Archive for October, 2012

Karnataka Rajyotsava 2012 @ 14619 on Saturday Nov 3rd

We have been celebrating Karnataka Rajyotsava at our home since last year. My parents, my Sister’s family, and several of my colleagues from work visited us last year. We had  Karnataka food as you can see a sample here. We also watched a Kannada movie and enjoyed the day.

The above picture just shows you the starters, we had the following food items:

  1. Kosambari
  2. Pickle
  3. Sambar
  4. Rasam
  5. Majjige Huli
  6. Gulab Jamun
  7. Kesari Bath
  8. Bisibele Bath
  9. Mango Chitranna
  10. Raita
  11. Bombai Bonda
  12. Eggplant Yennegai
  13. Shahi Rabdi
  14. Yogurt Rice
  15. Chapathi
  16. Cabbage Palya
  17. And last but not the least, Paan to wash it off. 🙂

This year, I would like to invite all my online visitors who reside near the DC area on Saturday November 3rd 2012. If you can leave a comment here, I can send you an email about my home address and phone number. We will have a blast. And it will be truly a honor to have you all at my place. We have plenty of food, so just your presence is more than enough.

Please consider this as a personal invitation, and do visit us all. I will be very happy if you can come.

Spinach Delight

Updated: This recipe was posted in 2007, my Daughter is in College and loves eating Spinach Palya and Huli. I prepared this day before when we were constantly losing power due to Hurricane Sandy. We ate it with chapathi and in the night with Rice. I always keep boxes of chopped spinach, mixed vegetables, peas  so it comes handy when we can’t go to the store. So, decided to post the recipe and found out that I had done already

My daughter found this recipe from my collection and promised me she will eat spinach if I prepare this. I looked at the pantry and the refrigerator and found all the ingredients. She ate spinach for the first time and promised to eat every time I made this dish. I explained to her about the benefits of all the vegetables used in this dish.
So, here comes a healthy recipe which is full of nutrients. The benefits of each of the vegetables is listed at the end of this recipe. Since this dish doesn’t having any onion or garlic, this is very good for traditional people as well.

If you want to serve this dish to kids in your house (you should since its full of nutrients), just before adding the seasoning, scoop out a bowl of the spinach dal and serve them. Also, slit the green chillies length wise so that you can see the chillies and remove them just before eating. 🙂


  • 1 box frozen spinach or 1 bunch fresh spinach
  • 3 tbsp frozen green peas
  • 3 medium sized potatoes
  • 1 cup moong dal or mung dal
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • For seasoning
    • 1 tsp ghee or oil
    • 1 tsp mustard seeds
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 green chilli


Wash the potato and pressure cook it. When done, cool, and remove the skin and cut into small peices.

Wash, drain and finely chop the spinach(if you are using fresh), if not defrost the frozen spinach, and keep aside.

Wash and cook moong dal with 1 tsp oil and turmeric powder till soft.

Add the spinach to the dal and cook on a slow fire. Wash and thaw the peas. Add the green peas and the potato to the cooked spinach and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

In a thick bottomed pan, heat the ghee or oil and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the green chilli. Stir fry for a few seconds and add to the cooked spinach. Stir to mix well and serve hot.

Spinach Delight

P.S: A low fat, nutritious vegetable dish, it is delicious eaten with chapattis or plain rice.

Health Benefits from Spinach:

  1. Spinach leaves contain considerable amount of calcium.
  2. It is rich in iron, potassium, and vitamin (A, B2, B9 and C).
  3. Spinach, especially raw, is a very good source of folic acid (vitamin B9)
  4. These are supposed to lower risks of heart disease, stroke and cancer.
  5. The high amount of vitamin A in spinach may protect against eye degeneration.
  6. The potassium helps prevent and regulate high blood pressure.

