Chakuli Pitha


When I started compiling the list of dosais, I knew it would have a Southern region bias because dosais are such a staple in these parts. I knew I would get some similar dishes from Western parts like Maharashtra or Gujarat but I honestly did not expect to travel east in my dosai exploration. Today’s dish is from the land of Lord Jagannatha – Orissa. It always amazes me how the same dish is interpreted in different ways in different parts of the world and clearly the dosai has travelled all  over the country, if not the world.

The Chakuli Pitha is quite similar to dosai but it differs mainly in the proportion of its ingredients. While most dosais are made with a higher ratio of rice to lentils, the chakuli pitha is made with a near equal amount of both ingredients. That makes the dish healthier thanks to the presence of skinless black lentil / urad dal which is apparently very essential for the health of women and girls. And if it is served in such a delicious format, what can possibly be an excuse to avoid it? Also the pitha is usually thicker than dosai preferring softness against crispiness.


Recipe from here

Makes 5-6 pithas


1/2 cup Raw rice

1/2 cup Urad dal / Skinless black lentil





  • Soak the rice and lentils in water for 5-6 hours or overnight
  • Transfer them to a blender jar and add salt
  • Grind them to a smooth paste
  • Transfer the batter to a large vessel and let the batter ferment for 7-8 hours
  • Once the batter is fermented, it can be used to make pithas or refrigerated for 2-3 days
  • To make the pitha, heat a tava
  • Spread 2-3 drops of oil on the tava
  • Add a ladle full of batter and spread it in a circular shape
  • Ensure the batter does not spread too thick
  • Add few drops of oil to the edges of the pitha
  • Let it cook on a medium flame for 1-2 minutes
  • Use a steel spatula to disengage the pitha from the tava and turn it over
  • Reduce the flame to low and let it cook for upto a minute
  • Take it off the tava and repeat the procedure for the rest of the batter
  • Serve warm with aloo bhaja, guguni or sweet accompaniments like sugar or jaggery
  • Enjoy!



Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 92


Adai|Lentil Crepes


This is the first day of our Mega Marathon when we blog about Flatbreads & More. As I declared yesterday, I am doing A to Z of Dosais thanks to a mutiny by the husband and daughter. My original dish for A was to be Appam which is not only my favorite dish but also that which has been on my to-do list for more than 2 years. But I can’t begin to tell you how big a disaster it turned out to be when I tried it. I couldn’t even salvage one decent looking appam to click a picture. So, with a heavy heart I had to abandon it. The problem was that I had multiple dishes for some other letters but I was so confident of my appam making skills (can’t believe myself!) that I had no backup dish for the letter A. Can you imagine a more chaotic beginning to a month long mega marathon? Well, actually I can thanks to the other mega marathons I have done and survived.

Anyway, so I finally figured that Adai starts with A and also surprisingly I hadn’t posted the recipe yet despite the frequency of it being an early dinner or late breakfast. This recipe is a combination of my mother’s and mother-in-law’s. I kind of picked up stuff I liked about each recipe and made one for myself.


Makes 6-7 Adais


3/4 cup Toor dal / pigeon pea lentil

3/4 cup Chana dal / Bengal gram

2 tbsp Urad dal / Black skinless lentil

2 tbsp Masoor dal / Red lentils

3/4 cup Raw rice or Little Millet

2-3 Dried red chillies

1-2 Sprigs of Curry leaves

A pinch of asofoetida






  • Wash and soak the lentils along with the dried red chillies in water for 3-4 hours
  • Wash and soak the rice / millets in water for 3-4 hours
  • If you do not have enough time, soak them in hot water for half an hour
  • Add salt and grind the lentils, chillies and rice to a coarse mixture
  • Add chopped curry leaves and asofoetida and mix well
  • Add some water to make a thick batter
  • Heat a tava and pour a ladle full of batter on it
  • Spread it in a circular shape but not too thin
  • Pour oil around the adai and also a few drops on the batter
  • After 2-3 minutes, use a steel spatula to disengage the adai from the tava and turn it over
  • Simmer the gas and let it cook for a minute
  • Take it off the heat and repeat the same procedure for the rest of the batter
  • Serve warm with avial, butter or jaggery
  • Enjoy!



  1. I have made this recipe with rice and millets and it tastes good with either option
  2. Keep the ratio between the lentils and rice anywhere between 1:1 and 2:1. The taste will differ but it will be good
  3. You can also mix up the lentils as you like. If you like any one of the lentils more, you can increase the quantity and reduce the quantity of the other lentils accordingly.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 92


Dal Makhni


I have made this dal quite a few times yet I missed blogging about it. I checked and rechecked the blog to confirm I hadn’t written about it before. Well, I haven’t as yet and so here it is. The best part is that the daughter too loves it and we make it for lunch.


