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Monday, September 16, 2013


Today is an important day as is not only the 8th day of Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations but today is also Onam.
So, wishing all my readers a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi and a Happy Onam. Hope to be more regular in blogging from now on, as I really miss blogging these days.

Whenever my sister comes from Chennai my husband Yo always asks her to bring Thenga Boli from Venkataramana Boli store. He absolutely adores them. This time my sister couldn’t make it and Yo was disappointed. So I decided to make it for him. Venkataramana Boli store Bolis are absolutely yummy. The coconut filling inside is quite generous and it’s totally yummy. We don’t get to eat it hot or fresh, so we usually heat it up a bit in the microwave, pour a dollop of fresh ghee and indulge in this sinful delight.
The original Venkataramana boli recipe has Maida(All purpose floor). But here I replaced Maida with wheat flour.
Wheat is a healthy option and doesn’t alter the taste too much and the Coconut poli tastes yummy anyways.

Freshly Grated coconut - 2 cups,
Jaggery - 2 cups
Wheat flour -2 cups
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Cardamom powder -1 tsp
Oil as required
Ghee as required

For filling
In a wok, Add one tablespoon of ghee, then add the cardamom powder, Now add the grated jaggery, when the grated jaggery melts, add the grated coconut and blend both well, and cook further.
Grate the jaggery. Boil jaggery in water till it dissolves, and strain the syrup. Mix the jaggery syrup and grated coconut. Place on the stove and stir till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
Roll into lemon - sized balls. Keep aside.

For dough
Mix wheat flour, a pinch of salt, oil and water and knead the dough. The dough should be soft. Keep this aside for about half an hour till it sets.
Then knead again, by punching it and folding it. Knead well and divide the dough into 20 equal portions.
On a well-floured board, gently roll out two polis, with the help of a rolling pin into a 6 inches disc. Place one and then spread a tablespoon of the coconut jaggery mixture evenly with the back of a spoon.

Place the other poli on top. The reason you do this in this style is to ensure that you get a lot of filling in each bite.

Roast each poli on a hot, dry girdle (tava). Add a teaspoon of ghee around the poli , once you see some spots on the backside flip over, you will see your Coconut polis puff up. Once done, remove on a plate. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

Tips :-
-        Another method to do it is, with greased palms, take one portion of the dough and flatten it into a disc of the size of the palm. Place a ball of "coconut jaggery" paste in the centre and fold the disc from all sides to cover the paste completely.
-       Instead of wheat flour you can use All purpose flour.
-      You can make the coconut filling one day prior to preparing the bolis if you desire.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


This is one of the quickest and easiest desserts. Adding different varieties of dry fruits adds some grandeur to the simple Shrikhand. As in the market you get standard flavors like Cardamom Shrikhand, Pistachio Shrikhand, Saffron flavored Shrikhand(Kesar) or Amrakhand (Mango flavored). But at home I added all the dryfruits like cardamom, Almond, pistachio and saffron. Not only making it rich but exotic as it is not what is available in the market.  Making the Shrikhand takes all about 20 minutes excluding the time taken to tie the yogurt overnight and the refrigeration. With a little bit of preparation you can have a wonderful dessert in a jiffy. It is very healthy. You can adjust the sugar according to the sweetness desired. Shrikhand – Puri is an exotic combination very popular in Maharashtra, even some restaurants serve this combo on their menu. We can also find this as one of the desserts in their weddings, festivals and special events. I’m very happy to share this recipe for one and all to enjoy. Indulge in this Sweet, cool, crunchy delight with Puris or just like that.

