Tuesday, October 27, 2009

ChavaLikaayi Maatvadi Palya/Guar or Cluster Beans dry curry

Our London trip is always a resultant of many yummy south Indian veggies that we are deprived off here. Yes you have guessed it right. We shop veg like crazy – shaamegedde, tondekayi, menthya soppu, seemebadnekayi, chavalikayi, maavinakayi etc. Many a times I get teased as, I go to London to shop vegetables :-p. Well, I feel we value a thing when it is not amongst usJ.

So this week’s playa is also from London chavaLikaayi ;). ChavaLikaayi/Gorikaayi is also known as guar in hindi or cluster beans in English is a very nutritious vegetable. They are rich in proteins and carbohydrates. I recently came to know that it also produces gum and this guar gum is used as a thickening agent in ice creams, dairy products etc

I think this vegetable is used all over India in fried, steamed or boiled forms. The style of curry that I would be presenting today is a traditional one carried on from grandmas but ofcourse done in a modern way using a grinder instead of pestle & mortal :d. It’s a dry curry, I really wonder what the word ‘maatvadi’ means? Will update this post once I find it J. The combination of chapattis and chavaLikaayi maatvadi playa is a complete protein meal! Here’s what you have to do to achieve good results ;)


ChavaLikaayi/Guar/Cluster beans – 250gms (washed wiped and cut into 1/2inch pieces)

Oil – 2tbspn

Mustard seeds – 1tspn

Kadale beLe/Chanadal – 1tspn

Uddina beLe/Urad dal – 2tspn

Cumin seeds – 1tspn

Turmeric – ½tspn

Asafoetida – 1/4tspn

Lemon juice – 1tspn

For grinding

Dried red chillies – 1 (for medium spice)

Red chilli powder – 4tspn

Chanadal/KadalebeLe soaked in water for 2hrs and drained – 1/2cup

Freshly grated coconut – 1/3 cup

Coriander leaves


  • Grind the soaked dal along with red chilli powder, salt, red chillies, coconut and coriander leaves into a coarse paste.
  • Next heat oil in a pan or a kadai and add mustard seeds and wait for it to splutter. Then add the chana dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and asafoetida and lastly add chavaLikaayi/cluster beans. Sprinkle some water and cook.
  • Now add the ground paste along with some salt to the pan and mix well. Keep on low flame for around 15min & cook or till the dal is cooked. Add some amount of oil if required and keep stirring so that it doesn’t catch the bottom. Once both the masala and the beans have blended well, it’s time to take off from the heat.
  • Mix in the lemon juice & let it cool. Wonderfully tasting dry playa is ready to be served!!!

Serving Suggestions: ChavaLikaayi maatvadi playa can be served with chapathis or even makes a good combo with hot rice + ghee + some fried items like sandige, happala (papad). It can also be served as a side dish with rice + tomato saaru/rasam!

Variations: Cluster beans can be replaced with chopped Menthya soppu/fresh methi leaves. Whenever we make this menthya soppina maatvadi playa, my MIL prepares yummy stuffed pooris with the left over subji as stuffing; we enjoy them with some pickle and yogurt yum yum J

I am so fond of this dish that I end up eating just this by itself after the first round of meal :-p.

Hope you all enjoy this healthy dish! Ciao sooooooooooooon!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Maavinakaayi Chitraanna/Raw Mango rice

I was off on family trip to london all these days and subsequently couldn't update abhi-ruchi kitchen, sorry for disappearing abruptly. Our trip also was formed in a whiz. Though it was an adventurous trip we had a good time. We celebrated P’s 2nd year bday with his favourite thomas tank engine cake and a dinner party @ pizza hut. He was thrilled to see an edible thomas :d. Heres a glimpse of my son’s all time choice – Thomas tank engine!

I call it an adventurous trip because the flights got diverted to Malaga which was the nearest city aiport as the visibility got messed up. And we were taken in an airport authority bus to Malaga airport (which took us almost 1.30hrs drive) from where we continued the journey and reached our destination sometime midnight. The 2.30hrs flight transformed into almost 9hrs flight ufffff.

Even the giant Rock of Gibraltar was completely covered with mist and nothing was visible even just outside the window. Yeah weather plays a vital role here wrt landing/taking off the flights. I guess even pilots are highly skilled.

