Tag Archives: cooking

World Palate Recipes: Snake Gourd Vegetable (Potlakaya Poriyal)



It’s been an exciting learning curve in our newly planted kitchen garden. The sun’s direction, weather changes, water supply and fertility of soil were our primary challenges. Then came the deciding factor of choosing plants and their positioning.

As the Bhindi (okra) and potlakaya (snake gourd) began thriving, we (first timers) counted each new leaf and pod:) The potlakaya creeper is a fast growing plant and soon climbed up the prepared trellis and gave small white flowers in abundance. ‘Look! let’s count the potlakaya hanging underneath’ I later muttered to hubby. We even tied a string and stone to each so it would grow long and straight…haha!

Over to the kitchen- with the garden fresh gourd  in hand.

padval, chirchinda. It grows best in warm climate and sandy, loamy soil with a bit of compost. It is high in fiber and has much water, so it’s low in calories. It has Vitamin A, B and C and is used in medicinal properties like treating dandruff and diabetes. The pith and seeds are discarded after slicing.

A variety of recipes can be made from this vegetable. One can just temper /fry it for a curry, boil it and add some yoghurt for a raita or make stuffed curry. What’s your preferred recipe? From which region?

(Potlakaya Poriyal) or Snake gourd Vegetable


2 snake gourds medium length

1/2 cup fresh grated coconut (or dry roasted, if not available)


1/2 spoon urad dal + chana dal mixture

1 sprig of curry leaf

1 spoon mustard seeds

1 spoon turmeric powder or haldi

1-2 dry red chillies

(optional – green chilli and ginger paste as required)

Traditional Spice box or Masala Dabba


1-2 snake gourds, choose tender ones. Slit lengthwise and de seed, removing all the pith. Wash and sprinkle some salt, let it rest. Discard the water.

In a wok/ kadhai add 2 spoons of oil. Once warm, sprinkle the lentil mixture, mustard seeds and dry red chilli. Add a sprig of curry leaf or kadipatta. Let this tadka or tempering crackle, take care this does not burn.

Add the gourd pieces and stir cook. Add a bit of water to cook if required else cover the kadhai with a some water on the lid. Stir as required and vegetable cooks quickly. Add the fresh grated coconut, adjust the salt.

I avoid adding any ginger / garlic to these garden fresh vegetables to keep their inherent taste. Suit yourself. Garnish with kadipatta or curry leaves. Serve with rice or roti.


A very quick and easy preparation, and light on the stomach. Enjoy!

What’s growing in your garden?

All content and images copyright belong to Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer


World Palate Recipes: Dry Fruits Barfi (Noughat)


Once again it’s the festival of lights – Deepavali. All over India homes, shops and streets are decked in bright colour, tinkling lights, and garlands of marigold flowers. The festival celebrates ‘light over darkness’ and rejuvenating ourselves with knowledge. People lit diya or mud lamps in their homes and offices, symbolically to spread light.

Rangoli floor design

Indulgence in sweets mithai comes only naturally as friends and family  visit each other exchanging traditional home made sweets like Ladoo, Karanji, Doodh pak, Kalakand, Gulab Jamun. In recent times, fusion food followers are making fresh efforts to introduce new ingredients and recipes. Rose water, figs, khoya and baadam, chocolate, avocado and variety of nuts give a twist to the traditional recipes.

Here is a quick, easy and nutritious recipe using dry fruits.

Dry fruit Barfi


30 gms of each – almonds, figs, dates, pistachio, cashew nut ..and any other nut you may wish to introduce

20 gms roasted sesame seeds

10 gms poppy seeds or khus khus

2 spoons ghee or clarified butter

2 spoons wheat flour (optional)


Finely chop the figs, dates and lightly soak them in very few drops of water for about 5-10 mins.

Coarse grind almonds, pistachio, cashew nuts and roasted sesame seeds – all separately! Keep aside in small separate portions.

Put a large pan on the burner to warm, add ghee and stir as it melts. Add the flour and roast till it gives aroma. Add in the dry fruits and nut mixture. Keep aside some pistachio powder and khus khus for garnish. Stir the mixture till all is well coated and mixed. Remove from burner and roll into cylindrical shape tightly. Tie a plastic wrap or aluminium foil and refrigerate.

