February 28, 2017

Moong Paratha | Greengram Flat bread - (Protein rich Paratha)

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Moong(hindi) / Hessarakaalu (kannada)/Paccha payaru (tamil) belongs to the legume family rich in vitamins and proteins.

Moong is widely used in Indian cuisine in the form of gravies ,stir fries,salads. The dehusked version is the Moong Dhall/Paitham paruppu/Paasi paruppu  which is yellow in color used in preparation of Dals,kootu,sambar,payasam etc.
To know more about the nutritional value of the Moong bean you may refer to this information provided by Wikipedia  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean
 Though this is very high in nutrition many people donot relish this bean in any form for various reasons and people at my home also donot have it with much liking. So I invented this way of including it regular diet in the form of paratha and they were not able to identify what went into the paratha 😉. You can try to mask like this and feed it to your children and adults as well.
You can also check for other Roti/Parathas featured in this blog.

Preparation Time : 30 mins
Cooking Time : 30-40mins
Makes : 12-14 parathas
Complexity : Medium High

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 27, 2017

Kothamalli Thokku | Fresh Corriander Preserve

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Fresh Corriander leaves/Kothamalli is always a cook's favorite ingredient. The fresh garnish of these leaves enhances the flavor of any recipe that is being cooked.
Winter is the time when we get to see all the greens in abundance in the vegetable market,and often this kothamalli thokku would be made by mom during winters and it would last for a month or so depending on how much is being used.
This thokku can be used as a spread for bread,chapati,accompaniment for idli,dosa or mix it with steaming hot rice with a dash of ghee.
I personally like to have it with hot rice and roasted papad during lunch and also as a spread with bread and butter.
So now you all know ,what to do when you have a big bunch of corriander in your vegetable tray..Prepare this wonderful home made thokku with No Added Preservatives.

Preparation Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Complexity : medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 26, 2017

Murungakkai /Drumstick Sambar

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Murungakkai(Tamil)/Drumstick(English)/ is called botanically as Moringa oleifera where in Moringa is derived from the Tamil word 'Murungai' meaning a twisted pod.
Its high in nutritional value especially iron contents.The leaves "murunga elai" are also used in various cuisines just as we use spinach or methi .Known to combat malnutrition its used in infant foods and also nursing mothers.

Nuggekai huli , murungai sambar , murungakka sambar , drumstick sambar , murungakai kuzhambu , arachu vitta sambar , araichi vitta sambar ,

South Indian cuisine also makes use of Drumstick in various cuisines like sambar,avial,vethakolambu etc etc.

Today's recipe is a traditional Sambar using drumstick as the main vegetable. Have this sambar with plain rice or pongal or even as an accompaniment with idli or dosa as well.
Sambar and kootu are always a part of any main course South Indian meal. Click to know different variations in Sambar and Kootu.

Drumstick sambar with piping hot Ven Pongal is a super hit combination at our home.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves: 2-3
Complexity : Medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty© ,Nuggekai huli , murungai sambar , murungakka sambar , drumstick sambar , murungakai kuzhambu , arachu vitta sambar , araichi vitta sambar ,

February 24, 2017

Aloo Methi Mattar Sabji (No Onion No Garlic Version)

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A classic side dish to go as an accompaniment with rotis/naan/puris or even comforting piping hot dal chawal.
The wonderful taste and aroma of sauteed methi leaves with cumin seeds takes the entire dish to a whole new level.
People who dislike methi for its bitterness will start eating methi if you prepare this recipe.
As this does not have any kind of over powering masalas ,even the elderly people who refrain from masala based gravies due to age and digestion issues can enjoy this simple and humble sabji.

Again,this is a No Onion No Garlic recipe,so you can even make it for lunch/dinner get togethers during any kind of Pooja or Satsangs.

Over to the recipe.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : Medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 23, 2017

Jain Tawa Pulao

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I donot think Tawa Pulao needs any introduction.Its a very famous street food of Mumbai . The regular version of Tawa Pulao is already posted on this blog .You can check it here.

This is a customised version catering to the food lovers of the Jain Community or those who donot include onion/garlic as a part of their daily meals.

If someone wondered how a food would taste without the inclusion of onion or garlic or any root vegetables like potato,carrots,ginger,beetroot etc,then you all are mistaken my friends...I suggest you must make a visit to any restaurant or for that matter even a road side eatery in Mumbai  and you will be amazed to find Jain variation of every other item on the menu. Believe me dear ones its all without the compromise on taste and quality.
You can get Jain Lasagna,Jain Pizza,Jain Quesedillas,Jain Falafels,Jain Fried Rice,Jain Hakka Noodles and the list is endless..
All my Non Jain friends and readers do try this out and I am sure you just won't be dissappointed .

Preparation Time : 10mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity Medium.

