Monday, 30 September 2013

Curry Leaves Kuzhambu

Yet another flavourful kuzhambu, love this for those cold winter days. As I have told earlier, love this magical aromatic leaves, hmm the smell makes me hungry. I love all these kuzhambu varieties which do not have toor dal and coconut. This kuzhambu tastes heaven with hot steamed rice, with
a dash of ghee or sesame oil...hhmm my mouth is watering.Try this, you will try again and again and enjoy it.

Tamarind - Small lemon size, soaked in warm water and juice extracted.
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon(optional).

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana dal - 1 tablespoon,
Urad dal - 1 tablespoon,
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Black Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2-3,
Curry Leaves - 3/4 cup losely packed.

For Tempering:
Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Onion - 1 medium finely chopped,
Garlic - 2 finely chopped.

Roast the ingredients under the roasting table, except curry leaves.
When the dals are roasted, finally add curry leaves and fry until they are crisp.
Remove from heat, cool and grind with water to a smooth paste.
In a medium thick bottomed sauce pan, add sesame oil and heat.
Temper the ingredients, in their order listed.
Add the onions and garlic fry, until the onions turns pink.
Add tamarind juice, salt and jaggery.
Boil until the raw smell of tamarind is gone.(approximately 3-4 minutes).
Add ground paste and boil for 3-4 minutes.
Adjust the consistency.
Serve with hot, steamed rice.

Curry Leaves Rice

Curry Leaves is such a aromatic herb, adds lot of flavour to the food. It is a very important ingredient to most of south indian cooking. At least in most of my south indian cooking, I love this magical herb. Its just not only adds flavour to the food, but curry leaves is rich in calcium and iron.
Helps for strong bones and eyesight and lot more.
Today I am making curry leaves rice, is perfect for those quick lunch and dinners, can be in less time and with very little ingredients. Trust me it gives you a satisfaction of a tasty and comfort food.
Can be good idea for packed lunches as well.

Rice - 11/2 cups cooked and cooled,

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1 tablespoon,
Black Pepper Corns - 1/4 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 6-8,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Coconut - 1 tablespoon,
Tamarind - a small marble size.

To Temper:
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Chana Dal - 1 teaspoon,
Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon,
Ground nuts - 1 tablespoon.

Heat oil and fry red chillies, urad dal, pepper corns and asafoetida.
Fry until dal turns pink. Add Curry leaves and fry until crisp.
Add tamarind and coconut and fry for a minute.
Cool and powder.(without water).
Mix this ground powder and salt with cooked rice.
Temper the ingredients, under the tempering table and add to rice.


Tomato Rice Restaurant Style

This is one of the best rice varieties, found in all restaurant menus in Bangalore, Mysore.
It can be good idea for packed lunch or for one pot dish. My family's favourite,  either for packed lunch or for those lazy weekend brunch. Normally, the restaurants serve them with coconut chutney, or raita.
The tanginess of the tomatoes, the spice from the red chillies and aromatic spices, makes this dish very flavourful and tasty.

Normal Raw Rice - 11/2 cups(washed and soaked for twenty minutes),
Oil - 2 tablespoons,
Onions - 2 medium, thinly sliced,
Fresh/Frozen Peas - 1/2 cup,
Tomatoes - 4-5 medium, chopped,

To Roast and Grind:
Coriander Seeds - 2 teaspoon,
Whole Red Chillies - 6-8,
Oil - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch,
Cloves -  5,
Ginger - 2 inch,
Garlic - 3,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut - 1 tablespoon grated,
Fresh Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

In half teaspoon oil, roast coriander seeds and red chillies, until coriander smells roasted.
Allow to cool. Grind this roasted ingredients, with rest of the grinding ingredients to smooth paste with water.
In a pressure cooker or broad medium pan, add oil and heat it.
Add onions and fry until its pink and glossy.
Add peas and fry until they turn pale green.
Add chopped tomatoes, fry until they are cooked and mushy.
Add ground paste and fry until oil separates and the raw smell is gone.
Add a little less than 3 cups of boiling water, say 21/2-23/4 cups.
Add salt. Stir everything well.
Completely drain water from rice and add to boiling water and ground paste.
If you are pressure cooking in a pressure cooker, then close the lid and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Let it cool naturally, open the lid and fluff it with a fork.
If you are cooking in a open pan, then cook in high flame for 10 minutes covered.
Lower the flame completely and cook for 5 more minutes.
Remove from heat, and keep covered for 2 more minutes.
Open the lid and fluff it from a fork.
Serve hot with coconut chutney or raita of your choice,

