Archive | June, 2009

Chow Chow Chutney

30 Jun

Benguluru Vankaya Pachadi.

Choko or chayote is a gourd vegetable used in daily cooking. Urad dal, red chillies and mustard seeds are fried in little oil till aromatic and ground into fine powder. Chow chow or choko is grated and cooked till soft and ground with other spices into a chutney. This chow chow chutney is tangy and spicy.
Makes: 3 Servings


Chayote 1
Urad Dal 3/4 tbsp
Whole Red Chillies 2
Tamarind 1 inch sized ball
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves 6
Salt to taste
Oil 1 1/2 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash thoroughly, halve and discard the inner seed of chayote.
Grate or chop chayote into small pieces.
Soak tamarind in few tbsps of water for sometime and extract all the juice.

Heat half a tsp of oil in a pan on medium heat, add urad dal, mustard seeds and broken red chiles.
Fry the ingredients for a minute and remove from heat.
Cool and grind the fried ingredients into fine powder.

Heat half a tsp of oil in a pan, add grated chayote, tamarind extract and salt.
Cook covered on medium flame till chayote softens a bit.
Uncover and cool the cooked chayote to room temperature.

Grind the cooked chayote and ground masala powder into paste.
Remove the ground chayote chutney onto a bowl.

Heat half a tsp of oil in a pan, add a pinch of mustard seeds and curry leaves.
When mustard seeds almost stop sputtering, remove and add this to above chayote chutney.
Serve chayote chutney with steamed rice or with dosa.
Notes:Make sure chayote is not overcooked.

Suggestions: If chayote chutney is too spicy, grind it with some more cooked chayote.
Variations: Chayote with Besan, Chayote with Chana Dal.
Other Names: Sayote Chutney, Chocho Chutney, Chow-Chow Chutney.

Punjabi Tinda Tadka

29 Jun

Punjabi Tinda Tadka.

Indian baby pumpkin or tinda is a type of squash mostly used in North India. Here is a simple and tasty recipe of Punjabi tinda with onion and ginger. Tinda is chopped into small chunks and cooked along with finely chopped onion and ginger in a seasoned oil.
Makes: around 4 Servings


Punjabi Tinda 2 medium
Onion 1
Ginger 1 – 2 inch piece
Green Chiles 3
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Salt to taste


Urad Dal 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/4 tsp
Broken Red Chiles 2
Curry Leaves 10
Asafoetida a pinch
Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Wash, lightly peel, remove ends and chop punjabi tinda into small chunks.
Wash, remove stems and finely chop green chiles.
Peel and finely chop onion.
Peel and mince or grate the ginger.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add chopped green chiles, ginger, onion and salt.
Once onion starts to change color, add chopped punjabi tinda and turmeric powder.
Sprinkle a tbsp of water and cook covered on low flame for 5 – 8 minutes or until tinda turns soft.
Uncover and stir fry for few seconds to remove any excess moisture.
Serve punjabi tinda tadka with steamed rice and a dollop of ghee.
Notes:Make sure tinda is cooked through before removing from heat.

Suggestions: If tinda is raw, put back the curry on stove, sprinkle another tbsp of water and cook covered on low flame till done.
Variations: Punjabi tinda can also be used as any other squash vegetable. This can also be stuffed like baby eggplants.
Other Names: Apple Gourd Stir Fry, Indian Round Gourd Fry, Indian Baby Pumpkin Fry.

Butter Balls

27 Jun

Venna Vundalu.

Venna vundalu are one of the signature sweets of Andhra. These are made from freshly made home made white butter. Rice flour is made into soft dough using the butter and deep fried till golden and crisp. These are then added to jaggery or sugar syrup which forms a nice coating once cooled. These are nice light golden color on outside if used sugar syrup and dark golden if used jaggery syrup.
Makes: around a cup of Venna Vundalu


Rice Flour 1 Cup
Butter 1/2 Cup
Salt a pinch
Sugar 1/2 – 3/4 Cup
Ghee or Oil for deep frying

Method of preparation:

Bring to boil around half a cup of water and remove from heat.
Mix thoroughly rice flour, butter and salt with enough boiled water to make soft dough.
Make small 1 inch sized balls out of the prepared rice flour dough and keep aside.

