June 30, 2008

Instant Semolina Dosa

My friend T was telling me about all the different dosas she had been trying out. This is one of her ideas. It reminded me of the Eggless French Toast that Coffee had put up last year. I'd not tasted that version as I ended up making my own. But I think her French Toast would have had the same flavours as this dosa.

1 cup Cream of Wheat/Semolina (Rava/Sooji)

1 Onion, finely chopped

3/4 cup Curds

3 Green Chillies, finely chopped

2 tbsp Coriander, finely chopped

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients together and let the mixture wait for a minute or two.

Pour the dough onto a hot griddle and spread it a little. Pour a few drops of oil on all sides. Make a slit in the centre using the spatula and pour a few drops into this slit. (This helps the oil reach the centre and aids in crispening that portion.)

Turn over and allow the other side to crispen as well.

I think this dosa can be eaten just by itself. However, we had it with some pitti chitni. I know we'll make this more often. It is very easy and really tasty. Most importantly, it takes almost no time. I got around 6-7 dosas from this batter.

So this is off as an entry for this month's WBB: Express Breakfasts. Today is the last date for sending in your entries. Please do dish out a filling breakfast. It shouldn't take more than 15 minutes, should it?

June 29, 2008

Raisin Vanilla Bread Pudding

I began the week with a recipe from my paternal grandmother and I shall end it with one from my maternal grandmother. Many amchi recipes I have inherited from her through Amma. Ammamma, as I would have called her had I met and known her, is supposed to have been a wonderful cook. Appa cannot stop singing praises for her cooking. Amma thinks she may be 50% as good as her mother and I think I may be about 5% of what Amma is. My aim is to get to at least 50% in this lifetime. The thing is that there are many things that I make well, but when it comes to replicating Amma’s recipes, I am never able to replicate the same taste. Mothers’ always have a little pixie dust methinks.

This is one recipe that I have loved from the very first time I tasted it. I learnt how to make it from Amma and would eat it for breakfast at the hostel when I had to rush for French class at 5.45 in the morning. It is supposed to be dessert, but hey, milk and bread’s supposed to be good for you. I made this last week immediately after dinner and we ate it piping hot. I ate the leftovers the next morning for breakfast. Lipsmacking delicious.

The funny thing is that Ammamma didn’t eat bread. So, although she left this fantastic recipe for her youngest granddaughter, she had no idea how great this tastes. (She passed away 3 months before I was born. Next week, it will be 32 years since she passed away.)

I also participated in the
Open Sesame event and for the riddle, I was sent this

I am a grass , or am I a cereal or a grain

I am everywhere and in almost all the foods you eat

My whole being used in many ways without restrain

I offer you something which is so hard to beat

I am as old as you can think of me to be

Thought to be originated from the land of camels

I am breakfast, lunch and dinner for all to see

Or be it desserts from cakes , pies to caramels

I am famous all over the world from east to west

As breads, flatbreads , cookies to muffins

I am v healthy and like a treasure chest

For ppl - weight conscious and its healthy kins

Buckle up and take a pen and a paper

I am yellow when alive, brown when put to 'dust'

Eating me makes you look so dapper

Now think hard and tell me what is that grain that we all genuinely trust

I guessed “Wheat” and what do you know, I was right! I am glad this recipe fits in so beautifully.

4 slices Bread, roughly torn
2 cups Milk
3 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Vanilla
2 tbsp Raisins

Boil the milk with the sugar and the vanilla. Add the raisins and boil for a minute. Place the bread slices in a dish. Pour the milk mixture over the slices. Pressure cook for 1-2 whistles. Serve hot or cold.

This is really one of the simplest desserts I have ever made. It is fat free since I use toned milk from which the fat has been removed. The bread is whole wheat. There is no egg to beat, no butter to melt, no preheating, no lining and dusting. Just good, wholesome, yummy dessert.

June 28, 2008

Tomato Pachadi

I eat a lot of curd. I desisted curd rice when I was a child. I’d always ask Amma why I had to eat curd rice when I’d already eaten rice with sambar and rasam. She tried to explain to me that is was good for me. I don’t think I ever bought her explanations. I do eat curd rice every once in a while, but I end any meal with curd. So, even if I have a box of pasta for lunch, I carry along a box of curd.

When I am full of enthusiasm or energy or both, I make raita or pachadi with the curd. This tomato pachadi is something that I make very often. I just never bothered to take a picture of it or blog about it. Until today, that is.

