Sunday, October 19, 2014

Soft Idlies Using Idli Rava

Until a few years ago, I had the toughest time with making idli. They were a hit or miss, I never quite got the batter right and fermentation was a whole other issue. Till I made my mom's never-go-wrong recipe for soft idlies, that is. The recipe for idli I'm posting today is simpler, coz it uses idli rava (powdered parboiled rice) and you only have to grind the urad dal. Less fuss, less grinding.

2 cups Idli Rava
1 cup Split Urad Dal
1 heaped tsp thick Poha
Salt and Water for batter

Soak urad dal for 4 hours.
Add poha to the soaked dal 5 minutes before grinding.
Soak idli rava separately in a tall vessel, in 4 cups of water 15 minutes before grinding the urad dal.
Now grind the ural dal + poha mixture, adding a little water, until smooth.
Mix it along with the soaked idli rava, adding salt. Add water, if needed, to make a smooth slightly thick batter.
Allow to ferment for 12-14 hours. The dough would have risen and air bubbles formed on top.
Grease and pour into idli moulds and steam for 15 minutes.
Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Achari Paneer Tikka - Grilled Paneer in Pickle Marinade

One of the good things about belonging to many foodie groups is all the inspiration you get to try out new dishes or twists to old ones. Of course, it's also true that more often than not, I remain inspired without really acting upon it! Not this time, though. This Achari Paneer Tikka comes from a post where a group member mentioned using pickle oil to make chicken tikkas. I went one up and used the actual pickle itself in the marinade. The result was a soft, succulent and spicy paneer tikka, with the lightly charred flavor from the grilling that I so love! Very simple, this and makes for a great appetizer, even for those unexpected guests!


1 8oz block of paneer, diced thick

For the marinade:
1/4 cup thick yogurt, whipped
1 tbsp spicy pickle of your choice (I used Priya Mango Thokku)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp each cumin powder and coriander powder
1/2 tsp crushed kasuri methi
1 tsp mustard oil


Mix all the ingredients for the marinade together. No need to add salt since there's enough of that from the pickle!
Marinate the paneer cubes for 30 minutes.
Pre-heat grill to medium and cook for 8-10 minutes, turning every few minutes until lightly browned on all sides (most, in my case!)
Or if using oven, place marinated paneer on a lined cookie sheet. Pre-heat oven to 350F and bake for 20 minutes, turning the paneer in between for even cooking.
Serve with mint chutney.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Tinde ki Sabzi - Indian Apple Gourd

Ever since I came across this recipe for Bharwan Tinda by Chef Sokhi, I have been waiting to try it out. So I was all aflutter when I saw frozen tinda at the grocery store and happily picked it up, only to find that they were pre-cut :( No chance of stuffing it, so I turned the recipe to a sukhi sabzi instead. Very flavorful and took a short time in the pressure pan.


1 12oz packet frozen cut tinda, defrosted (about 8-10 tinda, quartered)
1 medium onion, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)
½ tsp fennel powder
1 tsp cumin powder,
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp amchur/dried mango powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cooking oil
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pressure pan/cooker. Season oil with turmeric powder and ½ tsp red chilli powder.
Add sliced onions and fry until translucent.
Mix in all the remaining ingredients and add 3-4 tablespoons of water.
Close lid and pressure cook for one whistle.
Garnish with chopped cilantro (did not use here) and serve with rotis.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Gupshup

I'm feeling chatty today, so be warned! :)

I have managed to gain 4.5 lbs in the past one month! A combination of stress-eating and lack of any exercise regimen are the reasons. I don’t mind the weight as much as the flab. It would have been nice had it all distributed evenly but of course, life doesn't work way! It seems like all of the 4.5 lbs headed straight to my mid-region. Now I have my nephew’s wedding coming up in late October and I really, truly need to flatten the abs by then. After all, I have those saris to wear and a long evening dress that needs to sit right. Zumba has been great for me in the past to tone the core. So zumba twice a week and circuit training once is what I managed last week. I'll be happy if I can sustain this for the coming week. Food-wise too, I'm trying to keep my immense love for breads and rice at bay. Below is typical of my weekdays the past week - heavier breakfast (this was egg whites with veggies and cheese), salad for lunch with a wheat roll and some pita-hummus for snacking.

Of course, I can't sustain this the whole week - well, not without getting cranky anyway. So to stay sane and keep others sane (see, I think of others too!) , some days looked like this! From an Indian restaurant in my small town that serves lunch thali - good stuff!

One of the stress causers is also the fact that I’ll be travelling alone to India for a week, leaving my two babies behind with their Dad. Right now, they’re all confident and planning on all the fun they can have. No Mom going “ don’t do this”, “don’t do that”, “drink your milk”, “bedtime -now!”, you see. Miss M also reassures me that she will help with taking care of her younger brother. The little fellow just wants some chocolate from India in return. The Dad is all chilled too, right now. My BIL once took care of three kids under 4 by himself, for over 3 weeks. This should be more easily manageable.

Fingers crossed for all being well and going well. Have a great week ahead, folks. And thank you for listening.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Aloo Sabzi with Rasam Powder - Diced Potatoes in South Indian Spice Powder

Can you believe it's September already?! Time is just rolling by so fast. Currently I feel like my life is on fast forward, with each day flitting by on super-speed and not much to show for it. Work has been busy, with extra hours most days and even working some Saturdays. To manage that, my kids' activities have been put on hold and blogging has taken a back seat. So I've missed quite a few tags and memes, which I hope to get to soon. My sweet friend Sunila Vig, a poet, writer, yoga teacher, a foodie and who has been my sounding board for years, passed me the Sunshine Award. Thank you, Suni! Do visit her blog here and be sure to check her inspiring A-Z series.

My cooking, when it does happen, has been restricted to simple stuff like this aloo sabzi, with just a few ingredients (for Indian cooking, that is). Anything potatoes works with the kids and this one, with rasam powder, kept the grown-up palates satisfied too.


2 large potatoes, diced
1 small onion, choppe
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1.5 tsp saaru pudi/rasam powder (or more, depending on the heat you want)
1 tbsp lime juice
chopped cilantro for garnish

For the tadka:
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder


Heat oil in a pan and add the jeera/cumin. Allow it to sizzle and then add turmeric powder and let sit for a couple seconds.
Toss in the chopped onion the g-g paste and fry until onions lightly golden.
Add the diced potatoes and fry for 5 mins.
Add the rasam powder, salt and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked completely.
Finish with lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Serve as a side with rice and rasam or with soft tawa rotis.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spicy Capsicum Curry, 8 years of Blogging and a Quick Re-cap

Been MIA for a long time. I missed the blog's anniversary, which turned 8 last month. And apparently it's had 1.1 million hits, since I started using a tracker some 6 years back. So yay for both! Thank you all, who stop by at Mysoorean. Really glad that you do :) Scroll down to see some posts during this time over the past 8 years!

Here's a spicy curry that I made recently. Adjust the cream to balance to the spice level you want. The saunf in the masala gives a lovely pungence to the curry.


3 medium capsicum/bell peppers, cubed
2-3 tbsp cream
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste

To grind to a paste:
1 medium onion
1 small tomato
3-4 dried red chilies (the hot variety)
4 Kashmiri red chilies
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp fennel/saunf
2 cardamom
2 cloves
small stick of cinnamon


Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the ground paste until the raw smell in gone and the oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Separately, saute the capsicum in a tbsp of oil, until lightly cooked.
Add to the ground paste and let cook for 10 minutes on low.
Mix in the cream and salt. Cook for another 5 mins, until the peppers are well cooked.
Serve with rotis.

Here's a quick dekko at some July/Augusts of the past!

Aug 2013 - Soy Nuts "Raja" Masala  

Aug 2012 - Batate Saung

 Aug 2011 - Beetroot Palya

July 2010 - Chayote, beans and dill Bhaji

Aug 2009 - Nasi Goreng and Sambal Telur

July 2008 -Carrot and Alfalfa Sprouts Kosambari

Aug 2007- Spinach Bhath

  July 2006 - Akki Rotti, my very first post! 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Keerai Sambar - Spinach Sambar

One of good things we had going during our short stay in Madras, was the proximity to good restaurants. It was also the first time I had paneer butter masala and chhole with kadi patta in them but let's not go there! :) (Though not autehntic, I didn't mind it btw) One of the restaurants, called Grand Foods, also sold fresh masala powders. Their sambar, kolambu and rasam powders were the authentic Tamil version. (They also made the yummiest paddus (guntpungulu) loaded with ghee - so, so good!!). Here I have the Aachi sambar powder for when I want a Tamil sambar. Our Huli is similar to sambar but there are differences in the ingredients in the powder (here is the huli pudi) as well as the fact that we use jaggery and coconut in ours and is thicker.


1 big bunch spinach (or amaranth greens), chopped
1/2 cup toor dal
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 tbsp homemade sambar powder (or Aachi brand)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate/paste
Salt to taste

For the tadka:
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A few pinches of asafoetida
1 green chili, split
a few curry leaves


Pressure cook toor dal in 3 cups of water, along with chopped spinach, tomato and turmeric powder. Whisk a little to blend the dal and the tomato.
In a pot, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the remaining tadka ingredients and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the cooked dal, sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt and bring to a boil.
Serve hot with rice, topped with ghee.

A quick look at some of the lunches from last week. The amazing corn-black bean salad and the Karnataka style vegetable pulav. Plus a black bean burger with cheese (and mayo!) but hey, I skipped fries and I had roasted brussel sprouts on the side!