Archive for the ‘FUEL FOR LIVING-FOOD’ Category

Idly Chilli Fry:

This recipe is very nostalgic for me as it reminds me of my good old carefree days  in Goa. Panaji, those days had very few restaurants which served veg/south indian food..Kamat was a hot favourite for masala dosa,south indian thali.. Then there was Navtara and Sanyog and the relatively new Shiv Sagar.

Now that I’m in the heartland of veg/south indian food, Bangalore, I crave for Goan vegetarian food. I make it a point to visit cafe Tato (my all time favourite) and cafe Bhonsale whenever I visit Panaji. How I miss the usal pav, chole pav and misal there. Times change, is all I can say…

Idli chilli fry was the delicacy I first tasted in Shiv Sagar and I just couldn’t stop myself from ordering  it everytime I visited them.I found this recipe an excellent way to get rid of leftover idlis.The word leftover here means, you have extra idlis and you neither have the time nor the inclination to make chutney. We also have a south indian version to get rid of them:)..but with the chinese way there was not a crumb left on our plates:)..This also works as a yummy evening snack.

idli chilli fry

So here’s the recipe:(serves 2)

Leftover idlis: 4-5 nos (chopped into large size or diced)

Capsicum: 1/2 diced into square pieces

Onion: 1 medium size diced into square pieces

ginger garlic paste: 1/2 teaspoon

soy sauce: 1.5 teaspoon ( you can add more if u like it tangier)

green chilli sauce: 1 teaspoon

red chilli sauce: 1 teaspn

corn flour: 1 teaspn mixed in 1/4 cup water

salt to taste

sugar: 1/2 teaspn

oil: to fry idlis

You can also add spring onions, carrots julienned, cabbage etc.


In a wok, pour some oil and fry the idlis. the idlis need not be deep fried, though the restaurant variety has deep fried idlis. Once fried, you can remove the excess oil from the wok and save about a tablespoon to make the dish.

Add onions, capsicum to the wok and saute them. Once done, add ginger garlic paste, soy sauce, red and green chilli sauce, salt, sugar, corn flour mix and give it a good stir. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes, tip in the fried idli pieces in to the wok and give it a nice stir. You can turn off the gas once the dish is cooked for 2-3 minutes more. This dish needs to be savoured when hot with some sauce if required. What’s really nice about the idlis here is that they are nice and crispy on the outside and soft as cotton on the insides..




Read Full Post »

Navratri Celebrations:

‘Navratri’ as the name suggests means ‘Nine Nights’..Nine nights is actually a festival in the honour of Goddess Shakti. It’s a special occasion for all Hindus all over India. The first three nights are dedicated to Goddess Durga, the next three nights are dedicated to Goddess Laxmi and the  last three nights are dedicated to Goddess Saraswati. Navratri generally ends with Vijaya dashmi or Dussera.

For us South Indians, Navratri is synonymous to Golus or Bombe mane (Doll House), sundals, Badam Milk and chanting of various Devi sthotras. You’ll generally hear M.S. Subbu’s chantings in every house this time of the year. This season is very dear to me as I actually relive my childhood by collecting and displaying lovely dolls:).. I keep collecting different types of dolls and knick knacks to display for Navratri. Generally the dolls are picked with some theme in mind. The themes could be Dasha avtar of Lord Vishnu, Ashta laxmi, marriage set, cricket set etc.It’s really exciting to plan and assemble these dolls. The Dolls are displayed on steps. The steps could be 5, 7, 9 in number. The ‘Pattada Bombe’ or the husband-wife dolls are the main highlight of this arrangement.These dolls are generally gifted by a mother to her daughter during her wedding.

This year, my friend Gokul and I revamped her old dolls, belonging to her mother.  Just like two little girls playing with their dolls,we enjoyed every moment draping saree and dressing them up. I also painted an old ‘Benne Krishna’ idol which my mother in law gifted me.This year the scale and size of my Bombe mane got a little bigger, thanks to my doll collection spree. I enjoyed every bit arranging them and feasting on sundal every day.

The Gujratis in our building also organised a Dandiya nite, which I happened to miss as we had planned our yearly trip to Mysore. Mysore is breathtaking during this time of the year. It’s been 3 consecutive years that we’ve been visiting Mysore for Dussera. I ‘m hoping to make this a constant affair every year.

So, this was how we celebrated Navratri and after the festival, removing all the dolls always makes me feel sad and brings a tear to my eye. On the happier note, the dussera dolls are now available in the market at a throw away price and it’s time to grab few more for next year:)..

As mentioned earlier,women invite other women to their homes and generally serve sundal and badam milk during navratri. So here’s the recipe for sundal which I tried out.

