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Showing posts with label SNACKS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SNACKS. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Tofu is made from soybean curds. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium. Contains no cholesterol. It is naturally gluten-free and low in calories.

Tofu is an important source of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians.

Tofu is used as an alternative to meat and used in many Chinese vegetarian dishes as Mock meat here in Singapore.

How is Tofu made?
Tofu is made by coagulating soymilk to create curds. The curds are then pressed and compacted into the gelatinous white blocks recognized as tofu.

To make Pan fried tofu you need to use Extra firm Tofu. 
Unfortunately, the extra firm tofu was out of stock so I had to buy the silken Tofu (It was slightly difficult to manoeuvre the tofu for this dish) but the end result was lip-smackingly delicious.

Pan-fried tofu is a dish that everyone at home will love. It can be served as starters/ finger foods in parties/ social events too. Even those who are not a big fan of Tofu will love this recipe.
Tofu is very versatile. You can flavour it with any sauce or curry powders.
You can add Pan-fried tofu to fried rice or noodles as well.
I have used very simple ingredients.
But if you want you can add curry powder, sauces etc while tossing the tofu.

Tofu – 1 block (Firm)
Corn flour – 2 tablespoons
All-purpose flour – 1 tablespoon
Red chilli crushed – 2 teaspoons
Coarse Pepper – ½ teaspoon
Soya sauce – 2 teaspoons (Optional)
Salt as per taste (Refer Tip)
Oil for frying
Coriander leaves for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon

Tofu comes with some whey (Curdled water), We need to remove all the extra water, so Press the tofu by placing paper towels on the top and bottom of the block and absorb the whey.
After this slice the tofu into ½ inch cubes.
In a small bowl, combine the tofu with the flours, salt, crushed chilli, soya sauce (Optional) and pepper.
Toss gently to coat the tofu well.
Take a frying pan or a large skillet, add oil, heat the oil, once hot, Add the coated tofu.
Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly crispy. 
Serve it hot, garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves, some crushed chilly and toasted sesame seeds.


· Firm or extra-firm tofu is best for frying
· Adjust salt if adding Soya sauce else your dish will become very salty
· Pressing the tofu is very important as it allows the tofu to absorb more of the flavours otherwise it will become soggy.
· If you would like a firmer pan-fried tofu, freeze the tofu cubes for about 30 minutes.

· For firm Tofu, you can use less oil and shallow fry but the silken tofu needs oil for deep frying.


· You can add paprika, curry powder, turmeric for some colour and flavour

Thursday, August 13, 2020


Mumbai is famous for its street food and Masala pav is yet another Mumbai innovation which consists of a Pav laden with spicy masala.
If you are in a mood for pav bhaji or Masala Pav and do not want to indulge in the elaborate preparations and want to rustle up something quick to satisfy your cravings. Here is a recipe, which is quick, easy, tastes equally good.
This recipe can be made as a starter for parties or you can enjoy them as a quick fix meal. 

Ingredients  (Serves 4) 
Pav – 1 Ladi (6 pavs)
Onion – 2 medium size
Tomatoes – 1 big
Green chillies – 2 chopped small
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Pav bhaji Masala – 1 tbsp
Kashmiri Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Lemon – squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon (Optional)
Coriander for Garnish
Oil for frying and cooking

Take a ladi pav and cut them into bite size squares. Keep aside.
Shallow fry until crisp, you can alternatively toss a tsp of oil mix well and toss them into the air fryer for about 15 minutes until crisp. Keep aside.
Now finely chop the onions, tomatoes & Green chillies.
Melt a tablespoon of butter/Oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the butter melts, add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add a tsp of ginger garlic paste, saute for ½ a minute, followed by the finely chopped green chillies and saute for another ½ a minute.
Now, Add the chopped onions and mix.
Cook till the onions become translucent and then add chopped tomatoes. Add Asafoetida, pav bhaji masala, salt and Kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix well. Cook until there’s no more water left. (Refer to Tips).
Toss in the Fried pav bits. Toss well until you see the masala coats the pav completely. 
You can cover the pan for about a minute and let the aroma enter into the pav bits. Do not cover until it starts steaming then your pav bits will become soggy. This step is optional. 
Squeeze half a lemon without the seeds.
Garnish the Bite sized Masala Pav Bits with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Serving Instructions

· Serve your Masala Pav hot.

· Alternatively, you can place the Bite sized masala coated pavs on a platter with toothpicks inserted as a party starter


· As mentioned above you can shallow fry the pav bits on a skillet or Air fry them.

· Do not deep fry as the pav tends to absorb too much oil and becomes very oily.

· The masala shouldn’t be dry but it shouldn’t be too watery either. So, cook till the masala reaches that consistency. If you find the masala too dry, then add ½ a cup of water and cook for about 5-7 minutes till you achieve the desired consistency. 

· Do not cook after the lemon juice is added, as it may make it bitter


· You can completely avoid frying the Bite sized pavs and just toss them in the masala. I just like it a bit crisp, so this is my recipe

· Vegans can avoid butter in the recipe.

· You can add Kasuri Methi for added flavour.

· You can add Green bell pepper (Capsicum). If adding Capsicum, Chop finely and saute with the tomato.

