Sri Rama Navami Naivedyam Recipes (March 28, 2015)

March 28, 2015 is Sri Rama Navami or the festival that celebrates the birth of Sri Rama. It also marks the end of Chaitra Navaratri.

The traditional naivedyam for Sri Rama Navami includes:

  • Panakam – A cooling drink made with dried ginger, jaggery, and pepper
  • Vada Pappu – A soaked moong and cucumber salad
  • Chalimidi – A sweet made with rice flour
  • Majjiga – Spiced Buttermilk

In Andhra Pradesh, the Sree Seetha Ramachandra Swamy temple at Bhadrachalam is the centre of some glorious celebrations. This is a temple constructed by Kancharla Gopanna who was popularly known as Bhakta Ramadas, who was a also a great composer.

You can listen to some beautiful renditions of Ramadasu Kritis at

Shree Rama Rama Rameti
Rame Raame Manorame
Sahasranaama Tat Tulyam
Raama Naama Varaanane||

Carrot Hesarubele Kosambari – Carrot and Split Mung Salad – Rama Navami Special

Carrot and Moong Dal Salad

Carrot Kosambari

Kosambari is a traditional naivedyam for Rama Navami which heralds the end of Chaitra Navaratri. I have already written about the traditional Kosambari which is made from Cucumber and Moong Dal.

Here is a version of Kosambari made with carrot. I make it often through the summer as it is a light, tangy, crunchy salad.

Serves: 2


  1. Grated Carrot – 1 Cup
  2. Moong Dal – 1/2 Cup
  3. Grated Coconut – 1/4 Cup
  4. Green Chillies – 2
  5. Lemon Juice – 1 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – 4 to 6
  8. Oil – 1 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste

Carrot Kosambari - The Ingredients


  1. Soak the moong dal in water for about 1 hour.
  2. Drain all the water from the moong dal.
  3. Chop the green chillies to very small pieces.
  4. Mix together the grated coconut, drained moong dal, grated carrot, lemon juice, green chillies, and salt.
  5. Heat the oil.
  6. Add the mustard seeds.
  7. When the mustard seeds start to crackle, turn off the heat.
  8. Add the curry leaves to the hot oil and mix.
  9. Add the tempering to the Carrot Kosambari.
  10. Let the Carrot Kosambari rest for at least 10 minutes.
  11. Serve as a part of a meal or eat like a salad.
Carrot Kosambari for Rama Navami Karnataka or Udupi Cuisine

Carrot Kosambari


I am taking this to the party at Fiesta Friday #60!

Fiesta Fridayand



Kothambir Vadi – Coriander Fritters – A Low Oil Version


Kothambir Vadi

Kothambir Vadi

Kothambir Vadi or fritters made with Coriander (Kothmir) and chickpea flour (besan) is a great tea-time favourite is Maharashtra.

I was reminded of it when one of my team member’s wives sent me some. Her version was loaded with Coriander and oh-so-crumbly-and-light and this is what I made last weekend.

Kothambir Vadi could be deep-fried or shallow-fried and I chose the latter option. Also, the consistency and texture depends on the proportion of besan to fresh coriander. Higher the proportion of Kothambir, lighter and more crumbly is the vadi.

You could also eat the vadi by itself, after it has been steamed and before it is fried. At this stage it is cooked and is delectable in itself!

Makes: 10 to 12

Time: 60 Minutes


  1. Besan or Chickpea Flour – 1.5 Cups
  2. Kothambir or Fresh Coriander Leaves – 2 Cups
  3. Hari Mirch or Green Chillies – 3 or 4 (more if you want the vadi spicier)
  4. Adrak or Fresh Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  5. Til or Sesame Seeds – 1 tbsp
  6. Haldi or Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  7. Tel or Oil – 3-4 tbsp
  8. Namak or Salt to Taste
  9. Paani or Water as Required
Kothambir Vadi - The Ingredients

Kothambir Vadi – The Ingredients


  1. Sieve together the besan and turmeric.
  2. Chop the fresh coriander leaves to very fine pieces.
  3. Grind together the green chillies and ginger to a coarse paste.
  4. Dry roast/toast the sesame seeds till they start to change colour.
  5. Mix together the besan, turmeric, coriander, green chilly-ginger paste, and sesame seeds.
  6. To this dry mix, add some salt and mix well.
  7. Gradually add water and make a firm yet pliable dough.
  8. Oil your hand with about 1/2 tsp of oil.
  9. Roll the dough into a 8″ inch log about 2″ in diameter.Kothambir Vadi - Ready Dough
  10. Oil a colander or a vessel with a flat base.
  11. Place the roll in a colander or vessel. Ensure that there is enough space for the roll to expand a bit (about 30%).
  12. If you are using a colander, place it in another vessel.
  13. In a pressure cooker, add enough water to form a 1.5″ layer.
  14. Place the vessel with the uncooked dough the pressure cooker.
  15. Steam for 10 minutes.
  16. Let the cooker cool for about 15 minutes till it is just warm.
  17. Open the cooker and take out the steamed Kothambir Vadi roll.Kothambir Vadi - Steamed
  18. Cut the roll into slices that are about 1/2″ thick.Kothambir Vadi - Cut into Slices
  19. Heat a tava and oil with about 1 tbsp oil.
  20. Place the Kothambir Vadi into the pan.
  21. Cook over medium heat for about 7 minutes or till the side touching the tava starts to brown. Drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges of the Vadi, if required.
  22. Flip over.
  23. Drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges of the vadis.Kothambir Vadi - Toast the Other Side
  24. Cook till the flip side starts to brown as well.
  25. Serve hot by itself or with Tomato Ketchup!
    Kothambir Vadi - Ready to Enjoy

I am taking this tasty snack to the parties at:

Recipes for Ugadi, the Telugu New Year (March 21, 2015)


ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు! Ugadi Shubhakankshalu! 


Ugadi, the Telugu New Year, is a time of celebration with family and friends. Here are a few recipes for dishes traditionally prepared on Ugadi:

Paruppu Adai (Mixed Lentil Pancake/Mixed Dal Dosa)

Parippu Adai

Parippu Adai with Jaggery

On weekends, I like to have a “different” breakfast. By different, I mean not idli, upma, poha… etc. which are my staple for weekdays. So I have a wide variety of dosas (and variations thereof) that I like to make.Two  of my favorites are Pesarattu and Paruppu Adai.

I have already posted the recipe for Pesarattu, so here is the recipe for Paruppu Adai.

To all my health and diet conscious friends: Want a yummy protein-packed, fibre-rich breakfast? Try this dosa. :-)


  1. Rice – 1/2 Cup
  2. Kandi Pappu/Tuvar Dal/Pigeon Pea – 1/4 Cup
  3. Senaga Pappu/Chana Dal/Bengal Gram – 1/4 Cup
  4. Pesalu/Moong/Green Gram – 1/8 Cup
  5. Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp
  6. Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  8. Salt to Taste
  9. Oil 


  1. Soak rice and dals with enough water for at least 6-8 hours.

    Paruppu Adai - The Soaked Dals and Rice

    Paruppu Adai – The Soaked Dals and Rice

  2. Drain the water, and wash the soaked rice and dal well.
  3. Add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder, and asafoetida.

