Monday, October 24, 2011

Gorikai Matodi Palya - Cluster beans and lentil stir fry

Amongst the authentic Kannada recipes that I have posted, the most famous and sought for recipe is the Matodi palya, made out of methi leaves. It is my mom’s trademark recipe and one of my personal favorites too.

Here’s another similar stir fry, but with cluster beans. This is also a traditional recipe that I’ve heard from my grand mother but for some reason, we don’t make it often. Recently when the only vegetable I had in the fridge was cluster beans, I thought of giving this a try rather than a boring plain palya.
Like its counterpart, it has soaked dal ground and cooked with the beans. The flavors, though simple are amazing. Since my FIL likes it not being too dry, I made it a little moist this time; you can adjust the consistency to your choice. However, if its dry, its shelf life will be more.
Some people call it matwadi palya as well. Whatever the name is, it is as good as the methi version.

It takes in very few ingredients and easy to make too. Here’s the recipe....

Gorikai Matodi Palya - Cluster beans and dal stir fry

Preparation time : 10 min
Cooking time : 25 min
Serves : 4-5

Chana dal - ¾ cup
Cluster beans - 3 cups, washed and finely chopped
Coconut - ½ cup, grated
Green chilies - 4-5, optional. Else increase the red chilies
Dry red chilies - 5-6, vary as per taste
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Asafetida / Hing - a generous pinch
Cooking oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste

• Wash and soak chana dal for at least 2 hours
• Wash cluster beans and chop finely
• Once the dal is soaked well, grind it along with chilies, hing, salt and coconut and salt to a coarse mixture. Do not add any water for grinding
• In a non stick / heavy bottomed pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds allow to splutter and turmeric
• Add the chopped cluster beans and sauté for 5-6 minutes, till the cluster beans are half cooked; sprinkle a few drops of water if necessary to cook the beans
• Add the ground mixture and mix thoroughly
• If you prefer a slightly moist curry, add a bit more water
• Cook well for at least 10 minutes on medium heat. Stir frequently and ensure the mixture is evenly cooked.
• Turn off the flame and let it cool. This can be saved in refrigerator for 2-3 days and outside for 2 days when cooked well.
• Serve with hot rice and a teaspoon of oil.

• Do not grind the ingredients very finely. Let it be coarse and let there be a few whole grains of dal. This adds a nice taste and texture to the end product.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eggless Chocolate Cake with whipped cream topping

When it was time for some cousins staying across seas to visit us, I had decided I had to bake something. And I baked this chocolate cake for them the previous evening. It came out very nice in all respects, except that it kinda stuck to the pan :(. It was not a big deal as I anyway wanted to serve as squares, serve along with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce, topped with some toasted nuts. And everyone enjoyed it, including those who didn’t at all have a sweet tooth, and I was flattered with compliments!

The next time I made it for a friend’s birthday, this time lining the pan with parchment after the previous experience. I wanted to try out my whipping cream powder bought a couple of months ago, but still untouched in the fridge. So, after office I headed straight into the kitchen and got started with the cake. And while the cake was cooling, I gathered courage to whip the powder.
Guess what? I don’t have electric hand mixer, and believe me, I used the manual one, where you need to press the handle for the blades to turn!! It is quite a bit of effort, but was totally worth it! Proves that nothing can stop you, once you’re determined!!
And I topped the cake real fast, as I didn’t want to visit her at midnight!! Yeah, I know it’s a clumsy work, but then, I was happy to have used whipped cream and it did taste YUMMY!!
And I baked it for a third time, for in-laws’ anniversary party and this time, the decoration was better! It was pretty easy and quick, but with D’s help for whipping the cream by hand.

If you don't want to bake with eggs and LOVE chocolate cake, this is the recipe!

Eggless Chocolate Cake (with Vinegar) - With Whipped cream decoration!

Preparation time : 10 min
Baking time : 35-40 min
Recipe Source: Madhuri’s Cook Curry Nook

All purpose flour (or Maida) – 1 ½ cups
Unsweetened Cocoa powder – ¼ cup
Sugar – 1 cup
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Salt – a pinch
Cooking oil – ½ cup
Distilled White Vinegar – 1 Tbsp
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Instant Coffee powder (optional) – 2 tsps or Strong Coffee decoction - 2 Tbsp
Warm water – 1 cup (minus 2 Tbsp if using decoction instead of coffee powder)

For Cream decoration:
Whipping cream powder - ¾ cup or more if you want more of cream :)
Chilled water - ½ cup - used as necessary
Vanilla essence - a few drops

• Pre-heat oven to 180°C /350°F. Line and grease a 9-inch round pan and set aside. I used two smaller pans
• Sift together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
• In a large bowl, combine the sifted mixture, sugar and instant coffee powder (if using).
• Add water, oil, vinegar and vanilla essence and decoction if using and stir with a balloon whisk until just combined.
• Pour batter into readied pan, and bake for 35-40 minutes or till done.
• Cool completely on a wire rack.

