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Brinjal Podi Curry/Kathirikkai Karamadhu

Brinjal or eggplants, watever those veggies tastes marvellous as curry and its always my favourite with hot steaming rice topped with ghee and sambar, absolutely divine na!!...i prepared this podi curry with healthy stuffs in it...With my healthy spice powder i have posted already here which turned out this podi curry fantastic and really quick to make out..Within few minutes this dry curry with brinjal was ready to relish and goes awesome with any sort of gravies, even better with rotis and parathas...Prepared with gingelly oil, this brinjal karamadhu tastes fantastic and yummy..Enjoyed having this karamadhu as side dish with simple tomato sambar topped with ghee, absolutely delicious na!!!..Voila this dry curry goes directly to CWS-Coriander Seeds guest hosted by RV, event by me since the main ingredients for this curry is definitely the coriander seeds..

  • 1/2kg Purple brinjals (chopped )
  • 3tbsp Karamadhu Podi
  • 1no Onions (chopped)
  • 5nos Garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1tsp Mustard seeds +Urad dal
  • 1/2tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1/2tsp Turmeric powder
  • Few curry leaves
  • Salt
  • 3tbsp Gingelly oil
Heat the gingelly oil, let splutters the mustard seeds and urad dal..add immediately the chopped onions ,curry leaves and minced garlic cloves and saute until the onions add the chopped brinjals saute along with salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder and cook everything in simmer for few minutes..when the brinjals get half cooked, add the karamadhu podi and cook in medium flame until the oil gets separates..

Serve with any sort of rice dish...

Stuffed Cheese, Spinach & Oats Buns

I have tried many times buns with spinach, this time i want to make them somewat cheesy with some left over cheese which i bought quiet a long back, as everyone at home love this famous french cheese called 'Baby bel' much, i prepared this buns as savoury buns with a spinach puree and rolled oats with whole wheat flour spiced with red chilly flakes, parsley leaves, flax seeds and pepper powder,salt while i used all-purpose flour for dusting...This buns tastes awesome with many healthy stuffs in it and cheesy ,u can definitely see that melting cheese in the picture,while having this buns needless to say that we truly enjoyed each and every bite of this bun, we had our dinner with this spinach buns along with a bowl of warm pumpkin soup..both together turned out our dinner filling, healthy also prefect...Am sending this cheesy spinach & oats buns to BBD#28 - Buns hosted by Rachel, Champa's Bake Off Event, Healing Food-Spinach guest hosted by Divya,event by Siri and finally to Susan's Yeastspotting ..

  • 2cups Whole wheat flour
  • 1cup Rolled oats
  • 1/4cup Spinach puree
  • 1/4cup Olive oil
  • 2tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 1tsp Sugar
  • 1tbsp Salt
  • 1tsp Red chilly flakes
  • 1tbsp Flax seeds
  • 1tsp Dry parsley leaves
  • 1/4tsp Pepper powder
  • 8nos Babybel cheese or any other cheese of ur choice
  • All purpose flour for dusting
Combine the oats, whole wheat flour, red chilly flakes, flax seeds,dry parsley leaves, pepper powder in a large bowl..meanwhile in a cup of luke warm water, add the active dry yeast, sugar and salt and let this mixture sit for 5 minutes, to get a foamy yeast...Add this foamy yeast ,olive oil and spinach puree to the flour and spice mixture and knead as dough until u get a soft and smooth dough..arrange this soft dough in a greased bowl and keep this bowl in a warm place for an hour with lid closed until the dough double their volume..

Preheat the oven to 350f..After an hour, knead the dough,dust with all purpose flour and divide them 8 medium sized balls...knead the balls one by one, flatten them with ur palms, place a babybel cheese ,bring the edges together and roll them as round buns, arrange the cheese stuffed buns over a baking sheet lined over a baking tray..bake these cheese stuffed buns for 25-30minutes until the crust turns golden brown..

Enjoy this buns warm, those melting cheese will definitely makes this buns more tasty ..

Spaghetti With Soyachunks

Sometimes i like to make out pasta dishes with meats and seafoods, at the same time i also go for vegetarian version of pasta dishes, my one of those vegetarian dishes is this soyachunks with spaghetti..This spaghetti is really very quick to prepare also filling, nutritious, a real feast for vegetarians and definitely a delicious dish to enjoy without any guilt...This pasta dish goes for simple ingredients and easy breezy lunch to enjoy with a simple salad...Wat all u need is spaghetti, onions, home made tomato puree, pepper powder, salt and cooked soyachunks and dry parsley leaves...Just cook the spaghetti and toss everything with a simple sauce prepared with soyachunks and veggies...Everyone at home enjoy always this soyachunks spaghetti whenever i prepare it..Am sending this delicious spaghetti to Sowmya 's Cooking With Pasta event..

  • 250grs Spaghetti
  • 25nos Soyachunks
  • 1no Onion (chopped)
  • 2nos Tomatoes (grounded as puree)
  • 1tsp Dry parsley leaves
  • Pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
Cook the soyachunks in water and salt and drain the excess of water, same time cook the spaghetti with enough salt and oil in a large vessel, once the spaghetti get cooked drain the excess of water, wash the spaghetti with running water and keep aside..

Heat the olive oil, saute the onions and dry parsley leaves until the onions get well cooked, add the tomato puree to the cooking veggies with enough salt and cook everything in high flame until puree gets thickens, immediately add the cooked soyachunks,pepper powder and saute for few minutes, finally add the cooked spaghetti and toss everything gently until the veggies and soyachunks get well mixed..

Serve hot with simple salad..

Methi nu Shaak

A simple stir fry with fenugreek leaves -

Methi nu Shaak
Fresh fenugreek leaves stir fry

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh methi leaves
  • 2 small potatoes, peeled & finely chopped - approx = 3/4 cup
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander-cumin seed powder
  • 1/3 cup vada nu loat or besan
  • 1 tbsp oil

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp owa
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1. Heat oil in an iron or nonstick kadai. Add all the ingredients for tempering. As they sizzle, add potatoes and fenugreek leaves. Saute them from time to time, sprinkling little water as needed.
2. Now, add all the powders, salt and sugar to taste. Stir fry till potatoes are cooked.
3. Add vada nu loat or besan. Stir well. This will make the "shaak" extremely dry. Add 1 tbsp oil to mix well.
4. Cover and let it cook for 5 minutes.
5. Switch off the gas. Squeeze some lemon juice just before serving.

Note -
1. The potatoes are chopped very finely like we may chop onions.

Batata Vada & Vada Pav

Batata Vada

Mumbai’s popular fast food snack, Batata Vada, is a deep fried indulgence. Spiced mashed potatoes are dipped in chickpea batter, deep fried to a golden shade and served with mint-coriander chutney or garlic chutney. When Batata Vada is sandwiched between green chutney smeared pav, it becomes a Vada Pav, another of Mumbai’s famous street food snack.

There are quite a few variations to prepare the potato stuffing. I like to season with spices, saute onions and ginger garlic paste before combining with mashed potatoes.

