Showing posts with label Weekend delicacy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Weekend delicacy. Show all posts

Friday, July 18, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa

So many memories are flooding in as I write this post. Our home was the official headquarters of dosa, or should I call it the dosa factory. All my friends will vouch for that and to many of them my mom was a friend and a confidante more than a mere ‘aunty’. In India we do not call elders by their name, so every friend’s mom is an aunty. Now that I think of it, I would always bring in friends from school and it was understood that they would be having lunch at my place. When I turned 16, my mom threw me a surprise party,  she invited all my friends and had a huge poster of sweet sixteen up in the living room - which she painted herself.  We must have been some 20 kids - dosas for 20 giggly teens is not an easy task. Can you imagine, I do not have a single photograph from it, but everything is crystal clear in my mind…I remember it like yesterday.  A baby pink poster with a pink rose (hand painted) and sweet sixteen painted on it. My teen turns sixteen next year, am not sure if anything can top what mom did for me…life is such a full circle. I can’t imagine that so much time has gone by. As I make dosas for my teen and her friends, I always think of my mom and her kitchen, her 1000 watt smile, that can light up a room even today - she has never frowned, it’s always smiles, in good times and otherwise. She did have her share of anger - but frown, hardly.  Life has always smiled back at her. Her smile is still as young as probably when she was sixteen. 

To me dosa is not a mere south Indian delicacy, it’s memories, it’s soul food ….it’s the key to Indian hospitality. Probably that is why my family thinks  it’s one of the things I make best. (if I may say so myself). Probably some where I feel the need to keep up with my mother’s standards of not only making perfect dosas but of hospitality, of  serving food with a smile, that shines from within. 

I have tried to capture dosa so many times but I have never really been  satisfied, am not as happy… I might redo the post with better pictures. I don’t think it is even possible to capture this amazing delicacy. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, when you bite into it, you can taste the crunch, the sweet-sourness of the fermented lentils, the rich aromatic flavor of ghee (clarified butter). Close your eyes, use your hands to break into the dosa and feel the texture, put it into your mouth, the crisp crunchy dosa, the sweet and spicy chutney, the potato filling….culinary ecstasy! I can be really dramatic :)

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, June 10, 2013


There are some marriages made in heaven and one should never try and mess with that. Idli-sambhar is absolutely one such pair. Am not sure if my photography has done justice to this pair. These pictures were taken in April, when I was attending the LFP challenge and for some  reason it got lost in the zillion pictures that I have. When my better half told me last week that I should not have space issues for a couple of years at least  ( referring to the  iMac with 1tb of space, that he got me last year), it was a panic moment and I began a  ruthlessly spring clean  my Mac...and guess what I found :) I have mixed feelings about  the rustic styling, I am happy with it but am not sure if the whites of the idlis are real white, I could  have done a better job. But this blog is a journey, so I did not want to trash the photographs as it is part of my memories doing the LFP - 30 day food photography challenge. So here it is, the idlis not as perfect white but the recipe is perfect.

If you have never had idlis: they are steamed lentil and rice pancakes, the dough is fermented overnight, it is extremely healthy and sambhar is a spice curry made with vegetables and a coconut gravy.  I Made the sambhar with red pearl onions and tomato.

For the idli you will need an idli stand for steaming the dough. There are a lot of stands in the market, I have a simple one, you can go in for something fancy but I like to keep my traditional dish simple.

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vada Pav

Dark clouds were moving quickly...darkening the little day light that we had. As the thunder roared and the rain poured, I stood by the patio door ...looking outside at the drenched chair, yearning for an evening under the bright summer skies, with fireflies and stars....shining ever so bright. My eyes fell on the little droplets that were trickling down...almost slipping away to the floor ....I saw the reflection of the dull evening light on the drops.....each of them almost lit up against the dark, dull backdrop....!! This moment was so always thinking of the next step, the next thing on my living in tomorrow....! This moment, really made me think ....made me stop, take a deep breath. I don't know how long I stood felt energized and relaxed...! 

I had to take some shots of the beautiful evening. It has been an exciting fortnight. Me and my camera have been inseparable, literally! Everyday I am learning something new and just when I think I have created a beautiful work of art...I wait for a day and go back and revisit my photograph and I can see the flaw or the shortcoming in it, definitely developing an eye for detail. 

