Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Punjabi Rajma masala

A dish that I have made several times to get that actual taste by trying and testing so many different recipes out on the net! However, I finally ended up learning the secret behind the taste of this dish from a friends cook who is from Punjab! Believe me, there are several recipes out there which all say but mostly the same about doing the onion tomato base for this! However, it's done differently by the home makers in Punjab I believe😀 so let's jump straight into the recipe


1 cup rajma
1 large onion
1 large tomato
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1-2 green chilies
1 tsp Punjabi garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder(optional)
1 tsp Kasturi methi
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnish

Soaking time: 8 hrs
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 40 mins( incld boiling rajma)


- Soak the rajma for 8 hrs or over night. The skin will begin to shrink and rajma becomes lighter in color as it soaks.
- in a pressure cooker, add the rajma, water to cover the rajma, salt and pressure cook for 6 whistles and simmer for 5 mins. Roughly about 20 mins should do.
- allow the steam to escape, drain the rajma and "store the water in which the rajma cooked!" Do not discard this water.

- meanwhile, chop the onion, tomatoes and green chilies. Keep little onion aside for later.
- sauté the chilies and onions in a tsp of oil, then add the tomatoes and little bit of salt.if u are using fresh ginger and garlic , sauté them along with the onions.

- allow this to cool. Upon cooling, grind this (along with the ginger garlic paste) into a smooth paste.
- in a pan, heat the butter, once melted, sauté the little bit of onion and add the ground paste and allow to cook until the fat separates.To this add the chilli powder while the paste is cooking.

- now add the cooked rajma and mix with the masala. 
- as per the required consistency slowly add the stored water while stirring to check the needed consistency. 
- add the garam masala and crush the Kasturi methi between your palms and sprinkle on top. 
- bring it to a boil a remove from heat.

- garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Pulav, jeera rice or roti!


- remember to store the water in which the rajma gets cooked. This water brings color to the dish. 
- also the rajma is cooked with salt and the water also has salt. So, if you add additional salt, be careful not to get it too salty!
- adjust spice levels as per your taste.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Watermelon lemon basil slush(tini)

Summer is here and so are the fresh greens and summer fruits. What better way to beat the heat and enjoy the sun than to make juices, mock tails and cocktails with the fresh produce. Fresh basil were being sold at the local farmers market for a dollar a bunch and it will be pure sin to let go of

So, had been buying them and trying out on pasta and soup and realized they r good with drinks too. Found this amazingly simple slush recipe with lemon and basil and to give it a kick I cranked it up with a bit of vodka and made it a cocktail in the end.

Adding the alcohol is purely optional. The slush is super yumm without the spirit too.


4 cups chopped watermelon cubes
1/2 cup roughly chopped basil
1/4cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 lemon or 1tbsp of lemon juice
120ml or lesser vodka(optional)

Prep time: 3 hrs           Slush time: 5 mins


- chop the watermelon into cubes and freeze them on a plate for 2-3 hrs minimum

- in a saucepan combine the sugar and water and boil until the sugar dissolves.
- switch off heat and add the roughly chopped basil into the sugar syrup and let it cool down for an hour

- when the melons are frozen, add half of them into a blender along with required sugar syrup( as per sweet liking), lemon juice and pulse.
- now blend in the remaining melons and pulse a little
- serve them in glasses with a sprig of basil on top

- if you prefer to make it a cocktail, add vodka along with the lemon and sugar syrup in the blender and there is your watermelon slushtini;-)
- if adding vodka, you might need more sugar syrup

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Pudhina (Mint) thogaiyal

Once a way the kitchen needs to smell of exotic herbs that bring a healthy and fresh aroma to the stale masala flavour in the air. In everyday Indian cooking the use of green leafy herbs cannot be discounted. So many health benefits and so detoxing too.

Pudhina or mint is one such herb which is so full of benefits. After a heavy meal day, pudhina infused lime water can do wonders to your intestines. Regular use of this herb helps to keep us healthy enough to keep binging on junk😀

Below is one of my favorite pudhina recipe which takes about 15 minutes to prepare and is super tasty with hot rice and ghee...yummm


-1 bunch of pudhina leaves
- 2-3 dry red chilies
- a small pinch of tamarind soaked in warm water 
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 tbsp Urad dhal
- 1/2 cup of shredded or sliced coconut
- a pinch of hing or asafoetida
- salt to taste

Prep time: 15 mins       Grind time: 5 mins


- Soak the tamarind in a bit of warm water and set aside
- In a kadai, heat 1 tsp oil, add the Urad dhal, red chilies and roast until the dhal turns red.

- Now add the hing, washed and drained pudhina leaves and salt.
- Fry it for a minute or two until the leaves come together.
- Switch of the heat and add the coconut and stir them together and set aside on a plate to let it cool.
- Once this cools, grind in a mixie/ blender along with the soaked tamarind.
- Remove on to a serving bowl and serve with rice, dosa or idli.


- Additionally, you can temper urad and channa dhal in a bit of oil and add after the pudhina has been made to a paste. This will give extra crunch when eaten with rice.

Egg masala

Busy toddler days keeping me away from my blog. Each passing year with my lil one brings in more and more adorable surprises each day! She loves boiled eggs is what I believed until one morning she just refused to touch them😀 so, I had this carton full of eggs getting wasted as it was just there not being used up. That is when I decided, the best way to use it, is to make egg gravy! But my previous attempts with the recipe were not so satisfying. That is when friends come to rescue isn't it?! I got this quick and easy recipe from a friend and it turned out super yumm. So, go ahead and try got urself...


5-6 boiled eggs
1 medium onion
1 small tomato
1-2 green chilly
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp dhania powder (coriander)
1/4 tsp jeera powder (cumin)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For tempering

2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp saunf
Curry leaves 

For garnish

1/2 cup fresh coconut milk
Coriander leaves

Prep Time: 20 mins       Cook time: 15 mins


- Boil the eggs by giving them one whistle in pressure cooker. This is faster and cooks perfect.
- Meanwhile cut the veggies into slices, prepare coconut milk and keep aside.
- In a kadai, heat the oil and temper the jeera and saunf seeds.
- To this add a sprig of curry leaves, green chilies and ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute.

- Now add the onions and wait for them to fry well. When onion is well sautéed add the tomatoes and all the masala powders and salt. 

- Cook for 3-4 minutes until all the raw smell of the powders leave.

- If the gravy is too dry add 1/2 cup water and add the coconut milk(first milk).
- To this add the peeled eggs cut in half. 
- Bring it all to a boil and garnish with coriander leaves.

- Serve with roti or rice as per your choice😀


- Adjust spice levels as per your taste buds.
- You may use all the eggs with the yolksor you could discard yolks from some of the eggs. Depends on how calorie conscious one is😊

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Sweet potato / sakaraivalli kizhanghu curry...non fry method

Sweet potato as any other variety in the family is so versatile and tasty however cooked. This can be plain boiled and eaten or mixed with masala or fried or made into sambar...the uses are endless. Most of the recipes I come across are about frying the veggie up like a roasted curry. Am wondering why the variation to the sweet potato curry is not so popular. The below is a very common way we cook this veggie in our families and it's super healthy, tasty and quick to make.

All you need to do is boil the potato, grind masala and mix them together...simple isn't it?!😀

Prep time: 20 mins.      
Cook time: 5 mins

1 medium size sweet potato or 2 small
3-4 red chilies (vary as per ur preference)
1-1/2 tbsp channa dal
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 tbsp urad dal
2 tsp oil to fry
A pinch of asofoetida
Salt to taste
A sprig of curry leaves


- Boil the sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker to two whistles. A fork or toothpick should pass thru the veggie clean.

- while waiting for the veggie to cook and pressure to yield in the cooker fry up for the masala and grind them into a powder.
- in 1 tsp of oil, first add channa dal, after 30 secs add urad dal, once they begin to get golden add the coriander seeds and red chilli and in the end switch off heat and add the asofoetida powder. 

- let this cool down before you grind it into a coarse powder
- when you are able to open the cooker, drain the water and peel the skin of the potatoes. Mash them lightly with a spoon to make small pieces. Need not be symmetrical.
- in a kadai, heat 1 tsp oil, splutter little mustard, 1 tsp urad  dal, curry leaves and then add the potatoes in.

- on this add the masala you just freshly ground, add salt as necessary.
- mix them all up and remove and serve hot with rice.

- if adding asofoetida as crystals, you can fry them up in the beginning and keep aside. If using powder, add towards end of frying masala or directly while doing tadka. Reason being, if fried a lot it can turn bitter.
- I did not have coriander seeds, so added coriander powder directly to curry.
- this curry can be mixed with hot rice and a tsp of ghee and served with papad or mor khuzhambu( a.k.a kadi or majjige huli or majjiga pulisu).
- this can be eaten as a side for rasam or curd rice too.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Small Jar for a US Blender

So you know from the title this is not a recipe post. I couldn't stop myself from publishing this cool find and such an easy peasy solution to my everyday cooking needs. Am sure there are many of you like me out there trying to find an alternate to having an Indian mixie in the American soil. Bingo! Here you go...this is your solution 😊

While I began my search for a good blender that I can use for regular batters like dosa, idli or the likes and also for grinding small quantities of chutney or masala, I always hit a dead end with the US blenders as not many came with a small jar option. The ones that came did not have great reviews or were steeply priced. One of these searches on the World Wide Web led me to this incredible find where I could use the 300ml "Ball" or "Mason" glass jars in the regular blender base and use for grinding small quantities. So, I went ahead and bought myself a 14 speed Oster blender and a couple of mason jars along! Believe me it's the perfect solution. You do not have to spend on an Indian mixie and waste your time cleaning too. Most of the US blenders are dishwasher safe and so is the small glass jars...what more can you ask...

1) To the base of the blender, attach  or screw the mason jar 

2) In the blender base fit the small jar as shown blelow in step 3...

3) Your perfect solution

Note: use only glass jar for grinding. Any other metal or plastic is not advised.

Friday, October 30, 2015


A recipe that I searched on net and couldn't find any hint of this delicacy in any site. Not sure if I searched the right name or may be its in another name on the web. This is a sweet usually offered as a neivedyam during festivals. 

During the navarathri that just went by, I learnt and made it for the first time and it turned out delicious. It's very simple and easy to make.
Prep time: 3 hours                   
Cook time: 10 mins


For batter
1/2 cup raw rice
1/2 cup urad dhal
A pinch of salt

For filling:
4 tbsp grated jaggery
1 tsp ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4tsp ellaichi powder
Water to dissolve the jaggery

Oil for deep frying

- Wash and soak the rice and dhal together for 3 hours.
- Grind the above into a thick batter adding little salt to taste. Should be lose enough to coat the filling well. Do not add water like you would for idli or dosa batter. Should be of thicker consistency than that.
- In a kadai, add the jaggery and pour little water to cover the jaggery. Wait for the jaggery to dissolve well and come to a boil.
- now add the coconut and the elaichi powder and cook until they come together.
- Add ghee and switch off heat. Let the filling cool to make them into dumplings.
- Once oil is heated, make small dumplings of the filling, dip in the batter and add to oil for frying.

- Remove from oil when golden brown.
- Tasty suiyan is ready to serve😀