Sunday, January 21, 2018



This dish made with hyacinth beans which are called "Avarekai" in Kannada is popular in Karnataka especially during the winter months when it is available in plenty.

The peeled avarekai is called avarekalu and we make many dishes using this. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for dishes such as Avarekalu Paddus, Avarekalu Menthya Akki Rotti, and Avarekalu Uppitu.

Today's recipe, Avarekalu Saagu goes great with puris, chappatis etc. In Kannada, saagu is a vegetable curry that is served as a side dish. This recipe is adapted from Avarekalu Sagu in Veg Recipes of Karnataka by Latha Holla.


  • Avarekalu ( Hyacinth Beans), 1 cup
  • Large sized Onion, chopped, 1
  • Tomato, chopped, 1
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp 
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Hing (Asafoetida), 1/8 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 & 1/2 tbsp
To Be Ground To A Paste/Masala: 

  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Ginger, 1/2 " piece
  • Garlic, 3 pods
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Hurigadle (Fried Gram), 2 tbsp
  • Poppy Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Green Chillies, 3-4, or to taste
  • Cinnamon, 1 stick
  • Cloves, 3
  • Cardamom, 1
  • Coriander Leaves, a handful 

                                     Avarekai                                               Avarekalu

Peel the avarekai/hyacinth beans and remove the avarekalu
Wash the avarekalu and pressure cook with sufficient water and a little salt and turmeric powder for 1-2 whistles or till it is done. Make sure the avarekalu is cooked but not overcooked and mushy.

Take all the ingredients listed under : To Be Ground To A Paste and in a mixer jar grind them to a smooth paste adding the required amount of water.  Remove from the mixer and keep aside

Heat oil n a thick-bottomed kadhai, and when it gets hot, on medium heat, add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the urad dal and fry till the dal changes colour
Add the asafoetida and curry leaves and fry for a few seconds till it gives off a good aroma
Now add the chopped onion and saute till it becomes translucent
Next add the chopped tomato and saute till it becomes soft
To this, add the ground masala and some water, and mix well
Add the cooked avarekalu, salt to taste, and adjust the consistency by adding water as required
Mix well and bring to a boil and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes on medium heat stirring from time to time.
Switch off the gas and transfer the avarekalu saagu to a serving bowl
Serve hot with chappatis, puri or dosa.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018



    We love to have hot paranthas off the tawa, especially during the winter months. In this blog, I have a fairly large collection of recipes for paranthas of different types such as Aloo Parantha, Palak Parantha, and Gobhi Parantha, amongst others. For readers not familiar with Aloo, Palak, and Gobhi, these are Potatoes, Spinach, and Cauliflower respectively.

    Today's recipe is for Kothimbir Parantha which I learnt from a Maharashtrian friend. In this, we use kothimbir ( the Marathi word for  Coriander Leaves /Cilantro). In Konkani, we call them Kothambari Pallo, in Hindi they are called Dhaniya Patha, and Kothambari Soppu in Kannada.

    Apart from being aromatic, coriander leaves also have numerous health benefits as seen from this article in the Times of India.

    I have served today's Kothimbir Paranthas with curds and store bought Priya Garlic Pickle.

    • Kothimbir (Coriander Leaves/Cilantro), 1 cup
    • Atta (Wheat Flour), 2 cups + some for dusting 
    • Jeera (Cumin) Powder, 1/2 tsp
    • Adrak (Ginger), grated, 1 tsp
    • Haldi (Turmeric) Powder, 1/4 tsp
    • Chilli Powder, 1/2 tsp
    • Green Chilles, finely chopped, 2
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 1 tsp (for kneading the dough) + as required to make paranthas


