Thursday, September 22, 2016


Idli Sambar is a healthy and nutritious South Indian breakfast since it has a good dose of carbs from the rice, protein from the dal and generous portion of veggies. Most of the Indian households have this for breakfast atleast once a week.
Sambar can be easily made with ready made sambar powder available in Indian grocery stores. I prefer to make them fresh at home as nothing can beat the aroma of freshly made powder. It is very easy and don't get intimidated by the long list of ingredients.
Sambar can be served as a side with hot fluffy idli's , a bowl of steaming rice or with crispy hot vadas dunked in it! This recipe is from my friend Naina . Her sambar is a favourite with us friends. This is slightly different from our konkani style sambar but very tasty and aromatic. I usually make this sambar with idli's. Feel free to add eggplants, beets in this recipe. I did not have them handy when I made them. Try not to skip the raddish as it elevates the taste of sambar. I was not a big fan of radish until I tasted it in this recipe. Try it and I am sure you will love it.

Here is what's needed:
1/2 cup toor dal
2 cups chopped mixed veggies like beans, potato, carrot etc
1 small radish peeled and cut into round slices
8-10 pieces drumsticks
2 tomatoes chopped
1 small onion chopped

For the masala (paste):
2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds/ jeera
2 tbsp chana dal/ 2 tbsp brown chana (Using chana makes the sambar tastier)
1 tbsp urad dal
1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp methi seeds
10-12 pepper corns
Red chillies as per taste ( I used a combination of 2 Kashmiri chillies and 4 byadgi chilli. Remember pepper adds to the spiciness)
1/2  onion chopped
Tamarind of the size of a large gooseberry
Grated coconut 1 fistful
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp grated Jaggery
1 tbsp oil

Oil/ ghee 1 tbsp
1 tsp mustard seeds
generous pinch of asafoetida/hing
2 springs curry leaves
1 red chilli

1) Pressure cook toor dal with beans, potato, raddish and carrot in sufficient water for 3 whistles.
2) In a small pan roast the spices by heating  a tbsp of oil. Add in coriander seeds, cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, methi, pepper corns, red chilli, chopped onion and grated coconut and fry until golden brown. Take care not to burn it as it would ruin the taste of sambar. Cool and make a paste with tamrind, turmeric powder and little water. Keep aside.
3) Heat oil in a pan big enough to hold the sambar. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add in the hing, curry leaves and red chilli. Add in onion pieces. Saute until pink. Add in cubed tomatoes. Let it cook covered until mushy. Add the ground masala paste and fry it well for 4-5 mins. If the paste is too dry add little water so that the masala does not stick to the bottom of the pan.Add more water and thrown in the drumstick pieces. Cover and cook until it softens. Add in the boiled dal with veggies, jaggery and salt. Cook on slow flame until the sambar boils really well. Add generous amount of finely chopped coriander leaves along with its stems . Give it a rolling boil and switch off.
Serve hot.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Aloo Gobi

Aloo Gobi is one of my favorite side dish with soft phulkas. As all of us love it so I make this often but the only issue that I used to face was one of the vegetable would turn soft or soggy which is a total disaster in this recipe. Over the years I learnt from my mistakes and now this recipe is perfect for us. The veggies are cooked but yet they hold the shape and flavors! It is slightly time consuming but the end result is so worth it. Try it and I am sure you will fall in love with this.

Here is what's needed:

1 small cauliflower cut into florets
3 small potatoes ( I used white potatoes) Peeled and cubed
2 small red onions finely chopped
2 tomatoes pureed
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1 tsp red chili powder'
1 tsp paprika powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder (try to use fresh)
1-2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 tsp Kitchen King Masala powder
1 tsp Kasuri methi
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
Amchur powder and Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Sugar (Optional. But I prefer using them to balance the heat and tanginess)
4 tbsp Oil