Batata Vada Recipe
Prep & Cooking: 45 mts
Serves 6-8 persons

  • 2 large potatoes, lightly mashed
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • few curry leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 green chillis, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric pwd
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp oil

For batter:

  • 1 cup besan/chickpea flour/senaga pindi
  • 2 tbsps rice flour
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli pwd
  • pinch of cooking soda
  • water as required


1 Heat oil in a vessel, add the mustard seed and allow them to splutter. Add the cumin seeds and let them brown lightly. Add green chillis, curry leaves and ginger-garlic paste and saute for a mt. Immediately add the onions and saute for 3 mts.
2 Add the salt, turmeric pwd and combine. Add the mashed potatoes and combine and cook for a mt. Add coriander leaves and lemon juice and turn off heat. Cool and make small balls and keep aside.
3 Place a heavy bottomed vessel on the stove, add enough oil for deep-frying and allow it to heat on low flame. While the oil is heating prepare the batter.
4 In a bowl, add the ingredients required for making the batter. Slowly add water and make a slightly thick, flowing batter. Dip the potato ball in the batter and coat it well and place in the hot oil. Cook on medium high flame till golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper.
5 Serve hot with chutney or tomato sauce and a cup of masala chai OR proceed to prepare Vada Pav.

Vada Pao
Vada Pav

How to assemble Vada Pav

Cut pav bread horizontally in the center. Spread a tsp of green chutney and garlic chutney (optional) on one of the halves of the pav, layer with onion slices, place a batata vada and cover with the other half of pav. Gently press using your palm and serve along with lemon wedges.

Maharastrian Batata VadaVada Pao

Cucumber & Mint Juice

Cucumber and Mint juice, a prefect thristy quencher,healthy juice for hot summer...Cucumber fleshs are primarily composed of water also vitamin c and caffeic acid which helps to soothe the skin irritation and also rich in fiber, potassium and magnesicum..Its highly recommended to take cucumbers during summer to maintain our body heat, silica present in cucumber improve the health of skin as the cucumber has high water content naturally..Needless to say the health benefits of mint leaves, i combines both together to make out this refreshing green juice with salt and sugar...This juice tastes awesome and definitely a body cooler while its too hot...Sending this colourful and catchy juice to Madhuri's Serve me some..Juices, Shakes & Smoothies..

  • 2cups Cucumber pieces
  • 5-7nos Mint leaves
  • Salt
  • Sugar
Blend together the cucumber pieces with mint leaves and water with salt and sugar as per need..Strain the juice and serve chilled or with ice cubes..

Refreshing drink na!!

Spinach Masiyal (With Coconut Milk)

I tried out usual spinach masiyal by using coconut milk and tempered the spices with coconut oil, this spinach masiyal tastes fabulous and everyone at home loved the coconut flavour in this spinach masiyal, acutally i got this idea of making out spinach masiyal coz of some leftover thick coconut milk which i prepared for making some kurmas were laying in fridge and i tried adding those leftover coconut milk while cooking the spinach leaves instead of cooking the spinach leaves just with water.....Different masiyal which tastes too delicious,truly this coconut milk spinach masiyal tastes too yummy and healthy to enjoy with any spicy side dish..Am sending this coconut based spinach masiyal to Healing Food-Spinach guest hosted by Divya,event by Siri..

  • 2cups Spinach leaves (chopped)
  • 1cup Thick coconut milk
  • 1/2cup Water
  • 6nos Garlic cloves
  • 1tsp Mustard seeds+urad dal or Vadagam
  • 3nos Dry red chillies(broken)
  • Salt
  • 1tbsp Coconut Oil
Bring boil the coconut milk and water together, add the spinach leaves and cook in medium flame until the spinach leaves get cooked...Meawhile crush the garlic cloves,keep aside..,heat the coconut oil, let splutters the mustard seeds, urad dal..add the dry red chillies and fry until they turns brown, finally add the crushed garlic and fry for few minutes, put of the stove...Mash the cooked spinach leaves with a hand blender along with the tempered spices and garlic with enough salt..

Serve along with rice and any side dish..

Tamarind Quinoa

My beloved new grain gets a makeover, South Indian way.

Tamarind Quinoa

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp MTR Vangi bhaath powder
  • 1/2 tsp jaggery

  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida
  • 1.2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp urad daal
  • 1 tsp chana daal
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, torn
  • 2 red chilies, halved
  • 2 tbsp raw, unsalted peanuts

1. Cook 1 1/2 cup raw quinoa in double amount of water to get 3 cups cooked quinoa. Set aside to cool down completely.
2. Heat oil in a saucepan. Add all the ingredients. Saute till daal change the color and peanuts appear crunchy.
3. Mix tamarind paste, water and MTR Vangi Bhaath powder. Add it to the saucepan. Add salt, jaggery. Bring to boil.
4. Add cooked (& cooled) quinoa. Mix well. Let it cook through on low flame.
5. Serve warm.

Note -
1. I do not know if addition of jaggery is authentic or not. We prefer a smidgen of sweetness in this recipe.

Loukoumades - Greek Honey Puffs

Loukomades or Loukoumathes, its a kind of deepfried dough pastry made with a dough prepared with all purpose flour, egg and generous amount of baking powder, later this fried puffs are soaked in a sugar syrup or drizzled with honey and cinnamon which sometimes served, sprinkled with sesame seeds or almond flakes...In Greece, this loukoumades are commonly spiced with clove and cinnamon in a honey syrp and then sprinkled lightly with powdered sugar, this honey puffs are usually made during the New year's eve to celebrate the name day of St Barbara also the Greek Jewish community prepare this small deep fried honeyed puffs at Hanukkah..Easy puffs to enjoy for evening snacks and the honey syrup served along with the puffs turn out this puffs more tastier than the sugar syrup..Needless to say we really enjoyed exploring this Greek cuisine,we loved it...Sending this honey puffs to AWED-Greek guest hosted by CL,event by DK...

  • 2cups All purpose flour
  • 3tsps Baking powder
  • 4tbsp Sugar
  • 4tbsps Oil
  • 3/4cup Milk
  • 1no Egg
  • Oil
  • Honey for drizzling
  • Few pinches of Cinnamon powder
  • Almond flakes
Stiff the flour with baking powder in a bowl, add the sugar,oil, milk, egg and mix everything as smooth batter with a wooden spoon..Heat the oil for deep frying ,when the oil is hot, drop the batter by a small teaspoon and fry until golden...keep a small bowl of water aside to dip ur finger before pushing the batter into the oil,its avoids the batter from sticking.. Drain the fried puffs in paper towel...

While serving drizzle the puffs with honey, springle few almond flakes and pinch of cinnamon..serve immediately..Enjoy warm...

Revani - Greek Semolina Cake With Syrup

Revani, the Greek semolina cake with syrup is quite a popular cake in Greece which is always available in Greek pastry shops, this cake is prepared almost with a combination of flour and semolina and soaked in sugar syrup prepared with lemon juice...In some areas of Greece,this cake is prepared with walnuts ,almonds or rice also instead of butter some may go for oil..This cake tastes really very light and its a delightful dessert to enjoy after a fantastic lunch, a perfect snack with a cup of coffee...I really enjoyed making this quick,easy and delicious cake and each and everyone at home relished each spoon of this syrupy semolina cake...I have prepared a simple version of revani, but u can definitely decrease the quantity of semolina by adding almond powder or vice versa...Am sending this delicious Greek semolina cake to AWED-Greek guest hosted by CL, event by DK & to Champa's Bake Off Event..