    Pluck the coriander leaves from their stems and wash them thoroughly.
    Chop the coriander leaves and keep aside
    In a large bowl, combine the atta, 1 tsp of oil, chopped coriander leaves, jeera powder, grated ginger, haldi and chilli powder, finely chopped green chilli and salt.
    To this, add water, little by little and knead the mixture to form a soft dough
    Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for about 20 minutes
    Once again, knead the dough and divide it into equal portions and shape them into balls
    Dip the balls in dry atta to make it easier to roll out the paranthas
    Lightly press the ball and roll it into 6 " circles
    Heat the tawa and once it gets hot place the parantha over the tawa. You will soon see the parantha will change colour and a few bubbles will appear on top
    Flip the parantha and drizzle oil on top and sides and cook for a couple of minutes till the parantha is evenly cooked and golden brown on both sides
    Serve hot with curds, pickle or chutney of your choice

    Saturday, January 13, 2018



    French Beans, which are most commonly available , are called Huralikayi in Kannada, and Farasbi in Marathi. I use them in my cooking fairly often. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Farasbi chi Sabzi, from Maharashtrian cuisine, our Konkani Beans Talasani,  and French Beans and Garlic made in the Indian-Chinese style.

    Sometimes the simplest of dishes turn out to be the best! Today's recipe is for an easy to make stir fry using French beans. This side dish can be made using green chillies for seasoning but I prefer not to use them as they look very much like the cut beans, unlike the broken red chillies.

    I use the store bought MTR Sambar Powder which adds to the flavour of the dish.
    Tip : for best results, choose tender French Beans. If they are not tender they could become chewy.

    • French Beans, 250 gms
    • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
    • Bengal Gram (Channa Dal), 1 tsp
    • Black Gram Dal (Urad Dal),  1 tsp
    • Asafoetida, (Hing) 1/8 tsp
    • Red Chilli, broken into half, 1
    • Curry Leaves, a few
    • Sambar Powder, 1 tsp, or to taste
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 2-3 tsp
    • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 2 tbsp


    Wash and de-string the French beans and snip off the two ends. Chop the beans and keep aside.
    In a thick bottomed kadhai heat oil and when it gets hot add mustard seeds on medium heat
    When they splutter, add channa dal and urad dal and saute till the dals change colour
    Add the asafoetida, broken red chilli, and curry leaves and saute for a few seconds
    To this add the chopped beans, salt to taste,  and 1/4 cup of water and cook covered on medium heat stirring from time to time till the beans get done 
    Add sambar powder and mix well and cook for a minute more
    Finally add fresh coconut gratings
    Transfer to serving bowl and serve hot as a side dish

    Tuesday, January 9, 2018



    At home, we like okra/lady's fingers and make dishes using them quite often. They have numerous health benefits too. In India, you will find okra or lady's fingers as they are more commonly called, used in different cuisines. Today's recipe is from Punjabi cuisine and is for a popular dish called Aloo Bhindi, a side dish made with potatoes (aloo)  and bhindi ( lady's fingers).

    Elsewhere. in this blog, you will find recipes for another Punjabi dish called Bharwan Bhindi,  for Bhenda Sagle from Konkani cuisine, and for Bhindi Shengdana from Maharashtra.

    In making this dish, take care to choose tender lady's fingers for best results. I have adapted this recipe from Aloo Bhindi by Kanan in Spice Up The Curry.

    We thoroughly enjoyed having this with hot rotis.


    • Aloo (Potato), 1
    • Bhindi (Okra/Lady's Fingers), 250 gms
    • Jeera ( Cumin Seeds), 1/2 tsp
    • Onion, finely chopped, 1
    • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
    • Tomatoes, chopped fine, 2
    • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
    • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
    • Chilli Powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp, or to taste
    • Amchur Powder, 1/2 tsp
    • Garam Masala, 1/4 tsp
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, 2 tbsp

