It is time for another edition of Blog-Hop Wednesdays started by Radhika. This week I have been assigned Priya's blog, Now Serving for this edition. She has so many wonderful healthy recipes and innovative recipes that it was hard for me to choose which one to showcase today. But I was blown away by this combination of Sweet potato and Garbanzo beans (Kabuli Chana) and I was compelled to try it out! And boy, was I happy! By the way, did I mention that the koftas are low fat??

The wonderful mixture of flavors was a beautiful experience. The koftas turned out super yummy that my kids started popping them as is not willing to wait for them to be dunked into the gravy. On the other hand, S was willing to have just the gravy for the Whole Wheat Pita (recipe to be posted soon!) I had made to go with this curry and pop in the koftas to mimic my kids :) Needless to say we were a happy family having fun and enjoying this delightful gravy for a weekend dinner!!

Sweet Potato Kofta Curry

Check out what my fellow hoppers posted for this edition.
Ingredients -

For the Koftas - 
Sweet potato chopped, boiled and mashed 2 cups (I used 1 large sweet potato)
Garbanzo beans/Kabuli Chana soaked,boiled and mashed 1 1/2 cup
Curry Powder 2 tsp
Salt as needed
Green chillies 1-2 (or as needed)
Coriander leaves few

For the gravy - 
Onion 1 large (finely chopped made 1 cup)
Tomato pureed 2 medium (made about 1 cup)
Almonds and Cashews 5 each
Ginger-Garlic-Green chilies-Coriander leaves paste 2-3 Tbsp
Red Chilli powder 1/2 tsp (or as needed)
Milk 1/2 cup (or as needed)
Seasoning (Oil 1 1/2 Tbsp , Jeera 1/2 tsp)

Method Of Preparation - 

To Prepare the low fat koftas -

In a mixing bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, mashed chana, salt, curry powder, chopped green chillies (I added green chilli paste) and chopped coriander leaves.

Knead the mixture into a soft dough.

In a ponganala penam / paniyaram pan / abelskiver , spray a little oil in each slot and scoop out a tablespoon of the sweet potato-chana mixture (I rolled each portion into a small ball with my palms) and gently slide it in each of the slots.

Note that these koftas are very delicate and so very carefully flip on to the other side and cook until they are uniformly browned on all sides.

Drain them onto paper towels and repeat for the remaining mixture.

Now that the koftas are ready lets make the gravy! Actually I made the gravy parallelly to save time.

Sweet Potato Kofta

To make the Gravy - 

Make any gravy which suits your taste. But here is how I made and relished.

Saute the chopped onions in a heated sauce pan adding a teaspoon of oil and set aside.

Grind the sauteed onions, almonds, cashews and set aside.

In the same sauce pan/kadai/wok add the remaining oil and jeera/cumin seeds.

After the cumin seeds are brown add the onion paste, ginger-garlic-chilli-corinader leaves paste, tomato puree and water to make a gravy and let it cook.

Sprinkle turmeric, mirchi powder, salt and mix well.

When the gravy thickens a little, add milk and let the gravy simmer for 5-7 min.

Remove from fire and set aside.

Sweet Potato Kofta Curry

Assembling the Kofta Curry -  

Just before serving, add the koftas in the gravy and sprinkle coriander leaves or any other form of garnish and serve with Roti/Naan. (I served it with Whole Wheat Pita Bread!)

Preparation Time 1 hr
Makes 25 koftas

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We rarely get to see Malabar Spinach (Bacchali koora) in our local Indian Stores. But if I see it on the shelves, I am sure to get it home. The slimy pile of Bacchali koora when chopping is a tad irritating but nothing can match the dal made out of these thick leaves!! The stalks are a little tough to cook thoroughly and I tend to avoid them but I heard they taste just as good!

This summer I tried planting the used stalks of these leaves and I was able to get a small batch of leaves for dal the other day! The stalks in the picture is what I could get in the frame this time :) [I should remind myself to take the pictures of the leaves too next time!]

Note that I use this method when I am in a hurry. This cooking process takes less than 25 min to get the dal on the table! 20 min for the dal to cook in the pressure cooker including the cooling time and then tadka .... done!!
For the last day of this edition of BM#8 under the theme 'Cooking with 5 ingredients or less', here is the humble and comforting dal. I am sure my fellow marathoners are cooking up a storm !

