Friday, January 31, 2014

Beetroot Halwa

Though beetroot is available all through the year, I don't bring this very often for one reason.On seeing that requests will come for beetroot halwa.Though I like to eat that, the amount of sugar and ghee used for that makes me say ' no' . But this sinful dessert seems to be pretty ok once in a while.What do you think?


Beetroots                - 4 cups (grated)
Sugar                      - 13/4 cup(2 cups if you have a sweet tooth)
Whole milk              - 1 cup
Ghee                        - 1/2 cup
Green cardamom      - 4 (crushed)
cashews                    - few


Pressure cook beetroots along with milk for one whistle. Alternately, you can cook beetroots with in a heavy pot also.Once cooked until soft open the cooker/pot and cook until all the liquid evaporates.Then all sugar and keep stirring until everything comes together.Now start adding ghee little at a time and keep mixing.Add in the cashews  and keep cooking .Continue to add ghee and cook until all the ghee is done and you see the mixture turning into a mass  and oozing out ghee. Add crushed cardamom and give it a quick mix.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Lemon Rasam | Lemon and lentil clear soup

Sometimes, after having lot of  rich and spicy food continuously, I feel like I need a break from all these and start thinking of a comfort food. Rasam is one such food for me.I feel ,it has to be termed as a delicacy from southern parts of India. I have been choosing rasam over any other sambar variety from my childhood.I'm a happy person if I have rasam, rice and potato.

There are quite some varieties in Rasam. Pepper/Milagu rasam,Garlic rasam,Tomato rasam are a few to list.Here I'm showing you a variety called 'Lemon Rasam'.


Toor Dal                               3 tbsp
Ginger root                           1 inch( finely chopped)
Green Chillies                       2 ( finely chopped)
Turmeric powder                  1 tsp
Asafoetida/hing                     1/4 tsp
Rasam powder                     1 tsp
Salt                                       to taste
Lemon                                  1 ( 1 1/2 if small)
Curry leaves                         few
Coriander leaves/ cilantro     few

To temper

Ghee / Clarified butter        1 tsp
Mustard seeds                   1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds                      1/2 tsp


Cook toor dal with 2 cups of water and 1/8 tsp turmeric.I usually pressure cook  them.Once done ,gently collect the dal water and set aside.

Heat a small pan with ghee and add the ingredients mentioned for tempering.Once mustard seeds start crackling ,add ginger and green chillies and saute for 30 seconds.Then add the dal water and a tbsp of cooked dal.To this add turmeric powder, hing , rasam powder and salt.Add  half a cup of water and keep the heat to low-medium. Let it boil until you notice a bubbling froth.Add chopped curry leaves and coriander leaves and turn off the heat.Finally squeeze a lemon on top of it and give it a gentle mix.Serve it over a bed of hot rice with some ghee and a spicy vegetable of your choice.


  • Ginger and green chillies are important for taste and flavor.

  • Do not heat after adding lemon juice.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Veggie Wrap

One fine morning, while having my cup of tea, I just started thinking was there any day in my life without a cup of rice or a few roti/chapthi? And the answer is a big Noooooo.Though I was eating everyday why wasn't that boring to me? I think ,its not just because they are staple food in India but the versatile nature and the way they blend with the accompaniments/Side dishes makes them interesting.Do you think I can trade these items for anything else in this world? No way.

Today, to prove its versatility,this humble roti comes in the form of veggie wrap.

                                          Chapathi / Roti


Whole wheat flour            - 1 cup
Warm water                     - 1/2 cup
Salt                                  - to taste
Oil                                   - 1 tsp


In a wide bowl mix flour and salt and mix thoroughly. make a small dent and add water and then combine everything together and knead thoroughly to get a soft pliable dough.Coat the dough with little oil and cover it with a damp cloth to rest it for 30 minutes.

Later divide the dough into equal sided balls.Heat your griddle on medium high. Dust the rolling board & pin .Take a ball and dust it in flour and roll it into thin disks.Once the griddle is hot , place the roti on it and cook until you see some bubbles.Flip it and cook the other side.Gently apply some ghee(clarified butter )/ oil on top.



Lettuce leaves                  - few(Shredded)
Carrot                              - 1 (shredded)
Tomato                             - 1 (deseeded and diced)
Green capsicum                - 1/2
Red Capsicum                   - 1/2
Baby spinach                     - few (thinly sliced)
Green sprouts                    - 1/4 cup
Avocado                            - 1 (deseeded and diced)
garlic clove                         - 1 (minced)
Lemon juice                       - 2 1/2 tsp
Olive oil                             - 1 tbsp
Salt                                    - to taste
Pepper                               - to taste
Tahini / hummus                  - 2 tsp
Sesame seeds                     - 1tsp
Flax seeds                          - 1 tsp


Steam the sprouts for 5 to 7 minutes.In a small pan dry roast / toast sesame and flax seeds  until they start popping.Transfer it to a plate to cool.

