Mar 30, 2013

Nati Koli Saaru | Chicken Curry

"Nati Koli Saaru" is just simply brimming with taste. Its a copra based recipe.

Its the most beloved recipe in my family. Back in India, my mom makes this mouthwatering dish during family get together or during any parties. The specialty of this chicken curry is, it is prepared with nati koli or  country chicken and makes it different from other chicken recipes.  This is one recipe probably more than 100 years old which is passed on to me from my grandmother. 

The ingredients are minimal and recipe is itself very simple, but the proportions and preparation of masala is the most important step. You can also prepare it with broiler/ young / roaster chicken, but it wont be as tasty as nati koli.  I have used  organic country chicken for this recipe.   


500 gms Chicken
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Pepper Powder

For the masala
3/4 cup Copra, chopped
2 medium onions, diced
2 tsp Coriander powder
3/4 tsp Red Chili Powder
2 tsp Oil


  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add copra. Fry copra evenly in medium-low heat setting. Keep aside

  • In the same pan, heat remaining 1 tsp of oil, add onions. Saute onions until it turns brown

  • Using a blender,  first grind copra finely. Add water as required. Then add onions, coriander powder and red chili powder. Make a smooth paste

  • In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tsp of oil, add turmeric powder and pepper. Add Chicken and fry for 2-3 minutes.

  • Now, add the masala and adjust salt as per taste. Add 1/2 to 1 cup of water depending on level of thickness for the gravy. Pressure cook chicken upto 2 to 3 whistles

  • Serve hot with idly, dosa, chapathi, puri, ragi ball (ragi mudde) or rice

Balekai Bajji | Valakkai Bajji | Raw Banana Fritters

Raw banana deep fried with chickpea batter. Its a perfect snack on a bright evening served with a cup of tea. 


1 Raw Banana (plantain)
1 cup Chickpea flour
1/2 tsp Rice Flour (optional)
1/2 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 cup water
Oil for deep frying


  • Slice raw banana into square/rectangle shapes

  • For the Batter - using a mixing bowl, mix chickpea flour, rice flour, red chili powder, asafoetida and salt. Mix well. Add water and whisk all ingredients well.

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom vessel. Dip slices of raw banana in the batter. Coat batter on both sides and gently add it into oil

  • Fry on both sides until it turns to golden brown
  • Serve hot with ketchup or chutney

Mar 29, 2013

Radish Chapathi (Muli Chapathi)

"Muli Chapthi" is a flat bread made with wheat flour and radish. I created this recipe when there were a couple of left over radish. You can use any vegetable like carrot, beetroot, spinach, and methi . This is one way to use vegetables instead of stir fry, priyal or curries.


2 cups Wheat Flour
4 - 5 Radish, grated
Small bunch of Cilantro/ Coriander
2 - 3 Green Chilies, finely chopped
2 tsp Oil


  • In a mixing bowl, mix grated radish, cilantro, green chilies and salt.

  • Add Wheat flour and mix well
  • Add enough water to knead the dough. The radish also leaves lot of water. So, just as little water as you knead the dough

  • Cover the dough with a damp cloth or a plate and allow it to rest for 30 minutes
  • Divide the dough into equal parts. Roll each ball thinly using a rolling pin

  • Fry evenly on both sides on a hot flat pan (thawa)  or a griddle. Smear oil on both sides

  • Serve hot

Mysorean Vegetable Kootu

"Mysorean Vegetable Kootu" is a lentil based vegetable stew in Mysoorean Cuisine. Its a side dish served with rice/ chapthi/ puri. I made this delightful side dish with idly and I was overwhelmed with this great combination. 
This recipe is made with "no onion and no garlic"  and it is mainly served during festivals or any auspicious occasion.


