Tag Archives: Tomato

Easy Kadala Curry | Kerala style chickpeas curry | Quick lunch box idea

Meet my “friend” (πŸ˜€) who’s my go-to quick fix curry with no much hard work involved yet comes out lip smackingly delicious and a huge favourite of my family – Kadala Curry. I learnt to make it from our Konkani neighbour, Padma akka in Kochi. She used to bring freshly steamed puttu and Kadala Curry with love for us whenever she made it and it tasted so heavenly that I still have that etched in my food memory. ❀️

When I asked her how to make it (imagining it to be a long, laborious recipe), it amazed me as to how simple it really was to make this curry. As is said by someone (don’t know who 😬), Simple is Beautiful ❀️ and in this case delicious too. πŸ˜€

Since then, it is a commonly made curry at my place and the only way I make my chickpeas. I had also shared it in my old blog in 2013 and here is the picture from my archives. (In the same plate too. My favourite plate that is! 😍)

It was my 100th post on that blog which is no longer available now. Feels really sad sometimes that all my hard work went for a toss but console myself that I could start afresh and got this new, better version of the blog. Also, learned a lesson about how not to give my precious blog in anyone’s hands and learnt to handle everything single handedly. That does make me feel good and proud of myself too. 😊

Sharing her easy recipe with all of you. Hope you all try and love it. Makes a wonderful combination with chapatis and a great idea for lunch box. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️



1 Cup dried Black chickpeas/ Kala Chana

1 large sized Onion { or about 6 shallots }

1 medium sized Tomato

1 Tbsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

A sprig of curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak dried chickpeas in atleast double the water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain the water.

2. Add to a pressure cooker along with thinly sliced Onions, finely chopped tomatoes and salt to taste. Pour water till it soaks the chickpeas and cook till it turns soft. { Takes 4 to 5 whistles on high for me on my electric stove top. Varies according to cooking range. }

3. Now open the cooker after it cools down. Keep the cooker on the stove top and add coriander powder along with red chilli powder. Bring to a boil.

4. Mash the chickpeas slightly using the back of a ladle or potato masher to make the gravy turn thick. Boil on medium flame for 5 to 8 mins till the gravy thickens.

5. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and fry till crisp. Pour this seasoning over the curry.

6. Mix well and serve hot with chapatis/appams/ puttu/ dosas.


* The main flavour of this curry comes from the coriander powder – red chilli powder combination. So do a taste test and add accordingly as it varies with your brand of both the powders. It may require more or less than I have mentioned.

* Cooking chickpeas till soft is important so that it can be mashed easily and the gravy turns thick.

* Curry leaves in the seasoning makes this curry very aromatic. Don’t skip it.

Benda Uli/ Bhindi fry/ Spicy Lady’s finger fry

If there is one vegetable that I am not fond of, it is Lady’s finger. My all time favorite veggies are potato, elephant yam, beetroot, carrot ie all underground vegetables πŸ˜‹. But Mr hubby hates potato and beetroot. So all these years, we have never bought beetroot and rarely use potato except for masala dosa or chapati bhaji. Husband’s food choices replace mine (Kahaani ghar ghar ki, I suppose! πŸ˜†)

Now guess which veggie is his favorite? Yes, Lady’s finger πŸ™„πŸ˜…. So this lady makes way into our house more than quite often and he makes me eat it saying it is healthy 😬. So I have learnt to cook it in a way that I can atleast bear to eat it.

Benda Uli is commonly made at his place and the only dish he too likes with Bhindi. Though it is made little liquidy, I make it crisp so that it does not turn slimy (which I absolutely dislike). It turns out good and even my kids like it.

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



3 Cups chopped Lady’s finger / Bhindi/ Benda

2 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 medium sized Onion, finely sliced

1 medium sized Tomato, finely chopped

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. This is how I prepare the Lady’s fingers for any curry. Wash them well under running water. Then allow it dry completely. Just keep it as such for little while and it will air dry. Chop off both ends of the Lady’s fingers and then cut into small pieces. Put in a bowl and keep aside.

Note: Ensuring that there is no water in the Lady’s fingers avoids the sliminess in the curry.

