Nov 21, 2013

Chow Chow Kootu | Stewed chayote squash

Chow Chow Kootu is a stewed chayote squash made with lentils. It is an exquisite recipe prepared in Bhramin style (no onion & no garlic). Thanks to my sister Bhavya taught me this recipe. 

This kootu (stew) can be served with rice or chapathi.


2 nos Chayote Squash (chow chow), cubed into 1/2 inch pieces
1/2 cup Toor Dal
1/2 tsp Sambhar powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
2 cups of Water

For Masala paste:
4 tsp Grated coconut
2 tsp  roasted channa dal 
3 dry Red chilies
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

For seasoning:
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
a sprig of Curry leaves
2 dry Red chili (optional)
pinch of Asafoetida 


  • Soak toor dal in water for 30 minutes
  • In a pressure pan, cook toor dal and chayote squash with sambhar powder and turmeric powder with 2 cups of water for up to 2 whistles
  • Next, make a fine paste of grated coconut, roasted channa dal, red chilies and cumin seeds using a blender. Add water as needed to make this paste
  • Add the masala to the pressure pan. Season with salt. Simmer for 3- 5 minutes
  • In a sauce pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida and red chilies. When it starts to sizzle, pour the seasoning on top of kootu
  • Serve hot with chapathi or  steamed rice

Dahi Kebab | Curd Kebab

I came across a new recipe called Dahi Kebab. Initially, I got confused with dahi vada and when I scrolled down to read the recipe I was fascinated that main ingredient for this recipe is hung curd.  I have never imagined  transforming curd to kebab. This recipe has its influence from Mughal Cuisine. 

Since I was new to this dish, I searched for this recipe online and each have their own version. As I wanted to keep this recipe simple, so used the ingredients that used almost everyday. 

If the hung curd is ready, the recipe is pretty much simple and can be made in less than 30 minutes.


For hung yogurt-
1 ltr of Yogurt made from whole milk
Cheese cloth

For the Kebab- (makes about 8 kebabs)
2 Cups of Hung yogurt 
1/4 cup of Besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 Red Onion, finely chopped
5 Green Chilies, finely chopped
Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
2 Sprigs of Mint, finely chopped
1/4 tsp of Ginger garlic paste (optional)
Oil for Pan fry


  • Place the cheese cloth in a colander with ends hanging over. Place the yogurt at the center of cheese cloth. Gather all the ends and tie it up. Now hang the cheese cloth under the kitchen tap and leave it hanging for atleast 4- 6 hours. Untie the twine around the pouch and scoop the yogurt
  • In a sauce pan, roast besan in low heat until starts changing color and return the contents to a mixing bowl
  • Now add remaining ingredients listed under Kebab except for oil. Knead well with a ladle (could be little messy) 
  • Now pat your hands with water. Scoop out a portion of Kebab mixtures and roll them into patties
  • Place the patties on a preheated pan with a little oil on it. Roast it in medium heat until it turns brown on both the sides
  • Serve hot with hot sauce and sprinkle chat masala on it

Pinapple Kesari

I always wanted to try pineapple kesari, which has been my breakfast dessert (absolutely YES!!!) since my childhood days. My dad used to bring me pineapple kesari on every Sunday from a local fastfood chain and have resorted to it since then. 

Until recently I decided to make this dessert for Sunday's lunch. So gave my first attempt in making this kesari which ended up disastrously because I added milk in the preparation while I completely forgot that pineapple is acidic and it belongs to citrus family of fruits. When milk was combined with pineapple, it started to curdle (well that's kitchen chemistry lesson for me !! ). Immediately I started making next batch of kesari and the end product was delightful.


1 cup of Semolina (sooji or rava)
1 cup of Pineapple, finely chopped
3/4 cup of Sugar
6-8 Cloves
1/2 cup of Ghee
pinch of Saffron
1/4 cup of Cashew nuts
2 tsp of Raisins
1 1/2 cup of Water


  • In a sauce pan, roast semolina in medium heat. When it starts changing to light brown color, remove from heat and transfer it to a plate

  • Add a 1/2 tsp of Ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. Saute until cashew-nut turns to golden brown. Then transfer the contents to the same plate

  • Now add another tsp of ghee, then add pineapple. Saute until it becomes soft

  • Add sugar, water, saffron, cloves and bring it to boil

  • Now return rava and fried dry fruits to the saucepan by adding slowly

  • Add remaining ghee and mix well without forming lumps. Cook on low heat for 5-8 minutes

  • Serve hot

Nov 20, 2013

Vegetable Saagu

Vegetable Saagu is a coconut based stew primarily made with different kinds of vegetables such as peas, beans, potato, carrot, cabbage, brinjal and so on.  "Saagu" is quite popular in southern part of Karnataka and if you happen to order a plate of poori in a fast food restaurant, it is usually served with saagu. 

I learnt this recipe from my maternal side. The specialy of this recipe is-  it is a one pot recipe, does not use any masala in preparation unlike the traditional ones and it can be made in less then 25 minutes.

