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Category Archives: chutneys/dips/podi/preserves

{Recipe} Spicy Mango Thokku (Pickle)

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Spicy Mango Thokku

Spicy Mango Thokku

Raw mangoes are still in the market and if like me you will be sad to say good bye to them, this is a good way to make them last a little longer. My mom has a made up name for this pickle – she calls it Chekkudukaya which means “grated” in telugu. This is temporary pickle that will last upto 10 days without refrigeration and for a couple of months if kept in the fridge. Eaten best with hot parathas or rice and dal with a dollop of ghee.

Spicy Mango Thokku

Spicy Mango Thokku

Spicy Mango Thokku (Makes 200 grams)

Raw Green Mango                           3 medium, skinned and grated to yield 2 cups of grated mango

Red chilli powder                            3 tablespoons, adjust according to taste

Salt3                                                      4 teaspoons, adjust according to taste

Mustard seeds                                  1 tablespoon

Fenugreek Seeds                              ½ teaspoon

Cumin seeds                                      1 tablespoon

Turmeric powder                            ½ teaspoon

For the tempering

Sesame oil                                         ¼ cup

Asafetida                                           a large pinch

Whole mustard seeds                  1 teaspoon

Dried red chilli                               1

Fenugreek seeds                            ¼ teaspoon

Ginger garlic paste                       1 teaspoon (optional)


Wash and wipe the mangoes. Skin them and grate them and set aside in a non reactive vessel.

Dry roast the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds for 3-4 minutes on low heat till they just begin to change colour. Cool completely and grind to a fine powder and set aside.

Add the red chilli powder, salt, ground masala powder and turmeric to the grated mango and mix well. Let this sit in the fridge for 24 hours.

Heat the oil in a kadai till it is very hot and turn the heat down. Now add the fenugreek seeds, followed by the cumin and red chilli. Saute for a few seconds. Next add the asafetida and the ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes till the ginger and garlic paste is cooked.

Add the grated mango into the kadai and turn off the heat. Mix well. Set aside to cool completely before putting it into a sterile bottle. Store in the fridge for upto 2 months.


Tzatziki and Hummus

These two dips are my favourites to make, store and serve. They pair well with bread of any kind ~ Pita, Bread sticks, Crackers or vegetable crudites as well. For the Tzatziki, I add the cucumber just before serving and have found, that having hung yogurt in the fridge (keep it in the freezer if storing for more than 3 days, defrost as needed) is helpful. I also do the same with boiled chickpeas. Hummus, made from boiled chickpeas, makes an excellent sandwich spread and keeps well for atleast 5-6 days in the refrigerator.

In my next post, I will post Falafels and assembling a full on Lebanese style platter. Stay tuned.

Yogurt Cucumber Dip

Yogurt Cucumber Dip

Tzatziki – Yogurt Cucumber Dip (Makes 1 large cup)

Yogurt – 200 grams

Cucumber – I small, skinned deseeded and chopped small

Garlic – 1-2 cloves, crushed fine

Sesame seeds paste – 1 tablespoon

Olive oil – 2 tablespoons

Salt – to taste

Lemon juice – 1 teaspoon

Mint and coriander leaves – a small bunch, chopped fine

  • To make hung yogurt, line a sieve with a muslin cloth, pour the yogurt and place a bowl underneath, place in the refrigerator for a few hours till all the water drains off.
  • Add all the ingredients except the olive oil in a bowl and whisk till everything is well mixed, pour the olive oil over it as a garnish. Serve chilled as a dip.
Chickpea Dip

Chickpea Dip

Hummus – Chickpea Dip (makes 1 large cup)

Cooked Chickpeas – 1 cup

Lemon juice – 2-3 tablespoons

Sesame seed paste – 1-2 tablespoons

Garlic – 1 clove, crushed finely

Salt to taste

Olive oil – 2-3 tablespoons for garnish

Red chilli powder – to garnish

  • If using dried chickpeas, soak ½ cup overnight, pressure cook for 20 mins, drain and reserve both the water and the chickpeas.
  • Add all the ingredients except the red chilli powder and olive oil into a blender and blend adding ¼ cup of the reserved liquid to make a smooth paste.
  • Check for salt and adjust.
  • Transfer  to a serving bowl, using a spoon, make a well in the centre.
  • Drizzle the olive oil in the centre of the hummus and sprinkle the red chilli powder as a garnish around the sides. Serve immediately with toasted pita bread, vegetable crudités or as use as a sandwich spread.

