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April 7, 2020

Mirapakaya Ukkera - Guestpost by Usha | Guestpost Series #24

I met Usha - who blogs at My Spicy Kitchen - on a Blogging Platform few years ago. Her blog is a haven for #magazinestyle photography. With crystal clear pictures and perfectly coordinated props - one could spend a whole day browsing thru the recipes. She also helped us (read me) getting the nuances of how to use the DSLR as she demonstrated it on few of our Blogger Meets. Her blog is a mix of Andhra and global cuisine. As a person, Usha is utterly soft spoken and a wonderful person to know. Thank you, Usha for this guest post. You have brought us a wonderful dish from your heirloom recipe collection. 

Now over to Usha in her own words, and her recipe.. 


Hello readers of Sizzling Tastebuds.  I am Usha Rao from MySpicyKitchen.  Glad to do a guest post for Kalyani on Sizzling Tastebuds I don’t  remember when I met Kalyani in the blogging world but we two are part of a blogging group and blog together every month.  I also met her a couple of times in person during our BM meets and in NY when she came on a holiday.

I am originally from Hyderabad and now settled in NY.  I love cooking and used to experiment with recipes from cookery shows  since my high school years and those were mostly snack recipes.  It is only after marriage that I started cooking full fledged and like to do it in my kitchen, at my own pace with no distractions.  To me, it is more of me time.  

I started blogging almost 12 years ago as a hobby to document recipes I try at home.  Now the blog has become part of my life and I can't imagine life without blogging.  During this journey, I also developed interest in photography, food photography to be precise.  Now I enjoy food photography more than creating recipes :) 

I usually blog about the food I cook at home, which includes everyday Indian food, bakes and some recipes from  international cuisine.  At home I usually cook Andhra/Telangana recipes and sometimes grilled meats.  I also love baking, though I do not bake as much as I love to, as I am the only one who eats it.    

When Kalyani invited me to do a guest post, I was excited to do it.  She wanted me to share a forgotten / rare recipe that my family cooks.  I had few recipes in mind.  The plan was to cook the recipe at home before I came to India but could not do so.  I eventually ended up picking sesame green chilies curry or mirapakaya ukkera.  

Mirapakaya ukkera was a regular at my maternal grandparent’s place and is one of my mother’s favorites.  It was regular when we were growing up as well and it is now one of those forgotten dishes.  Sesame tomato curry is also prepared in a similar way and that still is a regular at home, unlike  sesame green chilies curry.  Since I am in India now, I asked my mom to prepare it for today’s guest post.  

Sesame mirapakaya koora is a rustic curry prepared with sesame and coarsely crushed green chilies.  It is a side dish that pairs well with rice and even roti.   

  • 6-8 spoons Oil
  • 1 cup (200ml) Sesame Seeds (washed and dried)
  • 250 grams long, thin Green Chilies (adjust to heat tolerance level)
  • 1 medium sized Onion
  •  cup chopped Scallions 
  • 2 tsp Coriander Powder 
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste 
  • Salt to taste 

  1. Wash and air dry sesame seeds.  This is an optional step. Nowadays super markets carry clean sesame seeds.  Use your discretion.  
  2. Take sesame seeds in a jar and grind to fine paste, sprinkling some water if needed.  
  3. Wash and remove the stalks of the green chilies.  Grind to a coarse paste.  
  4. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions until translucent.  
  5. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté until the ginger smell is gone. 
  6. Add coriander powder, turmeric and mix well.  
  7. Add coarse chili paste, salt and sauté for 3-4 minutes until chilies are lightly roasted. 
  8. Add sesame paste and sauté on low flame until senses and green chilies are cooked. 
  9. This will take a decent 20-30 minutes. We made it in an iron kadai and it took about 45 minutes from start to finish.
  10. Serve with hot rice or roti.  

April 6, 2020

Wholewheat Ajwaini Poori + Chole Combo Meal

Kids love Poori (puffed Indian flatbreads) a lot. Although we rarely make it, we have an occasional indulgence when kids have their vacation or sometimes for Sunday Brunches . As everyone is at home these days thanks to the lockdown, we had this on for a weekday lunch last week. Sometimes we do indulge in the Indori Palak Puri for a change. 

Adding ajwain (Carrom seeds) to the pooris is an additional flavour that the kids and adults loved. Ajwain also helps in digestion especially with curbing bloating that some people could experience with the accompanying Chole (Chickpeas curry). We served this with some salad on the side for a filling meal. To make it more elaborate, you could add jeera rice and Boondi Raita to the platter. 

