Friday, February 26, 2010

Pesaratu/Moongdal Dosa

"Pesaratu" is an Andhra delicacy. Somehow in my mind I had always had this idea that this recipe requires quite a lot of time. Me and my cooking ideas huh? But recently tasted this dosa at my friend A's place and came to know that it is the easiest Dosa ever !! 
She wanted royalty for the recipe and so this is dedicated to her specially :) 

  • 1 cup of green moong dal
  • 1/2 cup of raw rice or boiled rice or a mix of both(I used raw rice)
  • 2 or 3 green chillies
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • a small piece of onion
  • chopped curry leaves
  • Soak the dal & rice in water for 8 hours or in hot water for 4 hours
  • Grind the dal along with chillies and ginger to a fine paste adding required salt.
  • Add the curry leaves.
  • Pour into dosa pan and make the way you make dosa.

Serving suggestions
  • When I googled for the recipe came to know how to know that in Andhra people have upma inside it and call them "MLA pesartu". I didnt quite like the idea of having upma inside a dosa.May be you can give a shot.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney.
  • You can vary the combinations according to your taste bud.
  • Add raw rice for crispness and onion for softness.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Aloo Palak/Spinach potato

This is a very simple yet rich and healthy dish.I'm trying a variety of dishes with Spinach these days and this is one such dish which I adapted from Vahchef and tweaked a bit to my ease.

  • 1 bunch of Spinach                                                  
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste
  • 4 or 5 green chillies
  • 1 tsp chilli powder(optional for extra spice)
  • 1 tbsp jeera
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of whole garam masala or 1 tbsp of powdered garam masala
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream or milk
  • Cut the potatoes into cubes and boil them until soft.But dont change their shape.

Step 1
  • Add few drops of oil and roast the cumin seeds and green chillies.
  • Add 2-3 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
  • Now add the Spinach bunch & cook it till soft.
  • After cooling grind this mixture to a fine or coarse paste,as you would want your spinach.
Step 2
  • Fry onions in 2 tbsp of oil.
  • When translucent, add ginger garlic paste and then the tomatoes.
  • Fry them together with a pinch of salt and keep on the stove till tomatoes are soft.
  • Grind this mixture to a fine paste.
Step 3
  • Take a kadai and 4 tbsp of oil.
  • Add whole garam masala(If you are using the powder kind, dont add now)
  • Add the ground mixture from step 2 . Let it cook for a while. You might want to keep it covered as it will splatter all over.
  • Once they are cooked & oil separates,add the spinach from step 1.
  • Mix well, add salt,chilli powder and cook in medium flame .
  • When they are well cooked add the boiled potatoes to mixture & keep for a few minutes.
  • Add garam masala at this stage.
  • Finally add 1/4 cup of fresh cream or milk , simmer for one minute and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serving suggestions
  • This goes well with chappathis or Phulka.
  • Adding milk or cream is optional but will give richness to the dish.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sweet Poha/Sweet aval

Stumbled upon PJ's "No cooking" event when I was going to make the perfect dish for my morning breakfast.I had some red poha left which I wanted to finish and thats why ended up doing this super easy healthy breakfast.

Since this is a no cooking dish, the measurements can be easily varied according to your taste buds. The measures are what I like in this dish.

  • one bowl of poha(Thin/thick/red any kind)
  • 3 tbsp of sugar
  • 3 tbsp of grated coconut
  • a pinch of cardamom
  • 1 tbsp of ghee or softened butter-optional
  • 1 tbsp of nuts(almonds/raisins/cashews)-optional
  • None - This is no cooking dish :)
  • If the poha is thick,rinse it in water and soak for 15 minutes to make it soft.
  • If it is thin,just rinsing 2 times will do the trick.(I used thin red poha)
  • Add ghee,sugar and grated coconut.
  • Add the pinch of cardamom.
  • Whisk together and finally garnish with the nuts.

Serving suggestions
  • You can have this dish with some fruits like apple or banana to make it as a healthy breakfast.
  • You can have it as a light snack in the evening accompanied with a samosa and tea!

Monday, February 22, 2010


This is a typical Tamilnadu dish. This is one of the favorite dishes of J and that inspired me to try this at home. The dish looks very rich and might seem difficult at first sight. But it is very simple and easy one and you can make within half an hour.

  • 1/4 cup of Channa dal(Kadala paruppu) 
  • 2 Red chillies
  • 1 finely chopped Onion(big)
  • 1 finely chopped tomato(big)
  • Ginger garlic paste
  • 1tbsp Coriander seeds 
  • 1 tsp Saunf(Fennel seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
  • 2 tsp Grated coconut
  • 4 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper corns(Optional for additional spice)
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves 
  • Coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp of lemon juice 
  • Wash and soak the Channa dal overnight(8 hours) in normal water or in hot water for about 4 hours.
Vadacurry = vada + curry.
Vadas cooked in a curry is what vadacurry is all about. Thats why I'm dividing this post into small parts so that it is easy to understand all the steps clearly. This is for my reference too!!

