Tuesday 30 April 2013

Mint and Moong Sprout Pulao - South Indian Pulao

Sprouts are super healthy and protein packed. Moong Sprouts are so versatile. They work well with a lot of things - in gravies, rice etc. I am hosting a Healthy Cooking Event - Cooking with Sprouts. It is Priya's event. Do not forget to check out every month for a different theme.

Do send me your recipes before 10/05/2013.

I made this rice with simple flavours. Moong Sprout gives the pulao a very nice texture. The Mint and Coriander leaves give it a very refreshing flavour. Pair it with some Raita and your dinner is ready. I have used some coconut and fried gram dal in the paste along with other spices. That kind of gives this Pulao a South Indian touch.


Rice 1.5 cups
Moong Sprouts 3 cups
Onions 2
Mustard 1 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Hing a little

To make a Paste

Pottu Kadalai / Fried Gram dal 1/4 cup
Coconut 1/2 cup
Green Chilli 3
Ginger a small bit
Garlic 4 pods
Star Anise 2
Clove 2
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Bay leaf 1
Coriander leaf a handful (about 30 gm)
Mint leaf a handful (about 30 gm)

Method of Preparation

1. Cook the rice with enough water.

2. Make a paste of all ingredients under 'to make a paste' adding a little water.

3. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add mustard.

4. When it sputters, add jeera and hing.

5. When it sizzles, add onions. Saute till it starts to brown a little.

6. Add Moong Sprouts and saute for a few minutes till the sprouts are partly cooked. If you do not like semi cooked sprouts, cook till it is well cooked.

7. Add the paste and salt. Saute for a few more minutes. Switch off.

8. Add cooked rice and mix well.

Monday 29 April 2013

Laccha Aloo Parata

I was watching Master Chef India a few weeks ago and saw this recipe. Its a Lacha Parata, but the awesome thing is it is stuffed with Potatoes. The layers are created by making tiny balls, then layering them at angles to each other, rerolling them, stuffing them and then rolling to a parata.

It is a few steps, but tasted awesome. So it was worth all the time spent on it.


Wheat Flour 3.5 cups
Ghee 2 tsp
Water and salt as required

Potato 3 big
Coriander seeds 2 tsp crushed
Cumin 1 tsp crushed
Kashmiri Chilli Powder 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp
Green chilli finely chopped 1
Ginger finely chopped 1inch
Coriander leaves finely chopped

Method of Preparation


1. Boil potatoes and peal. Mash them without any lumps. Add to a bowl.

2. Crush the coriander seed and cumin seeds. Add to bowl.

3. Add Kashmiri Chilli Powder (or use less of regular), turmeric, hing and salt to the bowl.

4. Finely chop ginger, green chilli and coriander leaves. Add to the bowl.

5. Mix everything together. Split into 9-10 balls.


1. Add flour to a bowl.

2. Add some ghee to it and rub the flour and ghee together.

3. Now add some salt and then make a dough with enough water like you would make Chapatti dough.

4. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.

Making Parathas

1. Pinch small balls from the dough. I pinched 2 balls, each a little smaller than the size of my chapatti balls. Then split each into 3. So you have 6 small balls in total.

2. Roll each into an oval shape. Just a little roll.

3. Take 3 of them. Apply ghee on one. Place the second one at 90 degrees.

4. Apply ghee to that and place the third one in the same angle as the first.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for the other three balls.

6. Roll the trio into a cirlce/square.

7. Place a ball of potato stuffing on one. Cover with the other. Now we are in a stage like a regular parata.

8. Roll into a nice big circle.

9. Cook on a pan applying ghee on both sides while cooking.

10. Make rest of the paratas starting from step 1. 

Sunday 28 April 2013

Kacchi Dabeli

Street food has always a place in everyone's heart. Every part of the world have their favourites. In India Chaats are quite popular. Though it started in Maharastra, it has spread all over the country and every place has their variation of the Chaat. I thought I have tasted all the important ones when I had eaten Bhel Puri, Pani Puri and Pav Bhaji. How wrong was I? When I ate Misal Pav for the first time, I knew this was it. Nothing can be as good as Misal Pav. I still stand by that.

