Sunday, December 25, 2011

TIFFIN .......Breakfast/Light Brunch

--- TIFFIN ---


For any person outside of South India, word "Tiffin" means lunch box. But in South India, Tiffin has a different meaning.
If you hear the words "Tiffin Aachha?"
It means "Did you have breakfast or light brunch?"

In Tiffin section, I have provided with all the light and not so light snacks which serve as support at breakfast and early evening times .
So enjoy the TIFFIN.


Batata wada is a savory which is extremely popular in Gujarat,
Maharashtra and western India as whole. It is very easy to make
and it tastes fantastic even with very simple spices which are
used Batata Wada is usually eaten with spicy sweet sour
Tamarind / Khajur Chutney or plain Tomato Sauce.


( For five people one helping of about five Wadas each)


1 Kg. Potatoes of Thick skin variety
1 Small Bunch of Kothumalli
5 Nos. Green chillies finely chopped
2" Ginger piece finely sliced
1/2 sp. Turmeric powder (optional)
2 Sp. Garam Masala
2 Sp. Lime Juice
3 to 4 Sp. Sugar
1 Sp. Asafoetida (perangayam)
Salt to taste
Other optional stuffings like Raisins, Dates, etc. can also be added


400 Gms. Besan/ Kadalai maavu
1 Sp. Perangayam/ Hing
2 Sp. Chilli Powder
3/4 Sp. Turmeric Powder
2 spoons Salt
Water to make thick Batter like Dosai.
500 ml of cooking oil for frying


For the stuffing, first steam cook potatoes in a pressure cooker.
Remove the skin and let it cool. Now add, salt, Kothumalli,
Green chillies and Garam masala, Lime Juice, Sugar and salt,
perangayam and slowly mix the ingredients thoroughly .Don't make a
paste type thing of the whole mass. The stuffing should not be
totally smooth. Let the potatoes be mashed to 1/4th inch size .
Once all the ingredients are mixed , taste for salt and other things.
Add anything you want at this stage. Now take a big plate, smear
some oil on the surface and start making small urundais (Balls) of
the Potato stuffing and place in the plate. Try making all of them
of even size. Rub some oil on your palms to avoid potato sticking
to your palms. Keep aside.

Take Kadalai Maavu (Besan) in a wide mouth vessel , add salt,
Chilli powder, Hing, Turmeric powder and mix very well. Now start
adding water in small quantities and start making the batter.
When you reach Dosai Maavu consistency, stop and taste for salt
and other ingredients.

GRAND FINALE Dip the Potato stuffings in the batter and fry in a
Kadai till golden brown. Please make sure that you do not drip the
potato stuffing in oil much as it will leave a lot of Bundi like
things burning in the oil for frying. Take care not to over fry
on a high flame. All the deep frying should be done only at a
medium flame. The frying of Batata Wada should be done after all
the food is cooked .This is to ensure that the guests get steaming
Batata Wadas. Serve with Tomato sauce to Sweet Sour Chutney.

If you want to serve only hot Wadas, under fry the Wadas about an
hour or two before the lunch or dinner. Re-fry them again on
medium flame or micro it just before you serve the guests.

BHAJJIS (Bhajiya)

Bhajjis are the king of "Tiffin". When the first showers come, the taste buds start tingling with fine aroma of frying Bhajjis in Gujarat and other northern parts of India. I am going to post hitherto never posted recipe of Bhajjis, which would surprise you with its aroma and taste. If you think that this is an over statement, try it out and you would agree with me..

For dough
Kadalai Maavu (Besan) 1 cup
Rice Flour 1 spoon
Dhania 1 tbsp
Red Chilli (coarsely broken) 1 nos
Onion Paste 1 tbsp
Green Chilli (paste) 1no.
Garam Masala 1/2 spoon
Dhania Jeera Powders 1/2 spoon+1/4 spoon
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Curd/Amchur/Tamarind extract 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida powder 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste Oil for frying

For centre filler
Select big Potatoes or Onions or Brinjals. Make round slices in a slicer of about 3 to 4 mm thickness. Put potato and onion slices in salt water for some time, and drain off and wipe dry with cloth or paper. If you are using big chillies, make a long slice on each chilli , remove the seeds and keep them ready for dipping and frying..

Coarsely pound Dhania seeds and red chilli and set aside. Mix both Kadalai maavu (besan) and Rice flour thoroughly, make paste of a small onion and one green chilli and add all the dry spice powders and salt along with onion-chilli paste to the dough. Also add any acidic medium like Mango powder or a bit of tamarind extract or sour curd. Taste for salt and use as per your taste. Make sure that there should be just a hint of sourness. If you don't like it, you can avoid sour agents totally. Add little by little water and make thick dough of Dosai maavu consistency. If you want very crisp Bhajjis, you can mix quarter spoon of cooking soda in half a spoon of oil, mix thoroughly first and then add in dough and stir-mix thoroughly. Take oil in Kadai (200 ml) and heat it on high flame. after some time drop a drop of dough and check if oil is ready for frying. If ready, the drop would immediately come on top fried. Reduce the flame to medium or sim . Now carefully dip each filler like Onion round ring or Potato slice or Green Chilli and coat it properly in dough. Drop very carefully in oil and fry till the outer cover of Bhajji dough becomes golden Brown. Never fry Bhajjis till brown. Using a frying sieve, remove the bhajjis in a vessel where you should keep a paper at the bottom to absorb excess oil. Serve hot hot Bhajjis with Kothumalli Chutney or Tomato sauce. I bet , this recipe would bring loads of applause and appreciation from your loved ones and guests.


