Senagapappu Kootu

In a casual conversation with my mom, I came to know that this kootu is very popular in Tamil Nadu. She also mentioned that the authentic kootu will not have any tamarind/lime juice in it. But I added it to suit our taste.

For the last day of BM #25, I picked this recipe from 'Ee Roju Vantalu' by P Sailaja. 

Ingredients - 

Chana Dal 1 cup
Bottle Gourd, cubed 1 1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Seasoning ( Oil 2 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Asafoetida 1/8 tsp, Curry leaves few)
To Roast and Grind - 
Urad Dal 1 Tbsp
Coconut, fresh/dry 3-4 Tbsp
Green Chillies 3-4

Senagapappu Kootu

Method Of Preparation -

Soak Chana dal for about an hour in about 3-4 cups. Drain and pressure cook the dal in adequate water. Cook the bottle gourd separately.

Roast and grind the listed ingredients adding as much water as needed.

In a pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. Add the cooked dal, bottle gourd, turmeric, the ground paste and salt.

Let the dal simmer for a few minutes until the raw smell disappears. Remove from fire.

Squeeze in some lime/lemon juice and serve with steaming hot rice.

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation Time 30 min 
Serves 4-5

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dilkhush Pulao
Dilkhush Pulao, Onion-Tomato Raitha, Onion-Tomato-Lime slices and Sparkling Apple Cider
My sister-in-law passed on a bunch of cook books when we visited them last time. I never thought to look them up so far. But when Valli announced the cook from a book theme for BM 25, I took the opportunity to go through the books and pick what caught my eye. 

This pulao recipe comes from the book 'Swati Sakhahaara Vantalu'. Just as I thought, my husband and the older one just fell in love with it. My husband refused to even eat with some other accompaniment. He said raitha is just perfect and goes well the fruity pulao. So this makes a perfect entry for Day 2 week 4 of BM #25

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Alasandala Attu ~ Black Eyed Peas Dosa

I spent the last weekend with my cousin's family who live about 3 hours drive from our place. The kids had a fantastic time there and didn't want to go back home! I got some mom-made goodies passed on through my aunt and the kids are thrilled about their share of gifts from Grandma too!! 

My cousin's wife showed me her go-to cookbook, 'Ghumaghumalu' by D Vijaya Rao  for my perusal. When I was casually looking through for some breakfast ideas, this recipe caught my attention as it sounded like a no-nonsense protein filled breakfast. 

So I noted down the recipe and tried it out for breakfast the other day and it was pretty good. It was more or less like Pesarattu. Another observation was that we didn't feel hungry for more than 5 hrs which I thought was very significant! So for Day week 4 of BM #25, this recipe qualifies under the 'cook from a book'.

Ingredients - 

Black Eyed Peas 1 cup
Rice 1/2 cup (I used Brown Basmati Rice)
Salt as needed
Ginger, grated 1 tsp
Green Chillies 1-2 , finely chopped (or as needed)
Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves, shredded few
Coriander leaves chopped handful (I didn't use)
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp
Onions, finely chopped 
Oil as needed while making the dosa

Alasandala Attu ~ Black Eyed Peas Dosa

Method Of Preparation -

Soak black eyed peas and rice for at least 2 hours. (I soaked overnight)

Drain the water, rinse and grind into a fine batter, along with ginger and green chillies, adding as much water as needed.

Mix in salt, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves and asafoetida. The batter consistency should be more like Dosa or pancake consistency so it is easily spreadable.

On a hot griddle/tawa, pour a ladle full of batter and spread it into a thin circle. Sprinkle chopped onions on top, spray oil as needed and let it cook on both sides. 

Remove from fire and continue for the rest of the batter.

Serve with chutney of your choice for a healthy breakfast.

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation Time 25 min  (excluding the soaking time)
Makes 7-8 dosas

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, February 24, 2013

This happens to be my husband's favorite to-go sandwich and  I have neglected to post it on Tamalapaku as I thought it was so simple a recipe that doesn't need to be mentioned. 

But the other day when I was talking to one of my cousins, she differed. She said she would never have thought of making such sandwiches at home. That made me think about it in a different light and so here it appears as part of Day 3 of  BM 25.

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Chewy Granola Bars

I rely in these kind of oats and nuts based breakfast bars when I need to drive in the mornings. I find it easy to munch my breakfast as bar than hurriedly gulp down anything else before getting onto the road. So these home made bars take off the additional load on my mind about all the unnecessary additives which are commonly found in store bought bars. 

I had earlier made similar kind of bars as Vegan Oatmeal Bars but I found these bars were easier to make and slightly mess free. So for Day of BM 25, check out these healthy breakfast bars.

