies.
  • Mix well & check for salt
Serve with HOT steamed rice & Rasam .. Enjoi !!!!

October 12, 2010

Coconut Milk Pulao

I can survive without coconut, But Shankar cannot .. So, I made this specially for him during one of our travels. He hadn't eaten coconut in a while & was craving for a coconut based dish. So I ran to the supermarket, bought a can of coconut milk & made this one 

I just went about adding whatever little was available in the pantry & I turned out really good .. Very mildly spicy & just a little sweetness coming form coconut milk .. Maybe you guys should try this too 

Coconut Milk Pulao

You will Need:
  • 1 cup Sona Masuri/Basmati Rice ( I used Sona Masuri )
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1 red onion - sliced
  • 1 tomato - chopped
  • 2 tbsp shredded carrots
  • 3 baby corn - julienned
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 green chillies - slit
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil
How To:
  • Wash rice in several changes of water. Heat Ghee in a pressure pan, Add washed rice & saute until aromatic. Add 1 cup water, 1 1/4 cups pf coconut milk & pressure cook until fully cooked. Transfer to a plate & allow it to cool completely.
  • In a Kadhai, heat cooking oil, Add green chillies, Ginger-garlic paste & saute for a few seconds.
  • Add chopped onions & cook until it turns pink. Add chopped tomatoes, baby corn & shredded carrots. Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk, red chilli powder & some salt & allow it to get cooked on medium heat.
  • Dont allow the vegetables to get mushy. Once done, add rice, Garam Masala & salt as per your taste.  
  • Mix gently & allow it to stand on low heat for a couple of mins.
Serve with Onion Raita ... Enjoi !!!

October 1, 2010

Mixed Dal Fry

I didn't have a single vegetable in my pantry yesterday & I was craving for a hearty meal, & I suddenly wanted to eat Dal Fry .. I soaked some Toor, Moong & Chana Dal & this Dal Fry was ready in about 30 mins.

Mixed Dal Fry

You Will Need:
  • 1/2 cup Toor Dal
  • 1/2  cup Moong Dal
  • 1/2 cup Chana Dal
  • 2 onions
  • 2 tomatoes- chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 4 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • dry red Chillies - broken
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp Desi Ghee
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt as per taste
How To:
  • Pick & wash the Dals & soak them in water for abiut 15 mins. Pressure Cook them until soft but NOT mushy & set aside
  • Make a paste of onions & set aside
  • In a kadhai, heat some ghee. splutter cumin & mustard seeds. Add asafoetida, ginger paste, garlic paste, green chillies & turmeric powder & saute for 30 secs.
  • Add onion paste & cook till the raw smell disappears.
  • To this, add chopped tomatoes & a tsp of oil & red chilli powder. Cook till tomatoes are fully cooked& oil separates.
  • Add cooked dal & give it a gentle mash. Add water to get the desired consistency, Add salt & let it simmer fotabout 10 mins.
  • Heat Desi Ghee & temper with red chillies & Garlic cloves & pour it over Dal.

Serve Dal with Warm Rotis or steamed Basmati Rice or even Jeera Rice .. Enjoi !!!

WhileI love the flavor of Moong Dal, Chana Dal added a nice creamy texture. I ate mine with plain steamed rice with some Ghee .. It definitely was a hearty meal ...

September 26, 2010

Green Tea

I was reading the newspaper over a cuppa Chai this morning, & I gathered that today the 26th Sept. is World Heart Day.  And, I was shocked to read that every 12 seconds, 1 person in across the globe experiences a heart attack .. Scary Isn't it??

While, I am not overly obsessed with eating healthy stuff all the time, A good trait I picked up over the years is drinking Green Tea.

Consumption of Green Tea is  known to lower blood cholestrol concentration & blood pressure, thereby giving protection against cardiovascular diseases. Green Tea also contains significant amonuts of Folic Acid which reduces the risk of heart diseases & cancer.

Green Tea

I was talking to a lady at the gym the other day & I learnt that not many people know how to brew a perfect cup of Green Tea. Its not rocket science but a slight mistake can make the tea bitter.

Here's how to brew your perfect Green Tea:

You Will Need;

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp Green Tea leaves or 1 Green Tea Bag
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or 1 tsp Honey (optional)

How To:

  • In a tea pot, heat water. Just before it comes to a rolling boil, turn off the flame.
  • Add Tea leaves or Tea Bag. Let it soak for 2 mins & NOT more than that
  • Strain & Pour into a mug
  • Add Sugar or Honey & give it a stir .. Enjoi !!!

You will not fall in love with Green Tea at the very first try, Its an accquired taste.  I drink atleast 2 cups of Green Tea everyday. One, right after I get back from the gym & another cup on the evening. They have plenty of flavours to choose from. Chamomile, Jasmine, Mint, Lemon & loads of others. I have about 3 flavours stored in my pantry right now ..

