Dec 21, 2010

Moong dal halwa

1/2 cup split yellow Moong dal, washed
1/2 cup unsalted butter or ghee
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp elaichi powder (cardamom)
Pinch of saffron
2 cups of water
3 tbsp of sliced almonds for garnish
  • Wash moong dal & soak in 2 cups of water for 3 hours.
  • Drain the water and grind dal into a thick paste, adding just enough water as needed to blend. It should be a little grainy (not too fine paste).
  • In a microwave bowl add moong dal paste and melted butter.
  • Cook the dal for every 2mins in the microwave & keep stirring it after every 1 min. Use spatula to gently press the paste, then fold the paste over and press again to make sure there are no lumps.
  • Repeat this process several times until the texture is nice brown in color.  This will take approximately 18 minutes, the butter will start to separate & will give a nice aroma.
  • Boil water and sugar in a pan over medium heat, for 3-4 minutes, add elaichi powder, saffron and keep aside.
  • Once the dal is golden brown color add the hot syrup slowly & keep stirring. Make sure the syrup is hot. The syrup will splatter as you are adding. Cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.
  • Garnish with almonds. Serve hot.                                                                                                          
  • Tip: Make sure the dal is golden brown in color before adding the sugar syrup. Once the syrup is added the color won’t change much. Add extra sugar if needed for you taste.

Corn Canapes (sev puri with a twist)

Tangy ameican sweetcorn salad stuffed in canapé cups
American corn kernels, frozen 1 cup (at room temperature)
Sev 3tbsp
Canape Cases 15 (frozen Athens Mini Fillo Shells)
Onion 1/2 cup chopped
1tbsp red chilli sauce
1/2 tsp Chaat masala
2 tbsp Lemon juice
2tbsp chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped mango (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
In a bowl add onions, chopped mangoes and the American corn, & finally the tomatoes. Add red chilli sauce, add chaat masala. Add lemon juice, salt to the corn mixture and toss well.
Bake the canapés in a baking tray at 350 degrees until little crispy for 2 to 3 mins. Place the corn mixture in the canapés. Sprinkle sev. Serve when you are ready to eat.

Nov 17, 2010


2 large Potatoes, peeled & boiled 1 inch pieces
1cup Pomegranate pearls
½ Onion chopped
1/2cup Peanuts, roasted
2tbsp Fresh coriander leaves
2 tbsp Fresh mint leaves, chopped (optional)
1 tbsp Chaat masala
1 tsp Salt or to taste
½ cup Sev
1tsp Lemon juice
2tbsp Green chutney (recipe in the blog)
1tbsp grated carrot for garnish (optional)
In a large bowl combine potatoes, pomegranate pearls, onion, peanuts, coriander leaves, mint leaves, chaat masala and salt and toss well. Add sev, lemon juice and green chutney and toss the mixture again. Transfer the mixture into individual bowls and serve immediately. Garnish with grated carrot.

Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

I always thought that chickpeas and green peas were deep fried in oil to get that crunchiness. I used to love these while growing up. But, then I found this recipe in one of the books my friend recommended & there it was “What I needed” it said bake them. Thanks to my friend Sarojini.

Chickpeas 1 tin
¼ tsp Red chili powder or as per your taste
¼ tsp Garlic powder (optional)
1/2 tsp Salt or as per your taste
1 tsp Olive oil
1 Lime cut in to wedges (optional)
·        Preheat oven at 400F for 15 minutes.
·         If using canned chickpeas, open the can, drain it in a colander, rinse it with water well. Dab the chickpeas with a paper towel. Don’t wipe it dry, little moisture is recommended so that the seasonings stick to the chickpeas.
·         Transfer the chickpeas to a large baking sheet and add the chili powder and garlic powder & coat it with olive oil. Use little salt because canned chickpea has salt in it already.
·         Leave it in the oven for 35-38 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. If you want crunchy chickpeas roast it for another few mins minutes.
·        Again keep in mind that oven temperatures vary, so check yours around 35 minutes first and then decide either to roast it further or not.
·        Mine got crispy after 40 minutes, switch off the oven and leave the baking tray in the oven itself for another 10 minutes. Be careful to keep checking it,they might burn.
·        Fat free, guilt free roasted chickpeas are ready to be snacked on. It was so crunchy and addictive. We couldn’t stop nibbling on.

Nov 15, 2010


Gatte ki kadhi is a rajasthani recipe. It is easy & very delicious which can be eaten with parathas or pulao. I learn't this recipe from "manjulas kitchen".

