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!

Time: 60 Minutes

Serves: 4


  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

For 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 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.
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.



Moong Dal Shorba or Mung Lentil Soup

Moong Dal Shorba or Mung Lentil Soup

Moong Dal Shorba or Mung Lentil Soup

This year, the winter in Mumbai came in very late (almost in the middle of December) and then was particularly severe by Mumbai standards in Mid to Late January. The weather pattern has changed almost overnight and it is now again getting to be searing hot!

While it was cold, we tried out different soups and one of them was this Moong Dal Shorba. Easy to make, it was comforting in its familiar taste and light on the stomach.

Serves: 4

Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Moong Dal – 1 Cup
  2. Onion – 1 Medium
  3. Ginger – 1″ piece
  4. Garlic Clove – 2
  5. Cumin – 1 tsp
  6. Oil or Butter – 1 tsp
  7. Salt to Taste
  8. Black Pepper Powder to Taste


  1. Wash and pressure cook the moong dal with 2.5 cups water till it reaches a mashable consistency.
  2. Dry roast the cumin seeds till they start to change colour.
  3. Powder the cumin seeds and set aside.
  4. Grate the ginger and set aside.
  5. Chop the garlic to fine pieces and set aside.
  6. Peel and chop the onion into fine pieces.
  7. In a wok, heat the oil or butter.
  8. Add the onion and garlic pieces.
  9. Saute till the onion is transparent.
  10. Turn off the heat.
  11. Add the cumin powder and grated ginger.
  12. Mix well and let the mix rest for 2 or 3 minutes.
  13. In a blender, blend the onion and cooked moong dal to a smooth paste.
  14. Pour the dal paste into the wok.
  15. Add 2 cups of water and salt.
  16. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  17. Turn off the heat.
  18. Add pepper powder.
  19. Serve hot!
Dal Shorba or Lentil Soup

Dal Shorba or Lentil Soup

Capsicum Tomato Curry – Guest Post by Vivek Yellapragada

Capsicum Tomato Curry

Capsicum Tomato Curry

Blogging fever, it is everywhere! I am super pleased to present this recipe for many reasons. First and foremost, it came as a surprise, a very pleasant one. :-) Second, it is contributed by my brother-in-law, Vivek Yellapragada. Third, I learnt something new about the said BIL; that he is an excellent cook. Fourth, I can use this post to browbeat my assorted brothers and sisters into contributing recipes to the blog. :P (The in-laws are contributing and my own family is not…. blah blah blah. :D)

Jokes apart, I was very pleasantly surprised to get this recipe via a WhatsApp message from my Sis. I was reading the message casually (as I am wont to do with WhatsApp messages), when I did a double-take on reading the line “Vivek’s wants to contribute a recipe to your blog”.

I am often at my wits end on what to do with Capsicum apart from the usual stir-fry with besan or then the ubiquitous Alu-Shimla Mirch. Truth be told, I am not too fond of this veggie and so don’t try too hard to find ways to use it.

Vivek’s recipe for the Capsicum curry turned out to be simple and delicious. In fact, the verdict from my father and brother is that “it is better than the curry we usually make”. So, here is looking forward to more recipes from you, Vivek!

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes


  1. Capsicum or Shimla Mirch – 6 Large
  2. Tomato – 1 Large
  3. Onion – 1 Large
  4. Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp
  5. Udad Dal – 1 tsp
  6. Chana Dal – 1 tsp
  7. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  8. Cumin Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  9. Red Chilli – 1
  10. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  12. Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  13. Oil – 2 tbsp
  14. Salt to Taste


  1. Cut the capsicum in half.
  2. Discard the seeds inside.
  3. Chop the capsicum into 1/4″ pieces.
  4. Chop the tomato to fine pieces.
  5. Peel and chop the onion into small pieces.
  6. In a wok or kadhai, heat the oil.
  7. Add mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  8. Add udad dal and chana dal.
  9. Stir-fry till the dals  are golden brown.
  10. Add the cumin, asafoetida and whole red chilli.
  11. Stir-fry for a few seconds.
  12. Add the chopped onion and fry till the pieces start to turn brown.
  13. Add the tomato pieces and stir-fry till the tomato pieces are stewed.
  14. Add the capsicum and mix well.
  15. Over medium heat, stir-fry the capsicum till it is soft (loses the crunch).
  16. When the capsicum is cooked, add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
  17. Mix well.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
  20. Serve hot with rice or rotis.

