Saturday, October 5, 2019

Sambar Rava

In the process of changing the diet to suit the change in life styles many of us have been dropping white rice from our meals . We can still enjoy the traditional taste and flavours of a rice based meal by simply substituting rice with other suitable ingredients . Here is a quick and easy to prepare Sambar Rava with traditional flavours intact, to satiate your craving for Sambar Sadam .

Semolina / Rava - 1 cup
Split pigeon pea / Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - A plum size ball
Sambar Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Sesame oil - 3 tbsps
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 2 ( Broken)
Curry leaves - a few
Onion  - 1 big ( Chopped)
Tomatoes ( Chopped) - 1/2 cup
Carrots ( Chopped ) - 1 cup
Cashew nuts - a few
1. Wash and pressure cook the dal adding one cup of water and turmeric powder.
2. Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract one cup of tamarind juice.
3. Add tamarind juice, Sambar powder, salt, cooked and mashed dal and chopped tomatoes to three cups of water and set it to boil on the stove.
4. Heat oil in a thick bottomed kadai on the second burner of the stove, while the Sambar water boils on the other side.
5. Splutter mustard seeds in the kadai and add asafoetida followed by broken red chillies, cashew nuts and curry leaves.
6. Add chopped onion saute until it becomes glassy, followed by chopped carrots and saute till half done .

7. Finally add the Rava / Semolina and roast till it emanates a flavoursome aroma on low flame.
8. Switch off flame on the other burner,  remove the boiling Sambar water and gently pour it into the seasoned and  roasted Rava/ Semolina.


9. Blend well using a spatula and cook on low flame till done, stirring now and then.
10.Switch off flame when the Sambar Rava is well cooked and reaches a porridge like consistency.

Enjoy the hot and flavoursome Sambar Rava with salad, pickle or a cup of curd .

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Nugge Soppu Rotti / Murungai Keerai Rotti - Flat Bread with Moringa Leaves

Rotti / Bread has been the staple food of mankind world over since time immemorial. India with its diverse culture has been producing numerous types of Rottis / Breads using the ingredients pertaining to the respective regions. The origin of Rotti or the Indian Breads have been traced back to the ancient times of Harappan Civilization. Mukul and Shilpa Gupta take us on an arm chair tour through out India for a traditional Rotti treat of every region via their elaborate article 'The Art of Breaking Bread' published in Sunday Herald.
Here is a Rotti recipe using the super ingredients Ragi hittu (ragi flour) and Nugge soppu ( Moringa leaves) abundantly grown in namma Karnataka. Adding chickpea flour/ Besan to the dough makes this Rotti a wonderful super food. 

Ragi flour - 1 cup
Chickpea flour / Besan - 1 cup
Moringa leaves / Nugge Soppu / Murungai keerai - 1 cup

Onion ( finely chopped) - 1
Grated fresh ginger - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sambar powder - 3/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

1. Remove the Moringa leaves from the stalk and wash thoroughly.
2. Combine Ragi flour, Besan, salt and sambar powder in a bowl.

3. Add the grated ginger, chopped onion, cumin seeds and washed Moringa leaves to the flour mixture and mix well.

4. Add water and knead into a soft and spreadable dough.

5. Heat a greased tava.
6. Take a ball of the Rotti dough and pat it into a moderately thick Rotti on the tava.

7. Dribble oil all around, cover and cook till the top is done as seen in the picture.

8. Flip the Rotti and cook the other side dribbling little oil once again.

9. Remove the hot hot Nugge Soppu Rotti / Murungai Keerai Rotti on to a plate.
Enjoy the delicious and nutritious gluten - free vegan Rotti with chutney, pickle, sambar or any other side dish of your choice.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Coconut Laddoo - Coconut and Jaggery Balls

Interestingly a lump of Pooranam / Hoorana (coconut cooked with jaggery) was served along with other Prasadams during a Durga Pooja festival which I attended years ago. Later I learnt that the sweet lump was a festive Bengali sweet called Coconut Laddoo. The Laddoo had collapsed into a lump as it was under-cooked.
Coconut Laddoo is a delicious sweet prepared using only grated fresh coconut and jaggery. It can be prepared easily even by a novice without worrying about the end product. Pooranam/Hoorana is obtained when the ingredients are slightly under-cooked. When it is overcooked it becomes a chewy coconut and jaggery candy. Any which way it is a delicious sweet which can be enjoyed in any consistency. Practice makes one perfect. Relish and enjoy the 'imperfect delicacies' until you get a perfect and scrumptious Coconut Laddoo!