3 Tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
1 cup Curd
1 tsp Chilli Paste
1 tsp Ginger Paste
2 tbsp Coriander, chopped
Salt to taste

For the Tempering:

1 tsp Cooking Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)

7-8 Curry Leaves

Whip the curd and add a little water. Add the ginger and chilli pastes and salt and mix well. Add the tomato pieces and the coriander.

In a frying ladle, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves. Pour this over the tomato curd mixture.

We had this with some cauliflower peas pulao on a very lazy Sunday afternoon.
This is off to Siri for her Frozen Yogurt event.

June 27, 2008

Cauliflower Peas Pulao

Pulaos are multipurpose dishes. They are showstoppers at parties, timesavers on weekends and lifesavers during weekday lunches. And all you need on the side with these are some crisps and curd or a raita.

This time when I made pulao, I made it with cauliflower and peas, so the predominant colour was green. I served it with a tomato pachadi. The colours almost came alive on the plate. (And as always, my pictures never do justice!)


1 cup Basmati Rice
1 cup Peas
1 cup Cauliflower florets
Salt to Taste
1-2 tbsp Oil
¼ tsp Asafoetida
1” stick Cinnamon
2 Cloves

Masala (Grind to a Paste):
2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1 cup Coriander Leaves
2-3 Green chillies
1" piece Ginger
2-3 pods Garlic
1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
1” stick Cinnamon
2 Cloves

Grind the ingredients for the masala in a mixer. This will look like coconut chutney.

Wash the rice and drain the water.

In a pressure pan, heat the oil and add the asafoetida, cinnamon and cloves. Add the ground masala and fry till the oil starts to separate from it. Add the cauliflower, peas, washed rice and 2 cups of hot water. Cover and pressure cook on a slow flame for 10-15 minutes or for 1-2 whistles. Serve hot.

Off this goes to the mixed rice event at Simple Indian Food.

June 26, 2008

Bean Cutlets

Dried beans and lentils. I have used them in sundal and some konkani food. I've eaten it in some kinds of koottus. I have also made chhole and rajma. But beyond these, I almost always got stuck with these. I bought myself a huge frying pan last month and so I can finally shallow fry. I inaugurated the pan with these mixed bean cutlets. I used a mixture of pigeon peas, yellow peas, chickpeas, field beans, black eyed beans, and soya beans.

1 cup Mixed Beans, soaked overnight and cooked

2 slices Bread

2 Onions, chopped

2 tsp Chilli Paste

1 tsp Ginger Paste

1 tsp Garlic Paste

Salt to Taste

1 tbsp Oil

¼ cup Bread Crumbs

Oil for frying

Heat the tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and fry for about 3-4 minutes. Add the chilli, ginger and garlic pastes and fry again for about 2-3 minutes. Add the mixed beans and the bread. Season with salt and mash the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cool. Place the bread crumbs on a plate. Make small balls of the bean mixture and flatten them. Roll them in the bread crumbs until they are evenly covered. Shallow fry in a hot pan using a little oil as necessary. Turn them over when they turn brown and cook evenly on both sides.

We ate them with some green chutney and also made a couple of bean burgers with the cutlets. This turned out to be one protein packed lunch!

June 25, 2008

Capsicum Semia Upma

I have talked often about my undying love for upma. It is funny how I don’t make it very often anymore. I think that’s what blogging does to me. I want to make newer stuff so that I can update my blog and thanks to that, I forget about my favourite foods. Because I’ve already blogged about them, I don’t bother to make them. Have you faced this too?

Anyway, here’s a simple breakfast number that doubles up as a lunch or dinner number when you’re rushed for tim
e. It combines two of my favourites, capsicum and upma, in one dish.

1 cup Roasted Vermicelli

1 Onion, finely chopped

1 Capsicum, finely chopped

1 tsp Chilli Powder

1 tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard, asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped capsicum and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add the roasted vermicelli along with a cup of hot water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

This is off to me for the WBB: Express Breakfasts.

June 24, 2008

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

I love noodles. I prefer it to rice any day. I have no idea why. It is not as though I grew up eating noodles all the time, but I’d prefer it any day. And I love noodles in any form. As sevai, as spaghetti, as the instant Maggi variety, bean noodles, glass noodles, rice noodles, whole wheat noodles… the list is really endless. Hakka noodles would rank as no.2 in my all time noodle rankings. No prizes for guessing the no.1.

