Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Christmas frenzy

Christmas time again and fun time for the girls. I wasn't surprised to a list of presents in their Santa's letters, but then what surprised me was the way the letter was written..Every year I want to speak them out of this Santa Claus thing but ,, somehow feel, let them enjoy the few more years left ,and then anyway they will find out.
just posting pictures of their letters and the way they decorated the house. We do plan to bake a egg less chocolate cake. will post the recipe with the pictures tomorrow. Today the letter has to reach Santa.. or else they might not get their presents in spite of being nice all year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Her letter was simple and to the point... here is what it says!!!!

Dear Santa,

I am so glad that Christmas is here once more. It will be very fun since dad is here too.Santa, did you know that plum cake has no plum in it at all? I saw the ingredients in the supermarket...Funny, isn't it? How is Mrs. Claus and how are the elves? Here is my list

1.happy family

2, Roller skates

3.A set of nice party clothes,

4.A 3.D board game , scooby doo one!!!

That's all ,I want for this Christmas.I am really sorry the letter came late , were were busy .I also have a C.D of harry potter now so i did not ask for it . Thanks in advance..Bye



P.S. My thumb is better now.

It isn't any piece of art but seeing their interest in making the card, collage etc.... I decided to make it the topic of my blog..

The little one's letter much sweeter .....

She says...

Dear Santa Claus

How are you?Is it really cold up there in north pole?I feel really bad for the polar bears u there , they are losing they're homes because of Global warming!!! Please say hi from me to the elves, they must be working very hard every year.What do u reward them with? How is Mrs. Claus... sending my regards to her too!!! I heard she makes delicious cookies. is that true?

I have tried to be a good girl this year. I have got very good compliments in my report card and outstanding marks in all my tests.. Here are the things I want for this Christmas.

M.A.D art kit

Instrument (anything other than guitar) with its lessons please

A happy family - A Sasha Bratz doll

Roller skates

P.S. Sorry for writing the letter so late..and also I am trying to stop global warming!!!

Love you..... very much.Hopeing you will be here on the 24th midnight...

Aren't the letters cute???? I wish I could belive in Santa as ardently as they do!!!

Hope Santa will visit all who asked for him to visit.....

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Saaru, Palya.. a simple filling meal.

A simple meal after a long journey is something i would die for. after a Long flight... and having the privilege of hearing,..sorry we don't have a veg meal left.. i was dying to have a most simple filling meal , Hot rice, ,saaru ( lentil soup )and one sabzi... Palya as it is known very simple , just slightly steamed of cooked vegetables with some salt and garnished freshly grated coconut.
Nothing can match the hot rice, ghee, tomato Saaru and Palya combination for me.
Simple to make and nutritious as well.It is a well balance meal, with carbohydrates, fibre, proteins and fats all in it. Here is the recipe for the most simple palya (sabzi) and Saaru..
Tomato Saaru:

Tomato Saaru:
Tuvar Dal - 1 cup,
tomatoes 2 - 3 (medium),
Saarina pudi / Rasam powder - 2 tablespoons,
salt to taste,
tamarind juice - one small bowl
and turmeric - ¼ tea spoon
For seasoning:
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
mustard seeds ½ teaspoon,
hing/asafoetida- ¼ teaspoon,
curry leaves few springs
and chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
Pressure cook Tuvar dal .cook tomatoes in water.squeeze the tomato pulp and separate out the skin.To this tomato puree, add turmeric, salt, rasam power tamarind paste and cook till aroma is all over the house!!!.Add the cooked tuvar dal and boil for another five minutes with some more water.
In a small kadai heat the ghee .(pure ghee is always a tasty option. Oil can be used but then the aroma is definitely better with ghee., so is the taste). Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, hing and season the cooked saaru. Add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot. It can be served as appetizer as well. Tastes as good to sip as it is to eat with hot rice.

chapparada avrekayi palya (Broadbeans Palya/sabzi)

Broad beans/Chapparada Avrekayi: 1/4 kilogram

Green chillies - 1 or 2

Freshly grated coconut:1/4 cup

oil - two tea spoons

Mustard seeds - a spoon

Jeera/Cumin seeds - a spoon

turmeric power - a pinch

salt to taste

Wash and chop the broad beans.. In a deep bottomed vessels or kadai.. heat the oil. Add mustard seeds when it splutters add jeera , turmeric, and slit the green chilly.Add the cut broad beans and saute a little. Add half a cup of water and salt. Let it cook till the beans cook thoroughly.. and water is drained completely. Garnish with freshly grated coconut.simple isn't it?

Enjoy this these two simple dishes with plain hot rice...a wholesome meal.


Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Smiley in the Sky

as on December first 2008,18:23 PM

It was a fascinating view. Last evening when I was having my usual walk.. my friend said.. "hey ladies look at the moon today.. it looks like a smiley." Wow what a view it was!!!!!!!!!!!! I just cannot stop smiling remembering even after three hours....two small stars and the moon like a smile... a proper smiley.I just managed to take some pictures... None of which do the justice to such a beautiful sky...It was a visual feast.
After a few pictures one of the Friends said they were no mere stars they were Jupiter and Venus.. and this was one of the rare events of the decade.Jupiter, Venus, and a sliver of a crescent moon formed a spectacular, tight triangle in the evening sky, near the horizon. They were so tightly packed that I was able to cover them with my thumb at arms length..
Venus is the most impressive.On the right in the pictures, it was brighter. Although it’s 93 million miles from Earth about now, it shines with a brilliance.
View the moon with a slightly averted glance and you’re likely to pick up the dull but noticeable glow of Earth light reflecting off the darkened lunar surface.
the small dot on the left is Jupiter. Jupiter’s brightness isn't great, as we have to remember it some slack. Despite it’s enormous size, it’s currently about 472 million miles away.It is likely to be there for another 44 hours I was told.
After coming home and googling
this was what I found... on the net about yesterday's event
[b]“Look towards the southwest and you will see something very pretty - Venus and Jupiter beaming together through the twilight. The two closely-spaced planets are about to be joined by the slender crescent Moon for a spectacular three-way conjunction,” Nehru Planetarium director N. Rathnashree told IANS.
The three brightest objects in the night sky will be gathered so tightly together that you can hide them all behind your thumb held at arm’s length.
The Nehru Planetarium will put out telescopes at Old Fort in the capital.
“Although clear to the naked eye, a small telescope will make the evening even more enjoyable. We will be putting up some telescopes at Old Fort in the evening for people to have a clearer look of the celestial triangle,” Rathnashree said.
“It is a rare activity. The winter sky is very clear and you can have a spectacular look of the celestial activity,” said Ajay Talwar, a member of the Amateur Astronomer Association.
The celestial triangle will be visible from all parts of the world, even from lightly polluted cities.[/b]

I was fortunate enough to witness. A moment of the lifetime , may be it isn't as rare a phenomenon as I think, but I have not seen anything like this... so I feel..blessed really!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have managed to load some pictures for memory and for those who have not been able to witness.
Have a great week ahead..

Sunday, 23 November 2008


I haven't been able to update my blog off late... reason being I am travelling a lot and cooking has taken a backseat...
Long time ago when we visited a small shanty hotel in DOWN METTUR as it was known... I did not expect to eat one Dosa which would make an impression all my life. This place was not too clean but was really crowded. The owner made us comfortable by giving us the best table and best waiter???
What do you have we asked... his answer was--- Plain Roast, Onion Roast,Cauliflower Roast, Neyyi Roast (ghee is Neyyi)... Utappam,Idli , Vada.... set dosai... Boori , Barrotta.....

Taken to the word Roast i was quite inquisitive what it would be ,. my husband played it safe by ordering set dosai,, which of course arrived in minutes. My order was delayed and when asked why got the answer lots of people were ahead of me for this Cauliflower Roast. I was impressed that I had chosen a nice dish prefered by so many people...

It was brought finally... I was too shocked , much to the amusement of all others on my table.. it was a dosa stuffed with Cauliflower curry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nevertheless it was one of the tastiest dosas. After that a long time I was devoted to the Cauliflower roast till we left that place, but slowly it faded from memory.

Recently I thought of pictures and one was in this Ananda Bhavan, triggering off the Roast button in my brain.. I tried it at home.. and Lo was quite delicious... not exactly like that place , but still....
Here is the recipe for you which is very easy and is a litle different from the usual dosa we eat..

3 cups of Rice
1 cup of urad dal ( uddina bele,split black gram)
1 spoon Methi ( mentye , fenugreek seeds)
4 spoons of Tuvar dal ( togari bele, yellow lentils)
1 spoon of riceflakes ( avalakki)
Soak the rice separately and the rest of the ingredients with the urad dal for about 6 to 8 hours..Grind them separately and mix them with salt to taste and leave it to ferment in a warm place about 10 to 12 hours..Next day the batter is ready to make crispy dosas... the variations can be done by using more of riceflakes and eliminating tuvar dal to give a soft texture...:
For the Topping
1 cup Cauliflower ( chopped into fine florets )
1/2 cup Onions (finely chopped)
1 tomato (chopped)

Colourful Cauliflower Roast
In a small pan , use a spoon of oil, saute the onion, cauliflower and peas. Add a pinch of salt , garam masala and turmeric powder. Add tomatoes once the cauliflower is done. Keep aside.
On a Non stick pan spread a ladle full of Dosa Batter ( slightly thicker than plain dosa) . Immediately spread the spoon full of the prepared masala . Sprinkle a spoon of ghee around the spread batter and cover.

Let the dosa cook for a few minutes. If you feel it needs to be done.. carefully turn it to the other side.
Serve hot with Chutney or Butter!!!!
Hope to update regularly from now on with loads of Traditional dishes....

Thursday, 2 October 2008

My Friend Himani makes yummiest Biriyani I have ever had... Inspite of taking the recipe from her and trying many a time, mine never turns out as tasty as hers or I feel so. This Saturday with minimum of the available stuff in this here and some modification to the recipe. I made again and Lo.. it turned out really yummylicious...

Here is the Recipe with my changes in it.

half a cup each of potatoes, green beans, carrots and green peas
1 cup cauliflower florets
Finely chopped Capsicum and
Fried onions and fried cashew nuts. (Cut very fine thin slice of onions longitunidally and deepfry till they are crisp)
Grind together
2-3 cloves of Garlic, one inch ginger, One cup chopped onions and two green chillies,few mintleaves and little coriander.
Ground powder
3 cloves
1 inch stick of cinnamon
2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of freshly peeled cardamom
1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
2 teaspoons of red chilli powder (or 3-4 whole red chillies)
Basmati rice 2 cups
½ cup yogurt
a small stick of cinnamon
3-4 bay leaves
a pinch of saffron
two spoons of tomato puree
Salt to taste
Sunflower Oil/Vegetable oil

Wash the rice and drain the water.Cook the rice in two batches one plain and another in saffron colour ( which will turn out slightly yellowish)
Keep them covered and hot.
In a Kadai ... add two spoons of oil/ghee,a little turmeric powder, add bayleaves, cinnamon and the ground paste. When the paste turns reddish/brown add the dry ground powder (the masala).add the vegetables (they can be parboiled before hand)
Now add the tomato puree,saffron, yogurt, and salt.Cook till it gives out an aroma.

