June 29, 2007

Aloo Paratha

Another of Amma's treasures. The ready boiled potatoes that come in handy when hunger strikes. But Amma's only worry has always been that in our family, hunger rarely ever strikes! But she is a true Girl Guide as she is always prepared for the opportunity that may never arise :-)

This is a simple, time-tested recipe that is filling and tasty all at once.

Also, W is for Whole Wheat parathas stuffed with a spicy potato stuffing. This goes to dear Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables.


For the dough:

1 cup Whole wheat flour

1 tsp Oil

1/4 tsp Sugar

Salt to taste

For the stuffing:

2 Potatoes, boiled and mashed

1 tsp Ginger paste

1 tsp Green Chilli paste

1/4 cup Coriander Leaves, chopped

Salt to Taste

Oil for frying

Flour for rolling

Take a little water in a bowl. Add the salt, sugar and oil. Mix well until the sugar crystals dissolve. Add the flour and mix well. Knead the dough, adding a little water at a time as needed. Keep aside.

Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing.

Roll out small portions of the dough. Place a little bit of the stuffing in the centre and bring the edges together and seal. Roll these using a little flour taking care to ensure that the filling doesn't spill out. (Actually, the portions where it does spill out are tastier than the rest as the potato stuffing gets toasted directly on the tava. So, don't pay much attention to this one!)

Toast on a tawa on medium flame using a little oil for each paratha. Enjoy with tomato sauce or curd and pickle. I enjoy these parathas with the Gujarati Gorkeri pickle.

This is one of my entries to the RCI: Punjabi Cuisine which is being guest hosted by Richa of As Dear As Salt.

June 28, 2007

Mixed Vegetable Upma

My guess would be that Upma is the first thing that people learn to cook. At least in south indian homes. But then again, this is one of those dishes that takes years to master. Some people never learn at all and some can make yummy finger licking good upma each time.

I know people who wouldn't touch upma with a ten foot fork. And I know people who love upma. I fit very snugly into the "love" category. I make upma with everything I can find. Rava, Vermicelli, Wheat Dalia, Bajra Dalia, Makka flour, Oats, Rice Rava... I have even gone to the extent of mixing flours to make upma.

I was a Girl Guide and went on to receive the President's Award in 1991. I was chosen over thousands of people to receive it directly from the President of India at a function held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. Being a Guide meant that I went to at least one camp a year if not more. And that meant that I ate loads of icky sticky upma. But I loved it. For years I'd come back home from a camp and then crib about Amma's semi dry upma. I told her she didn't know how to make upma and I would teach her. The smart cookie that I was. And the poor lady tried to make squishy upma. I have now outgrown my love for the gooey stuff and would settle for the semi dry version any day!

Finally, I learnt how to make good upma and I make it quite often. (Good here means upma like Amma's!) And the mixed vegetable version is something I love. It kind of makes the meal more nutritious, more filling and more "complete".


1 cup Rava (Sooji)
1 Onion, chopped
1 Tomato, chopped
1 cup Mixed vegetables, chopped and cooked (I used carrots, beans, potatoes and peas)
2 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
1/2 tsp Chana Dal
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
7-8 Curry Leaves
1 Red Chilli, broken into pieces
1 tsp Green Chilli paste
1 tsp Ginger Paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp Ghee (Clarified Butter)
Coriander Leaves for garnish

Heat the oil in a kadhai. Add the urad and chana dals. When the urad dal begins to brown a little, add the mustard and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the red chilli, curry leaves, onions, ginger and chilli pastes and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the tomato and fry for a minute more. Add the mixed vegetables and the rava and fry the entire mixture for 2-3 minutes. Add 2 cups of boiling hot water and salt to this. Mix well, cover and cook for 5-7 minutes on a low flame.

When done, take it off the heat and pour the ghee on top. Mix well, garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy it with some chivda and/or pickle.

Tomato Bhaji

I've been trying to christen this dish and finally settled on the most uninnovative name if there ever was one. Last week, I had to cook just for myself as S was traveling. I looked in the fridge and found a huge bag of tomatoes. So, I thought, "Why not make a curry of sorts with just tomato?" Egged on by the success of the capsicm curry, I decided to make this. And guess what? It turned out just fine.


