Monthly Archives: July 2014

Bisibelebath/ Sambhar sadam

Bisibelebath/ Sambhar sadam

Sitting in Bangalore, I cannot help but think of the most obvious dish here… “The Bisibelebath.”

The very name of the dish tells you about the dish, “hot lentil rice”. The bisibelebath is a one pot meal with vegetables and lentils making this a wholesome meal by itself. With the addition of the ghee and the fried cashews, this dish gets extra flavor and crunchiness.

The masala added to the bisibelebath is the most important ingredient in the dish. This masala can be ground and stored in an air tight container for later use.



Shallots/ small onions (sliced if big)                                                             –              1 cup

Tomatoes (diced)                                                                                       –              ½ cup

Mixed vegetables (any vegetable of your choice)                                           –              1 cup

Tamarind puree                                                                                          –              ¼ cup

Turmeric powder                                                                                        –              ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds                                                                                           –              1 tsp

Curry leaves                                                                                               –              1-2 sprigs

Tuvar dhal (boiled and mashed)                                                                    –              ½ cup

Rice (cooked slightly soft)                                                                           –              1 cup

Ghee                                                                                                        –              1-2 tbsps

Cashews                                                                                                   –              8-10pcs

Oil                                                                                                            –              2 tbsps

Salt to taste


For roasting and grinding:

Red chillies                                                                                                              –              6-8 nos

Coriander seeds                                                                                                       –              2 tbsps

Jeera                                                                                                                      –              1 tsp

Gram dhal                                                                                                              –              1 tbsp

Saunf                                                                                                                    –              1 tsp

Cinnamon stick                                                                                                      –              1” pc

Pepper                                                                                                                  –              ½ tsp

Fenugreek seeds                                                                                                    –              ½ tsp

Dry roast the ingredients separately with very little or no oil and grind them to a coarse powder. Store the roasted powder in an air tight container for later use.

IMG_5079     IMG_5066


Heat oil in a large pan, when the oil gets hot, add the mustard seeds and wait for them to sputter.

When they do, add the shallots/ small onions and sauté them well. Sauté the small onions till they get slightly brown in color.

Add the mixed vegetables (I used carrots, peas, potato, drumstick and capsicum) and sauté them for a minute.

Now, add the tomatoes and fry them till they soft and mushy.  When they are done, add a tsp of turmeric powder and 2 tbsps of the ground masala powder and sauté till oil starts separating from the edges. Add a cup of water and close and cook till the vegetables are done.

When the vegetables are fully cooked and are easy to mash with a spoon, pour the tamarind puree and cook for another 10 minutes, cover with a lid.


Now add the cooked tuvar dhal and rice, mix it well and add a cup of water, season with salt and cover and cook on a slow heat.

Cook till all the rice, dhal and vegetables have combined well and have a nice almost thick consistency.

Remove from the heat.

Heat a small pan with the ghee, fry the cashews till they are golden brown and remove and drain on absorbent paper.

In the same ghee, fry some sliced onions, till they are brown and drain on absorbent paper.

Pour the ghee on top of the bisibelabath and mix well, garnish with the cashew and fried onions and serve with papad and curd vadai or raitha.



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Posted by on July 31, 2014 in Mixed Rice


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Orange Almond Yoghurt Cake

Orange Almond Yoghurt Cake

What can be more relaxing than an evening, sitting on the sofa with your feet up, a piece of cake by your side and nice hot tea…

Bliss is what I call it. Even though I don’t get many evenings like that, when-ever I do, I love to sit with my tea, cake and a book.

Making cakes has now become more interesting now for me, exploring new recipes and trying to make the cakes more appealing for my children.


This orange almond cake, has semolina flour and yoghurt were both new to me. The texture of the cake was soo different to the others and the addition of the orange syrup made the cake a favorite evening snack.


