Ingredients :

Paneer (cottage Cheese) : 300 Gms.

Cashew nuts : 50 Gms.

Dried Kopra or dessicated coconut : 2 Tbsp.

Onions : 3 medium sized.

Cinnamon : 1″ piece

Cloves : 4 nos.

Black Peppercorns : 4-5 nos.

Green cardamom : 1 crushed

Black Cardamom : 5-8 seeds

Mace (Jaipatri) :1″ piece

Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus) : 1 Tsp.

Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp.

Curd : 100 Gms.

Milk : 100 ml.

Ghee : 1 Tbsp.

Ajwain Seeds (bishop’s Weed / Carom Seeds) : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : To Taste

Kewra Essence or Rose Water : 1 Tsp (Optional)

Method :

Soak cashew nuts in warm water till soft. Thinly slice 1 1/2 onions and the rest should be finely chopped. Chop the green chillies into small pieces. Cut the paneer into 1/2 inch cubes.

In a small fry pan, saute the sliced onions till brown. Remove and then brown the kopra as well. Also roast the whole spices in a small amount of oil and then make a paste of the kopra, browned onions, spices, green chillies and the soaked cashew nuts. Take care while roasting the whole spices not to burn the poppy seeds.

In a karai or wok add ghee and add the ajwain seeds. When they splutter, add the chopped onions and saute till browned. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute til brown. Then add the masala paste and saute till fat starts leaving the sides of the pan. Then start adding the curd 1 tsp at a time and keep sauteing till all the curd is used. Then add the milk and the paneer and add water if required. Add salt to taste and let this simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the kewra or rose essence and remove from heat.

Serve hot with roti or Jeera Rice.




One of the first aamchigeli recipes i.e. one from my native place Udupi, that I loved has to be Jirya Miryachi Kadhi. The combination of the cumin and black peppercorns with the added fragrance of garlic was to die for. Especially during the rains,  when one wants something really hot, spicy and fragrant, this is the dish in which I find succor. The rain  splattering incessantly on the terrace roof, the sudden thunderclap and the cold and muggy weather of  Mumbai starts to bring me down. I need comfort, warmth and that’s when I make this dish. The kadhi poured on steaming hot basmati rice is a combination that hits a spot. The ultimate comfort food! So today in my ongoing South Indian recipe series, I present –

Jirya Miryachi Kadhi

Ingredients :

Fresh Grated Coconut : 3/4 th

Dried Red Chillies : 6-8 no.

Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Black Peppercorns : 8 no.

Skinned Garlic Cloves : From one whole garlic pod + 1 extra garlic pod

Kokum (Dried Mangosteen Peals) : 4 – 6 no.

Coconut oil  : As required

Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Method :

Saute the chillies, cumin, peppercorns and skinned garlic cloves in 2 tsp. of coconut oil and then make a paste with the grated coconut.

To this paste, add about 3 1/2 cups of water and salt to taste ( 1 Tsp.) and add the kokum. Bring to a boil and remove.

Tempering (Tadka) : Take 2-3 Tsp. of coconut oil in a tadka pan and to this add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Now add the crushed garlic cloves from the other pod ( no need to skin these cloves). When the garlic cloves are brown, add this tadka to the kadhi. Mix well and serve hot with white rice.

P. S. : Do not boil the kadhi for too long as it tends to change the taste of the kadhi and also thins it.

I looked it up and it seems a sweet potato is called a Yam in US. But the yam I am talking about is called Suran in India. It is a tuber and has a rough, dark brown skin, which is very tough. The yam needs to be cooked in a alkaline medium as it can otherwise irritate the throat. So Indians generally use tamarind, kokum or lime juice while making a dish using yam. Also according a friend who is very knowledgeable about Ayurveda, yam is supposed to be very good for people suffering from Piles. He says they should eat at least 100 gm of yam everyday.
I love cooking suran in different forms and today I will put up a couple of my favourite recipes.

(1) Yam Salad ( सुरणाची कोशिंबीर)

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg

Green Chillies : 6 – 8 no.

Onions : 2 no.

Grated Fresh Coconut : 100 gm.

Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For Frying

Salt : to taste

Method :

Remove skin and finely chop the yam. Rub with salt and keep aside. Then squeeze out the water and fry till it is brown. Remove and keep aside.
In a bowl, add finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies and mix well with the yam. To this add grated coconut and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning and Serve.

(2) Yam Chops ( सुरणाचे काप )

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg.

Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 4-6 Tbsp.

Salt : to taste

Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For shallow frying

Method :

Slice the yam into 2″ long, 2″ wide and 1/4″ thick slices. Coat them evenly with the tamarind pulp and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix the red chilli powder and flour and add salt as required. Then roll the slices in this mixture to coat them with it and then shallow fry on a griddle.

