Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Bagara Baingain (Gutti Vankaya, Masala Vankaya)

As most of us know, Bagara Baingain is the most delicious and popular Nawabi food in Andhra Pradesh.  Bagara Baingain is always a part of a Hyderabadi wedding along with Bagara Rice and Mirchi ka Salan.  An all time favourite for me to be served with Vegetable Biryani.


Medium sized firm purple Brinjals (Vankayalu) : 10 nos.
Powdered roasted Peanuts : 1/2 cup
Powdered roasted sesame seeds : 1/2 cup
Chopped Onion :  1/2 cup (small cubes)
Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 tsp
Tamarind : a small lemon size (Soak and puree it)
Garam masala powder : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder : according to taste (approx 1 tsp)
Fresh grated coconut : 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander : 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds : 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/4 tsp
Urad dal : 1/4 tsp
Red chillies : 1 (Broken in small pieces)
Curry leaves : 10 to 12
Oil : 2 tsp
Salt : as required

  • Slit the brinjals into four sections from one end, leaving the stem on. If the stems are too long cut off a little portion of them.  Take water in a vessel and add 1/4 tsp of salt.  Put brinjals in the water till they are transferred to the stove to retain the color.  Otherwise the brinjals may turn black.
  •  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan on a medium flame. 
  • Add Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and red chilli pieces. Saute for a while
  • When mustard splutters, add curry leaves, stir once and add ginger garlic paste.
  • Saute it for a minute until the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste goes off.
  • Add chopped onions and saute till the onions turn to golden brown.
  • At this point, add the brinjals and fry for a minute or so.
  • Pour a cup of water and  put on a lid and allow brinjals to cook completely for about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add tamarind paste, all the spices, powdered peanuts, powdered sesame seeds, grated coconut and salt.
  • Mix until all the ingredients are combined properly. Add little water if it is too thick.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste and cook till the oil leaves the edges.
  • Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with rice, roti, chapati or biryani.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Danimma Verusenaga Pachadi (Pomegranate Peanut Chutney)


Verusenagapappu (Pallilu/Peanuts) : 1 cup (Dry roast them)
Danimma ginjalu (Pomegranate seeds) : 1/2 cup
Green chillies : 3 to 4 (cut lengthwise)
Garlic cloves : 2
Urad dal : 1 tsp
Salt : as required
Oil : 1 tsp

For seasoning :

Mustard seeds : 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/4 tsp
Urad dal : 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves : 10 to 12
Red chillies : 1 (Broken into 1" pieces)
Oil : 1 tsp

  • Heat oil in a saucepan, add urad dal and green chillies and saute them till the dal turns to brown color.
  • Take a mixer grinder and grind all the ingredients into a fine paste by adding enough water including the fried urad dal and green chillies.
  • Add salt and grind.
  • Transfer the chutney into a serving bowl.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds and red chillies. Saute till the mustard splutters, add curry leaves and switch off the stove.
  • Pour this seasoning over the chutney.
  • Serve with idlis or dosas.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Vegetable Idli


Urad dal : 1 cup
Idli rawa : 2 cups
Carrot :  1/2 cup (chopped into small pieces)
Green peas : 1/2 cup
Corn : 1/2 cup
beans : 1/2 cup (chopped into small pieces)
Onion : 1/2 cup (chopped into small pieces)
Green chillies : 3 or 4 (cut into very fine pieces)
Coriander : 2 tbsp (Chopped into very fine pieces)
Salt : as required
Ghee : for greasing the pan

For seasoning :
Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Oil : 1 tsp

  • The basic idli batter has to be prepared one day before as it requires fermentation.
  • Soak the urad dal in water for 3 to 4 hours.
  • Grind the daal into a smooth and forthy paste using enough water.
  • Just half-an-hour before grinding, soak idli rawa in water. 
  • Using your hands, squeeze the water from the rawa taking a handful of rawa each time and mix with the grinded dal. 
  • Mix salt and set aside in a warm place for a minimum of 12 hours for fermenting.
  • Idlis are ready to be cooked when the batter is well fermented.
  • Before cooking the idlies, mix all the vegetables into the batter.
  • Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
  • After the seeds splutter, mix it with the batter.
  • Grease the idli pan with ghee and pour the batter into idli moulds and steam in a steamer or cooker for 10 mins or till the idlis are done.
  • If you are using a cooker, do not put the whistle.
  • You can use the toothpick method to check if they are done by pricking the middle of the idli with a toothpick, it should come out clean.
  • Serve hot with any chutney.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sweet and Salt Biscuits (Vaamu Biscuits)


