Tomato Bhath/Tomato Rice

Yet another Baath & a family favorite is Tomato Baath. The day we have tomato baath for lunch, we have all members of the family fasting from morning to savor it with cool raita. We (MIL&me) do not use basmati rice here, coz the end product is kept moist. You can add a handful of basmati rice just for fragrance) Here is our version,


Mint flavored Maddur Vada/ Maddur Vade

If you have travelled by train from Bangalore to Mysore you would have not missed eating Maddur Vada. The aroma of the vada makes you to buy atleast one, and u end up buying two more (if you like it). The recipe of maddur vada has a twist here with ingrediants chosen to make it more tasty. You can prepare these vadas before hand and serve (if you are still left with anything in the container) when you are watching a movie. This will go to Mansi of Fun N Food for her game night event party.
To make 30-35 maddur vada you need the following :
Rice Flour-2cups
Peanut, roasted, deskinned, powdered coarsely-1cup
Roasted Chanadal/pottukadalai/huridakadale/dalia (powder)-1cup
Besan/kadalehittu- 1 cup
Onions finely chopped - 1 big
Pudina/Mint Leaves from 5 lines finely chopped
Ginger grated-1tsp
Garlic grated-1tsp
Coriander leaves : 5 lines finely chopped
Curry leaves from 1 line finely chopped
Cinnamon powder 1/4tsp
Clove powder : a big pinch
Salt, Chilli paste (or red chilli powder), according to taste
Oil for deepfrying.
1. Mix all the ingrediants and leave it for about 15mins. Mix it to a firm dough using enough water.
2. Make lemon sized balls and pat them to make a round
3. Dip it into hot oil and deepfry till golden brown.
4. Heat oil on a low flame. This will make the snack crisp.
5. Serve with chutney or it is tasty enough to eat on its own.

BBB aka Bisibelebhath/ Bisi Bele Bhath

BBB aka Bisibelebhath (Bisi=Hot, Bele=dal/lentil, baath=rice) is most famous in Karnataka. Infact, one of my friend who appreciates Bangalore for wide variety of food was amused when she first saw the food list in one of the Darshinis (fast food chain). She says 'it started with chow chow bhath and continued with series of bhaths ending on BBB' She exactly remembered what she read and the list goes..Chow Chow Bhath, Khara Bhath, Tomato Bhath, Masale Bhath, Vangibhath, Bisibelebhath..whew!...she said..astonished at the varieties of 'bhath' availability. Among all, she loved BBB and I have heard many good reviews about this BBBhath from many people. It is one of our favorite dish too.


Indian Style Spicy Porridge

Blog:       Author: Lakshmi Grandhim
Preparation time : 20                   Cooking  Time : 30mins       Total Time Taken : 1hr
              Serves : A family of 5                           

350g : Rice
150g:  Toor dal + Masoor dal (mix in equal proportions)
200g: Mixed Vegetables (Carrot, French Bean, Broad Beans, Potato, Tomato, Onion)
  20g: Dried Green Peas soaked for at least 12hrs
10ml: Oil
A big pinch: Turmeric

Masala To Fry (or Roast) and  Grind
2” piece: Cinnamon
4 pieces: Cloves
8 numbers: Red Chillies  (add more if you like it hot)
A small piece: Japatri
1 number: Star Anise
1 number: Bay leaf
2 Tbsp: Coriander Seeds
1tsp: Cumin Seeds
1 + 1 Tbsp: Chana dal + Urid Dal
5 numbers : Fenugreek Seeds
4Tbsp: Grated Fresh Coconut
3/4tbsp: Grated Dry Coconut

1 Tbsp: Ghee
1 tbsp: Broken cashew nuts
10 leaves: Curry leaves
1 big Pinch: Hing
1 number: Red Chili Broken into pieces

Tamarind extract and Salt to taste

Method :
1.       Cook Rice + 1 Tsp Salt + Soaked Greed peas in a pressure Cooker
2.       Cut all vegetables. Soak dal for 20 mins.
3.      Heat oil in a pan and all vegetables except Onion and Tomato, toss well. Switch off the stove. Combine vegetables, Soaked Dal, Turmeric, Onion and Tomato and pressure cook for 4 whistles.
4.      Fry spices listed under Fry & Grind in a tsp of oil. Do not fry coconut. Grind all the ingredients with coconut and water to make a smooth paste.  
5.      Mix rice and dal. Pour in ground masala paste, tamarind extract, salt. Add little more water if needed. Bring this boil.   
6.      Heat ghee in a pan. Add cashew nuts, mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and red chili. When mustard stops spluttering, pour the seasoning over prepared bisibelebhath.
7.      Taste bisibelebhath. Adjust salt and sour levels.

