Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma

Vegetable Kurma is a very popular south Indian curry. Assorted vegetables are cooked in gravy made with coconut, tomato, onions, and spices. This versatile curry can be served with poori as breakfast, with paratha or rice as lunch/dinner.  I don’t know if the place still exists, but there used to be a small south Indian restaurant called Rau’s near my dad’s shop; I have tasted one of the best kurmas there apart from in my mom’s kitchen ofcourse. There are different variations of this curry. This recipe is my mom’s version of the kurma.

The spices for kurma gravy differ from region to region. I like the flavor of poppy seeds in this curry but unfortunately, poppy seeds are not available in Singapore. Another change you can make is to replace fresh coconut with thick coconut milk to make the gravy creamier. If you want thicker gravy, reduce the amount of water from 2/3 cups to ½ cup. I keep the gravy little runny as I like to eat this curry with plain rice too.

I don’t know the reason but most of the restaurants have the veggies cut in diamond shape for kurma. I usually avoid cauliflower in this curry but if you like cauliflower, do add it. It adds to the flavor of the curry. Some restaurants add mushrooms too. I stick to the veggies I like.

Vegetable Kurma tastes best with hot puris and rava dosa. You can also have it with plain rice, biryani, parathas, or naan.

Vegetable Kurma


Serves 3-4

  • 1 carrot diced
  • 5-6 green beans chopped
  • 1 potato cubed
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets
  • ¼ cup thick yogurt
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2/3 cup water
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For Gravy (To be ground to fine paste)

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 2 green chillies
  • 2 red chillies
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 small piece ginger
  • 2-3 pieces (appx 2 tbsp) coconut
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
  • 2 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus) (optional)


Grind all the ingredients for gravy to a smooth paste. If required, you can even pass the paste through a sieve to get a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add curry leaves. Once the leaves pop, add the gravy paste and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the fat separates. Keep mixing every few seconds. Add the turmeric, garam masala, vegetables, salt, and water. Mix well. Close the lid and cook for 2 whistles. Once the pressure is released, open the cooker and let the curry cool down for few minutes. Add the thick yogurt and mix well. Serve hot with puri or rice.

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)

What Childaa or Chilva is to Rajasthan and North Indian, Pesarattu is to Andhra Pradesh and South India. It is a crepe or dosa like snack made with split green grams (called Pesar Pappu in Telugu; thus the name Pesarattu).  It is a very filling and healthy breakfast.  It also has a variation called MLA Pesarattu which is made by filling the pesarattu with a layer of upma.

You can make the pesarattus thin and crispy or slightly thicker. To make the pesarattu thicker, keep the batter coarse. The consistency of batter should be like dosa batter. You can add asafetida, garlic, fresh coriander to the batter while grinding it but it is optional.

In North India, it is filled with grated paneer and in south its eaten plain or filled with a layer of upma or chopped onions. You can also add grated carrots to the filling if you like. This tastes best with coconut chutney or garlic chutney.

Pesarattu (South Indian Savory Crepes)


Makes 12-15

  • 1 cup split green gram (moong dal) soaked for 6-8 hours
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • ¼ cup grated paneer (Indian cottage cheese)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil/ghee/butter for cooking


Wash the moong dal and soak in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water and grind the moong dal, chillies, ginger, and salt to a smooth paste.  Add little water if required. The consistency of the batter should be like of a dosa batter.

Heat a flat griddle (tava). Spray or smear some ghee/oil and wipe it. Pour a ladle full of batter and spread it thin on the griddle. Top it with grated paneer and onions. Spray or drizzle oil/ghee/butter around the pesarattu. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Turnover and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Serve hot with coconut chutney or tomato chutney.

Quick Bisi Bele Bath

Quick Bisi Bele Bath

Bisibele bath is a dish from Karnataka but also popular in Hyderabad. It’s a spicy and sour mix of rice and lentils.  My mom uses left over rice and dal to make excellent instant bisi bele bath. It’s a quick makeover to the left over dal rice. Just add some mixed vegetables, spices and you have an interesting and delicious breakfast/lunch dish ready.

Hyderabad has numerous restaurants which serve a dish called sambar rice with veggies. This recipe of my mom comes closest to it. My mom uses the khatti dal that we prepare at home. You can use any toor (split pigeon pea) based dal. I haven’t tried this dish with other lentils yet. If you are using a dal which is not sour, add tamarind water while cooking.

You can use any vegetables you like for this dish but I prefer carrots, beans and peas. The main ingredients for this dish are sambar powder and the karampodi. They take this simple dal rice mix to another level. You can add or reduce the karampodi as per your preference of spice in food.  Bisibele bath can be served a breakfast or lunch. It tastes best when it is hot.

Quick Bisi Bele Bath


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 4-5 dry red chillies
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • ¼ cup mixed vegetables chopped (carrot, beans, peas)
  • 1 small tomato chopped
  • ½ tbsp sambar powder
  • 1 tbsp karam podi (gun powder served with idlis or south Indian meals)
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1 cup dal (I used the khatti dal my mom prepares at home)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind water (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp coriander
  • Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pressure cooker.  Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add dry red chillies, asafetida, and curry leaves.

Add onions and vegetables and sauté for 1-2 mins. Add tomatoes and cook for 30-40 seconds. Add sambar powder, karam podi, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well. Add dal and 1 cup water.  Close the cooker and cook till the pressure is released once (one whistle). Switch off the gas after one whistle. Once the cooker is cooled, open and add rice and mix well. Close the cooker again and cook on slow flame till you get two more whistles. Open the cooker once it is cooled completely. Add chopped coriander and serve hot with papad and lime pickle.



