Pesarattu/Green gram or Mung bean Dosa

You know how they say ‘Breakfast is the most important meal of the day’. I used to feel lethargic & really tired by the end of the day and was beginning to show signs of digestive disorders as well a few years back. I realize now that all i needed to do was eat my breakfast. That is why I now ensure I eat a heavy breakfast.

This is a delicious protein rich breakfast and it is unbelievably easy to make.



  • Green Gram/Mung Bean – 3 cups (Soak them overnight. Letting them sprout is optional but I highly recommend it)
  • Green chilly – 2 to 3 (Increase/Decrease as per taste)
  • Cumin /Jeera seeds or powder – 2 tsp
  • Ginger – About 2 Inch piece or 3 tsp of ginger paste
  • Curry Leaves – 7 to 8
  • Salt – As per taste
  • Raw Rice – 1/3 cup (Soaked overnight)

How To

Grind all the above ingredients into a fine paste and your pesarattu batter is ready. Add water little by little to make a thick paste. img_20161130_085850247

Make dosas on a hot skillet and enjoy it with hot sambar or chutney.

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Now didn’t I say the recipe is super easy :). Please do try it and let me know if you like it ūüôā



Notes :

  1. Rice flour can also be used instead of soaked raw rice.
  2. You may choose to omit the rice entirely. There will be no change in the taste but the dosas will not be crispy.
  3. I like to steam cook my dosas and recommend it.
  4. How to sprout the green gram (They are amazing for salads too) :
    1. Soak  them for 6 to 7 hours.
    2. Strain and wash the green gram.
    3. Put the green gram in a colander.
    4. Cover the green gram with a wet towel or cloth on top (Just to keep them moist)
    5. Place the colander in a deep vessel & cover with a lid.
    6. They will sprout in about 5-8 hrs.





Yenne Kathrikai/Yennegai/Stuffed Eggplant

Hey Blog world,

Long time no see ;). I have had a lot on my plate in the last one year :P. I am back and how ;). Here is my recipe for yennegai;

I have made and tasted various versions of this dish but this one is my favourite. Every time I look at the pictures I drool…Oh yummm!!

This dish can be eaten with Plain Rice, Jeera Rice & Phulkas.


Stuffing :

  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup or 6 Tbsp
  • Tamarind – 1 Tbsp or size of 1/2 a lemon (Soak for 30-40 mins & extract pulp)
  • Dry Roast and Grind the following along with Grated Coconut, Tamarind pulp & salt
    • Dry Red Chilly – 4 to 5 (Increase this number if you like it more spicy)
    • Coriander/Dhania seeds – 3 Tbsp
    • Groundnuts – 3 Tbsp
    • Cumin/Jeera seeds – 1 tsp
    • Fenugreek/Methi seeds – 1¬† tsp
    • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
    • Garlic – 5 to 6 pods
    • Black Sesame seeds – 2 tsp
    • Curry leaves – 4 to 5

Gravy :

  • Onion – 3 medium sized (chopped)
  • Tomato – 2 medium sized (chopped)
  • Curry leaves – about 10
  • Magic Trio
    • Salt – As per taste
    • Turmeric powder – 1 Tsp
    • Chilly – 1 to 2 Tsp

Others :

  • Eggplant – Small ones – 10 to 12
  • Oil – 4 to 5 Tbsp + 1 tsp (I use Coconut Oil)
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Garlic – 4 to 5 (Optional – I like to add it whole to the gravy)
  • Asafoetida/Hing – 1 pinch
  • Coriander leaves – Chopped – To Garnish

