Monday, 14 December 2009


December has crept in and already second week is on. It has been a bit busy month with lots of travelling , loads of dishes to try and taste.

Idli ,usually is served with traditional sambar, one or two chutneys. I like it with Onion chutney.

A quick recipe of sambar which I had heard from a friend long back helped me today as I didn't have coconut to make the usual combo of idlis.

Jhat phat sambar as I call it is quick to make and perfect accompaniment for Idlis, specially when there is a constraint of time and resources.

Jhat pat Sambar :

1 cup masoor dal

2 spoonful tamarind juice

2 tomatoes finely chopped

1 spoon grated coconut

two onions finely chopped ( one cup full peeled sambar onions (shallots))

sambar powder to taste ( I used MTR)

salt to taste

Oil - 1 tsp

mustard 1/2 tsp

cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

one or two dry red chillies

curry leaves - a sprig

a pinch of asafoetida

coriander leaves for garnishing.


Make a coarse powder of the masoor dal in the mixer- grinder. Add grated coconut,tamarind juice or paste, sambar powder and some water to make a fine paste and keep aside .
In a deep pan add the oil, let it heat and then add mustard let it splutter add the cumin seeds ( jeera ) curry leaves , dry red chillies and asafoetida. Then add the cut onions and tomatoes . Add desired vegetables which cook quickly like brinjal and carrot, but they should be sliced thin to cook quickly.When the vegetables are sauteed well add the ground paste and salt and let it boil. Add water for the required consistency . Yummy Sambar is ready in minutes , garnish with the coriander leaves and a dash of ghee.
Enjoy this dish with Hot Idlis and filter coffee.

Enjoy the Christmas season and have a wonderful New year 2010.

Waiting for the New year which I hope will bring prosperity to all of us.

Friday, 6 November 2009

Congress Kadlekai beeja

October passed by without notice. I haven't had much time this month . My big achievement this month was to baptise my girls to the CHAT of Mysore Churmuri. This is something unique of this place and for reasons unknown has not been popular anywhere other than Mysore. It is really strange that I did not found the taste being the same even in Bangalore .The only thing my girls did not like was the masala peanuts in it,which I love. This week I tried making them at home and Lo here it is in my bowl. All set and yes this they did like and eat.

This is a very simple procedure and can be stored for days provided it is done in less oil.
Roasted Peanuts - 3 cups
Red chilly powder- to taste
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric - 1 1/2 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp ( can add more tastes better)
Black pepper powder- 1 tsp ( taste better with more)
Oil- half to one tsp
Salt to taste
Roast peanuts till they are blackish on the skin. In a large plate or pan just rub them gently the skin peels off. Clean and spilt them into half. Heat the oil, add curry leaves, hing and turmeric powder. Add the roasted peanuts and turn the heat off. Mix well while adding pepper , chilli powder and salt.
Very simple isn't it.
Ciao. Hoping to update a few more recipes soon.

Sunday, 4 October 2009



Dear Friends,
All of you must be aware and must have seen the havoc being created by the floods in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. The temple town of Mantralaya has been totally submerged and vast stretches upto Kurnool has been inundated. Nandyal is on the way too.

As a pay back to the society to which we come from we thought of appealing to all of you to contribute what you can so that we can relieve the misery of our fellow citizens to the extent we can.

We can only assure that the end use of the funds will be 100% for the need and we will see that every penny of your gesture will be used. Once the work is completed you will recieve details of the usage of money.
We urge all of you to contribute your might to this cause.
Remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
The bank account to which the remittance can be sent is given below:

Benefeciary: Vishwabharathi Kalaniketan & Education Society
Name of the Bank: Indian Bank
Bank Account No: 509383166
IFSC Code: IDIB000B015
In case you want to send across a cheque please send it to the following address :

K.Pavan Kumar,
BELLARY - 583104
Ph No 09980823248
Looking forward to your valued contribution.Please circulate this among your friends to make it a success.
Shashikanth & Shubha .

P.S. We have used an existing Trust account for this purpose as it was taking too long to get an approval for a new one.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Ragi dose with vegetable ishtew

My girls like dose's at any time of the day. They loved the Ragi dose aunt L made a month ago. They named it brown dose and said that would be once a week from then on , provided I make it the same way. Not that I had any choice left but to get the recipe and make it as she did. But then I did not want to give the same chutney and thought will make it with something else and then the time came only today morning . I made kaikari ishtew (vegetable stew) as the side dish and it went very well with Ragi dose as it did with Neer dose ( I learnt that too... yummmm will update as soon as I get it right. )
Ragi Dose :
In Karnataka it is not Dosa,, it is DosE . It is true that I alsos got used to the word Dosa, and use that as others do not understand it. But I prefer to call it DosE instead of Dosa. Ragi is grown mostly in Africa and Asia.In India, finger millet (locally called ragi) is mostly grown and consumed in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra extensively. In Karnataka, ragi flour is generally consumed in the form of ragi balls (ರಾಗಿ ಮುದ್ದೆ ragi mudde in Kannada). The mudde which is prepared by cooking the Ragi flour with water to achieve a dough like consistency. Which is then rolled into 'balls' of desired size and consumed. Ghee with Huli,Saaru,sambar or another other curry is generally served along with these balls. The malt, made of malted Ragi is used as Ragi Malt is mixed with milk. The ragi powder is used for Rotti (Ragi Rotti) and Ragi Dose. Thi s one of the most nutritious cereal mankind has known. It is very rich in fibre and has about 328 k cal of energy.Today breakfast at my place looked like below pic...



