Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bharelu/ Stuffed Turiya/ Ridge Gourd Nu Shaak

Turiya is a very healthy vegetable, but due to it's mushy consistency kids often don't like eating it. You may make stuffed turiya or you may simply chop the turiya and cook the vegetable. My son likes simple chopped turiya, but I prefer stuffed turiya. So here I am sharing a personal favorite - stuffed turiya vegetable - recipe with you all. It is a relatively simple dish, but great with roti, bhakri and bajra rotla. I hope you like this recipe!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4 long turiya
  • 3 tablespoons dhana powder (coriander powder)
  • 1 tablespoon jeera powder (cumin powder)
  • 2 tablespoons red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder plus an additional 1/2 teaspoon for later use
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour
  • Pinch of hing
  • 4 tablespoons oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped green coriander leaves
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, wash and clean the turiya. Let them dry completely prior to peeling, cutting and cooking.
  2. Once dry, peel the turiya and cut them in halves. Then, slit them lengthwise keeping the other side intact. (Reference the subsequent photographs if unclear)
  3. In a bowl, combine all the spices and salt and mix well. Fill the slit portion of the turiya with the spice mix. 
  4. Heat oil on a pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When they start to crackle, add hing and the 1/2 teaspoon portion of turmeric powder.
  5. Add in all the turiya and mix well. Cover the pan and cook over low flame for 10 minutes or until the turiya is completely cooked (to taste).
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  7. Serve hot with roti, paratha or rice.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rotini With Pesto Sauce (Jain)

Making Jain pasta with pesto sauce is surprisingly very easy while maintaining flavor. Obviously, we will make this without garlic, onion and spinach in the pesto sauce. Instead, I use basil, mint leaves and parsley. I use rotini pasta, but you may use any pasta of your choice (i.e. penne). You may also add your choice of vegetables in the pasta. Here, I use broccoli, french beans and green bell peppers. I usually don't have pasta, but I truly enjoy this variation. Try this recipe for lunch of dinner - it's a personal favorite!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 10 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups broccoli (cut into small florates)
  • 1 cup french beans (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 1 cup green capsicum (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 6 to 7 basil leaves for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
For The Pesto:
  • 1-1/2  cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add pasta and cook according to the packaged directions. Drain, but save some water from the pasta (1 to 2 cups) and return the pasta to the pot.
  2.  Prepare the pesto by adding basil, mint leaves, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, black pepper and salt in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. 
  3. With the machine still running, drizzle in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until the mixture is a smooth puree. If you feel the mixture is too thick to equally coat the pasta, then add a little more olive oil.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli, green pepper and french beans. Stir fry and add the pasta. Season with black pepper and salt. 
  5. Add the pesto and toss until it is uniformly combined/ mixed. If you think it is dry, then add some of the saved pasta water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  6. Garnish with basil leaves and top with additional grated cheese (optional).
  7. Serve hot with with a side such as cheese bread or garlic bread. ( garlic bread optional)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Plain Upma

Upma is a quick and common breakfast item originating in the southern part of India. It's preparation involves fusing together a few common ingredients. You may also make it healthier by adding vegetables such as green peas, onions, tomato, corn and/or carrots. However, I like plain upma very much so here I am sharing a plain umma recipe, which I learned from one of my aunt. I like to make upma in ghee, but that is a personal preference. You may use oil.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup rava/ semolina/ sooji
  • 2 tablespoons oil /ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon split urad dal
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat pan on medium high heat and add oil/ ghee. Then, add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add urad dal, chopped curry leaves and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add the rava and sauté for a few minutes until the color of the rava changes. Add 4 cups of hot water and salt. Mix well and cover with a lid. 
  3. Cook on a slow flame for a few minutes while occasionally stirring.
  4. Add lemon juice, mix well and cook while stirring continuously for one minute. 
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paneer-Stuffed Green Moong Dal Dosa (Pesarattu Dosa)

This Dosa is made with green split moong dal instead of your traditional batter. It is a delicious multi-nutrient breakfast or lunch option that will provide you energy for the whole day. The paneer stuffing will give you protein, which ensures that you will start the day right (and happy!). While it sounds difficult, the dosa is very easy to make. The best thing about this batter is that you don't need to ferment the dal batter.

