Tag Archives: South Indian

Capsicum Peanut Masala | Capsicum dry curry

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A new blog after a long break of many months. Kids had their summer vacation and towards the end of it, we went to India. Had a great month celebrating festivals with our families and the highlight being able to spend Janmashtami time at my native, Udupi. ❀️

If there is heaven on earth for me, it is Udupi. The feeling of living there, being able to see my dearest Krishna always is very precious. Hope my dream of settling down in Udupi fulfills in the coming years. β€οΈπŸ™

I missed cooking at Udupi as we were either constantly travelling or were at our relatives’ houses. So coming back to my kitchen in Qatar, I have been cooking a lot to compensate it. 😁 This Capsicum Peanut Masala was a recent try inspired by something similar which I ate at a hotel during my vacation.

It comes out so delicious that a meal with rice, rasam and capsicum masala is all you need to get your soul satisfied. This is that kind of curry, simple, unique and very flavourful.

Hope you all try and love this curry too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/4 Cup Peanuts

3 medium sized Green Capsicum, chopped into small pieces

1 small Onion

2 Tbsp Coconut Oil

2 tsp Mustard seeds

Few Curry leaves

3 Green chillies

1 tsp Tamarind paste

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 tsp Sambar powder ( I use Nirapara brand)

Freshly grated coconut for garnish

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Dry roast peanuts in a pan till it starts changing colour and let’s out an aroma. Don’t let it turn black. Allow it to cool.

2. When it cools down, powder it coarsely in a mixer. Just pulse for few turns. Don’t blend it a lot as it will turn into paste. Keep it aside.

3. Now heat oil in the same pan, splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and green chillies. Fry for few seconds.

4. Add finely chopped onions and fry till the onions turn translucent.

5. Now add chopped Capsicum and fry for few minutes.

6. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, sambar powder and tamarind.

7. Mix well. Cover and cook till capsicum turns soft. Sprinkle little water if necessary. Now add the peanut powder.

8. Mix well. Cover and cook for about 5 mins. Add grated coconut on top. Done. πŸ™‚

Serve with rice meals as a delicious accompaniment.

Notes:

* Be careful while roasting peanuts such that they don’t turn black. Roast on medium flame and immediately remove them as soon as they start changing colour.

* Also be careful while grinding the peanuts such that they should not turn into a paste. Coarse powder is enough.

* Onion can be skipped if you follow satvic diet.

* You can reduce chilli powder as we have already added green chillies, depending on your spice level.

* Sambar powder adds a wonderful flavour. So don’t skip it in this curry.

* This curry also tastes yummy with dosa.

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Hotel style Tomato Chutney

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Both the kids just left for school and I take this (peaceful πŸ˜„) opportunity to write a recipe which I wanted to share since long time. In Qatar, during winters ie roughly from November to April, residents grow vegetables in their gardens. Main vegetable which almost everyone grows is Tomato. Even we have tomatoes in abundance every year which we enjoy till June due to it’s good shelf life.

Here are some of the beautiful tomatoes which grew in our’s and our neighbor’s garden who was kind enough to share with us. ❀️

And plenty of tomatoes means making my favorite, my Amma’s Tomato chutney. 😍 Apart from that, due to my daughter’s request, who wanted the hotel style Tomato Chutney which she enjoys at Aryaas restaurant here, I happened to try this recipe which came out exactly the same. Imagine my happiness!! ❀️

So after getting daughter approval as well, I knew this recipe deserved to be blogged and shared with all of you. Hope you all try and love this recipe too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

About 4 to 6 medium sized Tomatoes (or as available, even 2 large tomatoes are fine)

2 medium sized Onions

1 inch Ginger piece

4 pods of Garlic

3 to 4 Red chillies

A sprig of Curry leaves

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder/ Haldi

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

2 tsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera

A sprig of Curry leaves

A pinch of Asafoetida powder/ Hing

Step by step recipe:

1. Take all the ingredients for the chutney and keep ready. I have taken home grown tomatoes of different sizes depending on which of them were turning soft. Since I have a lot of tomatoes, I have taken plenty to make this chutney. You can use only two to three large ones depending on availability.

2. Heat oil in a pan, add curry leaves, chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Fry till onions turn translucent. Then add red chillies. Fry for few seconds.

