humble vangi bhath

vangi = brinjal

i like brinjal most in 3 forms – bengali begun bhaja or south indian podi; bagara baingan and vangi bhath
each of these dishes need brinjal of a different kind. of course, you can experiment, but if you ask my mother she would list down exactly what cut pieces must go with every dish she has ever prepared. i don’t think she would be able to digest for example beans sambhar made with beans very finely chopped 🙂

so, for vangi bhath, the ideal brinjal is long and green and the ideal cut is long slices

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This recipe serves 2

INGREDIENTS                              IMG_20140603_182241       
oil – 1 teaspoon
mustard – 1teaspoon
urad dal = 1/2 teaspoon
chana dal – 1teaspoon
curry leaves – 5-10leaves
green brinjal – 250gms sliced long
vangi bhath mix (ajji mane of course!)-3 tablespoon
cooked rice – 1&1/2 cup
salt & lemon juice – to taste


1. cook rice separetly & set it aside to cool
2. in a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, urad dal and chana dal and curry leaves in that order. let mustard seeds splutter and don’t let any ingredient burn. it takes less than 2minutes over all.
3. add salt to sliced brinjal and fry without covering on medium heat
4. add vangi bhath mix and turn off the flame in a minute
5. add cooked rice, salt and lemon juice. mix well and add a spoonfull of ghee before serving hot


my experiments here with replacing brinjal with capsicum & rice with dalia have turned out unexpectedly delicious 



ajja avalakki – quick flat poha snack

every summer, we spent most of our time at my ajja’s place (mom’s dad). it was a ritual, that most evenings – he would take out a large parath and make this evening snack for us all. we got snack plates and complete access to the prepared avalakki. and man did we eat!  our entire family knows it as ‘ajja-avalakki’

the preparation is very easy and very very quick. there is almost no cooking. in fact – i think i ll make myself some right after i am done writing now 🙂

this recipe serves 2

flat poha – 2 cups  IMG_6346
onion – 2 medium finely chopped
green chillies – 3-4 finely chopped
rasam powder- 2-3 tablespoon or to taste
(ajji mane only please – the flavours need to be mind blowing)
sugar – 1teaspoon
salt – to taste
coconut – 1/2 cup grated or to taste
lemon juice – 1teaspoon or to taste
for tempering
urad dal – 1teaspoon
mustard seeds – 1teaspoon
curry leaves – few


1. prepare tempering of mustard seeds,urad dal and curry leaves.
2. add this to flat uncooked poha, along with all the other ingredients
3. mix very well – ajja always mixes this with his hand..crushing the poha, coconut and onion in the process – infusing the juices into the dry flat poha.


for those who have a taste for it, please use coconut or peanut oil for beautiful flavors instead of vegetable oil. 
add coconut gratings adds the needed juicyness to balance the dryness of poha

empty pantry – potatoes in minutes

i frequently run out of stuff in my pantry..i have once run out of salt!  😀     thanks to my very dear neighbour Priyanka, i survived that meal
being married to a north indian, i usually always have onions, tomoatoes and potatoes…even some green chillies..
this potatoe sabzi/palya usually comes out when i can’t think of anything else….but my is it delicious!

I cherish it also it is my grand father – who is now 84 – taught us this dish. just like this flat poha snack preparation we lovingly call ajja-avalakki in our family

this recipe serves 2


oil – 2 tablespoons
onion – 2 medium sliced thin
potatoes – 2 medium sliced thin (unpeeled)
green chillies – 3 sliced length wise (this depends on how much you can take :))
lemon juice – 1 teaspoon
salt – to taste
mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
curry leaves – few & optional


1. heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. oncsliced-onione they crackle, add curry leaves.
2. add slit green chillies and onion
3. once onions turn pink, add potatoes and salt. i like adding a pinch of turmeric too
4. fry potatoes for about 4-5minutes. DSCF1406
5. cook covered, stirring occasionally.