3 small cups Ragi flour

1 small cup Urad dal (Black gram dal)

1/2 tsp Fenugreek (Methi Seeds) (optional)

Salt to taste.

Oil to smear.

1 spoon yogurt /curds (optional)


Soak the urad dal and methi seeds for about 6 to 8 hours. Grind to a fine paste using as little water as possible. Mix the three parts of Ragi flour to the ground paste, add salt and the spoon of curds if the weather is cold. Mix thoroughly and allow to ferment for 12 to 14 hours.
The batter is ready to use.Add water if you feel the batter is very thick and spread on a hot tawa as usual dosas. Adding oil around the dosas to make it crisp is your decision. It is not necessary if you are using a nonstick pan.
Variation :Add finely chopped onion, green chillies, coriander and jeera .This adds a different flavour and is quite tasty.Enjoy with Vegetable Ishtew.

Vegetable Ishtew:
There are loads of authentic recipes of this Kaikari ishtew, a Keralite dish, Delicious with Appam. I had to change a little to suit our needs and taste. This is the modifed recipe I use regularly now. Today it is bit little colourless , as I ran out of Carrots which gives a lovely colour.
2 carrots
Half of a small cauliflower
1/2 cup french beans
2 potatoes
1/2 cup green peas
2 medium onions
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger
A sprig of curry leaves
1 cup thick coconut milk ( I use dabur HOMMADE ready coocnut milk )
2 tblsp coconut oil
1 bay leaf
1 spoon cumin seeds (jeera)
2 cloves
1 star anise
one inch stick cinnamonsalt to taste.
Wash, peel and cut carrot, beans and potatoes into equal sized small cubes. Cut cauliflower into small florets and soak in salted warm water. Peel and slice the onion and wash and slit the green chillies. Peel the ginger and cut to fine pieces or to a smooth paste. Wash the curry leaves.
To make coconut milk (Soak about 4 cups of scraped coconut in 2 cups of warm water, grind and squeeze out thick milk. Repeat this process two more times but with only one cup water to get totally three extracts of varying density. ) Or easy to use the ready coconut milk.
Par boil the vegetables one by one, drain and keep aside.
Heat 2 tbsp of oil add the bay leaf, star anise, cloves and cinnamon and fry till there is a pleasant aroma. Add the cumin seeds ,onion, curry leaves and green chillies. Keep sauteing till the onion just starts becoming light brown, then add the par boiled vegetables with the salt to taste and saute for a couple of minutes.Pour half the coconut milk, add little water and boil . When well cooked add the remaining coconut milk and turn the heat off. Season with hot oil and curry leaves, and serve hot with Appam or Neer dose or Ragi dose.
Bye for now.Let me know if you have liked it. With Dasara coming in, Mysore is getting decorated in every nook and corner, we are also carried away by the enthusiasm. Have a great festival.

Monday, 20 July 2009

Pasta with White Sauce

The subject of our talk during the evening walk today was near by places for a weekend trip from MYSORE.Today paper says Jog is wonderful to visit this season and it is on the list for next weekend said a friend of mine.
Jog falls is in Shimoga district of Karnataka. Not very far from mysore and so ideal for a weekend trip.
I was told by my family that this Joga Jalapata ( Jog falls, is fromed by River Sharavati, and falls from a height of some 830 feet, which is about 253 meters andso is the highest plunge water fall in India.

Wikipedia says:
There are many waterfalls in Asia - and also in India - which drop from a higher altitude. But, unlike those falls, Jog Falls is untiered, i.e., it drops directly and does not stream on to rocks. Thus, it can be described as the highest untiered waterfalls in India.River Sharavathi splits up into four different tracks which are named in accordance with their perceived trajectories[3]. Going from left to right respectively in the picture, the names and the reasons for naming are:
Raja (King): Named so because of its apparently 'dignified' and 'serene' fall.
Roarer: This stream appears out of a mass of rocks, making a tremendous amount of noise.
Rocket: Consists of a large volume of water streaming out of a small opening at a very high speed.
Rani (Queen), also called Lady: The stream has a winding, twisting trajectory, said to resemble the movements of a female dancer.
The world famous Jog falls has begun wearing a new look.
The splendorous falls provides an enchanting view as it falls from a height of nearly 890 feet. The falls, which is usually crystal clear, has turned red with the release of nearly 60,000 cusecs of muddy water from the Linganamakki Reservoir. The reservoir is said to be receiving nearly 1 lakh cusecs of water following incessant rains in its catchment area. The flood situation in parts of Honnavar in Uttara Kannada district in the downstream may worsen if the discharge from the reservoir exceeds 2 lakh cusecs of water. However, for the Jog Falls will make for a scintillating sight.

As it usually does our talk then drifted to what was on the menu for dinner at each ones place. As one said she would prepare pasta ,I was reminded of Pasta with white sauce and vegetables that I had not cooked in a long time. With all ingredients it can be cooked in a jiffy. It did taste good I should say.



