Tag Archives: Indian cooking challenge

khasta flop-o-chori

This month’s Indian Cooking Challenge was making Khasta katchori,as described by Medhaa. As the title says, my katchori turned out to be a flop-o-chori. I decided to use whole wheat flour instead of maida. My fillings were just right but the katchori was not crisp. It tasted more like stuffed poori than katchori. I made one where the oil was not too hot and the others with the oil too hot…

With burns leaving scars on my face during my past deep frying sagas, I am scared of frying anything. I would like to blame it on that..I can never make mistakes,Si.. 🙂

Anyway, here is the recipe
Khasta Kachori – Moong Dal Kachori


Split Moong Dal (yellow) – 1/2 cup
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Hing / Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry Leaves – 2 tsp chopped fine (opt)
Green Chilli – Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Sauf / Fennel seeds powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
Mango powder / Amchur – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tsp
Salt to taste


1. Wask and Soak dal in water for atleast 1 hour. You can go upto 4 hours not more.
2. Drain the water well.
3. Grind the dal to a coarsely. (Will resemble Idli Rawa)
4. Heat oil in a pan.
5. Add the hing and cumin seeds.
6. Once the seeds splutter add the curry leaves.
7. Add the dal.
8. Lower the heat and keep stirring for 5 minutes till the dal stops sticking to the pan.
9. Cook for another 10 minutes on low till the dal turns slightly brown.
10. Add all the masalas.
11. Cook for few minutes till the aroma of the spices hit you.
12. Add Salt.
13. Remove from heat and keep aside to cool.

The filling has to be really dry. Don’t add water.

For the Dough

Ingredients :

All purpose flour / Maida – 2 cups
Oil/ Ghee – 1/4 cup ,
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Water for kneading


1. Mix the flour and salt, Add the oil/ghee and mix till you get a bread crumbs texture.
2. Slowly add water and make a soft dough. Knead well for about 8 minutes.
3. Cover and keep aside to rest for atleast half hour.


1. Make small balls from the dough(like one would do for parathas),fill it with the moong dal filling, pat it and deep fry it, till it is crispy.
2. For elaborate preparation hints, please visit


Posted by on February 15, 2010 in Recipes


Tags: ,

Happy Shankaranthi

We celebrated Pongal/Shankaranthi by attending our citizenship interview. A totally different post will most probably follow about how Suresh aced it.. This post is part of the Indian Cooking challenge , which I was foolish enough to have started participating. Why do Indian cooking have to be so tedious. And we assume, the most tedious foods are the tastier ones , sometimes rightly so. Once,I prepared Basundhi from scratch, with boiling the milk and all. It was my first and only time. I don’t have a sweet tooth per se and guess that is part of it. I cite health reasons for not consuming sweets as we all know sugar is one of the worst refined products out there. But, give me deep fried and I can’t resist it. One needs to yield to a little temptation every now and then. Anyway, as part of the Cooking Challenge,we were asked to make Moong Halwa, which I had not tasted before . It is more or less like Badam halwa, but with Moong dal ,instead of Badam.


Split (Yellow) Moong dhal – 1 cup
Ghee – 1/2 cup
Sugar – 3/4 cups to 1 cup (as per required sweetness)
Milk – 1/2 cup
Cashews/ raisins roasted in ghee for garnish.


1. Soak 1 cup moong dal overnight and grind to a paste.
2. Add the dhal to 1/4 cup ghee and stir continuously, not allowing lumps to form. This part is very tricky as the dhal cooks really fast, irrespective of the ghee.
3.Keep stirring even after the dhal becomes thick and add the rest of the ghee intermittently and cook the dhal until aromatic and the ghee starts oozing out.
4.Meanwhile mix the sugar with water/ milk in a pan and bring to a boil. Add this slowly to the cooking dhal.
5.Cook until the ghee surfaces.
Garnish with cashews and raisins or whatever you want to.

Notes: 1. I added a little bit less ghee. And I used raw sugar , which is brown instead of refined white and so, my halwa looks brown in color.
2. I used evaporated milk. Regular milk will do of course.
3. I still prefer Badam halwa. I guess, if I add more ghee, it might taste even better.
4. I think we should be able to make it by roasting the dhal, grind it into a powder and cook it, instead of soaking and grinding.


