Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Raw Mango Spicy Mix / Mavinakayi Thokku

This recipe was shared with me by one of my aunt in Bangalore.  

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 20 mins

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Raw mango(green) - 1, grated, discarding the seed
  • Spicy red chili powder - 2 - 3 tsp
  • Roasted fenugreek seeds powder(menthya powder) - 3/4 tsp
  • Roasted mustard seeds powder(sasive powder) - 3/4 tsp
  • Oil - 6-8 tbsp
  • Salt
Heat oil in a pan.  Add the grated mango and fry on a medium heat with occasional stirring.  Fry for about 10-12 mins or until the raw smell is almost gone.  Now add red chili powder, fenugreek powder, mustard powder, salt and mix well.  Fry for another 10 mins on a low-medium heat with occasional stirring.  For this recipe, do not add water.  
The thokku is ready!

Serving suggestion:
  • You can mix this with plain rice
  • As a side dish for dose/chapathi

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Puliyogare gojju
Prepare this at home, and you will stop buying the store made ones!  Another to the list from MIL :)

Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 40 mins

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Tamarind - a big lemon size ball, soaked in water for at least 30 mins
  • Jaggery - 4 tbsp or per taste
  • Rasam powder(saaru pudi) - 4 - 5 tsps
  • Salt
  • Cumin powder (jeera powder)- 1.5 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder(methi powder) - 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds powder( white yellu pudi) - 1.5 tsp
  • Oil - 6 tbsp
For tempering:
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Raw peanuts - 5 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 1.5 tsp
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 2 tsp
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
 Squeeze all the pulp from the tamarind into a bowl.  Repeat this process by adding little water to the tamarind after squeezing the pulp every time, until you get no more pulp out of it.
 Heat 6 tbsp oil in a pan.  Once it is heated, add the tamarind pulp to the oil and keep the heat to low medium and let it boil until it is half the original quantity.  Stir occasionally.
Now add rasam powder(saarina pudi), jaggery , salt, jeera powder, methi powder, sesame seeds powder, mix well and let it cook for another 10 - 15 mins on the same heat, with occasional stirring.
 Do not add water at any point of time.  It will be done when you can scoop the gravy and drop it back, it will be a thick gravy which will not flow down easily.
 Once it cools down fully, it will get much thicker.  It will be little thicker than idli batter consistency.  But do not make it too thick such that it will be difficult to scoop and drop it back.  If this happens, when it cools down, it will be very hard.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a small ladle.  To this add peanuts and let it get fried half way and then add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves and hing.  Mix this tempering with the gojju(gravy) and store it after cooling.
Mix this with plain rice and enjoy the chitranna or puliyogare!


  • Don't use the tamarind paste instead of the tamarind.  I tried it a couple of times and the dish was spoilt.  Maybe you need to mix water with the paste and then continue with the same process.  But, I'm not sure how it will turn out to be.  If you try, do let me know :)
  • If you keep the heat at medium or higher, the water content will evaporate but the gojju will not be done.  If you keep the heat way too low, it will get hardened and will take a very long time.  I suggest keep the heat between low and medium(3 or 4 on a scale of 1-10)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Semolina sweet balls / Rave Unde / Sooji Ladoo
I learnt this from my mom :)

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 40 mins
Makes - 20 balls
Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Fine sooji(chiroti rave/fine semolina) - 2 cups
  • Ghee - 4 tbsps
  • Sugar(powdered) - little less than 2 cups but >1&3/4 cup
  • Grated dry coconut - 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder(yelakki pudi) - 1/2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts - 1/4 cup
  • Raisins - 1/4 cup
  • Boiled and cooled milk - 1/2 cup
Fry cashew nuts and raisins with a tbsp of ghee and keep it aside.

 Heat 3 tbsp s ghee in a pan.  To this add the fine sooji and fry it on a low heat for 10 mins.
 Then add dry grated coconut and continue frying for another 10-15 mins on the same heat.  The mixture should not turn brown in color, but it would have changed color by now.  Add cardamom powder and switch off the heat.

 Add the fried nuts and raisins to this mixture.  Let it cool for 5 mins.  Add sugar and mix well.  At this point, the mixture must still be hot.  Once you add sugar and mix, the temperature comes down to warm.  It should be warm enough for you to handle it with your hands.

Now start adding milk in small measurements to small quantities of the mixture.  Do not add milk to the entire mixture at once, because you need the mixture to be warm(which helps in binding).  If you add milk to the whole mixture, it will get cold very soon and will be 
difficult in making balls.

Now start making balls out of this.      
Tasty rave unde is ready!

