Friday, December 26, 2008

Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is one of the hearty and healthy dishes during winters. I also use carrot to thicken it instead of cornflour. It is a great remedy for cold or flu. I generally serve it with toasted bread and it makes a good late evening snack. Here is the recipe.

3 tomatoes or 3 tablespoon tomato paste
1/2 cup roughly chopped carrot
1 teaspoon butter (optional)
2 tablespoon heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup corn kernels or peas (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Chop the tomatoes and carrots and boil them for around 10-15 minutes till soft. If you are using tomato paste then boil the carrots only. Boil or microwave the peas or the corn kernels with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup water, till soft. Puree the tomato and the carrot. Put the puree in a pan and add the peas or the corn kernels. Add water as per desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper as per taste. Get the soup to a boil. Add milk or heavy cream and give it a good stir. Season with butter and serve hot.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Sindhi Masala Bread / Seyal Pav / Seyal Dabal

This is another of my favorite Sindhi recipes. I love Sindhi cuisine for its spicy and flavorful dishes. Sindhi bread is traditionally had for breakfast, but because it is such a heavy dish, we have it for lunch or dinner. M was my friend and also my project partner in college and her mother used to make this for tiffin. We would all love this Sindhi's bread when ever she got it in her tiffin. Sindhi onion roti was another of her mother's specialties. Read more about Sindhi cuisine here.

10 slices of white bread or brown bread or pav
2 cups roughly cubed red onion
3 green chilies or as per taste
2 garlic pods
1 teaspoon ginger
2 handful of coriander leaves
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon amchur
3 tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Blend chilies, ginger, garlic, onion and coriander leaves into a fine paste. Heat oil in a skillet and add cumin seeds. Add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell of the onion is no longer present. Coarsely grind the tomatoes in a blender and add it to the masala. You can use 3-4 tablespoons of tomato paste instead of the tomatoes. Cook till it forms a dry chutney consistency and the tomatoes are well done.

Add coriander powder and turmeric powder. Now mix in 5-6 cups of water and stir to get an even consistency. Add salt for taste.

Cut the bread slices in half and put them in the curry. Heat on a low flame and mix till the bread slices have absorbed the curry well. Serve hot with papad and onion rings.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mashed Potato

Who does not love potatoes? It is a versatile vegetable which goes in the making of hundred's of sabzi's, pav bhaji and so many other street foods. Mashed potatoes are a great side dish in these cold freezing winters. I like russet potatoes over yukon potatoes, but any variety of potatoes can be used to make mashed potatoes.


2 russet potatoes
2 tablespoon butter
3-4 tablespoon milk or as per desired
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Wash and boil the potatoes till soft. Drain them immediately. Peel them and mash them with a potato masher. Add butter, milk, cream, salt and pepper. Mix well with the back of a fork or a spoon. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Baked Pomfret with Green Sauce

I get frozen pomfret from Coconut Hill store in Bay area. This is frozen fish from Kerala and tastes like fresh fish. I just keep the fish out for around 1 hour in warm water to de-freeze it. This fish can be baked in the oven or fried on a tava. Both the versions taste great.

1 pomfret fish
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
4-5 pods of garlic
1 handful of coriander leaves or cilantro
4-5 mint leaves or 1 tablespoon dried mint leaves
2-3 green chilies or as per taste
1 tablespoon thick curd
small tamarind piece as per taste
1/2 cp semolina (optional)
salt for taste


Clean and cut the fish as shown below. Remove the fins. tail and head. You can keep the head if you wish to, but I like to cut the head. Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper. Make both horizontal and vertical slits to fill the masala.

Fry the garlic in a pan with one teaspoon oil till light brown. Grind all the ingredients other than fish together with very little water to make a fine paste. Apply the paste on the inside and outside of the fish.