• Chill a bowl, beater blades in freezer before starting to whip
• Chill water too in the freezer, but let it not form into ice
• Take out the whipping cream powder and the other stuff from freezer just before beginning the process
• In the chilled bowl, add the powder and add a few tablespoons of water and start beating
• Add more water depending on the consistency you need and continue
• As is said above, I used a manual beater/churner and it took me 6-8 minutes for peaks to appear
• I was scared of over-whipping and stopped after a couple of minutes more and the result was a fluffy cream
• Keep this refrigerated till the cake is cool
• Once the cake is completely cool, spread the cream on the surface of the cake and decorate as you please
• I sprinkled some chocolate shavings on top and placed some glazed cherries and voila! It was yummyyyyyy.

• The cake stuck to the pan first time. So generously grease and dust the pan or line with parchment for easy removal.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Burnt Brinjal Chutney

FIL being a big fan of brinjals and eggplants, gets them almost every time he buys vegetables! But making the same thing over and over again does not interest me, nor him. So depending on what the brinjal side dish needs to go with, there will be a different item being dished out.

Be it a simple stir fry, or the more regular Burnt eggplant in coconut chutney, or a special Ennegai, or this chutney to be a little different, it is his favorite for sure!
This is quite easy to prepare - cook the brinjal on stovetop till the outer skin is browned, after which the skin is removed and ground with other ingredients to make a chutney. Tastes great with chapathis, rottis, esp Ubbu rotti, dosas and even with rice. It can be made with other round eggplants too, but this one tastes better.
Making time : 15 min
Serves : 4 -5

Brinjals - 3, medium sized, slender green ones
Coconut - 2 Tbsp, grated
Green chilies - 5-6, depending on taste
Fried gram dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves - 1 Tbsp, chopped
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Jaggery - a small pinch (optional)
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
For Tempering:
Cooking oil - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - A few sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Asafetida - a pinch, powdered

• Wash the brinjals, make sure there are no holes on the outer skin, which means there might be bugs inside
• Smear a few drops of oil over the brinjal
• Switch on the gas and place these brinjals directly over the flame
• Turn it around every now and then and ensure an even darkening of the outer skin. This will take around 2 minutes per brinjal.
• Poke the back of a spoon or a knife to check if it is cooked soft inside. Note that these need not turn completely black, just the wilting of outer skin is sufficient
• Repeat this for all the brinjals and set aside to cool
• Meanwhile, roast green chilies, curry leaves in a few drops of oil till they change color
• Once the burnt brinjals are cool enough to handle, peel the outer browned skin.
• Mash it lightly and grind with coconut, turmeric, salt, tamarind, jaggery, coriander leaves, adding a little water if needed
• Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl
For tempering / tadka:
• Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard and allow to splutter
• Add curry leaves
• Garnish with tadka

• Do not make the chutney too smooth – a little coarse consistency will give a better taste
• You can just bake the brinjal in oven too. But make sure to prick some holes all over, to prevent it from bursting inside the oven!

Monday, October 10, 2011

South-Indianised Noodles!

Don’t you agree that older people are generally hesitant to explore different cuisines and newer tastes? At least I’ve had that experience many a times! We like to explore different cuisines, different tastes, like to experiment with food more often whereas parents and in-laws find it a bit of a challenge to adapt!

While most of the time it is traditional, authentic Indian food that is cooked at home, we sometimes want to have some international food or some other non-native food! Some examples being pastas, pizzas, chinese, etc. Some of the foods will be readily accepted, some will be out-rightly rejected and some need some acclimatization!

One such that belongs to the latter category is Noodles. While we love the Indo-Chinese version of the noodles, the initial few times, it was outrightly rejected. But recently there was some affinity towards it. But FIL was not yet sure about his liking towards the Chinese variety, so he asked me to make a totally Indian version too, similar to our very own Chitranna (err.. should I call it chitra-noodles!?!?!)

Whatever you name it, I divided the cooked noodles into two parts and made this in one part and the Indo Chinese way with the other. And when serving I did serve this first which he did like, and then gave a sample of the other one.

Whew, he asked for a second serving!! When asked which one, he wanted both of them!! And all he had for lunch that day was noodles, though I had made rice and rasam also to be on the safer side! Now I need not worry about the acceptability of another cross cultural cuisine!

Well, did I mention, this version is also equally good, with our own Indian spices going in to give our own taste to the Chinese -noodles?