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 22, 2017

Kadamba Saadham (Iyengar special) / Kovil Kadhamba Saadham - Temple style Sambar rice

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Iyengars are a sect of the Brahmin Community who follow the Vaishnava Tradition i.e. followers of Lord Vishnu and his incarnations commonly referred to as Perumal.

Kadamba Saadham (Kadamba/Kadhambam means Mixed and Saadham means Rice ) loosely translated as Mixed Rice. This is a delicacy primarily from the Iyengar Kitchen offered as prasadam to Perumal.

There is always a misunderstanding that Kadamba Saadham is more or less same as Bisi Bele Baath or Sambar Saadham but the answer is NO.

Authentic Iyengar Kadamaba Saadham,Perumal Kovil Kadamba Saadham,Kadamba Saadham,Brahmin Style Kadamba Saadham, Kovil Kadhambam ,Kadhamba Saadham

Kadamaba Saadham is made using all native vegetables like Broad Beans,Raw Banana,Ash Gourd(white pumpkin),Clustered beans,Brinjals and DEVOID of Onion,garlic,corriander leaves,Garam Masalas like cinnamon,cloves,elaichi etc.

In temples they avoid using potatoes and carrots as well,but in today's recipe I have included them as all the native vegetables are not relished by my family. Also , this is very much vegan as til oil (Sesame oil) is used for  sauteing and tempering .

We can add boiled kabuli channa /kondakadalai/chick peas ,Karamani/Lobia  , Black Channa and Peanuts too .

Authentic Iyengar Kadamaba Saadham,Perumal Kovil Kadamba Saadham,Kadamba Saadham,Brahmin Style Kadamba Saadham, Kovil Kadhambam ,Kadhamba Saadham

I have seen variations where in even paruppu urundais are added to this kadamba saadham.I have not tried that so far hence I am not including that in this recipe.
As it makes use of native vegetables ,even Jains can make and relish this south indian main course.

The highlight of this recipe, is the addition of fried sun dried turkey berries/sundakkai  as garnish . 

Jain Version : Make use of vegetables like White Pumpkin,Broad Beans(Sem ki fali),Clusterd Beans(Gavaar),Raw Banana (Kaccha Kela),Surti Lilva,Lobia.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 40-45 mins
Serves  : 4-5 people generously
Complexity: Medium

1.5 cups rice (1 cup =200-220 grams)
1/2 cup thoor dhall
Mixed vegetables cut in cubes
(this recipe uses : 1 potato,2 small carrots, 150 gms white pumpkin,50 gms beans)
1/2 cup boiled lobia
1/2 cup boiled avarekaalu/mochakottai/peas
Handful of soaked groundnuts 
few curry leaves
2-3 tablespoon gingely/til/nallennai/sesame oil (distributed use)
2 tsp ghee (optional) 
1/2 tsp turmeric
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
2 cups tamarind extract (soak lemon sized tamarind in hot water and extract the juice from the pulp and filter it)
2 -3 tsp jaggery powdered
Handful of sundakkai/turkey berries - fried 

to grind
1/2 tsp methi seeds
2 tsp udad dhall
2 tsp channa dhall
1 tablespoon dhania /corriander seeds
4-5 dry red chillies
1 tsp pepper corns
few curry leaves
3 tablespoon fresh grated coconut


  • Pressure cook the rice and dhall together with haldi until its soft and mushy.
  • Mash the rice and dhall well by adding some ghee and 1 tblspoon gingelly oil until it is mushy well and keep aside. You may add some hot water  if you find it tough to mash.
  • In a kadai,heat about a tsp of oil, and roast all the ingredients under the "to grind" section in the same order as mentioned until the dhals turn slightly golden brown and the other ingredients turn crisp.
  • Cool and grind into a semi fine powder and keep aside.
  • In a big vessel,heat some gingely oil,temper mustard seeds,curry leaves and add all the vegetables,saute well,add turmeric ,salt and about 1 cup water and let the vegetables cook until its half done.
  • Now,add the tamarind extract,jaggery,2 cups of water and bring it to a rolling boil till the raw flavor of tamarind is lost.
  • Add the boiled lobia,groundnuts, peas and mochakottai at this stage.
  • Add the ground masala powder,adjust the salt ,put in the mashed rice and dhall well so that its all mixed well without any lumps ,add about half cup water if its too thick and cook covered for 3-4 minutes.
  • Turn off the stove, add the fried turkey berries/sundakkai and drizzle some raw gingelly oil . serve hot with fried papads or vadams.
Photos and write up have been updated as part of Redoing the old post activity . The post was originally published on 2017 and now has been given a face-lift (2 Jun 2023)  by adding some bright and new set of pictures and some extra information. The recipe (ingredients +method) remains unchanged

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Authentic Iyengar Kadamaba Saadham,Perumal Kovil Kadamba Saadham,Kadamba Saadham,Brahmin Style Kadamba Saadham, Kovil Kadhambam ,Kadhamba Saadham

