Mar 13, 2020 No comments:

Coriander / Cilantro Rice ~ LunchBox Recipes

Today I am brining a perfect recipe for your Lunchbox, that can keep good use of your left over rice and excess coriander (Cilantro) leaves at hand. Usually in states you get 3 or 4 packs of Cilantro bunch for a dollar at India Stores, and with out any hesitance i buy all the 3 or 4 bunches that comes. Then at home, at least half goes waste as it goes bad beyond 7 to 10 days. Now this recipe rescues your excess Cilantro and that results in wonderful lunchbox recipe as well. Here is the Coriander Recipe, Njoy!

And also these days I am being cautious about food wastage and buying only the amount required, though i get a lot for a dollar! Hope you also follow the same tip that reduces food wastage across. :-)

Rice - 2 cups (uncooked basmati rice) or ( 4 cups cooked rice)
Coriander Leaves - Cilantro Bunch - 1
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Ghee - 1 Tbsp ( or Butter)
Clove - 2
Cardamom - 1
Cinnamon - 3
Shazeera - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium
Green Chili - 3 to 4
Mint Leaves - 10
Salt - 2 tsp ( per your taste)
Lime Juice - 2 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 5 to 6 Whole (Optional)

  • If you are using left over rice, break it apart to make sure each grain is separate and microwave it for 1 min. 
  • Cook 2 cups Basmati Rice with 3.5 cups water until each grain is separate and cooked fully, spread cooked rice in a wide plate. 
  • Wash Cilantro, drain and chop roughly and grind to smooth paste adding some water in mixie grinder or blender. 
  • Chop Onions into thinly slices. Chop green chilies length wise into thin slices.


  1. Heat non-stick pan, add Oil, followed by Ghee or butter. Once butter melts, add Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamom and Shazeera. Saute spices for  2 min, allowing oil to get flavored. 
  2. Now add thinly sliced onion to pan, and saute until onion is soft and caramelized. Add green chili slices, followed by chopped mint leaves. Add 1 tsp salt and mix well. 
  3. Add Cashew nuts now if you are using; and Add Cilantro paste to pan and mix with onion and spices. 
  4. Add cooked rice to pan and mix with cilantro paste, fold rice up and down until it is coated with green paste. Add 1 tsp salt to rice and mix gently. Add lime juice to rice and coat well. 
  5. By now the rice gets bright green color and looks beautiful. Now taste and adjust any salt or seasoning. 
  6. Switch off the stove, top with few cilantro springs, leave on stove for 5 min, then transfer to serving bowl and serve immediately with cool cucumber or onion raita
  • Cashew nuts are optional, if you are allergic to nuts, you can skip it totally. They add nice crunch and creamy taste, but you don't lose any flavor with out nuts in this rice.
  • Lime juice is rather critical as it subtles the strong cilantro herb taste and balancing the flavors in this rice. 
  • Green Chilis are critical as you don't use red chili powder or any other masala, all the spice in this rice comes from green chilies only. 
  • As all the spices are subtle in this rice but loaded with herb flavors, this rice becomes star in the lunch box! :-)

Check out other Green Recipes:

Will be back another variety and/or lunchbox recipe,
until then take care and Stay Happy!
Keep Smiling and Spread the Joy!

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Mar 3, 2020 No comments:

Butter Chicken ~ Murgh Makhani

Butter Chicken is popular North Indian chicken recipe that goes well with roti or naan. This is one popular item that gets ordered at Restaurants (of-course after Chicken Tikka Masala) not only in India but also in States. One reason that this recipe wins many hearts is it's creamy flavor with subtle spices and it's velvetty and buttery texture. I stayed away from this recipe all these days is due to amount of butter and cream that gets added in this recipe, since my son (who is chicken lover) insisted me to make this dish for him, I have tried my hand at it. It came out superb and delicious, I was able to eliminate some fat by skipping the use of heavy cream in this recipe, to make is little skinner. Here is the recipe, Njoy!


