Green Moong Sweetdish(Mooga Khichdi)

Mooga Khichdi

This green moong sweetdish – Mooga Khichdi is a traditional Konkani dish specifically prepared for the festival of Sankranti. Mooga Khichdi is also called Moog Shijayile, literally means cooked moong.

Mooga Khichdi is prepared during Sankranti and a little of it kept on the window for the birds to eat. It is believed that Sankrant Purush(God of this festival) comes in the form of a crow to eat the food. This is a classic example of Konkanis worshipping, feeding the animals, birds surrounding us. After it is offered to god, this Mooga Khichdi is consumed. 

This Mooga Khichdi is flavored just with ghee and cardamom. When it is being cooked, the delicious aroma of the dish fills the entire house. Based on the quality of jaggery used, this can become very dry or very juicy/wet.

Aayi usually prepares the moong dal khichdi – mooga dali khichdi for Sankranti instead of this since that was the sweet made in her maternal home. Both have their own deliciousness.

1 cup green moong
1 cup jaggery
1/2 cup coconut 
1 tbl spn ghee
5-6 cardamom 

Cook green moong in pressure cooker till it is cooked through. If the moong is very old, make sure to soak it in water for 1 hr.
Heat ghee and add moong, jaggery, coconut.
Cover the lid and cook till jaggery is melted.
Mix well and take off heat.
Add powdered cardamom. Mix well.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 20 mins

Spinach Chickpeas Biryani

Spinach Chickpeas Biryani
Spinach Chickpeas Biryani

We are huge biryani fans. I usually try to make different kinds for variety and keeping it exciting. This Spinach Chickpeas Biryani is something I make often. It is full of nutrition and tastes delicious. I usually make this on weekdays, which means this has to be a quick dish or atleast something that does not need hands-on time. This works perfectly, with all the shortcuts I manage to take.


Spinach, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies
Grind to a smooth paste with just little water
Pressure cook chickpeas
Cook basmati rice with black cardamom, cloves, cinnamom, salt
Fry onions
Add tomato (I used green tomatoes, use any kind)
Add the paste
Fry till the oil separates
Add chickpeas, carrots
Add the rice on top, then saffron milk
Cook on very low heat for 30mis

2 cups basmati rice
1 cup chickpeas
1 cup spinach
1/2 cup coriander leaves
4 green chillies
2 cloves garlic
1″ ginger
Few strands saffron + 2 tbl spn milk
2 tea spns biryani masala
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup onions
1/2 cup tomatoes
3 cloves
2″ cinnamon
2 black cardamoms (or green cardamom)

Wash rice and add 3 cups water (little less than needed to completely cook rice), salt, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom.
Grind together spinach, coriander leaves, green chillies, ginger, garlic and little water.
Heat oil and fry onions.
Add tomatoes (I used green tomatoes, use any kind), salt.
Now add the biryani masala, fry for few minutes.
Add the paste, fry till the raw smell goes away.
Now add the cooked chickpeas, carrots, cook it down to a thick gravy.
Cover the gravy with cooked rice.
Add the saffron to warm milk and mix it to get the bright color. Spoon the milk on top of rice.
Cook on low for 30mins.
Switch off heat and leave it undisturbed for another 15mins.
Serve hot with raita.

Serves :4-5
Preparation time: 90mins

Notes :
You can layer it in multiple layers of rice and chickpeas gravy. I just layer the rice on top of gravy to save time.
Add a layer of fried onions on top for extra crunch.
Any biryani masala is ok, here is a homemade version.
Instead of cooking on stovetop, it can be finished in oven. I just prefer stovetop cooking.

Mixed Vegetable Sagu


Most of the restaurants in Bangalore serve setdosa – mixed vegetable sagu or puri and sagu. This spicy, delicious, filled with vegetables sidedish makes a great side for so many dishes. My brother started making this and now my aayi makes this very often. When I tried this, it was a hit with my family.

Set dosa recipe is here.