2. Now heat oil in a pan and add finely sliced onions. Fry till it turns translucent.

3. Now add tomatoes and fry till it turns soft.

3. Add the chopped Lady’s finger and fry it continually till it cooks. Don’t add water at all or else the curry turns slimy. It will take time but the texture of Lady’s finger will be very crispy and tasty.

5. Now add red chilli powder and salt. Mix well such that everything blends well. Cook for couple of minutes.

6. Remove from flame. Serve with rice meals.


* Towards the end of frying, I purposely allow it to get little burnt ( to a little brownish tinge and not to black ). It gives it a very good flavour to the curry.

* For Lady’s finger, the most important part is preparing the vegetable. Wash first and then allow it to dry off completely. This ensures that slimes don’t form while cooking the Lady’s finger.

* Usually Benda Uli is made little liquidy but I prefer this method of cooking it (water free) as it gives crispy and tasty curry.

* Red chilli powder is to taste.

Dhaba Style Paneer

We are a paneer loving family and our idea of a special weekend dinner is incomplete without paneer. So when my dearest friend and soul sister Sumangala posted Dhaba style Paneer on her Instagram handle @onlyvegfoodie, I could not resist trying it instantly. It looked so so delicious.

And how amazing it came out too. My kids who usually make faces during dinner time ate whole heartedly and happily that day. My daughter even ate the curry as it is which is a rarity since she always finds everything spicy. So you can imagine how much she liked it.

I also want to write something about Sumangala. We first met through our GSB youth wing Elamakkara (where we lived in Kochi) during our college days. We were (still are 😁) both talkative and got along very well. She’s very loving and a down to earth person. I still remember my visits to her house and the nearby Shiva temple with her. Now we both are busy mommies with two kids of our own but our common love for cooking keeps us connected on Instagram. So glad to see you happy Suma. Love you. The memories with you are unforgettable. 😘

Hope you all try her recipe of Dhaba style Paneer and love it as much as we did. Happy and healthy cooking!



To marinate:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Haldi powder

2 tsp Water

Other ingredients in order:

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1 tsp minced Ginger

1 large Onion, blended in mixer

2 large Tomatoes, pureed in mixer

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, while frying

1/2 tsp Kasuri methi, crushed between palm

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

2 tsp Besan/ Chickpea flour

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take Paneer cubes in a bowl. Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, haldi powder and coriander powder along with little water. Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add jeera along with Cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf. When jeera changes colour, add blended onion and ginger.

3. Keep frying continually till the raw smell goes away and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Now add kasuri methi, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and besan.

4. Fry for two mins till the rawness of besan goes away. Now add tomato puree along with coriander leaves and cook covered for 6 to 8 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

5. Now add paneer cubes and mix well. Cook again covered for 5 mins.

6. Remove from flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or rice.


* Paneer can be substituted with mushroom or cauliflower.

* You can fry the marinated paneer first before adding to the gravy for a firmer paneer. I skipped that step since we like the softness of paneer in gravies.

* Do remember to cook well after adding onion puree, after adding besan and after adding tomato puree. All three steps need some time to cook thoroughly but is very important to get the authentic dhaba style Paneer.

* You can skip the red chilli powder in the gravy and add only to the marinate if you don’t like too much spicy gravy. My kids loved it even though I added red chilli powder in both marinate and gravy.

10 min Restaurant style Veg Kurma

I have tried many Kurma recipes in the past but once I tried this one, I did not have to try any other. It comes out too delicious for words. Although this technique was new to me, I found that cooking with almost zero additional water in the pressure cooker makes the Kurma taste amazing.

Whenever I make this Kurma, the husband comes to know through the aroma and he asks if it’s Kurma that is cooking πŸ˜‚. You have to try it to know. I have made it for many get togethers and people love it a lot.

Best part of this curry is once the chopping is done, it hardly takes 10 mins. No sauteing or cooking for long time. I make this specially during weekend now when I don’t want to spend the whole day in the kitchen.

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



About 3 Cups mixed Vegetables (Potato, peas, carrots, capsicum, cauliflower)

1 Cup Paneer cubes

2 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 Tbsp Ghee

2 green chillies

1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

3 Cloves

2 Cardamon pods

1 large Onion, finely chopped

1 large Tomato, finely chopped

1/2 Cup Milk

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

For the masala paste:

1/4 Cup Yogurt/ Curd

1/4 Cup freshly grated or desiccated Coconut

5 to 7 Cashews

3 to 4 cloves of Garlic

1 inch Ginger piece

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. First add all the ingredients mentioned in the masala paste and grind to a smooth paste without adding water. Don’t forget to add salt too. Keep aside.

