Follow Paajaka Recipes on Facebook

Nov 2, 2014

Pomegranate rice / Dalimbe anna

Pomegranate lovers, here's a treat for you. I love pomegranate and I can take it in any form. Even in the form of a chutney. This fruit is a great addition to salads and also it can make Kashmiri pulao more colourful. 

This is a very simple rice recipe made with the pomegranate juice extract. This recipe is almost similar to  Lemon rice, Apart from being a healthy alternative to tamarind rice and other chitra anna, its also a great addition to the menu when you have guest. Its so colourful and unique. Here is the recipe.


Cooked rice - 2 cups (udhur anna: rice should be fully cooked and flaky but not mushy)

Pomegranate - 1 large

Oil - 1 table spoon for tempering

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Green chilli - 1 or 2 slit vertically 
Dry red chilli - 3

Curry leaves -  sprig (optional)

Coriander leaves to garnish

Salt to taste


Cut the pomegranate into two halves. Take out the seeds. You can google to find many ways to take the seeds out effortless.

Grind half the seeds and strain using a filter. Keep the extract aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper the mustard seeds. Then add curry leaves if using.

Add the chilli you want to use (red or green or combination).

Stir and turn off heat. 

Add the juice extract and salt as required.

Mix in rice. Use a fork to mix so you don't break the rice.

Mix in the remaining seeds and garnish with coriander leaves.

Its a great lunch box recipe too.

A must try recipe for those fruit lovers who want to taste the fruit in different avatars.


Oct 15, 2014

Brinj - A Traditional Vegetable Biryani

To my knowledge, brinj is a traditional vegetable biryani, where coconut along with spices are ground and the rice and vegetables are cooked along with this coconut spice masala. A tasty and filling one pot meal that's just right for a quick sunday brunch. This biryani is usually served with raitha, preferably onion raitha. Its definitely a must try recipe. Here's my version of the recipe using pressure cooker. Make it a totally vegan dish by avoiding ghee.


Carrots - 4 medium - peel and cut to one inch length

Green beans - 1 handful - chop the ends and cut to one inch length

Green peas - half cup

Onions - 2 - cut length wise

Tomato - 2 medium - fleshy - quartered and roughly chopped

Mint - handful - roughly chopped

Bay leaf - 3 small

Basmathi rice - 2 cups - no need to soak in water

Water - 4 cups

Salt to taste

Ghee for flavour

Oil for seasoning - 2 tablespoon


Coconut - 3 tablespoons 

Cinnamon - half inch

Cloves - 4 

Garlic - 6 cloves

Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and roughly chopped

Saunf / Fennel seeds - 2 teaspoons

Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon

Star anise - 1 or 2

Red chillies 3 to 4 (medium hot)

Green chilli - 1 or 2 that's very hot, adjust as per taste

Grind all of the above ingredients under the head Grind: using half cup water.


In a wide pressure pan or pressure cooker, heat oil.

Add bay leaf and then onions.

Fry onions until its cooked.

Add roughly chopped tomatoes.

Now add the ground masala.

Add 2 teaspoons salt and stir well. 

Keep frying until good aroma comes and oil separates.

By this time the tomatoes will be well mashed and fully cooked. 

Wait for most of the moisture to be absorbed or you will end up with a soggy biryani.

Now add the vegetables (carrot, beans, pea) and roughly chopped mint.

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt and stir well.

Wash 2 cups basmathi rice and drain water.

Add it to the vegetable mixture.

Stir for a minute and add 4 cups water.

Add one tablespoon ghee (clarified butter)

Mix the content and close it with the lid.

Cook in high heat for exactly 2 whistles and turn off.

Open the lid only when the pressure is completely released.

Take out the bay leaf and gently stir without breaking the rice.

Its optional to add ghee fried cashews and squared ghee roasted white bread pieces.

Serve hot with onion raitha.

The recipe looks lengthy but its actually easy.

Adding big chunks of potatoes along with other vegetables is optional. I usually don't add potatoes to biryani's and pulaos.

Happy cooking.


Oct 13, 2014

Paneer Butter Masala - Chettinad Style

Its the south Indian version of Paneer butter masala using the Chettinad spices - fennel, pepper and lots of garlic, ginger and curryleaves. Here is the recipe for this lip- smacking paneer masala with a chettinad twist.


Fresh Paneer - 200 gms or as required - Cut into 1 inch cubes
Deep frying the paneer till golden is optional.
(used Milky mist paneer - 1 packet - did not fry)

Unsalted Butter - in room temperature - 2 tablespoons

Cashew nuts - 2 tablespoons

Poppy seeds (Khas khas) - 1 tablespoon

Onion - 2 medium - roughly chopped

Tomato - 4 large - roughly chopped

Ginger - 2 inches - peeled and roughly choppe

Garlic - 8 to 10 cloves

Green chillis - 1 to 2 (as per heat and taste)

Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon

Sugar - 1 teaspoon

Salt as required

Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon (optional)

Coriander leaves - handful - for garnish

Ground Masala Paste:

Roast the following in little oil, adding them in the order given.

Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds - half tablespoon

Black Peppercorns - 1 teaspoon

Cinnamon stick - 1 inch

Cloves - 2 to 3

Fennel (saunf) - 2 teaspoons

Green cardamom (Elachi) - seeds from 3 to 4 cardamoms

Dry red chillies - 2 to 3

Add fresh coconut - a little more than half cup and roast all the indredients together until the coconut is roasted.

Turn off heat and cool. Grind using little water and keep it aside.


Soak Cashewnuts and Poppy seeds (khas khas) in warm water for 30 minutes. Drain water and transfer it to the mixie jar and grind it using very little water. Let it sit in the Mixie jar.

Heat a tablespoon of oil in a kadai. Add chopped onions, green chillies, chopped ginger, garlic cloves, curry leaves and fry till onion turns translucent. 

Add Chopped tomatoes, and fry till it is almost cooked.

Cool the content and transfer it to the ground cashew, poppy seed Mixie jar. Grind to a smooth paste and Keep it aside.

Heat a teaspoon of oil with a tablespoon butter.

Add the Ground Masala Paste.

Fry for a couple of minutes in medium heat, until a good aroma comes and the butter/oil separates.

Now add the ground cashew, poppy, onion tomato masala.

When the content boils, add required amount of sugar, salt, red chilli powder (optional) and turmeric powder. 

The content will thicken. Adjust the consistency using little water and allow the content to boil for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Add a table spoon of butter and turn off heat. 

Add the paneer (as is or fried) and stir in gently. Squeezing lemon juice at this point is optional.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tastes awesome with chapathi or any roti or paratha variety. Truly spicy, tasty, lip smacking curry.

Note: This curry is really spicy. Adjust the green chilli, red chilli, red chillie powder, garlic and ginger as per taste.


Oct 2, 2014

Moong bean / Pachai payaru Sundal

Mung/Moong bean is called pachai payaru in tamil. This green gram is packed with nutrition. Its a perfect addition to a vegetarian healthy diet. Here's a sundal recipe with this bean. 


Green gram / Moong / Mung bean - 1 cup

Oil for tempering - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Green chillies - 1 or 2 depending upon the heat. It can be vertically slit or chopped.

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

Ginger - 1 inch - peeled and minced

Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

Salt as required

Desiccated coconut or Fresh grated coconut - half cup

Coriander leaves - roughly chopped

Lemon juice - 2 tablespoons


Soak Mung bean over night in water.

Next day, drain the water.

Heat 3 cups water with a tablespoon of salt. When the water comes to a boil, add the soaked beans.

Let the content boil for 5 to 6 minutes.

Turn off heat and drain the water using a colander and allow the mung bean to rest until all the water is drained.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai, preferably non stick. Temper the mustard seeds. 

Add the green chillies, ginger and Curry leaves. stir for a minute.

Add the Mung beans and asafoetida powder. Sprinkle salt as it is already boiled in salted water.

Mix well and garnish with coconut - grated fresh or desiccated and coriander leaves. Turn off heat and stir lemon juice and the Sundal is ready to be served.


Oct 1, 2014

Green Peas / Pachai Pattani Sundal

This sundal is made out of the store bought dry green peas. Soaked it over night. Cooked and seasoned the peas to make this sundal. Here's the recipe.


Dry green peas - 1 cup

Oil for seasoning - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch

Fresh grated coconut - 2 tablespoon

Green chilli - 1 or 2 vertically slit - adjust as per taste

Salt as required

Water for soaking and cooking the peas


Soak dry green peas overnight in water.

Next day, drain the water.

Pressure cook the peas with just enough water adding 2 teaspoons salt.

Cook for about a whistle or two. 

After the pressure is released, add 1 cup water and fish out the outer skin of the peas that's floating on the surface. Drain water and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper the mustard seeds.

Add the green chillie, curry leaves and asafoetida powder.

Add the cooked peas and stir.

Sprinkle just enough salt and add the grated fresh coconut.

Give it a stir and turn off heat.

Green peas sundal / pachai pattani sundal is ready to be served.


Sep 29, 2014

Red kidney beans / Rajma Sundal

Being an excellent source of nutrition, Rajma or Red kidney beans, from the legume family is a friend to all health conscious people. There are many types of kidney beans available. In this rajma sundal recipe,  I have used a type of beans that is small and dark red. I have added generous amount of ginger to take care of the gas part ;-) Ginger also adds taste and nutrition to the sundal. Here's the recipe.


