Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas Recipe | Low Calorie Snacks

Low Calorie Snacks
The morning time on a week day would be busy in packing breakfast, fruits and snack box for TH as  he leaves quite early in the morning. I usually pack the breakfast for him and most of the times it would be Muesli,Cereals,Sandwich,Burger and sometimes south Indian breakfast items.As he works for long hours, apart from the breakfast, I also pack fruits and a few snacks.Both of us usually prefer to take small meals through the day rather than having a three meal day.  
Low Calorie Snacks
I am always on the look out for healthy and low fat snacks.While I do prepare various instant varieties like salads,sundal etc, I always look for snacks which could be prepared ahead and stored for a few days.This oven roasted chickpeas is one such recipe, which I prepare very frequently as both of us love chickpeas in all forms. This is definitely a protein packed and low fat snack which is perfect to munch with your evening cuppa.I am posting the chatpata Indian style roasted chickpeas. The flavors are very versatile and one can be creative in the use of flavors.
Low Calorie Snacks
You can check out few low fat snack recipes in my blog.I would add few more snacks soon.

Spicy Oven Roasted Chickpeas Recipe:
shelf life: stays crisp for 2 days,but can be stored up to a week

2 cups white Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana(or Kala chana)
1 Bay leaf
1/4 tsp strong home made Garam masala or 1/2 tsp ready made garam masala

to marinate:
1 tbsp Olive oil
1 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Chaat masala
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1/4 tsp Pepper powder
1 tsp Salt(or to taste)

  • Wash and soak chickpeas for 7-8 hours or overnight.Pressure cook chickpeas with a bay leaf and garam masala  for 2 whistles and reduce the flame and keep it for 5-6 mins.Switch it off. Once the pressure drops drain the chickpeas and spread them as a thin layer on a kitchen towel and let the moisture dries up.
  • In a bowl add olive oil, red chili powder, pepper powder, chaat masala, turmeric powder, amchur powder and salt and whisk well.
  • Add the drained and dried chickpeas to the mixture and mix it nicely and let it marinate for half an hour.
  • Line a baking tray with a silver foil and spread the marinated chickpeas in a single layer.
  • Bake it in the oven at 160 degrees for 30-35 mins until they turn crisp.Try to mix them in between once or twice.Keep an eye after half an hour,they might get burnt.Every oven differs in time and temperature,so judge them accordingly.When you touch them after they are done they would be slightly soft and they would become crisp once they are cooled down completely.
Store them in air tight container.They stay crisp for 2-3 days.
  1. I make it in small quantities and finish them in 2-3 days.I think you can keep the roasted chickpeas up to a week.
  2. You can play with the flavors for chickpeas.You can experiment with garlic,pepper powder and salt or adjust the spices according to your wish.
  3. Every oven differs in time and temperature,so judge them accordingly.
  4. You can use kala chana(black chickpeas) instead of white chickpeas in the recipe. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Challa Mirapakayalu | Curd Chillies | Dahi Mirchi | Sundried Items

I am a big fan of accompaniments for any dish as they elevate the taste of the original dish and one such example of this is, "Challa Mirapakayalu".If it is paired with Andhra style Pappu (dal) or rasam or any simple curry or even with plain curd rice it tastes extremely delicious.
We usually pick light colored green chillies which are less spicy, to make these curd chillies.These green chillies are marinated in sour buttermilk for a couple of days and are dried in the sun.Though the process is very simple,it is time consuming.The whole process takes some 10-12 days as they are supposed to be marinated in the buttermilk mixture for half a day , dried and then marinated again and then dried . This process is to be continued for a couple of days. I have explained the process in detail,so please go through the recipe thoroughly before you attempt it.
Challa Mirapakayalu | Dahi Mirchi  Recipe:
(stores up to an year)

1/2 kg Green chillies (light or dark colored variety)
1 liter slightly sour Buttermilk (neither thin nor thick)
Salt to taste