Mysore Bonda is one item in Hotels which is seen lesser and lesser now a days. This simple preparation is a great nourisher and with chutney, tastes fantastic. I prefer Mysore Bonda to Medhu Vadai for its rich creamy inside and a subtle taste.

Ulundhu (dehusked) 150 gms.
Payir parappau/Thoram Parappu 3 spoons
Coconut (2"piece) 1/4 cup
Ginger 1" piece
Green Chillies 4 to 5 nos.
Black pepper 1 spoon
Jeera 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Cooking soda two pinches

The Parappus dhalls) are to be soaked in water for at least three hours in winter and 2 hours in summer.

Chop chillies, grate Ginger and cut a 2" piece of coconut flesh in small pieces. Set aside. Make a thick but very fine paste of both Parappus (dhalls) .If you want very fluffy Bondas, you can use the agitator or egg beater and make a frothy dough. But before doing that, add salt to taste. This dough should be of vadai dough consistency. so take care when you make paste. Coarsely grind Jeera and Pepper . Some people add whole peppers and pounded jeera. You can do as you like. Mix cooking soda in a little oil and mix thoroughly till it turns milky. Add this to dough .Now mix all the ingredients with dough and see that they have evenly been mixed. Now Take a Kadai and heat up oil. Check if it is hot enough by putting a drop of dough. When ready, wet your palms and make a small lemon sized bonda by hand and put directly in oil. Take care that you don't drop it from height or else you would burn your hand with hot oil. Fry at medium heat till the bondas are beautiful golden in colour.

The frying should be evenly done or else the center portion would not cook properly. The Bondas would be fine crispy on the outside and soft creamy inside. Prepare coconut chutney also and serve hot bondas with chutney.

--- Chapattis ---


To make nice chappathis / Phulkas which Balloon when Roasted on fire, you need to make the dough in the following manner. Take required amount of (two cups) Whole-wheat flour. Add three tablespoons of cooking oil and half a spoon of salt. Mix the oil, salt and the whole-wheat flour thoroughly. Now take some water and slowly start adding and kneading the dough. When the dough is sufficiently soft, keep it aside for at least one hour after smearing the whole kneaded dough with a spoonful of oil to avoid drying up. Make urndais of only lemon size of dough to roll Chappathis. (sometimes on keeping for an hour, you may have to still soften the dough with a little bit of water as wheat flour sometimes absorbs water more than usual). You must not add too much water or else the chappathis will not balloon and you will not be able to make thin chappathis or Phulkas.

Take a little dry flour and set it aside, with a rolling pin, roll the chappathis on the stone. Once the flattened dough is thin and starts sticking to roller pin, turn the chappathi in dry flour on both the sides and start rolling in round shape. You may have to turn the chappathis in dry flour twice or thrice in order to get very thin (2.5-3mm) thickness without sticking. Now take the rolled flat dough and first place it on Tava. As soon as slight bulges start forming, With a chimta remove the chappathi from Tava and place directly on fire or flame of the stove. You will be amazed to see perfectly round Phulkas. Turn it and cook it on both the sides.

Remove from flame and apply nei (ghee) on the thinner side of the phulka. Serve it hot.


DHOKLA is a dish, which Gujarat is famous for. There are a number of variations of Dhokla preparation. But I am going to post the most popular Spongy DOUBLE DECKER OR Dunlopillow Dhokala Recipe.

450 gms. Besan (kadalai maavu)
50 gms. of soaked Urad dhall
1 spoon of Turmeric powder
1 spoon of chilli powder
2 spoons of Fruit salt/ENO
2 spoons of Ginger and Chilli paste
1 spoon of salt or to taste
1 spoon of Perangayam (USE MILD PERANGAYAM)
1 pinch of extra citric acid
2 ladles of oil for smearing on plate and Tempering
2 spoons of Mustard seeds
2 spoons of white gingly seeds
2 springs of Curry leaves
1/2 cup of finely cut kothumalli/cilantro
250 ml of Tampering water on top of Dhoklas
2 spoon of sugar (add slightly more if you want typical Gujarati taste)

Make a thickish dough of Besan/kadalai maavu of thick bhajji maavu consistancy, the consistency must be almost like Idly maavu thickness. Make a paste of Soaked urad / ulandu dhall and add it to besan maavu. Now add salt, Turmeric powder, chilli powder, ginger Chilli paste, sugar asafoetida, salt, citric acid into the better and mix thoroughly. Taste the batter for ingredients. If you feel you need to add anything more to your taste, add it now. Prepare a medium sized Thali/Thattu smearing oil on the inside surface thoroughly including the sides. Keep it aside.

Take a large wide mouth vessel or a big kadai .Put a small stand in it this is a metal stand which we use to stand earthen pots) If you don't have it, you may use a wide mouthed Dabbi or a big katora filled with water. Put about 1 liter of water in the kadai. Now add one spoon of ENO /FRUIT SALT to half the batter taken in a separate vessel and mix thoroughly by hand. The bubbles would start forming. Immediately transfer the bubbling batter to the Thali/Thattu previously smeared with oil and put the whole thing in the Kadai on the stand. Cover the kadai and steam cook the batter for about fifteen minutes. Check after ten to fifteen minutes if the Dhoklas are cooked. If your finger does not stick to the surface, the Dhoklas are cooked. Cook the remaining batter in the same way. I have asked to use fruit salt separately from Thali to Thali because it should not lose the gas while the first installment is being cooked otherwise the second installment of Dhoklas would not be as spongy as the first one.

