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Updated: 2017-12-01T02:54:08.742-08:00




In my last trip to the grocery store, I spotted some nice green mangoes. Back home, in Pune, this was a sure sign of the advent of summer. Mangoes got a very special treatment , whether raw or ripe...there were pickles and panha (cool mango drink), bhels with small chunks of raw & sour mangoes...yumm! When the markets were flooded with ripe mangoes there was aamras (mango pulp) & poli , mango milkshakes and mango ice cream made in pot! I still remember the fun filled summer evenings, the entire family...uncles -aunts, cousins and grand parents, getting together and having a pot ice cream party. It was so much fun fighting for a chance to churn the pot in the initial stages and later shying away from all the labor ! :)There are so many ways that one can use mangoes, especially raw ones in every day cooking. The recipe I am going to share is just an example of a great and simple way to transform a nice tangy green mango into a yummy relish. Pair it up with some rice and dal and you will have a delicious meal in minutes. Methamba, as this relish is called, uses very few ingredients and takes no time to cook. You can even make some in advance and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. Enjoy Methamba with rice, poli, bread or even as a can be assured that people will be left wanting more!Ingredients:(the quantities here are really estimates as it all depends on how sour the mango is)1 raw/green mango1/4 tsp methya (fenugreek seeds)1/4 cup jaggery (approximately...this will depend entirely on how sour the mango is)1/2 tsp red chilli powder1/4 tsp mustard seeds1 tbsp oilhing (asafoetida)salt to tasteMethod:Peel the mango and cut into small cubes. In a pan, heat the oil and then add the mustard seeds to it. Once the seeds start to pop, add the hing and then the methya. Let cook for a few seconds. Then add the chopped mango to the pan. Add a little bit of salt and let the mango cook. Normally you would not need to add water, but if the mixture starts drying out, only then add a few teaspoons of water to prevent it from burning. Don't add too much because once you add the jaggery it will let out some moisture. Once the mango s completely cooked, and feels mushy, add the jaggery and red chilli powder and cook till everything is cooked together. Check for taste and adjust the salt/chilli powder and jaggery. The mixture is supposed to be a combo of sweet/sour/spicy. Once ready , take it off from the heat and let it cool. Store in a container and refrigerate the leftover.Wasn't that easy? This was supposed to be my entry for Anupama's Mango moods, but unfortunately could not make it in time. Anyway, I hope you do try this out and enjoy the bounty of summer![...]

Our little Gourmand & Baked Fruits


Our little gourmand is here! And that is exactly why I was hibernating. Nine months of complete pampering and preparing for our bundle of joy left little time and absolutely no energy for cooking or blogging. But now that our baby boy A is here, I am hoping that I will have more enthusiasm to keep this blog up and running. And looking at the way he goes for his milk I do hope that he turns out to be a gourmand and follows in his dad's footsteps. Little A is now 2 months old and it is difficult to imagine life without him!

These days I am hardly cooking as my mom is here but that just means that I get to learn more fabulous and traditional recipes from her. So I hope to post more of her recipes in the future...some of which I had almost forgotten. It is amazing how she uses simple techniques to transform the dullest of veggies into lip smacking dishes. So stay tuned...

2009 slipped by and there was no record of it on this blog. But I am determined to make 2010 count and to start it off I would like to share a very simple and delicious dessert recipe. This recipe came to me from my sister who got it from a friend of hers. Baked fruits is what she calls it but it tastes no less than a cheese cake! We were super impressed with this recipe and hope that you give it a try.

Ingredients:(Serves 2-3)
1 8 oz can of cream cheese
1 14 oz can of condensed milk
1 can of tropical fruits (or mixed fruits)
dry fruits (optional)


In the food processor or blender, blend together the cream cheese and the condensed milk and keep aside. Drain the syrup from the canned fruits and rinse them a little with water. This will wash off the extra sugar syrup and prevent the dish from getting too sweet. I also added some fresh adding fresh fruits might also work. Now mix these fruits into the cream cheese mixture. Pour the entire mixture into a baking pan and bake in 350 degree F oven for about 20 minutes. You will know its ready when you see a yellowish tinge on top. Once baked, remove and allow to cool to room temperature. Finally, put the baked fruits in the refrigerator to cool further and set. Serve chilled.

We loved this dessert and I will definitely try it again. Things that I would like to modify next time would be :
Using a little less condensed milk (about 10-12oz instead of 14)
Using fresh fruits instead of canned ones.

But even without these modifications Baked Fruits is a perfect way to indulge your sweet tooth!

Jwari -Nachani Che Thalipeeth - JFI Whole Grains


Thalipeeth is a type of a savory pancake which is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast/brunch item. In Maharashtra, these thalipeeths are normally made using a flour which is called bhajani. This bhajani is made with various grains and spices roasted and ground together in a flour.In North Karnataka, however, the thalipeeths are also made with Jowar (Sorghum) flour. Jowar is extremely nutritious and yet very light to digest. Thalipeeth is an easier way to incorporate Jowar in your diet as compared to making rotis (bhakris) which require some practice. Jwari cha thalipeeth is a childhood favorite and was always a great item to be packed for a picnic or long journey. Paired with a some pickles and dahi (yogurt), or even just some homemade tup (ghee), this humble dish has the power to satisfy any hungry soul. The recipe can be accessorized as per your likings and it makes a delicious breakfast, quick lunch or a light dinner. It is one of our preferred lunch items to carry to work. This time I also added a little nachani (finger millet) flour and the result was even more nutritious and flavorful.This recipe is going to Suganya of Tasty Palettes, who is hosting JFI : Whole Grains. I had been planning to write this post for a long time and send it on time, but as usual work piled up and deadlines had to be met. I am thankful to Suganya for letting me send in a late entry. So before I get caught in any other deadline, lets get straight to the recipe.Ingredients : (serves 2-3)2 cups Jwari cha peeth (flour)4 tbsp Nachani che peeth (finger millet flour)1/2 an onion chopped finely (can be adjusted as per liking)2 tsp Red chilli powder (adjust to your liking)salt to tastewater to kneadOil to cookPan/GriddleMethod :Mix the jowar flour and nachani flour together in a bowl. Usually I make only jowar thalipeeth and this is the first time I added nachani (Finger millet) to it. Hence there is no fixed ratio for this. You can change the ratio as per your liking or even completely skip the Nachani.Next, add the chopped onions to the mixture and then add the salt and red chilli powder. You can even add a little chopped cilantro for additional flavor and color. Knead the mixture into a pliable dough using water. Divide the dough into four equal portions. The size of the thalipeeth can be modified. So this much dough might yield more thalipeeths if smaller in size.Now on a tawa/pan (griddle), take about a tablespoon of oil. Take a portion of the dough, smooth it into a round ball and then start pressing the dough on the tawa with your fingers to make a medium thin roti. Once done, punch in 5 holes into the thalipeeth with you finger, like so....Now drizzle just a little more oil on top of the thalipeeth and make sure it is spread all over. Cover the tawa with a plate and cook. Check after 3-4 minutes to see if done. Once done on one side, flip and let it cook for a few more minutes. Make sure that it is cooked thoroughly otherwise it will end up tasting raw. When it is cooked on both sides, serve with a dollop of fresh homemade tup (ghee) or some dahi (yogurt) and loncha (pickles) like I did here and enjoy![...]

