mexican · snack · vegetarian

Baked nachos chips and Salsa dip

A very healthy way to indulge in nachos and feel totally satiated. In fact you can have them everyday! This recipe is of basic corn chips but you can improvise by adding any spice of your choice.

If you have home made salsa dip to go with the corn chips, nothing like it! Home made dips are so so refreshing as compared to outside! I always prefer making dips at home, gives me a chance to experiment with different flavours. When it is so easy to make then why bother buying!

So lets get started!

Ingredients (Serves 4)

For corn chips

1 cup corn meal flour (makki ka atta)
1/4 cup wheat flour
1/4 tsp black pepper
Pinch of garlic powder (optional)
2 tsp oil
Oil for brushing baking tray
3/4 cup warm milk
Salt to taste

For salsa dip

1 Tomato (not very ripe)
1 small Onion
1 small Capsicum
1/4 tsp Thyme
1 tsp Olive oil 
2 tsp Balsamic vinegar
Goat cheese (Optional)
Salt to taste
Black pepper as required

Lets bake some corn chips!

Mix all the ingredients for corn chips except milk. Now add little milk at a time and make medium soft dough, you may not need entire milk. You will see some cracks in the dough, thats okay. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.

Usually next step is to make makki ki rotis and lightly cook on tava till it becomes firm and them cut into desired shape and deep fry. I did it differently.. so you skip all these steps and also avoid deep frying!

Preheat microwave at 180 degrees. Invert your baking tray, meaning, put it upside down and coat the surface with oil. Take half of the dough and make a ball, now you will be making roti on baking tray directly. 

If you have any experience of making makai ki roti then you would have guessed the next step otherwise it is going to be a new experience for you. You will also learn how to make makai ki roti.

Place the ball in the centre and lightly press it. Now spread some oil on top. Put thin plastic cover on top and use a rolling pin to make roti very gently. Do not press too hard and its okay if its not perfect round shape. I did not click a picture while doing this, but I do have a picture of making makki ki roti. Take a look below, this is what I am talking about. Make it as thin as possible without breaking.

Now remove the cover and cut into desired shape and put the baking tray in oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 180 degrees. 
They will become crispy once they have cooled down so give it time.

Now lets make some tangy sweet and spicy salsa dip

Finely chop tomatoes, onions and capsicum. Put in mixer and grind for no more than 4 seconds, we want it coarsely ground. Please refer to the picture. 

Add salt, pepper, thyme, tiny pieces of goat cheese and oil to the vegetables and mix well. Refrigerate for at least an hour before using.

And we are done!! Enjoy :-))

stuffed parathas · vegetarian

Soya chunks keema paratha

A gooey soya chunks keema paratha makes for a perfect replacement of chicken/mutton keema paratha and tastes yummy and what more, a friend of mine who hates soya chunks, loved these parathas! psst, follow the recipe for the secret ingredient.

Here is the recipe


Soya chunk keema boiled in water with little bit of salt
Finely chopped green chillies as per taste
Garam masala as per taste
Shredded Mawa or khoya (The secret ingredient, 1/4 mawa for 1 cup soya)
Finely chopped ginger (1/2 tsp for 1 cup soya)
Finely chopped garlic (1/2 tsp for 1 cup soya)
Jeera (1/2 tsp for 1 cup soya)
Salt to taste

That’s it! 

Mix all the ingredients.
Make parathas using soft atta dough
The khoya gives a rich texture and the stuffing tastes like kofta!

chinese · fried rice · vegetarian

Mushroom fried rice

Here is the recipe for mushroom fried rice, skip mushrooms and you have burnt garlic fried rice! Yeah, thats the amount of garlic I use.

I was particularly pleased with my choice of Basmati rice this time.. it was Gold seal Indus valley extra long basmati rice,stood by its words!

Ingredients (serves 2)

1+1/2 cups basmati rice
8-10 garlic cloves (Use less if you don’t like ’em much)
3 green chillies
1 cup of chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup sweet corn
3/4 cup chopped spring onions
1 onion chopped
1 tbsp Soya sauce
1/2 tbsp vinegar (psst; I used Balsamic vinegar instead of Soya sauce and vinegar, and it was good!)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp + 1 tsp oil

Dry roast rice till it turns golden brown. Wash and strain.

