May 31, 2015

Indian Peanut Brittle | Chikki

An old fashioned sugar candy embedded with peanuts. It is called chikki in India which is prepared with just 2 ingredents - Jaggery (or cane sugar) and peanuts. Making chikki is just so much fun, because it is an easy recipe which can be made very quickly.

Chikki is also an excellent holiday gift and made during Indian festivals like Makar Sankranthi. I like to eat it for evening snack.


1 Cup Peanuts
3/4 cup Jaggery (cane sugar)
Oil/ ghee for greasing


  • In a sauce pan, roast peanuts on medium low heat until the skin becomes crispy and separates out ; and brown spots appear in  peanuts. Transfer peanut to a plate and let it cool. Remove skin by rubbing between your palm

  • In the same pan, melt jaggery in low heat until bubbles are formed. Drop a teaspoon of melted jaggery in cold water. If it turns solid immediately or it turns to one thread consistency, then turn off the flame

  • Now add peanuts and mix well

  • Spread it evenly on a greased surface and while it is still warm, cut it into desired shape; and let it cool

  • Store it in cool place in a air tight container

Veg Parotta

An exquisite multi layered flat bread from South Indian cuisine predominant across Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka regions. Parotta fans from all over patronize this  popular street food. 
Veg parotta is made with very few basic ingredients such as maida (white flour), salt, sugar and lots of oil. But kneading the dough is a grueling process and must be prepared well in advance. 


5 cups Maida (white flour)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 cup Oil + 1/2 cup oil (used while rolling and frying)
2 cups cold Water


  • Mix together maida, salt and sugar. Add water and knead to form soft ans smooth dough. Now add 1 cup of oil in small batches and continue kneading until the dough becomes slightly elastic. Cover the dough and set aside for 1-2 hours

  • Now knead and pinch the dough into equal portions 

  • Take a portion of the dough and smear oil to it. Roll the dough into translucent thin sheet and apply oil on top. Pleat the sheet moving from one end to the other. 

  • Roll the sheet from one end to the other

  • Flatten these rolls 

  • Gently place it on a greased preheated griddle. Smear oil on both the sides and fry until it turns brown

  • Stack the parotta and and crush on the parotta working with bpth 

Carrot Halwa

One of the most popular dessert and common in every household made with fresh carrots, whole milk, and sugar flavored with cardamon and topped with roasted nuts. It is simply delicious, crunchy  and the flavor of milk adds a bonus to the taste. 

Carrot halwa is usually served warm with a dollop of vanilla ice cream. I love this combination and had several times in weddings. In this recipe, i substituted milk with milk powder which has same consistency of khowa when cooked . 


Carrots, shredded     8 nos
Whole Milk                1 cup
Milk powder             1 cup
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp
Sugar                         3/4 cup
Cashew nuts             1/4 cup
Raisins                       1/4 cup
Ghee                           4 tsp


  • In a heavy bottomed pan heat a tsp of ghee. Add carrots and sautee for 5 minutes. Then keep it aside
  • Add another tsp of ghee, cashew nuts and raisins. Fry until cashew nuts turn golden brown. keep it aside
  • Now add milk, sugar and stir well until sugar is melted
  • Add sauteed carrots, milk powder and cardamon powder. Mix well and cook until carrots are cooked and milk evaporates
  • Add remaining ghee and fried nuts. Mix well
  • Serve warm with a dollop if ice cream

May 30, 2015

Vanjaram Meen Varuval

When I am in Chennai, our afternoon meal is never complete without vanjaram (Indo-Pacific King Mackerel)  fish fry. Vanjaram is one of the most frequently used fish varieties in Chennai and quiet expensive too (center cuts are most expensive part of this fish). Most often it is pan fried or shallow fried which is considered as a tablefare and a delicacy in Southern India. 

I call Vanjaram Meen Varuval as the "king of fish recipes". 

Firstly, the fish has to be a steak cut into thin slices. The marinade is made with few ingredients and the fish has to be marinated for atleast 30min to an hours.


500 gms Vanjaram Fish, steak cut into thin slices
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp Pepper powder
2 tsp Red Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 cup Tamarind pulp
2 tsp Oil

For coating-
1/2 cup Rice flour
1/4 cup Fine semolina (soji)
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp Pepper powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
Water for batter

Oil for frying


  • Prepare marinade with ginger-garlic paste, pepper powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, tamarind pulp, salt and oil. Mix all these ingredients into a smooth paste
  • Not apply a thin paste of marinade on both the sides of fish
  • Refrigerate for 30 min to 1 hour
  • Now make a thick batter of rice flour, fine semolina, turmeric powder, pepper powder, red chili powder and salt. Add little water just enough to make a thick batter
  • Heat oil for deep frying
  • Gently drop each fish in oil. Fry on medium high on both the sides until the red color deepens 
  • Drain excess oil using an absorbent paper
  • Serve with freshly cut onions and cucumber

Bhindi Pyaaz fry | Okra Onion fry

Made with bare minimal ingredients into a flavorful side dish. Its a quick fix recipe helps to get your dinner on the table fast.

As it is okra cooks fast they are rally tender. Even when they are cooked on medium-low it takes about 10-15 minutes. In this recipe okra is simply seasoned with turmeric, red chili powder and salt. It taste best when paired with rice and chapathi.


500 gms Okra
1 Onion, cubed
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
a Sprig od curry leaves
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
1/2 cup water
5 tsp Oil


  • Wash okra in running water. Pat it dry using paper towels. Then cut it into 1 inch pieces
  • Add oil on a preheated skillet. Then add mustard seeds and curry leaves
  • When it sizzles, add onions. Saute until it it softens
  • Now, add turmeric powder and red chili powder. Quickly stir without the powders getting burnt. Add 1/4th cup of water
  • Now add okra and mix well. saute for 10 minutes
  • Add remaining 1/4 cup of water and season it with salt and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until they are completely cooked
  • serve  with steamed rice or chapathi

May 27, 2015

Red Coconut Chutney

Red coconut chutney - a perfect accompaniment for many south Indian breakfast recipes.
It is made with a combination of fresh coconut, roasted channa, red chilies and ginger; and it is topped with lightly tempered condiments.


2 cups of Fresh Coconut, cut into small pieces or grated
1/2 cup of Roasted Channa or Dalia
A small piece of Ginger, 1 inch
4-5 Dry Red Byadgi chilies
1-2 cups of water, depending upon thickness

For tempering-
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
Few leaves of Curry leaves


  • Grind coconut first until it is coarse
  • Next add dalia, ginger, chilies and salt with 1-2 cups of water. Grind it into a smooth mixture
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When it starts to sizzle, pour it on freshly ground chutney