Paneer and Bell pepper stir fry-2

This particular dish of Paneer with Bell pepper is a family favourite… There are two other starters with Paneer in this website, but this continues to be an all time favourite… The tangy, sweet and spicy flavours make it a winner all the way.


300 gms Paneer cubed into bite sized pieces

1/2 each of a green, red and yellow Bell pepper sliced into thin strips

2 large onions sliced into petals

100 gms sweet corn boiled

15 cloves of garlic finely chopped

2 inch piece of ginger grated

Schezwan sauce and tomato ketchup as required

1tsp pepper


3 tbsps Corn flour to dust.

Oil for frying

2tbsps Amul butter .


Sprinkle salt, pepper and corn flour on the paneer cubes and marinate it for fifteen minutes. Deep fry to a golden yellow. Drain and keep aside. Heat the butter in a pan. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and saute till the garlic turns golden brown. Add the onions and bell pepper and keep sauteing on a high flame till the onions turn translucent but the Bell peppers retain their crunch. Add the boiled corn and paneer. Add the Schezwan and tomato sauce as per your taste. Here I used around two tablespoons of both the sauces.. Mix well and serve immediately.

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Sattu powder dry chutney

Sattu flour uses either barley and roasted gram or plain roasted gram and cumin powdered fine. I have used the latter to make this delicious dry chutney which is not just protein rich but goes well with bhakri, rice or can be sprinkled on salads.


200 gms roasted gram

1 tbsp oil

15 cloves of garlic

5 green chillies/ or as per your spice level slit into two.

1tsp cumin seeds



Heat oil in a pan. Drop in the garlic and slit green chillies. Roast till the chillies change colour. Add the cumin seeds and continue to roast for a minute. Remove and keep aside to cool thoroughly. Dry grind it along with roasted gram and required amount of salt to a fine powder. Allow to cool and store in an airtight container.

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Handvo/ lentils and rice pancake.

Handvo is a lentil and rice pancake from the Gujarati cuisine. Extremely delicious and nutritious too. You may use one or more vegetables as per preference. Here I have used only bottle gourd and carrot. You can serve it with a coriander or garlic chutney or even eat as is as it’s so flavourful.


1.5 cups of rice

1cup Bengal gram dal/ Chana dal

1/2 cup Arhar dal/ split pigeon peas

1/2 cup moong dal/ green gram dal

1/2 cup urad dal/ split black gram

1/2 cup curds

1/4 cup poha/ flattened rice

200 gms Bottle gourd grated

1 carrot grated

2 tbsps ginger, garlic, green chilly paste.

A small bunch of coriander leaves finely chopped… Around 1/4 cup.


2 tbsps sugar

1tsp Eno fruit salt

1/2 tsp Hing/ asafoetida

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

2tbsps oil

For tempering:

2 tbsps oil

1tsp mustard seeds

1tsp cumin seeds

1tsp sesame seeds

A few curry leaves


Wash the rice and dals well. Soak for around 5 hours. Soak the poha too in half a glass of water separately. After five hours drain the water and tip the rice and dal mixture along with the curds and poha into the mixer and grind to a semolina like consistency adding just half a glass of water. The batter should be of dropping consistency. Tip it into a bowl. Add salt. Mix well and allow to ferment for six to seven hours. Add the grated carrot, bottle gourd, ginger, garlic, green chilly paste, hing, sugar, Eno fruit salt, coriander leaves and the turmeric powder. Mix well and divide into four portions. This measurement makes four pancakes. The tempering given is for two pancakes which can be simultaneously made on two burners.

Heat two kadhai/pan. Non stick is preferable as the Handvo comes out clean. Add a tbsp of oil. Drop in half tsp mustard, half tsp cumin seeds, half tsp sesame seeds and a few curry leaves. As they stop crackling pour in one fourth quantity of the batter. Repeat the same into the other pan as well. Cover and cook for five minutes or till the base turns a nice deep brown. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle a few sesame seeds and flip. Roast the other side as well. Remove and serve hot with chutney of choice.

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Tomato and onion chutney -2

This tomato and onion chutney from the Andhra cuisine goes well with Idli, dosa, appam or even with a simple rice porridge. Extremely easy to make and delicious as well. I usually roast all the ingredients the night before so that they have cooled down and refrigerated before I grind them into a chutney for breakfast next morning. Not only saves time but the taste of the chutney gets enhanced. I like to season this chutney with sesame oil but you may use regular oil as well.