If it can do a bit for your Heart then why not ??? Make it a habit to include Green Tea in your diet & do remember to exercise .. Protect your Heart !!!

September 24, 2010

South Indies: Eggplant Curry/Badanekayi Palya

Of the many ways of enjoying Eggplants, this is my favorite & the easiest. Once the chopping is done, this can be put together in 10 mins flat.

This curry gets its distinct taste from Rasam Powder, a staple at most South Indian homes. That's it.. Just Rasam Powder & it tastes so darn good

Eggplant Curry

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups Asian Eggplants - Diced & immersed in cold water
  • 1 tsp Rasam Powder
  • 1/2  tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Chana dal
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind extract
  • 1 tbsp fresh Grated Coconut
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking Oil
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan,splutter mustard seeds. Add Urad & Chana Dal & allow it to slightly change color.
  • Add Eggplants, Rasam Powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder & mix well.
  • Add Tamarind extract & Salt. Close the lid & cook over medium flame. Saute at regular intervals to avoid the bottom from getting burnt.
  • Don't let the eggplants get mushy, They should be cooked & firm. Check for salt & Garnish with grated coconut. Transfer to a serving dish.
Serve HOT with steamed rice & Rasam or even Phulkas. Enjoi !!!!

I made this for lunch today & served it with Rice & Rasam ..  & we all Loved it :)

September 12, 2010


Hope you guys had a great Ganesh Chaturthi. We had a fun festival with family, food, worshipping & some banter.

Like everyone does, we too made Modaks for Ganesha. We made Chaklis & other goodies too, Those recipes are for another day,


For the Outer Layer:
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup dry cococnut
  • 1/2 cup sugar - powdered
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder

To Make the Filling:
  • Mix dry coconut, powdered sugar & cardamom powder together & set aside.

How To:

  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned for the outer layer. Add water little at a time & mix well to form a dough. The consistency should be like a chapati dough.  Cover & set aside for about 3 hours.
  • Later, knead well so that the dough becomes soft.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls
  • Take one ball at a time & roll into a thin puri. Hold the puri in your palm, pinch the edges at regular intervals, uniformly. Place a 2 tsp of filling in the centre & close the modak on top by pulling the edges. Make the other modaks in the same way,
  • Cover with a damp cloth so that the modaks do not get dry.
  • Heat oil in a deep Kadhai & deep fry the modaks on meduim heat until it turns golden brown.
  • Cool them & store them in air tight containers.

Offer them to Lord Ganesha & enjoi as many as you want ...

September 1, 2010

South Indies: Gojjavalakki

Today is Krishna Janmashtami & you can have a look at my Krishna here. All the worshipping was done by my family & the eating was done by me :)


I made Gojjavalakki for Janmashtami today .. Its mandatory that you make a dish out of Poha today as Lord Krishna loves Poha. And, did you know, out of superstition, most people never say No, when you offer them poha as, it may displease Lord Krishna :)

Gojjavalakki/Huli Avalakki is crushed poha spiced with Rasam powder & tempered with groundnuts & red chillies. This is very easy to put together. You just have to wait for the poha to soak up the spiced water. I usually soak the poha in the spiced water at night & set aside. The next morning, all I have to do is some tempering. That way, it just takes abut 5 mins.

Though Gojjavalakki is prepared during festivals, it makes a great breakfast dish.


You Will Need:
  • 1 Cup Poha - Thick or Medium variety
  • 2 tsp Rasam powder - Home made or any other brand. MTR works great
  • A small piece of jaggery
  • Tamarind extract from a lemon sized tamarind ball
  • 1 tbsp seasme seeds - roasted & powdered
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 red chillies - broken
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • A handful of groundnuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil
How to:
  • In a pan, dry roast poha until slightly warm. Transfer to a mixer & pulse the poha for a couple of times so that it is crushed coarsely. Do not make it into a fine powder.
  • In a vessel, take a little more than 3/4th cup of water, Add Rasam powder, tamarind extract & jaggery. Mix well & allow the jaggery to dissolve completely.
  • Add this water to the poha mixture, little at a time. Mix well such that no lumps are formed. Set aside for about 15-20 mins. The poha would have soaked up all the water & should be crumbly. If there are any lumps, separate them with your fingers. It should look like Rava.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, splutter mustard seeds. Add groundnuts, red chillies, curry leaves. urad & chana dal & allo them to slightly change colour. Add poha, sesame seeds powder, Salt & a tbsp of oil & mix well.
  • Keep mixing over low heat for about 3 mins.
Transfer to a bowl & serve with yogurt. Enjoi !!!

  • I used thin variety poha today. If you are using the thick variety, you made need a little more water. But I really does not make any difference in the taste
  • Grated dry coconut can be added instead of fresh coconut. But I personally prefer using fresh coconut
  • A tsp of roasted cumin & pepper powder can be added towards the end. I usually do not add this.
  • Gojjavalakki is a dry dish so, it pairs well with yogurt.

