February 21, 2011

Cabbage Dosa ~ No fermentation, spicy dosa

At first, cabbage in a dosa did not appeal to me. I have seen many blog posts featuring the cabbage dosa, a famous Konkani recipe. My husband's aunt Malathi is a great cook and she loves to cook and feed too. When she is serving, she keeps filling your plate and you will be too full that one will need support to get up from the chair.  M aunt's husband is very choosy when it comes to food. He will have only oil free food and don't eat onions. M aunt will cook the same curry in two ways, with ease. Also sometimes she will cook different menus to satisfy all. And she puts together the meal at super speed. And in many ways, she reminds me of my mother.  That way, I have always felt that I am staying at my home when I go there. She has never treated me as daughter-in-law. I am literally pampered there.  After we shifted to Pune, I had to visit my hometown and I stayed at aunt's house. She made this dosa for breakfast. I was simply hooked to it and understood a recipe cannot be judged by its ingredients alone.  And then it is a regular at my home.

This dos is almost an instant kind since no fermentation is required here. Tamarind is added to the batter and it takes care of the slight sourness to the batter. If you remember to soak the rice and dal the previous night, then the breakfast for the day is ready in 15 minutes including the grinding and chopping time. So if the cabbage in the recipe has put you off, do try it once and you will be proven wrong.

You need
  • Parboiled rice - 1 cup
  • Chana dal - 2 tblspn
  • Tuvar dal - 1 tblspn
  • Red chillies - 6-8 nos
  • Tamarind - Gooseberry sized
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Hing - 1/4 tspn
  • Salt to taste
  • Finely chopped cabbage - 1 cup

Soak rice and dal together overnight.
Soak tamarind and red chillies in warm water for 10 minutes. Soaking in warm water makes the tamarind soft. Grind the soaked tamarind, red chillies, hing , turmeric and salt along with few tablespoons of rice. Grind it to smooth paste and then add the rest of rice+dal mix. Grind it coarsely. To the batter, stir in the chopped cabbage. The batter will be thick like that of adai.

Heat dosa tawa and when it is hot, spread a ladle of  the batter. The batter is not easily spreadable like dosa. Using the ladle lightly spread the batter to a circle. Don't try to spread thin. This is a fairly thick dosa. Drizzle oil around the dosa. When the bottom is cooked, flip and cook on the other side.

The dosa can be had on its own since it has tamarind and red chillies to add spice. A side of coconut chuntney or sambhar is also good. Serve it hot.

February 15, 2011

Gujarathi Dal for Indian Cooking Challenge

Indian cooking challenge recipe for the month of February is an authentic Gujarati dal from the award winning cookbook Sukham Ayu, authored by the duo- Jigyasa Giri & Pratibha Jain. Thanks to Jigyasa and Prathibha for sharing the recipe for the challenge. The recipe may not fit the bill for a challenge but it surely gave an opportunity to recreate the authentic flavor at home. That's also a purpose behind this ICC, to know about the authentic, regional recipes.

Now coming to the recipe, this is a simple recipe with ingredients easily available in an Indian kitchen. I must say, from the list of the ingredients, you will not be able to guess the taste and flavor of the final dish. For this, you must try and experience yourself. I literally ate only this dal and forgot about my rice. Basically, I love spicy and tangy food. The flavor and taste won me over.

You need
  • Tuvar dal/Split red gram - ½ cup
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Tamarind pulp - 2 tbspn (or dry soft kokum 4-5 pieces)
  • Jaggery - 1 tspn
  • Dry dates - 4,halved (I used lion dates)
  • Drumstick/Muringakkai - 4-5 pieces, 2 inch length
  • Yam/Chenai - 4-5 pieces, 1 inch cubes
  • Groundnuts - 1 tbsp
  • Green chillies - 2, slit
  • Ginger -1 inch piece, chopped fine
  • Coriander powder - 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - ¼ tsp (Used Kitchen king)
  • Salt to taste

 Coriander leaves to garnish


 For the seasoning

  •  Ghee - 2 tsp
  •  Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
  •  Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
  •  Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
  •  Dry red chillies - 2
  •  Asafoetida/Hing powder -¼ tsp
  •  Curry leaves 5-6


 Pressure cook the dal along with yam pieces. I find yam taking a long time to cook. So pressure cooked it along with the dal. Add a pinch of turmeric and enough water to cover the dal. The dal should be cooked soft. When the pressure is released fully, remove the yam pieces and mash the dal well.

