Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Happla Kismuri (Spicy Papad Mix)

Happla Kismuri is a very simple side dish made using spicy papad. Papad is a thin, crisp disc-shaped Indian food typically based on a seasoned dough made from black gram (urad flour), fried or cooked with dry heat (Source-Wikipedia). Papad is made during the summer  months. When stored properly it stays good for a year. This recipe always makes me nostalgic because my mother used to make lot of papads during our summer vacation. We use to help her making them. The papads would last us for a year.

My mother makes happla kismuri whenever she wants to make a quick side dish or when she doesn't have vegetables on hand. I was not a great fan of this dish. Finally I made up my mind to make this dish (for the first time) just to share the recipe and to be honest it tasted good too :-) Do try this if you like papad.

  • Spicy Papad - 4-5
  • Onion, finely chopped - 3-4 Tbsp
  • Grated Coconut , fresh/frozen - 1/4 cup
  • Coconut Oil- 1 tsp
  • Salt - To taste


Mix the chopped onion, grated coconut, coconut oil and salt, on a plate or bowl.

Now dry roast the spicy papads on the flame. Once done smear the coconut oil (I have deep fried the papads. Hence I didn't smear any oil on it instead added it to the coconut-onion mixture). Then crush the papads and set it aside. When ready to serve add it to the coconut-onion mixture.

Mix well. Happla Kismuri is ready!!

Serve it immediately along with rice and dalithoy. Above measurement serves 1-2 people.

Note: Try to finish this dish as soon as possible. This is because the papad softens up as it sits with coconut-onion mixture.

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Monday, April 28, 2014

Ambuli Pachadi (Seasoned Raw Mango) ~ Version 2

Ambuli Pachadi is a simple dish made using raw mangoes. A year back I had posted a recipe for Ambuli Pachadi which I enjoyed it as a kid during my summer vacations. I adapted this recipe from a cook book written by Jaya V Shenoy. I am a great fan of raw mangoes. I love it so much that I can eat it just with salt and chilli powder. When I read the recipe, I decided to try it and post the recipe. The pictures are not eye pleasing but it will please your taste buds for sure. Try making this when the raw mangoes are in season!


  • Raw Mango, chopped- 1 cup
  • Green chilli - 1-2
  • Grated coconut, fresh/frozen - 1/4 cup
  • Oil - 1-2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Asafoetida (hing) - A pinch
  • Salt- To taste


Chop the raw mango along with the skin (or you can also grate it).

Now take the green chilli and grated coconut in a blender and make a coarse mixture. Transfer to a bowl.

In the same blender add the raw mango pieces and make a coarse paste (if you prefer grating then skip this step).

Transfer it to the bowl containing spicy coconut mixture. Mix well. Add salt. Finally add the seasoning.

For seasoning, heat oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds. After it pops, add in the asafoetida and  turn off the heat. Add this to the raw mango mixture and mix well. Ambuli Pachadi is ready!!

Serve it along with rice and a spicy curry. Above measurement serves two people.

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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Moogadali Usli (Seasoned Split Moong Bean)

Moogadali Usli is simple protein filled breakfast. In this recipe, the lentil is cooked and then seasoned with the basic ingredients. I adapted this recipe from a cook book written by Jaya V Shenoy. I tried making it according to her instructions and it turned out mushy. Eating it was not pleasant. So I tried cooking the lentil in excess water as in this recipe. It turned out just the way I wanted.

Generally usli is served for breakfast and is paired with Teek phovu . Usli is also a popular dish made in temples, often served as 'prasadam'. Do try making this quick and healthy dish. 

  • Moong Dal (skinless) - 1/2 cup
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chilli - 1-2
  • Curry Leaves - Few
  • Ginger, grated - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- 1/8 tsp (optional)
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 2-3 Tbsp
  • Salt - To taste


Wash moong dal and cook it in 3-4 cups of water. This will take around 10- 15 minutes. The dal should be well cooked but still hold its shape (You can check it by pressing it between your fingers). 

Once cooked, turn off the heat and drain the water completely.

Now in a pan, heat oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds. After it pops, add green chilli pieces, curry leaves and grated ginger. 

Once they cook add turmeric powder and then cooked moong dal, salt. 

Mix well. Once everything comes together, add grated coconut. 

Mix and continue heating for a minute. Then turn off the heat. Moogadali Usli is ready!!

Serve it hot as it is or along with Teek phovu .

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mango Lassi ~ Summer Drink

Mango Lassi is a very popular yogurt based Indian drink. Summer always reminds me of Mango and Jackfruit. I strongly believe that Mango is the 'King of Fruits' and is my favorite. It is very hard to find people who don't like mango. I love Mango Milkshake . To be frank, I never had mango lassi in India. I was introduced to this drink after coming to the US :-)

Making this lassi is very easy. Don't follow the measurement. Just follow your heart. Its very hard to go wrong. Do try making this drink when the mangoes are in season. I am sure you will love it !


  • Ripe Sweet Mango, medium sized - 2
  • Plain yogurt (Curd) - 3/4 cup
  • Water (or milk) - 1/2 cup (optional)
  • Sugar - As required
  • Cardamom pods - 1-2 (optional)


Mango - Mango should be sweet and non fibrous. The mango I chose was medium sized and yielded 1 3/4 cups of pulp. You can also use store bought mango pulp (in a can). In that case add sugar only if required.
Yogurt - It should not be very sour. Milk can be added to cut down the sourness.
Water - Add water only if preferred. I like the lassi to be medium thick in consistency. 
Cardamom - Add it only if you like. I like it with or without it. But most of the time I make it without cardamom.


Remove the skin of the mango using a peeler or knife. Chop off the flesh discarding the seed.