Ingredients - 

Rolled Oats 1 cup
Oats Flour 6 Tbsp (approx 6 Tbsp of rolled oats pulsed to a coarse powder)
Rice Crispies cereal 1/4 cup (Optional)
Baking Soda 1/4 tsp (I forgot to add)
Salt 1/4 tsp
Dried fruit 2 Tbsp (I used dried sweetened cranberry)
Mixed Nuts 1/2 cup ( I used Cashew, Almond and Pistachio)
Coconut, shredded 2 Tbsp
Oil 2 tsp
Honey 1/4 cup
Chocolate chips (Optional)

Chewy Granola Bars

Method Of Preparation -

Grease a 8X6 oven safe dish and dust some flour and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

In a mixing bowl, add all the ingredients except honey and oil, mix well.

Add oil and honey and mix well to get a sticky mixture.

With oiled fingers, pat the mixture evenly in the greased and flour dusted baking dish.

Make sure the mixture is packed tightly. I used an oiled pestle to uniformly press the mixture firmly.

I didn't have mini chocolate chips handy. So I grated a small piece of a commercial chocolate bar on the top.

Bake it for 20 min, switch off the oven and leave it in the oven for another 10 min.

Let it stay on the counter to cool. Cut them into required sized bars. Refrigerate for at least 30 min after which the bars come out easily.

Wrap them in cling wrap and store in an air tight container.

It makes a nutritious breakfast on the go combined with a glass of milk.

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation Time 10 min + Baking Time 20 min + Cooling time 30 min
Makes 6 bars

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Eggless Oat And Pear Scones

We all love to have scones at home as an evening snack. But I wanted to check if we could have scones for breakfast too. And guess what, we loved it as breakfast too on a random weekend when our regular schedules went haywire!

That is when I thought these scones can work as 'breakfast on the go' with a cup of milk/coffee/tea. For the next 3 days of BM #25, I shall blog recipes which can qualify under the theme. Here are the scones for Day 1.

Source here
Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat Flour 1/2 cup
All Purpose Flour (Maida) 1/2 cup
Rolled Oats 1/2 cup
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Baking soda 1/4 tsp
Salt 1/8 tsp
Cinnamon Powder 1/2 tsp
Cream Cheese 2 Tbsp
Pear, diced (I used 1 pear)
Buttermilk 1/2 cup (approx)
Walnuts, chopped 1/4 cup
Cinnamon and Sugar 1 Tbsp (Optional)
Chopped nuts as needed (Optional - I didn't use)

Eggless Oat And Pear Scones

Method Of Preparation -

In a mixing bowl, sieve the wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add oats, salt and cinnamon powder to whisk well.

Preheat the oven to 375 F. 

Rub in cold cream cheese into the flour mixture and add in the walnuts and diced pears.

Knead into a sticky dough by adding buttermilk as needed.

With Oiled fingers transfer the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet and pat the dough into a half inch thick circular disc.

Brush the top with buttermilk and sprinkle cinnamon powder and sugar as needed. Optionally nuts can be sprinkled as part of the topping.

With a pizza cutter or a knife make 6-8 wedges of the dough and let them stick together.

Bake for about 20 min or until the top is golden brown.

Transfer the scones onto a cooling rack and serve them warm either with jam or whipped cream. (My kids loved them as is with a side of milk !)

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation Time 10 min + baking time 20 min 
Makes 6-8 wedges

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Dal Baati Churma

I have experienced the hospitality of a Rajasthani Resort back in 2003 and I remember some details to this day. Such was the warmth and affection showered by the staff specially in their dining area. That was the first time I heard/saw of Dal-Baati-Churma in their menu card. After getting into blogging, I saw the post by Priya Mitharwal and was tempted to give it a shot, but never got to it.

This month when Srivalli announced the ICC, I was happy in a way, because I would be forced to try it out!! My family joins me in giving a thumbs up for the trio, Dal - Baati - Churma. 

After eating Dal-Baati , I felt that it resembled Sambar-vada in a vague sense, if you know what I mean! My kids loved the Panchmel Dal that I am preparing this Dal almost everyday this week. And Churma is surely a very addictive sweet for people like me who have a sweet tooth. I need to mention that I have combined two recipes to come up with my own so that I can reduce the ghee content :).

Panchmel Dal

Ingredients - 
For Panchmel Dal - Source
Toor Dal 1/4 cup
Urad Dal 1/4 cup  (I have seen recipes which use whole moong dal instead of urad dal)
Chana Dal 1/4 cup
Masoor Dal 1/4 cup
Moong Dal 1/4 cup
Dhania Jeera Powder 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala 1/4 tsp (or as needed)
Ginger and Garlic, Grated 1 tsp each
Onions, finely chopped 1/2 cup (I didn't use)
Tomato, diced 1 cup
Coriander leaves, finely chopped handful
Seasoning (Oil or Ghee 2 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Green Chillies slit 2-3)
Lime Juice as needed

Method Of Preparation -
For Dal - 
Wash the dals and pressure cook them and set aside.