Bring 6 cups of water to boil, add 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp oil
Add the rice and cook al dente. Strain the water and set aside.

Heat oil in a sauce pan. Add garlic and fry till golden brown. Add onions, mushrooms, chillies and stir fry on high flame for 3-4 minutes. 

Add sweet corn and spring onions and stir again. Remember we dont want corn and sring onions to be cooked completely.

Add salt, soya sauce and vinegar and mix well. 
Add the rice and mix gently. Ensure the rice does not break in to tiny pieces, we all love our rice long and slender.

Thats it! mushroom fried rice is ready.

Let me know how your rice turned out, would love to hear from you!! 🙂

upma · vegetarian

How to make rawa upma interesting

Upma, as boring as it may sound, can be very interesting if made in the right way. My husband used to hate the sight of upma until I came along 😀 So what is so different in the way I make upma.. here are some tips to make yummy upma

Roast the rawa before boiling. You may microwave for 3 minutes or more depending on the quantity. It should turn golden brown. Upma will be less sticky.

The rule book says, for 1 part of rawa, use 2 parts of water. I say, use 4 parts of water. This way upma will not become like a cake, it will have a soupy texture for as long as possible.

Use tomatoes, corn, finely chopped carrots, beans or any other suitable vegetable for that extra flavour.

Like sweets, where the general idea is, more ghee, better taste, same applies to upma also. Like you would not think twice before adding that extra spoon of ghee to your sweet preparation, even upma should be treated the same way. 1 tsp of ghee for 1 cup of rawa while cooking will be just perfect.

Use fresh oil and give a tadka of chana dal, udat dal, handful of ground nuts along with usual suspects.This is followed by onions and vegetables.

Add salt to water at the time of boiling. Add rawa to boiling water and stir continuously to avoid lumps.

And REMEMBER, it takes less time to cook than maggi noodles. Simmer the flame soon after adding rawa and cover the lid for two minutes. Turn off the gas and give a standing time of 4 minutes. Keep the lid on!

Sprinkle some coriander at the time of serving.

vegetable pulao · vegetarian

Vegetable pulao using Maggi masala

Friend of mine showed great deal of innovation by adding Maggi masala in Baingan Bharta..yes you read it right!! and it was just awesome. So I thought why not use it to make pulao.. and it was a hit!!!

vegetable pulao using Maggi magic masala

Very simple ingredients but the twist was magic masala and a cube of Maggi vegetable stock. I suggest every Maggi fan must try out this recipe, it is easy to make and promises great taste.

Ingredients (For 2 cups rice)

1 medium size potato peeled and chopped
1/2 cup green peas
1 large tomato finely chopped
2 onions finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped
1 tsp Jeera
1 heaped tsp ginger garlic paste
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock [Use Maggi vegetable stock cubes]
1 cube of Maggi masala
Pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp ghee

Heat oil and ghee in pressure cooker.
Add jeera, onions and green chillies. Fry till onions turn golden brown.
Add ginger garlic paste, mix well and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add tomato and cook till oil separates.
Add potato and peas and cook for another 5 minutes.
Add magic masala, salt and turmeric. Mix well.
Add vegetable stock and pressure cook till rice is done (Depends on how much time/how many whistles it takes for you to cook rice)

And thats it! yummy Maggi magic masala pulao is ready in minutes 🙂

andhra breakfast · breakfast · snack · vegetarian

South Indian Pizza – Uttapam with spicy beetroot topping

I have tried most cuisines across India but South Indian is my favourite. I can have idli, dosa, uttapam for breakfast, lunch, dinner forever and not to forget, rice!! A die hard South Indian eh?! 😀

Okay, so I love to try different Uttapams. One such Uttapam turned out to be a huge hit in my family. Traditionally Uttapams are made up of chopped onions, tomatoes, green chillies and some ginger in dosa/idli batter. Here is another recipe to make Uttapams more interesting

Ingredients [There is no fixed quantity for any of the ingredients. You can use as much or as less as possible depending on your taste]

Idli batter [or Dosa batter ]
Finely chopped onions
Finely chopped beetroot
Finely chopped green chillies
1 heaped tsp Jeera
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Add some salt to the batter. If it is idli batter you are using then you need to add some extra water.
Mix onions, beetroot, green chillies, jeera and salt. 
Heat a frying pan, use a tissue paper and wipe its surface with oil.