If you are baking the fish, bake it for 15 minutes at 450 degrees or till the fish is cooked. If you are frying it on a tava then roll the fish in semolina or rava and fry on a tava on both sides till cooked. Serve hot with rice.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vegetable Biryani

This is my mom's recipes. She would always make this dish mostly on weekends as it takes quite some time to create. We were introduced to biryani in Bhopal which is also very famous for its chicken and mutton biryani. You may try biryani at any number of restaurants, but the flavor and the taste of this dish is incomparable when make at home from the freshly ground spices and vegetables. The difference between pulao and biryani can seem like a thin line, but they are both differently prepared. Pulao is vegetables and rice cooked together. Biryani is a dish made with layered vegetables or meat, onions and rice. Read more about biryani here.


For the rice (Step 1):
2 cups basmati rice
2-3 star anise or badal phool
1 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
2- 3 pieces of cinnamon or dalchini
3-4 cardamom or elaichi
1-2 bay leaf or tej patta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 medium onion
juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon oil

For the Garnishing
(Step 2):
5 medium red onions (thinly sliced)
handful coriander leaves or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
10-12 broken roasted cashew nuts(optional)
1 teaspoon garam masala
3 tablespoon raisins (optional)

For the Vegetables
(Step 3)
2 cups mixed vegetables (beans, carrots, potato, peas, sweet corn, cauliflower)
1/2 cup paneer (optional)
2 medium red onions paste
1 teaspoon ginger paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1 teaspoon green chili paste (or as per taste)
1 teaspoon dried mint leaves or 3-4 fresh leaves
5 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
3-4 cloves
1/2 inch cinnamon piece
3 cardamom pods
1/4 teaspoon turmeric power
1/4- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder (or as per taste)
salt as per taste

For the rice: (Step 1)
Wash and soak the basmati rice in warm water for around 45 minutes. Drain the water and leave aside. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Add anise, cardamom pods, cinnamon and bay leaf. Fry for a minute and add finely sliced onions. Fry till onions are brown. Add the rice and fry for 4-5 minutes. Heat water double the quantity of rice - 1 cup. For 2 cups of rice use 3 cups of hot water. Add salt for taste. Add the hot water to the rice and cook till the rice is half done. Keep the juice of 1 lemon aside for final step.

For the garnish:
(Step 2)
Finely slice the onions and fry them in 3 tablespoons of oil till they are brown. Mix in raisins, roasted cashew nuts,salt and chopped coriander leaves. Keep aside.

For the vegetables:
(Step 3)
Chop the vegetables. If you are using cauliflower, then fry it in a teaspoon oil till it is brown on all sides. Follow the same procedure with the paneer. Saute rest of the vegetables. Roast coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Grind the seeds into a fine powder with cardamom, cinnamon,cloves and dried mint leaves if using.
Heat oil in pan and add ginger -garlic paste. Fry for 2 minutes on medium flame. Add green chili paste. Fry for a minute. Add onion paste and fry till the raw smell goes away. Add chili powder, turmeric powder. Add milk and chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Add the vegetables, paneer and coat the vegetables well with the masala. Add salt for taste and cook covered for 10 minutes.

For the biryani:
Put 1 tablespoon oil in a pressure cooker or a pan with tight fitting lid.
1) Put 1 tablespoon of the garnishing from step 2.
2) Add a layer of vegetables from step.
3) Then add a layer of rice from step 1.
4) Add some lemon juice and sprinkle a little (around 2 pinches) garam masala powder.

Repeat step 1 to 4 for all the vegetables, rice and garnishing. Cover lid and cook on a low flame for 25 minutes or till the rice is cooked. Cooking on a low flame (i use the range2 or 3 out of 9 on the coil) is important to ensure that the biryani is not burnt at the bottom of the cooker. Serve hot with dahi raita.