Recipe from here

Serves 3-4


3/4 cup Whole black urad dal

2 tbsp Rajma / Kidney beans

3 cups Water

1 Onion, medium

2 Green chillies

2 tsp Ginger garlic paste

2 Tomatoes

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

2-3 Cloves

2 Cardamom

1″ Cinnamon stick

1/2 tsp Red chilly powder

1/2 tsp Kasoori Methi

1/4 cup Milk

3 tbsp Unsalted butter




  • Soak the urad dal and rajma overnight or for 8 hours in sufficient water
  • Pressure cook both with 3 cups of water for 5-6 whistles or till the dal is fully cooked
  • Mash and keep aside
  • Chop the tomatoes and blend in a mixer to a purée
  • Chop the onions finely
  • Heat butter in a pan and add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon
  • After 1-2 minutes, add the chopped onions and green chillies
  • Add the Ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes away
  • Add the pureed tomatoes and red chilly powder
  • Cook till the fat separates, around 5 minutes
  • Add the smashed lentils and 1/2 cup of water
  • Add salt and simmer for 15-20 minutes till it reaches the desired consistency
  • Add more water if gets too thick
  • Add milk and let it simmer for another 10 minutes (usually cream is added but I substitute with milk which is easily available and works well for me)
  • Add kasuri methi and turn off the gas
  • Serve hot with rotis or rice
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme,’Indian Regional Dishes’.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Palak Dal


My daughter has reached that age where she has become super picky about what she eats and one of the things she doesn’t like is spinach. So I have to find different ways to make her eat spinach. This dal is one of those attempts. She loves the regular toor dal and so I figured it was best to add spinach to it and make life easier for me.


Serves 3-4


1 small bunch spinach

1 Onion, large

1/3 cup Toor dal / pigeon pea

1 tbsp Cooking oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/4 tsp Cumin seeds

1-2 Green chillies

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/4 tsp Red chilly powder




  • Cook the toor dal / pigeon pea with 2/3 cup water in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles.
  • Mash the dal and set aside
  • Wash and chop the spinach finely and set aside
  • In a large pan, heat the oil and add mustard seeds
  • Add cumin seeds and slit green chillies
  • Chop the onions and add it to the pan
  • Fry the onions till translucent
  • Add the spinach and fry till it wilts
  • Add the cooked lentils, turmeric powder and red chilly powder
  • Add salt and bring it to a boil
  • Simmer for 7-8 minutes
  • Take off the heat
  • Serve warm with rice or rotis
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Indian Regional Dishes’


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Kadala Thel Dala | Stir fried Chickpeas


The second dish for the Sri Lankan cuisine theme is a popular snack called Kadala Thel Dala which is quite similar to the sundal prepared in Tamil cuisine. One main difference is the addition of onion to this dish which is not usually added to sundal but which makes this a simple yet delicious bowl of snack.


Serves 2

Recipe adapted from here


1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp chilly powder
1 tsp vegetable oil


  • Heat the oil in a pan
  • Add mustard seeds and cumin.
  • Once the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves and onion and fry for 3-4 minutes or till the onion turns golden brown
  • Add the chickpeas, salt and chilly powder
  • Fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Serve hot.


  1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in sufficient water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and then use in this recipe
  2. The onion will cook faster if sliced very thinly


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Dun Thel Bath | Ghee Rice with Green Peas


The theme for this week is Sri Lankan cuisine. When I picked this theme, I did not know that the cuisine is very similar to Indian, more specifically South Indian cuisine. Because the country is an island, there must be coconut trees in plenty which is reflected in the cooking too. The same goes for the seafood as well. There is an influence of Malaysian and few other South east Asian cuisines as well which makes the Sri Lankan table a multi flavoured one.

This dish is a ghee (clarified butter) rich rice with green peas which is similar to the Indian Peas Pulao. It is slightly differentiated with the addition of raisins in plenty. I have reduced the raisins and added some cashews because the daughter loves it and she is having an increasing amount of say in what is cooked everyday. This rice pairs beautifully with any vegetable but we had it with some homemade plantain chips which was absolutely lipsmacking.


Serves 2-3

Recipe adapted from here


1 1/4 cups Basmati rice
2 cardamons
2 cloves
1 tsp cumin seed
2 tbsp ghee
1 cup green peas
2 tbsp Cashews & raisins
Salt & Water


  • Cook the rice with 2 cups water and set aside
  • Cook the green peas in hot water for 5-7 minutes and set aside
  • Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan
  • Add the cardamons, cloves and cumin seeds and fry for about a min
  • Add the green peas and fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the rice and salt and mix well.
  • Turn off the heat after 3-4 minutes
  • Serve hot
  • Enjoy!