Now transfer the chopped mango along with little sugar, in a blender. Add yogurt.

Blend it until you get a smooth mixture. 

At this point taste it and add more sugar, if required. Add water to get desired consistency. Blend it again for few seconds. At this point you can add freshly ground cardamom powder. Mango Lassi is ready!!

Serve it chilled. Above measurement serves 2-3 people.

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pineapple Fried Rice

Pineapple Fried Rice is a very simple Thai dish. I tasted this dish for the first time at my husband's ex-colleague's home. I cannot recall the taste as it was long back but I remember that it tasted good (and the presentation was indeed amazing as he had served in a pineapple). Then I totally forgot about it until I read the recipe in a cook book.

Last year, my BIL gave me a Thai cooking book - Easy Thai Cooking by Robert Danhi . It is a good book for people who eat meat and sea food. I was hunting for a vegetarian recipe and bumped into pineapple fried rice and gave a try with few variations. It turned out very good. The pineapple indeed is a surprise addition. Do try making this variation of the fried rice.

  • Rice - 1/3 cup
  • Oil - 1 Tbsp
  • Chopped Onion- 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Bell pepper - 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Pineapple - 1/4 cup
  • Ginger, grated - 1/2 tsp
  • Garlic, grated - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Flakes- To taste
  • Soy Sauce- 1 tsp
  • Cilantro (coriander leaves) - 3-4 sprigs
  • Roasted Cashew - For Garnishing (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper - To taste


Wash and cook the rice (I cooked in a microwave oven). Let it cool for some time. The rice grains should be well separated (you can as well put the bowl in a refrigerator for half an hour. This ensures the rice grains to be well separated).

Chop the vegetables and pineapple .

Now heat a pan (or wok) on a high heat. Once hot, add oil. Then add chopped onion and fry for half a minute. Then add in chopped bell pepper. Fry for another minute. Then add in grated ginger and garlic. Continue to fry until the rawness of ginger and garlic goes away.

Then add in the pineapple cubes. Fry for another minute. Then add salt, pepper powder, red chilli flakes. Mix well and add soy sauce. 

Once everything gets mixed add the rice.

Mix it gently and finally add chopped cilantro. 

Once the rice gets heated, turn off the heat and garnish with chopped roasted cashews. Pineapple Fried Rice is ready!!

Serve it hot. Above measurement serves one.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bhenda Phanna Upkari (Spicy Okra Curry)

Bhenda Phanna Upkari is a spicy dish of the Coastal region of Karnataka. A spicy masala made using red chillies and tamarind is mixed to stir fried mixture of okra and onions. It is then simmered to get a delicious, spicy curry. Generally fish curry is made this way. But the vegetarians substitute okra, mushroom etc for fish. It turns out delicious and is a real treat for those who like spicy curries.

The curry has a bright red color. I love this dish but don't make it often as my husband doesn't enjoy spicy food. Do try making this simple yet delicious curry and I am sure you will enjoy it as much as I did! :-)


  • Okra (Ladies Finger), medium sized- 10-12
  • Onion, medium sized- 
  • Roasted Dry Red Chilli (Byadgi variety) - 6-7
  • Tamarind- Small lemon sized
  • Oil - 2-3 tsp
  • Salt- To taste


Chop the onion and Okra.

Now, to prepare masala - Roast the dry red chili in few drops of oil for a minute. Let it cool. Then grind the roasted red chilli along with tamarind and little salt, to get a fine paste. Add water as required so as to get a smooth thick paste. Masala is ready.

Heat oil in a pan. Once hot add chopped onion. Mix well and fry it until they turn light brown. 

Then add the chopped okra. Mix well and fry for another two minutes. 

Finally add the ground masala.

Mix well and add water so as to get a gravy. 

At this point add salt (If the masala is too spicy then add little tamarind pulp) and close it with a lid. Continue heating until the okras get cooked (around 4-5 minutes). If the mixtures becomes too thick then add little water to get desired consistency. Once they look cooked, turnoff the heat. Bhenda Phanna Upkari is ready!!

Serve it hot as a side dish to rice, dosa, idli etc. Above measurement serves two people.

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

7 Cup Burfi

7 Cup Burfi is a very popular South Indian sweet. This is one of the sweet I used to make as a teenager. Another common sweet which I made was - 5 Cup Burfi . They used to come out very tasty as I was using the fresh homemade ghee.Even now, whenever I visit mom she requests me to make these! :-)

Making this sweet looks simple. It is because we just dump all the ingredients together and cook. It becomes difficult when it comes to the end point. If you miss seeing the ghee separating from the mixture then the mixture gets over cooked and the burfi will not set (In order to avoid overcooking, my husband measured the temperature of the mixture at the end point. Hope it helps). So keep an eye on the mixture after 10 minutes of cooking. I hope you will try making this awesome burfis !!

  • Chickpea Flour (Besan)- 1 cup
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 1 cup
  • Ghee (clarified butter) - 1 cup
  • Milk - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 3 cups
I just halved the above measurement.


Take all the ingredients in a large pan (preferably non stick or a heavy bottomed). Start the heat on a medium high flame.

Mix well until all the lumps are gone. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Keep stirring continuously.

After 15-20 minutes, the mixture becomes thick and slowly the ghee starts separating from the mixture (the color slightly changes to pale brown and the temperature of the mixture is around 180- 190 F). 

Pour this mixture on a plate and spread evenly. Cut the mixture into square or diamond shape, when still hot. Allow it to cool.

Once it cools, 7 Cup Burfi is ready!!

Store it in an air tight container. It stays good for a week. Above measurement makes 15 good sized burfis.

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