Mottikaya Thalimpu | Cluster Beans Dry Saute

>>  Sunday, April 29, 2012

It's a wonder how time really flies. Today is the last day of the Blogging Marathon#15. I have exciting news to share that there will be a new version of Blogging Marathon, soon to be introduced. I will announce it as soon as I finalize the plan.

Coming to the post for today, it's another dry vegetable sautes from our traditional Ugadi Festival Thali. As I had mentioned in that post, Amma used to make about seven different vegetable side dishes, that are dry. The entire day is used to be spent on preparing the food. Since the food is offered to God, we can't taste any of the dish and we also observe fasting till the pooja.

And there is that condition that one particular vegetable can't be cooked in the same vessel as another. You can imagine, end of cooking there will be one huge pile of vessels to be washed. And we will be so tired that we will almost be happy that it's next year that we again have to worry about this festival. Of course this is my thoughts and not Amma's. She will only be so glad to do it all over again the next day if she has too!
I have been telling her that she has to cut down her number of dishes she makes, she refuses to do that. Somehow due to various reasons, she ended up making only 3 different vegetables whereas it used to be anything between 7 or 9. It has to be an odd number.

The way these vegetables are made are also little different than the regular method. In the end when you sit down to enjoy your feast, I always think there is so much on the plate, which will one enjoy! Well that's just me and not the thoughts of others.

Before I go to the recipe, let's do a recap of the two weeks.

Week 1 - Indian Thalis

Andhra Thali ~ Mudda Pappu, Bendakaya Vepudu
Chow Chow Sambar ~ South Indian Lunch Thali
How to make Oats Vegetable Upma | South Indian Breakfast Thali
Fried Naan | How to make Fried Naan | North Indian Thali
Maida Pakoda | Maida Onion Pakoda | North Indian Thali
Shahi Matar Capsicum Sabji | Side Dish for Chapati
Methi Puri - Methi Poori Recipe | North Indian Thali

Week 2 Recipes from Thali

Methi Kofta in Spicy Dal | Dal with Methi Koftas
Methi Carrot Pulao Recipe | How to make Carrot Methi Pulao...
Carrot Kheer | How to make Carrot Payasam
Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam | Semolina Sago Porridge
Paneer Payasam | Paneer Kheer ~ Breakfast Thali
Raw Banana Fry / Plantain fry / Valakkai Poriyal

Ingredients Needed:

Cluster Beans - 250 gms
Onions - 1/4 cup medium
Garlic - 2 pods
Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Ground nut powder - 2 tsp

Mustard seeds + Urud dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few

How to make Cluster Bean Dry saute.:

Clean and trim the beans. Chop them into 2 inch pieces. In a pan, bring water to boil, add the beans and cook till tender. Drain the water and keep it aside.

Chop onions into fine pieces. Crush the garlic pods

Heat oil in a pan. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Then add the curry leaves, garlic. Fry for 1 min.

Then add finely chopped onions. Fry till its brown. Add the drained beans to the pan. Sprinkle turmeric powder, salt. Cover with lid and simmer for 5 mins.

Then add the chili powder, coriander powder. Adjust the salt. Cover and cook again for 10 - 15 mins, till the beans are well cooked.

Once its cooked, remove the lid and add the ground nut powder. Mix well.


The water used for cooking is not used in cooking as it tends to be bitter.

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Raw Banana Fry / Plantain fry / Valakkai Poriyal

>>  Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's been a hectic day to start with and I really won't want to spend more than required time to do this post. I am really happy that I have these posts where I only need to talk and not think about how I made the dish. Most times I either note down things in draft. However trust me, I hardly understand that myself after a while. So I try my best to write as clearly as I can when I am noting down a recipe that I made. Since I can never recreate a recipe completely without any alteration, I know I might miss out the taste if I don't write it right away.

