Veg Dishes

Shaam Savera

The name of this dish simply means “dark evening and bright morning” in hindi. If you look at the color combination ,You can make some sense out of it. It’s basically a palak coated paneer Kofta served in a bed of red tomato gravy. It’s quite a different dish you can serve for your distinguished guests. Other than making koftas and cutting them into two equal parts, there’s not much of technicality involved in the cooking process.
I was too excited to see the result and was enjoying the curiosity this dish brought to my guest’s mind.

Cuisine : Indian
Source : Sanjeev Kapoor
Serves : 6
Palak leaves/spinach : 1 kg
Paneer : 250 gms
garam masala : 2 pinches
garlic : 6 single pieces crushed
red chilli powder : 1 tspn
Besan/ chick pea flour : 1 tbspn
corn flour : for rolling the kababs in it ( use enough to roll in a flat plate )
For gravy
Tomatos : 5 big
Green chillies : 2
Ginger garlic paste : 1 tspn
cumin powder : 1 tspn
Fresh cream : 2 tbspn

1. Wash the spinach leaves in running water thoroughly. Now add them to boiling water for 5 minutes. Take them out and wash again in ice-cold water.Now chop them roughly.
2. Add 2 tbspn oil in a kadai and add crushed garlic into it. Now add red chilli powder ,besan and salt . Saute for few seconds and then add the chopped spinach leaves. Mix thoroughly. Leave it for cooling.Squeeze out all the water using your clean hands. 🙂
3. Crush the paneer/Cottage cheese with your hands and add some garam masalas in to it. Now make small balls of paneer using your hands.
4. To make koftas, spread some palak onto your palm and place a paneer ball on top. Now cover with palak and press gently to make a ball. Refer the pic below to understand this procedure.
5. Now roll the koftas in cornflour in a flat plate.          6. Deep fry these koftas in hot oil and after cooling,cut into two equal parts
DSCN6931                             DSCN6932

  1. Now arrange them in the bed of tomato gravy before seving.
    For gravy
  2. Grind tomatoes in a mixie to form a paste.
  3. Heat some oil in a small pan and add crushed garlic to it. Add red chilli powder and cumin powder and saute for few seconds. Now add the tomato juice into it and mix well. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes. You may add some fresh cream to get a richer gravy.

1. Incase your koftas are breaking while you deep fry them, add more cornflour , by rolling it once again in cornflour.You may even add some more besan in the palak mix too.

Desserts ( National & International)

Pradhaman ( Authentic kerala Yellow lentils dessert)

Festivals bring in a lot of beautiful memories to my me. I feel that no matter how old you become, the festivals bring back your childhood memories and nostalgic feelings . If I introspect , I would not think twice before putting myself under the category of insecure and introvert kids. Things change with time.:) Even now, Onam and Vishu brings back the vague mind of that kid to me. Now I am able to embrace that kid with a grown up, confident inner self . I think this technique of comforting your aches and hurts of mind as a mature self of the same childhood soul/mind works well. It brings harmony and happiness to my mind . 🙂 Food plays a big role in the formation of your memories.

Pradhaman is that one dessert which connects me to my childhood .The aroma of this dessert instantly takes me back to the Onam/Vishu , I had celebrated with my little sis Sabi. Nothing to replace those memories and the bonding we share sweetheart. Love you. Oh, I was writing the recipe and I’m totally lost in emotions now. 😉
Chalo, let’s get back to the track. Here is the recipe of Parippu pradhaman just for you !

Moong dal/yellow lentils/cheru parippu – 1 cup
coconut milk – 2 cups
ghee- 1/2 cup
water – 1 cup
jaggery – 150 gm
Elaichi powder -1 tsp
cashewnuts – 2 tbsp
Raisins- 10 nos
1. Roast the cheru parippu/moong dal in a thick bottomed cooker until golden brown. Add boiled water into it. Cover and wait for 2 to 3 whistles.
2. Boil the jaggery blocks in 1 or 2 cups of water to form a liquid. Strain out the impurities.
3. Add the jaggery liquid into the cooked dal after adding thin coconut milk.Bring it to boil.
4. Add some ghee into it and keep stirring for 5 to 6 minutes.Add elaichi powder to it.
5. Now add the thick coconut milk gently into the cooker and switch off the flame. continue stirring to avoid separation..
6. Heat the remaining ghee in a small pan and fry cashews and raisins in it. Pour it in to the payasam along with ghee.
Serve hot or chilled.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