2 cups vegetables (carrots, potato, green peas, beans)
1/2 cup onion
1/2 cup tomato
5-6 curry leaves
1 tea spn mustard seeds

For the masala –
1 tbl spn hurigadale (putani/dalia/roasted chana dal) (optional)
1 cup coconut
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1/4 cup onion
A small piece ginger
3-4 garlic
3-4 green chillies
4 cloves
1/2″ cinnamon
2-3 cardamom
1 tea spn coriander seeds

Pressure cook the vegetables with little salt for 2 whistles.
Grind the ingredients under masala without too much water.
In a pan, heat a little oil, add mustard, curry leaves.
Add 1/2 cup onion and fry for few minutes.
Add 1/2 cup tomatoes and fry for few minutes.Now add masala and fry till the raw smell goes away.Add the cooked vegetables, adjust salt. 
Cook till the masala boils for few minutes.
Serve hot.

Serves :5-6
Preparation time : 30mins

Bittergourd sweet pickle (Karate Goad Nonche)

Bittergourd/Karate is one of the vegetables that is full of medicinal values. I have tried including it in our diet as much as possible. Few days ago aayi told me about this delicious karate goaD nonche (bittergourd sweet pickle) prepared by my sister in law. Aayi usually prepares the spicy version of karate nonche, so this was new to me. I prepared it here and it was lipsmacking good. This pickle does not stay for too long. Refrigerate it after it is completely cooled down and finish it off in couple of weeks.

Fresh bittergourd
Remove the seeds
Cut into thin strips
Apply some salt and keep aside for 15-20mins
Fry them in little oil for 10mins
Add chilli powder, tamarinc, jaggery
Mix very well
Make the spice mix with fried mustard, methi, hing
Add the spice powder and mix. Cool well.

2 cups bittergourd pieces
2 tbl spns jaggery
2 tea spns chilli powder
1 tea spn thick tamarind extract
2 tea spns oil
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1/2 tea spn methi seeds
A small stone of asafoetida(hing)

Remove the seeds from bittergourd and cut into thin pieces.
Apply salt and leave it aside for sometime.
If you want, squeeze them to remove the water, but this also removes the nutrients, so I use them directly.
Heat a little oil and fry the pieces for 10mins on a medium low heat.
Add chilli powder, jaggery, tamarind. Mix well.
Heat remaining oil, fry mustard seeds, methi seeds and asafoetida. Powder them when they are slightly cooled.
Add the powder to bittergourd pieces and mix well.
Take off heat, cool down to room temperature.
Store in an air tight container in refrigerator.

Banana Vada

Banana vada

It was vade panchami few days ago – it is celebrated at my kuldevasthan – family god’s temple at Ankola. Thousands of deities gather for the pooja. One of the biggest things (other than super delicious lunch) during this function is these banana vada prasad – so the function is called vade panchami. Many men gather to make these vadas and then the vadas are deep fried in huge pan. Some remove the vadas from the hot oil just by their bare hands without a ladle/spoon. It has been a long tradition going on for decades. I found this video on youtube of this. I have explained more about vade panchami in this post.

I was missing all these celebrations, so decided to try something similar. Ofcourse this is not the recipe followed at our temple but I just made it up. The vadas came out so delicious that I think I have to save the recipe.


1 and 1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup coconut
1 cup milk
2 tbl spn jaggery
1 big banana (about 2/3rd cup mashed banana)
Oil for deep frying

Mix all the ingredients except oil in a bowl.
Take a big ball of the mixture and flatten it on a plastic.
Gently pick up the vada and deep fry in hot oil.
Enjoy while it is still warm with chutney.

Makes about 8
Preparation time :30 mins

Note: If you don’t have almond flour, substitute with wheat flour or rice flour.

Roasted eggplant(Vayngana Bharth)

Vayngana Bharth

There are so many different ways of using a roast eggplant (vayngan in Konkani) and there are so many ways to roast an eggplant. Bharth, Bharith or Bhartha are different names of this dish, which is prepared in few different ways. This particular recipe is for a Konkani special vayngana bharth.

There are so many ways to roast an eggplant. You can directly do it on stove/fire or bake in oven or broil in oven. But I have found that this method of roasting on tava is by far the easiest and mess free way, especially when you don’t have access to oven or don’t want to start it. Aayi learnt this from my pachi and has been following it for years when she does not have burning coals(they still burn wood to heat water at my hometown).

There are few other roasted eggplant recipes that you could try – another bharth recipe, bajji recipe.

