May 13, 2013

Pyaz Double Damakha Pakora | Onion Pakora

A deep fried starter made with onions, chick pea flour and green chilies. Its extremely delicious and an entertaining appetizer. 

On a rainy day, my husband asked for a deep fried snack with a cup of chai. So I decided to make onion pakora since its easy to make and can be prepared in no time. I wanted to keep this recipe as simple as possible.

There are many variations in pakora and this is one of the simplest recipe. I called it "double dhamaka" because, it is deep fried twice to keep it crisp on the outside and soft inside.


1 Medium sized Onion, finely chopped
1 cup Chick  pea flour | Besan
4 Green Chilies
3/4 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Water
Oil for deep frying


  • In a mixing bowl, mix onions, green chilies, chick pea flour and salt
  • Add little water to make thick batter. Add more water if required

  • Wet your hands and scoop out little batter. Gently leave it in hot oil. Deep fry evenly until it turns golden brown

  • Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil. 

  • After pakoras has cooled, drop it again in hot oil and fry evenly for a minute or two 
  • Use an absorbant paper to drain excess oil
  • Serve hot with chutney 
  • Additional ingredients like cilantro, dill, mint(pudina) can also be added to enhance flavors
  • Cabbage and cauliflower can be used instead of onions

May 8, 2013

Indian Ginger Tea | Adrak Chai | Inji Tea | Shunti Tea

Packed with invigorating blend of spicy ginger, black tea, milk and sweetened with granulated sugar. 

A cup of chai is a must in my household. I serve chai with biscuits or usli in evenings. On a raining day, I serve it with piping hot bhaji or pakodas and trust me this is the best combination. 

Ginger tea has many medicinal properties like- it helps in digestion and relieves stress. Also, it helps to ward off cold and cough.

I use skimmed milk to make tea. And I like tea to be little watery.  

Servings : 2
Cook Time : 10 minutes


1 cup Regular milk | Skimmed milk 
1 cup Water
1 tsp Black tea powder
1 small piece of Ginger, crushed
1 1/2 tsp sugar


  • In a pot, add water, milk, and tea powder

  • Add Crushed Ginger. . Bring it to boil

  • When it starts to boil, turn heat to low heat setting. Add sugar
  • Again turn to medium - high heat setting and stir continuously until tea changes to deep hue red

  • Strain tea using strainer 

  •  Serve hot with pakodas, biscuits or coffee cakes

Vegetable Saagu

"Saagu" is a stew made with different kinds of vegetables like carrots, beans, cabbage, potato, bell peppers or cauliflower and seasoned with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chili powder and coriander powder.
This stew tastes best when served with puri. Other combinations include chapathi or roti.

This recipe is my maternal grandmother's recipe. This is one of her recipes that I have included it in my recipe book. It very simple to make and one pot recipe too!!


2 Carrots, cubed
250 gms Cabbage, chopped
1 Bell pepper, diced
250 gms Green beans, chopped
1 Potato, cubed
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin seeds
2 Green Chilis, chopped (optional)
1 sprig of Curry Leaves (optional)
3/4 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
3 tsp Oil
1/2 cup Freshly Grated coconut (optional)
2 sprigs of Cilantro, chopped (optional)


  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chilies and saute for few seconds
  • Add all vegetables - carrots, cabbage, bell pepper, green beans,  and potato. Saute for 3 minutes

  • Add coriander powder and red chili powder

  • Add 1/2 cup water and adjust salt as per taste
  • Pressure cook for 1 or 2 whistles
  • Add freshly grated coconut and cilantro
  • Serve with puri, chapathi or roti

  • Any kind of vegetable can be added in this recipe. If you want to exhaust all veggies from your refrigerator, then this recipe would serve best
  • Also, onion can be added. But I have not used in this recipe

Kadalekayi Usli

Raw peanuts seasoned with mustard seeds, green chilies, curry leaves, asafoetida and cilantro. This recipe is a great evening snack.

Raw peanuts are moist  and raw Indian peanuts are available in Indian grocery stores. 


1 kg Raw Peanuts
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
5 Green chilies, finely chopped
2 sprigs of Curry Leaves
1 Onion, finely chopped
5 sprigs of Cilantro, finely chopped
3 tsp Oil


  • Wash and boil raw peanuts in a pressure cooker with a little salt. Pressure cook up to 2 whistles

  • Drain and de-shell peanuts

  • In a preheated pan, add oil, mustard seeds, asafoetida, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute

  • Add onions. Saute until onions turn transparent

  • Add de-shelled peanuts and adjust salt as per taste

  • Add cilantro 
  • Serve with a cup of tea

  • The first two steps can be prepared in advance and can be stored in an air tight container in refrigerator
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May 1, 2013

Carrot-Cucumber Kosambari

"Carrot-Cucumber Kosambari" is a South-Indian style salad made from cucumber, carrot and seasoned with red chilies, mustard, and asafoetida. 

I have posted recipe for "Kosambari' before. But I did not add seasoning in previous recipe. 