  • 2cups Semolina (fine grind)
  • 1+1/2cup All purpose flour
  • 2tsp Baking powder
  • 1tsp Baking soda
  • 1cup Sugar
  • 1cup Butter (softened)
  • 6nos Eggs (separated)
  • 1cup Whole milk
  • 1tbsp Orange peel (grated)
  • 2tbsp Water

For Syrup:
  • 2cups Sugar
  • 3cups Water
  • 2tbsp Lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350F..Mix the flour along with semolina, baking powder, baking soda...Beat together the egg yolks, sugar and grated orange peel until its turns light and creamy..add the flour mixture and milk and beat everything until they get completely blended...Whip the egg whites with a pinch of salt to stiff peak stage and with a wooden spooon stir carefully the batter until they get thoroughly well mixed..Meanwhile combine the sugar and water given for making syrup in a saucepan and stir until the sugar get dissolves, boil for few minutes and finally add the lemon juice and put off the stove..

Pour the cake butter in a greased and floured baking rectangular pan and bake the cake for 30minutes in middle rack, once the cake get baked, allow the cake to cool a bit...Pour the luke warm syrup over the cake,evenly and carefully starting at the outside edges..Allow to cool completely before cutting into small squares or diamond shaped pieces...


Beetroot & Banana Smoothie

A smoothie is a blended, chilled, sometimes sweetened beverage made from fresh fruit or vegetables and in special cases can contain chocolate. In addition to fruit, many smoothies include crushed ice, frozen fruit, honey or frozen yogurt, although some smoothies are 100% fruit. They have a milkshake-like consistency which is thicker than slush drinks. This beetroot and banana smoothie is an easy breezy smoothie which i prepared with cooked beetroot chunks, banana,honey and yoghurt..Tastes fantastic when served chilled also catchy smoothie, kids will definitely like it..These beautiful, delicious smoothie goes directly to Madhuri's Serve Me Some..Juices, Smoothies, Shakes..

  • 1no Beetroot (cooked and chopped)
  • 2nos Bananas (chopped)
  • 2cups Yogurt
  • Honey / sugar as per need
  • Ice cubes
Blend the chopped beetroots,bananas and yogurt with enough honey/sugar with ice cubes as smoothie..Serve immediately or chilled..

Methi Wara Chawar

Methi Wara Chawar is one of a handful of Sindhi dishes I know how to cook, and it has been one of my top favorites for many years now.

Part of the appeal of this dish, to me, is the fact that it is made with methi or fenugreek leaves. These pleasantly bitter greens are health superstars and taste great in subzis and curries. Paired with rice they are simply and stunningly delicious.

I would usually make Methi Wara Chawar with white rice, but this time, to make it healthier, I went with brown rice. It did take longer to cook because brown rice does need more time to tenderize than white, but the result was worth the wait.

The recipe I've used in the past did not use garam masala, but I added it this time because I thought the brown rice needed something hefty enough to stand up to it, and I wasn't sure that the other spices-- chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder-- would do the trick. The result was great, especially when I paired it with this traditional Konkani moong recipe that's mild and creamy.

Here's the recipe. Enjoy, all!

Methi Wara Chawar


  • 1 bunch fenugreek or methi leave, chopped (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice, washed under running water and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • Salt to taste
  • Heat oil in a saucepan.

Add the cumin seeds and, when they sputter, add the fenugreek leaves and toss to coat with oil.

Add the tomato puree and powdered spices and cook until the tomato begins to express oil.

Add the rice. stir until it starts to turn opaque, then add the water and salt to taste.

Bring to a rolling boil, turn the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and let the rice cook 50 minutes.

Turn off the heat and allow the rice to stand 10 minutes before opening the lid.

Fluff with a fork and serve hot.

Channa Chaat

Indian Street food - Chana Chat

A quick, oil free chaat that works as a great salad too. You can use either black chickpeas, hara chana or kabuli channa. This particular recipe does not call for yogurt, sweet or green chutney that are an integral part of most chaat recipes.

How to make Channa Chaat
Combine a cup of boiled chick peas (black or white), 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely chopped tomato, a tbsp of coriander leaves, pinch of chilli pwd or pepper pwd, salt to taste, 1/2 tsp chaat masala pwd and a dash of lemon juice. Serve.

Add some cubed boiled potatoes to the above recipe and you have Aloo Chana Chaat.

Val Methi Curry

Val Papdi Methi Curry
Anuvulu Menthi Kura.

Vaal / anuvulu / Indian bean is soaked in water overnight. The soaked beans can be pressed between thumb and index finger to peel off the skin. The vaal is then pressure cooked till soft and made into dry curry with fengureek leaves. The val papdi curry can be eaten wrapeed in roti, pulka etc or with steamed rice.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Val Papdi Curry.


  • Dry Whole Val Papdi 1 1/4 Cups
  • Fenugreek Leaves 1 Cup Packed
  • Tomato 1
  • Green Chiles 2
  • Garlic 3 Cloves
  • Red Chile Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder a big Pinch
  • Salt to taste


  • Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Broken Red Chiles 2
  • Curry Leaves 6
  • Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Soak the val papdi in enough water overnight.
Refresh the water and transfer the val papdi to a pressure cooker.
Pour fresh water until the val papdi is just soaked.
Pressure cook the val for 4 whistles and when pressure subsides, strain the beans.

Wash and finely chop the tomato.
Clean, separate leaves and thoroughly wash the fenugreek leaves.
Remove stems, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Peel and roughly chop the garlic cloves.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame , add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add garlic, fenugreek leaves, turmeric powder and salt.
Fry till fenugreek leaves wilt completely.
Stir in cooked val and fry for a minute or two to evaporate any excess moisture.
Make some space in the pan and add chopped tomato and salt.
Cook till tomato turns little soft, add red chile powder.
Mix everything thoroughly and remove from heat.
Serve val methi curry with steamed rice or roti, pulka etc..
Notes: Make sure to cook the beans well.

Suggestions: If the val papdi / anuvulu is not cooked properly, then add few splashes of water and cook covered on low flame till done or pressure cook for 1 or 2 more whistles.
Variations: Chopped onion can also be added to the tempering.
Other Names: Val Papdi Curry, Vaal Curry, Avarekalu Curry, Hyacinth Bean Curry, Avarekai Curry, Anuvulu Kura.

Doodhi Halwa

If I could wish for something absurdly impossible and food-related, I'd wish for the Vegan Midas Touch. Y'know, where all the foods I love would just magically turn animal-free, after which I could eat them until I could eat no more.

That touch could be particularly useful for veganizing some Indian sweets. Like the pedha, a classic Indian treat that looks like a plump disc and is made entirely of reduced milk and sugar.

Pedhas are unusually delicious and they are special because they are almost always accompanied by good news. Engagements, weddings, births, exams passed...there is no happy occasion that a pedha can't sweeten just a little bit more.

A while back a reader asked me for a vegan pedha recipe. The attempts I've made have ended up deliciously edible but without any resemblance to a real, actual pedha as I remember it. So I'll keep trying, and when I do hit upon a recipe...I'll share the good news with a pedha.

Until then, I've got a delicious Doodhi Halwa to keep you going. This is an Indian sweet that is not at all difficult to veganize and which, in its animal-free avatar, ends up being both healthier and more delicious.

A doodhi or lauki or bottle gourd is a pretty, pale-green squash that is a known cholesterol fighter and makes delicious subzis. Because the doodhi is very neutral-tasting it lends itself beautifully to a halwa.

The process of making a doodhi halwa is very similar to that for making a gajar or carrot halwa, which I've blogged about earlier. You grate the veggie, you reduce the milk, you add the sugar, and you have an incredibly fabulous sweet made of something that's actually good for you.