After about ten minutes, Temper 250 ml of water with oil, Mustard seeds, Gingly seeds and Curry leaves and also a pinch of Asafoetida, After the tampered water is ready, take ladlefuls of this water with all the mustard and other seasonings and spread it carefully on the Dhoklas. This water will be absorbed by the Dhoklas in short time. Now Decorate /Garnish the Dhoklas with cut Kothumalli/Cilantro Spongy Dhoklas are ready.!!! Now take a sharp knife and make square cuts of the Dhoklas. Dhoklas are to be eaten with Kothumalli/phudina chutney.You can enjoy the same with your tea or coffee.

Points to remember When you put batter in Thattu/plate, fill only upto 3/4 of the height of the thattu wall. This is because the batter will rise during steaming to almost double the height. When you sprinkle the Tempered water, take care that you don't over flood the Dhoklas or else they will become soggy. Never cover the Dhokla batter thattu,cover the whole Kadai. Serve the Dhoklas only after the sprinkled water has been absorbed. If the water remains on top, spread a tissue paper and absorb extra water.


I am posting a recipe for making kadalai maavu dosais. The preparation time is 10 minutes. You need to have 250 grms of kadalai maavu, a small half spoon of Omam seeds which are crushed, some salt as per ones taste, chilli powder to taste and small half spoon of perangayam. Mix a tumbler of water in the Kadalai maavu, mix thoroughly so that small rounded pallets of maavu do not remain in the dough. Add salt , chilli powder, omam, and asafoetida in the dough which should have dosai maavu consistency. Make dosais just like you make rice dosais on a Tawa. Even the oil is to me applied in the same manner. Turn once on the other side and make the second portion slightly brown. The Kadalai maavu dosai is ready. This can be eaten with aavakkai uruga or any pickle or chutney. This can be eaten with Tea and coffee too!!! Try it out once. This is a dish which takes only ten minutes in preparation


Rava Dosai is very easy to prepare and is a wholesome and healthy breakfast dish. It is best enjoyed with chutney and Sambar.

250 gms. Rava ( Semolina )Fine Variety
25 gms. Rice Flour
1 cup Buttermilk
2" piece of Ginger finely shredded
5 Nos. Green chillies finely chopped
Oil for seasoning
One spoon of Mustard seeds for seasoning

Mix Rava and Rice flour and pour the butter milk in a medium sized vessel. Add salt, shredded chillies, ginger. Pour a little water and set aside the mixture of the batter for at least four to five hours after tampering with mustard in oil. If you are in a country like India, you need about four hours time for batter to ferment, If you are in USA or Canada, set aside the batter overnight at 28Degree C. Or keep the batter vessel near your room heater during the night. In short, give the batter a time of 8 hours at least. Remember not to use chlorinated or Zero Bacteria water. Water for batter must have some bioactivity. So keep the batter open in Verandah for an hour or so. When the batter rises , prepare the Rava Dosais as you would any other Rice dosais.

Variations One variation is to use finely chopped Onions along with other ingredients. This is a really tasty variation. Second variation is almost instant Rava Dosai. In this variation, you use All Purpose flour or Maida to an extent of 100 gms in the above recipe in place of Rice flour. You can add Onions, crushed Cumin seeds one to two spoons and crushed Pepper one spoon. Garnish the batter with Curry leaves and a little Mustard seeds. Set aside the batter for about two hours. Then prepare the dosais as before. This variation may prove a bit tricky if you are a novice ..But the end result is very good and tasteful.

VENDHIYUM DOSAI (Fenugreek Dosai)

After our cook Kamala Mami died, no body had prepared Vendhiyum Dosai in our house. In fact even myself had almost forgotten this rare dosai variety. Rare because it is rarely mentioned and prepared as per traditional method. (I had to refer my archives to get the recipe) This dosai has its own charm if enjoyed with coconut chutney. I am bringing back the recipe which you would try and enjoy the result.

Rice Flour 2 cups (200 gms)
Fenugreek (vendhiyum) 1.25 tspoons
Aval (Beaten Rice (Poha) 1 tb spoon
Ulundhu (Blackgram) 1 tbsp
Salt 1.5 tsp
Oil for frying needed qty

Prepare rice flour in a Grinder or use readymade Rice flour. Soak De-husked black gram and Aval (Beaten Rice) and Fenugreek seeds (Vendhiyum) for about an hour. Using mixi or food processor, make a fine paste using water just to needed quantity.
Add rice flour now and salt to your taste. Add enough water to bring it to dosai batter consistancy. Cover the vessel and let it ferment for at least eight hours at an ambient temperature of 24 - 26 degree centigrade. If you are living in a cold country, the best thing to do would be to keep the batter for fermentation near your room heater in the bedroom. Or you can use a preheated oven to store the batter overnight.Next morning you would have a very fine "PONGIFICATION".

I would suggest you to add just a pinch (1/8 spoon) of cooking soda in the batter. Prepare dosais as you would any normal dosai. But vendhiyum dosai is fried on both the sides. Enjoy with coconut chutney or sambar.!!!

--- Idlis ---


For every four portions of Para Boiled Rice, Take one portion of Dehusked Whole white urad. If whole white urad is not available, you may use urad dhall. Soak both Rice and Dhall with a quarter spoon of Fenugreek (METHI) seeds for about four hours if you are staying in a medium / warm climate. About six hours if you are in Canada or very cold place. Now wet grind the Rice and Urad dhall+fenugreek separately to a thick consistency.

Don't make a paste. The broken grains must be of thin Rava consistency. If you are staying in a cold place, warm up the batter to about 30 degrees and keep it near the room heater in the night. Don't use chlorinated water which still smells of Chlorine. This will hamper food fermentation.

