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Saturday, June 03, 2023

Black Chana Pulao | Karutha Kadala Pulao | Lunch Box Special

Back to school !! 

And here starts the worry of moms as to what to send for lunch box each day. Kids love all sorts of junk fancy items and moms try to send them a healthy, filling meal. But one pot meals are liked by most of the kids as they don't have to think much and can just gobble down without much fuss if it's tasty. One such meal for today is preparing this black chana pulao in a pressure cooker. 
The work becomes much easier if you already have some boiled chana in the refrigerator. Just take out and add to make a filling healthy meal or a lunch box meal. Achari Chana Pulao is another interesting option made with kabuli chana, try that out too. Give this a try !!!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4
karutha kadala / black chana boiled, 1.5 cups
basmati rice 1.5 cup
water 2.5 cups
onion, 2 medium-sized sliced
ginger-garlic paste 1 tbsp
tomato 2 medium-sized chopped
kashmiri chilli powder 1.5 tsp
hot chilli powder 1/2 tsp
coriander powder 2 tsp
garam masala 3/4 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
salt to taste
coriander leaves 2 tbsp chopped
vegetable oil 3 tbsp
lemon juice 2 tsp

Watch on YouTube-

  • Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for 20 minutes.
  • Soak the chick peas overnight and then cook as you regularly do in a pressure cooker. Keep the cooked water for gravy. Drain half cup of the boiled chick peas in a blender jar and pulse twice without adding any water. Keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until raw smell disappears. Slide in the onions, curry leaves and sauté until lightly browned.
  • Add the turmeric powder, hot chilli powder, kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder and garam masala. 
  • Add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are mushy.
  • Add the ground chick peas and mix well. Then, add 1 cup of the chickpeas cooked water. Add the remaining boiled chick peas and cook covered for 5 minutes.
  • Then add the 2.5 cups water, add the lemon juice, and finally add the drained rice and few coriander leaves.
  • Cook for two whistles on high. Finally, add the remaining coriander leaves once the lid is opened. Fluff with a fork and enjoy with yogurt and cucumber.

The measure of chickpeas is after cooking. I generally soak more than required and cook together. I end up making some chaat too in the week, so haven't measured the dry chana.
* You can add 2 tsp of ghee too, but I kept it very simple for lunch box.
* You can try the same recipe with white kadala (kabuli chana) too.
* Grinding half of the chick peas and adding makes the pulao tastier.
* I haven't added whole spices in this pulao as kids don't like separating them out in their lunch box.


Monday, May 29, 2023

Mango Oats Smoothie ~ Healthy Breakfast Smoothie

Mangoes are in season now, and you can try a wide variety of recipes with mangoes. I love desserts and drinks with mangoes the most. I have already posted the mango lemonade and mango lassi which I love making as it's simple to prepare. Here is another healthy smoothie that you can prepare on a daily basis till the mango season gets over. 

Mango Oats smoothie is quick to prepare and consists of all the elements for a perfect breakfast smoothie. Fruit, grains, liquid, dry fruits or nuts, and natural sweetener which makes a yummy combo.You can always replace whole milk with coconut milk. You can use regular sugar instead of honey. Almonds can be used in lieu of cashews. Except for the soaking of nuts and boiling & cooling part of milk, rest of the steps is very simple and quick to blend. If you are looking or a simple smoothie, then try this out - Mango Strawberry smoothie.Try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ nil
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3 glasses
mango 1 cup (peeled & diced)
oats 1/2 cup
honey 2-3 tbsp
milk 1.5 cups (boiled & cooled)
cashews 10-12 (soaked)

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash and peel the mangoes. Cut and dice cubes, add to a blender jar. Add oats, soaked cashews and blend coarsely. Then, add half of the milk and honey. Blend again smoothly. Add the remaining milk, blend again. Pour in glasses and serve chilled.
* Boil the milk and chill. Add to a blender jar.
* You can replace sugar instead of honey.
* Almonds can be used in lieu of cashews.
* You can always replace whole milk with coconut milk. 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Chicken Sandwich ~ Lunchbox Ideas