1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tomatoes chopped

1 large onion chopped

1 sprig curry leaves

1 tbsp Bengal gram dal/ chana dal

1 tbsp split black gram/ urad dal

1 green chilly

2-3 Byadgi or Kashmiri chillies

1/4 of a coconut grated



Heat the oil in a pan. Drop in the chana and urad dal. Roast till they turn golden brown. Add the green chilly, curry leaves and Byadgi chillies. Give a quick toss and add the chopped onion and tomatoes. Roast on a sim flame till the tomato turns mushy. Add the coconut and roast for a couple of minutes. Switch off and allow the mixture to cool thoroughly. Grind it to a fine paste. Consistency depends on preference. I prefer not to water it down.

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Vegetable Biryani -2

This fragrant vegetable Biryani will leave your guests asking for more.. It is a complete meal by itself and one can serve it with a raita of one’s choice. I usually serve it with a Burhani raita.


12 medium sized florettes of cauliflower

1 large potato chopped into cubes

2 medium sized carrots chopped into chunks

25 French beans chopped into one inch size pieces

200 gms paneer chopped into cubes

100 gms or one bowl of peas

1 cup thick curds

1 tbsp Coriander powder

1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilly powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/4 tsp Shah jeera

7 cardamoms and a piece of mace powdered together

A few strands of saffron

15 mint leaves


1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 small fistful of Barista.

1 tsp Ghee/ clarified butter

250 gms Basmati rice

10 pepper corns

5 cloves

1 bay leaf

1 piece of mace

3 onions sliced and fried to a crisp in a mixture of ghee and oil .

For the seasoning:

Ghee and oil mixture used to fry the onions.

1/2 tsp Shahi jeera

5 cloves

1 large piece of cinnamon

For the saffron infused milk:

1 cup of milk

A few strands of saffron

2 green chillies slit

2 tbsps of the ghee oil mixture in which the onions were fried.

For the Barista:

Heat a mixture of ghee and oil. Fry the sliced onions till crisp and brown.


Wash and soak the Basmati rice for half an hour. Drain. Drop in a bay leaf, the pepper corns, mace and cloves in a pot of water along with a tsp of ghee and salt. Bring to a roaring boil and then add the drained Basmati rice. Boil it on a high flame for three minutes. Switch off, cover and keep aside for ten minutes. Drain and allow to rest in the colander.

Tip in the chopped vegetables, paneer mint leaves, curds, coriander powder, chilly powder, turmeric, Shahi jeera the ginger garlic paste and a small fistful of Barista. Add salt, mix well and allow to marinate for about fifteen minutes. Heat the remaining ghee oil mixture. Drop in the cloves, bay leaf, Shahi jeera and cinnamon. Once they splutter drop in the marinated vegetables and saute till around seventy percent cooked. Heat a wide pan with a lid. Tip in half of the vegetables into it and spread it. Top it with a layer of rice, the saffron infused milk , Barista and a few mint leaves. Pour the remaining vegetables over this and spread it all over. Again top it with a layer of rice, Barista, saffron infused milk and mint leaves. Cover and cook over an extremely gentle flame till all the flavours are absorbed and the Biryani is completely cooked. Serve hot with raita.

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Pessarattu Upma

Pessarattu upma or what is also known as MLA Pessarattu is a popular dosa made from whole green gram and served with a dollop of upma either tucked inside it or spread all over the dosa. . It is served along with a variety of chutneys the most popular being the roasted gram and coriander chutney and the ginger chutney called allam pachadi. One Pessarattu and you are ready for the day!

Posting the links to Pessarattu, upma and the roasted gram chutney… Upma is prepared separately and is made slightly more softer than the regular one by adding a little more of water than usual.

Pour the batter of the Pessarattu over a hot skillet. Drizzle with ghee or oil. Allow to roast over a gentle flame till crisp and golden brown in colour. Top it with the Upma. Spread. Fold the Pessarattu into half and serve hot.

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Onion and veggies poha

Onion and veggies poha was one breakfast that we as kids enjoyed during our Girl guides and Boy Scouts camps that were always held amidst the greenery of a forest… Each of us was assigned a task. The girls would chop vegetables, clean the place, light the choolah and get things ready for breakfast. The boys would fetch water, bring firewood and help around with the odd jobs. I can still remember the distinct fragrance of the onion and veggies poha on that choolah… Sheer heaven.