Bacchali Pappu


1. Toor Dal 3/4 cup
2. Bacchali Koora / Malabar Spinach chopped 2 cups
3. Green chillies 4-5 chopped (Optional)
4. Lemon juice or tamarind extract as needed
5a. Salt to taste
5b. Seasoning (Oil 1 tsp, Urad Dal 1/2 tsp, Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, Jeera 1/2 tsp, Red chilli 1, Hing couple pinches, 
Turmeric 1/4 tsp, curry leaves)

Method  Of Preparation - 

Pressure cook toor dal, chopped bacchali koora and chopped green chillies adding adequate water.

After the cooker is safe to be opened,  in a heated sauce pan, add oil and the rest of the seasoning. 

Bacchali Pappu

After the mustard seeds crackle, transfer the contents from the pressure cooker, add in salt and mix well. (Add the tamarind extract if using now). Add water if you want the dal to be a little runny.

Let it simmer for about 5 min and remove from fire. Squeeze in the lemon juice if using.

Serve hot with Rice and ghee.

Sending this to Susan's MLLA  38 guest hosted by Preeti.

Preparation 25 min
Serves 4

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Indian Gooseberry / Usirikaya / Amla happens to be one of the best sources of Vitamin C. We were told by elders at home that even upon cooking, the nutritive value of these berries are not lost. So we were encouraged to eat these berries once in a while. 

A few days back, I was craving for Amla chutney and found out the recipe from Amma and MIL too but the tragedy is we don't get fresh gooseberries around here. But I was happy to lay my hands on some frozen amla and bought them. Then came the question as to how to make the traditional pickle made back home. After a lot of deliberations, I decided to follow the recipe by PJ and made it. We were happy with the result and so this recipe is a keeper for sure.
This forms part of the BM#8 for Day 6 under the theme 'Condiments'. Also check for the other marathoners here.

Usirikaya Pachadi

Recipe Source - PJ
Ingredients - 

Gooseberry / Amla  / Usirikaya 10 nos (size of a medium lime)
Salt as needed
Mirchi Powder as needed 
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/4 tsp
Seasoning (Oil 3 Tbsp, Mustard seeds 1 tsp, Hing 1/4 tsp)

Note - I used frozen gooseberries and hence adopted this method. When I can lay my hands on fresh gooseberries, I shall blog about another way of making this chutney.

Method Of Preparation - 

If using frozen gooseberries, please thaw them first as per the instructions on the packet.

Pressure cook the gooseberries and upon cooling, discard the seed and mash the gooseberries into a semi coarse pulp.

Roast fenugreek and mustard seeds and powder them upon cooling.

Mix in these powders, salt, mirchi powder, turmeric in the gooseberry pulp.

In a heated sauce pan, add oil and prepare the seasoning by adding the mustard seeds and hing.

When the mustard seeds pop, reduce the heat and transfer the gooseberry mixture and cook for about 10 min so as to remove any traces of extra moisture.

Usirikaya Pachadi

Remove from heat and upon cooling, transfer into clean jars for storage. I guess it is safe to store in the refrigerator. 

Sending it to Srivalli's Condiment Mela.

Preparation Time 40 min
Makes 3/4 cup

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Posted by Harini on Sunday, August 28, 2011

Here is a simple tea time snack which is such a no brainer! Feel free to alter the ingredients to suit your palate.

In fact I somehow never ever tried making this snack at home and thought it was best left for the 'beach hawkers' to make a perfect one! But on the insistence of my cousin, Mallika , I tried this out at home and was somewhat embarrassed for having skipped making this snack for so many years!! Thanks to the prodding we are enjoying this snack very frequently :)

This forms part of the BM#8 for Day 5 under the theme 'Cooking Under 5 Ingredients'. Also check for the other marathoners here.

Masala Borugulu

Ingredients -

1. Borugulu/Maramaralu/Puffed rice 4-5 cups
2. Onions chopped 1/2 cup
3. Tomatoes chopped 1/4 cup
4. Seasoning ( Oil 1 Tbsp, Peanuts Handful, mustard seeds 1/2 tsp, turmeric, salt as needed, mirchi powder as needed, Hing)
5. Lemon juice as required

Note - You could also add some roasted gram (Putnala pappu / Puthana/Dhalia) , some dry coconut pieces, boondi, sev, grated carrot innovative and try to add in as many healthy ingredients as your creative mind allows!!

Method Of Preparation -

In a microwave safe bowl, pile in the puffed rice and nuke it for 45 seconds to make them fresh smelling and crispy. Alternatively do it in a kadai/wok on the stove top.