Spicy Uttapam (Spicy Savoury Pancakes)

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spicy uttapam

spicy uttapam

This is a breakfast item that we love and I make it often when I have dosa or idli batter older than 3 days. The addition of the spiced powder makes it an easy to eat item and you don’t have to add any other accompaniment.

Its also a break from the plain idli and dosa that is a staple at our home.

Spicy Savoury Pancakes/ Spicy Mini Uthapam (serves 2), Time taken 15 minutes

2 cups idli batter, if you don’t have home made, its easily available in most kirana stores and supermarkets

¼ cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds

2-3 pepper corns, roughly crushed

1 green chili, finely chopped

Finely chopped curry leaves and fresh coriander

2 tablespoons of chutney podi/ gun powder/ spice powder

2 tablespoons oil

Heat a griddle on medium heat. Put a few drops of water on it. If it sizzles, it is the right temperature. Mix all of the above ingredients except the oil and spice powder into a bowl. Add a few tablespoons of water to get a really thick pouring consistency. It should not be as runny as dosa batter.

Take a round ladle and spoon a ladleful of this batter onto the griddle. Do not spread, it will spread out a little, but it should remain thick and fluffy. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the corners and cook on medium till the edges are turning golden brown and crisp (about 1 minutes). Sprinkle a little of the spice powder onto the pancake and flip over. Cook the other side for about 30 seconds. Do not press down. Take out onto a plate. Repeat till all the batter is used up. Serve hot.

Street Food ~ Ragda Patties

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Ragda Patties

When Amma is with me, I try and make things she likes. She loves anything with noodles or pasta or sugar (naturally, since it’s forbidden!) or street food. I make Bhel, Dahi Vada and Pav Bhaji each time during her visits. This time it coincides with the monsoon and the perfect time for something hot and tangy. Also, both of us are chicken and won’t want to risk eating it at a roadside stall.

I love the recipes on One Hot Stove. They are what I’d call never fail. I’ve tried several of them like these Rice paper rolls, the Pav Bhaji and even spaghetti with pesto. So when I was searching online for a recipe for Ragda Patties and Nupur’s came up, I chose to make it as if there is one thing that can describe her recipes, it is ‘simple’

Ragda Patties

(Serves 4, Time Taken – 45 minutes)

For the Ragda:

1 cup of yellow dried peas (vatana) – soak overnight in fresh water, pressure cook for 5 whistles with 2 cups of water or till cooked soft

1 medium onion chopped fine

1 large tomato chopped fine

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder

1 teaspoon (or more) red chilli powder

1 teaspoon coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin powder

1/4 teaspoon garam masala powder

1/4 cup tamarind extract (made from a 2 inch knob of tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup water, pulp and strain to remove debris)

A pinch of asafetida

Fresh coriander for garnish

Finely chopped onion for garnish

In a large pan, heat the teaspoon of oil and when hot, add the onions. When they sizzle, add the asafetida and sauté till the onions turn translucent. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander and cumin powders and fry on a low flame till the raw smell disappears – about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and a little salt, sauté for a minute, cover with a lid and cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Add the boiled peas along with the water it was cooked in to the tomato and onion gravy and cook covered, stirring a few times for about 7-8 minutes. Add the tamarind extract, salt to taste and stir. Taste to check for seasoning. Add more chilli if you would like. Add the garam masala powder and simmer for a couple of minutes. Set aside.

