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.