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Category: Vegetarian

Tomato curry


I had decided that for my next visit to my native(Trivandrum), I would check into my grandma’s and mom’s combined recipe book for some recipes to steal! Our recipe book is an old diary with some of the pages having some recipes which over the years my grandma, aunties, mamma, and some of them me and my brother have written. Don’t get me wrong, me and my brother were not much into cooking unless it was to go into our mouth. So those recipes we copied down into the recipe book were because well it was our only chance to write with pen when we were only allowed to write with pencil in school!
So, this book was a medley of recipes handwritten from what my grandma and her kids found in magazines or on TV shows or what friends/relatives passed on.  We even had addresses stored in that diary! Good old days when we used to write down a letter and the address and post them. Sometimes I really miss those days! No offence technology is great, but its just that sometimes writing with your own hand gives a good vibe, if you know what I mean?! Do you?


You must be wondering I started talking about an old recipe book and ended up talking about handwritten letters! Sorry I just got carried away. So as I was telling you, I go this time with all the intention of getting this book and I find it sitting on my mom’s kitchen table. Pleased that I found it without taking any trouble, I thank my mom only to find out she had taken it out to dispose it, as it was all in bits and tatters. Her argument that everything can be found on the internet! Oh my heart almost sank to my feet to think if I had just missed it. Anyways, rest assured, I have dutifully scanned everything before any harm can be done. Come to think of it I would like to have my own recipe book which, maybe in the coming years, the next generation would be reading off from very proudly. It would be a legacy from my grandmother to the next generation! Gives me the chills J


Finally, I get into the recipe. So usually for weekday dinners we have chapatti and curry. And after breakfast and lunch preparations along with running after a toddler, sometimes even the thought of coming up with some curry is tiring let alone cooking it. Tomato curry is one such easy curry and I bet we all have tried different versions of it from the tomato fry to the “ketchup” sweet tomato curry. I have had my fair share and I have also tried coming up with my own recipe. To my surprise I find not one but 2 recipes for tomato curry, of which the very first one I tried, I am going to be sharing. It’s a simple no nonsense curry, which I downsized to serve 2-3 people. Also though the original recipe calls for tamarind, I have opted it out as for me the tanginess from tomatoes is sufficient. Long post.? Well its been long since I spoke with you guys and also I wanted to share this page out of my “life” book with you all. Onto the recipe.



Onion – 1 medium sliced

Tomatoes – 3 numbers cut into 8 pieces each

Green chilly – 3 numbers

Chilly powder – ½ tsp.

Salt – to taste

Water – 1.5 – 2 cups

Tamarind – size ½ of a gooseberry

To temper

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Small onion/ shallots – 3 sliced

Garlic – 4 crushed/minced

Red chilly – 2 broken

Curry leaves – 1 – 2 stalks

Maida – ½ tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp.


Heat oil and add all the ingredients for tempering except Maida. Sauté till the shallots are slightly browned. Then add the Maida and sauté it for a minute. Next add in the sliced onions with green chilly. Stir till the onions become soft. Next add in the tomatoes. Sauté till they start to slowly soften. Add in the red chili powder, salt and stir till its raw smell goes off. Add water and let the tomatoes cook down to your liking, and the gravy thicken. Switch off and serve immediately with roti!

Brinjal Stir fry

I think if you notice I have always told you in my posts about my past hate history with brinjals and yet all I have posted mainly are brinjal recipes. Funny!? Don’t you think? So this is an original from my grandmother. There’s something so comforting about this recipe, that when you just have it with steamed rice it puts a smile on your face.
To all you brinjal haters please do try it, at least one try… and to my fellow brinjal lovers… yes it is simply good.
As I always say you can make it as spicy as your buds allow you. I have added green chilly but you could even substitute it with red chili flakes. I have tried both and I like it both ways.

Serves: 2- 3

Long green brinjal – 4 nos.
Onion – 1 chopped
Green chilly – 3 chopped
Garlic – 5 cloves minced
Tomato – 1 chopped
Cilantro – a bunch chopped
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste


Heat oil. Add cumin seeds. Once they splutter around, add in the chopped garlic and chilly. Once the raw smell is gone add in the chopped onion. Cook till soft, and tumble in the chopped tomatoes. Cook till they turn mushy and release their juices. Now add in the brinjal and a splash of water. Cover and cook till the brinjal is nice and tender and coated with the sauce. Season with salt and finish off with the chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with a steaming bowl of white rice.

