Broken Wheat And Nut Dessert ( Halwa )

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 2 comments

This Indian dessert was my sister's innovation which I liked it very much and was simple to prepare.It had broken wheat,different nuts,milk and jaggery which makes it nutritious and tasty too! Instead of jaggery, sugar can be used.

This recipe serves six to eight people.

Ingredients Quantity
Broken Wheat 1 cup
Milk 500 ml
Jaggery or Sugar ½ cup
Soaked Almonds ½ cup
Soaked Cashewnuts ½ cup
Raisins (Kismis) 2 tbsp
Cardamom Powder 1½ tsps
Clarified Butter or Ghee 2 tsp
Soaked Saffron (optional) 1 tbsp
Coloured Tutifruti and Raisins for decoration


  1. Clean and wash the broken wheat and put it in a dish.

  2. Add half the milk and half cup water and cook it in pressure cooker or microwave till soft.

  3. Make a paste of the soaked almonds and cashewnuts with little milk and keep it aside.

  4. Take the cooked broken wheat in a pan and add the rest of the milk and jaggery or sugar and cook together well.

  5. Then add the nut paste,cardamom powder and ghee and stir well and cook till the mixture thickens.

  6. Transfer the contents into a serving bowl which is ready for garnishing and decoration.

  7. Heat ghee in a small pan and fry the raisins lightly.

  8. Add this on the dessert and decorate it with coloured tutifruiti.
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Two-in-one Protein Rich Spicy Powder


Spicy powders are used a lot in Indian cuisine to enhance the taste of the dish,sometimes in curries, sambhar, rasam or for dosas, idlis, chaats or just like that to mix in hot plain rice with ghee. This powder recipe is two in one because it can be used as a dry powder as well as an instant chutney by reconstituting the powder with curds and water. This powder is loaded with proteins because of peanuts,roasted gram dhal, so, it is good for kids and has to be stored in the refrigerator for longer shelf life. The biggest advantage is for working people who have no time to make a fresh chutney everyday.The instant chutney is as good as the fresh chutney.

Try it! Makes two cups.

Ingredients Quantity
Roasted Peanuts (with or without skin) 1 cup
Roasted Gram Dhal ¾ cup
Roasted Shredded Dry Coconut(optional) ½ cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) ¾ cup
Chopped Green Chillies ¼ cup
Chopped Garlic (optional) 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) 1 tbsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


  1. Take a pan and add oil and heat it.Add the cumin seeds and fry.Then add the chopped coriander leaves, green chillies and chopped garlic and fry till the leaves wilt and are fried. Cool it.

  2. The following steps are important and have to be followed carefully.

  3. First powder the peanuts and gram dhal with coconut coarsely and keep it aside.

  4. Then grind the coriander fried mixture separately.

  5. Take a bowl and add the powdered peanut mixture ,coriander leaf mixture and salt and mix thoroughly .By grinding all the ingredients separately and mixing them , the final product will be powdery and not wet in consistency.If all the ingredients are blended together, then it will not remain a powder but it be wet and will be semisolid.

  6. Store this powder in a jar in the refrigerator for further use.

  7. This can be used in the powder form or as chutney. To make the chutney,take about three tablespoons of the powder in a small dish and add about half a cup of beaten curd and a tablespoon of water and mix it well with a spoon to a chutney consistency. If more salt is required it can be added and it can be garnished with a mustard seed tempering.
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Sweet Mango Delight


Since it is mango season now,this dessert has been made from mangoes and milk which the children and the whole family will enjoy. No eggs are used and is extremely easy to prepare.

Serves four to six people.

Ingredients Quantity
Ripe Mango puree 1½ cups
Crushed Marie or Glucose Biscuits 1 cup
Melted Butter 3 tbsps
Powdered Sugar 1¾ cup
Hung Curd 1 cup
Cream ½ cup or more
Gelatin 1 tbsp
Water 4 tbsps
Cut Mango pieces for decoration a few


  1. Take butter in a small dish and melt it either in a microwave or on the gas. Pour it over the crushed biscuits and mix it well and spread it evenly at the bottom of the serving dish evenly and firmly by pressing with your fingers.

  2. Put this dish in the oven for few minutes till the biscuit mixture becomes firm and sets.Keep it aside.

  3. Take a blender jar and add the ripe mango puree,sugar and blend well.

  4. Then add the hung curd,cream and gelatin dissolved in warm water and blend it again till mixed well.

  5. Pour this mango mixture over the biscuit mixture in the serving dish and decorate it with mango slices and set it in the refrigerator for a few hours.

  6. Serve cold slices of this dessert.
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Apple Rabbadi


Rabbadi is a very popular milk dessert in India. It is made from whole milk which is boiled to more than half its quantity and garnished with dry fruits. I happened to eat this milk sweet at my friend's place which had grated apple added to it. I felt that by adding the apple, this sweet seemed to be more light and fruity and more nutritious. This sweet is simple to make but takes a long time because the milk has to be reduced to less than half its quantity. So, the milk mixture can be made before hand and the grated apple can be added just before serving.

Serves eight to ten people.

Ingredients Quantity
Whole Milk 2 litres
Sugar ½ kg
Sliced Pistachios/Almond slivers 2 tbsps or more
Grated Apples 2 cups
Cardamom Powder 1½ tsps


  1. Take milk in a large pan and boil it well and reduce it to less than half its original quantity. The milk has to be continuously stirred or else the milk will burn at the bottom.