Soaking Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup split green moon dal
  • 4 green chillies for batter
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilis (adjust spice level according to your taste), chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled paneer or very finely cubed paneer
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Oil/ ghee for dosa (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, soak the dal in water for at least two hours.
  2. Drain the water and combine the dal with green chilis and ginger. In a blender, add the mixture and a little water. Blend it until it has a smooth paste-like consistency.
  3. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add salt. Mix it well and keep aside.
  4. Sauté the paneer in a pan with one teaspoon oil/ghee until it is light brown and keep aside.
  5. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons oil/ghee with the gas on medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until lightly brown. Then, add the chopped green chili, green capsicum and tomatoes (on high heat so water doesn't release). Sauté for one minute and then add paneer, salt, chaat masala and chopped coriander leaves. Quickly mix it and turn off the stove. Keep the mixture aside.
  6. Heat a pan or tawa and lightly grease it. Pour one ladleful of batter onto the tawa and spread it around with the back of the ladle. Sprinkle the paneer mixture onto the dosa. Drizzle oil/ghee around the dosa. Cook until the dosa underside turns golden brown. fold the dosa and serve hot with Coconut Chutney or Green Coriander Chutney.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter to make more dosas.
  8. Serve immediately.

Photos of green moong dal batter, cubed paneer, sautéed paneer,sautéed onion, next is added green capsicum and tomatoes, ready paneer mixtures.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Punjabi Chole Masala

One of my personal favorite dishes is Punjabi style chole. It allows for a high protein recipe with great flavors that totally transform otherwise mundane chickpeas. I really like the texture and combinations of spices that go into it's making. Especially anardana, which adds a tangy punch to the nuttiness of chickpeas. This recipe goes great with bhature (Recipe), puri or rice. There are many ways to make chole, but in the end color of the dish should be dark brown for this specific style. Enjoy this recipe!!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1-1/4 cups kabuli Channa (soak in water overnight)
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilis, slit
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/2" Cinnamon stick
  • 1 whole black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tea bags 
  • Large pinch of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (adjust to your spice level)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon anardana powder (dried pomegranate seed powder)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil
Dry masala powder:
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 2 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper corns
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Dry roast all the ingredients on low to medium flame for 4 to 5 minutes and grind to a fine powder
  1. In a pressure cooker, add the chickpeas and approximately 3 cups of water, large pinch of baking soda, a tea bag, cinnamon stick and black cardamom. Cook the chickpeas until they are soft (4 to 5 whistles). 
  2. Let the cooker cool before opening. Then, drain the water from the chickpeas, but keep the water aside for later use. Discard the tea bag, cinnamon stick and black cardamom.
  3. Heat oil on a pan and add green chili, grated ginger and bay leaf. Sauté for few seconds.
  4. Add the chopped onions and sauté until they are transparent. Add red chili powder and salt. Mix well. 
  5. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft and the oil separates (approx. 15 minutes).
  6. Add the ground masala powder, anardana powder and mix well. Add the boiled channa and cook on simmer for at least 5 minutes. Add the leftover water and bring to a boil. Cook for an additional 20 minutes or until the gravy gets slightly thick.
  7. Adjust the salt (to taste) and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Bhature (Punjabi Bread)

Bhatura is a very popular Punjabi bread eaten all over India. It is a popular breakfast dish in north India. It has a crisp exterior, spongy inside and a mild sour flavor. It is very easy to make and has no yeast, but instead yogurt and baking powder. Typically, bhature is served with chole and has all the essentials of a great brunch. It is filling and makes for a complete meal. In simple terms, bhatura bread is nothing but a fried bread served with chickpeas curry. So enjoy the recipe!

