Sunday, November 10, 2019

Karva Chauth 2019 Thali | Indian Thali Ideas By Masterchefmom #018

Za'atar Spiced Broccoli Mushroom Sabzi Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

There are so many Indian Festivals . One of the important festivals or special days celebrated in North India is the Karva Chauth. 

Though I do not follow the Vrat/fasting on that day, I felt like paying respect to all the women who were fasting for the longevity for their better half. This thali is my humble contribution to this festival. 

I cooked the dal- roti-sabzi kind of meal and it was so comforting. The mushroom- broccoli sabzi added more flavour and colour to this thali. I have shared the recipe to make this simple yet healthy sabzi in this post. 

Za'atar Spiced Broccoli Mushroom Sabzi Recipe

Find below the recipes to these simple and tasty recipes :

Za'atar Spiced Broccoli Mushroom Sabzi Recipe :

Ingredients :

12 button mushrooms ( washed and sliced)
1 broccoli ( cut into florets)
1 carrot ( chopped roughly) 
3/4 teaspoon za'atar spice
2 teaspoons oil ( you can use coconut oil or sesame oil)
salt to taste

Method :

1. Heat 2 cups of water and when it starts to boil, add the broccoli.
2. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes and switch off.
3. Drain water and set it aside.
4. Heat a kadai/small wok with oil and add the mushrooms .
5. Add salt and allow it cook for 5 minutes or till the time the mushrooms are cooked and excess water is drained.
6. Add the cooked broccoli , carrot , za'atar spice and mix well.
7. Cook over medium flame, stirring continuously for 1 minute and switch off.

Your delicious and healthy Za'atar Broccoli Mushroom Sabzi is now ready !

Za'atar Spiced Broccoli Mushroom Sabzi Recipe

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Verkadalai Podi | Peanut Podi | Peanut Spice Powder | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

peanut podi recipe

Hi Supermoms,

Do you love peanuts? 

We love it so much at home. I always keep stock of a bottle of roasted peanuts on my dining table. Also, during winters, you get coal roasted peanuts ( with skin) in abundance and they are a favourite too. 

We all know that eating handful of peanuts a day is so good for our health. Sometimes, due to our hectic work schedule , we do forget to consume them. Not anymore๐Ÿ˜Š.

Today, I am going to share a podi/spice powder recipe using peanuts that is super tasty. You can enjoy this podi along with all your dishes. You can mix the podi along with coconut oil or sesame oil or even melted ghee. 

It tastes divine. I am thankful to my Mom-in-law for having made a large batch for us and also sharing this recipe. 

Let me go directly to the recipe. All you need to do is to invest in 15 minutes of your time. This podi will be ready so quickly. It tastes great unto two months. 

Verkadalai Podi | Peanut Podi

Verkadalai Podi | Peanut Podi

Recipe Courtesy: Mrs. Prema

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Makes : approximately 400 gm peanut powder
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

1 cup peanuts ( raw)
15-20 dry red chillies ( adjust according to the heat of the chillies)
1 tablespoon coriander seeds/dhania
1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds/jeera
6-7 garlic cloves ( you can peel the skin or grind with the skin)
small gooseberry size tamarind ( de-seeded)
1/2 teaspoon ground nut oil OR sesame oil
rock salt/salt to taste

Method :

1. Heat a kadai/wok over low flame and add peanuts.
2. Keep stirring and dry roast them till they are well roasted and crisp.
3. Transfer the peanuts to another plate and place the kadai back on low flame.
4. Now dry roast the coriander seeds and set it aside.
5. Add 1/2 teaspoon of oil and fry the chillies.
6. Add the chillies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, tamarind, salt to the jar of mixie/mixer and grind them coarsely.
7. Next, add the garlic cloves and pulse them again.
8. Finally add the peanuts and pulse them again. 
Note : Do not run the mixer continuously or the peanuts will start to secrete oil. Grind them for 15 seconds, then give a gap of 30 seconds and repeat for 2-3 times or till you get a coarse powder. 

Your Verkadalai podi/ Peanut spice powder is now ready !

Peanut Podi

You can also try my Peanut Chutney Recipe .

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Thursday, November 7, 2019

Poosanikai Rasavangi | Thanjavur Style Ashgourd Rasavangi | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

Poosanikai Rasavangi

Hi Supermoms,

Have you heard of the dish called 'Rasavangi?'

To know about the dish, let me share with you a brief history behind the origin of Rasavangi. Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, India was ruled by the Marathas for a few years.  Marathi cuisine was cooked in the Thanjavur Kingdom using the locally available ingredients like substituting tamarind for kokum, Tuvar dal for moth beans etc., This led to creation of new and delicious recipes . One such recipe is the Rasavangi.' Rasa' in Marathi means' gravy' and 'Vangi' means brinjal/aubergine. 

