Aloo Bun

These days, the sun sets at around 4 PM here. That evenings come so early, both me and my honey we start craving for Iyengar bakery snacks. That is when we grow home sick. Just to beat the home sickness, I remind myself of Bangalore traffic, my home sickness disappears almost immediately.. In fact I tried this strategy on my honey as well, it seems to work! So folks, whenever you grow homesick, especially those of you from Bangalore, just think of Bangalore traffic, it will make you feel better.

Coming back to Iyengar bakery, i have mentioned it so many times, and I will keep missing it. In fact last night in my dream, I had just landed in Bangalore and in full view of MIL, i am pigging my way through Khara bun, sweet bun, Aloo bun, puffs, etc etc! That is a true foodie right! So last evening, we started craving for aloo bun. Obviously, there was no time for preparing my own dough, also here in this cold, i wonder if yeast will do a good job. So I took some help from the grocery shop. It worked out fine! I was confused when it came to selecting the dough at the grocery shop. Finally i settled for Crescent Rolls, not only because it is looks nice, but also because it is rich buttery and moist. Makes a great pair with the savory potato filling.

Aloo Bum

Serves 8 ||  Calories per serving  196 Kcl || Protein 3.5 gm ||  fat 9.6 gm || Fiber 1.6 gm

Crescent roll dough store brought 1 pack of 8
Potatoes 2
Onion 1
Green chillies 4-5
Curry leaves 5-6
Oil 2 tbsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Hing a dash
Salt to taste

  • To get a head start, chop the potatoes, sprinkle a little water and microwave it on high for 2-3 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, Hing and curry leaves. Once it is done spluttering, add diced onions.
  • Cook onion still soft and add potatoes. Sprinkle some water, cover and cook till potatoes are soft-tender. Set it aside and cool.
  • Read the instruction on the crescent roll package. Unpack and lay out the dough triangles. preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Take a spoonful of potato filling into the centre of the dough triangle.
  • Roll it starting from the broader end, pinching the smaller end at last.
  • Place the rolls on an un-greased cookie sheet and bake for about 15-18 minutes.

Cabbage Palya

My good friend A is from Kerala and is great cook.Because of her, my whole perception of Malayali food changed. We Kannadigas have a problem with food when ever we visit Kerala. The smell of coconut oil, 'beef stew' on the menu all contribute to the problem! That remained my perception all these years even though my cousin lived in Kerala for long long years and we visited her often, I never grew to appreciate Malayali food much until I met A. She single handedly changed my perception about Malayali food! It is she who introduced to Malayali Fish curry ( which I now make very often! ), Kaalan, assorted Thoran, Avial, Stew, Aappam and the list goes on....
As a cuisine, in my list Malayali food definitely reigns with in the top 10 now. Our families (mine and A's) we keep meeting often, at times at our place, at time her's. On one such day at her place, she served us this side dish. Thoran is much like Palya but much richer with an abundance of coconut.

Cabbage Toran

Cabbage a small head chopped
Coconut 1/2 cup grated
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard 1 tsp
Curry leaf 5-6
Green Chillies 3-4 slit
Ginger 1/4" minced
Lemon 1
Urad Dal

  • Mix cabbage, coconut and ginger. Dump it in a pan and switch on the heat. Cook till crisp tender.
  • In another pan heat oil for the tempering. Drop the mustard, curry leaves, green chillies and urad dal in order. Switch off the fire. Now stir in the tempering into the cabbage mixture.
  • Stir well and take it off from fire. Serve with rice and dal

Dum Aloo and Jeera Rice

Threw a small party for my honey on his birthday. We had around ten people for dinner. So designing a menu was pretty difficult, it had to be special, he had to be scalable ( to make in large quantities) and a crowd pleaser!thought for a long time before settling on Dum Aloo and Jeera Rice.It was a hit indeed.Now it is going to be on my party foods for ever. It is very time consuming but it is definitely worth all the time and effort. To get a head start ( i did not do this and ended up spending 3 hours at the stove!) start with the gravy, once the onion goes into the pot, start frying up the potatoes; So that the potatoes and the gravy will get done almost at the same time.