(photos will be added very soon)


1 cup of Beans, cut into small pieces
2 nos Carrot, cut into small cubes 
2 nos Potato, cut into small cubes
2 cups of Bottle gourd, cut into small cubes
1 cups of Cabbage, chopped
(or any other vegetable such as peas, cauliflower, turnip...)
1 onion, diced
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of Asafoetida
5-7 Green Chilies, finely chopped
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 cup of Grated coconut 
1/2 cup of water
Handful of Cilantro 


  • In a pressure pan, add oil. When it turns smoky; add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and  green chilies.
  • When mustard seeds starts to sizzle, add onions. Saute until it turns transparent
  • Add turmeric powder and coriander powder. Give it a little stir
  • Add all chopped vegetables and season it with salt. Add water and coconut
  • Pressure cook for 1 whistle
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with poori or chapathi

Nov 15, 2013

Onion Upma

Onion Upma is a South Indian breakfast recipe made mainly with semolina (soji /rava) and onions. Its a great recipe and quiet filling.

Onion Upma has always been my savior when I have not planned a menu on any given day and the best part is,  it doesn't require any preparation in advance. Just roast rava, chop up some onions, green chilies with  some seasoning. It is ready in about 15-20 minutes. 


2 cups of Semolina
4 tsp oil
1 tsp Ghee (optional)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Channa Dal (Bengal Gram)
1 tsp Urad Dal
5 Green Chilies, cut lengtheise
1 inch Ginger, grated
1 Red Onion (preferred) or Yellow Onion, cut lengthwise
1 sprig of Curry leaves
Hand full of cilantro (optional), finely chopped


  • In a preheated skillet pan, roast rava in medium heat. Take off from heat when it starts to turn golden brown (Note: You can roast rave in ghee to add flavor). Then transfer it to a plate
  • Now, add oil and ghee (optional). When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, channa dal and urad dal. Give it a little stir.
  • When channa dal and urad dal changes in color to golden brown, add green chilies, ginger, onions and curry leaves. Saute unitil onions turn transparent
  • Add 3 cups of water and season with salt. Bring it to boil
  • When water starts to boil, turn heat to low and slowly add the roasted rava to the skillet and stir in one direction. Cover the skillet and cook in low heat for 5 to 8 minutes
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve hot
Note:   You can add water in ratio 1 (rava) : 2 (water) if you don't like upma to me dry

Nov 12, 2013

Shrimp Pepper Fry | Royalla Vedupu

Shrimp Pepper Fry ~~ A ravishing recipe that calls for a toast !! 

This recipe can be made in less than 20 min. Shrimps are coated with a good variety of spices that tantalizes your taste buds. 


250 gms Shrimps, cleaned and de-veined
5 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs of Curry leaves
2 Green chilies, Cut lengthwise
3 Shallots, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Pepper powder
Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
5 tsp Oil


  • In a skillet pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add garlic, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for few seconds
  • Then add shallots and saute until it turns transparent
  • Add turmeric powder and mix well
  • Now, add shrimp and pepper powder. Saute in medium heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and coat the spices all over shrimp. Cook until all the juices is completely reduced 
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately as an appetizer or as a side dish

Nethili Varuval | Lake Smelt Fritters

Nethili Varuval (or Lake smelt fritters) is a scrumptious sea food delight from the sea. It is coated with spiced rub which is then deep fried. You can eat this fish with bones which is extremely crispy.

In Southern part of India, Nethili (anchovy) fish is picked from  coastal areas  of Indian Ocean. Similar to Nethili, there is an another variety of fish called smelt which is picked in Great Lakes. 

Its a great party appetizer especially when you have guests at home.


200 gms Lake smelt (or) Anchovies 
4 Garlic Cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
1/4 cup Corn Flour
Oil for deep frying


  • Marinate anchovies (nethili fish) with garlic cloves, pepper powder, red chili powder, lemon and season with salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Add corn flour to the marinated anchovies
  • Heat oil for deep frying. Gently drop anchovies one by one. Fry in medium heat until it turns deep red color. Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil
  • Serve immediately garnished with chopped coriander leaves and onion slices

Lentil Spinach Soup

Lentil soup is incredibly easy to make. To quickly make this delicious soup you need  a pressure cooker!!

This soup is flavorful and very nourishing. Its perfect for a cold cloudy winter evenings. For this lentil recipe, I have used Moong Dal (Mung Beans) because it cooks fast and tastes extremely good. 


1 cup Mung beans (moong dal)
1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
2 Celery stalks, chopped
1 large bunch of Spinach, pureed
2 cups of Chicken/ Vegetable Broth
1 clove of Garlic
3 cups of water
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp Butter


  • Pressure cook moong dal, carrot and celery with 3 cups of water upto 3 whistles. Mash it well or use a food processor to puree
  • Heat butter in a heavy large pot and then add garlic. Return pureed moong dal and pureed spinach to the pot; add Chicken/vegetable broth to thin the soup. Season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes
  • Ladle the soup into large bowls. Garnish with cream (optional) and serve imeediately