Thursday, October 31, 2013

6 easy kheer | payasam recipes for Diwali 2013

Here are some of the easy kheer | payasam | payasa recipes that can be prepared for the coming Diwali Festival. Have a fun filled & a safe Diwali.

Click on the image for the recipe.

Appi Payasa                                 Paal Payasam | Rice pudding

Sabudana Kheer                                       Akki-kadlebele payasam
Banana Payasa/Rasayana                 Vermicelli Kheer

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vermicelli Sabudana Kheer | Seeme akki Payasa | Sago Payasam : Tapioca Pudding Recipe

sabudana kheer

Have no time for cooking ahead this Diwali? Then, you can try making some simple kheer | payasam like this one. This kheer doesn't need any fancy ingredient & can be cooked in about 30 mins max.

Here goes the recipe.

sabudana payasam

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
Soaking Time: About an hour.

sago kheer

Sago | Sabudana | Seeme akki : 1/3 cup
Vermicelli | shavige : 2 tbsp
Milk: 2.5 cups, more or less
Water: 1 cup
Sugar: 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder: 1/4 tsp
Clarified butter/ghee: 1 tbsp
Raisins: 1 tsp
Broken cashews: 2 tsp
Slivered almonds: 1 tsp

sabbakki payasa

Wash the sago thoroughly in running water. I recommend washing it at least 3 times until the starch is removed.
Soak the sago in enough water for 20 mins. Then drain the water completely from the sago.
Sprinkle 2-3 tsp of water over the drained sago & keep it covered for a minimum of 45 mins to an hour.

soaked sago pearls

Add the soaked sago to a sauce pan. Add water + 1 cup of milk to the sabudana.
Cook the sago on a medium heat (stirring in between) until they become transparent & soft. Takes about 10-13 mins.
Meantime, heat ghee in a small wok. When oil is hot, throw in the cashew nuts & almonds. When the nuts turn golden, add in the raisins. When raisins plump up, put the vermicelli to the ghee & saute till the vermicelli turn golden. This will not take more than 3-4 mins.

roasted vermicelli

Add the vermicelli + nuts mixture, remaining milk, cardamom powder to the cooked sago mixture & mix. Boil this mixture on a medium heat until the vermicelli is cooked.
Add the sugar & boil it for a couple of minutes more.Keep stirring in between.
Remove the sauce pan from the heat.
Let the kheer rest for 5-10 mins. Serve this kheer warm or cold.

seeme akki payasa

  1. Rinsing the sago thoroughly in water removes the excessive starch. Too much starch will make the sago sticky & slimy. We want the sago pearls to be separate. 
  2. This kheer thickens as it gets cools. If it gets too thick & hard, add a cup of hot milk with 2 teaspoons of sugar. Mix it & serve immediately. 
  3. We prefer our kheer warm, hence I do not refrigerate it. If you want to serve it chilled as a pudding, reduce the sugar to 1/4 or 1/3 cup (as per you choice). We like our kheer more on the sweet side! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spinach Cabbage Paratha | Gobhi Palak ke parathe

spinach cabbage paratha

Parathas are pan fried flat breads. Parathas are usually stuffed with boiled or sauteed vegetables and are eaten with plain yogurt, pickle or a dal (cooked lentils). Here are some of the paratha recipes.

Aloo Paratha
Mixed vegetable paratha
Broccoli Paratha
Rice Dumpling Paratha

My son's latest craze are the parathas. He wants paratha every other day. He says he likes dosas only in summer & when it is fall, it is paratha time for him.To make my son happy, I try to give him paratha atleast once a week. I do not like to stuff the parathas every other day, hence I add the vegetables to the dough itself & make parathas. Cabbage & spinach is one such. It is very easy to make & is quite healthy.

Preparation Time: 20-25 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Serves: 3-4 (makes about 8-9 parathas)

cabbage paratha

For the dough:
Whole wheat flour | atta | godhi hittu: 2 cups
Finely shredded cabbage: 1 cup
Finely chopped spinach: 1/2 cup, tightly packed
Carom seeds | Ajwain | Om kalu: 1/2 tsp
Salt: As needed
Oil: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp, optional
Water: As needed

Other ingredients:
whole wheat flour : For rolling the parathas
Oil: For pan frying the parathas

cabbage spinach paratha

Mix all the ingredients mentioned for the dough(except water) in a bowl. Mix it well & leave it aside for 10 mins (Do not add any water yet!). Cabbage would have oozed out some water.
Slowly add couple of tbsps of water at a time & make a stiff dough. Don't get tempted to add more water. Remember the cabbage will ooze out water.
Let the dough rest for 5-10 mins.
cabbage spinach paratha 5

Make lemon sized balls out of the dough.
Roll these balls using a rolling pin. You could make them thin or keep it thick. I generally make my parathas thin & hence roll it thin.
Meantime, heat the griddle on a med-high heat.
Finish rolling all the dough balls.
When the griddle is hot, place the rolled paratha on the griddle. Add few drops of oil to the sides & onto the center of the paratha. Pan fry it until golden brown spots appear.

