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If you are a South Indian and you love Masala Dosa, clap your hands!!!

Doesn't it look good?

Really, you’ve got to be crazy if you don’t. (I can excuse the others who haven’t had a chance to try it). My attempts thus far at making masala dosa had been limited to making the plain dosa, dropping a dollop of potato curry inside it and eating it with chutney. Nothing like the crispy crunchy ones you get at restaurants. Well, not anymore! Not anymore! My friend, the beautiful Ramya spilled the secret and it was yum yum yum!

They say women cannot keep secrets. So here I go:

For the dosa batter:

2-2 1/4 cups rice

1 cup Urad dal

1 handful Chana dal

1/2 handful Yellow moong dal

1 tsp methi

Salt & Sugar


1. Wash and soak all ingredients (except salt & sugar) together for at least 4-5 hours.

2. Grind the soaked ingredients and allow it to ferment overnight.

3. After it has fermented, you can make the dosas right away. If you want to wait longer, better refrigerate the batter so it doesn’t turn sour.

4. For making the dosas, take just the amount of batter you need. Add salt and a spoonful of sugar. Sugar helps the dosa get crispy and brown.

5. Adjust the water according to your preference. Generally, the batter has to be a little watery for the masala dosa.

6. Take a non-stick tava (an absolute must if you want restaurant style dosas. It’s worth it’s weight in gold. You will love it). Pour the batter and spread it.

7. Add a small slice of butter and cover the dosa. This is the secret ingredient that improves the quality of the dosa hundred-fold. The butter and sugar combo (remember their magic in cookies?) make the dosa brown and crunchy!

8. Spread a bit of red chutney and top the dosa with potato-onion curry. Fold the dosa restaurant style and serve. There is no need to flip the dosa over. This is why the batter needs to be thin.

9. Enjoy with some coconut chutney!

Red Chutney recipe
Fresh/frozen coconut – 1/2 cup

Red chillies – 5-6 (or according to taste)

Tamarind – little

Grind all of them together adding just a little water if required

Coconut Chutney recipe

Fresh/frozen coconut – 1/2 – 1 cup

Chana dhalia (kadale poppu) – eyeball the same amount as coconut

Cilantro – 1/2 bunch. You can include the tender stems as well.

Green chillies – 4 to 5

Tamarind – little

Salt – very little

Grind all of them together adding a little water

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Restaurant style Vegetable Biryani


Biryani is undoubtedly a finger licking food. But making it at home is a laborious process if you want to do it DSC04814the right way. But the biryani served in restaurants taste so mmm mmm good, I’ve always wondered how they do it. It’s spicy, it’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s sour all at the same time. Surely they don’t bake it, they do some kind of a stir fry and give it to you within ten minutes of your ordering. I’ve been trying to imitate their taste by experimenting with the ingredients and I think i’ve finally hit the jackpot! I made this yesterday and it came so very close to the ones you order in restaurants. The first thing i wanted to do was post the recipe on my blog so I don’t forget it ;). And yes, also share it with everybody.

This recipe makes 6-8 servings. I’ve only eyeballed the measuremens. Play around with the quantities to suit your taste.


Vegetables of your choice – carrots, beans, potatoes, cauliflower, peas, lima beans (about 1 1/2 cups each) cut into large chunks

For the rice:

Rice – 2 cups

Water – 2 cups

Salt to taste

For the veggies:

Oil – 2 tbsp

Onion – 1 large

Tomatoes – 1 large

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp

Cashews – a handful, cut into pieces

Green Chillies – 4 to 6

Whole Garam masala – 2 black cardamoms, 3-4 cloves, 1 inch cinnamon, 1 bay leaf

Butter – 4 tbsp

Coriander powder – 1.5 tbsp

Paprika powder – 1.5 teaspoon

Red chili powder – to taste

Garam masala powder – 2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Pepper to taste

Jaggery – 1/4 small cube

Tamarind – 1 inch piece

Yogurt – 1 cup

Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek) – 2 teaspoon


1/4 cup Fried onions (store bought)

Though the ingredients look like a lot, most of it is easy to find in your kitchen.


For the rice:

1. The rice is best if it is cold. Use left over rice or prepare it a few hours before.

2. Wash rice thoroughly and add two cups of water (more or less depending on your cooker and type of rice. This is what works for me).

