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Capsicum Mini Idlies – Did you miss World Idli Day?

Capsicum Mini Idli: As I was checking out my twitter handle (@sarahs_recipe), I came across the hashtag #worldIdliDay that was celebrated on March 30th. It was one of the top trends in twitter and there was even a contest conducted by Chef Ranveer Brar about no. of idli recipes in his app. There was so much happening and I missed all of it.  What was consoling was that that a day has been dedicated to celebrate Idli and being a South Indian, I felt really happy about it.

For my own satisfaction, I have created some colourful mini idli blossoms which I thought would be a delightful treat for the viewers. Besides that, I have recreated one of my moms recipe for pasta with that of mini idlies and I’m happy to share it. Capsicum mini idli is a must try lunch box recipe.

1 cup idli batter
1 capsicum(cut lengthwise into small pieces)
1/2 big onion(thinly cut lengthwise)
1/2 tomato(cut lengthwise into small pieces)
1 green chilly (slit lengthwise)
1 /2 tablespoon ginger garlic(crushed)
1 tspn fenned seeds
1/2 tspn pepper powder
1/4 tspn cummin powder
pinch of turmeric powder
1 sprig of curry leaves
Few coriander leaves
Salt to taste


1. Grease the mini idli plates with oil. Pour the batter using your tablespoon onto the mini idli plates. Steam them for 5 minutes. Remove the idlies with knife or spoon. Keep aside
2. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan, add the fennel seeds, ginger garlic, green chilly, onions and the curry leaves in quick succession and saute for a minute.
3. Now add the tomato and the capsicum pieces and saute for a minute. Then add the turmeric powder, salt and saute a minute.
4. Now add the mini idlies and saute, so that all the flavours mix together.
5. Switch of the stove – add the pepper powder, cumin powder and give a stir. Sprinkle few coriander leaves on top.
6. Now your capsicum mini idli is ready to be served.

Idli Blossoms:

mini idli

mini idli

For Idli blossoms:
I have used, grated carrot, beetroot and raw mango. See ref. pic below

mini idli

Happy cooking!



Prawn Brinjal curry/ Eral Kathirikai kuzhambhu

Prawn Brinjal curry/Eral Kathirikai kuzhambhu: Whenever I visit the fish market, I can’t help looking for prawns. Especially the tiger prawns are my favourite. If the prawns have a glassy look, then it means that they are really fresh. And its best to cook and eat prawns on the same day than refrigerating them. To Balance the heat, I always tend to add veggies to my prawn curry.

In this South Indian prawn curry, I have used brinjal/egg plant . The mild sweetness of prawns combined with brinjal and other spices, makes it an excellent side for steamed rice.  Other veggies that add great flavour to prawn curry are tapioca and ridge gourd. There are varied preparation like the chettinad eral kuzhambhu or the goan prawn curry where they tend to grind the masala. My version is slightly different and its even different from my moms preparation.

Prawn curry

1 cup prawns(deveined and cleaned)
4 brinjal (lengthwise thinly cut)
1 & 1/2 big onion(finely chopped)
2 big tomatoes(pureed)
1 tblspn ginger garlic paste
1 green chilly(slit lengthwise)
1&1/2 tblspn red chilly powder
2 tblspn coriander powder
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
gooseberry sized tamarind (soaked in water for 10 minutes and juice extracted)
1 sprig of curry leaves
few coriander leaves(finely chopped)
Salt to taste

1. Heat 3-4 tblspn oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds to splutter. Now add the fennel seeds, and curry leaves.
2. Then add the onions and green chilly. Sauté until the onions become golden brown.
3. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.
4. Then add tomato puree, turmeric powder, salt and saute for a minute or two. Then add chilly powder, coriander powder. Saute for a minute.
5. Now add the tamarind juice and 1 cup water. Let it cook in medium flame for 10 minutes.
6. In a separate pan, add 1 tblspn oil & saute the brinjal for 2 minutes and keep aside
6. When the curry starts to bubble, add the brinjal, prawns and cook in medium flame for 7-8 minutes. Switch off the stove.
7. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh coriander leaves on top of the prawn curry and serve hot with steamed rice.

Note: Sometimes I prefer adding coconut milk to the curry along with the prawns and give it a boil. Its taste really good and helps reducing heat.

Happy cooking!



Mutton Baby Corn Soup – So Yummy!

Mutton baby corn soup: My mom to used make soups when someone has cold in the house. But now, with changing lifestyle, I’m accustomed to making soups very often. I make mutton soup for my kid as an after school evening refreshment. The light sweetness in the baby corn enhances the flavour and taste of the mutton soup.