Yogurt – ½ kg
Sugar - 250 gms
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Almond – 4-5 sliced
Pistachio – 4-5 sliced
Saffron – 4-5 strands

I have used yogurt made from full cream milk in this recipe as I was not sure if the yogurt would be thick enough in the Low fat milk and Skimmed milk. I took a clean muslin cloth, put the muslin cloth over a bowl so that there is no spillage. I slowly dropped the yogurt inside the muslin cloth. Once, I transferred the yogurt, I tied the muslin cloth in a knot, like a small pouch, ensure that the knot is a tight one, lest your yogurt may fall off and get wasted.
Next I tied it to the rack on to a hook dangled from my kitchen rack. Ensure that the hook is strong. You will see that the whey that is the water from the yogurt is falling down through the muslin cloth, don’t press the yogurt in the pouch and remove. Let it drain itself naturally. You can keep a bowl below the knotted pouch and collect the whey. This can be used in gravies for North Indian dishes and you can also add it in the wheat flour while kneading the dough to get softer rotis (chappatis).
This is the best part of Indian cooking.”Nothing gets wasted”
Keep this overnight or for 6-7 hours. I always do it over night, if I do it during the daytime I have no patience to wait.
In the morning, I take the pouch and keep it on top of a bowl and open the pouch gently. You will see thick & creamy Yogurt remaining which doesn’t have any water. Put this in a bowl, add sugar and mix.
Keep aside for 25-30 minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve.
Meanwhile, rub saffron into 1 tbsp. milk till well broken and dissolved. Keep aside.
Beat well till sugar has fully dissolved into curd.
Pass through a big holed strong strainer, pressing with hand or spatula to ensure the texture is totally free flow and creamy.
Mix in cardamom powder and the dissolved saffron and half of the sliced nuts.
Put this in a nice glass serving bowl, Garnish it with the remaining nuts.
Chill for 1-2 hours before serving. This dessert is best served chilled.
This quantity makes about  6-7 servings and the
Shelf life: 3-4 days refrigerated


-          To make fruit flavoured shrikhand eg. mango, add pulp at the stage of adding cardamom and saffron.

-          I like to use baked or roasted nuts than the raw ones as it adds a crunch to the Shrikhand.

Friday, May 24, 2013


Moong dal palak - another healthy recipe from my kitchen. I got introduced to dal palak as a variation to the plain dal that we used to order in the restaurants thanks to our kids who end up eating Plain basmati rice and dal in the restaurant as well with great relish.

I particularly liked the dal Palak that I ate at the Gokul restaurant here in Singapore.

I liked it because I could savor the taste of the dal. The dal still felt like dal and I could savor the palak separately with a slight crunch. The palak is just lightly cooked, blended nicely with the dal but not mashed into one green paste.

I googled up for the recipe but what I found in most websites was not the recipe I was looking for. Many were cooking the palak and mixing it with the Toor dal/moong dal, some looked like the south Indian keerai molaghutal minus the coconut. This was not what I wanted, so I went once more to the restaurant to savor the dish and realized that the palak was not cooked separately or overcooked or blended into a mix with the dal. The palak was used as coriander like a dressing and didn’t get overwhelming into the taste of the dal and I loved it. So here’s the recipe of dal palak restaurant style with a crunch.

Yellow split lentil(moong dal) -1 cup
Split pigeon peas (Toor Dal) – 2 tbsps
Spinach – 15 leaves
Onion - 1
Tomato – 2 ripe
Green Chilly – 4-5
Ginger – ½ inch
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Asafetida(hing) – ½  tsp
Coriander powder – 2tsps
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Dry mango powder (Amchur powder) – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Dried Red chilly whole - 2
Oil – 2 tbsps
Lemon – 1 whole
Curry leaves – A sprig
Fresh green coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste

Wash, rinse and Pressure cook the lentils upto 3 whistles with a pinch of turmeric. Once cooked, mash the lentils well with the back of a ladle. Keep aside. Chop the onions, tomatoes. Cut the green chillies into halves. In a wok (kadhai), Add some oil and when the oil is hot, add in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when it begins to crackle. Add in the onions and sauté until translucent, then add in the curry leaves and chilly and sauté for a minute, Add in the tomatoes and sauté until squashy. Now add Asafetida, Coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilly powder, Amchur powder, salt as per taste and mix well. Now add the boiled lentils. Add 3 cups of water and let it boil for 15-20 minutes until all the spices and dal combine into one uniform mixture. You can adjust the consistency by either boiling more till thicker, or adding water slowly, until the desired consistency is reached, simmering slowly over low heat.
Cook further for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. When you know that the dal is to the desired consistency you seek and well cooked. Squeeze the juice of a lemon without the seeds. Add finely chopped fresh green spinach (palak) and cook for another 5 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and 2 red chillies fried in oil until plump and serve. Since the spinach is not overcooked and just gets blanched on top of the dal it will still have the crunch and not melt into the dal. This is the consistency I want. This helps to retain the nutritional value and add a subtle flavor to my dal not changing the taste of the conventional dal by grinding in the spinach and yet having a new flavor to it which is not overwhelming or does not overpower the taste of the dal.

Serve hot with Roti or rice. Do try this method and enjoy the Dal Palak. 

-          You can add garlic as well for extra flavoring, I don’t use much garlic in my cooking  hence I avoided it.

-          You can add the seasoning (tadka) of mustard, cumin & Red chillies at the point of serving

-          You can replace the moong dal with Toor dal

-          You can use 1 cup of Toor dal and 2 tbsps of moong dal, moong dal usually gives a thickness to the dal.

-          You can adjust the gravy according to your desired consistency. Some like their dal thick and some like it a bit watery.

Saturday, May 4, 2013


I am not a huge salad lover and the entries in my blog can vouch for it as I don’t have many salad recipes. That does not mean I don’t love salads. I do love salads which are a good mix of ingredients and which appeal to my palate and once it does, it enters my blog. One of my friends recently moved and had a party at her house and she prepared this refreshingly lovely salad for lunch. I loved the refreshing tanginess of the mango, mixed with the neutral crunch of the papaya, the sweet blend of the carrot & onion. Adding to the refreshing feeling was the lemon, the crunch of the de-skinned salted peanuts. The sweetness imparted by the jaggery. The best part of the salad was all blended beautifully into one and yet had a unique taste and flavor. This dressing could be aptly described as “tangy” - a combination of sweet, sour, spicy and salty, but more sweet than sour which helps to balance out the sharpness of the papaya.
This led me to research about this Thai salad, and I found out that this salad is called “Som tam”.
Now, Som (means 'sour') Tam (means to 'pound' with a pestle and mortar).
This refreshing Thai salad, originates from the northeastern part of Thailand, but is popular all over Thailand and even in neighboring Laos and Myanmar.They have their version and additions to the recipe too.
A google search also led me to a website that lists this dish as Number 46 in the “World's 50 most delicious foods” (Below is the URL for you to see the Worlds 50 most delicious foods.)

It’s no wonder that I liked this recipe so much.

As the Thais love meat, the som Tam contains dried shrimps and crab meat and fish sauce as one of the ingredients. But since Iam a vegetarian, I will be avoiding all this in my recipe.
They also pound with a mortar and pestle the garlic and chilli into a paste and pound the long beans to a bruise. In fact they pound even the grated papaya and carrot a bit. I didn’t add long beans nor did I add garlic or green chillies in my recipe as I have to cook for young kids who may not appreciate all the spice.

Below is the Vegetarian or might I say vegan version of the “Unpounded” Som Tam with ingredients blended to make anyone crave for a helping of it. Try this refreshing salad. A special thanks to my friend who introduced me to this recipe.

