Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tomato Rasam

This is another South Indian recipe which is normally called as Rasam/Charu. Enjoy this rasam when it is hot.


  • Tomatoes: 2 (Medium size)
  • Green chillies -2
  • Tamarind:  little gooseberry size.
  • Rasam powder: 1 tsp
  • Jeera: ¼ tsp
  • Dry red chillies: 2
  • Coriander leaves:  a few handfuls chopped
  • Salt: Taste enough
  • Turmeric powder: 2 pinch
  • Oil: 2 spoons
  • Asafoetida: 1 pinch
  • Sugar: ½ tsp (optional)
  • Mustard seeds: ¼ tsp


  • Take 1 cup of water and let it boil for sometime.
  • Grind the tomatoes along with green chillies and tamarind in a mixer.
  • Add this mixture to the boiling water and add sufficient enough salt and let it boil for another 5 min.
  • Now add the Rasam Powder and sugar and let it boil for another 5 min.
  • Take a kadai/mukudu/thick bottom vessel and pour some oil and bring it to heat
  • Add the asafoetida, mustard seeds / avalu, jeera, fenugreek seeds, red chillies and let them splutter.
  • Add this tadka to the Rasam and serve Hot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bean-Moong Dal Curry

  • Yellow moong dal  - 2 tsp
  • French beans –  25
  • Onion – 1 medium size
  • Green Chillies -3
  • Grated Coconut- 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cumin Seeds/Jeera -1 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1tsp
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Dry Red Chillies -1
  • Oil for cooking
  • Soak the moong dal for 1/2 hour
  • Chop french beans.
  • Grind the Green chillies and Coconut into a coarse texture.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing and dry red chillies and let them pop.
  • When the seeds crackle, add chopped onion and sauté
  • When onions turn brown, add the salt, green chilli paste to it.
  • Mix well and add the moong dal and beans
  • Add sufficient enough water to cook the beans.
  • Cover the lid  and cook well.
  • When the beans are cooked remove in a plate and decorate with coriander leaves
  • Serve hot with Rice /Roti .

IvyGourd/Tondli/Dondakaya Snegapindi curry

Tondli/Tindora/Ivy Gourd /Dondakaya are one of the most popular vegetable available in India. Even though I like them I cannot find them much in California and in our area. There is one Indian Grocery Store somewhat near to my home every time I go there I check for these green vegetables but very rarely I can find them. But suddenly since this year beginning onwards that store started maintaining the frozen stock of Tindora/Dondakaya. I am so happy to see them and every time I visit the store I will bring at least 3 frozen packets.  There are so many variations that we can cook with this vegetable, one of them are Dondakaya Snegapindi Curry. There are some precautions which  we need to take care while selecting and cooking the Tondli/Tindora/Dondakaya. Some of them are: We always need to select tender green colour ivy gourds where the seeds are tender and not very mature the very mature ivy gourds, though appear green on the outside, have a bright red colour on the inside and are very sour and are best discarded. Wash your hands immediately on chopping them as it stains and tends to be sticky. Remove off the top and tail part of the ivy gourd before chopping them.


  • Ivy Gourd/ Tindora/Tondli/Dondakaya – 20
  • Mustard Seeds – 1tsp
  • Jeera /Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Besan/Snegapindi – 2 tbsp
  • Red Chilly Powder - 2 tsp


  • Cut each tindora into half lengthwise, and then make another lengthwise cut in each half - you will end up with 4 long thin pieces.
  • Take a pan and heat oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let them pop.
  • Add the cut tindoras, sprinkle turmeric, salt to your taste, Mix them once, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, then sauté openly for another 5 minutes or until the veggie reaches the crunchy consistency you want.
  • Finally when you see the tindoras are cooked and are crunchy add red chilly powder and sprinkle the besan/Snegapindi powder on the top of the curry and combine well and cook for 3 min.
  • Serve hot with rice and Dal.