Health Benefits from Peas:

  1. Peas are rich in protein and carbohydrates but low in fats.
  2. They are a good source of fibers, vitamin A, C and B9.
  3. Whether fresh or frozen they are a good supplier of thiamin and iron.
  4. Those promote a good intestinal health and by binding with cholesterol they help excrete it.
  5. They also help the energy to keep steady by slowing the appearance of glucose in the blood.
  6. They are the richest vegetable in thiamin (vitamin B1).
  7. This vitamin is essential for our energy production, nerve function and carbohydrate metabolism.

Health Benefits from Potatoes:

  1. Rich in vitamin C, the B-complex vitamins, and have good doses of the minerals iron, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus.
  2. It is good for stomach ulcer, duodenum ulcer and stomach acidity.
  3. It can be helpful in reducing the severity of conditions where inflammation plays a role, such as asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.

Updated Chatni Pudi Avalakki – ಚಟ್ನಿ ಪುಡಿ ಅವಲಕ್ಕಿ

Who doesn’t know chatni pudi avalakki – ಚಟ್ನಿ  ಪುಡಿ  ಅವಲಕ್ಕಿ, right? It’s so simple and easy to make; it takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. I think this is the most simple and easy to make dish in our Indian cuisine.

When we were kids, my mom used to make this for evening snack. It tastes so yummy. This is a snack you can eat on days you are fasting also. Enjoy 🙂

Chatni Pudi Avalakki

Chatni Pudi Avalakki


  1. 2 cups thin poha
  2. 4 tsp chatni Pudi
  3. 5-6 tsp grated coconut
  4. 1-2 tsp oil or ghee
  5. salt to taste


In a large bowl, mix the Poha with the oil or Ghee , chatni pudi, grated coconut, salt. Garnish with finely chopped corainder leaves.

Serve immediately.

Another look at Chatni pudi Avalakki:

Chatni Pudi Avalakki

Chatni Pudi Avalakki

Instant Rubbida Huli(Sambar)

One of my signature dishes within my family & friends is Rubbida Huli. In Bangalore and here, all my relatives make 2 kinds of huli. One in which the masala is fried and ground or the huli with instant pudi. In my case, I do use the huli pudi, but with a different twist. So, here comes my recipe for the huli.

I use the same recipe for making huli with different kinds of vegetables, aqnd lentils.

Ingredients for the masala:

  1. 3-4 tsp huli pudi
  2. 1 tsp ground cinnamon powder
  3. 1/4 cup grated coconut
  4. 3 tsp tomato paste
  5. 1 tsp tamarind paste

Ingredients for the huli:

  1. 1 cup toor dal
  2. 2 chopped potatoes
  3. 2 chopped carrots
  4. 1/2 lb chopped beans


In your mixer, grind all the ingredients as listed in the masala. Pressure cook toor dal along with all the vegetables. In a big vessel, add 3 tsp oil. Add mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves, and haldi. Next, add the masala and fry for 2 -3 minutes. When the masala for the huli starts boiling, add the cooked toor dal and vegetables. Add salt to taste.

Serve with Rice or chapathi.

You can use beans, carrots and potatoes and follow the recipe for Kootu also which is posted here:

You can find Sambar Powder recipe here:

Updated: Neeru Majjige – Spicy Yogurt Lassi + Mint

We had lots and lots of Mint/Pudina during summer. I made all kinds of dishes using Mint/Pudina. We also constantly made Pudina/Mint Lassi almost every weekend during the summer.

The ingredients for Mint/Pudina Lassi are quite simple.

  • Yoghurt – 1 cup
  • Water – 1 cup
  • 15- 20 Mint leaves washed
  • 1/2 inch Ginger – optional
  • Salt to taste

Blend all the above ingredients and serve immediately.

Lassi is made by blending yogurt with water, salt, and spices until frothy. Here is a simple, spicy, yet very delicious Lassi. If you don’t want to blend than just mix all these ingredients well, you should still be able to get all the flavors. You can make this Lassi within minutes. This is a refreshing drink when chilled during summer.


