Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Dibba Rotti | Idli Batter Roti : Andhra Delicacy

I got to know about this dish from a friend of mine ! Initially, I was hesitant to try this dish. In the blog-world, I did find many blogs writing about this dish. My friend had asked me to ferment the batter & I followed her, though some blogs asked for freshly ground batter.

Cooking Time: 10 mins (for 2 rottis)

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
Idli batter: 2 cups, fermented & fresh.
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Salt: As needed
Oil: 2 tsp for each rotti.

Special utensil:
a heavy bottom kadai

Mix cumin seeds, and salt to the idli/idly batter & mix well.
Heat a kadai. When it is hot, add a teaspoon of oil. Pour around a cup of batter(I pour 2 big ladle full of batter).

Cook it covered on a low-medium heat for approximately 5 mins. The edges should turn crisp and brown.
Carefully flip the rotti. Sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of oil & cook for another couple of minutes.

Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bread Oggarane | Bread Upma

It often makes me think, how was life before my kid? Though, he is just six, I feel he is with me forever. I have enjoyed my share of childhood days, teenage days, newly-wed days, but now life completely revolves around my kid. All mothers out there agree with me & all other women will realize this as soon as they have their own kid! I enjoy being a mother, but sometimes the kid in me wants to do what I love to do. On one such day, I made my childhood favorite "bread oggarane" for lunch & relished it thoroughly.

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 1-2

  • Whole wheat bread slices: 6-8 nos
  • Onion: 1 medium sized, finely chopped
  • Green chillies: 3 nos, sliced
  • Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves: 4-6 nos, torn
  • Cashew nuts: 1 tbsp, coarsely crushed
  • Tomato ketchup: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: As needed

Chop the bread slices into 1 cm cubes. Refer notes below.
Heat oil in a broad wok. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds & cashew nuts.
When nuts turn golden brown, add in the green chilies & curry leaves.
When curry leaves wilt, throw in the finely chopped onion & saute.
Cook the onions till they are soft & translucent. No need to brown the onions.
Add the chopped bread pieces, salt, tomato ketchup & mix them thoroughly.
Increase the heat to medium-high & toss until the bread pieces slightly change the color.
Remove from heat & serve immediately.

  • I normally do not trim the edges of the bread. Feel free to trim the edges, if needed.
  • This is a very basic bread upma recipe. You could add veggies like bell peppers, green peas, cooked potato to make it healthier.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cooking Tips: Grinding frozen coconut

Does the frozen coconut/dried coconut ooze out oil while making coconut chutney or any other coconut based gravies? Use warm to hot water while grinding the coconut & see the difference!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Badanekai Palya | Simple & Quick Eggplant Stir-Fry

I get to answer many questions like how has life changed after you moved? As a SAHM now, don't you get bored at home & many such! I feel, it is all your perception towards life. You can enjoy wherever you are or whatever you do. I do accept that there are some limitations here, but you are the best person to decide how to keep yourself occupied.

After moving here, I kept myself busy in knitting (along with my blog!). I learnt ABC of knitting with the help of youtube. Kudos to the internet!! Now, I have knit couple of scarfs & at least half a dozen hats!! Here is a glimpse of one of my recent hat. My son proudly tells his friends " See my new hat. My mamma knit it for me".

Now back to business. This is my granny's quick & easy recipe that goes well with rice or roti.

Ingredients: (Serves 3-4)
  • Chinese eggplant/Long purple eggplants: 1 pound
  • Tomato: 2 medium sized
  • Bell pepper: 1 small, optional, seeded
  • Turmeric powder: a big pinch
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp, more or less
  • Cooking oil: 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp, optional (refer notes)
  • Channa dal: 2 tsp, optional (refer notes)
  • Green chilies: 3 nos
  • Curry leaves: 3 nos, torn
  • Salt: As needed.
  • Jaggery/Sugar: 1/2 tsp
  • Few tablespoons of water.
  • Lemon juice: 1 tsp, optional