Once cooled, remove from wrap. Cut into 1/2 inch pieces. Roll the edges with khus khus. Decorate on plate. (Optional – coat with silver edible foil if you wish, adds a festive touch).

Happy Deepavali. Enjoy the treats with your dear ones.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2017) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer

World Palate Recipes: Sagan Ni Sev (Parsi Style)


Go to any Parsi household on a Sagan, auspicious day you will always find a big bowl of Sev or vermicelli at the table. Thanks to my Parsi friend, for inviting me to lunch and specially making this nutty sweet Sev. She reminisced how her mother always made Sev for birthdays or Sagan and garnished it with plenty of pistachios, raisins and almonds. ‘Bananas and mithoo dahi, sweet yoghurt was served too’ she added.

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Parsi Sev (Vermicelli)

Iranians (Persians) were involved in trade with India since many centuries. The Parsi from Iran seeking refuge from the Islamic invasion landed in Gujarat, India. Their Zoroastrian faith shared much in common with that of the Hindus. On arrival in Gujarat, Jadi Rana the local ruler refused them entry and sanctuary to these warrior-like people. But soon the priests convinced the ruler that the Parsi would be ‘like sugar in a full cup of milk, adding sweetness but not causing it to overflow.’ Jadi Rana ordered them to adopt the local dress, customs and adapt the cuisine to blend with the Gujrati locals.

Though the Parsi prefered meat and fish they gradually incorporated local cereals, pulses and masalas into their cuisine. However the Persian ingredients of apricots, pistachios and nuts remained a favourite and a distinct reminder of their origins.

                           Dessert Recipe:  Sagan ni Sev

Be liberal with ghee, and have plenty of patience while cooking!


1 packet thin vermicelli

5-8 spoons of pure Ghee (clarified butter)

water as needed

Sugar 5-8 tsps. or suit your taste

For garnish: saffron strands, pistachios, almond flakes, raisins.

Nutmeg and cardamom powder (jaiphal and elaichi)

Ingredients for Sev

Ingredients for Sev


Crush the vermicelli lightly, leaving medium long strands and keep aside. It will shorten while roasting. Put a big pan on the stove, put 4-5 spoons of ghee and melt it. Add the nuts mixture, roast lightly. The aroma soon fills the kitchen space:). Keep a small amount aside for garnish.

Now add the crushed vermicelli and roast lightly, adding a dollop of ghee again. Sprinkle over some sugar, the Sev gets a dark colour due caramelized sugar.

Sprinkle few drops of water, just enough to wet the mixture. Caution! too much water will make a ‘londho’ or lump! Keep stirring to even out the mixture. Cover for few minutes.

Remove cover, add another dollop of ghee and the Sev is now ready cooked and lightly crisp. Add the cardamom and nutmeg powder. Garnish with nuts mixture. Remove in a decorative plate.

Serve warm. Enjoy the distinct Persian flavour while narrating the ‘Quessa e Sanjan’ and Jadi Rana’s story, just like my friend did.

Sev. (Parsi style)

Sev. (Parsi style)


All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.



World Palate Recipes: Nawabi Style Sitaphal Phirni ( Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)


Today I share with you a traditional Nawabi style fruit filled dessert: rice pudding or Phirni.

Rice pudding is one of the basic desserts found in many cultures. Preparation is simple using two easily available ingredients of rice and milk and then sweetening it. Whether its a traditional Danish Christmas meal with risalmande, or a Hindu custom of Annaprasana, of introducing solid food to a baby preparing a rice kheer or the popular Arabic dessert Muhallibiya made from rice flour, milk and dates. The rice pudding plays an important role in many cultures. Here are some more names for the same:Dudh pak, Phirni, Kheer, Bubur Susam, Riz au lait.

Adding fruits to desserts is yet another tradition. Different seasons different geography and cultures, but the house cook has the same task! Gathering, cooking and preserving Nature’s bountiful fruit. From farm to kitchen to table…fruits add nutrition and taste to chutney, sauce, puddings, tarts, jams and kheer.

Custard apple, Sitaphal as it is popularly called, is in season in Hyderabad, India. The then ruling Nawabs of Hyderabad popularised this traditional Phirni adding the seasonal fruit for a delicious twist.