Serving Suggestions:
1.          Bisibelebhath is typically served with khara boondi or Potato Chips
2.       A simple raita (yogurt with onion, tomato, cucumber) goes very well with bhath.

1.       Bisibelebhath should be little watery consistency.  
2.       Fry or roast spices separately and then grind them together. Some spices like fenugreek seeds very little time to fry while others might take little longer time.
3.      Shake japatri on a hot pan. Do not over fry it as it loses it aroma.
4.      Serve warm and with lots of love  


Garlicky Rasam Powder

I love this simple rasam. Amma says it is good for ladies who have given birth (1-3 month post delivary period). Fresh garlic scores good points as a natural antibiotic and also due to other medicinal properties of garlic, garlic added food plays an important role in postpartum care. It is eazzy to make and it comes handy when u are cooking a hurried up dinner/lunch.
Meeta's theme for this month's montly mingle is 'comfort food'. She defines comfort food like this: " It's the type of food that picks us up when we are down, warms us when we are feeling lost and cold and blurs out the bad mood. The first mouthful takes us straight back to the familiar, the good; to the time when all was well.
My rasam falls under two categories : 1. under meeta's definition 2. my definition for comfort food 'which gives comfort (less work) for hands and less work for stomach to comfort for hands and I decided to send this to Meeta for her Montly Mingle.

Ingrediants for Rasam Powder :

Garlic pods : 6 (old and fat) If they are new and thin, take more qty
Red Chillies : 10 (adjust them depending on the hotness level u want)
Jeera : 1/2tbsp
Oil : 2 tsp

Peel garlic and remove the skin. Blend garlic+chillies+jeera. Now heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, add garlic chilli jeera mix and fry till there is no moisture left. It looks like this when it is done :


You can store this in a air tight container and use it whenever you want to make rasam.

To make Rasam you need these :
A spoonfull of rasam powder and 1 cup cooked dal. You need tamarind paste and salt to taste. Just mix all of them and boil it. Photobucket

Adjust salt and sourness if required. Add tadka with mustard and curry leaves. Do not boil the rasam for a long time. Make only little qty or as much needed. Serve it with hot rice.

Brown Rice Uttapam/Brown Rice Pancake

Little did I know the benefits of eating Brown Rice before I bought a bag of brown rice from Bangkok!! Why Bangkok?? u must be thinking!! On one of the lonely evenings of an office trip to Bangkok, I entered a super market just to kill time. I thought of buying a packet of potato chips flavored/seasoned with thai red chilli paste. I was amazed to see the variety of Brown Rice samples, and its wide availability there. Went around to see 7-8 varieties of brown rice. Itchy hand u see... ;) to buy something different, this pack of brown rice got a good seat in my suitcase. hmm..this was a year and half back. This packet of rice was still there in the corner of the cupboard waiting to be cooked and kept teasing me whenever I opened the cupboard.
One fine day I took enough courage to cook brown rice. So I thought of making dosa. umm...safer option ;) Onion uttappam tasted better than plain dosa with brown rice dosa batter. Do give a try ! You will like it.
WHFoods has complete description about brown rice and its nutritional value including its health benefits. Website says " the complete milling and polishing that converts brown rice into white rice destroys 67% of the vitamin B3, 80% of the vitamin B1, 90% of the vitamin B6, half of the manganese, half of the phosphorus, 60% of the iron, and all of the dietary fiber and essential fatty acids". I concluded .... -it is time to make brown rice uttappams for breakfast!! Here you go with the recipe
For Dosa Batter :
Wash and soak 3 cups of Rice (2 cups brown rice+1cup white rice):1 cup of urad dal for 5 hrs. You can add fenugreek seeds and chanadal if required. Adding 2 tablsespoons of sago gives crisp dosas. Grind them to smooth batter, add salt and let it ferment for 7-8 hrs or overnight. You can take a smaller cup or bigger cup for measurement depending on the qty you want to make.
Uttappam :
Onions chopped finely from : 5 onions
Green Chillies Paste from : 20 chillies
Coriander Leaves finely chopped
Curry Leaves finely chopped
Mix all the above to dosa batter and make small uttappams. Alternatively, you can make small dosas and spread the onions over dosa. Enjoy hot dosas with chutney and sambhar.


