August 3, 2020

15-min Matki Chi Usal Recipe | मटकीची उसळ| Moth Beans Gravy | Vegan and Gluten Free Recipes

Matki chi usal is a delicious gravy from Maharashtra. It’s a semi solid kind of gravy made with moth beans (a.k.a matki in local lingo), although Usal is also had in the dry sautè form. Having been in Mumbai for considerably long now, we have started adapting these local cuisines as part of the daily menu plan and these sprouted curry is part of a fortnightly meal rotation. 

The kids love this with hot chapatis for dinner. It also makes an excellent source of fibre (due to its sprouting, although sprouting is optional) and protein as a legume. 


Other Maharashtrian dishes on the blog are 

Priya Vijay who blogs at SweetSpicyTasty gave us #Maharashtrian cuisine as a theme. Her Farali Chivda is something I would love to try out soon. 

Vegan GF and filling - that’s a good dish to have for your meal, isn’t it ? Let’s get cracking. 

Soak time - 8 hrs of soaking time + Sprouting (optional). 
Prep time - 10 mins
Cook time - 15 mins
Serves - 4
Cuisine : Maharashrian (indian). 
Course : Side dish / snack; 
spice level - medium 

What you need:
Moth beans / Matki (you can also make this with cow pea / alasandhe OR dried vatana / dried peas) - 150 grams
Oil - 1 TBSP
Tempering : Curry leaves, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
turmeric -1/4 tsp
Potato - 2 medium (or 1 large)
Onion - 1 large (minced)
Ripe Tomato - 1 large

Spice powders:
Goda Masala - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Pwdr - 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder / Dry Coriander powder - 1 TBSP
Kashmiri Red chilli pwdr - 1 tsp
Amchur / dry mango powder - 1/2 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp (opt. But recommended) 

Garnish - Lemon juice 1 TSP + chopped coriander - 1 TBSP

How to:
  1. Soak the moth beans overnight (or till they double). Drain (at this stage, you can sprout them or use as is).
  2. In a pressure pan, heat oil. Splutter the tempering ingredients. Add turmeric, minced onion .Add salt and sauté well till onions turn golden brown. Now add soaked matki (moth beans), cubed potato  tomato and the spice powders. 
  3. Sauté well for 3-4 mins till the oil slightly separates. Add 1-1.5 cups of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
  4. Let the pressure come down on its own. Mash up the potatoes a bit to give the gravy more volume and body. 
  5. Add 2-3 TBSP water if you need to adjust the consistency to a gravy like texture.
  6. Let it simmer for 1-2 mins , at this stage adjust salt and spices. 
  7. Finish with lemon juice  and chopped cilantro. 
  8. Serve hot with Chapatis or Pav (bread rolls)

July 30, 2020

Instant Cucumber Idli - No Grinding, No Fermentation, No Urad Dal required | ಸೌತೆಕಾಯಿ ಇಡ್ಲಿ | How to make Cucumber Idli | GF, Vegan

Idli is one of the healthiest Indian Breakfasts, and it has a wide following worldwide, even amongst non-South Indians as its easy to digest, can be taken even for convalescence patients who otherwise can't eat everyday food. As a family,Monday mornings are usually reserved for Idlis / Dosa as I grind the batter on Sunday evenings. With the humidity levels tolerable, I ferment for a little longer. 

You would naturally guess that we are a Idli loving family with over 14 varieties of Idli here on the blog (and counting!). And what better fun than to pair these Idli / Dosa with these huge collection of 20+ chutney varieties. Take your pick :)

Another plus  in our family is we are huge fans of steamed dishes like: 
Plus of course there are recipes like Baked Idli FryIdli Chilli and Idli Manchurian
which are made with leftover Idlis too. All in all, instant or fermented , Idli rules in our house.

Today's recipe came from a friend who's shared her mom's recipe for Instant Cucumber Idlis. This is a NO Urad dal recipe. You need about 15 mins of prep time + 30 mins (minimum) resting time. Since I made it first, we have made it thrice already. 

If you are a fan of Idlis or like trying out new recipes, please do check out the recipe and leave the comments on the YouTube video below too once you watch it for the method. If visiting the channel for the first time, please do like and subscribe to our channel.  

Anu Kollon suggested that we make steamed dishes this month for Ssshh Secretly Challenge, and I was paired with Preethi who gave me cucumber and cumin as the main ingredients. I gave her cardamom and milk powder - do check out the yummilicious Instant Kharwas she has made. 

Till then, check out this ultra delicious Cucumber Idli - Gluten Free and Vegan. 

