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Mar 31, 2010

Instant Dal powder for rice - Paruppu podi

The birth story of this dal powder: One of the items in my menu was Dal chutney for rice, when my friends visited us a couple of weeks ago for lunch. I roasted the gram dal and it was ready to be ground with the fresh coconut. I realized later that I had ran out of fresh coconut. Then, I came up with a plan of grinding it with the desiccated coconut, though I was so sure it would not taste like the regular dal chutney. Using my preethi chef pro plus mixie, I powdered the roasted gram dal with the dry coconut. No sooner did I see the powder, than, I thought I could use it as such as 'dal powder' instead of chutney. This is the story. When I told this to my mom, she told me that this powder is very common in many households, especially among kannadigas. She also mentioned it's name in kannada but I forgot now. Whatever it is,  It was absolutely new for me. Felt like shouting Eureka. Coming to the recipe, this is a very simple one and yet delicious. My friend suggested that I can use this as Milagai podi for iddli/dosa as well, apart from mixing it with rice. You can also store this for a couple of days in fridge. Comes really handy for busy working moms.


Gram dal / kadle bele - 1 cup

Kobri or Desiccated  coconut - 2 tablespoons

Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and chopped

Red chillies - 2

Green chilli - 1 - chopped

Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch

Curry leaves - a sprig

Salt as required

Oil - a teaspoon for roasting dal


Roast the gram dal with a teaspoon of oil in low heat. Make sure the dal is roasted 

Once the dal is roasted, add the following ingredients: Ginger, red and green chillis, and curry leaves and turn off the heat.

Cool the content to room temperature. 

Grind the content well with salt and asafoetida powder. 

You can mix one spoon of this dal powder with hot white rice and add a dab of ghee to enhance the flavor. Side with curd and/or vadaam.


Mar 25, 2010

Spicy Dal palak - my version of Keerai masiyal

I had a bunch of spinach and a cup of cooked toor dal. Earlier, I used to prepare only Keerai sambar with dal and spinach. This time I tried something different. I sautéed some onions, added tomatoes, then cooked the spinach in it with some added spices and finished it with dal. Ta-daaa!!! my version of keerai masiyal, which I named spicy dal palak was ready in no time. The taste was just out of the world. We had this with rice. I am sure it will taste good with chapathis/rotis too. Let me share the recipe. Here it is.


Palak / Spinach - Chopped - 2 cups

Cooked Toor dal - 1 cup

Onions - 1 medium - preferably red onion - chopped

Tomato - 2 - pureed or half a can tomato puree

Green chillis - 4 count - (increase or decrease as per your taste) Since the gravy is green, colored green chillis like yellow, orange or red can be used

Ginger - 1 inch - skin peeled and finely chopped (1 teaspoon ginger paste can be substituted)

Turmeric powder - quarter teaspoon

Salt as required

Dhania powder - 1 tablespoon

Jeera powder - half tablespoon

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Urud dal - 1 table spoon

Oil for seasoning


Heat oil in a wide kadai. Add the mustard seeds, when it splutters, add the urud dal, when it turns golden color add the green chillis, ginger and onion.

Sauté the onion. When it turns light brown, add the tomato puree.

When you see the content bubbling, add the following: turmeric, dania powder and jeera powder.

Stir well and add the chopped spinach. Pour just half cup water and cook the content partially closed.

When the spinach is well cooked, add the cooked toor dal and mix well. Wait for one bubble and turn off heat.

Serve with rice or roti. This is a very healthy alternative for many other high calorie gravies.

Note: This gravy can be cooked without the dal too. Also, you can avoid onion or tomato or both.

This is my entry to 'Healing foods event - Spinach' hosted in Dilse, an event started in Siri's corner


Mar 23, 2010

Masal Vadai - Restaurant style

Longing for restaurant style masal vadai? here is the recipe that is sure to please your yearning tastebuds. It is not very hard to prepare these spicy tasty cruncy vadais. I used the Cuisinart 11 cup custom pro food processor to grind the soaked dal. You can use any mixer/grinder to grind the dal. Before I bought this food processor, I ground dal using either ultra grinder or the preethi chef pro plus. I have added one secret ingredient that will sure make these vadais more crunchy. Here is the recipe.


Toor dal/Tuar dal - one and half cups
Channa dal - half cup
Moong dal (yellow) - half cup
Onion - 1 large - chopped finely
Green chillis - 6 to 7 (increase or decrease the number of chillis are per your taste)
Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches
Curry leaves - chopped - handful
Coriander leaves - chopped - handful (optional)
Ginger - finely chopped - 1 tablespoon
Sonf - fennel seeds - 1 tablespoon
Salt - as per taste
Oil for deep frying


Soak toor dal and channa dal together in water for about 3 hours. Drain water and keep it aside.

