Thursday, 22 March 2018


This is a dish from Uttar Pradesh. I am not sure whether it is made in the entire state but definitely from Eastern Uttar Pradesh. It is essentially a winter dish as it uses fresh green channa, which is only available in winter.

I am a little late posting this as it is now no longer available, but about two months back I used to see this being sold in various places. It is a tedious task though to pluck the pods which contain the channa and then to shell it. Since a pod contains only one or two channas it is a time-consuming task unlike shelling peas which is faster.

But I wanted to make it this winter as I like to cook seasonal produce. The hubby tells me once the channa ripens a little more and the plant dries up, the entire plant would be directly put into the fire which would be used to keep people warm in the harsh winters of north India. The channa within the pod would then kind of get cooked and soft. This was then plucked and eaten as the family crouched around the angetthi keeping themselves warm generally in the evenings. Such a cosy family time I can envision here….

This is a very simple dish with mild flavours, primarily using whole spices. Here’s how it is made:


1 cup shelled fresh green channa,
2 cups rice,
2 tablespoons ghee,
1-2 small bay leaves,
2-3 cloves,
2 green cardamoms,
1 black cardamom,
9-10 black peppercorns,
1 star anise,
½ tsp shahjeera,
1 inch of cinnamon,
Salt to taste
1 small finely chopped onion,
2 chopped green chillies


Wash the rice and green channa.

Heat the ghee in a pan and add in all the whole spices. When they splutter add the chopped onions and green chillies (this time I added 1 tsp of red chilli powder instead). Fry till the onions just turn pink and translucent.

Now add the rice and green channa. Saute around for about a minute. Add salt and required amount of hot water. The amount of water you add will depend on the type of rice you are using.

Let it come to a boil and then lower the flame. Cook covered with a little vent for the steam to release till done.

This simple seasonal dish is ready. You can serve this with any basic gravy or just with pickle, raita, salad and papad.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Kadhai Dosa

I don’t know what this is called, I just call it Kadhai Dosa. I got the recipe from one of the FB groups, where I am banned now so cannot even give credit to the person who had posted it.

What I like about this dosa is that it comes out nice and crisp and it has a lovely flavour from the use of the fenugreek seeds. Additionally, the bite of the mustard and crackle of the curry leaves is interesting. This tastes best when had hot from the kadai.

So here is how you can make it:


2 cups of raw rice,
1/8th cup of fenugreek seeds,
Half a tablespoon of chana dal,
Half a tablespoon of urad dal,
Salt to taste
1/4th cup curds,
¼ teaspoon of sugar,
Some chopped onions,
Few curry leaves,
Little mustard seeds,
Oil as required


Wash and soak the rice, dals and fenugreek seeds together in room temperature water for about 6 hours.

Drain the water and grind it to a smooth batter. You can add as much water while grinind as required. Ensure the batter is not too runny, the consistency should be like normal dosa batter. Now add the salt, sugar and curd. Mix it well and leave to ferment for about 7-8 hours. As I generally make this for breakfast I leave it for fermenting overnight.

Now heat a kadai and add about a teaspoon or two of oil and add a pinch of mustard seeds. Once they pop add about a teaspoon of chopped onions and a little curry leaves. Pour a ladle full of batter into this. Do not stir it. Cover with a lid and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes. It should be golden brown at the bottom now, flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes.

It is now ready to serve. This goes well with any chutney and tastes best when just out of the kadai.

Monday, 12 February 2018


Kadambu is something I associate my native place with. This is one of the most common breakfast items there. A few years back on a trip to Coorg I had it there too, it was served for breakfast by the hostess at the homestay we stayed, then again I had it in a resort at Sakhleshpur. That is when I realized it is made in these parts too. However there was one key difference rather two, we always make it with red rice whereas both in Coorg and Sakhleshpur I saw it was made with white rice. Secondly the shape I have almost always seen it being made in, is that of a cup or an elongated shape with a slight depression, where both in Coory and Sakhleshpur it was in a rounded ball shape. And yes most importantly they refer to it as ‘Kadambuttu’ whereas my side it is called ‘Kadambu’.

The recipe is a bit tedious if you use the mixer to grind the rice, but the end result is worth it.

It is generally had in two ways – one it is generally paired with the left over curry from the previous night or is it lightly crushed and mixed with fresh coconut and sugar and savoured.