See notes for getting it right the first time, every time :)

Prep time - 15 mins, Standing time - 45-60 mins ; Cook time - 15 to 20 mins. Makes - 12-14 medium sized Idlis


  1. This recipe traditionally doesn’t use Curd / yoghurt. But if you are short of cucumbers, use can use curd partially. Don't skip the cucumbers entirely  
  2. Don’t skimp on the quantity of the fresh / frozen coconut. That gives the extra moisture and softness for the idli
  3. Don’t steam for less than indicated time, as the batter is somewhat watery, cook it for 2-3 mins more than the usual Idli (again time depends on how many idlis you are making per batch)
  4. Only Rice Rava (homemade or store bought ) will work for this recipe, not the usual semolina / Sooji / Kansa rava.  If you don’t have readymade / store bought Idli rava, click the above link on how to make  homemade Idli Rawa.
1 cup = 200 ml 

What you need:
  • Rice Rava (homemade) - 1.5 cups
  • Grated Cucumber - 2.5 cups (Grated with skin on and don’t squeeze out the water)**
  • Grated Fresh / Frozen Coconut - 1 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds -1 tsp
  • Green chillies - 2 to 3 finely minced
  • Grated ginger - 1 TBSP (opt.but recommended)

How to make:
Refer the YouTube video below for the detailed steps 

July 28, 2020

20+ Easy Chutney Recipes for Breakfast or lunch | Easy Chutney Recipes | Recipe Collections

Think Chutney for breakfast in most houses would be the Classic Coconut chutney or mint chutney. Think beyond the classic and check out these 20+ varieties of chutney you can make. 

Most at vegan (plant based) and almost all are GF (if you skip the asafoetida). Almost all of them pair with breakfast IdliVadaDosa , Pongal  ,Dhokla, Upma while some are called Thogayals (a.k.a Thuvayal) which is a South Indian  / Tamil style thick chutney that is eaten with hot steamed rice and some gravy.  In Andhra cuisine, these chutneys are also called pachadi. 

So, do let me know in the comments below which is your favourite and what are the other chutney varieties would you love to see on the blog ? 

Thogayal / Thuvayals (thick South Indian Chutneys eaten with rice)

Tomato Thokku (Tomato Chutney)  - this can be eaten with idli / dosa as well

Inji Thogayal (GInger chutney)

Paruppu thogayal (Lentils - Only chutney) 

Karivepalai Thogayal (Curry leaves chutney)

For Chutneys served wit Idli/Dosa/Pongal/Upma, we have (in alphabetical order) :

July 27, 2020

Ragi Thinai Dosa | NO RICE DOSA | Diabetic friendly Foxtail millet Ragi Dosa | Gluten Free, Vegan Dosa

Ragi Thinai Dosa is a Rice - Free , gluten Free, Vegan Dosa . This is a diabetic friendly dosa / crepe that is made often at home. Introducing Ragi (finger millet / nachni) to kids at an young age is imperative for the calcium content it boasts of, and dosas are the easiest way to sneak this in right ? 

I have GF and vegan Ragi Choco chip pancake which my younger one loves for her Sunday breakfast and also instant Cucumber Dosa (which is my preferred dosa any day). Other Ragi based Recipes include Mini Stuffed Ragi Masala Dosa.

If you are just venturing into millets, do check out various ways to use millets from One Pot Meals  to Dosa, Idli  Upma , Pongal to Millet Cakes

This is a similar pancake /dosa which doesn’t require too much prep time.except for soaking the millets and grinding them. The dark colour of the dosas could be a little getting used to. But once you like the taste, it is totally yum. I have used Whole Ragi (whole millet) to make this. Served here is Chettinad style Khara Chutney which is the perfect foil to this dosa. 

I have about 20+ varieties of Dosa on the blog, and Priya asked us to make any kid of Dosa for this week’s edition of #DosaDen at FMBH. I am particularly in love with her Broccoli Masala Dosa - a delicious twist to the popular masala dosa. Let’s get to see how to make this delicious dosa.

Prep time - 15 mins, Soaking time - 6 to 8 hours ;  
Grinding time - 30 mins , Fermentation time - 10 to 12 hours
Makes ~ 15 to 20 Dosa

1 cup = 200 ml


You need:
Whole ragi / nachni grains - 1 cup  
Thinai / Foxtail millet - 1 cup
Urad dal - 3/4 cup
Methi seeds / fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Red poha / brown poha - 2 TBSP (optional but recommended)
Oil - to make the dosa.

