Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Meethe Chawal

Deepavali/Diwali is round the corner and that means some rich food at home especially sweets. We need not buy sweets from shop but can always give a try at home. Today’s recipe is something sweet but is equally easy. It’s meethe chawal. I learnt this from cooking shooking video have made a little changes to it. Hope you like it and try it.
Here is what we need:

  • Long grained white rice 1 cup
  • Sugar 1 ¼ th cup(I used this much as the sugar wasn’t too sweet, adjust accordingly)
  • Green cardamoms pods 4 crushed into powder
  • Cinnamon 1" piece
  • Saffron dissolved in warm water ½  tsp
  • Ghee 5 tbsp (you can use 3 more tbsp if you aren’t calorie conscious)
  • Dry fruits and nuts chopped finely for garnishing(I used cashew nut, almonds and pistachios)

  1. Soak rice for half an hour.
  2. Cook it and drain out the water when it is nearly ready (say 80%) .
  3. Now heat the ghee and roast  the nuts (reserve some for garnishing)and add all the ingredients rice, cinnamon, sugar and saffron..
  4. When this is done, cover it with a lid and cook on low flame till rice separates and is dry.
  5. Sprinkle dry fruits on top.
Serve immediately.
Have Fun.
Happy Cooking,

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Raw Papaya Halwa

It was one such day when our family went to visit a new temple that was constructed in Mangalore. It was such a beautiful temple. More than the memories of the temple I have a memory of Papaya. Yes papaya we saw a backyard full of huge papayas but all were unripe. We managed to get 2 of them from the in-charge. Soon my Pachi(maasi/mom’s younger sister) decided that she will make halwa out of it and we made faces at her as we had never heard of it. But she was sure about making it. And my mom dad decided to keep it to ripen.
The next morning we got a box of Yummy halwa and we were all praising it to be similar to Kashi Halwa which is made of ash gourd. She even suggested us to do the same halwa. But my mom being her sister was sure to get it ripe ;). But unfortunately instead of the papaya getting ripe it went to trash and we ended up regretting for not listening to my pachi.
After that my mom has made this Raw Papaya Halwa many times and we have relished it.
Now being navaratri days I make sweets and offer to the God. When I was just thinking about what to make i remembered about the half papaya that was lying in the fridge and soon went into this Halwa.

Here is what we need :

1 cup grated Raw Papaya(approx 200 gms of papaya or half of medium papaya)
1 ½ tbsp ghee
½ cup milk (optional)
¼ th cup sugar (add it according to your sweet resistance)
 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
Few saffron threads
1 tablespoon blanched almonds and finely chopped
 2 tablespoon broken cashew nuts and finely chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped pistachios


  1. Firstly remove the skin and seeds of papaya and grate it.
  2. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan, add broken cashew nuts, fry it to golden brown, take it out and keep aside for later use.
  3. In remaining ghee, add grated Papaya and sauté them for 4-5 minutes on medium low heat. Then add milk, stir and cook on medium heat till the moisture almost dries up. (When milk starts to boil, it will look as if its curdling. Don't panic or think you are wrong just keep stirring) 
  4. Add sugar and mix well
  5. Add saffron, cardamom powder, few cashew nuts. Mix well.
  6. Garnish it with blanched almond, cashew nuts and pistachios.
  7. Serve hot or chilled. Enjoy the way you like it!
  • Add sugar according to your taste. We like the sweets mild sweet so you can increase the amount of sugar if you like it a little more sweet.
  • You can skip adding milk and add water instead but adding milk gives a richness and a nice flavour to the halwa.
  • Make sure your papaya is firm and raw.
  • Most of them add raisins too by frying them in little ghee but as i dont like raisins in my halwa and kheers i did not add. if you wish to add 1 tbsp of raisins frying them with cashewnuts.
God Bless all
Happy Navaratri
Happy Cooking,

Kadle Upkari/ Peanut Sundal/ Seasoned Peanuts

Kadlo means peanuts. Kadle Upkari/Peanut Sundal is one breakfast items made in some amchi household and even served during festivals like navarati.

