Saturday, July 12, 2014

Stuffed Capsicum / Bharwan Shimla Mirch

Stuffed capsicum is an exotic Indian side dish which can be made with a variety of stuffing. This itself can become a wholesome meal if stuffed with spiced rice.  Two most loved stuffing are given below. Paneer and Soya granules.

Capsicums : Large : Coloured : 3-4
Paneer : cut into small cubes : 100 gm
Soya Granules : Soaked in water till they swell. Squeeze off excess water : handful

Fresh Green Peas : 1 cup
Ginger : grated  : 1 inch
Tomato : diced small : 2 medium sized.
Onion : finely chopped : 2 medium Sized.
Garlic : Paste : 1 tbsp
Green chillies : finely chopped : 2-3
Coriander Leaves : Chopped  : Handful

Spices :

Garam masala
Paprika / Deghi Mirch
Coriander powder : 1 tbsp
Amchur / Dry mango powder : 1/4 tbsp.

Salt to taste
Oil : 5-6 tbsp
Lemon Juice : 1 tbsp

Note : From the above ingredients (except Paneer and Soya) use equal portions (half) for each stuffing preparation.

Method :

1 : Cut Capsicums into bowls as given below. Apply oil inside and outside with hands.

a. In a deep Wok, fry green chillies + add onions once green chillies blister. Saute until Onions turn pink.
b. Add grated ginger and garlic paste. Cook till the raw flavor of the ginger and and garlic is released.
c. Add  tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes.
d. Add green peas + Soya Granules + cook for 2 mins.
e. Add all the spices cook for 5 mins.
f. Add Salt + 1/2 spoon of oil for the extra glaze on the stuffing. Add coriander leaves and mix.
g. Stuff the above prepared mixture in the capsicum bowl very tight. Use the top portion of the capsicum like a lid and close tight
h. Grill the capsicums for 10 mins at 180 degree Celsius.

With Paneer stuffing : Repeat the same steps from A to H. Do not add Amchur powder. Amchur does not go well with Paneer. Add lemon juice at the end. Rest all the steps remain same.

Tip : If you do not have an oven or microwave to do this, you can make use of flat pan (Tawa).  Before you stuff the capsicum, blister them on the tawa from all the sides till you get a good colour. Stuff the capsicum tight. Fry them on the  tawa with little oil and keep them covered for 8 to 10 mins and it should be done.
To seal the capsicum lid, use toothpicks.

I prepared this dish on the tawa and not in Microwave.

Enjoy the dish as an accompaniment with rice or as an evening snack. :)

Onion Pakoda

This snack is India's favorite 'rain snack'.  Spicy, crispy and loved by everyone. Sure to hear them crackle in every kitchen when it rains :)


Onion : 2 chopped medium
Ginger : an inch  : Grated
Besan / Gram Flour : 2 cups
Coriander : chopped : Handful
Turmeric : 2 pinches.
Coriander seeds : Coarsely powdered : 1 tbsp
Green chillies : chopped : 2-3
Salt : to taste
Paprika / Deghi Mirch : 1 tbsp
Water : for Binding and making base paste
Oil : for frying

Method :

1. Mix all ingredients together  to form a thick batter like consistency. Make sure the whole mixture is thick enough to bind into lemon size balls

2. Heat oil in a deep wok.

3. Make lemon size balls of the mixture and deep fry them until golden brown

Enjoy  with evening tea :)

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vegetable Salad

Vegetable Spiced Salad / Mayo salad


Carrots : 2 wedged
Cauliflower or Broccoli : cut into medium size florets. Par-Boiled.
Potatoes : Par-Boiled and wedged.
capsicum : Diced and sauteed
Onion : 1 Large : Diced and sauteed.
Bean sprouts : Handful.
Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp
Sugar  : 2 pinches.

Mexican Salsa :

Tomatoes : 2 medium size. large diced.
Garlic : 1 clove
Onion : 1 medium sized. Diced.
Coriander seeds : dry roasted.
Green chillies : 1
coriander leaves : 4-5 strings
Oil : 1 tbsp

For Mayo dressing:

Egg less Mayonnaise : 2 Tbsp
Mint : 1/2 tbsp pasted.
Sugar : 2 pinches

Method :

Spiced Salad :

Step 1  : Blend the Salsa ingredients into coarsely texture mix. It should look something like given in the below picture.

Step 2 : In a large Mixing bowl, put half portion of the veggies. Toss them in the salsa mix.
Step 3 : Add  Lemon Juice and some sugar.