 Neel's 30 days food photography challenge has been FUN. It's fun to work and interact with people who share the same passion. It's amazing how none of us have seen each other and we come from different parts of the globe and we bond so well... Thanks Neel, for making this happen, and yes we do get homework...every day! But, it's not like school ...this kind of homework am willing to do 365 days not just 30. Am sure all my friends at the challenge will agree with me. If you want to explore LFP - here is the link for google plus. Am sharing today our lesson about lighting. Shooting with different light helped me learn about the relationship between textures and light and mood and light. The pix below is the same subject with different lighting. You can see, how lighting changes the mood, texture and meaning of the food.

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apricot Curry and Cumin Rice

 I was at the local library, in the cook book aisle, while finally teen was rampaging through the mystery isle...searching for "that" book which is almost always checked out. "Go check in the teen section" was my instant response, meaning more time in the cook book section for me. Doesn't matter if it's a toddler or a teen, once their job is done, they are hungry or tired or falling apart and it becomes an immediate emergency that we leave the given place and drive to the next destination. So with the limited time window, my eyes fell on "50 great curries of India by Camellia Panjabi" and while browsing through it,  the page landed on "mixed dry fruit curry " I knew instantly my family is going to love this one.... the key word savory with a hint of sweet. We never need an excuse to eat spicy food!! The constant complaint is "it's not spicy enough", never "it's too spicy"... Not so much finally teen, but the other person in the house. Not naming any names here. :)  But, mind you, if the curry in question is rich n creamy with a mild sweet savory after taste... the spice nagging is thrown out of the window. Weird, but as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Can't argue about that - spicy or not. My mother always says men are weird like that, they have contradictory likes....she does have a point here. Well the curry is NOT at all spicy and was LOVED by the family. Love is a mild acknowledgement of the emotion - "best thing I ever ate" was finally teen's response. The other half thought it was a "great recipe and well made", a big compliment from a person who is a perfectionist. I thought it was a great recipe too.  If you are having people over -  wow factor - this is it... not for a late dinner, though, it's rather heavy. Let's say a great lunch curry. It's very unique (in a good way) and extremely rich in flavors, not too much masala but very fragrant.  You can use the same curry base and add koftas or even paneer, I don't see why not. Any great curry recipes leave me the link - it's the next best thing after chocolate. I did alter the recipe, by reducing the amount of nuts, so I can eat more, guilt free.

The recipe is called - Mixed dried fruit curry or Dry fruit Korma. I thought apricot curry was a better name as, apricot is the real star in this recipe.

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Massaman Thai Curry

A few weeks back I was lunching with a friend of mine, we discovered a small kitchen store next to the eatery. It was a cute little store tucked in a corner - we were like kids in a candy store.....I fell in love with these bowls.  I thought it was perfect to serve curry.  I really think the curry tasted better in them ;)  

Print Friendly and PDF

Monday, March 5, 2012

Vegetable balls in curry - Kofta

Indian curries have always been exotic - they are becoming increasingly popular. Almost a staple in the United Kingdom - Chiken tikka masala being the national dish now. Don't blame them for falling in love with the rich mosaic of exotic spices. The varieties and blends are innumerable - from galouti kababs to tikka masala to koftas to chettinad to  .............. I have not even started talking about the bread, biryani, starters, snacks, chutneys and dips......oh the list is endless! And like true art - each curry is different, even the same recipe, cooked by the same person on a different day will taste different - and that is why cooking is an art form - no two paintings can be alike - even though it has been done by the same artist. For me,that is what makes it so much more fun, that is also my reason to dislike not limit myself to the boxed/bottled curry paste - which is so predictable. I must confess I have been guilty of using them - but have almost always regretted it.

This is originally a recipe from my mother, which I have altered a bit - these koftas are great with , naan, rotis or just plane pilaf. Some plain yogurt and hot papads and you got a best seller there.

Remember I was talking about  'know our ingredient' - read here - featuring  'starr anise' in this post. But first the  kofta.

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bisibele Bhat and Curd rice

Bisibele (bbb) is a traditional dish that I grew up on....lazy weekend afternoons with bisibele and curd rice along with crunchy papadums and fried chillies, followed by a nap and a movie. Sunday nites were movie nites .....those days we had only doordarshan and Sunday nite movies was a grand finale' to the weekend!! It is amazing that not much has changed, we have a variety of entertainment to choose from but Sunday afternoons are special when bbb is on the menu .....& extra special when shared with loved ones - be it family or friends and food is a big part of it, atleast in my home.

I have many variations of bbb. This is one of my favorites : a recipe given to me by my mother-in-law who is a fabulous cook!!