Now let me tell you more about the Gibraltar airport runway in this post.

Gibraltar airport run way is on a reclaimed land. Its in the proximity of the Mediterranean and Atlantic. The run way is also used as a road that connects Gibraltar to Spain. If somebody has to drive from Gibraltar to Spain then they have to cross the runway. Yes it sounds a bit strange but this is how it works. The road traffic is stopped with a signal light when there are aircrafts landing or taking off. The security is excellent here.

The airport is distinct in its own way – probably its 1 of the closest airport to the city, i think its just around 500mts to the city centre J. If we are picking up some guests from the airport, we have the privilege of starting from home, only after we have seen the air craft land, from our balcony ;). Best part is many a times we have even walked down to the airport when we are not in a hurry or do not have much bags with us.

Here are few pics showing flights landing on the runway taken from our balcony. These pics are taken initially when i was crazy about watching every flight landing and take off :d. P is happy to see all modes of transport daily in the evenings – bus-car-bikes, boat, air crafts. He even identifies the airlines now ;)

Recently we had a stunning air show performance by the famous Red Arrows and we were lucky to watch the whole presentation. We did manage to capture few of their tricks in our SLR, heres a peek....

Now coming to my foodie talk, today am presenting an easy way of making Mavinakayi chitraanna or raw mango rice. I am not sure if this is a common method, we just tried something different in a jiffy and liked this recipe. Here goes the procedure for making it.


Serves 4

Raw rice – 1 cup

Raw mango grated – 2 medium sized

Fresh coconut grated – ½ cup

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Chana dal/ kadale beLe – 1tsp

Urad dal/ uddina beLe – 1tsp

Cumin seeds/ jeera – 1tsp

Turmeric powder – ½ tsp

Asafetida – 1/4tsp

Red chillies – 2 (medium spice, u can adjust according to your spice level)

Groundnut – 3tbspn

Handful of curry leaves

Salt to taste

Oil – 3tbspn


  • Wash the rice till the water is clear and cook it with 2cups of water in an electric cooker. Once the rice is done spread it on a thali or a large plate and let it cool.
  • Heat oil in a pan/kadai, add all the tempering ingredients one by one i.e mustard, both the dals/lentils, turmeric powder, asafetida, red chillies, curry leaves. Next add groundnut to this and fry for a min or so till you hear some cracking sound.
  • Then add the grated raw mango and fry for about 2-3min and turn off the heat.
  • Lastly add this to the rice along with grated coconut, salt and mix well with your hands.

Mavinakayi chitraanna is ready to be served.

As i have shown in my earlier posts, you can also make mavinakayi chitraanna using chutney or even make this way. You can adopt whichever is easy for you. Any variations are welcome. Hope you all liked this week’s shoot & narration.

Happy reading J!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Rachel Allen is 1 of my favourite chefs and I really enjoy watching all her popular series. Her charismatic and natural style makes her interesting to watch. I like her way of cooking, as it’s practical, simple yet delicious. I fell in love with this dish called Nougat while watching her Home Cooking series recently and thought why not give it a shot? And here’s the right week to indulge in yummy treats as I have mentioned in my earlier post ;).

Nougat is a term used to describe variety of traditional goodies made with sugar and roasted nuts. There are two types of nougat i.e. white and brown. White nougat is made with beaten egg whites and is soft and brown nougat is made with caramelized sugar and has a crunchy consistency.

Sugar is heated at different temperature before mixing it with the egg white & nuts. I felt this dish is something similar to Chikki , a traditional Indian sweet made from jaggery syrup and nuts. Here goes the recipe for Nougat