Unsalted butter                                                                   –                              ¾ cup

Sugar                                                                                 –                              1 + 2/3 cups

Semolina flour                                                                     –                              ¾ cup

All purpose flour/ maida                                                        –                              ¾ cup

Almond powder                                                                    –                              ½ cup

Orange juice                                                                        –                              1 cup

Orange zest                                                                         –                              5-6 strips + 1 tbsp grated

Baking powder                                                                      –                              1 tsp

Eggs                                                                                    –                              3 large eggs

Greek yoghurt/ hung curd                                                       –                              1 cup

Vanilla extract                                                                       –                              1 tsp

Water                                                                                   –                              ½ cup



Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Grease a 9” round cake pan or square pan and line with butter paper/parchment paper.

In a small sauce-pan, combine the water, orange strips and 2/3 cups sugar and orange juice and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook till all the sugar has dissolved and it reaches a syrupy stage. This should take approx. 5 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside to let the flavors infuse.


In a large bowl, add the flours i.e., all-purpose flour, semolina flour, almond meal, baking powder, orange zest and a pinch of salt. Whisk all these together. In a slightly larger bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric whisk, till the mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture would be pale yellow in color. Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to infuse the egg completely before adding the next egg. Beat the mixture well. Add the vanilla extract and beat the mixture again on medium. Now, gradually add the flour mixture and yoghurt alternately, making sure to beat the mixture well after each addition.

Once all the flour and yoghurt has been added, transfer the batter to the prepared cake pan and bake at 180 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 10-15 minutes. When the cake is slightly cooled, invert the cake onto the serving dish. Using a stick of spaghetti or any other thin stick, make small holes in the cake. Spoon the orange syrup on the cake, making sure to drench the entire cake with the syrup. Let the cake cool completely.

Serve the cake with custard or just plain.

(The cake would taste better if allowed to soak in the syrup for 4-5 hours.)

IMG_5050 IMG_5045


*In case you, do not have semolina flour, give the normal semolina a good blitz in the dry grinder and measure it out.

*Almond meal in case you don’t get them ready-made, is just almonds, soaked in water for some time. Then, remove the skin and blanch them. Wipe them well with paper towels and grind them to a powder, not very smooth, but not too lumpy either.

*Orange zest is the skin of the orange without the white part (pith) in it. You will need strips for the syrup and zest (grated) for the cake.

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Posted by on July 21, 2014 in Cakes


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Spicy Chicken Curry

Spicy Chicken Curry

The weather has changed completely…

It was hot and humid when I came and now it is cold, windy and raining. Rainy season always calls for hot and spicy food. Hot steaming rice or hot crispy parottas with hot and spicy chicken curry and raitha…yummmm

Spicy chicken curry is one of those dishes which you can have with steaming hot rice as well as simple phulkas or even parottas. The ground masala powder is the actual taste maker of the dish. The red chillies used here can be adjusted according to the person.



Chicken                                                                   –              500 gms

Onions                                                                     –              3 nos

Tomatoes                                                                –              2 nos

Ginger-garlic paste                                                   –           1 tbsps

Cloves                                                                     –              4-5 nos

Yoghurt                                                                  –              2 tbsps

Turmeric powder                                                      –              ½ tsp

Lime                                                                        –              ½ pc


To roast and grind:

Red chillies                                                             –              6-8 nos

Coriander seeds                                                      –              1 tbsps

Jeera                                                                     –              1 tsp

Fennel seeds                                                         –              1 tsp

Black pepper                                                         –              1-2 tsp

Cinnamon                                                               –              1” stick

To grind to paste:

Coconut (grated)                                                 –              3-4 tbsp

Khus-khus seeds(poppy seeds)                            –              2 tbsp

Oil                                                                     –              2-3 tbsp



In a medium pan, add a tsp of oil and add all the ingredients for roasting i.e. the red chillies, coriander seeds, jeera, fennel seeds, cinnamon and pepper. Roast till they change to light brown in color. Remove from heat and allow it to cool. Grind the roasted ingredients to a powder, once cool.

Soak the poppy seeds and grated coconut in warm water for 10-15 minutes. Grind this to a smooth paste and keep aside.