2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp. flour (maida)
2 cups of milk
Cheese ( two spoons grated
Pasta ( any type)
(chop all the vegetables very fine)
2 garlic cloves
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder
Pasta seasoning.
This tasty dish can be cooked in few simple steps.
1. Cook pasta and keep aside.
2.Steam all the vegetables other than onion, capsicum and garlic
3.In a small pan , stir fry garlic , onion and capsicum in a little butter
4.In another deep bottom pan, melt the butter, stir in the flour... when it is slightly done add the cheese ,stir fried vegetables, salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add the steamed vegetables.
6. Cook well adding milk all at one and cooking over medium heat until it thickens.
7.Mix with the cooked pasta and serve hot.
In a small melt butter. Stir in flour.

Ciao for now.

Friday, 26 June 2009


God knows that it took me one month to do a market research on smaller cars, preferably a hatch-back and friends and relatives stopped talking to me because I would only speak about cars and cars.After loads of test drive. I decided i would go in for the Maruti Brand , because of their customer service. Fell for the Black coloured Zen Estilo. Ever since in love with my Black Beauty.
All this was way back in October. Then began the series of calls which come in for the first three free services...
The first one went offText Colour without a hitch. For the second one, the I spy you began..They call and I am not in town, I call they don't have a vacant spot to take up the service. Finally we decided the 12th of June. They sent a driver for the pick up (Exclusive service for their lady customers, I was told!!). He checkup what all he could and then took it after announcing that he thinks the vehicle is fine but they will call up if there are any charges.
Friday evening my vehicle arrived back, no problems what so ever. I was delighted to see the dues written zero,signed the received letter and thanked him.
After half hour when I decided to take the girls on a drive notice that the car wasn't responding the the remote signal of the key.
I was perplexed.Nothing could go wrong.. It was fine when he brought it. No !!I hadn't checked that .. Did I? Well I opened the car manually and kept wondering.. My face seemed so puzzled a friend who was quite acquainted with cars and its mechanism.... said " don't worry.. usually they turn off the central remote control button when they are washing cars!!!!!!!!!" OH what a relief.. I was a bit glad.With a smile on my face that things , we parked at a library and i was again wondering aloud . Two men around who tried to help me out said madam you cannot do all this.. go to the service station .This seems to be a major problem not some button off on issue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Service centre gene call maadi!! (call the service centre).
Uff , my smile was off now. Thank god the number of the person who did the servicing was on the tag... Called him Poor man, he seemed as perplexed and offered to send someone first thing next day. I kept wondering all night,, in the process got worked up.
Next day I expected him to what he promised. Be at my place at 10 sort out the issue.Obviously he has better job!!As usual I was expecting too much when I believed serviceman I thought. He was supposed to arrive at 10, and I had to attend a course at 11 so , I called him and said I will come to the service station. On the way, I got worked up all the more . But when I met Ms.S who was quite nice to me all through the purchase of the vehicle and been my point of contact ever since.I burst out loud..."What is this S??? Don't you think it is easier if you sorted out everything when you take the car for a service. I thought your customer service was too good!!! But then see I cant even close my car from a distance (so what don't i have hands to go near and lock it manually , my previous car did not have a remote sensing key... , well anyway will behave as though I grew up with this luxury) Don't you think it is bad that I have to rush here first thing in the morning?
She was calm and composed,and said with a smile "please leave the car here madam I will see to it it is done ".
NO S i have to go out and be at a place by 11 I need to get it done now..
I was being stubborn. I have every reason to be. I am the customer, they cannot afford to displease me!!!
she tried frantically to get hold of the person who did the servicing of my car, he was late that day.. with no other engineer around she was also wondering what to answer when a Breakdown service personnel ( his badge said so) walked in.
Seeing the both of us in that mood and mode he offered to help.
What happened next was the reason of the title, an anticlimax for the scene I created!!!
He took the key saw that it was fine... he checked all the doors.
The door of the Boot , the fifth door (dikki) was not closed. That was the only reason the central locking wouldn't recognise.. I went red and stayed red all day with Embarrassment , can't write any more lest the words turn red.

Have you ever been in such a situation? I hope not.
The only saving grace of the day was the course I went to. Here are some pictures of my work I learnt during the 10 days..

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Roshi with Seeni Sambol

I was not really cooking much these days with the wedding season around here. I really got to eat delicious stuff day in and day out.As a result the blog was not updated But now after almost a month of this festive food I was really ready to try something new and have a change to my palate...
Coming to my rescue is my Maldivian friend N.I glad I came to know her wonderful person that she is she says she isn't a great cook but her mom certainly is. I had a chance to eat their bread/roti Roshi ( roti's made of maida)with a spinach salad called kuhlha filafiath. Since I cannot pronounce it right I will prefer to stick to call it Spinach salad.

That was a delicious combo and I had to try it for dinner. Since I didn't have the ingredients for the spinach salad... she suggested a Srilankan seeni sambol dish as accompaniment. Both are so simple to make and delicious to eat.

Here is a picture of my plate.
Roshi with Seeni Sambol

This is a staple dish, most people eat Roshi for breakfast and dinner . This was a super hit on my dinner table. This Roshi looks more like our own Roomali roti but I guess easier to make.This goes with any kind of dal or curry, dry or gravy ones.This can be a easy substitute to the tortillas to make delicious wraps.
1 cup plain all purpose flour (Maida)

3 small spoons of sunflower oil

salt to taste

and boiling hot water ( about 1/3 cup).