How to

  1. Wash and clean the eggplants well. Make 4 to 6 slits in them (as shown in the picture above).  Soak them in water to prevent it from changing colour.
  2. Take a big pan and roast the stuffing ingredients without oil for abt 2 to 5 mins in medium heat. Add coconut, tamarind pulp & salt to it before grinding. Add very less water to the ground mixture. It should form a thick paste.
  3. Stuff the eggplants with the above mixture. If you have the mixture left over,that is good. Don’t worry about it.
  4. In the same pan – pour 1 Tsp oil, curry leaves,onion and tomato and cook till raw smell goes. Add the Magic Trio (Salt, Trumeric Powder & Chilli Powder). Saute them for 2 mins. Cool this mixture and Grind into a fine paste. The gravy ingredients are now ready.
  5. Heat 4 Tsp of Oil in a pan (preferably a wide and deep pan) and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter,add asafoetida & curry leaves.
  6. Slowly place each eggplant in the oil one at a time. Place the eggplants ‘bulb first’ into the oil, Turn the heat to low-medium and cover with a lid. After 4-5 mins turn the eggplants so that other parts too are cooked in hot oil. They will turn golden brown on all sides. You may need to increase/decrease heat while doing this. Be careful not to burn them. This goes on for about 15-20 mins.
  7. Add the Onion tomato paste,Garlic pods & any leftover stuffing to the eggplants along with enough water to cover all the eggplants and cover them with a lid. Ensure that you cook at low-medium heat now. Keep stirring every 5-7 mins. Please be as gentle as you possibly can. The gravy will start boiling and the eggplants must get cooked well in the gravy. This will take sometime. You want the eggplants to absorb all the flavours.882
  8. When all the eggplants are cooked thoroughly (they will not be able to hold their shape well) , Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Delicious Yennegai is ready to be served. Please do try the recipe and let me know if you like it ūüôā


Note :

  1. I like to leave the stems on. It is easier to cook & eat it that way. I recommend leaving them but you can choose to remove them.
  2. Don’t forget to add salt to the stuffing as well as the onion+tomato paste. Ensure that you add only the required quantity.
  3. Be as gentle as possible while stirring the gravy to ensure that the eggplants don’t break.
  4. If you wish to make it without gravy,skip the onion+tomato paste and make more of the stuffing. This method will also require you to use more oil. It can be eaten with sambar/rasam rice.

Mujaddara inspired Lentil rice

Mujaddara is a very popular middle eastern rice based dish. It is usually made with whole lentils and brown rice with a dash of simple spices and a whole load of caramelized onions.

I had mujaddara for the first time in a little cafe in the basement of the building where I worked and it was love at first bite. I didn’t bother finding the recipe for this until I had  to take a break from work and started missing the cafeteria’s food. As with many other dishes, I looked up the recipe and couldn’t believe how simple it was. With just 4 main ingredients – rice, lentils, olive oil and onions, this recipe will blow your mind. It’s surprising, but not all mediterranean/middle eastern cafes have this on their menu. Wonder why!

Here goes my take on the recipe.


  • Whole lentils, 1 cup
  • Brown rice, 1 cup
  • Vegetable stock, 4 cups
  • Onions, 4 medium
  • Olive oil, 4 tbsps
  • Cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

How to:

Wash the lentils. Add 1 cup of broth to this and pressure cook it.Switch off the stove after 3 whistles. Drain the excess water (if any). You could use add this later to the dish or use it to cook the rice.

In parallel, also cook the brown rice. I use my electric rice cooker to cook rice. I added about 3 cups of broth for 2 cups of rice.

Make thin slices of the onions. I use the mandolin slicer. It makes my job way easier (less tears too). 

Now comes the most interesting ( and the MOST IMPORTANT) part of the recipe.

Heat a thick bottom pan. Add oil to it. Once warm, add the onions and saute until they caramelize and you can smell their sweet aroma in the air.


Set the stove to low heat. Now add the lentils, rice, cumin and salt.


Mix them well. After a minute, switch off the stove.


Mujaddara is ready to eat. The longer you leave it, the more infused the flavors will get.  Enjoy it with a simple cucumber/mint flavored yogurt or a simple middle cucumber/tomato salad.

Happy Cooking!


  • Mix in the same pan that you fried the onions. You don’t want to risk losing the caramelized goodness stuck to the pan.
  • Traditionally, lentils are first cooked in water on stove top. The excess water is then drained and used to cook rice. This adds extra flavor to the rice. I am too lazy to cook them one after the other. Thats why I like to use broth instead. It adds the necessary flavor without too much hassle :P. Also, onions are deep fried, I think. I am sure that makes for an amazing dish but for all the obvious reasons I am not going in that direction ūüôā
  • I like to use equal amounts of lentils and rice as I like to taste the lentils. You could alter the ratio of rice to lentils as per your taste.

Cranberry Salsa


Fresh cranberries are found in abundance during the thanksgiving time.

I try to use it as much as possible in my cooking and when we can find fresh ones .I even puree and freeze them in cubes for later use. It gives the characteristic gorgeous red color and tangy taste to any dish prepared.  Though I am pretty happy with its taste in chutney and rasam , cranberry salsa takes the cake!