Preparation time: 4 hours
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 (8 bhature)

  • 2 cups maida flour
  • 2 tablespoons sooji/rava
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 5 tablespoons yogurt
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for deep frying
  • Water to knead into the dough
  1. Except the oil for frying,  mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Make the dough soft, but it should not be overly soft or too hard to knead.
  2. Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and keep aside for at least four hours.
  3. Make lemon sized balls and roll into thick round rotis. They should not be too thick or too thin.
  4. Heat oil in a frying pan with the gas on medium high. Once the oil is hot, slide the bhature onto the oil. With a ladle, press the center and along the edges and it should puff. Flip over and fry the other side until medium or light golden brown. Remove onto absorbent paper.
  5. Serve hot with chole, yogurt, fresh onion and salad of your choice.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Mixed Dal Handvo

Mixed dal handvo is a spicy baked cake made of rice and lentil fermented batter mixed with spices. It is crispy on the outside and soft inside. I learned this recipe from one of my childhood friends from school and it is popular in the Indian state of Gujarat. You may add your choice of vegetables into it such as doodhi/ bottle gourd/ lauki, zucchini, carrots and also fresh spinach. In this recipe I used only grated doodhi. Follow these instructions and you are sure to end up with the perfect handvo.

Soaking Time: 4 hours
Fermenting Time: 8 hours
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/4 cup toovar dal (arhar dal)
  • 1 tablespoon urad dal (split black lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon moong dal (split green gram)
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (split bengal gram)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/4 cup sour yogurt
  • 1 cup grated doodhi
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • A pinch of soda bi-carb
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chiili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons ginger and chilli paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
  • 1/4 teaspoon hing/asafoetida
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
  1. Clean, wash and soak the dals and rice together in enough water for at least 4 hours. Drain and keep the water aside. Blend the dal and rice together in a mixer to a smooth consistency. Use the kept water as needed.
  2. Transfer the batter into a bowl and add yogurt. Mix well and cover and keep aside to ferment overnight.
  3. When ready, add doodhi, 1 tablespoon oil, lemon juice, soda, sugar, ginger-chili paste, salt and mix well.
  4. Grease a baking pan with an oil spray or spread oil generously. Pour the handvo batter into the greased pan. Tap the tray as you pour as it will help spreading the batter evenly.
  5. Heat oil for seasoning in a small pan over medium heat. Add mustard seeds and hing. As the seeds crack, turn off the heat.
  6. Drizzle the seasoning over the handvo batter. Sprinkle sesame seeds as well. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place on the middle rack of the oven. Bake in a 350 degrees preheated oven for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes or until top of the handvo is golden brown. To check if it has cooked through, insert a knife into the center of the handvo. When removed, it should come out clean.
  8. Let the handvo cool. Then, cut them into pieces. It is ready to serve with chutney and/or pickle.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Nachos (Mexican Dish)

Nachos is one of the most widely eaten dishes in my home. What is it? Some sort of salad, a snack or something in between? My zesty nachos are comprised of Indian flavored kidney beans (rajma), spicy salsa, lots of vegetables and cheese arranged atop corn chips. It bursts of flavors and textures! Garnish it with spring onions and jalapenos to add a colorful layer of appeal to this tasty snack. You may use a variety of vegetables based on your preferences. I used green pepper, red pepper, spring onions, jalapenos, tomatoes and coriander leaves. If you like, you may also use olives, lettuce etc. Enjoy with some football in the fall!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes (15 minutes for beans and 10 minutes baking time)
Servings: 4

  • 1 bag of tortilla chips, 14.5 oz.
For Beans:
  • 1 can red kidney beans, 19 oz.
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small plum tomato, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt, to taste
For Toppings:
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 to 3 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 small green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup spring onion, chopped
  • 2 bags of mozzarella cheese (16 oz. each)
  1. To make the beans, heat oil on a pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté until medium brown. Then, add chopped garlic and jalapeño and sauté until it is tender. Lastly, add chopped tomatoes and when they are softened, add cumin powder, red chili powder and salt. Mix well.
  2. Rinse and drain the kidney beans from the can (or rinse, soak and boil, if from a bag). Mix well and cook for another five minutes. Keep it aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  4. On a baking plate, arrange the tortilla chips/ corn chips. On the top of the chips, spread the cooked kidney beans first, then layered with half of the chopped veggies listed above. Put cheese on the top and then layer with other half veggies.
  5. Put the chips with toppings inside the preheated oven and bake until cheese melts.
  6. Serve hot with sides of Salsa, green hot Mexican (El Yucateco) sauce and fresh guacamole. (For Fresh Homemade Tomato Salsa check the recipe on my blog.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Mexican Nacho Sandwich

For a small gathering or with family, create a nacho sandwich buffet by setting out all the ingredients noted below (add others, if desired) for a customized experience. Let the diner choose the toppings they like and you may make unique sandwiches for each person. In my family, we prepare them that way due to varying levels of spice and vegetable preferences. The sandwich is very easy to prepare once you have all the ingredients in front of you. Enjoy!

