Quick Bites / Breakfast Bits

Ingredients :

Elbow Macaroni : 1 Cup
Cauliflower florets : 100 Grams
Potato : 1
Carrot : 1
Onion : 1
Green or Red Capsicum : 1
Green Chili : 1 (Lavangi or Jalapeño)
Garlic Cloves : 1-2
Flour (Maida) : 2 Tbsp.
Dried Basil : ½ Tsp.
Mustard powder : ½ Tsp.
Crushed Black Pepper : ½ Tsp.
Red Chili Flakes : ½ Tsp.
Olive Oil : 2 Tbsp. + as required
Butter : 1 Tbsp.
Milk : 2 Cups
Cheddar Cheese or Processed Cheese : 100 Grams
Cornflakes – 2 Tbsp.
Worcestershire Sauce – 1 Tsp.

Method :

Cut the potato, carrot and capsicum into ½ inch cubes. Finely chop the onion, garlic and green chili. Cut the florets into ½ inch pieces. Pre-heat the oven to 180C. Mix together flour, basil, chili flakes, mustard powder and black pepper. Grate the cheese.

Heat 1-2 liters of water till it comes to a rolling boil, add salt and 1 Tbsp. oil and pour all the macaroni in while stirring the water continuously. Keep stirring every 15-20 seconds. Let it cook for 7 minutes. Them remove with a slotted spoon and add some oil to the macaroni to keep it from sticking together.

Now to the same water add the potato, carrot and cauliflower florets with some salt. Cook al dente – meaning till there is some bite left in the vegetables. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking liquid.

In a saucepan, add 2 Tbsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. butter and sauté the onion, garlic and green chili. When the onion is translucent, add the capsicum and sauté. Now add the flour mix and sauté till the raw smell is gone and then add warm milk. Keep stirring so there are no lumps. Now add 50 grams cheese to the sauce and let it melt. Add the Worcestershire sauce, vegetables and macaroni. Use the reserved water to get a pouring consistency. Adjust salt and pepper.

Crush the cornflakes and mix with the remaining 50 grams cheese.

Grease a square casserole with butter. Pour the macaroni in the casserole and cover the top with the cornflake –cheese mixture. Bake the casserole for 20 minutes and then grill it for a further 2 minutes. You should get a nice crunchy crust on top.

Remove and serve hot.

I love this sandwich. It’s easy to make and doesn’t take long to prep. So if you are in a hurry try this one.

Ingredients :

Day old bread sliced – baguette or any country bread will do.

Egg – 1 no.

Cheese – 100 Gms. ( processed or cheddar or any hard cheese)

Green chilli – 1-2 spicy chillies like lavangi or jalapeno finely chopped

Onion – 1/2 no. finely chopped

Capsicum – 1/2 no. finely chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste

Method :

Grate cheese and mix with the rest of the ingredients. Season to taste. Spread on the bread slices. Put under a hot grill for 2-3 minutes or till the cheese is browned.




Ingredients :

Yam (Suran) : 200 Gms.

Potatoes : 3 medium sized

Green Peas : 200 Gms

Green Chillies : 4 or as required, Finely Chopped

Ginger : 1″ grated

lemon Juice : 1/2 Tsp.

Cumin Powder : 1/2 Tsp.

Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : As required (About 1 1/2 Tsp.)

Sugar : 1/2 Tsp.

Oven Dried Breadcrumbs : 3-4 Tbsp.

Oil : As Required to pan fry the cutlet

Method :

Steam or pressure cook the yam, potatoes and green peas till completely cooked.Remove and cool.  Peel and mash the potatoes with the yam and peas. To these vegetables add the rest of the ingredients.

Keep adding the breadcrumbs till the mashed mixture no longer feels wet or squishy. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Now round the mixture into small balls, flatten and shallow fry on a hot griddle.

Yield : 16 small or 10 medium sized cutlets.



Some times when we break open a coconut, we find that it has gone bad and we don’t know what to do with it. My aunt gave me this wonderful recipe to make delicious dosas from the bad nut. All you need is raw rice, toor dal, tamarind and dried red chillies. This dosa can be eaten as breakfast item or as a substitute for the usual dal-chawal dinner.