Potatoes cut into 1.5" pieces 4 large (I did six pieces per head and it worked well)
Tomatoes 2 ground to a smooth paste
Onions 1 large minced
Garlic 3 cloves (big) ground to a smooth paste
ginger about 1" ground to a smooth paste
Cashews 1/4 cup ground to a smooth paste
Chilly powder 2 tbsp (mine is not too hot, so adjust accordingly)
Dhania powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Kasuri Methi or Coriander a handful
Yogurt 1 cup
Heavy cream 1/4 cup
Bay leaf 1
Cardamom 2
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 1/2"
Jeera 1 tsp
Star Anise 1
Oil to deep fry + 3 tbsp

Note: During my hostel days, our cooks used to prepare excellent Dum Aloo. I had asked for the recipe, though the ingredients are similar, they had suggested piercing the potatoes with a fork before frying. ( At the mess they had something like a metal brush with sharp nails done to it) I did not do it. I am not sure if this method enhances the taste of the dish. I will try it next time i make :)

  • Soak the cut potato pieces in water till it is ready to be fried. Once the oil is hot enough, remove potatoes from water, pat it dry with a paper towel. Gently nudge them into the hot oil using a heat proof spatula.
  • Fry the potatoes till golden brown. They do not need to be cooked throughly. Remove,set aside. Repeat with the remaining potatoes.
  • For the gravy, add 3 tbsp oil in a pot. Drop the bay leaf, anise, clove, cinnamon and Jeera.
  • Follow it with minced onion. Cook till almost brown. It almost took me about 20 minutes to get there!
  • Now stir in the ginger paste, garlic paste, chilly powder, Dhania powder and turmeric into the onion. Stir for a few minute and add the tomato puree. Cover and cook till the raw smell of the masala disappear.
  • Stir in the cashew paste. Cook for a few more minutes, taking care that the mixture would not burn. It burns very easily at this stage.
  • Once oil starts oozing from the mixture, reduce heat to the lowest. Whisk the yogurt once and slowly stream into the mixture stirring continuously. Make sure the mixture is well combined. Cover and bring it to a boil. Simmer.
  • Now gently slide the fried potatoes into the simmering gravy. Cover and cook till the potatoes are soft and crumbles if gently pressed between fingers.
  • Adjust salt, gently add the cream, sprinkle garam masala and finish with either Kasuri Methi or coriander. If using Kasuri Methi, cook the gravy for a few more minutes with the Kasuri Methi so as to infuse the flavour very well.
  • Serve hot with Jeera rice.
Jeera Rice

Basmati rice 3 cups
Raisins 1/2 cup
Jeera 1 tbsp
Onions 2 large diced
Coriander 1 big bunch
Ghee 2 tbsp
Water a little over 5 cups

  • Soak the rice in water for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Add Jeera, once it splutters, add the onions. Cook till the onions are brown at the edges.
  • Drop the raisins (Well I am not sure if traditional Jeera rice recipe calls for raisins, but this was for a party and I wanted it to be rich. This ingredient is of course optional)
  • Stir till the raisins plum up.
  • Now add water and adjust salt.
  • Once the water starts boiling gently mix in the rice. Cover and cook.
  • When almost done stir in the coriander. Cook till the rice is completely done
  • Serve hot with Dum Aloo..

Mango Cake

The season of baking continues. I baked some Mango Cake for my Honey's birthday. My Mom used to make Mango Cake long time back... back then when me and my sister would come back from school and pester Mom to give us something to munch on before we rushed out on to the dusty streets to play till sun down! Mom used to make delightful baked stuff, biscuits, cakes and Mysore pak (It was her way of using up extra ghee in the pantry at the end of the month). We always got something to munch on back then. That was long ago. Even though Mom graduated from the pre-historic 'Johnson' oven with a glass top to 'Lexus' OTG, her baking took a back seat. After all empty nest is no incentive to bake..


Even though Mango cake is generally frosted with butter cream, I prefer freshly whipped cream. Here is the recipe. For the cake to be moist and light, the measurements need to be exact. So investing on a measuring set is not a bad idea after all. Also leave the butter and eggs on the counter overnight so that they are at room temperature before baking

Maida (All Purpose Flour) 2 cups
Mango Puree 1/2 cup (I used the canned version!)
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/2 a lemon
Butter 1 stick (1/2 a cup)
Honey 1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar 1/2 cup (1.25 cup if using fresh mango pulp depending on the sweetness preferred)
Eggs 2 separated

For the frosting
Heavy Whipping cream 1.5 cups
Sugar powder 1/4 cups
Mango Puree 1 tbsp

