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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Instant Peanut Coconut Ladoo / Festive Cooking

 Sharad Navratri is just around the corner and those who celebrate this festival may be busy in cleaning their house and preparing for the 9 day festivity. 9 forms of the Goddess Durga are worshiped during this festival and most of the devotees observe Navratri Fast or vrat for all 9 days and have only a single meal during the day. Many special dishes are made during Navratri , some to be had as fasting food ( food which can be had while fasting / Vrat ka khana ) and some to be offered to goddess Durga as Bhog / Naivedhyam. How about making a delicious and quick dessert, which can serve both as a fasting food and Naivedhyam ?

Here's such  a quick , fasting recipe with just 3 ingredients !! Yes just three..the recipe calls for use of  scrapped fresh Coconut , roasted Peanut powder and powdered Sugar. Just blend these three ingredients and bind them into ball shape. Ta da you are done ! If you have roasted peanuts ready at hand , then this is a no cook recipe . This Peanut Coconut ladoo are not only very easy to make but they are filling and can be made in a jiffy.

The ladoos serve best for any festive occasion. Apart from being a filling fasting food ( food for vrat) , these white balls are loved by one and all. Can be packed as a healthy snack for kids or simply enjoyed to satisfy ones sweet cravings!!

Ingredients: 1 cup =200 ml

  • 2 cup fresh Coconut , scrapped
  • 1 1/2 cup Peanuts
  • 1/2 cup Sugar or as per taste
  • Saffron strands for garnishing (optional)

  1. Heat up a pan on medium flame. Add peanuts to it. Roast them on low to medium heat for about 10 minutes. 

  2.  Allow the peanuts to cool down. Remove the skin by gently rubbing the roasted peanuts and grind them to a coarse powder in a grinder. Remove and keep aside. Now grind the sugar to powder.

  3.  In a large mixing bowl , combine scrapped Coconut, roasted peanut powder and powdered sugar. Mix well .

  4.  Bind the mixture to a round shape of desired size. The moisture from the fresh coconut is enough to bind the ladoos. 

  5.  Repeat the same for all the ladoos. Garnish the ladoos with Saffron strands and serve. You can refrigerate the ladoos for 2-3 days. But they taste best when fresh .

  I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. 
For more Coconut recipes , do check my posts on

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Alu Vadi / Patra / Savory Taro Leaves Snacks

Alu vadi is a stuffed taro leaf (Colocasia) starter dish popular in western region of India. It is known as Patra in Gujarati and (Alu vadi or Aluchya Vadya in Marathi. In this savory steamed leaf roll recipe , a spicy, tangy and mildly sweet gram flour batter is applied on the arbi (Taro) leaves. The smeared leaves are then stacked upon each other , rolled up and then steamed. The steamed multi-layered taro leaf roll is then cut into slices and tempered or deep fried. 

Alu vadi is crispy on the outside and soft and moist from within. I have shallow fried it and then tempered with sesame seeds, curry leaves and garnished with coriander and grated coconut. Patra can be served as a starter dish with some dip or chutney. It also makes a perfect tea time snack. The steamed slices can also be stir fried with caramelized onions and served as a side dish with chapatti or dal rice. Best part is that we can prepare this dish ahead of time. The stuffed steamed taro leaves rolls can be packed in zip lock bags and stored in a freezer until use and deep fried or tempered just before serving. Alu vadi is a Satvik (onion-Garlic free) , vegan dish and if you skip asafoetida (hing) , it is gluten-free as well.

What are Taro leaves / Arbi?          
Taro leaves / Colocasia well known as Arbi ke pate in Hindi and alu che pan in Marathi are extremely nutritious and contain numerous micro-nutrients in vast quantities. Rich in dietary fiber , these leaves have good amount of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They have 0% cholesterol while their total fat contributes by only 1 %. Taro has low levels of saturated fat , and that is the major reason why it is claimed to be a healthy food for the heart. Looking at this health benefits , it is clear that adding these evergreen leaves in our diet can improve our health and wellness.Source

What goes into my Alu Vadi Recipe?

Alu vadi or patra is a healthy and delicious steamed snack made with taro leaves (arbi ke patte). Lets have a look at its ingredients.
  • Taro leaves / Arbi ke patte : Use fresh, blemish free, tender leaves that are dark green in color for the best results. Do not use stale leaves that are wilted or yellow in color. 
  • Gram flour : The batter used to coat the leaves are prepared using chick pea flour / gram flour / Besan. 
  • Rice flour : Apart from gram flour , i also use a little rice flour to the batter.
  • Spices : Spice powders like red chili powder, cumin coriander powder, garam masala, asafoetida,  turmeric powder, and carom seeds are used in the batter while sesame seeds and mustard seeds are used for tempering.
  • Herbs: Fresh coriander and curry leaves are used.
  • Jaggery and Tamarind: A bit of jaggery along with tamarind balances the flavors of the patra and also reduces the itchiness of the taro leaves in the throat. 
  • Coconut: Fresh coconut is used to garnish the patra.
  • Oil: Very little oil is used in this recipe as we have shallow fried the patra instead of deep frying it.
Related Event : 

