Gobi Manchuria

Spicy evening snack or a starter before a meal.

1 Cauliflower – cut into small florets
10- 12 Spring Onions - chopped
1 Cup Peppers (red, green) - finely chopped
1 Jalapeno - chopped
2 tsp maida / all-purpose flour
2 tsp corn flour
1/2 tsp rice flour
3 tsp chili paste
2 tsp grated Garlic
2 tsp sliced Ginger
1 tsp Red Chili flakes
2 tsp Soya Sauce
2 tsp White Vinegar
1 tsp Agi-na-moto
3 tsp Tomato sauce/ketchup
1/2 tsp Brown Sugar (optional)

Boil cauliflower florets in water with salt for 6 to 8 minutes on high flame. Drain and keep aside.
(Or Cauliflower florets can be dipped in flour base and fried in oil)

Take 4 tsp of oil in a low bottom non-stick skillet and add sliced/chopped garlic, ginger, jalapeno, the white part of spring onions and peppers. Stir fry on high flame till they are nicely done.

In a small bowl mix maida, cornflour, rice flour with some water and add to the skillet. Then add chili paste, salt, vinegar, soy sauce, agi-na-moto, brown sugar and ketchup/sauce, the greens of the spring onions and fry for a few minutes.

Taste for salt and seasonings can be adjusted according to taste. Add 1 - 2 tsp of water according to the thickness/consistency of the base.

Now add the boiled cauliflower and mix gently without disturbing the shape of the florets.

Garnish with the chopped spring onion greens and coriander leaves.

This is a good evening snack or a starter, good as is or as a side dish with breads or Basmati rice.


Honeydew is the sweetest of the melons. Honeydew has a round to slightly oval shape.

As Honeydew's ripen, they turn from green to creamy white to yellow. Avoid green ones, but a creamy white one will (unlike other melons) ripen on your counter in a few days. Perfectly ripe honeydew will have a sticky, velvety rind. It has a characteristic aroma.

When cut in half, the inside view of the honey dew is undoubtedly attractive. It has light green flesh and a layer of seeds. These are easily scooped out with a spoon. The flesh is pale green in color, while the smooth peel ranges from greenish to yellow.

They are best eaten raw although it can also be baked. Cut in half and remove seeds. Flesh can be chopped or melon balled and put back into shell for serving or skin removed and flesh diced or sliced.

It is refreshing when served chilled simply on it's own or in fruit salad, sorbet or ice cream.

Nutritional Profile

Honeydew is an excellent source of potassium, vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and Folic acid. It is low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.


1 cups Rice flour
2 tsp Chenna dal – Senaga pappu
1/4 " Butter stick
Chili-Ginger-Coriander paste
1 tsp Red Chili flakes (use per taste)
1 tsp Jeera
Oil for frying

Soak chenna dal in warm water for 1- 2 hrs. Drain water and keep aside.

Take 1:2 water for the rice flour. Boil water in a non stick sauce pan. Add chenna dal, chili-ginger-coriander paste, jeera, red chili flakes, hing, salt and butter, bring to a boil. Cook for a few minutes and remove from the flame and add rice flour mixing thoroughly and quickly. By doing this, it will prevent from the rice flour from forming into lumps.

Let cool for a few minutes then roll out the whole dough first by cutting and having logs of dough ready to be rolled. Place a damp cloth or tissue while working on a batch. Make marble sized balls and using dry rice flour and fingers flatten into small circles. Then prick them with a fork a couple of times. By doing this, while frying, it will not puff out like poori. Look at the photo tutorial below for better understanding.

Heat oil in a kadai (I personally prefer a traditional concave shape kadai for maximum usage of space with less oil) and never let the oil be screaming hot! It burns the first batch.

Drop each one gently in the oil till the kadai is full. Do not move the chaka’s in the oil immediately, this will mess the shape, after a few minutes (1 or 2) use tongs or a strainer and turn it the other way. Have the flame in low/medium so that all of them are nicely done inside and outside.

Remove when they have all turned into a nice golden color. Place them on paper towels so the excess oil is absorbed.

Pappu chekalu have a good shelf life. Save in an air tight container. These are addictive and cannot be stopped from eating ONE more! It is a lengthy process but all worth it, trust me.

PappuChekalu - Photo tutorial

Roll the dough, cut with a knife and make round balls.

Flaten the ball with fingers (using rice flour if needed) and poke with a fork.

