Archive | October, 2009

Dried Ginger in Tempered Yogurt

26 Oct

Sonti Majjiga Charu.

Liquid dishes made of yogurt or buttermilk is quite common in India. They are generally served with plain steamed rice mostly to prevent any stomach problems. Here, yogurt is whisked with turmeric powder and salt. Oil is tempered with few spices and onion is fried till golden brown. It is later cooled and added to the yogurt. Powdered dried ginger root is used instead of fresh ginger for it is more effective.
Makes: 2 Cups of Dried Ginger in Tempered Yogurt.


Plain Yogurt 1 1/4 cups
Onion 1 Small
Green Chiles 1 – 2
Dry Ginger Powder / Sonth 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Cilantro few Sprigs
Salt to taste


Urad Dal 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Broken Red Chiles 4
Curry Leaves 5
Oil 4 tsps

Method of preparation:

Peel, remove ends and finely chop the onion.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Wash and finely chop cilantro.
Whisk yogurt in a bowl with 3/4th cup of water, turmeric powder and salt.

Heat oil in a pan, add all talimpu ingredients in order.
When mustard seeds start spluttering, add green chiles and chopped onion.
When onion turns light brown, add dry ginger root powder and remove from heat.
When the mixture comes to room temperature, add it to the whisked yogurt.
Stir well, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve dried ginger in tempered yogurt with steamed rice.
Notes:Make sure not to add more dry ginger root powder / sonth for it can be overpowering.

Suggestions:If the whisked yogurt is too thick, stir in quarter cup more of water.
Variations:Cilantro leaves can also be added along with sonth and fried a little before adding to the yogurt bowl.
Other Names: Telangana Majjiga Charu, Sonti Majjiga Charu, Dried Ginger in Tempered Yogurt.

Bhel Puri

24 Oct

Bhel Puri.

Bhel puri is a popular savory street food made from puffed rice. For the base of bhel puri, puffed rice is mixed with various deep fried items like sev, roasted chana dal, peanuts, papri etc. Mashed boiled potato and chopped tomato are added to the base along with the chopped onion. Various chaat chutneys are used to flavor the bhel puri while mustard oil takes the bhel puri to a different level.
Makes: around 3 Servings of Bhel Puri.


Puffed Rice 2 Cups
Fine Sev 1/2 Cup
Roasted Chana Dal 1 tbsp
Roasted Peanuts 1 tbsp
Boiled Potato 1 Small
Onion 1 Small
Tomato 1
Green Chiles 2
Cilantro Few sprigs
Grated Raw Mango 2 tbsps (optional)
Dates Tamarind Chutney 1 tbsp
Green Chutney 1 tbsp
Garlic Chutney 1 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil 1/2 tbsp

Method of preparation:

Peel and mash the boiled potato into small bits.
Remove stems, wash and finely chop the green chiles.
Peel, remove ends and finely chop onion.
Wash and finely chop tomato.
Clean, wash and finely chop cilantro leaves.

In a mixing bowl, mix together puffed rice, sev, roasted chana dal, roasted peanuts, chopped onion, mashed boiled potato, tomato, green chiles, grated raw mango (if using) and sufficient salt.
Toss everything well and mix in dates tamarind chutney, coriander chutney, red chilli garlic chutney, lemon juice and mustard oil.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve bhel puri immediately.
Notes:Mamra turns soggy if left the bhel puri for a while before consuming.

Suggestions:If the bhel puri is not spicy or sweet or sour enough, add more of the chaat chutneys as necessary and mix the bhel puri well.
Variations: There are numerous versions of what goes into the bhel puri. Crushed small crisp flat puri and grated coconut can also be added to the base of the bhel puri. Chaat masala, coriander powder, turmeric powder and red chile powder can also be added as extra flavorings to the bhel puri.
Other Names:Maramarala Mixture, Bhela, Churu Muri (Bangalore), Jhaal Muri (without tamarind chutney) (Kolkata), Bhel Puri (Mumbai).

Katti Palak Chutney

23 Oct

Chukkakura Pachadi.

Katti palak or green sorrel leaves or chukka kura is a green leafy vegetable that looks a lot like spinach but quite sour in taste. It is made into spicy sour chutney by wilting the greens in a tempered oil having red chiles. It is later ground into paste before tempering with lots of garlic cloves.
Makes: 1/2 Cup of Chukkakura Pachadi.


Katti Palak / Green Sorrel Leaves / Chukka Kura 3 Cups Packed
Whole Red Chiles 2
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Garlic 10 Small Cloves
Salt to taste
Oil 2 tsps

Method of preparation:

Remove stalks and thoroughly wash the green sorrel leaves / chukka kura.
Roughly chop the chukka kura and keep aside.
Break the red chiles into small pieces.
Peel and slice the garlic cloves (if they are huge).

Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, add urad dal and broken red chiles.
When urad dal changes color, add chopped green sorrel leaves and salt.
Cook covered until green sorrel leaves wilt and is cooked.
Cool and grind the cooked leaves into smooth paste without adding any water.

Heat another tsp of oil in a pan, add garlic pods and fry till they turn light golden color.
Then add ground chutney into the pan and remove from heat.
Stir and serve chukkakura pachadi with steamed rice.
Notes:Make sure chukka kura is cooked well before grinding into paste.

Suggestions:Green chiles can be used in place of red chiles.
Variations: You can also add a big pinch of each of urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds in tempering along with garlic cloves. Other uses of chukkakara / katti palak is making it into a dal.
Other Names:Ambat Chukka Chuteny, Chukka Kura Pachadi, Katti Palak Chutney, Green Sorrel Leaves Chutney.

Colorful Salad

22 Oct


This is a colorful and healthy salad containing finely chopped cucumber, red and green bell peppers, tomato and grated carrot. The chopped vegetables are then mixed with cooked peanuts, black eyed peas and chickpeas. Dressing is made of olive oil, lemon juice, red chile powder, black pepper powder and salt.
Makes: around 4 Servings of Colorful Salad.


Cucumber 1 Medium
Red Bell Pepper 1/2
Green Bell Pepper 1/2
Carrot 1 Small
Plum Tomatoes 10
Boiled Peanuts 2 tbsps
Cooked Black Eyed Peas 2 tbsps
Cooked Black Chickpeas 2 tbsps
Black Pepper Powder to taste
Red Chile Powder to taste (optional)
Lemon Juice 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Olive Oil 1 tsp

Method of preparation:

Peel, wash, remove ends and finely chop cucumber.
Wash, remove stems, remove seeds and finely chop red and green bell pepper.
Peel, remove ends and grate the carrot.
If using a roma tomato, wash and finely chop it.

Whisk together olive oil, black pepper powder, red chile powder, lemon juice and salt.
Pour on the prepared salad just before serving.
Notes:Make sure to chop all the vegetables as small as possible.

Suggestions: Make sure not to over cook black eyed peas or garbanzos. Also remove the seeds inside the tomato before chopping it up to make the salad discrete.
Variations: Garbanzo or Grated Raw Mango can also be added to the salad.
Other Names:Colorful Salad, Healthy Salad.

Dum Aloo with Besan

21 Oct

Dum Aloo with Besan.

Potatoes are chopped into big chunks. Baby potatoes can also be used here. Besan / gram flour is briefly fried in oil and whisked yogurt is mixed with the besan to make it into a gravy. Chopped potato is either shallow fried or deep fried and added to the prepared besan mixture and cooked covered on low flame till all flavors has been absorbed by the potatoes.
Makes: around 5 servings of Dum Aloo with Besan.


Potato 3
Besan / Gram Flour 3 tbsps
Onion 1
Ginger 1 inch piece
Green Chiles 2
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Red Chile Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Yogurt 3/4 cup
Cashews 6
Turmeric Powder a big pinch
Oil 2 tbsps
Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

Peel and chop potato into big chunks.
Peel and finely chop onion.
Remove stems, wash and slice the green chiles.
Peel and mince ginger.
Chop cashew nuts into small bits.
Whisk yogurt with quarter cup of water and keep aside.

Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add potato cubes and fry on high heat till potato turns golden brown.
Heat a tbsp oil in a non stick pan on medium flame, add cumin seeds and onion.
Once onion turns translucent, add green chiles, ginger and besan.
Fry until besan changes color or until the raw smell of besan has gone.
Stir in yogurt, red chile powder, garam masala powder and salt.
Add a quarter cup of water or more to the above mixture if the sauce seems too thick.
Bring the sauce to a light bubble and remove from heat.

In a baking bowl, add fried potato chunks.
Pour the prepared besan sauce on top of the potato and cover.
Bake the dish for around 5 minutes and garnish with chopped or whole cashews.
Serve dum aloo with besan over steamed rice or with roti.
Notes: Alternatively, deep fry potato till golden brown and remove onto absorbent paper.

Suggestions:If baking is not preferred, cover the potato with a tight lid and cook on low flame for around 10 mintues for the potatoes to absorb all the flavors.
Variations: Add coriander and cumin powder along with garam masala to taste.
Other Names:Dum Aloo with Besan, Gravy Potato with Gram Flour.