Thursday, November 3, 2016

Jalebi / Jhangri

While I may not be sweet-toothed, I am surrounded by many who are and times I too feel like treating my sweet taste budz. This diwali, I chose to make Jalebis - those yellow, thin, crispy ones. And then there are those Jangris - those orange, bit thicker, softer ones. 

Jalebis are made using all purpose flour, will have a slight tangy taste, and the flour is fermented overnight before preparation. Jangris are made using uradh dhal and fried gram dhal flour, and is neither tangy nor fermented.

Wonder why I started with mentioning both that's because my dish was a hybrid of both named as "JalJangebis" ;)

I used Uradh Dhal and rice flour - ideally output should have been jangri. But given the shape, color and crispiness it was like jalebis -- end of it all, this hybrid sweet "jaljangebis" was also a roaring success :)


  • Uradh dal - 2 cups
  • Raw Rice - 1/4 cup
  • Sugar - 500 gms (as per your taste you can add or reduce this)
  • Oil - To Fry
  • Lemon yellow - 1/2 tspn food color (this will give the light yellowish orangish shade) 
  • Saffron - some use this 


To make the flour:

  1. Soak uradh dal and raw rice for an hour. Grind both separately to a smooth batter till they become frothy. Consistency should be that of dosa flour
  2. Mix them and allow it to rest for 30 mts
To make the sugar syrup:
  1. In a non stick pan, add sugar and 1-1.5 cups of water. Cook it on medium flame
  2. Add 2 tspn of milk to remove any froth due to sugar (you can remove the froth as it floats up)
  3. The sugar syrup starts condensing and should be One String. Switch off the flame.
  4. Add a lemon wedge to retain the consistency of the sugar syrup and disable any crystalization later.
  5. Sugar Syrup should be left on the gas to retain the heat 
To make the jaljangebis / jangris:
  1. In a kadai, heat oil. You can test the readiness by dropping a small ball of the batter inside. It should pop up immediately.
  2. Fill the jalebi maker with the batter. Alternatively, you can use a cloth or a milk cover with a small hole on one of its corner and make them.
  3. Make the desired shape... jangris and jalebis differ in shape but whichever comes easier for you go for it
  4. Allow it to fry to golden brown on both sides by turning them
  5. Remove from fire ensuring no excess oil and dip it directly into the sugar syrup. Ensure sugar syrup is warm to hot when you dip it
  6. Allow it to stay each side for 1.5 mts and remove it to a vessel (overall 3 mts).
  7. As it cools down, you can pack it in air-tight container.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Pottukadalai / Gram Flour Muruku

Muruku, a very popular south indian snack, is the one that comes in various shapes, flavor, tastes and sizes. One of the most easily customizable snack it is.

Typically in mixtures, we find the famous 'oma podi' variety added. But, I chose to make Gram Flour muruku but as thin as oma podi.


  • Gram Flour / Pottukadalai maavu    - 3/4 cup (made out of fresh fried gram dhal /pottukadalai)
  • Rice Flour                                         - 1.5 cups (I used ready made rice flour)
  • Uradh dhal / muzhu uzhundu **      - 1/2 cup 
  • Cumin Seeds                                     - 1 tspn
  • Melted ghee / butter                          - 2 tbspn
  • Salt                                                    - to taste
  • Asafoetida/ Hing                              - a pinch
  • Oil                                                     - To fry
  1. In a kadai, dry fry uradh dhal to light brown color. Remove to a plate to cool
  2. In the same kadai, dry fry the gram dhal till golden color. Remove to a plate to cool
  3. Powder them separately and sieve them.
  4. Sieve the rice flour. 
  5. Mix all three flours together. To this, add salt and cumin, and the melted butter / ghee/ oil. Mix it well to ensure no lumps. Use water to knead it to a dough like you make for rotis (should be neither very hard nor watery)
  6. Cover it with a wet cloth and allow it to rest for 15 mts
  7. In a kadai, add oil and allow it to heat up. On a medium flame make the murukus. 
To make the muruku, we use muruku maker or the idiyapam maker. This comes with multiple plates with different types of holes, which will decide the thickness of the muruku when squeezed. Choose the plate based on the thickness you desire. For mixture, we will make them thinner.