That reminds me that it's been years since I have actually stopping writing. I mean using a pen. So the occasionally writing that I do, turns out to be a tortuous exercise. The most funny things will be when my colleagues are trying to understand what I wrote. I request them to stop even trying! I once told them that I used to have a pretty handwriting. They won't believe me seriously. Then I told them that I said it was pretty but not whether it was legible or readable! I was in love with my own handwriting for a long time. Now I hardly ever want to look at it. Well for one reason I can't understand it myself, second I will feel very low, thinking why on earth I am not gifted with a beautiful writing. And of course I won't tell you about singing!
Anyway coming to the recipe, this was something I first ate in parents home. Amma cooked it for me as I love raw plantain fry. It has that twist that really appealed to me and wanted to make it the next time I cooked it myself. For a simple recipe as this I literally had to ask her so many times. Then finally one day when Amma came home, I sat right then and drafted it while she dictated. I know I can't trust myself writing and then again going in search for her. 

Plantain Poriyal | Vazhakkai Varuval

Ingredients Needed

Raw Banana / Plantain - 1 big
Salt to taste

For the ground paste
Green Chilies - 3
Jeera / Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp

For the Tempering
Mustard Seeds,. Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves
Turmeric powder a pinch
Coconut, grated - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1 tsp

How to make the Plantain Poriyal

Wash and peel the outer skin from the raw banana. Cut into 1 inch pieces. In a pan, boil the plantain pieces along with salt. Boil for 5 -7 mins till the plantain is soft.

Then heat a pan with oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Once the mustard splutters, add the green chili - jeera paste. Saute well and add turmeric powder. 

Once it's cooked for couple of minutes, add the grated coconut and saute well. Now add the cooked plantain and mix everything together. Simmer with lid covered for couple minutes

Serve with Sambar and Rice

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Paneer Payasam | Paneer Kheer ~ Breakfast Thali

>>  Friday, April 27, 2012

With the many payasam I seem to have ended making, I might as well had planned for a Payasam Variety as theme. I didn't strike me at all, only while I was editing the pictures did it strike me of a missed BM theme. These days anything I do, is done with the BM in mind. So much so that even Amma has started thinking that way. 

The involvement that my entire family shows, sometimes makes me wonder if I am blogging alone or with my whole family. As there have been times when I had made something and kids loved it, the next moment the question comes is if I had taken pictures of that dish. I sheepishly have to confess that I have indeed taken. Even the boys feel so happy that I have taken pictures. 
Coming to the recipe for today, Paneer Payasam came into picture when I was making Andhra Breakfast Thali.  I asked Amma if she remembers sweets to be served during breakfast. She said we normally on regular occasion don't serve it. That usually happens when we have relatives or guests coming over. So I said let's assume we have guests and work on creating a thali that would suit that situation. The other payasams she had suggested were all already blogged. She suddenly remembered this Paneer Payasam. And you know I am game for Paneer anytime anyway.
My Nephew and Niece are coming over for vacation and it's going to be one hectic time. I know I will have to prepare myself to make all their favorite dishes. They both love my food and naturally I don't need any other incentive to keep cooking. Only I should plan if I can create a thali out of it..:)

Paneer Payasam was made in very little quantity, just enough for serving two of us.

Ingredients Needed

Paneer - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom a pinch
Saffron few strands soaked in milk

How to make the paneer Payasam

Boil milk and keep it ready

Grate the paneer and add to the milk and simmer for 10 mins. Add sugar and continue to boil for couple more minutes.

Finally add the saffron strands along with milk.


You can also grind the paneer and add the paste to the boiled milk and cook.

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Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam | Semolina Sago Porridge | Payasam Varieties

>>  Thursday, April 26, 2012

Today's post is a special recipe. It's a payasam that Amma makes for Ugadi and only this year I came to know the reason behind it. Somehow she had never disclosed until this time, that this was a dish her Mom used to prepare. As always, there is that tilt I can hear in Amma's voice when she talks about her mom. Though we don't talk about it, it's been nearly five months since she passed away, we still converse as if she is with us still. So hearing about how she made it, really made it very special. I was determined that I record as how Amma was taught this to be made. 

