Monday, April 30, 2012


Paneer(cottage cheese) based dishes, as a thumb rule, appear at least once a week in our menu as TH is very fond of it, a liking which even I share. In my childhood days , paneer dishes were a must order dish, whenever we visited any north Indian joint. After coming to Mumbai, my craze for paneer has increased as the paneer available here is extremely soft and tasty. Its called malai paneer and is widely available here.I use it for sandwiches, chinese, pulavs, grilled paneer, stuffing for flat breads and breads, curries, gravies and love it in any form.
'Palak Paneer' - Cottage Cheese in Spinach gravy, is a classic combination is a very popular North Indian gravy which goes well with Indian flat breads like Naan, Kulcha, Roti etc.While there are many variations to this recipe with methi greens and saag, I am posting the most common Palak Paneer recipe. Check out the other versions I posted earlier Rajma Palak, Aloo Palak, Grilled Corn Palak Paneer which are slightly different or can be prepared in a similar procedure.I have mentioned a few tips and tricks to keep the paneer soft and also to retain the bright green color of the greens, so please follow the notes carefully for an amazing Palak Paneer gravy.
Palak Paneer | Cottage Cheese in Spinach Gravy Recipe:
(serves 2)

250 gms Homemade Paneer (or store bought)
1 big bunch fresh Spinach(Palak)
1/4 cup fresh Cream or 1/2 cup whole Milk
2 medium Onions,roughly chopped
4-5 Green chillies
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
3/4 tsp Kasuri methi
a pinch of Sugar
1/2 lemon,cut into wedges
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
Salt to taste
2 tsp Butter
1 tbsp Oil
  • Clean and wash spinach and chop it roughly.
  • Heat 1tsp oil in a big pan and add green chillies and fry them until you see brown patches forming on them and remove them aside.
  • In the same pan add chopped spinach and saute until the leaves wilt,add a pinch of sugar while cooking spinach which helps in retaining color.This process takes 4-5 mins.Cool the spinach.
  • Meanwhile grind the onions to a fine paste.
  • Cut paneer into big cubes or slabs according to your wish,immerse this in warm-medium hot water until its usage.
  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a big kadai and crackle cumin seeds.Add ginger-garlic paste and ground onion paste and fry well until the mixture is light brown in color and the rawness of onions disappears.
  • Add coriander powder,cumin powder,garam masala and kasuri methi(slightly rub it in between your fingers while adding)to it and fry for a couple of minutes.
  • Mean while grind the spinach with fries green chillies to a fine puree.If you are doing it ahead remember to open the mixer after it is ground or transfer the mixture into a bowl.Don't keep the ground mixture covered for a long time as it will loose its beautiful color.
  • Add the spinach puree to the fried masala and add enough salt,amchur powder to it and cook it open over medium flame for 3-4 mins.
  • Drain the paneer out of hot water and gently squeeze to remove extra water and add it to the spinach gravy and cook for another 2-3 mins until the gravy coats paneer cubes and also helps the paneer absorb the flavors.
  • Add butter to it and a give a nice mix.
  • Add cream and give a gentle mix and switch off the flame.If you are using milk add the milk after you switch off the flame.
  • You can squeeze lemon now or serve the lemon wedges with curry so that you can squeeze it over curry while eating like how it is served in restaurants.I prefer the second way for palak paneer especially.But do remember lemon is essential to give the sourness to palak paneer as I did not use tomatoes in the gravy and also I used just 1/2tsp of amchur powder.
  • Garnish with some grated paneer and a blob of butter.
Serve the gravy hot with any kind of Indian breads like Roti/Naan/Chapati/Paratha/Kulcha or Pulav.Also serve sliced onions and lemon wedges along with it.
  1. Its a basic thumb rule to remember,do not cover while cooking any greens as they loose the beautiful green color.If you want to make it ahead and keep the gravy ready you cover it with a lid only after it comes to a room temperature.You can use perforated plate while cooling.
  2. I mentioned many times before that I do not combine palak and tomato as I believe that combination would lead to stone formation(though I am not sure).Hence addition of amchur powder and lemon juice is essential to give the sour factor to the gravy.If you want you can add tomato puree while sauteing and cut the amchur powder.
  3. If you are using frozen or packaged paneer always immerse the paneer in hot water which makes it super soft and moist.
  4. If you want you can shallow fry the paneer in oil and immerse in hot water,as I always use fresh malai paneer which is amazingly soft I do not feel like frying it.