  • Select the green chillies which are slightly plumpy.You can use the light colored or dark colored variety according to your wish.Light colored ones are less spicy where as the dark colored ones are very spicy.
  • Wash the green chillies and dry them on a kitchen napkin for 1-2 hrs or you can use them immediately.
  • Slit them vertically keeping the ends intact and also retain the stalks of green chillies.If you are using light colored green chillies you can keep the seeds and for dark colored ones you can remove the seeds slightly as they are spicy.
  • Add salt to buttermilk and beat nicely,the consistency of buttermilk should neither be very thin nor thick.
  • Add the green chillies to the buttermilk mixture and make sure they are well immersed in the buttermilk.
  • Cover it and soak it for 3 days and leave it aside.They will slightly change in color after 3 days.
  • After 3 days squeeze them(keep the buttermilk mixture) slightly with hands and arrange them in a single layer on a plastic sheet and dry them under sun until evening.In the evening again add them to the left over buttermilk mixture and let it sit in the buttermilk mixture overnight.
  • Next day morning squeeze them again and dry them until evening and follow the same process for the chillies until all the buttermilk mixture is finished.It might take few days 5-6 days.
  • After the buttermilk mixture is finished you can dry them in sun for another few days until they are completely dried.The whole process takes 10-12 days in total for marinating,drying and remarinating and complete drying process.So be patient while doing this.
  • Store them in an air tight container.It stays for more than a year.
Deep fry them in oil when required until they turn brown and become crisp.Serve them as an accompaniment with Dal/ Sambar/ Rasam/ Curd and Rice and also Curd rice.
  1. I suggest to use the light green colored green chillies for this as they are less spicy.
  2. Few make a stuffing with cumin powder and some spices and stuff it in the chillies, I would post that version sometime later.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Bharli Vangi | Maharastrian style Stuffed Brinjals

A few food combos such as  'Rajma-Chawal', 'Jolada Rotti-Ennegayi', 'Chapati-Usli', 'Jhunka-Bhakri', 'Avakay-Steamed Rice','Khichdi- Kadhi', 'Kadhi-Chawal' feature in my menu quite often as I  love to indulge in them once in a while. A few of these combos are regularly made at my place , but some of them are prepared less often - more due to my laziness in preparing them. Jolada rotti - Ennegayi is infact one such combination.
I have already posted a version of stuffed eggplants - 'Bagara Baingan' in my blog which is a typical Hyderabadi style dish. Today, I am posting a Maharasthrian version of stuffed eggplants called "Bharli Vangi".Both the recipes are similar but they differ in their taste and texture. Bharli Vangi pairs well with Jowar bhakri or Rice flour Bhakri or Chapati.
This recipe needs a bit more oil which makes it delicious and am sure the pictures explain that.You can see a layer of oil floating on the top.Though I do not prefer using a lot of oil in cooking,it was an exception that day. I have also mentioned the preparation of a version with less quantity of oil, in my notes.
Bharli Vangi | Maharashtrian style Stuffed Eggplants Recipe:
(Serves 3-4)

10-12 small Eggplants
1/2 cup Ground nuts,dry roasted and skinned
2 tbsp roasted Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Garam masala or Goda masala
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
a small gooseberry sized Tamarind,extract to pulp
1 tbsp grated Jaggery(optional)
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Oil

  • Remove the stems of eggplants and slit the eggplant into four by keeping the top portion intact.Drop them in salted water for 10 mins.
  • Grind roasted and skinned groundnuts and sesame seeds to a coarse powder.
  • In a wide bowl add groundnuts and sesame seeds powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala(goda masala), turmeric powder, salt and mix well.
  • Add tamarind pulp and grated jaggery to the above mix and mix well.Sprinkle some water to the mix so that the mixture becomes little wet and would be easy to stuff the eggplants.You should not mix it to a paste,you should add only enough water to bind the masalas together.
  • Stuff all the eggplants with this masala mixture and keep them aside.
  • Heat oil in a big thick bottomed kadai and arrange the stuffed eggplants side by side and let them fry for 2-3 mins.Add the remaining masala over them.
  • Cover it and reduce the flame and cook on low-medium flame for 20-25 mins.Flip the eggplants carefully a couple of times in between so that they would roast evenly on all sides.Check the top portion of eggplant is cooked or not by inserting the knife.
  • Pour half to one cup of water depending on the consistency you need and cover it and let them cook again for 7-8 mins until the oil floats on top.
Serve it hot with Chapati/Jowar Bhakri/Roti/Rice or any other Bhakri.