  • Preheat Oven to 350 F. Grease a 9" round baking tin.
  • Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt 2-3 times so that all the ingredients are well combined. Set it aside.
  • Using a hand mixer or a spatula, cream the butter (stir vigorously) with sugar and honey.
  • Reduce the speed to low and slowly stream in the mango puree followed by the lemon juice and egg yolks. Keep mixing till very well combined.
  • Not add the sifted flour mixture a table spoon by tablespoon till combined into a smooth mixture. Stop and set aside.
  • Now whisk the egg white till they form stiff peaks.
  • Fold in the egg whites into the flour mixture gently.
  • Pour into the baking tin and bake for about 25-30 minutes. Keep a close eye after 20 minutes.
  • To check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick right at the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If not, the cake needs a few more minutes in the oven.
  • Cool the cake to room temperature before frosting of your choice. I prefer a whipped cream topping!
For the whipped cream:
  • To whip the cream, set the blades of the hand blender and a metal bowl to work with in the freezer.
  • Take a big bowl of ice. Take the heavy cream in the metal bowl and place it on the ice.
  • Start whipping on low speeds. Add a tablespoon of powdered sugar. Gradually increase the speed to high. Keep adding the rest of the sugar till all the sugar is used up. Whip till stiff peaks are formed.
To finish the cake,
Turn the cake upside down. Spread the whipped cream uniformly over the top of the cake. Spread it gently onto the sides. Dot it with the Mango puree. Alternately. Pour the mango puree and 1/4 of the whipped cream simultaneously into a piping bag and decorate the cake as desired.

This is a piece of the cake i test-baked with a mango butter cream froasting.. Still i prefer whipped cream any day, any time!

This recipe goes out to the anniversary event held by Aparna After all this is a celebratory fare, indeed the first time in three years of marriage that I was with my honey on his birthday!

Chow Chow Bhath

Saturday was my Honey's birthday! So I treated him with this breakfast..Chow Chow bhath is Upma also known as Khara Bhath and Kesari Bhath served together.
Here are the recipes, Upma and Kesari bhath

Chow Chow Baath

Needless to say he loved it! It was a matter of minutes that we were licking our spoons! ( I love licking my plate @#i know it is yucky but..@#.. But well a few years ago it was mom yelling, 'STOP IT WILL YOU.. It is inauspicious to do so' Now it is my Honey,yelling 'U R Disgusting!' So no licking plates yet!)

More Awards!!

It is raining awards!! Thanks Lakshmi ... I always wanted the chocoholic award even though there are not too many chocolate based recipes on my blog.. the reason is clear enough.. for the chocoholic I am, there are just not enough chocolates left over to cook!!!!

Was just wondering whom to pass these one, Lakshmi has a big list already!! I will have do some blog-hopping before passing these on.. for now, it is more foraging my kitchen for something ...chocolate!!!


Yuppieeee!!! I got another set of awards!! Thanks a lot N33a for the awards! With awards comes extra responsibility and it is so inspiring to go that extra step and work hard at the kitchen as well as on the computer!!My husband was kidding me about my new habit of keeping the camera in our kitchen and taking pictures soon after finishing my daily cooking. My fellow bloggers are also setting new standards by the day and forcing me work that much more harder! and I am loving it all! Though relatively new to the world of food blogging, I have met very talented and creative people. Keep it going people, it is wonderful to be around.

N33ma has also tagged me for 7 MEMe

7 Things I Say More Often:

1) Holy Cow!
2) Nim Aggi ( Something silly in Kannada, which cannot be translated)
3) Oophs!
4) Hi...
5) Love it
6) Feel like eating....
7) Do not smoke! (to my husband)

7 Things I Did Before:

1) Experimented in my Kitchen with disastrous results and my father managed to eat them all...
2) Traveled kilometers to grab my favorite foods...
3) Thought of eating something in the middle of night; made it; ate it and then slept
4) Wandered in my grandfather's mango orchards picking mangoes, Avarekai and Elachikai.
5)Woke up with the rooster when the morning mist hung heavily with the smoke from the wood fired stove in my grand mother's kitchen...
6) Had some of the best ever tasting food at my grandmother's and the mother's kitchen.
7) Had a live long lasting fun with my sister, and look forward to more

7 Things I Do Now:

1) I am reading V S Naipaul's India a Wounded Civilization for the second time!
2) Take the train to work
3) Come back home and cook food
4) Blog with all my soul
5) Talk to my folks, my sister, parents and in-laws.
6) Having evening snack with my honey
7) Sleep sharp at 10.30 P.M!!!