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop, add grated ginger and garlic. Saute for a few seconds (now is the time to saute the onions if using) and add in the tomatoes.

Sprinkle the Dhania-Jeera Powder, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric, Garam Masala and salt. Mix well and let the tomatoes cook well.

Transfer the cooked dals into the tomato mixture and mix well. Let it come to a boil. Add the chopped coriander leaves and remove from fire. 

Squeeze the lime juice as needed and serve it with Rice or Baati in this case!!


For Baati - Source Here and Here 
Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat Flour 1 cup
Besan / Gram Flour 1/4 cup
Sooji / Bombay Rava 2 Tbsp
Fennel Seeds (Saunf) 1 tsp
Carom Seeds (Vaamu) 1 tsp
Ghee / Clarified Butter 3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp for brushing
Milk approx 1/2 cup
Salt as needed

Method Of Preparation -

For Baati - 
In a mixing bowl, add the wheat flour, besan, semolina(sooji), salt, coarsely crushed fennel and carom seeds. 

Rub in the ghee and incorporate into the flour mixture. Sprinkle milk as needed to knead into a stiff dough. Cover and set aside for a few minutes.

Pinch lime sized portions of the dough, roll into a tight ball and make a thumbprint on it and set aside. 

Brush them with melted ghee generously.

With the broiler set to low, arrange these baatis (thumb printed dough balls) on a baking tray and place them on the top rack of the oven.

Bake them for 10 min on one side and flip them on to the other side and bake until they get a golden brown hue.

Brush them again with melted ghee generously.

Serve them warm. Typically they are broken into pieces and dipped in Dal (Panchmel Dal).


For Churma - Source
Ingredients - 

Wheat Flour 1 cup
Sooji 1/4 cup
Ghee, melted 4 Tbsp
Almonds chopped or slivered 1/4 cup
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 cup
Oil / Ghee for deep frying

Method Of Preparation -
For Churma - 
In a mixing bowl, add the wheat flour and semolina (sooji). Rub in the ghee to resemble bread crumbs.

Knead it into a stiff dough adding milk as needed.

Pinch small portions of the dough and pat them into any shape you prefer. I patted them into thick discs.

Deep fry them on low flame until they turn brown and crisp.

Drain them on paper towels and let them cool.

Coarse grind them and add crushed almonds, sugar and cardamom powder.

Serve it as is or as a side to Dal-Baati.

Dal Baati Churma

Preparation Time For Dal - 25 min, For Baati 30 min, For Churma 45 min
Serves 4-5 

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Namkeen / Nimki also called as Sankarpali or Papdi is a very popular snack at home. My older one is a major fan of Chaats. Be it Pani Puri, Bhel Puri, Ragada Pattice or the humble Dahi Papdi Chaat - they are all welcome as a snack or as dinner :). So I tried to make a healthier version of the chaat and the little one wanted different shapes (as usual) and so I ended up baking these beauties and both the kids were happy to get their way. As I always say Win-Win situation!!

So for Day 3 BM #25, I am posting this for the letter N.
Source here
Ingredients - 

Whole Wheat Flour  1 1/2 cup
Baking powder 1 tsp.
Baking Soda a pinch
Ghee/Clarified Butter 2 Tbsp (melted)
Salt to taste

Red Chilli Powder as needed (optional)
Cumin seeds(Jeera) 1 tsp (crushed)
Cold water 1/2 cup or as needed


Method Of Preparation -

Sieve the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in the crushed cumin seeds as well.

Rub in the ghee into the flour to resemble bread crumbs. Knead into a stiff dough adding as much cold water as needed.

Set aside the covered dough for a few minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and line the baking tray with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 6 portions and roll each of the portion into a thick sheet. 

Using a pizza cutter or any other sharp object, cut into diamond shapes and spread them in a single layer on the baking tray.

Repeat the process until the dough is done. 

Bake for 20 min and flip each of them and bake for a few more minutes (upto 5 min).

Enjoy them upon cooling.

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation Time  10 min + Resting Time 30 min + Baking Time 25 min
Makes 3-4 cups

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gongura Pulihora

Last time when I got my hands on fresh Gongura (red sorrel leaves), I tried out this delightful rice. It was more like Gongura Pachadi but was a little different in a few things and we liked this version much better.
So for Day 2 BM #25, I am posting this for the letter G.

