Friday, September 28, 2012

Drumstick Rasam | Mulakkadala Rasam

The most common dish with drumsticks is Sambar which is very tasty and quite common among south Indian homes.Apart from Drumstick sambar and Mulakkada Masala(which are our family favorites) this drumstick rasam is also quite regular at our home.The flavor from the drumsticks adds a nice punch to the rasam which makes it tastier.This rasam is not quite common even among south Indians and hence I wanted to share the recipe for those who are not familiar with it.
Drumstick Rasam | Mulakkadala Rasam Recipe:
(Serves 2-3)

2 Drumsticks,plump and tender ones
2 big ripen Tomatoes
2 tsp Tamarind pulp
1-2 light colored Green chili
2-3 tsp Rasam powder(home made or MTR brand)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp grated Jaggery
2 tbsp Coriander leaves(with stems)
5-6 Curry leaves
Salt to taste

for Tempering:
1 tsp Oil/Ghee
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
5-6 Curry leaves
1 Red chili
a pinch of Asafoetida(Hing)
  • Cook drumsticks,cut the edges and further cut them into 3" pieces.Add them in a pot of water with salt.Or alternatively you can either steam them or pressure cook for one whistle.Take care that they stay intact and not mushy.
  • Grind tomatoes to a fine puree.
  • Pour the tomato puree into a deep vessel and add curry leaves and slit light colored green chili and add around 1 cup of water(you can add water in which drumsticks are cooked) to it and let it boil for 4-5 mins.
  • Mix turmeric powder,tamarind pulp,rasam powder well together and add it to the boiling rasam.
  • Add chopped coriander leaves along with their stems to it and boil for another 3-4 mins.
  • Add grated jaggery,salt,cooked drumsticks and boil for another 2-3 mins.
  • Now taste the rasam and adjust the seasoning according to your wish.Feel free to add more rasam powder or salt or jaggery or tamarind pulp or more water to balance the rasam.Rasam tastes best when it is balanced well.If needed boil for another couple of minutes.
  • Meanwhile heat a small tempering pan add oil/ghee and crackle mustard seeds.
  • Add curry leaves,red chillies,asafoetida and fry for a couple of seconds.
  • Add this tempering to the rasam and cover it immediately and remove from stove.
Serve it with rice,any vegetable fry and papad/fryums.
  1. A key to the perfect rasam is to balance the spicy,salt,tangyness rightly.Hence while making it,feel free to add more rasam powder or salt or jaggery or tamarind pulp to balance the rasam using your judgement or with 1-2 tasting sessions in between and boil it nicely.
  2. For a vegan version use oil instead of ghee in the recipe.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Masala Cocktail Idlis | Milagai Podi Idlis

I have recently posted colorful cocktail idlis matching the colors of Indian flag for Independence day.I generally make plain button idlis for sambar and when I make colorful button idlis I usually turn them to masala cocktail idlis which are nothing but spiced up milagai podi idlis.I usually prefer button idlis(plain or colored ones) for this,but if you do not have a button idly stand you can make with regular idlis(cut into pieces).
This dish works as an entree' or for an evening snack.You can present them beautifully by pricking them with tooth picks which definitely stands out in any party and would be a hit especially with the kids. If the idlis are prepared earlier spicing them up would not even take five mins and it tastes delicious too.The spice levels can be adjusted according to your wish.Also have a look at my Masala Idli fries which are done in a similar way but slightly modified.
Cocktail Masala Idlis | Milagai Podi Idlis Recipe:
(Serves 2-3)

30-32 plain Button Idlis/colorful Cocktail Idlis or 4 Big Idlis
3-4 tbsp Milagai Podi /Idli Podi
a sprig of Curry leaves
1 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Sesame oil or Ghee
  • Idlis should be cooled completely or use left over idlis.If you are using whole idlis,cut them into 8-9 even sized cubes.
  • In a kadai heat oil/ghee and crackle mustard seeds.
  • Add urad dal,curry leaves and fry until the urad dal turns slightly brown.
  • Add Milagai podi and a fat pinch of salt(remember even milagai podi and idlis have salt) and mix well.
  • Immediately add button idlis/cut idli pieces and mix well until the milagai podi mixture coats the idlis nicely and it becomes dry.Saute for 1-2 mins.
Serve them as they are or prick them using tooth picks and serve as an appetizer.
  1. I recommend to use cocktail(button) idlis instead of cut whole idlis for this recipe.Cool the idlis before you prepare this.
  2. Adjust the Milagai podi according to your required spice level.If you want it more spicy add a slit green/red chili in the tempering.
  3. Sesame oil or ghee adds a nice flavor,you can even use regular oil.
  4. You can add a pinch of asafoetida in the tempering.
  5. For a vegan version use oil instead of ghee.