Fresh coconut gratings - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery  - 1 cup
Powdered cardamom - 1 pinch
1. Dissolve jaggery in one cup of warm water and filter out the impurities.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan combine coconut gratings, filtered jaggery water and cardamom powder.
3. Keep stirring and cook till the mixture becomes thick and sticky.

4. Keep cooking till the jaggery starts to caramelize and switch off flame.

5. Transfer to a plate and allow it to cool.
6. Take a scoop of the mixture at a time and form plum sized laddoos while it is still warm.

7. Make a bed of Coconut sugar on a plate.

8. Roll the Laddoos on the sugar so that they do not stick together while storing.

9. Pick one and pop it into your mouth.

 Enjoy the pure bliss!

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Molake Menthya Huli / Mulai Kattiya Vendaya Kuzhambu - Tamarind Gravy with Sprouted Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek seeds / Menthya / Vendayam are an integral part of a South Indian Spice box since ancient times. The nutritious spice is used in every day cooking to season dals and kuzhambus. Fenugreek seeds lend a unique aroma to curry powders and pickles. Like all other spices these seeds also have their own health benefits. They aid in digestion and alleviate flatulence. One teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds soaked overnight and administered with one cup of warm water as the first drink in the morning is said to be beneficial for people with diabetes. The seeds have been in use in the preparation of postpartum diets for its lactogenic properties. Like all other sprouts, sprouted Fenugreek seeds are  highly nutritious. 

1. Wash and soak 1/2 a cup of Fenugreek Seeds for 12 hours. 
2.  Drain the soaked seeds and store them in an air tight container.
3. Leave it in a warm place overnight.
4. You can see the sprouts the next morning.
5. If you need longer sprouts, close the lid and shake the container and leave it aside for a longer time.

This will yield one cup of sprouted seeds.
Sprouted Fenugreek Seeds - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 plum size ball
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Split pigeon peas / Tur dal - 2tsps
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilly ( broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Rice flour - 1 tsp
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice adding water as required to make one and a half glasses of juice.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter add fenugreek seeds and tur dal.
4. When the seasoning emanates a pleasant aroma and the dal turns golden in colour add asafoetida followed by broken red chillies.
5. Add curry leaves and the sprouts and saute till the moisture evaporates.

6. Stir in the Sambar powder.

7. Add the tamarind juice, salt and jaggery powder.
8. Let the Huli/ Kuzhambu boil till it reduces to half its quantity emanating a very pleasant aroma.

9. Add little water to rice flour to make a paste, and stir it into the boiling gravy.
10. Switch off flame as soon as the gravy thickens.

Enjoy the Molake Menthya Huli/ Mulai Kattiya Vendaya Kuzhambu  with steaming hot rice. Or savour the sweet and spicy gravy with Idlies and Dosas.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Green Koottu - Mildly Spiced Green Vegetables

Green vegetables are packed with nutrients and fiber and are an essential part of a healthy diet. Vegetables help in good digestion. They help in boosting immunity. Vegetables help to detoxify the liver and cleanse the system. A South Indian menu consists of numerous vegetable preparations which are delicious and healthy. Vegetable Koottu is one of the dishes served in a full meal. Go green with this Green Koottu that also looks green in colour !