MBP: Say Cheese: Microwave Kalakand


Since the day I saw this recipe, I have been wanting to try it. But due to work and the daily grind, I was not getting the motivation to do it and eventually it just got lost in my big list of bookmarks. Then, a couple months back I saw it again here, and knew that this time I had to make it, come what may. Nothing was going to stop me now. The arrival of Ganesha and his ten day stay, gave me ample opportunity and enthusiasm to finally make this delicious Microwave Kalakand, originally posted by Sandeepa of Bong Mom's CookBook.The recipe is so simple and the results so amazing! This recipe is a keeper. Not only did our friends enjoy this treat but so did their one year old who would not stop eating the Kalakand! Thanks Sandeepa....your Microwave Kalakand recipe was an excellent Neivedya for Ganpati and I am sure he was just as pleased as we were. :) After making the Kalakand, I couldn't resist clicking some photos (aadat se majboor ;)) and then it struck me that this was a very good candidate for MBP: Say Cheese that is being hosted by Siri of Siri's Corner this month, and is the brainchild of Coffee of The Spice Cafe.This recipe calls for Ricotta cheese which is a very popular fresh cheese used in Italian cuisine. After reading a little about this cheese, I realized that its not technically considered a cheese as its made from whey that is a byproduct of cheese making. But to me its still cheese and a very light one at that. It contains only around 5 % of fat per Wikipedia. More info here. Its a great substitute for Khawa or Khoya too, which is a key ingredient for a lot of the Indian Mithais like burfis and pedhas and of course, gulabjamuns.I have not made any changes to the recipe except that I skipped the pistachios as I did not have any at hand. I just sprinkled a few strands of saffron once the Kalakand was ready. So lets "Say cheese"!Ingredients:1 14 oz can of condensed milk1 15oz jar of ricotta cheese ( i used part skim ricotta)2-3 veldode (cardamoms)saffron1 microwaveable dishMethod:Empty the can of condensed milk into the microwaveable dish. Take ricotta cheese in equal quantity as that of the condensed milk. Sandeepa gives a great idea to do this...fill the can of condensed milk with ricotta cheese to get the same quantity. Add this to the condensed milk and mix well. Now microwave the mixture for 5 minutes, making sure that it does not boil over. Then heat for another 5 minutes, checking after each minute and stirring to avoid any spillage. Cook this mixture till it reaches a grainy consistency with not a lot of moisture. One way to test if its ready is to take a spoon and if the mixture sticks to the spoon, continue to cook. If nothing sticks to the spoon and yet the mixture lumps together, you are ready to set it. This whole process took me just about 13 minutes, so its really fast. Once you have reached the right consistency, remove from the microwave and add the cardamom powder to it. Mix and then leave it to set for an hour. Garnish with chopped pistachios or saffron strands.Cut into squares before serving and be ready to be transported to heaven![...]

Laal Bhoplyachi Kheer (Pumpkin Kheer)


Tis the season of change....everywhere I go and everywhere I see, people are talking about change. The atmosphere sure got me fired up and I decided to change the look of my blog! S has been urging me to do this for so long...but for some reason or the other I was uncomfortble doing it. Who likes change, right ? But no change means stagnancy. Maybe this might just give me some renewed enthusiasm ;). So last weekend, we both sat down and changed the look of the blog and I must confess that it feels really good and fresh, just like a newly painted home. I also realized that its just like painting your home...the look might change but the warm and cozy feeling of the home never goes away.And although the major changes are done, I might keep doing minor upgrades to it. All suggestions and feedback are more than welcome!A few days back, I had got butternut squash from the grocery store. The original plan was to make some comforting soup with it, but then S told me of the pumpkin kheer his mom makes and how he was craving for it. For me, this was a new recipe. I had never tasted pumpkin kheer or 'laal bhoplyachi kheer' as we would call it in Marathi. That day was also Nagpanchmi and I had to make something sweet anyways. Although the recipe was not very different from how we make the regular kheer as per my hubby, I still wanted to confirm it from the source :). We called my MIL early in the morning and confirmed the recipe. Sure enough, it was easy and sounded delicious! The texture and taste of the butternut squash was perfect for the kheer. Normally, we use pumpkin(laal bhopala), but any squash/pumpkin that is slightly sweeter in taste will do.Ingredients : ( serves 2-3)1 butternut squash (or pumpkin)about 2 cups of milk ( i did not measure this time...but its easy to adjust)about 1/2 cup sugar (depending on how sweet the squash is)1 tbsp tup (ghee)1 tsp veldoda pwdr (cardamom)dry fruits (optional)Method :Cut the butternut squash into half and then cook the squash in the microwave for about 5-6 minutes. You can also pressure cook the squash. Once cooked and cooled a little bit, scoop out the squash. Now mash the coooked squash with the back of a spoon. Keep aside.In a saucepan, heat the tup (ghee) and then add and saute the mashed pumkin for a few minutes. Next, add the milk to it. You can adjust the quantity of milk as per the desired consistency. Cook till it comes to a boil and then add the sugar. Stir and let it boil again. If the kheer is too thin, reduce the flame and keep boiling till the milk reduces a bit. The kheer should be a little thick in consistency for best results. Turn off the heat and then add the veldoda powder (cardamom). Let the kheer cool and then you can either chill it in the refrigerator or serve immediately.If you are adding dry fruits like raisins and cashews, fry them in the ghee before adding the cooked squash to it. You can also add a little saffron, although I did not use it this time. Another good addition would be a little nutmeg powder.This time, I wanted to enjoy the flavor of the squash as is without much adulteration so I only used cardamom powder. But you can definitley make it richer with your favorites! Hope you enjoy this simple yet delicious kheer. :)Other pumkin/squash desserts :Gharge[...]

Vegetable Stew in Coconut Milk


Summer time is generally the toughest for me to come up with new recipes. I always end up in a state where I don't want to eat a lot of spicy food, nor oily, nor hot....which eliminates most of the regular Indian recipes we make at home. I know, I am spoilt....and my hubby will agree with this 100% ;). So, on one such summery evening, when the temperatures were soaring high, I took out all the vegetables that were chilling out in the refrigerator and made this simple yet tasty Vegetable stew. The basic idea for the stew came from a dear friend and her hubby. I skipped a lot of the spices they normally use and added some of my own. It was just one of those days I did not want to use too many masalas, and this also gave me an opportunity to use my favorite ingredient -coconut milk.

This Vegetable stew is also going to the Curry Mela hosted by Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons.

Ingredients: (serves 2-3)
1 medium cauliflower cut into florets
1 Zucchini
1/2 cup carrots, corn and green beans mix ( I used a frozen mix)
1/2 onion chopped lengthwise
2-3 Kokum/amsul
1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns (you can adjust to your taste)
1 Dried red chilli
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2-3 Curry leaves
1 small can coconut milk
Salt to taste
Wash and cut all the veggies. In a pan, heat the ghee and then add the cumin seeds to it. Once they start sizzling, add the dried red chillies and fry for a minute. To this, add the curry leaves and then the crushed black pepper powder and fry. Next, add the chopped onions and once they turn translucent, add the kokum. The kokum can also be soaked in a little warm water and the water can then be added to the gravy. Now, add the chopped veggies and mix well. Add a little salt, cover the pan and let the vegetables cook. Once they are cooked, add the can of coconut milk. Mix, cover and cook for a few more minutes. Check for taste and adjust the salt accordingly. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with rice, chapatis or appams!