But this Dabeli bowled over all of us. What an amazing combination of flavours. I had never eaten Dabeli and when I saw the Recipe here, I knew I had to try it. Please do yourself a favour and make this. You will thank me for it.


For Assembly

Pav Bread
Garlic Chutney - recipe below and here
Tamarind Date Chutney - recipe here
Potato Masala - recipe below
Spicy Peanuts - recipe below
Sev - recipe here
Pomegranate 1
Onions 1
Coriander leaves

Potato Stuffing


Potato 5
Onion 1
Tomato 1

Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves a little

Dabeli Masala -

Coriander Seeds 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tbsp
Cinnamon 2 inch piece
Clove 2
Dry Red Chilli 4

Method of Preparation

1. Boil and peal potatoes. Mash/Grate the boiled potatoes.

2. In a pan, dry roast the ingredients for Dabeli Masala - the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cinnamon, clove and dry red chilli. Cool and powder.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions. Saute till it is browned.

4. Add finely chopped tomatoes and turmeric. Saute till tomatoes are cooked well.

5. Add dabeli masala, mashed potato and salt. Mix everything well and switch off.

Spicy Peanut


Peanuts 1/2 cup
Red Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Hing a litte
Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add the peanuts. Roast till it is slightly browned.

2. Add red chilli powder, hing and salt. Mix well. Keep ready.

Garlic Chutney (hare lasun ki chutney)


Garlic 8 pods
Red Chilli 5
Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
Salt and little water

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the red chillies in water.

2. Add soaked red chillies, raw pealed garlic, lemon juice, salt and water as required to the mixie.

3. Grind into a smooth paste. Keep ready.

Final Assembly

1. Take a flat plate with rims. Add potato stuffing on the plate.

2. Top it with spicy peanuts, sev, raw onions, pomegranate and coriander leaves.

3. In a pan, add a little butter and pav breads and toast it.

4. Apply tamarind chutney on on side and garlic chutney on the other side.

5. Cut a slice of the potato masala to it. Add some more spicy peanuts, sev, raw onions, pomegranate and coriander leaves if needed.

6. Close with the other side of the pav bread.


Saturday 27 April 2013

Panakam - Panagam - Spiced Jaggery Lemon Cooler

Panakam or Panagam is a cooling drink made with lemon juice, sweetened with jaggery and spiced with ginger and cardamom. Perfect summer drink, don't you agree?

Our ancestors were genius. If you look at all our festive recipes, they all match the season. Many items included in the feast are good digestives. It never fails to amaze me. This drink is a typical example. Panagam is prepared during Rama Navami and Tamil New Year. It falls in April, the hot summer month.

This brings back childhood memories for me. I used to have it at the times of poojas like Bhagavathi Sevai. Its been ages since I drank this. This month, a lot of bloggers posted this recipe during Rama Navami and I was reminded of this. I knew I had to make it.. It tasted exactly as I remember it. You can adjust the sweetness and spices according to your taste.

Ingredients (Makes 5-6 glasses)

Water 5 cups
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Ginger powder 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Take water in a bowl. Add Jaggery. Let it sit for 10 minutes till it is dissolved. Filter out any impurities.

2. Add the cardamom powder, ginger powder and lemon juice. Mix well.

3. Filter again to remove all the big bits.

4. Serve Chilled! 

Friday 26 April 2013

Pasi Paruppu Payasam - Parippu Pradaman - Moong Dal Kheer

Pasi Paruppu Payasam or Parippu Pradaman is a very easy payasam to make. Just takes 5-10 minutes of your time and rest is all cooking time. How easy can it get?

I made this for Tamil New Year. This was a fairly thick payasam. Next time, I may try adding more coconut milk/milk to it to loosen it up..