Snake Gourd ( Chopped)  - 2 cups
Carrots ( Chopped)  - 1 cup
Peanuts  - 1/2 cup
Spinach / Palak  - 1 bunch
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps
Green chillies   - 2 or 3
Cumin seeds   - 1 tsp
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Salt -  1 tsp
Asafoetida   - 1 pinch
Sesame oil  -  1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Split Black gram dal - 1 tsp
Red chilly ( Broken) - 1
Curry leaves - a few
1. Cook chopped Snake Gourd and Carrots together using very little water.
2. Soak the Peanuts in hot water till they swell and become soft. Drain and keep aside.
3. Wash and blanch Spinach / Palak and allow to cool.
4. Drain and blend the Spinach/Palak in a mixer without adding water and keep it aside.
5. Grind coconut gratings, green chillies, cumin seeds and rice flour into a smooth paste adding little water.
6. Take the cooked vegetables, blended Spinach/Palak and soaked Peanuts in a vessel.
7. Add asafoetida and salt and cook them together.
8. When it starts to boil stir in the ground coconut paste and cook till the Green Koottu thickens to the required consistency.
9. Heat oil in a seasoning ladle and add mustard seeds.
10. When the mustard seeds splutter add split black gram dal and fry till it turns golden in colour.
11. Add broken red chilly and curry leaves and pour the seasoning on the Green Koottu.

Enjoy the healthy Green Koottu with rotis or rice along with your meal.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Millet Aval Upma - Foxtail Millet Flakes Upma

Beaten Rice has to be presoaked for at least twenty minutes before preparing Aval Upma. Making Aval Upma is very easy even for beginners and it needs very less cooking time. A delicious and highly nutritious Upma can be prepared in a jiffy by using Foxtail Millet Flakes. Wash and season ! That's all ! And a simple Foxtail Millet Aval Upma - virtually a 'two minute'dish - is ready to savour! 

Foxtail Millet Flakes - 2 cups

Sesame oil      -  2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds   -  1/4 tsp
Split Black gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida           - 1 pinch
Green chilly        - 1 ( Chopped)
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Grated carrot       - 1 cup
Curry leaves        - a few
Salt                      -  3/4 tsp
Juice of 1/2 lime
1. Wash the Millet Flakes two times, drain carefully and keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When the mustard seeds splutter add cumin seeds and split black gram dal.
4. When the dal turns golden in colour add asafoetida, green chillies and curry leaves followed by grated carrot.
5. Lightly saute the carrot and then add turmeric powder and salt.
6. Add the washed Millet Flakes and stir well.
7. Keep the Upma covered for a few seconds and switch off flame.
The Flakes will soften in its own steam. 

Enjoy the nutritious Foxtail Millet Flakes Upma as it is or with a cup of curd.

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Mambazha Idly/Mavina Hannina Idly - Ripe Mango Idlies

Mango season is getting over leaving the Mango buffs still wanting more! An overwhelming number of Mango recipes were posted by food bloggers through out the season. Pickles or Puddings, Sambar or Rasayana, Ice cream or Halwa, Lassi or Morkuzhambu,  the versatile King of Fruits - raw or ripe-  could be incorporated in the preparation of multitudes of delicious lip smacking dishes. This season I tried out Idlies with ripe mangoes and it turned out to be a delicious breakfast dish!

Idly Sooji (Cream of rice aka Rice Rava) - 2 cups
Ripe Mangoes (Sweet, pulpy and big) - 3 ( to get three cups or more of pulp)
Salt - 1 pinch
Brown sugar or jaggery powder - 2 tbsps ( Optional)
1. Wash the Idly Sooji and gently drain the water.
2. Soak the washed Idly Sooji in warm water for at least an hour.
3. Cut the mangoes and extract the pulp.
4. Squeeze out the soaked Idly Sooji, add half of the mango pulp and salt, and mix well to make a batter using your clean hand.
5. Allow the mixture to soak for half an hour.
6. The Mango - Idly Sooji batter will become thick.
7. Add the remaining mango pulp and mix it till you get a Idly batter consistency. If you have a hopeless sweet tooth you can mix in the brown sugar or jaggery powder at this stage.
8. Grease the Idly plates or lotas using ghee.
9. Pour a ladle of Mango Idly batter into the greased plates or lotas.
10. Steam for fifteen minutes in a pressure cooker without the weight.

Enjoy the soft, fruity and flavoursome Mambazha Idlies / Mavina Hannina Idlies / Ripe Mango Idlies with ghee, honey, or jam !

