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.

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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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Spicy Okra (Bhende Song)

Okra/bhende is one of the most loved vegetables at our home. My grandmother used to prepare this dish very often. Song is a very spicy Konkani side dish. The most popular song being the batate song – version with coconut and without coconut.

The okra version is made with lot of onion, sliced okra, lot of chillies, tamarind and a little coconut. The final dish becomes spicy, sweetish from onion, tangy from tamarind.

2 cups okra chopped into thin strips
1 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup fresh/frozen coconut
10-15 red chillies (use as much as you can handle)
1/2 tea spn thick tamarind extract
1 tea spn coriander seeds

Dry roast coconut. Grind it with red chillies, coriander seeds, tamarind.
Heat oil and fry onion for few minutes. Add okra pieces, salt and fry till okra is done.
Add coconut paste, cook for 3-4mins. Serve hot with rice or chapatis.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time : 20mins


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Snake gourd sidedish (Padwale Randayi)

Shilpa had posted this recipe on Sailu’s blog along with an introduction to Konkani cuisine. This must be one of her favorite dishes, so she asked me to post this again here, so that we can have it in this blog’s collection as well.

I was not surprised when she had picked this dish while writing about Konkani cuisine. She has always loved this. My aayi (Shilpa’s grandma) used to search for snake gourd (padwale/paddale) and make this for her. We miss her every time we cook this dish. Though we make few different dishes with snake gourd, this is the one that always gets cooked when she is at home.

Randayi is a side dish prepared by Konkanis, which has a coconut base. Randayis usually have watery coconut base but are served as side dish. Like many other randayis, this too is a mixture of vegetable and dried beans. We usually don’t mix teppal with seasoning, since this randayi has teppal, we don’t add extra seasoning(of mustard, curry leaves) to it.

1 cup snake gourd pieces
1 cup black eyed peas(alsande)
1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
5 red chillies
4-5 teppal
2 kokum pieces
1 tea spn jaggery(optional)

Cook snake gourd and black eyed peas. The peas should not get mushy.
Grind coconut along with red chillies to a smooth paste.
Add the paste to cooked snake gourd and black eyed pieces. Add kokum, salt, jaggery. Slightly crush teppal in 1 tbl spn water (do not make a paste. It is crushed just to bring out the aroma). Add it along (along with the water) to the dish. Cook for 5-6 mins. The dish should not become too dry or too watery.

Preparation time : 25mins
Serves : 4-5

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Jackfruit Seed Vada (Bikna Vade)


Bikna Vade

Summer in our region brings a lot of seasonal fruits like mangoes, jackfruits etc. We have few jackfruit trees in our backyard and during season, the trees give so many fruits. Jackfruit is eaten ripe, cooked into curries (both ripe and upripe), chips and lot many dishes.  During season, we take out the seeds, which we call Bikkand in Konkani, dry them and use them in variety of dishes throughout the year.  These Bikna vade are sweetish, spicy vadas that go well as a sidedish with rice and any curry.

Unpeeled and peeled seeds. The wheatish skin is not edible. So peel it off and discard.

Cook the peeled seeds and grind with all other ingredients.

Make small balls, roll them in rava and shallow fry them.

Jackfruit Seed Vada (Bikna Vade)

Spicy, sweetish vadas made from cooked jackfruit seeds.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 7 -8


  • 12 jackfruit seeds
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen coconut
  • 5-6 red chillies
  • A small piece of tamarind
  • A tea spn coriander seeds
  • 1 tea spn jaggery
  • Oil
  • Rava/sooji
  • Salt


  • Cook the seeds with a little water in pressure cooker.
  • Heat a little oil and fry coriander seeds.
  • Grind them with coconut, red chillies, tamarind, jaggery, salt, with very little water.
  • At the end, add jackfruit seeds and grind coarsely.
  • Make small balls out of the mixture.
  • Roll them in rava and fry on hot tava.
  • Slightly press them to make vada shape.
  • Fry both sides on medium-low heat.
  • Serve hot as side dish.



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Jackfruit Burfi (Pansa khadi)

Summer is the season for mangoes and jackfruits. We have few trees of jackfruits which bear different varieties of jackfruit(panas). We use the leaves to make khotte, fresh tender unripe jackfruit to make chips, randayi etc. Ripe jackfruit is very sweet and one of the most loved fruits in our family. We have very fond memories of opening up a ripe fruit in the morning, the entire family gathering infront of it to enjoy it. We loved eating it first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. It used to be the most cherished family time. Ripe jackfruit is also used to make a variety of dishes, one of which is bhakri. This jackfruit burfi is prepared with ripe sweet ones and makes great little snacks.

Take out the jackfruit edible parts and make a paste.

Cook the paste with sugar and then add coconut.

Cut into desired shapes.

Jackfruit Burfi

4.41 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 12 -15 pieces


  • 1 cup jackfruit paste
  • 1 cup fresh or dry coconut
  • 2 and 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2-3 tea spns ghee
  • 4-5 cardamom pods


  • Dry roast the coconut for few mins till it becomes dry.
  • Then roughly grind it (without adding water) to make it into small pieces.
  • Make a paste of jackfruit pieces.
  • In a pan, take jackfruit paste, sugar and cook for few mins.
  • Add coconut, ghee and cook till it becomes thick paste and starts leaving the sides of pan.
  • Take off the heat, mix cardamom powder.
  • Apply ghee to a plate and spread the paste.
  • Cut into desired shaped pieces.
  • Store in airtight container after they are cooled down.


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Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Jolad undi
Jolad Undi

Corn or Jola(in Kannada) is in season now. I saw this recipe in a magazine a while back Since we all love corn, I have tried it many times at home with my own little modifications and it comes out great. Since these balls are steamed, these are healthier options compared to the fried cutlets.