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Sri Lankan Cuisine’.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Peanut Porridge


I just finished a mega marathon of Protein Rich Dishes but I am clearly not over it. My theme for today is ‘Dishes from the Caribbean’ and what do I pick? Another protein packed dish. This one is so simple and delicious, not to mention easy to make with most ingredients readily available in your kitchen. It is a breakfast dish but I had it for lunch and felt content for the next 4-5 hours. This is surely getting into my breakfast roster.


This peanut porridge is popular across all of the Caribbean. It started out as street food and is very popular with vegetarians. It has now gained popularity at restaurants with locals and tourists alike. There are different versions to make it – with condensed milk, evaporated milk or coconut milk.

Recipe adapted from here

Serves 1-2


Quick cooking Oats                            1/2 cup

Raw peanuts                                        1/2 cup

Wheat flour                                           2 tsp

Cornmeal                                               1 tbsp

Condensed milk                                    2-3 tbsp

Ground cinnamon                                1/2 tsp

Ground nutmeg                                     1/2 tsp

Water                                                       1 1/2 – 2 cups

A pinch of Salt 

  • Heat 1 cup of water with a pinch of salt 
  • Grind the peanuts in to a fine powder and set aside
  • Grind the oats into a fine powder
  • Mix the ground oats and peanuts in a bowl
  • Add the cornmeal and wheat flour and mix well
  • Add 1 cup of water and stir to form a smooth paste
  • Pour this paste into the boiling water and mix well to ensure there are no lumps
  • Simmer and let it cook covered for 6-7 minutes
  • Stir frequently to avoid the porridge sticking to the base of the vessel
  • Add the condensed milk, nutmeg and cinnamon 
  • Mix and simmer for 2 minutes
  • Serve warm with some fruits for a wholesome tasty breakfast
  • Enjoy!


  1. If you only want a mild sweetness to your porridge, add 2 tbsp of condensed milk else add 3 tbsp
  2. The porridge will be slightly runny immediately after cooking but will thicken when let to cool
  3. You can replace the water with part milk 


This is my post for the Blogging Marathon under the theme, ‘Dishes from the Carribean’.


Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM

Protein Rich Dishes Recap – Mega Marathon BM#80

Sept roundup

We come to the end of another Mega Marathon when we blog for all days of the month except Sundays. The theme, as we know, is Protein Rich Dishes and I have showcased 26 different proteins of which 25 are vegetarian. This is my third Mega Marathon after –

September Cooking Carnival 2016 where I posted 26 different soups; &

A to Z Baking around the World where I blogged about 26 different breads, one for each letter of the alphabet.

The research for this topic taught me a lot about the nutrition in various ingredients that I was not previously aware of. I discovered new tasty dishes to get my daughter her daily protein fix and I enjoyed making and devouring some fabulous dishes. Here is a recap of all the recipes this month –

Sprouted Mung Soup

Karamani Kuzhi Paniyaram
Beans Parupu Usili


Dal Khichdi

Rajma Masala

Black gram dosa with black gram chutney powder

Roasted Chana Dal

Amaranth flour Pizza topped with Broccoli 

Mushroom Egg Rice

Peas Paneer Paratha

Corn & Tomato Crostini with Cashew Cheese

Thai scented Asparagus Soup

Spinach Dosa

Cashew Cheese

Honey Roasted Almonds

Dry fruit Milk / Masala Doodh

Chia Seed Cookies

Flaxseed Malaga Podi

Poppy seed Waffles

Mor Kozhambu

Goan Egg  Curry

Spelt flour & Spinach Loaf

Chocolate Chia Overnight Oats

Quinoa Chocolate Mug Brownie

Ras Malai

This is my recap of the Mega Marathon with the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.


    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#80

    Ras Malai


    This is the last post for this mega marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’. I can’t believe how quickly the month went by and I am so glad that I successfully completed my third mega marathon in a row. My protein for today is my favourite, that I was saving up to be the final post to finish with a flourish. I was not able to decide what dish to make with paneer. The choices are too many and I love all dishes that have paneer in it. So I kept postponing making this dish till it was time to go to Mumbai for my week long vacation. I completely forgot that I was yet to cook the 26th dish and made a distress call to my mom. She, as usual, made a million suggestions in under a minute and confused me more than ever. Then, as I was reading and drooling over Valli’s post (our boss lady, for the uninitiated), I figured it has to be a paneer based Bengali sweet and since mom makes an awesome Ras malai, I finally decided on my dish.