August 26, 2010

Kasuri Methi Wale Aloo

I love Potatoes ( What's there not to like in potatoes, anyways .. ) The other day, I was meaning to make Aloo Methi with fresh fenugreek leaves. Since, I didn't have fresh methi on hand, I used Dried Methi Leaves ( Kasuri Methi ) & I was pleased with the results.

This is one of those quick dishes that is just easy for anyone to cook & this gets done in no time. Perfect for a weeknight dinner & is great for lunch box too

Kasuri Methi Wale Aloo

You will hardly require any ingredient for this one, The name says it all .. Kasuri Methi & Aloo, they really do make a great combination. Infact, kasuri Methi pairs well with Gobi too

There aren't too many flavours in this dish. The main flavour comes from Kasuri Methi. Red Chilli powder & green chillies are added for that little bit of heat. If you cannot handle too much heat, you could leave out either of them.

You Will Need:
  • 3 large potatoes - nicely scrubbed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp Kasuri Methi
  • 1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 2 green chillies - slit lengthwise
  • Cooking Oil
  • Salt as per taste
How To:
  • Par boil the potatoes in water. Allow them to cool. Dice them & set aside
  • Heat oil in a pan, splutter cumin seeds & add green chillies & allow them to sizzle for a couple of seconds.
  • Add diced potatoes, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & salt. Cook on medium heat with a closed lid & keep stirring often to avoid the bottom from getting burnt. If the potatoes start sticking to the pan, sprinkle some water But don't add too much water else, the potatoes will get mushy.
  • When the pototoes are completely cooked yet firm, add crushed kasuri methi & give it a stir & cook for a couple of mins before transferring them to a serving bowl.
Serve with Warm rotis & Yogurt .. Enjoi !!!
  • Do Not add huge amounts of Kasuri Methi to the curry as it has a slightly bitter taste.
  • You can replace Kasuri Methi with fresh Methi leaves, But the flavor of Kasuri Methi is sligthly different & I love it
  • Instead of parboiling the potatoes, I sometime dice them & cook them in oil. This definitely is much more oily, but tastes like Heaven !!! This is perfect of you want to make this fir picnics esp during summer as you need not worry about them getting spoilt.

August 19, 2010

South Indies: Instant Upma

Before I begin talking about Instant Upma, I have to say this .. The credit for this recipe goes to my mother, for this is her creation & the picture of the 'Instant Upma Mixture 'that you are going to see below is prepared by her ... Thanks Amma :)

This one is very simple to make & is a huge time saver. All you need to do is Roast Semolina, do the tempering & mix semolina along with desicated coconut to form a crisp mixture. Store it in air tight jars. The mixture takes about 30 minsto make from start to finish & later you can make upma just like you would do maggi noodles .. Infact, this is quicker than Maggi .. Seriously...

Instant Upma 1

It tastes as good as the traditional Upma sans onions & other veggies that you may like to add. You can make the slightly more elaborate one during weekends, for other days & esp weeknights, this is great.

Shankar usually take this on his travels so that he can relish a hassle free breakfast & then I was like, why not start using this at home too, it is so handy. This is a real time saver for bachelors or even for women with busy schedules. Imagine, you get back late from work & piping hot upma is just 2 mins away .. Bliss !!!

For the Instant Upma Mixture:

You Will Need:
  • I Kg Semolina/Upma Rava
  • 200g cooking oil
  • 2 tbsp oil - for roasting semolina
  • 150g Desicated coconut
  • 20 Green Chillies - chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry leaves - chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh cilantro - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt as per taste

How To:

  • Take a huge Kadhai & heat about 2 tbsp oil. When warm, add semolina & roast on medium flame until aromatic & semolina begins to change colour. This should take about 10-12 mins considering the amount of semolina. Set aside & allow it to cool
  • In the same kadhai, Heat 200g oil & splutter mustard & cumin seeds. Add urad & chana dal & allow them to change color slightly.
  • Add curry leaves, chopped green chillies, turmeric & chopped cilantro & saute on medium heat until the chillies, curry leaves & cilantro become slightly crisp.
  • Add desicated coconut & fry for a couple of minutes.
  • To this, add roasted semolina & salt as per taste & mix well on low heat. Keep stirring for about 5-7 minutes till the upma mixture starts looking crisp ( It should look like the picture above )
  • Allow it to cool & transfer into an air-tight jar for later use

Instant Upma 2

To make Upma:

  • 1 cup Upma mixture
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp Desi Ghee

How to:

  • Take a small sauce pan, heat water. When the water starts boiling, add desi ghee.
  • Pour the Upma mixture slowly. Keep stirring continuously as you pour so that no lumps are formed.
  • Allow it to cook. This should take a couple of mins.

Transfer it to your bowl & enjoy it with some fresh yogurt or with sprinkle some Chutney Pudi on top like I did .. Enjoi !!!!

