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Mar 29, 2007

Tomato Chapathis

Experimenting with Tomatoes which is the JFI for the month of April, hosted by RP of My Work Shop, I tried a new dish. I actually wanted to contribute some gravy with this versatile vegetable and finally landed in preparing delicious Tomato Chapathis. Awesome delight for Tomato Lovers. Here's how I made.


Red Ripe Tomatoes - 4 to 5

Oil for seasoning

Cumin Seeds - 1 tablespoon

Red Chilli Powder

Asafoetida Powder


Wheat Flour - 1 1/2 to 2 cups


Heat Oil in a Kadai and add the Cumin Seeds, then add the Chopped Tomatoes. (Blancing the Tomatoes is optional). When the content heats up add the Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, Asafoetida Powder and Salt.

Fry the Tomatoes until the Tomtoes are well mashed and blends into a gravy.

Allow it to cool completely.

Add Wheat Flour little by little to the cooled gravy. Add little water only if required. Knead the dough well. Do not add oil or salt as the gravy already contains those ingredients.

Proceed like doing the regular chapathis. Make small balls out of the dough. Roll and Toss in the hot Tawa. Use Ghee on both sides, if the chapathis are consumed immediately or use Oil if its going to be consumed after some time.

These colorful Chapathis go well with a dollop of Sour Cream or Yogurt. No other special gravy required.

Mar 28, 2007

Orange Sippa Gojju / Orange Peel Sour Gravy

Here's a recipe that will wake up all the taste buds. It's not very sour though, depends on how well the peels are cooked. Wonderful with steaming hot rice and some Papad as side.


Peels from 2 Oranges - Chopped into small strips

(Orange Peels can either be dried or fresh)

Water 2 cups
Tamarind Concentrate - 1/4 teaspoon
Roasted Ground Fenugreek Seeds (Mentha)- less than 1/4 teaspoon (Optional)
Mustard Seeds
Turmeric Powder
Asafoetida Powder
Oil for Seasoning
Curry Leaves

Roast and Grind:

1 tablespoon - Channa Dal
1 tablespoon - Dhania
1 tablespoon - Urud Dal
1 teaspoon - Black Pepper corns
1 or 2 Red Chillis


Heat Oil in a kadai and tamper mustard seeds, add the chopped orange peels and fry for a minute. Pour Water and allow it to boil.

While its boiling, add Turmeric Powder, Fenugreek Powder, Asafoetida Powder, Tamarind Concentrate, Curry Leaves and Salt.

When the Peels are cooked completely add the ground masala.

Let the content boil for few more minutes until the gravy thickens and the masala is well infused.

Serve hot with Rice. Enjoy with Papads.

Mar 27, 2007

Panaka and Majiga Neeru

Today is Sri Rama Navami and its a tradition to offer Panaka ( Sweetened Water) and Majiga Neeru (Diluted Butter Milk) as Prasad (Neivedyam) to Sri Rama. Lord Sri Rama's Birthday is celebrated every year as Sri Rama Navami.

Ingredients for Panaka: (Sweetened Water)

1 Cup Water

2 teaspoon - Jaggery / brown sugar

3 pods - Elachi (Cardamomn)

2 drops Lemon Juice

Pinch of Salt and Pepper

Pinch of Dried Ginger Powder


Mix all the ingredients and stir until even distribution.

Ingredients for Majiga Neeru: (Diluted Butter Milk)

1/2 Cup Yogurt / Thick Curd

1/2 Cup Water

Few Curry leaves

Pinch of Salt

Pinch of Asafoetida Powder


Mix all the Ingredients and Stir until even distribution.

Mar 24, 2007

Bindi Masala


Chopped Ladies Finger (Okra) - 2 Cups (Or use one packet of frozen okra)

Onion - 2 medium (Chopped)

Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Dhania Powder - 1 teaspoon

Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon

Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon


Little Ginger Garlic Paste (Optional)

Oil for Seasoning


Heat Oil in a Kadai and Add the Ginger Garlic Paste.

Add the chopped onions and fry until the onions turn light brown.

Add the Chopped Okra. Stir and Keep it on Low heat until the Okra is 3/4th Cooked.

Add all the Masala except Salt.

Do not stir too much as the Okra will become mushy.

Fry until the Okra is slightly roasted. Add the Salt and give a stir.

PS: When the Okra becomes sticky while cooking. Do not stir. Keep in in Low heat for some time.

Bindi Masala can be served warm as a side for Soft Chapathis/Phulkas.

Mar 21, 2007

Mixed Vegetable Kurma


Diced Mixed Vegetables - 2 1/2 to 3 cups

(Vegetables used in this Kurma are Cauliflower Florets, Carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Peas )

Onion - 1 1/2 - Chopped
Tomatoes - 2 - Chopped
Coriander Leaves to garnish
Fresh Coconut - 2 tablespoon - Grind with little water. ( I used Maggie's Instant Coconut Milk Powder)
Oil for seasoning

Grind the following to smooth paste using very little water:

1/2 onion
Green Chillis - 3
4 Garlic Pods
1 inch ginger
Cloves - 3
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Sonf - 1/4 teaspoon
Elachi ( Cardamom) - 3 pods (Optional)
Poppy Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon (Optional)
handful of Cashews (Optional)


Heat Oil in a Kadai. Fry the Onions. When it is starting to turn brown, add the Chopped Tomatoes. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes.

