December 25, 2010

Akki Roti

Akki Roti is a rice-based breakfast item unique to the state of Karnataka, India. Ak ki-Rotti means rice-pancake in the native language, Kannada. It is made of rice flour which is mixed with salt and water and kneaded well to make a soft dough. Sliced onions and carrots, chopped coriander leaves and cumin seeds can also be added while kneading the dough for taste. Oil is spread over a griddle and a small amount of the dough is neatly spread over it to resemble a thin pancake (rotti). A small amount of oil is spread over it and the griddle is placed over heat till the rotti turns golden brown. Akki Roti is served hot and is eaten along with chutney. A dash of butter with Akki Rotti is also preferred. This is my favorite dish and my mom prepared it often growing up.

Rice flour - 3 cups
Carrot  - 1 medium grated
Lilva papdi/avarekai - 1 cup (optional)
Bell pepper  - half diced
Onion - 1 medium chopped
Curry leaves - 2 strings
Coriander leaves - 1/2 bunch chopped
Cumin seeds - 1 tblsp
Green chillies - 4 or 5 chopped
Coconut grated - 1/2 cup fresh or dry
Salt to taste

Hot water - to mix

1.  Mix rice flour with grated carrots, lilva papdi/avarekai, chopped bell pepper, chopped onion, chopped curry leaves, corriander leaves, cumin seeds, chopped green chillies, grated coconut, chopped corriander leaves, and salt.
2.  Add just enough boiling water to this and knead.
3.  Make it to tennis size balls.
4.  Flatten the dough on a plastic sheet with your hand
5.  Gently transfer the flattened roti to a cast iron griddle or skillet
6.  Add a tsp of oil around it and cover it
7.  Cook on medium flame till done
8.  Serve with chutney.

December 15, 2010

Kashmiri Dum Aloo for Indian Cooking Challenge

The Indian cooking challenge for November is "Kashmiri Dum Aloo".  This event is hosted by Srivalli of Spicing your Life.  Dum Aloo is named so because it is cooked under Dum or pressure in its own juices.


Baby potatoes - 1 Kg
Cumin seeds, - 1 tsp roasted and powdered
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Kashmiri red chillies - 3-4 nos  roasted and powdered
Fresh yoghurt - 2 & 1/2 cups (must not be sour)
Ginger powder - 1 tsp
Fennel/aniseed powder - 1 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard oil - 4 tbsps
Cloves roasted and powdered - 6
A pinch of asafoetida
Cooking oil - to deep fry potatoes
Salt to taste
A cup of firm dough made from flour and water


1.  Wash the potatoes well, peel, and poke all over with a fork.  Soak in water for 20 minutes. Mix a tsp of salt to the water and soak the potatoes.
2.  Heat a pan with oil for deep frying, reduce to medium flame and roast all the potatoes till golden in color. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.
3.  Make a paste of yogurt, chili powder, ginger, cardamom and fennel powders.  Add the potatoes well with this mixture and keep it aside.
4.  Heat the mustard oil in another pan, add the clove powder and asafetida and mix well. Add a half cup of hot water and salt to taste and bring to a boil.
5.  Add in the potato-yoghurt mix, stir thoroughly and cover.
6.  Seal the edges of the pan's cover with the dough to ensure no steam can escape. Put on the stove, cook on a low flame for 10-15 minutes.
7.  Turn off the flame, remove the cover and add the cumin and garam masala powders, and cover again quickly. Leave for few minutes.
8.  Serve hot with Chapatis or Naan.

December 4, 2010

Chocolate Cake

I made this chocolate cake for our friend Ajay's birthday.  I used a simple recipe from  a cook book and decorated with butter cream icing.

November 29, 2010

Doodhi (Bottlegourd) Kofta Curry

I tried this recipe for Thanksgiving this year.  I had this recipe from a North Indian cooking class I had taken during my college days.  It turned out quite delicious and my friends enjoyed this dish.


For the koftas:
Grated bottle gourd -3 cups
Onions - 1 medium
Ginger -  1/2 inch
Besan - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2 or more to taste
Corriander leaves - 1/2 bunch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - to deep fry

For the gravy:
Tomato - 7 medium 
Onion - 2 medium  
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Corriander powder -  1 tsp
Roasted Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Cream - 1/2 cup
Cashewnuts - a handful
Salt to taste
Oil to saute - 2- 3tblsp


To prepare koftas:
1.   Squeeze the grated bottlegourd and reserve the liquid
2.   Chop green chillies, ginger, corriander leaves, and onions
3.   Mix with grated bottlegourd, besan flour, alt, red chilli powder and make equal size balls
4.  Heat oil, deep dry koftas and set aside

To prepare gravy:
1.  Slice onions, ginger,  and saute in a few tsp of oil
2.  Add chopped tomato and cook for a few minutes
3.  Blend the onions, ginger, tomatoes with cashewnut
4.  Add the cumin powder, corriander powder, garam masala, turmeric, and salt to the blend mixture and boil
5.  Add the reserved liquid from the squeezed bottle gourd and check for seasoning
6.  Finally stir in the cream

To serve:

Just before serving add the koftas to the gravy and garnish with chopped corriander leaves.