Methi Muthiya (Muthia)

Methi Muthia or Muthiya

Methi Muthia or Muthiya

This week I made Undhiyu and needed Methi Muthia for that. Truth be told, I could eat Muthia by itself and by the tons. So I try to resist temptation and keep myself away from them.

However, Undhiyu is not Undhiyu without some Methi Muthia and so here we are!

Makes: 15 to 20

Time: 45 Minutes

  1. Fresh Methi or Fenugreek – 1/2 Cup
  2. Atta or Wheat Flour – 1/2 Cup
  3. Besan or Chickpea flour – 1/4 Cup
  4. Green chilies – 2
  5. Grated Ginger – 1/2 tsp
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  7. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Sesame Seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Sugar – 1 tsp
  10. Oil – 1 tablespoons + for frying
  11. Salt to Taste


  1. Chop the fenugreek leaves.
  2. Add some salt to the chopped leaves and mix well.
  3. Set aside for 10 minutes. It will turn slightly soggy.
  4. Pound or grind the chillies and ginger together to a smooth paste.
  5. Dry roast the sesame seeds till they start to change colour.
  6. Mix together the fenugreek, red chilli powder, turmeric, green chilli-ginger paste, atta, and besan.
  7. Add 1 tbsp oil and mix well.
  8. Using as little water as possible, knead the dough into a firm yet pliable ball.
  9. Divide the dough into 15 to 20 equal portions.
  10. Shape each portion into an oval.
  11. Over medium flame, heat enough oil to shallow fry the Methi Muthia.
  12. Add a few muthia at a time to the oil and fry till they are golden brown.
  13. Allow the Muthiya to cool.
  14. Store in an airtight container.

Undhiyu – A Medley of Winter Vegetables Spiced with a Fresh Coriander, Garlic and Ginger – A Special from Gujarat

Undhiyo - A Winter Special from Gujarat

Undhiyo – A Winter Special from Gujarat

Undhiyu (or Undhiyo) is a famous winter dish from the state of Gujarat. It is a great favourite of mine and I cannot believe I have still not written up the Undhiyu recipe for this blog.

Incorporating a great many fresh vegetables and beans that are marinated and cooked in a paste made from fresh coriander, tender garlic, and ginger, Undhiyo is delicious, aromatic and filling.

As soon as winter sets in, the vegetable sellers in Gujarati dominated areas of Mumbai will stockup on the various vegetables that are needed for this wonderful dish. You can even buy fresh Undhiyu at many a grocery shop.

I love to make my own Undhiyu. I make two versions and here is one of them.

It is difficult to make Undhiyu in small quantities because of the number of vegetables that go into its making. Even if you add just 100 gms of each, you will land up with almost a kilo of Undhiyo. Never you fear, Undhiyu disappears rather rapidly as well. :-)

Serves: 4 to 6

Time: 90 Minutes

Vegetables Needed

  1. Suran or Elephant Yam – 100 gms
  2. Kand or Purple Yam – 100 gms
  3. Kacha Kela or Raw Banana – 1
  4. Baby Brinjals – 4
  5. Baby Potatoes – 6
  6. Surti Papdi or Valor – 100 gms
  7. Val Papdi – 100 gms
  8. Fresh Tuvar Dana or  Fresh Pigeon Pea – 1/2 Cup

For the Masala

  1. Fresh Coriander – 1 Packed Cup
  2. Fresh Garlic with Green Shoots – 8 to 10
  3. Ginger – 1″ piece
  4. Green Chillies – 3 or 4

Other Ingredients

  1. Methi Muthiya – 6 to 8
  2. Wheat Flour – 1 tsp
  3. Carom Seeds – 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  6. Oil – 3 tbsp
  7. Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
  8. Hing or Asafoetida – A Large Pinch
  9. Salt to Taste
  10. Fresh Coriander to Garnish
  11. Grated Coconut to Garnish

Method to Make the Masala

  1. Using a little water, grind together the turmeric, ginger, green chillies, fresh garlic, and coriander to a smooth paste.

