8 December 2014

Microwave Aloo

Technology can be both a boon and a bane. Yep, I know, this phrase is so oft repeated that it might have lost its sheen now!! But my only belief is that as long as we use technology to help run our life and not take over it, we should be pretty OK in this day and age :)
For example, a quick potato curry in the microwave is a God-saver when you are racing against the clock.


Ingredients :

Boiled, peeled and cubed potato - 2 medium (or halved baby potatoes - 1 1/2 cups)
Boiled, peeled and cubed sweet potato - 1 cup (optional)
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder (Haldi) - 1/2 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Curry powder - 1 tsp (or any masala of your choice, for eg, Garam masala)
Chopped coriander

Tempering :
Olive oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 2 tsps

Method :

1. Add the cubed potatoes in a micro-proof bowl. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, chili powder and curry powder. Mix well with a light hand so that all pieces are evenly coated.

2. Tempering is one thing I have yet to muster courage to do in the micro itself !! So I still prefer the traditional way. Heat the olive oil in a tempering ladle or small pan. Add the jeera and let crackle. Now add mustard seeds, and once they crackle too, pour the tempering over the potato cubes.
Mix well.

3. Cook on high in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Remove, stir once and cook on high for 3 minutes more. Remove and sprinkle the chopped coriander.
Serve hot as desired.

7 December 2014

Crispy Bitter Gourd

Crisp fried Bitter gourd is quite a popular accompaniment and cuts away from the normal curry preparations using this Oh-so-healthy vegetable!! But then what's life without a little indulgence??


Ingredients :

Bitter gourd (Karela) - 3, medium (de-seeded)
Bengal gram flour (Besan) - 2 tbsps
Salt to taste
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder (Hing) - 1/4 tsp
Coriander (dhaniya) powder - 1 tbsp
Oil for frying

Method :

1. Slice the bitter gourd into thin round slices. Soak in a mix of tamarind juice and salt for about 10 minutes. This will mitigate its bitterness.

2. Rinse the karela slices in clean water and add to a bowl.

3. Now add the gram flour, salt, chili powder, hing and dhaniya powder. Mix gently and let rest for about 10 minutes.

4. Heat oil in a shallow pan on medium heat. Drop in the karela slices carefully a little at a time. Deep fry till golden brown. Else you can also toss the slices in a little oil and microwave till crisp, which would be a much healthier option.
Serve as desired.

Corn Idli Upma

Another variation in the leftover idli saga...this time with the twist of corn ...

                                                                 CORN IDLI UPMA

Ingredients :

Boiled corn - 1 cup
Leftover idlis - 4 to 5 (Cubed)
Chopped coriander - a few
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder (Haldi) - 1/4 tsp
Green chili - 1 (slit)
Chopped ginger - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds (Rai) - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp

Method :

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera and let crackle. Now add the mustard seeds and let crackle as well.

2. Add in the grated ginger, saute, followed by the green chili and curry leaves. Saute for a minute.

3. Now add the boiled corn, salt to taste and haldi. Toss well, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.

4. Now add in the idli cubes and mix well. Let cook for a few minutes so the idlis soak in the flavour as well.

5. Remove from flame and add the lemon juice and chopped dhaniya. Mix well. Serve hot.

Leftover Roti Pizza


Ingredients :

Leftover rotis - 5-6
Tomato puree - 1/2 cup
Paneer cubes - 1/2 cup
Boiled sweet corn - 1/4 cup
Chopped Bell peppers (green, red and yellow) - 1/2 cup
Chopped and blanched spinach - 1 cup
Chopped onion - 1/4 cup
Grated cheese or cheese slices
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Garlic powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried herbs
Salt to taste

Method :

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the capsicum and saute lightly. Add chili powder and salt.

2. Add the tomato puree and garlic powder. Stir and cook for 4-5 minutes. It is absolutely up to your taste to add spices of your choice here, ranging from garam masala, dhaniya powder to even Curry powder! Remove from the flame as we do not need to over cook the sauce.
(We are cooking the vegetables here, such as capsicum, spinach because unlike a pizza base, we won't be cooking a roti for long, so the vegetables might be left uncooked and a bit uneasy to digest. Onions can however be used raw as they add the crunch factor.)

3. Take a roti, spread 1 tbsp of sauce over it, arrange the paneer cubes, blanched spinach, onion, corn and finally cover with a little cheese. Remember not to over-load the cheese as the roti will be thin and will sag.

4. Heat a tawa on medium heat. Place the roti carefully over it, reduce flame, cover with a lid and let the cheese melt. Take care not to let the roti become too crisp.
Serve the 'Roti-Pizza' as desired.

Pudina Pepper Paratha


Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Black Pepper Powder - 2 tsps
Salt to taste
Chopped Green chilies - 2 to 3 tsps
Clarified butter (Ghee) - 2 tbsps
Chopped Mint leaves - 1/2 cup
Chopped Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup

Method :

1. In a clean bowl, mix together, flour, pepper powder, salt along with green chilies, mint and coriander. Add ghee and knead into a soft dough using enough water. Rest for 5-7 minutes.

2. Divide into equal sized portions. Roll out into rotis. Heat a tawa on medium heat. Cook the rotis using ghee/oil on both sides until golden brown and slightly crispy.
Serve as desired with curd and pickle.

5 December 2014


Adai is a typical preparation in most households, especially on the occasion of Karthigai, the famous festival of lights celebrated in the Tamil Karthik month.
It's a wholesome pancake combining rice and lentils. It's best served with jaggery which balances out the heaviness of the lentils and eases digestion.


Raw rice - 1 cup 
Boiled rice - 1 cup
Whole black gram (with skin) - 1/4 cup 
Split Pigeon peas (Toor dal) - 1/4 cup 
Dry Red Chilies - 2 
Hing - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste


1. Wash and soak both the rice together for about 2 hours. You can also use 2 cups of raw rice itself instead of boiled rice. 

2. In a mixer blend together the soaked rice and red chilies. Grind coarsely.

3. Rinse the lentils and immediately add to the mixer along with salt and hing. Pulse it just once as we do not want the dals to be too mashed.

4. Transfer to a bowl and check for salt. Add fresh curry leaves and give it a stir. Check batter consistency, add little water if too thick; we need it to be like dosa batter.

5. Heat a flat tawa on medium heat. Pour a ladle of batter and spread evenly. Make 3-4 small holes around the centre and pour a little oil around the adai and in the holes as well. Let cook on both sides till crispy.
Serve hot as desired.

3 December 2014

Broccoli-Palak Paratha

Here's a healthier version of the ever-popular Gobhi Paratha, using the coloured sibling - Broccoli; and to add further greenery, we use spinach.


Ingredients :

Grated Broccoli - 1 cup (You can use cauliflower if Broccoli isnt available)
Blanched and pureed spinach - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 2 1/2 cups
Salt to taste
Chopped Ginger - 1 tbsp
Chopped Garlic - 1 tbsp
Chopped Green Chilies - 2 to 3
Oil for cooking

Method : 

1. In a mixing bowl, mix together all the ingredients minus the oil and knead into a soft dough using water as required.
[Note : It is usually preferred to lightly blanch the broccoli or cauliflower in boiling water for 5-7 minutes along with a little haldi which will remove the impurities/bacteria from them.]

2. Dab a little oil on the dough and keep aside for 5 minutes.

3. Make small portions of the dough and roll out into puris. Fold both edges in like a book, then fold again to make a small square. Press lightly and roll out again into a 1cm thick paratha.

4. Heat a tawa on medium heat and cook the paratha on both sides using oil (preferably olive) till golden brown.
Serve hot as desired.