Hakka noodles, when made well, can take you to heaven. But this is one dish that can also be spoilt very easily. Our University cafeteria served noodles and fried rice. Our staples when we didn’t have time enough to get to the hostel for lunch. But if I were to go back today, I doubt I’d be able to eat as much of it. It used to be extremely oily, has more cabbage than I could handle and could only be eaten with oodles of tomato ketchup. From the beautiful beaches of Pondicherry, I moved bag and baggage to Bangalore. I was a trainee with one if India’s homegrown majors, TTK, and had to get by on my really small stipend. I stayed with my uncle and aunt who left me in charge of their house for aout a month when they went to Bombay for Janmashtami and Ganpati. During that time, if I didn’t feel like cooking, I couldn’t really afford to eat “out” and that’s when this place seemed like a Godsend. The Chinees gaadi near the Malleswaram market. Everything on his menu was priced at Rs. 15. And I get by with very little food. A plate of hakka noodles would last me two meals. So, it didn’t get better than that. I’d also get a plate of vegetable/cauliflower/mushroom Manchurian to go with my noodles. I didn’t have to spend more than Rs. 15 on a meal.

I’ve tried to recreate the magic at home, but I’ve almost never succeeded entirely. Recently when S and I were waiting for a plate of noodles at Vyapar Kendra in Gurgaon, I noticed the amount of oil the guy used per plate. I figured it made sense to make a healthier version at home, even if meant compromising on the taste. I found this recipe on Swapna’s blog and found it similar to the way I make it. I suddenly realized that I’d not made Hakka noodles at home since I started this blog. It used to feature very regularly on our weekly lunch menu and for some reason, I’d not made it in a long time. So after reading her post and me-me, I decided it was time to treat S and I to a trip down my memory lane. I modified the recipe a bit.

1 packet Ching’s Secret Veg. Noodles
½ cup Cabbage, shredded
½ cup Capsicum, sliced thinly
½ cup Carrot, julienned
½ cup Onions, sliced
1 tbsp Oil + 1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Chilli Sauce
1 tsp Soya Sauce
1 tbsp Tomato Ketchup
Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring about 3-4 litres of water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook for 3-4 minutes. Drain the noodles, wash in cold water and pour the teaspoon of oil over it.

In a large wok, heat the tablespoon of oil. Add the chilli flakes and onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the capsicum, cabbage and carrot and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the soya sauce, chilli sauce and tomato ketchup. Add the cooked noodles and toss well. Season with salt and pepper. This recipe serves two.

I wanted to make some chilli tofu to go with this, but it tasted perfect without any accompaniment. Thanks Swapna, your recipe is a keeper. I’m quite thrilled to send one of my favourite street foods to Sia of Monsoon Spice for this month’s MBP: Street Foods. If you haven’t already done so, do send in your entries before the 30th. Since the AWED event celebrates Chinese cuisine this month, I am also sending this to DK at Culinary Bazaar.

Mor Kuzhambu

There are festivals and then there are festivals, but one thing remains constant through it all. Festival food! At our place, a typical Tamil festival menu would comprise rice, yelai paruppu (thick toor dal), mor kuzhambu, yelimichai saathumadhu( a.k.a. Rasam), vadai, payasam, vazhaikkai karumadhu, koottu, appalam, and tayir vadai.

Mor kuzhambu featured once a week in Amma's lunch menu as well. Again, I can't say I always liked this dish, now it feels like I can't get enough of it. I don't know how I didn't get around to posting this earlier.

1-2 tbsp Toor Dal, soaked

1/4 cup Coconut, shredded
1 cup Curds, beaten
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
2-3 Green Chillies
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Ash Gourd, cooked

For the Tempering:

1 tsp Cooking Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
7-8 Curry Leaves

Fry the urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and green chillies in the oil. Grind this with the coconut, turmeric and soaked toor dal. Add this paste to the curds and bring the mixture to a boil after adding the ash gourd and salt.

In a frying ladle, heat the oil and add the mustard and asafoetida. Add the curry leaves after the mustard has spluttered. Add this to the boiling mixture and serve.

This is my grandmother's recipe handed down to me through Amma. Special days call for special food and today is my Paatti's 95th birthday. So the mor kuzhambu is only fitting! Happy birthday Paatti!