Friday, 20 September 2013

Whole Moong Sandwich

One of the best sandwiches I have has everything tasty, nutritious, filling and very healthy.
Kids will love them too. Whole Moong, either sprouted or just the whole moong, cooked and mixed with chopped onion, flavoured with feels soo very fresh, spice of red chilly powder, balance with tomato ketchup and a pinch of salt..Grilled with melts in your mouth...Though a treat, yet not sinful..treat that always makes you guilt free...
Brown Bread - 8-10 slices,
Whole Moong - 1 cup(soaked for 3-4 hours, cooked until just done with salt),
Ketchup - 1 tablespoon,
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Red Chilly powder - 1/2  to 1 teaspoon,
Mint chopped - 2 teaspoons,
Cheese slices - 4-5.

Except for bread and cheese, mix the rest of the ingredients and spread on the bread and top with a cheese slice and cover with another slice of bread and grill, either on stove top grill pan or sandwich grill until brown and serve with green chutney, or sauce.                                                                                                                                                 

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Lunch Menu 8

Taro Root/Arbi/Seppakizhangu roast

Again back to traditional roast, which will beat any roast in the world and not to forget the most least I believe.
This time it is taro root roast. I love this roast with any south indian meal as a side dish, like, rasma rice, sambhar rice or even with curd rice.
This is a simple roast and can be done in less than 20 minutes.
In kannada it is called 'kesuvina gedde'.

Taro root /Arbi /Seppankizhangu - 10-12,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Rice flour - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Sambhar Powder - 2-3 teaspoons,
Coriander Seeds Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,

In a large pan bring enough water to boil. That is enough to immerse the taro.
Boil until you can peel the skin.It is very important to take care not to overcook the veggie, or else it will be difficult to handle.
The very nature of the taro is, when cooked it becomes sticky, so if you overcook and then try to roast, it becomes one large mushy lump. So take care.
Once cooked remove from heat and pour cold water, remove the skin and cut into quarters.
Mix all the dry spices and salt. Rub this mixture very gently on the quartered taro.
Heat oil in a broad pan, add the spice mixed taro to pan.
Keep in medium low heat and fry them, until they are lightly browned, Occasionally turning.
Once they are lightly browned, remove from heat and serve.
Alternatively you can also deep fry the spice mixed taro or roast it in a preheated oven, until lightly browned.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sweet Pumpkin Huli Tovve

This is a typical kannada brahm dish...Soo very tasty, the thick texture from the freshly ground spices and also the flavours of spices infused with cinnamon and kapok buds(marati moggu). This kapok buds has a unique flavour and taste and it is more enhanced when mixed with cinnamon..oohh they compliment each other so very well.
It is not a very commonly used spice, atleast me, I would use this only for huli tovve and one more brinjal and potato pulao. But the very typical way of eating this dish is with kadhi/mor kuzhambu/majjige huli. Huli any way denotes sambhar  in kannada. This dish is just a sambhar with different spice twist. This huli/sambhar is mixed with hot rice, ghee and as a side dish, it is majjige huli/mor kuzhambu/kadhi..heavenly.
The vegetables used for this dish is either sweet/yellow pumpkin or ridge gourd.
Only any one of these.

Sweet/Yellow pumpkin - 1/2 kilo, cleaned and cut into 1 inch cubes,
(It is up to you to whether to retain the skin or remove, I have removed the skin),
Toor dal - 11/2 cups,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind - Medium lemon size, soaked in warm water,
Jaggery - 1/2 a medium lemon sized,

For Roasting and Grinding:
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Chana dal - 1 fist ful,
Coriander seeds - 1 fistful,
Urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon(optional),
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Marati Moggu/Kapok buds - 5,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Coconut - 1/2 cup.

For tempering:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Curry leaves - 20.

Pressure cook toor dal with enough water and turmeric and keep aside.
In a another pan cook cut pumpkin with little salt and little water until just done.
Do not throw the vegetable cooked water. Reserve it .
Fry the ingredients in oil, under roasting table (except coconut) until the dals are brown.
Add coconut and fry for a minute and grind with water to a smooth paste.
In medium large saucepan add vegetable cooked water, salt, extracted tamarind juice and jaggery and boil.
Once they all blend together and start boiling, they give a nice aroma of tamarind and jaggery.
Now add ground paste and boil for 3-4 minutes.
Add dal and cooked vegetable and allow to boil for few seconds.
Remove from heat and temper the ingredients under the tempering table.