    Paruppu Adai - Ready for Grinding

    Paruppu Adai – Ready for Grinding

  4. With a little water, grind the soaked rice-dal mix into a coarse thick paste.

    Paruppu Adai - The Ground Batter

    Paruppu Adai – The Ground Batter

  5. Heat a tava till its hot.
  6. Add 1 tsp oil and spread over the entire surface.

    Paruppu Adai - Oil the Tava

    Paruppu Adai – Oil the Tava

  7. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  8. Using a heavy ladle, pour a ladle-full of batter into the centre of the tava.
  9. Use the ladle and spread outwards to form a thickish round dosa.

    Paruppu Adai - Spread the Batter

    Paruppu Adai – Spread the Batter

  10. Turn up the heat and drizzle a little oil along the edges.
  11. Wait till the surface dries out. Rotate the pan if required.
  12. Using a spatula, loosen the edges of the dosa and work towards the middle.
  13. Flip the dosa over.
  14. If required, drizzle a little oil along the edges.
  15. Let the flip side of the dosa cook.
  16. Fold in half.

    Paruppu Adai - Ready to Eat

    Paruppu Adai – Ready to Eat

  17. Serve hot with jaggery and fresh white butter.


  • Some people make a hole at the centre of the dosa or small cuts on the surface of the dosa, and drizzle a few drops of oil in these holes to ensure that the dosa is well cooked and crisp.
  • The batter should be thicker than a regular dosa but thinner than that of idli. :-)

Homemade Sambar Podi or Sambar Powder

Freshly Made Sambar Powder

Freshly Made Sambar Powder

When one is a blogger, one gets so caught up in thinking up new and exotic recipes that basics sometimes take the back seat or indeed, are forgotten. At least that is the case with me.

It was while writing about Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu that I realised that I had not posted the recipe for Sambar Powder and so set about rectifying this oversight.

There are oh-so-many variations of Sambar Powder. In fact, there must be more than one version in every district in South India! :-)

This recipe for Sambar Powder is the one I make at home. I make it in small batches because I love the aroma of fresh Sambar Powder.

An important caveat: Most recipes for Sambar Powder call for a lot of red chillies. You should use your judgement based on the spiciness of the chillies you have. In this recipe, I have used fewer chillies because the ones in my home are really spicy!

Makes: 2 Cups

  1. Tuvar Dal or Husked Split Pigeon Pea – 2 tbsp
  2. Channa Dal or Husked Split Bengal Gram – 2 tbsp
  3. Urad Dal or Husked Split Black Gram – 2 tbsp
  4. Saboot Dhania or Coriander Seeds – 1.5 cup
  5. Akha Spicy Dry Red Chillis – 2 Packed Cups
  6. Methi Dana or Fenugreek Seeds – 1 tbsp
  7. Jeera or Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
  8. Kali Miri or Whole Pepper – 1 tbsp
  9. Haldi or Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tbsp
  10. Hing or Asafoetida – 1 tsp


  1. Inaheavy-bottomedkadhai, over medium flame, dry roast all the dals together.

    Sambar - Dry Roast the Dals

    Sambar – Dry Roast the Dals

  2. Roast till the dals turn golden brown.

    Sambar Powder - The Roasted Dals

    Sambar Powder – The Roasted Dals

  3. Add Fenugreek seeds and dry roast for 2 minutes.

    Sambar Powder - Add Fenugreek Seeds

    Sambar Powder – Add Fenugreek Seeds

  4. Add coriander seeds and dry roast till the coriander seeds give off a pleasant aroma.

    Sambar Powder - Add Coriander Seeds

    Sambar Powder – Add Coriander Seeds

  5. Add pepper and cumin, and dry roast for 2 minutes.

    Sambar Powder - Add Pepper and Cumin Seeds

    Sambar Powder – Add Pepper and Cumin Seeds

  6. Add the red chillies and dry roast till they start to change colour.

    Sambar Powder - Add Red Chillies

    Sambar Powder – Add Red Chillies

  7. Remove into a plate and set aside the entire mix to cool.
  8. While the mix is still warm, add the turmeric and asafoetida.

    Sambar Powder - Add Turmeric and Asafoetida

    Sambar Powder – Add Turmeric and Asafoetida

  9. Let the mix cool completely.
  10. Grind to a fine powder.
  11. Store in an airtight bottle.
  12. Make yummy Sambar, Sambar Rice or Paruppu Urundai Khuzhambu.


  • Traditionally, each of the ingredients is roasted separately. I lack the patience to do that. I also find that the method I have used does not change the taste in any way.
  • The proportions I have used will give you a spicy sambar powder. For a milder version, use less chillies (then your sambar powder will not be so red), use a less spicier breed of chillies, or use 1 cup spicy chillies and 1 cup Kashmiri chillies.


Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu (Lentil Balls in a Tangy, Spicy Gravy) – Recipe by Lalitha Krishnan

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu, Lentil Balls in Spicy Tangy Gravy from Tamil Nadu

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

I have been meaning to write about Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu for the longest time. In fact ever since I started the blog, but have been putting it off. I finally made it over the long Holi weekend and what a wonderful treat it was!

Paruppu Urundai literally means Lentil Balls, while Kuzhambu means a gravy made primarily of Tamarind.

I first tasted this super delicious dish about 6 years ago at the home of Mrs. Lalitha Krishnan, who is the mother of one of my friends. She had made Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu for her daughter, who apparently loves the dish, and as I was visiting I had a second round of lunch at their home exclusively to taste this dish. :-)

Mrs. Krishnan is a super cook and I have had many a sumptuous meal cooked by her. This is the first of many of her recipes that I hope to share with you.

Serves: 4

Soaking Time: 2 hours

Cooking Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients for the Paruppu Urundai

  1. Tuvar Dal or Split Pigeon Pea – 2/3 Cup
  2. Red Chillies – 4
  3. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  4. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  5. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Kuzhambu

  1. Sambar Powder – 1 tbsp
  2. Thick Tamarind Pulp – 2 tbsp
  3. Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp
  4. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Curry Leaves – A Few
  6. Salt to Taste

Method to Make the Paruppu Urundai

  1. Wash and soak the Tuvar Dal in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.
  2. Drain the water and leavethesoakedTuvar Dal in the colander for about 15 minutes to drain completely.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Drain the Soaked Dal

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Drain the Soaked Dal

  3. Add the soaked dal to the grinder.
  4. Add salt, red chillies, turmeric, and asafoetida.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Grind the Dal, Red Chilli, Turmeric and Salt

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Grind the Dal, Red Chilli, Turmeric, Asafoetida, and Salt

  5. Grind to a coarse paste.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - The Ground Paruppu Urundai Paste

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – The Ground Paruppu Urundai Paste

  6. Add the paste to a coldwokorKadhai.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Dry Roast the Paste

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Dry Roast the Paste

  7. Dry roast the paste till the raw smell disappears and the paste dries out just bit. Do not fry the paste too much because then the Urundai will be rock hard.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - The Roasted Paste