Ingredients :

Rice : 1 cup

Toor dal (Split Yellow Lentils) : 1/2 cup

Coconut(bad) : 1/2 no.

Tamarind pulp : 2 tsp

Red chilies : 6 -8 nos.

Salt : As required

Method :

Soak the rice and dal separately for 2-3 hours. Grate the coconut. Then drain the dal and rice, add the rest of the ingredients and grind to a coarse paste. Add water if needed to make dosa batter. Season to taste.

Heat an iron griddle on medium flame and add a teaspoon of oil to it. Let it heat and sprinkle a few drops of water on the hot griddle. Let the oil sputter, which will result in the oil coating the griddle evenly.

Now add a ladle of batter to the griddle and spread this with the back of the ladle into an oval shape. Spoon a few drops of oil around the dosa and let it cook. Now turn the dosa over, add a few drops of oil around the side and let it cook.

Serve the dosa hot with a chutney of your choice or with tomato ketchup.

I have already given the recipe for Sambar Masala Powder in an earlier post. Now it’s time to prepare the sambar.

South Indians need sambar as an accompaniment with a wide variety of dishes. Most are breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa, Medu Wadai etc. It is also an important part of a meal. The taste of hot steaming rice with the fragrant sambar poured on top is an experience that cannot be put into words.

For some reason Sambar like Ma Ki Dal tastes better when a day old.

Ingredients :

Red Gram Dal (Tur Dal) : 1 cup

Fresh Green Chillies (slit) : 2 nos.

Tamarind : 1 Tbsp.

Turmeric Powder (Haldi) : 1/2 Tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.

Sambar Masala Powder : 2 Tbsp.

Vegetables :

Potatoes : 2 medium sized

Onions : 4 small, peeled and kept whole

Brinjals : 2 medium sized

Drumsticks : 2 nos. cut into 2″ pieces

Red or White Pumpkin : 150 gms.

Cauliflower : 100 gms.

Fresh Coriander : 2 Tbsp.

For Tadka :

Oil : As Required

Mustard Seeds : 2 tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Curry Leaves : 8 – 10 nos.

Method :

Wash the dal and then add the slit green chillies to it and cook till done.

Cut the brinjals, potatoes, cauliflower and pumpkin into 1″ pieces. Then parboil the vegetables and drumsticks in salted water. Take care, so the vegetables are not completely cooked as we have to simmer them in the sambar.

Soak the tamarind in warm water for 15 minutes and then strain it to remove any fibers and pits.

Now in a pot, take the dal and add the tamarind pulp to it. Make a paste of the turmeric, red chilli and sambar powders and add to the dal. Keep the pot on simmer and add the vegetables. Now simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning.

Tadka : In a tadka pan, add oil and heat it. When the oil is hot, add the asafoetida and mustart seeds and let them crackle. Then add the curry leaves and pour this tadka over the dal. Mix well and remove from heat.

P.S. : Adding a few drops of oil to the dal helps to cook it quickly.

A few days ago, I attended a wedding. I went with my mother and aunt. We were very late and missed the ceremony, but managed to be on time for lunch. 🙂

Both the bride and groom were from the Southern Indian state of Tamilnadu. So the cuisine was a typical TamBram affair. The last time I ate a south Indian wedding feast was at least few years ago. This was my first Tamil wedding, so I was looking forward to the feast.

They put a nice, big banana leaf in front of us. Then followed a slew of accompaniments. There was a chutney (gojju), a mixed raita, a raw mango pickle ( my favorite in any feast), spiced banana wafers, a wada and a fried papadum. The papadum was huge compared to the puny ones I usually eat.

There were four vegetable dishes – an avial, a mixed vegetable dish with a coconut gravy, a mildly spiced potato dish and a Foogath. The foogath was nice – shredded cabbage, carrots and beans with slit green chilies and sprinkled liberally with freshly grated coconut.

There were also four katories filled with spicy rasam, payasam, buttermilk and curd. The payasam was way too sweet for me.

On the whole, a very satisfying meal indeed with the exception of the wada and avial.