Maida (All purpose flour) : 1 cup
Butter : 1 3/4 oz
Vaamu (Ajwain/Thymol seeds) : 1/2 tsp
Salt : 1/2 tsp
Sugar : 3 tsp
Milk : 6 to 7 tsp

  • In a mixing bowl, take maida and add thymol seeds, salt and sugar to it.
  • Melt butter and add to the maida.
  • Mix well until all the ingredients are combined properly.
  • Add milk and knead to a soft dough.
  • Preheat oven to 350 deg.
  • Make balls out of the dough and with a rolling pin, roll them to 1/2 cm thick flat chapatis.
  • Cut into round discs or with any shaped  cookie cutters.
  • Don't forget to poke with a fork, otherwise the biscuits will puff up.
  • In a baking tray, dust some flour and arrange the biscuits.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the edges turn to golden brown in color.
  • Serve with coffee or tea.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dondakaya Paratha (Tindora Paratha)


Wheat flour : 2 cups
Oil : 1 tsp (optional)
Yoghurt : 1 tbsp
Salt : as required
Warm water : as required to make the dough

For stuffing:

Dondakaya (Tindora) : 1 cup (very finely cut pieces)
Onion : 3/4 cup (very finely cut pieces
Green chillies : 2 nos. (very finely cut pieces)
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Salt : approx. 1/4 tsp or as required
Coriander : 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

  • Dough - In a large mixing bowl, take wheat flour, yoghurt, salt  and add water little by little and knead until you get a soft and smooth dough.  Apply about a tsp of oil and keep aside.
  • Stuffing -  Take dondakaya pieces in a microwavable bowl.
  • Sprinkle some water, cover with a lid partially and microwave for about 3 minutes or until half cooked.
  • To that, add onion, green chillies, cumin seeds, salt and coriander and combine.
  • Paratha - Make a lemon sized ball of the dough.
  • Flatten the dough with a rolling pin to a size of a poori (approx 3 to 4 inch diameter circle).
  • Put a spoonful of the dondakaya mixture in the center of the poori.
  • Gather the edges to the centre and close to form a disc.
  • Flatten again with the rolling pin, dusting flour whenever necessary, and make parathas a little bigger than the earlier made poori's without using much pressure.
  • Heat a pan/tawa on medium high and place the paratha on the pan cook till the paratha changes color and start puffing in different places.
  • Flip the paratha to the other side. After a few seconds, spread half teaspoon of oil on the paratha. Again, flip the paratha and lightly press the puffed areas with a spatula.
  • Flip again and press with the spatula making sure the paratha is golden-brown on both sides.
  • Serve hot with any curry, dal or pickle.
  • Parathas can be stored by wrapping in aluminum foil or in a covered container for up to 2 days, or can be refrigerated for 5-6 days or freezed (wrapped in aluminum foil) for a month. Re-heat on a tawa or toaster oven.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Vankaya Pappu (Brinjal Dal)


Kandi pappu (Toor dal) : 3/4 cup
Medium sized purple brinjals : 5 nos. (remove the stem and cut length wise)
Tomato : 1/2 (cut into small cubes)
Onion : 1/4 (cut into small cubes)
Fresh shredded coconut : 2 tbsps
Green chillies : 5 or 6 (cut length wise)
Tamarind : 2 marble sized (Make a paste by soaking in little water)
Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
Salt : as required
Water : 2 cups

For seasoning:

Mustard seeds : 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
Urad dal : 1/2 tsp
Garlic ; 4 cloves (cut into thin slices)
Red chillies : 2 (broken into 1" pieces)
Curry leaves  : 12 to 15

