Monday, May 23, 2016

Strawberry and apple chutney | Spicy Strawberry Chutney | Sweet n Sour Strawberry Dip : A Vegan Dip Recipe

Learn how to make strawberry chutney with a twist. I have adapted the bajji/gojju recipe of South Canara and given a twist to the regular bajji. You can call it strawberry gojju too...

I bought 2 big boxes of strawberry during one of the trips to the supermarket. After coming home, I tasted them and it was a huge disappointment. The strawberries were too sour to my liking. I made milkshakes, lassi with them, but the amount of sugar that went in making the milkshake turned me off. So, I freezed them for later use.

Now that its been a couple of months that I freezed the strawberries, I wanted to finish them as early as possible.. So started making new and interesting experiments using the sour strawberries. I made this chutney last week. We liked the chutney so much that I made it again yesterday. Try it to believe!

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Serves: 4-6 (Makes about 1.5 cups of chutney)


  • If the strawberries are very sour, I recommend adding only 4-6 strawberries. Adjust the number of strawberries accordingly. I used only 6 strawberries.
  • If the strawberries are too sweet, you could use 8 strawberries and to make the chutney sour, you could use a Granny Smith Apple to add the tart to the chutney.
  • Do not use Granny Smith apple and very sour strawberries. You get the point right? We need to add some natural sugar to this chutney.
  • I use any other variety of apple (like Fuji apple, gala apples, red delicious apple etc) to make this chutney. The apple adds an extra texture and sweetness to the chutney.
  • For a very mild chutney, you could add 1 jalapeno with the seeds removed. I use 2-3 Indian spicy green chilies. We like our chutney spicy.

For the chutney:
Strawberries: 6-8 nos, refer notes
Apple: 1 no, refer notes
Green bell pepper: 1/2 no or 1 small
Green chilies | Jalapenos : 1-3 nos, adjust according to your spice levels.
Salt:As needed
Cilantro | Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp, roughly chopped
Curry leaves: 4 nos, torn
Asafoetida: 1/8 tsp
Jaggery | Brown Sugar: 1-2 tsp, to suit your needs
Salt: As needed
Grated coconut: 1/4 cup, fresh or frozen
Water: About 1/3 cup, more or less

For the tempering:
Oil: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 2-3 nos, torn


Wash the apple thoroughly. Deseed the apple and roughly chop the apple. You can keep the skin of the apple.
Wash the strawberries and roughly chop them.
In a sauce pan, add all the ingredients (except grated coconut) mentioned in the chutney section. I repeat, do not add grated coconut. Bring it to a boil on a medium heat for about 7-10 mins. Do not add too much water. The fruits need to get cooked.

Allow the cooked mixture to cool.
Once cool, add coconut to the mixer and add this cooked mixture. Use the boiled water to make the chutney/dip. The water would be very flavorful. Do not discard the water. That is the reason I asked you to add little water in the beginning, remember?

Grind it to a medium coarse paste. Do not grind it very fine. We need some texture to our chutney.
Prepare the tempering. Heat oil in a small wok, when oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. When leaves wilt and seeds splutter, turn off the heat. Pour the tempering over the chutney.
Serve the chutney as a side dish with rice, Indian flat breads, ragi rotti, gluten free sprouts bread or any dish of your preference.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Tadka khichdi | Spiced khichdi | Tempered khichdi

Learn how to make this spicy khichdi. You can replace ghee with coconut oil for the vegan version of this dish. You'll not be disappointed for sure. Just try once :)

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 45 mins
Serves: 6-8

Rice: 2 cups, refer notes
Green gram dal | Hesru kaalu | Hara moong: 3/4 cup
Split moong dal | Hesru bele | Yellow moong: 1/4 cup
Water: 6 cups
Salt: As needed
Hot water: About 1/2 cup, optional

For the spicy tempering:
Oil: 2 tsp, any oil of your choice
Ghee | Clarified Butter: 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds | Saasive: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds | Jeerige: 1/2 tsp
Cloves: 4 nos
Curry leaves: 5-6nos, torn
Finely chopped garlic: 1 tbsp
Green chilies: 4 nos, chopped
Grated ginger: 1 tbsp
Red chili powder: 1/2 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp


Wash the rice, green gram and yellow moong thoroughly.
Add the water and pressure cook the rice and lentils together for 3-4 whistles.Allow the cooker to cool for 15 mins.
Once the rice is cool, open the lid and mash the cooked rice mixture gently.

Heat oil and ghee in a small wok. Keep the heat to a medium.
When oil is hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cloves. When seeds crackle, add the curry leaves.

Follow it by garlic. When garlic is golden brown, add the chopped green chilies, ginger paste and saute.

Turn off the heat of the tempering and allow it to cool for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala to the not so hot oil.

Add the tempering to the cooked rice and lentil mixture. Add the salt and hot water (if needed).
Mix well and let the khichdi cook again on a medium heat for about 5-7 mins.

Serve the khichdi hot with a side dish of your choice. We like to eat our khichdi with kadhi, begun bhaja, salad or plain yogurt.


  • You can use any rice of your choice. I have used basmati rice (long grain white rice), sona masoori rice (small grain white rice), and brown rice.
  • If you add the dry spice powders to very hot oil, the powders get burnt and that is not what we want. We want to infuse the flavors into the oil without burning the spice powders.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Badanekai Masale Palya | Kathirikai Podi Curry | Spiced eggplant Curry : Karnataka Style

I'm back with another classic recipe of my mom and my grandmom. We love to eat this palya with ragi rotti, akki rotti or as a side dish for rice and nimbe saaru (lemon rasam). This is a Mysore style masala eggplant palya. It is a "no onion-no garlic" recipe.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 15 mins

Eggplants: About 1 lb (any variety, refer comments below).
Oil: 1.5 tbsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Urad dal | Uddina bele | Black dal: 1.5 tsp
Curry leaves: 4-5 nos, torn
Sambar powder: 2 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: As needed
Sugar: 1.5 tsp, optional (refer notes)
Lemon juice: 1 tsp

Chop eggplants into thin wedges or 1/2 in cubes.
Keep the chopped eggplants in cold water. Keeping the eggplants in cold water helps in reducing the bitterness of the eggplant. Also, the eggplant wont change color.

Heat oil in a broad pan. When oil is hot, throw in mustard seeds, followed by urad dal.
When dal turns golden brown, add curry leaves.

Drain the water from the eggplants and add the eggplants to the pan.

Mix well to coat the oil and allow the eggplant to become tender. Keep the heat to medium.
Keep mixing once a while to ensure the eggplants are not getting burnt.

Once the eggplants are half done, add the salt, sambar powder, turmeric powder, sugar and give it a mix.

Allow the eggplants to absorb the spices. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking for another 3-5 mins.

The eggplants must be cooked, soft to touch and yet firm. That is when you know the curry is ready.
Finally, add the lemon juice, turn off the heat and mix well.
Serve this curry with rice, rotti or a dish of your choice.


  • If you use long green Mysore badanekai/eggplants, you do not need sugar. These tender green eggplants are not at all bitter.
  • I have tried making this curry using all kinds of eggplants like the Chinese Eggplant, small round eggplants, the big bartha kind eggplant, Mysore badanekai. It turns out good with each one of them.
  • We like our curry a tad bit sweet, so I add sugar or jaggery. If you don't like, you can skip it. Do not worry, it tastes equally good. 

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