Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Paneer Sandwich Pakodas

Everyone must be wondering, why I am posting only pakodas..ya winter and craving will be more for hot spicy pakodas with spicy green chutney..today I am posting one of my favourite pakoda, paneer sandwich pakoda.
Now we all like paneer pakodas and bread pakodas, again also we like paneer sandwich also, So its all in one..paneer, bread, sandwich and pakoda.
Batter is the same as all pakoda batter, that is chickpea flour/besan batter, but the paneer is sandwiched between two bread slices and dipped in batter and deep fried.
Yes...while sandwiching you can add your choice of green and sweet chutneys and sandwich, will taste awesome..but I just plainly sandwiched with bread and paneer, before serving sprinkled chat masala and served with ketchup and green chutney..
It is a good winter evening snack and also a party starter..it is very filling too..serve it with fresh salad to make it a bit healthier...

Bread Slices White/Brown - 8
Paneer Slices - 4
Besan/Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup,
Red Chilly Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Bi Carbonate of Soda - a fat pinch,
Ajwain/Carom seeds/ - 1 teaspoon,
Oil - 2 teaspoons(do not heat),
Sufficient Oil for frying,
Chat Masala to Sprinkle(optional).
Choice of chutneys or sauces to serve with.

In a wide bowl, mix chickpea flour, salt, red chilly powder, soda, carom seeds and rice flour.
Add water to the ingredients mixture, little by little to make it a medium consistency smooth batter without lumps.
Batter should not be either too thick or runny.
Add 2 teaspoons of raw oil(not heated) to the batter and mix well.
Meanwhile heat sufficient oil in a frying pan.
Place a paneer slice in between two slices of bread and cut diagonally, to make equal triangle.
Repeat the same with rest of the bread and paneer slices.
Oil should be medium hot.
Dip the sandwiched bread and paneer  slices in the batter, coat the batter well.
Drop this in medium hot oil carefully.
Fry the sandwiched paneer bread slices, until nicely golden brown on both sides.
Sprinkle chat masala on the pakodas when it is warm.
Serve warm with choice of chutneys and sauce.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Aubergine Fritters/Baingan Pakodas

Winter makes craving for  more hot and  fried foods,so what better than aubergine fritters..my all time favourite.  Crisp  outside and soft a and melt in mouth aubergines..love these fritters in this winter with hot cup of masala chai and watching tele..cuddled inside a warm throw and enjoying these fritters with chai and watching a good movie..aahh its lovely..So I will go ahead with the ingredints and method..do make and enjoy it..

Purple Aubergines- 1 medium cut into roundels soaked in water to stop decoluorisation or getting black.
Besan/Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup,
Bi Carbonate of Soda - a pinch,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Oil to deep fry.

Sieve Chickpea flour to remove all lumps.
Add rice flour, salt, red chilly powder and soda to the chickpea flour.
Mix the ingredients with water, adding water slowly to make a medium thick batter.
Finally add 1 tablespoon oil to the batter and mix well.
Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan.
Oil should be medium hot, not smoking.
Dip the each roundel in the batter, make sure the roundel  is well coated with the batter and deep fry in medium hot oil, both sides until golden brown.
Repeat with rest of the aubergine roundels. 
According to the size of the rounds frying you can fry 4-5 at a time.
Enjoy with mint coriander chutney or your with your favourite sauce.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Spinach/Paalak Pakodas/Bajji

Spinach/Paalak Bajji/Pakodas are basically deep fried fritters made from dipping the chickpea flour batter with spices, dipped in vegetable of your choice or paneer and deep fried in hot oil.
Perfect for winter evenings with tea or coffee.
In south  India it is called Bajjis and in North of India as pakodas.
Basic batter is same in both of south and north India, it is made of chickpea flour with salt red chilly powder and mixed with water into a medium thick batter. 
Some variations will be in batter by adding rice flour, corn flour and spices like cumin whole/powder, ginger and garlic paste, chaat masala powder and so on.
So it is according to the taste of the individual.
Though not a healthy choice, but a tasty platter for a cold winter evenings with tea and coffee.
Me and my family love bajjis but make it very rarely. As we don't reuse the oil, it will be discarded once used, so not being  a very healthy option and we don't reuse the oil, so I don't make it very often.

Spinach/Paalak - 15 leaves, medium sized, washed and pat dried,
Besan/Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup,
Bi Carbonate of Soda - a pinch,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoons,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Oil to deep fry.

Sieve Chickpea flour to remove all lumps.
Add rice flour, salt, red chilly powder and soda to the chickpea flour.
Mix the ingredients with water, adding water slowly to make a medium thick batter.
Finally add 1 tablespoon oil to the batter and mix well.
Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan.
Oil should be medium hot, not smoking.
Dip the spinach leaf in the batter, make sure the leaf is well coated with the batter and deep fry in medium hot oil, both sides until golden brown.
Repeat with rest of the leaves. 
According to the size of the frying you can fry 4-5 at a time.
Enjoy with mint coriander chutney or your with your favourite sauce.

Add raw, cold oil to the batter.
This will make pakodas/bajjis crisp and stays crisp for long.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Eggless Orange Cake

My kitchen flooring was ripped due to some plumbing leakage and took almost a month for the all the plumbing work was done and a new floor was put up. It was today we got our kitchen back..so decided to bake some cake, which my kids were after from many days..Although they wanted chocolate cup cakes, but for me something new...which I haven't baked..husband wanted lemon loaf, so thought of giving it a try..but then remembered there were lot oranges in my fruit basket and decided to bake an orange cake..as I have always telling you all that we are strictly vegetarian and do not use eggs..so have to look for eggless version in my cake...So even if it is a cake which has eggs, I will make it a eggless version with lot of available egg substitutes, according, to why the egg was used in the cake and the quantity used...But while looking at different recipes I came across this plain sponge cake recipe here, which was very easy and tried it with fresh orange juice. So you can always visit the link to find the recipe in detail.
I love baking and get excited..Today I was baking after couple of months so took a little longer time in preparations..to make sure I am doing the right way and all the ingredients are in proportion, which is very important in baking, So here I go with the recipe.

Cake Flour - 2 and 1/2 cups,
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Baking Soda or Bi Carbonate of Soda - 1 teaspoon,
Melted Butter - 1/2 cup or 125 grams,
Sweetened Condensed milk - 300 grams,
Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice - 1 cup,
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon,
Vinegar - 2 tablespoon,
Salt - a pinch,
Orange Rind -  2 teaspoons,
Sugar - 2 tablespoons.

