Pachi Chalimidi (Akki Thambittu) – Naivedyam for Navratri, Rama Navami, Nagula Chavithi, and Other Festivals

Pachi Chalimidi - Naivedyam for Rama Navami, Navaratri, Varalakshmi Pooja, Seemantham

Pachi Chalimidi

Chalimidi is one of those traditional Andhra sweets that is made on almost all auspicious occasions. It is a must on festivals such as Sri Rama Navami, Nagula Chavithi, Sharada Navaratri, and Varalakshmi Pooja. It is also given to a bride to carry to her husband’s home when she goes there the first time and to a pregnant lady at  Seemantham (baby shower).

As I was getting ready for naivedyam for the 9-days of Sharada Navaratri, I realised that I had written about this simple yet important sweet.

Chalimidi can be made in two ways: Pachi Chalimidi (raw) or Panakam Chalimidi (in a syrup). In this post, I am writing about the former as it is easier to make.

My fellow blogger Srividhya of Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen commented on my post that this particular dish was made in Karnataka as well and was called thembittu there. A bit of search on the internet revealed that this was indeed so and that there were other variations of it made with gram flour and wheat flout as well. The version made with rice flour is called Akki Thambittu.

Thanks, Srividhya for this. :-)

Do visit Vidhya’s lovely blog for a variety of recipes.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Rice Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Sugar or Grated Jaggery – 3/4 Cup
  3. Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
  4. Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  6. Cardamom Powder – 1/2 tsp


  1.  Melt the ghee.
  2. Take off the heat and let it cool till just warm but is still liquid.
  3. Add the sugar/jaggery, cardamom powder, and coconut.
  4. Mix well so that the sugar/jaggery starts to melt.
  5. Add the rice flour and mix well till it comes together as a ball.
  6. Shape into one large round ball or multiple smaller balls.
  7. Offer as naivedyam along with Panakam and Vada Pappu.


  • I prefer sugar to jaggery. My pic shows Chalimidi with sugar.
  • You can use pieces of coconut instead of coconut. If you are doing that fry the pieces in the heated ghee till they just start to change color.
  • I have used both store-bought and home-made rice flour with equally good results. Now-a-days, I stick to store-bought flour as I rarely have the time to make rice flour afresh.

Masala Toast – Mumbai Street Food

Mumbai Masala Toast

Mumbai Masala Toast

Truth be told, I am not a big fan of sandwiches. I find them bland, cold (I am a  fan of warm/hot food) or then just too unwieldy to eat in polite company. The only form of sandwich that I can remotely consider eating is the Masala Toast; it is hot and sealed by the virtue of being toasted and spicy because of the potato filling. Very Indian in taste. :-)

The way I see it, the Masala Toast is a deconstructed, gentrified version of Mumbai’s favourite food, the Vada Pav.

Makes:  4 Masala Toasts

Time for Making Masala: 45 Minutes

Time for Making Toast: 10 Minutes

Equipment: Sandwich Maker

Ingredients for Potato Masala

  1. Potatoes – 2 Large
  2. Onion – 1 Medium
  3. Ginger – 1/2″ piece
  4. Green Chillies – 3 or to Taste
  5. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  6. Finely Fresh Chopped Coriander – 2 tbsp
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Oil – 1 tsp
  10. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Toast

  1. Bread Slices – 8
  2. Sandwich Chutney – 2 to 3 tsp + More for Serving
  3. Butter – As Required

Method to Make the Potato Masala for the Sandwich

  1. Boil the potatoes.
  2. Cool, peel, and mash the boiled potatoes.
  3. Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.
  4. Chop the ginger into fine pieces.
  5. Chop the green chillies into fine pieces.
  6. Crush the green chilly and ginger pieces into a coarse paste.
  7. In a wok, heat the oil.
  8. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  9. Add cumin seeds and stir fry for 1 minute.
  10. Add the chopped onion and fry till transparent.
  11. Add the green chilly-ginger paste and turmeric.
  12. Stir fry for 1 minute.
  13. Add salt and mashed potato.
  14. Mix well.
  15. Turn off the heat.
  16. Add the finely chopped coriander and mix well.
  17. Set aside.
Potato Masala for Masala Toast

Potato Masala for Masala Toast

Method to Make the Mumbai Masala Toast  

  1. Very lightly butter one side of a bread slice.
  2. Flip the slice over.
  3. Spread some green chutney onto the other side.
  4. Spoon a generous helping of potato masala.
  5. Very lightly butter one side of a second bread slice.
  6. Place the unbuttered side onto the potato masala.
  7. Place the sandwich into a sandwich maker.
  8. Toast/grill till the sandwich is golden brown.
  9. Serve hot with some green chutney and ketchup.

