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Oct 31, 2006


Rava Kesari (fine rava)

Kesari is an easy and very delicious sweet, a dessert from South India. Here is the recipe for plain Rava Kesari. ( click here for Kesari recipe using Regular Rava)


Fine Rava – 1 cup
Sugar – 1-½ cups
Water – 2 cups
Saffron – ½ teaspoon
Ghee – 3 tablespoons
Cardamom – 5 pods crushed
Raisins for Garnishing
Ghee fried cashews can be added to the sweet.


Ghee roast the Rava and keep it aside. Heat water in a heavy kadai. When it starts to boil, add the saffron. You will notice the water turning to yellow color.

Reduce the heat and add the Rava slowly (keep stirring while adding to avoid lumps). Keep stirring till Rava is fully cooked (At this time the consistency will not be too loose).

Now add the sugar slowly, while stirring it at the same time. You will notice the consistency loosening. Add the cardamom.

Keep stirring until the kesari thickens. It will start sticking to the bottom. Now, add the Ghee and stir well. A lot of stirring, but worth the effort. Garnish with raisins/cashews. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Oct 30, 2006

Strawberry Milkshake


1 cup Fresh Strawberries chopped (Avoid using strawberries with very coarse skin)
Milk – 1 ½ cups
Sugar – 3 teaspoons
A scoop of Vanilla or Strawberry Icecream. (optional).
Cardamom – 2 pods


Blend the strawberries with sugar and little milk to a smooth paste. Add the Icecream, Cardamom and rest of the Milk and blend it again to a frothy consistency.

Serve cold.

Oct 29, 2006

Pavakka Pakora

Pavakka Pakora
(Bitter Gourd Pakora, Hagalkai Pakora)
We love to crunch this crispy pakora made of bitter gourd. This pakora can be served with any chutney of your choice and goes very well with curd rice.


5 to 6 medium pavakka (bitter gourd)
Turmeric Powder
Red Chilli Powder
Besan flour – 1 tablespoon
Rice flour – 2 tablespoon
Oil for Deep-frying


Scrape pavakka just to take away the spikes. Cut lengthwise and take the seeds out using a spoon. Chop the Pavakka into small ½ inch pieces.

Wash the chopped vegetables and add turmeric and salt and mix well. Now Microwave (in a partially opened microwave safe container) in high for 8 minutes to cook the pavakka. Squeeze and drain the water from the pavakka and add besan flour and rice flour along with very little amount of red chilli powder. Mix well.

Carefully, deep fry the prepared pavakka and drain excess oil when it turns crispy golden brown.


Fry only 2 tablespoon of pavakka at a time, as the sizzling oil will bubble out.

This is my entry to Pooja's 'Vegetable of the Week' round up for Bitter gourd.

Oct 28, 2006

Eggplant Fry


6 to 7 medium size (green/purple) eggplants.
2 medium size onions ( preferably red onions)
Turmeric powder
Pav Bhaji Masala Powder

Oil for shallow frying.

Tomatoes for Garnishing.


Cut Eggplants(Brinjals) lengthwise. sprinkle turmeric powder and salt on the sides of the eggplant slices and keep it aside for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, Cut Onions lengthwise. Heat 1-tablespoon oil and sauté onions until it turns translucent. Add very little salt and pav bhaji masala powder and stir for a couple of minutes and keep it aside. Use very little quantity of pav bhaji masala as it may be to spicy.

In a hot tawa, place a couple of brinjal slices and sprinkle pav bhaji masala powder and shallow fry it. Turn the side and sprinkle masala powder on the other side too and shallow fry until the eggplant is cooked.

Repeat this until all the eggplant slices are cooked.

Arrange the eggplant slices in such a way that the sautéed onions are sandwiched between the slices as seen in the picture. Garnish with sliced tomatoes and serve immediately.


This can be done using Garam masala powder and Red chilli powder instead of pav bhaji powder.

The eggplants can be prepared in oven too. For this method, after setting aside the slices with turmeric and salt for 10 minutes, apply oil on both sides of the slices and sprinkle masala powder and cook in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes or until the slices are cooked. place in a greased non stick oven safetray for best results.

Recipe Contributed and Photographed by my sister B

This is my entry to Vegetable of the Week hosted by Pooja of Creative Pooja

Oct 27, 2006

Sprouted Moong Dosa


2 cups – Sprouted Moong Dal
3 tablespoon Rice
2 teaspoon Jeera
¼ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
Oil/Ghee for making dosa.


Soak Sprouted Moong Dal and Rice together for 1 hour.

