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

Friday, April 3, 2009

KAARA VADAI and Awards


This was my grandma’s signature dish, she used to dish out the best Kaara vadais in the world. She was always full of life, she loved it when people visited her and would whirr around the kitchen dishing up some wonderful things. Kaara vadai was one such evening snack. It never happens that we make kaara vadai and don’t think of my grandma. This post is an ode to my grandma who is no more in this world but forever in our hearts and her recipes are a sheer gastronomic indulgence. I wish I had the energy she had, the bounce in her steps, the never-say-never attitude, the zeal for cooking no matter how many people came home. Her initiative and enthusiasm to dish out her famous recipes for all and sundry who visited us, be it the relatives or friends was matchless. I would love to share this recipe keeping in lieu the spirit of sharing that she passed on to us. Enjoy this recipe, make a sizeable number of kaara vadai, you can’t stop with one and you will keep coming back for more of the crispy, karari and lip smackingly delicious bite sized kara vadais. If its leftover, u can put it in sambhar and tastes excellent like sambhar vadai or you can even put it in yogurt (dahi) and trust me it tastes better than Medhu vada or the lentil vadas(bhalle) put in Dahi(Yogurt). Kaara vadais go well with tea. It’s a tea time snack.


Raw rice - 1 cup

Udad Split Black Gram Dal - ½ cup

Chana dal (Bengal Gram) – ¼ cup

Chana dal (Bengal Gram) – 1 tbsp soaked

Green chillies – 7-8

Asafetida – ½ tsp

Salt as per taste

Curry leaves

Oil to fry


Wash well and soak 1 cup raw rice and 1/3 cup urad dhal and ¼ cup chana dal for 2 hrs. Also soak separately 1 tablespoon soaked chana dal.

Drain and grind all the dals along with the green chillies in a wet grinder or mixer except the soaked 1 tbsp chana dal.

Grind into a coarse paste adding salt, asafetida and sufficient water. The batter shouldn’t be very thin or thick just like normal vada batter, it should be to dropping consistency

Now tear some curry leaves and add to the vada batter, also add in the soaked 1 tbsp chana dal and mix well.

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.

Priti of Indian Khana has showered me with awards.

Thanks Priti, it really boosts me, I would like to share it with some of my blogger friends.

I am passing this to;

Sanghi of Sanghi's Tasty Bites

Deepa of Simple Home cooking

Purva of Purva's Dawat

Alka's Sindhi Rasoi

Priyanka of Asankhana

Ramki of One page cook books



and Sowmya

Tuesday, March 10, 2009




Iam living in Singapore since 8 years and have been quite fascinated with the Singapore cuisine. One thing that I realized is that there are many similarities in various cuisines across Asia. Some recipes that are very similar to the ones made in India, the only variation being the flour used or the way it is eaten (I mean, the accompaniments). One such dish that I was fascinated with is the “Goreng Pisang” (“Pisang” means banana and “Goreng” means to fry), there is some controversy to the name though as the Malaysians and Indonesians call it Pisang Goreng which means fried banana. Anyways controversies apart I would like to share with all of you’ll the recipe of Ripe Banana Bajji(which is the Goreng Pisang of India), Bajji made with Ripe Bananas. This is a hot favorite with my husband. It’s very important what kind of banana you choose. The bananas shouldn’t be over-ripe or semi-ripe, they should be just right to eat. It shouldn’t be cut too thin else it will literally melt into the batter while frying. It should be cut into 11/2 inch lengths before frying. The batter shouldn’t be too watery, it should be thick enough to cover the banana completely, if the batter is watery the banana will get directly fried in the oil and the result will be very oily.


Bananas – 2 ripe ones

Bengal gram flour / Besan flour – 1 cup

Rice flour – 1 tbsp

Soda bi-carb – a pinch (optional)

Red chilly powder - 2 tsps

Salt as per taste

Oil – for deep frying


Peel the Bananas and cut into chunks. Keep aside. In a bowl, Add Besan flour, rice flour, a pinch of soda bi-carb, red chilly powder and salt as per taste. Add water and make a thick paste first, this ensures that the lumps get dissolved. Then add more water till it comes to the dosa better consistency. Keep aside. Now take a deep frying pan, Add oil for frying.

Take a chunk of banana and dip it into the batter, the banana should be coated well with the batter else it will come in direct contact with the oil and absorb too much oil. Drop the coated banana chunks into hot oil and deep fry until golden brown. Once you remove from oil place on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Serve hot. You can eat it just like that. Just bite into one and a riot of flavors explode into your mouth, ranging from hot, sweet, salty and crispy outside and the soft and gooey banana inside. Enjoy this delightful snack on a cold winter or rainy day.