In a small box add lemon juice, oil,salt, pepper and garlic and shake well.In a wide bowl combine all the vegetables and  cooked sprouts.Pour the vinaigrette over the veggies and give it a gentle mix.

Just before serving add the roasted seeds.

To make wrap

Place a roti and top it up with the salad and roll it gently.Your veggie wrap is ready to serve.Eat healthy and enjoy.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Whole Wheat Pita Sandwich

I like home-made food whenever and where-ever possible.So why wouldn't I  when I travel ?
This bread was a long pending recipe in my to-do list, just because it is easy to store and carry and also quick and simple to build your own sandwich while you travel , with little planning ahead.













  Whole Wheat Pita Bread




Whole wheat flour                    - 3 cups (for 10 -12 breads)
Warm water                             -  1 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup for reserve
Salt                                          - to taste
Olive oil                                   - 2 tbsp
Sugar                                       - 1 /2 tsp
Active dry yeast                       - 1 1/2 tsp


In a small cup of 1/4 cup warm water, add sugar and yeast and rest it for 10 minutes to proof.
In a wide bowl mix wheat flour,salt and a 1 tbsp oil first and then add  a cup of warm water slowly and then add yeast mixture and knead the dough.The amount of water for the dough depends on wheat flour.If your dough feels dry, add little at a time from your reserve and make a soft pliable dough. Drizzle little oil on top and cover it with a damp cloth and rest it in a warm place for an hour.

After an hour or so , the dough would have raised in its volume.Gently knead it again and divide it into equal sized balls and rest it for 10 minutes with a damp cloth.Meanwhile heat a griddle if you prefer to cook your bread in stovetop or preheat your oven to 390 F if you want to bake it.


Dust your rolling board and pin and make a disk , slightly thicker than normal roti as it has to puf-up.
Cook both sides slightly and then directly on flame as you do for pulkas.


Dust your rolling board and pin and make a disk , slightly thicker than normal roti as it has to puff up.Grease your baking sheet and place the rolled disk and bake it for 3 minutes.

I found cooking on stove-top much was quicker so after my first batch of 3in oven , I cooked the rest on stove top.

Me and my son love tahini in our sandwich.So here comes the recipe for home-made tahini sauce.

Home-made Tahini Sauce


Sesame seeds                 - 1/4 cup
Oil                                  - 2 tsp ( I used Olive oil ,you use veg oil too)
lemon juice                      - 1 tsp
Garlic clove                     - 1
salt                                  - to taste


Dry roast sesame seeds on medium heat slowly until they start popping.Then collect all the ingredients in your blender and blend until you see a nice & creamy texture. This  stores well in refrigerator too. 

You can use this as a layer of spread  for any of your sandwiches and also in your wraps.Use as a dip for chips or a veg salad trays.



Lettuce leaves             - few
Purple cabbage leaves - few
Onion                         - 1 small
Tomato ( deseeded)    -1
salt                             - to taste
lemon juice                 - 1 tsp
OliveOil                             - 2 tsp
Crushed Pepper          - to taste          


Thinly slice the vegetables(or shred leafy vegetables). Mix oil, salt, lemon juice & pepper in a small box and shake vigorously.
Pour it over the vegetables and toss gently.

Assemble your sandwich

Cut a pita bread into halves. Now you will find a pocket. Fill it with salad and drizzle tahini on top.

Enjoy this sandwich for your breakfast / Brunch /Dinner.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Roasted Carrot Soup

With a bitter cold lingering in and around and the temperatures reaching way beyond freezing(actually -23c)and you would want to snuggle yourself with a cozy comforters,what else other than a warm soup can help you feel better?Yes,today I would like to share an easy,aromatic healthy soup to pep up your body.