Milk or Water??
If you need to store this sweet dish for more than a week, it is better to add water.  However, if it is lesser than a week, milk is a better option, as milk will taste better than water.  But remember to boil and cool the milk.
Akki Rotti / Rice flour pancake
Pancake is the closest term I got to translate rotti(in Kannada) in English.
Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cook Time - 5 mins per rotti
Serves - 3
Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Rice flour - 2 cups
  • Carrot - 1, grated
  • Onion - 1 big, cut into small pieces
  • Mint leaves(Pudina) - 5-6 sprigs, leaves only, finely chopped
  • Green chillies - 3, cut 
  • Salt
  • (Optional)Any other vegetables of your choice, cut into small pieces

Mix rice flour, salt well.  Then add carrot, onion, pudina, green chillies and mix the flour well.
Add water in little quantities to make a dough like chapathi dough.  It should neither be too hard(tight) nor too soft(porous).
 On a flat griddle(tawa) smear 2 tsps of oil evenly through out the griddle.  Take a big ball of the dough and place it in the center of the tawa.
 Dip your fore fingers in water and start flattening the dough evenly and thin.  It is okay if the dough is thin when flattened.  The thinner you spread it, the thinner and tastier your rotti will be.  It can be made crispy by letting it cook for longer or softer by taking it out of the stove sooner.  While flattening, it is important to dip your forefingers in water every 2 secs. 

Place this tawa(non stick or iron) on the stove and turn the heat to medium high for 5 mins.  Add 2 - 3 tsps of oil around and on the flattened dough.  Now turn the heat to just a little higher than medium(6 on a scale of 1-10) and let it cook until you see it getting brown.  

You could also cover the tawa with a lid.  Flip the rotti to the other side and let it cook for another 2 mins.
Serve this rotti with Gheecoconut chutney or pickle or plain yogurt(curd.
To make another one, you need to cool down the griddle/tawa completely else you will burn your fingers.  You can cool it by letting it under cold tap water but this may spoil your tawa(if it is non-stick).  You can also let it cool on its own, this may take a while.  The best option is, if you have 2-3 flat pans you can use them simultaneously.  Any flat pan will do, it need not be a griddle/tawa.

Excellent addition:
If you wish, you could add fresh grated coconut(or frozen grated coconut) to the dough when mixing with other ingredients.  This gives a fantastic taste to rotti.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Ghee / Clarified Butter

After I started to make ghee at home, I stopped buying it at the grocers.  It tastes so good and what else can be better than mom-made ghee for kids? :)(no offense against dads, I've just stereotyped cooking and moms, despite knowing the fact that most of the great chefs are guys! :)) 
But you need to have the time...

Time - 1 hr

  • Unsalted butter

Transfer the unsalted butter cubes into a vessel and let it start melting on medium heat.  Once you see the butter is half-way through in melting, bring down the heat to low.  

Let it cook or boil at this temperature for ~1 hr (yes, that is a lot of our precious time :) )  At the end of 50 - 55 mins, check if the smell of the butter has completely gone, else leave it for another 5-10 mins until the butter smell goes and you get a nice aroma of the ghee.  

Well, you may not smell it in the entire house, you need to peek in the vessel to check this :)  If you get a dark brown color like in the picture, don't worry, it doesn't mean it is burnt.  The aroma of ghee still is intact and fabulous.

Separate the ghee from the foam/tiny solid granules with the help of a strainer. 

Store it in a jar/container and use when needed!
If you are storing it in a plastic container you need to wait until it cools down so that it will not melt the container.  If you are storing it in a glass jar, you can do so after 7-10 mins of cooling.

You can add...
Some of them add turmeric powder due to traditional reasons OR add 3-4 fenugreek seeds(methi seeds) to get a nice aroma.  If so, please go ahead and add either of it.  I do not add anything because, I use it for my daughter in regular meals and also for cooking any sweet dish.
Fermentation Process

In summer, it should not be a problem for the batter/dough to ferment or raise, as the fermentation process requires the temperature to be warm.  

In winter, you can turn on the oven to 200-210 degree F for ~10 mins and switch it off after 10 mins.  Make sure the oven is empty when doing this.  Now place the bowl with the batter/dough in this warm oven(which is now switched off) and just switch on the oven light and let it stand for 6-8 hrs for batter and the mentioned time for any dough to raise. If the weather is not too cold, the oven light need not be on. Just warming the oven for 10 mins will do the job.
Eggplant Fry / Badanekai Palya

This recipe goes well with chapathi/roti.  It is not an authentic recipe which is made, back at home in India.  I have varied it according to my home preferences.

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Serves - 2(with a second curry)

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Purple eggplant(brinjal/badanekai) - 5 medium sized, cut into medium sized pieces
  • Onion - 1.5 small, cut into pieces
  • Oil - 3 - 4 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 3/4 tsp
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1 tsp
  • Vangibath powder - 3 tsps
  • Dry coconut(powder or grated) - 2 tbsps

As you cut the brinjal put the pieces in a bowl of cold water.  If you don't do so it will turn brown by the time you cook.
Heat oil in a pan(preferably non-stick).  Add mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves, hing and the onions.  Fry onions until they turn pink/translucent.