  1. Spinach gravy is as versatile as the most common tomato gravy.I already have blogged various versions with spinach gravy like Rajma Palak, Aloo Palak, Grilled Corn Palak Paneer which are slightly different or can be followed in the same way.
  2. You can follow the same process and add boiled chana(white chickpeas) instead of paneer and avoid cream in it which makes tasty Chana palak.

Check out other Paneer recipes in my blog:

Friday, April 27, 2012


Whenever I make any chickpeas based dish, I would be left with lots of stock(called as kattu,the water in which chickpeas is cooked).I would try to use the stock mostly in the same dish but if it is a dry preparation like Hummus, Sundal, Pulav/Rice, Kadai Cholay where I don't need much of the reserved stock, I store it for later use.
Back home my mom makes a nice tasty sundal rasam where the cooked chickpeas(or any other legume) is ground along with coconut and few spices and made it into a rasam . Today's version is the easiest one and all you need to do is just add a tempering to the stock and bring it to a boil.I would say that preparing this rasam makes sense only if you have the excess stock , otherwise soaking and cooking chickpeas just for making it is not worth the effort. Let us see how the stock , which one would have usually thrown , can be transformed to a simple and tasty rasam.
Chickpeas Rasam | Senagala Kattu Recipe:
(Serves 2)

2 cups Chickpeas Stock(called as kattu,water in which chickpeas is cooked)
1/3 cup cooked Chickpeas
a pinch of Turmeric powder
juice of 1/2 Lemon
Salt to taste

to temper:
1 tsp Ghee/Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3-4 Garlic pods,slightly crushed
2-3 Green chillies,slit
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of Asafoetida

  • Boil the water in which chickpeas is cooked and add cooked chickpeas,turmeric powder and salt to it and let it come to a rolling boil.Slightly press the chickpeas with the back of the ladle.
  • Meanwhile heat ghee/oil in a small tadka pan and crackle mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Add slightly crushed garlic pods and green chillies and fry well.
  • Add curry leaves and asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds and switch it off.
  • Add this tadka to the boiling rasam and boil for half a minute and switch off the stove.
  • After a couple of minutes add lemon juice to it and stir and close it with lid.
Serve it hot with steamed rice with some fryums or papad.
  1. You can use canned chickpeas in the recipe,but wash it well before use.Ideally this recipe is to use the stock of cooked chickpeas.
  2. You can use black chickpeas or white chickpeas in the recipe.
  3. For a Vegan version use oil instead of ghee in the recipe.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kakarakaya Ullipaya Karam | Stuffed Bittergourd with Spicy Onion mixture

I have mentioned many times in my earlier posts that bitter gourd is a favorite vegetable at my place.Though I like it only in few forms,the rest of the family likes it in any form.My most preferred choice with bitter gourd would be either Bittergourd podi or any stuffed Bittergourd, check out one version of stuffed bittergourd recipe here. It is fun to eat stuffed bitter gourds with rice,either you need to slightly mash the stuffed bitter gourds into the rice like a typical south Indian or take a bite of stuffed bitter gourd with a spoonful of plain rice.You can check out my similar recipe of Vankaya Ullipaya Karam here.
The version I am posting today is again one of my favorite preparations of bitter gourd which I learnt from my M-I-L.For the stuffing,the onions are ground with few spices to a very coarse bits and is fried in oil which is later stuffed into the fried bitter gourds.One can even deep fry the bitter gourds to reduce the bitterness in it,I don't dare to deep fry on a regular basis and hence took an easy route of boiling and sauteing it which reduces the bitterness by at least 70-80% which is manageable to eat.The sweet and spicy onion mixture takes this stuffed bitter gourd to another level as the mixture complements the slight hint of tangy and bitter taste from bittergourds(the tanginess you get from boiling the bittergourds in tamarind water).If you have a family member who loves bitter gourd,please prepare this for them and I am sure they would absolutely love it.Even if you are skeptical about eating bitter gourd start with this recipe and you will definitely start liking bitter gourd.
Kakarakaya Ullipaya Karam Recipe:
(Serves 2-3)

