Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Monday, June 30, 2008

Thakkali (Tomato) chutney

Thakkali chutney (kaara chutney) is a Tamilian speciality. Maybe other regions have variations of the same recipe, but my first taste of this fiery red, yummy accompaniment to hot idlis was at my paati's (grandmom) house at Salem.

Tomatoes - 2 big ones
Onions - 1 medium sized
Garlic - 2-3 cloves
Dry red chillies - 6 Nos (you can use red chillie powder instead, but use about 10gms. This is really spicy!)
Tamarind - 5 gms
Salt to taste
Curry leaves for seasoning
Chop tomatoes and onion. Peel garlic. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skilet and fry the onions till translucent, add in the garlic and tomatoes. Keep frying till tomatoes mash in and the oil starts to seperate. Cool. Grind adding tamarind and salt. Season with fried curry leaves.

Karuvepilai chutney

For people down south, any dish to be complete requires a generous sprinkling of Indian curry leaves. Rich in iron and folates, curry leaves not only add flavor to dishes but also aid digestion. They are proven to have anti-diabetic, anti-cholestrol, and anti-oxidant properties.In Kerala, it is also used to fortify hair oils as it aids luxuriant growth of scalp hair. Not many people are familiar with dishes where the curry leaves move beyond the role of a flavoring or garnishing agent, to the main ingredient. Here's an attempt at recollecting some traditional methods of cooking curry leaves.

Karuvepilai (curry leaves) - 150 gms
Grated coconut - 50 gms
Ginger - 10gms
Tamarind - 5 gms
Green chillies - 4
Red chillie powder - 1/4 teaspoonSalt to taste
Destalk and rinse out the curry leaves.Dry roast the curry leaves along with coconut , ginger, and green chillies for about 2 minutes. Cool. Add the rest of the ingredients and grind to paste. If required sprinkle a little water to aid grinding.
PS: Excellant accompaniment to rava idli (see recipe under 'Idlis & dosas'), dosas, or even plain steamed rice.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Zesty curd rice

Out here the mercury is soaring. The temperature has touched 48 degrees. Getting myself to cook is an ordeal but even more terrifying is the prospect of an over greased lunch from outside. Suddenly remembered how an aunt of mine at Chennai would make her son subsist on a diet of curd rice and fruit when the temperatures soar. But she stuck to a single fruit at a time..it was either grapes in curd rice or pomegranates in curd rice. Thought I could, with minor variations, make it even more interesting. So here goes...

Steamed rice - 1 cup (for the rice base)
Curds (yoghurt) - 1 1/2 cups

Green cucumber - 2 nos

Seedless green grapes - 1 cup

Ginger - 1 medium sized piece (about 5 gms when chopped)

Green chillies - 4 Nos

Pomegranate - 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

Finely mince the ginger and green chillies. Chop the cucumber into small pieces. Use a fork to gently mash the steamed rice just a little bit. Mix all ingredients together with the rice. And voila, you are ready to dig in !

PS: Adding a couple of teaspoons of grated raw mangoes make this even more yummier!

Learn how to make paneer (cottage cheese)at home

Starting on your first culinary expedition? Here's help. Do let me know if you require anything specific.

Boil 1 litre of full cream milk. Add a dessertspoon of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of sour curd into the milk while it's still hot. Keep stirring as the milk curdles and seperates into paneer and whey. Place a thin muslin cloth over another vessel and pour this mixture through it so as to filter out just the paneer. Now, tie up and hang the cloth with the paneer inside so as to drain all the whey. Let stay for an hour or more.Place the paneer on a flat surface and place a heavy object on top so as to flatten it out. Let stay for sometime. Now, open cloth and cut paneer into cubes.
PS: If you want a low fat version, use 1 litre low fat milk and 1/4 litre full fat milk.
PS: The whey is rich in nutrients. It can be added to soups or used in the gravy in which you make the paneer.