You can add a few frozen peas or any other frozen vegetables you have on hand. I sometimes add Vangi Bhath powder for a spicier version.


  • 1kg mixture should last for about a month depending on your usage
  • The mixture stays fresh for a good 2 months. Beyond that, the flavours start getting stale.

July 28, 2010

Dal Shorba

I love Rains & the weather here is getting colder by the day .. There is something magical about monsoons & I am just loving it .. But another thing, that is not so noce about monsoons is that I am just not able to keep my hands off yummy Kodbales & other fried goodies :(
This weather is perfect for some soups too. I love soups, but I mostly rely on those ready-to - eat ones .. But you don't get an instant shorba mix, do you?? So I made Dal Shorba with Masoor Dal ...

Dal Shorba

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Masoor Dal
  • 3 onions - diced
  • 3 tomatoes - coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic - crushed
  • 1 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cilantro for garnish
How To:
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, saute crushed garlic, ginger & bay leaf for about 20 secs. Add onions, a pinch of salt & saute till it turns pink.
  • Add chopped tomatoes &red chilli powder & saute for a couple of mins. Discard the bay leaf.
  • Wash Masoor Dal in several changes of water. Pressure cook Dal with onion & tomato in about cups of water.
  • Allow it to cool. Blend it in a blender
  • Transfer it to a cooking pot, & bring it to a boil.
  • Add crushed black pepper, chilli flakes & adjust Salt as per taste
Before serving, garnish with fresh cilantro & serve with a lemon wedge .. Enjoi !!!
You can also make this with Moong Dal or a mixture of Masoor & Moong Dal
I loved the addition of crushed pepper & chilli flakes. But, if you find it a tad spicy for your taste, you can do without it ..

July 16, 2010

Baked Mango Yogurt

Mangoes .. Mangoes & some more Mangoes ... I love mangoes & I make sure I make good use of the mango season while it lasts. My favorite way to enjoy a mango is to savour the fruit as is but an occassional dessert with mangoes doesn't do any harm either ...

I made this rich & gooey mango dessert the other day .. And, with just 4 ingredients. A great option, if you are having guests for dinner.

Baked Mango Yogurt

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Fresh Cream
  • 1 cup Condensed Milk
  • 1 cup Fresh Yogurt
  • 1 cup Mango Puree - fresh/canned

How To

  • In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together. Pre heat the oven to 150 C
  • Pour the mixture into a baking dish & Bake at 150 C for 12-15 mins.
  • Allow it to cool & pour into shot glasses.
  • Served chilled with freshly brewed coffee

Enjoi !!!

This can be put together in no time but you only have to wait for it to be chilled .. And, there is only one word after you eat this .. YUMMY !!!

June 30, 2010

South Indies: Pineapple Kesari Bhath

This one's for my blog anniversary. I know its a little, but never mind. A celebration is a celebration after all. Since, I don't have too many sweet dishes posted here, this is a perfect excuse.

This recipe is from my mom & I absolutely love this one, even though I am not that fond of sweets. Kesari Bhath is a regular sweet dish, but the addition of pineapple gives it a different kick. Mom always makes this for get-togethers & parties & this has always been a hit

Pineapple Kesari Bhath

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • A little more than half a cup - Desi Ghee
  • 1 cup pineapple puree - home made/canned
  • 1/2 tsp - Green Cardamon powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cashewnuts - fried in ghee
  • 2 tbsp raisins - fried in ghee
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Saffron strands for garnish - dissolved in warm milk
  • 2 cups water

How To:

  • In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp desi ghee & roast semolina until it slighlty changes color & aromatic. Once done, transfer into a bowl & set aside.
  • In the same pan, boil 2 cups of water & add sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil & add pineapple pulp. As the mixture is boiling, add turmeric & cardamom powder
  • Add semolina into the boiling mixture such that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring continuously.
  • Meanwhile, add half of desi ghee & allow semolina to get completely cooked. This should take about 3- mins.
  • Add the remaining letfover ghee & mix well.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl & garnish with fried cashews, raisins & saffron.

Serve Warm ... Enjoi !!!


  • To make pineapple puree, take fresh pineapple, peel the skin. roughly chop into cubes & blend it in a blender.
  • Also, pineapple can be finely chopped & added as is instead of making a puree. You will be able to bite into little bits of pineapple. This tastes great too.

June 10, 2010

2 Years of Blogging

Hello there ... I have been occupied with a few things this week, but I just had to make time to do this post. I am happy to say that today marks my 2nd year of blogging homemade delicacies and other dishes.

I hope all of you have enjoyed these two years of my kitchen ventures, there's more to come in the future.

See you soon with a new recipe.

May 31, 2010

Carrot Rice

My family is weird when it comes to carrots .. We buy heaps & heaps of it. Well, there is no specific reason as to why we buy this veggie so much. Somehow, whoever makes a trip to the market, is sure to carry some juicy carrots back home. So, this way, I always have quite a lot of carrots stocked up & despite adding it to every dish under the sun, there are always a few leftovers which eventually wilt.