Chicken Breast - 1 lb

For Marination:
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Thick Curd - 1/4 cup

For Gravy:
Butter - 1/3 cup (1/3 stick)
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 2 medium (you need ripe and juicy tomatoes)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Cashew Nuts - 3 Tbsp
Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp ( per your taste)
Sugar - 1tsp
Kasoori Methi / Dry Fenugreek - 1 Tbsp

  • Wash chicken under lukewarm water and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients under marination and mix well. Coat chicken with mixture in the bowl, close lid and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 min. 
  1. Take a non-stick wide pan. Add 1 Tbsp butter to it + 1 Tbsp Oil. Once butter melts, add marinated chicken pieces to the pan and stir-fry them on high until chicken gets cooked. Transfer chicken pieces to into a plate.
  2. In the same pan, add chopped onion, ginger garlic paste and saute until they mix well. Add chopped tomato cubes and let it simmer. Add cashew nuts, followed by red chili powder, salt and sugar. Let it simmer until tomatoes become thick and juicy.
  3. Transfer this to blender and grind into fine paste. Run this paste through sieve/colander to take away any seeds. (this allows to have creamy puree in the gravy). 
  4. Transfer gravy to pan. Let it simmer for few min, add cooked chicken pieces to the gravy, add remaining butter and let it simmer. Taste and adjust salt or seasonings.
  5. Now take kasoori methi in your palms, rub roughly and add it to the pan. Mix very well and simmer for 2 to 3 min. Switch off the stove, transfer gravy to Serving Dish and serve immediately with hot butter or garlic naan or simple roti. 

Sauteed Chicken Pieces
Gravy in making

  • Since I am trying to make this skinny version, I have skipped Heavy Cream that is used in the original recipe. If you don't mind calories, you can add 1/4 cup heavy cream in step 4. If you use cream you may need to up your red chili powder dose. 
  • Sieving process in step #3, is critical to get that Restaurant Style look, it is a simple step but helps in getting great looks for this dish. It makes the gravy smooth and velvetty texture.
  • You have to use Red, ripen and juicy tomatoes for this curry, that gives great color and taste.
  • Kashmiri Red Chili Powder is preferred int his recipe, another ingredient that gives natural bright color to this curry.

Hope you have enjoyed this recipe, will be back with another great recipe
Stay Happy and Healthy until then
Keep Smiling and Spread the Joy!

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Feb 23, 2020 No comments:

Stuffed Karela Fry (Andhra Style)

Bitter guard is not many people's favorite due to it's bitter taste. However there are people like me who cherishes that bitter taste in this unique vegetable that has medicinal values, when it pairs with other flavorful ingredients.  My mom makes the best Karela recipes in different variations. I simply follow her recipes, today bringing stuffed version where Karela is stuffed with flavorful spiced lentils mix paste and sauted with onions and green chilies. This tastes best when served with white rice. This recipe requires some pre-planning and is lengthy procedure (Warning: could test your patience), but the taste is out of the world. When you eat this you will forget all the pain you took in making. Trust me, Try this out, here is the recipe, Njoy!

Stuffed Karela

Karela / Kakarakaya - 10 to 12

To boil Karela:
Buttermilk - 1cup
Water - 1 cup
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

Roasted Chana Dal / Putnala Pappu - 1/2 cup
Dry Coconut powder - 1/4 cup
Red Chilies - 3
Garlic - 3 cloves
Salt - 1 tsp

Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Water - 1/4 cup

To make Stir-Fry:
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Green Chili - 3 (sliced)
Cilantro - 1/4 cup

Karela Preparation:

  • Fist roughly peel the skin on Karela and wash in warm salt water
  • Add Buttermilk, Water, Tamarind, Salt and turmeric to the wide and deep pot. Add Karela to it add boil for 30 to 40 min (or until the liquid evaropates)
  • Take the Karela into wide plate and let them dry at room temperature ( or keep it in the corner of room where indirect sunlight comes)
  • Once these Karela are dried, saute the whole karela in 2 tbsp oil and keep them aside.

Boiled in Buttermil and Tamarind

Shallow fried in oil

Stuffing Preparation:

  • First grind Roasted Chana dal, with coconut powder, red chilies, garlic cloves along with salt in a mixie jar, make it into fine powder
  • Heat 1 Tbsp Oil in the non stick pan, add cumin seeds, followed by chopped onion. Saute for 3 to 4min, until onion becomes translucent. 
  • Add roasted chana dal powder to onions, mix well, add coriander powder, mix well. Once it is all mixed, add water little by little until it becomes like wet stuffing.
  • Switch off the stove and transfer stuffing to plate and keep it aside.