For the Gattes
  • 1 1/4 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp turmeric (haldi)
  • 3 tbsp yogurt (dahi)
  • 3 tbsp oil
For the kadhi
  • 1 cup yogurt (dahi)
  • 1 tbsp besan (gram flour)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp jeera powder (cumin powder)
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 2 whole red chilies
  • 1 bay leaf (tejpatha)
  • 2 laung (cloves)
  • few curry leaves (karipatha)
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro (garnish)
For Gattes
  • Mix all the ingredients of gattes in a bowl and make soft dough. A little amount of water can be used if needed. The dough will be a little sticky; wetting your fingers with oil will help.
  • Divide the dough into 4 or 5 parts & roll each one between your palms into a long smooth log (not too thick or thin). Oil your palms to prevent the dough from sticking.
  • Boil 3 cups of water in a large pot. Gently drop the Gatte logs into the boiling water and cook until they begin to float up to the surface. This should take about 8 minutes.
  •  Remove the cooked Gatte logs from the water and let them cool. Keep the water aside don’t throw.
  • Slice the logs into approx. ¾ inch pieces & Set the Gatte logs aside.
For The Kadhi:
  • Mix yogurt, gram flour, turmeric, chili powder, and jeera powder and whisk it well to make a smooth paste. It will be thick (don’t add water).
  • Pour the oil into pan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, and asafetida, bayleaf, cloves, dry red chillies, curry leaves & stir for a few seconds.
  • Pour in the yogurt paste & whisk for approx. 3 minutes.
  • Add the gatte water which we kept aside & stir until the gravy comes to a boil.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Add the Gatte to the gravy, cover and let it cook on low-medium heat for 20 minutes or longer until it is a little thick like soup. Turn off the heat.
  • Add cilantro & cover the pot for a few more minutes.
  • Serve with rice, pulao, or parathas!  I served it with methi  parathas.

Oct 30, 2010

Pizza Mummies

Pizza dough -1
1/4 cup pizza sauce
Pitted black olives,
mozzarella string cheese
few spring onions chopped for eyes (optional to make it tweeky)
·        Preheat oven to 350*.
·        Cut the ready pizza dough to round shapes using a cookie cutter.
·        Lay them on baking sheet and toast them. Remove them when they are slightly toasted and crisp.
·        Spread a tbsp of pizza sauce on each slice.
·        Set 2 olives slice in place for eyes and put a spring onion in between to make it tweeky.
·        Pull string cheese into pieces and lay on pizza slices under the "eyes" layering them to look like mummy wrappings. Don’t put too much cheese, leave some gaps.
·        Bake for 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Halloween Special

“Happy Halloween” everyone….Well, this is my son’s 3rd year of Halloween and now he roughly knows what Halloween means…”candy.” My main concern this year for Halloween was getting real healthy food down my son’s throat before the big sugar gets to him.

I do try to stop him from consuming massive amounts of chocolates, but it's just no fun if a grown-up is hampering their joy at every turn. Halloween is their turn to party, HARD. They'll be easier going individuals and they'll love you more. :-). Then I had to make some cupcakes for his preschool friends and I enjoyed baking them, but most of all, my son enjoyed seeing me prepare and relished the cupcakes. I also, made some pizza mummies using pizza dough and it came out really delicious and yummy.

Stuffed Bell Peppers

I have also loved to look at those lovely red bell peppers at the supermarket and this time I opted to buy these from the farmers market and made these stuffed bell peppers finally today. I generally make stuff tomatoes but this has become my fav now. Bell peppers are also called Shimla Mirch or Capsicum in India. Capsicums are not only colorful and pretty to look at, they are also rich in Vitamins A and C, are low in fats, and are richer in iron, zinc and thiamine! And what better way to enjoy these delicious peppers than in the form of Stuffed Capsicum Baskets with a tangy Sauce!

Ingredients for stuffing:
3 small-sized bell-peppers (any color)
3 medium potatoes boiled & peeled
1/2 cup onion finely chopped
1/2 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp oil
1/2 cup cilantro
 salt - to taste
1tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1tsp anardana powder or pomegranate powder
1 tsp garam masala

For the Gravy
2 cups yogurt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp grated ginger
1tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Slice the bell peppers in to half and remove all the seeds. Boil the Bell-Peppers in water till tender. Cover and cook for about 10 mins or until they are tender and soft, but retain their shape.

Prepare the Stuffing
Add redchilli powder, anardana powder, garam masala, lemon juice, salt, cilantro to the boiled potatoes, mash them evenly. Take a pan, add 2 tbsp oil and saute the finely chopped onions. When they turn soft and glazed, add them to the potato filling mixture. Mix well and stuff the boiled capsicum with this filling.

Preparing the Gravy
Beat the 2 cups yogurt with 1/4th cup of water and whisk it well.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan, add cumin seeds, and when they start spluttering, add the bay leaves, ginger, garlic paste and the tomato puree. Add all the dry spices for the gravy in the list above, and saute for about 2-3 mins. Add the blended yogurt to this mixture and cook everything on medium-flame for 8-10 mins. Keep stirring.

Baking the Bell-Peppers

Grease a baking pan with non-stick spray. Apply a thin layer of oil to the outside of the stuffed bell-peppers. Now place them at least 2-inches apart on the baking sheet.

Once the gravy is thick enough, remove from flame and allow to cool a little. Drop one heaped tbsp of the gravy on top of each capsicum. Add rest of the gravy all around the bell peppers. Sprinkle the feta cheese on top and bake.