Black Chana, Moong and Peanut Sundal:

You’ll need:

Black chana: 1/2 cup

Moong: 1 cup

Peanut: 1/2 cup

Freshly grated coconut: 1/2 cup

Ginger: small piece: 1/2 inch

Green chillies: 2 nos

Corriander : 2 tablespns chopped

Curry leaves: 4-6 leaves

Red chillies dried: 2-3 nos

Oil: 1 tablespn

Mustard: 1/2  teaspn

Jeera: 1/2 teaspn

Hing: a pinch

turmeric powder: 1/2 teaspn

Salt: to taste

Lemon juice: 2 teaspns.


Soak black chana, moong and peanuts overnight separately. Next morning pressure cook moong and peanuts together with a pinch of salt. Take care not to over cook moong and peanuts, about 2 whistles in your pressure cooker would be sufficient. On the contrary for black chana, you’ll need some more time, mine got cooked in 4-5 whistles. Please add salt to blck chana also while cooking. Once cooked, keep aside.

Grind, coconut, ginger, green chillies, some coriander and some curry leaves together. Do not grind them into a fine paste consistency. in a wok, pour some oil, add mustard and cumin(jeera). Let them splutter, add hing, curry leaves and red chillies and let them get fried. Add the ground green chilli mix and keep frying for about 2 minutes. Add the cooked, black chana, moong, peanut, salt, turmeric and mix gently. turn off the gas and sprinkle some coriander and add some lime juice. You can also add some freshly grated coconut and sundal is ready.

Read Full Post »

Eggless Black Forest Cake:

Yesterday was my Husband’s Birthday and this time I wanted to surprise him with something that I had never tried my hand at before.

I always felt that baking a Gateau was such an ordeal and that’s one of the reason why I had never tried baking any of the cream pasteries etc, to add to it my husband is very health conscious and often stays away from cakes and cream cakes..This was also one of the reasons for my demotivation in trying out cream cakes:)  I had some whipping cream lying in my fridge, I decided on a black forest gateau.  My challenge was to get my husband to eat and not just taste the cake. As I was googling for a healthy chocolate cake recipe, I came across Madhuram’s cake which is made up of wheat flour. I finally decided on making this cake as a base for my Black forest cake.

The basic chocolate cake is an inspiration from egglesscooking.com. Thanks Madhuram for posting such a wonderful healthy recipe.

For the Basic Chocolate cake you’ll need:

Maida (all purpose flour): 1/4 cup

Whole Wheat Flour: 3/4 cup

Baking powder: 1/2 teaspn

Baking Soda: 1 teaspn

Cocoa Powder: 6 tbspn

Powdered Sugar: 3/4 cup

Unsweetened Applesauce: 1/2 cup

oil: 2 tbspns

Hot coffee:1/4 cup(mixed 1 teaspn instant coffee Bru in 1/4 cup milk)

Milk: 1/4 cup

Yogurt: 1/4 cup

Vanilla essence: 1 teaspn


The original recipe had asked for a 8″ pan, but I’ve used a 6″ one as I needed a little height to make the layers in the cake. Grease a 6″ round pan and dust it with cocoa powder and keep aside. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C for 10 mins.

In a large bowl, sift maida, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. Make a well in the centre and pour in all the wet ingredients viz. yogurt, milk, oil, applesauce, vanilla essence,hot coffee and gently fold to form a batter consistency.

Pour the batter into the 6″ pan and bake it at 160 deg C for 30 mins or till the skewer inserted comes clean. Once the cake is done, transfer it onto a wire rack for cooling. Let it cool completely before doing any icing.

For the Black Forest assembling you’ll need: for this portion I’ve referred to Madhuri’s cookcurrynook. Thanks Mads for giving some wonderful tips.

Sugar syrup: 1/2 cup(mix sugar and water to the proportion of 1:1)

Cherries: 1 cup pitted (some I’ve halved and some I’ve chopped fine for the filling)

Whipping Cream: 1.5 cup (mine already had sugar in it, or else add icing sugar accordingly)

Grated Chocolate shredding: 1 cup or more if you like to.


Chill the whipping cream, bowl for whipping and the hand mixer blade in the refrigerator before whipping. The whipping cream could be chilled overnight if you have planned ahead.

Meanwhile, chop few cherries into halves and few into small pieces. Make the sugar syrup with 1:1 consistency and keep it aside.

In the chilled steel bowl add the whipping cream and use a hand mixer to whip it till it forms soft peaks. Keep stopping and checking the mixer from time to time as you do not want to over beat it.

