Tag Archives: south indian


All my hubbie has to hear is “It’s masala upma for breakfast today” and his mood is ruined. Trust me to try out something which caught my attention using masala upma! Thanks to Sanjeev Kapoor I tried out his masala upma fritters and hubbie could not stop praising the delicious breakfast he had!


This is what you’ll need

Semolina: 1 cup

Onion: 1 (finely chopped)

Carrot: 1 (peeled and cut into very fine cubes)

French beans: 12 to 15 (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 2

Ginger: 1/4tsp (grated)

Curry leaves: Few

Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Coriander leaves: 1tbsp (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Ghee: 1tbsp

Oil for frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat the ghee in a pan and season with the mustard seeds, curry leaves, slit green chillies and ginger.

2. Add the onions and saute for a couple of minutes.

3. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2 minutes.

4. Add the semolina and salt. Fry well for 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Add 3 cups of water (more if the mixture is thick) and cover the pan. Let it cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

6. When the mixture is dry, remove from flame.

7. Add the chopped coriander leaves. Mix well.

8. Shape into small round shaped vadas and deep fry in hot oil.

9. Serve hot with rasam/ sambhar and chutney.


Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 3-4



It has been a really long time since I blogged. March has been a really hectic month so far and I never got around to making anything too fancy. After a really busy few weeks, decided to make something quick and simple. A baby potato roast south Indian style dish that goes well with both phulkas and rice. Adapted the recipe from kannammacooks.com.

Chettinad potatoes1

This is what you’ll need

For the potatoes

Baby potatoes: 1/2 kg (boiled and peeled)

Onions: 2 (sliced)

Tomatoes: 2 (chopped)

Green chillies: 2 (slit)

Ginger garlic paste: 1tbsp

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Coriander powder: 1tsp

Mustard seeds: 1/2tsp

Urad dal: 1/2tsp

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

Oil: 3tbsp

Salt to taste

For the Chettinad masala

Dried red chillies: 4

Coriander seeds: 2tsp

Cinnamon stick: 1/2″ piece

Cardamoms: 2

Cloves: 2

Fennel seeds: 2tsp

Cumin seeds: 1tsp

Pepper corns: 1tsp

Coconut: 3tbsp ( fresh or desiccated)

Curry leaves: 2 sprigs

Let’s get cooking

1. Dry roast all the chettinad masala ingredients and grind to a fine powder.

2. Heat oil in a pan and when the season with the mustard seeds. Then add in the urad dal and the curry leaves. Let the mustard splutter.

3. Add the onions and fry till golden brown.

4. Toss in the green chillies and the ginger garlic paste.

5. Add the tomatoes and stir-fry on a low heat for about 5 minutes. Continue to cook oil is released in the pan.

6. Add in the ground masala, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt.

7. Add quarter to half a cup of water and cook on low flame until the raw smell disappears and the masala becomes thick.

8. Add in the potatoes and fry until almost dry.

9. Remove from heat and serve hot, with phulkas or rice and dal.

Chettinad style baby potatoes

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour

Serves: 6

chettinad potatoes


A lot of newspaper articles in the recent past seem to talk a lot about Ambur Biryani as one of the must have Indian style biryanis. A recipe on kannammacooks.com caught my eye and I decided to try it out. A very easy biryani to make, with easily available ingredients. This one was an instant hit!

Ambur biryani

This is what you’ll need

Mutton: 500gms

Seeraga Samba or Basmati Rice: 500gms

Refined Oil: 1/2cup (125ml)

Garlic paste: 50gms

Ginger paste: 50gms

Onions: 2 (sliced)

Tomatoes: 2 (chopped)

Dried Red chillies: 8-10, ground to a paste

Cloves: 3

Cardamom: 3

Cinnamon: 1″ piece

Coriander leaves: 1/2 vati/ katori (finely chopped)

Mint leaves: 1/4 vati/ katori (finely chopped)

Yoghurt: ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 1 tablespoon

Juice of 1 Lime

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Soak the rice in lots of water. Set aside.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add a table spoon of yoghurt. Add in the cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry for 10 seconds. Add in the garlic paste. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium flame.