Kerala Vegeterian dishes South Indian veg



Kaalan is a traditional Kerala vegetarian preparation using curd,coconut and vegetables like raw plantain and yam. It’s a grand mom’s recipe which is passed on from generations.Kaalan is different from Avial due to the choice of veggies used . It is more sour than Avial too. Kaalan is thick in consistency . The ‘Nenthra” Plantain is used for Kaalan which is available in Kerala and neighbouring states. My sis-in -law told me that these days she finds them even in UAE and Canada also. I think anything and everything is available everywhere these days. 🙂

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry, Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you! 🙂
Raw plantain – 1
yam/elephant foot veggie – 1 cup square pieces
sour curd – 1 cup
freshly grated coconut – i cup
cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
pepper powder – 1 tsp
turmeric powder – 1 pinch
salt – to taste
mustard seeds – 1 tspn
curry leaves – 2 strands
red chilly whole – 2 nos
1. Add the chopped square pieces of yam and plantain in a cooker along with one cup water,turmeric powder , pepper powder and salt. Wait for two whistles.
2. Grind coconut,cumin and curd into a coarse paste using a mixie.Add this paste to the cooked veggies and bring it to boil on medium flame. Keep stirring . Otherwise curd may separate.
3. Check the salt and consistency. Add more curd if you want to adjust the consistency.Switch off the flame.
4. Heat one tablespoon coconut oil/any oil in a small pan and crackle mustard seeds, red chilly whole and curry leaves.Add this seasoning to the gravy which is ready in the cooker.
Enjoy with steamed rice and papad.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry, Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you! 🙂

Kerala Vegeterian dishes South Indian veg Veg Dishes


Okay, now I’m gonna thrill your taste buds with this heavenly combo of sweet,salt, spice and tangy side dish which is called Puly inji. Inji is the name for ginger in malayalam and puli means sourness. It’s a typical Kerala traditional dish which is served on traditional Sadya,feast. It’s my personal favourite as it kind of represents a bit of myself in nature. You may add some more flavours to it like….bitterness. 😉 (Only at times ,not always).
It’s the best way to pickle your ginger to a day when you need something unusual and heavenly to boost up your taste buds and senses. Goes very well with rice,but trust me, I love it as a dip to my parattas and rotis too.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)
Ginger -finely chopped – 2 tbsp full
green chilly – finely chopped – 1
red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
curry leaves – 1 strand
oil- 1 tbsp
salt – to taste
tamarind pulp – 1 tbsp
Jaggery – one block/2 to 3 tbsp if melted in some water.

1.Heat some oil in a small pan and add ginger and green chillies into it. Saute till the colour of ginger turns brown. Add red chilly powder and saute for few seconds. Now add the tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil. Slowly add the jaggery which is already melted in some water into the pan and mix very well.
2. Add salt to taste and mix well.
3. Balance the salt,sweetness and sourness according to your requirement by adding the appropriate quantities of salt,jaggery and tamarind.
4. Crackle mustard seeds in 1/2 a teaspoon of oil and add curry leaves too. This would be a good tadka for the dish. Pour it over the dish.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

Kerala Vegeterian dishes Sadya South Indian veg

Vishu Sadya ( Scrumptious vegetarian spread of Kerala)

DSCN6829 I asked my children to look into the mirror and say what they saw there. My 7 yr old younger one Aaru, very carefully looked into the mirror and said, “Mom, I can see my nose”. Elder one did not answer as he was trying to figure out the complicated answer which his mom is expecting to hear. He knew very well that ‘face” is not the expected answer as it’s the simplest answer any one could guess. Mom needs some more and what’s that???? Aaru’s innocent answer amused me but I had to give them the correct answer myself. The situation where I asked them this question was at Vishukkani, the first sight arranged by the” lady of the house” for the rest of the family members. Mirror is one of the most essential part of Vishukkani as it symbolizes one’s role in making his own future. It tells us that ‘You are the one who make or break your own future”. The message is truly and highly valuable and that’s what I was trying to convey to my kids through the question “What do you see in the mirror?”