Preparation time: 1 -2 hours
Serves: 3-4

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Appo / Appe / Appam / Paniyaram / Indian Aebleskiver

Appam or appo (in Konkani) is like Konkani pancake made for breakfast. It is good change from the daily dosa and idli breakfast items. It is another good tiffin recipe. Traditionally, we don't add onion, coriander while making the appam's. Left over dosa or idli batter can also be used to make appams. Aebleskiver's are very similar to appo in looks but they are made from flour and are sweet in taste. It was interesting to see that similar dish like appo is prepared in Europe. Read more about aebleskiver's here.
I was in search of a Aebleskiver pan ("appe kalyali" in Konkani) since a long time. I found many non-stick Aebleskiver pans at Bed Bath and Beyond and at other shops. I am not very fond of non-stick pans as I have read about the harmful effects of teflon in many online articles. I also feel the non stick coating will wear away without my noticing it.
According to a article "According to a study by the advocacy group, non-stick pots and pans could reach 700 degrees Fahrenheit (370 C) in 3-5 minutes, releasing 15 harmful gases and chemicals, including two carcinogens, two global pollutants, and MFA, a chemical lethal to humans at low doses. Non-stick coatings break down to a chemical warfare agent known as PFIB, and a chemical analog of the WWII nerve gas, phosgene." [1]
Hence, I usually buy anodized iron pans or heavy aluminum pans from the Indian store or cast iron skillets from online stores. I bought this Aebleskiver pan on Amazon.

3 cups rice
1 cup urad dal or split black gram or black lentil
1 cup medium onion
8-9 tablespoon chopped coriander or cilantro
1/2 cup finely chopped coconut pieces
1 teaspoon salt

Soak rice and urad dal in warm water for 6-8 hours. Grind a part of urad dal very finely. Add a part of rice and grind it with the urad dal as finely as possibly. Repeat this with the rest of urad dal and rice. Mix salt in the batter. Keep the batter ina warm place for 8-10 hours. I heat the oven to 100 degrees and then switch off the oven once it is hot. I then leave the batter inside the oven for 8-10 hours for fermentation.

Chop onions finely. Ad the onions, coriander leaves and coconut pieces to the batter. Oil the
Aebleskiver pan or appo pan till hot and oil it well. i keep the heat on high till the pan heats up. Then I drop the heat to medium. Drop a tablespoon of batter into every hole in the pan.

Cover the pan for around 4-5 minutes. Remove cover and flip the appo's with a fork or a knife.It is a little tricky to flip the appe's and they may stick to the pan if the pan is not well oiled. Cook the appe's on the other side till it is light brown. Serve hot with coconut chutney.
Appe's can also be served with dry coconut chutney (chopra chutney recipe coming soon..) or coconut chutney.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Gobi Musallam / Whole Cauliflower Stuffed with Gravy

My learning to make Gobi Mussalum is a Comedy Of Errors. I first tried this recipe from Women's Era long time ago when I was in India before my marriage. The cauliflower took a long time to cook as I had not steamed it as mentioned in the recipe. The next time I tried, the cauliflower florets broke when I was stuffing the masala into the cauliflower. I guess I had over cooked the cauliflower. Another time, the masala was very runny and it did not stick to the cauliflower. After many failed attempts I learnt how to make the perfect Gobi Mussalam. I like this recipe as it is easy to make (if made correctly) and it is a great change from the regular gobi sabzi. I also make part of the recipe (masala) earlier, say in the morning and then integrate it and bake it just before dinner or lunch. It also keeps well for a day and tastes even better the next day. We usually buy baby cauliflowers from farmer's market and they are in season currently. Using baby cauliflowers makes it easier to stuff the small cauliflowers with the masala as opposed to larger ones.

5-6 baby cauliflowers
2 medium onion
2 tablespoon tomato paste or 3 tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup milk
2-3 green chilies
4 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro
1/2 teaspoon amchur powder or dry mango powder

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
7 cashew nuts
salt for taste

Remove the stalk's of the cauliflowers and boil them in cooker for 8 minutes. Don't put the whistle or weight on the cooker. Drain all the water by placing them on a kitchen paper. Put a teaspoon oil in a flat pan and roast the cauliflowers till the heads are brown. Make small slits on the cauliflower with a knife head to stuff the masala. Keep aside.