    Mom has these phases where she masters 2-3 sweets and feeds them to everyone who visits our home for a 2-3 month duration. Then those are forgotten for the next 2-3 dishes. Her Ras Malai phase happened just as I got married and so I wasn’t a frequent beneficiary though I remember her stuffing the husband with it during our first Diwali. She was only too happy to make it again, especially after I mentioned that the husband is a huge fan. ( I might have exaggerated a bit). So this is my mother’s dish and her recipe. I helped her with most things but all my cooking and food blogging experience was not sufficient for her to trust me with the kneading of the paneer. Mothers! 


    Protein – Paneer

    Serves 7-8


    Milk (to make the paneer)                      2 litres

    Lemon                                                         2

    Water                                                           1 litre

    All purpose flour / maida                        1 tbsp

    Milk (for the soaking paneer)                 2 litres

    Sugar                                                           200 gms +60 gms

    Saffron                                                        a pinch

    Almond and cashew slivers for garnish


    • Heat 2 litres of milk in a large vessel till it comes to a boil
    • Simmer and squeeze the juice of the lemon on to the milk and mix well
    • The milk will separate into fat and whey (greenish liquid) 
    • Transfer the fat / paneer to a cheesecloth and tie it. 
    • Let the balance whey drip out of it. It should take approximately 2 hours
    • Transfer the paneer to a large plate and knead it for 15-20 minutes
    • When you make balls from this paneer, it should be whole and soft and without any cracks. 
    • Then it is done else continue to knead for another 3-4 minutes
    • If it is your first time, it is better to add 1 tbsp of all purpose flour while kneading the paneer. This ensures that the paneer doesn’t scramble when cooked
    • Heat the water along with 60 gms of sugar
    • Divide the paneer into small balls and roll them into balls. 
    • The paneer balls will expand once cooked and soaked in milk which needs to be considered before deciding the size of the individual paneer balls. 
    • Press the balls to form discs 
    • Once the water is hot, transfer the paneer balls in batches to the water and let it cook
    • After 2-3 minutes, carefully flip the paneer disc and let it cook on the other side
    • When the paneer starts turning pale in colour, around 5 minutes, remove it from the water and set it aside
    • The milk for soaking the paneer can be done simultaneously in another large vessel
    • Heat the 2 litres milk till it is reduced to half its quantity 
    • Add the 200 gms sugar and saffron strands and let it cook till the sugar is fully dissolved
    • Add the cooked paneer balls to the milk 
    • Serve chilled and garnish with almond and cashew slivers
    • Enjoy!


    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80

    Spelt flour & Spinach Loaf


    My original plan for this Mega Marathon was to bake 26 protein rich breads. But I did not find the time to do that and then I modified it to protein rich bakes. Finally I figured I would showcase different vegetarian proteins because quite a few vegetarians I know are tired of the question, ‘What is your protein source?’ But I wanted to have at least one bread in the list. When I saw that spelt flour is protein rich, I knew I had to bake with it.

    Remember that Spinach dosa I made last week? I had some of that purée left and needed to use it somewhere before I left for Mumbai. So the idea of a spelt flour bread with spinach was born. I baked it the last day before leaving and so it had to be a quick bread and not my usual yeast bread. 


    Whenever I try a new recipe and make modifications to it, my thought is ‘what is the worst that can happen?’ And then I plod on trying to cook it. This time the results were good but the bread was a little dry. It works great with some butter / cheese. The next time I plan to try it with a 2 tbsp more spinach puree / oil to make it a loaf that can be eaten as is. 

    Protein – Spelt flour and spinach

    Recipe adapted from here and here

    Makes one 7″ loaf


    Spelt flour                    1 1/2 cups

    Salt                                1/2 tsp

    Baking soda                 1/2 tsp

    Honey /maple syrup  1 tbsp

    Coconut oil                    5 tsp

    Spinach puree            1/2 cup + 1 tbsp

    Quick cooking oats      2 tbsp

    Sunflower seeds           1 tbsp


    • Preheat the oven to 175C and grease a 7″ loaf tin
    • In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt
    • In another bowl, mix the honey, oil and spinach puree
    • Mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients to form a dough
    • Shape the dough into a loaf and transfer it to the loaf pan
    • Sprinkle the oats and sunflower seeds on top
    • Bake for 30- 35 minutes till golden brown on top
    • Let it cool for around 20 minutes before cutting it
    • Enjoy with some butter / cheese!


    This is my post for the Mega Marathon under the theme, ‘Protein Rich Dishes’.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80