This sambhar should be thicker than the normal smabhar.
I have added a bit less jaggery as the pumpkin is itself sweet. But if you are using ridge gourd, then use a little more of jaggery. It should be a well balance of spice, sweet, tangy and salt.

Hot Chocolate Drink

Chocolate...Yum Yum...the name itself makes you nostalgic..
My kids are great chocolate lovers. They love anything and everything of chocolate.
I think this chocolate drink is loved by everyone especially for those cold winter days.
Slurping them and cuddled up on the  couch with a butter toasted brown bread or with typical Indian pakoras...watching a nice movie, is my favourite winter evening. Sooo typical of me being lazy.
This can be a wonderful after school winter drink with a sandwich or simply butter toast.
They love me a nice way to make them gobble up their milk. They will be happy to finish it. This recipe is adapted from HERSHEY'S recipe site.

Milk - 1 cup,
Cocoa Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Sugar - 2 teaspoon,
Salt - a tiny pinch,
Vanilla extract - 1/4 teaspoon.

In a mug mix cocoa powder, sugar and salt.
In a another microwave safe mug add milk and boil it in high for 2 minutes.
Slowly add the boiling milk to cocoa mixture and blend well.
Add vanilla extract and enjoy the creamy chocolate milk.
I have used low fat milk.
If you want either increase or decrease the quantity of sugar and cocoa powder according to your taste.
You can also completely omit sugar as well.

Semia Payasam

One of the easiest and made in minutes, may it be on a festival or for guests who have dropped in without notice.
The only requirement for this is to have milk stocked.
This is normal semia payasam, that is made with medium thick semia or vermicelli.
This payasam is normally the one we see in all festive or wedding spread.
I used MTR vermicelli, and I have taken  unroasted vermicelli .

Ghee - 1 tablespoon,
Semia or Vermicelli - 1 cup,
Milk - 3 cups,
Saffron- few strands(optional),
Badam Powder - 2 teaspoon,
Sugar - 3/4 cup,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon.

Ghee - 1 teaspoon,
Cahsew and Raisins - 1 teaspoon,

Chopped Pistachio - 1 teaspoon.

In a medium thick bottomed pan, add ghee and heat.
Add  Semia/Vermicelli and fry until they turn white and crisp.
Add hot milk and boil. Add Saffron, if you are adding.
 First add only 2 cups of milk and cook in low flame.
Add Badam Powder.
Once the vermicelli is completely cooked, add sugar and cook, until sugar is dissolved and blended together.(this is will take approximately 3-4 minutes).
Add cardamom powder.
Temper the ingredients under tempering table and add to payasam.
Garnish with pistachio.
Serve warm or chilled.
After cooling, if you find the payasam is thick you can add more milk, which you have saved.
The payasam to be of medium consistency neither too thick or thin.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Lunch Menu 5

Tadka Dal

Tadka Dal

One of my favourite dals. I love dals with hot, steamed rice, papad and pickle.
Yummy..give me any time of the day...I enjoy as my first meal of the day.
This is a basic dal recipe with very few ingredients..but tastes heavenly and very comforting.

Split Moong Dal - 1cup,
Toor dal - 1 fistful,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tomato - 1 chopped,
Green Chilly - 1 finely chopped.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Garlic - 10 cloves sliced,
Whole Red Chillies - 2,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Pressure cook dals, turmeric, tomato,salt and green chillies with enough water for 2-3 whistles.
Once the pressure cooker cools, blend the dals and rest of the ingredients.
Temper with the ingredients under the tempering table and add the dal and mix well and serve hot with steamed hot rice or chapathi.


This is a simple choley recipe with just choley masala powder. This choley goes very well with chapathi, puris, or with any flavoured rice like jeera rice. But bhatura and choley I will like to post typical delhi style choley sometime later. The choley always tastes better next day, that is, make it in the night and use it the next day.
Even now I have made it in the night to go for the next day.

Chickpeas/Chana - 200 grams,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Ginger-Garlic Paste - 2 teaspoon,
Tomatoes - 2-3 medium sized freshly pureed,
Chana Masala Powder - 1 tablespoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Kasoori Methi  - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coriander chopped - 1 tablespoon.

For Garnish:
Onion Rings, Green Chillies.