Dice the tomatoes, bell pepper & Chinese eggplant. 
Slit the green chilies.
Keep the diced eggplants in salt water. This helps in reducing the bitterness of the eggplant & also prevents it from browning.
Heat the oil in a wok. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds, channa dal & urad dal.
When dals turn golden brown, throw in the curry leaves & green chilies.
Drain the water from the eggplant.
When curry leaves wilt, add in the tomatoes & saute till tomatoes are coated with oil.
Throw in the diced eggplant, bell pepper, salt, sugar, turmeric powder & red chilli powder.
Mix well & add couple of tablespoons of water.Cook it covered for 5 mins on medium heat. Keep stirring in between for even cooking.
Remove the lid & cook again for a couple of minutes. Eggplants should become very soft. Remove it from the heat.
Squeeze in the lemon juice & serve it hot with rice or roti.

I served mine with sabudana rotti.

Urad dal & channa dal adds crunch to the plain stir-fry. If you do not like it, you are free to skip it.
Adding bell peppers are also optional.
Try not to skip adding sugar or jaggery. It reduces the bitterness of the eggplant & enhances its flavor.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Kaju Katli | Cashew Burfi

Making kaju katli at home is a long-pending dream come true for me! This is my son's favorite sweet. In fact, he prefers eating only this for breakfast, lunch and dinner :)

It melts in the mouth & you too would say "home-made tastes the best!". Btw, this is one of the great examples for " less is more". It just needs two ingredients, cashew nuts & sugar. Can it get more easier than this?! This dish doesn't take much of your effort. If I can make it, you all can make it too. Give it a try!

Forgive the grainy texture of the katli, that was because of my food processor!

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins

Ingredients: (Makes around 16 squares)
  • Cashew nuts : 1 cup, leveled
  • Sugar: 1/2 cup
  • Water: 1/4 cup

Add the sugar & water to a wide & thick bottomed pan. Mix until sugar dissolves & heat it on a medium heat.
Do not disturb the sugar syrup.
Meantime, prepare a coarse powder of the cashews. (Refer notes)

The sugar syrup becomes bubbly. Check the consistency of the sugar syrup. It should be of one string consistency. (Refer notes)
Immediately turn the heat to low & pour the coarse cashew powder to the sugar syrup.

Turn off the heat & mix well. The mixture looks like a dough ball.

Scoop out the mixture onto a bowl & let it cool for 5 mins.
Grease the palm with very little ghee/clarified butter & knead the cashew mixture until smooth.
Roll the cashew mixture into 1/4th of an inch with a rolling pin.
Cut them into desired shape.
Kaju katli is ready to be served.

  • One leveled cup of cashews yield to one heaped cup of coarse cashew powder. 
  • One string sugar syrup consistency: A thin string of upto 1 inch is formed when tested between thumb & forefinger. This step is the very important for making kaju katli. If you add cashew powder when sugar syrup becomes little more thick then the kaju katli becomes hard & brittle. If  cashew powder is added before reaching the one string consistency of the sugar syrup, then the mixture becomes very sticky & feels uncooked. 
  • If the mixture becomes little hard after cooling down, add a tsp or less of milk while kneading it. Remember, adding milk will reduce the shelf life of the burfi. 
  • Keep kneading until the mixture becomes smooth.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Dideer Saaru | Quick & Easy Rasam | Instant Rasam

This is a very old post from 2008. Though it was in my blog, I used to get recipe requests for instant rasam or quick tomato rasam. Also, I was not happy that it had not reached many readers.  Hence, thought of reposting it with new pictures & very minor changes!

This is a very quick, different rasam that can be prepared in minutes & doesn't require much ingredients. It doesn't need dal too :))

Dideer is a Kannada word & it translates to "quick" & saaru is "rasam/soup"

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins
Serves: 2-3

  • 1 tomato
  • 3-4 curry leaves, chopped
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp rasam powder,
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut (fresh/frozen)
  • 1/2 tsp thick tamarind paste
  • jaggery (optional)
  • salt according to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida
For tempering:
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ghee/clarified butter, a must! (See notes, if you are a vegan!)
  • 2 curry leaves
  • pinch of asafoetida

