Herby Masala Vadai with Tomato Mint Chutney

We are here, munching some Masala Vadai for afternoon tea. These vadai are chock-a-block full of  herbs – coriander and dill. Dill is an uncommon (but not unusual) herb in Indian cuisine, but its use here is wonderful.

The recipe is adapted from one in the book Tiffin by Rukmini Srinivas. We’ve been enjoying reading from it and now want to cook the recipes. The original includes flax seeds which is a very healthy addition, but we have left them out this time.

The recipe is very adaptable. The paste is made from urad, channa and toor dals with the herbs, onions, chilli and ginger added. I can imagine these made with slightly mashed broad beans (the Western type of broad beans), for example, or a coarse mash of peas. Finely chopped capsicums or finely grated carrots would  be a variation if you were sick of the herbs.

The Tomato Mint Chutney is delightful and pairs well with the vadai. Sometimes  I will use sweet chilli sauce, or a herby yoghurt dip, or an Indian green chutney.

A high speed blender like Vitamix is best for grinding the lentils if you don’t have an Indian grinder. Use one that has a tamper if you can, to minimise the number of times you have to scrape the sides down. One of the modern high speed food processors might also work well. Remember that you want a coarse mix, not a fine paste. Also the mix needs to be shaped into patties, so do not add water unless absolutely necessary.

Similar recipes include Broad Bean and Mint Vadai, Falafel, and Tattai Vadai.

Browse all of our Vadai and all of our Snacks. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Vegetable Cutlets

I simply cannot keep away from Indian snacks.

I’ve been feeding my love of these snacks by slowly reading Rukmini Srinivas’ book Tiffin, and cooking my way through the recipes. Both activities, reading and cooking, are mouth-watering. The cutlets are packed with goodness (even though they are deep fried – ssshhhhhh). They are addictively crisp on the outside and soft and textured within.

Vegetable Cutlets are very popular snacks. They are often crumb-coated and always fried or deep fried for that great crisp texture. Cutlets are best served hot with chutney or sauce.

This recipe is the one that her Appa used to make, grinding the vegetables in an old meat grinder. When my father passed away, my brother inherited his old grinder – now I wish I had kept this ancient machine. The food processor does not quite match up to the quality produced by these (but I am nostalgic with memories. Of course the food processor will work, and does a surprisingly good job.)

You MUST have these with strong coffee and the Orange-Green Chilli Relish that I published a couple of days ago. It has a refreshing burst of citrus and is a sweet-spicy sauce. You could also serve the cutlets with a green chutney, hummus, any salsa, any tomato sauce, any yoghurt dip or sauce, or any of these other dips or sauces. Also this tart cumquat jam is particularly good with them as does this Green Tomato Fry Chutney.

It’s interesting how the Indian cuisine has adopted the words cutlet and chop for vegetable based dishes – not doubt (I assume), replicating the non-veg versions of their English invaders.

Similar recipes include Masala Vadai, Falafel, the Huge Vine Leaf Pakora, and Broad Bean Vada.

Browse all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Orange and Green Chilli Relish

Chutneys, pickles and relishes define Indian food. Today we have an unusual one, and Orange Relish with Green Chillies. It is pretty good – sweet, spicy and sour-tangy all at the same time. It is cooked like a jam but with savoury spices with the oranges. The idea came from Tiffin, the book by Rukmini Srinivas, but we have altered it just a little.

The relish goes really well with Vegetable Cutlets (which are also very divine). It can be used with any snack, or in sandwiches and wraps, over rice, and with a nice, hard cheese on crackers.

Similar recipes include Green Tomato Chutney, Radish and Mint Chutney, and Roasted Tomato Chutney.

Browse all of our Indian Snacks, and our Patties. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring recipes.

