January 25, 2018

Quick Onion Parathas

Parathas are quite favoured at home and these quick onion parathas are a great option for either breakfast or dinner. Makes an excellent lunch box item as it tastes good even while cold.

My elder one is quite fond of parathas over plain rotis / chapatis anyday. And she loved this too.

Do make this and let me know how you enjoyed it.
Similar parathas on the blog are:

This goes to Day 2 of BM 84 Tawa dishes - event hosted by Archana

Prep time : 15 mins, cooking time : 20 mins, makes : 6

Atta / wholewheat flour - 1 cup (1 cup= 240 ml)
Salt - to taste
oil - 3 tsp
onions grated - 1/2 cup
ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/2 tsp
turmeric - 1/2 tsp
besan / gramflour - 2 tbsp
chopped chillies, coriander leaves - to taste

sift flours, add salt, oil (2 tsp) and mix well. now add the rest of the ingredients except the oil. Add warm water and make to a semi soft dough. cover and rest for 10 mins.
heat tava, roll out small parathas or the size you prefer from each equal sized roundel.
Lay it on the tava, smear a little oil on both sides and cook till golden spots appear.
serve hot with any raita or pickle or simply with curd.

PS: you can add umpteen ingredients to this simple mix-n-make paratha. like paneer, methi, alu or simply any other vegetable. You may also saute the onions and use it as a fillign to make stuffed paratha. Either way, its yummy and quick. 

January 24, 2018

Tawa Paneer Tikka - Jain Style | Easy Appetiser recipes

Paneer is loved in most forms at home by the kids. Be it for appetisers or for gravies, kids lap up the paneer dishes that's made about twice a month. Today's appetiser was much awaited by the elder one especially, so much so that she volunteered to buy the paneer from the store if it was going to be made that evening. Its a slightly lengthy wait, but totally worth it - that's the verdict and it sure is going to be on the dish rotation from the list of Paneer dishes already on the blog.

So, lets get cracking and make this Tawa Paneer Tikka. This week will feature 3 dishes made on the Tava (skillet) 

This is for Srivalli's Kid's Delight event, guest hosted by Archana, themed on "Cooking on Tawa" for Kids

More Paneer dishes on the blog:

Nargisi Kofta Curry (Mock-Egg Gravy)
Shahi Paneer Masala (Side dish for Roti)
Paneer Pudinawale (Paneer in Mint gravy)
Paneer Tikka Manchurian
Matar - Paneer (Peas - Paneer gravy)
Paneer Potato Curry ~ Cottage cheese and Potato curry
Low fat Palak Paneer
Paneer Kulcha (stuffed flatbread)
Paneer Kebab (appetiser)
Paneer Chilli Bites (Appetiser)
Pista Rasabali (a delicious sweet from orissa)
Mini Paneer & Spinach Tarts (Appetiser)
Paneer Manchurian (indo Chinese starter)
Paneer Bharwa Shimla Mirch (Bell peppers stuffed with scrambled and spiced Paneer)
Paneer Gulab Jamun (Indian Dessert with a twist)
Paneer Aloo Paratha
Low Fat Paneer Makhanwala
Raisin and Paneer Pulav
Palak Paneer Parathas (Flat bread stuffed with spinach and Paneer)
Paneer Pav Bhaji
Methi Chaman 

Prep time : 15 mins, Marination time : 45 mins to an hour (minimum), Serves : 3


Fresh Paneer - 300 gms (cut into largish cubes)
Oil - 2 TBSP (divided use)
White Butter /Table butter - 2 tsp


Hung yoghurt - 100 gms
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1/2 T
Coriander and cumin powders, Turmeric, Red chilli powder, Tikka Masala - to taste
Yellow chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional but recommended) - divided use
Ginger garlic paste - 1/4 tsp (I didn't use)
Kasuri Methi - 1/2 tsp

Dry gravy:

Tomato puree - 1 cup (Can use Tomato concasse)
Salt - to taste
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Chopped Bell peppers - 1/4 cup
Onions - 2 TBSP ( I didn't use)
Coriander leaves - few 


