Archive for the 'No cooking' Category


Nandana Nama Samvatsara Ugadi Subhakaankshalu

Wish you all a very Happy Ugadi!!!



Vankaya Pachi Pulusu

Eggplant stew (Andhra Style)


I believe this brinjal dish is exclusive to Andhra Pradesh. Except for the brinjals all other ingredients used are raw and not really cooked. This is our (both my families) favorite, and have been prepared in our families from generations. This dish has simple ingredients, easy to make and so is the most commonly prepared dish at our place to break a fast (during fast my folks eat kosher meal which is prepare with out onion and garlic). Fire roasted brinjals (traditionally white ones are used but you can use the purple ones) seasoned with every day spices, including sweet and sour ingredients is by default dished up with hot rice, mudda pappu ( dal), ghee (clarified butter) and perugu merapakayalu / vadiyalu.


3-4 medium size brinjalsbp1.jpg
Small melon ball size tamarind
(Soak in warm water for 15-20 and extract thick pulp and keep aside)
4-5 green chillies (finely chopped)
1-2 tbsp jaggery (grated)
Salt to taste
Big pinch of turmeric
Handful of coriander leaves (finely chopped)
Water (2-3 cups)

For seasoning
1 tsp oil
1 dried red chilli (broken)
1/4th tsp methi seeds
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Big pinch of hing


Heat oil in a small frying pan, fry all the seasoning ingredients. Allow mustard seeds to crackle and turn of the heat. Keep aside.

Lightly grease the brinjals with little oil and roast on low fire, keep rotating the brinjal so that it cooks evenly and completely. Remove from the flame and wrap them in a foil or sprinkle some water and cover, allow them to cool for 10 minutes. Peel the skin and mash the pulp thoroughly in a medium size bowl, to this mashed pulp add the tamarind extract, chopped chillies, jaggery, salt, turmeric and mix well. Add 1 to 1 ½ cups of water and check the consistency. Adjust the taste, add anything if needed, crush the fried seasoning and stir in well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.


Notes and Tips.

You can use onions if you like. Fry them along with seasoning and add it to the brinjal mixture. You can use less/more chillies to suit your taste. Instead of fire roasting you can grill or bake the brinjals in oven.

MoreBrinjal dishes:-
Baingan Barta
Vankaya Banda Pachadi
Menthi Vankaya


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.


Pineapple Salsa

dsc04042.JPGI love pineapple in all forms. Few of my favorite are fresh pineapple juice, pineapple fried rice and on Pizza. Haggin-das has pineapple coconut ice cream flavor I use to eat like crazy but now i got bored so for a while i’m taking break from that. First time when I had pineapple on pizza, I was really surprised with the taste and it just blended so well with other vegetables. Now salsa is added to the list.

Pineapple salsa is a spicy, sweet, colorful, and delicious – this is a versatile tropical salsa that goes well with any type of meal.Cumin adds smokiness to the dish and gives a unique flavor.I love to eat this with chips and also as a side dish with my Mexican favorites. This is a super easy recipe and is really great dish (summer) or anytime, also has a nice fresh taste. You can also serve this along with greens; the possibilities with this wonderful tropical fruit are endless. It not only a treat to eyes and mouth but also a crowd pleasing dish. I served this with regular store bough tortilla chips and it’s really tasted delicious and everyone loved it.

This is my entry for Mahi’s AFAM.


2 cups pineapples (clean and finely chopped)
1 small red onion (2tbsp, finely chopped)
2 tbsp finely chopped red bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper (de-seeded & finely chopped)
Juice of 1 lime
1-1 ½ tsp cumin powder
2-3 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves.
Salt to taste.


In a large bowl, toss together pineapple, red bell pepper, onions, jalapeño pepper, lime juice and cilantro. Season with cumin and salt. Cover, and chill in the refrigerator until serving.


Notes and Tips.

You can use canned pineapple but drain all the juices and then use for making salsa. You can even grill the pineapple for extra flavor. If you don’t like cilantro you can use mint. Some times fresh pineapple may cause irritation of the tip of the tongue in some cases, so take a small bite and if u feel irritation, take a big bowl of water add little salt and drop the pineapple slices in salted water for 1-2 minutes, rinse with fresh water pat to dry and chop. My mom always does this. It really works. So sometimes even I do this.

Little History about Pineapples:-

The pineapple (Ananas comosus) is a tropical plant and fruit (berry), probably native to Brazil or Paraguay. Pineapples have excellent juiciness and a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the taste of sweet and tart. Pineapples are a composite of many flowers whose individual fruit-lets fuse together around a central core. Each fruit-let can be identified by an “eye,” the rough spiny marking on the pineapple’s surface. Pineapples are wide, cylindrical in shape, a scaly green, brown or yellow skin and a regal crown of spiky, blue-green leaves and fibrous yellow flesh. Pineapple is a good source of manganese, thaimin (Vitamin B1) as well as containing significant amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin B1, also pineapple contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain, which digests food by breaking down protein.