· Lemon Juice is Optional.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


GOKULASHTAMI / KRISHNASHTAMI /JANMASHTAMI /KRISHNA JAYANTI, the Birthday of Lord Krishna is round the corner and one of his favourites is Seedai/Cheedai, a savoury crispy crunchy rice lentil balls.
Every year during Gokulashtami Amma used to make Seedais and we used to absolutely love them. We as kids used to toss Seedais into our mouth or each other’s mouth to see if we can aim right, we used to enjoy this challenge although, we used to get scolded for it.
Making seedais was a family ritual, with all of us involved in the rolling the dough balls. 
Ah!!! Missing those days of family bonding so much, especially in making seedai, the more the people the merrier it would be. 
Appa (the major general of our little army) would trick us into competing on who would roll out more seedai balls quickly, we would immediately take on the challenge, so we can win. We would await this ritual every year eagerly until one year, Amma had kept everything ready but as she popped the seedais into the oil, the seedais burst and the oil splattered and she got burnt badly, she had very bad burn marks on her stomach and hand.
My Appa got so angry that he threw all the dough into the bin and told Amma that henceforth she should not make any Bakshanam(Savouries) that would have the potential to burst and that was that. Appa used to buy all the Bakshanams from our dear Madras Stores(Readymade). 
Amma used to prepare Appam, Vadai etc for neivedyam but no more savouries.
The fear continued and I never attempted making seedai to as the incident had scared me. Anyways, Grand Sweets (Chennai) available in our Abdul Rahim stores, Upper dickson road, Singapore was always there for my rescue, Jai Ho!!!
But looking at so many people attempting this savoury, I got tempted to try too.
Just to be honest with you, I’m a "quick gun Murugan" chef and like quick recipes I don’t like to do too many laborious preparations. So in my recipe I have used the store-bought Rice flour and Udad flour (readymade flours), I have used dessicated coconut as well. 
Here’s my recipe of the Seedai, My recipe can make about ½ a kilo (500 gms) of Seedais

Ingredients (Makes about ½ kg of Seedai)
Rice Flour – ¾ cup
Split white lentil (Udad Dal /Urad dal/ Ulutham parippu) Flour – 1 tbsp
Split Bengal Gram lentil (Chana Dal/Kadalaparuppu) - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing / Perungayam) - ½ tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt as per Taste
Oil for Deep Frying
A muslin cloth or towel

Soak the Chana dal in water for about 15 minutes.
Dry roast the flours in a non-stick pan for about 2-3 minutes in a low flame, ensuring to stand and monitor the roasting and not letting it change colour or catch the bottom. Let it cool down.
Now, Sieve the Flours, this is very important. Do not use the flour which has not passed through the sieve. This ensures that you get a smooth flour with no lumps.
Now, in a deep Mixing ball, Add the flours as per the measure above, add in the grated coconut, asafoetida, butter, the soaked and drained Chana dal and salt as per taste. Mix well, the butter should get one with the flour, so that when you hold it in your hand, it forms the shape of your hand. Then add water little by little and knead well to make a smooth dough. The best part about rice flour is it’s easily manageable with people who are not much experienced as well.
The dough should be stiff and not sticky to your hands. Add water slowly, sprinkle little by little if not confident.
Now, grease your fingers with some oil, take a small quantity of dough and roll it into a tiny ball.
While rolling, we need to roll it gently into a pliable ball, if too hard the seedai may burst.
Do not make big balls, the smaller the balls, the crunchier they turn out. Continue making the balls.
If you do not have people helping you making the balls while you are frying then you need to wet a muslin cloth, squeeze the excess water, the cloth must be moist and throw the balls onto the moist cloth, this is to ensure that the flour doesn’t get dry. Rice flour gets dry very fast.
As you keep making the balls then just cover it with the cloth gently.
Once finished rolling all the balls check, if you feel the balls are moist, allow them to dry out a bit before you start frying
Now comes the frying part, this by far is the most crucial part of making the Seedai.
Before you start, frying we need to ensure that the oil is nice and hot, but not fuming hot. Put a tiny pinch of dough to check first, if you see that the dough comes rising to the top, means your oil is ready.
I usually out one as a test run to see how it reacts (Because of my fear factor), once done, and all ok I add batches of about 15-20 balls at a time. Once you put in a batch of seedais in oil, keep the strainer ladle on top just in case and do not turn them immediately. Increase the flame a bit as when you drop a batch the temperature goes down, after about a minute, lower the flame and slowly turn the seedais to the other side. Let them fry on one side. If we keep the flame high to speed up the process, the seedai will turn brown and instead of being crunchy will be cooked on the outside and chewy on the inside.
The right temperature and being alert during the frying process is a must to ensure perfect seedais. Deep fry the balls until golden in color and you can feel them sound like little marbles on your ladle. Remove and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Allow it to cool down, then store the seedais in an airtight box.
I made this is as a neivedhyam Bakshanam for Gokulashtami. It gave me immense pleasure to serve my Lord, the Home made seedais made with love.
Enjoy these little crunchy balls on the go or as a snack with your tea/coffee. 

Statutory Warning !!!
Do not pop into your mouth, the hot seedai balls once out of the oil you may burn your tongue. Let it cool down first.  The crunch comes only once cool down.


· Follow the ratio exactly as given in my website. We need to use the right ratio otherwise the seedai will not turn out good. Adding more udad dal flour, makes the seedai burst open as well and you will see that the color would become dark, similarly adding less udad dal flour makes the color very light.

· You can sieve the flours twice to ensure that the flour is butter smooth, this ensures that the seedais won’t burst when frying. Better to be safe than sorry since we are using the store-bought readymade flours. Anil Rice flour/Kuzhakattai flour/Idiyappam flour are all good to make this recipe.

In my recipe I have used dessicated coconut. Incase, you are using fresh coconut roast them to a pink colour. After roasting, let it cool before adding to your flour mix.

· Adding more butter will make the seedai too brittle.

· To make more just double the measurements given 


· Vegans can replace butter with 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil, if adding oil, slightly warm up the oil     before adding.

· For those who want to make it the traditional way using the home made rice flour, which is considered by the elders and experienced as the best due to its smooth texture and also because you know what rice goes into the making.

Saturday, July 11, 2020


Kathiawadi cuisine hails from Kathiawar in Saurashtra region of India and other areas in Southern Gujarat.
Kathiawadi cuisine is usually spicy, they add onion and garlic in many of their preparations.
What I love about Kathiawadi cuisine is the lack of sweetness in their preparations which suits my palate.
Today I’m going to share with you’ll the recipe of Kathiawadi Lasaniya Dhokla, which packs a punch of flavours and gives your taste palates a jolt.
This variety of dhokla hasn’t been blogged much about.
This is a healthy recipe since it’s made with Broken wheat (dalia).
It’s a no fail recipe provided you follow the recipe given here to the “T”
Do Try this recipe.

