Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bread Rolls

These rolls are great for a snack or as an appetizer. Serve with ketchup or Indian style mint chutney on the side.


  • 8 slices of white bread (fresh)
  • Oil for frying

For Stuffing:


  • Prepare potato stuffing: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and chopped green chili. Fry over medium heat, until light brown. Add mashed potato, green peas, grated ginger, red chili powder, garam masala powder, amchur and salt. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Add chopped green coriander leaves and remove from heat. Stuffing is ready.
  • Cleanly cut hard edges of the bread slices with the help of a sharp knife.
  • Take some water in a bowl and dip a bread slice for few seconds. Squeeze out the water by pressing the bread slice (flat) between palms gently.
  • Take one scoop of the potato mixture and put it in the centre of the bread slice and seal all its edges. Gently roll it between your palms to give it an elongated shape. Ensure that the potato mixture is completely covered with the bread slice.
  • Repeat the same process for making more rolls.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai or wok and deep fry on medium flame till golden brown.
  • Serve bread rolls hot with green chutney and/or tomato chutney.

Do you know?

A ‘sop’ is a piece of bread or toast that is soaked in liquid food and then eaten. In medieval cuisine, ‘sops’ were very common. ‘Sops’ were served with wine, soup or broth, which were then picked apart into smaller pieces to soak in the liquid. The word ‘soup’ is a cognate of ‘sop’, both stemming ultimately from the same Germanic source.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Chickpea Biryani

Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana / Garbanzo beans are cooked with rice in the same way as biryani is cooked. Layers of spiced chickpeas and rice are set one over the other and then allowed to cook on low heat (called as ‘dum’) till done.

It is healthy and satisfying dish. Serve with Dahi Ki Chutney.


For Rice (Section A):

For Kabuli Chana mix (Section B):

For Layering of Rice and Chana (Section C):


  • Prepare rice (use ingredients of section A): Wash and soak rice for half an hour. Boil then with the ingredients till almost done.
  • Prepare Kabuli Chana mix (use ingredients of section B): Heat 2 tbsp oil, in a pan. Add shahjeera, when they crackle add ginger garlic paste and fry for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and fry again for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the yoghurt and fry till liquid evaporates a bit. Add chopped green chilies, browned onion (crushed), boiled kabuli chana/garbanzo beans, red chili powder, garam masala powder, little salt and stir to mix well.
  • Layering (use ingredients of section C): Grease a heavy bottom saucepan with 2 tbsp oil. Transfer the garbanzo mixture into it. Spread the boiled rice over the garbanzo mix. Spread browned onions, garam masala powder, chopped mint leaves, lemon juice, ghee and milk over the rice layer.
  • Cover the saucepan tightly. Cook over high flame for 2-3 minutes in the beginning and then over low flame till done (for about 10 to 12 minutes).
  • Garnish with fried onions.
  • Serve with Dahi Ki Chutney.

Do You Know?

According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, basmati rice has a "medium" glycemic index (between 56 and 69), thus making it more suitable for diabetics as compared to certain other grains and products made from white flour.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pakodi Wali Kadhi

Spiced Gram flour dumplings cooked in delicious gravy of gram flour and yogurt with lots of chopped cilantro.


For the Pakodis:

  • 1 cup bengal gram flour (besan)
  • 3-4 pods of garlic grated
  • ½ tsp red chili powder (optional)
  • 2 green chilies chopped finely
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • Pinch of soda bi carbonate
  • 1/2 cup of fresh finely chopped coriander
  • Cooking oil for deep frying

For the Kadhi:

For Tempering:

  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • Big pinch of asafetida
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 2 dried whole red chilies


