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Saturday 31 January 2015

Roasted Moong Dal Soup (Split Green Gram Lentil)

          This is a healthy soup of roasted Moong Dal, combined with tomatoes and a handful of coriander leaves. It is in a curried form and can be had along with some bread sticks or croutons for a wholesome light meal. As it is rich in proteins, they are very helpful for weight watchers. A dollop of butter and a sprinkle of red chili flakes / pepper powder or a dash of lime adds a punch to this hearty soup.

  • 1 cup moong dal, dry roasted
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped (opt)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • handful of coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. whole garam masala (cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves)
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 3 cups water / vegetable stock
  • coriander leaves to garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. chili flakes to garnish
  • 1 tsp. lime juice

          Pressure cook the tomatoes in 1 cup water for 2 whistles. Blend when cool and strain. Keep aside. Heat oil in a pan and saute the whole garam masala and bay leaf.

          Add the onion, ginger and garlic and fry till translucent.  Add the roasted moong dal, coriander leaves, all the powdered masalas and 2 cups water / stock. Pressure cook for 3-4 whistles.

          When cool, discard the bay leaf and the whole garam masalas. Blend in a mixie and add the tomato puree to it. 

          Adjust the stock according to the consistency desired. Just before serving, heat through and add the lime juice. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and chili flakes.

Spicy Chana Dal Fry (Bengal Gram Lentil - Andhra Style)

          This is a spicy and a tangy Chana Dal Fry in Andhra style. I have used some sambar powder and red chili powder to make it spicy. You can also add Kura Karam Powder (instead of red chili powder) which is very popular in the region. For the tangy flavour tamarind juice can also be used. It goes very well with steamed rice or as a side dish with chapattis. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 1 cup chana dal (Bengal gram lentil), soaked for an hour
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. musatrd seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chilies, broken into half
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic flakes, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. sambar powder
  • Juice of half a lime
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped

          Wash the soaked dal well and boil in 2 cups of water for 4-5 whistles. keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds and dry red chilies. After it stops spluttering, add the asafoetida and garlic. Sauté till the garlic changes colour.

          Add the onions and curry leaves. Fry till light brown in colour. Add the tomatoes and sauté till the oil separates. 

          Then add the turmeric powder, sambar powder and red chili powder. Mix well and add the boiled dal and salt.

          Simmer on low to medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Add lime juice and mix well. Your Spicy Chana Dal Fry is ready. Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.


                    Temper oil with dry chilies & mustard seeds. Sauté till it stops spluttering.

                               Add garlic & asafoetida. Sauté till garlic turns pink.

                                Add onion & curry leaves, Sauté till light brown.

                                Add tomatoes & sauté till mashed up.

                           Add turmeric powder, sambar powder & red chili powder & fry.

                                Add boiled dal & salt. Simmer on a low flame.

                          Add lime juice & mix well. Garnish & serve with rice or chapattis.

Friday 30 January 2015

Spinach Dhokla (Steamed Semolina Cake - Gujarati Style)

          A healthy recipe of the popular Gujarati snack - Dhokla made with spinach puree. It is an instant recipe where I have used sooji (rava) to make these delicious and fluffy small bites. It can be prepared in no time and is a very good option for breakfast or as an evening snack.

          It is absolutely great for any lunch box meal too. The procedure remains very much the same as you usually make Dhoklas. The green colour gives a very appealing look to these steamed cakes. 

  • 1 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 1/4 cup spinach, blanched / steamed & pureed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. ginger-green chilies paste
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 1 tsp. eno fruit salt


  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves


  • 1 tbsp, fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped

          In a bowl, combine together all the above mentioned ingredients (except eno salt) with required quantity of water to form a batter. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

          Pour more water if needed for a batter of pouring consistency. Meanwhile grease a steel container  or plate and keep aside.

          Mix eno fruit salt to the batter and mix well. Immediately Pour this mix in the steel container and steam for 15 minutes. (5 minutes on high flame and 10 minutes on medium flame)

          (Alternatively it can be microwaved on high for 4 minutes and standing time for 5 minutes).

          When cool, cut into desired shapes. For the tempering, heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the curry leaves and sesame seeds.

          Saute till the sesame seeds turns light brown in colour. Switch off the flame and pour this tempering over the steamed Dhoklas. Serve, garnished with coconut and coriander leaves.

Cabbage Thoran (Cabbage Stir Fry With Coconut - Kerala Style)

          Cabbage Thoran is a Kerala delicacy and is a common item in a Sadya meal. It is very mildly spiced and can be cooked in no time. Very healthy and delicious, it can be served both as a side dish or with chapatti. It needs to be cooked in coconut oil to get an authentic taste.

