Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The best khara-bhath/ No vegetable upma: Beginner Series

ok, ok..here's the disclaimer. My son certifies that it is one of the best khara bhath( no vegetable you see!) :) :)

I have already written about my family's love for uppittu/upma. We love it more when it is prepared for dinner, in fact our family prefers eating breakfast items for dinner. Our usual dinner is mostly, akki rotti, ragi rotti, upma, dosa & others.

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 2-3)
For roasting the semolina/rava:
Bombay rava/Cream of wheat/Semolina/ Uppittu rave: 1 cup
Ghee/Clarified butter: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal: 2 tsp
Channa dal: 1 tbsp
Peanuts: 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts: 2 tsp
Curry leaves: 6-8 nos, finely chopped

For tempering 2:
Oil: 1 tbsp
Green chillies: 2-3 nos
Onion: 1/2 cup or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
Grated ginger: 1/4th tsp
Tomato: 1 medium size, diced
Hot water: 3 cups
Salt: According to taste
Sugar: 1 tbsp

For the garnish:
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Grated coconut: 2 tbsp, fresh or frozen
Lemon juice: 2 tsp

Roasting the semolina/rava:

  • Heat ghee in a broad pan. When ghee is hot, add the mustard & cumin seeds. When seeds splutter, add channa dal, urad dal, peanuts & saute till the nuts turn golden brown. 

  • Throw in the cashews & roast till golden brown. Add the curry leaves & saute till the leaves wilt.
  • Finally add the rava & roast the semolina/rava on a medium-high heat until a nice aroma fills your kitchen (approximately 5-7 mins). You need to keep stirring the rava, else it will turn brown. Transfer the roasted rava on a clean plate & keep it aside

Upma preparation:
Meantime, add oil in the same pan (The one in which rava is roasted!). When oil is hot, add the green chillies followed by onions. Cook the onions till translucent. No need to brown them.

When onions are done, throw in the ginger & tomatoes. Cook till the tomatoes are soft.

Add salt, sugar & the hot water.  

When water starts bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low. Slowly pour in the roasted rava & mix well ensuring no lumps. The water will splutter in all directions! Be careful!.

Close it with a lid & cook it covered for couple of minutes or until all the water is absorbed. 

Mix the cooked rava. Turn off the heat. 

Add lemon juice, coriander leaves, grated coconut & mix again.
Keep it covered for couple of minutes & serve the steaming hot upma with a teaspoon of ghee.


  • 1:3 is the semolina to water proportion. If thicker version of semolina/rava is used, you might have to increase the water by half a cup. 
  • Feel free to add any cooked vegetables of your choice to make this upma more nutritious.
  • More the ghee/clarified butter, better the upma!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cooking tips: How to make soft & sticky rice using rice cooker

Ever wondered why rice cooker couldn't give the same consistency of cooked-rice as you get in the pressure cooker? I always did, until I found this trick.  

Now, some of you may be wondering why soft & sticky rice.
1. To give it to your kids or elders who prefer soft rice rather than rice with each grain seperate.
2. Most families from South India prefer soft rice for their rasam, and sambar.

For white medium grain rice like ponni, sona masoori:
              Add 3 to 3.5 cups of water to 1 cup of white medium grain rice. When the water starts boiling in the rice cooker, remove the lid & partially cover the lid. Partially covering the lid ensures no water leakage from the rice cooker. Close the lid once water is almost absorbed by the rice.
Follow the same method while making khichdi or pongal in a rice cooker.

For brown rice or matta rice (Kerala or Udupi rice):
              Add 4 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. Remaining steps as above.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daliya Khichdi/Broken Wheat Khichdi: Beginner series

I'm happy that in a short time I have made like minded friends here. We go for short walks, shop together & also chat over phone. Not only that, we have started sharing recipes too. One such recipe, I learnt from a friend is this daliya khichdi. Our family liked it so much that, in a week I made it twice. The second time, I did not forget to take the pictures to share it with you all.

A comforting khichdi that is fast to cook, non-spicy, and also rich in fiber, & protein. 

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
Daliya/Broken wheat/Godi nucchu: 1.3 cups
Yellow moong dal/Split & skinned gram dal: 1/2 cup
Mixed vegetables: 2 cups (I used potatoes, carrots, peas, corn & beans)
Red onion: 1 medium sized, cubed
Ghee/Clarified butter: 1 tbsp
Oil:1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Asafoetida: a pinch
Turmeric: a big pinch
Curry leaves: 3-4 nos, chopped
Water: 3.5 cups
Salt: According to taste

Special utensils:
Pressure cooker

  • Wash the broken wheat & moong dal together. Drain the water & keep it aside.
  • Heat the ghee & oil in a pressure cooker. When the ghee is hot, add cumin seeds. When seeds turn golden brown, add curry leaves. When leaves wilt, add asafoetida.
  • Follow it by mixed vegetables (except onion). Saute the vegetables in ghee for a minute.
  • Add the turmeric, broken wheat & dal mixture to the cooker & saute for 2-3 mins on medium heat. The ghee should coat well on the broken wheat, vegetables & dal. 
  • Add the water, salt, red onion to the cooker & let the water boil on a med-high heat.
  • When water starts boiling, close the lid of the pressure cooker. Let it cook on med-high heat.
  • Remove the cooker from the heat after 3 whistles. Let the cooker sit for 5-7 mins or until the pressure is released completely.
  • Mix the khichdi well & serve it with a side dish of your choice. 

  • We love to eat this khichdi with plain yogurt, boondi raita, chutney or a vegetable kurma/saagu. Relish it with whatever you like.
  • My friend says, do not try adding green chillies or black pepper. The dish tastes better without any heat!
  • Broken wheat can be easily found in any Indian grocery stores.
  • Broken wheat to water ratio is 1: 2.5 cups.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sihi kumbalakai bolu huli | Pumpkin Sambar | Pumpkin Bolu huli : South Canara Recipe

The Udupi or South Canara cuisine is very vast. During every visit to my hubby's aunties house, I learn one new dish. One such dish learnt recently is bolu huli. My son loves the aroma of this sambar & everytime I make this, he is sure to say "amma(mom), what are you cooking? It is smelling very good!". He relishes it with matta rice(Kerala/Udupi red rice).

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Ingredients: (Makes around 5 cups of Sambar)
Pumpkin: 1.5 cups, diced
Toor dal: 1/2 cup cooked
Green chillies: 3 nos, adjust according to your family  needs
Turmeric: a pinch
Curry leaves: 5-6 nos, finely chopped
Coriander leaves: 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Asafoetida: a big pinch
Tamarind: 1 tsp, thick tamarind extract
Jaggery/Brown sugar: 1.5 tsp
Rasam powder: 1/2 tsp, optional
Salt: According to taste


  • Add the diced pumpkin, turmeric, slit green chillies & 4 cups of water. Cook on med-high heat covered.
  • When pumpkin is 3/4th done, add tamarind, jaggery, salt & cook on a med-low for another 5-7 mins. 
  • Mash the cooked dal & dilute it with half a cup of water.
  • Add the dal, curry leaves, asafoetida, rasam powder & coriander leaves. Boil on a medium heat for another 5 mins.
  • Serve it hot with rice & fritters/papad or chutney.

  1. Adding a bit of rasam powder, gives a 'kick' to this bolu huli.
  2. Do not skip asafoetida.It enchances the flavor.
  3. You could make this bolu huli with other vegetables like egg plant or okra/ladies finger.

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