You will need :

1 cup : rice
3/4 cup : toor daal


 1-1/2 cup ash guard cut in cubes
1 cup beans cut - an inch long
3/4 cup   green peas

2-3 tbsp tamarind pulp

lemon size jaggery
pinch turmeric
salt to taste

For the masala
1 tbsp cumin
little  black pepper
4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp chana daal
4-5 small pieces of cinnamon
3/4 tbsp fenugreek  seeds
6-7 whole dried red chillies
handful dry coconut

roast the masala in a few drops of oil and make a dry powder or a wet paste. Make sure you do not over roast the red chilly or the dry coconut, so add it only after the other ingredients are roasted.

Mix the daal and rice, wash and add 2 cups of water and cook in the conventional pressure cooker till the rice is done. To the cooked rice and daal add cooked vegetables, tamarind, turmeric, jaggery, salt and bbb powder/paste, bring to a boil, add water if required.

 Tempering: heat 1tsp ghee, add mustard, let it splatter now add cashew nuts, asafoetida(hing)and curry leaves pour over bbb and serve hot with papadums.

Curd rice

You will need

2 cups cooked rice
2-3 cups thick yogurt

finely chopped cucumber
green grapes halved or pomegranate
finely chopped cilantro
finely chopped ginger
fresh red/green chilli split
salt to taste

Mix all the above ingredients. For tempering in 1/2 tsp oil add mustard, let it splatter add 1 tsp chana daal and 1 tsp urad daal...asafoetida(hing), ginger and split red/green chilli, garnish with cilantro. Served chill with hot bisibele bhat .

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Rajma - red bean Indian style

I have not been regular on the blog of late - hard to put myself in a time capsule or a box.....  just being myself...laid back, can't rush me when I get just doesn't work.  Deadlines are fine..but not with my creative itch  !! You guys feel like that too? Would love to hear how your mind works!!

I am being laid back this summer but not lazy ....have been working in the yard and love the outcome and love it even more when random walkers on the street compliment!! Life would be drab with out the color of flowers ....will post some pix on my next post!!

For now it is the color - red - hot sizzling rajma for a weekend meal!!

You will need :

2 cups rajma soaked over night
ginger - grated - love ginger so I add 4-5 tbs grated, you could mellow that down if u r not crazy about ginger.
1 big onion finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes finely chopped
1-2 green chili

2-3 tbsp rajma masala

1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp turmeric

I love to cook rajma in a crock pot  and just love the flavors coming together does take a lot of time but it is worth the effort.

Crock pot
 In a saucepan heat oil add cumin after it splatters add green chili, ginger, onion and saute till the onion is golden brown now add the tomatoes and roast till it rolls up into a mush. Add rajma masala and roast some more,  the masala starts leaving some oil.

Add the raw (soaked rajam) the onion tomato masala salt and turmeric to the slow cooker and pour 1 cup water to it and forget it for the next 4 ,sit it on high!! check occasionally and add more water if needed.  It is so creamy that is worth waiting for 4 hours :)serve with pilaf  or hot naans :)

Conventional cooker

Pressure cook the rajma in a conventional cooker till it is soft. In a saucepan heat oil add cumin after it splatter add green chili, ginger onion and saute dill the onion is golden brown now add the tomatoes and roast till it rolls up into a mush. Add rajma masala and  turmeric - roast till the masala starts leaving some oil.
Now add the cooked rajma and 1/2 cup water and salt, let it simmer on  a low flame for about 20- 30 min. Check occasionally don't want a burnt rajma. Enjoy the creamy spicy wonder bean !!:)
Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Choley Bhaturey

It has been an interesting week. Tele watching - The royal wedding - all the grandeur that went along with it, cricket, random movies, birthday parties, reading and my new love - sketching has kept me busy. I am looking forward to the following weeks, to dig my hands in dirt and get started working in the yard. Like cooking, I find gardening very rewarding. I can't wait to get to the garden center and get shopping..guess I should wait till I am sure that there will be no more frost to ruin my plans. Well the good news is the grass is nice and green, the birds are emptying the feeder at a rapid pace...daffodils and tulips are blooming ....I don't have to wait too long to plant my annuals.

Am thankful for all the colors being filled in around me....but am not so ecstatic about the rain. All the rain and the clouds have made it very hard for me to capture any good pictures of what I want to share.

Thankfully we had a sunny Saturday and I had some friends over. A cool sunny day to share and the camera was out.


3 cups self rising flour
1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup curd
1/2 tsp baking soda
Salt to taste and
Warm milk for kneading

Sieve together dry ingredients. Add butter, oil, yogurt and crumble. Add milk little at a time till a soft pliable dough is formed. Cover with muslin cloth, keep aside for 15-20 min.