My 5yr old likes to eat it with ghee...:D this was his plate. He wanted me to show his fishy plate to u all... :D

ಕರಿದ ಅವರೆಕಾಳು/Deepfried Surtipapdi with Chivda/ Fried Avarekaalu


Updated on Feb 10, 2015.

Just wanted to update this post with new pictures. It's good to eat seasonal vegetables. Sankranti is a time for peanuts, fresh chickpeas (kadalekaalu), avarekaalu etc. I fried avarekaalu after 4-5 years. We don't get good avarekaalu in Singapore and when we chance upon it, they may be expensive. This season we were lucky to have good supply for fresh mochai in Singapore. One of the batches was fried and it vanished in less than a week's time, as expected!

A very simple procedure and ingredients list as below :

Avarekaalu - 250g
Avalakki / Poha - 1/2 cup
Peanuts- 1cup (2 fistfuls)
Cashewnuts - generous amount
Roasted chickpeas - 1/2 cup  (1 fistfuls)
Dessicated/grated dry coconut -2tbsp (for garnishing only, do not deepfry)
Dry red chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - 1 tbsp of leaves
Oil for deep frying
Salt, turmeric, pepper powder, red chillipowder  and chaat masala according to your taste

Utensils : Deep frying pan, Mesh laddle strainer (tootina jaradi in kannada) - two types. One to immerse in the frying pan and fry beans and the other is to drain them from the pan.

Method :

Step 1:

Deskin Surti papdi or avarekaalu. Soak them in water for 2-3hours. Drain the water and de-skin them. Discard the skin and retain the bean. Spread the beans on a towel to dry.

Keep other ingredients in the list ready. Heat oil in deep frying pan. Immerse the laddle inside the hot oil. Fry beans in batches. When beans are fried, the froth around it is less and they become lighter and brown. Drain them on kitchen towel (tissue). See the picture below :
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Fry cashew nuts, peanuts, roasted chickpeas, curry leaves, red chili in the oil and keep them aside.


Add all spices and mix well.


Garnish it with dry grated coconut if you have at home. I did not have it this time around so skipped it. You can see the old post below which has grated coconut on it. 


Serve it with Kapi/Coffee or Chai urmm...actually no need, they will vanish away in minutes after you mix and keep. Storing them from tempting hands is a huge task in itself. Dig your hands in the container and just enjoy!


ELLU BELLA ~Sesame Peanut and Jaggery Mix for Sankranthi


Close Up, when the ingredients are mixed...


The word 'Sankranti' is derived from sat and kranti, meaning "good movement". More information can be found on Wiki . This period of the year also has agricultural significance. It is the harvest time !! Sankranti is a time to distribute new year crops among your family, friends, and neighbours. We in Karnataka distribute ellu (sesame) , peanut and bella (jaggery) mixture along with sugarcane and banana or a fruit which is available during the season among our friends. As kids we just waited for amma to dress us up appropriately in silk skirts with some good jewelary and off we went streets after streets distributing ellu bella packets. I miss that time of my past now. I took my 5yr old with me in the evening to distribute ellu bella to few Indian neighbours. It was a good experiance to learn their way of celebrating Sankranti.

This is was the last cup of sesame mix which I saved for taking pictures. My son loved eating them and R relished it. Though it can be made at any time of the year, festive mood is an added bonus and excuse for eating more. Here is how we make this wonderful mix which can be served as a snack too :
Peanuts : 1cup (roasted and deskinned)
Dalia/roasted chanadal/pottukadalai/huridakadale : 1cup
Coconut scrapings/dessicated/coconut pieces (dried coconut only) :1 cup
White Sesame seeds : 1cup (fried till they are light brown and fragrant)
Jaggery : 1 cup (cut into pieces or powdered which ever is convinient)
Mix all of them and voila! your snack is ready to eat!! Store in a airtight container

Ellu Bella For Sankranti
A festive treat for your loved ones

Blog:       Author: Lakshmi Grandhim
Preparation time : 1hr                  Mixing Time : 5mins       Total Time Taken : 1hr
              Makes : half a kilo or more                          

200g : Peanuts
100g:  Hurgadle*
150g: Palm Sugar (Jaggery)
  50g: Dry Coconut
100g: Sesame Seeds

Method :
1.       Roast peanuts and de -skin them.
2.       Pick and clean hurgadle.
3.      Cut jaggery into small pieces.
4.      Cut dry coconut into small pieces too.
5.      Pick and clean sesame seeds too. Fry on low flame till they are fragrant.  
6.      Sun dry jaggery pieces and coconut pieces. If weather is not suitable, you can leave it on a warm pan. Take care not to melt jaggery.
7.      Mix all these ingredients and your ellu bella is ready to eat.