  2. The colour of the milk will turn slightly brown in colour.

  3. Then add the sugar and cook for sometime stirring it continously till it becomes thick and semi solid.

  4. Add the cardamom powder and remove from heat.Let it cool.

  5. Add the grated apple and mix throughly.

  6. Transfer the whole thing into a serving dish and garnish it with pista or almond slivers.

  7. Cool it well in the refrigerator before serving.
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Ginger Scones

Sunday, August 14, 2011 4 comments

Ginger scones can be taken for breakfast or for tea.These have a special flavour of the spicy ginger.T his recipe has been taken from a book and tried at home.

Serves six scones.

Ingredients Quantity
Plain Flour 1 ½ cups
Powdered Sugar a little less than ½ cup
Baking Soda ½ tsp
Baking Powder ¼ tsp
Salt a pinch
Candied Ginger (if available) ¼ cup
Lemon Zest ½ tbsp
Grated Fresh Ginger ½ tbsp
Buttermilk a little less than ½ cup
Unsalted Butter (melted) 5 tbsp
Coarse Sugar (for sprinkling) 1 tbsp

If buttermilk is not available,then substitute with ½ tbsp lemon juice and ½ cup or less of regular milk.

  1. Preheat the oven to 400degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl whisk vigourously flour,sugar,baking soda,baking powder and salt. Then stir in the candied ginger,lemon jest and fresh ginger until evenly mixed.

  3. Create a well in the center of the flour and pour in melted butter and buttermilk. Gently mix with a wooden spoon until the flour mixture is just moistened.Do not over mix it. The mixture should look shaggy.

  4. Divide the mixture into a large ball and flatten on a floured board into one inch thick and six inches wide circle.Cut this into six wedges and transfer them to the baking sheet carefully spacing atleast an inch apart. Sprinkle coarse sugar on them.

  5. Bake in a preheated oven at 400degrees F for 18 to 20mins.Cool them on a rack before serving.

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Mexican Rice


Mexican rice will be liked by most Indians because it is spicy and colourful. It is simple to make and is different from the regular pulavs and biriyanis. Sometimes we do need a change! Try this tasty,spicy and colourful Mexican rice. Be cautious not to give it to children who do not like spicy food.

Serves four to five people.

Ingredients Quantity
Cooked Basmati Rice 2 cups
Sliced Red Bell Pepper (Red Capsicum) ½ cup
Sliced Green Bell Pepper (Green Capsicum) ½ cup
Sliced Yellow Bell Pepper (Yellow Capsicum) ½ cup
Sliced Red Tomatoes (deseeded) 1 cup
Chopped Onions ¼ cup
Chopped Garlic 2 tbsps
Pepper Powder ½ tsp
Red Chilly Paste 2 to 3 tbsps
Oil (Olive oil can be used) 2 tbsps
Bay Leaf 2
Onion Rings a few
Salt to taste

How to make Red chilly paste
Take fresh red chillies,vinegar and salt and grind them to a paste and store if you like. If fresh red chillies are not available,dry red chillies can be washed and soaked in vinegar for and hour or so and grind to a paste with salt.

  1. The grains of the rice cooked should be seperate. Take a pan and add the oil and heat it. Then add the chopped garlic and bay leaves and fry them.

  2. Then add the chopped onions,sliced red bell pepper,green bell pepper and yellow bell pepper and stir fry. Add a pinch of salt and add the sliced tomatoes and fry till cooked.

  3. Next add little salt and red chilly paste and mix well.

  4. Then add the cooked rice and mix well with all the other ingredients.

  5. When the rice is piping hot, remove from the heat and dish it out into a bowl or rice plate.

  6. Garnish it with onion rings and serve.

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Coconut Cane Juice Mocktail

Saturday, June 18, 2011 7 comments

This cool mocktail is just suited for hot summers as it is made from naturally available ingredients.It is not that expensive and is really refreshing. Children can be given this drink instead of the aerated drinks. Cane juice is easily available in India almost throughout the year and of course tender coconut water. If tender coconut water is not available, you can get coconut water from the grocery store or apple juice can be used instead.Try this natural energy drink.

This recipe makes five glasses of juice.

Ingredients Quantity
Fresh Cane Juice 4 glasses
Tender Coconut Water 1 glass
Honey (Optional) 2 tsps
Fresh Mint Leaves a few for garnishing


  1. Since we bring the cane juice from the vendor outside,it is better to strain the juice and use it.

  2. Take a large container or jug and add this cane juice,tender coconut water and honey and mix it well.

  3. Chill the juice in the refrigerator for half an hour.

  4. Pour this mocktail in five glasses and place a sprig of mint leaf on the juice and serve them.
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Whole Cluster Beans Curry

Sunday, May 29, 2011 4 comments

Cluster beans are widely available in India and is used in Indian cuisine a lot. They are green and known as "goru chikkudu kaya" in Telugu and "guar ki palli" in Hindi. These beans, like other beans, are rich in proteins and have plenty of fiber and therefore good for digestion. This easy preparation avoids the pain of chopping them finely especially for people who are in a hurry to cook. I have used whole beans with the tips removed. Also I have used ajwain or carrom seeds which are again very popular in India. It is good for digestion and has a specific flavour. Even less oil is required for this dish.I t is better to use tender cluster beans for this preparation.

