Apr 5, 2016

Ompudi | Khara Sev

Its a mommy's favorite recipe. Crispy noodle strands made with besan (chickpea flour) is a perfect tea time savory snack. In south India they are called ompudi becuase it is flavored with caraway seeds. Most popularly it is called as sev. 

Its the most common garnishing ingredient in Indian chats and they are not complete without topping of sev. 

My mom usually makes this snack in large batches. It takes very less time to prepare and cooks very fast. With proper storage it can last for up-to a month. 


3 cups Besan (chickpea flour)
1/2 tsp Ajwain (caraway seeds)
1 tsp Red chili powder
1/4 tsp Asafoetida (hing)
2 tsp Melted Ghee
Oil for deep frying


  • Blend ajwain into fine powder

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together besan, ajwain, red chili powder, asafoetida, ghee and salt

  • Add water in small batches to the besan mixture and mix together to form a sticky dough  (*** Note -  you can use spoon to make dough for less messy)

  •  Grease the sev maker. Load the besan dough until it fills up the cylinder. And close the cylinder

  • Heat oil until it is moderately hot on medium heat 
  • Press the handle of sev maker and gently drop the noodle strands in oil in circular motion. Fry in medium heat until oil bubbles go away (*** Note -  Flip the sev only once. Flipping more than once will break the sev)

  •  Use an absorbent paper to drain excess oil
  • After sev cools down, store it in a air tight container 

Potato Leak Soup

A fulfilling recipe from French cuisine made from potatoes and leaks flavored with oregano and thyme. All these ingredients are blended together using immersion blender until they are smooth. 


3 stalks of Leeks, whites and light green only partially chopped
3 medium sized Yukon potatoes, peeled and diced
6 Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp Oregano
1/4 tsp Thyme
1/2 tsp crushed Black pepper
1 ltr Chicken Broth
1 tsp Butter


  • Melt butter in a large pot. To this, add garlic and leeks. Sautee for few seconds


  • Then add potato and sautee for another 2 minutes

  • Add oregano, thyme and black pepper

  • Add chicken broth and mix well. Cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes until potatoes are fork tender

  • Add salt as per taste
  • Using an immersion blender blend the soup until smooth

  • Simmer for 2 -5 minutes
  • Serve hot

Apr 2, 2016

Sabsike Soppina Akki Rotti

Sabsike Soppu ( Dill leaves), dark green stranded leafy vegetable is very rich in fiber and vitamin K.  The oils present in dill leaves such as carvone, limonene, phenolic and flavonoids boosts breast milk supply.  This leafy vegetable is classified as galactogogue foods. 

Akki Rotti is a southern Karnataka based recipe made with rice flour and a wide variety of vegetables and spices.

*** Note: By adding oil while kneading the dough, keeps it moist and can be refrigerated upto 3 days


3 cups Rice flour
1 large bunch of Dill leaves (with stem), finely chopped
1 Carrot, shredded
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut
1 inch piece of Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 Green Chilies, finely chopped
4 tsp Oil 
Water (@room temperature) as needed 


  • In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together except for oil and water
  • Add enough water to form soft dough. 
  • Add oil and knead well. Let it rest for 30 minutes

  • Divide the dough into equal portions. Take each portions and shape it into balls
  • Place one portion of the shaped dough on a greased flat pan. Wet your palm and  pat the dough to form a pancake working from inwards and spread it evenly outwards 
  • Add few drops of oil on the edges. Cook on medium heat on both the sides until it turns golden brown

  • For the next rotti, cool the pan with running cold water and repeat the above 2 steps
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney. And some ghee is also preferred 

Mar 23, 2016

Veg Puff

Frozen puff pastry is great for home entertaining party appetizer. Its always good to keep few packages of frozen puff pastry for last minute meal plans. It can be found in dessert frozen isle in grocery stores.  

This a good recipe for learners. It is easy to make both sweet and savory appetizers, entrees and desserts. 