3. Add roughly chopped tomatoes along with turmeric powder and salt. Cook till tomatoes turn soft. Don’t add water at all. Tomatoes will leave a lot of water as it cooks.

4. Once the tomatoes cook and turn soft, remove from the flame. Allow it to cool. Blend to a smooth paste.

5. Heat oil in the same pan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds splutter, add curry leaves and hing.

6. Now add the blended paste along with little water if needed to bring it to desired consistency. Check for salt and also spice level, adding red chilli powder if needed.

7. Done! Serve with dosas, idlis and chapatis.

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Notes:

* You can skip Onion and Garlic if you don’t consume or on Pooja days. The texture of tomatoes will still make a thick chutney.

* Ripe and bright red tomatoes will give a beautiful colour and flavour to the Chutney.

* Keeps well if refrigerated for couple of days. Mine usually gets over within that.

* I make a big batch specially during tomato season, hence you can see I have used plenty of them. You can use two to three tomatoes to make one batch of chutney.

* For variety of dosa recipes, you can check my Dosa Corner page.

* For Instant and Millet based dosas, you can check my No rice Dosa Compilation page.

* For all my Idli recipes, you can check my Variety Idli recipes Compilation page.

* For other chutney recipes, you can check Chutney recipes.

* I also make another variety of Tomato Chutney which in my Amma’s recipe and my favorite. You can check the recipe here – Amma’s Tomato Chutney.

Cabbage Kosambari | Easy Cabbage salad

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As my kids are finally asleep, I can sit to write a new recipe now. A recipe I had been wanting to add to the blog since long but could not find time. With Eid holidays going on here, kids sleep till late in the morning and thus, my son skips his evening nap. Him skipping his nap = I don’t get time to sit for long in a place = I can’t blog. So night time is blog time as of now. πŸ˜„

Is night time also a time for deep thoughts for any of you? (or is it just me πŸ˜…) I find the silence of night so peaceful and comforting that I get time to talk to the divine, to understand myself, to over think (πŸ˜„), to listen to my favorite music and to relax too. After all this, when I finally sleep, I dream a lot, also remembering my dreams completely when I wake up. I see myself going back to my school days, my college days, the tension of exams, the fun of enjoying with my friends, chatting with Amma along with seeing people close to my heart, in my favorite places like the mountains and beaches, every night in my dreams. ❀️ I feel very happy when I wake up that, so what if I can’t see them for real, atleast they visit me in my dreams. 😍 So, thank you my dream companions for coming in this crazy girl’s dream world. πŸ˜„β€οΈ

So that was about night time which is my own “me” time. And what about my day time? Here is a glimpse into it:

My son making towers, cars, trucks, ships, tents, caves, houses, see saw, slides and what not with our sofa cushions. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ These cushions are his inhouse park and me being a child with them, don’t stop him too πŸ˜… (I just see that he does not go overboard and is safe.) He has taught his elder sister as well and both of them enjoy making their own creations with these cushions. 😍

By the way, did any of you notice his dress? Yes, he loves wearing his Akka’s frock, specially this red one. Reminds me of how my brother used to love wearing my dresses too as a kid. Such wonderful memories. ❀️ His sister also adorns him with necklaces and accessories to doll him up. One of their favorite games. Look at him admiring his bangle. 😍

My daughter also loves to draw and colour, which can be clearly seen from the first picture above. Almost all of our walls are stuck with her paintings. She also likes to create various dress designs and here is one among them. I admire her for her creative ideas in art and craft, which I lack completely. πŸ˜‚

So these two bundles of joy (sometimes also the reason for my 1 minute angers πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) make my mornings worth waking up and are huge entertainment in my daytime. I don’t realize how my day passes with them. Also, I am so glad they have each other for company in these home bound times. ❀️❀️

Finally after my long chatter, here’s sharing the recipe of this simple yet very delicious Cabbage Kosambari which I learnt recently from my dear friend, Ambratha Shenoy. This is too tasty for words and definitely a must try recipe. Hope you all like it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

Thank you Ambratha for sharing this recipe! β€οΈπŸ™

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 Cups grated Cabbage

1 medium Onion, finely chopped

3 Green chillies

1/4 Cup finely chopped Coriander leaves

3 Tbsp freshly grated Coconut

Juice from 1 Indian lemon or to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the grated Cabbage in a mixing bowl. { I grated the cabbage as much as possible and finely chopped the end pieces}

2. Now add finely chopped onion, green chillies, coriander leaves, coconut and salt.

3. Add lemon juice and mix well.

4. Mix well and serve as an accompaniment to meals.

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Notes:

* Try to serve freshly made as much as possible as onions may start to leave water if kept for long as it has salt in it. Else you could salt just before serving.

