Monday, December 15, 2014

Green Chilli Chutney

Green Chillies, other than being spicy, are also rich source of Vitamin C (when fresh) and Vitamin A (when they dry). When used moderately, they can be health enablers.

Besides all this, I just love green chillies as they make my food spicy ;) Green chillies are a regular in Indian cooking, and for want of variety and change, I make these chutneys. With some fresh green chillies lying around, I decided to make some spicy chutney that can be had with Idlis, Dosas, Rotis, and even with rice (topped with some til-ka-thel / sesame / gingelly oil).


  • Green Chillies : 10 medium to large
  • Garlic: 4-5 cloves
  • Small Onion (Shallots): 4-5 
  • Green Mango Slices: OPTIONAL 2-4 small slices (left over after I made some pickle) 
  • Tamarind : a small piece
  • Ginger: 1"
  • Mustard Seeds: 1/2 tspn
  • Sesame Oil : 2-4 tbspn
  • Salt: To taste
  • Asafoetida (hing) : a pinch
  • In a kadai, pour some oil. To this, add the green chillies and cook them with close lids. Cook them till they start looking pale brown and don't deep fry them. Remove them to a plate
  • Then, add garlic and onion. Fry them and remove them
  • Finally add ginger, mango slices (if any) and tamarind. Leave them for a few seconds and remove

  • In a mixer, first grind the chillies along with garlic and ginger along with salt. Then add the remaining fried ingredients to a smooth mix along with salt.
  • In the same kadai, add the rest of the oil and as it heats up, add the mustard seeds. As they crackle, add hing and some curry leaves. To this, add the ground mix. Cook it for about 2-3 mts and remove from fire.
Serve hot with some sesame oil for idlis, dosas, and also with rice. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Vada Curry : Dal Vada Curry

"Vada Curry" to me somehow sounded like a non-vegetarian dish (don't ask me why?!) until I got to see and taste it just a year or two ago. This is made of our very own Masala Dal Vadas cooked in gravy, a pure vegetarian dish. Dosas and Idlis are staple breakfast dishes with varieties to it; equally interesting are the accompaniments such as the chutneys, curry etc. One such is this very famous "Vada Curry (Dal Vada Curry)". 

Here is my first attempt tested and passed with decent colors ;)


For making Vadas

  • Channa Dal (Split bengal gram dal): 1/2 cup 
  • Big Onion: 1 medium
  • Garlic : 6 cloves
  • Green Chillies: 2 medium
  • Ginger: 1"
  • Curry Leaves : a few
  • Coriander Leaves : a few
  • Salt : To Taste (ensure its limited as the vadas will be cooked in a gravy with salt)
For making the Curry
  • Big Onion : 1 medium (diced into small pieces)
  • Tomatoes: 2 small or 1 medium Diced (if u want it a bit tangy then add accordingly)
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tspn
  • Red Chilli powder: 1.5 tsp (alternatively, you can add 2 big Green Chillies diced)
  • Salt : To taste 
  • Oil : 2 tbspn
  • Water: 1 - 2 cups
DRY MASALA for the Curry (To be ground)
  • Cinnamon : 1 small
  • Cloves : 2
  • Fennel Seeds (Saunf): 1/2 tspn
  • Bay Leaf: 1
  1. Soak dal for 2-3 hours. If you want to make it instantly, then soak it with hot water for 1 hour at least
  2. In a mixer, first add the chillies, garlic and ginger. Grind it first and then add the dal, and rest of the ingredients mentioned under "For making Vadas". Coarsely grind it with very less or no water (at the max 1-2 tspn)
  3. Make vadas either by deep frying or steaming it like idlis
  4. Next, in a pan, dry roast the ingredients mentioned under "DRY MASALA" (except for bay leaf). Grind it to make a smooth powder (dry)
  5. In a pan, add oil. To this add bay leaf and then the onion. Fry it till golden brown (you can add a pinch of salt to quicken this).
  6. Then add tomatoes and mash it. As they start cooking, add the dry roast masala. Allow it to cook for a few seconds and then add turmeric powder, and either the green chillies or the red chilli powder with salt.
  7. As it starts cooking, add 1 glass of water. As it starts boiling, add the vadas. Allow it to cook in slow- medium flame. 
  8. Mash the vadas to make a thick curry (gravy). Ensure that the vadas cook for at least 7-10 mts to soak in all the masalas.
  9. Garnish with curry and coriander leaves and remove from fire
Serve hot with Idlis, Dosas etc.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Vegetable Stew : The Kerala Way

Our God's own country not only is a treat to our eyes and soul, but also to our taste budzz both for Veggies and Non-Veggies. What a variety, range of dishes to choose from!

One such simple to make, easy to digest, and divine to taste dish is "Vegetable Stew". We can customize it the way you want but what am sharing here is one that you can cook and serve in a jiffy. The "goodness" is that it is more of boiled preparation and therefore use of no or very less oil.

This one is from my "partner in crime", chef @ Sangeeta Gopakumar who learnt it from her mom. So, purely authentic :))

Vegetable Stew : Kerala's Style for your Taste Buzz!

  • Potatoes                       - 4 medium BOILED and PEELED
  • Big Onions                  - 1 sliced thinly length-wise 
  • Green Chilies             - 2-4 slit (as spicy as you like it)
  • Ginger                         - 1-2" sliced thinly length-wise
  • Curry Leaves              - to garnish 
  • Salt                             - To taste
  • Coconut Milk (Thick)- 1/2 cup : First ground with a glass of water and extracted
  • Coconut Milk (Thin)  - 1 cup : After taking the thick extract, you can add more water and grind
  • Oil                               - 1 tspn of refined and 1 tsp of coconut
Alternatively, you can use Readily available Coconut Milk or just grind it once with enough water to get 1.5 cups of coconut milk.