Monday, September 24, 2012


I have recently posted a simple paneer sabzi in my blog which is quite easy to make and tastes delicious too.Today's version is similar to my simple paneer sabzi recipe which I posted earlier.Ever since I have found this recipe in Nita Mehta's cook book,I have been preparing Paneer Jalfrezi recipe.I have avoided few ingredients and added few more ingredients to the original recipe to suit our taste buds.
These kind of dry paneer sabzis like my simple paneer sabzi, paneer bhurji, paneer jalfrezi and kadai paneer make excellent fillings for frankies or sandwiches(like foot longs).Hence, I always make more quantity of these sabzis so that I can use them for my next day morning's breakfast in the form of rolls.I can say it serves the dual purpose - TWO-in-ONE Recipe.The list of ingredients looks long but all the ingredients are easily available in any Indian pantry,so go ahead and try this to treat your family.
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe:
(serves 2)
source: adapted from Nita Mehta

250 gms Homemade Paneer (or store bought) ,cut into thin strips of 1" pieces
1 Onion,cut into half ring julienne
1 Tomato+ pulp of another tomato mentioned below,pureed
2 tsp Tomato ketchup
1 tsp Kasoori Methi
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
Salt to taste

1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Garam masala
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/3 cup Bell peppers(red and yellow),cut into thin strips of 1" pieces
1/4 cup green Capsicum,cut into thin strips of 1" pieces
1 Carrot,cut into thin strips of 1" pieces
1 firm Tomato,seeded and cut into thin strips of 1" pieces

for tempering:
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Nigella(Kalonji) seeds
  • Cut all the vegetables uniformly into 1" thin strips.Remove the pulp of tomato and cut into thin strips.
  • Puree the other tomato with the pulp of tomato(which was cut into strips).
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add cumin seeds and nigella seeds and let them splutter.
  • Add julienne onions and fry until they turn pink and then add ginger-garlic paste and fry well for a minute.
  • Add thinly cut carrot strips and fry on high flame for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add tomato puree, tomato ketchup, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, garam masala, kasuri methi and salt. Fry them until the mixture is slightly dry.
  • Add the colored bell peppers,capsicum and fry again on high flame for 2 mins.
  • Add tomato strips(seeded and cut) and paneer strips and gently mix them until all the masalas coat all the vegetables and paneer.Continue cooking for 2-3 mins.
Serve it hot with roti/paratha/pulaos.
Other serving suggestions:
  • Stuff it in a thick chapathi and eat as a kathi roll or you can even stuff it in a sandwiches or foot longs.
  • If you want to make a kathi roll out of it spread this curry in the center of thick chapathi lengthwise and top it with julienne onions and sprinkle chaat masala generously,salt and pepper and a dash of tomato ketchup and roll it and serve immediately.
  • For foot longs apply tomato ketchup and then spread this curry and top it with julienne onions and serve.
  • For a normal sandwich,stuff in between two butter ladened bread slices and toast it in toaster or on a pan and serve it with ketchup.
  1. If your paneer is slightly hard,immerse them in warm water until its usage which will make it soft.
  2. You can avoid carrots in the recipe if you do not like them.
  3. Do not miss nigella seeds,kasuri methi and tomato ketchup in the recipe.As these three ingredients makes this curry taste different from the usual ones.
  4. Her version had mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds and curry leaves in the seasoning.I avoided mustard seeds and curry leaves as I don't like the mustard seeds and curry leaves popping over those pretty paneer pieces.I replaced fenugreek seeds by kasuri methi which works great for this curry.
  5. I do not like much of carrots in this recipe,hence I added only one.If you want you can add more carrots in the curry as the original recipe said.