1 1/2 cup Channa dal  or Bengal Gram, Soaked for atleast 3 to 5 hours
1 small  Bottle Gourd, diced
1 Carrot, diced
1 Potato, diced

For masala powder (spice mix)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds
2 tsp Rice (uncooked)
1/2 cup, Grated Coconut or desiccated coconut
 4 Red Chilies
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
small piece ginger (optional)

For tempering
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2-3 Red Chilies
6 Curry leaves


  • For masala powder - using a blender, grind all ingredients listed for masala powder.     Make a fine powder. 

  • Using a pressure cooker, cook Bengal gram, vegetables and add little salt. Pressure cook for up to 2 whistles
  • After pressure cooker has cooled, add spice powder and adjust salt as per taste. Simmer for 5 to 10 minutes

  • For tempering -  in a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, when it starts to crackle, add cumin seeds, red chilies, and curry leaves. Saute for less then a minute and pour the contents on top of Kootu 

  • Serve hot with idly, rice, chapthi or puri
Tip :
  • I have used odd number of vegetables like Aviyal. For this recipe any vegetable can be used like beans, cauliflower, cabbage, etc. 

Mar 26, 2013

Tomato - Onion Chutney

Tomato - Onion Chutney is an accompaniment Idly and dosa for breakfast. 
During my visit to Chennai, I went to a restaurant  where they served three different kinds of chutneys for Idly and Dosa, like Coconut Chutney, mint/pudina chutney and tomato chutney. and the most I enjoyed was tomato chutney with idly.
In the past I have tried differed variations of tomato chutney. Tomato - Onion Chutney is one of them and the recipe follows.


2 Tomatoes, Chopped
1 Onion, Chopped
3 tsp Urad Dal
1 tst, Channa Dal or Bengal Gram
4 Red Chilies
1'' Ginger, chopped
2 tsp Oil

For Seasoning
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
2 Red chilies
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 tsp oil


  • In a pan, heat oil, add urad dal  and channa dal. Fry until it turns light brown. Remove it and keep it aside. Retain oil in pan. 

  • In the same pan, add ginger and onions. Fry until onions turn transparent and then add tomatoes. Saute until tomatoes are completely cooked. Adjust salt as per taste

  • Using a blender, grind fried ural dal, channa dal, red chilies, onions and tomato mix. Make a smoth paste. Add water as required

  • In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds. when it starts to crackle add urad dal, red chilies  and curry leaves. Pour it on top if tomato chutney

  • serve it with idly and dosa

Coconut Chutney | Thengai Chutney

Coconut Chutney is one of the simple and basic accompaniments for idli, dosa, pongal and upma  in South Indian Cusine. The primary ingredient for this recipe is freshly grated coconut and secondary ingredient is roasted Bengal gram. The proportion of coconut and roasted Bengal gram vary from one recipe to other.


3/4 Cup Grated Coconut
1 Cup Roasted Channa (Roasted Bengal gram)
4 green Chilies
1 inch Ginger, Chopped
Pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
For seasoning
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Urad dal
1 Red Chili
3-4 Curry Leaves


  • Using a Blender, grind coconut, roasted Bengal gram, green chilies. ginger, asafoetida and adjust salt to taste. Add water as required
  • In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, when it starts to crackle, add urad dal, red chili and curry leaves. Pour seasoning on top of chutney and mix well
  • serve with idli and dosa

Mar 22, 2013

Pavakkai Poriyal | Hagalkayi Palya

Bittter Gourd cooked with tamarind and jaggery with sauteed with onions and seasoned with mustard, cumin and fenugreek seeds.


2 Bitter Gourd, diced
1 Onion, chopped length wise
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
1/4 cup Tamarind extract
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Jaggery
3 tsp Oil


  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, when it starts to crackle, add cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds

  • Add onions and curry leaves. Saute until onions turn transparent
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chili powder. Saute for few seconds
  • Add tamarind extract and jaggery. Simmer for 3-4 minutes

  • Add bitter gourd and mix well. Cover the vessel with a lid and and cook in low heat setting for 10 minutes. Add water if required
  • When bitter gourd is fork tender, add salt and fry for 2 minutes

  • Serve as side dish with rice or Chapathi

Sundal | Husli

"Sundal" or "Husli" is a vegetarian delight and a healthy side dish or a snack.  Sundal is made with different kinds of lentils, beans and sprouts like green gram, black eyed peas, horse gram, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas and many more. 