Though this gravy dish is made using brinjal, ash gourd rasavangi is equally popular. The best part of the recipe is using raw peanuts or chickpeas along with the vegetables. Plenty of coconut is used in this dish. Some even add fresh grated coconut as garnish for the rasavangi. 

This is my Mother-In- Law's recipe and we had a lot of fun cooking it together and also chatting about the history behind this dish and how it has been adapted in our everyday cooking. 

Thanjavur Style Poosanikai Rasavangi :

Recipe Courtesy : Mrs. Prema

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time : 20-25 minutes
Serves : 4-6
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

1/4 kg Ashgourd/poosanikai
1/4 raw peanuts ( you can also use 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas)
1/2 cup pigeon peas/tuvar dal ( washed and cooked in 1-1&1/2 cups water)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
small lemon size tamarind ( soaked in 1/2 cup warm water) and juice extracted OR 1 teaspoon tamarind paste ( you can use store bought too)
salt to taste

Rasavangi Masala:

2 tablespoons coriander seeds/dhania
1 tablespoon Bengal gram/channa dal
10-12 dry red chillies ( adjust according to your spice preference and the heat of the chillies you are using)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
5-6 curry leaves (optional)
1/4 cup fresh coconut ( finely chopped or grated)
1 teaspoon sesame oil 

To temper :

1 tablespoon sesame oil ( you can use coconut oil also)
1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves 
pinch of asafoetida 

For garnish ( optional):

1 -2 teaspoon freshly grated coconut

Method :

1. In a heavy bottom vessel or kadai, add washed ash gourd and peanuts .
2. Cook them in 2-3 cups of water along with turmeric powder.
Chef tip: You can pressure cook the pumpkin and peanuts along with tuvar dal . I usually place a plate with dal, peanut-cubed pumpkins , add 1 cup water , turmeric powder  on top of rice ( that I cook for the day) and pressure cook. This saves a lot of time. 
3. While they cook, heat a small kadai/wok or a pan with oil and roast all the ingredients given for the rasavangi masala, except coconut.

4. Transfer it to the jar of a mixie/mixer and also add in the coconut.
5. Grind it to a smooth paste adding around 1/4 cup water and set it aside.
6.Once the pumpkin and peanuts are cooked, add in the tamarind juice and allow it to cook for just around 5 minutes over low flame.

7. Now add the cooked tuvar dal, rasavangi masala,  salt and continue to cook it for 6-7 minutes.  
8. Heat a small pan or tempering ladle with oil and temper with the ingredients given under 'to temper' and pour it over the rasavangi.
9. Garnish ( optional) and your rasavangi is ready to be served. 

Tastes amazing with rice and melted ghee. 

Poosanikai Rasavangi

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Pindi Chole | Pindi Chana| Rawalpindi Chole Recipe | Rawalpindi Style Garbanzo Beans Curry | Gluten Free Recipe

Pindi Chole | Pindi Chana| Rawalpindi Chole Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

Pindi Chole/Pindi Chana is one of our favourite side dish to order when we eat outside. Soft roti/kulcha/naan with Pindi chana as a side dish is simply an experience by itself. 

I cook chickpeas/garbanzo beans/chole a lot at home. We all love it and I usually cook it in a tomato-onion gravy which is also delicious.  But I was always fascinated by the taste of  No-onion- Garlic-Tomato Pindi Chole. Recently I read a family recipe shared by Vernika and was so tempted to try it. She shares " As far as I recollect, my Dadi told me that these were a speciality of Rawalpindi, hence the word Pindi. The preparation is usually dry or semi-dry and it can be eaten with bhature, kulche, paratha or even garam roti "

Just a handful of ingredients and less than 15 minutes cooking time (if you have boiled garbanzo beans) is all you need to make a lip smacking Rawalpindi Chole. 

My family was thrilled with the taste and I was so happy that I could make a great dish in such a short time. I am sure that you will love this recipe. All thanks to Vernika for giving such an authentic recipe. 