P.S. : Some people prefer to use rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Another variation of this recipe is to make a paste of dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and salt to taste. Coat the yam slices with this paste and keep aside for a few minutes. Then roll in rice flour and shallow fry.

I saw this recipe on a TV show and loved it. So I made a few changes to the recipe according to my taste and here is the “improved” version.

Ingredients :

Oil : 4 Tbsp.

Gram Flour (बेसन) : 1/2 cup

Fenugreek Seeds : 1/2 tsp.

Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp.

Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp.

White Gourd (लौकी) : 250 gms.

Cauliflower Florettes : 250 gms.

Carrots : 200 gms.

Cluster (गवार) Beans : 150 gms.

Drumsticks : 8 nos.

Potatoes : 3 small

Brinjals : 200 gms.

Okra ( Ladies Fingers) : 200 gms.

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tbsp.

Tomato Puree : 3 Tbsp.

Tamarind Pulp : 1 Tbsp.

Jaggery : 1 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 8 nos.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2 Tbsp.

Method :

Cut the gourd, carrots, potatoes, brinjals into cubes. The cubes should be of the same size( 1 1/2″ pieces). Snip off the ends of beans and cut into 2″ pieces. Cut off the ends of the okra and give it a lengthwise slit. Then fry the okra till brown. Cut drumsticks into 2″ pieces.
In a pot, heat 3 tbsp. of oil and add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and saute till the mustard seeds crackle. Then add the gram flour and saute till it is nicely browned. Then add about 3 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Now add the gourd cubes, florettes, carrot cubes, beans, drumsticks and potato cubes. Add salt to taste and cover and cook till almost done( about 75%).
Now add the brinjals and cover and cook again for 5 minutes.
Now add the fried okra, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, tomato puree, tamarind pulp, jaggery and curry leaves . Add salt to taste and let this cook for a few minutes. garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with white rice or a bread of your choice.

Ingredients :

Extra Virgin Olive Oil : 1 cup;

Garlic Cloves ( finely chopped ) : 10-15 no;

Optional : Oregano/Basil (Dried) : 1 tsp

Method :

Mix together the oil and garlic. If you want a herb, you may add any you like. Now refrigerate this mixture for 2-3 days. Then use it as a dip with a toast or as a spread.
The olive oil has to be extra virgin, as it has a richer, fuller taste. If possible, get the cold-pressed olive oil.

Ingredients :

Tomatoes : 250 gm;
Fresh Coconut (Grated ) : 1/2 no (150 gm );
Green Chillies : 5-6 no;
Ginger : 1″ inch;
Garlic Cloves : 4 no;
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp;
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp;
Curry Leaves : 5-6 no;
Salt and Sugar to taste;
Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 Tb;
Oil : 1 tsp; Asafoetida (hing ) : a pinch


Chop tomatoes and cook with a little water till completely cooked. Pass through a strainer. Make a paste of coconut, chillies, ginger, garlic and cumin seeds. Add this paste to the tomato puree and add salt and sugar to taste. Cook on low heat till you get one rolling boil. Remove from heat.
Tadka : In oil, add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add asafoetida and curry leaves and add to the saar. Garnish with chopped coriander.


Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) 500 gm, Capsicum 100 gm,

Coriander Seeds 1Tb, Dried Red Chillies 5-6 no,

Fresh Green Chillies 2 no, Fresh Ginger 1”, Garlic 4 flakes

Tomatoes 6 no, Fresh Coriander Leaves (cilantro) 2 Tb,

Kasoori Methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) ½ Tsp,

Garam Masala Powder ½ Tsp,

Oil Or Ghee (clarified butter) 2 Tb, Salt to taste


Cut the paneer into cubes. Cut the capsicum into large diamond shapes or cubes.

Dry roast and then pound the red chillies and coriander seeds into a rough powder.

Finely chop the green chilli, ginger, garlic, and the tomatoes. Chop the coriander leaves.

Heat oil in a wok. Saute the ginger, garlic and green chili. Then add the pounded mixture of red chilli and coriander seeds. Saute this for 30 seconds and then add the tomatoes. Saute them on medium heat till they are completely cooked and the oil has separated. Now add the paneer, capsicum and salt. Mix gently so as not to break the paneer cubes.

Let them cook for 1 minute and now add kasoori methi powder and garam masala powder and mix gently. Remove from heat and garnish with chopped coriander.

P.S. I sometimes add a little chopped coriander along with the tomatoes, it gives a very unique flavour to the dish.

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