Method to Prepare the Vegetables

  1. Add the masala to a vessel large enough to hold all the vegetables.
  2. Mix about 1 tbsp of oil with the masala.
  3. Peel the baby potatoes and quarter them.
  4. Drop the baby potato pieces into the masala.
  5. Quarter the baby brinjals and drop them into the masala.
  6. Toss the pieces till they are coated in the masala. Leave them in the masala.
  7. Peel the elephant yam, purple yam, and banana and cut them into 1″ cubes.
  8. As you cut the pieces, drop them into the masala.
  9. Toss the pieces till they are coated in the masala. Leave them in the masala.
  10. Let the vegetables marinate in the green masala for about 30 minutes.
  11. Whilethevegetablesaremarinating:
    1. Destring the surti papdi and val papdi.
    2. Cut them into 1″ pieces.

Method to Make the Undhiyu

  1. In a kadhai or wok, heat 2 tbsp oil till it is medium hot.
  2. Add the marinated vegetables.
  3. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add carom seeds, hing, tuvar, and papdi pieces.
  5. Mix well.
  6. Add salt.
  7. Lower the heat to low to medium.
  8. Cover and cook till the yam in cooked.
  9. Add the Methi Muthia and flour.
  10. Mix well.
  11. Let the Undhiyu cook for a couple of minutes more so that the raw taste of the flour disappears.
  12. Turn off the heat.
  13. Add the sugar and mix well.
  14. Add the lemon juice and mix well.
  15. Garnish with grated coconut and finely chopped coriander.
  16. Serve warm with Puris.

Surti Undhiyu or Undhiyo


  • In the traditional undhiyu, the potato and baby brinjals are left whole. You make a deep ‘+’ shaped cut in each of them and stuff the masala into it. I cut them into quarters as it is easier to eat, especially for my 80-year old father.
  • I normally use store-bought Muthia as we do not deep fry too many things at home and I don’t know what to do with all the left over oil.
  • I find that Undhiyu tastes much better if it is left to rest for a day. :-)

Ratha Saptami – A Day of Prayers to Surya Bhagavan or the Sun God

Surya Bhagavan

Surya Bhagavan

Ratha Saptami or Surya Jayanti is the day dedicated to the worship of Surya Bhagavan or the Sun God. It is the day that heralds the beginning of spring in South India.

This year it falls on January 26, 2015.

Traditionally this day begins with a ritual bath during sunrise. 7 Jilledu leaves (Arka or Yekka leaves) are placed on the body while taking a bath (1 on the head, and 2 each on shoulders, knees, and feet; or then all 7 on the head).

There is a muggu or rangoli symbolising Surya Bhagawan in his Chariot drawn in front of the home.

Prayers include Aditya HrudyamSuryashtakam, and Surya Sahasranamam.

Another tradition is that fresh milk is allowed to boil over and then used to make Bellam Paravannam which is offered as Naivedyam to Surya Bhagavan and then distributed as Prasadam.

Bellam Paravannam

Bellam Paravannam




Pudina Pachadi or Mint Chutney for Rice – Andhra Style

Pudina Pachadi, Mint Chutney or Pudina Thogayal - Andhra or Tamil Nadu Style

Pudina Pachadi or Mint Chutney

I was browsing through the recipes on my blog the other day when I realised that I have not published a pachadi recipe in a long time. As a family with roots in Andhra Pradesh, pachadis (chutneys) and uragais (pickles) are an integral part of our food at home.