Serves two to three people.


  1. Remove the tips of the cluster beans and steam or boil them in water with a little salt. Try to use the beans which are of the same size.

  2. Take a pan and add the oil and heat it.

  3. Add cumin seeds and fry.Lower the heat and then add the turmeric powder,ajwain powder,chilly powder and salt and mix.

  4. Fry for a second and add the steamed cluster beans and mix well with the ingredients added.

  5. When the curry is a little dry, remove from heat and serve in a bowl with rice or chappatis.

Ingredients Quantity
Tender Cluster Beans 200 gms
Ajwain Seed Powder 2 tsps
Tumeric Powder 1 tsp
Chilly Powder ½ tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tsp or less

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Whole Green Channa Summer Salad


This cool summer salad is very nutritious as it contains green channa, vegetables and fruit. Fresh green channa which is available in winter can also be used. Children will love it as a snack too. Try it this Summer.

Serves four people.

Ingredients Quantity
Soaked Green Channa ½ cup
Chopped Cucumber ½ cup
Chopped Apple ½ cup
Chopped Capsicum (different coloured ones) ½ cup
Chopped Onions ¼ cup
Chopped Tomatoes (de-seeded) ½ cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves 2 tbsps
Mint Leaves a few
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Honey (Optional) 1 tbsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Olive Oil 1 ½ tsp
Salt to taste


  1. Boil the green channa till cooked. Do not over cook them.

  2. Take a big mixing bowl and add all the ingredients one by one except for the lime juice, salt, pepper powder, honey and oil. They will bve used for the dressing. Mix all of the other ingredients together. Chill this salad in the refrigerator till required.

  3. To make the salad dressing take a small bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper powder and lime juice and mix them well.

  4. Add this dressing to the salad just before serving.

  5. Serve this colourful salad in a bowl or in individual bowls.
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Chilled Spicy Green Grape Soup


Green Grpaes are another fruit which can be used in soups and also give the soup a pleasing colour and distinctive taste. This soup is also for summer. To give it the green colour and taste, roasted green bell pepper(capsicum), cucumber and green chilly have been used. Pictures of how to roast capsicum on open flame are shown here for those who do not have an oven or just don't know how to do it!

Serves two.

Ingredients Quantity
Green Grapes 1 cup or more
Green Capsicum (Bell Pepper) 1 medium
Green Chilly ½ chilly
Chopped Garlic (Optional) 1 tsp
Chopped Cucumber 1 cup
Chopped Cilantro 1 tbsp
Black Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Water 2 cups or more


  1. Take a fork and pierce it into the capsicum which has been greased and put it over an open flame and roast it on all sides as shown in the video below. When done remove from the flame and cool it so that the skin peels off easily.

  2. After it cools peel the skin and remove the seeds and chop it into big pieces.
  3. Take a blender jar and add, grapes, garlic, green chilly, capsicum, cucumber, pepper powder, salt and water and blend it well into a smooth consistency.

  4. Strain the soup and if more water is required it can be added. Chill this in the refrigerator for half an hour and serve it in a soup bowl garnished with chopped coriander leaves.

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Flaked Rice Vegetable Salad


This fat free cool salad can be enjoyed as a packed lunch or as snack in the evening because it is wholesome. The other ingredients supply the important nutrients.Here the flaked rice or chiwda or attukulu or poha, as it is known in India has been soaked in thick buttermilk to give it a tang. If you do not want to use buttermilk, thick tamarind juice can be used and give it a chaat taste, by adding all the chaat items.

Serves two or three.

Ingredients Quantity
Flaked Rice (Chiwda/Attukulu/Poha) 1 cup
Thick Curd (or Buttermilk) 1 cup
Chopped Onions 1 tbsp
Shedded Cabbage 2 tbsps
Chopped Tomatoes 2 tbsps
Chopped Green Chillies 1 tbsp
Chopped Cucumber 2 tbsps
Chopped Cilantro/Coriander 2 tbsps
Chopped Capsicum (all 3 colours if possible) 2 tbsps
Sprouts (Optional) 2 tbsps
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Crispy Sev (Snack) to garnish


  1. Wash the chidwa and soak it in thick buttermilk in a bowl and cover it.

  2. Take a big mixing bowl and add the ingredients except for a teaspoon of coriander leaves and sev one by one and the soaked flaked rice and mix them gently so that all the them are mixed well.If it is given to kids a teaspoon of olive oil can be added.

  3. After mixing chill this salad in the fridge for ten to fifteen minutes.

  4. Serve it individually or in a big bowl,garnished with crispy sev and coriander leaves.

  5. If you think it is a little dry, more beaten curds can be added.

  6. Nowadays powdered Flax seeds (Linseed) is becoming popular because they contain natural ω-3 fatty acids and others, which is very nutritious. This powder is tasteless, so it can be sprinkled on the salad too.

Sev:- Thin broken string-like fried snack preparation made out of gram flour. Available in specialty Indian stores.