In a bowl, add the ingredients of the marination and whisk well. Add the paneer cubes , mix well taking care not to break the cubes. Cover and marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably in the refrigerator.
On a tava / skillet, add 1 tsp of oil + butter , add the marinated paneer and saute them gently till slightly crispy (this will take about 8-9 min on very low flame). Keep them aside. 
In the same tava, add the remaining oil and splutter cumin seeds, add the bell peppers and saute them till slightly shriveled yet crunchy. Add the tomato puree, salt, dry spices and saute till oil separates from the gravy and it becomes slightly dry.
Now add the sauteed paneer pieces and let it simmer on the tava till you get a dryish consistency.
Top with chopped coriander leaves.
This can be had as a yummy appetiser or as a side dish with Butter Kulcha / Naan.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#84

January 13, 2018

Oats Methi Dhokla | Easy Steamed Dishes

The last in the series of Steamed Dishes is this amazingly soft and almost zero oil Dhokla. We have seen MTR Style Rava Idli from South India, Vegetarian Dumplings from the Indo Chinese stable and today we move to Gujarat with these yummy Dhoklas. 

I have a soft corner for Gujarati food and especially dhoklas, having made a few in the past. The repertoire of Dhoklas in Gujarati Cuisine, is enormous and as we prefer steamed snacks a lot at home, this is one list that will keep getting added and made too.

I made a few changes to the original Tarla Dalal recipe. These and more are in the Notes section below.

Other Dhokla varieties / Gujarati dishes on the blog:

Prep time : 15 mins, Steaming time : 12-13 mins, Makes : 18-19 medium sized pieces


  • Powdered Oats flour - 1/2 cup (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Semolina - 1/2 cup
  • Slightly sour yoghurt - 1/4 cup
  • Salt - to taste
  • Methi / fenugreek leaves - finely chopped - 3 TBSP (original recipe had spinach / palak)
  • Sugar - a pinch (skip if using spinach)
  • Minced green chilly - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 1/2 tsp (to saute the methi leaves, if using spinach, you can skip this oil)
  • Fruit salt - 1/4 tsp (I used a combination of 1/4 tsp each of lemon juice & baking soda) 

  1. Mix the Oats flour, semolina, salt, yoghurt, chillies well and keep aside for 15 mins
  2. In a pan, heat oil, splutter jeera & saute methi leaves for 1-2 mins. Keep aside till cool and mix in the sugar.
  3. Mix the methi into the dhokla mixture and add 2 Tbsp of water and bring to a pouring batter consistency 
  4. Lightly grease a dhokla plate and bring a steamer to rolling boil with adequate water.
  5. Just before steaming, add the fruit salt (or its substitute) and add 2 tsp of water when it starts bubbling on top.
  6. Mix gently and pour into greased pan, steam for 12-15 mins or till a skewer comes clean
  7. Rest for 4-5 mins and cut into desired shapes and serve.

1. Next time I would dry roast the Oats first before powdering it.
2. The water quantity mentioned in the original recipe was quite off. So, I had to add 1 tsp of additional semolina to bring it to a normal dhokla (non-runny) consistency. So, watch the water and add little less than mentioned.
3. The chillies itself were very spicy, so next time I would add less spicy chillies or totally skip it. Howver with the chillies in the dhokla, we didnt need any accompaniment. It was just perfect as it is. 
4. Addition of toasted sesame might add a textural element to the soft spongy dhoklas
5. If adding spinach, make sure its completely dry when added as spinach releases a lot of water while cooking.
6. Rest well before cutting into shapes as they crumble easily.
7. If you want to make it vegan, cashew curd can be used although the taste may vary. 

This is for Steamed Dishes under BM#84

January 11, 2018

Vegetarian Steamed Dimsums | Easy Steamed Dishes

The second in the steamed dishes series this week are these yummy and filling Vegetarian Dimsums. While I had made Wholewheat Momos earlier, I used a mix of Wholewheat and Plain flour this time.

While there is one school and another which say Momos and Dimsums are not the same thing, there is another thought which says Momos are from Tibetan Origin and Dimsums are served in China as a main course or appetiser.  Apparently, the filling in Momos is substantial that it can be a meal by itself.

Personally, I love steamed dumplings although these dumplings are also pan fried , deep fried or even served within a soupy broth. Whatever your preference (and you can go crazy with the fillings as well - from shredded soya to tofu to stir fried vegetables or boiled eggs and shredded chicken or ham, the options are endless), these are sure to tickle your palate.