I am not sure however much I record this with clarity if I will be able to get that same texture as I could see in the picture. But still the day was special for me with Amma sharing the tradition behind each dish. Her mom  always only makes this combination for the Ugadi pooja and never on the regular days. I could  imagine how important this was to her.

I hope I have done justice in writing it as intended. I especially sat with Amma and took notes to recreate it again in my Kitchen.

Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam

Semiya Saggubiyam Payasam

Ingredients Needed:

Semiya - 1/2 cup
Sago - 1 cup
Milk - 1/2 lit
Sugar - 1 cup
Cardamom pw a pinch
Cashew nuts & Raisins as needed
Ghee - 1 tsp

How to make the Payasam

Heat a small pan with ghee, roast the nuts and raisins. Keep it aside.

Soak the sago for 30 mins. Then boil the sago in 3 cups water. If you are going to pressure cook, then use1 & 1/2 cups water for 2 whistles.

Meanwhile roast the semiya in ghee and keep it aside.

Also have the milk boiled and ready. 

Once the pressure falls off, pour the milk into the sago, when it starts to boil, add the semiya. Cook for couple of mins. Then add sugar and continue cooking. 

Finally garnish with cashew nuts and raisins.

Andhra Thali

The entire cooking has to be done in low flame.

Total cooking time will be 20 mins in pressure cooker.

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Carrot Kheer | How to make Carrot Payasam | Step by Step Recipe

>>  Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Carrot Kheer was part of the North Indian Thali, which had too many similar vegetables used. I didn't realise until after doing the prepping. I was almost floored thinking why I on earth did I zero on the same vegetables. However having decided and made some preparations ahead, I couldn't change at the last moment.

So I ended up grated carrots for two dishes, grinding cashew paste for two dishes, chopping capsicum for two dishes, methi for two dishes. And these two dishes were not the same but five different ones. If you are up to getting maths right please feel free! 

Carrot Kheer recipe was from another paper clipping. Since I really remember a payasam being made wit carrot in south, knowing that Gajar ka halwa, I clubbed this under North Indian recipes. This was pretty easy to make, provided you don't end up grating a lot of carrots. Having not many takers for sweet at home, I did just a small portion.
Carrot Kheer
I was surprised at how easy it was to make Carrot Kheer. This is surely one of those quick sweets you can make if you are short of time.
Step by Step Picture Recipe
Carrot Kheer

Ingredients Needed:

Carrot - 2 cups
Milk - 4 cups
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cashew nut paste - 1/2 cup (10 whole)
Saffron few strands
Cardamom powder a pinch
Ghee - 1 tsp
Roasted Cashews for garnish

How to make the Carrot Kheer:

Wash and clean the carrots, grate and keep aside. In a nonstick pan, heat the ghee and saute the grated carrots till it is cooked, rather the raw smell leaves. This takes about 5 -7 mins while stirring continuously.

Soak the cashew nuts in hot water for 10 mins. Then grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.

Soak Saffron in 2 tbsp of warm milk.

Boil the milk, when done, simmer and continue boiling for a couple of minutes. Then add the cooked carrot and combine well. Simmer for 5 - 7 for the carrots to get cooked. 

Then add the cashew paste and bring to boil. 

Next, add the sugar and mix. Simmer for a couple of minutes for the sugar to melt.

Finally add the cardamom powder, saffron milk. And remove, garnish with roasted cashews.

Serve hot.


The original recipe called for the carrots to be pureed and added. I rather wanted to feel the carrot texture and it surely turned out awesome.

The measurement I have given will yield more, so scale down to 1/2 cup and proceed.

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Methi Carrot Pulao Recipe | How to make Carrot Methi Pulao ~ Step by Step Recipe

>>  Tuesday, April 24, 2012

For all the planning I had done ahead, I simply overlooked the fact that I might need fresh methi leaves for the cooking. And it so happened that methi leaves were required for a couple of them. I didn't want to change the menu at the last moment. So decided to use the little fresh leave for the Koftas while planning to use Kasuri Methi for the Rice.