Cut the tomato into 4 big pieces.
Add a cup of water to a sauce pan. Add the tomatoes, green chilli & boil for 5-7 mins. Turn off the heat & add the tamarind paste.
Let the tomatoes cool. Drain the water from the cooked tomato. Preserve the water for making the rasam
Put the cooked tomato, green chilli, tamarind paste, coconut to a blender jar/food processor & make a puree out of it.
Add the preserved water & the puree to a sauce pan.
Add more water (around 1.5 cups, approximately) to the sauce pan.
Turn the heat to medium-high.
Throw in the salt, coriander leaves, curry leaves, jaggery, asafoetida, rasam powder to the sauce pan & bring them to a boil. Your kitchen would smell amazing in 7-10 mins.
 Prepare the tempering. In a small saute pan, heat ghee; when oil is hot, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds & curry leaves. Take care not to burn the mustard seeds.
When curry leaves wilt, turn off the heat & add the asafoetida.
Immediately pour the tempering over the rasam & cover the rasam with a lid. (See notes below!)
Rasam is ready to be served. Have it with rice & papad/chips.

  • Covering the rasam after the tempering is poured over it is very important. The aroma of the tempering will be caught inside the rasam & rasam will be nicely flavored .
  • I again emphasize the use of ghee/clarified butter for tempering. But, if you are a vegan, extra virgin coconut oil is a great alternative. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pongal Paddu | Guliappa | Paniyaram : Left over Delicacy!

It is rightly said that " necessity is the mother of invention". This recipe is one of the examples of it. My son wanted me to pack paddu for his lunch & my hubby did not want to take the previous night pongal. What would I do with so much left over? Though I would have made oats guliappa that doesn't need much time, I did not want to waste the pongal. TADA.., that is how this pongal guliappa came into existence at my home. It was delicious & no one at my home could guess it. I had asked my readers on facebook too.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
  • Left over pongal or khichdi: 2 cups
  • Rice flour: 1 cup, approximately
  • Quick cooking oats: 1/4th cup, optional
  • Semolina/Rava/Cream of wheat: 1/2 cup
  • Finely chopped onion: 1/4th cup
  • Plain yogurt/Curd: 1/4th cup
  • Salt: As needed
  • Water: As needed to make the batter
  • Oil: Few drops on each mould

Special utensil:
Aebleskiver pan/paddu pan

Mash the left over pongal thoroughly.
Add the rice flour, rava, oats, onion, yogurt, salt (pongal already has salt, adjust accordingly) to the mashed pongal. Mix well.
Slowly add in the water & mix to get the idli batter consistency. Let it rest for 15-20 mins.
Heat the paddu pan. When pan is hot, sprinkle oil on each mould.
Pour in a tablespoon of batter on each mould & cook it covered for about a minute.
Flip the paddu, brush the oil & cook on the other side too.
Repeat the procedure with the remaining batter.
Serve it hot with a chutney/dip/sauce of your choice.

  • There is no need to pulse the left over pongal in a food processor/hand mixer. Just mash it with your hands or a masher. 
  • The above proportions mentioned are just an approximation. Adjust according to what you have at hand.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Pav bhaji dosa : Mumbai Street Food

This is a very interesting blend of South Indian & Mumbai Street food. Whenever I plan to make pav bhaji, I make the extra bhaji & will always make the pav bhaji dosa the next day. 

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour, including bhaji preparation

For the bhaji:
Potatoes: 2 nos, medium sized
Cauliflower: 1 small
Green peas: A fistful
Carrot: 1 small
Tomato puree: About 2 to 2.5 cups
Onion: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Capsicum: 2-3 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1.5 tsp
Green chillies: 2 nos, finely chopped
Chilli powder: 1 to 1.5 tsp
Pav bhaji masala: 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder: a big pinch
Oil: 1 tbsp
Butter: 1 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Coriander leaves: 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Lemon juice: 1 tbsp

For the dosa:
Fermented dosa batter: 3 cups (refer the recipe here
Salt: As needed

For the garnish:
Finely chopped onions
Diced capsicum
Finely chopped coriander leaves