Today, it was a laborious joy of opening the soft, squishy fruit, deseeding it and mashing the pulp to add to Phirni or Kheer. sitaphal-fruit

Sitaphal Phirni (Custard Apple and Rice Pudding)


1 cup full flavoured rice (or any of choice)

1 litre full cream milk (or use a condensed milk can)

2 cups sugar

Sitaphal pulp about 200 gms ( 3-4 fruits)

For garnish: few cashews, pistachio, saffron strands



Soak the rice in 2 cups water for over an hour. Then process to rough grainy consistency in blender, along with water. Put milk to boil in large bottom vessel on low flame ( yes! time consuming, but traditional method in most cultures.) (Or use condensed milk, lightly thinned with water or milk.) Add the grainy rice paste and keep stirring and boiling. (till patience runs out:) and the mixture turns thick.

boiling milk for phirni

boiling milk for phirni


Open the fruit, deseed and keep pulp aside. Lightly mash, keep covered. Prepare cashews and pistachio for garnish, slice them thin. Soak saffron strands in warm milk for few minutes till colour turns bright orange.

Add necessary amount of sugar to the rice-milk pudding, keep stirring. Add fruit, this too lends sweetness! Add half of garnish.

Take vessel off the heat and stir mixture / Phirni well.




Serve warm or chilled, pouring it into desired containers. Use silver cups for regal or festive, baked mud cups for traditional serving. Garnish with remaining fruit pulp and pistachio and saffron.

Happy feasting! Let me know how your friends and family liked this treat.

Sitaphal Phirni

Sitaphal Phirni


I take much enthusiasm and energy to prepare food and capture photos. Please respect and give credit as needed or contact me.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer


World Palate Recipes: Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry


The fall season is almost here, leaves are changing colours and pumpkins are abundant! Soon Halloween and the pumpkin carving fun will be upon us. Pumpkins come both with orange and green coloured skins. They are rich in fiber and vitamin. Being versatile, pumpkins are easy to cook up many cuisines from savoury to sweet recipes, be it soup, curry or even desserts!


Pumpkins. Courtesy: Wikimedia commons /pumpkins

Just yesterday, I attended a ladies meet. There was plenty of home made food, laughter and non stop chatter. Amidst the fun we exchanged some recipes and enjoyed the delicious pumpkin curry made by our hostess. Crunchy skin and roasted seeds added texture to the sweet, spicy curry.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Vegetable Curry

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds

Pumpkin curry with roasted seeds


350 – 400 gms of orange pumpkin (keep the skin)

2-3 medium size onions

1-2 green chillies

salt, water, oil as desired

For Gravy:

50 gms of khus khus seeds

50 gms dessicated coconut ( fresh preferable)

2 tsps. sesame seeds

1 inch ginger

3-6 garlic cloves

For Tempering:

1 spoon cumin seeds (roasted for full flavour)

1 tsps. turmeric powder

curry leaves (optional)

coriander leaves for garnish

roasted pumpkin seeds (remove outer skin)

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients

Pumpkin vegetable ingredients


Wash and cut the pumpkin into small cubes with skin intact, remove the pith and seeds. Keep the seeds aside on paper, later roast them in oven or heated pan and cool. Keep aside.

Chop the onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and coconut and grind into fine paste. Lightly roast the sesame seeds and khus khus. Cool and powder them.

Heat 2 big ladles of cooking oil in heavy bottom pan or wok. Splutter the cumin, add turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add fresh paste of onion -ginger and lightly roast till soft brown, the strong aroma fills the kitchen – Beware! Add the seeds paste and some water to keep mixture from browning.

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Pumpkin cut in cubes

Add the cubed pumpkin, salt and just enough water to cover the curry mixture. (if you wish add a pinch to sugar…to bring out the sweetness). Cover, gently cook the curry, till pumpkin is just tender and bit crunchy.

Take off the gas stove, pouring cooked curry into desired dish. Garnish with chopped coriander, roasted seeds that add to the crunchy texture.

Enjoy this delicious curry with contrasting flavours. Serve with rice or Roti /Naan / Pita bread.