Its very simple to prepare and store, and goes very well with tortilla chips as a dip and spooned over black bean burrito bowl/tamale . It even goes really well with Brown rice stuffed bell peppers instead of marinara for a little kick.

Ingredients –

Tomatoes- 1 large roughly chopped

Green chilly- serrano or jalepeno – 1or 2

Garlic – 2-3 pods

Fresh Cranberry- 1.5 cups

Extra virgin olive oil- 2 tablespoons

IMG_0548             IMG_0551



Method of preparation-

Add all ingredients except the EVOO – Extra virgin olive oil in a cooking vessel with about a cup of water and cook it covered till all ingredients are fork tender.

Cool to room temperature and blend to a smooth consistency. Add EVOO and and mix well.

Store in an airtight container for about a week to two in the refrigerator.

Enjoy !


Extra tips-

Onion could be added instead of garlic.

Warm the salsa add freshly chopped cilantro/coriander/parsley to it for a fresher  taste.

Add a dash of lemon juice for added tang.


Brown rice stuffed bell peppers

First of all, A very very happy new year to all you folks! May this year be filled with good cheer and happiness!!!

Here goes our first post for 2016!

There’s this lovely vegan cafe called good karma in san jose downtown area which I used to frequent when I lived there. ¬†It’s a little restaurant¬†with walls decked up with art pieces from local artists. Their menu ranges from fun salads to curries like thai curry and indian chana masala to buns and vegan quesadillas. Overall, an interesting place with a very interesting menu.

Here’s¬†my version of the cafe’s¬†stuffed bell pepper, my most favorite item in their menu. Though mine contains cheese and so isn’t completely¬†vegan, I’d like to say that I was¬†inspired by what I ate at the cafe.¬†It tastes yum, is filling enough to be a meal in itself and is a BIG hit with my family and friends.


  • Bell peppers – 4
  • Brown rice – 6 cups, cooked
  • Marinara Sauce – 3 cups, store bought
  • Shredded italian cheese – 2-3 cups
  • Bread crumbs – 1 cup
  • Good quality olive oil – few tbsps
  • Chopped veggies of your choice (optional)

How to:

Cut bell peppers into half. Core and seed them (You could choose to use the insides for stuffing).


Drop them in boiling water making sure there is enough water to completely cover the peppers. Boil them for about 10-15 min. Peppers should be soft when you poke with a fork, but no so soft that they disintegrate when touched. Check every few minutes to make sure the peppers are cooked to the right consistency.

Drain the peppers. Set aside to dry.


Saute some veggies of your choice for the stuffing. Add cooked rice and marinara sauce to this. Also top it with roasted nuts and olives. I even add boiled garbanzos sometimes. Mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Now, all thats left is to lay the peppers down on a tray and fill them up with the stuffing, Spray some cooking oil on the tray. Fill the peppers with rice mixture, add grated cheese on top. Finally sprinkle the top with with breadcrumbs and a tsp of oil.

Preheat the oven to 400 deg F. Stick the tray in and set the timer to 30-40 min. You’ll see the cheese melting and bread crumbs browning. Switch off oven , let cool and dig in ūüôāIMG_0088

Happy Cooking!

Raw mango pickle – Tambrahm wedding style


Instant Mango Pickle usually served at Tam Brahm weddings are always a hit at the wedding  or with the kattu Sadam ( a little to-go Yogurt rice) for all the guests returning back home after three day long wedding festivities.

I make them regularly in summer when raw mango is in season. Though the mango I get here, in little town USA is no where close to the original “kilimooku”mango (tamil word ,roughly translated to parrot’s beak ). It still reminds me of home /weddings/ fun with cousins. The times when you are craving for a spicy, sour and salty bite with your food, this fits the spot perfectly.


  1. Raw mango – 1 Finely chopped
  2. Asafotedia- 1/4 th spoon ( couple pinches)
  3. black mustard seeds – 1 spoon
  4. Turmeric – 1 spoon
  5. red chilly powder- 1 spoon ( less or more according to taste)
  6. salt – 1-2 spoons
  7. Sesame oil- 2 tablespoons


Method of Preperation

  1. Cut raw mango into small pieces( In tamil its called Pallu- pieces look like teeth)
  2. In a small pan heat sesame oil.
  3. Add Mustard seed let it splutter.
  4. Switch off the heat and add rest of the ingredients .
  5. Add extra oil if need be.
  6. Add to raw mango and mix well .
  7. Store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for upto 1 week .