  1. 1 cup yogurt or curd
  2. 2 cup water
  3. 3-4 curry leaves
  4. 1 green chilli ( optional)
  5. 1 inch ginger finely grated
  6. 3-4 leaves of cilantro
  7. Salt to taste


Put all the above ingredients in your blender and blend until frothy. Enjoy anytime of the day. I have 2 tall Lassi already ready, do you want some? 🙂

Neeru Majjige

Making of a 100 year old doll

Ms. Padma sreeranga has sent me amazing youtube links to the making of a 100 year old doll. Ms. Padma writes to me as follows:

Dear Meera,

 I want to share with you an important e-mail sent by my co-sister, Mrs Vanaja Malathy,former principal of Jyothi Nivas college of  women at Koramangala.She is full of enterprising nature and takes part in every social activities. She is even now an active member of many institutions,and working for betterment of her college.I request you to share with others also
   your’s affectionately, padma sreeranga
Attached below are the youtube links for the same. Thanks. Ms. Padma for sharing this amazing videos.
And Part 2 link below on youtube.

Dasara Celebration – Iskcon Temple in DC

Yesterday evening we visited the Iskcon Temple in DC. We visit the temple every year for the Dasara celebrations. This year it was celebrated on October 27th 2012.

There were hundreds of people, lots of activities for kids like Face Painting, Mahendi, Ramayana Play. Lots of food.

Attached below are some pictures I took during yesterday’s visit.

Quick and Easy Carrot Halwa

The most and easiest sweet dish to prepare is carrot halwa. Everyone in my family loves Carrot Halwa. However, I usually avoid preparing this because of the grating. It takes lot of time and effort to grate the carrots finely. By the time you have grated a pound of carrot, your arm starts to hurt. 🙂

Last year, I prepared this several times when we had a couple of get together. Making this is so easy and requires very few ingredients. Now that the next festival Diwali or Deepavali is fast approaching, you can prepare this for the festival.


1.  1 pound carrot – washed and finely grated

2. 3 cups of sugar, depends on how sweet you like

4. Dried fruits – Cashews, Raisins, Almonds

5. 3 tsp Ghee or Refined Oil

6. Crushed cardamom


1. Grate carrots finely

2. In a thick bottomed pan,add a spoonful of ghee or oil and fry all the nuts. Transfer them onto a plate

3. In the same thick bottomed pan, add the remaining ghee or oil and carrots. Fry these carrots on slow fire until they are tender and soft

4. Once the carrots are done, add sugar and keep stirring until all the sugar melts. This may take 9-10 minutes.

5. When you see that the carrot sugar mixture is becoming thick, turn off the stove.

6. Now add the fried nuts and crushed cardamom and mix.

Your Carrot Halwa is ready to be eaten.

Cabbage Cracked Wheat Upma/Upittu

I am a great fan of cracked wheat. I had never tasted it before. However, from the past several months I have been using it regularly. I prepare Cracked Wheat Upma with Cabbage at least 3 times a month.

Cabbage as you all know has many many health benefits. It is also the most cheapest vegetable out there and full of costly nutrients. How about that? 🙂

To read more about what all nutrients cabbage has take a look here.

Health Benefits of Cabbage.


  • 2 cups Cracked Wheat
  • 2 cups finely chopped cabbage.
  • 4-5 green chillies.
  • 2 tsp Vangibath powder(Opitonal)
  • 1/4 fresh finely grated coconut
  • 4-5 curry leaves finely chopped
  • 3 tsp finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • sugar to taste
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp channa dal, 1 tsp urad dal, 1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch of hing for seasoning


First, in a non stick pan or any deep vessel fry the cracked wheat continuously until it turns golden brown. Make sure it doesn’t burn out. Transfer this onto a plate.

