Saturday, December 2, 2023



This is the time of year when Indian Gooseberries are available in plenty. These are called  Nellikai/Nellikayi in Tamil and Kannada, Amla in Hindi, and Avalo in my mother tongue, Konkani.

As we had gooseberries readily available, I decided to prepare an easy to make yet delicious chutney with them to go with the breakfast dosas! 

We have been told that even in ancient times our rishis knew about the many health benefits of amla. This article details some of the health benefits  of gooseberries. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with health-filled gooseberries such as:-

Today's recipe is for Nellikai Chutney. For this you can add green chillies as per your taste. The addition of asafoetida and jaggery enhances the taste of this chutney. Overall this goes great as an accompaniment to our usual breakfast fare of idlis and dosas. 

I hope you will try this out and am sure that  you will like it as much as we do! 


  • Large -sized Nellikai (Gooseberry), 2
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Green Chillies, 2-3
  • Asafoetida, (Hing), 1/8 tsp
  • Jaggery, grated, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
For  Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Dried Red Chilli, 1- broken into halves
  • Curry Leaves, 6-8
  • Oil, 1 tsp 


Wash the gooseberries, chop them and discard the central seed
In a mixer jar, grind together the gooseberries, fresh coconut gratings, green chillies, asafoetida, jaggery, and salt without adding any water- to a coarse paste
Now add 1/4 cup of water and grind once again to get a thick chutney
Transfer the chutney to a bowl

Heat oil in a seasoning pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the urad dal and saute till the dal changes colour. Next add the broken red chilli and the curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds.
Pour this seasoning onto the chutney

Serve the Nellikai Chutney as an accompaniment for idli, dosa etc 


Saturday, November 25, 2023



Today's recipe has health-filled Spinach as the main ingredient. It is from Tamilnadu and is called "Keerai Kuzhambu" with Keerai meaning Spinach in Tamil. As you know, this leafy green veggie is called Palak in Hindi and Palak Soppu in Kannada.

It has been well- established that Spinach has many health benefits so I often make dishes using spinach. In my childhood days, we remember reading Popeye comics with the main character eating vast amounts of spinach!

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find different kinds of dishes made with spinach/palak, such as:-

I have adapted this recipe from  "Keerai Kuzhambu" from Subbu's Kitchen.

We tried this out the other day and felt it was very yummy. It goes well with hot steamed rice as well as with chapatis 


  • Spinach (Keerai/Palak) 1 bunch
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind, size of a small lemon
  • Split Pigeon Peas ( Toor Dal), 3/4 cup
  • Asafoetida, (Hing), 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
To Be Roasted and Ground To A Paste: -
  • Byadgi Red Chillies, 5
  • Bengal Gram ( Chana Dal), 1 tbsp
  • Coriander Seeds, 1 tbsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 3 tbsp -  not to be roasted 
  • Oil, 1 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Coconut Oil, 1 tsp 


Wash the Toor Dal and pressure cook it along with adequate water and 1/4 tsp of turmeric for 3-4 whistles 
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal, mash it and keep aside

Soak the tamarind in lukewarm water for 15-20 minutes, then extract the juice and keep aside

Remove the spinach leaves from their stems, wash thoroughly and chop them
Keep the chopped spinach in a vessel, add half cup of water  and 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder
Cook till the spinach gets done. Keep aside

Heat another pan, and on medium heat add Byadgi red chillies, chana dal, coriander seeds, and roast till the dal changes colour
Let it cool and transfer to a mixer jar
Add the fresh coconut gratings and grind to a smooth paste adding the required amount of water. Keep aside

In a vessel, boil the tamarind extract, along with asafoetida and salt till the raw smell of the tamarind goes
To this add the cooked spinach and mix well, bring to a boil. Next, add the mashed toor dal  and mix well
Now add the ground paste, mix well and bring to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer for a couple of minutes and switch off the gas

Heat the coconut oil in a seasoning pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter, switch off the gas and add the seasoning to the Keerai Kuzhambu 
Transfer to a serving bowl and serve the Keerai Kuzhambu as an accompaniment for hot steamed rice.

Saturday, November 18, 2023




My family and I love the Indian version of Chinese food. Years ago, we thought what we were eating was authentic Chinese food but later we came to know that what we have is Chinese food designed to suit the Indian palates. We call it "Indian Chinese" these days. 

One of the best places for food of this type in Namma Bengaluru is the Mainland Chine chain of restaurants. This is a subsidiary of an Indian restaurant company called Specialty Restaurants Limited. There are four of them nowadays in our city. We usually visit the one in Jayanagar, in South Bengaluru.

We went there for lunch yesterday, to celebrate my husband's birthday. Being a week day there wasn't much of a crowd when we got in at 1.30 pm - the time we had reserved a table for ourselves. By the way, one practice we have honed over the years is to tentatively plan the meal before we actually get there. These days menus are available on the internet, so we go through them and have a broad idea of what we might like to have before the restaurant visit. This helps us as otherwise one would get rather overwhelmed with so many dishes to choose from in a somewhat limited time. 