Next day morning, the dough would have fermented nicely. Take only as much dough as you want, add little salt to taste and pour the dough in Idli patram. Take care to apply oil in Patram or else the Idlies will stick to the Patram. If you want very soft idlies, you may add a pinch of Baking soda in the batter.

After wet grinding the dhall and rice separately, mix both of them and then allow it to ferment. If you have fermentation problem and if you want to make really soft idlies insted of adding some cooked rice, add cooked rice, leftover rice) directly to the batter and mix thoroughly. Take care to beat/ mash the cooked rice very well. The quantity of rice to be used should be 25% of the dough weight

--- Kaanda Poha ---

A visit to Maharashtrian home would invariably result in you being offered famous Kanda-Poha.
My first taste of this wonderfully simple but very tasty dish was at PACHMARHI in Madhya Pradesh
in summer of 1978.
It was at the home of maharashtrian army colonel. I am giving the recipe as follows.

Kaanda Poha is a traditional Maharashtrian snack which sometimes works as
main dish also. There are many variations . I am giving the one I like most.

KAANDA-POHA (Maharashtrian Onion Beaten Rice)


3 cups beaten rice (poha)
1 Medium sized potato,(diced)
1.5 to 2 Ladles cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Urad Dhall (Optional)
1 tbsp of kismis (Raisin)
8 to 10 broken cashewnuts
1/4 to 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2to3 green chillies cut finely
1 medium onion,thinly sliced
salt to taste
Little water to sprinkle
1/2 Tsp lemon, juice
chopped coriander leaves (1/4 cup)
2 sprigs Curry leaves.


Select beaten rice(POHA) which are firm and not waferlike. Ask for Jada/Mota poha.
Poha is available in different thicknesses. Hence select firm but not too thick and small poha.

Soak poha in enough water to cover for 5to 7 minutes.
First drain excess water and squeeze out by pressing handfuls of beaten rice.
Don't press too hard or else poha will become broken useless mass.
But don't let much water be left or else the end dish will become soggy.Set aside .
You may use absorbet paper to spread and then use poha.

Dice potatoes in small size of 3 cm cubes and set aside.
Heat oil in a Kadai/skillet , add the mustard seeds, Ulundhu/urad dhall,
add cashew pieces when mustard starts crackling.
When cashew becomes light golden , add curry leaves and finely cut green chillies.
Add Kismis last.
Now first add the onion and then potato and saute for four to five minutes.
Take care to see that potato pieces are not tough.
Add salt and sprinlkle little water, and cover with a plate.
After 5 minutes, uncover, add the poha and saute for another 5 minutes.
Take care not to break poha in irragula mass as it will lose its appeal.
Remove from flame add lime juice, turn it a little to let lime uice mix properly.
Garnish with chopped coriander.

Serve hot.


When it comes to making savouries from Besan, probably Gujaratis have no equals.
Khandvi is one. Besan Rolls made without much fanfare but very tasty and appetizing.
Method of preparation is also simple. (However, you need a rather strong wrist and powerful and patient hand to make it).


BESAN (Kadalai Maavu) 3 cups (250 gms)
Butter milk about 3/4 liter to 1 liter
Green chillies 2 to 3 nos
Turmeric 3/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste
Sugar (optional)

Kothumalli 1/4 cup
Copra 3 spoons


Mustard 3/4 spoon
Jeera 3/4 spoon
Oil 2 to 3 ladles


Make a batter of Besan using Butter milk.Add salt, Turmeric powder, and thinly sliced green chillies.Add quarter spoon of Asafoetida also.Take a non stick pan or a thick bottomed kadai and cook on a medium flame .Stir constantly so that the besan does not stick at the bottom.
After some time, the besan batter will become very thick and it would be difficult for you to stir it. But do not stop till the besan is fully cooked and the dough is thick .
Now take a large plate (Thattu).Smear oil on the inner surface of the plate and spread the hot besan dough on the plate evenly..
You may smear oil on your palms and if needed spread pressing with palms gently.
Let it cool fully.
Now using a knife, make one and half inch strips and roll the cooled dough in small rills and stake evenly at a side of the plate.
Take some oil in Tempering kadai.Add mustard, Jeera and part of Hing (asafoetida).
When mustard seeds crackle, spread the tempering on staked Khandavi.
Garnish with Kothumalli and Copra.

This dish can be served hot or cold.
But best to serve slightly warm.


Dhokla is synonymous with Gujaratis and they carry this flag wherever they go in this world. I have seen Englishmen to Americans and also Japanese who have become fans of Dhoklas. Dhoklas are almost like Idli and are prepared in the same manner. But the taste is entirely different. Here goes the recipe.

Raw Rice/Boiled Rice Rava (coarsely powdered) 500 gms.
Bengal Gram Dhall/Urad Dhaal ( coarsely powdered ) 250 gms.
Ginger finely sliced 2" piece
Green Chillies finely cut 4 Nos.
Asafoetida powder 1 spoon
Salt to taste
Soda Bicarbonate 1/4 spoon
Red Chilli powder for sprinkling 2 spoons
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Butter milk (sour) 250 ml.
Oil For smearing

Mix Rice and Dhall powders thoroughly and add salt, Soda bi carb and Turmeric Powder and add a cup of water and make a fine loose dough. Now add Butter milk and leave the dough to ferment overnight. If you want to make the Dhoklas in the evening, prepare the dough at about 9 am and leave it to ferment. By evening, the dough would have fermented just like Idly maavu but not that much fermented.