This is an old post that i had published in 2016 during my initial blogging days. I have updated this post today with new images and written content. The recipe remains unchanged though. I have many such old posts that need to be updated as the photography is dull and the recipe is not up to the mark. Thanks to Renu, my friend and a fellow blogger who came up with a Facebook group, Foodies_Redoing old posts as an initiative, where a bunch of like minded bloggers can update our old posts with new pictures or written content every 2 weeks. This is my 22nd entry into this event (4th September). The pic below is my old pic of patra. You can make out the difference in the food styling and photography by comparing the new updated pics with the old one. Meanwhile, do check out Renu's space for some healthy and delicious recipes like this Cauliflower and green Onion fritters that is next on my to do list.

Dietary Notes:
  • Satvik (onion-garlic free)
  • Gluten-free (if you skip adding asafoetida/Hing)
  • Vegan
  • Healthy
  • Kid friendly

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 20 minutes
Serves: 25-30 slices

  •  12-15 Colocasia leaves (Taro leaves) /Arabi ke patte
For Gram Flour / Besan batter :
  • 1 ½ cup gram flour / Besan
  • 2 tablespoon rice flour
  • 2 tablespoon coriander cumin powder / dhaniya jeera powder
  • 2 tablespoon crushed or powdered jaggery
  • 2 tablespoon tamarind 
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon oil + for shallow frying
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder / haldi
  • ¼ teaspoon carom seeds / Ajwain
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing
  • Salt to taste
For tempering:
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds / til
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coconut, scrapped or grated
  1. Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes.

  2.  Meanwhile wash the taro leaves, chop the stalk and wipe them with a kitchen towel. Squeeze out the tamarind directly in the water and extract the pulp. 


  3. To a large mixing bowl, add the spice powders (coriander cumin powder , red chili powder , garam masala, turmeric powder, hing) , carom seeds , salt , jaggery and 1 teaspoon oil to the tamarind pulp.

  4.  To this add the rice flour and gram flour and make a thick paste which can be easily applied over the leaves. Use water as required. Taste the batter and add salt or jaggery powder if required.

   5.  We will be using 4-5 leaves per roll. Place one leaf face down on a clean board or plate. Apply the gram flour paste over it in a thin layer. Now place another leaf over it but in opposite direction. Repeat the same for 5- 6 leaves. Tuck in the edges of the leaves and apply batter on them. Now roll them tightly in horizontal direction. Similarly prepare the rest 2 rolls.

  6.  Place the rolls on a greased steamer pan and steam for about 15 minutes.

  7.  Once the rolls cool down , slice them with a sharp knife and either deep fry or temper them.

  8.  For tempering, heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds , once they splutter add the curry leaves, followed by sesame seeds. Put off the flame after few seconds. Arrange the alu vadi on a serving plate. Now pour this tempering over it and garnish with finely chopped coriander and shredded coconut. Serve delicious and healthy alu vadi /patr with dip of your choice at tea time. 

Recipe Notes:
  • Use fresh, blemish free, tender leaves that are dark green in color for the best results. Do not use stale leaves that are wilted or yellow in color.
  • The batter consistency should be such that it can be easily applied on the leaves at the same time it does not drip off.
  • Do not steam the alu vadi roll for more than 12-15 minutes.
  • The rolls can be packed in a zip lock bag and stored in a freezer for about a month. Just thaw the rolls, slice them and shallow fry the alu vadi just before serving.
  • One more way of serving alu vadi apart from as a starter is to stir fry the steamed vadi with caramelized onions , season it with spice powders and serve the stir fry as a side dish with chapati or dal rice.
  • Sometimes, while in a hurry when i do not have time to soak the tamarind and extract pulp, i simply add the Khajur imli Chutney / dates and tamarind chutney and skip the jaggery.
I hope a few of you would love to try out this recipe. If you do so, feel free to share your feedback with us in the form of likes and comments in the comment section below this post. All your suggestions are also more than welcome. If you like my work and feel it is worth following, do hit the follow button at the top right corner of this blog. Your appreciation means a lot to me. For more recipes and new updates follow us on social media.

Related Posts:

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Black Eyed Bean / Lobia Salad Recipe / Healthy Eating

Black Eyed Bean also known as lobia in Hindi is packed with lots of health benefits. This legume is rich in antioxidants ,contains necessary flavinoids , is low in calories and has no cholesterol . It helps in weight loss and is good for heart and the digestive system.

