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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Mar 13, 2019 No comments:

Aloo Gobhi Dry - Dhaba Style

I always envy my North Indian friend when this spicy super good looking Aloo Gobhi Dry appears in her lunchbox. I have tried several times to get this dry consistency in this curry, but was not successful, either Gobhi becomes mushy or Aloo won't be properly cooked, if Gobhi gets right consistency. Based on my friend's recipe courtesy and guidance, finally today I have mastered this recipe. Here is the recipe for you, Njoy!

Cauliflower - 1/2 head (or 2 cups medium size florets)
Potato - 2 medium
Onion - 1/2 medium ( finely chopped)
Green Chili - 1
Tomato - 1
Oil - 3 Tbsp (+ 2 tsp)
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
salt - 1 tsp (according to your taste)
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp (Kashmiri Red Chili powder)
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi Dry - 1 tsp
Amchoor Powder - 1 tsp ( Dry Mango Powder)

Preparatory Steps:
  • Remove florets from Cauliflower cut them into medium size or even consistency. Do not break them into too small florets, that makes them mushy. Wash them under hot water. 
  • Peel Potato and chop into medium size cubes (similar size to cauliflower florets)
  • Peel and chop onion and green chili into small pieces.
  • Chop tomato into small cubes and keep it aside. 
  1. Take 3 tbsp oil in a nonstick pan. Once the oil is hot, add cauliflower florets and fry on all sides gently tossing them around for 3 to 5 min or until they turn slightly golden on all side. Remove them from pan and transfer to a plate. To the same pan, add Potato cubes and fry them until they turn to golden color. Transfer them to plate.
  2. Add 2 tsp oil to the same pan, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Once mustard starts spluttering add finely chopped onion and green chili pieces. Saute them for 2 to 3 min.
  3. Add Turmeric powder, salt, red chili powder, coriander powder and mix well with onions, saute them for 3 min. Add tomato cubes to the pan and mix well until it becomes thick consistency. Add fried cauliflower and potato pieces to pan and mix with onion and tomato mixture. 
  4. Saute for 3 min, on high keep stir-frying, add dried kasoori methi, garam masala and toss it together so that Gobhi or Aloo won't get mushy. Taste and adjust salt as needed. 
  5. Add amchoor powder and toss it together, finally top with cilantro. Switch off the stove and transfer to serving bowl and serve with warm roti.

  • This recipe calls for extra oil than usual, don't skimp on it, frying Aloo and Gobhi in the first step is key and critical to get this dry consistency. 
  • This recipe is usually spicy, hence Amchoor powder is critical to balance the spice yielding subtle flavors. 
  • It is preferred to use Kashmiri Red Chili powder in this recipe, as it gives beautiful color and adds right amount of spice. 

Will be back with another lovely recipe soon,
Take care until then, keep smiling and spread the joy

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Feb 16, 2019 No comments:

Stuffed Acorn Squash Beauty

As you know I am veggie lover, I am always on the look out to try new recipes with different vegetables that are available in the market. Squashes are catching my eye lately, though I have used soft squash variety like Green and Yellow Zucchini, but didn't experiment much with hard squashes like Acorn and Butternut Squashes. Today I am set to experiment with Acorn Squash, and this stuffed Acorn Squash became happy medium when i am determined to try something new and healthy recipe. This turned out be so so delicious, now Acorn Squash has become a regular vegetable staple on my grocery list. Try it for your self and cherish this new veggie, Here is the recipe, Njoy!

Stuffer Acorn Squash Beauty

Acorn Squash - 1
Olive Oil - 2 tsp
salt - 1/2 tsp
paprika - 1 tsp

Paneer - 1/2 block (or 1 cup grated)
Grape Tomatos - 6 to 7
Onion - 1/2 medium
salt - 1 tsp
Spices - 2 tsp ( Any of your favorite, cajun or PavBaji or Creole seasoning etc)
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Cilantro - 1/4 cup

Cheese - 1/2 cup ( i have used 4 cheese Mexican blend)