Now add Green Chilli/Ginger, Asafoetida and if you like, coarsely powdered Black pepper also two spoons) slowly and mix. Spread a little oil on small High sided plates ( something like Thattu Idly plates) and pour Dhokla Batter to 3/4 of its height. Sprinkle Red Chilli Powder on top of the batter evenly. Steam cook the Dhokla Batter just like Idlies. After 15 minutes, the Dhoklas are ready. Remove from steam cooker and cut in square or Diamond shapes. You may garnish with Kothumalli and serve hot with Garlic Chutney.

Try this out and let me know.

PS. Some people add Soda Bicarbonate after the batter has fermented, they add this to slightly give a bounce to Dhoklas and some people avoid Soda Bicarbonate altogether. Some people Temper Dhoklas with Oil and Mustard seeds before cutting in small pieces and some make small pieces of Dhoklas and Temper separately and add generous amount of Sugar and serve piping hot. This also tastes Heavenly.



Among the savories, two items are every one's favorites. They are
Fried Masala Dhall and Om podi.I am posting Masala Dhall which keeps
for a long time. I am sure all of you would try these simple
savouries and be happy enjoying them.


Bengal Gram Dhall (kadalaiparappu) 500 gms.
Chilli Powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder less than 1/4 spoon
Jeera powder 1/4 spoon
Black Salt (powdered) 1 spoon or to taste
Citric acid crystal powder one or two pinches
Curry leaves 1 sprig (optional)
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon (optional)
Soda Bi-carb 2 pinches
Oil for frying


Soak Channa dhall over night in water but add two pinches of
Soda Bicarb and quarter spoon of common salt. Drain the water
completely in morning and dry the dhall thoroughly by spreading
it on paper for 1 hour. Now the dhall is ready for frying.
Take about 250 ml of oil (double refined) in a Kadai and fry
the Dhall on medium flame. Fry till bubbles subside and the dhall
becomes slightly creamy biscuit shade. Never make the dhall brownish. You must drain all oil from dhall and place a paper in the vessel at the bottom where you empty the fried dhall. Fry curry leaves last and remove . When the frying is over, add powdered black salt, Chilli powder, Jeera powder, Turmeric powder , curry leaves , Asafoetida powder etc. Mix thoroughly and keep it open for twenty to thirty minutes. The dhall would have become crisp by now. it takes about 20 minutes for the water to get evaporated from fried dhall completely after frying). Taste for salt and chillies now. If you like you can add more. Store in an air tight container.



Methi Na Gota are prepared from Fenugreek leaves and Generally
used in winter. Dakore Gota can be made all the year round.


250 Gms. Fenugreek leaves
150 Gms. Of Besan (Kadalai Maavu)
100 Gms. of Coarse wheat flour
three spoons of chiilli and ginger paste
Coarsely powdered Dhania and Black pepper, quarter cup.
This should be coarse.
One spoon of Fruit salt
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste.
One spoon of Asafoetida
Three spoonfuls of Sour curds
Oil for frying


Mix the flours and all the ingredients in a pan and add three spoons
of oil. Mix the ingredients in flour very well. Taste the mixture
for salt and hotness. If you need to add chillies or salt, add now.
Add small quantity of water and start making the dough go on adding
little quantities of water till you get a soft consistency of
workable dough. Make small round balls of the dough and deep fry
in a kadai on a medium flame. If you like Vendhaiyum, you can add
Fenugreek leaves to the above dough and make vendhaiyum Gota.
These are very delicious. Other variation is using only
kadalai Maavu. You may avoid using wheat flour and use only
Kadalai Maavu.In such a case, use a little more of saapadu soda
along with fruit salt as Kadalai maavu alone tends to harden and


My first taste of Medhu Pakoda was in 1962 when I returned to Madras from my village in Gujarat. Just round the corner from my house, fourth building had two hotels.One was Udipi hotel (Now owners own Swagath Hotel Royapettah) and adjucent to it was a non vegetarian hotel.Medhu pakoda was consumed in the evening with Kapee (coffee).A plate of Medhu pakoda (four nos) and a cofee cost 4 annas. I still remember the taste of pakodas and dosais served there. I got this recipe from Agra sweets Bangalore.


Rice flour 100 gms
Kadalai Maavu 150 gms
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Green Chillies 4 to 5 nos.
Curry leaves 1 sprig
Black pepper 1/2 spoon.
Jeera 1/2 spoon
Omam 2 pinches
Cashew nuts 10 nos
Ghee /oil 4 to 5 spoons
Soda Bi-Carb Quarter spoon
Chilli powder 3/4 spoon to 1 spoon
Salt to taste
Oil (groundnut) 250 ml
Water for dough a little


Mix rice and Bengal Gram flour along with salt, chilli powder, Jeera, Omam and coarsely pounded Black pepper. Add finelly shredded curry leaves and thinly sliced green chillies in round rings. Make a fine mix . Now take a wide mouth cup and make a mixture of Soda Bi Carb and Ghee/oil . agitate with spoon or fingers to make a milky frothy paste . Add this soda and ghee/ oil mix to the just mixed flour and once again mix thoroughly so that soda and ghee are mixed uniformly. Heat oil for frying in a kadai, till the oil gets hot, make five or six portions of dry flour mix and take individual portion and add just a little water so that it will bind the dough and No more.If you add more water, the dough will turn into batter.So be careful when you add water.Make small urundais of a large marble size.Insert small pieces (halves) of Cashew nuts in each pakoda urundai. dough will turn into batter. Fry the pakodas till golden brown to slightly darker brown shade.

Some people add chopped onion to Medhu pakodas also.
If you want , you may add onion too.Regular Medhu pakodas you get in Hotels donot have Omam in it.Instead it has Onion.So if you are using Omam, avoid Onions.