  • 1/2 of a medium cabbage, sliced finely
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (preferably)
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red chili, broken (opt)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • pinch of turmeric powder (opt)
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated coconut

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds, red chili and cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the onion and curry leaves and sauté till translucent.

          Now add the chopped cabbage, salt, turmeric powder and green chilies. Cover and cook on medium flame till soft. Do not add any water.

          When done and the cabbage turns soft, add the coconut and switch off the flame. Stir well to combine and serve.

Chepa Pulusu (Fish Curry - Andhra Style)

          Fish is loaded with proteins, nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids. So it is advised to have fish in our daily diet if possible. So here is a delicious and an authentic Andhra recipe of fish cooked in a spicy and a tangy gravy. Red chili powder and tamarind juice is the base of the gravy. I have used King Fish, but any other fish is okay.  

          It is traditionally prepared very spicy, but the red chili powder can be adjusted according to individual taste. I have used Kashmiri red chili powder and is best relished with plain steamed rice. So check out the step by step pictorial recipe to prepare it.

  • 2-3 King fish pieces 
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds 
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds 
  • pinch of fenugreek seeds 
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies, slit
  • 1-2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Kashmiri red chili powder 
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 cups tamarind water
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped 

         Marinate the fish with a pinch of salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder for 10-15 minutes. 

         Heat oil in a pan / kadai and temper with mustard seeds. After it stops spluttering add the cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds. Sauté for a few seconds and then add the garlic. Sauté for a few seconds more. 

         Add the onion, green chilies and curry leaves. Stir fry till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and stir for few seconds more. 

         Now add the tomatoes and cook till it is completely mashed. Add all the dry spices and toss well. Add in the tamarind water and bring it to a boil. 

          Gently drop in the marinated fish and simmer, covered for 5-6 minutes. When done, switch off the flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with hot steamed rice. 

                     Heat oil in a pan & temper with mustard seeds. Then add cumin seeds &
                     fenugreek seeds. Sauté few seconds & then add garlic. Sauté few sec more.

                        Add onion, green chilies & curry leaves. Stir fry till light brown. 

Add ginger-garlic paste & stir for few seconds more. 

                      Add tomatoes & cook till it is completely mashed. 

                        Add all the dry spices & toss well. 

                      Add tamarind water & bring it to a boil. 

                 Gently drop marinated fish & simmer, covered for 5-6 minutes. 

                   When done, switch off the flame & garnish with coriander leaves. 

                        Serve with hot steamed rice. 


Thursday 29 January 2015

Dhania Thepla (Coriander Leaves Thepla/ Flat Bread - Gujarati Style)

          This is my version of the popular Methi Thepla from the region of Gujarat. Here, I substituted with some chopped coriander leaves. Theplas are generally flat bread made with a combination of wheat and gram  flour. It is kneaded with an assortment of spices and shallow fried to perfection.  An appropriate accompaniment when travelling. It is best relished with some pickle and some green chilies if preferred.

  • 1 cup atta (wheat flour)
  • 1/2 cup besan (gram flour)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-green chilies paste
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • 4 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp. oil
  • 3/4 cup packed coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • oil for shallow frying

          In a bowl knead together all the above mentioned ingredients (except oil for frying) into a tight dough with required quantity of water. Keep aside for 30 minutes.

          Knead again for 1-2 minutes and divide the dough into equal portions. Roll out each portion into a thin chapatti with the help of some atta and stack them one over the other.

          Heat a tawa / griddle and fry the Theplas one at a time on both sides with a drizzle of some oil over it and around the edges. Serve hot with pickle, any chutney or plain yoghurt.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Patishapta Pithe (Stuffed Sweet Pancakes - Bengali Dessert)

          This is a traditional home made Bengali dessert usually prepared during the festival of Sankranti. In simple terms, they are pancakes / crepes made of sooji-maida combo and stuffed with a filling of grated fresh coconut and khoya. I took the liberty of adding some powdered cashewnut for some added flavour.

         There are many varieties of Pithe made during this occasion. Some are deep fried and then dipped in sugar syrup and some are simply steamed. Traditionally, khejurer Gur (Date Palm Jaggery) is used in this recipe, but in the absence of it, sugar (both white or brown) does the job. I mixed the jaggery in the batter rather than in the stuffing, to get a golden colour. 