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Bath Dosa - Dosa Stuffed With Variety Rice

Lemon Bath Dosa is a popular street food in Namma Bengaluru. It is also served at many Dosa Camps and restaurants in the city. This reminds me of seven year old A who was a very fussy eater.  If at all she ate some food with relish it was Dosa. So it was Dosa for breakfast ! Dosa for school lunch box ! Dosa for tea ! And Dosa for Dinner ! That too she ate only one Dosa per meal with a spoon of Molaga Podi and ghee ! Her mother was greatly concerned about her food and nutrition. After much thought she started serving Dosa rolls to the little brat. Rice, dal and vegetables which the child refused to eat otherwise were stuffed into a Dosa and served as a Dosa Roll which she thoroughly enjoyed ! 
Sharing my recipe of Bath Dosa with the goodness of vegetables and spice. This recipe was published in Aval Kitchen magazine dated 1st June 2018. The pictures were clicked by my nephew Pranav Calapatti.

Rice - 3 cups
Split Black gram dal - 1cup
Beaten rice - 2 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Chana dal - 1/4 tsp
1.Wash all the ingredients together and soak for an hour or two.
2. Drain and grind the ingredients together adding water to make a smooth and fluffy batter.
3. Add 1 1/2  tsps of salt and mix the batter well.
4. Cover and allow it to ferment overnight.
Adjust consistency of the batter by adding water if required.


Cooked rice - 1 cup
Onion (Finely sliced) - 1/2 cup
Capsicum (Finely sliced) - 1/2 cup
Carrots (Finely sliced) - 1/2 cup
Fresh green peas - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes (Chopped) - 2 cups
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Juice of one lime
Coriander leaves - for garnishing
1. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter cumin seeds.
2. Add onion and fry till it becomes glassy, then add all the chopped vegetables except tomatoes.
3. Saute the vegetables until almost done and then add tomatoes.
4. Add turmeric powder, chilly powder, salt and garam masala.
5. Stir and cook till the oil separates, mix in the juice of lime, switch off flame and allow it to cool.

6. Add cooked rice and mix thoroughly so that the curry coats each and every grain of rice.

7. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
1. Grease and heat the dosa griddle.
2. Pour a ladle of dosa batter in the center and spread it into a nice and big dosa using the back of a ladle.
3. Dribble oil all around and also over the dosa, and cook on medium flame.
4. When the top of the Dosa looks cooked , spread a spoon of Raw Garlic and Tomato Chutney on it.
5. Place a ladle of the prepared Bath on one side of the Dosa.

6. Fold the other side over the bath.

7. Gently remove the Bath Dosa on to a plate and enjoy with Podi.

 Or enjoy the Open Bath Dosa as it is .

Friday, June 21, 2019

Mango Yogurt Ice Cream

Yogurt Ice Creams are the best cheat treats we enjoy during our foreign holidays. The flavours and colours displayed in the Ice Cream shops is in itself a feast to the eye. This Mango season I tried out a Mango Yogurt Ice Cream at home. I used one big sweet and fleshy mango and only half a cup of home set thick curds in the preparation. Store bought set curd like Milky Mist or Nestle Curds works well. 
Mango ( Ripe, sweet and fleshy) - 1 big
Curd   - 1/2 cup
Honey - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
1. Remove the pulp of the mango and freeze till it is firm.

2. Blend together one cup of frozen mango pulp, half a cup of curd, honey and lemon juice in a mixer.

3. Freeze the creamy Mango Yogurt mixture for an hour.

4. You may give it one more swish in the mixer before serving to make the Ice Cream more smooth and creamy.

A nutritious and delicious summer treat is ready.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Popeye Pongal - Broken Wheat, Green gram dal and Spinach dish

Years ago my kids were addicted to cartoons and they especially loved to watch Popeye The Sailor Man. Often I have persuaded them to eat spinach by promising them that they would gain 'muscles' similar to their hero who emptied a whole can of spinach into his mouth and gained 'strength' to thrash the baddies!  Broken Wheat, Green gram dal and Spinach (Popeye's tonic for instant strength !) cooked together results in a deliciously mushy Pongal and is  named after my children's childhood hero Popeye!