  • Wash and drain toor dal in a pressure cooker.  
  • Add 2 cups of water along with sliced brinjals, chopped onions, chopped tomato, sliced green chillies and turmeric powder.
  • Cover with lid and pressure cook to three or four whistles until dal is well cooked.
  • Remove the lid after the pressure is released and add salt and tamarind paste.
  • In a sauce pan, heat oil for seasoning.
  • Add garlic, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and red chillies.
  • Toast until mustard seeds splutters and add curry leaves.
  • Switch off the stove and transfer these contents to the dal in the cooker and mix well.
  • Cook the dal again without the lid until it starts bubbling.
  • Add the shredded coconut and switch off the stove.
  • Best when served with rice.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Vaamu Annam (Ajwain Rice)

This is a quick, very simple yet healthy recipe which helps in digestion. Slightly different from the actual vaamu annam which my Mom makes.  As I generally prepare this rice  for my kids, I use only kid-friendly ingredients and try to avoid onion and garlic. I won't add even chillies as vaamu itself has very strong flavour.


Sona Masoori Rice : 1 cup
Vaamu (Ajwain) : 1 1/2 tsp
Frozen green peas : 1/2 cup (can use fresh green peas if available)
Frozen corn : 1/2 cup (can use fresh or canned corn)
Grated carrot : 1 to 2 tbsp
salt : as required
water : 2 1/4 cups
Oil : 1 tbsp

  • Wash rice in a vessel and keep it aside.
  • Wash the frozen green peas and frozen corn in a vessel and keep them aside. 
  • Heat oil in a cooker and add ajwain.
  • After the ajwain turns to dark brown color, add green peas and corn.
  • Cook for one minute. Saute in between.
  • Add water and bring to boil.  Sprinkle salt and add grated carrot and rice.
  • Close the cooker with lid and put the weight after 30 secs.
  • Wait for 3 whistles and turn off the heat.
  • Before serving, mix the rice so that all the ingredients are combined properly. 
  • Can be served with Raita.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Simple Bhindi Fry


Bendakaya/Okra/Bhindi : 1 lb
Dry roasted peanuts : 2 tbsps
Red Chilli powder : 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder : 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsps
Cumin seeds : 1 tsps
Split black gram dal (Urad dal) : 1 tsp
Curry Leaves : 10 - 12
salt : 1 tsp or as required
turmaric powder: 1/4 tsp
Oil : 2 tbsps


Finely chopped coriander : 2 tbsps
Fresh grated coconut : 1 tbsp

  • Wash the Bhindi, pat with paper towel and let them dry completely.
  • Chop the ends off and cut into 1/2" pieces.
  • On medium flame, heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and urad dal.
  • When they start to splutter, add curry leaves.
  • Add the cut bhindi pieces. Sprinkle in turmeric. Mix them all once, allow them to cook for 4 to 5 minutes un-covered on medium heat.
  • Now cover the bhindi and reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Saute in between so that Bhindi doesn't burn.
  • Do not over stir the bhindis, as they may breakdown and become mushy.
  • Reduce the flame and add salt, red chilli powder and Coriander powder and cook until the bhindis are cooked.
  • Just before switching off the stove, add the roasted peanuts.
  • Garnish with coriander and grated coconut.
  • Best served with rice.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mamidikaya Kobbari Pachchadi (Mango Coconut Chutney)


Fresh raw mango cut into small cubes : 1 cup
Fresh shredded coconut : 1/2 cup
Red Chillies : 4 nos. (reduce the no. if you want less spicy)
Garlic : 3 cloves
Urad Dal : 2 tsp
Cumin seeds (Jeera) : 2 tsp
Coriander seeds : 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder : a pinch
Oil : 2 tbsp
Salt : as required

For seasoning:

Hing : a big pinch 
Fenugreek seeds : 1 tsp
Urad dal : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
cumin seeds : 1 tsp
curry leaves : a few
Red chillies : 2 cut into 1" pieces

  • In a sauce pan, heat a tbsp of oil and fry red chillies, urad dal, cumin seeds and coriander seeds.
  • Put these in a mixer grinder along with garlic and grind coarsely.
  • Add coconut and grind untill the spices are well grinded.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder and finally add mango cubes and run the mixer grinder under pulse for 15 - 20 seconds.  
  • Adjust the taste, if needed add little mango for sourness.  If the mango is not too sour, add little lemon to it.
  • Heat a saucepan and add oil for seasoning.
  • Add hing, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies, mustard seeds and urad dal.
  • Switch off the flame once the spluttering stops and add the curry leaves.
  • Garnish the chutney with the seasoning.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Capsicum Pachchadi (Chutney)

We had a baby showers potluck for a friend, and one my friend prepared this capsicum chutney which I loved a lot.