Now both the masala and rice are ready to be layered. I prefer them layered.. If not you can put the basmati rice into this mixture and cook till the rice is done say for about 15 minutes.


In a Deep bottem vessel ( I used the glass one as I heated the Biryani just before dinner in a Oven)Apply some Oil, and spread a layer of coloured rice,then the layer of Masala with vegerables and another layer of rice on top of it.The layering can go on .
Leave it in the preheated oven till the dinner is ready to be served.

Garnish with fresh mintleaves, coraiander leaves , fried onions and Cashewnuts.
While serving.. cut the rice longitunaly and place so that the layers are visible on the plate,

Can be served with Fresh salad or Onion and tomato Raita... or papad and pickle.

I am at loss for good pictures. Please do bear with me...
Enjoy the Biriyani and let me know how yours turned out. Would love to hear from you if you there is any other ingredient which can be added.

TIP: I used the Bombay Biriyani powder instead of the ground powder mentioned above this time , it turned out as good.

The MTR biriyani paste available in India is excellent too.. to my taste it has a too strong garlic smell and that can be overcome by frying it in ghee a bit more.

Thursday, 4 September 2008

Gowri Ganesha..... and memories of 'GANPATI KOODSIDDIRA?"

Hello Everybody,,,, It has been a long absence , and I have started missing my blogging a bit too much. I am not able to do it partly because my camera is in trouble and mostly because I am not cooking much at all. Will start my experiments with food soon, I hope.

Hope all of you had a very lovely Ganesh Chaturthi...I have been travelling down the memory since the preparations begun for this festival in my house here in Mysore... (this time fortunately I was in town for the festive season). This particular festival brings the sleepy town of Mysore to life just before the major Attraction the Dasara Mahotsava.I was a bit disappointed to see much was not happening .. Everybody were mostly to their own . But come evening on Wednesday... I was really happy to see many people visitng and we were invited too. Atleast felt it was really the FESTIVE SEASON.

For us Gowri and Ganesh festivals was all about socialising , visiting other peoples houses...
The preparations would begin 15 to 20 days before,..The Ganesh Chaturthi is donned in Mysore by the 'MYSORE SILK GOWRI GANESHA SALE". As far as I remember my mother and aunts would wait for this notice and this marked the beginning of Festive season for me!!!!!!

Then begins the collecting money procedure.Each locality having its own Ganesh murthy... collections would be used to buy the idol, prepare the prasad... BLaring soundsystem which would make lives of many senior citizens miserable... yet was fun!!!! the whole morning it would be devotional songs and come evening.. the place would be full of movie songs the next day.This celebration is lost unfortunately, not to be seen except for in one or two places. ...seems like people int he locality barely know each other.The best thing I noticed was that many people had gone in for the eco friendly GAnesh Moorty made of only Clay.

Going back to my times, the pooja in the house would be finished with sumptuous lunch the list is really tempting..Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine a bustling house.. tempting lunch served on the banana leaves including the wonderful dishes like Karigadubu,Kai Holige , Obbattu and Modaka Not to mention the palya, payasa and chitraanna. After such a lunch... the kids of the street would gather at four in the evening .... on Ganesh chaturthi.. in our best (ofcourse new and usually the Zari langa and blouse) attire..with a huge bowl of Akshate (It is rice coloured red or yellow).
This custom of visiting houses asking "Ganpati koodsiddira??? (Have you had Ganpati in your house ? is the vague translation) and would get Charpu (yummy goodies of different sorts) is really amazing. The children would go to each and every house in almost the whole locality and end up with a bagful of goodies.. mainly of chaklis, sweet dishes and fruits... The idea behind this is to see 101 idols of lord Ganesha and as well as making aquintances. My grandmother always used to say that people would be busy in a normal and this was one way of visiting thier houses and get to know them..I miss those days!!I miss the stressfree and happy childhood. The festive atmosphere and comradiere was not there anymore I felt... very few kids, count of fingers came home... but the spirit remains. I was very happy when my daughters said they would love to do it.I hope the next year they have the same enthusiasm.

Here is the recipe for Karigadubu, I hope to put in the picture as soon as my camera is done with its treatment.. Till then probably it will be only recipes...


For the outer covering.

1 cup Fine Rava ( fine semolina)

1/4 cup All purpose flour (Maida)

2 spoons of Ghee (clarified butter)

Water enough to mix

Oil for Deep Frying

For the filling

Half a cup of Sugar Powdered

Half a cup Dessicated Coconut or shredded Copra

1 tsp Powdered Elaichi/Cardamom

Dryfruits can be added for extra taste. (Almonds, Cashewnuts and raisans and be finely chopped and roasted in very little ghee)


Mix all the ingredients for the covering just adding enough water to make a stiff dough; The dough should not be too think and a bit thick. Knead well and let it aside for about 15 mintues.Keep it covered.

In a bowl, mix the ingredients for the filling , add sugar according to the taste...it is optional to mix the dry fruits mixture.

