Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Kathirikai Chutney | Eggplant Chutney | Brinjal Chutney

Kathirikai Chutney, an easy to make delicious chutney with Indian eggplant / brinjal. As you know, I was a big hater of eggplant for most of my life and still I have a love and hate relationship with eggplant. However, I can enjoy the eggplant in a few recipes and this chutney is  one among them.

Back in mom's place, Amma makes this kathirikai chutney often for breakfast as a side dish for idli and dosa. Everyone at home likes it except me, so for me sake, she prepares one more side dish whenever she makes kathirikai chutney. 
Kathirikai Chutney

Related : How to make Baingan Bharta

After I started to like baingan bharta, I realized that I like eggplant when it's mashed and spiced well. So one day during our phone conversation, I told Amma about this and  she immediately insisted on trying this chutney and told me that i might like it.

Therefore I got the recipe from her instantly and made this chutney as a side dish for dosa the very next day! To my surprise, i like it and it goes well with both idli and dosa recipes. Ever since it became the regular chutney in my home.

Here in the recipe, I have used Indian varieties of eggplant which are very small in size compared to the local eggplant that are available here. But i guess that you can use those also for this chutney.  If you're bored with the regular chutney recipe, then give a try on this kathirikai chutney!
Brinjal Chutney

Kathirikai Chutney | Brinjal Chutney

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Chutney | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Kathirikai Chutney, Brinjal Chutney,EggPlant Chutney, Indian Eggplant Chutney Kathirikai Chutney, an easy to make delicious chutney with Indian eggplant / brinjal.
Kathirikai/ Brinjal /Indian Eggplant - 2 (medium)
Tomato - 1 
Garlic Cloves - 2 
Chana dal - 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Red Chili - 4 
Coriander leaves - a handful
Oil - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
To Temper
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - few

Brinjal Chutney
Kathirikai Chutney
Heat a kadai with 1 tsp of oil, add the chana dal and red chili. Roast till the dal is golden brown and then transfer into the mixie jar. 
Next the take the brinjal and tomato and chop them roughly into small pieces. In the same pan, add the brinjal and saute it in the oil for a couple of minutes. 
Then add the garlic and tomatoes, saute it in the oil for a min and then add a 1/4 cup of water. Let the brinjal and tomatoes cook completely. 
Once the brinjal is well cooked, switch off the flame and then add the coriander leaves and give a good mix with the other ingredients and let it cool a bit. In the mean time, grind the dal and chili into coarse powder.
Then add the brinjal mixture along with salt and grind into thick paste. Next heat the kadai for tempering and temper the ingredients listed under "To temper".
Next add the chutney and 1/4 cup of water(adjust to your preferred consistency) and warm it up the chutney( no need to boil). That's it ! Tasty Kathirikai Chutney is ready.

Related : More Chutney recipes for idli and dosa 

Brinjal Chutney

Related : How to make Crispy dosa 

  • Chana dal is for consistency. More chana dal means thicker chutney. So add more or less as per your liking.
  • You can reduce the chana dal in the recipe and make the chutney as thin like pourable chutney instead of spoonable chutney here.Brinjal Chutney
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Friday, April 16, 2021

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani | Chicken Biryani

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani, making chicken biryani using Instant Pot is so effortless and the chicken biryani is so flavorful, delicious and fluffy ! 

Even since I bought(Nov 2020) the Instant pot, I have been using it mainly for making the biryani, soup and cooking lentils without soaking. Though i have been using it for many other cooking, these are my favorite to cook with Instant Pot. 

The one thing that I absolutely love about making the biryani in Instant pot is that nothing sticks or burns at the bottom of the pan. While making biryani in the traditional pressure cooker, i had the experience of burnt bottom, but so far in the last 6 months, i haven't burnt the biryani once in Instant pot :-) Hurray !! 
Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Tips to make flavorful chicken biryani 

Compared to mutton, chicken itself doesn't have much flavor on its own, so in order to get the flavorful chicken biryani, the spices are really important. 
  • Make sure to use the whole spices in the tempering in addition to the garam masala powder.
  • I would highly recommend to use kalpasi if you can source it in your place. It surely brings out that restaurant style flavor. A little bit of kalpasi goes a long way here. So don't tempt to add more.
  • Use fresh mint and coriander leaves for great flavor.
  • Use chicken with bone for biryani, boneless chicken doesn't have much flavor, so is the biryani.

