Monday, 30 September 2013


3 ripe and firm tomatoes chopped into large cubes
1 tbsp udad dal (black gram )
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)
3-4 red chilies
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
2 tsp tamarind paste
3-4 tbsp grated coconut
1/4 tsp of turmeric powder(haldi)
salt to taste

In a drop of oil, fry all the ingredients. Add tamarind paste and coconut and grind to a paste
In a pan heat 1/2 tsp oil. Add mustard and hing powder. When they splutter add the ground paste and the tomatoes. Add about a cup of water and salt and boil for 10 mins.



2- 3 cups pumkin cut into large cubes
1 cup toovar dal ( yellow lentil )
2 tbsp grated coconut
2-3 tsp sambhar powder
1-2 tsp tamarind paste
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)
A sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
Salt to taste

Cook the pumpkin in a vessel ,by adding a little salt. Pressure cook the dal by adding turmeric powder. Blend the dal well . Grind the coconut, sambhar powder and tamarind paste to a fine paste. Mix the dal and the ground paste to the cooked pumpkin and boil well along with salt and curry leaves.
Temper with mustard seeds, red chilies, hing and curry leaves.

                                              PUMPKIN SKIN CHUTNEY

1 cup pumpkin skin, chopped
1 1/2 tsp udad dal( black gram)
1/2 tsp coriander seeds (dhania)
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
3-4 tbsp grated coconut
tamarind paste
salt to taste

In a drop of oil fry the udad dal, dhania , hing and green chilies. Add salt and saute for a few mins till the pumpkin skin becomes soft. Grind along with coconut and tamarind water.
Temper with mustard,udad dal, hing and curry leaves in a tsp  of coconut oil or any other cooking oil.



1 cup grated coconut
2-3 cloves garlic 
3-4 green chilies
1 small onion
1/4 tsp jeera (cumin)
4 tsp putani (roasted gram)
a small piece tamarind soaked in water
a small handful coriander leaves
salt to taste
Chop all the ingredients, mix with grated coconut, tamarind water and salt and grind to a paste.
Some  people like the chutney coarsely ground and some like it as a fine paste. The choice is yours.

Temper with mustard, chana dal (split bengal gram) and curry leaves.

Friday, 27 September 2013


1 ridge gourd (toorai)
1 tbsp chana dal (split bengal gram)
1tbsp udad dal (split black gram)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp hing(asafoetida)
3-4 red chilies
1 tsp oil
a small ball of tamarind soaked in water
salt to taste

Take a medium sized ridge gourd and scrap the ridges. Peel the skin and chop it into small pieces.
Heat a tsp of oil and fry all the ingredients till the dals turn golden brown. Add the ridge gourd skin, salt and cover the pan with a lid.  Keep mixing occasionally. When the peel becomes soft, remove from stove and allow to cool. Grind to a medium fine paste adding the tamarind. Remove in a bowl and temper with mustard seeds,chana dal ,udad dal, red chilies and curry leaves.
This chutney can be served with chapatis or relished by mixing with rice.

Tomato Ginger Chutney

This  chutney tastes very good with dosa, chapati and puris.

4 medium sized tomatoes                              
4 medium onions
3-4 cloves garlic
2'' piece ginger
1 tsp cumin (jeera)
4-5 red chilies
2 tsp oil

5-6 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
A sprig of curry leaves
2 red chilies (broken )

Heat oil in a pan and add the onions till they become almost transparent. Then add cumin, red chilies, ginger, garlic and saute. Then add the chopped tomatoes and salt .Cover the pan with a lid and simmer for a min or two. The tomatoes begin to leave water and get cooked. Fry for some more time till water starts evaporating. Remove from flame and allow to cool. Now grind it to a coarse paste without adding water.

In another pan heat oil and add the mustard, then red chilies and then curry leaves. When the curry leaves turn crisp add the ground paste and fry for a few mins.

This yummy chutney is now ready to be served.

This can be stored for a day or two at room temp and in the refrigerator for almost a week.
(Do not bring it in contact with a wet spoon. )

Thursday, 26 September 2013


Pundi palle or Gongura as it is popularly known is sour in taste and used for making pickles and chutneys.

1 bunch of pundi palle/gongura leaves/sorrel leaves
 1 1/2 tbsp bengal gram (chana dal)
1 1/2 tbsp black gram dal (udad dal)
1/2 tsp cumin (jeera)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi)
A few mustard seeds
5-6 red chilies
3-4 tbsp oil.
salt to taste

2-3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1 tsp bengal gram
2-3 whole red chilies

In a tsp of oil, fry the chana dal,udad dal,methi, jeera, mustard and red chilies. Grind into a coarse powder on cooling and keep aside
Remove the leaves from the stem, wash and wipe with a cloth. Allow them to dry completely by spreading on a piece of cloth. Before cooking there should be no moisture. .
Heat oil in a pan and fry the gongura/sorrel leaves. Do not add salt.They will immediately reduce in quantity.
Now grind along with the powdered spices and salt to a paste. If required you can add very little water while grinding. Remove in a bowl and temper.
(Heat oil, add mustard,when it splutters add the split bengal gram and red chilies)
This chutney can be stored for 3-4 days. More the oil, the tastier it gets.

