Thursday, March 22, 2012

Beetroot Halwa

“Yugadi” or "Ugadi" is round the corner. So, here’s wishing you all – readers/viewers, friends and family members, A Very Happy and Prosperous “Yugadi”.

This is my first attempt at making beetroot halwa and that too not by choice but by chance !
Actually, I wanted to make carrot halwa but soon found out that I did not have enough of them. Instead I had beetroots. So that’s how I landed up making Beetroot Halwa using the same method and ingredients that I normally use for making Carrot Halwa. But the end result was fantastic!

It tastes good either hot or cold.

 Beetroot Halwa 13
Beetroot Halwa garnished with Almond pieces

Beetroot Halwa 4
Beetroot Halwa served with vanilla ice-cream

If serving cold, form the halwa into any shape you desire and serve it with ice-cream. I used vanilla ice cream. Try it out and see for yourself.


250 gms
1 cup (125ml)
¾ cup
2 tbsps
Cardamom powder
½ tsp


  1. Wash, skin and grate the beetroots and keep aside.
  2. Soak the almonds in hot water for about 10-15 mins. Then, peel off the skin and cut the almonds lengthwise and keep aside.
  3. In a non-stick kadai/wok, add milk, grated beetroot and almonds pieces (keep a few for garnishing) and boil it on medium flame till the beetroots are cooked.
  4. Then add sugar and on a medium flame, stir continuously till the mixture becomes semi-solid.
  5. Next add ghee and stir as before till the halwa leaves the sides of the vessel.
  6. Add cardamom powder, mix well and remove from flame.
  7. Garnish with almond pieces.
  8. Serve hot or cold.

    Beetroot - grated
    Halwa - almost ready

    Preparation time : 15 mins
    Cooking time       : 30 mins
    Serves: 3

    • For garnishing, you may use any dry-fruits (cashews, pistachios or raisins) of your choice.
    • Halwa will last for more days when stored in an air-tight container and refrigerated. 

    Thursday, March 15, 2012

    Bonda Soup

    Bonda is a South Indian word for any snack that is round in shape and deep fried. To give an example, the famous Medhu Vada, is actually a “Bonda with a hole”!

    The ‘Bonda Soup” is a specialty of Karnataka. I have been told that it is a delicacy of North Karnataka. Please correct me if I am wrong.

    Few restaurants in Bangalore have this tasty snack on their menu. I have eaten this in one of the restaurants in Bangalore and found it to be very delicious. The Bonda is actually our “Biscut Aambado” (Konkani word for Medhu Vada) and the soup is our good old “Daali-Thoy”; except that the soup is made a little watery and instead of asafetida, ginger is used.

     Bonda Soup
    Bonda Soup

    Ingredients for Bonda

    Udad Dal (split black gram dal)
    1 cup
    Green chilies (chopped)
    Curry leaves only (chopped)
    3-4 sprigs
    Fresh Coconut gratings/pieces
    2 tbsps
    ½ tsp
    As per taste
    For deep frying
    Water (for dipping fingers)
    1 small bowl

    Method :

    Bonda Batter
    1. Wash and soak the udad dal for about 3 hours.
    2. Then drain the water and grind them to a fine paste preferably without adding any water.  A little water may be added for the mixie to run.
    3. Place the ground batter in a bowl. To this add the green chilies, curry leaves, grated/small pieces of fresh coconut, asafetida and salt. Mix well and keep it aside.
    4. In a kadai or a deep frying pan, heat oil till it is hot and then lower the flame to medium.
    5. First wet your fingers in a bowl of water and take a small quantity of the above prepared mixture and drop them gently in the hot oil.
    6. At a time, drop about 6 -7 bondas (depending upon the size of your kadai) in the hot oil.
    7. If the batter is ground well, the bondas will float on top within a few seconds. Fry them till they are golden brown in colour.
    8.  Then remove them with a slotted spoon.
    9. Continue in this manner for the remaining batter.