Grind the Dal, Rice, Salt, Asafoetida, Red chilli powder and Jeera to smooth batter using very little water.

Make thin small dosas using the batter in a Hot Tawa. Keep medium heat. Cook both sides, using little oil/ghee in the sides. These healthy dosas can be served hot with a dollop of thick curd or any raitha/chutney of your choice.


Instead of adding the rice, you can substitute with either 2 tablespoons of rice flour while grinding or mix ½ cup of iddli/dosa batter.

Instead of red chilli powder, green chillis can be used.

Grated ginger, pepper, finely chopped onions, coriander leaves and curry leaves can be added to the ground batter.

This nutritious dosa, is definitely not filling like other Adai varieties, Because, the batter is made thin and the Sprouted moong is not heavy.
This is my entry to Dosa Mela hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all seasons.

Oct 26, 2006

Sprouted Moong in Vegetable Pulao

This is a very simple recipe for a Vegetable Pulao, where I have added sprouted moong to make it more nutritious. The protein rich sprout is very health-friendly and are excellent to those trying to lose weight and gain energy.

I try to add sprouted moong in my diet atleast twice a week. I make a variety of dishes with the moong sprouts of which ‘Sprouted moong in Vegetable Pulao’ is one such recipe.


1 cup basmathi rice ( soak in water for 10 minutes)
Onion – 1 medium – finely chopped
Carrot, Beans and Potato all chopped finely – 1 cup
sprouted Moong– 1 cup
Jeera – 1 teaspoon
Sonf – 1 teaspoon
Cinnamon – ½ inch
Cloves – 3
Bay leaf - 1
Garlic – 3 flakes (optional)
Green chillies – 2 vertically cut
Little oil
1 teaspoon ghee
Coriander leaves for garnishing.


Heat oil in a pressure pan.

Add all the masala spices and green chillies and stir for a minute.

Add the vegetables and then the sprouted moong. Add salt and stir.

When everything has heated up, add the basmathi rice and 2 cups water.

When it starts to boil add one teaspoon ghee and close the lid.

Add 2 cups of warm water. When the water comes to a boil add rice and stir well.

Pressure cook in low heat for 10 minutes.

If using a heavy kadai, cook for 20 minutes with lid.

If using a rice cooker, transfer the contents to the rice cooker and cook until done.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with favorite raitha or chips.

Oct 25, 2006

Cauliflower Kurma


Cauliflower – 1 medium size – chopped into small florets.
Aniseed (Sonf) – ½ tablespoon
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cloves – 3
Bay leaf – 1
Oil – 1 tablespoon
Finely cut coriander and curry leaves for garnishing

Grind coarsely: (1)

Small Onions (peeled) – 10
Garlic – 3 to 4 flakes
Tomatoes – chopped – 1 cup

Dryroast each separately and powder together: (2)

Red chillies – 3 – (depending on how spicy you want the gravy)
Poppy seeds (ghasa ghasa) – 1 tablespoon
Dhania – 2 teaspoon
Bengal gram – 1 ½ tablespoon

Grind to smooth paste: (3)

Grated fresh cononut – 3 table spoon or coconut milk ½ cup can be used.


Heat oil in a pressure pan; add aniseed, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf and the Cauliflower. Fry for a couple of minutes. Now add the ground masala (1) and stir for a minute. Then, add the spice powder (2) and add just enough water to cover the spices. Add salt.

When it comes to a boil, close the lid and put the weight on. Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Open the pan after few minutes. Stir in the ground coconut/coconut milk (3).

Garnish with coriander and curry leaves. Serve hot with chapathis.


In the kurma shown in the above photo, I have added coconut milk instead of ground fresh coconut.

Oct 19, 2006

Ribbon Pakoda


1 cup Rice flour

1 cup Besan flour

Butter – 1 tbsp



Red chillie powder – 1 teaspoon. (According to your taste)

Oil – 1 tbsp and Oil for deep-frying

You need a presser with vertical line holes:


Mix the rice flour and besan flour in a mixing bowl. Melt butter and add salt and whisk. Pour it into the flour and mix well. Now add the adafoetida and red chillie powder to the mixture and mix well. Heat a tablespoon of oil and mix it to the flour. When you think everything is evenly distributed, add little water and knead. The dough should not be too thin or thick. Now heat the oil. Apply oil to the inner walls of the presser and fill ¾ of it with the dough. When the oil is ready for frying, squeeze the dough into the oil through the press. You will see the oil bubbling up like soda and then calm down.
Fry it until the sizzling calms down completely. At this point the golden colored pakoda will be crispy. Strain the oil. Break it into small pieces and store in an airtight container when it cools completely.