Part 1 - the vadas
  • Drain the water from dal and grind along with 2 chilli coarsely like you do for vada.
  • Steam the dal mixture in idli cooker. You can make them as small balls and place in the stand. Shape doesn't matter as long as it is steamed well.
  • Take the steamed dal and crush them and keep them aside.(Thats why ..dont waste time in making a proper shaped ball :)..)
Part 2 - the grinding 
  • Dry roast the ingredients in yellow color except coconut.
  • Fry till the chillies turn black.
  • Now add the grated coconut and switch off the flame.
  • Mix everything and grind them to a fine paste after cooling ->Let us call this Grind 1
  • Take a kadai and add little oil.
  • Add half of the onions and fry them till golden brown.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a few minutes.
  • Add half of the chopped tomatoes to this mixture and fry till tomatoes become soft.
  • Grind this mixture along with Grind 1 to a smooth paste.
Part 3 - the curry
  • Heat oil in a kadai and temper with the ingredients highlighted in green color.
  • Add the remaining half of the onions and then tomatoes and saute them well.
  • Once the onions turn brown add the ground paste from part 2 and mix them well.
  • Add 2 cups of water and salt and bring this to a boil.
  • Once it starts boiling check for the spices and add in the vadas from part 1 
  • Cover the mixture with a lid and keep in low flame for a few minutes.
  • After sometime you will see the oil oozing out and floating on top with grated coconut.
  • Switch off the flame and add the lime juice.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serving suggestions
  • Serve with hot idlis or Dosas.
  • This is a very heavy dish and ideal for a breakfast or brunch.
  • You can make the vadas the previous night and just add them while making the curry in the morning.
  • Alternatively you can use leftover vadas for making the vadacurry. But it will not be very soft as it is crisp.

Sending this recipe to JFI at Siri's Corner

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Blackened Veggie Pasta

This is a very quick version of pasta and anyone can cook this with ease. This marks the first non-Indian dish in my blog. Not a very good picture for the blog ..still gotta work on this area!!

  • Long Pasta or spaghetti
  • Powdered pepper
  • Salt
  • Tomatoes - 2 
  • Onions -     1
  • Store bought Alfredo sauce as shown below or you can make your own sauce
  • None
  • Take some water and bring it to boil in a stove pot.
  • Now add the Pasta with little salt.
  • In the meanwhile ,cut the onions and tomatoes and saute them with little oil.
  • The pasta should be boiling now and check if it is ready by taking a sample.(The pasta is done when it sticks in any cupboard when you throw it..a bit fun testing ;) )
  • Now comes the easy part. Add the pasta,tomato & onions ,sauce and pepper and whisk them.
  • Viola, your blackened pasta is ready to serve.
Serving suggestions
  • You can also add carrots and beans or any other veggies that you would like in your Pasta.
  • Serve the pasta hot otherwise the taste will be lost.
  • Reheating in microwave will not be a tasty as the fresh.
And this is entry to the Pasta Party event @ Panch Pakwan and thus marking my first event participation.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Have been meaning to write this post for such a long time. Pulled up my fingers to type them today finally!!

  • 2 cups of Raw rice                                                   
  • 1 cup of veggies(mix of carrots,beans,peas,potato) 
  • 1/2 cup of Toor dal                                      
  • 1 Onion                                                        
  • 4 or 5 small onions                                               
  • 1 big Tomato                                                      
  • 1 tsp of Jaggery or sugar                                         
  • lemon sized ball of Tamarind                                                    
  • 1 Tsp of Turmeric powder                                         
  • Few strands of fresh Coriander leaves                                        
  • 1 tsp of Saunf  
  • 1 tbspn of Corainder seeds  
  • 1 tbspn of Channa dal  
  • 2 tsp of Grated coconut 
  • 5 or 6 Red Chillis   
  • 1 tsp of pepper corns 
  • Mustard
  • Curry leaves
  • asafoetida or Hing
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice. Alternately you can use tamarind paste.
  • Dry roast all the ingredients highlighted in yellow color and grind them to a powder.
  • Pressure cook dal along with tomato and turmeric powder. Dal should be cooked fully and must be mashed completely.
  • Take the pressure cooker and add oil.
  • Put the ingredients highlighted in green for tempering. 
  • After mustard seeds splutter add the onions and saute them,followed by the veggies.
  • After sauting for few minutes add the ground powder and mix well.
  • Then add the tamarind extract along with some water.
  • Add jaggery and salt to taste.
  • Now pour in the mashed dal and check for spices.
  • Atlast add the rice and close the pressure cooker for nearly 5 to 6 whistles.
  • Measure the amount of water you add to the rice.Take care to keep the rice:water ratio in 1:2.5 ratio.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serving suggestions
  • Add a few spoons of ghee after the rice is done.
  • This goes well with chips or pappad.
  • Bisibelabath is well done when the rice is mashed well with all the ingredients. So when in doubt with the water alway add more. Do not add less.
  • To get a good consistency of mashed dal, pre-soak the dal for half an hour before cooking it.

Almond Candy

Dont give me looks hearing the title.This is just the basic badam halwa rolled in the shape of candy to feast my eyes :)
We were travelling to a friends place in St. Louis & I wanted to prepare some sweets to take to their home and thus ending up preparing the badam halwa.

  • Whole badam(almonds) - 1 cup
  • Sugar                           - 1 cup
  • Milk                              - a few tablespoons
  • Ghee(melted butter)       -  as per your taste
  • Cardomon Powder          - a pinch (optional)
  • Soak the almonds(badam) in normal water overnight or hot water for minimum of one hour.
  • Peel the skin after that and keep them ready.
  • Grind the almonds with sugar with as little milk as possible to a fine paste.(Use milk just to cover the almonds)
  • Take a kadai and keep in medium flame .Add few drops of ghee and pour in the grounded paste.
  • Keep stirring the mixture(this might take nearly 10-15 minutes). Take care as the mixture will spill all over.
  • After a few minutes the texture will start to change and you will notice the badam will leave the sides.
  • This stage add few more table spoons of ghee and the cardoman powder and keep stirring  for 5 more minutes.
  • Take off the flame to have your badam halwa.
Serving suggestions
  • You can take the halwa and eat them directly with a spoon.
  • You can pour them into greased plate and cut them into desired shape after it cools down.
  • Peeling of badams will be easier when they are very tender.
  • Always keep the flame in medium or lower than that. Increasing the heat will burn the badam.
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