  • 1 cup sooji (semolina)
  • 1/2 cup maida (plain flour)
  • 2 tbsp. rice flour
  • 1/4 cup melted jaggery (I have used date palm jaggery)
  • milk / water as required

  • 1 coconut, grated
  • 100 gms khoya, grated (milk solids)
  • sugar to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. cashewnut powder (opt)
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  •  oil as required         

          For the batter - mix together all the mentioned ingredients with required quantity of milk. Keep aside for 30 minutes. If needed add water to make the consistency a semi liquid batter of pouring consistency. Keep aside.

          For the stuffing - Heat ghee in a non-stick pan and add all the above mentioned ingredients, except oil. Saute on a low flame till it is thick and starts to leave the sides of the pan . Keep aside to cool.

          Smear a non-stick tawa / griddle with a little oil and pour a ladleful of the batter. Spread it around in a round shape by tilting the tawa or with the back of the ladle. Add few drops of oil around the edges and let it cook for  few seconds.

          Add a heaped tbsp. of the filling lengthwise in the centre of the pancake and roll it over. Press it gently and take off the fire. Make patishapta pithes in the similar manner and stack them one over the other.

Wednesday 21 January 2015

Couscous & Chickpeas Salad

          A healthy and a nutritious salad of couscous and chickpeas cooked in an Indian style. This can be had as a one dish meal for a light dinner. It is very wholesome and can be also relished as a lunch box meal.

  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup kabuli chana (white chickpeas / garbanzo beans), boiled
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper powder
  • slit green chilies to garnish

          Add 1/2 cup hot water to the couscous. Cover and leave aside for 10 minutes. Flake it with a fork and keep aside.

          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and temper with the mustard seeds. Saute the onion and garlic till light brown.

          Add the boiled chickpeas, salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder and pepper powder. Saute for a minute. Add the couscous and combine well. Serve, garnished with slit green chilies.

Chicken In Coconut Milk

          Chicken, a favourite with everyone can be cooked in various ways. So here is an easy and an equally delicious chicken curry cooked with coconut milk into a creamy texture. All the ingredients are easily available in a kitchen. So just marinate it overnight to save time. It can be relished both with rice, pulao or naan / chapati.

  • 500 gms. chicken cubes (on bones)
  • 2-3 onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste / 1/2 cup tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp. coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. red chili powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • slit green chilies & lemon slice to garnish


          Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, salt, coriander-cumin powder, tomato paste, red chili powder, yogurt and garam masala powder overnight preferably.

          Heat oil in a pan and saute the onions till light brown. Add the marinated chicken and cook on medium heat till dry.

          Add 1 cup water and cook, covered on medium flame till done and the gravy is slightly thick. Add the coconut milk and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Serve, garnished with green chilies & sliced lemon.

Wednesday 7 January 2015

Beans & Black Chickpeas Stir Fry

          A simple and an easy side dish for your dal-rice or with chapattis. Healthy and nutritious, they are very filling and can be had as a lunch box meal. It can be made in no time and there can be many variations to this dish by just a bit of mix and match. For example, fresh grated coconut, coriander leaves, some cumin powder, curry powder, etc. can be substituted.

  • 2 cups beans, chopped
  • 1/2 cup black chickpeas, boiled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
  • handful of mint leaves, chopped
  • ginger juliennes to garnish

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the asafoetida, onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Sauté till the onions turns light brown.

          Now add the beans, salt and turmeric powder and continue to sauté on low flame till it is soft. Add the boiled chickpeas, garam masala powder and the mint leaves. 

          Give it a stir and sauté for a minute or two till it is well combined. Serve with ginger julienne.

Friday 2 January 2015

Tuna Sandwich

          This is a very yummy and a sumptuous breakfast / snack recipe of Tuna sandwich made out of canned tuna flakes and some chopped veggies. They are layered with mayonnaise, lettuce, onion and some tomatoes. For some variation, you can also add some grated cheese or cheese slices. It is no doubt a meal on the go and this sandwich can also be made with brown bread slices too.

  • 1-2 Hot Dog buns, slit
  • 1/2 cup canned tuna flakes
  • 1/4 cup assorted bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garlic, chopped
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 4-5 olives, sliced
  • lettuce leaves
  • sliced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil


          Heat oil in a pan and sauté the onion (leave aside some to garnish) and the garlic till translucent. Add the bell peppers and the olives and sauté further for a minute.

          Now add the tuna flakes, salt and pepper and continue to sauté for 2-3 minutes on medium flame. Keep aside to cool.

          To assemble, spread mayonnaise on both the sides of the bun and layer the lettuce leaves. Top it up with 2-3 tbsp. of the tuna mix. 

          Over it sprinkle some chopped onions and then arrange the tomato slices. Tuna Sandwich is ready to be served.

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