Whether it’s a mutton soup or a mutton curry , I prefer long simmering for better taste. Given the busy schedule, I always end up using pressure cooker to fasten the preparation. Nevertheless, the taste is awesome and a must try for the viewers. I sometime mix the soup with steamed rice or side it up with Appam/dosa for my kid. I must say, she enjoys it more than anything else.

mutton baby corn soup

1 cup mutton(cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup baby corn(slit length wise and cut)
1/2 big onion (chopped)
1 big tomato
pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn pepper powder
1/4 cummin powder
3-4 cloves
1 dry bayleaf
1 cardamom
1/2 tspn fennel seeds
1 inch ginger
4-5 garlic pods
coriander leaves
1 sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste

For Grinding:
Grind tomato, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds in a mixer and filter to get the spiced tomato juice. Keep aside

1. Clean the mutton pieces well and transfer them to a cooker. Along with it add the chopped onions, spiced tomato juice, turmeric powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, bay leaf and curry leaves. Pressure cook for 5-7 whistles until the mutton is soft and tender.
2. Now add the baby corn and pressure cook for 1 more whistle.
3. Transfer the mutton soup to a bowl, sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Happy cooking!

Quail Egg Snack – Kadai Muttai Bonda

Quail Egg Bonda : Surprisingly, I found these eggs in one of the South Indian shops here in Mumbai and immediately, I bought it, knowing the fact that it comes with loads of goodness and I planned to make a evening snack out of it, for my kid. Quail eggs are high in protein and vitamins that it is said to boost immunity and metabolism. These eggs are very small in size and have spots of black, here and there on the shell.

Kadai Muttai/quail eggs snack

I have eaten quail fry and it tastes delicious, almost similar to chicken except that it is thin and bony. My mom was saying that in those days, these eggs used to be cooked directly in the fire and eaten. That gives me another idea of heating them over the grill and I plan to try it out sooner.

The eggs were so delicate as I lifted them in hand from the package and I was really cautious while transferring them to another bowl for boiling. For the evening snack, I have boiled the eggs in water, covered each egg with spiced mashed potato, coated with spiced besan powder batter and deep fried them.

Kadai muttai bhonda/ quail egg snack tastes really good along with spiced coriander chutney.

kadai muttai bhonda

7-8 quail eggs
2 big potato(boiled and mashed)
few coriander leaves(finely chopped)
few mint leaves(finely chopped)
1/2 big onion(finely chopped)
1/2  cup besan powder
1 tspn red chilly powder
pinch of turmeric powder
pinch of hinge
1/2 tspn pepper powder
1/4 tspn cummin powder
salt to taste

1. Hard boil the egg, peel the shell and keep aside.
2. Pressure cook the potatoes with water. Drain water and mash the potatoes. Add pepper powder, cummin powder, turmeric powder, coriander leaves, mint leaves, onions to the mashed potato and mix well. Keep aside the mix.
besan batter  mashed potato  
3.Add chilli powder, turmeric powder, hinge, salt to besan powder. Then add water and make it into a batter(not too thick nor too thin).Keep aside.
4. Now take some mashed potato and stuff the quail egg inside.
stuffed quail egg
5. Now dip these potato balls in besan batter and deep fry them
6. Now your hot kadai muttai(quail egg) bonda is ready to be served.
7. Serve with coriander chutney as evening snack

Happy Cooking!

Coffee with Love – Prepare your own Cappuccino!

Cappuccino at home: I’m a great coffee lover. Just the smell of coffee can make me feel light and happy. And, I have been always drawn towards the wonderful taste of Cappuccino and more than intrigued towards the art on top of it. For a long time now, I decided to try it out.

Filter coffee has been the tradition in South India and it’s way lighter than the Italian Cappuccino. And, my day starts with brewing coffee as in any other South Indian household. Being health conscious, I always use a low fat skimmed milk with added water. Now the challenge is that the coffee art requires a creamy top to hold its shape on top of the coffee.

In a friendly chat and exchange of tips over a cup of coffee, One of my friend taught me how to make a creamy latte by beating sugar, instant coffee powder and few drops of water together. And the taste of that coffee was so excellent, that I started preparing it very often and now, it has lead me to experiment with the coffee art.

cappuccino beaten coffee

This picture was taken by my kid and I felt, it was so creative than the ones that I’ve taken. While I intended to focus on the coffee, she wanted to cover all her play doh creations in her photo. It’s her idea to make the cookie jar fall and let the play doh cookies out – It was so dramatic that I thought it deserves the space here, right on the top.