Posted by on January 15, 2010 in Recipes


Tags: ,

Aggi’s Kadai

I wake up in the middle of the night to switch on the fan. No wonder she switched it off as soon as I dozed . Fifteen minutes later, she switches it off again. And the cycle goes on till dawn.

That was my grandmother.A very small built, highly resourceful,ingenious,clever,shrewd,lovable,admirable lady, with who I was always at logger heads over the usage of the fan on summer nights. We used to visit my grandparents every summer .Every trip was cherished as it was to a bigger,better city than where I lived. Yes, the Bangalore then was very different than now. Not much pollution. I remember the park , next to Granny’s where we used to play often. The park still exists and I pass that by and Granny’s house during most of my visits back home.

There was a hall and two small bedrooms, where all of us, including cousins visiting from their respective places, used to sleep together. With children running around, Granny used to feel frustrated with her “Madi” avatar. Special mention has to be given to her “Madi”. Very few were allowed in the kitchen to help her out. Even when she ate food,rice was molded as a ball and thrown in to the mouth, with the correct trajectory.Never missed the target.Yes, both my grandfather & grandmother were proficient at that art. Personally hand washed sarees hung out to dry on ropes tied up above, very close to the ceiling using long rods. Wonder where she had the strength to use those rods.

She was always busy in that dark kitchen, looking for something, grinding some powder,cooking for everyone or in the bathroom getting the hot water ready. One had to pour water in to these huge copper vessels called “Handi”, and heat water using charcoal. In Bangalore, hot water was a must and there were not geysers around.

Athithi Devo Bhava! -She followed it to the core and the guests were always treated with food , regardless of the hour. She may not even ask them, but will just enter the kitchen and be back with “Uppittu”( a type of porridge) .”Ondhu Nimsha Iri” ( just a minute) and before you know, you will have hot steaming uppittu in front of you.I would have to accept that I was not too fond of her cooking especially as I was a fussy spoilt brat then, but really admired her spirit and gusto with which she catered to everyone.

She never believed in doctors and rarely went to one. I think her only visit to a hospital was towards the end, around 80, when she was really sick. She even died on a very auspicious day.

When I moved to the US permanently after getting married, my mom gave me her small Iron Kadai for seasoning and frying purposes. Mother was really worried about my cooking skills and hoped this Kadai will help. It was passed on from her mother, my ever ready grandmother. A family heirloom, a keepsake in memory of my grandmother. I am planning to pass it on to my niece once she gets married.I used this kadai and the Chakli press , another heirloom passed on by mom,to make Murukkus last weekend. Reminded of the days when Mom used to prepare lots of fried goodies for her daughters. I am really amazed at the energy that Moms have.


Aggi, wherever you are….this post is dedicated to you.


I want to send this photo for the click Heirloom event at Jugalbandi and I want to send the Murukku for the Indian Cooking Challenge ( September) at Srivalli’s Spicing your life.Here comes the recipe

Ingredients :

Raw Rice /Rice flour- 4 cups
Urad Dal / UD flour- 1 cup
Water – app 1/2 cup or more
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Asafetida/ Hing – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter – 75 gms ( optional….gives soft murukkus that crumble in your mouth, though fatty. Well, the whole thing is deep fried anyway 🙂 ).

1. If using whole rice and urad dal,wash and drain the rice. Shade dry the Rice for 1/2 hr. Dry roast the Urad dal to light brown. Allow it to cool. Make flour out of them.
2. Blend rest of the ingredients , taking care asafoetida is dissolved in water before using.
3. Use a chakli press ,make rounds and deep fry them.

No my chaklis are not perfect rounds… In fact, Suresh did it as I couldn’t even press that thing properly.. 🙂


Posted by on September 29, 2009 in General, Recipes


Tags: , ,

Panchkadya/Kozhukattai Indian Cooking Challenge – August

icc_logo_180x180For the month of August, Srivalli at SpicingYourLife had asked people to cook atleast two dishes from the six that she had suggested for Ganesh Chaturthi. I made Kozhukattais and Panchkadya. Since it was just a week back from my trip to India, I was enthusiastic about Gauri-Ganesh Pooja …I know, a rarity for me but yes, I performed the Pooja.