Idli is my most favorite food. I can have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This popular and healthy breakfast from south India is a sour dough preparation made with urad dal and rice. Dal and rice are soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then steamed in special idli moulds to get soft and fluffy idlis. This recipe is my mom’s recipe using urad dal and idli rava. These are the idlis you get in Hyderabad and for me these are the best idlis in the world. You can get idli in Hyderabad 24×7. There are famous road side joints which have people queuing up at even 2 am for soft melt in the mouth idlis.

Idli recipe looks very simple but getting soft and fluffy idli takes lot of effort and experience. It depends on the quality of urad dal and idli rava. If the rava is not washed properly, the idlis will turn out yellow. Adding fenugreek seeds to the urad dal will help the batter ferment well. If the dal is less, idlis will be hard. Some people add poha to the urad dal. But adding excess poha will make the idlis flat.  Adding bottled or cold water while grinding the batter also helps to make the idlis softer.

The consistency of idli batter should be like whipped cream. It should fall of from spoon easily. Do not over fill the mould. Leave some space for idlis to expand. Idlis can be enjoyed with different chutneys and sambhar. The most common combination for idli is coconut chutney and sambhar. I like it with karam podi.

Idlis make one of the healthiest breakfasts. Top the idlis with ghee or butter if you like.



Makes 20-30 idlis depending on the size of Idli mould

  • 500 gms (2 cups) Idli rava
  • 200 gms (3/4 cup) urad dal
  • 10 grams (2 tbsp) fenugreek seeds


  • ½ cup coconut
  • 3 green chillies
  • ½ cup yellow roasted chick peas
  • ¼ cup ground nuts roasted
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • Salt to taste

For chutney

Grind all the ingredients for chutney to a smooth paste using little water.

For Idli

Wash the idli rava 3-4 times under running water. Soak in water and keep aside 6-7 hours.  Wash the urad dal and fenugreek seeds 3-4 times under running water.  Soak in water and keep aside for 6-7 hours. Drain water from urad dal and grind it to a smooth paste adding little water. Drain the water from idli rava and add the urad dal paste to it. Add salt and cover and keep aside over night to ferment. Remember to leave enough space in the utensil for the batter to rise as it ferments. If the temperature outside is cold, keep the batter in a microwave or oven (do not switch them on) or any warm place.

Once the batter is fermented, mix it lightly. Pour the batter in greased idli mould and steam for 8-10 minutes. Check the idli and steam again for few minutes if required. Serve hot idlis with chutney and sambar.


Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)

Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)

My mom has been making dosa every alternate Sunday for more than 30 years now. Idli and Dosa are fixed weekend breakfast at my place. In Hyderabad, you can find lot of roadside stalls selling a variety of dosas. Right from zero oil steamed dosa to the butter laden variety dosas, you can practically eat dosa 24×7 in Hyderabad. This Indian pancake is made of various lentils soaked, ground and fermented overnight. The batter is then spread thinly like a pancake on a hot griddle and eaten with coconut chutney and potato curry.

Though I love the yummy (read full of butter) dosa sold on the roadsides, here is the healthier version. This is my family recipe of dosa. At our place, dosa is served the traditional way, with a very simple potato and onions curry and coconut chutney.

Dosa is one of the most versatile Indian breakfast which can be filled with anything you like. Paneer bhurji, vegetables, chocolate, cheese, pav bhaji the list is endless. It is best eaten hot and you can keep the batter in the freezer and reuse it later. If you have the batter ready, it is pretty quick to make.

Masala Dosa (Indian Savory Pancakes)


Serves 4

Dosa Batter

  • 1 cup + 1/4th cup rice
  • 2/3rd  cup urad dal
  • 2/3rd  cup chana dal
  • 1/4th cup sago (sabutdana)
  • 8-10 fenugreek seeds
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Oil, ghee, or butter as required to cook the dosa

Potato Curry

  • 4 potatoes
  • 2 onions chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 2 inch piece of ginger grated
  • 3 green chillies slit
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 2 dry red chillies broken
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • ½ cup bengal gram (futana dal or chana)
  • ¼ cup grated coconut
  • 2 green chillies
  • Salt to taste

For Dosa batter

Wash rice, urad dal, chana dal, and sago 3 -4 times. Soak them in enough water with fenugreek seeds for 4-5 hours. Drain and grind the ingredients to a smooth batter using as little water as possible. The batter should not be runny. Add salt and sugar and mix well. Keep the batter in a large vessel and cover it and store it in a warm place overnight or 8-9 hours to ferment. Once the batter is fermented, mix it well and add little water if the batter is too thick.

For Curry

Pressure cook the potatoes with little salt for 3 whistles or till they are very soft. Peel and cube the potatoes.

Heat oil in a kadhai (wok). Add mustard and cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add ginger, curry leaves, and the dry red chillies. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric, and chopped coriander and mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

For Chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste adding little water.

For Dosa

Heat a thick and flat griddle (tava). Put a ladle full of dosa batter on it and spread it thinly like a pancake. Pour oil/ghee/butter around the dosa and let it cook till it becomes crispy on edges. You can use a non-stick pan if you want oil free dosas.

You can put the potato curry in the center, roll it and serve with chutney. Or just roll the dosa and serve with potato curry and chutney.


If you want to add any other filling, spread it on the dosa once you spread the batter on tava.

If the dosa is not coming out of the tava, spray some oil and clean the tava with a tissue.