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Sundakkai Vathal Sadham | Dried Pea Eggplant Rice | Dried Turkey Berry Rice

Sundakkai have amazing health giving properties, and it is helpful to include it in your diet regularly as a preventative measure for almost everything. We know them here as Thai Pea Eggplants. Dried Sundakkai, or Sundakkai Vathal, (soaked in yoghurt and salt then dried in the sun), retain their health giving properties. They are used in dishes such as Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and are ground and mixed with other spices for a Sundakkai Vathal Podi (spice mix).

In this recipe, the dried berries are ground into a powder and mixed with rice along with other spices. It is delicious addition to our collection of rice dishes.

Similar recipes include Ghee Rice with Pandanus, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Carrot Rice.

Other Sundakkai dishes include Sundakkai Vathal Sambar, and Sundakkai Vathal Podi.

Browse all of our Rice dishes, and all of our Sundakkai recipes. Our Indian dishes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. Or explore all of our Early Summer recipes.

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Sprouts Usal

Sprouts must be one of the healthiest foods on the planet, and so easy to make at home. You can sprout any whole lentil from your Indian shop and most from your supermarket – also some spices like fenugreek which makes lovely sprouts.

The sprouts are added to oil and spices, and are quickly tossed. Then water is added and the sprouts are left to steam until soft. This is quite different to the Chinese/Asian treatment of sprouts, which is to stirfry them. It is a reflection of the different style of sprouts used in the two areas. In India, sprouts are short, barely 1 cm long. Lentils and beans are sprouted until the tiny sprout has shown its face, and then they are cooked. In Chinese cuisines, the sprouts are left to grow until 5 or 6 cm long to add crunchy, fresh, textural elements to a dish.

In India, there is a difference between Usal and Misal dishes – sometimes the two dishes are confused. Usal is a spiced sprouts dish made with one or more sprouted lentils and beans. Traditionally Usal is made with sprouts of moth beans (matki). Usal can be eaten as is, or Misal is made. For Misal, the cooked sprouts are immersed in a spicy thin gravy and topped with farsan, sev, onion, coriander and lemon wedges. Both Misal and Usal can be eaten with Pav – Indian bread buns.

Usually people mix elements of both dishes, according to their taste and preferences – here the Usal is topped with coriander, coconut, onion and lemon.

The book Tiffin by Srinivas is not only a terrific read, it has many recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. This recipe is one for a mix of sprouts, cooked over low heat with spices.  Delicious.

Similar recipes include Masoor Sprouts Rice, Pudla with Mung Sprouts, and Sprouts Sundal.

Browse all of our Sprouts recipes and all of our Usal dishes. All of our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Early Summer recipes.

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Potato Bhaji

I love the book Tiffin by Srinivas. It is a terrific read with lots of lovely food-related stories. The recipes are full flavoured and perfectly balanced. It is a book I highly recommend. I have cooked a few dishes from the book and all are exceptional.

Today’s recipe is Potato Bhaaji, a warm spicy potato dish. It can be served as a snack, entree (starter) or side dish. It is perfect with dosai.

Similar recipes include Potato Poha, Green Tomato Bhaji, and Okra Bhaji.

Browse all of our Bhaji recipes and all of our Potato dishes. You can browse all of our Indian dishes. Our Indian Essentials are here. Or explore our Late Spring collection of recipes.

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Carrot Rice | Carrot Pilau

Mixed rice dishes are easy to prepare and quickly become family favourites. They are great lunch or tiffin dishes, and served with a raita/pachadi and a simple salad to make a delicious light meal.

Carrots have an inherent sweetness and it is emphasised when you sauté them in ghee. This recipe compliments that sweetness with the bite of the green chilli, the warmth of sweet spices like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon, and the crunch of onions and nuts. You will really enjoy it.

If you are looking for similar Rice recipes, try Vegetable Pulao from the Beaches of Goa, Sri Lankan Ghee Rice, Spicy Eggplant Rice, Sri Lankan Yellow Rice with Yoghurt, Cumquats Rice, Rice and Cauliflower Pilaf, Lemon Rice, and Pepper Cumin Rice. Barley Pilaf is pretty good too.