3 Tomatoes, chopped

To be ground to a paste:

1 tbsp Coconut, scraped

1 Onion
1/2 tsp Ginger Paste
1/2 tsp Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Green Chilli Paste

1 tsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
7-8 Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp Coriander Powder
Salt to Taste

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and fry for a minute. Add the ground paste, chilli, turmeric, cumin and coriander powders. Fry this for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and fry for another minute or two. Cover and cook with a little bit of water if you like.

I had this with rotis for lunch, though my guess is that it would make a nice side dish with rice as well. I am sure it will taste nice if mixed with steaming hot rice and had with some appalams.

June 27, 2007

Payatham Paruppu Kuzhambu (Green Gram Dal Sambar)

I have never been able to figure out why this dish is called kuzhambu. But for some reason it is. And this dish always found its way to our dining table on Monday nights.

I couldn't find the toor dal packet and so I decided to use the dal that I did find. It made for a simple meal with the Beetroot Chutney I tried out and some rice. Of course, between my mother and my mother-in-law, they make sure we are well stocked on pickles and podis.


1/2 cup Moong Dal (Green gram Dal), washed

1/2 tsp Ginger Paste

1/2 tsp Chilli Paste

1 tsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

7-8 Curry Leaves

1 Tomato, chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to Taste

Cook the dal in a pressure cooker with the ginger and chilli pastes using 1 cup of water. Heat oil in a vessel and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the curry leaves and the chopped tomato. Fry this for a minute or two. Add the cooked dal, salt and a little water. Bring this mixture to a boil. Add the lime juice to this once you have taken the vessel off the stove.

This is much lighter on the stomach than toor dal and though simple, it makes for a hearty meal.

June 26, 2007

Capsicum Curry

On some days, I don't plan at all. On others, I plan and plan no end (and end up leaving the lunch box at home!) This dish, however, is the result of no planning at all. Amchi cuisine has a capsicum dish called Kayaras and that is what I wanted to make one morning when I had loads of capsicum in the fridge. But I was too lazy to pick up the Rasachandrika from the shelf and refer to it. At times like these, I remember what Amma always says, "When nice ingredients go into a dish and the intentions are good and loving, it can never taste bad." The first time I heard this was when I tried to make chikki. The recipe called for caramelized sugar instead of the jaggery syrup that is usually made and my chikki didn't turn out like anything I'd expected. I was about 10 at the time.

Now, I have a reasonably decent sense of combinations: what goes well with what... what flavours ingredients will impart to a dish. And this helps me experiment. So, I went beyond aloo capsicum and paneer/soya capsicum to create this dish.


1/4 kilo Green Capsicum, chopped
1 Onion, sliced
2 tbsp Peanuts
1 tsp Sesame seeds
2 tsp Oil
2 Red Chillies
1 tsp Tamarind Paste
1 tbsp Coconut
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
Salt to Taste

In a small kadhai, heat 1 tsp of oil. Add the sesame seeds, coconut, chillies, and peanuts and roast for a few minutes. Transfer this to a mixer jar and grind it to a paste along with a little salt and the tamarind paste.

In a larger kadhai, heat the other teaspoon of oil. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida. When the seeds splutter, add the onions and fry for a minute or so. Add the paste and fry for another minute. Add the chopped capsicum, a little water and some salt if needed. Cover and cook until the capsicum is done. I like my capsicum crunchy and don't cook it for too long.

I packed this along with rotis for lunch and I found that it actually tasted nice. My colleagues told me it would be very heavy because of the sesame, peanuts and coconut. I didn't find it too heavy, but it wasn't the lightest dish I'd made or anything.

June 22, 2007

Beetroot Chutney

One trip to Seema's Recipe Junction is all it took for me to fall in love with Carrot Chutney. The colour, the presentation, the simplicity of it all. I made it that same evening and posted it almost immediately. Imitation sure is the sincerest form of flattery.

But then, variety is also, most definitely, the spice of life. So, when I found a fantastic recipe such as this, I wanted to replicate it. I wanted to push the limits of my imagination. I wanted to see how far I could go. (Oh cut this philosophical pain, I hear you scream!) As all of you know by now, all I really wanted was to make life easy for me. Lazy, impatient old me.

We bought some beetroots at the supermarket last week. I've always eaten beetroot, but I had no clue how to cook it. I always assumed I could make it just like one makes beans etc, in the form of what konkanis call "upkari". But nothing motivated me to try. Ever. But S looked longingly at the beets and we bought some. (I had to throw a pack away because they rotted in the heat and S kept telling me there is no need to put them in the fridge as they are like potatoes. News flash: they're like carrots!!) That got me thinking. What a carrot can do, a beet can beat!