Panchkadya is easy breezy and takes just five minutes. So , naturally, that was my obvious choice. Here is the recipe

1 cup grated dry coconut
4-5 tbsp powdered sugar
2 tbsp poppy seeds
4-5 dried dates (Maharashtrians call it kharik)
1/2 tbsp cardamom powder
4-5 tbsp coarsely powdered mixed nuts (almonds,cashews, pistachios)
pinch of nutmeg powder

Procedure –
1. Dry roast grated coconut on a very light heat and set aside
2. dry roast poppy seeds and grind them coarsely after cooling them for 5 minutes
3. take the seeds off the dried dates and grind them coarsely as well.
4. Mix all these ingredients and nuts powder, cardamom, nutmeg, powdered sugar together .


My dates were too soft,so I decided to just chop them, instead of grinding.As I said, the easiest Prasad that Ganesha has ever desired for, I suppose. 🙂

The next recipe is for Kozhukattai. Suresh , who is a master cup maker for Modaks, made the Kozhukattais/Kudumulus and filled it with the stuffing. I just mixed the rice flour and steamed it.

Kudumulu/Kozhukattai (Modak)

Rice Flour – 1 & 1/2 cup
Water – 3 cups.
salt to taste


Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
Jaggery – 3 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch.


In a bowl, take the flour and make a smooth paste with enough water. Boil the rest of the water in a pan with salt. Once it starts boiling, add the rice flour, mix and cook.

Add 1 tsp of oil and keep stirring. You can remove when it forms as solid with the sides leaving. Remove and cover with a damp cloth so that it remains hot.

For the filling, grate coconut and mix jaggery. Cook in a pan to get a thick texture. Divide into required amounts and make balls.

For the Kozhukattai, smear your hands with oil so that rice flour doesn’t stick to your hands. Make cups with it and fill it with the Coconut/Jaggery filling. Close the dough and make it shaped as drop.

Once done, stream it for 10 minutes.



Posted by on August 31, 2009 in General, Recipes



Khaman Dhokla – Indian cooking challenge July

I decided to participate in the Indian cooking Challenge, started by Srivalli of Spicing Your life. We are supposed to cook the selected recipe for the month and post it on the last date of the month.For this month, it is Khaman Dhokla. This gave me a chance to cook something for my parents while in Banglore.My mom makes dhoklas regularly and was skeptic about my measurements. I usually don’t measure the ingredients much unless I am baking. Even for the dhoklas,I just made sure that my mixture resembles the consistency of idli batter and they came out fluffy and soft, much to mom’s amazement.

Here is the recipe:


Gram flour – 1 Cup
Curd- 1/2 Cup
Water – 1/2 Cup
Oil – 1tbsp
Chili paste( using 1-2 chilies) or Chili powder
Sugar – 1tsp
lemon juice – 1/4 tsp
Eno – 1 packet (green colour fruit lime) + sprinkle or dust few bits on the plate

For tempering

Sesame seeds
Mustard Seeds
Curry leaves
Grated coconut
Coriander leaves

Method :

1. Mix curds and water. To this add the besan and mix well to get a lump less batter, the consistency should be of idli batter, Keep it aside to rise for 1 hour.

2.To the mix, add citric acid, oil, salt, sugar, chili and turmeric powder.

3. Grease either idli plates or a pan . Meanwhile, pour water in to the pressure cooker and put it on the stove.

4. Just before cooking, add the Eno Salt to the batter , pour it in the plates and steam it for 5-8 minutes, till a knife comes out clean.

5. Let the dhoklas sit for 10 minutes, cut them into pieces and then pour 1tsp oil + 2tsp water mix on the dhoklas.

6.For seasoning, heat a pan with oil, add curry leaves, sesame seeds, mustard seeds and finely chopped green chilies. When mustard starts popping, remove and pour over the dhokla

These dhoklas can be had with green chutney or Tamarind chutney. We had it with Tamarind chutney.

Dhokla 004


Posted by on July 30, 2009 in General, Recipes