Heat the remaining oil in a pan and add the cloves and wait for them sputter. Add the chopped onions and sauté them till they are slightly brown in color. Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 3-4 minutes, till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic has gone. Add the cleaned and washed chicken and sauté. The chicken will change color. Sauté them till they turn slightly brown, this should take approx. 5-8 minutes. When they turn slightly brown, add turmeric powder, the ground powdered masala and yoghurt along with it. Sauté it well till the gravy starts to leave oil from the edges. Now, add the tomatoes and salt and sauté. Cover the chicken and let it cook for 10-15 minutes on a medium heat. When the chicken is cooked well, and the gravy has a nice consistency, add the coconut and poppy-seed paste. Cook the chicken for a further 5 minutes and remove from heat.

Remove the chicken to the serving dish, garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve the spicy chicken curry hot with rice or rotis.



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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Chicken, Non_Vegetarian Dishes


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Vermicelli Payasam/ Kheer

Vermicelli Payasam/ Kheer

It’s been a month since I started my blog …


Blogging is teaching me how to express myself in different ways, through food, photography and also helping me out with my writing (which I hardly do). I have started experimenting with new recipes or adapting from others, which I normally would never have done.

For me it has always been my husband and now my son who think that I cook the best. But now, a lot of other people who I don’t even know think so too.

Anyway, I am loving my new experience!!!



Vermicelli                                                               –              1 cup

Whole Milk                                                             –              1 litre

Sugar                                                                     –              ¼ cup

Cardamoms(powdered)                                            –              3-4 pcs

Cashews/ almonds(broken)                                      –              6-8 pcs

Raisins                                                                   –              6-8 pcs

Saffron                                                                    –              a small pinch

Ghee                                                                      –              2 tbsps



Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a deep pan and add the vermicelli to it.

Fry the vermicelli in the ghee till they are slightly golden brown in color. Make sure to stand with the vermicelli while frying as they can burn easily.

Add the whole milk into the vermicelli and let it boil. Once the milk comes to a boil, lower the heat and keep stirring the milk, frequently.

When the milk is reduced to almost half, add the sugar to the milk. (Adjust sugar according to your preference.)

Keep stirring the mixture for further 5-10 minutes till all the sugar has dissolved.

Heat a small pan with the remaining ghee and fry the cardamom pieces, cashews/ almonds and raisins till the cashews are slightly golden brown and the raisins have puffed up.

Pour this into the milk mixture

Cool the kheer/ payasam in a refrigerator and serve garnished with almond slivers and saffron.





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Medhu Vadai

It’s raining!!!!

I love the rains and miss them so much in Dubai. I love everything about the rains, the cool breeze which blows before the rains, the smell which comes from the wet sand and mainly getting wet in the rain. We love getting wet, my son and me…

So now, after getting wet….

Yes!!!  time for hot bhajiyas or vadais with a hot cup of masala chai…

This time it’s the vadai. The medu vadai with lots of onions and curry leaves..



Whole urad dhal                                  –              1 cup

Raw rice                                             –              1 tbsp

Onions(diced)                                      –              1-2 small ones

Green chillies(finely chopped)               –              1 no

Ginger (chopped finely)                         –              1 tbsp

Curry leaves                                        –              1-2 sprigs

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying



Wash and soak the urad dhal and rice for 3-4 hours. The more they soak, the better they grind.

Drain all the water and grind the dhal to a fine batter without using any water.

Make sure to keep pushing all the dhal down to get a uniform consistency.

Grinding the dhal should take approx. 20-25 mins.

The batter should be light and fluffy.

Remove the batter into a dish, add the chopped onions, green chillies, ginger , curry leaves and salt and mix well.


Heat oil in a deep kadai/ pan. Oil should be enough for deep frying.

The oil is hot enough when a pinch of the batter is added and it comes up immediately.

Wet your hands with water and take a small lemon sized ball of the batter, press it slightly on a plastic sheet or wax paper and make a small hole in the centre.

Drop this vadai into the hot oil carefully.

You can add 2-3 vadais into the oil at the same time, making sure not to add too many or they would stick to each other.

Fry them till they are golden brown on all sides.