  1. Boil and peel the potatoes. 
  2. Slice onion, ginger length-wise into thin slices (very thin)
  3. Slit the green chilies
  4. In a pan, add refined oil. As it heats, add onion. Allow them to just turn transparent (should not be deep fried).  
  5. Add the ginger slices, chilies, and water to allow the onion to cook.
  6. As the onion cooks (note the color change), add the potatoes. Break them nicely, add salt, curry leaves and the thin coconut milk. Allow it to cook well (5 mts if only potatoes. If more veggies, then 10 mts)
  7. After it cooks, add the thick coconut milk. To this add the curry leaves and allow it to cook for 3 mts max. 
  8. Add the coconut oil, and remove from fire
This can be served with Idlis, Aapam and ofcourse I like to have it with dosas along with the gun powder :) 

  • You can add vegetables like Carrot, Beans, Peas etc to this. Just slice them thinly, of the same shape and size and either pre-boil them or allow to cook along with the onion.
  • You will find variations to this where they use some basic Masalas

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Pesarattu : Green Gram Dosa

Does it sound exaggerated to say that majority of South Indians will die without Dosas and Idlis in their life :) After all, till date, these serve as poor's food too. Of course, now its presence is felt across India in many of the regions around. 

As any routine will set in a boredom, we always need some innovation. One such is the green gram dosa; though this is not a very new variation. Down south, in Andhra, this is a staple breakfast. Pesarattu / Green Gram Dosa is very similar to the Cheelas which is a Rajasthani preparation using besan (gram flour).

Pesarattu with Ginger Chutney


Dosa Flour:

  • Whole Green Gram : 1 cup (soaked overnight for 8-10 hrs)
  • Rice Flour : 2 tbspn
  • Ginger: 1"
  • Green Chilies: 2-3
  • Water : To Grind
  • Salt : To Taste
  • Curd : 1-2 tspn (Optional)
  • Onion : 1 medium Chopped
  • Coriander: chopped for garnishing (optional)
  • Cumin or Cumin powder : 1/2 tspn
  • Grind the soaked dhal with ginger, chilies, salt (curd if you like it) to a smooth batter
  • To this add rice flour and mix well.
  • Leave the batter for a few minutes (doesn't need to ferment)
  • In a non-stick dosa tava, pour a laddle of flour and spread to a thin round disc. Add oil on the sides to cook it crisply
  • As it starts cooking, to the top side, add the chopped onion, coriander and cumin powder. Cover it and cook (this ensures complete & quick cooking too)
  • As it gets crispier, fold it and remove from fire
  • Serve it with any spicy chutney (like ginger chutney), gun powder, sambhar etc
Note: I didn't garnish it still it tastes yumm :)

Tip: This can be made with Green Gram Sprouts too. You just need to skip the overnight soaking.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Potato Peas Curry

One of the simple salivating dish that I've tasted is the "Aloo Mutter Sabji" : "Potato Peas Curry". In the winters of delhi, you get such fresh peas that you would love to eat them in any form. That's how I developed my taste for this.  


  • Peas : 1 cup (Fresh or Frozen) 
  • Potatoes: 2 Medium Peeled
  • Onion : 2 Small Chopped
  • Ginger : 1"
  • Garlic : 2-4 pods
  • Tomatoes: 1 Medium
  • Green Chillies : 1-2 
  • Mango Powder (Aamchur) : 1 tspn (can substitute with 1 tbspn of sour curd)
  • Turmeric Powder: 0.5 tspn
  • Chili Powder: 2 tspn (as spicy as you like)
  • Coriander Powder: 1-1.5 tspn
  • Garam Masala Powder: 1/2 tspn
  • Salt : To taste
  • Oil : 2-3 tbspn
  • Butter / Cream : 1 tspn (garnishing)
  • Coriander Leaves: chopped
  • Cumin Seeds: 1 tspn

  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes
  • Soak the peas in warm water
  • Grind the ginger, garlic (or you can add ginger and garlic chopped) separately
  • Grind tomatoes separately
  • In a pressure cooker / pan, add oil. Add Cumin seeds and allow it to splutter
  • To this add chilies, ginger and garlic paste and allow it to cook in the oil for a minute
  • Then add onion and fry till golden color
  • To this add the tomato pure. Allow it to cook till the raw smell goes off and the mix oozes oil
  • Then add all powders including Aamchur or Curd. Add salt and mix well
  • Allow the masalas to cook for a mt or two
  • To this mixture, add the peas and boiled potatoes. Add enough water to cook
  • Close the pressure cooker / pan and allow it to cook for 5-7 minutes (2-3 whistles)
  • Open it to check if its cooked and mix it well. Ensure its not too watery (if yes, then allow it to cook without the lid on)
  • Garnish with coriander
  • Remove to a serving bowl. Add fresh cream or butter
Serve hot with Rotis, some pickle and curd.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Dum Aloo : Baby Potatoes in spicy gravy

Dum Aloo, originally a Kashmiri dish, is famous across North. It is a delicious preparation using Baby Potatoes with moderate - high spice. 