Bansi Broken Wheat - 1/2 cup
Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Spinach/ Palak - 1 bunch
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Pepper (Slightly crushed) - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fresh coconut slivers or cashew nuts - 2 tbsps
Green chilly (Slit) - 1
Ginger (Slivered) - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 2 tbsps
1. Dry roast green gram dal until it emanates a pleasant aroma.
2. Wash and blanch the spinach and allow to cool.
3. Blend the spinach into a smooth puree using a mixer.
4. Wash broken wheat and roasted green gram dal together.
5. Add 1 1/2 cups of water, salt , asafoetida and the spinach puree.
6. Pressure cook until it gives out three whistles and switch off flame.
7. Heat 2 tbsps of oil in a kadai and splutter the slightly crushed pepper.
8. As soon as it pops add cumin seeds followed by coconut slivers/ cashew nuts.
9. When the nuts turn golden in colour add green chilly, ginger and curry leaves.
10. Add the cooked Pongal to the seasoning and stir well.
11. Finally add ghee and switch off flame.

Kids are sure to enjoy Popeye Pongal when they hear about Muscle Man Popeye who is still going strong at 90 !

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam - Tomato and Lentil Indian Soup

 It is appetizing and soothing. Fights colds, fever and sore throats. The best comfort food for one and all. Best food for babies and convalescents. An ambrosia one can survive on forever.The elixir of life! Yes! It is Rasam ! The mildly spicy and tangy broth that no South Indian can live without !  A flavoursome Rasam mashed with soft mushy rice into a porridge like consistency, topped with a spoon of ghee is THE magic food for all Rasam lovers. Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam prepared using Tomatoes and Green gram dal serves as an appetizing starter. It tastes delicious when mixed with rice and can be relished as a second course in a South Indian meal. A glass of Rasam acts as a digestive after a heavy meal.

Tomatoes - 5 ( Chopped)
Green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Rasam powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Pepper and Cumin seeds ( Powdered coarsely) - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 1/4 tsp
1. Take washed green gram dal in a vessel and add turmeric powder and 11/2 cups of water.
2. Add chopped tomatoes and Rasam powder in another bowl and add little water.
3. Place the vessels one on top of the other and pressure cook them together until three whistles.

4. When the cooker cools down remove the cooked rasam powder - tomato mixture and blend it in a mixer.
5. Mash the cooked dal and add asafoetida, salt and curry leaves and set it on the stove.
6. Add the blended tomatoes and allow it to boil for two minutes.

7. Pour two glasses of water in a slow stream as it is cooking. ( Add less water if you prefer a thick Soupy Rasam)
8. Top the Rasam with coarsely powdered pepper and cumin seeds.
9. Cook on low flame till the Rasam becomes foamy and switch off flame as soon as it is about to boil over.

Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam is ready to be served as a starter.

Mustard seeds spluttered in ghee and chopped coriander leaves can be added as a garnish if you want to serve the Soupy Tomato and Lentil Rasam with rice.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Mosaru Kodubale - Curd and Flour Savoury Rings

Thunder showers have been lashing the city after Bengaluru suffered extreme hot weather conditions. Watching the cool showers and the rain drenched trees munching on Kodubales is a joyful experience enjoyed by every Bengalurean  at one time or another. Mosaru Kodubale is a variation of the usual Kodubales . These Kodubales  which are crisp on the outside and soft on the inside taste good when eaten fresh. A perfect snack for a rainy day. 


Rice flour - 2 cups
1 cup curd + 1 cup water blended together
Fresh coconut gratings - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Green chilly ( 2 numbers) and coriander ( one tuft ) paste - 1 tbsp 
Oil for frying
1. Add coconut gratings, cumin seeds, salt and chilly paste to the blended curd and set it on the stove.

2. When the mixture starts to boil stir in the rice flour .

3. Stir and cook till it comes together into a ball of dough.

4. Add two table spoons of oil and knead the dough till it is soft and pliable.
5. Pinch a small ball of dough and roll it on a board using your palm and shape it like a rod. 
6. Bring the edges together and firmly bind them together so that you get a bangle shaped Kodubale.

7. Make 6 Kodubales at a time and keep the rest of the dough covered with a wet cloth till the first batch is done.
8. Heat oil and gently slide the Kodubales one by one and fry them on both sides till they are done. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Enjoy the fresh Mosaru Kodubales with a spicy green chilly and coriander chutney.
This recipe along with my three other recipes were published in Aval Kitchen magazine dated 1st June 2018. The pictures were clicked by my nephew Pranav Calapatti.