How to:

  • Wash the ragi well. Soak the ragi and the foxtail millet in separate containers for 6 hours. Soak urad dal with the poha and methi seeds separately for 4 hours.  
  • Grind the Urad dal + methi + poha mixture well into a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl. 
  • Grind the ragi and foxtail millet separately into slightly coarse batters. 
  • Mix all 3 batters and mix well with your hand or a whisk thoroughly. Add salt and mix again, ensuring the batters are well mixed in. Cover the container and ferment overnight. 
  • Next morning, mix the fermented batter again. Add 1-2 tsp of water if its too thick (I didn’t add). Adjust consistency to a pouring dosa batter texture. 
  • Grease a cast iron tava (skillet) well. pour a ladle full of batter and spread to a dosa (don’t make it too thin or thick). Drizzle little oil around the sides. Let it cook golden. Flip and cook for 10 more seconds. 
  • Serve hot with any chutney. We had with Chettinad style Khara Chutney  

July 26, 2020

No Fry Bonda Soup Recipe | No onion no garlic | How to make Bonda Soup | Video Recipes

Bonda is a lentil or a vegetable dumpling that's usually deep fried and eaten as is with chutney or sauce. This is a soup made with a no-fry bonda - a delicious appetiser that's made with everyday pantry essentials . Completely GlutenFree and Vegan, this makes for the perfect dish during parties / potlucks, and the bondas are no fry , which means they can be made ahead of time too! Try this and let me know how you liked it.

Bonda Soup like Rasam vada is a fried (or in this case non-fried) lentil snack soaked in a delicious broth.

Let's get to see how this is made.

Karnataka special Bonda Soup - GF, Vegan and No onion no garlic recipe


Sending this to Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by me (Kalyani) themed on "Monsoon Treats".

Prep time - 15 mins, Soaking + grinding time - 6 hours, Serves -  6

1 cup = 200 ml

What you need:

To soak for 4 hours and grind to a smooth paste and add the following spices:

Moong dal / split green gram - 1/2 cup 
Channa Dal / bengal gram - 1/2 cup
Toor dal / split pigeon pea - 2 TBSP
Brown Rice - 3 TBSP

Jeera/cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
crushed ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro leaves - finely minced – 1 TBSP
Crushed whole black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cooking soda - 1/4 tsp (just before making the bonda)

To make the soup base:
Oil - 2 TBSP
*Cooked* toor dal - 150 grams
Tomatoes - 2 ripe (medium) or 1 large
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 2 small
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste

Spice powders:
Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp (adjust spice)
Dhaniya powder / coriander pwdr - 1 tsp
Menthyada Hittu spice powder / Methkoot powder - 3 TBSP 

Coriander leaves - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - optional

Check the Video recipe embedded below and let us know how you liked it. Be sure to click like and subscribe (dont forget to click on the bell icon for all video notifications from our channel)

July 23, 2020

How to make Menthyada Hittu | Menthe Hittu Recipe | ಮೆಂತ್ಯದ ಹಿಟ್ಟು Recipe | Roasted Fenugreek powder | Karnataka Special Condiment

Menthe Hittu or Menthyada hittu (Menthya in Kannada means Fenugreek seeds / Methi dana and hittu means flour, here it refers to the spice powder) is a special, delicious and versatile condiment used in North Karnataka Cuisine. 

Filled with super healthy ingredients, primarily methi seeds (fenugreek seeds), its proteinicious and is eaten with hot rice+ghee , added to many curries (including making the very famous Menthe Gojju - tangy spicy dip - recipe soon!), and also eaten with rustic GF flatbreads like the following. I love this especially in this no-fry Bonda Soup

This powder also tastes amazing when topped on plain Upma / Poha as well. 

Similar Spice powders that have been heirloom recipes that our family loves are:

Godhi Chutneypudi (chutneypudi made with wheat kernels)*

Flaxseeds Chutneypudi*

Poondu Podi (Garlic flavoured spice powder)

Let's get to today's recipe:

Prep time - 10 mins, Roasting time - 25 mins, Makes ~ 250-300 grams of the condiment
Shelf life - upto 2 months when refrigerated and used with sterile spoons


(1 cup=200 ml)

What you need:
  • Toor dal - 1/2 cup
  • Channa dal - 1/2 cup 
  • Moong dal - 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal - 1/4 cup
  • Dry Red chilli - 4to 5 (adjust spice) - **don't use kashmiri variety**
  • Dry Coriander seeds - 3 TBSP
  • Methi dana / Menthya / fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp (don't increase this quantity for this above proportion of dals, else the powder becomes too bitter)
  • Hing / asafoetida - 1/8 tsp (skip for GF)
  • Salt - to taste (approx 1.25 tsp)
  • Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
  • Jaggery - 1/2 tsp (optional but recommended)
  • Oil - 1/4 tsp

How to: (See step by step picture above for detailed steps)
  • Dry roast all the dals (ONE by ONE) till they turn golden brown. Take them to a plate. Let it cool. 
  • Similarly dry roast the coriander seeds and fenugreek too. Remove from plate  
  • Add the oil, roast the chillies on low flame for 15-30 seconds, remove. 
  • Cool all ingredients to room temperature. 
  • Pulse all dals together to a coarse powder. 
  • Now add coriander seeds + methi seeds and pulse just once. 
  • Add the chillies, salt, turmeric, hing(if using) , jaggery and pulse again.
  • You would get a semi coarse powder. 
  • Cool and store in an airtight container. 
  • Use dry and sterile spoons always to use any condiment 
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