Bring to boil sugar and quarter cup of water in a sauce pot.
Once sugar forms a thick syrup ( 2 – 3 thread consistency), remove from heat.

Heat enough ghee or oil in a deep pan on medium high heat.
Slowly drop the rice flour balls into the hot oil in batches.
Deep fry the balls till golden color and remove onto the absorbent paper.
Immediately add these fried butter balls into the sugar syrup.
Repeat the same with any remaining leftover rice flour balls.
Once the syrup cools down and forms a white layer on the fried rice flour balls, serve them as a snack.
Notes: Make sure to get the sugar syrup right.

Suggestions: If the deep fried butter balls are not soft inside and crisp outside, mix in some more butter to the dough and try again.
Variations: Some recipes call for one part of plain flour (maida) along with three parts of rice flour. Jaggery is also used instead of sugar for the coating.
Other Names: Venna Tho Vundalu, Seedai.

Salted Mango Pickle

26 Jun

Uppu Avakaya

Mango pickle is the most famous Indian pickle. There are tens of varieties of mango pickle and this is one of those especially made in Andhra Pradesh. Here, salted mango pickle is not supposed to contain red chilli powder or any other spicing. Uppu Avakaya as it is called is made of sesame seeds which are roasted till golden color and ground into fine powder, mustard seeds which are ground finely, and salt.
Makes: 4 – 5 of Salty Mango Pickle


Raw and Sour Mango 3 Medium Sized
Roasted Sesame Seeds Powder 1 1/2 Cups
Mustard Seeds Powder 1/2 Cup
Salt 1/2 Cup
Sesame Oil 1 Cup app.

Method of preparation:

Wash thoroughly and pat dry raw mangoes.
Once completely dry, chop the mangoes into big chunks.

In a mixing bowl, mix together roasted sesame seeds powder, mustard seeds powder and salt.
Add the chopped mango into mixing bowl and slowly stir in enough sesame oil.
Transfer all the contents to a clean dry jar and pour remaining oil.
If the mango pieces are not soaked in oil, add more as required.
Give the pickle a quick stir, seal the jar and store in a dark dry place.
Let the pickle mature for around two months before using it.
Notes: Make sure to add more oil as required to keep all the mango pieces soaked in oil.

Suggestions: If pickle seems too salty, let it mature for couple of more weeks before using.
Variations: Sesame Mango Pickle, Mango Pickle, Chickpeas Mango Pickle.
Other Names: Salty Mango Pickle.

Green Tomato Pickle

25 Jun

Pacchi Tomato Ooragaya

Green tomatoes are unripe tomatoes. Since the unripe tomatoes are raw, this pickle stays for couple of weeks. This is simple green tomato pickle made by chopping up the green tomatoes and mixing it with coarsely ground garlic, red chile powder and salt. Sesame oil is generally used as a pickle base since it enhances the flavor of the pickle.
Makes: around 1 Cup of green tomato pickle


Green Tomatoes 4 – 5 small
Garlic 10 medium Pods
Red Chile Powder 1 heaped tbsp
Salt 1/2 tbsp
Sesame Oil 2 tbsps

Method of preparation:

Clean, wash and pat dry green tomatoes.
Once dry, chop the green tomatoes into small pieces.
Peel, remove hard ends and roughly chop garlic pods.
Grind the garlic pods coarsely in a spice grinder.

In a clean and dry mixing bowl, add chopped green tomatoes, ground garlic, red chile powder and salt.
Use a pestle to slightly mash all the ingredients till tomatoes leave little juice.
Pour sesame oil on to the mashed pickle and mix thoroughly.
Take the pickle into a clean dry jar and store tight.
Use green tomato pickle after a day.
Notes:Green tomato pickle stays fresh for couple of weeks if taken pickling precautions.

Suggestions: If pickle needs more salt or red chile powder, add them. Make sure green tomatoes are not too juicy.
Variations: Chop the tomato very fine to reduce the mature time. You can also make talimpu at end with mustard seeds and curry leaves if you wish.
Other Names: Unripe Tomato Pickle, Simple Raw Tomato Pickle.