At Vishukkani, every basic and luxurious need of yours is displayed like food items,gold,silver money and good clothes. I wonder why we are not adding I-phones also to this list. 😉 Vishukkani has to be seen between 4 and 6 AM and is generally arranged by grand mother or mother.While seeing the vishukkani ,you pray for a prosperous new year ahead. Elders gift you with money or goodies and you touch their feet and seek for blessings.My husband just loves this tradition as that’s the only day I touch his feet as he is the eldest of our nuclear family. 😛 🙂 Next comes the scrumptious meal ,Vishu Sadya which I prepared for my family. Sadya is served on banana leaf and no cutleries are used to eat the meal. You are supposed to enjoy the meal with your beautiful hands. 🙂

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

DSCN6860 I know that you are drooling while looking into the Sadya pic. Not your fault mate. It’s very natural and continue drooling. I am not gonna tell anyone. 😉 Sadya is an elaborate vegetarian spread with many dishes and desserts called payasam. Coconut ,coconut milk,and curry leaves play a big role in the cooking procedure.I belong to North Kerala,Malabar and we don’t mind having fish and chicken along with Sadya. Every dish has got a specific place in the banana leaf and it also has a scientific explanation. The banana leaf symbolizes a human body and every dish’s nutrients for each part of the body decides where on the leaf it has to be served.

The Sadya includes sarkkara uppery,uppery,mango pickle, pappadam, koottu curry,thoran, avial,sambar ,olan,pachadi,kitchadi,kaalan,puli inji,erissery,rasam, butter milk, banana and payasams. Payasams are of many kind but here I’ve served parippu pradhaman and pal ada payasam.I’ve tried to cover as many dishes as possible by me but there are many more which I wish to cover in the coming years.Kaara appam/Unniyappam and achappam/rose cookies are the sweet snacks prepared on Vishu. They are served in the brass uruli along with the Sadya for you to see. Please have a look dear!The Sadya dish’s recipes are included in my blog under kerala vegetarian dishes and on searching you can find them. DSCN6850 And that’s me in my traditional kerala saree which is a 2-piece saree called Mundu and Veshti. 😉 🙂

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

Kerala Vegeterian dishes South Indian veg Veg Dishes

Avial ( Mixed vegetable in yogurt and ground coconut)

Mythology behind this dish
It is supposed to have been invented by Bhima (one of the Pandava brothers) during their exile. According to the legend, when Ballav (Bhima’s name during this time) assumed his duties as the cook in the kitchen of Virata, he did not know how to cook. One of the first things he did was to chop up many different vegetables, boil them together and top the dish with grated coconut. There are mythological variations. Bheema is said to have prepared Avial, when there were unexpected guests for King Virata and he needed to serve meals for them. There was no sufficient vegetables to cook any single recipe for side dish, so Bheema used what ever available vegetables to make a new dish, which came to know as Avial.

Another narrative version relates to the attempt made by Kauravas to kill Bhima. After poisoning Bhima, Kauravas tied Bhima and threw him to water. Kauravas also communicated that they saw Bhima drowning in water. With the completion of the days of mourning, a funeral feast was planned and preparation were underway. Unexpectedly, Bhima emerged from the water, rescued by the Nagas. With this, preparations for the feast was cancelled. However, Bhima was unhappy with this decision, and decided to mix all of the vegetables to prepare a new dish, that later became popular as Avial. Another myth that in the kingdom of thiruvithankor in Kerala there was a great fest held by the king. Every one in the kingdom came to eat so there was a shortage of curry to be served. But in the kitchen also stocks were less so when the king visited the kitchen he found that a lot of vegetables were wasted when they were peeled . The king ordered the cook to make a curry with this along with some other ingredients so Avial was born. -Wikipedia.