2. Keep the vegetables ready as well.

3. Now take a 2 liter or 3 liter pressure cooker. Don’t keep it on the flame. Add ghee and oil in the cooker. Also add cloves, cardamom and cinnamon stick along with green chillies. Bay leaf too if you have.

Note that I have not yet kept the cooker on the flame or stove top.

4. Now layer finely chopped onions evenly.

5. Layer tomatoes evenly too.

6. Layer the veggies after this.

7. Add paneer cubes layer over this.

8. Now add the masala paste as the top layer.

9. Now pressure cook the above layers on medium flame for 7 mins or till 3 whistles. There is no need to add water while cooking. The juices in the vegetables will release water and that’s what makes this Kurma tasty.

10. Allow it to cool down by itself. Now add milk and cook for about 2 mins.

11. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis or rice.


* OPOS is a patented technique owned by Mr.Ramakrishnan. It is a copyrighted term. I have adapted this recipe from this site and since she used this technique for making this Kurma, I followed the same. I have no intention of owning this technique. The full credits to this technique goes to Mr Ramakrishnan Sir only.

* If you don’t know to use a pressure cooker, you can saute tomato and onions in the seasoning and cook the veggies with the masala while following all the steps in a kadhai.

* In the original recipe, it says to keep on high flame for 5 mins but it sometimes burnt my Kurma. So I keep the flame on medium for 7 mins. It works well for me.

* In case your veggies don’t cook when you open the cooker, cook after you add milk for 5 more mins.

* Don’t forget to add salt in the masala paste itself. It makes a huge taste difference if you add later.

* Also don’t add water at all while grinding the masala paste. The yogurt does the job well and you can see it while grinding.

* Paneer is optional. I add because we love it. You can also add any combination of veggies that you have.

Paneer Hara Masala

Paneer is the star at my house and we all love paneer very much. But during both my pregnancies, I could bear to even smell it. And right after I delivered, my paneer love is back again. Weird right? 😁

The funniest part is both my kids are huge fan of paneer. So I ask them always, what happened when you were inside me? Why didn’t you like it then? πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I know I sound crazy πŸ™ˆ

Anyhow this paneer Hara masala was an experiment with using the same masala that I use for Amma’s Carrot pulao since we love the aromatic masala paste. And it turned out super delicious. So was born paneer “Hara” masala, Hara meaning green in hindi.

Sharing this easy recipe with all you. Happy and healthy cooking!



200 grams Paneer cubes

1/2 Cup thinly sliced Capsicum

1/2 Cup roughly chopped Tomato

1/2 Cup finely chopped Onion

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

1 tsp Jeera/ cumin seeds

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Oil/ Ghee

For the masala paste:

1/2 Cup Coriander leaves

1/4 Cup mint leaves

3 green chillies

3 cloves of Garlic

1/2 inch Ginger

Step by step paste:

1. Add the ingredients mentioned in the masala paste and grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add Jeera. Add chopped onions and fry till it turns translucent.

3. Add the ground masala paste and cook for few minutes till it turns dry.

3. Now add capsicum and tomatoes and mix well.

4. Now add red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Also add salt.

5. Add paneer cubes. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 mins on medium flame.

6. Serve hot with rotis or rice.


* You can skip mint leaves if you don’t have.

* If you like a slight crunch of capsicum, don’t cook it completely. If you don’t like it, you can cook till it turns soft or even skip it.

* Paneer can be substituted with mushrooms or cauliflower.

Cauliflower phannaupkari

First dish learnt after marriage is always special and I was lucky to learn this curry from hubby’s aunt who is an expert cook. She taught me so many dishes lovingly just like teaching a daughter. I never felt I was in my in law’s house even without my husband. He was in Qatar while I was living in his village home in midst of a farm. One of the best days of my life for sure.

So this cauliflower phannaupkari is one of the curries that mhave (aunty) made and I loved it very much. Even though very simple to make, it tasted so yummy.

Even now when we get cauliflower, hubby asks for this to be made. Such is the love for this simple curry. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!



