Friday, April 29, 2011

Uttha(Plain Rice flour)Rotti and Avarekaalu Benne Usli,Karnataka Special...'Family Food-Friday#1'

I am here to kick start my first event titled, 'Cooking with Family-Series' which I had highlighted in my last post. The theme that I have chosen for this event is, 'BREAKFAST'. I plan to post the recipes once a week on every Friday and hence named the theme as 'Family Food-Friday'. I have updated the details of this event in the side bar of my blog. Stay tuned to check out the next entry for this event.

Before going to the recipe, let me introduce you the author of this post. This entry is sent by my Sister-In-Law 'Ashwini ',who has a two year old, naughty daughter 'K' .My niece keeps her busy all the time with her non-stop enthusiasm.I think I would need another long post , if I were to tell you more about my little, enthusiastic and mischievous niece. As this post looks already looks lengthy so I am keeping it for another day. As me and my S-I-L both are of the same age group, we are more like friends and update each other on daily life and routine. She has kept her promise by sending her entry as soon as I told her about the event.The most surprising thing for me are the photos that they have clicked for this entry. Both my S-I-L and BRO have done a good job with the photos even though it is their first attempt at it.

Now coming to the recipe, Ashwini has sent me a breakfast item called 'Uttha Rotti' paired with the most famous karnataka dish, 'Avarekaalu Benne Usli'. Karnataka is a land of rottis and is famous for its various varieties like akki rotti, ragi rotti, jolada rotti etc .Uttha rotti means plain rotti and is made up of rice flour which is our community special.I have already posted a version of rice flour rotti called akki rotti which is roasted till its crisp and we also make another version where we cook the rice flour in steam and roll it to chapati and roast it soft.This version is a quite different from those two versions and it is a cross in between the two versions.The rice flour is cooked in steam and then it is patted with hands onto a tawa and roasted till soft and crisp.This rotti is even ideal to make on the fasting days as it does not have onion or garlic and can be paired with coconut chutney on those days.Ashwini also mentioned that though she was not a fan of this rotti she has learnt this rotti from her mom, only because my brother likes it very sweet of her naaa!!!

Avarekaalu is one of the seasonal beans which can be used in making various delicacies like halwa, payasam, dal, sambar,saaru, rice,usli, rotti, upma, chiwda etc etc and is loved very much by all our family members.We make a different version of Avarekaalu usli which I will post later and this is the version which is famous in North Karnataka and even in Tumkur.It is made with freshly made white butter which makes it taste extra special and that is why it is called Avarekaalu Benne Usli.This is not the season for fresh avarekaalu and as they stay in London she has used canned avarekaalu to make this and that is the reason a good green color is missing for usli.One should try this with fresh and tender avarekaalu to enjoy its flavor and taste to the fullest extent.And one more thing, many people assume that usli is similar to the sundal but it is not true.Though few of the ingredients are same in usli and sundal, usli is nowhere compared to sundal in its taste as the cooking process is completely different.Try this and you will agree with what I am saying. Now without wasting time let us take a look at the recipes.

Uttha(Plain) Rice flour Rotti:

1 cup Rice flour(fresh one,do not use old stock)
2 cups Water
2 tbsp grated fresh coconut(I used frozen)
1 tbsp Oil
salt to taste
Oil,for frying rottis

  • Add oil and salt to the water and bring it to a boil over medium flame.
  • Reduce the flame to low now,slowly add the rice flour to the boiling water,do not mix or stir it.Cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Stir vigorously now until you get a lump of mixture formed and all the ingredients are well mixed.You can use a long ladle or your roti belan for this process.
  • Divide the mixture into two parts and knead the mixture into a smooth dough on a silicon baking mat or on a clean plastic sheet.Be careful the dough would be very hot,so wet your hands while doing this process.You can even place the dough in a clean plastic bag and knead well,this is very easy and risk free process.This should take atleast 8-10 minutes.It is always better to do in small portions.
  • Smear the Rotti tawa(Non-stick/normal dosa pan) with little bit of oil all over the tawa and place a lemon sized rotti dough in the center and press it gently with hands and spread into a thin layer by rotating the pan by immersing the hand in a bowl in between which helps in patting the dough evenly and smoothly on the tawa.Make it as thin as not bother if small gaps are there,that makes the rotti even crispier.
  • Pour a spoon of oil over it and cover it with a lid and place it on fire on medium flame.Keep an eye on it to check in between whether it is done or not.Once you see the slight red patches started forming increase the flame and roast until you get the desired crispiness.Try to rotate the tawa in order to get an evenly roasted rotti.No need to turn it on the other side.
Serve it hot with Avarekaalu Usli / Sweet Pumpkin Gojju /Coconut chutney.Uttha rotti tastes best with any of these combinations.