This preparation is exactly like how one prepares aloo poha….Posting the link to the Aloo poha… One just needs to add whatever veggies one would prefer along with the potatoes. Here I have used carrot, capsicum and peas. Par boil the carrot and peas and saute them with the onions once the onions turn golden brown. Rest of the procedure is the same.

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Vermicelli Pulao

An easy to prepare, filling and delicious Pulao which can be served at breakfast or lunch. Ready in just fifteen minutes and is a real saviour when having guests. Link to the ‘All purpose chutney’ used in the pulao is given below.


1 cup vermicelli

1.5 cups of boiling water

2 tsps ghee/ clarified butter for roasting the vermicelli

A mixture of 2tbsps ghee and 3tbsps oil for seasoning.

1 small capsicum chopped

1 small carrot chopped

1 large onion chopped fine

A fistful of peas

4 tbsps of all purpose chutney

2 inch piece of cinnamon

4 cloves

1 bay leaf

4 cardamom

1 tsp Biryani masala

1/2 tsp lemon juice

2tsps finely chopped coriander leaves



Roast the Vermecilli in ghee to a golden brown. Keep aside. Heat the ghee and oil mixture in a pan. Drop in the cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and bay leaf. After it splutters drop in the onions, carrots and peas. Add salt and saute till the onion turns translucent. Add the chopped capsicum and the ‘All purpose chutney’ and continue to saute for a couple of minutes. Add the Biryani masala and saute for a minute. Pour in the boiling water and bring the mixture to a boil. Drop the roasted Vermecilli and once it starts boiling lower heat cover and cook for around seven to eight minutes. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and lemon juice. Mix well and serve hot.

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Thali Meal- 142

A Thali with Sattvik and non Sattvik food to celebrate friendship day..

In India, the first Sunday of August marks friendship day. Friends wish one another, go out for lunch or meet over coffee. Exchange of yellow roses and chocolates is also common.

Sattvik food are those preparations without the use of onion and garlic and are prepared on auspicious occasions and when one is fasting.

Food items which use whole spices, garlic and onion are enjoyed on all other days.

Here is a Thali which has a mix of both for all my friends.

On the platter are rice, dal, double beans hummanna, idli, chutney, pathrado, gulab jamoon, curds and mixed vegetable pickle, in the sattvik section. On the other side are double beans Saung, moong Sannakhotto, tomato omelette and chutney, slices of onion, vermicelli kheer, Andhra Avakai pickle and masala chaas.

Papad is common to both. It has been rolled and shaped into yellow roses which symbolise friendship.

Sharing the recipe links below.

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Pasta in white sauce.

An all time favourite with children and adults alike, this pasta in white sauce is extremely easy to make and ready in no time. See that you cook the pasta and chop the vegetables side by side to get it ready in just fifteen minutes.


200 gms pasta

Half of a red, yellow and green bell pepper cut into cubes

A small head of Broccoli

100 gms boiled sweet corn

1 large onion cut into petals

3 tbsps of garlic finely chopped

5 tbsps of butter

3 tbsps of maida/ all purpose flour

2 glasses/ 500 ml of milk

Pepper, salt, chilly flakes and mixed herbs as per taste.

4 tbsps grated cheese


1/2 tsp oil.


Boil two litres of water. Add a heaped tsp of salt and then drop the pasta into the boiling water. Always bring the water to a boil before adding pasta and use salt while cooking it so that it gets infused. Lower heat and keep boiling for around ten minutes. It is to be cooked al dente that is 85 percent cooked. It gets cooked in the sauce too later. Drain the water and immediately wash with cold water to stop further cooking. Drain thoroughly in a colander and drizzle with half a tsp of oil to prevent clumping. Toss and keep aside. Heat two tbsps of butter in a pan. Drop in the finely chopped garlic and roast to a golden yellow. Add the onions and toss for a couple of seconds. Drop in the cubed bell peppers, brocolli and the boiled sweet corn. Add salt and pepper and keep tossing on a high flame. The vegetables should cook but retain their crunch. Tip them into a plate. Heat the remaining butter in the same pan and add the maida to it. Roast on a very gentle flame for about two to three minutes till it loses its rawness. Drop in the milk and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Once it comes to a boil drop in the vegetables, the pasta and sprinkle the chilly flakes, mixed herbs and pepper. Check for salt. Do remember that you have added salt while cooking the pasta. Drop in the cheese.. Simmer for a minute or two and serve hot.

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