Beetroot Chawli Soup with Paneer Mini

Beetroot Chawli Soup


Beetroot Chawli Soup  with Paneer Mini

Chawli is Black Eyed Beans ( lobia, Karamani or thattai payaru ). I had lots of Chawli and Beetroot at home. As  I was making breakfast, I was contemplating to make this Soup for dinner. I sort of formulated this recipe. The taste was delicious, creamy and thick. Quite filling. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Serve this Soup piping hot with Paneer Mini.


Boiled Chawli – 1 cup  + 3 tablespoons for garnishing

Boiled Beetroot pieces –  2 cups

Milk powder – 3 tablespoons

Onion – 1 ( chopped )

Garlic – 6 flakes ( chopped )

Green chilli – 1/2 piece

Salt to taste

Coarsely powdered black pepper powder – 3 pinches

Water   –  1  cup

To Season

Butter – 1 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon ( cumin seeds )

To Garnish

Grated Paneer – little

Boiled Chawli – 3 tablespoons

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Boiled and finely chopped beetroot pieces – little



Heat a pan. Season. Fry onion and garlic till transparent. Add the green chilli. Sauté for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame. Transfer to a plate. Cool. Take a blender jar. Add the onion mixture, boiled Chawli, boiled beetroot pieces, salt, pepper powder, milk powder and water. Cover the mixie jar. Blend to a fine purée. Pour the blended ingredients in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes on sim flame. The Soup will thicken. Switch off the stove. Pour into soup bowls. Garnish. Serve hot with Paneer Mini.

 Chef’s  Tips

1) Do not add more than 1/2 piece of green chilli, the Soup will become very spicy.

2) Chawli Beetroot Soup is very, very soul filling.



Spicy Corn

Spicy Corn


Spicy Corn with  Veg Biriyani and toasted herbed buttered bread

I still remember the days, we used to go to Prarthana Theatre with the children, they used to have one request all the time. Spicy Corn with  Vegetable Biriyani. They used to love this ever winning combination, plus this Spicy Corn is our family favourite too.

Prarthana happens to be a drive in theatre, we can park the car and watch the movie. We used to carry food from home, the all time favourite Spicy Corn with Veg Biriyani. I am very happy to share this recipe which we have been making for years and enjoying .


Cream style sweet corn( available in cans ) – 1/2 cup

Sweet corn niblets ( available in cans ) – 1/2 cup

Readymade tomato purée ( comes in tetra pack )  – 1 cup

Very finely minced ( chopped very, very finely ) onion – 1 cup

Very finely minced garlic – 1 tablespoon

Very finely chopped green chilli – 1

Boiled , cooled milk – 1 cup

Cornflour – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Butter – 2 tablespoons

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds ( jeera ) – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Crushed kasoori methi – little

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Butter – 1 teaspoon



Heat a pan. Season. Sauté minced garlic on medium flame for 3 minutes. Next, add the minced onions. Sauté on medium flame till transparent. Add the chopped green chilli. Add the tomato purée, salt , chilli powder and stir well. Add the cream style corn and sweet corn. Mix milk with cornflour. Cook on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove and garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) To achieve a great taste use canned corn only. Using a combo of cream style corn and sweet corn gives a good body to the dish.

2) Cream style corn is used for making sweet corn soup too.

3) Ready made tomato purée gives that peachish pink colour. Wonderful to see and Wonderful to taste.

Refer to my Pulao and Biriyani.



Kariveppilai ( curry leaves) Kuzhambu

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu


Kariveppilai is Curry leaf.  The humble curry leaf is a store house of  folic acid, calcium, vitamins, iron and phosphorus. Improves digestion  and prevents greying hair. This Kuzhambu is very appetising. I learnt this recipe from my mother’s  cook Sampoorna. We have been making this Kuzhambu for decades. Goes well with plain rice and ghee, roasted pappad and a vegetable dish. Also goes well with Pongal, Crisp dosai, Adai, Upma, Curd rice and Puri.


To roast and grind in oil  –  Paste 1

Curry leaves ( washed and wiped well ) – 2 handfuls

Gingelly oil – 1 teaspoon

Heat gingelly oil in a pan. Sauté the curry leaves for 3  minutes on medium flame till crispy. Remove and keep aside. Cool. Grind it with little water to a nice paste.

Roast in oil and blend to a paste – Paste 2 

Gingelly oil – 2tablespoons

Channa dhal ( Bengal gram dhal ) – 2 tablespoons

Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper – 4

Cumin seeds ( jeera ) – 2 teaspoons

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Dry red chillies –  4

Asafoetida powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Grind all the golden roasted ingredients with little water to a fine paste.