  1. Fist chop Acorn Squash into half vertically, remove seeds from inside and wash thoroughly. Mix salt, paprika and olive oil. Brush this oil mixture all over the squash. 
  2. Heat oven to 400 F, take a baking sheet, add aluminum foil and place the seasoned acorn squash halves facing down and bake for 30 min.
  3. Meanwhile start making the stuffing ready. Heat non-stick pan and add oil to it. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion, followed by grape tomato halves and add salt and seasonings. Add grated panner to pan and mix everything well together. Add half of cilantro to the paneer mixture, taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste and switch off the stove.
  4. Take the acorn squash out of oven after 30 minutes, the acron squash must have become tender.
  5. Turn the squash halves facing up in the same baking sheet, fill it with paneer stuffing, top with cheese evenly and sprinkle the remaining cilantro on top. Place it back in the oven and bake at 350F for 15 min. 
  6. After 15 min Stuffed Acorn Squash Beauty is ready. Serve immediately and enjoy when it s warm. 

The shape of Acorn Squash Half resembles a heart, this could be a special healthy and loving treat for your loved one on Valentine's day or any special day.

Step by Step with Pictures:

1. Cut Vertically, remove seeds and clean

2. Apply Oil, salt, Spice Seasonings

3. Bake at 400 F for 30 min, keeping them facing down

4. Stuff with paneer stuffing

5. Top with your favorite cheese American or Mexican

5. Bake in the oven for 350 for 15 min, until cheese melts

6. Garnish with cilantro and dig in while the cheese is gooey

Checkout more vegetable recipes:

Acorn Squash Recipes

Zucchini Recipes

Will be back with another simple yet exotic recipe,
Take care until then

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Jan 15, 2019 No comments:

Simla Mirchi Sabji ~ Capsicum Besan Stir-Fry

This recipe is very simple and quick to make, will be ready under 15 min. Since I was in India I love Bell peppers, as they were known as Capsicum or Simla Mirchi back at home. They usually available in cold places in North India or Cooler Cities like Bangalore. I have first tasted this vegetable in Bangalore at my relatives house, after that I used to insist my mom to buy these in winter (that's when they are available in our town), however they used to be very expensive. After coming to states I am glad they are abundant through out the year. I use Bell Pepper mostly in my Breakfast Dishes along with omelets or in wraps. This English Vegetable Bell Pepper pairs with Indian Spice Powders like Besan or any other Curry Powders nicely creating a nice tasty and unique combination. This recipe is super easy and made with Besan powder ( should usual stable in Pantry) can be a quick win for those busy days. Here is the recipe, Enjoy!

Bell Pepper - 3
Onion - 1 medium
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Red Chili - 1
ChanaDal, Urad Dal - 1 tsp each
Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp each
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Besan Powder(Sanaga Pindi) - 2 Tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Cilantro - 1 Tbsp (for garnish)

*yields - 4 servings

Preparatory Steps:

  • Remove stems from bell pepper and cut it open and remove seeds and membrane from the inside. Then chop Bell Pepper into 1 inch cube pieces. Avoid cutting bell pepper into small pieces, that makes the curry mushy and watery.
  • Remove skin and chop onion length wise into long thin slices ( to match Bell Pepper pieces). Cutting vegetables in the same size helps the curry to look and cook even allowing all veggies to be cooked properly under same heat. 
  • In a small bowl add Besan (Sanaga Pindi) and Red Chili Powder mix well until everything is combined.


  1. Heat non-stick pan and add oil to it. Once the oil is hot add tempering ingredients in the following order Red Chili, Chana Dal, Urad Dal, Cumin Seeds, Mustard Seeds. Sautee until lentils turn to golden color and mustard seeds starts spluttering.
  2. Add chopped onion to pan and mix with tempering, add turmeric powder and sauté until onions become tender. Add salt and coriander powder to onions in the pan.
  3. Now add Bell Pepper pieces to pan and stir-fry on high for 2 min, then close lid and let them cook for 3 min. Then open lid and keep stir frying on medium heat. 
  4. Bell Pepper becomes tender, then add the Besan and Red Chili Powder mix to pan and toss until all pieces are coated well with spices.
  5. Keep Stir-frying for 5 more minutes allowing Besan to cook completely. You will notice it will get stick to pieces. Now taste and adjust any salt or seasonings according to your taste. 
  6. Top with Cilantro and switch off stove, transfer to serving bowl and serve warm with hot white rice. 


  • In step #3 stirring on medium to high heat with open lid is critical as it prevents the bell peppers from getting soft and mushy and it helps in retaining their beautiful green color with out getting faded.

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Will be back with another simple recipe,
Until then take care, ba bye!

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