October 26, 2014

Kaju Katli (Cashew Burfi)

Kaju Katli is an Indian dessert which means cashew fudge.  This dessert is made traditionally during Diwali.


Cashew nuts - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Milk - enough to blend
Ghee/unsalted butter - 2 tbsp.
Rose essence - few drops (optional)

1.  Blend cashew nuts with just enough milk to blend.
2.  Put the blend mixture and sugar in an anodized or non stick pan and cook.
3.  Keep stirring continuously with a wooden ladle for about 25 to 30 minutes.
4.  The mixture will start leaving the pan and form a ball.
5.  Add the ghee/unsalted butter and stir it. 
6.  Keep a greased cookie sheet or plate ready.
7.  Spread the mixture on the greased sheet and roll it.
8.  Cut to desired shapes and sizs.

September 14, 2014


The Indian Cooking Challenge for August is Badusha.  This is also called Balushahi in North India.  This dessert is prepared during Diwali festival and Durga Pooja.  This dessert is made of all purpose flour and deep fried and then dipped in sugar syrup. 


For the Dough
All purpose flour / Maida - 1 cup
Baking soda 1/4 teaspoon 
Baking powder 1/8 teaspoon
Unsalted Butter cold cut into small pieces- 1/4 cup 
Yoghurt - 1/4 cup 
Oil for deep fry

For Syrup
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1/3 cup
Cardamom powder a pinch 

For Garnish
Sliced pistachios - a few

Method for Badusha dough :

1.  In a wide bowl mix the flour, baking soda and baking powder.
2.  Add butter mix and the it should be crumbly.
3.  Now add the curds slowly as needed making into soft dough. Do not knead the dough.
4.  Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for about half an hour.
5.  Take the dough and knead just enough to hold it together.

To make the Syrup

1.  In a wide sauce pan add water, sugar medium heat, bring it to a boil.
2.  Let it simmer until syrup is almost to one thread. Add the cardamom powder and set it aside.
3.  This can be done just before making the Badusha during the half hour resting period.

To fry the Badusha:

1.  Divide the dough into 12 equal balls
2.  Make the dough balls, flatten it down on your palm, make a deep dent in the center of the ball.
3.  Heat the oil in a Kadai, and keep the flame on low heat. 
4.  The oil should be hot, but not smoking hot at the same time.
5.  Check for right heat by dropping in a tiny dough.
6.  When the oil sizzles, you can gently drop in the balls.
7.  Fry in batches and turn over and cook till it browns. The balls should be golden brown on both sides. 
8.  Once done, drain on to a kitchen towel, and keep it for few mins.
9.  Dip the fried balls in the sugar syrup and remove them right away. Do not leave them in the syrup.
10. Garnish with chopped pistas and serve hot. 

August 6, 2014


Kootu is a Tamil word which means"add".  Vegetables and lentils are combined with spices and the consistency is thicker.


To Roast:
Urad Dhal - 1 tsp
Red Chillies - 2 or 3
Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 3 strings

Chopped Carrot, beans, Surti papdi, chayote squash - 3 cups

Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
Raw peanuts - 1/4 cup
Dry coconut powder -1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 strings

1.  Roast urad dhal, red chilies, black pepper, poppy seeds, curry leaves and blend with dry coconut and set aside.
2. Pressure cook toor dhal and peanuts.
3.  Steam vegetables.
4.  Add blend mixture to the cooked toor dhal and peanuts and add vegetables.
5.  Add salt to taste and boil.
6. Finally make a seasoning of mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves and pour on the kootu.
7. Serve hot.

July 15, 2014

Manapparai Murukku

The Indian Cooking Challenge for June is classic traditional snack, the famous Murukku.  These murukkus are from a town down Tamil Nadu called Manapparai.  The recipe source is from "The Hindu" newspaper.  This murukku has a unique taste as the water in Manapparai is uniformly salty and gives the murukku its distinctive flavor.


Rice flour - 2 cups
Urad dhal roasted and powdered - 4 to 5 tbsp
Cumin seeds, sesame, ajwain- 1 tsp each
Asafoetida: A pinch
Salt - to taste
Water - to mix the dough
Oil -to deep fry
Butter - 2 tbsp

1.  Mix all ingredients with rice flour and urad dhal flour.
2.  Add water little by little, kneading into a thick batter. 
3.  Fill it into the murukku maker (with round holes) and rotate to form coils. S
4.  Fry in medium heat till crisp.
5. Store in airtight containers.

