November 15, 2018

Poni Biyyam - a Guestpost by Pavani | Guestpost series #13

In an attempt to revive heirloom or forgotten recipes from across the world, I am happy to present the new series of Guest Posts from my dear blogger friends explicitly exploring and presenting old and forgotten / heirloom recipes that sprouts nostalgia and techniques from the old forgotten era. 

The first in this new season of Guest Posts on this blog is Pavani who blogs at Cooks Hideout. She is a photographer par excellence and I am often at a loss for words when I ogle at her beautiful composition of photographs, not to forget at her veritable bread collection and dishes from across the world. Today, she brings us a delicious dish from Telangana - Poni Biyyam.  

Thank you, Pavani for doing this wonderful guest post for Sizzling Tastebuds
Let's hear Pavani in her own words


There are quite a few dishes that are so comforting that we almost neglect them. Today’s post is one such dish from Telangana. I heard it for the first time on a Telugu cooking show and it intrigued me. A quick google search led me to couple more Telangana cooking videos. So, here’s my attempt to document this everyday comfort food. It’s called Poni (pronounced as pony) biyyam.

This is a guest post for a dear blogger buddy, Kalyani who blogs at Sizzling Tastebuds. She wanted a forgotten/ rare family recipe for the post. I’ve posted quite a few family recipes already, so when I saw this Poni Biyyam recipe I wanted to share it on Kalyani’s blog.

Poni biyyam is Telangana version of khichdi. This recipe uses Chana dal instead of moong dal and is flavored with onions, ginger and green chilies. It can be made as hot as you want - just up those chilies. I think veggies like carrot, green beans, peas will add color and make this is a lovely one pot meal.

Serve with a generous dollop of ghee for a lovely flavor. I served it with some homemade avakaya and yogurt.

Chana dal – ¼ cup
Oil (use a combination of oil and ghee) – 2tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1tsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Dry Red Chilies, broken – 1~2
Curry leaves – 6~8
Ginger piece, grated – 1”
Onion, thinly sliced – 1, small
Green Chilies – 2~3
Rice (I use Sona masoori rice) – 1cup
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
To taste – Salt

  • Soak chana dal in water for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Heat oil (and ghee) in a heavy bottom pan. Add cumin, mustard seeds and red chili; once the seeds start to splutter, add the curry leaves, ginger, onions and green chilies. Cook till the onions turn translucent, about 4~5 minutes.
  • Wash and rinse the rice. Add the drained rice and soaked dal to the pan along with turmeric. Mix well and cook for a few minutes.
  • Stir in 3 cups of boiling water and salt. Let the mixture come to a boil; lower the heat, cover and cook till both dal and rice are cooked through. Turn off the heat and let aside for 5~10 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with a generous dollop of ghee and Enjoy hot poni biyyam!!

November 13, 2018

Yeasted Transylvanian Cinnamon Sugar Cake for #Breadbakers

There’s something about Cinnamon-based bakes that uplifts spirits. When Archana  - our host for this month’s challenge of #BreadBakers - mentioned Yeast Cakes as a theme, it threw me a bit. Honestly, for me baking cakes don’t go beyond the banana bread (which is technically a cake, but we are not going there today :-) ) and the occasional coffee cake or the Ragi Chocolate cake (Finger millet GF Chocolate cake) that happens to be my husband’s fav ! So, given the low sugar and no trans fat regime at home, I thought I would give it a miss. Till I stumbled upon what Yeast Cakes were meant to be like. 

It seemed like a cross between a bread (coz of the yeast) and a cake (coz of the sugar), and although initially I thought I would make a Yeasted Banana Cake (I mean, it amazed me how many versions can really be made :p), I read this recipe and was quite taken in by the simplicity and the ease which didn’t require too much kneading and shaping (my nightmare when it comes to baking).. 

While I kept postponing baking it, I finally made it post Diwali and the kids had a vacation for the festival so the little one was more than happy to help me in the kitchen.  The aroma from the cinnamon bake was amazing, and although I halved this recipe, we had a lot of fun making this pull apart bread with mini treats which was mildly sweetened, considering we had ODed on Diwali sweets the week before. It keeps well under refrigeration, so would recommended microwaving a bit or two and eating this whenever the sugar craving hits you !