    Wash, peel and cube the potato. Keep it immersed in water to avoid discoloration. Discard the water  and lightly smear the potato cubes with salt and keep aside.
    Wash the bhindi and pat them dry Snip off the two ends and cut them into 1/2 inch pieces.
    In a thick bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tbsp of oil and when it gets hot add the bhindi, a little salt and cook uncovered, stirring in between, till the bhindis become tender. Ensure that they remain firm and are not overcooked. Keep aside.
    Next, heat 2 tsp of oil and add the cubed potatoes after squeezing out water  and cook covered stirring from time to time till the potatoes get done and are a little crisp. Keep aside.
    Heat remaining oil and once it gets hot add the jeera and when it sizzles add the chopped onion and saute till they turn golden
    Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft and the moisture evaporates
    Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, amchur powder, and garam masala and mix well
    Saute till they get well blended ensuring the spice powders don't get burnt
    Lastly, add the cooked bhindi and the potatoes, mix well and cook uncovered for about 3 minutes.
    Serve hot with rotis.

    Friday, January 5, 2018



    In India, we most often refer to egg plant or aubergines as brinjals. I often make dishes using brinjals as they are commonly available and also have numerous health benefits. Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for Vaingana Puddi Sagle,  which we Konkanis love; Bharli Vaangi, from Maharashtra, and Hyderabadi Baghara Baingan from Telangana.

    In the same vein, today's dish made with brinjals is from the State of Tamilnadu in South India. In Tamil, brinjals are called "Kathirikai" hence the name for this dish.  I made it for the first time the other day and we loved it when we had this with plain rice. This recipe is adapted from Kathirikai Rasavangi from Chitra's Foodbook.


    • Kathirikai (Brinjals), 250 gms
    • Channa Dal,  2 tbsp
    • Tamarind, size of a large gooseberry
    • Turmeric Powder, 1/8 tsp
    • Jaggery, a pinch
    • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
    • Curry Leaves, a few
    • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
    • Salt, to taste 
    • Oil, 1 tbsp
    • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, to garnish
    For the Masala:
    • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
    • Udad Dal, 1 and 1/2 tbsp
    • Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
    • Byadgi Red Chillies, 4
    • Asafoetida,  2 big pinches

    Wash the brinjals, snip off the top and cut into bite -sized pieces. Place in a bowl of water and keep aside so that they don't get discoloured.
    Wash and soak channa dal for 15 minutes. Keep aside.
    Soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp and keep aside. 
    Heat 1 tsp of oil in a thick- bottomed kadhai. When it gets hot add the coriander seeds, urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida and roast on medium flame till the dal turns golden and the red chillies become crisp
    To this add the coconut gratings, and roast for a few minutes
    Transfer to a small mixer jar and grind to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside.
    In the kadhai, cover and cook the soaked channa dal in adequate water till it is done
    Add the tamarind extract, and brinjal pieces, salt and turmeric powder and cook till the brinjals get done. Ensure that the brinjals on being cooked are still firm and don't get mushy.
    Next, add the ground masala, jaggery and a little water
    Mix well, adjust the consistency and bring to a boil
    Let it simmer for a couple of minutes and switch off the gas
    In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad dal and curry leaves and saute till the dal change colour
    Add this seasoning to the Kathirikai Rasavangi
    Lastly, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

    Monday, January 1, 2018



    It is traditional to start the New Year on a sweet note. Today I share the recipe for Beetroot Halwa
    which turned out to be rich, creamy and quite delicious. As you know, beetroot has numerous health benefits.

    The addition of sweetened condensed milk enhances the taste of the halwa. However this is not essential and you can add more sugar instead if you don't want to use sweetened condensed milk.

    Beetroot itself has an inherent sweetness. Do consider this when you add sugar or condensed milk.

    • Beetroot, 500 gms
    • Full Cream Milk, 1/2 litre
    • Amul Mithai Mate Sweetened Condensed Milk, 2 heaped tbsp or nearly 1/4 cup
    • Sugar, 1/2 cup
    • Raisins, 1 tbsp
    • Cashewnuts, 8-10, broken into pieces
    • Elaichi (Cardamom) Powder, made from 5 cardamoms
    • Pista or Almond, a few slivers for garnishing
    • Ghee, 2 tbsp + 1-2 tsp for roasting cashewnuts & raisins