In a kadai/wok heat oil and saute peanuts, add mustard seeds, turmeric, mirchi powder and hing.

Remove from fire and mix in the salt.

Transfer the puffed rice into the wok and mix well.

Serve in individual bowls (or for a more authentic feel serve in paper cones :)), adding the required onions, tomatoes and lemon juice! 

Masala Borugulu

Enjoy the street (beach?) food in the comfort of your living room!!

Preparation Time 10 min 
Serves 2-3 

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Weekend lunches in my childhood were always special. Amma used to make her famous Bisi Bela Bath or Vangi Bath or Alu Bath or Mixed Vegetable Bath, Rasam and Curd Rice and not to forget the various vadiyams(fryums) and appadams(papads). So we are used to eating fryums as part of elaborate lunches or over weekends when there is something special being cooked. Needless to say they form an integral part of festive or ceremonial meals. They definitely add a different dimension to the mundane looking food at times :)

That said, I have not been successful in making vadiyams on my own until recently. My MIL on her last trip gave me the idea of sun drying the vadiyams in the car (details at the end of the post). I was astonished at her idea and my dear husband even ridiculed and laughed at that idea. But her thought process was very adaptive to the circumstances and focused too. So she went ahead with my assistance to dry vadiyams  in the car and lo! they were dried to perfection!! When S was served these vadiyams along with a weekend lunch, he had to bite back his words much to my amusement!! The conversation at the table was worth recording for future generations to have fun!!
My first attempt at making these at home all by myself was rewarded by compliments by my family :)
This forms part of the BM#8 for Day 4 under the theme 'Condiments'. Also check for the other marathoners here.

Biyyam Vadiyalu
Deep fried Vadiyams before they disappeared!

Ingredients - 

Rice Flour 1 cup
Salt as needed
Jeera/Cumin seeds Powdered 1 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp
Water 2 1/2 cups

Oil for deep frying

Note that this quantity is very small and these vadiyams would be sufficient for 8 people or a single sitting. Since I was attempting it for the first time and the weather here is known to throw surprises every hour, I didn't have the nerve to make a bigger batch :)

Biyyam Vadiyalu
Perfectly sun dried Vadiyams

Method Of Preparation - 

Boil water in a sauce pan and add salt, cumin powder and Hing.

Reduce the heat and gradually add the rice flour while mixing to avoid lumps.

Remove from fire and cover the pan with the lid to enable the steam to cook the rice flour further.

After about 10 minutes, knead the rice flour dough to a soft and smooth dough.

Prepare some thick plastic sheets or a white clean cloth and spread them in the sun. If preparing this in the shade make appropriate arrangements to carry the delicate plastic sheet or the cloth onto the sunlit area.

Biyyam Vadiyalu
Ready to be dried in the car

Fill in the Murukku / Chakli press with the dough and press out chaklis of desired shape on the cloth or plastic sheet.

Once the dough is all used up place these sheets filled with the fryums in direct sun light for at least 48 hrs. making sure these fryums are sun dried on both the sides.

Store them in zip lock covers until further use.

Under the circumstances, I was unable to dry them in direct sun light. So I put these sheets in my car which is parked outside with the windows rolled up. I am told that in peak summer, when the outside temperatures are above 85 F, the temperature inside a closed car parked in the sun has a temperature up to 120F. I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that information but I can be sure that these fryums had sufficient heat to dry up perfectly! So for those of you living under the conditions where you cannot sun dry as we would do back home in India, this is an option to consider. Don't you all agree??

To serve these yummy fryums, deep fry these dried vadiyams and serve with sambar and rice or Bisi Bele Bath. My kids had this for a snack!

Sending these to Srivalli's Condiment Mela.

Preparation Time 1 hr
Makes 8 servings (approx)

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Posted by Harini on Friday, August 26, 2011

I have fond memories of enjoying Kalakand from the famous 'Pullareddy Sweets' as a child. Even today we get packets of sweets from the same place. However I have never reproduced the same in my kitchen. So a few days back when I saw the lone Ricotta cheese box begging for some attention, I decided Kalakand it would be. 

But then I wanted to reduce the sugar that went in it and on the same lines as Apple Rabdi, I decided to substitute part of sugar with apple. I should say the experiment went rather well. There was no trace of any apple in there. I actually put in more than 1/4 cup of sugar and it ended up a tad sweeter than I wanted it to be and hence I have reduced it in the recipe below. 