Soak the chickpea/chana for 8 hours or overnight.
Alternatively you can use canned chana.
If you are using soaked chana, then wash it well and cook with enough water and salt.
Cook for 7-8 whistles, the chana should be completely soft and cooked, but should hold their shape.
If you are using canned ones, still I would suggest you to drain water, rinse and cook for 3 whistles.
In a medium kadai, add oil and heat.
Add cumin, allow to crackle.
Add chopped onions and fry in medium heat until pink.
Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Add tomato pureed and fry until oil leaves the sides.
Adjust salt, add turmeric and chana masala powder.
Add cooked chana with the stock.(take care, if the stock is too much then add the required quantity, as you can adjust the consistency later)
Lower the heat, cover and cook for at least for 20-30 minutes.
Powder kasoori methi between your palms and add to choley.
Or add chopped coriander and mix well.
Garnish with onion rings and serve hot.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Toor Dal Chutney/Togaribele Chutney/Tuavaram Paruppu Chutney

This chutney has the base of Coconut, goes well with hot rice and a dash of ghee or just had with idly, dosa or even with chapathis and rice flour rotis.

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Toor Dal - 1 large handful,
Red Chillies - 10,
Chana Dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Tamarind - 1 marble sized,
Grated Coconut - 1 small cup,
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon.

In a kadai heat oil, add all the ingredients except for coconut, salt, tamarind and jaggery.
Fry until the dals are brown in colour.
Add tamarind and fry for a 30 seconds.
Add coconut and fry for a minute. Remove from heat.
Cool the mixture and grind with salt and jaggery.
Grind into a coarse paste with little water.


Kosambari/salad makes me nostalgic....When we were little...summer holidays in april-may, visiting cousins or they visiting us and that famous rama navami .....the most enjoyable thing of the festival was food. Everybody in the neighbourhood would distribute lemonade sweetened with jaggery, flavoured with cardamom, and body of the lemonade was with cantaloupes and wood apple. Cannot be forgoten...with the lemonade it would be the cooling salad kosambari, buttermilk and banana rasayana..all set on a plate. We would go house to house and enjoy...sometimes I feel my kids are missing all the fun..By afternoon our dress would be of all colours and sticky...
No festival or celebration is complete without this salad/kosambari....The saoked chana dal or split moong dal mixed with carrots and cucumbers, tinge of sweetness with grated coconut, spiced up salt and green or red chillies. garnished with coriander and curry leaves, falvoured with lemon and tempered with mustard and asafoetida.
Wow goes very well with sambhar rice, mor kuzhambu/majjige huli with papad or just to savour in a bowl like salad. Today the salad would be with split moong dal.

Split Moong Dal  - 1 cup washed and soaked for 3-4 hours.
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup,
Grated Carrot - 1 medium size,
Cucumber - 1/2 medium sized, skin peeled, seeds removed and chopped,
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,

Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Green Chillies - 3-4 finely chopped,
OR Red Chillies - 2-3 broken,
Curry leaves - 4-5 torn.

Wash the soaked moong dal in fresh water again and drain water completely.
In a mixing bowl mix all the ingredients above and mix well.
Adjust the salt and lemon juice.
Temper with ingredients under tempering table and serve.

Monday, 9 September 2013

Raw Mango Rice with Coconut and Mustard Falvour

This is one must mango rice, on new year day, marking the start of nice aromatic raw mangoes..and of course to wait for ripe mangoes.
Most of the time this is a must for any holige/boli/puran poli in karnataka. The best combination.
I personally love mangoes..ripe or pickles, as rice, sambhar, kootu, masiyal, dhal...just keep naming them...or simply to savour them, cut raw and enjoy with salt and red chillie powder.
I also have pleasure of eating them with my upma and poha/avalakki. Just grate raw green, tangy mango and sprinkle on top these and enjoy..hhhmmm...heavenly.
This is complete meal with curd rice for any picnics or lazy lunch or dinner.

Rice - 2 cups(cooked fluffy and cooled for 3-4 hours),
Curry leaves - 20-25 leaves,
Raw Tangy, Green Mango - 2-3 medium sized, skin peeled and grated.

To grind:
Mustard Seeds - 11/2 teaspoons,
Red chillies,
Normal spicy red chillies - 6-8,
Kashmiri red chillies - 6-8,
Tamarind - small marble sized,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Jaggery - small marble sized,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon,
Coconut grated - 1 cup.

To temper:
Oil - 11/2 tablespoon,
Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Chana Dal - 2 teaspoon,
Groundnut - 1 tablespoon.