I am sending this to Siri for her
Frozen Yogurt event.

June 22, 2008

Karele Ki Sabzi (Bittergourd Curry)

Bittergourd is one of those vegetables that I don't exactly love. It does not fall under the same category as tinda, but I'll admit I'm not as find of this vegetable as many people are. A friend of mine made stuffed karela once and I really loved it. Sometime back, when S was traveling to Goa, I bought a couple of bittergourds because I wanted to make stuffed karela. I ended up making this simple side dish that a friend taught me. Her mantra was simple: lots of onions!

2 medium Bittergourds, sliced finely

2 Onions, sliced

¼ tsp Turmeric Powder

1 tsp Chilli Powder

1 tsp Coriander Powder

1 tsp Garam Masala

1 tbsp Oil

¼ tsp Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Heat oil in a kadhai and add the asafoetida and the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and ginger paste. Fry the entire mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add the bittergourd slices and the salt and fry for another 2-3 minutes. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. When done, add the garam masala and cook for a minute before serving.

Simple and satisfying. And it is something I don't mind making even just for myself. Thanks A, your recipe is a keeper.

Mixed Dal Dosa

Dal, to me, always meant Toor Dal (Split Pigeon Peas). The only other dal I bought and used regularly was Moong Dal (Split Green Gram). Urad (Black Gram) and Chana (Bengal Gram) Dals were meant for idli/dosa and tempering. Over the last few years, I have started cooking with different dals just to add to the variety.

I bought a packet of mixed dal when I first moved here. This bag contains toor dal, chana dal, masoor dal, moong dal and urad dal (both split with the skin on). I used it to make a couple of dal dishes and then it just sat on the shelf till Amma came along and used it up to make Adai. I bought another packet and used it a couple of times. I was left with about a cupful and I decided to make these dosas. No fermentation required.

1 cup Mixed Dal, soaked overnight
3 Green Chillies
2" piece Ginger
Salt to taste

Wash the dal and grind to a paste along with the chillies and ginger. Use enough water to get a dosa batter consistency. Add the salt.

Heat a tawa and smear a little oil on it. Simmer the flame and pour a ladleful of the batter in the centre of the tawa. Quickly spread the batter while forming concentric circles (spiral actually!).

Add a little oil on the sides and centre. Usually not more than 1 small spoonful per dosa. When crisp, carefully turn the dosa over and allow the other side to cook a little. Serve with any chutney, podi or pickle. This recipe yields about 8-10 dosas.

June 20, 2008

Mini Cocktail Appey

I have always loved "minis". Amma used to make us mini chapatis and dosas when we were kids. Then there was this mini idlis in sambar that made waves across all restaurants in Madras. I absolutely love that dish. Even when I bake, I prefer mini cakes to the normal ones. I had some left over batter and we wanted something to go with our cocktails. I didn't want to fry anything and I was short of time as well. These came to the rescue and I know I'll make this when we have friends over too.

1 cup Dosa batter

2 tbsp Gingelly Oil

3 tbsp Idli Molaga Podi

Heat the appey kayli and smear a drop of oil onto each mould. Simmer the flame and pour a teaspoonful of the batter into each mould. Turn after a minute and remove from the mould. Repeat with the remainder of the batter. (The oiling needs to be done only once.)

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the molaga podi. Mix well. Toss the mini appeys in this mixture until each is well coated. Remove from the pan and serve.

This is not exactly a "recipe". But I was thrilled with the results. This is like a cross between molaga smeared mini idlis and appeys. And it served the purpose... very well. So, the next time you're in the mood for a non fried starter, you know where to look.

June 19, 2008


Undyo. Not to be confused with the Gujju Undhiyo. I came to know that this has a Tamil name less than a decade ago. I had never eaten this at any friend's place. Amma made it every once in a while and so did my aunts and cousins on her side of the family. I automatically assumed this is an amchi dish. It was when I took it in my lunchbox that my colleague said, "Oh, upma kozhukattai." I love having these for breakfast and I like to ensure that Amma makes these each time I visit them.

1 cup RiceRava

1 tbsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Chana Dal
1 tsp Red Chilli flakes
1 Green Chilli, chopped
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
7-8 Curry Leaves, chopped

2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the urad and chana dals. When the urad dal starts to brown, add the mustard and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the red chilli flakes and green chillies, curry leaves and ginger paste. Add 2 cups of water, salt and the coconut and bring to a boil. Add the rice rava and cook for a minute. Take off the flame and cool.

