BM #117 Week 4 Day 3 - 

This version of Pudina Rice is very popular in our family. The first time I tasted Pudina rice was at a friend's place and took an instant liking to it. 

I never prepared it since my husband wasn't too enthusiastic about the idea. With its antioxidant properties and lots of essential vitamins and minerals (including folic acid, an essential nutrient for women), mint has known to have been a cure for indigestion. Various studies have also shown that it also has certain anti-cancer properties. 

Edited - on 26th oct 2020 by Harini
I have tried various versions of Mint Rice but loved the No onion No Garlic version of it. Feel free to add onion, ginger and garlic as per preference.

Ingredients -

1 cup Pudina/Mint leaves
Coriander Leaves (Kothimeera/cilantro), a fistful
2 cups Basmati rice (Wash them and soak them in 4 cups of water for about 1/2 hr)
1 Medium Onion (cut into thin long strips - Optional)
1 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste (optional)
3-4 Green Chillies
Whole Garam Masala (Cloves, Cinnamon, Cardamom)
Salt to taste
Oil 2 Tbsp

Method of Preparation -

Wash and soak Basmati rice for about 20-30 minutes.

Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan and add the pudina leaves and green chillies and saute them till the raw smell of mint fades away.

Grind the Mint/Pudina leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies in a mixer.

Heat oil in a wide bottomed pan and when slightly hot, add the whole Garam Masala and fry it for a few seconds.

Add the Ginger-garlic paste to this and the add the onions and saute them for a few minutes. (If using Onion, Ginger and Garlic)

Add the Pudina mixture and salt to this and fry for a minute or two. Now, add the Basmati rice along with the water (2.5 cups) and let it cook till the rice is done or transfer the entire mixture into a rice cooker and cook.

Pudina rice is ready to be served with raita.

Serves 4 Adults
Preparation and Cooking Time 40 mins

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BM #117 Week 4 Day 2 - 

Quinoa entered our kitchen in 2010 and has been pretty regular. Even after 10 years, my family hasn't changed their opinion on this wonder grain. I am the only one to enjoy this grain and I am happy with it.

One of the best recipes to try for newbies is this Bisi Bele Bhat. 

Ingredients -

Quinoa 1 1/2 Cups
Toor Dal 1 1/2 Cups
Green Chillies 3-4 (or as per taste)
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Tamarind extract 1/4 to 1/2 Cup
Sugar/Jaggery 1 Tbsp (optional)
Vegetables (I used Carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Lima Beans, Broad beans, Onions and Tomatoes)
Seasoning (Oil/Ghee 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Chana dal 1 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, Methi seeds a pinch, Hing 2 pinches, Red Chilli 1-2, Curry leaves )
Water 6 cups
Salt as per taste
Bisibele Bath Powder as given below
For Bisibele Bhat Powder -
Dhania/Coriander seeds 2 tsp
Methi seeds / Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
Coconut Powder 4 tsp
Red chilli 3-4 
Urad Dal 2 tsp
Chana Dal 2 tsp
Lavang/Cloves 3-4 
Jeera/Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1 inch piece 
Rathi Puvvu about 1 Tbsp

Method of Preparation -
To Prepare the BBB Powder - 
Roast each of the ingredients separately and powder them upon cooling.

To Prepare the BBB - 
Pressure cook Quinoa, Toor Dal and the chopped veggies with about 6 cups of water. Also add green chillies, Turmeric and salt.

In a sauce pan add oil/ghee and the rest of the seasoning. After the dals are brown enough and the mustard seeds crackle, add the cooked quinoa mixture.

To the above mixture add the tamarind extract, Sugar and the Bisi Bele Bhat Masala Powder and let the flavors mix well.

Serve this one-pot meal with some Papads and curds.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#117

Preparation Time 45 min 
Serves 9-10 Adults

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Our Best Navratri Wishes to one and all. I was a little confused about the name of this festival. Some refer to it as Navratri and some others as Dasara. So I dug up some interesting info on the background of this festival and wanted to share some details here.

Navratri and Vijayadashami are associated with two symbolic traditions; the ancient worship of Goddess Durga and the much later mythology of Lord Rama victory over Ravana on VijayaDasami Day. Each region of India celebrate Dasara differently based on these traditions. The mythological background that forms the context of this festival are related in 'Markandeya Purana' and 'Devi Bhagavata Purana' respectively. So whatever name we use, this festival essentially symbolizes Good winning over Evil. 