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4


Bread Preperation:
  • 4 pieces of Italian bread (6" long)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
For Beans:
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 small plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 romaine lettuce
  • 4 jalapeños, sliced
  • 1-1/2 green capsicum, sliced
  • 1-1/2 bags of Mexican cheese (16 oz.)
  • 4 cups cheese 
  • tortilla chips
  • 3 cups of salsa (Fresh Homemade Tomato Salsa)
  1. Preheat the oven on 350 degrees.
  2. First, we will cook the beans. Heat oil on a pan and add the onions. Sauté until medium brown. Then, add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes. When they are softened, add red chilli powder, cumin powder and salt. Mix well and add the kidney beans. (drain and rinse the beans prior to adding.) Cover and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on medium heat.
  3. Slit each bread horizontally into halves so you have 8 pieces. Scoop out the middle inner portion of the bread. It will look like a boat after. 
  4. Mix the olive oil and butter and brush the bread with the mixture. After, toast the bread lightly in the oven and remove. 
  5. Put the chips in a Ziplock bag and crush. 
  6. Next, on the bread, spread the beans and add salsa on the top. Then, add the crushed nacho chips, shredded cheese and sliced jalapeños (to taste). Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted. 
  7. Take it out of the oven and put atop the veggies of your choice: lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and green peppers. If you like a spicy sandwich, then sprinkle some hot sauce, preferably of the Mexican kind (i.e. El Yucateco).
  8. Nacho sandwich is now ready to serve

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Rasam (South Indian)

This is a simplified recipe for Rasam made without storebought rasam powder. I learned this recipe  from one of my uncle's Madrasi cook in India. Rasam is a thin lentil soup made with tamarind pulp, chopped tomatoes and spices. Whenever my husband has a cold, he always asks me to make rasam. It is spicy and soothing! You may enjoy the rasam as a soup or have it with idli and medu vada.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2 cup toovar dal
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind (paste/pulp)
  • 1/4 cup fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole jeera
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon whole black pepper (adjust according to your spice preference)
  • 2 to 3 dried red chilli
  • 2 dry red chilli (for tempering)
  • 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 8 to 10 curry leaves
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 5 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  1. On a pan, roast whole jeera, black pepper and red chilli. Grind them into powder after.
  2. Wash the dal before cooking. Drain and cook the dal with 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker. When it has cooled down, open and strain only the dal water from the top. Do not use the dal. Keep the water on the side. ( you can use the dal for your another meal, don't throw it)
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan/pot. Add hing and two chopped tomatoes. When the tomatoes become soft, add the freshly grinded powder from step 1. Saute for two to three minutes. Put this mixture in a blender to make the paste.
  4. In another pan/pot, add 1 tablespoon ghee, two dry red chilli, hing and the paste. Sauté for two to three minutes. Add the strained dal water, tamarind paste, curry leaves and one chopped tomato.
  5. Cook for five to seven minutes. Add salt to taste and cook for one more minute. Turn off the stove. Add chopped coriander leaves.
  6. Serve hot as a soup or with Idli and Medu Vada.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Rava/ Sooji/ Semolina Na Dhokla

