Monday, December 29, 2014

Rava Chakkuli/Murukku


Semolina/Rava - 1 1/2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Salt - 1 tablespoon + more per taste
Fried Gram - 1/3 cup
Green Chillis - 8
Red Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons
Cumin Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida Powder - 1/8 teaspoon
Butter - 5 tablespoons
Rice Flour - 3 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Oil for deep frying

For Aid:

Chakkuli/Murukku press
Plastic/Wax Paper sheet - 1


  1. In a large pan, bring water to a rolling boil.
  2. Add salt and then slowly add semolina to the boiling water, stirring continuously to avoid any lumps. Keep stirring for a 2-3 minutes until it thickens. Turn off the flame.
  3. Blend fried gram into fine powder. Keep aside.
  4. Shred the green chillis. Do not add water.
  5. Now add shredded green chillis, red chilli flakes, fried gram powder, butter, cumin seeds, asafoetida powder and little more salt depending on your taste. I used approx. 1-2 teaspoons more.
  6. Mix well, add rice flour.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of water and knead the dough thoroughly until it is smooth and well combined. Sprinkle a little more water if required, to get a dough that is smooth but not too soft and sticky. The dough should form a lump without leaving any traces of the dough in the bowl.
  8. Now divide the dough into equal sized oval portions to fit into the murukku press.
  9. Heat oil for deep frying. 
  10. Place a plastic/wax paper sheet on a flat surface.
  11. Place an oval shaped dough portion in the murukku press and press it in circular fashion, like a coil, to form the chakkuli/murkku shapes. Ideally, there should one string between the start and the end point.

  12. Depending on the quantity of oil, drop a few pressed dough-coils into the oil. Set the flame to medium-low. Deep fry until the oil stops making the bubbling sound and the chakkuli/murukku turn brown and crisp.
  13. Remove them from oil and place them on a kitchen tissue.
  14. Serve. To store, once cooled to room temperature, place them in an air tight container.

  1. This makes a large batch of chakkuli/murukku, so you might want to reduce the quantity to half of what is mentioned above.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Peach Melba Trifle


Heavy Cream - 1/2 cup
Whole Milk Yogurt - 1 cup
White Sugar - 3 tablespoons
Vanilla Essence - 1/2 teaspoon
Cinnamon Powder - a pinch
Fresh Peaches - 6
Vanilla or Chocolate Cake - 10 to 12 slices (I used chocolate cake)
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons

For Cranberry Sauce:

Dried Cranberries - 1/4 cup
White Sugar - 2 tablespoons (adjust depending on the sweetness of cranberries)
Salt a pinch
Water - 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons
Corn Flour - 1 teaspoon
Vanilla Essence - 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoons

For Serving:

Stemmed glasses or bowl - 6


Preparing Cranberry Sauce:

  1. Take cranberry, sugar, salt and 1/2 of water in a sauce pan. Cook on medium flame until the cranberries turn soft.
  2. Meanwhile dilute corn flour in 2 tablespoons of water.
  3. Pour the diluted corn flour into the cooking cranberry syrup. Stir continuosly to avoid any lumps. The syrup will start thickening.
  4. Set the flame to low, add vanilla essence, mix well.
  5. Now add lemon juice, mix well. Cook for a minute more. Turn off the heat.
  6. Cool and refrigerate to chill the sauce, for about 3-4 hours. 