Preheat Oven at 180 degree celsius.
If You do not have cake flour use plain/all purpose flour.
To make cake flour at home is very easy,  measure a cup of plain flour/all purpose flour.
Then take away 2 tablespoons of flour from the measured flour and place it back in the flour bin.
Replace the removed flour with 2 tablespoons of corn starch to the plain flour and sieve couple of times to mix well.
Now we can proceed with the cake.
Sieve together the cake flour/plain flour with baking powder and baking soda couple of times to make sure the flour and baking powder and soda are mixed well.
Mix all the wet ingredients and orange rind well.
Then slowly incorporate the flour and mix.
Take care the batter is smooth without lumps
Grease a suitable baking pan.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 30 minutes.
But mine took 40 minutes, so it depends on the oven you bake.
Bake until a skewer comes clean and enjoy.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Mutter Ki Kachori

Kachori is popular snack in various parts of India.  Kachoris can be a great tea/coffee time snack or morning breakfast, that is how it is in many parts of India.  
Stiff dough of plain flour, ghee and salt for outer cover, different vegetables or lentils are stuffed with spices inside the outer cover, sealed and deep fried.  Nowadays even oven baked for healthier version.
Onions, Peas, Paneer and so on are used for stuffing. I have even heard sweet stuffing, which I have not tried.
Kachoris made in Gujarat, has a dash of sweetness in it. But for me generally kachoris are to be spicy.
The flaky crisp outer cover,  and a spicy inside mixture is just a perfect tea time snack or great for winter breakfast. These kachoris with spicy mint or coriander chutney is my way to enjoy it, a complete no no to ketchup or sauce.
This sounds me soo old fashioned ha ha...
There is also a variety of kasta kachoris which is very crisp outer layer.
Today it is Mutter Ki Kachori or simply fresh/frozen green peas kachoris.

For Outer Cover:
Plain/All Purpose flour - 2 cups,
Ghee - 1/3 of a cup,
Oil for deep frying.

For Stuffing:
Fresh/Frozen Peas - 2 cups,
Green Chillies - 2,
Ginger - 1 inch chopped,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,

Mix plain flour, ghee and salt with water to make a stiff dough.
Keep aside, rest it covered for half hour.
Cook the peas in enough water until soft and cooked.
Drain the water completely. Cool. 
Pulse the cooled peas, with ginger and green chillies to a coarse mixture, without adding water.
You can pulse in a food processor or mixer.
In a pan heat oil and  add cumin, when it crackles, add coarse mixture and fry until it thickens, so you can make balls out of it.
Add salt, red chilly powder and garam masala powder.
Cook for a minute and remove from heat. Allow to cool.
Heat sufficient oil in a frying pan/kadai.
The oil should be medium hot.
Pinch a medium lemon size dough and roll it to your palm size.
Fill a medium lemon size stuffing mixture and and cover and seal well from all sides.
Now again roll to your palm size.
Repeat the same with rest of the dough and stuffing mixture.
Deep fry these discs on both sides to medium brown and serve hot with green chutney.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Iyengar Puliogarai From Scratch

Puliogarai or tamarind rice is a speciality of Iyengar cuisine. No celebration is complete without puliogarai.
When I was little, I have  seen the preparation of this puliogarai paste, the basic paste required to make this tamarind rice. Each and every ingredient was choosen carefully both in quality and quantity. The exact measure of all ingredients, the oil used and so on. The big iron kadai used to be used to boiling this paste. The aged tamarind will be used, mean to say that, tamarind which is bought atleast a year back, is cleaned, pounded and made into big size balls,dried in sun and then stored, after an year this tamarind would have turned to very dark, black colour. This tamarind may be around 3-4 kilograms, used to be soaked in water previous day.
The next step is to make the dry roast powder, well before and keep ready which will go to the puliogarai paste.
Then a stove will be lit in the backyard near to the tap and the big iron kadai is lit, given the seasoning, then add thick tamarind juice and allowed to boil for hours, until it reaches medium consistency.
Then salt and jaggery is added and boiled again to reach more thicker consistency.
Finally Powder is added and boiled in low flame to get lehyam thick, cooled and stored in sterlized air tight bottles.
So when you want to make puliogarai, cook rice and cool.
Add lehgyam and dry roast powder salt and mix and then give the tempering.
Add grated dry coconut and serve.
Now I live abroad, everytime I used carry this paste from My Mom's place and prepare the puliogarai.
But sometimes it used to get over early or due weight limitations I was not able to carry the basic paste, then I used to always think If I had the infrastructure I would have prepared it myself. That's when I started experimenting to make in very less quantity, say just enough to make once or two times.
I succeeded, though I have made a small changes in roasted powder by adding little bit of chana dal and urad dal, which is not used in original powder, but again I have added to give body to the mixture, since I make it in very less quantiy.
To get the exact taste I would suggest you use either sesame oil or groundnut oil only.
Also I would suggest you to make this paste in a week's advance and go ahead with preparing the puliogarai, the older the paste the better the taste.
I have seen storing this in my house for more than a year, without fridge.

Rice - 250 grams,
Oil - 2 tablespoon(preferably sesame or groundnut oil),
Mustard Seeds - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - fat pinch,
Tamarind - 1 large lemon size soaked in water for atleast 3-4 hours,
Jaggery - 2 tablespoons,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

For Roasting and grinding:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1/4 teaspoon,
Coriander seeds - 3 teaspoons,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Pepper Corn - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 teaspoon,
Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 5-6 leaves.

Though originally all the ingredients under dry and roast table is done without oil, as large quantities of ingredients are used and easy to dry roast.
But since I am using very less quantity so I am using oil to roastthe ingredients, with any oil of your wish.
In a pan add oil and heat it. Add all the ingredients under roasting table and in medium low flame fry until evenly browned.
Remove from heat, cool and grind it to fine powder and keep aside.
Strain the thick pulp from the soaked tamarind and keep aside.
In broad deep kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to crackle.
Add the thick pulp, and allow to boil with turmeric.
When it reaches to medium thick consistency, add salt and jaggery and boil.
Continue to boil until it thickens to very thick paste.
Add the ground powder and boil for 3-4 minutes you see the whole mixture coming together as a big lump.
Remove from heat and store.

How to proceed:
Cook 250 grams of rice with enough water and spread with fork, to separate the grains, and completely cool it.
Spread the paste on the rice and mix with rice well.
Adjust the salt.
Tear around 10-12 fresh curry leaves into pieces and mix with rice.
In a kadai heat a tablespoon of sesame/ground oil(very important), add a teaspoon of mustard seeds and a pinch of asafoetida.
Add a tablespoon of grated dry coconut and mix.
When mustard seeds crackles, add 3 tablespoons of peanuts and 1 teaspoon of chana dal and fry until brown and add to the rice and serve and enjoy!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Potato Bread Rolls

Potato Bread rolls is a very tasty evening snack or can be a  good party starter. This is a very tasty filling snack. Very easy to make and preparations can be made ahead and store in the fridge and fry when required.  Again the filling mixture can be of anything of your choice,  I have used peas and potato, you can use, mixed vegetables with paneer and so on.
Instead of white you can also use brown bread.
This snack is a very big hit with my family and friends.
Do give a try and enjoy with your friends and family.

Potato - 2 large cooked and mashed,
Shelled fresh/frozen Peas - 1/2 cup,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped,
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Red Chilly powder - 1 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Amchur Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Bread Slices Brown/White - 6,
Oil for frying.