  • Baby Potatoes: 10-12 
  • Onion : 1 medium
  • Tomatoes: 2 medium
  • Curd : 2-4 tspn
  • Garam masala : 1-1.5 tspn (Alternatively, I ground it fresh : cardamom (1), pepper (1/2 tspn), Cinamon ( 1 small piece), Clove (1-2 small), Fennel (1/2 tspn))
  • Garlic: 4-5 pods
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch 
  • Chili powder: 1-2 tspn (as spicy as you like it)
  • Coriander powder: 1 tspn
  • Jeera: 1/2 tspn
  • Salt : To taste
  • Mango Powder (Aamchur): 1/2 tspn
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tspn
  • Oil : Some to fry and some to cook

Prepare the potatoes:
  • Boil the potatoes just to soften it (should not be mashed - one whistle should be enough)
  • Peel and keep them aside 
  • In a kadai, add oil to fry. Add potatoes and fry them till golden brown. Drain and place them in tissues to absorb the extra oil.
  • Once it cools down, prick them with a fork on all sides. 
  • Kasoori methi : 1 tspn
  • I added a few pieces of baby corn as well (cut & fried with potatoes) : Optional
*** I boil and fry so that the oil consumption is less. However, some choose to peel and fry the potatoes directly without boiling them ****

Prepare the Gravy:
  • In a bowl take the curd and beat it well. To this add a pinch of turmeric powder, salt and beat it well. Keep it aside
  • In a pan, dry roast all masala (if you are making it fresh). Keep them aside. (1)
  • In the same pan, add 2 drops of oil and saute ginger, garlic, half of the onion, tomatoes (2)
  • Grind the roasted ingredients in (1) and (2) coarsely or if you like the gravy to be smooth then smoothly
  • In the pan, add oil. To this add Jeera. Saute it and add rest of the sliced onion. Add a pinch of salt and saute it a bit; then add the ground mix.
  • Fry this mix till it leaves out oil (add oil a bit if required)
  • To this add, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder, mango powder and rest of the salt (per taste). 
  • As it cooks, add the mixed curd. Dilute it based on consistency you want the gravy to be. As it starts boiling, add the potatoes.
  • Close it with the lid and cook it for at least 7-10 mts (Keep checking in between to ensure the gravy is not dried up)
  • Add kasoori methi (take it hand and powder it) and allow it to cook for 1 mt.
  • Remove from fire
Top it with fresh cream (if you like) and coriander leaves. Serve it hot with rotis, puris or rice. 

Note: You can avoid the fresh masala and instead add a tspn of garam masala while adding all other powders. Just ground the onion, tomatoes, ginger and garlic.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Scrambled Cottage Cheese : Paneer Bhurji

It won't be an exaggeration to say that the varieties of food across the world is beyond infinity! But everywhere, the key to please someone's taste budz is entirely dependent on 'the love with which one cooks' and 'how to make cooking simpler' (exceptions are always a rule).

One such dish that you can make in a jiffy yet satisfy many taste budz is "Scrambled Cottage Cheese" a.k.a Paneer Bhurji.

** Cottage cheese is commonly available these days. If not, you can make this at home from curdled milk (or by adding lemon to boiled milk it can be curdled). Just filter it to squeeze out all water, tie it tightly in a cloth or in a big tea filter and allow it to rest. Ensure all water is squeezed before you use it.


  • Fresh Cottage Cheese (Paneer): 1 cup [** See the note above the picture]
  • Onion : 1 medium sized chopped
  • Green Chillies: 2-3 chopped
  • Chillie powder : 1 tspn
  • Turmeric powder : 1/2 tspn
  • Salt : to taste
  • Oil : 1-2 tspn (less oil)
  • In a kadai, add oil. As it warms up, add Chillies & Onion. Fry till golden brown
  • To this add turmeric powder and chillie powder (You can add pepper powder as well)
  • Add the cottage cheese and shred it well while mixing it. Add salt to taste. Should be cooked in 2-3 mts (max 5 mts)
  • Dress it with Coriander leaves or Kasoori methi (dried Methi Leaves)
  • Remove from fire and serve hot
You can have this as a starter or as a side dish with hot rotis. Similarly, we can prepare Scrambled Eggs. 

Chocolate Shake

Scorching heat is a given in Chennai... Venturing out in this sun is a 'task' rather wouldn't it be a bliss to treat ourselves, especially the kids, to something 'chill and cool' to shake this heat off!!! 

"The Hindu" recently carried a recipe for "easy-to-make" dark chocolate flavored deserts. One of it is "Chocolate Shake" : Just vanished in 2 mts into the tummy of the two kiddos :)

Chilled milk : 2 cups (if hot, use ice cubes to chill it)
Dark Chocolate : 1/2 cup chopped
Sugar: 3 tsp (or as per taste)
Chocolate ice-cream : 1/2 cup (We used Vanilla instead)
Cocoa powder: 1 tsp
Instant Coffee powder: 1/4 tsp

  • Take a little milk and mix the chopped dark chocolate - Microwave it for 30 secs (We did it using a pan and by constantly stirring the chocolate in the warm milk. As soon as the chocolate starts to melt, remove from fire and stir). 
  • Mix the above (leave aside 1-1.5 spoon for dressing) with the rest of the ingredients and blend it to a smooth drink 
  • Pour it into glasses and chill it
  • Before serving, remove from freezer, add a scoop of more ice cream and top it with chocolate syrup, fried dry fruits such as badam and cashew, and choco chips.
You can customize this further using Rich Cream or Whipped Cream, rich chocolate syrup etc.

Serve this yummmilicious chocolate shake to see the most happiest and satisfying smile on your little ones and ofcourse the kids within the adults too ;)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Amristari Chole : My first attempt

Chole is a staple punjabi / north indian dish that can be relished with pooris, rotis, rice etc. One variety is made out of kabuli channa / konda kadala / chickpeas (white). Different state gives this dish its own flavor and one such commonly available is "Amristari Chole".