* You could increase or decrease lemon juice and coconut as per your taste.

* Instead of grating cabbage, you could also very finely chop it. I combine both ways. Grate as much as I can and then finely chop the end pieces.

* Tastes very good as an accompaniment to rice meals.

* You could also try these three South Indian style salads that I make regularly:

1. Moong dal Kosambari with Cucumber and carrots

2. Carrot Kismuri

3. Khamang Kakdi

Ragi Set Dosas | “No rice” soft dosas

When I had posted the Ragi Urad idli recipe, I had got many queries about if it can be made as dosas too. Though I do make dosas with that batter, there is a way I make my Ragi dosas which come out as soft as restaurant style set dosas and I thought it was high time I share it too.

If not for my readers who continually keep asking me queries and request for recipes, I will not be inspired to post them. Most of my day passes in household chores while juggling between two kids, one seeking my attention to draw for her ( my daughter 😬) while the other clinging to me like fevicol ( my son πŸ˜„). The only thing that keeps my sanity are these daily shlokas, bhajans and songs which I have made as playlists on youtube and keep them in the background whole day. They give me strength in my motherhood battles and otherwise too. Music is really my life. ❀️

So here is the most requested dosa by my readers. They come out very soft and my kids are huge fans of it. My daughter used to call it chocolate dosa as a toddler and even now, in spite of knowing it’s ragi, still calls it the same. πŸ˜ƒ Ragi is a very healthy millet and this is one of the best ways to include it in your diet. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes about 20 dosas }

3 Cups Ragi flour / Finger millet powder/ Nachni ka atta

1 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1/2 Cup Poha/ flattened rice (thick or thin, white or brown)

Salt to taste

Ghee or oil to cook the dosa

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak Urad dal for about 4 hours. Drain water completely. Add about 1 Cup water and 1/2 Cup poha (washed) and grind to a smooth paste. Add to a large preferably steel vessel.

2. Now take ragi flour in another bowl. Add water, 1 cup at a time and whisk well to remove lumps. It takes me 3 Cups water to 3 Cups Ragi flour for it to come to a thick batter.

3. Add this to the Urad dal batter. Add salt and mix well using hands. Cover and keep at room temperature for fermentation for 8 to 12 hours. Might take longer during winters.

Love the fermented batter 😍

4. Heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle of the batter on the center of the pan. No need to spread this dosa. Cover and cook one side first adding ghee or oil.

Sorry for the dull picture. Kitchen lights 😬

5. Flip and cook the other side too. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the batter too.

Notes:

* You can store the rest of the batter in the refrigerator and use it the next day. The texture of the dosas are soft even the next day.

* You can use thick or thin Poha, brown or white poha, does not make any difference. It gives it the softness in the dosas.

* If due to any reason you can’t eat poha, just skip it and add 1 tsp Methi instead along with Urad dal. Grind it to smooth paste. It will give soft dosas too.

* For making idlis, you can check this Ragi Urad Idli recipe. Comes out very well.

* I served these dosas with Hing Chutney. Just grind 1 Cup Coconut with a pinch of Hing powder, 4 long red chillies, 1 tsp Tamarind paste, salt and water to a smooth paste. You can season the chutney using mustard seeds and curry leaves if needed.

Amma’s Moong curry (with freshly ground masala)

All of us have a special kind of liking towards our mother’s cooking and I am sure you all will agree that no matter which Masterchef cooks for us, our Amma’s food is the best. Why not, as she makes everything with a secret ingredient in it – Love. ❀️

My Amma too used to cook so well and the flavours of all her dishes are still in my taste buds. This moong curry was one among them and I used to take it with puris in my lunch box during my school/ college days. My friends used to love it too and I used to take extra boxes of it for them as well. The precious memory of those days is forever etched in my heart and I remember it each time I make this curry. ❀️

Now Amma can’t cook like before as she suffers from muscular dystrophy in her legs. Although she’s strong most of the days and remains happily engaged all day, there are times when she falls into self doubting sadness and I have to convince her my best that she is still very much loved and an important part of our lives. Right now, she’s going through a difficult phase and this post of mine is to cheer her up in my little way, by adding her recipe on my blog.