Boil fresh peas until soft, but holds shape, in boiling water with salt.
Drain water completely.
In a broad pan add oil and heat.
Add cumin seeds, when it crackles, add green chillies and saute.
Add peas and saute until, it turns pale green.
Add all the dry masalas and salt.
Mix well.
Add boiled and mashed potato and mix well.
Remove from heat and cool.
Divide into six equal size oblong balls, keep aside.
Heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
Cut the four sides of bread, to remove the brown part of the bread.
Keep cold clean drinking water in a wide bowl.
Dip these bread in water, for couple of seconds, remove from water and press to remove excess water.
Take care not to tear the bread.
Stuff the filling of peas and potato into the bread slices and completely cover the stuffing and seal the bread from all sides.
Repeat the procedure with rest of bread and filling.
Deep fry these rolls, inn medium heat, until golden brown.
Remove from oil and drain the excess oil on tissue paper.
Serve with chutney or sauce of your choice

Sunday, 19 October 2014


Roshagullas as they are pronounced..typically called are famous bengali sweets made from fresh paneer or indian cottage cheese dunked in mild sugar syrup.
I have crush on bengali sweets right from my childhood, those cheesy melt in mouth texture mildly sweetened have always attracted me, also I love rasmalai, champakali, sondesh, malai sandwich and list goes on.
I wanted to try this sweet from very long, tried different recipes, like adding fine semolina, but nothing was to my liking, so finally tried this easy fool proof must try recipe. I came across this recipe in here. You can visit this site and check for more detail. Thanks Garimaji for posting this easy wonderful recipe.

Milk - 1 liter,
Yogurt/Lemon/Vinegar - 2-3 Tablespoons,
Ice Cubes - 12-15.

Sugar Syrup for cooking Roshagullas:
Sugar - 1 and 1/2 cup,
Powdered Cardamom - 1/2 teaspoon,
Water - 6 cups.

For Final syrup to dunk the rosahgullas:
Sugar - 1/2 cup,
Water - 3/4 cup,
Saffron Strands - few,
Chopped Pistachios - few.

Start the recipe by making paneer, the original recipe calls for boiling the milk and cooling and remove the malai or cream layer formed on the top of the milk.
Again boil the milk, when it boils add lemon juice/vinegar/yogurt, keep adding until, milk curdles and the water and whey separates clearly.
As I had previous day boiled milk, I removed the cream and proceeded further.
Once whey separates, do not heat any further, immediately transfer to colander.
Here I have used the tip from the original recipe, If you are using lemon juice or vinegar to curdle the milk, then immediately dump the ice cubes into the colander, when you strain it, but if you are using yogurt to curdle milk, you can skip this dumping of ice cubes.
Place a cheese cloth and pour the cheese into the cheese cloth and run under cold water and wash well and squeeze the cloth well, the water from cheese has to be completely drained, its very important.
Hang the cloth for 15-20 minutes.
Once the water drains completely, collect the cheese on a plate and start kneading it with the heals of your fingers, the fat in the cheese will help to knead, within 6-8 minutes on kneads, you will see crumbled cheese coming together into a smooth dough.
Now pinch small balls and roll into smooth balls without any cracks.
I got 13 balls.
While doing this, you can bring light syrup ingredients, that is 1 and 1/2 cup sugar and 6 cups of water and cardamom powder to boil in a thick bottom broad pan.
Here again, when you take pan to boil the sugar syrup take a deep broad/wide pan to boil the syrup, as we will be cooking the cheese balls in this, so we need enough space for balls to boil, again they double up in volume, so need enough space.
If they do not have enough space, then they will not bloat up and will lose shape.
I cooked my roshagullas in two batches.
Once the syrup starts to boil, slip slowly/gently the balls and cover and cook for 12-14 minutes.
Mine took approximately 13 minutes.
It is better to check after 10 minutes.
To check if they are cooked, take a glass of clean drinking water, drop  the cheese ball, if it sinks then it is cooked, if it floats then needs to be cooked for couple of more minutes.
Now again take a broad/wide deep bowl with clean drinking water.
As the cheese balls get cooked drop in this clean water, until the whole of all balls are cooked.
Again this bowl should be wide enough to hold all balls, otherwise it will shrink and lose shape.
Once all the cheese balls are cooked , remove to the cold water bowl.
Now with the left over sugar syrup, add 1/2 cup of sugar and 3/4 cup water and allow to boil, just to melt the sugar.
Once sugar melts, add saffron  and remove from heat, cool it to be warm.
Once the sugar syrup is warm, gently squeeze the roshagullas from water and add to sugar syrup. 
Chill in refrigerator for atleast  3 hour before serving.
Garnish with pistachios and serve and enjoy!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, 18 October 2014


Kalakhand is a basic sweet recipe from nothern part of India..but now available in and out of India.
There are different ways of making it..or atleast I know three different ways.
One is completely reducing the milk , until it becomes thick and grainy and pour on a greased plate, and cut into squares.
The Second is half reduced milk and half fresh home made Paneer and again reduce to thick and grainy.
The Third method is using milkmaid and paneer.
Today I am following the second method, which is very easy, but a bit time consuming.
But all the worth, when you taste the melting in the mouth this kalakhand.
I sometimes use this left over kalakhand in my halwas, instead of khoya/mawa.
But since this is a milk based sweet, of course the shelf life is short, I would say 2-3 days if stored in fridge.

Milk - 2 liters,
Sugar - 2 tablespoons,
Cardamom powder - a pinch,
Juice of 1 lemon,
Chopped pistachios - 1 tablespoon,
Saffron stands - few.

Grease a plate with ghee and set aside.
Boil 1 liter of milk, continuously stirring, once it boils, keep adding the lemon juice, until the milk curdles and whey separates from water.
Alternatively you can use yogurt or vinegar to curdle the milk.
Pour this curdled milk on a cheese cloth and add 10-15 Ice cubes to cool it.
After few minutes wash this paneer in running cold water to remove any sourness in the panner caused by lemon.
Drain the water very well, tie in a cheese/muslin cloth and hang it to drain water completely and keep aside.
In a thick bottomed pan, heat remaining 1 liter of milk and boil by constantly stirring, until it is reduced to half its original quantity, that is milk is reduced to 1/2 liter.
I literally measured  and then proceeded further.
Once the milk is reduced, add paneer and sugar and keep stirring in low flame.
After say 8-10 minutes the mixture starts to leave the sides of the pan, comes together like a mass.
Pour the mixture into the greased plate, and pat with back of spoon to smoothen the surface and even it.
Let it cool for sometime, until it is warm.
Sprinkle cardamom powder, saffron strands and pistachios.
Cut into squares and enjoy!!!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Dates Figs and Nuts Roll

This is one of the sweets I love to make and eat with less guilt. 
This roll does not have any added sugar or honey, all the sweetness comes from dates and figs, which is natural, at the same time it is not too sweet, you can gobble on second piece of roll with less guilt. 
This roll is easy to make and has a long shelf life compared to other sweets, can be made ahead. I think that's because of all natural ingredients that go in making of this roll. Loads of nuts of your choice can be added to make it more healthy, I have added cashew in my roll, but completely optional.
Rest of the nuts are loaded with nutrients,can be also used as energy bars. Perfect to send with lunch boxes for snack time.