Other Ingredients

Salt to taste

Grated jaggery – 1 tablespoon

Water – 1/4 cup

To Season

Gingelly oil –  2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds  –  1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Sundaikkai ( Turkey berry) – 6 , fry in oil  till golden. Keep aside.


Heat a pan. Add gingelly oil . Season.First fry paste 2 for 3 minutes on sim flame. Next fry  paste 1 on sim flame for 3 minutes . Add salt to taste, jaggery and water. Simmer till the Kuzhambu thickens and the oil seeps.

Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can store the Kariveppilai Kuzhambu for 1 week in the fridge.

2) Use only gingelly oil for best flavour.






Shahi Paneer Masala ( Restaurant Style )

Shahi Paneer Masala


This is a sheer restaurant style gravy. I learnt this recipe from my friend Sunitha Wahi. She is a Punjabi. She gave me all the intricate details as to how to make this gravy step by step.  A little effort and you will have a big bowlful  of this gravy in front of you. Let us first start with the Shahi Paneer Masala powder. Apart from using for this dish, you can also use this masala powder for Veg curries, Dhals and can add little in the fillings used for parathas.

Shahi Paneer Masala powder


Coriander seeds – 1/2 cup

Jeera – 1/4 cup

Cloves – 6

Cardamoms – 3

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Saunf (aniseeds) – 1/2 teaspoon

Black pepper – 6

Nutmeg – a very small piece

Star anise  – 1/2

Shah jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Stone flower ( Kalpaasi) – 2 pinches


Heat a big pan. Add all the above mentioned ingredients. Roast on sim flame till golden. Cool. Powder in a blender to a fine powder. Store in an air tight bottle. Use  whenever you want.

Ingredients for Shahi Paneer Masala

Paneer – ( chopped to triangles) – 2 cups

Heat 5 cups of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Boil the water. Add the chopped Paneer pieces. Cover and leave it aside till the time of use.

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 2 pinches

Jeera powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Shahi Paneer Masala powder – 1 teaspoon

Cornflour – 1  and 1/2 teaspoon

Boiled , cooled milk – 1 and 1/2 cups

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 1 )

Onion –  2 ( chopped)

Garlic – 6 flakes ( chopped )

Ginger – ( chopped ) – 2 teaspoons

Green chilli – 1 ( chopped )

Do not add water. Blend to a fine paste.

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 2 )

Tomatoes – 5 ( chopped fine )

Blend to a fine paste

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 3 )

Cashew nut – 8

Blanched and peeled almonds – 8

Melon seeds ( magaz) – 2  teaspoons

Boiled, cooled milk – 1/2 cup

Blend to a fine paste with milk

To Season

Oil – 2tablespoons

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Shah jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Crushed Kasoori Methi – little

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Whisked fresh cream – little


Heat a pressure cooker. Season. First fry the paste 1 on sim flame till the raw smell goes. Next fry the paste 2. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, sugar,coriander powder, jeera powder and  Shahi Garam Masala powder. Sauté  on sim flame. Mix cornflour to milk. Add it to the milk and stir gently. Ad the drained Paneer triangles. Mix gently. Cover the pressure cooker. After 1 whistle switch off the stove. Once the pressure subsides, open and mix well.Garnish. Serve hot with Sabz  Sirka pulao.


Chef’s Tips

1) Can pack this Paneer for lunchbox.

2) Do not break the Paneer pieces. Mix gently.

3) Goes well with  kulchas, naan, roti, jeera rice or Sabzi Sirka Pulao.














Sabzi Sirka Pulao

Sabzi Sirka Pulao


Sirka is vinegar. You might be wondering  what is  vinegar doing in this Pulao. Yes, a mild sprinkle of vinegar will do magic, an over dose will kill the flavours.  Anything minimally used will give great results. My first holidays in college. I came to my aunt’s house in Chennai. She surprised me by making this Pulao for lunch. The taste was splendid. On enquiring , she told me that she has used vinegar. I was astonished. I still remember, she made plenty of this Pulao and we packed  in a food flask and we went to her beach house in Injambakkam. Voila!  Great times.


