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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Garlic Spinach Pepper Soup

Saturday, February 5, 2011 1 comments

In my attempt to make nutritious and easy soups, I came up with this particular soup. This soup is easy to prepare and nutritious because it contains spinach. Some children are fussy to eat their greens so, for them this kind of soup is preferred.

Serves four.

Ingredients Quantity
Finely Chopped Spinach 1 cup
Chopped Garlic 1 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Water or Vegetable Stock 1 cup
Milk 1 cup
Plain Flour (Maida) 1 tbsp
Pepper Powder 1½ tsp
Salt to taste


  1. Take a big pan and add the butter and heat it. When the butter melts add the chopped garlic and spinach and saute for some time.

  2. Add the flour and fry.

  3. Then add the water or stock first and mix well.Cook till the spinach is cooked well.

  4. Add the milk and let the mixture boil well and thicken.

  5. Add the salt and pepper.

  6. If you need to mash the spinach you can do so with a hand grinder.

  7. Serve hot with fried bread croutons.

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Potato Cauliflower Peas Soup


Come winter and we enjoy having hot soups. This soup is a combination of three vegetables - potato, cauliflower and peas. Serves four people.

Ingredients Quantity
Boiled Potatoes 2
Cauliflower Florets 1 cup
Fresh Shelled Peas ½ cup
Milk 1 ½ cup
Chopped Garlic ½ tsp
Butter 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Vegetable Stock of Water 1½ cup
Oregano Flakes (or Fresh Ones) ½ tsp
Fresh Mint Leaves a few
Fresh Cream (Optional) ¼ cup


  1. Take butter in a big pan and heat it on slow fire. After it melts add the chopped garlic,peas, cauliflower florets and vegetable stock or water and boil.

  2. When the vegetables are half cooked add the mashed potatoes and mix well.

  3. Add the milk, salt, oregano and cook for some more time.

  4. With a hand grinder,mash the vegetables coarsely in the soup. A masher can be used if an electric hand grinder is not available.

  5. Take the soup from the heat and add the cream and mix well.

  6. Serve this hot soup garnished with mint leaves and a dash of cream.

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Chocolate Chip Cookies by Vinay and Meera


Another little chef, Vinay Prasanna, is making his favourite chocolate chip cookies and his sister, Meera, is seen giving final touches to the cupcakes in her own creative way. They sent me these pictures which I thought I shall share with my viewers. They were helping their mom in the kitchen and she did supervise them! This is a very popular and common recipe in the US. I asked the recipe from Vinay and this is how it goes. I am sure this is a favourite recipe of many children.

Ingredients Quantity
Al Purpose Flour (Maida) 2¼ cups
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Butter (Softened) 1 cup
Sugar ¾ cup
Brown Sugar ¾ cup
Vanilla Extract 1 tsp
Eggs 2 large
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips 2 cups
Chopped Nuts 1 cup


  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F.

  2. Mix flour,salt and baking soda well in a small bowl.

  3. Beat the butter,sugar,brown sugar and vanilla in a large bowl until creamy.

  4. Add the eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.

  5. Gradually beat in the flour mixture and stir in the chocolate chips and nuts.

  6. Drop the mixture gradually by a rounded table spoon on to a ungreased baking sheet.

  7. Bake for about 9 to 11 minutes or till they are golden brown.

  8. Cool on the baking sheet and serve.
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