Tomato-Onion Chutney

I usually prepare tomato chutney. Whenever I make Aloo paratha or Khichdi I prepare a simple one by either blanching or roasting. But whenever there is some south Indian dish is in menu then I always go with tamatar, pyaz and nariyal; also called Onion-Tomato Chutney!

Makes for 2
Preparation Time: 5 Mins
Cooking Time: 15 Mins

Tomato-1 No
Onion-1 No
Chana Dal-1 1/2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds-2 Tsp
Dry red chillies-3-4
Coconut-3/4 medium slices
Hing-A pinch
Curry Leaves-Few
Dhania/Coriander-Small bunch
Oil/Ghee-2 Tbsp
Salt-As per taste

    1.   Cut the onion and tomato in quarter.
    2.   Heat a tbsp of oil in kadhai and fry onion, tomato, chilies, coconut and a tbsp of chana dal.
    3.   Transfer to a plate and let it cool for some time.

    4.   Grind the above with little water,coriander and salt to a fine paste.Transfer to a serving dish/bowl.
    5.  Now heat the remaining oil in a kadhai and add mustard seeds.Once it splutter add hing,curry leaves and remaining chana dal.Add this to the chutney.
    5.   Ready to serve with dosas and idlis.


Idli Podi

Here is the recipe for podi.It is also called Milagai Podi in Tamil.It has also got a very popular but strange name "Gun Powder".It tastes best when served with little Ghee!

Updated Pic:

Adapted from Raks Kitchen
Urad Dal-1/2 Cup
Chana Dal-1/4 Cup
Sesame Seeds/Til-1 Tsp
Hing/Asafoetida-A pinch
Dry Red chillies-10-11 Nos
Grated Coconut-2 Tsp
Curry Leaves (Optional)-Few
Salt-As per taste

1. Dry roast all the ingredients (except salt and curry leaves) till golden brown.
Note: Keep the gas flame low.

2. Let this mixture gets cooled.
3. Now add salt and curry leaves and grind it to a fine powder texture and serve   it with hot idlis and dosas.

Can be stored in an air-tight container for a week.


Rava Idli

Here is the recipe for Rava idli that I tried last weekend. Along with the idli I prepared tomato-onion chutney, sambar and idli podi.While preparing the idlis my maid came in and she told me that the secret ingredient for moist and soft idlis are grated carrot and cucumber.She in fact asked me not to add ENO but i didnt take the chance.But for sure, next time i will follow her advice.


Rava/Sooji/Samolina-1 Cup
Curd-1/2 Cup
Carrot (Grated)-1/2 Cup
Finely Chopped coriander-1 Tbsp
Eno-1 Tsp
Mustard Seeds (Black)-1 Tsp
Urad dal-1 Tsp
Chana dal-1tsp
Ginger-Garlic Paste-1/2 Tsp
Oil-1-2 Tbsp
Salt-As needed
Water-As required to reach the consistency.


        1. Heat a kadhai and add oil to it. Add ginger-garlic paste, mustard seeds and the two dals and let the seeds crackle. Keep the flame in low heat otherwise it will turn black.
   2.  Now add the rava, carrot and coriander. Fry it in low flame. Do not let the semolina change its color.

3.  Let this mixture cool. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and then add the curd,water and salt to it.

   4. Meanwhile get ready with the steaming part. Grease the idli plates and pour required water in the cooker and let it come to a boil.
   5. Now add the ENO and mix well. Now immediately pour this mixture to the   moulds and steam it for 10-15 mins.
   6. And serve the hot idlis with sambar, podi and chutney.


The recipe for podi, sambar and chutney is due.Now its time to head to the kitchen and prepare dinner :-)


Ghila Pitha

Today being the first day of Magh Bihu, I tried to make some Ghila Pithas at home.Pithas are prepared during bihu in Assam.My mom used to prepare two varieties;Ghila Pitha and Til Pitha.And also she prepares more than hundreds in numbers.These are prepared with a special rice called Bora saul.The soaked rice is then grounded in a manual wooden mill called Dheki (A pic is attached for reference).
I could not find this rice in Bangalore, hence landed up making with the normal one named Sona Masoori.

Recipe is adapted from my mom over the phone.
Makes 13-15 Pithas

Rice- 2 Cups
Jaggery (Grated)-2 Cups
Fennel/Saunf (Optional)-2 Tbs
Baking Powder- A Pinch
Mustard Oil-For Frying

1. Add Jaggery to little water and let it soak for some time. Similarly, soak rice in enough water for 5-6 hrs.
Note: I preferred to soak it overnight.  
2. Drain the water from rice and grind it to make a smooth powder. The rice needs to be powder without using any water to it.
3. Sieve the rice flour.

 4. Grind the Jaggery and water to make a smooth paste. Usually people prefer to do it manually.

 5. Now fold the rice flour into the Jaggery water. It should be little thicker than the cake consistency. Add fennel and baking powder to it.