You can add either cumin seeds or chana dal into the boiling water while making the rotti dough,both gives its own flavor to the rotti.

Avarekaalu Benne Usli:(North Karnataka and Tumkur Style)

1 1/2 cups tender Avarekaalu pods(hyacinth/flat beans/surti papdi)
2 medium onions,finely chopped
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut(I used frozen)
7-8 green chillies, finely sliced into rounds
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste,freshly ground

1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

to grind into powder:
1 tsp cumin seeds(jeera)
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds(methi)

  • Dry roast cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds separately in a tawa until you get the nice aroma of the seeds.Cool them and grind to a fine powder.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker,add avarekaalu and fry until the color changes and the raw smells goes away.
  • Add finely chopped onions to it and fry until they are translucent.
  • Add chopped green chillies and fry for a minute.
  • Add freshly ground ginger and garlic pastes and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Add grated fresh coconut,salt and ground cumin-methi powder and fry again for a couple of minutes.
  • Add butter and 1/4 cup water and close the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle.This should be dry with little gravy from the coconut mixture.
Serve it hot with Chapati/Roti/Uttha Rotti and fresh white butter.

If fresh avarekaalu is not available,you can use fresh peas to make this.

  • Usli tastes best with fresh and tender avarekaalu.So do not miss trying this in avarekallu season.I have used canned ones,so you miss that beautiful green color here.
  • Use fresh white butter in making this curry to get the authentic taste of Usli.Use 2 tbsp fresh butter if you are not calorie conscious,otherwise replace half the quantity with oil.
You can check the recipe for Green Peas Usli in my earlier post.This breakfast is going to participate in srivalli's 'Breakfast Mela' event

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mysore Masala Chapati and my first Event Announcement "Cooking With Family"

Mysore Masala Dosa is quite famous and known to every one,but have you ever heard of this not so famous Mysore Masala Chapati?
Well!!!..You will not get to see this in any hotel menu,but you can find it in our home where this is made to make the fussy eaters eat their food with lots of enthusiasm.I remember eating this for the first time at my aunts place during my child hood and then pestered my mom to make it for me and now it is been very regular in my menu.Mysore Masala Chapati(MMC) is nothing but a regular chapati made in the style of Mysore Masala Dosa(MMD) by smearing the red chutney and placing the potato palya in it and is eaten with coconut chutney.I am not a person who prefers eating chapati with dry alu palya/sabzi,so I make it in this form which I really relish each and every bite of it.Take my words and give a try,I am sure you will definitely love it and if you have fussy kids it is a great variation for them to try this.I am sure every one knows how to make chapati,red chutney and alu palya,but I prefer keeping everything at one place rather than redirecting my viewers with the links and hence,here is the recipe.This breakfast is going to participate in srivalli's 'Breakfast Mela' event

for Chapati:
1 cup wheat flour
2 tsp ghee
2 tbsp curds
salt to taste
Oil & ghee for roasting

for Potato palya:
2 large potatoes,boiled

1/4 cup finely chopped carrot
3 tbsp fresh or frozen peas
1 medium Onion chopped

3-4 green chillies,slitted

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp chana dal

1 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds

2 tbsp chopped coriander

1 tsp lemon juice
8-10 chopped curry leaves
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste

or red Chutney:
1 big Onion chopped
8-10 garlic pods
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp tamarind pulp
salt to taste

Step 1 : Potato Palya
  • Mash the peeled and boiled potatoes and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan,crackle mustard seeds and fry chana dal,urad dal till brown.
  • Add slitted green chillies,curry leaves and onions and fry until they turn pinkish in color.
  • Add fresh/frozen peas,finely chopped carrot and fry well.
  • Add turmeric,salt and mashed potato to it and give a nice stir and cook it for a couple of minutes.
  • Add coriander and lemon juice to it and mix properly and keep it aside to cool down.
Step 2 : Red(Onion-garlic) Chutney
  • Grind Onion,garlic,red chilli powder,tamarind pulp and salt into a very fine paste.You can reduce the number of garlic pods if you do not like the pungency of garlic or you even avoid onion and use all garlic pods if you like garlic to make this chutney.
Step 3 : Chapati Atta
  • Sieve wheat flour well and take it into a bowl .
  • Make a well in between and add curds,ghee,salt to it and rub in the mixture into the wheat flour gently using the fingers.
  • Add required amount of water to it and make into a smooth dough.You can even use milk instead of water for making softer chapatis.
  • Grease your palms and knead well into a smooth elastic dough.
  • Cover it with cloth or plate and leave it aside for half an hour.
Step 4: Making of Mysore Masala Chapati
  • Pinch into the chapati dough and take a big lemon sized ball and dust it with atta/flour and flatten it using a rolling pin into a 3" diameter circle.If you are making the chapatis round,flatten it further to a 6" diameter circle.
  • Now apply ghee/oil on the chapathi and fold into half and then apply the ghee/oil on the half and fold into a quarter.This process make the chapati flaky and soft.
  • Now roll it into a slightly thicker triangular chapati which should be thick like paratha.
  • Place the rolled triangular or circular chapati on a hot tawa.Keep the flame on medium-high at this stage.
  • When you see some blisters forming on it quickly turn it on to the other side.Apply oil all over it and quickly turn to the other side,you can see the chapati has nice brown spots over it.
  • Reduce the flame and apply red chutney over it and place potato palya in between and fold it into half.
  • Apply ghee on the outside of chapati and roast on both the sides of the folded chapati until crisp and evenly browned.
Serve it hot right off the flame and on to the plate with coconut chutney.