Enjoy with Bagalabath !

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Green chilli (hot) sauce

Green chilli sauce – Another one of amma’s signature dishes. ¬†This is one of the two things I like to make and eat when I really really miss my mom, the other one being her¬†tomato thokku.

This chilli sauce is the perfect dipping sauce for french fries and dosas. With just 4 ingredients and a 3 step process, this is simply the easiest and yummiest. Save it for all the times you crave something hot enough to awaken your senses.


  • Green chillies 10
  • Red fleshy tomatoes – 2
  • Potatoes, medium – 1
  • Himalayan pink salt ¬†(kaala namak) – to taste

How to:

Step1: Blanch the vegetables in a pressure cooker or a pan.


Step2: Cool, peel and blend

Step3: Strain to remove any bigger pieces and add salt to taste.


Save it in an air tight container. Keeps well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.


  • Choose hotter variety of chillies like Indian/Thai if you’d like it really spicy.
  • Regular sea salt can be used instead of the himalayan pink salt, but pls don’t. I would certainly recommend you add the pink salt. It adds a certain unique earthy flavor which makes the sauce so much more special. The salt is easily available in grocery stores.

Vegetable Kurma

Unlike the ‘vegetable stew style’ kuruma that shyama posted (Aapam Kuruma), this one is a Masala version vegetable kurma and is pretty heavy. They are both equally¬† delicious. I make each kind according to my mood that day.

I learnt this recipe from my mother in law. Every time we visit she makes this along with aapam or idiyappam because she knows how much I like this Kurma.


Onion – 2 cups (Finely Chopped)

Tomato – 1 cup(Finely Chopped)

Oil – about 4 Tsp

Salt, Turmeric powder and Chilli powder

Coriander leaves to Garnish

To steam :

(If you are using a cooker – 2 whistles should be enough)

Beans – 1 1/2 cups (Finely chopped)

Carrot – 1 1/2 cups (Finely Chopped)

Peas – 1 cup (If you are using dried peas, soak them overnight. I use frozen or fresh)

Potato – 1/2 cup (Peeled and chopped steam them in a separate bowl instead of mixing it with the rest of the vegetables – as shown below)


To Grind :

Shallots – 3 to 4 or Onion – a 1/4 piece

Ginger Garlic paste – 2 Tsp (or Garlic – 3 to 4 cloves & Ginger about 1 1/2 inches)

Green Chilli – 1 or 2 (as per taste)

Cashew nuts – 6 to 7

Coconut – about 2 spoons

Spices to be ground :-

  • Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Cloves – 2 to 3
  • Coriander seeds or powder – 3 Tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Khuskhus (White poppy seeds) – 4 Tsp (soaked in water for about 30 mins)


 Method :

Grind all the ingredients first into a fine paste. It will give the poppy seeds enough time to get as soft as possible.

Heat some oil in a kadhai and add the chopped onions. When the Onion turns golden brown, add the chopped tomato. Cook till the raw smell of the tomatoes is gone. Add the salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder and saute for about 5 mins.


Add the ground paste after pulsing it one last time before you add it. Simmer it and put a lid on the kadhai. Keep stirring, the oil will separate in sometime. It should take about 10 mins for the paste to get cooked.

Mash the boiled potatoes with a fork. Add all the boiled vegetables including the mashed potato. Pour in enough water to achieve a gravy consistency and stir well.

Put the lid on, simmer and cook until it starts to boil. Add water if it seems too thick. Stir every 2 to 3 mins.

After it boils, Add a spoon of ghee and garnish with coriander leaves. Yummy Kurma is ready to be served.

IMG-20150607-WA0008We eat it with Parota, Aapam and Idiyappam :). Tastes great with phulka, dosa and idly too.

Homemade Idiyappam is delicious, I bought this just for idiyappams, It is definitely worth the money and a wonderful indulgence.

IMG-20150607-WA0034I hope you love this recipe as much as I do. Please do try it and let me know if you like it ūüôā

Akki rotti – with leftover rice

Akki rotti is an extremely popular dish from Karnataka, a state in India. Akki rotti literally translating to ‘rice bread’ is traditionally¬†made with ¬†a dough consisting of rice flour, salt, water and ghee.

