Wednesday, September 23, 2009

AVALAKKI UPKARI (Bajil Oggarane,Seasoned Beaten Rice)

Beaten Rice varies from very thin to thick varieties. It is called as Poha in Hindi, Avalakki in Kannada, Chooda (चूडा) in Bihar & Jharkhand.

In Bihar it is the first meal that people have on the day of Sankranthi. Only after they have Dahi Chooda (Beaten Rice with Curd), that they would continue with their day.

At Mangalore popularly called as Bajil in Tulu, is a favorite breakfast. Usually people have a combo of Sajjige Bajil, which is a combination of Upma & Khara or Spicy Bajil. I personally love it a lot. When ever I make a trip to Mangalore, I always make it a point to savour this preparation in any of the hotels for my breakfast.

This spicy bajil is a very simple & easy preparation for break fast.


Thin Variety of Beaten Rice - 1 1/2 cups
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Dry Red Chilli - 1, broken
Curry Leaves - 1 twig, washed clean
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Sugar - 2 tsp (I like it a bit sweet, change it accordingly)
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - 1 tsp
{I keep a mix of both}
Ground Nuts (optional) - 1 1/2 tsp
Cooking Oil - 1/4 tbsp
Fresh Coconut - 1/2 cup


Seive the beaten rice so as to do away with its residue powder or the dust.

Now heat oil in a pan or wok. Add mustard seeds & allow it to splutter. Now add the broken chilli & saute for a minute. Add the dals or lentils & ground nut & fry till it turns golden brown . Then add curry leaves & cover & once done add chopped onions & fry till translucent.

Now add all the powders. And stir fry. Add salt & sugar & stir fry for a minute. Now add fresh coconut & just stir once.

PS: The coconut needs to have its moisture to dampen the beaten rice.

Remove from fire & add the beaten rice into the fried masala. Now mix all the ingredients, with your hand, so that it blends well. And serve with upma or all by itself.

Monday, September 21, 2009

NENUA SABZI {Mashed Ridge Gourd, Heere Kaayi Gasi}

Ridge Gourd as it is commonly known, is also called as Jhingi, Turai, Heere kaayi (ಹೀರೆ ಕಾಯಿ), or Nenua (नेनुआ).

And this is an East Indian dish. Popularly prepared in every home at Bihar & Jharkhand. I love it a lot as it is a healthy dish, & so do my folks at home who are Mangaloreans. Once my aunt had visited us at my mom's place & I had taken a bit of this preparation. My aunt liked it instantly & wished, I got more.

I still remember, post wedding, I stayed with my in-law's at Nagpur, Maharashtra, for 9 months & there they got ridge gourds without ridges. They were plain like cucumber. I do not know what exactly they are called but they were a tasty variety too.

And here my mom peels those ridges & prepares chutney out of them (the ridges, I mean), which accompanies your lunch. I somehow do not like it. I know it is good & tasty,
but ................hmmmmmmmmmm................... ;-P

I peel off the ridges completely & prepare, literally the pulp. It is a very easy & quick preparation, which tastes good on your taste buds too.


Tender Ridge Gourds - 2-3, finely peeled & cut into slightly thin rounds
Onion - 1 medium, sliced lenghtwise
Dry Red Chilli - 2, broken
Fenugreek Seeds (methi) - 8 to 10 seeds
Cumin Seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Kitchen King Masala - 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Mustard Oil - 1/2 tbsp


Soak the cut ridge gourds in water.

Heat oil in wok or a deep bottomed vessel. Add the methi & cumin seeds & allow it to splutter. Then add broken red chilli & sliced onions.

When the onions turn translucent, add the cut ridge gourd pieces.

Stir the pieces & add all the above mentioned masalas & powders. Keep stirring for 5 minutes on medium flame & allow all the ingredients to blend well.

Now cover the pan with a lid & reduce the flame to low & let the ridge gourd cook in its own juice. Keep stirring now & then. If you suspect lack of moisture, then one may add a bit of water. Once it is cooked just mash the gourd lightly to let the gourd release the juices & to let it blend with the rest. Now remove from fire after 2 minutes of stirring.

Serve hot with rice & dal or rotis.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

GOBI PARATA (Cauliflower Stuffed Chapati or Roti)

Gobi is indeed a very yum vegetable & I simply love it, personally. What I love the most about cauliflower is the aroma (सौंदी सौंदी खुशबू) that it releases when fried in oil.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm........................... That's very tempting. I love gobi, in any kinda preparation. Be it the typical gobi bhoonjiya, gravy or the gobi stuffed parata.

All the hard work involved is with the cleaning of cauliflower. We avoid eating gobi anywhere outside only because of the "cleaning procedure", that does not satisfy us.