Take the dough meant for covering . Take small balls enough to roll out into one reasonable sized pooris. Place the filling in the middle of poori in a straight line.
Now the tricky part.The sealing of the puris to give the the typical shape.
Seal them with some milk... and twist a bit so that the filling doesnt come out into the oil while deep frying.

Deep fry the karigadubu in hot oil at medium heat till they are golden brown in colour.Do not fry on high heat.It spoils the taste.
Let the kadubus dry and then store them in air tight container... Enjoy with lunch or just as a evening snack..

Jai Ganesh deva...
ciao from me now... hopeful of a picture soon.

Friday, 13 June 2008

Mandalu Oggarane/ Puffed rice Upma...


My stay in this place coming to an end.. a new place to visit , new people to meet and new life to build. It is not easy but is quite exciting.Every town has its own flavour to offer and who knows what new colour is waiting to be added to my nomadic life ,, which is already as coloured as a rainbow.
I am off for more than 8 weeks ,, so adieu till i settle again and get time to try more food and update the block.. till then enjoy this time tested and tasty recipe.

Mandalu oggarane/Uggani/puffed rice

A few day sago while browsing i came across the name murmure ki biryani.. tempted by the name i read the recipe which was nothing other than what my mother and grandmother made very regularly as breakfast known as Mandalu Oggarani.. dae out of normal puffed rice and definitely tasty and light . In my town ,Yemmiganur,a small town in Kurnool district this is a truly poor man's biriyani.
The dish is easy to make and quite low in fat. This is made a little different in Rayala seema side of Andhra pradesh.. which is served with mirchi bhajji...That is so yummy .. I always make it a point to get some for one of the roadside joints.. it has a unique taste.

Mandalu oggarane

I tried it once or twice but it wasn't the same taste , husband and kids were not delighted.. Last week I tried it out again by asking her again for the recipe ... luckily for me it was great and girls absolutely loved it...
so here's the recipe for you all...



Puffed rice (Murmure)- about a cup per person.

One big onion - finely chopped

green chillies - finely chopped

1 tsp of salt

two tsps of oil

Pinch of turmeric

1/2 tsp of jeera(cumin)

1/2 tsp of rai ( mustard seeds)

1 spoon of urad dal (black gram dhal)

1 spoon of chana dal (bengal gram dhal)

A sprig of fresh curry leaves

finely chopped coriander leaves

1 tablespoon of roasted gram dal powder (putani pudi /phutana powder)

two spoons of lemon juice.

freshly grated coconut or desiccated coconut (optional, for the variation)


Soak the Puffed rice in a large pan of water for not more than 6 to 8 minutes. Squeeze and let it stay in a colander.

In the mean time, heat two spoons of oil in a kadai , add rai, cumin, urad dal, chana dal, turmeric powder,curry leaves, green chillies and onions.When the onions are cooked and get soft,add the squeezed puffed rice mix thoroughly. Add the phutana powder, salt and mix well.

Turn the heat off and add lemon juice and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.Serve and eat hot.

It is very tasty with some fresh plain yogurt too.


My grandmother was not keen on using onions in this dish she just used freshly grated coconut in the end.. it would turn out as delicious.
I add potaoes and capsicum both finely chopped and peas to the above recipe. It tasts amazing and visually the green peas adds a lot of colour to the dish.

Well hoping to be back in action as soon as possible...

Pofta buna

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Baby corn Pakodas ( babycorn fritters)

The best part of summer in England is that we get to see Sun for at least few days a week. This weekend was one of the hottest we had this season.. with temperatures 26 it was an ideal day to enjoy at the beach..

Bournemouth is one the cleanest beaches in England. Our drive was more than 2 hrs but was worth it ,, it was like almost half of England has come to sunbathe. Kids enjoyed in the sand , which was so fine . Fun time.

The best parts of my trip are

Floating in the air in a Helium balloon to about 500 feet in the sky and have a complete birds eye view of the town from the balloon. It is my desire to ride a hot air balloon too.

Seeing the smiles on the faces of all the children enjoying the waves,building sand castles just to break them....

While we were returning my younger daughter suddenly remembered baby corn... she wanted me to make baby corn Manchurian again. Not that it needed a lot of work and since we had just returned I was not really in a mood to make that effort too.. But she made a pout so had to give in and managed to make another dish Baby corn Pakodas. They turned out really delicious and crispy.Now I am sure it will be a regular dish at my house.

Crispy Baby Corn Pakoras


12 - 15 baby corn cobs

2 spoons of Rice flour

2 spoons of Gram flour

1 spoon of all purpose flour

1 spoon of cumin seeds

salt to taste
1 spoon of Red chilli powder ( rasam powder is tastier)

1/4 spoon baking soda

Oil to fry.
(optional - use any food colour to enhance the presentation)


Cut the baby corn cobs longitudinally. If you are using frozen , thaw them and then use slit them longitudinally.

Add all the other ingredients other than oil and mix on the baby corn pieces till all the pieces are smeared with the flour. Do not add water. Sprinkle if necessary.

Heat the oil in a kadai/ pan. Deep fry the corn cobs till they are crispy. Serve hot with tomato sauce or mint chutney.

One of the easiest dishes to make and tasty too.
I am off for a few weeks now.. will not be updating for those days.. hopefully will keep things ready and keep adding as and when possible in the next few months.

Bye for a few weeks friends...

Wednesday, 7 May 2008


Tapioca is essentially a flavorless starchy ingredient, or fecula produced from treated and dried cassava (manioc) root and used in cooking.