I would like to share with you’ll the recipe of Goreng Pisang, wherein Rice flour, salt, sugar are mixed with water to form a batter like consistency and then Bananas(not over ripe usually the “Pisang Raja” variety available in this part of the world ) are dipped into this batter and deep fried. Sometimes, glutinous rice flour is also added to the batter and sometimes a bit of ginger powder is added to give that extra flavor to the batter. Then the bananas are dipped in the batter and deep fried until golden brown and served hot with a dash of cinnamon powder and some fresh cream.

I saw a beautiful rainbow outside and I thought I must capture it in my camera. There is a pot

of gold at the end of the rainbow. I thought this signifies the recession we are going through and the optimistic th

ought that it will end and things will brighten up as I believe that there is light at the end of a tunnel and we will find that pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

I would like to send this wonderful dish to my blogger friend Purva for the “ Festive Food – Holi” event that she is hosting.

I would also like to send this to PJ’s Tasty Bites for Toddlers event

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


We were used to snacking in the evenings and every evening Amma used to rustle up some tiffin for us, but sometimes we used to get bored with the usual fare and then amma used to make Pori (Click on the link to know more about Pori )Uppuma for us, which is not only nutritious but tasty and kids love the softness and guess what a lot of vegetables used to go in along with it and the dish is so colorful so kids completely adore it. I kind of forgot about this dish, but, one day after I was married and moved into Singapore, while I was pondering over what to make for nashta (evening snack or tiffin as it is called), I remembered the Pori Uppuma, so I made it. I served it to my husband(who happens to be a Maharashtrian, by the way) with a dash of lime and he told me they make it too and it’s called “Sushila” I kind of felt weird about the name, sounds like the name of a girl….Its called Pori Uppuma down south….what the heck, call the dish by any name it still tastes the same, there is some variation from one state to another, but I still call it my Amma’s signature dish. So here’s a low fat and nutritious dish that you can rustle up for your loved ones.
Puffed Rice(Pori/ Kurmura) - 400 gms (2 Packet)
Peanuts – 2-3 tbsps
Onion-1(finely chopped)
Potato – 1 (peeled and chopped into cubes)
Tomato – 1 (chopped into cubes)
Green Chillies-2 -3
Grated ginger – 2 tsps
Mustard Seeds -1 tbsp
Bengal gram (Chana dal) l-1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Salt as per taste
Oil – 2 tbsps
Curry leaves – A sprig
Coriander leaves for garnish
Lemon – ½ a lemon
In a wok, heat 2 tbsps of oil, Fry the peanuts until u see them cracking and slightly brown, keep aside. In the same oil put in the mustard seeds and chana dal and when the mustard seeds start to splutter, add in the green chillies, ginger paste and curry leaves and fry for a minute. Now add Onion and fry until transparent, then add in the tomatoes and potatoes, add salt as per taste, turmeric and a pinch of asafetida. Add in the fried peanuts.
Wash the puffed rice (pori) in a colander and soak for about 5 minutes, you can do this while the vegetables are getting cooked. Once, the potatoes are soft and cooked. Add in the soaked puffed rice. Mix well and cook covered for 5 minutes, then switch off the flame and keep it covered for another 5 minutes. Squeeze lime, mix well and serve hot.

Puffed Rice Uppuma, has got Tomato as one of the ingredients and I believe that tomato adds zest and color to this dish, therefore this dish goes to Sanghi of "Sanghi's Tasty Bites" for her blog's new event

Since Pori Uppuma has so many vegetables and peanuts and is nutritious to eat and kids would love to eat it because its soft, colorful and got potatoes which most kids love, I would love to send this to Deepa of "Simple Home cooking" for the event "Cooking for kids-P
otato", this event is started by Sharmi.
I would also like to send Pori Uppuma to Purva of "Purva's Dawat" for "Festive Food-Holi" event, as it is so colorful and festive looking.

I would also love to send Pori Uppuma to Srivalli’s Monthly Mingle 31 – Kid’s lunches originally started by Meeta as kids simply enjoy the color and softness of this dish and it is healthy and nutritious

I would also like to send this to PJ’s Tasty Bites for Toddlers event.This can be fed to ages 3 and up.

Monday, February 9, 2009



Here is yet another offering from my kitchen. Golden crispy Potato fritters. My parents are here with me and my father and my daughter love these fritters(bajji), so I decided to indulge in this yummy delight on a rainy weekend, which sets me in the mood to usually serve these kind of deep fried delights at home.