7 Things I Want to Do:

1) I want to do a Post-doc and publish a lot of papers...
2) Make my blog a better place, make recipes exact and measurements perfect!
3) Try new recipes and get to know more cultures through its food
4) Cling on to my own roots, culture and food and at the end of the day relish nothing but Rasam and hot rice.
5) Try out my friend A's Malayali recipes next week.
6) Pack my bags for our upcoming vacation!!
7) Go on a pilgrimage in India....

7 Things That Attract me About Opposite Sex:

Commenting on opposite sex.. my honey might not like it much!!!
1) Intelligence
2) Common sense
3) Financial prudence
4) Ability to handle babies
5) Cooking skills
6) Chivalry
7) No smoking, no boozing!!!

7 Favorite Foods:

1) Hot rice Tove, Rasam, Curds and Palya
2) Darshini style food
3) Masal Puri and assorted Chats
4) Panner Tikka
5) Indo-Chinese food....
6) Indian Sweets..
7) Chocolate!!!

Passing these awards and tagging the MEMe to these fellow blogger...

1) Lakshmi
2) SMN
3) Ramya
4) Vani
5) Sushma
6) Deesha

Orange cake with Chocolate Glaze

November for me means the season of baking. Not only is our wedding anniversary is in November, my Honey's birthday is also in November. Later December is again my Mother's birthday followed by the New Year!! So I end up baking for all these occasions. My most successful has been the plain cake and fruit cake. But this time around I have trying to do something more than just those two cakes that I have always made. I have always made cakes from scratch, just like my Mom. Mom makes excellent Mango Cake, Honey Cake apart from the plain and fruit cakes. She also makes excellent biscuits. Just yummy I should say. She went to pastry and cake classes conducted by Bangalore University long back and she seemed to make real good cakes even in the most pathetic of ovens! The only Johnson ovens, small round ones with a glass top... the real olden day ovens too. Those ovens did not have temperature control or anything, just switch it on and that's it.. I on the other hand cannot bake with my hand mixer, my bake ware, my oven and all the assorted odds and ends in my kitchen! Any ways I do want to be half as good as my mom.

So inspired by the baking season, I tried making Orange cake, of course substituting mangoes for oranges in my mother's Mango Cake recipe. It turned out soft and moist. But the flavor was not as robust has I would have wanted. I guess I should have added a small shot of Grand Marnier to the batter and it would have improved the flavor. I will try that next time around.
This time around, I made a really small cake, we demolished it the very same evening though!

All purpose flour 1 cup
Orange juice 1/4 cup
Orange Zest 1 tsp
Baking powder 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp
Salt a pinch
Milk 2 tbsp
Butter 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick)
Honey 1/4 cup
Powdered sugar 2 tbsp + additional to dust
Egg 1

For the chocolate glaze:
Dark Chocolate chunks 1/2 cup chopped
Orange juice 2 tbsp
Sugar 1 tbsp

  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt twice or thrice and set it aside.
  • Separate egg white and yolk
  • Cream butter and sugar. Combine honey, milk, yolk ,orange juice and zest while creaming on low speeds.
  • Add spoon fulls of flour to the mixture and continue mixing on low speeds. Keep adding the flour tablespoon by tablespoon till the flour is all combines and the batter is smooth.
  • Beat egg white till stiff peaks.
  • Fold the egg whites into the batter gently.
  • Grease a 6" baking dish. Pour the batter into the dish Tap to spread the batter evenly
  • Pop it into the oven and bake it for about 25-30 minutes.
  • To test if the cake is done, insert a toothpick at the very center of the cake. If it comes our dry and neat, the cake is done.
  • For the glaze, Melt the chocolate chunks on a double broiler, stir in the sugar and orange juice and stir to combine well. Remove and cool. Alternately, dunk the chocolate, orange juice and sugar into a microwave proof dish. and microwave for about a minute (may be minute and a half) Stir well to combine and set it aside to slightly cool and thicken.
  • Once the cake is cook enough to handle, un-mould it. Pour over the chocolate glaze all over. Cool and dust it with the powdered sugar.

