August 28, 2019

12 delicious dishes to make for #Ganpati this #Ganeshotsav !

Ganpati festival or #Ganeshotsav is a popular festival celebrated predominantly across Western and Southern India. Ganeshji is also referred to as the Elephant God and is consdered the harbinger of good luck and a Hindu deity who promises to ward off ill-luck. He goes by the name of Vinayaka, Ganapati, Pillayar etc depending on which language.

Ganesh Chaturthi falls on the holy month of Bhadrapad Shukla Chaturthi around Aug / September every year. At my house , we have this Ganpati Thali that I make and this is something that my folks love :)

This post gives you 12 delicious ideas to make for Ganpati collated from all my favourite blogger friends. Most of these are steamed and can be made with very little lead time. Rice flour / Modak flour / Modak pith (as its called in Marathi) is the predominant ingredient for most of these dishes.

While I think the fellow bloggers for the wonderful contribution in this roundup, do take a look at the delicious , satvik ideas. Choose one, and make it this Ganpati ! 

In alphabetical order of bloggers, we have :

Archana who has presented a classic dish - Patoli (which is made even more delicious) steamed in turmeric leaves...

Harini's Undrallu is sure to tickle your palate with its amazing texture.

Kalyani (me) submitting the  Aval Pidi Kozhukottai (a steamed sweet dumpling made with beaten rice and jaggery)

Mayuri's classic Maharashtrian dish - Ukdiche Modak that warms you up every time you bite into it

Padmajha's Sweet Ammini Kozhukottai is a wonderful way to use up leftovers as well as make an interesting snack for kids

Poonam's Panchakhadya Modak has all of Ganeshji's favourite things in a modak ! sounds delicious!

Priya Iyer sends us a savoury, tempered version of Kara Ammini Kozhukottai - a crowd pleaser, and mine too !

Priya Srinivasan has a twist on the classic Modak with a sweet potato and channa dal filling

Priya Vijay's recipe Black Kadalai Sundal is an eternal favourite of the Lord !

Renu's Quick Caramel Coconut Microwave Peda makes your prasad offering (Naivedyam) much more classy and different ! 

Sasmita's Modak Payasam takes the humble Modak to sublime levels

Sujata's Gulkand stuffed Modak is one variant you should not miss ! 

August 26, 2019

Apple Soup Video Recipe | How to make Apple Soup | Vegan. GF

A for Apple. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. 

Why am I quoting eloquent about apples today ? Because I am happy I discovered (?) another , uniquely healthy way to consume apples other than as a whole fruit.

Having said that, these are few apple-based recipes on the blog (and most of them are quick bakes .. yum !) 

homemade Applesauce , 

or in a milkshake (well I don’t make milkshakes at all, but apple milkshake is apparently very popular with moms of fussy kids :p) 

Apple Soup - a GF, Vegan dish - that was made for #UltaPulta - a theme for @foodiemondaybloghop that I suggested this week. The caveat was to use a traditionally savoury dish in a sweet dish or vice versa. So it came to be - a lip smacking (if I may say so) soup made with apple. 

 If you are a soup lover like us, click here for over 20+ soup varieties  (mostly Vegan and almost all GF)

Intrigued ? I certainly was. 

This soup is appropriate for young kids, diabetics, and even geriatrics (thank you, Archana for unknowingly prodding me to have a new category now :-)

The inspiration for this soup was from my dear friend and neighbour Rachna. But I modified it a bit based on ingredients on hand. Am so glad to have found a soup I can make year long, for I am sure this is a warmer in the winter months but keeps you equally refreshed during the summer days. 

BONUS: See how to make a 15-min Homemade Vegetable Stock to use in this or any other soup

Let’s see how to make this. 

This is entirely a video recipe post, so I do hope you would watch the video and leave your valuable comments here and on the channel too .  

The quantities indicated in the video are what worked for me. You can modify this to suit your family’s taste.  This makes for 4 generous servings. 


August 19, 2019

Thatte Idli | ಬಿಡದಿ ತಟ್ಟೆ ಇಡ್ಲಿ | How to make super soft, fluffy Bidadi Thatte Idli | Vegan, GF

Thatte Idli {In Kannada, Thatte = plate, Idli = idli (steamed rice based cake)} is a popular dish that has its origins in Bidadi  - an industrial suburb just outside Bangalore enroute Mysore - but is now popular all over Bangalore and South Karnataka. The proportion of the ingredients (mainly rice and Urad Dal) for the normal and Thatte Idli vary a bit, and so does the thickness of the Idli. Usually, one thick Idli suffice.  Just the way Maddur Vade is famous along the same route between Mysore and Bangalore, Thatte Idli from Bidadi or Tumkur (another town in South Karnataka) are equally popular. 

