Monday, March 17, 2008


This is a basic puri recipe.

Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Vegetable oil - 1 Tablespoon
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

In a shallow wide container mix the wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of oil and salt. Slowly add about 3/4 cup water, just enough to form a firm dough, (please note that the puris dough is a bit firmer than that of the chapatti dough, though you can use the same without finding any difference) and knead till smooth. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil over the dough and spread it. Cover, let rest at least 1/2 hour, and knead again briefly for a minute or two.
Divide the dough into ball that are slightly bigger than marbles. Roll them out using a rolling pin into 4" diameter discs. When rolling out the discs don't use flour instead use a drop of oil. This will ensure that that flour doesn't get burnt when put in the oil and spoil/ change the taste of the oil.
Heat the oil for deep frying the puris in a pan with at least 2" of oil. Once the oil is hot (too hot and the puris with darken/ not hot then the puris with become very hard- similar to frying pappadums, you might need to sacrifice one puri to test the heat!-It should bubble from the sides as soon as you put in the puri). Carefully slide one of the discs into the oil from the side, taking care to not touch the oil. Using a slotted spoon/ ladle slightly apply pressure to the middle of the bubbling puris, this would make the puris to rise and puff out. once the underside is golden brown, turn on to the other side. Once this side is also golden, remove from the oil and place on a plate with paper napkins to absorb the excess oil.
You will not find oil inside the puri or sticking to the puri, once you drain while removing from the oil, if the heat is correct.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Quick and Easy Sambhar

Lets just say, I ain’t a whiz in the Kichen!! But this is a state I throughly wish to rectify ….So I thought why not start with one of the first thing that I learnt…. the wholesome Sambhar …

This is a simple sambhar recipe that does’nt need much skill. It is very quick and easy to make. So here it goes.
For 2 people

Ingedients :
Pearl Onions - 5-6 peeled and washed
Tomatoes - 1-2 medium , chopped
Soya beans - 1/2 Cup
Drum Sticks - 5-6 2″ pieces
Tamrind / Puli - lemon sized
Yellow pigeon peas/ Toor Dal - 1/2 Cup

Dry Powders
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp or according to taste
Turmeric Poder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing - A pinch
Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
Methi Powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard Seads - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal/ white lentil (Vigna mungo) - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Fenugreek Seeds / Methi - few
Curry Leaves - 3-4
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp
Coriander Leaves/ Cilantro

In a pressure cooker add washed toor dal, 2 drops of oil, Asafoetida and water enough to cover the dal. Cook on medium heat until 4 whistles. If you dont have a cooker you can boil it in a pan until the dal is soft and can be mashed by a spoon. In the meantime to 1 cup of luke warm water add the Tamarind ball and some salt and let it dissolve.
Heat oil in wok/ kadai/ deep pan, once the oil and a couple of mustard seeds - if it splutters immediately - it is hot! add the mustard seeds (Mustard seeds should splutter or they leave a bitter taste in the mouth) , methi seeds, urad dal, red chilli, curry leaves and jeera. (keep all ready and at hand - chances of charred seeds are very high at this point.
Add the Onions, cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes then add the soya seeds and drumsticks and cook until the raw taste from the drum stick is gone (you can also add the drum sticks to the dal to cook / or I sometimes microwave the drumsticks for 5 minutes in a bowl of water - either of the method is faster). You will notice the soya beans are also nice and tender. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and the coriander powder. Coat the vegetables and stir for a minute or two until the raw taste of the powders are gone.Then Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook too until they are soft. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and let it cook further for 5 minutes. Add the Tamarind water and let it boil. Then add the cooked Toor dal and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Sprinkle the Jeera Powder and methi powder.

Serve hot with rice, Dosas or idlis

You can also Subsititute with soya beans Okra, Potatoes, beans, avarakkai (broad beans) etc.

You can also add a little ghee (Clarified Butter) for taste along with the oil.