In Andhra, we eat a lot many chutneys by simply mixing them in rice along with some sesame oil or ghee. I have written about quite a few of such pachadis including Kobbari Pachadi or Coconut Chutney, Kobbari-Mammidikaya Pachadi (Coconut and Raw Mango Chutney), Mammidikaya Nuvvula Pachadi, Kandi Pappu Pachadi, and Gongura Pachadi.

Here is one more to this collection; Pudina Pachadi or Mint Chutney. Known as Pudina Thogayal in Tamil Nadu, this pachadi is quite different from the Dahiwali Pudina Chutney served in Mumbai restaurants as a dip for assorted Indian starters.

This Pudina Pachadi is mixed with hot rice and sesame oil and savoured as is. :-)


  1. Fresh Pudina or Mint Leaves – 2/3 Packed Cup
  2. Minapappu, Udad Dal, or Husked Black Gram – 3 tbsp
  3. Endu Mirapakaya, Lal Mirchi or Red Chillies – 3
  4. Chintapandu, Imli or Raw Tamarind – 1″ piece
    Tamarind Pulp – 1/2 tsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  6. Turmeric – A Pinch
  7. Oil – 2 tsp + 1 tsp
  8. Salt to Taste


  1. Over medium flame, heat 2 tsp oil.
  2. Add the udad dal and stir-fry till it is golden.
  3. Turn off the heat.
  4. Add the split red chillies and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  5. When the dal cools a bit (but is still warm), add the pudina leaves and mix well.
  6. With a little water, grind together the fried udad dal, mint leaves, chillies, tamarind, turmeric and salt to a coarse paste.
  7. Take out the Pudina Pachadi into a serving bowl.
  8. Heat 1 tsp oil.
  9. Add the mustard seeds and wait till they splutter.
  10. Add the mustard seeds to the Pudina Chutney.
  11. Serve with Warm Rice and Sesame Oil.


  •  You can reduce the amount of oil by dry-roasting the udad dal. I do this and find that it does not change the taste in anyway.

Idli Upkari – Guest Post by Anupama Michael

Idli Upkari

Idli Upkari

Anupama Michael (nee Bhandary) is my friend from school days and a treasure trove of recipes. Many of you may remember her from the post on the Udupi Temple Rasam.

The other day, I was having Idli Upkari at a restaurant chain called Balaji and (as is usual) trying to fathom what all that went into the making of it. I thought I deciphered the recipe quite well, but the friends with me insisted I was missing something.

So what do I do but  whip out my mobile phone and send a message to Anu who came back in a trice with the recipe. (In my excitement, I asked her the recipe for Bread Upkari but that was OK as the process remained the same.)

I got a chance to try this recipe this past week and here it is. This recipe is an amalgam of what Anu told me and what I saw in the dish I ate. 

The rate at which Anu is giving me recipes, I will have to start a special section for her. :-))

Serves: 4

Time: 15 Minutes (With Idlis already made)


  1. Idlis (Fresh or Leftover) – 8
  2. Grated Coconut – 1/3 Cup
  3. Udad Dal, Minapappu or Husked Black Gram – 2 tsp
  4. Rai, Avalu or Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Cumin – 1/4 tsp
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  7. Onion – 1 Large
  8. Tomato – 1 Small (optional)
  9. Green Chillies – 4
  10. Curry Leaves – 8
  11. Oil – 1.5 tbsp
  12. Sugar – 1/2 tsp
  13. Salt to Taste


  1. Cut each idli into 1/2″ pieces.
  2. Finely chop the tomato, onion, and green chilli.
  3. In a kadhai or wok, over medium flame, heat the oil.
  4. Add mustard seeds and wait till they pop.
  5. Add the udad dal and fry till it is golden brown.
  6. Add cumin seeds, onion and green chillies.
  7. Fry till the onion is transparent.
  8. Add curry leaves and tomato pieces.
  9. Fry till the tomato pieces are stewed.
  10. Add the turmeric powder, salt and sugar.
  11. Add the idli pieces and mix well.
  12. Add the grated coconut and mix well.
  13. Stir-fry for a minute or two.
  14. Serve hot with some Coconut Chutney.