Preheat oven to 375 deg F and bake for 35 mins or until the outer skin becomes broiled and thoroughly cooked. When a tooth-pick passes through the skin without much effort, you know that the peppers are roasted and cooked.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve these Baked & Stuffed Bell Peppers with Chapatis or Paratha’s and Jeera Rice! Makes for 3 to 4 people.

Oct 25, 2010

Vegan Chocolate chip cookies

Any vegetarians who are missing those classic homemade chocolate chip cookies, well now you can indulge without the need for the dairy, eggs, white sugar, or even refined flour if you choose. These cookies can even be made whole wheat pastry flour. One other bonus: these are super-easy to make! I am so happy I found this recipe and tried it.

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1⁄2 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 cup unrefined sugar(powdered)
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄3 cup maple syrup
1 – 1 1⁄2 tsp vanilla extract
1⁄4 cup canola oil (a little generous)
1⁄3 cup chocolate chips
·        Preheat oven to 350°.
·        In a bowl, sift in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt, and stir until well combined.
·        In a separate bowl, combine the maple syrup & vanilla extract, and then stir in the oil until well combined.
·        Add the chocolate chips to the dry mixture and stir.
·        Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and mix well. (Do not over-mix).
·        Take 1tsp spoonfuls of the batter and make balls and flatten & place on the baking tray.
·         Bake for 11 minutes, or until just golden (if you bake for much longer, they will dry out). Let cool on the sheet for no more than 1 minute, then transfer to a cooling rack.
Makes 9-12 large to average sized cookies
Note: Unbleached all-purpose flour produces a more classic cookie taste and texture, but you can use whole-wheat pastry flour and still get a delicious cookie.

Oct 20, 2010

Set Dosa

I first tasted set dosa in Bangalore. I never ventured to try them at home until a few months ago when I found the set dosa and sagu (vegetable kurma) recipe in the internet. My first try came out really well and I finally settled at this one. I am glad I found this recipe; this is my all time fav which I don't miss out in eating when I go to Bangalore.


2 cups rice
1 cup parboiled rice (cooked rice)
3/4 cup urad dal
3/4 cup poha/rice flakes
1 tsp methi seeds
11/2 tsp salt or to taste
 Pinch sugar (optional)

1. Soak raw rice, parboiled rice, urad dal and methi seeds in enough water for 6 hours. Separately soak the poha or beaten rice for 1-2 hours.
2. Grind all the ingredients along with poha adding enough water to form a pouring consistency. Leave it overnight to ferment.
3. Add salt & a pinch of sugar just before preparing the dosa and combine well.
4. Pre-heat a non stick tawa till really hot & pour 2 laddles of batter quickly (do not spread the batter) and let it cook gradually over medium heat. It should look like a thick pancake.
5. Flip the dosa over (this is optional) and let it cook further for less than a minute or till it is slightly roasted. Serve hot with chutney and sagu.

Oct 17, 2010

Poha Chivda

Poha/ chivda is a great snack to be eaten during tea time or well anytime of the day. My Mother In Law makes this dish quite often & is one of my hubby's fav snack. It is easy to make & crispy, delicious to munch anytime of the day. 


3 cups thin beaten rice (thin poha)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 to 2 green chillies, finely chopped or sliced
4 to 6 curry leaves
1 tbsp unsalted peanuts
2 tbsp roasted chana dal (dalia)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp powdered sugar
a pinch of citric acid (nimbu ka sath)
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste 

1. Heat the oil in a pan. Toss in the mustard and cumin seeds. Let them crackle.
2. Add the green chillies, chana dal & the peanuts. Fry on medium/low level for about 2 minutes or till the peanuts are golden brown in color.
3. Drop in the curry leaves, asafoetida and the turmeric powder. Fry for 1/2 a minute. Stir in the beaten rice/poha and toss on medium level for about 3 minutes or till it is well coated with the oil and spices.
4. Sprinkle salt, citric acid and sugar to taste and toss to mix on high level briefly till well heated through. Remove from heat.
5. Let cool and store in an airtight jar. It can be stored for almost a month.

Oct 13, 2010

Vegetable Manchurian in gravy

Vegetable Manchurian is a popular dish everywhere nowadays.In this recipe i have made the vegetable dumplings & later simmered in a soya tomato sauce based gravy. Relish this Veg Manchurian with fried rice or just as a starter.

     1 cup Grated Cabbage
     1 cup Grated Carrots
     1/2 Onion grated
     1 cup grated cauliflower(optional)
     1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or grated ginger & garlic
     1/2 cup boiled rice
     2 tbsp all purpose flour
     1/2 tsp salt
     Oil for deep frying
Gravy Ingredients:
     1 tbsp Soya Sauce
     3 tbsp tomato sauce
     1 tsp ginger garlic paste
     1tsp Salt or to taste
     1 tsp Pepper Powder
     1 chopped green chillies
     1/2 cup chopped onions
     1 tbsp Cornflour
     2 tbsp olive oil
     1 cup water or vegetable stock
     2 tbsp spring onions for garnish


   1. Mix grated cabbage, carrots, onions & cauliflower and squeeze all the water out from them.
   2. Mix 2 tbsp all purpose flour, ginger garlic paste and little salt to it.Add the boiled rice and smash it well for a gud binding.
   3. Make small ping pong balls (like koftas) to this above mixture.Bind the koftas well, if they are not tight it will break in the oil while frying.
   Tip: if it breaks add a little more all purpose flour to bind the vegetable mixture.
   4. Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep fry the balls till golden brown, drain and keep aside.