2 cups red boiled rice,
1.5 to 2 cups fresh grated coconut,
Salt to taste


Check the red boiled rice for any stones or impurities. Wash it well and soak in room temperature water for about 5-6 hours. Since we generally make this for breakfast, we soak it overnight.

After it is soaked, drain the water and grind this together with coconut to a coarse paste. You may need to add some water but add as little at possible. Remember the paste has to be coarse something like broken wheat or idli rava. Once it is ground, add salt to taste and mix well.

Shape this into oblong shapes or spheres. In fact you can shape it as you wish.

Line this in your steamer and steam for about 15-20 minutes.

This goes best with any coconut-based curry. It would also go with coconut chutney. If you prefer to have it sweet, you can just roughly crumble it and have it mixed with some more coconut and sugar.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Millet Kheer

Starting the new year on a sweet note. I normally make kheer with rice or poha, this time I decided to try using millets in the kheer. I used little millet here.

The recipe is the same as that of rice kheer. Here is how I made it…


½ a cup of little millet,
½ a litre of milk,
1.5 tbsp of condensed milk (optional),
 2 tbsp sugar (or more as per your taste),
Pinch of powdered cardamom seeds or powdered nutmeg,
1 tbsp of chopped nuts (cashews, almonds)


Check the millet for any tiny stones or impurities. Place the millets on a strainer and wash it with water. Since the millet grains are very small it is best to wash it this way.

Soak the millets in water for about half an hour.

Heat the milk and add the drained millets. Cook on a medium flame till the millets soften. Now add the sugar, nuts and condensed milk (if using). Stir well and cook on sim till it takes the kheer like consistency. Ensure you stir it occasionally or else it will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Lastly add the powdered cardamom or nutmeg for flavour and give it a stir.

This can be served hot as well as cold.

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

Three Layered Veg Biriyani

I thought of this recipe the other day when I was sitting and wondering what to do with the spinach sitting in my refrigerator. Since I had made palak paneer just the previous week, I knew no one would be interested in it, I next thought of Sai Bhaji but it is not so easy to get fenugreek and dill leaves in the summer, so that too was out of question. That is when I remembered my friend Maneesha had once mentioned a palak paneer biryani her mother made. Palak paneer biriyani as such was not so interesting as people at home would just think it is palak paneer cooked with rice, that is when I thought of making this three layered biriyani. I made it again today making some variations to my earlier recipe based on family feedback.

3 ½ to 4 cups of rice (basmati or any other good quality rice),
2 bay leaves,
2 green cardamoms,
5-6 black peppercorns,
Salt to taste,
1 medium onion,
1 tsp lemon juice,
3 tbsps oil

Spinach and Mushroom Layer

2 heaped cups spinach,
1 small tomato,
1 small piece of bottle gourd,
4 cloves of garlic,
2 green chillies,
¼ of a capsicum,
1 small sliced onion,
½ tsp cumin powder,
½ tsp pepper powder,
¼ tsp garam masala powder,
5 button mushrooms,
Salt to taste,
1 tbsp of oil

Green Pea Layer

1 cup green peas,
Salt to taste,
1 tsp crushed black pepper,
½ tbsp oil

Paneer Layer

200 gms diced paneer,
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1 medium sized onion,
1 tsp ginger paste,
1 tsp garlic paste,
1 tsp cumin seed powder,
½ tsp turmeric powder,
1 tsp red chilli powder,
Salt to taste,
2 tbsp oil,
1 tsp lemon juice,
1 tsp kasoori methi


Wash and soak the rice for about 20 minutes. Heat about 1 ½ litre of water and add the bay leaves, green cardamom and the black pepper. Once it comes to a boil add the salt and the drained rice. Once it is half done add the lemon juice and let it cook till it is 3/4th done. Keep aside. You can spread this rice on a big plate and drizzle some oil on it.

Slice the onion, heat the remaining oil and add the sliced onions. Fry this till golden brown and drain this out. This fried onion will be used to garnish and this is called ‘biriyan’ and this is what gives ‘biriyani’ its name. The leftover oil will be used while assembling the biriyani.

To make the spinach and mushroom layer

Wash the spinach well and cook it with the tomato, bottle gourd, garlic, green chillies and capsicum. Let this cool and then puree it. Slice the onion and the mushrooms. Heat the oil and add the sliced onion and fry till it turns pink in colour. Next add the cumin powder, pepper powder, garam masala powder and the sliced mushrooms. Saute for about 3-4 minutes. Next add the pureed greens and salt. Cook for another 2 minutes and keep aside.