Take the clean sifted flour into a large bowl, add a pinch of salt (to taste).Make a mixture of it by adding oil. The make a large hollow in the centre Add boiling hot water , little at a time mixing with a metal spoon. Once there are clumps stop adding water and let it cool a bit , not to hurt your fingers. Then knead the dough well as soon as it is cool enough .Work around till you get a nice pliable dough, which is not sticky yet is soft.Make this dough into equal sized balls.
Roll out each ball into a round , thin flat roti, dusting it a little with flour to avoid sticking.
Meanwhile heat a flat pan or tava and cook them like normal chapatis or roti's but without any oil.Flip on both sides till both are cooked evenly and serve hot with any side dish of your choice.

It is through practice I think we get the perfect thin and round roti's. Mine were decent enough to get her nod!!! even though one went in the shape of my country showing my patriotism.


A traditional caramelised onion relish from Srilanka,, which she said I could make without one of the ingredients (Maldive fish) in it to suit my veggie needs. This is a typical combination of sweet and hot condiments, a traditional accompaniment to this is a thin flat bread called Roti,but can be served with any kind of bread actually. The name coming from Seeni as in sugar and Sambol a combination of spices. I here give N's recipe.

Sliced Onions - 4

Ground dry Red Chilly - 1 tbsp

Coconut Milk - 5 spoons

Sugar - 2 Tbsp

Cinnamon powder ( can use the bark if powder is not at home, remove the bark after cooking)

cardamom beans (few from one pod is enough)

Salt oil to saute

sprig of curry leaves
(Maldive fish ( for the non vegetarian variety))
In a heavy skillet add two to three spoons of oil. Saute the curry leaves and sprig of curry leaves. then add the onion and salt to taste. Let the onions saute and then add sugar, red chilli powder cardamom beans and cinnamon powder. Let the onions caramelised without getting burnt. The trick is to keep it a bit moist all along.

Then this dish is ready to be served..

( Mine wasn't as caramelised because I did not add a lot of sugar.I preferred it spicier to sweeter, and I used dry red chillies instead of the powder).

I am sure this will be a tasty variant for you all to try out and give me a feed back which will encourage me to try out more of her recipes.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009


This is one of the best breakfast I can ever think of. Extremely nutritious and filling. My grandmother used to make it a lot.She mentioned a bhajnee (typically roasted mixture made specially for thalipeet, as it is known in Maharashtra).Guess the literal meaning would be patting on a plate!!! I could really use with some help with the meaning. When I started cooking I forgot about this and made a lot of the akki rotti...(just of rice flour).Recently remembered this Thalipettu ,It was an instant hit in my house. This easy to digest, nutritious stuff makes a great snack in the evenings as well.I have prepared with the flours I had at home. Adding some soya flour and Ragi flour should add to its nutritional value.This is great on its own. But JHUNKA would be excellent to go with it.


1 cup of wheat flour
1 cup of Jowar flour ( Sorghum)
1 cup of rice flour
4 tbsp of Besan (gram flour)
3 Green chillies chopped
1Grated cucumber grated
1 Carrot Grated
1 Turnip Grated
Finely chopped radish leaves or palak/spinach (optional)
Cumin seeds
2 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves
a pinch of hing/asafoetida
salt to taste and
2 spoons of oil
Onion or freshly grated coconut are optional.
Mix all the grated vegetables with cumin seeds, hing and salt with little bit of oil. On this add the above mentioned flours, mix well to a pliable dough .The grated vegetables will have enough water to make the dough, but if necessary add water to make the dough.Take an Orange sized ball and spread slowly on the tawa or pan. Pat them with fingers to spread them evenly. Make a hole in the centre and add a drop of oil to help the cooking faster and even.cover it with a lid and allow to roast on slow fire for about 10 minutes... then turn over and cook for 2 more minutes.
Serve with chutney pudi and dahi..

Ciao... I enjoyed hope you will too..

Sunday, 12 April 2009


Today it was again a Dosa breakfast day at my place. As usual I had to do something for the girls to keep their interest in the food .Their Lunch box favourite is always NUMBER DOSAS with different numbers to keep their tummy full. Though dosas are not ideal lunch box stuff as they get a bit sticky in the lunch box. I found in these two types of the smaller dosas I make.. they don't stick much and kids are happy too.

The basic ingredient in both the below recipe is dosa batter which is easy to make and store.
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.The batter is ready to be used after it is fermented well.


This is normal dosa batter just forming different numbers and shapes. My girls always enjoyed these as toddlers while learning numbers and did addition on it as well... which added up to their ages...

I hope your kids will enjoy this too...

To make Number dosa:
Just take the batter and pour on the tawa in the desired shape . Make them smaller in size to fit the lunch box. These can be served with honey or onion chutney/coconut chutney.