Chop the onions. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Saute for a minute. Add chopped ginger, garlic and chopped green chilies. Add onion and fry till the raw smell of the onion is eliminated. Add cashew nuts and saute for a minute. Grind all the fried ingredients into a fine thick paste with milk. Put the paste into the same pan in which the onions were fried. Saute for around 4 minutes on medium flame. If you are using tomatoes, then chop them finely and cook them in a pan till the water has evaporated and then grind it into a fine paste. Add tomato paste and saute till the tomato paste has completely dissolve into the paste. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala powder, amchur powder and salt. Stir till a thick paste is formed. Add a little more salt and chili powder taking into consideration that the cauliflower is bland.
I take 3 tablespoon of this paste and add a little milk to make it liquid-ish. Put this liquid into the cauliflower bottoms to coat the interiors of the cauliflower with the masala. Now use all the thick masala and coat it on the bottoms and tops of the cauliflower and also push the masala into the slits. Line the cauliflowers in a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes at 400 degrees. Check after 20 minutes to see if the masala on the top has browned. If not cook for approximately 20 more minutes. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves. I did not garnish it as I ran out of coriander leaves today:). Serve hot with roti.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 3-4

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sliced Coconut

I am always trying new stuff I find in the Indian store, Costco, Trader's Joe's and other stores. I find some interesting items which are founf in ome stores but are not found in other stores. Also stores like costco are so vast that it is impossible to know all the items which are found there. My recent find at Costco is Alphonso mango juice and masala burger's from Trader's Joe. I am hence starting this column to list all the interesting items found in various stores in the Bay Area.
The first in the series is sliced coconut. I get it from Coconut Hill grocery store. I have discovered that my curries taste delicious and flavorful when I use sliced coconut as opposed to grated coconut. Check it out.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I always look to make something good out of vegetables and hide them in dosas, idlis, rice dishes. I was delighted to see gharge recipe on Tee's blog. This dish is a very great way of eating pumpkin or squash. It is like pumpkin puri's made in north Indian cities but with an addition of jaggery and semolina. It is also similar to buns made in Mangalore. Click here for Mangalore Buns recipe. The best part is it can be stored for many days after preparing it. Gharge can be eaten as a dessert or as a snack. Visit Tee's blog Bhaatukli and click here for Gharge recipe.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Alu Palak / Aloo Palak / Paneer Palak / Spinach Gravy with Potatoes

Paneer palak or alu palak is another of my grandmother's favorite recipes. She would add a pinch of her home made garam masala and it would add a unique flavor to the alu palak. My 6 year old cousin would think that the alu's in the alu palak were chicken pieces. my grand mom would also call it vegetarian chicken curry. Paneer can also be made at home. We would mostly buy paneer from the dairy. But sometimes if the milk got curdled, then my mom would make paneer at home and make palak paneer.

4 cups palak or spinach leaves
1 cup cubed paneer or cubed boiled potatoes
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste or 2 tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt as per taste
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder

Wash the palak thoroughly and boil the palak leaves. Grind them coarsely in a blender. If you are using paneer, then oil a tava and fry the paneer till it is golden brown on all sides. I usually don't fry the paneer. Chop the onions finely. Put 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet and heat it. Add cumin seeds and saute for around 5 seconds. Add onions and fry till brown. Add chopped tomatoes or tomato puree. Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add the palak puree and cook it for 5 minutes. Add the paneer or potato along with turmeric powder, chili powder and garam masala. Add salt as per taste. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is a versatile chutney which goes well with dosa and idli. This chutney can be made with the seasoning or without it. Traditionally it is seasoned with mustard seeds. But both I and my husband like it without the seasoning.

1 cup grated coconut
small piece of tamarind (size of 2 peas)
2-3 green chilies
salt for taste
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon coconut oil
4-5 curry leaves or kadipatta

Grind the coconut, tamarind, chilies into a very fine paste. Heat oil in a seasoning pan and add mustard seeds. When the sesds splutter, remove from heat and add curry leaves. Add this seasoning on the chutney. Serve with dosa or idli.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3-4

Onion Dosa

This dosa can be made with left over idli
batter or masala dosa batter. Onion, coriander, green chilies, grated carrot or pumpkin make it a nutritious breakfast. This is another of my favorite tiffin recipe.


