Sriracha kissed almonds and Avocado sandwich

Sriracha kissed almonds and Avocado sandwich

When two exotic ingredients like Sriracha sauce and avocado get together in a sandwich, you know you cannot go wrong with it. What a treat to your taste buds…. the bold spicy flavor of Sriracha, the nutty taste of almonds and to balance it all, the creamy texture of avocado! Try this for a week end breakfast or an easy mid week dinner. It is perfect!

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1 cup of raw almonds

2 tbsp of Sriracha sauce

1 tbsp of Olive oil

Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the almonds in and gently begin to roast. About halfway through ( 5-6 mins) when the almonds are getting toasty, slowly add in the Sriracha sauce, watching carefully to not drown the nuts in the sauce or they will get too soggy. They just need to get a gentle drizzle of the sauce. Roast for another 5-6 minutes. Let it cool and store it for later use for a multitude of purposes!

For the sandwich, all you need is to mash up some avocado, drizzle salt and pepper. Toast the bread (with butter to a golden brown color is even better!). Spread the avocado evenly onto both slices, slide in the toasted almonds, add some extra fresh pepper if you can take the extra dash of heat. Enjoy!

Set Dosa

Set Dosa is a dish that is something very unique to Karnataka. It is never on the menu in restaurants here in the US and so has me craving for this now and then. With the in-laws visiting us, it was the perfect opportunity to learn and savor this recipe of my mother-in-law. Apart from the Mysore masala dosa, this one is a crowd-pleaser, especially because the dosa turns out soft and spongy. The sponginess comes from the use of puffed rice when grinding the dosa batter.

Set dosa tastes best with some coconut chutney and vegetable kurma or sagu. This is one of those guilty pleasures that takes me back to the Darshinis of namma BengaLooru. Without further ado here is an ode to namma BengaLooru.


Ingredients : Serves 4-5, makes around 12-14 dosas.

4 cups rice

1 cup puffed rice/mandakki/kadle puri

1/2 cup urad dal

1/4 cup methi/fenugreek seeds

1/2 cup poha/beaten rice/avalakki

Rinse the rice, urad dal and methi seeds thoroughly and soak them for about 5-6 hours. During the last 2 hours of this process, soak the avalakki and puffed rice.

Grind it to a thick batter with water to a thick pouring consistency. Ferment the batter overnight.

Heat a tava,  and pour a ladle full of batter, do not spread the batter too thin or else you will not get spongy dosas. Spray oil and flip the dosa once it is thoroughly cooked.

What’s for lunch?

What’s for lunch? The hardest question to answer for every working mom with kids! It’s sometimes a challenge to make food that is quick and easy to make, healthy and flavorful at the same time. Here is a simple sandwich recipe that will satisfy the taste buds of kids and adults alike. With the gooey goodness of provolone cheese, tangy taste of red pepper roasted hummus and the crunchy balance of sprouts (aka a great balance of fat, carbs and protein) this is one filling sandwich that will keep you from experiencing those late after noon hunger pangs!



2 slices of bread ( I use the 12 grain or Oatnut bread from Oroweat)

1 slice of provolone cheese

1 tbsp roasted red pepper Hummus

1 tbsp green sprouts

½ tsp fresh ground pepper

½ tsp garlic – herb or any salad seasoning

Smear the hummus onto one slice and sprinkle the sprouts on top.  Place the cheese on the other slice and the dash of seasoning on top of it. In a mini oven or toaster, toast till the cheese melts. Enjoy it with a cup of fresh fruit or fruit juice!Image

Handvo : Gujrathi snack

Thanks to the new Gujju aunty that comes home to look after my son, we’ve been able to sample a few Gujarathi dishes. And before you ask me, not all dishes are sweet or jaggery based as is the popular notion!

I instantly fell in love with this dish when aunty brought a sample for us and asked her for the recipe. She mentioned that it is baked in an oven.

Handvo can be made using many different vegetables like doodhi(bottle gourd), spinach, methi leaves. The one that I am making here is with methi leaves.


Ingredients : Serves 4-5

Handvo flour – 1 cup or

Soak 1/2 cup rice and a handful each of toor, urad moong and chana dal and grind to an idli batter consistency.

Methi leaves, chopped and cut 1 cup

Yogurt 1/4 cup

Methi/Fenugreek seeds 1 teaspoon

Garlic grated 1-2 cloves

Green chillies 2-3, finely chopped

Cilnatro chopped 1/2 cup

Oil for tempering 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon

Turmeric 1/4 teaspoon

Sesame seeds 1 tablespoon

Mix the handvo flour with yogurt with little water till it reaches a dropping or idli batter consistency. This should be done the previous night of making the handvo.The next day add the methi leaves, cilantro, salt, garlic, chillies and temper with the mustard and fenugreek seeds.