Avial is an essential part of Kerala sadya, vegeterian feast. North keralites even add a piece of bitter gourd into this dish and wonderfuly cover up the bitterness with other ingredients. The final taste of Avial is just heavenly.
My plate with Avial as a side dish is added here. 🙂

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)
How to cook Avial?
Raw plantain – 1
elephant foot vegetable/yam – few pieces
carrot – 1 french beans – 10 nos
Drum sticks – 2 nos
Ash gourd pieces – 100 gms
bitter gourd – 2 finger shaped pieces only
sour curd – 1 cup
freshly grated coconut – 1 cup
cumin seeds – 1 tsp
green chillies – 2
coconut oil – 2 tbsp
curry leaves – 2 strands
turmeric powder – one pinch
salt – to taste
garlic – 2 to 3 pods (optional)
1. Cook all the veggies together in a big pan/kadai after adding one cup water ,turmeric powder and salt .Grind coconut,green chillies and cumin to a coarse paste using curd and keep aside.
2. Once the veggies are cooked, make a dip in the middle as shown in the pic and add bruised garlic to it. Boil for 2 minutes.
3. Now add the coconut paste into the dip and slowly mix it with the boiled vceggies using a spoon. Make sure the coconut paste is mixed very well with the veggies.Check the sourness. If you need more, add more curd.Cook for 2 to 3 minutes with stirring occassionaly.
4. Switch off the flame and pour coconut oil ( preferably virgin oil) on top of the avial which is ready now. Add curry leaves. Mix gently and leave it covered for another few minutes for the aroma to set in.
Serve with rice and sambar.

Planning to surprise your family with Kerala vegeterian dishes or even Sadya? Then my other posts on Sambar , Avial , Koottu curry, Pachadi, Parippu curry,Puli inji and Payasam will do the magic for you!:)

Veg Dishes

Shahi Paneer

Aarush, my younger son asked ” so mom, am i a prince?” .I just raised my eyebrows and looked at him in surprise. Then he explained, ” Mom, our hindi lesson has a character called Appukkuttan, a “shahi gaj ” which means royal elephant. If this dish is called Shahi paneer and it is made for me, then i should be a prince right? I loved the way he explained the whole story to me and the connection he made between his lesson and my food. I told him softly” Yeah baby, you are my prince.”
Okay, I’m back to the dish now. Shahi paneer is a Mughal dish cooked for royal blood.But these days, as we all think of ourselves as kings and queens of our own world,we have all the right to cook and eat this royal dish. 🙂 Let’s see how it’s prepared.
serves – 6
Prep time – 15 minutes
Paneer/ cottage cheese ( cut into cubes) – 350 gm
Cashew nut paste – 3 to 4 tbsp
Milk – 1 cup
Onion – 2 medium-sized
Tomato puree – 5 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp
salt – to taste
ghee/ oil – 3 tbsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp ( Dried fenugreek leaves)
Kashmiri red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Green cardamom – 3
Black cardamom – 3
garam masala – 1 tsp
Ginger juliens – 2 tsp
Fresh cream – 1/2 cup (Optional)

1. Cut the onion into big pieces and boil in 2 cups of water. Drain and grind to a fine paste using mixie . Keep aside.
2. Heat some oil/ghee in a wok/kadai . Add the cardamoms and then the onion paste into the hot ghee and saute for 2 minutes. Now add the ginger juliens and tomato puree into the kadai and saute well. Add the red chilli powder followed by garam masla and saute till the time oil starts seperating.Add cashew paste. Now add some milk to get your preferred consistency of gravy.Add sugar and salt according to your taste.Mix well.
3. Now add the paneer cubes into the gravy and mix gently with spoon.
4. If you need a thinner consistency, add more milk instead of water for best results.Once the gravy comes to a boil ,switch off the flame.
5. Add Kasuri methi on top of the gravy. You may add fresh cream also if you need a richer gravy.

Serve hot with Naans or Kulchas. Enjoy!!!
1. Grind cashew nuts using milk in a mixie.
2. Ginger juliens should be very thin. If you are finding it difficult, grind ginger with tomato.

Thanks for dropping in ! Let me know your opinion about this dish here .