First prepare rice fluffy and grains separated at least 3 hours before making the rice.
When completely cooled adjust salt and spread curry leaves and mix.
Grind the ingredients under grinding table, except coconut to powder.
Finally add coconut and again powder, do not add water(very important). Remove and keep aside.
Now in the same mixer, grind the grated mango without water. Keep aside.
Mix both, ground mixture and ground mango with rice well. But remember that rice has to be completely cooled when mixing the ground mixture to rice. Mix with your hands to ensure even masala mixture mixing with rice.
Rest this rice for at least 10 -15 minutes before tempering the rice.
Temper with ingredients under tempering table and add to rice.
Rest the rice at least for 30 minutes, so that all the flavours seeps into the rice and tastes yummy.

The mangoes have to be sour.
Rice should be prepared hours before making the rice.
You can temper with groundnut oil for that authentic taste. I personally prefer that taste.
If like you can add grated mango, without grinding, just add grated mango finally in the tempering, fry for couple of minutes and add to rice.
This rice has to be a perfect balance of sour, spice and salt.
Make this rice at least a hour before serving, it tastes much better.
Can be a packed lunch as well.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Happy Gowri and Ganesha Festival

Happy festival to you all...Guess everyone had a fantastic festive meal.
I had made traditional menu.
Mango rice flavoured with mustard and coconut,
Bele Obattu/Boli/Puran Poli,
Obattu Rasam traditional kannadiga rasam whenever the obattu is made.
Beans Stir Fry
Butter milk to end the meal.
Recipes will follow soon.
Have a great festival time.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Rava Vaanghi Bhaat

This Vaanghi bhaat is just as the normal vaanghi Bhaat, but you are replacing rice with rava...It can be a very good healthy breakfast with lots and lots of veggies.
It can be packed for lunch boxes as well with some chutney or raita as it typically served in restaurants.
I would say, this is a nice blend of upma and vaanghi bhaat.
Now coming to the recipe.

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Chana Dal - 2 teaspoon,
Cashew - 1 Tablespoon,
Extra Coarse Rava - 2 cups.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 5-6 finely chopped,
Curry leaves - 1 sprig,
Veggies -1cup Brinjals, Capsicum, Potato(optionally it can be beans and carrot and peas as well),
Tamarind extract - 1/2 cup,
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon,
Vaanghi Bhaat Powder - 2 Tablespoons,
Water - 5 cups boiling.

Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons.

In broad medium pan, heat oil.
Add green chillies and curry leaves.
Fry for a minute and add veggies.
Fry in medium heat until veggies are just done.

In another kadai, heat oil.
Add mustard seeds, when it crackles, add asafoetida.
Add chana dal and fry until lightly browned add cashew and fry, until brown.
Add rawa and roast in medium flame, until lightly browned.
Keep it aside.

Now once the veggies are cooked, add tamarind extract, jaggery,salt and spice powder.
Mix well and allow to boil.
In a minute or two everything will blend together and forms a lump.
Now add boiling water and salt.
Mix well.
Lower the flame to medium and add roasted rava.
Lower the flame completely and cover and cook until the rava is well cooked(about 4-5 minutes).
Garnish with coriander leaves and ghee and serve.

Adding ghee gives nice flavour and aroma to the dish. But it is completely optional.
If you do not have dry coconut, don't worry, add the spice powder and finally while garnishing you can add fresh/frozen coconut(about 1/2 cup).
You can completely omit dry or fresh coconut also.

Chakali or Murukku

A popular snack in the whole of India.
Though every region has their own way and version of making...I bet hardly anyone who don't like it. My daughter's favourite it  any time of the day.
It was my favourite too, when I was little. I have a very sweet memory of chakkalis...when I come back from shcool on saturdays in the afternoon, lot of times I was surprised by these chakkali from my dad...He used to exclusively make it for me, just to see that big smile on my face. My Dad was an excellent cook...he had a very good knowledge of ingredients..Miss You Dad.

Rice - 2 cups,
Urad dal - 1/2 cup,
Sesame seeds - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - one fat pinch,
Butter or Oil - 1 tablespoon,

Oil to deep fry.