6. use your spatula to sligthly pierce a potato slice to know if it is cooked.
7. once done, turn off the flame and squeeze some lime juice & gently mix.


once, before marriage, my flatmate and i prepared this dish….devoured it with hot rice ….and then prepared it ALL OVER AGAIN and polished more off 😀

coconut chutney

chutney is a preparation that can be made in at least a thousand ways with different inrgredients! everytime i ask mom to tell me a quick chutney for the day, she gives me the recipe to a different one…each absolutely delicious and usually simple

this coconut chutney goes very well for a breakfast preparation of akki rotti.


fresh coconut – 1 cup
green chillies – 2
coriander leaves – 3 sprigs
tamarind – little
salt – to taste
for tempering
urad dal – 1teaspoon
mustard seeds – 1teaspoon
curry leaves – few
whole red chillies – 3


1. grind coconut, green chillies, tamarind, coriander leaves and salt
2. pour out into a serving dish & temper with mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves


while south indian food is simple, please be generous with oil for tempering. results are yummy! how much chutney will you consume anyway 😉

left over rice? – make rotis!

akki rotti – as it is known in coorg, is a brilliant innovation in my opinion.
it can be made soft, like wheat rotis or thicker crisp and crunchy patted out by hand. in every form it tastes delicious. coorgs are known for their love for ‘akki-rotti and pandi curry’ or spicy pork curry. it can be had with chutney for breakfast or a spicy curry for brunch/lunch/dinner

mom & grand ma used to pat it out with their fingers…oh the lovely crispyness around their finger prints on the roti  make one of my most cherished memories  

Do take out the time to try this one out with any spicy curry or chutney that you like. here’s a chutney you may like




this recipe serves 2


cooked rice – 1cup (less will do too)
rice flour – as required
water – as required
salt – to taste
onion – 2 chopped finely
green chillies – 4 chopped finely or to taste
coriander leaves – handful


1. grind cooked rice with as little water as possible
2. knead with required amount of rice flour, salt and water to create a medium soft dough (resembling wheat dough) IMG_20140605_085435





3. add onion, green chllies and coriander and knead again just before cooking. onion tends to leave water when mixed with salt. the dough turns runny.

4. spread out thick foil/plastic sheet – or even better,banana leaf andIMG_20140605_085457 smooth some oil over the surface. pat a medium sized dough ball into a round shaped roti evenly, greesing your finger tips with oil occassionally.

5. heat up a pan (thick iron pans are the best) pour in some oil and tilt/stick the roti directly into it
6. cook one side before turning it over and cook if. pour some oil again so it doesn’t  stick to the pan.


cut the foil/banana leaf just slightly larger than the roti size you would be making. it helps when turning it over on the pan

5minutes to a pulav

This recipe comes directly from my mom. It’s an example of how simple and easy it can be, to cook a delicious dish in minutes. What’s more, the ingredients are thankfully minimal!

if you do try this recipe – hopefully today – please be sure to drop me a comment on this blog or msg or email.

The humble cooker is my mother’s best friend. We are rice eaters and till i got married, i did not even register the fact that rice could be cooked in anything except the cooker! It ensures speedy & definite cooking and every flavor is beautifully infused into the vegetable or rice. But using the cooker is optional.


This recipe serves 2

oil – 1 teaspoon
ghee – 1 teaspoon
ginger – 1 inch
whole black pepper – 1 & 1/2 teaspoon
onions – 2 sliced in length
tomatoes – 4 medium sliced in length (slightly thick)
rasam powder – 4 teaspoon (ajji mane rasam powder will usually have more fragerance and flavour here)
turmeric/haldi – 1/4th teaspoon
salt – 2 teaspoon or to taste
raw rice – 1 cup, soaked for 10 minutes if possible
water – 2 & 1/2 cups


1. in a cooker, fry ginger & ground pepper.
2. add onions and fry for 2 minutes.
3. add tomatoes & everything else (except water) & fry for 2 minutes.
4. Add water, cover the cooker & cook on medium heat till you hear the sweet sound of 2 whistles!


Don’t fry tomatoes separately, you need the juices.
Preparation time drops to 10mins if you add boiling hot water to cook

instead of all-water, you can add 1 cup of coconut milk (the kind you get in stores will do nicely) and 1 cup water. can you imagine how it adds to the wow! – factor 🙂