Kadai Paneer

Today is Friday.. my favorite day of the week. Friday called for something special. So churned up some Kadai Paneer and it turned out really tasty, just right for a Friday dinner. I wish I had a Kadai, it would have made a nice presentation. Paneer always reminds me of my sister. She makes the best ever Methi Muttar Panner in the whole world. But she has never shared her recipe. I have always been sure that she has a secret ingredient and I have never managed to find it out. This time when we meet, I should make sure to extract the recipe...
But for now, Kadai Paneer suffices.

Paneer 250 grams diced
Onions 2 medium diced
Tomato 3 big chopped
Garlic 2 cloves grated
Ginger 1/2" grated
Green Chillies 4 and above minced
Chilly powder 1 tsp and above
Dhania powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric 1 pinch
Oil 3 tbsp
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 1/2"
Milk 1/4 cup
Jeera 1 tsp
Capsicum 1 small diced
Pepper powder a dash
Fresh Coriander

  • Heat oil in a pot. Add Jeera, once it stops spluttering add the diced onions. Cook till the onions are browned and crisp at the edges.
  • Add grated garlic and ginger, minced chillies, chilly powder, dhania powder, turmeric and the tomatoes. Sprinkle some salt and simmer.
  • Using a spatula gently crush the tomatoes (if using big chunks ) and stir. Cook till oil floats on top.
  • Gently mix in the Paneer, Capsicum. (I dice Paneer rather small about 1/2" cubes, so that a little goes a long way; it can be diced as small or as big as fancied!) Simmer.
  • Once Paneer is heated through and capsicum is crisp-tender, stir in the milk gently combining everything.
  • Crush the cloves and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the Paneer mixture.
  • Bring it to a gentle boil. Adjust salt and finish it with fresh coriander. Serve it hot with Chapatis.

Tili Saaru/Toor Dal Curry

Bele Saaru literally means dal curry. It is thinner than the normal dal, but thicker than Rasam. I love this curry and it is my ultimate comfort food. This is one dish that comforts my palate and is gentle on my tummy on long hard days. I am sure every household in Karnataka has their own recipe for this particular dish. In my family my maternal grandmother 'ammaji' as we call her wins any competition for this dish hands down. She tells me the taste of this curry is in the toasting spices for the spice blend. I never quite managed to get as close to her, or for that matter my mom either who is at a distant second. But definitely my Bele Saaru is pretty good!! The recipe I am uploading is however my grandmother's; the best ever I have ever had in my life!

For the Tili Saaru Pudi / spice blend

Chillies 500 gms (I use 50% bright colored chillies +50% of the hot variety)
Dhania 500 gms
Pepper 12 grams
Fenugreek 12 grams
Urad Dal 12 grams
Jeera 90 gram
Hing 12 grams
Turmeric 12 grams
Jaggery 50 grams
Mustard 30 grams
Curry leaves dried one big bunch
One fistful of sea salt

  • Toast each of the spices (excluding the salt) on medium flame till fragrant. Set it aside separately.
  • Toast the Chillies at the very end otherwise it can get smoky and the kitchen will get stuffy (I went through the stuffy kitchen experience!) Set it aside and cool.
  • Grind in into a slightly coarse powder using a Coffee Grinder. Mine works perfectly fine for this recipe and i am very happy with my Coffee Grinder. It has become my favorite kitchen gadget.
  • Store the spice blend in an airtight container. It stay good for months. Mine in fact lasts for anywhere around 4-6 months. This spice blend makes an ideal gift as well.

To make the Tili Saaru

Tili Saaru pudi 2 tbsp
Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Tomato 1
Turmeric a pinch
Ghee 2 tbsp
Hing 1 pinch
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies 3
Curry leaves 8-9
Tamarind paste 1 tsp
Jaggery a small piece
Fresh Coriander a small bunch

    Combine the dal, tomato, turmeric and 1/2 tbsp ghee and water in a pressure cooker and cook till done. Set it aside to cool.
  • Combine the spice blend, tamarind and jaggery with 2 cups of water in a thick bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Simmer and cook till fragrant. About 15 minutes.
  • Add the dal mixture to the simmering spice blend mixture. Mix well. Simmer.
  • Heat ghee in a pan. Drop the mustard seeds, Hing, whole chillies and curry leaves. Turn off the heat.
  • Carefully pour the Ghee tempering on to the simmering dal. Adjust salt and finish with coriander.

This dish goes out to WYF Kitchen gadget Event hosted by easy crafts My Gadget is of course my pet Coffee Grinder!

