Thursday, September 25, 2014

Karuveppilai Sevai / Rice Vermicelli Spiced with curry Leaves ~ Navarathri Recipe

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4
Rice Sevai - 1 Packet or 1/2 packet is using Rice sticks
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Split urad dal - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Enough water to boil the rice sticks

For the Powder / Podi:
Curry Leaves - 2 cups, packed
Urad dal - 1 cup
Channa dal - 1/4 cup
Dry red chilies - 10
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Tamarind - a small marble sized
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Sesame oil - 2 tsp

  1. Wash curry leaves and squeeze the water out.  Salad spinner works best to remove excess water.
  2. Place the leaves on a clean cloth and pat dry.  Spread the leaves to air dry.
  3. Once dried completely, place it in a skillet and roast until crisp.  Keep it side.
  4. In the same skillet add 2 tsp oil and add urad dal, channa dal, black pepper, red chillies and tamarind.
  5. Roast until golden brown on a low flame.  Remove from heat and add asafoetida and mix well.  Let it cool completely.
  6. In a blender, add red chillies  roasted curry leaves, tamarind and asafoetida.  Grind to a fine powder.
  7. Then add the roasted dals and grind to a coarse powder.

How to make the Sevai / Rice sticks

  1. Boil enough water for the sevai. Once boiled, switch off the stove. 
  2. Place the sevai / rice sticks in the hot water and cover.  Let it stand for 5 minutes.  Don't keep it for more than 5 minutes, the rice sticks will become mushy.
  3. Drain the cooked rice sticks.  
  4. Heat 2 tsp of sesame oil in a skillet.  Splutter mustard seeds. Add urad dal and fry until golden brown.  Add asafoetida. Switch off the flame.
  5. Add the drained rice sticks and enough salt just for the rice sticks.  Mix well.  Let it cool down for 2 minutes.
  6. Now add the desired amount of curry leaves powder and mix well to coat.  It is best to use your hand to mix the rice sticks.  
  7. Serve hot.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Coconut Rava Ladoo with Chia Seeds - Navarathri Recipe

Preparation time - 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 to 15

Note: Adding chia seeds is totally optional,  but it is an excellent way to sneak in some extra nutrients. 

Rava / Semolina - 1 cup
Freshly grated or frozen coconut - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Ghee / Clarified butter - 2 tbsp
Chia seeds - 1 tbsp
Cashews - 10
Raisins - 10
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Saffron - few threads
Water - 1/2 cup

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine rava, coconut and chia seeds..  Mix well and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
  2. Add sugar and water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat ghee in a skillet and fry the cashews and raisins on low flame.
  4. Add the rava mixture and roast on low flame until aromatic.  
  5. Add the saffron and cardamom powder.  Mix well.
  6. Add the sugar syrup and mix until everything comes together.
  7. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
  8. While the mixture is still warm, form a golf sized ladoos / balls out of it.
  9. Let it cool completely and store in a air tight container.
  10. Consume within 5 days or refrigerate for a week.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Karamani / Black Eyed Peas Sundal - Navarathri Recipe

Preparation time: 10 minutes + 3 hours soaking time
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3

White Karamani / Black Eyed Peas - 1 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal -1 tsp
Dry red chilies - 2, broken
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

For the spice powder: 
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Red chilies - 2
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

  1. Wash and soak the black eyed peas in enough water for 3 hours.
  2. After soaking,  pressure cook the peas with 2 cups of water (just enough to cover the peas) until soft, but not mushy (about 6 whistles).
  3. Meanwhile, dry roast the ingredients for the spice powder until golden brown.  Let it cool and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Drain the cooked peas.
  5. Heat oil in a skillet.  Splutter mustard seeds.  Add urad dal and red chillies.  Fry until golden brown.
  6. Add curry leaves and asafoetida.  Add the cooked peas, salt and turmeric powder.
  7. Mix well and saute for 2 minutes.  Add 2 tsp of  ground spice powder and mix well.  
  8. Saute for 30 seconds and add the grated coconut and mix well.  Remove from the heat.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Hayagreeva ~ Chana Dal Sweetend with Jaggery ~ Navarathri Recipies

Hayagreeva is a horse headed avatar of Vishnu and the God of knowledge and wisdom.  This popular Karnataka dish is offered as a Nivedhyam to lord Hayagreeva.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

Chana dal / Kadalai Paruppu - 1 cup
Powdered Jaggery - 1 cup
Dry or Fresh coconut (shredded or pieces) - 1/8 cup
Poppy seeds / Khus Khus - 1 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Cashew nuts - 5
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Ghee / Clarified butter - 2 to 3 tbsp
Water - 2 cups

  1. Wash chana dal and pressure cook with 2 cups water until soft (about 5 whistles).
  2. In the meanwhile.  dry roast poppy seeds in a skillet until it starts popping.
  3. In the same skillet fry the cashews and raisins in 1 tbsp of ghee.  Keep it aside and wipe the skillet.
  4. Once the dal is cooked, drain out the water.  Mash the dal slightly.
  5. Place jaggery in the skillet and add 2 tbsp of the drained dal water.  Melt the jaggery and strain to remove impurities.
  6. Place the jaggery syrup back in the skillet and add the coconut pieces.  Bring it to a boil.
  7. Add the chana dal and 2 tbsp ghee cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.  
  8. Add the remaining ghee and the fried cashews and raisins.  Mix well and switch off the flame.
  9. Finally mix in the cardamom powder.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beetroot Cutlet / Tikki

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20  minutes
Serves: 4

Shredded Beetroot - 2 cups
Boiled Potatoes - 3, large
Onion - 1, small, chopped
Green Chilies - 2, finely chopped
Ginger and Garlic - 1 Tbsp, freshly grated
Fennel Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Cumin Powder - 2 tsp
Dry Mango Powder / Amchoor - 2 tsp
Chat Masala Powder - 2 tsp
Coriander Leaves / Cilantro - 3 Tbsp, chopped
Salt - to taste
Oil - for shallow frying

For the coating:
Panko Bread Crumbs - as needed
Kasoori Methi - 2 Tbsp
Fennel Powder - 2 tsp
All-purpose Flour - 2 Tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup


  1. Add little salt to the shredded beetroot and set it aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a large bowl, add the mashed potatoes, chopped onion, green chilies, chat masala, dry mango powder, fennel seeds, cumin powder, ginger, garlic, cilantro and salt.  Mix well.
  3. Squeeze out the juice from the beetroot and add the beetroot to the potato mixture.  Mix thoroughly.
  4. Save the beet juice and use it to make other curries or soup.
  5. Shape the mixture into lemon sized balls and flatten them into small discs.  You can also roll them round or any other shape you like.  
  6. Place the bread crumbs in a plate.  Add the kasoori methi and fennel powder.  Mix well.
  7. In a small bowl, add the flour and water.  Mix well to make a paste.
  8. Dip the prepared discs / tikkis in the flour mixture and place it in the bread crumb to coat all sides. Arrange the tikkis in a large plate.
  9. Repeat with rest of the tikkis.  Refrigerate the tikkis for about an hour.
  10. Heat oil in a skillet.  Place about 3 to 4 tikkis at a time and fry for a minute on each side on medium high.
  11. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
  12. Serve hot with your choice of chutney or ketchup.