Remove and drain on absorbent paper.


Serve hot with any chutney and sambar.




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Posted by on July 8, 2014 in Vadais


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Dinner Rolls without eggs

Dinner Rolls without eggs

I love baking my dinner rolls at home. I make them for the very reason that the smell that comes from them while they are baking is purely addictive. But I realized that I was not the only one addicted to the rolls, my kids loved them as well.

When I started off making these in the first place, two spoons of yeast seemed a lot. But, later when they were done, they dint seem yeasty at all. They were light and fluffy. The whole process of making these rolls from scratch hardly takes a little more than an hour.

Quick, delicious and easy to make, these eggless rolls are a hit in my house.



All purpose flour/ Maida                                                             –               2 ¼ cup

Yeast                                                                                      –               1 packet (2 1/4 tsps)

Sugar                                                                                      –               3 tbsps

Salt                                                                                         –               ½ tsp

Milk                                                                                        –               ½ cup

Water                                                                                     –               ¼ cup

Butter                                                                                     –               2 tbsps

IMG_4838  IMG_4842


Sift ¾ cup of flour in a bowl. Add in the yeast (un-dissolved packet), sugar and salt in a large bowl and keep aside.

Heat the milk, water and butter till all the butter has melted.

Add the milk mixture to the flour mixture and beat with an electric mixer. Beat the flour mix for approx. 2-3 minutes, scrapping the sides of the bowl, 2-3 times.

Add ¼ cup of flour to the batter and mix again on high-speed for another 2-3 minutes.

Add the remaining flour and knead with your hands to form a soft ball. Lightly flour the work table and knead the dough till it is smooth and expands like elastic. This should take approx 10-12 minutes.

Cover the dough with a wet cloth and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 10-12 equal size pieces, shaped into balls and arrange on a slightly greased pan. Cover the balls with a wet cloth and leave in a warm place for them to rise or double in volume. This stage takes approx. 45 minutes to an hour.

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees centigrade. Bake the dinner rolls for 20-25 minutes making sure rotate the rolls once in-between. Remove when done and brush with butter and serve warm.






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Posted by on July 4, 2014 in Eggless baking


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Dhal Tadka

Dhal Tadka

What happens when you are in no mood to cook anything, but you still have to make something for the children?

Dhal and rice with potato fry…

Comfort food at it’s best. Easy to make and other than being a lazy days food, its healthy too..

Dhal is made with lentils. There are many variations in making the dhal. This dhal tadka that I made is with moong dhal (split yellow lentils) and masoor dhal (red lentils).

The tadka is the actual flavoring in the dhal. There are many variations to the tadka too. The one here is the simplest form of any dhal tadka.



Moong dhal (split yellow lentils)                                   –              ½ cup

Masoor dhal (red lentils)                                              –              ½ cup

Onions                                                                       –              1 no

Tomato                                                                       –              1 no

Ginger (Julienne)                                                        –              1 tbsp

Turmeric powder                                                          –              ½ tsp

Red chilli powder                                                         –              ½ tsp

Asafoetida                                                                  –              ¼ tsp

Cumin seeds                                                               –              ¼ tsp

Mustard seeds                                                             –              ¼ tsp

Salt to taste

Ghee                                                                           –              1 tbsp



Wash and soak both the dhals for 20-30 minutes.

Drain the water, add 2 cups of fresh water and boil the dhals in a deep pan.

When they are half done, add the onions, tomatoes, half the ginger Julienne, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cook till the lentils are fully cooked and are easy to mash.

Remove the lentils from the heat and mash the lentils till everything is mixed well.

Season with salt and check the consistency of the dhal.

The dhal should be thick and not thin and runny. If the dhal is runny, then keep it back on the heat till the required consistency is reached.

Heat a pan with a table-spoon of ghee.

Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and wait for them to sputter.

When they do, add the asafoetida and remaining ginger and pour over the dhal.

Garnish with cilantro leaves.

Serve the dhal with rotis or plain white rice and ghee.



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Posted by on July 3, 2014 in Dhals


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