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Friday, April 30, 2010

Stuffed Spring onion and Besan Paratha

Stuffed parathas are delish and have there own special place. The good part is that they can be stuffed with anything you like and then they turn into this healthy and yummy dish! Its one good way to make fussy eaters eat their veggies. But stuffing is not limited to veggies alone, but shredded chicken or lamb can also be used and thats a whole other story.
Stuff cheese to make it cheese paratha.
Stuff egg burji to make egg paratha.
Stuff shredded / ground chicken to make chicken paratha.
Stuff ground lamb to make lamb paratha.
Stuff veggies to make wholesome veggie paratha and call it by whatever you stuffed it with!!;)
See so many types of parathas.
The stuffing can also be prepared in many different way, just like a curry or like in the following way, a special curry made with besan and any leafy vegetable. Here I used spring onions. Spring onions give a nice flavor and along with besan, the paratha has a different flavor all together.
This recipe is from my Mom. She always makes it this way and I do too now.
I have only tried besan with leafy vegetable and not other veggies, so if any one has let me know!
Take about 15 min for the stuffing to be prepared and about 2-3 min for each paratha, depending on how fast you are in making them!!!


For dough:

Everyone has their own way of making roti dough, prepare it the same way. I prepare mine like this:

2-3 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp oil
2-3 tbsp of yogurt (optional)
Enough water to mix into soft dough

Method for paratha dough:

Knead all ingredients together in a bowl to form a soft dough. Let it rest for 20 min.

To make stuffing:

2 bunches spring onions (about 12-16 sprigs), chopped
8-10 tbsp of besan / chick pea flour (use more if you need more)
1-2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

Method for stuffing:

Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped spring onion and saute with some salt. when they wither down, add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and saute. After its cooked, add the chick pea flour or besan with continuous stirring. Add more salt too if needed. It should all look like soft dough.


Take a ball, little bigger than a golf size ball, roll it out flat to about 4 inches wide. Make a golf size ball of the stuffing and place in middle of the roll out. Close it from all sides and roll out into a paratha about 6-8 inches wide.
Fry it on a pan until brown on both sides. Add few drops of oil on both side and flip on both sides. Serve with plain yogurt, raita, achaar or any curry. Enjoy!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Neer More / Khara Lassi / Spiced up Buttermilk

In my house, sugar is prohibited to an extent...tho we still make so much sweet stuff, mostly my kids eat them if there is no spicy stuff (they like spicy stuff more), and we eat in moderation. So instead of sweet lassi, salt lassi is preferred in my house. Even my younger kiddo enjoys salted buttermilk if in the mood!!
This was my Bro's favorite too. He used to make it often. Its nice to sip on chilled spicy lassi on a hot summer day. You get the good benefits of yogurt and if you can't have sweet lassi, you can surely have this!
It is served as Khara lassi or Neer More in many restuarants.
This makes 2 servings in about 5 min.


1 cup plain yogurt
1 cup water
4-5 green chillies
1 1/2 piece ginger, chopped
5-6 curry leaves
pinch of hing
2 tbsp coriander leaves
2 tbsp mint leaves
salt to taste


Grind all ingredients together with required salt. Serve over ice or chilled. Enjoy!!!

This is going to Srivalli from Cooking 4 all Seasons's 'Thanda Mela'.

Chekkalu / Spicy and crunchy rice and lentil flats

When I was young, this was one of my favorite snacks, spicy and crunchy. Looks like kids followed suit..they like them too, spicy and crunchy.
In days long ago, there was a lengthy way in making these...soaking the rice, grinding into rice flour, then cooking and mixing the rice flour with the other ingredients and then making them flat and frying them. We kids used to help our mom making them flat. I remember we used sit around during Diwali time, talking and laughing while making them, while my mom and grandmom frying them.
Now tho, my kids aren't that old enough that they would help me making them, but they will surely finish them including their Dad!
Now we don't go the long way, by making the rice flour and all...we just use the store bought rice flour. There is a little difference in the texture, but they still are yummy! This way saves us much time and only time required is making them flat and frying them.
They do have to fry on medium to low heat to golden brown, so frying them does take a long time. I sometimes put up 2 frying pans and fry them, so that it will be done quickly when making a lot. To make about 50 -75 it takes about an hour or hour and half. The size also depends on how many you get...I make about a golf ball sized ball of dough. And make it as spicy as you want.
I also use the tortilla press or roti press to press them...but you can surely do it by hand.
Use a plastic sheet and oil to lightly dip the ball in before pressing it.