And this is exactly how, Carrot Rice came into being at home. Whenever I have loads of leftover carrots, This dish simply shoes up in the menu.

Carrot Rice 1

This one really is as easy as it can get. Just a few grated carrots, some basic spices & its done in no time. Its a great option with leftover rice too.

You Will Need:
  • 5 medium sized carrots - peeled & grated
  • 1 cup Rice - Any Variety ( I used Sona Masuri )
  • 4 - 5 green chillies - finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • chopped Cilantro for garnish
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp oil

How To:

  • Clean rice in several changes of water. Pressure cook rice. Set aside & allow it to cool
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, splutter cumin seeds, add chopped green chillies & ginger garlic paste & fry for a few secs.
  • Add grated carrots, turmeric powder, red chilli powder & saute till the raw smell disappears. The carrots need not be cooked completely.
  • Add rice, Garam Masala, Kitchen King Masala & Salt. Mix well.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with Raita & Potato chips. Enjoi !!!

Carrot Rice 2

You could make it more elaborate by adding a few more vegetables. You could use some onions too. The next time, I will be adding some green peas for a nice bite.

If you have a house like mine, with loads of leftover carrots, you know what to do !!!

May 19, 2010

South Indies: Balaka/Majjige Menasu - Sun Dried Green Chillies

When the sun is at its peak, why not make good use of it?? Atleast this is what my grandmom believed in. Of all the things that my grandmom made during summer, I particularly love Balaka - sun dried green chillies.

Though these are readily available in most stores, there is something very charming about home made stuff .. Go ahead & make good use of the sun.

Balaka 1

These are usually made in bulk & are stored for over more than a year. And, these are fairly simple to make as compared to papads & the like. Though, a time consuming process, its totally worth the wait. These are perfect for monsoons, when one craves for something fiery & spicy.


You Will Need:

  • 50 Green Chillies
  • 3 cups Sour Buttermilk
  • 3-4 tsp Salt

How To:

  • Wash & pat dry green chillies. Make slits halfway along, such that the chillies remain intact & do not open up. You could use a toothpick or a small knife for this
  • In a huge bowl, mix buttermilk & salt
  • Immerse the slit green chillies in the buttermilk-salt mixture. Keep them in the mixture for 3 complete days. Keep stirring the chillies atleast twice a day.
  • Now, take a wide plate or spread a huge plastic sheet & sun dry the chillies. At the end of the day, transfer the chillies back to the buttermilk mixture.
  • Repeat the procedure for about 3 days.
  • Throw way the sour buttermilk & sun dry the green chillies for another 4 days until the chillies lose all moisture & are completely dry.
  • Store in a air-tight container.
  • Fry them for a few seconds, until golden brown.

Enjoi with a simple Dal Tadka , Majjige Huli or Curd Rice . . .


  • You could also use these chillies to temper plain Dal Tadka & Green Mango Dal in particular.
  • Those of you who are not used to spicy food may find this very fiery. So first, take a small bite to see if you can take the heat :)

May 11, 2010

Evening Treats - Spiced Puffed Rice

Almost every morning, I promise myself to eat healthy. I normally do good throughout the day, But by evening, this little monster in by belly craves for some evening munchies. And, thanks to my family, there is always an ample stock of Aloo Bhujia, Sev & some yummy Kodbale.

I honestly feel that I would be doing much better, if I could curb my Evening Munchies. I guess the best way to deal with this is probably eat a fruit or something

But a low-calorie snack is even better. It takes care of your tastebuds. Which is why I love Spiced Puffed Rice. Works great as an evening treat

Spiced Puffed Rice

You Will Need:

  • Puffed Rice/Mamra/Kadle Puri - 3 litres
  • 2 fistfuls - groundnuts
  • 1 fistful - Roasted Split Gram/Dalia
  • 2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 8 - 10 dry red chillies - broken
  • A few sprigs of curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 6-8 garlic pods
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp Oil

How To:

  • In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat oil. Splutter mustard seeds. Add groundnuts & fry on low flame for a couple of mins.
  • Add dalia, red chillies, turmeric, red chilli powder, curry leaves, garlic pods one at a time. Fry on low heat until groundnuts become crisp.
  • Add puffed rice & salt & mix well till the puffed rice is fully coated with spices.
  • Let it cool & store in air-tight jars.

Enjoi your evenings with a HOT cuppa Coffee & Spiced Puffed Rice ...

This is a great option, if you are seeking far more unhealthier stuff like pakodas & Bhajjis. And yes, they are great for picnics too.