The dried Kasuri methi leaves are very aromatic and can be used in almost any dish like chapatis, puris etc. In this quick version, it really makes a difference. Again when I realised that I had to use capsicum and grated carrot, I thought there was something seriously wrong in my planning. The dishes that I decided to make the thali had almost the same vegetables.

What's your resolution in using and consuming different vegetables? I almost always end up using the same type most of the time. Do you literally plan to buy something different each time you shop?

Coming to the recipe, this easy and quick methi carrot rice is something you can whip up for kid's lunch. Minus the chillies but Konda and Peddu loved it. My Chinnu wanted only the those fried Naans of course. 
Will be making this rice again for Konda's lunch box for sure. 

I was surprised that they both liked it as I thought it might be little spicy.

North Indian Thali

 Step by Step Picture Recipe
Easy Methi and Carrot Pulao

Ingredients Needed

Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Oil - 1 tbsp
Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Kasturi Methi - 2 tbsp
Carrot grated - 1 cup
Capsicum - 1/2 cup
Onions - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 2
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Red Chilli paste - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 4
Lemon Juice - 1/2 tsp
Sugar 1/2 tsp

How to prepare Easy and quick Methi Carrot Pulao.

If you are using cooked rice, have that ready. Else wash and soak rice. Cook accordingly. Keep it aside.

Have the carrots grated and kept aside. Capsicum chopped into juliennes. 

Heat oil in a nonstick pan, add poppy seeds and fennel see.ds When it sizzles, add onions, saute for a couple of minutes. 

Then add the capsicum and simmer with a lid. Let the capsicum get cooked for a couple of mins, add ginger garlic paste. Mix everything well.

When the capsicum is tender, add the Kasuri methi, slit green chillies and cook. 

Add tomatoes and cook till it gets mushy.

Add salt, garam masala powder, sugar. Fry for few minutes. 

When the masala is cooked well, add the grated carrot and cook for 5 mins.

Finally, stir in the cooked rice and combine everything well together. 

Squeeze lime juice over the rice and serve with Methi Kofta Dal.

You can use fresh methi leaves also. Use trimmed cup of methi leaves and saute well ahead before adding the masala.

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Methi Kofta in Spicy Dal | Dal with Methi Koftas | Step by Step Recipe

>>  Monday, April 23, 2012

Another new week begins with it, we have another Blogging Marathon. Last week was really exciting for me with the Thali Theme. Not only was I able to make some good thalis, also managed to make one new thali end of the week. Sunday as always was too hectic. Post lunch, I was ready to call it a day!

So having the theme to blog about the recipes that were part of the thali, really makes it easy I thought. I am sure my BM'ers who did the Thali will agree with me. It's been a real learning experience while doing the Thali. Since all our cooking is done on the same day, there is nothing much you can do to ease the pressure. But then if you have somebody to chat, help, it's really easy to get done.

Coming to the recipe for the day, this is an interesting combination of Dal with koftas. The first time I read the recipe, which is from a paper clipping dated a decade back, I mistook the recipe and had the ingredients wrongly done.

Methi Kofta in Spicy Dal was part of the North Indian Thali

Like the dal is supposed to be cooked, whereas the way it was written I almost thought the dal has to be the base for koftas and ground it to a coarse paste. After that mistake, I came to know understand how it was made and realised how important recipe writing was. Maybe because it was on a print media, space constraint is always there. Still, you won't expect steps to be interchanged which will result with having extra dal batter on hand, as I did.

However, after understanding what the recipe is supposed to be made, we ended up with on delicious dal Koftas.

