Bottlegourd Halwa – Lauki halwa

Lauki HalwaHalwa is an Indian pudding cooked with vegetables or milk sometimes with bread. Bottle gourd Halwa is one of such type of pudding which every household kitchen in India makes at festive occasions or main events. Mild flavored bottlegourd is cooked in creamy milk and reduced till forms a pudding consistency. Usually served warm or cold, anyway you serve it tastes AWESOME.






Serves: 4
Preparation time – 5 mins
Cooking time – 20 mins

  • Bottle gourd(wash, peel and grate) – 1 small size.
  • Whole Milk – 2 Cups
  • Milk Solids (Mawa, Khoya) – 1/4 Cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup or to taste
  • Clarified Butter (ghee) – 2 Tbsp
  • Rose Water – few drops
  • Almonds (sliced)  – 1 Tbsp (garnish)
  • Cashews (sliced) – 1 Tbsp (garnish)
  • Cashews (chopped) – 1/2 Tbsp
  • Raisins (chopped) – 1/2 Tbsp


  • Cut off the both ends of the Bottle gourd. Grate and set aside.
  • Heat a medium sized thick non stick pan.
  • Add clarified butter and fry cashews for 10 secs or until slightly colored. Add raisins and fry till plumped up.
  • Add the grated bottle gourd and fry till ghee slightly oozes out from the sides of the pan (approx 4 mins)
  • Add in milk and bring to a boil taking care not to burn the milk.
  • Cook bottle gourd in the milk stirring occasionally until mixture thickens and almost all the milk is evaporated. (Approx 7 mins)
  • Add in rose water and sugar cook till ghee oozes out. Remove from pan.
  • Garnish with sliced nuts and serve warm or cold. Enjoy!


Tomato Rasam

Tomato Rasam is traditional south Indian soup which can be had with rice or as is.. This is a must in any South Indian meal. Any South Indian meal is definitely incomplete without this sweet , sour and spicy rasam.





Serves  – 3 to 4
Preparation time – 5 mins
Cooking time – 15 mins

  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/3 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – pinch
  • Curry Leaves ( hand torn) –  few
  • Dry Red Chilli Whole – 2 no
  • Tomato (chopped) – 3/4 cup (1 big no)
  • Onion (finely chopped) – 2 Tbsp
  • Peppercorns (slightly crushed) – 2 no
  • Coriander Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Cumin Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Green chillies (finely chopped) – 1 no or to taste
  • Sugar or jaggery -1 tsp  to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Cilantro (finely chopped) – 1 Tbsp
  • Water – 2 to 2 1/2 cups


In a sauce pan heat oil and season with mustard seeds and allow them to pop, then add in cumin seeds, curry leaves, dry red chilli, hing and mix them up well.

Add in onion, water, tomatoes, pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, green chillies, red chilli powder, sugar, salt. Boil for 15 mins uncovered.

Check for right amount of salt and sugar and adjust accordingly if needed. Finally add in cilantro and turn off the heat. Serve with hot rice and papad.

Sorakaaya Thapilentlu- Andhra Breakfast Recipe

Sorakaya ThapilentluSorakaaya Thapilentlu is a simple to make breakfast/ snack from Andhra. This is my mom’s recipe. I simply LOVE this with Dal and Malai.








  • Bottle gourd (grated) – 330 gms.
  • Curry Leaves – handful.
  • Fresh coconut (grated) – 1 Tbsp
  • Onion  – 1 small
  • Green chillies – 8 or to taste
  • Cilantro – handful.
  • Rice flour – 2 Cups
  • Chana dal(wash and soak in enough water for 10 mins)  – 3 Tbsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 2 tsp
  • Oil – for shallow frying.
  • Salt – to taste


