Archive for April, 2007


Menthi Mukkalu

Mamidikaya Menthi Mukkalu (Raw mango with spicy methi masala)

My FIL: Are any of your friends traveling to USA in the next month?
My hubby: Yes, but why??
My FIL: For the obvious reasons. We started preparations for the pickles. Other than the usual, your grandmother is also preparing gongura and tomato chutneys. So we would like you to get them as soon as possible.
My hubby: I will let my friend know that you are preparing a big packet for him to carry.:)
My MIL: Do you want Menthi Mukkalu or any other instant pickles?
My hubby: “P” has become an expertise in making menthi mukkalu so don’t worry about it.:D
This is the standard conversion that happens during April and May months.

“Menthi mukkalu” is one of the instant green mango pickles from Andhra. Consider this instant pickle as a starting step to a wide variety of pickles that will come from India. Crunchy sour raw mango pieces are marinated over night with spicy chilli, methi and mustard mixture.



2 raw mangoes
6-8 dried red Chillies
½ tbsp methi seeds
1 tbsp mustard seeds
½ tsp hing
Salt to taste
4 tbsp oil


Wash, remove the seed/pit and cut the mangoes into small pieces along with the skin. With ½ tbsp of oil in a kadai, fry methi, mustard seeds, red chillies and hing till the mustard seeds splutter. Powder them when cool. Add this powder, salt and remaining oil to the raw mango pieces and mix well. Shift the mixture into a clean jar and marinate overnight or at least 10-12 hrs and serve. This pickle will last for 1-2 weeks in room temperature and 3-4 weeks in refridgerator.
We usually eat with hot rice, mudda pappu and ghee .


Notes and Tips

You can add jaggery to sweeten a little. You can also dry roast the seasoning instead of frying in oil. If you are dry roasting then heat oil separately and add hing and cool the hing oil completely and then add to the mango mixture. You can use chilli powder instead of whole red chillies.


Carrot Pulao

dsc03268tn.jpgI remember first time when I tried this dish, I don’t say that it was a flop, my husband’s comment was “this is more like carrot curry mixed with rice”. So this time, I browsed and got few tips from online and added my own touch and it was a hit. Flavoring plain rice gives a nice taste, on the same time it doesn’t over power the dish. Building flavors is the important fact in any dish. Like adding saffron gives a nice touch, taste and go well with carrots. Nutmeg is another spice blends with carrots.

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with carrots, onions and spices. Carrots add a mild sweetness to this pulao, which is lightly flavored with whole spices. Saffron enhances the flavor of the dish and adds a nice aroma.

Carrot is a good source of vitamin A and rich in dietary fiber, minerals and antioxidants.


1 Basmati rice
4 Cloves
2 Cardamom pod
1/2 inch Cinnamon stick
2 tb Vegetable oil
1/2 ts Peppercorns
2 Bay leafs
1 large onion(thinly sliced)
2-3 Carrot( grated)
1/2 ts Cumin seeds
pinch of carwayseeds
Pinch of saffron(Toasted)
1 tsp broken Cashew nuts(fry cashew nuts in 1tsp ghee till golden brown)
salt to taste
Water to cook rice
1 tsp Coriander leaves to garnish



Heat 2 cups of water, add pinch of carwayseeds (Shajeera) , biryini mogga, 1 bay leaf, few peppercorns, salt and bring it to boil. Filter the broth and add this broth to rice and cook. Cool the rice.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bay leaf. cumin, cloves, cardamom pod, cinnamon and peppercorns. cook until the spices puff up and darken, then add the sliced onion and sauté until translucent . Add grated carrots and cook till done, keep stirring in the middle.Add salt, rice and mix well, but lightly, turn off the heat and toasted saffron, cashew nut and garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with raita.


Notes and Tips

You can make entire dish on stove top, Soak rice in water for 1/2 hr and process is same till carrots are added, here drain the rice and mix will carrots and add flavored broth, salt and increase the heat ,bring the water to boil, reduce heat and put the lid and cook on low heat till done. Keep stirring in the middle. Don’t mix too many times.Turn off the heat and let the pan stand covered on the stove for 5 minutes. then uncover, fluff up the rice gently, add saffron, cashew nuts and coriander leaves and serve with your choice of side dish.