Dalia / Broken wheat - 1 cup
Semolina (Rava / Suji) - ½ cup
Yogurt (Dahi) - 1 cup
Green chilly - 3 (Small size)
Ginger - ½ inch
Garlic – 2-3 pods
Oil – 1 tsp
Baking Powder – ½ tsp
Baking soda – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) – ¼ tsp
Salt as per taste

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 2-3 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig 
Green chillies - 2 whole with stem slit for decoration 
Oil – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – For Garnish

Pound the Green chilli, ginger and garlic into a coarse paste.
Take a big bowl, add 1 cup of Broken wheat(dalia), ½ cup Semolina (Rava/Sooji) and 1 cup thick Yogurt, add salt, asafoetida(hing), chilly-ginger-garlic paste and 1.5 tsps of Sesame seeds.
Add ¼ cup water if the batter is thick.
Mix well.
Keep it aside for 30 min.
Let it marinate in the spices and let the dalia and semolina soak in the yogurt and water.
Meanwhile, prepare the steamer and grease your dhokla plates or any moulds of choice with a little oil.
Check your Dhokla batter, Your batter should be like the idli batter
Add the Baking Powder – ½ tsp and Baking soda – ¼ tsp to the Dhokla batter, mix well and immediately pour the batter into the prepared plates/moulds.
Do not beat the mix vigorously after adding the baking powder and soda. Just whisk it gently so that it mixes into the batter evenly. 

Use an Idli / Dhokla Steamer pot and cook the Dhokla on medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
After 20 mins, take a tooth pick and check. If it comes out clean then your dhoklas are done. Turn off the gas and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. After which you can remove the stand. Let it cool for a few minutes.
Take a knife and cut into desired shape.
The next step is tempering. In a small pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and once they crackle, add the sesame seeds, curry leaves and green chilies and take the pan off the heat.
Drizzle this tempering (tadka) over the dhokla using a spoon.
Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and Serve hot. Enjoy this snack with tea or as a starter.

Serving Instructions
· Serve it hot with some oil (Preferably Peanut or Sesame oil). The reason it’s served with oil is because it’s a bit spicy and the oil dip brings down the spice and enhances the flavour of the dhokla

· Serve hot with green chutney and sweet date chutney as preferred


· Use Roasted Dalia/Semolina. If not roasted and kept. Roast the Dalia and Semolina and keep aside. Wait for it to cool

· For those who do not have an Idli/Dhokla steamer can use the pressure cooker without the weight(whistle) or use plates and place onto a stand in a wok with water and cover and steam cook.

· You can use Eno fruit salt – ½ tsp instead of the Baking powder and Baking soda.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020


Devshayani Ekadashi or Ashadi Ekadashi is followed by all Hindus, but it’s very popular in Maharashtra and is known by the name of Ashadi Ekadashi.
Every year, there is an annual pilgrimage (yatra) in honor of Lord Vithoba.
Palkhis (palanquin processions) carrying the paduka’s (foot prints) of the deity and various saints, most notably Dnyaneshwar and Tukaram from the Warkari sect, are taken from their respective shrines to Pandharpur.
Warkari is a Marathi term which means "one who performs the Wari" or "one who venerates Lord Vithoba".
The tradition is more than 700 to 800 years old.
Devotees from all over Maharashtra and nearby areas set out for Pandharpur, wearing holy basil beads (Tulsi mala) and singing the glories of Lord Vithoba and the holy saints.
Today is the day when upon reaching Pandharpur on Ashadhi Ekadashi, these devotees take a holy dip in the sacred Chandrabhaga River/Bhima River before proceeding to visit the Vitthal Temple and offering Prayers to the Lord.
The devotees also observe strict fasting on this day.
Those who cannot fast are allowed to eat certain fasting items (Vrat ka khana).
One such item is Sabudana or Sago.
Today I’m going to share with you’ll the recipe of Sabudana Chivda.
Chivda is a mixed snack and usually had with tea. This is a crispy crunchy chivda with an interesting mix.

Sago – 1 cup
Peanuts – ¼ cup
Slivered Almonds – 1 tbsp
Raisins – 2 tablespoons
Potato Grated – 1
Green Chillies - 2-3
Curry Leaves – 1 Sprig
Red chilly powder – ¼ tsp
Powdered Sugar – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for frying

Heat oil in a wok / frying pan. Before starting to fry, add a sago and see if it pops up. First add sabudana and fry it till the sabudana changes color. Once done transfer the fried sabudana in a large bowl.
Now fry the grated potato to a golden brown color. Add it to the sabudana mixture.
Now in another wok fry all the ingredients one by one on a low flame ensuring that you don't burn them. Fry the peanuts until golden and split, then the Slivered almonds until golden, Raisins until plump. Fry the green chilies and curry leaves together. Once they are done add them to the sabudana mixture.
Drain the oil well and mix all the ingredients that you fried with the fried Sago.
Add salt and sugar. Mix everything well.
Sabudana Chivda is ready to snack on!
Let this get cool for some time then store it in an air - tight container.

· You require the larger variety of Sago pearls known as the “Nylon sabudana”

. Use Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) for fasting.

· Always wash the sago well 3 times and then sun dry it and then fry the sago.

· Ensure that none of the ingredients become black while frying. If they become black throw them, don't use them in the chivda as the taste of the chivda can spoil.

· Preferably use a net to fry all the ingredients, as it is easy to catch all the ingredients from the oil.

· Toss all the items a couple of times to mix everything well.

· You can use the dried potato sticks available in the market instead of the fresh grated potato.


· Can Add Grated Coconut, Just fry golden and add (If add coconut, the shelf life reduces)

· Can add Cashew nuts. Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

· Can put whole almonds. Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

· Can avoid Green chilies and use only red chili powder

· Can avoid Red chilly powder and use only green chilies instead.