  1. You can add finely chopped sauteed onions to the masala mix before stuffing the eggplants.
  2. Eggplants can be replaced by potatoes and follow the same recipe.
  3. You can even mix both the eggplants and potatoes and prepare the same recipe.
  4. This recipe needs a bit more quantity of oil than usual as the stuffed eggplants cook faster in oil.If we add water to them initially they would take longer time.
  5. You can even cover the kadai with a deep bottomed plated filled with water while cooking.It ensures that the eggplants are cooked evenly and also you can use less oil.
Also check out another similar version of Stuffed Eggplants -" Bagara Baingan" recipe in my blog.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Red Coconut Chutney | Side dish for Idli/Dosa

 coconut chutney
What to prepare as a Side dish for Idli/Dosa is always a confusion and since I get bored eating the same side dish again, I usually change the flavor and color of the chutney which makes it taste different every time.I have posted a version of Coconut chutney earlier, which is the usual way I prepare.I make various variations of this such as Red Coconut chutney and Green coconut chutney The addition of raw onion and garlic adds a nice flavor to the chutney and the addition of red chillies and byadige red chillies adds a bright red color to the chutney.
red coconut chutney

You can check out other chutney varieties for Idli/Dosa here:
Red Coconut Chutney Recipe:
(serves 2-3)

1/2 cup grated fresh Coconut
1 small Onion,chopped
2-3 dry Red Chillies
2-3 Byadige Red Chillies
2 small Garlic pods
2 tbsp Chana dal
1 1/2 tsp Tamarind pulp
Salt to taste

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

  • Heat 1 tsp Oil and add chana dal and fry until they turn red in color and add red chillies and byadige red chillies until they are crisp and keep them aside.
  • Grind grated fresh coconut with onion, garlic pods, roasted chana dal and dry red chillies, tamarind pulp and salt to a paste.
  • Heat ghee/oil in a small tempering pan and crackle mustard seeds and add urad dal and fry until it turns red in color.Add curry leaves and asafoetida and fry it.
  • Add the tempering to the chutney and mix well.
Serve it with Idli/Dosa/Paniyaram.
coconut chutney
  1. Instead of chana dal you can add 3-4 tbsp fried gram(roasted gram) in the recipe.
  2. Adjust the red chillies according to your spice level.The addition of byadige red chillies gives a nice red color to the chutney,so do not miss adding them.
red coconut chutney

You can check the regular Coconut Chutney recipe here.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cauliflower Stir fry | Aromatic Gobi Curry Recipe

Cauliflower is one of those veggies which features regularly in my kitchen and Ajwani Aloo Gobi with mustard flavor is one of my most favorite preparations with it. It serves as a nice combination with rotis. I usually prepare this Cauliflower curry or this simple aromatic Gobi stir fry which tastes well even with rice.
This recipe is quite simple to make and is very aromatic because of the addition of coriander and garlic while pounding the coconut masala.You can adapt this recipe to various vegetables like Potatoes, Ladies finger, Tindora, Clusterbeans, French beans, Long beans, Brinjal and Cabbage and follow the same process but adjust the cooking time accordingly. While a few vegetables like potatoes needs to be cooked first others such as cluster beans, french beans, long beans are to be steamed , the rest of the veggies listed above should be sauteed in oil until they are done.Now let's see how this simple and versatile recipe is prepared.
cauliflower stir fry

Cauliflower Stir Fry | Aromatic Gobi Curry Recipe:
(Serves 2)

1 small Cauliflower,cut into small florets
1 Onion,finely chopped
juice of 1/2 Lemon
a sprig of Curry leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tbsp Chana dal
1 tsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 tbsp Oil

to grind:
1/4 cup grated fresh Coconut
3-4 Green chillies
3-4 Garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

  • Clean and check the cauliflower florets and add them to the boiling water with salt and turmeric powder and switch off the flame and leave them aside for 2-3 mins.Drain and keep them aside.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/pan and crackle mustard seeds and add chana dal and urad dal and fry until they become golden in color.
  • Add curry leaves and finely chopped onion and fry well until they turn pink in color.
  • Now add drained cauliflower florets and fry for 2 mins.
  • Add 2-3 tbsp of water and cover it and cook it on low flame for 7-8 mins until the cauliflower is cooked.Take care that it should not become mushy,it should be cooked and firm to touch.
  • Meanwhile grind grated coconut with green chillies,garlic cloves,coriander leaves and salt to a coarse paste.Do not add water while grinding it.
  • Add the ground masala to the cooked cauliflower and fry it for some time and cover it and cook for 2 mins.
Serve it hot with Roti/Rice/Chapati.
  1. You can skip onion and garlic in the recipe if you are preparing on festivals.
  2. Soaking the cauliflower florets in salted water will remove if there are any insects in cauliflower.I always do this even after checking the florets to make sure for myself.