Spicy Dal with Methi Kofta

For the Dal

Toor dal - 1/4 Cup
Channa Dal / Bengal Gram dal - 1/4 Cup
Onions - 3/4 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp
Tomatoes, puree  - 1  & 1/2 cup
Sugar -1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Lemon - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp

For the Methi Kofta

Gram Flour - 1 cup
Methi leaves / Fenugreek leaves - 1 cup
Cashews nut - 2 tbsp
Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
How to make the Dal

Wash and soak the dals together for 10 mins. Then in a pressure cooker, cook till it is soft.
Gently churn it and keep it aside.

Heat a nonstick pan, add oil, saute onions till they turn colour. Then add ginger garlic paste saute well. Next add the turmeric powder, garam masala, chilli powder along with salt and sugar. Saute well. Then add the tomato puree, combine and continue cooking for couple of minutes.

When the tomato is cooked well, add the cooked dal and water. simmer for 5 mins.

How to make the Methi Koftas:

Wash and drain the methi leaves well

In a bowl, take gram flour, ginger garlic paste, chopped cashew, chilli pow. salt and chopped methi leave. Slowly knead to a dough.

Heat oil for deep frying and deep fry the balls on all sides. Keep it aside.

When the dal is ready, add the methi koftas and cook in simmer.

Serve with Methi Carrot Pulao.


You can add the methi balls just before serving, else it might soak up all the dal.

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Methi Puri - Methi Poori Recipe | North Indian Thali 2

>>  Sunday, April 22, 2012

As I had said I had planned for a simple Ugadi Breakfast Brunch. After all the elaborate thalis that my fellow BM'ers did, especially Vaishali, who really rocked, I couldn't pass up such a simple thali. So I had to make something different and decided Sunday was the best. 

Things always happen at the last moment and I couldn't plan for the breakfast. So I thought I might as well make it a proper lunch. So called parents over for lunch and planned for an elaborate lunch. When I had a Breakfast Thali in mind, I landed in Mittu's place where she dished out a Dessara Special Breakfast thali. I loved the entire plate and wanted to recreate the same at home. Thanks to her, we ended up with a delicious feast!

North Indian Thali
Now that it turned out that I am going to make a lunch, I added couple more dishes to make it more elaborate and a feast. It surely ended up being a feast and you get to read it very hot..:)

So finally the thali had Badam Milk, Dahi Vada, Methi Puri, Luchis, Panch phoran Aloo, Channa Masala, Saffron Rice, Suji Halwa. I love Amma's Dahi Vada, so asked her to make it for lunch.
Methi Poori
Methi Poori
Step by Step Picture Recipe

Methi Puri ~ Fenugreek Puris

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Besan / Bengal Gram Flour - 1/2 cup
Red chili powder 1/2 tsp
Hing a pinch
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder a pinch.
Oil for deep frying

How to make the Puris

Wash the methi leaves well and drain on a colander.

In a bowl take all the flours, salt, turmeric, chili powder, hing along with chopped methi leaves. Mix well.

Then slowly add water and knead to a stiff dough.

Heat a Kadai with oil. Dust and roll out as small discs. Once the oil is hot, reduce to medium if it's very hot. Then slowly slide the puris and cook on all sides.

Serve hot with panch phoran aloo and Channa Masala

Today is the last of the Blogging Marathon week 1. I have a great time displaying all my thalis and checking out my members. Hope everybody enjoyed the virtual treats.

Before I sign off, a recap of the week 1

Sending these for my Indian Thali Mela

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 15


Shahi Matar Capsicum Sabji | Side Dish for Chapati/ Naan | Step by Step Recipe

>>  Saturday, April 21, 2012

For the sixth day of the BM I wanted to share the Shahi Mater Capsicum Sabji from the North Indian Thali that I made. This recipe was from the clippings we have been having with us for over decade now. Amma and I were really happy that we finally are trying so many recipes from those papers. Especially on this occasion, we just took one clipping out and decided to try all the recipes that were listed out.

It was full of dishes from North Indian Cuisine, rather vague which said just that and nothing much else. Anyways we were trilled to see so many wonderful sounding dishes. I started after breakfast and feared if the scheduled power cut will happen at the critical time. Just as I thought it went off and most of our dishes had to be prepared during that time. Hence you will see differently coloured pictures.