What is your favourite sandwich ?? I love all kinds of sandwiches, but this chicken sandwich is a family favourite. This chicken sandwich is a filling yet tasty one that can be prepared quickly for a brunch or picnic, or for a lunch box for kids. This sandwich can be had with or without toasting the bread, both ways taste good. The only time needed to make this sandwich is the cooking of chicken and shredding. Do give this a try and I would love to hear the feedback too !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 6 sandwiches
Author ~ Julie
chicken 250g
salt 1/2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp

onion 1 small fine chopped
carrot 1 small (1/4 cup) 
capsicum 1/4 cup
coriander leaves 2 tbsp
mixed herbs 1 tsp
chilly flakes 1 tsp
mayonnaise 4 tbsp

bread 12 slices
unsalted butter 2-3 tbsp, softened

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash, rinse and cut the chicken in bite size pieces. Cook the chicken with salt and pepper powder, add 1/4 cup water. Cook covered for 6–7 minutes until done. The water is used up while cooking, if not, drain the chicken pieces and cool slightly. Shred the chicken pieces using a fork in thin strands (don't use a mixer as it gets fine minced).
  • To a bowl, add the shredded chicken, fine chopped carrots, onion, capsicum, mixed herbs, chilly flakes, salt lightly.Add mayonnaise and give a quick mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour for flavours to set (optional step but gives a nice flavour). Add the chopped coriander leaves, give a quick toss. (I have not added any salt in the filling as cooked chicken contains salt, if you wish you can add)
  • Apply the butter and spread the sandwich filling. Spread butter on the other side of the bread, top up with another slice. Spread butter again and place on heated tava or frying pan. Smear butter on the top bread slice and flip. Cook another 30 seconds until toasted.
  • Similarly, make all the other sandwiches. Enjoy warm with a dash of ketchup !!

* Adding carrots is optional, or you can add grated too. But we love fine chopped carrots as it adds a little crunch in between.
* You can even sauté the veggies and add to the sandwich.
* The refrigeration helps the filling to bind together with spices, mayonnaise and ketchup.
* Add ketchup along with mayonnaise and can be prepared too.
* You can even add mashed avocado instead of mayonnaise.In that case, add few tsp of lemon juice too.

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Baby Corn Masala | Baby Corn Gravy Curry

Baby corn makes a tasty and delicious preparation, especially when making curries for chapathis. This is one such preparation that needs no intro, as it is similar to baby corn butter masala but uses more spices. Cashew and khus khus ground together along with sautéed masala adds the richness to the gravy. Try this out and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3-4 
baby corn 250 g
onion 1 medium-sized, chopped
tomato 1 medium-sized, chopped
ginger 1/2' piece
garlic 2 cloves
cashews 10-12
poppy seeds(khus khus) 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
fennel powder 1/4 tsp
garam masala 1/2 tsp
coriander powder, 1 tsp
hot chilli powder 1/2 tsp
cumin powder 1/4 tsp
veg oil 2tbsp + 2 tbsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp
sugar a pinch

Watch on YouTube-


  • Clean the baby corn and cut thick slices.Keep aside.
  • Soak the cashews and khus khus in water for 20 minutes.
  • Heat a pan, add 2tbsp oil. Add the chopped onion, add chopped ginger, chopped garlic.
  • Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, garam masala, coriander powder, hot chilli powder. Sauté on low flame.
  • Add chopped tomato and add salt. Cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Switch off flame.
  • Cool the mix lightly and transfer to a blender jar. Add the soaked cashews, khus khus and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a pressure cooker and add 2tbsp oil. Add the chopped baby corn. Sauté on high for 3 minutes until slightly wilted.
  • Add the ground paste, add a cup of water. Adjust salt, add a pinch of sugar. 
  • Close the cooker and coo for three whistles. Switch off and wait till the pressure is released.
  • Open the lid, and you can see oil floating on the surface of a well cooked masala. Garnish with some coriander leaves. Mix and enjoy with chapathis, phulkas.

