Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Alasande Vade ( Pakoras made of Black eyed beans)

Alasande vade has been a favourite snack ever since my dad introduced its taste to me when I was 10 yrs old.One day when it rained like nobody's business... Soaked black eyed beans came in handy.
This week girls wanted to do a writeup instead of me.. so I thought I will let them do it.They took the whole of yesterday on the computer and I was wondering what they were up to. Did not realise that they had actually made it so well I had no heart to change anything.It was too good to make any changes. I am quite amazed at their computing skills.


1 cup Alasandi beans (Black eyed beans)

1 tbsp cumin seeds (jeera)

2/3 green chillies

1 inch Ginger finely chopped

1 onion finely chopped

salt to taste

oil to fry.


Soak the black eyed beans over night. Drain and grind with ginger,green chillies, cumin and salt. Mix the chopped onions and salt.Use little water while grinding the batter should be thick like urad vada paste.

Heat the oil in a pan. Make small balls of the batter and deep fry till golden brown.

Serve hot with sauce/green chutney.

Enjoy the rest of the week.Will update with another simple but tasty recipe.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I have been trying to make Dhoklas for god knows how many years... There was one Mrs. Baliga who made most yummy I have ever had in my life. A famous and delicious Gujarati snack.. I did tr many times .After several failed attempts I resorted to Gits, and Aashirwad's instant packets of Khaman dhoklas which did give a rather nice snacks . Enjoyed them , but the bug of making from scratch bit me again a few months ago and I got lucky this time... after a few disastrous efforts.

Most lovely dhoklas I had made were from this recipe I found after a lot of browsing and have been using ever since.

Tried watermarking my pictures... it wasnt succesful so forgive the quality of pics...


1 cup Besan (Gram flour)

2 tbsp Rava (Sooji)1/2 tsp

Citric acid crystals or use Eno Fruit salt

1 tbsp Ginger and green chilli paste

Salt - to taste

2 tbsp Sugar

2 tsp Baking soda

To Garnish:

2 tbsp Oil
2 tsp Mustard seeds
A pinch of Hing (asafoetida)
2 to 3 green chillies finely chopped
3 tbsp Coriander - chopped
2 tbsp Grated coconut (fresh preferred)


Mix all the ingredients except the baking soda. Add about 3/4 cup of water. The batter should be about the consistency of dosa batter. Add little more water if you feel the consistency is thick.
Apply some oil to a deep, flat bottomed stainless steel vessel (like a cake pan) that fits into your pressure cooker. Pour some water into the cooker and let it boil up. Once the water boils, add the baking soda to the batter and whip it up. Please not that the the batter should froth up.
Pour it into the prepared vessel to half the height, leaving enough space for the Dhokla to rise up and expand.

Place it into the cooker and let it steam for about 10 minutes. (steam like idlis, not to be pressure cooked)

You can even do the above process in a microwave, but Dhokla usually tends to become too dry and rubbery if you keep it out for even an hour or so. So this method should be used only if you want to eat it up as soon as you prepare it.

Use a microwave-safe container with a lid, grease it with oil, add the baking soda to the batter and half-fill the container. Microwave for 4-5 minutes with the lid on. Remove and sprinkle some water on the khaman to make it soft.
After the cooking is done , insert a knife or toothpick in the center and make sure it comes out clean. Let it cool down and then transfer it to a plate and cut it into squares or diamonds.

To garnish:
heat up some oil , add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add hing and chillies and then pour it over the prepared khaman dhokla. Garnish it with coriander leaves and grated coconut and serve hot with Green chutney /Tamarind Chutney or both.....enjoy and keep me posted if you like it or not.

Friday, 18 April 2008


First of all I have to apologise for not being prompt in updating... I hope you all did miss me. Well even thinking that it is optimism. I would be happy if you all actually did visit to see if there were any updates.

I had to make a short trip to India.The journey was hectic but well rewarded by the mangoes and Sapotas (Chikkoo) Season. Enjoyed everyday on them.Though it was early in the seaoson and the best were yet to come I feasted on the raw mangoes.They are as delicious as fruits.

Mouthwatering Mango

Mangoes are originally from Southeast Asia, where they have grown for over 4000-6000 years. In India, mangoes are considered sacred and India is the world's largest producer of mangoes. Scientifically known as Mangifera Indica, these are part of the sumac family, and related to the cashew.There are thousands of varieties of mangoes which are available in a variety of shapes and sizes.Being season and delicious they are termed King of fruits.

We lived in Mettur Dam ( Tamilnadu, Salem District)for a few years literally in a Mango grove. Each house had the bliss of one or two mango trees. The one in our house would produce on an average of 1000 to 3000 every season. It had become like a ritual to have mangoes everyday as a dish,and finally would be tired of eating it in others house too.

Now, I am delighted at the sight of one mango and keep wondering looking at it, how could anyone get tired of such a sweet and amazing fruit. I did not long ago!!!!!!!!!