November 15, 2010

Varo – Sindhi Dessert for Indian Cooking Challenge

 The Indian Cooking Challenge event for October, hosted by Srivalli of  Spice your Life, is "Varo", a Sindhi dessert, made with Indian pralines with mixed nuts. This recipe is adapted  from  Simply Sindhi Recipes.  I have tried the peanut chikki, which is made similarly, in the past but this recipe was a huge hit for Diwali this year.  


Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts) - 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cardamoms - 4 -5
Sugar - 1 Cup
Ghee (Melted Butter) - 1 tbsp


1. Roughly chop the mixed nuts. Powder the cardamom seeds.
2.  In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.
3. When the sugar melts and is caramelized to brown color add the schopped nuts, poppy seeds and powdered cardamoms. 
4.  Briskly mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.
5.  Pour this mixture on a greased plate or cookie sheet.
6.  Flatten the mixture using a rolling pin quickly before the mixture hardens
7.  Cool to set  and make pieces using a pizza cutter.
8. Store in air tight containers.

November 11, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread with Raisans

I tried this bread with sugar spotted bananas which no one ventured to eat.  I added cocoa powder and raisans to enhance the flavors and baked it in the bread machine.


Bananas – 2 chopped finely
Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar – 3 tsp
Bread Flour – 3 cups
Yeast – 3 tsp
Milk -2 or 3 tsps
Cocoa powder - 4 tblsp
Raisans - 1/2 cup

To be added during during the mixed bread cycle when the machine beeps
Raisans - 1/2 cup

1. Add all the ingredients in the bread machine in the order of ingredients.
2. Set the setting to mix bread and light crust
3. Start the bread machine
4. Make sure the dough is soft elastic ball, if necessary add a tsp of oil if the dough is tight or a tsp of flour if the dough is sticky
5. When the machine beeps add the raisans
6. Cool completely when done and slice to pieces

November 9, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

We had a bake sale at work to benefit the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC).  My friends made different baked goods like cookie, brownies, cakes.  I made the blueberry muffins for this event.  Everyone enjoyed the muffins and the bake sale was a huge success

For 12 muffins

All purpose flour - 1 and 1/4 cup
Sugar - 1/3 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Fresh or frozen blueberries - 1 cup
Eggs - 2
Melted butter - 4 tblssp
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

1.  Preheat over to 400F
2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
3. Beat eggs and mix vanilla extract and butter.
4.  Mix till just moistened and fold in the fresh/frozen blueberries.
5.  Spoon the batter in pas and bake for 20 to 25 minutes till brown
6.  Cool  for 5 minutes and serve.

October 15, 2010

Punjabi Kadi Pakoras for Indian Cooking Challenge

The monthly cooking challenge is hosted by Srivalli of Spicing your life.  The challenge for September was "Punjabi Kadi Pakoras" and the recipe was adapted from Simran of Bombay Foodie. This was an interesting challenge and a special treat for my daughters.  We loved this fried dumpling soaked in a yogurt based gravy.  Thanks Srivalli!



For Pakoras:

Besan - 1/2 cup
Onions - 1 medium
Salt to taste
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Water to mix
Oil for Deep frying

For Kadi:

Yogurt - 1 cup
Besan - 1/3 cup
Water - 3 - 4 cups
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
Ajwain/Carom Seeds- 1 tsp
Methi /Fenugreek seeds- 1 tsp
Onion -1 large sliced
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Amchur powder - 1 tsp


For the Pakoras

1.  Slice onions finely. In a bowl, take besan, add salt, red chili powder.
2.  Make a batter with water to get a semi thick consistency.
3.  Heat a pan with oil. When it is hot, dip onions in the batter and gently drop into the hot oil.
4.  Deep fry until crispy.
5.  Drain and keep aside.

For the Kadhi

1.  Make a paste with yogurt and besan, then mix with water to make a very thin batter.

2.  Heat a tbsp of oil.  Make a seasoning of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds and methi.
3.  Add onion slices and fry till light brown.

4.  Pour in the yogurt/besan batter, add turmeric powder, salt and red chilli powder.
5.  Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and let simmer for at least half an hour. Keep stirring occasionally.
6.  When the gravy is thick, add the pakoras and bring it to a boil.
7. Add garam masala and amchur powder to the gravy just before removing from stove.

October 12, 2010

Spicy Dhokla

I tried this favorite recipe recently.  I tried making it spicy adding the green chilli and ginger paste.  It turned out to be fabulous.


