Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tawa Pulao Recipe | Tava Pulao - Mumbai Street | Easy Lunch Box Recipe | Lunch Box Series : LBS#67

Many months ago, I came across an article that was featuring 40 different Mumbai street food you shouldn't miss eating. Knowing my penchant for street food, I clicked away hurriedly to check out what those 40 street food were and how many I have tasted till date. Very few that I know were actually listed in that article and that proved a very good starting point for me to know further.

I was already reading so much about Kathi Roll and how wraps are famous, then of course were the many chats. When it comes to street food, obviously you know there is no one original way to cook it. Each vendor might be adding their own usp to it. It is no wonder that when I embarked on a journey to know more about this tantalizing dish called Tawa Pulao, I couldn't find one similar recipe. Each one to himself, seems more the motto.

Tawa Pulao
However one common masala that seem to be the one to be talked about was the usage of Pav bhaji masala. I can very well understand how this must have come about. The Mumbaikars are attached to their Pav Bhajis, since this must be a daily affair, they must have thought having rice on the menu would be a good choice. So they included rice, and now to make it different they ought to create a new dish. Seeing pav bhaji masala is always handy, this must have got added and there you have a new rice dish created!

It happens to be me all the time. I always stock Channa Masala, Pav Bhaji Masala, Kitchen King Masala. When I am in a mood for a different taste, I add these masalas to the subjis and end up with an awesome side dish. When I had taken the Rice dish for Kid's lunch box, I had done exactly the same for Konda's lunch Box dishes. When I eat with my colleagues at work, I always noticed that my colleague's side dish ends up being even more tasty. On asking she said she adds Chicken Masala. My other colleague who is a vegetarian was worried if chicken was added to the masala. We assured her that it wasn't so but the spices added to this will be more.

Anyway coming back to the recipe, I always love one pot meal as it's so easy to carry for lunch. I had used Pav Bhaji in Konda's Aloo Rice. But this time I wanted to make it more spicy and with more vegetables as it's typically made. The way this Tawa Pulao is made, makes it easy if you have leftover rice. Though I don't normally use leftover rice, I am sure it comes handy to know.

Tawa Pulao ~ Street Food

Ingredients Needed

Cooked Rice - 1 cup
Onions - 1 big
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Vegetables (Beans, Carrot, Peas, Potatoes, Cauliflower, Capsicum) - 1 & 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Coriander Leaves - handful
Green Chillies - 2 medium
Salt to taste
Butter - 1 tsp

Whole spices

Cumin Seeds /Jeera - 1 tsp
Clove - 1
Cinnamon - 1"
Bay leaf - 1

Spice powders
Pav Bhaji Masala - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric a pinch

How to make Tawa Pulao

Have the cooked rice ready. If you are cooking for this rice, then wash and soak rice for 15 mins. Either pan cook or pressure cook the rice till done. Make sure the rice grains are separate.

For making the tawa pulao, take a big wide pan. Since we will not be having those huge tawas as in the shop, you can use a wide pan.

Heat the butter, add all the whole spices and allow for the cumin seeds to crackle. Then add the onions, saute well till it turns colour.

Then add the ginger garlic paste, slit green chilies, cook for couple of mins. Next goes the chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric powder. Simmer and cover with lid.

Once the tomatoes are soft, add the chopped vegetables. Cook on high. Sprinkle few drops of water for the vegetables to get cooked fast, keep stirring. Then cook in sim for 5 - 7 mins for the vegetables to get done.

Then add the cooked rice slowly and mix everything well. Finally add the pav bhaji masala, garam masala, coriander leaves. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 mins.

Serve with Raitha and papad.

Tava Pulao


I added both whole spices and powders. This does tends to be spicy.

You can add any vegetable that you want to include to make it more healthy.

To get that authentic tawa fried, you can saute some rice on hot tawa and let it smoke for a couple of minutes. This adds very nice aroma to the entire dish.

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sorakaya Pakodi Curry | Lauki Pakore ki Sabzi | Side Dish for Pulao

When we had made the Soya Chunks Vegetable Pulao, the side dish was Sorakaya Pakodi Curry. Whenever we make a pulao at home, there comes the question of what to make for the side dish. Most times we think we can make do with a raitha, but when the pulao is not spicy as in biryani, we then have to think for some side dish to be made. 

That's when this Sorakaya Pakodi curry came handy. The first time when Amma made this, the curry turned out to be very spicy for me, though hubby dear liked it. So when I was going to make it for myself I will have to reduce the spice level. However if you prefer a spicy side dish for Pulao, then you can just go ahead with the spice levels mentioned in the recipe.

