Friday, October 29, 2010

Grilled cheese tomato sandwich: Beginner Series

Here goes my second post for the beginner series that I started last month. Though I have an electric griller, I always prefer to grill these sandwiches on my griddle/tawa/kavali. 

I know most of my cousins (including my brother, sister) prefer these without garlic. So, if you do not want to use garlic butter, go ahead & use the plain butter instead. This sandwich tastes great either ways :)
Serves: 1
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 2-3 mins

Ingredients: (For 2 sandwiches)

Wholewheat bread slices: 4 nos (White bread could also be used)
Finely chopped tomatoes: 3 tbsp (1.5tbsp for each sandwich)
Shredded/Grated cheddar cheese: 2 tbsp (1tbsp for each sandwich)
Butter: 1 tsp
Garlic: 1 pod (minced)
Salt: According to taste
Mixed & dried herbs: 1/2 tsp (1/4th tsp or a dash for each sandwich) 
Pepper powder: 2 big pinches (1 for each sandwich)


  • Mix the butter & the minced garlic & keep them aside. 
  • Take a slice of the bread. Spread the finely chopped tomato(1.5tbsp) on the bread.
  • Sprinkle the salt, pepper & dried herbs.
  • Spread the cheese on top of the tomatoes.
  • Take another slice of bread & place it on top of the cheese.
  • Heat the griddle. When the griddle is medium hot, add few drops of garlic butter to the griddle. Reduce the heat. (The sandwich must be grilled on a low heat).
  • Place the sandwich on the garlic butter & let it brown for a minute. Repeat the same for the other side of the sandwich too.
  • Repeat the above steps for another sandwich. Cut them & serve them hot with a dip of your choice.

Garlic butter enhances the taste of the sandwich. If you do not prefer them with garlic, go ahead & add normal butter. 
If you cannot find mixed herbs, then add finely chopped coriander leaves or mint leaves. These leaves add a nice flavor too.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Brown rice pundi gatti/unde (Steamed brown rice dumplings)

Boiled rice or Kerala rice (Rosematta rice) can also be used to prepare this dish. Kerala rice is a slightly different version of the normal brown rice. I do not have more information about them. I would be really happy if any one of you could share more about rosematta rice.
I got this recipe from my aunt for rosematta rice. As I didnot have them, I tried with the brown rice & it tasted great. The advantage of using boiled rice/brown rice (as told to me) is, they are easy to handle than the sona masoori or any other polished white rice.

Soaking time: 6-8 hours
Cooking time: 45mins (includes steaming time too)
Preparation time: 20mins

Brown rice: 3 cups
Grated coconut: 3 tbsp (fresh or frozen)
Salt: According to taste
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp (or any other cooking oil)


  • Soak the brown rice in sufficient water for 6-8 hours.Drain the water. 
  • Grind the brown rice & coconut together to make a smooth batter (Brown rice should be broken to small rava consistency). Batter should be like a thick milkshake (normal dosa batter consistency).
  • Scoop out the batter to a thick bottomed vessel, add coconut oil & salt to it. Cook the batter on a medium heat, stirring continuously. The batter will thicken a become a big single mass (Takes around 8-10mins). Small lumps may be formed, keep breaking them & mixing. Once the batter is cooked, turn off the heat.
  • Start making medium lemon sized balls using the batter. Keep dipping your hands in ice cold water. Note that the balls have to be made when the rice mixture is hot. 
  • Place the prepared balls in a steamer & steam the balls for 25-30mins on medium heat. 
  • Remove the balls from the steamer, allow it to cool for 3-5mins & serve it hot/warm with a side dish of your choice. Kadalabele chutney/Gram dal chutney is a great combination for this dish.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Karibevu Shavige Oggarane (Rice noodles in curry leaves sauce)

    Karibevu shavige oggarane is a modification of curry leaves rice recipe. For more information about curry leaves refer here
    Language translations:
    Karibevu: Kannada;
    Kari/Kadi patta: Hindi;
    Karivepaku: Telugu;
    Kariveppilai: Tamil
    For other language translations refer here.