(Yellow thin Fidelini or Capelli d'angelo pasta like material in above picture.)
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Chilled Spicy Watermelon Soup

Tuesday, May 10, 2011 0 comments

Watermelon juice can be incorporated into soups to give the rich red colour and the cool and refreshing feeling to one's mind and body. To make it spicy, roasted red bell pepper (red capsicum) and ripe red chilly have been used. These two will help retain the red colour of the soup. I think this summer, this cold watermelon soup would be ideal to beat the heat! In this recipe,the capsicum can be roasted either in the oven or on direct flame, after greasing it with oil.

Serves two.

Ingredients Quantity
Watermelon Cubes 2 ½ cups or more
Ripe Red Cilly ½ or more
Roasted Red Bell Pepper (Red Capsicum) ½ capsicum
Vinegar 1 tsp
Pepper Powder ½ tsp
Garlic Cloves (Optional) 2
Water ½ cup if required
Salt to taste
Chopped Coriander Leaves 1 tsp


  1. Roast the bell pepper with a little oil applied over it in an oven or over direct flame by holding the bell pepper with a fork. Cool it and remove the skin and keep it aside.

  2. Take a blender jar and add the watermelon cubes,bell pepper,green chilly,garlic cloves,pepper powder,salt and vinegar and blend it to a smooth consistency.

  3. Strain the soup and add water if required and mix well.

  4. If needed immediately, then freeze it in the freezer or you can chill it in the fridge for a hour or so.

  5. Serve it in a bowl and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves.

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Almond Cookies: Gluten Free


The other day I came across this gluten free recipe for cookies, so I made them and thought this is a good substitute for the normal cookies. Try it and find the difference!

These are made with common ingredients found in the kitchen. This recipe makes about ten medium sized cookies.

Ingredients Quantity
Margarine (Vegetable Fat) 8 tbsps or 85 gms
Powdered Sugar ¼ cup or 20 gms
Rice Flour ⅜ cup or 70 gms
Gram Flour (Besan) 1½ tbsps or 20 gms
Ground Almonds 1 tbsp
Almond Essence) ¼ tsp


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade.Lay a parchment paper on the baking tray or flour the tray.

  2. Take a pan and add the margarine and sugar and heat it gently until the margarine melted and sugar dissolved. Bring it to boil and then simmer for four to five minutes until the mixture has become slightly caramelized and becomes syrupy.

  3. Sift the flours in a large mixing bowl.Pour the sugar syrup mixture into this and also add the almond powder and stir thoroughly.

  4. Take one tablespoon of the mixture and put it on the baking tray and press the cookies with the back of the spoon and bake them for 10 to 12 minutes or till light brown in colour. Cool them and serve them with tea.

  5. Instead of almonds other nuts or a mixture of nuts like almonds,walnuts and cashew nuts can be used.
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Lunch at Ramani's

Monday, April 18, 2011 2 comments

One Saturday, I happened to call my five friends over for an informal lunch at my place. We meet nearly every month at some place or the other but this time I invited them to my house to partake of some recipes I had put up here. I had a variety of dishes which were not the usual formal lunch items. Here goes the menu.


- Momos
- Steamed Broken Corn Idlis


- Scarlett :- a spicy beetroot and coconut milk soup

Main Course

- Chole
- Baked vegetables au gratin
- Stuffed Capsicum Boats


- Plain Rice
- Bhature
- Cabbage Parcels (Salad)
- Curd


- Gulab Hyderabadi :- Vanilla ice cream with faluda and Rose syrup.


- Oatmeal Cookies

All of us enjoyed the food because it was different.

Enjoy the montage as well!
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Kamat Kolumbu

Friday, April 15, 2011 0 comments

Some years back when we were in Chennai and Bengaluru, we used to have meals at some of the good Udipi Restaurants especially Kamat at Bengaluru. There, we became very fond of this particular kolumbu which was served as a side dish. I tried this at home and named it "Kamat Kolumbu".

This has vegetables like ladies fingers (okra or bhindi) and other ingredients which make it lip smacking. Other vegetables can also be tried. It is simple to make but the ingredients make it so tasty.

This recipe serves four to six people.

Ingredients Quantity
Ladies Finger (Bhindi or Okra) 12
Coriander Seeds (Dhania) 3 tbsps
Fenugreek Seeds (Methi) 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) a pinch
red Chillies 3 or 4
Grated Fresh Coconut ¼ cup or less
Thick Tamarind Juice ½ cup
Jaggery small piece
Curry Leaves a few
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tbsps
Water if needed


  1. Cut the cleaned ladies fingers into small pieces and keep it aside.

  2. Take a pan and heat it. Add the coriander seeds and fenugreek and red chillies and roast them till light brown. Cool it and grind it with coconut gratings and tamarind juice to a fine paste.

  3. Take oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds,asofoetida,curry leaves and fry.Then add the cut ladies fingers and fry them on medium heat till done.

  4. Now add the ground coconut paste,salt and jaggery into the vegetable and water if necessary because this dish should be of sambar consistency.

  5. Boil all these ingredients well and remove from the heat and dish it out into a serving bowl.

  6. Serve it hot with hot rice and enjoy it.

  7. Other vegetables like capsicum or beans or brinjal etc can be used instead of ladies fingers.
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Cool Cucumber and Coriander Leaves Salad


Salads are great at any part of the year. However, they are best taken in summer for a cool and refreshing feeling. Also, they are low calorie foods. This recipe has cucumber and coriander (cilantro) with a little lime juice to add a tang to the salad.