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

Pumpkin Curry garnished with roasted seeds

For another Pumpkin recipe see here.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer


World Palate Recipes: Egg-xtra Special Mother’s Day Breakfast


      Why not treat Mother an egg-xtra nutritious breakfast? Whether on Mother’s day or a Sunday, or on holiday when mother is visiting. I was treated to one such yummy breakfast, specially made with love and attention to details and brimming with nutrition.

Breakfast is the first meal of the day, and should ideally be packed with goodness to survive and combat the day’s nutritional needs. So don’t skip this important meal, rather make your choices with awareness.

Eggs are easy to cook, versatile, and very nutritious, they make a healthy option (for those who eat them). Packed with proteins, vitamins and minerals, both egg white and the yellow yolk can be consumed, though the yolk has cholesterol. There are many varieties of eggs, the most popular one is the chicken egg, other gourmet eggs being that of quail, goose and duck.

            Top tip… A fresh egg will sink in water, a stale one will float.

A healthy breakfast plate

A healthy breakfast plate


2 large or medium eggs

salt and pepper to taste

5 spoons of milk ( high fat tastes better!)

2 tbsp. water

1-2 tbsp. olive oil / other oil of choice

heavy bottom pan, egg whisk and bowl.

Garnish /Side

Half soft ripe avocado

5-6 sprigs of asparagus

herbs of choice

4-5 mushrooms

wheat crackers (optional)

Dollop of Hummus (optional)

Frozen Berries or summer fruit

1 cup low-fat yoghurt


In a bowl, crack the eggs ( leave out yolk if any cholesterol issues), discard the skin. Add few drops of water and milk, salt and pepper and whisk gently, taking care to incorporate air. Do not over whisk, or peak the egg whites stiff.

Heat up a heavy bottom pan or skillet. Add some olive oil or butter or other oil. Do not over heat pan. Gently add the egg mixture and keep stirring, folding in the eggs as they begin to cook. Reduce flame as desired. Keep folding in the mixture till nearly done, switch off flame. The heat in the pan will cook the eggs further, but keep them fluffy and soft. Toss gently on to prepared plate.

In another heated pan, add olive oil. Break and discard the hard bits of asparagus. They are NOT fun to chew upon while enjoying breakfast. Toss the asparagus into the heated pan, drizzle with more oil, add herbs, salt and pepper. Cook till just bit tender and chewy. Do not over cook. Set aside. Now sauté the sliced mushroom in a similar way.

Garnish the plate with slices of avocado, dollop of hummus ( or thick yoghurt), scrambled eggs and dress them up with cooked green asparagus shoots. Serve with toast or wheat crackers.

To a bowl of yoghurt, add some frozen berries or fresh-cut summer fruit. The colours will highlight the serving and bring extra smiles of contentment to Mother. ‘Ah…what a satisfying meal and start to the day’.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2016) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer






World Palate Recipes: Andhra Palli Pachadi( Peanut Chutney)


   Andhra Palli Pachadi (Peanut Chutney)

Groundnuts or peanuts are extensively grown on the central Indian Deccan plateau. Regional produce thus, often finds its way into regional cuisine!

Deccan cuisines of Maharashtra, Gujrat and central Andhra often incorporate the crunchy, nutritious peanuts in a variety of ways. Boiled with salt they are served as street snack, lightly roasted in oil they add crunch to salads (koshimbir), and when ground to paste they blend into gravies – thus finding their ways into recipes. Peanuts add texture, colour and nutrition!

Are peanuts the world’s healthiest food? Cheaper than almonds? Maybe. Rich in proteins and minerals, comparatively cheaper than exotic almonds and hazelnuts. Often in the agricultural rural regions, peanuts are a perfect answer for the poor man, farmer or labourer toiling away.


Thanks to my domestic helper Satyavati, in Hyderabad. She taught me to make this simple, rustic and quick chutney…typical rural method.

Aren’t you lucky she shared her simple knowledge with us all?

Image result for quotes about sharing knowledge

Courtesy: Internet.


Peanut chutney ingredients

Peanut chutney ingredients

250 gms lightly roasted peanuts ( or buy a pack from supermarket)

2 small onions

1 inch ginger

2-3 sprigs coriander for garnish

water as required

salt as needed

2 red chillies ( or as desired)


1tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp jeera (cumin seeds) 2-3 curry leaves, 2 tsps. cooking oil.


