Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Theplas/Methi parathas/Fenugreek flatbread from Gujarat

I love Gujarati cuisine for all its sweet-spicy taste. Thepla, khandvi, chhundo, khaman dhokla….wow am drooling :d. Thepla or the methi parathas being the famous are 1 of my favorites. This reminds me of our exciting train journey where we used to carry these yummy thelpas with tomato pickle and plain yogurt – it had its own unique charm adding to theplas. I think it’s quite a common practice for any gujarati to carry theplas for their trips/journey for the basic fact that it has shelf life and tastes equally good as it was on the day of preparation.

Though the fenugreek leaves/methi leaves have a distinct bitter taste, this becomes negligible with rest of the spice mix in this particular recipe. I feel this is a terrific way to get our kids eat the greens. Pizza is a magic word for my son so I slice a thepla into 4quarters (something like a regular pizza) and serve each quarter as a pizza ;). I have heard that in areas where you don’t get methi leaves/fenugreek leaves you could also make it with zucchini, carrot, lauki (though I haven’t tried)

Well, many of them use a mixture of gram flour and wheat flour for preparing this dish but as we are not a big fan of gram flour, I have just used wheat flour and also eliminated the usage of ginger garlic paste as in the standard recipe for making this simple parathas.

Here goes the recipe for 10 theplas approximately….


Wheat flour – 2 cups

Methi leaves/fenugreek leaves finely chopped – 1bunch

Cumin powder/ Jeera powder – 1tsp

Red chilly powder – 1/2tsp

Green chilly finely chopped – 1 or 2

Turmeric powder/haldi – 1/2tsp

Pinch of asafoetida

Salt to taste




  • Put all the ingredients except oil in a large mixing bowl or a thali and mix together adding little water at a time. Knead well so that the ingredients blend well together to make soft and smooth dough.
  • Cover and keep this finished dough aside for about 20-30min to rest.
  • Make even size balls from the dough. Very lightly flour the rolling board and roll each ball using a rolling pin into round shape say around 6-7” diameter.
  • Meanwhile heat the griddle, put the rolled thepla on the griddle and do the first flip when you see tiny bubbles rise on the top surface of the thepla. As soon as you flip, spread some oil/ghee on surface of the thepla. Flip again in about 30sec and drizzle oil/ghee on this surface too. The thepla is done when it’s crispy and golden brown on both the sides.

Hot hot theplas are ready to be served with chhundo and yogurt or with your favourite pickle or chutney J

Variations: You can mix the dough with curd instead of water to make soft parathas.

I would like to thank all my readers for taking interest in reading my blog and appreciating all my cooking trails - this is really encouraging me to tryout new things and post more frequently. Thanks a lot for encouraging me!!!

Will be back with another chatpata recipe soon, till then have a fabulous week ahead!!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Dasara

Navaratri and Dasara are festivals celebrated over a period of ten days. The first nine days represent Navaratri festival. As the names itself explains – Nava means nine and ratri means night. Dasara, which is the last day and the tenth day, is also celebrated as Vijayadashami (Vijaya in Sanskrit means Victory). The celebrations begin on the first day of the month of Ashvin month or Ashvayuja masa according to the Hindu calendar.

Navaratri generally falls in the month of October; though the exact date differs from year to year. This is the time when we as kids waited for Dasara holidays ;). Though our holiday would be loaded with home works but still enjoyed the freedom.

Just thinking back why we celebrate Navaratri habba/bombe habba/ Dasara/ Durga Pooja/ Garbha etc. So here are a few, that I have come to know from my elders, books, articles…I hope I will be able to give the same cultural heritage and upbringing to my son as well J

The festival of Dasara is celebrated to worship the goddess Durga who is known in various forms i.e chamundeshwari, kali etc. It is celebrated in various versions as Durga Pooja in Bengal and Orissa and as Dasara and Navaratri in other parts of India, celebrating the victory of good over evil.

In Northern India Ramalila ceremony is observed on the dasara day commemorating the victory of Rama over the demon-king Ravana and the rescue of Sita. Gujarat states celebrates it with Garbha.

In southern India, usually Goddess Durga pooje, Saraswathi pooje, Maranavami or aayudha pooje and Vijayadashami is important. Celebrations include display of godess in various forms and toys for the nine days; hence it’s also called as ‘bombe habba’. I remember as a kid, I along with my mom and grandma’s help used to make playground, zoo, cricket field etc for the bombe habba. This used to be a huge step wise arrangement in our drawing room so the sofas, dining table etc would be moved for a couple of days. People who came to see bombe i.e the toy arrangement were given some sweets or candies called 'bombe baagana'.