Pour a ladle of batter and spread it to make a round shape of half inch thickness. 
Add the beetroot mix on top, spread it evenly, do not press. 

Pour some oil around the corners and on top, simmer the flame and let it cook for 2 minutes.
Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Flip again, increase the flame and let the bottom turn brown by cooking for another minute.

Thats it! Uttapam is ready!! Enjoy it with your favourite chutney. Few chutney recipes can be found here.. Plain Coconut chutneyTomato chutney, Coconut chutney, Turai chutney (Beerakaya pachadi)


How to make Idli batter

I must say, life has become much easier after I brought home mom’s spare mini wet grinder for making idli, dosa, vada batter or any other batter of any kind.

But if you do not have a grinder, you can still make the batter using your mixer. I myself was using a mixer for almost 4 years. Lets jump to the process of making idli batter..

2 parts Idli rawa [Easily available in local grocery store.]
1 part Urad dal
1/2 cup Poha
Water as needed

Soak idli rawa and urad dal separately for at least 4 hours and at most 8 hours (overnight).

Idli rawa squeezed with hands, in ground urad dal. 

Put urad dal and poha to grind. Add little water at a time. Remember, key is to add only as much water as required. Batter should not be watery. There is no way you can reverse it if you end up adding excess water.. so be careful.. 🙂
Take some batter between your fingers and check if its smooth or still is granulated. Continue grinding till it becomes smooth.

Meanwhile, take fistful of idli rawa and squeeze out excess water and put in a dry, clean bowl. Repeat the process for entire rawa.
Pour the urad dal batter over squeezed idle rawa. Mix well and leave it to rise overnight.

The next day, you will notice that the batter has risen and turned bubbly. Mix till it settles. Now it is ready to use.

P.s.. I cook idli in a flat round steel bowl which I mostly use for cooking rice. This is quick and involves less number of utensils. Brush the bottom with some oil and pour 1 inch thick batter at a time.
You may use cooker or idli maker. If you are using cooker, remember not to put the whistle! Just put it on high flame and cook for 5 minutes.

This is after grinding the batter. It is smooth and flat.

This is after the idli batter has risen. Notice the fluffy texture with little bubbles?

And this is how idli looks like in my lunch box 🙂
mango · vegetarian

Instant raw mango pickle

Hundredth post had to be special.. what better than dedicating it to season’s special, mangoes. Many of us manage to cook most things with ease but not very confident when it comes to making pickles. I seriously feel that it is an art and one needs to master it to be successful. Until I get comfortable with real pickle making, I choose to settle with simpler instant recipes. This recipe of raw mango pickle gets ready in few minutes and it is as tasty as any other pickle.

Apart from being ready instantly, another thing to note is its texture, small mango chunks, very convenient to eat. It can become your side dish with parathas, plain rice and ghee, rotis, rice and dal.. just use your imagination!

Lets check out how to make instant raw mango pickle

2 cups peeled raw mango – coarsely grated or chopped to tiny pieces using chopper
1/4 tsp haldi
2 tbsp red chilli powder [ Use less for less spicy ]
1 tbsp crushed sea salt [ You may be required to use little less or more depending on the quality/brand of sea salt you use. So start by adding a little at a time and taste. ]
1/4 cup olive oil [ You can also use groundnut oil ]
1 whole garlic pod – cloves peeled and coarsely crushed
1 heaped tsp jeera
1 levelled tsp methi seeds
1 heaped tsp mustard seeds
1 heaped tsp chana dal
1 tsp udath dal
Pinch of heeng [ asafoetida ]
1 tsp olive oil

Dry roast methi seeds and jeera and grind them in a mortar.
Mix raw mango, garlic, haldi, chilli powder, methi, jeera powder, sea salt. Start by adding less salt than mentioned as you can add extra later if required.

Heat oil for tempering.
Add heeng, mustard seeds. When seeds splutter, add chana and udath dal. When they turn golden brown, pour the tempering on mango mixture.