This is not a very spicy gravy but it is packed with flavor. You can add/modify this recipe easily as per your mood and cravings ;)

Yes...its Jackfruit!


So almost everyone guessed it right...the star ingredient is green/tender Jackfruit or as it is called in Marathi, 'Fanas'. Special credit to Sia, who was the first one to comment and get it right ! :)Its so amazing how food can transport us back in time and help us relive precious moments spent with dear ones. A lot of my childhood memories are knit around food, and this Jackfruit curry is one such recipe that always reminds me of my days as a carefree school girl. My mom made this Fanasachi bhaaji (Jackfruit curry) and I just loved it! Even now, as I write this, I can smell the aroma of the fried jackfruit pieces and the freshly ground masala!Green jackfruit or raw/tender jackfruit is very meaty in texture and has a very delicate flavor. It does need a little getting used to, i think. But once you develop a taste for it, you will have a wonderful and versatile ingredient to experiment with in your kitchen. Green Jackfruits are generally found in the markets around March-April. The only tough task is cutting this enormous fruit. You need to be extremely careful with the knife and normally, it helps to grease your hands and knife with some oil. The good thing here, in the US, is that you can find canned jackfruit already cut into big chunks. Life made easy! :)Usually, I strictly follow my mom's recipe, but this time I did a few modifications, based on what I had at hand. This curry goes well with rice /chapatis or parathas or even bread. It is preferable if this curry can be made a few hours before the actual meal...this way the spices have a chance to mingle around and develop a great flavor without being spicy. Lets get started...But before I forget, let me just add that this mouthwatering curry is going to Srivalli of Cooking4 All Seasons for her Curry Mela which is on till Aug 28, 2008.Ingredients: (serves 2-3)1 small can of green jackfruit (280 gms.)1/2 onion paste (if big onion)1 garlic clove minced or pasteMasala :3 tbsp dried , grated coconut (suka khobra) 1 tbsp Cashews4 tbsp dhane (coriander seeds)1 tsp shah jeere2 tsps badishep (fennel seeds)A small piece of dalchini (cinnamon stick)1/4 tsp khuskhus (poppy seeds)3-4 lavanga (cloves)3 mire (black peppercorns)1 dried red chilliA small bunch of cilantro1-2 tomatoes (depending on how sour they are). I used 1/4 cup of canned, diced tomatoes.2-3 tbsp Oil + oil to shallow fry the jackfruit2-3 tsp Laal tikhat (cayenne pepper)Salt to tasteMethod :The first step is to get the fanas ready, depending on whether you are using canned or fresh. If using canned jackfruit, drain off all the water and pat them with a tissue to remove as much moisture as possible. Now, these pieces can be either deep fried, which my mom usually does, or you can also shallow fry them, like I did this time. But, deepr frying makes the jacfruit really yummy and enhances its flavor. These taste good just by themselves too!Keep the fried pieces of jackfruit aside. First of all, grind the onion to make a paste. To make the masala, dry roast all the Masala ingredients given above separately, till they turn golden brown. Then grind together these spices along with the cilantro to a fine paste. Now in a kadhai/pan, heat the oil. Next, add the onion paste and fry till it turns golden brown. Then add the garlic paste and fry for a minute. Once done, add the ground masala to the onions. Fry the masala for a few minutes, then add some water and cover and cook. Keep checking at regular intervals and keep adding water as necessary. The key to getting a delicious gravy is to roast the masala as much as possible and fluff it up using water. When the masala starts giving out an aroma and oil starts separating from the sides, add the tomatoes and cook for a while. Then add cayenne pepper and salt and mix well. Make sure that you add a little more cayenne pepper than usual. Normally, once the curry cools down, I have realized that I always need to add mo[...]

Guess ...


Can you guess the star of this gravy? It is very easy, hence no clues. So put on your thinking caps and your microscopic glasses and tell me what you think those big pieces in this gravy are...:D

Laal Mirchicha Thecha...Finally!


How time flies! I cannot believe that its almost 2 months since my last post...I have been really lazy, for sure :). So, in my last post, I got a lot of people excited about laal mirchicha thecha, which really is a type of chutney that goes as a great side, especially with bhaakri (jowar roti). The Thecha which is made with fresh red chillies is not to be taken is super hot and needs to be consumed with care. If you are not a person with a ''hot/spicy tooth'' ;), worry not, as there are a number of ways to enjoy this. So before I get lazy again and abandon this post halfway...lets get to the recipe.

Ingredients :
About 15 fresh red chillies
4-5 Garlic cloves
2-3 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp Mohri (mustard seeds)
Hing (Asafoetida)
2 pinches of fenugreek powder
Lemon juice (1 full)

Salt to taste

Coarsely grind the chillies and garlic in the mixer/food processor and keep aside. Now, in a pan, heat the oil and add the mohri, hing and methi powder (to make methi powder, dry roast the methi seeds, cool them and grind them to a powder). Next, add the ground Chillies to the pan. Stir fry the mixture till it you see the oil separating. Once done, cool it completely and then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Store it in the refrigerator for 15-20 days. Your thecha is ready!
(image) There are a number of ways to enjoy this thecha...some of my favorite are :
With plain dal and rice
With bhaakri and spinach bhaaji
With poli (roti) and any bhaaji
To spread some on sandwiches to add some kick ---like in 'Sour cream sandwiches'

Some indirect ways to enjoy this thecha :
Add this thecha to make any bhaaji/sabji to enhance its flavor, especially alu-gobi. Add this to your favorite dal while cooking, or also to your Chinese will be pretty happy with the results. This thecha can add the right zing to your Marinara sauce as well as your pizza.
So what are you waiting for...shed all fear and give this thecha a chance to spice up your kitchen ! :)