So each household follows a certain tradition according to what their forefathers deemed good for the family. We celebrate these 9 days with lots of prayers and naivedyam (offerings to God) to The Goddess and VijayaDashami (the 10th day) as the victory of Lord Rama. Also we seek blessings from all the elders in the family. Another tradition is arranging a 'Bommala Koluvu' (Arrangement of dolls/idols) and exchanging the auspicious 'Haldi and kumkum'.

Coming today's recipe.. I prepared Annam Paramannam or Rice pudding as an offering to the Goddess. Elders at home always say that this is the most important payasam liked by The Goddess. To this day, the same payasam is prepared on every Friday (fav day of The Goddess') at my in-laws place. Here is how I prepared.

Ingredients -

Rice 1/2 cup
Milk 4 cups
Brown Sugar /Raw Sugar / Powdered Jaggery 1 cup
Almond-Cashew Powder 1/4 cup
Cardamom Powder 1/4 tsp
Ghee 1/2 tsp
Cashews and Raisins few

Method Of Preparation -

Pressure cook rice with 1 cup of milk . (This can be done on the stove top also but I prefer the pressure cooking)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, boil the remaining milk and add the boiled rice, almond-cashew powder, brown sugar and let the whole mixture boil for about 4-5 min (The more it boils, the better the taste). But make sure it is being constantly stirred else there is always a chance it might get burnt.

Also add the cardamom powder and mix well.

Let the Kheer/Payasam/Pudding simmer for 2-3 min and remove from heat.

In a small heated pan, add ghee and fry the raisins and cashews in low heat until the raisin puff out and the cashews are golden brown.

Pour the fried nuts into the payasam. Offer to the Lord and enjoy.


Makes Approx 5 cups
Preparation Time 45 min (incl the pressure cooking time)

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Posted by Harini on Saturday, October 24, 2020

BM #117 Week 3 Day 3 - 

When we do any A-Z series, X is the most difficult letter to work with and we have to resort to using words/Adjectives like Xtra, Xtremely etc. So today I use the word Xtra to showcase this fiery chutney from my Mother-in-law's kitchen.

Until a few years back, my mother-in-law used to make this chutney as it happens to be my father-in-law's favorite. She used to make it without garlic for him. Now my father-in-law's diet has changed so much that he has given up spicy food. 

Recently I took the recipe from her and started including in our menu. It has become a favorite chutney at home (read only for my husband and older one). My little one and I stay away from the fiery stuff. :)

My MIL underscores that it has to be made in a mortar and not a food processor. I took the hybrid route by powdering the spices in a coffee grinder and then the rest of it in the mortar.

Recipe Source MIL
Ingredients - 

Green Chilies handful (Remove the stem) about 10-12
Garlic pods 3-4 (Optional)
Salt, Jaggery as needed
Tamarind about 2-3 small pieces soaked in hot water
Fry and Grind - 
Oil 1/2 tsp
Chana Dal 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Coriander seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds a pinch

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry the chana dal, urad dal, coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds one after the other. After they turn golden brown and aromatic, remove them onto a plate. Upon cooling, powder them and set aside.

In the same heated pan, add 1 teaspoon of oil and fry the chopped green chilies until they are slightly wilted and golden brown. 

Add chopped garlic if using and saute for a few seconds and remove from heat.

Using a mortar and pestle, make a coarse paste of the sauteed chilies and garlic adding tamarind, jaggery and salt.

Add the spice powder from step 1 and mix well.

Remove from the mortar and serve with rice.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#117

Preparation Time 15 minutes
Makes 1/4 cup

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Posted by Harini R on Monday, October 19, 2020

BM #117 Week 3 Day 1 - 

For today, the dish is supposed to be starting with the letter 'W'. I took a phonetic exception. In Telugu, there is no distinction between the starting sounds of V and W. Conventionally all dishes/ingredients start with V. So here I have used Wadiyalu instead of Vadiyalu, meaning Vadi in Hindi or Sun Dried fritters in English.

On one of our daily walks, I was talking about Vada Curry when my friend mentioned that they make Vada Pulusu and also Vadiyala Pulusu. I didn't want to make Vada Pulusu and also Wadiyala Pulusu back to back for this series. So I went with Vankaya Ninchudukaya for V and Wadiyala Pulusu with W.