Green peas & Walnut rolls

I've tried to make this a complete meal. It has a combination of protiens, carbohydrates, and essential vitamins with the walnuts throwing in a generous measure of heart healthy fats. Makes an easy and yummy tiffin box item for both kids and adults. Hope you like it :-)
Fresh or frozen Green peas - 1 cup
Walnuts - 50 gms
Egg whites - 2
Garlic - 3 cloves
Green Cucumber - 1
Green chillies - 4 Nos
Soy sauce - 2 dessertspoons (20gms)
For garnish
Mustard paste
Chilli sauce
Tomato ketchup
Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a skillet. Add finely chopped garlic and stir till brown. Add in the green peas and keep stirring on low flame for 3-4 minutes. Break the walnut into bits and throw them in along with the green peas. Keep stirring till the peas are almost done. Add the egg whites and stir cook. The final appearance is like green scrambled eggs. Stir in the soy sauce. Julienne the cucumber and finely mince the green chillies. Add into the mixture and keep on for a minute. Take off flame. Garnish with the sauces.
Make regular chappathis or Kuboos (arabic bread). Place this filling on one side and roll the other side over to form a cylindrical shape.
Yummy hot or cold!

Peanut butter

Roasted and deskinned peanuts - 200 gms
Olive oil - 2 teaspoons (10 ml)
Salt to taste
Put the roasted peanuts into a mixer and grind. When 3/4 th done add in teh oil and salt and whisk again.
PS: You can grind the peanut butter to a smooth texture or leave it coarsely ground as per your taste.


This recipe is courtesy, my friend's mom! An extremely sweet assamese lady who was also a wonderful cook. Once I recieved a jar of home-made mayonnaise from her and instantly fell in love with the stuff. This is her recipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did :-)
For people, who don't like the idea of high cholestrol egg yolks, use milk powder or soy milk instead. Don't forget to tell me how it was :-)

Egg yolks 2
Salt & pepper
Dry mustard powder 2 tsp
Castor sugar 1 ½ - 2 Tbs
White vinegar or limejuice 1 Tbs
Garlic paste[opt] 2 tsp
Olive or sunflower oil 300 ml
Boiling water 1 ½ Tbs
Except for the oil, put all the other ingredients into a blender and blend for a couple of minutes.
Add the oil a drop at a time, and then in a steady stream until the mayonnaise thickens. Add boiling water to prevent the mayonnaise from curdling. Store in a clean bottle in the fridge.

PS:All ingredients at room temperature.
This quantity makes 300 ml of mayonnaise.

Bread bajji

Bread - 8 slices
Besan ( kadala maavu/chick pea flour) - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida (kayam) - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin (jeera) 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Mix the besan, rice flour, chilli powder, asafoetida, jeera, and salt together. Add water to make a loose batter. Cut the bread slices into two. Dip each piece into the batter and make sure that batter gets coated evenly over the bread slices.
Heat oil and gently place each batter coated bread piece in. Fry till golden brown on all sides.
Serve hot with ketchup.

Garlic chutney

Garlic cloves - 6 Nos
Small onions (shallots/scallions) - 10 Nos
Dry red chillies - 5 Nos
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Salt to taste

Heat 1 teaspoon of oil ina skillet. Throw in the peeled garlic, small onions, and dry red chillies. Stir fry till the onions turn translucent. Cool and grind coarsely with salt to taste. Add a dash of oil before serving.

Peanut chutney

Roasted peanuts (kadala) without skin- 1 cup
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 1 clove
Dry red chillies - 5 Nos
Salt to taste
For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 2 Nos
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Oil - 1 teaspoon

Grind the peanuts, coconut, garlic, and dry red chillies to a fine paste. Heat the oil in a skillet. Add the dry red chillies and fry. Crackle the mustard seeds and add the curry leaves. take off flame and pour over the ground mixture.
Excellant accompaniment to idlis and crips dosas.

the footloose chef: Paruppu vada#links

the footloose chef: Paruppu vada#links

Paruppu vada

Kadala paruppu (broken chick pea lentils) - 1 cup

Sambhar paruppu (yellow lentils/toor dhal) - 1/4 cup

Small onions (shallots/scallions)- 4 nos

Green chillies - 4 Nos

Ginger - 5 gms (1 medium sized piece)

Fennel (perunjeerakam/saunf) - 1 teaspoon

Red chillie powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Powdered Asafoetida (kayam) - 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves - 4-5 sprigs

Salt to taste

Soak both the lentil varieties seperately for an hour. Add in the small onions, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves, and fennel to the drained kadala paruppu and grind in a mixer without adding water. Remove and place in a bowl. Add the chillie powder, asafoetida, salt, and the toor dhal to the ground mixture and knead well.

