Recipes: Ginger Coconut Chutney

This Chutney came about completely serendipitously! I started off making something else, felt it was not going to be enough, added some coconut and the end result was this yummy Chutney.

Ginger Coconut Chutney


  • 1 cup coconut, grated
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • A small lime-sized ball of tamarind
  • 3-4 dried red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste


  • In a pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When they pop, add the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, red chillies, ginger and tamarind and stir for a few minutes.
  • Now add the onions and sauté till the onions turn translucent.
  • Switch off the flame and let this cool down.
  • Once cool, blend it together with the coconut, adding water as necessary and make it into a fine paste.
  • Season with salt and serve with any Indian bread like dosas, idlis, rotis. It even goes well with breads.


Recipe: Tomato Bell Pepper Chutney

TBPC4.1This is a new take on an old, but gold chutney recipe. This chutney is super easy to make and goes very well with any Indian flatbread or even dosai or ildi. My helper even had it with rice and she relished it a lot!

TBPC3.1Tomato Bell Pepper Chutney


  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (can use dried red chillies instead)
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 2 tbsp Gingelly oil
  • Salt to taste


  • In a blender, blend to a fine paste without using water the tomatoes, onions, bell pepper, ginger, garlic and red chillies.
  • Heat the gingelly oil in a pan and when it warms, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the fenugreek seeds.
  • Next, add the blended paste and stir occasionally until it becomes thick. Add salt and when it reaches the thickness you want, switch off the gas and let it cool.
  • Serve with an Indian bread of your choice.





Recipes: Tomato Rice

Last week when we were bored of eating the same combinations of food daily, I decided to make this tomato rice. It’s a fairly easy recipe and does not take long to make. This is also a good one pot meal as well as something you can rustle up for a packed lunch.

Tomato Rice


  • 1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes, washed, drained and kept aside
  • 4 medium sized tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (if you can’t get fresh red chillies, substitute with 2-3 dried red chillies)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Grind the ginger, garlic and chilli to a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add in the cumin seeds and let it splutter.
  • Then add the chopped onions and let them fry for a few seconds.
  • Now add the ground ginger-garlic-chilli paste and let it cook for a couple of minutes
  • When the onions become translucent, add the chopped tomatoes and spices and cook till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  • Now add the rice and cook for a few minutes.
  • If you are using a rice cooker, transfer the rice and tomato mixture to it and add 1.75 cups of water. Check for seasoning and let it cook.
  • If you plan to cook it on the stovetop, then add the water and check for seasoning and cover and cook it it is done. You may need to check it while it is cooking to ensure the rice does not over cook.
  • Serve hot with a raita of your choice.

Recipe: Tofu Sambal

Tofu is something that everyone in my house, with the exception of me, love. In fact, even my helper who is from India loves tofu. I  am the odd one out, so this recipe is actually an anomaly. It was actually made my by my helper, but I am putting it down here, in case I need to make it when she is no longer with us.

This recipe is a local one, which has been adapted from Chinese cooking, but Indianised to suit an Indian palate.

Tofu Sambal


  • 2 packs of hard tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 red onions, chopped roughly
  • 1 onion, chopped finely lengthwise
  • 4-5 fresh red chillies (use more if you want it spicier)
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1-inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tbsps oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves to garnish


  • Dry the tofu lightly and bake in an oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 20 minutes. Keep aside.
  • In a blender, blend together the onions, garlic, ginger and red chillies into a fine paste and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan and when warm, add the onions chopped lengthwise and let it become translucent.
  • Pour the blended chilli mixture and stir until the mixture becomes thick and the oil starts oozing out.
  • In the same blender, blend the tomatoes until it becomes a fine paste. You can also use tomato puree here instead. Add the tomato paste to the pan and let it cook well.
  • Now add the baked tofu into the pan and season to taste.
  • Let it all come to a nice rolling boil and switch off the flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice.

Recipe: Aval Payasam or Poha Kheer

Earlier this week was Avani Avittam, the only festival dedicated to men in Hinduism (or rather tambramism) and since it was BB’s first one, we had to go down to the temple for a special prayer and then the next day was the recitation of the Gayatri Mantra. This sacred mantra is said to be the root mantra and it is said that reciting it 1008 times is said to be very beneficial.

On Avani Avittam, I made my Vermicelli payasam and the day of Gayatri Mantra, I made this easy Aval payasam or Poha Kheer. It’s a simple dish that can be made in less than 30 minutes, start to finish so even an FTWM can make this on a festival.

Aval Payasam/Poha Kheer


  • 1 cup poha
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1-litre full cream milk
  • a handful of cashew nuts
  • a pinch of saffron
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2 tbsps ghee


  • In a pan heat the ghee and fry the cashew nuts and once brown, keep aside.
  • In the same pan, fry the poha till they slightly turn brown and at this point, add half the milk. Let the poha absorb the milk and then add the remainder of the milk.
  • When the milk comes to a rolling boil, let it boil for another 5 minutes until the poha is soft and has completely absorbed the milk
  • Add the sugar, cashew nuts, saffron and cardamom powder and let the kheer boil for another five minutes.
  • The kheer is ready to serve. Drink hot or cold, though we prefer to drink it cold!