Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Double Fun!

I learnt this recipe from my mother, who is a wonderful cook! Amma's simple rasam and potato fry, my all time favourite comfort food :-) Anyways, this is one of the yummilicious things amma makes - Ridgegourd/Star Melon Chutney. (I use the peel for this and the flesh, I simply chop it up and add it to my dal recipe, great way to make full use of the vegetable!)

  • Ridgegourd/Star Melon, 1
  • Fresh coconut, grated, 1/2 cup
  • Dry red chillies, 3-4
  • Chana Dal (split yellow lentils), 2 tbsp
  • Urad Dal (split white lentils) 1 tbsp
  • Coriander seeds (1/2 tbsp)
  • Jeera (whole cumin) 1 tsp
  • Tamarind, 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery (molasses) 1/2tsp
  • Oil, 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves, hing (asafotieda), mustard seeds, jeera for tempering
  • Salt
  1. Wash the ridgegourd/star melon and shave off the peel. Get most of it, but keep off the flesh as much as possible.
  2. Dry roast red chillies, Chana Dal, Urad Dal, coriander seeds and Jeera.
  3. Heat a wok or frying pan and put in the peel and let it sweat a bit. Keep tossing it. If you feel it is too dry then you could add a tspn or so of water. This step is just to get rid of the raw smell of the peel.
  4. Add tamarind paste and jaggery and saute for a couple of minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool.
  5. Then, combine with the grated coconut and roasted ingredients and grind to a smooth paste.
  6. Add salt to taste and temper with oil, mustard seeds, jeera, curry leaves and hing.

Monday, March 9, 2009


Tried this recipe from Ramya's Mane Adige, it's called 'Saagu'. I remember I wasn't a big fan of this when I was in B'lore, thought I'd make something I'd never made before and it turned out really yummy!Very easy and quite quick, made rava idlies to go with it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chutney on the side!

Here are two chutney recipes. I made these with the dosas when we had friends over. Easy peasy and great tasting.

Green Coconut Chutney -
  • half a fresh coconut
  • 4-5 fresh hot chillies
  • half a bunch fresh coriander/cilantro
  • a small piece of ginger
  • chutney dal (a creamish lentil kind of thing, don't exactly know what it's called)
  • 1/4 tspn tamarind extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tspn jaggery (molasses) or sugar, again optional
  • salt to taste
  • for tempering - oil, mustard seeds, jeera (whole cumin), hing (asafotieda) and curry leaves.
  1. Simply grind all of the above with a litttle water until well amalgamated. I use my knife to carve out chunks of coconut from the shell and then further chop them into smaller bits and run it once in the blender before adding the rest of the ingredients. You could grate the coconut if you have the required equipment :-)
  2. Heat oil and add in the ingredients needed for tempering and pour over the chutney. That's it, all ready to be served!
Onion 'n' Tomato Chutney -
  • 2 medium sized onions, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 3-4 red dry chillies
  • 1 tsp chana dal (yellow split lentils)
  • 1/4 tsp urad dal (white split lentils)
  • 1/4 tsp jeera (whole cumin)
  • a pinch of hing (asafotieda) and turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbspns oil
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add jeera, hing, chana dal, urad dal and red chillies. Saute for a couple of minutes.
  2. Next add chopped onions and cook till tender.
  3. Put in the chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.
  4. Add turmeric powder and salt and mix well.
  5. Once cool, transfer the mixture into the blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  6. All done!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Memories of Bangalore...

'Sagars' or 'Darshinis' are well known to every Bangalorean and will make them all nostalgic for sure. They are small fast food joints that serve the yummiest things like idli, dosa, chow chow bath 'n' stuff, oooh I'm drooling right now! Anyways, one all time favourite is masala dosa, which is so taken for granted all the time, that after we moved to Aussie, we've been craving so much for it! It is a thin, crisp rice and lentil pancake with a tangy potato filling. All our friends here pleaded to have it for dinner and I said 'why not?'. However, one thing I'm really nervous about when making dosas here is that the batter does not seem to ferment well which is a major setback. Somehow, this time when I made it, it turned out well. The masala dosas were lip smackingly delicious! This recipe needs soaking time and fermenting time, so planning ahead is needed. But it's worth all of it :-)