For the Patties (Makes 10 medium sized patties)

4 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
2 slices of bread or ½ cup bread crumbs
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
3 tablespoons of oil for frying

Mash the boiled and peeled potatoes. Wet the bread slices and crush and mix into the potatoes. If using bread crumbs also, wet the crumbs a bit and add to the potatoes. Add the salt and red chilli powder and knead till it becomes soft and holds its shape when made into a ball. Divide into 10 balls, roll between your palms and flatten slightly to form a patty. Heat half the oil in a non stick pan and add the patties to the oil. Fry on medium heat for 3-4 minutes on each side, drizzling with the remaining oil till they are golden brown. Drain onto paper and set aside.

Khatta Meetha Chutney

1 cup of tamarind extract (made from a fist sized ball of tamarind, soaked in hot water)
¼ cup of Jaggery
A pinch of salt

Add everything together and heat in a pan. When the Jaggery has melted, pass everything through a medium sieve to remove impurities from the Jaggery. Cook for about 10 minutes on medium heat, stirring gently till it becomes thick and gets a sauce like consistency. Cool and use as needed.

To plate the Ragda Patties

Place two patties onto a plate. Pour about 1 cup of hot ragda onto the patties. Garnish with fresh cilantro, finely chopped onion and the tamarind chutney. Enjoy piping hot!

Beat the Heat Series ~ Insalata Caprese with Basil Pesto

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So the summer in hyderabad is fully upon us on its way out (which must tell you how long this post sat in drafts) and as always, I have a reputation to keep and whining to do… remarkably this year tho, I handled the heat much better than the Kman… he was  whining more than me, and mine are some really big boots to fill…

Anyhow, this is a salad I almost always order when we eat at an Italian restaurant and that in Hyderabad means many many restaurants! every five star hotel worth its salt needs to have an italian restaurant plus the many stand alone ones… I marveled at the simplicity and freshness of this salad, where the few ingredients stand out and flavour and texture is everything…

I lamented (there is a pattern here, I am not cantankerous for nothing!) that there is no good buffalo mozarella to be had outside of pricey restaurants….that was till I found out this Punjab made fresh mozarella in water… at I ate most of it as it was… saving the rest to make this salad… at 230 rupees a box its a little pricey, but thats the most expensive component of the salad. Make this and feel like a domestic God/ Goddess!

While the temperature still is higher than we’d like, serve this and enjoy it as a nice quick appetizer

Insalata Caprese – Serves 3

3 Large Ripe tomatoes (choose the sweet variety, I used bangalore/ salad tomatoes)

100 grams of fresh buffalo mozarella

20 fresh Basil leaves, washed and drained on paper towels

2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 cup basil pesto (recipe follows)

For the Pesto

1 cup of fresh basil leaves, picked, washed and drained

1/5th cup of roasted pine nuts (replace with almonds or walnuts if you dont have pine nuts)

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated

a pinch of salt and pepper

1 garlic clove, peeled

Making the Pesto

Put all the ingredients except the olive oil and basil into a food processor and pulse till the nuts and cheese are pulsed evenly. Then add the washed basil leaves and pulse a few more times. Scrape down the sides of the jar and add the olive oil and pulse some more until you get a nice creamy pesto. I do this in 5-6 short pulses to get a fairly creamy pesto. Some people prefer some texture in their pesto, so check midway between pulsing the ingredients and stop when you like the consistency.

This makes 3/4 cup of pesto and can be used immediately. If you want to freeze the pesto, do not add the parmesan cheese. when you defrost the pesto and are ready to use it, mix in finely grated parmesan cheese.

To Assemble the Caprese Salad

Layer the sliced tomato and mozarella cheese. Add a freshly washed leaf of basil. Assemble over a plate till you use up all the sliced tomatoes and mozarella. Sprinkle freshly ground pepper over it scantly (optional, I did not do this). Drizzle over with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Spoon over the pesto and enjoy it fresh.

Alternatively, make small stacks of the tomato, mozarella, basil leaves, season with scant salt and pepper, drizzle over some EVOO and spoon over the pesto.

Peanut and Tomato Chutney

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I dont know how or why, but I have unwittingly eliminated fresh coconut from my pantry for the last few months. We stopped adding it to the araichavittu sambhar and the assorted poriyals. but what i miss most is to dip my idli or dosa into some nice tangy spicy chutney. there is only so much of kaaram podi / milagai podi i can eat. So a few days ago, taking advantage of the extra tomatoes at home, I made this chutney. Its delicious and worth the effort of roasting all the ingredients before grinding.