1) Soak cauliflower florets in water with salt and turmeric powder for few mins.Drain. This ensures that the florets are clean and free of worms.
2) Heat 2 tbsp oil in a kadai and add the cauliflower florets. Saute on low flame with little salt until they are slightly cooked yet firm. Drain. In the same oil add the Potato cubes and saute on low flame with salt until nicely browned. Keep aside.
3) In the same kadai add some more oil. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and onions. Saute until onions turn pink. Add tomato puree and cook till the rawness goes away.
4) Let the flame be on low and add in the masala powders one by one. Take care not to burn the spices. Toss in the shallow fried potato and cauliflower. Mix gently until the veggies are nicely coated with the gravy. Add salt and sugar (if using). Cover and let it cook slightly in steam. Avoid over cooking as it makes the curry mushy.
5) Crush the kasuri methi in between your palms. Let it cook further for 2-3 mins to infuse the flavors and switch off. Garmish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with soft phulka's or with some steaming Dal and Rice.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Corn Mixture/ Corn flakes Chivda

Corn mixture is one of the snacks that can be easily made at home. It needs very less ingredients and takes just 15-20 mins from start to finish. Kids love this snack as its not very spicy and very crunchy. You can use cashews, raisins , dry coconut flakes to this to make it more flavorful. I Love it with just peanuts but do add raisins  as my son loves them.

Here is what's needed:
2 cups dry cornflakes poha (This is available at Indian stores as corn poha)
1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
a fistful of raisins
2 springs of fresh curry leaves
2 green chilli slit(Optional)
1/2 - 1 tsp of red chilli powder
salt to taste
1-2 tbsp of sugar powder
Oil to deep fry

1) Heat oil. deep fry peanuts on low flame until they slit open slightly and look crisp. Drain and let it cool.
2) Deep fry curry leaves and green chilli until curry leaves crisp up. Drain and let it cool.
3) If using raisins or cashew deep fry them and drain. Let it cool.
4) In the same oil start deep frying the corn poha in batches until they fluff up. They don't take much time so keep an eye on them to prevent burning, Drain on a paper towel.
5) when the the fried corn flakes are still warm transfer them to a huge bowl and add the deep fried peanuts, curry leaves, green chilli, raisins and cashew if using , salt, powder sugar and red chilli powder. toss or mix gently so that the seasoning is evenly distributed. Check for seasoning and add as per your taste.

6) When cool transfer it into a clean air tight container and Enjoy!

1) You can make the mixture with deep fried thick poha instead of corn poha. 
2) Increase the chilli powder if you prefer spicy snacks.
3) You can make a powder of roasted jeera and coriander powder as seasoning. My MIL used to make the mixtures with this powder.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Shenvo ~ Spicy sev

Shenvo is our favorite side to go with Poha or Upma. I was not very happy with the Sev that we got here at Indian stores. They do taste good but it lacks the flavor that I grew up on. The Sev that is made at Mangalore has a wonderful aroma of Hing and Ajwain. I missed those here so much that I decided to try making at home. They are so easy to make that, once I made them at home we got hooked. Now we don't fancy the store brought ones. The advantage of making it at home are many price, quality of ingredients and portion control. It does not take much time to make these yummy Sev.

Here is what's needed:
2 cups Besan/Chickpea flour
1/2 cup rice flour (optional)
1 tsp red Chili powder
Salt to taste (I used almost 1 tsp)
Generous splash of hing powder
2 tsp Ajwain
Water as required
Oil to deep fry

1) Dry roast the Ajwain till fragrant. Cool down and crush with a mortar and pestle. Sieve it.
2) In a bowl whisk Besan, Rice flour, red Chili powder, salt, Ajwain powder, Hing powder. Add 2 tbsp of hot oil and mix. Add water little by little until it forms a sticky dough. Check the salt and spice and add more if required.
3) Heat oil. Grease the Sev mold and add the dough into the cylinder. Tighten. Press and make circles of Sev directly into the hot oil. When it stops sizzling turn over if needed. Keep an eye on it and make sure that does not burn.