I am taking this spicy, filling Masala Toast to:
   Fiesta Friday Badge Button I party @

Mutter Paneer – Recipe from Everest Kitchen King Masala Box

Mutter Paneer - Recipe from Everest Kitchen King Masala Box

Mutter Paneer – Recipe from Everest Kitchen King Masala Box

A couple of days ago I had some absolutely fresh Paneer at home but did not want to make any of the usual dishes; be it the Traditional Mutter Paneer, Paneer Bhurji, or Mughlai Paneer.

Everest Kitchen King MasalaWhile I was scratching my head wondering what to make, I spied a box of Everest Kitchen King Masala on the shelf and it had this creamy Mutter Paneer on the cover.

I immediately took it down and set about reading the recipe. I had most of the ingredients at home and so it became the dish of the day for dinner!

I made some minor modifications such as reducing the amount of ghee and not frying the paneer pieces, but that was a personal preference. It turned out super yummy and hence this blog post!


Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes


  1. Paneer – 250 gms
  2. Peas – 1 Cup
  3. Onion – 1
  4. Tomatoes – 2
  5. Green Chillies – 2
  6. Garlic Cloves – 2
  7. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  8. Cumin – 1 tsp
  9. Cashew Nuts – 5
  10. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  12. Everest Kitchen King Masala – 2 tsp
  13. Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp
  14. Poppy Seeds or Khus Khus – 1 tbsp
  15. Oil – 1 tbsp
  16. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  17. Salt to Taste


  1. Puree the tomatoes.
  2. Boil the peas.
  3. Cut the paneer into 1/2″ cubes.
  4. Slice the onion.
  5. Peel the garlic pods.
  6. Sllit the green chillies.
  7. In a wok, heat the oil.
  8. Add the onion slices and fry till transparent.
  9. Add the ginger, garlic pods, slit green chillies, poppy seeds, cumin seeds, kasuri methi, and cashew nuts.
  10. Stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  11. Set aside to cool.
  12. Once the fried onion-spice mix is cool, grind to a fine paste with a little water.
  13. In the same wok, heat the ghee.
  14. Add the paste and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  15. Add the pureed tomatoes and stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  16. Add chilli powder, turmeric, and Kitchen King Masala.
  17. Stir-fry for 2 minutes.
  18. Add the boiled peas and paneer cubes.
  19. With a gentle hand, mix well.
  20. Add about 1/3 cup water and bring to a gentle simmer.
  21. Serve hot with rotis.

Mutter Paneer - Recipe from Everest Kitchen King Masala Box - 2

Moong and Udad Dal Idli (aka Dal Idli or Dali Santhan) – A Mangalore/Konkani Speciality

Moong and Urad Dal Idlis - Dali Santhan - Konkani Recipe

Moong and Urad Dal Idlis – Dali Santhan

The moment I saw the recipe for a Lentils & Semolina Idli on Annapoorna Prabhu Sanoor‘s blog, I just knew I HAD to try it. After reading her recipe, I did a bit of research on the Internet (as is wont) and found several similar recipes. I finally made it without the semolina, but the inspiration remains Annapoorna’s post.

Do visit Annapoorna Prabhu Sanoor‘s blog; more importantly do get a copy of her Mangalore Cookbook:Breakfast & Teatime Recipes, which seems to be a treasure trove of traditional Mangalorean cuisine.

Now, without further ado, I present Dal Idli also known as Dali Santhan.

A santhan is a spongy idli that is steamed in a plate instead of a traditional idli mould.

Serves: 4

Preparation Time: 16 Hours

Cooking Time: 10 Mins


  1. Moong Dal – 3/4 Cup
  2. Udad Dal – 1 Cup
  3. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  4. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  5. Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric Powder – A Large Pinch
  7. Salt to Taste
  8. Oil for Greasing the Mould

Method to Make the Batter

  1. Soak the udad dal and fenugreek seeds together in 2 cups of water for 4 hours.
  2. In parallel, soak moong dal separately in 2 cups of water.
  3. After 4 hours, drain the water completely from the two dals.
  4. Grind each dal separately into a thick batter of pouring consistency.
  5. Mix the two batters and some salt together by hand. Mixing by hand aids fermentation.
  6. Set aside to ferment for about 10 hours in a large vessel. The batter will nearly double in volume, so use a large enough vessel. 
  7. When the batter has fermented, add finely chopped green chillies, grated ginger, and turmeric.
  8. Mix with a gentle hand.