  • ** I used uradh dal this time but we can make this muruku without uradh dal. 
  • I made mixture in two batches. For one of it, I made muruku using besan / kadalai maavu. On the second day, I made this pottukadalai version as this is more healthier. 
  • Recipe courtesy are those blogs that I walk into, thanks to Google Search :) Tx to all those bloggers from whom I learn virtually. Ofcourse, I customize it to a great extent but still thanks for sharing your preparations.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Kaara Boondi

Kaara Boondi is one of those tempting snacks that you might end up munching more than intended! This diwali, I prepared this at home as an ingredient for South Indian Mixture (Click the link for mixture recipe)


  • Besan / Gram Flour / Kadalai maavu    : 1 cup
  • Rice Flour / Arisi maavu                       : 1/2 cup
  • Baking Powder                                      : 1 tspn
  • Pepper or Red Chilli powder                 : 1-2 tspn
  • Salt                                                         : To taste
Note: I made this as an ingredient for Mixture. This can also be a standalone snack. If so, you can add fried cashew nuts, dried grapes, curry leaves etc.

  1. In a bowl, mix gram and rice flour with salt, red chilli / pepper powder and baking powder. Some add asafoetida as well. (sieve the flours if needed)
  2. To this mix, add 2 tbspn water and beat it well to make it a smooth dough with no lumps. Then add more water to get a pouring consistency (like dosa batter)
  3. In a kadai, heat oil for frying. As it heats up, using the a ladle with holes (as shown in the image), we will make the boondis. 
Ladle with holes

Hold the ladle with holes on top of the kadai, and add a serving spoon full of batter to it. Keep moving the ladle in a circular manner to ensure no lumps of boondis are formed. You can use the serving spoon to spread the batter on the ladle as you keep moving the ladle.

Remove the boondis as they turn golden yellow or slightly brown to a plate/vessel with tissue paper. This can be cooled and added for the mixture. If you plan to consume it as a snack, you will need to garnish it with fried cashew, dried grapes (optional), and curry leaves (fried and broken)

South Indian Mixture

Snacks is such an integral part of our life, ain't it? Varieties galore and each place in India comes with its own specialty dish.

This diwali was my maiden attempts at making these snacks. I began with making South Indian Mixture, Muruku, Boondi, and Jilebi.


With my test buddies keen to be tested, I began my attempts with Mixture first. As the name indicates, this is a snack which is an apt mix of different individual snack items.

  1. Kaara Boondi - made separately                              -  1-1.5 cups
  2. Crushed Omapodi / muruku - made separately        - 1-2 cups (broken)
  3. Peanuts                                                                      - 1/4 cup
  4. Fried Gram Dhal                                                       - 1/4 cup
  5. Rice Flakes / Poha                                                    - 1/4 cup
  6. Cashew Nuts                                                             - 10
  7. Dried Grapes                                                             - 10
  8. Curry Leaves                                                             - handful
  9. Red Chilli Powder                                                    - 1 tspn
  10. Salt                                                                            - to taste (I added 1/4-1/2 tspn only)
  11. Hing                                                                           - 1/4 tspn 
  12. Oil                                                                              - To fry
  13. Ghee                                                                           - 1 tbspn (for flavor, optional)
  1. Make Kara Boondi and Oma podi / Muruku separately. Recipes for those are shared as separate posts.
  2. In a deep pan, add oil to deep-fry ingredients. As it heats up, begin with frying peanuts, fried gram dhal and rice flakes separately. Fry them till they become golden brown (peanuts will crack). Ensure none of it are over-fried / burned
  3. Following these three, fry cashwe and dried grapes
  4. Finally, add the curry leaves 
  5. In a large vessel, add salt, chilli powder, and hing. To this, add all other fried ingredients
  6. Close with a lid and mix them by tossing
  7. Allow it to cool and store it in an air-tight container
  1. Ensure salt is very minimal as each ingredient like muruku and boondi also are salted
  2. In addition to the above-mentioned ingredients, you can choose to add any other snacks such as maida/wheat biscuits, kara sev, thattai, fried channa dal etc

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rava kesari (Semolina Sweet)

While all known to me will vouch for my preference for spicy food (spice-toothed ;), times I do feel like having something sweet. O ya, not to forget all those sweet-toothed lovelies around me!