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – The Roasted Paste

  8. Let the paste cool.
  9. Divide the paste into 12-16 equal portions.
  10. Rolleachportion into a ball (urundai).

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Make the Urundai

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Make the Urundai

  11. Set aside the Paruppu Urundai.

Method to Make the Kuzhambu

  1. Dissolve the tamarind paste in 1 cup of water.
  2. In a large vessel or wok, heat the sesame oil.
  3. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Heat Sesame Oil and Add Mustard Seeds

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Heat Sesame Oil and Add Mustard Seeds

  4. Add the Sambar Powder, Curry Leaves, and diluted Tamarind Paste.
  5. Bring to a boil.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add Tamarind Paste and Sambar Powder

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Add Tamarind Paste and Sambar Powder

  6. Add 2 cups of water and boil till the Kuzhambu reduces by a third. The Kuzhambu will be watery at this stage; it will thicken after you add the Urundai.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add Water and Boil

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Add Water and Boil

  7. Reduce the flame.
  8. Add the Paruppu Urundai to the Kuzhambu. The Paruppu Urundai will sink to the bottom.

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Add the Balls to the Boiling Kuzhambu

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu – Add the Balls to the Boiling Kuzhambu

  9. Over medium heat, continue to boil the Kuzhambu till the Paruppu Urundai float to the top. This is how you know the Urundai are cooked. The Kuzhambu would have also thickened and reduced in quantity at this stage.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Add salt and mix well.
  12. Serve with steamed rice.
  13. Enjoy!

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

    Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

I am taking this to the party at Fiesta Friday # 59.

Fiesta Friday

Mango Dal – Konkani Style (Ambe Daali or Lentils with Raw Mango)

Konkani Style Mango Dal or Ambe Daali

Konkani Style Mango Dal or Ambe Daali

Mammidikaya Pappu or Andhra Style Raw Mango Dal was the very first recipe that I posted when I started the blog. And as is wont with something new I told all my friends that I had started a blog. One of the many who visited my blog was my friend Almas. The instant tip that I got from her was make the same dal and add some coconut to the tempering as the Konkanis do.

As you can see it tool me 3 years to try this and now I am kicking myself about why I did not try it earlier!

So this past week, when I made Mango Dal, Almas Style!


  1. Tuvar Dal  – 1 Cups
  2. Raw Mango – 1 Large (or 2 Small)
  3. Red Chillies – 2-3 (more if you like it hot, as I do!)
  4. Mustard Seeds  – 1/2 tsp
  5. Ghee – 1/2 tsp
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 Tsp
  7. Water – 2 to 3 Cups
  8. Garlic Cloves – 4 to 6 (Optional)
  9. Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
  10. A few curry leaves
  11. Salt to Taste


  1. Soak tuvar dal in 2 cups water for about an hour.
  2. Peel the mango and chop into 1/2″ pieces.
  3. Pressure cook the dal and mango pieces separately till done.
  4. Mash the dal.
  5. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat ghee on a low flame till it melts.
  6. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add the garlic pods and fry till golden brown.
  8. Add split red chillies, turmeric, and curry leaves.
  9. Stir fry for a few seconds.
  10. Add the grated coconut and saute for a few seconds.
  11. Add dal, mango pieces, and salt.
  12. Add some water, if required.
  13. Mix well and bring to a boil.
  14. Serve hot with rice and ghee.
Konkani Style Mango Dal or Ambli Daali Saar

Konkani Style Mango Dal or Ambli Daali


  • Soaking the dal is just a way of making it cook faster.
  • Do not mix the dal and the mango before cooking. The sourness in the mango stops the dal from cooking easily.
  • Mango pieces are done when they look transparent and can be mashed by hand.
  • You can make this dal to be thick or to have pouring consistency like sambar.
  • We often have Potato Fry or Bhindi Fry as a side-dish.


Dharwad Pedhas or Mathura Peda with Dulce de Leche – Quick and Easy

Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda

Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda

It all started with someone posting pictures of Dharwad Peda (aka Mathura Pedha) on one of the Facebook food groups and thanking Aparna Bhat for her awesome recipe. Normally, I am able to wait a week or so before trying tempting recipes, but not this time.

You see Dharwad Pedha is one of my most favouritest food in this whole wide world, as my family and Dr. Dixit will testify. Who is Dr. Dixit, you say? He is a colleague of my mother’s and a family friend. Each time Dr. Dixit went to Dharwad (his hometown) he would get us generous amounts of Dharwad Pedha and Belgaum Kunda. In fact, I used to so so look forward to Dr. Dixit’s visit to his native place so that he could get me some. :-)

As you can see, I looked forward to Dr. Dixit’s bi-annual visits to Dharwad more than him! :D

So when I saw that you could make Dharwad Pedas quickly at home, I was ecstatic and tried the recipe immediately.

The recipe I followed was Aparna’s Dharwad Pedha. However, I used Mava and made the pedha in an iron kadai. The appearance and texture of my pedha’s is more like that of Mathura Peda, which is grainier than Dharwad Pedha but has the same flavour. I intend to try this Pedha again with milk powder for a smoother texture. I will update this post when I do!

I made Dulce de Leche using condensed milk and in a pressure cooker the day before so it did not take much time to make the pedas.

Dulce de Leche with Condensed Milk and Made in a Pressure Cooker

Dulce de Leche

Do visit Aparna’s marvellous blog called Flavors and Colors. I discovered it just recently and am already a fan.

Makes: 12 to 16

Time: 60 Minutes (With Dulce de Leche already made)


  1. Dulce de Leche – 100 ml
  2. Mava – 100 gms
  3. Caster Sugar – 2 tbsp (optional)


  1. Place the mava in the cold kadhai.

    Dharwad Pedha - Mava in the Kadhai

    Dharwad Pedha – Mava in the Kadhai

  2. Over low flame, heat the mava till it starts to melt a bit.

    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda  - The Heated Mava

    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda – The Heated Mava

  3. Add the Dulce de Leche to the Mava.

    Dharwad Pedha pr Mathura Peda - Mix the Mava and Dule de Leche

    Dharwad Pedha pr Mathura Peda – Mix the Mava and Dule de Leche

  4. Mix well so that the Mava and Dulce de Leche are well incorporated.

    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda - Khoya  or Mava and Dulce de Leche

    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda – Khoya or Mava and Dulce de Leche

  5. Continue to cook till the mix turns thick.
    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda - The Ready Dough

    Dharwad Pedha or Mathura Peda – The Ready Dough


  6. Let the mix cool.
  7. Divide the mix into 12 or 16 equal portions.
  8. Roll each portion into a ball and flatten it slightly.
  9. You can roll each Pedha in Caster Sugar.
  10. Enjoy!
Dharwad Peda or Mathura Pedha Quick and Easy

Dharwad Peda or Mathura Pedha

Shankarpali, Shakkar Para or Sweet Maida Diamond Biscuit – Holi Special – Fiesta Friday #58

Shakkar Pare or Shankarpali

Shakkar Pare or Shankarpali

Shakkar Pare or Shankarpali are crunchy-muchies of the sweet sort that are a great favourite with Indians. Commonly made during festivals such as Diwali or Holi, these sweet treats are quite popular with young and old alike.

