October 9, 2018

Laffa Bread for #Breadbakers | Middle Eastern Bread

When I made Pita for the Mediterranean meal we had, I had also bookmarked a few other bread recipes from that region. One of them was Laffa. So this month, Karen @Karenskitchenstories is hosting Middle Eastern Bread and it made perfect sense to make this ultra soft Israeli/ Palestinian-origin bread that's somewhere, as the recipe source rightly put, between a Naan and a Pita. 

I quartered the recipe and made about 3-4 breads, but they were all gone the first time I made them. 

So, made this exclusively for #Breadbakers with a mixture of Wholwheat Atta (stone ground wholwheat flour) and all purpose. Its amazing to note that with the same combination of flour, oil, yeast and salt , so many many different breads are made across the world. 

Let's check this recipe out. This goes great wit hummus or even as a sandwich / wrap with hummus topped salad / veggies or even falafel. The char-grilled marks on this bread are a must-have so make sure your grill is super hot and watch it while its cooking coz over-cooking can immediately turn the bread rubbery and hard. This bread also would go brilliantly with Beetroot Hummus 

Prep time - 15 mins Rise time : 1 hour. Cook time : 15-20 mins, Makes : 6 pieces. 
Cuisine : Middle Eastern ; Course : Main course ; Difficulty level - Easy


  • Bread flour - 1.5 cups
  • Wholewheat flour - 1.5 cup
  • Instant yeast - 7 grams
  • Sugar - 1 TBSP
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp 
  • Olive oil - 2 TBSP
  • Warm water - 2 cups + 3 TBSP (approx.) 

How to:
  1. In a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients, mix well. Make a well, and add the proofed yeast (yeast + warm water + sugar dissolved and set aside for 7-10 mins till yeast 'blooms'). 
  2. Mix well, add half the oil and knead till dough is smooth and pliable. Add the rest of the oil and knead again by hand for 4-5 mins. Rest in a greased bowl , covered with a kitchen towel for 1 hour (or till it doubles).
  3. Once doubled, punch out the dough for any air pockets. knead for 3-4 mins again, and pinch out equal sized balls. Flatten them out slightly and leave them under a kitchen towel while the grill heats up. 
  4. Roll into slightly thickish (and even haphazard shaped breads - it doesnt matter :p) and place on hot grill. Cook for 1-2 min till you see them puff , then flip them over and cook for another 30 seconds (make sure not to overcook or undercook them). 
  5. Serve with hummus, and/ or use as a wrap with falafels / kebabs / shawarma. I served them with Fasolia (Vegan middle eastern curry made with Kidney beans)

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com

Let's see what breads we have from the Middle Eastern stable this month... 

September 30, 2018

Kurukku Kalan | Raw banana in yoghurt curry | Gluten Free

Kurukku Kalan is a delicious curry made in everyday Kerala homes and especially for Onam Sadhya (festive) meal. Although we make this somewhat similar, I wanted to follow an authentic recipe, which my Keralite friend directed me to her mom's recipe. 

This curry was very well received by all at home, and keeps for 3-4 days in the refrigerator. and the flavours deepen as they sit. Serve it with hot rice , kerala papad and ghee for a scrumptious meal. 

This can be made with with either yam or raw banana and as I was given Raw banana and Coconut by Shobha Keshwani who was my partner for this month's Sshh Secret Cooking challenge, it was a great way to eat raw banana (my husband's favourite) in a delicious curry. 