Keep a paper in a vessel and drop the fried Pakodas in it.

Serve HOT.


Rava Uppumma is very nourishing and tasty Nasta variety which , if prepared properly will win you praise from all those who taste it. I am posting a lesser known but equally tasty variation.

Rava (samolina) 1. 5 cup
Butter Milk 500 ml (150 ml extra if needed)
Onions 2 Nos Cut in small pieces
Green Chillies 4 to 5 finelly chopped
Ginger finelly chopped 1. 5 " piece
Freshly cut coriander leaves 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice (optional) 1/2 to 1 spoon

For tempering
Blackgram dhall 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Red Chillies 2 to 3
Curry leaves 1 to 2 sprigs
Ghee/oil 3 ladlefuls
Cashewnuts 5to 6 nos( Broken )

Dice onions, Cut and chop/Grate Ginger and cut Coriander and Green Chillies and set aside in a cup. Now take oil/Ghee in a kadai and when hot, add Both the Dhalls and Mustard and Red chillies. When Mustard starts crackling, immediately add diced Onions and Sprigs of Curry leaves and sliced green chillies and start turning. When the onion becomes translucent, add Rava in Kadai and fry for about two to 3 minutes on a low to medium flame. Keep on turning the Rava . At this stage, add chopped Ginger and fry for 45 seconds. Now add sour butter milk and desired quantity of salt to the onions in the the Kadai. Take care that the Samolina Lumps are not formed. You must add the Buttermilk very slowly and must keep on stirring the mix. Let the whole mix simmer on a low flame. Keep some more warm buttermilk on hand in case you feel that the it is less and the Upuma becomes thick. When the the buttermilk is completely absorbed and Rava particles are fully cooked, remove from stove and you may decorate the Upuma with chopped Coriander and fried Cashewnuts.

As an accompaniment, you can prepare coconut chutney or serve with Avakkai pickle or Lemon pickle. Adding Lemon Juice is optional. Some people do not like very sour Uppuma. So use your judgement.

This variation of Upuma tastes totally different. Try and you might be surprised.

RAVA KHICHADI (Semolina Hotch-Potch with spices)

First dice all the vegetables except Tomatoes and Onions, steam cook all the vegetables 3/4 in a pressure pan or a steam cooker. As usual, do not forget to add a little salt and a little sugar to vegetables to preserve colour before you steam cook. Cut ginger and green chillies very fine and set aside.

Take Ghee in a kadai and add the tempering items, set on medium heat. When the mustard starts to crackle, immediately lower the flame and add Semolina (rava) and stir briskly and fry on low heat till Rava starts becoming light Pink. Now add about 250 ml of water and immediately add diced tomatoes, Onions, Salt, Turmeric, Ginger and Green chillies. Add enough water so as the whole thing is like Dosa batter. Now set the flame on medium and go on stirring briskly to avoid rava sticking at the bottom.

After about six to eight minutes, the Rava when it gets fully cooked the Khichadi will become thicker. check for salt and proper cooked rava .If water is less, add a little and stir briskly till you are satisfied that Rava is fully cooked. Now add 3/4 cooked vegetables and mix thoroughly. Your RAVA KHICHADI is ready. You can Garnish with Freshly cut Kothumalli and serve along with Coconut Chutney. Remember that coconut chutney is a must with Rava khichadi.

Semolina (slightly coarse) 150 gms.
Tomato (diced) 1 no.
Onion (diced) 1 no.
Green Peas (shelled) 1/2 cup
Carrot (diced) 1 no.
Ginger 2" piece
Green Chillies 3 to 4 nos.
Turmeric powder 1 spoon
Salt to taste

For tempering
Mustard seeds 1 spoon Red Dry chillies 2 to 3
Urad Dhall 1.5 spoons Pure Ghee 30 ml
Curry Leaves 2 springs


Rava Uppumma is very nourishing and tasty Nasta variety which , if prepared properly will win you praise from all those who taste it. It is best enjoyed with Coconut Chutney or Avakkai Mango Pickle or Lime Pickle.

Semolina (slightly coarse) 150 gms.
Tomato (diced) 1 no.
Onion (diced) 1 no.
Green Peas (shelled) 1/2 cup
Carrot (diced) 1 no.
Ginger 2" piece
Green Chillies 3 to 4 nos.
Turmeric powder 1 spoon
Salt to taste

For tempering
Mustard seeds 1 spoon Red Dry chillies 2 to 3
Urad Dhall 1.5 spoons Pure Ghee 30 ml
Curry Leaves 2 springs

Dice onions, Cut and chop Ginger and Coriander and Green Chillies and set aside in a cup. Now take oil/Ghee in a kadai and when hot, add Both the Dhalls and Mustard and Red chillies. When Mustard starts crackling, immediately add diced Onions and Springs of Curry leaves and start turning. When the onion becomes translucent, add Rava in Kadai and fry for about two to 3 minutes on a low to medium flame. Keep on turning the Rava . At this stage, add chopped Ginger and fry for 45 seconds. Now add boiling water and desired quantity of salt to the onions in the the Kadai. Take care that the Semolina Lumps are not formed. You must add the water very slowly and must keep on stirring the mix. Let the whole mix simmer on a low flame. Keep some more boiling water on hand in case you feel that the water is less and the Upuma becomes thick. When the water is completely absorbed and Rava particles are fully cooked, remove from stove and you may decorate the Uppuma with chopped Coriander and fried Cashew nuts. As an accompaniment, you can prepare coconut chutney or serve with Avakkai pickle or Lemon pickle. Adding Lemon Juice is optional. Some people do not like sour Uppuma. So use your judgment. Some people pre-dry roast the Rava and keep it in an air sealed/tight bottle. In this case, you must Temper the Onion in a kadai and then add Chopped Green Chillies , Ginger and salt in kadai and add water and let the water come to a boil. Add pre heated/roasted Rava very slowly and keep on stirring to prevent lumps. Rest of the things are same.