Vegetable Pilaf

dsc03400.jpgPilaf means delicious grain( white, brown or wild rice) mix cooked in a mixture of delicately chopped herbs, vegetables, fruits, nuts and aromatic stock ( or water).

Rice is roasted along with spices, vegetables and nuts for a short time in fat, and then cooked in stock or water with a variety of seasoning and spice blend. A vegetarian rice pilaf can be cooked with a combination of onions, carrot, beans, cauliflower, and tomatoes with spices.Every region has its own recipe to cook pilaf. Depending on the region, the ingredients vary and the blend of spices is different.

When aromatic basmati rice is cooked with everyday vegetables and spices produces a subtle, delicious pilaf which satisfies everyone around the table. This popular vegetable rice dish makes a tasty light brunch or supper. Recipe source is from vegetarian cookbook.


1 cup basmati rice
2 Tbsp oil/ unsalted butter/ ghee
½ tsp cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
4 cardamoms & cloves
1/2 stick cinnamon
1 onion finely chopped
1 carrot finely diced
1/3 cup frozen peas (defrost)
1/3 cup corn (fresh or frozen, defrost)
¼ cup cashew nuts (lightly fried)
¼-½ tsp ground cumin powder
2 cups water to cook


Wash and soak rice in water for 30 mins. Heat oil in a large frying pan add sauté cumin seeds for 2 minutes, Add bay leaves, cardamom and cloves and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add onions and cook until softened and lightly browned. Now add carrots and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Drain the rice and add to the pan along with peas, corn and cashew nuts and sauté for 4-5 minutes, stir in cumin powder and mix well. Add salt, water and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes over low heat until the water is absorbed. Let it stand, covered for 10 minutes before serving. Shift it into serving dish fluff up before serving. Or you can finish the dish in rice cooker or pressure cooker.

Enjoy with raita or gravy curry.

Notes and Tips

You can use frozen mixed vegetables, Defrost and then add to the dish. To jazz it up you can add raisins and pistachios. To add more flavor you can use vegetable stock instead of water.

This rice pilaf is called pilav by the Turkish, Bosnian, Serbian and Romanians. Indians call it pulao/ pulav, Americans call it pilaf while the Persians call it polow. What do u want to call it, pilaf, pilau, perloo, peelaf or perlau?


Kobbarikaya Mamidikaya Pachadi

K for Kobbirikaya (Coconut and Raw Mango Chutney)

Kobbarikaya mamidikaya pachadi has a special place in traditional Andhra’s raw cuisine. Sweet coconut and sour mango blend superbly. The spice from chillies and seasoning add an extra layer of flavor. Except for seasoning, all the ingredients used in this dish (pachadi) are raw. This is a simple, yet very tasty and easy to prepare dish. This is my family’s all time favorite pachadi.


1-1 1/2 cup coconut (fresh)
1 small raw mango (sour)
6-8 whole red chillies or green chillies
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4th tsp methi seeds
1 tsp Oil
Pinch Hing
Curry leaves


Cut the coconut into small pieces or grate. Peel the mango and cut into small pieces. In small pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, methi seeds, red chillies, hing. Allow the seeds to sputter, now add the curry leaves and remove from heat. Keep them aside. Grind coconut, mango pieces along with fried red chilles / green chilles, salt and turmeric; grind the mixture coarsely by adding water little into a paste. Adjust the taste, if needed add little mango for sourness. Shift the mixture into serving bowl. Add the fried seasoning and curry leaves and mix well.

Serve with rice and ghee along with perugu merapakyalu.


Notes and Tips

You can use frozen coconut instead of fresh. Defrost the coconut and then use. Use red chillies or green chilles. Mango should be sour. If the mango is too sour use little less or add coconut vice versa.

This is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z vegetables.