about 3-4 cups of rice flour
1/2 cup channa daal (chanaga pappu)
1/2 cup moong daal (pesar pappu)
1 tsp hing
2 tsp jeera
5-6 green chillies
5-6 dry red chillies
2-3 inch piece of ginger
6 curry leaves, broken
salt to taste
enough water to mix into dough
Oil for frying


Soak channa daal and moong daal for about 1/2 to 1 hour. Grind the jeera, green chillies, dry red chillies, ginger into a paste. Drain water from the daals and mix with the ground paste, hing, broken curry leaves, salt and rice flour using some water to make it into a soft dough. Heat oil on the side.
I use tortilla maker to flatten them out, but this can be done by hand too.If making by hand, I use a plastic sheet.
On the tortilla maker, put a plastic sheet, I use ziplock covers cut out. To make the zip lock cover not slip, put a drop of oil between the metal and the plastic which will make it stick.
Make golf ball size balls, dip into teeny tiny amount of oil, rub around the ball and flatten it either by hand or the tortilla maker. Drop them slowly into the hot oil and fry them to golden brown on both side by turning them over. Remove onto a paper napkin.
They will remain fresh as long as they are stored in an airtight container for about a month too. Serve as a snack with tea or coffee or eat it whenever you feel like it!!... Enjoy!!!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stuffed Capsicum or Bell peppers with Potato curry

Past weekend, we had good weather and after a very long time we went out to Boston to enjoy our day and good weather. There were pretty tulip blossoms and cherry blossoms all around the city. We had a picnic lunch at Boston Harbor in the beautiful green lawns. Kids enjoyed running around, even behind the poor pigeons. Then we went to the Boston Aquarium and ended the day with eating in Quincy Market and watching the movie Avatar in 3D IMAX. It was a fun day overall. We were all tired by the time we came home!

That morning me, my mom and dad walked thru the farmer's market called Hay market in Boston. Bought some veggies and fruits for real cheap too. There were some small bell peppers, real cute, very tiny than the regular peppers we get in the grocery store. We bought them thinking already with a recipe in mind - Stuffed Bell peppers. Thats what ended up in our kitchen today!!!

We used 2 potatoes to make the Mashed potato curry  since these were really tiny bell peppers, so adjust accordingly. But potato curry is just one type of stuffing, you can always stuff it with what ever you like!!
It takes about 15 min to make potato curry and another 10 to 15 min to shallow fry the bell peppers. You can also bake them if you want to keep it on the healthier side, but it will take a little longer.


2 potatoes to make Mashed Potato curry

7-8 tiny bell peppers
2 tbsp oil for shallow fry
salt to tast


In a open pan with a lid, heat oil. Cut open the top and stuff the bell peppers with the potato curry and put into the oil. Salt them all over while turning them. Cover and cook until cooked all over, turning over once in a while. Serve with rice or pulav. Makes a good party dish and a side item. Enjoy!!!

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi is nothing but buttermilk with mango in it. If we were lucky enough to get real, fresh, ripe mangoes, I would have made it them. But as for now I settled with the substitute - Mango pulp in a tin :). Well thats the closest we can get to mangoes in pre-mango season or no mango season.
We as kids always have enjoyed sipping on this heavenly drink, now my kids enjoy mango lassi whenever they go to Indian restuarants and so I make it at home too, when the weather is there to enjoy it!
For the kids I would make it using plain yogurt and milk, but for us, yogurt and water. Since the mango pulp is already sweet, I add very less sugar, you can always add it according to your taste. A bit of cardamom powder, gives it a good flavor.
We gobbled it up as soon as it was made, I am sure you will too. It doesn't take much time to make so, making it fresh tastes surely better!


1/2 cup Mango pulp
1/4 cup milk or water
1/4 cup yogurt
sugar to taste
a pinch of cardamom powder


Blend all ingredients in a grinder or mixie. If its too thick, add some more water or milk. Chill it or serve on ice, with or without a dollop of whipcream on it!!...Enjoy!!!

This is going to -
Srivalli from Cooking for all seasons's 'Thanda Mela'
Priya from Priya's Easy N Tasty recipes's 'Cooking with Cardamom Event'
Jyoti from Panch Pakwan's 'Mother's day event'