Be it yam or raw banana, apparently 3-4 ingredients are vital to a good Kalan (as we discovered) : turmeric, pepper powder, fresh curd and fenugreek powder.  Do try this and let me know how you liked it. 

prep time - 15 mins, cook time - 15 mins, serves - 3 ~ 4
Kurukku Kalan - Gluten Free Curry 
Cuisine : Kerala (India) ; Course : Side Dish
Can be Vegan too 

Raw banana - 2 large 
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Fresh pepper powder - 1/2 TBSP (or to taste)
Salt - to tate
Fenugreek powder - 1/2 T (or to taste)
Thick yoghurt - 200 ml (substitute with cashew or rice yoghurt for a vegan version) 

To grind:
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Jeera /Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2 ~ 3 (adjust spice)

Coconut oil - 1 TBSP
Curry leaves - few
Whole fenugreek / methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Broken red chillies - 2 (opt.)

How to:
Peel Raw banana and cut into largish cubes. Reserve in salted,turmeric water with the pepper powder for 10 mins.
Bring to a boil with the spiced water and add fresh pepper powder, cook till raw banana is done, but not mushy . keep aside.
Grind all ingredients under "to grind" to a smooth paste. Whisk this paste in the thick yoghurt. 
Add this yoghurt-masala mixture to the cooked veggies (along with the water). adjust  salt , and add fenugreek powder and let it simmer on a low flame to a thickish consistency. 
Prepare tempering in a separate pan and add to the curry . Serve hot with steamed rice and pappadum

September 7, 2018

F for Farali Dosa | Instant Farali Dosa | A-Z Dosa series | GF Dosa

This was a tricky alphabet, and thanks to this recipe by Tarla Dalal, I could crack it easily. Adapted from this and various other websites, I ended up making this many times before posting it here. For a Gluten free (and sometimes,Vegan) diet which we try to follow mostly at home, this Dosa is very handy and is filling too.  Faraali in Hindi means food eaten on days of fasting (esp during Navratri or Karva Chauth etc) when only certain ingredients are eaten due to religious beliefs. 

Served here with Suran ki Bhaji (Yam gravy), it was liked by the kids too without actually revealing to them that it contained flours that they would turn up their nose at :-) For a complete Faraali dish, you can serve it with peanut chutney.

All in all, an experiment that went well (and many times at that). 

So far in the #26daysofDosa series of presenting 26 Dosas Alphabetically this September, we have seen:

A - Azhagar Kovil Dosa (Vegan &GF)
B - Black Rice Adai (Kāvuni Arisi Dosa)- 
(Vegan &GF)
C - Cucumber Dosa - 
(Vegan &GF)
D - Drumstick Leaves Adai (Vegan &GF)
E - Erra Karam Dosa (Vegan & GF)

Prep time - 15 mins , Cook time - 20 mins ; Makes - 4~6  dosas

Rajgira Flour - 1/2 cup (1 cup = 200 ml)
Tapioca Flour - 1/4 cup
Singhada ka atta - 1/4 cup (water Chestnut flour)
Vrat ka namak - to taste
Buttermilk - 1 cup
Ginger + chilly paste - 1/2 tsp
Oil - to fry the dosa (as required)

Sieve the flours with salt, add the ginger- chilly paste, buttermilk, whisk to a smooth flowing batter. 
Keep aside for 1/2 hour. Heat the tava, and make medium sized dosas drizzling oil around the sides. 
Keep it crisp as possible. 
Serve immediately with any chutney or sambhar (or Farali Chutney (Coriander-peanuts-green chillies) if required). 

SImilar Dosas on the blog:
Some more Dosa varieties (mostly Vegan and GF) on this blog :

September 6, 2018

E for Erra Karam Dosa | A-Z Dosa Series | Vegan, GF Dosa

Sometimes you need a shock value from food to reinvigorate yourself . Today’s Erra Karam dosa does just that. Although by and large we are a savoury loving family, the spice paste used for this dosa which has its origins in the Rayalseema region of erstwhile Andhra Pradesh state is spicy to say the least .

I did expect the dosa to be reasonably spicy, but I think I was a tad casual in the number of the chillies and it was quite spicy. But otherwise it was a lovely break from the semi-spicy food we have .

Adapted from Priya Srinivasan’s recipe (who in turn I think referenced Suma’s recipe), this was one more bookmarked recipe cleared out well. Thanks Priya and Suma for the recipe.