April 14, 2014


The Indian cooking challenge for March is Mohanthal is a Gujarathi dessert.  This is made with roasted besan flour, ghee, and sugar.  It is sweetened gram flour fudge.  

Ingredients Needed:

Besan Flour - 1 cup ( coarse variety)

Ghee - 1/2 cup

Milk - 2 tbsp

Sugar - 1 cup
Mawa - 1/2 cup
Cashew - 10 chopped
Almonds - 10 sliced
Pistachio - 15 (finely cut)
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp 


1.  Sieve the flour in a bowl and mix with ghee and rub well with hands. 
2.  Slowly add the milk and keep it covered for 20 mins.
3.  In a pan, take half. A cup of water and sugar. Make one thread syrup and add half of the chopped nuts.  Remove and keep it aside.
4. Heat a heavy bottom pan. Add the remaining ghee, flour and mawa. Keep stirring till you get a roasted aroma from the flour. Now add the mawa and mix well.
5. After the mixture is combined well, add the sugar syrup and cook for about 6 - 7 mins.
6. When  the mixture  leaves the sides, it is ready to be removed. Pour this on the greased plate. Sprinkle chopped nuts over it and cut into small serving pieces.

March 24, 2014

Chickpea and Beetroot Salad

Inspired by Sanjeev Kapoor's recipe tailored to my taste.

Chickpea and Beetroot Salad           
Beets boiled peeled and cubed - 1 medium
Onion - 3 tbsp
Tomato - 1 small chopped
Mint leaves - 2 tsp chopped
Chickpeas boiled - 1 cup
Spinach - 2 cups fresh
Salt - to taste
Black Pepper powder - to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Sesame t- 1 tbsp

1.  Saute spinach in a tbsp of olive oil
2.  Chop onion, tomato, mint leaves and mix with chickpeas,
3.  Add salt, pepper and lemon juice.
4.  Add salt to the boiled and cubed beets.
5.  Before serving arrange the spinach leaves and lightly mix the beets with chickpeas, onion, tomato mixture.
6.  Toast the sesame seeds in a tsp of olive oil and mix.
Beetroots,boiled and peeled2 medium

Iceberg lettuce leaves8-10

Spring onions with greens,sliced1

Onions,chopped3 tablespoons

Green chillies,chopped1 teaspoon

Tomato,finely chopped2 tablespoons

Fresh mint leaves,finely chopped1 tablespoon

Chickpeas (kabuli chana),boiled5 tablespoons

Juice of 1 lemon

Saltto taste

Black pepper powderto taste

Extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon

Roasted sesame seedsfor sprinkling

- See more at: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Beetroot-Salad-foodfood-skk.aspx#sthash.SBTP55gI.dpuf

March 7, 2014

Gajar Halwa

Gajar Halwa is also known as Carrot Halwa is a famous dessert in India. It is made by placing grated carrot in a pot with, milk, sugar, ghee and then cooking while stirring regularly. It is   served with a garnish of desired nuts.


Carrots - 4 to 5 medium ( 2 cups grated)
Sugar - 3/4 cup (increase per your taste)
Evaporated Milk - 12 oz
Ghee - 5 tbsp
Cardamom powdered - a pinch
Saffron - a pinch
Borneal (edible camphor) - a pinch
Cashew nuts sliced - about 10-15

1.  Grate carrots.
2.  Add the grated ashkin to evaporated milk and cook till it is condensed.  Alternatively, use slow cooker for this step.
3.  After the milk is condensed add sugar to the cooked carrots, saffron, cardamom, borneal and ghee.
4.  Cook till all the ghee is absorbed.
5.  Garnish with sliced cashew nuts.

February 16, 2014

Marbled Za'atar Bread

Za'atar a Middle Eastern spice made from the dried herbs, mixed with sesame seeds, dried sumac, and often salt, as well as other spices. Used in Arab cuisine, both the herb and spice mixture are popular throughout the Middle East.  Having tried this spice on flat bread in Mediterranean Bakery I wanted to try making bread with this. 