DOSA OR PIZZA? They call this DOZZA:
This version of Dosa is a real favourite these days. They love this DOZZA ,which is a dosa looking like a pizza,, dont you think so too?Ingredients:
Few pieces of chopped capsicum
1 grated carrot
few pieces of chopped tomato
few pieces of spring onions.
two spoons of oil.
Pour the batter on the tawa in small rounds (about 6 on one medium tawa).Arrange the vegetable pieces as per your liking. Sprinkle oil and close the dosa for a minute or two.
Then let it cook a bit before packing off in the lunch box with some tomato sauce.
I am sending these recipes to Srivalli s MM - kids lunch event. This is the first ever I am participating. Thanks to Meeta for the lovely monthly mingle. Helping poeple like me to participate.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Tomato Bhath

There is a lot of confusion if this is a fruit or a vegetable. These Red Juicy Tomatoes have all the characteristics of Fruit but used as vegetable.
Solanum lycopersicum as it is known.. our lovely tomato is a real life saver.the close cousins of this cute little fruit are harmless potato , brinjal and has a few unusual cousins like tobacco and the poisonous Belladona....This tomato which is often taken for granted has a lot to offer.they are rich in Vitamin C and A along with folate,fibre, potassium and proteins. They are important source of antioxidants which play role in preventing diseases.
Flavonoids present in tomatoes have antioxidant , anti-viral and anti - inflammatory properties...Drinking tomato juice regularly can keep the bacterias and viruses away from the body... more vitamin c means protection against cold and flu.
They have cosmetic value as well.. they have a nourish effect on skin and act as natural sunscreen.
Tomatoes also have cardio vascular benefits... and wonderful anti-aging qualities... Lycopene and beta carotene present in the ma re anti aging components.
Goodness of tomato can be understood by the above link. But then everything has to be in a limit isn't it?
Tomatoes consumed in excess can develop gall stones and Kidney stones (Oxalate Stones) I have read.But these are usually dissolved by drinking a lot of water. So eat healthy... of course be in limits and stay happy.
We can include tomato in various ways in our diet.Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant vitamins beta-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, as well as the carotenoid lycopene. This means that tomatoes are helpful in preventing heart disease and cancers. Tomatoes are also high in potassium but very low in sodium which means they help combat high blood pressure and fluid retention.
Unlike some other canned foods, canned tomatoes retain most of their nutrients. In fact, cooked or canned tomatoes contain more lycopene than raw tomatoes. If buying canned tomatoes choose varieties without added sodium.
Calories in Tomatoes:4 oz/100g = 17 calories

Salads,Rice, Sandwich ,Tomato soups ,chutneys ,and our usual Saaru (Rasam) .Today I made Tomato Bhath, a pretty tasty and filling rice dish. This takes hardly 15 minutes to prepare.



3 ripe tomatoes (chopped fine)

2 onions (chopped longitudinally)

1 green chilli (split long)

2 cups of rice

2 spoons of MTR Vangi bhath powder

2 spoons of cumin seeds/jeera

1 pinch of turmeric powder1pinch of asafoetida

salt to taste

two spoons of oil curry leaves and coriander leaves for decoration .

Method of Preparation:

In a pressure cooker pour two spoons of oil.Add jeera and turmeric powder. When the jeera starts turning brown add chopped onions and green chillies (add more if you like spicy taste) and saute them.When they get tender add asafoetida, salt and vangi bhath powder. You can add some tamarind juice if you feel the tomatoes aren't sour enough. Then add rice and saute for a few minutes. Add two cups of water (ratio of rice is 1 rice : 2 Water). Close the cooker and let the cooker blow the whistle twice . Turn the heat off and let the cooker cool down before you open.

Serve hot with Onion rings or Raita or Papad.

Bye for now.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Onion Chutney

I have not been able to update since a long time.Well better late than never... I thought of doing a series on the vegetables, which we use in our everyday lives.We know their common names but not their binomial or medicinal properties (other than nutritional value )of the vegetable as well. With election fever going on in India. thought I might as well get some poll opinion if I should continue this series. Please do vote in the poll created.
First of the series...Allium cepa

Allium Cepa... when I say this I guess half the people will keep wondering what this alien vegetable might be... Well this is the Binomial name of our very own .. ONION.. which makes me CRY when I have it ( the or i don't have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!( I cant cook many dishes without onions)Onions, one of the oldest vegetables known to humankind, are found in a large number of recipes and preparations spanning almost the totality of the world's cultures. They are nowadays available in fresh, frozen, canned, pickled, powdered, chopped, and dehydrated forms. Onions can be used, usually chopped or sliced, in almost every type of food including cooked foods and fresh salads and as a spicy garnish. They are rarely eaten on their own but usually act as accompaniment to the main course. Depending on the variety, an onion can be sharp, spicy, tangy and pungent or mild and sweet says wikipedia.
Medicinal uses of the onion can be found here
Other uses:
Onion can be a sting soother... just cut it in half and rub on sting. Helps a lot.
Mosquitoes do not like the taste of onion... if you have enough place in the window sill place a few onion plants and see that mosquitoes will not be around your house...
Onion cleans the tawa very well right after the masala dosa... the oil gets cleared and smears to the onion.. chop the onion to half and stick it to the end of a fork and use happily.

Onion Chutney:
Today visited my aunt L's place.Amazing cook that she is... today she served me with fantastic fresh onion chutney, had not had anything like that in a long time,recipe will follow before that it was amazing to see the amount of fresh onions....she got them from a friend who said this particular variety tasted better raw than cooked.I was transported back to Galati (Romania).Again I was where I saw onions arranged like plaits and hung to a nail or hook.Every kitchen has a bunch of well stacked onion and garlic bunches. Lovely sight they made.Today when i saw so many we sat together to make a bunch of our own and wow it looked is the picture . This way the onions have a longer life. They need to be away from water and kept in a place with air circulation.