I used a combo of onions , spice powder as toppings (instead of the paste) and that gave a slightly different but delightful textural high to the dosa.

So far in the #26daysofdosa, we have seen :

A - Azhagar Kovil Dosa (Vegan &GF)
B - Black Rice Adai (Kāvuni Arisi Dosa)- 
(Vegan &GF)
C - Cucumber Dosa - 
(Vegan &GF)
D - Drumstick Leaves Adai (Vegan &GF)

Let's get to today's recipe:
Vegan and GF Erra Karam Dosa served with Hotel style Coconut Chutney

Prep time + soaking + fermentation time - 10~12 hours
Makes - 15 to 20 Dosas
Spice level - high

Dosa batter - as required. I used this Foxtail Millet Dosa 
Oil - to roast the dosa

For the Karam (spice) chutney (you can make dry or wet chutney, I prefer dry chutney as it keeps for 2-3 days under refrigeration)

Guntur Red chillies - 10  (adjust to taste)
Garlic Pods - 6 to 7
Sesame seeds - 1 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Peanuts - 4 T
Tamarind - small gooseberry sized (about 20 grams)
Fresh whole Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

Onions - 1/4 cup (finely chopped shallots taste great here) as an optional but recommended topping. 

To make the Karam : Roast all ingredients except salt individually in 2 tsp of oil. 
Cool and grind to a coarse powder. 
(If preferred, add 1 medium sized onion well sautéed + 1-2 T water and make to a thick paste)

To make the Erra Karam Dosa:
Heat a tava to medium high, Pour a batter of the dosa. Drizzle oil on top as well as the sides. Sprinkle the spice (Karam) powder or paste, topped with chopped shallots. Let it cook to a golden brown on both sides. 
Serve immediately with hotel Style Coconut Chutney. 

September 5, 2018

D for Drumstick leaves Adai | Murunga Elai Adai | Nuggesoppu Dose | Vegan & GF | A-Z Dosa series

Drumstick leaves are an excellent source of folic acid and although the newly found fad is Moringa powder (as aped from the West), Indians have long since used drumstick leaves and the fruit (which is actually a vegetable) in everyday cooking

Today’s dosa - Drumsticks leaves Adai - is a twist to the usual Adai in two ways - the rice is replaced with Bamboo rice and the adai is topped generously with garden fresh tender Moringa leaves. I am lucky to have these leaves almost through the year where I stay and this is one of the yumybwsys to use fresh leaves 
For those who have access to organic Moringa powder, you can add that to the adai made today, with varying results

So far in the A-Z dosa series we have seen:

 A - Azhagar Kovil Dosa
 B - Black Rice Adai (Kāvuni Arisi Dosa)

 C - Cucumber Dosa

Let’s get to today’s recipe -
Vegan, GF, drumstick leaves Adai (satvik and Jain recipe)

Prep time - 10 hours (including soaking n grinding and light fermentation) ; makes - 18 ~ 20 Dosas

What you need:
Bamboo rice - 300 ml (can use normal rice or even brown rice)
Toor dal - 125 grams
Chana dal - 125 grams 
Dry Red chillies - 6/7 (adjust to taste)
Salt - to taste 

Finely chopped fresh Moringa / drumstick leaves - 2/3 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Dry ginger powder / sukku Podi - 1/2 tsp

How to:
Wash and soak the Dals and rice together for 6-8 hours along with the dry red chillies in minimum water.
Use the soaked water and grind the above to a smooth thick batter.
Add the add-ons and mix well. Keep it covered till slightly fermented for 2 hours ( you can use the batter without fermenting but the 2 hours helps in absorbing the flavours really well, so don’t skip this step)
Heat a cast iron tava. Mix the batter really well and pour a ladleful of this onto a thick adai kind of dosa in medium flame 
Drizzle sesame oil around the dosa . Let it cook to a golden brown on both sides 
The Adai is ready when it’s cooked and golden brown
Serve with any chutney or sambhar