    Rice Noodles: 200gms
    Water: 1.5 liter
    Salt: According to taste

    For curry leaves paste:
    Curry leaves: 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
    Urad dal/Split & deskinned black gram: 1.5 tsp
    Green chilli: 4-6 nos (adjust according to the heat)
    Grated coconut: 1 tbsp (fresh/frozen)
    Thick tamarind paste: 1 tsp (Juice extracted from a big grape sized tamarind)
    Salt: As needed
    Jaggery/ Brown sugar: a big pinch (optional, but recommended)

    For tempering:
    Oil: 2 tbsp
    Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
    Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves: a string
    Turmeric: a pinch
    Urad dal: 1 tsp
    Peanuts/Groundnuts: 1 tbsp
    Chopped cashew nuts: 1 tsp (optional)
    Capsicum: 1 medium sized (cut into 1/2 inch cubes)

    For garneshing:
    Grated coconut: 1 tbsp (optional)


    For curry leaves paste: 

      • Dry roast the curry leaves until all the moisture is removed & the leaves become crisp(the curry leaves could alternatively be sun dried or roasted in oven).
      • Dry roast the urad dal/black gram until golden brown. Allow them to cool. Make a fine paste of curry leaves, urad dal, green chilli, salt, coconut, tamarind & jaggery. 
      • Add few teaspoons of water to make a paste. Do not add too much water. 
    For Noodles:
      • Cook the rice noodles as per the package instructions. (In case the instructions are not given, try this: 
        • Boil 1.5 liters of water in broad pot. 
        • Add sufficient salt to the water. 
        • When water starts boiling, add the rice noodles, few drops of cooking oil & cook it on a medium heat for 2 mins. 
        • Turn off the heat & let the noodles sit in the hot water for another 5-7 mins. Noodles become translucent when done. 
        • Drain out the hot water & rinse the cooked rice noodles in cold water to stop further cooking of the noodles). Keep them aside.
      • Heat oil in a broad pan, when oil is hot, add mustard seeds, when mustard seeds splutter, add cumin seeds & urad dal. 
      • When dal turns golden, add peanuts. Roast peanuts until they are golden brown, follow it by cashew nuts. 
      • Add curry leaves & capsicum. Saute the capsicum till half done. Then add in the paste. Saute until the raw smell of tamarind is gone(for 2-3mins, maximum). 
      • Break the rice noodles & spread them on a large bowl, add the curry leaves sauce, salt (only if needed); mix the noodles gently.  
      • Curry leaves noodles is ready to be served.


  • Do not use dark colored curry leaves to prepare this rice as it could become a little bitter. Try to choose, light colored or freshly picked curry leaves.

  • Addition of sugar/jaggery reduces the bitterness of the curry leaves.

  • Curry leaves donot blend well if water is added at the initial stage. Hence, while making the paste of curry leaves, first add the leaves to the mixer jar/spice jar & give it a run(donot add water). Let the curry leaves become a coarse powder, then add all the ingredients & pulse it again to get a smooth paste.

    • Wednesday, October 13, 2010

      The vegetable

      Here is the enlarged image of the same.
      Thanks for the response. Many got it confused with cauliflower. The first correct answer  "Cabbage" came from myspicykitchen. Three cheers to her.

      When I took this photo, I saw the cauliflower plants too, but was unable to go near to take the pictures. Both plants look alike, except that the leaves of the cauliflower plant are more pointed in shape than the cabbage plant. Also, the leaves naturally cover the cauliflower head to maintain its color. Here is the picture of the cauliflower plant (Reference:
      During the trip, we saw potato plants, maize, pineapple & lot more. Here are some potatoes getting ready for shipment to your country :p

      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      Can you identify this vegetable??