Marbled Zatar Bread

Bread flour - 3 cups
Skim milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 3 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Olive oil - 3 tbsp
Yeast - 3 tsp

Za'atar spice - 3- 4 tbsp mixed in 3 tsp of olive oil

1.  Make sure the milk, butter, yeast are all at room temperature.
2.  Disintegrate the yeast in a tsp of sugar with luke warm water.
3.  Mix the bread flour in skim milk, disintegrated yeast, salt, butter and olive oil.  This can be done either by kneading by hand/ or in the kitchen aid mixer/food processor/bread machine dough cycle.
4. Cover the dough with oiled plastic wrap and set in a warm place for a few hours till it is double in size.
5.  Punch the dough and place of a lightly floured surface.
6.  Roll the dough about 3/4 inch thick and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
7.  Take the mixture of zaatar spice mixed in olive oil and spread it over the dough.  Leave a border of 1/2 inch.
8.  Roll up the dough and tuck the ends and place in a prepared bread pan.
9.  Cover with a plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place to rise for 45 minutes  or until the dough has risen more than double in size.
10. Preheat the oven to 425F.
11. Remove the plastic wrap and brush the top with olive oil and make light cuts on top with a knife.
12. Bake for 25 -30 minutes till the bread is golden.
13. Cool before slicing the bread.

February 9, 2014

Mini seasoned idlis

Idli is a very popular South Indian breakfast dish. This recipe is a twist to the regular idli and is tempered with spices.

Mini seasoned idlis
Mini idlis - 70 (or 16 regular idlis)
Salt to taste

Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch

Black dram dhal (urad) - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Black pepper crushed coarsely - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilly - 1
Cashew halved - a handful

Chutney powder - 4 tsp or as per taste
Lemon juice -  tbsp
Cilantro leaves chopped - 2 tbsp

1. Make 4 plates of mini idlis in the steamer or cut the regular idlis to cubes.
2. Take out of the mould and cool it completely.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add olive oil, asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds.  When the mustard seeds crackle add the urad dhal, curry leaves, crushed black pepper, red chilli and cashew nuts.  Saute.
4. Add the cooled idlis to the pan and toss gently.
5. Finally add the chutney powder and mix.  Adjust salt if necessary.
6. Add the lemon juice and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
Add asafoetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds to the oil. When the seeds splutter, - See more at: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Mini-Tempered-Idlis.aspx#sthash.TERzrHW8.dpuf
Add asafoetida, curry leaves, mustard seeds to the oil. When the seeds splutter, - See more at: http://www.sanjeevkapoor.com/Mini-Tempered-Idlis.aspx#sthash.TERzrHW8.dpuf

February 3, 2014

Hirekai Dosa (Ridge gourd pancake)

Dosa is a common breakfast dish.  Though dosa typically refers to the version made with rice and lentils, many other versions exist, often specific to an Indian region.This dosa is typical to South Kanara region.

 Ridge gourd -1 (skin peeled and sliced)
1 cup – long grain rice (raw)
1/4 cup – fresh or frozen coconut grated
2 – dried red chillies
1 tsp – cumin seeds
Jaggery or brown sugar – 1 tbsp
Tamarind – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Soak rice overnight
2. Blend rice with fresh or frozen grated coconut, red chillies, cumin seeds, jaggery or brown sugar, tamarind, and salt.
3. Heat the skillet.
4. Spread a tsp of oil on the skillet and arrange the sliced ridge gourd.
5. Pour the dosa batter on the skillet and spread evenly.
6. Keep the heat medium to high.
7. Put another tsp of oil to cook, cover the skillet.
8. Flip the dosa and cook on the other side.
9. Serve dosa with or without chutney.

January 19, 2014

Uddina Vade

Uddina (Urad dhal or black gram dhal) vade is a traditional South Indian breakfast dish.  Vade is typically and traditionally served along with a main course such as Dosa, Idli, or Pongal.

Uddina Vade

Urad dhal - 2 cups
Green chillies chopped - 3-4
Curry leaves chopped - 2 strings
Ginger grated -1/2 inch
Cilantro leaves chopped - 3 tbsp
Coconut chopped - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Black pepper roughly crushed - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1.  Soak urad dhal for 3 to 4 hours.
2. Grind urad dhal in a wet grinder or blender with as little water as possible (just enough water to blend) for about 15 minutes till light and fluffy.
3. Now add the chopped green chillies, curry leaves, ginger grated, cilantro leaves, coconut pieces, asafoetida, black pepper, and salt.  Mix well.
4. Heat enough oil in a pan.
5.  Wet your  hand well and make a small ball and make a hole in the middle and gently slide in the hot oil.
6.  Deep fry in medium flame and fry on both sides till crispy.
7.  Serve with coconut chutney and/or sambhar.

January 12, 2014

Kanda Poha

Kanda Poha is poha (flattened rice or beaten rice) prepared with onion.  This is a popular Maharashtrian breakfast.  The South Indian version of this is similar but does not use potatoes and tomatoes.