This made me think as to why I haven’t put up more south Indian recipes. I am from the southern Indian state of Karnataka ( for the nitpickers, I am from Udupi, Mangalore). So I have decided to start with recipes from my state first.

Today I will introduce you to a wonderful breakfast dish, deceptively called Buns. It in no way resembles a bun, but is more like a sweet puri. it derives its sweetness from the banana and has a nice kick added by black pepper.

The picture of Mangalore Buns is courtesy Khalnayak. You can check out his pictures on Flickr by clicking on this link here – Khalnayak


Ingredients :

Maida (Refined Flour) : 2 cups or as required

Overripe Banana : 1 no.

Jaggery : 3-4 Tbsp.

Soda Bi Carb : 1/4 Tsp.

Sour Curd : 2 Tsp.

Roasted Cumin (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Crushed Black Pepper : 1/4 Tsp.

Salt : to taste

Ghee : for deep frying

Method :

Mash the banana with salt and jaggery and then add the curd, cumin, black pepper, and soda bi carb. Now add the maida to form a dough. Use maida and water as required to make dough. Apply some oil or ghee to cover it and keep overnight to ferment. In the morning, devide the dough evenly into balls. Then roll the dough a little thicker then for a puri (about 1/8 inch). Then deep fry the puris in hot ghee on both sides. Drain on paper.

The puri needs no accompaniments. You just need a cup of steaming, fragrant, flavorful cup of south Indian filter coffee. Aah Heaven!!!

I have always considered breakfast as the most important part of my morning ritual. That, along with a steaming cup of filter coffee and a crisp newspaper, really kick starts my day. So I take my breakfast very seriously. I have always marveled at people who eat the same breakfast, day in and day out, all their life. I can’t even begin to imagine what that would be like. So one day I was at my friends house and his mom put a green dosa in front of me. I am always game for a new taste and tried it, and to my surprise liked it. The one she made was with garlic and fenugreek leaves. I am more partial to coriander (cilantro) so made a few changes and now you have the Mung Dal Chilla Amol-style.

Ingredients :

Whole Mung Beans ( Green Gram) : 1 cup;Whole Mung

Fresh Green Chillies : 4-6 no; Fresh Ginger : 1″ inch;

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 Tb; Asafoetida : a pinch;

Chopped Onion : 1 no; Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp;

Salt to taste; Sugar : a pinch; Oil as required


Wash and soak the mung beans for 4-6 hours. Then add chopped chillies and ginger to it and make a paste in the blender. Add salt, sugar, asafoetida, turmeric powder. Add the chopped onion and chopped coriander to the paste. Add water to get the required consistency.
Pour a large spoonful of batter on a heated, lightly greased nonstick pan or iron griddle. Spread it with the back of a spoon to get a thin pancake. Cook on both sides till lightly brown. Serve hot with coconut chutney.
Serves : 4

Variations :

Dhokla : Add 2 tsp gram flour, 1/2 tsp of fruit salt eg.eno, 1 tsp oil and pour the batter in a greased cake pan and steam for 5 minutes.

P.S. You can also use mung dal ( split green gram ) with skin instead of the whole mung.

Ingredients :

For The Dough :

Refined Flour : 300 gm; Fat to rub : 60 gm / 4 Tb;

Ajwain ( Bishop’s Weed) : 1 tsp; Salt to taste

For The Filling :

Potatoes : 750 gm; Green Peas : 250 gm;

Cumin Seeds : 2 tsp; Ginger : 2″ / 2 Tb; Onion : 1 large;

Fresh Green Chillies : 5-10 no; Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 tsp;

Chaat Masala : 1/2 tsp; Salt to taste; Chopped Coriander leaves : 1 Tb.

Oil for deep frying

Method :

The Dough : Sieve the flour and salt , add ajwain, make a well in the centre and pour the fat in it. Rub the fat into the flour. When it is well mixed, add water as required to make a semi-hard dough. Cover with a moist cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes. Divide the dough into 6 portions and cover again for 15 more minutes.
The Filling : Boil the potatoes till done and peel and cut into small dices. Boil the fresh peas. Scrape and finely chop ginger. Finely chop the green chillies and the onion.
To the potatoes, add the peas, chopped coriander and chaat masala and garam masala powder. Roast the cumin seeds and roughly crush them and add to the potato mixture.
In a pan, take 1 Tb ghee / oil and add the chopped onion, ginger and chilli. Saute well and add to the potatoes. Add salt to taste. Mix well and divide into 12 portions. Keep aside.