Raw papaya –½
Raw Mango – ¼
Carrot - 1
Onion – 1
Tomatoes – 1 red and ripened (I didn’t use in this recipe)
Long beans (lightly steamed/blanched and chopped) - 7-8 nos (I didn’t use in this recipe)
Green chilly - 1-2 to taste (optional)
Salted de-skinned Peanuts – 2 tablespoons
Red Chilly flakes – ½ teaspoon
Lemon Juice – 1 lemon
Jaggery – Lemon Ball size
Salt as per taste
Fresh green coriander leaves – 1 tbsp

Grate and soak the lemon sized jaggery in water. Make a solution of the jaggery.
Choose a nice green raw papaya, peel the skin and grate it. Don’t use the fine grater, use the medium sized grater, so that you can feel the texture of every ingredient. Keep aside.
I chose a nice green Thai Mango, you can choose any variety of raw mango.
Use only quarter of the mango. Peel the skin and grate using the same grater. Keep aside.
Now peel and grate the carrot and keep aside.
Onion has to be cut in thin strips. Keep aside.
Squeeze the juice of a lemon without the seeds and keep aside.
Now, in a big salad bowl, toss in all the ingredients.
Traditionally Thai som tam salad, is served along with a side dish. This includes pieces of green beans and a fairly thick but small size of cabbage.
Traditionally som tam is made very spicy and hot - the side dish also contains crushed ice along with the beans and cabbage.
I’d suggest that you toss all the ingredients together just 5 to 10 minutes before you plan to eat it. Leaving the ready som tam for a long time, causes the salad to become quite soggy. Remember that this is just you first try at making veg Thai food, you can always experiment by fine tuning the proportion of ingredients used in the recipe.
You can adjust the sweetness or spice levels according to your tastes.
This proportion serves 3-4.

· Make sure you use unripe green papaya, which is firm

· Jaggery can be replaced with Sugar or Honey

· Ripe tomatoes can be chopped and added

· Long beans can be lightly steamed or pounded and added

· The peanuts can be added as it is or split them into halves and add in, or do it the more authentic way. The roasted peanuts are generally pounded into smaller pieces, not a fine powder but rather coarse.

· Instead of peanuts you can use cashew nuts or both in the recipe

· You can add garlic and chilly pounded into a paste as per the traditional recipe.

· You can add a dash of soya sauce for a n Asian flavor.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Nothing can beat the summer like a tall cool drink of watermelon juice.
A watermelon contains about 6% sugar and 92% water by weight.
As with many other fruits, it is a source of vitamin C.
Watermelon is mildly diuretic and contains large amounts of beta carotene.
Watermelon with red flesh is a significant source of lycopene.
Researchers believe that beta-carotene and vitamin C are capable of preventing heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions.
No matter which way you cut them, when it comes to nutrition, melons are number one.

Watermelon - 1 seedless watermelon
Powdered sugar or honey to taste
Cold water and ice cubes

Wear an apron over your clothing when cutting watermelon. Place your watermelon on a cutting board. Peel the watermelon and slice it into 1"chunks using a sharp knife.
Place the watermelon chunks into a bowl. Use a fork instead of using your hands to avoid dripping of the juice.
Place the watermelon in a blender. Add powdered sugar or honey, if desired.
Blend your watermelon chunks and sweetener and check the consistency.
Blend well until the juice is smooth. Pour the juice over ice cubes in a tall glass.
You can strain the juice, if you wish, to remove the pulp. I advice not to do so as the pulp contains a lot of nutrition.


·         If you can't find a seedless watermelon, then cut a regular watermelon into quarters. Find the seed line and cut along the line with a paring knife. Remove the piece that you cut and use a fork to scrape out any remaining seeds that are still attached to the watermelon.

·         Add water for thinner juice and add ice cubes for thicker juice.

·         Always use a ripe watermelon for juicing. If you like sweetness, select a sweeter variety of watermelon, such as sugar baby.

·         Adding the juice of half a lemon to a glass of juice and honey (as a sweetener) makes it very refreshing with a zing during summers.

·         Fresh mint makes a vibrant addition to watermelon juice. Add a few clean mint leaves to the juice as it is blending.

Enjoy your chilled Watermelon juice whichever way you like it.

