Top Food Blogs

Thursday, January 30, 2014


MAKARA SANKRANTI   is the Harvest festival of India. This is the day when sun makes transition from one zodiac sign to other.On this auspicious day of Hindus, the sun makes transition to Makara Rashi on its celestial path.

Celebrated differently in different parts of India.

I'm from  the state of Karnataka and let me tell you what we used to do as kids.I love this festival for SugarCanes!!!!. Bangalore Markets will be filled with varieties of  sugarcane(jolle kabbu) black skin- usually soft and my favourite,light red skin(rasthale).Its so nice to see the festive ambience in the markets,rite?:-) and those bundles of sugarcanes...hmmm.

 People go to market buy the sugarcanes and the person who sells will cut into pieces so you can carry home easily but I always wanted to get the long uncut ones to home:-):-).Love those golden days of life.

I used to get 4-5 jolle kabbus(long sugarcanes with leaves on top) 2 days before festival.On the festival day I used to cut them into pieces eat few pices:-) and keep the rest for the evening to share with friends.

Here comes the main part-Its evening!Its kids time!-usually girls.

Ellu Bella ,a mixture of sesame seeds,fried peanuts,dry coconut pieces,jaggery pieces ,roasted chana dal(the one u use for chutney) is packed in small covers along with sugarcandy(sakkare achchu).Love this delicious mix.

Kids wear their new dress, take a bag filled with 5-6 packets of ellu bella,sugarcane pieces,bananas,sometimes even small cute containers.They go to their friends and neighbours home ask for a plate  to keep each one of those items .Come back home to refill the bag and go again!they keep doing from evening till dinner time.Isn't it fun and so very nice to share some sweet moments with friends!


Makara Sankranti is incomplete without ellu bella in Karnataka.

This simple mixture of ingredients tastes so very delicious.Make this and share with your family and friends during sankranti/pongal festival .I also make during other festivals or vrat and share it with friends.

1 cup peanut
1 cup dry coconut pieces
1 cup roasted chana dal(hurigadale)
1 cup jaggery pieces
1/2 cup sesame seeds

Dry roast peanut ,peel off the skin and break it into halves(Dry roast peanut in a low flame for 10-15 min till its crisp and light golden color.Don't use high flame it makes the peanut black in 1-2 min)
Chop the dry coconut into small pieces
Cut the jaggery into small pieces
Light fry sesame seeeds
Add the roasted chana dal as is.

Lets mix this together and share .We say this in kannada ie,"Ellu Bella Thinni Olle Maathadi" which means "Have this sesame jaggery mixture and speak good/sweet".

You can also add sugar coated jeera or sugar coated fennel seeds if u like.It makes it colorful!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ven Pongal -Comfy food

 Comfy traditional meal!Who won't love it??

It can be for breakfast/lunch/dinner,love to have anytime of  the day.

In school days or even during college my mom used to pack it for lunch with chutney or sambar along with medu vada and I used to wait for my lunch break!!!:-).Its last period before the lunch break and used to curse the lecturer hahaha........golden days of life rite?.Remembering a hindi song-Dil hai chota sa,choti si aasha.

Sankranti/pongal festival is never complete without this recipe.You ask your neighbours and friends in South India..whats special for sankranti? everyone answers pongal......

Pongal is made for sankranti with newly harvested rice which tend to get mushy when cooked.Until and unless you have farm ,we have to add extra water to compensate.

Pongal is offered for God as Prasad and is served in many temples.Kote Venkataramana Swamy Temple (beautiful architecture) in Bangalore makes very yummy pongal prasad. If you give some amount,they will offer to God make nivedhyam and pack the rest for you.You have lot of options like puliyogre/curd rice and much more.Everything is tasty.

Remembering so many things from pongal!:-)

 I use rice cooker a lot! Instead of pressure cooking rice+dal I did that in rice cooker and it worked like a charm.Since I need to add extra water to make it mushy,litlle water came out, but my kitchen towel helped me.This was easier than assembling pressure cooker.Try it out!

Here is what you need

Rice........................1.5 cup
Moong Dal.............3/4 cup
ghee........................2 Tbspn
oil............................3 Tbspn
cumin seeds.............1 tspn
curry leaves.............2 string
ginger grated...........1 inch
whole black pepper..1 tspn
green chilly slit.........1
cashew pieces ........ 1 Tbspn
Avarekai(optional)..1/2 cup
(surti papdi lilva)
fresh/frozen grated coconut-1 Tbpsn

Here is what you need to do

Well cooked rice and dal+Tempering+ boil for few minutes-->Pongal

1)Fry the moong dal till light golden brown.It should not have dark/black spots.

