Quick Fix - Peas Stir-fry

Quick vegetable dishes or stir fries (for lack of a better word) like these were the norm during my student life. One would think regular dinners of microwave soups, bread and eggs and even cereal (I kid you not!) would spur us into making something a bit more substantial when we had the time, but both my friend and I were always keen on short cuts. Cooking seemed like a necessary chore at the time and we got it done by taking the least amount of effort possible!

Though it no longer seems like a chore (well... not always :-)) I still like short cuts in cooking. Nothing can get quicker than this dish - not a lot of chopping required, no grinding of masala involved, just a simple stir fry that goes well with everything - roti, rice-dal or our then favorite accompaniment - sliced bread.


VATANA SUKKE/ USAL (Green Peas Stir Fry)
2 cups green peas
1 medium size onion, chopped fine
3 green chillies, slit
2 tbsp grated coconut
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
salt to taste
For seasoning -
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of asafoetida

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds; once they begin to pop add asafoetida and cumin seeds. Let the cumin sizzle then add onion and chillies. Saute until the onion turns slightly golden.

Add peas and turmeric and season with salt. Add a little water and cook until peas are tender.

Sprinkle grated coconut and cilantro on top and serve hot.


Festival of 'eats' - Moong Dal Ladoo

My contribution to the ongoing sugar bonanza and my absolute favorite ladoo. Moong dal ladoos taste great; ranking right in the upper leagues of yumminess along with rawa and besan; but they get brownie points in my book for being really easy to prepare. You just cannot mess these ladoos up. And as anyone who has had a couple of disasters in the Diwali cooking department will tell you, easy is good!

The key lies in toasting the dal. Toast until your kitchen is redolent with the fragrance of moong dal and members of your family start hovering nearby in anticipation.

If those very members have sneakily raided your jars of Diwali goodies before the festival has even begun then these ladoos also make a good back up plan :-)


(makes 6)
1 cup yellow moong dal (split green gram)
heaped 3/4 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
3-4 cardamoms, peeled and powdered
a pinch of nutmeg (jaiphal) powder (optional)
8-10 cashews, broken into pieces
about 10-12 teaspoons of ghee

On low heat toast the moong dal till it is a uniform reddish brown color. Remove from heat and spread on a plate to cool.

Powder sugar in a blender. Heat a teaspoon of ghee and saute cashews until light brown. Remove in a bowl and keep aside.

Grind moong dal to a fine powder and mix with cashews, sugar and cardamom-nutmeg powder.

Heat about ten teaspoons of ghee in a wide sauce pan. Add dal mixture and stir until well combined. Remove from heat and shape into lemon sized balls when the mixture is still warm. Add teaspoons of hot ghee gradually if the mixture cannot be easily shaped.
Wishing all of you a very HAPPY DIWALI.

Entry for JFI - Diwali hosted by Vee at Past, Present & Me
Entry for VCC Q3 hosted by VKN of My Dhaba


Three mice & Radish Raita

Three blind mice, three blind mice
See how they run, see how they run...

radish mice

Noone would mind these mice scampering around in the kitchen now would they?! Unlike the farmer's wife in the rhyme I didn't just cut off their tails, I used them to make a raita :-)

The radish is generally used for a raita and the leaves to prepare a tambli similar to this one. I combined the two recipes today to make a sort of rai-tambli! And the mice encouraged me to experiment further with a Maharashtrian touch of peanuts to this very Konkani specialty ;-)

1 small bunch of red radish with leaves (or 1 white radish)
1 cup yogurt, beaten
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
5-6 curry leaves
2 tbsp roasted peanuts (optional)
Grind finely with a little water -
1-2 tbsp grated coconut
1-2 green chillies
1" piece of ginger


Wash radish and cut into small pieces. Take a handful of the leaves (use good ones), wash well and chop finely.

Add salt and lightly cook both in just enough water. The radish is done when it changes color.

Whisk yogurt with the coconut-ginger paste. Season to taste. Heat oil in a tadka ladle, add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Saute for a minute then remove from heat.

Let cool then pour over yogurt. Mix with radish and let sit (preferably in the refrigerator) for 6-8 minutes. Top with crushed, roasted peanuts at the time of serving. Serve cold.

See how to make radish mice here
For more fun ideas with vegetables check this site



The 'sweet' season - Goad Bhaat

Come the month of October and my sensible, calorie counting self bows down before my indulgent, guilt free one. Burfis, ladoos, halwas... how can a mere human (and a weak one at that!) summon up the will to resist? She can't, and that's that.

January 1 is the official "stop hogging" day my friends, till then lets all dig into the butter laden, sinfully rich and downright delightful treats that herald the festive season.


I think dishes like these highlight the versatility in Indian cuisine. For instance a rice and moong dal combination is used to make a savory, comforting khichdi as well as a rich dessert like this one.

Having seen this dish on other blogs I know that it is called pongal in the South. We call it 'goad bhaat' or sweetened rice; variations of this dish include kesari bhaat (saffron rice), narali bhaat (coconut rice) and sakhar bhaat (sugary rice). These dishes are all considered quite special and made only on festive occassions.

GOAD BHAAT (Sweet Rice)
(serves 4-5)
1/2 cup rice
1/2 cup yellow moong dal
3/4 cup grated jaggery (adjust to taste)
1/4 cup grated coconut
6-7 green cardamoms, peeled and powdered
8-10 cashews, broken into pieces
a pinch of saffron dissolved in 1/2 cup warm milk
2-3 tbsp ghee

Wash rice and moong dal in 2-3 changes of water. Drain thoroughly and spread on a plate to dry for 20 minutes.

Heat ghee in a deep saucepan. Roast the dal and rice on low heat until glazed and aromatic.

Add two cups of water and half cup of saffron milk. Cook till rice and dal are well done and mushy.

Mash well so they lose their shape. Add grated jaggery, powdered cardamoms and coconut. Stir and cook on low heat until jaggery is well dissolved and the mixture becomes homogenous.

Heat a tablespoon of ghee in another pan. Roast cashews until they turn golden and add to rice.

Spoon into individual bowls and serve warm with a drizzle of ghee.

Entry for - JFI - Ghee/ Butter hosted by Cooking Medley