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. 

August 14, 2018

Multigrain Aloo Methi Paratha for #Breadbakers | Vegan multigrain potato and fenugreek Indian flatbread

As a family, we are very fond of parathas for breakfast or dinner. Given a choice, I think the elder kid would have it for every meal. Parathas (or stuffed Indian flatbreads) are a great way to sneak in veggies that the kids would otherwise turn their nose at. 

It's also a great way to use up leftover sabji (sauteed veggie stir fries) or excess dal (cooked lentils) as a stuffing. Whatever maybe the reason, Parathas are usually made with whole-wheat flour a.k.a Atta / Gehun ki atta in local parlance.

Presented today for #Breadbakers is a yummy and nutritious multigrain Aloo-Methi Paratha which is perfect as a heavy breakfast. In most homes, this is served with Masala Chai (spiced Indian milky tea), yoghurt (dahi) and achaar (pickle). 

Depending on the stuffing and family eating preferences, these are also sometimes deep fried (like the Old-Delhi based Parathewaale Galli varieties which has even sweet stuffed parathas). But it can easily be made healthy by smearing a few drops of oil and eaten guilt free.

This edition of #Breadbakers with sub theme of Breakfast breads has been kindly hosted by Felice. Thank you for a wonderful choice, Felice. We surely enjoyed this variety of paratha.

Some more paratha varieties that may interest you on this blog:
and many more...

#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 Breakfast Breads. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove at

Let's get to make this Multigrain Paratha.
Prep time - 30 mins | Cook time - 15 mins | Makes - 6 Parathas 
Cuisine : Indian , Course : Breakfast / Brunch / Supper; Spice level _ medium

For the outer covering :
  • Wholewheat flour - 1.5 cups (1 cup = 200 ml)
  • Jowar / sourgum flour - 2 heaped tablespoons
  • Bajra / Pearl Millet flour - 1 tbsp
  • Rice flour - 2 tbsp
  • Ragi atta / Finger millet - 1 tablespoon
  • Besan / gramflour - 1 heaped tablespoon
  • Salt - to taste
  • Ajwain / crushed carrom seeds - 1/8 tsp
  • Oil - 2 tsp + more required to cook the paratha (approx 1 tsp/ paratha)
  • Warm water - to knead the dough 
Extra wholewheat flour - for dusting the parathas

  • Potatoes - 2 large (peeled and boiled fork tender)
  • Onions - 1 medium
  • Oil - 1 TBSP
  • Chopped fresh methi leaves (fenugreek leaves) - 1/2 cup (you may replace this with 2 tsp of kasuri methi - crushed dry fenugreek leaves for a varied taste)
  • Chopped ginger, green chillies - to taste
  • Chopped fresh mint and coriander leaves - 2 tsp
  • turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder- 1/3 tsp (or to taste)
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
  • jeera / roasted cumin powder-  1/2 tsp
  • Dry coriander powder / Dhania powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Crushed coriander seeds - 1/4 tsp (optional but highly recommended)

How to:
Outer covering:
Sieve the flours, salt in a large bowl, add the crushed ajwain, mix and slowly add warm water to knead to a semi soft dough. I required approximately 2/3 cup water (this may vary quite a bit depending on your flour mix). add 2 tsp of oil, and knead again for 5-7 mins to make a very pliable dough. Cover with a damp kitchen towel till use. 

In a non stick pan, add oil. add chopped chillies, ginger, onions, methi leaves and saute till onions translucent . Now add turmeric, boiled and crumbled potatoes, crushed coriander seeds, salt, rest of the spices and mix well till the mixture .
If using kasuri methi instead of fresh methi, add it at the end of the above step, and not with the onions. 
Finish with mint and coriander leaves. mix well, let this mixture cool fully (You may make this ahead and refrigerate it to use it the next day for breakfast like I did)

To make the parathas :
Knead dough again for 2 mins (if using refrigerated dough, bring to room temperate an hour before making parathas) 
Take a large lemon sized dough. roll it into a a 3 inch dish, apply a film of oil, place 1 tablespoon of filling, and bring on the edges to the top like we would stuff a bun. 
Flatten it slightly with fingers and roll very gently with a generous dusting of flour. 
Roll to a medium sized paratha of 2-3 mm thickness (depending on how thick or thin you like your paratha).
Place on hot tava, cook on both sides, drizzlign a tsp of oil around the edges and the face of the paratha.
Repeat for rest of the parathas. 
Serve hot with yoghurt and / or pickle. It tastes good when packed for lunch too. 

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