Check out other Paneer recipes in my blog:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sago Chiwda | Karam Saggubiyyam Borugulu | Spicy Puffed Sago Snack

I was always fascinated with the look of these colorful puffed sago pearls which look like thermocol balls and tastes like murmur(puffed rice).As a kid I used to eat them plain as the colors of these balls were quite fascinating.These are usually prepared in a big sand filled oven where even our regular murmur(puffed rice) is prepared.We do not find these in Mumbai and hence when I visit Bangalore I usually carry back these kind of things which I don't find here.
If you do not get the ready puffed sago,please check the notes for how to prepare puffed sago at home using nylon sago.I hope it would be useful.This spicy puffed sago makes an excellent snack after your meal or anytime during the day.
Saggubiyyam Borugulu | Puffed Sago Snack:
shelf life: 15-20 days

5-6 cups Saggubiyyam Borugulu/Puffed Sago*
1/3 cup Groundnuts
1/4 cup Fried gram(Dalia)
1/4 cup dry Coconut,finely sliced into 1" pieces of 2 mm thickness
6-8 Garlic pods with skin,slightly crushed
4-5 Red chillies,broken
1/4 tsp Citric acid crystals
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 cup Curry leaves
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
3-4 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
  • Clean the puffed sago and keep them aside.Use fresh and crisp variety for the recipe.If it is not crisp slightly roast them in a kadai over low flame for 3-4 mins or until it becomes crisp.

  • Clean and dry the curry leaves on a kitchen napkin.
  • Heat oil in a big kadai and crackle mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Add ground nuts and fry them until they turn red.
  • Add dry coconut pieces,garlic pods and and fry until they are crisp.
  • Then add red chillies curry leaves and fried gram and quick a quick stir and fry for 1-2 minutes.
  • Now remove it from flame and add turmeric powder,red chili powder,Salt and citric acid crystals in to it and mix well.
  • Add puffed sago and mix well until the masala coats the sago.
  • Now switch on the flame again and roast the sago again for 2-3 minutes on low flame.This will make it more crispy.Now switch off and let it cool down completely.
Store in an air-tight container.It stays good for 15-20 days and also up to a month.
* How to make Puffed Sago at home:
  1. Use nylon sago which has a shine in it,this is ideal for puffing up the sago.
  2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a wide thick bottomed pan and when the oil becomes hot add 1 tbsp of Nylon Sago and stir with a ladle till it puffs up completely.
  3. Remove from pan and keep aside.Repeat the same process with 1 tbsp oil and 1 tbsp nylon sago until you get the desired quantity.
  1. You can add 1/2 tsp Garam masala and 1/4 tsp Kala namak for a more chatpata flavor.
  2. If you do not get ready puffed sago.You can make them at home with the white sago what we get in our grocery stores.You need to fry them a handful of sago in a very thick big kadai for a couple of minutes and when start popping cover it partially with a lid,this will make sure that it will not fly here and there.Repeat the process for the remaining sago.You need to do this process only in less quantity otherwise you will end up having a mess in your kitchen.
  3. You can add cashew nuts in the tempering while frying coconut pieces which makes it more tasty.

Friday, September 21, 2012

ALOO CHANA CHAAT | CHAAT RECIPES - A Guest Post for Cakes and More

When Suma of 'Cakes and More' asked me to do a guest post, I readily agreed. This is a special post for me, as it is my first guest post.I am sure most of you know her but still, I would like to say that if you have not seen her blog, please check it right away,you would be amazed with the collection of recipes, especially the bakes-cakes and breads which aptly suits her blog name.I always wonder, how one can be so passionate about baking even the regular breads on a daily basis. I admit that even though I love to bake breads, my laziness wins over me every time and hence my baking is limited to only once or twice in a week.I like her blog for one more reason-her detailed posts. You would get all your questions answered while you go through her recipes.
When I asked her preference for the guest post, she mentioned that a Rice or Snack variety would be nice. After running through a couple of ideas, I decided to firm up on Aloo chana chaat. Now hop on to her blog here, to see the complete recipe.
Before you leave I would like you to taste a spoonful of my Aloo Chana Chaat and while munching hop on to her blog to know how I made it.

I asked you to hop on to her blog,but I still could not control myself without posting one more pic.(excuse!!)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pulihora | Andhra Style Chintapandu Pulihora

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all!!I hope every one is busy with the festival celebrations.