The Moong Vadi which I used was spicy by itself so I had to adjust the red chili powder in the gravy. I thought the fried vadi would disintegrate in the gravy. But the vadi held its shape and was very flavorful when mixed in rice. 

Before we get on with the recipe, here is a recap of all the dishes in this series.

Ingredients - 

*Oil 1 Tbsp
**Vadiyalu / Vadi 3/4 cup
Tomatoes, chopped 1/2 cup
Tamarind Extract 2 Tbsp or as needed
Salt, Jaggery, Turmeric, Red Chili Powder as needed
Dhania Powder 2 tsp
Water 3-4 cups
Rice Flour or Besan 4 tsp + 3 Tbsp of water to make a slurry
Coriander leaves for garnish
Seasoning (Oil 2 tsp, Fenugreek Seeds a pinch, Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Curry leaves few)

*The Vadi/Vadiyalu can be deep fried as well. So quantity of oil can be adjusted as needed.
**I used Moong Dal Vadi but Urad Vadi can also be used.

Method Of Preparation -

In a heated pan, add a tablespoon of oil and fry the vadi/vadiyalu until they are golden brown.

Remove them using a slotted spoon onto paper towels to drain any excess oil.

In the same pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. After the mustard seeds pop and the urad dal browns, add tomatoes and cook until they are mushy.

Sprinkle turmeric, salt, red chili powder, dhania powder and mix well.

Pour the tamarind extract and let it come to a boil.

Also pour 3-4 cups of water and let it come to a rolling boil.

Make a slurry with either rice flour or besan(gram flour) in about 3-4 tablespoons of water and pour it into the simmering gravy. Keep stirring until the slurry is incorporated.

Adjust flavors as needed and gently slide the fried vadis into the gravy.

Remove from heat, garnish and serve it with steaming hot rice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#117

Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 5-6

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, October 18, 2020

BM #117 Week 3 Day 1 - 

Today for the Andhra Dish starting with the letter "V", I have the classic "Vankaya Ninchudukaya" which is slightly different from the popular "Gutti Vankaya". Vankaya is eggplant, and Ninchudukaya means stuffed vegetable.

When I was asking my husband for suggestions for dishes starting with the letter V, he asked me why I never tried Stuffed Vankaya. He really wanted me to make Vankaya for V. So I set the process in motion by calling my mom and getting the recipe from her.

My mom was surprised when I asked her for this recipe as she is aware of my eggplant allergy, and also knew that it is an unpopular veggie at my place. But she was happy that I was willing to try it, thanks to blogging. :) She also shared a tip and advised me to apply coconut oil generously to my palms before I start handling the eggplants, to avoid an allergic reaction. 

Happy to report that I didn't have any itching after I applied coconut oil to my palms and handled the eggplants.

The biggest win for me in all this was that when the eggplants were cooking in the pan, my little one peeped into the kitchen during the middle of a break from her virtual school and goes "Ooh, Amma that looks so good, can I have it for my lunch?". 

That was a first for her. She asked me what the podi contains and she decided she would like to try it. This is the first time she even attempted to taste eggplant and she was super impressed. She is now an eggplant lover as far as this dish is concerned.

Recipe Source: Amma
Ingredients - 

Vankaya or Eggplants 8 nos
Oil 3 Tbsp
Turmeric as needed
Red Chili Powder as needed
Salt as needed
Roast and Grind - Koora Podi 
Chana Dal 3 Tbsp
Urad Dal 3 Tbsp
Coriander Seeds 6 Tbsp
Coconut Powder 1/4 cup
Peanuts 1/4 cup
Sesame Seeds 2 Tbsp
Dry Red Chilies 3-4 (or as needed)

*Notes from Amma - 
1.Apply oil (preferably coconut oil) generously to the palms and massage well before handling eggplants. Prevents itching.
2.Choose slightly smaller eggplants which are tender and similar in size and shape.
3.Make sure to add adequate salt and turmeric to the Koora Podi as it is known. If done correctly, there is no need to add salt elsewhere.
4. Adjust the salt and spice in the Koora Podi before starting the Ninchudukaya preparation.
5.It can be prepared in a pressure cooker as well. (I just adopted the stove top method).

