Mor Keerai| Keerai Mor Kootu

The first of the winter greens have started appearing in the markets, here in Bangalore. It is a soothing sight to see those lush, fresh greens piled up at the vegetable vendor’s. I love playing with leafy greens any day, and winter provides me just the perfect opportunity to cook with a variety of them. Spinach or palak is one of the most commonly used greens in India, and I present to you today a beautiful way to use them. Say hello to a traditional Tamilnadu recipe – Mor Keerai or Keerai Mor Kootu, using spinach.

Here, spinach is cooked and mixed with a freshly ground spice paste (that includes coconut and a few other ingredients), to which whisked curd is added later.

Check out my family recipe for Mor Keerai or Keerai Mor Kootu, just in on my blog!

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Masala Dosa Recipe| How To Make Masala Dosa

I would have been around 12 years of age when my first real spark of interest in cooking ignited. I don’t remember precisely which grade I was studying in then, but I do remember the particular day when it happened very, very clearly. Masala Dosa was the first-ever recipe I made on my own. Making Masala Dosa isn’t a big deal for me today, but back then, it was. It was a huge thing, an achievement!

The Foodie Monday Blog Hop group that I am part of has ‘#MyBeginnerRecipe’ as the theme this week, wherein we are required to share the recipe for the very first dish we cooked on our own. Head over to my blog post to read my beginner cooking tale, and my beginner Masala Dosa recipe!

Vatana Ni Kachori Chaat| Making Chaat From Matar Kachori

Winter is, slowly but surely, settling in in Bangalore. And one of the things that is synonymous with winter, for me, is the piping hot, home-made lilva kachoris that I grew up eating in Ahmedabad. With a gorgeous pigeon pea (fresh tuver) and/or fresh green peas (vatana), these kachoris had the power to brighten up a gloomy winter’s day – they still hold the same magic for me.

When the Foodie Monday Blog Hop team decided upon #ChaatsForDiwali as the theme for this week, I instantly knew that I had to make use of the fresh green peas that have begun to appear in the markets of Bangalore. The making of green pea kachoris aka Vatana Ni Kachori, and subsequently converting them into a chaat, came naturally.

So, here’s presenting to you Vatana Ni Kachori Chaat or Matar Kachori Chaat! Deep-fried, sinful, chatpata gorgeousness – that is this chaat for you. This beauty surely deserves to find pride of place in your Diwali party. Try it out, and I’m sure you will fall in love with it too!

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Poondu Rasam| Garlic Rasam

Rasam of different kinds often makes an appearance on our dining table. It is comfort food for the bub, the husband and me, and I find it it easy to whip up when I have nothing else planned for lunch or dinner. Garlic Rasam (‘Poondu Rasam‘ in Tamil) is something all of us love to bits, and I make quite regularly.

I think Poondu Rasam is a brilliant way to use filled-with-health-benefits garlic bulbs. The garlic infuses the humble rasam with a whole lot of flavour, taking the dish up to an entirely different level. I grind the spice mix for the Poondu Rasam fresh, as opposed to using ready-made rasam powder, which works its magic on the dish too. Give us piping hot garlic rasam, steamed rice and a dollop of ghee, and we are set – any day, any time. Honestly, this rasam turns out so lovely that it doesn’t even need an accompaniment!

Check out our family recipe for Poondu Rasam aka Garlic Rasam, just in on my photo blog!

Edible Rice Flour Lamp Or Maa Vilakku Recipe| Making Adhirasam From The Leftovers

Have you ever heard of Maa Vilakku?

For the uninitiated, Maa Vilakku are edible lamps traditionally made from hand-pounded rice flour. In Tamilnadu, these lamps are considered hugely auspicious and are prepared on sacred occasions like Thai Velli, Karthigai Deepam and Purattasi Sani. They are also prepared as an offering to Mariamman, the powerful Goddess, to ward off diseases.

My latest blog post gives you a step-by-step guide to preparing Maa Vilakku the traditional way. It also goes on to include a guide on how to prepare Adhirasam, a typical South Indian festive sweet dish, from the leftover Maa Vilakku dough.

Do check out the post, and share your comments!

Mug Nu Pani| Moong Bean Soup

Growing up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Mug Nu Pani or a thin soup made with whole green moong beans used to be the antidote to any and every ailment. It was advised for everything from broken bones and fever to general weakness and a broken heart. No wonder Mug Nu Pani spells out comfort food, heartiness and recovery to me! I love Mug Nu Pani, sick or not. It has saved my soul several times over, growing up, and still continues to do so.

To the uninitiated, a thin moong bean soup might sound very meh and uninteresting. Let me quickly assure you that this soup is anything but meh. At least, the Gujarati style of preparation makes this soup far from bland and dull. Mug Nu Pani is, in fact, quite a delicious soup, one choc-a-bloc with nutrition. It works wonders for the aged and infirm, growing children, and those who need a pick-me-up on a gloomy day. It isn’t very difficult to make, either.

Now, let’s check out the recipe for Mug Nu Pani aka Moong Bean Soup, the way a Gujarati neighbour or mine taught me to make it!

Kara Ammini Kozhukattai| Spiced Mini Kozhukattai

Today, I present to you another traditional recipe for Ganesh Chaturthi – Kara Ammini Kozhukattai or Spiced Mini Kozhukattai.

For the uninitiated, these are little dumplings made out of cooked rice flour, steamed and then tempered. Very little oil is used in the preparation of ammini kozhukattai, making it quite a healthy snacking option. These are quite a popular offering to Lord Ganesha for Ganesh Chaturthi, and a great lunchbox filler too.

The Kara Ammini Kozhukattai recipe I am sharing with you today is my mother’s. This is the way Amma makes them, the way she taught me to.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Dal Moradabadi| Moradabadi Moong Dal Chaat

This post has been a long time coming.

The Dal Moradabadi at Punjab Bistro has been on my mind ever since I tried it out, a couple of months ago. I fell in love with this dish at first bite, and have wanted to try making it at home ever since. Somehow, I never got around to doing that. When ‘Tradtional Dals of India’ was chosen as the theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week, it gave me the perfect foil to try my hands at making Dal Moradabadi, Punjab Bistro-style, at home. I was thrilled by just how beautiful in taste it turned out. It was a huge hit at home, with the family loving it to bits, and every bit of it getting polished off. It is such a simple dal, but one that is bursting with flavour, something that would make a beautiful addition to any meal.

Head over to my photo blog to check out this step-by-step recipe for this very flavourful Dal Moradabadi and the fascinating history behind its origin!

Tandoori Mushroom & Paneer Tikka| Pan-Grilled Mushrooms & Cottage Cheese

The husband and I are big fans of tandoori dishes. Give us a well-made plate of tandoori tikka any day, and we would be two grinning Cheshire cats. On rainy days like today, straight-off-the-pan tandoori tikka couldn’t be more perfect. Today, I present to you the recipe for Tandoori Mushroom & Paneer Tikka, one of our all-time favourites.

Head to my photo blog for the step-by-step recipe!