Take the mashed dal, cooked yam pieces and rest of the ingredients in a thick bottomed pan. Don't add garam masala and coriander leaves. Add a cup of water and let it simmer over low flame for 10 minutes. Take care that the dal doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. So stir occasionally.

Heat a seasoning ladle with ghee. Add mustard seeds. When it pops, add fenugreek, followed by cumin, red chillies hing and curry leaves. Pour the seasoning into the simmering dal. Allow to boil for another 3 minutes. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
Hot dal with steaming rice topped with a dollop of home made ghee will be the ultimate comfort food. Next time, I want to try with kokum and also include drumstick. I'm sure drumstick will take it to the next level. The recipe, from Sukham Ayu,  is well written with detailed instructions and the measurements are perfect.




February 14, 2011

Strawberry Coconut Fudge/Burfi with fresh strawberries

Today, being Valentine's Day, I have been seeing loads of recipes to suit the celebration mood. Personally, I am not the kind who looks forward to this day. Its like any other day for me. I have been looking for strawberry recipes to make best use of the seasonal availability.  Of late, I was baking a lot of cakes/cupcakes.   I wanted to make some Indian sweet for a change. Two days back, I asked my husband which traditional sweet he would want me to make. Husband's option was Coconut burfi. So I thought why not try adding some strawberry puree to my usual burfi. I wasn't sure if the sweet will set or not. I thought even if it doesn't hold shape, it will have a consistency of a halwa and can be eaten with a spoon. I went ahead and tried in smaller measurements, so that if it doesn't come out well, the wastage will be minimal. Probably, this is one of the few times, a recipe made in my kitchen makes it to the blog in the shortest time.

You need

  • Fresh, grated coconut - 1/2 cup, packed
  • Strawberry puree - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup + 2 tblspn
  • Ghee - 2 tspn
  • Water - 1/2 cup

Take 6-8 strawberries and make a puree of it. No need to strain the puree. Make sure there is no pieces in it. Heat a kadai with sugar and half cup of water. Keep stirring till the sugar is fully dissolved. Let the syrup boil to one string consistency. Stir in the strawberry puree. Let it simmer for 3 minutes or so. By then the syrup will bubble. Add the grated coconut. Keep stirring. When it starts thickening, add a teaspoon of ghee. Continue stirring for another 10 minutes. When it starts bubbling from all sides, add the remaining ghee and cook for a minute or two. Transfer to a greased plate and level it using a greased katori with a flat base. It takes little more time to set than a regular coconut burfi.

The fruit flavored burfi was very tasty. Its difficult to stop with one. And adding the fruit puree gives a new flavor to the burfi and doesn't even remind you of the traditional coconut burfi. Its a completely new taste. I am glad I tried this.

February 11, 2011

Paruppu Boli With Chana dal and Sugar filling

During my childhood days, I knew only Uppittu. Back then, this made it appearance very few times in a year.  Being in a joint family, each one had access to a limited supply of these delicacy. Later, attending weddings in Chennai, introduced Boli/Poli to me. Needless to say, was hooked to those soft bolis. I started pestering amma to learn. Amma learnt it from my aunt in Chennai and thus I could enjoy them at home too. And blogging has introduced me to umpteen varieties of bolis. Post marriage, I came to know that this is a masterpiece of my MIL and I am sharing her recipe here and I have been following the same. Earlier I had posted a boli with a different filling. Here its the traditional version.