Saboodana is made of this Tapioca and is used extensively in the food cooked during Fast ( like Ekadashi etc) . Making the saboodana khichdi is very tricky exercise. I lingered on to the taste from my childhood. My grandmother made most amazing khichdi and she called it sabbakki Khees (Saboodana khichdi..).

I got this recipe from a friend who made this exceptionally tasty... here it is for you all.



One cup (Saboodana) sago dry
One cup Roasted Peanuts powdered
1/4 cup coconut scraped/dessicated
3 green chillies chopped
One boiled potatoes and chopped
2 tbsp coriander chopped
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp Chana dal (bengal gram dal)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp lime juice
1 tbsp ghee
A sprig of curry leaves


Wash the saboodana thoroughly but gently. Drain the excess water and leave the sago on the drain.. Keep aside for about two to four hours. Mix the crushed peanut powder and leave it for half an hour.Heat oil in a non-stick saucepan add mustard, cumin, curry leaves , chana dal , green chillies ,potatoes and stir fry till tender. Add coconut and stir. Sprinkle water and close the Pan for a few minutes.When the sago grains become transparent and soft, add coriander.Add the ghee and lemon juice.Serve hot.

Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Alasande Vade ( Pakoras made of Black eyed beans)

Alasande vade has been a favourite snack ever since my dad introduced its taste to me when I was 10 yrs old.One day when it rained like nobody's business... Soaked black eyed beans came in handy.
This week girls wanted to do a writeup instead of me.. so I thought I will let them do it.They took the whole of yesterday on the computer and I was wondering what they were up to. Did not realise that they had actually made it so well I had no heart to change anything.It was too good to make any changes. I am quite amazed at their computing skills.


1 cup Alasandi beans (Black eyed beans)

1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)

2/3 green chillies

1 inch Ginger finely chopped

1 onion finely chopped

salt to taste

oil to fry.


Soak the black eyed beans over night. Drain and grind with ginger,green chillies, cumin and salt. Mix the chopped onions and salt.Use little water while grinding the batter should be thick like urad vada paste.

Heat the oil in a pan. Make small balls of the batter and deep fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with sauce/green chutney.

Enjoy the rest of the week.Will update with another simple but tasty recipe.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I have been trying to make Dhoklas for god knows how many years... There was one Mrs. Baliga who made most yummy I have ever had in my life. A famous and delicious Gujarati snack.. I did tr many times .After several failed attempts I resorted to Gits, and Aashirwad's instant packets of Khaman dhoklas which did give a rather nice snacks . Enjoyed them , but the bug of making from scratch bit me again a few months ago and I got lucky this time... after a few disastrous efforts.

Most lovely dhoklas I had made were from this recipe I found after a lot of browsing and have been using ever since.

Tried watermarking my pictures... it wasnt succesful so forgive the quality of pics...


1 cup Besan (Gram flour)

2 tbsp Rava (Sooji)1/2 tsp

Citric acid crystals or use Eno Fruit salt

1 tbsp Ginger and green chilli paste

Salt - to taste

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tsp Baking soda

To Garnish:

2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Mustard seeds
A pinch of Hing (asafoetida)
2 to 3 green chillies finely chopped
3 tbsp Coriander - chopped
2 tbsp Grated coconut (fresh preferred)


Mix all the ingredients except the baking soda. Add about 3/4 cup of water. The batter should be about the consistency of dosa batter. Add little more water if you feel the consistency is thick.
Apply some oil to a deep, flat bottomed stainless steel vessel (like a cake pan) that fits into your pressure cooker. Pour some water into the cooker and let it boil up. Once the water boils, add the baking soda to the batter and whip it up. Please not that the the batter should froth up.
Pour it into the prepared vessel to half the height, leaving enough space for the Dhokla to rise up and expand.

Place it into the cooker and let it steam for about 10 minutes. (steam like idlis, not to be pressure cooked)

You can even do the above process in a microwave, but Dhokla usually tends to become too dry and rubbery if you keep it out for even an hour or so. So this method should be used only if you want to eat it up as soon as you prepare it.

Use a microwave-safe container with a lid, grease it with oil, add the baking soda to the batter and half-fill the container. Microwave for 4-5 minutes with the lid on. Remove and sprinkle some water on the khaman to make it soft.
After the cooking is done , insert a knife or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean. Let it cool down and then transfer it to a plate and cut it into squares or diamonds.

To garnish:
heat up some oil , add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add hing and chillies and then pour it over the prepared khaman dhokla. Garnish it with coriander leaves and grated coconut and serve hot with Green chutney /Tamarind Chutney or both.....enjoy and keep me posted if you like it or not.

Friday, 18 April 2008


First of all I have to apologise for not being prompt in updating... I hope you all did miss me. Well even thinking that it is optimism. I would be happy if you all actually did visit to see if there were any updates.

I had to make a short trip to India.The journey was hectic but well rewarded by the mangoes and Sapotas (Chikkoo) Season. Enjoyed everyday on them.Though it was early in the seaoson and the best were yet to come I feasted on the raw mangoes.They are as delicious as fruits.

Mouthwatering Mango

Mangoes are originally from Southeast Asia, where they have grown for over 4000-6000 years. In India, mangoes are considered sacred and India is the world's largest producer of mangoes. Scientifically known as Mangifera Indica, these are part of the sumac family, and related to the cashew.There are thousands of varieties of mangoes which are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.Being season and delicious they are termed King of fruits.