Amma, this is for you. ❀️ I am coming in few months to make this curry for you and you have to tell me if it tastes as good as yours or not. 😍 Loads of love to you Amma. 😘 Please be happy always as that is what makes me happy too. ❀️ Sharing some words for you which I found as best to describe our love for each other. Hope it cheers you up. 😍

Now to Amma’s recipe. Hope you all try her way of moong curry too. Tastes amazing with puris, chapatis or even with rice. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup dried whole green gram/ whole moong

1 Tbsp Oil

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

For the ground paste:

1/4 Cup Coconut (freshly grated or desiccated)

6 to 8 sprigs of Coriander leaves

1/2 a large Tomato

1 small sized Onion

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

1 small piece of star anise

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak whole moong in atleast thrice the amount of water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. When soaked, drain the water. Add fresh water enough to soak it in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. Takes 3 to 4 whistles on high in my electric stove top. Might vary depending on your cooking range.

2. Add ingredients to grind in a mixer.

3. Grind adding about 1/4 Cup water or as needed to a smooth paste. Now heat oil in a pan and add the paste. Also add red chilli powder and cook till the raw smell goes away. (About 5 mins and this paste splatters. So be careful and mix continually.)

4. Now add the cooked moong and salt. Bring it to boil and cook for 5 to 8 mins. Adjust consistency of the gravy.

5. Serve hot with Puris, Chapatis or rice meals.

Notes:

* The gravy thickens when kept at room temperature as moong absorbs a lot of water. So if serving later, add water that time to adjust gravy consistency.

* Star anise and coriander leaves make this masala very aromatic. So don’t skip it.

* The masala splatters while cooking. So be careful while sauteing.

* I also sprout moong and make this same curry.

* You can also check my mother’s other three recipes –

# Amma’s Carrot Pulao

# Amma’s Tomato Chutney

# Amma’s Alu Paratha

Radish Chutney

In my last post of Ragi Jaggery ladoos, I had mentioned about our relocating back to India but I had never expected my readers to comment and message me with their best wishes. It really made me so happy that people actually take time to read the full writeup and also write such heartfelt words for me. ❀️ I always consider my readers to be a part of my extended family and the love showered on me in the past couple of days proves that my readers feel the same, which means the world to me. Thank you dear readers. Love and blessings is what I need the most now. β€οΈπŸ™

I had actually decided to stop blogging for a while as I am not in the right frame of mind to write. Most of the families we know will be separated, even us, as only me and kids will shift back as of now. But we knew this since a year, were mentally prepared for it and specially as I have a great support system in my parents, we are not much worried. But there are many families who don’t have that and hearing their situations make me feel very sad too. Praying that God blesses all of them and they can survive this change well. πŸ™

Sorry that this is turning out to be such a emotional write-up which is why I did not want to blog but I guess you all will understand, like always. ❀️

Coming to this chutney, it is my way to sneak radish in my kids’ diet as they love dosas with chutneys. So making them eat vegetable in this form too. I learned this chutney long back from a cookbook but have changed it to suit our tastebuds. Comes out very tasty and you can never say it has radish in the chutney.

Hope you all try and love this chutney. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup peeled and grated Radish

1/4 Cup Coconut

1 Tbsp Coconut Oil (+ 1 tsp)

4 Red chillies

1 tsp Urad dal

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1/4 tsp Hing or Asafoetida powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in a pan. Add grated Radish and saute on medium flame till the raw smell of radish goes away and the radish turns dry. Takes about 5 mins. Now remove from flame and allow it to cool.

2. Now add the radish to a mixer along with coconut. In that pan, heat 1 tsp Oil and add Hing, 1 tsp Urad dal and 1 tsp Cumin seeds. Also add red chillies. Fry till Urad turns brown. Allow it to cool.

3. Now add the fried chilies, Urad dal, cumin seeds to the radish- coconut. Also add salt and about 1/4 Cup Water or as needed. Grind to a smooth paste. This is a thick chutney. Remove to a serving bowl.

