Sunday, November 16, 2008

the Really easy Coconut chutney

Coconut chutney is a perfect dish to go with any variation of idli, dosa or upma.

STEP 1 : Getting the basic coconut chutney paste

Coconut, freshly grated


Green chilli



Marble sized

Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp


To taste

Blend all the above ingredients to a fine paste and transfer to the serving bowl.

STEP 2 : Spice up your chutney


1 tsp

Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp

Dried red chilli


Curry leaves

6-8 leaves

Asafoetida ( Hing)

A pinch

In a small pan, heat oil, add all the ingredients in the order listed above. Take care not to burn any of the ingredients. (Takes just under 2 minutes.) Remove from the flame and add to the coconut chutney paste directly into the serving bowl. Mix and serve.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

the Really easy Sagodana Upma

If you are bored making dosas and idlis as your stapled south Indian breakfast dishes (unlikely though), Sagodana Upma is a tasty, easy and healthy replacement.

STEP 1 : Soaking the sagodana


1 cup

Soak in water for one hour. You can soak the sagodana, make a cup of tea for yourself and then get ready with the rest of the stuff to save on time. After one hour, drain the water away and mix with chopped groundnut as described below.

STEP 2 : Groundnut


1/2 cup

Dry roasted ( the correct word I believe is ‘broiled’), and chopped very coarsely. Sagodana when cooked tends to stick to itself leading to a not so happy feel in your mouth. Just before cooking, gently mix in the coarsely chopped groundnut and salt to the wet sagodana. This will not only prevent lumping of the sagodana but also add to the taste and texture of the Upma

STEP 3 : Final Act


2 tblsp

Cumin seeds

1/2 tsp

Onions, medium sized, cut into thin slices


Potato, peeled, diced (and preferably microwaved for 3 minutes)


Green chilli, slit lengthwise


Curry leaves



To taste

Chilli powder

1 tsp

Garam Masala

½ tsp

Heat oil in a heavy pan. Add cumin seeds. Take care not to burn the cumin; 30 seconds should do. Add curry leaves and onion and fry till transparent. Add diced potatoes and blend in for a minute. Now add the sagodana-groundnut-salt mix to the pan and gently blend in all the ingredients. Allow this to cook while turning in at frequent intervals ( about 10 minutes). Serve hot.

Batter Central

The three key south Indian dishes, idli, dosa and vada (garelu in telugu) make use of Urad dal in different combinations. It is not just the ratio, but also the holding time, technique of preparation that results in the taste and texture of the final product on your table.
For more details you can go to the respective recipes on the index


Fine paste, thin consistency

1 cup Urad Dal

2 cups Rice

¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)


Fine paste, thicker than dosa batter

1 cup Urad Dal

2 cups Idli Rava


Slightly coarse, thicker than idli batter

1 cup Urad dal


the Really easy Dosa

Nothing can beat the idea of piling ones plate with hot crisp dosa and enjoying it with a cupful of spicy sambar and coconut chutney. Thats the stuff Sunday mornings are made of...
Here's the mix for the 'Dosa'


The ratio

1 cup Urad Dal

2 cups Rice

¼ tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)

Step 1

Roll up your sleeves

Wash & soak all ingredients together in water for 4 hours

Step 2

After three hours

Grind to a soft paste.

The consistency is thinner than that for idli.

Step 3

After effects

Let the batter stand for 4 hours to allow some fermentation.

You can continue to ferment it if you like your dosas particularly sour ( Many do !!).

Otherwise you can make the dosa now or refrigerate the batter

Step 4

Making the dosas

Add salt according to taste to the batter

Pour the batter on to a flat pan and spread it as you would do with a pancake. But spread it really thin.

You can keep the dosa thicker if you like softer ones. Thinner if it’s the ‘roast’ crackling dosa that you like.

Drizzle a little oil. As the dosa separates from the pan, turn it over for 30 seconds.

Serve with sambar, coconut chutney or potato curry