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.

Tomato-Corn Pulao

Packing lunch for office is always a challenging task. We prefer to eat rice for lunch and rotis for dinner. The usual rice and sambar becomes boring sometimes and i make pulao to break the monotony.  As usual I prefer recipes which are easy and simple to make. I finished making this tomato and corn pulao in 15-20 minutes today.

Ingredients : Serves 2

1 cup long grain basmati rice

2 cups water

1 small onion diced

1 clove of garlic

1″ ginger piece

2 ripe tomatoes

1 cup frozen/ fresh corn

1″ cinnamon stick

3-4 cloves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds/ jeera

2 green chilies

2-3 scallions/ spring onions for garnish

2 tablespoons of oil

Salt to taste

Into a blender, add the tomatoes, green chillies, ginger, garlic and spices.  Puree this mixture without adding water. Heat oil in a pressure cooker.  Add the onions and saute till translucent. Now add the tomato puree and corn.Wash the rice thoroughly and add it to the pressure cooker. Boil the two cups of water separately or you can just use hot tap water.and add it the cooker. Add salt and cover the cooker.  Turn off the heat on the cooker after 2-3 whistles. Garnish with chopped scallions.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, simply cook the rice in your usual way. Use a frying pan to follow the same procedure. Add the cooked rice in the end and mix well.

Serve hot with any raita of your choice.

Green Gram Dal/ Hesaru kaaLu tovve

This recipe is from my sister who will be a regular contributor from now. Yay!  It feels good to be preserving family recipes and discovering what both of us have learnt about other cuisines. Being vegetarians, our greatest concern is to get our daily dose of proteins in each meal as much as possible. You will find a lot of lentil, yogurt based recipes in this blog because of that!

Here is another recipe and this one is a keeper.


Ingredients : Serves 4

2 cups green gram, sprouted ( Can use green gram soaked overnight also if you don’t have the time to sprout, sprouting adds more protein)

1 onion diced

1/2 teaspoon of ginger and garlic grated

2-3 tablespoons of coconut

1/2 tablespoon coriander powder

2 slit green chillies

1/2 teaspoon Jeera powder

1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

Pinch of Hing

2 tablespoons of oil

Salt to taste

Lime juice

Cilantro for garnish

Pressure cook the green gram. In a frying pan, heat oil and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Add a pinch of hing and turmeric. Then add garlic, ginger and onion. Saute till translucent. Add the  green chilies and fry them in the oil. Add the coriander and jeera powder.

 Let this mixture cool. Once cool, blend this with the coconut using little water.

Transfer the contents back to the pan and add the cooked green gram. If it is too dry, add a cup of water to get a gravy-like consistency.

Add lime juice and salt. Garnish with cilantro.  Serve hot with rotis or steamed rice.

Bitter Gourd/ Karela/ Hagalakaayi Gojju

Haagalakaayi or bitter gourd is one of my favourite veggies! I really can’t get an apt translation for gojju, tamarind and jaggery paste  doesn’t do justice. 🙂 The haagalakaayi gojju that my mom makes must be the best in the world! I have tried to re-create the recipe here.


3 small bitter gourds

1 1/2 tablespoon rasam powder

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons tamarind paste

half a jaggery cube

4-5 curry leaves

2-3 green chillies

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon of roasted black sesame/till/yellu powder

salt to taste

1 tablespoon oil

Cut the bitter gourd into small pieces. Add salt and turmeric and keep aside for half an hour. This helps to bring out all the bitter juice from the gourd. In a kadai, heat  the oil, add mustard seeds. After they splutter, add green chillies, curry leaves and the gourd.

Saute the mixture till the gourd caramelizes or turns brown. This might take about 10-15 minutes. Once the gourd turns brown, the bitterness reduces. Add the rasam powder, tamarind and jaggery to the kadai. Add some water to adjust it to a sauce like consistency.

Add more salt after tasting. Turn down the heat and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes. Add the sesame powder and mix well.

Enjoy yummy gojju with steaming hot rice and some peanut oil.

Raagi Shavige

Making a quick breakfast is always challenging. I prefer not to spend too much time on a weekday for making breakfast. I hate the extra effort to wake up earlier than usual just to make something elaborate for breakfast. On the other hand since i am at home and have a lot of time on my hands, i don’t like to eat a bowl of cereal for breakfast everyday. In times like these, that shavige comes to the rescue.

I  prefer the ragi shavige as it more nutritious. You can make a lot of variations with this.

Ingredients (serves 3-4)

1 packet shavige of your choice

3-4 green chillies

1 cup frozen/fresh peas

1 onion

2 tablespoons grated coconut (optional)

handful of fresh coriander/cilantro

Juice from 1 lemon

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon each of urad dal and chana dal

salt to taste


Prepare the shavige as per instructions on the packet.

Heat the oil in pan. Once the oil starts smoking add the mustard seeds, reduce heat and then add both the dals. Fry till golden brown.

Next add the green chillies and onion and fry till the onion turns translucent. Add the peas and saute until they are soft.

Add the shavige, coconut, salt, cilantro, lemon juice and mix well.




You can skip the mustard-dal seasoning, saute onions and add some pulao masala powder.