During Saraswathi pooje, we worship books to symbolize the goddess of knowledge, on aayudha pooje we worship tools like scissors, knives, vehicles or machinery etc and the celebrations conclude with Vijayadashami on the tenth day of the month. Aarthi is performed daily in the evenings along with devotional songs.

On Vijayadashami day it is said that the Goddess Durga also known as Chamundeshwari killed the demon Mahishasura and got the name as Mahishasuramardhini, this event is said to have taken place near Mysore, city of Karnataka state. So event on this day Mysore dasara is very famous and people from all over the world come to see the celebrations. When the city was a princely state, celebrations on this day would include a gran procession of the king of Mysore in a golden ambari (elephant mounted throne) to banni mantapa (a playground) where he would symbolically cut a shami tree. Now with the integration of the princely states into the union of India, the maharaja is replaced by the idol of Godess Chamundeshwari. Variou artists from different fields like classical music, dance, flute, veena etc display their talent in the mysore palace grounds area. People thong to appreciate these performers.

The story of the Shami tree goes like this – The Pandavas had hid their weapons in a Shami tree when they underwent a period of exile. At the end, they returned to that spot and found their weapons intact and so they worshipped with prayers both the shami tree as well as the Godess Durga, deity of strength.

Meanwhile the kauravas got the news of Pandavas arrival and had invaded that area. Hence Pandavas fought the battle and won the fight. The day that all these events took place has been known as “Vijayadashami”. That’s why even to this day, people exchange shami leaves and wish each other victory in their own projects.

Overall, the main idea of Navaratri is the triumph of good over evil.

Wishing you all victorious in all your endeavors with my Shavige payasa/ Vermicelli pudding.


Shavige/ cut vermicelli – 1/3cup

Few cashews and raisins roasted in 1tbsp ghee

Water – 1/2cup

Sugar – 3tsp

Whole milk – 1cup

Cardamom powder/elachi powder – 1/4tsp


  • Heat 1tbsp of ghee in a pan. Add vermicelli and roast till light brown in color.
  • Then add water and cook till soft.
  • To this add sugar and mix well.
  • Then add milk and bring it to boil. Keep stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t catch the bottom.
  • Lastly add the dry fruits and elachi powder and mix well.

Shavige Payasa is ready to be served.

Wishing you all a Happy Dasara!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Paneer Bhurji

Bhurji is a name used for dryish kind of a curry. Egg bhurji (something similar to scrambled eggs but with masalas) being the famous form. For people who don’t eat eggs, it can be substituted with Paneer or Indian cheese. This is a quick recipe and comes handy when you are left with no veggies/ minimal veggies or when you don’t want to get into an elaborate dish. Both egg bhurji and paneer bhurji tastes yummy when made with right masalas. I would like to mention that its 1 of our favorites during cold & wet day!

Here goes my version of Paneer bhurji


Finely chopped onions – 1cup

Finely chopped tomatoes – 1cup

Finely chopped peppers – 1cup

Ginger grated – inch

Green chillies – 3 or 4

Red chilly powder –1tsp

Garam masala – 1/2tsp

Cumin seeds – 1tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/2tsp

Asafetida – ¼ tsp

Paneer grated – 200gm

Salt to taste

Oil – 2tbsp


  • Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter. Then add turmeric, asafetida, ginger, green chillies and along with this sauté onions.
  • Next add peppers and fry for sometime.
  • Then add tomatoes, salt, red chily powder and garam masala and mix well.
  • Lastly mix together the grated paneer and simmer for few min.
  • Garnish with cilantro.

Variation: There’s no hard and fast rule to be followed while making this dish. You can add any vegetables of your choice but remember they need to be finely chopped or else it doesn’t blend well with the paneer or egg. Paneer can be substituted with beaten eggs to make egg bhurji. Masalas also can be altered according to your taste.

Serving suggestion: It can be served with hot chapathis, rotis. Some prefer eating with rice and pickle as accompaniment.

Have a nice weekend!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Vegetable Burger

Random is kinda becoming our favorite word nowadays :d. With a bubbly toddler, I feel sticking to the same rigid routine to optimize your time kills your ability to enjoy life. More so, imposing the same patterns on our children like filling their precious weekends with classes etc also makes them feel a bit L. So I felt injecting unpredictability and surprises in our lives brings back our zeal! Small things like taking a totally different route for your daily walk or taking kids to the park/zoo after their school instead of heading straight home makes them happy and am sure ‘happy kids means happy moms’ J.

To add this Vegetable burger also was a random pick during the week, when we got a surprise call that our little master’s seat was confirmed in 1 of the best schools here (am sure pple who have experienced in getting admission to schools realize how we feel about our victory). It was time to treat the lil one & of course ourselves too ;)

Pizza, burger, ice creams, chocolates r few of his desired items. As always I was keen on giving him a healthy supper rather than a chocolate filled pudding.