  1. I have used roti dough to make this,so you really can not see the flakiness of chapathi.
  2. For a Vegan version avoid adding ghee and curds while making chapati dough.Instead use 2 tbsp oil in the dough.

On another note,I am here to announce my first ever event in my blog called "Cooking with Family Series" and I am sorry to say to my blogger friends that this event is limited only to my family members.But the happy part for my blogger friends is you will get to know lots of new amazing and wonderful recipes as I can assure you that all my family members(I mean all Ladies and few guys) have excellent cooking skills and always amaze me with their amazing cooking.I am planning to publish my event in a couple of series seeing the response from my family members for the first series.As Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and also our community has lots of variety in breakfast,I am choosing my first series to start with Breakfast.So I can call my event as 'Cooking With Family-BREAKFAST SERIES'.This is the logo I have designed for this just for fun.

(Pic Courtesy : Google)

I have been planning to start some event in my blog from a long while,but the laziness in me some how stopped me from doing it.Last week suddenly this idea clicked in my mind to start an event with the cooking style of our family and even discussed it with my S-I-L immediately.She also suggested me to go ahead with my event and also promised me to send her entries soon.

To tell you ppl about my family,one common thing among all my family members is our love and passion for food.Any discussion in between two family members will always have a common discussion for food,either it to be a new eating joint they have visited or a new recipe they tried in their house.All my aunts and cousins are amazing cooks and always hunt for new variety of recipes and give their own twist to the traditional cooking.Even though we all are from the same family,still there is a lot of difference in our cooking from one family to another,this is my attempt to share our recipes with all.I have lots of childhood memories associated with food when we used to go for holidays to my grand parents place.Every meal of the day used to be so special and is loaded with all our favorites and I still remember how we cousins used to sit together and relish the food and those days cannot be recalled back.We,cousins,a gang of almost ten had lots of fun playing,eating,roaming out together and also some times fighting with each other(which does not last more than ten minutes of course) in our holidays and we always looked forward for our next holiday meet.One thing we used to definitely do in holidays is to explore eating joints in Bangalore and in our native and we really had a blast during our child hood and still if we meet now we always try going to those places which we used to go earlier and relish food to bring back those memories.I am sure every one would be having these kind of child hood memories.

Coming to the event,there are no hard rules for this event as the entries are from my family members and I take the whole responsibility of publishing them in my blog.Still I want to just brief my family members about the general rules for the event.
  1. Choose a different and unique kind of recipe which is your favorite and make sure that I have not blogged about it before as I do not want my viewers to get to see the same recipe featured again.As the theme I have chosen this time is BREAKFAST,please make some different breakfast item and send it to me.
  2. A neatly written precise recipe.
  3. A neat photograph of the dish.
  4. Your description regarding the recipe,how ever it is optional.
  5. Send the recipe and pictures of the recipe to my email ID.As you all know it,I am not mentioning it here.
  6. There is no dead line for the submission of recipe as I am planning to post it every fortnight or a month.So this is truly first come-first serve basis,but please send the entries soon.
Note: This event is only for my family members.

I am sure that my family members will not let me down and will also definitely amaze you people with their wonderful cooking skills and amazing recipes.So stay tuned to see this series in my blog very soon.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rava pongal with Pongal Gojju

Rava Pongal:

Pongal is one of the most common variety of breakfast which you get to see in any south Indian hotel menu.The generous amounts of the usage of ghee in making pongal gives it a really melt in mouth texture and even makes it extra delicious.Pongal also takes part in the breakfast menu of many weddings in south India,it is generally paired with Idli,vada and dosa and the whole breakfast would be so satisfying for any one.The most common pongal you get in any hotel is ven pongal which is made with rice,the one which I am posting today is made up of rava which is quite easy to prepare when pressed for time.Pongal is generally paired up with sambar or chutney,but we do a different tangy gojju(a kind of tamarind stew) for it at home which goes really well with any kind of pongal.