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Idli / Steamed rice cakes

Many people have many different versions of making idlis, the plain idlis I mean. You an always mix other veggies into it and make it healthy! or cover them with podi and make podi idlis or even idli upma!
Tho its called rice cakes, they batter also contains daal or lentils in it and is fermented before the idlis are made. A special stand called idli stand which has plates with depressions for holding the batter and steaming them is used.
It is one of the most popular breakfasts in south Indian households. At my house too, if idli is the breakfast, no complaints are heard!! Thank God for that!!.. Since we can make and store the batter for at least a week, its easy for me to make them any time kids want it.
Idli in restaurants is usually served with coconut chutney and saambar. At home, I serve it with either idli chutney or kandi podi or saambar.
I use a wet grinder to grind the batter, but a regular grinder or mixie can also be used. The only thing is that the batter should be smooth and thick, not too watery. If its too watery, the idlis cannot be formed. So it should be ground with less water. When it ferments, it becomes little more liquidy, so care should be taken.
I add the salt too before I keep it for fermentation, I feel it helps in fermentation.
For colder climates, like we have here, I wash the lentils and idli ravva in hot water and also while grinding I add hot to warm water, so that it will ferment better and sooner. I keep it in a warm place like the oven with the oven light on. It normally takes 8-12 hours for fermentation.
There are 2 ways idlis can be made, one is using idli ravva and other is by using parboiled rice or idli rice or uppudu biyyam. I always have used only Idli ravva with urad daal to make my idlis.


1 cup urad daal
2 cup idli ravva
salt to taste
enough hot or warm water


Soak the urad daal and idli ravva overnight or for atleast 6 hours. Grind all ingredients together in a wet grinder or a regular grinder. Store in a container with a lid, in the oven,with the light on for fermentation, for atleast 8-12 hours. Usually if its warm outside or the weather is warm, it does ferment quickly. After fermentation, mix properly so that all the air bubbles are gone, add some water if its too thick. Idli batter should always be thick and not too thick or thin.
Oil the idli plates lightly with oil and put the batter into the depressions and steam them in a pressure cooker with some water without the whistle or rod on or a covered container with water in it for about 10-15 min.
After steaming, remove from the depressions and serve. Serve with idli chutney or with saambar or kandi podi. or with any other chutney or pachadi. Enjoy!!!

Coconut - Fried Gram Chutney / Kobari - Putnalpappu Pachadi / Idli Chutney

This is the most popular chuney which is made usually accompanying Idlis / steamed rice cakes or dosa / fried lentil and rice crepes . In some restuarants, plain coconut chutney is served, but in many homes this chutney is made.
Its a very simple chutney made with coconut and fried gram or lentils. Fried gram is a special kind of daal or lentil which is called putnalpappu in telugu or buna channa daal in hindi or it is simply also known as chutney daal.
Tho its called chutney daal, it is used in many other preparations as well.
Coconut with chutney daal, green chillies, tamarind and tempering makes it a easy chutney to make.
It takes about 10 min to make.


1/4 cup grated coconut (frozen, fresh or dry....I used frozen)
1/4 cup fried gram / chutney daal / buna chaana daal
1/2 tbsp tamarind juice / lemon juice (more or less...depending on taste....I used tamarind) (optional)
salt to taste
5-6 green chillies ( more or less)


1/4 tsp chaana daal
1/4 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp jeera
5-6 curry leaves
2 dry red chillies, broken
pinch of hing / inguva / asfoetida
1/2 tbsp oil


Grind fried gram, coconut, tamarind and green chillies with salt into a paste adding some water.
Heat oil in a small pot. Brown chaana daal and urad daal before adding the mustard seeds and jeera. Let them splutter and add the curry leaves, dry red chilli, hing and saute. Remove from heat and add the ground chutney and mix properly. Serve with idli, dosa, upma or any other breakfast you like to eat it with. Enjoy!!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Green chutney or Coriander - Mint chutney

This chutney if different from the regular chutney we make to eat with rice. For that chutney, which I have blogged before, it is tempered with some other ingredients. This is just a simple chutney which can be used as a side for fritters, pani pooris, chaats etc.,.


1 cup coriander leaves
1 cup mint leaves
4-5 green chillies
lemon to taste
salt to taste


Grind all ingredients to a smooth paste using some water if required. Serve as a side item. Enjoy!!!

Date - Tamarind chutney

Many people make this differently. I make it easy and simple.


6-8 dates, pitted and chopped
a lemon size ball of tamarind, squeezed
sprinkle of salt and little bit of sugar
1/4 tsp chilli powder


Grind all ingredients together to a smooth paste using some water. Serve as a side for chaats, pani pooris, tikkis, fritters etc.,. Enjoy!!