   5. Now in a separate pan heat 2 tbsp oil.
   6. Sauté ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and onions.
   7. Add water, salt, pepper powder,tomato sauce,soya sauce and stir well.Add a tbsp water to the corn flour & mix it in the gravy for thickening.
   8. Gently add the fried balls to the gravy.
   9. Cook the vegetable manchurian for 3-4 minutes and serve hot garnished with spring onions.

Oct 6, 2010

Dahiwale Aloo ki Subzi

Potatoes are my all time favorites. I love them any way you present it. But when it comes to adding yoghurt to any dish it becomes more delicious than ever. This dish is very simple, delightful & mouthwatering.

5 to 6 peeled baby potatoes
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
3 cloves (laung)
1’’ cinnamon (dalchini)
3 to 4 curry leaves (kari patta)
1 slit green chilli
2 tsp chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seeds (dhania-jeera) powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
1 cup yoghurt (dahi), beaten
2 tbsp ghee
salt to taste
coriander leaves for garnish (dhania)

•    Heat the ghee in a pan and add the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fennel seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds crackle, add the bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, curry leaves and green chilli and sauté for a few seconds.
•    Add the peeled baby potatoes, chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric & salt & sauté till the masala coats the potatoes evenly.
•    Add ½ cup of water and bring to a boil. Prick the potatoes to see if they are cooked.
•    Add the curds and bring to a boil while stirring continuously so that the gravy does not split.
•    Garnish with the coriander & serve with roti, naan or puri’s

Sep 29, 2010

Vegetable Kurma

Oil 2 Tbsp
Broken Cashew Pieces 2tbsp
Golden Raisins 1tbsp (optional)
3tsp Salt to taste                                                                                                                                             
Cumin Powder 1/2 Tbsp
Coriander Powder 1Tbsp
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Evaporated Milk or regular milk  5ounces
Yogurt  1/2 cup, well beaten                                                                                               
½ cup chopped onions
Tomato 1large cubed
Carrots 1cup cubed
Cauliflower 2 cups cut to bite size florets
Potatoes 2 medium, peeled & cubed
Frozen Green Peas 1 cup
Green Beans 1 cup cut to 1 inch pieces
Cilantro for garnish
Water 1cup

Grind to Paste:
Bay Leaf 1
Cinnamon Stick 1”piece
Green Cardamom 3                                                                                                           
Cloves 5 pieces
Black Peppercorns 1/4tsp                                                                                                   
Broken Cashews 1/4 cup
Onions 2 medium, finely chopped                                                                                
Garlic 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
Dry Red Chillies 2 broken                                                                                                
1tbsp oil

PASTE: Heat Oil in a non-stick pan & fry ¼ cup Cashews. Add onions, Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Green Cardamom, Whole Cloves and Peppercorns. Roast for few seconds. Add Ginger, Red Chilies and Garlic to this and cook for 2-3 additional minutes or until golden brown. Turn off stove and allow mixture to cool. Grind it in to a fine paste with adding less water.

•    In a microwave safe bowl add ½ cup water, Potatoes, carrots and a little salt & boil for 3 mins. Later add Cauliflower, Green Peas, beans, carrots, water & microwave for another 3 minutes. Check if the veggies have been cooked and are soft. Remove veggies and water into a separate bowl.
•    Heat 2tbsp oil in the same pan & fry broken cashews .Once they are golden brown remove from oil & keep aside for garnishing.
•    In the same above oil fry the chopped onions. Later add the onion paste to this pan & add turmeric Powder & Salt. Mix, cover and cook for 3 minutes, stirring in between till the oils separates.
•     Add in Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder and Red Chili Powder. Add little water if needed.
•     Add Tomatoes, stir and cook for another 1-2 mins.
•     Add Evaporated Milk or regular milk and stir.
•     Reduce heat to low and add beaten yogurt slowly while stirring. Allow mixture to come to a boil.
•    Add the cooked vegetables to this above mixture and stir well.
•    Add additional water to get to your desired consistency. Cook for another 5 mins or till it comes to a boil.
•    Garnish with Cilantro & with roasted cashews.
•    Serve hot with roti, naan, or rice.