3. Add in the ginger paste. Fry for another 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of the ginger goes off.

4. Add in the chilli paste, mutton, the mint and coriander leaves, onions, tomatoes, salt, yoghurt and lime juice. Add in a cup (250 ml) of water. Mix well to combine.

5. Cover and pressure cook everything for 10-12 whistles on medium flame. Switch off the flame and wait for the pressure to release naturally.

6. Bring a pot of water to a boil and add in the soaked rice. Add in the salt. Cook until the rice is half done.

7. Drain the water and add the rice to the mutton pan. Mix well to combine. Empty into an oven proof dish. Cover the dish with foil and cook the biryani in the preheated 200 deg C for 30 minutes. If you don’t have an oven, heat a dosa pan on the stove and put the mutton biryani pan / vessel on top of the dosa pan and allow it to cook on low flame for 15 minutes.

8. Once the dum cooking is over, open the lid and gently fluff up the rice to mix. Serve mutton biryani hot with raita.

ambur biryani1

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hr 15 minutes

Serves: 4

* The mutton can be substituted by chicken



A lazy Christmas Eve morning and since I was planning to cook an elaborate meal tomorrow, was in no mood to make anything too much today. Just the time when a one pot meal comes to my mind, ideally a biryani! Found this recipe on relishthebite.com

hyd egg bir

This is what you’ll need

For the rice

Basmati Rice: 3 cups

Bay leaf: 1

Cinnamon: 1 ” piece

Cloves: 3

Cardamom: 2

Tomato: 1 (finely chopped)

Yoghurt: 2tbsp

Biryani Masala: 1 tbsp

Chilli powder: 1 tsp

Oil: 1tbsp

Saffron – ½ tsp dissolved in ½ cup warm milk

Ghee – 2 tbsp

To be ground for the rice masala

Cashew nuts – 6

Khus khus (poppy seeds): ½ tbsp.

Cumin seeds (jeera): ½ tbsp

Fennel seeds: ½ tbsp.

Coconut: 2 tbsp

Garlic: 4 cloves

Ginger: 1″ piece

Green chillies: 4

Mint: ½ cup (chopped finely)

Coriander leaves: ½ cup (chopped finely)

For the Egg masala

Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp

Chilli powder: 2 tsp

Black pepper powder: 1 tsp

Besan (gram flour): 2 tbsp

Salt: 2 tsp

Boiled eggs – 6 (slice in between, leaving the ends intact)

Butter: 1tbsp

For fried onions

Onions: 2 (thinly sliced)

Cashew nuts – 6

Oil – to fry (3 – 4 tbsp)

Let’s get cooking

1. Wash and soak rice for at least 30 -40 minutes.

For Fried onions

1. Heat a pan with oil, add the sliced onions and cook in medium heat till turn golden brown. Add cashews in the end and fry again. Stir in the middle so that it does not stick to the bottom. Set aside.


For Egg masala

Mix all the ingredients under “Egg masala” with little water and add the eggs. Heat a pan with 1 tbsp of butter. Now add the marinated eggs and coat till the eggs gets golden brown.


For the rice masala

1. Grind the garlic, ginger, mint, coriander, cashews, coconut, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies with a little water into a smooth paste.


2. In a big pan, add oil or ghee and add the whole spices (cardamom, bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves)Then add the tomatoes and ground paste. Sauté till the tomatoes are mushy and the raw smell disappears.


3. Add the yoghurt, chilli powder, biryani powder and mix well. (Move the pan away from the heat when adding yogurt which prevents it from curdling)


4. After returning the pan back to the stove, add the rice and salt and water. (Quantity of water to be added is for one cup of rice, it is 1.5 cups of water). Mix well and close the lid tight and keep it in medium heat for 10 minutes.