  • White Channa (Chickpeas) : 1 cup (Soaked over night)
  • Tea Bag                             : 1 (optional - for this attempt I didn't use it)
  • Black Salt                          : 1/2 tspn
  • Salt                                    : 1/2 tspn 
  • Big Cardamom (badi ilaichi) : 2-4 (Optional)
       For Dry Masala
  • Jeera                            : 1 tspn
  • Black Pepper               : 1 tspn
  • Coriander Seeds          : 1 tspn
  • Clove                          : 4-6 pieces
  • Cinnamon                    : 1 piece
  • Anardana                     : 2 tspn
  • Garam Masala             : 1/2 - 1 tspn
        Other Ingredients:
  • Green Chillies : 3-4 Chopped
  • Ginger            : 1 piece chopped
  • Onion             : 1 big finely chopped
  • Tomatoes       : 3-4 small chopped
  • Red Chillie powder: 1-1.5 tspn (per your taste)
  • Coriander powder: 2 tspn
  • Bay Leaves     : 1-2 small
  • Ghee               :1-2 tbspn
  • Coriander        : Finely chopped to garnish
  • Oil                   : 2 tbspn (To Cook)
  • Aamchur (Mango Powder) : 1 tspn
  • Lemon             : 1 medium (for juice)
  • Soak Chickpeas overnight. Remove water and pressure cook the chickpeas along with tea bag (optional), black & white salt. Ensure that the chickpeas are not overcooked but well boiled
  • If you use tea bags, remove it after boiling the chickpeas. Strain the water and keep it aside.
  • In a kadai, dry roast all masala mentioned under "Ingredients -> Dry Masala". Roast it till it becomes dark such that it gives a darker shade to the cooked channa. Make a nice powder of this
  • In a kadai (or same pressure pan), add oil. As soon as it heats, add bay leaves. Then add chilly, ginger, onion and fry till golden brown
  • To this add garam masala and tomatoes. Cook for 2 mts till it mixes well with all masala
  • To this add the grounded masala powder. 
  • To this add aamchur, salt, coriander powder, chillie powder and enough water to cook the chickpeas (you can add water as rqd. Some prepare this as semi-gravy while some make it solid)
  • Mash some chickpeas to make it a bit thicker
  • Allow this to cook for 5-7 mts in medium flame
  • Add some ghee and then garnish with coriander leaves
  • Remove from fire and add lemon juice before serving

Serve it with rotis, pooris, white rice etc. Btw, I forgot to mention a key point. My Little princess who otherwise is a bit finicky with her food loved this. She in fact requested it to be saved for her dinner as well:))

Achari Jeera Soya Rice

Jeera rice is a staple north indian main course; a delicious yet easy to cook variety rice. But isn't variety the spice of life, so I decided to add a twist to an otherwise non-spicy jeera rice. 

  • Basmati or any rice : 1 cup (Soak it for ~ 30 mts at least)
  • Soya Chunks          : ~ 10 (I used the round variety; soaked in water)
  • Jeera                      : 2 tspn 
  • Potato                    : 1 big (Diced into cubes) -- Optional
  • Green Chillie          :1-2 slit (optional)
  • Garlic                     : 1-2 pods sliced
  • Onion                     : 1 big (sliced length-wise)
  • Curd                      : 2 tbspn
  • Achari (Pickle) Masala : 1-2 tspn (per your spice preference)
  • Turmeric powder   : 1 tspn
  • Coriander leaves    : Freshly chopped for garnishing            
  • Salt                        : Per taste 
  • Oil                         : 2-4 tspn (2 tbspn)
  • Bay leaf                 : 1-2 small

Preparation:  (20 mts)

  • In a cooker or a mud pot (like the one I used), add oil. 
  • As it gets warm, add a bay leaf. Then add Jeera
  • As soon as jeera turns brown, add garlic. Saute for some time and then add onion. Fry till its golden
  • Add green chillies, potatoes and saute it for some time
  • Add the mix of curd with achari masala (ensure this masala is well mixed with curd)
  • Saute it for a minute or two. 
  • Remove the soya from water and squeeze water. Add these pieces (dice it if rqd) to the above mix
  • Add turmeric powder, salt (regularize as achari masala will also have salt)
  • To this add rice and fry it for a minute
  • Add only enough water to cook such that it is not over boiled (~ 1 cup of soaked rice : 1.5 cups water). Since this will be steam cooked, you can check the water level in between
  • Cover and steam cook. Once in a while, I do stir and check its readiness. Spray water if rqd and allow it to cook
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and remove from fire
Serve it hot with any raita! 

Tip: You could prepare the same with left-over rice too.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Dhal Powder : Parupu Podi

Indian food is a blessing for all as it can satisfy any type of taste budz :) Also, it has infinity varieties that we can pick and choose from and treat ourselves. One such very old recipe is "Parupu Podi" (Dhal Powder), ofcourse from our granny's kitchen.

This is a very famous Andhra recipe but is a staple in other states such as Tamil Nadu as well. It's protein rich (we use all dhals) and can be made less - medium - high spicy as you like it. Easy to make, ready to consume once made and can be stored for a longer period, so its a boon for you :)

Tuvar dal (Arhar dal) Pigeon / Red Gram : 2 cup
Channa dal (Split bengal gram)                 : 1/2 cup
Uradh dal (skinned black gram)                : 1/4 cup
Red Chillies                                              :10-12 (as spicy as you need)
Black Pepper                                           : 1-2 tspn
Hing                                                         : 1-2 tspn
Curry Leaves                                            : 1 handful (should be dry)
Salt                                                           : To Taste


  • Dry roast each dal separately till it turns reddish. Allow them to cool a bit
  • Dry roast the red chillies, pepper and hing (if you are using the whole hing and not the powder)
  • In a dry mixer, first grind the chillies and then add the pepper and hing. 
  • As soon as it grinds  nicely, add all dal and grind it to a less coarse powder
  • Remove it to a bowl/ plate and allow it to cool
  • Add required amount of salt and mix it well
  • After it cools, store in an air-tight container
Typically, we mix hot rice with dhal powder, add some ghee or oil and consume it. It tastes real yummmmm, believe me. You could also have it with Dosa / Idlis etc.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Momos (Dumplings) with Hot Chutney

Momos, alias dumplings, is a native, traditional Nepali dish but that slowly spread across to places such as Tibet, Bhutan etc mainly the North Eastern parts of India. But now, its famous in many places of India and its slowly catching up in South India as well.