Capsicum : 2 nos. (cut into small cubes)
Peanuts : 4 tbsp (dry roasted)
Shredded coconut :4 tbsp
Garlic : 3 cloves
Urad Dal : 1 tbsp
Chana Dal : 1 tbsp
Green Chillies : 5 or 6
Tamarind : a small marble sized (soaked in little water)
Oil : 3 tsps
Salt : as required

For Popu / Tadka:
Red chillies : 4 or 5 1" pieces
Curry leaves :  of 1 or 2 stems
Urad Dal : 1 tsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp
Hing (Inguva) : a pinch

  • In a thick bottomed pan, add a tsp of oil, fry capsicum pieces until cooked. Keep it aside.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in another pan, add urad dal, chana dal and green chillies and toss for 2 or 3 minutes until done.
  • Grind all the ingredients including roasted peanuts, coconut, garlic and tamarind except for capsicum pieces in a mixer jar until smooth.  Add salt.
  • Transfer the contents from the mixer jar to the serving bowl and mix in the capsicum pieces to it.
  • Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, fry all the popu ingredients and pour it over the chutney.
  • Can be well served with dosas, chapatis or even plain rice.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A quick Bhel with Haldirams Khatta Meetha


1 cup Haldirams Khatta Meetha
1 Potato boiled and cut into small cubes
1 Tomato cut into small cubes
1 Onion cut into small cubes
3 tbsps chopped coriander
4 tbsps grated carrot
1 tbsp Maggi tomato ketchup
1 tbsp chilli sauce (can be replaced by chopped green chillies)
a pinch of salt

  • Keep aside a tbsp each of coriander, onion, carrot and tomato separately.
  • Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
  • Garnish with onion, carrot, tomato and coriander which are kept aside and serve.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mango Punch


Canned Mango Puree : 4 tbsps (Can also use canned mango chunks or fresh ripe mango)
Vanilla Ice-cream : 2 scoops
Sprite : 1 can

Serves 3 persons

  • Blend mango puree and vanilla ice-cream in a blender.
  • Add sprite and blend.
  • To serve, fill drinking glasses with mango punch and ice cubes.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ugadi Subhakankshalu

వికృతి నామ సంవత్సర ఉగాది శుభాకాంక్షలు.  Ugadi marks the beginning of the Telugu New Year and is celebrated as very important festival by the people of Andhra Pradesh.   According to Hindu mythology, the New Year starts with Ugadi with the moon changing its orbit. It is also believed that the creator Lord Brahma started to create the universe on this first day of sukla paksha in the lunar month of Chaitra. 

Ugadi Pachchadi

The day begins with this Ugadi pachchadi which reflects different flavors of life.

1 cup grated raw fresh mango
1 tbsp neem flowers
1 cup crushed jaggery
1 cup tamarind paste (not the concentrate, should be taken at home by soaking two lemon sized balls of tamarind in water) not too thick, not too thin
3 tbsp Putnalu pappu (roasted chana dal)
1 banana (cut into small square pieces)
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut (optional)
Maa inti Ugadi vindu

  • To the tamarind water, add jaggery and mix well untill it is completely dissolved in the tamarind paste.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.

    Kobbari Arisalu


    Maida : 1 cup
    Fresh shredded coconut : 1 cup
    Powdered Sugar : 2 cups
    Elaichi powder : 1 tsp
    Oil : for frying
    Ghee : 2 tsps

    • Add three tsps of powdered sugar to maida and knead it like a poori dough with water.
    • Apply some ghee to the kneaded dough and keep it aside for half an hour.
    • To the shredded coconut, add the remaining sugar and elaichi powder.
    • Make a small ball out of the maida dough and roll it into a small poori.
    • Take almost a tsp of coconut mixture and place it in the center of the poori.
    • Gather and seal the edges to the center and flatten the dough into a thick patty.
    • Roll it again into a small poori and deep fry till golden brown.


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