Related: How to make Restaurant Style Chicken 65

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

Tips for making chicken biryani in Instant Pot

  • In Instant pot, we are going to pressure cook the rice for just 5 mins, so before adding the rice make sure that the chicken is at least half cooked so that the remaining get cooked while cooking the rice. 
  • You can cook the chicken in saute mode or just like me, you can pressure cook for just 2 minutes and do quick release.
  • Make sure to transfer the biryani to another pot once you opened the instant pot to avoid further cooking from the residual temperature of the pot and make it mushy.

Related: How to make Chicken Kebab

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani | IP Chicken Biryani

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 10 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Biryani | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Instant Pot Chicken Biryani, IP Chicken Biryani, 10 mins IP Chicken Biryani Instant Pot Chicken Biryani, making chicken biryani using Instant Pot is so effortless and the chicken biryani is so flavorful, delicious and fluffy.
Chicken - 1 lb
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Onion -1 
Tomato - 1 
Curd - 1/4 cup
Green chili - 1
Mint - 1 handful
Coriander leaves - a handful
Curry leaves - few
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - 1 & 1/2 cups
Salt - to taste
Whole Spices 
Bay leaf - 1
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Cloves - 3 
Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom -1(optional)
Kalpasi - a small piece
Star anise - 1/2 
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Spice Powder 
Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp(optional)

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani
First soak the rice for 45 mins to 1 hr. Turn on the instant pot in saute mode, add the oil and add all the whole spices and grate some nutmeg(since i don't have nutmeg powder). 
Saute all the spices in the oil until they are aromatic(it's really important and gives great flavor to the biryani), then add onions, curry leaves and green chili with a bit of salt. 
Saute till the onions are transparent, then add the chicken, ginger garlic paste.
Next add the  tomatoes and mint leaves.  Saute till the ginger garlic paste is fragrant and then add all the spices.
Next, add the  curd & salt (just for chicken), mix it all well together and then add 1/2 cup of water &   give a quick mix. 
Close the Instant pot with lid and keep the whistle in sealing position. Cancel the saute mode and select the manual mode and set the timer for 2 mins. Once the time is up, cancel the warm mode. 
Wait for 2 mins and quickly release the pressure manually. Next add the remaining 1 cup of water and required salt for the biryani and then drain the soaked water from the rice and add the rice. 
Give a gentle mix. Add the salt for rice and finally squeeze the lemon juice  and Cover the Instant pot with lid and keep the whistle in sealing position.
Select the manual mode and set the timer for 5 mins. Once the time is up, cancel the warm mode and wait for 2 mins and quickly release the pressure manually. 
Sprinkle some coriander leaves  and drizzle the ghee on the top. Gently fluff it up and transfer to an another pot. 

Tasty Instant Pot Chicken Biryani is ready ! Serve it with Onion Raita

Related: How to make Boiled Eggs in Instant Pot 

Instant Pot Chicken Biryani
  • In this recipe, i haven't used garam masala. 
  • Adding ghee at the last enhance the flavor of biryani.
  • I have used India gate basmati rice
  • Soaking the rice for longer time is really important to get well cooked & fluffy biryani.
  • Once the time is up, wait for at least 2 mins before quick release the pressure. 
Instant Pot Chicken Biryani

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Thursday, April 8, 2021

How to Peel Tapioca Roots | Cassava | Maravalli kizhangu

Tapioca roots also known as kappa, maravalli kizhangu or kuchi kizhangu in South parts of India.  Though tapioca roots are native to South America, it's a staple food in kerala state of India and it's one of their common breakfast foods 

In our home, we used to have the steamed tapioca as a snack for the evenings or as elevenses food. It's one of our family favorite snacks of all time. You might already know this if you have followed me on IG. 

Tapioca Roots

Related : How to make Tapioca Adai

Whenever I share the steamed tapioca pictures on IG, I get a couple of requests for how to peel the tapioca because the skin is so hard.  Yeah, I know compared to Indian tapioca, the tapioca available here in North America is a bit bigger and the outer skin is also thicker.  