4-5 long Bittergourds
3 large Onions,diced roughly
1/2 tsp thick Tamarind extract
1 tsp Red chili powder
a sprig of Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp Oil

to boil Bittergourds:
1 tbsp Tamarind pulp
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp grated Jaggery
Salt to taste

  • Wash and cut bitter gourds into 2 " length pieces and make a slit on one side lengthwise and remove the tough seeds using a knife.
  • In a big pot bring water to a boil with added tbsp tamarind pulp,turmeric powder,salt and grated jaggery.Add cut bitter gourds and boil for 4-5 minutes until they are tender and firm to touch.Drain them and let them cool aside.This process helps in removing the bitterness from bitter gourd leaving a slight tangy taste to the bittergourd skin.
  • Pulse diced onions with salt,tamarind extract and red chili powder in a whipper mode for 5 seconds a couple of times.The resultant mixture should be very chunky with onion bits here and there.This is an important step,so plase don't mess up here..we want a chunky mixture not the paste.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add curry leaves and fry for 30 seconds.Add the pulsed onion mixture and fry well until the mixture is completely dry and cooked,it takes approximately 8-10 mins.Fry the mixture on medium flame and stir it in between and take care not to burn the mixture.Cool the mixture.
  • Meanwhile in another wide and deep bottomed kadai heat 1 tbsp oil and add cooked and drained bitter gourds and fry for a couple of minutes.Cover it with a deep plate and pour half cup of water over it and cook the bitter gourds over medium flame for 7-8 minutes until they are cooked.Cool them.You can alternatively deep fry the bitter gourds for 2-3 minutes but I don't prefer this process for the amount of oil it consumes.It is left to your choice.
  • Stuff the fried onion mixture in the fried bitter gourds and keep them aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in the same kadai(in which bitter gourds are fried) and place the bitter gourds carefully and fry over medium - high flame for 3-4 mins until the edges turn crisp and charred.
Serve them hot with hot steamed rice.
  1. The key taste in this stuffed bitter gourd curry is the fried onion mixture,so stuff as much onion mixture as you can.
  2. The amount of oil is completely left to your choice as the addition of more makes the entire process fast,easy and tasty.I hardly used 1-2 tbsp oil in the entire process.You can see that my bitter gourds are bit more charred as I had used very little oil and cooked them for very long.Hence the more the oil,the easier and faster the process.
  3. You can use the same stuffing for Tendli(dondakaya) and shallow fry it.It is again my personal favorite.
  4. For a variation add 2-3 garlic pods while grinding the mixture,it gives a nice taste too.

Monday, April 23, 2012


We make a lot of mixed rice varieties and pulavs regularly at home. During festivals preparing some form of rice without onions and garlic is a must. Many rice varieties such as Lemon rice, Coconut rice, Puliyogre, Raw mango rice, Vangibath, Mustard rice, Sesame rice etc fall in that category. I have already posted a Raw mango rice recipe which is prepared using grated mango where the preparation is similar to that of lemon rice.We also make another version of raw mango rice where raw mango is ground with coconut and few spices to a coarse paste and fried in oil to make yummy gojju, which is typically Karnataka style. I will probably post this recipe later.