1 cup chiroti rava or regular Bombay rava/sooji
1/4 cup yellow moong dal
3 green chillies, finely chopped
1/2 " ginger, finely chopped
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander(for garnish)
3 tbsp grated fresh coconut + 1tbsp grated coconut(for garnish)
10-12 cashew nuts, broken
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp pepper corns(roughly ground or whole)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
a pinch of hing
4 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil

  • Heat a tsp of ghee in a kadai and roast rava in it until it is fragrant and light,remove it and let it cool.
  • Dry roast moong dal in another kadai and water to it and add a tsp of ghee,turmeric to it and let it come to a boil and lower the flame and cook until it is slightly mushy.Strain the dal and reserve the liquid.
  • Heat 2 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds and jeera.
  • Add finely chopped ginger and green chillies and fry a bit,then add hing,curry leaves and add water to it.Measure the water reserved from boiled moong dal and in addition to that add water which should come to the ratio of 2 1/2 cups water for 1 cup of rawa.
  • Let it come to a boil and add cooked moong dal,turmeric,salt and boil further for a minute.
  • Now add roasted rava to it slowly and mix it simultaneously to avoid the formation of lumps.
  • In a small tadka pan heat a tsp of ghee and add cashew nuts and fry until golden in color.
  • Add grated coconut,fried cashew nuts and a tbsp of ghee and mix well.
Garnish with coriander and grated coconut and serve it hot with pongal gojju/jilakara gojju or coconut chutney or sambar or coconut-onion raita.

Pongal Gojju :

As pongal is very mildly spiced,a nice tangy gojju pairs up very well with pongal.This gojju(stew) is basically made with tamarind pulp and is well balanced with jaggery and powdered masala which takes the gojju and pongal combo to another level.

1 amla sized tamarind
2 tbsp roasted gram/chutney dal/fried gram
1 tbsp grated dry coconut/fresh coconut
1/2 tsp grated jaggery
2-3 green chillies,finely chopped
4-5 curry leaves,torn
1 tsp jeera
2 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
a fat pinch of turmeric
a pinch of hing
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp oil
salt to taste

  • Dry roast jeera and grind it along with roasted gram,grated coconut,green chillies and salt to a coarse powder.
  • Soak tamarind in water and squeeze the pulp and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a small kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add chana dal and urad dal and fry well.
  • Add curry leaves and hing and fry for 1/2 minute.
  • Add tamarind pulp with 1/4 cup water approximately and let it come a boil.
  • Mix the ground powder with water and mix well and add this to the tamarind mixture and add grated jaggery,salt,turmeric powder and boil for a couple of minutes until it is thick.add water according to the requirement until you get a thick gravy consistency.
Serve it with pongal/rava pongal/oats pongal.

You can even add finely chopped onion while frying the tadka in gojju,it adds taste to gojju.

This breakfast combo ' Rava pongal with pongal gojju' is going to participate in srivalli's 'Breakfast Mela' event.

Monday, April 18, 2011

2 mins Eggless Instant MW Brownie/Cake...Quick Fix for Chocoholics!!

Frankly, I am not a chocoholic but I love to eat chocolates occasionally and enjoy small portions of chocolate based desserts thoroughly.I am sure most of us sometimes get sudden cravings for a dessert especially the chocolate based ones and that too at odd times during the day. Another reason behind these sudden cravings especially for me is blogging. When ever I see some cakes/brownies recipes from our fellow bloggers, I feel like making them immediately.

I have tried a couple of instant microwave versions but was not really impressed with them.Recently, when I was searching again for a different recipe I ended up seeing this recipe in Suma's space and really wanted to give a try immediately.The best part of the recipe is that it is instant and just needs a bowl and whisk so its not messy at all and everything can be finished in a matter of 5 mins. Call it by whatever name you want -cake or brownie- it's easy to prepare and is yummilicious enough to satisfy your craving for a chocolate dessert even in the middle of the night. Just give it a try am sure you will love this recipe. The entire preparation is done in a mug and hence you can call it a 'Mug cake' but today I poured into two ramekins to get two portions.