This is amma’s version of akki rotti. She makes it with leftover rice. She says she learnt this recipe from Hems. Like all south Indian households we consume a lot of rice and hence leftover rice¬†is a pretty common occurrence at home. This recipe is a sure shot method to utilize all¬†that excess food in your fridge. You can add almost anything and make this healthy and yummy veggie filled rotti.

Amma is visiting me now and she makes this dish very often.¬†One day these rottis were extremely tasty and I asked amma what the secret was to which she smiled and replied that she’s used left over rice and green beans from lunch and rava upma from breakfast the previous morning :). Can you even believe there is a way to combine all these and still make something so tasty?¬†Intrigued? Read on…


  • Left over rice/other¬†grains and veggies (chop veggies finely) . I used brown rice.
  • Rice Powder, 2 tbsp
  • Onion 1, chopped fine
  • Carrot 1, shredded
  • Coriander leaves, ¬†2 tbsp chopped
  • Cumin seeds/powder – to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil, 1-2 tsp
  • Water, 2-3 tbsp or as necessary

How to:

Warm up the leftover rice slightly. Mash it with your hands/potato masher until it forms a coarse paste. You can also run it in a blender, but be careful not to make it into a very fine paste. Add the rest of the ingredients and make a soft dough. (Add extra rice powder if it is too sticky or more rice paste if not starchy enough) Make into balls roughly the size of a tennis ball.


Heat a cast iron/non stick pan it to medium high.

Meanwhile, take a piece of banana leaf or parchment paper and spread a drop of oil on it. Now take one ball of rice and spread it evenly into a roti with your fingers. Dab a little water on to your finger tips every now and then if the dough sticks to it. I usually keep a bowl of water next to me. Use your index finger and make a hole in the center.

Once the pan is hot, use a basting brush to spread a drop of oil on it.Pick up the prepared rotti along with the sheet and invert it on to the tawa. Slowly peel the parchment paper away, leaving the rotti on the tawa.


Add another drop of oil into the hole in the center. Keep it closed. Let cook until one side is done. Turn it around and cook the other side until the required crispness is attained. Remove from tawa. Serve hot.

I like it crisp,  so I leave it on for a while on either sides.  If you like it soft,  you can remove it from the tawa sooner.



There you go! It tastes best with peanut chutney ( recipe coming soon)

You can try making similar rottis with almost any grain like quinoa, wheat, ragi or jowar. Here’s a pic of Hema’s raagi rotti – She used raagi and cooked rice as the base. The rest of the ingredients are similar to the above recipe.

raagi-akki rotti

Chef’s notes:

  • For making the rotti, it is important to use a non stick surface from which it is easy to peel away the prepared rottis. Also, the surface needs to be able to withstand some heat since we take it very close to the hot pan. Traditionally, plantain leaves are¬†used for such purposes since they have a¬†natural wax coating on them that¬†prevents food from sticking. Parchment paper is the second best option when you¬†don’t have easy access to plantain¬†leaf.
  • It does take a few minutes to cook ( about 10 min for each rotti), especially if you like it crisp and cooked evenly. If you want to save time, it is best to have multiple skillets on or do this in parallel with other chores like cleaning up/loading the dishwasher.

Roasted broccoli parmesan with walnuts

Want a quick and healthy snack to quench those mid-afternoon hunger pangs? Look no further. Here’s a healthy no-guilt snack that I make almost all the time. It is inspired by a similar recipe by Ina Garten from Barefoot Contessa.

My family loves this, so I make a lot of it. You could choose to make a single serving. Will hardly take you 10 min to get it done.

Ingredients: (Serves 4)

  • Broccoli, ¬†3 heads
  • Walnuts, 2 handfuls, toasted and chopped
  • Parmesan, 1/3 cup, grated
  • Good quality extra virgin olive oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, ground pepper and lemon juice to taste

How to:

Remove the thicker stalks from the broccoli head leaving only an inch of the softer stalk attached to the florets. Cut the broccoli florets to a uniform size (so that they cook evenly)


Toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay them on a baking sheet and bake for 30-40 min in a preheated oven set to 365 deg F. Toss them midway through the cooking process. Roast until it is crisp on the outside and tender on the inside.

( If you are making an individual serving, you can quickly roast the florets by popping them into the microwave. Lay them down in a single layer on a microwavable plate and cook for a total of 7-8 minutes, tossing them every 2 min).

When done, take them out, add toasted walnuts, lemon juice and parmesan and toss well.


There you go! Your snack is ready!

 Until next time, Happy cooking!