For this post I have adapted this simple recipe from one of my favorite bloggers 'Pavithra of Dishes from my Kitchen'. Did I ever tell you that I love her blog very much? She is a wonderful blogger and a very good friend of mine. I love her diversity of cooking from traditional Indian one's to International cooking. Her presentation skills and food photography are excellent. Coming to today's recipe this raw mango rice that I have prepared tastes similar to the raw mango rice prepared in Karnataka style which I mentioned about earlier.

Raw Mango Rice | Mamidikayi Gojju Annam Recipe :
(Serves 2)
Source: Dishes from my Kitchen

1 cup Sona masuri rice or Basmati rice
1/2 cup black Chickpeas/kala Chana,boiled until soft
2-3 tbsp chopped Coriander
Salt to taste

for Mango gojju:
2 raw sour Mangoes,peeled and diced
2 tsp Cumin seeds
6 byadige Red chillies(for bright red color)
8-10 regular Red chillies
1/2 tsp Asafoetida
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp grated Jaggery
2 tbsp Chana dal
2 tsp split Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a sprig of Curry leaves
Salt to taste
4 tbsp Sesame oil or regular oil
to make Gojju:
  • Warm the red chillies until they are crisp.Grind red chillies with cumin seeds,turmeric powder and asafoetida to a fine powder.
  • Add peeled and diced raw mango pieces to it and grind to a fine paste with little water(2-3tbsp).
  • Heat oil in a big kadai and crackle mustard seeds.Add chana dal,urad dal and fry well.
  • Add curry leaves to it and fry for 30 secs.Add ground paste to it and fry for a minute.
  • Cover it with a lid(just cover 3/4th portion of kadai) and let it cook over medium flame until the mixture is thick.
  • Add grated jaggery and mix well and cover it and cook again until it oozes out extra oil.Remove it from stove and let it cool.Store it in a clean bottle in refrigerator.You can make this mixture ahead and refrigerate upto 10 days and use when required.

to make Mango rice:
  • Soak black chickpeas over night and pressure cook with little salt for 3 whistles.Drain the extra water from it.
  • Clean and wash the rice and soak for 10-15 mins and pressure cook it with 1 cup rice:2 cups water ratio or prepare it in rice cooker as you prefer.
  • Once it is done spread it over a big plate and let it cool,take care that the rice granules should be separate.
  • Add 4-5 tbsp of prepared mango gojju and enough salt to it and mix well.
  • Taste the rice now and adjust the sourness and salt according to your taste buds.Add cooked and drained chickpeas and coriander to the rice and mix well.
  • Let it sit for 2-3 hrs before serving for the flavors to mix well.If the rice sits for little longer the flavors blend well.
Serve it at room temperature with some fryums.

  1. Addition of black chickpeas is optional,but biting them in the rice gives a nice taste.
  2. Mango gojju can be stored in refrigerator upto 10 days and preparing the raw mango rice with the already prepared gojju is a breeze.
  3. Balance the sourness of mango with the jaggery,red chillies and salt which is a key process while making this kind of variety rice.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Groundnut Sundal | Peanut Sundal..with a touch of Raw Mango

I love sundal and I always include a variety of sundal in festival thali.It is a low fat spicy snack which complements the meal as well as it can be served as an evening snack.Hot steamed salted fresh groundnuts are one of my favorite snacks and this sundal makes a nice substitute even if we don't get fresh groundnuts.This is a easy peasy recipe which is prepared in a similar way like any other sundal.I added finely chopped raw mangoes to give a touch of beach style sundal which is a popular snack among most beaches of South India.