Carrots                        -3 big  diced
Onion(yellow/white)     - 1 medium diced
Ginger root                   - 1 inch diced
bay leaf                         - 1
ground cinnamon           - 1/2 tsp
ground pepper               - 1/2 tsp
salt                                - to taste
Chilli flakes                    - to taste
lemon juice                    - 2 tbsp
Lemon zest                    - 1/2 tsp
Dried Italian herbs          - 1/4 tsp
Olive oil                         - 2 tbsp


Preheat oven to 350 F.In a sheet pan, add diced carrots and onions and drizzle a tbsp of olive oil and season it with salt and freshly cracked pepper for about 20 minutes.Meanwhile bring 4 cups of water to a boil with bay leaf and ginger.Then add the roasted vegetables to it and let it boil for 10 minutes.Then using an immersion blender blend everything to a smooth consistency except for bay leaf.Alternately you can also use a regular blender also to blend.Add lemon zest,chilli flakes,cinnamon and salt bring it to a boil slowly.Turn off the heat and add lemon juice .Drizzle a tsp of olive oil on top and top it with herbs.Serve it hot with a bread of your choice.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Dum Aloo | Baby potatoes in yogurt

Having its origin from Kashmir, this gravy is quite rich and creamy and completely filled with aromas.The unique flavour of the dish comes from fennel and ginger.  Along with satisfying your taste buds , it also creates a nice warmth inside your body to support winter.


Baby Potatoes                              -15
kashmiri red chillies                       - 6 to 7 (replace it with 2 tsp paprika)
Oil                                                 To fry
Ginger powder                              -1/2 tsp
Cloves                                           -3
Green cardamom                           - 2
Turmeric powder                           - 1/4 tsp
Salt                                                 To taste    
Yogurt                                           - 1 cup
Garam masala                                - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida                                     - 1/4 tsp

To Roast

Fennel seeds                                 - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds                            - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds                                  - 1/2 tsp


 Soak the red chillies in hot water for 20 minutes.

Clean the potatoes and prick it with a fork on all sides and boil it with some salt and turmeric.Avoid overcooking the potatoes.Once done peel off the skin and set aside.

Heat a pan on medium heat and dry roast the items given under 'To roast" and grind it to a fine paste along with soaked red chillies and ginger powder.

Heat oil in a pan over medium high and gently fry the potatoes until golden color.

Heat oil in a pan and add asafoetida and add the ground paste with little water and let the spices cook for 2 minutes.Whisk yogurt and add it to the pan and give it a quick mix so that yogurt doesn't curdle.Add the fried baby potatoes along with salt and some water.Let the mixture boil for another 5 to 7 minutes and reach a gravy consistency .

Toast the cloves and green cardamom for few seconds.Using a mortar pestle pound it coarsely.

Add garam masala and the coarsely ground clove,cardamom to the gravy and give a gentle mix.

Serve it hot with Roti / Naan or Over a bed of Basmati rice.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sesame Rice | Ellu Sadham

This is another quick and easy rice recipe. I'm remembering those days when me and my sister used to go to a temple where every Saturday this would be the Prasad to God.I usually prepare this rice, when I need to travel. It is not only easy to prepare but also to pack .With simple papad you can enjoy this rice.


Cooked rice                       -  2 cups (I used Basmati)
Sesame oil                          -  1 tsp
Salt                                    -   to taste

To temper

Sesame oil                         - 2  tsp
Mustard seeds                   - 1 tsp
Roasted peanuts                - 1 tsp
Urad / Black gram             - 1/2 tsp
Channa dal/ Bengal gram   - 1/2 tsp
Cashews                            - 5 to 6
Dry red chilli                       - 1
Curry leaves                       -  few
 Asafoetida                         - 1/4 tsp

To Roast

Sesame seeds                    - 1 tbsp
Roasted Peanuts                - 1 tbsp
Dry Red chillies                 - 3 to 4
Channa Dal/ Bengal gram   - 1/2 tsp


Heat a heavy bottom pan and dry roast channa dal, peanuts and red chillies until golden brown. Finally add sesame and roast for another 30 seconds as sesame turns brown very quickly.Once you hear sesame seeds popping , transfer it into a plate to cool down. Later grind it into fine powder.

Heat oil in the same pan and add the items given under ' to temper' one by one and fry for 30 seconds.Once you see the nuts turning golden colour, add the cooked rice and add the previously ground powder and salt.
Cover and keep the heat low to let the rice absorb all the flavours for one or two minutes.

Serve it hot with papad.


  • You can prepare the powder(mix) in advance and refrigerate for a month.
  • Cook rice along with a tsp of oil to get a flaky rice.
  • Sesame oil is a key ingredient for a good flavour.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Garlic pickle

Without a pickle, a meal is incomplete in most of the Indian houses.Mine is not an exception too.I prefer home made pickles because vinegar is dominating in many of the bottled & exported pickles.

This recipe is simple and also gives fresh and instant pickle.So go ahead and try this one.


