Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Capsicum Tomato Thokku

Instead of just making onion tomato thokku/gravy, adding capsicum to the mix was definitely a flavor enhancer. The whole dish seemed like a brand new one :-)
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
Onions - 1 big finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized finely chopped
Capsicum/green pepper - 1 finely chopped (you can use any colored pepper)
Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Split white urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 2 slit length-wise
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch (optional)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water - 1/2 cup
Cilantro/coriander - 2 teaspoons finely chopped (optional)
1. In a pan, heat the cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal, curry leaves, green chillies, asafetida, turmeric powder and fry until the dhal turns light golden brown in color.
2. Add the chopped onions to step 1 and fry until they become translucent.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and capsicum to step 2 and fry until the tomatoes and capsicum are cooked.
4. Add the red chilli powder, salt and water. Mix everything well and bring it to a boil. You can add more red chilli powder if you like it spicy.
5. Adjust salt and turn off the stove and garnish with finely chopped cilantro/coriander.
This goes very well with all types of idlis, dosas and also rotis. You can make it as a wet dish instead of a gravy too.

Potato Masala

This potato masala is a very common side dish for masala dosas and also puris. I have tasted very many variations of this and most of them differ by only a couple of spices that are used yet taste different and great, but I like my Mom's slightly better than the rest :-).

Ingredients (3 - 4 servings):

Potatoes - 5 medium sized ones

Onions - 1 big cut into long thin slices
Green chillies - 3 slit along the length (vary this to suit your taste) Dried red chillies - 2 broken into half
Cooking oil - 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon

Channa dhal - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches
Turmeric powder - a pinch or two

Curry leaves - a few

Salt to taste


1. Boil, peel, mash potatoes and set aside.

2. In a deep vessel, heat some cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal, channa dhal, curry leaves, slit green chillies, dried red chillies, asafoetida and turmeric powder and fry until the dhals turn light golden brown in color.

3. Add the onions to step 2 and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
4. Add the mashed potatoes from step 1 to step 3, add some salt mix everything well along with about 1/2 cup of water, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove.

You can vary the consistency by adjusting the amount of water that you add to step 4. If you are making it for masala dosas, you can probably make it less watery (or not) and stuff them inside the dosa. It can be a little watery for puris though, but it is totally up to you. The goal here is to enjoy a delicious meal :-).

Monday, January 16, 2017

Paav Bhaaji

After almost 5 years of hiding, I decided to revive my blog this year. A lot of things happened on the personal front in the last 5 years - marriage, our 3 year old son and now a second child along the way. A lot of role changes and responsibilities came along due to which blogging took the back burner. I'm ready to kick start 2017 with a post. I don't promise to post on a regular basis, but hoping that this post will help me get back to blogging even if it is slow :-).

This recipe for paav bhaji was inspired by a very dear friend of mine, Aarti Patel, while I lived in New Hampshire. I have been following only this recipe ever since I tasted her paav bhaji.

Ingredients (about 4 - 5 servings):

Potato - 1 peeled and cubed (I try to keep this to a minimum and incorporate other less favorite veggies)
Broccoli - 1 small cup
Cauliflower - 1 small cup
Carrots - 2 peeled and chopped into chunks
Green beans - a handful, roughly chopped
Capsicum/green pepper - 1 roughly chopped
Green peas - a handful
Onions - 1 big or 2 small finely chopped
MDH or Baadshah Paav Bhaji masala - 2 tablespoons (you can use any brand of paav bhaji masala if you don't have the ones mentioned)
Salt to taste
Cooking oil - 5 teaspoons
Butter - 2 tablespoons

To grind into a paste:

Tomatoes - 1.5 big or 2 small cut into chunks
Ginger - 1 inch stick cut into pieces
Green chillies - 3 (can vary this based on your taste)

For seasoning:

Coriander/cilantro - a handful, finely chopped
Lemon - 1, cut into small wedges
Onion - 1/4, julienned


1. Pressure cook all the veggies in the ingredients list except the onions. Mash them well and set aside.
2. Grind the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies into a paste and set aside.
3. In a wide pan, add the cooking oil and butter and let the butter melt and mix with the oil.
4. Once the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onions and fry until golden brown.
5. Now add the ground paste from step 2 to step 4 and fry until the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away. This will take about 10 minutes on medium heat.
6. Add salt, paav bhaji masala to step 5, fry for a few seconds and then add the mashed veggies. Adjust salt and paav bhaji masala if needed, mix everything well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. You can put a lid on during this time.
7. Turn off the stove after 10 minutes and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
8. Serve the gravy with any kind of toasted bread with a lemon wedge and some julienned onions on the side.

Enjoy your paav bhaji!!! :-)