This forms part of the BM#8 for Day 3 under the theme 'Cooking under 5 ingredients'. Also check for the other marathoners here.

Apple Kalakand

Ingredients - 

*1. Ricotta Cheese 10 oz (approx 250 to 300 gms)
**2. Apple peeled, cored and chopped 1 medium size
3. Milk 2 cups
4. Sugar 1/4 cup  (adjust according to taste)
5. Nuts for garnish (I used Pista)

* Can use fresh home made paneer instead of ricotta cheese.
**I could have used more apples and further reduced the sugar added.

Apple Kalakand

Method Of Preparation - 

Blend the ricotta cheese and 1 cup of milk until there are no lumps and keep aside.

Blend the apple and the remaining milk to make a smooth mixture.

To reduce the time I partially boiled them in the microwave and then transferred them on to the non stick pan. But this is totally optional.

In a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a non stick pan, pour the above ricotta cheese and apple mixtures and sugar. Let them simmer while constantly stirring. 

Just about when the mixture comes together, if needed add more sugar.

When the mixture comes together as a single mass, remove from fire.

Apple Kalakand

Transfer on to a parchment paper lined plate or a greased plate and smoothen the mixture to about half an inch thickness.

Let it cool down for a few minutes before cutting them to required size. 

Sprinkle coarsely chopped nuts and gently press them on the prepared kalakand and serve them chilled!

Sending to Radhika's Diwali Special ~ Sweets & Savories.

Preparation Time 40 min 
Makes 15 pieces approx

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Posted by Harini on Thursday, August 25, 2011

When I first heard the name, I was wondering what a bucket (Balti in Hindi/Urdu) has to do with a masala. Later when I looked up in Wiki came to know that this has further evolved into being known closer to a kadai or wok. Another school of thought is that the Balti masala or Balti style of cooking has its origins in the North Pakisthan-Kashmir Belt. In UK Balti Cuisine refers to the cuisine from the above area. I believe that in the city of Birmingham UK, there are some designated Balti Houses(Restaurants). But to me it means a curry made in a wok with some spices!

I came across this masala in Raghavan Iyer's 660 Curries when I was doing the previous Blogging Marathon. I am so impressed with this masala that I have now replaced the store bought Garam masala with this Balti masala in my cooking. Trust me, it makes a fine substitute for garam masala.
So for Day 2 of this edition of BM#8, here is the aromatic Balti masala from the snow capped mountains of Kashmir and Pakistan..

Balti Masala

Ingredients - 

Fennel seeds / Sonf 2 tsp
Coriander seeds / Dhania 2 tsp
Cumin / Jeera 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Cloves 1/2 tsp
Black cardamom seeds 1/2 tsp (Badi Elaichi)
Nigella seeds / Kalonji 1/2 tsp
Dried Bay leaves 3 
Cinnamon 6 inch stick broken into small bits
Red Chilli Powder 2 tsp
Ground Nutmeg / Jajikai 1/2 tsp

Balti Masala

Method Of Preparation - 

Roast all the ingredients (except the red chilli powder and nutmeg) until they are highly fragrant. Cool them and powder them adding the red chilli powder and nutmeg powder. Store in an airtight container for future use.

Check to see what my fellow marathoners are up to in this edition of BM #8.

Sending to Srivalli's Condiment Mela and Desisoccermom's B2B - Dry spice powders.

Preparation Time 15 min
Makes 1/3 cup

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Posted by Harini on Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yes, you read that right. These are fritters made with the regular apples. I remember having seen these in some blog in my pre-blogging days. I think my first impression when I saw the title was 'must be crazy' or some such phrase and let it pass by. But recently I was reminded of these apple fritters by my cousin, Sowmya. Thanks to her that we could enjoy a different snack and also it could make an appearance here in 'Tamalapaku' :).

When I was running an errand I got a call from my cousin only to tell me about these fritters that she had heard from a friend. She also added that they were supposed to taste great too. So as soon as I reached home and told S about these fritters, he said he was game to try them (When would he say no fried snacks??). And so these happened and vanished all within 35 min :) Imagine how I had to keep them at bay when taking pictures!!

Srivalli's Blogging Marathon #8 - round 2 has begun and as I mentioned in my last post, I would be doing the same two themes 'Cooking with under 5 ingredients' and 'Condiments' alternating them for the next week.
So here is the recipe for Day 1 under the theme 'Cooking with under 5 ingredients' .