cabbage spinach paratha 2cabbage spinach paratha 1

Flip it & cook it on the other side too. Remember to add few drops of oil on the flipped side too.
Remove the cooked paratha from the griddle. Repeat until all the parathas are pan fried.
Serve these parathas hot with a dal or yogurt or a pickle.

cabbage & spinach paratha

I am repeating again. Cabbage will ooze out water & hence be extra careful while adding the water to make the dough.
DO NOT REST THE DOUGH FOR A LONG TIME. The dough will become sticky.
Pan fried parathas remain soft for a long time. Hence, you could roll, cook & then store them for the rest of the day.
You could store the cooked paratha in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
Parathas need more oil to cook. Hence, don't be very stingy in adding oil. You could replace oil with butter or ghee (clarified butter). 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gorikai Palya Recipe | Jawalikai Palya | Gawar sabzi : North Karnataka Style

 How to make cluster bean dry sabzi? 

To know more about cluster bean/guwar refer here. Cluster beans are rich in fiber. They act as good laxative. They control the blood pressure, and good for diabetic patients too. There are numerous health benefits of cluster beans. You could read more about them here.

My mom makes gorikai masale palya which we all like. Other than that, I make this gorikai bhath. During a casual talk with my neighbor I asked her what else I could make with the cluster beans. She gave me this recipe & I prepared it the same evening. I liked the simplicity of this dish & it hardly takes any time to get it done.

She is from Raichur,  and this is how she and her mom makes the gorikai palya.


Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20-25 mins
Serves: 2-3


Cluster bean | Gorikai : 1 lb
Oil: 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 3-4 nos, torn
Red chilli powder: 1/2- 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Roasted peanut powder: about 1/4 cup
Salt: As needed


Trim the edges of the cluster bean & chop them fine.

Add oil to a pressure cooker. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard seeds & cumin seeds.

When the seeds crackle, add in the curry leaves. When leaves wilt, throw in the chopped cluster beans, salt, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder & mix.

Add about 1/4 cup of water to the cluster bean mixture & pressure cook in medium-high heat for it for 1 whistle. We do not want any water to be left after the vegetable is cooked. Hence add little water!

Allow the pressure to be released. Add in the roasted peanut powder & mix.
Serve it hot/warm with rice or roti.



  • Instead of using the pressure cooker, you could even cook it using the stove top method. The cooking time will increase if you are not using a pressure cooker. And you might need more water too!
  • As it's a dry sabzi, do not add too much water while cooking. We need very little water. 
  • This is a basic North Karnataka Style palya recipe. You could make similar palya with other vegetables like ivy gourd / thondekai / tendli or french beans too.
  • You could adjust the peanut powder according to your preference. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Quick Gulab Jamun | Ricotta cheese gulab jamun | Diwali Sweets

A quick gulab jamun recipe using milk powder & ricotta cheese....

Gulab Jamun is a classic & a  traditional Indian sweet/dessert. It is deep fried milk balls soaked in rose essence sugar syrup. The mawa or thickened milk (similar to ricotta cheese) is deep fried in ghee (clarified butter) & dipped in the sugar syrup. If you have mawa (or khova) with you, making the gulab jamun is a breeze. As it is not easy to get mawa here, I always make the gulab jamuns using the milk powder. This time around, I thought of adding ricotta cheese as I had them in my pantry. They were yummy & hence sharing the recipe with you guys.

Why don't you guys give it a try during this Diwali? I'm sure it will be a hit.

gulab jamun

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Resting time: About an hour

quick gulab jamun recipe

Ingredients: (Makes about 30-35 jamun)
For the cheese balls/milk balls/jamun:
Ricotta cheese: 1/4 cup
Mawa powder or Milk powder: 1 cup (refer notes)
AP flour/Maida: 1/4 cup
Baking powder: 1/4 tsp
Ghee: 1 tsp
Water: As needed

About 2 cups of oil for deep frying the jamuns

For the sugar syrup:
Sugar: 1.5 cups
Water: 1.5 cups
Rose essence: few drops
Cardamom powder: a pinch
Lemon juice: 1/4 tsp

spongy julab jamun

Add all the ingredients mentioned under the cheese ball section (except water) in a bowl & give it a mix.
Slowly add a tbsp of water at a time to make a soft and non sticky dough. You will not need more than 3-4 tbsp of water. Never knead the dough.

Keep the dough covered for about 15 mins.
Meantime, prepare the sugar syrup. Add the water & sugar in a sauce pan. Add the lemon juice, rose essence, cardamom powder to the water. Heat on a low-medium heat. Keep stirring to ensure the sugar is dissolved completely.

sugar syrup for jamun

Increase the heat to medium & boil it for 12-15 mins until you get a sticky consistency syrup(1/2 thread consistency).
Remove the syrup from the heat.
sugar syrup ready

Heat the oil in a medium wok.
Make marble sized balls of the dough. Make the balls smooth, else the dough balls will crack while they are getting fried. I got about 28 dough balls.