It's similar to the Modhaks that we make during Ganesh Chaturti festival. The difference is mainly in the ingredients and stuffing while both can be either steamed or fried.

Vegetable Momos with Hot Sauce: My First Attempt

For Momos Outer Cover
  • Flour    : 1 cup (200 gms or so)
  • Oil       : 1 tspn
  • Salt      : to taste 
  • Water  : to knead
For Stuffing -- You can have your own choice of vegetables
  • Cabbage             : 1/2 - 1 cup shredded finely
  • Carrot                 : 1 shredded finely (I had to skip since I didn't have it handy)
  • Spring Onions     : 2 full (Instead I used half regular onion)
  • Coriander leaves : a handful (Instead of spring onion leaves)
  • Shimla Mirch      : 1/2 piece (if its a big one) shredded finely 
  • Potato                : Boiled and mashed (optional, typically not used)
  • Garlic                 : 1-2 pods finely chopped
  • Ginger                : 1" finely chopped
  • Pepper Powder  : 1tspn
  • Soya Sauce        : 1 tspn
  • Sugar                 : 1/2 tspn (optional)
  • Salt                    : To taste
  • Oil                     : To fry the vegetables

To make the momos cover / wrapper:
  1. In a bowl, mix flour, salt and knead it with water to make it smooth. Ensure it has the right consistency to roll out. End of it mix the oil and knead it smoothly for another couple of minutes.
  2. Cover the dough with a damp cloth (mulin kinds) and leave it to rest for 15-20 mts at least.
To make the Stuffing:

Method 1:
  1. In a kadai, add a spoon of oil. As it heats up, add garlic and onion. Stir it in moderate flame for a minute. 
  2. To this add all vegetables and sugar (if rqd) and stir again in moderate flame. Then, add salt, soya sauce, pepper, and keep stirring. 
  3. Finally, add the chopped coriander leaves (preferred is spring onion leaves). Stir for 2 seconds and remove from fire. Allow it to cool
Method 2:
  1. In this method, we don't fry the vegetables. We just mix all ingredients mentioned under "Ingredients for Stuffing" and keep them ready. You can skip Soya Sauce if rqd.
To make the vegetable momos:

Electric Cooker Steamer Vessel

  1. Make small balls of the dough like you will for puris. Roll it out to thin sheets. (We can make a big roti size and using any sharp circle shaped lid can cut it into small puris). Ensure the final sheets are thin.
  2. Place a spoon of the stuffing at the center of each sheet.
  3. Fold them to make the momos. It's similar to making the fleets of a saree. I followed a couple of videos on youtube to make the folds. You can refer to : Alternatively, you can fold it like the modhaks as well.
  4. In a steamer or electric cooker or pressure cooker, fill water and allow it to boil.  
  5. Apply some oil to the steaming plate or idli plates and place the momos such that they don't stick to each other. If you are using the electric cooker, then place these plates within the steamer vessel like the one shown to the right here.
  6. When the water boils, place this steaming plate and steam it for 10-15 mts (for Method 2 stuffing) and 10 mts (for Method 1 stuffing). 
  7. The right consistency will be the momos will appear transparent.
To make the momos sauce - Hot Tomato Garlic Chutney

  1. Tomatoes                 : 4 small (diced)
  2. Dried Red Chillies    : 5-6 (as hot as you want the sauce to be)
  3. Garlic                       : 2 -3 cloves 
  4. Ginger                      : 1" (optional)
  5. Vinegar / Lime Juice : 1 tbsp
  6. Salt                          : To Taste
  7. Sugar                       : 1 tspn
  1. Soak the red chillies in water for some time (30 mts at least)
  2. In a pan, saute with just a few drops of oil the diced tomatoes, ginger, garlic (optional step)
  3. In a mixer, add the red chillies, ginger, garlic, lime juice / vinegar and grind it well. After a couple of rounds, add the tomatoes and grind. Ensure the seeds of the chillies are well ground. [Alternatively, some grate the tomatoes, grind the remaining contents and mix them in the end]
Note: My Learning
  • For Momos Stuffing, I used Method 1 but I feel Method 2 will give you more authentic momos because all ingredients will only be steamed. In Method 1, it becomes a mix of fry and steam.
  • For the sauce, I followed another method of soaking the chillies in vinegar. But my suggestion is not to do that because then vinegar's stench and taste overrules the rest. My bad :(
  • Momos cover / wrapper should be as thin as possible else it won't cook well.
Momos are best served hot:) Relish it! 

Stuffed Capsicum a.k.a Bharwa Shimla Mirch

Been on my cards for while to try the stuffed capsicum veg preparation... Every time, I stop short assuming it requires much time. Last night, I decided to venture into it and to my surprise finished making it within 20-30 mts max. 

We could either cook it using a little oil or bake it. I attempted using the first method.