  • Grate the bottle gourd and keep in a big mixing bowl.
  • Add salt and mix well with the grated bottle gourd. Keep aside while grinding other ingredients:
  • In a food processor, add coconut, green chillies, cilantro, curry leaves, cumin seeds, onion.
  • Process the ingredients till you get a coarse mixture. Just run the processor in PULSE mode to achieve this consistency. Keep it aside.
  • Now squeeze the water from the Bottle Gourd and save the water separately.
  • Have the bottle gourd in a big bowl and the rice flour, soaked chana dal and the blended mixture.
  • Mix all the ingredients well and make a stiff and tight dough using some of the squeezed water that we saved earlier.
  • Heat some oil (1 inch from the bottom of  the pan) in an aluminum pan.
  • Meanwhile, shape them into small 1 1/2 inch balls and keep them covered, so they don’t dry out.
  • Press the dumplings by placing them in between some plastic sheets to get small 4 inch thapilentlu.
  • Make a hole at the center of the thapilentu, so that it is easy while frying to flip the sides.
  • Shape 4 -5 thapilentlu and stick each thapilentu to the sides of the pan such that half of the thapilentu should be in the oil and half to the sides of the pan.
  • Similarly stick 4 thapilentlu.
  • Cove the pan and fry on LOW – MED till you see golden color on the edges.
  • Flip them and fry on the other side for 2 mins, making sure they stay to the walls of the pan all the time.
  • Once done, pull them out from the oil and remove them from the pan.
  • Repeat the process of shaping and frying with the remaining dough.
  • Serve them hot or at room temperature with Dal and/ or Malai.














Ponganalu/ Paniyaram (Savory)

Ponganalu is a south Indian breakfast recipe. This is usually prepared with leftover idli or dosa batter but specially prepared it for making these yummy puffy treats.

Serves – 4
Preparation time – 10 mins
Soaking time – 4 hrs or over night
Cooking time – 30 mins

  • Raw Rice — 2 Cups (100ml Cup)
  • Bengal Gram — 1/4Cup (100ml Cup)
  • Black Gram – 1/4Cup (100ml Cup)
  • Green Gram – 1/4Cup (100ml Cup)
  • Fenugreek Seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Green Chillies – 20 or to taste
  • Cilantro – 3 Tbsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Urid dal – 2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – as required
  • Oil – 4 Tbsp

Procedure :

Step 1 : Wash and drain raw rice, bengal gram, green gram, balckgram, fernugreek seeds and then soak them in fresh water for 10 hrs or if not 4 hrs atleast.
Step 2 : Blend it into a smooth paste adding water as required.
Step 3 : Let this batter ferment for atleast 10hrs. (I usually set my oven to the minimum temperature and turn it off and place the batter vessel inside the oven. I’ll repeat this for every 3 to 4

hrs. People in warm countries like India would place in any warm place at home)
Step 4 : Now add in the green chilli, ginger paste, salt, cumin seeds, turmeic powder, urid dal and water to bring the batter to the right consistancy.
Step 5 : Use any puff pan to fry these ponganalu.
Step 6 : Lightly spray the non stick spray or if u dont have one add oil into all the spaces (1/4 tsp into each hole)
Step 7 : fry them on both the sides till golden brown in color. Serve them with chutney or majjiga charu. Enjoy!!!

Bagara Baingan

Exotic Hyderadi gravy dish that is made with eggplant the king of the vegetables. THis is my favorite vegetable and I absolutely love this with pulavs or biryani and my all time favorite way of having this is with bhakri.. no with rice.. no no with chapathi.. I really can’t pick one from all these. All I can say is I love this curry absolutely.. :)

Serves – 4
Preparation Time – 5 mins
Cooking time – 20 mins
Ingredients :

  • Oil – 2 Tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 Tbsp
  • Onion (Chopped) – 1/2 cup
  • Baby Eggplants (Washed, cut in such a way that the stems are intact) – 10
  • Roasted peasnuts – 1/4 cup
  • Roasted Sesame seeds – 2 Tbsp
  • Water for blending peanuts and sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
  • Water for curry – 2 cups (adjust according your taste)
  • Red Chilli Powder – to taste
  • Sal t- to taste
  • Tamarind concentrate or fresh tamarind – to taste
  • Jaggery – to taste
  • Coarinder powdr – 1 Tbsp
  • Cumin Powder – 1/2 Tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Cilantro – for garnish

Procedure :

Heat oil in a wide pan, once the oil is enough hot add in the mustard seeds and allow to pop and add int the cumin seeds, add ginger garlic paste and cook for 30 secs.

Add in the onion and cook for 2 mins, followed by eggplants). Add pinch of salt and cover to cook till they are 70% done.

Now blend peanuts and sesame seeds to make a fine paste and add the paste to the cooked mixture. Spice it up with red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala powder, turmeric powder, salt, jaggery, tamarind conc and adjust the consistency of the curry by adding enough water.

Allow the curry to boil for 5 to 7 mins till the eggplants re completely cooked and even the spices are well absorbed by the eggplants. Serve the cilantro topped curry with chapathi, pulav, rice, biryani or anything you like.

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Spinach & Rice Balls with Title and frame

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