You need

For the filling
  • Chana dal/Kadala paruppu - 1 cup
  • Sugar - 1 cup
  • Cardamom powder - 1/2 tspn
  • Ghee - 1 tblspn

For the dough
  • Maida/All purpose flour - 2 cup
  • Butter/Oil - 1 tblspn
  • Turmeric - a pinch
  • Water to knead
  •  Oil or ghee to roast the boli
  •  Powdered sugar - 1/2 cup (Optional)


 Mix maida, butter and turmeric in a bowl. Make sure the butter coats all the flour and this will ensure soft boli. Add water little by little and knead to get a soft dough. The dough should be firm too. Leave the dough for atleast an hour .

Pressure cook chana dal with enough water till it is soft. Drain and mash the dal. Grind the dal along with the ,sugar in a mixer grinder to get a soft paste. There should not be any granules of dal, since it will make it difficult while rolling later.

Heat a kadai. Add a teaspoon of ghee. Tip in the ground dal paste. Keep stirring till it turns dry and it should be soft too. Don't cook long, that it turns hard and lumpy.

Pinch a lemon sized dough. Roll it to 2 inch size. Keep a tablespoon of the filling. Fold the edges and cover the filling. Keep the filled edges facing down and dust it with the flour and roll like a chappathi.

Heat a tawa. When it is medium hot, place the rolled boli and cook both sides till you can see brown specs. Drizzle little oil or ghee along the edges while cooking. Remove from tawa and sprinkle little powdered sugar and fold. Enjoy munching the sweet and soft bolis. It has a shelf life of 3 days.


February 3, 2011

Orange Chocolate Cupcake ~ Eggless,Butterless & Healthy

I have a special liking towards the citrus flavor. With gorgeous oranges in season, I was looking for an orange cupcake recipe and I stumbled upon the chocolate orange cake at Baking Bites and an orange muffins at Verstaile Kitchen. Both the recipes were eggless and  I needn't have to make it eggless to suit my taste.  I have adapted the baking bites' recipe  taking few hints from Versatile Kitchen. Orange and chocolate complement each other so well and you will experience the combo flavor with the first bite.

You need

  •  Wheat flour - 1 1/2 cup
  • Coco powder - 1/2 cup
  • Sugar - 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder - 1 tspn
  • Cooking soda -1/2 tspn
  • Salt - 1/4 tspn
  • Fresh Orange juice - 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil - 1/3 cup
  • Vanilla essence - 1 tspn
  • Orange zest - 1 tblspn (I used candied orange peel)


Sieve dry ingredients - wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cooking soda and salt. I always measure the dry ingredients to a plastic container which has a tight lid. I shake the container vigorously with the lid on and proceed. A bit lazy to take out the sieve and the cleaning that comes after.

Mix orange juice, sugar, oil and vanilla essence. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet mix and finally stir in the orange zest.

Grease the muffin mould and fill to 2/3 in each hole.  Bake in a preheated oven at 170 C for 25 minutes.

This will yield 12 medium sized muffins. My muffin tray can hold only 9 and I baked the remaining batter in microwave.

For the frosting

  • Butter - 2 tblspn
  • Powdered sugar - 1 1/2 cups
  • Orange Juice - 1 tblspn
Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy and add the orange juice. Adjust the juice quantity to suit the consistency required. Pipe it on the cooled muffins and enjoy the orange flavored chocolate delight. I know my frosting has not come out well. The cupcake on its own is not very sweet. Hence the frosting did enhance the taste. I have baked it twice and both times, the cakes have vanished pretty fast.

To bake in the microwave

Scoop a heaped tablespoon of the batter into greased MW cups and bake for a minute. Leave it for 3 minutes and enjoy your cake.

If your baking a single cake, do add a teaspoon of milk  or orange juice to thin the batter. This will ensure a
moist cake. I tried baking in individual cups and haven't baked a single cake.

While the cup cakes were getting baked in the OTG, I could enjoy a quick treat with the MW cake.

Update: I am sending the healthy cake to Priya's Fast  Food Not Fat Food event