Oct 18, 2006



1-cup rice flour
1½ tbsp urud flour
Jeera – 2 tbsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Oil for deep-frying
You need a presser, which has 3 small holes.


Mix Rice flour and Urud flour in a mixing bowl. Add Asafoetida, Jeera (cumin), Salt. Melt the butter and whisk salt in it and pour it in the flour. Gently mix the flour and add required amount of water to it and knead the dough. The dough should not be too sticky or too hard. Now heat the oil. Apply oil to the inner walls of the presser and fill ¾ of it with the dough. When the oil is ready for frying, squeeze the dough into the oil through the press. Fry thenkuzhal until it turns crispy. (Don’t let it turn brown). Strain the oil. Store in an airtight container when it cools completely.

Oct 17, 2006

Potato Chips

Homemade ‘Potato chips’ is more fresh and tasty than the ones we buy from the stores. You can customize your chips according to your taste.

Here is a recipe for authentic potato chips that I make.


Potatoes (little lengthy and oval in shape) – 4 to 5
Red chille Powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt – as required.
Oil for deep-frying.

You need a slicer.


Scrape the Potato skin and cut in the middle lengthwise. Heat the oil, and when it’s ready, hold the slicer above the oil, and slice the potato so that the potato falls directly into the hot oil. Slice fast and at the same time be careful. If you slice very slowly, the chips will have thick slices. Fry until its crisp and golden brown.

To the fried chips sprinkle salt and red chille powder and mix well. Just omit red chillie powder if you want only salted chips.

Homemade potato chips ready.

Oct 16, 2006

Badam Halwa

One of my most favorite sweet is Badam Halwa. I like it in any consistency it turns out when it’s done. It might turn out as soft Badam Halwa or can be cut into diamond shapes when cake consistency is reached.


Badam (Almonds) – 1 cup heaped
Sugar – 1-¼ cups
Saffron – few strands
Ghee – half cup
Milk – ½ cup


To blanch the badam, boil in water for 1 hr in low flame. This way it is easy to peel off the skin. (The traditional way is to soak the badam overnight to peel off the skin).

To the blanched Badam add little milk and grind it into a smooth paste.

Mix little water to sugar and heat it in a thick bottomed kadai. Add Saffron while it is boiling. When one string consistency is reached, (One string consistency means, Thin long string is formed upto 2 to 3 inches when tested between thumb and fore finger) add the badam paste and cook till it becomes thick.

When Halwa sticks to bottom add ghee little by little and cook till halwa consistency is reached.


1. You can mix sugar and badam paste directly and cook it in a heavy kadai. Add ghee when it sticks to the bottom. This method takes long time to cook and absorbs more ghee.

2. You can buy the powdered dry badam (almonds) from the Indian store instead of blanching and grinding the badam.

Oct 14, 2006

Boondhi Laddu

Its Diwali season and its time for new dresses, fire crakers, sweets and savories. I make boondhi laddus more often as its one of my favourite sweets. It might seem a difficult procedure, but is sure not. You can definitely give a try and take pride of preparing laddus for this diwali. This sweet need not always be bought in a sweet stall when you can prepare it yourself in your own kitchen.


1 cup heaped Bengal gram flour

1 tablespoon gheeCardamom powder, cashew nuts, raisins, diamondkalkand, saffron, kesar color less than 1/2 pinch, cloves

(Fry the cashews, raisins and cloves in little ghee)

Sugar 1 ½ cups and water ½ cups

Oil for deep-frying

1 spoon rice flour and 1 pinch cooking soda.

You need a boondhi plate or a ladle with small holes (kannu somutu in kannada) or Boondhi ladle


For Syrup:
Mix sugar and water in a heavy kadai and heat till sugar is dissolved stirring it in between. When it is dissolved allow the syrup to boil till half string consistency is reached. Do not stir at this stage.

(Tip: after sugar is dissolved, it becomes sticky and in 2 minutes it becomes half string consistency)

Remove from fire and mix cardamom powder, cashewnuts, raisins, saffron, kesar color less than 1/2 pinch, and cloves.

For Boondhi:

Meanwhile, as the syrup is getting ready, mix Bengal gramflour, rice flour and cooking soda to a bajji consistency adding very little water.

Take a ladle with small holes (kannu somutu) and check whether the batter falls down as droplets.

Heat oil in a frying pan. Hold the ladle above the oil spread the batter so that the batter drops down as small droplets into the oil.