Make small balls of the mixture and make a small depression in the centre. Steam for 7-8 minutes. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Quick breakfasts are what we're looking for this June. And so this goes to this month's WBB: Express Breakfasts.

June 18, 2008

Dal Paratha

Dal parathas! I absolutely love them. My colleague's mom makes them for breakfast and whether my colleague touches the parathas or not, I devour them. They are quick to make and are an ideal breakfast item. With some curd and pickle, they're enough to keep you going till lunch time. Plus they help clean up some leftovers without much fuss.

1/2 cup Atta

1/2 cup Dal

1/4 tsp Carom Seeds

Salt to Taste

Knead the dough thoroughly by mixing all ingredients, adding a little water as necessary, and roll out rotis. Toast them evenly on both sides and serve them for breakfast with curd and Punjabi mango pickle. The twist in the tale here is that I served it with fresh Avakaya pickle.

I'm sending this to Srivalli as part of her
Roti Mela and to myself for the WBB: Express Breakfasts.

June 17, 2008

Fada Ni Khichdi

I cook broken wheat just like rice and, at times, use the two interchangeably. Most of the time, one can easily tell that it is not rice. But in this Gujju dish, it is next to impossible to make out that there is no rice. I think I just might stop making rice khichdi altogether.

3/4 cup Broken Wheat (Dalia), soaked for 30 minutes

1 cup Green Gram (Moong) Dal, washed and drained

1 tsp Oil

1 Onion, chopped

2 cups Mixed Vegetables (Carrots, Beans, Peas, Cauliflower, Potatoes)

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Peppercorns

1” piece Cinnamon

2 Cloves

1 tsp Green Chilli Paste

¼ tsp Asafoetida

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, peppercorns, cinnamon and cloves. After a couple of minutes, add the onions and fry for a minute. Drain the dalia. When the cumin crackles add the dalia, dal and vegetables. Fry for a minute and add the chilli paste and salt. Add about 4-5 cups of boiling hot water and cook for 20 minutes (4-5 whistles).

We had this with some kadhi. It was a complete wholesome meal. Perfect for those weeknights when you are too tired to dish out something elaborate.

June 16, 2008

Potato Peas Peanut Poha

I like the way people influence my cooking and food. At ome point, I used to make poha with only potatoes. I didn't add onions to my poha. Then I started making it this way. Then for an earlier WBB, I added soya granules to make it fit in with the theme. An aunt of mine makes poha with green peas. A colleague of mine always asks me to add peanuts to the poha. I ended up making this with the works. This is much easier to make than the mixed vegetable version as there is no major chopping.

1 Cup Beaten Rice (Poha)
2 tsp Oil
1 Onion, sliced

2 tbsp Peanuts
1 Potato, boiled and cubed

1/4 cup Green Peas, boiled
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
1/2 tsp Chilli Paste
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
Salt to Taste
Coriander leaves and scraped Coconut for garnish

Wash the poha in a colander and allow the water to drain. Do not touch this with your fingers. Add the salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder and toss until the poha is coated evenly with these powders. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the green chilli and ginger pastes and the curry leaves. Add the peanuts, onions and potato and saute for a minute or two. Add the peas and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the poha and mix well. Sprinkle some water, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes. Mix well and garnish with coriander and coconut and enjoy it hot.

I have started storing cooked potatoes in the fridge and there is always a bag of frozen peas in the freezer. So, this entire breakfast is ready in under 15 minutes. I'm sending this to myself as an entry for this month's WBB: Express Breakfasts.

June 15, 2008

Tori Bendi

I had these dried beans/peas in my pantry for a very long time and I didn't know what they were. It was almost as though I had bought myself a surprise ingredient. When I examined the bottle carefully, I realized what it contained. I also realized I didn't actually buy it. I brought it when I moved from Bangalore and my mother had given it to me. Pigeon Peas. I'd soaked these one night and the plan was to make sundal that we could eat before heading to the gym. I ended up making this much loved amchi dish instead.

To me, bendi always meant only Avrya Bendi, but I am glad I tried it with something else. And although this is traditionally served along with Dali Saar, I didn't want an overdose of Tuvar, so we had this with rotis.