1 cup besan
1 cup yogurt cheese
Salt to taste
Eno fruit salt 1 tsp
Sugar 2 tsp
Green chilli and ginger paste - 1 or 2 tsp

Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Sesame- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tp
Green chillies -2 sliced

For the Garnish:
Grated coconut - few tsp
Chopped Corriander leaves

1.  Tie yogurt in  a cheese cloth to get the cheese
2.  Mix this to the besan with a little yogurt  and add salt, sugar, chilli and ginger paste and rest for a 3-4 hours.
3.  Just before steaming the dhoklas add the eno fruit salt and steam for 10 minutes till toothpick comes out clean.
4.  After it cools makes a seasoning of mustard, asafotida, jeera, turmeric, sesame, green chillies and pour on the dhoklas
5.  Cut to pieces, garnish with grated fresh coconut and chopped corriander leaves.

August 20, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Ice Cream

On our last visit to National Harbor, a waterfront resort destination on the banks of the Potomac River, Maryland, my daughter, Samantha, tried strawberry lemonade gelato. She absolutely loved it and asked me to make the ice cream version of it. Here is what I came up with it, loved and approved by both my daughters.


Heavy Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Fresh Strawberries - 1/2 cup
Frozen Strawberries - 3/4 cup

Ice Cubes - 1/2 cup
Lemonade powder - 1 tblsp or juice of one lemon

Sugar - 5-6 tblsp.

1. In a heavy duty blender, add whipping cream, fresh and frozen strawberries, ice cubes, and sugar (ingredients should be added in this order)
2. Blend the ingredients together until the mixture has reached ice cream consistency
3. Scoop the ice cream, and serve IMMEDIATELY!

Sending this to Food palette series pink hosted by TorviewToronto

August 15, 2010

Tri Colored Rice

The National Flag of India is a horizontal rectangular tri colour of deep saffron, white and green; with the Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoke wheel, in blue at its centre.  I made the orange rice with tomatoes, carrots and spices mixed with rice and the green rice with spinach, cilantro, onions, ginger and spices.

August 14, 2010

Bari for Indian Cooking Challenge

Every month, Srivalli of Spicing your life hosts the Indian Cooking Challenge (ICC). This past month of July, the challenge was "Bari". I had never tried nor tasted this recipe before, but I was up for the challenge! Though at first, I was skeptical, looking at the level of spices added, I kept following the recipe. To my pleasant surprise, the end result was fabulous! I then began adding baris to many of my subjis and pulavs, and I loved the extra zing it gave to the taste. Baris are absolutely delicious, and they will definitely be found in my future recipes!

Black gram dhal - 500 gms
Ash gourd - 375 gms
Ginger - 125 gms
Green chillies - 175 gms
Coriander leaves - 125 gms
Black cardamom seeds - 50-60 gms coarsely ground
Panch Phoran - 60 gms whole
Red chillies - 200 gms coarsely ground
Black pepper -100 gms coarsely ground
Saumf (fennel) -60 gms coarsely ground
Cloves - 25 gms coarsely ground
Cumin seeds - 25 gms
Cumin powder - 10 gms
Black cumin seeds -25 gms
Mace powder - 1 tsp
Nutmeg freshly grated -1/4
Asafoetida - 15 gms
Cinnamon powder - 15 gms


1. Coarsely grind urad dhal in a coffee mill
2. Soak in enough water to cover half inch above the dhal and leave for a couple of hours
3. Add asafoetida powder to it
4. Leave it overnight in a warm place to rise
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5. Grate the ash gourd
6. Chop ginger, green chillies and coriander leaves in a food processor
7. Measure all spices into the bowl with the dhal
8. Mix all ingredients with the dal .
9. Add a little water if it is too stiff. Adjust it to dropping consistency.
10. Lightly grease cookie sheets with oil
11. Drop small amount of the dough on the cookie sheet
12. Dry them in the hot sun and store in airtight containers or plastic bags.

July 15, 2010

Blueberry Ice Cream

This ice cream is a fun and easy treat that takes less than 10 minutes to make! I love sharing this mouth-watering dessert with my family and friends in the summertime as a refreshing treat.

Reviews from my daughters:

"This is a cool summery retreat from reality!"
- Samantha

"I beg for my mom to make this every night!"
- Nikita


Heavy Whipping Cream - 1 cup
Frozen Blueberries - 3/4 cup
Ice Cubes - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 5 tblsp.

1. In a heavy duty blender, add whipping cream, frozen blueberries, ice cubes, and sugar (ingredients should be added in this order only)
2. Blend the ingredients together until the mixture has reached ice cream consistency
3. Scoop the ice cream, and serve IMMEDIATELY!

Kara Sev for Indian Cooking Challenge

The cooking challenge for June is Kara Sev. This event is hosted by Srivalli of Spicing Your Life. This recipe was quite easy to make and turned out very crispy and tasty.

Kara Sev Recipe

Besan - 2 ½ cups
Rice flour - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Soda - 2 pinches
Oil - to deep fry

Grind fine with water:
Red chillies - 6
Pepper - 1 tsp


1. Sieve both flours together.

2. Cream ghee and soda well till the paste looks white.

3. Add flours and salt to this.

4. Strain the chilli paste and add, mixing everything well.

5. Add enough water to make a soft yet stiff dough.

6. Heat oil and press the dough with the muruku maker

7. Fry well and remove to a kitchen tissue

8. Store in airtight container.