Method: (Putting everything together)

  1. Heat Non-stick pan, add Oil to it. Add chopped onion and green chili to the pan and saute for 5 min until onions become tender.
  2. In the Boiled and fried Karela make slit in the middle and stuff the stuffing equally, and gently press in your palm. Repeat this until all karela are stuffed. If any stuffing remains, add this to the pan and mix well with onions. 
  3. Add stuffed Karela to the pan and mix gently with onion and spices. (saute for 5 min). Finally top with cilantro.
  4. Remove from heat and transfer the karela fry to the serving dish and serve with hot white rice. 

  • For this recipe, make sure you pick Karela of medium and equal size, that are tender.
  • Boiling Karela with Buttermilk and Tamarind takes away the most bitterness of it, making the karela very tender and tasty. 
  • When you stuff you can remove the seeds and stuff inside, but you have to be careful, as it could break the karela, as it will be very soft & tender. Since we pick tender Karela for this recipe, seeds won't be hard and should n't bother that much, they add slight crunch + more flavor.
  • Ideally it is better to leave the Boiled Karela overnight for it to dry up. Usually i boil the karela the night before if i have to make this today. ( told you this requires some planning).

Checkout other Karela Recipes that are posted previously.

Will be back with another interesting recipe
Take care until then

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Feb 2, 2020 2 comments:

Chinthapandu Pulihora ~ Tamarind Rice

Chinthapandu Pulihora is the original and authentic version of Pulihora. Pulihora is a rice dish that is made with tamarind and jaggery, used as popular prasadam in temples. Due to sourness of tamarind, this remains fresh and lasts for two days at room temperature. That is the reason you see many, South Indian travelers carry this tamarind rices at the time fo long journeys (in trains). :-)

These days there are several variations of Pulihora available made with Lime, Mango, Pummelo etc where the sourness in this dish is achieved by sour fruits, but till today the Chinthapandu (Tamarind) Pulihora remains special on any festive day. As I have made this few times that took 'Hot Seat' at festival potlucks, but never penned the recipe. Every time i have to make it, had to juggle for the exact measurements, hence today took time to publish this recipe on my blog for my own reference in future. Hope this comes handy for you too! Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Tamarind Rice ~ Chinthapandu Pulihora

Rice - 4 Cups

Tamarind - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1/4 cup ( or 2 Tbsp Powdered Jaggery)
Green Chili - 6
Salt - 3 Tbsp ( per your taste)
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tbsp

Peanuts - 1/4 cup

Oil - 1/4 cup
Red Chili - 6 Whole
Green Chili - 4 Whole
Chana Dal - 3 Tbsp
Urad Dal - 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 Tbsp
Hing / Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Fenugreek  Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tbsp
Curry Leaves - 5 stems ( 15 to 20 leaves)

Tamarind Paste Preparation: Add 1 cup hot water to medium bowl and add tamarind in it, let it sit for 30 min. After 30 min, mix tamarind with water and squeeze the tamarind paste and remove the pulp and any tamarind seeds. Boil this tamarind paste until it comes together and becomes thick consistency (10 to 15 min). While it is boiling, Add Salt, Jaggery and turmeric powder and let it come for 1 boil. Remove stems from Green Chili, make slits and add these to Tamarind paste. Let it simmer and with everything, make sure Jaggery is completely melted and mixed with tamarind paste. Switch off the stove and let it cool, by keeping it aside

Rice Preparation: Wash Rice thoroughly, cook in rice cooker. Add 7 to 8 cups of water for 4 cups of rice, and set in rice cooker. Add 1 Tbsp of Oil to the water. Oil helps the rice grains to be separated once it cooked. Once Rice done cooking in rice cooker, switch off and transfer rice to wide plate and allowing it to cool. 

Roast Peanuts in saute pan, until skin starts separating ( until 5 min), keep them side. 

Mixing: Now once tamarind paste cools off, rice also cools off, start adding the Tamarind paste to Rice and mix it evenly. Keep adding paste in small quantities until it all applies well to the rice. Taste and adjust the salt as needed. 

Tempering:Heat Oil in Kadai. Once it is hot, add Red Chili Whole, followed by Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Green Chilis. Let the lentils come to golden color, Add roasted peanuts to kadai. Now add Mustard seeds. As they start spluttering, add crushed frenugreek powder ( make it fresh in mortar). Now Add Turmeric Powder, Asfotedia and followed by Curry leaves. Switch off the stove, let tempering get simmered and settled. 