A festival is not complete without a variety rice,sweet,kheer and sundal varieties.Pulihora and lemon rice are the most common among the rice varieties.Though the process for lemon rice is similarly followed by all,pulihora recipe changes from home to home.My mom used to make a special Pulihora Gojju and when she wants to make pulihora all she needs to do is to mix the rice wid the pulihora gojju and lately she started making podi which is convenient to use.I have posted a version of Puliyogre in my blog earlier and today I am posting the Andhra version of pulihora.
In Andhra the pulihora is made in a very simple way,they do not add any powders to the gojju.All it has is tamarind pulp,jaggery(which is optional) and green chillies along with the basic tempering ingredients.They use light colored chillies for this and is cooked in the tamarind mixture while making the base for the rice,that adds a kind of tangy touch to the chili and gives a nice bite while eating the rice.It is a simple recipe which DH likes very much and hence I do make it quite often.
Andhra Style Chintapandu Pulihora Recipe:
(serves 2)

1 cup Sona masura rice(or equivalent)
1 big lemon size Tamarind
3-4 tbsp Groundnuts
2 tsp grated Jaggery(optional)
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Chana dal
1 tbsp Urad dal
3-4 dry Red chillies
5-6 light colored(less spice) Green chillies,slit
1 tsp Turmeric powder
a pinch of Asafoetida
a sprig of Curry leaves
2-3 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
  • Wash the rice and add 2 cups of water and soak it for 15-20 mins.Pressure cook the rice or cook it in electric rice cooker or how ever you usually do.
  • Once the rice is done,cool it completely by spreading it over wide plate smear with 1 tsp of oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
  • Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water for 10-15 mins or microwave the tamarind mixture for 1 min.Microwave method is quite quick when u have lack of time.After it is cooled down remove the pulp and add grated jaggery and mix well until it is melted completely.
  • In a kadai heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds,add groundnuts and fry until they turn slight red.Add chana dal,urad dal,red chillies,green chillies and fry for a couple of minutes until done.
  • Add curry leaves,asafoetida and turmeric powder and fry for a minute and then add tamarind pulp mixture and mix until the mixture thickens completely for at least 5-6 mins.Add enough salt to it and mix.
  • Now remove it from the stove and let it cool a bit and reserve some mixture and pour the remaining mixture over the cooled rice and mix properly until everything is well blended.Now check the taste of it and add more tamarind mixture or salt according to your taste.It should taste sour when you taste it as the sourness will reduce and blend well along with the time it sits.
  • Let it sit for 2-3 hrs before serving.
Serve it at room temperature.
  1. Use rice varieties like sona masuri,ponni,jeeraga samba for these kind of rice varieties,I do not suggest basmati rice.
  2. Always make it bit tangy so that it will taste nice once it settles down.
  3. This rice is ideal to pack for travel as it does not get spoilt,you can keep it for long upto a day.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Bellam Kudumulu | Ammini Kozhukattai(Sweet) | Ganesh Chaturthi Recipes

Today I am posting a simple sweet kudumulu recipe which is prepared in Andhra and Tamilnadu.At my mom's place we make kudumulu with various sweet fillings which is a must for this festival and also a savory version which is usually made up of toor dal.Apart from them we make small plain undrallu with the left over dough of rice flour(outer covering) but we never prepared this sweet variety of mini undrallu.At my in-laws these are called chalimidi undrallu and is mainly prepared for Ganesh Chaturthi along with biyyapu rava undrallu.Now to the recipe directly.

Check out other important recipes for Vinayaka Chavithi:
For a complete list of various options for Ganesh Chaturthi menu, check out here.

Bellam Kudumulu Bellam Undrallu Vella Ammini Kozhukattai Recipe:
(makes around 25-30 tiny kozhukattai)

1/2 cup Rice flour *
1/3 cup Water**
1/2 cup - 2 tbsp grated Jaggery(slightly less than 1/2 cup)
2-3 tbsp grated fresh/dry Coconut
2 Cardamoms,seeded and powdered
1 tsp ghee

  • Boil water in a vessel/pan and add grated jaggery and let it melt completely.Boil it for 1-2 mins.
  • Add cardamom powder,grated coconut,rice flour and give a stir.In this process you add rice flour slowly and keep mixing and make sure that it should be slightly soft mixture(softer than chapati dough).Some times the rice flour variety matters and they absorb more water.So use your judgement and stop adding rice flour further once you get the soft consistency.Switch off the flame and cover it and keep aside for 5 mins.
  • Grease your palms and make tiny balls or like discs of coin size.
  • Arrange them in a greased steamer plate and pour a tsp of ghee all over them and steam for 10-12 mins.This will give a nice shiny look to them.
Serve them hot/warm .It is best to eat them hot or warm.
*Use rice flour which is washed,dried in shade and finely powdered variety for better results.
**Some times the rice flour variety matters and they absorb more water.So use your judgement and stop adding rice flour further to the pan once you get the soft consistency.If you have added more rice flour by mistake and the mixture is very hard,add some hot water to get a soft consistency of dough.If your mixture is hard,they will become very hard after they are steamed.Hence it is very important to make a soft dough for this.