I had a clever idea to make sure nothing gets wasted so decided to make Veg burger – this has good nourishment & also satisfying too. It isn’t difficult at all. Infact we prefer homemade burgers as they are customized ;).

Just follow the simple steps and fail-safe tips, you will master in no time. Thus we felt sometimes spur-of-the moment decisions makes us feel light rather than having everything mapped out.

Treat your little ones too with this versatile dish.


Boiled and peeled potato – 1

Boiled and peeled sweet potato –1 (I used this keeping my son in mind, as this wud make it a bit sweet and also healthy)

Capsicum finely chopped – ½

Onions finely chopped – 1

Carrot grated –1

Sweet corn – ½ cup

Ginger grated – 1inch

Green chillies –2

Oil – 2tbspn

Amchoor powder/ dry mango powder – 1tspn

Salt to taste

Bread crumps – ½ cup

Burger buns

Salad – Shredded Iceberg lettuce & peppers, Sliced tomatoes & onions, pickled gherkins

Tomato ketchup



  • Heat oil in a pan. Add green chilles, ginger and sauté the onions.
  • Next add capsicum, sweet corn and fry for sometime.
  • Then add carrot, salt and mix well.
  • Lateron mix boiled potatoes, amchoor powder with rest of the ingredients.Take off the heat and let it cool.
  • Next add the bread crumps with the above and mix well.
  • Divide the mixture into 6, then using wet hands shape into burgers/patties.

  • Heat a non-stick skillet; place the burgers for 5mins on each side, until golden and crisp. You can brush them with slight oil.
  • Meanwhile, warm or toast the buns.
  • When the burgers are ready, spread each bun with some of the salad and top with the patties, ketchup and mayonnaise. You could also finish with a drizzle of green chutney or chili sauce.

It was quite impressive for our family, hope it works with you all too!

Happy cooking J

Variations: You could also add green peas, finely chopped green beans or any veg finely chopped for the patties, any masalas that you like. Sauces can also be altered to your choice like English mustard or Mexican salsa etc

Monday, September 21, 2009

Aloo Baingan /Potato and Eggplant curry

Cooking quick, tasty meals to keep our family happy can be a challenging job. Sometimes all planning and hard work just washes out completely. So I just thought why not try making something spur-of-the-moment, believe me it really worked. It had all the authentic flavors to create that fab, unfussy meal at home. I felt it was a brrrrrriliant idea to liven up quick midweek supper. So why not rustle up this classic curry yourself?

Here goes the procedure for it.


Purple eggplant /baingan, un-peeled, cut into cubes - 1

Potatoes peeled and cut into cubes -2

Tomatoes cut into cubes -4

Chopped cilantro for garnishing

Oil – 1tbspn

Pinch of asafetida

Cumin seed –1tsp

Chopped green chili – 1 (adjust according to your taste)

Ginger paste –1tsp

Coriander powder/dhania powder – 1tbspn

Turmeric – 1/2tsp

Paprika – 1/2tspn

Salt adjust to taste

Water –2tbsp

Oil to fry


  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium high heat. Fry the potatoes till they are cooked. Take out potatoes with a slotted spoon and place on a paper towel. Fry the eggplant pieces same way.
  • In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, green pepper, coriander powder, paprika, turmeric, and water to make a paste.
  • Heat the 1 tbspn of oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and asafetida after seeds crack add the spice mixture and stir-fry for a minute or until oil start to separate from the spice mixture.
  • Add chopped tomatoes stir-fry for a minute.
  • Add fried potatoes and eggplant mix it gently, let it simmer for three to four minutes. Subji should be not very dry if needed add few spoons of water.
  • Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped cilantro.

Aloo Baingan is ready to be served.

Serving Suggestions: Roti, naan, chapattis make a good combo with aloo baingan. It can also be served with rice.

Have a nice day :)!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Menthya soppina kalsidanna/ Methi rice/ Fenugreek leaves rice

Fenugreek is used as both an herb as well as a seed. The fresh leaves are used as greens and the dried ones are used to flavor the dishes (kasuri methi). It can also be sprouted. By nature fenugreek seeds tastes bitter but it has very high amount of nutritional value. It is rich in carbohydrates, proteins, Vitamin A and C, iron, calcium and minerals.

It’s also considered as the most beneficial medicinal herb. Due to the cooling and soothing effects of Fenugreek seeds, they are considered beneficial in skin irritation and inflammation. The other benefits of this herb includes solving digestive disorders, anemia, respiratoryinfections, dandruff, prevents blackheads, pimples, and premature ageing.