February 21, 2017

Roasted Almond Chocolates

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Chocolate is absolutely irresistable. There hardly shall  be a person who dislikes chocolates. Seeing a chocolate the child in us comes out and we forget our surroundings and happily enjoy the chocolate journey.
As kids we have had our favourite chocolate brands like Cadbury's Dairy Milk, Five star,Nestle Milkybar,Nutties,Fruit and Nut and the list is just endless.
My favourite has always been The Fruit n Nut from Cadbury's. I would just wait to bite onto the roasted almonds infused in the chocolate bar and it would be such a wonderful taste to feel the roasted almond and the melting chocolate ...aaaha...pure bliss !!!
Well,today's chocolate is loaded with roasted almonds and with every bite you can feel the flavor of the crunchy almonds.
You can make these chocolates and store them ahead of children's birthday parties or any get togethers. They definately taste better than the store bought ones, fresh and eggless as well.

Linking this to the Kid's delight event of  Valli  ;
Event guest hosted by Sizzling Tastebuds : Kids Delight - Chocolate dishes theme

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

This recipe has step by step instructions for chocolate making at home making it a breeze even for beginners .

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : nil
Makes : 12- 15 chocolates
Complexity : Medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 18, 2017

Aloo Paratha | Stuffed Potato Flat Bread

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Aloo Paratha just does not need any formal introduction . Its an absolute favorite from toddlers to elders. It falls into the category of recipes that go by the saying " No one can eat just one".

As much as everyone likes to eat aloo paratha,the process to make it is slightly complicated .The art of packing the filling into the rolled out dough and further rolling it into a paratha is what we need to master; and once you get a hold then making aloo parathas is just a breeze.
It took me also many trials and experiments before I can present this less messy method  here today. 

The key to getting the best taste of the paratha is that  the stuffing needs to spread evenly while rolling . With each bite of the paratha  we must feel the potato stuffing in the mouth.
I will try to give you  the best and less complicated way to make your favorite aloo parathas.

Preparation Time : 30 - 40 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 8-9 parathas
Complexity : High

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 17, 2017

Baafela Dudhi/Lauki Na Mutiya | Steamed Bottlegourd dumplings

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Muthiya is a famous tea time snack from the land of food lovers..yes you guessed it right !! GUJARAT  !! 

Muthiya is a traditional snack made using vegetables like doodhi/lauki/bottle gourd,cabbage, methi/fenugreek leaves ,palak/spinach .Muthiyas are either steamed or deep fried. The deep fried ones are very tasty while the steamed ones are a healthy option and will be a guilt free indulgence. 

The deep fried muthiyas have a longer shelf life and can be used in various gravies like undhiya or tamatar muthiya nu saak etc. The steamed ones are a good choice for starters or tea time snack with green chutney and sauce.

There is not much complexity involved in making these yummy snacks and can be put together in less than 30 mins. You can easily prepare a huge batch ahead of any get togethers and just warm them up before serving.

Pro Tip
While making Dudhi muthiyas we have to remember that Bottlegourd/dudhi is a water vegetable and has high water content,hence we donot need to add extra water while kneading the dough .

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 25 min ( Steaming - 20 mins | Shallow frying - 5 mins )
Serves : 3-4 people (Makes about 20-30 muthiyas)
Complexity : Medium

Muthiya is a traditional snack made using vegetables like doodhi/lauki/bottle gourd,cabbage, methi/fenugreek leaves ,palak/spinach .Muthiyas are either steamed or deep fried. The deep fried ones are very tasty while the steamed ones are a healthy option and will be a guilt free indulgence.

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February 16, 2017

Avarekaalu Kootu | Mochakottai Kootu | Surti Papdi Gravy

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Avarekaalu (Kannada) / Mochakottai (Tamil) /Surti Papdi -Lilva (Hindi/Gujrati) is a winter vegetable and is available in plenty in the markets. Fresh and green its very very tempting to buy.

Every year during this season there is an Avarekaalu Mela hosted in Bangalore,Karntaka wherein recipes using this beans are show cased extensively and innovatively.

Traditionally it is used in Upma/Uppitu,Nippatu(flat disc fried snack),Saaru(rasam),Akki Roti(flat bread made of rice),Huli/Sambar,Sagu (mix veg gravy),Kootu ,Pulao .
People in Karnataka buy this in Kgs and very patiently de pod them and relish them.Click here to  know more about the Avarekaalu Mela 

The Gujratis and Maharashtrians also use this widely in their cuisine,Undhiyo being the most popular one in Gujarat.

I personally love these beans and use it extensively in my cooking in the winter season. My favorite being Avarekaalu Upma and Akki Roti.

Today's recipe is a typical south indian gravy which is made frequently at my home using various vegetables in different combinations. In this particular recipe I have used avarekaalu,potato and carrot.
Mix the kootu with steamed rice and spoon of ghee and have it with some crunchy appalam/papads or vadams/fryums...I am sure you will be transported to a different world of taste !!!