Rava dhokla, a popular Gujarati dish, is very easy to make and may be served for breakfast or as a snack. There is no soaking, grinding or fermenting involved. Just mix the rava with sour yogurt and  eno salt to make the dhokla spongy. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Prep time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup rava/sooji
  • 2 tablespoons gram flour
  • 1/2 cup sour yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons green chilli paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon Eno salt
  • Salt to taste
  • Water (a little more than 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander leaves
For tempering:
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  1. In a bowl, mix rava, add gram flour, green chili paste, ginger paste, salt, turmeric powder and oil. Then, mix in the yogurt and get it all to a smooth paste-like consistency.
  2. Add water, little by little, so there are no lumps. Mix well and cover the batter for five minutes.
  3. Prepare the steamer by adding a little water and let it come to a boil. Grease the dhokla tray (3 tier tray) or thali with oil.
  4. Add Eno on the batter. It will start to bubble up. Stir and immediately pour the batter into greased dhokla tray.
  5. Sprinkle red chilli powder, cumin powder and chopped coriander leaves on all three trays. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes on medium heat. Check to see if it is cooked by inserting a knife and if it comes out clean, then it is ready.
  6. Remove the tray from the steamer and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then, cut it into pieces.
  7. For tempering, heat the oil in small pan. Once hot, add mustard seeds and let them pop. Then, add sesame seeds and hing. Turn off the stove, drizzle the tadka over the dhokla using a spoon.
  8. Serve with green chutney.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Rava Uttapam/ Instant Sooji Uttapam

Rava uttapam is essentially a simple pancake formed with a mixture comprised of rava and yogurt and topped with some vegetables. When you are hungry and short on time, it may be made rather quickly. You may eat this for breakfast or lunch.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup rava/ sooji/ semolina
  • 1/2 cup yogurt 
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium small tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green capsicum, chopped
  • 1/4 cup red capsicum, chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, grated
  • 1/4 cup cabbage, grated
  • 3 to 4 green chili, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
  • Oil
  • Salt to tate
  1. Soak rava in one cup of water and set aside for 10 minutes. In the meantime, chop the veggies.
  2. Add yogurt and salt to the rava mixture. Mix the batter to a not too thin or too thick consistency. If needed, add a couple of tablespoons of water to bring it to the right consistency.
  3. Grease and heat the pan. Pour a laddle of the batter and spread it gently. Sprinkle the veggies and press with a spatula.
  4. Add oil around the edges and cover with a lid. Cook on medium heat. 
  5. Cook until the rava uttapam is lightly crisp (browning bottom) and the veggies are cooked. Follow the same directions for rest of the batter.
  6. Serve hot with coconut chutney. (Check the recipe on my blog for Coconut Chutney.)
Vegetable uttapam:

Friday, March 31, 2017

Bread Disc Pizza

I usually make pizza bread as a snack, but one day I got into the mood to try something different. I had seen vegetable discs somewhere, so thought of creating those with a pizza filling. It is quite easy to make and takes little time in case you ever need a snack or need to whip up something fast for unplanned guests.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 16 slices of bread (for 8 discs)
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, chopped 
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 cup pizza sauce (store bought)
  1. First you need two bowls. One should be bigger than the other (you may also use a cookie cutter). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cut all 16 slices with the larger cutter. Then, cut 8 breads with the smaller shaped cutter in round shaped slices so that you get a ring shaped crust. (See the pictures below)
  3. Apply pizza sauce on the 8 big round slices. Place the crust rings on top of the large round slices.
  4. Spread cheese on the pizza sauce. Then, sprinkle the chopped green pepper and onion. Place a jalapeño on top. (Note: you may use toppings of your own choice.)
  5. Place all the rings in a tray and place the tray in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for about 5 to 7 minutes or until the rings are golden brown.
  6. Pizza disc are ready to serve, serve them hot.

I used two small bowls. One is a little bigger than the other one.

Cut the round discs with big bowl

Cut half the round discs with small one

Apply the pizza sauce, then put the ring on top

Place the ring on top

Before baking it should look like this

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stuffed Bread Rolls

It is relatively straightforward and quite easy to make stuffed bread rolls. You may use different kinds of stuffing to make the rolls. For example, you may use paneer stuffing, green peas stuffing, potatoes stuffing, chili paneer stuffing or even pizza stuffing. The desired ingredients are stuffed inside the bread, rolled and shallow fried, or baked. In this recipe I used potato stuffing because my husband loves potatoes.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 to 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 16 slices of bread
  • 2 cups potatoes, boiled and cubed
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • Pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon amchur/ dry mango powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as needed
  • A little water
  1. Steam the potato cubes until they are cooked. Then, mash them.
  2. In a pan, add one tablespoon oil on medium heat. Sauté the onion until it is light brown.
  3. Add the chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, amchur powder, green chili, ginger, salt and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
  4. Add in the mashed potatoes and turn off the stove letting the mixture cool down. Divide the mixture to 16 equal balls and make them oblong or oval shaped balls. Set aside.
  5. Trim the edges of the bread and roll the slices individually to flatten them. Place one ball towards an end and begin to roll. Stick the edges together and seal the inner filling by applying a little water on the corners of the bread. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry them until they are golden brown. 
  6. Serve the bread rolls with green and sweet chutney.
Bon Appétit!