To start with, we ordered Sangria, the punch made with wine. They didn't have the one with red wine - which was surprising as this is the more common variant- so we settled for the one called Blonde. 

This was made with white wine and brandy, orange liquors and assorted fruits, It tasted pretty good.

We placed our order for starters and as we waited we munched on the kimchi and the cucumber carrot vinegar salad.

We decided to skip the soup and go straight for the starters. There was so much to choose from. We chose Shanghai Chicken Spring Rolls which came with a Sweet Chilli Sauce which turned out to be quite fiery! 

The spring rolls were crisp with well done chicken as the stuffing along with water chestnut and Chinese cabbage. 

The next course for us was Spicy Dragon Chicken Fried Rice. The portion was quite generous and it was as tasty as it looked when it was first brought to our table. 

We had the Chilli Basil Fish in a Clay Pot. I think this was the stand out item of our lunch. The basa fish was incredibly soft and was what is often described as melt in the mouth. It went well with the Chicken Fried Rice.

I had mentioned when booking the table that it was my husband's birthday, so the restaurant gave us a small complimentary cake to celebrate the occasion . 

The service was efficient and the guys who served were prompt without hassling us in any way.

For both the quality of food and the quality of service, I would heartily recommend Mainland China- if you are looking to eat out for "Indian Chinese! " 

Wednesday, November 8, 2023



Growing up in India, I had never come across Broccoli in my younger days. It was only when we started visiting the United States that I tasted this veggie. It was then that I came to know that it is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables. These days, of course, broccoli, (which belongs to the cauliflower family), is easily available in India. While it is mostly used in baked or cooked form in Continental cuisine, we in India have adapted its use to our popular dishes too. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find the recipes using broccoli, such as:-

Today's recipe is for an easy to make yet yummy stir fry made with broccoli and garlic. 


  • Broccoli, medium sized, 1
  • Garlic Cloves, 6-7 
  • Onion,  medium-sized, 1 
  • Cumin Seeds, (Jeera), 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tbsp
  • Lemon Juice, 1 tsp
  • Salt, to taste


Wash the broccoli and break them into florets. Immerse these florets in water adding a little salt.
in a colander 
Peel and chop the garlic
Finely chop the onion 

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadhai and on medium heat add the cumin seeds  and when they sizzle add the chopped garlic
Saute till the garlic becomes slightly golden and gives off a good aroma. To this add the finely chopped onion and saute till it becomes translucent. Now add salt and chilli powder and mix well.

Next add the broccoli florets, mix well and sprinkle a little water
Cover and cook on medium heat till the broccoli gets done
Take care that the broccoli does not get overcooked. It should be cooked yet remain crunchy
Switch off the gas
Finally squeeze a tsp of lemon juice on to the Broccoli Garlic Stir Fry
Mix well and transfer to a serving bowl
Serve as an accompaniment to the main meal 

Monday, October 30, 2023



Cabbage is one vegetable that is most commonly used all over India. It is easily available all through the year.  It has numerous health benefits as it is rich in Vitamin C and has many antioxidants.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with cabbage such as :- 

Today's recipe is an easy to make yet tasty side dish made with cabbage which is cooked in a pressure pan. This is quick to make. Since this recipe does not call for the use of onion and garlic,  it comes in handy on days when you wish to avoid these ingredients. It goes well with both rice and chapatis.

I have adapted this from Cabbage Kootu from Padhu's Kitchen. 

We tried this out recently and really enjoyed the dish. 


  • Cabbage, chopped, 3 cups
  • Moong Dal, 1/4 cup
  • Sambar Powder, 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 3-4
  • Chickpeas ( Kala Chana), 1/4 cup (optional) 
  • Salt, to taste
To Be Ground To A Paste:-
  • Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Fried Gram, ( Udachakadalai/Hurigadale), 1 and 1/2 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustards Seeds, 3/4 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida, ( Hing), 1/8 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Dry Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Oil, 1 tsp

Wash and chop the cabbage 
Wash the chickpeas and soak them overnight

In a mixer jar, grind together coconut gratings, cumin seeds, and fried gram to a smooth paste using just the required amount of water. Keep aside. 

In a pressure cooker, cook the soaked chana and keep aside. (This is optional.  I happened to have cooked chana ready so used this) 
In a pressure cooker pan, add the chopped cabbage, turmeric powder, sambar powder, salt, moong dal, 3-4 curry leaves, and 1 cup of water
Pressure cook for 3 whistles 
Once the cooker cools, open the lid and add the cooked chana, the ground paste, water as required, mix well and bring to a boil, lower the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes
Check for salt and add if required

Heat 1 tsp of oil in a seasoning pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad dal and when the dal changes colour, add the asafoetida, broken red chilli and curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds and pour this seasoning on to the Cabbage Kootu.

Switch off the gas and transfer to a serving bowl 
Serve Cabbage Kootu as a side dish with rice and rasam, or with chapatis.

Monday, October 9, 2023



When you decide to eat out, what determines your choice of restaurant? Some factors could be the novelty of a new place, positive references from family and friends and the type of cuisine they are famous for. Recently, we had lunch at Anupam's Coast II Coast at Bengaluru's popular Church Street, hosted by Prem's cousin: Rati. I guess all three factors mentioned steered us to this restaurant!! We thoroughly enjoyed the lunch! 

This restaurant carries on the tradition of yummy food started by its older avatar at Koramangala (another part of Bengaluru which is chock full of restaurants catering to myriad tastes). The one at Church Street is open from 11 am to 3.30 pm for lunch and from 7 pm to 11 pm for dinner.

There wasn't much of a crowd when we walked in around 12.30 but by the time we left after a sumptuous meal all the tables seemed to have filled up.

Rati and I chose Sol Kadi as an interesting drink to start the meal with. This is a traditional appetiser  made with Kokum, buttermilk, and spices. It was tasty and spicy. Prem settled for his usual Bira White beer. The crisp pappads were the perfect accompaniment for our drinks. They kept disappearing as fast as they came in. 

As you may guessed by now, we had come here in search of our favourite seafood. This restaurant is run by Tulu people who are excellent when it comes to Mangalorean sea food. Naturally we opted for fish and prawns in different forms rather than chicken or mutton.

The Pomfret Rawa Tawa Fry was lip smacking with the pomfret shallow fried on the tawa with a light coating of semolina or rava. Actually for all these dishes, you get a variety of fish to choose from- such as Pomfret, Kane, Anjal etc. We opted for Pomfret or Maanji as it is called in Tulu. It was so tempting that we started eating before remembering that we had not taken any picture!! 

Next up was something we were craving for, to be honest! Steamed Maanji or Pomfret - cooked with a green masala- was melt in the mouth soft and came served in the pack of banana leaves it was steamed in. The taste was out of this world. Perhaps the best dish of the day for me! 

We also loved the Prawn Pullimunchi- again traditional Tulu fare made with Yetti as Prawns are called in Tulu. This came with soft and porous Neer Dosas and with hot steamed rice. Pullimunchi gets its name from "Puli" which means sour and "Munchi" which means chilly in the Tulu language.  This was delicious too. It probably looks more fiery hot in the picture than it actually is. 

We also enjoyed the Kane Raw Fry - this dish had the Kane fish marinated in Mangalorean masala and evenly coated with semolina or rava and then fried till crisp and golden. This too was a big hit! 

When it came to desserts, we had the Tender Coconut Payasam which was a more traditional dessert to finish the meal. It was soothing and cool after the spicy meal.

We tried to persuade Prem to join us in this dish but he chose to stick to his favourite - Caramel Custard! 

Overall impressions: The service was quick and efficient. They let you take your own time without hassling you but were quick to serve the dishes on time. The food was excellent and I would strongly recommend Anupam's Coast II Coast, especially if you are looking for Mangalorean or Coastal style sea food. 

Saturday, September 30, 2023



Ridge Gourd  and Moong Dal are the main ingredients for today's recipe- Heerekayi Tovve -which is from my Home State of Karnataka. This dish is called Heerekayi Tovve since Ridge Gourd is called Heerekayi in Kannada and Tovve is the Kannada word for Dal. Ridge Gourd is called Turai in Hindi and Ghosale in my mother tongue, Konkani. We use ridge gourd at home from time to time as it has various properties that make it good for health. 

Elsewhere in this blog you will find recipes for other dishes made with ridge gourd such as:-

This easy to make dish tastes delicious and goes well with chapatis. I have adapted this from Ridge Gourd with Moong Dal by Bhasanur Cooking. 

We loved the dish and I would heartily recommend this for you. 


  • Heerekayi ( Ridge Gourd), peeled and chopped, 1- about 300-350 gms
  • Moong Dal, 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Oil, 1 tsp 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, a sprig 
  • Garlic Cloves, 3
  • Green Chillies, 2
  • Onion, 1 (small sized) 
  • Tomato, 1
  • Coriander Leaves,  finely chopped, for garnish
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 1 tbsp 


Wash the ridge gourd and peel off the skin using a peeler. Chop the ridge gourd and keep aside. 

Chop the garlic, green chillies, onion, and tomato

Wash the moong dal and place it in a pressure cooker along with the chopped ridge gourd, adding 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder, a little salt and 1 tsp of oil . Add two cups of water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles 

Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked ridge gourd-moong dal mixture and mash it lightly with a ladle

Keep aside

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in  kadhai, on medium heat add the mustard seeds and when they splutter add cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the curry leaves and saute for a few seconds

To this add, the chopped garlic and chopped green chillies and mix well

Add the chopped onion and saute till the onions become translucent

Add the finely chopped tomato and cook till it becomes soft and mushy

Now add the cooked dal and ridge gourd mixture, 1/2 cup of water and mix well

Check for salt and add if required

Add more water if required to get the desired consistency

Bring to a boil and lower the heat. Allow the dish to simmer for 2-3 minutes

Switch off the gas. Transfer to serving bowl

Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves

Serve the Heerekayi Tovve with hot chapatis  and / or rice.