Preparation Time : 10mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity : Medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 15, 2017

Aloo Poha | Batata Poha | Avlakki

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Aloo Poha is a very common breakfast item in most homes. Its very easy and gets done in less than 15 mins.

Very ideal to prepare in case we have sudden guests or running out of time to prepare breakfast.Kids also like this because of the favourite ingredient ALOO.

Can be packed for lunch box as well.Its almost as good as a full meal due to the carbohydrate contents present in poha as well as potatoes.

**photos updated on 16/10/21

The technique to measure the right quantity of poha to be used : 2 fistfulls of poha is sufficient for one person.

[fistfull {muttibhar-hindi}/{kaypidi-tamil}]

Example : If making breakfast for 3 people ,we can use 6 to 7 fistfulls of poha .

Preparation Time : 10 min
Cooking Time : 10-15 mins
Complexity : Simple
Serves : 2-3


5-6 fistfull Poha (thick variety - Jaada Poha - Getti Aval)
1 medium sized potato .
2-3 green chillies -slit
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon jeera
1 tablespoon groundnuts
few curryleaves
2-3 teaspoons lime juice
fresh corriander chopped
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil.
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric
pinch of asafoetida/hing
2 tbsp fresh coconut 


  • Peel and dice the potatoes into small cubes. Boil it with a little salt and keep it ready.
  • Wash the poha in a colander till all the dust and husk is removed and leave it in the colander.
    • (If the poha is too thick ,you can sprinkle some water so that it gets softened)
  • In a kadai /wok,heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds,add the groundnuts and let it fry for a min.
  • Add the jeera,hing,slit green chillies,curryleaves ,haldi powder and the boiled potatoes and saute for a minute.
  • Now add the poha,salt and toss it well till the turmeric coats the poha well.
  • close the lid and cook for about 5 mins on medium flame.
  • Open and mix it well,add the lime juice,sugar ,chopped corriander and mix well and close the lid for 1-2 min. Turn off the stove.
  • Garnish with fresh coconut before serving. 
  • Mix well and serve hot with a cup of Masala Chaai or Fresh Filter Coffee.
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February 14, 2017

Kovil Ven Pongal | Khara Pongal | South Indian Khichdi

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A very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.

Venpongal or pongal as it is usually called is a soft and mildly spiced breakfast item prepared using lentil and rice mixture . Split yellow lentil (moong dhall) and rice and well cooked until soft and then seasoned with cumin, ginger, curry leaves, pepper and roasted cashews in fresh ghee (clarified butter).

Pongal is a delicacy which is served in temples of South India on special festive days after offering it to God .

Just as I mentioned about the Kovil(temple) Thayir Saadham ,this pongal also has a very unique and a delectable taste when served as prasadam in temple.

very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.

Especially during the auspicious month of Margazhi [Dec 14 - Jan 14] (Maargashira/Dhanur Month) almost all temples serve this Pongal piping hot soon after offering it to the Lord early in the morning. It requires no accompaniment like chutney or sambar just the aroma of pure ghee makes it very very tasty and satisfies your tastebuds craving for some more.Ofcourse you cannot ask for more since its Prasadam. Why worry??make it at home and enjoy !!

Many families have the tradition of preparing Venpongal as well as Sakkara Pongal in heavy bronze pots on the eve on Makara Sankrant or Thai Pongal which invariably falls on jan 14 or 15 every year .Makar Sankranti is the Harvest festival as well as thanks giving time in India.  The Farmers thank the nature especially The Sun which bestows them with favorable conditions through the year to produce good yield. 

Making Pongal at home is very simple. Involves only 2 steps : cooking the dal and rice together and then seasoing it with cumin(jeera),pepper(milagu),ginger,curry leaves  and cashews roasted in ghee.
The secret to getting the perfect gooey pongal is to cook the dhall and rice until it is soft and mushy ..the lentil  rice mixture has to be mashed well such that the rice or lentil doesn't stand out separately. 

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : Easy


1.5 cups rice ( 1 cup approx is 200-220 gms)
1/2 cup moong dhall
2 tsp pepper corns
2 tsp jeera /milagu/cumin
2 tsp ginger finely chopped
1 tsp pepper powder
15-20 curryleaves / kadipatha / karvepillai
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
15-20 cashews (chopped / cut into halves)
3 tablespoon ghee (distributed use)