The first step to make traditional chakalis is to prepare rice to make chakalis.
Clean rice, wash and soak rice for 2 hours.
Drain water completely and spread on plain cloth and dry it in shade.
If you dry the rice in direct sun, then the chakalis become hard, instead of crisp.
While that is happening, fry the urad dal in low heat, in a thick bottomed kadai to light pink colour.
Mix urad dal and rice and make fine powder or powder them in flour mill.
Spread on a news paper and cool it. Store in a air tight container.
It is always recommended to make this mixture, at least a month in advance.
This will ensure that the mixture rests well and then the chakalis come out very well.
At time of making the chakalis mix salt, sesame seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and mix well.
Add room temperature, softened butter. If you adding oil, heat the oil and then add to mixture.
Mix this well, to form tiny crumbles. Add water little by little to make a stiff dough.
Knead the dough at least for 10 minutes.
The dough becomes pliable.
Heat sufficient oil in kadai. The oil should be of medium heat.
Use chakali presser and make roundels of chakali and deep fry chakalis, turning them over for even cooking. Remove them once they are cooked, to say light pink in colour.
Each batch of four chakalis might take approximately 8-10 minutes.
Remove from heat and rest for couple of minutes and enjoy.

Following each step carefully, results in nice crisp chakalis.
Oil should always be in medium heat, high heat will result in dark coloured chakalis and sometimes uncooked inside.
While mixing with water, do not mix the whole flour with water at once.
Instead take in little quantities and mix in water.
This will allow you to make any changes needed, like adding more salt or if it is more salt adding more flour mixture and so on.
IF butter/oil mixed mixture is soaked in water for too long, the chakalis will take too much of oil while frying and later you will see the chakalis are drenched in oil.

Rava Laadu

Rawa laadu is one more easiest laadu varieties and made in jiffy, enjoyed by all..
Ganesh chauthi round the more ladu variety for Ganeshji.

Fine Rava  or Semolina - 1 cup,
Ghee - 1 tablespoon,
Powdered sugar - 1/2 - 3/4 cup,
Dry Coconut - 1/4 cup grated,
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Milk - few drops.

To temper:
Cashew and Raisins - 1 teaspoon,
Ghee - 1/2 teaspoon.

Fry the cashew and raisins in one teaspoon ghee, remove raosted nuts and keep aside.
In the same thick bottomed pan, add 1 tablespoon ghee and heat it(but not to smoking point).
Add Semolina and fry in medium low flame, until it is evenly roasted to pink colour.
It takes about 4-5 minutes. It emits a nice roasted aroma.
Remove from heat and spread on a plate to cool.
While its warm, add nuts, dry coconut, cardamom powder and powdered sugar.
Mix well and try making balls of the mixture.
If you feel the mixture is too dry to make balls, add few drops of milk and then bind them to balls.
After making balls rest it for 10 more minutes, so they can set.

If you do not have fine semolina, you can take medium coarse semolina and fry in ghee, cool a little and powder in the mixer and continue with the rest of the steps.
Even you can powder fine semolina to make smooth textured  laadus.
Mixing the sugar, while semolina is still warm is to make sugar to melt a bit, so it becomes easy to bind the mixture to balls.
Again amount of sugar to be added to laadus, just depends on your sweet tooth.

Vaangi Bhath Spice Powder

I will be posting some of the basic spice mix powder recipes which forms the integral part of some of the dishes.
Some spice powders will be multi purpose, which can be used for many dishes.
 This is the vaanghi bhaat powder for various types of vaanghi bhaat or sometimes can be used for even vegetables sabjis.
Now for the powder recipe,

Chana dal - 1 handful,
Urad dal - 1/2 handful,
Coriander Seeds - 1 handful,
Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece,
Cloves - 5-6,
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig,
Red Chillies - 10-12,
Asafoetida - a fat inch,
Dry Coconut - 1/2 cup(grated).

This quantity is enough for 2-21/2 cups of rice.
If you are making in large quantities, then dry roast all the ingredients separately(except dry coconut) and mix everything, powder it, store in air tight container.
Dry coconut to be lightly roasted without oil and add to the spice powder and powder it again and add to the dish.
But if you looking at doing fresh and using it immediately, then dry roast everything(except turmeric and dry coconut) with a teaspoon of oil, until brown and powder first the roasted ingredients.
Then lightly roast dry coconut, without oil and add with powdered rest of the ingredients and add lightly roasted dry coconut, turmeric and powder it.


A classic Kerala dish with medley of vegetables...The subtle spice and the bit sourness of curd mixed with vegetables...the texture comes from the staple Kerala ingredient coconut.
Flavoured by a dash of cumin and coconut more Kerala medium of cooking.
I love this dish even to just savour it in a bowl or with sambhar rice or with the classic adai dosa and avial.
I should admit it is one of my comfort foods. Hmmm...Yum Yum..The thought of it makes my mouth water. Though I have just had it two days ago.
Take care to select vegetables which are firm like yam varieties but not veggies have too much of water in them.