My dear friend Lg suggests adding a spoonful of coconut milk to the Bele Saaru to make it richer and of course tastier!

Pulav/ Spiced Rice & Vegetables

Pulav is a very festive rice dish. There is no one in my family or friend circle who does not like Pulav.. It is a sort of safe dish to make when expecting guests and we have no clue what they would like!
Because it is so festive, i prepared for our anniversary yesterday. We has a very good meal and a good siesta too! Love days like those.

Basmati rice 1 1/2 cups
Mixed vegetables (beans, carrots, peas and potatoes) 1 1/2 cups chopped
Red Onion 1 medium diced
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Star anise 1
Bay leaves 2
cardamom 2
Ghee 3 tbsp
Coconut milk 1 cup (optional) + water 2 cups or 3 cups of water
Juice of 1 whole lemon

For the spice mixture:
Garlic 3 cloves
Ginger 1/2 "
Cloves 6
Cinnamon 1/4"
Coriander 1 small bunch
Mint 1 handful
Green chillies 10 and above

  • Grind all the ingredients in the spice mixture into a smooth paste. Set it aside.
  • Soak rice in water and set it aside.
  • Heat ghee in a pressure cooker or any other pot with a thick bottom. Drop the bay leaves, fennel seeds, cardamom, star anise and stir for a minute.
  • Add the diced onion and cook till onions are translucent. Combine the chopped vegetables stir and saute for a 5 minutes.
  • Add the spice paste and bring it to a boil. Simmer till the ghee floats on top
  • Now add the coconut milk/water and bring it to a boil. Squeeze in the lemon and adjust salt.
  • Combine the soaked rice gently. Cover with a small vent for the steam to escape. If using pressure cooker cover and do not use weight instead invert a small steel glass and reduce heat. Cook till the rice is done.
  • Serve it hot, preferably with pachadi.

Anniversary Special

Today is our third wedding anniversary. I actually cannot believe that we have indeed come along so far, it just looks like we got married just the other day. This called for a feast. Bingo comes the Pineapple cream cake and of course Pulav, Brinjal-potato curry , Rasam and Bele saaru and Rasmalai .

Anniversary Lunch
Will post the recipe for Pulav and Bele saaru shortly. We had a big feast about an hour back and I am feeling extremely sleepy.. after all a special day should also mean being able to indulge in a feast, a siesta and the privilege of not having to cook dinner!

Here is a closer look at the pineapple cream cake. I did not take pains to make the froasting look even!!

Egg fry

I made this egg dish for myself even as my honey got to eat his favorite -mutton!
This is a simple dish. One big advantage of this dish is that it does not smell bad. I know of friends who would not eat eggs because of the smell even though they would like to eat eggs for health reasons etc!!

Eggs 5
Oil 2 tbsp
Chilly powder 1 tsp
Dhania powder 1tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp
Coriander fresh chopped 2 tbsp

  • Place eggs in a pressure cooker. Pour just enough water to cover the eggs. Cook for one whistle. Set it aside and cool.
  • When the pressure cooker is cool enough to handle,uncover and shell the eggs. Chop each eggs into four pieces vertically.
  • Heat oil in a pan. Drop the pieces of egg. Sprinkle the chillies, dhania powder and garam masala. Toss.
  • Sprinkle coriander and salt. Toss once more
  • Serve as a side dish

Mutton Saaru / Mutton Curry

I had never in my life ever thought I did be cooking meat in my kitchen. It has been a long journey. There was a time, when i could not stand the smell of meats even when cooked. But I have overcome some certain barriers. Now I do cook mutton because my honey loves mutton! So this is my way of pampering my honey!! This is a very popular meat recipe in Karnataka.

Last sunday, we got some lamb from one of the halal shops. We had no idea that in India mutton mostly meant goat and not lamb. So for the sake of information, people trying to buy mutton here in USA should go for goat instead of lamb unless they know what they are buying! We got to know about the goat-lamb difference from a more knowledgeable friend only after having got lamb!