Ghee - 1 and 1/2 tablespoon,
Dates - 300 grams,
Figs - 200 grams(dried),
Pistachio - 1/4 cup,
Almonds - 1/4 cup,
Cashew - 1/4 cup,
Walnuts - 1/4 cup,
Poppy Seeds - 2 Tablespoon.

I have used medjool dates as they are supposed to be the best dates.
Chop all the nuts and dry roast, until it gives out nutty flavour. Keep aside.
You can either dry roast each nut separately or like me, mix all the nuts and dry roast.
Dry roast poppy seeds, until it is slightly browned and gives the roasted flavour. But take care not to burn it and it turns black. As poppy seeds turns black very fast. Keep aside. 
Chop figs and dates finely and pulse them in mixer or food processor.
In a broad thick pan, add ghee and heat it.
Add pulsed figs and dates, and fry in medium low flame, constantly stirring.
Within 3-5 minutes the figs and dates turn pulpy.
Add roasted nuts and mix well.
Remove from heat.
Allow it to cool to room temperature, or just warm.
Rub a little ghee on your hands and roll them into logs.
Roll these logs on the roasted poppy seeds, so they logs are coated very well.
Refrigerate this logs for at least 2 hours in the fridge.
Cut them in rounds and enjoy.

Adding poppy seeds is completely optional, rest of the procedure can be followed and make a tasty roll.
Adding nuts can be of your choice, you can also add any other nuts of your choice.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Curry Leaves Rice

Curry Leaves/kariveppilai/karibevu/kadipatha is a very flavourful herb extensively used in Indian cooking for its wonderful aroma and as a natural taste enhancer, no South Indian Rasam, Sambhar, Kootu, stirfry, and the list goes on....is complete without tempering with curry leaves. Not only for tempering, but also important ingredient is masala powders.
But this humble curry leaf is just not only flavourful, but loaded with carbohydrates, fiber, calciuum, phosphorus, iron magnesium, copper, even here the list goes on, for the load of nutrients it has.
So more reasons to love this humble leaf.
The recipe which I am sharing with you is from my mil's recipes, but with same ingredients and method she makes citron/narthangai/heralehannu rice...this rice is given during postpartum and I love the taste.
So decided to use the same recipe inn curry leaves rice, everybody in the family loved, So I am sharing  the recipe with all of you.

Rice - Cooked and Cooled 1 Cup,

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 2 teaspoon,
Tuar Dal - 2 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 2 cups loosely packed,
Tamarind - a Small Piece,
Dry Coconut - 2 Tablespoons grated.

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons (optional),
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Urad dal - 2 teaspoons,
Cashew - 1 tablespoon.

Cook rice with 1:2 water, that is for 1 cup of rice add 2 cups of boiling water and cook.
Once cooked, Spread the rice with fork and allow to cool.
Roast the ingredients under roast and grind table, except tamarind, curry leaves and tamarind.
In my mil's recipe, she will not add coriander seeds, chana dal,and urad dal.
But I have added , as I felt this will enhance the taste.
When the dals are browned, add tamarind and curry leaves and switch off flame and remove from heat.
The heat is just enough to fry the curry leaves.
Powder these first, and then add dry copra and powder it. Keep aside.
Mix this powder with cooled rice and mix well. Add salt and mix well.
Temper the ingredients under tempering table and add to rice and enjoy.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Fruit Rava Kesari Bhath

I have already posted normal rava kesari bhath, but fresh fruits rava kesari bhath is slightly different from the normal rava kesari bhath, yet very tasty Normally fruit kesari bhath is made with fresh fruits, but canned fruits in their own juice also tastes good.
Less sugar is added as the fresh fruits gives let out lot of sweetness to the kesari.
Ripe Banana, Pineapple and Mangoes are used in the kesari, but you can add either any one of them, or combination of two or all three of them, according to your taste and preference.
Finely chopped apples can also be added.
You can either add chopped fruits or puree them to fine paste and use them, but I prefer to add chopped fresh fruits, as they give fresh taste and you can enjoy fruits in whole in the rava kesari.

Fine Soji/Semolina/Rava - 1cup,
Ghee - 1/2 cup,
Raisins - 1 teaspoon,
Cashew - 1 teaspoon,
Water - 2 cups,
Sugar - 3/4 cup,
Saffron Strands -few,(optional),
Yellow colour - few drops,
Ripe Banana - 1 medium sized chopped,
Ripe Pineapple fresh or canned - 1/4 cup chopped,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon

In a kadai, add ghee and heat it.
Add Rava, raisins and cashew and fry in a medium flame.
Simultaneously in a another thick bottom saucepan, add sugar and water and allow to boil.
Fry the rava until nice aroma spreads and the colour change to slightly brown.
To make sure rava is roasted, you will see,cashew and raisins are also roasted along and raisins are bloated up.
When water and sugar starts to boil, add saffron strands,yellow colour and fruits.
I have used canned pineapple, as I did not have fresh one.
Make sure that roasting the rava and water with fruits,sugar boils just coincide with each other.
Add roasted rava to boiling water.
Lower the flame and cover and cook.
This will take 5-6 minutes to cook, the kesari will leave the sides of the pan.
Add cardamom powder and serve warm.
I some times do not add cardaom powder, the fruits give natural flavour and taste.

Peanut Sundal/Gugri

Sundals are basically made either with dry legume or sometimes lentil based, like chickpeas...Very tasty and so typical of South Indian Navratri/Golu offerings to the goddess all nine days.
Different varieties of legume based Sundals are made, like black whole chickpeas, dried peas, kabuli chana, Whole green gram(whole moong), kidney beans, horse gram and so on..
Dried legume-lentil is soaked for overnight, and then pressure cooked with salt until just done.
It is flavour fully tempered with mustard, asafoetida, chana dal, curry leaves,green/red chillies and then cooked legume is added, adjust the salt.  Garnished with grated coconut,chopped coriander and lemon juice.
Today I am posting peanut sundal.

Peanuts - 1cup(soaked in cold water for 3 hours)
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Chana dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 5-8 torn,
Red/Green Chillies - 2-3,
Grated Coconut - 1 1/2 tablespoon,
Coriander - 2 teaspoon chopped,
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon,

Wash peanut and discard soaked water, add fresh 1 cup water, salt and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Once the pressure is cooled, drain hot water and run cool water on the peanut and drain water completely.
In a kadai, heat oil, add mustard and asafoetida.
Once mustard crackles, add chana dal, and fry until golen brown.
Add curry leaves and chillies, fry for few seconds.
Add cooked peanut and fry for couple of minutes.
Adjust salt. Add grated coconut and mix well.
Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander.
Allow to cool a bit, and add lemon juice.
Lemon juice is optional.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cheese Toast

Cheese toasts are hit with my children..they love to have it as their after school snack.
For me a great way to incorporate a lot of veggies in this toast.
Its filling its healthy and children love it..sometimes good as breakfast..made in minutes with loads of veggies and I used wholemeal bread instead of white and I do not add any butter on toast.
So even adults can have their bite safely.

