Tomato Rice

I needed a quick fix lunch for my 1 year old who goes to day care now. And if you are working and have to send lunch box with your kid to school, the need to cook quick, but healthy meals is the perhaps the most pressing item on your list. This led me to search for one-pot healthy meals. I am in no way a innovator when it comes to cooking. Tried and tested is what I believe in and my mom suggested Tomato Rice. This recipe is courtesy to her. Both me and my son enjoyed the meal!

Ginger garlic paste
Carrots - cut in to small pieces
Peas - cut in to small pieces
Beans - cut in to small pieces
Any other vegetables - cut in to small pieces
Tomato - blended in to a puree
Salt to taste

  1. Cook rice separately and keep aside
  2. In a pan, add ghee. 
  3. Once hot, add ginger garlic paste and stir for few seconds.
  4. Then add the carrots, peas, beans, and other veggies and fry for 3-4 mins.
  5. Then add the blended tomato purée in to pan and stir.
  6. Let it stay till the raw taste is gone. Stir occasionally.
  7. Now add the made rice, and salt and mix well.
  8. Serve hot! 

Parwal/Patal Besan Fry - Pointed Gourd

Someone who isn't very enthusiastic about spending a lot of time in kitchen after a long day at work, I appreciate all the quick recipes my mom taught me. The Patal besan fry is one such dish. The best part of it is, because of its softness, it can be taken with both rice and roti. This can also serve as a quick side dish during an elaborate dinner.


Patal/Parwal/Pointed Gourd - Washed and cut in the middle to allow stuffing.
Besan - One cup
Jeera - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Red chilli powder


  1. Mix all except patal in a bowl. Add oil in it and keep mixing till it is stays together. 
  2. Stuff the mixture along the split in the patal.
  3. Heat a generous helping of oil in a container.
  4. Once hot, add the stuffed patals in the oil and let it cook.
  5. Once the patals are start getting brown, sprinkle the rest of the mixture on top of it and mix.
  6. Cook covered. Sprinkle water occasionally and cook covered till the patals are soft.
  7. Serve hot with chapati or rice.

Pumpkin Curry - Gummudikaya Korra

Once in a while, it is  nice to have a curry on the sweeter side and pumpkin is a natural for that. I love this particular curry, because not only is it tasty with a mix of spice and sugar, it is super easy and quick to make. I love to eat it with rice!


Pumpkin - Cut in cubes
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds - tbsp
Dry Red Chilli - 2 in number or according to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a container
  2. Once hot, put the channa dal, urad dal, mustard seeds, and red chilli in it.
  3. Once they start spurting, add the pumpkin and mix.
  4. Add half a cup water, salt and sugar. Make it sweet according to your preference.
  5. Cook covered till pumpkin is tender.
  6. Serve hot with rice.

Coconut - eggplant curry - vankai kobari kora

This is one of my favorite eggplant curries. A very typical Andhra dish yet not too spicy. The juices that flow from the mixture of coconut and eggplant is yummy!


Coconut - cut into pieces
Coriander seeds - 1 tbs
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2 pieces
Cashew/almonds - 4-5 pieces
Ginger - 1 inch
Green eggplants - 5
Salt to taste


Put all ingredients except eggplants in a mixie. Pour half a cup water and blend. Blend till it is a coarse paste.


1) cut the eggplant stub.
2) cut the eggplants in the middle but not all the way through, giving space enough. Give a 90degree cut again, cutting through the first half. This gives enough space to stuff the gravy.
3) stuff the gravy in the slit eggplants. Save some gravy for later.
4) put oil in a container and let is heat.
5) put the eggplant in oil and let it coat well.
6) once the eggplant starts cooking, pour the rest of the gravy on top of it and mix.
7) add salt, water and mix well.
8) cover and let it cook. Mix occasionally and let it cook till the eggplants are tender.
9) decorate it with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.