(recipe source : Art of Dessert)

2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4 tbsp icing sugar(or powdered sugar)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp dark chocolate pieces(or semi sweet chocolate chips)
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1/4 tsp vanilla essence

  • Melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl and let it cool.Add milk and vanilla essence and whisk well.I used salted butter in it,so I did not add salt.If you are using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt to the batter.
  • In another bowl mix flour,icing sugar,cocoa powder until everything is mixed really well.
  • Now add this dry ingredients to the wet ingredients mixture in the microwave safe bowl and fold in the mixture properly.
  • Add dark chocolate pieces and walnuts to it and mix well.
  • Microwave it on HIGH for 1 minute and 30 seconds.Let it stand for a couple of minutes(approx 2mins).(I have poured this into two ramekins and microwaved for the same time)
Now remove it from microwave oven and just dig in when it is still warm or you can even serve it with vanilla ice cream and some chocolate sauce on it or even with freshly whipped cream.

  • Be precise to the measurements to get good results.
  • Check the brownie after 1 1/2 mins,if the surface is soft and dry to touch then it is done,no need to further microwave it.Do not microwave it for longer period,otherwise the brownie will become very hard.
  • I have poured the mixture into two ramekins,you can do it in a single micro safe mug or cup.
  • It is cooked in the microwave in microwave mode,not the convention mode.My microwave oven is of 1100 watts power.
  • Pour the batter upto half of the ramekin or mug height.
  • I used salted butter in it,so I did not add salt.If you are using unsalted butter add a pinch of salt to the batter.
When I started writing this post I knew that it was Suma's birthday today,so thought of wishing her through this post.But when I was about to publish this post I got to know that it is Rak's birthday tomorrow through sharmi's post,so I could not stop wishing her as well as she is a very good friend of mine too.So dear buddies Suma and Raji, I wish you " Many Many Happy Returns of the day" through this sweet post,I hope you gals like it.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Coin Sambar / Radish(Mullangi) Sambar.....with freshly ground masala!!!

Sambar is one of most important accompaniments in south Indian meal and it at least appears twice in our lunch menu.Sambar is made in various ways in different regions of south India,for example in Andhra,coconut is not added to sambar while in karnataka coconut is a must while making sambar.How ever I like and enjoy both the variations and do it according to my wish at that point of cooking.I usually get a pack of sambar powder for the whole year from my mom and still some times I will be out of stock,then I make freshly ground instant sambar which I am posting here.Every family has their own recipe for sambar powder and the one I m using is partially adapted from both my mom and MIL's versions and I can claim that it is my own version which works for me when I run out of stock.
Sambar is made up of vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans,cluster beans, drum stick, radish, brinjal, ladies finger, yellow cucumber, pumpkin, chayote squash, white pumpkin, bottle gourd and even greens.Every vegetable adds a different taste to sambar and among all the sambar varieties,I like drum stick , ladies finger and radish sambar as they impart very special flavor to sambar.We used to call radish sambar as 'Rupayila Sambar(which means rupee coin sambar)' as my mom used to cut radish into thin rounds which looks similar to rupee coin and hence the name.Here goes the recipe of radish sambar,this version is quite compatible you can make it as it is or you can even make it rich by adding coconut to the spice mixture,how ever both the versions taste good in its own ways.

1 cup toor dal
1 big radish, peeled and cut into thin rounds
1 big onion, roughly diced or 10-12 small shallots
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 green chili,slit
5-6 curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander
1 amla sized tamarind ball
1/2 tsp grated jaggery
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp oil

to grind:
1 tbsp chana dal
2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
3-4 guntur red chillies
2-3 byadige red chillies( for color)
1/4 tsp mustard seeds(optional)
1/2 tsp jeera
4-5 pepper corns

for tadka:
1 tsp ghee/oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a sprig of curry leaves
a fat pinch of hing

  • Wash toor dal and add a pinch of turmeric to it and pressure cook for 3 whistles.Slightly mash it after it cools down.
  • Soak tamarind in water and squeeze the pulp and dilute it with water.
  • Dry roast chana dal,coriander seeds,mustard,jeera,pepper corns,red chillies and methi seeds separately and grind it to a fine powder.
  • Heat a tsp of oil and add diced onions,green chili and fry a little bit and add chopped tomatoes and let it become slightly mushy.
  • Add radish rounds and fry a bit and add tamarind water and add more water, salt,turmeric powder, curry leaves, chopped coriander and boil until the radish is cooked well.
  • Add freshly ground sambar powder and jaggery to it and boil well and add cooked toor dal and simmer well for 3-4 mins.
  • Heat ghee in a small tadka pan and crackle mustard seeds,curry leaves and hing and fry little bit and add it to the boiling sambar and mix well.
Serve it hot with hot rice.