Raw Peanuts - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Coconut - 3 tbsp finely grated
Oil - 1 tblspn
Green chillies split -1
Red chillies -2 -3
Mustard Seeds / sasam - 1 tsp
Urad dal / split black gram dal- 1 tsp
Asafoetida / Hingu/ Hing - ¼  tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Wash and soak peanuts in 5-6 cups of water overnight. The next morning drain the water and add it in the pressure cooker. Add fresh water about 2 times the soaked peanut, to this add salt to taste. Pressure cook it for 4 whistle. Now switch off the flame and let steam release on its own. Open the pressure cooker and drain the water and set peanuts aside.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add in urad dal when turns golden add mustard seeds when they splutter add green chillies broken red chillies,curry leaves and saute for a few seconds.
Now add asafoetida and coconut and mix well.

To this seasoning add in cooked drained peanuts and mix well.

Add in salt and toss well add a few tbsp water and cook for atleast 5 minutes on low flame.
Check salt before serving.

Normally I soak the peanuts in the afternoon aound 1 and cook them at night and leave it without draining the water so that it gets easy to cook in the morning. If you are making for naivedya or fasting times then cook it fresh.
You can add ¼ tsp freshly crushed peppercorns if you wish to.
Happy Cooking,

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Bhenda Huli - Ladies Finger in tangy gravy

During my childhood dad always said kids become smart if they eat Bhend aka ladies finger and I loved this veggie not because anu told us this I just liked it. I say the same to my daughter and she likes it too I am sure not because I tell her that but she likes Bhindi/bhend/ladies finger in anyform.
This is one such recipe which amma used to make and I just loved it and after my marriage when I made it for Hubby he was in love with this dish. I make this dish once or twice a month atleast as we love this with Daalitoy.
Huli means tangy and this one is my mom’s version of huli so lets see how to make it.
Here is what we need:
¼  kg Lady's Finger, chopped
4 tsp sambar powder
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
1 medium tomato cut into small cubes
2-3 tsp Oil(I have used coconut oil)
1 green chilli(add more according to your spice level)
¼ th tsp urad dal
¼ th tsp mustard seeds
Few sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to Garnish

Heat a wok/kadai  and add in the urad /split blackgram dal and when it turns golden brown add in mustard seeds when splutters in goes the curry leaves and green chilli. Sauté for a few seconds making sure the seasoning doesn’t burn or urad dal doesn’t turn black in colour.
Now add in the tomatoes and cook for a while or until the tomatoes are done.
When tomatoes are done add sambar powder and mix well. Now goes in the tamarind paste and ladies finger, give it a nice mix and all in the salt(to taste).
Add a little water(around ¼ th cup) making sure the gravy would remain thick once done. Add more only if required.
Bring this mixture to a boil keeping the stove on medium heat. By then the ladies fingers must have been done. Switch off the stove and garnish the Huli with freshly chopped corianger leaves.
Serve with rice and dal.
You can add more tamarind paste if you like it a little tangy.
If you want it to be spicy increase the green chilli quantity but do not add red chillies as green chillies give a different flavour.
Happy Cooking,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Rawa Laddoo

Today being second day of navaratri I am sharing a sweet dish with all of you.
Rawa laddoo

Makes : 35 small size laddoos

2 cups semolina (rawa/rava)
 1 cup fresh grated coconut (you can also use frozen)
2tbsp desiccated coconut to roll the laddoos
¼ th cup ghee
1 ½  cups sugar
1 cup water
7 to 8 cardamom pods, ground into powder
20 cashews cut into tiny bits roasted

In a large bowl, mix the semolina and coconut, cover and keep aside for atleast ½ to 1 hour so that the rawa plumps a bit.
In a wok/kadai, heat the ghee on a medium flame. Put in the semolina-coconut mixture, reduce the flame and roast until the semolina turns golden, atleast 20 minutes. Now reduce the flame to low.
While doing this make sure not burn or brown the semolina. Transfer the contents to a wide plate and allow it cool to room temperature.
In a kadai add in the sugar and water into the wok and stir on medium heat until the sugar melts. Lower the heat once the sugar melts, and get to a one string consistency. To test if done take a little syrup on a spoon and cool a little and then take the syrup between your forefinger and thumb and pull apart if you get a one string strand or thread it means its done.
After the syrup reaches single strand/thread consistency, turn off the flame add the cardamom, cashews and fold in the mixture well and keep aside for 15-20 minutes.
When the mixture is warm, form into laddoos or balls by pressing a small lime size portion of the mixture with your palms.
In a plate add in desiccated coconut and roll the laddoo one by one and do the same for all laddoos. This way the laddoos don’t stick to each other

Store in an air tight container.