Serves a small bowl.

Ingredients Quantity
Cucumber 2 small or 1 medium
Fresh Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) 2 small bunches
Lime Juice 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive Oil (Optional) 1 tsp


  1. Peel and chop the washed cucumber into even sized cubes in a mixing bowl.

  2. Grind the washed coriander leaves in a blender with salt and lime juice into a coarse paste.

  3. Add this paste to the cucumber cubes and mix thoroughly but gently.

  4. Add olive oil if preferred and mix.

  5. Cool it in the fridge for about ten minutes and serve it in a serving bowl.

  6. Instead of coriander leaves paste, one can use even blanched spinach leaves paste.
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Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Blend


During spring and summer a nice cool, healthy drink is most welcome. This drink is made with fruits and vegetable and a little ginger to add spice to it. Pepper corn powder can also be added to get that real spicy kick! In this recipe, apple, grapes and carrot have been used. Even tomatoes can be mixed with apple and ginger to make a nice healthy drink. This refreshing health drink is good for your skin and general health if taken daily.

Makes two glasses.

Ingredients Quantity
Carrot 1
Apple 1
Green Seedless or Chopped Grapes ½ cup
Chopped Fresh Ginger 1 tsp
White Pepper Powder (Optional) 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tbsp
Water enough to blend


  1. Blend all the cleaned vegetable and fruits,sugar,ginger and pepper powder in a blender to a smooth liquid with water.

  2. This can be taken as such preferably because it contains a lot of fiber or it can be strained.

  3. Serve it chilled in two serving glasses.
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Corn Discs


Corn discs are a fried snack made with corn flour (makki ka atta or mokka jonna flour) which is easily available in the market, rice and plain flour or maida. These are easy to prepare and are nutritious but they are fried. These discs after frying can be used as tortilla chips as a base to serve any filling on them. They can be served with salsa also.

Makes a big bowl of corn discs.

Ingredients Quantity
Corn Flour (Makki ka Atta) 1 cup
Rice Flour ½ cup
Plain Flour (Maida) ¼ cup
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Hot Oil or Hot Ghee 2 tbsps
Red Chilly Powder 1 tsp or more
Celery Seeds (Ajwain) 1 ½ tsp
Oil for deep frying


  1. Take a bowl and add all the three flours,salt,red chilly powder,turmeric powder, ajwain seeds and mix well.

  2. Heat two tablespoons of oil or ghee and add it to the flour mixture.

  3. Add enough water and make a pliable dough.

  4. Divide the dough into equal balls.

  5. Roll out each ball into flat thin chappatis or circles and cut small circles or triangles with a cutter or with a sharp lid.When all the dough has been cut into circles,keep them aside.

  6. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.Add these corn discs a few at a time slowly and fry them till golden brown and crisp.Drain them on a kitchen towel to remove the excess oil.

  7. Serve hot or cold as a snack.It can be stored in an airtight container for a few days.

  8. To make it gluten free,you can use rajghira powder{amaranth flour} instead of plain flour or maida.
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Spicy Cornmeal Idlis


Usually idlis are made from black gram dhal (urad dhal) and rice, or only semolina (suji). Here, I tried with cornmeal (corn rava) which is easily available in the market. Corn, as you all know is low in calories and has other nutrients. In this recipe very little oil is used and it is steamed. The steaming process is a little longer than other idlis because corn takes a longer time to cook. Here, normal size idlis and cocktail idlis have been made. These cocktail idlis or button idlis can be used as appetizers or given to kids who will enjoy them a lot.

This recipe serves eight normal size idlis or thirty six or more cocktail idlis. Enjoy it!

Ingredients Quantity
Corn Meal or Corn Rava 1 cup
Sweet Corn 1 ½ cups
Curd ½ cup
Chopped Green Chillies 1 tsp or more
Curry Leaves a few
Chopped Ginger 1 tsp
Chopped Cashenuts (Optional) 1 tbsp
Gram Dhal (Channa Dhal) ½ tbsp
Black Gram Dhal ½ tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 ½ tbsp
Water to mix the batter


  1. Take a pan and add oil.When the oil is heated add to it channa dhal,urad dhal,mustard seeds,cumin seeds and fry.When the mustard seeds splutter,add cashew nuts,curry leaves,green chillies,ginger and corn meal and fry lightly for a minute.

  2. Remove from the heat and transfer it to a bowl and add curds,sweet corn,salt and enough water to make a not very thick batter and mix it well.Keep it covered for about ten minutes.Unlike semolina, this mix will not become more in quantity after soaking.

  3. Take an idly steamer and grease the moulds with a little oil and place a little more than a table spoon of the batter into these moulds and steam it on heat for about ten minutes or more.

  4. After steaming, serve hot with coconut chutney.

  5. Chopped vegetables can also be added to increase the nutritive value further.
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Fresh Green Coriander Patoli

Friday, February 18, 2011 0 comments

This curry is made with soaked bengal dhal or channa dhal and plenty of fresh coriander leaves or cilantro. Coriander leaves give a fresh and different flavour. Capsicum and fresh peas have been added. "Patoli" (in Telugu) is a dhal dish made commonly in South India with different vegetables like onions,cluster beans,cauliflower,fresh peas, fenugreek leaves{methi} etc. The dhal is fried but it can also be steamed first and fried in very little oil. This is simple to make but you need to fry the dhal on low heat and stirring often. Patoli can be served with hot rice or chapatis. Serves four to six people.