Squeeze out excess water from the chopped onion and keep it aside.

Grind the curry leaves, green chillis, ginger, sonf, and salt in a food processor.

Drain the water completely from the soaked dal and add it in the food processor.

Pulse for few times, until the dal is well ground. You can use any grinder/mixer to grind the dal. In that case you might have to sprinkle water to grind. Use only very little water.

Transfer the content to a bowl and add the onion, coriander leaves and the moong dal. You don't have to soak the moong dal. Just add all these ingredients and mix well. You should be able to make small balls out of the prepared base.

Heat oil in a kadai. Meanwhile, make small balls and flatten the ball and arrange it in a plate. You can fry 3 to 4 vadas at a time.

Fry in medium heat only. Flip the vadais while frying. Once the vadais are golden brown, drain excess oil and transfer it to a bowl lined with kitchen paper towel.

Repeat until all the dal is fried.

Serve it piping hot or just warm with/without chutney. Enjoy these vadas with a cup of coffee or tea.


Mar 16, 2010

Kalkandu Bhath with Mixed nuts

Ugadhi wishes to you all. May this year be filled with happiness and prosperity. My mom used to make this Kalkandu bhath/saadam/rice using all the prasad we get in the temples. I did not ask her the recipe. I made up my own using the kalkandu, elachi, nuts and raisins and of course with the important ingredients rice and ghee (clarified butter) . This is one high calorie food, a delicious delicacy for any occasion. This recipe might not be the authentic way to do this sweet but sure is a delight that is made easy. Here's the recipe.


Cooked rice - 2 cups - Rice must be cooked soft in pressure cooker and must be still hot while preparing this dish.
Ghee - half cup
Mixed nuts (or any one for combination of nuts of your choice) - 1 cup
Elachi / Cardamom powder - half teaspoon
Kalkandu / Sugar candies - 1 and 1/4 cups ( substitute with plain sugar 1 and half cup if you don't have the kalkandu)

For nuts I used mixed nuts of Almonds, Cashews, Pistachios, Walnuts and added raisins too.


In a teaspoon of ghee, roast the nuts and keep it aside.

Take a wide and heavy bottomed kadai.

Dissolve the sugar candies (Kalkandu) with half cup water in medium heat.

Once the sugar is dissolved, add the cooked rice, and cardamom powder and reduce the heat.

Keep stirring to avoid mixture sticking to the bottom of the vessel.

Once the rice is mixed well with the dissolved sugar, add the nuts and ghee.

Mix well. At this point, you can taste the sweet and add more sugar if you think the sweetness is not enough. Mix all together and turn off heat.

The sweet is at it's best while it is still warm.


Mar 15, 2010

Springing back to blogging this spring

I was waiting, hoping and wishing to start blogging again and here I come. I am extremely delighted to meet all my foodie buddies and my blog followers once again.

Thank you for all the emails. I am sorry if I had not replied to your mails. It has taken several months for me to bounce back to active lifestyle, since I did not expect a prolonged shoulder rehab. All is well now.

In the past year, I have experienced a lot of pain. First the shoulder pain, then the shoulder surgery and then the painful rehab process. Imagine a home, the lady of the house is doing even the regular chores for one full year with a lot of muscle pain in the shoulder. I do not want any one to go through what I experienced, specially to those cooks living abroad. I want to share with you all what I have learnt in the past year.My advise to everyone is, do not take your hand for granted. Please do not abuse it by cooking too much all the time, carrying heavy groceries etc. My advise also extends to all the perfectionists in the kitchen. Kitchen has to be clean and hygienic. Period. Don't exhaust yourself to keep it super duper clean. Also, don't throw too many parties unless you are in good health and spirits. Party means 'A hell lot of work'. I love to throw parties, specially because, it is the only way you get to interact with people especially in the winter days. My advise here is, please do not strain too much and take yourself for granted.

My new companion in my kitchen is the Cuisinart food processor. The ultimate food processor one can own. Indian cooking using this food processor is a breeze. I am talking about the Cuisinart 11 cup custom pro food processor. This was really a helping hand to me. I now use the food processor for most of the recipes. I will be posting various recipes that can be made easily using this food processor. Such a wonderful investment.

Tomorrow is Ugadhi. Kannada, telugu new year. Tomorrow, I will be posting a recipe for Kalkandu Bhath prepared with mixed nuts. It is a very easy breezy sweet that you can prepare in no time. See you all tomorrow.