So, after a real long time, I started my experimentation with making a very simple sweet dish "Semolina / Rava Kesari".
  • Semolina / Sooji / Rava : 2 cups
  • Sugar                              : 1.25 - 1.5 cups 
  • Ghee                               : 4-5 tbs (1 cup)
  • Cashew                           : 10 pieces (broken)
  • Raisins                            : 10 pieces
  • Kesari Color (food color) : a few pinch (as dark as you prefer, this gives the orange tinge)
  • Water                               : 3 cups (or more as required to boil semolina)
  • Cardamom powder          : 2 pieces of cardamom powdered
  1. Dry roast semolina / sooji in a kadai till it starts turning slightly brown. Remove to a steel plate or bowl 
  2. To this, add a tbspn of ghee and roast the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. 
  3. To this, add the dry roasted semolina. Add one or two tspn of ghee and roast this to golden brown
  4. In parallel to steps 2 and 3, bring the water to boil in a separate container. To this, add the Kesari color powder. 
  5. Add the hot water slowly to the semolina mix with continuous stirring to ensure no lumps are formed. Semolina should dissolve smoothly in the water and form a juicy mix
  6. To this, add sugar and stir it well. 
  7. Close the kadai and allow it to cook in a low flame (we could also switch off the fire and cook it for a few minutes. Then, light the stove and cook it on low flame)
  8. Cook till semolina is well cooked and starts leaving the sides of the kadai 
  9. Add cardamom powder, and top it with some ghee
  10. Remove from fire and serve hot
Note: From my attempt, I realized a few things to improvise:
  • Can use a little more water to make the kesari a bit juicy than dry
  • Can powder the roasted semolina to give it a better texture
  • Add more sugar if you are sweet-toothed
  • Add more color to have a good orange tinge
Try having some hot kesari with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. It tastes yummmm :)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Vegetable Stuffed Pooris

Times left-over food clicks some idea and the most frequent one is to make some stuffed pooris, paranthas, dosas, idly. Till date never tried stuffed pooris, so thought of making some to begin our Sunday. 

While you can plan any stuffing for pooris (most used is potato), the left over vegetable stuffing made for paneer is what I used to make these pooris :)

The ingredients and method below is same as that for preparing Vegetable Stuffed Paneer . You can tweak it by replacing vegetables with only potatoes or add more vegetables including fresh / frozen peas.

  • Cumin Seeds                   : 1/2 tspn
  • Ginger Garlic Paste         : 1 tbspn
  • Green Chillies                 :1-2 finely chopped (instead you can add more of red chili powder)
  • Onion                              : 1 big finely chopped
  • Capsicum                        : 1 small finely chopped
  • Potato                              : 1 medium boiled and mashed
  • Butter / oil                       : 1 tbspn
  • Turmeric Powder             : 1 tspn
  • Red Chili Powder            : 1/2 - 1 tspn
  • Salt                                  :  To taste
  • Cashew                            : 4 finely chopped and fried
  • Garam / Curry Masala     : 1 tbspn
  • Coriander Leaves

To make the vegetable stuffing:
  1. In a kadai, add butter / oil. As it heats up, add jeera and allow it to splutter.
  2. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till it cooks
  3. Add green chili and saute it for a second
  4. Add onion and saute till they turn pink (translucent)
  5. Add capsicum and saute
  6. As they cook, add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala and salt 
  7. Then add mashed potato and coriander leaves
  8. To this mix, add the fried cashew nuts and remove from fire
To make the dough for pooris:
  1. In a mixer, blend the vegetable mix to ensure there are no lumps such as fried cashews 
  2. In a vessel, take enough wheat flour and add this mix. 
  3. Knead well using warm water and a spoon of oil / ghee
To make the  pooris:
  1. In a kadai, pour enough oil to deep fry the pooris. Allow it to heat 
  2. Prepare small round pooris (size per your preference) and deep fry. 
To serve as a side dish / gravy : Tomato Mutter Gravy: 