3/4 cup Moong dal, soaked for 3-4 hours
1 Cucumber, finely chopped
2 Carrots, shredded
2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
2 sprig of cilantro

For seasoning-
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
2 Red Chilies
1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 sprig of Curry leaves


  • Soak moong dal in water for 3-4 hours. Drain excess water and wash it in cold water for 2-3 times 
  • In a mixing bowl, mix moong dal, cucumber, carrot, chilies, cilantro and adjust salt as per taste
  • In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, red chilies, asafoetida and curry leaves. When mustard seeds starts to splutter, pour the seasoning to cucumber and carrots
  • Mix well and serve it as a salad or side dish
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Aloo Paratha

Aloo Paratha is a popular  bread recipe in North-Indian Cuisine. It is made from whole wheat flour stuffed with different kinds of vegetable filling. In Aloo paratha, the filling is made from potatoes. 

It is usually served with chilled yogurt or pickles. I have made some variations in my recipe compared to the traditional one. In this recipe- potato and fennel bulb are used in filling and it is served with Pudina-Onion-Tomato chutney


4 cups Whole wheat flour

For Filling
3 Potatoes
1 Fennel Bulb (optional), finely chopped
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Ajwain 
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Red chili powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Oil


  • In a pressure cooker, cook potatoes. After it has cooked peel the potatoes and mash it with a fork or a potato masher
  • In a pan, heat oil, add ajwain, fennel seeds, onions and fennel bulb. Saute for 5 minutes until onions and fennel bulb is cooked

  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Saute for a minute
  • Add mashed potatoes and adjust salt as per taste
  • In a mixing bowl, mix wheat flour and salt. Add enough water to knead the dough. the dough should be very soft. Cover the bowl and set aside for 30 minutes

  • Now, divide the dough into equal portions and roll each portion into balls

  • Take a  paratha ball and roll it into small circular shape. Scoop equal portion of  potato mixture and place it at the center rolled paratha. Cover it the potato mixture and seal it

  • Now dust enough wheat flour on stuffed paratha, using a rolling pin, roll it into circular shape. The flat paratha should be thick

  • Gently place it on a preheated pan. Roast it evenly on both the side. Add oil/ghee/butter if required 

  • Serve hot with pickles , chilled yogurt, chutney or salad

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Pudina-Tomato-Onion Chutney

"Pudina-Tomato-Onion Chutney" is a spicy dip made from mint (pudina), tomato and onions. This recipe is extremely flavorful and can be served in small quantities with idly, dosa, pratha, or chapathi.


Small bunch of Mint | Pudina
1 Onion, diced
2 sprigs Green Onions (optional)
1 Tomato, diced
3 Green chilies
2 Cloves of Garlic
4 tsp Grated coconut
1 Tsp Oil

For Seasoning
1 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1 sprig of Curry leaves


  • Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and green chilies. Saute for a minute
  • Add onions and green onions. Saute until it turns brown

  • Add tomatoes and saute until it cooks completely
  • Add pudina (mint) and saute until it reduces in size
  • Cool the onion-tomato-pudina mixture. In a blender, grind it with coconut and adjust salt as per taste.
  • In the same pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Pour chutney and stir for a minute

  • Serve with paratha , idly, dosa, chapathi or roti
  • You can avoid seasoning. This is only optional step. Additionally you can also delete coconut in this recipe if you are calorie conscious 
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Chicken Nugget in Desi Style

"Chicken Nugget in Desi Style" is made from minced chicken breasts along with extremely flavorful condiments like ginger, garlic, pepper, garam masala and ajinomoto. Its an exquisite appetizer!!


250 gms Boneless Chicken, minced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small piece Ginger, minced
1/2 tsp Red Chili powder
1/2 tsp Black pepper powder
1/4 tsp Ajinomoto
Oil for deep frying

For batter--
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 cup Flour
1/2 cup Breadcrumbs


  • In a Mixing bowl, mix chicken with ginger, garlic, red chili powder, black pepper powder, ajinomoto and adjust salt as per taste
  • Divide chicken into equal portions. Take each portion and roll it into balls or cylinders. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • Coat refrigerated chicken balls in flour and dip it in beaten eggs. And then coat it with breadcrumbs
  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat oil for deep frying, gently drop chicken in oil. Fry evenly in medium-low heat setting because breadcrumbs burns fast
  • Drain excess oil using absorbent paper
  • Serve with tomato ketchup

  • Since chili powder and pepper is used, it is dark in color. If you don't eat spicy food, then you can eliminate chili powder

Nagdev's Chilly Delight

A party appetizer with magnificent flavors.  This is a popular recipe in my family and also a crowd pleasing appetizer. 


500 gms chicken (with bone or boneless)
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes
1/2 tsp Pepper powder
2 sprigs of Curry leaves
2 sprigs of Coriander Leaves
2 sprigs of Mint | Pudina
4 cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 small piece of Ginger, chopped
1 Bell pepper, cut lengthwise
4 tsp Tomato ketchup
6 tsp Oil, divided


  • Marinade chicken with 3 tsp oil, ginger, garlic, pepper powder, chili flakes, coriander, and mint leaves. Refrigerate for 30 minutes
  • In a heavy bottom vessel, heat 3 tsp oil, add marinated chicken. Cook in medium-low heat setting for 20 minutes until chicken is completely cooked
  • Add bell pepper, tomato ketchup and adjust salt as per taste. In high heat setting fry chicken constantly
  • Serve hot. Garnish with coriander leaves if required