Pour this batter into a greased pan of your choice and bake at 350F in a pre-heated oven for 15-20 mins or until the top layer turns golden brown in color.

With the broiler on, broil for 2-3 mins keeping a close watch so as to not burn the dish.

Let it cool and then cut into slices. This keeps well for a day outside and 3-4 days in the refirgerated. It heats up in the microware without losing its crispness.Image


Ragi Upma

Ragi or finger millet used to be considered the poor man’s grain back in the day. Off late grains like finger millet, foxtail millet and quinoa are gaining more popularity because of their low glycemic index and fiber content. These foods are slow to digest and don’t spike blood sugars thereby keeping you full for longer!
I try and substitute these for rice and use more of these grains in our daily diet.

Ragi upma is an unusual dish and has been a long favorite of mine! This is a very hearty breakfast and easy to whip up especially on a lazy Sunday morning.

Ingredients : Serves 2

Ragi flour : 2 cups

Rasam powder : 1 tablespoon

Jaggery : 1 heaping tablespoon

Tamarind paste 1 tablespoon

Water : 1 and half cups

Curry leaves 1 sprig

Peanuts 1 tablespoon

Oil 3-4 tablespoons

Mustard 1/2 teaspoon

Urad dal 1 teaspoon

Chana dal 1 teaspoon

Turmeric 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Grated coconut 1-2 tablespoons



Mix together ragi flour, rasam powder, jaggery, tamarind pulp, salt with water and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds and let them splutter. Next add the peanuts and fry for a minute until they begin to brown. Then add the urad dal and chana dal and fry till golden brown. Add the turmeric and curry leaves. Add the ragi mixture and still continuously on low flame. Cover with a lid and let this cook for 10-15 mins until the ragi begins to disintegrate and for small clumps. Serve hot with yogurt on the side.

Oats Upma

Oats Upma



Oats Upma – Ever get tired of eating the gritty oatmeal every morning for breakfast……Here’s an interesting and somewhat crunchy twist to eating oats, with the added goodness of veggies in it too. Perfect sunday morning healthy breakfast!


Ingredients: Serves 2


4 cups of oats ( I use the thick hand rolled oats from the Whole foods organic section )

Fresh chopped veggies….take your pick, I used onion, carrots and green bell peppers

2 green chillies….slit lengthwise

Salt to taste

Cilantroe to Garnish

2 tbsp Oil, one string of curry leaves and 1 tsp mustard seeds for seasoning

1 lemon

Soak the oats in water for an hour. In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil and season the mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. Add the onions and cook them till the onions turn golden brown. Then add the carrots and bell pepper and cook until they are soft.

Add salt to taste. Then toss in the soaked oats and cook on slow flame for 4-5 minutes. Once cool, squeeze the juice from one lemon, garnish with Cilantroe and serve.



Gojju avalakki/ Poha

Gojju avalakki is a common breakfast dish in Karnataka especially Bangalore and Mysore areas. Eaten with yogurt makes for a hearty carb laden breakfast. avalakki means poha or beaten rice in kannada. It is tangy, sweet, spicy all at the same time and hence the term gojju.


Ingredients : Serves 4-5

Beaten rice/poha 5 cups

1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons rasam powder

1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind pulp

2-3 table spoons jaggery powder

Salt to taste

2 cups water

For seasoning

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 tablespoon chana dal

1 tablepoon urad dal

2 tablespoons groundnut/peanuts

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1 sprig of curry leaves

4-5 tablespoons oil

Using a blender, powder the poha until it looks like bread crumbs. In a mixing bowl, add rasam powder, jaggery,salt, tamarind pulp and add water. mix well until the jaggery dissolves. To this mixture add the powdered poha. Adjust the consistency such that you should be able to gather the mixture into a ball. It should neither be too dry or runny.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the peanuts and saute for a minute. Now add the chana dal and the urad dal. Saute till golden brown and add the curry leaves. Now add the poha mixture and mix well. Cook on low heat until the poha becomes soft.

Avarekai akki tari upma

ImageIf you have lived in Bangalore, avarekai ( flat bean or surti liva papdi ) is no stranger to you. At certain times of the year, usually in the winter every house hold probably makes atleast 6-7 different kinds of dishes with this bean. The avarekai mela that happens in Bangalore is a gastronomic delight for foodies and serves an incredible number of tasty treats made from this simple bean! With it’s inherent aroma compared to most other beans, any dish made with avarekai is a sure winner. Here’s one of my favorite breakfast foods made from avarekai.