Pindi Chole | Pindi Chana| Rawalpindi Chole Recipe

Pindi Chole :

Recipe Courtesy: Ms. Vernika Awal

Preparation time ( including the soaking time) : 8-10 hours or overnight
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4-6 
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

2 cups garbanzo beans/chole 
pinch of baking soda ( optional)
1/4 cup oil 
1/4" ginger (grated or thinly sliced)
2-3 green chillies ( slit vertically)
salt to taste

Spice Mix:

4 teaspoons Coriander powder/dhaniya powder ( freshly ground is best)
4 teaspoons Pomegranate seeds powder/Anardana
1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds powder/ roasted jeera powder (freshly roasted tastes the best)
2 teaspoons dry fenugreek leaves/Kasuri methi
1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri Chilli powder ( adjust according to your spice preference)

Method :

1. Wash and soak the garbanzo beans/chick peas/chole for 8-10 hours or overnight.
2. Pressure cook the chickpeas  up to 5 whistles over medium flame by adding double the amount of water with a pinch of baking soda .
3. Once the pressure releases, drain the excess water and add the chickpeas to an iron kadai/wok and place it over low flame.
4. Add all the spice powders (given under spice mix ) and salt.
5. In parallel, heat another small pan or a large tempering ladle with oil .
6. Add green chillies to the oil and ginger on top of the spice mix, pour hot oil on top and mix.
7. Stir for 3-4 minutes on low flame and switch off.
Important Note : If you want the pindi chole to be semi-thick, you can add a 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water . You can use the drained chickpeas water. Add water when you add the chickpeas into the kadai . 
Your delicious Pindi Chole is now ready to be served along with poori/bhatura or rotis. They even taste great with rice. 
Pindi Chole | Pindi Chana| Rawalpindi Chole Recipe

I am sure you will love making Pindi Chole. Do tag me on instagram @masterchefmom and I would be so happy to share your pindi chole pictures. 

Also, have you seen my latest video where I share easy method to make Chennai Style crispy onion pakodas?

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Thursday, October 31, 2019

Diwali 2019 Thali | Indian Thali Ideas By Masterchefmom #017 | Festival Thali and An Announcement

Diwali 2019 Thali | Indian Thali Ideas By Masterchefmom

Hi Supermoms,

Hope you all had a lovely Diwali . 

At our home, Diwali celebrations was all about cleaning , decorating our home, cooking sweets and savouries, sharing it with people around, drawing rangoli , lighting lamps and soaking in the festive atmosphere. 

This year, Diwali was extra special as my YouTube channel got launched. The best part of Masterchefmom Youtube channel is that I will be cooking along with my better half Raghu , who has been the reason behind my passion for cooking. I am so excited that I will be connecting with you all in another large platform. I want to keep it simple, natural and also share as many tips and easy recipes for everyday cooking. 

I welcome your suggestions and feedback. 

Do subscribe to the Masterchefmom Youtube Channel and also share it with your friends and relatives so that our Masterchefmom Youtube Family grows in strength. It takes a lot of effort to bring the videos to you. Your love and support is our only motivation to keep going. Truly appreciate all your encouragement . 

You can watch our first Video to make a Delicious Chocolate Cake

Now, getting back to the Diwali Lunch Thali . It was a joint effort of my Mother-In-Law, Prema and myself. I made the payasam and vadai and she cooked the rasam and potatoes. We had prepared other sweets and savouries the previous few days. 

Diwali 2019 Thali | Indian Thali Ideas By Masterchefmom

Rava Jamun was a huge hit and got over before the Diwali ๐Ÿ˜€. But I am so happy that so many of you had made that dessert for the festival and also shared the pictures with me. Similarly many of you had made the Milk cake and Khara Biscuit/Thukkada/maida biscuit

Here are the recipe links to all the dishes :

Diwali 2019 Thali | Indian Thali Ideas By Masterchefmom

You can make these sweets and savouries for any special occasion or even as tea time snacks. Home made snacks are the best, right? 

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Multigrain Ladoo/Laddu Recipe | Porivilangai Urundai | Deepavali 2019 Special Recipes By Masterchefmom

Multigrain Ladoo/laddu

Hi Supermoms,

Today I am going to share another interesting sweet recipe .

This is a heirloom recipe and I am so happy that this year my Mother-In-Law made it for us. I tried to capture all important steps while making this traditional healthy recipe. 

The ladoo/laddu is called 'Porivilangai Urundai' which is the short form of the word 'Porul vilangai Urndai'. 'Porul -Vilanga' literally means 'that whose meaning/contents cannot be determined.  As you cannot determine just one ingredient while eating these ladoos, they were named as 'Porivilangai'. 

There is an interesting story behind this ladoo. During the olden days , when our ancestors decided on a pilgrimage that required travelling a lot across the country, they used to carry these ladoos. Originally, the ladoos were made of rice, wheat , whole green moong that was well roasted , powdered and then made into ladoos using thick jaggery syrup. These ladoos hardened so much that it requires a mortar and pestle to break them and eat them. The best part of this sweet is that it helped them to survive in difficult conditions and for many days. They were consumed as any time energy snack . These ladoos can be stored for upto a month. 
Even children were given this ladoo to eat as an activity to strengthen their teeth ๐Ÿ˜. 