· You can use slices of dried coconut (Kopra). Fry Golden and add to the Chivda

Thursday, June 11, 2020


Cassava is a staple food crop in many parts of the world.
A native to South America, cassava was introduced to Africa in the 16th Century by Portuguese traders.
Since then cassava has grown to become a staple food for most African countries. Cassava is grown principally for its starchy roots and it is a good dietary caloric source and has since become one of its most important root crop.
Cassava (Agbeli) in the Ewe language (a language spoken in Ghana, Togo and Benin) means "there is life".
Today I’m going to share a beautiful Ghananian recipe, “Agbeli Kaklo” made with this humble tuber that’s so easy to grow and quite filling and nutritious.
Locally, Cassava is known as Agbeli/Bankye and Krakro/Kaklo means fried.
Agbeli Kaklo is a crunchy savoury snack.
The recipe is very simple and has minimal ingredients, yet very tasty.
This dish is normally eaten with grated or shaved fresh coconut.

Ingredients (Serves - 4-6)
Cassava - 2-3 Medium size
Onion – 1 Medium size
Green Chilly - 1-2
Cooking oil
Salt as per taste
Fresh coconut, sliced or grated into thin shavings

Wash and peel the cassava, cut each down the middle lengthwise so that you can remove the stalky thread running through it, cut them into big chunks. Grate the cassava finely.
Place the grated cassava in a sieve and rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove the starch. Leave to drain. Now place the grated cassava in a muslin cloth and squeeze out all the starch. Leave to air-dry a little on a plate (this step is optional)
In a bowl, add the dried cassava, onion, green chilies chopped and salt. Mix well and make a tight ball by pressing firmly to keep them bound together. (Refer Picture)

Deep fry the balls on a moderate heat, turning them intermittently to evenly cook them. Fry until golden brown. Strain off excess oil.

Agbeli Kaklo is served hot with dried coconut. Enjoy as a snack with hot tea/coffee.
Make this as a starter item for a party and surprise your guests.

· If you like you can avoid Onions

· You can add Freshly chopped Coriander leaves to the mix

· If you do not have a muslin cloth, you can squeeze out the starch using your hand as well.

· If you don’t air dry the Cassava after squeezing out the starch, then it may absorb more oil while frying due to the moisture, yet, this step is optional.

· The starch that is squeezed out from the Cassava is commonly used in puddings and as a thickener. It can be saved as well, so nothing goes wasted.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015


Phool Makhana is Puffed dried lotus seeds, also known as Foxnuts. Phool Makhana is very famous in North India during Vrat Season for making kheer, sabji or just roasting it for snacking.It is considered to be very healthy as its low in saturated fats and cholestrol content, Isn’t that nice to hear you don't need to feel guilty while you munch on these super healthy crunchy roasted phool makhana, it tastes a bit like popcorn but I tell you this is more tasty and healthier...and you can prepare it in a jiffy.
I had seen Phool makhana used to thicken gravies in North Indian curries.  But that’s all I knew about it. But when I came to live with the North Indians in Singapore, I saw that they used it extensively during the fasting season. They made a kheer(Milk dessert) out of it or used it in a vegetable or simply ate roasted Phool Makhana like popcorn. Now, this variety impressed me the most as I love popcorns.

Then again, when I googled on Phool Makhana...

I learnt that.......
1. Lotus seeds benefit the spleen, kidney, and heart.
2. The seed also has calming properties that alleviate restlessness, palpitations, and insomnia.
3. It is also rich in calcium. It can be easily digested by all the age groups.
4. It is a highly regarded herb for restoring sexual vigour and youthful energy in older men.
5. It regulates blood pressure, relieves numbness and aching near waist and knees.
6. It is Suitable for arthritis, helps fighting impotency and premature aging.
7. Makhana is very useful for women during and post pregnancy period.
8. It is also helps your respiratory system, veins and digestion.
9. Popped makhana contains almost 12% of protein! (excellent especially for vegetarians!)

Anti – aging :- Fox nuts are rich in antioxidants which works as age lock system and makes us younger for much longer. Fox nuts are effective for individuals with high risk of premature ageing, premature grey hair,wrinkles  and other signs of aging. It reverses the aging process over a period of time......This definitely has caught my Attention

Diabetes :- Diabetes is a metabolic disorder, which is accompanied by high blood glucose levels. It is a result of improper functioning of the pancreas, which secretes the insulin hormone. Fox nut is a sweet and sour seed These seeds contain starch and protein which is excellent for diabetes .

AYURVEDA AND UNANI (BRANCHES OF MEDICINE) texts have accepted its aphrodisiac and spermatogenic properties.
Herbs of phool makhana are considered worth in vajikarnana therapy.
Makhana helps in Cardiac Protection and builds the action in dysentery and frequent urination.
Phool makhana has astringent property, hence it gives relief from diarrhoea and helps to improve the appetite.
It helps in increasing the quality and quantity of semen, also prevents the premature ejaculation, increases the libido and also helps in female infertility.
Phool makhana is sweet to neutral in nature. Therefore, helps to detoxify the spleen, reinforce the kidneys and nourish the blood.

According to principles of TCM (traditional Chinese medicine), fox nut is used to strengthen spleen and kidneys.  Makhana helps in conditions like arthritis, erectile dysfunction and premature aging. These seeds have antioxidant properties and help in digestion, rejuvenates respiratory system and prevents frequent urination.
“25 to 30 grams” phool makhana is considered as a healthy food/diet for the whole family.
Wow!!!!.......So many benefits...then why not add it into our daily lives....and I decided to make the healthy popcorn (Roasted Phool Makhana).
My kids loved it and kept munching. I tried adding some flavours too like chat masala, red chilly powder, pepper powder etc. They liked the original lightly salted the best though.

