Spring Rolls

Half a Cabbage
3 Carrots
1 Red Pepper
1 Green Pepper
10 -12 Spring onions
3 tsp Chili paste
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
½ tsp Agi na moto
3 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp White Vinegar
Spring Roll Pastry sheets

TYJ Spring Roll Pastry sheets are available in Indian grocery stores in packs of 25 at $1.49. Place the corm sheets outside (from freezer) so that will become soft to use.

Chop all vegetables very finely, bring 2 cup of water to boil in a sauce pan and add the vegetables and salt and bring to a boil, cook for 5 – 6 min and drain the water. Use a muslin cloth, place the boiled vegetables in it and roll and squeeze till all the water is removed.

Take 2 tsp of ghee in a skillet add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute, add all the vegetables, agi na moto, soy sauce, vinegar and chili paste. Taste for salt and adjust seasoning according to taste, stir fry for a few minutes on High flame. Keep aside and let cool.

Take one sheet from the packet, place it on a cutting board like a diamond with one edge facing you, take a spoon full of the vegetable base and place it on the roll leaving some part of the sheet. Cover with the part of the sheet with your fingers and fold and tuck the remaining sheet. Use water to close the sheet. (Please look in the photo tutorial)

Size of the roll and amount of vegetable base is entirely a personal choice, but smaller rolls fry faster.

Complete all the rolls before you start frying. Once the rolls are ready they can be fried or frozen for future use. This process can be done at leisure and stored in freezer and fried in oil when you have guests or for a quick evening snack.

Fry in oil on medium flame, turning them frequently. Remove when they are golden yellow in color on to a paper towel so the excess oil can be absorbed.

Cut the rolls diagonally before serving. Serve with chili sauce or ketchup.

Spring Rolls - Photo tutorial

Photo tutorial for spring rolls.

Chop vegetables very finely.

Boil, saute all vegetables along with spices into a dry base.

Place spoonfull on the corn sheet and roll, tucking the edges. Use water to close.

Have the rolls ready before frying.

Fry on medium heat till they are golden yellow.

Serve with hot chili sauce or ketchup.

Rava Laddu

2 cups Rava - Sooji
1/2 cup freshly grated Coconut - Optional
2 cups Sugar
5 - 6 tsp Ghee
1/2 tsp Elachi powder
Cashew nuts
Less than 1/4 cup Milk

Take 2 tsp of ghee in a skillet and fry cashew nuts and raisins till they are nicely done. Remove from the skillet into a glass bowl.

Add 1 tsp of ghee and fry rava for a few minutes and then add freshly grated coconut till the mixture changes into a nice golden yellow. Add elachi powder.

Transfer the mixture into the glass bowl, add sugar and remaining ghee and mix well. Heat milk in a micro oven (to a boil) and gently sprinkle on the rava, mixing using the palm of the hand and making into a round ball pressing tight. Add milk as required.

Nuts and raisins are optional. Save in the refrigerator in a box to retain freshness.


2 cups Rice
4 Green Chilies
1/2" Ginger
Few Curry Leaves
Lemon size Tamarind
Cashew nuts or ground nuts
4 tsp Sesame seeds
1 tsp Jaggery

Dry fry 4 tsp of sesame seeds and grind to a powder.

Cook rice in a rice cooker with 1:2 ratio water to rice. Add turmeric and 2 tsp of oil to the rice before cooking. Doing this will help spread the color of turmeric evenly and the oil will give a certain fluffiness to the rice. Once rice is done spread on a flat basin and set aside.

Add water to tamarind and micro-oven it for a minute, let cool and extract the pulp, adding as less water as possible.

Take 3 tsp of oil in a small skillet and make tadka (poppu), fry 1 tsp of cashew nuts or peanuts according to taste, 1 tsp urud dal, 1 tsp channa dal, few mustard seeds, jeera, hing and 2 red chilies. Then add chopped green chilies, ginger and curry leaves.

Once they are all fried the next step can be done in 2 ways depending on the taste.

If you like the crunch of the poppu, remove the poppu from the pan with a spoon or strainer and can be added to the rice or it can be left in the skillet. Add tamarind pulp, salt and 1 tsp of jaggery and let boil till the oil separates.