It also cures the diabetes and lowers the blood pressure. It’s also a strong stimulator of milk production in lactating mothers.

With all the detailed information I have known about methi, I simply can’t stay away from it here. Yes, another item that we are deprived off here is menthya soppu. Our desire for menthya soppina kalsidanna, methi parota, matvadi palya yum yum…led us to grow menthya soppu or methi leaves in our kitchen garden J. Take a peek of our 1st yield – its so fresh, green & tender and organically grown with healthy looks J.

So this has become our regular activity of sowing the seeds and wait for about 2-3weeks for th

e yield. Then we enjoy our menthya soppu + alugadde +batani kalsidanna thereafter! I thought of sharing this exceptional recipe with you all; hope you all will like it too. This is a dish that can be made just for a simple lunch/brunch or can be included as a side dish in the habbada oota i.e the festive lunch menu. Its quite common as a lunchbox item as well. Easy to prepare and non messy to eat at work J


Finely chopped menthya soppu/ methi leaves – 1 cup

Peeled and cubed potatoes – 1

Green Peas – ½ cup

Oil – 2 to 3tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Turmeric – ¼ tsp

Pinch of asafetida

Palyada pudi/ vangibath powder/ annadapudi – 1 to 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Dash of lemon juice

Rice ¾ cup washed and cooked (rice to water ratio should be 1:2)


  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Next add cumin seeds, turmeric, asafetida and potato. Fry for sometime.
  • Next add green peas, mix well and cover and cook.
  • Then add menthya soppu/methi leaves, salt & cover and cook.
  • Lastly add bath powder and mix well.
  • Then add the cooked rice and mix up with a dash of lemon.

Menthya soppina kalsidanna is ready to be served.

Serving Suggestions: You can serve menthya soppina kalsida

nna with some papad, sandige, pickle or tastes good even with some raita.

Menthya sopina kalsidanna and mosaru anna (curd rice) makes an excellent combo for a packed lunch.

Ciao sooooooooooooooonnnnnnnn J!

Friday, September 11, 2009

We are a nation of snack lovers………..

Our summer trips were getting planned and as customary our trips involve many yummy snacks. This time I decided to make something new, which I haven’t tried earlier! We prefer spicy snacks to sweet dishes. So we concluded that we experiment mucchore in my workshop ;) for our Germany trip.

Mucchore is a savoury snack made in homes of Kannada speaking people. It is something similar to chakkuli with a spicy version. Generally this is made during festivals like krishnajanmaasthami, or during weddings and Aarathi ceremony i.e occasion during 7th month of pregnancy.
Many of them prepare it well in advance for their trips or picnic, as it’s easy to carry and to eat. You can have this anytime anywhere doesn’t require any frills like ketchup/chutneys or any serving dish. This can be stored in airtight containers for months.
Mucchore is one of the snacks that tastes best with evening tea or just a munching for that weak moment around 11.30ish or any other time during the day when one feels they need to exercise their mouth or to satisfy all those tindipotaru‘s (slang in kannada for snack lovers) hunger ;)
I think we are a nation of snack lovers. My mom used to make such snacks like kodbale, chakkuli, muchhore, nippatu, khara sev …and store them in a particular container. Whenever I entered the kitchen I knew its there right in that box and it used to be so tempting….. Peek a boooooo and one gone….so this way without anybodys notice or guilt muchhore enters your stream ;). Am sure this is the general trend and not just with me :)

While returning back from my India trip, by chance I carried along with me the chakkuli oralu or the murukku maker, which made my job easier. I got the victory over mucchore hurraayy!!!But yes credit also goes to my public-spirited mom who shares all the recipes and my supporting husband without whom I couldn’t have done so many trial runs/research for a successful release on abhi-ruchi :)!
Heres the recipe I followed for mucchore
Akki hittu/Rice flour – 3cups
Putani powder/roasted chanadal – 2cups
Om pudi/Ajwain powder– ½ spoon
Red chilly powder – 2tbspn to 3tbspn
Ghee – 2 tspn
Hot oil – 4tbspn
Salt as per taste
Water for mixing the dough
Oil for deep-frying


  • Mix all the ingredients in a big plate using little water at a time. The dough consistency should resemble that of chapathi dough (As shown in the picture below)
  • Fill the chakkuli maker till ¾ with the dough and press to make round shape or your desired shape
  • Deep fry these in oil on medium flame till golden brown & then remove them on a paper towel
  • They cool and are ready in a minute with your cuppa tea/coffee.
    Make sure you store them in airtight containers only after they are cooled.
    You all can pickup few from abhi-ruchi and enjoy with your evening tea ;)!
    Have a nice day :)!!!
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