Veggies - Beans, Carrot, Raw Banana, Drumsticks, Potato, Yam varieties.
Coconut Oil/Any vegetable Oil - 1 Tablespoon,
Yogurt - 3 tablespoon(bit sour),
Turmeric - a pinch,

To Grind:
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Coconut - 1 cup fresh/frozen grated,
Green Chillies - 3-4.

To Temper:
Coconut oil - 2 teaspoon,
Curry leaves -8-10.

Grind the ingredients under the grind table to a coarse mixture, without adding water or with a tablespoon of water. The mixture should be coarse.
In a broad pan heat oil(I would prefer coconut oil, for that authentic flavour)add veggies and fry for couple of minutes and add boiling water. Add a little salt and a pinch of turmeric.
Cook veggies until they are just done. Take care not to overcook.
Add the ground paste and mix well. Cover and cook for couple of minutes.
Add salt.
Switch off the flame and add smoothly beaten yogurt and mix well.
Bring it back to heat and just allow to warm the yogurt.
Remove from heat.
Temper with ingredients under Tempering table.
For Tempering I would prefer coconut oil for that authentic flavour of the dish.
But you can always replace with normal vegetable oil.

Friday, 6 September 2013

Grilled Spinach Onion and Green Bell Pepper Sandwich

Grilled Sandwiches are a great after school snacks. You can always make it wholesome and tasty with veggies and little dash of cheese into it.
It is perfect for the tired kids and to get boosted up for the rest of the day. It is important to Encourage kids to eat wholesome, whole wheat bread, or even multi grain bread and with lots of veggies(of course the right combination), I would say this is one of the best way. Junking once in a while is very much fine, But everyday routine should always have a balance nutrients like, carbs , protein and fibre.
 The grilled sandwiches are best had hot, so perfect for a after school snack.

Brown Bread - 6 slices,
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Green chillies - 2 finely chopped (optional),
Onion - 2 medium thinly sliced,
Green Bell Peppers - 1 tablespoon finely chopped,
or Capsicum
Spinach - 1/2 cup washed and finely chopped.
Pepper Powder = 1/4 teaspoon,
Mozzarella Cheese - 1/2 cup.

In a medium pan heat oil, add green chillies(if you are adding).
Add thinly sliced onions and fry in high flame for couple of minutes.
Add capsicum and fry for a minute.
Add chopped spinach and fry until the water in the spinach is evaporated and the spinach is blended with rest of the veggies.
Add salt. Remember that cheese also has good amount of salt.
Add pepper powder and remove from heat. Cool it.
Heat the grill pan
Take a bread slice, spread generous amount of the mixture and sprinkle generous amount of cheese.
Place on the grill pan and grill it both the sides until nicely roasted.
Serve with ketchup.

The veggies should not be overcooked, they should be crisp and mildly sweet.
If you don't have a grill, you can toast on a normal tawa.
Adding the quantity of cheese is of your choice.
I have not added butter while toastingor grilling the bread, but if you wish to you can add butter while grilling or toasting.

Besan Laadu

One of the easiest and made in jiffy laadu varieties...and of course enjoyed by every one. I will start posting my Krishna Jayanthi sweet and savoury recipes.
This you can also make for any festivals and now that Ganesh Chaturthi is round the corner...if you don't have time for modaks this can be a good option, as either Ganeshi or Kanhahi both of them love laddus...and also not to forget the Ganeshas and Kanhas in the household.
Now coming to the recipe,

Besan or Chickpea Flour - 1 cup,
Ghee - 1/4 cup,
Sugar - 1/2 cup,
Cardamom powder - 1/4 teaspoon (optional),
Cashew and Raisins - 1 teaspoon(optional).

Powder the sugar and keep aside.
Add ghee to a thick bottomed medium pan.
Add besan.
If you are adding nuts add with besan and fry.
Take care to fry besan in medium low flame.
Fry until nice roasted flavour of besan surrounds the house(approximately 6-8minutes).
When the besan is completely fried you can see, that the besan and ghee have formed a lump.
Remove from heat and spread on a plate to cool.(for about 5 minutes).
Add powdered sugar and cardamom(if you are adding).
Mix well and make balls out of the mixture in your hands and allow to cool for another 10 minutes and enjoy.