Next add the brinjal pieces, salt and cook it on a low medium heat for about 25 mins or until the vegetable is almost cooked.  Stir occasionally, sprinkle little water in between if needed and cook it uncovered, else the dish will get mushy.  If it is the green long brinjal(mysore badanekai), you can cover it and cook.   The purple ones have the tendency of getting mushy very soon.

Then add the vangibath powder, dry coconut, mix well.  You may need to sprinkle little water as it will get a little dry after adding the powder.  Let it cook for another 10 mins on the same heat, with occasional stirring.

Take it out in a bowl and it is ready to be served with chapathi.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Aloo Paratha

One more addition to the list got from my MIL...

Preparation Time - 30 mins(including boiling)
Cook Time - approximately 3 mins for each paratha
Serves - 3

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Chapathi dough - to make ~9 chapathis
  • Potatoes(aloo)-5, medium sized, boiled, peeled & mashed
  • Green chillies - 3
  • Ginger - 1" big piece
  • Coriander leaves - a few sprigs
  • Cumin seeds(jeera) - 3/4 tsp
  • Lemon juice - 3 tsps
  • Salt
  • Oil

Make a paste out of green chillies, coriander leaves, jeera and ginger.  Do not add water, instead add the lemon juice.  If you still need water to blend, add as little as possible.

Mix this paste with the well mashed potatoes, salt and mix.  Taste to see if the salt level is fine.  

Make balls out of these and keep them aside.

Take one chapathi dough ball, roll it out into a small round shape, place one potato ball at the center of the rolled dough.

Start covering the potato ball with the chapathi dough as seen in the pic. 


Close the openings to get a smooth ball.  Dip this ball in the wheat flour or all purpose flour and start rolling out the paratha gently.

Do not apply pressure, else the paratha will start tearing on either of the sides. Remember that the side, which was closed together must be on top when rolling.

 Heat a flat pan/tawa on medium high heat for about 5 mins.  Now carefully place the paratha on the hot tawa.  Leave it for a couple of mins.  Smear the top of the paratha with 2 tsps oil.  Flip the paratha and smear oil to the other side too.  Cook on both sides until you
see golden brown color.  Be careful when you flip not to tear the paratha.

Serve it with pickle, onion and yogurt(curd).  Enjoy warm!


  1. If you mix the chili paste to the boiled potato with bare fingers, the spiciness in the chili will burn your fingers.  If you do not want this to happen mix it with a spoon or with  wearing gloves.  Or, if you mix it with fingers, wash your hands and immediately apply some oil to your fingers.
  2. If you add water when making a paste out of green chillies, when you are adding it to the potato mixture, do not add the watery part.  Take out the paste part and discard the water.  If you add the watery paste, the potato mixture will be too soft and you cannot stuff it in the chapathi dough.
  3. Instead of the green chili paste, you could also add red chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and lemon juice to the potato mixture.  But your paratha will be red in color because of the red chili powder.
Chapathi Dough

Makes - ~ 9 chapathis/rotis

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Whole Wheat flour - 3 cups
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Water - 1.5 cups
  • Oil (optional) - 1tsp

 Mix salt and the dry flour well.  Start adding water in little quantities and start mixing the dough.  Initially it will be sticky.  Add enough water to make a dough, but not a sticky one. 
 At the end you get a sticky dough if you add too much much.  So watch out when you add water.  When you feel you are getting a consistency to make a firm ball, stop adding water and knead well to make a smooth, firm yet soft ball.

Smear it with oil(this step is optional).  Keep it covered in a container with a tight lid.  Let it sit for about 2 hrs so that the dough soaks well and the chapathis will be soft.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


This recipe was shared with me by one of my aunt in Bangalore.  There is a slight variation in the ingredients - she adds menthyada hittu(it is a powder made of fenugreek seeds and a few other dals(lentils)).  Since I din't have it, I couldn't add.  If you have it, add it and the taste will be ultimate.

Preparation Time - 7 mins
Cook Time - 15 mins

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Thin poha - 2 cups 
  • Menthyada hittu - 2 tsps
  • Red chili - 1
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Dry coconut flakes - 1/2 cup
  • Peanuts - 1/3 cup
  • Poppy seeds(gasagase) - 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds(methi seeds) - 1/4 tsp
  • Sesame seeds(til or yellu), white - 3/4 tsp
  • Coriander seeds(dhaniya) - 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera) - 1/2 tsp
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Dry roast the thin poha.  Keep it aside.  Dry roast the following together or separate - poppy seeds, sesame seeds, dhaniya, jeera, fenugreek seeds and make a fine powder out of this.  Keep it aside.