Heat 1/4 litre of vegetable oil in a deep skillet.

Wet your palms and grease them with vegetable oil. Take a lemon sized bit of the dough and place on one palm. Slightly flatten out the ball using the fingers of the other hand. Drop the vadas gently into the oil. Fry till evenly golden brown on all sides.

PS: Alternate the flame to medium and high to maintain the oil temperature and also to ensure that the vadas are cooked inside too.


Wheat flour - 250 gms

Sour curd (yoghurt) - 1/2 cup

Bread slices - 2 (trim off the crust)

Egg - 1

Sugar - 1 teaspoon

Warm milk - 1/2 cup

Cooking Soda - a pinch

Oil - 1 teaspoon (5 ml)

Salt to taste

Soak the bread in milk for a few minutes. Sift the wheat flour and cooking soda together so that they blend well. Add all the ingredients into the wheat flour and knead to a soft dough. The dough should be softer than the regular chappathi dough. Add some water if required. Cover with a muslin cloth and let stand for an hour.

Shape big lemon sized balls outof the dough and gently roll them out into flat, thick chappathis. Heat 1/2 litre of any vegetable oil with a high heating point and deep fry each batura. Gently press them with the ladle when they are in the oil so that they fluff up like pooris. Turn over and fry the other side.

Place on kitchen tissues to absorb excess oil. Serve with hot channa masala.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Aloo (potato) chappathi

For the chappathis
Wheat flour - 250 gms
Curd (yoghurt) - 2 teaspoons (10gms)
Salt to taste
Add warm water and knead the wheat flour and curd into a dough like for regular chappathis. Let stand for half an hour.
For the filling
Potatoes - 3 big ones
Ginger - 10gms
Jeera (cumin) - powdered 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 4
Salt to taste
Boil and crumble the potatoes. Grind the green chillies and ginger and add to potatoes. Add in the jeera powder and salt to taste.
For the stuffed chappathis
Shape big leamon sized balls out of the wheat dough. Take each ball and use your fingers to create a depression in the middle. Now place a little of the filling into the depression and then reshape it back into a ball. Now the stuffing is fully inside. Gently roll out balls into chappathis sprinkling loose wheat flour to prevent sticking.
Heat a flat pan and use a paper napkin or cloth to rub on a little oil on it. Place the chappathi on and cook both sides.
Serve hot with yoghurt and mint chutney.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chakka (Jackfruit) Erisseri

Raw Jackfruit - 150 gms ( chopped)
Green chillies - 3 Nos
Red chilli powder (cayenne pepper) - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder (Manjal podi) - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder (Malli podi) - 1/2 teaspoon
For masala
Grated Coconut - 1 cup
Jeera (cumin) - 1 teaspoon
Small onions (shallots/scallions) - 4 Nos
Garlic - 2 cloves
Green chillies - 4 Nos
For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 2 Nos
Curry leaves - 5 sprigs
Oil - 1 teaspoon

Place the chopped Jackfruit in a skillet, add enough water and the green chillies and cook covered.
Put all the ingredients for the masala in a mixer bowl and grind to a fine paste. Add to the simmering jackfruit pieces along with the turmeric powder, chilli powder, and coriander powder. Allow it to boil.
In a different pan , heat the oil and fry the dry red chillies. Add the mustard seeds and allow them to crackle, follow up with teh curry leaves. Pour this seasoning into the jackfruit mixture.
Add salt to taste and serve with plain, steamed rice.