  1. If you want to make this sambar for Idli/Dosa , add 1/2 cup toor dal: 1/2 cup moong dal and pressure cook and follow the same procedure.It tastes best with Idlis and dosas if moong dal is mixed with toor dal instead of toor dal alone.
  2. I sometimes add 1/2 cup grated coconut to the ground masala and add enough water and grind it to a fine paste.This gives completely a different flavor and taste to sambar.
  3. Addition of coriander leaves is optional,it tastes different with it and tastes good even with out it.
  4. You can replace radish with vegetables like potatoes, carrots, beans,cluster beans, drum stick, radish, brinjal, yellow cucumber, pumpkin, chayote squash, white pumpkin, bottle gourd and even greens.
  5. For a Vegan version avoid ghee and use oil in tempering.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Spicy Thai Basil Fried Rice

Basil is the most favorite herb at our place and love it in all the Italian dishes like pastas or pizzas or salads.When I saw Nam's Basil fried rice,I noted down d recipe in mind to make it as I was sure we will definitely like it.I had tweaked in few changes as I did not have few ingredients in my pantry at that moment.Mine did not turn that fiery as her's,might be it is because of the changes I made to the original recipe.But the fried rice was spicy and equally nice with a burst of flavors from basil and peppers.I followed and reproduced the original recipe for my convenience,check her space to see the fiery fried rice which I am talking about.

(Recipe source : Finger Licking Food)

1 cup Jasmine Rice (I used Basmati Rice)
1 cup packed Thai basil leaves, washed
½ cup sliced red onions
½ cup sliced green peppers
½ cup sliced red and yellow peppers
¼ cup frozen peas
½ cup baby corn strips
5 cloves garlic, minced
1” piece ginger, grated
3 tbsp Sambal oleak(I used red chilli paste instead)
2 tsp Sriracha (I used tabasco)
2 tsp Dark Soy Sauce
1 ½ tbsp Brown Sugar
3 tbsp Olive oil
Salt to taste

  • Wash and soak jasmine/basmati rice for 10 mins and add 1 1/2 cups of water for 1 cup of rice and cook it in rice cooker or on the direct stove .Spread on a plate to cool and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a big kadai and minced garlic and grated ginger,saute for a few seconds until its fragrant.
  • Now add sliced onions, bell peppers and carrots and stir fry for 3-4 minutes until veggies are tender but crunchy.
  • Add frozen peas and saute for a minute and then add sambal oleak(red chili paste),brown sugar and enough salt(take care as we are adding other sauces as well). Mix everything until the veggies are coated.
  • Now add the cooked cooled rice and then add the soy sauce and sriracha(tabasco). Mix well and cook for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Chop basil leaves and add them immediately to the rice and mix well.
Serve it hot.I served it with simple onion raita because of my deep Indian roots.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Kharada Eerulli Dosa / Kaaram Dosa / Khara Dosa

All my readers would be knowing about my love for dosas, as I make it rarely my love and craving for it does not subside anytime and in fact it doubles every time.More than the instant dosas I love the traditional ones,though I make different instant versions occasionally.I make dosa batter in very small quantities which I get exactly for 2 days,so I never get to make many versions out of it.During my childhood my mom used to make lots of dosa batter which used to last for 3-4 days for four of us.She makes masala dosa on the first day,plain dosa or utappam on the next day and khara/karam dosa on 3rd or 4th day and gunta ponganalu in between to finish off the batter.Dosa batter turns sour after 2 days which is not ideal for plain or masala dosa,that is the time it needs some make over to get utilized.I know that many of you might be doing the same way to finish off the batter,still I would like to tell few people who do not know how to make it.This khara dosa infact I can call it 'kharada eerulli dosa' tastes best if the batter is sour as it gives nice punch to the dosa.The addition of crunchiness from onions and chana dal and the fresh herbs and spices adds very nice flavor to the dosa.I like to sprinkle some chutney podi on top of it and would like to eat it with coconut chutney.In fact it does not require any side dish as the dosa batter itself has every thing.I have showed a pizza style decoration on it(of course with out cheese) just for presentation, you can even make like that and feed your fussy kids.

3-4 cups dosa batter(2-3 days old)
1 tbsp curds(optional)
2 onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp chana dal,soaked in water for 2 hrs
1 1/2 tsp green chili paste
1/4 cup chopped coriander
12-15 curry leaves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
a generous pinch of cooking soda
1 tsp oil
salt to taste
oil/ghee to roast dosas

for dosa batter:
4 cups raw rice
1 cup urad dal
1 cup chana dal or 1 cup of mix dals(yellow,chana and toor dal,1/3 cup each)
1 cup poha/beaten rice
1 tsp methi seeds
salt to taste