 Make a coarse paste of corn and then of all other ingredients.

jolad undi1jolad undi2
Make balls from the mixture and steam.
jolad undi3

Spicy Steamed Corn Balls (Jolad Undi)

Steamed spicy corn balls perfect for a snack or starter
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 2 cups corn
  • 1/2 cup coconut
  • A pinch asafoetida
  • 3-4 green chillies
  • 2 tbl spn coriander leaves
  • A drop of oil for greasing the plate optional
  • Salt


  • Cook the corn(cooking in advance is not necessary if using most of the frozen corn which cooks very fast) and make a coarse paste of corn.
  • Make a coarse paste of coconut, green chillies, coriander leaves, asafoetida and salt.
  • Add the paste to corn.
  • Make small balls of the mixture, give it a slightly elongated shape.
  • Line them in a cooker vessel or plate and steam them for 10mins.
  • Serve hot.


Add spices like garam masala or coriander-cumin powder for a slightly spicy version.
Bind the balls well by pressing them to make sure they don't fall apart.


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Lady Fish Gravy (Nagli Ambat)

Nagli Ambat
Nagli Ambat

Nagli or Kane or Lady fish is abundantly available in the river near our home. So we get very fresh ones in the market. It is considered as one of the “clean fishes” as it does not have too many bones. It is easy for digestion, so when we introduce fish to babys, we start with nagli. We make few different dishes with this fish. This Nagli Ambat is one of them.

Clean fish.
nagli ambat1 nagli ambat2
Make coconut paste. Fry onion.
nagli ambat3 nagli ambat4
When they turn brownish, add coconut paste and then fish.
nagli ambat5 nagli ambat6 nagli ambat7-001

Lady Fish Gravy (Nagli Ambat)

Nagli Ambat is a gravy prepared by cooking lady fish in a coconut gravy.
4.75 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 7-8 pieces of lady fish/nagli
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1 cup fresh/frozen coconut
  • 4-5 red chillies
  • A piece of tamarind
  • 1/4 tea spn turmeric
  • 1 tea spn coriander seeds
  • 2 green chillies
  • Oil
  • Salt


  • Remove scales of lady fish and clean the fish.
  • Heat a little oil and fry coriander seeds, turmeric.
  • Grind them with coconut, tamarind and red chillies to a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil and fry onion till they are brownish.
  • Add the coconut paste, green chillies slit into two pieces and salt.
  • Add little water to make it a thick gravy.
  • Slowly slide in the fish and cook till they are done.
  • Serve hot with rice.


Instead of cooking the coconut paste first and then adding fish, fish can be added to onions and fried for few minutes and then coconut paste is added. This gives a slightly different taste. Be very careful with the fish if this is followed. The fish is very delicate and can break down if it is mixed much


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Sweet Appe With Sooji

Sweet Appe with Sooji
Sweet Appe with Sooji

Appe is one of the very popular breakfast loved by adults and kids alike. We make different kinds of appe like urad dal appe, boiled rice appe,  sugarcane juice appe all of which a little planning ahead. My sister-in-law makes these sweet appe with sooji which can be made instantly. This is a nice and quick breakfast when you need to come up with something for breakfast quickly. Grinding or fermentation is not required for these which makes it easier for even beginners. They taste great when eaten immediately.

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Make appe.
sweet appe with sooji1 sweet appe with sooji2

Sweet Appe With Sooji

Quick and tasty appe made with coconut and sooji.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 -4


  • 3/4 cup rava/sooji
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup poha beaten rice
  • 1/2 cup jaggery
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • A pinch turmeric
  • Salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/2 tea spn cardamom powder
  • Oil


  • Soak poha in yogurt for 20-30mins (if using thick kind).
  • Mix all ingredients (do not grind. Mix with a spoon) to get to appe batter consistency.
  • Heat appe pan and make appe.
  • Serve hot.


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Sundried Mangalore Cucumber (Magge Salli)

Magge salli
Magge Salli

Magge or moggem is a special kind of cucumber. It is widely used in cooking at our place. In Bangalore, it is sold as Mangalore Southekayi (cucumber), this is called Dosakaya in Telugu. This is usually cooked before consuming, but there are few recipes where tender magge is eaten before cooking. These sundried cucumbers or magge salli are very popular among Konkanis in our area. Tender magge which are called magge murto are used for this dish. Once the pieces are sundried with all the spices, they are served like pickle. They have a nice crunch to them. We used to make these very frequently when we grew magge in our backyard. These days were buy tender ones from sante (farmer’s market). These stay good for a week or so.

Cut magge and apply salt and sundry.
magge salli1 magge salli2 magge salli3 magge salli4 magge salli5 magge salli6
Apply the spices and sundry again.
magge salli7

Sundried Mangalore Cucumber (Magge Salli)

Spices are added to tender magge/Mangalore cucumbers and then sundried to make these crunchy magge salli.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 4 cups Mangalore cucumbers magge/moggem
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder
  • 1/8 tea spn asafoetida powder
  • 1 tea spn salt


  • Remove the seeds from magge. Do not remove the skin.
  • Cut the magge into 3x3 inch pieces.
  • Add and mix salt to the pieces.
  • Sundry under very hot sun for 1-2 days (till they are half dried).
  • Make a paste of chilli powder, asafoetida with just few drops of water.
  • Apply the paste to half dried magge pieces and sundry them again for 2 days.
  • Store in air tight container.


Do not dry them for too long, otherwise they become very chewy. Sundry only till the water content is gone and they look kind of dry



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