Heat oil in a pan. Kneed dough lightly, break of piece - size of a lime and roll into a round disc. Not very thin. Drop it into the hot oil and let it swell like a puri, serve hot with choley and fresh sliced onion with a dash of lime.


1 cup of Kabuli Chana- soaked overnight in warm water with a pinch of baking soda.
1 big onion
1 big tomato
½" piece of Ginger (Adrak)
½ tsp. of Cumin Seeds
2 tsp. of Red Chilli Powder
¼ tsp. of Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp. of Coriander Powder
1 tsp. of Cumin Powder
Salt (to taste)
2 tsp. of Chana Masala
2 tsp. of Dry Mango Powder (Aamchoor Powder)
2 tbsp. of Cooking Oil
½ cup black tea...without sugar and milk.

Pressure cook the chana. Keep aside. Grind the onion, tomato and ginger to a fine paste. In a pan heat the oil, add the cumin seed...let it splatter now add the onion paste and let it simmer till the sides leave oil, add all the dry powders along with the cooked choley and the tea....let it boil for 10 -15 min.  serve hot with bhatura and enjoy!! :):)

One of my doodles .....

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Paneer Kofta

The last week has been quite on the blog but not so quite on other fronts. For one it was the week of spring break and the week of  ICC- world cup...!! first the anticipations of the semi-finals and finals then the nail biting matches...followed by the celebrations and the euphoria. Early mornings, endless supply of chai, screaming and clapping, multiple breakfasts, lunch and a wonderful time with family and friends. It was a great spring break...can't ask for more!! Team India rocks !!

Today's special is - paneer kofta. It goes great with saffron rice or some hot naan. Love the flavors of the curry...hope u enjoy it as much as we did ....

For the paneer kofta:

1 cup - home made paneer (coming soon on the blog)
3/4 cup - boiled mashed potatoes
1/2 tsp - cumin seed
1/2 tsp - red chili powder.
small bunch cilantro finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

Mash the paneer with the boiled potatoes and mix all the ingredients. Roll with a light hand into round shapes and deep fry. Keep aside.

For the curry :

1 onion
1 tomato
1-2 green chilli
1/2 inch ginger root
2 tsp garam masala
1/4 th tsp turmeric
salt to taste
1-2tbsp cream or 2-3 tbsp half n half
2 tbsp cashew paste ( soak 2 tbsp cashew nut in water for 3-4 hrs, grind into fine paste)
handful of blanched almonds
cilantro for garnish

Wet grind onion, tomato, ginger and green chili into fine paste. In a pan heat oil and add the onion-tomato paste and roast till it leaves oil, add the garam masala, turmeric, salt, cashew paste and some water bring to boil. add the cream and the fried kofta. 

Garnish with blanched almonds and cilantro serve hot with some butter naan and you have a best seller on your hands :) enjoy!! Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, December 3, 2010

Pumpkin Curry

I had meant to post this recipe for a long time now, almost since Halloween, somehow never got to do it. During the pumpkin month... you could see lovely  burnt oranges, golds  and green pumpkins, well how could I resist, of all the  recipes (pumpkin)I have, this one is my  favorite.  The reason I love pumpkins is the sweet flavor it has, and it goes very well with methi or fenugreek since methi has a mild bitter taste to it. This pumpkin sabji or curry is served with methi puris...i.e puri made from methi leaves.... a perfect meal on a cold weekend.  Now if you are watching your could make methi rotis instead of the puris...but I highly recommend the will not be disappointed. :)

 Pumpkin curry

Dice the pumpkin into square chunks with the skin. In a pan heat one tbsp of oil add mustard let it splatter, add 1 tbsp of meethi seeds, asafetida and red chillies. Add the diced pumpkin and salt- cook for a bit on medium heat,  it will cook into a mushy mashed potatoes. Add amchur (sun dried raw mango powder) and small amount of jaggery if the pumpkin is not sweet. Serve with meethi puris and riata...and you got a weekend blockbuster.

Meethi Puris

Finely shop methi leaves (without the stem) about a medium size  bunch. Cook in  a pressure cooker or microwave, let it cool. You can do this a couple of days in advance, I usually buy methi in bulk and chop / cook and freeze it for ease of use. 

Make sure the cooked methi does not have too much water...that will make the dough  soggy...and for puris you always need a tighter dough.  To the meethi add 2 cups of wheat flour,1 tsp jeera, red chili flakes - per taste, about 1 tsp grated ginger, salt to taste,  1 tbsp - fine rava i.e to make the puris crisp and warm water to kneed.

Make small balls out of the dough, roll out small disc with a help of a rolling pin. If dough sticks to the rolling pin use some all purpose flour.