Pani pooris or Golgappas - Indian street food

Pani pooris or golgappas are one of my favorite street food. When I was in India, there were few places where we used to go specially for these yummy treats, one being golgappas, other aloo tikki chaat and other mirchi bajjis. Now a days almost every galli or street has these cartwallas who make it all the time. But still they all taste slightly different and nothing tastes better than the fresh made ones. Here I crave to eat these and when I think that whenever I make a trip to India, I will have them in never happens. The whole trip I might get to eat only once or twice. I remember the days when my mom, my dad and us kids, used to go to the special cartwallahs at the end of Parklane in Secunderabad, India to eat them!! Now there is so much pollution and traffic in that area, can't even stop!!
Here I have made pani pooris before from scratch but, many a time, just bought them from the store. Its been a long time since I have had them so made them at home again. I tried a different recipe a few days back in my friend's house (for pooris), they came out looking good but somehow they weren't staying crispy on the top. This time I omitted a few ingredients and tried it again. They came out better this time, much crispier too. They stayed crispy for almost a week.
With a cup of ravva, lot of pooris can be made, but it depends on the size. Choose a size which will easily fit into your mouth without any difficulty. I used a cookie cutter which was slightly smaller than the usual pani poori size.
Serve with spicy pani poori water, tamarind - date chutney, green chutney or coriander - mint chutney and aloo - channa mix.
Prep time: about an hour


1 cup of ravva / sooji / coarse semolina flour
1/2 cup warm water
salt to taste
just enough all purpose flour / maida

Oil for deep frying


Add salt to semolina flour. With the warm water, knead into a rough dough which is not too soft or hard. Dust just enough all purpose flour / maida to knead it into a smooth dough.Let it rest for about 20 min to 30 min.
After resting, roll it out thin roti shape or like a pita. Using the cookie cutter or any other round shape whichever you choose, cut out the small rounds. When the oil is hot enough (should not be fuming hot), drop in the small rounds and fry them. They will puff up immediately or try to puff them like pooris with a long spoon. Turn over to give them an all around golden brown color. Remove and drain on a napkin. Serve along with date - tamarind chutney, coriander - mint chutney, pani - poori water and aloo channa mix.

Aloo Channa mix:


1 cup of boiled channa or chick peas
1 big boiled and mashed potato
1 red onion, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
salt to taste


Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and serve.

Pani for the pooris, Spiced up water


2-3 cups of water
lemon sized ball of tamarind, squeezed
3-4 green chillies
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 tbsp pani poori masala powder (from store, optional, otherwise add black salt)
some chaat masala powder (from store)
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin) powder
1/2 tsp dhaniya (coriander) powder
lemon juice to taste
salt to taste


Grind green chillies, coriander leaves and mint leaves together. Mix all ingredients in the water along with tamarind juice and serve.

Break the poori on the top, stuff it with the goodies and the spiced up water and Enjoy!!!

 Puffed up golgappas!

 Golgappa filled with Pani and all the good stuff!

Topped with sev!

Tip: All the flattened pooris, don't throw them away, use to make papdi chaat.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Tempered - Sprouted Mung Lentils / Sprouted Moong daal Tadka chaat

Mung or Moong are beans or small yellow lentils which you can get with or without the green covering on them. They are healthy as they come under whole grain. They are called Pesarlu in Telugu.
I use it to make pesarattu or dosa or crepes which I have blogged before. This time we used it in sprouting them and then tempering them or giving them a tadka. It tastes yummy with chopped onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. It can be enjoyed as a snack or a healthy salad :).
Sprouting moong daal is very easy. Soak the lentils in water for 5-6 hours. Drain the water and put them in a bowl or a container loosely covered in a cool dry place for about 24 hours. You can see them sprouts within those 24 hours. If you want longer sprouts keep them for longer time, but remember they will go bad within couple of days. You can store them in the refrigerator for another couple of days, after they have sprouted before they go bad.

It takes about 10-15 min from start to finish.


1 cup sprouted moong daal
1 large onion, chopped and divided into 2 parts
1 tomato, chopped
2-3 green chillies. chopped

For Tempering:

1 tsp urad daal
1/4 tsp jeera
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies, broken
5-6 curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp Oil
salt to taste
Lemon juice to taste


In a pot, heat oil. Add urad daal and brown it. Add the jeera and mustard seeds and let them splutter before adding the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Add the turmeric powder and saute. Add 1/3 of the onions, chopped green chillies and saute till transparent. Add the sprouts, salt and some water. Cover and cook for about 5 min or until they are cooked and the water has evaporated. Serve hot with raw chopped onions and tomato or plain, with or without lemon juice. You can also garnish it with coriander leaves. Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Orange Berry Juice

My kids cannot wait for summer to arrive. Fresh fruits have just started coming into the markets and they are asking for smoothies...But I am still restraining from making them because of the chilliness. No icecream or even ice for that matter. But with the temperatures just warming up, I gave in to the wonderful mixed up fruit juice their father came up with at 10 in the night. Mind you, only some ice, cos it was already 10 in the night, and juice before bed!!! OK well its OK sometimes....I guess...


couple of juice oranges, peeled
handful of strawberries, washed
handful of blackberries, washed
handful of rasberries, washed
enough sugar to suit your taste
little bit of ice and cold water


Grind everything together with sugar, ice and water. Serve cold or chilled. Enjoy!!