Sour Cream Sandwiches


I am back ! I know that it seems like a deja vu, but hopefully this time I will not disappear like I did last time. Its amazing how my life changed in a year! Last April , I stumbled upon this beautiful world of food bloggers, and I knew instantly, that this was something i would love to be a part of. With little kitchen experience and a lot of encouragement from all of you, I have managed to complete a year of blogging on 5th April and 50 posts (although, i wasn't really active for the last 4 months...but who is counting right ? ;))! This April, I was buried deep in work with the last few days of tax season, and even managing to cook something at home was a major achievement. So I literally went from a lot of cooking to no cooking in a year. :) I want to thank all of you for enquiring about my whereabouts and motivating me to come back with all of your wonderful recipes and stories. I would also like to thank my hubby, for his immense patience and tolerance level (as the guinea pig for my experiments), my sister who is always providing me with quick fix recipes and ideas, my mom-in-law for sharing her treasure of recipes with me, and last but not the Mom. If it had not been for her, I would never have developed this skill and Bhaatukli would never have come into existence. Now, lets talk about today's recipe. Last week, as I was blog hopping to update my blog for the different events going on, I came across this event - The Sandwich Festival, hosted by Anupama of Food-n-More. What a fun event, I thought. Every week, there is at least one day when my lunch box has a sandwich, and there are countless evenings, when I am tired to make anything else, but the humble bread has always provided me with a quick and delicious meal. The sandwich recipe I am sharing with you today, was my discovery in the early days of my marriage (makes me feel really old), when I was trying out different stuff from the American grocery stores and did not have a clue about food blogs. At that time my main resource for new and different recipes was Bawarchi, and I always found very good recipes contributed by readers like us. One day, I went to the grocery store and bought sour cream. I was very excited at the prospect of making something out of this world with this. As I came back home and put the jar of sour cream in the refrigerator, I realized that I the only thing I could think of was sandwiches. But how ? I quickly went to my favorite website for ideas, half expecting to be disappointed. Who would think of making Sour Cream Sandwiches. But to my great surprise and delight, there was someone who thought like me. Yay! I decided to give this recipe a try, and ever since, Sour Cream Sandwich by Saroj Kering, has been a family favorite. The great part about this recipe is that, you can experiment with it and change to your liking. This sandwich is my entry to the Sandwich Festival. I follow the recipe exactly, with a few teeny tiny changes. Ingredients: (makes 4 Sandwiches)8 slices of bread (your choice of white, wheat or any other)2 potatoes1/4 tsp Turmeric1/4 tsp garam masala (I generally skip this)1/2 tsp Jeera powder (Cumin powder)2-3 green chillies chopped finely (adjust as per your liking)Lemon juice ( about half a lemon)Few leaves of cilantro chopped finelySour Cream Grated Cheese ( I use the readymade grated cheese packets -Italian blend/ Mozarella/or whichever I find interesting)Green Chutney ( recipe to follow)Sandwich MakerMethod : Green Chutney To make this chutney, you will need :A small bunch of cilantro leaves2 Green chillies 2 tbsp Peanuts (roasted/unroasted but definitely without the skin)1 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)1/2 tsp Sugar1/2 tsp lemon juiceSalt to taste.Add all the ingredients except sugar, and lemon juice in a mixer/blender and grind together with little bit of water. The[...]

Gharge -- A sweet begininning (Pumpkin based sweet puri)


The New Year is here! I cannot believe that 2007 is already over...seems like yesterday when I published my first recipe on my blog! Last year was a real turning point for me and I am excited to see what lies ahead in this year for me. I would like to wish all my friends and their families a very happy & prosperous 2008 and I hope that all your dreams come true this year!As this is my first post for 2008, I thought of starting the year with something sweet. With all the channels bombarding us with diet & gym ads, I decided to rebel. Besides this recipe is one that is mildly sweet and does have a fruit in it. I had actually made this during fall when pumpkins were in abundance, but somehow I just did not manage to post it then. Although it may be difficult to find pumpkins in the store now, you can use any pumpkin/squash that is slightly sweeter in taste and it will work just perfectly.'Gharge' is a very traditional Maharashtrian sweet that slowly is getting lost in time. I love this sweet for two reasons:First, its just so yummy --- its not too sweet and even people with a limited sweet tooth will enjoy this, and the second reason is that this was something my maternal grandma made a lot for us and has a lot of memories attached to it.Gharge is basically a sweet puri that has pumpkin as one if its major ingredient. My grandma generally made this on the eve of 'Hartalika puja'. 'Hartalika' is a Maharashtrian tradition where young girls observe a fast and do a puja to obtain an 'ideal groom'. This falls just before Ganesh Chaturthi. The eve of Hartalika is called 'aawarna', which is a time for all the ladies of the house to get together and have a small feast before their upaas (fast) the next day. After all, we do sacrifice good food for a day ! ;) We always followed this tradition and all my cousins and aunts used to come together and celebrate. And for this occasion my grandma always made these delicious Gharge. So lets get straight to the recipe...Ingredients: (makes 12 gharge)2 cups pumpkin peeled and grated (I used the mini pumpkins)1 cup jaggery (gul)1/2 cup wheat flour (atta/kanik)1/2 cup fine rawa/sooji1/2 tsp tup (ghee)Vegetable oil to fryMethod:Peel and then grate the pumpkin. Traditionally we use the regular pumpkin known as 'laal bhopla' in Marathi, but you can replace these with any variety of pumpkin/squash that is slightly sweeter in taste. Now in a kadhai/pan combine the grated pumpkin and jaggery and cook together. Once the the mixture comes together and the pumpkin is cooked add the ghee to it. Remove from the heat and then mix in the wheat flour and rawa to the pumpkin mixture till everything comes together like a dough. The dough should not be too tight nor too elastic. Note that the wheat flour and rawa have to be in 50:50 ratio. Let the dough cool. Once cooled take a small ball of dough on a plastic sheet and pat it into a small puri with your hand. Heat the oil and then fry the puri until golden brown. Drain the these on a tissue paper and enjoy ! Gharge can be consumed immediately or can easily be stored for 10-15 days at room temperature.[...]

Shev & Chivda


So, I am back again! I know, I know...whats new? I have been like the moon these past few months...fortnightly visit ;) I have missed so much of action in the blog sphere! The fact is, I was busy job hunting and finally I found one!!:) I will be starting from Monday which means that posting a recipe frequently is going to be even more difficult henceforth. But I hope to post at least one recipe every week and try and participate in as many blog events as possible. I am really thankful to all of you for all your nice comments on my posts.Now onto the remaining part of my diwali faral...its late but these recipes are ones that can be enjoyed any time of the year. Enjoy!Shev (Shev--- in the bowl on the left hand side of the plate Chivda---in the center of the plate)Ingredients:5 cups Besan (Chickpea flour)2 tbsp Oil1/2 tsp Black peppercorns1/2 tsp Cloves1/4 tsp Ajwain seeds2 tsp Cayenne pepper (adjust to your spice level)Salt to tasteWater to make the doughShev press or Chakli press (sorya)Oil to fryMethod:Grind together the peppercorns, cloves and ajwain to a powder. In a bowl mix together the besan, oil, ground spice powder, cayenne pepper and salt. Now make a dough out of this mixture with some water. Taste it and adjust the spices. Cover and let rest for 1/2 an hour. Next, heat vegetable oil in a kadhai. Take a small ball of dough and pass it through the shev/chakli press directly into the kadhai. Fry the shev till it turns golden brown. Do not wait till it turns dark brown as it keeps cooking even when removed from the oil. Repeat the process till all the dough is used up.ChivdaIngredients: (the quantities are approximate and can be changed as per liking)2lb Super thin poha (Flattened rice)7-8 Green chillies chopped6-7 Curry leaves2-3 tbsp Dalia split1/4 cup Dry coconut shavings (khobra)1/4 cup Peanuts (can use roasted or unroasted, peeled or unpeeled)2-3 tsp Cayenne pepper3 tsp Sugar1 tsp Citric Acid (optional)For the tadka:3-4 tbsp Oil1/2 tsp Mohri (mustard seeds)1/2 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)1/2 tsp Hing powder1 tsp Halad (Turmeric)Method:First get all the ingredients ready. Take a huge plate and empty the packet of pohe on it. Add salt and cayenne pepper to it. To make dry coconut shavings, just take a regular peeler and run along the edge of the coconut. Now in a big kadhai (use the biggest one you have, makes life easier), heat the oil. Once heated, fry the peanuts a little. Make sure you don't leave them in too long or else they will burn and taste bitter. Same goes for all other ingredients as well. Remove the fried peanuts and add them to the poha. Next fry the coconut shavings and add to the poha. Do the same thing with the dalia split. You can also add some cashews to the chivda. Next, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds to the oil and let them pop. Then add the hing and turmeric powder. Next, throw in the chopped chillies and fry till they become crunchy. To this add the curry leaves and fry for a minute. Now pour this tadka over the pohe. Mix together.Now the pohe can be chewy, so to make them crunchy, just transfer them to the kadhai and keep stirring them on very low heat till they become crunchy. You can dry roast the pohe before you make the tadka but I prefer doing it this way, because I tend to burn the pohe. Another easy way to get them crunchy is to put them under the broiler for a couple of minutes, once the chivda is ready. Make sure you keep checking on them and stir them to avoid burning. Once the chivda is ready and crunchy, let it cool completely and then add the sugar and citric acid to it. Mix well. Citric acid is not a traditional addition but my hubby likes the tang it lends to the chivda and so do I. Enjoy with a cup of tea or a[...]