Makhana - 2 cups
Oil/Ghee – 2 tsps
Salt as per taste
In case you want to add color / flavors
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (Yellow color)
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (Red Chilly flavour)
Paprika powder – ½ tsp (Paprika flavour)
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (Pepper flavour)
Chat Masala powder - 1 tsp (Masala Flavour)
Tomato powder – 1 tsp (Tomato Flavour)
Cheese powder – 2 tsp (Cheese Flavour)
Or any flavour you please. You can make a combo of flavours too....

In a wok, add ghee and once the ghee is hot, add the phool makhanas and roast them. Don’t leave them unattended on the fire as they are very delicate and tend to burn fast. Keep roasting till it’s light golden in color.  Check if it’s done by sampling one...If it’s crunchy then it’s done. Put off the gas.
Add salt and toss. Fill a nice bowl with the crunchy phool makhanas and enjoy this healthy snack 
In case you want to add flavours then,
After sampling add in the spice powders of your choice and toss.  Serve and Enjoy.
If you’ve made a big batch then let the Phool Makhana cool down completely then store them in an airtight container. Phool Makhana has a very good shelf life, you can store them in air tight container for many months. Keep them away from the moisture and direct sun light.

·         The plain salted tastes better when roasted in Ghee

·         After you add the spice powders don’t toss with the gas burner on as the spice powders will catch       the bottom and burn spoiling your batch of makhanas.

Monday, October 15, 2012


This is a savory snack made as a fasting dish. The yellow moong dal is good for the stomach and the grated potato makes it heavy and filling. 

Yellow moong dal – 250 gms
Potatoes -  2 (peeled and grated)
Ginger – ½ inch piece
Green Chillies – 2-3
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 2 tsps  
Asafetida – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves – 2 tbsps finely chopped.
Salt as per taste (For people who are fasting they can use Sendha Namak)

Soak moong dal for 3 to 4 hours. Rinse it well. Grind the dal with the green chillies, ginger, turmeric powder, Red chilly powder, Asafetida without adding water into a coarse paste. It shouldn’t be a fine paste, the batter should be of thick consistency, so don’t over grind the dal. If you are having trouble grinding you can add about 2-3 tbsps of water, but make sure the batter doesn’t get too soggy else the vada will absorb more oil and be very oily.
After you make a coarse batter of the moong dal, add the grated potato and freshly chopped coriander leaves into it.
For those who like some more flavor you can add one big finely chopped onion to this batter before you fry. (My recipe doesn’t have onions)
Heat oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, put small balls of the batter, shouldn’t be too even(very round) while dropping, when dropped unevenly it will be more crispy. Fry the vadas till golden and crisp, remove and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot with coconut chutney or green chutney.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


The rains always makes you crave for something deep fried and hot with some hot spiced tea.  While I was contemplating to make pakodas, I thought why not put some healthy ingredients to the otherwise unhealthy deep fried snack, just to make it slightly guiltless. I had just purchased packets of fresh greens during my weekend shopping trip, I thought let me add the greens and some onion and make these Green Fritters, instead of the traditional onion bhajiyas which I was craving to have.
I named it Hare Bhare Pakode an off-shoot from the Hara Bhara kabab. I hope you enjoy this post. This post also has the privilege of the first clicks from my new Nikon D3200SLR Digital Camera. I am still a beginner, but hope to have beautiful clicks in the future thanks to the birthday gift from my dear hubby Yo.
Onions – 2 big sized
Spinach – 1 ½ cup
Coriander Leaves – 1 cup
Kasuri Methi powder – 2 tsps or ½ cup of fresh fenugreek leaves
Green Chillies paste – ½ tsp (optional-for flavoring only)
Ginger paste - 1 tsp
Gram Flour – 4 tbsps
Bishops weed (Ajwain) – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 2 tsps
Asafetida – A pinch
Salt to taste
Oil for deep-frying
(Any of the above ingredients can be adjusted or altered to suit one’s own taste palettes).

Peel and chop the onions in strips. Clean the spinach and coriander leaves and chop them finely.
Take a bowl,  Add in the onion strips, chopped spinach, chopped coriander leaves and 2 tablespoons of kasuri methi powder (I made a powder of the kasuri methi leaves and added 2 teaspoons of it to the mix for the flavor of the fenugreek, you can alternatively use ½ cup of cleaned, sorted and chopped fresh fenugreek leaves).
Now add the green chilly paste, ginger paste, then add 2 tbsps of gram flour, the bishops weed, Asafetida, Red chili powder, salt and mix well. Allow the onions and the greens to marinate in the mixture for about 10-15 minutes. The onions and greens start to sweat and you will notice the mixture to be moist, at this point, add the rest of the gram flour. If you find the mix too dry then sprinkle some water. Just 2-3 tablespoons of water will do. The water is added to make the mixture a bit loose and in dropping consistency. Again keep aside for 4-5 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, drop the batter. The technique to drop the batter is to scoop the batter in your hand and spread your fingers when you drop it into the oil, so they drop unevenly and look shapeless, this makes the pakodas more crispy. Fry the pakodas till golden and crisp on a slow fire. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot with coriander chutney/ mint chutney or tomato sauce.

Friday, January 6, 2012


Schools have started and so has the daily grind for me with 2 little school going children and it is very important for me to ensure that the children eat a balanced diet which includes vegetables and greens.
I hid some greens (Spinach leaves, dried fenugreek leaves powder and coriander leaves), in my children’s favorite snack “dhokla”, my kids were enticed by the lovely fresh green colored dhoklas and ate them with delight.
I think it’s a nice way to make kids eats vegetables. Do try this steam cooked recipe packed with nutrition

Besan (gram flour) - 1 cup
Semolina (Rava) - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Spinach leaves (Palak) – 10-12
Kasuri methi powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Sugar – 1tbsp
Ginger paste - 1 teaspoon
Green chilly paste - 1 teaspoon
Garlic paste – 1 tsp (optional)
Citric Acid (Nimbu ke phool) - 1/2 teaspoon or Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Eno Fruit salt or Soda Bicarb – 1 ½ tsp
For the tempering
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
White Sesame seeds (til) – ½ tsp
Green chillies – 2-3
Curry leaves – A sprig
Asafetida (hing) - a pinch
For the garnish
Freshly grated Coconut – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 3-4 tbsp