  • The tomato is just to lend some moisture to the dish. Do not increase the quantity or it spoils the balance. You can, in fact, leave it out all together.
  • I used freshly made idlis to make the Idli Upkari. You can also use leftover idlis.
  • Use the same method to make Bread Upkari.

Hara Bhara Kebab (Potato and Spinach Kababs) – A Mumbai Restaurant Favourite – Guest Post for Sarah of Flour & Spice – Fiesta Friday #51

Hara Bhara Kabab (Spinach, Potato and Peas Kebab)

Hara Bhara Kabab (Spinach, Potato and Peas Kebab)

Sarah Mir of Flour & Spice did this wonderful post on Thai Noodle Salad as a guest post for me and it is my pleasure to be doing this guest post for her. Sarah (who calls herself a Baker By Birth, Cook By Circumstance) has this wonderful way of whipping up delicious food with the simplest of recipes. When she says she is not into fuss, she really means it.

Do visit Sarah’s blog at Flour & Spice for some delicious recipes!

Having said that, my recipe is something that needs some doing but the result is delicious so I am hoping Sarah, her family and fans enjoy it!

I chose Hara Bhara Kebab as the guest post recipe for Sarah because she has a lovely daughter and this kebab is just the kind of snack that children love. The bonus is that the potato makes it filling while the spinach, coriander, and peas make it nutritious. It is also perfect as a starter for dinner parties in the holiday season as it suits most palates.

Hara Bhara Kabeb is one of those omnipresent items on Mumbai restaurant menus. It is a simple pan-fried patty of mashed potato mixed with spinach-coriander puree and boiled peas spiced up with some green chilli and ginger paste.

I love Hara Bhara Kabeb because it is rather versatile. You can munch on it by itself, spice it up some mint or coriander chutney, or then have as a side with dal tadka and rice.

A perfect Hara Bhara Kebab is golden brown and crisp on the outside and melt-in-themouth soft on the inside.

Enjoy! :-)

Makes: 16-20 Servings

Preparation Time: 60 Minutes

Cooking Time: 30 Minutes


  1. Potatoes – 6 Large
  2. Spinach Leaves – 2 Packed Cups (1 Large Bunch)
  3. Coriander Leaves – 1 Packed Cup
  4. Peas – 1/2 Cup
  5. Cashews – 8 to 10 (Split in halves vertically)
  6. Green Chillies – 6 to 8
  7. Ginger – 1.5” Piece
  8. Black Salt – 1 tsp
  9. Besan or Gram Flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
  10. Salt to Taste
  11. Oil for Shallow Frying

The Prep Work

  1. Boil the potatoes till they just start to soften and are mashable.
  2. Wash with cold water and drain all water from the potatoes.
  3. Set the potatoes aside to dry and cool to room temperature.
  4. Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling water.
  5. Drain all the water from the spinach leaves and set aside to cool.
  6. Boil the peas and drain all water.
  7. Set the peas aside to cool.
  8. Grind the blanched spinach, coriander leaves, ginger and green chillies to a smooth paste. Avoid using any water; if you do need to add any water just add a teaspoon at a time.
  9. Peel and mash the boiled potatoes.
  10. Add the spinach puree and black salt to the mashed potato.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Add the boiled peas and mix with a gentle hand.
  13. Taste and add regular salt as required. The salt should be a tad lesser than required. Remember all fried items taste saltier after frying.
  14. Take a small portion and for a ball.
  15. Pat down to form a patty.
  16. If it does not hold the shape, add 1 tbsp besan/gram flour to the mashed potato and mix well.
  17. Set aside for 15 minutes.