As we made these for dinner, the pictures are not clear as they were shot in low light minutes before they were served. I am sure to make it again and shoot them in reasonable daylight. I used a mixture of typical indo-chinese vegetables  but you may use any filling of your choice (it's actually a great dish to make with leftover raw veggies and clear your fridge at the same time ;-) wink wink :) )

Similar steamed dishes on the blog are:

Vegetarian Steamed Dimsums | Indo Chinese snack / appetiser | Vegan   
Prep time - 30 mins ; Cook time including steam time - 15 mins ; Makes - 8 to 9 pieces


Wholewheat flour - 1/2 cup  (1 cup = 200 ml)
Maida / All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 TBSP

Veggies - 1 cup (I used onions, shredded cabbage, grated carrots, broccoli, peas, cauliflower, beans)
Light Soya sauce - 1 tsp
Red Chilli sauce - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste (pls. note that the sauces also have salt, so use sparingly)
Oil - 2 TBSP
Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp (or to taste)
Green chillies (minced) - 1/4 tsp (or to taste)

Covering : Sieve the flours, add salt and oil, mix well. Add warm water slowly and make a soft dough. Rest for a min of 30-45 mins.
Stuffing : In a wok, heat oil, fry the onions and ginger garlic paste on high heat, add all the minced vegetables (make sure all veggies are finely diced to ensure quick cooking), toss on high heat and add salt and sauces + spices. Let it cool down completely.
Line the bamboo steamer with parchment / banana leaves / large cabbage leaves. Keep aside.

To make the dumplings:
Pinch out tiny portions of the dough, roll into real thin discs, add a tsp or two of the filing, shape into any shape you want (I tried the dumpling shapes quite successfully, and will better them next time). Repeat for entire dough. Gently place all the dumplings in the steamer. 
Place the steamer over a pan with rolling boil hot water. Ensure that only the steam reaches the basket and doesn't touch the water directly.
Steam for 8-9 mins or till the dimsums turn translucent. Give them a resting time of 2-3 mins and serve with spicy homemade schezwan sauce.

Sending this to BM#84 under Steamed dishes


January 10, 2018

MTR Style Rava Idli | Idli varieties

Of all the Idlis made at home, I love the MTR style Rava Idli. There is a story here that says the Rava Idli was invented when the rice was in shortage during the war. Whatever the story, there are very fond memories of eating these with some melted ghee on the side, spicy potato gravy and coconut chutney with my dad at the original MTR restaurant near Lalbagh, Bangalore. 

Sunday mornings were picked and we got there as early as 6:30am to catch our favourite seat by the window as hundreds of us looked forward to enjoying the simple pleasures of a south Indian breakfast, to be finished with piping hot coffee. Although I have never been a coffee drinker, I remember how my dad poured the coffee onto a saucer (or a davara, in most cases at MTR) and drank it straight off the saucer.  Socially, I may not approve it today, but the aroma of that coffee is something I would cherish as an onlooker :-)

Seriously, nostalgic today ! Let's look at some steamed delights this week, and this MTR style Rava Idli is the first in the series.

Other Idli varieties on the blog:

Use fine quality Rava / Semolina for best results. Off to the recipe now.

Rava Idly (or) Rava Idli - Steamed Semolina Idli - Indian Breakfast / Snack
Prep time : 45 mins (incl. standing time) ; Makes : 6 Idlis

Semolina (I used Bombay Rava) - 1 cup
Thick yoghurt (slightly sour is preferred) - 3/4 cup
Salt - 1/2 T
Oil - 3 TBSP
Tempering : Cashews, Mustard Seeds, Urad Dal & Channa dal- 1/2 tsp each + 1/2 tsp curry leaves (finely chopped fine)
Hing / Asafoetida - a tiny pinch
Baking Soda - 1/8 tsp
Grated carrots - 1/8 cup

Clean Semolina for any dirt or dust. Sieve once if required.
Heat 2 TBSP of oil, fry cashew halves till golden and crunchy, keep aside.
In the same oil, add rest of tempering, and fry till dals till golden brown. Add the semolina and fry till nicely warm and roasted. Keep aside till cool.
You may refreigerate this dry mix and use when needed.

To make Idlis, Mix 1 cup of above roasted Rava with 3/4 cup beaten curd, leave aside covered for 15 mins.
Bring an Idli steamer with enough water to a rolling boil. Add 1 tsp or two to the soaked semolina, the pinch of hing and baking soda and gently mix taking care not to overbeat.
Layer a little of carrot grated in a greased Idli plate, pour out the idli batter. Place a roasted cashew half on top. 
Similarly fill the other Idli moulds.
Steam for 8-10 mins. Slightly cool, demould and serve hot with Coconut Chutney.
I served it with Veg sagu (gravy)

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