Onion chutney:
this is very simple chutney and can be a excellent accompaniment for bh
akri/ jowar rotis. It tastes as good with chaptis ,rotis / rice.
4/5 small onions

2/3spoons of fried gram dal (phutana)
salt and red chilli powder to taste
very little tamarind
and 3 spoons of freshly scraped coconut (optional).
Chop the onions .Grind all the above ingredients together to a coarse paste. yummy chutney is ready in a jiffy.
If you feel the onions are very pungent saute them a little in the oil before grinding. Coconut is optional. It is to our taste.

This has to be consumed fast or refrigerated.stays for two to three days. If you want it to last longer the just heat two spoons of oil in the Kadai. Add one spoon of mustard and a pinch of hing. Saute the above chutney for some time till the raw smell vanishes. Now , the chutney is ready to be bottled for a week or two.
The other raw onion chutney I make is great for fried items like samosas,pav bhaji and pakodas. A great accompaniment along with mint chutney.


3 onions, chopped
1 tbsp lime juice(freshly squeezed)
2 tsp red chilli powder
Salt to taste
Mix the red chilli powder and salt with the lime juice.Add this to the chopped onions and mix well.This chutney does not keep well for long. It's best when eaten fresh.

TRIVIA:we cry when we slice an onion isn't it.. . due to some chemical action of the enzymes which escape when the onion is chopped... , amino acid sulfoxides form sulfenic acids which quickly turns into volatile gas.

The gas reaches your eyes and reacts with the water that keeps them moist. This changes the chemical's form again, producing, among other things, a mild sulfuric acid, which irritates the eyes. The brain reacts quickly to dilute and the lachrymal glands are activated producing tears..
Oddly enough, this volatile compound is also responsible for a lot of the great taste in onions, as well as the pleasant aroma when you cook the vegetable.

Ciao,, will wait for the poll results to continue the series.Yugadi festival is round the corner.. Can have some good recipes with Mango then.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Ciorba de Legume.. Veg clear soup for this Martisor.

March 1st is here again .Spring officially begins in most of Europe. For me it is the time to remember all my good friends back in Romania and to try out one more easy and tasty Romanian dish for this day. To know more about martisor visit this link ..MARTISOR AND MAMMALIGA...
This time over it is simple ciorba.. pronounced shorba. It is very filling simple soup. Made usually with meat But I learnt it from my dearest Jenica that it can be as tasty with only vegetables. It is the favourite soup of mine till date. Simple to make , very filling and tasty soup.
here it is for you all .

For 10 portions of soup
2 lts of water
3 to 4 carrots
3 to 4 potatoes
1 turnip
a bunch of parsley
one big capsicum
a cup of peas
a cup of boiled beans
1/4 kg of cabbage
4 to 5 tomatoes
Any other vegetable to your taste (celery, spring onions , turnips etc)
2 spoons of fresh cream (optional)
4 to 5 grams of lemon salt.
oil two spoons
salt to taste
corn flour - 1 spoon
aji no moto for taste.


Method of preparation:
Chop all the vegetables in cubes,cut the greens very fine. Boil french beans with some salt and drain the water and wash through a jet of cold water through a colander and keep aside.wash the tomatoes and cut into smaller cubes. Take a thick bottom vessel and get the 2 lts water to boil. Add the oil and let it boil for 15 minutes. Now add all the vegetables to the boiling water and greens (except beans and tomato) Continue boiling till the vegetables are almost cooked then add tomatoes and green beans. Now beat the fresh cream with the corn flour and add it for added taste continue boiling for another 5-10 minutes.
Turn the heat off and add salt and lemon salt to suit your taste.
Enjoy with freshly baked Buns.

Thursday, 26 February 2009


Bakery style Open Sandwich...

Mysore Iyengar's bakery are famous for its tasty veg puffs, open sandwiches, dil pasand... the list goes on and on. I just tried making the open sandwich for the girls.I am sure many of us have tasted it in our times.

The recipe seemed simple. I just had to bake the bread for about 15 minutes after placing the masala curry on it (that is what the bakery owner told me!!).
Delighted I walked home to give a treat to my girls.After all the preparation to my horror found the oven cannot work... NO POWER FOR 9 HOURS THIS DAY!!! said the paper.Why did not have the sense to read MORNING PAPER in the morning...
Well now that I had stuff ready.. I used the Tava (flat girdle to get the desired effect.) It did turn out nice... But the next time I will surely make good use of paper like Radio for weather forecast.
One loaf of sandwich bread
One cup Carrot - Grated
One cup potato - Grated
1 or 2 green chillies (to taste) - chopped finely
1 inch ginger - grated
One cup -chopped finely
small piece of Cabbage - Grated or chopped finely
Capsicum - chopped finely
Turmeric a pinch for the colour
Noodles masala or garam masala
oil for seasoning
butter to spread
jeera/cumin seeds (half a spoon)
salt to taste
In a kadai or deep bottom pan add one spoon of oil.When the oil is hot add cumin seeds, turmeric for colour and curry leaves.Then add green chillies,ginger, onion,capsicum and saute them till the onion turns red. When onion is done add the rest of the grated vegetables (carrot,potato and cabbage).Add a little water to cook them well. According to your taste add the masala.. either noodles masala or garam masala and Salt. Cook till the potatoes are cooked and soft. Keep the spread aside.
Take the bread slices, smear the butter and the masala spread evenly. Place in the OTG for about 15 minutes at high. Serve Hot.
Since I had no power. I placed them with a little oil on a Flat girdle.. covered it up with a deep bottom pan... giving the desired effect. It turned out as delicious.
Try this and let me know...