Small red kidney beans / rajma beans - 1 cup

Oil for tempering - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Green chilli - 1 or 2 vertically slit ( adjust as per taste)

Fresh grated coconut - 2 to 3 tablespoons

Fresh ginger - 2 inches - peeled and chopped roughly

Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

Water to soak rajma beans and to cook 


Soak rajma beans over night in water.

Next day, drain water and pressure cook rajma beans for 4 to 5 whistles with just enough water and a tablespoon of salt.

Drain excess wate and keep the beans aside.

Dry grind coconut and ginger together until its finely minced. Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, preferably non stick.

Temper the mustard seeds and add the green chillie and cooked rajma beans.

Simmer heat and add Asafoetida powder and the ground coconut ginger.

Sprinkle salt as the beans are already cooked in salted water.

Stir well and turn off heat.

Healthy rajma beans sundal is ready to serve.


Sep 28, 2014

Split moong dal / Hesaru bele Sundal

Split moong/mung dal or Hesaru bele kosambari is a very common item in the kannadiga's kitchen. Its a raw salad that is tempered with green chillie with a touch of lime and of course garnished with coconut and coriander. This sundal, also has the same ingredients for tempering and garnishing except that the dal is boiled before its tempered. Here is the recipe.


Yellow split moong dal / Hesaru bele - Three fourths cup

Oil for tempering

Green chillies - 1 or 2 as per taste

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Salt as required

Turmeric powder -  a pinch

Asafoetida powder - a pinch

Coriander leaves - handful - roughly chopped

Fresh grated coconut - 1 to 2 tablespoon

Lemon juice - 1 teaspoon - optional

Water for soaking and boiling the dal


Wash moong dal and soak in water for 1 hour.

Heat 2 cups water and when its starts to boil, add the soaked dal.

In about a couple of minutes, you will notice the water raising with froth.

Turn off heat and drain water using colander and allow the water to be drained completely.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper the mustard seeds. Add green chillie and then the boiled dal.

Add turmeric powder and asafoetida powder and salt and give a quick stir.

Turn off heat and mix in chopped coriander leaves and fresh grated coconut.

Squeeze lime if needed.

Healthy sundal is ready to be served.


Sep 27, 2014

Kala channa / Kondakadalai sundal

Kala channa or Kondakadalai as it is called in tamil is a type of legume from the chicpeas family. This protein and fiber rich legume is definitely a choice for people who want to smart snack. Its excellent for controlling blood sugar. Kala channa can be used as a part of a healthy diet and it aids for weight loss and weight management. Here is a simple recipe for a sundal using this excellent legume.


Kala channa / Kondakadalai - 1 cup

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Curry leaves - 1 sprig optional

Green chillie - 1 vertically slit - adjust as per taste

Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon

Salt as required

Water for soaking and boiling the chana


Soak Kala channa in water over night. Sprouting this channa is a great idea for added benefits.

Drain water and Pressure cook the channa with just enough water and 2 teaspoons salt for 6 whistles.

Kala channa takes longer time to cook. Hence, boiling method is not preferred.

Drain water and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a kadai and temper the mustard seeds.

Add green chilli and the curry leaves if using them. 

Add channa and just sprinkle salt as channa is already cooked in salted water.

Add lemon juice and mix well. 

Healthy sundal is ready.

Grated carrot and chopped coriander leaves and finely minced ginger and cucumber can be added to make a tasty salad.


Karamani / Black eye bean Sundal

Today's sundal recipe is Black eye bean sundal. Black eye bean (karamani) is loaded with nutrients. A great after school snack for a protein boost. Here's the recipe.


Black eye beans - 1 cup

Oil for tempering - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

Dry red chillies - 3 to 4 ( adjust as per your taste)

Desiccated coconut - 1 tablespoon

Salt as required

Water for soaking and cooking the beans


Soak beans in water overnight.

The next day, drain water and pressure cook with just enough water and add salt. Cook for just 2 to 3 whistles. Alternatively, boil the beans in water until its cooked.

Drain water and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a kadai. Temper the mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and dry red chillies.

Add the black eye beans. To it add asafoetida.

Sprinkle salt as the beans is already cooked in salted water.

Mix the desiccated coconut or fresh grated coconut and give a quick stir and turn off heat.

Sundal is ready.


Sep 25, 2014

Groundnut / Peanut Sundal for Navrathri

It's Navrathri and I am sure almost every household, specially in south India is searching for Sundal Recipes online. Sundal is nothing but seasoned legumes that are specially done as prasad during the Navrathri. 

We have a tradition of keeping Golu or sometimes called Kolu. It's the placing of dolls in steps and worshipping them for nine days. The main deity in the doll step is the Marapaachi bommai. A couple made of wood carving. A fruit especially pomegranate is placed in the front of the bommai and daily pooja is done morning and evening and Sundal is offered as prasad. During these nine days, generally girls/ladies are invited and are showered with  return gifts or goodies that includes sweet, sundal, bangles, bindhi and other items generally used by the ladies/girls. Goddess Durga, Goddess Lakshmi and Goddess Saraswathi are worshipped during Navrathri.