Time: 60 Minutes


  1. Maida or Refined Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Powdered Sugar – 1/4 Cup
  3. Ghee – 2 tbsp
  4. Milk – 3 tbsp or as required
  5. Salt – A Pinch
  6. Oil to Fry

Method to Make the Dough

  1. Sift together the salt, sugar and maida.
  2. Make a well in the centre of the maida.
  3. Melt the ghee and pour it into the well.
  4. Fold some of the maida into the ghee.
  5. Mix the ghee and maida well till the flour is crumbly.
  6. Now gradually mix the milk to form a firm dough. Add just enough milk so that the dough forms into a smooth yet firm ball.
  7. Cover the dough and set aside for 10 minutes.

Method to Make the Shankarpali or Shakkar Pare

  1. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts.
  2. Roll each part into a ball.
  3. Roll one of the balls into a circle. Be sure you do not roll it too thin.
  4. Using a sharp knife:
    1. Cut the circle into 1″ strips.
    2. Now cut the strips diagonally at 1″ intervals so that you have diamond-shaped pieces.
  5. Set the pieces aside.
  6. Repeat the process with the other two balls of dough.

Method to Fry the Shankarpali or Shakkar Pare

  1. In a kadhai or wok, over medium flame, heat enough oil.
  2. To test if the oil is hot enough:
    1. Drop a small piece of dough into the oil.
    2. If the dough rises immediately to the surface, the oil is hot enough.
  3. Drop a few pieces of the Shakkar Pare into the oil.
  4. Fry till the Shakkar Pare are golden brown.
  5. Remove from the oil and place on a kitchen tissue so that excess oil is absorbed.
  6. Repeat steps 3 to 5 to fry the rest of the Shakkar Pare.
  7. Let the Shakkar Pare cool to room temperature.
  8. Store in an air-tight container.


  1. The oil should not be smoking hot. If it is, the Shankarpali will burn.
  2. Be sure to constantly stir the Shankarpali as they fry and keep a sharp eye on them. Because these treats have sugar in them, they tend to brown very quickly.

In fact, this snack would be perfect for the part that is on at Fiesta Friday #58.

Fiesta Friday


Magai Pappu – Guest Post by Sandhya Nag

Magai Pappu or Magaya Pappu

Magai Pappu or Magaya Pappu

The other day I had posted the pictures for Magai (a dried raw mango pickle from Andhra Pradesh) on one of the food groups as also the pictures for two chutneys that we make with Magai; Teepi Magai Pachadi and Magai Perugu Pachadi.

This was when Sandhya Nag mentioned Magai Pappu and generously shared her recipe instantly. The one thing that you need to know about Sandhya is that she is generous; whether with praise or sharing information. You always find her saying something encouraging or sharing an informative tip or two.

I tried Sandhya’s recipe for Magai Pappu this past weekend and it turned out to be simple great; tangy and  spicy.

Now I know what to do when the craving hits and I have no raw mango on hand!

Thank you, Sandhya!

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes


  1. Kandi Pappu or Tuvar Dal – 1 Cup
  2. Magai – 1/4 Cup
  3. Neyyi or Ghee – 2 tsp
  4. Avalu or Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Jeelakarra or Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  6. Endu Mirapakaya or Red Chillies – 2
  7. Pasupu or Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  8. Karivepaku or Curry Leaves – A Few
  9. Inguva or Asafoetida – A Pinch
  10. Uppu or Salt to Taste


  1. Pressure cook the tuvar dal with 2 cups of water till it is of mashable consistency.
  2. With a ladle, mash the dal.
  3. Add the magai to the dal and mix well.
  4. Add the salt to the dal and mix well.
  5. Add some water, if required to the dal.
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Heat the ghee.
  9. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  10. Add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, red chillies, and asafoetida.
  11. Add the tempering the dal.
  12. Mix well.
  13. Serve hot with steamed white rice.

Akki Rotti – A Karnataka Special Rice Flour Pancake – Fiesta Friday #57


Akki Rotti - Ready to Enjoy

Akki Rotti


A few hours ago, I was flipping through my recipes books wondering what to try next. And boy, did I end up confused! I wanted to make the Rajasthani Dal-Baati, Konkani Amti, Andhra Bandar Laddoo, Tamil Nadu’s Vathal Kuzhambu ….. The list is endless.

It would take several lifetimes to explore all the cuisines in India.

I finally settled on Akki Rotti, a savoury rice flour pancake from the Southern Indian state of Karnataka. The main reason was that I love it! Whenever I am in Bangalore, I do try to have Akki Rotti.

Akki Rotti is to Kannadigas what Parathas are to Punjabis. First it is sacred and second there are any number of variations. I made the simplest of Akki Rottis and it turned out to be delicious!

Makes: 4 x 6″Akki Rottis

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 Minutes


  1. Rice Flour – 1.25 Cups
  2. Onion – 1 Medium
  3. Green Chillies – 2
  4. Fresh Coriander – A Handful
  5. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Salt to Taste
  7. Oil
  8. Water

Method to Make the Akki Rotti Dough

  1. Chop the onion, green chillies and coriander into fine pieces.
  2. Add some salt and cumin seeds to the rice flour.
    Akki Rotti - The Ingredients
  3. Mix together the rice flour, cumin seeds, green chillies, onion, and coriander.
  4. Taste a small portion of the flour to check for and adjust the salt. It should just a touch less salty than you want it. 
  5. Make a small well in the middle of the dry mix.
    Akki Rotti - The Dry Mix
  6. Add a little bit of water in the centre of the dry mix.
  7. Start mixing the dry ingredients into a dough. Add water as required.
  8. The dough is ready when it forms a firm but pliable ball.
    Akki Rotti - The Mixed Dough

Method to Make the Akki Roti

  1. Divide the dough into 4 or 5 equal portion.
  2. Roll each portion into a ball.
  3. Oil a cold tavaIf you are using a non-stick, you can skip the oil if you wish. I still use a drop or two.
  4. Place one portion of the dough in the centre of the pan.
    Akki Rotti - Place the Dough Ball on a Cold Pan
  5. Moisten your fingers.
  6. Press the dough into a thin round pancake.
    Akki Tori - Press into a Flat Thin Pancake
  7. Make a small hole in the center of the Akki Rotti.
  8. Make a few cuts at various points.
    Akki Rotti - Make a Hole in the Centre and a Few Cuts
  9. Place the tava on a flame.
  10. When the tava heats up, drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges of the Akki Rotti as well as in the centre.
  11. Let the Akki Rotti cook till the surface dries.
  12. Flip over and cook for a couple of minutes.
    Akki Rotti - Flip Over
  13. Serve hot with a generous dollop of white butter, Coconut Chutney or Tomato-Onion Chutney.
    Akki Rotti - Ready to Eat

Before Making the Next Akki Rotti

  1. Turn down the flame.
  2. Hold the tava under cold water to cool it down.
  3. Repeat the steps to make the Akki Rotti.

An Alternate Way

  • Make the Akki Rotti on a piece of butter paper or banana leaf and then transfer to the Tava.