Friday, 13 February 2009

Valentine special, VEG CUTLET

Valentine day fever is around everywhere... Never heard of it as a child or growing up years... but now a days it is more popular than Shivaratri festival which is just around the corner. Well personally I would not celebrate it but then I don't think I would give anyone the right to tell us what to celebrate and what not. I live by my choice not in the fear of others. My way of protest to the outfits which are not allowing may not be going around with hand in hand with my valentine but then showing them the only way I do... cooking.
The other day I made vegetable cutlets, the restaurant way... dark brown in colour. always crispy. My aunt L gave me the recipe and here it is for you valentine special veg cutlets to try... the secret ingredient for the colour was a beetroot giving it the brownish rather reddish colour...
Veg Cutlets

Valentine spl veg cutlet


6 medium potatoes
1 cup grated beetroot
1 cup peas
1/2 cup finely chopped beans
1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
1/2 cup finely chopped capsicum
garam masala to taste
amchur powder to taste
salt to taste
Ginger-Garlic paste 1 spoon.
oil to shallow fry
breadcrumbs - two cups

Method of preparation:
Boil the potatoes and grated beetroot.Keep them aside.Boil the peas,beans and carrots separately with a pinch of salt.
In a kadai add two spoons of oil. When hot add ginger- garlic paste. let the paste turn brown and add capsicum,saute for a few minutes and add the garam masala powder.

Meanwhile mash the potatoes and mix with the beetroot well.
Add the boiled peas, carrots and beans. let it cook in the masala for a while. Now add the potato - beetroot mix. Add salt and amchoor powder to taste. Mix well with the other vegetables and let it cook for a while.Make sure the mixture is thick enough to make patties of desired shape. If you feel the mixture is a tad too soft. You can add some breadcrumbs and mix well while making the patties.
Make round patties and dab them generously with the breadcrumbs and shallow fry on a flat girdle/tava. Add butter/ghee/oil minimum quantity to cook it to brown colour. Alternatively they can be baked in a oven.
Enjoy with Green chutney....

Green chutney...
We did not have coriander when in Romania. It made rare appearance in the market and so we were reluctant to use it lavishly. We had to think of new ways to make do with other stuff.Even though i get lot of coriander now I am stuck with the older recipe with less coriander.. it definitely tastes good if not the same as the mint-coriander chutney usually served with snacks in the hotel..Mrs.N. cook par excellence... was a person who would not share her recipes.. but this one I was lucky she did. Thanks to her, my chutney is finger licking good.

one small bunch of mint.
half a bunch of coriander
one bunch of spring onions
4 to 5 green chillies
One tomato
One whole lemon.. peeled
.one inch ginger
2 cloves of garlic
chat masala - 1 spoon
cumin powder - 1 spoon
(1 capsicum and 1 kiwi fruit options if you have no coriander/mint at all it helps to give the green colour)
salt to taste


Grind all of them together to a smooth paste and enjoy with anything.

Ciao,,, keep me posted how the dishes turn out. I know many of them are usual and simple but if you have a varition I could try them out and enjoy the difference!!!!

Saturday, 7 February 2009


January/February is a season of pods in India... specially this year I am in Mysore and it is lovely time for the beans like AvarekaLu, Soppina kadalekai,Tograri kaLu.
It is almost next to impossible to avoid avarekaLu.. it is almost used in every dish... akkirotti,usli, bhath, uppittu (upma), avrekaLu saaru and of course the delicious avarekaLu sambar. This beans known as navy/flat/hyacinth beans in English has a unique fragrance and taste. here is one tasty recipe.
This is a variation of the famous Vangibhath. Bhath being rice gets the name of the vegetable used in it gets the name... methi bhath, capsicum bhath, vegetable bhath and what not....As mentioned earlier.. this season AvarekaLu is used in everything and so bhath isn't any different.
One cup - Surti lilva papdi /avrekaLu (cooked)(known as Hyacinth beans or navy beans )
One large capsicum diced
two cups of rice
One lemon sized tamarind
MTR Vangibhath powder
1tbsp turmeric powder
one-two pinches of asafoetida-hing
three or four spoons of freshly grated coconut
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp Mustard
1 tbsp cumin ( jeera)
1 tbsp Urad dal (black gram )
1 tbsp Chana dal (Bengal gram)
Few of Curry leaves
1-2 Dry red chillies
Salt to taste

Cook rice and let it cool.
Take 2 tbsps of oil in a pan,when hot add mustard seeds .
when they splutter add cumin, turmeric powder, chana dal, urad dal, curry leaves and asafoetida. red chillies Saute them till urad dal turns golden brown and then add the diced capsicum. Add some salt to taste and two to three spoons of vangi bhath powder.When the capsicum is done add tamarind water , grated coconut and the cooked AvarekaLu or beans (can be substituted peas).
Add cooked rice and mix them well till there is a lovely aroma.Taste for salt... Serve with fryums (sandige or happaLa )or raita.
Serve hot with raita or fryums.