In today's time and age, to make it more easy to eat, my MIL has used powdered sugar . You can also use coconut sugar . Another alternative is to use 10-12 dates, chop them, add 1/4 cup of jaggery powder and 1/4 cup water. Heat them together over low flame and when the dates, jaggery thicken and come together , pour it over the multigrain mixture. 

You can always make it the traditional way if you do not mind biting into the hard ladoo. For that, melt 1 cup jaggery in 1/4 cup water , make a thick syrup ( one string consistency)and pour it over the roasted and powdered multigrain flour. Mix using a fork and when warm to touch shape them into ladoos. No ghee or oil is required .

We have used whole wheat in the recipe. You can use atta/whole wheat flour if that is easily available. You can also use dry fruits of your choice. 

I have given you plenty of options to personalise this multi grain ladoo. Hope you enjoy making them this festival season.

Porivilangai Urundai

Multigrain Ladoo/Laddu Recipe :

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Makes : 30 ladoo/laddu
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients ;

1/4 cup Boiled Rice/Puzhungal Arisi OR Hand pounded Rice 
1/4 cup green moong dal 
1/4 cup whole wheat
1/4 cup chutney dal/roasted chick peas( broken)/pottukadalai
3/4 cup sugar ( powdered)
6-7 green cardamom ( peel the skin and powdered)
7-8 cashew nuts ( broken) 
1/4 cup ghee 

Note : You can powder the cardamom along with sugar.

Method :

1. Dry roast the rice, wheat, dals separately till they are nice and brown. 
Chef tip : roast them over low flame. 
2. Powder the roasted ingredients , sieve and transfer it to a wide bowl.

3. Add powdered cardamom, sugar and mix well.
4. Heat ghee in a small kadai , add cashew nuts and  when they slightly turn brown, remove from heat and pour it into the flour-sugar mix.

5. Mix using a spoon and when the mixture becomes warm to touch, take a small portion and shape them into ladoos.

You can store them in a odour free, clean and dry container for upto 15 days . 

Multigrain Ladoo/Laddu Recipe

Your delicious Multigrain ladoo is now ready ! Festival or otherwise, these ladoos are packed with energy and children will enjoy it so much. 

Happy Cooking!

With love,


Monday, October 21, 2019

Milk Cake | 5 Ingredient Milk Cake Recipe | Deepavali 2019 Special Recipes By Masterchefmom

Milk Cake | 5 Ingredient Milk Cake Recipe

Hi Supermoms, 

I know that all of you are busy in welcoming the festival of lights. 

Preparing sweets and savouries for sharing  is such an integral part of this celebration. Along with cooking for our family and friends, it would be a great gesture if we can share home made sweets with less privileged people around us. 

Today, I am going to share a dessert/sweet that you can prepare in large quantities with ease. Only three main ingredients to make this recipe - Milk powder, ghee and sugar. You also need not worry about the one-string consistency of sugar as this cake is so forgiving. Also, the milk cake can be made within 15 minutes !

It tastes so delicious that the milk cakes will disappear very fast. 

I am sure I have tempted you enough to try this recipe immediately. You can first try with half cup and once confident can make a larger batch. 

Milk Cake | 5 Ingredient Milk Cake Recipe

Milk Cake :

Preparation time : 2 minutes
Cooking time : 12-15 minutes
Makes : 60 medium size milk cakes 
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

1 cup milk powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup ghee ( melted)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
7-8 pistachios (sliced)

Method :

1. Grease a wide plate /baking tray with ghee.
2. Line the tray with butter paper or parchment paper and grease again.
3. Sprinkle pistachios slices and set it aside.

4. Add sugar and water to a thick bottom kadai/wok and place the kadai over medium heat.

5. While the sugar is melting add the vanilla essence.
6. In a separate bowl, add milk powder and melted ghee.

7. Mix well to make a lump-free mixture.
8. Once the sugar syrup starts boiling and becomes thick, add the ghee-milk powder mixture and keep stirring over low flame.

9. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and leaves the sides of the pan.
Chef tips :
         a. Do not over stir else the cake will become too hard and chewy.
         b. To find if the mixture is ready, take a spoon and remove a very small portion of the milk cake mixture and and drop it in another small cup. If you able to roll it into a ball, then your mixture is ready. Immediately switch off and transfer the mixture into the greased tray. 
10. Once the milk cake reaches the desired consistency, immediately transfer it into the greased tray. You can grease the backside of a spoon with ghee and gently rub and smoothen the top layer of the cake. 

