Friday, March 25, 2016

Ridge Gourd (Heerekayi / Beerakaya) Chutney

Have some ridge gourd at home? Try this chutney for lunch today; I am sure you won't regret changing your lunch menu if you had a different plan.

This chutney, called Pachadi in South Indian households, has a simple flavor and is a healthy and comforting dish. Try it with some steaming hot rice and ghee.

Serves: 6


Ridge Gourd - 2 medium sized
Green Chilies - 5
Vine Tomato - 1
Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Onion - 1 medium
Garlic Cloves - 5
Coriander Leaves - 5 stalks
Dry Roasted Peanuts - 1/3 cup
Dry Roasted Fenugreek Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Tamarind Extract - 1 tablespoon
Red Chilli Flakes - 2 teaspoons

For Seasoning:

Cooking Oil - 2 teaspoons
Black Gram - 1 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 5 to 6
Dry Red Chilli - 1
Asafoetida Powder - 1/8 teaspoon

  1. Remove only the ridges of the gourd using a peeler. Chop the gourd into small pieces.
  2. Chop green chilies
  3. Chop tomatoes.
  4. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan.
  5. Add green chilies, saute for a minute.
  6. Add chopped ridge gourd and cook them until they turn soft. Do not add water.
  7. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well.
  8. Now add chopped vine tomato. Cook until the tomato pieces turn soft and turn off the heat.
  9. Chop onions, garlic cloves and coriander leaves.
  10. Take cooked gourd and tomato, chopped onions, garlic cloves and coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, fenugreek powder, tamarind extract, red chili flakes in a blender and pulse a couple of times to get a chunky paste. I prefer using a mortar and pestle as it gives a better texture. Do not add any water.
  11. In a small pan, heat oil, add black gram, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chili pieces.
  12. When the mustard seeds splutter, turn off the heat, add asfoetida powder, mix well and season it on the prepared chutney.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Oats Bisibele Bhath


Rolled Traditional Oats  - 1 1/2 cups
Pigeon Peas/Toor Dal - 3/4 cup
Carrots - 2
French Beans - 10
Turnips - 2 (you can use Chayote, Potato instead)
Red Chili Powder - 1 teaspoon
Tamarind Extract - 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
Bisibele Bhath Powder - 5 tablespoons (for recipe, click here)
Clarified Butter/Ghee - 2 tablespoons
Cashew Nuts - 10 to 12
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 6 to 7
Dry Red Chili - 1, cut into pieces
Onion - 1
Capsicum - 1 small or use 1/2
Fresh Green Peas - 1/2 cup


  1. Pressure cook pigeon peas with enough water (about 1 1/2 cups). Cook until they are soft but still firm and hold shape.
  2. Dry roast oats on medium flame until you get a nutty aroma. Turn off the heat and keep it aside.
  3. Cut carrot and beans into juliennes.
  4. Peel and cut turnips into small cubes.
  5. Bring about 4 cups of water to boil. 
  6. Add carrots, beans and turnips. 
  7. Add red chili powder, tamarind extract and salt. Cook until the vegetables are soft but still hold shape, al dente. I prefer them slightly crunchy, so cook them for lesser time.
  8. Now add roasted oats, cook until they turn soft but not mushy.
  9. Add bisibele bhath powder and cooked pigeon peas. Mix well and cook on low flame for about 10 minutes. Adjust the consistency by adding a little more water if required. It will thicken slightly as it cooks and thicken more on cooling down.
  10. Meanwhile, in a pan, heat clarified butter/ghee.
  11. Add cashew nuts, roast them slightly. Remove from pan and keep them aside.
  12. To the same pan, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chili pieces.
  13. When mustard seeds stop spluttering, add sliced onion, capsicum and green peas. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Do not wait for the onions to turn soft. Season it on the cooked bisibele bhath along with roasted cashewnuts.
  14. Serve it piping hot with boondi . This does not taste good if it cools down. If you need to re-heat, add a little water, mix well and then heat it, preferably on stove top.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Bisibele Bhath Powder