Ingredients Quantity
Bengal Gram Dhal (Chana Dhal) ½ cup
Chopped Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) ½ cup
Chopped Capsicum ¼ cup
Fresh Green Peas 2 tbsps
Curry Leaves a few
Red Chillies 2 + 1 for seasoning
Cumin Seeds 2 tsps
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Black Gram Dhal (Urad Dhal) 1 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 2 ½ tbsps or more


  1. Soak the washed dhal for two hours and grind it to a paste with two red chillies,salt and a teaspoon of cumin seeds with very less water.

  2. Take oil in a pan and spread it allover the pan so that it becomes easy to fry the dhal paste later. Add the urad dhal,mustard seeds,cumin seeds,red chilly and asofoetida and fry till the mustard seeds splutter. Add the curry leaves and fry.

  3. Add the chopped coriander leaves,capsicum and fresh peas and fry lightly so that they are not wet.

  4. Then add the ground dhal paste and mix with all the ingredients and cover. Fry the mixture on slow fire.

  5. The curry has to be stirred every three or four minutes otherwise the dhal paste will stick to the pan and you will need more oil which is is not advisable.

  6. Remove the cover and stir it till the mixture is more or less dry and seperate. You can judge the texture of the curry yourself and remove it from the heat.

  7. Serve it hot with hot rice or chappatis.
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Stuffed Capsicum Boats


Capsicum in a different form.It is quite common to see whole capsicum being stuffed with different fillings. But in this recipe, the capsicums have been sliced lengthwise into two which look like boats and have been stuffed with a rice filling like biriyani. The best part about this shape is that it is easy to bite the capsicum along with the filling especially for kids. The stuffing can be anything and can be prepared ahead also. Before serving the blanched capsicum with the filling it can be warmed up in the oven or just heat up the filling and serve it hot in the capsicum boats. The ingredients may seem to be more but it is fairly simple to prepare. Four capsicum boats have been made with this recipe.

Ingredients for Capsicum Boats Quantity
Green Capsicum (Bell Peppers) 2 medium
Water enough for blanching
Salt a pinch

Ingredients for Filling Quantity
Basmati Rice ½ cup
Chopped Carrots 2 tbsps
Chopped French Beans 1 tbsp
Fresh Peas 2 tbsps
Corn 2 tbsps
Chopped Onions ½ cup
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
Chopped Mint Leaves 2 tbsps
Cashew and Almond Paste 2 tbsps
Curds ½ cup
Tomato Puree from 1 tomato
Fried Cashewnuts and Raisins a few
Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
Saffron Soaked in Milk 1 tbsp
Cardamom (Elaichi) 1
Cloves 2
Bay Leaf 2
Cinnamon Stick 1
Green Chilly 1 cup
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Refined Oil 1 tsp
Hydrogenated Fat (Ghee) 1 tbsp


  1. Slice each washed capsicum lengthwise into 2 pieces.

  2. Remove the seeds etc.Now there will be four pieces of capsicum which look like boats.

  3. Boil water in a saucepan and add a pinch of salt and put these capsicum boats in this boiling water and blanch for two minutes and keep them aside so that the water is drained.

  4. Half boil the carrots,french beans and peas and keep them aside.

  5. Boil the washed rice in water with little salt, cardamom, clove, cinnamon stick, green chilly and one bay leaf till the rice is cooked and seperate. Remove the cardamom,clove cinnamon,green chilly and bay leaf and keep it aside.

  6. Take a pan and add the oil and ghee and heat it. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf and ginger garlic paste and fry till brown.

  7. Add the cashewnut almond paste and fry.Add the tomato puree,little salt and boiled vegetables and cook till the oil seperates.

  8. Next add the garam masala powder, mint leaves and salt and mix well.

  9. Lastly add the boiled rice and on low heat, mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

  10. When they have all mixed well, add the soaked saffron and mix well. The biriyani is now ready.

  11. To serve, place the capsicum boats in a plate and fill each boat with the biriyani and place fried cashewnuts and raisins on top to decorate.
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Amaranth Curry

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 2 comments

Amaranth leaves are one type of greens available in India. In Telugu it is called "thotakura". In South India it is widely used in dhals,vadas and also in curries. Its unique taste and freshness makes it popular and also nutritious.Very little oil is used in this recipe and cooks easily. Use of garlic is optional as many homes do not favour the taste and flavour of garlic. Its eaten best with rice and can also be a side dish for chapatis.Try this easy and nutritious recipe. Serves four people.

Ingredients Quantity
Finely Chopped Amaranth Leaves 5 cups
Ginger Paste 1 ½ tsp
Garlic Paste (Optional) 1 ½ tsp
Bengal Gram Dhal (Channa Dhal) 1 ½ tsp
Black Gram Dhal (Urad Dhal) 1 ½ tsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) 1 tsp
Red Chillies 1 cut into 3 or 4 pieces
Asafoetida (Hing) a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tsp
Water 2 to 3 tbsps
Fried Vadiyalu a few


  1. Take a pan and add the oil and heat it.

  2. Add the channa dhal,urad dhal,mustard ,cumin,red chilly and asafoetida and fry them till the mustard seeds splutter.

  3. Add the ginger and garlic paste and fry.Do not brown it too much.

  4. Then add the chopped greens, salt and sprinkle the water and mix it well.Cook it on slow heat without covering it for few minutes.