1.       Hurgadle is also known as Pottukadale in tamil, putnala pappu in telugu.  
2.       Once peanuts are fried, allow them to cool down. Roll a rolling pin over them. This way it is easy to de-skin peanuts.  


Garlic and Curry Leaves Chutney Powder

Think of Spice ..event has given a favorite spice of mine to think for this month. I love garlic, and I would add it to as many dishes as I can as long as garlic suits to the dish perfectly. One among them is chutney powder or Chutney Podi.


Ingrediants :

Roasted Chanadal/Huridakadalae/Pottukadalai - 1cup
Grated dry coconut -1/2cup
Red Chillies - 10 (adjust according to your taste)
Tamarind - 1/2tbsp
Curry Leaves (dried/roasted) - 20 leaves or 2 lines
Garlic Cloves- 3

Procedure :

1. Roast garlic, curry leaves, red chillies without oil on a pan
2. Leave tamarind on hot pan till it is warm. Remove any fibre or seed from tamarind or best is to use a seedless and cleaned tamarind.
3. Take garlic, curryleaves, tamarind, salt and red chillies in a blender. Blend them to a coarse mix. Remove it from the jar and keep it aside.
4. Take roasted chanadal and grated dry coconut in the same blender and blend till you get coarse mix. Mix both the powders well.
5. Blend the mixed powder in the blender to get a fine powder. I keep my final powder a bit coarse as I like it that way.
6. You can choose to tamper the Chutney powder (in such cases you may want to preserve the final powder in the refrigerator)
7.Enjoy this podi with hot rice, stuff it in to make stuffed podi parantha, sprinkle over dosas (esp masala dosa) , add it over idlis....many ways to relish it.

Tampering : Heat oil and add mustard seeds and once it stops popping, add hing and remove it from stove. This tampering can be mixed with chutney powder.


This goes to Sunita for her Think of Spice Garlic event.

Sago Halwa

I wish you all bloggers a very happy and prosperous new year. Welcome 2008!!!

It was a long vacation that I took for myself from blogging. This is my first post for this year. Sago halwa is one of the easiest halwa to make and amma used to make this at home once in 15 days. We used to get treated to simple desserts on tuesday or friday which used to be her special prayer days. Vermicilli halwa, payasam, sooji halwa...are other desserts that she made on such occassions. Remembering those weekly celebrations fondly and seeking all the blessings was the way to start our new year. We watched Taare Zameen Par, a very good movie directed and acted by Amir Khan on New Year's day. It was a good start to new year.

Ingrediants :
Sago - 1 small cup
Sugar/Brown Sugar - 1/2cup or depending on your sweet levels (threshold??)
water-4 -6 cups (use same cup for sago and water)
Milk - 2-4tbsp
Ghee 2tbsp (optional)
Food Color-1pinch
Cashewnuts and grated dry coconut for garnishing
Procedure :
1. Fry sago on a hot pan. When u see sago poping up like popcorn, remove them from hot pan and add 2-3 cups of water and bring it to boil.
2. Keep stirring the mixture to prevent it from sticking to the vessel or use a nonstick vessel to cook. Add more water if required. Do not make it watery as you might end up with payasam and not halwa.
3. When sago is fully cooked, add color, sugar, and 1tbsp ghee and mix thorougly.
4. Bring this mix to boil. Add 1tbsp of milk and mix again.
5. The sago, sugar mixture at this time should be thick at this time and it no longer sticks to the vessel.
6. Grease a plate with teaspoon of ghee. Add the hot sago mix to the plate and spread it.
7. Fry cashewnuts in remaining teaspoon of ghee and garnish halwa with grated dry coconut and cashewnuts.
8. Allow the halwa to cool down before you cut them into pieces and serve. You can serve them at room temparature or chilled.