Once Tempering is cooled off, add the tempering to Tamarind Rice mix thoroughly, folding from top to bottom, that allows the tempering to be evenly applied to all the rice. Close the lid and let it marinade for 2 to 3 hours, before serving. Usually it is better to make this in the afternoon if you need to serve in the Evening.


  • Fenugreek Seeds are secret star in this recipe it gives that temple style flavor. Make sure you take fresh seeds and crush it roughly in mortar before adding it to tempering. 
  • If you are allergic to Peanuts, you can totally skip it. No Worries. 
  • Some times based on Tamarind, sourness differs for the same measurement. Always make sure to add in small quantities while mixing in rice. DO NOT add all the tamarind paste at once. 
  • Salt may requires based on the sourness of tamarind, taste and adjust as needed. But make sure to make any slat adjustments to rice before adding tempering. Once you add tempering, the addition of salt won't gel well with the rice. 

More Pulihora Recipes:

Will be back with another traditional recipe,
Until then Take Care, Ba Bye!

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Aug 28, 2019 1 comment:

Chepala Pulusu in Telangana Style ~ Hyderabadi Fish Stew

Usually I don't prefer cooking sea food, as i don't like that taste or texture. However to impress hubby i have learnt and start making Shrimp recipes from some time. When we went to newly opened Asian market, hubby spotted a fresh cut fish store and bought fresh cut Tilapia (bone in) and asked to make fish curry for upcoming Father's day. How can i say NO to that sweetheart's sweet request. From long time i wanted to try this so called 'Chepala Pulusu' recipe, so today that opportunity came with hubby's sweet request.

I have searched few recipes online and set to make this Telangana Style Chepala Pulusu, as I have all the ingredient handy. Thanks a ton to my daughter who helped me in cleaning and marinating fish in this process, because her mommy is so scared to touch fish with hand. Lol! Here is the recipe with few of my additions, Njoy!

Fish - 1 lb (1 medium Tilapia, 5 to 6 pieces)
Onion - 1 medium
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Salt - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 3 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind - 1 Tbsp
Cilantro - 1 Tbsp (for garnish)

For Grinding Masala:
Onion - 1 medium
Coriander Seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Peppercorns - 5 (optional)
Coconut Powder - 2 Tbsp

Making Masala Paste:
  • Dry Roast Coriander, Cumin, Fenugreek Seeds, Peppercorn in a pan, add coconut powder to same pan and let this cool. Transfer to small mixie jar grind everything together until coarse powder. Chop 1 onion into big pieces, add onion pieces to the jar and grind everything together to make a paste.
  • Clean Fish under lukewarm water. Tap with towels to remove excess water or moistness. Rub with 1 tsp salt and then with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and set aside in a wide bowl, close the lid. 
  • Chop 1 onion into small pieces.
  • Soak Tamarind in warm water for 2 min, extract tamarind juice and discard the pulp
  1. Heat wide bottom pan on stove. Add Oil and saute for 1 min. Once Oil is hot, add mustard seed, followed by finely chopped onion pieces. Let onions saute for 2 min.
  2. Now add ginger garlic paste and mix with onions. Add remaining salt and turmeric powder to pan and mix well. 
  3. Add ground paste to pan and mix with onions thoroughly. Add Red chili powder to pan mix well and simmer, until it becomes thick gravy. 
  4. Now add tamarind water followed by Garam Masala and mix everything well. Close lid and let it simmer for 2 min. 
  5. Add marinated fish pieces to pan gently and do not mix them. Let it simmer and cook for 5 to 7 min. Fish cooks fast, do not mix while fish is cooking as fish pieces can break a part. Taste and adjust salt or seasonings as needed. 
  6. Finally add chopped cilantro to pan, close lid and simmer for 1 min and switch off the stove after. 
  7. Take a wide serving dish and first transfer fish pieces, then pour the remaining stew on top, garnish with few cilantro leaves. Serve hot with white rice and enjoy the telangana (Hydarabadi) flavors in this dish.


  • Do not overdo Fenugreek seeds while making masala, it can add bitterness to taste. 
  • Do not disturb fish after adding to stew, Fish cooks fast, stay near by and switch off immediately once fish cooks to soft. Otherwise overcooked Fish can mess up texture and taste. 

Here is the Short Video of the Recipe:

will be back with another regional recipe
stay tuned and take care until then

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