Making the Hara Bhara Kabab

  1. Divide the potato mix into 16 to 20 equal portions.
  2. Roll each portion into a ball and then pat down to form a patty.
  3. Heat a tava or a griddle.
  4. Spread about 1 tbsp of oil on the surface of the pan.
  5. Plan a few Hara Bhara Kababs on the pan.
  6. Over medium heat, let the kababs cook.
  7. Lift each kabab to see if the side touching the pan is golden brown.
  8. Flip the kababs over and cook the other side. If required, drizzle a few drops of oil around the edges of the kababs.
  9. While the second side is cooking, press half a cashew into the side that has been cooked.
  10. Flip over and cook for a few seconds.
  11. Repeat the process till all kababs are cooked.
  12. Serve warm with Pudina/Mint Chutney or Coriander Chutney.


  • Be careful not to overcook the potatoes. If you do, then the potato mash will become soggy.
  • Drain the potatoes, spinach and peas completely. I usually leave them in separate colanders for about 20 minutes. This ensures that there is no excess water.
  • If your potato mix is soggy, add more besan. The raw mix does taste of besan but as you cook the kababs, this taste will disappear.
  • Do not make the potato mix very hard either. I find that the kababs harden a bit after they are cooked.
  • You can make these kababs well in advance and heat them up just before serving.

These Hara Bhara Kababs are also just perfect for the party at:

  1. Fiesta Friday #51.

Makar Sankranti or Pongal Recipes

Makara Sankranti is one of those festivals that is celebrated across the length and breadth of India, albeit under various names. Typically, celebrated over 2 to 4 days, it marks the start of Uttarayanam or  the 6-month period which marks the the passage of the Sun northwards towards the Tropic of Cancer.

Hindus believe that the 6 months of Uttarayanam corresponds to 1 day for the Gods while the 6 months of Dakshinayanam, when the Sun moves southwards towards the Tropic of Capricorn corresponds to 1 night for the Gods. :-)

Makara Sankranti is also the harvest festival and so a day to celebrate the fresh harvest. A lot of the dishes made on this day include freshly harvested produce such as rice, sugarcane, etc.

One combination that is common to Makara Sankrati celebrations across India is Til and Gud or Sesame and Jaggery. You will find people across India making sweets such as Til ke Laddoo (or Tilgul as it is called in Maharashtra) or Gajak.

It is a day to celebrate and typically every family has a feast at home. Here are some dishes that you can include in this feast.

Using new rice is a big part of Sankranti celebrations in the South. You can make:

Of course, no celebration in Andhra Pradesh is complete without Pulihora. Try one of these different versions:

No celebrations are ever complete without sweets or desserts, so here are a few you could make:

And how can one forget the one dish that is a must in all South India festival feasts; Garelu or Ulundu Vada. You could also use the Garelu to make Perugu Garelu.

Happy Sankranti All!

Perugu Garelu, Thayir Vadai (South Indian Style Dahi Wada)

Thayir Vada, Perugu Garelu or South Indian Style Dahi Wada

Perugu Garelu, Thair Vada or South Indian Style Dahi Wada

Perugu Garelu or Thayir Vadai (South Indian version of Dahi Wada) tends to be savoury as opposed to the sweet version served in North India.

I absolutely love the South Indian version.

Garelu are a must for any festival and we often have several vadas left over. I use these to make Perugu Garelu!

What I like even more than the Perugu Garelu is the leftover dahi. It has a taste of its own and the fight in our home is always for the leftover spiced dahi.