Preparing and Assembling Triffle:

  1. Peel peaches. 
  2. Cut 4 peaches into thin slices. Rub the slices with 2 teaspoons of lemon juice. Refrigerate the slices.
  3. Whip the heavy cream until it forms peaks in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk yogurt with sugar, vanilla essence and cinnamon powder thoroughly.
  5. Chop the remaining two peaches and puree them. Keep aside.
  6. Now add whipped cream and peach puree. Whisk well. 
  7. Now place the stemmed glasses or bowls on the platform.
  8. Roughly chop the cake slices.
  9. Divide half the portion of the cake slices among the 6 glasses.
  10. Place 4-5 slices of peaches.
  11. Top it with 3-4 tablespoons of yogurt mixture.
  12. Now repeat the cake, peach slice and yogurt mixture layers.
  13. Layer it with a few slices of peaches.
  14. Top with 3 teaspoons of prepared cranberry sauce.
  15. Refrigerate for 4-5 hours.
  16. Serve chilled.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Pudina Paneer Kurma


Onion - 1 large
Tomato - 1 small
Capsicum - 1 small
Cooking Oil - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red Chill Flakes - 1/2 teaspoon
Sugar - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Paneer - 400 gms

For Masala:

Fresh Mint Leaves (Pudina), chopped - 1 cup, tightly packed
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1/2 cup, tightly packed
Roasted Peanuts - 1/4 cup
Coconut, grated - 1/2 cup
Green Chillis - 5
Garlic Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 1" long stick
Cloves - 5
Peppercorns - 6
Cardamom seeds - 1/4 teaspoon

For Garnishing:

Chopped Coriander Leaves

  1. Chop onion and tomato.
  2. Cut capsicum into 1/2" squares.
  3. Cube paneer and boil them in salt water. This makes paneer soft. Drain the water, keep aside.
  4. Heat oil in a pan.
  5. Add chopped onion, saute until translucent.
  6. Now add capsicum pieces and saute for 4-5 minutes until they are a little soft but still a little crunchy.
  7. Add tomatoes, saute until they turn soft.
  8. Add turmeric powder, red chilli flakes, sugar and salt. Mix well and let it cook on low flame for 4-5 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients for masala adding a little water. Grind into a smooth paste.
  10. Add the paste to sauteed vegetables. Mix well. Cook for 10 minutes on low flame.
  11. Add paneer cubes.
  12. Pour a little more water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
  13. Let it cook on low flame for about 10 minutes.
  14. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  15. Serve hot with roti, phulka, paratha of your choice.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Lachcha Paratha


All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 4 cups + for dusting
Water - 2 cups
Salt to taste
Cooking Oil - 1/4 cup

For Aid:

A Clean Cotton towel


  1. In a large mixing bowl, take maida, salt and 2 teaspoons of oil. Mix well.
  2. Now pour 2 cups of water and mix well until it forms a lump.
  3. Now pour 2 teaspoons of oil on a clean kitchen platform and using both your palms, knead the dough thoroughly for 5-10 minutes. Make a large dough ball, smear a teaspoon of oil on top. Set it aside, covered with a wet towel, for about 20 minutes.
  4. Divide the dough into small orange sized balls. Keep them covered with the wet towel for about 15 minutes.
  5. Take a ball, dust it lightly with some flour (if you are generous is using the oil, use oil) and roll it as thin as you can. Do not bother about the shape or any small tear. All you need to do is stretch the dough as thin as it can get. Using oil instead of dusting with flour, does make a difference, lets you roll thinner.
  6. Smear a teaspoon of oil on the surface on the rolled dough.
  7. Sprinkle a little flour on top.
  8. Now from one end, carefully lift the rolled dough and start pleating them all the way through the other end. 

  9. Once you are done with pleating, stretch it slightly by pulling with both your hands or swirl it.
  10. Now keeping the oiled and dusted side on top, tightly roll it like a swiss roll and tuck the end at the bottom of the roll.

