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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Dondakaya Vepudu

Ivygourd's are a common or say a staple veggie at home I simply used to avoid this veggie while my brother was a big fan of it... Mom makes Ivygourd sabzi in different ways so I getta have them without really annoying her... But when I started working at Hyderabad this was the veggie served almost every other day, we used to complain and complain but no one heeded to our cribbing and finally that we just got used to the fact that it was gonna be there almost thrice a week and we better get used to it... Somehow I dont know why and how I liked this very much and knew the menu really well about when we got Tindoras and started loving them....

There are a variety of dishes that could be done using Tindoras like Vepudu, sabzi, pakoras, chutneys and happily I make them all but then its his turn he kept cribbing all the time and I dont know the proper reason why there isnt a single word of criticism or anything when I make this Vepudu, the bowl will be all empty and I am always asked to make more the next time... This is a typical Andhra style Vepudu which Naanamma makes very often... Lotsa peanuts but very tasty and a simple dish to relish...


Dondakaya - 1 LB (Tindora/Ivy Gourd)
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Sesame Oil - 2 tbsps

Spice Powder:

Peanuts - 3 tbsps
Coriander Seeds - 1/4 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Saunf - 1/2 tsp
Red Chillies - 2-3 nos.
Dry Coconut - 1-2 tsp (optional)


Sesame Oil - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 1-2 tbsps (roasted and dehusked)
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves a few
Urad Dhal - 1 tbsp

This picture was taken a long time back but somehow dint getta post it. While the first one is taken today!!!


1. Wash, clean and dry the Tindora and slit them lengthwise, slit each half into two. Finally there will be 4 lengthwise slits of each Tindoras.
2. In a non stick pan fry Peanuts and let it cool and dehusk them. Then roast the remaining ingredients for the spice powder, cool and grind them to a coarse powder.
3. In a large non stick pan add 2 tbsps of Oil and fry the Tindora's with some Salt until raw smell disappears until it slightly changes color, it might take 20-25 mins approx.
4. Add the Turmeric Powder and toss it for a few mins and remove from flames and set aside.
5. In the same pan now do the tempering and add the Tindoras and the spice powder mix them thoroughly well. Adjust Salt and serve hot.

Serve with: Rice or Dosa

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Almond Kheer / Badam Kheer (Paal)

Have you ever been complained about for not eating properly??? Oh thats very common isnt it!!! Calm evening sitting by yourself and watching "King of Queens" and laughing at Doug's clumsy actions and aftermath, suddenly Krish came from work desk complaining that I dont drink sufficient Milk and ladies need a lotta calcium and blah blah!!! He continued - Almonds are good source Vitamin E and rich in dietary fibre... When I heard Almonds my mind wandered off to childhood days while he was still talking about the goods of Almonds, at Ammamma's place Almond/Badam will be picked and laid to dry, when dry the outer shell is cracked open to get the edible nut. We as kids would be so intrigued about the fruit and would ask Ammamma:

We: "When can we eat them?"
Amma: "Kanna, it has to dry, so wait till tomorrow!" cos she know kids could wait only until tomorrow.
We: "Okay Ammamma!!!"

We would run away and play but within the same afternoon we would go back to her a hundred times asking her if the Badam's are dry. After a while there is no putting us back, so she sits with us in the evening to break the shells, the wet shell would neither yield nor would we. Finally breaking open we would eat half of them even before they reach the plate. Laughingly Amma would break and give each of us our fair share. But there will be hardly anything left to take into her kitchen.

Suddenly my hands were thrusted with Almonds only then I realized Krish was still hanging on to his arguement. I gave him a blank look and took them and munched on a few, slowly with so much memories from childhood I went to the kitchen to make Almond Kheer/Badam Kheer/Badam Milk/ Badam Paal or what ever its called as.


Unsalted Almonds - 1/2 cup
Milk - 3 cups
Saffron - few strands
Sugar - 5 tbsps
Cardamom - 1-2 nos.
Nutmeg - some


Almond Slivers


1. Heat Water in a microwave or a kettle and soak the Almonds for 15-20 mins. Use your thumb and press the Almonds to remove off the peels.
2. In a blender or mixer make a fine or coarse (your choice) paste of Almonds with some Milk.
3. Heat the remaining Milk in a heavy bottom pan, when Milk boils pour the ground paste and stir well.
4. Now add the Sugar and Saffrons and cook until the kheer turns thick, when its not as liquidy as Milk but still pourable remove from flame.
5. Remove the Cardamom pods and powder the seeds, add it to the kheer. Using a grater grate the Nutmeg and mix well while Hot.
6. Pour in individual cups or bowl garnish with Almond Slivers and serve kheer cool or warm.