Notes:

* Do fry the radish till the rawness goes away. Else the chutney will have the raw taste.

* This chutney is not seasoned with mustard seeds but you can season if needed.

* Can be had with rice meals or dosa/idli.

* Here is my Chutney/dips recipe collection that I make always.

Brinjal Rava fry on tawa and Upkari

Even though my kids eat almost everything that I cook ( touchwood!), my 5 year old daughter is slightly choosy when it comes to vegetables. So my mommy brains have to work overtime to make her eat some of the veggies. πŸ˜…

Brinjal is a vegetable she won’t eat if I make a regular curry with it (wish I could capture her face and show you all when she hears it’s brinjal curry for dinner πŸ˜‚). I don’t blame her at all as I myself never used to eat any vegetable as a kid except for a few chosen ones like potato, elephant yam and beetroot. So I can totally understand her. πŸ˜ƒ

But once I happened to make these rava fries for a change and she absolutely loved it. So now I make it regularly even as an evening snack. She loves munching on it and I am happy that a healthy vegetable is filling her with nutrition.

Hope you all will try this as well. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 small variety Brinjals or 1 large Purple Brinjal

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

Salt to taste

1/4 Cup Rava or Semolina (or as needed)

1 tsp Red chilli powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash the brinjals well and chop off the stem. Slice brinjals thinly for the rava fry and finely chop for upkari. Add both into separate bowls of water.

2. Now drain water and add Turmeric powder, Hing and salt. Mix well.

3. In a plate, take rava and mix red chilli powder in it. Roll the brinjal slices one by one over the rava mix.

4. Heat tawa and place these onto the tawa. Drizzle coconut oil while cooking both sides on medium flame till it turns brown in colour and the brinjal turns soft.

5. Serve with rice meals.

Notes:

* For Brinjal Upkari, fry about 4 to 5 finely chopped Garlic pods in oil till it turns brown and add finely chopped brinjal to it. Add red chilli powder and salt. Cook till it turns soft. Don’t add water at all.

* For the rava fry, slice brinjals very thinly. It helps them cook easily and also turns crispy.

* You can make this with any variety of brinjals.

Peanut Ubbatti | whole wheat jaggery holige

Being homebound since many months now, I truly realize the value of our home town visits which were atleast twice a year. Along with that, I really miss the fun meeting my loved ones, the non stop chatter, going to temples, shopping with my cousin and also (importantly) indulging in sweets without a care in the world. πŸ˜…πŸ˜

I have been an ardent devotee of sweets since a child and my dad knowing that, spoils me to the core when I visit them. My favourite sweets are brought and stored before I come, all awaiting me to devour them 😬. One among them are Kayi holiges or coconut filled sweet Ubbattis which are a speciality of Udupi Shree Venkateshwara sweets near the famous and our dearest Shri Krishna’s temple.

So, when I miss those holiges, I make chapati dough, fill it with coconut and jaggery to make my own “jugad” kind of holiges πŸ˜€ which tastes yummy too. As I started making them, I realized I could make different varieties of it and these peanut Ubbattis came into being. It tasted so good that we make it regularly.

So glad to share this recipe. Hope you all try it for Diwali. It’s as easy as making parathas and hope my step by step recipe along with notes will help you all. Happy and healthy cooking.

Also, wishing my readers a very happy Diwali. May the festival of lights brighten your lives and fill it with happiness. ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Makes 5 Ubbattis }

For the outer dough:

2 Cups Wheat flour/ Atta { I use Pillsbury brand }

About 3/4 Cup Water {to knead the dough}

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder or Haldi

Salt to taste

For the inner filling:

1 Cup Peanuts { skin removed }

1/2 Cup Jaggery

2 Tbsp Water

1/4 tsp Cardamom powder

To roll the Ubbatti: Dry wheat flour as needed

Ghee to cook the Ubbatti

Step by step recipe:

1. Add wheat flour, turmeric powder and salt in a bowl. Add water and knead to a soft dough. It took me about 3/4 Cup of water for 2 Cups of flour. Might vary as per your brand. The dough should be soft and smooth. Keep aside.