Basmati rice 2 cups (cooked)
Oil 2 tbsp
½ tsp Cumin seeds
1 medium onion finely chopped
½ tsp Ginger paste or fresh ginger
½ tsp Garlic paste or fresh garlic
2 tomatoes finely chopped
1 cup Green capsicum, finely chopped
½ cup Green peas boiled and mashed
¼ cup grated carrot
2tsp Pav bhaji masala
1tsp Red chilli powder or to taste
2tsp Salt or to taste
Fresh coriander leaves chopped for garnish
2 tbsp Lemon juice
  • Cook rice with a little salt & cool it.
  • Heat oil in a pan & add cumin seeds and sauté till well browned.
  • Add the onion, ginger, garlic paste and add the green capsicum & sauté till they become soft.
  • Add the tomatoes & cook till they are soft.
  • Add mashed green peas, grated carrot, pav bhaji masala, red chilli powder & salt. Mix and cook for two to three minutes. Add the cooked rice and mix.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice.
  • Cook on high heat for a couple of minutes. Serve hot.

Sep 27, 2010

Coconut chutney

4 tbsp grated coconut frozen or fresh
1" piece ginger peeled and chopped
2 tsp fresh coriander leaves chopped
2 green chillies sliced
4 curry leaves
5tbsp roasted dalia /gram dal
1tsp salt or to taste
Seasoning Ingredients:
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Urad dal ½ tsp
2 Dry Red chillies (optional)
Curry leaves 3 or 4
Oil 1tsp
• Grind the coconut, roasted gram, green chillies, coriander leaves and ginger to a fine paste using very little water.
• For seasoning: Heat oil in a pan for about 2mins till it is hot enough. Add the mustard seeds. Let them splutter & add the urad dal, red chillies, curry leaves. Fry briefly till the urad dal turns red and pour it on the chutney.
• Add salt & serve with idly or dosa.

Onion Tomato chutney

Onion 2 cubed
Tomato 1 chopped
Ginger 1” piece
Garlic 2 or 3 flakes
Red chillies 2
Tamarind paste 1 tbsp
1tbsp chana dal
1tsp Salt or to taste
Oil 3 tsp
 Seasoning Ingredients:
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Urad dal ½ tsp
Curry leaves 3 or 4
Oil 1tsp
• Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot add the chana dal, red chillies, garlic, ginger, onions & fry till the onions becomes slightly brown color.
• Add the tomatoes & sauté till they become soft. Add the tamarind paste in the end.
• Remove from heat and allow it to cool for some time.
• Add the sautéed ingredients in a mixer grinder & grind to a fine paste without adding any water.
• Take another pan add 1tsp of oil and heat & add the mustard seeds and urad dal & when they start to crackle add curry leaves.Let the urad dal turn slight brown .
• Add this to the final chutney and mix well and adjust salt.
• Serve with idly or dosa.

Sep 7, 2010

Bhindi Masala

¼ cup Gram flour (besan)
10 to 15 pieces of Ladyfingers (bhindi)
1tsp salt or to taste
½ tsp Turmeric powder
1tsp Garam masala powder
11/2 tsp Roasted cumin powder (jeera)
11/2 tsp Amchur powder(dry mango powder)
1tsp Fennel seeds (saunf), crushed
11/2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste
1tbsp Coriander powder
5 tbsp Oil
½ tsp Onion seeds (kalonji) optional
1tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
• Trim the lady fingers and make a slit on one side without cutting it completely.
• Add salt, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, roasted cumin powder, amchur powder, fennel seeds, red chilli powder and coriander powder in a small bowl and mix. Fill this mixture into the slits. Sprinkle the remaining mixture (if any) over the bhindi & add a tbsp of oil. Toss a little & set aside.
• Add the rest of the oil in a pan, add cumin seeds & saute. Add gram flour and sauté for a couple of mins on medium heat.
• Add the stuffed lady fingers/bhindi & toss well to coat the gram flour.
• Lower the heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, till the lady fingers get cooked and turn crispy. (don't add water)
• It will take sometime to cook these ladyfingers on medium heat, but they turn out to be Scrumptious.
• Serve hot with Roti’s or naan


Clean the ladyfingers using a tissue or wet cloth don’t wash it in water.
Don’t add water while frying b’coz ladyfingers already has lots of moisture in it.

Sep 1, 2010

Spicy Brinjal Fry

8 to10 small Brinjals
¼ cup sliced onions
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
½ tsp turmeric powder
1tsp curry powder/ Sambhar powder
1tbsp tomato ketchup
Salt-to taste
Cilantro-to garnish
1tbsp Olive oil/any oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp urad dal
½ tsp jeera/cumin seeds
Few curry leaves


• Cut Brinjals lengthwise into 4 to 6 parts each, depending on the size of each.
• Discard the green calyx. Add brinjals, pinch of turmeric powder, water & microwave for 3 mins. Avoid over cooking. Strain the brinjal pieces & keep the water aside
• Heat oil in a pan or a wide kadai, splutter mustard seeds and the urad dal. Add the chopped garlic and the onions and sauté till they turn golden & add the curry leaves.
• Lower the flame & add the curry powder/ sambhar powder, salt & sauté lightly, immediately add the tomato ketchup & then the brinjal pieces.
• Keeping the flame medium, toss or turn the pieces lightly, allowing the gravy to coat well. If needed add a little water. The brinjals pieces need to be visible clearly. Don’t make it mushy by mixing it many times.
• Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice, chappathi, naan.

