Vietnam diaries – Ho Chi Minh – green and zen

Source: Vietnam diaries – Ho Chi Minh – green and zen

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Mangalore Sauthe Sippe Gojju/ chutney 

Neer Sauthe or Manglore Cucumber is the coloured cucumber that we get in the market. I read this recipe in Sudha magazine and changed it a bit as it requires a lot of grated coconut. But it really tastes yum nevertheless. I make dosa out of the pulp to go with this! I’ll post the recipe later.


1. Colour cucumber peel – 1 cup chopped

2. Grated coconut – 1/4 cup

3. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

4. Urad dal – 1 tbsp

5. Bydagi red chillies – 6/7

6.  Tamarind pulp – 1/4 tsp

7. Jaggery – 1 tbsp

8. Hing – 1/4 tsp

9. Oil – 1 tsp

10. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

11. Salt to taste


1. Dry roast urad dal, coriander seeds and chillies

2. Grind all ingredients except oil and mustard seeds

3. Check the seasoning

4. Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it sputters add it immediately to the gojju/chutney. 

Serve hot with Sauthe dosa 


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Pach Kootu…a tribute

Amma ( my mother in law) passed away and it has been an introspective time for me. I lived with her more than my mom and her influence has been immense. From boiling milk to making the most complicated South Indian dishes, she’s been my teacher. As I was flipping through my hand written note book, filled with recipes I fought hard to learn, I stumbled upon her favourite recipe which she learnt from her sister. Amma for all those moments where I bugged and nagged you to teach me…


1. Green Beans – 1/2 cup copped into 1″ pieces

2. Chayote Squash ( Seemebadnekai) – 1 cup chopped into 1″ cubes

3. Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

4. Jeera – 1 tsp

5. Red Chillies – 5 – 6

6. Hurgadale – 2 – 3 tsps ( depending on the consistency that you desire*)

7. Jaggery – 1 tsp

8. Tamarind pulp – 1/2 tsp

9. Grated coconut – 1 tbsp

10. Salt to taste

11. Water – 2 cups

For tempering

1. Oil – 1 tsp

2. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

3. Curry leaves – 3 – 4

4. Hing ( asafoetida ) – a pinch


1. Grind the red chillies, hurgadale, coriander seeds, jeera and the grated coconut into a smooth paste.

2. Steam the veggies in a little water. 

3. Add the paste and water and bring to a boil. 

4. Add salt, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Check the taste and adjust according to your taste

5. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add mustard seeds. Once they sputter add the hing and curry leaves and pour into the gravy.

Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with hot rice or chapathis

* hurgadale is also known as puttani or fried gram. It is used to thicken gravies. 


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Sandige Huli

Sudi’s Ajji (Grandma) was an amazing lady and an awesome cook.  She was a fountain of knowledge though she never had formal education and so wonderful to spend time with. She taught me rummy and she shared so many wonderful stories that I lapped up as a young bride.

Sandige Huli is usually a specialty served during religious ceremonies. This was Ajji’s expertise. And it looked so difficult to make. But when she explained, it sounded so simple and I’ve done this several times and each time I miss her saying ” Thumba Chennagide Aadaru Sumaru” (It’s awesome but still…it’s ok). I think all the grandchildren have pulled her leg about this but the ever green Jayamma never took offence. This recipe is to thank her for those wonderful finger licking moments though I have made slight variations to make it a little healthier!


1. Toor Dal – 1 cup

2. Channa Dal – 1 cup

3. Moong Dal – 1 cup

4. Ginger – 1 inch

5. Green Chillies – 4 -6

6. Dry Red Chillies – 4 – 6

7. Hing – A pinch

8. Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup optional (If you are health conscious, you can avoid this)

9. Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup chopped

10. Tamarind paste – 3 tsp

11. Groundnut oil – 2 tsp

12. Salt to taste

For Tempering

1. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

2. Hing – a pinch

3. Curry leaves – 6 – 8


1. Soak all the dals for atleast 2 hours

2. Grind ginger, green chillies, coriander, red chillies and hing.

3. Coarsely grind the dals.

4. Add the masala paste to the dal and add salt to taste.

5. Take quarter of this mixture and further grind it to a smooth paste

6. Make small rounds of the remaining dal mixture and either steam it or fry it. I steam it as it is the healthier option but if you want to make it as traditional as possible, fry them.

7. Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the mustard seeds. Once they sputter add the curry leaves, hing and the turmeric powder. Fry for a few seconds.

8. Add the tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup of water to the tempering and add the jaggery.

9. Once it starts boiling add the smooth dal mixture and add enough quantity of water to make a gravy and let boil. Let it simmer.

10. Add the sandiges to the huli and let it boil. Simmer for a few minutes.

11. Serve hot with rice.

Add a 2 tsps of hot oil to the dal – masala mixture to make the sandiges soft and yummy.

The sandiges are nuchina undes, but when added to the huli gives an oomph to whole dish.

Fried Sandiges Steamed Sandiges DSCN6715 Sandige Huli Sandige Huli

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Paneer in White Gravy

Rashu this is especially for you and my hero!