As we made this for dinner, we had with chutneypudi ,jaggery and some cabbage stir fry for a filling meal

September 4, 2018

C for Cucumber Dosa (Instant, No Fermentation) | Vegan and GF Crepe | A-Z Dosa series

It's amazing how Indians have adapted cuisine / food / recipes to the local produce and today's Cucumber Dosa (#VellarikaiDosa / #SouthekayiDosa) in the A-Z Dosa series is a testament to that fact. Entirely plant based, Vegan and GF this is a delicious addition to the breakfast rotation (or even weekday dinner / evening tiffins). 

Best served hot, this dosa is quick and requires no fermentation. You may soak the rice either overnight or for a minimum of 2 hours, and it comes together with everyday pantry stuff. 

Do give it a try for a change from the usual Urad Dal Dosa. 

So far on the A-Z Dosa series (#26daysofdosa) for September, we have seen:

 A - Azhagar Kovil Dosa
 B - Black Rice Adai (Kāvuni Arisi Dosa)

Prep time : 15 mins + soaking time (2 ~8 hours), Grinding time - 10 mins
Makes - 8 to 10  dosas.

Vegan, GF, Cucumber Dosa served with Chettinad Khara Chutney


  • Raw rice (short grain variety) - 200 ml
  • Grated Cucumber (with skin on) - 1/2 cup (I used 1 medium sized English Cucumber)
  • Grated coconut - 3 TBSP
  • Jeera / Cumin - 1/2 T
  • Green chillies - 2 ~3 (adjust to taste)
  • Coriander and curry leaves - a handful - chopped fine
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - to pan fry the dosa (approx 1/4 ~1 /2 tsp each per dosa)


  1. Wash and soak rice overnight or for 2-4 min. I soaked it overnight.
  2. Next morning, drain the water, add the remaining ingredients (except oil) and grind to a slightly coarse batter. Leave aside for 1/2 hour.
  3. Heat a skillet / tava , grease it well. Mix the batter well and pour a ladleful of the batter and spread in circular fashion.
  4. Drizzle oil around the edges and let it cook till the bottom is slightly crispy and golden brown.
  5. You may choose to cook both sides or serve as is. 

September 3, 2018

B for Black Rice Adai | Kavuni Arsi Adai | Vegan and Gluten Free

After yesterday's Azhagar Kovil Dosa, we have for Alphabet B (in the A-Z Dosa series this month), Black Rice Adai or Kavuni Arisi Adai. Black Rice a.k.a forbidden rice became popular in the east, but our own Chettinad Cuisine uses this rice in a very delicious sweet. As with most Adai (thick lentil-based Dosa), this Adai too has a lot of proteins and very little rice.

As I wanted to experiment with Black rice, I tried with a small quantity and was well received by the spouse who liked the nuttiness which came with the black rice. I have had black rice salad as well as a cooked black rice + Thai Red curry Combo (both recipes coming soon !), so I personally liked the glutinous black rice. 

It's worth a try once if one is open to experimenting with new cuisines / ingredients.

Similar Adai varieties on the blog:
Let's get to the recipe now. This is again a fermented Adai (thick Dosa).

Black Rice Adai ~ Kavuni Arisi Adai ~ #26daysofDosa ~ 

Vegan and Gluten Free Indian style savoury pancake.
Served with Raw turmeric-Ginger Chutney

Ingredients: ( 1 cup = 200 ml)
Black Rice - 1 cup
Raw Rice (any short grained variety will do) - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal (tuvaram Paruppuy in tamil) - 1/2 cup
Channa Dal / Bengal Gram / Kadalai Paruppu - 1/4 cup
Masoor Dal - 1/4 cup
Salt - to taste

Chopped Coriander leaves - 1 TBSP
Hing / Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp (opt.)