Besides, there really is no way to mess this one up. All it takes is a bit of patience.

I use almond milk instead of regular milk in my doodhi halwa. Cup for cup, almond milk contains about 1/3rd the calories in a cup of regular milk. Also, I like substituting nut milks rather than soy milk in Indian sweets because I find they add tons of flavor and no aftertaste, which can ruin a sweet. And because most Indian sweets including this one usually incorporate nuts, the flavor of almond milk lends itself naturally to these dishes.

That said, if you can't find almond milk or refuse to make your own (yes, you're allowed to be a rebel), you can go with vanilla soymilk. The halwa would still be delicious.

It's time for me to fly. Enjoy your weekend, all!

Doodhi Halwa


  1. 1 medium bottle gourd, peeled (the thin skin peels easily with a regular vegetable peeler), seeded, and then finely grated. It should yield around 4-5 cups.
  2. 1/3- 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 3 cups almond milk
  4. 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  5. A handful of cashewnuts, chopped
  6. 1 tbsp + 1 tsp canola or other flavorless vegetable oil

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide-mouthed skillet.

Add the bottle gourd and stir-fry for about 5-7 minutes.

Add the almond milk, stir well, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat so the mixture simmers and allow the halwa to reduce until all the liquid has evaporated, which may take about 60-90 minutes. Stir frequently while the mixture is reducing.

Add the sugar and stir well.

In a small saucepan, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the cashewnuts to it along with the cardamom powder. Turn off the heat as the cashews turn lightly golden-brown and pour everything into the halwa.

Mix well and turn off the heat before the halwa gets too dry. You can also add some raisins along with the cashews and let them plump in the oil before adding to the halwa. .

I think the halwa tastes best slightly chilled, but if you can't wait, dig in.

Chocolate Swirl Buns

Chocolate swirl buns, i can say that this swirl buns is our recent favourite...We just love it..those oozing chocolate and the aroma of the baking makes me drool ..Yeah i cant still forget making out this swirl buns i truly enjoyed making this swirl buns and also enjoyed having them...Instead of using chocolate chips i grated a dark chocolate bar and prepared this swirl buns...This buns tastes fabulous while they were still warm and the melted chocolate tastes marvellous while having this buns..Even this buns arent that much healthier, we enjoyed it..Its really a pleasure to enjoy sometimes these tempting baked goodies even if these bakes are loaded with butter and eggs...These swirl buns are going directly to BBD#28 - Bread Buns guest hosted by Rachel of Tangerine's Kitchen...

  • 3cups Bread flour /All purpose flour
  • 2tbsp Active dry yeast
  • 2tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2tsp Salt
  • 2no Eggs (beatened)
  • 1/2cup Butter (softened)
  • 1no Dark chocolate bar (grated)
  • 1cup Luke warm milk
  • Water as per need

Add the active dry yeast, sugar and salt to the luke warm milk and let this mixture sit for 5 minutes,until the yeast turns foamy..Meanwhile add the softened butter, beatened eggs,flour and the foamy yeast mixture ,water (if needed) and knead as a soft and smooth dough, arrange this soft dough in a greased bowl and keep this bowl in a warm place for an hour with lid closed until the dough double their volume..

After an hour, knead the dough again and flatten the dough with a rolling pin as a large rectangular disc, springle the grated chocolate chunks over the dough and roll the dough to get a loaf...With a sharp knife, cut the love as medium sized pieces..line a baking sheet over a round baking pan and arrange this swirled buns and let the buns sit again in a warm place for half an hour..Preheat the oven to 350F, arrange the baking pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake the chocolate swirl buns for 25-30minutes until the crust turns golden brown..

Enjoy warm!!!

Orange Lassi

Quick,easy, healthy and tasty orange lassi, prepared simply with beaten yogurt, orange segments, maple syrup and milk..Orange lassi tastes fantastic while its hot,also for cold winter since oranges are rich in vitamin C coz this powerful vitamin protect our body against many harmful elements...Its helps for lowder cholestrol, high blood pressure etc..Large consumption of oranges will decrease the outpouring of mucus secretions from the nose, calcium presents in orange helps to protect and maintain the health of our bone and teeth..So needless to say how healthy and refreshing this lassi is...This orange lassi goes directly to Madhuri's Serve Me Some...Juices, Shakes & Smoothies...

1cup Oranges (cut as segments)
2cups Thick Yogurt
Maple syrup as per need
Ice cubes

Blend the orange segments, thick yogurt, maple syrup with enough water as smooth drink...serve immediately with ice cubes..

Enjoy the refreshing lassi!!!

A roti for every season

A roti for every season

Though a large variety of unleavened breads are a part of North-Indian cuisine and in the states of Rajasthan and Gujrat, Hyderabadi cuisine too does boast of an interesting variety — Malai ki roti (soft bread of maida and fresh cream), badaami naan (almond stuffed bread cakes), sheermal (made of maida, cream and milk, baked in tandoor), naan ki roti (spongy, oval-shaped tandoor-baked bread), kulcha (shorter, round version of sheermal). roghni roti (thick wheat rotis with a generous mix of ghee and milk), baqarkhani (heavy, flaky bread with cut almonds), khameeri roti (yoghurt fermented with flour), jowari ki roti (girdled rotis made of jowar) and of course the regular parathas and phulkaas.

Besan ki roti with lehsan ki chutney is a North-west frontier breakfast, popular for its energetic fervour as much for its convenience as for its natural goodness. The combination used to be popular during the sub-continent’s freedom struggle and its liking spreading up to parts of Sindh, Baluchistan, Afghanistan and the fabled silk route. Hyderabadis have come to choose this simple, yet refreshing breakfast as their all-year-round favourite since all Hyderabadi breakfasts are primarily seasonally oriented like nahari-kulcha and maragh-sheermal for winters, jowar ki roti with besan during monsoons or baghaara dahi (fried yoghurt) and phulkaas in summers.

Besan ki roti is good for health and can even be served with plain yoghurt. For today’s calorie-conscious foodies, this flat bread along with the chutney makes for a perfect meal to start your day with. The wholesome lentil and wheat flour mixed with garlic in greens makes it a favourite of the entire family, as much as it becomes a thing of delight for the one who makes it.

Besan ki Roti

  • 250 gms ata (whole wheat flour)
  • 250 gms besan (gram flour)
  • 50 gm ghee
  • ½ tsp salt


Mix both the flour together with ghee and salt adding required water to make pliable dough. Leave the dough for about 20 minutes. Make about 10 pedas and roll them out into medium-sized rotis. Pre-heat the tawa and cook the rotis applying ghee both sides on slow fire. Serve roties hot along with lehsan ki chutney.

Lehsan ki Chutney:


  • 25 gm garlic buds
  • 25 gm white jeera
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • 3 green chillies
  • ½ cup kothmir leaves
  • ½ cup pudina leaves
  • 1 lime
  • 3 tomatoes (ripe).


Peel and wash garlic pods. Grind white jeera into fine powder. Add garlic, salt, green chillies, kothmir, pudina, tomatoes peeled lime (after slicing and removing seeds from tomatoes and lime) to the jeera powder and grind together to a paste. The tangy chutney is ready to be served with hot, crisp besan ki rotis.

— The writer is the founder of the Qadir Ali Baig Theatre Foundation.