Stir the boondis until fully cooked. After it is soft and before it is crisp, take away from oil and directly put it in the sugar syrup that you prepared.

Drain the excess oil before mixing it in the syrup. Few droplets might have become crisp, just immerse in syrup, it will become soft.

Keep doing the same till the syrup is full. Stir in diamond kalkand.

Making Laddus:

Keep in medium flame if you think the syrup has cooled down. The boondhi syrup consistency should not be too dry or too damp. If its too dry it means you have added more boondhi, if damp, you have to add more boondhi. Make medium sized balls out of the boondhi mixture and the laddu is ready.

Note: The Laddus in the above shown photo does not contain raisins, cashews and kesar color.

Oct 13, 2006

Pavakka (bitter gourd) Pickle

bitter gourd pickle / Hagalkai uppinkai:
Definitely an acquired taste, bitter gourd is also called Balsam pear or bitter melon. Young immature bitter gourds are the best for cooking: the skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender. The vegetable is ridged, and the skin is pebbly in texture. Do not use mature bitter gourds, and do not eat bitter gourd if you are pregnant or nursing.

Bitter gourd contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium. From the ayurvedic perspective, bitter gourd is excellent for balancing Kappa. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver.

Below is a recipe for Pavakka pickle.


4 to 5 medium size pavakka (bitter gourd)

To prepare bitter gourd for cooking, wash thoroughly, then cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a sharp spoon or corer and discard. Dice the bitter gourd and add ¾ tea spoon turmeric powder and ¾ tea spoon salt and mix well Keep in a closed container for about 2 hrs. After two hrs, take the mixture and squeeze out water using a towel and pat dry. This process will take away most of the bitterness.

3 table spoon - Oil – preferably Gingili (nalla ennai)
Little Asafoetida
1 teaspoon Fenugreek powder – roast the fenugreek (menthya) seeds (do not roast too much) and powder it.
¼ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
½ teaspoon red chillie powder
2-tablespoon jaggery/brown sugar
Salt if required.


Heat oil in a heavy kadai and add asafoetida, to it add the bitter gourd and sauté well until it becomes crisp. Add the fenugreek powder, tamarind, and red chillie and blend it with the gourd. Add the jaggery/brown sugar to it and mix well. Stir for sometime. Taste for salt. Add a little if needed.

This can be cooled completely and has a shelf life of 3 to 4 days when kept in fridge in an airtight container.

Goes well with curd rice.

This is my entry to Pooja's 'Vegetable of the Week' round up for Bitter gourd.

Oct 12, 2006

Dhal fry


1 cup Thoor dhal
2 teaspoons Oil
1 teaspoon Mustard seeds
One Onion medium sized – diced, not too small.
2 Tomatoes – diced, not too small
1/2-tablespoon Jeera (cumin) seeds
1 teaspoon Dhania powder - Dhania roasted and powdered
1 teaspoon Cumin powder (optional)
1 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/2-1 teaspoon Ginger paste (optional)
A few Green Chillies (depending on how hot you want the dhal fry)
A few Curry leaves and handful of Cilantro.
Lime Juice – (According to your taste)


Cook Dhal and keep separately. Heal oil and add mustard seeds, after it sputters, add Jeera, ginger paste, curry leaves and green chilies. Then, add onion and sauté. When it’s done, add tomatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the cumin powder, dhania powder, turmeric and salt. Stir for 5 minutes or until these blends in. Now add the cooked dhal. Stir well. If you want the dhal to be a little sourer, add lime and stir. Garnish with cilantro. This dhal fry can be served with Rice or Chapathis.


1. This dhal fry can be made even without onion. Just saute tomatoes and add other ingredients.
2. Do not boil the Dhal after its been added. Just stir till it mixes well.
3. You can use red chillie powder instead of green chillies.

Oct 11, 2006

Capsicum Rice

I make a coarse powder out of urud dal and channa dal and use it for a variety of rice like capsicum rice, potato rice, onion rice, tomato rice etc. This is one of my favorite dishes. This is very simple and comes very handy when we have to pack lunch in the morning. It saves a lot of time. This rice is called ‘palyadha anna’ or ‘podi kuttidha anna’. Sometimes, I use this powder as vangi bath too, to prepare dishes with eggplant (brinjal). Just a different taste :-)

The recipe for this all-purpose palyadha anna podi is,


3 table spoon - urud dal

3 table spoon - channa dal

2 red chillie (add more if the red chillie is not so hot)

½ inch cinnamon

1 table spoon - dhania (optional)

Roast the dals separately and grind it with red chillie and cinnamon.