Wash and Soak the lentils together for 4-6 hours or even overnight. Grind together to a smooth paste. Add salt , mix well. 
You may prepare the dosa immediately or let it ferment on the countertop for 2-3 hours (I did the latter).

To prepare the dosas: 
Add the toppings to the dosa batter, heat the tava to medium hot, grease it well. 
Pour a thick batter, and drizzle oil around it till its cooked on both sides 
(You may also spread it think like a normal dosa if required - the cooking time per dosa would vary)
Serve immediately. We had with Raw turmeric-Ginger Chutney

So far in the A-Z Dosa Series all this September:
A for Azhagar Kovil Dosa

September 2, 2018

A for Azhagar Kovil Dosa | A-Z Dosa Varieties

We begin September with 26 dosas (Indian Crepes) this month. As a family, we are slowly exploring GF and Vegan options so a month-long blogging as a challenge with 26 dosas appealed to me, both for the versatility that dosas present as well as a filling breakfast / brunch option that it provides. The month long Challenge to post 26 dosas in alphabetical order (A-Z) starts today with Azhagar kovil dosa.I hope that you would enjoy this journey as we discover dosa varieties from across India’s repertoire.

All of these dosas were tried for the first time exclusively for this challenge I set myself including some bookmarks that also got cleared. With some dosas, it was a trial and error and the error(s) have also been noted and worked upon. And some others, I have halved or quartered down the original recipe to make 2-4 dosas as a trial too ! 

I have a mix of both Instant and fermented Dosas. As far as possible, they are GF and Vegan. But in the recipes that required them as an essential ingredients, they are presented the way they ought to be.  

So, for all those dosa lovers (and those are yet to be converted into one), join me in this journey of 26 dosas all this September featured in A-Z alphabetical order

Azhagar kovil dosai was on my to-do list for a long time! Adapted from Shanthi Krishnakumar‘s recipe, this was a delicious addition to the breakfast rotation and actually keeps u full with just 1-2 dosas

Prep time - 5 Mins , soaking time - 4~6 hours, grinding time - 15 Mins ; fermentation time - 10~12 hours
Makes - approx 8-9 dosas

GF, Satvik and vegan whole black gram n rice pancakes served with Flaxseed Molagapudi and Pudina Thogayal. 

Whole black gram - 100 ml
Raw rice (any short grained rice) - 100 ml
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - to pan fry
Salt - to taste

Topping / addons (must add) :
Dry ginger powder , crushed fresh black pepper - 1 tsp each
Hing / asafoetida - 1/3 tsp

Wash and soak the rice and dal separately for 4 hours or even overnight. Soak fenugreek seeds with the rice
Grind both the rice and dal to a smooth paste. Add requisite salt and mix well.
Let it ferment for 10-12 hours or overnight .
After fermentation, mix in the toppings / add-ons indicated below. Check for salt and spice and mix thoroughly. 

To make the dosas -
Grease an oil Skillet (tava). Mix the well fermented batter and pour a deep ladle full of the batter onto a medium-hot tava . Do not spread, let it be like a thick Dosa, ~ 6 / 7 inches in Diameter. Drizzle Oil or ghee (or even a mixture of both if you are not vegan) around the sides. Let it cook well and turn slightly crusty. 
Flip on the other side and let it cook again for 1 min.
Serve immediately with any chutney or Sambhar. 
We had ours with Flaxseed Molagapudi and Pudina Thogayal. 

August 31, 2018

Heerekayi Huli Thovve | Ridgegourd in tangy spicy sauce | Vegan and GF

Our kitchen is primarily a medley of Tamilnadu and Karnataka food sprinkled with cuisines from rest of the country (and the world) . Today's dish - Heerekai Huli Thovve (Heerekai = ridge gourd ; Huli = tangy ; Thovve = lentil based) is a favourite that I ate, growing up in Bangalore. Served at most Kannada weddings, this is a staple that goes great with Majjigehuli and Ambode (paruppu vada) as a classic combo. 