  • Mix the yogurt, water, 2 tbsp of bengal gram flour, turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder and salt to taste. Whisk to ensure there are no lumps.
  • In a deep pan or wok heat 2 tbsp of oil. Add cumin, fenugreek and mustard seeds. When they stop spluttering, add garlic and fry a little.
  • Add the besan yogurt mixture slowly, stirring constantly, and bring it to a boil, cooking about 4-5 minutes.
  • Make sure you stir the yogurt mixture or it will curdle. Reduce wok heat if ingredients start to boil over.
  • Once liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is smooth and silky, for about 45-50 minutes.
  • Adjust thickness of sauce with the extra cup of boiled water (continuous simmering of Kadhi makes it thicker so go on adding boiled water if Kadhi becomes very thick).
  • While the Kadhi is getting cooked as above, mix all the Pakodi ingredients together to form a thick batter (as for fritters). Heat the oil for deep frying, on a medium flame.
  • Use a tablespoon (or your hand if you are more comfortable with that) to drop portions of batter into the hot oil. Fry till golden, drain, remove from the oil and add to the simmering Kadhi.
  • When Kadhi is ready turn off the heat. Add ¼ cup of chopped cilantro and take it out in a serving dish.
  • Adjust the tanginess of Kadhi by adding lemon juice if required.
  • Prepare ‘Tadka’: To temper Kadhi, heat ghee in a small pan, add asafetida, dry red chili and ½ tsp red chili powder; immediately pour this over Kadhi in dish before chili powder gets burned.
  • Serve with piping hot plain boiled rice.

Do you know?

The Gram flour or chickpea flour or besan is milled from hulled and roasted Kala Chana or Black Gram.

It has a slightly nutty flavor and earthy aroma. The high-protein content makes it ideal for the large vegetarian population in India.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Paratha

This is a perfect recipe for the sumptuous brunch. Prepare stuffed paratha from the leftover cooked vegetables like potato, peas, beans, capsicum, cabbage etc from the previous meal. Just dry them in a frying pan to remove all the moisture before stuffing. Serve with butter and plain yogurt.


To prepare dough:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • Warm water to knead

To prepare stuffing:

  • Dried cooked vegetable
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger

To pan fry:

  • Ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil to pan-fry parathas


  • Completely dry the vegetables in a frying pan on medium heat so that all the moisture is removed. Mix grated ginger and chopped coriander leaves. Divide stuffing mixture in equal sized portions and keep aside.
  • Mix oil and salt in whole wheat flour and knead the flour into smooth dough using warm water; keep it aside for ½ hour.
  • Divide the dough into 8-10 equal sized balls. Flour a clean surface and roll each ball out into an oblong chapati about 8" in length and 4-5” in width.

  • Now with the help of thumb and first finger pinch the centre of chapati to form a dumble shaped structure.
  • Place stuffing on one part of the dumble.
  • And now fold the other over it.
  • Press gently around the edges.
  • Carefully roll out the stuffed circle into paratha, sprinkling whole-wheat flour on the surface, to avoid sticking of paratha with rolling pin.
  • Heat a griddle (tawa) and place a paratha on the griddle. Flip the paratha when tiny bubbles rise on the surface. Drizzle a bit of ghee/oil on the top and spread well over the surface of the paratha. Flip the paratha again after few seconds and drizzle ghee on this surface too. The paratha is done when both sides are crispy and golden brown. Remove from the griddle and repeat with the other parathas until all are cooked.
  • Serve with butter, plain yogurt and/or pickle.

Do You Know?

Gluten is the substance that gives dough its elasticity, strength, and makes the dough rise. Wheat has a high level of gluten. When baked goods are made with various types of non-gluten flour, wheat flour is often added so that the dough is able to rise effectively. Many types of flour milled from various grains, seeds, legumes, tubers, and nuts do not contain gluten.

Gluten forms only when liquid is added to flour causing a reaction of the insoluble proteinsgliadin and glutenin. Gliadin has the consistency of syrup when it is combined with water and glutenin becomes very rubbery. The combination of the two is what gives dough its sticky and elastic qualities.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Samosa (potato filled prism shaped savories)

This recipe involves Samosas (stuffed prism shaped savories) filled with spiced potatoes. You can fill up any semi-dry filling you desire into Samosas i.e. minced meat, spinach, paneer etc.


  • 2 cups Maida or Pastry flour
  • 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
  • Salt to taste

For Filling:


  • Prepare potato stuffing: Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and chopped green chili. Fry over medium heat, until light brown. Add green peas, grated ginger, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, amchur and salt. Fry for 2 minutes. Add mashed potatoes and stir fry for about 3-4 minutes. Add chopped green coriander leaves and remove from heat. Stuffing is ready.
  • Prepare dough: Sieve the flour; add salt and oil into it. Mix well. Add a little warm water at a time to it, to make a firm, smooth dough. Keep the dough for half an hour, covered with wet cloth.
  • Prepare Samosas: Make small balls of almost equal size and roll out the balls to oblong approximately 6 inches in length and 5 inches in width. You can roll out circle also, only the shape of samosa will be little different.