I still remember, as children & adolescents we all ate 'gobi manchurian' a lot, at those road side stalls & even other food joints. That was one thing we all made a point to have, when we binged outside, with friends. But as we left those days behind us & entered "Grihasthashram" (MARRIED LIFE), we became more responsible towards our near 'N' dear one's. We always tend to check & re-check, for the good of our family.

One such department that women excel in, is that of the kitchen. My mom, would only be satisfied with my cleaning of the gobi. {Generally everything, but particularly gobi}. The gobi we got then was full of unwanted stuffs like tiny insects, worms & even their web like homes, unlike now. I would carefully look into it & go through the flowerettes one by one & stamp them "CLEAN".
And moreover my eyes are quite sharp & has no power issues till date
;-). God bless them..............

Hence my inspection & dicision is always considered final for any kind of double checks. And we always make it a point that if it has to be gobi for food , then it would only be, my home or mom's.

OK. Now that's quite an appreciation. So what I started off with was the difficult part of preparing gobi. Rest is fine & easy going. Let's proceed with the Gobi Parata.



Cauliflower - 1, medium
Garlic Cloves - 3-4, finely chopped
Onion - 1, medium, finely chopped
Green Chilli - 2-3, finely chopped
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to Taste
Kitchen King Masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/2 tbsp
Coriander Leaves - 2-3 twigs, finely chopped


Clean the cauliflower flowerettes well & soak in water, to which you add 1 tsp salt & 1 tsp turmeric powder. Leave for 10 minutes & then wash thoroughly.

Grate the washed flowerettes completely.

Heat oil in a deep bottomed vessel or wok. Now add chopped garlic & fry for a minute.

Now add chopped green chilli & fry for a minute or two. Then add chopped onions & fry further till translucent.

Add the grated cauliflower & add all the masalas & fry for 10-12 minutes or till the cauliflower looks cooked & releases its beautiful aroma.

Then add the chopped coriander leaves & saute for a minute. Remove from fire & let it cool a bit to avoid burning hands while preparing the paratas.



Wheat Flour (atta) - 2 cups
Water - As required to make a thick dough
Ajwain (Carom Seeds or Oma) & Mangrela(Black Sesame Seeds) - Optional
Salt as per taste (optional)


In an open mouthed big bowl mix the atta with required amount of water to make a smooth thick dough.

The dough is kneaded slightly thicker, than that would normally be kneaded for chapati or rotis. Mainly because if the dough is very soft, it would not be able to withstand the stuffing while you roll them. Parathas would tear. Hence the thicker dough.

Keep the dough aside, covered, & allow it to settle for half an hour.



Make small balls of the dough. Dust some flour onto it so to avoid the flour sticking onto your hands. Prepare small cups out of it to hold the stuffing. Stuff a spoon full of cauliflower stuffing or according to the size & thickness of the cup. Fill the cup & turn it around to cover the cup & finally seal it.

Now roll the ball with a rolling pin to a fine roti.

Heat a tawa or a wide mouthed pan & place the rolled paratha on it. Let a side get cooked. Once it is done turn over to let the other side cook. Meanwhile smear the side facing you with oil & turn over again. Now let the oil on the other side get cooked & smear the dry cooked side with a spoon of oil. Now tossing & turning, cook both the sides well & remove from the tawa.

Serve the hot paratas with any dippings of your choice. Be it curd, pickle or any other gravy.

Friday, September 11, 2009

SPINACH DAL (Palak Dal, Palak Soppina Bele Saaru)

I usually prepare the simple Bihari Dal at home, but sometimes if I have the stock of fresh spinach leaves I love to prepare this dal which is very delectable, divine & is healthy too. All it needs is some cooking & churning.

Not necessarily be spinach leaves, one can use any edible leaves for this kinda preparation.


Fresh Spinach Leaves - 1 bunch, washed & chopped
Tuar Dal (lentil) - 1/4 cup
Masur Dal - 1/4 cup
(* I keep a mix of both dals)
Garlic Cloves - 3-4, crushed
Green Chilli - 2-3, slit into half
Onion - 1 medium, sliced lengthwise
Fenugreek Seeds (methi seeds)- 1/4 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Dry Red Chilli - 2, broken
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Salt to Taste
Water as required
Pepper Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida (Hing) - a pinch
Oil or Ghee - 1/2 tbsp


Empty the thoroughly washed & chopped Palak leaves into the cooker.

Also add the washed lentils (dal). Add cloves, green chilli, onion, methi seeds, salt to taste and enough water for all the veggies to cook & for the gravy.