Lamb/Goat 1 lb
Oil 1 tbsp (optional)

For the spice mixture
Copra/ Dessicated coconut 2 tbsp
Garlic 2 big cloves
Ginger 1/4 "
Cloves 4-5
Cinnamon 1/4"
Green chillies 8 and above
Black Pepper corns 12-14
Coriander fresh 1 small bunch
Mint a handful
Onion 1 small

  • Toast the dry coconut on a hot tawa for less than a minute till fragrant. Set it aside to cool
  • Grind the ingredients for the spice mixture into a smooth paste.
  • Heat a wide bottomed pan. When the pan is smoking hot, drop the lamb pieces and do not disturb it for at least 10 minutes.
  • Turn the pieces over after 10 minutes and sear the other side for about 10 minutes. There will generally be a lot of grease right in the meat and it will not require any extra oil. But if the meat appears dry add a tablespoon or so of oil.
  • Now add the spice mixture and cover. Simmer for at least two hours adding water in between.
  • The meat easily falls off the bones when done. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Lentil Soup

Just occurred to me that this is my 100th post! Could the 100th post be something more festive? May be not, a simple soupy version of a classic dal would as well do!!!

Dal is sometimes very very comforting. After all the heavy festive feasts, this was something we had that was very light but also comforting. This is just a tinkered version of the normal full fledged version.

Split Masoor dal 1/4 cup
Tomato 1 diced
Garlic 2 cloves crushed
Green chillies slit 4 and above
Oil 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Hing a pinch
Salt to taste
Fresh Coriander chopped 1 tbsp

  • Wash the dal and combine it with garlic, green chillies, tomato and 2 1/2 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Cook for two whistles. Set aside and cook.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard and hing. Once it splutter, set it aside.
  • Once the cooker is cool enough to handle, uncover. Stir in the mustard tempering. Adjust salt and bring it to a gentle boil.
  • Finish with fresh coriander. Serve it will potato fries.

Tomato Chutney

Post Diwali, my palate has been craving for something spicy. I guess that was too much of sweets during the festival. This is one such reliable dish that makes my taste buds come alive. It is simple and stays good for weeks. I have been eating it for every meal for the past four days!!!

Tomato diced 1 can (if using fresh tomatoes, use two ripe tomatoes. Cut each into half, squeeze and save the juice. Dice the halves and use both the diced tomatoes and their juice)
Dried red chillies 4
Chilly powder 2 tsp and above
Curry leaves 8-10
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Hing a pinch
Turmeric a pinch
Sugar 1 tsp
Oil 1/4 cup
Sambar powder/ huli pudi 2 tsp

  • Heat oil in a thick bottomed pot. Drop the mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and red chillies. Stir for a quick minute.
  • Drop the tomatoes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer till oil floats on top making sure that the excess moisture- the steam has a little vent to escape.
  • Once the mixture thicken to a sauce like consistency, the chutney is done.
  • Finally check and adjust the salt and serve it with hot rice. It stays good in the refrigerator for at least a week.

Brinjal Potato Curry

I cherish my years as a Research Scholar in JNU, New Delhi. As a resident scholar, hostel life was a very important part of those years. I still miss my floor-mates, wall-mates, loo-mates..... (floor mates were those residing on the same floor i was on the second floor (3rd if counting the US way),wall-mates were those sharing a wall- so we had two wall mates one on each sides, then the loo-mates.. those of us sharing the common bath complex about a dozen of us i guess). I also miss those days when we did prepare our own food in our tiny rooms,on dangerous coil heaters. There were days when we used to get frustrated with the food in our hostel mess and prepare our own. Nandini, my floor mate is an amazing cook. Her dishes carried a characteristic Andhra spiciness and used to absolutely delicious. This is something she had prepared on one such day at our hostel.

The beauty of this recipe is that it is simple and makes in a jiffy but tickles the taste buds just as it should. This dish goes very will with hot rice, but is also a good combination with chapatis.

Potatoes 2
Brinjal/ Indian egg plants (the small purple round ones) 2
Onion 1
Tomato 1
Green Chillies 2 and above
Chilly powder 1 tsp ( according to taste factoring the chillies)
Garlic 1 clove grated
Ginger 1/4"grates
Salt to taste
Curry leaves 6-7
Oil 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Hing 1 pinch
Turmeric 1 pinch
Coriander a small bunch chopped

  • Chop all the vegetables. Soak potatoes and brinjal in water and set it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add the mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves, turmeric, grated ginger, garlic and green chillies. Stir well.
  • Drop the chopped onions. Cook till translucent.
  • Combine potatoes, brinjal and tomato in order frying each for a minute before adding the next.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients and add a 1/2 cup of water.
  • Check for salt and cover. Cook for one whistle.
  • Once the pressure of off, uncover and serve hot with rice and a dollop of ghee.