Palak paneer

Spinach (palak)- 2 bunches
Onion - 1 big (finely chopped)
Green chillies - 6 Nos
Ginger - 1 short piece
Low fat paneer (cottage cheese) - 200 gms
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Cream for garnish
Clean and rinse out the spinach well. In a non-stick skillet place the spinach,onions, ginger, and green chillies together and simmer cook with a lid on. Cook only till the leaves wilt (about 5 minutes).Cool and grind in a mixer bowl.
Cut the paneer into small cubes and place in chilled water for few minutes. Drain.
Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a skillet. Add the paneer and stir fry till the cubes start browning. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and fry again. Pour the spinach mixture in. Simmer for a minute and add the milk. Add salt to taste and keep on low fire for a couple of minutes. Taste to check if the raw flavour has left the gravy. Take off flame.
Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a squirt of cream on top.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bittergourd (pavakka) Pickle

Bittergourd - 3 big ones ( the light green ones are better suited for pickling)
Green chillies - 100 gms (slit)
Ginger - 25 gms (julienned)
Curry leaves - 5-6 sprigs
Lemon juice - 200 ml (extract from fresh lemon)
Gingelly oil - 20 ml
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Deseed and thinly slice the bittergourd. Line a steamer with muslin cloth and steam cook the bittergourd slices for about 5 minutes.
Heat the oil in a skillet and crackle the mustard seeds. Follow up with slit green chillies and curryleaves. Saute lightly (the green chillies shouldn't lose their colour). Add the ginger juliennes and the steamed bittergourd. Stir for a minute and take off flame. Add the lemon juice and salt.
Cool and store in a glass jar. Leave overnight. Can be used the next day. Stays good for a week upon refridgeration.

Sweet corn veg soup

Frozen sweet corn - 250gms
Carrot - 1/2 of a medium sized tuber
Spring onions - 2 stalks
Corn flour - 3 teaspoons (about 15 gms)
Pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 1 litre
Low fat cream - for garnish
Salt to taste
Finely mince the carrots (as you would find in chinese fried rice).
Boil the water in a thick bottomed pan. Add the corn and carrots and simmer till the carrots are half done. Add the finely chopped spring onions.
Dissolve the cornflour in half a glass of water at room temperature, ensure there are no lumps. Pour it gently into the simmering soup stirring all the while so that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring till the soup thickens lightly. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Serve hot with a squirt of cream on top.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

How to make Idli/ dosa batter?

Starting on your first culinary expedition? Here's help. Do let me know if you require anything specific.
Raw rice - 4 cups (if the quality of black gram is not fluffy enough use 3 cups rice)
Black gram (urad dhal/ uzhunnu) - 1 cup (without skin)
Fenugreek seeds (methi/uluva/vendayam) - 1 teaspoon (5 gms)
Gingelly oil (sesame oil/nallennai) - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Cooked rice - a handful (optional)

Wash and soak the raw rice and black gram seperately for 4 hours with water sufficient to immerse them. Soak the fenugreek seeds along with the black gram.
Grind the black gram adding water little by little into a smooth fluffy paste. You can use the wet grinder blade of a mixer or the wet grinder for this. Grind the rice likewise and add to the bleack gram paste. Add salt to taste along with the gingelly oil. Blend everything together very well and allow to ferment overnight.

PS: Adding the right quantity of water is key to the quality of the batter. For idlis the batter should be of a thicker consistency. To make dosas with the same batter just add a little more water.

NOTES:  I've had reader queries regarding alternatives to raw rice. Here they are:

  • Parboiled rice
  • Idly rice (this looks like par boiled rice and has teh same texture but is sold for a higher price in my part of the world)
  • Basmati rice (during our stay at Lebanon this was the only type available in the neighbourhood supermarket, they work well too)
You can use these solely or in combination with the raw rice. Browse through the Idli and dosa section for many more options.

Muringaila kadala fry

Muringa ila (drumstick leaves) - 1 big bunch
Nila kadala (peanuts) - 50 gms (plain roasted and without skin)
Garlic - 3 cloves
Dry red chillies - 5 nos
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Destalk and clean the drumstick leaves.
In a mixer bowl place the roasted and deskinned peanuts along with the garlic and grind to a very coarse mixture.
Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds. When they crackle add the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Follow up with the drumstick leaves. Stir fry till the leaves begin to wilt ( 3- 4 minutes max). Add the ground peanut mixture and salt to taste. Stir fry till the garlic in the mixture gives out a pleasant aroma.
Serve as accompaniment to plain rice or chappathi.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Puthina chutney (tamilian style)

Puthina (mint) - 1 big bunch
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Tamarind extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 5 nos
Ginger - 1 short piece (about 5 gms)
Salt to taste
Destalk and clean the mint leaves. Place all ingredients , except salt in a skillet and simmer for 2 minutes with the lid on. Cool and grind to smooth paste in a mixer bowl. Add salt to taste. Check for tanginess, if less add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
Season with crackled mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Excellant with hot dosas and idlis.