Immediately I shot a quick video for IG reels and shared it. But I thought a separate post would be more helpful so here i'm with this post on how to peel and cut the tapioca. Hope this post is useful and informative.  

How to Peel Tapioca Roots

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 0 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Kitchen Basics | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
How to peel Tapioca Roots, Kappa, Maravalli Kizhangu,Cassava Let's see how to peel Tapioca Roots easily.
Tapioca roots - 1

Tapioca Roots
First take a tapioca root, cut into half with a sharp knife.
Next make a sharp slip on the skin of the tapioca roots and gently lift the skin using the knife. 
Then switch to the dinner knife and run it along the skin. It will help to remove the skin from the tapioca roots.
Once the skin is peeled, cut the tapioca vertically into two slices and remove the thick string at the center.
Now cut the tapioca roots into desired shape and it's ready to use.
Tapioca Roots
  • If the skin sticks to the root well and stubborn to peel off through sliding the knife method, then simply trim the skin using a sharp knife :-)

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Thursday, April 1, 2021

Kadalai Maavu Sambar | Besan Sambar

Kadalai Maavu Sambar, a delicious sambar that can be prepared in 10 mins with besan/bengal gram flour. It's one of the popular recipes from the road side shops across Tamil Nadu, India. In some places, it's also known as Bombay sambar and honestly i don't know the reason !  

In our home, ST is a big fan of kadalai maavu sambar and often asks to make this sambar as a side dish for idli and dosa. Making this sambar from scratch would hardly take 10 mins so by the time of preparing the dosa / idli , this sambar will be ready. 

This kadalai maavu sambar is a tiffin sambar and tastes great with all types of dosa varieties and idli varieties but not great for rice ! 

Related : How to make Lunch  Sambar

Kadalai Maavu Sambar

Kadalai Maavu / Besan 

A couple of tbsp of besan/ kadalai maavu is enough for making this sambar for 2 to 3 people. Don't tempt to add more flour otherwise the sambar would be like porridge consistency and doesn't taste good. 

For 1 tbsp of flour, it requires 1 cup of water for free flowing sambar and 1 tbsp of flour is enough for making sambar for one person. So keep this as guidance and add more or less of flour & water as per your need and liking. 

Sambar powder 

Sambar powder is the key to making this sambar. If you have followed me for a while, you might know that sometimes I make sambar without any sambar powder. 

But for this sambar recipe, the flavor and taste depend greatly on the sambar powder. So use your favorite brand or home made sambar powder. I have used my homemade sambar powder.

My home made sambar powder doesn't have much chili in it ! If your sambar powder is spicy then reduce the amount of red chili powder in the recipe.

Tips for beginners to make delicious kadalai maavu sambar

  • Make sure that the onions and tomatoes are soft before adding the besan mixture 
  • If you have cooked toor dal/ moong dal, add a tbsp or two to enhance the taste.
  • Boiling the sambar for at least 5 mins is important to get rid of the raw smell of the spices.
  • Adding a little amount of ghee truly elevates the taste and flavor. But it's totally optional.Besan Sambar


Kadalai Maavu Sambar

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Sambar | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Kadalai maavu sambar, Besan Sambar, 10 mins sambar, Tiffin Sambar, Kadalai Maavu Sambar, a delicious sambar that can be prepared in 10 mins with besan/bengal gram flour.
Kadalai maavu / Besan / Bengal gram flour - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1/4 cup(thinly sliced)
Tomato - 1/2 
Green chili - 1 
Water - 2 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chili powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 3/4 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp(or to taste)
Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Mustard & urad dal - 1/4 tsp(each)
Curry leaves - few
Coriander leaves - few
Ghee - 1/4 tsp(optional)