Moong Dal 1 cup
Jaggery 1 cup (My jaggery is not very sweet. So I needed this much. You might want to start off with 1/2 cup)
Coconut Milk 1 can (about 2 cups)
Cardamom 1/2 tsp
Ghee 1 tbsp - use oil for vegan version
Cashews few
Raisins few

Method of Preparation

1. Pressure cook the Moong dal till it is well mushed up.

2. Add jaggery to a pan. Add a little water. When the jaggery melts, filter out any impurities. Keep ready.

3. In a pan, add the ghee. Add cashews. Fry till it browns a little. Keep aside.

4. In the same pan, add the raisins. Fry till it fluffs up a little. Keep aside.

5. Add the cooked Moong dal to the pan. 

6. Add Jaggery Syrup and cardamom powder. Mix well. 

7. Now add the coconut milk and mix. Keep gas in simmer after the coconut milk is added. 

8. When it starts to thicken, add the cashews and raisins. 

Serve warm

Thursday 25 April 2013

Spinach and Sweet Potato Pulusu

When I think Andhra food, the first thing that comes to my mind is Spicy food. But over the years I have learned a few flavours that I now associate with Andhra food. The taste of powdered Mustard and powdered roasted Sesame seeds bring memories of Andhra food. I am not sure if the recipe below is authentic, I found it in a Tarla dalal book that I have. It tastes really good, once you get used to the taste of powdered mustard :-)


Sweet Pototo 3 big ones
Spinach (I used a 450gm bag)
Tamarind 1.5 tbsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Roasted Sesame Seeds 2 tbsp (Powdered)

To powder
Mustard seeds 1.5 tsp
Rice 4 tsp
Dry Red Chillies 3

For Tempering
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard 1/4 tsp
Dry Red Chilli 1
Curry leaf few
Oil a little

Method of Preparation

1. Dry roast the sesame seeds. Powder and keep aside.

2. Powder Mustard, rice and red chilli. Keep aside.

3. Peal and chop sweet potato. Add to a pot. Add a little water. Boil till it is cooked well, but still retains shape. Drain out of the pan.

4. In the same water, add chopped spinach. Add more water in needed.

5. When it wilts, add the powdered mustard mix and cook for a few minutes.

6. Add salt, tamarind, turmeric and the cooked sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer for a little while till the raw smell of mustard is gone.

7. Finally add the powdered sesame. Mix well  and switch off after a couple of minutes.

8. In a small pan, add a little oil. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. When mustard sputters, add dry red chilli (broken) and curry leaves. Transfer to the pot of spinach.

Enjoy with some roti or rice.

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaPriya S

Wednesday 24 April 2013

Torcettini di Saint Vincent - Lemon Flavoured Yeasted Cookies

Torcettini are smaller versions of Torcetti (meaning small twists), and these pear/ teardrop shaped twists are made of a dough of flour, yeast and butter which are shaped and then rolled in sugar before being baked. These biscuits are synonymous with the town of Saint Vincent in Valle d'Aosta, a small mountainous region in North-Western Italy, even though they’re well known throughout the Piedmont region as well.

The origin of these biscuits is believed to be from Grissini (breadsticks) which were made from the leftover scraps of bread dough. According to one story, a Grissini baker had some leftover butter which he needed to use up. Inspiration struck and he decided to add the butter to the last batch of his Grissini dough for the day. To be able to differentiate this lot of “breadsticks”, he rolled them in sugar and shaped them into loops, and the Torcetti was born. Torcetti/ Torchettini taste even better when they’re flavoured with lime/ lemon zest or anise.

These biscuits are crunchy, not very sweet and pair very well with cold milk, hot chocolate, tea/ coffee or wine. They are delicious served warm and equally good cold, and keep very well if stored in airtight containers. Apparently, Queen Margaret, the wife of King Umberto I of Savoy loved these biscuits so much during her stay in Valle d'Aosta, that she gave her servants enough provisions to bake an abundant supply for her consumption.