Capsicum : 2 small
Potato: 2 small boiled and mashed
Onion: 2 small diced 
Ginger: 1" cut into small pieces
Garlic: 3-4 pods cut into small pieces
Green Chillies : 3-4 small cut into pieces
Chillie Powder: 2 tspn
Coriander Powder: 1.5 tspn
Mango Powder : 0.5 tspn
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tspn
Cumin Powder : 1/2 tspn
Kasoori Methi : 2-3 pinch (if dried leaves & this is optional)
Salt : To taste
Oil : 2-3 tbspn


For Filling
  1. Boil the potatoes, peel and mash it well.
  2. In a kadai, add 1 tbspn oil. As it heats up, add onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies and fry till brownish. 
  3. Add salt, and all other powders to this and cook for 2 secs
  4. Then add the mashed potatoes and make it into a mix. Cook till the potatoes absorb all masalas (5-7 mts)
  5. Garnish with Kasoori methi
  6. Remove from fire

For Capsicum:
  1. Wash the capsicums. Remove the cap and the stem such that it doesn't split open. Now slowly scoop out the seeds. If rqd, you can make a small slit on the sides and remove it but ensure the slit is not lengthier else stuffing will ooze out
  2. Fill each capsicum with the filling prepared
  3. In a kadai or tawa, add more oil, and place the capsicums. 
  4. Cover and cook. Every once in a while toss it around to ensure all sides are cooked
  5. When done, remove from fire 
  6. Serve with hot rotis or rice
My attempt would say was decent but (a) the slit in one of them became bigger (b) probably baking will be more apt. Will be trying that soon. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

White Pumpkin Halwa

White Pumpkin, which is typically used to make dishes such as sambhar, gravy using coconut and curd, soups, raita, are also used to make some interesting sweet dishes. These include the popular Petha (its like a sugary candy), kheer, and halwa.

I tried to make the popular "Kasi Halwa", which is a halwa cooked using white pumpkin with sugar. This is a famous dish served in Kasi (a place down south) and in marriages. This is my first attempt...


  • White Pumpkin : 2 cups grated
  • Sugar : 1 cup (some add equivalent to the quantity of the grated pumpkin... choose as per your taste)
  • Milk : 1 cup
  • Ghee: 2-3 tspn
  • Saffron : a few strands (optional) in luke warm milk (a tspn)
  • Cardomom : 2-3
  • Raisins: 10
  1. Wash, peel the white pumpkin and grate it. It will leave lots of water. 
  2. In a kadai, add the grated pumpkin either with the water or without. I cooked it with water (Some add a spoon or two of ghee before adding the pumpkin)
  3. After the water is absorbed, add milk and allow the pumpkin to cook further
  4. Milk will be absorbed and the pumpkin will reach a cooked consistency. Then, add sugar and ghee
  5. Add saffron to give the light yellow color. Typically, Kesar powder is added or the food color (orange) but I didn't.
  6. To this add the raisins (some fry and add; but I added it as is)
  7. The ghee will separate. Halwa when taken in a spoon will fall smoothly - that is the consistency
  8. Remove from fire and serve hot (Or you can refrigerate & serve with ice creams)
End Result: Halwa came off well but for the fact that I ended up using a bit more sugar than needed. But some like it this sweet. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Ladies Finger aka Bhindi Fry

Ladies finger / Bhindi / Okra is easily one of the relished vegetables. It is both healthy and yummy for our taste budz, given the varieties of dishes you can cook using the same. I am gonna share the very tasty form of bhindi fry that I used to relish while in Delhi.


  • Ladies Fingers : 15 - 20 Small-sized (For this fry, preferred to choose real small ones that can be used as is. If not, you can cut them into pieces of an inch or two max)
  • Onion : 2 big onions diced into small pieces
  • Curd : 2 tspns
  • Chillie Powder : 2-3 tspn (as spicy as desired)
  • Coriander Powder : 1-2 tspn 
  • Mango Powder : 1/2 tspn (optional)
  • Kasoori Methi : 1-2 pinches
  • Salt : To taste
  • Oil : To Fry (4-5 tspn)
  1. Wash and wipe the ladies fingers. If big ones, cut them into 1-2 inches long else can be used as is by removing the stem.
  2. In a kadai, add 2 tspn oil. When hot, add the ladies fingers and curd. Add 1/2 tspn salt and fry it. Till the stickiness is gone and they turn brownish (well cooked).
  3. Remove from fire and keep it aside.
  4. In the same kadai, add 2-3 tspn of oil. As it heats up, add onion. Fry till golden brown. 
  5. To this add the powders and salt (1 tspn or as rqd; remember you have added salt while cooking the ladies fingers in Step 2).
  6. Fry them for a minute or two and then add the ladies finger.
  7. Fry it for another 5-10 mts (if rqd add a tspn of oil) to ensure the masala mixes and ladies finger is well fried and cooked.
  8. Dress it with a pinch or two of kasoori methi (optional) and mix it for 2 seconds.
  9. Remove from fire and serve hot.
This can be had with hot fulkas / rotis and / or dhal rice etc. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Stuffed Tawa Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd though bitter is one of the most healthiest vegetable that one must include in their regular diet (Especially if any one in family has diabetics). They come in different sizes; I picked the small ones just to try out...however, the ideal ones for this style of preparation are the medium-long sized ones.

The "Tawa Style" preparation can be made using vegetables such as Bitter gourd, Ladies Fingers, Brinjal etc and is very famous in North Indian marriages etc... I tried making it by the recipe that I read in a recipe book a while ago. There are many other ways to cook the same.