  11. Keep the roll covered under wet towel.
  12. Repeat steps 5-11 for all the remaining dough balls.
  13. Now take the roll that you made first, dust it slightly with some flour (or use oil instead) and roll it into a thick disc. 
  14. Place it on your left palm and transfer to the right palm, hitting against the palms. This helps the layers to become distinct, the discs become thinner too.
  15. Now, gently roll it using a rolling pin to make it even throughout. Due to elasticity, it will become a little thicker once you stop rolling. So, roll it to the thickness you prefer, but not too thin.
  16. Immediately, place it on a hot griddle, set the flame to medium. When small bubbles appear on top and brown specks have formed at the bottom, flip the side.
  17. Smear a little oil on top, roast until brown specks form at the bottom. Flip again, smear little oil.
  18. Now place it in a plate, while still hot, place your palms on two sides of the paratha, bring your palms closer to each others, squeezing the paratha from outside to inside, . This separates the layers of the paratha making it flaky.
  19. Serve hot with kurma or any other side dish of your choice.
  1. You can use 2 cups of whole wheat flour and 2 cups of maida, instead of 4 cups of maida.
  2. This makes about 12-14 parathas. If you do not need so many parathas, in step 16, heat both sides of the paratha only until white spots are formed, without adding any oil, allow it to cool down and then freeze them to use as required. 
  3. Make large batch of these ahead of party to save your time. 
  4. Using oil instead of dusting with flour while rolling does make difference. It lets you roll it thinner and also the pleats get greased on both sides, making the layers much more distinct.               

Monday, December 8, 2014

Bread Roll With Chickpeas Stuffing


Whole Grain Bread slices - 8
Soft Butter - 2 tablespoons

For Stuffing:

Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Onion - 1 large
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 teaspoons
Boiled Chickpeas - 2 cups
Boiled Potato - 1 large
Carrot, grated - 1/2 cup
French Beans, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Cabbage, finely chopped - 1/4 cup
Garam Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Dry Mango/Amchoor Powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Mint Leaves, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste


Preparing Stuffing:
  1. Chop onion.
  2. Peel and mash potato.
  3. Slightly mash chick
  4. Heat oil in a pan.
  5. Add cumin seeds.
  6. When cumin seeds start sizzling, add chopped onions. Saute until they translucent.
  7. Add ginger garlic paste. Saute until the raw smell disappears.
  8. Now add grated carrot, chopped beans and cabbage. Saute until they are cooked.
  9. Add garam masala, dry mango powder, salt, red chilli powder. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
  10. Mix chickpeas. mashed potato. coriander leaves and mint leaves . Mix until well combined. Cook for 4-5 minutes, mixing continuously. Turn off the heat. Keep aside.
Preparing Rolls:
  1. Place a bread slice on a rolling board/platform. Using a rolling pin, like you roll a chapati, roll the bread slice into thin slice. Roll it as thin as possible. Similarly, roll all the other bread slices. Keep aside.
  2. Take a rolled out slice on the rolling board, place 2 tablespoons of the stuffing mixture on one end of the slice.
  3. Roll the slice tightly and press it little bit to flatten it lightly.
  4. Repeat steps 2 &3 for all the remaining slices.
  5. Heat a griddle.
  6. Smear little butter on the sides of the rolls, and roast it slightly on the griddle.
  7. Serve hot with tomato sauce and green chutney.
  1. Using bread slices that are NOT refrigerated are preferred as the slices will be softer.
  2. You can replace chickpeas stuffing with any other stuffing of your choice.
  3. You can use the regular sandwich bread or any other bread of your choice instead of whole grain bread.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Multi Dal Spicy Idli


Par-boiled Rice - 3 cups
Split Black Gram/Urad Dal, de-husked - 1/2 cup
Split Green Gram/Moong Dal, de-husked - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Dry Red Chillis - 8
Coriander Seeds - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste

For Aid:

Idli moulds
Steaming Pot
A container large enough for the batter to double on fermenting
Oil - 2 teaspoons