Kobbari Pachadi/Coconut Chutney

Normally in our daily routine we will come across two different kinds of coconut chutney’s. One which we use for Dosa and another one which we use in rice. Today I am writing a recipe for the one which is to be used in the Rice. This is very simple recipe and very easiest one. So next time try out this recipe. The main part of this recipe lies in its texture which should be coarsely ground and not into a smooth paste. You should be able to bite the small   bits of coconut along with the spices and dals which give a mouth–water feeling. Finally once after the pachadi/chutney  is done the last  adding the tadka/tempering of mustard seeds , curry leaves ,hing and red chillies give the original taste of the chutney.
  • Freshly grated coconut/Coconut pieces – 2 cups
  • Cumin seeds /Jeera – 1tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Minappa pappu/urad dal – 1tsp
  • Dry red chillies – 2
  • Green chillies -2
  • Gooseberry sized tamarind
  • Oil – 3 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Hing – ½ tsp
For popu/tadka/seasoning:
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Jeera -1 tsp
  • Dry red chillies -1
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin and toast them for a few seconds, add the urad dal, mustard seeds and let them turn red. Next add the red chillies and green chillies and fry them for half a minute on low heat.
  • Grind the toasted ingredients, tamarind, and salt to a slightly coarse paste by adding very little water (few tbsp). You shouldn't make it into a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds, Jeera and let them pop and let it brown. Add the curry leaves and toss them for a few seconds till the flavours come out.
  • Turn off heat and add the tadka to the ground kobbari pachadi and combine.
  • Serve with hot steamed rice and ghee. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


Pizza - the fast food that has today become one of the most popular snacks of almost all ages! You will find pizza parlours’ or ‘pizzerias’ in almost each and every market, including the local ones. I’m sure even you like to eat pizza, if not on a daily, then on an occasional basis. Have you wondered how the pizza came into being i.e. what is the history and origin of the delicious snack? Pizza has a very colourful and interesting history attached to it and with the information given below, you can find all about its background. It is believed by almost every person in the world that pizza was invented by the Italians, making it an Italian recipe. However, one can trace the origin of the snack back to the ancient times. As per the earlier records, Babylonians, Israelites, Egyptians and other ancient Middle Eastern people used to eat a flat, un-leaven bread, which was cooked in mud ovens and had an appearance somewhat similar to the pizzas we eat today. There are also evidences to suggest that the ancient Mediterranean people, like Greeks, Romans and Egyptians, used to eat their flat bread, after topping it with seasonings like olive oil and native spices. Pizza is believed to have pervaded the lower class of the Naples (Italy) in a similar fashion. There is also a story, dating back to around late 19th century, about an Italian baker called Raffaele Esposito, who created a new dish for the visiting royalty. With time, small cafes, serving Italian pizzas, started opening up in American cities. Even the American soldiers, who participated in World War II, were exposed to the tasty dish and contributed to its popularity in their homeland. Today, pizza has become almost synonymous with fast foods, across the globe. Right from kids and college-goers to professionals and oldies, everyone loves to have a bite of a pizza generously topped with mozzarella cheese. To get the best out of the pizza, I recommend using a Pizza Stone, oven peel, pizza rack, pizza cutter and server. Now- a – days we are getting this complete set within a reasonable budget of $10- $20. I got it from the Macys Store. Try this recipe as I tried many a times and finally writing this method. Instead Of buying a pizza base from outside we can get it done the same easily at home with less than 5 min of time. So let us first see how to prepare the dough: 

Pizza Dough:
  • All purpose Flour /Maida – 2 -3 cups
  • Active Dry Yeast /Rapid Rise Yeast - ½ tsp
  • Luke Warm Water – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1tsp
  • Olive Oil – 3 tbsp
  • Salt – 1tsp


    • Take a big bowl and mix 2 cups of all purpose flour /Maida along with yeast, sugar, salt and warm water and mix the dough to form a smooth ball without any lumps in it.
    • Stir in additional flour until the dough begins to form a ball and becomes easy to handle.
    • Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic. Knead it at least for   5- 8 minutes.
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a lid and let it rise in a warm spot. I kept in an oven without turning it on until dough doubles its size (approximately for 1 hour).
    • Punch down dough and knead it again. Allow it to rise for 30 min.
    • Roll the dough into a circle, forming a ¼ inch rim around the edges and little bit of olive oil onto it and bake it for 5 min at 450 degrees. 
    • Turn off the oven and remove the base and now add the tomato sauce and what all toppings you would like to add to it( I used onions , bell peppers, olives , tomatoes and finally cheese). Don’t add the cheese right now just before turning off the complete oven and when everything is done. You add the cheese as it melts very easily.