Enjoy the salad at room temperature.

Mayo salad :

Step 1 : Mayo Dressing :  Mix the egg less mayo + Sugar  + Mint Paste + 2-3 tbsp of water.

Step 2 : In a Large mixing bowl, take the other half portion of the veggies and toss them with the Mayo dressing.

Step 3 : Refrigerate for 15 to 30 mins.

Enjoy the salad chilled.

Jhunka Wadi

Jhunka Wadi is an absolute favorite dish of the people from North Karnataka. I was blessed to have lived a long part of my life in this place and grown up on such wonderful dishes. Jhunka is a spicy cake dish prepared with Chickpea flour and spices. It is an accompaniment with Hot Jowar Rotis topped with dollops of butter.

Ingredients :

Besan / chickpea flour  : 1 cup
Cumin seeds : 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tbsp
Onion : 1 big medium chopped
Ginger  :  Grated about an Inch
Garlic : 1 Pod , finely chopped
Turmeric powder : 1 Tbsp
Red chilli powder : 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida / Heeng : 2 pinches
Sugar : Optional : 2-3 pinches
Lemon : Juice 1/2 tbsp
Oil for cooking
alt to taste

Garnish : Coriainder Leaves.  Handful chopped.

For tempering :

1 teaspoon sesame seeds
4 to 5 curry leaves


Step 1: Dissolve the Chikpee flour adding a little water at a time to make a thick batter. Mix in the turmeric powder, lemon juice, heeng, salt and red chilli powder and keep aside.

Step 2: Heat oil in a Deep Wok + add in the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow them to crackle.

Step 3:  Add in the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and saute them until soft and translucent.

Step 4 : Add in the chickpea mixture. cook on low flame and keep stir continuously so as to not form any lumps. Stirring the mixture continuously is the key to this dish. Do not allow the mixture to stick to the Wok bottom.   Keep doing cooking until the whole mixture turn Shiny in Texture.

Step 5 : Turn off the heat and immediately transfer all the contents of wok into a deep Plate or Dish. Spread it evenly using a Spatula. Allow it to cool for about 5 mins.

Step 6 : Using a bread knife, cut into rhombus shaped cakes.

Step 7: Tempering : Heat oil in a tempering pan + Add curry leaves and Sesame seeds. When the curry leaves crackle, Pour the whole mixture on to the Jhunka cakes. Garnish with finely chopped Coriander leaves.

Enjoy Hot with Jowar Rotis or as an accompaniment to Rice & Sambaar.

Mangalore HuLi

Mangalore HuLi is a tangy sambaar prepared traditionally with Pumpkin or a cucumber like watery vegetable called Mangalore Sautekai (in Kannada).  Very popular and healthy dish from Southern Coastal part of Karnataka mostly accompanied with rice.


Toor dal  1 cup
Coriander seeds 2 Tbsp
Methi/ Fenugreek Seeds seeds 2 tbsp
Jeera/ Cummin Seeds 1/4 teaspoon
Dry Red chillies 2-3
Pumpkin : 250 gm : cut into big dices
Grated coconut : 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tbsp
Curry leaves 5-6
Heeng / Asafoetida pinch
salt to taste
Tamarind : Extract 2 -3 tbsp of pulp
Ghee : 2 tbsp.


Step 1: Pressure cook the Daal and keep it aside.

Step 2: Pressure Cook pumpkin to half boil.

Step 3: Soak tamarind in hot water to extract the pulp easily. Keep aside.

Step 4 : Dry roast methi + Coriander seeds +  Red chillies + Jeera. Once they are half roasted, to this add Curry leaves + Grated coconut.

Step 5 : Make a paste : Put all the dry roasted items from Step 4 into a Mixer/ Blender. Make sure the paste is not very fine , but has a good grainy texture. Add 1/4 cup if needed.

Step 6 : In a big Sambaar Wok, Add the cooked dal  and cook for about 5 mins. Add the tamarind Pulp prepared in the step 3.  Cook of medium flame until the Raw smell of the dal and pulp is nuetralized.

Step 7 : Add the half boiled pumpkin + Salt + Turmeric and cook further for 5 mins.

Step 8 : Add the Spice paste prepared in step 5 + 2 pinches of heeng. Boil the whole mixture for about 10 mins. Add 2 Tbsp of Ghee.  And your Mangalore style tangy Pumpkin sambaar is ready.