Other Sorakaya Recipes

Bottle Gourd Dal (Sorakaya Pappu)
Sorakaya Vepudu ~ Bottle Gourd Stir Fry
Chettinadu Sorakkai Kurma ~ Bottle Gourd Curry Chettinad Style
Bottle Gourd Curry ~ Sorakaya Kura!
Sorakaya Snack ~ Bottle Gourd Fries!
Sorakkai Sambar ~ Bottle Gourd Sambar

Bottle Gourd Tikkis
Sorakaya Masala Kura
Bottle Gourd Dosa
Pindi Miriyam

Sorakaya Pakodi Curry

Sorakaya Pakodi Curry

For the Pakodi

Sorakaya/ Bottle Gourd, grated - 1 cup
Gram Flour / Besan - 1/2 cup
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Ginger, finely chopped - 1"
Green chilli, chopped  - 1
onion - 1 medium
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
oil for deep frying

For the Gravy

Onions - 1 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Tomato Puree - 1cup
Coconut paste - 2 tsbp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

How to prepare Sorakaya Pakodi Curry

How to prepare the Pakodi

Grate the bottle gourd and squeeze with little salt. Use the water for the gravy.

Then mix in all the ingredients, make a rough shapes with hands and keep it aside.

Heat a kadai with oil, deep fry the balls and drain on a kitchen towel.

How to prepare the Curry

Heat a non stick pan with oil, saute the onions till they turn golden, add ginger garlic paste and continue cooking till the raw smell leaves.

Then add tomato puree, saute, finally add the coconut paste and salt. Add a cup of water, bring to boil. When it cooks for 5 - 7 mins, switch off.

Add the pakodis when you are ready to serve, else it will absorb all the curry and becomes soft.

Serve with Soya Chunks Vegetable Pulao

Lauki Pakori Ki Sabzi - Side dish for Pulao

Enjoy your weekend!

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Ugadi Greetings with Ugadi Festival Brunch 2012!

Ugadi Subhakankshalu!  Happy Ugadi to all my readers!

I have taken the day off today and finished my pooja by morning. Made the usual neivedyam along with couple of new sweet offerings. It was a brunch for us and planning to visit parents home for the traditional Ugadi feast.

Ugadi Special Recipes

Ugadi Pachadi
Brinjal Potato Curry,
Nei Appam with curds to complete the mini meals!

Enjoy your festival day!

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Ugadi Special Recipes

With Ugadi just round the corner I thought I will list out our festival Ugadi Special Dishes that gets done at home. Growing up Ugadi has always been a special day, spent with family. This year I might be missing out on the action as I will most probably be working. Still we will do the pooja early and have a mini feast if not the elaborate feast that normally happens. Will keep you posted on that. Meanwhile you enjoy these Special Ugadi Dishes.

By Recipes

Even though we try to make something new each year, some of the dishes are standard for lunch, here is the list

The special Festival lunch would almost be same every year with few alterations and additions.

At my Mom's place we make the following
Pachimirapakaya Pappu ~ Dal with Green Chilli

Ugadi Pachadi,
Masala Vada/ Meddu Vada
Onion Pakodas/ Vazhakai Bajji ~ Plaintain or Banana fritters

Semiya Payasam

While the special dishes at my in laws would always be

Brinjal Potato Curry,


You can always do something else from this Festival Food List

Have a blessed day!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vegetarian Hakka Noodles | Hakka Vegetable Noodles Microwave Recipe | Step by Step Recipe

Veg Hakka Noodles is one of those Indo Chinese Recipes that is so popular all over the place. Hakka Noodles will always find itself in all buffets and liked by almost everybody. The first time I made this was during my college days and Amma always says I make it well. The one incident that always comes to mind will be the time I made this for Konda. I made without any vegetables and back home, she was saying that I don't know how to make it, as good as Ammamma. Amma was saying I always make it better than her. What I finally understood was that Konda loves the vegetables with the noodles and that really made me happy as she will get to eat the vegetables.

We end up making this noodles for evening snack as Daddy also likes it a lot. So I decided I will pack noodles for Konda's lunch and for Daddy's breakfast. Knowing that my entry for this month's MEC is due, I decided to make the noodles in Microwave. To be quite frank, making the hakka noodles on stove top is much more easy and quick. So make sure she doesn't miss her van, I removed half for making the noodles for Konda, quickly made it on the stove top, then made the rest in microwave for Daddy.

Konda was so happy that she got the noodles for lunch and wanted me to make it again. I know I should be having this as a regular item.