  • Akki Rotti should be eaten hot.
  • I do not recommend making the dough well in advance of making Akki Rottis as it tends to dry out.
  • You can spice up the Akki Rotti with dill, grated carrots, grated cucumber, Avarakkai (broad beans), seeds and so much more.

I am taking this to:

Fiesta Friday

Virtual Vegan Linky Potluck

Patishapta – Guest Post for Vidya Srinivasan of Traditionally Modern Food

Patishapta - A Bengali Speciality for Poush Parbon

Patishapta – A Bengali Speciality for Poush Parbon

There are some people with whom there is an instant connect. Vidya of Traditionally Modern Food is one such person for me. I have come to love Vidya’s style of recipes; simple, healthy and traditional. Her no-fuss cooking style suits my working woman lifestyle while her focus on keeping food healthy helps with my constant battle with the bulge. :-)

I am truly honoured and excited to do this guest post for Vidya. She made this fabulous Custard Powder Halwa as a guest post for me and this is my chance to reciprocate her generosity.

When I was talking to Vidya about what she would like, she mentioned that she loves sweets and left the choice up to me. I needed a sweet that befitted the sweet person that Vidya is and so I thought of Patishapta.

Patishapta is a traditional Bengali sweet made during Sankranti or (Poush Parbon as it is called in Bengal). It is very easy make and super delicious. Patishapta is essentially a pancake stuffed with a date palm jaggery-coconut-khoya mix. I used coconut palm jaggery because I had it at home. You could also use regular jaggery or just Sugar. If you want to make it creamy, just use sweetened condensed milk. As you can see, you are spoilt for choice. :-)

I added a bit more sweet to it by using a drizzle of sweetened condensed milk at the end.

The recipe for Patishapta is on Vidya’s blog at

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes

Makes: 6 to 8

Ingredients for the Filling

  1. Fresh Grated Coconut or Desiccated Coconut – 2 Cups
  2. Grated Palm Jaggery or Sugar – 3/4 Cup
  3. Crumbled Khoya or Mava – ½ Cup

Ingredients for Pancake Batter

  1. Maida or All Purpose Flour – 2 Cups
  2. Rice Flour – 2 tbsp
  3. Rava or Semolina – ¼ cup
  4. Sugar – 3 tbsp
  5. Milk – 3 to 3.5 Cups
  6. Oil – 2 to 3 tbsp

Other Ingredients

  1. Sweetened Condensed Milk – 4 tbsp
  2. Milk – 2 tbsp

Method to Make the Filling

Patishapta - Filling Ingredients

  1. Mix the grated coconut, jaggery, and mava together.
  2. Place them in a heavy-bottomed pan or Kadhai.
    Patishapta - Mix the Ingredients
  3. On low to medium heat, cook the ingredients till the jaggery melts and the mix becomes sticky.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Set aside.

Method to Make the Pancake Batter

  1. Dissolve the sugar in 2 cups of milk.
  2. Mix together the maida, rava, and rice flour.
  3. Add the sweetened milk and mix well to form a smooth, lump-free batter.
  4. Now add the rest of the milk slowly to create a batter of pourable consistency.
    Patishapta - The Batter for the Pancake

Method to Make Patishapta

  1. Over medium flame, heat a tava or a pan.
  2. Spread a few drops of oil.
    Pan with Oil
  3. Pour about ½ cup of batter and let it spread by itself into a circle.
    Patishapta - Pancake Cooking
  4. When the edges start to brown, turn the heat to low.
  5. Place about 1.5 tbsps of the filling in the centre of the pancake in the shape of a thin long tube.
    Place Filling on the Pancake
  6. Fold over the edges.
    Patishapta - Fold Over the Pancake
  7. Let it Patishapta cook for a minute or so.
  8. Repeat steps 2 to 7 to make other Patishaptas.

Serving the Patishapta

  1. Just before serving the Patishapta, mix the sweetened condensed milk and regular milk together.
  2. Over low flame, heat the mix till warm.
  3. In a plate, place one Patishapta.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of warmed condensed milk over the Patishapta.
  5. Take a bite, close your eyes and savour the taste!

Patishapta - Ready to Eat - 2


Want to read more of Vidya’s recipes? Visit her social network at:

I am taking this recipe to:


Tomato Omelette or Vegetarian Omelet – A Maharashtrian Favourite for Fiesta Friday #56

One thing about vegetarians in India is that we think up of a vegetarian alternative for every non-vegetarian dish. The Tomato Omelette (also known as Vegetarian Omelet because of its “looks”) is Maharashtra’s answer to the traditional egg omelette.

You will find it on many a menu and is traditionally served with buttered bread, tomato ketchup, and spicy coriander chutney. I served it with some Salsa Verde which I had leftover from the week.

It is also a very easy dish to make and can be whipped up in a jiffy, be it for breakfast or then afternoon tiffin/snacks.

Makes: 6 to 8

Time: 45 Minutes


  1. Besan or Gram Flour – 1 Cup
  2. Chawal ka Atta or Rice Flour – 1 tbsp
  3. Gehun ka Atta or Wheat Flour – 1 tbsp (or increase rice flour by 1 tbsp)
  4. Tomato – 1 Large
  5. Onion – 1 small (optional)
  6. Green Chillies – 2
  7. Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander – 2 tbsp
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste
  10. Oil for Making the Omelettes

Method to Make the Batter

  1. Chop the tomato into fine pieces.
  2. Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.
  3. Chop the green chilli into fine pieces.
  4. Sieve together the gram, rice, and wheat flours.
  5. Mix together the flours, tomato, onion, green chilli and turmeric.
  6. Gradually add about 1.75 cups of water to make a thin batter of pouring consistency.
  7. Ensure there are no lumps.
  8. Add salt and mix well.

Method to Make the Tomato Omelette

  1. Over medium flame, heat a griddle or tava.
  2. Add about 1/2 tsp of oil and spread well.
  3. Add a large ladle of batter in the centre of the pan.
  4. Swirl the pan to spread the batter into a circle.
    Use the back of the ladle to spread the batter into a circle.
  5. Let the Tomato Omelette cook till the surface dries out.
  6. Use a spatula to loosen the edges of the omelette and flip over.
  7. Drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges.
  8. Cook the Tomato Omelette for a minute or till the flip side is done.
  9. Serve hot with buttered bread, green chutney, and tomato ketchup.
  10. Repeat steps 3 to 8 to make the more Tomato Omelettes.


  1. The wheat flour acts as a binding agent, while the rice flour adds a touch of coarseness to batter.
  2. I normally pound the green chilli into a coarse paste. That way, you get the bite of the chilli without biting into pieces of it.
  3. The tomato omelette is thicker than a regular dosa. However, don’t make it too thick because then the middle does not cook very easily.
  4. If you are using a non-stick pan, you can make the tomato omelette without using any oil. However, I find that a few drops of oil is required to get rid of the raw taste of the Besan.
  5. The way a tomato omelette is traditionally eaten is by “sandwiching” it between buttered slices of bread and then dipping the sandwich in the sauce/chutney before taking a bite! :-)

I am taking this to Fiesta Friday #56!