Also check out other cauliflower recipes in my blog:

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lemon Pickle | Nimboo ka Achar Recipe

I have posted many mango pickle recipes last year in my blog which were sourced from my MIL. The lemon pickle recipe which I am posting today is also sourced from her during her recent visit.Apart from the lemon pickle she brought various other pickles and powders. We also prepared a few varieties of pickles together and you might have already seen a few of them on my blog. I intend to post a few more shortly.
Lemon pickle pairs really well with Curd rice.If you get fresh lemons you must try this lemon pickle as it is not only delicious to eat but also keeps your body cool in the summers.
Lemon Pickle Recipe:
shelf life: up to 1 year

30-35 big sized Lemons
1 cup Salt
1 cup Red chili powder
2 tbsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Fenugreek powder
1 cup Sesame oil
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida

  • Wash and wipe the lemons with a clean cloth.Cut them into 8 pieces lengthwise or quarter them into 8 pieces.
  • Mix the lemons with 3/4 cup of Salt and turmeric powder until they are mixed nicely.
  • Put this mixed lemons in a clean and sterilized glass bottle and close it with lid and leave it aside for 10 days.You can mix it once in a while in 3 days.By this time the lemons would leave water.
  • After 10 days add red chili powder,fenugreek powder and 1/4 cup salt to the lemon mixture.You should not remove any water which oozes from the lemons.
  • Heat sesame oil and crackle mustard seeds and asafoetida and cool the oil completely.
  • Add the oil(which is cooled down) to the lemon pickle and mix well.
  • Leave it for 10-15 days to get marinated.
Serve it with Curd rice or you can even serve it with any Upma variety,it tastes nice.
  1. After 10 days when lemon is mixed with salt and turmeric powder,check the salt and increase the salt amount accordingly from 1/4 cup if needed.
  2. Few squeeze the lemons slightly and remove the seeds and mix the lemons with lemon juice and follow the same procedure.You can follow this method too if you want.Do not squeeze the lemons hardly as it will make the pickle bitter.
  3. You can also store just the marinated lemons with salt and turmeric powder through out the year.When needed you can take out some portion and add red chili powder according and temper it with sesame oil,mustard seeds and asafoetida.You can even avoid the tempering with oil and add just the red chili powder to it.
Check out the recipes for various Andhra style Mango Pickles and North Indian Achar here.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Minapa Vadiyalu | Urad dal Fryums | Sun-dried Fryums

During Summer season, preparation of  "Pickles" and "Fryums" is a major activity in many house holds in the South. My mom used to make large batches of various varieties of fryums in the summers and we used to store them for the rest of the year.Apart from these fryums, my mom used to prepare few special varieties of papads, which she stopped making now. The fryums, which my mom used to prepare were rice and sago based. Today, I am posting a different variety of fryums that is prepared using urad dal.I was introduced to these fryums by my husband who is a big fan of these Minapa Vadiyalu which his mom sources for him every year.
These fryums can be prepared using whole white urad or black urad. We prefer black urad as it is not only tasty but it is also very healthy. If you use the whiter variety they will be in white color but as we used the black urad you can see the black skin of urad in the fryums.These fryums are extremely easy to make,all you need is good sunlight. If you are living in a tropical climate, you must try making them.
Minapa Vadiyalu | Urad dal Fryums Recipe:
(stores upto an year)

1/2 kg whole  black Urad or whole white Urad
1 tbsp Cumin seeds
10-12 Green chillies (optional)
Salt to taste

  • Soak whole urad for 6-7 hours or overnight.If you are using white urad you can soak it for just 3-4 hrs,the whole black urad takes longer to get soaked.
  • Drain the urad and grind it with cumin seeds,green chillies and  salt to a thick smooth paste like the medu wada batter in the wet grinder.Add enough water to grind it,do not add more water which makes the fryums soak lot of oil when fried,So make the dough to a thick smooth paste.
  • In a open space under sun,spread a clean plastic sheet and place heavy weights in the four corners so that the sheet does not fly.
  • Take a spoonful of batter and drop them like how we do for fryums leaving some space in between.
  • Dry them under sun for 2-3 days until they are completely dried.
  • Store them in an air tight container.They stay good for an year.
Deep fry them in oil until brown when required and serve as an accompaniment with South Indian meal.
  1. You can use whole white urad or a mix of white urad with the skin of  whole black urad to make these fryums.As the whole urad with skin is good I prefer using it.
  2. Green chillies and cumin seeds can be avoided completely in the recipe.It adds flavor and spicyness to the fryums.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer Recipe| Ugadi Recipes

semiya kheer
I would like to wish all my readers and friends ' HAPPY UGADI '. Ugadi is on the 11th of April. 
Today, I am posting a simple Vermicelli kheer recipe to celebrate the festival.The process of preparation of this kheer is no different from any other kheer. This kheer is usually prepared during festivals. If you havent planned anything yet with regards to what to make during Ugadi , then you should check out my Ugadi menu planner here.This should help you to plan a simple menu for the festival.
semiya payasam
Check out other Kheer recipes in my blog here.
vermicelli kheer