©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
  • In a big vessel,take the rice and dhall and wash it well.
  • Add the pepper corns,jeera,curryleaves,ginger ,salt and add about 7 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles and let the pressure release naturally.
  • Meanwhile prepare the seasoning by roasting cashewnuts in about 1/2 tablespoon of ghee and add asafoetida and pepper powder to this seasoning.
  • Mash the cooked dhall rice well using the back of a spoon. add some water incase you find it difficult to mash.
  • Add the remain ghee,seasoning and mix well. Do this when the rice is still hot. It helps in the ghee penetrating well into the rice and dhall.
  • Serve hot with coconut chutney / tomato chutney / sambar of your choice. Can also be had with plain curd.
Tips :
  • Mash the rice and dhall soon after you take it out from the cooker. Its easier to mash when it is hot.
  • Adding pepper powder to hot ghee gives out a wonderful aroma and flavor .
  • Donot worry if you feel the pongal is watery,it will soak up all the water and become a lumpy mass in sometime.
  • Incase you are going to consume pongal a little later,keep it slightly water,so that it doesnt get too hard by the time you are ready to eat.
  • Use warm water to loosen the pongal if you need to do it.
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very simple yet a flavorful dish,Ven Pongal also known as Uppu Pongal / Khara Pongal is one of the prominent breakfast items along side idli ,dosa,medhu vada etc in South India.

February 13, 2017

Thakkali / Tomato Chutney (No Onion No Garlic version)

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Tomato Chutney is a spicy tangy chutney/dip made out of ripe tomatoes .

A perfect accompaniment for any south indian breakfast or even curd rice. You can pair this chutney with theplas or parathas and will be ideal for packing in lunch boxes .

A good alternative to coconut chutney when you have run out of fresh coconut or want to reduce the usage of coconut due to health reasons. 

There are various ways in which we can prepare tomato chutney,this is a No Onion No garlic version of preparation.

Don't miss to try out some flavorful Phalli Chutney (groundnut chutney) which is also a coconut less chutney from Andhra Pradesh published on my blog.

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity: Simple


3-4 medium ripe tomatoes
2-3 green chillies
small piece of ginger (skip for jain version)
few curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida
pinch of turmeric
salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp oil
1 tsp jaggery powder 

To temper /Thadka
1 tsp oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 
1/2 tsp channa dhall
1/2 tsp udad dhall


  • Roughly chop the tomatoes.
  • In a kadai,heat oil and temper the mustard seeds.
  • Add the green chillies,ginger,curry leaves,asafoetida,haldi and saute well.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and saute well till the tomatoes become mushy and cooked well.
  • Let the tomatoes cool ,add jaggery,salt and grind it well into chutney consistency.
  • Prepare a tempering using mustard ,channa dhal,udad dhall and pour it over the chutney. 
  • Relish it with idlis, dosas or chilled curd rice. Goes well with upma and pongal too.

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

Methi Puri | Methi Poori

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Poori /Puri is a deep fried  Indian flat Bread made from whole wheat flour. Methi Puri is made by kneading the whole wheat flour with finely chopped methi/fenugreek leaves with some spices and salt.
Winter is a very good time to consume fenugreek /methi because it is available abundantly and helps increase immunity and produces body heat naturally to combat the harsh winters.

Preparation Time : 15-20 min
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 3-4 (Makes about 20 puris)
Complexity : Medium High

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

February 10, 2017

Capsicum Baath / Capsicum Rice

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Capsicum Rice / Capsicum Baath is a very flavourful ,colorful and easy recipe to make if you have the Baath Masala ready with you as well as cooked rice. 

One can make it on one of the days when you are in no mood for cooking an elaborate meal or want to rustle up something quick and wholesome. 
Pair it with ginger raita/Inji Pachadi ,fried papads/fryums and curd rice ,makes up for a sumptuous lunch/ dinner by itself. Capsicum Rice makes a perfect lunch box or potluck choice. 

If you are enjoying a wedding celebration in Bangalore or Karnataka, then you surely will be treated to some delicious capsicum Baath as part of wedding feast q

Click here for the recipe for Baath Masala.

You can make use of this masala powder to make Mix vegetable baath,Vaangi Baath (Brinjal Baath) ,Menthya Baath (Fenugreek Rice) etc.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 25 min
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : Medium

Jain Version :  Skip groundnuts/peanuts totally and follow the recipe as is .


1 cup rice (200 - 220 gms approx) - I use the sona masuri (thin rice)
2 medium sized capscium - cut length wise
1-2 tablespoon groundnuts
1/2 cup fresh /frozen peas
2 table spoon Baath Masala
2 tsp mustard seeds
10-12 curry leaves
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp haldi powder
salt to taste
3 tablespoon of oil ( distributed usage)