Stuffed Tawa Fry Bitter Gourd

Ingredients: - For Stuffing

  • Bitter Gourd : 4-6 medium length
  • Onion : 2 medium 
  • Ginger, Garlic Paste : 2 tspn
  • Turmeric powder : 1 tspn
  • Red Chillie powder : 1.5 tspn (As spicy as rqd)
  • Coriander powder : 1.5-2 tsp 
  • Mango powder : 1 tspn
  • Salt: To Taste
  • Roasted Gram powder : 1/2 cup (2-4 tspn)
  • Cooking Oil : As required
Ingredients: - For Marination
  • Hung curd : 1 cup (ensure there is no water)
  • Turmeric Powder: 1 tspn
  • Salt: to taste
  • Chillie powder : 1/2 tspn (if rqd)
  1. Wash the bitter gourds, and apply salt. Leave it in the fridge for 1 hour (To reduce the bitterness; optional)
  2. Remove it from fridge, cut the end stems and scrap the skin
  3. Make a slit at the middle of the bitter gourds ensuring the ends don't split up. 
  4. Remove the seeds such that it can open up for stuffing
  5. Apply salt again on the inside and outside of the bitter gourds and leave it aside for at least 30 mts (This is mandatory even if you skip Step 1)
  1. Chop the onions into small pieces. In a kadai, add 2 -3 tspn of oil. To this add the onions and fry till they turn golden brown. 
  2. To this add the roasted gram powder and fry it for 1-2 mts
  3. Add Turmeric, Coriander, Chillie, and Mango powders as specified and salt
  4. Add 1-2 tbspn of water and allow it to cook to make a mash
  5. Allow it to cool
     Marination: In a bowl, mix curd with all other ingredients

     Preparing the bitter gourd:
  1. In a kadai, add 3 cups of water. As it boils, add the bitter gourd with some salt and turmeric powder
  2. Allow it to cook for 10 mts and remove from fire. Allow it to cool.
  3. Stuff each bitter gourd with 1-2 tspn of the stuffing mix (As specified under the heading "Stuffing")
  4. Ensure the stuffing doesn't spill out
  5. Use a thread and tie each bitter gourd (optional)
  6. In a tawa or a non-stick kadai, add 2 tbspn of oil. As it heats, place each bitter gourd. 
  7. Allow each side to cook till dark brown
Tawa fry ideally is served hot along with rotis or with rice. In this style, the bitterness is almost removed. Treat yourself to some yummy bitter gourds :)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mango Cut Pieces Pickle

Come summer, its time for "mango rains" at least for a few months and many of us try to make the most of it; So, do I :) But there is a certain variety of mango which is available almost through the year except for a few months here & there - the 'kili mooku mango' (the end of this mango appears like the nose of a parrot).

This mango can be used in many ways:

  • Just slice them, sprinkle some chillie powder and salt and relish (prevalent near the beaches of Chennai etc)
  • Grate it to make some delicious salad (with other veg of your preference or ginger or alone with chilli powder / green chillie etc)
  • An instant pickle that can be relished with curd rice etc. Wash the mangoes, clean, cut it into cubes. In a container, add these diced pieces, diced green chillies (preferably moderate spicy ones), salt to taste and shake to mix all ingredients. Leave it to soak for 30 mts to 1 hour before using. Have it with curd rice (best companion) or any other form of rice mix you might have -- especially when you have pazhaya soru (left over rice soaked in water during the night & consumed next day morning with butter milk, salt and this pickle)
  • Grate it and make Mango Thokku (will share the recipe when I prepare this) using either Red Chillies or Green Chillies
  • Cut it into small pieces, add it to any sprouts that you may have 
  • If its moderate ripe you can cut it into small dices, add some chillie powder, salt, and a few spoons of coconut oil -- you can add a bit of sugar if it is tangy (this is a Kerala style preparation)
  • Many more such uses...
Here, am going to share the recipe to prepare Cut Piece Pickle using Red Chillie powder. You will find these served in many of the South Indian marriages and functions. Ideally, this is an instant pickle and is for short term use. However, you can refrigerate and use it for a little longer. 

  1. Kili mooku mangoes : 2 (Regular size)
  2. Red Chillie Powder : 1-2 tbspn (or as spicy as you need and as tangy the mangoes are)
  3. Salt : to taste
  4. Asafoetida/ Hing: 1 tspn
  5. Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tspn
  6. Feenugreek Powder : 1-2 tspn (Dry roast feenugreek seeds and powder it)
  7. Mustard Seeds Powder: 1 tspn (Dry roast and powder)
  8. Sesame Oil (Til /gingely Oil): 1/2 cup (you can add more later if rqd)
  1. Wash and wipe the mangoes
  2. Put them into small pieces (as small as you like) & place them in a vessel 
   *** Style 1***
  1. Add turmeric, chillie, hing, salt, feenugreek and mustard powder to the cut mangoes. Shake it to ensure its mixed
  2. In a kadai, heat the oil. As it heats up, remove from fire and pour it into this mixed mangoes
  3. Shake it well & allow it to cool
  4. Once cool, place it in air tight container -- Refrigerate it to use for longer periods. 
 *** Style 2***
  1. Add salt to the cut mangoes. Shake it to ensure its mixed and keep it aside.
  2. In a kadai, heat the oil. As it heats up, reduce the flame, and add chillie, turmeric, feenugreek, and mustard powders and finally hing. Immediately, remove from fire and pour it into the salted mangoes.
  3. Shake it well & allow it to cool
  4. Once cool, place it in air tight container -- Refrigerate it to use for longer periods. 

Crispy Puff alias Pastry

One of the famous, preferred and favorite snacks in many parts of India is the hot pastry alias puff with different stuffing including vegetables or non veg choices. A hot puff along with a hot cup of tea is a bliss especially during rainy and / or winter season :)

Me and Sangee (my partner in all my kitchen attempts) wanted to try and make these crispy puffs in our kitchen using the OTG. It's been on our "To Experiment" list for long which we tested some time ago. The results, I would say, was a hands-down win-win because our darling little princess loved it and so did we.