Happy Munching :)

May 4, 2010

Indian Spice Box - Masala Dabba

Lets say, I am not in the greatest of moods to write out a recipe at the moment. I have something else for you. I was quite restless yesterday, So I was playing around with my camera & suddenly my Masala Dabba caught my fancy. A few clicks later, I already felt better. See what photography can do to you :)

Masala Dabba 2

The Masala Dabba that you see here should be more than 40 yrs old. My MIL has been using it since, I don't know when. And, I just love to treasure such things.

What goes into a Masala Dabba would depend on which part of India one comes , I have the usual ingredients needed for tempering any South Indian dish. Mustard seeds, Cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, Urad Dal, Chana Dal & Red chilli powder. All the other additional spices are there in the rack.

Masala Dabba

If you can see the background, there is 'Simply South' by Chandra Padmanabhan. Its been more than a year since I bought this one, But I haven't tried a single recipe. In case any of you have tried any recipes from it, any recommendations?? I shall be glad to give it a try.

See you soon with a recipe :)

April 27, 2010

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas

Chickpeas is so versatile that it almost goes well with almost anything. I have been wanting to do something different with chickpeas since long. I happened to have some pumpkin at home & I made this really yummy curry with the two.

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas

I normally don't use coconut milk in my cooking. But this recipe called for some thick coconut milk & I really did love the flavor.

This isn't a very spicy curry. There is quite a bit of sweetness from pumpkin & coconut milk & a little bit of heat coming from cinnamon & green chillies. Feel free to adjust the spices as per your preferences.

You Will Need:
  • 100g Chickpeas - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hrs
  • 500g Pumpkin - Peeled & diced into medium sized cubes
  • 2 red onions - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut - fresh
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • cinnamon - 1 small stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • Salt as per taste.
  • Oil
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

How To:

  • Pressure cook chickpeas with some salt until tender. Drain & set aside.
  • Grind grated coconut, cardamom , cinnamon, green chillies & turmeric into a smooth paste adding very little water
  • In a large pan, splutter cumin seeds, add chopped onions & fry until they turn pink.
  • Add the ground paste & fry for a couple of mins. Add diced pumpkin & add about less than 1/2 a cup of water & cook until tender.
  • Add chickpeas, coconut milk & salt. Bring it to a simmer & cook for about 10 mins. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Turn off the stove & transfer to a serving dish.

Serve HOT with Warm Naans/Rotis .. Enjoi !!!

April 19, 2010

Homemade Garam Masala

Can you imagine your pantry without the quitessential Garam Masala?? This magical spice certainly does impart that subtle flavor to any dish, making it the King of all spice blends.

While it is very convenient to buy Garam Masala from stores, there is nothing to beat the freshness of some good Homemade Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Every home would probably have its own version of Garam Masala. But the ingredients used are more or less the same.

Here's how to make some good Garam Masala

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup Coriander seeds/Dhaniya
  • 1/4 cup Cumin seeds/Jeera
  • 1 tbsp cloves/Laung
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black cumin seeds/Kala Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Black/Green cardamom seeds
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks/Dalchini
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 4 bay leaves - crushed


  • In a large frying pan, heat all the spices over medium heat until they slightly change their color & release aroma. Turn off the stove & transfer the spices into another dish & allow them to cool completely.
  • Grind into a fine powder in a coffee grinder.
  • Store in air-tight container

Use in small amounts, at the end of cooking to add that special flavor. Do Not add huge amounts as it will over power all other flavors.

April 13, 2010

South Indies: Menasale - Summery Cucumber & Yogurt Gravy

When I first started with South Indies, as a regualr series in the blog, a lot of people came forward & shared their favorite South Indian recipes with me. Asha from Foodies Hope was first one to mail me her Grandmother's recipe, Menasala - A summery cucumber & yogurt gravy. Thanks Asha, for this wonderful recipe. Its now a regular at my home too.

Summer is at its peak here. And, what can be a better way to beat the heat ...


You Will Need:
  • 2 cucumbers - peeled & chopped into small cubes
  • 1 cup fresh yogurt
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chillies - broken
  • Finely chopped cilantro - for garnish

To Grind:

  • 2 -3 tbsp fresh coconut - grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tbsp yogurt


  • In a tsp of oil, roast all the ingredients mentioned in the 'To Grind' list until they turn slightly reddish. Set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, grind together with coconut, onion & yogurt adding very little water
  • In a large bowl, mix together cucumber cubes, ground paste & yogurt. Whisk well.
  • Temper with mustard seeds, red chillies & curry leaves.
  • Adjust salt & garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Serve with HOT steamed rice. Enjoi !!!

The addition of roasted coriander seeds & raw onions add a kick to the otherwise regular raita. This is a perfect summer dish .. Go ahead & make it right now ...

March 4, 2010

Bhinda Ni Kadhi

I have never been to Gujarat, But I think, it must be a Food Paradise. I love love Gujju Food The Dhoklas, Khakhras, Theplas, Handvo, Khandvi ... I just can't get enough of them. I had quite a few gujju friends in Mumbai, & as a South Indian, I was quite amazed to see the amount of farsans each Gujju household stocked.