Chill out with ‘Koffee and Kebabs’

Chill out with ‘Koffee and Kebabs’

Secunderabad is fast becoming a culinary hotspot with cosy little eateries mushrooming up in every other street. The latest to join the long list of hangout places is Koffee N Kebabs, at Trimulgherry. The ambience is that of a coffee shop meets restaurant, complete with a television lounge and hookah facilities. The place is quite spacious and the dining area has about six tables.

Like every other food joint, Koffee N Kebabs serves the top three cuisines all Hyderabadis swear by — Indian, Chinese and Continental. As it’s name suggests, kebabs are the specialty and the joint offers quite a variety. The murgh malai kebab is a must-try. Vegetarians will enjoy the veg harabhara kebab.

The pastas are good if you are just looking for a filling meal and are not too particular about having an authentic Italian experience. The same funda applies for all other dishes. But there’s no room for complaint as the food is reasonably priced. No dish is over Rs 170 and it’s a great place to pamper your tatsebuds if you are a student who doesn’t have too much moolah to spare. The service is great.

Beat the heat with cool food

Beat the heat with cool food

The moment you think of Andhra food, the phrase ‘hot and spicy’ pops into the mind. Ninety per cent of the dishes are indeed blistering hot. But for all who think it is time to give your system a break from the spices, rehashing your memories about all the non-spicy Andhra food is a good idea. Yes, you heard right. There are hordes of non-spicy Andhra dishes which soothe your system and help you deal with the Hyderabadi heat.

Shilpa Reddy, ex-Mrs World and restauranter, agrees, “It is true. There are plenty of relatively non-spicy dishes in Andhra cuisine. And it is not just the same old curd rice that I am talking about. From drinks, pickles to accompaniments that go along with your rice, there is a list of soothing food that can come in handy while beating the heat.”

Elaborating on the list, Shilpa adds, “No Andhra meal is complete without some yummy pickles. Even in this there are specially designated summer pickles, like pudina chutney, as mint is a coolant. Similarly, the lime pickle, not the one with a lot of masalas and chillies, but the one which is simply marinated, is known to be soothing.”

Talking about dishes to eat with rice, she adds, “We have two dishes, pachi pulusu and majjiga charu, which is a must in every household during the summer. The first becomes a replacement for sambar during the summer. Made with tamarind water, jaggery, along with some sesame powder, the pachi pulusu is not a cooked item. Very similar to pani puri water, it is simply stirred together till completely mixed and then a separate tadka, of freshly chopped onions is added to it. The crunchiness of the onions goes well with a fluid texture of the pulusu.”

The second dish is very similar to the northern dish kadi, though much more watery than it. Just take half-a-litre of curd and blend it in a mixer and keep aside. In a separate vessel, boil veggies like beans, onion, carrots, tomatoes, raddish in very little water, which should not be thrown away. In a pan, then pour oil and fry the tadka made out of jeera, mustard seeds, curry leaves and a few fried chillies. Put a little haldi to the tadka to give the gravy a little colour. Now add curd to the tadka and pour in a cup of water along with one teaspoon of channa ata to increase the thickness of the gravy. Add salt as per taste, all the boiled veggies and mix well.

So when thinking of what to eat this summer, don’t eat those dishes which will heat up your system and take a pick from any of these cool culinary options and remain chilled out.

Tomatillo - Tomato Pappu

Being a South Indian and a person who loves simple cooking, I tend to lean towards basic dals. I welcome simple yet fulfilling dals with oodles of enthusiasm. Today's recipe is one such dal prepared with tomatillos and tomatoes - the green, tart and red, savory balls respectively.
Tomatillos are an unknown entity in an Indian kitchen since they are mostly cultivated in the Western hemisphere. However it is not hard to adapt tomatillos in Indian cuisine. They come with a paper thin husk, which needs to be removed before cooking. They are not to be confused with the unripe, green tomatoes available in India. Today's recipe is based on my MIL's green tomato pappu.

For 2 Servings, the following ingredients are required:
  • 1/2 cup toordal
  • 4 tomatillos
  • 1 big sized tomato - chopped into cubes
  • 2 green chilies - chopped fine (I used Serrano peppers. Adjust the chilies quantity if using other varieties.)
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp salt or as needed
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • For tadka: 2 tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 8 - 10 curry leaves, a pinch of asafoetida powder

Making Dal:

* Remove the husks, wash and then chop the tomatillos.
* Wash the toordal and throw away the cloudy water. Then add about a cup of water and turmeric powder to the toordal. Cook the toordal in a pressure cooker till it turns soft. Alternatively, you can cook on stovetop in a pan and adjust the water quantity accordingly.
* In a sauté pan or kadai, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add the curry leaves and asafoetida. Next add the green chilies and saute for about 30 seconds and then add the chopped vegetables. Sauté them till they turn mushy.
* Remove the dal from the cooker and mash it with the back of a ladle. Add this mashed dal and salt to the tomatillo mixture and mix well.
* Let it simmer for a couple of minutes more and then turn off the stove.
* Serve it with steamed rice / rotis. Ours was served with kohlrabi parathas.

1. The tart tomatillos acts as the souring agent in this dal recipe. If you find your tomatillos not that sour, then tamarind can be added.
2. You can add the chopped vegetables and chilies directly to the toordal while cooking it.

Roasted Peanuts Chaat

Roasted Peanuts Chaat
Veru Senagala Masala.

Peanuts are roasted in shallow pan until light brown in color. They are then cooled to room temperature and mixed with chopped onion, lemon juice and chaat masala along with others. Roasted peanuts chaat can be served in small portions as a tea time snack.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Roasted Peanuts Chaat.


  • Raw Peanuts 1 1/2 Cups
  • Onion 1
  • Tender Green Chile 1 (optional)
  • Chaat Masala 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
  • Cilantro few sprigs
  • Raw Mango (grated) 1 tbsp (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Remove stems, wash, remove seeds and finely chop the green chile.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Clean, wash and finely chop cilantro.
Heat a pan on medium heat, add raw peanuts and roast them until they change color (around 10 minutes).
Cool the roasted peanuts to room temperature.

In a mixing bowl, add chopped onion, green chile (if using), mango (if using), chaat masala, red chile powder, cilantro and salt.
Mix it thoroughly to combine all the flavors.
Finally stir in roasted peanuts and remove onto serving bowls.
Serve roasted peanuts chaat immediately.
Notes: Make sure to roast the peanuts well.

Suggestions: If the chaat is too spicy, stir in more lemon juice.
Variations: You can also add finely chopped tomato to the chaat. A tablespoon of sev also can be added.
Other Names: Roasted Peanuts Chaat, Veru Senagala Masala.

Red Pumpkin Curry

Red Pumpkin Curry
Yerra Gummadikaya Teepi Kura.

Red pumpkin is peeled and chopped into small chunks. Oil is tempered with regular spices and chopped pumpkin is cooked in it along with onion till soft. Tamarind gives the pumpkin sourness while jaggery the sweetness.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Red Pumpkin Curry.


  • Red Pumpkin 1/4 th of Small One
  • Onion 1
  • Green Chile 1
  • Garlic 1 Clove
  • Jaggery 1 (2 inch block)
  • Tamarind 2 inch sized ball
  • Coriander Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chile Powder 1/4 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder a pinch
  • Salt to taste


  • Fenugreek Seeds 4
  • Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Broken Red Chiles 2
  • Curry Leaves 6
  • Ghee or Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash, remove skin with help of a knife and discard the seeds of the pumpkin.
Chop pumpkin into small chunks (around 2 cups).
Soak tamarind in quarter cup or more of warm water for sometime and extract all the thick juice.
Peel and finely chop the onion.
Remove stem, wash and finely chop the green chile.
Peel and mash the garlic clove.