5. Add the marinated eggs, fried onions and chopped coriander for garnish and cook it on a low flame for 5 minutes.

6. Drizzle the saffron and milk over the rice. Switch off the flame and keep it closed for another 5 minutes.

 7. Mix well before serving hot with a raita of your choice.
Hyderabadi egg biryani
Approximate preparation and cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 to 6


A tongue tickling, finger licking Prawn Recipe that I found on www.sujiscookbook.com. Though the original recipe had used Kerala Tamarind (gamboge) I used tamarind instead. It was indeed delicious and very easy to make! Definitely on my list to make again!! 🙂

This is what you’ll need

For the Marinade

Prawns: 500gms

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Pepper powder: 1/2tsp

Turmeric powder: 1/2tsp

Garam masala: 1/2tsp

Salt: As required

For the curry

Red onion: 1 (sliced)

Tomatoes: 2 (finely chopped)

Garlic: 2tbsp (finely chopped)

Ginger: 1tbsp (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 2-3 (finely chopped)

Curry leaves: Few (chopped)

Chilli powder: 1/2tsp

Tamarind paste: 1tsp

Fresh pepper powder: 1/2tsp

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Oil: 4tsp

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Clean and devein the prawns. Wash and pat dry.

2. Mix the ingredients listed under marinade, along with the prawns. Keep marinated for 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Heat half the oil in a pan and fry the marinated prawns for 3 to 4 minutes, until dry. Remove from the flame and keep aside.

4. In the same pan heat the rest of the oil and saute the ginger, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves and onions. Fry until the onions turn brown.

5. Add the chilli powder and fry again for 30 seconds.

6. Add the tomatoes and cook until pulpy.

7. Add the tamarind paste, along with a little water and cook for a couple of minutes.

8. Add the prawns, along with the salt and cook again, until the masala coats the prawns ad the mixture is think.

9. Garnish with crushed peppercorns and coriander leaves.

10. Serve hot with rice or chappatis.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 2-3


My kids and me absolutely love Idlis and my hubbie has no choice, but to enjoy them whenever they are made for breakfast. The other day when browsing the net I came across this recipe for Masala Idlis on redchillies.com. Found it to be an unusual recipe, so tried making it today and it was really delicious. Keep aside some regular idli batter and make this completely new idli for breakfast the next day!

This is what you’ll need

Idli batter: 2 cups

Onion: 1 (large, chopped)

Carrot: 1 (grated)

Green chillies: 2 (chopped)

Ginger: 1tsp (grated)

Curry leaves: Few

Coriander leaves: 2tsp (finely chopped)

Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Oil: 2tsp

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat the oil in a pan and season with the mustard seeds. Once they sputter add the curry leaves.

2. Add the onions, ginger, green chillies and fry for 2 minutes.

3. Mix the carrot and fry again.

4. Once the mixture cools down add it to the idli batter. Check for salt.

5. Pour into idli moulds and steam for 7-10 minutes.

6. Serve hot with chutney, sambhar or chutney powder. Tastes nice even on it’s own.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 20 minutes (since the batter is ready)

Serves: 3-4




It was time to get back to my routine after a long holiday, and getting back to that meant packing a lunch for hubbie. Had some left over rice and a quick, easy recipe that came to my mind was Coconut Rice. My cousin used to make this and it was an all time favourite of mine. Somehow had completely forgotten about it, until today!

This is what you’ll need

Cooked rice: 2 cups

Coconut: 1 cup (grated)

Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Udal dal: 1/2tsp

Chana dal: 1tsp (soaked in water and drained)

Red chillies: 4

Cashew nuts: 6-8 (optional)

Curry leaves: Few

Ghee: 2tsp

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat the ghee in a pan and season with the mustard seeds.

2. When they sputter, add the udal dal, chana dal, cashew nuts, red chillies and curry leaves.

3. Let it brown slightly.

4. Add the grated coconut and fry for a minute.

5. Add in the rice, along with salt and mix well. Cook on a low flame for a couple of minutes.

6. Serve with papad and pickle.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 25 minutes

Serves: 3-4


Rava Idli is a favourite at home and an easy to prepare breakfast, especially when you want something instant. I have tried different recipes for making Rava Idlis, but today stumbled upon this recipe for rava idlis on rakskitchen. Raks made the idlis using Eno (fruit salt) and they looked really soft. I must admit that they did turn out fluffy and tasty too.

This is what you’ll need

Rava: 1 cup

Yoghurt: 1/2 cup

Eno fruit salt: 1tsp

Green chillies: 1tsp (finely chopped)

Ginger: 1tsp (grated)

Coriander leaves: 1tbsp (chopped)

Curry leaves: 8-10 (chopped)

Carrot: 1 (grated)

Lemon juice: 1/2tsp

Water: 1/2 cup (adjust to get required consistency)

Salt to taste


Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Udad dal: 1tsp

Cashew nuts: 1 tbsp (chopped)

Ghee: 1tbsp

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat the ghee in a pan and season with the ingredients listed under seasoning.