Vayngana Bharth

1 big eggplant
4 red chillies
1/2 cup coconut
A pinch or small stone hing(optional)
A small piece tamarind

Apply oil to eggplant.
Heat a tava(do not use nonstick). Keep the eggplant on it and cover with vessel.
Turn it around few times till it is completely roasted.
Put it in water. Peel the skin.
Discard the water.
Grind coconut, tamarind, hing(optional) with red chillies. At the end, add the eggplant and pulse couple of times.
Take it out in a bowl and add onion and salt.
Serve with a papad.

Serves : 4
Preparation time : 20mins

Bottlegourd Thalipeeth

Lauki Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is a famous Marathi dish. It is prepared with a variety of flours and roasted till it is crispy. There is a specific way to roast the thalipeeth but I just make it like a akki rotti/pita bhakri. It comes out good. Traditionally little holes are made in thalipeeth after it is spread on tava and oil is added to it. I tried it this time but did not execute it properly!.

Bottlegourd/lauki was not used much in our cooking. Then suddenly this vegetable became popular in India, thanks to Baba Ramdev‘s yoga programs. He often told people to eat lauki, drink lauki juice etc. I started using it after everyone was talking about it. I make ambat, khadi/burfi, paays and many more. Few days ago, I thought of adding it to thalipeeth. It came out great. I grated the lauki with its skin, which gave a bite to this.

Take all different flours in a bowl.

Add chilli powder, cumin seeds, salt.

Peel and grate bottlegourd.

Add to the mix, add water a make a thick mixture.

Spread on a hot tava. Make few holes in it and add oil.

1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup besam(gram flour)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ragi flour
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 cup grated bottlegourd(lauki/gardudde)

Mix all the flours in a big bowl.
Add chilli powder, salt, cumin seeds.
Peel the bottlegourd and grate it.
Add the grated bottlegourd to flour mixture.
Heat tava and spread the mixture on it. (if possible, make some holes in the thalipeeth and add oil to make it more crispy).
Add few drops of oil and roast till it is crispy.
Serve topped with butter and with a side of coconut chutney.

Serves :4-5
Preparation time: 30mins

Lauki Thalipeeth

Fried ivy gourds(Tendli talasani)

tendli talasani

Ivy gourd is the vegetable loved by most. It is one of my favorite vegetables. I love it in any form. ‘Fried ivy gourd’ is a very easy to make and amazingly delicious dish. I was not very fond of this dish when I was a kid, but recently I have become a big fan. It tastes great when it is fried till the ivy gourds become almost black and you can’t even say those are ivy gourds. Hot rice, a simple daal and these fried ivy gourd is a complete meal I would cherish anytime.

Earlier we used to smash one tendli at a time in mortal and pestle. It would take a lot of time to prep them. Now I just cut the ends, take them in a ziploc bag and smash them using a meat tenderdizer/pestle.

‘Talasani’ are the dishes prepared by frying the vegetables in oil. So water should not be used at any point. The other popular talasani is ‘batate talasani‘.

Aayi’s version does not include garlic in this. But my brother tasted this dish at one of his friend’s place and they had used garlic. So he started using it in this dish. I love both the varieties. Although aayi does not use curry leaves, I like to use it.

The other ivy gourd dish I make frequently is tendli upkari. We use these in different types of daals and sambars also.

Ivy gourds(tendli) 2 cups
Red chili powder 3/4 tea spn
Turmeric a pinch
Oil 1 tbl spn
Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spn
Asafoetida a pinch or garlic cloves 2 (4-5 if Indian garlic is used)

Increase the chili powder if required.

Remove the ends of ivy gourds and crush them slightly.

tendli talasani1tendli talasani2







Heat oil in a nonstick pan and add mustard (add curry leaves at this point if using). When they start popping, add asafoetida (or crushed garlic). Add the gourds, turmeric, chilli powder and salt.

tendli talasani3tendli talasani4tendli talasani5tendli talasani6
Fry on a low flame till the gourds turn dark brown/black.

tendli talasani7
Serve hot with rice and daal.

tendli talasani

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: These should be fried on a very low flame. If they are not fried till dark brown/black, they remain tender from inside and do not taste good. These taste great when made spicy.

Originally posted on Octbober 9, 2006. Reposting by adding a video(demonstrated by my 6 year old).

Spicy chickpeas (Kala chana)

Kala Chana is a spicy chickpeas curry with a heady aroma of ajwain and garlic, goes well with chapatis or naan.