Garlic pod full          -             5
Sesame oil               -             4 tbsp
Lime   juice               -             from 1 1/2 lime
salt                                         to taste
Asafoetida                -             1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds     -             1 tbsp
Mustard seeds         -              2 tbsp + 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder     -              2 tsp


Peel off the garlic skin.

Dry roast 2 tbsp mustard seeds in a heavy bottomed pan for 40 to 50 seconds and transfer it into a plate.See note for more clarity.Then dry roast the fenugreek seeds slowly until brown.Then transfer it into the same plate.Once they cool down completely, grind it into a fine powder.

In the same pan , add 2 tbsp oil and add garlic and salt and saute until soft.This might take about 7 to 10 minutes.Then add red chilli powder and saute for another 2 minutes until the raw smell goes away.Turn off the heat and add ground fenugreek & mustard powder and lime juice.Mix everything thoroughly.

Heat the remaining oil in a separate pan and add mustard seeds.Once they crackle , add asafoetida and turn off the heat and pour over the pickled garlic.

Store it after it cools down completely. Enjoy with your rice or roti.


  1. Do not let the mustard crackle.We want them warm only.Alternately you can sun dry for an hour also.
  2. Refrigerate for long shelf life.

Banana chips | Nendran chips

This recipe is from God's own country Kerala. Whenever I think of Kerala, the first thing to strike my mind is nendran chips | banana chips.Given me a choice, I would  pick chips and a masala tea for my evenings.Traditionally coconut oil is used for frying the chips as coconut is abundant there and also it gives a nice aroma but the choice of oil is yours.


Raw banana | nendran              4
Turmeric powder                     1 tsp
Salt                                          to taste
Oil                                           to fry       


In a bowl , mix salt and turmeric in 1/4 cup water and set aside.
Remove the top and bottom of a banana and with a sharp paring knife, slit the banana skin on all the sides &
peel off the skin.Use a mandolin /slicer and slice the banana into thin slices.
Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan and fry until just about to be done and add a tsp of salt& turmeric water in to the pan.You will hear some splashing sound but it will be gone quickly.Drain it in a paper towel and store it in a  air-tight container.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Carrot Rice

Have you ever experienced a medley of simple ingredients creating a magic in your taste-palates?
Yes. I have. Two years back my friend had prepared this rice for a get-together and that's when this magic happened.Since then, this has become a regular recipe in my kitchen.

With fewer changes in the ingredients, you can play around with this recipe.Also if you are opting for a one pot meal or lunch-box version,this will come handy.


Basmati Rice                 1 cup
carrots                           2 ( 3 if small)
Onion                             1 ( chopped)
turmeric                          1/4 tsp
oil                                   2 tsp
Coconut milk                   1/2 cup

To roast

Coriander seeds            1 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds                  3/4 tsp
Dry Red chillies              4
Pepper corns                  4
Grated coconut               2 tbsp
Channa dhal                    1/4 tsp

To temper

Cinnamon stick                1/2 inch
cloves                              2


Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and immerse the carrots and turn off the heat.Let the carrots sit for 15 minutes.Then grate the carrots.

Cook the rice with coconut milk and 1 1/2 cup water , turmeric powder,1/2 tsp oil and little bit of salt.Once done, transfer it into a plate and let it cool.Then separate it into individual grains.

In a pan, dry roast the ingredients to golden brown given under to roast. Grind it to a coarse powder.

Heat the remaining oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the ingredients given under temper.
Saute it for 30 seconds to get a nice aroma from cinnamon.Add the grated carrots and saute for 2 minutes and add the ground powder and salt.Give it a quick mix.Add the cooked rice and mix thoroughly.

Serve it hot with a raita of your choice.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Idli Podi

We have sambar and chutney to go along with  idli / dosa. Still I feel, idli podi and sesame oil makes a best accompaniment to Idli / Dosa .This recipe is simple to make and also stores well for months.With few extra ingredients , here comes my recipe.


Urad dhal                                1/2 cup
Channa Dhal                            1/2 cup
Roasted peanuts                       2 tbsp
Sesame seeds                           2 tbsp
Dry Red chillies                        25
Asafoetida / hing                       1 tsp
Salt                                           to taste
curry leaves                               few sprigs
 oil                                            1/4 tsp


 Heat a kadai and dry roast the ingredients one by one seperately and transfer it to a plate to cool down. When you are done roasting all the dhal & seeds , add oil in the kadai and roast the red chillies until they become crisp.Turn off the heat and add curry leaves to it.

After resting them to cool , start grinding with red chillies , curry leaves & salt .Then add the dhals one by one and make sure that you grind it to a coarse powder.Finally add hing and give it a whirl.Give it a little bit of time to rest and store it in an air tight container.