Enjoy this tangy chutney by mixing with steaming hot rice and ghee!   

Tuesday, 24 September 2013


2 cups bitter gourds cut into thin circles
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 1/2 tsp red chili powder
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric)
A pinch of hing
4tsp besan (bengal gram flour)
1 ladle full of oil
salt to taste

Wash and wipe dry the bitter gourds. Cut them in to thin circles and remove the seeds.
Heat oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the bitter gourds and shallow fry till they become crisp. Add haldi, chilli powder, hing, salt and the gram flour.Fry for a min or two till the besan also gets roasted.

Monday, 23 September 2013



2 cups chopped vegetables like beans,carrot,green peas and potatoes. Do not peel the potatoes. Wash them well and chop along with the skin.
1/4 tsp jeera(cumin)
3/4 cloves(lavang)
1" piece cinnamon(dalchini)
1 tsp poppy seeds(khus khus)
2/3 green chiilies
2/3 cloves garlic
1" piece ginger
1 small onion
1/4th cup grated coconut
2tsp roasted gram(putana)
A handful of fresh coriander leaves
salt to taste

Boil the vegetables along with a little salt and keep aside. In a drop of oil, fry the cloves,cinnamon,cumin and poppy seeds.Grind the above fried spices along with the other ingredients to a fine paste.
Add this paste to the boiled vegetables along with a pinch of turmeric and salt as per taste. Mix well.
Bring to a boil. When it just starts boiling , remove from flame.
This tastes well with rotis and puris.

The kurma should not be boiled too much after adding the ground masala. If boiled too much, the oil from the coconut gets separated.
I have used very mild spices. If you like it spicy ,you can increase the quantity of ginger, garlic and green chilies as per your taste and flavour.

Thursday, 19 September 2013


2 medium sized amla/gooseberries grated finely 

3-4 green chillies finely chopped
1'' piece of ginger finely grated
1/4 tsp jeera(cumin)
1 tsp mustard seeds
A handful of peanuts
1 tsp udad dal(black gram)
3-4 whole red chillies
1/4 tsp hing (asafoetida)
a sprig of curry leaves
1/4 tsp haldi(turmeric powder)
5-6 tsp oil
salt to taste

1 cup rice

Boil the rice and allow it to cool by spreading on a tray. The grains should be separate and not stick to each other.

Heat oil in a wide pan. Simmer the flame. Add the mustard and jeera. When the mustard splutters add the peanuts. Then add the udad dal, hing, red chillies and curry leaves. When the udad dal begins to change colour , add the green chillies, ginger and gooseberries. Fry for a min to mix well. Add the cooked rice, sprinlke salt and mix well with a wide spoon(a frying spoon is appropriate) with light movement. Do not crush the rice while mixing.
Garnish with grated fresh coconut and serve.


                                                   BREAD BAJJI/PAKODA

6 slices of bread
1 1/4 cup besan (bengalgram flour)
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
salt to taste
approx 1 cup water
Oil for deep frying

For filling
2 small onions finely chopped
1/2 tsp chilly powder
A pinch of garam masala
salt to taste

In a mixing bowl mix the besan,chilli powder and salt.Heat approx 4 tsp of oil and add to the flour. Mix well.Slowly add water and mix to form a dropping batter.

Prepare a filling by frying the onions in a little oil. Add chilli powder, salt and garam masala and mix well.Now remove from flame and keep aside.

Cut the sides of the bread slices. Sandwich the onion mixture between two slices and press well. Cut each sandwich into  two to get a triangular shape. 

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Dip the triangles in the batter and slide into the oil carefully. (Do not soak the bread for a long time in the batter.) Fry on high to medium heat till golden brown in colour.

Serve with tomato ketchup and steaming tea or coffee!


Friday, 13 September 2013


All these curries are semi solid in consistency and not do not have a gravy.
They taste very good with rotis or can even be relished with plain curd rice.                                                           
                                                   SPICY BRINJAL


3-4 medium sized brinjals cut lenghth wise 

(Keep the sliced brinjals in a bowl of water to avoid blackening)

2 medium onions sliced
2 tomatoes chopped
1 green chilly slit into two
2-3 lavang (cloves) crushed
1 tej patta (bay leaf)
1/2 tsp jeera(cumin seeds
2-3 tbsp oil
A pinch of haldi (turmeric powder)
1/2 tsp chilly powder
a pinch of garam masala
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add the cloves and bay leaf. Then add jeera. When it fries add the green chilly and onions and saute till they become transparent. Add a pinch of salt to speed up the process. Add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till the water evaporates. Add haldi and chilly powder. Mix well and add the brinjals. Add salt and mix well. Sprinkle a little water and cover and cook on low flame. Keep mixing occasionally till the brinjals become soft. A little water can be added if the mixture is sticking to the bottom. Add garam masala and mix. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves(dhania patti).