Pineapple is commonly used in desserts and other types of fruit dishes, or served on its own. The pineapple juice has been fermented into an alcoholic beverage commonly called pineapple wine, which is a type of fruit wine, most commonly produced in Hawaii. Pineapples are also used as topping for pizza, most commonly in the “Hawaiian” type pizza . Pineapple juice can thus be used as a marinade.

Although the season for pineapple runs from March through June, they are available year-round in local markets. It will not ripen once harvested, so must be harvested ripe and brought to the consumer without delay. Pineapple is therefore most widely available canned. Pineapples are second only to bananas as America’s favorite tropical fruit.



Hara Bhara Bhel

H for Hara dhaniya Pattadsc04001.JPG

Hara dhaniya patta (in hindi), known as coriander leaves or cilantro. This is one of my favorite snack when ever we visit Chat House (Sunnyvale, CA). Spicy hari (green) chutney with murmur and sev mixture with roasted peanuts, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and topped with sweet chutney makes this a real item number. Yesterday it was cold outside and wanted to eat something spicy but not in a mood to spend time in front of stove. I was looking around in the pantry to come up with something instant (not in mood for noodles also) and suddenly I saw murmur and this recipe popped into my mind. It’s been longtime since I made this, but I still remember the taste of delicious bhel.
This is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables


For Bhel
2 cups Murmur (muri)
½ cup sev mixture
1/4th cup peanuts (roast in ½ tsp oil till golden brown)
1 small red onion (chopped)
1/4th cup cucumbers (scoop the seeds and dice into bite size)
2 small tomatoes (de-seed and dice into bite size)

For Hari Chutney
Grind all the below ingredients into a smooth paste. Do not add water. Sugar will stop the chutney turning into brown color.

1 bunch coriander leaves (clean and remove stems)
2-3 green chillies
1inch ginger
1 tbsp curd
1 tsp sugar
1-1 ½ tsp chat masala (I use bambino)
Juice of ½ lime
Salt to taste

For Garnish
Sweet chutney/ ketchup, sev, thinly sliced cucumber pieces as showed in the picture and chopped coriander leaves.


In a large blow mix all the bhel ingredients. Now add the hari chutney and toss together. Take a serving plate, place desired amount of bhel, drizzle little sweet chutney / ketchup and garnish with sev and coriander leaves, decorate the plate with cucumber pieces as shown in the picture.

Serve immediately. You don’t even need a spoon as you can scoop the mixture with cucumber pieces.

Notes and Tips.

You can add raw mango pieces to jazz it up. If you are allergic to peanuts substitute with roasted cashewnuts or just leave the nuts. Just use your imagination, mix and match the veggies and enjoy with a hot cup of “T”. Use thick sev mixture, and for garnish you can use thin sev.


Sundried Tomato Hummus


Few days back I was browsing for recipes with phyllo dough and came across this wonderful blog. I started looking at the recipe Index and came across this delicious sun-dried-tomato hummus. I love Hummus and wanted to make at home for long time. The picture was so tempting and as I scrolled down recipe was soooo easy to prepare and I had all the required ingredients in my pantry. I had few questions as I never used tahini and looked around for tips but not satisfied, so I decided to ask Nicole (pinchmysalt), left a message in her blog, and was thinking to check back couple of days later. I didn’t expect that she would reply so fast, but she did. She patiently answered all my silly questions and finally I made this tasty Hummus. It is very easy to prepare and no cooking is involved. I followed the guidelines of the original recipe for little heat I added red pepper flakes, but accidentally added garlic and then I realized that Nicole’s recipe is without garlic. Garlic gave a light sharpness to the hummus as I used one clove. I guarantee you folks this is really good one and easy to try and you won’t be disappointed. Check out pinchmysalt for sundried tomato hummus, what made me fell in love with her blog was simple and easy to prepare everyday recipes, wonderful pictures which was ofcourse taken by her, notes and write-ups.


Dosakai Pachadi


One more dish where no cooking is involved. Cucumbers are rich in vitamin c and also contains some amount of dietery fiber and contains lots of water. In general dosakai has light punget smell, which is why many people dislike, but when this is mixed and grinded with spice mixture, the smell compeletly disappears. This spicy, sweet and sour dish always takes a center stage at my place when ever I make. This is an other delicious dish from my MIL’s kitchen.


1 cup dosakai (peel and chop very small)
2 dried red chillies (broken)
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp methi seeds
Hing (2 pinches)
Tamarind (melon ball size)
Jaggery (approx 1-1.5 tsp)
A big pinch of turmeric
2 green chillies
Coriander leaves (fist full)
Salt to taste
1 tsp oil


Heat oil in a small pan, add red chilles, mustard seeds, methi seeds. Allow mustard seeds to sputter, add hing and remove from heat. In a grinder/food processor add to this mixture, tamarind, jaggery, turmeric, salt and grind coarsely. Add green chillies and coriander leaves and pulse for few times. Remove and mix it the dosakai pieces. Adjust the taste if needed. Pulse the whole mixture just one more time. Serve with rice.


Notes and Tips

Jaggery is optional. While adjusting the seasoning you can add few drops of lemon juice. We usally mix little oil/ghee in rice and then eat with this chutney. You can even serve this as a dip .Try it out . I’m sure you will enjoy it.