  • Onion                  :1 medium finely chopped
  • Tomato                : 1 medium finely chopped
  • Garlic                  : 4 pods chopped
  • Ginger                 : 1/2 inch chopped
  • Green Chilli         : 2 finely chopped
  • Peas / Mutter        : 1 cup (soaked in warm water)
  • Coriander Powder: 1 tbspn
  • Turmeric Powder :   1/2 tspn
  • Red Chili Powder:  1/2 - 1 tbspn (as spicy as you need)
  • Salt                       : To taste
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Kasoori Methi (dried feengreek leaves)
  1. In a kadai, add 1 tbspn oil. As it heats up, add a spoon of jeera. As it splutters, add ginger, garlic, onion and saute them till golden
  2. Add the peas followed by tomatoes and saute it for 2 mts
  3. To this add all spices and salt as per taste
  4. Add some water and cook it covered (If you want it tangy, you can add a tbspn of curd)
  5. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and kasoori methi
Goes well with hot pooris, rotis, paranthas, dosas and idlis.

Veg Stuffed Paneer / Cottage Cheese

Paneer (Cottage Cheese) is so flexi that you can make variety of dishes using it. Wanted to try my hand in making some stuffed paneer... after a quick look around (thanks to 'n' number of cookery blogs, sites, videos), I zeroed in on making a Vegetable Stuffed Paneer starter dish.


  • Cottage Cheese / Paneer : 150-200 gms 
  • Cumin Seeds                   : 1/2 tspn
  • Ginger Garlic Paste         : 1 tbspn
  • Green Chillies                 :1-2 finely chopped (instead you can add more of red chili powder)
  • Onion                              : 1 big finely chopped
  • Capsicum                        : 1 small finely chopped
  • Potato                              : 1 medium boiled and mashed
  • Butter / oil                       : 1 tbspn
  • Turmeric Powder             : 1 tspn
  • Red Chili Powder            : 1/2 - 1 tspn
  • Salt                                  :  To taste
  • Cashew                            : 4 finely chopped and fried
  • Garam / Curry Masala     : 1 tbspn
  • Coriander Leaves
  • Corn Flour                       : 2 tbspn
  • Breadcrumbs                    : to coat
  • Oil                                     : to shallow fry
  1. Cut the cottage cheese into thin block of squares (like Cheese Sheet). Sprinkle each sheet with some salt and pepper, and allow it to marinate 
  2. In a kadai, add butter / oil. As it heats up, add jeera and allow it to splutter.
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till it cooks
  4. Add green chili and saute it for a second
  5. Add onion and saute till they turn pink (translucent)
  6. Add capsicum and saute
  7. As they cook, add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala and salt 
  8. Then add mashed potato and coriander leaves
  9. To this mix, add the fried cashew nuts and remove from fire
  10. Make a mix of corn flour with water. Have a plate with breadcrumbs to coat
  11. Now, take one sheet of paneer and place the vegetable stuff prepared and cover it with another sheet. 
  12. Cut this bigger sandwiched cheese sheets into triangles or halves
  13. Dip each square / triangle into corn mix followed by breadcrumbs. Repeat this process twice to give a thicker coat
  14. Shallow Fry each piece and serve hot with green chutney, or any other preferred sauce
You can use your choice of vegetables for this stuffing including carrot, beans, etc.

Salt and Spicy Sankarapara

Everything in life can become mundane unless we break the monotony and bring in some change. It's upto us what we make of our life, including every facet of our life.

Same is true for cooking... While the ingredients may seem finite (not really though!), it's us who can give the same ingredients a different form and taste. These thoughts have been lingering on and whenever it bangs me real hard, I end up trying something that I haven't till then.

This week end was a mini foodie week end! I cooked different stuff across breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner time.

It began with preparing a tea-time snack, salt and spicy "Sankarapara", which is like a mattri. This goes well with a hot cup of tea / coffee.