3 Cups Cauliflower florets

1 large sized Onion, finely sliced

1 large Tomato, roughly chopped

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

2 tsp Oil

Step by step recipe:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add thinly sliced onions. Fry till it turns translucent.

2. Add tomatoes and cook till it mashes up completely.

3. Now add red chilli powder, salt and mix well.

4. Add cauliflower with little water and cook till cauliflower cooks completely. Done!

5. Serve hot with rice or rotis.


* I over cook cauliflower since my family likes that way. You can cook till just done if needed.

* Don’t add much water while cooking or else the flavour will be lost.

* This curry is a spicy one and hence the colour. You can adjust red chilli powder as per your taste.

* I usually blanch cauliflower florets in turmeric water before using since it cleans the florets well.

Paneer Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji has to be one of my favourite chaats. I have so many memories of Pav bhaji eaten at various joints during our travels to Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Shimla, Gujarat and even in Singapore. I have to try pav bhaji from every place we visit.

While there is Mr husband who loves the pav bhaji I make so much that he never orders them when we eat out and sticks to bhel puri.

Anyhow, ever since I learned how to bake perfect Wheat pav at home, we have hardly had them from outside. Pav bhaji with homemade wheat pav is not only healthy but turns out amazingly delicious. Since we are a paneer loving family, I take it a notch higher and make Paneer Pav Bhaji.

Hope you all try it and love it too. Nothing like homemade food β™₯️ Happy and healthy cooking!


1 Cup dry/ fresh/ frozen Green peas (dried ones need to be soaked overnight)

1 Cup Cauliflower florets

1 medium sized Potato

1/2 Cup roughly chopped Carrot

2 Tbsp Butter

1 inch Ginger piece

3 cloves of Garlic

3 Green chillies

1 medium sized Onion

1/4 Cup finely chopped Capsicum

1 medium sized Tomato

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 Tbsp Pav Bhaji Masala powder

1 Cup Paneer, cut into small cubes

4 Tbsp Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

1 tsp Lemon juice

For toppings, finely chopped onions, coriander leaves, lemon wedges, butter.

Step by step recipe:

1. Take peas, cauliflower, potato and carrot in a pressure cooker. Pressure cook till very soft.

2. Mash using a potato masher or a ladle till there are no big chunks of veggies. Keep aside.

3. Heat a pan with butter. Add finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute till they give out an aroma.

4. Add finely chopped onion. Fry till it turns translucent.

5. Add finely capsicum and fry for few seconds.

6. Add tomatoes and cook well.

7. Now add pav bhaji masala powder and red chilli powder. Fry till all water evaporates and the mixture turns out dry as shown.

8. Now add the mashed veggies and mix well. Add little water if the mixture is too dry. Allow it to come to a boil.

9. Add paneer cubes along with salt and cook for 5 more mins. After that, check for spices if needed. Add more pav bhaji masala or red chilli powder if needed.

10. Now add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well. Done.

11. Serve along with pav and top with onions, coriander leaves and lemon wedges. Add more butter on top.


* You can skip paneer and make regular pav bhaji if you don’t like it but paneer Pav Bhaji is a delight for paneer lovers.

* Pav bhaji masala can be added as desired as per your taste buds. If unavailable, you can add any garam masala powder.

* Cook the veggies really well for a smooth texture of pav bhaji.

* Butter gives a wonderful flavour. So I recommend using butter to cook.

* I make Homemade wheat pav for pav bhaji. You can try too.

Mixed bean salad

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest

We love salads with our meal. My kids specially love them. Dinner time is less hassle free when salad is available as they finish off without any fuss. So I make different varieties of salads everyday.

Since we are vegetarians, our protein comes from pulses and beans. So it is important to include them in our diet. And what better way that this salad. Also, love how gorgeous it looks. Mixed beans give a wonderful bite and is an amazing accompaniment to the meal.

I love eating this salad in itself too. Makes for an excellent snack option. Hope you all like this idea. Happy and healthy cooking!



2 Tbsp Kidney beans/ Rajma

2 Tbsp Pigeon peas/ Black eyed beans/Lobia

2 Tbsp White or black Chana/ chickpeas

1 medium sized Onion

1 medium sized Tomato

2 green chillies

1 tsp Chat masala

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp coriander leaves

Juice of half a lemon

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash well and soak the beans for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

2. Pressure cook it together till it turns soft. Cool and refrigerate. Use when making salad.

Note: Kidney beans and chickpeas take the same time to cook. Pigeon peas cook quickly but still does not mash when cooked along with the other beans.