Diwalicha Faral


Its been a week since Diwali and I am still recuperating from all the eating!!! My weighing scale is already unhappy with my weight and yet I am amazed that I am indifferent ;) Who cares...its just once a year anyways...right? So although I am late, I would like to share my Diwali snacks with you. It was fun to share it with my friends here and I am happy to share it at least virtually with all my friends in the blog sphere. I am really sorry for not being regular in leaving comments on all the wonderful recipes being posted, but I have been caught up with something and this has made it difficult for me to go through all the blogs. Please bear with me...:)

(image) I made Microwave Besan Ladoo, the recipe for which I have already posted here, Shev (left bowl), Shankarpalya (right bowl) and Chiwda (center).
Lets start with something sweet...since I have already posted the recipe for ladoo, i will begin with the recipe for Shankarpalya. These small sweet squares (in the right hand side bowl) are a great snack and quite addictive. There are variations to this recipe and every variation is just as yummy!

2 & 3/4 cup Maida
1/2 cup Tup (Ghee) (can use home made or store bought---I used Nanak's pure ghee)
1/2 cup Water
1 cup Sugar (A little more if the sugar is not very sweet)
Tup (Ghee) to fry (Vegetable oil can also be used but taste will be little different)

Liquefy the ghee and then mix in the water and sugar in it. Heat this mixture and turn it off as soon as it comes to a boil. Let the mixture cool. Then add the maida to it to make the dough. You may require more or less. The dough should be pliable, just like you would make for chapatis. Cover the dough and let it rest for 1 hour.
Next, heat the tup or oil in a kadhai. Take a medium sized ball of the dough and roll it like a chapati. Do not roll the dough very thin, otherwise the shankarpalya will be very thin. Then take a knife or a pasta/ravioli cutter and make vertical cuts on the rolled out dough. Next, make horizontal cuts to make little squares. Drop these squares in the hot ghee and fry till they turn golden brown. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Continue till all the dough is used. Shankarpalya are ready.

Coming up : Recipe for Shev

Happy Diwali



To all my friends in the blog sphere,

A Very Happy & Prosperous Diwali to All of you and your Families!

Have fun and I will soon be back with my Diwali treats. :)

Peach Sudharas --- AFAM & Think Spice


Who says that to satisfy your sweet tooth you have to spend hours in the kitchen and have 10 different ingredients? The recipe that I am going to share today is a classic, which my mom made often as a solution for a quick sweet dish. In the old times, Sudharas was often made as a sweet dish when there were unexpected guests for lunch or dinner. Clever, don;t you think? :) This recipe can also be modified a little as per individual choice and the best news, it has fruit in it...yay!! This is as simple as it can get and requires not more than 5-10 minutes. This was usually made in our family on 'Sankashti Chaturthi', which is a fast observed commonly in Maharashtra.Normally, we use banana to make Sudharas (which was supposed to have been my entry for JFI-Bananas), but since our dear friend, Mansi of Fun and Food, is hosting AFAM this month and her choice for this month is 'Peaches', would I dare use any other fruit here ;) Her last comment really got me working on my entry, and I was worried that if I didn't make something with peach soon, I would see peaches coming at me all the way from California ;)) Jokes apart, I was very keen on sending something for the event and I am just glad I made it in time. And since this recipe also involves Saffron---the theme for this month's 'Think Spice' event, it is also going to Sunita of 'Sunita's World'. Lets get started...Ingredients:1/2 of a Jumbo white peach (you can use any)1/2 cup Regular white sugar1/4 cup Water1/4 tsp Saffron1 cardamom powderedMethod:Peel the peach and then cut it into small cubes. In a small vessel or saucepan, mix the sugar with water and start heating it to make a syrup. For this recipe we need a simple syrup, so we just need to heat till the sugar dissolves. Once you reach that stage, throw in the peach cubes and let simmer for a while. You want the fruit to be cooked but not overcooked. Once that happens, turn off the heat and add the cardamom powder and saffron to it. Sudharas is ready to be served with hot chapati or paratha! :)Variations:Instead of peaches, use banana slices or apple or any other fruit of your choice. Get adventurous and don't be afraid of experimenting.If you don't want fruit in it, just follow the rest of the recipe and instead add dry fruits to it, like cashews, raisins, etc.[...]

Aval Sarkkarai Pongal---RCI Tamil Festivals


The clock was ticking and with the passage of each day, I was getting nervous that I still had not found a recipe for RCI-Tamil Festivals, hosted by Viji of Vcuisine. I had promised her that I would not disappoint her, and every time I saw her post her entry for the event, I knew that it was high time I did something. So I started going through a lot of websites and blogs related to Tamil cuisine. I also searched Viji's blog for some recipes and realized that a lot of them were already posted for the event. Finally, I came across a couple of recipes that I liked and which I had never tried before. The final choice was made by hubby dear, which made my work easier, or else I would have spent another week trying to decide which one to make, and then I wouldn't have made it in time (not a very good thing) ;)The recipe that I finally made is called 'Aval Sarkkarai Pongal' and I have taken this recipe from Menu Today. Pongal is a Tamil festival that is celebrated four days and generally falls in the month of January and it marks the favorable course of the sun. We know this as Makar Sankrant. More about Pongal here and here. Traditionally, Sarkkarai Pongal is made on the second day of Pongal known as 'Surya Pongal'. The word 'Ponga' means 'boil' and so 'Pongal' means 'that which is overflowing'. This dish is offered to the Sun God as thanks giving for the plentiful harvest. Sarkkarai Pongal is normally made with newly harvested rice and moong dal. Check the recipe here. The recipe that I tried involved Aval or Poha and that got me interested in it. It is very easy and quick to make and the texture of the Poha goes so well with the combo. I made my own variations to the original recipe and I made this for Dassera as neivadyam. This is going straight to Viji for RCI-Tamil Festivals.Ingredients:(serves 2)1 cup Thin Poha (Flattened rice)3/4 cup Jaggery (grated)A few pineapple chunks (i used frozen pineapple cubes that I got from Trader's Joe)1 tsp Tup (ghee)Few cashews1/4 tsp cardamom powder1/8 tsp kesar (saffron)Grated coconut for garnish (optional)Method:Wash the Poha twice and then drain the water. In a kadhai, heat the ghee and fry the cashews. Remove and keep aside. Now to this kadhai, add the jaggery (The original recipe asks to soak the jaggery in water and then use the strained water. But I skipped this step and directly added the grated jaggery to the kadhai.) Let the jaggery melt and form into a thick syrup. Once you have the syrup, add the pineapple cubes to it and cook for a few minutes. Next, add the washed and drained poha. Mix well. I mashed the poha a little with the back of the ladle. Finally add the cardamom powder, kesar and fried cashews to the mixture. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot!The Verdict: This is a keeper recipe. The color of this dish is so enticing and the combo of jaggery and poha along with pineapple is heavenly!Coming up: Something with Peach! :)[...]