Cooked Basmathi rice – 2 cups

Sliced onions – 1 cup

Carrot – cut to strips ( boiled) – 1/2 cup

Boiled green peas – 1 cup

Beans –  cut diagonally ( boiled) – 1/2  cup

Salt to taste

White vinegar – 1/2 teaspoon

To Pound Well

Garlic flakes – 8 flakes

Green chillies –  2

Ginger – chopped –  1 and 1/2 tablespoon

To Season

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Cloves – 6

Cardamom – 4

Cinnamon – 1 inch piece – 1

Star anise – 1


Heat a big pan. Add oil. Season all the seasoning ingredients. First fry the sliced onions on sim flame till transparent. Next fry the pounded ginger, garlic and green chillies.  Sauté well for 3 minutes on sim flame.  Add the salt to taste. Add the boiled vegetables and cooked rice.Mix gently. Leave it for 3 minutes. Last add the white vinegar. Mix and switch off the stove. Serve hot with Shahi Paneer Masala .

Chef’s Tips

1) Only hand pound the garlic, green chilli and ginger. Do not blend. The colour of the rice will not be white. It will become greenish.

2) Separate the boiled rice grains with a fork. The rice grains will not break.

3) Use only White Vinegar.


Pudhina Gojju

Pudhina Gojju


Pudhina is Mint leaf. High in iron and vitamins is good for digestion. Had lots of pudhina at home. Planned to make this Gojju . The taste was marvellous. The flavours blended very well and needless to say the guests loved it. This Gojju goes well with Adai, Pongal, Dosai, Sevai, Upma and Curd Rice. Good to serve with snacks like Bajji , Bonda and Vadai


Cleaned, washed and roughly chopped pudhina – 1 cup

Thick tamarind extract – 1 cup

Grated jaggery – 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste

Turmeric powder – 2 pinches

Sambhar powder –  1 teaspoon

Rice flour – 1 teaspoon

Water –  1/4  cup

To season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Jeera –  1/2 teaspoon

Urad dhal –  1 teaspoon

Methi seeds – 6

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Slit green chilli – 1

Broken red chilli – 1


Heat a pan. Season all the seasoning ingredients. Add the pudhina. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric powder and  sambhar powder. Sauté for 1 minute. Add the tamarind extract, salt to taste and jaggery. Boil on medium flame for 3 minutes. Mix rice flour with water and add to the pudhina mix. Simmer for 3 minutes. Switch off. Serve with Jeeraga Milagai Killu.

Chef’s Tips

1) Use fresh pudhina leaves. Do not fry pudhina in oil for a longer time.

2) Can store this Gojju in the fridge for 1 week.




Jeeraga Milagai Killu with Pudhina Gojju

Jeeraga Milagai Killu


Killu can be made just like that. Jeeragam is Cumin seeds and Milagai is  Chilli.

We had some friends for tea .  Was contemplating to make this Killu. Killu is a small bonda which does not have a definite shape. Small pieces are pinched from the batter and deep fried to a golden colour. Killu has a crispy outer cover. I have given a combination of four dhals. The pudhina Gojju further enhances the taste of the Killu. Jeera and ginger makes the Killu very refreshing and aids digestion. Goes well with all mixed rice varieties. Serve Killu with a cup of hot coffee or hot masala chai ( tea). Ideal snack for a Sunday Evening .

Happy Killu Making


Channa dhal ( Bengal gram ) –  1/2 cup

Toovar dhal – 1/2 cup

Urad dhal – 1/2 cup

Broken Yellow Moong dhal – 1/2 cup ( paasi  paruppu )

Green  chilli paste –  1 teaspoon

Grated ginger – 2 teaspoons

Jeera ( cumin seeds ) –  2 teaspoons

Salt to taste

Grated coconut – 2 teaspoons

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Finely chopped green coriander and curry leaves – 1 teaspoon (each)

Oil – required amount to deep fry the  killu


Wash and soak the dhals together in water for 2 hours. Drain and grind to a little coarse paste with little water. The batter should be soft to touch.Mix in the green chilli paste, jeera, grated ginger, salt to taste,asafoetida powder, grated coconut, chopped coriander and curry leaves. Mix well with your fingers for 5 minutes so that the air passes into the mix. Heat oil in a pan. Pinch small balls from the batter and deep fry on medium flame till golden. Remove and put it on a kitchen tissue. Serve with Pudhina Gojju

Chef’s Tips

1) Can add little grated carrot and very, very little grated beetroot for a colourful Killu.






Ishtu ( potato stew)



Potato stew ( Ishtu ) is a divine dish from Kerala. Ishtu goes well with appam and ghee rice. This is our family favourite and I learnt this dish from my mother’s maid Lakshmi Menon. I have learnt many recipes from her. I still cherish the memories and I have spent good times with her. The Ishtu recipe has a combination of two types of onions. Very delicious.