Method to Make Idlis

  1. Grease an idli mould.
  2. Pour enough batter into the mould.
  3. Steam in a pressure cooker for about 7-8 minutes.
  4. Let the cooker cool for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve the Dal Idli hot with some Coriander Chutney.


Kothimeera Verusenaga Pachadi (Coriander and Peanut Chutney)

Peanut and Coriander Chutney/Kothimeera Verusenaga Pachadi

Peanut and Coriander Chutney/Kothimeera Verusenaga Pachadi

Kothimeera Verusenaga Pachadi (Coriander and Peanut Chutney) is a versatile chutney that can used as an accompaniment to idli and dosa or then to spice up a sandwich (yes, yes, Indian sandwiches are laced with chutnies.:-)).

I like the chutney better than the plain Kothimeera Pachadi because it is far creamier because of the peanuts in it.

When I make this chutney for Sandwiches, it has no tempering. The tempering is added only when it is used as an accompaniment to idlis or dosas)

Yield: 3/4 Cup

Time: 10 Mins


  1. Fresh Coriander Leaves – 1 Packed Cup
  2. Peanuts – 1/4 Cup
  3. Green Chillies – 3 or 4
  4. Red Chilli – 1
  5. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Udad Dal – 1/2 tsp
  8. Oil – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste


  1. Dry roast the peanuts till they start to change colour.
  2. Let them cool.
  3. Rub the peanuts between palms of your hands to remove the peel. I do not remove the peel.
  4. Grind together coriander, peanuts, chillies, sugar, and salt with a little water to a smooth paste.
  5. For tempering:
    1. Heat the oil.
    2. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
    3. Add udad dal and fry till it is golden brown.
    4. Add the split red chilli and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
    5. Add the tempering to the chutney.

Onam Sadya (Onasadya) Specialities

As with all Indian festivals, Onam is celebrated with a spread of yummy delicacies. Here are a few dishes that are often a part of Onasadya:

  • Mambhazha Puliserry – A buttermilk based stew with ripe mangoes. This dish can also be made with a whole lot of different vegetables such as red pumpkin and ash gourd.
  • Olan – A coconut milk based stew with pumpkin, as gourd, and cow peas.
  • Kalan – Yet another buttermilk based stew; this time with raw banana and yam.
  • Avial – A mixed vegetable stew cooked with a coconut-cumin-green chilli paste and yoghurt.
  • Puli Inji – A tangy chutney with ginger, tamarind, and jaggery.
  • Ela Neer Payasam – A wonderful dessert made with coconut water.
  • Pal Payasam – A traditional milk pudding.
  • Pasi Paruppu Payasam – A yummy moong dal payasam.
  • Beans Thoran – A simple dry curry with french beans and coconut.
  • Beans and Carrot Thoran – Add some carrot to the beans thoran for a splash of colour and a touch of sweetness.
  • Cabbage Thoran – The perennial favourite among thorans.
  • Theeyal – You can make this with an assortment of vegetables such as bitter gourd, okra, and shallots.

Kalan – Onam Sadya Special

Kalan - Onam Sadya Special

Kalan – Onam Sadya Special

Onam, one of Kerala’s most important festivals, is just around the corner. It has always been my wish to cook  a full sadya (festive meal) on Onam but for assorted reasons it has not been possible. This year too, I will be away at a Gruhapravesham on Onam and so making the Onasadya (sadya made on Onam) takes a back seat. However, feasting on Onasadya will be on full-force.

One of the must-haves in Onasadya is Kalan; a buttermilk, raw banana and elephant yam based curry.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Raw Banana – 1
  2. Yam – 150 gms
  3. Sour Curd or Yoghurt – 2 Cups
  4. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  5. Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp
  6. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/3 tsp
  7. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  8. Grated Coconut – 1/2 Cup
  9. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  10. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  11. Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
  12. Curry Leaves – A Few
  13. Salt to Taste


  1. Grind the black pepper into a fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds till they start to change colour.
  3. Grind the fenugreek seeds into a fine powder. Set aside.
  4. Grind the coconut, green chillies, and cumin seeds to a fine paste.
  5. In a vessel, boil 2 cups of water.
  6. When the water starts to boil, turn the heat to low.
  7. Peel and cut the raw banana into 1/2″ cubes.
  8. Add to the boiling water.
  9. Peel and cut the yam into 1/2″ cubes.
  10. Add to the boiling water.
  11. Add the pepper water to the vegetables.
  12. Over medium heat, boil till the vegetables are cooked and the water is almost evapourated.
  13. Beat the yoghurt till it is smooth.
  14. Add salt, turmeric, and yoghurt to the cooked vegetables.
  15. Over medium heat, cook the mixture for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  16. Add the coconut-chilli-cumin paste.
  17. Mix well.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Add the fenugreek powder.
  20. In a ladle, heat the coconut oil.
  21. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  22. Add split red chillies and curry leaves.
  23. Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  24. Pour over the kalan.