Aug 31, 2010

Katori chaat / Spicy tarts

Katori Chaat is one of the most delicious chaat I have ever eaten. These are similar to “Tarts” but filled with a spicy mixture of sprouts and chutneys. Generally the katoris are deep fried in oil, but I got the inspiration to bake it. The word “Katori” means a small vessel/bowl that holds the filling. The katori’s / tarts can be made in advance & stored in an air-tight container for about a week. Just rustle up the filling and serve these pretty tarts as a snack any time of the day.
Another option to make this katori chaat is to use the “Tositos” scoop chips, it looks similar to katori’s.

For the katoris
1/2 cup plain flour (maida)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 tsp salt

Method of Katori:
Combine the flour, butter and salt and make a stiff dough using a little water. Knead very well & keep aside for 10 mins. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Roll out each dough into (¼") thickness. Cut round shapes of the dough using a large (2") diameter cookie cutter or use katoris to cut the dough. Prick all over with a fork (not to deep). Place these on the back side of a muffin shaped baking tray. Preheat oven at 350degrees & bake for 10 mins. Cool the tart/ katori’s.

For the main filling
1 cup moong sprouts (boiled with a pinch of salt)
a pinch asafetida (hing)
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tsp cumin(jeera) powder
1 tsp dry mango powder (amchur powder)
1 tsp chole masala powder
1tsp oil
½ tsp salt or to taste

Filling preparation:
Heat oil in a pan add the asafetida/ hing & add the sprouts, chilli powder, jeera powder, amchur powder, chole masala, salt & mix well. Cook on a slow flame for 2 to3 minutes. Keep it aside.

For serving:

¼ cup chopped onions
½ cup beaten yoghurt (dahi)
Imli ki Chutney as per taste
Green Chutney as per taste
Sev or nylon sev
chaat masala as per taste

How to Serve:
• Fill each tart with a portion of the moong filling & chopped onions.
• Top with beaten yoghurt, little imli ki chutney, little green chutney, pinch of chaat masala. Garnish with Sev & some chopped coriander leaves
• Serve immediately. Don’t make it before hand. It will get soggy.

Tips: Instead of moong you can even make it with Corn, Chana/ garbanzo beans. Try adding any kind of sprouts.

Aug 28, 2010

Spinach & cheese Quesadillas

I adapted this recipe from one of my cookbooks using ingredients to make it lighter & healthier. It’s my family's favorite especially when something quick is needed. Well, the main idea is to incorporate spinach in to the dish.hhehehehee.I am sure you will adore this dish as its quick & delicious. Enjoy!!!!!

1/2 cup spinach (chopped, steamed and squeezed to drain)
½ cup grated cheese(mozzarella, feta, etc any kind)
salt & pepper to taste
1 Sliced tomato
1tsp chopped jalapenoes (optional)
2 (8 inch) tortillas
• Mix the spinach, salt & pepper in a bowl.
• Melt a touch of butter in a pan.
• Place a tortilla into the pan, swirl it around in the butter and repeat with the second tortilla. Lightly toast it.
• Sprinkle some cheese on the one of the tortilla followed by the spinach filling and then slices of tomatoes, chopped jalapenoes & more cheese and finally cover with the other tortilla.
• Cook until the quesadilla is golden brown on both sides and the cheese is melted.
• Be careful while flipping, do it slowly.
• Serve with guacamole , sour cream & some salsa(optional)

Beetroot poriyal

Beetroot – 2 medium chopped into small cubes
Onion - 1 small (optional)
1 Green Chilli slit & halved
2tsp oil
½ tsp mustard seeds
1tsp Urad dhal
½ tsp Turmeric powder
Few Curry leaves
2tbsp Grated coconut (fresh or frozen)
Salt as per taste
• Peel the skin from beet root and cut into small cubed pieces.
• Chop the onion finely (optional).
• Put the oil in a pan and when it is hot add mustard, green chillies, curry leaves, urad dal.
• When it pops up add onions, cut beets & fry till the beets becomes tender & soft.
• Add the turmeric powder and salt and fry another 2mins.
• Let it cool down & then add the grated coconut, mix well & serve hot or cold.

Aug 27, 2010

Bean Poriyal

Yet another South Indian dish i've cooked it more than once. This is a quick one & very delicious eaten with sambhar or even just like a salad. A poriyal is a sauceless vegetable dish, also known as a dry curry.

1 lb green or string beans, finely chopped into cubes
2 tbsp grated coconut (frozen or fresh)
1tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp water

For Tempering:
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
11/2 tsp black gram dal (urad dal)
1 dry red chili halved
pinch of asafetida/ hing
¼ tsp turmeric powder
a few curry leaves.