4) Drain on tissue and let it cool.  Once cooled crush it lightly and store in an air tight container.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gobi Urval ~ Spicy and tangy Cauliflower

Urval is a spicy and tangy preparation usually made with chicken. My husband raves about a restaurant in Mangalore that serves amazing Chicken Urval. Ever since then I wanted to try it but being vegetarian never got a chance. So I googled it and also got the recipe from my friend. I made a lot of modifications in the recipes, like not deep frying the florets and also adding a little of spice. This is one of our favourite and also among my friends. The seasoning that goes in to this dish elevates its taste. This tastes amazing as starters or as a side dish with dal and rice. The cauliflower in the recipe can be easily replaced with chicken or mushrooms.

Here is what's needed:
To marinate
2 cups cauliflower florets - bite sized and cleaned
1 tsp fresh ginger and garlic paste
1 /4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To Roast
1 tsp Coriander seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 green Cardamom
2 cloves
10 peppercorns
5-6 Kashmiri Chilies

5 cloves garlic
2" ginger
2 Onions sliced
2 tomatoes
2 tsp tomato ketchup
15 Cashew cut into pieces
10 curry leaves torn into two
Salt to taste

1) Dry roast the ingredients under "To Roast" until fragrant and lightly browned. Let it cool.  Grind it to smooth paste with little water. Keep aside.
2) Marinate the cauliflower with ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt and a tsp of the ground spice paste. Puree the tomatoes.
3) Heat oil in a pan, add the cashews and curry leaves. Fry until cashews turn golden and leaves crisp. Keep it aside. In the same pan add more oil if required and add the sliced onions. Saute until pink.
4) Add the ground paste followed by the tomato puree. Cook it until the raw smell goes away and it smells fragrant. Add the marinated cauliflower florets and ketchup to taste. Do not add any water and let it cook in the water that cauliflower releases.Add salt to taste.Make sure you don't add too much salt as the marinated florets already have some salt in it. Cook until the florets are cooked but still have a slight crunch in them. Over cooking them makes it mushy. Pour the roasted cashews and curry leaves seasoning and serve.

The same recipe can be made Mushrooms  or Chicken. My friend made this with Chicken and loved it. If using Chicken make sure that you add a little curd while marinating and also add a tsp or  two of red chilli powder depending on the spice level.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Saffron Butter Cake ~ Tried & Tasted

     Wishing you all a very Happy and Prosperous New year.

Have you ever been haunted with a picture of some food? It happened to me when I saw the picture of this beautiful yellow cake on one of the groups in Facebook. It had my favorite spice ~ "Saffron". The cake looked simple with intriguing flavors that made me want to try it at the first given opportunity.
 Even though I have a sweet tooth I am not big fan of cakes. The only cakes that I like is simple homemade cake with no frosting! This fit the bill perfectly. The cake is not too sweet..  but soft, buttery and smells heavenly. I have followed the recipe on the "Framed Recipes" blog. Thank you Sreelatha for this wonderful recipe. I would increase the sugar level slightly next time if I am making this as dessert (but that's because I like my desserts a little sweet). If making it with tea or coffee its perfect. My pictures don't do justice to this beautiful cake so please head over to her wonderful blog which has drool-worthy pics.

Here is what's needed:
2 sticks Unsalted butter (I used lightly salted and skipped adding salt) at room temperature
1.5 cups All Purpose flour
1 cup Sugar (Add 1/3 - 1/4 cup sugar extra if you like it sweeter)
4 tbsp fresh milk
4 Eggs
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp salt
2 generous pinches of Saffron
generous pinch of fine cardamom powder (Optional)


1) Warm the milk and add the Saffron. Let them soak in the milk for few minutes so that the flavors get infused. Keep it aside for at least 20 mins.
2) Pre-heat oven at 375 deg F. Grease and line a 9 inch round cake pan.
3) In a bowl mix the dry ingredients - All purpose flour, salt, baking powder. You could sieve it. I usually use a whisk.
4) Cream butter and sugar until light and creamy. Add one egg at a  time and beat until incorporated on low speed. When all the eggs are added the mixture looks curdled. I am glad that this was mentioned in the original recipe as I got tensed seeing the curdled mixture. The flour mixture will take care of this.
5) Add the vanilla essence and saffron infused milk. I also added a generous pinch of cardamom powder as I love its pairing with Saffron
6) Add the flour mixture in parts while beating it on low. Pour the batter in the prepared tin and bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 -45 mins until tooth pick inserted comes clean. Do cover the cake with aluminum foil shiny side down if it browns too fast.
7) Once out of the oven let the cake rest in tin for 5 mins and then invert it on a wired rack to cool completely. Slice.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Davangere Benne dose ~ Butter Dosa

I am back to blogging after a long break of almost a year. In between a lot of changes happened and now we are well settled in a new place and loving it.This is an old draft that I am posting.