  • All purpose flour(maida)  : 1/2 cup 
  • Semolina (Rava)                 : 1 tbspn
  • Rice flour                             : 1/4 cup
  • Chili Powder                       : 3/4 tspn
  • Salt                                        : To taste
  • Sugar                                    : 1/2 - 3/4 tspn 
  • Ghee                                     : 2 tbspn (hot)
  • Water                                   : To knead
  • Oil                                         : To fry

  1. In a bowl, mix maida, rice flour, rava, chili powder, salt, sugar. To this, add hot ghee and mix well.
  2. Using needed water, knead the dough (consistency like that for roti / puris)
  3. Leave it covered for 30 mts with a moist cloth
  4. Roll it into thin discs, like rotis, and cut them into shapes needed (diamond in this case)
  5. In a kadai, add oil and heat it. Deep fry the cut pieces till they turn brown (Take care not to deep fry them, like it happened to me for a few pieces)
  6. Place it in a tissue to remove excess oil. As they cool down, store them in an air-tight container
  • Use of hot ghee is to give them the crispiness
  • You can replace all purpose flour with Wheat flour 
  • You can make it a sweet snack by only adding sugar or jaggery

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hand-Pound Garam Masala

Times we end up buying some groceries which may not be put to use much! In my case, some raw garam masala ingredients been lying around for a while now! 

Finally, to ensure it doesn't end in a dustbin, I decided to pound them all together and make home-made garam masala powder. And how did I achieve this?!? After real long time, I made use of the ammi kal, grandma's erstwhile mixer :) Wow, what an aroma while we grind and yes not to forget the exercise for your hands!!!


Black pepper corns
Green Cardomom
Bay leaf

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer is a staple Punjabi dish, given the area's richness in greens especially palak and saag; and paneer / cottage cheese is a given :)

It's a very simple, subtle, rich and delicious preparation that will go well with hot rotis, paranthas, bread or some even relish it with rice. 

  • Palak / Spinach                 : 1 small bundle
  • Paneer / Cottage Cheese :  150 gm (1 cup of cubed paneer; dice it to the size you prefer)
  • Green Chilies                     : 4-5 (as spicy as you prefer)
  • Garlic                                   : 2-4 pods
  • Ginger                                 : 1" piece
  • Big Onion                           : 2 medium
  • Tomatoes                           : 1  small [optional]
  • Kasuri methi                     : to flavor
  • Jeera / Cumin                   : 1/2 tsp (raw or powder, optional)
  • Lemon Juice                      : 1 tspn  
  • Garam Masala                   : 1/2 tspn
  • Salt                                       : To Taste
  • Butter                                  : 1 tbspn 
  • Fresh Cream                      : 1 -2 tbspn
  1. Clean the spinach well to remove soil (use running water) 
  2. In a kadai add some water and salt. As it starts to boil, add spinach to blanch it for 2 mts
  3. Strain it and immediately place in a bowl of chilled water for 1-2 mts (to retain the green color)
  4. Allow it to cool and drain the water
  5. Make a puree of the spinach with green chilies and set aside
  6. In another mixer, make a paste of ginger, garlic, one onion and tomatoes (alternatively you can cut them into fine pieces and saute directly)
  7. In a kadai, add a tablespoon of oil. To this add saboot jeera, one diced onion and saute it. As onion turns golden, add the ginger + garlic + onion + tomatoes paste and allow it to cook till the oil starts oozing out (till the raw flavor disappears)
  8. Add the garam masala powder and salt
  9. To this, add the spinach puree. Stir and cook for 2 mts over small-medium flame
  10. To this, add some water and allow it to cook for a few more minutes with occasional stirring over small-medium flame  (till the raw flavor of the spinach disappears)
  11. To this, add the cubed paneer (some prefer it raw while some saute it to golden colorbefore adding)
  12. Allow the mixture to cook for 2 mts  (should be semi-gravy and not dried. so add water if needed while cooking)
  13. Finally, add kasoori methi and lemon juice. Stir it and remove from fire.
  14. Top it up with fresh cream and serve hot with rotis / naan / bread 
For this dish, we avoid turmeric, coriander and red chilly powder. 