Pooris are usually made with Maida (APF), but I made with Atta (Wholewheat flour) and a dash of sooji (cream of wheat / Rava). Make the pooris with just 15 mins of standing time, and serve hot. 


We also usually make other Indian flatbreads like  Kulchas / Naans Paratha for the kids whenever a rich or popular gravy is planned for lunch / dinner like Badami Saag Paneer or Bhandarewale Aloo ki Sabji or even Poonam's (who suggested this theme of flatbread this week) Achaari Bhindi is something my kids would love for sure 
Prep time (for Poori) - 15 mins, Fry time - 15 mins. Makes approx 15-17 pooris. 

For the Punjabi Chole, refer my recipe here.  

What you need: (1 cup = 200 ml)

  • Wholewheat flour – 2 cups
  • Crushed ajwain (carrom seeds) - 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp (opt.)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Warm water – ¼ - ½ cup, depending on the quality of the flour
  • Sooji / Rava – 1 TBSP
  • Oil - to knead to the dough - 1 TBSP
  • Oil – to deep fry

In a large bowl / flat plate, add the flour and salt. 
Now add the crushed ajwain, sooji and jeera and chilly powders. Mix well  
Slowly add the warm water and make a stiff dough. Add 1 TBSP of oil and knead for 3-4 mins till the dough is pliable. Cover and rest for 15 mins. 
Meanwhile heat oil for deep frying 
Pinch small balls of the dough and roll into pooris without using  (a poori press is what I usually use to roll out the pooris).
Fry them one by one till they fluff well. Serve hot with Chole or any curry

Other Flatbreads (epsecially, hand patted breads) on this blog that you make like:

Methi Jowari Bhakri - GF & V

Karnataka style Jowari (Jwari) rotti with Ennegai - GF, V

Mangalore style Sajjige Rotti - Vegan semolina pancakes (hand patted)

North Karnataka Sabsige Soppu Thalipitta (Dill leaves Thalipeeth)

Punjab's famous Makki di Roti (Coarse maize flour flatbread)

March 31, 2020

Jain Style Oats and Amaranth leaves Chilla | Vegan and Glutenfree Oats Besan Cheela

Who does Pancake originally belong to ? America, Britain and France have various claims to it, and with it various methods too  - both with leavened and unleavened batter. The Indian pancake - Dosa (and with all its versions - Ghavan (maharashtra), Cheela/ Chilla (North and Western India), Polo (Konkani / GSB Cuisine)) have all been immortalised as Pancakes across various states. 

Pancake has essential 3-4 major components - flour, leavening agent, salt (some use eggs and some dont !). Pancakes could be sweet or savoury. I already have a GF Chocochip Pancake which my little one loves, so I was all set to make a savoury one as she's the only one who likes anything sweet for breakfast. 

This Chila / Cheela today is inspired by Renu's recipe, and am very happy that most of her flours across bakes and recipes are GF (definitely no all purpose flour in any of her recipes). Archana has asked us to serve up Pancakes as the theme for Sshhh Cooking Secret Challenge and Narmada - my paired blogger gave me Oats and Ajwain (carrom seeds) as the secret ingredients.

I have used fresh Amaranth leaves as I had access to it. You may use Dill as I made in my Quick Besan Pudla or any other green like Palak (Spinach) or Methi (fresh fenugreek) too.  My elder one is now taking after my love for Cheela. I usually make it as a 4 pm snack too when the kids are back from school for a filling snack, and it helps me sneak in lesser liked veggies (and Oats) which otherwise the kids may not prefer in the Original form. You may also add onion, garlic, tomatoes for a different variant like my Vegan and GF Tomato Omelette

More pancake ideas below. For 20+ varieties of Dosa and Uttapams, click here.

All in all, a snack / breakfast pancake that you can make in a jiffy with less than 5 mins of prep time and almost nil standing time as well. Its a nutritious, filling for post-workout as well. 

Let's get to the recipe:
Gluten Free, Vegan Oats and Amaranth leaves Cheela (Jain style)
Prep time - 5 mins, Cook time - 10 mins, Makes - 4 to 5 servings
Spice level : medium, difficulty level : easy; cuisine :Indian

1 cup = 200 ml

What you need:
Oats Powdered - 1.5 cups (Dry roast the Oats for 30-40 seconds till just warm, cool and powder)
Besan / Gramflour - 0.5 cup
Salt - to taste
Amaranth leaves (washed and chopped fine) - 2/3 cup
Green chillies - 2 to 3
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (opt.)
Ginger crushed - 1/2 tsp (opt. I didnt use as this was a Jain version)
Ajwain (carrom seeds) - 1/2 tsp (crushed) - dont skip this for a unique flavour
Turmeric - 1/8 tsp
Oil - to make the cheelas (approx 1/2 tsp for each cheela)