      These are excellent sources of Vitamin-K & Vitamin-C. Has very few calories & dieters would dive in on the soup prepared using this. I hope I have given you enough hint ;)

      Very easy one, isn't it? :)

      Saturday, October 9, 2010

      Masoor-Channa dal tadka (Tempered red lentils & gram dal)

      I am not a big fan of masoor (red lentils) dal, because I feel they stand apart even after cooking them. Hence, I always combine them with toor dal/pigeon peas or channa dal (gram lentils) to make it the way we like it. Here is one such simple dal tadka (tempered lentils), that goes in my everyday cooking. 
      Red lentils/Masoor dal: 1 cup
      Gram dal/Channa dal: 1/2 cup
      Turmeric: a big pinch
      Oil: 2-3 drops 
      Salt: According to taste
      Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
      Coriander leaves/Cilantro: 1 tbsp (finely chopped) 

      For tempering:
      Ghee/Clarified butter or oil: 1 tbsp
      Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
      Ginger-garlic paste: 1 tsp
      Green chillies: 4-6 nos (adjust according to the heat needed)
      Tomato: 2 nos (finely chopped)
      Onion: 1 medium sized(finely chopped)
      Curry leaves: a string

      • Soak the gram dal/channa dal in water for about 30-45mins. 
      • Wash both the lentils thoroughly in running water & add 3 cups of water to the washed dal. Add oil, turmeric powder to the lentils & cook it in the pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles. Allow the cooker to cool for 10-20mins.
      • Meantime, finely chop the green chillies, tomatoes & onion.
      • Mash the lentils gently with a potato masher & keep them aside. 
      • Heat oil in a broad wok. When oil is hot, add cumin seeds. When cumin turn brown, add ginger-garlic paste & saute till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic is gone. Follow it by curry leaves, green chilli & onion. Saute till onion turns translucent. Finally add tomatoes & cook for a minute. Add salt, mashed dal & boil the dal on a medium heat. (If needed, adjust the consistency of the dal by adding more water)
      • Turn off the heat & add lemon juice, coriander leaves & mix well.
      • Serve the tempered dal with steamed or lightly flavored rice. Goes well with chapathi/roti too.
      • It is important to soak the channa dal, as it takes more time to cook, while the red lentils cook faster.
      • Leafy vegetables like spinach, methi(fenugreek leaves) could be added to this dal. The leafy vegetables must be added along with onions, so that they get cooked properly.
      • This dal tastes great without lemon juice too.
      Other dal recipes:

      Tuesday, October 5, 2010

      Oggarane Idli (Tempered Idli Snack)

      How do you feel when you wake up & notice that your camera isn't working?! On top of it, when you take it to the service center, you hear that the lens has gone bad & new lens costs much more than a new camera ?? Nothing could be done other than being helpless & depressed. Same is the case with me from the last two weeks. I do have few old pictures in my drafts waiting for their turn, but, every time I open my blog, the faulty camera flashes in my mind!! sigh!...Let bygones be bygones..back to recipes. So, here is the recipe for simple oggarane idli.

      Cooking time: 5-10mins
      Preparation time: 5 mins
      Serves: 2 

      Left over idlis : 12 nos
      Salt: According to taste
      Sugar: a pinch (optional)
      Grated coconut: 1.5 tsp (optional)
      Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

      For tempering:
      Oil: 1 tbsp
      Onion: 1 medium sized
      Curry leaves: 4-6 nos
      Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
      Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
      Turmeric powder: a pinch
      Urad dal/black lentils: 1 tsp
      Channa dal/gram dal: 1 tsp
      Green chillies: 2-3 nos


      • Break the idlis & mash them. 
      • Finely chop the onions, green chillies & keep them aside.
      • Heat oil in a wok. When oil is hot, add mustard & cumin seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add the urad & gram lentils. When the lentils turn golden brown, add curry leaves, turmeric, green chillies & onion. 
      • Saute the onion till it becomes soft & translucent. 
      • Add salt, sugar & mashed idli to the wok. Mix them gently & allow to cook on a low heat for 5 mins.
      • Turn off the heat. Add coconut, lemon juice. Mix well & serve it hot/warm.

      • If the idlis are very dry, add a few drops of water while cooking.
      • Recipe for idli could be found here.

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