  • Cut each oblong into 2 with a knife. Each half makes one samosa.

  • Take one half and lightly wet its straight edge with water. Fold it into a cone with the help of middle finger as shown in the picture, overlapping the wet edges and pressing gently to seal well.

  • Keep the cone carefully in the hole made by joining thumb and first finger of left hand.

  • Fill this cone 3/4 full with the potato filling made earlier.

  • Lightly wet the open edges of the cone and press together to seal well.

  • Samosa is ready to be fried.

  • Use all the dough up in a similar manner and Keep these samosas for 10 minutes covered with moist cloth.
  • Deep fry the Samosas on medium heat until golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
  • Serve with Tamarind Chutney and/or Green Coriander Chutney.

Do You Know?

'All-purpose Flour', 'Pastry Flour', 'Whole wheat Pastry Flour', 'Cake flour' are widely considered as substitutes for Maida

  • In olden days, Maida was ‘Whole-grain flour’ made of soft white wheat, ground fine, minimum loss of ash. It is un-bleached. Nowadays, only the endosperm is ground making it more compatible with regular ‘Pastry Flour’ available in United States.
  • Pastry flour is a white flour (bran and germ sifted out) made of soft wheat. Higher gluten than cake flour, lower gluten than ‘All purpose flour’, or 'Whole-wheat Pastry flour'
  • The best substitute for maida are ‘Whole-wheat Pastry flour’ and ‘Pastry flour’. 'Whole-wheat Pastry flour' is the closest substitute for Maida, except that it is not stone ground.
  • All-purpose flour’ is acceptable to a certain extent. It is white flour (bran and germ sifted out) made with a combination of hard and soft wheat. It may be bleached, or un-bleached.
  • Cake flour’ is the most unacceptable substitute for maida or atta. It is white flour made of soft (Red, White, or Combination) wheat. It is the lowest gluten, no ash. It is bleached to support sugar without collapsing

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dahi Ki Chutney

It tastes very good with Biryani (rich rice-meat dishes).



  • Put yogurt in a bowl and add all the ingredients. Mix well to blend.
  • Chill and serve.

Do You Know?
Yogurt can be made from any variety of mammal milk, but is most often made from cow, buffalo or goat milk. Kefir is an alcoholic version of yogurt originally made from fermented camel milk, but now made from cow milk. Available in some natural food stores, kefir has an alcohol content of about 2.5%.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Rava Kesari / Kesari Bhath

Rava Kesari is a South Indian sweet. Rava means sooji or semolina and kesari means saffron. It is also called as Kesari Bhath in some places. Serve it at breakfast or as evening tiffin. It is a perfect dessert for any occasion.

In South India, the Kesari Bhath is spiced with cloves and in North India the Sooji Halwa is spiced with Green Cardamoms. I make Kesari Bhath blending both the flavors.



  • Heat ghee in a large heavy pan, add cloves and fry till little darker.
  • Now add sooji. Stir and roast on low for 7-8 minutes or till aroma exudes and it is pink.
  • Add sugar and warm water to the sooji, little at a time stirring continuously. Take care to protect hands from the spluttering.
  • Cover and simmer till ghee separates. Check sooji grain between fingers and taste for sweetness.
  • Adjust sweetness, and add more warm water if grain is hard.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Save a small amount of cashews and raisins for garnishing.
  • Grease a katori or steel cup with ghee. Keep few cashews and raisins at the base of the katori. Press hot bhath inside it, and unmold onto a plate.
  • Serve hot.

Do You Know?

Chow Chow Bhath is a famous breakfast in Bangalore. It is basically a combination of sweet and savory, served at the same time, on the same plate. One is Halwa or Kesari Bhath and the other is Upama or Khara Bhath. So in a plate you get one scoop of Kesari bhath (Sheera) and one scoop of Upma, both are made of semolina/sooji.

In Bangalore, Kesari Bhath is made of rava but in Mangalore, it is made of rice.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Fresh Corn & Grapes Salad

  • ½ cup Red Globe table grapes seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup sweet corn
  • ¼ cup small Onion finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato chopped
  • ¼ cup capsicum chopped
  • 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste


  • In a bowl, mix all ingredients and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Do You Know?