Add a small pinch of dough to the oil. If the dough settles in the bottom for few seconds only & then rises up, the oil is at right temperature. Oil should not be hot, when we fry these dough balls. They need to get cooked evenly. Add the dough balls to the oil & fry them on low-medium heat for about 5-7 mins. Do not touch the dough balls. Instead keep moving the oil to ensure even cooking & coloring of the balls.

deep frying the dough balls

Once they are golden brown, drain the fried balls on a paper towel & repeat the above procedure with the remaining dough balls.
deep fried gulab jamun
Add the warm deep fried balls to the sugar syrup & cover it with the lid.
Rest it for a minimum of 30 mins. Allow the deep fried balls to soak the sugar syrup.
Serve it warm, cold or hot.


  • I always use the mava powder or the milk powder available at the Indian stores. You could easily find the mava powder at the Indian stores anywhere. 
  • It is important to shape the dough balls smooth & without any cracks. If there are cracks, then the gulab jamuns will disintegrate in the sugar syrup. 
  • You could smear a drop of ghee to you palm for shaping the dough balls. 
  • I'm repeating again. Do not deep fry the dough balls on high heat & also in very hot oil. The dough balls get browned quickly & is uncooked in the center. They become very hard & the deep fried dough balls will not absorb the sugar syrup. 
  • You should never knead the gulab jamun dough. You need to mix it gently & make a dough. 
  • Traditionally gulab jamuns are deep fried in ghee (clarified butter). If you wish, you could deep fry in ghee too. 
  • I have added water to make the dough. You could replace water with milk. I have made them with milk before. Both taste equally good. 
  • You could replace baking powder with baking soda too. If you are adding baking soda, add less than 1/4th tsp (may be about 1/8th tsp). Do not add too much baking powder or soda. If soda is more, the dough balls will disintegrate in oil. I have made that mistake once & all the efforts went waste.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Pakode ki kadhi | Punjabi Kadhi Pakora Recipe

Did I mention before that I injured my ankle & I was on walking boots for six weeks? Yes.., I had a tough time in the first week. I must thank all my friends here who cooked yummy food & served my family for a week. Lucky me, I got to eat delicious, healthy & home cooked food. Later on, I started cooking simple meal by myself. Never made roti, chapathi, paratha or any elaborate dish.

Now that I have recovered, I feel like cooking & eating the food that I missed in the last couple of months. I was so bored of eating the same food that we relished deep fried sins for 3 days non-stop. I made poori, bread pakora & golibaje. I know that is not something, we should be proud of.

Let's talk about kadhi pakora now. Kadhi is a blend of yogurt & chickpea flour (gram flour) cooked with Indian spices. Pakoda or Pakora is a deep fried gram flour fritter. Greens like coriander leaves, spinach or fenugreek leaves & onions are added to the deep fried fritter to get the crunch.

***PS: I have announced the winner of the giveaway. Kindly look at my updated post***


Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30-45 mins
Serves: 3-4

For the pakoras:
Onion: 1 large or 2 medium
Chopped coriander leaves: about 1/4th cup, lightly packed
Chickpea flour/besan : 3/4th cup
Carom seeds/ajwain/omkalu: 1/2 tsp
Baking soda: a pinch
salt: as needed
red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder: a pinch
Water: As needed
Oil: for deep frying or shallow frying the pakoras

For the kadhi :
Gram flour/Chickpea flour/besan: 1/4 cup
Yogurt: 1cup
Water: 1.5 to 2 cups
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: As needed
Green chilli paste: 1/4 tsp, we like it less spicy
Grated ginger: 1/2 tsp
Onion: 1 medium sized, chopped
Oil: 2 tbsp
Dry red chilli: 2-3 nos, broken
Curry leaves: 4-6 leaves, torn
Asafoetida: a big pinch
Cloves: 4-6 nos
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp

For the garnish:
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp, finely chopped.

For the pakoras:
Mix all the ingredients mentioned for the pakoras (except the water & oil for frying) in a bowl.
Add couple of tablespoons of water at a time & prepare the pakora batter. It should be thick. Refer the picture below.

Heat the oil for deep frying. I shallow fried & hence used a aebleskiver pan to shallow fry the pakoras. Add about 1/4 tsp oil on each mould. When hot, add a tablespoon of pakora batter to the mould & shallow fry on both the sides.


For the kadhi:
Beat the yogurt.
Add the chickpea flour, salt, green chilli paste, coriander powder, red chilli powder, and turmeric to the yogurt.

Beat well again ensuring no lumps.

Add the water & mix well. Keep it aside.

Heat the oil in a broad sauce pan. When oil is hot, throw in the mustard & cumin seeds. When seeds crackle, add the cloves & let the oil infuse the flavors on medium heat.

Add the curry leaves, dry red chilli, and asafoetida.
Throw in the onions & cook till the onion turns translucent. There is no need to cook the onions for a long time. 

Add in the chickpea yogurt mixture & boil it on a medium heat. Keep stirring in between to prevent the formation of lumps.

Cook it until the chickpea flour gets cooked (about 15 mins).

Turn off the heat & add in the pakora. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve the pakode ki kadhi hot with roti or rice.

You could make the kadhi thick or a little thin. We like ours a bit on the thinner side (milkshake consistency).
You could make spinach pakora or methi pakora and add it to the kadhi. I was out of spinach, hence used coriander leaves.

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