Kairichi Chutney (Raw Mango Chutney) & FAHC


This recipe was supposed to be posted so long ago, but just got side tracked for some reason or the other. Things have been pretty busy at my side and I am finding it difficult to post as frequently as before. A poem that I learned in school has been in my thoughts these days and I thought that I should share it with you guys. I found it online here.Leisure WHAT is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare?— No time to stand beneath the boughs,And stare as long as sheep and cows: No time to see, when woods we pass,Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass: No time to see, in broad daylight,Streams full of stars, like skies at night: No time to turn at Beauty's glance,And watch her feet, how they can dance: No time to wait till her mouth canEnrich that smile her eyes began? A poor life this if, full of care,We have no time to stand and stare.---W.H. DaviesComing back to the recipe, I know that the season for raw mango is over in India, but I spotted some in the Indian store last week and I decided to post this recipe anyways, hoping that at least some of you could try it out this year.I never really fancied eating raw mangoes or 'Kairi', as we call it in Marathi, just like that. I think I just don't have a sour tooth ;) (if that term exists)! But I loved it when my mom transformed this tangy fruit into a delicious sweet & sour chutney. This chutney was a highlight of our summer meals and it goes perfectly with rice-dal, chapatis, or parathas. My mother-in-law also makes this chutney, a little differently, but equally delicious! She also prefers to make it the traditional way, using a 'paata-varvanta' (stone mortar and pestle), so the texture of her chutney is chunkier, which can be achieved in the food processor. I am going to post both the versions, which are lip-smackingly delicious, and I hope that you will enjoy these as much as we do in our family.Mom's Version :Ingredients: (the proportions are approximate)1/2 Kairi (Raw Mango---i used the other half for the other version)2 tsp Grated Coconut (i use frozen coconut)1/4 tsp Dried fenugreek seeds fried in oil3-4 tbsp Jaggery (depends on how sour the mango is)2-3 tsp Cayenne pepperSalt to tasteFor the phodni (tadka):1 tbsp Oil1/4 tsp Mohri (Mustard seeds)1/4 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)1/4 tsp HingMethod:Peel the kairi (raw mango), and remove the seed. Chop it into small chunks and throw these into the mixer along with the rest of the ingredients. Grind till you get a paste (do not use any water while grinding). Check for taste and adjust accordingly. The chutney should be sweet & sour to taste with a little spiciness from the cayenne pepper.Remove this chutney in a bowl. In a small kadhai, heat the oil, add the mustard and cumin seeds to it. Add the hing and then pour this phodni on the chutney. Mix it and voila your chutney is ready to savor. Now, if you think, you liked this version, wait till you see the next one... :)My Mother-in-law's version :Ingredients: (proportions are approximate)1/2 Kairi2 tsp Roasted unsalted peanuts3-4 tbsp Jaggery (as per the sourness of the kairi)2-3 tsp Cayenne pepperSalt to tasteMethod:Throw in all the ingredients listed above in the food processor and pulse them together. As above, do not use any water and unlike the previous version, leave it a little chunky. Check for taste and adjust. Remove the chutney in a bowl and pour some phodni (tadka) on top. Mix it and enjoy !Note: This chutney stays good for almost 15-20 days in the refrigerator. Alternatively, you can also freeze it, for up to 2 months.(Picture source for 'Paata-Varvanta' : here)-------------------------------[...]

Click : Sunshine in the Kitchen


'Click' is a theme based food photography event started by Bee & Jai of Jugalbandi. The theme for this month is 'Eggs' and this is my entry.


Grilled Cauliflower & Capsicum in Coconut Milk Gravy


Today's recipe is absolutely non-traditional and something that I have started making recently. The idea for this comes from a friend's recipe for potatoes. Casually chatting to her one day, I asked her what her dinner plans were, and she mentioned that she was making a coconut milk gravy for store-bought herb potatoes. Sounds delicious right? I was determined to try this recipe asap. I got all the ingredients required and as I was about to begin, when I had this brainwave to replace potatoes with cauliflower, since I had to use it anyway. While I was at it, I decided to throw in the one capsicum that had been lying in my refrigerator patiently waiting to be salvaged. The end result was a truly delicious and delicate gravy which both my hubby and me loved. The flavor of the coconut milk along with the cauliflower was very fresh and it broke the monotony of using red gravy and the same old masalas. In fear of boring you with my descriptions of this dish, let me move on to the recipe and I hope you will give this humble creation a try. :)Ingredients: (serves 2)1 small cauliflower1 green capsicum1/2 onion sliced lengthwise1 small can coconut milk (lite)To season the veggies:1 tbsp olive oil1/2 tsp dried basil1/2 tsp dried oregano1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (adjust to your liking)a little black peppersalt to tasteTo make paste:A handful of cilantro leaves1 garlic clove2 green chillies (depending on your level of spiciness)Method:Chop the cauliflower into florets and the capsicum into medium sized pieces. In a bowl, mix the olive oil, the dried herbs, salt and pepper. Toss the cauliflower & capsicum in it.Next, line a baking pan/cookie sheet with foil and spread the veggies on it. Place under the broiler until they turn golden brown and crisp.While the veggies are getting grilled, make a paste of the cilantro leaves, garlic and green chillies. Then, take a pan and heat a little olive oil in it. Throw in the onions and fry them till they turn translucent. Add the cilantro paste to the onions and fry till the oil separates. Mix in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Then add the grilled cauliflower and capsicum to it and let cook for a few minutes. Check for taste. Serve hot with chapati or rice.[...]

Daanyachi Chutney (Peanut Chutney)


As promised in my last post, I am posting the recipe for a family favorite---daanyachi chutney. This is a dry chutney and can spice up almost any meal or snack. There are two versions that I am going to post along with the numerous ways to enjoy it. So here goes...

Ingredients: (this is my mom's version)
1cup Roasted and skinned peanuts
1 clove garlic
2 tsp Cayenne pepper (adjust according to taste)
Salt to taste

Grind together the peanuts, garlic, cayenne pepper and salt in a mixer or food processor. Pulse the mixture to avoid too much oil coming out of the peanuts. Check for taste and adjust accordingly. Daanyachi chutney is ready!