* You can use the same gravy and add paneer or cauliflower instead of baby corn.


Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Prawns (Konchu) Kizhi | Prawns Parcel

Do you love prawns ?? My kids go mad over prawns and so I frequently buy prawns whenever I get fresh ones. This time I had fresh banana leaves and so prepared this prawns kizhi (konchu kizhi). These taste best with steamed rice or appams.

Prawns parcel is a delicious recipe that is prepared as a kizhi or parcel. The prawns are shallow fried and then added to the masala in the parcel which get cooked again with the banana leaf flavours and coconut milk adds the richness to the gravy. The masala can be prepared in advance and kept. The prawns can then marinate and prepared instantly if you have fresh banana leaves at hand.This recipe is similar to meen pollichathu, but prawn have no bones and prawns have a peculiar taste than fish. Do try and enjoy with your loved ones !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20–25 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 2 prawns kizhi (parcels)
prawns 250 g cleaned, deveined
salt 1/3 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp
hot chilli powder, 1 tsp
ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp

tamarind 1 amla size, soaked (2 tsp extract)
onion 2 medium size, fine chopped
tomato 2 medium-sized chopped
garlic sliced 2 tsp
ginger sliced 2tsp
green chillies 2 fine chopped
curry leaves, a sprig
coriander powder, 1 tsp
kashmiri chilli powder 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
roasted fennel powder 1/2 tsp
roasted fenugreek powder 1/4 tsp
coconut oil 3 tbsp

Watch on YouTube-

  • Wash and clean, devein the prawns. Add salt, turmeric powder, pepper powder, hot chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste. Mix well. Marinate and leave for 30 minutes.
  • Soak the tamarind in little water. Squeeze out the extract then, keep aside.
  • Heat a pan and add oil. Slide in the prawns as a single layer. Fry for 2 minutes each side and flip other side. Cook the same, drain from oil. Keep aside.
  • To the same oil, add chopped onions, sliced garlic, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves. Sauté until lightly browned. Then, add the splice powders on low flame and sauté. Finally add in the tomatoes, tamarind extract and cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy. Mash the tomatoes as much as possible. 
  • Add coconut milk on low flame and give a quick mix. Cook till the liquid is dried up, switch off flame. Masala is ready.
  • Wash a banana leaf. Cut the mid-ridge slightly of the leaf without cutting the leaf as in video. This will be used to tie the parcels. On flame, place the leaf and wilt lightly, exposing to heat on all sides. Keep aside.
  • Divide the masala in four. Add one part of the divided masala, then place half of the prawns. Top it with another part of the masala. Hold all ends together and tie the parcel using the cut mid-ridge. Similarly, make the other parcel with remaining masala and prawns.
  • Place the prepared kizhi in a mann chatti and cook the parcels by turning all sides(2-3 minutes each side) until the masala and prawns get nicely cooked and coated with masala.  The leaf gets shrunk and the oil starts to appear on the leaf. Switch off, open the parcels and enjoy with steamed rice.

* Use fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds if you don't have roasted fennel powder and roasted fenugreek powder. In that case, add the seeds to the oil just before adding onions.
* I took 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk but added only 1/3 cup.

Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Vazhakka Erissery (Kaya Erissery) | Raw Banana Curry

Vazhakka erissery is a delicious vegetarian curry served for sadyas in the olden times, as shared by my mom. She says this erissery was one of the best served curries in the sadya. Gradually, parippu curry replaced erissery in the sadya menu as years passed by. Erissery can be made with so many veggies, but this kaya erissery is a ozhichu (gravy style) erissery. Mathanga vanpayar erissery is more of a thick erissery like kootu curry

Kaya erissery can be made with raw plantain too, but I love the ponthan kaya (raw banana) erissery as it mashes very well and this curry tastes best. The skin of the raw banana should be removed completely so that the banana mashes very well like mashed potatoes. This fibre rich curry is very easy to prepare and so go ahead and give this a try for Vishu !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4
raw banana(ponthan kaya) 2
salt 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
hot chilli powder 1/2 tsp

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup
cumin seeds (jeerakam) 1/2 tsp
shallots 4-5
garlic cloves 2-3

to temper
ghee 1 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
red dry chilly 2 broken
curry leaves 2 sprigs
grated coconut, 2 tbsp

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash and peel the skin of the raw bananas very nicely so that there is no green part seen (though it is said to retain the green part of the raw banana skin, but for this particular recipes it's better to peel off the green part completely). Add to a bowl of water and cut the banana in small pieces. Add rice cooked water (kanji vellam) and wash again to get rid of the thick sap.
  • Add the washed banana pieces to the cooker, add water (1 cup), salt, turmeric powder, hot chilli powder. Cover and pressure-cook for 3 whistles.
  • In the meantime, add grated coconut to a blender jar. To this add cumin seeds, garlic cloves, shallots and little water. Grind to a smooth paste (not very fine though), keep aside.
  • When pressure is released, mash the cooked bananas almost done. Add the ground paste, give a quick mix. Add 1/2 cup water to the blender jar and add to the curry.
  • Bring this mix to a boil, adjust salt if needed. Add more water if required to adjust consistency. This curry thickens on cooling, so add water accordingly.
  • Heat a pan or wok, add ghee to temper. When ghee is hot, add mustard seeds. Add red dry chillies and curry leaves. Add grated coconut and fry till golden brown. Switch off and pour over the prepared curry. Keep covered for 10 minutes, mix and serve warm.

* You can use raw plantain too, but the ponthan kaya (raw banana) mashes well and tastes better, I feel for this curry.
* Adding ghee to temper imparts a unique flavour. You can use oil instead of ghee, too.
* Adding grated coconut to temper is very special in this curry, so don't miss doing that.


For more sadya recipes, click HERE.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

Custard Sago Milkshake

Custard Sago milkshake is a refreshing healthy drink that you can enjoy during summers or can prepare for Iftar. These are even perfect for a welcome drink. 

I have added lemon jelly, cooked sago and sabja seeds for the cooling effect. The lemon jelly can be replaced with any other flavour of your choice. I have used vanilla flavoured custard milk but you can use any different flavours. Try and enjoy!! 

Watch YouTube #shorts, click this link for recipe.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4 glasses
for custard milkshake
milk 1/2 liters
custard powder 2 tbsp
milk 1/4 cup
condensed milk 200g

for lemon jelly 
jelly pk 1
hot water 2 cups

for assembling
sabja seeds 2 tsp

• Add boiling water to the lemon jelly powder. Mix without lumps and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours until set. 
• Mix 1/4 cup milk to custard powder without lumps, keep aside. Boil milk in a sauce pan and then add the custard powder mix to the boiling milk. Add condensed milk,mix well. Cook until slightly thickened. Switch off flame and leave to cool and chill till use. 
• Boil water (1 liter) in a pan and add the sago. Cook until done, drain water. Add cold water and rinse. Keep aside. 
• Soak the sabja seeds until bloomed. Keep aside. 
• Cut the lemon jelly in cubes, keep aside. 
• Add the cooked sago to a glass, add the bloomed sabja seeds. add cut lemon jelly. Finally pour in chilled custard milk. Top again with some cooked sago, lemon jelly and sabja seeds. Mix and enjoy!! 

* The lemon jelly can be replaced with any other flavour of your choice. 
* I have used vanilla flavoured custard but you can use any different flavours. 
* I have used 1/2 cup condensed milk (200g). You can use half sugar and condensed milk. 