Dahi Baigan ( Egg Plants in a spiced yoghurt gravy )

I thank the days I miss home food, for on days as these I get down to prepare some Oriya delicasies. And this time it was Dahi Baingan that soothed my nostalgic stomach.
Dahi Baigan is a traditional Oriya dish normally served with flavoured rice or just as a curry with white rice, but it's best served with Kanina, a sweet flavoured rice that's so typical of an Oriya platter. It's basically fried egg plants dipped in spiced yoghurt and best for the sunny afternoons when you need something light, filling and cooling to go with your main course.

3 medium sized egg plants cut in quarters length wise
1 medium sized onion
1 inch chopped ginger
2-3 pods of garlic
4 green chillies slit length wise
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asofitida seeds
1 cup of yoghurt

Heat the oil in a deep pan. Add the mustard, asofitida and cumin seeds followed by the curry leaves. Let all the seeds crackle off.
Add the chopped ginger, garlic and green chillies and cook them till they give off their aroma.
Add the chopped onions and cook them till they are translucent.
Add the egg plants followed by all the powders and and give everything a good mix. Cover the pan and let the egg plant cook for 10 min.
Check if the egg plants are cooked. they should be tender but should be firm at the same time.
Put off the flame and let the egg plants cool down a bit.
Mix 1 cup of water with the yoghurt and mix them well. It should have the consistency of a batter.
Pour in the yoghurt in the cooked egg plants mixing them gently.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and have it with hot steaming rice :-)

Coconut Mint Corainder Chutney

No South Indian Breakfast is complete without the popular coconut chutney. This is perhaps the most frequently prepared dish in every South Indian home after rice. Whether it's dosa, idli, wada, pongal, lemon rice or upma, coconut chutney finds its way to the platter. This chutney is basically a mix of coconut along with herbs, lentils and tempering and at times just coconut paste diluted and tempered. This recipe is a version of the chutney prepared with mint and coriander leaves.

1 full coconut ( grated or chopped )
1/2 cup of mint leaves
1/2 cup of coriander leaves
( the leaves can be taken in greater quantity if you prefer the strong flavour of the herbs in your chutney )
3-4 green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
1 tbs yogurt
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbs channa (gram) dal
10-12 curry leaves

Put the coconut, mint leaves, coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger and salt in a grinder and grind them well adding water little by little till its a coarse paste.
Take the ground chutney out in a bowl.
Heat the oil for tempering.
Add mustard seeds, Channa dal and curry leaves to the oil. wait till it crackles off completely.
Add the tempering to the chutney and mix well with a spoon.
Add the yogurt and mix again.

Eggless Orange Cake with Apples

Cakes are such a versatile dessert that you can give it the flavour of just any thing under the sun and it absorbs the flavours of the ingredient well enough. But then there's a line of caution there as to not to try out just anything under the sun :-)
Well,Continuing with my penchant for desserts, I went on to experiment with a citrus twist on cake baking. And i choose oranges to flavour my cake.
A piece of advice here before you attempt your own orange cake. Be sure you would like the bitterly zingy orangy taste of the zest. If not scrape off the entire zest of the oranges you use for this cake. I personally prefer that hint of zesty taste so I go for every shred of it.
Ingredients :
200 gm condensed Milk
100 gm flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp soda bi carbonate
60 ml ( 80 gm ) melted butter
1 tsp orange essence
2 seedless oranges
2 apples peeled, cored and sliced.
Process :
Pre-heat the over to 180 C before starting with the preparation.

Cut the oranges into quarters, put them into a mixer along with the condensed milk, butter and orange essence.
Mix the flour, baking powder and soda bi carb.
Add the orange mix to the flour mix and fold them well.
Grease a baking tray with butter and sprinkle flour on the surface. You may put a butter paper at the bottom.
Layer the sliced apples at the bottom of the tray. Make at least two layers.
Pour in the batter into the baking tray and place it in the oven immediately.
Let the cake bake at 180 C for 25 min. Let it cool down when done.
It's best served hot with a dollop or orange marmalade or any other fruit jam that you would imagine to go well with an orangy spoonful :-)