2)Combine dal and rice,green chilly,avarekai..

3)Pressure cook it with 5 cups of water for 3 whistles.It should be very well cooked ie,soft and mushy

4) Heat ghee + oil in a pan.Once hot add cumin seeds after few seconds add roughly crushed whole pepper powder,curry leaves,ginger,cashews,coconut & the cooked rice dal.

5)Add salt ,mix well and let it boil for 5 min.


Never make pongal without its companion ie, gojju/gothsu.Great pair!

  click here for gojju recipe                       

Best Combination Meal

(click on the them for detailed recipes)

Pongal,Medu Vada,Sambar

Pongal gojju/gothsu


1)When u add pressure cooked rice and dal you can also add 1/2 cup hot water .I think mine was not so old rice and was very soft.

2)I used sonamasuri rice,you can also use raw rice.

3)Avarekai(surti papdi lilva) is optional but tastes really great.If it is not in season try to find it in frozen section.

Tamarind Mango Gojju

Love love love Gojju.Love them as much as I love chats!These are tangy sweet gravy which goes well with any meal-yup! u guessed it right,just like pickle:-)

Try this side dish with pongal and u will make this combo again and again.


Base masala is same as pineapple gojju which I posted earlier.


urad dal-11/2 Tbspn
white sesame seeds-1/2 Tbpn
Cumin seeds-1/2 tspn
Dry chillies-5-6
Dry coconut-1/2 cup
tamarind- lemon size
raw mango chopped-1 cup
turmeric- 1 pinch
jaggery-1 Tbspn.
Hing/asafetida-1 pinch
oil-1 Tbspn
mustard seeds-1/4 teaspoon
salt to taste
 Masala Paste
Dry roast separately urad dal,cumin,sesame seeds till golden brown.Roast dry red chillies with few drops of oil for few seconds.
Lets grind urad dal,cumin,dry coconut,dry chillies,seasame,turmeric,hing.Add little water and make a very smooth paste.
Mango paste
Puree raw mango till smooth


Heat oil in a pan,add mustard seeds,when it pops up add puree of raw mango.Fry for 2 min.
Squeeze out tamarind juice and add to it.
Add salt,jaggery and let it boil for 7 min.
Next add the grinded paste,adjust water and boil it for 6 min.
Refridgerate in air tight container for 4-5 days!Enjoy with your meals.
Even love it as side dish  for sambar rice click here for authentic sambar recipe
1)The mango I used was not so sour.It was  half ripe with sour and sweet taste to it,so I added more tamarind.If the mangos are very sour add very little tamarind and a little more jaggery.I got a ripe mango which was still green .You can also make it with ripe mango,just add more tamarind
2)You can also keep the  mango pieces and add it along with tempering.This is how I do usually but when I tried this variation everyone liked it!so try it out:-)

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Raw Tomato Chutney - simple & quick

Raw tomato(tomato kayi in kannada) makes delicious chutney.


My mom used to make this all the time for chapati/roti and thalipeet.Omg! I used to love it and end up having a lot of it.I could even have it all day..all week.Goes well with everything like rice,poori,roti,thalipeet.I usually add few drops of peanut oil to rice and mix with this chutney or sometimes even add tempering.

Here is the recipe of  quick tangy tomato chutney with very less ingredients.


Raw Tomato - 5-6
green chilly - 4
tamarind-1/2 tspn (optional,if the tomatoes are not so sour)
coriander leaves-1 Tbspn
jaggery - 1/2 tspn
salt to taste

Tempering(optional)-Heat 1 tspn oil in a pan.Add 1/4 tspn musard seed when it pops add a pinch of hing.Add this tempering on chutney and enjoy.


1)Cut the tomato lengthwise.Heat oil in a pan ,add the tomatoes,whole green chilly and fry them in medium flame for 8-10 min or till  all the rawness has gone and turned golden brown.Add coriander leaves with string(adds the taste)
2)Blend the above fried mixture with salt and jaggery .
3)Isn't it easy?Tastes delicious with chapati/roti,thalipeet or just with anything

Note:I got fresh tomatoes from the farm nearby and  it was sour enough to get tangy chutney.If the tomatoes aren't sour and you want tangy chutney  then add 1/2 tspn tamarind while blending.