Thursday, December 24, 2015

Easy Capsicum Curry

Capsicum Gravy is a good side dish for Chapathi and fried rice. It’s unique in the sense that it has white gravy than the regular tomato based gravy. A paste made out of sesame seeds, ground nut, cashews and coconut serves as the base. Sesame seeds provides nice nuttiness to this dish, and hence the uniqueness, which goes really well with the crunchy spicy bell pepper. Perfect for the cold winter holidays. 
Enjoy with hot chapathis or parathas. 

Happy Holidays!! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Strawberry/Mango Panna Cotta with agar agar

Just looking at this dessert makes you want to dig in, doesn’t it? 

That’s what happened to me when I kept on seeing this dessert everywhere in the blogosphere sometime back. Well, it took me more than a year to decide to make it myself, that’s a different story :) 

I used agar agar in place of Gelatin. Figuring out how much agar agar was needed(that too agar-agar strands, and not powder), took me few experiments. But once you get the hang of it, making this dessert is easy. It’s a good dessert to take for a potluck and can be prepared well in advance. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Eggless Blueberry muffin

After success of using flax meal as an egg substitute in Chocolate cake, I’ve been following more of regular baking recipes(with eggs) and replacing eggs with flax meal, instead of searching for eggless version. I’ve grown out of baking powder+baking soda, which most of the eggless versions have as an egg substitute, as it leaves an after taste in your mouth. Flax meal doesn’t do that. 

I had a box of blueberries from Costco, which nobody wanted to eat. Hence I decided to bake this blueberry muffin to use it up. The muffin rose beautifully as seen in the picture. 

The recipe is fairly easy. This also makes a good item for your kid’s lunch box or snack. Make mini muffins and you can easily fit them in their tiny lunch boxes, or take them for a kid’s potluck. 

Do try!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Jamun from Jamun Mix

I was thinking long and hard as to what to put for Deepavali. Then I remembered the most popular, delectable Indian sweet, our very own Jamun. And it is not from scratch my friends, nuh-uh, it is from MTR Jamun mix. 

My husband was asking ‘Shouldn’t you at least make it from scratch to put in your blog. From a Mix seems too easy’. 
Yes, he was right. Jamun is a staple in many Indian households during festivals, and everybody knows how to make them from a mix. But let the truth be told my friends, I didn’t know!! I had a VERY hard time getting it right all these years.

Jamun is mine and my kiddo’s super favorite sweet. So I would always attempt to make it. But it flopped all the time!! It would pain me like anything when my daughter slurped on my really bad jamuns and said she loved them! Poor girl had no idea how a real jamun tasted like! Then finally one day, by God’s grace it “clicked”. 

My husband had put a picture of my Jamuns on Facebook some time back, and one of my friends told me that it looked as though it had been made by a halvaayi(professional sweet maker). Thanks Indu, aren’t you a sweetheart!! 

From what I called Jamun, which was nothing but a mass of fried jamun dough disintegrated into pieces in not so sweet water, which I called sugar syrup; or a lumpy hard ball refusing to soak in any syrup; or the jamuns  getting stuck in crystallized syrup(which I was selling as dry jamuns btw); to the professional looking ones below, I’ve seen them all, made them all!! :)

So without further ado, here I present, “How to make Jamun from Jamun mix”, with all tips and tricks that I’ve learnt from this video(Oggarane Dabbi series, made by “Maiya’s” chef). 

This post is dedicated to all those who have a really hard time making jamuns! Follow these steps and you’ll make good jamuns in no time. 

Happy Deepavali!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tomato Bhaji/Gojju

Often times I am at loss as to what to cook as side dish for Chapathis on regular days, just for us. I’m not the kind who is inclined to make Curries all the time. I just make regular palyas(dry vegetable sabzis) and dals. 

I came across this particular tomato bhaji recipe online and the simplicity of it caught my attention. Tomato and chapathi even otherwise go together really well.   

The bhaji came out really good. Jaggery’s sweetness along with groundnut’s nuttiness complimented tomato’s sourness very nicely. This is going to be a regular in our house from now on for sure. 

Note that there is no onion or garlic in this recipe. 

Do try!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Sabsige Soppu Bath/Dill Rice Bath

I had a big batch of sabsige soppu(Dill) in the fridge which needed immediate attention. I had recently made rotti with it. And that’s all I know to make with it. I had tried making sabsige saaru once, but was not too sold on the taste. So I took refuge in Google and found one recipe I liked. Generally when I like something, I always make sure to read the comments to see if anybody has tried and tested it. Many did on this one, so I went ahead with it...

This is one healthy bath, I tell you! Tasted good too. It uses freshly ground pulav powder. And there is no onion-garlic in this recipe. Perfect for festivals! It had a tinge of bitterness from the dill leaves, which made it unique compared to other rice baths, which I loved. I would say the taste was close to menthe soppina bath(methi leaves rice bath). 