Kanda Poha

Poha (flattened rice) thick variety - 2 cups
Potato - 1 big chopped
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 big
Green chillies - 4 or 5
Ginger grated - 1/4 inch
Salt to taste
Juice of half lemon

Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Roasted peanuts - 3 tbsp

Chopped cilantro leaves - 2tbsp
Fresh grated coconut - 2 tsp (optional)

1.  Chop potatoes finely and soak in water
2.  Chop onions, grate ginger, green chillies and tomato and set aside.
3.  Soak poha in just enough water to the level of poha for 10 minutes.
4.  Make a seasoning of olive oil, asafoetida, mustard seeds, urad dhal, cumin seeds, curry leaves. 
5.  Next add the green chillies, chopped onion,  grated ginger, and cook till crisp.
6.  Add the chopped potatoes and fry well.  Finally add the tomatoes and cook till mushy.
7.  Add the  drained poha, salt and mix well.
8.  Finally add the roasted peanuts, lemon juice, fresh grated coconut and garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.

January 8, 2014

Avarekaalu Akki tari Kadabu (Steamed Cream of Rice balls)

This dish has different names in different regions.  In Mangalore it is called pundi katti and in Bangalore kadabu. This dish is made for breakfast with cream of rice.  Ideally, rice is washed and dried in shady cool  place and processed to cream of rice texture and then prepared for the authentic taste.

Avarekaalu Akki tari Kadabu

Cream of Rice - 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Avarekaalu (Lilva papdi) - 1 cup
Cilantro chopped -  1/4 cup
Green chillies - 4 or more per taste
Ginger grated - 1 inch
Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
Lemon juice - of half a lemon
Butter - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Olive oil - 4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Chana dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - 2 strings

1.  Cook avarekaalu in water with salt till tender.  Drain and set aside.
2.  Take olive oil in a pan and make a seasoning of mustard seeds, asafoetida, cumin seeds, urad dhal, chana dhal, curry leaves.  Add the water, salt, cooked avarekaalu and boil.  Reduce the heat and add the cream of rice.  Also, add, the grated ginger, green chillies, lemon juice, chopped cilantro.
3.  Keep stirring and cooking till all the water is absorbed.
4.  Add a tsp of butter for flavor.
5.  After it has cooled a little make oval shaped balls applying a little oil on your hand.
6.  Steam the rice balls (kadabus)  in a steamer for 15 to 20 minutes.
7.  Serve with coconut chutney.

January 5, 2014

Vegetable Biryani

Biryani is a rice-based dish made with spices, basmati rice, and vegetables. The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n), which means "fried" or "roasted" (Wikipedia)

Vegetable Biryani

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Mixed chopped vegetables (Carrots, Peas, Potato, Beans etc)  1 cup
Garlic - 1 clove

Olive oil - to sauté
Butter - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

To Marinate:
Tomato - 1 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Yogurt - 1/2 cup

Whole Spices:
Cardamom - 4 whole
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 8
Bay leaf - 1
Black pepper - 1 tsp

Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp

Blend in half cup of water:
Cilantro leaves - 1/2 bunch
Green chillies - 4
Ginger 1 inch
Mint leaves - 10 leaves

Cashew nuts fried- 1/4 cup
Cilantro leaves - 3 tbsp
Sliced sauteed onions - 1/2

1. Chop 1/2 onion finely and sauté in olive oil.
2. Chop tomato and marinate with the sautéd onion, yogurt, red chilly powder, turmeric and garam masala.
3. Blend cilantro leaves, green chillies, ginger and mint leaves.
4. Take olive oil in a pan and fry the whole spices and a few green chillies.
5. Next fry the crushed garlic and chopped vegetables.
6. Add 3 cups of water in the pan and salt and 2 tsp of butter.
7. When the water is boiling add the rice, blend mixture, whole spices, marinated tomato, and vegetables.
8. Cover and cook on medium heat till the rice and vegetables are cooked.
9. Serve hot with roasted onions, fried cashew nuts, and chopped cilantro leaves.

January 3, 2014


Damrot is a  traditional milk based South Indian dessert. The grated white pumpkin or bottle gourd is cooked with milk, sugar and ghee then served with crushed nuts.


Grated white pumpkin or bottle gourd - 1 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Evaporated milk - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup - 1 cup
Ghee - 4 to 5 tbsp
Safffron - a pinch
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Cashew nuts - to garnish.

1.  Add the grated  pumpkin/bottle gourd to milk and cook till the milk is condensed.  Alternatively cook in a crock pot for 4 to 5 hours unattended.
2.  Add sugar, ghee and cook further in the crock pot for about 3 hours.
3.  Finally add the saffron, cardamom powder and garnish with nuts.