Besan flour – 2 cups

Rice flour – 1 tbsp

Soda bi-carb – a pinch (optional)

Green chillies paste – 1 tsp

Ginger paste – 1 tsp

Red chilly powder - 2 tsps

Ajwain seeds(Bishop’s weed) – 1 tsp

Asafetida – 1 tsp

Salt as per taste

Oil – for deep frying


Wash the potatoes well. Slice them into think roundels. Keep the slices soaked in cold water. Putting the slices in cold water makes the slices crisp and separate and ensures that they don’t become black. Keep aside.

In a bowl, Add Besan flour, rice flour, a pinch of soda bi-carb, green chillies paste, ginger paste, red chilly powder, ajwain seeds, asafetida and salt as per taste. Add water and make a thick paste first, this ensures that the lumps get dissolved. Then add more water till it comes to the dosa better consistency. Keep aside. Let the batter marinate with the spices for about 15- 20 minutes.

Now take a deep frying pan, Add oil for frying. In the meanwhile add some more water and make the batter a bit thinner (not too thin or watery though). Mix well, when you dip the potato slices the batter should stick well to the slices.

Once the oil is hot, dip the potato slices into the batter and deep fry until golden brown. Once you remove from oil place on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil. Serve hot with Tomato ketchup and Coriander chutney.

Dunk them into the ketchup and coriander chutney and enjoy the crispy potato bhajjis.

Tips : Potatoes and gram flour together can be gassy. So I always add in ginger paste, asafetida and ajwain seeds, which helps in aiding digestion. This is a tip from one of the popular street vendors in Mumbai who sells these fritters.

Thursday, January 8, 2009



Not every time can you think of healthy and diet conscious foods, there are times when your heart craves to binge on comfort foods which make you happy, like when it’s raining and you crave to eat something fried. I really don’t know what could be the connection between rains and the cravings for hot fried foods, but there is and when I go blog hopping I see that it’s a universal syndrome. So here is a dish that’s nutritious in a way as its got vegetables but Peas potato cutlet is that kind of crispy delight that no one can resist dunking into.


Potatoes – 3 big size

Green Peas – 1 cup

Cumin seeds – 2 tsp

Green chillies - 2-3

Ginger – ½ an inch

Cumin powder – 1tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tbsp

Asafetida – 1 tsp

2 slices bread

Coriander leaves – 1cup

Rice flour - 2-3 tbsps

Semolina (Rava) – 2 tbsps

Bread crumbs – 1 cup

Salt as per taste



Boil the potatoes and green peas separately in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles. Peel and mash the potatoes. Just lightly mash the potatoes (don’t mash into a paste).Drain the water from the boiled peas. Now, in a wok, take one tablespoon cooking oil, add the cumin seeds, when they are getting fried, add the ginger chilly paste and fry, then add the garam masala, asafetida, cumin powder and fry for a minute. Now add the green peas and fry, when u see that it is getting light in color, add in the mashed potatoes and salt as per taste mix well. The masala and salt must mix well with the potatoes and peas mixture. Now add finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

Now soak 2 bread slices in water. Squeeze the water out completely and mash into a paste and mix it with the Potato-peas mixture. This helps the mixture to bind better. If you find the mixture soggy, you can add some bread crumbs to it. This will make it bind better and also the cutlets will be crispy.

Make heart shapes or give the cutlets a circular or cylindrical shape as per your preference.

Now make a watery paste of rice flour and salt. Dip the heart shaped cutlets into the this rice flour paste and then roll over the roasted semolina and then roll over the bread crumbs until the bread crumbs coat the cutlet. Now deep fry until Golden brown and crisp.

Once you remove from oil place on kitchen towel to drain the excess oil.

Serve hot with Tomato ketchup and Coriander chutney.

Thursday, November 20, 2008



I was so tired of having the usual fare, I thought why not try something different. I had never made Rice Puttu at home. Puttu can be made with Rice/ Wheat/ Ragi(Millet).I would love to share with you’ll the recipe of the traditional Rice Puttu.

Rice Puttu is one of the traditional breakfast items of Kerala. It is a steam cooked delight.There is absolutely no oil used in making Puttu, it is only made by steaming rice and coconut in layers.

Traditionally Puttu is made out of rice soaked and ground into a coarse flour and is cylindrical in shape. Nowadays Indian grocery stores sell Instant puttu mix (ready made puttu mix), so life has become easier for first time Puttu makers like me.

Freshly grated coconut is used liberally to enhance the flavor and taste of the Puttu. Rice and coconut are alternately layered either in a bamboo shoot or any other wooden tube or sometimes in the coconut shell. The more natural the equipments used to make the Puttu the tastier it is. Nowadays Puttu can be made in a Puttu maker which is a cylindrical shaped steamer. The utensil used to cook puttu is called Puttukutti. If you don’t have a puttu maker/puttukutti you can use a idili mould to cook it .It would be nice If you can make it in the puttu maker, I didn’t have one so I used Idli moulds to make mine.