Crispy Spicy Potatoes

Crispy Spicy Potatoes

Crispy Spicy Potatoes

Potatoes. What is about this root vegetable that can set my heart a-flutter. :-) This week I bought baby potatoes to make Dum Aloo. However, we were so full from the festive eating that we decided to skip the dum aloo and use the baby potatoes to make a stir-fry. This is a version where the potatoes are made even more crisper by using some rice flour.

Do give it a try. It is a smashing accompaniment to Sambar and Rice or Curd Rice.

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Mins


  1. Baby Potatoes – 25 to 30
    Large Potatoes – 6
  2. Rice Flour – 1 tbsp
  3. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  4. Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – A Few
  8. Oil – 2 tbsp
  9. Salt to Taste


  1. Place the potatoes in a large vessel.
  2. Pour enough water to cover the potatoes.
  3. Add 1 tsp salt.
  4. Pressure cook for just whistle. At this stage, the potatoes will just be parboiled. 
  5. Let the pressure cooker cool.
  6. Peel the potatoes.
  7. If you are using baby potatoes, quarter them.
    If you are using regular potatoes, cut them into 1/2″ cubes.
  8. Toss the potato pieces in rice flour. Ensure that the pieces are well-covered with the rice flour.
  9. In a wok or kadai, heat the oil.
  10. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  11. Turn the heat to low.
  12. Add the curry leaves and stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  13. Add the chilli powder, coriander powder, and turmeric.
  14. Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  15. Add the rice-flour dusted potato pieces.
  16. Turn the heat to medium-high.
  17. Stir-fry the potato pieces till the pieces are crisp and have browned edges.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Add salt.
  20. Mix well.
  21. Serve warm with Sambar Sadam.


  • Patience is the key to any good stir-fry.
  • Do not cover while frying or even afterwards. The condensation will turn the pieces soft.

Vegetables in Thai Green Curry Sauce

Vegetables in Thai Green Sauce

Vegetables in Thai Green Sauce

Vegetables in Thai Green Curry Sauce is a family favourite. At any Asian restaurant, it is possibly the first thing we will order. Given that we love it so much, we decided to try it at home and it was a great success!

The best part about this recipe is that you get all ingredients very easily in India.

Time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Thai Green Curry Paste

  1. Fresh Basil – 2/3 Cup
  2. Fresh Coriander – 1/2 Cup
  3. Fresh Lemon Grass Stalks – 2
  4. Shallots – 2
  5. Garlic Cloves – 2
  6. Ginger – 1″ piece
  7. Green Chillies – 3
  8. Pepper Corns – 8
  9. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  10. Coriander Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  11. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  12. Dark Soy Sauce – 1/2 tsp
  13. Brown Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  14. Coconut Milk – 1/4 Cup

Ingredients for the Vegetables Thai Green Curry Paste

  1. Red Bell Pepper – 1 small
  2. Yellow Bell Pepper – 1 small
  3. Broccoli Florets – 10 to 12 small
  4. Baby Corn – 8 to 10
  5. Coconut Milk – 3/4 Cup
  6. Oil – 1 tbsp
  7. Salt to Taste

Method to Make Thai Green Curry Paste

  1. In a hot pan, roast the cumin seeds for a couple of minutes.
  2. In a hot pan, roast the coriander seeds for a couple of minutes.
  3. Grind the coriander, cumin, and pepper to a fine powder.
  4. Grind together all ingredients to a fine paste.

Method to Make the Thai Green Curry

  1. Cut the peppers into thin long strips.
  2. Cut the baby corn into discs.
  3. In a wok, heat the oil.
  4. Add the thai green curry paste and saute for a minute.
  5. Add all the vegetables.
  6. Saute for 2 minutes.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of coconut milk and 1/3 cup water.
  8. Over medium cook till the vegetables are cooked.
  9. Add the rest of the coconut milk and salt.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Serve hot with steamed rice.


  • Be careful about the amount of salt because soy sauce tends to be quite salty.
Vegetables in Thai Green Sauce

Vegetables in Thai Green Sauce

Modakam (called Ukdiche Modak in Maharashtra and Vella Kozhukattai in Tamil Nadu) – Vinayaka Chaviti Naivedyam

Ukdiche Modak in Maharshtra or Vella Kozhukattai in Tamil Nadu

Ukdiche Modak or Vella Kozhukattai

Andariki Vinayaka Chavithi Shubhaakaankshalu. 