Add the Ground Masala and fry for a couple of minutes or until good aroma comes.

Add the Mixed Vegetables and pour 2 cups of water. Add Salt while boiling.

Cook until the vegetables are tender.

When its done, add the Ground Coconut or 1/2 cup Coconut milk and Turn down the heat completely after a couple of minutes.

Garnish with Coriander leaves and Serve hot with Soft Chapathis.

Mar 19, 2007

Corn Flour Halwa

Happy Ugadhi to everyone and I would like to share the sweet of the day with all of you. An awesome treat and fully cooked in microwave. One can not even guess that the sweet's main ingredient in Corn Flour. It is sure a heavenly treat. Its a no mess, fully microwave cooked, easy recipe that will be ready in minutes. This is my Mom's recipe for Corn Flour Halwa. Here's the recipe.


1/2 cup Corn Flour
Almost 1 cup Granulated Sugar
Saffron - a pinch (optional if using the artificial color)
6 to 7 pods Elachi (Take out the seeds and grind to a coarse powder)
Orange Red Color (Optional ) - a pinch
Pistachio nuts chopped - a handful
(Any kind of chopped nuts is fine)
Ghee - 3 tablespoons
Water - 4 cups


Take Corn Flour in a Microwave safe bowl. Preferably a little big. I used the corning ware big size.

Pour 2 Cups of Water. Whisk well until there are no lumps.

Mix in the sugar and whisk until even distribution.

Add the Saffron.

Microwave on High for 2 minutes. Stir and again Microwave on High for 2 minutes. Repeat this until the conflour's raw smell goes. If you think the content is thickening too quickly, add little water and stir until even distribution and again Microwave for 1 or 2 minutes, or until the content becomes a little semi solid and the Corn Flour raw smell disappears completely.

Grease a dish with Ghee and add the remaining Ghee, Ground Elachi and the chopped nuts to the content and stir until even distribution. Cook again for a minute or two in microwave. The consistency will resemble a jelly, somewhat semi solid, trying to set.

Immediately pour the content in the greased dish.

Allow it to cool completely. Topple the halwa in a plate. Slice and Serve. You can still enjoy the Halwa even if it doesn't slice out well.

Mar 16, 2007

Quick Mango Masala

This is yet another No Onion Recipe. Its a little sour, very tasty, and a quick masala for chapathis or Dosas. Its a very simple dish yet delicious. Here's the recipe.


2 Cups Diced Mixed Vegetables

Vegetables used in this recipe are,

1 Raw Mango

2 Carrots

Green Beans

Other Ingrediets are,

Oil for seasoning

Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon

Urud Dal - 2 teaspoons

2 Green Chillis slit vertically

Asafoetida Powder

Turmeric Powder

Curry Leaves

Besan Flour ( Used as a thickening agent and to give a consistency for the masala )



Heat oil in a kadai and add Mustard Seeds, when it sputters, add urud dal, when it turns golden, add the Green Chillis and the Curry Leaves.

Add the Diced Mixed Vegetables. Pour 2 cups of water and allow it to boil.

When its boiling, add Salt, Asafoetida powder and Turmeric Powder.

Cook till vegetables are tender.

Take half cup Water and Whisk in the Besan flour. Add this to the Masala. Keep stirring. In a minute you will notice the masala thickening. Turn off heat when the desired consistency is reached. Garnish with Cilantro and Serve hot with Chapathis or Dosas.

Mar 14, 2007

Palak Paneer

I googled for Palak Paneer. As I was searching for the recipe, I came across various versions. Got really confused which one to follow, I decided to bring up my own version. I got an idea of what the gravy consists of, so, grabbed the ingredients and started doing it in my own style. The Palak Paneer turned out really good and we all enjoyed it with the soft Chapathis. The recipe for Palak Paneer ( My version ) is very very simple. Here's it is.


Spinach - Chopped - 2 to 3 cups ( I used one full packet of Fresh Spinach Leaves available in the Indian Store)

Onions - 2 ( Preferably Red Onions)

Garlic Cloves - 3 to 4 ( Optional )

Juicy Tomatoes - 3

Masoor Dal - 2 tablespoons

Cumin Seeds - 2 teaspoons

Dhania Powder - 2 tablespoons

Garam Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon

Red Chilli Powder - 1 teapspoon

Oil for Seasoning

Ghee for enhancing the flavor ( Optional )

Salt as required

Sugar - 1 teaspoon

Deep Fried Paneer Cubes - handful - ( I used the readymade Fried Paneer Cubes available in the frozen Section in the Indian Grocery Store )


Pressure Cook Masoor Dal and Spinach together (adding little water) for 2 whistles and Cool.

Chop Garlic, Onions and Tomatoes. Save a tablespoon of onions. Heat Oil in a kadai and season with Cumin Seeds. Then add Onion. Then, Garlic. Fry for a couple of minutes and then add the Tomatoes. Fry until all the liquid is absorbed. Cool the Content.