• Trim the ends of the beans & chop them finely in small cubes & set aside.
• Tempering: Heat oil in a heavy saucepan. Add the mustard seeds, black gram dal or urad dal, halved dry red chili, asafetida/ hing powder, and fresh yummy curry leaves. Let them pop!
• When the mustard seeds start to sputter, add the chopped beans, salt, turmeric powder and 2 tbsp water. Cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer over a low heat until the beans are tender.
• Let it cool down. Add the grated coconut & mix thoroughly and serve!

Zucchini Dosa

Zucchini Dosa is a great dish to serve for breakfast or a light lunch. This recipe is quick to prepare and can be served many different ways.

1 cup besan (gram flour) 1/4 cup rice flour (optional for crisp)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1 tsp chopped green chilies (optional, don’t have green chilies, you may replace with red chilly powder or chilli flakes.)
1 cup shredded zucchini (Italian squash)
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
6 tbsp of oil to cook

• Shred the zucchini with/without the skin and keep aside.
• Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl, besan (gram flour), rice flour, salt, and cumin seeds. Add the shredded zucchini, cilantro, green chillies to this & mix well.
• Add the water slowly to make a smooth batter (should be the consistency of pancake batter or Dosa batter).
• Use a non-stick skillet & place on medium-high heat.
• To check if the skillet is ready, put a few drops of water on it. If the water sizzles right away, the skillet is ready.
• Next pour a laddle of about 1/2 cup of the batter on the skillet & spread evenly with a back of the laddle. Starting from the center, spread in circular motion outwards until it is evenly spread like a circle. Spread the batter quick, otherwise batter will start drying and will not spread.
• When batter starts drying put 1/2 tsp of oil and spread over gently, using a flat spatula. Lift the dosa from one side using a flat spatula. Flip the dosa when it turns golden-brown.
• Cook on the other side as well until its golden brown color.
• Serve the dosa with yogurt, mint /cilantro chutney, spicy pickles, or ketchup.

Palak Dal

Spinach finely chopped 15-20 leaves
1/2 cup Split green gram or moong dal
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
a pinch Asafoetida/hing
2tbsp Oil
1tsp cumin seeds/jeera
5 cloves of Garlic chopped
1" Ginger piece chopped
1 Green chilli sliced
1 medium Onion chopped
1 dried red chilli (optional)
11/2 tsp Salt or to taste
1tsp Lemon juice

Cook moong dal with a pinch of turmeric powder on gas stove till its soft. Heat oil (or ghee) in a separate pan & add cumin seeds, garlic, ginger, dry red chili, green chillies and sauté for one min. Add onion and continue to sauté till onion gets lightly browned. Add chopped spinach and sauté for half a min. Add the remaining turmeric powder, hing and stir. Add dal and mix well. Add one cup water, salt and stir. Add lemon juice just before serving.

Tomato Rasam

Rasam is a South Indian soup prepared with tamarind water and spices. This aromatic and healthy soup is native to South India & very light. Rasam making wasn’t very impressive during the first few times. After many trials & numerous tries to replicate the flavor that my mom made, I am yet to master the perfect ‘rasam’ but I think I am almost there. I always look forward to drinking rasam than eating with rice. Each home has its own version of rasam. Today’s recipe is the very basic rasam using Tomatoes & garlic. It is served with rice & papadams.

1/4 cup toor dal/yellow split dal (pressure cook well)
11/2 large tomatoes chopped
¼ tsp Turmeric powder
2tsp Rasam powder
1tsp tamarind extract (dilute in half a cup of water)
11/2 tsp salt or to taste
¼ tsp black pepper powder
3 cups water
For tadka/seasoning
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida/hing
1 dry red chilli broken
2 to 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
4 to 5 fresh curry leaves
1tsp ghee/oil (tastes better in ghee)
• Pressure cook the toor dal, mash the dal & keep it aside.
• Boil 3 cups of water and add chopped tomatoes & let it boil for 5 mins. Later add the tamarind extract, salt, turmeric powder and rasam powder, black pepper powder and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for 2-3 mts. Add the mashed dal to this mixture.
• Heat ghee/oil in a separate pan, add mustards seeds, asafoetida/hing & as they splutter, add dry red chillis, curry leaves & crushed garlic and stir fry for a few seconds until the garlic becomes soft and a nice aroma comes.
• Add this tadka/seasoning to the Rasam & boil for 2 mins. Don’t over boil it.
• Turn off heat and close with a lid.
• Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with white rice and papadams.

Aug 22, 2010

Pasta Salad

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tbsp water
11/2 tsp olive oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large clove garlic, minced ½ cup sliced onions
1/2 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup sliced bell pepper
3 cups cooked farfalle (bow tie pasta), cooked with salt
2 tbsp thinly sliced fresh basil ½ tbsp oregano
1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese or Parmesan cheese

• Boil the pasta with a little salt.
• Fry the onions, zucchini, bell pepper & add salt, garlic, pepper.
• Combine balsamic vinegar, water & mix well. Set aside.
• Combine the fried vegetables & the pasta, basil and cheese in a large bowl.
• Later add the vinegar mixture, and toss gently. Cover and chill.
• Garnish with extra cheese if needed. Can be served cold.