Place peanuts in heavy bottom wok /kadhai and lightly roast them, continuously stirring them for about 10 minutes. Place aside to cool, remove skin. Cool completely. (Else use pre roasted peanuts from jar or pack:)

Make the tempering – heat oil in pan, splutter the mustard and jeera seeds. quickly add red chilli and switch off gas. Add curry leaves. Cool.

In a grinder, place peanuts and make coarse powder, stirring in between to check consistency. Mix well, grind further to finer paste. Remove and place in container.

Grind the onion and ginger to paste, using water sparingly. Mix with peanut powder. Adjust salt, chilli and water to this mixture to make a runny consistency.

Add the tempering, mix well. Chutney is ready in a jiffy! Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve preferably along with dosa, uttappa or rice. Leftovers can find their way into sandwich or Roti.

Chutney and Uttappa

Chutney and Uttappa

Do you have another method for this chutney? Or if you wish to contact me for another peanut recipe, leave a message. Remember to share.


All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer





World Palate Recipes: Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita

World Palate Recipes: Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita

           Beetroot, Red Grape and Onion Raita


Beetroot specials are strictly for the roots lovers! Well, say it’s an acquired taste. I can already hear some family members groan and ask ‘Eee…w, Why beetroot?’ But for me, I love the intense colour. The mild, sweet taste and health benefits are extras.

Beetroot has many minerals like potassium, iron, magnesium, and vitamins A, B6, folic acid and carbohydrates. Works well to cut blood pressure, increase stamina and iron (haeme) in the body therefore relieving any pain.


Beetroot and Onion Raita

Beetroot and Onion Raita


3 medium size beetroot

1 small onion

Few Red Grapes for garnish

2 sprigs of Coriander or Mint

200 gm Yoghurt (as desired)

Rock salt, Salt, chilli powder as per taste

1 spoon olive oil


Boil the beets in just enough water, so as not to waste any nutrients while discarding left over water. Cool and peel. Chop finely or grate it if you wish finer consistency. Chop the mint /coriander. Finely chop onion, after removing top and bottom ends and peeling off skin.

In a medium bowl, tip the yoghurt and stir. Add in olive oil, salt, chilli powder, rock salt ( all as desired). Whisk well lightly.

Put the beetroot and onions. Stir them in well. Add a few chopped Red grapes, reserving few for garnish.

To garnish: Place 2-3 full Red grapes, a sprig of coriander or mint, and some onion rings. Drizzle with little olive oil…its healthy! Serve as accompaniment with brown rice or Naan. Or use as a dip.

Stunning colour and crunch of textures makes it a favourite at anytime.

Beetroot raita and rice plate


Remember to leave your comments, even if your don’t like beetroot:)

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer




World Palate Recipes: Andhra Style Lentil with Yellow Cucumber (Dosakaya Pappu)

World Palate Recipes: Andhra Style Lentil with Yellow Cucumber (Dosakaya Pappu)


Lentils and vegetables make up for a large portion of nutrition, especially for vegetarians. There are proteins in Lentils and vegetables contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, essential for a healthy body.

Andhra food is a blend of South Indian, Mughlai/Muslim, and Deccan. In coastal Andhra rice, fish and sesame are staple ingredients, where as  in central or Deccan cuisine rice and millets are accompanied with meat, eggs, chicken and pulses or lentils. Andhra Pradesh and Telengana are  leaders in producing rice, red chilli, millets and other spices. They  are used liberally in its cuisine – making Andhra cuisine best known for its tangy, spicy and hot pickles, curries and koora or vegetable preparations with handful of lentils.

Have you ever enjoyed an Andhra Thali meal? Be ready to get mounds of rice with extra generous helpings accompanied with at least 6-8 side dishes served in katori and generous ladle full of  tangy, lentil based liquid curries like pulusu, sambhar and charu /rasam. For the faint hearted- down this with plenty of curd/yoghurt or buttermilk.