  1. Wash and soak par-boiled in water for 5-6 hours. 
  2. Wash and soak black gram, green gram, toor dal and fenugreek seeds  in water for 3-4 hours.
  3. Blend/grind black gram, green gram, toor dal and fenugreek seeds along with coriander seeds and dry red chillis into smooth batter adding a cup of water. Transfer the batter into a large container. 
  4. Now blend rice into a coarse paste. Transfer into the container. 
  5. Add salt and mix thoroughly. 
  6. Set the batter aside to ferment overnight or for 7-8 hours until the volume of the batter doubles.
  7. Before preparing idlis, take sufficient water in the steam pot and heat it.
  8. Meanwhile, grease the idli moulds with little oil.
  9. Gently mix the batter. Do not over-mix as the air captured during fermentation will escape making idlis harder.
  10. Pour the batter into greased idli  moulds.
  11. Place the moulds in the steam pot and cook for 30mins on high flame.
  12. Turn off the flame, remove the lid of the pot immediately to avoid vapors from dropping on cooked idlis.
  13. Unmould and serve hot with chutney and/or sambhar of your choice. Allowing the idlis to cool down for 2 minutes before unmoulding helps you unmould them neatly.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Chekka Vadalu / Chekkalu / Pappu Chekkalu


Green Chillis - 6
Curry Leaves - 15
Ginger - 1 inch long piece
Soft Butter - 2 tablespoons
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Salt to taste
Rice Flour - 2 cups
Bengal Gram - 1/4 cup
Water - 1 cup
Oil for deep frying

For Aid:

A few 6 inch squares of Wax/Butter paper sheets


Clear Thick Plastic Sheets - 2 small and Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons


  1. Soak bengal gram in water for one hour.
  2. Finely shred green chillis, curry leaves and ginger using a blender.
  3. After an hour, drain out the water from bengal gram.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, take butter, shredded green chilli mixture, red chilli powder (if using) salt and bengal gram. Mix until well combined. I prefer using red chilli powder to enhance the look of the chekkalu with tiny red specks of red chilli powder and green specks of green chilli mixture along with adding more spice to them.
  5. Fold in rice flour and mix well. The mixture will have a crumble like texture.
  6. Now pour half cup of water and knead the dough. You might need to add a little more water (depends on the quality of the rice flour) - add little by little until the dough forms a lump. Getting the right dough consistency is must to get crispy chekkalu. When you pinch out a small portion of the dough, it should kind of break and not be sticky. 
  7. Take small portions (about a tablespoon) of the dough and make smooth dough balls.
  8. Heat oil in a wok.
  9. Place a dough ball between two wax paper sheets and press it into thin disc.
  10. Make a batch of about 7-8 discs.
  11. Before the oil reaches smoking point, set the flame to medium-low and deep fry the discs until the color of bengal gram changes slightly brown. Noe the discs should be crisp.
  12. Remove from oil and place them on kitchen tissue. 
  13. Repeat steps 9-12 until all the dough is used up.
  14. Serve. To store, once cooled transfer into an air tight container.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Veg Seekh Kabab


Cooking Oil - 2 tablespoons
Caraway Seeds (shahjeera) - 1 teaspoon
Green Chilli, chopped - 1 tablespoon
Ginger, minced - 1 tablespoon
Carrots, grated - 1 cup
French Beans, finely chopped - 1 cup
Cabbage, finely chopped - 1 cup
Dry Green Peas, boiled - 1/2 cup
Spice Powder - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste
Fried Gram, powdered - 1/4 cup
Potato, boiled and mashed - 2 cups
Bread Crumbs - 1/2 cup
Chaat Masala - 2 teaspoons

For Aid:

Satay Sticks - 12


  1. Soak the satay sticks in water one hour.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in pan.
  3. Add caraway seeds. 
  4. When the caraway seeds start sizzling, add chopped green chillis and then minced ginger. Saute for a minute.
  5. Add grated carrot, chopped beans, cabbage and green peas. Saute for 5 minutes until they turn little soft.
  6. Now add salt and spice powder. Saute for 2-3 minutes until the mixture is dry and has no traces of water (of sauteed vegetables or vapors) at the bottom. Turn off the flame and allow it to cool down to room temperature.
  7. Using a blender, coarsely shred the sauteed vegetables.
  8. Transfer the shredded vegetables into a mixing bowl. 
  9. Add fried gram powder, mix well.
  10. Now add mashed potatoes and mix well.
  11. Add bread crumbs and mix until well combined. 
  12. Divide the mixture into small lemon sized balls.
  13. Take a satay stick and using your palm clasp a ball prepared from the mixture to the satay stick, in an elongated shape of the kabab.
  14. Place them on a preheated griddle, on low flame, roast all sides until slightly brown by turning sides often. Do not smear/pour any oil. The best way is to grill the kababs.
  15. Sprinkle a pinch of chaat masala on each kabab.
  16. Serve hot with green chutney.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Vegan Overnight Oats & Chia Breakfast Pudding


Rolled (Traditional) Oats - 1/2 cup
Chia Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Soya Milk - 1 cup
Cinnamon Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Maple Syrup - 2 teaspoons
Walnuts, chopped - 1/4 cup
Raspberries - 4 to 5


  1. Mix oats, chia seeds and cinnamon powder in soya milk. Refrigerate overnight.
  2. Before serving pour maple syrup. Mix well to combine.
  3. Garnish with walnuts and raspberries.
  4. Serve chilled.
  1. This is a high fiber breakfast so make sure you drink a lot of water throughout the day.
  2. If you do not have Chia seeds you can skip it or try adding Falooda/Basin seeds (I have not tried  Falooda/Basin seeds).
  3. I used Organic Vanilla Flavored Soya Milk which is mildly sweet. You can replace it with any other flavor Soya Milk or use Almond Milk or even the regular low fat milk.
  4. You can replace maple syrup with honey.
  5. Instead of walnuts, use almonds, pecans or mixture of all.
  6. You can use any other fruits like blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apples, etc instead of raspberries.
  7. Increase the quantity of maple syrup/honey if you prefer it sweeter.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Vegetable Fajita


Onions - 2
Tomato - 1
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1 cup
Avocado - 1
Lemon Juice - 2 teaspoons
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/2 teaspoon + 1/2 teaspoon
Green Bell Pepper - 1 small
Red Bell Pepper - 1 small
Carrots - 2
French Beans - 10
Broccoli - 12 small bite sized florets
Zucchini - 1 small
Sweet Corn - 1/2 cup
Paneer/Tofu - 100gms
Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
Garlic Cloves - 4
Red Chili Flakes - 1 teaspoon
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Corn/Flour Tortillas - 6


Avocado Mixture: (or use Guacamole)

  1. Halve the avocado and discard the pit.
  2. Scoop out the green pulp into a bowl.
  3. Mash the pulp, add 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns, salt and lemon juice. Mix until well combined.
  4. Cover and keep aside.
Onion Tomato Mixture: (or use Salsa)
  1. Chop 1 onion and 1 tomato.
  2. Add salt, 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander leaves.
  3. Mash little bit - the veggies should still be chunky. 
  4. Cover and keep aside.

Sauteed Vegetables:

  1. Slice onions.
  2. Julienne carrots, french beans, green & red bell peppers.
  3. Cut zucchini into thin slices.
  4. Cut paneer/tofu into finger sized pieces.
  5. Mince garlic cloves.
  6. Heat oil in a wok.
  7. Add 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds.
  8. Add minced garlic. Saute for half a minute.
  9. Add all the vegetables - onions, carrots, french beans, green bell peppers, red bell peppers,broccoli, zucchini and sweet corn. Add paneer/tofu pieces. Saute for 2 minutes.
  10. Sprinkle salt, cumin powder and red chili flakes, Saute the vegetables for a few minutes until they are cooked but still crunchy, firm and hold shape; al dente. Turn off the flame.
Assembling Fajita:
  1. Heat a griddle.
  2. Place a tortilla on the griddle and heat it until small brown specks form on the bottom side.
  3. Flip the side and heat until small brown specks form.
  4. Place the tortilla in a plate.
  5. Place a cup of sauteed vegetables through the centre of the tortilla. 
  6. Top it with 2 tablespoons of avocado mixture and then 2 tablespoons of onion+tomato mixture. 
  7. Wrap the sauteed vegetables by bringing the two sides of the tortilla on either side of the sauteed vegetables together and place them tightly one above the other.
  8. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Celery Soup