This makes an amazing bread on the dinner / coffee table and as it can be easily shaped and doubled or quadrupled, it would feed a crowd. So, do make these for the holidays and let me know how you liked these

Lets get to make these. Adapted from Adina's recipe here. 

Prep time (including rise time) - 2 hours ; baking time : 22-25 mins. 

For the dough (1 cup- 240 ml)

  • Strong Bread flour - 1.25 cups
  • Sugar - 1 T
  • Whole-wheat stone ground flour (atta) - 0.75 cups
  • Egg - 1 (I used egg replacer)
  • Any Neutral oil except olive oil - 4 T (divided use)
  • Yeast - 1 sachet
  • Warm milk - 1 cup ( I used 2/3 cup milk and 1/3 cup warm water)


  • Cinnamon sugar - 4 T (can increase to 6 ~7 T if you like a sweeter version)
  • Powdered walnuts - 2 T (optional but recommend the texture that this provides to the bread)

How to:
Make a soft pliable dough with all the ingredients listed above and half of the oil. Let it rise for about an hour till it doubles. 
Preheat oven to 180 C (375F).  grease the baking pans as required. I used one 8*4 loaf pan, one 5 inch square pan and two ramekins to fit the dough.  
Punch the risen dough once. The dough will be very sticky.  take two oiled tablespoons or greased hands to pinch out a small ball, roll it well and dip generously in the remaining oil. And roll again in the cinnamon sugar-walnut crumble mixture generously and place in the pan. 
Repeat for rest of the dough. Bake for 22-25 mins (the original recipe says 30 mins), but I reckon you can figure out what works for your dough. 
Rest on a wire rack , unmould and serve warm.

PS: the husband had his share the next day with a cup of Filter Coffee and said it was yum ; and the kids loved it as a mid-day snack (I reckon during vacation, kids are always on a I-am -hungry mode :p)

This month, the Bread Bakers are making yeasted cakes, a theme chosen by Archana of The Mad Scientist's Kitchen. Here are everyone's yeasted cakes:
#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. Our theme this month is Yeasted Cakes.

October 31, 2018

Bhandare Wale Aloo ko Sabji - No Onion, no garlic | side dish for Rotis

This sabji is a long pending post from me, and having distinct memories of wolfing down parathas and pooris (puffed breads) along with this sabji during my work tenure at Delhi,  Chandigarh and many other parts of North India. I wanted to post this recipe although I wanted to make this often. 

As a family, we eat no onion and garlic on festival days, and this sabji (Side dish) fit the bill perfectly as it was made on the Shraaddh days preceeding Navratri. I called my friend from Delhi whose mom explained this very simple yet yummy dish as I wanted an authentic dish. 

The no-fuss dish comes together in 10-12 mins if you have boiled potatoes ready beforehand. Goes very well with Kachori, Paratha, Chapati, Roti, Naan, Phulka, Poori or perhaps any other Indian bread

I made it with a slight twist (read the recipe below), and served it along with Indori Palak Puri made for the Ssshhh Cooking Challenge featuring Madhya Pradesh Cuisine. 

Bhandarewaale Aloo ki Sabji

Prep time - 10 mins, Cook time - 10 mins, serves - 2~3 adults generously
Gluten Free Side dish for Indian flatbread, can be vegan too 
Spice level - medium


  • Boiled potato - 3 large (peeled and slightly mashed / crumbled)
  • Oil - 1 TBSP (mustard oil works best)
  • Salt - to taste
  • Tomato - 1 large or 2 medium
  • Green chillies - 2 (adjust spice)
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
  • Kashmiri Chilli powder - 1/2 T (adjust to taste)
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Hing / Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp (skip for GF version)
  • Garam Masala pwdr - 1/2 T
  • Yoghurt - 50 ml {the slight twist in the recipe, and used instead of Amchur Powder}**
  • Coriander pwdr (roasted coriander seeds pwdr) - 1 T
  • Warm Water - about 1 cup+
  • Garnish - chopped coriander leaves

**Amchur is traditionally used in this recipe, but as I had to use the Secret Ingredient - Yoghurt - given by my partner Avin for this month's Challenge, I used it. Omitting Yoghurt would make it a vegan recipe too, along with it being a GF one. Make sure to use sweet yoghurt else the gravy turns too tangy. Also, depending on the tart of the tomatoes, adjust the amchur / yoghurt quantity. 