  • Separate roasting is recommended for dhals as the roasting time varies form one dhal to other.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Orange peel curry aka Orange peel pachadi

On a rainy lazy day when you want to cook something very quick and easy to go with rice, you can try this one.The unique combination of orange and tamarind gives such a nice flavor to this pachadi.
I never knew about this pachadi until my husband told me about this.Then I called my Mother-in-law to know about that. After giving it a try , I thought no wonder why my husband praised that much as it was so delicious.So , thanks to my Mother-in-law for this wonderful recipe.


Tamarind                                    - small lemon sized ball
Fresh Orange peel (clementines) - from 1 orange chopped (remove the thick white skin on the back)
Green chillies                              - 3 to 4 chopped (As this is the only source of heat)

Salt                                            to taste
Tuumeric                                    - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida/hing                          - 1/8 tsp
Jaggery                                      -1/4 tsp

To Temper

Mustard seeds                      1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds                  5
Sesame oil                           2 tbsp
 Curry leaves                        few


Extract tamarind juice by soaking it in hot water for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a kadai and add the ingredients given under temper.Then add the chopped green chillies and orange peels and saute until the peel becomes soft.Now add the tamarind juice,salt,turmeric and hing and allow it to boil for 7 to 8 minutes.Now the tamarind juice must have reduced and the consistency should resemble a sauce.Then add jaggery and give it a mix.Now the pachadi will have a glossy look.Turn the heat off and let it sit for some time before you serve as it enhances the flavour.

Serve it with hot rice and a vegetable of your choice.



1. Peel has to be fresh to get a good flavour.

2. Give it atleast an hour  to rest to get a better flavour.

3. Sesame oil is a key ingredient that adds up to the flavour.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Avacado & Pear Milk Shake

This weekend I bought some Avacados and then I was waiting 3 days for them to ripe. Today one of them was ready.So I thought of making a milkshake with that and some additives.Finally I did it and my son liked it very much.Hey ... once again I got a like from him,which is very very tough to get.

Being a proud mom, I'm sharing the recipe here.


Milk                            1 1/4 cups whole/skim
Avacado                     1/2  of a small one
Pear                            1 /2 to 1 depending on size (chopped)
Figs                             2
Dates                           2
Honey                          to taste


Soak the dry fruits in hot water / milk for 30 minutes.
Clean the fruits. Deseed  and scoop out the avacado.Chop the pear just before you blend. Start blending the dry fruits followed by fruits and milk.Add honey to adjust your taste.With a light breakfast item,enjoy this milkshake to give a kick-start to your day.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Stuffed Eggplant aka Ennai kathirikkai

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!!

This recipe is so special to me as it would be in our Sunday lunch during my childhood. All credits to my Mom who cooks exceptionally well each and every day.Whenever I see eggplant, my Mom's Kottu rasam and Ennai kathirikkai comes to my mind.

My version of stuffed eggplant is different than my Mom's.But this will definitely be a treat to your taste buds.

Stuffed Eggplant


Tamarind                  - small lemon size/ pulp 1 tsp
Hing                         -1/2 tsp
Turmeric                   -1/2 tsp
 Mustard                  -1/2 tsp
Onion                       - 1 small chopped
Curry leaves             few
Salt                          to taste
Baby Eggplants         1 lb
Oil                             4 tsp

To Dry Roast

Coriander seeds     - 3 tsp
Channa Dhal          - 2 tsp
Urad Dhal              - 1 tsp
Red Chillies            -4 to 5
Roasted Peanuts     -1 1/2 tsp

Soak the tamarind in half a cup of water.Heat a kadai and dry roast the ingredients till you get a nice aroma and transfer it to a plate to cool down. In the same kadai add a tsp of oil and saute the onions and curry leaves until the onions become translucent.Let it cool. Then grind all the dry roasted ingredients, onions and curry leaves,salt and turmeric to a fine paste by adding some water.

Mean while wash the eggplants and pat it dry. Then slit the eggplants vertically keeping the stem intact.Now with a help of a small spoon stuff the ground paste generously into the eggplants.

Extract thick tamarind pulp and keep it ready .

Now heat the flat pan with remaining oil and add mustard seeds and let it crackle. Then add the stuffed eggplants. Then add in the tamarind pulp , hing and salt. In a low heat, cover and cook for about 5 minutes and then open and rotate the eggplants . Repeat the same for 15 minutes.Now the eggplants would look little shrunk and glossy.Thats it. Enjoy with hot rice and Vatha khuzhambu / Rasam.