Heat oil in a pan on medium flame , add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add garlic, chopped onion and green chiles.
When onion turns translucent, add red pumkin chunks, tamarind extract and jaggery.
Cook covered on low flame for 5 – 10 minutes. Add a splash of water if required.
Let the jaggery dissolve completely during which pumpkin pieces cook while holding its shape.
Then stir in coriander powder, red chile powder and salt.
Stir well, taste and adjust any seasonings if required.
Serve red pumpkin curry with plain steamed rice and dollop of ghee.
Notes: Make sure pumpkin is soft and cooked.

Suggestions: If the pumpkin curry is too sour, add more jaggery. If the pumpkin curry is too sweet, add more tamarind extract to cut down the sweetness.
Variations: Check the stew made with red pumpkin and also a curry with red pumpkin.
Other Names: Red Pumpkin Curry, Erra Gummadi Teepi Kura.

Pantry Essentials - Charu Podi / Rasam Powder

I always get good compliments from family / friends for my charu / rasam recipe. Some of those who have tasted it have become loyal fans and even shifted to this charu / rasam powder recipe. :) Though I feel greatly appreciated for the response I get, I know whom I should be thankful for.
A good charu needs a good charu podi and that's the secret behind my successful charu. And the credit for this charu podi goes to my mother maternal grand mother. Today I thought of sharing this decades old recipe of hers, here. This was supposed to be my first post when I started blogging but some how it got erased. Better late than never and so here it is after three years.

Ingredients to prepare 1 cup of charupodi:
  • Toor dal - 1/4 cup
  • Coriander seeds - 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 cup
  • Peppercorns - 3/4 th of 1/4 cup
  • Red chilies - 6 (I used byadagi)
Dry roast the toordal in a sauté pan on medium flame till it turns reddish. Then toast the coriander seeds and cumin seeds separately till they turn a few shades darker. Then toast the peppercorns and red chilies. Except the toordal, the remaining ingredients take about a few seconds each to toast. Take care not to burn them. Cool them.
Alternatively, you can place the ingredients in the sun for a day or two if you have a good sunshine (like in India or 80 - 90 deg F).
Grind the ingredients together to a fine powder in a mixer/spice grinder. Store it in an airtight container and use it when making charu.

Home Remedy - Orange Peel Face Pack

Home made beauty tips are extremely fantastic without spending more money also coz of the natural ingredients we need to prepare them..I always goes of moongdal powder or cucumber face mask whenever i feel like preparing a face mask..My lastest face pack is this orange peel powder prepared by drying the orange peels and making them as powder, a prefect face pack which help to remove the tan,excellent for prevention and treatment of acne, brighten your skin also balance the skin tone by giving a radiant look without any cost...Instead of throughing the orange peels just dry them in the sun or besides the heater(if its winter)...A fantastic home remedy for young gals who were suffering from acne and oily skin..Am sending this Orange peel face pack to Home Remedies Series 2 guest hosted by Ruchikacooks, event by A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine...

  • 1cup Orange peel (dried in sun)
  • Milk as per need
Grind the dried orange peel in a mixie as fine powder, conserve this orange peel powder in an air tightened box, use as per need..Put this face pack twice a week..

Make a face pack with a tablespoon of this orange peel powder and milk, make a paste and apply over the face and neck...Once they get dry, wash the face pack with water..U will see definitely ur face turns absolutely smooth ,free from oily skin after frequent use of this face pack...

Garlic Baby Potatoes-T&T from The Singing Chef

After trying out few recipes from Arundathi's space, i choosed this garlic baby potatoes as this stir fry sounds extremely easy and flavourful...This baby potatoes stir fry doesnt goes for chopping neither grinding spices, just with few ingredients this fantastic, spicy and aromatic garlic baby potatoes are ready within few minutes...I do the same with potato chunks by roasting with chopped onions and spices but this simple garlic baby potatoes tastes extremely awesome and fantastic with curd rice, a prefect feast for potato lovers like me..Do try this simple but yet a fantastic baby potatoes friends, u wont even regret and am damn sure that peoples whoever like the potatoes will really fond for this garlic baby potatoes...Needless to say that am sending this beautiful baby potatoes to T&T-The Singing Chef guest hosted by Divya of Dil Se, event by Zlamushka..

  • 1/4kg Baby potatoes (cooked and peeled)
  • 1tsp Cumin seeds
  • 5nos Garlic cloves (crushed finely)
  • 1+1/2tsp Chilly powder
  • 1/4tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
Heat the oil and fry the cumin seeds, once the cumin seeds crackle add the finely crushed garlic, chilly powder and turmeric powder, fry the garlic and spice powder in simmer for few minutes, finally add the cooked baby potatoes and salt,cover and cook the potatoes for few minutes until the oil gets separates..

Serve as side dish...

Microwave Mixed Veggie Halwa

Beautiful, catchy and delicious halwa prepared with finely shredded carrots, beetroots and potato in microwave oven which i choosed from Priya's Mixed Veggie Halwa , this halwa tempted me a lot and i have completely fallen in love...Priya used sweet potato, but i used potato instead of sweet potatoes but adding a small potato didnt changed that much the taste of this delicious halwa also the cooking time changes according to the microwave oven, this halwa was ready less than half an hour...Easy breezy halwa to enjoy without any guilt and my DH almost finished the whole bowl of halwa..We just loved it..Thanks Priya for sharing this fantastic mixed veggie halwa and we relished each and every spoon..This microwave halwa goes directly to MEC-Celebrating Bloggers guest hosted by Jayashree, event by Srivalli...

  • 2cups Mixed veggies (carrot, beetroot, potato finely shredded)
  • 1cup Milk
  • 1cup Sugar
  • 1/4cup Ghee
  • 1cup Milk
  • 1/2tsp Cardamom powder
  • Almond flakes
Mix the veggies in a microwave safe bowl with ghee and cook in high for 10minutes (stir twice in between), add the milk and sugar and cook again for 10minutes..finally add the cardamom powder and cook everything again for 8minutes in high..Garnish with almond flakes and enjoy..

Galaktoboureko/Greek Custard Filled Phyllo Pastry

Galaktoboureka, delicious Greek dessert prepared by making a custard with fine semolina, eggs and sugar flavoured either with lemon or orange in phyllo...Its may be made in pan or with phyllo layered on top or else rolled into individual for long servings...This phyllo pastry looks similar like French dessert called Mille-feuille,phyllo sheets baked with custard and finally this pastry is soaked with lemon flavoured or orange flavored clear syrup with sugar..The name galaktoboureko comes from the word milk in greek and bourek is the Turkish origin word burek for pies which means the milk pie or custard pie...Its a real treat to enjoy while snack time with coffee or tea time or else as dessert after lunch...I enjoyed making and everyone at home relished each and every spoon of this custard filled phyllo pastry, obviously this pastry goes directly to AWED-Greek guest hosted by CL, event by DK, also this delicious pastry goes to Champa's Bake Off Event...