Groundnut Sundal | Peanut Sundal Recipe:
(Serves 2)

1 cup Peanuts/Groundnuts
3 tbsp finely chopped raw Mango
2-3 tbsp grated fresh Coconut
1/2 tsp Green chilli paste
a sprig of Curry leaves
1 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a pinch of Asafoetida
1-2 tsp Oil
Salt to taste
  • Soak groundnuts in water for 1-2hrs and pressure cook them with salt for 2 whistles until they are soft.Drain them and keep aside
  • Heat oil in a kadai and crackle mustard seeds and add urad dal and fry until they turn brown.
  • Add curry leaves,green chilli paste and hing and fry for few seconds.
  • Add drained groundnuts,salt and fry for a minute.
  • Add grated coconut and finely chopped raw mango it to and mix well.Remove it from stove.
Serve it with a meal or as an evening snack.

  1. Addition of raw mango is optional,it adds a nice tangy touch to sundal.You can even grate the mango in the recipe.
  2. You can even make this fresh groundnuts which tastes even better and soft.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Sambar is one of the most common dishes served in any South Indian meal.While some varieties of sambar(drumstick,ladies finger,pumpkin,yellow cucumber,radish,mixed vegetable) go well with Idli,Dosa and Rice , some others (chow chow,beans,carrot)go well with only rice. South Indians use most vegetables and greens in Sambar by making some tweaks to the recipe. This is another regular recipe from my kitchen.
(Serves 2-3)

250 gms Red pumpkin,washed and cut into 1" cubes with skin
1/2 cup Toor dal
8-10 small Onions(peeled) or 1 big Onion(diced)
2 medium Tomatoes,roughly chopped
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
a gooseberry sized Tamarind
1/2 tsp grated Jaggery
Salt to taste

to roast and grind:
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
5-6 Red chillies
5 Byadige Red chillies(for color)
2 tsp Bengal gram dal(Chana dal)
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp Oil

to temper:
1 tsp Ghee/Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a sprig of Curry leaves
a pinch of Asafoetida

  • Pressure cook toor dal with turmeric for 3 whistles until the dal is soft.
  • Pressure cook pumpkin cubes ,peeled or diced onions,chopped tomatoes with salt in tamarind water and cook it until the pumpkin pieces are soft.
  • Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and add chana dal and roast until it is red in color and remove it and keep aside.In the same pan add coriander seeds,fenugreek seeds and red chillies one by one and roast them until red.Let them come to the room temperature and powder it.
  • Add grated coconut to it and grind to a smooth paste.
  • In a big vessel,let the cooked vegetable mixture come to a rolling boil.Add cooked toor dal and ground masala to it and add enough water and salt and gated jaggery to it and let it boil for 7-8 mins until the raw smell of the ground masala goes away.
  • Taste sambar at this stage and adjust according to your taste buds.
  • In a small pan heat ghee and crackle mustard seeds and add curry leaves and hing and fry for 30seconds and add this tadka to the boiling sambar and give a quick mix and switch off.

Serve it hot with Idli/dosa/Rice.

  • You can follow the same recipe for vegetables like Drumsticks,Bottle gourd, White pumpkin, Chow-Chow, Radish and Carrot.
  • For a variation you can skip the roasting the spices part and replace that with 2-3 tbsp Sambar powder and grind it with coconut and follow the same process.


  • For a Vegan version use oil instead of ghee in the seasoning.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Punugulu | Bondas with Dosa batter | Dosa batter Fritters