Aparna chose these cookies for our group We Knead to Bake. Provided us with detailed recipe and photos.. We all had fun baking these. Check out Aparna's post and other bloggers in our group here

Torcettini di Saint Vincent
(Adpated from A Baker’s Tour by Nick Malgieri)

Warm water, about 110F 1/2 cup
Active dry yeast 11/4 tsp
All purpose flour  1 1/2 cups 
Salt 1/4 tsp 
Lime/ lemon zest (replace with orange zest for the chocolate version) 1 tsp
Unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces  40gm 
Sugar for rolling the cookies 1/3 cup

Cocoa Powder 2 tbsp (for chocolate version)

Method of Preparation

1. Dissolve the yeast in the warm water, in a small bowl and keep aside. If you are using Instant Yeast, add directly to flour.

2. Put the flour and the salt in the food processor bowl (or a largish regular bowl if kneading by hand) and pulse a couple of times to mix. 

3. Add the butter pieces and pulse until the butter is well mixed and the flour-butter mixture looks powdery.

4. If making chocolate Torcetti, remove 2 tbsp all-purpose flour and add the 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder mentioned in the recipe. Don’t add the lemon zest/ anise. Use orange zest and maybe add 1/ 2 tsp instant coffee powder with the flour.

5. Add the yeast-water mixture and pulse till it all comes together as a ball. Do not over process or knead. Place the ball of dough in a oiled bowl, turning it so it is well coated with the oil. Cover the bowl, and let the dough rise quite a bit.

6. This dough does not really double in volume, but it should look “puffy” after about an hour or so. When you pinch off a bit from the top you can see the interior looking a bit like honeycomb. Press down the dough and deflate it, wrap it in cling warp and refrigerate it for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.

7. When ready to make the cookies, take the dough out and lightly roll it out into an approximately 6” square. If the dough feels sticky, scatter a little sugar on it. 

8. Using a pizza wheel cut the dough into four strips of equal width. Cut each strip into 6 equal pieces, by cutting across, making a total of 24 pieces. The measurements are not very critical in this part because this just makes it easier to have 24 equal sized bits of dough, as compared to pinching of bits of the dough.

9. Roll each piece into a pencil thick “rope” about 5” long. Sprinkle a little sugar on your work surface and roll the “rope” in it so the sugar crusts the dough uniformly. Form the “rope” into a loop crossing it over before the ends.

10. Place the Torcettini on parchment lined baking sheets, leaving 1 1/2" between them. Leave them for about 20 minutes or so till they rise/ puff up slightly. Don’t worry, they will not “puff up” much.

11. Bake them at 160C (325F) for about 25 minutes till they’re a nice golden brown. Cool the cookies completely, on a rack. Store them in an air-tight container at room temperature. This recipe makes 24 biscuits.

Other Breads baked as part of the group - We Knead to Bake

January      : Whole Grain Pull Apart Bread with tomato-onion chutney spread
February    : Classic Croissants 
March : Muffin Rolls (Hokkaido Milk Bread) With Tangzhong
             Hot Cross Buns - Easter Recipe - Tangzhong Method

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Medhu Vadai - Ulundu Vadai - Uzhunnu Vada

Medhu Vadai is also known as Ulundu Vadai and Uzhunnu Vada in Kerala. It is basically Urad Dal ground into a batter and deep fried. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.

No festival meal in Tamil Nadu is complete without this Vada. Ofcourse, it can be enjoyed as part of breakfast with idli and dosa. Chutneys (coconut, mint etc) and sambar make a great accompaniment to these Vadas. Once you master the art of making these Vadas, you can make Sambar Vada, Thayir Vada (Dahi Vada) etc.


Pealed Whole Urad Dal 1 cup
Curry leaves few
Green chilli 1-2
Corn Flour 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the urad dal for about an hour. Drain water.

2. In a grinder, add the urad dal. Grind into smooth paste. Do not add any water. Just keep sprinkling water as the dal is getting ground.

3. Grind till it is a smooth paste. It took me about 10 minutes in my grinder.

4. Test that the dal is perfect - if you take a small pea sized ball and put it in a bowl of water, it should float. If you hold it upside down in your palm, it should not fall down.

5. Add the corn flour just before switching off so that it gets mixed well.

6. Transfer to a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

7. Finely chop green chillies and curry leaves. Mix it to the batter along with salt just before making Vada.

8. Heat oil to deep fry the vada.

9. Take a small portion of batter in your hand. Put it on top of a ziploc bag (Banana leaf or Milk packets used in India earlier). Pat it flat. Using your finger poke a hole in the centre.