Peeled and diced potatoes – 3 cups

Slit green chilli – 4

Sliced big onions – 1 cup

Sliced small onions – 1/2 cup

Finely chopped ginger – 1 tablespoon

Coarsely crushed black pepper powder – 3 pinches

First extract coconut milk – 1 cup

Second extract coconut milk – 5 cups

Cornflour – 1 and 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Coconut oil – 3 tablespoons

Curry leaves – little


Heat a pan. Add the second extract coconut milk. Add the diced potatoes. Cook on medium flame . When 3/4 cooked add the sliced big and small onions. Add the slit green chillies. Add the chopped ginger. Cook till the potatoes are soft. Add salt to taste. Add the cornflour to the first extract of coconut milk. Mix well. Add this to the Ishtu. Simmer for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Add the pepper powder, coconut oil and curry leaves. Mix well. Serve hot with appam.

Chef’s Tips

1) The Ishtu has to be white in colour.

2) Can add little boiled green peas to the Ishtu.






Avaregalu ( Fresh Field Beans, Mochai ) Kuruma

Avaregalu Kuruma


Avaregalu in Kannada is Fresh Field beans. In Tamil we call it Mochai. Now is the season for fresh Avaregalu. This is a Karnataka Special. I learnt the recipe from my friend Priya Rao. Goes well with appam, dosa, plain rice and chappathi. The recipe for you.


Avaregalu – 2 cups ( boiled)

Onion – 1 ( finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Jaggery –  1 teaspoon

Roast in oil till golden and grind to a fine paste

Chopped small onion – 1 cup

Chopped tomatoes – 1 and 1/4 cups

Chopped green chilli – 2

Chopped garlic – 4 flakes

Chopped ginger – 1 tablespoon

Grated coconut – 1 cup

Roasted gram ( Pottu kadalai ) – 1 teaspoon

Poppy seeds – 1 teaspoon

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmericpowder – 1/4 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Fry all the above mentioned ingredients in oil and grind to  a fine paste with water.

To Season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Ghee – 1 tablespoon

Cloves – 4

Cardamom – 3

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

To  Garnish

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little


Heat a pan. Season all the seasoning ingredients. Fry the chopped onion on medium flame till golden. Add the ground paste and fry for 5 minutes on sim flame. Add salt to taste and jaggery. Add the boiled Avaregalu and 1/2 cup of water and cook on sim flame for 5 minutes. Mix well, garnish and serve hot with appam.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can add  2 pinches of aniseeds( saunf ) while grinding the masala paste as an option.

2) The Kuruma has to be little thick.



Appam, Avaregalu Kuruma and Ishtu



Surely, everyone’s favourite, appam has a soft spongy centre, light on the stomach. This is a hit recipe in my home. I learnt the recipe from my friend Alagammai from Pallathur, Chettinad. No cooking soda is added. Do try and post your feedback.


Idli rice – 2 cups

Raw rice – 2 cups

Whole Urad dhal – 1/2 cup

Thin poha – 1/4 cup ( aval)

Methi seeds – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Water – 1/2 cup

Oil – required amount to make the appam

Method ( to make the appam batter )

Take a dish. Add both the rice , urad dhal, methi seeds wash them well and soak in water for 3 hours. Cover the dish. Wash the poha and soak in 1/2 cup water for 3 hours. Cover the dish. Grind the rice mix and poha in a wet grinder to a fine paste, the consistency has to be like dosa batter. Remove the batter in a dish. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Meanwhile add 1/2 cup water into the grinder and mix. Pour this water into a pan,  add 1 tablespoon of the appam batter, mix well and heat it on sim flame till it boils and becomes thick like a porridge. Cool. Mix the porridge to the appam batter and mix well. Cover the dish. Leave it aside to ferment for 8 to 9 hours . The batter should rise. Mix well with a ladle.


Method ( to make the appam)

Appam pans are available in all big vessels shop. Non- stick appam pan is easy to make appams, they have handles and come with a lid. Heat the appam pan. Keep on medium flame. Grease it slightly. Pour a ladleful of the appam batter. Hold the handle and swirl the batter all around the pan. Keep the flame in sim. Drizzle oil all around. Cover and cook till golden.The centre of the appam will be spongy. Serve hot with Avaregalu Kuruma and Ishtu.

Chef’s Tips

1) Cook the appam on sim flame. Do not discolour.

2) Sweetened Coconut Milk tastes great with appam. Recipe will follow soon.

3) No cooking soda is added. It is healthy .



Hearty Homely Healthy