Andhra Thali meal Courtesy: www.cravebites.com

Andhra Thali meal
Courtesy: http://www.cravebites.com








As a vegetarian, lentils are a staple diet everyday. There are many ways to enjoy them, by adding them into salads and curries, leftovers find way into Roti or cutlets. Here is a simple, tasty, typical Andhra lentil curry called Dosakaya Pappu, or cucumber with lentil. To experiment, you may wish to add tomato, snake gourd /bottle gourd or any other to the basic lentil.


1 cup Tuvar dal /Arhar dal

I medium size Dosakaya or yellow cucumber


For Tempering /Tadka:

2 tablespoons cooking oil

1 tablespoon mustard seeds

pinch of Asaefotida or hing (optional)

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

few curry leaves

1-4 red chillies as desired

salt to taste


Wash and soak the lentil in 1-2 cups water for 10 minutes. Till then prepare the vegetable for adding. Peel the skin and chop into medium pieces. Check! if the cucumber or seeds are bitter..if, they are you have to discard it!

Chopped and peeled Yellow Cucumber ( Dosakaya)

Chopped and peeled Yellow Cucumber ( Dosakaya)

Now in a pressure pan ( I prefer cooking lentils easily this way), add the soaked lentils and chopped Dosakaya. Add another one cup water. Close lid and cook for one whistle. Do not over cook, it will make the Dosakaya mushy.






Once cooked, set aside.

Cooked Lentil and cucumber

Cooked Lentil and cucumber

Prepare the tadka. by heating a pan. Add oil, when warm, carefully add mustard seeds to splutter. Add turmeric, curry leaves, hing, red chillies. Add the lentil mix to this. Add salt as desired for taste. Mix gently.

Oil and spices Tempering or Tadka

Oil and spices Tempering or Tadka

Boil the mixture lightly, for further 2- 3 minutes, taking care not to overcook the Dosakaya.

For a traditional or rustic serving: Serve heaped ladles on top of steaming hot rice. Garnish with extra chillies and add a dollop of fresh butter or ghee. Carbohydrates, protein, fat and minerals from curry leaves and Dosakaya all complete in this meal. Serve some tangy mango or lime pickle and papads as accompaniment. 

Food is truly spiritual. It brings communities and friends together. Now sit down with your friends and family after serving this healthy meal and be blessed with the bonding experience!

Anna he poorna Brahman’

Andhra Sytle Thali meal

Andhra Sytle Thali meal

Don’t forget to share your thoughts (or recipe variations). Together we learn, in this big world.

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

World Palate Recipes: Semolina Uppuma (Upma)


Here is a popular South Indian breakfast recipe.  Not only is Uppuma or Uppitu, (names in Tamil and Kannada) very common in South Indian homes, but every household will have its own version, a little touch of this and that, which makes subtle changes in the basic recipe. Upma is a simple, nutritious breakfast item, served during the weekdays, as a tiffin item. When part of wedding breakfast menus, alongside popular Idli and Vadai, additional tempering and garnishing with roasted cashew nuts and colourful vegetables, changes it from the simple to the exotic!

Semolina Uppuma

Semolina Uppuma

Basic recipe uses coarse Semolina. But for variations, you may use Vermicelli, burghul or even fine broken rice, as popular in Tamil Nadu, southern India.

The story behind this recipe is: My visiting friend from Chennai (Madras) cooked this traditional South Indian breakfast for us. Isn’t it a wonderful time when friends get together, enjoy a laugh and share recipes? Thanks, Priya. The ingredient of love and goodness, turned the simple dish into a healthy meal with wholesome company.


1 medium onion

1 carrot or 3 beans or shelled peas (optional)

2 cups coarse semolina

1 inch finely chopped ginger

fistful roasted peanuts ( or cashew nuts)

Salt, green or red chilli and water – as required

3-5 tsps of ghee or clarified butter (optional)

For Tempering:

1 tsp. mustard

3 tsp. cooking oil

2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves

Semolina Upma Ingredients

Semolina Upma Ingredients

Upma preparation- Temperiing

Upma preparation- Temperiing


First lightly roast the semolina in a large pan or wok (kadhai), till lightly browned. Do not over brown it, as it will alter taste!. Keep aside in a plate to cool.