It's an easy-to-cook dish as compared to many other... so, just go for it!

As a complimentary dish, you can make some Herbal Paneer

  • Sprinkle some turmeric powder, red chillie powder, salt, dried herbs and mix well. 
  • Shallow fry them to golden brown and have it hot!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Fried Egg Masala

Living amidst Egg-Lovers, its been long on my mind to try some new dish with eggs. Personally, I eat eggs rarely and only selected preparation of it.

Sunday, when I had an ardent egg lover for lunch, thought of attempting a different preparation rather than the usual boil, burji (scrambled egg), or egg curry. Ended up making a spicy fried egg masala dish, that I saw in another food blog.


  • Boiled Eggs          : 4 (for this dish, you will be slicing an egg into two halves)
  • Onion                    : 1 small or medium sized, diced lengthwise
  • Jeera Powder         : 1 tspn
  • Coriander Powder : 1/2 tspn (or 1)
  • Chilli Powder        : 1 - 1.5 tspn (as spicy as you like)
  • Oil                         : 1 tbspn
  • Kasoori Methi       : 1/2 tspn
  • Garam Masala       : 1-2 pinch
  • Mixed herbs          : 1/2 tspn
  • Curry Leaves         : to taste
  • Salt                        : to taste

  1. Boil the eggs, peel them and slice into two halves each
  2. In a non stick pan (kadai), add oil. 
  3. As it heats up, add onion. Fry it to light golden color
  4. To this add all spices and salt
  5. On a side of the pan, pour a spoon of oil and slightly fry the eggs both sides. They should turn light golden (you can also fry it separately and keep it ready)
  6. Then mix the masalas with the egg. add kasoori methi and dried herbs, and allow it to cook for a minute
  7. Remove from fire and serve it as Starters, Side Dish for Roti or with Rice

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lemon Pickle : First Attempt

Give me pickle any day, any time (spicy one!)... just love it! But natural that one of my major attempts in my kitchen is to make home made pickle. No more pickle from the market for very many obvious reasons.

Pickle is such a flexi stuff that you can end up making one from most of the vegetable / non-veg : most favored one is Lemon. Pickle varieties can also be based on type of preparation : Dried, Juicy, Instant, etc...

As a first attempt, I made a juicy spicy lemon pickle. Easy to make and maintain as well, as compared to something like 'vadu manga' or 'avakai' (mango based pickles)


Lemon                   - I tried this batch with 10 lemons
Green Chilies        - (Optional) - Approx 10 cut into small pieces
Red Chile powder or Pickle Powder - Use Qty as spicy as you need. Roughly 10 red chilies dried and powdered
Turmeric Powder   - 1 tsp
Salt                         - To taste
Hing                        - 1/2 tsp
Sesame Oil (Til)     - 1/4 cup or so (this pickle doesn't need too much of oil)


  1. Wash the lemons and dry them with a towel
  2. Cut them into dices (a big lemon can be cut into 4 halves) and deseed them
  3. Place these in a clean bottle (ensure it has no water and dried)
  4. To this add turmeric powder and salt
I let the above-mix soak for 3-4 days with daily stirring. To stir, use a dried ladle.
  1. End of Day 3 or 4, you can see the texture change and the lime juice will be seen. 
  2. To this, add the cut green chilies. 
  3. Allow it to soak for another  day or two (I did to allow the chili soak in well with the lemon juice)
After Day 5-6, the lemon and chilies are well soaked and the skin of lemon would have changed color.
  1. Now, add the chili powder or pickle powder and hing
  2. Taste for salt, if needed add a bit more
  3. In a kadai, add oil. If you like it, add some mustard seeds. As they crackle, remove from fire
  4. Add this to the pickle mix and stir it well with the ladle. (If the bottle is with small mouth, you can move the entire mix to a broad vessel, mix well and then bottle it again)
  5. Allow this mix to soak for another 4-5 days at least. 
Change of texture is the best indication of readiness of the pickle. First attempt was well received :)

Next in the making : Vadu Manga... can't wait :)