Rinse the Spinach leaves and 3 tablespoons of coriander leaves in a colander. Make a fine puree of the leaves in a blender without adding water.
In a big bowl add in all the ingredients except the Eno fruit salt and mix well using water to make a thick idli like batter. Let this rest for 10 minutes.
Add in the Eno fruit salt or Soda bicarb, Add little water and mix well.
You will notice that the mixture rises. Don’t wait too long once the batter rises.
When you see that the batter has risen immediately pour it onto a greased thali and steam, else your dholkas won’t turn out puffy and nice.
Remember the batter should’nt rest after adding the fruit salt.
Once the batter is poured into a deep greased plate, steam for about 10 - 15 minutes in a pressure cooker without the whistle or in a steamer.
When it’s done in a pressure cooker, keep it for about 10 minutes after you hear the whooshing sound of steam coming out through the top nozzle.
Once you turn off the gas, let the dhoklas rest for a while. Check with a knife, insert into the cake, if it comes free your dhoklas are done.
If not, steam cook for some more time.
For the tempering, heat the oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds, when the mustard seeds crackle add in the cumin seeds & sesame seeds. Fry 2 -3 whole green chillies with the stalk, Add the curry leaves, Add in some asafetida and pour this over the steamed dhoklas.
Garnish with Finely chopped coriander leaves and some freshly grated coconut.
Cut into pieces and serve with coriander chutney or tamarind and date chutney.

I would like to pack some of my Hara bhara dhoklas to Priya Sreeram’s Fast Food Not Fat Food event.
This event was originally started by Priya Mahadevan 

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Every Diwali in my house and in my mother’s house, one permanent bhakshanam(savory snack dish) is the Tenkuzhal, we call this Tengozhal at home. The reason that everyone used to like this savory snack is because it’s not spicy. Children used to absolutely love this crispy, crunchy snack. Here in Singapore almost all my Indian and non-Indian friends love this snack and request me to bring some for them and Diwali is one such time where we share sweets and savories with our near and dear ones and what better way to share what is prepared at home with love.
Rice Flour - 2 Cups
White lentil/(Black gram skinless)/Udad dal or ready Udad flour - 2 Tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp(I love this in the tengozhal so I put more, you can put 1 tsp
Asafetida - a pinch
Butter - 2 tablespoons
Salt as per taste
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp (for the palakkad iyer / keralaiyer touch)(optional)
Oil for frying
You need the Tengozhal press nazhi and you have to use the plate with holes (bigger holes to be precise)
Dry roast the udad dal in a pan and grind it in a blender to make a fine powder. I used the ready flour easily available in the market nowadays.
Dry roast the cumin seeds and when it pops remove, cool it and grind it for one spin in the blender. Don't make it into a fine powder. We are putting it in the blender so that it breaks into half and the aroma comes out.
In a big bowl, Add rice flour, udad flour, broken cumin seeds, sesame seeds, salt as per taste, butter and asafetida. Mix well so that you know everything has blended well. Now add water slowly and make a dough. The dough resembles the dough we make for chapatti / roti. At this stage add the coconut oil and knead well for another 5 minutes, palakkad iyers usually fry the bhakshanams in coconut oil which gives it a very unique and flavorful taste, to remind me of that I added the coconut oil, this is optional and if you want you can avoid it.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, and when the oil is hot add a little piece of dough to check, if the dough rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying.
Now stuff the dough in the nazhi(press) and close the mould. Squeeze it through the mould in big circles or smaller circles. Mind you, keep your hand a bit far once you drop as the steam will hit your hand. Deep fry the Tengozhal in low flame till it is crisp. I like my Tengozhal white and crisp. If your rice flour is good your tengozhal will come out white as mine in the picture and if not you will have to fry till its done to an almost golden brown color. Remove and place on paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Once cool, store it in a air tight container. Indulge in this crunchy delight as and when you want it.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

MEDHU VADAI OR ULUNDHU VADAI (Savory Indian doughnut)

MEDHU VADAI OR ULUNDHU VADAI (Savory Indian doughnut)
The Savory Indian doughnut is what my non-Indian friends call our Medhu vadai in Singapore and I tell you they love it to the last bite.
Nothing can beat the crunch of the outside to the softness & puffiness of the inside. It’s bland but when it combines with sambhar or coconut chutney or yogurt, it turns into something else.
I have been trying to make the perfect Medhu vadais since the year 2001 when I got married and moved to Singapore but always ended up making mysore bondas (dropping the medhu vada batter into round balls instead). The taste is the same but the look is different. I wanted it to look like the ones we buy in the hotel. Until one day my friend Vidya who hails from Trichy got me some perfectly shaped doughnut like vadas, crispy on the outside and soft and well cooked on the inside. I asked her for the recipe and she told me that it is difficult to grind in the Blender (mixie) and she usually grinds for the vada batter in the wet grinder. She also told me that you should add water along the way an Urad / Udad dal should be ground into fine bouncy paste. Once I bought my little Premier Wet grinder, I decided to attempt Medhu Vadais with Vidya’s recipe. Now mind you Vidya’s mother is a fabulous cook and a perfectionist. Her mother had given her a tip of adding toor dal while soaking the Urad / Udad dal. This not only makes the vada crispy but also keeps the batter be bound together and makes it easy to make the doughnuts with the batter.
Medhu Vada
Skinless Black gram / Urad Dal – 2 cups
Yellow split Pea / Toor dal - 2 tablespoons
Green Chillies – 4-6 nos
Ginger – ½ inch (optional)
Onion – 1(optional)
Salt – 3/4 tsp
Asafetida (Hing or perungayam) - ½ tsp
Curry leaves – A sprig
Oil- for frying
Soak the Urad dal and toor dal in water for 2-3 hours. Grind the soaked urad dal along with chillies, ginger and salt into a fine paste i.e. when you take the batter in your fingers you should not feel the grains. While grinding like I mentioned before kindly add water slowly, you can sprinkle water. Ensure that the batter doesn’t become watery. The batter should be thick and not like the dosa batter which flows down when dropped from a spoon.
Heat oil in a kadai. Dip your hands in water. Take the batter of the size of a small ball in your palm or a plantain leaf or a polythene sheet and pat it to form a circle. Dip your index finger in water and make a hole in the patted batter in the center. I prefer to do it on my palm as it is easy to maneuver the batter.
Fry the vadas in oil till golden brown on both sides.
Medhu Vadai
Different Types of Vadai
Coriander Leaves and Curry Leaves - You can add curry leaves and finely chopped coriander to the batter.
Spinach Vadai (Keerai Vadai)
You can add any green leafy vegetables like Palak keerai, Arai Keerai, Mullai Keerai, Murunga Elai(drumstick leaves),
Onion Vadai
You can add finely chopped onions,
Cabbage Vadai
You can add finely chopped cabbage,
Potato Ulundhu Vadai
You can add grated potato into the batter
You can use all or any of the permutation and combinations and still have a wholesome and nutritious snack which is very delectable.