I prefer bonda (rice based fritters) over pakoras (chickpea flour based) but I don't make both on a regular basis. My mom used to prepare several varieties of bonda and as such pakoras used to find less favor as my dad wasn't fond of the (chickpea) flour that is used in preparing them . Mirch(chilli) fritters was though an exception. We also used to like the sour taste of bondas. Its the complete opposite at my in-laws place as they are more fond of chickpea flour based fritters , which they prepare at least twice a week - its actually quite common in North India because of the colder weather during winters. Hot chick pea fritters and tea especially during rains is just awesome , as per my hubby. I usually don't prefer eating deep fried items that frequently , so this concept of having fritters that often was initially difficult for me to comprehend.On another note , my hubby just reminded me that my MIL can turn any vegetable to a fritter. Enough of pakoras for today , I guess - let me keep it for some other post.
Coming back to today's post,we generally prepare these bondas with left over dosa batter which turns sour after 2-3 days,bondas usually taste better with a sour batter. If the bondas are prepared with freshly made batter (with no fermentation) they are called 'Punugulu', a famous road side snack in Vijayawada and few Coastal districts of Andhra.You don't need to add anything while making them apart from salt for taste.
This version which I am posting today is ideally prepared during festivals to go along with afternoon meal. As we do not use onions during festivals, we generally replace with soaked moong dal and tiny coconut pieces which adds a nice taste to these bondas.There are no hard rules in preparing these bondas,the addition of quantities of ingredients is purely left to suit your taste buds.I have also mentioned various variations in the recipe,please feel free to follow them and enjoy these hot bondas as an evening snack with tea or in a festival lunch as I usually do.
Punugulu | Bonda with Dosa batter:
(Serves 2-3)

2 cups left over dosa batter(fresh or fermented)
3-4 tbsp Rice flour
2-3 tbsp Moong dal,soaked for an hour
3-4 tbsp tiny pieces of fresh Coconut or 1 medium Onion,finely chopped
1-2 tsp Green chili paste(to suit your taste)
2 tsp finely chopped Curry leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped Coriander
a fat pinch of cooking Soda
Salt to taste
  • Let the dosa batter comes to a room temperature.
  • Add rice flour to it and mix well and leave it aside for 5 mins.Feel free to add an extra tbsp of rice flour or sooji(rawa) to the batter to make it slightly thick.The consistency should be thicker as Idli batter and have dropping consistency.
  • Add soaked and drained moong dal,tiny pieces of fresh coconut(or finely chopped onion),green chili paste,chopped curry leaves,chopped coriander and required salt and mix well.
  • Add a fat pinch of soda to a tsp of water and mix well and mix in the batter until well mixed.
  • Mean while heat oil in a thick kadai over medium flame.
  • Drop a spoonful of batter using a spoon or hand.We your finger in between for easy dropping of batter.
  • Drop 6-8 at a time and fry them over medium flame for 2 mins and turn them over and fry them until they turn golden brown and crisp.
Serve them hot with coconut chutney or tomato sauce/chutney or as they are.
  1. You can prepare these bondas with fresh dosa batter(before or after immediate fermentation) pr 2-3 day old batter which turned sour.All these variations taste nice and also have different taste.I personally like the one when prepared with sour batter.
  2. You can add a couple of tbsp of rawa to the batter which gives a crisp bondas.In that case leave the batter aside for an hr and proceed with the same above mentioned process.
  3. You can even prepare these bondas with the batter which is prepared for sukkinunde/boorelu/poornalu.
  1. As I prepared these bondas during festival I added soaked moong dal and coconut pieces.If you are preparing them on any regular day add finely chopped onions to it which gives a nice crunch in between.
  2. You can even add soaked and drained sago(1/4 cup) to the batter instead of soaked moong dal and you can add either coconut pieces or chopped onions to it along with sago as both goes well.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Dal called as 'Pappu'(in Telugu) plays an essential role in every day meal of many Andhra households.The preparation of dal also varies from one region to another. There are two ways to make this dal , while some pressure cook the dal along with the tempering (My mom and MIL follow this process) others separately temper the dal after cooking the dal. The output of the first process is a consistency that is slightly pourable i.e. neither thick nor thin. I however like the way dal(pappu) is prepared in the Rayalaseema region of Andhra pradesh. If you notice the ingredients of the recipe, it is not different from any other dal(pappu) recipe,but the trick lies in the way it is prepared.The consistency of dal is very thick and if you mix dal with rice and ghee you must be able to make round balls(in Telugu it is called 'muddalu') out of it. Once the dal is cooked,we should strain the extra water and mash it nicely to get a smooth and uniform mixture which adds a nice taste to dal.Also note that this dal is simmered for long to achieve the desired thick consistency and texture.Tomato dal when mixed with piping hot rice and a dollop of ghee just makes your day. I must admit that this version of dal is the best I have ever tasted. The dal should be ideally thicker than the consistency what I showed in the photographs as my hubby is not really fond of very thick dal.