I have made an attempt to do nine varieties sundal this year for the nine days of this festival. I have already posted channa sundal. Here is the recipe for groundnut or peanut sundal. 


Raw shelled Groundnut / Peanut - 1 cup heaped

Oil for tempering - 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves - 2 springs

Green chilli - 1 - vertically slit - adjust heat as per taste

Salt as required

Dessicated coconut or fresh grated coconut - 1 tablespoon

Water to boil the groundnut.


Raw shelled peanuts are used in this recipe. Wash the peanuts and soak for 10 to 15 mintes.

Heat a pot of water and add salt - atleast 3 teapsoons.

When it comes to a boil, add the peanuts and cook.

Alternatively, the peanuts can be pressure cooked in salted water for 5 to 6 whistles.

Drain water and keep the cooked peanuts aside.

Now heat oil in a small kadai. Temper the mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and green chilli.

Fry for few seconds and add peanuts. Sprinkle salt as the peanuts are already cooked in salted water.

Garnish with dessicated coconut or fresh grated coconut.

Stir well and its ready to serve.

It makes a very good evening after school snack as peanuts are loaded with nutrition for children.


If whole peanuts that are not shelled are used, wash the peanuts and pressure cook them in salted water and then shell them. That way its easy to take the peanuts out. Then, follow the same recipe. When pressure cooking, use a little more salt than specified in the recipe.


Aug 17, 2014

Vegetable Burger with Potato Patty Indian style

Who doesn't love potatoes?? In this recipe, aloo/potato has taken a shape of a patty. Just one full burger with this patty is good enough to fill your stomach. We had tomato soup to go with this burger for lunch and it became a wholesome meal and for at least the next 3 full hours, we din't feel a bit hungry. 

There are many versions of vegetable burger depending upon the fresh vegetables used and the type of patty used which can be either a mixed vegetable patty, aloo tikki, simple potato hash browns or a even a simple aloo patty that is lightly spiced. 

Coming to the recipe, for this vegetarian burger, I have prepared a potato patty that is mildly spiced with Indian flavours. Its quite simple and tasty too. These patties are a great party starters that can be served hot with ketcup. 

If you have the boiled potatoes ready, the total time to make the patty and assemble the burger ingredients and build the burger tower just takes around 20 to maximum 30 minutes. Here's the recipe.

Ingredients for potato patty:

Boiled and peeled Potatoes - 4 medium sized

Red onions - 2 medium sized - finely chopped

Fresh ginger - finely cut - 2 tablespoons

Cooked peas - 1 handful (optional)

Oil to fry onions - 1 tablespoon

Oil for shallow frying the patties

Salt as required

Pepper powder - 1 teaspoon

Green chilli - 1 finely minced

Coriander leaves - handful - finely cut

Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon

Chaat masala powder - 1 teaspoon

Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder - one pinch

Bread crumbs - 4 to 5 tablespoons

Ingredients for Burger:

Burger buns - 4

Butter to toast the burger buns (optional)

(I used store bought eggless mayonnaise)

Tomato ketchup

Sliced Tomatoes

Sliced Cucumbers

Onion cut into rings (optional)

Green lettuce or Red lettuce
(I used red lettuce)

Cheese slice (optional)


Prepare the aloo patties:

Grate the boiled potatoes and transfer to a mixing bowl. 

Add salt, pepper powder, finely minced green chillies and finely cut coriander leaves.

Mix well using a fork. Keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Temper cumin seeds. Add the finely cut onions and ginger.

Fry for a minute and add turmeric powder, salt, chaat masala powder, and garam masala powder.

Note: If onions are not used, then, all of the ingredients that are added to the onions (except oil) can be directly added to the potato mixture.

Turn off heat and add it to the potato mixture.

Add a tablespoon of bread crumbs and mix well.

Take a handful of this potato mixture and make a ball. Press on top to shape it like a patty.

Dip in a plate of bread crumbs generously both sides and arrange them in a plate.

Heat at least 4 tablespoons of oil in a wide bottomed non stick fry pan.

Place the patty and cook on both sides until its browned. 

Make sure the patties are handled carefully as it can break apart.

Carefully arrange the cooked patties in a plate and cool them.

Build the burger tower:

Toasting the burger bun is optional.

Place the bottom side of the burger.

Apply mayonnaise. Place the lettuce.

Place one big aloo patty. 

Top it with cheese slice (if using), sliced tomatoes and cucumbers and onions too.

squeeze some tomato ketchup and close the burger tower with the top side of the burger bun.

Serve it with french fries and/or soup and/or salad.