We lived in Mettur Dam ( Tamilnadu, Salem District)for a few years literally in a Mango grove. Each house had the bliss of one or two mango trees. The one in our house would produce on an average of 1000 to 3000 every season. It had become like a ritual to have mangoes everyday as a dish,and finally would be tired of eating it in others house too.

Now, I am delighted at the sight of one mango and keep wondering looking at it, how could anyone get tired of such a sweet and amazing fruit. I did not long ago!!!!!!!!!

This trip I brought back with me a few raw mangoes ..They were from the backyard of an acquaintance of ours.It was the fresh smell.. Cut one to find it was almost sweet.. nevertheless enjoyed it with some salt.The other one was sour as mango should be fit for Mavinkayi Chitranna, a typical dish of Yugadi ( New year according to Hindu Lunar calender ) festival in Karnataka. Everyone would relish this dish I can claim!!!

Mavinakayi Chitranna

( can be said RICE WITH MANGO FLAVOUR, or Mango rice to make it simpler)


1 medium sized raw mango
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
1 tsp jeera
1tsp coriander leaves
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup rice
salt to taste
1 tsp ghee

For the seasoning

mustard seeds

cumin seeds

chana dal (bengal gram dhal)

urad dal (black gram dhal

sprig of curry leaves

2 tsps of peanuts (cashew nut can be added for richer taste)


Cook the rice and spread it on a plate and allow to cool. add a spoon of ghee.The rice should be cooked well but the grains should be separated not sticky ( Khila Khila chawal).Keep aside.

Grate the raw mango. Grind together with Coconut, jeera, dry red chillies, salt, turmeric . The paste or chutney is the base.

In a kadai, add the oil , when hot add the ingredients of seasoning.,. when the peanuts are reddish add the above ground masala and saute for a minute and put the heat off.

Mix the above masala to the rice well . Garnish with some coriander leaves and freshly grated mango shreds.

The delicious chitranna is ready to devour... serve with some papad, ( Happala/ Sandige ) .It is tasty on its own.

Try , enjoy and let me know ....

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Aloo Bonda (Spicy Potato Fritters)

Easter holidays seems like never ending story this time.They have been home for almost two weeks now and all of us are getting tired of it. With me and them looking forward for the reopening of school the only other option was to attend a few workshops around the museums there.That is the reason I have not been able to make good dishes and update.They had easter card competition , I enjoyed making these cards with them.

They enjoyed two workshops around this week making collages..I always wonder why we are so academically oriented ??? I want them to do everything I could not do in life.. but then at the end of the day I worry what if they do not succeed academically????? Is it enough to be bright , smart and confident, or is it necessary for it to translate into mark sheet to be successful in life?

The weather wasn't really great to keep spirits high.English weather is usually grey , but this time it was unusually depressing and grey for a few days at a stretch. So all these thoughts and homesickness too were making the mood really low.

Well all these thoughts keep going on in mind . It doesn't mean i have to give up my foodie nature for that reason. I had made poori and potato sabzi the other day, and was left with lots of aloo sabzi. Did not have any batter for Dosas so masala dosa was out of question.Did not want to waste food this way. Like people who have sweet tooth , I should say i have a snack tooth... cannot just resist deep fried stuff like bonda, bajjis or pakoras.... Yummy.. without delay as soon as the thought struck with some Gram flour I could turn out some delicious aloo bondas which really lifted our spirits up with its excellent taste..

Aloo Bonda ( Spicy Potato Balls in Gramflour dough)

3 large boiled and mashed potatoes

1 cup - Gram flour (besan)

2 spoons - Rice flour

cooking soda (optional)

1 cup - Chopped onions

chopped ginger (1 inch)

Chopped green chilli (two to three)

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder

Vegetable/sunflower oil for deep frying

Mustard and cumin seeds for seasoning

few curry leaves

chopped Coriander

amchur or lemon juice

Salt to taste.

In a deep pan add a spoon of oil, when it gets hot add mustard seeds.When it splutters add cumin ,haldi/turmeric powder, green chillies, chopped onion , chopped ginger and few curry leaves.Add a spoon or two of water to cook the onions , this gives a good taste.Then add the mashed potatoes, salt and if any other masala desired. Fresh coconut can be used instead of Onions....Mix the potatoes thoroughly , adding some amchur of lemon juice for added taste.

Make small sized balls and keep aside.

In a large bowl sieve one cup of Gram flour, and two spoons of Rice flour. Mix it well using water sparingly, without lump adding redchilli powder, salt and a pinch of Cooking soda .Cooking soda can be avoided. Take care that the batter is neither runny nor thick. It should be just right to flow around the potato balls made earlier .

Now in a large pan , heat oil . Take each potato ball and dip it in the Gram flour batter and deep fry till golden brown . Keep the oil on medium flame to cook well. it does take a little more time than usual pakodas. Serve hot with Mint and Tamarind Chutney.

This is a lovely snack to be served hot and not bad when cold either.. with two slices of salted buns it turns into the delicious Vada PAV,... hoping to make that dish too properly,,, by the recipe.

Hopeful to be more regular in updating...Bye for now.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Yummy dish

When in Mysore I was really surprised to see the advent of Gobi Manchurian in a big way .. churumuri and Panipuri have been actually marginalised by noodles and Gobi carts.Even though I love churumuri I indulged myself to a treat of delicious Gobi Manchurian on the Gaadis.. They are simply delicious and absolutely impossible to resist when you see a gadi.. there is a pull towards it.Indo chinese has actually changed the way of food at my house too.. I love a lot of dishes but can cook few with expertise.