  1. It is important to make a soft dough of rice flour-jaggery mixture otherwise those balls will turn out quite hard after it is steamed.So stop adding rice flour to the jaggery mixture once teh desired consistency is achieved.
  2. You can strain the jaggery once it is dissolved in water to remove impurities.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


I am compiling all the recipes at one place which are part of Ganesh Chaturthi Menu so that it would be easy for any one to plan their menu.I have clearly mentioned various sections,so all you need to do is go through the menu and plan the menu according to your convenience.

Ganesh Chaturthi Specials(Any ONE - but MUST HAVE):
    1) KUDUMULU/MODAK - 3 Varieties with coconut filling, groundnut filling and Sesame filling2) Karida KADUBU / Deep fried MODAK / Kari Kudumulu :Breakfast Menu on Ganesh Chaturthi:
    1. Idli Recipe
    2. Medu Vada
    3. Avarekaalu Kadubu/Spiced Steamed Rice flour Dumplings
    4. Billa Kudumulu/Rice Rava Dumplings
    5. Kandi nooka Billa Kudumulu/Toor dal-Rice Rava Dumplings
    6. Upma Kozhukattai
    7. Undraalu with Biyyam rava - Andhra recipe
    Lunch Menu on Ganesh Chaturthi:

    Sundal and stir fry varieties(ONE or TWO varieties from each category):
    1. Lobia Sundal/Alasandula Guggillu
    2. Avarekaalu Kadubu/Spiced Steamed Rice flour Dumplings
    3. Kabuli Chana Sundal
    4. Peanut sundal
    5. Mixed Bean Sundal
    6. Sweet Corn Sundal
    7. Beans Stir fry
    8. Beans-carrot Palya
    9. Raw Banana Stir fry
    Vada/Snack varieties(ONE or TWO Varieties):
    1. Alasandula(Lobia) Vada/Fritters
    2. Masala Vada/Chana dal Vada
    3. Mixed Dal Ambode(Vada)
    4. Mosaru Ambode/Dahi Dal Vada
    5. Dahi Vada/Perugu Vada/Mosaru Vade
    6. Kandi Vuntalu / Steamed Toor dal Dumplings
    7. Stuffed Capsicum with Lentils
    8. Avarekaalu Kadubu/Spiced Steamed Rice flour Dumplings
    Rice Varieties(ONE or TWO Varieties):
    1. Dabbakaya Pulihora/Indian Grapefruit Rice
    2. Lemon Rice/Chitrannam
    3. Mamidikaya Pulihora/Maavinkay Chitranna
    4. Pulihora/Puliyogre
    5. Chintapandu pulihora - Andhra style
    6. Raw Mango Rice/Mamidikayi Gojju Annam
    Dal/Stew/Rasam Varieties(All Varieties-ONE each):
    1. Moong dal /Pesara Kattu
    2. Kandi Vunta Majjiga Pulusu / Steamed Toor dal Dumplings Stew
    3. Holige Saaru/ Special Toor dal Rasam or Chickpeas Rasam/Senagala Kattu
    Main sweet recipes(ONE- compulsory):
    1. Steamed Kudumulu - with 3 fillings
    2. Karida Kadubu Fried Modak
    3. Paneer Modak Peda
    4. Bele Holige Pappu Obbattu
    5. Bellam Kudumulu Vella Ammini Kozhukattai
    6. Boorelu | Suzhiyan | Sugunta
    7. Garugu Obbattu-Holige with rice flour and coconut stuffing
    8. Paal Kozhukattai | Undralla Payasam
    Kheer/Payasam(ONE or TWO Varieties):
    1. Moong Dal Kheer / Pesara Pappu Payasam
    2. Phool Makhana Kheer
    3. Poha Kheer/Aval Payasam
    4. Paal Payasam / Rice Milk Pudding
    5. Sabudhana Kheer / Sago Payasam

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