Rice ( Sona Masoori rice) – 1 cup (you can also use basmathi rice)

Capsicum –3 medium sizes – thinly sliced

Oil – 2-table spoon

1 teaspoon – mustard seeds

1 teaspoon – urud dal

Turmeric powder

Asafoetida powder

2 pods cardamom

Salt – as required

Ghee and coriander leaves (cilantro)


Cook rice and allow it to cool. Separate grains.

Heat little oil and add mustard seeds, when it sputters, add urud dal. When it starts turning light brown add the capsicum. Sauté in medium heat and when its done add turmeric, salt, asafoetida powder and Cardamom. Stir and now add 2 to 3 spoons of the ground powder. Mix well and now add the cooked rice. Stir very gently and when its ¾ mixed, add 2-table spoon ghee and then mix again until even distribution. Garnish with cilantro and/or ghee roasted cashews.

Serve with Raitha and/or Chips.


You can garnish with Ghee fried Cashews as well.

While Sautéing the Capsicum, add 1/2 teaspoon Tamarind Concentrate for a different taste.

You can make combination rice such as onion and capsicum, onion and potato or with as many types of vegetables as you want. Its all up to your taste.

This powder goes well with vegetables like Onion, Potato, Tomato, and Capsicum.

Carrot and peas can be cooked separately and add to the rice to make it more colorful.

This is my entry to Mixed rice varieties event hosted by EC of Simple Indian Food.

Oct 10, 2006

Instant Apple Pickle

Wondering how in the an Apple pickle would taste. I felt the same when a friend of mine told me this recipe. I just loved it the first time I tasted. I bet you will too. Its got the juicy, spicy taste. If you are an Apple lover, you sure will love this delicious pickle. It goes very well with Curd rice. If you really liked the pickle, you would sure substitute as a curry for your main course. Here is the recipe.

Apple - 1
Turmeric - 1/4 spoon
Red chille powder- 1/4 spoon
salt - a little less than 1/4 spoon
lime juice -1/2 spoon - optional - add it if you want it a little sour
oil - 1 table spoon - preferrably gingily oil ( Nalla ennai )
Asafoetida powder - little
mustard seeds - 1/4 spoon


Dice apple into very small cubes. Add the lime juice (optional). Add the turmeric, red chille powders. stir and add salt. Heat the oil and add mustard seeds, after it pops, take it off the heat and add asafoetida to it. Now, pour the seasoning to the diced apple and mix well. A healthy pickle is ready in an instant. Lasts for a day when kept in the fridge.


1. If the apple is too sweet, add more red chillie powder and/or one teaspoon lemon juice.

2. It is not necessary to peel out the skin.

3. You can add green chillie seasoning instead of red chillie powder.

4. Add jeera too in the seasoning, if you like the taste of it.

My relative tried this pickle and sent me a photo of how she displayed it. Here is the photo. She is very creative.

Oct 9, 2006

Vegetable Biryani

This is a very simple vegetable biryani that I prepare in my favorite Kadai Pressure Cooker. It’s the best I would say. I have electric cooking range in my house. Follow the given procedure to avoid over cooking and to prevent burning. I use Sona masoori rice. You can also use biryani rice/basmathi rice.


Basmathi rice 1 cup wash and soak for 15 mins
Mixed diced vegetables ( peas., carrot, cauliflower, cabbage, beans etc.) – 2 cups
Onion medium size – 1 – thinly sliced.
Jeera – 1 tea spoon
Oil and salt.

Masala spices:

Cloves – 2/3
Bay leaf – 1
Cinnamon – ½ inch

For the masala, grind the following:

Garlic – 5 flakes
Green chillies – 2 (if its too hot)
Fry the above in little oil separately and Grind together with
Cardamom – 2 pods
Fresh coconut 2 tbsp or ½ cup coconut milk
Corriander leaves – handful


Heat oil in a Pressure pan, add jeera and then masala spices.

Add onion and when it turns light brown add the ground paste.

Stir for a couple of minutes. Add the vegetables and salt.

Let the content heat up for sometime. Stir occationally.

Add 2 cups of warm water. When the water comes to a boil add rice and stir well.

Pressure cook in low heat for 10 minutes.

If using a heavy kadai, cook for 20 minutes with lid.

If using a rice cooker, transfer the contents to the rice cooker and cook until done.

Garnish the Biryani with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with any Raitha and /or chips.


1.You can add sliced almonds to make it more tasty.

2. You can add mint leaves instead of coriander leaves.

3. You can add the mint leaves after sauteing the onion instead of grinding it together with other ingredients.