This batter can be made with Idli Rice or Idli Rava, and I chose the latter. The textures and final product are the same, but I find it fairly easy to make it with Idli Rava, however a bit of caution needs to be exercised with both ingredients not to make the batter too thick or too runny. The latter especially would make the idlis sunken flat (and we do not want that). This idli is very heavy for breakfast, so even half or 3/4 of a Thatte Idli would fill you up till lunchtime.  As this is steamed and oil free too, even diabetics can have a portion of this thatte idli with sambhar for their meal (keeping all other Sugars / Carbs to a minimum). 

Addition of Benne (white unsalted hand churned butter) or Ghee (clarified butter) as a topping to this Idli is very popular. You may serve it as is with Darshini type Sambhar and Coconut Chutney / Molagapudi on the side for a complete Vegan meal option. My next project  on the anvil is to make Ragi Thatte Idlis for diabetics that they could enjoy as a complete meal, although we make the normal Ragi Idlis for breakfast often (Reminds me I need to post the recipe for Ragi Idli too :p) 

Other authentic breakfast recipes from Karnataka on the blog

Akki Rotti (flattened , unleavened rice flour bread)

Avarekaalu Akki Thari Uppittu (field beans Upma with Rice Rava)

Kharabhath (Upma with veggies and a special spice powder)

Shavige Uppittu (vermicelli Upma)

Undlige (steamed Rice Rava Dumplings)

Thatte Idli - Gluten free and Vegan Breakfast / Tiffin from Karnataka 

Prep time (including Soak & fermentation time) - 10 to 15 hrs, 
Cook time - 20-22 mins per batch.  
Yields: around 8-9 medium thick Thatte Idlis

1 cup = 200 ml

You need:
Idli Rava (Cream of rice) - homemade / store-bought : 2 cups
Urad dal / split black gram - 1 cup ( I always use the whole skinless version for Idli/ Dosa) 
Methi / fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Gatti Avalakki / Thick poha - 1/4 cup (some recipes use Sabudana instead of Poha)
Salt - to taste
Oil - to grease the plates


Soak the Urad dal with methi seeds overnight or for a min of 6 hours in water (which is about 1.5 inches above the top)
Drain the water and retain. Wash and soak the Poha in water for 1 hour before grinding.
Soak Idli Rava in that drained water adding 1 cup more water. 
Start grinding the Urad dal (with the soaked methi seeds) to a smooth paste, Add the soaked poha and keep grinding for 20 mins ( I use a stone grinder, and I run the Urad to a real smooth paste). If using Mixer grinder, keep adding 1 tsp of cold water at a time and grind the Urad and Poha to a smooth batter.
Now take 2 fistfuls of the Soaked Idli Rava and add to the batter which is still being ground. after 3 mins, remove the Urad+poha batter to a large bowl / steel box. Keep squeezing the Idli Rava and add all the soaked and squeezed out Idli Rava to the ground batter. Add salt and mix well with your hands for a good 8-9 mins (the biceps are loving this workout). 
Cover and ferment overnight or for a good 8-10 hours. 

To make the Idlis:
Fluff up the fermented batter well. ,Grease the Idli plates (see pic of the special thatte Idli plates - you can also use a Dhokla steaming plate, but making it too large will not give enough height / thickness to the Idlis)
Pour 2-3 ladlefuls of the batter to the greased plates and place it in the stand, if using. Repeat for all plates. 
Steam for 18-22 mins until a knife comes out clean and dry. Cool for 2-3 mins. 
Unmould and serve hot with Darshini Sambhar / Tamilnadu styleTiffin Sambhar and/ or Chutney / Molagapudi

Aruna who's our host at @FoodieMondayBloghop this week suggested Karnataka Breakfast with the theme #ThindiYenu (#ThindiYenu in Kannada means what's for breakfast) . Her blog is a great collection of Andhra and Karnataka recipes. I am in love with her pickle collection too ! 

August 13, 2019

Multigrain Thalipeeth - GF, Vegan flatbread for #Breadbakers

Thalipeeth or an unleavened Indian hand-made flatbread is a breakfast / dinner dish we enjoy at home. Usually made with jowar / sorghum / finger millet flours, it’s also enjoyed best made with a mix of multigrain flours . I have used several GF flours for this flatbread. Quite spicy on its own, this is often eaten with a curd or a pickle. 

Gluten free flours are good for not just those who need it for medical reasons, but also promotes good health overall, Keeps one full and is a fibre rich option especially for diabetics. 

Multigrain thalipeeth is best eaten hot off the tava / skillet Let’s see how to make it as this dish makes its way to this month’s edition of Bread Bakers where @ Stacy is hosting GF breads as a theme. The past few months, I have hardly baked any breads nor participated in this monthly event, but want to make a gradual comeback to baking.

Prep time - 15 Mins ; Cook time - 20 Mins , Makes - 4 servings 

What you need:
Jowar / sorghum flour - 1/2 cup
Finger millet flour - 1 heaped tablespoon
Bajra atta - 1/4 cup
Channa dal flour / gramflour / chickpea flour- 2 TBSP
Brown rice flour - 3 tsp 
Grated veggies - cabbage, carrot, calabash (Lauki/bottlegourd) - 1/2 cup
Grated / Minced onion - 2 heaped teaspoon
Crushed ajwain / carrom seeds - 1/4 tsp 
Turmeric- 1/4 tsp 
Paprika / Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (adjust taste)
Salt - to taste
Chopped cilantro - 2 tbsp
Oil - 1/2 tsp per thalipeeth to shallow fry. 