Please soak 200 gms of boiled rice and 75 gms of Black gram dhall for half a day. Wet grind soaked rice coarsly like Idly batter. Make black gram dhall in smooth paste. Add a little salt to taste and let it ferment for about one night (10 hrs atleast).
Next day, make dosais like shape on a tawa but thicker. Sprinkle finely cut onion, green chillies and a little Kothumally on top of the spread batter. Make Uthappam like dosais. by spreading oil on sides and on top of the spread batter. Once one side is properly done, invert and let onion side get fried on the tawa.
Serve with chutney and sambar.

VEN PONGAL (yellow lentil hotch-potch S.Indian style)

Pongal, as Venpongal is known, is very popular breakfast item .It is enjoyed best with coconut chutney.

1 Cup Of Rice (don't use very old rice)
1/2 Cup of Paiyar parappu (Moong Dhall)
1 Tea spoon of Jeera (Pound with mortar )
1/2 spoon of Broken Black Pepper
1/2 Spoon of Whole black pepper
1/2 Cup of Ghee (small cup)
2 Broken Red Chillies (Optional)
8 Cashew nuts broken in half or 1/4th
2 Sprigs of Curry leaves

First roast the Dhall in ghee till it turns light pink in colour. Cook this roasted dhall along with fairly new rice in a pressure cooker. Add along with dhall, whole black pepper 1/2 spoon and also 1/2 spoon of Jeera in the pressure cooker. After four whistles , remove the cooker from stove and let steam subside. Now take some Ghee in the kadai and fry Cashew nuts till they turn pinkish brown. Frying must be done on a low flame. At the end of cashew frying, add Curry leaves and 1/2 spoon of Jeera turn it twice or thrice but no more than 15 seconds.

Immediately add the cashew and the contents of Kadai to Dhall Rice mixture. Now add Salt to taste. Some people prefer to add salt during steam cooking. I prefer to add half during cooking and half after the whole thing is ready. It is safe to follow my method. Now thoroughly turn the Ven Pongal in the vessel so that salt, cashew, broken black pepper and Jeera; mix well. Close the lid of cooker again for fifteen minutes. This will ensure jeera flavour to spread. Jeera should be semi broken. Now prepare Coconut chutney and enjoy .


In my introduction , I have written about our dog who had his own food preferences.This is the story of 1960s .We had a dog named Tommy,.In those days, almost all male dogs were called Tommy and females were called Jimmy.This mongrel was more than our family member.He had certain rights which we did not have.He always knew that Handvo is being prepared .My mom or kamala mami when they soaked the dhalls in the night, he would know that handvo is being prepared tomorrow.He would refuse to go out anywhere and sit in front of the kitchen like a Sphinx in the same pose.From time to time, he would sniff and try and make out of the progress of baking.Mind you , he would not leave the home to go to his usual rounds of streets where his concubines lived on walltax road, till we served his piece (king size) of Handvo. He had many other preferences but that will come with his other likings or dislikings of certain dishes.
Gujaratis are the only people who prepare Handvo which is a traditional salty-spicy cake.You can call Handvo as cousin of Dhoklas but is baked instead of steam cooked.It has a great taste and is generally a weekend meal (light ) or an evening snack.Many variations are there but I am posting a vegetable rich spicy version.

For a family of four 2 helpings)
Boiled Rice (parboiled) 1 cup
Kadalai Parappu ( Channa Dhall ) 1/4 cup
Ulutham parappu (black gram dhall) 3 tbsp
Thoram parappu (Red Gram Dhall ) 3 tbsp
Paiyar Parappu (Green Gram Dhall ) 3 tbsp
Rava (optional) 2 tbsp
Sour curds 1 cup
Julienned Bottle gourd/Carrots 1/2 cup
Onion (thin long sliced 1 no.
Capsicum 1 small
Green chillies (finely cut) 4 to 5 nos.
Grated Ginger 1.5 "
Chilli powder 1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Sugar 1tbsp
Soda Bi carb 1/2 spoon
Salt to taste
Oil 50 to 60 ml
Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Curry leaves (optional) 1 sprig
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Soak all the dhalls and rice for 4 to 5 hours, drain and wet grind to a thick paste (coarse like vadai maavu). Now add sour curds, salt and a little water and allow to ferment overnight.Keep in a warm place to allow proper fermentation.Adding a piece of stale bread would ensure proper fermentation.
Next stage is preparation of julienning of either carrots or bottle gourd (one cup), drain excess water from gourd and set aside.Grate ginger,cut chillies very fine, slice onion and capsicum in thin slices and set aside.
When the fermentation is over, add all the grated, sliced and julienned vegetables and spices like chillies , ginger,capsicum etc to the fermented dough.Also add chilli and turmeric powders and sugar.Mix soda bi carb in a spoon of oil and make milky solution and add it to the dough.Mix thoroughly.If you add a little sour curds again at this stage it will be great..
Now prepare a non stick pan or a big kadai.add oil and all the tampering spices (except sesame seeds).Set the flame on medium.When mustard starts to crackle, immediately add sesame seeds, they will immediately start crackling.Now pour all the Handvo dough in the pan/kadai and set it to a low flame .Cover with a lid.Or if you are using an oven, put it in pre heated oven at about 175 to 200 centigrade .
Late it bake for about 15 to 20 minutes in a non stick pan.Check if the under crust is brown .If brown, turn the Cake and let the other side cook in the non stick pan (inverting and removing the cake without breaking is very essential) .If you are using an oven, when you see the upper crust brown, turn the other side and let the underside brown also.Some people do not let the underside brown if they are using an oven, this leaves inside uncooked.
A fine aroma will prevade when the baking oven or the lid is opened.
The Handvo is ready.Let it cool for about ten minutes.Make cake like and cake sized pieces and serve steaming hot with chutney or sauce or with Garlic chutney.