2 cups rice
1 cup urad dal or black gram
1/2 teaspoon methi or fenugreek seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated carrot or grated pumpkin
8-9 tablespoon chopped coriander or cilantro leaves
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon grated ginger(optional)
4 tablespoon finely chopped coconut pieces(optional)
1/2 teaspoon chopped green chili (optional)

Soak urad dal, methi and rice separately for around6-8 hours. Grind half of urad dal and methi till you obtain a very fine paste. Then add 1/2 of the rice to the urad dal and grind it as finely as possible. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the urad dal and rice. Mix salt into the batter and keep it in a warm place for 10-12 hours. I turn on my oven on the "WARM" setting for 15-20 minutes and keep the batter inside the oven for fermentation in winter.

Take just the amount of batter you require to make the number of dosa you want to make and store the rest of the batter inside the refrigerator. If you add the chopped onion to all the batter and store it inside, the batter will acquire a strong and unpleasant smell of the onion. Hence, for eg. if you want to make 6 dosas, add onion and rest of the ingredients to the batter needed for 6 dosas, and store the rest of the batter in the fridge for later.

Chop the onion, green chilies, ginger and corinader leaves finely. Mix in these ingredients into the batter along with coconut pieces. Oil a tava or a flat skillet and spread the batter evenly on the tava. Cover and cook the dosa and once cooked flip it to the other side. Now cook uncovered on the other side. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Carrot Sabzi

I had this sabzi at one of my friend S's home when she had called us home for dinner. I usually buy organic carrots from farmer's market. As carrots have greater tendency to absorb heavy metals from the pesticides and insecticides, it is safer to use organic carrots if it is being consumed daily as a part of the meal or salad. This is a very simple sabzi as it can be prepared in a jiffy and makes a great tiffin item. I am sending this to roundup organized by Suma and Siri.

3 cups carrots chopped into approx 1cm by 1 cm pieces. Optionally carrot can be grated.
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder or as per taste
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
3 tablespoon coriander leaves or cilantro chopped
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
pinch full of asafoetida
salt as per taste

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Add asafoetida. Add the cumin seeds, coriander powder, chili powder and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute. Add the carrots and cook covered till the carrots are soft. Add salt as per desired. Garnish with garam masala and coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


My parents got Hurigalu from Bangalore when they visited us during the summer. I loved the concept of eating all the protein rich beans in such a great way. It makes a very healthy snack. I was not sure if we could make this at home till I found this recipe yesterday on Lakshmi's blog. It is a mixture of all kind of beans, peanuts and split dalia. I used moong, matki, black eyed beans, kabuli chana, split dalia and peanuts. My husband and I both love munching this snack while working. Click here for the recipe.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Surti Val Sabzi With Coconut

I had some surti val left in the freezer and I tried a usal like curry with a blend of Konkani curry. I used the spice or coffee grinder to grind the whole spice and the normal blender to blend the coconut for the gravy. It goes well with roti or chappati.


1 1/2 cup surti val
1/4 cup coconut
small piece of tamarind
2-3 red chilies
1 cardamom pod
1 medium onion
1 teaspoon jeera or cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
3 tablespoon coriander or cilantro chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
1 tablespoon gur or jaggery
1 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Roast the jeera and coriander seeds and grind it into a fine powder along with cardamom, chilies, pepper and cloves. Pressure cook the surti val with 1/4 teaspoon salt till soft.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Add asafoetida. Add finely chopped onions and fry till it is light brown. Grind the coconut, jaggery and tamarind into a fine paste with little water. Add the masala and val to the fried onions. Get the gravy to a boil. Adjust salt as per taste and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with roti and yogurt.