Fry them in batches turing them back and forth.

Crispy, crunchy pappuchekalu are ready.


A crunchy dry snack with afternoon tea/coffee.

Jantikalu Presser
1 cup Urad dal – Minnapappu
4 cups Rice flour
Chili paste
1 tsp Vamu
Butter stick
Oil to Fry

Dry fry Urad dal in a skillet and let cool. Add 1 tsp of vammu to urad dal and grind to a smooth flour in a Blender /Mixee. Leave butter stick outside for some time.

In a large bowl add rice flour, urad flour, salt, butter stick and chili-paste.
(This can be added according to taste, green chili karam tastes good in this rather than the red chili powder).

Mix all the ingredients using as less water as possible and make a chapati kind of dough. Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel and let sit for 2 -3 hrs.
Heat oil in a kadai (I personally prefer a traditional concave shape kadai for maximum usage of space with less oil) and never let the oil be screaming hot! It burns the first batch.

Drop a spoon of hot oil in the mixture; this will make the fried item light. A pinch of cooking or baking soda can also be used.

Take the Jantikalu presser (a special apparatus used for making jantikalu, murukulu ) and use a small holes washer. Fill it in with the dough and try one outside, to see if it is moving smoothly. Add water accordingly and then, try in the oil. This has to be done fast and brisk, as the oil is hot and hot steam comes across the hands. Be very careful.

Move in circles and empty the whole dough in the presser. Do not move the jantika in the oil immediately, this will mess the shape, after a few minutes (1 or 2) use tongs or a strainer and turn it the other way.

Remove when it is nice golden color.

Repeat the process. Place them on paper towels so the excess oil is absorbed.
Jantikalu have a good shelf life. Save in an air tight container. Gently press into jantika to make smaller pieces for easy storing and eating!


The fruit that we call the cantaloupe is, in actuality, really a muskmelon.

Cantaloupes range in color from orange-yellow to salmon and have a soft and juicy texture with a sweet, musky aroma that emanates through the melon when it is ripe. Cantaloupes feature a hollow cavity that contains their seeds encased in a web of netting.

Cantaloupes are picked while still unripe; so, you can look to find a melon that is ripe. Tap the melon with the palm of your hand, to hear a hollow sound. Choose a melon that seems heavy for its size and one that does not have bruises or overly soft spots. Cantaloupe is so fragrant that you will be able to test for its aroma of ripeness even if you purchase already cut cantaloupe, packaged in a plastic container.

Since bacteria can grow on the surface of most melons, it is important to wash the outside of the cantaloupe before cutting into it. After washing, simply slice the melon into pieces of desired thickness and scoop out the seeds and netting. The soft flesh is eaten and the hard netted rind is discarded. Remember to refrigerate your sliced cantaloupe if you are not going to consume it immediately.

Cut fruit, if chilled, retains almost all its nutrients for at least 6 days.

Cantaloupe is normally eaten as a fresh fruit, as a salad, or as a dessert with ice cream or custard.

Nutritional Profile

Cantaloupe is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. It is also a very good source of potassium and a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 and folic acid.

Coconut Water

Coconut water is the juice of young tender coconuts and is a natural energy drink.

It is a delicious, refreshing and very nutritious beverage and has tremendous health benefits.

Drinking coconut water has many benefits. Coconut water is naturally low in carbohydrates, fat free and low in sugars.

It keeps the body cool and at proper temperature. Promotes weight loss and boosts immune system. It raises metabolism.

Beetroot Kura

1 lb Beetroot
½ cup Fresh Grated Coconut
½ tsp Chili-Ginger-Coriander paste
½ tsp Red Chili Powder
Few Curry Leaves

Peel and grate beetroots. Beetroot has a natural coloring and sweet taste. Be careful while peeling and grating, color does not stain but spreads. Use paper and tissues and work away from white appliances. Clean immediately after working with beets. A very good nutritious vegetable.

Grated beetroot can be cooked in a pressure cooker with salt or on stove top. Drain the water completely.

Take 3 tsp of oil in a skillet and make tadka with ½ tsp urad dal, ½ tsp chenna dal, few mustard seeds, jeera, hing and a red chili. Add chili-ginger-coriander paste, few curry leaves and grated coconut and fry for a few minutes.

Then add cooked beetroot and mix and cook for few minutes. Taste for salt and seasoning.

This is a good side dish with rice.