11. After 5-7 minutes or when the cake has cooled a little, you can make slight cuts using a greased knife.
12. Once, completely cool, you can cut them into smaller pieces.

Your milk cake is now ready. You can store them upto 5 days without refrigeration and 7 days with refrigeration. Milk cake is so easy to make and so yum!!

Milk Cake | 5 Ingredient Milk Cake Recipe

Happy Deepavali !

With love,


Friday, October 18, 2019

Paan Spice | Vethalai Podi |Betel Leaves Spice Powder Recipe | Gluten Free and Vegan

Betel leaves Spice Powder/vethalai Podi

Hi Supermoms,

Betel Leaves are a part and parcel of Indian Food customs and traditions.
 I had earlier shared about betel leaves in my betel leaves chutney recipe . During Navratri/navratras, it is a custom to give 'tamboolam' ( return gift) to ladies who visit our house during those nine days. 

Many of us buy larger quantities of the leaves so that we are sufficiently stocked for the function/pooja. But many times we end up getting more and the leaves wilt and get wasted. 

Not anymore. 

Today, I am going to share a spice powder recipe using the betel leaves. You can store them for upto a month or two and use it as a side dish for tiffin like idli/dosa et., or mix with hot rice and enjoy it as Betel Leaves Rice. 

Next time when you have betel leaves at home, do try this wonderful recipe. Betel leaves are filled with good health and making this podi/spice blend is a great way to incorporate them in our diet. Plenty of dishes can be flavoured with this spice powder. I have given a few recipe ideas at the end of this letter. 

Paan Spice Blend

Paan Spice | Vethalai Podi | Betel Leaves Spice Blend :

Recipe Courtesy : Mrs. P. Prema ( My MIL)
Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 15-17 minutes
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

To roast : 
2 teaspoons sesame oil ( you can also use coconut oil)
10 medium size betel leaves/paan ka patta/ vethalai( remove the thick stem, washed and pat dried)
2 sprigs curry leaves (washed, pat dried and torn roughly)
1 teaspoon Bengal gram/channa dal
1 teaspoon husked and split black gram/urad dal
2-3 teaspoons peanuts
1 teaspoon coriander seeds/dhania
7-8 dry red chillies ( adjust according to the heat of the chillies)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dry coconut ( you can use store bought grated one too)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds/til
small goose berry size tamarind ( remove seeds)
rock salt to taste

To add without roasting:
2 large garlic cloves ( halved)
gooseberry size jaggery OR 1 teaspoon powdered jaggery

Method : 

1. Heat a thick bottom kadai or pan with half teaspoon oil and add the cleaned betel leaves and curry leaves.
2. Pan roast them over low flame till all the extra moisture is absorbed and they turn crispy.
3. Transfer them to a wide plate .
4. Place the kadai back on low flame and add the remaining oil.
5. Add all the ingredients given for roasting in the order mentioned. 
6. You can add the tamarind and rock salt after you switch off the flame.
Note : The heat from kadai is enough for the tamarind and rock salt. 
7. Once the ingredients have cooled down, add garlic cloves, jaggery and the roasted ingredients to the jar of a mixer grinder/mixie and run it for a few seconds. 
8. Now add the betel and curry leaves and grind again into a slightly coarse powder. 
9. Once they have cooled down completely, transfer them to a clean, dry, odour free glass container. 

Your Paan Ka Patta Spice Blend/ Vethalai Podi is now ready . 
You can also make Betel leaves rice/Vethalai Sadam .

To make the Vethalai Sadam/Betel Leaves Rice:

1. Spread 1 cup cooked rice in a wide bowl.
Chef tip : Cook rice with just adequate water so that they are fluffy , soft and not mashed.
2. Add 1 heaped teaspoon of the Paan Spice //Vethalai podi.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter or sesame oil in a small pan or tempering ladle.
4. Once the oil is hot enough for tempering, switch off and add the mustard seeds.
Chef tips : tempering with mustard seeds is optional. You can also roast cashew nuts, peanuts in ghee/oil and add it to rice. You can also pan roast vegetables ( of your choice) add the paan spice , required salt and once fried pour it over rice and mix. 
5. While the mustard seeds splutter, pour the ghee or oil on top of the podi.
6. Mix well with rice.

Your flavourful Betel Leaves Rice / Vethalai Sadam is now ready ! It gets more tasty when marinated. So, it is also a great lunch box/picnic dish. 

Betel Leaves Rice

You can also sprinkle this spice blend in your sabzi/dry curries . Options are plenty !

Happy Cooking !

With love 


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