I was paired with @Veena for this month's edition of Karnataka cuisine for the Sshhh Cooking Challenge. I wanted to post this recipe for long, and the ingredients that Veena gave me - Ridgegourd and Chillies was the perfect foil to make this . 

I served this with Karuppu Ulundogarai (Whole black lentil flavoured rice) , Vellarikai Inji Pachadi (Cucumber Raita in a coconut-ginger-cumin yoghurt gravy) and that was a yum meal by itself.  Glutenfree, wholesome (and vegan too , if you would sub the yoghurt in the raita with a plan-based one) 

This is a quick side dish that goes well with steamed rice, and flavoured rice, chapati, poori or even theplas (as we discovered the next morning with leftovers). I usually make this in slightly larger quantities so as to serve us for 2 meals (for 4 people), but you may scale up or down the proportion. This is best made with fresh ridge gourd (and I was very lucky to find fresh baby ridge gourd in the market which promptly went into making this dish). 

So, lets get to make this yummy dish : Heerekai Huli Thovve
Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 10 mins, Serves - 4
Cuisine : Karnataka, Course: Side dish; Vegan and GF too !!

1. Use the fresh gourd with very little or no seeds. Taste a piece of the raw vegetable , if its bitter (some varieties are utterly bitter), discard and start afresh. 
2. The consistency of this gravy is between a sambhar and a rasam, albeit on the thicker side. So adjust water accordingly. 
3. Tastes best with hot rice and roasted papad. Keeps for upto 2-3 days under refrigeration if the masala including fresh coconut is roasted well before grinding. Always cool the roasted masala mix before grinding. 
4. Tadka is best done with ghee for this dish, but I used oil to make it Vegan. It is your personal choice to use ghee too :)

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
Ridge gourd- 250 grams (I used baby ridge gourd, so scrape lightly, but don't peel. If using normal ridge gourd. scrape the thorns / hard ridges out and peel the skin but not fully - the ridge gourd needs to hold shape even after slightly cooked) : Cut into medium sized chunks.
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind  - 1 small gooseberry sized
Toor Dal - 1/2 cup (1 cup= 200 ml)

To grind (masala):
Fresh Coconut - 1/4 cup
Whole coriander seeds - 1 TBSP
Byadgi / Bedgi / Kashmiri Chillies - 2 nos
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 1 or 2
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Channa Dal - 1/2 TBSP
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sambhar powder - 1 TBSP (optional but recommended)

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Broken Red chillies - 1 or 2
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida / Hing- a generous pinch


  1. Pressure cook the toor dal with 1/4 tsp of turmeric , and the tamarind (chunk if using) separately in a  till soft and mash the toor dal well and keep aside. If using tamarind paste, don't pressure cook. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a pan, boil the ridge gourd chunks with minimal water, salt and a dash of turmeric till the vegetable is soft but not mushy. Turn off the heat.
  3. In a seperate oan, add 2 tsp oil and roast all the ingredients except coconut and sambar powder of the masala ingredients ONE by ONE. Do not roast them together. Now turn off the heat and add coconut and sauté well for 2-3 mins . Cool, grind with the Coconut- masala mixture along with the sambhar powder and the tamarind (paste or cooked) into a smooth thick paste adding adequate water.
  4. Add this paste into the cooked ridge gourd and add requisite salt and let it come to a slow simmer. 
  5. Now add the cooked dal (reserve a little if you feel the gravy is too thick), jaggery and a little water (I used about 1/2 cup again) to get to a thickish gravy.
  6. Let it simmer for 4-5 mins till the raw smell disappears. 
  7. Make the tempering (tadka) with the mentioned ingredients. Pour into the gravy and serve this side dish hot with Chapatis / Poori / Phulka / Steamed Rice. 

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