 In a wide pan, heat oil.  To this add red chili, curry leaves, turmeric powder, peanuts, coconut flakes, the above mentioned powder(poppy seeds, dhaniya,jeera etc), red chili powder, then the roasted poha, salt, sugar, menthyada hittu and gently mix. 

Switch off the stove and it is ready to eat!  Store it in an air tight container after it cools.

Serving suggestions:

This can either be eaten just the way it is or - add chopped cucumber, onions, tomatoes, some grated fresh coconut and lime juice to the chivda and enjoy it.  This tastes so yum!!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Ridge Gourd Dip / Herekai -Tomato chutney

My mother is born and raised in Andhra Pradesh, a state which has different and tasty recipes.  One of the 'must' dish will be 'pachhadi' or chutney.  

Preparation Time - 7 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins(including cooling time)
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Ridge Gourd(herekai) - 2, skin roughly peeled & cut
  • Tomatoes(ripe) - 2 medium sized, cut
  •  Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 1/2 tsp + 3/4 tsp
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 1/2 tsp
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1/2 tsp + 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Green chillies - 2 - 3
  •  Asafoetida - a pinch 
  • Salt 
  • Red chili - 1

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan.  Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, channa dal, 1/2 tsp urad dal, green chillies, a pinch of hing and the chopped ridge gourd and tomatoes.  Add salt and cook it covered for about 15 mins on low medium heat.  Do not add water.  Check if the ridge gourd is cooked.  It need not be fully cooked.  If it is able to cut easily with a spoon, it is done.  Switch off the stove and let it cool down completely.

Later, add all these to a blender without adding water and make it into a coarse paste(use the pulse button or grind it for a few seconds only).  Take out this paste into a bowl.

In a laddle, heat 1 tbsp oil.  Add 3/4 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 urad dal, curry leaves, hing and red chili.  Pour this over the paste and the chutney is ready to be served.  

This goes well with plain rice or dose or with rasam-rice.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quinoa Pulav/Quinoa Biryani

I was not sure what to call this recipe, as this is just my creation combining vegetables and some spices with Quinoa(which I got to know from my friend Roopa). It has several health benefits apart from being rich in proteins.

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:

  • Uncooked Quinoa - 1 cup(8oz cup)
  • Chopped mixed vegetables(beans, carrot, green peas, onion) - 2 small cups
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Biryani Masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds(jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf - 2 small
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/2 "
  • Cloves - 2
  • Salt

Bring 2.5 cups of water to boil(1 cup Quinoa needs 2.5 cups of water).  Once the water starts boiling, add the washed Quinoa.  Lower the heat to low medium, cover it and let it cook for 20 mins.  Stir occasionally.  You can know that it is cooked when you see the Quinoa being translucent with a ring around it.  Usually it takes 15-20 mins to get cooked on low medium heat.  By this time there will be no water left, or if a little is left, cook it open until the water evaporates, but on the same heat.  Let it sit.

 Heat oil in a pan.  To this add jeera, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, green chillies, onion and saute until the onion turns pink.
 Now add the chopped vegetables, salt, mix and cook it covered for about 10 mins on low medium heat.  Do not add water.  Salt and the covered cooking will give out enough moisture to cook the vegetables.
 Add the biryani masala powder(I use the store bought one), mix and leave it to cook for 3-4 mins.
 Then add the cooked Quinoa and gently mix.  Cook for 5 mins, during which all the spices will blend with the Quinoa.

The Quinoa Pulao / Quinoa Biryani is ready to be served!  Enjoy it warm!


Mixed Vegetable Rice

This is the best option for lunch box if you are a rice lover.  No spills, no mess...

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 15 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Chopped mixed vegetables(capsicum, green peas, carrot) - 2 medium size cups
  • Oil - 4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 3/4 tsp
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1 tsp
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Vangibath powder - 3 - 4 tsp
  • Cooked Rice - 2 cups
  • Salt 
  • Lemon juice - 3 tsp

 Cook the rice and keep it aside.

 In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves, asafoetida.  Now add the chopped vegetables and saute it. 
 Add salt, mix and let it cook it covered on low medium heat for around 7-10 mins. 
Stir in between.

 Then add the vangibath powder and mix.  Leave it for 5 mins on low heat.  Switch off the stove and add the lemon juice.
Mix this mixture with rice to make the mixed vegetable rice!

Instead of the above listed mixed vegetables, you could add  Dill leaves with potatoes and green peas OR Avarekai(Surti papdi lilva or vaala/vaal(in marathi)) with fresh Fenugreek leaves(menthya soppu) OR just fresh Fenugreek leaves