Caster sugar – 450g

Powdered glucose – 225g

Water – 150ml

Egg whites – 2

Rice paper – 8sheets, measuring 6x15cm

Almonds, pistachio nuts roughly chopped and toasted – 150g

Candy thermometer


  • Add the sugar, powdered glucose and water in a pan on a medium heat and bring it to boil. Keep stirring till the time sugar dissolves. Then reduce to the heat to low and simmer without stirring. Keep on low heat until the mixture reaches 121deg Celsius (Dip a sugar thermometer/candy thermometer to measure this). This might take 10-15min.
  • Next add the egg whites in a large mixing bowl. Once the sugar temperature reaches 110deg Celsius begin whisking the egg whites to stiff peaks in an electric food mixer on a low setting. Once the syrup reaches 121deg, pour a quarter of it on a slow, steady stream into the egg white and continue to whisk.
  • Immediately return the remaining syrup to heat and keep it on heat without stirring till it reaches 149deg Celsius. All the while continue whisking the egg whites on a slow speed. Egg white is used as a whipping agent here.
  • Once the syrup reaches the required temperature, pour carefully in the same way as u did earlier into the whisking egg whites. Continue to whisk the egg whites for about 30minutes. By then the mixture would be stiff and halved in the volume. Now the nougat mixture is ready. If the mixture sticks to the sides of the bowl, you can scrap down the sides of the bowl with a spatula dipped in boiling water.
  • Meanwhile, place half the rice paper at the bottom of a cake tin measuring 25x15cm (you can use any rectangle shallow cake tin).
  • Stir the nuts into fully whisked nougat mixture and mix well. Pour this mixture into the prepared tin and spread quickly using a spatula dipped in boiling water. Place the remaining sheets of the rice paper on the top to cover and press down to stick.
  • Allow it to cool and then place in the refrigerator overnight or 4-6hrs until set.
  • Then remove the block of nougat from the baking tin and cut into fingers. This has to be stored in fridge, wrapped individually in parchment paper or cling film.

We are enjoying these delicious candies after every meal :d. Here’s the first look of Nougat after it is set –

Now that I have given the details about Nougat and share it with you all, I think its time for me to have a bar of Nougat; wont you join me ;)?

Monday, October 5, 2009

Boondi Ladoo

Its festival season around and the fast approaching celebration is Deepavali/Diwali. Besides, this week is our lil ones bday too & his likes and dislikes are also seasonal: d – so the current trend is towards sweetie :d. So thought why not make few of the luxurious sweets and rejoice the whole week. So here’s a ‘sweet week’ from abhi-ruchi as well this timeJ! Hence I would write few of my real-time tryouts which were winners right away……..

First dish of the week would be Boondi Ladoo i.e. an Indian sweet prepared out of gram flour, flavoured sugar syrup and dry fruits which later are formed into balls.

Making boondi ladoos was a nightmare for me. I had just eaten these ladoos in functions like weddings, naming ceremony or in any sweet meat shops. I never had seen or heard people make these ladoos at home for festivals or any celebrations. I came across this lady describing boondi laddo as such a simple and speedy dish which made me curious to do a trial run @ abhiruchi_kitchen J and here is the result. But yes of course the main part in making Boondi Ladoos is to use the right kind of utensil i.e. the perforated ladle or a grater and the consistency of the sugar syrup. Let me try and explain you the whole episode of making of Boondi Ladoo.

Makes around 16-18 Ladoos of the size you see in the pic below.


Gram flour/ Besan – 2 Cups

Water – 1cup + I added another 2tbsp of it. You can see the consistency and then a

dd if reqd

Sugar – 3 Cups

Water – 2cups

Ghee – 2tbsp

Cashew – 2tbsp

Raisins – 2tbsp

Cardamom powder/ elachi powder – 1 to 2 tspn

Oil for frying

Perforated ladle/Grater

Candy thermometer (this is the easiest way when 1 cannot make out the exact consistency of the syrup)


  • Add the water and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. When the syrup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then let it simmer until the syrup is about half thread consistency or 220 degrees on the candy thermometer.
  • Next mix the gram flour with water to make a smooth batter without any lumps. The batter consistency should be slightly thicker than dosa (pan-cake) batter.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
  • Hold the perforated ladle/grater just 1 to 11/2 inches above the oil with 1 hand and with the other hand pour some of the batter onto the grater/ladle such that the batter covers all of the holes.
  • The batter will start dropping through the holes into the oil. Drop enough boondi into the oil so that they just cover the surface of the oil in a single layer.
  • Fry them until the sizzling sound stops and the boondis are slightly gold in colour but not crispy. (When you try to break a boondi between your fingers, it should not crack; it should just squeeze in and comeout)
  • Pick up the boondis with another slotted spoon and put them directly in the warm sugar syrup.
  • Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. Make sure you wipe clean the ladle/grater after pouring 1 bath of batter. Let the boondis soak in the sugar syrup for few minutes.
  • Next add the cardamom powder and dry fruits to the syrup.
  • Boondis soak most of the sugar syrup. Drain off the excess syrup (not much will be there)
  • Let them sit until they are warm enough to handle. Remember not to let them cool off completely. If the boondis become cold then it will not be possible to form them into ladoos or balls (sugar will crystallize)

To make Ladoos

Reality struck me when I started making the ladoo’s – the fun part of the whole evening was just about starting…..