Bhinda Ni Kadhi

I often did lunch at a Gujju friend's house, & her mom made this yummy kadhi with okra. Many years later, I had this sudden urge to eat Bhindi /Okra kadhi. This was my lunch yesterday.

You Will Need:

  • 200g Okra/Bhindi - cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour/Besan
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 stick Dalchini/cinnamon
  • 2 cloves/Laung
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • A generous pinch of Hing
  • A few curry leaves
  • 3-4 broken red chillies
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  • In a large bowl, whisk together chickpea flour & yogurt such that no lumps are formed
  • Meanwhile. in a skillet heat some oil & fry okra until it gets soft & set aside.
  • In the same skillet, add some more oil, splutter mustard & cumin seeds, add hing, cinnamon sticks, cloves, grated ginger, curry leaves & red chillies.
  • To this, add the chickpea flour-yogurt mixture & about 2 cups of water & mix well
  • Add turmeric, sugar & salt. Stir continuously & bring it to a boil
  • Add some more water if the mixture is too thick
  • Add cooked okra & simmer for about 15 minutes

Serve HOT with Khichdi or plain steamed Rice. Enjoi !!!

NOTE: The apparent difference between & Punjabi Kadhi & its Gujarati counterpart is the addition of Pakodis. Also, Gujarati kadhi is on the runnier side & is slightly sweeter in taste because of sugar, You can add more sugar of you wish, I just struck to adding a couple of tsps as we aren't that fond of sweets.

We ate this with Rice, But it tastes best when teamed with arhar dal ki Khichdi. Remember to serve this with a Dollop of Ghee !!

February 25, 2010

South Indies: Dry Cabbage Curry/Palya

Palya is a vegetable/ mixed vegetable stir fry typically served as a side dish with anna-saaru or chapatis, in most kannada households.

Cabbage makes way into my kitchen very often because, whenever I send my husband to buy vegetables, he comes back holding a large head of cabbage. Not that cabbage is his favorite, its just that he really finds it convenient to buy them. He wouldn't really need to test it for its tenderness. Just pick it up, weigh it, pay for it, & he's done with vegetable shopping.


So I find myself making this palya quite aften as accompaniment with some simple anna-saaru. And, it sure does make an awesome comination with saaru. Simple & homely food that is.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups cabbage - finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut ( Optional )
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 4- 5 green chillies - chopped finely
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste


  • In a heavy bottomed pan, cook shredded cabbage with about 1 cup of water. Add turmeric powder & a little bit of salt while cooking. Cover with a pan, & cook on medium flame, till the cabbage is soft. Add more water if the water has already dried up. But DO NOT add too much water as cabbage leaves additional water while cooking.
  • Or simply, cook cabbage in the microwave. gets done pretty quickly.
  • Once the cabbage is cooked yet crunchy, Add grated coconut. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chana dal & urad dal.
  • Check for salt, Mix well

Serve HOT with steamed rice/chapatis .. Enjoi !!!

NOTE: You can even do without adding grated coconut. If you do not like the taste of coconut, or if you are calorie counting, give it a miss. It will taste as great.

February 15, 2010

Beaten Coffee

What did you guys do this Valentine's day & what did you get? Well, we don't really attach too much importance to this, but I got a new cellphone from my husband. It was much needed because the old one was beyond repair. So now you see, how convenient such days are?
Valentine's Day reminds me of our courtship period. Those days when we would endless hang around coffee shops to exchange those sweet nothings. We still frequent coffee shops, but its mostly with friends now :)
Anyways, in case you guys want to re-create the same ambience in your home, here's a great recipe for some instant coffee
Beaten Coffee
While I always love the classic South Indian Filter Coffee, this works well if you do not have the patience to brew coffee decoction. Or if you simply want a change. This tastes so much better than Instant Coffee. Believe me.
You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 tsp of any instant coffee powder - I love Nescafe

  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp Sugar

  • 1cup hot milk

  • In a coffee mug, add instant coffee powder & sugar. To this add 1 tbsp milk & beat well for about 3 - 4 mins with a spoon until frothy.

  • Pour hot milk into the mug & beat well for a minute until froth appears.

  • Add a pinch of instant coffee powder on top & make swirls with your finger tips.
And, your Beaten Coffee is ready to Serve. Enjoi !!!
This goes to Mahimaa's Cooking Basics Event ...

February 4, 2010

Spicy Bell Pepper & Tomato Rice

I heart Bell Peppers. All colors. I tend to include them practically in anything. From South Indian cuisine, to North Indian to Italian to Mexican. I can eat them raw, steamed, roasted, smoked .Yep, Bell peppers & I share a very loving relationship.

But Shankar, isn't exactly fond of these beauties. You give him anything that has diced bell pepper, & he painstackingly discards them. Anyways, that doesn't stop me from cooking bell peppers ..

