Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Upma ~ With Vermicelli

Upma ~With Vermicelli is a simple and quick south Indian breakfast. I got this recipe from my mother. She makes this for breakfast on a regular basis. This is my brother's favorite breakfast. Generally either semolina or vermicelli is used to make upma. But my mother includes both which makes a wonderful, healthy breakfast.

As a kid, I had a big list of dishes (including this upma) which I didn't want my mother to make it. But she would make them and I would demand to make her another dish for me. She would refuse to make another one and hence I would make it all by myself :-) It has been so many years since I had this upma. I decided to make this (for the sake of posting) and trust me I did enjoy it. Now I am wondering as to why I didn't like this as a kid! Do try this variation and enjoy.

  • Sooji (Rava), coarse variety * - 1/2 cup
  • Broken Vermicelli - 1/4 cup
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 2 Tbsp
  • Ghee+Oil - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Chanadal (Split chickpeas) - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal (split black gram) - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - Few
  • Green Chilli - 1-2
  • Salt - To taste
  • Water - 1 1/2 cup
*Use only the coarse variety for this recipe. I used the roasted one which saved an extra step of roasting it.


Keep the water for heating.
While it is heating, prepare the rest of the procedure. Take vermicelli in a pan along with few drops of oil and start roasting it until they turn golden brown.

Once done, transfer it to a bowl.

In the same pan, add the mixture of ghee and oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds. After it splutters, add chanadal, urad dal, chopped green chilli and curry leaves.

Once the chanadal and urad dal turns light brown, add the rava. (roast it until a nice aroma is got. I skipped this step as mine was already roasted). Then add the roasted vermicelli and salt. Mix well.

Then add the boiling water to this mixture and mix well. 

Then lower the heat and close it with a lid until all the water is absorbed (3-4 minutes). Once the water gets absorbed add the grated coconut.

Mix gently and turn off the heat. 
Upma ~With Vermicelli is ready!!

Serve it hot. Above measurement serves two people.

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Friday, May 23, 2014

Multi Flour Chakkuli / Chakli

Multi Flour Chakkuli/Chakli is a recent try in my kitchen. I adapted this recipe from a cook book written by Jaya V Shenoy. Chakli is a very popular deep fried South Indian snack. It is very addictive and hence I don't make it very often. I finally decided to make these and they turned out very tasty. Do try this variation and enjoy with your hot cup of coffee or tea. 

  • All Purpose Flour (Maida) - 1/2 cup
  • Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
  • Chickpea flour (Besan)- 1/2 cup
  • Wheat Flour - 1 cup
  • Melted Butter- 2 tsp
  • Black (or white) Sesame seeds - 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin seeds/ Jeera1 tsp
  • Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp (or to taste)
  • Salt- To taste
  • Oil- For Deep frying


Take four types of flour in a cotton cloth and tie it tightly so that it is closed from all sides.

Now steam the mixture of flour (in cloth) for 15 minutes.

Once done allow it to cool for few minutes. It looks like this after steaming.

Once the flour is warm, it becomes easy to handle. Start breaking the lumps using your hand (because once it cools down completely, it hardens and hence more effort is required to break the lumps).

Then sieve it in a large mixing bowl to get a lump free flour.

Now add in the cumin seeds, sesame seeds, red chilli powder, salt and melted butter.

Mix it well and add water little at a time to get a non sticky, soft dough.

Keep the oil for heating on a medium-high. Now take the chakli making press. I used the mould plate having one hole.

Now divide the dough into two parts. Keep one part of the mixture closed (to avoid drying) and the other part in the mould. Now start rotating it in clockwise direction and make small/big chakli (the free end of the chakli should be sealed. Otherwise there are chances of  it opening up).

You can make chaklis on a parchment paper or banana leaf (as required for one batch. Don't make too much of them in advance. It will dry and fall apart while frying). I made 4-5 per batch . 
Then transfer it to hot oil carefully. 

Fry them evenly on both sides, until they turn light brown (another indication of the end point is the bubbles stop forming). Take it out and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
Multi Flour Chakkuli is ready!!

Allow them to cool then, store it in an air tight container.

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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mashinga Palle Bhakri (Semolina Crepes with Drumstick Leaves)

Mashinga Palle Bhakri is a simple and healthy breakfast. Drumstick leaves (we call mashing pallo in Konkani) are rich in iron and this is a good recipe to start the day with. I love the flavor of drumstick leaves and was fortunate enough to get some in our local Indian stores. My MIL always mentions me about this dish and now that I had some leaves, gave it a try. I was very curious about its taste. It did taste awesome. I enjoyed every bit of it. Do try making it and get the goodness of drumstick leaves :-)

  • Semolina (sooji or rava) - 1 cup
  • Wheat flour- 1 Tbsp
  • Drumstick leaves - 1 cup
  • Grated Coconut, fresh/frozen - 1 Tbsp
  • Salt- To Taste
  • Oil - For frying


Wash the leaves and remove all the leaves from the tough stalk. 

Then give a rough chop.

Now take semolina, wheat flour and salt in a bowl.

Add water (I added 1 cup) so as to form a thick, spreadable dough. Set it aside for 5- 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, if the mixture is looking too dry, then add little more water. Now add in the grated coconut and chopped leaves.