To the rice in the basin add 2 tsp of raw oil (without heating),tadka (poppu) and 4 tsp of sesame powder. Mix all the above thoroughly. Check for salt and seasonings.

Green chili and red chili pieces in pulihara taste very good. They absorb the sour of the tamarind and that gives a special taste to them. Do try them.

This is a favorite telugu dish, mostly done during festivals.

Ugadi Subhakanshalu - 03/26/2009

Virodhi nama samvastra subhakanshalu to all my readers.

Vepa puvvu. Sun dried it and brought it from India.

Mangoes. From my father's backyard in Vizag, India.

Items required for Ugadi pachadi.

Ugadi pachadi.

Naivadiyam/offering to God.

Menthi Badalu

2 Firm Granny Smith Apples --Ha..Yes...
1 Lemon
2 tsp Red Chili powder
1.5 tsp Menthe Powder

For Menthi powder:

1 ratio Mustard seeds
1 ½ ratio Fenugreek seeds
Handful Red Chilies

Wash and dry the apples with a paper napkin. Keep the skin and cut into small pieces. Transfer them to a bowl and add lemon juice, mix and keep covered for 10 minutes. The sour/tart and firm the apples are, the pickle comes out good.

For the menthe powder:

Take 2 tsp of oil in a skillet and fry fenugreek seeds till they are nicely roasted then add mustard seeds when they splutter add red chilies and hing. Red chilies can be adjusted according to taste.

The mixture emits a toasty aroma when they are nicely roasted.Let cool. Grind to a powder in a spice mill or blender.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in a Ziploc bag to retain its freshness and aroma.

For the baddalu:

Take 5 tsp of oil in a small skillet, when oil is hot add a tsp of mustard seeds and hing. Remove from flame and let cool for 3 – 4 mins. Then add 2 tsp of red chili powder, 1.5 tsp of the menthe powder, salt and turmeric. Mix well and add it to the apple pieces. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings.

Actually we do this with raw mango and it is called menthi badalu. It is a good side dish in mudda pappu or curd rice. It can also be eaten with rice and tsp of oil.


An Apple a day keeps the Doctor away! This proverb, taught in school about The Forbidden fruit that, it's so easy to overlook their amazing and unique health benefits about such commonly-consumed fruits.

Late summer and early fall is a peak time for apples, farms mostly allow for picking during this time.

Look for firm fruits with rich coloring. Red and Golden Delicious are among the sweetest apples. Brae burn and Fuji apples are slightly tart, and Graven stein, Pippin and Granny Smith apples are the most tart, but retain their texture best during cooking.

Rinse apples under clear running water like you would any fruit to wash away any pesticides used for the tree. Don't peel the skin unless the recipe you have chosen requires peeled apples. To prevent browning when slicing apples for a recipe, simply put the slices in a bowl of cold water to which a spoonful of lemon juice has been added.

In addition to being eaten raw, apples are a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes from salads to baked goods.

Add diced apples to fruit or green salads.

Apples are used to make cider (unpasteurized) and juice.

Puréed apples are generally known as apple sauce, mostly used as baby food. Peel, slice and cook in a cup of water till the apple is very soft, mash with a spoon, add cinnamon powder and brown sugar as needed. Store is air tight container.

Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts such as apple pie, crumble and apple cake. They are often eaten baked. Apples are also made into apple jelly.

Summer treats of candy apple (coated in a hard shell of crystallized sugar syrup), and caramel apples coated with cooled caramel are attractions in parks and theme parks.

Sliced apples can be saved in the freeze in plastic bags or containers.

Nutritional Profile

Apples are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Most of the apple's fiber is contained in its skin; choose organically grown apples whenever possible.

Vegetable Salad

Ice Berg lettuce
Red Cabbage
Peppers: Any kind
Celery sticks
Banana Peppers or Jalapenos
Red Onion
Salad Dressing: Your choice

There is no measuring for this, also also pick your favorite vegetables. Cut a part of the vegetable as needed and save the remaining vegetable in an air tight box.

Wash and dry the vegetables with a paper towel. Chop them into small pieces. Place them all in a bowl and mix. Place the croutons on the top; add salt, crushed pepper and dressing. (I personally like Italian)

I sometimes garnish with sunflower seeds and sav or mixture whatever crunchy things handy.