Roll the bread with rolling pin:

Potato stuffing:

Place the ball on bread:

Make the roll:

Monday, March 6, 2017

Matla Undhiyu (Umbadiyu/ Ubadiyu)

Matla undhiyu is a very popular entree in the southern part of Gujarat. It is also known as umbadiyu or ubadiyu. The dish is comprised of vegetables, which are steam cooked in a traditional matla (clay pot). The deliciously rich veggies are usually enjoyed in winter. Surti papdi and tuvar lilva are required to prepare the veggies and they are only available during the winter months. Here in America, I've made matla undhiyu using a gas stove. If you'd like to buy a matla, it is available via Amazon.

Prep time: 30 to 40 minutes
Cooking time: 50 to 60 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 8 small red potatoes
  • 1-1/2 cup purple yam (ratalu)
  • 2 cups surti papdi
  • 1 cup surti lilva dana
  • 1 cup tuvar lilva dana
  • 4 small eggplants (optional)
  • 8 to 9 green chilies
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ajwain
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • Gram flour sev to sprinkle
  • Salt to taste
  • Few cabbage leaves
  • Green chutney (check my blog for recipe)
  • Garlic chutney (check my blog for recipe)
  • Kotha chutney (check my blog for recipe)
  1. Wash and peel the sides of surti papdi, but leave it whole and don't cut.
  2. In a food processor, add chopped tuvar lilva, surti papdi lilva, green chili and ginger. Don't make it into a paste - roughly chop. Mix it with surti papdi and one tablespoon oil.
  3. Cut the small potatoes in two pieces. Then, cut the sweet potatoes to the same size.
  4. In the variation, I didn't use eggplant, but you make two cross silts on the small eggplants prior to adding them in step 5. I used frozen purple yam.  You may use frozen or fresh - depending on availability.
  5. In a bowl, add cut potatoes, sweet potatoes and purple yum. Add salt, ajwain and one tablespoon oil. Mix together very well.
  6. Wash the matla under tap water and arrange some cabbage leaves on the bottom and sides of matla.
  7. Add half of the surti papadi mixture as the first layer, then add the potato, sweet potato and purple yam mixture. 
  8. Add the other half of the surti papdi mixture on top.
  9. Cover it all with cabbage leaves.
  10. Put the clay lid on the matla and seal the lid and matla with flour paste so the moisture stays in.
  11. Cook on the stove for 45 to 50 minutes in medium high heat.
  12. Remove the seal with a knife and open the lid. The undhiyu is ready to serve. You may keep the pieces whole or traditionally mesh everything (I kept it whole).
  13. Add green chutney, garlic chutney and kotha chutney on the undhiyu. If you like, you may also drizzle sesame oil on top.
  14. Sprinkle some sev and serve hot.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Kotha Chutney

Kotha chutney is made from its namesake, a fruit known as kotha. Kotha is also known as, "wood apple." In Rajasthan, kotha chutney is very popular and in Gujarat it is used to accompany the traditional dish known as undhiyu/umbadiyu. I made this chutney from dry kotha powder since it is not available in America. The chutney is very easy to make with a few simple ingredients.

Prep time: 5 to 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 tablespoons dry kotha powder
  • 1 tablespoon grated gol/ jaggery/ gud (optional for sweetness)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium red capsicum
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  1. In a mixer, add red capsicum (cut the stem), cumin seeds, red chili powder, gol, kotha powder and salt. 
  2. Add a little water (2 tablespoons) and blend it in the mixer. 
  3. Chutney is now ready to serve.
  4. Serve with matla undhiyu or any Indian meal. Also works well with any kind of chaat.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Chili Paneer Pinwheel

Chili paneer pinwheels are a great party treat for an appetizer or finger food. They are relatively easy to make and provide for an interesting twist on an Indian snack. You may make different kinds of pinwheels using the same dough. For example, a samosa pinwheel or green peas pinwheel. You may make pinwheels out of any vegetables. They are a mouthwatering snack!