    Vegetable Biryani

    Hello Friends, I am back here with yet one more Recipe Vegetable Biryani, the name itself tells us that it’s something rich of vegetables and exotic, aromatic and traditional.Biryani was introduced in Indian via Mughal cuisine. The word Biryani is derived from the Persian word beryā (n) which means "fried" or "roasted".  It was long time I thought of trying it out. Even though there are many variations in preparing this recipe. I know this method and found easy. One more thing I would like discuss with you all here is most of my recipes may not have garlic as my hubby Raj doesn't like it. You can add the garlic to get the best flavour. Hope you all will try this way and let me know through comments how you got it .Here goes the Recipe:


    • Basmati Rice – 4 cups
    • Potatoes - 3
    • Carrots – 3
    • Bell Peppers - 5
    • Onions- 2 medium sized
    • Green Chillies -5
    • Ginger -2 inch piece
    • Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
    • Red Chilli Powder - 1tsp
    • Mint (Pudina leaves) – a handful
    • Coriander Leaves - a handful
    • Cashew nuts – 5
    • Ghee /Clarified Butter - 2tbsp
    • Salt to taste
    • Garam Masala (Elachi, Cloves, Cinnamon, Bay Leaf) Pwd – 1 tsp
    • Biryani Masala – 2tsp


    • Wash and soak the basmati rice for half an hour. Drain the water. Put the rice, some more water and add half the whole garam masala and salt in a pan.
    • Bring the rice to a boil and cook until the rice is done. Drain and keep aside.
    • Dice the peeled potatoes and carrots and wash them. Slice the onions and green chillies.
    • Cut the Bell peppers length wise.
    • Peel ginger and chop finely. Chop the coriander and mint leaves.
    • Heat ghee; add the remaining garam masala and sauté over medium   heat until it begins to crackle.
    • Add onions until golden brown. Then add green chillies, ginger, bell peppers and stir for a minute.
    • Add turmeric and chilli powder, sauté for half a minute adds the chopped vegetables and stir for a minute.
    • Add 2/3 cup water, and bring to a boil, then simmer until the vegetables are cooked.
    • Add the dry fruits and nuts when the vegetables are done.
    • Then spread the rice and mix the cooked vegetables to it and cover with a lid and let it cook for 8 -10 mts and once again mix well and sprinkle the mint and coriander leaves on top of it.
    • Add Biryani Masala powder to it and combine well with the rice.
    • Serve the Vegetable Biryani hot with Raita /Yogurt Salad

    Wednesday, February 3, 2010

    Bellam Pulusu /Mukkala Pulusu

    This is yet another Andhra famous dish “Bellam Pulusu”.  Bellam is also called as Jaggery/Gudd.  Pulusu is like a stew. This bellam pulusu is a great combination along with mudda pappu (plain cooked toor dal) with hot rice and ghee. It is so mouth –watering dish. Try it once and let me know how you feel about it. As you are using all vegetables in it, it is a nutritious food also.


    • Bottle gourd - 1 cut into pieces of 2" size
    • Tomatoes (Chopped) – 2 medium size
    • Sweet Yam(Sliced) -6 pieces
    • Green chillies- 5 chopped length wise
    • Drum sticks – 2 (cut 3" long)
    • Okra (Bendakayalu cut into half) -3
    • Carrot – 2
    • Tamarind Extract  -1/4 cup
    • Jaggery/Bellam(according to taste) – 50 gms
    • salt to taste
    • Turmeric powder -1tsp
    • Gram Flour/ Rice Flour – 1 small cup

    Tempering /Tadka:

    • Oil – 1tbsp
    • Fenugreek seeds/Menthulu – 1tsp
    • Mustard seeds/Avalu -1 tsp
    • Red chillies (Halved)-2 or 3
    • Asafoetida / Hing -1tsp


    • Wash all the vegetables and keep them a side.
    • Boil all the vegetables along with green chillies with adequate water and covered with a lid in a sauce pan (or) in a pressure cooker.  So that the chilli taste will also get blended along with the vegetables.
    • Ensure that they should not become too soft (or) mushy
    • Take a small bowl and put the rice flour in it and add little amount of water to make a batter consistency and add this batter to the cooked vegetables and let them boil, this will give the stew/ pulusu a thicker consistency.
    • Grate the required amount of jaggery as per taste and mix it in the above mixture.
    • Mix the tamarind extract also to the above mixture and mix well the mixture
    • Boil the complete mixture for 5 min and add the tempering.
    • Garnish with some curry leaves and Coriander leaves.

    Note: The vegetables used can be anything of your choice. But normally carrot/bottle gourd /yam/sweet potato/eggplant/okra/tomato/drum sticks are used.

    Dahi Vada


    ·  Urad daal – 1 cup
    ·  Salt to taste
    ·  Oil to fry
    ·  Dahi (yogurt) – ½ ltr
    ·  Finely chopped coriander leaves
    ·  Green chillies chopped - 2
    ·  Salt to taste
    ·  Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
    ·  Red Chillies -2
    ·  Jeera/Cumin seeds -1 tsp

    • Clean, wash and soak the daal overnight.
    • Grind it into coarse paste.
    • Don’t add water let it be a bit of thick consistency; otherwise it will absorb a lot of oil.
    • Add salt to taste.
    • Heat oil in a pan and make vadas by using the   batter and fry till golden brown.
    • Take the hot vadas and put in cold water for 2-3 minutes.
    • Now Take them out of water and squeeze the water and keep aside.
    • Blend the curd (yogurt) and little water until it is smooth.
    • Add salt and chopped green chillies.
    • In a deep vessel put all the vada and pour dahi over them.
    • Take a pan add some oil and put the ingredients of tempering into it and let them splutter.
    • Add the tempering to the dahi.
    • Garnish with coriander.
    • Serve the dahi vadas chilled.

    Vada Pav

    This is a famous Maharastrian Recipe. As I already told you that my hubby Raj even though born in Andhra his complete education was from north side and he was there in Bombay for quiet a long time, he likes most of the Mumbai food. So I just started trying this vada pav which is also pronounced as ( vuh-duh pow)by searching for a receipe , and tried one day and it worked out well. Raj was so happy that day while eating it  he recollected his memories of eating the street side food of Bombay after so many days. I thought of sharing the same with u all. Here goes the Recipe:

    Source :

    • Potatoes -4
    • Frozen peas -1/2 cup
    • Green chillies - 2
    • Kothimeer   – 1 small bunch
    • Roasted cashews - 6
    • Besan (Snegapindi) -   ½   cup
    • Oil for deep frying
    • Pav or hamburger buns
    • Garam masala -1/4 tsp
    • Coriander (dhaniyalu) -1/4tsp
    • Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
    • Turmeric-1/2 tsp
    • Salt -2 tsp


    • Boil   potatoes and frozen peas.  Peel the potatoes and mash with the peas in a mixing bowl using a big spoon.
    • In a mixer, chop the green chillies, cashews and coriander and then mix into the potato-pea mixture.
    • Mix in the garam masala, coriander powder and salt.
    • Break off portions of the mixture and roll them into round balls.
    • Make the batter by mixing the besan slowly with 1 cup of water in a mixing bowl.  The batter shouldn’t be watery or too thick.
    • Mix in the turmeric, red chilli powder and required salt.
    • Heat enough oil for deep frying the vadas.  Dip each vada into the batter and then gently roll into the oil for deep frying.
    • Spread Oil on the insides of both halves of the buns.  Pan fry each half until the insides are golden.
    • Apply any chutney (usually tamarind/mint/kothimeer) on one side of the pav.  Place the vada on top, then the other side of the pav and gently press the pavs.