Soak the vada in Rasam.
Soak the vada atleast for half an hour before serving. Only then the rasam will penetrate into the vada and will taste good.
While serving the Rasam vadai just garnish it with finely chopped coriander and then serve.

Soak the vada in Sambhar.
The sambhar should not be very thick. Soak the vada atleast for half an hour before serving. Only then the sambhar will penetrate into the vada and will taste good.
While serving the Sambhar vadai just garnish it with finely chopped coriander and then serve.

Soak the vada in Dahi.
Kindly click on the link to follow the recipe. In my recipe replace the moong vada with the Urad vada and follow the method as per the link.

I have already given you the tip of adding Toor dal alongwith urad dal while soaking.
Here are some more tips :-
- You can add a pinch of baking soda just before making the vada, this makes the vada  
- Add a boiled and mashed potato to the batter and mix it well. By adding boiled potato
   the vada will remain crisp and puffy for a long time
- If the batter is watery it will not freely drop into the oil. It will break half way through  
   the journey from your  hand to the oil. If it is like that don’t worry. Add some Rice   
   flour to the vada batter.
- To check if the Vada is cooked fully wash the tip     
  of a knife and pierce the vada. If no batter sticks on the knife then the vada is fully
  cooked or else it needs more cooking.
Neivedyam to the lord.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Its Tea time again and I’m pondering over what snack to make for my kids. I thought why not make bread rolls as it’s a really long time I haven’t made them as I am trying to avoid fried foods. But heck its raining isn’t that reason enough to have something fried with a mug of piping hot tea. Bread rolls is a dish that can be made with ingredients at home. So dunk into this crispy and delectable snack. I am sure the kids will enjoy it too.

Slice Bread - 1 Packet
Potatoes - 5-6 medium sized
Green Chillies -2
Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds –  1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Coriander Leaves
Boil the potatoes. Peel and mash them. In a wok, add one tablespoon of oil. Add the cumin seeds and when they start to fry, add in the ginger and chilly paste, the coriander powder, cumin powder and asafetida. After a minute or two, when you see they are fried well, add in the mashed potatoes and salt as per taste. Mix well. Finally garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. Mix well. Allow this mix to cool.
Now take a slice of bread and dip it gently in water from both sides
Do not cut the sides of the slice bread, they hold the entire roll together.
Squeeze the bread to let out the water, do this gently or the bread will break.
Add the potato filling in the bread and turn the bread into an elongated roll-shape or round shape.
Deep fry the roll in the hot oil.
Fry until golden brown, remove the bread roll from the hot oil and drain the excess oil on a tissue paper.
Serve hot with green coriander chutney, tomato ketchup / chilly sauce.
Potato filling inside the bread roll

Saturday, May 28, 2011


Its vacation time here in Singapore. Here is a special snack that kids and adults will enjoy. It is nutritious too. Vermicelli is made from semolina, It’s a much healthier option compared to the All purpose flour noodles that kids like to eat these days. Because it appears like noodles, kids absolutely love this dish. You can add vegetables and make it too. I have just showcased the traditional south Indian style of preparation that I learnt from my friend’s mother which was so delightful that it remained etched in my memory forever.
Delicious Vermicelli uppuma served on a platter

Vermicelli – 2 cups
Onions – 1
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – a small piece
Curry Leaves – A sprig
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Chana dal (Bengal Gram) – 1tsp
Curry leaves – A sprig
Asafetida (hing) - a pinch
Freshly grated coconut – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste
In a wok, add 2 tablespoons of oil, Now add the mustard, cumin and Bengal gram, when the mustard starts to crackle and the Bengal gram turns a light golden, add Green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves and asafetida. Fry till the chilly becomes a light green, now add the onions and fry until transparent. Now add 2 cups of vermicelli, add salt as per taste and roast it along with all the ingredients until the vermicelli is a light pink in color. Ensure that it doesn’t get black, you have to stand and monitor this and keep sautéing. When you see the vermicelli become a light pink in color, add steaming hot water till you see the vermicelli immersed. The water shouldn’t drown it completely otherwise the vermicelli will become soggy and sticky. Now just mix everything well and cover the wok with a lid and keep the gas on sim (low flame).
After 5 minutes open and check, give it a good stir and close the lid again. After another 5 minutes you will notice that the Semolina has absorbed all the water and is looking transparent and fluffy, give it one more stir and add the 2 tablespoons of freshly grated coconut, stir and cook covered for 2 minutes, after this put off the gas and let the vermicelli rest with the lid on the wok for about 5 minutes so that all the flavors can be absorbed in. Then open the lid and serve hot. Kids love this uppuma.
Tip : You can add in Cashews while seasoning, if you want.
Vermicelli Uppuma close-up