This is a very simple dish which can be whipped up in a few minutes. It uses bottle gourd as the base for the gravy. A vegetable which is not really relished by everyone but masked here by the flavours that are used.

Serves 6


1. Green Capsicum – 2 chopped into thin strips

2. Paneer – 100gms cubed

3. Kasuri Methi – 1 tsp

4. Milk – 2 cups

5. Fresh cream – 1 tsp

6. Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

7. Salt to taste

8. Amchur powder (Dried mango powder) – 1/2 tsp

9. Cornflour – 1 tsp

10. Oil – 1 tsp

To be ground into a paste

1. Bottle Gourd – 2 cups (chopped and boiled)

2. Green Chillies – 2

3. Cashews – 4 – 5

4. Ginger – 1/2″

5. Cinnamon – 1/2″ stick


1. Grind all the ingredients. No water is required as the gourd has a lot of water content in it.

2. Heat oil in a kadai. Add the capsicum strips and saute for a while.

3. Add the kasuri methi also and saute for a while.

4. Add the ground paste and salt and saute for 3 mins

5. Heat a tava and roast the paneer cubes on the tava and set aside.

6. Add the milk and bring to a boil. Add the jeera and amchur powder.

7. Drop the roasted paneer into the gravy and simmer.

8. Mix the cornflour and cream with a tsp of milk. Add this mixture to the gravy to bring it to a thicker consistency.

9. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with chapathis

I sometimes use sour cream instead of the fresh cream and cornflour. When I add this I don’t boil the gravy for long as the chances of the milk splitting is high.




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Pineapple Pulav

Shalyanna – the delicacy which is served in Najungud was something we as kids loved. I would wait for Anna to come home with the prasadam. The kallu sakkare (Misri or sugar candy) in the sweet used give it a completely different taste altogether.

In this recipe I’ve tried using pineapple and the garam masala which gives this dish a twist. I’ve used sugar candy as it brings back memories. You can use sugar as well.


1. Rice – 1 cup (Red rice takes a long while to cook. It doesn’t come out that soft. So I use organic basmati rice)

2. Sugar Candy – 1 cup of broken misri (If using sugar – 3/4 cup, brown sugar – 1/2 cup. The colour of the rice changes with brown sugar)

3. Almonds – 1/2 cup slivered

4. Cashews – 1/4 cup chopped

5. Raisins – 1/4 cup roasted in ghee

6. Milk – 1 1/2 cup

7. Saffron – few strands soaked in 1/4 cup of warm milk

8. Ghee – 1/4 cup

9. Garam Masala – 1/2 spoon

10. Pineapple – 1 cup chopped finely

11. Clove – 2

12. Cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp


1. Wash the rice well. Soak for 15 mins

2. Heat the ghee in a kadhai, add the cloves and the garam masala to it and fry for a few seconds

3. Drain the soaked rice and add it to the ghee. Fry for 3 mins

4. Add the milk to it.

5. Let the rice cook in the milk till it is soft.

6. Add the sugar candy to it along with the soaked saffron.

7. Let the mixture thicken a bit.

8. Roast the almonds and cashews in a tsp of ghee

9. Add the pineapple, almonds, cashews and the raisins and cardamom powder and stir well till well mixed

10. Serve hot garnished with slivered almonds

If you are planning on using the sugar/brown sugar, the sugar can curdle the milk. So wait till the milk has evaporated completely, bring the vessel off the fire and then add the sugar.

It’s a complete meal by itself. I also add dates to bring in a variation when I pack my girls’ lunch.


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Drumstick Curry

Drumsticks along with radish is not considered as sattvic by some. It is a very nutritious vegetable and one can find this vegetable in most houses in the villages of South India. Infact drumstick leaves are considered to be extremely beneficial as they have a high content of vitamin C. 7 times more than oranges!!! The whole plant is an amazing source of medicinal value.

In South Indian kitchens, drumsticks have only a few ways of cooking. This recipe that I saw was fascinating as it had a dry look to it, but I converted into a gravy. You can try both ways and use as you like. 


Drumstick – 3 – 4 sticks

Coconut – 1/2 cup grated

Jaggery – 2 tsp

Dry mango powder – 1 tsp

Ginger paste – 2 tbsp

Coriander leaves – 4 tbsp chopped finely

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Jeera powder – 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp

Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Water 2 cups

Salt to taste


1. Chop the drumsticks into small pieces. Peal the drumsticks well.

2. Grind coconut, mango powder, ginger paste, coriander leaves, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt and the garam masala together

3. Take half of the masala and mix it with the drumsticks. Steam the drumsticks with this masala till soft.This will take about 10 to 12 mins

4. Mix the other half with 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add jaggery to it.

5. Add the drumsticks to the gravy and mix well.

6. Remove from the fire immediately and garnish with chopped coriander

7. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

In the 4th step you can boil the mixture till it becomes semi dry and then add the drumsticks for a relatively dry subzi.


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