The Red Globe table grape is a variety of very large, seeded red grapes with firm flesh used mainly as a table grape. It can be grown outdoors in very warm areas with long growing seasons such as California or Australia, but in most of the world it is strictly a greenhouse grape. The majority of Red Globe production in the US and Australia are exported to Asia.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Egg Bhurji (Scrambled Eggs)

Sautéed chopped onions, chilies and spices are added to srambled eggs.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chili finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil or butter

  • Crack the eggs in a bowl and beat them with a fork to blend the egg white and yolk into a homogenous liquid.
  • Heat oil/butter in a non- stick frying pan on medium heat, add chopped onion, finely chopped green chilies and fry them until they become light brown.
  • Add the beaten eggs to the mixture and cook on medium flame, tossing and slicing the mixture with the spatula into discrete lumps.
  • Add salt, red chili powder and Black pepper powder and keep mixing. Once the lumps are cooked, remove from flame.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot with paratha.

Do You Know?

Egg Bhurji is a dish popular in north and western India. Its preparation and appearance are similar to scrambled eggs. The difference lies in the addition of sautéed chopped onions, chilies, and optional spices. Paneer may be substituted for the eggs.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Stuffed Cabbage

Stuffed cabbage is a dish consisting of blanched cabbage leaves wrapped around potato peas mix. A variety of stuffing can be used in place of potato mix like minced meat, eggs, mushrooms and vegetables etc.


  • 1 medium head cabbage
  • water to cover

For Filling:

  • 2 medium potatoes
  • ½ cup green peas
  • 1 small onion chopped fine
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp cilantro leaves finely chopped
  • 1 green chili finely chopped
  • 1 tsp chat masala or amchur
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt to taste

For Masala/Gravy:


Blanch cabbage leaves:

  • Place big outer cabbage leaves in boiling water for 5-6 minutes, or until they are pliable and soft.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon. Lay the leaves flat on a tray and set them aside.

Prepare stuffing:

  • Boil and skin potato. Cut it into small pieces.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. Add cumin seeds in the oil when it is hot. After they stop spluttering, add chopped onion and chopped green chili in the frying pan and fry till it becomes golden brown.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix properly.
  • Add now chopped potato and green peas and fry for some time.
  • Remove from the heat. Mix in chat masala, chopped cilantro leaves and lemon juice. Stuffing is ready. Keep it aside.

Stuffing Cabbage leaves:

  • Set leaves on work surface.
  • Take each cabbage leaf separately. Trim off tough white vein at base of each leaf. Place about 1 tbsp filling on bottom third of each leaf; flatten slightly. Fold bottom of leaf over filling, then fold in sides and roll up tightly making square structures. Just squeeze down the cabbage squares to compress a little. You can use toothpicks also to keep the squares intact. If cabbage leaf is small or thin then take two leaves together to make stuffed squares.
  • Heat a big frying pan with 2 tbsp of cooking oil on medium heat. Add the stuffed cabbage squares one by one, seam side down. After 2 minutes turn the squares so that both the sides of the squares are fried pink. Remove from heat and set them aside.

Prepare Gravy:

  • Put the chopped onion, ginger, garlic, green chili and tomato into a blender or food processor along with ¼ cup water and blend until you have a smooth paste.
  • In a vessel heat 4-5 tbsp of oil and add the onion tomato paste. Fry until it turns light brown. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and garam masala; and fry stirring continuously, until the oil begins to separate from the masala.
  • Add cabbage squares carefully and pour in 1 cup of the water. Cover, lower heat, and simmer gently for about 4-5 minutes.
  • Transfer curry to serving bowl. Remove toothpicks before serving.

Garnish with coriander leaves and

Serve with roti or paratha.

Do You Know?

Dolma: Dolma is a Turkish verbal noun of the meaning "to be stuffed", or simply "stuffed thing". ‘Dolma’, strictly speaking, is a vegetable that is hollowed out and filled with stuffing. This applies to tomato, pepper, eggplant etc. Stuffed mackerel, squid and mussel are also called ‘dolmas’.

Sarma: Dishes involving wrapping leaves such as vine leaves or cabbage leaves around a filling are called ‘Sarma’. Though in many languages, the distinction is usually not made. ‘Sarma’ is derived from the Turkish verb ‘sarmak’ which means ‘to wrap’.