Fiesta Friday


Phool Gobi ka Parantha (Cauliflower Parathas)

Phool Gobi ke Paranthe or Cauliflower Paratha

Phool Gobi ke Paranthe or Cauliflower Paratha

Cauliflower is a vegetable that I am at a loss to cook with. I mostly use it in Pulao and Biryani or then in a dry curry such as Phool Gobi Aur Matar ki Bhaji (Cauliflower and Peas Curry).

Recently, I learnt to make this Phool Gobi Ka Parantha (Cauliflower Paratha) from the lady who helps me with cooking and it turned out to be a delight and a much-needed addition to my repertoire of cauliflower-based  dishes.

As with all stuffed parathas, enjoy this Paratha with cold dahi (curd or plain yoghurt), white butter and spicy pickle!

Makes: 6

Ingredients for Dough

  1. Wheat Four – 2 Cups + 1/4 Cup
  2. Salt – 1/4 tsp
  3. Oil – 2 tsp
  4. Water as Required

Ingredients for Stuffing

  1. Cauliflower Florets – 300 gms
  2. Green Chillies – 3
  3. Grated Ginger – 3/4 tsp
  4. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  5. Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt to Taste

Ingredients to Cooking the Paratha

  1. Ghee – 3 tbsp (Vegans can use Oil)

To Make the Dough

  1. Add the salt to the 2 cups of wheat flour.
  2. Gradually add water and knead into a firm but pliable dough.
  3. When the dough is ready, add the oil or ghee and knead with a light hand.
  4. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

To Make the Filling

  1. Boil about 1.5 litres of water.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets to the boiling water.
  3. Let the cauliflower cook in the boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat and keep covered for 1o minutes.
  5. Drain the water from the cauliflower.
  6. Leaves the cauliflower florets in the colander for 10 minutes till all the water is drained off.
  7. Grind the green chillies and ginger to a smooth paste.
  8. Place the cooked florets in a large bowl.
  9. Add the green chilli-ginger paste, salt, turmeric and coriander.
  10. Mix well and mash to form a coarse mash.

To Make the Phool Gobi ke Parathe

  1. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions.
  2. Divide the cauliflower filling into 6 equal portions.
  3. Roll each portion of dough between your palms to form a smooth ball.
  4. Roll each portion of filling between your palms to form a smooth ball.
  5. Pat down the dough to form a flat disc.
  6. Dust the rolling surface lightly with some flour.
  7. Place the dough disc onto the rolling surface.
  8. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 4″ circle.
  9. Place one portion of cauliflower filling in the middle of the dough.
  10. Fold the dough over the filling and roll between your palms to form a smooth ball.
  11. Pat down the dough to form a flat disc.
  12. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 6″ circle about 1/4″ thick.
  13. On a hot pan or girdle, drizzle some ghee.
  14. Place the Phool Gobi ka Paratha onto the pan.
  15. Cook till the side of paratha touching the pan is golden brown with some dark brown spots.
  16. Spread some ghee onto the uncooked side of the paratha and flip over.
  17. Cook till the side of paratha touching the pan is golden brown with some dark brown spots.
  18. Repeat steps 5 to 17 to make other parathas.
  19. Serve the Cauliflower Parathas hot with chilled dahi (yoghurt) or pickle on the side.


  • When making the filling, ensure that the cauliflower florets are mashed to coarse bits. If not, the covering of the Cauliflower Paratha will tear.


Mysore Masala Dosa

Mysore Masala Dosa has a very very special place in my heart. It was a great favourite with my late mother and it was the special treat we shared when we ate at Ram Ashraya in Matunga.

Ram Ashraya in Matunga is this venerable eating place that has been in existence for over 80 years. It serves wholesome South Indian fare. If you are ever at this place do try Goli Bhajji, Pineapple Sheera, Paan Poli, Pongal-Avial (on Sunday only), and lunch-time fare like Bisi Bele Bhaat.

For me, however, Mysore Masala Dosa at Ram Ashraya is IT! What is not to like about a crisp dosa lathered with a spicy coconut-garlic-chilli chutney and stuffed with yummy potato curry.  I can never finish one by myself and so am always looking for someone to share it with. For me, the favoured people to share this treat with were my brother and my late mother, people who truly appreciated the goodness that was Mysore Masala Dosa.

I have recently discovered the Onion Rava Mysore Masala Dosa at Ram Ashraya, but that is a weighty matter for another post!

While I have made this dosa at home before (and also the Mumbai-street food version of Mysore Masala Dosa), I have never captured the taste exactly. This time around I tried it with Anupama’s recipe for the dosa and it turned out perfectly!

Do check out Anupama’s recipes for the Udupi Temple Rasam and Idli Upkari!

Serves: 4

Soaking and Fermenting Time: 14-18 hours

Preparation Time: 2 Hours

Cooking Time: 5 to 7 Minutes Per Dosa

Ingredients for the Dosa

  1. Moong Dal or Pesara Pappu – 1/2 Cup
  2. Tuvar Dal or Kandi Pappu – 1/2 Cup
  3. Udad Dal or Minapa Pappu – 1/2 Cup
  4. Chawal or Biyyam – 2 Cups
  5. Methi Dana or Menthulu – 1/2 tsp
  6. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Mysore Masala Dosa Chutney

  1. Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
  2. Spicy Red Chillies – 2 to 4
  3. Kashmiri Chillies – 3 or 4 (for color only)
  4. Garlic Cloves – 3 or 4 (Plump ones)
  5. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Potato Curry

  1. Potatoes – 3 Large
  2. Onion – 1 Large
  3. Peas – 1/4 Cup (Optional)
  4. Fresh, Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  5. Bengal Gram or Chana Dal – 1 tbsp
  6. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  7. Green Chillies – 3
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste
  10. Curry Leaves – A Few
  11. Salt to Taste

Other Ingredients

  1. Oil to make dosas

Method to Make the Dosa Batter

  1. Wash and soak all the dals together in 2 to 3 cups of water for about 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Wash and soak the rice along with the fenugreek seeds in 3 to 4 cups of water for about 4 to 6 hours.
  3. Once the dal and rice are well-soaked, drain them of water.
  4. Grind the dals with some water to a smooth and thick batter.
  5. Grind the rice and fenugreek seeds with some water to a smooth and thick batter.
  6. In a large vessel, mix the two batters and salt together with your hand till fully integrated.
  7. Set aside in a warm place to ferment for 8 to 12 hours. The batter will rise to about twice its volume so ensure that your vessel is large enough!
Mysore Masala Dosa Batter

Mysore Masala Dosa Batter

Method to Make the Chutney

  1. Soak the Kashmiri Chillies in some warm water for about 10 minutes. It makes them easier to grind.
  2. Grind together the coconut, red chillies, garlic, and salt with a little water to make a coarse paste.
  3. Add enough water to make the chutney smooth enough to spread on a dosa. Ensure that the chutney is not too water, else you will have a soggy dosa.
Chutney for Mysore Masala Dosa