  5. Cover the greens and cook till done.

  6. Serve it garnished with fried "vadiyalu" with rice or chappatis.

  7. Vadiyalu or vadams are dried lentil balls.
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Dondakaya (Kundru, Gentleman's Toes) Pickle


Many households in India cannot do without a spicy powerhouse pickle in their cuisine. Mango season in India is in summer when all the households preserve this raw mango in the form of a pickle for a year. In the other seasons,vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, tomato, dondakaya, dosakaya etc can be used to make this simple pickle. Some greens like Gongura leaves can also be used. This pickle recipe may not stay for a long time but can be a spicy side dish. Here dondakaya(in Telugu),Kovai(Tamil)Kundru(Hindi) Ivy Gourd or Gentleman's Toes (English) has been used. Its botannical name is "Coccinia cordifolia" or "Coccinia grandis". This pickle tastes good with curds rice or chapatis.Serves a small bowl.

Ingredients Quantity
Sliced Dondakaya (Wiped Dry and Clean) 1 cup
Mustard Powder ½ cup
Red Chilli Powder ¼ cup
Roasted Fenugreek (Methi) Powder 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Lime Juice 2 tbsps
Oil ¼ cup


  1. Take a bowl and and mix all the ingredients well listed above.

  2. Let it stand for half an hour.Serve it with rice.

  3. Store it in a bottle or stone jar preferably in the refrigerator for longer life.

  4. Try the same recipe with other vegetables like finely chopped cauliflower,chopped tomatoes,carrots etc.
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Mixed Vegetable Paratha

Mixed vegetable parathas are nutritious and filling too.They have a number of vegetables added in it.Its a whole some food for kids and adults too. In this recipe,a few easy steps have been used in the filling so that it is easy to stuff into the dough and roll out. The filling, more over should contain minimum moisture in it.Makes about ten to twelve parathas.

Ingredients (For the Filling) Quantity
Boiled Mashed Potato 1 cup
Finely Chopped Cabbage ¼ cup
Finely Chopped Capsicum ¼ cup
Finely Chopped Cauliflower ¼ cup
Finely Chopped French Beans 2 tbsps
Grated Carrot ¼ cup
Mashed Peas 3 tbsps
Pureed Tomato from one tomato
Chopped Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) 1 tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Green Chilli Paste 1 tsp (or according to taste)
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) ½ tsp
Garam Masala Powder 1 tsp
Dhania, Jeera Powder (Coriander, Cumin) 1 ½ tsp
Water 2 tbsps
Oil 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method for the filling

  1. Take a pan and add oil and heat it.Add the cumin seeds and fry.

  2. Add ginger garlic paste and green chilly paste and fry.

  3. Add the cabbage, cauliflower, beans, mashed fresh peas, carrot and mix them.

  4. Then add turmeric powder, salt, garam masala powder, dhaniya jeera powder and the mashed potato and mix well.

  5. Now add the tomato puree and mix all the ingredients well and cook till the moisture in the filling evaporates and it is almost dry.Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix.

  6. Cool it and make about twelve balls of the mixture and keep it aside.

Ingredients for the dough Quantity
Whole Wheat Flour 2 ½ cups
Water enough to make dough
Salt to taste
Oil to make parathas


  1. Mix all the above ingredients except the oil and make a soft but stiff dough and leave it aside for nearly and hour or more.

  2. Make about ten to twelve balls.

Method for making the parathas

  1. Take a flat thick pan and heat it.

  2. Roll out a ball of the dough on a floured board into a small circle and place a ball of the filling and cover it from all the sides with the dough to make a ball.
  3. Roll out this stuffed ball gently into a circle of about 6inches in diameter and place it on the hot pan.

  4. Cook the paratha on medium heat on both sides by adding a little oil on the edges.Use as less oil as possible.

  5. Remove from heat and repeat with the rest of the dough.

  6. Serve hot with boondi raita or any other raita.Raita is curd based. This paratha does not require any other side dish because it by itself tasty and sumptuous.
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Sweet Potato Sago Payasam


This dessert, I thought, is innovative and good as a gluten free recipe. If one wants to make it casein free which means without milk, either rice milk, almond milk or more of coconut milk can be used. Sweet potato and sago, as you all know, is good for health. In India we make a variety of porridges(kheer or payasam) for any auspicious or happy occasion. The sweet potato makes the payasam thick, it lends consistency. This dish is especially nutritious as jaggery (unrefined whole cane sugar) is used instead of white sugar, and it is rich in iron. You can try it.

This recipe serves six to eight people.