Wholemeal Bread - 8 slices,
Onion - 1 large finely chopped,
Green Bell Pepper - 1 medium chopped,
Tomatoes - 2 deseeded and chopped,
Sweet Corn - 1/2 cup cooked,
Black Pepper Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Any Cheese of your choice - 1 cup,

Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius  for 10 minutes.
Mix all the veggies, salt and pepper powder and mix well.
I had run out of sweet corn so I haven't added.
Spread enough mixture equally on every slice of bread.
Sprinkle generous amount of cheese on every veggy slice.
Bake in oven for 10-12 minutes, until cheese melts and lightly starts to brown.
Remove from oven and serve, you can cut into strips and serve bite size.

If you want more spicy you can add green chillies or red chilly flakes.
You can add all three colours of bell pepper, red green and yellow. As I had only green bell pepper.

Rice Flour Rotti or Akki Rotti

You ask any kannadiga from Bangalore and Mysore their favourite, comforting, relaxed breakfast..the answer has to be akki roti...which simply means rice flour roti..It is made of mixing rice flour, salt, jeera  grated coconut, a tinge of sugar choice of veggies like onion, grated carrot, fenugreek leaves or dhill leaves or even with grated cucumber and so on..and also with grains.. the most popular one is avarekaalu or hyacinth beans..but the other popular ones are plain without any veggies or with onion and carrot, dhill leaves and most popular one is hyacinth beans in the season.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Hyacinth Beans - 11/2 cups cooked with little salt,
Green Chillies - 6-8 finely chopped,
Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons,
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida  - a fat pinch,
Coriander chopped - 1 tablespoon,
Grated Coconut - 1 cup,
Water as required.

In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients except water and beans, once they are mixed well, add beans and mix.
Add water slowly to make a stiff dough.
Grease generously the aluminium thick kadai and spread the dough evenly to the shape of the kadai with your hands.
You can wet your hands while spreading.
Make sure the thickness of the roti should be of medium thick and evenly spread very important to get crispy rotis.
Make a hole in the middle of the rotti and pour a teaspoon of oil and cover and cook until nicely browned.
Care fully flip over without breaking the rotti and cook on other side as well and serve with butter  or ghee, chutney or any gravy.

Instead of hyacinth beans, you can use either chopped 3/4 cup chopped onion and 1 medium grated carrot or just chopped onions.
You can completely omit coconut or add less.
If you do not have kadai...you can spread as thin or medium thick rottis on a tawa  and cook on both sides.
To make it more healthy, you can add more veggies like grated ridge guord, chow chow fenugreek leaves and omit coconut and add very less oil.

Rice Idly

Being a South Indian I can eat idlies the whole day or anytime  time of the day. I simply love idlies, this idlies particularly are so soft and spongy, you will just fall in love with it. The best thing about this batter is..in emergencies, you can use this batter to make crispy dosas too. Now you have even more reasons to try and enjoy this two in one batter for idlies. Make the batter once a week and store in fridge to make idlies or dosas the whole week.

Idly Rice - 11/2 cups,
Raw Rice - 1/2 cup,
Whole deskinned Urad - 3/4 cup,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Poha or flattened Rice - a handful,

Wash both the rices twice and soak in enough water for 6-8 hours or overrnight.
Same way wash urad dal and methi together and soak for 4 hours.
Wash and soak poha for 20 minutes.
Drain water from urad dal, wash once again and grind urad  dal and methi with enough water say around 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup...it  depends on the quality of the urad  dal.
Grind until smooth and fluffy.
Remove it to a large bowl.
Now grind rice and flatenned rice together with enough water to fine semolina consistency.
Combine with ground urad dal and salt.
Mix well with your hands until well blended.
The batter should be a little thicker than medium thick consistency.
The bowl should be large enough for the batter to ferment, because the batter will double the volume once it ferments..so only pour the batter half way through the vessel.
Allow the batter to ferment  for 8 hours in a warm place.
Next day once the batter ferments well..keep the idly steamer ready...grease the idly plates..pour the idly batter to the mould and steam cook for 10-12 minutes and remove from heat, cool for couple of minutes and demould and serve hot with sambhar and chutney.
For crispy dosas
For the same batter add little water to medium consistency batter, add a teaspoon of sugar and spread on hot tawa and cook on both side, sprinkle few drops of oil, while cooking.

To make soft idlies..the batter should ferment well.
do not completely fill the mould with batter.. just leave a little space for the idlies to bloat up.

Green Peas Cutlet

Cutlet or tikkis can be a great snack or starters in a party..It can be made healthy by pan fry or baking..
What I love about tikkis is adding vegetables minced or  pureed and add to tikki dough and pan fry them and give it to children...my kids enjoy tikkis..so I can add veggies, spinach, peas corn and so on..
Tikkis are also filling and good evening snack for kids when they come back from school.
Paired with a milk shake or smoothie make a fantastic meal after their sports lessons.

Potato - 2 medium cooked skin peeled and grated,
Green Peas - 1 cup frozen/fresh , just cooked,
Green Chilly Paste - 2 teaspoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon chopped,
Plain Flour - 2 tablespoon,
Bread Crumbs - 1/4 cup,
Oil to shallow fry or deep fry.

Without adding water, pulse or grind peas and coriander to a coarse paste without adding water.
To this mixture add grated potato and rest of the ingredients and make a Stiff dough.
Heat oil in pan, shape the dough into tikkis and fry on both the sides to until brown.
Serve hot with green chutney and sauce.

If the dough is still loose add a little more plain flour to make a stiff dough.

Toor Dhal Chutney

Toor Dhal Chutney is one more lentil based chutney and my favourite too.
Toor Dhal or arhar ki dhal chutney is a south indian chutney with coconut and pepper corns.
It is very simple, with few ingredients from your everyday pantry.
It tastes awesome and goes well idly, dosa, chapathis or as usual with hot steamed rice and a dash of ghee.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Tuar or  Toor Dhal - 1/2 cup,
Chana dal - 2 teaspoon,
Red chillies - 2,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Fenugreek seeds - 8-10,
Curry leaves - 5,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,

Method:In a broad pan, heat oil.
Add all the ingredients except salt and grated coconut.
Fry until the dals are browned, add coconut and fry for a minute, remove from heat.
Add salt and let it cool down.
Add little water and grind to a coarse thick paste.
Enjoy with idly, dosa, chapathi or hot steamed rice with a dash of ghee.