  • If the mixture might turn too dry to form into laddoos we  can add a few spoons of boiled and cooled milk until the mixture is soft enough to make into laddoos.
  • If the semolina is roasted well then it can be stored at room temperature for 4 days or more than a week in refrigerator
  • The laddoos tend to harden after 2 hours so please think while adding milk.
  • You can even add raisins to this laddoos.
Enjoy Making these laddoos
Yesterday's Recipe: Roasted Makhana 
Happy Navaratri
Happy Cooking,


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Roasted Makhana/ Roasted Phool Makahana/Roasted Fox Nuts

First of all Wishing A Shubh Navaratri to all Aps Kitchen Readers.
I have used phool makhana in curries and kheers , While I’ve been Hearing and Seeing Roasted Phool Makhana in various blogs an even hear from a neighbor aunty while my stay in Mumbai.
Today being Navratri I thought it would be apt for the day as in the north and Mumbai people use phool makhana during fasting.

· Ghee – 1 ½ tsp + a few drops
· Cashewnuts – 2 tbsp broken into bits
· Almonds – 10 -12
· Peanuts -2 tbsp(I have removed the skin)
· Lotus seeds/Phool makhana/Fox Nut -2 cups
· Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
· Chaat masala - ½  tsp
· Salt - as needed or Black salt if eaten during Fasting
· Curry leaves- few

Lets Proceed in making :
  •  And Firstly microwave the curry leaves for a few seconds to roast it keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat Ghee and roast Cashews, almonds and peanuts until they turn golden brown and keep aside on a plate.
  •  In the same pan add in the phool makhana  and roast it in medium flame for 6-7 minutes making sure you don’t burn them but they just change the colour and get roasted well. To check whether it is roasted well,take one in your finger and try to crush it, if it crushes well,that means it is roasted well. If u feel it is soft while you press,u have to roast more.
  • After it is roasted well,make a gap in the center of the kadai add a few drops of ghee in it add red chilli powder,turmeric powder,black salt and chaat masala. Crush the curry leaves with your hands and add in it.Keep the flame low else spice powders will burn.
  • Mix the powders well with roasted makhana. Add in the roasted nuts. Mix well Switch off the flame and let it cool for 4-5 minutes .
  • Serve them in a bowl with hot tea or coffee.
  • Or Store it in a Airtight container.
  • Tastes yummy  and crunchy and you need not worry about your weight while you munch on these!

As my Camera lens has to be cleaned i have clicked pictures from Iphone 6
If not making for fasting you can add regular salt.
You can skip adding the nuts if you are allergic to it I have used as my daughter loves munching nuts in such snacks.

Happy Cooking,


Friday, October 9, 2015

Canteen Veg Pulav

Till Grade 10 I carried lunch box as my house was pretty far from school and there was no question of coming back home and relishing hot steaming and yummy food that Amma made and my brother relished just because he was a few minutes away from home. I always wished to go to a near by school. And my dream came true just as I entered 11th. The college was just a few minutes away from my house and I like my brother would come and enjoy the yummy food my mom made :). The time was not far where I started missing my Lunch Box when I saw bunch of classmates having fun and sharing talks gossips, then I wished go back to my lunch box but couldn’t.
We passed from 12th and reached the graduation college, the heart started beating as if I was under some pressure test. All this happened because it was a new college and I had no old friends there is what I had thought and suddenly I come to know I have a neighbor friend who was not only in the same class but same batch, then the heart beat rate gradually slowed down and I was relieved.
It was the same routine for lunch as it was in 11th and 12th as the graduation college was also not that far. But this time I made sure to get a lunch box once a week just to have the fun time. We enjoyed sharing the lunch box had fun.  