On Friday I was telling about my school days to children.. the churumuri and now how Gobi Manchurian has taken over the city. They had tasted once when i made Gobi Manchurian and now wanted me to make it. I had no Cauliflower in the house and was thinking what to do.. My younger one remembered eating Baby corn Manchurian at a restaurant during our last visit.

I opened my freezer only to see that they were too little.. so added some paneer (cottage cheese) also to make it a mixture of paneer -baby corn Manchurian.I was wondering how the outcome would be... Well I needn't have worried it was extremely tasty...

It was a delight both to eyes and palate


Ingredients required:

15 baby corncobs,

100 grams of paneer ( or a slab of cottage cheese)

4 table spoons of corn flour,

2 table spoon of maida (all purpose flour)

1 table spoon rice flour

oil ( vegetable oil ),

1 spoon ginger garlic paste

Tomato sauce,

2 spoons of tomato puree

soy sauce

1 pinch aji-no-moto

Chopped capsicum half a cup

Onions finely chopped half a cup

5 garlic cloves finely chopped

3 green chillies slit longitudinally,

1 inch garlic finely chopped,

coriander leaves,

1 spoon kashmiri chilli powder

and salt to taste


Wash the baby corn thoroughly and cut into small pieces( I used frozen , if you are using fresh, cook the baby corn cobs in some hot water for a couple of minutes.It helps it too cook when you deep fry). cut paneer too into similar sized cubes.

In a bowl add two spoons of cornflour, two spoons maida and one spoon of rice flour , salt, kashmiri chilli powder, one spoon ginger garlic paste and mix with little water making it a light batter

Dip the baby corn and paneer pieces in this batter and deep fry till golden brown.The Kashmiri chilli powder gives it a good colour ( you can use red food colour if you have no reservations of using food colour).Keep aside.


In a pan ,,, add two spoons of oil. when the oil is hot add the cut green chillies, garlic, ginger... onions and capsicum.When they are half cooked add some salt, aji no moto and cover.When these are cooked , add two spoons of cornflour mixed in a cup of cold water.It thickens very soon giving a lovely aroma,then add tomato puree, tomato sauce and two spoons of soy sauce.. Turn the gas off.Take care you don't use too much soy sauce.. it can give a very sour taste

While serving, Take a small kadai. heat the gravy , add the baby corn and paneer pieces and let it soak in the gravy for a minute of two.. then transfer on to a plate and garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve hot.. It is tastier when hot..

Try this dish , let me know if you enjoyed it as much as I did.

Monday, 17 March 2008

LAUKI KE KOFTE/Bottlegourd dumplings in spicy gravy

I was not aware of Doodi / lauki /Bottle Gourd/ Sorekayi { in Kannada} for long time as it was not used in the house at all..It was kind of not bought/brought home I am not sure why??? It seemed so delicious a dish when I first ate it.Well.. it was my good friend Sunitha who made me lick my fingers whenever she made lauki ke kofte... got hooked to it when she was around..I never tried it though.
Soon forgot all about it , was happy trying out new things.This week when i spotted Lauki in the Indian store, all memories rushed back and I ended up making Kofte with what I remembered she had told me about the procedure and ingredients..
We enjoyed it with some Takda dal and Coriander Naan ( I bought them) , made some Matar pulav too.
Lauki Ke Kofte ( dumplings in spicy tomato gravy)


To make Koftas
Half a kilo (500 gms) lauki peeled and grated
2 table spoons besan / gram flour
2-3 green chillies
grated ginger
Salt to taste
1 tea spoon red chilli powder
Finely chopped few coriander leaves

Ingredients for gravy

2 medium sized onions
3 medium sized tomatoes grated / puree
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger
2-3 flakes garlic
Few chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp jeera powder
1 inch dalchini / cinnamon
1-2 bay leaves / tej patta
1 big cardamom / badi elaichi
3-4 cloves/laung
oil for frying
Juice that is extracted from lauki and kept aside
and water if required.

Grate the lauki,sprinkle some salt and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Now squeeze out water from it completely. Store the extracted water/juice in a bowl separately.
To this grated lauki add grated ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, salt, red chilli powder and mix well. Add besan/gramflour to bind it well into round or oval balls..
heat the Oil in a Kadi or Deep pan. Deep fry these koftas simultaneously to golden brown colours. Keep the flame medium as the koftas get cooked outer side very fast and the centre will remain uncooked...Store the deep fried koftas on to a tissue paper..

To make Gravy:

Heat 2 table spoons of oil in a kadai or heavy bottom pan. Grind Onions, ginger, garlic together to a fine paste...
Put dalchini, crushed elaichi, tej patta, cloves let it splutter in oil then add green chillies, garlic, ginger, onions and cover the pan for few minutes on medium flame, Now add the ground paste and let it cook till the raw smell of garlic is gone and onions turns to a pinkish colour. Now add tomatoes or tomato puree salt and turmeric, red chilli, jeera, coriander powders and mix well.

Keep stirring for sometime and check if the gravy is even and well blended add the extracted water from lauki now. Let the gravy boil for about 5 to 8 minutes...
Sprinkle garam masala.
The gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin but medium.
At the time of serving heat the gravy, transfer in serving dish add the koftas now and garnish with coriander leaves.
This gravy dish goes very well with Rotis ....
Have a great week ahead...