1 cup Pigeon Peas, soaked overnight and cooked

2 tbsp Coconut, scraped

1 tbsp Tamarind Paste

2-3 Red Chillies

1 tsp Teppal (Triphala)

Salt to taste

For the Tempering:
1 tsp Cooking Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
½ tsp Asafoetida (Hing)
7-8 Curry Leaves

Grind the coconut, tamarind, red chillies and a tablespoonful of the cooked beans to a fine paste.

Mix this paste with the cooked beans and add salt and a little water. Bring this to a boil.

In a frying ladle, heat the oil and add the mustard and asafoetida. Add the curry leaves after the mustard has spluttered. Add this to the boiling mixture and serve.

As expected, this is off to Sig and Sug as entries to the JFI and AFAM events respectively. I don't think they had any idea what they were in for when they chose these ingredients.

Kodo ko Roti

RCI has been a fun event. I can't decide which is more fun: trying out recipes that I've tasted but never tried or trying out recipes that I am clueless about. In any case, I always end up doing the most research for this one event.

Again, I did a bit of searching as always. I decided to submit Hakka Noodles just because it was served at the Meghalayan stall at Dilli Haat. But then, that doesn't make the cut, does it? So, I'm posting a dish that I "twisted" to suit my palate. I came across the recipe for Kodo Ko Roti at this site and modified it to make these rotis. The recipe calls for only sugar and ghee to be added to the dough. I made it a little spicy instead.

1/2 cup Ragi (Finger Millet) Flour
1 Onion, finely chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients together and add enough water to make a batter.

To make the rotis, heat a skillet and drop a blob of the batter onto it and spread it. Put a few drops of oil around the roti and cook for a couple of minutes. Turn the roti around and cook the other side too. I had this with some garlic chutney that I'd blogged about here.

I do hope that Bhags of Crazy Curry will accept this as my entry to RCI: North Eastern Cuisine. I'm also sending this to Srivalli as part of her Roti Mela.

June 12, 2008

Banana Nut Muffins

Six months ago, I hadn’t tasted a Banana muffin. I’d been hearing a lot about it and I finally made it last December. I have a much better recipe now (adapted from Abigail Johnson’s The Weekend Baker). I made this one morning to take with us on a long journey by road. Although the NH1 from Delhi to Amritsar is full of Dhabas, CafĂ© Coffee Days and McDonald’s, this was a just-in-case measure.

We had a couple of muffins fresh from the oven, but they tasted much better the next day. (Maybe we were just hungry after driving for 3 hours.)

1 cup Flour
¾ cup Wheat Flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
¼ tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
¾ cup Brown Sugar
2/3 cup Toasted Walnuts, chopped
3-4 Bananas (overripe), peeled
1/3 cup Oil
2 Eggs

Sift the dry ingredients together. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Prepare the muffin pans by lining them with paper muffin cases.

Combine the bananas, eggs, oil and brown sugar in a bowl. Using an electric mixer, blend all these to a rough paste. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and add the toasted walnuts. Mix well and pour into the prepared muffin cases. This recipe makes about 18 muffins.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

After eating these muffins, I doubt I'll ever buy one at Barista the next time I'm there. I find them so easy to make that I now stash away two bananas from each purchase just to make these muffins. Try them, I am certain you'll fall in love with these little baked goodies.

June 11, 2008

Kadgi-Chana Ghasshi

Chana Ghasshi is a very popular konkani dish. (I'd like to think so!!) The dish uses the small black chickpeas which are soaked overnight and cooked. I have eaten this version made at home countless times. I have also eaten Kadgye Ghasshi made from raw jackfruit somewhere. I decided to combine the two and make this. It was finger-licking good. I made it a little dry and thick to go with rotis and then diluted it a little at night to have it my favourite way. With rice, dali saar and batata talasani (potato matchsticks curry!)


250g Raw Jackfruit, cut and cooked
1/2 cup Black Chickpeas (Kala Chana/ Konda Kadalai), soaked overnight and cooked
2 tbsp Scraped Coconut
3-4 Red Chillies
1 tsp Black Gram Dal (Urad Dal)
1 1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste (Add more or less to taste)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Oil

For the tempering:

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves

Heat the oil in a small kadhai and fry the chillies, black gram dal, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds. Grind this together with the tamarind paste and coconut. Add a handful of cooked chickpeas to this and grind to a paste.