Some Info courtesy – Wikipedia

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I first tasted Paneer Lababdar in a restaurant here in Singapore. I liked the dish so much that I decided to try making it at home. Being a Hindi teacher I started searching for the meaning of Lababdar and couldn’t find it in the Shabdkosh (Hindi dictionary) as well. There are some words that we have which are imports from Urdu & Arabic. This must be one such word. After much research I got something which describes what ‘Lababdar’ means.
‘Lababdar’ means a strong desire for something and a desire to indulge in it.
I wonder if this is a dish with some Mughal influence hence I categorize it under Mughlai and Punjabi dishes. I love the creamy red sauce in which the cottage chesse is cooked. The tenderness of the paneer, the texture of the light creamy tangy sauce. It’s truly a delight.

Malai Paneer (Cottage cheese) - 500 gms
Onions – 2 big sized
Tomatoes – 5 / 15oz Can of Tomato Puree
Ginger -  ½ tsp
Green chillies – 3-4
Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) – 1tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Coriander powder - ½ tsp
Red chilly powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
White Sesame seeds (White Til) – ½ tsp
Full Cream Milk – ½ cup
Fresh Cream – 200gms
Butter - 1-2tbsps
Cardamom powder – ½ tsp
Dry Red Kashmiri Chilly -2 pieces
Oil – 2 tbsps
Fresh Green Coriander leaves (chopped) - 1/2 tbsp
Mint leaves – 3-4 leaves
Salt as per taste

For the paneer
I recommend making this dish with the fresh Paneer as the texture of the Paneer will be smooth and silky.
I used frozen paneer in this dish and I usually soak them in some hot water for about 15-20 minutes until they become soft like fresh paneer and drain the water after a while through a colander.
Cut the paneer in small cubes and keep aside.
In a Wok (Kadhai), add 2 tbsps of butter, lightly sauté the paneer and keep aside. The reason we sauté the paneer lightly in butter is to make it tough and not so easy to crumble inside the gravy.

For the tomato puree
You can either use 5 big red, ripe tomatoes and make a puree in the blender. I have used the tomato puree from the can as they have a deep red color and I usually stock a few cans in the case of an emergency.
Make a coarse paste of one onion, ginger and the green chillies. Finely chop the other onion.
Meanwhile dry roast the white sesame seeds and once it cools down make a powder, Don’t grind until the oil comes out.
In a Wok (Kadhai), add 2 tbsps of oil, add the cumin seeds and the carom seeds. Once it crackles, add the finely chopped onions, once it is transparent, add in the onion-ginger-green chilly paste. Add in salt and sauté until the oil comes out of the masala.
This indicates that the masala done.
Now add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and cardamom powder and cook for
4-5 minutes until the oil separates and the gravy becomes thick. The tomato paste makes the gravy thick.
Now add the powdered sesame seeds and mix well.
After this add the milk and mix well. Let it boil for a while, till you feel the gravy becomes thick again and the color becomes uniform.
Now add the Paneer cubes.
After this add garam masala powder. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Mash the Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves) with your hands and add into the gravy.
Cook for another minute or 2.
Then, add the fresh cream and let it cook on sim.
Now in a small pan, melt some butter and add the dried red Kashmiri chillies and pour into the gravy.
This is a dressing and looks better on top so don’t mix.
Garnish with finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves, mint leaves and some ginger strips.
Serve hot with fulkas, roti, Naan, kulcha, paratha or even rice. Tastes best with Indian breads.


-          You can add garlic as well for extra flavoring, I don’t use much garlic in my cooking  hence I avoided it. If incase you are adding garlic, make a paste along with the onion-ginger-chilly and follow the recipe.

-          Instead of using the full cream milk, you can use low fat milk or skimmed milk.

-          You can completely avoid fresh cream or use low fat  fresh cream

-          If the gravy is very thin, the paneer will crumble, so you must ensure that the gravy is thick.