    Wash the beetroots thoroughly and grate them using a grater. Use the larger grating slots and do not grate them too fine.
    In a thick-bottomed wide kadhai, add 1-2 tsp of ghee and when it gets hot roast the cashewnut pieces and the raisins till the cashewnuts turn golden, and the raisins get bloated. Keep aside.
    Add 2 tbsp of ghee and when it gets hot add the grated beetroot and saute on medium flame for about 7-8 minutes or till the raw smell goes, stirring continuously
    To this add the full cream milk, and the condensed milk. Mix well and continue to cook on medium flame stirring from time to time till the milk reduces to about a quarter.
    Now add the sugar and mix well. The sugar added will change the consistency of the halwa and make it more liquid.
    Continue to cook uncovered till the milk evaporates and the halwa leaves the sides
    Add and mix in the roasted cashewnuts and raisins. Add the cardamom powder and mix well. Garnish with pista or almond slivers
    Remove from flame and transfer to serving bowl.
    Serve hot, or refrigerate and serve cold as per choice

    Saturday, December 30, 2017



    I like to make paranthas quite often especially in the winter months, more so when there are so many types of paranthas that one can make. You will therefore find multiple recipes for paranthas in this blog, such as Oats Masala ParanthaSpring Onion Parantha, and the ever popular Aloo Parantha.

    Today's recipe is for Mooli Parantha made using radish which is called Mooli in Hindi. In Kannada and Konkani we call it Mulangi. This vegetable has numerous health benefits and is fairly easily available.

    Broadly, there are two methods to make paranthas. In one method, you can roll out the chappati and place the stuffing in the centre, then draw the edges to the centre, roll it out dipping it in the dusting floor and finally cook the parantha.

    In the other method, you can make two chapptis of the same size, keep the stuffing in the centre of one of them leaving space along the edges, cover it with another chappati and then seal the edges and cook the parantha.

    For making Mooli Paranthas, I have today used the second method.

    Do remember that the radish has moisture content  and gives off water when it is grated.

    The quantities mentioned in the recipe yielded 3 mooli paranthas ( made with 6 chappatis and stuffing as explained in the Method).


    • Mooli (Radish), 250 gms
    • Atta (Wheat Flour), 1 and 1/2 cups + some for dusting
    • Coriander Powder, 1 tsp
    • Amchur (Dry Mango Powder), 1/4 tsp
    • Red Chili Powder, 1/2 tsp
    • Ginger, grated, 1/2 inch
    • Green Chilli, finely chopped, 1
    • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 2-3 tbsp
    • Salt, to taste
    • Oil, as required for kneading the dough + for making paranthas

    Wash, peel and grate the radish.
    To the grated radish, add coriander powder, amchur, red chilli powder, grated ginger, chopped green chili, chopped coriander leaves and salt. Mix well and keep aside for about 10 minutes.
    Next, squeeze the grated radish and keep the juice aside.
    This juice can be used while kneading the dough for the parantha.
    Place the wheat flour in a large bowl, add 1 tsp of oil and a little salt. Add the mooli juice kept aside and the required water little by little to knead the dough. Make sure the dough is neither too stiff or too soft.
    Cover the dough and let it rest for 20-25 minutes.
    Grease your hands and knead the dough again till smooth.
    Divide into equal portions.
    Take one of the portions, dust it with atta, and roll it out to make a chappati.
    Similarly, make another chappati with one more portion of the dough.
    Lightly spread some oil on the chappati
    Keep 2-3 tsp of the stuffing , made earlier, in the centre of the chappati and spread it evenly leaving 1/2 inch space along the edges
    Place the other chappati on top and press it gently along the edges to seal both the chappatis
    Roll the chappatis gently, without exerting too much pressure, to seal the stuffing
    Spread some oil on the tawa and heat it. When it is hot place the rolled out parantha and let it cook
    gently pressing the parantha with a ladle
    Then flip the parantha and cook on the other side by drizzling some more oil
    Once the paranthas are cooked, remove to a serving bowl
    Serve hot with curds, pickle or curry of your choice.