Ingredients Quantity
Mashed Sweet Potato ½ cup
Cooked Sago ¼ cup
Powdered Jaggery ¾ cup
Coconut Milk ½ cup
Crushed Cardamom 1 tsp
Saffron soaked in Milk 1 tbsp
Fried cashewnuts and Raisins 2 tbsps


  1. Take a big pan and add the milk.Boil it till it thickens.

  2. Add the cooked sago and cook it.Then add the mashed sweet potato,coconut milk and mix well and boil it together.

  3. Cut off the heat and add the jaggery so that the milk does not curdle and melt it by stirring.

  4. Then slowly reheat the mixture and once it is boiled well, add the saffron and cardamom powder.

  5. Remove from heat and serve it hot or cold in a serving bowl garnished with fried cashew nuts and raisin on the top.
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Whole Wheat Mixed Vegetable Pulav


Whole wheat is nutritious and is used widely in making breads, chappatis etc. Whole Wheat in the broken form is equally good. Preparations from this is excellent substitute for rice and is very good for diabetics. When vegetables and sprouts are added, it becomes loaded more with nutrients. Recently, I happened to eat this delicious preparation at my sister's house.So I thought I should share it. I am sure many of you may know the method of cooking this dish but this is for beginners who want some different recipe.

This dish can be cooked either in the pressure cooker or in a pan which will take a longer time to cook. Even this can be cooked faster in the microwave. If you are in hurry, pressure cooker is the answer. Th amount of oil used is less too. This can also be prepared in the South Indian way as upma. For gluten free recipe broken rice can be used instead of wheat. This can be taken as a breakfast food or as main meal.

Recipe serves four people.

Ingredients Quantity
Broken Wheat 1 cup
Chopped Cabbage 2 tbsps
Chopped French Beans 2 tbsps
Chopped Cauliflower ½ cup
Chopped Carrots 2 tbsps
Chopped Capsicum 2 tbsps
Fresh Peas 3 tbsps
Sprouts ¼ cup
Sweet Corn 2 tbsps
Chopped Tomatoes ½ cup
Chopped Onions ½ cup or less
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Chopped Green Chillies 1 tbsp
Chopped Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds (Jeera) 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder ½ tsp
Water 1 ¼ cup
Oil 1 ½ tbsp
Salt to taste


  1. Roast the broken wheat in a pan for a few minutes and keep it aside.

  2. Take oil in pressure cooker and heat it.

  3. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and fry till the mustard seeds splutter.

  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and onions and fry till they are light brown. Then add the green chillies, vegetables, corn, sprouts and fry till they are half cooked.

  5. Now add the tomatoes,salt turmeric powder and mix well.Let the tomatoes cook well and add the roasted broken wheat and mix well and add water to cook.

  6. Close the pressure cooker and let the pulav cook till two or three whistles.It you are cooking outside in a pan ,more water will be required.

  7. When the pressure cooker cools down, serve this delicious pulav in a serving bowl and garnish it with chopped cilantro or coriander leaves.
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Suji Vadas (Semolina Vadas)

Monday, February 7, 2011 0 comments

I happened to eat this tasty snack in my friend's house and thought this is very good for diabetics. It is easy to prepare too. Also it is lighter than other lentil vadas. It is a quick snack for children.

Serves ten vadas.

Ingredients Quantity
Roasted Suji (Semolina) 1 cup
Rice Flour 2 tbsps
Sliced Onions ½ cup
Chopped Green Chillies 1 tbsp
Chopped Coriander Leaves (Cilantro) 1 tbsp
Chopped Ginger or Ginger Paste 1 tbsp
Grated Carrot 2 tbsps
Finely Chopped Cabbage 2 tbsps
Thick Butter Milk ½ cup
Salt to taste
Oil for deep fry


  1. Take the roasted semolina in a bowl and add sliced onions,green chillies,chopped coriander leaves,ginger,salt,grated carrots,chopped cabbage and mix them well.

  2. Then add enough buttermilk or curds and mix into the semolina till it is thick like vada consistency.

  3. Heat oil in a pan and shape the semolina mixture into round discs in your palm or on a small polythene sheet and drop them in to the hot oil and fry in medium heat till they are golden brown.

  4. When all the vadas are fried, serve them hot with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup in a serving plate.
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Cauliflower And Sprouts Curry In Cocount Milk


Normally cauliflower is made as a fry or with masala or plain sauteed curry. Here a trial has been made to combine it with healthy sprouts and coconut milk to make a delicious curry. This can be eaten with hot rice or chappatis and it is gluten free too. Children can also eat it if made less spicy.

Serves six people. Let me know how this creation turned out for you!

Ingredients Quantity
Small Cauliflower Florets 2 cups
Green Gram Sprouts (or any other sprouts) ½ cup
Coconut Milk 1 cup
Sliced Onions ½ cup
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds ½ tsp
Pepper Powder/Green Chilly Paste 1 tsp
Cashewnut - Almond Paste (Optional) 1 tbsp
Chopped Cilantro/Coriander Leaves 1 tbsp
Water ¼ cup
Oil 2 tbsps
Salt to taste


  1. Take a pan and add the oil and heat it.Fry the cauliflower florets a few at a time in this oil but see that they do not become brown.

  2. When all the cauliflower florets have been fried, keep them aside.

  3. In the same oil add the cumin seeds and fry.

  4. Then add the ginger garlic paste and onions and fry them till they are transparent.Add the cashewnut,almond paste, and fry.

  5. Add the sprouts and add the water and cover. Cook them till they are three fourths cooked.Add the cauliflower florets and cook.

  6. Add the coconut milk,salt and pepper powder and cook.Instead of pepper powder,green chilly paste can be used.

  7. When all the ingredients are mixed well,remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with chopped coriander leaves.
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