Ingredients: Serves 4

Rice 2 cups

Avarekai 1 cup shelled beans

Green chillies 3

Coconut 1/4 cup

Mustard seeds 1/2 tbsp

Jeera seeds 1/2 tbsp

Chana dal 1/2 tbsp

Hing 1 pinch

Salt to taste

Cilantroe for garnishing

Dry roast 2 cups of rice for about 4-5 mins on medium flame. Once the roasted rice is luke warm, grate it into a coarse powder in a blender and set aside. Be sure not to over grind the rice as the upma will turn out very sticky. Boil 1 cup of the beans in 4 cups water till the beans are soft.

Using 2 tbsp of oil, temper the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chiilies, curry leaves and hing. Add the dry roasted ground rice. Then transfer the water containing the cooked beans gently into the pan, stirring in the rice evenly so no lumps form. Add salt and let the rice cook for about 10 mins on a low flame. Once the rice is cooked, turn the stove off and garnish with shredded coconut and cilantroe. Serve hot.

Adai Dosa/ Bele Dose/ Savoury multi-grain Indian Crepes

Call it by whatever name, adai dose is one tasty and nutritious breakfasts and easy to make. It doesn’t need to be fermented unlike other dosas.  Strangely enough I used to dislike this while growing up.  It is now a regular feature in my breakfast repertoire!

Ingredients : Serves 4-5

3/4 cup Toor dal

1 and 1/4 cup rice

1 handful of urad dal

1 handful of chana dal

1/4″ piece of ginger

Pinch of asafoetida/hing

1 cup chopped coriander/cilantro

4-5 dry red chillies

Salt to taste

Wash all the grains thoroughly and  let them soak in water for about 3-4 hours. Grind this mixture into smooth batter along with the ginger, red chillies and asafoetida. Let the batter sit for around 4-5 hours or overnight. This doesn’t ferment unlike the regular dosa batter.

Add salt and coriander just before making the dosas and mix well. The consistency of the batter is the same as dosa batter or it should be dropping consistency.

Heat a gridle and pour  about 1 and half ladles of the batter and spread it evenly. Spray oil around the edges. Cover and cook for a minute. Flip the dosa and cook on the other side.

Serve dosas with chutney or chutney power and ghee!

Idli and Sambar

Aaaand I am back…missed blogging but my sis made up for it with all those yummy posts. Between moving and setting up home and catching up with friends there was hardly any time to blog!

The recipe that I have today quintessentially south Indian and a healthy one too. Idlis can be eaten at any time of the day, not just breakfast!

And back home it is considered the safest and nutritious foods to have when one is sick.

Recipe for idli :

Ingredients  : Serves 4

1 cup urad dal

1 and 1/2 cups idli rice or idli rava (available in all Indian grocery stores)

Wash the urad dal thoroughly and soak it for about 4-5 hours. If using idli rice, wash and soak that as well.

Grind the urad dal into a smooth paste with just enough water to get the paste moving in the blender. Set aside. If using rice, grind that as well to a smooth paste. Mix the urad dal and rice paste together.

If you are using idli rava, wash the rava in hot water. The water should be as hot as you can handle and NOT boiling. Squeeze all the water from the rava and mix it with urad dal batter.

Cover the batter and place it in a warm place for fermenting overnight. If it is winter or you live in a cold place, pre-heat the oven to around 200F and after about 15 minutes, place the batter in the oven. The oven should be warm enough to kick-start the fermentation but not so hot that it cooks the batter! The next day the batter would have risen to about 1/4 or 1/2 inch and it fluffy and airy. Add salt to taste and mix well.

Spray some cooking oil to each of the idli plate and put the batter to each cup or hollow of the idli plate. Steam this in a pressure cooker or a crock pot for about 10-12 minutes. A good way to test if the idli is done is put a knife through the idli and it should come out clean.

Serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney.

Recipe for sambar

1 cup Toor dal

1 large onion or 2 small ones chopped lengthwise.

2 tomatoes

2 tablespoons of shredded coconut

2 tablespoons of rasam powder

1 tablespoons jaggery

1 sprig curry leaves

1/2 cup coriander leaves

2 tablespoons tamarind pulp

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

3 cups water.

Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker. Bring the water to a boil in  and add the onions. Once cooked, add the rasam powder, jaggery and tamarind pulp. Let it boil for 10-12 mins. Grind the coconut to a smooth paste and add this to the pot. Next add the tomatoes, curry leaves and coriander leaves. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste.

Temper the sambar with mustard seeds.