The steaming hot Puttu emanates a lovely aroma of steamed rice and coconut which is totally irresistible.

The puttu is nutritious, healthy, filling and the best part is it is bland therefore it is light on the stomach. That does not mean you will be hungry soon. Puttu served with its accompaniments is heavier than a meal. Puttu is traditionally served with Konda kadalai Curry or Cherupayaru Curry (Paccha Payaru Sundal/Green Gram/Moong dal Curry).

It is also served with Ripe banana, Jaggery or Stew. In Singapore and Malaysia Puttu is generally had with Brown Sugar (which is bright orange in color and widely available in these countries.) See the picture on the right.

My Srilankan friend says Puttu is a hot favorite breakfast item in Srilanka.

I also had Puttu in Thailand. When I was on my way to Pattaya from Bangkok, on the way, there were these vendors selling eatables(homemade delicacies) on a cycle. Some of our friend’s reside in Thailand and they insisted on us to try this dish that is served in a bamboo shoot, they assured me that it is 100% vegetarian and when the guy opens the bamboo shoot and serves it to us….what could it be but our Puttu with some jaggery and freshly grated coconut and we washed it down with some cool Thai coconut water, they are cool as they are kept in thermocol boxes filled with ice. It was a memorable experience for me. Iam glad we rented a car and didn’t go by bus to Pattaya from Bangkok.

Puttu is eaten in India, Srilanka, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. Isn’t that interesting.

Do check out the recipe, try it out and enjoy this delightful dish.

1 cup - Rice flour
1/2 cup - Freshly grated coconut
Pinch of salt
Water as required

In a pan, add rice flour and dry roast lightly. Keep stirring continuously. Take care not to burn the powder. Slowly the color of the rice flour will change indicating its done. Cool the powder. To the rice powder, add a pinch of salt, mix well and rub in with the rice flour. Sprinkle this water on the rice flour, little at a time and with and mix the flour.

When the mixture holds together when pressed into your fist and at the same time can fall apart when pressed lightly you will know that now is the correct consistency for steaming.

If the consistency is not good, sprinkle some more water. Make balls of the rice flour with some freshly grated coconut inside. Steam cook for about 6 minutes. You can see on the plate in the picture the balls of Rice flour and some of the balls I have cut into half and sprinkled freshly grated coconut on top. I served Puttu with freshly grated coconut, brown sugar and coconut milk. It was very very tasty.

Tips: When re-heating Puttu use a steamer to make it soft again before serving.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I would love to send this to my dear blogger friend Priti's Festive Food Event - Diwali

I would also like to send this for EC’s WYF- Party Food and

Srivalli’s JFI – Festivals – Diwali Event



Here is a recipe for Ribbon pakoda, a crispy savory which is always made in my house for Deepawali (Diwali). It is known as Ribbon pakoda, because it is in the shape of Ribbons. Diwali is an excuse to make it, so I made good use of this excuse and churned out 2 bucketfuls of this savory. This stays for a long time and I always enjoy this more with my evening cup of tea later on. As they say, the person who cooks looses his apetite, so, on the day that I make the ribbon pakoda, other than the cursory bite to taste salt, spice etc. I don’t actually sit and eat it with relish. I do that on the other days following Diwali. It feels good as if someone else has prepared it for you.


Chickpea/ Gram flour (Besan) - ½ cup

Rice flour -1 cup

Butter – ½ tbsp (Unsalted butter would be nice, zero cholesterol Margarine can also be used)

Asafetida – ½ tsp

Chilly powder – 3 tsps full

Cumin powder – 1-2 tsps (If freshly roasted and ground it would be nice)

Salt as per taste

Oil for deep frying


In a big bowl, add the flours, add butter/margarine, asafetida, chilly powder, cumin powder and salt and mix well. Always mix the flour with all the masalas first before adding water, this ensures that everything mixes well. Now add water and mix well till you have soft pliable dough like chappati. Let it rest for 5 minutes. Meanwhile in a wok, add oil, while the oil is getting heated, Take a Murukku press also known as “Naazhi” in Tamil, Choose the plate with a slit as shown in the picture.. Once you insert the plate, fill in the mixed dough and close the Naazhi. Squeeze into the hot oil into circles, as big as the pan can hold. After a while, turn to the other side, fry until golden brown. The oil stops frothing that indicates that it is done. Remove the circles and place on a kitchen towel to absorb the excess oil. When it is cool, you can store the ribbon pakodas in air-tight tins and enjoy this crispy savory with your evening tea or coffee.


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