    Ingredients for Soup

    Toor Dal
    ¾ cup
    Moong Dal
    ¼ cup
    Green chilies (slit)
    Ginger (chopped)
    ½ inch piece
    Tomatoes (medium) chopped
    Lime juice
    As per taste
    Coriander leaves (chopped)
    2 tbsps
    Seasoning Ingredients:

    2 tsps
    Mustard seeds
    1 tsp
    Dry red chilies
    Curry leaves
    1-2 sprigs


    1. Wash the Toor Dal and Moong Dal together and cook them in a pressure cooker for 12 mins.
    2. Remove the cooked dals from the cooker and place it in a saucepan and mash well.
    3. Add about 2-3 cups of water, slit green chillies, chopped tomatoes, chopped ginger and salt and bring it to a boil. Lower the flame and let it simmer for a few minutes.
    4. In a small pan, add oil and then add the seasoning ingredients (mustard seeds and dry red chilies) and when the mustard seeds start spluttering, add the curry leaves. Remove from the flame and immediately pour it over the cooked dal.
    5. Mix well and garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and lime juice.
    6. Serve hot.

    Makes: 24 Bondas

    Bondas 14

    Bondas 24
    Close-up of  Bondas

      Bonda Soup 8

    How to serve:

    Bond Soup
    • While serving, place the bondas and the soup in two separate bowls.
    • Just before eating, dunk bonda in the soup.

    • Grind the batter till its smooth and a few bubbles come on top. The crispiness of the bondas is directly proportional to the smoothness and fluffiness of the ground batter.
    • For the soup, I added moong dal too. You may omit it if you so desire.

    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

    Happalla Kismuri

    In Konkani language, “Haappolu” means Chilly Pappad and “kismuri” meaning a dry mixture. It is served as a side-dish and instantly adds that "zing" to any bland lunch!

    This “kismuri is generally prepared during rainy season in our villages as in those days venturing out to buy vegetables was next to impossible. Hence, before the onset of monsoon, a lot of items (non-perishables) would be stocked in every household and one such item would be “happollu”.

    These “Chilly Pappads” can be deep fried or fried directly over the flame. It is also eaten plain as an accompaniment during lunch or dinner like a normal pappad - except that, these are red in colour and very spicy.

     Another "kismuri" which tastes divine is the  "Bitter-gourd Kismuri" .

     Happalla Kismuri 25
     Happala Kismuri


    Happalla (Chilly Pappad)
    Onion (chopped finely)
    1 medium
    Freshly Grated coconut
    2 tbsps
    Coriander leaves (chopped)
    1 tbsp
    Optional ingredients:

    For smearing the pappad
    Green chilies (chopped)
    Lime juice
    1 -2 tsps
    As per taste


    1. Fry the chilly pappad directly over low flame. Fry it on either side using tongs till dark brown spots appear. Fry all the pappads in similar manner and keep them aside.
    2. Smear each pappad with oil. (Generally coconut oil is used. You can use any oil of your choice.  I have omitted the oil in my recipe).
    3. In a separate bowl, crush together the chopped green chillies and salt
    4. In the same bowl, add grated coconut, chopped onions, chopped coriander leaves, and lime juice. Mix well and keep aside.
    5. Crush all the chilly pappads and combine it with the above mixture.
    6. Serve immediately.
     Haapplla Kismuri 2
    " Haappolu" (Red Chilly Pappad) being fried over flame

    Happalla Kismuri 9
     "Haappolu" being fried with the help of tongs

     Happalla Kismuri 18
     Ingredients ready for preparing the "kismuri"

    Preparation time: 10 mins
    Cooking time     : 10 mins
    Serves                :  4


    • This is a great accompaniment for rice and dal or rice and curds. 
    • Combine the crushed Haappolu to the onion-coconut mixture just before serving or else it gets soggy and looses its crunchiness.
    • It tastes heavenly with our simple “Paez” (Konkani word for “kanji”).
    • Since the “happallas are very spicy and also contain salt, you may omit the green chilies and salt depending upon ones taste.
    • These Chilly Pappads are available in any Mangalore Stores.