Prep Time: 10 to 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 frozen Crescent dough roll (8 oz.)
  • 1 cup paneer, crumbled or shredded 
  • 1/3 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon green chili, chopped
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Cooking oil spray
  • Salt to taste
  1. While going through steps 2 through 6, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the stuffing, in a bowl, add all of the above-mentioned ingredients except for the cooking oil spray. Mix well and keep aside.
  3. On a wooden surface, place the crescent roll and flatten it out with a rolling pin. 
  4. Add the chili paneer stuffing in the center and spread evenly. 
  5. Next, roll the dough gently with the stuffing. Slice the roll into 1/4 inch thick pieces.
  6. Take a baking tray and spray some oil over it. Place the chili paneer rolls in the tray about one inch apart.
  7. Bake the pinwheels in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  8. Serve hot.
Note: If you cannot find crescent roll dough, then you may use puff pastry dough sheet as an alternative.

Photo of Crescent roll used:  
Alternative puff pastry sheets:

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Sada Dosa (South Indian Recipe)

Dosa, a crisp and thin crepe made of rice and urad dal batter, is an extremely popular dish in south India. Making a homemade dosa involves three simple stages with the batter: soaking, grinding and fermenting. You may make different kinds of dosas with the same batter. For example, a masala dosa, mysore masala dosa, paper dosa, cheese dosa, paneer dosa etc. You can do numerous dosa variations by using few simple additional ingredients.

Soaking time: 4 hours
Fermentation time: 6 to 7 hours
Prep time:  15 Minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1-1/2 cups parboiled rice
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (split black urad dal)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Oil and ghee for frying
  • Salt to taste
  1. Soak urad dal and fenugreek seeds in water for 4 hours and then drain. At the same time, soak  rice in water for 4 hours and then drain.
  2. Blend the urad dal and fenugreek seeds together in a mixer until you have a smooth paste-like consistency. Add water little by little, as required.
  3. Blend the rice in a mixer adding a little water, as required.
  4. Combine both pastes together in a bowl, cover it and keep aside to ferment (6 to 7 hours).
  5. Once the batter is fermented, add salt to the batter and mix it well. Thin with water, if necessary, before proceeding.
  6. To make the dosas, set a griddle or cast iron skillet over medium heat and brush with 1 teaspoon of oil.
  7. Ladle 1/4 cup batter in the center of griddle, using the bottom of ladle, and quickly spread the batter outward in a circular motion to a diameter of about 7 to 8 inches. Drizzle oil or ghee over the top.
  8. Leave the dosa batter to brown gradually until the outer edges begin to look dry. Cook on one side only. With a spatula, carefully loosen the dosa from the griddle. The bottom should be crisp and browned.
  9. Continue making dosas, one at a time.
  10. Serve hot with coconut chutney, sambar and aloo bhaji on the side.
Check out the recipes for Coconut Chutney, Sambar and Aloo Bhaji on my blog!

Dosa with chutney, aloo Bhaji and sambar:

Sada dosa

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Badshahi Khichdi

Khichdi, a dal and rice medley cooked with spices is a simply, yet cozy, meal - great during the winter. Badshah khichdi, literally translated to mean a king's version, is the same khichdi, but cooked with layered cabbage and vegetables similar to lasagna. While this recipe involves a lot of ingredients, it is rather simple and much may be done while the rice and dal are cooking. I learned this dish from one of my friends (Vandana). You may eat this khichdi as it is or it may be served with yogurt. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4