South-Indianised Noodles

Preparation time : 10 min
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 5-6

Chinese Noodles - 250 g
Water - 8 cups
Green chilies - 5-6, as per taste or chili sauce
Cooking oil - 2-3 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Turmeric - a big pinch
Green Peas - ½ cup
Curry leaves - a couple of sprigs
Fresh coconut - 2 Tbsp, grated
Coriander leaves - abt a Tbsp, chopped fine
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste

• In a large pan bring water to boil
• Add a pinch of salt, a few drops of oil and add the noodles
• Cook for a couple of minute till just done - or as per the instructions on the packet
• When done, pour it over a colander to drain the water and separate the noodles with a fork
• Keep aside for 5 minutes to cool
• In a pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
• Add urad dal, slit green chilies, curry leaves and sauté
• Add green peas and let it cook till tender
• When almost done, add turmeric, grated coconut and salt and mix well
• Mix in the spread noodles and chopped coriander leaves
• Mix thoroughly and let the ingredients combine well with the noodles
• Serve warm!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OraLukallu Chitranna - Spicy Red Chili Rice

Wish you all a Happy Navarathri / Dasara!

We arrange dolls for Navarathri every year and every year we try to make it a little different from the previous years. Check out some more pics of this year’s Gombe here.

I’ve been so so buys these days, with the Navarathri arrangements, guests at every hour of the day, office, functions, we visiting friends/families and also cooking some snacks for Bombe-Bagina - some snack to be given to guests who come home to see the doll arrangements. But then being too pressed for time, I’m not being able to click pics of all of them, write and post.... So they’ll all come some time later, when I’m relatively free.
For now, here is a traditional rice item, mostly made for festive meals, called OraLukallu Chitranna. OraLukallu, in Kannada, means the traditional grinding stone they used to be preset in every kitchen before we had these mixers, grinders and food processors. We can still find them in some houses.
The spices for this chitranna will be ground fresh in the OraLukallu and thus the name. However, now we make it using our dear mixie, in a jiffy! It is quick, spicy, yummy and makes a perfect rice for your festive meal.

Here’s the recipe....

OraLukallu Chitranna

Preparation time : 5 min, excluding time to prepare rice
Cooking time : 10 min
Serves : 4

Cooked rice - 4 cups, sona masuri variety
Grated coconut - ½ cup
Dry red chilies - 5-6, as per taste; Use Byadagi variety for a nice color
Asafetida / hing - a generous pinch
Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball
Salt - 1 tsp or as per taste

For tempering:
Cooking oil - 1-2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Peanuts - 2 Tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 Tbsp
Turmeric - a pinch
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste


  • Spread the cooked rice in a wide bowl and add a teaspoon of oil so that the grains do not stick
  • Keep aside for 5 minutes to cool
  • Grind the red chilies, asafetida, coconut, tamarind, salt, ½ tsp of mustard seeds in a mixie to form a coarse mixture. Do not add any water
  • In a skillet heat oil, add mustard seeds and allow to splutter
  • Add groundnut seeds and fry for a few seconds
  • Add Bengal gram dal and urad dal and fry till golden
  • Add curry leaves and turmeric and fry for a minute or two till all the ingredients are crisp
  • Add the ground mixture and mix thoroughly, with the heat on
  • Once the mixture is well sautéed, turn off the heat; don’t make the mixture too crumbly
  • Add this to the spread rice and mix thoroughly
  • Serve warm or pack it off for lunch box!


  • Make rice with a bit lesser water, so that the grains are separate and not sticky

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

100 Diwali Sweet Recipes-Free E-Book from Indusladies

Saw this at Gayathri's Cook Spot and thought of sending one of my recipes too...

I am sending the most popular sweet post in my blog : Badam Puri

So here is the Announcement From Indusladies, copied and pasted :):

For the upcoming Diwali on October 26th, 2011, Indusladies is compiling an E-Book called “100 Yummy Diwali SweetRecipes”. We are collecting sweet/dessert recipes from various bloggers to be featured in this E-Book.

This E-book will be made available as a free download to our community's 1.3 Lakh+ members. In addition, we will also be making this E-Book available to our 9000+ Facebook fans and Twitter followers. It's LOTS and LOTS of exposure to those food blogs entering the E-Book!! We believe this would be a nice way to get the word out about a wonderful blog to the entire membership of IndusLadies!!

Those bloggers interested in submitting a recipe for this E-Book...all you need to do is as follows:
1. Send a link from your blog for a sweet /dessert recipe. It should also include the picture of the sweet/dessert. Your recipe, food picture, recipe URL as well as the entire blog URL will get featured in the E-Book.
2. In return, we need you to do two things:
- Now make a blog post in your blog announcing the E-Book compilation by IndusLadies and the recipe you are sending for this E-Book. That way inviting your co-bloggers interested to send in their contribution by Oct 10th,2011.

Any blogger interested can send their entry to by October 8th.