Friday, February 20, 2009


1 avocado
1 tomato
4-5 tablespoon finely chopped onion
1-2 jalapeno or regular green chili (as per your taste)
5-6 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves or cilantro
juice of half a lemon
salt for taste

De seed the avocado and peel it. Remove the flesh of the avocado and put it in a bowl. De seed and chop the tomato into small pieces. De seed the jalapeno chili and chop it finely. Put all the ingredients in the bowl and mash and mix all the ingredients with the back of a fork or a spoon. Serve immediately with tortilla (corn) chips.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Potato Gojju

Potato gojju is a very frequently made side dish at my home. It goes well with dal chawal or rasam. It is a very flexible dish to make and can be made with which ever ingredients are available on hand. It can be made with just potatoes or a tomato can add a tangy-sour flavor to the gojju.

2 boiled potatoes
1 medium tomato
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 green chili or as per taste
4-5 curry leaves
1 teaspoon coconut oil or any other oil
salt for taste

Wash and roughly chop the tomato. Cook the tomato well with very little water in the microwave or stove top. Chop green chilies. Mash the tomato, green chilies, salt and potato well with your fingers. Add water as per desired consistency. Season the gojju with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Moong Dal Idli

I saw this recipe on the The Indian Food Court blog. Click here to view the recipe. Instead of rice rava, I soaked wheat rava for around 30 minutes in water, and added it to the batter 15 minutes before making idlis. It is a good change to the normal idlis and tastes different too.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Arbi Sabzi / Arvi Sabzi

Arbi also sold as taro root in the US is a very tasty vegetable. It cooks in no time. Here is a tasty arbi sabzi recipe.

10-12 arbi or taro root
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera or cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon amchur powder or dry mango powder
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1/4 teaspoon ajwain
2 tablespoon oil
salt for taste

Wash the arbi thoroughly and pressure cook till it is soft. Don't overcook it to make it mushy in texture, the arbi should remain firm. Peel the arbi and cut it into quarters. Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add jeera, turmeric powder, ajwain, coriander powder, chili powder and asafoetida. Add the cut arbi and amchur and mix it well with the masala. Add salt for taste and cook uncovered for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Preparation time: 40 minues
Serves: 2

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin and Pepper Soup

I always love to try new soup recipes using a varied variety of vegetables. I tried roasted pumpkin and pepper soup this weekend and it was a great comfort during the cold weather week.

2 cups cubed pumpkin or squash
1/2 cup red pepper (use green pepper or capsicum if red pepper is not on hand)chopped into big pieces
1/4 cup onion chopped into large pieces
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves or parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
salt for taste

Roast the cubed pumpkin, pepper and onions on all sides till they slightly caramelize(or get a lighr brown color). They can be roasted in the oven or on a grill or a tava. Grind with milk, chili powder, cumin powder into a smooth paste. Add the chopped coriander leaves or parsley. Get the soup to a boil and serve hot.

Sambar Powder / Kolumbo Pitti

Here is the recipe for the ever versatile sambar powder.

1 cup coriander seeds
1 cup red chilies (or as per taste)
1 1/2 teaspoon urad dal
1 1/2 teaspoon chana dal
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon pepper corn
10-12 karipatta leaves
1/2 teaspoon heeng
1/2 teaspoon methi seeds


Dry roast these ingredients one by one on a medium flame till crisp and hot. The ingredients should not burn or blacken in color. Put all the ingredients in a dry grinder (I use a coffee/ spice grinder) and make a fine powder. Store it in an airtight container. I use this powder for rasam, sambar and to make sambar rice. It can also be used with puffed rice.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Idli Masala Fry

I had this snack at one of lunch parties with my friends. It is a great way of utilizing left over idlis. Children love this dish due to tangy and sweet flavor. It also makes a great tiffin item and is a great way to increase the intake of vegetables. All the vegetables available on hand can be included in this recipe. It is also a great way to make a low fat dish for breakfast or as a main course.

6-7 large size idlis
2 tablespoon tomato paste or 2 tablespoon ketchup
1 medium tomato
1 medium onion
1 capsicum
1/2 cup boiled vegetables (choose from peas/corn/beans)
1 teaspoon chili powder
salt for taste
2 teaspoon oil

Heat oil in a skillet and add chopped onion and chopped capsicum. When the capsicum is cooked add the vegetables, diced tomato and tomato paste or ketchup. Saute till the tomato is well cooked. Add chili powder and salt as per taste. Cube the idlis and add them in the masala. Mix well with the paste. Serve hot.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2-3

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Posu / Kharvas / Ginnu / Colostrum Milk Pudding / Konkani Pudding

Posu is made from colostrum milk also called as "first milk". It is a very popular traditional dish in Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. Colostrum milk is thick yellowish milk produced by the cows for a few days after giving birth to a calf. It is very rich in fat and other nutrients. 
Tabela is a small complex where cows are housed and looked after by a staff of people who milk them and take care of them. My grand mom would ask the bhaiya at the tabela to let us know when any of the buffalo's or cows give birth to calves. Whenever she bought colostrum milk (also called "Cheek" milk )we would get to feast and relish the delicious posu. It is also one of my father's favorite sweet, so my mom always was on lookout for colostrum milk whenever and where ever it was available.