2 Cups Kala Channa, soaked overnight 
1 Onion, Chopped
4 Green Chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp Mustard seeds
4-6 Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1/2 Cup Grated coconut
1 small bunch of Cilantro/ Coriander leaves, finely chopped
4 tsp oil


  • Cook kala channa in a pressure cooker. Add enough water to cook Kala channa. Also, add little salt for taste. Drain excess water from channa. (wait!! don't discard water. Use it as stalk to prepare soups or curries)

  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil. Add mustard seeds, when it starts to crackle, add asafoetida, curry leaves and green chilies.  Saute until onions turn transparent.

  • Add cooked channa and adjust salt to taste. Mix well. Saute for 2 minutes until all flavors are absorbed.

  • Turn off heat and add grated coconut and cilantro. Mix well

Mar 21, 2013

"Guilt Free" Carrot Soup

"Guilt Free" carrot soup is made with sauteed garlic, onions and carrots and seasoned with herbs and spices. You will truly enjoy this delicious soup!!  And it won't derail your diet.

The ingredients and steps are simple and easy to follow.


5 Carrots, diced 
1 Onion, diced
4 Cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 Mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 1/2 Cups water
1/2 Cup Skimmed milk
1/2 tsp Herbs (oregano or thyme or Mint)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2-3 tsp Parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp Extra virgin olive oil


  • In a hot skillet, heat oil. Add garlic and onions. Saute until onions turns transparent

  • Add carrots. Saute for 2-3 minutes

  • Add pepper, salt and herbs. Mix well
  • Add water and milk. Simmer for 3-5 minutes and then cool

  • Using a blender, puree the carrot mixture. Then pour the contents back to the skillet. Simmer for 2-3 minutes

  • Serve hot. Garnish with parsley and mushrooms.


  • Adding mushrooms gives crunchiness to the soup
  • The purpose of using milk is to give creamy texture. Adding milk to this recipe is optional. 

Mar 19, 2013

Beef Sheek Kabab

Minced beef marinated with spice mix and grilled on skewers.


250 gms Ground beef
4 Cloves of Garlic, minced
3 Green chilies, chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric
2 Cardamom
1 Star anise
2 tsp Lemon juice
Bamboo Skewers


  • Soak bamboo skewers in water for 45 minutes
  • Make spice powder using cardamom and star anise
  • Mix all ingredients listed above. Knead minced beef until all ingredients blended well
  • Refrigerate for 1 - 2 hours

  • Divide the meat into equal portions. take each portion of meat  and roll them into sausage or cylindrical shape and press it into a skewer

  • Grill the skewers using a griddle or a charcoal grill. Apply oil.  Turn skewers occasionally  Each batch of kabab takes about 10- 15 minutes when cooked in medium - high heat. 

  • Serve hot with salad

Potato Garlic fry (Poondu Urulaikilangu Varuval)

Poondu Urulaikilangu Varuval is stir fried garlic and potatoes with spice mix. This recipe is quick and easy to make side dish for rice and sambhar/ rasam or chapathi. My favorite combination is with yougurt rice.


3 Potatoes, cubed
1 Onion, diced
6-8 cloves of Garlic, minced
4-6 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
3 tsp Oil


  • Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When it starts to crackle, add garlic, curry leaves. Saute for few seconds and then add onions. Fry until it turns transparent.

  • Add Turmeric and Pepper. Mix well
  • Add Potatoes mix until turmeric and pepper are coated well. In medium - low heat setting fry until roasts on all sides

  • Finally add salt and fry for 2 minutes
  • serve hot with rice and sambhar /rasam/ yogurt or chapathi