Mix well. The batter is ready.

Now take a cup of water in a bowl (this will be used in spreading the bhakris). Once the pan gets heated, take a small portion of the batter using your hand and start spreading it to desired size and thickness. Dip your hand in water as you spread the batter (you should be very quick in doing this, otherwise it will be difficult to spread, resulting in very thick bhakris. If you feel it difficult then you can also spread it on a banana leaf or aluminum foil and then transfer it to the pan) .I made small sized bhakris.

Add oil/ ghee while frying. After 1-2 minutes flip the dosa to fry the other side. This might take 1-2 more minutes. Both the sides should get golden brown spots. Then transfer it to a plate. 

Mashinga Palle Bhakri is ready!!

Serve it hot. Above measurement serves 1-2 people.

Note: You can make the batter little thin (dropping consistency) and make small dosas just like these pancakes.

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Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Corn Chivda/ Chooda / Mixture

Corn Chivda/ Chooda/ Mixture is a very popular Indian snack. This snack always makes me nostalgic. As a kid I used to spend my summer holidays at my aunt's house. They had a small grocery store in which this chivda was sold. I liked it so much that I used to have them very often as my evening snack.

The Indian stores sell this chivda (chooda) and my husband gets it every time we go there. So I decided to try it at home. I gave a close look at the chivda and noted down the ingredients which I could see and taste. I also referred this recipe. I was really happy with its taste and crunch. It was worth all the effort. Do try it and I hope you all will like it too!

  • Corn Poha- 2 cups
  • Peanuts- 1/2 cup
  • Raisins- 1/3 cup
  • Cashew pieces - 1/4 cup
  • Fennel seeds (saunf)- 2 tsp
  • Sugar- 1-2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves - 8- 10 leaves
  • Oil - For deep frying
For Sprinkling:
  • Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (or to taste)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt- To taste


The corn poha looks like this- 

First mix the ingredients listed under 'for sprinkling' and set it aside. Then measure out your ingredients and them ready.

Then take a big bowl and line it with paper towel. Heat the oil.
Once hot, slowly fry the corn poha in small batches. As each batch comes out, sprinkle with little amount of the spice mixture. Repeat it with the rest of the corn poha.
Then continue frying peanuts until they turn light brown. Repeat the same with cashew pieces. 

Then fry the curry leaves until crispy. 
Then fry the raisins until they plump up. 
Finally fry the fennel seeds (do this separately in a small pan with few drops of oil). Now it is time for mixing.

Crush the fried curry leaves and add them into the bowl containing seasoned fried corn poha. Then add rest of the fried ingredients along with sugar.

Mix gently and taste the mixture. Add salt or sugar or red chilli powder at this stage, if required. 
Corn Chivda is ready!!

Store the mixture in an air tight container (after cooling).  This makes a wonderful evening snack along with a cup of coffee or tea.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Strawberry Milkshake ~ Summer Drink

Strawberry Milkshake is a very popular drink. Strawberries are in season and the summer is setting in. So this milkshake is perfect for a hot summer day or it makes a wonderful 'after school' treat for kids. It is very simple and requires handful of ingredients. Do try making it and enjoy!

  • Strawberry - 3-4
  • Milk - 3/4 cup
  • Sugar - 2 Tbsp (or to taste)
  • Ice cream (strawberry or vanilla) - one small scoop


Wash the strawberries and give a rough chop.

Then transfer the strawberry pieces along with milk and sugar to a blender. Blend it until you get a smooth mixture ( I strain the mixture to get rid of the seeds. This is an optional step). 

Now taste the mixture and add more sugar, if needed. Then add ice cream and blend it again for few seconds. Strawberry Milkshake is ready!!

Serve it immediately. Above measurement serves one.

Note: While serving, you can also top it with whipped cream for extra creaminess and richness.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Corn Salsa

Corn Salsa is a perfect summer dish. The grocery stores are loaded with fresh sweet corn and I was tempted to buy them. I love grilled corn and also like to add it in my Mexican dishes. But unfortunately my husband doesn't like it. So I buy once in a while and enjoy by myself. This recipe is adapted from here.

Making corn salsa is pretty easy. This is served in my favorite fast food chain - Chipotle. I make sure to include it in my burrito bowl every time :-) Do try making this simple salsa and enjoy it with chips on a lazy weekend!

  • Sweet Corn - 1 ear
  • Onion, finely chopped- 2 Tbsp
  • Jalapeño - To taste
  • Cilantro (coriander leaves) - 2-3 sprigs
  • Lime juice- To taste
  • Salt- To taste
Note: For variation - You can also include bell pepper, roasted poblano pepper, cooked black beans, tomato.
For mild onion flavor, use scallion (green onion) instead of red onion.


Clean the corn and start roasting it.

Until it is charred evenly throughout (or you can even cook the corn in a pot of boiling water).

Shave off all the corn kernels using a knife. Then chop jalapeño, cilantro and onion.

Put them in a bowl. Then squeeze in lime juice and salt. Mix well. 

Corn Salsa is ready!!

Serve it with corn chips or you can include them in fajita, burrito or quesadilla. Above measurement serves one.

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