Heat a heavy bottom dish/pan/kadai with oil ...a little more than half full....take care it will be hot. You can test if the oil is hot by dropping in a small bit of the puri dough...if it rises ...your oil is ready for the puris. Lower the heat to medium- high and keep monitoring oil has a tendency to heat up and smoke and that may not be a good idea. Slide in the rolled puris and let the oil do its job...turn,  remove from oil when the puri is golden brown and crisp....serve hot with the pumpkin curry, some raita and assorted chutneys...and you have a feast :)

Print Friendly and PDF

Thursday, November 18, 2010


 Whenever I use Dehradun heart warms up as I have lived some part of my childhood in Dehradun.  I remember my mother would buy basmati and it would never be used the same year, it would be kept away to age and bring out the rice would always be dismissed by her as mushy, starchy and lacking in character. Good rice is like wine ...has to be aged to reduce the moisture content. We would always have the rice in tin jars with the year on it, some of it would be used for special occasions as it would not only be old but also be exceptionally aromatic. Now when I rub the grains of basmati with my thumb on my palm and smell the takes be back to my the basmati paddy fields...of picnics...and sunny all part of sweet memories.

Ingredients: serves 4

Basmati rice: 1 cup
Water: 1 and 1/2 cup
Saffron: few strings
Cashew: halved, about a handful
Raisins: handful

Oil or ghee: 4 tbsp

Carrots: cubed
Beans: stringed and cut
Potatoes: cubed
Cauliflower: small florets
Paneer: diced
Green Bell peppers: diced
Onion: 1 big - finely chopped
Green Chilies: 2-3
Ginger: 1/2 inch- grated
Garlic: 2-3 cloves (optional

Biryani masala: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks: 1/2 cut
Jeera/Cumin: 1 tsp
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp
Black Pepper: 1 tsp freshly ground
Cloves: 2-3
Bay Leaf: 1

Yogurt: 1/4 cup
Salt: to taste.

In a bowl add yogurt, biryani masala, saffron and rice and let it marinate for 30 min.

I remember tasting biryani made in an earthenware was the perfect biryani I have ever had...perfectly cooked rice.....with all the flavors and mouthwatering aroma.  I would love to cook my biryani in an earthenware pot.... till I get one, it will be my non-stick pot.  Heat oil or ghee in a non-stick pot, add cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, black pepper and cardamom powder. Add the cashews and raisin and roast. Now add slit green chilies, ginger, garlic and onion and let the onions roast till golden brown, add green bell peppers, followed by other vegis and paneer. Add the marinated rice and roast for a bit, now add water, salt to taste and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer till the rice is done. Don't stir the rice when it is hot, it will break the rice grains...wait till it is warm and not hot...before you dish it out.

Serve with papad and pineapple raita.

Print Friendly and PDF

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hul-tové & Majgehuli

  Rice growing began in the coastal wetlands of eastern China  7,700 years ago. Reading about the rice fields in China during the Stone Age set me thinking about the history of food and our own traditional recipes that have been passed on for generations. Wonder when the oldest recipe was documented in written form?

A family favorite, this combo has been a weekend super hit for multiple generations now.

Sweet pumpkin : chopped in cubes
Arhar daal: 1 cup boiled

For the masala:

 Dhaniya Seeds: 2 tsp
Cinnamon: 1/3 os a stick
Peppercorn: 8-10
Cumin: 1 tsp
Red chili: 4-5
Asafoetida: 1/4th tsp
Chana Daal: 1 tbsp
Coconut fresh grated: handful

Roast the above (except coconut) in 1/4 tsp oil till it leaves aroma. Let it cool for a bit, add coconut and grind  to fine paste.
Cook the pumpkin and daal (separately), to it add the above ground masala, lemon size jaggery, tamarind paste ( juice of a lemon size tamarind) and salt . Bring to a boil.

For tempering: In heat 1 tsp of ghee add mustard seed, after it splatters add asafoetida and curry leaves.


Grind the below into fine paste

Coconut: 3/4 cup
Cilantro leaves: small bunch
Green Chili/Thai pepper: 3-4
Peppercorn: 4-5
Jeera: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Mustard seed: 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Add the above paste to 2 cups of yogurt (preferably sour yogurt). Do not heat.
For tempering: In heat 1 tsp of ghee add mustard seed, after it splatters add asafoetida and curry leaves. Enjoy the combo with steaming rice and ghee.

We would love to hear about recipes that have been part of your family for generations, please leave a link. :)

Print Friendly and PDF

Stumble it !

Related Posts with Thumbnails