Method Of Preparation -

To make the Koora Podi - 
Dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'Roast and Grind' separately. Allow them to cool and grind into a coarse powder.

Sprinkle salt and red chili powder as needed to make a spicy powder. Set aside.

To make the Vankaya Ninchudukaya -
Choose similar sized eggplants which are medium sized. Wash well and pat them dry.

Keeping the stem intact, make an X shaped slit from the bottom of the eggplant making sure the stem holds the shape of the eggplant. Repeat for each eggplant.

Keeping the eggplant intact, gently stuff the Koora Podi between the slits as much as the eggplant can accommodate. I used about 1 and a half tablespoons of podi for each eggplant.

Make sure the podi doesn't fall out.

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add about 2-3 tablespoons of oil and gently arrange the stuffed eggplants in the hot oil.

Cook the eggplants well under cover turning them gently until the eggplants are cooked through. I sprinkled about 2 tablespoons of water twice when I felt the undersides of the eggplants were burning.

After the eggplants have been cooked through, sprinkle the remaining podi (I had about 3 tablespoons of podi left) on the eggplants and toss them gently.

Remove from heat and serve them warm with steaming rice.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#112

Preparation Time 30 minutes
Makes 8

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Posted by Harini R on Saturday, October 17, 2020

BM #117 Week 2 Day 3 - 

The last post for this week, is this delicious, melt-in-the-mouth Lauki Halwa.

For some unknown reason, I have never made this halwa in almost 2 decades and I was trying to figure out the reason. This is such an easy halwa to make and a delight to enjoy warm or cold.

I had made this as part of the Lauki Thali

Ingredients - 

Lauki / Bottle Gourd peeled and grated 3 cups
Ghee 1-2 tsp
Milk 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp (Adjust as needed)
Almond Flour 2 Tbsp
Milk Powder 1/2 cup
Roasted Cashews chopped 2 Tbsp + more for garnish
Cardamom Powder 1/2 tsp

Method Of Preparation -

In a non-stick pan, add ghee and saute the grated bottle gourd. After about 10 minutes, the bottle gourd would have cooked through.

Add milk, sugar and allow the mixture to come to a rolling boil.

Now is the time to sprinkle some almond flour and milk powder and mix well. Make sure there are no lumps.

Sprinkle some chopped cashews and keep stirring well until the halwa comes together as a single mass.

Remove from heat and serve warm.


Preparation Time 20 minutes
Makes 1.5 cups approximately

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BM #117 Week 2 Day 2 - 

Pindimiriyam is a dish from Andhra Pradesh, India. It is almost similar to Palapindimiriyam except that this version doesn't have milk. I understand that each region has a different version of this dish. 

Here Sorrakaya is Lauki/Bottle gourd; Pindi = Powder ;  miriyam = Peppers (Meaning - Sorrakaya prepared with spice powder and pepper).

This comes from my maternal grandmother's kitchen. Typically her recipes have both tamilian as well as kannadiga influences. 

I have very pleasant memories attached to this curry. Even today at 96 years, my grandma loves this curry.

I had prepared this curry as part of the Lauki thali posted last month.

Recipe Source amma
Ingredients - 

Sorrakaya/Bottle Gourd/Lauki peeled and cubed 3-4 cups
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Salt as per taste
Sugar 1 tsp
Seasoning(Oil 2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Red chillies 1-2, Curry leaves torn a few)
To Dry Roast and Grind -
Urad Dal 2 Tbsp
Peppercorns 7-8 (or more if desired)
Rice (Uncooked) 2 tsp
Coconut grated (fresh or frozen) 1/2 cup
Red Chillies 2 (or more if preferred)

Method Of Preparation -

Boil the lauki either on the stove top or in the microwave and set aside.

Meanwhile dry roast and grind the ingredients listed under 'to dry roast and grind' adding water as needed and keep it ready.

In a heated sauce pan, add oil , jeera, mustard seeds and red chillies in that order and after the mustard seeds start to splutter add the torn curry leaves.

Add the boiled lauki and sprinkle the turmeric. Mix well and add the ground paste, salt and sugar.

Let the mixture cook for a couple of minutes. Adjust the flavors if needed.

Remove from heat and serve it warm either with roti or as part of a meal.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#117

Preparation Time 25 minutes
Serves 5-6

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Posted by Harini R on Sunday, October 11, 2020
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