Makes: 8

Time: 10 Minutes (with Garelu or Ulundu Vada already made)


  1. Garelu or Ulundu Vadai – 8
  2. Perugu or Dahi – 3 Cups
  3. Minapappu or Udad Dal – 1 tbsp
  4. Avalu or Rai – 1 tsp
  5. Jeelakarra or Jeera – 1 tsp
  6. Yendu Mirapakaya or Dried Red Chillies – 4
  7. Pasupu or Haldi – 1/4 tsp
  8. Karivepaku or Kadipatta – 8
  9. Oil – 1 tbsp
  10. Salt to Taste


  1. Beat the dahi well till it is smooth.
  2. Add 1 cup of water and salt to the dahi.
  3. Mix well.
  4. In a ladle, heat the oil.
  5. Add the rai seeds and wait till they splutter.
  6. Add the udad dal and fry till it is light golden brown.
  7. Add the jeera and stir-fry for a few seconds.
  8. Turn off the heat.
  9. Add split red chillies, curry leaves, and turmeric.
  10. Mix and let it sit for a few seconds.
  11. Add the tempering to the dahi and mix well.
  12. Add the vadas to the dahi.
  13. Let the vadas soak in the dahi for at least 1 hour.
  14. Enjoy!

Til Poli or Til Gul Poli – Sankranti Special from Maharashtra

Til Gul Poli - Maharashtra Sankrant Special

Til Gul Poli

Tilgul Kha, God God Bola (Eat Tilgul and speak sweetly) is the traditional Marathi greeting for Sankranti (or Sankrant as it is called in Maharashtra). The Tilgul in this greeting is the Til ka Laddoo, which is a must in Sankranti celebrations in Maharashtra.

The word Tilgul literally means Sesame (Til) and Jaggery (Gul).

However, I am not too fond of Tilgul as even the most well-made of them are a bit tough to eat.  I prefer the “other” tilgul or Til Gul Poli. Also known as Tilachi Poli or Til Poli, this sweet is similar to Puran Poli; the primary difference being that it uses a filling of til (sesame), shengdana (peanuts), and jaggery.

Makes: 6 X 5″ Til Poli

Time: 60 Minutes

Ingredients for the Filling

  1. Peanuts – 1 Cup
  2. Sesame Seeds – 1/3 Cup
  3. Grated Jaggery – 1 Cup
  4. Green Cardamom – 6

Ingredients for the Covering

  1. Wheat Flour – 1 Cup + 1/4 Cup for rolling
  2. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  3. Ghee – 2 tbsp (Oil for Vegans)

Other Ingredients

  1. Ghee for Pan Frying (Oil for Vegans)

Method to Make the Dough for the Covering

  1. Sieve together the salt and 1 Cup wheat flour.
  2. Heat the 2 tbsp ghee or oil.
  3. Make a small well in the middle of the wheat flour.
  4. Add the hot ghee/oil to the wheat flour.
  5. Use a spoon to mix the ghee and the wheat flour till it the mix is crumbly.
  6. Gradually add water and knead the dough into firm dough (similar to that for paratha).
  7. Cover and set aside for 30 Minutes.

Method to Make the Filling

  1. In a wok, over medium heat, roast the sesame seeds till they are light brown.
  2. Spread in a plate and set aside to cool.
  3. In the same wok, over medium heat, roast the peanuts till they start to pop.
  4. Spread in a plate and set aside to cool.
  5. Remove the skin of the peanuts.
    1. Rub the peanuts between the palms of your hands to remove the skin.
    2. Blow gently to separate the skin from the peanuts.
  6. Peel the green cardamom.
  7. In a grinder, pulse together the green cardamom seeds, sesame seeds, peanuts, and grated jaggery  till the mix starts to form a ball of coarse consistency.
  8. Remove the mix into a ball.

Method to Make Til Poli

  1. Divide the filling into 6 equal portions.
  2. Divide the wheat flour dough into 6 equal portions.
  3. Dust the rolling surface with some flour.
  4. Roll each wheat flour ball into a 4″ circle.
  5. Place a ball of filling in the centre of the circle.
  6. Fold the flour circle over the filling and roll between the palms to form a round.
  7. Roll into a 5″ circle about 1/4″ thick.
  8. Over medium heat, heat a tava or a griddle.
  9. Pour about 1/4 tsp ghee on the surface and spread well.
  10. Place the Til Poli on the griddle.
  11. Cook till the side touching the tava is cooked and has some brown spots.
  12. Flip over.
  13. Lift the edges of the Til Poli with a flat spatula and drizzle a few drops of ghee along the edges.
  14. Cook till the side touching the tava is cooked and has some brown spots.
  15. Set aside on a plate to cool.
  16. Repeat steps 3 to 15 to make other Til Poli.
  17. When the Til Poli are at room temperature, store in an airtight container.
  18. Enjoy!