Enjoy salad with your favorite vegetables with a toast or garlic bread.

White Chocolate & Walnut Moulds

1 bag White Chocolate Chips (about 2.5 cups)
2.5 cups chopped Walnuts
2 tsp Butter

Dry fry walnuts in a skillet and let cool.

Take equal ratio of walnuts, white chocolate chips and place them in a glass micro oven able bowl. Mix them and heat in high for 1 min at a time adding butter and stirring frequently.

Repeat this process till the chocolate melts. Be careful not to burn the chocolate.

Take spoon fulls and place on a greased tray (like small moulds) and let cool.


Grease a plate or aluminium tray/foil and pour the mixture on it and spread, use a knife and make a grid of small boxes. By doing this, pieces can be cut into perfect shape. Then break into pieces and serve.

Put this in the refrigerator for 20 minutes till it comes to room temperature.

They have a good shelf life, save in a box.

Cashews can also be used to make this.

Garam Masala

4 tsp Khus-khus (gasa-gasa)
10- 12 Cloves (lavangam)
10- 12 Cardamons (elachi)
2 tsp Coriander seeds (dhania)
2 " Cinnamon stick (dalchani chakka)
Couple Black Pepper
2 Red Chilies
1 tsp Jeera

5 - 6 Garlic pods
2" Ginger
1/4 cup grated Coconut

Garam Masala is a blend of spices. Most of the spices are dry roasted to bring out the flavor.

The pungency/aroma of the garam masala comes from the heat giving ingredients like cloves and black peppercorn.

Dry roast all dry spices in a heated skillet over medium heat until the spices emit a toasty aroma.

Let cool. Grind to a powder in a spice mill or blender. Stir in the nutmeg and saffron to the powder.

Grind ginger, garlic and coconut to a smooth paste.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in a Ziploc bag to retain its freshness and aroma.

Mixture of the above powder and ginger-garlic-coconut paste is whole masala. But since we use ginger-garlic paste during frying while cooking, when we say garam masala it is just the dry powder of the spices.

Tomato Menthi Pachadi

10 Tomatoes
5 – 6 Green Chilies: Optional
Few Curry Leaves
Small Lemon sized Tamarind

For Menthi powder:

1 ½ scoop Fenugreek seeds
1 scoop Mustard seeds
Hand full Red Chilies

Take 2 tsp of oil in a skillet and fry fenugreek seeds till they are nicely roasted then add mustard seeds when they splutter add red chilies and hing. Red chilies can be adjusted according to taste. The mixture emits a toasty aroma when they are nicely roasted.Let cool. Grind to a powder in a spice mill or blender.

Use immediately or store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place or in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to retain its freshness and aroma.

For the pachadi:

Add hot water to tamarind and let it soak, then extract pulp using as little water as possible.

Take 1 scoop (about 6- 7 tsp) in a low bottom skillet (I recommend this because when tomatoes are boiling it splutters oil and tomato juice ) when oil is hot add a tsp of mustard seeds ,slit green chilies, curry leaves and hing.

Then add chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Let cook, first tomatoes let out their natural juice, cook till the juice is evaporated. Then add tamarind juice and let cook. When oil starts to float add 4 – 5 tsp of the previously made menthi powder. Stir well, check for salt and seasonings and add accordingly.
Remove from flame and let cool.

This pickle has a good shelf life, store in an air tight container.

This is one of my favorite pachadis, blend of menthi powder, tomatoes and tamarind gives it the extra kick. Serve with hot rice and tsp of oil. It can be used as a side dish for upma, dosa etc.

Mixed Vegetable Pulov

4 cups Basmati rice
2 onions
3 cups Mixed Vegetables - Frozen
2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste
3 Green Chilies
2 tsp Garam Masala: From my previous blog Garam masala from Powders/ Podis
3- 4 Cloves
3 - 4 Elachi
1" Cinnamon stick - Dalchinachakka (broken into small pieces)
4 Bay Leaves
1” Butter Stick

Take 4 tsp of oil in a skillet add 3-4 cloves, 3-4 elachi, dalchani chakka, chopped onions, chilies, bay leaf and once the onions are translucent, add ginger-garlic paste and mixed vegetables.