                                 CABBAGE  AND POTATO SABJI

3 cups chopped cabbage finely chopped
2 small poatoes cut into small cubes
1 medium tomato
A few chopped coriander leaves
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp dhania(coriander) powder
1/4 tsp jeera powder (cumin)
1/2 tsp chilly powder
A pinch of haldi(turmeric)
A pinch of hing(asafoetida)
A pinch of garam masala (optional)
2 tbsp oil

Heat oil. Add the jeera and hing. Then add the chopped potatoes. Fry for a few mins.Then add the cabbage and mix well. Stir fry for a min or two. Add haldi and salt and cover and cook for some time. When the potatoes are almost  soft , add all the spices and mix well. Fry for a min. Then add chopped tomatoes and cover and cook till the water of the tomato evaporates. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Sprinkle a little water to get the required consistency.

                                      POTATO IN A JIFFY !

I always make this when I am in a hurry or am not in a mood for patient cooking.
This small cute pressure cooker of mine helps me in this task. This was gifted to me by my mother and now I just can't do without it.

I do not use any measurements here. 
Keep the cooker for heating on a slow flame. Meanwhile peel and chop 2 potatoes, a tomato and a little bit of coriander leaves.
Add oil to the pressure cooker.Add jeera ,hing, potatoes,tomatoes.coriander leaves, haldi, dhania powder, red chilly powder and salt. Add some water. Cover the lid and pressure cook for 5 mins. Open the lid when pressure subsides and mix well.
Voila! the curry is ready to be devoured.

Thursday, 12 September 2013


Yelagiri or Elagiri is a small hill station in Tamil Nadu, about 200 km from Chennai and 160 km from Bangalore.
We were planning to start at 5.30 in the morning but, as it  generally happens, we started at 6.15. We took the route through Pallavaram, Pamal and Kundrathur. This reaches the NH 45 close to Sriperumbudur. From here it is a straight drive till Vaniyambadi and from there you have to take a diversion after Ponneri. We took short breaks on our way as we were travelling with our pet Veto. Veto enjoys travelling and never troubles us.

At Vaniyambadi, we were joined by my cousin and her family from Bangalore. After exchanging the pleasantries we again began our drive. The road is very good and we can see the yelagiri hills on the way.

The road is narrow so you cannot park your vehicle on the way up except for one or two places. We stopped at one place to watch the view of the valley.It really saddens me to see people throwing garbage at such places. There were broken glass pieces from bottles used for  "DRINKING AND ENJOYING WHEN ON A HOLIDAY". I wish people could show some consideration to Nature before spoiling it!

On the way we could see lot of monkeys and large bee hives hanging from the trees. Yelagiri is known for it's honey and jackfruit.

We had booked our rooms at HR Resorts  which is about 6 km from the town and is a  quiet place.  The place was very good with lot of open space. Veto was very happy as he could move around freely.

We had our lunch and after a nap, we went out to see the Yelagiri lake. The lake is very big and has boating facility. I waited with Veto, in the Children's Park while the others went for boating. There are a lot of jack-fruit trees in the park. We spent some time in the park and and returned to the  resort. On arriving, Veto found a friend Frudo ,who had came from Bangalore. We spent the evening just lazing around.

Anu , wanted to go for paragliding, but on enquiring we found that it  had been stopped now. So we planned to go for trekking the next morning.
People go to "Swamimalai" for trekking but we were not keen on that as we found out that it would be too tiring and none of us were so adventurous.
So Prakash who looks after the place said he would take us for a small trek near the resort.

We planned to start early in the morning and return before it got hot. We drove for about 3 km (we were supposed to walk :) ) and then began climbing the hill. The climb was not very tiring and we began to enjoy the trek uphill. The view from the top was breathtaking. On the top we found a small temple belonging to the local people . We could see some hamlets down below. 
It belonged to the "Malayali" people, who are the inhabitants of the mountains. They do farming and collect honey from the forests. 


The walk back was very refreshing and we felt a sense of achievement  as, we were not confident that we would be able to complete the trek.

We were very hungry by now and were awaiting the breakfast which would be ready for us when we reached back.
But there was no breakfast! The cook was  still asleep!
We were in no mood to go to the town to have breakfast. Then our guide cum caretaker asked us to wait for 15 -20 mins. And there it was! Idly,vada,dosa, sambhar ,chutney as promised. We were amazed as to how he could do it in such a short time, with a little help from his assistants. We still wonder how he managed it.

We spent the whole day chit chatting and relaxing and then began our journey back. On the way we stopped to see the Nature Park which has lot of trees, an aquarium, an artificial waterfall and a lot of crowd! A musical fountain show is held here in the evenings.

We roamed the place for about half an hour and started for home.
We had a very relaxed weekend and came back refreshed.

So if you want a peaceful and calm location, far from the crowd ...

About Me

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I began this blog to compile my recipes in one place. I started writing this keeping in mind beginners and busy people and hence have tried to keep the steps and procedure as simple as possible. The recipes that you find here are vegetarian, which I cook on a day to day basis and are quite simple. I dedicate this space to all the people whom I came across,who inspired me to cook, who shared their recipes and tips and helped me improve my culinary skills.