Saturday, April 01, 2023

Vegetable Burger (Crispy Veg Patty)

Vegetable burger is a simple-to-make recipe at home. The only time taken is to make the patties, which are very easy to prepare. These patties can be stored in freezer for one month after rolling in bread crumbs. I have used only carrots and beans in this recipe to make the patties, but you can add veggies of your choice. It's better to refrain from adding veggies that leave out water. Give this a try and enjoy your homemade veg burger !!

Preparation time ~ 15 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 4 burgers
burger buns 4
cheese slices 4
lettuce leaves 4-6
tomato 2, sliced
burger mayonnaise 4 tbsp
butter 2-3 tbsp

for patty
potatoes 3,boiled & mashed
carrots 2 small chopped
beans 4-5, fine chopped
ginger-garlic paste 2 tsp
green chilli 2 chopped
chilly powder 1/2 tsp
turmeric powder 1/8 tsp
cumin powder 1/4 tsp
coriander leaves 2 tbsp
salt to taste
oil 2 tbsp
bread crumbs 1/2 cup
corn flour 1/3 cup
water 1/2 cup

Watch on YouTube -

  • Heat a pan and add oil. To this, add the ginger-garlic paste along with green chilli. Sauté until crisp. Then add finely chopped carrots and beans. Add salt and sweat them till crisp.
  • Add in the spice powders on low flame and sauté. Add the grated potatoes and give a quick mix. Adjust salt if needed. Finally, add chopped coriander leaves. Switch off flame. 
  • Divide the mixture when it is warm in four. Shape the patties using a cookie cutter and then refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • Make a slurry using corn flour and water to dip the patty (Don't make the slurry very watery). Add bread crumbs to another plate, dip each of the made patty in the corn flour slurry, roll in bread crumbs. Similarly, prepare all the patties.
  • Heat a pan and add oil to shallow fry the patties. Slide in each of the patties and fry till golden brown, flipping all sides gently (The sides can be fried by tilting the oil towards one side). Remove using slotted spoon on a paper towel (remove the paper towel immediately as the patty loses the crispiness).
  • Repeat frying all patties till crisp. 
  • Heat butter (1 tsp) in a frying pan and cut the burger buns in half. Place the half buns to toast nicely on the butter. Remove to a plate, apply burger mayonnaise. Place lettuce leaves, place the prepare crispy patty. Add a cheese slice, place tomato slices. Spread burger mayonnaise on the top cut bun and place on top. Secure with a tooth pick and enjoy !!

* You can add an egg instead of corn flour slurry. I wished to keep as complete vegetarian recipe, so made the corn flour slurry.
* These patties can be stored in freezer for one month after rolling in bread crumbs. 

Related Posts


Sunday, March 26, 2023

Strawberry Beet Juice

Strawberry-Beet juice works as a healthy detox for the body, and so can be added to a healthy breakfast menu. This drink doesn't require many ingredients, you can always add a piece of ginger or lime to spike a bit, but I have kept it very simple. Give this a try and enjoy !!

Watch the YouTube #shorts here on the Strawberry Beet juice.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ nil
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 3 glasses
beetroot 1 small, peeled & cubed
strawberry 5-6, hulled
sugar 2 tbsp
water 3 glasses
ice cubes

Wash, clean the strawberries, hull and cut small. Peel, wash and cut the beetroot in small cubes. Add the beetroot cubes to blender jar, pulse in a mixer. Then, add the strawberries. Grind again smooth. Add water, sugar and blend again. Strain and serve in glasses with ice cubes.  The taste is on the sweeter side, though strawberries have a tangy flavour which gets subsided in the sugar and beetroot. You can always add half a lemon to spike the tangy flavours.

* You can add a piece of ginger and half of lemon.


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Instant Amla Chutneys - Dhaniya Amla Chutney & Spicy Amla Chutney (No Coconut)

Amla(Nellika) is in season and there are numerous health benefits of this simple fruit. The vitamin C content in amla is so good that it boost the immunity. We should always try to incorporate this fruit as much as possible for the herbal uses.My kids are not fond of eating this fruit raw, and so I try to incorporate them in chutneys to sneak in the benefits. 

