May 12, 2009

Blogging break...

Dear Blogger friends and visitors, I am going on a break for sometime now, as I am travelling to India on vacation :). Can't wait to get home and meet family and relatives and friends and catch up with a whole lot of things..

I will resume blogging probably mid-August. Until then, here's wishing you all good times and a great summer :)..Have fun and happy blogging...

May 8, 2009

Chana Usli with Carrots & Zucchini..

Well, this dish was just born out of nowhere. All three of us love Uslis/Stir-fries with beans, legumes and I just when making the regular Chana Usli, I thought why not add in some carrots and zucchini to get the juicy factor in it and not let it be dry, since I was out of coconut. Tasted good I thought, and the addition of these veggies kept it moist and juicy. So here goes..


Black Chickpeas/Kala Chana - 1 cup, soaked overnite or in hot water for atleast 2 hrs.
Carrot, grated - 1 cup
Zucchini, grated - 1 cup

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chillies, slit lengthwise - 2 or 3
Hing/Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 4-5
Juice of half lemon or more.
Salt - to taste
Cilantro, chopped - to garnish
- Pressure cook the chickpeas with salt and little water for 1 whistle or until cooked. Keep aside till pressure subsides from the cooker.
- Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the cumin seeds, hing, green chillies, and curry leaves.
- Then add in the chana with very little water, let it cook it the water evaporates.
- Add in the grated zucchini and carrot, mix well, switch off the flame, and cover the pan and keep for about 5 mins.
- Pour in the lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot as a side with rice and curry or just as an evening snack.

May 7, 2009

Lemon-Ginger and Zucchini Dal..

A simple dal you might like if you like the combination of lemon and ginger in it.


Cooked Toor Dal - 1 1/2 cups. Dal should be mushy and pasty.
Zucchini, cubed - 2 cups
Green Chillies, slit lengthwise - 4-5
Ginger, finely chopped - 1 1/2 inch piece
Curry leaves - 4
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Methi/Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - a few sprigs
Juice of 1 big lemon
Salt - to taste


- In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat oil/ghee ( I used ghee) and add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add the cumin seeds, methi seeds, curry leaves, ginger and green chillies. Take care not to burn the methi seeds. Add the cooked dal to the pan with enough water to make it to a consistency you prefer. Bring to a boil.
- Add the zucchini pieces and boil till the pieces are just tender but not mushy. Switch off the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lemon juice.
- Serve with rice or tastes great to just slurp as a soup.

May 6, 2009

Tofu-Spinach Paratha..

I am of this habit that if I make something, I do it so much that people around me have to tell me to give them a break from it and try something different. Same works with me for cooking sites too. Once I was in, I got looking at their videos and saw many which looked very good to me and worth trying. The first one I made was the Ice-cream and now its these Tofu-Parathas.

I have taken the idea from the site, but followed by own recipe and added ingredients which I thought would be suited for us. The most interesting thing which drew me to this recipe was the use of Pickle Masala, and I knew I had to try it. Apart from being very fragrant, the masala lends great taste. These parathas work really great and are very filling and healthy too.

You can see the original recipe at


Wheat Flour - 1 cup
Bajra flour - 1/2 cup (optional)
Tofu - 7 oz.
Spinach, finely chopped, fresh or frozen - 1 cup packed.
Jeera/Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Pickle Masala - 1 tsp or more per taste
Green chillies, finely chopped - 1 or more per taste.
Salt - to taste


- Thaw the spinach if frozen, microwave it for 2 minutes. If using fresh spinach, chop it very fine and microwave it for 2 minutes. When cool to handle, ring out all the water and reserve the water. You can use the same water to bind the dough.
- Empty the liquid from the tofu pack. In a wide mixing bowl, mash the tofu completely with your hands. To it add the spinach, cumin powder, pickle masala, green chillies and salt and mix evenly.
- Next add both the flours and mix evenly and add water little at a time and bind to form a dough. Cover and keep aside for about 30 mins.
- Make little balls of the dough and roll out like you would rotis (not too thin).
- On a hot tawa, fry them on both sides with little oil.
- Serve hot, with a side of your choice or some chutney or yogurt. Mine is served with ridgegourd peels chutney.
Notes :

- By pickle masala, its meant the gravy clinging to the pieces in the jar. I used the Aamla/Gooseberry pickle masala from the readymade pickle jar.
- Be careful while adding the salt as the pickle masala already is salty.
- Bajra flour is just optional. Can either do without it and just add the wheat flour or use a combination of other flours.
- The original recipe mentions Silken Tofu, but I used firm tofu and it worked extremely well, and mashed easily with least effort.
- I have used frozen spinach, but its optional. Skip it or use any other greens.

May 3, 2009

Eggplant Chutney - Andhra Style..

Before meeting my Andhra friends, my knowledge of Chutneys was very limited. In Konkani cuisine we do make a lot of Chutneys but mainly with coconut present in them. Its very few vegetables like tomoto, raw mango, ridge gourds that we make chutneys of, and most of them are used for pairing with Idlis/Dosas. I was quite surprised by the various other kinds of chutneys people make with eggplants, ridgegourds, ivy gourds, and literally every other vegetable. More surprised when I learnt that most of these chutneys are used to mix with rice and eat. Ahhhh, how wonderful they taste and what a great meal just a chutney and rice forms !!!


Eggplant, chopped into small cubes and soaked in water - 4 cups
Tomato, roughly chopped - 1 cup
Jeera/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies, chopped - 2 or more as per ur taste.
Garlic cloves, roughly chopped - 3
Tamarind - a small marble size ball
Turmeric powder - 1/4 pinch
Cilantro - to garnish
Salt - to taste

For tempering

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Udad dal - 1/2 tsp
Chana dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4

Optional - Chopped red onions, as per choice.


- Heat oil in a deep pan. Add the green chillies, cumin seeds and the drained eggplant pieces and saute. Add salt and Turmeric. Let it cook till eggplants are half done.

- Then add the tomato and saute. Leave it cook and when done, switch off heat.

- Put in the garlic and tamarind and cover the pan.

- Once the mixture cools down, blend it in a mixie/blender WITHOUT adding any water. Take out the blended chutney in a serving bowl.

- In a separate small pan, heat little oil, add mustard seeds, when they crackle, add the udad dal, chana dal, and the curry leaves. Pour this seasoning over the blended chutney. Add chopped cilantro to garnish.

- You can serve it like this OR go one step further and top it with some chopped red onion along with chopped cilantro and mix well and serve.

Note :

- This chutney is mainly mixed with rice and had, but also works extremely great for dosas, idlis and rotis.

- Adding the chopped red onions at the end of it is optional, but gives a great crunch and bite to the chutney.