Roasted Garlic Hummus(without tahini paste)



Its been almost a year now, since I posted anything on the blog. Sorry for going missing without a word but its been a busy year with lots of personal commitments. Thank you for being so patient.

Well, I am not going to start with a big story after a long break. My history with hummus is not long.I hadn’t heard of hummus when I went for a buffet which sported a vast variety of hummus. Since it looked like a bland thing I decided it wasn’t good and also advised ( I really don’t know what made me do that) my friend against having it.To this very day I regret not trying those varieties of hummus. My next meet up with hummus was when my husband took me to a Lebanese restaurant. I have been a loyal fan since.

So I don’t vouch that this recipe is the authentic recipe for hummus, because the authentic one calls for tahini paste which I dint have in my possession. But all the same, I loved it when I tried without the tahini paste. The best thing about hummus is you can tweak it and make it your own. You can add chilly and make it a spicy hummus, add basil and make it a Basil hummus, Olives for an olive hummus, and as my dear friend suggested add shredded cooked chicken for a non vegetarian hummus( I am yet to try it Neethu ;). Thanks for the suggestion)

You can use canned chickpeas for this recipe, hence saving up on the soaking and cooking time of the chickpeas. I have used kashmiri chilly powder for its milder taste. The amount of garlic in this recipe can be as per your tolerance for garlic.You can use this as a dip for your chips and crackers and what not! Or you use it as a spread on your toast for your breakfast or on you roti as I did which I will share in another post.


Dry Chickpeas – ¾ cup

Garlic – 6 – 8 cloves

Kashmiri chilly powder – ¼ – ½ tsp

Cumin powder – ¼ tsp

Water – ½ cup – 1 cup

Olive oil – 3 -4 tbsp

Salt – to taste


Soak the chickpeas overnight. Pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles till the are soft and give away without any resistance. Roast some garlic on a pan. You can also roast them in your oven. I dry roasted them but you can drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt if you want. In a blender, mix the cooked chickpeas,roasted garlic, kashmiri chilly powder, cumin powder. Give it a blitz, add water and blitz till you reach the consistency you like. Finally drizzle in the olive oil and salt and blitz for a last time.

Serve into a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a bit of paprika/chilly powder.I sprinkled a bit of cajun spice. Enjoy with your pita bread/nachos/chips/crackers or spread on a toast or roti.

Grilled/ Roasted Eggplant “Steak”



With Lent over my head, I knew I would reach this point eventually. Its much easier to be a vegetarian when its your mom cooking, and all you got to do is present yourself in front of the plate. I on the other hand, go into panic attack thinking of what veggies to make.Its not like I hate veggies, I love them, but its not often you see many exotic vegetarian dishes. I mean to say, you don’t get to see much of it in the restaurants around here.

Though I love our avial, thoran, kichidi, sambhar, pachidi, dals, saags, etc., there are times when you just crave for something more. [ For the unaware, all the dishes mentioned above are Indian vegetable side dishes]. I think in one of my previous post I did mention about my new-found love for the aubergines.So this is a new recipe where I have used the long little stout eggplants with a purple hue and green stalk. You can use Japanese eggplants as well or any eggplant of your choice.

I am sure your eyebrows are still raised at the “steak” in the name. Well, let me put you at ease. Its called a steak because of the shape its cut in, thin slab-like. And to all you brinjal – haters ( been there, done that 😉 ), you would be surprised by the easiness,flavor and meat-like quality this has. We had this for dinner and I served mine with a side of mashed potatoes, but you could serve this with pasta as well. Try it and do let me know how you liked it 🙂

The beauty of this dish is you can easily roast it in an oven or grill it or just roast it on a skillet.You can serve this for your weekday dinners or for unexpected guests, as it is easy to make without much of a prep time. Now, this is how you make the magic happen.

Serves : 2


Eggplant – 1( I could cut mine into 4 slabs vertically)

Olive oil

Salt – to taste

Dried basil/ herbs of choice – to taste

Red chilly flakes – to taste

Cilantro – a few sprigs for garnish


Depending on the brinjal you choose to make, cut it vertically, with the stalks intact. Remember stalks lots of flavor.  My stalks dint look so good so I had to remove them. Now score the flesh of the eggplant. Brush with olive oil ( in case your going to roast in oven, else ignore). Sprinkle salt, chilly flakes and herbs on both sides.

In case you are grilling it, just brush the oil with grill and place your eggplants on the grill. Flip once you find a nice light char on one side as well as the flesh has become soft. Repeat for the other side.

In case of skillet, lightly coat the dish with oil. ( Remember eggplants soak lot of oil, so we start with little oil). Place the eggplants and grill till charred and flip.