  • 6nos Eggs
  • 1cup Sugar
  • 1cup Semolina (finely grind)
  • 1/2tsp Lemon peel (grated)
  • 1tsp Lemon juice
  • 6cups Milk
  • 1/4cup Melted butter
  • 10sheet Phyllo sheets

For Syrup:
  • 1cup Sugar
  • 1cup Water
  • 2tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1tbsp Lemon peel(grated)

Make the syrup:
Bring the sugar, water to boil in medium heat, add the lemon peel and cook everything simmer for 10 minutes, remove from the heat and add the lemon juice,set aside and let them cool..

For Filling:
Beat the eggs with sugar until it turns creamy and smooth, add the semolina, lemon juice and grated lemon peel and beat for few minutes...Continue beating and add the milk and 2tbsp melted butter...beat for another few minutes until the mixture turns light and fluffy..

Preheat the oven to 350F and pour the filling into a pot and heat in medium the pot in medium flame..stir until the filling mixture turns thick..remove from the heat and keep aside..

Brush a rectangular baking pan with melted butter, take the 5sheets from the phyllo dough...Lay one sheet of phyllo on the bottom of the pan, brush the phyllo on the bottom of the pan with butter. Lay another sheet over the first, brush with butter, and continue until half the phyllo sheets have been used.Give the custard a quick whisk and spoon over the bottom layer of phyllo sheets, spreading evenly so it covers the bottom out to the sides with no gaps and no air bubbles.

Using the remaining phyllo sheets, place them one at a time on top of the filling, extending out the side opposite the bottom sheets. Brush each with butter, then one at a time, fold in the extending pieces butter the tops. When all the phyllo has been folded in and corners folded in, brush the top with butter.

Cut the galaktoboureko into serving-sized pieces using a very sharp knife to cut all the way through to the bottom. The phyllo and custard filling are delicate so cut with care.Bake for 30minutes in the middle rack of the oven.Remove from the oven and pour the cooled syrup evenly over the hot pastry. Set aside and allow to cool and absorb the syrup..


Eggless, Whole Wheat Pancakes - Sweet & Savory Versions

After wintry weekend, it looks like spring is almost here. We had a snowfall this weekend and now we are in 50's. It feels good to see some sunshine and no snow. (Not exactly, I still see some in my yard.)
Kids are now home enjoying their weeklong spring break. Though they bring their lunch and snack boxes unfinished during school days, they seem to be always hungry when at home. There are going to be multiple snack times, I guess. :) Yesterday, I offered to make pancakes during their snack time. I was thinking about the apple based ones and still asked for their inputs. Shravs wanted her favorite chocolate chips in them while Shreyas recommended cinnamon and so here we are with chocolate chip pancakes. I consider them a hit since they asked for some more today after enjoying them yesterday.

Eggless, Whole Wheat, Chocolate Chip Pancakes:

Ingredients to make around 8 pancakes:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk (milk at room temperature / luke warm. I used milk since I was serving kids.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Cinnamon powder for flavor
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • Oil / ghee / melted butter to drizzle
Mix the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon powder. Gradually add the milk and whisk so that you end up with a lump free batter. Then gently combine the chocolate chips.
Heat a griddle or a shallow pan. Pour 1/4 cup batter and spread gently into a 4 - 5 inches circle. Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges. Let it cook for about a minute. When it appears cooked, (In the pic,notice the edges are done while the center portion appears uncooked.) flip the pancake and cook for about 30 seconds or a little more when the other side too browns a little bit.
Repeat the same with the remaining batter.

Eggless, Whole Wheat, Savory Veggie Pancakes:
While the above version of pancakes look like kids' favorite, here is a version for the grown ups, particularly Indians who favor savory ones over sweeter ones.

Ingredients for 8 pancakes:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (atta)
  • 1 cup milk (at room temperature / luke warm) or water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup grated carrot
  • 1/4 cup chopped spinach
  • A handful of frozen green peas
  • 1 green chilie, finely chopped
  • Oil / ghee / melted butter to drizzle
Mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Gradually add the milk and whisk so that you end up with a lump free batter. Then add the veggies & chili and mix well.
Make pancakes as above.

Mango Ginger Chutney

Mango Ginger Chutney
Mamidi Allam Pachadi

Mango ginger can be made into chutney just like regular ginger. Ginger is fried in tempered oil along with green chiles. Then it is ground into smooth paste with tamarind pulp. Mango ginger chutney stays for couple of days when refrigerated. Serve mango ginger / mavidi allam chutney with idly, dosa, vada etc…
Makes: around quarter cup of Mango Ginger Chutney.


  • Mango Ginger / Mavidi Allam 4 inch Piece
  • Green Chiles 1
  • Tamarind 2 inch sized ball
  • Turmeric Powder a big Pinch
  • Salt to taste


  • Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
  • Broken Red Chiles 2
  • Curry Leaves 6
  • Ghee or Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel, wash and mince the mango ginger.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chile.
Soak tamarind in few tablespoons of warm water and extract all the juice.

Heat oil in a sauce pot, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, remove half of the tempering onto a bowl.
Add ginger and green chiles into the remaining tempering.
Fry till ginger changes color, remove from heat.

Grind the fried ginger and tempering into smooth paste along with tamarind, turmeric and salt.
Remove the ground mango ginger chutney onto a bowl.
Add the reserved tempering to the chutney bowl and mix.
Serve mango ginger chutney with steamed rice or with idly, dosa, vada etc…
Notes: Make sure to fry the ginger well.

Suggestions: If the chutney tastes too hot, add more tamarind and grind into smooth paste or add a small piece of jaggery to cut down the heat.
Variations: You can also add little bit of jaggery while grinding the mango ginger to make the mavidi allam chutney sweet.
Other Names: Mango Ginger Chutney, Mamidi Allam Pachadi, Mavidi Allam Pachadi.

Orange-Walnut Biscotti. And M. F. Husain

I love dunkin'-- cookies, chaklis, even toast. Any sweet or savory crispy snack just tastes better to me when I can take it for a quick swim in a cup of coffee, tea, or soymilk.

So you can imagine how I must love biscotti, those elegant, finger-like, crunchy Italian cookies that were just made for dunking.

I make my biscotti at least a little guilt-free by making them partially with whole-wheat pastry flour. This time I also added to them some nuts, full of heart-healthy fiber and protein, and some orange juice and zest which just about kicks everything up, ahem, a notch.

I'll let you be the judge, but I am going to leave you with one final piece of evidence on just how good these were: they met the doggie test, and Opie, Lucy and Freddie just couldn't get enough.

Enjoy, all, and don't stop reading after the recipe because I have some food for thought that I wish everyone will chew on.


Orange-Walnut Biscotti
  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Whisk these together thoroughly.
  • In another bowl, beat together until well-combined:
  • 1/2 cup canola or other flavorless vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • Zest of one orange, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture gradually, beating in until well combined. Add:

3/4 cup of finely chopped walnuts. Mix in.

Dump all the dough on a flat surface, and divide in half. Using well-oiled hands, roll each ball back and forth with your palms to form a log, about 11 inches long. Repeat for the remaining dough.

Place both logs as far apart as possible on an oiled baking sheet. Press down slightly on the logs to flatten them a little.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven until the logs are beginning to set, around 25 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet to a rack and when the logs are cool enough to handle, place one on a cutting board. Using a serrated knife and a sawing motion, cut into 1/2-inch slices.

Return the biscotti to a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip over and bake the other side for another 10 minutes.

Remove to a rack, cool, and dunk!

These biscotti go out to BangaloreBaker Champa for her BakeOff event. Thanks, Champa!