For Khichdi:
  • 3/4 cup toovar dal
  • 3/4 cup rice
  • 3 tablespoons ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
For Cabbage Vegetable:
  • 8 cups cabbage
  • 2 teaspoon green chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
For Mixed Vegetables:
  • 4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (or you may get fresh vegetables: corn, green peas, carrots and string green beans)
  • 2 teaspoons green chili paste
  • 1 teaspoon ginger paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dhanajeera powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
For Tempering the Khichdi:
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Pinch of hing
  • Fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 4-5 green chilies cut into pieces about 1-1/2 inch long and fried
  1. Clean, wash and soak the rice and toovar dal in water for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add dal, rice, salt, turmeric powder, ghee and about 3 cups of hot water. Mix well and pressure cook for 4 whistles. (Allow the pressurized steam to escape before opening the lid)
  3. In the mean time, prepare the vegetables while the khichdi is cooking. For the cabbage, heat oil in pan and add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add cumin seeds and hing. Then, add the cabbage, all the spices except salt, chili and ginger paste. Mix it well and when the cabbage is half cooked, add salt to it and mix. Do not overcook the cabbage so as to keep it a little crunchy.
  4. For the mixed vegetables, follow the same procedure as #3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add cumin seeds and hing. Then, add the mixed vegetables, all the spices except salt, green chili and ginger paste. Mix it well and when vegetables are half cooked, add salt to it, continue to mix and cook.
  5. In a pan with oil, fry the green chilis with a sprinkle of salt and dhanajeera powder and mix.
  6. Now, to assemble the dish I used a fluted bakeware mold. If you don't have one, you may assemble it in any transparent dish or bowl. First, grease the mold. Then, make the first layer of cabbage (1/2 of the portion). Second, a mixed vegetable layer (1/2 of the portion). Third, a 1/2 layer portion of khichdi. Repeat the same procedure again for layers four to six. 
  7. In a small pan, heat ghee. Then, add mustard seeds and when they start to crackle, add cumin seeds and hing. Pour the tempering onto the khichdi. Press with a spatula.
  8. Lastly, put a plate on top of the mold and flip it over so the plate is on the bottom. Remove the mold and serve hot with green chilies and yogurt or raita!!! Enjoy!


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Amritsari Kulcha

A delicious brunch of Amritsari kulcha is a popular dish amongst people in northern part of India. I was in Amritsar, Punjab last year and during my stay I had kulcha with raita or yogurt everyday! I didn't have any curry with it, but you may for a fuller meal. If so, you may eat with chole or dal makhani. You may easily prepare these delicious kulchas and enjoy them at home at any time. Here is a straight-from-Punjab recipe for Amritsari kulchas!

Prep Time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 (8 kulchas)


For the dough:
  • 4 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 9 teaspoons ghee
  • Salt to taste
For the filling:
  • 2 large potatoes, boiled and grated
  • 3 green chilis, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon coarsely ground coriander seeds
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped
  1. Mix the all purpose flour (maida) with salt, baking soda, ghee, and yogurt. Use a little water, if needed, to make the dough softer.
  2. Put the dough on a clean surface and knead well. Initially, if the dough feels sticky, do not worry as you work the dough it tends to get less sticky. Make 8 soft balls with the well kneaded dough and set aside covered for 30 to 40 minutes.
  3. Boil 2 large potatoes, cool and peel them. Grate the potatoes, add salt, lime juice, chopped green chilies, grated ginger and garam masala. Mix it well and keep aside.
  4. Grease the dough with some ghee and flatten it. Or, use a rolling pin, roll the dough to a 3 to 4 inch diameter.
  5. Place the potato filling (1/8 part) on the dough and bring the sides together. Press them well to join it in the middle. Make a smooth ball and use your fingers to flatten it gently or use a rolling pin. Roll the dough to form an even 5 to 6 inch diameter kulcha. Follow the same procedure for rest of the dough and filling.
  6. Sprinkle some ground coriander seeds and press them in well, Also, sprinkle some coriander leaves and red chili powder.
  7. Preheat the oven to 500F degrees. I used a pizza tray for baking the kulcha, but you may use a similar baking tray or pan appropriately sized. Gently place each kulcha on the baking tray and put in the oven. Bake the kulchas for 5 to 6 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Cooking them on high heat makes the kulchas cook evenly while remaining soft. Slow baking will make them hard and crisp.
  8. Remove when done and apply some ghee.
  9. Serve with any curries (i.e. chole) or just chilled yogurt or raita.

Bake it in a pizza tray