You know your eggplants are ready when it changes color from white to transparent with a little char.Transfer hot to a plate. Garnish with cilantro and dig in!

Note: With the eggplant I used, I got 4 slices. Depending on the thickness of the brinjal , you might need to administer more brinjals according to your needs.



Basic Pizza Dough



Pizza always evokes happy feelings and emotions. Something about biting into that bread with your choice of toppings and that string of cheese still holding onto you to hang on, just makes you do the happy dance.

I have tried making breakfast pizza with store bought pizza base. It is tasty, but once you have tried making the pizza dough at home, you will want to think twice before reaching out for the store bought pizza base. Its not difficult,something like making a chapatti dough but just that it needs time to rest for the yeast to work. Amaze your friends by making this for friends for the next potluck or for your kids for weekend lunch.

Source :


Warm water – 1 ½ cup

Sugar – 2 tbsp

Active dry yeast(one ¼ oz packet) – 2 ¼ tsp

Flour – 3 ¾ cup

Salt – 1 tbsp

Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp

Semolina – to dust

Dried Oregano / dried basil/pepper/chilli flakes – optional


Combine water, sugar and yeast in small bowl. Let it sit for 5 minutes. The water should be warm enough to touch.

Mix flour , salt and seasonings together in the bowl. Add oil to yeast mixture. Pour yeast mixture into your flour mixture and knead on low speed for 10 minutes. (If mixing by hand, knead dough for same amount of time.) Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. You can place it close to the oven.

After its risen, punch the dough down and divide in half. Shape into 2 balls. Lightly brush dough balls with olive oil and cover completely with plastic wrap.

Let them rise for another 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 -220C. Lightly grease pizza pan or dust with semolina.

Take each dough ball and using your fingers, pat it out from the center to the edge, leaving the outer edge a bit thick.

Top with favorite toppings. Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are golden brown.




Roasted garlic and caramelized onion wheat kulcha



Have you heard of kulcha? Chances are you wouldn’t have, unless you were born and brought up in the north or had friends from there. All I knew were chapattis, then came along naans, tandoori rotis, romali rotis but kulcha is something I tasted in the restaurants of Bangalore. Hmm.. It looks like a sister of naan( wasn’t so fond of it). I wasn’t sure if I should order it.The only difference I found in it was that it had some green garnish atop unlike its other counterparts.

At last one day I summoned my guts to order kulcha. I loved the soft texture and the flavors it had, but it never crossed my mind that I could make it at home. I have always experimented with chapattis adding different kinds of spices and flavors, but never had I thought of making any other kind of roti. It was until recently when I saw the recipe for wheat kulcha that it struck me it can be made at home. I kept thinking of trying it out, but you know how laziness can be convincing at times!Usually kulcha calls for maida(white flour), but since these days I tend to be a little more conscious of what’s going in, I liked this recipe better because it is made with wheat.

So finally I decided to give the recipe a try but I changed the flavors. So this recipe is an adaptation to  Food,Fun and Frolic‘s recipe of whole wheat mint and onion kulcha.

Makes : 9 – 10 kulchas


For the dough

Whole Wheat flour( atta) – 2 cups

Active dry yeast – 2 tsps

Sugar – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Dried mint leaves – 1 tsp ( optional)

Lukewarm water – 1/3 cup + more to knead the dough.

For the filling

Onion – 1 large sliced

Green chilly – 1-2 chopped

Garlic – 2-3 tsp(s)finely minced

Salt – to taste

Chilly powder/Cayenne pepper- to taste( optional)

Oil – for sauteing

Coriander leaves – chopped for garnish


To activate the yeast, dissolve the sugar in 1/3 cup lukewarm water and then add the yeast. Set this mixture aside for around 5 minutes until it is frothy.

To make the dough, mix together the flour, salt and dried mint( if using) in a bowl. Make a well in the center of the bowl and pour in the yeast mixture. Knead this into a nice soft dough, adding water when necessary. Transfer the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside in a warm place for 1.5 hrs to 2 hrs or till the dough doubles in size.

While your dough is resting , lets prepare the filling. Heat a little oil in a skillet or brush your griddle with oil and toss in the onions. To allow the onions to caramelize quicker, season it with salt. You can add a pinch of cayenne pepper.( Nah.. It won’t get spicy). Once your onions are brown, remove onto a paper towel. In the same skillet toss in the minced garlic and saute till it starts browning around the edges. You can optionally roast your garlic in an oven. Move the roasted garlic into a dish along with caramelized onions and chopped green chilly. Give it a thorough mix.