Living in the Bay Area, I did miss eating posu sometimes until I found that we get colostrum milk at Whole Foods. I got about 400 ml of organic colostrum milk for approximately 12 $. Posu can be stored in the fridge for around a week...if it remains..we finished it within 3 days:)

1 part colostrum milk or Cheek
1 part thick Coconut milk
1 part jaggery or as per taste
5-6 cardamom pods


Chop the jaggery into very fine pieces. Powder the cardamom seeds. Mix the colostrum milk, coconut milk, jaggery and cardamom seeds. Stir till the jaggery dissolves in the milk. Put it in small containers and steam it for 15-20 minutes till the milk settles down into a pudding consistency. Let it cool for around 30-40 minutes or chill it in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tomato Chutney

In Bhopal we had a neighbor who was from Orissa. When we were leaving Bhopal for Pune in the summer of 97, D aunty had invited us for dinner. She had prepared tomato chutney. We loved the chutney and asked for the recipe. It was an interesting combination of tomatoes and dates---sourness and sweetness. Here is the recipe.

3 tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped dates
1 teaspoon kalonji or
pinch of fenugreek seeds
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon oil
salt for taste

Chop the tomatoes into quarters. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds splutter, add fenugreek seeds, kalonji and turmeric powder. Fry for a minute and add the tomatoes. Add a cup of water and cook till the tomatoes are soft and well cooked. Add dates, chili powder and salt for taste. Cook well for around 10 minutes till the dates are soft. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Double Beans Sabzi

I am not very sure about what these beans called. We call them double beans at our home. But I think they may be also known as fava beans. I soak them for around 8-10 hours and then it is ready to use. I also add them in the minestrone soup and it tastes wonderful.

1 cup double beans (soaked for 8-10 hours)
1 onion
pinch of asafoetida
2 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon jaggery or sugar
4 tablespoon chopped coriander seeds
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon lemon juice

Chop the onion finely. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add cumin seeds. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Add garlic paste and fry tillthe raw smell disappears. Now add the chopped onions and fry them till light brown. Add the tomato paste and saute for a minute. Add the corianer powder, jaggery, chili powder and the soaked beans. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook for 1 whistle or till the beans are soft. If you are not using the pressure cooker cook the beans till they are soft. Garnish with coriander leaves and lemon juice. Serve hot with roti or rice.

Friday, February 6, 2009



cups urad dal or split black gram
2 1/2 cup paraboiled rice or normal rice
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek or methi seeds
1 teaspoon salt

Wash and soak the urad dal for 6-8 hours. Wash and soak the rice and methi seeds together for 6-8 hours. While grinding, grind approximately 1 /3 part of the urad dal till smooth( To check if it is ground well, I put the batter between my thumb and index finger and stretch my fingers apart and check if the batter forms a string. If the string of batter breaks, while stretching into a string, I grind it further). I have also posted some photos here.
Repeat the grinding steps with the rest of the urad and rice.

Mix salt and keep the batter for fermentation in a warm place for 8-10 hours. During winter's I set the oven on the warm setting for around 15 minutes and then switch it off. Then I keep the idli batter container inside the oven for the next 10 hours (don't forget to mix in salt, else the batter will turn sour and smell).

Line the idli moulds in the idli stand with thin layer of oil and put the idli batter in the idli moulds. Steam for around 20 minutes. Leave it on the stand for 5-10 minutes before removing the idlis. I used a "pedavan" or a traditional Konkani steamer.

Serve hot with chutney and/or sambar.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Minestrone Soup

This soup has become a household favorite since quite sometime now. It has all the nutrients needed for a balanced meal. It is not necessary to use all the vegetables listed in the recipe; which ever vegetables available on hand can be used to make this soup.

Vegetables (choose from carrot, potato, cauliflower, beans, peas, corn, spinach)
1 cup chopped celery
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoon Maggi tomato ketchup or any other ketchup
2 tomatoes
5 tablespoon chopped coriander (cilantro) or chopped parsley (whichever desired)
1/2 cup cooked pasta (I use whole wheat pasta)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans or kabuli chana (or any other beans desired) soaked for 5-6 hours in water
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
parmesan cheese (optional)
salt for taste
1 teaspoon oil


Chop all the vegetables, onion, tomatoes and celery. Heat a teaspoon of oil and fry the onion and celery for 4-5 minutes. Add the rest of the vegetables and 2-3 cups of water and cook for 30-40 minutes till the vegetables and garbanzo beans are soft. Add the tomato paste and ketchup, pasta, parsley, chili powder. Get the soup to a boil till the tomato paste has integrated well in the soup. Add salt for taste. To serve, keep a slice of bread (preferably hard crust bread baked in oven for 10-15 minutes) in a bowl. Pour the soup into the bowl and top it with parmesan cheese. Serve hot.