In a vessel, combine the cooked chickpeas, jackfruit, the paste and salt. Add some water to this and bring to a boil.

In a frying ladle, heat the oil, add the mustard seeds and asafoetida, and when the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves. Add this to the ghasshi and serve hot with rice and dali saar.

Since the JFI this month is about Tamarind and the AFAM this month is about Coconut. I think I'll have a rerun of the RCI Karnataka on my blog this month. All my konkani food recipes shall be out again this June. Off this goes to the two ladies for the "must participate" events.

June 4, 2008

Savoury Tarts

This potluck we were invited to required me to bring along a dish for dinner. I had long chats with S over the phone and we decided to take Lemon Rice. Then I had a chat with Siri who convinced me that finger foods would be much easier to handle. I decided I’d take savoury tarts along. I have never made these before. I didn’t exactly have a recipe on hand. But I did have a fair idea of what I wanted. And I had tart tins that I brought back from my last trip to Madras. So I set down to work. I didn’t have much time to click nice pictures, but I quickly took a few pictures before packing them in boxes.

Of all the ladies present at the potluck, I was the only working woman and all evening I had to answer/ward off questions like, “Do you plan to continue working?” and “Don’t you think it’s high time you started a family?” I find it bad enough that friends and relatives ask such questions so it is anyone’s guess how irritated I was when some total strangers asked me about my future plans. But what amused me was the fact that all 5 ladies I met there were stay-at-home mothers and none of them cooked anything for this pot luck. One brought stuff from outside and the rest got their cooks to make a dish each. I felt like a museum piece there. A working woman who actually cooks. And everyone there also inspected me like I was some figure at Madame Tussaud’s. The evening got me wondering about what these people do with their time. They don’t even read and they actually got excited about the fact that one of the children in the group had actually finished a book. I asked how old the child in question was and pat came the reply, “She’s in her final year BBA.” The less said the better here.

Anyway, the tarts came out very well and along with these Date-Walnut mini cakes , they were a great hit that evening.

For the crust:

1 cup Flour
1 cup Whole Wheat Flour / Atta
2/3 cup Margarine
5-6 tbsp Ice Cold Water
1 tsp Paprika
1 tsp Mixed Herbs
1 tsp Salt
Oil for greasing the tart tins

Grease the tart tins.

Place the flour, salt, paprika, herbs, and butter in a bowl and mix together till the mixture resembles small peas. Gradually add the water and knead gently till it forms a dough. (Do not knead as you would for chapati/poori dough.) Divide the dough in twenty portions. Roll out each portion and place it in the tart tin. Bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. (You may use baking beans to help retain the shape of the tarts. I used some dried beans and will use them only for this now.)

For the filling:

1 Onion, chopped
1/4 cup Broccoli, chopped

1/4 cup Mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup Sweet Corn
2 tbsp Carrot, chopped

1 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Flour

1/2 cup Milk

1/2 tsp Parsley

1/2 tsp Basil

2 tsp Chilli flakes

1/2 tsp Garlic Paste

Salt and Pepper to Taste

1 slice Low Fat Cheese (optional)

Steam the broccoli, corn and carrot.

Heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and fry for a minute. Add the parsley, basil and chilli flakes and fry for another minute. Add the flour and fry without browning the flour. Add the mushrooms and fry for about 30 seconds. (Do not fry the mushrooms for too long as the water in them gets released.) Add the vegetables along with the milk and bring the mixture to a boil while stirring continuously. If adding cheese, add it at this point and stir the sauce well. As the sauce thickens, add the salt and pepper.

To proceed, fill the semi baked tart shells with the filling and return to the oven. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Carefully remove from the tart tins and serve.

While I’m sending this to Mansi over at Fun and Food for Meeta's Monthly Mingle, the theme of which is Appetizers & Hors D’oeuvres. But when Siv is back, I’m sure he’ll take Sig out for drinks and they can have these tarts along with their cocktails. I do hope they enjoy this little treat. Happy anniversary!

June 2, 2008

Date-Walnut Mini Cakes

I’d been wanting to make a date and walnut cake for a very long time. I finally made mini cakes on Saturday. We were invited to a pot luck party to watch the semi finals of the IPL. I am least interested in cricket, but the food and wine got me enthusiastic. So, I made some savoury tarts and these date-walnut mini cakes. I didn’t go with any specific recipe although I’d downloaded a few. These didn’t turn out too sweet and they were served at the party with ice cream. (Someone asked me if I can conduct classes!! I am so thrilled!!) This recipe made 30 cupcakes in all.