These two chutneys are made without adding coconut and so can be made in a jiffy. Give these a try and serve with idli dosas or can be served as a diip with kachoris/ samosas/ beead pakoras. The spicy amla chutney can be served with steamed rice too. The spicy amla chutney is moderately hot and I have used beydagi chillies. Alter spice as per tolerance. The green chutney loses colour as it sits long, so make and use immediately, and this chutney is tart but compliments well when served with idlis or dosas. Tempering the chutney is totally optional and can be served without that too. Give it a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 5 minutes
Author ~ Julie
For Dhaniya Amla Chutney
coriander (dhaniya leaves) 1 bunch
cashews 5
almonds 5
amla 2, deseeded and cut
green chilli 1
ginger 1/2’ piece
hing (kayam podi) 1/8 tsp
salt to taste
sugar 2 tsp

to temper
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
red dry chilly 1 broken
curry leaves, a sprig
oil 1tbsp

For Spicy Amla Chutney
amla 3, deseeded & cut
shallots one handful
ginger 1 small piece
curry leaves 1 sprig
red dry chilly 4; broken
oil 2tbsp

Watch on YouTube -

FOR DHANIYA AMLA CHUTNEY(Malliyila Nellika Chammanthi)
Wash the dhaniya (coriander leaves), keep aside. To the blender jar, add the cut amla pieces, ginger, green chillies, almonds, cashews. Add hing, salt, sugar and pulse twice to crush the mix. Then add the washed coriander leaves. Add ice-cold water (2tbsp) and grind smooth. Transfer to a bowl. 
To temper(optional step)-Heat oil in a wok and add oil. To this add mustard seeds, dry red chilly and curry leaves. Switch off and pour over the chutney, mix and serve. We had with pesarattu(moong dal dosa).

Heat a pan and add oil. To this, add the broken red dry chilly. Sauté until crisp, add the shallots, ginger and curry leaves. Then fry until onions are translucent and lightly browned. Add the cut amla pieces and sauté until lightly browned, add salt. Switch off and cool lightly. Transfer to a blender jar and grind to a smooth paste without adding water.

* Tempering the chutney is totally optional and can be served without that too.
* Adding sugar to green chutney balances the flavours.
* The spicy amla chutney is moderately hot and I have used beydagi chillies. Alter spice as per tolerance. You can even add 2tbsp grated coconut to reduce spice or reduce the chillies.


Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Gobi Manchurian

Gobi Manchurian needs no elaborate intro, and is a favourite among most of the people. This is a tasty appetizer if served dry, or a perfect side dish when served with fried rice for vegetarians. I have not made many changes in the recipe except that I have added Kashmiri chilli paste instead of red food colour. The florets are blanched and then coated with a marinade, deep-fried and then coated with sauces. I do make it often as kids love Gobi manchurian with fried rice and so, recipes that are made frequently always takes time to be on blog or videos as I always think to take pics or videos the next time which never happens. Finally, the day has come when I took up the video and is on blog too, check the recipe here and do comment if you make the same way. The veg fried rice without sauces is here, if you wish to try the recipe.

Preparation time ~ 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 5-6 
Author ~ Julie
gobi/ cauliflower 1 medium-sized (450 g)
maida (all-purpose flour) 1/2 cup
corn flour 1/2 cup + 3tbsp
hot chilli powder, 1 tsp
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
ginger paste 1 tsp
oil for frying

for manchurian
garlic chopped fine 2 tbsp
capsicum/ green bell pepper 1/4 cup chopped
onion 1 small-sized, chopped 
green onions/ spring onion 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp
tomato sauce 4 tbsp (1/4 cup)
dark soy sauce 2 tbsp
Kashmiri chilli powder paste 2 tsp
pepper powder 1/2 tsp (optional)
vinegar 1 tsp (optional)
corn flour 1 tbsp
water 1-1.5 cups
salt to taste