Cripsy Onion Pakoda

Onion Pakoda is an all time favourite in the family...it is nostalgic...I traverse in time backwards...When I was a kid in school and during holidays when our cousins visit us...after having a fat lunch in the after noon, due to which we all had a great nap...when we get up, sometimes it used to be cloudy and ready to pour... first few drops of rain, smell of dusty mud and at the same time blooming mysore jasmine from the backyard was so tempting...elders in the house, come with great aroma of filter coffee and fried onion pakodas...simply irresistible...Want to run back those days...sigh..I know all my family agrees with me..miss you all..I always thinks we should have never got out of those days...time should have just stopped there...
Now coming to the recipe..

Besan or Chickpea Flour - 1cup,
Rice Flour - 1/4 cup,
Onion - 3/4 cup thinly sliced,
Green Chillies - 3-4 Finely Chopped,
Ginger - 1 teaspoon grated,
Curry Leaves - 8-10 finely chopped,
Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon finely chopped,
Ajwain or Carom Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Bio Carbonate of Soda - a pinch,
Oil - 1 Tablespoon.

Enough oil for deep frying.

In a medium large bowl, add onions, green chillies, coriander, curry leaves, salt, carom seeds,soda and salt and let it rest for five minutes.
Add chickpea flour and rice flour and mix well.
By this time you can see that onions and herbs have left enough water to mix the flours.
Add the tablespoon of oil and mix.
If you think the flour cannot be mixed to a batter, then add a tablespoon or two of water and make it to a thick batter.
Heat sufficient oil in the frying pan and heat it to medium heat.
Now  just throw the batter into the oil in small blobs..with irregular shapes and fry both the sides until nice crispy brown and remove on draining sheet.
Serve hot with chutney or sauce.

You can also add chopped mint and cashew into the batter and fry.

Khaman Dhokla

Khaman Dhokla is a gujarati snack...savored either in breakfast or as anytime snack in the day.
This snack has a combination of sweet and spicy taste and enjoyed with spicy green chutney. Besan or chickpea flour is mixed with salt, sugar, green chillies and ginger paste either with curd or water and steam cooked. Tempered with mustard and sesame seeds makes a quick snack for surprise visitors at any time of the day. I have adapted this khaman dhokla from tarla dalal's recipe.

Besan or Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Ginger Chilly Paste - 1 teaspoon
Citric Acid - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fine Semolina - 11/2 tablespoon,
Salt - 1 teaspoon,
Sugar - 2 teaspoon,
Water - 1 cup,
Eno Salt - 11/2 teaspoon.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 1 teaspoon finely chopped,
Sesame Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Water - 1 tablespoon.

For Garnishing:
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon(optional).

Pour enough water in to the steaming vessel cover and heat, so that it will be ready for steaming.
Grease the bowl with sufficient oil, in which the dhokla batter is to be steamed.
Now in large bowl, add besan and rest of the ingredients, except water and eno salt.
Mix well.
Add water slowly and mix to a smooth batter without lumps.
Make sure the steaming vessel is quite hot and steaming well.
Now add eno salt and a tablespoon of water on it .
The salt will foam up, mix it well with the batter.
You can see the batter almost doubles up.
Now pour the batter  in to the greased bowl.
Now take care the  vessel is only half filled with the batter, as the batter bloats up while cooking.
Cook for 7-10 minutes or a skewer comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Once cooled, loosen the sides with knife and flip it on a plate.
Temper with the ingredients under tempering table, except water.
After tempering, allow for a minute, add the tablespoon of water.
Pour it evenly on dhoklas, garnish with coriander and coconut.
Cut into desired shapes and serve with green chutney.

Add eno salt just before steaming, so make sure the steaming pot is steaming well.
You can use pressure cooker to steam.
Adding water to tempering makes your dhoklas soft and spongy and will not let your dhoklas dry out.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


TheplaI is a gujarati snack enjoyed as, snack or breakfast and also during travel.
It is enjoyed with curd and pickle.
Fresh fenugreek leaves are finely chopped, added to whole wheat flour with rest of the spices and yogurt, kneaded into a chapathi dough and rolled out as chapathis and cooked on hot griddle. Methi Na thepla will be ready.

Whole Wheat flour - 2 cups,
Fenugreek Leaves - 1 1/2 cups stem removed, washed and finely chopped,
Red Chilly Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Yogurt - 2 tablespoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Ginger Paste - 1 teaspoon,
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Water as required to make the dough.

Oil for cooking the theplas(optional).

Mix all the ingredients to a dough  with water like a chapathi dough.
Take care not to add too much water, as we have added yogurt to the flour.
The yogurt and salt tends to make the dough watery.
Knead the dough well and cover with a damp cloth and rest it for at least half hour.
Shape them into equal size balls and press them into chapathis and cook on hot tawa on both sides until nice golden spots appear and well cooked.
You can drizzle some oil while cooking on both the sides, but it is optional.
Serve it with plain yogurt and pickle.

Chana Dal Chutney

Chana Dal chutney, one of those numerous south indian chutneys,
First, it is a dal based chutney with coconut.
Chana dal, asafoetida and red chilies are fried in a teaspoon of oil, until dal is browned.
Then whole tamarind and coconut are added to the same pan and fried for few seconds and ground with salt, coriander and jaggery to a coarse paste. Finally tempered with mustard and curry leaves.
This chutney goes well with idli, dosa, chapathi, sambhar rice, curd rice or simply mix this chutney with hot steamed rice with a dash of ghee and enjoy.

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Chana Dal - 1 big handful,
Red Chillies - 5,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Whole Tamarind -a marble size,
Coconut - 1 cup grated fresh/frozen,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Jaggery - 1/4 teaspoon,

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 8-10.

In a pan heat oil.
Add chana dal, asafoetida and red chillies.
Fry until dal is browned.
Add tamarind and coconut and fry for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and add salt and coriander.
Cool the fried ingredients.
Transfer the fried ingredients to the grinding jar.

Add jaggery and grind with enough water to thick coarse paste.
Remove to a bowl and temper with the ingredients under the tempering table and enjoy.

Eggless Marble Cake

This cake I have couple of times made before, but this time nailed it.
My daughter's school had asked to donate cakes and cookies for sale and proceeds got will go to some charity, It could be either store bought or home baked.
First I thought of Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting, then the ingredients I was not sure as children in school have some food restrictions.
Then the previous day I went with family for a day outing to Bath.
Next day, the day I had to bake the cake to give it the next day.
I was damn tired, the baking went on postponing as I was tired from the previous day outing, as I had walked the whole city walking.
It was already evening, then I finally went to kitchen to bake and realised I have nothing for cream icing, now I had to think and bake a cake which still tastes good without frosting.
Then I thought of this marble cake, again I was too tired to look into my recipe dairy, but I did know the ingredients for the basic sponge cake.
Then I worked in my head to make changes to the recipe to make a marble cake.
The outcome was fantastic and people enjoyed and sad part many could not have to their heart's content as it was sold out, even after two days I was asked when are you making again.

Dry Ingredients:
Cake Flour - 2 1/2 cups,
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Baking Soda - 1 teaspoon,
Salt - a pinch,
Granulated Sugar - 2 tablespoons.
Cocoa Powder - 3 tablespoons.