Take another look at the Badam Kheer - served with love.

I am sending Almond Kheer to

Divya's Sunday Snacks and

Notyet100's Holi Event

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Ragi Dosa & Peanut Chutney

Ragi Dosa is a staple dinner back home and have been following it ever since marriage too... When my in-laws were with us last summer, I used to make this for them atleast twice or thrice a week, I dont use Oil for the Dosa and hence my father in law liked it very much. A couple os months back when I speaking to my Father in law and I, like always, asked him what was cookig for dinner he said your Ragi Dosa and smiled. My Mother in law admitted that she makes Dosa like how I make these days, it reminded me of my initial days of marriage when I was at my in-laws. One morning I was asked to make Dosa for my Father in law, I made the clumsiest dosa one could ever make it was so thick and my God how did I ever make such bad dosa I still wonder - the fact is one has to get used to the kitchen and the utensils otherwise they just dont heed to you.

Ragi Dosa was on top of my mind for long but then never bothered to post one so long and when I came across the "Basic Cooking Event" I thought why not Ragi Dosa. Okay now to the "ABC's of making crispy Ragi Dosa". Yeah you heard it right the "ABC's" ;)


Ragi Flour - 2 1/2 cups
Urad Dhal - 1 cup (whole or broken / dehusked or with husk) *
Salt to taste
* I use broken Urad Dhal with husk.


A. Making the Dosa Batter:
Wash and soak the Urad Dhal in Water for 5-6 hrs, I soak it overnight. The next morning wash off the husks they come off easily. A few might stay back, in a couple of changes of Water some more husks will run away. You can also hand pick the husks they will come off easily. To avoid all these burden you can use the dehusken Urad Dhal, but husked has more starch and the batter ferments really well. Not in a grinder or mixer paste the Urad Dhal with some Water, until soft and fluffy.

B. Fermenting the Dosa Batter:
Now remove the ground paste into a deep bowl. Adding Ragi flour directly to the Urad Dhal paste will cause lumps formation, to avoid it mix the Ragi Flour and Salt in Water and then pour it into the Dhal paste and give it a good stir until well blended. Then cover the bowl with a plate and let it ferment. Fermentation process is very easy in tropical climate, otherwise there are few tips for easy fermenting:
i. If you have auto pilot in your cooking range (usually old stoves have auto pilot) put the covered bowl in your cooking range it will ferment in about 10-12 hours.
ii. You can turn on your Oven for few mins or keep it on the lowest temp say 110 F and put the bowl in there for a few hours check in btw, dont forget your oven mitts.
The batter will double in size and you will have your fermented batter ready for Dosa making, transfer to a airtight, atleast I do it, container and put it in the refrigerator until used.

C. Making Dosa:
Remove the Dosa batter from the refrigerator 5-10 mins before making dosa, give it a good stir for a min. Place a non stick tava (clean the Tava with a few drops of Oil) or any tava that you are using, keep the flames on high, a drop of Water must sizzle off, ladle the batter on the tava reduce the flames and stir with the ladle until the batter is thin. Cover the tava with a lid and let it cook in the steam. When there is too much Water on the lid just remove the lid off and drain the water on a tissue, you may let a few drops fall on the dosa so they cook well. Replace the lid and cook until the Dosa slightly raises from the pan. Now Remove the Dosa from the Tava. Repeat this for making other Dosa, clean the Tava with a few drops of Oil before making more Dosas. You will make crispy Ragi Dosas.

Serve with: Chutney or Sambar

Peanut Chutney:


Peanuts - 1 cup
Red Onion - 1 small or half of an large one
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tbsp
Red Chillies - 3 nos.
Green Chilly - 1 nos.
Garlic - 1 large clove
Tamarind - a small marble size
Peanut Oil - 1 tbsp


Peanut Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Asafoetida a dash


1. Dry roast the Peanuts in a pan stirring all the time until aromatic. Allow it to cool and dehusk the Peanuts when cool.
2. Heat 1/2 tbsp of Peanut Oil in a pan and roast the Cumin Seeds, Red Chillies and Green Chilly. Remove and let it cool.
3. Now add the remaining 1/2 tbsp of Oil and fry the sliced Onion and Garlic until transparent. Set aside and let it cool.
4. Grind all the ingredients with some Water, Salt and Tamarind until fine.
5. Do the tempering and add it to the Chutney and adjust Salt if needed.

Serve with: Dosa or Idli

Am sending my

Ragi Dosa to Mahimaa's - Cooking Basic Event and Shama's - Family Favorite Event

Ragi Dosa and Peanut Chutney to Pari's - Combo Event

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