Tag Archives: South Indian

Spinach Vada Pakoras


1 cup Urad Dal (Soaked overnight)
½ an Onion
1 Carrot
½ cup Spinach
½ cup Cilantro
2 – 3 Green Chilies
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
Salt to Taste
½ cup water



In a food processor grind the Urad dal, adding very little water.
Less than ½ cup of water, it shouldn’t end up watery, we want a paste like consistency.
Add the chopped vegetables and mix in with the paste well.
Let it sit for a couple of hours.
Take 1 tbs of the mixture and add it to the hot oil to deep fry.

Eat hot with Mint or Coconut Chutney.

Serve as a side item.

Happy eating ☺

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Ganji (Kanji – Rice Porridge)

So this is a lot like Khichidi (wet Khichidi) a mix of rice and dal. It’s easy to digest and can be made spicy or not based on your individual preference.


2 tbs Oil
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
2-3 Bay Leaves
3 Cloves
4-6 Peppercorns
1 Cinnamon Stick
1/2 an Onion chopped (you can use a whole)
1-2 Tomatoes chopped
2 Green Chilies
1 cup Minced Meat (Optional)
1/2 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste (if you are using meat add 1 tsp)
1 cup Rice
1/2 cup Moong Dal (Golden Gram Lentil)
1/4 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1/4 tsp of Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp of Cumin Powder
1/4 tsp of Coriander Powder
5-6 cups of Water
Salt to taste
1 tbs of Lemon Juice
A pinch of Kasoori Methi (Fenugreek Leaves)
Mint leaves and Cilantro leaves for Garnish



In a Pressure Cooker add the Oil, Cumin Seeds, Bay Leaves, Peppercorn, Cloves and the Cinnamon Stick.
Once the seeds start sputtering add the chopped Onions fry till Golden brown.
Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they become soft.
Add the Green Chilies and Ginger, Garlic paste.
Cook for a minute.
Add the meat now if using and let it cook for a few minutes.
Add the rice and dal and mix well.
Add the spices (Red Chili, Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander powder).
Cook for a few minute while stirring as you don’t want the rice to get stuck on the bottom.
Add 3 cups of water and salt.
Close the pressure cooker lid and cook on high for 3 whistles.
Lower the flame to low and set aside for 5-10 minutes.
Turn off flame and let the steam escape on its own.
When you open the pressure cooker lid the rice dal mix will be done.


Mix it will to make it pasty.
Add another 2-3 cups of water as per your desire.
Extra salt.
Crush the Kasoori Methi in your palms and add it.
Add the lemon juice.
Mix well and bring to boil.
Garnish with Mint leaves and Cilantro leaves.
Serve hot in a bowl with side item.

I like to add a spoon of Mint Chutney to my dish before eating as it gives it a nice kick in flavor. I find it too bland without it.

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Spinach Upma – Vegetarian South Indian Breakfast


1 cup Roasted Sooji (Semolina)
3-1/2 cups of Water
1 tbs Oil
¼ tsp Mustard Seeds
¼ tsp Cumin Seeds
3 to 4 Curry Leaves
1 Onion – Chopped
½ tsp Chana Daal – (Skinned Black Chick Peas)
1 Green Chili – Finely Chopped
1 tsp Ginger and Garlic Paste
½ cup Baby Spinach – Chopped
1 Carrot – Chopped
¼ tsp Red Chili Powder
¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
¼ tsp Cumin Powder
¼ tsp Coriander Powder
Salt to Taste


Heat oil in a pan and add the Cumin Seeds and Mustard Seeds.
Wait till the seeds sputter and then add the chopped Onions.
Fry till Onions turn translucent.
Add the Curry Leaves.
Add Chana daal and cook for a minute.
Add the Ginger and Garlic Paste and fry for a few seconds.
Add the chopped Spinach and Green Chilies.
Add the chopped carrots.
Add the remaining spices (Red Chili, Turmeric, Cumin and Coriander powder).
Add the water and let it come to a boil.
Boil for 5 minutes.


Add the Roasted Sooji very slowly while stirring continuously. (You need to be careful to avoid lumps).
Let the wet sooji simmer for 5 minutes in low heat while stirring occasionaly.
Once all the water is dried up, your Upma is ready, however let it sit for another 5 minutes with the heat turned off.


Serve once the Upma looks ready as seen in the picture above.

Serve with Mint Chutney/Coriander Chutney/Coconut Chutney/or Pickle. (Different people like different combinations, I prefer the Mint Chutney).

Tips: You can add a bit of Lemon juice if you want your Upma to be a bit tangy.
If your Upma turns out spicier than you like, add ½ cup of well-beaten yogurt to your finished product and mix well. It will give it a bit of tangy delicious flavor.

Happy Breakfast! ☺

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