  • First take some of the boondi mixture into your palm with a spoon. Gently squeeze the mixture between both the palms (you can refer the pic here) and give a round ball shape. Whilesqueezing some of the syrup might drip, that’s normal.
  • As you finish making the ladoos go on keeping them on a plate and continue with the next ladoo. As the ladoos cool to room temperature they will become firm but moist.

You can store these Boondi Ladoos in covered container up to 10days and can be refrigerated up to a month.

A long procedure isn’t it? No wonder that we finished the first part of making boondis and the sugar syrup in less than 30 minutes… binding the ladoos together, took more than an hour ufffff. This surely needs a lot of practice and patience. Ultimately we succeeded doing it hurrayyy!!!

Tip: Making Ladoos is not a 1man show – yes it might not be possible for the 1st try to do everything alone, you might need a helping hand.

Please note that the sugar syrup is at the right temperature, orelse you will not be able to form the ladoos.

Don’t worry if you are not able to make ladoos, you can still enjoy them as “see boondi”or “sweet boondi” or “meethi boondi”

Enjoy life as it comes J! Have a nice day!!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Saagu/Mixed vegetable in spicy coconut gravy

Saagu is a traditional dish of Karnataka in which the spices are blended with coconut and cooked with varieties of vegetables. It’s a side dish for poori, chapati or even some hotels in south India serve set dose, rave dose along with sagu.

We have a preference of poori-sagu combo during winters on a cold & wet day for 2 reasons i.e. I don’t get prickly and provoked by the time I finish frying the pooris and we can do a good batting and justice to our stomach too ;).

Chopping veggies are a bit time consuming, as the range has to be cut into small pieces. After this part everything gets ready in a zoom. If your kid gets hang of this masala, I think you can add sagu as 1 of the top dish in your list as it’s a good mixture of vegetables in 1 go.

Here goes my style of making Sagu


Carrot finely chopped – 1Cup

Cauliflower cut into small florets – 1 Cup

Beans finely chopped – 1 Cup

Potato finely chopped – ½ Cup

Green Peas – ½ Cup

Masala to grind:

Cumin seeds/Jeera – 1tsp

Green chilly – 2 or 3

Ginger – 1inch

Poppy seed /Gasgase/ khus khus – 1tsp (sleep-bringing

poppy ;)…..na don’t worry its just 1sp)

Cinnamon – 1inch piece

Roasted chanadal / Putani/– ¼ Cup

Freshly grated coconut – ½ Cup

Onion – ½ (optional, its just that I am ‘irulli priye’;)

Coriander leaves – ½ bunch

Few leaves of curry leaves

For tempering/tadka

Oil –2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Asafetida – ¼ tsp


  • Grind all the masala ingredients into a fine paste by adding little water and keep aside (this looks like a chutney consistency).
  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Then add turmeric and asafetida.
  • Next add the vegetables that take more time to cook like carrot and cauliflower mix well and cook for sometime. Then add beans, potato and mix well.
  • After that, add salt, mix well, cover and cook.
  • Lastly add green peas (this hardly takes a min or 2 to cook so u can add just before adding the masalas). Add the masala paste to this vegetable mixture, mix together and cook. Add water do your desire consistency and bring it to boil. Stir intermittently and make sure that it doesn’t catch the bottom.

Saagu is ready to be served.

Variations: There’s no hard and fast rule with the vegetables to be used here. You can use vegetable of your choice. Sometimes I do use sweet corn kernels to make sweet & spicy style sagu! My mom uses green leafy vegetables also in sagu but am not sure which 1 in particular will ask her and update here soon.

Serving Suggestions: Poori + Sagu is an ideal combination aging from centuries. It can also be served with chapati or rice or even dosa. We luv eating leftover sagu with mosaru anna or curd rice :d.

I hope you are enjoying my array of cooking. Any suggestions/feedbacks to perk-up abhi-ruchi are always welcome at abhiruchi_kitchen@yahoo.com

Have A Nice Day J!!!

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