Peanut and Tomato Chutney (makes 5 generous servings)

1/2 cup peanuts, roasted without oil till the colour changes

1 cup chopped tomatoes ( i used the local variety)

3 green chillies, slit

2 tablespoon curry leaves

2 tablespoons coriander leaves

1 medium onion, roughly chopped

1/2 teaspoon cumin (whole)

a few grains of whole fenugreek seeds

a small marble of tamarind

salt to taste

1/2 cup water

2 teaspoons oil ( i used gingely oil)

for the tadka

a few curry leaves

1/2 teaspoon whole mustard seeds

1-2 dried red chillies

1/2 teaspoon urad / black gram dal

in a pan, dry roast the peanuts and set aside. heat one teaspoon of oil, add the whole cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and fry a few seconds.  add the onions and green chillies and fry till the onions are beginning to change colour. add the tomatoes and fry till they begin to shrink. set it aside and cool it completely.

In the jar of the blender, add the peanuts, cooked onion and tomato, tamarind, curry leaves, coriander leaves, water, salt. Pulse till you get a smooth paste. remove to a serving bowl. in a small pan, heat the remaining teaspoon of oil. fry the urad/ black gram dal till it is pale golden, add the dried red chillies and wait for a few seconds till they begin to change colour. add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter, finally add the curry leaves and turn off the heat. Pour this over the ground chutney. Mix and serve with idli or dosa. This can be stored in the fridge for upto 3 days.

Kancheepuram Idly Recipe

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I’ve always loved the little cylindrical kanchipuram idlies. Especially the ones served at Woody’s in Bangalore. A short internet search and I was all set to make them myself for breakfast one morning.

Its an easy upgrade from regular idlies and since in our household we eat a LOT of them, I welcomed the beautiful flavour of the added whole spices. Try the Kancheepuram Idly with molaga podi or sambhar. it will make you linger over your breakfast.

Kancheepuram Idly (makes 12 idlies)

Make the regular idly batter as follows

½ cup skinned urad dal/ black gram

1 ½ cups of rice (i use boiled rice, sona masuri works fine too

½ teaspoon whole fenugreek seeds

Soak all of the above for atleast 6 hrs. Grind with 1-1/2 cups water to a smooth batter. Some would ask you to grind the lentils and rice separately and mix, but i cant be bothered about this and i have not had bad results to make me want to try. I grind mine in a wet grinder but a regular food processor works fine too. Again i speak from experience.

Transfer to a large vessel and leave to ferment for 5-6 hours. Add salt to taste and Mix well.

for the seasoning

1 tablespoon gingelly oil

1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds (jeera/ zeera)

1 teaspoon whole black pepper corns

6-8 curry leaves, torn roughly

2 green chillies (or less) chopped

1/2 teaspoon ginger paste or 1/2 inch ginger chopped fine

heat the oil and splutter the cumin seeds. add the rest if the seasonings except the ginger paste / chopped and stir for a few seconds till aromatic. take off the heat and add the ginger. stir and leave to cool for about 5 minutes. Add this to the idly batter and stir. leave to rest about 10 minutes.

In the meanwhile, prepare the pressure cooker or steamer by pouring 2 cups of water and bringing it to a gentle boil. traditionally kancheepuram idlies are steamed in a cylindrical mould. you can choose to steam them in the regular idly mould or like me, use small steel tumblers, with a slight coat of oil on the sides to prevent the idlies from sticking to the vessel.

i placed 4 to fit the base of my pressure pan and repeated the process 3 times to make 12 idlies. fill the steel tumblers 2/3 with the batter and steam for 15 minutes.

if using the regular idly moulds, proceed by filling the cups and stacking them one over the other and steam for 10-15 minutes on full heat.

leave to cool for 10 minutes and unmould by running a blunt knife around the edges of the idly. Serve hot with chutney or molaga podi and oil or sambhar.

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