2. Now take the skinned peanuts in a mixer.

3. Powder it by pulsing it every two rounds. Don’t run the mixer continually as peanuts can leave oil. Just pulse for 4 to 5 times and it will turn into fine powder. If tiny bits of peanuts remain, it’s okay as it gives nice bite to the Ubbatti.

4. Now add jaggery along with water in a pan. Allow jaggery to melt and come to a boil. No need to make it into syrup.

5. Now add the peanut powder and mix once. Switch off the flame after mixing once or the mixture will harden.

6. Transfer it into a plate immediately. Allow it to cool slightly. Don’t cool it completely as it will turn hard. When it is warm, make small balls of it as shown. Also make balls of same size as filling from the wheat dough.

Note: It is important to make both inner and outer balls of equal size so that the Ubbatti turns perfect.

7. Now keep a chapati tawa to heat on the flame. Take a wheat ball and dip in dry wheat flour. Roll to a small Puri (small circle as shown). Keep the inner ball of filling inside.

8. Now take the sides of the wheat dough and cover it over the filling sealing it completely.

9. Roll it using little dry wheat flour to as thin and evenly as possible.

10. Place this over the heated tawa and cook till bubbles appear over the surface. Add ghee over it.

11. Flip and cook for about half a minute adding ghee over that side too.

12. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the dough.

Notes:

* The water quantity while making the wheat dough can vary with your brand. Just make into a soft and smooth dough. Keep for rest for about 30 mins if you have time. Else it’s fine.

* We get readymade skinned peanuts here and I use that. If you have regular ones, you might need to roast it on low flame, cool it and remove the skin.

* While powdering the peanuts, be careful to not grind continually as it may leave oil. Just pulse and powder it. Even if little bits of peanuts remain, it’s fine. Adds a good crunch to the Ubbattis.

* Don’t make jaggery syrup. Just melt it and bring to a boil.

* Switch off the flame immediately after adding and mixing the peanuts. Else it may turn hard. Also, don’t keep the mixture to cool for long. Make balls when the mixture is still warm.

* Make both the inner and outer dough balls of equal size. Else the Ubbattis may not taste as good or might become like parathas. Making both balls of equal size ensures the outer layer is thin and we get good flavour of the filling.

* As these Ubbattis are kept at room temperature, they turn crisp on the outside but soft on the inside. That’s exactly how we love it. If you love soft Ubbattis, consume them immediately after making it.

* Since it is easy to make, I make it fresh each time. The measurements I have mentioned above yields 5 Ubbattis which are sufficient for us to last a day.

* Also, with the above measurements, I get two balls of wheat dough leftover ie it makes 7 wheat balls. I make chapati with it.

Kanchipuram Idlis

When I get some free time yet don’t want to sit with my phone, I read cookbooks. Reading them is a pleasure of it’s own and I forget the rest of the world and dive into the world of recipes. ❀️

On one such day, I saw a recipe of Kanchipuram idlis in the cookbook “Dakshin Bharat dishes” by Mrs Jaya V Shenoy which is a must have cookbook in every Konkani household. My grandmother and mother refer to the Kannada version of this book while I was lucky enough to be gifted the English version of it by my aunt, Chandriakka during my marriage. It has definitely been the best gift for me. Thank you akka. I always remember you when I read it. ❀️❀️

As I read the recipe for these idlis, I saw that it had baking soda as an ingredient which I try to avoid as much as possible. So I added the naturally fermenting ingredient, Methi which gives soft idlis and also increases the health quotient of the idlis.

The resultant were these super soft, spongy idlis with bites of cashews and chana dal. Also, they turn out so flavourful that you will keep craving for more. We loved it so much that I had to make them again within the week as we could not get enough of it.

These idlis are definitely a welcome change from the regular idlis and can be made occasionally when you are bored of the same old breakfast dishes. Hope you all try and love it like we did. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Makes about 22 idlis}

1 Cup Raw white rice or Idli rice (I use any variety of small grain white rice available here)

1 Cup Urad dal (I use split ones)

1 tsp Methi or fenugreek seeds

1 Tbsp Chana dal (To be soaked and added into the batter after fermentation)

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Ghee

1/2 tsp Jeera or cumin seeds

6 to 8 broken cashews

A sprig of curry leaves

A pinch of pepper powder

1 to 2 green chillies

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the Urad dal along with Methi in atleast twice the amount of water. Wash well and soak the rice separately. I soak both for atleast 4 hours. Once soaked, drain the water completely from it.