Now lets start with the kulchas. Start by slowly heating your tawa or any flat dish you use for making rotis.  Divide your dough into equal sized balls. Flatten each ball into a disc of approx. ¼ inch to ½ inch thickness.Place a small amount of the filling in the center of the disc, then pinch in all the sides of the disc to the center and make it a ball. Flatten the dough ball with your palm or roll it lightly with a rolling pin. Garnish with coriander leaves and give the kulcha another roll.

Cook this on a hot tawa till both sides are a light brown and you get those spots going on. Serve hot with a curry of your choice be it mutton curry, or chicken curry or aloo gobi.

Note:  The water shouldn’t be too hot or the yeast won’t be activated. The water should be warm to touch.

The time it takes to double differs with different brands of yeast. So give it a time from 1.5 hrs to 2.







Aubergines in Buttermilk



My relationship with brinjal had always been one of hate. I never got the chance to love it. I also believe not many people love it, at least have never heard anyone confess their love for brinjal until.. Well before I go there , let me finish my hate story about brinjal. I usually tend to eat anything my mamma used to give me though I used to [hmm.. whats the word I am looking for] prioritize the dishes. Dint understand? What I meant is I eat all the not-so-favorite dishes first and my favorite dish would be kept for the last. I guess its something like I felt that I dint want the taste of the best dish to get washed down by the rest. So my cutlets, fried fish/chicken , eggs would all be kept aside till the last. The point being, brinjal in all forms except fried brinjal used to be finished ( rather gulped down) first. I used to remember picking out the brinjals in the sambhar and finishing it off first. Ah, those were the days! 🙂

But I did really try to like brinjal. I remember for a buffet at a wedding reception,particularly asking for grilled brinjal with some other veggies. Dint do the trick for me :(. Then my mom started treating brinjal differently. Made me brinjal pickle which I adored.I will share the recipe some time later. But, still brinjal wasn’t on my favorite list.

As fate had it, I finally did find a person who told their favorite vegetable was brinjal. Any guesses? Yes .. my husband. I was flabbergasted. Now I really couldn’t go around cooking one vegetable he likes and a separate one for me. So I decided ok, my turn to give brinjal another chance. I have tried making brinjal in different ways. This recipe is one which I have made many times over the years. I have also learnt that all the flavor of brinjal is locked in its stalk. And aubergines can be used in pastas, grilled for a main course. Believe me , its a major turnaround for me.So, I would like to know if this recipe helped you overcome your hate. If no, I will still keep trying with my other recipes:)


Small brinjal – 6 nos

Onion – 1 small or ½ of a medium chopped

Garlic flakes – 10 nos chopped

Green chilly – 2-3 nos chopped

Chilly powder – 1.5 tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Fenugreek powder – a pinch

Buttermilk – 2 cups or[ curd – 1.5 cups and ½ cup of water]

Salt – to taste


Wash and pat your brinjals dry on a kitchen towel. In a small bowl mix together all the masala powders including salt. In this recipe , I have kept the stalks of the brinjal so wash them properly. You can remove it if you don’t like it but believe me it gives a good flavor to the dish. Now slit your brinjals like a cross on the side opposite to the stalk. Don’t cut it all the way through but bring the slit just up to the stalk. ( as in picture)

Once all the brinjals are slit, fill the slits with your masala mixture. Meanwhile heat your skillet and pour oil just enough to coat the bottom. Don’t pour too much oil because brinjals soak up a lot of oil. When frying if you feel the brinjals are getting dry you can add more oil then. So add in the brinjals and cover the skillet with a lid. This allows the steam that is trapped in to cook the brinjals faster. Flip the brinjals as you find its done. Drain the brinjals on a paper towel.

Now whisk your curd with water to a consistency you like. For me 1.5 cups curd and ½ cup water did the trick. You can add more water. Season with salt. Drop the brinjals into the curd.

In the same oil, saute onion, garlic and green chilly. Season it with little salt. We don’t want this to cook through . The onion should be still crispy. Once done, season this onion mixture on top of the curd.

Serve the dish warm.




Note: Please be careful when seasoning with salt, as salt goes in the brinjal mixture, the curd and the onions.

Brinjals don’t take a lot time to cook unlike other vegetables. How do you know its cooked? The fleshy part will turn translucent and will become soft.

The chilly powder I used was store bought and more spicy compared to the homemade one. So, 1.5 tsp did the trick. If you want it more spicy you can add accordingly. This dish is not spicy at all.

Please do drop in your comments as how you liked this dish.