For the bhaji: (Bhaji preparation with step-by-step pictures can be found here)
  • Roughly chop the potatoes, cauliflower, & carrot. Add half a cup of water & 1/2 tsp of salt to the potatoes, cauliflower, carrot and peas. Pressure cook the veggies for 2 whistles.
  • Meantime, take a broad pan. Heat oil in the pan. When the oil is hot, throw in the capsicum & saute for a minute.
  • Add the onions & saute until the onions are soft.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, green chillies & saute till the raw smell of the paste is gone (about a couple of minutes).
  • Add the tomato puree, turmeric, salt & red chilli powder. Allow it to boil for about 5 minutes on medium heat. The mixture starts spluttering, so keep a lid 3/4th covered.
  • Meantime, thoroughly mash the vegetables cooked in the pressure cooker.
  • Add the mashed vegetables, pav bhaji masala, half a cup of water & continue mashing, cooking & stirring it. The mixture keeps spluttering all over. So, it is better you handle it with a mitt.
  • Add the butter & keep mashing the mixture.
  • Finally add coriander leaves, lemon juice & mash it for another couple of minutes.
Making the dosa:
Add the salt to the batter (if not already added!) & mix well.
Heat a griddle/tava. When tava is hot enough, sprinkle couple of drops of oil & clean it with a tissue (Skip this if using non-stick tava).
Pour a ladle full of batter to the center of the griddle. Spread it in circular motion, clockwise.
Sprinkle few drops of oil & cook it covered on a medium heat. 

Pour a ladle full of bhaji to the center of the dosa.
Spread the bhaji evenly on the dosa.
Let it cook for 5-10 secs.
Sprinkle finely chopped onions, capsicum & coriander leaves.

Fold in the dosa.

Dig in hot with a chutney/dip of your choice.

For tips about the bhaji preparation, refer here.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Karasev | Gathiya Recipe

I always end up cooking at the last minute for the festivals. For the first time, I am preparing savories for Deepavali in advance! When compared to other deep fried savories, this one is a pretty simple & less tedious snack.This is sure to be liked by one & all.

Preparation Time: 5 mins 
Cooking Time:  15 mins

  • Gram flour/Besan/Kadle hittu: 1 cup, heaped
  • Rice flour: 1/2 cup, leveled (refer notes)
  • Daliya/putani/chutney dal powder: 2 tbsp (refer notes)
  • Softened butter: 1.5 tbsp, at room temperature (refer notes)
  • Salt: As needed
  • Turmeric powder: 1/4th tsp
  • Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Carom seeds/Ajwain/Omkalu: a big pinch
  • Water : As needed ( I needed 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon water)
  • Oil: For deep frying
Sieve the gram flour & putani powder.
Add in the gram flour,  rice flour, putani powder, salt, turmeric powder, crushed pepper, red chilli powder, carom seeds to a broad mixing bowl.

Throw in the softened butter to the mixture & mix it thoroughly. After mixing in the butter, if you take couple of tablespoons of the mixture & make a fist, it should hold its shape (see picture below). This is very crucial as it makes the karasev crisp & crunchy.

Heat sufficient oil in a wok/kadai.
Add few tablespoons of water at a time to the flour mixture & make a smooth dough. Gently knead. It should not be very sticky.

Scoop the dough onto the murukku maker (Use a multi eyed karasev plate).
When oil is hot enough, carefully press the dough on the hot oil directly in circular motion (around 5 inches in diameter. Mainly depends on the size of the kadai/wok being used). Remember to fry the karasev on a medium heat. Remove the sev from oil, when it is golden brown & the bubbles in the oil subside.
Drain & cool it on a paper towel.

Repeat the above steps with the remaining dough.
Once the karasev is cool, crush them gently & store it in a air tight containers. The karasev is good for atleast 7-10 days.

  • If using salted butter, adjust the salt level accordingly. 
  • It is better to use the butter at room temperature. 
  • Use a finer version of the rice flour.
  • Pulse the putani/chutney dal in a food processor/blender for a couple of minutes to get a fine powder. Sieve the powder couple of times before using it.
  • Fry the karasev on a medium heat. Remove them from oil just before they turn golden brown. Even after removing them from oil, they slightly change their color because of the heat.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Appi Payasa | Fried cream of wheat kheer

I have some distinct memories associated with some dishes. From the time I can remember, I always fascinated cooking but never took the initiation to cook, until I had no other choice! During my teenage days, whenever I got a chance to attend the weddings, upanayanam or any family functions, I used to venture into the kitchen. I used to talk to the cook & get to know the recipe of a dish with a fancy name!! I have been doing this till date. The only difference is, now I try to write down the recipe.