MTR Vangibhath powder is one of the best powders which can be used for the bhath varieties.. however you can make the powder yourself with the following recipe I found good enough.
Vangi bath powder ingredients:
2 tbsp chana dal(Bengal Gram)
2 tbsp urad dal (Black Gram )
¼ tsp fenugreek (methi seeds)
1 tbsp dry coconut (copra)
6 red chillies or to taste
½ tbsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
1 cardamom
1” Cinnamon stick
1/2 tbsp of oil
Vangi bath powder preparation:
Roast all the ingredients until they turn into light golden brown colour. Remove from flame and allow it to cool for sometime. Then grind it to a coarse powder. Allow it to cool, then store in an air tight container. Use as required. This will keep fresh for months in an air tight container.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009


I found this one of the easiest and tastiest to make. My girls love it.. In continuation with my earlier post I am writing down recipes of three more dishes .

1 cup frozen or canned corn kernels
2 tbsp of Biryani or pulav masala( I used Badshah... shahi biryani powder)
1 capsicum sliced
1 sliced onion
2 cups Basmati rice, (washed and drained)
1 tbsp oil/ghee
2 tsp Jeera(cumin)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for seasoning.

Defrost/wash corn kernels . In a deep bottom pan or cooker eat the oil.Add the Cumin seeds. Saute the cut onions and then add sliced capsicum when they are slightly cooked add the corn kernels. Stir well together. Add rice and stir- fry for a few minutes.Add salt to taste and Biriyani masala according to your liking. Add 2 cups water. Cover and cook on a medium heat or if you are cooking in a pressure cooker switch off after one whistle.
Serve hot after garnishing with coriander leaves.

A lovely accompaniment made of potatoes , it is delicious with rice, roti or puri. It is very simple yet very tasty.. here is the recipe.

5 large size aloo/potatoes (Boil them in pressure cooker with salt and turmeric powder,cut them in one inch cubes)
4Tbsp oil
3 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds
1 tsp red chili powder
1Tbsp Coriander seeds
2 Tbsp jeera powder/roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder (Amchur powder)
2 Tbsp fresh coriander leaves chopped
salt to taste
Heat oil, add jeera in oil. Let it crackle. Then add salt / red chili powder /crushed jeera and coriander seeds / dry mango powder every thing in the oil. Stir for a second.
Then lastly add the cut potatoes and mix well. Add fresh coriander leaves.
Mix well. The dry masala will coat the potatoes well.

Cucumber Raita
This is an Indian side dish, Cucumber raita is a delicious accompaniment to any roast or grilled food.. particularly with Pulavs and spicy rice preparations. It's the ideal vegetable to serve on hot summer days, as it is cool and refreshing.
1 large cucumber, peeled, grated.
salt to taste
Jeera powder(roasted cumin powder)
2 cups of natural yogurt
2 tbsp freshly chopped mint and coriander leaves
Freshly ground black pepper.
Put the grated cucumber in a bowl .In another bowl stir the yogurt with a little water to make a homogeneous mixture. Mix the cucumber and yogurt together with half the mint/coriander and plenty of pepper and cumin powder Chill in the refrigerator until serving time. Add salt just before serving to avoid the raita getting all watery. I do give it a seasoning of mustard and red chilies when I serve it with South Indian rice preparations. but for the above pulav I preferred it without mustard.

Ciao for now..

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Matar Masala.../ Peas in spicy gravy

Many wishes for a prosperous and happy New year.Of all ... I was busy for the past one month with kids at home. Just a simple update with the Matar masala I made with puris for the New years day lunch... will update the other dishes slowly..
With friends over for lunch , we had been partying on the 31st night and had no vegetables other than cucumber, couple of onions, tomatoes and potatoes.But then within minutes I had a menu with only these few things....... I didn't dare to cook south Indian food... the lady of the family we had invited was a proficient in south Indian dishes... so had to cook something in north Indian style so that even if it went wrong they wouldn't notice much....(thank god everything went well).
Puri with Jeera aloo and Matar Masala
Corn and Capsicum Pulav with papad
Cucumber Raita
Rice and Rasam
Curd Rice
Kesar and Badam Lassi which was delicious even in a super shortcut method.
so for first of the series....Here is the recipe for
Dry peas... 1/4 kilo
3 tomatoes
2 onions
2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
oil - 2 tbsp
cumin seeds
turmeric powder
jeera powder
dhania powder
garam masala powder.


Soak the peas overnight. Boil them with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder and keep aside. Make a paste of the onions and tomatoes.In a deep frying pan, heat two spoons of oil.Add cumin seeds turmeric, then add two spoons of ginger garlic paste and saute it for a minute or two... then add the tomato onion paste. let it cook till the tomato and onions cook well, change in colour to golden brown with aroma... add salt (to taste), the masala powders .Add some water.. you can add cream to make it tastier. then add the peas and let it cook in the masala for about 10 minutes... close the pan while cooking..
Serve with a dash of lemon and garnish with coriander.
Hope you will try this and let me know how you like it.... or if you have made any changes to make it tastier would love to hear from you.....