Tomato Pappu | Tomato Dal Recipe:
(serves 2-3)

1/2 cup Toor dal
2 large ripen Tomatoes,chopped
1 big Onion,finely chopped
5-6 Garlic pods,slightly crushed
1 tbsp Tamarind pulp
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Dhaniya powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Chana dal
a sprig of Curry leaves
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp Ghee
Salt to taste
  • Wash and soak toor dal for 10 mins.Pressure cook it with a pinch of turmeric powder of drop of oil for 3 whistles until soft.Addition of oil avoids spilling of toor dal while pressure cooking.
  • Remove extra water from the dal(reserve it for later use) and mash it using pappu-gutti(a wooden ladle used to churn buttermilk traditionally) to a uniform soft mixture.This step is optional but this takes the dal to another level.
  • Heat a big kadai and heat oil and ghee together and crackle mustard seeds.
  • Add chana dal,curry leaves and slightly crushed garlic pods and fry for 30 secs, until the chana dal turns slightly red in color.
  • Now add finely chopped onion and fry until translucent.Add chopped tomatoes and fry well until the mixture is totally pulpy.Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins and make sure the tomatoes are cooked completely.
  • Add red chili powder,coriander powder to it and fry well.
  • Add cooked and mashed dal ,tamarind pulp and salt and mix well.If the consistency is very thick add little water(strained from cooked dal).Cover it and cook for 8-10 mins until dal is thick and nicely done.Check the seasoning and adjust according to your taste buds.
Serve it hot with hot steamed rice and a dollop of ghee with some fryums or alu fry.You can even make the dal slightly thin and serve it with rotis as well.

  1. This dal is supposed to be very thick,if you want it thin add more water and adjust the consistency according to your taste.
  2. Use the naati variety of tomatoes which are mor tangy instead of hybrid variety for better taste.
  3. Always add either asafoetida or garlic(but not both) in tempering for a great flavor in this dal.
  4. For a Vegan version avoid ghee in the recipe.

Monday, April 9, 2012

ALOO GOBI Recipe- Dry Version

There are many simple recipes that I cook on a regular basis but never make it to my blog.One such recipe is Aloo gobi which I prepare quite frequently . I am posting a very simple version that goes well with rice, pulav, roti or any other flat bread. Now straight to the recipe.

Aloo Gobi Curry -Dry Version Recipe:
(serves 2-3)

2 cups Cauliflower florets or 1 small Cauliflower
2 medium Potatoes,cut into 1"sticks
1 big Onion,sliced
1 tsp Coriander leaves,chopped
2 Green chillies,finely chopped
1 tsp grated Ginger
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Garam masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a pinch of Asafoetida
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
  • Cut cauliflower into florets and clean them.Drop them in salted hot water and keep them for a while(approx 10 mins),this process will helps in floating any unseen worms.
  • Cut potatoes into thin slices,cut them to match the size of cauliflower florets which helps in even cooking.
  • Heat oil in a big heavy bottomed kadai and crackle cumin seeds.Add asafoetida to it and fry for 10 seconds.
  • Add finely chopped green chillies and grated ginger and fry well for 30 secs.
  • Add thinly sliced onions and fry well until they are translucent.
  • Add chopped potatoes and fry well for 3-4 mins by stirring in between.
  • Add cauliflower florets to it and mix well.Fry for 2-3 mins and add 2 tsp water and cover it and cook over low-medium flame for 7-8 mins until the vegetables are cooked.Please check in between and also give a stir,if needed add little more water.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked increase the flame and let the vegetables roast a bit for 2 mins.
  • Add red chili powder,salt,turmeric powder,garam masala,amchur powder and mix well.Cover it and cook for 2-3 mins.
Garnish with coriander and serve it hot with Rice/Roti/Naan.