Take care to keep frying the besan without giving break.
This ensures even frying and also avoids burning of the besan.
At no point increase the flame of the heat as this will burn the besan and gets bitter.
Mix sugar, while the besan is still warm(but not hot), it helps to bind the mixture and make balls.
To make sure besan is evenly fried, when you add raisins to the besan while frying, it bloats up first and then squeezes flat, it means besan is fried enough.
If you are not adding raisin and nuts, then you can just simply add 1 or 2 raisins and fry and later remove it.
This way you are sure of even frying of besan.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Tomato Rasam

Rasam the word itself makes me eat food and soo comforting....
The whole is just mad of rasam. Almost all the days of the week I make.
Again this is from my grand mother's kitchen.
Spice powder is from her kitchen.
Only change is she used to never add tomatoes.
But I always add. It gives more flavour and body to rasam.
This is for 2 litres of rasam.

Toor dal - 1 cup,
Tomatoes - 4-5 medium ripe tomatoes,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind - 1 medium lemon size. (saoked in warm water).
Jaggery - 1/2 medium lemon size,
Rasam Powder - 1/12 - 2 teaspoons,

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Curry leaves - 1sprig.

Finally to garnish a tablespoon of chopped corainder.


Brinjal Curry

Though brinjal is not a very favourite veggie in the family(except me), they love either in vaangi bhath or in this curry.
This is one of the easiest curry and can be made in minutes and a good accompaniment with rice.
If you prefer, can have with chapathi as sabji.

Indian Brinjals - 250 grams, cut into 2 inch long peices,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Urad dal - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 1 sprig,
Onion - 1 medium finely chopped,
Turmeric - a pinch.

To Grind:
Coconut - 1 tablespoon grated,
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder
         OR                  11/2 teaspoon(depending on the spice),
Sambar Powder  ,
Tamarind Paste - 1/2 teaspoon,
Jaggery - 1/2 teaspoon(optional).

Grind the ingredients under grinding table with as little water as possible, to course paste(very important).
In a medium pan heat oil, add mustard seeds.
When it crackles, add asafoetida and urad dal.
Fry until dal turns pink.
Add curry leaves and add chopped onion.
Fry until pink and transparent.
Add cut brinjals.
Fry for a minute.
Add ground paste, salt and turmeric.
Lower the flame to low.
Mix well , so that the spices are well coated to the brinjal.
Cover and cook, until brinjal is completely cooked, but not mushy.
Approximately it takes 4-5 minutes. Brinjal cooks very quickly, so take care.
Curry should be dry.
Remove from heat and serve as a side dish for rice or chapathi.

Do not over cook the veggie, it should be completely cooked and hold the shape of brinjal.
Occasional turning is required so the spices don't get burned.
But take care not to break the pieces of the brinjal.
If you find the masala is dry and the veggie is not fully cooked, then add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.
One more idea is, if I am bored, then I spread this mixture on toasted bread and have it.
Or spread this mixture on toasted bread and sprinkle some cheese and bake in a pre heated oven for 4-5 minutes, until cheese is melted and enjoy

Jeera or Cumin Rice

This is the staple or basic rice, which will go well with any North Indian Gravy.
I sometimes have it piping hot, without any side dish.
I pack this combination, even for packed lunches.
If it is left over from previous night dinner, you can pack it for next day lunch with some fresh fruits and healthy nuts.
As my son likes it for his packed lunch especially with any paneer gravy, I pack with some fresh fruits or some salad.
Its a very simple rice dish with very few ingredients.

Basmati Rice - 2 cups (soaked for 20 minutes),
Ghee or Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin or Jeera - 1 Tablespoon,
Boiling water - 4 cups.

In a broad thick bottomed pan, heat ghee/oil.
Add Cumin and allow to crackle.
Completely drain water from rice and add to the pan.
Fry for couple of minutes, so that the ghee/oil is coated on each grain of rice.
Add boiling water and salt, increase the flame to high.
Cover and cook, until water evaporates.(approximately 10-12 minutes).
Then lower the heat to very low and cook for couple of more minutes.
Remove from heat and cover and keep it for another 5 more minutes.
Carefully mix the rice and you will notice that the rice is completely cooked, fluffy and grains are separate.
Enjoy hot with any Gravy.

Though cooking in ghee is not a preferred option of mine, but there are very dishes, I cook in ghee.
Cooking of rice and adding water, depends on the quality of the rice.
The measurement and cooking time above is right for my Basmati rice.
I use Dehradun Indian Basmati rice.

Lunch Menu 5