RASIYA MUTHIYA ( Made from leftover Rice)

Rasiya Muthiya is one dish that you would love to have. Generally as a rule, it is made from leftover rice. It is generally cooked in the evenings and eaten as it is and the sauce is enjoyed with Rotis or Chapathis.

Leftover Rice 2 cups
Besan/Kadalai Maavu 1/2 to 3/4 cup
Garlic paste 2 spoons+1 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 +1/2 spoons
Chilli Powder 1 +1/2 spoon
Salt to taste

For the sauce:
Buttermilk 500 ml.
Water 250 ml.
Salt to taste
Kothumalli " 1/4 cup
Garlic paste 1 spoon
Green chilli finely cut 3 to 4 nos.
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Tempering oil 2 ladles
Mustard seeds 2 spoons
Red chillies 3 nos.

First of all, prepare the sauce. Take Butter Milk and add water to it. Take some oil in a tampering ladle and add the temperings. When mustard starts to crackle, temper the sauce. Now add little turmeric, chilli powders and add 2 sprigs of curry leaves and a spoon of Garlic paste. Also add salt to taste. Do not put too much of salt as the rice Balls would also have salt. After the boiling is over once, add green chillies and Kothumalli and remove from fire .cover and set it aside.

Preparation of spiced rice balls
Take the leftover rice ,add Besan/Kadalai maavu , salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, Garlic paste and little water. Slowly mix everything thoroughly. See that the rice is properly mashed. Make the mixed dough to a vadai or slightly softer than vadai consistency. Taste for salt and chilli .

Final preparation
Set the sauce to a boil and slowly drop the rice Balls mixed dough with bare hands, as you would make rice vadams. The drops of rice dough should be no more than a glass marble of small size, as they would assume a larger size after getting cooked in sauce. Go on dropping the rice mix dough at regular intervals and complete the process in about five minutes. During this time, assure that the sauce is boiling or almost at boiling temperature.
Take care and ensure that the dough of rice does not separate, if it separates, it means that you need to put in some more kadalai maavu. Also ensure that the sauce is enough, if not, add some more water. After about ten minutes of boiling, the Rasiya Muthiya is ready.
after adding a spoon of Ghee to each plate. You can eat as it is or with chapathi or rice too.


POTATO-VERMICELLI ROLLS is a savory which is very easy to make
and is so tasty that you would like to make it often.
It is crispy and crunchy with soft centre.
It tastes fabulous with very simple spices, which are
used just like in Batata Wada. It is usually eaten with
spicy sweet sour Tamarind / Khajur Chutney or plain Tomato Sauce.

(For five people one helping of about four rolls each)


750 gms. Potatoes of Thick skin variety
50 to 75 gms of toast crumbs
1 or 2 onions(Make crunchy rough paste)
1 Small Bunch of Kothumalli
5 Nos. Green chillies finely chopped
1.5" Ginger piece finely sliced
1/2 sp. Turmeric powder (optional)
1 Sp. Garam Masala
1 sp. of Cumin+Dhania powder
1/2 sp of Cinnamon powder
2 Sp. Lime Juice
2 to 3 Sp. Sugar
1 Sp. Asafoetida (OPTIONAL)
Salt to taste


150 gms of Vermicelli broken in very small pieces


For the stuffing, first steam cook potatoes in a pressure cooker.
Remove the skin and let cool.
Now add, salt, Kothumalli, Green chillies and Garam masala,cinnamon
and Dhania-Jeera powders,Lime Juice, Sugar and salt.
Also make rough crunchy paste(Don't make smooth paste) of Onion.
Remove as much water content as possible by pressing with palm.
Add the crunchy onion paste to filling dough.
finally add toast powder/crumbs and mix thouroughly .
Don't press very hard.
Bread/toast crumbs will bind the potato rolls and also
give it uniform golden brown colour.
perangayam and slowly mix the ingredients thoroughly .

Potatoes must not have lumps.
The stuffing should be totally smooth except for crunchy onions.
Let the potatoes be mashed uniformly.
Once all the ingredients are mixed ,
taste for salt and other things. Add anything you want at
this stage. Now take a big plate, smear some oil on the
surface to avoid rolls sticking to surface.

start making potato rolls of the Potato stuffing and place
in the plate. Try making all of them of even size.
Rub some oil on your palms to avoid potato sticking to your palms. Keep aside.
Take a plate and fill up nicely broken vermicelli/semiya
to 1cm length, spread it and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai . While it is getting heated, take one roll and
roll it lightly in semiya plate evenly spreading semiya sticking
to its surface evenly.Take care to see that semiya is firmly sticking
to potato rolls and will not come loose while frying in oil.
Drop it carefully in oil or place it on a poori frying zari(SpatSpoon) dip the zari (Spat Spoon) in oil if you don't want to get oil burns while droping.and
fry at medium flame. Keep turning to give it a uniform golden colour.

Serve with sweet Tamarind/Khajur chutney or tomato sauce.
Tastes heavenly as it is also.

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