  • I cut the Til Poli in quarters and store them because this sweet is quite heavy.

    Til Poli - Maharashtra Sankrant Special

    Til Gul Poli

  • Ensure that you have a thick layer of filling,otherwiseaTilgul Poli will be just a sweet roti.

    Tilachi Poli - Maharashtra Sankrant Special

    Tilachi Poli

  • The filling of a well-made Til Gul Poli will be slightly sticky and chewy because of the natural oils in the sesame and peanuts as well as the melted jaggery.

    Tilgud Poli - Maharashtra Sankrant Special

    Tilgud Poli

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Paneer Kali Mirch (Cottage Cheese in a Yoghurt and Pepper Gravy)

Paneer Kali Mirch or Cottage Cheese in a Peppery Yogurt Gravy

Paneer Kali Mirch or Cottage Cheese in a Peppery Yoghurt Gravy

Paneer is something I always have on hand because you can always make a quick curry or Paneer Biryani at the end of a log working day. This past week, as we were enjoying a long weekend, we were looking for something different yet not too taxing.

Browsing through the millions of cookbooks I have, I came across this interesting recipe for Paneer Kali Mirch which seemed to have subtle flavours and so we tried it. We quite enjoyed it because the gravy was very flavourful without being laden with spices and very light on the palette. Yet the pepper we used just gave it enough of a bite to make the curry interesting.

So, here it is, Paneer Kali Mirch adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe.

Serves: 4

Time: 45 Minutes


  1. Paneer – 200 gms
  2. Yogurt or Dahi – 3/4 Cup
  3. Cashews – 6 to 8
  4. Pepper Powder – 3/4 tsp
  5. Ginger – 1″ piece
  6. Green Chillies – 2
  7. Onion – 2 Medium
  8. Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
  9. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  11. Garam Masala Powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Green Cardamom – 3
  13. Cloves – 4
  14. Cinnamon – 1″
  15. Bay Leaf – 1
  16. Finely Chopped Fresh Coriander – 1 tbsp
  17. Oil – 2 tbsp
  18. Salt to Taste


  1. To Make the Onion Paste:
    1. Peel and slice the onion into thin strips.
    2. In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Add the thinly sliced onion and 1/2 tsp salt.
    4. Stir-fry till the onion is light brown.
    5. Set aside to cool.
    6. Grind the fried onions into a smooth paste.
  2. To Make the Cashew Paste:
    1. Grind the cashews with 2 tbsp water to a smooth paste.
  3. To Make the Ginger-Chilli Paste:
    1. Grind the ginger and chilli to a fine paste.
  4. To Make Paneer Kali Mirch:
    1. Cut the paneer into 1/2″ cubes.
    2. In a wok or kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Add the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, and bay leaf.
    4. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
    5. Add the onion paste.
    6. Stir-fry till the paste turns light brown.
    7. Add the ginger-green chilli paste.
    8. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
    9. Add the cashew paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and turmeric.
    10. Mix well and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
    11. Turn the heat to low and let the mix cool a bit.
    12. Beat the yoghurt to a smooth consistency.
    13. Add the beaten yoghurt to the onion paste and mix well.
    14. Add about 3/4 cup water and mix well.
    15. Turn the heat to medium-high and let the gravy simmer.
    16. Add the pepper powder and salt.
    17. Add the paneer pieces and mix well.
    18. Mix well.
    19. Turn off the heat.
    20. Serve warm with rotis.


  • Adding salt while frying the onion helps the onion brown faster.
  • Never add yoghurt to a hot vessel; it will curdle.
  • Never add water to the yoghurt before you add it to the masala; it will curdle.

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