Black Gram - 4 tablespoons
Bengal Gram - 3 tablespoons
Coriander Seeds - 4 tablespoons
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Peppercorns - 2 teaspoons
Cloves - 10
Cinnamon - 2" long piece
Dessicated Coconut - 2 cups
Dry Red Chilies - 25


  1. Dry roast all ingredients separately on medium low flame. Keep stirring using a spatula continuously to avoid them getting burnt or over roasted. 
  2. Transfer each roasted ingredient to wide bowl or plate and allow them to cool down to room temperature.
  3. Blend into fine powder.
  4. Store in air tight container and use when required.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Walnuts & Cranberries (Eggless)


Walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup
Dried Cranberries - 1/2 cup
Flaxmeal - 2 tablespoons
Warm Water - 6 tablespoons
Whole Wheat Flour - 2 cups + for dusting
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
All-Spice Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Ripe Bananas - 3
Cooking Oil - 1/2 cup + 1 teaspoon for greasing
Curd/Yogurt - 1/3 cup
Fine Granule Sugar - 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 2 teaspoons
Sesame Seeds - 2 teaspoons


  1. Preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  2. Grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan with some oil and dust it with little flour.
  3. In a bowl, take chopped walnuts and cranberries, sprinkle a teaspoon of flour and toss well such that flour coats the walnuts and cranberries. Keep it aside.
  4. In a small bowl, take flaxmeal and warm water. Whisk thoroughly and keep it aside.
  5. In a mixing bowl, take whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and all-spice powder. Mix well using a whisk.
  6. Puree banana.
  7. Take banana puree, 1/2 cup oil, yogurt in another mixing bowl. Whisk well.
  8. Add sugar and whisk well.
  9. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mix gently using a spatula.
  10. Mix the dusted walnuts and cranberries. Mix gently.
  11. Transfer the batter to the greased and dusted loaf pan.
  12. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the batter.
  13. Bake at at 350F for 45 minutes.
  14. Now lower the temperature to 325F and bake for approx, 20 minutes or until the skewer inserted in the centre of the bread comes out clean.
  15. Remove the pan from the oven, place it on a wire rack and allow the bread to cool down to room temperature.
  16. Slice and serve.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Stuffed & Roasted Okra

Serves: 4


Okra/Ladies Fingers - 24 small-sized
Gram Flour/Besan - 1/2 cup
Fennel Seeds/Saunf - 1 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Chaat Masala - 1 teaspoon
Salt  to taste
Asafoetida Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Lemon Juice - 1 tablespoon
Cooking Oil - 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons.
Onion - 1
Coriander Leaves, chopped for garnishing


  1. Wash the ladies fingers and pat them dry with clean cloth.
  2. Discard the stem of the ladies fingers and make a slit all through till the other end. Take care not to slice the ladies fingers. Keep them aside.
  3. In a pan, dry roast gram flour on medium flame, until it gives a nutty aroma. Turn off the heat and transfer it into a mixing bowl.
  4. Roughly crush the fennel seeds.
  5. Add the crushed fennel seeds, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, chaat masala, salt and asafoetida powder. Mix well.
  6. Now add lemon juice to the mixture and mix well.
  7. Carefully, stuff the mixture through the slit made in each ladies finger. 
  8. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a flat bottomed pan. Place the stuffed ladies fingers with the stuffed side facing up. Set the flame to low and let them cook. If you like them a little crunchy like I do, let them roast slightly.
  9. Flip the side and continue to cook until the ladies fingers lose their rawness.
  10. Meanwhile, slice the onion.
  11. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan and saute the onion slices until they brown.
  12. Garnish the cooked/roasted ladies fingers with browned onions and chopped coriander leaves.
  13. Serve hot with rice or rotis/phulkas.