Appi payasa/payasam is one such dish learnt during a conversation with one of the cooks. Here is how "appi payasa" is made. A tight dough is made with cream of wheat. They are rolled & deep fried in ghee like pooris(Deep fried Indian bread). These pooris are crushed & added to the milk.

Though I don't have a sweet tooth, this is one of the kheer/payasam to which I can never say "no". Absolute delish!! It is also known as happala karda payasa (Thanks to blogger world!).

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking Time: 15-20 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)
For the happala/flat poori:

  • Cream of wheat/Chiroti Rava/Fine rava: 1 cup
  • Cold water: Less than 1/4th cup
  • Ghee/Clarified butter: 2 tsp
  • Salt: a small pinch
  • Ghee/Oil: As needed, for deep frying the pooris

For the payasa/kheer:

  • Full cream milk: 1.5 litres
  • Sugar: Around 3/4th cup, adjust according to your family needs
  • Chopped dry fruits: 2 tbsp (I used almonds, cashews & pistachios)
  • Saffron: a big pinch

Mix the cream of wheat, salt & ghee together.
Slowly add the cold water & make a stiff dough. Cover the dough & let it rest for at least a couple of hours. More the better...
Once the dough is well rested, divide the dough into big grape sized balls. I got 7 dough balls.
Dust a very little flour & roll it thin using a rolling pin. (just like a poori). 
Heat the ghee/oil on a medium heat. When ghee is hot, deep fry the pooris on both the sides until golden brown. Remove it on a paper towel to remove the excess ghee from the fried pooris. Repeat with the remaining pooris. Let it cool.

Meantime, boil the milk on a med-high heat. Keep stirring in between. When the milk starts boiling, reduce the heat.
Add sugar & allow the sugar to dissolve. 
When the sugar is dissolved, crush the saffron in between your palm & add it to the milk. 
Crush or roughly tear the cooled pooris & slide them onto the boiling milk. Add the chopped nuts.

Turn off the heat & let the payasam cool completely.
Once cool, mash the crushed pooris gently. 

You could serve this payasam, warm or cold. 
I generally warm it again & serve as my family prefers it that way!


  • It is very important to make a stiff dough to ensure crunchy pooris. Soft dough will absorb more ghee & become soggy.
  • The more you rest the dough, the more elastic it becomes. It will be easier to handle a well rested dough. (You can see little cracks on the edges of my poori. That is because I did not rest the dough! Do not do that)
  • Roll the pooris very thin. Thin pooris wont puff up & become soft. They will become crunchy!
  • If your poori is still puffing up, gently prick it in 4-5 places with a tooth pick before frying them.
  • This is unlike other kheer that demands milk quantity to be reduced by boiling. The crushed pooris will absorb the milk & the kheer/payasam thickens gradually. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Balehannu Rasayana | Vegan Banana Dessert : Beginner Series

A very simple, no cook & easy to whip vegan banana Indian dessert! One more good example for "less is more". There are many versions of this simple banana dessert. This is one of the neivedyam/prasadam recipes. 

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: Nil


  • Ripened & Firm Bananas*: 3 nos (refer notes)
  • Jaggery/Brown sugar: 3 tbsp
  • Fresh grated coconut: 3 tbsp, fresh or frozen
  • Cardamom: 1 no
  • Chopped nuts: 1 tbsp (I used almonds, cashews & raisins)

Peel the bananas & dice them.

Add the jaggery, coconut, peeled cardamom to a food processor/blender. Add couple of tablespoons of water & make a smooth paste.
Scoop them out on the diced bananas.

Throw in the chopped nuts, mix well & let it sit for 15-20 mins for the flavors to blend well.
Serve it cold or at room temperature & dig in!


  • Do not use over ripened bananas. 
  • The color of this dessert depends on the jaggery color. Use a lighter version of jaggery to get a lighter color. I have used the dark colored jaggery in this.

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