©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

  • Pressure cook the rice with water in the ratio of 1:2 so that the rice is grainy and separate. It should not be mushy . 
  • Tip :You may adjust the water as per the age of your rice. Basmati rice doesnt gel well for this south indian masala rice.
  • Once the rice is cooked carefully spread it on a plate for it to cool down. Drizzle some oil over the rice.
  • In a kadai , heat about 2 tablespoon of oil ,splutter the mustard seeds,groundnuts,curry leaves,dry red chillies,asafoetida and haldi.
  • Add the chopped capsicum and peas and saute well.Add salt at this stage.
  • Add the masala powder and saute it  till the masala coats well .Sprinkle some water and close a lid.
  • Keep stirring at intervals to ensure the masala doesnt get burnt. If you feel the mixture is too dry you can sprinkle some water.
  • In about 10 mins the capsicum and peas get cooked well and the entire masala feels like a semi gravy.
  • At this stage add about 1 teaspoon oil and mix well.
  • If you feel the spice/salt is less,adjust by adding the masala powder /salt accordingly and turn off the stove.
  • Carefully take the cooked rice and add it to this kadai and mix it well without breaking the rice..The masala should coat every single grain of rice. 
  • Let it rest for about 5 - 10 minutes for the flavours to sink in .
  • Serve it with some raita and fried papads/ fryums/vadams.



©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

2 table spoon dhaniya /corriander seeds
1 table spoon udad dhall / ulutham paruppu / black gram 
1 table spoon channa dhall /kadalai paruppu/bengal gram 
8-10 dry red chillies ( paandi / gunturu - mildly spiced)
7-8    dry red chillies ( byadgi - less spice only for color)
handful of curry leaves
2-3 cloves/lavang
small stick cinnamon/dalchini/pattai
1 tsp jeera/cumin
1/2 tsp methi/fenugreek/menthayam
pinch of asafoetida 
1/2 tsp haldi powder


©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
  • In a kadai,heat  1/2 tsp  oil, add the methi seeds.Let it splutter till it gives out a nice aroma.
  • Add the jeera,cinnamon,cloves and saute well till the jeera becomes crisp.
  • Add the curry leaves and the dhalls and saute till the dhalls turn golden brown.
  • Saute the corriander seeds and red chillies until they become crisp.
  • Turn off the stove,add the asafoetida,haldi and let the dry masalas cool for about 5-10 mins
  • Grind it into a fine powder in a mixer-grinder into a semi fine powder.
  • Store in an airtight container and use a dry spoon always.

February 09, 2017

Aloo Tamatar sabji | Potato Tomato Gravy | आलू टमाटर सब्जी (Easy cooker method)

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Aloo Tamatar Sabji  is very simple to put together and makes for a perfect meal . Pairs well with rotis,puris and even simple veg pulao or Peas Pulao

One can hardly go wrong with this recipe.  Potatoes and tomatoes are the most versatile and staple ingredients used in Indian cuisine and they are very easy to handle.  For me at home,I always ensure that there is enough stock of potatoes, tomatoes, green chillies and corriander at home . With just these 4 main ingredients you can create magic in your kitchen.

easy aloo tomato gravy,pressure cooker potato gravy,quick aloo tamatar sabji,easy alu tamatar gravy,potato tomato gravy

This particular recipe is made in cooker in one shot with very basic and minimal spices .
Hardly takes 20 mins and you will have a delicious curry to serve . If you are expecting guests at a very short notice this one definitely come to your rescue.

Guests or no guests, I make this delicious curry very frequently at home . At home,it is mostly paired with either rotis or puris .  

Aloo tamatar sabji is made sans onion and garlic hence making it a perfect choice to make and serve as prasad on special days or Vrat days and not to forget ,this recipe is Vegan friendly. You can even pack this for lunch box for office /school .

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Few days back,I had prepared this delicious Aloo tomato curry and served it with fluffy Puris and Gulkand Shrikand

I took this opportunity of shooting some good photos and updating my post (17 june 2023) which was originally published in September 2017 . 

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Preparation Time : 5mins
Cooking time: 20mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity: Simple


3-4 medium sized potatoes
3 medium sized tomatoes
1-2 green chilles slit
1 tsp grated ginger / ginger paste.
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala powder
few curry leaves
1 tsp cumin/jeera
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste
2-3 tsp oil
chopped fresh corriander.

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

  • Heat the oil in the pressure cooker / pressure pan.
  • Splutter the mustard, jeera,curry leaves,green chillies,ginger/ginger  paste and saute well.
  • Add the haldi,chilli powder and tomatoes and saute well.
  • To this add the potatoes and stir well ,add 1 cup water ,salt and close the lid.
  • Pressure cook on medium flame for 2 whistles and let the pressure release naturally.
  • Open the lid,mash the potatoes and mix well.
  • Garnish with fresh corriander and serve with rotis,puris or even dal and rice.

February 08, 2017

Veg Pulav / Mix Veg Pulao

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Veg Pulav is by and large everyone's favorite including children since it is very mild and doesn't have any over powering masalas / spices.

This particular version of veg pulav is very close to my heart as I have a lot of childhood memories associated with it.Being a very picky/fussy eater as a kid,my mom would make this quite often so that vegetables get incorporated.