Traditionally this sambaar is served with steamed plain rice. It is best enjoyed that way.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Hari Biryani

Biryanis are traditionally cooked with meat. They are really lengthy & time consuming dishes. Takes hours of preparation and cooking time. I have come with a simple and unique way of making a vegetable biryani with a big twist.  This biryani is bright green with a fresh coriander base. Lets see how to prepare this mouth watering rice delight.


Whole Spices / Saboot masala :

Jeera/ cummins seeds : 1 tbsp
Cardamom / Elaichi : 3-4
Dalchini / Cinanamon Sticks : 2 one inch size.
Mustard seeds :1 tbsp
Cloves : 4-5
Tej Patta / Bay Leaf : 1


Chana Dal / Split Pea : 1 tbsp
Grated Ginger / Adrak : 1/2 tbsp
Ghee / Clarified butter : 3 tbsp
Onion / Pyaaz : Finely chopped : 1 big size
Boiled Potatoes / Aloo : Cubes 1 big size
Paneer / Cottage cheese : 20 - 25 cubes
Tomatoes / Tamatar : 1  diced
Turmeric : 1/2 tbsp
salt : to taste
Lemon juice / Nimbu ka ras : 2 tbsp
Cooked rice/ Chawal : two bowls
Garam Masala : 2 pinch

Paste / Base : 

Coriander leaves / dhaniya Patta  : chopped handful
Mint leaves / Pudina : 3-4
Green chillies / Hari Mirch : 4-5

Pre-preparation : 

1.  Fry Paneer cubes to light golden brown in half tbsp of ghee.

2.  Grind coriander leaves + Green chillies + Pudina into a semi-fine paste. Add half glass of water. ( Green Paste )

3.  Cook rice with 2 cloves and a small cinnamon stick. Make sure to drain all water and the rice be absolutely dry when you use later in the biryani.

Main  Preparation: 

1.  In a Wok heat ghee and all the whole spices. Fry for about a min.

2.  Add Chana Dal + Grated Ginger + Onion and fry till the ginger leaves the juices. Let onion sweat to pink. ( refer Pic below )

3.  Add tomatoes + turmeric, cook until the tomatoes are slightly moist.

4.  Add the boiled potatoes + Paneer cubes, saute for a minute.

5.  Now add the green paste + garam masala + Salt. Add 2-3 tbsp of water if required. Cook the whole mixture until it forms a semi gravy base.

6.  Add cooked rice + Lemon juice. Quickly Stir the rice and roughly it with the gravy base. Take the whole thing off the flame and Semi mix.

Enjoy the Biryani with some sweet boondi raita :) !!

Note : Biryanis are always cooked and served in Layers. The rice is never mixed with the main mix completely. Make sure the same is maintained even here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Punjabi Kadi Pakoda

"Kadi Pakoda" is a traditional curd based curry from north India.  The recipe and the  tastes varies from state to state. This is the most accepted and widely used method.

Punjabi Kadi Pakoda


Besan --- 1 bowl
Dry red chillies --- 2 to 3, broken and de-seeded
Onion --- 1 big diced
Corinder seeds  --- crushed and powder --- 1tbsp
Ajwain --- 1/2 tbsp
Jeera powder (roasted) --- 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder ---1/2 tbsp
Water --- about 300-400 ml
Curd --- 2 cups
Heeng -- pinch
Green chillies --- 2 to 3 finely chopped
Fenugreek seeds --- 2 pinches
Ginger- garli paste --- 1/2 tbsp
Coriander leaves --- handful- finely chopped
Oil --- 3 tbsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tbsp
Salt --- to taste
Sugar --- A pinch

Pakodas :   Step 1

 Take Besan in a bowl + diced onion + chopped green chillies + coriander seeds powder + salt + ajwain  +  red chilli powder + roasted jeera powder + water. mix well and prepare pakoda dumplings.  Deep Fry pakoda dumplings in hot oil till golden brown. Set aside to be used in the curry later.

Gravy mixture:  Step 2
2 cups curd + 2 cups water + salt +  Turmeric + 1 cup besan + give it a whisk.  Make sure there are no lumps formed. Keep aside.

# In  a large wok prepare the main tempering.  Heat oil + Add fenugreek seeds + dry red chillies +  heeng.
# To this tempering add  ginger garlic paste + chopped  green chillies. cook for a minute on medium to high flame.
# Add to this the mixture prepared in step 2 +  1/2 red chilli powder. Once the whole mix starts boiling , add water  1/2 cup at a time to suit the gravy consistency to want.
# Add the pakodas + Sugar + coriander leaves . Simmer for 5-8 mins. Serve hot with Steamed Rice.