Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Idli-sambhar is a favorite combination for a sumptuous breakfast recipe in South India. But the amazing fact is that it is loved by people all over the world because of its simple yet great taste. Read on to know the method of preparing tasty sambhar that goes well with idli.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Veg Biryani Recipe

When you attempt preparing a new dish and get it right you feel so happy getting appreciation from your loved ones that you want to try out more new ones. Vegetable biryani may not be a new dish but trying to prepare it in a slightly different way so as to get better results like a great rice consistency just like the one you get in the hotels is definitely worthwhile.

Here is one such recipe - the old vegetable biryani - cooked in a slightly different way. I guarantee you a pat on the back from your near and dear ones once you prepare this. Your family will start pleading with you to prepare this dish again and again just like in my home where this dish has to be (mandatory) prepared once a week. It comes out so well just because of a simple difference from the traditional one (or whoever has prepared it well hasn't told us of this secret before). It is very easy to prepare too.

I urge you to try it out and let me know your opinion. Here is the Veg Biryani Recipe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Moong dal        1/2  cup

Tur dal                          1/2 cup

Onion                        1 small

Tomatoes                  2 

Green bell pepper         1/2

Garlic                                       2 pods

Tamarind paste or pulp          1- 2 tsp.     

Sambar powder              2 - 2 1/2 tbsp.

Turmeric powder             1/2 tsp.

Curry leaves                                 a few

Cilantro for garnishing.

Wheat flour only if necessary           1 tsp.

For seasoning:

Mustard                       1/2 tsp.

Urad dal                       1 tsp.

Chana dal                      1 tsp.

Fried gram                        1 tsp.

Red chillies                       1

Asafoetida                      1/2 tsp.

Ghee and oil                    2 tbsp.

In a fry pan, add 1 tbsp. ghee and 1 tbsp. oil.

Season with mustard, the dals, asafoetida and red chilli.

Fry onion and  garlic till onion turns pink. 

Add bell pepper, tomatoes and fry for a while.

Add tamarind paste only if you want to.

This is really not necessary. In this case, you can  reduce the tomatoes to 1.

Add sambar powder and turmeric powder, mix well  and then one cup of water.

Bring to boil, lower the heat, add salt and when it boils well, add dal and let it boil for a few minutes.

Mix well. 

Clean and chop the cilantro leaves and add to sambar.

If the sambar is watery and you want it a little thicker, mix 1 tsp. of wheat (chapathi) flour to 1 tbsp. of

water and add the paste to the sambar when it begins to boil with the dal.

Take care to stir the sambar well as you add the  wheat flour paste, otherwise it will remain separate

as lumps.

This sambar goes well with Idli and Dosa and with rice.

There can be variations in the preparation of sambar.

1. Use only Tur dal (Red gram)

2. Use only Moong dal (Green gram)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Medu vada

Urad dal                        1 cup (200g)

Raw rice                        2 tsp.

Curry leaves                 a few

Cilantro (chopped fine)  2 tsp.

Onion  (optional)            1

Cumin seeds (Jeera)    1 tsp.

Black pepper corns       1 tsp.

Salt                                   1 tsp.

Soak urad dal in 2 to 3 cups of water for 2 hours.

Drain the water.

Grind the dal in a blender without water or adding very little water (sprinkling water each time you think it is needed).

 Add jeera and pepper corns to the dough. You can pound them coarsely if you don't like them that way.

Add finely chopped onion and chopped curry leaves and cilantro.

Take a spoonful of the dough on wet palm, spread it a little with  slightly wet fingers. 

Keep it thick and round and make a hole in the centre with your index finger.

Slide it into medium hot oil.

Fry till golden and remove onto absorbent paper.

You can refrigerate the dough for a day or two. But don't prepare too much dough as it always better to prepare fresh dough for tastier vadas.

Take care to bring the dough to room temperature before frying vadas in case you are storing it. Serve hot with coconut chutney and/or onion tomato chutney. 


  • Instead of  pepper and jeera, use 2 green chillies  chopped finely. You can add green chillies to pepper and jeera also, however reducing the quantity/number of all the three items.