So, I made the easiest dish that one can possibly make using beetroots. The colour was awesome and the taste, simply superb. I made a simple meal of rice, moong dal sambar and this chutney. We ate it with some thengai podi that Amma had made. With some raw banana chips, avakaya and curd, our meal was complete. A feast! (Considering yours truly usually cooks up one dish meals!)


1 large beetroot, sliced
3 green chillies
3 pods of garlic
2 tbsp coconut, scrapped
Salt to taste
For the Tempering

1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
4-5 Curry Leaves

I cooked the beetroot slices in the microwave for 2-3 minutes with very little water. I ground this with all the ingredients together and then prepared the tempering and mixed the two.

Seema: can I thank you enough?

Orange Mosaic Pie

I thought and thought about this one. And in the end it didn't turn out the way I expected it would (thanks to me being impatient old me), but it looked very cute and tasted very nice.

And thanks to my impatience, instead of a layered pie, this pie turned out to be a mosaic pie. But orange is the main flavour and hence this is my entry to the AFAM event hosted by Sharmi of Neivedyam.

I heavily modified a recipe I found in the Milkmaid Gold Dessert collection and made this zero fuss mosaic pie.

200 g Digestive biscuits
70- 80 g Butter

4 tbsp Orange Custard Powder
400 ml Milk
2-3 tbsp Sugar

1 Packet Orange Jelly
2-3 tbsp Orange Juice

Crush the digestive biscuits. Melt butter in the microwave and mix the crushed biscuits. Press this mixture into a pan and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until it sets.

Dissolve the custard powder in a little milk and boil the rest of the milk along with the sugar. When the milk boils, add the custard powder milk mixture and stir as it thickens. Cool this for a few minutes and then pour on to the biscuit butter mixture. Refrigerate this till it sets partially.

Prepare the jelly as per the instructions on the pack, but with about 2/3 of the water specified in the recipe, and mix the orange juice. Pour this over the semi set custard and mix gently. The custard will break as the hot jelly is poured over it. And when you quickly whisk the two, it will end in a mosaic of sorts.

Set this entire mixture in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Cut into slices and enjoy.
This pie has the look and feel of a cheesecake but has far less fat. And it is a novel way to eat jelly and custard. S and I ate a slice each this morning and it was yummy. Not too heavy, not too sweet: just right.

Easy Aloo Tikki

Mothers and pampering go hand in hand, don't they? These 3 days that I spent at home were marvellous. I just ate and ate whatever was placed before me. I also made Eggless French Toast and the Mango Sandesh. So, it wasn't all eating and no cooking.

But the thing that I find most amazing about Amma is how organized she is. She always has ingredients ready. Boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables, chapati dough, dosa batter, different pastes, preserves, etc. Years of running a family while holding a full time job must have made her this way. She has been making preserves and pastes much before they landed on supermarket shelves... wait... before supermarkets themselves landed in India.

I have really never been a "meals" person. I like my proper thali every once in a while. But I can neither be bothered to make it nor eat it. So, sandwiches, soups, stuffed parathas, kalanda saadam (variety rice!!) all work very well for me. This time, Amma and I were chatting and before we knew it, it was past 11. She got up and said, "Would you like some aloo tikkis?" First I said, "Don't bother", but she asked again. And I said OK. It was kind of like a midnight treat for mother and daughter.


4 Potatoes, boiled and mashed

1 tsp Chilli Paste

1 tsp Ginger Paste

1/4 cup Coriander, chopped

2 slices of bread

Salt to Taste

Oil for frying

Soak the slices of bread in water for a couple of minutes and squeeze the water out.

Mix the potatoes, chilli and ginger pastes, coriander and salt. Add the bread slices. Form small balls using this mixture and flatten them a little.

Heat the oil in a kadhai and deep fry the tikkis until they turn golden brown on both sides. Drain on absorbent paper and enjoy them with tomato sauce.

June 21, 2007

Seppankizhangu Mor Koottu

Seppankizhangu, colocasia, arbi... call it what you like. This is again one of those vegetables that people either love or hate.