2. Grind Urad- Methi with 1 Cup water or as required to a smooth paste. (It took me 1 Cup water to grind it.) Remove into a large vessel.

3. Now grind the rice with little of the leftover Urad batter in the mixer to a little coarse paste (like rava consistency). I did not add additional water at all while grinding rice. Pour into the same bowl and mix both batters adding salt.

4. Ferment the batter overnight or for atleast 8 hours in a warm place.

5. While making idlis, add soaked Chana dal and also prepare the seasoning. Heat ghee in a pan. Add cumin seeds, cashews, pepper powder, curry leaves and green chillies. Fry till cashews turn light brown and add the seasoning to the batter.

Note: I usually soak the Chana dal in double the water for about an hour the previous night. Drain the water and refrigerate to add to the batter the next day. This saves soaking time in the morning.

6. Mix well. Pour into greased idli plates and steam for 20 mins or till done.

7. Enjoy with a chutney of your choice.

Notes:

* Grind the rice to rava consistency. If you grind it smooth, the texture of the idlis may not be as good.

* Methi seeds give these idlis a very soft texture. So don’t skip it.

* To save time in the morning, soak the Chana dal in enough water the previous night for an hour. Drain and refrigerate. Add to the fermented batter while making idlis.

* All ingredients in the seasoning give a good flavour to the idlis. So don’t skip it except green chillies which you can skip if serving small kids. My kids are fine with it though. I remove the chillies and give them.

* This chutney is Hing chutney with red chillies. I just grind coconut with dried kashmiri red chillies, Hing powder and tamarind paste with salt and little water to a smooth paste. Drizzle coconut oil on top or season it with mustard seeds and curry leaves. I don’t season most of my chutneys as my daughter does not like mustard seeds.

Instant Vermicelli Idli

When I was a child, the only Idlis I knew were the regular white Idlis my mother made and the horsegram Idlis, cucumber Idlis, jackfruit Idlis (kulitha idli, thoushe muddho, ponsa mudho in Konkani) which my grandmother made. These varieties are the only ones I remember apart from the amchi famous Khotto or idlis made in jackfruit leaves.

After I started blogging and kept on look out for variety of recipes, I started making Rava Idlis and other Idlis which don’t need rice at all. Here you can check all of them in my Idli Stand page.

Vermicelli idli was one among the first ones to be tried and loved. So I had to share this here. Its a unique but very tasty idli. Comes out super soft and spongy.

Hope you all try and like it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup wheat Vermicelli (the regular variety which we use to make upma. Not super thin ones)

1 Cup wheat Semolina/ Rava/ Sooji

1 Cup Yogurt or thick Curd

About 3/4 Cup Water

1/2 Cup grated Carrots

1 tsp Eno fruit salt {*check notes for substitute}

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

2 tsp Oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1/2 tsp split Urad dal

Few broken Cashews

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds, add Jeera, urad dal and broken cashews. Fry little till cashews turn golden. Then add vermicelli and fry on medium flame till it changes colour and turns brown.

2. Now add rava and fry again till it turns light brown.

3. Switch off the flame now and allow it to cool down slightly. Add curd and water. Mix well.

4. Now add grated carrots and mix well. Add salt and Eno fruit salt. Mix well.

5. Steam immediately after adding Eno fruit salt. Steam for 20 mins or till done.

The white colour is due to my kitchen lights. These Idlis get a golden hue due to vermicelli and carrots.

6. Remove and serve with a chutney of your choice. I have served it with my Amma’s tomato chutney.

Notes:

* 1 tsp Eno fruit salt can be substituted with 1/2 tsp Baking soda and 1/2 tsp Lemon juice.

* Steam immediately after adding Eno fruit salt.

* You can also make regular Instant Rava Idlis if you don’t have vermicelli.

* Grated carrots are optional but give a good bite and also increases the nutritional value.

* For 1 Cup Vermicelli and 1 Cup Rava, 1 Cup curds plus 3/4 Cup water gave perfect texture of the batter which is slightly thick. The amount of water depends upon the curd. Start with 1/2 Cup water and add more only if necessary. Don’t make the batter thin.