Quick Home made Naan

Hyderabad offers you endless number of fine restaurants who serves exotic food. All you’ve to do is just decide on the cuisine you are choosing for that day. Ohri’s is one of such restaurants where we landed for our lunch on a beautiful Sunday. While we were totaly engrossed in the flavours of juicy chikken tikkas and kababs, my younger son, Aarush asked me , ” Mom, do you know how to make these butter naans at home?” I paused for a while and then nodded as a positive answer. I remembered the day i tried making it at home couple of years back when i was just a novice at kitchen. Needless to say, it was a disaster. But didn’t wanna tell my baby about that sad story.I decided to try the naans at home and this time i do not want failure for sure. Thank you Vahchef for the wonderful recipe and i ended up making superb naans at my kitchen finally. 😉

Maida/ all purpose flour – 2 cups
milk – 1/2 cup
yeast – 1 tsp
sugar – 1 tbsp
salt – to taste
oil – 1 or 2 tbsp
1. Mix yeast and sugar in luke warm water and keep aside for 5 minutes.
2. Take the flour in a flat plate where you will be kneading the dough. Add yeast water into the flour and some salt. Knead the dough with your hands softly using milk .
3. Do not panic if the dough turned out slightly sticky. Apply some oil on your hand and knead again.
5. Leave the dough to ferment for 20 minutes.If the room temperature is too low, please ferment 40 minutes more or till the time dough puffs up nicely.Do not refrigerate the dough after kneading.
6. Make small balls of the dough and flatten them into the naan shape ( triangular) using the roller pin.

Now i’m gonna explain the Tawa as well as Oven method. Choose what you like.

Tawa/Hot plate method
1. Apply some water on one side of the flattened naan and put that side on hot  Iron tawa. Once you see bubbles on the outer side, take the tawa using handle and turn it upside down. Cook the other side of the naan on the flame directly on slow flame. Do not burn the side.Apply butter and serve hot!

Oven method
1.Preheat the oven to highest temperature possible in your oven. Arrange two flattened naans on one non stick tray and leave it in the oven for about 4 to 5 minutes on 250 degree celcius or until the naan is brown. Switch off the oven to take out the tray. Flip the sides and bake for another 3 minutes. You can put chopped garlic or mint leaves for some flavour on top of the naan at this stage. Take the naans out of the oven and apply some butter before serving.

Naans are more enjoyable with rich gravies like shahi paneer, Butter chicken etc.

Hyderabadi flavours Veg Dishes

Baby onion ka salan

Baby onion ka salan is prepared using the same method as Dum ka tamatar. Instead of tomato , here we are using baby onions.Aristocratic Nizams always contributed to the development of the culinary art.Wanna learn how to make Hyderabadi Baingan ka salan , Mirch ka salan? Their dishes are richly endowed with nuts and assorted spices and cooked in pure ghee. Hyderabadi food has to be enjoyed to be believed. The slow cooking and Dum method helps in producing rich aroma and flavours.
Prep time 1 hr
serves 6
Peanuts 1 1/2 tb
Sesame seeds 1 1/2 tb
Grated fresh Coconut 1 1/2 tb
Ghee 4 tb ( Or any oil you prefer)
Mustard seeds ¼ ts
Cumin seeds ¼ ts
Methi seeds 1/8 ts
Red chilly 3 n
Ginger garlic paste 1 ts
Curry leaves 2 sp
Cumin powder ½ ts
Coriander powder 1 ts
Chilly powder 1 tb
Onions 1 big
Turmeric pinch
Green chilly 2 n
Coriander chopped ½ b
Mint chopped ½ b
Baby onions 100 gm
Tamarind juice ¼ cup
Jaggery 1 small piece

1.Dry roast peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut in a heated pan till the colour of the coconut turns light brown.Grind this into a paste in a mixie. Use some water for grinding.
2.Heat the oil in a thick bottomed vessel and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, methi seeds ,red chilly and curry leaves to it. Let the seeds crackle.
3. Add chopped onion to the pan and saute till it turns slight brown.
4. Once the onions turn brown, add Ginger garlic paste and saute well. Add turmeric pdr, red chilly pdr & coriander powder . Saute in low flame for 3 minutes.
5.Now add the ground pste to the pan and mix well on high flame for 2 minutes.
6.Add sliced green chillie, chopped coriader and mint leaves to the pan and mix well.
7.Add tamarind juice followed by jaggery and mix well.
8. Add salt & 2 cups of water and let it come to boil once followed by 30 minutes on slow fire.Cover the lid and let it cook slowly.Mix well in between .
9. Saute the peeled baby onions in 1 tsp oil till it turns ink. Add this onion into the gravy and cook covered for 10 minutes.
10. Serve hot with Pulao or Biriyanis.