My mother-in-law's version:
Skip the garlic and instead add 1 tsp of Jeera (Cumin seeds). Rest of the ingredients and method remain the same.

The two methods can also be combined and this chutney can be made by adding both garlic and cumin seeds.

(image) Ways to enjoy this chutney :
  • Apply some tup (ghee) to a hot poli (chapati) from the griddle and sprinle some daanyachi chutney on it. Roll it up and sink your teeth in. I always had this when my mom used to make polis at home.
  • Mix the chutney with some dahi (plain yogurt) and eat it with chapati or bhakri. Alternatively, you can also add some finely chopped onion and some tadka to it. This is how my hubby loves it and this is a great side dish.
  • Spread some unsalted butter (especially the home made white butter) or tup (ghee) on a toasted slice of bread, and sprinkle this chutney on top. You have a spicy and tasty toast/sandwich.
  • Mix in a little chutney in Dahi-Bhakri, or Curd rice. It gives a nice kick to the dish.
I hope you all enjoy this extremely simple and delicious chutney recipe.

WBB : Breakfast from Leftover Bhakri (Jowar roti)


I cannot believe this...more than 10 days since my last post! Time sure flies. There were so many things to attend to, the last few days, that I just could not manage to write anything new. My family had started wondering whether I had lost interest in blogging ;) What a scary thought ! :))Anyhoo, coming back to today's post...the recipe that I am sharing today is really simple and fast to make. We call it 'Dahi- Bhakri' which is nothing but crumbled Jowar roti mixed with plain yogurt and some tadka. Whenever there is leftover Bhakri, the breakfast for next morning is always 'Dahi Bhakri'. When I was in school, a lot of times, my mom used to make this for me as an after-school snack and I used to love it! I even remember, that once, my mom was not at home and my dad offered to make this snack for me. I was so skeptical at this idea, as I had rarely seen my dad in the kitchen. But he, very lovingly made it the way he used to have it as a kid, and boy, was I impressed! To this day, I cherish that afternoon and the taste of his 'dahi bhakri' still lingers on my tongue.This can also be served for lunch or dinner as a side dish. This is my entry for WBB#15 : Leftovers, hosted by Nandita of Saffron Trail.Ingredients: (serves 2)2-3 Leftover Bhakris (Jowar)4-5 tbsp Plain Yogurt1/4 cup Milk2 tbsp Daanyacha koot (Roasted peanut powder)1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)SaltFor the phodni (tadka):1 tbsp oil1/4 tsp Mohri (mustard seeds)1/4 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)1/4 tsp Hing (Asafoetida)2 Dried red chillies1 Big clove of garlic choppedMethod:Tear the bhakris and then crumble them until you have tiny pieces of the bhakri. This can be easily done in the food processor too. To the crumbled bhakris, add salt, peanut powder and cayenne pepper if using. Now, in a small kadhai, heat the oil. Then add the mustard seeds and once they start popping, add the cumin seeds. Next add the hing and then the red chillies. Fry for a minute and then add the chopped garlic cloves. Fry till they turn golden. Make sure that you don't fry them too much, or else the garlic will become bitter. Pour this phodni (tadka) over the Bhakri mixture. Mix in the yogurt and milk. Mix well. You can adjust the quantity of milk and yogurt to your liking. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!My Dad's Version:Instead of adding roasted peanut powder, add daanyachi chutney (peanut chutney), which is a dry chutney. I will post the recipe for this chutney in my next post.[...]

Chiroti/Chirote --- RCI Karnataka


Since the time I have started blogging, I have realized even more, that two states share more than just a border. The cities/villages that are closer to the borders have a lot of things common culture wise and food wise. This post of mine explores one such sweet that is a favorite in two states, that are close to my heart.Chiroti as it is known in Karnataka, or Chirote as it is known in Maharashtra, is a flaky, unleavened pastry that is very traditional in both cuisines. No wedding in Karnataka is complete without the traditional Chiroti served with Almond Milk or Badami Halu. In Maharashtra, it is generally made as one of the Pancha-Pakwanna (5 sweets) on festival days. Making Chiroti can get a little tedious if you are making a large batch all by yourself. So when these delightful Chirotis have to be made on a large scale, all the ladies of the family get together and make them. Talk about Division of Labor ;) Of course, there are easier methods too, which none other than our very own Asha has described here; but I am going to describe the detailed and slightly complicated version...why not, after all, its my mom who made them...I just was taking notes and clicking pictures ;) So this post is really on behalf of my mom and she would like to send this entry for RCI-- Karnataka, hosted by Asha and brainchild of Lakshmi.Ingredients: (makes about 15)1/3 cup Maida (All Purpose Flour)1/3 cup Fine Rawa (Sooji)--use the fine variety as the coarse one does not blend in well.2 tbsp Oil approx. (Vegetable/Canola)Water to make the doughRice flour to dust2 tbsp tup (ghee) beaten till fluffy and creamy (unsalted butter can also be used)Tup (Ghee) to fry (Vegetable/Canola oil can aslo be used but it won't give the same flavor as ghee, what we call 'khamanga pana') :)For the syrup:1 cup sugarWater enough to soak the sugarFew saffron strands2-3 tsps Lemon juiceMethod:Mix the maida and rawa together and add the oil to it. Mix together. You know the oil is sufficient when the maida-rawa mixture becomes crumbly, ie. when you hold the mixture in your hand it should stick together. Then add water and make a dough like you make for chapatis. The dough should be pliable. Keep aside, covered, for 3 hours at least. The longer it sits, the better.After 3 hours, take the dough and divide into small balls (size can vary). Now, divide each ball further into 3 more balls. The idea is to make 3 chapatis out of these and layer them on top of each other. Roll out a thin chapati ,without applying a lot of pressure, out of each ball.Take one chapati, brush some beaten tup (ghee) on the surface......dust some rice flour over it and then put another chapati over it.Apply the beaten ghee on this chapati and dust with the rice flour and place the third chapati on top. Repeat the process of applying ghee and flour. Now roll this layered chapati to make a roll like this,Do not pat the roll and flatten it with your hand. Instead, pick it up with both hands and pull very gently from each end a little to flatten it. If you pat it to flatten it, the air gets pressed and your Chiroti will not be fluffy.Now cut this roll into small pieces like this.Make the sugar syrup before you begin to fry the Chiroti. Take the sugar and add water just enough to soak the sugar. Put it over the heat and let it come to a 2 string consistency. Turn off the heat and add the saffron and lemon juice. Keep aside.Heat the ghee. Take each small piece and roll out gently without applying too much pressure. The layered edges s[...]