For the dosa batter -
  • 4 measures of uncooked rice (I use the sona masoori variety. You also get dosa rice, both at any Indian grocery store. Otherwise, you could use regular long grain rice from any supermarket.)
  • 1 measure urad dal (white split lentils)
  • salt
  • eno (fruit salt)/yeast (optional)
For the masala filling -
  • boiled potatoes, 5
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2-3 chopped green/red chillies
  • curry leaves
  • 1/2 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tspn chana dal/kadalebele (split yellow lentils)
  • 1/2 tspn urad dal (split white lentils)
  • 1/2 tspn mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tspn jeera (whole cumin)
  • a pinch of hing (asafotieda)
  • a small piece of ginger, grated
  • half a lemon/lime
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • salt
  1. Wash and soak the rice and urad dal, separately, overnight.
  2. Next morning, grind them in a blender or a wet grinder. The batter has to be fine.
  3. Once done, pour the rice and urad dal batter in a large vessel, add salt and stir well.
  4. This batter now needs to ferment. Ideally, it needs some warmth to work well. Here are a few tips - you could preheat an oven (not microwave) and switch it off. Then leave the vessel in it for about 8 hours. You could add eno or yeast in order to ferment the batter. Or if it is a naturally warm weather, just leave it covered overnight and the batter will ferment. Basically, after about 8 hours, the batter needs to be risen, fluffy and quite light and porous.
  5. With the batter ready, you need to prepare the potato filling. Lightly mash the boiled potatoes.
  6. Heat oil in a wok or a deep pan and add mustard seeds, jeera and hing.
  7. Next add chana dal and urad dal and saute until they are browned lightly.
  8. Add curry leaves, ginger and chillies.
  9. Next, add chopped onions and cook till tender.
  10. Add the turmeric powder, mix well and put in the potatoes.
  11. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  12. A dash of lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander. The filling is ready.
  13. All you need to do now is make the masala dosas. For this you'll need a griddle or a flat nonstick pan. Pour a ladleful of the batter onto a heated pan and quickly spread it into a large circle with your ladle, working your way out from the centre. (this might take a few gos till you're perfect!)
  14. Dribble some oil around the dosa, wait for a couple of minutes till it is crisp on one side and turn it around using a spatula and cook on the other side.
  15. Then simply put a dollop of the masala on the dosa, fold it in half and take off the pan.
  16. Serve with chutney. I'll post the recipes for the two chutneys I made with it!
Yummy! Enjoy, it's worth all the effort you put in! Of course, you do have the option of buying readymade batter from the Indian store, but nothing like making it at home with all the excitement :-)

Sunday Morning Treat!

This is a recipe I learnt from a friend of mine. She used to bring it to work, all of us used to attack and her lunch box was empty in a snap! I tried it at home and it was a hit with M and my father-in-law. Now, I make it occasionally on Sunday mornings, you know some things are reserved for Sundays :-) Oh and yes, it does need soaking time, so plan ahead.

Sabudana Khichdi (sago/tapioca one-pot-dish)

  • Sabudana (sago) 1 cup
  • boiled potato, 1 large
  • toasted peanuts, 1 heaped tbspn
  • 2 red/green fresh chillies, chopped
  • curry leaves
  • jeera (whole cumin) 1 tsp
  • 2 tbspns oil
  • salt
  1. Soak the sabudana overnight with just enough water to cover it. If you add even a little bit of extra water, the sabudana will turn all mushy.
  2. Dry roast the peanuts in a frying pan and if you are patient enough, you need to de-husk it (if that's even a word!!) and grind it very, very coarsely. Just turn the knob on your blender only once and for a fraction of a second. Now, if I haven't scared you enough and your plan of making this is still on :-) It's not that bad really, actually this is how my friend instructed me as well, but now it's really simple to make.
  3. Lightly mash the boiled potatoes.
  4. Now, your sabudana should've plumped up nicely and should be rather dry and not sticky.
  5. Heat oil in a wok or a large pan and when hot, add jeera.
  6. Next add curry leaves, chopped chillies and toasted peanuts.
  7. Put in the sabudana and mix well. Leave to cook on a low flame, stirring it every now and then. The sabudana will cook in the oil. You'll know it's done when it kind of turns transparent. It's important for it to fully cook.
  8. Once done, add salt and the potatoes and mix it all well for a couple of minutes.
This is quite filling, by the way. So you can sit back and maybe watch a nice movie and not worry about your next 'chomp chomp' time for a long time :-)


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