for Dosa batter:
  • Wash rice,dals and methi seeds all together for 2-3 times in running water and soak them for 6-8hrs or overnight.
  • Next day morning soak poha for an hour before starting the grinding process of the batter.
  • Grind everything together to a smooth paste in the wet grinder for better results.Add enough salt to the ground batter and mix well and let it ferment for 9-10 hrs at room temperature or keep it in hot oven in winters for speeding up the process of fermentation.For this dosa this dosa batter should be 2-3 days old.
for Khara dosa:
  • Heat a tsp of oil and crackle mustard seeds and add chopped onions and fry slightly and cool the mixture.You can even add raw onions to the batter directly,so adding onions while frying is completely optional.
  • Take the sour dosa batter and mix in curds(use more curds 2-3tbsp if the dosa batter is fresh) and add salt, cooled onion mixture,green chili paste,finely chopped coriander, soaked and drained bengal gram, chopped curry leaves to it and mix well.
  • Now take a ladle and add a pinch of soda and add a tsp of water and mix well and pour into the batter and mix well.If you do not mix it properly you will get to see yellow spots,so when you add cooking soda and mix it properly.The reason why I added cooking soda to dosa is,dosa does not turn good after 2-3 days, so if you add cooking soda to it, it will come out fluffy and soft.You can see the holes formation in dosa.So,if you are dosas are coming properly no need to add cooking soda.
  • I am sure everyone knows how to make simple dosa,still I explain the process of making it for people who are not familiar with it.
  • Pour a big ladle of batter onto a medium hot pan and spread slightly it in the circular motion to form a thick uniform round shaped dosa.Do not spread very thin,it should be like utappam.
  • Pour 1 tbsp oil/ghee approx over it and cover it with a lid.(No need to add more oil if using Non stick pan,you can completely replace oil with ghee for better taste if you are not calorie conscious).
  • Let it initially cook on low flame for 1 mins and remove the lid and turn the dosa to the other side and roast for a minute.Now increase the flame and cook for a couple of mins until you see brown/red patches.
  • Serve it directly and do not drop them in hot boxes.It should be served on to the plate immediately to enjoy the flavor and crispiness of the dosa.
  • Reduce the flame for one minute and then start preparing the next dosa.Do not pour the batter on high flame,the batter will stick to the tawa.If you feel the tawa is over heated sprinkle some water over it before making next dosa.
Serve dosa with chutney of your choice like coconut chutney/groundnut chutney/mint chutney/tomato chutney/tomato onion chutney.I sprinkled milagai podi over the dosa.Variations:
  • Addition of chana dal is optional,I like to add some crunch to it.You can even add soaked or fresh ground nuts for a variation.
  • I add finely chopped onions directly to the batter some times instead of frying it ,in that way it maintains its crunchiness in dosa.
  • You can add grated carrot to the same batter and make dosas.
  • For other variations you can add grated beetroot,chopped greens and all,but I do not recommend them for this dosa,as it tastes best with onions and carrot.
  • You can even sprinkle finely chopped onions after you pour the dosa batter and pour some oil over it and fry.
  • You can even sprinkle chutney podi/ milagai podi over the dosa.
  • You can use the same batter to make gunta ponganalu / Paddu/ Paniyaram in the Aebliskever pan.
  • You can the dosa batter which u make regularly,it tastes better when it is very use 2-3 days old batter than the fresh one.


  • For a vegan version avoid adding curd to the batter.
A Happy Note:

My friend Sushma of 'savi-ruchi' has chosen my blog for this month's 'Tried and Tested' event,I am very thankful to her and in fact very glad that she has chosen mine.Thanks a ton Sush !!
I would be glad if you try and test my recipes in your kitchen and make her event successful.If you have any queries regarding the recipes,please feel free to contact me anytime.I would be happy to help you guys regarding it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Holige | Hoornada Holige | Pappu Obattu...Our Community Style!!

First of all I wish all my readers a Happy Ugadi!!I wish every one will have a wonderful and prosperous year ahead.

Ugadi is a major festival for people staying in Andhra and Karnataka,it is considered as a start of the new year.During childhood we used to get excited for this festival as we get to wear new clothes and savor the heavy festival thali with lots of our favorite goodies.We make 'Ugadi Pacchadi' which is a mix of all the tastes 'shadruchulu' for ugadi which is my favorite among all.I used to ask my mom to make it in a huge quantity so that I can eat it when ever I want through out the day.It is basically a mix of tamarind juice,salt,chopped raw mango,jaggery and neem flowers adjusted according to your taste.

My Ugadi thali menu consisted of ugadi pacchadi,hesaru bele kosambari, cucumber raitha, maavinkaay chitranna, ridge gourd thovve, holige rasam, tomato rasam, urad dal bondas,holiges/obbattu,sago payasam.Me and my friend together planned the menu for the festival and succesfully made everything,I could not take a pic of the final thali how ever you can see the thali I prepared for previous Ugadi festival here.