Chutney for Mysore Masala Dosa

Method to Make Potato Curry

  1. Boil the potatoes and set aside to cool.
  2. Peel and cut the onion in half.
  3. Slice the onion halves.
  4. Peel the boiled potatoes and crush by hand into largish chunks.
  5. In a wok or kadai, heat the oil
  6. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  7. Add the chana dal and fry till the dal is golden brown.
  8. Add the slit green chillies and curry leaves.
  9. Fry for 1 minute.
  10. Add the sliced onions and fry till transparent.
  11. Add the peas and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the grated ginger and fry for 1 minute.
  13. Add the turmeric and salt.
  14. Mix well and fry for 1 minute.
  15. Add 1/4 cup water and cook for 5 minutes.
  16. Add the boiled potatoes.
  17. Mix well with a light hand.
  18. Cook covered till the water has evaporated. Ensure that the potato curry does not have water, else you will have a soggy dosa.
Chutney and Bhaji for Mysore Masala Dosa - Mumbai Street Food Style

Chutney and Bhaji for Mysore Masala Dosa


Method to Make Mysore Masala Dosas

  1. Heat a griddle or tava.
  2. Add 1/2 tsp of oil and spread well to season the pan.
  3. Turn the heat down and wait for a minute or so.
  4. With a heavy ladle, spoon about 1 ladle of dosa batter in the centre of the pan.
  5. Using the bottom of the ladle, spread the dosa batter quickly into a 7″ circle.

    The Dosa in the Making

    The Dosa in the Making

  6. Turn the heat up to medium-high.
  7. Turn the tava around to ensure that the dosa is cooked evenly.
  8. When the surface dries a bit, turn down the heat.
  9. Add 1 tsp of chutney to the centre of the dosa and spread evenly on the surface. If you stop at this stage, it is called a Mysore Sada Dosa.

    The Mysore Sada Dosa Stage

    The Mysore Sada Dosa Stage

  10. Spoon 2 tbsp of the potato curry into the centre of the dosa.

    Mysore Masala Dosa With the Potato Stuffing in Place

    Mysore Masala Dosa With the Potato Stuffing in Place

  11. Fold over and serve with Coconut Chutney and Sambar.

    Mysore Masala Dosa - All Ready to Eat

    Mysore Masala Dosa – All Ready to Eat

  12. Repeat to make more mysore masala dosas.

Be warned: Stop at one Mysore Masala Dosa! :-)

Be Warned Again: You cannot stop at one Mysore Masala Dosa! :P

Mysore Masala Dosa is what I am taking to Fiesta Friday # 55.

Fiesta Friday

Fusion Delight – A Dessert Par Excellence by Hetal Malde – A Valentine’s Day Special

Fusion Delight - 4

Fusion Delight is a deceptively simple name that Hetal has thought of for this dessert par excellence. First, it is a superb amalgamation of tastes we love; Gajar ka Halwa and Apple Cinnamon Sauce. Then there are the various textures; the Gajar ka Halwa with a bit of a bite, super smooth Apple sauce, and  a crunchy biscuit base!

It is not surprising that this recipe of Hetal’s won her a contest hosted by the popular blog Manjula’s Kitchen. The moment I saw the recipe, I wanted to taste it and hassled Hetal about it. Hetal being Hetal made it for our family this past week. :-)

This recipe and its execution is so so representative of Hetal. She is a talented person of hidden depths who is a perfectionist to the core. There is not a thing I have seen Hetal do that is short of perfect. Coming back to Hetal’s culinary skills, I have relished many a dish cooked by Hetal and I can tell you that each one had me ooh-ing and aah-ing.

I am privileged to present Hetal’s winning recipe on my blog. Thank you, Hetal!

I thought the love and affection that Hetal infused this recipe with makes it the perfect recipe for Valentine’s Day!

In Hetal’s own word, “My Fusion Delight pie is a great way to enjoy almost a healthy and guilt free desert. This pie is consists of several layers of delightful goodness that is sure to please most everyone. Give it a try.

Preparation Time: 30 min
Cooking Time: 40 min
Yield: 12 X Cup Cake Size Portions or 1 X 8″ Round/Square Shape

Ingredients for Gajar ka Halwa

  1. Grated carrots – 3 Cups
  2. Milk – 1 Cup
  3. Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1/2 Cup

Method to Make Gajar ka Halwa

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a heavy bottom vessel.
  2. Cook over medium heat till the carrots are cooked and the mix attains the texture of a thick pudding.

Ingredients for the Base

  1. Powdered Digestive Biscuits – 1.5 Cups
  2. Powdered Sugar – 1 tbsp
  3. Butter – 2 tbsp
  4. Milk – A Few Drops

Method to Make the Base

  1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.

Ingredients for Apple Cinnamon Sauce

  1. Apple Juice – 4 Cups
  2. Sugar – 1/2 Cup
  3. Ground Cinnamon – 2 tsp

Method to Make the Apple Cinnamon Sauce

  1. Combine apple juice and sugar.
  2. Cook on high flame till the mix reduces by half.
  3. Add cinnamon powder.
  4. Mix well.
  5. Let the sauce cool to room temperature.

Ingredients for Garnish

  1. Crushed Pistachios – 1/4 cup

Putting It All Together

Fusion Delight - 3

  1. Layer the bottom of the tray or muffin cups with the digestive biscuit mix.
  2. Press lightly with a spoon to form a firm base.
  3. Spread a thin layer of the cinnamon-spiced apple sauce on top of the base.
  4. Spoon all the Gajar Halwa evenly as the next layer.
  5. Press lightly with a spoon to form a smooth layer.
  6. Sprinkle some crushed pistachios on top of the Gajar Ka Halwa.
  7. Decorate with the remaining apple-cinnamon sauce.

Fusion Delight - 2


Pudina Pulao (Minty Rice with Loads of Vegetables)

Mint Pulao or Pudina Pulav

Mint Pulao or Pudina Pulav

I love one-dish meals. The other day, I had loads of winter vegetables at home and was wondering what to make when I thought of Pudina Pulao. It is very easy to make and delicious.

Time: 45 Minutes

Serves: 4


  1. Rice (preferable Basmati) – 1.5 Cups
  2. Fresh Pudina or Mint Leaves – 1/2 Packed Cup
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 Packed Cup
  4. Fresh Ginger – 1” piece
  5. Green Chillies – 2 or 3
  6. Oil – 2 Tbsp
  7. Chopped mixed veggies (carrots, french beans, cauliflower, peas, potatoes) – 1.5 Cups
  8. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  9. Salt to Taste


  1. Pressure cook rice with about 3 cups of water till done. Spread out on a large plate to cool and dry.
  2. Grind Pudina, Coriander Leaves, Green Chillies, and Ginger to a smooth thick paste.
  3. In a kadai, heat oil and add the mixed veggies. Stir fry for 5 mins.
  4. Add a enough water to just cover the vegetables.
  5. Cover the kadai and cook over medium heat till veggies are parboiled.
  6. Add the Mint-Coriander paste and sauté till the water evapourates.
  7. Add rice, turmeric, and salt.
  8. Mix well, but with a light hand.
  9. Cover and let it rest for about 10 mins.
  10. Serve warm with papad and/or raita.


