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

Oct 31, 2013

Pepper Chicken

Boneless chicken is cooked with thick onion gravy spiced up with lots of pepper is a fantastic treat for a party weekend. I love this recipe so much that, I have ended up making it almost every week. And of course not forget, this is another recipe which I learnt from my mother-in-law Mrs. Mohana Gopi. 

This is also a comfort food during holiday season with long and cold winter nights.  It can be served either as appetizer with reduced gravy or served  on top hot rice with lots of gravy. Also, pepper chicken is an excellent treat for meat lovers!!


500 gms Boneless chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp Pepper powder
4 tsp Oil

For the gravy:
2 Onions, cubed
4 Garlic cloves
1/2 inch Ginger


  • Make a smooth paste of onions, garlic and ginger using a blender
  • In a skillet, heat oil. when it turns smoky, add onions; sautee until it turns transparent
  • Add the chicken, turmeric powder and pepper powder. Stir to coat
  • Return the onion paste to skillet and mix well. Cook in medium-low heat for 10 minutes
  • Adjust salt as per taste and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes (see note)
  • Serve hot
Cover the skillet if you want more gravy and add 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth. If you dont want gravy , then cook chicken without covering skillet in low heat.

Additionally, bell pepper can also be added.

Oct 24, 2013

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

Its pumpkin and spooky season. YESSS!! Halloween is just days apart!!! Its time to gear up to prepare creepy, spooky and delicious party food. So why not with pumpkin!!

This soup is rich, creamy and velvety smooth flavored with lots of roasted pumpkin and thyme. Its very delicious and an excellent starter.


500 gms Pumpkin, cubed, peeled and seeds removed
1 Carrot, cubed
1 tsp Thyme 
500 ml Chicken Broth
1/2 cup Milk (full fat or 2% or fat free)
1/2 Red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp Butter
1 tsp Olive oil
1/4 tsp Pepper Powder


  • Toss pumpkin and carrot with olive oil and roast in oven for 35 minutes at 350C

  • In a large pot, melt butter. Add onions, garlic and thyme. Saute until onions turn transparent

  • Puree roasted pumpkin and carrots; and sauteed onion  in batches. Add chicken broth if required (do not add water)
  • Add puree to the pot. Also add Chicken broth, milk, salt and pepper. Simmer in medium heat until all flavors have melded

  • Serve immediately ( also see note)

Note:  This soup can be prepared in advance and can be refrigerated upto 1 week . Use Chicken/ vegetable broth to dilute.

Oct 21, 2013

Bread Pakora

There is always something special in  fall  season!! Arrival of fall changes everything with day getting shorter and night getting longer, leaves falling off trees and start craving for different foods. 

Its fall with chilly evening on the way and to curb food craving, I made spicy Bread pakora. Everyone loves it and it is a great tea snack in evening. 


4 Bread slices, cut diagonally
1 cup of Chickpea flour
4 green chilies, finely chopped
Handful of Cilantro, finely chopped
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
oil for deep frying


  • In a mixing bowl, make batter with chickpea flour, green chilies, cilantro, onion, hing and salt. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix well
  • Heat oil for deep frying
  • Dip bread slices in chickpea batter and gently leave it in oil. Fry in medium heat until it turns light brown
  • Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil
  • Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup

Oct 1, 2013

Cabbage Cucumber Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing

Cool Cabbage-Cucumber salad tossed in honey mustard dressing adds a lot of crunch and  a refreshing starter. 


4 cups Napa cabbage, thinly cut into strips
1 Cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Tomato, thinly sliced
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup rasberries
1 tsp finely chopped chives

For the dressing
3 tsp honey - mustard
2 tsp rice vinegar
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper powder
1 tsp Olive oil


  • In a mixing bowl, whisk all the ingredients under dressing
  • Dress the cabbage, cucumber, tomato and carrot with honey mustard dressing
  • Let stand about 10 minutes. Garnish with raspberries and chives before serving

Hara Bhara Chicken Fry

Hara- Bhara Chicken Fry with herbs and spices is a fabulous treat for a potluck party. Chicken is slow cooked in a raw paste of green chili, coriander, ginger, garlic and onion paste until it is tender and juicy. The raw herb paste turns into semi-gravy which zesty and toothsome when mixed with hot steamed rice. 


Whole chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
1 onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
5 tsp oil

For the masala
5 green chilies
1 tsp pepper corns
5 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of ginger
1/2 onion
Handful of Cilantro
4 cloves
1 inch stick of cinnamon


  • Make a coarse paste of green chilies, pepper, ginger, garlic, onion, cilantro, cloves and cinnamon
  • In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil. Add onions and saute until it turns transparent
  • Add turmeric powder and ground herb paste. Mix well
  • Add chicken. Cover the pot and cook for 15 minutes
  • Adjust salt as per taste and cook for 20 to 25 minutes
  • Serve hot with rice or chapathi

Bele Chutney (Lentil Chutney)

Bele Chutney is a spicy gastronomic concoction  of channa dal, urad dal, green chilies, garic and coconut. This is my favorite chutney and my mom passed on this recipe to me. 

This chutney tastes best when served with hot idly :-)


4 tsp urad dal
2 tsp Channa dal
3 green chilies
3 garlic cloves
1 inch piece of tamarind
1 cup grated coconut
2 tsp oil

For seasoning
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
 1 sprig of curry leaves


  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan, add channa dal and urad dal. Saute until it turns brown. Keep it aside
  • In the same pan, heat another tsp of oil; add garlic, tamarind and green chilies
  • After the above ingredients cools, grind it with coconut and salt into a smooth paste
  • For the seasoning, heat oil. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. After it starts to sizzle, pour it on top of chutney
  • Serve it with hot idly

Pudina Chutney | Mint Chutney

Pudina Chutney is a magnificent spicy dip made with mint, cilantro, coconut and green chilies. Its a great accompaniment with breakfast recipes like idly, dosa and upma.

Previously on Shruchi Kitchen I had posted same recipe Pudina Chutney. I made slight modifications to the current one.


1 bunch of Mint leaves
1 bunch of Cilantro
3 cloves of Garlic
1 inch piece of Tamarind
4 Green chilies
1 cup Grated coconut
2 cups of water
1 tsp oil

For seasoning
3 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
2 red chilies
1 spirg of curry leaves


  • Heat oil in a pan. When it turns smoky; add garlic, green chilies, tamarind, mint and cilantro. Saute until mint and cilantro reduces in size
  • After the above ingredients cools, grind it with coconut, water and salt into a smooth paste
  • In the same pan, heat oil for seasoning. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilies and curry leaves. Saute until urad dal turns golden brown. Pour the seasoning on top of mint chutney
  • Serve with idly, dosa, upma and paniyaram