  1. You can even add tomato to the recipe.Add 1 finely chopped tomato after the vegetables are added.
  2. You can add green peas to the same recipe.
  3. You can adapt the same recipe(with or without tomatoes) and make combinations like potato-capsicum,gobi-matar,potato-peas,potato-brinjal.The recipe works well for all these combinations and you can experiment with many other as well.
  4. You can skip amchur powder in the above recipe and add juice of 1/2 lemon at the end.
  5. You can add Ginger-Garlic paste instead of ginger in the above recipe.
  6. You can boil the potatoes and cauliflower florets ahead and while making the recipe skip the cooking part and proceed with the same recipe.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tender Coconut Pudding | Eggless Pudding 300th Post!!

Yet another milestone post in my blog.Time flies so fast,my blog has celebrated it's 3rd anniversary very recently and this is my 300th post.I am posting this Tender coconut pudding to mark the 300th post in my blog.
I tasted this tender coconut pudding made by the caterer we hired for a family function and just fell in love instantly with this dessert.The delicate flavor of tender coconut is very soothing and the soft texture makes it melt in you mouth. When I tasted the pudding for the first time I knew that I could replicate the same at home in a couple of trials as I knew the ingredients that went into it.I some how kept pushing forward the plan and when I saw this on Bharathy's blog, I thought my job was now much easier as I would not need to make several trials to get the correct measurements . I hence recently prepared it, for a small get together at home.I must say that this is a very easy,delicious and sinful pudding.Try this dessert, this Summer as it is a perfect way to beat the heat .
Tender Coconut Pudding:
(makes 4 large portions or 6 small portions)
Recipe Source: Spicy Chilly

1/2 tin(150 ml/200gms) sweetened Condensed milk
300 ml(1 tin) Whole Milk(or regular milk)
1/3 cup Tender coconut meat(from 2 tender coconuts)
150 ml(1/2 tin) Tender coconut water
5 gms China grass/Agar-Agar
3 tbsp Sugar
  • Heat the tender coconut until it is medium hot,no need to let it bubble.Cut china grass (agar-agar) into small pieces and soak it in hot tender coconut water for 1-2hrs.Make this process ahead before you plan to make the pudding.
  • Meanwhile scrape the tender coconut meat,use only the thin and transparent variety of coconut meat.If you use the thicker flesh one the pudding would not taste that good.Cut the coconut meat into very fine pieces or run it in mixer in whipper mode for few seconds.I like to keep it bit chunky as the coconut flesh is very thin it adds a very nice taste.
  • Combine milk with condensed milk and sugar and let it come to a gentle boil and simmer for 2-3 mins.
  • Meanwhile in another pan boil the tender coconut water with the soaked agar agar strips to a medium gentle boil(for just 2-3 mins) until the strands melt,do not over boil it as the flavor of tender coconut water would spoil.Remove it from stove.You can strain the mixture as not all the strands would have melted or you can leave them as they are.
  • Immediately pour the milk mixture into the coconut water-agar agar mixture and give a nice mix.Also stir in the coconut flesh pieces and mix well until everything is mixed properly.
  • Pour into individual dessert molds/ramekins and let it sit for 10-15 mins undisturbed. Once it is cooled completely,refrigerate for 1-2hr.

Serve it chilled.


  1. You can eat the pudding in 2 days,best to consume on the same day.The pudding might slightly harden after one day but no compromise in taste otherwise.
  2. The pudding sets beautifully in dessert molds,if you wish you can pour the mixture in a rectangular tray and cut into pieces.But I like to serve it in individual portions.
  3. The sweetness is just right for the pudding,if you like it very sweet taste the mix (milk mixture and coconut water mixture when combined) and add a couple of tbsp more if required.
  4. Always use tender coconuts which have light,thin and transparent flesh as they taste better for this pudding.
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