Apple Bajji

Ingredients - 

*1. Apple, peeled, cored and thinly sliced into wedges 1 medium sized
2. Besan/Chick pea flour/Senagapindi 1 cup (or as needed)
3. Mirchi powder (Chilli Powder) 1/2 tsp (or as per taste)
4. Ajwain/Vaamu coarsely powdered 1/2 tsp (Optional)
5a. Salt as per taste
5b. Oil for deep frying

* The apple could also be just peeled and cored and sliced into thin circles (the bajjis would look like vadas) instead of wedges. I just found this easier and thought there would be more bajjis for the kids to enjoy :)

Apple Bajji

Method Of Preparation - 

Make the Bajji batter (the batter should be slightly thick like Idli batter) with besan, water, vaamu powder, salt and mirchi powder. 

Heat oil in a wok/kadai and when the oil is adequately hot, dip the apple wedges in the batter making sure the batter coats the apple wedge evenly. Gently slide in the oil and fry until golden brown.

Remove the golden brown bajjis onto kitchen paper towels to drain the excess oil.

Repeat until all the wedges are done.

Apple Bajji
Another way to slice the apples !!

If you have missed the previous week of this marathon here they are - 
Under 5 ingredients - 
Beans-Alu Curry 
Low Fat Boorelu ~ Low Fat Sweet Dumplings 
Palak-Moong Dal Curry
Buckwheat Chakli ~ Kuttu Pindi Murukku

Condiments - 
Onion Chutney
Beerapeechu-Tomato Pachadi ~ Ridge Gourd Peel-Tomato Chutney
Gongura Pachadi ~ Sorrel Leaves Chutney

Preparation Time 30 min
Serves 3-4

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Posted by Harini on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Wondering what this Buckwheat flour is? Up until this recipe, trust me I have never ever used Buckwheat Flour. I must admit that I did see Kuttu flour in the grocery shelves but never bothered to find out what it was. Later when I saw some buckwheat pancake recipes on the web, I was intrigued. 

That's when I read about Buckwheat and came to know that it is nutrient rich and is a good bet for lowering cholesterol, controlling Diabetes etc..  For in depth nutritional analysis check here. Note that it is also gluten-free. Therefore it needs a binding agent like some starch.

In this recipe I have used boiled and mashed potato to do the job. I added rice flour as an after thought as I wasn't sure if it would retain the shape. But later on I realized that it wasn't necessary.

It was a nice change from the regular murukku and I felt they were a little addictive too (all types of murukku are addictive, right?)

Check out the recipe as part of Day 7 themed 'Under 5 Ingredients' of this session of BM#8. I will be back again tomorrow for the next round of the marathon with the same set of two themes. So until then, enjoy these chaklis!!

Kuttu Flour Murukku

Ingredients -

1. Kuttu Flour (Buckwheat flour) 2 cups
2. Potato boiled, mashed 1 cup
3. Rice Flour 1 cup
4. Mirchi Powder 1 tsp
5a. Salt as needed
5b. Oil For Deep Frying (2 Tbsp of hot oil for the dough too)

Method Of Preparation - 

In a mixing bowl, add the Kuttu flour, rice flour, mashed potato, salt and mirchi powder. Mix well until there are no lumps of potato in the flour. Rub in hot oil and mix well. 
Add water gradually to make a soft dough. 

Fill in the murukku press with the dough (I used the star plate).

Heat oil in a deep pan and this time around I made small star shaped spirals of dough with the press on parchment paper and then gently slid into hot oil.

Fry them until they get a golden brown hue. Drain them onto kitchen paper towels. Repeat the process with the rest of the dough.

Store in an air tight container upon cooling. 

Kuttu Flour Murukku

Check to see what my fellow marathoners are up to in this edition BM #8.

If you have missed the previous posts in this marathon here they are - 
Under 5 ingredients - 
Beans-Alu Curry 
Low Fat Boorelu ~ Low Fat Sweet Dumplings 
Palak-Moong Dal Curry 

Condiments - 
Onion Chutney 
Beerapeechu-Tomato Pachadi ~ Ridge Gourd Peel-Tomato Chutney
Gongura Pachadi ~ Sorrel Leaves Chutney

Sending these to Saffronstreaks's 'Monsoon Medley' and Denny's 'Serve it - Fried' started by Krithi.
Preparation Time 1 hr
Makes approx 4-5 cups 

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