This trip I brought back with me a few raw mangoes ..They were from the backyard of an acquaintance of ours.It was the fresh smell.. Cut one to find it was almost sweet.. nevertheless enjoyed it with some salt.The other one was sour as mango should be fit for Mavinkayi Chitranna, a typical dish of Yugadi ( New year according to Hindu Lunar calender ) festival in Karnataka. Everyone would relish this dish I can claim!!!

Mavinakayi Chitranna

( can be said RICE WITH MANGO FLAVOUR, or Mango rice to make it simpler)


1 medium sized raw mango
1/2 cup grated coconut
4 dry red chillies
1 tsp jeera
1tsp coriander leaves
pinch of hing (asafoetida)
1 tsp turmeric
1 cup rice
salt to taste
1 tsp ghee

For the seasoning

mustard seeds

cumin seeds

chana dal (bengal gram dhal)

urad dal (black gram dhal

sprig of curry leaves

2 tsps of peanuts (cashew nut can be added for richer taste)


Cook the rice and spread it on a plate and allow to cool. add a spoon of ghee.The rice should be cooked well but the grains should be separated not sticky ( Khila Khila chawal).Keep aside.

Grate the raw mango. Grind together with Coconut, jeera, dry red chillies, salt, turmeric . The paste or chutney is the base.

In a kadai, add the oil , when hot add the ingredients of seasoning.,. when the peanuts are reddish add the above ground masala and saute for a minute and put the heat off.

Mix the above masala to the rice well . Garnish with some coriander leaves and freshly grated mango shreds.

The delicious chitranna is ready to devour... serve with some papad, ( Happala/ Sandige ) .It is tasty on its own.

Try , enjoy and let me know ....

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Aloo Bonda (Spicy Potato Fritters)

Easter holidays seems like never ending story this time.They have been home for almost two weeks now and all of us are getting tired of it. With me and them looking forward for the reopening of school the only other option was to attend a few workshops around the museums there.That is the reason I have not been able to make good dishes and update.They had easter card competition , I enjoyed making these cards with them.

They enjoyed two workshops around this week making collages..I always wonder why we are so academically oriented ??? I want them to do everything I could not do in life.. but then at the end of the day I worry what if they do not succeed academically????? Is it enough to be bright , smart and confident, or is it necessary for it to translate into mark sheet to be successful in life?

The weather wasn't really great to keep spirits high.English weather is usually grey , but this time it was unusually depressing and grey for a few days at a stretch. So all these thoughts and homesickness too were making the mood really low.

Well all these thoughts keep going on in mind . It doesn't mean i have to give up my foodie nature for that reason. I had made poori and potato sabzi the other day, and was left with lots of aloo sabzi. Did not have any batter for Dosas so masala dosa was out of question.Did not want to waste food this way. Like people who have sweet tooth , I should say i have a snack tooth... cannot just resist deep fried stuff like bonda, bajjis or pakoras.... Yummy.. without delay as soon as the thought struck with some Gram flour I could turn out some delicious aloo bondas which really lifted our spirits up with its excellent taste..

Aloo Bonda ( Spicy Potato Balls in Gramflour dough)

3 large boiled and mashed potatoes

1 cup - Gram flour (besan)

2 spoons - Rice flour

cooking soda (optional)

1 cup - Chopped onions

chopped ginger (1 inch)

Chopped green chilli (two to three)

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/4 tsp. Turmeric powder

Vegetable/sunflower oil for deep frying

Mustard and cumin seeds for seasoning

few curry leaves

chopped Coriander

amchur or lemon juice

Salt to taste.

In a deep pan add a spoon of oil, when it gets hot add mustard seeds.When it splutters add cumin ,haldi/turmeric powder, green chillies, chopped onion , chopped ginger and few curry leaves.Add a spoon or two of water to cook the onions , this gives a good taste.Then add the mashed potatoes, salt and if any other masala desired. Fresh coconut can be used instead of Onions....Mix the potatoes thoroughly , adding some amchur of lemon juice for added taste.

Make small sized balls and keep aside.

In a large bowl sieve one cup of Gram flour, and two spoons of Rice flour. Mix it well using water sparingly, without lump adding redchilli powder, salt and a pinch of Cooking soda .Cooking soda can be avoided. Take care that the batter is neither runny nor thick. It should be just right to flow around the potato balls made earlier .

Now in a large pan , heat oil . Take each potato ball and dip it in the Gram flour batter and deep fry till golden brown . Keep the oil on medium flame to cook well. it does take a little more time than usual pakodas. Serve hot with Mint and Tamarind Chutney.

This is a lovely snack to be served hot and not bad when cold either.. with two slices of salted buns it turns into the delicious Vada PAV,... hoping to make that dish too properly,,, by the recipe.

Hopeful to be more regular in updating...Bye for now.