There is another rice bath that my friend makes with dill. Hopefully I’ll be able post it soon. 

Do try!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Majjige huli(Curd based South Indian Curry)

I cannot believe I have no new recipe lined up to post this month... this has never happened before! You see, I make it a point to put at least 2 recipes every month. I always am prepared knowing what I would be posting next... but not this month! 

I had to dig through old photos to see if I had any old pics that I might’ve missed. Thankfully, I found Majjige Huli ... I had not put this one up before because I was not too happy with the picture. I was waiting for my husband to retake a good one (btw, this is a good opportunity to tell everybody that my husband takes all the pictures for me:) )... 
But then every time I made it, I went into “should I post this or not” discussion in my head, and never came to a decision... Story of my life!!

Now since I have nothing on hand, I decided to put this one up any way... 

Majjige huli is my all time favorite. My mom didn’t know how to make this. I always craved for this and I would never ever miss a chance to devour it at weddings and other functions. 
After I started cooking, however, I learnt this from my cousin Kshama and have been making it regularly ever since. 

The recipe is easy peasy. You just need to get the consistency of the gravy right.. My suggestion would be to make thicker version first and then add water to thin it down as much as needed. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Bhagavanta enappa nin leele!! ashtami ge tindi maadisi, ganeshana habbakke post maadista idyalappa!!

I made this for ashtami but posting this for Ganeshana Habba.. 

My aunt Anasuya Hande, is a very skilled cook and she has hand written a recipe book for amateurs like me in the family, who were on the brink of getting married, but didn’t have any “gandha” of cooking(no clue types). 
I treat that book like Bhagavad Gita. 

Anyways, for Krishna Ashtami, I decided to make her nippattu for the very first time. It came out just perfect!! Thanks atte, for the detailed recipe!!! 

The recipe is very easy and doesn’t take a lot of time. Within half an hour I could make 35 medium sized nippattus. Not bad, right?! 

Also Ganesha habba marks the anniversary of my blog! Happy Birthday blog!! 

Do try!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Gobi Sabji (Gobi ka kheema)

This is one flavorful sabji that goes really well with Chapathis. I enjoyed every bite of it. 

Grated gobi gives this a very spongy texture, and when cooked in spiced tomato puree it soaks up all the masala making every bite burst with flavors in your mouth...

You can either use simple tomato puree or make spiced tomato puree for this. I would suggest making the spiced one as that little extra nuance from the spiced puree makes a lot of difference. 

This is not a quick recipe. Grating gobi is a tedious and a messy job. It tends to fly everywhere. Making spiced tomato puree is also extra work. But the end result is very well worth the effort. 

Do try!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Tomato Bath - Version 2

This is the second version of Tomato Bath that I like. Check out Version 1 here. My cousin Archana gave me this recipe. Freshly ground masala with red chillies(instead of green chillies) and coconut gives this a very unique taste. It tastes good on its own and doesn’t need an accompaniment like raita or anything. 

Do try!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Green Moong Dal Rice Bath/Hesaru kalina bath

Yet another rice bath which is very simple, tasty and very very healthy. You can sprout the moong dal to make it even more healthy. 

This rice bath is bland compared to pulavs and biriyanis, but tasty nevertheless. 
It’s great for potlucks and lunch boxes too.. 


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mango CheeseCake

Sometime back I saw this video on Euphoric Delights(a FB group) about this easy dessert made for a potluck. The picture and presentation was so enticing that I couldn’t wait to have one for myself. Then I started looking out for the ‘setting’ ingredient agar agar(as a substitute for Gelatin) in local stores, only to realize that it’s not easily available. After months of searching, I found one in an Indian store and finally got to making it..

This recipe is very easy once you get the hang of it. It is also a good potluck item. It looks very fancy and classy served in individual portions, in clear shot glasses. 

Do try!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Puliyogare(Or Chitranna) Gojju/Paste

My mom makes awesome Puliyogare powder from scratch, which I am too lazy to learn. In one of our conversations she told me that the major difference between puliyogare powder and rasam powder is indeed the addition of sesame seeds.. then it suddenly occurred to me why not put some sesame seeds to the rasam powder and make my own puliyogare gojju..

..and that’s what I did here.. 

The trick in bringing puliyogare gojju to a gravy consistency is addition of water, which lot of people miss out on. Even when I am making puliyogare from MTR dry powder, I put some water and boil it to a gravy consistency. Puliyogare comes out better this way and mixing also becomes easy. 

This gojju can be used as chutney with dosa, chapathi and also like pickle with curd rice. My mom used to take chapathi with this gojju for long travels. It has a pretty good shelf life... and can be stored even longer when kept in the fridge.. I’ve never stored this long enough to know exactly how many days it stays :)

When I proudly told mom about my “invention”, she said what I just did was chitranna and not puliyogare.. hehe.. 