Let the whistles blow enough to cook the veggies well. Once it's done, keep the cooker aside & wait till the pressure is released. Once it is done remove the lid of the cooker & churn the whole cooked preparation with the help of a whisk, lightly so as to mash the cooked lentil or the dal & the veggies.

Heat oil or ghee in a pan or wok, and add cumin seeds & allow it to splutter. Once done add the broken dry red chilli. Now add the cumin powder, the pepper powder, turmeric powder & Asafoetida (heeng). After this add the cooked & whisked dal preparation. Mix it well & add water if the dal is very thick & salt too accordingly.

PS: If ghee is used for the seasoning, the dal turns out to be divine, that you would love to consume it all by itself.

Serve it hot with rotis or rice.

I would like to thank Chitra from Anyone Can Cook, for trying this prep & sharing her love too...

Monday, September 7, 2009

KALA CHANA AUR LAUKI KI SABZI (Black Chickpeas & Bottle Gourd Gravy)

I never liked bottle gourd during my childhood days. But now after tasting the preparations of my mom-in law, I've started loving this vegetable.

And I like it with any combination. Be it combined with a simple moong dal (split green gram dal or lentil) or with black chickpeas (Kaala Chana or kappu kadale). May be it would taste best with the white chick peas (Kaabuli Chana or bili kadale) as well, which I have not tried as of now.

I can vouch for this preparation. Aap Ungli chaatthe reh jaaoge (आप ऊँगली चाट्तैं रह जाओगे).


Black Chickpeas - 1/2 a cup
Bottle Gourd - 1 medium, cut into cubes
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Dry Red Chilli - 1-2, broken
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Mustard Oil - 1/2 tbsp
Salt to Taste
Kitchen King Masala - 1-2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Chana Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Water as required


Soak kaala chana overnight.

Heat oil in cooker & add broken red chilli. Fry for a minute. Then add the sliced onions & fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add the cubed bottle gourd & black chickpeas.

Add all the masalas & fry for 5 minutes untill the veggies & the masalas have been fried well.

Add enough water to make a reasonably thick gravy.

Cover the lid of the cooker & let the whistle blow for 5 minutes.

When the pressure has been released, just transfer it to a serving bowl & mix well. Just mash the bottle gourd peices a bit so that the gravy thickens with the mashed gourd.

Serve it hot with rice & dal or rotis.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

LAL AUR HARA SAAG KI SABZI(Kempu Maththu Hasiru Harive Soppina Palya)

The lal & hara saag are called as Harive soppu or Dantina soppu in Kannada. They are called as Red & Green Amaranth Leaves in English.

Here in Karnataka, my mom prepares a pallya, adding coconut to the preparation. But my hubby's side in Bihar, they do not use coconut. Hence it is prepared plain & goes well with rotis.


Fresh Amaranth Leaves (red & green) - 1 bunch each, washed & finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium, cut lengthwise
Dry Red Chilli - 2-3, broken
Mustard Oil - 1 /2 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to Taste
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp


Heat oil in wok or a deep bottomed vessel. Add the broken chilli & sliced onions & fry for a minute or two. Once the onions turn translucent, add the chopped leaves & stir. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder & salt & mix well. Cover with alid & reduce the flame to low. Let the leaves cook in its own juice. No extra water needed. Keep stirring till done.

Serve hot with rotis, or Chaawal & dal.

ALOO METHI BHOONJIYA(Fenugreek Potato Dry)

Aloo Methi in Hindi, can be prepared with both fresh methi leaves as well as Kasoorimethi leaves (dried fenugreek). And Aloo can be prepared both by frying it dry, with the leaves or by boiling & crumbling the potatoes.

I prepare it both the ways. I personally like Aloo methi fried.


Aloo (Potato) - 2-3, peeled & cut to not so thick pieces.
Fresh Fenugreek Leaves (Methi leaves) - 1/2 a bunch, washed & finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Dry Red Chillies - 2-3
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt to Taste
Mustard Oil - 1 tbsp


Soak the potato pieces in water to prevent the potato from turning brown.

Heat oil in a wok or a deep bottomed vessel. Once very hot add the broken red chillies & chopped onions. Saute for a minute or two. Then add the potato pieces & add salt, turmeric powder & red chilly powder. Keep stirring it continuously on medium flame till the potato turns golden brown.

Now add the chopped Methi leaves & stir fry well. Cover the lid of the vessel. Reduce the flame. Keep stirring it in between, to prevent it from getting stuck at the bottom of the vessel. Once when the leaves look cooked & the potatoes have blended well with the leaves & the masala, remove from fire.

Serve it hot with rice & dal, rotis or pooris.


Instead of the raw potatoes, one can use the boiled & crumbled potatoes similarly.

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