Mix well. Pour rest of the oil. Check salt and add some if required.

Instant raw mango pickle is ready!


Bhindi masala inspired by Karari bhindi

Bhindi is one of my favourite when it comes to packing lunches to bring to work. As you can see, there are more pictures than written content, so it is that simple 😛
It gets cooked real quick and tastes best with roti/phulka. Chopping bhindi is time taking indeed, so I usually chop my vegetables and store in air tight container(tupperware, stays fresh for long) on weekends, specially the likes of bhindi, kundru(tendli), beans (of all kinds).

I am a big fan of karari bhindi like many of us. Only problem is that it is not very roti friendly, it is more of a starter or something to go with dal rice. So instead of deep frying, I use the same masala with little less besan and add some onions.


500 gms bhindi (okra)
2 medium sized onions (juliennes)
2 green chillies (finely chopped)
2 heaped tsps dry coriander powder
1/2 tsp amchur powder
1 heaped tsp Jeera
1 tbsp Besan
1 tsp red chilly powder
3 garlic cloves
4 tsp oil
Salt as per taste
Pinch of haldi
Pinch of heeng (asafoetida)

Cut bhindi length wise into two halves.

Dry roast jeera and grind along with garlic.

Toss bhindi, onions and green chillies in all masalas and besan. Set aside for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in kadhai. When it is smoking hot, add heeng. When heeng has roasted, add bhindi masala. Fry on high flame by tossing frequently. This way, it fries from outside while still fresh and juicy inside. Bhindi tastes best when half cooked or deep fried, two extremes!

Fry for about 5-8 minutes until dark spots appear on bhindi.


Aloo Paratha

So I started my day by googling “who invented aloo parathas” but unfortunately couldn’t find an answer. 🙂 Nevertheless, by giving credit to that imaginary person who invented, I started off making masala for our beloved “Aloo ka Paratha”

Many of us like to have our parathas with curd or sauce, but when it comes to aloo paratha, drop a dollop of ghee or butter, roll it and finish it off in few bites. Oh so yummy and filling..

With lot of people becoming health conscious, it becomes difficult to enjoy aloo paratha guilt free. Normally, one can not imagine them with out ghee but this time I got lucky and ran out of ghee. Still determined to have aloo parathas, I went ahead and made them with olive oil and trust me the taste was spell bounding!! Not just me, but my friends also thought the same. 

So now I am thinking what could have done the trick. Ghee has its own distinct flavour and it tends to blend in with your food and the end result is delicate tasting food. Miss out the ghee part and bang! you get spicy and strong flavour of each of the ingredients that went into the masala and thats what happened when I made aloo parathas with olive oil. Besides, it is possible that olive oil has some flavour that makes the parathas yummy.

To better understand what I am talking about, go ahead and make two aloo parathas, one with ghee and another with olive oil. Eager to hear the difference you found. If you find no difference, even better! always use olive oil 🙂

Ingredients for masala

4 Boiled and mashed potatoes
2 medium sized onions finely chopped [preferably, using an electric chopper]
levelled tsp Jeera
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp amchur powder
1 cup chopped coriander
2 green chillies finely chopped
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of garam masala [Optional]
Salt to taste

Trick is to use less or no masala.

Mix all the ingredients, check salt and add if necessary.

Making parathas can be very cumbersome and frustrating if the dough is not soft and the moment you start rolling, the masala comes out from corners. So annoying!! 😦

Most important part is when you knead the dough.  It should be super soft, only then the masala wont ooze out while making parathas. Paratha should stretch and expand easily for an even spread of masala. End result is a tidy job! 

The quantity of masala for stuffing should be one and a half times the size of dough ball. 

Flatten the ball leaving them thick enough to roll with masala. Put the masala in between and fold and join the ends on top. Dab some dry atta on both ends, turn it around and roll them gently.

Heat the tawa on high flame, when it is smoking hot, reduce to medium flame and put the paratha on it. Only turn when brown spots appear on bottom side. When both the sides are equally cooked. Add olive oil on top and around the corners. Increase flame, spread the oil and press the paratha on all corners on both sides. 

Glossy and roasted aloo parathas in olive oil for a guilt free indulgence are ready! Happy weekend 🙂