Wash and drain rice. Once the vegetables look like they lost all the water, add rice. Stir well. Now add 2 tsp of garam masala powder and salt. Let cook the mixture for a few minutes with a lid on.

Transfer from the skillet to a rice cooker and pour 1:2 ratio of water for the rice. Add 1” of butter stick in the vessel and taste for salt. For attractive appearance add turmeric and food coloring (optional).

Fried cashews and coriander can be used for garnishing. Easy one dish meal when you are running out of vegetables or in a hurry.

Raita or kurma is a good side dish for Mixed Vegetable Pulov.


Strawberries are an easy to grow fruit crop that will reward the home gardener with ample harvests for many years. It is the only fruit to have its seed on the outside.

Good quality Strawberries should be firm (but not rock-hard), evenly shaped and medium to large in size. Their coloring should be even and bright red. Avoid berries that are wrinkled, soft, spotted with mold or leaking juice. Berries with more than a touch of green or white around the caps do not ripen well after they are picked.

In addition to being consumed fresh, strawberries can be frozen, made into preserves as well as dried and used in such things as cereal bars. Strawberries are a popular addition to dairy products, as in strawberry flavored ice cream, milkshakes, sorbets, smoothies and yogurts. Strawberry pie is also popular. Strawberry jams and jellies are an all time favorites. Peanut butter and strawberry jelly sandwich (PB & J) is a classic combination.

Nutrition Profile

Strawberries are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. They're also a good source of Folate (Folic acid) and Potassium, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C and Manganese.

Tidbits to save cooking time.

Make powders and podis in excess and store them in Ziploc bags in freezer to retain their freshness and aroma for a long time. Label them with Name and Date of Preparation (DOP).

Clean up refrigerator and freezer every month, you will be surprised what you can find in it. Mark items that are nearing expiry date with a red marker.

Have To-Do list on the refrigerator; keep filling in as you figure out things you are running out of, less trips to the grocery store!

After a grocery/vegetable shopping day: wash, cut and freeze some vegetables, might come in handy when you have unexpected guests.

Label jars and containers so that a friend or a family member can help you in the kitchen when needed.

Save basan – senagapindi in the freezer to retain its freshness and to prevent it from getting bugs.

Remove curry leaves from the stems and save in an air tight container in the refrigerator to retain its color and freshness.

When you soak kabuli chenna or any beans, save a couple handful’s in a Ziploc bag in the freezer. These can be used while making pasta’s, curries or rice items.

When using pressure cooker for dal or rice, use an empty vessel to cook some potatoes or beans. There is always something you can make with them or a vegetable for the next meal. Plan ahead to reduce cooking time.

Buy potatoes and onions in bulk and store them in open trays with plenty of air and light. Use ones that are soft or little damaged first.

Grated Coconut

When you have an extra piece of coconut, grate it and save it in a Ziploc bag, comes in handy for a quick garnish or chutney.

Chili-Ginger-Coriander Paste

Take equal ratios of green chilies, ginger and coriander: wash, chop and grind and place spoon full’s in an extra ice cube tray and freeze it. When it is hard remove the cubes and transfer to a Ziploc bag and save them in the freezer. Avoid using the mixer for chili-ginger-coriander paste. This has a good life and color is also perfect.

Ginger- Garlic Paste

Take equal ratios of garlic (peel and chop) and ginger (wash and chop), dry grind them with a tsp of turmeric and save in an air tight jar in the refrigerator.

Tamarind extract

Soak tamarind in hot water for 3 hours and grind in a mixer to form a smooth paste using very little water. Transfer the pulp into a micro oven able container and cook for 10 mins. Add turmeric and mix well. Let cool and transfer contents into an air tight jar and use as required by mixing in water or as pulp. This will help you reduce cooking time by making the tamarind juice.

Nuvu Pachadi - Til

1 cup white Sesame Seeds – Til
½ tsp Jeera
½ tsp Mustard Seeds
A pinch of Fenugreek Seeds
3 – 4 Red Chilies
2 - 3 Green Chilies
Few Curry Leaves
Small Lemon sized Tamarind

Soak tamarind in hot water.