Prepare the tempering – Heat oil lightly in a thick, large wok. Add mustard seeds to crackle. Toss in peanuts, curry leaf, chilli, chopped onion, grated ginger, optional vegetables. Lightly fry these in oil. Add 2 cups water, little salt and let this mixture boil.Cover and let the vegetables cook lightly (not overcook!).

Remove lid, lower gas flame. Slowly pour the roasted semolina to the boiling water mixture, taking care not to pour all at once – else it will form into a lump. Stir the water /semolina mixture constantly. Adjust salt and water. Cover with lid and cook for 5 mins.

Stir gently once again, remove any lumps, add a generous dash of ghee, for that heavenly taste and aroma. Adjust water to cook semolina evenly, as it fluff in size.

Serve onto plate, garnish with roasted peanuts /cashew nuts /curry leaf. Or prepare mould and fill with Upma. Then invert onto plate and garnish.

Tomato chutney or coconut chutney makes a perfect combination with this. Enjoy!

         ‘Every recipe has a story behind it’

What is your favourite recipe? What is the story behind it?

All content and images copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.



World Palate Recipes: Singapore Style Rice Noodles

World Palate Recipes: Singapore Style Rice Noodles

Noodles are to Asian food, as pasta is to Italian cuisine.

China, Vietnam, Korea, Thailand, Singapore, Japan and even Sri Lanka, all have their own authentic versions of noodles and their varied preparing styles. Whether it is a main dish or a soup, noodles are a must at meal times. The three primary ingredients for making noodles are: wheat, rice or buckwheat.

As Asia is the rice bowl, rice is the staple diet here. Thus rice noodles are common. To add flavour and nutrition noodles are tossed with pork, beef, oysters, vegetables, Tofu or mushroom and garlic or spices differing according to the regional cuisines.

Here is a simple Singapore style rice noodle recipe often served popularly at Hawker centres. The HDB market located in Singapore’s housing estates are in proximity to the hawker centres. A great place to savour some authentic local dishes, at competent prices and a guarantee for freshness!

For other Singapore narrative on culture see here.

Rice noodles with Tofu

Rice noodles with Tofu


Rice noodles – about 2 cups after it’s been soaked
2 eggs (optional)
3 cups shredded cabbage (optional)
100 grams Tofu (Soy cheese)
1 carrot
½  a red onion
1 stick of celery or few baby corn
 2 large mushroom of choice
2 dried red chilli peppers
1 tablespoon oil
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon sesame oil
½ tablespoon soy sauce
Pinch of white pepper
     ( Non vegetarians may add – pork, beef or oysters of choice)
Large iron wok and 2 ladles to toss the noodles and vegetables.
Rice noodles and ingredients

Rice noodles and ingredients


As all stir fry recipes demand quick, hot wok cooking, it is best to keep all ingredients handy, all vegetables sliced thin and long ( just like the shape of noodles).

Remove desired quantity of noodles from pack. Place the crisp rice noodles into a large bowl of warm water, enough to cover them fully. Let them rest and fluff for about 10-15 minutes. Drain completely, taking care to gently lift and break the noodles into half-length. This makes it easier to eat 🙂

Now place the iron wok on stove. Heat it for few minutes. Add oil and fry the Tofu and keep aside to drain oil.

In same oil, add onion, chillies and stir fry quick on hot heat. Add all other vegetables and stir fry till crisp( not overcooked!). Toss the rice noodles into this mixture, reduce heat. Add salt, curry powder to taste.

When done, add desired amount of soy sauce. Add Tofu pieces. Toss all together. Prepare omelette of 2 eggs – sunny side up. Cut into long strips.

To serve: Gently toss the prepared noodles into large bowl, garnish with Tofu and vegetables. Top up with sliced omelette pieces. Serve hot. Fancy a beer? Grab a local Chang Beer, just like the locals at the hawker centre.

Rice noodles and little Red packets (Hong Bao)

Rice noodles and little Red packets (Hong Bao)

Ever eaten rice noodles? Where? What were the ingredients?  

Looking forward to some interesting comments. Till then, cook and eat.

All content copyright Veena S. (2013 -2015) http://www.walktomarket.wordpress.com. Please see copyright disclaimer.