For veg puff, all you need is few vegetables seasoned with mild spices


1 box of Frozen Puff Pastry sheets
2 tsp Ghee for brushing

For filling
2 Carrots, diced
2 Onions, finely chopped
1 cup of peas
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Coriander powder
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/4 tsp Garam Masala Powder
4 tsp oil


  • Heat oil on a skillet. Add onions, saute until it softens
  • Add garlic, carrots and peas. Saute for 2-3 minutes
  • Add salt, coriander powder, chili powder and garam masala powder. Cook for 8- 10 minutes
  • Thaw frozen puff pastry sheets. Unfold the sheets. Cut the sheet into 9 squares
  • Using rolling pin, roll each square of pastry sheet
  • Fill each square with 1 1/2 tsp of vegetable filling placing it on the center
  • Fold the square on opposite sides to form a triangle. Repeat above steps for remaining squares
  • Place these pastries on a sheet pan and brush each piece with ghee. 
  • Bake at 300F on a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until it turns golden brown
  • Serve warm

Mar 13, 2016

Avocado Strawberry Salad

It's very important for breastfeeding moms to have nutritious food. Certain nutritive foods keeps both mother and baby healthy.

Avacado is rich in folic acid and monosaturated fats. Folic acid  helps in  development of central nervous system. Monosaturated fats balances cholesterol levels. 

Perfect snack for brunch. 


1 ripened Avacado, cubed
6 Brightly colored Strawberries, cubed
1 Cucumber, cubed 
1/4 tsp ChatMasala powder
Juice of 1/2 a lemon 
Few sprigs of cilantro, finely chopped 
Mix these ingredients together - chopped cucumbers, avocado and strawberries with pepper, salt, cilantro and chat masala.

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

Apr 1, 2015

Thakkali vengayam Mutton Kuzhambu

Mutton cooked in a spicy pungent tomato and onion curry. This curry is a easy fix and one pot recipe. There is no grinding of masalas. 

Few weeks back PG asked me to make a simple mutton curry for chapathi. The recipes that I knew involved heavy masalas. Since, I wanted to keep this recipe; I minced ginger and garlic, finely chopped pearl onions and tomatoes. For taste and spice, added chili-coriander powder, turmeric and garam masala. All these ingredients were pressure cooked with mutton.

This recipe has been family friendly meal especially during lethargic weekends :-)


500 gms Mutton (with bones)
6 Garlic, minced
1 inch Ginger, minced
8-10 Curry Leaves
10 Pearl onions, finely chopped
2 large Tomatoes, finely chopped
3 tsp Red Chili- Coriander powder (2:1 ratio)
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Garam Masala
5 tsp Oil


  • Add oil in a preheated pressure cooker
  • When oil is hot add ginger, garlic, onions and curry leaves. Saute until onions softens
  • Add Tomatoes. Cook until oil separates out from rest of the ingredients
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili- coriander powder, garam masala. Mix well
  • Add mutton and fry for 10 minutes on medium heat. Add little water to prevent masala from getting burnt
  • Now add water and adjust salt as per taste. Pressure cook for 15 -20 min
  • If you want to thicken gravy, cook for another 10 minutes without the lid
  • It taste best when paired with chapathi, roti, rice, dosa or idli

Mar 24, 2015

Carrot Chutney

There are signs of spring everywhere and it feels so good with to step out in warm weather. In celebration  of arrival of spring, here's my first spring recipe - "Carrot Chutney" a vibrant colorful accompaniment for dosa and idli.


2 Carrots, diced
1 Small piece of Ginger
2 Green Chilies
1/2 tsp Bengal Gram (channa dal)
1/2 tsp Urad Dal
2 tsp Oil
Water as needed

For seasoning-
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
A sprig of Curry leaves
2 tsp Oil


  • On a preheated sauce pan; add oil, Bengal gram, urad dal. Saute until it turns golden brown
  • Add green chilies, ginger and carrots. Saute until carrot softens. Set aside until it cools
  • Adjust salt and grind it into a fine paste. Add water a needed
  • Now heat oil in the same pan, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When it starts to sizzle, pour the contents on top of freshly ground carrot chutney