Modakam is synonymous with Ganapati or Vinayaka. When you think of Naivedyam for Vinayaka, the first thing that pops into the head in Modakam. I have been putting off writing about modak because I wanted to do a step-by-step post with detailed pics. However, I almost always make modak only on the occasion of Vinayaka Chavithi (called Ganesh Chaturthi in Maharashtra and Pillayar Chaturthi in Tamil Nadu).  On the festival days, I am multi-tasking and washing hands every now-and-then to take pics is next to impossible. This year was no different.

Though I did not have pictures for every step, I decided to go ahead and post the recipe anyway. First, there are many blogs on the Internet that give the step by step procedure. Second, this time around I made the modakam using a mold and was pleased with the pretty pretty shape. :-)

So here we go!

Makes: 20-25

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients for the Covering

  1. Rice Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Water – 1.25 Cups
  3. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  4. Sesame Oil – 1 tsp

Ingredients for the Poornam

  1. Fresh Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
  2. Grated Jaggery – 3/4 Cup
  3. Green Cardamom – 4
  4. Water – 1 tbsp

Other Ingredients

  • Sesame Oil – ~2 tsp (for greasing)

Method to Make the Poornam

  1. Peel the cardamom and crush the seeds to a fine powder.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed vessel, melt the jaggery along with the water.
  3. When the jaggery is completely melted and starts to bubble, turn down the heat.
    1. Turn down the heat.
    2. Add the cardamom powder and grated coconut.
    3. Mix well.
    4. Keep mixing till the mixture starts to form a ball.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Take the poornam out onto a plate or vessel.
  6. Let the poornam cool till it is just warm.
  7. Shapethepoornam into small balls.
    • Use about 1 to 1.25 tsp of poornam for each ball.
    • Greasing your palms with make the task easier.
  8. Set the poornam balls aside.

Method to Make the Dough for the Outer Cover

  1. Bring the water to a boil.
  2. When the water starts to boil:
    1. Turn down the heat.
    2. Add the salt and sesame oil.
    3.  Mix well.
    4. Add the rice flour.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Keep mixing till the dough starts to form a ball.
  5. Remove the dough into a plate.

Making the Modak or Kozhukattai by Hand

  1. Grease your palms.
  2. Shape the dough into small balls.
    • Use about 1.5 tsp of dough for each ball.
    • Greasing your palms with make the task easier.
  3. Place one rice flour dough ball in one palm.
  4. Using the fingers of the other hand, gently press the dough ball to flatten it.
    • The thickness of the disk should be that of a paratha.
  5. Place one ball of poornam in the middle of the disc.
  6. Gently fold the disc over the poornam to cover it completely.
  7. Gently pull the dough at the top to get the triangular or modak shape.
  8. Pinch off the extra dough.
  9. Repeat steps 1 to 7 to make the remaining modaks.
  10. Grease a flat-bottomed steel dish or a “dabba”.
  11. Place the modaks in the greashed dish.
  12. Cover the dish.
  13. In a pressure cooker, steam the modaks for about 10 minutes.
  14. Let the cooker cool before taking out the modaks.

Making the Modak or Kozhukattai Using a Mould

Modak or Kozhukattai Mould


  1. Grease the mould.
  2. Close the mould.
  3. Use the rice flour dough to line the mould.
  4. Using greased fingers, press the dough such that it covers all sides of the mould.
    • Be sure to get the dough into the tip of the mould.
    • Remove excess dough.
  5. Once the rice dough covers the inside of the mould,placesomepoornam into hollow.
    1. Gently press with your fingers so that the modak is “packed” with the poornam.
    2. Be sure not to fill the mould to the brim with the poornam. You need space for the bottom covering.
  6. Using the rice dough, make a small disc. The disc should be slightly larger in  diameter than the opening of the mould. 
    • Press the disc gently so that it goes into the mould.
  7. Gently open the mould and take out the modak.
  8. Repeat steps 1 to 7 to make the remaining modaks.
  9. Grease a flat-bottomed steel dish or a “dabba”.
  10. Placethemodaks in the greased dish.

    Modak or Kozhukattai - Ready to Be Steamed

    Modak or Kozhukattai – Ready to Be Steamed

  11. Cover the dish.
  12. In a pressure cooker, steam the modaks for about 10 minutes.
  13. Let the cooker cool before taking out the modaks.

Use the left over rice dough to make Undrallu Guggillu or Ammini Kozhukattai. You could even add some sesame seeds and chilli powder to it and make Palakayalu.