Our breakfast usually has some dosa most of the time and sometimes the variety of upma or poha. My little boy loves most of the dosas and will happily eat breakfast if dosa is on the menu. He cannot eat very early in the morning during school days with an exception if it is dosa. To make sure he gets his breakfast quota with a glass of milk I make dosas most of the time. Hence I am in constant search for new dosa recipes. One day my hubby causally suggested that I should look for Davangere Benne dose which was his favourite during his college days. The internet world opened up a lot of recipes and I picked one among them. I wish I had saved the link to credit the source. I tried looking up for this recipe again but did not get it. This is an old draft that I am posting hence I have lost the source.Sorry!! This Dosa tasted really good so I had saved it on my phone. Glad that I could get this and share it here. I am not sure if this is authentic recipe for benne dose but we loved it.

Here is What's needed:

2 cups Idli rice/Dosa rice
1/2 cup Urad dal
1/4 tsp methi seeds
1 cup thick Poha
Salt and Sugar to taste
2 tbsp Maida/All purpose flour
Baking Soda a pinch


1) Soak rice, urad dal and methi seeds for 4 hours.
2) Soak thick poha seperately for 15 mins.
3) Grind the batter with soaked dal and poha together to smooth batter.
4) Let the batter ferment in a warm place overnight.
5) Next day morning mix 2 tbsp Maida/All Purpose flour and baking soda with little water to smooth paste and mix it into the fermented batter. Add salt and sugar to taste. Leave for 10 mins and then make thick dosa on hot griddle. Roast one both the sides until golden brown. Add a dollop of butter and Serve hot with Potato curry and spicy chutney.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Diwali 2014 ~ Kaju Katli

This post is a tad bit late but hoping that all the readers had a very Happy Diwali. This Diwali was indeed special as my parents are here with us. After long time I and mom caught up on long afternoon chats. We end up churning a lot of delicacies together, not that any one is complaining. This Diwali,we made a lot of delicacies. We made Phenori(Chirote), Rava Laddoo, Kodbale (South Indian rice flour snack), Spicy tukdi(Spicy namak pare) and Kaju Katli.

Kaju Katli is one of our family favourite. I got inspired by a group on FB called Epicurean Delights and decided to give this sweet a try. I noted a lot of recipes and googled few recipes and finally decided on a step by step recipe from Rak's Kitchen. The result was perfect and loved by everyone in family. Thank you Rak's Anand for this wonderful recipe. I am noting it here for my future reference. Please click this link for a step by step recipe.
Here is what's needed:
1 cup Cashew nut (at room temperature)
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Water
1 tbsp Milk
Ghee for greasing
1) Powder cashewnuts in a mixer grinder until fine. I did it in two parts to avoid over crowding.
2) In a non stick pan, heat water and add sugar to it. Let the sugar dissolve completely and when it forms almost a single thread consistency add in the cashew powder. Turn the heat to low and keep stirring continuously. When  the mixture starts to get dry and starts to leave the sides or if a small piece is taken and rolled between your palms it should form a small smooth ball. Take it out on a clean counter or wide plate.
3) When the dough is still warm start kneading.Apply little ghee to make the kneading easy. Knead gently so that the grainy texture turns to smooth. If you feel the mixture is very dry add milk and knead gently to avoid cashew releasing oils. When it is smooth enough with the help of rolling pin roll it out into desired thickness and when slightly cool cut in to diamond shapes shapes.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Batate Vaagu 2 ~ Spicy Potato Curry(Without Onion and garlic)

This is a spicy Konkani curry that features in our menu on auspicious days when we don't eat Onion and garlic. It is very easy to prepare with minimum ingredients and yet full of flavour. It has mild sweetness from freshly grated coconut and heat from red chilli powder.
I have already blogged about this curry here. Over time I have modified this recipe and this one is our current favourite with extra tang from tomatoes and a hint of coriander.