And what better time for him to make send it to Srivalli's 'Thanda mela'. ;)...keep a look out.... many more coming!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Masala Stuffed Whole Tindora / Dondakai / Ivy gourd / Tendli

Here is an other use of the homemade 'any time use ground masala paste'. This time its for a vegetarian dish.
As a kid it was dish we used to look out for. I like dondakaya like bendakaya (bendi) in any form. Stuffing it with the masala and frying it makes it really yummy and delish.
The dondakai is cut like a vankai (brinjal) when making stuffed brinjal, is cut in a plus shape and stuffed with the masala. The only other additions to this are onion, tomato, green chillies. To the masala paste itself, little bit of amchoor or lemon juice or even tamarind juice can be added for the tangy flavor.
It takes about 1/2 hour to cook on low heat, so that they don't get mushy!!


1 to 1 1/2 pound Dondakai, washed, ends cut and cut from the top in a plus shape almost to the bottom, making sure it doesn't break into 2 pieces.
enough masala paste for stuffing
1 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
4-5 green chillies, chopped
1 tbsp amchoor powder or lemon juice or tamarind juice ( more or less, depending on your taste)
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1 tbsp coriander leaves


Heat oil in a pan. Add onions, green chillies and tomatoes and saute. Lower heat to add the dondakais.
Add some salt and amchoor powder to the masala. Stuff the dondakaya with the masala paste and drop into the oil. Sprinkle some salt on the top and cover to cook. Saute from time to time and cover. When they are half cooked, add chilli powder, turmeric powder and mix well.
Its takes a little longer for the whole dondakai to cook. So keep covered and saute in between. But make sure don't over cook or they will become too soft.
Fry to the desired level. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rice or roti, as a side item in a party :). Enjoy!!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Andhra style Chicken Fry

This is one of the types of chicken curry we make at home. It is one of my favorite chicken fry too. We make it using the 'any time use ground masala paste'. It very easy as the masala is already ready, only add a few other simple ingredients and there you go, you have an amazing, good tasting chicken fry ready.
We made it using boneless chicken, but any type of chicken can be used. And if you like crunchy onions with your chicken, this is the curry for you...:) Its a big hit at our house, kids eat it without any comments...not even 'its spicy' frown, which they would have if its something they don't like!!!!
This is made according to our spice level, please adjust to your spice level.


1 lb to 1 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts, chopped into 1 - 2 inch pieces
1 onion, chopped small
1 onion, cut lengthwise, julienned
1 tomato, chopped
4 green chillies, chopped
3-4 tbsp masala paste
1/2 tbsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice or less (depends on your taste)
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1 tbsp of chopped coriander leaves


 Heat oil in a pan. Add and saute the chopped onions and green chillies. Add the masala paste and saute. Add some of the tomato and saute. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, black pepper powder and saute. Add the chicken pieces, salt and mix well and saute. When the chicken pieces are cooked, add the yogurt and lemon juice. Mix well. Fry the chicken pieces to the desired level. Add the julienned onions and rest of the tomato and fry well, but make sure the onions are still crunchy. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or as a side item. Enjoy!!!

Tip: If you want more gravy, add more onions, tomatoes and the masala paste.
Prep time: 20-30 min.

Any time use - Ground Masala paste...veg or non-veg

Here is my recipe for any time masala paste. It goes good with veg or non-veg dishes. I have even used it in making biryanis, and it will taste good...I am telling you!!!..:)
I usually make it in a lot and freeze it. Take a bit whenever I require it. I would suggest that you keep it in small one time containers, that will be easier. It will keep good atleast for a month in the freezer. I noticed that the coconut sometimes starts to smell if kept for longer.


1 anise star flower
1/4 cup dhaniya or coriander seeds
1 tbsp cloves
1 tbsp pieces of cinamon sticks
1 tbsp jeera
1/4 cup coconut powder (dry or fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup gus gus or poppy seeds
5-6 elaichi pods
2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 onion
5-6 green chillies

Grind everything into a paste with some water. Store in refrigerater if using within a week or store in freezer for use later on. Thaw in hot water before use.

 Andhra Style Chicken Fry

Masala whole Dondakai Fry