Jul 31, 2010

Vegan Carrot Cake

• 1 medium ripe banana mashed
• 1/3 cup vegetable oil
• 2/3 cup white sugar
• 1tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
• 1 ½ cups grated carrots or 2 medium carrots
• ½ cup chopped walnuts
• ½ cup raisins (optional)

• Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch pan or a loaf pan.
• In a large bowl mix oil, white sugar and vanilla essence and mashed bananas. Stir in carrots.
• Mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a separate bowl. Fold in pecans. Add this to the above mixture.
• Pour into the greased pan.
• Bake in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

• Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Jul 28, 2010

Juicy Corn Cob

• 1/4 cup tamarind juice
• 1/4 tsp salt
• 1/2 tsp chilli powder
• 1/8 tsp turmeric powder
• 1/4 tsp garlic powder (optional)
• 1/4 tsp grated ginger
• 1 or 2 corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
• 1tsp oil for frying


• Divide the corn in to 4 to 5 pieces equally.
• Pressure cook for 1 whistle with little water in it.
• Remove from the pressure cooker, by straining the water in a separate bowl & keep it aside. Don’t over cook them.
• In the same pressure cooker add 1 tsp oil & add the tamarind juice, salt, turmeric powder& chilli powder, garlic powder, ginger & fry for 5 mins.
• Don’t add too much water to the tamarind juice.
• Later add the corn cobs in to the tamarind gravy.
• Coat the corn cobs well in the tamarind gravy & pressures cook them again for another 3 whistles.
• Make sure the tamarind juice is well coated to the cobs.
• Serve them hot cold.

Jul 23, 2010

Spinach cheese crackers

Spinach crackers are crisp flavored with cheese and mildly spiced tasty snack. Wanted to try something new out of spinach & I came across this in one of the cooking blogs. It can be served with salsa or any kind of dip.

• 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
• ½ cup semolina (fine sooji)
• ½ tsp salt
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• 3 tbsp butter
• ½ tsp cumin seeds
• ½ tsp chili flakes
• ½ cup grated parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese
• ½ cup spinach puree
• Oil to frying

• Mix all purpose flour, semolina, salt, chili flakes, cumin seeds, and baking soda in a bowl together.
• Add the butter and cheese, mix well. It will be in the consistency of bread crumbs.
• Add the spinach puree and make firm dough.
• Set the dough aside and cover it with a damp cloth. Let the dough rest for at least ten minutes.
• Divide the dough in equal parts and make them into small balls. Roll the dough about into a 5-inch circle in a tortilla form. Make sure they are rolled thin.
• Slice the each tortilla in 4 pieces in triangle shape or any other shape you like.
• Heat the oil in a deep frying pan. Fry the chips until both sides are light golden in color. After chips come to room temperature they should become crisp.
• Don’t fry on high heat, it will become soft.
• Serve with any salsa or dip

Jul 22, 2010

Tomato Chaat

I just can’t resist thinking that every time I went to Bangalore I used to have this delicious chaat. It’s a street food famous in Bangalore & a must have spicy chaat. It’s mouthwatering & very light & healthy too.

Tomato 2 sliced in round shaped
Onion 1cup chopped
Carrot grated 1cup
Green chutney 2tbsp (recipe in the blog)
Jeera powder 1tsp
Chat masala 1tsp
Salt ½ tsp
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Sev for garnish
Puffed rice/ Murmura ¼ cup
Fried peanuts chopped ¼ cup
finely chopped cilantro 1tbsp
Lemon juice: 2-3 drops

•Powder mixture: Mix the jeera powder, red chilli powder, salt, chat masala and keep it aside.
•Cut the tomato into slices (round shaped). Place these slices next to each other on a serving plate. Apply green chutney on each tomatoes.
•Smear the powder mixture all over the tomato slices well. Put a tsp of chopped onions & grated carrot on each slice of the tomatoes.
•Sprinkle some lemon juice on each of the slices.
•Generously sprinkle roasted peanuts, sev & puffed rice.
•Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

Jul 21, 2010

Kiwi Fruit Popsicle

I fear summer & I always think what’s the best way to enjoy summer. When you go to the store, you might want some Popsicles! But you don't have to buy them. All you have to do is get the ingredients and make them. Finally I made my first Popsicle with kiwi fruit. Well you can make Popsicle with any combination of fruits you like… taste delicious & yummy. My 2 year old son Archith enjoyed it today.

4 kiwis
1/4 cup lemonade concentrate
2 cups water
Peel kiwis. Keep a few slices aside. Puree the rest in a blender or food processor just until smooth; do not crush seeds. Stir in lemonade concentrate and water. Pour mixture into Popsicle molds or paper cups or ice trays. Place cups in freezer until partially frozen. Place Popsicle sticks in center of cups and freeze again.
Run the mold under running water or dip in basin/bowl with water for a few seconds to take out the popsicle easily from the mold.

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