Next, add 2 tsp oil. When it is hot enough add all the seasoning ingredients one after another. Add green chillies and curry leaves also. Add the cabbage and 3 cups of water and cover. Let this boil until the cabbage is cooked. Now add the Vangibath powder, salt, sugar. Once this boils as well, slowly add the cracked wheat. While you are adding cracked wheat, make sure there are no lumps, so keep stirring continuously. It should look watery when you have added all the cracked wheat.

Now, cover the vessel, and cook on slow fire for another 15-20 minutes, once the rava is cooked, add coconut, finely chopped cilantro and lemon juice.

Serve with chatnipudi and yoghurt. Enjoy.

Updated: ಬದನೇಕಾಯಿ ಎಣ್ಣೆಗಾಯಿ – Healthy Stuffed Brinjal

We all know how much oil is in ಬದನೇಕಾಯಿ ಎಣ್ಣೆಗಾಯಿ – Stuffed Brinjal. So, last time I prepared this I had a nice trick which I used to make it more healthy. I filled all the Brinjal with the masala, put it in a microwave safe bowl. Kept the stuffed brinjal in the Microwave for 4.5 minutes until the brinjals were soft.

Once the Brinjals are soft, follow steps 4-5 with just a spoonful of oil. This can be served with Chapathi or Jolada/Jowar Roti.

I prepared Jowar Roti for this version.

It has been years since I prepared stuffed brinjal. I used to make this quite often while in India and also in Dubai. However, with life being so hectic last couple of months, all the traveling, and most of all, college admissions procedure for my Daughter, there was absolutely no free time at all.

My Daughter Sneha who is a senior in High School right now, has  decided to join University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She had applied for many colleges, and got selected at 4 of them, and after visiting all of them decided Chapel Hill was the place where she wanted to pursue her undergraduate studies. She will be moving during end of August 2010. We are very happy for her, and at the same time also sad that our one and only daughter is going to fly away from our nest. However, we didn’t want our love to stop her from pursuing her dreams, and so wholeheartedly agreed for her to move to a different city, almost 400 miles from our home.

Anyway, we had these small round brinjals lying in the refrigerator.  I usually make Brinjal with capsicum and potatoes so that my daughter also gets to eat. She doesn’t like brinjal at all. However, this time I decided I had to make stuffed brinjal since it is my favorite. How many times do we get to prepare our favorite dish, right?

Sneha liked it a lot, not the brinjal but the masala and asked me if I could prepare this with any other vegetable. I am guessing Capsicum could be used, will try next time and post the same.

Lets get started with the ingredients:

For the Stuffing:

  1. Peanuts – 1/4 cup
  2. White Sesame seeds – 4 tsp
  3. Coriander seeds – 2tsp
  4. 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  5. 1 clove
  6. 1 tsp jeera
  7. 5 tsp fresh coconut
  8. 1 big tsp tamarind pulp
  9. 1 big tsp tomato paste
  10. 2 tsp red chilli powder
  11. 4 tsp Jaggery

Other Ingredients:

  1. 12 small eggplants
  2. 5 tsp oil (yes, requires more oil)
  3. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  4. pinch of hing
  5. 1/2 tsp jeera


  1. Fry all the dry ingredients listed in the masala from 1-6.
  2. Once it is cooled, grind this with the remaining ingredients from 7- 11. Make sure the masala is like a thick paste.
  3. Slit the brinjal lengthwise, so that they are still intact and stuff the masala.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, jeera and hing.
  5. Once they start spluttering all over your stove (Just kidding) add all the stuffed brinjals.
  6. Also add all the remaining masala. Add salt to taste at this point.
  7. If it looks very thick, add spoonful of water and cover and cook until the brinjals are soft and tender.
  8. You can add finely chopped cilantro at this point. I didn’t.
  9. Serve with Chapathi.

P.S: This recipe as you might have noticed has no onion or garlic. The recipe for Maavinahannu Seekarane ( Mango Rasayana or Dessert if I may say so) is posted here:

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