Coming to the festival thali,Ugadi thali is incomplete with out Hollige/Obattu which is the star item for the festival.Holliges are even very common and must sweet in any occasion or marriages.We make various fillings for holige and this hoornada holige/pappu obattu is one among them.It is prepared in various regions of India with many variations. In Maharastra they make some thing similar which is called pooran poli with a wheat flour outer cover and the filling made up of chana dal.I have mentioned in the title 'our community style' because the way we make holige is quite different from the other variations.We use chiroti rawa(very fine rawa) for the outer layer of holiges which gives very soft holiges.We use toor dal for the filling of holiges unlike chana dal which is used in puran poli or any other variations.Even the process of making it is quite different from the others as we do not roll the holige,we instead spread or pat it with hands.These holiges are very very thin and soft and can be folded like hand kerchiefs,they stay extremely soft for long time.It is a very time consuming process and one needs enough practice to master it,but all the effort which u take is quite worthy to savor those delicious holiges.


for kanaka(outer cover):

1 cup chiroti/holige rawa(baarik rava)
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil
ghee for frying

for hoorna/poornam:
1 cup toor/arhar dal
1 cup jaggery,grated
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup grated fresh coconut
a pinch of salt
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp elaichi powder

for Kanaka:
  • Mix chiroti rawa with a pinch of salt to it and add water to it and knead in to a very smooth dough.The consistency of the dough should be very loose than the regular roti dough,this is the most important step otherwise you will not get softer holiges.
  • Now using your fist hit the dough for few mins to get the softer dough.It is said that the formula to get a softer holige is to hit the dough 100 times.
  • Now place this dough in a deep vessel and pour oil over it until the dough is completely soaked in oil.Let the dough rest for a minimum of 1 hr and upto 2 hrs.Drain the excess oil and use it for other purpose.
  • All the steps I mentioned are to be followed without fail to get super soft holiges. See the pics to get to know the consistency of the kanaka.
for Hoorna/Poornam:
  • Wash and soak toor dal for 10 mins.
  • Bring 5-6 cups of water to a boil in a deep vessel and add turmeric,salt,ghee and soaked toor dal and let it cook until you feel it is almost cooked.Dal should hold its shape and should be firm,it should not become mushy.Press a grain of dal with your fingers to get to know whether the dal is cooked properly or not.
  • Strain this cooked dal over a strainer and let it drain the water and cool completely.Reserve this water to use it in making delicious holige saaru.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of water in a kadai and add grated jaggery to it and let it melt over low flame.
  • Now add strained toor dal,grated fresh coconut and let it cook along with jaggery until you get a uniform mixture.Now add elaichi powder and mix well and switch off the flame.Let the mixture cool completely.
  • Grind to a smooth paste( do not add water) in a mixer and make into a big lemon sized balls and leave them aside.See the pics to get to know the consistency of the hoorna.
for holige/obattu:
  • Cut the holige paper into a round and place it on the rolling stone which we use to roll rotis.Grease holige paper or banana leaf with oil.Cut a thin polythene transparent cover into the same size of the holige paper and clean it and keep aside and grease it one side with oil.
  • Pinch a small amla sized dough and flatten it a bit using your hands as shown in the pics and place one round of hoorna and seal it properly from all the edges like how we do for parathas.
  • Now flatten it slowly with hands to get 2" diameter circle.Now place a greased thin polythene cover and spread the holige gently using your fingers to get a very thin holige.
  • Now remove the greased polythene cover and place the holige paper along with the holige(with holige facing down the tawa)on a hot tawa over the low flame.
  • Let it sit for 20-30 seconds and now peel the holige paper gently scraping it along the edges using a spatula.See the pics to get a clear understanding of it.
  • Now fry it on both sides applying ghee until light golden in color.Pour the ghee over it,do not try to spread ghee over the holige while frying it.Do not fry it for long time,it will the holiges bit hard so quickly remove it from stove when you get to see the brown patches on it.
  • Now quickly fold in it into half and again to half and arrange it in a deep vessel.
  • Repeat the process for making holiges,smear the holige paper liberally with oil and follow the same procedure.
Now coming to the best part of serving these delicious holiges.Serve the holige warm or hot with melted ghee and warm milk.I like to eat it with either ghee liberally smeared over it or dunk it in warm milk.

  • These holiges stay good for 2 days and if refrigerated you can keep for 3-4 days.
  • For kanaka,you can even add a mix of chiroti rawa and maida in the ration of 1/2 cup chiroti rawa : 1/2 cup maida.
  • For a vegan version,use oil while frying holige and also avoid ghee in the filling.
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