Ingredients - 

Rice 2 cups (I used Sona Masoori)
Gongura / Red Sorrel Leaves 2 cups 
Onions , finely chopped 1/2 cup 
Salt as needed
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp, Mustard Seeds 1 tsp, Red Chillies 1-2, Curry Leaves few, Asafoetida 1/8 tsp, Green Chillies slit 3-4, Peanuts handful)
Lime Juice as needed (Optional)
To Roast and Grind - 
Sesame seeds 1 Tbsp
Coriander seeds 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds / Methi seeds pinch
Dry Red Chillies 1-2

Gongura Pulihora

Method Of Preparation -

Cook the rice separately (I use the rice cooker) and spread in a serving bowl to cool.

Pick the leaves without the stalks and wash them thoroughly.

Dry fry the sesame seeds and keep aside to cool.

In a heated pan, add a splash of oil and fry coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and dry red chillies until they are just brown. (Judge by the nice aroma of the coriander seeds!!) Keep aside to cool.

Powder the sesame seeds, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and red chillies and set aside.

In the same heated pan, add a teaspoon oil, fry the gongura leaves until they become soft and mushy.

Remove from fire and let it cool.

In a heated pan, add oil and prepare the seasoning by adding 
Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds, Red Chillies, Curry Leaves, Asafoetida, Green Chillies and Peanuts.

After the mustard seeds crackle and the dals are golden brown, add the onions, saute until they are translucent and add the fried/wilted gongura leaves. 

Add in the sesame spice powder, salt, turmeric and mix well.

Remove from heat and mix it in the cooked rice. Check for taste and squeeze in some lemon/lime juice.

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25.

Preparation time 30 min 
Serves 3-4 

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, February 11, 2013

Soy Chunks Kurma

I have chosen to 'cook with alphabets' for the second week of BM #25. We have been given a choice of few selected combination of Letters and I am going with S, G and N. 

This kurma is a life saver when I run out of veggies. :) Check it out. I keep changing the gravy as per my mood but most often this is the formula I stick to.

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tofu Burji

I have been making Tofu Burji for a while now and it just crossed my mind that I had not posted it here. Over the past few months, I have altered the recipe many times to suit my family's moods and tastes and I have finally settled down to a fast and easy version. My family has gotten addicted to the taste of Tomato Chilli Sauce and of late I have been using that a lot in my cooking.

So as part of Day 3 , Week 1 , BM #25, here is a family favorite. Sometimes as a wrap with Chapati, sometimes in rice and sometimes just as is as a snack - that is how my family enjoys this..

Ingredients - 

Tofu 1 pack (I used the extra firm variety) 
Onions chopped 1/2 cup
Tomato Chilli Sauce 1 Tbsp
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp (Optional - I didn't use)
Salt as needed
Turmeric as needed
Red Chilli Powder as needed
Chaat Masala Powder as needed
Seasoning ( Oil 1 Tbsp, Chana Dal 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1 tsp, Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp)

Tofu Burji

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the dals and cumin seeds are brown, saute the onions until they are translucent.

Add in the crumbled tofu, tomato chilli sauce, salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and mix them while continuously crumbling the tofu and incorporating these flavors into it.

After the raw smell of tofu gives way to a distinct aroma, remove from heat and serve as per your preference.

Roll them Roti/Paratha or serve it with steaming hot rice. I packed this with Brown Basmati Rice for my older one !

Tofu Burji with Rice and Yogurt

Check the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#25

Sending this to Srivalli's Kid's delight event themed Healthy lunch box recipes guest hosted by PJ.

Preparation Time 20 min
Serves 2-3 

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Posted by Harini R on Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Here is another simple recipe for Day 2 of the BM #25. This happens to be one of the little one's favorites for the lunch box. On the rare occasion when I run out of store bought marinara sauce, I substitute with regular ketchup or Home Made Pizza Sauce adjusting the taste to suit her sensitive palate.

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce
Spaghetti with Marinara sauce, Juice and Salad

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, February 4, 2013

I am proud to be a part of this Blogging Marathon Group who have consistently been together for about 25 months now. Srivalli deserves a huge round applause for steering this group to adapt to our changing needs. Though I have been absent for a few months due to personal reasons, I am glad to back for this special edition.

For the next 3 days I shall blog my kid's favorite 'Lunch Box Recipes'. I am sure these are very easy to make, no-nonsense kind of everyday recipes which all moms make at home. We all know our kid's preferences and cook according to their tastes as we just long to see those smiling faces morning, noon and night! Here is a simple combo of Chapati and Chana Masala which very often goes into my older one's lunch box. Whereas the little one is happy with a little yogurt with chapatis!

Chapati with Chana Masala

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