3. Cook in the pressure cooker upto three whistles or in the rice cooker until it is done.

4. If you are preparing rice especially for the biryani, you can spice it up by adding 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 2-3 cloves, a handful of mint leaves and 1 teaspoon of jeera.

For the veggies:

1. Microwave the veggies until they are half done to reduce the cooking time.

2. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan. Add jeera, onions, a bit of salt and fry until light brown.

3. Add tomatoes and fry for a minute more

4. Transfer this to a mixer. Add a tablespoon of ginger garlic paste, green chillies, a handful of cashews and a few mint leaves if you like.

5. Blend it into a fine paste and set aside.

6. Next, heat oil in the pan again. Add jeera, 1-2 black cardamoms, bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves.

7. Add turmeric and the veggies. Transfer the onion tomato cashew paste. The cashews are one of the secret ingredients which give the biryani a rich taste.

8. Add pepper, paprika powder, chili powder, coriander powder, salt and mix.

9. Soak the jaggery and tamarind in 3 tbsp of water, mash it well until all the taste is transferred to this water and then add it to the vegetable mixture. This is anothe secret ingredient which gives the biryani a sweet and sour taste.

10. Add 4 tbsp of butter (another secret ingredient) and let it cook until the vegetables are done. If you have cream, you can add in a tablespoon or two at this point.

11. Once done, turn off the flame, add a cup of yogurt and crush the dried fenugreek leaves with your hands and drop them in.

12. Add deep fried onions (available in stores). This is anothe secret ingredient and makes a huge difference to the biryani.

13. Add raisins for extra taste, mix with rice and serve hot with raita.

All this is done in about 45 minutes or so and it tastes delicious. It has all the tastes at the same time and plays tricks in your mouth. Hope you like it. Do let me know how it turned out for you and what additions you made. Enjoy!

You might want to note the recipe down on printable recipe cards for future reference.

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With Valentine’s Day approaching, I’m sure everybody must be making plans. What is always part of the plan is something good to eat.

If you’re thinking of heading out for good food, make sure your reservations are in place!

I cannot enjoy the food if the restaurants are crowded, so this time I have decided to cook at home from a few recipes online. I always jot down the recipes on my recipe cards which go into my cute recipe box. So, while I was searching for recipe card templates today, I decided to make some of my own instead and share them with everybody!

Here are 6 recipe card templates in 4″X6″ format. Click on the pictures below to download the cards. Print them out and stick ’em onto index cards for sturdiness.

Hope they help you make memorable meals!

Recipe Cards I

Recipe Cards II

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Jalebis A lovely Indian dish that makes your mouth water every time you think of it, Jalebi isĀ  surprisingly very easy to make. This recipe was taught to me by my friend Manisha and i’d like to share it with all. The key is to ferment the batter for at least 36 hours and you will have jalebis as good as they come in the stores.


For the Jalebis:

3/4 cup All Purpose flour

1/4 cup Besan

1 tbsp Yogurt

1 cup warm water

3 cups oil

Orange food color (optional)

A pinch of Baking Soda

For the Sugar Syrup:

1 cup water

1 3/4 cup sugar

A pinch of cardamom powder


1. Add all purpose flour and besan to a bowl.

2. To this add a tbsp of yogurt and a little bit of warm water and mix thoroughly to form a thick batter. Make sure you do not add too much water. The jalebi will disintegrate if you do so.

3. Allow this mixture to ferment over a period of at least 36 hours. So if you are planning to make the Jalebi on a rainy Sunday evening, prepare the batter on Friday.

4. After 36 hours, add a pinch of baking soda, a little bit of water if required, just a pinch of food color and mix well. If the batter is too thin, you can add some more All Purpose flour.

5. Pour this onto a sauce bottle.

6. For the sugar syrup, pour 1 cup water into a pan and add sugar and cardamom powder. Heat this until all the sugar melts. The sugar syrup is ready.

6. Meanwhile heat oil on a low-medium flame and squeeze the sauce bottle in a clockwise manner to make the jalebis. Remember the wrong shape is the right shape.

7. Fry this until it is crisp. Take care not to let it brown.

8. Drain the excess oil and add this jalebi to the sugar syrup. Dip it in the sugar syrup for not more than 10 seconds and immediately transfer it to a plate. Do not place a paper towel underneath the jalebis. It will absorb the sweetness from the jalebis

9. Continue this process for the whole of the batter and serve the hot jalebis with some ice cream and there you go! This quantity makes around 15 jalebis.

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