Set Dosey -- RCI Karnataka & JFI


I finally did it! 'Two birds in one stone'...:) Ok, before you guys think I have gone crazy, let me explain. Last week I decided to make dosas for the weekend as it was a really long time since I made them at home; the sole reason being, that everytime I used to forget to soak the rice and dal. But not this time...I was determined to have dosas over the weekend. But, instead of the regular dosas, I decided to make Set Dosey. At that time, I had no plan for posting this recipe for a particular event, but I had taken some pictures, just so that I would be able to post it sometime later. Then, on Monday morning, I was generally going through the link that Asha had provided for RCI Karnataka, and while reading through the information, I realized that 'Set Dosey' comes from Karnataka and that this would be a perfect entry for RCI ! And before I could pat myself on the back for such a brilliant discovery, it struck me that this was also a great entry for JFI -- Rice, hosted by Sharmi. This was really a proud moment for me...such brilliance is rare ! ;)) And so I achieved the impossible and 'Two Birds in one Stone'. :))) (How I wish blogger had some smileys....would have made a better impact!)Karnataka is a state with a lot of diversity in culture and food. The cuisine of North Karnataka is a lot different than that found in south Karnataka. More about this beautiful state here. What comes to my mind when I think of Karnataka?--- First of all its my dad's birth place. He was born in Bijapur, which is famous for the 'Gol Gumbaz', and the only place where I saw brown colored ice being sold on hand carts! :) How shocked was I to see this and imagine the quality of the water...but this was a long time back, when I was still in school... haven't been there since then. Apart from the water experience, its a beautiful place to visit. Foodwise, I associate Karnataka with Dharwadi pedhe (yum!), Kardantu, Mandige, Kunda, Mysore Pak, Mysore Masala Dosa, Chitranna...well, the list is quite long but I just love their cuisine :).Coming to the recipe, I was first introduced to Set Dosey in Mysore, where I was vacationing with my family and they were the best that I have eaten till date. I also found some really good Set Dosey in one of Pune's popular Udupi Restaurant, 'Wadeshwar'. Set Dosey, are different from the regular dosey, due to their small size and their thickness. Also, in addition to the usual Rice and Urad dal, the batter also has Thick Pohe (Flattened Rice). These dosas are generally served as a pair, hence the name. I have also seen some restaurants serving them in stacks of 3 or 5 just like Pancakes. I am not sure but I vaguely remember these dosas being served with a vegetable curry, but I just paired mine off with Sambhar and green coconut chutney, called 'Kaayi Chutney (green)'. On researching further, I found that there are numerous versions of the recipe. The recipe that I have, was taken from a neighbor back in India, who got this from another friend. This time I used Brown rice for the batter and did not use any oil while making the dosas (thanks to my Non-Stick Tawa), which made these dosas even more healthy ! Enjoy! :)As mentioned earlier, this recipe is going to both Asha & Sharmi for the RCI event and JFI event respectively.Ingredients: (makes about 15 dosey)3 katoris Brown Rice or Regular White Rice1 katori Thick Pohe1/4 katori Urad Dal1 tsp Methi dana (Fenugreek seeds)SaltA pinch of sugar (not in the original recipe but I [...]

Microwave Besan Ladoo


When Srivalli announced the 'Microwave Easy Cooking' Event, I was thrilled, not because I had a hoard of microwave recipes but just because this would give me a chance to try microwave cooking. Till date, I have mostly used my microwave to reheat food, occasionally, to cook potatoes, and then at times to defrost things and soften butter & ice cream. Somehow, the idea of cooking rice in a microwave never really appealed to me and I just love rice made in the pressure cooker, so that was out of question. I did hear a lot of people raving about how the 'Microwave' makes things so easy, but I still had my reservations. I was really looking forward to send in an entry for this month's MEC--Sweets, but I got busy and before I knew, it was the 25th, the last day for the event :( But then, dear Srivalli extended this date and so without wasting any more time, I got busy with my entry--- Microwave Besan Ladoo.This is my absolutely favorite type of ladoo and I had heard a lot of friends say that these come out excellent in the microwave. So this was the obvious choice for me. I must confess that making Besan ladoo in the microwave was really easy and quick, plus I did not have to keep stirring vigorously, till my arm started paining. Thanks Srivalli for this event!Ingredients: (makes about 6-7 ladoos)1 cup Besan (Chickpea flour)6-7 tbsp Tup (Ghee) (or as required)3/4 cup Sugar (Powdered or the regular fine variety that is found in the US)Cardamom powder (2-3 pods)A handful of raisinsMicrowave safe bowlMethod:Mix the besan and tup (ghee) in a microwave safe bowl. Heat on high for 5 minutes (time may vary slightly for different microwave ovens). Stir after a minute and continue heating. Keep checking and stirring after a minute. At the end of 5 minutes, the mixture will be a nice reddish brown and will have a nice aroma to it.The mixture should not look too dry, otherwise the ladoos will not hold up their shape. Let it cool completely.Once cooled, add the sugar, cardamom powder and raisins. Mix well and then make small round ladoos out of it. If you realize that the ghee is not sufficient once you start making the ladoos, just heat some ghee and add to the mixture. Enjoy![...]

Ukadpendi --- Wheat Flour Meal


A few days ago, I had mentioned in my MeMe, that my blog was a secret and that my family did not know about it. Well, I finally spilled the beans...yay!! :)Actually, it was a pretty funny sister who is an avid blog reader, somehow stumbled upon my blog one day. She called me up immediately and asked me if I had seen this particular blog. Now, I was smiling to myself and trying hard to act innocent...she was so amazed by the fact, that a lot of the recipes were exactly the same as mom's recipes and that the blogger had the same background as me :)) Finally, I could not contain myself any longer and I finally confessed to her. She was so happy and proud and couldn't believe how she did not realize it was me ;) She immediately showed my blog to my mom and dad and they were both very happy and proud. Well, thats that...a very memorable incident for me. :) Now on to the recipe...Ukadpendi is yet another childhood favorite. Now, this was always a special treat for me as my dad did not like it and so, whenever he was out of town, touring, my mom, sister and me would have at least one meal of Ukadpendi. This one dish meal goes perfectly as breakfast, lunch or dinner, and made with wheat flour makes it pretty healthy too. This is also a good meal when you are alone for lunch/dinner. So here goes...Ingredients: (serves 2)1 cup Kanik (Wheat Flour/Atta)1/2 an onion chopped3/4 cup beaten yoghurt/buttermilkAbout 2 cups of hot water (you may not need to use all the water)A little more than 1 tbsp oil1/2 tsp Mohri (Mustard seeds)1/2 tsp Jeere (Cumin seeds)1/4 tsp Hinga (Asafoetida)1/2 tsp Halad (Turmeric)2-3 Dried red chillies1 tsp Cayenne pepper (or to taste)SaltCilantro to garnishMethod:First, dry roast the wheat flour in a pan till it turns reddish brown. Keep stirring otherwise you will end up with burnt flour. Your nose will tell you when its ready. Keep aside. While you are doing this, start heating some water in another vessel.Next, heat the oil in a kadhai. Add the Mohri, Jeere, Hinga and Halad to make a phodni (tadka). Next throw in the dried red chillies. Fry for a minute and then add the chopped onions. Sautee till they turn translucent. Now add the roasted wheat flour to the kadhai. Mix and then add the beaten yoghurt/buttermilk. Mix well and then add about 1 cup of the hot water (just as you would while making upma). Mix it. The wheat flour will start cooking and get fluffy. If required add more water. Add salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Uncover and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot.[...]