We zeroed in on 'Vah Chef's' recipe (IPR of his) when we decided to test this out. Believe me, his video is definitely a novice-guide. You just need to follow him step by step to get yummy puffs. So, am not going to repeat the procedure here but share the video of his which we followed with little customization of ours: -- Copy Paste this link to view the video.
[Thanks Chef, it was really easy to follow and puffs were yummy / tummy.]

Be prepared to put in a bit of effort because it requires that to make these puff sheets. Once the sheets are ready, you can go ahead and make the pastry with a stuffing of your choice. We tried Vegetarian stuffing using readily available vegetables such as potatoes etc.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gol Gappa Aka Pani Puri

Gol Gappa Aka Pani Puri is a simple, lip-smacking snack popular in places such as Delhi, Mumbai, et all... It is one of the most-desired chaat items for many Indians, as once you taste it, for sure, you would love to have at least 4-5 in one go. It is a balanced mix of all tastes including spice, tangy, sweet, and salt. I have relished them in the streets of Delhi... Down in Chennai, this is just gaining prominence so much room for improvement :) Over here, Gangotri is one outlet serves a decent quality of gol gappas.

Finally, made up my mind to try my hand in making this all time snack. One of my partners in such crimes Sangee joined me readily! We managed to bring on a satisfying & happy smile on our lovelies' face :))

  • To make the puris:
    • Suji (Rava)         : 1/2 cup
    • Flour (Maida)     : 1/2 tbsp
    • Soda Water        : 3 tbsp
    • Baking Soda       : 1/2 tsp (optional)
    • Salt                     : To Taste
    • Oil                      : To Fry
  • To make the Pani (Green Pani):
    • Pudhina (Chopped)   : 1 1/2 cup
    • Coriander (Chopped): 1- 2 tbsp
    • Imli Water                 : 1/3 cup
    • Ginger (Adrak)          : 2"
    • Green Chillies            :6-8 (medium * as spicy you need the water to be)
    • Coriander powder     : 1 pinch (optional)
    • Jeera Powder            : 1 tspn (freshly ground will have a nice flavor)
    • Black Salt                 : 1.5 tspn
    • Salt                           : To Taste
  • For the Filling:
    • Potato (Boiled and Smashed) : 4-5 medium
    • Boondi                                  : Fried (Get them in market & is optional)
    • Sev                                        : Optional
    • White Channa / Sprouts (Boiled) and any other of your choice
  • To make puris:
    • Mix Suji, flour, salt, baking soda and make it to a smooth dough using the soda water and regular water. (Oil not required to make this dough)
    • Cover it by a wet muslin cloth (or any thin white wet cloth) and leave it to rest for 15 mts. The dough will raise a bit due to the soda (very slightly)
    • Make small and thin puris. Place these puris first under a damp cloth for 5 mts before frying them. (Thinness of the puris will ensure the crispiness else the flour won't get cooked easily, making the puris soft rather than crispy)
    • Ensure the oil is in the right heat before you add the puris to fry. Using a cooking slotted ladle or spoon, press the puris to ensure they puff up both sides. Take them when golden brown (cook it both sides till they puff up to the shape of the gol gappa; if they flatten then u can eat them as puris for other chaat items).
    • Remove, drain, allow them to cool. As soon as they cool down, store them in an air-tight container.
  • To make pani:
    • Grind all ingredients (specified under 'To make pani') except for salt. After ground smoothly, sieve it into a bowl of about 500 gms to 1 lt of water (as you want the quantity & also ensure it doesn't dilute the spice)
    • Add salt & mix well. 
    • Serve it chilled.
  • To make the Filling : Boil the potatoes and smash it well. You can individually add all fillers you decide on while serving
  • To make the sweet / tangy chutney: Refer to "Dates & Raisin Chutney". You can take a few spoons of this chutney and dilute it a bit to be used as the gol gappa mix
To Serve / Eat: Take a puri, slightly tap and make a hole in the center, add all fillers, a spoon of pani & a spoon of the chutney and just gulp it... As you develop the taste you may end up having countless numbers as well :))

Dates and Raisin Chutney

Both Dates & Dry Grapes (Raisins) are healthy, but some may not like to eat dates directly. Searching for alternative ways to consume dates, I ended up with this recipe by Tarla Dalal.


  • Dates             : 1 cup
  • Raisins           : 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind       : 2 tbspn (juice)
  • Brown Sugar : 1/4 cup
  • Ginger           : 1/4 "
  • Salt                : To taste
  • Cumin Seed Powder: 1 tspn (Dry roast & powder)
  • Black Pepper:   1/4 tsp (as desired spice)
  • Red Chilli Powder: 1/4 tspn (as desired spice)
  • Water              : 3/4 cup
  • Soak the raisins for about 30 mts. 
  • Remove the seeds of the dates. Soak them for 5-10 mts or cut them into pieces
  • In a pan, add water. To it add tamarind juice, sugar, salt, black pepper, red chillie powder, cumin powder, and bring it to boil
  • To this, add the dates, raisins, ginger and let it cook by boiling for 10-12 mts (the water will reduce)
  • Remove from fire and allow it to cool (* Some prefer to eat it in this form)

  • I had customized it further by grinding this entire mix in a jar and sieving it to make the red tangy/sweet/spicy chutney

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Herbal Stuffed Baked Fish -- by our inhouse Chef @ Gopakumar

A while back, I had created this page to share some interesting, mouth-watering, tasty, innovative, genuinely prepared dishes by whom, I would like to name as 'Guest Chef' for my blog. This began with me merely posting some pics but here I come to you with my first share :) 

I have developed a love for 'fishes' both alive and as interesting eatables :) Recently, I got to taste this real yummy baked fish with some fresh herbs and vegetables, that I had to start blogging in this section. So, presenting the 'Baked Herbal Fish' by Gopakumar.