Lobia is called chavali in Marathi and we Maharashtrians make a spicy curry called chavalichi usal from it. I will share that recipe sometime later. Today i am here with a delicious , filling and protein packed salad recipe using this healthy legume. A refreshing salad which can be had as a breakfast or served during lunch. If you have boiled lobia ready at hand , this salad can be made in a jiffy. This oil free dish can be enjoyed as a guilt free snacks in between meals or served to kids after school. This salad is great breakfast option for all the fitness freaks and all those who intend to loose weight. 

Adding fruits and veggies to the boiled black eyed beans makes this salad all the more appealing and healthier. I have added chopped Apples, Cucumber, Tomatoes , Onions, Pomegranate seeds , Coriander leaves and Lime juice . You may add carrots, boiled potatoes , beetroot or any fruit or vegetable of your choice to the salad.

Serves: 2
Preparation Time : 6 hours ( including the time required for soaking the beans)
Cooking Time : 10 minutes


  • ½  cup Black Eyed Beans / Lobia
  • ¼ cup chopped Apple
  • ¼  cup chopped Cucumber
  • ¼ cup Pomegranate Seeds
  • 1 small Tomato , finely chopped
  • 1 small Onion , finely chopped (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh Coriander leaves
  • ½ tsp Chaat masala (optional)
  • ½  tsp freshly ground Black Pepper Corns
  • Salt to taste.


  1. Rinse and soak the Black Eyed Beans in enough water for 6 hours or overnight. Drain the beans and boil them using fresh water either in an open vessel or in a pressure cooker for 1-2 whistle. Lobia cook very fast so be cautious and do not over cook them.

    2.    Meanwhile chop all the fruits and veggies and keep ready. 

   3.  In a large mixing bowl take all the chopped fruits and vegetables and the boiled beans. Season it with salt , pepper powder , chaat masala and lime juice. Toss very well . Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.

For more healthy salad recipes , do check my posts on

Monday, 12 September 2016

Puliyodharai / Pulihora - South Indian Tamarind Rice Recipe

Pulihora , Puliyodarai , Puliyogare is a common rice preparation in the South Indian states of Andhra Pradesh , Telangana, Karnataka  and Tamil Nadu. Puli in Pulihora can be translated as "sour taste" referring to the characterizing use of tamarind as one of the main ingredients. Source: Wikipedia

Basically a tamarind rice preparation, Pulihora is a popular travel food known for its long shelf life. One can also find this rice served as Naivedhyam (Prasad) in most of the South Indian Temples. This classic dish is a perfect blend of tangy and spicy flavors. The roasted lentils and spices used in the spice mix make the rice aromatic and flavorful. Serves as a quick lunch box menu if you have the Puliyodharai spice mix and tamarind sauce ready at hand. Generally served with papadam and vadam. Learnt this simple recipe from one of my south Indian friend Subhashini , during my stay in Hyderabad.


  • 1 cup raw Rice
  • Large lemon size Tamarind
  • 3-4 tbsp Gingelly oil (Sesame Oil)
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
Puliyodharai Spice Mix :

  • 4-5 dry red Chilies
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp White Sesame seeds
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper corn
  • 1 tsp skinned and split black gram
  • 1 tsp split Bengal gram
For Seasoning :

  • 1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2-3 dry red chilies , (break into two and deseed )
  • 1 tsp skinned and split black gram
  • 1 tsp split Bengal gram
  • 1-2 sprig of Curry leaves
  • 1/4 cup roasted peanuts

  1. Wash and drain the rice. In a sauce pan heat 2 1/2 cups of water with 1 tsp of  oil and salt. To this add  the rice and cook the rice in such a way that each grain is separate.

  2. Meanwhile we can prepare the spice powder for Puliyodharai. Heat a non stick pan and roast all the ingredients listed under Puliyodharai spice mix separately on a low to medium heat until fragrant. Cool and grind them to a powder in a grinder. Keep aside.

  3.  Soak a large lemon size tamarind in 1/2 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside until use.Spread the cooked rice on a wide plate to cool down . Add 1 tsp of oil and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder to the rice when still warm and mix well to coat the rice. Take care not to break the rice while doing so. 


 5.  In a non stick wok , heat the remaining oil and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle add the split and skinned black gram and split Bengal gram and stir fry until golden brown. Now add curry leaves, dry red chilies and roasted peanuts. Stir fry for a minute on low flame. 

  6  Add the remaining 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and tamarind pulp at this stage and cook the mixture until it thickens and oil start floating above the sauce. Add 2 tbsp or more Puliyodharai spice powder or as per taste to the tamarind sauce. Stir fry for a while and put off the flame.

7.  Reserve some of this thick sauce and add remaining to the cooled rice and mix it evenly using your finger tips. Taste the rice at this stage (if it is not to be offered as prasad) and adjust the salt as per requirement. Add the reserved tamarind spice paste if more of tangy taste or spiciness is desired. 

  8.  Let the rice sit for at least 1-2 hours before serving , so that all the flavors get incorporated well with the rice.

  I hope you would love to give this recipe a try. Do not forget to give your valuable feed back. 
For more rice recipes , do check my posts on