How to: 
In a large bowl, add both the flours, salt, spices and mix well. Add 3-4 TBSP of water to make a thickish batter. Add the leaves and 1 tsp of oil and 5-6 TBSP more water to make a flowing batter. Check for salt and spices and rest batter for 5 mins by which time the tava / skillet heats up. 
On a medium hot tava / skillet, pour 1 large ladle of the batter to a thickish pancake. Drizzle oil on and around it. Let it cook to golden brown, flip and cook again for 1/2 min till crisp. Serve hot with some pickle or chai (Indian Milky tea). It's spicy on its own, so really doesn't need a side. 


GF and vegan Chocochip Pancake

Quick Besan Pudla (GF and vegan)

Vegan and GF Tomato Omelette

March 30, 2020

Video Recipe - How to make Tomato Pulav | GF, Vegan | Easy One Pot Meals

Pulav are really quick One Pot Meals. Tomato Pulav is one such quick meal which can fit anywhere - weekend dinners, weekday meals or even office / School Lunchboxes. I had blogged earlier about the Tamilnadu variation of Tomato Rice - Thakkali Saadam here. It's one of my husband's favourite dish and I make it often

I usually add a lot of vegetables to Pulav - like Tehri (my fav pulav variant), Corn n peas (the kids love it) or just the usual Veg Pulav. If you are in an indulgent mood, one can always the Shahi Hara Pulav redolent with spices, cashew paste and a lot of veggies or the ultra luxurious and lipsmacking Navratan Pulao. Another favourite in my family is the Goan Xacuti Masala Veg Pulao made with Brown Rice. 

Other similar One Pot meals on the blog you may want to check out + 26 different varieties of Khichdis and Pulao

Today's Tomato pulav doesn't have any veggies, is super quick to make and can also be made with leftover rice. I have listed the ingredients here and the method is in the youtube video below.

Narmadha had suggested cooking with Rice - a staple in most homes - while we have the world-wide stay at home situation most of us are facing..Am eyeing her Srilankan String Hoppers dish to make sometime at home.  
Meanwhile, hope all my readers are staying safe in their homes during this Lockdown. Wishing you all good health and cheer..

Prep time - 15 mins, Cook time - 15 mins Serves - 2 ~3

Tomato Pulav - Indian Style Gluten Free and Vegan Tomato spiced Rice
Spice level - medium , Recipe level - Intermediate
Serving Suggestions - yoghurt / Salad / Papad of your choice

You would need:
Basmati Rice - 1 cup (any long grained rice would do)
Ripe juicy Tomatoes - 4 to 5 large
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 TBSP
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Shahjeera - 1/2 tsp
Cumin / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Cashew bits - 1 tsp (skip for any nut allergy)
Spice Powders (each 2/3 tsp) : Red chilli pwdr, Garam Masala, Dhaniya (coriander) powder
Onions - 1 medium (finely minced)
Garlic - 3 to 4 pods (minced)
Mint Leaves - a handful

How to make: 
Refer the Youtube Video Embedded below and please leave your valuable comments on the channel as well as on the blog recipe. 


March 29, 2020

14 Varieties of Idli to try on World Idli Day !!

World Idli Day 2020 is celebrated on 30th March (tomorrow). Yes, we need to celebrate our Humble Idli thus :) 

Apparentlyorigin of this day can be traced to a man named Eniyavan who is a passionate idli enthusiast. He decided to dedicate a day for idli. Such day soon became a food trend in the world

Some food historians also believe that Idli originated from Indonesia while some experts say that the term idli came from the word “iddalige” which is a food made from urad dal batter. This was mentioned in a Kannada work back in 920 AD. In addition, the Sanskrit Manasollasa from the 1130 AD mentions the term “Iddarika” which is a dish made from urad dal. During the 17th century, the Tamil people first mentioned the food as “Itali”. These references all point out to the same thing: since the start, idli has been made from urad dal, rice grits, and a long fermentation and steaming process to create the fluffy and tasty idli.

Steamed, soft, mostly GF and almost always vegan, this is a perfect blend of protein, carbs and is easy to digest as well. 

Everyone in the family would love these Idlis. Both Instant and fermented Idli varieties are listed below.In case you make extra Idlis, no worries. Listed below are also 3 scrumptious snacks which can be whipped up in a jiffy with leftover Idlis.. 

Do try and let me know which of the following 14 varieties you and your family loved !

In the above picture, From extreme left, going row-wise we have:

Snacks with leftover Idlis

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