Shahi Matar Capsicum Sabji

The original recipe was something different, it called for Spring Onions and other recipes were methi based. I was so held up that I didn't look into this matter at all. Amma was scolding me that I overlooked the important part required. We finally decided we will adapt with what we had on hand.

Hence this sabji was made with just peas and capsicum. It surely turned out to be the shahi I have named it, so it was creamy and rich with the addition of cashew nut paste.

Step by Step Picture Recipe

Peas Capsicum Sabji in Cashew Tomato Gravy

Ingredients Needed:

Onions - 1 & 1.2 cup
Capsicum, chopped - 1/2 cup
Peas - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cashew nut paste - 1/4 cups
Green chilies - 2 medium
Cream - 1/4 cup
Tomatoe puree - 1 & 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Butter - 1 tbsp
Red Chili powder - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

How to make Shahi Matter Capsicum Subji

Soak the cashew nuts in water for 10 mins and grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.

In a non stick pan, add 1/2 tsp butter and saute the peas, capsicum well for 5 minutes or till done. Remove and keep it aside.

In the same pan, add the oil, add the whole Cumin seeds. When it splutters, add the onions, along with sugar. Fry till the onions turn colour.

Then add the ginger garlic paste, saute till the raw smell leaves. Once the onion ginger garlic paste is cooked, add the chili powder along with cashew nut paste and slit green chilies.

Mix everything well and cook in simmer for few mins. Then add the tomato puree, cook well for 2 mins.

Then add the fried peas and capsicum, combine everything together and cook. Finally add salt and a cup of water. Bring to boil and then simmer for 5 mins.

Finally add the remaining butter, cream if you are adding. Cook till the gravy thickens.

Serve with Fried Naans


Since I was cooking couple of dishes together, I made sure I didn't end up having to many vessels to wash. So I managed frying the peas and capsicum. Else you can cook in different pans.

I didn't add as much as cream required, even then on overall the sabji was very heavy when paired with Fried Naan.

Sending these for my Indian Thali Mela

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 15


Maida Pakoda | Maida Onion Pakoda | North Indian Thali ~ Step by Step Recipe

>>  Friday, April 20, 2012

When I decided on the North Indian Thali, I was struggling to zeor on the dishes, and finally settled down to what was prepared. The one dish I was able to decide within seconds was this Maida Pakoda with Onions. Reading through the ingredients, I knew I would love it. Maida Pakodas were the last on the dish to be made, as we wanted to have crispy pakodas to munch on.

We also had to fry the Naans in the end, I fried just two for the clicks. And went ahead frying the pakodas. On testing it, we knew we have found another recipe for keepers. This is surely something you will not be disappointed. Infact once you taste it, you will forget your other onion pakoda proporation. 

It was crispy, not so oily as one might fear and yet yummy to the core!
Maida Pakoda
Maida Pakoda ~ North Indian Thali
With the Sun so peak in Madras, I know it's not conducive for these, yet one can still dream about cool breeze blowing our way to munch on these snacks!
Step by Step Recipe

Maida Pakoda

Ingredients Needed:

All purpose flour - 1/2 cup
Bengal Gram flour / Besan - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 big
Chilies - 3 - 4
Coriander leaves few
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Baking Soda- 1/ 4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

How to make the Maida Pakoda

In a wide bowl, sift together maida and besan flour. Add onion julienne, finely chopped green chillies, and coriander leaves.

Mix the onions to the flour along with soda, fennel seeds, salt and chili powder. Sprinkle just enough water for everything to form a dry batter.

Heat oil and fry small portions on all sides till golden brown.

Drain on a kitchen towel and serve hot.

The Onion Pakodas added a great feel to the entire thali. It was a perfect starter. Crispy and crunchy just the right way.
Sending these for my Indian Thali Mela

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 15


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