Watch on YouTube-

  • Cut the cauliflower florets in bite size pieces and add to hot water mixed with salt. Leave the florets to blanch for 5 minutes so that the florets get cleaned. Rinse in cold water and drain water.
  • Add the florets to a plate and add maida, corn starch(1/2 cup), ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder and salt. Mix well to give a nice coating. The coating shouldn't be very thick and should be lightly covered on all sides.
  • Before frying, add the corn flour(3 tbsp) in a plate and roll each of the florets in the corn flour, shed off excess (helps retain the crunchiness for long after frying) and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the florets by dropping one by one and in batches. Fry until crisp by flipping all sides, drain from oil and place on paper towels. Remove from paper towels when warm to retain the crunchiness of fried florets.
  • Then, heat oil (same oil can be used for frying) in a wok and add the chopped garlic and fry till light crisp. To this, add the chopped capsicum and onion, fry lightly along with chopped green onions (reserve the green tips for garnish). Then add the soy sauce, tomato sauce, chilli paste, vinegar, pepper powder, salt. Mix well.
  • Mix the corn starch with water (1/4 cup) without lumps. Bring to a boil and wait till the sauce thickens. Add half a cup more of water (total water used 1 cup) to adjust consistency. 
  • Finally, add the fried florets and give a quick toss. Add cut green onions for garnish. Serve warm with fried rice.

* You can omit adding Kashmiri chilli powder when frying. But I prefer adding, as I don't use red food colour.
* You can add chopped green chilli when making gravy. I omit that, as kids don't like biting green chillies in gravy.
* Add chilli sauce instead of chilli powder in the gravy. I generally add Kashmiri chilli powder only, which adds to the colour.
* Adding vinegar spikes up the flavours, but you can add or omit.
* You can use wheat flour instead of maida, doesn't retain crunch for long but otherwise is healthy.
* You can add 1/4 tsp sugar too to balance tastes. 


Monday, March 06, 2023

Suji Gujiya ~ Holi Special

Holi without gujiya is a big missing, and mawa gujiya tops this list. However, if you don't have access to mawa or if it's hard to get easily at your place, do you wish to celebrate a Holi without gujiya?? No !! This is an answer to all those who are looking for a quick gujiya that tastes almost similar to mawa gujiya and can be stored for longer days than mawa gujiya. Suji guijiya almost matches the mawa gujiya and I love the filling in these gujiya as it's very tasty in itself. The cover is crisp, flaky and delicious. Try these out and enjoy for this Holi.

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Resting time ~ 20–25 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~13-14
Author ~ Julie
for making cover
all-purpose flour(maida) 1.5 cups
ghee 3 tbsp
salt a pinch
water 1/3 cup(approx.)

for making filling
*suji (rava) 1/2 cup
dessicated coconut 1/3 cup
*granulated sugar 1/4 cup 
almonds chopped 2 tbsp
cashews chopped 2 tbsp
raisins halved 2 tbsp
*cardamom pods 4-5

Watch on YouTube-

  • Sift the flour with a pinch of salt, I missed the video clip of adding salt. To this, add ghee and mix the flour like bread crumbs. Hold the flour together by pressing and check if the ghee is moistened the flour. Then add water little by little to make a stiff dough, use very little water each time. I used about -6 tbsp or 1/3 cup. Knead the dough another 5 minutes to make the dough pliable, cover and restore 20–25 minutes.