Semiya Payasam | Vermicelli Kheer Recipe:
(serves 3-4)

1 cup Vermicelli
3/4 cup Sugar
3/4 liter full cream Milk
10-12 Cashew nuts
2 tbsp Raisins
a pinch of Cardamom powder
2 tbsp Ghee

  • Boil milk and simmer it for 12-15 mins until it reduced to 3/4th of the quantity.
  • Meanwhile heat ghee in a kadai and fry cashew nuts and fry them until golden in color and remove them and keep aside.
  • In the same kadai add raisins and fry them until they fluff up and remove and keep them aside too.
  • Now add vermicelli to the remaining ghee and fry for 1-2 mins.
  • Add boiling milk and reduce the flame and cook till the vermicelli becomes soft.
  • Add sugar and mix gently till it dissolves and let it continue cooking over low flame.Always cook over low flame otherwise the milk might curdle.
  • Add ghee roasted cashew nuts and raisins and cardamom powder to the kheer and mix and switch off the flame.
Serve it hot/warm/cold or at room temperature.
vermicelli payasam
  1. You can add a pinch of saffron to the kheer while it is boiling.Rub it in a tbsp of milk before adding to milk for better color and flavor.
  2. I sometimes add condensed milk to the kheer ,so I usually reduce the quantity of sugar in the recipe.This makes the kheer more tastier,creamier and rich.

semiya kheer

Monday, April 8, 2013

Rava Pulihora | Nimmakaya Rava Pulihora | Pulihora Pindi

rava pulihora
The word 'Pulihora' makes my mouth water. I like Chintapandu Pulihora (Puliyogre) or Lemon Rice(Nimmakaya Pulihora) for its tangy taste.I prepare some variety of Pulihora during festivals and also when I run out of time for a simple lunch along with Curd rice.
rava pulihora
Today, I am posting another Andhra special Pulihora which is made up of Rava and is usually prepared using lemons.It is also called Pulihora Pindi in coastal region of Andhra and is a specialty in that region.It is a very simple recipe and do definitely give it a try as it hardly takes any time to make .As this does not have any onion or garlic in the recipe, you can prepare this even during festivals instead of preparing a rice variety. Try it for Ugadi . You can include this as a lunch or breakfast item during Ugadi. Check out my Ugadi menu planner here.
rava pulihora
Nimmakaya Rava Pulihora | Pulihora Pindi Recipe:
(Serves 2)

1 cup Rice Rava(see notes)
5-6 light colored Green chillies,slit
1/4 cup Groundnuts
12-15 Curry leaves
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1-2 Red chilies(optional)
2 tbsp Chana dal
1 tbsp Urad dal
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
Salt to taste
2-3 tbsp Oil

  • Boil 2 cups water with little salt,turmeric powder.Once it comes to a boil add rice rava and stir it well and let it cook for sometime until done.It takes 4-5 mins.Once it is done spread the cooked rice rava mixture on a wide plate until it is cooled down.
  • Meanwhile heat oil in a pan and crackle mustard and cumin seeds.
  • Add groundnuts and fry them until they turn crisp and slightly red in color.
  • Add chana dal and urad dal and fry them until they turn slightly red in color.
  • Add slit green chillies and fry them until they wilt.
  • Add curry leaves,red chillies and fry them for few seconds.
  • Cool the tempering mixture for some time and add this to the cooled rava mixture.
  • Mix the required amount of salt to lemon juice and keep it ready.We have already added some salt to the rava mixture while cooking,so do add the salt quantity accordingly.
  • Mix everything with hands as it ensures even mixing.Check for the taste of salt and lemon juice and add more if required.Let it sit for 1-2 hrs so that the flavors to blend well.
Serve it at room temperature with some fryums/chips/sliced cucumber.
rava Pulihora
  1. Adjust the amount of chillies,salt and lemon juice as per your taste buds.
  2. I personally prefer it slightly on the sour side,hence I add more lemon juice.
  3. To prepare Rice rawa: Clean and Soak the rice for some time and drain it completely and spread over a cloth so that it will drain off excess water.Coarsely grind the pound mixture in a mixer and then sieve it(do it in whipper mode).Use the rawa which is in sieve and the flour that it is sieved can be used for dosas or regular rice flour.
rava pulihora
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