The M. F. Husain controversy

For the last few weeks, I've been having long arguments with friends and family about an issue that seems to have really rocked Indian citizens and the vast Indian diaspora, going by the number of forwarded chain mails in my inbox. The paintings of the Indian artist M.F. Husain.

Husain is India's most successful painter, although he is not as well-known in the West. He is now 95 and he recently became a citizen of Qatar after being hounded out of Bombay, where he lived all his life, by Hindu right-wingers.

I was raised in a Hindu family that was quite devout. While my parents' ardent religiousness did not rub off on me, it didn't leave me untouched either. Although I don't usually go to temples or perform poojas, I have always tended to live my life by the Hindu philosophy of self-scrutiny, tolerance, compassion and non-violence. Values that many Indians, religious or not, have long believed in.

Now here's the M.F.Husain brouhaha: Husain, always a controversial painter and arguably a good one-- and not least importantly for this topic a Muslim by religion-- has for a long time painted nude images of Hindu goddesses. I remember he was doing it when I lived in India back in the 1990s, and when I interviewed him at his South Bombay residence for a newspaper article.

Husain was as famous for being an eccentric as he was for his paintings. Gaunt and tall, with a white beard and a shock of white hair, he always wore flowing, bright-white clothes that became his signature. And given his love for drama and his flamboyant personality, it was hard to tell whether the things he did had to do with artistic creation or just grabbing attention. He often embarked on stunts: like painting to the live music of Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, a popular Indian classical artiste. Another time he suddenly upped and painted his car all over with horses -- a favorite subject of his to paint. And he would sometimes make little pencil sketches and hand them out to people he had just met.

With his nude goddesses, Husain got a little more attention than he bargained for.

Back in the '90s, I remember, a handful of radical Hindus frowned upon those paintings and made a bit of a noise and eventually all that would die down. Over the past few years, however, as extreme religious points of view have gained political strength in India, the attacks on Husain have intensified to such a degree that a few years back he was forced to leave Bombay following repeated threats to his life, and take refuge first in Dubai and eventually in Qatar.

It's not surprising that some people are offended that Husain is painting Hindu goddesses in the nude because, honestly, is there anything anyone can do these days without offending someone else? I am sure this post is going to offend some of you.

But here's the bigger problem and it is something each Indian, citizen or diasporal, should worry about more than what Husain did or did not paint: the undermining of the cornerstone of India's secular democracy-- the freedom of expression it guarantees all its citizens-- by the radicals who have succeeded in throwing Husain out. These are radicals spawned by the same forces who, all the way back in 1948, silenced India's sanest voice when they assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.

I don't think there is another right as valuable in this world as the ability to freely exchange ideas. It enriches our cultures and our minds. And in an India that is changing rapidly, it is perhaps one of the most important rights we need to claim and guard before the extremists -- still a small group -- erode it, which they surely will if we let them.

Husain was never found guilty of violating any laws with his paintings-- in 2008, India's Supreme Court dismissed charges of obscenity brought against him by pointing out, accurately, that Hindu iconography, and its temples, are chock-a-block with images of nude deities. But despite this, Husain was forced to pay the ultimate penalty-- give up his home-- by people who have a terrorist-like ability to invoke fear in their targets. Indian newspapers who called for his return were inundated with hate mail and threats themselves

I wanted to write about this because just last week I finished a long-drawn email argument with a close friend who is an admirer of Gandhi's but who also believes Husain got his just desserts-- a view, I believe, Gandhi would never agree with. What disturbed me more was that, like me, this friend is a writer who ought to defend, more than most others, the right to express freely.

Then, just today, I got another chain email forwarded by a usually sane family member juxtaposing Husain's paintings of nude Hindu women and Bharat Mata (a female personification of India), with his paintings of much better dressed Muslim and Christian women, including Mother Theresa. The mail, addressed to several dozen people besides me, exhorted readers to forward it to others so "Hindus can protect their self-respect."

(Truly, what a blessing the Internet has been to these bigoted viewpoints: within seconds they can get their messages of hate into hundreds of thousands of inboxes.)

Well, here's one Hindu who refuses to buy into this propaganda. Instead, I vote for freedom of thought, ideas, speech and expression, and for a world where artists and writers and intellectuals belonging to any religion can create without worrying that they will wake up next morning to find protesters throwing stones through their windows and threatening to hurt them.

The hate stops here.

Babycorn Pulao

to our house, finally am buying everytime whenever i go to chinese stores and those fresh babycorns are ready anytime to get cooked..This time i want to make rice with those fresh and cute babycorns....While going through my blogger friend's i got hooked with Rak's Babcycorn Pulav and her beautiful pictures tempted me a lot to try out this delicious mild green pulao with babycorns which she tried out from Mrs Mallika Badrinath's cookbook, no doubt this pulao tastes awesome as Mallika Badrinath is one of my favourite among our Indian chefs..I rarely use pressure cooker to make out pulao, but this time i used my pressure cooker coz the original recipe went for pressure cooker which turned out this pulao fabulous within few minutes, needless to say that i was really happy to see my babycorn pulao turned prefect in pressure cooker and this babycorn pulao is my entry to Nupur's Blog Bites-Cookers...

  • 2cups Basmati Rice
  • 15nos Babycorns (as medium size pieces)
  • 2nos Onions (chopped lengthwise)
  • 4cups Coconut milk
  • 2nos Whole spices (bayleaves, cloves, cinnamon stick & cardamom)
  • 1/4tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
To Grind:
  • 1cup Mint leaves
  • 5nos Garlic
  • 1inch Ginger
  • 3tbsp Grated coconut
  • 3nos Red chillies
  • 3nos Green chillies
  • 1/2tsp Garam masala powder
Soak rice for 15 minutes and i didnt fried the rice as per the original recipe..drain the water and keep the rice in a colander, meanwhile grind all the ingredients given in the list 'To Grind' as fine paste...Heat enough oil in the pressure cooker and fry the whole spices, add the onions saute until they turns transculent, now add the ground masala and fry until the raw smell goes away..

Add the babycorns,saute everything for few minutes(i didnt pressure cooked the babycorns as per the original recipes coz i like the crunchy babycorn bites while eating)..finally add the coconut milk and bring to boil..add the rice and salt and cook everything in pressure cooker with lid closed, cook in simmer for few minutes until the rice get well cooked....

Serve hot with any raitas...

Microwave Brinjal Chips

While i planning to prepare something for this month's Microwave Easy Cooking, the famous microwave cooking event... i wanted to make out something quick,easy,crispy for our evening snacks, after going on through few of my blogger friends, my choice went for Srivalli's brinjal chips which she prepared within few minutes in microwave, actually she have send this microwave brinjal chips for the MEC-Savoury Snacks which i hosted few months back..I enjoyed preparing this easy breezy crispy brinjal chips and we enjoyed having with tomato ketchup also this chips can be served as an appetizier...My little ones relished and finished the whole bowl with ketchup and we just love it...These spicy brinjal chips goes directly to Jayashree's inbox as she is hosting this month's MEC-Celebrating Bloggers,event started by Srivalli..

  • 3nos Brinjals (chopped finely)
  • 1/2tsp Red chilly powder
  • 1/4tsp Pepper powder
  • Salt
  • Oil
Toss the finely chopped brinjals with oil, red chilly powder, pepper powder and salt...arrange those spiced brinjal slices as single layer in a plate and cook for 7minutes in high in microwave oven..

Enjoy these crispies with ketchup...

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