World Palate Recipes- Hyderabadi Mirpakaya Pakodi ( Jalapeno Fritters)


World Palate Series 

Hyderabadi Mirpakaya Pakodi /Bhajji

(Jalapeno Fritters)

I had promised my readers some local recipes on my return from Hyderabad and Mumbai. For a festive recipe from my home town Mumbai, see Besan Ladoos for Deepavali.

Now lets’ savour street food from Hyderabad. The street stall down the lane where I reside, has always been a popular meeting point for the local labourer community. ‘Ting ting…. ting ting ‘ announces the hawker as he hits his large seived iron ladle on the simmering hot iron pan. Mirchi Pakodi or Mirpakaya Pakodi, as called in local Andhra language are sizzling hot and ready. Soon, crowds begin to gather around the simple Lungi clad hawker who fries the stuffed chilli peppers and hands them out coarsely on paper plates, garnished with chopped onion. Hmm… I was wary of taking a photo here – lest the local labour community begin to get curious.:(

Welcome to Hyderabad! The city of  Charminar, the iconic building with four minarets and the popular Chudi Bazaar, Lac Bazaar and pearl markets in the old town areas. But it is the Hyderabadi cuisine, and the popular Biryani, that draws chefs and tourists from all over India!

Pages from history describe the Nizam’s kitchen as elaborate and authentic, drawing the best of Khansama or cooks from the Mughal/Persian/Arabic lineage. It was the art of blending spices, mutton /lamb  and slow cooking Tandoor methods used that created some finest dishes and best kept secrets. It is said, even the young ladies of the house were banned from entering the kitchen! Recipes were passed down ONLY to the incoming daughter-in-laws, and they would learn and guard them. Mirchi ka Salan, lentil soups, kebabs, Biryani, Rogan Gosht and sweet treats like Double ka Meetha and Qubani are some delicacies of the era.

Another type of cuisine is the local Andhra food. Rice is staple diet, cooked in a variety of flavours. After the harvest, rice sweet /puddings are cooked traditionally using clay /earthen pots. For a Tamarind rice recipe, see here. Also popular are podi /chutneys/pickles that have a fiery, tangy element. Andhra people mix it with mounds of rice topped off with ghee and the fiery pickle to enjoy a hearty meal and some lip smacking. Beware you timid outsider…the experience might send your tummy rumbling and eyes tearing.

Let me share the recipe of Mirpakaya Pakodi / Mirchi Pakodi 

Mirchi photo


4-6 broad peppers / Jalapenos (de seeded)

Oil for frying

For batter:

1 cup lightly roasted Gram flour (chick pea /Besan)

2 tbsps. roasted flattened rice / Poha

Cumin powder, salt, chilli powder, ajwain – as per taste

Pinch of Soda bi carb (optional)

Fresh cut coriander as required (optional)



Mirpakaya pakori ingredients

Mirpakaya pakori ingredients

For stuffing:

100 gms.unsalted, roasted peanuts

50 gms. sesame seeds, roasted

1 inch size ball of tamarind

salt /cumin powder to taste

2 medium finely chopped onions


Mirpakaya /chilli - stuffed

Mirpakaya /chilli – stuffed


Wash, dry and de-seed the chilli pepper and leave aside to dry.

Prepare the stuffing – Coarsely grind the peanuts and sesame. Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add 2 tbsp. of warm water to tamarind and crush the pulp to make juice. Add this as required to dry ingredients, avoid making it too soggy. Begin filling the chilli peppers one by one, set aside on plate.

Heat oil in large wok /frying pan – do not smoke it!

Prepare the batter by mixing ingredients with small amount of water, at a time, to make a thick, pouring consistency.

Take one chilli pepper at a time, gently dip and rotate it in batter, coating it on all sides. Put it into the hot oil. Do same with remaining. Fry gently, turning it so as to give even heat and cook chilli on all sides till brown.

Remove from frying pan using large sieve ladle, draining excess oil. Set aside on plate.

To serve, garnish with chopped onion and lemon slice. Serve whole or sliced diagonally in half keeping th estem intact. Best served with frothy, milky Chai. 

Tip: If preparing 1 hour ahead of party, pre heat oven to low temperature, line aluminium foil on tray. Place Pakodi/ Bajji on them. Keep warm till ready to serve.

Mirpakaya pakori ready for serving

Mirchi /Mirpakaya pakodi