6. Heat the wok and add oil to it.Now take a spoonful of the above batter and fry it in low heat.


Palak Paneer

Here is the step by step recipe for palak paneer.
Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor                                        
Spinach- 1 large bunch
Paneer- 3/4 of 1 kg pack
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Onion-1 big finely chopped
Tomato-1 big finely chopped
Garlic- 3 cloves chopped fine
Cream- 1/2 cup
Oil/butter- 2 tbsp
Green chillies-3-4
Turmeric Powder-A pinch
Coriander/Dhania Powder-1 tsp
Kasoori methi- 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice-1 tbsp
Salt to taste


1.Remove stems, wash spinach thoroughly in running water.
2.Blanch in salted boiling water for two minutes. Refresh in chilled water. 
3. Squeeze out excess water.
4.Remove stems, wash and roughly chop green chilies.
5.Grind spinach into a fine paste along with green chilies.
6.Dice paneer into one inch by one inch pieces.
7.Peel, wash and chop garlic.
8. Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds. When they begin to change color, add chopped garlic and saute for half a minute. Add chopped onions and tomato. 
Fry for 2-3 mins till translucent.

9.Add the spinach puree and stir.Add the dry masalas and check seasoning.Add water if required.
10.When the gravy comes to a boil, add the paneer and mix well. Add fresh cream.


11.Finally add a dash of lemon juice and serve hot with phulkas.



Oats Idli

I love south Indian dishes. Be it Dosas, Idli, Bisi bele bath, Kesari bath, in fact anything and everything. I usually prepare idly and dosas on Saturdays and Sundays. Today I thought of trying rava idly and found this delicious oats idly in divya’s blog. So here it is one more recipe for my guinea …. (My hubby)  who is the first and the foremost taster of my recipes.

Instant Oats Rava Idli
Yield 10 idlis
Recipe source –Divya’s Blog

Instant Oats - 1 cup [I used Quaker]
Rava - 1/2 cup
Curd - 1/2 cup
Water - 3/4 cup or as required
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Green chili - 1, finely chopped
Carrot - 1 medium size, grated
Hing - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Oil - to grease the idli plates
Cashew nut halves for garnish - optional

1.In a kadai dry roast the oats for 3-4 minutes, let cool and then grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
2.In the same pan, roast rava for 3-4 minutes, transfer to a mixing bowl.
3.Add a tsp of oil into a kadai and splutter mustard seeds. Mix in green chili, grated carrot and coriander leaves and sauté for a minute or so.
4.In a big mixing bowl, combine oats powder, roasted rava and the sautéed carrots along with the tempering. Add hing and salt to taste and give a good mix.
5.Mix in the curds and enough water to make the batter.
6.Grease idli plates with a little oil and place one cashew nut half in the middle and pour idli batter on top.
7.Steam for 10-15 minutes.
Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambhar.

* The batter should be slightly thicker than the regular idli batter and would be a bit sticky. Pour less amount of batter per idli plate to get soft, porous idli.
* Do not skip baking soda. Otherwise it won’t be soft.



This one can be prepared and have at any point of the year but tastes awesome during winter. I had it for the first time and i have no words to describe it. We set up everything on the terrace: a small bonfire, sitting arrangement and preparation of the littis. I simply loved the taste with loads of Ghee…
Updated Pic:

Adapted from Mom in Law.
For Dough:
Wheat flour/Atta-500gms
Black Onion seeds (Mangrella ) - 2 teaspoon
Carom seeds ( Ajwain ) - 3 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Filling:
Sattu – 500gms
Garlic( chopped ) – 1 Pod
Ginger( chopped ) - 2 tablespoon
Green chilies ( chopped ) - 3
Coriander leaves ( chopped ) - 4 tablespoon
Lemon juice – 3-4 teaspoon
Pickle masala (achar) - 2 teaspoon
Salt to taste

For Chokha:
Mustard Oil-1 tablespoon
Green Chillies-3
Coriander-1 tablespoon chopped
Salt to taste


1.Mix all the filling ingredients with sattu. Add required amount of water to make the stuffing moist and easy to fill. Keep aside.
2. Add the seeds in the wheat flour. Mix lightly with finger tips, and knead with water to make soft dough. Make balls out of dough of 2.5" to 3" diameter (Loiyas) in size with hand.
3. Stuff 2 to 3 teaspoon of sattu filling in the center of each balls and close it from all sides.
4. We can either bake these littis in a preheated oven at 180C or roast in Goithas (Burnt cow dung cakes).
Note: I used Goithas.
5. Bake/Roast till one side is brown and black spots come on the litti surface. Then turn over the litti and bake/roast for few more minutes until that side is brown as well.
6. Take out and dip in pure ghee or butter and serve with Baigan (Brinjal) ka bharta and Dhania Chutney. 

Method of Chokha:
1.   Roast the brinjals and tomatoes in high flame in gas stove.
2.   Remove the skin and mash and mix together.
3. Add mustard oil, green chillies, salt and coriander and mix well.


Can Baking Soda and Baking Powder be interchanged???

Courtesy: Sanjeevkapoor.com
Baking soda and baking powder are different in their compositions and cannot be interchanged in a recipe. Baking powder is made with baking soda with an acidic base so it reacts more. In fact in cakes which do not use eggs for leavening we make use of both baking soda and baking powder. Recipes such as dhokla which need baking soda do not do well if you use baking powder. Baking powder causes more aeration than needed, resulting in a texture that cannot hold itself and hence the dhokla turns out heavy and dense instead of light and fluffy. Same is the case in cakes that use eggs. They rise better with baking powder than with baking soda. Some people like to boil pulses like chana and rajma with a pinch of baking soda. It is better to use baking soda as baking powder will turn them into a mashed substance! 
Baking soda incidentally is a good cleaning agent in the kitchen! Baking powder has no such quality….

Sanjeev Kapoor