Spicy Bell Pepper & Tomato Rice

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup bell peppers - diced ( All colors - Red, Green, Yellow & Orange )
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - fresh/frozen
  • 2 small onions - chopped finely
  • 2 large tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • 1 tsp whole Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • Juice of half a lemon ( optional )


  • Clean Basmati Rice in several changes of water. Drain & set aside for about 15 mins. Heat a tsp of desi ghee in a pan, Roast the rice for a couple of minutes. Pressure cook the rice with 1 1/2 cups of water. Once done, set aside & let it cool completely.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee/oil. Splutter whoe Garam Masala. Add ginger-garlic paste.
  • Saute onions till they turn pink. Add diced bell peppers, turmeric & red chilli powder & saute for about 5 mins. Add chopped tomatoes, Green peas & saute until the tomatoes are completely cooked & bell peppers are cooked yet form.
  • Mix in Rice, Garam Masala, Kitchen King Masala, Salt & give a gentle mix without breaking the rice.
  • Turn off the stove, add lemon juice & transfer to a bowl

Serve HOT with some onion-cucumber Raita. Enjoi !!!

I love this mainly because it has bell peppers in it. They give a nice twist to the otherwise plain tomato rice. Make this for your guests, if you are bored of Pulaos & Biryanis. Your guests will love it too.

January 28, 2010

Aloo Bhindi aur Gobi ki Subzi

Have you ever thrown some ingredients together & made a good recipe? Somehow, these throw it together, no effort meals always taste great, don't they?

I made this curry from the odds & ends in the fridge. I am a huge fan of aloo bhindi & aloo gobi so this couldn't have been anything less than, super yummy.

Aloo Bhindi aur Gobi ki Subzi

You Will Need:

  • 2 large potatoes - diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup okra/ladies finger - chopped into 1' pieces
  • A handful of green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan/Kadhai, add okra & saute till half done,
  • To this, add potatoes, cauliflower florets, green peas, turmeric, salt & red chilli powder & mix well
  • Cover with a lid & let it cook on medium flame. Keep checking in between to avoid the bottom from getting burnt. You may require an additional tsp of oil at this time.
  • The vegetables must be completely cooked yet firm.
  • Check ofr salt. Transfer to a serving bowl. Enjoi with rice or rotis.

I threw in whatever I had. You could even add some chopped onions & tomatoes for a jucier version of the curry.

How about giving your leftover aloo bhindi or aloo gobi a new tiwst?

So tell me what are your 'throw it together, no effort, favorite meals' like?

January 18, 2010

Spicy Potato Sticks

Do you find yourself craving for some fried goodies or sweets ?? I do, most of the times. But I do not always give in to the temptation. I grab a cucumber or munch on roasted almonds or max, I bite into a small piece of dark chocolate.

Yesterday, I made some spicy potato sticks just like that. They always taste great right? So I ate quite a bit & now I am guilty ...

If you are not counting calories, go make them now ...


You Will Need:

  • 4 -5 large potatoes
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • Oil for deep frying


  • Wash & dry the potatoes. Halve the potatoes & cut them into 1/2 inch sticks.
  • In a vessel, pour ice cold water & 3 tsp salt. Soak potato sticks for 30 mins. Drain & place potatoes on paper towels & pat dry.
  • In a large bowl, mix together salt & red chilli powder. Add potato sticks. Toss to coat well.
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan. When the oil is hot, deep fry the potato sticks in batches until golden brown. This should take about 3-4 mins.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon.
  • Let them cool & store in a air-tight jar.

Munch on these whenever you feel like. Enjoi !!!

January 11, 2010

South Indies: Kokum Saar

I wasn't very familiar with dishes made out of kokum before my wedding. I wasn't aware of anything beyond Kokum Sherbet. After my wedding, Shankar's grandmom introduced me to a variety of kokum dishes.

Kokum Saar is one such dish I really fell in love it. If you are aware of the many health benefits that kokum has to offer, I am sure this would be on your menu.

I love this saar mainly because its very light. If you've had a heavy lunch/dinnernat your favorite restaurant, then this is perfect for you.

Kokum Saar 2

You Will Need:

  • 8 - 10 dried kokum
  • 3 1/2 - 4 cups of water
  • 1 1/2 tsp grated jaggery
  • 3 dry red chillies
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • Salt as per taste

How To:

  • Soak dried kokum in warm water for about 30 minutes. Extract juice & discard dry skin
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, add kokum extract, 3 -4 cups of water & bring to a boil.
  • To this, add grated jaggery & salt as per taste. If the saar turns out too strong or is tangy, add more water.Bring it to a rolling boil & turn off the gas.
  • Temper with mustard seeds, red chillies & curry leaves.

Serve HOT with rice or if you prefer to gulp it down, even better .. Enjoi !!

Kokum Saar

I love this with plain steamed rice. If I've had a heavy meal, then this is usually my lunch the next day. Makes me feel light ...