Take 2 tsp of oil in a small skillet and when oil is heated add jeera, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, hing, red chilies, and chopped green chilies and curry leaves.

Let cool. Transfer the tadka into a blender jar, leaving oil, a few mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves in the skillet.

Dry grind tadka first. This will make the grinding part easy. Then add sesame seeds (raw) and dry grind to a smooth powder. Then add salt, turmeric, tamarind and as little water as possible to grind to a smooth paste. Add water accordingly. Taste for salt and adjust seasonings.

Empty it into the skillet with oil and mix nicely and transfer contents into a serving bowl.

Nuvu Pachadi is a very good side dish for Garelu and is excellent when mixed with hot rice and tsp of oil.

Poha - Atukula Upma

2 cups Poha - Atukulu
2 Potatoes
3 Green Chilies
1/2 " Ginger
Curry leaves
Lemon juice
2 tsp of sesame powder (optional)

Wash poha is water and drain the water in a strainer and set aside. Too much time in the water will make poha soggy.

In a non stick pan add 2 tsp of oil and make tadka (poppu) with 1 tsp of urad dal, 1 tsp of channa dal, jeera, mustard. Add chopped chilies, ginger and curry leaves.
Then add finely chopped potatoes.

Cook till the potatoes are nicely roasted, add salt.

Then add the poha from the strainer, 2 tsp of oil, some lemon juice, turmeric and 2 tsp of sesame powder.

This will cook fast. Add chopped coriander as a garnish. Ready to serve.

Pani Poori

1 bag Pani Poori Shells
Available in Indian Grocery stores.
4 Potatoes
1 Onion
2 Green Chilies
PaniPoori Masala
3 cups Cold Water
Sev - Optional

Boil potatoes with salt, peel and mash them. Chop onions, chilies and coriander, salt and mix them.

For the pani:

Take 3 cups of cold water in a bowl, add 2 tsp of pani poori masala, salt and lemon juice. Stir well. Keep aside.

Prick shells with right thumb and make a hole. Stuff it with the potato mash, garnish with sev.

Serve the stuffed poori in a plate and pani in a bowl.

Pour some pani in the poori shell and eat them.


1 cup Toor dal – Kandi pappu
4" Bottle Gourd - Anapakaye
2 Onions
1 Drumstick
1 Tomato
2 Green Chilies
Few curry leaves
Sambar powder - From my previous blog "Sambar Powder" in Podis-Powders
Tamarind juice

Soak tamarind in hot water and make juice adding less water.

Peel and cut bottle gourd into small cubes. Cut drumstick into 3” pieces. Chop onions into medium pieces.

Wash and add water for the dal (1: 2 for each cup of dal) in a vessel and all the vegetables in one vessel add salt and turmeric. Cook both in a Pressure cooker till the dal is nicely done. Remove and keep aside.

Take 2 tsp of oil in a sauce pan and make tadka (poppu) with jeera, mustard seeds, few fenugreek seeds, hing and a red chili. Add chopped green chilies, curry leaves and fry for a few seconds.

Then add cooked dal, salt, turmeric, 1 tsp sambar powder, tamarind juice, 1 tsp jaggery or sugar and coriander. Let cook and then add the cooked vegetables. Bring it to boil and cook for a few minutes more and remove from flame.

Serve it with hot rice and ghee. Sambar is a good side dish for idli.

Uppidipindi - Uppudupindi

2 cups granular Rice flour
3/4 cup Moong dal
2 Green Chilies
1/2" Ginger
Few Curry Leaves

Dry grind rice into a fine granular texture. It can be sieved so the rice flour separates from it.

In a non stick pan take 2 tsp of oil and fry 1 tsp urud, 1tsp channa dal, few mustard seeds, jeera and 1 red chili. Then add chopped green chilies, ginger and curry leaves.

Then add 3:1 ratio of water for the rice flour and bring to a boil and add salt and moong dal. Cook on medium flame until the dal is semi done and then add the rice flour. Add 3 tsp of oil and cook on low flame with the lid on.

It can be mixed occasionally, as it cooks, a nice crust forms to the bottom of the pan. The crust is the best deal.

Let cool and serve with Magai perugupachadi. Dab the crust with oil and eat it.