Wet Ingredients:
Condensed Milk - 400 grams tin,
Water - 1 cup,
Butter - Melted 1/2 cup,
Vanilla Essence - 2 teaspoons,
Vinegar - 2 teaspoons.

Preheat Oven at 170 degree celsius/gas mark 3.
Grease a round 8 inch baking tin.
Sieve cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Add sugar, mix well and keep aside.
Mix all the wet ingredients and blend well.
Make a well in the dry ingredients, add wet ingredients and gently fold to mix well.
You can as well use a electric mixer for this.
Now make two portions out of the batter.
To one portion add cocoa powder  and mix gently.
First layer vanilla batter in the greased tin.
Top it with chocolate batter evenly and finally cover with vanilla batter.
To a toothpick or fork and make deep swirls to make marble design in the cake.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Coo and enjoy!!!!!

To make cake flour either you can buy ready from super store or
Measure 1 cup plain flour, take out two tablespoons of plain flour from that measured 1 cup of flour and add 2 tablespoons of corn starch and mix well.
Like this you can make flour according to your needs.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Pineapple Gojju Pineappl in Sweet Sour Spicy Gravy

Gojju is a very popular Karnataka gravy. It is a perfect combination of sweet, sour and Spicy gravy, with veggies like okra, brinjal or green bell pepper...It can also be done with raisins or pineapple..Every household will make okra gojju and during festivities or weddings, pineapple is favoured one and a must in the spread...there is always two variations with the recipe. One is mustard and coconut based gravy and the other with dals and coconut. But when you make with pineapple it is only one recipe with dals and coconut. This goes well with hot steamed rice with a dash of ghee..You can either use fresh ripe pineapple or canned..I have used canned pineapple, as I had no time to go to store and buy fresh ripe pineapple.

 Pineapple - Medium riped  11/2 cups chopped,
or alternative you can use same quantity of canned pineapple in its own juice.
Tamarind - 1 medium lemon size,
Jaggery - 1 medium lemon size,
Oil - 1tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 10.

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana dal - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fenugreek seeds/Methi - 1/4 teaspoon,
Sesame Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 6-8,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup fresh r frozen.

Soak Tamarind in warm water for 20 minutes, extract the juice and keep aside.
Roast the ingredients under roasting table, except the grated coconut, with a teaspoon of oil and fry until golden brown
Finally add coconut and fry for a minute and remove from heat.
Cool the mixture and grind to a smooth paste, with water.
In a Kadai, heat a tablespoon of oil.
Add mustard seeds, when it crackles, add curry leaves.
Add Pineapple and fry for a couple of minutes.
Add tamarind juice and cook for couple of minutes.
Add salt and jiggery and boil for couple of more minutes.
Add ground pat and boil for 4-5 minutes, until you get the nice cooked, blended aroma of salt, sweet, sour and spicy aroma.
Switch of the heat and serve with hot steamed rice and Enjoy..
If you are adding canned, then first bring tamarind juice, salt and jaggery to boil for 2-3 minutes.
Then add ground paste and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Now add chopped canned pineapple and cook for couple of more minutes.
Then finally temper with one teaspoon of oil, mustard and curry leaves and add to gravy.

You can use the same recipe for raisins.
Omit coriander seeds for roasting and grinding.
Boil tamarind juice salt and jiggery and add  ground paste.
While tempering finally after adding mustard, curry leaves and asafoetida, add 1/2 cup raisins and fry until raisins bloats up and add to gravy and give a boil, remove from flame and enjoy.


Monday, 5 May 2014

Dodda Patre /Karpooravalli Tambuli or yogurt Chutney

Doddapatre as called in Karnataka or karpooravalli in tamil is a rejuvenating herb which rejuvenates your taste buds, when you are just recovering from fever or other sickness like nausea and vomiting.
It has great medicinal values and used when you have allergic rashes, or when you have bad taste in your mouth,  when you have allergic rashes, just wash and rub these leaves to the affected area in your body, you can see in minutes rashes disappearing.
you can know more about the herb here.
This herb can be grown in  a pot or small patch, where there is enough sunshine and watered regularly and comes handy in your kitchen for tasty healthy food and also as a medicinal herb.
I just love this yogurt based chutney, I just don't need reason to eat this. This is a very aromatic herb, about 20-25 leaves of these herb is washed and pat dried with a towel.
Then in a teaspoon of ghee, a teaspoon of cumin and pepper are fried. Then this herb is added to the cumin pepper and fried until this herb wilts. ground with a little coconut to give body to the chutney.
Then added to yogurt and tempered in ghee with cumin and enjoyed.
If you use it for medicinal value, then mix this chutney with rice and eat it as your first morsel of food, before eating anything else. It is said when had this rice in empty stomach, it balances pitta and kapha in your body.
Anyways, as I love this herb and used to having this right from my childhood in my grandma's  kitchen, it is a family favourite. Even now when I am writing this post, my mouth is watering...ha ha such is the effect.
You can also dip these leaves in bajji batter and deep fry like bajjis and savour.
Now coming to the recipe,

Doddapatre - 20 leaves medium sized washed and pat dried,
Ghee - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Black Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
coconut - 1/2 cup,
Yogurt - 1cup.

Ghee - 1 teaspoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon.

In a thick bottomed kadai, heat ghee and add cumin and pepper.
When pepper starts to crackle, add doddapatre leaves and fry until it wilts.
Switch off the flame once the leaves wilts a bit and add coconut and fry for a minute and allow to cool.
Then grind to a smooth paste with enough water.
Let the ground mixture be of a normal thick chutney consistency.
Add yogurt and temper with the ingredients under the tempering table.
Enjoy with  hot rice.


Monday, 28 April 2014

Eggless Dates Walnut Coffee Cake

Baking Cake on weekend(sunday) and enjoying it on weekday with coffee is something very rewarding...Why am I saying this..because that is what I am doing while typing this recipe.
My dates and walnut cake is a hit always, with friends and family.
But for quiet long I was wondering whether I can transform it to a healthy fruit cake.
So what better to try it on a weekend, when I have a good quality of dates and walnuts.
My original dates and walnut cake recipe has butter and completely based on Plain flour.
Want o simply know why walnuts, then read here.
Dates are good for digestion, rich in dietary fibre, prevents bad cholesterol, rich in iron, potassium, vitamin B,  B6,A and K and along with it has  Copper, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin are also present in dates and provide their own unique preventive and healing functions.
So what all these does is simply, help your body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Eating dates in moderation can contribute to many health benefits, such as protecting against damage to cells from free radicals, helping preventing a stroke, coronary heart disease and the development of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
Enough of knowledge to use dates and walnuts.
Now in the recipe I have whole wheat flour, pure cane sugar instead of normal sugar, vegetable oil in place of butter and for the extra kick the coffee.