My close friend 'D' has always been a great fan of this Pulav and she would always be there with me to indulge into.
If she was unable to make it for lunch or dinner when Pulav was on the menu at my place my mom would make sure it reaches her without fail. This post is dedicated to her --An ardent Veg Pulav Lover :- ) .. D this one's for you.

Loaded with vegetables it makes a complete meal by itself and can be paired with any simple raita or even plain curd/yogurt. Dal Tadka or gujurati kadi is an amazing accompaniment to this simple yet flavorful pulao .

Preparation Time : 15 min
Cooking Time : 15-20 mins
Serves : 2
Complexity : Simple

No Onion No Garlic Version : Use only ginger paste / chopped ginger / grated ginger


1 cup rice (preferably basmati rice ) - 220 gms approx
ghee / clarified butter - 2 tbsp
1 tbsp cumin /jeera seeds
1 bay leaf / tejpatta
1 stick cinnamon
2-3 cardamom /elaichi
1-2 cloves/lavang
1 tsp ginger garlic paste or ginger paste
Pinch of turmeric (optional)
2-3 green chillies slit
Mixed vegetables cut lengthwise or as cubes ( Potato,carrots,beans,peas,cauliflower florets)
Salt as per taste

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©


  • Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins and then drain it using a colander.
  • Heat the ghee in a pressure cooker.
  • Add the cumin seeds and let it crackle.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste ,cinnamon,cardamom,cloves and saute well.
  • Add the vegetables ,salt,turmeric powder (if using) and saute well.
  • Now add the washed and drained rice to this with 2 measures of water. 
  • Close the lid and allow the rice to cook for about 12-15 mins on low flame until all the water is absorbed [OR] pressure cook for 2 whistle on medium flame.
  • Allow the rice to set for about 10 -15 mins and then fluff it with a fork.
  • Garnish with corriander leaves.Serve hot with any kind of  gravy or raita
  • Cashewnuts roasted in ghee can also be used as garnish with coriander.

Kovil Thayir Saadham|Temple Style Curd Rice|Dhadhiyodhannam

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Thayir Saadham/Curd Rice / Dahi Chawal is a comfort food at any given point in time. During scorching summer heat ,a bowl of chilled curd rice with a dash of lemon or mango pickle is a bliss to our digestive system.

For those of you who have visited the South Indian Temples (Kovil) either in South India or Temples managed by South Indians ,Curd rice served as Prasad is very heavenly and unique in taste.
Each temple has a different style of making it ,but the end product is simply mind blowing.

 Curd Rice is also known as Bahala Baath /Bagaala Baath ,Dhadhiyodhanam,Daddhojannam.

Jain Version : Skip the ginger and follow the recipe as is

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 25 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : Simple


1 cup rice - 200 grams (donot use flavored rice like basmati or gobindo bhog rice).
1.5 cups boiled milk
2 cups thick curd
2 cups water
ginger finely grated
fresh corriander finely chopped
Oil to temper
To Temper
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dhall
1/2 tsp channa dhall
2-3 green chillies slit or finely chopped
few curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida/hing


    ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
  • Pressure cook the rice with 3.5 cups of water until soft for 3 whistles on medium flame,
  • Once the pressure is released,open the lid carefully and mash the rice nicely using the bac of your ladle. The rice should be mashed really well ..must resemble the texture of a porridge I.e. mushy and gooey .
  • Add the milk and mix well and let it cool for a while. Using milk prevents the curd rice from getting lumpy and stiff .
  • Meanwhile prepare the tempering  in 2 tsp oil using the ingredients mentioned in the To Temper list.
  • Once the rice is cooled,add the curd,water,salt ,chopped ginger,corriander and the tempering and mix well. Never use watered down curd or yogurt . I prefer to use curd that has been set at home with atleast 2% fat milk . 
  • If it feels too thick and difficult to mix you can add a little more milk and loosen it. 
  • Mix well and offer to the lord as prasad /neivedhiyam.
  • Tomato chutney, Mango Thokku , lemon pickle or simple potato roast curry are fantastic combinations for this heavenly delicious curd rice. 
Notes :
  • Some temples dont make use of ginger and green chillies ,instead use dry red chillies. You can also add dry red chillies if you wish.
  • Grated carrots,cucumber and pomogranate pearls also can be used for garnish. This wont be authentic temple style in that case.
  • Please donot use ghee for the tempering. 

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February 07, 2017

Inji Karvepillai Thogayal | Ginger Curryleaves Chutney (Relish)

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Ginger as well as curryleaves are widely used in many forms in the Indian Kitchens and South Indian kitchens are no exception. No meal is complete without the addition of these two in any recipe. 

Inji Karvepillai thogayal is very commonly prepared in most tambrahm homes atleast once a week . Normally the thogayals are paired with a simple maincourse like Morkuzhambu or vetha kuzhambu and some roasted papads and a simple coconut based vegetable stir fry

Inji Karvepillai thogayal is also prepared during Amavasya and Dwadasi Cooking . 