Drain water from the Spinach Masoor Dal and Save the Water.

Grind the fried Tomato Onion with Cooked Spinach Masoor.

Heat Oil on a Kadai and fry a tablespoon of chopped onions. Add the Dhania Powder and fry for a second. Add the ground mixture. Boil in medium heat. Use the saved water to loosen the gravy. Stir in the Salt and Sugar. Add Garam Masala Powder and Red Chilli Powder. Boil the content for a couple of minutes.

Add the Paneer Cubes. Turn down the heat. Allow some time for the Paneer to absorb the gravy. Delicious Palak Paneer is ready. Stir in the Ghee and serve with Soft Chapathis.

Mar 9, 2007

Soft Chapathis

Anyone can make soft chapathis. The real challenge is, Does it remain soft for a longer time? I was wondering why my chapathis do not remain soft for even half an hour. I tried different brands of flour. Finally, I got what I wanted. The magic flour is Pillsbury Chakki Fresh Atta (which is whole wheat). Now, the Chapathis are so soft for longer hours. That gives me the energy and enthu to prepare chapathis everyday. Here's how I make Chapathis.


2 Cups - Pillsbury Chakki Fresh Atta
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 tablespoon Oil
Little oil for making chapathis


Mix the salt and oil to the flour. Add water little by little and Knead the dough. The consistency should not be too sticky or too hard.

Make small balls and roll each ball. Dredge in the flour if its sticky.

Heat a Tawa and place a rolled chapathi. After you notice the chapathi slightly puffing, immediately apply very very little oil and press all around and turn around the chapathi ( Do not allow the other side to become too dry). Press the Chapathi. Again you will notice the chapathi puffing. Again apply very little oil on the upper side and turn around the chapathi again. After a couple of seconds, take away the chapathi from the Tawa. The final product should still be soft. These chapathis are healthy and remain soft for longer duration.

Beet and Beet Greens Curry

I tried Trupti's recipe for Beetgreens Shaak and it turned out very well. I really thank her for sharing such a wonderful healthy dish. I followed her recipe word to word. Very easy and quick dish.

Mar 6, 2007

Cauliflower Carrot Peas Kootu

I slightly modified the recipe of Malika Badrinath's Cauliflower Kootu. Here is the recipe.


Cauliflower - 1 Medium, chopped into florets
Carrot and Peas - frozen - 1 cup
Oil for seasoning

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon

Grind together:
Roasted Channa dal: 2 tablespoons
poppy seeds - 1 teaspoon
Green Chillis - 2
Cinnomon and cloves
1 bunch coriander leaves.
dry or fresh coconut - 1 tablespoon


Heat Oil and add Mustard Seeds, when it sputters, add the Cumin Seeds.

Add the Vegetables. Sprinkle water and cook until tender.

Mix in the Ground masala.

Add salt to taste.

Serve hot with Chapathis.

Mar 5, 2007

It's virtually for Every Indian Women around the globe

It's 7 p.m. and 67-year-old Chitra Viswanathan logs on to She receives an urgent personal message from a fellow member of the website, a young woman who is in her kitchen in New Jersey, U.S.with her laptop — "It's boiling! What do I do next?" And so, from Chennai, literally halfway across the world, Chitra talks her through — or rather, messages her through — the rest of the recipe.

It's all in a day's work for Chitra who says she has become a sort of virtual mother figure for young women who have got married and moved far away from home and family. She runs the `Ask ChitVish' cookery and spiritual sub-forums on, an online community and discussion board for Indian women all over the world to share information and provide support to each other.

"You can find help for anything from making kozhukattai to doing Google searches," chuckles Chithra. "There is nothing that cannot be discussed, whether it is how to drape a sari, or where to shop for payals in Bangalore."

Home away from home was formed in March 2005 by Malathy Jey, a computer engineer, who got married and moved to Texas, U.S. in 2004, in response to her feelings of isolation and loneliness. "The inability to meet friends and relatives in person made me feel rudderless," she says via email. "While American neighbours are good, I felt the need to reach out to Indian women friends and share my experiences. That's how the idea of was born."

With over 1,800 members from India, the U.K., the U.S., South Africa, Dubai, Singapore and Australia today, the website is not just a resource for Indian women but also a place for forming emotional connections. "Women share their ideas, provide tips, ask and answer questions on beauty, diet, nutrition, cooking, health, wellness, movies, TV programmes, fine arts, pregnancy, parenting, marriage, relationships, career, money matters, religion and spirituality," says Malathy. "And since they engage with each other on a daily basis, they end up forming strong friendships."

Going local

The recently introduced local sub-forums allow women to share region-specific information such as recommendations on good gynaecologists, day-care facilities or restaurants, or set up play-groups and plan get-togethers, and aim to further foster these relationships. However, security and safety of the website's members remains a central concern. "We moderate discussions throughout the day and take prompt action when some members violate forum etiquette," says Malathy.

Two years ago, Chitra was scared to touch a computer. Today, she shares over 850 traditional recipes online, and says she has made more friends than she could have imagined through "I want many women to gain as I have from the existence of such a website," she says.

Extract from The Hindu.