Paruppu chutney

Toor dhal (sambhar paruppu/yellow lentils) - 1 cup
Garlic - 3 cloves
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized ripe ones
Tamarind extract - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chillie powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Oil - 1 teaspoon

Dry roast the toor dhal and garlic together till the dhal becomes golden brown and emanates an aroma. Remove from the skillet. Chop and fry the tomatoes seperately till they become mushy. In a mixer bowl add the roasted dhal, garlic, tomatoes, curry leaves, tamarind and chillie powder and grind to a smooth paste. Add salt to taste.
Heat the oil in a kadai and crackle the mustard seeds. Add the curry leaves and roast for a minute. Add this to the cutney.
Serve with dosas and idlis.

Mulaku chammanthi

Small onions (shallots) - 15 nos
Dry red chillies - 6 nos
Tamarind extract - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Coconut oil - 2 teaspoons (10gms)
Peel the onions. Warm a skillet and pour half a teaspoon of oil in it. Add the onions and red chillies and stir fry till onions become translucent. Cool.
Put the fried onions, chillies, tamarind and salt into a mixer bowl and grind to a fine paste. Add the rest of the oil and whisk it one more time.
Serve with idlis or vellayappam.

Easy coconut chutney

Grated coconut - 1 cup
Small onions - 2-3 nos
Dry red chillies (alternatively, use chilli powder) - 4 nos
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt to taste

For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoonBroken Black gram (urad dhal/uzhunnu) - 1/2 teaspoonDry red chillies - 2 nosCurry leaves - 1 sprigOil - 1 teaspoon
In a mixer put all of the first set of ingredients and grind to a smooth paste. Heat oil in a skillet and roast the black gram and red chillies. Crackle the mustard and then add the curry leaves. Add the ground mixture to this with adequate water to form a semi solid consistency. Let simmer for a minute and take off flame.
Serve with dosas

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Chembu (seppam kizangu/aravi/colocasia) - 200 gms
Green chillies - 5-6 nos (slit lengthwise)
Coconut oil - 4 teaspoons (20gms)
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Salt to taste
Peel, chop and chop colocasia into medium sized bits. Boil water in a thick bottomed vessel (enough to immerse the colocasia bits) and cook the colocasia and slit green chillies in it. Once soft, take off flame and add the curry leaves, coconut oil and salt. Keep aside with lid closed for about 1/2 hour for the flavours to mix.

Chembu asthram

Chembu (seppam kizangu/aravi/colocasia) - 250 gms
Grated coconut - 2 cups
Jeera (cumin seeds) - 1 teaspoon
Small onions (shallots) - 4-5 nos
Green chillies - 4-5 nos
Red chilli powder (hot cayenne pepper) - 1 teaspoon (5 gms)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garlic - 2 cloves
Salt to taste
Curds (yoghurt) - 2 cups

For seasoning
Dry red chillies - 4
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 5-6 sprigs
Coconut oil - 2 teaspoons (10gms)

Peel and chop the colocasia into medium sized pieces. In a thick bottomed vessel pour in about hal a litre of water and let boil. Place the colocasia in it and cook with lid covered for about 10 minutes. Remove lid and add some salt and 1/2 teaspoon of chillie powder. Cook till the colocasia is really soft.
In a mixer grind together the coconut ,Jeera , small onions (shallots), Green chillies , red chilli powder (hot cayenne pepper),Turmeric powder and Garlic. Pour the mixture into the colocasia and continue simmering for a few more minutes till the masala emits a fragrance. Take off flame.
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the red chillies, crackle the mustard seeds and then add the curry leaves. Take off flame and pour into the colocasia. Keep covered till the mixture cools down a bit and then add 2 cups of curds (yoghurt) and mix well. Ready to eat with pickle.