How to:
In a large mixing bowl, sieve all the flours with salt, turmeric, chilli powder. Mix well. Add the grated veggies and mix well. Don’t add any water at this stage. The veggies will react  with  the salt and release water. 
Once the mix is semi dry, sprinkle hot water little by little (I needed a max of 1/3 cup) to make a pliable dough. Cover and rest for 15 mins
On a oiled plastic sheet / transfer sheet , pinch out a large lemon sized dough. Flatten out the thalipeeth on this greased sheet OR a floured surface (use rice flour / Jowar flour for dusting) to a disc of 1/2 Cm thickness and 7-8 Cm in diameter. Make 1-2 holes on the thalipeeth to enable it to cook through. 
With a flat spatula, Transfer the thalipeeth to a medium hot skillet. Drizzle oil into the holes and around the bread and cook evenly on both sides. Serve with yoghurt and / or pickle 

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers 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

August 12, 2019

Upahara Darshini Style Sambhar | How to make UD style sambar | GF and Vegan

Upahara Darshini was (is) a popular eatery in South Bangalore. Upahara in Kannada means tiffins / small meals . Although it has many chains now, the original outlet at DVG Road, Basavanagudi is very popular for the tiffins /breakfast esp this sambar , Kharabhath , Shavige Uppittu (vermicelli Upma), Set Dosa . The cousin and me were particularly huge fans of its sambhar - a deep red Sambhar (Tiffin sambhar in Karnataka is a tangy, spicy gravy made with very little veggies and lots of spices and coconut, while this is the Tamilnadu version of Tiffin Sambhar), It was one of the first self-service eateries in Bangalore and opened as early as 1993. Given that its sambhar is one of the top selling items, the waiters happily dole out extra bowls of Sambhar as and when you ask.

My cousin brother mentioned here is a huge love of this sambhar and an Idli-vada-sambhar fan like me. So after gobbling the idli-vada, he used to go back for seconds and thirds of this Sambhar. Its flavour is unlike any other sambhar, and although my cousin now lives outside India, given his culinary and baking skills I think he makes this sambhar for himself.

I am so proud of the self taught baking lessons he's given himself (and I shall ask for his permission if I can share his Instagram handle here)  - the breads he's baked and posted are gorgeous and I am sure he would love this memory of slurping this Udupi style Sambhar.

August 5, 2019

5-min Dahiwali Hari Chutney - a Zero Cook, GF Dip for Kebabs and Tikkas

Mint as a herb has been known as a cure for stomach upset / bloating / flatulence along with helping in digestion. It’s also used in many mocktails / cocktails where it’s muddled and adds a lot of zing to the drink. We prefer mint in our chaats' Green Chutney , pudina thogayal ( a thickish chutney that’s eaten with rice and sesame oil) or even in jal jeera (a summer favourite drink at home). My favourite remains the Mint and Tomato Salsa (Vegan & GF)

Today I present  a new favourite  - Dhaba style dahiwala hari chutney- a gluten free dip that is served with tandoori dishes / Tikkas and kebabs at most restaurants and dhabas.  Super easy to make, I had served this with my Baked tandoori gobhi appetiser posted a few weeks ago. 

Some more dishes you may like with Mint:

Pudina ChutneyPudi (Spiced Mint Powder - Condiment)

Chutneywale Aloo (Baby Potatoes in a spicy minty sauce - GF and Vegan)

Super easy and delicious, this dip today requires less than 5 mins to blitz and serve. Make this for your next party / potluck and you are sure to have a lipsmacking dip to go with crudités, kebabs , and much more. 

Prep time - 15 Mins (even a overnight prep would help) ; no cook, makes ~ 100 ml of the dip

You would need:

Mint leaves / pudina - 2/3 cup (tightly packed)
Raw mango - 3 tsp (optional but recommended)
Salt to taste 
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup ( I didn’t add)
Garlic - 2 cloves (I didn’t use)
Green chillies - 1 or 2 (adjust spice)
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala  - 1/2 tsp
Roasted cumin powder - 1/2 tsp 
Lemon juice - 1/2 tsp (if the raw mango is not tart enough) 
Hung curd - 1/2 cup 

How to:
In a blender, blitz all ingredients except the hung curd to a smooth paste with 1-2 tsp water. Adjust salt and spice. Whisk the hung curd and add to the chutney. Refrigerate and serve. 

Mint or any other herb (except coriander / curry leaf) was to be used this week of foodiemonday bloghop in #207Herbalicious - a theme hosted by Swati. Swati’s blog is bursting with delectable bakes, UP’s regional cuisine and many more traditional dishes. 

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