Kala Chana was given to me by one of our relatives many years ago. I was told that it is a North Indian dish. The name comes from the dark color that comes by cooking them in garam masala(It does not actually become black, but dark brown depending on garam masala used). I do not have any more details about this dish. This has a unique flavor from ajwain seeds. I used to make it very often as my son loved this garnished with few raw onions. I did not prepare this for many years, after my children moved out for their college. I found it back in one of my diaries while searching something.

Kala Chana is very easy dish to make. Do not substitute or leave out any of the ingredients as this one needs all the ingredients to get the real taste of it. You could adjust the level of spice according to personal preference.

1 cup chickpeas(Kabuli chana)
1/2 tea spn ajwain
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 tea spn chopped ginger
3/4 tea spn red chilli powder
1 tea spn amchoor powder
1 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch turmeric powder

For garnish:
Chopped onion
Chopped green chilli

Soak chickpeas in water for about 5-6 hrs (When they are soaked, they swell up considerably. Depending on the quality, it can become 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups).
Cook chickpeas with ajwain and garlic in pressure cooker till they are cooked.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds, ginger. When they fried a bit, add amchur powder, turmeric, cooked chickpeas. Add garam masala, salt, chilli powder. Slightly mash the chickpeas with a spoon. Cook till the dish becomes dark in color.
While serving, add green chillies and onions on top. Serve with chapathis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 35mins

Originally posted on Oct 13, 2008. Updated on Aug 9 2020.
I use mixture of Black chana and Kabuli chana to give it the beautiful dark color and texture.

Mango pickle(HinDi/Kochla nonche)

Hello everyone,

It was a bit difficult to decide which would be my first post. Shilpa and her husband (who call themselves as ‘board of directors’ of this blog) voted for this recipe. This is a pickle loved by my kids and other relatives. I noted that many of the readers of this blog also wanted to know about this pickle.

When I got married, I didn’t know a lot of cooking. I was just out of college and my grand mother hardly allowed us kids to enter the kitchen. When I got married, I had to take over the kitchen (my mother-in-law had passed away before our marriage). My husband and father-in-law were very supportive. One of my sister-in-laws who lived few kms from our home, used to visit us frequently. I learnt a few recipes from her. This pickle is one of them. Over the years, I experimented with it and we like the version I make now.

Here Koccholu means small pieces. I make this pickle with a special kind of mangoes called ‘vishad/ishad‘. Many people say it should not be done with these mangoes. But I have found that, with these mangoes, the pickle remains good for a very long time. With any other mango, the pieces become soft very soon and the pickle gets spoiled. Ishad mangoes are hard and have lot of pulp in them. They have a very unique taste to them. For this pickle, use unripe mangoes that have a hard seed(gorto). As these mangoes are very delicious and very popular at our place, no one sells the raw mangoes. During the mango season, Ishad mango trees bear hundreds of fruits. Some of the branches can’t bear the weight and they fall down. So I use these for hinDi.

These days I make this pickle mostly for Shilpa and her husband who love all kinds of pickles. When stored in air tight container in refrigerator, this remains good up to a year. I still have some from last year’s batch which I took with me when I visited Shilpa last year.

Important to note here that the mango should not be grated. I use the traditional cutting equipment called as “Addoli“. This helps in keeping the pieces crisp. When grater is used, the pieces become soft. But if you are living outside India and don’t have addoli or Ishad mangoes, use any raw mango (which has hard seed) and any cutting equipment available, but I think the shelf life of pickle would be very less.

– The pickle should be salty when it is made, as time passes, the pieces soak the salt and it also increases shelf life.
– Make sure none of the vessels have any moisture in them.

1 cup mango pieces
1 tbl spn mustard seeds
3/4 tea spn methi seeds
A small pea sized asafoetida
1/4 cup chili powder
1-2 tea spns sesame oil
1/4 cup salt

Cut mango into small pieces.

Heat oil and fry asafoetida, mustard seeds, methi seeds. Grind to a powder. Cool temperature.

Add the powder, chili powder, salt to mango pieces and mix well.

Store in air tight container.

Hope this helps all of you who love the ‘HinDi‘ pickle.

Added a video to the post on Aug 2 2020. Originally posted on May 25, 2008

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