Sunday, May 15, 2011


This is a snack I absolutely adore, soft and spongy on the inside and crisp and crusty on the outside. This dish gets its name because sour buttermilk (moru) is used in the batter. It is known as Moru Appam in Kerala but in Tamilnadu it is known as Kuzhi Paniyaaram.
One evening when I was pondering over what to make for tiffin (evening snack), I raided my fridge and found a big bowlful of Dosa batter, the batter was slightly sour. Sometimes inspite of refrigerating the dosa batter, it becomes sour. Once, the batter becomes sour the dosa doesn’t taste so good. I thought of putting it to good use by making moru appams. It’s like making the best out of something that would go waste.
Traditionally Moru Appam is made by soaking raw rice and Udad dal in the 3:1 consistency (3cups of raw rice and 1cup Udad dal) just as we do for the dosa batter and then adding on the other ingredients as mentioned below.
I made the Moru Appams with the leftover dosa batter. I would say it is the easier, faster and tastier way to make this dish.
Moru Appams are traditionally made in a vessel called the Appa Kaarai / Paniyaram vessel which has holes in it (like a muffin tray). You drop the oil in the holes and when the oil is hot, you can drop the appam batter into it. But for those who don’t have this vessel, you can deep fry in the frying pan as well.
Left over dosa batter – 12-15 ladleful
Rice flour – 2 tbsps
All purpose flour(Maida) – 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 small finely chopped
Ginger - ½ inch piece grated
Toasted Cumin seeds (Jeera) - ½ tsp (Optional)
Asafetida (Hing) – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 6-7
Fresh Coriander - 1 tbsp
Chopped coconut slices – 2 tsps (Optional)
Buttermilk (Moru) - ½ cup (Optional)
Salt as per taste
In a big bowl, add 15 ladlefuls of left over dosa batter, add the 2 tbsps of rice flour, 1 tbsp of Maida, 2 finely chopped green chillies, ½ inch ginger grated finely, Toasted jeera if you like, ½ tsp of Asafetida, curry leaves 6-7 torn and put into this mix, fresh coriander leaves chopped finely and added to this. I haven’t added the coconut slices to my mix here, but if you like the coconutty flavor go ahead and add it. Add the buttermilk and mix everything into a batter. The consistency should be like the dosa batter. Allow this to rest for about half an hour till the batter soaks in all the flavors added into it.
After this, heat the appa karai with some oil in all the holes, once the oil is nice hot pour the batter to ¾ level of each hole, the oil will be bubbly and frothy, wait for a minute or two and then with the help of a chopstick prick the appam and turn it around so that it can cook it on the other side too. Do this gently with a light hand, else the oil can splash and burn you. When you see that both sides are Golden brown as in the picture, remove them from the appa karai. Then fry the next batch. If needed pour some oil in the holes, wait for it to be heated and fry the next batch.
Enjoy the golden brown Moru Appams, soft inside and crisp and crusty outside with some white coconut chutney.

·        In case you are using the sour leftover dosa batter then you can skip the sour buttermilk, otherwise, the mor appams will be too sour.
·        Some people add a tablespoon of Maida(all purpose flour) for it to come out non sticky, porous and floating in shape like a ball in the oil but once we put the maida the Mor appams become oily (they soak in more oil). You will have to dab it well in a serviette before serving to remove the excess oil.
·        If you don’t want to put finely chopped green chillies and grated ginger, you can grind them into a paste and add into the batter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MATHRI / MATHI - A North Indian Layered savory cookie

MATHRI / MATHI - A North Indian Layered savory cookie
Joys of staying in Mumbai and a cosmopolitan neighborhood is that you get to taste the best of all the worlds. I still remember when my neighbor aunty used to be back from Punjab, she used to come back with loads of Mathi (that’s what they call this dish in Punjab). Big crispy ones and trust me they used to make the best tea time snack for days to come. This introduced me to the Mathi.
Mathi or Mathri is an Indian snack. It is mostly made in Northern part of India. It’s a savory snack. Crispy, salted and flaky usually served with tea. Mathris are served even at marriages and poojas. Mathris are served with pickles. It’s a snack which can made and preserved for days, and is ideal to carry with you for long distance journeys. Nowadays, we get mathris off the counter, but try making them fresh at home it tastes much better. You can also make it flavored with methi (fenugreek leaves), Pudina (Mint leaves) or Dhaniya (coriander leaves).
You can make small lots of the mathris and keep them in airtight containers and savor these lovely layered cookies as and when you want them.

All Purpose flour (Plain flour or maida) -2 cups
Semolina(Rava/Suji) - 1/2  cup
Bishops weed(Ajwain)-1/2 tsp
Butter /Ghee / Margarine – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste
Oil to fry
In a wide mouthed vessel, Add in the all purpose flour and semolina, salt as per taste( add very little salt, as your mathri will become salty otherwise). Add the ajwain and butter and mix well. The flour should look crumbled. This means that the butter is mixed well. Now add a little lukewarm water and mix well, add the water little at a time, kneading into a firm dough. Cover the dough and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
Divide the dough into about 40 equal parts.
Take each part of the dough and make a flat ball shape. You can roll them neatly with a rolling pin, but I chose not to, so that, it looks ruffled and handmade. You can involve the kids in this. They will actually enjoy pressing flat shapes of dough balls using their palms. Imperfect is Perfect. Too perfect looks like you bought it from the shop. The homemade ones should always look a bit imperfect but with loads of love packed in it.
Heat the oil in a frying pan. Ensure the oil is not fuming hot but just medium hot(you can do a dough test and if the dough rises immediately you know the temperature of the oil is just perfect). Put in some of the handmade or rolled out mathris. Don’t over crowd the oil, just put enough mathris to cover the frying oil. Fry on a low flame so that they get cooked well and form into layers of crispy biscuit.
Fry the mathris until both sides are a light golden-brown.
Enjoy with pickles or a cup of tea

Prick each mathri with a fork in 5 to 6 places, so the mathris do not puff when frying.
If the mathris are cooked on high heat, they will be soft.
Mathris can be stored for a couple of months in airtight containers.


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