2. Once it sputters, add the green chilli and ginger.

3. Add the rava, curry leaves and coriander leaves and fry for a few minutes, taking care that the rava does not discolour.

4. Remove from flame and when slightly cool add the rest of the ingredients, except ENO and mix well. The consistency of the batter should be like idli batter, light and loose.

5. Just before pouring into the idli moulds, add the fruit salt. the mixture will start to bubble. Pour into greased idli moulds and steam for 6-8 minutes or until done.

6. Serve hot with chutney or sambhar.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4



Idli sambhar is my kids favourite breakfast and I like to try out different recipes with left over idlis. Among konkanis, we usually shallow fry day old idlis with a little butter and chilli powder or make an usli. However on Sharmis passions I found an interesting recipe for left over idlis “Kaima Idli”. Adapted this recipe with minimum changes to make them.

The name was completely new to me, but the dish looked very appealing and is supposed to be a speciality in the famous Sarvana Bhavan. I had no idea what to expect from this dish, but it turned out quite well. A good change from Idli usli. 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Idlis: 6 ( a day old and refrigerated)

Onions: 2

Tomatoes : 2

Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp

Coriander powder: 1tsp

Chilli powder: 1tsp

Garam masala: 1/2tsp

Green peas: 2tbsp

Green pepper: 1/2

Green chilli: 1

Fennel seeds: 1tsp

Curry leaves: Few

Lime juice: 2tsp

Coriander leaves: To garnish

Salt to taste

Oil for frying

Let’s get cooking

1. Cut the idlis into one inch cubes. Deep fry, drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside,

2. Slice the onions and chop the tomatoes, pepper and green chilli.

3. Heat some oil in a pan and season with the fennel seeds and curry leaves.

4. Add the onions and green chilli and saute until the onions turn brown.

5. Meanwhile, cook the peas and keep ready.

6. Add the ginger garlic paste, chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt and fry well.

7. Add the tomatoes and cook until the mixture is soft.

8. Add the pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes.

9. Mix in the cooked peas, along with the fried idli pieces and toss the mixture well, until nicely coated with the gravy. Add a little water if too dry. Check salt.

10. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves and a dash of lime.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 2-3



Found this really unusual combination for idlis while going through the Tarla Dalal website and what better day to find it than when I couldn’t decide what to make for breakfast!!! The recipe was very simple and gave an upma flavour to the idlis! Definitely something that I would make again. Enjoy. 🙂

This is what you’ll need

Rava (semolina): 3/4 cup

Seviyan (rice vermicelli): 1 1/2 cups, broken into 1″ pieces

Cashewnuts: 2tbsp (chopped)

Oil: 4 1/2tbsp

Yoghurt: 1/2 cup

Mustard seeds: 1tsp

Udad dal: 2tsp

Green chillies: 4 (finely chopped)

Curry leaves: Few

Fruit salt: 1tsp

Salt to taste

Let’s get cooking

1. Heat ½ tbsp of oil in a pan, add the semolina and roast on a medium flame for 3 to 4 minutes or till the semolina is light pink in colour, while stirring continuously. Remove from the flame and keep aside 

2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in the same pan, add the cashewnuts and sauté on a medium flame for a few seconds. Remove and add to the semolina.

3. Heat 1 more tbsp of oil in the same pan, add the vermicelli and sauté on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes or till it turns light brown in colour, while stirring occasionally.

4. Remove from the flame and add it to the semolina-cashew mixture.

5. Add the yoghurt, 1¼ cups of water, salt and mix well to make a batter of dropping consistency. Keep aside.

6. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the pan and add the mustard seeds and urad dal.

7. When the seeds crackle, switch off the flame, add the green chillies and curry leaves and sauté for a few seconds. Add it to the batter and mix well.

8. Just before steaming, add the fruit salt and 1 tbsp of water over the batter.

9. When the bubbles form, mix gently.

10. Pour a little batter into each of the greased idli moulds and steam in a steamer for 8 to 10 minutes or till the idlis are cooked.

11. Cool slightly, remove from the moulds and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Approximate preparation and cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 5-6

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