Chakka kumbilappam

Ripe chakka (Jackfruit) - 2 cups (deseeded and chopped into small chunks)
Rice flour - 2 cups
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Elaichi (Cardamom) - 3-4 nos (pounded well)
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Pressure cook the jackfruit bits without water for about 2 whistles. Cool.
Place all the ingredients including the cooked jackfruit in a large bowl and knead into dough(similar to the consistency of chappathi dough).
Cut out square sheets from good quality butter paper and shape them into medium sized cones. Place a fair amount of dough into the cone and seal the ends with a tooth pick. Steam cook for about 10 - 15 minutes. To check if the kumbilappam is ready, open one and prick a tooth pick into it. If the toothpick comes out clean your appam is ready to serve.

PS: Traditionally the kumbils (the cones in which the appam is cooked) is fashioned out of fresh bay leaves. If you have access to fresh bay leaves use them instead of the butter paper for a more delicious flavour.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Omlette with beans filling

Eggs - 2 (only the whites)

Cornflour - 2 teaspoons (about 10gms)

Ginger - 1 small piece (finely chopped)

Garlic - 2 cloves (finely chopped)

Small onions(shallots) - 4 Nos (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Ground pepper - 1/4 teaspoon

For filling

Black eyed beans - 1/2 cup

Tomato paste or thick puree - 1/4 cup

Olive oil - 1 teaspoon

Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Soak the beans overnight. Mix olive oil, chilli powder and tomato paste and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Add salt to taste.

Whisk the egg whites and cornflour together till there are no lumps. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Heat a flat non-stick girdle (dosa pan) and pour out the entire egg mixture into a thick omlette. Cook till golden brown and turn over. Once done again turn over and spread the beans mixture on one half of the omlette. Fold the other half over the side spread with the beans filling. Simmer for 1/2 a minute and then take off flame. Serve.

Nadan chicken masala

Chicken - 1 kg (cleaned, skinned, fat trimmed, and cut into medium sized pieces)

Onions - 2 bigSmall onions (shallots) - 10 nos

Ginger - 1 teaspoon (ground to fine paste)

Garlic - 4-5 big cloves (crushed)

Green chillies - 4-5 (slit lengthwise)

Tomatoes - 4 (medium sized)

Bay leaves - 1-2

Curry leaves - 4-5 sprigs

Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Chillie powder - 2 teaspoons (more if you want it spicier)

Coriander powder - 2 teaspoons.

For dry masala

Cinnamon - 3 sticks

Cloves - 3

Cardamom - 2

Mace - 1-2 threads

Nutmeg - 1/2 teaspoon (crush a seed and measure out half a teaspoon)

Star anise - 3

Fennel - 1/4 teaspoon

Dry grind the spices in a mixer bowl and set aside.

Heat a little oil in a thick bottomed skillet. Throw in a teaspoon of mustard seeds and let crackle. Add the crushed garlic followed by the ginger paste. Once a light aroma emanates add the shallots and sliced onions. When pink in colour add the sliced tomatoes and green chillies. Saute for a minute. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and the coriander powder. Fry for a minute. Add in the chicken pieces along with the bay leaves and curry leaves. Add 1/2 the quantity of the dry masala powder you have made and allow the chicken to cook on slow fire with the lid closed.

DO NOT ADD WATER, the chicken has to cook in it's juices. Stir once in a while to avoid burning.When the chicken is almost done add the rest of the dry masala powder and salt to taste. Add a few more curry leaves and saute for another 2 minutes. Let stand for about an hour in the vessel it has been cooked in. This allows the flavour to really come out.


PS: We do not add water to this curry. So, remember to use a thick bottomed vessel to avoid burning the dish.

Peas & Almond soup

Good quality frozen green peas - 1/2 kg

Almonds - 1 cup

Skimmed milk - 1 cup

Low fat cream - for garnish

Salt & pepper powder - to taste

Blanch the almonds in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cool and peel the skin. Grind to fine paste.Steam cook the green peas till tender or pressure cook for 2 whistles. Let cool.Blend the cooked green peas and almond paste in a mixer bowl. When it's time to serve, simmer it to a light boil and add the pepper and salt. Take off flame and pour into bowls. Squirt a little bit of cream before serving.

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