In south indian homes, the deep fried version and the shallow fried version are most popular. I was discussing this dish with my friends on Saturday, and none of them had even heard of it. I blamed it on their being Iyers and not being exposed to Iyengar food and one of them said, "I have a very close Iyengar friend and I know all about their cooking." Most people tend to think that my ideas about food are pretty messed up thanks to my mixed parentage. But I firmly believe that food is handed down from one generation to the next. And sometimes certain dishes are not made at all in some households because one or two people gave them up at Kashi or just happen to not like them.

Anyway, this dish brings back fond memories of Sunday lunches at IIT Madras. Rice, yela paruppu (thick dal), seppankishangu mor koottu, rasam, vattal-vadam (rice crispies). Ah... bliss!


1/2 kg Colocasia tubers, boiled and cut
2-3 tsp Urad Dal
2-3 Green Chillies, slit
2 tbsp Coconut, scraped
1/2 Cup Curd
1 tsp Oil
Salt to taste

For the tempering:
1 tsp Oil
1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
4-5 Curry Leaves

Heat the oil in a kadhai and roast the urad dal and green chillies. Transfer this to a mixer jar and grind with the coconut and salt. Transfer this mixture to a bowl and blend with the curd. Add the boiled colocasia pieces.

For the tempering, heat the oil in a small kadhai. Add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard begins to splutter, add the curry leaves. Add this to the curd - colocasia mixture.

Eat this with paruppu saadam (dal rice) and some vattals along side. See you when you return to earth!

June 19, 2007

Katrikkai Karumadhu (Brinjal Curry)

This is one of my favourite ways of eating brinjal. Actually, any way of eating brinjal is a favourite. I don't like the bharta kind of smoked brinjal varieties and I eat brinjal pachadi that is made by steaming the brinjal rather than roasting.

This recipe has been handed over from my grandmother to my mother and of course from Amma to me. Anyone who eats Amma's Iyengar cooking would never know that she doesn't have Iyengar roots. I just got back from Madras after spending 3 days at home. I had a feast. Most of the stuff that I ate while at home will feature here over the coming weeks. The focus of this weekend was Iyengar over Saraswat. Moreover, I attended a wedding of two close friends and Pattappa, the caterer who took care of my wedding, was in charge of the food there as well. So, I just feasted on yummy food all the way.


1/2 kilo brinjals, cut into small pieces

To be ground to a masala:

1/4 cup Coconut, scraped

2 tbsp Tamarind Paste

2-3 Red Chillies

1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder

Salt to Taste

For the seasoning:

1 tbsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

7-8 Curry Leaves

Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter, add the curry leaves. Add the brinjal pieces and fry them for 3-4 minutes. Add the ground masala and cover and cook for 4-5 minutes more.

I eat this curry with plain rice (quick substitute for vangi bhat). I also enjoy this with rice and sambar, rice and rasam, and rice and mor kuzhambu.

Incidentally, this month's JFI by Sangeeta of Ghar ka Khana features Brinjal! So this would be my second entry to this event.

Quick Mango Sandesh

No recipe here. I had gone to my parents' place for the weekend and my mother had already prepared chenna. So, I treated my family to Quick Mango Sandesh that I picked up from Nandita's blog. I was way too impatient to wait for the required time and so the pics that I took seem a little sloppy. But it must have set by now and my parents must be enjoying it.

Thanks Nandita!

June 15, 2007

Eggless Masala French Toast

All my bags are packed I am ready to go!
I'm not talking about John Denver's song.

Oops I did it again!
No, I'm not talking Spears' song.

I'm talking about what I just did... for the second time in 2 weeks. Found a recipe on a blog I visit and made it within a few hours. I leave home in an hour or two to go home. I didn't feel like cooking something just for myself. I didn't feel like Maggi or a dosa or any of those things. As I was winding up my work for the day, I went to Food Blog Desam and saw that Coffee had put up a post that said "Guess". I clicked on that link but it didn't take me to the page where I could find a guessing contest. I browsed a little and found a recipe for an Eggless French Toast. I decided that this was what I wanted to eat.

But I only had some Amul Masti Buttermilk and no curds. No ginger paste. So I said, let me make do with what I have. I remembered the packet of Vegit Aloo Mash. Thanks for the inspiration, Coffee. I loved eating this for a light lunch just now.