Friday, March 29, 2013


This is a dish I learnt from our Punjabi neighbors too. Rongi Masala or Masaledaar Rongi or Lobia or Black eyed bean / black eyes pea as it is called is highly nutritious. It has a high fiber content, it also has potassium, iron, protein and is low in fat and calories.
It’s a good addition to your menu and when you cook it the way the Punjabi’s cook…masaledaar, then nothing like it.
I actually forgot to make Rongi masala for quite a while until we had it in the flight from Singapore to India and my maid absolutely fell in love with it and when we came home she asked me to make it atleast once. So, one day I finally made it and it was a hit at home.
This dish can be had with fulkas or with plain white basmati rice. It’s quite filling.
Enjoy the Rongi Masala.

Black Eyed Beans – 250gms
Soda bicarbonate – a pinch
Onions – 3
Tomatoes – 3
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – ½ inch
Salt as per taste
Garam Masala - 1 tbsp
Rajma Masala – 1 tsp
Kitchen king masala – 1 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Amchoor powder – 1 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Yogurt - 1 tablespoon (optional)
Fresh green coriander leaves – 1 tbsp

Soak the lobia / black eyed beans/peas in water overnight with a pinch of Soda. In the morning rinse out the lobia, add some salt and ginger and add water till the lobia is completely immersed.
Cook it in the Pressure cooker for up to 3 whistles. Those who don’t have a pressure cooker can cook it in a pan covered with a lid. Cook for about 30 minutes till the Black Eye Beans are soft.
Make a coarse paste of 1 onion, the tomatoes, 2 green chillies and ½ an inch of ginger.
Now in a wok, heat 4 tbsp. oil, add 2 onions (finely chopped) and sauté till transparent.
Add the ginger-chilly-onion-tomato paste and sauté till the oil comes out of the masala. Now add Kitchen King Masala / Rajma Masala and Garam Masala. Also add the Coriander powder, Cumin powder , Amchoor powder and Red chilly powder.
Saute until everything gets mixed and the oil starts to separate from the mixture.Now add the boiled Black Eyed Beans. Mix well. Simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium heat till the masalas get mixed well with the beans.
Add yogurt and heat for 5 more minutes. I didn’t add yogurt, I instead added Amchoor powder.
Serve garnished with fresh green finely chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I would like to share this wonderful and healthy chai masala recipe that I got from my Punjabi friend here in Singapore.
Being born and brought up in the state of Maharashtra I learnt to savor tea infused with spices known as “Masala Chai”(Tea infused with spices) back in Mumbai.
The spice mix would always manage to give a punch to the otherwise normal cup of tea.
So when it’s raining and we are totally drenched or having a cold we would always go for a ginger laced tea or Masala tea.
Even the street stalls and restaurants serve the masala chai, its commonly available in India.   
What totally surprised me was when I found a version of the Masala chai at the McCafe at Singapore known as the Himalayan Tea Latte - A hot and calming exotic milk tea with a soulful infusion of spice flavor. They claim it to be a hot favorite. I nudged Yo (my husband) and pointed to the Menu feeling proud to find our Masala chai being internationalized and described so beautifully.
So what should be the ideal mix of spices one may ask.
The spices vary according to the place, the climate conditions in a particular region and sometimes due to personal preferences. But a typical Indian tea masala includes a combination of the following spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. They may also include Bishops weed, fennel seeds and other variants in some recipes.
Ideally if the spices are ground fresh and added to the tea it would taste good, But, since I belong to the generation which hardly has time for such luxuries. I made my tea masala for keeps. I made a small batch which I could use over a period of a month.
The spices in the tea masala are known to aid in digestion, provide heat during cold weathers like winters or rains, they are believed to chase a fever or cure a cold.
I believe that they are soothing and refreshing and add a zing to your regular cuppa.
My friends recipe doesn’t have peppercorns, but mine has.
Here is my recipe for Punjabi Tea masala, do make it and savor your tea with the soulful infusion of the spices.