Are you looking for Carrot recipes? You will like this Green Bean and Carrot Poriyal, Carrot Poriyal with Coconut Lentil Crumble, Carrot Thoran, and Carrot Sambal.

You can browse all of our Rice dishes here, and find all of our Carrot recipes here. Take some time and explore all of our Indian recipes. Or browse our Early Summer recipes.

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Zucchini Rice, Indian Style

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini will know that you can get a glut of zucchini very quickly. I planted 4 plants this year, forgetting how large the plants get, and they seem to be taking over the veggie garden. They have already swallowed 2 chilli bushes and a whole lot of radishes!

So I have the opportunity to explore zucchini recipes at this time of year, trying to keep that glut under control. This is an Indian mixed rice – cooked rice is mixed with spices and perhaps a vegetable or other ingredient. Indian mixed rice dishes are flavoursome and healthy!

Would you like to try other Mixed Rice dishes? Try Aromatic Lemon and Curry Leaf Rice, Pepper Cumin Rice, Masala Lemon Rice, or Golden Rice.

Try these zucchini dishes: Zucchini Fry, Zucchini Thoran, and Marinated Zucchini.

You can browse all of our Mixed Rice dishes, all of our Rice dishes, our Zucchini dishes, or our Indian Recipes. Or simply explore our Late Summer dishes.

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Sweet Surnoli Dosa | A Konkani Recipe from Goa

A cousin to Eliappe, the Surnoli is equally as delicious

Talking about Eliappe prompted Moni Bharadwaj (who is the daughter of one of the authors of Festivals of India) to remind me of Surnoli. Surnoli is a Konkani pikelet-like dish made from fermented rice batter in a similar way to Eliappe. How wonderful to have two very similar dishes, from different parts of India.

Surnoli is a Kokani dish from Goa eaten for breakfast or as a tiffin or even for dinner. Yellow in colour, they have a puffy texture with holes due to fermentation, and are eaten with home made butter. They can be sweet (as here) or made without jaggery for a savoury pikelet. When sweet, surnoli  have a porous and soft texture due to the jaggery, and they taste very good.

This dish uses poha, an Indian rolled rice. It is easily obtainable from your Indian shop. There are several different thicknesses of poha – Nylon (very thin and crisp), Paper, Thin, Medium, Thick and Dagdi (thick and chewy). There are also poha types made from red rice and brown rice. For this dish, use a white, medium or thick poha for better results.

If you like this recipe you should also try Eliappe and Crumpets. We have other Dosas – try Potato Dosa, Cheela, and Coconut Dosa.

Are you looking for other Poha dishes? Try Poha with Onions (Kanda Poha), Kolache Poha, and Poha with Banana, Honey and Coconut.

Are you looking for other Breakfast dishes? Try Baked Figs with Thyme, Bondi Bircher Muesli, and Rose Yoghurt with Fruits.

Would you like other dishes from Goa? Try Fried Okra, Fiejoada, and Beetroot and Carrot Subzi.

Have a look at our Sweet Dosa recipes. All of our Breakfast dishes are here. You might also like to browse all of our Desserts. Or check out all of our Poha recipes and Dosa recipes. All of our Goan dishes are here. Or simply explore our Mid Spring recipes.

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Lemon Rice | Elumichampazha Saadham

A tangy and aromatic rice

Lemon Rice is one of the staples of South Indian homes and of Temples for their Prasadam. It is a special rice indeed, with the tang of lemon/lime juice and the crunch of peanuts and lentils fried off in the tadka. You can make lemon rice with freshly cooked rice or with left over rice. It keeps well at room temperature and also makes a great packed lunch.

Similar dishes include Sri Lankan Yellow Rice with Yoghurt, Green Mango and Coconut Rice, and Carrot Rice.

Browse all of our rice dishes. Our Indian recipes are here, and our Indian Essentials here. You might like to look for Prasadam recipes too. Or explore our collection of Late Summer recipes.

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