Dry Ingredients:
Whole Wheat Flour - 11/2 cups,
Plain Flour - 1/2 cup,
Salt - a pinch,
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon,
Bicarbonate of Soda - 1/2 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Dates deseeded and chopped - 1 cup,
Walnuts - 1/2 cup chopped,
Milk - 1cup room temperature,
Water - 1cup,
Instant Coffee Powder - 2-3 teaspoon according to the taste.
Cane Sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon.
Vegetable Oil - 1/2 cup.

Preheat the oven at 180 degree celsius /gas mark 4.
Grease the baking tin and line it with parchment paper.
Sieve the dry ingredients together and keep aside.
Boil water, remove from heat and add coffee powder and stir well.
Add chop dates to this coffee and rest not more than 10 minutes.
Mix milk, sugar and vanilla extract and stir well.
Dust walnut with little flour, so that the nuts do not sink to the bottom while baking.
Mix vegetable oil to the water and mix well.
Mix water and milk mixture, gently add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold gently.
Take care not to knock the air bubbles by brisk or over mixing  batter.
Add chopped walnut and fold to the batter.
Pour to the greased tin and bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Enjoy with a cup of coffee.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice is such a simple and flavourful south indian rice dish. This is was not my thought before my marriage, I always thought it as a very boring and it is made, when nothing comes to your head for cooking. All this changed after getting married and tasted my mil's lemon rice, yes it is the quickest thing you can make, but but it is very flavourful, soulful and very much enjoyable when done in my mil's way. Trust me she surely does very yummy. Correct blend of spice, tangy and a dash of sugar added to balance the spice and tanginess. Did I say she never adds coconut yes you read it right. Without coconut she brings out all the flavours to the rice. Now I savour it with much pleasure and enjoy it. There is a small twist to my mil's recipe, certain things you have to follow to make it a perfect lemon rice. Soo Here it is!!!!!!

Rice - 1 cup cooked and cooled at least 2 hours before making the lemon rice,
Sugar - 3/4 teaspoon,
Lemon Juice - 1/4 cup and a little more,
Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon.

To Temper:
Oil - 1 Tablespoon,
Mustard - 11/2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Peanuts - 1 tablespoon,
Chana dal - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies  - 5-6 finely chopped,
Red Chillies - 2 broken
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 10-12,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon chopped.

Cook rice and allow it to cool well. This is very important tha,t rice has to be cooled well before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Again my mil doesn't cook rice for lemon rice very grainy, she cooks soft and fluffy.
Once rice is cooled, add salt and lemon juice and mix well. Keep aside.
In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it crackles,  add asafoetida, peanuts and chana dal.  Fry until peanuts and dal turns medium brown.
Add Turmeric, green chillies, red chillies and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and add chopped coriander. Add tempering with sugar to rice and mix well.
Add a spoon of coconut oil and mix well. (this is my twist to my mil's lemon rice, it tastes heavenly with the flavour of coconut oil, again its optional , if you don't like the flavour, you don't have to add it).
Allow this to rest for half hour and slightly warm it up and serve.

If you want, you can add grated coconut about a tablespoon.
The lemon rice should be a competitive blend of spice and tanginess.
Cooling of rice before tempering and resting after tempering, allows all the tastes of the spices to seep in and bring out the flavours.
Adding sugar just compliments the spice and tanginess of lemon.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Avarekaalu/Hyacinth Beans Rice Rawa Upma

As I said earlier it was very difficult to stay away  from my blog. Lot of things happened in this time.  First there was a problem in my blog..by the time it was sorted out, my laptop broke down.
Then I travelled to India to visit my mom..which I was waiting for a year.
It was much awaited travel I was waiting for. Then came the drooling cuisine of Mysore.
I was born and brought up in this beautiful city. As I walked through the streets, it was nostalgic.
The cuisine, street food like masala puri, churmuri(I die for it, because people from mysore never like churmuri, from any part of the world, except for in mysore. It is soo authentic of mysore). I am a no excuse of this rule. The evening walk is just a excuse to savour all these. The hot bajjis, vadas and the not to forget fresh sugar cane juice. The old restaurants, which are famous for the morning hot idli vada sambhar, masala dosas, set masala dosa used to be my favourite(two small sized masala dosas).
Some other restaurants during my college days, where we used to celebrate our parties, which introduced north indian food like cutlets, samosas , ohh the list is endless.
Though many new restaurants have come up a lot, ask me, I never try them, but go the same ones, which I used to.
Its been more than 10 years I left the city.
Best of all while enjoying food, one simply gets carried away with the nice smell of mysore jasmine flowers. The pan or the betal leaf the city is famous for.
A special variety of green brinjals   which comes from the outskirts of the city, from a place called EERANGERE, and the variety of brinjals is prefixed by the name of the place 'EERANGERE BADANEKAYI'.  Badnekayi means brinjals.
This was the street and restaurant food.
Home cuisine is something different, you don't get in hotels or anywhere.
I will be posting few of them in my next posts.
Avarekaalu or hyacinth beans is what mysore is soo famous for.
The crop is between December to march.  Miles before you can smell the beans.
People just love the aroma. The beans is like, what is jackfruit to kerala, is avarekaalu for mysore.
During this season of beans, the household will be filled with variety of different food, but everything will have this beans  in one way or another, like upma, sambhar, kootu, pongal, nipattu, the list is endless..the beans is soaked and outer skin removed and fried to make mouth watering chivda mix.
Today I am posting the all famous rice rawa/semolina sooji avarekaalu/hyacinth beans upma.
Rice Rawa - 1 cup,
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Chana dal - 2 teaspoons,
Urad dal - 2 teaspoons.
Avarekaalu/Hyacinth Beans - 3/4 cup.
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 4-5 finely chopped,
Curry Leaves - 12-15 leaves,
Water - 21/2 cups boiling,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup fresh or frozen.
Coriander - 1 tablespoon, finely chopped,
Juice of 1 medium sized lemon.
You can either use fresh or frozen beans,
Pressure cook beans with enough water and salt for 2-3 whistles.
If you are using frozen beans cook it for 5 minutes in boiling water.
In a pan heat two teaspoons of oil.
Add mustard and asafoetida.
When mustard crackles, add chana dal and urad dal and fry until slightly browned.
Add rice rawa and fry until the raw smell evaporates and keep aside.
In another broad kadai, heat 1 tablespoon of oil.
Add green chillies and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Drain water from the beans and reserve the water, you can later use to cook the rawa.
Add beans to the kadai and fry for couple of minutes.
Add the reserved water, if it is less, then add more boiling water, according to the measure.
Adjust salt.
Add rice rawa and mix well.
Take care that there are no lumps of rawa, in the mixture.
Lower the heat completely, cover and cook for 4-5 minutes,
When water is evaporated 90%, remove from heat.
But keep covered for couple of more minutes.
Then remove the lid, add coriander chopped and lemon juice and mix well.
Serve hot with a spoon of ghee and enjoy.
Making of  rice rawa is simple.
Simply mill the raw rice in a flour mill to medium rawa/sooji/semolina consistency.
Sieve it to take out the fine flour and store in air tight containers.