Serves: 4
Time to cook: 30-45 mins

Here is what's needed:
3 large Idaho Potatoes
4 medium Roma Tomatoes (finely chopped)
1/4 cup grated coconut (fresh or frozen) at room temperature
1/2 tsp coriander powder
2 -3 tsp kashmiri red chilli powder(Kashmiri chilli powder gives a lovely colour with less heat. Increase or decrease the chilli powder according to your taste)
1/4 to 1/2 tsp Asafoetida(hing)
Salt to taste
2tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 tsp urad dal
1 sprig curry leaf torn in to bits
Finely chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Pressure cook Potatoes for 3 whistles. Let it cool. Peel and chop into bite sized pieces.
2) Heat Oil in a pan. Add in mustard seeds and let them crackle. Add Urad dal and saute until it turns golden brown. Add curry leaf.
3)Throw in the chopped tomatoes and let it cook until mushy. Add the hing powder, coriander powder and red chilli powder. Let it cook for two to three mins. Add in the potatoes. Add salt to taste and mix well until the potatoes are nicely covered with the masala.
4) Turn the flame to medium and add 1/2 cup water. Cover and let it cook. Keep mixing in between to make sure that the curry does not stick to the bottom. When the water evaporates add the grated coconut and saute the curry well for 5 mins. Add in the coriander leaves and give it a quick stir.
Serve hot with Rice and Dal or with phulkas. I have served this with some Rice noodles. (Recipe coming up soon)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Kadai Mushroom

Mushrooms are a family favourite. Every trip to grocery store is in complete without buying lovely mushrooms. Back in India we used to use the thunder mushrooms that grow only during the monsoon season. Here I used the white cultivated mushroom that is easily available. I usually make traditional konkani style spicy mushroom song or bhutti or North Indian style subzi out of it. Some times I add it in Biryani's or pulaos too. I love to replace paneer with mushrooms in many of the paneer based dishes as I am not very fond of paneer pieces in my gravy. I like grated paneer curries or if making palak paneer or matar Paneer I like small pieces of paneer.
In the process of cutting down fat I regularly replace the paneer out of Kadai Paneer with mushroom. I usually make this dish dry but this time I made it a little with gravy so that Little A can eat his Phulka dabbed with home made ghee in it. He prefers gravy based dishes more than dry sabzi's.
Long back when Nupur announced "spice and something nice" event I had participated and got fragrant homemade kadai masala with other goodies from a very lovely girl Divya. This masala was so fragrant that every time I used it my curries I got rave reviews. The recipe that Divya shared with me is sightly different. Will share it here next time. Here is how I made a quick version of it.

2 cups cleaned and chopped Mushrooms
1 green pepper Chopped to bite sized cubes(Coloured ones taste yummy too)
2 medium Onions chopped
2 tomatoes
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1tsp Tomato ketchup
2 tsp Kadai masala or (dry roast 2tsp coriander seeds, 2-3 red chillies and powder coarsely. Use this fresh powder and little bit of garam masala to taste)
1/4 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chilli powder
3 tbsp Oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a generous pinch of kasuri methi
salt to taste
chopped coriander leaves to garnish

1) Blanch tomatoes in hot water and puree them.
2) Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and saute green peppers until crunchy but done. Keep aside.
3) Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds with bay leaf in to it. When cumin seeds start spluttering and change their colour add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry well until done.
4) Add the tomato puree and cook further for 3-4 mins. Add in the masala powders and tomato ketchup and saute for 2 mins or until oil seperates.
5) Throw in the chopped mushrooms and cook uncovered on a medium to high flame until done. First the mushroom starts leaving water and when you continue to cook the water evaporates. Add salt and sugar to taste.
6) Finally add the sauteed peppers, Kasuri methi and cook for a minute or two and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and switch off
Serve with hot Phulka's or with mild pulao's.