Kadalai Maavu Sambar
First cut the onions into thin slices, tomatoes into small pieces & slit the chili and keep everything ready. In a bowl, measure and add the besan and turmeric powder.Kadalai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 1
Next add the red chili powder, sambar powder and salt.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 2
Add 1/4 cup of water first and make a thick paste and then add the remaining water and mix it well and keep aside until use. If the mixture has some lumps, you can filter it once.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 3
Heat a kadai with oil, add the mustard, urad dal and cumin seed. Let the mustard and cumin splutter.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 4
Then add the onions, chili and curry leaves with a pinch of salt. Saute for a min and then add the tomatoes, give a quick stir.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 5
Add 1/4 cup of water and let it cook till the onions and tomatoes are soft.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 6
Next add the besan mixture, mix well and bring to a boil. Keep the flame in medium and let it boil for 5 mins or until the raw smell goes off.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 7
Finally add the chopped coriander leaves and ghee(if using) and switch off the flame.alai Maavu Sambar Recipe Step by Step Pic 8
Tasty Kadalai maavu sambar is ready. Serve it with idli or dosa. 

Kadalai Maavu Sambar
  • This sambar tends to thicken a bit after it cools down.
  • Highly recommend to use cumin for tempering in this recipe. It gives great flavor.
  • Before coming into boil, stir the sambar often to avoid sticking at the bottom.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Maravalli Kizhangu Adai | Tapioca Dosa

Maravalli Kizhangu Adai, a traditional adai recipe from South India, made from tapioca, rice and flavored with Indian spices. We love maravalli kizhangu so often I make simple boiled and tempered tapioca for our breakfast and as an evening snack. You might already know this if you have followed me on IG :-) 

This maravalli kizhangu adai is the new addition to our breakfast menu. I have heard about this adai a lot but until a few months back, i never tried on my own. It's an instant hit at my home. I really love the flavor of the adai.

Tapioca roots are also known as cassava which is completely gluten free and easy to digest. In South India, the tapioca roots are the integral part of their cuisine especially in Kerala where it's also known as "Kappa" or "kuchi kizhangu". 

Related : How to make Adai Dosai


In today's recipe , I have used only a little amount of urad dal and still the adai is so soft and delicious. There are so many variations available in this recipe. Like the regular adai, you can use a mix of lentils in this recipe and reduce the amount of tapioca. That will give crispy dosa like texture ! 


For this adai, I prefer cumin and fennel seed flavor. In addition to those flavors, you can add a inch of ginger and /or a few cloves of garlic while grinding the batter for extra flavor.


In the traditional lentil adai, usually onion tempering is added to the adai batter. You can do the same for this adai batter also, but i want to keep it simple hence didn't add any tempering to the batter.  
Whenever I share boiled tapioca pictures on IG, I get so many requests on how to peel the tapioca roots easily. Tapioca roots that are available here in North America are usually bigger than the one that we used to get in India and it's a little hard to peel honestly. Hence I made this quick video on how to peel the tapioca roots easily.  

Maravalli Kizhangu Adai

Preparation Time : 2 hrs | Cooking Time : 20 minsServes :
Recipe Category: Adai | Recipe Cuisine: Indian
Maravalli Kizhangu Adai, Tapioca Dosa, Kappa Adai, Kuchi Kizhangu Adai Maravalli Kizhangu Adai, a traditional recipe made from tapioca, rice and flavored with Indian Spices.
Idli rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 2 tbsp
Tapioca - 1 cup(chopped)
Red chili - 4
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Water - as needed
Salt - to taste
Oil - to make adai

Soak the rice and dal for 2 hrs. Peel and chop the tapioca and add into the mixie/blender jar along with red chili, cumin seed, fennel seed & turmeric powder. 
Grind into smooth puree, drain the water from the soaked rice and dal and add into the mixie jar along with the needed salt. 
Grind all together as smooth batter. Pour into a vessel. That's it, your adai/dosa batter is ready.
Heat the dosa pan, pour a ladle of batter and spread it lightly with the ladle. Drizzle some oil on the sides of the adai. After a few mins, flip on to the other sides and  cook it for a few more mins. 
Tasty & healthy Maravalli Kizhangu Adai is ready. 
Serve it with your favorite chutney. We had it with coconut chutney. 
  • I have used flavorless oil for making this adai. But you can use coconut oil and sesame oil for more flavor.
  • Don't store the leftover batter for a longer time. Try to finish within a couple of days.
  • The given quantity of chilies are for mild spice. Adjust the chilies as per your liking. 
  • If you don't like the fennel flavor, you can totally skip that.
  • You can add a  few curry leaves or coriander leaves for extra flavor.

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