To make sweet ragi shavige, toast some white sesame seeds till golden brown.  Add coconut, jaggery or sugar and the sesame seeds to the ragi shavige and mix well.

Onion chutney

Onion chutney with dosa or akki rotti is a fab combination! I dont know of many homes which make this chutney. But we all love it at home!

Ingredients :

2 medium sized red onions.

5-6 red chilies

3/4 cup grated coconut.

2-3 curry leaves

A few sprigs of coriander leaves.

1 tea spoon of oil

Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions, read chilies. Fry till the onions turn golden brown. Add the curry leaves and coriander and fry till they wilt a little. Once this mixture is cooled, add the coconut and some salt and blend all the ingredients together. Voila! Onion chutney is ready to be savored with Dose or Rotti.

Akki rotti/ Ragi rotti

Akki rotti has been my favourite tindi or breakfast food of all time 🙂 As kids we would relish the uber thin akki rotti made in a kadai by amma and served with some chutney pudi and a big dollop of butter. Ofcourse i don’t eat it with  butter anymore..but it still tastes delicious.

There are so many things that you can do with akki rotti. Amma makes it with onions, cilantro and chillies. Or she makes it with methi leaves or dil and jeera. Oh and how can i forget avarekaayi rotti.

My MIL makes it more interesting and she adds just about any vegetable to it. Be it cucmber, radish or soaked chana dal.

I mostly eye-ball the measurements when i am cooking. I try my best to convert that into accurate measurements in my recipes. Here is my version of akki rotti

1 big onion or 2-3 small ones

2-3 green chillies chopped (depending on how much heat you want)

1 cup of chopped coriander

1 cup grated carrot

1/2 cup chana dal (pre-soaked)

1/4 cup coconut (optional, i don’t use it)

Water for the flour

Oil for cooking

Salt to taste

Combine all ingredients into a bowl and add a little water just enough to mix all the ingredients. It is easier to pat the rotti if the dough is not watery. Make orange-sized balls out the dough.

If making raagi rotti, add the ragi flour instead of rice flour

There are 2 ways to make them.

1) Pat the rotti directly on a kadai or a non-stick tawa.

Take 1 tea spoon oil and grease the entire kadai or tawa. Pat the dough on this and place kadai on the stove and cook with the lid covered. Start with low heat and once the rotti is slightly cooked, turn up the heat. Keep turning the kadai/tawa so that the heat cooks the rotti evenly on all sides. Add more oil now if you want the rotti to be crisp. Once it is golden brown on all sides, turn off the stove and remove from the kadai while it is still hot.  With this method you can get thinner rottis.

2) Pat the rotti on a foil

Grease the foil with oil and take the dough and start patting and flattening the dough with your hands. Heat a tawa and spread a teaspoon of oil. Now gently put the foil face down on the tawa and slowly remove the foil so that the rotti is left on the tawa. After one side is cooked and the color becomes golden brown, flip the rotti over. Add more oil if you want the rotti to be extra crisp.

Variations : You can use greens like methi, dil (sopsige soppu) . You can also use 1 cup of jaoLada hittu or sorghum flour. Adds more nutritional value. You can also grate one cucumber. One thing to remember when you are adding a lot of greens or vegetables is to go easy on the water while mixing the dough. These veggies should leaves enough water for you to mix the dough.

Serving suggestions : Amma makes an onion-coconut chutney to go with akki rotti. My MIL makes onion thokku to go with it. I will try to put up the recipe for both sometime. Or you can simply eat it with chutney pudi with butter, oil or yogurt!

Tangy Mango rice/ Maavinakaayi Chitranna

You know the heat of the Indian summer is around the corner, when you see neem leaves, and green mangoes in the market. Mavinakaya chitranna is a  standard fix for the festival of Ugadi, the beginning of the Hindu calender. Ugadi to me always stands for Mavinakayi chitranna, Obattu, Obatt-saaru and ofcourse the quintessential bevu bella! An afternoon siesta after this fulfilling lunch and Ugadi is complete 🙂

There are two variations, one the way my mom makes it and the other one the way my MIL makes it. I prepared it the way mom makes it both having more or less the same ingredients.


For the paste:

Unripe green mango – half, cut into small pieces

3 table spoons of shredded coconut

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

A pinch of asafoetida

Using as little water as possible grind the above ingredients to a fine paste.

For the tempering,

2 table spoons of cooking oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon urad dal

1 teaspoon chana dal

Handful of peanuts

4-5 curry leaves

2 cups of cooked rice, cooled.

The proportion of rice to water should be 1:2. Use 1 and half if you are using Basmati rice. I find cooking the rice using an electric rice cooker the best way to get the grains to remain separated.

Heat the oil in  a pan, once hot enough add the mustard seeds till they splutter. Next add the peanuts. Once they start changing color slightly, add both the dals. Once they turn golden brown, add turmeric and curry leaves. Then add the ground paste. Saute this until the paste starts leaving oil on the sides of the pan.

Add the cooled rice and salt to the pan and mix gently.

Variations :

1) If it is not the season for mangoes, you can use a lemon-sized ball of tamarind.

2) Use one clove of garlic instead of asafoetida.