As curry leaves and ginger are very beneficial for proper digestion ,overall health and immunity normally we make it when there is a lavish spread like festivals or functions.  I enjoy this Karvepillai thogayal with chilled curd rice.  It is so very satisfying to end the meal with a refreshing after taste lingering around the taste buds .

In addition to mixing it with hot rice and ghee as part of the main course meal, you can also enjoy the thogayal with chapati,dosas and puris as well

Preparation Time : 5-10 mins
Cooking Time : 5 mins
Complexity : simple
Serves : 2-3 people


handful of curry leaves ( 2 -3 sprigs /20-30 leaves) - wash and pat dry with a kitchen towel.
1 inch piece of ginger (peel the skin)
2-3 tbsp grated coconut
4-5 tsp udad dhall
1 tsp pepper corns
3-4 dry red chillies
small piece of tamarind
1/2 tsp asafoetida/hing
100ml water for grinding.
salt to taste


©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
  • In a small kadai/pan,heat oil and roast the udad dhall till you get a nice aroma and the dal starts turning a little brown.
  • Add the pepper corns and curry leaves at this stage and roast well.
  • Add the red chillies and roast for a minute or so .
  • Next add the asafoetida,tamarind  and turn off the heat. Let it cool for a few mins.
  • Add all the roasted ingredients along with the coconut,salt and chopped ginger ,100ml water and grind it coarsely and not very smooth like chutney.
  • Adjust the water if you find it difficult to grind.
  • Thuvayal/Thogayal as such is a little thick in consistency but if you want it to be a little loose/runny you can add some warm water and adjust the consistency. Donot add too much water as the flavor and texture of the thogayal will be reduced when diluted.

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This post was first published in 2017 and I recently  updated this post in August 2022 with fresh photos and write up linking to various other recipes.  Thanks to Renu for forming the Facebook group redoing old posts which is a very nice initiative to revive and activate old posts.

February 06, 2017

Thakkali/Tomato Rasam | South Indian Tomato Soup

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Rasam (Tamil),Saaru (Kannada) ,Chaaru (Telugu) is always a part of the main course meal served soon after Sambar Rice and just before Curd rice .It can also be sipped as an appetiser as well.

The Iyengars call this as SaatruAmudhu / SaathuAmudhu literally meaning Nectar to Rice (Amudhu - Nectar and Saatru/Saatham - Rice)

In Tamil Rasam actually means "The Juice". Juice can mean anything,but rasam is now synonymous to the soup prepared with Tamarind juice or Tomato juice as the base or even a combination of the two in set proportion. along with a spice powder (Rasam Powder) made of cumin (jeera),pepper(milagu),red chillies,corriander seeds(dhaniya) and turmeric.

This Rasam Powder can be made in advance and stored in air tight container and used as and when required. Click here for recipe of the rasam powder

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15 mins
Serves : 2-3 generously
Complexity : medium

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

Urulaikizhangu Curry / Batatachi Bhaaji/ Potato Roast Curry

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Potato/Aloo /Batata/Urulaikizhangu...the name itself is so special and mouthwatering. A versatile vegetable and everyone's favorite from kids to adults.

Here is a simple yet yummy stir fry to go well with any south indian or north Indian main course .Pairs well with  Maharashtrian delicacy Varan Bhaat , South Indian main course like sambar or kootu or tamarind based gravy like vethakolambu or milagu kuzhambu  and
an awesome side dish for the ever comforting Rasam rice or Curd Rice.

Roti ,Dal and Potato curry is an eternal favorite in our family. 

Batatachi bhaaji and varan bhaat is a staple combination in a Maharashtrian household. 

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Complexity : simple
Serves : 2-3


2-3 medium sized potatoes
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
Few curry leaves/kadipatha/karvepillai
Pinch of asafoetida
Salt to taste

  • Peel and cut the potatoes in small cubes and soak them in water until you are ready to cook 
    • .Soaking the potatoes in water prevents it from turning black and also helps in cooking easily.
  • In a kadai/ wok heat some oil and splutter the mustard seeds,udad dhall and chana dhall.
  • Add in the curry leaves,asafoetida,haldi and the diced potatoes after draining the water and saute well.
  • Add in the salt and chilli powder and toss again.
  • Sprinkle some water and cook with lid covered. 
  • Open the lid and saute  at regular intervals to prevent the potatoes from burning .
  • Sprinkle some water if you feel the potatoes are still uncooked .
  • If you take a piece of potato and press in between your fingers it should mash easily. This is the test to check if the potatoes are cooked.
  • Continue to cook on low flame till the potatoes are evenly roasted and become slightly crunchy and crisp. Keep tossing at intervals to prevent the potatoes from burning.
  • Turn off the stove and garnish with fresh corriander and serve it for lunch,