Step By Step Recipe

Microwave Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Ingredients Needed:

Hakka Noodles - 1 packet
Onions - 1 medium
Carrot, Beans, Cabbage, Capsicum - 1 cup
Soya Sauce - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 -3 tsp

How to make the Noodles in Microwave

In a microwave safe bowl, take water twice the amount to fill up the noodles, microwave for 8 mins. By this time the noodles was cooked well. Drain this over a colander, run this twice in cold water, add oil and mix well. This prevents it from sticking together.

Then microwave the chopped vegetables for 10 mins. Once done, drain the water. In a microwave bowl, add 1 tsp oil, saute the onions for 2 mins. Then add the boiled vegetables for a min. Once done, add the boiled noodles, salt and pepper powder, mix well. Microwave again for 2 mins.

Serve with tomato ketchup.


Use the water from boiled vegetables in sambar. Always add the salt in the final stage for the noodles to get cooked well.

Sending this to Privish, who is hosting this month's edition of MEC

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Soya Chunks Vegetable Pulao ~ Pressure Cooker Method | Easy Lunch Box Recipe | Lunch Box Series : LBS#66

When I checked my Lunch Box series, I was surprised it's been a long time since I posted anything under it. Truth be said, most of the dishes I post are my lunch box dishes. However I like the dishes to be presented in a certain manner for me to call it that. This delicious Soya Chunk Pulao along with a Pakodi made with Sorakaya / Bottle Gourd, was such a treat for lunch time in office. I had packed the pakodis in a separate box and mixed it just before eating. The Soya Chunk pulao was mild enough to be packed for your kid's lunch box, though the curry was very spicy.

It's holiday for the boys and we have ran out of ideas to keep them occupied. While Konda's exams are yet to begin. I am eagerly looking at activities that can keep the boys occupied and not get Athamma crazy. Maybe getting couple of colouring books, handwriting books should help. I know their handwriting can actually meet Kashmir with Kanyakumari.

Other interesting dishes made with Soya and Soya Chunks:

Soya Chunk Vegetable Pulao

Ingredients Needed:

Basmati rice - 2 cups
Soya chunks - 1 cup
Peas, Beans and Carrot - 1 & 1/2 cups
Onions, chopped - 1 big
Green Chilies - 2 long
Clove & Cinnamon - 2 each
Bay leaves - 2
Ghee - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Everest Garam Masala - 1 tsp

How to make the Soya Chunk Vegetable Pulao

Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 mins. Once done, drain it on a colander.

Boil the Soya Chunks in hot water along with salt till the water starts rolling stage. Drain the soya in a colander and keep it aside.

Heat a pressure cooker, add the ghee, saute whole spices for couple of minutes. Then add the onion julienne, slit green chilies till the onions turn colour.

Next goes the chopped vegetables, mix everything well. Then add boiled soya chunks, drained rice, garam masala.

Add salt, 1 & 1/2 cup water and cook for a whistle. Once the pressure falls, remove and serve with Sorakaya Pakodi Curry.
Will be posting the curry in the next post.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Chicken Tikka Kebab | Restaurant Style Chicken Tikka Kabab

When we recently got our our barbecue stove or the sigri as it may also be called, my plan was to make kababs more frequently at home. I have been on the study on how kababs are made and the different varieties one gets on making Kebabs.

Getting this new cooking gadget was also one of the reason why I took up this as a theme for the Blogging Marathon last edition. I blogged about seven different Kabab Recipes and wanted to make sure I tried all the different methods in making a kebab.

I am told that such barbecue stoves are available locally too, though I have never seen it myself. The first time when we ventured into this topic, Hubby dear said he remembered his childhood days when his granny used to make such grilled meat on charcoal. Naturally I was curious to know more and asked Athamma, the discussion further went to in the fact that FIL knows a place where they make such stoves. I asked him right way to get this custom made for us. Well it took almost a month for the stove to finally land at home.

Since I was planning on making vegetarian kababs for the BM, I told hubby dear to plan for a non veg starter too. We got in the chicken early on and got it marinated. We almost left it marinating for over 5 - 6 hrs in fridge. I finally got around making this only in the evening at about 8 or so.

The verdict was too good for me to ignore not making it again. We have made Mutton Tikkas with almost the same marinade and it came out well. However I felt the reaction for chicken was more good than mutton because of the texture.

Makes a great starter and disappears before you even think about it!

Chicken Tikka Kebab

Marination time : Min - 1 hour.

Ingredients Needed:

Chicken Breast - 500 gms
Garam Masala - 2 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1 &1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Hung Curd - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Orange Food colour a pinch (opt)

How to grill Chicken Tikka Kabab

Wash and drain the chicken on a colander. cut into small bite size pieces.