Once the cake is completely cooled. Level out the cake by cutting off all the uneven portions. Cut the cake into transverse or horizontal layers, I made 2 layers. I just had to cut the cake at its middle, but if you need to make more layers you may need to mark first and then proceed to get even layers. Separate the slices and place one of the slices on the plate you need to present. Drizzle the sugar syrup gently on the slice and with the help of a palette knife or a spatula spread the whipping cream evenly. Sprinkle some chopped cherries on top. Put the second layer of cake on top of it and add some sugar syrup and cover it with a layer of whipped cream. Cover the sides too and let it refrigerate for 2 hours.

Once the cake has set properly finish the top and the sides with some more whipped cream. This is the first time I was using a piping bag with a star nozzle. I was a little apprehensive at the beginning but once I started there was no looking back..I was hoping I had more cakes to decorate:).Let your creativity flow and decorate the way you like it. I’ve then decorated with grated chocolate and cherry topping. You can smear chocolate shredding on the sides too, I haven’t as my husband is not much of a chocolate fan and the cake was for him. Ravi loved the cake and I was quite surprised as he ate quite a big piece of chocolate cake:)..It felt so good and it’s a great feeling when somebody loves the food you make..On that note, I would like to wish him all the Luck and Happiness..Happy Birthday!

Read Full Post »

Carrot-Coriander Soup


The temperatures in Bangalore have started dipping. Every now and then I feel the need for some hot tea and in the evening feel like having some soup. My fridge was practically empty except for a few carrots and the urge to have some soup was tremendous. I had bookmarked this soup earlier and it is actually Master Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe. I have made a few changes to suit our palate.

What I liked about this soup is  the addition of a bay leaf. It  adds a nice spicy twist to the normal soup. I have substituted butter with oil. The recipe also called for white pepper, since I didn’t have any,I’ve used black pepper. So here’s the recipe.

You’ll need:

Carrots: diced 1 cup

Coriander: 1/2 cup chopped, also use the stems

Bay Leaf: 1 no.

Ginger Garlic paste:1/2 tspn

Onions: 1/4 cup diced

salt: to taste

Black pepper powder: 1/2 teaspn( add more if you need it to be spicy)

Oil: 2 teaspn

Water: 4-5 cups


In a wok, add some oil. Tip in the bay leaf, ginger garlic paste and onions saute for a while. Add carrots and further saute again. Add coriander stems, chopped coriander and 4-5 cups of water. Bring it to boil. Remove the bay leaf aside and when the carrots are done put this mix into a blender to make a fine puree. Add this puree into a pan and adjust the consistency with water or vegetable stock, if you have. Add salt and pepper and let it boil. Once done, switch of the gas add some finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve this soup piping hot with some bread croutons.

To make bread croutons, cut bread slices into small squares and microwave on a high for 40-50 seconds. The time varies depending on your microwave setting. Once microwaved, let them stand for a while and crispy croutons are ready to be served with steaming hot soup.


Read Full Post »

Maddur Vada/Maddur Vade

Maddur Vada:

I just got back from a nice small holiday at my brother’s place which is also in B’lore. I had a wonderful time with my sister-in-law pampering me silly with all the goodies and most importantly her time. I didn’t want my small vacation to end at all,as I didn’t have to wake up early to fix breakfast or make coffee, handle maids et al…felt thoroughly rejuvenated…I got back today and was missing all the niceness and to add to it, the gloomy weather was making me feel even more miserable..that’s when I decided that I need to spice up my evening and make something to eat that I would relish. Maddur vada is something which has been playing on my mind for quite some time, thought this was the right time I tried it out. When the weather is gloomy and it has been raining, actually drizzling continuously for an hour, all you feel like doing is having some hot vadas with some steaming hot filter kaapi.

The weather outside....

The weather outside......

Maddur vadas come from a place called Maddur in Karnataka. It is a small town between Bangalore and Mysore and you’ll find maddur vadas sold everywhere, right from bus stand to railway stations. The minute the train arrives at Maddur station, the air is filled with lovely aroma of maddur vadas. Everybody is tempted to buy hot vadas which is served in a banana leaf with some coconut chutney. So here’s my recipe for Maddur vadas.

You’ll need:

Semolina/rava(medium variety): 1/2 cup

Maida: 1 tbspn

Rice Flour: 3 tbspn

Salt: to taste

Cumin seeds: 1/2 teaspn

Onions: 1/4 cup finely chopped

Curry leaves: 6-8 nos finely chopped

Coriander leaves: 1 tbspn finely chopped

Cooking soda: a pinch

Hot oil: 1/2 tbspn

Oil: to fry

water: very little to make the dough


In a bowl, mix semolina, rice flour and maida. Add salt, chopped onions, curry leaves, coriander leaves, cooking soda, cumin seeds and hot oil. Add water little by little to make a soft dough. Please note that, lesser the amount of water added more crisp will be the vadas.