2 slices of Bread
1 small Onion, chopped finely
1 green Chilli, chopped finely
100 ml Amul Masti Spiced Buttermilk
1/4 cup Aloo Mash (or a medium sized potato, cooked and mashed)
1/4 cup Rava
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, chopped
Salt to taste
Oil for shallow frying

Mix all the ingredients except for the bread and oil and let the mixture wait for a minute or two. The potato mash powder should soak up the liquid and become soft. Dip the bread slices in the batter and coat both sides evenly.

Shallow fry on a tawa using oil as necessary and enjoy it with Tomato Sauce.

And I am giving Coffee a taste of her own medicine... oops... french toast! This is my entry to The Spice Cafe for July's Monthly Blog Patrol: Going Lite.

Peach Litchi Mango Fizz

I am leaving for home tonight. Home, today, refers to my parents' home in Madras. Funny how I never thought of that place as home because I hadn't spent too much time there. I moved out of Madras a few months after my parents moved to this place. But over the last 11 years, I've spent more than 10 away, but that house sure feels like home.

I had a failed food experiment yesterday that S and I suffered through at lunch time and I wanted to do something to make it up to him. He's traveling today and when he gets back, I'll be sitting at home with my parents and I wanted to make a little something for him.

Stuff that I found in the fridge went into this dessert. It turned out quite tasty. I do hope S finds it and likes it. And I hope you all will too.


2 Peaches, chopped

1 Mango, chopped

2 scoops Litchi Ice Cream

1/2 cup Sprite

Place the fruit and ice cream in a blender or liquidizer and blend to a paste. Add the Sprite and whip it for half a minute. This is ready to eat. I loved it. If I'd added a little more Sprite, I could have had it as a cool drink.

Coriander Mint Tomato Chutney

If it is bread I must eat in the morning, then I can probably have it with jam or jelly once a week. The rest of the time I need something salty/spicy. Again, as I put up with GERS, I cannot have spicy food in general, and definitely not in the morning. So, I eat toast with leftovers, with "pitti chitni", a very typically konkani gun powder, with pitlay, or chutney.

Just about the time I moved to Bangalore from Hyderabad, a colleague and friend, Priya, invited me to stay over. She and her husband, Arun, treated me to a nice dinner at Little Italy. The next morning Priya set out to make breakfast. She has this cute little kitchen garden and grows herbs and even baby tomatoes. She just went out there and picked up a little of this, a little of that... maybe this would go well too... oops, what about that one there... in they all went ...into the blender and what came out was a tasty spread.

So, this recipe is thanks to her.

1 Cup Coriander Leaves

1/4 cup Mint Leaves

2 pods of Garlic

1 Tomato

1 green Chilli

1" piece of Ginger

Salt to taste

Grind all the ingredients to a coarse paste in a mixer. Eat it with just about anything. The tomato adds the tang to this chutney where lime juice usually does the trick. I spread it on toast and the bread went down faster than it usually does.

I am sending this to Trupti at The Spice Who Loved Me for WBB # 12 : Spice it Up! as my second entry. Trupti has recently been invited to be a guest writer on the Food Network of Canada's food blog. Congratulations Trupti!

Garlic Toast

Again, a recipe that has its recent origins at my work place. All of us in my lunch group felt that we had boring stuff in our lunch boxes and decided to order a little something to pep up the meal. So, we decided to get some garlic bread and potato wedges from Slice of Italy. The potato wedges were deep fried and I like mine grilled. But the garlic bread was superb.

That same evening, I wanted to try it out. But I didn't have french bread, so I used whatever slices I had at home. I also didn't want to be too generous with the cheese as that much cheese, twice in the same day, may be a little too heavy to handle.

I grilled the slices of bread for 3 minutes on each side. I prepared the garlic butter spread using

1 tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp mixed herbs (basil, parsley, thyme)
1/2 tsp Chilli flakes
1 tsp Garlic, finely chopped

I spread this on the prepared slices and grilled them for a minute more. I grated a small block of cooking cheese and sprinkled this ober the slices and grilled for another 90 seconds. The cheese came out all bubbly on top and the garlic toast was divine. I wanted to make some soup and have it along with the toast. Then again, lazy me took over the enthusiastic me and I ended up eating just the toast for dinner. Yum!

Mutter Paneer

This is one of those dishes that I had eaten many times, but had never attempted to recreate. I set out 2 days ago to recreate the Cilantro Peas on Arundathi's foodblog. I didn't have the time to go back and check the recipe, but I cleaned a whole lot of coriander leaves and told myself I will just make it from memory.