Monday, 10 March 2008

Mysore Masala Puri

My school days remain the happiest and memorable days of my life till date.Apart from commuting in a crowded citybus.. sitting on a wooden bench with three more girls, silly fights, assembly songs... walking home if we wanted too ( no fear of any sort).Life was fantastic. School days were more enjoyabel with the eatables available just outside the school gates.Those who have been in Mysore can vouch that schooling was synonymous with Churumuri , pani puri, masalapuri... soutekayi (cucumber )and tomato puri........ all available very near to my school in Ballal Circle...
When at school I used get a 25 or 50 Paisa allowance to eat out every Saturday... which was more than enough for a pack of churumuri ( the cone made of paper)(now it is 5 Rs., yummy all the same).The soutekayi ( A longitudinal layer of cucumber layered with lots of garnishing and chutneys).Once you get the hang of churumuri it is almost very difficult to get rid of that that love from your mind.It stays and grows with you. I make it quite often ,but it is never exactly the same.

The masalapuri on the other hand was a bit expensive for me and had to save about three weeks of this money to get one plate... so it was a treat sometimes by my Ajji (grandmother) after she would be pestered by me for it endlessly for the whole week.It was a whooping 1.25 paise...but worth the money.I can feel the taste lingering even now after many many years.Even to date.. my loyalty for this particular churumuri and masalapuri fellows haven't changed. It is not available anywhere else ( may be in Bangalore..I haven't had it there ) with the same taste..specially the masalapuri has a very distinct taste.But I always maintained that the Gadiwala added a secret ingredient to make it so tasty which we cud never get hold off.. which many elders in my family.. felt and feel was his sweat and dirty hands and of all dirty plates... But nothing they say, said detered me frome ating at those chat (carts) places... masalpuri gadis (the cart with all this stuff )or will stop me.. I am immune to all the bugs which can be speread thru these lovely dishes...What is life without them is my argument!!! I am sure many of u there support me.

My Masalpuri:

After many failed attempts to make it at home with the same ingredients.. finally there was a ray of hope,.when my sister passed on a recipe, she got from our cousin. She had tried and said it did taste well.. with the hope this would be good I tried out this Friday and it was a Smash Hit.. BANG!! right the Gadi (cart) taste... now am sure no special ingredients other than using the RIGHT ingredients in Right quantities... and to our taste...The peas masala is the most important ingredient... It is easy to make and tasty too.. Our friends whe where here said it was exactly like the Gadiwala, what better award could i get than that.


Small Crispy Puris (which are available in the market .. these are known as Gol guppa too)
Peas Masala
Grated Carrot
Lemon juice (optional)
Finely chopped Onions
Boiled and mashed Potatoes
Finely chopped Coriander
Chopped Tomatoes
Chat Masala
Garam Masala
Tamarind Chutney
Green Chutney
SEV ( plain thin) or any spicy mixture


The few of the ingredients to be cooked with some effort is Peas Masala .Easy that it is need a bit of planning..
Dry peas (Batani/vatana) - 1/2 kg
Green chillies - 4
Coriander - chopped half a cup
Ginger - Garlic paste - 2 spoons
One onion - chopped
Garam masala - 4 spoons
Pepper corns
amchur powder - 1 sp
salt to taste
oil - 1 tbsp

Soak the Dry Peas overnight... cook them with salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker.

Grind onion, Ginger garlic paste, one spoon of garam masala, 3/4 green chillies,4 /5 pepper corns, coriander, and one big cup of the boiled peas to a fine paste.
In a big pan heat some oil...and saute the taste for a few minutes till the paste gives out a nice aroma. then add the rest of the boiled peas, with some salt , amchur powder and 3 spoons of garam masala.. let it boil till the paste gets to a thick gravy consistency...One of the secret of the chatwallah is the constant boiling of this masala....so if you prepare it earlier in the day.. start the boiling the peas masala at least 15 minutes before you start serving the dish.

Now for the layering part.this can be done according to our taste .. so the measurements can vary to each plate to the individual's taste.

1.Take 5 to 6 Puris and crush them lightly on a shallow plate.. Add some mashed potatoes as a second layer.

2.Pour the hot peas masala in generous quantity over the potaotes covering the potates and the PURIs

3.Sprinkle chopped tomatoes and Onions on top of the gravy.Place a few cucumber slices to soothe the tongue in case the masala is too spicy .

4. Add some green chutney and tamarind chutney according to the taste and sprinkle a layer of carrots and Sev.. on the top.
Just add a dash of lemon juice if needed.

5. A dash of coriander (which was a bit too much in this plate , but i love it this way),Just sprinkle some Chat Masala and the dish is ready to be served immediately.

This is really yummy .The peas masala is holds the key to this dish... I will await responses..

Bye for today... Have a great week ahead

Tuesday, 4 March 2008

Sunset at a lake near by

A few weeks ago, on a saturday we drove to a lake near by... We did not expect this wonderful view though.The lake is next to a leisure centre so can imagine the crowd that would be there, but amazingly it was quite clean and the ducks and swans swimming around made my day.
The weather here is so unpredictable it is wise to make use of little sun we see. I tried capturing the view in my camera but not sure how succesful I was.I have posted a few I thought were goood...Well!!! let me know what you think

Lovely peek through the trees... It was an amazing sight

Just about to drown,, leaving the waters golden

We love this place.... can we stay here amma????

Lonely even in a crowd.... swan that I am in a group of ducks!!!!!!!

Feeding Frenzy

Going to be back tomorrow
No words to explain the feeling I had at that point of time... may be just to sing
Abhi na jaao chodkar ke dil abhi bhara nahi!!!!!!!