In a wok, heat some oil. Make small lemon sized balls of the dough and place the ball on one of your palm and press it into a patti ( as thin as possible) with your other palm. Alternatively you could also use an aluminium foil on which you can pat the ball of dough into thin circles or patties. Deep fry them in oil, drain them onto a kitchen towel to remove excess oil and serve them hot with some coconut chutney and steaming hot coffee.

Maddur Vadas with Coffee...



Read Full Post »

Panaka (Musk Melon Drink):

It’s summer time again and I see the vendors on my street selling all kinds of summer fruits like watermelon, musk melon, oranges and lovely green grapes. Musk melon is not one of my favourites as very rarely I get to taste some sweet ones, most of them are bland. Though musk melon is excellent for summer, I somehow can’t get myself to eat it. I can only have this fruit in the form of ‘Panaka’. This panaka is made on the occasion of Ram Navami. Ram Navami is the festival where we celebrate the birth of Lord Rama. We generally serve people with panaka and kosambari (cucumber-moong dal salad) on this day. This panaka when served chilled is very refreshing and is very easy to make.

You’ll need:

Water: 1 cup

Jaggery powdered: 2 tablespns(add according to your taste)

Musk Melon pieces: 1/4 cup finely chopped( you can also mash 2 teaspn of musk melon to mix with the juice)

Elaichi powder: a pinch

lime : 1/2 teaspn(optional)- to add some tanginess, I haven’t added any.


Stir jaggery powder and water till the jaggery dissolves. Add mashed and chopped pieces of musk melon and give it a stir. Add some elaichi powder and a dash of lime if required and refreshing panaka or musk melon drink is ready to be served. Do Serve it chilled.

This panka goes to wish ‘ Tickling palates‘ a very happy birthday and for the event ‘Fun and Sun’.

Read Full Post »

Aloo Bun (Bun with Potato stuffing):

This is a super indigenous invention to make a simple bun so irresistible. Amongst all the things that we have in a bakery, we always have some space left for our good old aloo bun. Back home, I had never heard of this version and I feel this could typically be an Iyengari Bakery Invention:).. No matter what exotic baking I do at home, my husband’s wish is that I should bake an aloo bun or a dilpasand (which I’ll be posting soon) regularly..

So here’s to all the big Potato Fans , I’m one of them:))

You’ll need:

For The Potato Filling:(potato Sabji)

Potatoes: 1 cup boiled and roughly mashed

Green Chillies: 2-3 nos finely chopped

Onions: 1/2 cup finely chopped

Coriander: 1/4 cup

Oil: 1 tbspn

mustard seeds: 1 teaspn

Cumin: 1 teaspn

Cumin powder: 1/2 teaspn

Salt: to taste

sugar: 1/2 teaspn


In a wok, heat some oil. Add mustard, cumin to the oil. Let them splutter. Add chillies, onion and saute  for a while. Once the onions get transparent, tip in the mashed potatoes. Add salt, sugar, cumin powder and give it a good stir so that the potatoes get coated with the masala. Finally add some coriander leaves for the wonderful aroma.

For the Buns:

All purpose Flour -APF(maida): 2 cups

Unsalted butter: 2 tbspns

Baking Soda: 1/4 tspn

Sugar: 1 tspn

Oil: 1 tspn

butter: 1teaspn

Instant yeast: 1 tspn

Salt: 1 tspn

Milk: 2 tspn


Mix yeast, sugar, salt and milk and keep aside for the yeast to start working. It’ll take about 5 mins for the yeast to froth. Sanjeev Kapoor gave an interesting tip on TV the other day of adding the salt in the yeast mix along with sugar. He says the salt controls the over- rising of the bread. I gave it a try this time and it worked.

In a bowl, sieve APF, baking soda. Add oil, butter, yeast mix to this and knead it to form a nice dough. You can add some milk if the dough gets a little too tight. It can get very strenuous and is truly an upper arm exercise, I thank my hand mixer for doing this daunting task for me. Once done, leave the dough covered with a clean kitchen towel in a steel container and place it in a warm place Let the dough  prove. Mine took about two hours to prove.

Make balls of lime size or a little larger, roll this ball into a small puri and fill in the potato sabji and seal it like a momo by gathering all the ends to the centre and this finally looks like  a bun. You’ll get about 8-9 buns with this measurement. Lay these buns in a greased tray leaving sufficient place between each bun. Allow it to prove again. This time it took about 30 mins. Once done, brush some milk on the top of the buns to get the lovely colour.  Meanwhile you can preheat the oven to 160 deg. C. Bake the aloo buns for 20-30 mins depending on your Oven configuration at 160 deg C. Steaming hot aloo buns are ready to be served with some evening tea.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »