Of all the different styles of cooking dal, Varn is my favorite. As coconut is a staple part of the Konkani diet, we end up adding it to our dal too :) This is one of the most simple dishes to cook and for me its my comfort food.

In Mangalore, Varn is only made during mourning occasions but we have no such rules in North Karnataka where I come from.

This is the perfect comfort food for me and eating Varn with a spoonful of warm ghee and rice with some pickle makes my day. I am sure you will like it too. Very hard to go wrong with this recipe.

Here is my mom's Varn Recipe.

Varn (Konkani Dal with Coconut)

Toor dal  - 1 Cup
Coconut - 2 tbsp 
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 1
Turmeric - a pinch
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - a sprig for seasoning


  1. Pressure cook Toor dal with turmeric and 2.5 cups water for 2 whistles. Remove from the gas and keep aside
  2. Heat 1 tsp oil in a small pan. When hot, add Cumin seeds and chillies. When the cumin starts popping, remove it from heat and grind it with coconut  and little water to make a coarse paste.
  3. Add the paste to the cooked dal (mash the dal if needed) and bring it to boil. Adjust the salt and turn of the heat.
  4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a seasoning pan and when oil is hot, add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add curry leaves and let it splutter.
  5. Add this to the dal and cover with a lid so that the aroma from the seasoning is absorbed well.
  6. Serve hot with rice and add a dollop of ghee for extra flavor and richness.

Was seeing a show on Food Food channel the other day and came across this recipe by Harpal Singh Sokhi. Was intrigued because he mixed Indian spices in a Chinese dish. Had to try it and have to say it turned out to be perfect for the Indian palate.
I like the flavor and crunchiness the till seeds gives to this dish. Kids love to eat the crispy fried chicken before adding it to the gravy and hence remember to reserve some for them.

Here is my recipe for this dish.

Sesame Chicken - Desi style

  1. Chicken breasts - 500 gms
  2. Onions (medium) -2 , cubed
  3. Red Capsicum -1/2 piece, cubed
  4. Yellow Capsicum - 1/2 piece, cubed
  5. Sesame seeds - 4 tsp
  6. Ginger  - 1 inch piece, finely chopped
  7. Garlic - 5-7 cloves, finely chopped
  8. Green chillies -2 , finely chopped
  9. 2 tsp chicken masala - I used Kitchen King masala; you can use 1 tsp of garam masala instead
  10. 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  11. 2 tsp soya sauce
  12. 2 tsp red chilli sauce
  13. 1 egg - white separated 
  14. 2 tsp corn flour
  15. Spring Onion for garnishing


  1. Cut chicken breasts into long thin slices. Marinate with salt, ginger garlic paste, chicken masala, soya sauce, red chilli sauce for 15-30 mins.
  2. Now add egg white and cornflour to this mixture and deep fry it in hot oil till crispy brown. Drain the chicken and keep aside.
  3. Now in a pan, take 2 tsp oil. When the oil is hot, add 2 tsp sesame seeds (till) and roast it till slightly brown. Take care not to burn it.
  4. Add finely chopped ginger garlic and green chillies and saute for a minute
  5. Add onions and red and yellow capsicum  cut into cubes and saute for 2-3 mins
  6. Add 1 tsp of red chilli sauce and soya sauce each and mix well.
  7. Add 1 tsp of chicken masala or 1/2 tsp of garam masala and saute
  8. Adjust the salt and saute it till the capsicums are cooked. You can add a bit of sugar here in case you prefer the dish to be a bit sweet.
  9. Add the fried chicken to it and mix well
  10. Garnish with spring onion and roasted sesame seeds 
 In case you want it to be of gravy consistency, you can add some water after adding garam masala and cook it. This dish goes very with fried rice.

I have many complaints that I dont publish many vegetarian dishes. So here is one specially for my vegetarian friends.
Matar Paneer is a popular North Indian recipe and is one of my staple cooks when I have vegetarian friends over.  Its a very simple recipe and doesnt need much fine chopping and saves a lot of time.

Matar Paneer (Peas and cottage cheese curry)

250 gms paneer/cottage cheese cut into triangular 1 inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
3 medium sized ripe red tomatoes, roughly chopped
2 green chilies, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
5-6  garlic chopped
5-6 cashews

4 to 5 black peppercorns
2 to 3 cloves
½ inch cinnamon
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp kasoori methi
½ tsp cumin seeds/jeera
¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
¼ to ½ tsp red chili powder
½ tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp cream
½ tsp sugar 
2 to 2.5 tbsp oil or ghee
Coriander leaves


  1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add 1 inch cinnamon, cloves, pepper corns, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds and saute. 
  2. Add onion and a pinch of salt and saute for 5 mins till translucent.
  3. Add green chillies, ginger, garlic and saute for another 2-3 mins. 
  4. Now add tomatoes and cashews and saute till the tomatoes are mushy. Keep this mixture aside to cool and then blend it in a blender to get a coarse paste.
  5. Now heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and when hot add ½ tsp cumin seeds.
  6. When the cumin splutters, add the paneer and saute it for a bit.  You can add the paneer pieces directly later into the masalas too if you dont liked it sauteed in oil.
  7. Now add the masala paste and mix well. 
  8. Add the frozen peas and mix well
  9. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder and 1/2 tsp garam masala powder and mix well.
  10. Cover and cook till a good boil. Add salt according to taste and add water if you find the gravy too thick. I add a pinch of sugar to this - however you can decide based on your taste.
  11. Garnish with 1 tbsp cream (or more based on your taste) and a 1/2 tsp of crushed kasoori methi and cook for 2 mins.
  12. Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve this hot with chapatis

Note: In case you are using fresh peas, you may have to cook the peas separately in water till cooked and then add it to this gravy as frozen peas is almost cooked and doesnt need much cooking.

It is difficult to live in Hyderabad with Konkani tastes :) . I have had fish 2-3 times in a week for most of my life but we do not get good fresh sea water fish easily in Hyderabad.

WhiteBait is one fish which is slightly easily available. Apparently this fish flows from the sea to the river and hence probably it is available here...or maybe it is just transported from the coasts. So I deep fried WhiteBait (Belanji in Konkani, also called Bolanjeer ) for lunch today. 

This is one fish which can be eaten with its bones. Since its a small fish we deep fry it and the bones add to crunchiness to the fritters.

Deep Fried Fish (Konkani Style)

Here is my Konkani simple fish fry recipe

250 gms of white bait,cut, scaled and cleaned
Pinch of turmeric, 
1 tsp red chilli powder 
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Oil - 500 ml
Rava - Semolina - 100 gms

1. Clean the fish. Remove the head, the tail and the scales. 


2. Marinate it with salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and ginger garlic paste and keep aside for 15-30 mins. 


3. Heat oil in a vessel for deep frying on medium heat till it is very hot (almost smoking).

4. Roll the fish in Rava (Suji, Semolina) and rice flour (in 3:1 proportion) and deep fry on medium flame. Fry in batches of 10 fish at a time. Fry on both sides till the Fish is golden frown and crispy. Since this fish is very small it cooks easily.

This recipe can be used to fry almost any fish but since it  needs a lot of oil, I prefer the Tawa fry Fish. WhiteBait is too small and hence this is the preferred way to cook it. 

Note: Reposting this today with a clearer picture 
Was in a mood today for some south Indian flavors of chicken. As was searching online came across this simple and quick recipe Curry Leaf and pepper Chicken recipe from my favorite chef - Sanjay Thumma.
The best part about this dish is that it doesnt require any fine chopping and dicing and hence saves a lot of time. Once ready, I am sure you are going to love the aroma of Curry leaves and pepper that fills the house :)
Here is my recipe for Curry Leaf and Pepper Chicken

Curry leaf and Pepper Chicken

Chicken  - 500 Grams
Curry leaves  - 3 Sprigs
Onion - 2 medium sized roughly chopped
Tomatoes   - 2 Medium sized roughly chopped
Ginger - 1 inch cut into small pieces
Garlic - 5-7 cloves
Grated Coconut  - 2 tbsp

Fennel seeds -  1 tsp
Oil   - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder  - 1 tsp
Chilly powder   - 2 tsp
Turmeric  - a pinch
Pepper -  2 tbsp roughly crushed
Coriander chopped - optional


  1. Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Heat it and when hot, add onions and saute. Add some salt to fasten the cooking. 
  2. 2 mins into the sauteeing, add roughly chopped ginger and garlic and saute
  3. When the onions are translucent (no need to brown it), add the tomatoes and saute well.
  4. Cook for 2 mins and then add turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and grated coconut
  5. Saute well, add 1/2 cup water, put the lid on and let it cook for 5 mins.
  6. When done, remove from heat and let it cool. Blend in a blender to a coarsepaste. I like it rough because that goes well with the chappatis.
  7. Heat oil in a pan and when hot, add fennel seeds.After a minute add a handful of curry leaves and saute.
  8. Now add the chicken pieces and some salt and 1 tsp crushed pepper and saute for 5 to 10 mins till the chicken is white and almost cooked.
  9.  Now add the onion -tomato paste, mix it well with the chicken and let it cook for 20 minutes with the lid on. Adjust the water and salt according to your taste.
  10. Add some more crushed pepper and serve with chappatis, dosa, appams or rice.
  11. You can also garnish with chopped coriander.
This dish is like the western concept of Sunday Roast for my family. We grew up eating this tasty chicken curry prepared with all the traditional Konkani spices on most Sundays, accompanied by Sol Kadi and Fish Fry . Though chicken is not part of our staple diet, somehow this curry is prepared in this same way in most Konkani households. I always wonder how and when this dish entered into our traditional recipes.
This dish has a very strong aroma and I somehow associate the aroma of this dish with Sunday afternoons :)

Here is my mom's recipe perfected over the years. This dish has all the ingredients that go well with chicken and I have never gone wrong with this one. 

Traditional Konkani chicken curry

  • Chicken - 1 kg
  • 4 medium Sized Onions - finely chopped
  • Tomato  - 2 finely chopped
  • Coriander leaves -1 bunch
  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 tea spn
  • Sun flower Oil 
  • Ghee
  • Salt

Brown Masala
  • Pepper 7-8
  • Cloves 4
  • Cinnamon  - 2 inch
  • Shahi jeera - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cardamom (Elaichi) - 1
  • Red chillies (Bedgi)- 7-8
  • Poppy Seeds(Khus Khus) 1 tsp
  • Fennel seeds (Saunf)- 1 tsp
  • Coconut  - 1 cup
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • pinch of haldi
  • Tamarind - lemon sized ball

For the Green Paste
  • 1 cup of coriander leaves with stalk
  • handful of mint leaves
  • 2-3 green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic

  1. Make a fine paste by grinding together roughly chopped ingredients listed under for the green paste.
  2. Take a pan and dry roast all the ingredients under Red Masala except the tamarind. Take care not to burn the spices. When the spices leave out a good aroma, cool it and then grind it to fine paste with tamarind and water. Keep this red masala aside.
  3. Clean and Marinate 1 kg chicken with green paste and salt for atleast an hour before cooking
  4. Take a pressure cooker and add 1 tsp sunflower oil and 1 tsp to it. When the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onions and saute it till brown.
  5. Add 2 finely chopped tomatoes and saute it till mushy.
  6. Add the marinated chicken to the cooker and mix well.Add 1/2 cup of water and pressure cook it for 1 whistle and then simmer on low for another 10 mins. Be careful here to not overcook the chicken. If you are unsure about using a pressure cooker, you can just cover and cook it till the chicken is almost (80%) cooked.
  7. Now add the brown masala to the chicken and cook it for good boil. You can add some dried Sol for additional color and sourness.
  8. Cook it for 10 more mins on a slow flame.Adjust the salt and water according to taste.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Pav (Bread) or Chapatis

There is a new place in town called Simply South by Chef Chalapathi Rao. We went there recently and had their heavenly Kerala stew with Appams and fell in love with this dish. The coconut milk was light and aromatic and the taste of the dish still lingers.
Here is my version of the stew. 

  1. Slice 1 carrot, 1 potato, 12 beansinto cubes of equal sizes and keep aside
  2. In a pan, heat 1 tsp coconut oil.
  3. Add the spices - 3-4 cloves, 1 cinnamon, 2 cardamom and 1/2 tsp black pepper and saute till for 2 mins.
  4. Add 1 finely chopped onion to it and saute it. Add finely chopped 1 inch ginger and 5-6 garlic flakes and saute till the onions become transparent. Don't let it become brown.
  5. Add 1 handful of curry leaves and 2-3 finely chopped green chillies and saute it for a few more minutes.
  6. Add the sliced vegetables and saute well.
  7. Now add 1 cup of thin coconut milk *, salt and bring it to boil.
  8. Lower the flame, cover and cook it till vegetables are soft for around 10 mins.
  9. Now add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of thick coconut milk * and cook for another five more minutes.
  10. Garnish with curry leaves fried in coconut oil.
  11. You can serve this vegetable stew with chapatis, appams or rice.

*Thick and Thin Coconut milk
  1. Take 1/2 coconut and grate it. Blend it in the mixer with water and a pinch of salt to a fine paste. Strain the first batch and this gives you thick coconut milk
  2. When the same leftover coconut is again blended in the mixer with more water and strained, you get a batch of thin coconut milk.
This post is long due. Tried my hand at cupcakes for the first time on Anya's 3rd birthday last October.
Wanted to make simple fluffy chocolate cupcake and followed this recipe from YoutubeI tried a small batch a week in advance and once that came out well, multipled the same ingredients by 6 for a larger batch of 50 cup cakes.

Here is a the recipe for a small batch of 8 cup cakes. While making cakes, I somehow don't like the hassle of mixing one ingredient at a time or the order given in the recipe. I always tend to just add all ingredients in the bowl and then mix it well and the cakes have always turned out to be good.

This is how I made it and it turned out to be really nice and soft and the children loved it.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius. Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. As the oven is heating up, Take 3 tbsp buttermilk, 1 large egg, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 3 tbsp unsalted melted butter, and  1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour, 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/8 tsp baking soda,  1/8 tsp salt  and 1/3 cup sugar in a bowl. Combine everything well and whisk it.

2.  I added some choco chips to the batter before putting it into the muffin cups for added chocolate :)
3.  Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and cook it for around 20 mins. This depends on your oven so please keep checking until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the muffin cups from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Chocolate Cup Cakes

I prepared these a day in advance and kept it in air tight containers.
On the day of the birthday, I made chocolate ganache* and decorated the cupcakes with it. Sprinkled a generous topping of sprinkles and gems and the cake was perfect for a birthday party for toddlers :)

*Simple Chocolate Ganache Recipe
1. Heat 200 ml of Amul Cream in a pan. When it comes to a boil, add it to 1 cup of Chocolate chips and let it soak for a minute.
2. Now whisk the chocolate till they mix well 
3. You can add a bit of Vanilla essence if you feel like or a dollop of Amul butter. Keep it in the fridge and scoop it on the cake before serving.

We had a Thai themed Potluck to celebrate a good friends birthday and the only Thai starter I has ever eaten was this one. So decided to cook this for the potluck.
As usual this may not be the authentic recipe but is a mish-mash of the different recipes I found online with some bit of improvisations according to my tastes.

Thai Chicken Satay


  1. Take 500 gms of chicken breasts. Wash it and clean it and cut it into long triangular pieces and keep aside
  2. Make a marinade by grinding together (I used my mixer gridner) 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp coriander powder 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tsp chilli sauce, 10 garlic flakes, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tsp soya sauce, 4 tsp coconut powder or coconut milk, 1 small marble sized tamarind piece, 2-3 tsp of peanut butter ( you can replace this with peanuts), 3 fresh red chillies thinly sliced, 3 leaves of lemon grass and 2-3 lemon leaves. You can replace lemon leaves with 2 tsp lemon juice. Adjust the salt and sugar according to your taste. Add some oil to this marinade. This marinade has a yummy peanut and lemon taste.
  3. Marinte the chicken well and  leave this in the refrigerator overnight for the perfect satays.
  4. Take 6 inch bamboo skewers and dip them in water for 30 mins. Take out the skewers and arrange the chicken 1 each on each skewer
  5. Preheat the oven @ 220 degree Celsius. Grill the chicken and after 15 mins turn them on the skewer. You can brush some marinade on the chicken as you turn them over.
  6. It takes about 40 mins to cook but then may depend on your oven. Keep an eye on the chicken to ensure it is not burnt. Remove from the oven when cooked and serve with peanut sauce.
  7. You can also fry this on the tawa but it may not turn out as juicy as it is in the oven.

Peanut Sauce

  1. Heat a pan and pour 1 tbsp of sesame seed oil in it. 
  2. Add 5-6 flakes of finely chopped garlic to it.
  3. When the garlic is slightly brown add 1 tbsp coarsely ground roasted peanut  to it. 
  4. Add 3 tsp peanut butter, 100 ml of coconut milk, 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp chilli paste and lime juice, mix well and cook it till it reaches a boil. Adjust for salt and sugar. 

Anya, my daughter loves chicken which is not very spicy. Had some chicken breasts in the refrigerator and decided to cook this not too spicy dish for her.
Very simple recipe and difficult to get this wrong.
Sweet and Sour  chinese chicken

  1. Clean and wash 250 gms of chicken breasts. Cut them into small 1 inch slices, season with salt and pepper and keep aside.
  2. As the chicken is marinating, chop 2 small carrots into longish slices. Cut 2 onions into 4 pieces and separate the florets. You can also dice some spring onions. Cut 1 green capsicum into small cubes.
  3. Take 1 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp green chilli sauce, 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and garlic, 1 tbsp white flour(maida), 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1 tbsp corn starch, 1 egg white and water (as needed) to prepare a fine batter.
  4. Add the chicken to this batter, coat it well and deep fry in a oil. As the chicken starts getting golden brown and cooked, strain and keep aside. 
  5. Prepare a mixture of 1 tbsp sugar, 1 cup water, 2 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tbsp tomato ketchup, 2 tsp soya sauce, 1 tsp red chilli sauce and 1 tbsp corn starch, mix well and keep aside.
  6. Now for the sauce, take a wok and add 1 tbsp oil to it.  Add 1 tsp each of finely chopped ginger, garlic and chilli. (You can add more of this according to taste)
  7. Add the cut vegetables and saute this well for 5 mins. Add the sauce, mix well and bring to a good boil. Check if the vegetables are cooked till they are nice and crunch. When almost done add the chicken and cook till all the chicken and vegetables are well coated with the sauce. 
  8. Garnish with spring onions greens and serve.

Note: The original recipe contains pineapple chunks added along with vegetables, but I did not use it.

Recipe for Prawns Sukke - an Indian, Konkani prawns dry spicy side dish with generous helping of coconut
Anything tastes good with a generous helping of grated coconut :)
Here is one really good side dish with authentic Konkani flavors - one of my favorites.

Prawns Sukke


  1. Place 500 gms of cleaned prawns  in a bowl, add salt, pinch of turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder and 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and mix well. Let them marinate for 1 hour if possible.
  2. Take a dry pan and heat it. When the pan is hot, add 2tsp coriander seeds, a pinch of fenugreek seeds and 4 to 5 dry red chillies and dry roast it till fragrant. Let it cool and then blend it in the mixer with 1 marble sized piece of tamarind and 2-3 tsp of grated coconut and some water to a coarse paste. Keep aside
  3. In another non stick pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil (coconut oil will give it additional flavor). Add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and when they splutter add a handful of curry leaves
  4. Add 2 finely chopped onions to the pan and saute them till translucent. 
  5. Add 1tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic and saute it well.
  6. Add the masala paste and saute well. Add the prawns and coat it well in the masala. Add some water if needed and Let it cook for 10-15 mins or till cooked.
  7. Adjust the salt. 
  8. Garnish with 2 tbsp grated coconut (the more the better ;)) and lots of finely chopped coriander leaves.

Recipe for Methi Malai Chicken - an Indian cream based gravy with fenugreek leaves and chicken

White or cream based gravies are not my forte and hence I generally avoid cooking them. However we happened to taste this dish at a restaurant and instantly liked it. Decided to muster up some courage and try this dish. While trying to find the recipe, came across this recipe from Tarla Dalal, so tried making 2 variations of the same base curry with Methi Malai Mutter and Methi Malai Chicken and both turned out awesome.
Here is how I made it


  1. Clean and marinate 500 gms of boneless chicken with salt and keep aside for an hour.
  2. Make a paste of 1 small onion, 4 green chillies , 1 inch piece of ginger, 3 garlic cloves, 1 tbsp cashewnuts, 2 tsp poppy seeds (khus-khus) in a grinder. User water to get a fine paste. Keep aside.
  3. Blanch 2 medium tomatoes, peel out the skin and grind it to a puree and keep aside.
  4. se
  5. Take a pan and add 1 tbsp ghee and saute the chicken till it is almost cooked on a medium flame. Cook till almost 80% done and keep aside to rest.
  6. Wash about a cup of methi (fenugreek leaves). Squeeze out the water and chop them finely and sprinkle some salt and keep aside.
  7. Heat 1 tbsp of butter in another pan and add 1 tsp cumin seeds and 1/2 tsp shahi jeera seeds.
  8. When the seeds crackle, add the methi (squeeze out any excess water) and sauté on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the fenugreek leaves and keep aside.
  9. Add 1 tbsp butter in the same kadhai, add 2 grated small onions and saute till translucent.
  10. Add the cashew nut paste and saute for 2 mins. Add the tomato puree and saute for 2 mins.
  11. At this point check the consistency of the gravy. You can cool the gravy and blend it in a mixer if you want a finer gravy.
  12. Add 2 tsp of garam masala powder, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 1 to 2 minutes.
  13. Add the fenugreek, cooked chicken or 1 cup of green peas, 1/2 cup milk, a pinch of sugar and salt.
  14. Add 2 tbsp of fresh cream and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  15. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rotis.

Goan Spicy Chicken

I have always liked Goan flavours. The spices used are unique with coriander being the main spice which differentiates the dish from other cuisines. Came across this recipe on this blog and decided to try it. I have made my own variations to the dish and it was yummy. 
A very good side dish for lunch/dinner.

Here is my take on this Goan dish


  1. Make a marinade of 1 small onion, 2 inch ginger, 4-5 garlic pods, 3 green chillies, juice of 1 lemon and salt. 
  2. Marinate 500 gms of chicken(I used chicken with bone) in this marinade for atleast 1 hour.
  3. Make a spice powder by dry roasting 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 inch cinnamon, 3-4 cardamoms, 4 cloves, 4 dry red chillies on a hot tawa till they leave out an aroma. Cool the spices and then pound them or grind them to a fine powder. Keep aside
  4. Take a non stick pan and add 2 tbsp ghee. Fry the marinated chicken till golden brown and almost 80% cooked. See to it that the heat if maintained at all times and all the chicken pieces are fried well.
  5. Cut 2 onions into cubes and separate the florets and add to the chicken
  6. Add the spice powder to the chicken. Add 1 tbsp of tomato puree and mix well. Add ghee if needed.
  7. Add 1 tsp of sugar and adjust the salt. Add 1 tsp of vinegar to add some acidity to the dish.
  8. Mix well, garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot. This goes well with chapatis as well as a side dish. is one of my favorite recipe sites. The videos are pretty good and every dish I have cooked from this site has turned out to be good.
Today I was in a mood to cook Mutton in a different way and went to the site. Came across this recipe and decided to make it. The output was a really spicy gravy which we all licked off from our plates.


  1. Wash and drain 500 gms of mutton (I used boneless but you can use mutton with bone)
  2. Take 3 tsp ghee/oil  in a pressure cooker and fry the mutton in it for 5- 10 mins till it is turns brown in color.
  3. Add 1/2 tsp turmeric and mix well. Add salt to taste
  4. Add 3 medium sized onions diced and mix well. Add 3 medium tomatoes chopped finely and mix well.
  5. Pressure cook the mutton for 3-4 whistles. 
  6. In the meantime prepare the kadai masala. For this take 3-4 red chillies, 1 tsp pepper corns, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds in a pan and dry roast it till a sweet smell emanates from this. Add a 1 tsp of kasoori methi and dry roast for a minute and let the mixture cool in the pan. 
  7. Grind the masala with a mortar and pestle to a coarse paste.
  8. When the pressure is off open the pressure cooker and add 2 tbsp dahi and 2 tsp of kadai masala. You can add more masala if you want the gravy to be spicy
  9. Add 2 slit green chillies or 1 tsp red chilli powder (of course according to your taste)
  10. Adjust the salt and cook till the gravy starts to boil
  11. Garnish with ginger juliennes and finely chopped coriander and mint leaves
  12. Serve hot with rotis.

Minestrone Soup

I am fortunate to stay next to a hotel management institute (NITHM Hyderabad). They have recently started cooking classes on Saturdays and I got to attend the basics of Italian cooking class. The classes were well conducted and I got some good recipes to try. Made this soup on a windy evening and it was the perfect comfort food one could have asked for.

Minestrone Soup


  1. For this recipe all the veggies need to be cut with the Brunoise cut. Cut 1 cup of cabbage, 1/2  red capsicum and 1/2 yellow capsicum, 10 beans and 1 small carrot into cuboid pieces.
  2. In a deep bottomed vessel, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil. When hot, add 4-5 cloves of finely chopped garlic and saute. 
  3. When the garlic is sauteed add 1 medium sized finely chopped onion and saute till the onion is pink and translucent.
  4. Now add cabbage, beans and carrot and capsicum and saute for 5 mins till they are all well coated with oil.
  5. Add 2 finely chopped tomatoes (deseed and then cut into cubes) and saute well till the tomatoes are soft. Add 1 tbsp of tomato paste.
  6. Add 2 fistfuls of macaroni pasta and 2-3 cups of water to cover all the vegetables and the pasta.
  7. Add pepper, salt according to taste and a pinch of sugar.
  8. Mix well and let it cook till the pasta is cooked. Adjust water and spices according to the consistency you want.
  9. Make cheese pesto balls with grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped basil. Add this to the soup just before serving.

Grate some parmesan cheese over the hot soup bowl before serving
Ambe Hummane(also called Ambe Upkari) has been a regular affair in the summers for ages. It is a typical Konkani dish and I wonder if mango is cooked this way in any other cuisine.This dish is made from the smaller mangoes which can only be eaten by sucking out the flesh(called ghonto in Konkani).

This summer I stored some of these mangoes after deskinning them in the freezer. They were perfect even after 4 months and tasted just like fresh mangoes.

While trying to write this blog entry, I tried to think of how can I name this Konkani dish in English and I think the English name I came up with just doesnt give the essence of this dish..anyone has a better suggestion??please leave a comment

Ripe Mango Gravy (Ambe Hummane)

1. Remove the skins of around 8 mangoes and squeeze out any pulp from the skins.

2. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. When hot add 1 tsp mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add 1 tsp urad dal. Add 1 green chilli, 2-3 red chillies slit in half, 10-15 curry leaves and saute till the urad dal is slightly reddish in color. 
2. Now add the mangoes and 1 cup water. Add 1 tsp jaggery (you can add more if your mangoes are not sweet), 1/2 tsp salt.
3.  Close the lid and cook for a good 10 mins on low flame.

4. You can garnish with some grated coconut and serve this as a side dish.

We have a lot of Tulu friends and this is one dish I love in their cuisine. Very elaborate dish but is so good that I dont mind spending the extra time in kitchen to cook it.

Cooked it recently for one special set of friends who love Mangalorean cuisine. 

Chicken Sukka - Dry Spicy Chicken with Coconut (Tulu Style)


  1. Clean and cut 1 kg chicken pieces into cube sized pieces along with the bone and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker, take 2 tbsp oil and heat. When hot, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp jeera seeds and when they splutter add 5/6 sprigs of curry leaves. The curry leaves give a distinct flavor to this dish and hence feel free to go heavy on them
  3. Now after sauteeing it for 2-3 mins, add 1 finely chopped onion and some salt. Saute the onion till it is pinkish in color.
  4. Now add the chicken and saute it well. 
  5. As the chicken is cooking, dry roast 1 tsp coriander seeds, 7-8 dried red chillies, 10 pepper corns, 5-6 garlic pods, 1 inch dalchini, 1/2 tsp jeera, 4-5 cloves, 1/2 tsp khus khus(poppy seeds) with 2 tsp of onion and 2 tsp of grated coconut till the aroma of the spices fills up your kitchen. Let this cook for some time and then grind it to a coarse paste in the grinder.
  6. Add this to the chicken, mix well  and pressure cook it for 1 whistle. Pressure cooking though not the best way to cook meat, is the easiest and hence I took this option. You can just cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 mins till chicken is cooked. Adjust the water according to the consistency you want. I like it to have some gravy so that it goes well with chapatis.
  7. Now again dry roast, 1 cup grated coconut, pinch of haldi and 5-6 pods of garlic and 1/2 tsp jeera till coconut is slightly brown. Grind this to a coarse paste
  8. Add it to the chicken when chicken is almost done. Mix well and cook for 3-4 mins with lid on. You can add some more curry leaves for additional flavors.
  9. You can serve this with chappatis, hot neer dosas or in this case we made Rice Rotis (Tandlachi Bhakri). Here is the recipe of these awesome Rice Rotis 
Chicken Vindaloo is a Goan dish which proudly sits on the menus of many famous Indian restaurants abroad, next to the Indian Chicken curry. I have been wanting to cook this dish for long. Recently saw this in dish being featured again in one of my favorite shows "Twist of Taste - Coastal curries" by Vikas Khanna and that spurred me to find the best recipe online and cook it.
Just finished cooking this dish and must say its a beautiful dish. The tanginess of the vinegar dominates; followed by the sweetness from the caramalised onions and jaggery and the spiciness of the chillies.