Preparation time: 1 hour
Serves: 2-3

Friday, December 5, 2008

Yam Pickle

I found Suran (also called Indian Yam or Elephant Yam) the other day at Namaste Plaza. Generally I only find the sweet potato like yam at the chinese store, so I use only frozen yam in my curries. Here is how the Indian Yam looks.

I was thrilled to find this vegetable. Kala Chana-Yam curry, yam fritters, yam sabzi are some of my favorite Konkani dishes. I was in the process of deciding wich recipe to make, when I saw this recipe in Divya's blog. The recently introduced BLOG LIST feature by blogspot has been a great advantage. I just have to add the blogs I frequently follow in my list, and it gives me a update of the most recent recipes they post. I followed Divya's recipe given here, and the pickle turned out to be wonderful. Thanks Divya for the recipe.
I am generally not a great fan of pickles as they contain a lot of salt which is added as a preservative. I guess it is okay to eat these pickles if you live in a place with hot and humid climate like India. But here in US, unless a person is an athlete or exercises regularly to work up a sweat, there is a need for an moderate amount of sodium in the daily diet. Eating lot of salty items can cause a bloating in the body due to water retention.

To make this pickle, I added 1 teaspoon salt for around 200 grams of pickle. I used around 100 grams of fried yam. For this I used 7 byadgi chilies and 2 normal hot red chilies. Great thing about this pickle is that it can be made with less salt as it is preserved like other pickles for a long time. Click
here for the recipe.

Onion Bhaji / Kanda Bhajiya / Pyaz Pakoda

One of the perfect snack to make on a cold winter evening---Kanda Bhajiya with Chai. This is an easiest snack to make and is very popular snack every where in India. Everyone who has visited Pune knows the majestic Sinhagad fort overlooking the city of Pune. Seeing the vendor's selling hot kanda bhaji's, pitle-bhakri, and sweet curd after trekking all the way up the fort is a welcome sight.When ever we went for picnics or went on a travel trip, my mom would make vegetable bhajiya including onion bhajiyas. We would place them between bread slices and devour it with tomato sauce as a dipping. Here is the recipe.

1 large red onion
1 1/2 cup besan or chick pea flour
1 tablespoon rice flour
1 green chili chopped
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder or as per taste
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
3 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
1/4 teaspoon ajwain or Caraway
salt for taste
oil for frying

Chop the onion into small pieces. Mix well with choped green chili, coriander leaves and salt. Keep aside for 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoon besan at a time and mix well with the onion. Add rice powder. Add 2 tablespoon besan every time and mix it till the onion is well coated with the besan. Mix turmeric powder and chili powder. Now make a thick batter adding very little water. Adjust salt and red chili powder.

Heat oil in a kadai and drop the batter with a spoon into the hot oil till brown. Serve with tomato sauce and hot tea.

I mix besan with the onion first and then add water as the onion also gives out some moisture and the besan absorbs it. If I add water and the besan simultaneously, it has many times resulted in a very liquid-ish batter and the bhajiya's don't become crisp.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people

Monday, December 1, 2008


I was introduced to Pongal by one of my friends from Bangalore. I had always thought that pongal was a sweet dish until I had Pongal at her home. She informed me that there was a sweetish pongal recipe for festive occasions and a kichidi-type rice recipe for main course. I often make pongal for dinner as it provides both proteins and carbohydrates in the same dish. Here is the recipe.


1 cup basmati rice or any other rice which you prepare for dinner
1 cup moong dal
1 teaspoon pepper corns
2 green chilies or as per taste
1 teaspoon
chopped ginger
1 teaspoon ghee (optional)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoon chopped cashew nuts
2 tablespoon raisins
5-6 kadipatta or curry leaves
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon oil

Wash the rice and dal thoroughly and cook it with green chilies, pepper corns, salt and ginger. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Fry for 30 seconds and add cashew nuts, raisins and curry leaves. Fry till the cashews are light brown. Add the cooked rice and dal and mix thoroughly. Add the milk and adjust salt. Serve with turai chutneyor dahi.

Preparation time: 40 minutes
Serves: 2-3

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