  • Add finely chopped cabbage to the dough along with green chillies and onion.
  • Again, instead of cabbage, you can use palak/ spinach cut finely.
  • Add grated carrot.

The rest is your creativity.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Rice Noodles-Sevai

If you think that you just don't have the ingredients for preparing any decent dish when guests arrive unexpectedly,then, this recipe comes in handy. You just need to have a packet of ready-made rice noodles at home and this dish is ready in 15 minutes flat. How would you like that for a quick and delicious dish? 

It's so simple to make except that you should concentrate on only one thing. Time. The noodles should be kept immersed in hot water for exactly 5 minutes and no more. I think the instructions on the pack say that you need to soak the noodles for 3 to 5 minutes. But I removed the noodles after 5 minutes and the dish turned out really well.

The half kilo pack makes noodles for 8 people. Here is the simplest breakfast recipe for you.

Ready made rice noodles             1/4 kg

Mustard seeds                                 1 tsp.

Urad dal                                             1 tsp.

Chana dal                                          1 tsp.

Fried gram                                         1 tsp.

Peanuts                                             8 to 10

cashewnuts (optional)                    a few

Green chilli                                       1 

Red chilli                                           1 

Salt                                                    1 to 1 1/2 tsp or as per taste

Hing                                                   1/2 tsp.

Cooking oil                                       4 tbsp.                      


In a vessel, boil water enough to immerse the noodles. 

Pour boiling water over the noodles in another vessel. 

Keep it covered for exactly 5 minutes. 

Drain the water completely and spread on a flat plate for about  5 minutes.

In the meanwhile, to a pan of hot oil, add the seasoning ingredients --mustard, urad dal, chana dal, fried gram, hing, red chilli -- one after the other adding the green chilli and curry leaves last.

Add salt to the seasoning and mix well. 

Add the seasoning to the spread out noodles on the plate and mix well.

Alternatively, empty the noodles from the plate on to the pan and mix on the stove on a low flame for 1 or 2 minutes.  

I really don't do the last step but if you want the dish to be hot, mixing this way is the only solution. I would suggest a simple mixing of the seasoning and the noodles and heating in the microwave for a minute or two.

Fry peanuts and/or cashew nuts in a little oil or ghee and garnish. You'll realize how simple it is only after you try preparing it. 

Serve with coconut chutney.

Friday, July 30, 2010


Milk              500 ml.

Thick curd       3 tbsp.

Boil milk in a pan.

Let it boil.

Add  curd and continue boiling in medium heat. Milk will curdle.

Pour the curdled mixture onto  a  sieve or even a tea strainer and let it stand for a while.

Alternatively, tie the paneer in a thin cloth and hang it in a dry place.

Remove paneer from cloth/strainer and squeeze excess liquid.

Use this paneer for various recipes.

Palak Paneer


Spinach         1 bunch

Onions             2

Tomatoes        2

Green chillies     2

Ginger garlic paste      2 tsp. OR ginger- a small piece and garlic  3 pods

Salt                    1 - 1 1 /2 tsp.


Turmeric powder        1/2 tsp.

Cumin (Jeera)  powder           1/2 tsp.

Coriander powder     1 tsp.

Garam masala            1 tsp.

Asafoetida                   1/2 tsp.

Paneer           500 ml milk curdled

Cooking oil               2  - 3 tbsp.

Milk                     1/2 cup (optional)

Clean spinach leaves well and boil it with turmeric powder in 2 cups of water.

This cooks very fast, so remove from heat within 3 - 4 minutes.

Remove the spinach (leaving the water aside) onto a blender.

Grind ginger, garlic, green chillies, tomatoes, cilantro, asafoetida, cumin powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder into a smooth paste. 

Don't worry if it's a little watery. It's perfectly alright.

Fry finely chopped onions in oil till they are transparent.

Add the ground spinach paste and stir well. 

Let it boil for 5 minutes on medium heat.

If you think the mixture is thick, add a little milk and mix well.

Add salt and paneer.

Let it boil for a few minutes more and remove.

Serve hot with chapathi or poori. 

Serves 3 people.