There would be some days when my lunch box would get empty within 11 in the morning just because I opened my box to have a bite of snack(such as aloo bonda, aloo rotti , biscuit rotti or so) the aroma would waft to the back bench boys and soon I was asked to share my tiffin. I would happily do so, and soon think about what I would have for lunch. First thing that would come to my mind would be Canteen Pulav. Yes the canteen pulav it wasn’t that yummy though but somehow I relished it may be because I was hungry or some other reason that I never know till date. They would serve merely 2 tbsps of raita for a plate of Pulav yet it was something that we enjoyed asking for more raitha ;). Those were the days I so very miss it, wish I could live it once again.
Coming to today’s dish, I made some experimental pulav and when hubby and I tasted it we just could feel the Canteen kind of taste in there. Far better than our College canteen though but something near to it. So soon I penned down the recipe to post it here.
The pictures are from Iphone, I wanted to post it as soon as possible with this picture because I am one Bullakkad ;).
Here is what we need for canteen pulav,
Rice - 1 cup (I used Sona Masoori)
Water -2 cups
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Onion – 1
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Carrot -1
Beans – 10
Green peas - 1/3rd  cup.
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (finely chopped).
Salt to taste.

Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon -1“ piece
Cloves -2
Cardomom - 2
Green chillies 2 (slit)

Spice Powders needed:
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Garam masala - ½  tsp.
turmeric powder – 1/4th  tsp.

  • Soak the rice in  water for 30 minutes.
  •  Cut the carrot into small cubes, and cut the beans into ½ inch pcs and onions lengthwise.

  •  Take a pressure a cooker or a large bottom pan, add Ghee when it is hot add bayleaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and slit green chillies.
  • When you get nice aroma from spices, and when green chillies turns pale, add onions and Ginger garlic paste.
  • When onions turns slightly brown colour, add chopped carrots, beans and peas.
  • Sauté in a medium flame for 5 minutes.
  • Add all spice powders (chilli powder, garam masala and turmeric powder) & salt  mix well,  add coriander leaves and sauté for 2 more minutes.
  • Add rice with water. Mix well.
  • When water starts boiling, cover the cooker lid and put the weight, and cook on low flame for 10-12 minutes or 1 whistle.
  • Then switch off the flame, remove the pressure cooker from the stove and give a standing time of 15 minutes, rice gets well cooked with the heat of cooker. Then remove the lid.
  • Serve hot with Raitaa of your choice.
You can use basmati rice if you wish to but as I cook one pot dishes regularly I do not use basmati always.
Happy Cooking,


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Achari Rajma Pulav

As I have always said we love One Pot meal I always look for new recipes. This one recipe is from chef harpal which I have altered a little by changing the beans from Chickpea to Rajma and a little in the masala.
A very easy dish and tastes yummy too.


1 tbsp mango pickle (or any pickle you have in hand)
1 cup rice ( I used normal basmati rice they weren’t that long)
1 tomato, cut in small wedges
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
few whole spices( 2 bay leaves, two star anise, a piece of cinnamon stick and 2 green cardamom pods)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 cup soaked and cooked Rajma (any variety rajma is fine)
½  tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½  tsp chilli powder
½  tsp garam masala (optional)
salt to taste

Method of Preparation:

Wash and soak rice for 10 to 15 minutes.

Put 2 cups of water or cooking liquid to boil.

In the pressure cooker, heat oil. Add bay leaves, cumin seeds, star anise and cinnamon and cardamom. Saute for a minute.
 Once they start to crackle, add sliced onions and garlic. Let them turn a little brown for few minutes.

Add cooked Rajma, mango pickle, tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala (if using). Saute for 3-4 minutes. Adjust salt. Then the drained rice goes in and sauté for few more minutes.

Add the hot water/cooking liquid and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.

Lightly fluff it with a fork.

Serve hot with Raitha 

Note: If you are using freshly boiled rajma beans for this recipe, reserve the cooking liquid or just use normal water. 
I have used Priya Mango Pickle you can use any variety.

Happy Cooking,