History has it that this is a Portuguese dish which means Wine, Garlic and Pork ( The original dish has no "aloo" or potatoes but I found many recipes online with potatoes. Decided to cook mine without potatoes or tomatoes. So this recipe has just the goodness of chicken with onions, vinegar and spices.

Here is my version of Chicken Vindaloo.

Chicken Vindaloo


  1. Dry roast 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds,1/2 tsp fenugreed seeds,  7-8 dried red chillies (I used Byadgi chillies), 1 tsp pepper seeds, 1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon, 2 cardamoms, 4-5 garlic pods, 1/2 inch of ginger for 2 mins on a low flame ensuring you dont char out the spices. Cool these spices and then grind them to a fine powder in the mixie.
  2. Marinate 750 gms of chicken with the spice mixture, salt, 1/2 tsp turmeric and 4 tbsp white vinegar. Add 1 tsp of grated jaggery and mix well. Let it rest on the kitchen counter for 3-4 hours. You can also leave the marinade overnight.
  3. Now take a pan and add 2 tbsp ghee to it. Once the ghee is hot, add 1 tsp of mustard seeds. 
  4. When the seeds start spluttering, add 3-4 cloves. Now add 3 finely chopped medium sized onions. Add some salt and start sweating the onion till it is brown. finely grate 3-4 garlic pods and another 1/2 inch ginger into the pan and saute for another minute
  5. Now add the marinated chicken and saute it for 7-8 mins.
  6. Add 2 cups of water and let it cook with lid on for 30 mins on a low flame. Keep stirring occasionally. When the chicken is cooked, open the lid and cook for another 10 mins for the water to evaporate
  7. You will be left with a fine thick gravy. Garnish it with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve with rotis or rice.

Singapore Chilli Crabs

"Singapore Chilli crabs" was the best dish I tasted in Singapore. It is called the unofficial national dish of Singapore. Recently had a craving for this dish and I went looking for crab here in Hyderabad. We dont get the kind of meaty crabs here but then had to make do with what we get here.
Looked online for Singapore Chilli crab recipes and came up with this one which is a mish mash of the different elements from recipes found online

Here is how the original dish looked
Singapore Chilli Crabs

and this is how my dish looked

Singapore Chilli Crabs

  1. Clean and scrub 3 crabs and crack the legs and claws with a spoon so that the masala can seep in. Keep aside
  2. Clean and remove the skin of 2 onions and pulse it with 5-6 red chillies to a coarse paste
  3. Take 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Fry the onion chilli paste till the raw smell of the onions goes off. I grated in 1 inch of ginger and 5-6 garlic pods too into this onion paste and fried it well till cooked.
  4. Add paste of 2 tomatoes along with 1 tbsp tomato  puree or ketchup and saute in the onion mixture. Bring it to a boil.
  5. Add 1 tsp white vinegar, 2 tsp light soya sauce, salt to taste, pinch of sugar. I also added 2 sticks of lemon grass for additional flavors. You can add some red chilli sauce too in case you prefer it hot.
  6. When the paste is well cooked, add  the crabs and mix well. Add a cup of water to cover the crabs and cover and cook for 15 mins on medium flame. 
  7. Beat an egg in a bowl. Now remove the lid of the crab gravy and add the egg with one hand stirring the gravy with the other. Cook for another 5 mins so that the extra water evaporate
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve

Here is video of one of the recipes I followed

I had never tried a microwave cake before. Recently  my dear friend Deepali Paul's son Ishaan Paul gave me this recipe. Tried it and is such an easy recipe that have already made it 3 times in the last 3 months. Its an extremely gooey cake (almost a brownie) and tastes really good with vanilla icecream.

Chocolate walnut cake (Microwave recipe)


  1. Microwave 120 gms of butter and 100 gms of dark chocolate for 1 min in a bowl and let it cool.
  2. Stir in 250 gm powdered sugar in the bowl and mix well
  3. Add 2 eggs one by one beating it all the time with a spoon. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla essence
  4. Stir in 80 gms of maida (flour) . Add 1/4 tsp baking soda and fold them both in the chocolate mixture.
  5. Stir in 50 gms of chopped walnuts. Leave some for garnishing on top.
  6. Line a baking glass tray with butter and spread the mixture. Garnish with walnuts
  7. Microwave for 4 mins and 30 secs. Take the cake out and let it stand for 2 mins before you cut it into pieces

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