Cinnamon stick – 1 whole stick
Big Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 3
Small Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 10-12
Cloves (Lavang/Laung) – 3-4
Dried Ginger (Saunth / Soonth) – 1 piece or alternatively you can use the ginger powder about 1 and a half tablespoon.
Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) – a pinch
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fennel seeds(Saunf) – 1 tablespoon

Dry roast all the ingredients for 7-8 minutes until you can get a faint aroma of the spices. Let it cool completely. Once it is cool run it in the dry jar of a mixer/blender and grind into a fine powder. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Use the masala as and when required to make tea.

Indian Masala Tea
To make 2 cups of Masala tea. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add sugar, Tea leaves and the powdered masala and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add some milk and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.

Enjoy this with some biscuits while catching some news in your morning newspaper.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My Husband Yo hails from Pune and Patal Pohe Chivda is his favorite dish. He buys it from the stores here and sometimes adds tomatoes, onions etc to the chivda and relishes it with his tea. We were not getting Patal pohe(the thinner rice flakes) earlier so I didn't attempt it. But, nowadays it’s available easily especially during Diwali.
I think they specially order these here in Singapore, So I bought 1 kilo of these. 

Thin Poha - 1 Kg.
Peanuts - 2 cups
Daliya (Roasted Gram Dal/ Chutney Chana dal) - 2 cups
Cashewnuts- 20-25 pieces
Golden Raisins - 20 -25 pieces
Copra (dry coconut) - 1 cup (copra slices)
Chopped Green chilies - 12-15
Curry leaves -  5 sprigs (25-30 leaves)
Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoons
Sesame seeds - 2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 3 teaspoon
Asafetida - 1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste.
Powder sugar - 2 teaspoon
Oil - 1/2 cup

Patal Poha has very think flakes so it gets cooked very fast. I decided not to fry it and dry roast it instead. While I was making the preparations for the dish my friend called me and she suggested that I put poha in the microwave instead. So I placed the poha in a shallow microwave safe dish and microwaved it on high for 1 minutes. I sieved it and let the fine powder if any to be filtered leaving only the flakes. For those who don't have a microwave you can dry roast it in a wok(Kadhai)on a very low flame till it becomes crispy.  This needs attention else it can burn very easily. Keep this Poha aside.
If you have roasted the poha in the microwave, then Add 2 tablsepoons oil in a big wok, add in the mustard seeds and sesame seeds and when they start spluttering, add in the poha, turmeric, salt and sugar and saute for about 3 minutes. Keep aside. 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 daliya until golden, then the cashews until golden, Raisins until plump, then the copra until golden and then the green chillies and lastly the curry leaves. Preferably use a net to fry all this as it can catch all the ingredients from the oil. Ensure that none of the ingredients become black. If they become black throw them, don't use them in the chivda as the taste of the chivda can spoil with it. Drain the oil well and mix all the ingredients that you fried in a vessel, add in some salt and sugar and mix well.
Now add this to the wok in which you roasted the poha with the mustard and sesame seeds.. Toss everything well with a light hand ensuring that you don't break the thin poha flakes. Roast for another 2 minutes on a low flame while mixing. Put off the flame and spread this on a newspaper or a big plate. Let this get cool for some time then store it in an air - tight dabba(box). Your Patal Pohe chivda is ready.

  • You can add poppy seeds to the tadka while adding mustard and sesame but Poppy seeds are banned in Singapore so I didn’t add them
  • You can add Puffed rice (kurmura) with Poha.
  • You can add grated and deep fried crispy potato sticks and mix with the Poha.
  • You can add red chilly powder instead of green chilies.
  • You can add citric acid or amchur powder for some sourness. I didn't do it in my recipe.
  • You can add deep fried garlic in the Chivda
  • You can deep fried onion to the chivda.
  • I have seen a recipe wherein fresh coriander seeds are roasted, pounded into a powder and added to the chivda for extra flavor.
  • My Mother-in-law adds Roasted and pounded fennel seeds into the chivda.

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.


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