I usually make a peas curry with ground coriander and coconut milk. I will put the recipe up sometime. I wanted this to be a variation. Then I remembered that I had fresh paneer at home. So the experimental side of me took over. The end result was a lipsmacking dish that I simply had to share with all of you.


200g fresh Paneer, cubed

1/2 cup Peas, cooked

1 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

100 ml Tomato Puree

1 tsp Chilli Powder

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder

1/2 tsp Cumin Powder

1 tsp Kasuri Methi

To be ground to a Paste:

1 Onion

2 pods Garlic

1/2 cup Coriander Leaves

Salt to Taste

Heat oil in a kadhai and add the cumin and asafoetida. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the onion coriander paste and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the chilli, turmeric, cumin and coriander powders and fry for a minute. Add the tomato puree and the kasuri methi and bring the mixture to a boil. Add salt, paneer and peas. Garnish with coriander leaves if you like. And eat this with rotis.

The addition of coriander leaves to the masala gave the dish a unique flavour and we thoroughly enjoyed it.

June 14, 2007

Tomato Semia Upma

Quick breakfast. I wish I could find a way to get breakfast ready in a jiffy. I grew up eating an egg a day. But I avoid eggs now as the smell gets to me. I eat it once in a while, but not everyday. Muesli and cereals... yes, but not everyday again. I need variety. Even for breakfast. Yeah, that's me.

This morning I decided to make tomato semia upma. But I was lazy as always and didn't bother to keep my dal, chillies, curry leaves and ginger ready. But my upma came out very nice. The picture, however, will be put up later. I don't want to be late for this week's A-Z.

U is for Upma and this is my U entry to Nupur's A-Z of Indian Vegetables.


1 cup Roasted Semia
1 Onion, sliced
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Oil
1tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the mustard, asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the mustard splutters, add the onions and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and fry for a minute or two more. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Add the roasted semia and along with a cup of hot water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

You may garnish it with scraped coconut and coriander leaves. (I, of course, did nothing.)

June 9, 2007

Mushroom and Capsicum on Toast

If there ever was a breakfast number that I could call my very own, this would have to be it. I have always loved cookbooks and I treat Tarla Dalal as my foster mother. I've learnt as much from her as I have from Amma. Though I have never met her, I think I may love her almost as much as I love Amma for teaching me so much that I know.

One of the books of Tarla Dalal's that we've owned for a long time (I can't remember which) has a recipe for Chilli Cheese Toast. I tried this and we all loved it. I decided to experiment a little bit with the dish and slowly added ingredients of my own. I make it as a special breakfast dish on weekends and when I have someone visiting. My cousin, Priyakka, who doesn't eat capsicum has no option but to eat them when I make this. I chop the veggies so fine that if she started to pick the pieces, she'd be eating the dish for dinner.

This morning, I decided to make this for several reasons.

1. It is a Saturday.
2. I had a lot of left over vegetables.
3. My husband, S, is back after a week long trip and I wanted to make something nice.
4. I wanted to send in my signature breakfast dish to Trupti at The Spice Who Loved Me for WBB # 12 : Spice it Up!


1/2 each of Red, Yellow and Green Capsicum, finely chopped
1/4 cup Mushrooms, finely chopped
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
3 pods of Garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp each of Basil and Parsley
1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tbsp Butter
1 tbsp Flour
3/4 cup Milk
1-2 cubes or slices of Cheese, chopped or grated
Salt to taste
6-8 slices of Toast

Melt the butter in a pan and add the chopped garlic and the onions and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the chopped capsicum and fry for a few more minutes. (This looked so colourful that I had to take a picture!)

Add the mushrooms and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the parsley, basil and chilli flakes. Add the flour to the vegetable mixture and pur the milk into this after the flour has fried for 2-3 minutes. Add the cheese and salt and mix well till the mixture thickens.

Spread this on Toast and enjoy it on a weekend morning. You can also spread this on bread and grill it for a few minutes till it browns. This spread can also be used as a stuffing for grilled sandwiches. Or you can just put some on top of Monaco biscuits and make it yummy finger food.

Coriander Rice

I always thought that coriander leaves were only meant for garnish. And of course the occasional pulao or gravy. And thought I could do without them. Now I know better.

I read on the internet that Coriander leaves are very good for heavy metals detoxification. Several studies show that eating fresh coriander leaves increase the excretion of heavy metals in urine. I also found 13 Health Benefits of eating coriander.