  1. Grind the ginger, tomato, chillies without adding any water to a smooth paste (As I was making it for the little one too, I sauteed the chillies wit cumin instead of grinding it)
  2. Peel the boiled potato, slightly crumble them leaving smallish chunks intact ( I used 1 medium potato and a large sweet potato - boiled till fork tender and mashed into smallish chunks)
  3. In a pan, add oil, splutter Cumin seeds,  add the tomato-chilly paste and sautè for 4-5 mins till oil separates. 
  4. Now add salt, rest of the spices and saute for 3 mins more. Add in the warm water and crumbled potato and mix well, let it simmer for 6-7 mins on low flame, uncovered (the gravy is slightly watery, so add accordingly as it thickens on cooling)
  5. take the pan off the stove, tip in the yoghurt and whisk gently. Bring the pan back to the stove for just 1 min more.
  6. Switch off the flame. add chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with any flatbread. I served it with the Indori Palak Puri

Indori Palak Puri | Spinach flavoured puffed bread

This month for sshhh cooking challenge for Madhya Pradesh cuisine,  I was paired with Avin who gave me 2 lovely ingredients , one of which was spinach . I immediately thought I would make Indori palak puri which is a much relished breakfast through that that state. I had made Indori Poha earlier and  it’s now a staple at our breakfast table. I knew these pooris would be well received by the little one and she did enjoy it . 

The side dish - Bhandare wale Aloo ki Sabji - was made with the other secret ingredient - yoghurt. I had been wanting to make this for a long time and I knew the elder child would like some spicy, tangy dish to go with the pooris. 

In my haste to fry and click the pics, i couldn't wait to roll out better looking puris. And as we make pooris (puffed flatbreads) very rarely at home, the kids were rather impatient so I shall update the post with better pics. But taste wise there wasn’t any compromise and it was satisfying to see the kids enjoy their meal with this combo. 

The recipe for Bhandarawaale Aloo can be found here on this link. For the pooris, you can head to the recipe below:

Indori palak poori (Vegan Breakfast or snack / brunch idea)

Prep time -15 mins, roll and fry time - 15 Mins; makes - 10-12 medium sized pooris

Wholewheat flour- 1 cup
Palak (spinach) - 1 cup (packed)
Salt to taste 
Roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder - to taste.
Oil - 2 tsp to knead the dough + as  required for frying
Ginger - 1/3 inch piece (optional but recommended)
1~2 green chillies (I didn’t use)

Remove the stalks of the spinach (wash the leaves & pat dry). Blitz spinach to a smooth purée with the ginger and green chillies. 
{{note to self -  blanch, drain dry and purée the spinach next time on before adding it to the dough}}
In a large mixing bowl or flat plate, add the wholewheat flour, spices, salt, 2 tsp oil and the spinach purée. Mix well throughly for 2-3 mins without adding any additional water.
I didn’t require any additional water/ liquid , but if you are not vegan and feel the dough is too ‘floury’ or dry , you may add a few drops of milk or yoghurt to bind it. Knead to a tight dough and keep aside for 10/15 mins .
After that resting time, pinch out small equal portions of the dough for puri and keep aside.
On a countertop or rolling surface, smear some oil and also some on the pinched out dough.
Without adding any additional dry flour, roll out the dough portions into thin pooris. Make most of the pooris this way and deep fry in hot oil one by one till they puff up.
Drain and serve with any side dish or pickle of choice.
Indori poori is traditionally served with chai (spiced Indian milky tea) and some pickle.


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

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. 

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