  • In a blender jar, add granulated sugar along with cardamom seeds and powder fine.Keep aside.
  • In another pan, heat ghee. To this add fine rava(suji). Roast the suji for about 5 minutes on low flame. Add the dessicated coconut then and give a quick mix. Continue to roast another 5 minutes until the suji looks nicely roasted and browned. The coconut gives out a nutty flavour. At this point, switch off the flame and add the chopped almonds and cashews. Add the cut raisins, to give a nice mix. Transfer to a bowl and cool. Then add the powdered sugar along with cardamom. Combine well.
  • Now, knead the dough another minute and pinch out small balls (around 12-14) of the prepared dough. Smoothen the ball and roll using a rolling pan in a 3' circle, no need to dust flour wile rolling.
  • Place 2tbsp of the prepared filling in the center. Moisten the sides using water and stick the edges by folding in semicircle. Then make designs of your choice by folding the edges or by pressing using a fork.
  • Place the prepared gujiya on a plate lined with clean cloth and cover with a clean cloth too. Prepare the rest of the gujiya similarly.
  • Heat oil in a wok and when the oil is hot, slide in the prepared gujiya one by one. Don't overcrowd the wok. Wait for a minute for the gujiya to puff up and float on the surface of the oil.
  • Then flip and fry all sides till golden frying. Similarly fry all gujiyas till done, its better not to place on paper towels as they lose crunch.
  • Cool completely and store in airtight containers. Enjoy with tea or as a sweet !! 

* You can use oil instead of ghee when making cover but ghee adds the flakiness.
* It's better to use fine suji for making gujiya than the coarse. If you don't have fine, then powder the coarse rava in mixer and use. I had fine rava with me so used that. 
* Use 1/2 cup powdered sugar or powder 1/4 cup granulated sugar to get 1/2 cup powdered. 
* I have powdered cardamom pods with sugar but you may use 1/2 tsp cardamom powder. 

* Namak Pare 

Monday, February 27, 2023

Green Apple Pickle

Green Apple pickle is a simple, flavourful pickle that tastes almost similar to kadumanga achar (instant raw mango pickle) but with a sweet tinge along with sour flavours. This pickle can be made instantly and can be used from day 1. The green apple have a hard green skin and a sour sweet flavour than the red apples, the flesh is hard, crisp and juicier which makes them a right choice for making pickles. These apples are extremely acidic, but the taste is refreshing. I have not used any preservatives in this pickle as these apples are sour and have added lemon juice instead of vinegar. As I have added lemon juice only for preservation and so refrigeration is a must. I generally thaw a little amount as needed and use, which works fine. Do give this a try and enjoy !!

Preparation time ~ 10 minutes
Cooking time ~ 10 minutes
Author ~ Julie
Serves ~ 300-350 g pickle
green apples 3
hot chilly powder 1 tsp
salt 3/4 tsp
ginger chopped 2 tbsp
garlic chopped 2 tbsp or 10 cloves
curry leaves 2 sprigs
lemon 2, squeezed or 1/4 cup juice
kashmiri chilly powder 2 tbsp
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
uluva podi(roasted fenugreek powder) 1/3 tsp
asafoetida powder (kayam podi) 1/3 tsp
salt 1/2 tsp
gingelly oil (nallenna) 3 tbsp
mustard seeds 1 tsp
water 1/4 cup

Watch on YouTube -

  • Wash and wipe the apple very clean to remove any dirt or wax. Cut the apples in bite size pieces. Add 3/4 tsp salt and 1 tsp hot chilli powder. Mix well and keep for 20–30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Splutter mustard seeds and then add chopped ginger and garlic. Add in curry leaves and sauté until light crisp.
  • Add the spice powders on low flame. Add in 1/4 cup water and boil the spices until the water is absorbed and oil separates to the masala. Add salt.
  • Slide in the cut green apples along with the water. Combine well with the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Switch off flame and add the 1/4 cup squeezed lemon juice. Mix well.
  • Cool completely and store in airtight glass containers.

* You can use vinegar 1/4 cup too instead of lemon juice, which personally doesn't suit me much.
* I refrigerate the pickle and store, as I have used lemon juice only. If using vinegar, can leave outside.
* I have used two lemon, which yields 1/4 cup juice or 4tbsp.