To make the green peas layer

Cook the green peas with some salt till done. Heat oil and add the cooked green peas, salt and crushed black pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes and keep aside.

To make the paneer layer

Dice the paneer. Fry the paneer cubes with a little oil in a non stick pan. Dip the fried paneer pieces in hot water for about 20 minutes and then squeeze out excess water. Slice the onion. Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds, once they pop add the sliced onion and fry till it turns pink in colour. Next add the ginger-garlic paste, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and fry till the oil separates. Next add the paneer cubes and salt and sauté for about 2-3 minutes. Lastly add the crushed kasoori methi. Keep aside.

To assemble the biriyani

Take a heavy bottomed pan and spread a layer of rice all along the bottom. Spread the spinach-mushroom mixture over this. Follow this with a layer of rice. Now drizzle some of the oil used to fry the onions. Next follow this with a layer of the peas, followed by a rice layer. Another drizzle with the onion-oil and then the layer of paneer and the final layer of rice. Drizzle some more oil. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook it for about 20 mins. Serve this hot garnished with the fried onions and with a side accompaniment of a raita.

Kori Rotti

I first had kori rotti at a family friends place years ago. Since then we have been having this combination quite often. It is a big hit with my niece and nephew. They have already told me that when they come next they want the kadak walla rotti 😊

There is an interesting episode I remember about this dish. In one of my work places the canteen was run by Shettys and we would generally have dinner there if we were staying late at work. This dish was served one day at dinner and I exclaimed that we make it at home too. My friend was surprised to know that it is an actual known dish, she had felt it was just something the canteen guys had made up 😊. Truly we do not know of the culinary gems from so many parts of the country. I just love exploring new dishes from various states and local ingredients too.

To explain the dish it is crisp rice papad kind of rotti which is served with chicken in a coconut-based gravy. I don’t think anyone makes the rotti at home, it is easily available in most Mangalore stores. To view a Youtube video on how it is made, click here.

We would generally serve this with the traditional chicken recipe of my native place, but then recently when some friends of mine came to Bangalore from Kolkatta we took them out to a Mangalorean restaurant for dinner; there we ordered this as it is quite a signature dish from Mangalore and I saw they served it with a slightly different kind of chicken gravy. So the other day when I made it again, I looked up the recipe on the net and made this version.


¾ kg chicken pieces with bone,
2 sliced medium sized onion,
2 cups thin coconut milk (extracted at home or store bought),
1 cup thick coconut milk (extracted at home or store bought),
½ tsp of garam masala powder,
Salt to taste,
5 spicy red chillies,
10-12 bydagi red chillies,
2 tbsps of coriander seeds,
8-10 black peppercorns,
1 tsp of cumin seeds,
A large pinch of fenugreek seeds,
¼ tsp of turmeric,
10 garlic cloves,
 1 tsp of thick tamarind paste,
1 cup of grated coconut,
2 tbsp of coconut oil or ghee

To Serve

1 packet of store bought rotti


Heat a heavy bottomed pan and dry roast the red chillies (both types), coriander seeds, pepper corns cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds all one by one till aromatic and keep aside. Ensure none of this gets burnt or the curry will have a unpleasant bitter taste.

Once cool, powder this in a mixer.

Heat about ½ tbsp. oil or ghee in the same pan and add one of the sliced onions and the garlic cloves. Fry till the onions turn pink then add the coconut, turmeric powder. Saute till it is aromatic. Roasted coconut gives out a very heavenly smell. Let this cool. Add the powdered mixture to this along with the tamarind paste and grind it to a very fine paste using some water.

Mix the ground paste with the thin coconut milk in your cooking vessel. Bring it to a boil, then add the washed and drained chicken and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook till the chicken is tender and done. Now add the garam masala powder and the thick coconut milk and let it get all heated through. Switch off the heat now.

In another pan heat the remaining ghee or oil and add the remaining sliced onion and fry till it is golden brown. Pour this entire thing over the chicken curry. Let it sit covered for about 10 minutes before serving.

To serve break the rotti into smaller pieces if they are too big in size. Heap them on a serving plate and pour the curry on top. Let is rest for a minute then have it using your fingers. This is one dish that cannot be had with a fork and spoon.

The rotti should be slightly soggy with the gravy and some of it should be crisp, that is the ideal way to have it. Ensure the gravy is hot or it will not be soaked by the rotti. My husband has this curry with ghee rice as he is not a fan of this rotti…each to his own 😊