10. Gently transfer it to the heated oil. Add 2-3 more to the pan depending on its size.

11. Cook on once side in medium heat till it is browned. Turn and cook on the other side as well.

12, Drain and transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper.

Enjoy with some coconut chutney and sambar.

Monday 22 April 2013

Beans Carrot Poriyal

Poriyal is a side dish made in Tamil Nadu. It is quite similar to Thoran made in Kerala. But subtle things make it different. They also kind of look they same. As I usually make a Thoran, I decided to make it a Poriyal style.


Carrots 8
Beans 20-30
Coconut 1/2 cup
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Finely chop carrots and beans.

2. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add urad dal. When it starts to brown, add turmeric.

3. Add the chopped beans and carrots. Saute till it is cooked well.

4. Add coconut and salt. Mix well. Cook for another minute or 2 and switch off.

Sunday 21 April 2013

Manga Sweet Pachadi - Mango Pachadi - Mango Jam

Sweet Pachadi is usually a fruit cooked in turmeric water, then sweetened with jaggery, spiced with chilli powder. The most popular ones are made with raw mango and pineapple. It is usually made for a feast. This Mango Pachadi is awesome with the sourness from the raw mango, sweetness from the jaggery and the spiciness from the chilli powder. You can use this as a spread for Toast as well.


Raw Mango 1 (about 1 cup)
Jaggery 1/2 cup (start with 1/4 cup. Mine is not a very sweet jaggery)
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp

To temper
Oil a little
Mustard 1/2 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Peal and chop the mango.

2. In a pan, add the chopped mango along with a little water and turmeric powder. Boil till it is cooked well.

3. In another pan, add the jaggery and little water. When it is melted, filter out any impurities. Keep ready.

4. Add the jaggery syrup and chilli powder to the mango mix. Simmer till it thickens.

5. Heat a little oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add to the pachadi.. 

Saturday 20 April 2013

Gajar Ka Halwa - Carrot Halwa - 400th Post - Step by Step recipe

Gajar Ka Halwa / Carrot Halwa is a very popular Indian Dessert. The sweeter the carrots, the better the taste. Basically it is Grated Carrots cooked in milk and sweetened with a little sugar. You can optionally add some Khoya (crumbled paneer) to this to give it some richness.

My blog which I started as a small little venture has grown so much under my eyes. Well, I might sound quite formal here. But I have to say it. It could not be achieved without your support. My family (my Husband, little one and my dad) have been very good Guinea Pigs. Eating up all that I make. The friends (and some very special ones) that I made in the blogging world. You have become like a family to me. And then my friends who encourage me when I meet them or thru online feedback. Some of you who try the recipes posted, some who tell me they got inspired to cook cause of me and many whose recipes I try out! And all the internet users who come my way.. Wow, it really feels great. Thank you for encouraging me and teaching me.. Love you all.


Carrots Grated 2 cups
Milk 2 cups
Sugar 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
Cashews few
Ghee 3 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Wash and Peal the carrots. Grate the carrots. I used a fairly big size grater. That was a thing I wondered before I started making. The size of the grater. I was not sure if I should go for smaller size. Looking around I realized that bigger size is better. Otherwise the result will be very mushy and will not have a texture.

2. Heat ghee in a pan. I added 2 tbsp and reserved 1 tbsp for the end. Add cashews. Fry till they brown a little. Take out of the ghee and keep aside.

3. Add the grated carrots to the ghee and saute till the carrots are slightly cooked.

4. Add milk and simmer till the milk is all drained out. Keep stirring in between. Using a non stick pan will help cause other wise, at this step it will start sticking to the bottom of the pan.

5. Add sugar and mix. The mix will start to be liquid again.

6. Add 1 tbsp of ghee to this while cooking. Cook till all the water is absorbed again.

7. Garnish with roasted cashews. Serve warm with some Vanilla Icecream.