Hung the curds to remove whey.

In a bowl, make a marinade of the curds, Chili powder, Garam Masala, salt, Ginger Garlic paste, and food colour if using. Then add the chicken pieces and mix well. Refrigerate for 4 -5 hrs for marination.

When you are ready to grill, light up the barbecue stove. String the chicken pieces on a greased skewers. Make sure you leave space in between each piece for it to get cooked.

Place the skewer on the hot charcoal, pour few drops of oil over the skewers. This will get the fire going, you can keep rotating to make sure the chicken is cooked on all sides.

You can also consider stringing onions between chicken pieces.

Serve with onions, and lemon squeezed over it.


Make sure the marinade is not slow, else everything will spill down when you are grilling.

This can be grilled on stove top as well, however too much of gas will be wasted. Alternately you can bake the chicken pieces.

Sending these for my Kebab Mela

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Green Tomato Chutney / Roasted Green Tomato Chutney - Side Dish for Dosa

In the recent trip Athamma and Amma had made to our native place, they got some green tomatoes, wild bindis and of course the papaya that we made as curry. Chutneys are normally that we make for Dosas and for rice. This roasted chutney went very well for Dosa and hot steaming rice 

This can stay good for over a week if refrigerated.

Step by Step Picture Recipe

Ingredients  Needed:

Green Tomatoes - 2 nos
Ripe Tomato - 1 small
Onions - 1 medium
Green Chillies - 2 long
Salt to taste
Garlic - 2 cloves

How to make Roasted Green Tomato Chutney

Wash the tomatoes and cut into two halves.

Heat a tawa with a tsp of oil. Add the chopped onions, tomatoes, green chilies and roast well.

Finally add the garlic and saute for couple of minutes.

Allow to cool and grind it coarsely. Do not over grind it to a smooth paste.

Serve with Dosas

Check out other Chutney Recipes

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Chicken Pakora | How to make Chicken Pakora | Step by Step Recipe

Chicken Pakora seems to be the current hot starter at home, with us having made this about four or five times in the last couple of months. Even in the recent dinner party, this ended up being the most attractive dish as the guests didn't realize it was chicken pakora, but rather just the plain onion pakoras. They were really taken in by surprise and made sure they noted down the recipe.

They were also pretty amused seeing me clicking away the pictures, than trying to take the group pictures. The pictures on this post spans over two parties, one with Ceylon Parotta and chicken Gravy. And the other a lunch party where we ended up making the usual Chicken Kura, Dal, Medu Vada and Chicken Pakora. I have always been so fixed on thali pictures and end up always trying to assemble them together. This is just a small attempt.

Chicken Pakora
The school is going to close soon for the vacation and we are gearing up with things we ought to do to keep the kids occupied. This weekend we had gone for a school excursion to a theme park and it was fun and tiring at the same time. Without much thought I somehow didn't realize that it might be tough for me to manage all three of them. The moment we landed there, I knew it and somehow the entire day just looked so far off. We managed to have fun, though it was so hot. Boys wanted to play different games than Konda and I found myself going crazy. Somehow we passed. Ended the day with water games, and the kids had a field day.
Indian Thali
Step by Step picture Recipe for making Chicken Pakora

Marinate for at least 30 mins - 1 hr max

Add 2 tsp corn flour

Chicken Pakora

Ingredients Needed

For the marinade:

Chicken - 250 gms
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Salt - 1/2 tsp (adjust to your taste)

For the Pakora

Red Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Gram Flour / Besan - 1/2 cup
Corn Flour - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Onions - 1 big
Green chillies - 3 medium
Cashew nuts - handful
Curry leaves handful
Coriander leaves - handful
Coriander leaves for garnish

 How to make the Chicken Pakora

Wash and cut into small bite size pieces. Let it drain in a colander so that all the water drains off.

Then take the chicken in a bowl, add turmeric, salt, ginger garlic paste and garam masala. Mix well and marinate for at least 30 mins. It tends to be better if you marinate for more time.

Cut the onions as julienne, chop green chilies into small pieces, have curry leaves and coriander leaves ready.

Once the chicken is marinated, sieve in the besan into the chicken. Then add the onions, green chilies, curry leaves, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and mix everything well.

Heat oil for deep frying. When the oil is hot, drop the chicken pieces, making sure the chicken is spread on the oil. 

Cook on all sides, making sure it's cooked. Drain on a kichen towel.


Since the chicken is marinated for a while, it doesn't take much time to cook. Check if the pakoras turn to golden and remove. That should be enough to get the chicken cooked.


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