This is my entry to
Weekend Herb Blogging, started by Kalyn and hosted by Astrid of Paulchen's food blog

I discovered the kothmir vada on MSN many years ago and tried it out very eagerly Amma discovered kothamali thuvaiyal at some function and I ate it when she made it for the first time. I even had it served at my wedding.

I find coriander leaves the most inviting when I go vegetable shopping. And before we knew it, we had 2 or more bunches in the fridge. So, after giving a bunch to my maid, I made this with what I had left.

Ingredients for the Thuvaiyal

1 1/2 cups Coriander Leaves, washed

1 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

2 tsp Black Gram Dal

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

2 Green Chillies

1/2 tsp Chilli Flakes

1 tsp Tamarind Paste

Salt to Taste

Heat the oil in a kadhai and add the Black Gram Dal. After a couple of minutes, add the mustard seeds and asafoetida. When the mustard splutters, add the green chillies and chilli flakes. Put this mixture in a mixer jar and grind along with the coriander leaves and tamarind paste. Add salt to taste.

Alternatively, you can leave out the mustard and grind everything else first. And then add the mustard and grind just a little. You all know what the lazy me did.

Mix this with hot rice and enjoy coriander rice. The caterer at my wedding served this with Tomato pachadi. I will post that soon. He said it was meant to enhance visual appeal. Green rice and orange pachadi! Way to go Pattappa Sir.

Carrot Chutney

This is my first time. I found a recipe on a blog that I visited after the owner visited my blog for the very first time. I saw the recipe on her page and came home. I decided I just have to try this.

I am talking about Seema's Carrot Chutney on Recipe Junction. I followed the recipe to a T except that I ground the carrots along with the other ingredients instead of grating them first.

I used

2 large carrots
3 green chillies
3 pods of garlic
2 tbsp coconut, scrapped

Salt to taste

1 tsp Oil

1/4 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida

4-5 Curry Leaves

I ground all the ingredients together and then prepared the tempering and mixed the two.

It came out quite well and we ate with rice. Just now! A very satisfying meal. Thank you Seema.

June 8, 2007

Mammidikaya Pulihaara (Raw Mango Rice)

Puliyodarai at my place is made just one way. Amma makes puli kachal and a podi to sprinkle over the rice. Whenever we are in the mood for yummy puliyodarai, Amma dishes it out. I love eating it with avial. That's one of my favourite combinations of "festival food". I've eaten Puliyogare in Bangalore that is semi sweet and has khopra (dried coconut) as part of it. I've eaten Puli saadam (Tiger Rice) at hostel.

When I moved to Hyderabad 4 years ago, I heard about nimmakaya pulihaara. I thought it was some fancy dish until I realized it was the telugu name for our very own lemon rice. Then someone at office said, "I've brought puliyodarai for you today. Only I made it with mangoes." I was super shocked. I had never eaten rice and raw mangoes before. The maximum extent that I had gone to was to eat Manga Thokku with rice and Avakaya with rice. But hey, I was never averse to trying something new. And I did. It was quite nice.

A couple of weeks ago, we'd invited some friends over and I decided to make this instead of Sambar Rice as that is easily available in any south indian restaurant in Delhi. I try to serve food that is not so easily available, especially when my guests are not south indians. Actually, even if they are, I do the same.

I started to make this and then somewhere in between, S took over. And then he forgot he was cooking and the tadka got burnt a little. But then, so what? It came out quite nice and we all ate it with relish.


2 medium raw mangoes, grated.

1 cup Rice, cooked

2 tbsp Oil

1 tsp Mustard Seeds

1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds

1/4 tsp Asafoetida

2-3 Red Chillies

1/4 cup Peanuts

1 tsp Black Gram Dal

1 tsp Chana Dal

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder

7-8 Curry Leaves

Coriander Leaves for Garnish

Salt to taste

In a kadhai, heat the oil. Add all the ingredients from mustard through Chana Dal. When the mustard splutters and the dals have browned, add the curry leaves, grated raw mango, salt and turmeric powder. Cook this for a while and then mix the cooked rice in this mixture. Garnish with coriander leaves and eat with vadams or appalams.

I'm finally on Food Blog Desam. Thanks Mathy and Indira. I have not forgotten my plan to get into DH.

I'm also on Jenn's Foodie Blog Roll. Those of you who are interested in joining either of these should go right ahead.