Here are some of the heart shapes(as it turned out) that I tried etching(with the creamy latte) on top of my coffee which I wanted to share with the viewers.

cappuccino, beaten coffee

cappuccino, beaten coffee

cappuccino, beaten coffee

cappuccino, beaten coffee

cappuccino, beaten coffee

2 tspn instant coffee powder
2 tblspn sugar
1tspn water
1 glass of boiled milk(low fat milk)


1. Add one glass of water to half a litre skimmed milk and let it boil.

2. As the milk is getting boiled, take coffee powder, sugar & water in a stainless cup and using spoon beat all the ingredients together for 10 minutes until you see the texture changing. The texture would become creamy. The colour changes from dark to light. The more faster and longer you beat the ingredients, you would achieve better creamy texture.

creamy latte, expresso   creamy latte, expresso

3. As the milk starts frothing, switch off the stove. Take one glass of the boiled milk and add slowly to the creamy latte.

4. Give a light stir with a spoon, so that a creamy layer is formed on the top. Now the coffee is ready.

5. Using the same creamy latte, you could try etching designs on the top using any sharp tools(I have used Chinese chop sticks & tooth pick).

Relish your cup of home made Cappuccino and let me know the taste.

Happy cooking!


Green Peas & Potato Curry – So flavourful!

Green Peas & Potato Curry : It’s a rich and an aromatic dish. I have used white poppy seeds(khus khus/kasa kasa) to get the authentic taste. Poppy seeds has been traditionally used in lot of non-veg curries in South India. My mom prepares special spice mix including the poppy seeds that could be added for all non-veg preparation as it brings out the distinct flavour, taste and thickness to the curry.

This curry tastes good with chappati, dosas and idli. It’s indeed a veg delight and a must try for the viewers

potato green peas curry


3/4 cup Potatoes ( small and evenly diced)
1/2 cup green peas (fresh)
1/2 Big onion( finely chopped)
1 tblspn ginger garlic ( crushed)
2 green chillies
1/2 tspn kashmiri chilli powder
1 tspn coriander powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tblspn poppy seeds
2 cloves
1/4 whole coconut( cut into small pieces)
1 Sprig of curry leaves
Few drops of lemon
Salt to taste

For Grinding:
Dry roast poppy seeds, fennel seeds and clove together without changing colour. Add water and grind the roasted spices along with coconut & green chillies. Strain the spiced coconut milk with a strainer and keep aside.

poppy seeds


1. Heat 2 tblspn oil in a pan. Add the onions and saute until golden brown.
2. Now add the crushed ginger garlic, curry leaves and saute for a minute until the raw smell goes off.
3.Then add the potatoes, green peas, salt, kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute for a minute. Then add some water and cook in medium flame with closed lid for 8-10 minute.
4. Now add the spiced coconut milk and cook for 2 minutes, Switch off the stove.
5. Add few drops of lemon and serve hot with Roti/chappati/dosa/idly.

Happy Cooking!

Mushroom Pepper fry – Kalan varuval!

Mushroom Pepper Fry – Kalan Milagu Varuval: Mushroom has always been my favourite for its earthy taste and the vast nutritional benefits that it carries. It’s one of the superfood that has a high amount of antioxidant and is a good source of vitamin D.

Given these facts, I try to include mushroom atleast twice a week in my regular preparation – It could be mushroom soya chunks briyani/mushroom spinach stir fry/ mushroom paneer stir fry. Of all the combinations, mushroom pepper fry has always been the best, for its simple preparation.

With few ingredients, this dish is a great accompaniment for chappati, sambar, rasam and curd rice.

8-10 large button mushroom(cut into small pieces)
1 tspn crushed ginger garlic
1/4 coriander powder
1/4 tspn cummin powder
1/2 tspn pepper powder
Pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tspn fennel seeds
1 red chilly
curry leaves
Salt to taste


1. Heat 2 tblspn oil in a pan, add fennel seeds and red chilly in quick succession.

3. Add the crushed ginger garlic and sauté for few seconds.

4. Now add the mushroom, turmeric powder, coriander power and salt. Sprinkle some water and cook with closed lid for 3-4 minutes until the mushroom reduces in size.

5. Open the lid and sauté until all the moist in observed. Now add the pepper powder, cumin powder and fresh curry leaves. Saute for a minute in high flame.

7. Serve hot with steamed rice and sambar/curd/rasam. It tastes good with roti as well.

Cleaning is lot easy if the mushrooms are fresh otherwise it might require some patience to take of any bruises or blackish gills under the mushroom cap.

Happy Cooking!


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