Serves: 6 to 8


Celery - 1 stalk
Onions - 2 small
Garlic Cloves - 4 (if you don't like the strong flavor of garlic, use 1 clove)
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Vegetable Oil - 1 teaspoon + 2 teaspoons
Peppercorns, freshly ground - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Freshly Prepared Whey Water/Vegetable Stock - 8 cups (I used Whey water collected after preparing Paneer)

For Garnishing:

Mixed Dried Herbs Seasoning or any herb of your choice
A few Croutons (optional)

  1. Wash celery stalk thoroughly. Chop into small pieces.
  2. Chop 1 onion and garlic cloves.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan.
  4. Add butter.
  5. When butter melts, add freshly ground peppercorns.
  6. Add chopped garlic cloves, saute for 2 minutes.
  7. Add chopped onions. Saute until they turn translucent.
  8. Now add chopped celery. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Pour 1 cup of vegetable stock/whey water and salt. Cook until celery pieces are soft and soggy. Turn off the flame and set it aside to cool down.
  10. Meanwhile, slice the other onion and brown them using 2 teaspoon oil. Keep them aside.
  11. Blend cooked celery into smooth puree. 
  12. Transfer the puree into a large pot/vessel. 
  13. Pour 7 cups of whey water/vegetable stock. Mix well and bring it to a rolling boil. Let it boil for 10 minutes on low flame.
  14. Add browned onions just before serving or use them as garnishing along with dried herbs.
  15. Serve hot with a few pieces of croutons.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Oats Uthappam

Yields: 10 Uthappams


Traditional Oats - 3 cups
Semolina - 1 1/2 cups
Baking Powder - 1 tablespoon
Ginger, minced - 2 teaspoons
Asafoetida Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Yogurt/Curd - 3 cups
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Fruit Salt - 3/4 teaspoon (I used Eno)

For Topping:

Onion, chopped - 2 cups
Carrot, grated - 1 cup
Tomato Slices - 10
Coriander Leaves, chopped - 1 cup
Green Chillis, chopped - 1 tablespoon (optional/adjust according to taste)
Chaat Masala - 2 teaspoons
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Oil - for roasting each Uthappam


  1. Dry roast oats on medium flame for about 7-8 minutes until it gives out a strong nutty smell and turns slightly brown. Keep it aside to cool down to room temperature.
  2. If you want spicy Uthappams, mix red chilli powder and chaat masala together in a small bowl. Keep aside. If not, skip adding red chilli powder.
  3. Blend cooled oats into a coarse powder.
  4. In a mixing bowl, take powdered oats, semolina, baking powder, minced ginger, asafoetida powder, salt. Mix well.
  5. Pour yogurt/curd and water. Mix until well combined.
  6. Add fruit salt, mix well and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  7. After 30 minutes, mix the batter gently.
  8. Heat a griddle.
  9. Pour a big ladle full of batter on the griddle. Spread it into a thick and circular layer.
  10. Immediately, place a slice of tomato, sprinkle chopped onions, chopped green chilli (if using), grated carrot and chopped coriander leaves. Press the vegetables gently into the batter using a spatula. Sprinkle chaat masala and red chilli mixture.
  11. Pour oil over the surface of Uthappam.
  12. Cook covered on medium flame for about a minute until the rawness of the batter disappears on top.
  13. Using a spatula, flip the side of Uthappam so that the to top layer gets roasted little bit. 
  14. Serve hot with chutney and/or sambhar of your choice.