The Stuffing : Place the balls on a lightly floured surface, flatten with a rolling pin and roll into an oval disc(6″-8″). Cut this disc in half to get 12 equal half ovals. Take one, Line the edges using water and seal to make a cone as shown in diagram. Stuff the filling in the cone and seal the top edge of the cone using water. Keep on a floured tray.
Heat oil in a kadhai / wok and deep fry the samosas over medium heat till golden brown.

P.S. If you find it hard to make a well shaped cone, you can also shape the dough like Calzone i.e. in a half-moon shape. Just roll the dough to form a round disc. Stuff the centre with the filling and fold the disc in half, sealing the edges with water. Crimp the edges with a fork to give it a nice design. Then deep fry as above.
For the health conscious : You can also make the dough using wholewheat flour. Make the dough as you would for purees.


For Puris: puri
Whole wheat flour 4 cups, Oil 1/2 cup,
Salt to taste, Sugar a pinch, Water as needed

For Potato Bhaji:
Potatoes 250 gm, Chopped Onions 2 medium,
Chopped Tomato 1 large, Ginger Garlic Paste 1 Tb,
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp, Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp,
Cumin Coriander Powder 1 tsp, Garam Masala Powder a pinch,
Salt to taste, Sugar a pinch, Chopped Coriander Leaves 1 Tb, Oil as required


Sieve flour. Add water, salt and sugar and prepare a medium stiff dough, taking care to knead well. Set aside for half an hour. Now knead again with a little(1/2 tsp) oil till soft and devide into even-sized balls. Roll-out into 0.2 cm thickness and deep fry in fat or oil. When puffed up turn over and fry till lightly brown on both sides. Drain on paper napkins to remove excess fat.

Potato Bhaji 1:
Boil potatoes till done. Remove skin and break into pieces using your fingers (a little mashed potato is fine). In a pan, heat oil. Add chopped onions and saute till translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till brown. Now add tomato and fry till soft. Now add the masalas and saute till oil leaves the sides. Now add the potatoes and mix well. Add water, salt and sugar as required and cook on low flame for 10 minutes. The consistancy should be thick, not runny. Add chopped coriander and remove.

Potato Bhaji 2 :
Boil 250 gm Potatoes.Cut into bite-sized pieces. Add salt and sugar to taste and mix well.
In 1 tsp oil, add 1 tsp mustard seeds, a pinch of asafoetida and turmeric and a few curry leaves. Add 2 green chillies cut into 1/2″ pieces and saute. Now add the potatoes, mix well. Cover and cook on low flame for 3-5 minutes. Serve hot with puris.


Potatoes(boiled and grated) ½ kg,

Carrots(boiled and fine chopped) 100 gm,

Cauliflower(boiled and fine chopped) 100 gm,

French Beans(boiled and fine chopped) 100 gm,

Ginger Garlic Paste 2 Tb, Chaat Masala 1 tsp,

Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp, Curry Powder 1Tb,

Turmeric Powder 1 tsp, Onions(finely chopped) 2,

Oil as required, Breadcrumbs for coating,

Burger Buns, Mayonnaise 4 Tb,

SaladLeaves as required, Tomatoes cut into roundels,

Pickled Gherkins(optional), A Large Onion cut into roundels,





To make burger patti: In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil. Add the onions and sauté till translucent, then add ginger garlic paste. Now sauté this and add all the powders except chaat masala. Now add potatoes, along with, the rest of the vegetables. Mix well, add chaat masala and remove. Cool this down and make patties. Roll the patties in breadcrumbs and deep fry till golden brown.

Cut the buns in half and toast them. Spread a little mayo on both sides. Put the patti on the bottom half of the bun and put salad leaves, onion and tomato roundels on it. Cover with the top half and serve.

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