2 cups Flour
4 tsp Baking Powder
3/4 cup Jaggery
1 tsp Salt
¼ cup Oil
¼ cup Date Syrup
2 eggs
1 cup Milk
¼ cup Dates, chopped
¼ cup Walnuts, chopped

Sift all the dry ingredients together into a food processor jar with the dough blade. Pour in all the liquid ingredients and run the processor for 2 minutes. Blend in the dates and walnuts.

Grease a muffin pan or line with paper cases. Pour spoonfuls of the batter into the muffin moulds. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F.

I'm sending these to Mansi over at
Fun and Food for Meeta's Monthly Mingle, the theme of which is Appetizers & Hors D’oeuvres. I’d also like to send these over to Meeta herself as she celebrates her birthday. I’d sent some brownies over last year. I do hope she likes these mini cakes as well.

June 1, 2008

Express Breakfasts featuring Gava Pittye Doddak (Wheat Flour Dosas)

I believe that breakfast is THE most important meal of the day. I try my level best not to miss this one meal. On those mornings when I wake up at 7, I have to make a choice: breakfast or lunch? I try to keep bread at all times so that even if hardpressed for time, I can pop a couple of slices in the toaster and munch on them while doing something else. But I have never been able to ensure that we always have a loaf of bread handy. So I resort to fruit milkshakes, juice and a granola bar, or sometimes I eat a little bit of my lunch for breakfast. When I have 15 minutes to spare, I make poha, upma, eggs, dosa, etc.

Weekends are quite another story. It all depends on my mood. (OK, OK, it depends on when I wake up.) I, at times, end up making a very elaborate breakfast, and at others, I want to make something quick so I don't spend all day in the kitchen. (Despite my love for cooking, despite the fact that I run a food blog that has over 250 recipes, I hate standing in the kitchen for too long. And I am about the laziest person you'll ever meet/come across.)

So, are you all ready to impress me? Are you all ready to help me out on a stressed out morning? Are you ready to show me that making breakfast can be quick and fun. If you are, then you should be participating in this month's Weekend Breakfast Blogging. WBB is an event that started almost 2 years ago. The brainchild of Nandita of Saffron Trail, this event to popularize breakfast has been hopping all over the blogosphere, staying a month each at the blogs of the guest hosts, and has finally arrived at The Singing Chef this month.

The rules of this event are simple.

1. Please me with a real quick breakfast number.

Isn't that fun? OK, wait, here are some real rules:

1. Your breakfast should be ready in 15 minutes or less.

2. The dish can't be something like "buttered toast" or idli/dosa made from batter in the fridge. This means that you can use things from your pantry, but the dish needs to be whipped up then and there. A spread for bread is a good idea, doing something to your idli/dosa batter before making it is great, and a rava idli is something I will definitely accept. Working with leftovers is fine, as is making smoothies. (You do get the drift, don't you?)

3. Send me an email at with your name, entry, picture of your dish and permalink to the post with the subject WBB#23. Please link back to this announcement in your post. You can use the logo in your posts.

4. Deadline for sending in entries is June 30th. The 2nd anniversary roundup will be done by the 1st weekend of July.

Here's a very quick breakfast number from my kitchen. The quintessential konkani doddak. It uses stuff that is almost always present in my pantry.

1 cup Wheat Flour
2 tbsp Cream of Wheat (Rava/Sooji)

2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1 tsp Green Chilli Paste

1/4 cup Coriander, chopped

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

For the tempering:

1 tsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

7-8 Curry Leaves

Prepare the tempering in a small kadhai and transfer the contents to a mixing bowl. Add the remaining ingredients except the oil and mix well using a little water. (The batter should not be too watery. just a little thicker than

dosa batter.)

Spread the dough onto a hot griddle and pour a few drops of oil on all sides. Make a slit in the centre using the spatula and pour a few drops into this slit. (This helps the oil reach the centre and aids in crispening that portion.)Turn over and allow the other side to crispen as well.

This can be served with any chutney or podi. I usually have this with Pitti Chitni or Pitle, but this time, I had it with the "Sesamum Chutney" that Nandita sent over in a lovely package. So get going all of you. Send me your amazing breakfast numbers and send them to me quickly!