  • I add about 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp oil to the basmati rice before cooking it. I find that this prevents the rice from becoming sticky.

I am taking this to:



Sambar Rice or Kadamba Sadam

Sambar Rice or Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!

Sambar Rice or Kadamba Sadam with Ghee on Top!

Kadamba Sadam or Sambar Rice is one of my absolute favourite comfort foods. It is so delicious and comforting, and oh-so-easy to make! Serve it with some awesome crispy potato curry and vadiyalu/vadams or appadams/papad, and you have a hands-down winner. :-)

There is something about the wonderful aroma of sambar masala as it is being fried. The moment you add the coriander seeds, your kitchen and home will be filled with a mouth-watering aroma that makes it difficult to wait for the sambar rice to be ready!

If you do not want to go through the elaborate process of making the masala, grind 1 tbsp Sambar Podi with 3 tbsp Coconut and a little water. Voila! Instant Sambar Sadam Masala is ready.

Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients for the Rice

  1. Rice – 1 Cup
  2. Tuvar Dal – 3/4 Cup
  3. Drumstick – 1
  4. Small Brinjal – 1
  5. Tomato – 1
  6. Carrot – 1 Small
  7. Red Pumpkin – 100 gms
  8. White Pumpkin/Ash Gourd – 100 gms
  9. French Beans – 50 gms
  10. Shallots/Madras Onions – 10-12
  11. Peanuts – 3 tbsp
  12. Tamarind Pulp – 3 tbsp
  13. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  14. Red Chillies – 2
  15. Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  16. Asafoetida/hing – 1/2 tsp
  17. Curry Leaves – A few
  18. Ghee – 1 tsp
  19. Oil – 2 tsp
  20. Salt to taste

Ingredients for Sambar Masala

  1. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  2. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  3. Raw Rice – 1/2 tsp
  4. Black Pepper Corns – 1/2 tsp
  5. Coriander Seeds – 2 tbsp
  6. Fenugreek Seeds – 1/8 tsp
  7. Red Chillies – 2 or 3
  8. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  9. Ghee or Oil – 2 tbsp

To Make the Sambar Masala:

  1. Heat the oil.
  2. Add tur dal and chana dal.
  3. Fry till the dals are golden brown.
  4. Add the raw rice and methi, and fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the pepper corns and split red chillies, and fry for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the coriander seeds and fry for about 2-3 minutes.
  7. Turn off the heat.
  8. Add the coconut and saute for about a minute.
  9. Let the ingredients cool.
  10. Grind to a smooth paste with a little water.

To Make the Sambar Rice:

  1. Wash the rice and tur dal together. Soak in about 4 cups of water for about 30 mins.
  2. Pressure cook till well done and of mashable consistency.
  3. Cut the drumstick into 2″ pieces.
  4. Dice the tomato and brinjal.
  5. Peel the shallots.
  6. Heat the oil.
  7. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add the shallots.
  9. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Add the split red chillies and fry for a minute.
  11. Add the asafoetida, turmeric, and curry leaves, peanuts, and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the tomato pieces and fry till the tomato pieces are soft, about 4-5 minutes.
  13. Add the carrot, pumpkin, drumstick and brinjal pieces.
  14. Fry for 2-3 minutes.
  15. Add the ground sambar masala and about 1/2 cup water.
  16. Cook covered till the vegetables and peanuts are cooked. Add more water, if required.
  17. Add the tamarind pulp and mix well.
  18. Mash the dal-rice mix, and add to the cooked masala and vegetables.
  19. Mix well.
  20. Add a little water, if required.
  21. Cook for about 6-7 minutes.
  22. Serve hot with appadam, vaidyams, and/or fried potato curry.


  • Do not be intimidated by the number of steps or stages in this recipe. I have just broken the recipe down to bite-sized portions. :-)
  • I soak the dal and rice for 30 to 60 mins to get a mashable consistency easily.
  • Wait for about an hour before eating.
  • When I make Kadamba Sadam for religious occassions, I leave out the shallots or onions.
Kadamba Sadam or Sambar Saadam Iyengar Special

Kadamba Sadam or Sambar Saadam

Custard Powder Halwa by Vidya Srinivasan of Traditionally Modern Food

Custard Powder Halwa

Custard Powder Halwa

Today I present Custard Powder Halwa by Vidya Srinivasan of Traditionally Modern Food. As the name of the blog suggests, Vidya’s blog is replete with recipes that are traditional yet have a contemporary twist. Take today’s recipe. Halwa is a such a traditional Indian dessert that Vidya has made with Custard Powder.

What I also like about Vidya’s recipes is that they are easy to make with no compromise in taste. Again look at today’s recipe. Gets done quickly and easily, while being delicious. :-)

Vidya also experiments with traditional recipes to give them different forms. Take the recipe for Whole Moong Bean Paniyaram she posted recently. It is Pesarattu in a different form. For all her experimenting, Vidya is also a traditionalist at heart and has some wonderful South Indian recipes on her blog.

I could go on and on but the proof of the pudding (or halwa, in this case) as they say lies in its eating  and so over to Vidya!

Want to read more of Vidya’s recipes? Visit her social network at:

I am excited to be featured in Aruna’s space. Before getting into the recipe a small intro about my blog.

I am Vidya, author of “Traditionally Modern Food” blog. I enjoy various Cuisines, and started trying my hand in preparing the food I loved. You can find a mix of vegetarian Indian and International recipes in my space. I have a Little one, so I prefer spending less time in kitchen, and most of my recipes reflect that. Snacks are something I cherish, but I get conscious of the calorie factor, so I also try to make traditional Indian snacks with minimal oil (Baking).

I am bringing Custard Powder Halwa for Aahaaram readers.

Preparation time: 3 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins


  1. Custard powder – 1 cup (I used Vanilla Flavor)
  2. Sugar – 2 cups + ½ cup (I used brown sugar, white sugar can also be used. Adjust sugar according to your sweetness)
  3. Water – 4 cups
  4. Butter/Ghee – 3 tbsp (I used butter)
  5. Cashew Nuts and Raisins – for taste
  6. Salt – a pinch
  7. Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp


  1. Grease a pan with melted butter/ghee and keep aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl add custard powder, water, sugar, salt and cardamom powder; mix well without any lumps.
    Custard Powder Halva - Getting Ready
  3. Add a tbsp of butter to pan and when it melts and becomes hot, add cashew nut and sauté till they are golden brown. Switch off and add raisin; keep aside.
  4. Take a heavy bottomed pan (I used non-stick) and transfer the mixture to the pan. Keep the pan on the stove and start cooking in high flame.Custard Powder Halwa - Cooking
  5. The mixture will come to boil and start to thicken, Keep stirring till it became glossy and jelly like texture.
  6. Add remaining butter, cashew nuts and raisin; mix well and reduce the flame.
  7. Keep stirring continuously till the mixture  begins pulling away from the sides.
  8. Transfer the halwa to the greased pan and level the top.
  9. Chill it for an hour and cut into pieces.


  • Food color can be added.
  • Halwa stays good for a week in fridge.
  • Any nuts of choice can be added.