It tastes awesome, whatever you call it :)

Do try!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Indian Fried Rice

My Ode to Maggi

Whenever I needed you
you came to my rescue
Mornings, afternoons, nights
even midnights too

You were loved by 
kids and adults alike
Why did they make you
take a hike :((

I was acting over-smart, sneaking in vegetables too
Turns out you yourself were unhealthy, aakhir kyon??    

My mom said one time,
she made you in an old pot of mine 
The vessel turned sparkling new
She swore that’s the last time she’d make you!!

Maggi O Maggi
it’s hard to say good bye!
Good bye, my beloved,
come back healthy and alive!!! 

bye bye Maagi! 
bye bye...
*sob sob*

Coming to the recipe,

This is yet another version of Indian fried rice, which is very easy and tasty. My friend’s mom gave me this recipe. 
It uses only clove and garlic for masala which differentiates this from other rice baths.

Do try!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Navratan Kurma

Navaratan Kurma is a rich, popular North Indian curry. I like the rich, creamy, sweet taste of this curry. But this particular recipe tasted more like Thai red curry.. may be because I didn’t use any sweet-giving ingredients, such as pineapple/raisins, as I didn’t have any.. 
Otherwise, I followed the recipe as it is...

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Tomato Bath - Version 1

I always look for recipes...
I always collect recipes...
If anybody makes anything interesting, I ask them for recipe..
I watch cooking episodes tirelessly online...

and yet I claim that I’m least interested in cooking...

So why do I do all the above? 
The answer is that I’m an enthusiastic eater, not an enthusiastic cook! My main motivation behind experimenting in the kitchen is eating good food..  or rather the lack of having good restaurants around.. My cooking drive diminishes the moment I set foot in India..

I shouldn’t complain living in the Bay area.. but c’mon how can a street vendor in India make better chats than here..? how come nobody gets that THE Masala Dosa flavor from India...? bakery items.. no where close!! Does any restaurant owner care to learn what they are missing? seriously I can make better dosas at home...  where is THAT Dosa which would slide off a plate with so much grease in it and where is this Dosa, which wouldn’t even come off the plate... *sigh* 
So until those kind of restaurants open up, I’ll be a trooper and experiment in my kitchen...

Coming to the recipe.. 

This particular recipe I got from the Oggarane Dabbi cooking series which is on youtube. 

It is a healthy one pot meal which is very very simple and very very tasty, close to the ones you’d get in restaurants in India. One of the restaurant owners made it at the show.. 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Veg Palya for Sandwich/Paratha - Mixed Veg Stuffing

Sandwich is a staple in our house. My daughter loves them and I love them too. I can stuff any kind of vegetable and she wouldn’t even notice..  

I generally make mixed vegetable palya with potato, carrot, beans and peas. Nothing fancy just regular potato palya with added vegetables...
Then I came across this mix veg paratha at Indian Stores which had crushed vegetables in them; which gave me an idea to crush the frozen mixed vegetables, instead of cutting all the vegetables from scratch. 

I got an easy and a better tasting Playa. 

I coarsely ground frozen vegetables. And when they are ground together the individual taste of each vegetable is blended together to give an unique taste in every bite. 

This stuffing could be used for Parathas as well... you can make cutlets.. or tikkis.. or mix veg bonda.. basically anything which requires stuffing..

Do try! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Beetroot Pulav

My cousin Archana is an avid follower of the blog “Monsoon Spice”. If I have to try anything from that blog, I simply ask her if she has tried it before, and she’ll give me all details as to what she tried, how it was, what she did differently.. etc :)
So recently when I asked her if she tried anything new, she told me about this Beetroot Pulav from the same blog, and said it came out good. 

So I also tried .. Beetroot gives this bath mild sweetness and nice pink hue(or red hue depending upon the quantity of the Beetroot you put). I really loved it. 

This is a very good item to take to potlucks and a good option for your lunch box.  It tastes even better the next day. 

Do make it and impress your family and friends!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Dabeli is a popular street food. It is basically spicy potato mix placed in-between pav bread..  

This recipe is from Manjula’s kitchen.  I was really intrigued by the way the dabeli stuffing was cooked. Basically the potato is boiled and cooked in water along with dabeli masala, so that it comes to a paste consistency! Never knew potato could do that. This spicy potato paste is then placed in between roasted pav bread smeared with green/garlic and sweet chutney, and then topped with some sweet(pomegranate seeds) and spicy sev... yum yum..

Do try!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bombay Saagu/Potato Saagu

Bombay Saagu/ Potato Saagu is a nice accompaniment for Set dosa, Rave idli or Poori/Chapathi. I like rave idli-bombay saagu-chutney combination very much and I make it a point to prepare this every time I make rave idli. 

This is my amma’s recipe. It is basically just cooked potato mixed in some besan(gram flour) based curry. I think the usage of besan as a thickening agent, just like jhunka(which is very much a North Karnataka/Maharashtra-ian dish), is the reason behind having “bombay” in its name. 

The procedure is very very easy and the taste is simply awesome.