3. To the cooked mixed beans, add finely chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies, coriander leaves, chat masala and salt.

4. Squeeze lemon juice, mix well and you are done.

5. Serve freshly made salad with your meal or make this a meal in itself.


* You can also add moong sprouts to this salad.

* I sometimes add cucumber too.

* Green chillies are optional if making for kids. You can add a pinch of black pepper powder instead.

* Serve immediately after mixing onions in it as it will start smelling if kept for long.

* You can soak and cook the beans. Refrigerate and use when required.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest

Eggless Tomato Omelette

As a kid, I used to wait for Amma to make these tomato omelettes for me from leftover dosa batter. I loved a lot of tomatoes in them and Amma used to purposely give the omelettes which had the most tomato pieces to me and take the less ones for herself. Such is a mother’s selfless love and I understand it now being a mother myself.

These can be made even without the leftover batter by just adding the flours and mixing. I realised it during my pregnancy when I was craving for them a lot and did not have leftover batter. Quickly mixed this batter and there came out these beautiful tomato omelettes with Amma’s love in every bite.

Dedicate this post to you Amma. Love you very much 😍😘



2 Cups Besan/ chikpea flour

1 Cup Rava/ wheat semolina

1/2 Cup Rice flour

2 large Tomatoes

1 medium sized Onion

3 green chillies

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the besan, rava and rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Add salt too.

2. Now slowly add little by little water and whisk till it’s free of lumps and you get a smooth batter of slightly thick consistency.

Note: If you have leftover dosa batter. Add that to the dry flours and then add water as needed.

3. Add chopped tomatoes, onions, green chillies and Coriander leaves.

4. Mix well.

5. Heat a dosa pan and pour a ladle of this batter onto it. Cook on medium flame.

6. When the surface cooks, add oil or ghee and flip to cook for a minute.

7. Remove and repeat the same with the rest of the batter. Enjoy them hot with butter or chutney.


* If using leftover dosa batter, add at step no 2 along with water to make a smooth batter.

* Do add loads of tomatoes and onions for a wonderful bite to these Omelette.

* You could also prepare this batter and refrigerate the previous night for breakfast the next day.

Charmbure upkari

This post is dedicated to my father who’s favourite snack to make is Charmbure Upkari and my husband who’s only reply for “what’s for evening snack?” is Charmbure Upkari. My kids have gone after them and they love it a lot too.

It’s easy for me as well. Hardly takes time to mix everything and is so tasty that the whole family is happy with me. I am happy too since it’s a healthy snack to munch on.

Charmbure Upkari is most famous during temple festivals in South Canara regions and also available outside temples at other times. They give it in a paper cone and it’s so delightful to see them make it. Some also add raw mango to it but since we don’t get it here, I make it without it. Here’s sharing how we make our Charmbure Upkari.



2 Cups Puffed rice/ Charmburo/ Bhel

1/2 Cup Sev/ Bhujiya

3 Tbsp peeled and finely grated Carrot

1 small Onion, finely chopped

1 small Tomato, finely chopped

2 green chillies, finely chopped ( or to taste) *can skip if making for kids

3 Tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 Tbsp Peanuts

2 tsp Sambar powder

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder (or to taste) *can skip if making for kids

2 tsp Coconut oil (plus 1 tsp to fry peanuts)

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Add the finely chopped Onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chillies, grated carrots in a large mixing bowl. (Add finely chopped raw mango too if available)

2. Add sambar powder, salt and red chilli powder( if adding).

3. Now fry peanuts in oil and add to the mixture along with sev/ bhujiya.

4. Now add the Bhel/ Charmburo along with coconut oil and lemon juice. Mix well.

5. To a taste test and add more sambar powder/ red chilli powder/ lemon juice if required. Serve Immediately. Else the Charmbure upkari turns soggy and not crisp.


* If I have the time, I sometimes dry roast the Charmburo/ Bhel before adding to the upkari so that it does not turn soggy while serving.

* Do serve it immediately after mixing everything. Else it turns soggy.

* All the ingredients are to taste and you can make changes according to your family’s taste buds.