Friday, 29 May 2020

Coconut Chutney

Dear Gujarati Food Made Easy Lovers!

Today, I will share with you a very easy recipe consisting of only 4 ingredients, following on from the dosa/thosai recipe as promised. It's quick and easy!

It's the coconut chutney which is a delicious accompaniment to any South Indian / Sri Lankan dish.

Traditionally, mustard seeds and curry leaves may be added to this however, my version is the simple one as I feel too many flavours overwhelm the final dish.

Here is what the final dish should look like:


4 tbsps full fat Greek yogurt
4 tbsps desiccated coconut
Half tsp salt
Quarter tsp powdered red chilli


1. Mix all the 4 ingredients in the order above in a small to medium-sized bowl.
2. Enjoy as a refreshing accompaniment to thosai/dosas, idlis and any other South Indian / Sri Lankan dish.

So there you have it my friends! Let me know in the comments how yours turned out! Enjoy!

'Til next time...!
Bon appetit...! xx

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Handvo / Tapelu / A spicy, oven-baked, Indian, vegetable cake

Dear Gujarati Food Lovers!

If you are in the UK, I hope you have been enjoying this wonderful weather that we have been having, safely of course, despite the restrictions we have imposed on us due to coronavirus.

In all honesty, I have been doing a whole lot of cooking and so writing up the recipes isn't that easy after a long day in the kitchen! :) With that being said, however, I will share with you today, the recipe for Handvo which we also know as Tapelu.

This dish (although known as a form of comfort food) is made of rice, lentils and vegetables so, in effect, is like an all encompassing dish nutritionally - proteins from the lentils, carbohydrates from the rice and fibre, vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.

Here is what a slice of the final dish should look like:

(serves 6 to 8 people)


For the cake:

2 mugs of rice
0.75 mug tuvar dal (available in all Indian grocery stores)
4 tbsps sunflower oil
3 large tbsps whole Greek yogurt
1.25 mugs cold water
1 medium carrot (washed, peeled and grated (in the large hole))
2 medium courgettes/zucchinis (washed, peeled and grated (in the large hole))
1 big onion (red or white, washed, peeled and chopped into small cubes)
0.5 mug petit pois/peas (washed from frozen)
2 spring onions/scallions (washed and finely chopped)
2 heaped tbsps fresh ginger (washed, peeled and finely grated)
2 large, heaped tbsps ground, green chillies (washed, take off the stem and grind into a fine paste in a chopper)
1 level tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsps salt (add more at the end if you need to - taste the batter before you bake it)
2 heaped tbsps ENO (this is a fruit salt available to buy from any Indian grocery)
2 handfuls of white sesame seeds

For the Tadka: (you will have to make 2 batches of this - one to go in the batter and one on top before baking)

For one batch:

3 tbsps sunflower oil
3 tsps mustard seeds
3 tsps sesame seeds
1 pinch asafoetida

To make the Tadka:

In a small vessel, heat the oil and add in the above ingredients. Cook until the seeds start to pop and set aside. The first batch can go straight into the batter that has been standing for 6 hours and you can make the next batch when you have put the batter into the baking tray, ready to put in the oven. (The second batch will be drizzled on top.)


1. Grind the rice and tuvar dal separately in a powerful mixer grinder until they are the texture of semi-fine cornmeal - not too powdery and not to grainy.

2. In a large bowl or dish, mix the ground rice and tuvar dal together until they are well mixed. This will form the base for the vegetable cake batter mix.

3. Make a well in the mixture and add in the sunflower oil. Combine the oil well into the rice and dal mixture.

4. Add in the Greek yogurt and the 1.25 mugs of cold water and stir until well combined.

5. Cover the large bowl/dish with a lid and leave it out on a kitchen work surface in a cool place for 5 to 6 hours.

6. Lightly oil a clean, large baking tray and line the tray with aluminium foil. Also oil the foil. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees Celcius. Make sure that all of your ingredients are prepared as per the instructions to save your oven from over heating.

NB: The baking tray used in this recipe was 2 inches deep and 25cms wide by 40cms long

7. In the batter that has been standing for 6 hours, add in one batch of the tadka and mix well.

8. Then add in the carrots, courgettes, onions, peas and spring onions and mix until well combined.

9. Add in the ginger, green chillies, turmeric and salt. Mix well again until combined.

10. Add in the ENO (fruit salt) and mix the batter well for the final time.

11. Pour the batter into the well oiled baking tray (lined with the also lightly oiled aluminium foil) and sprinkle on evenly the 2nd batch of tadka. Also, evenly sprinkle on 2 handfuls of white sesame seeds.

12. Place the baking tray into the middle shelf of the preheated oven and bake the handvo/tapelu for 15 minutes on high heat (250C). Turn the heat down to 180 degrees C and cook for a further 16 to 18 minutes.

13. As soon as you see a nice golden brown crust on top of the handvo/tapelu, take it out of the oven. Like when you test a cake, if you insert a knife into the handvo/tapelu and it comes out clean, you know it is ready to serve.

14. Take it out of the oven and let it cool down for at least 10 minutes. Cut into squares and serve.

So there you have it my friends! Let me know in the comments how yours turned out! Enjoy!

'Til next time...!
Bon appetit! xx

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Sri Lankan Thosai/Dosa (large, thin crispy rice pancake)

Dear Gujarati Food Lovers!

OK, so admittedly, the recipe I am going to share with you today is not a Gujarati recipe but without any doubt, Gujaratis, Indians, Sri Lankans and many other nationalities the world over LOVE this recipe because it is not only delicious, but also extremely versatile! It can be eaten as an accompaniment with a variety of meat and vegetable curries. My current favourite is to eat it plain with coriander chutney and coconut chutney with sambhar (dal) on the side.

(The recipe for coriander chutney is on this blog and I will endeavour to post recipes of coconut chutney and the sambhar dal soon.) Another favourite is to eat thosai/dosa with chicken curry.

So for those of you who are new to Indian and Sri Lankan food, a dosa/thosai is a large, thin, crispy pancake made of mainly ground rice and dal and the dish originates from South India and Sri Lanka. Today, I will share with you the Sri Lankan version of the recipe which comes from my best friend from university's mother who is a very dear aunty to me. Thank you Aunty V for letting me share your knowledge and talents!

It will make enough batter for about 20 dosas/thosai but that all depends on how large you spread your thosai/dosas with your ladle. :)

Also, the great thing about this batter is that you can freeze it in batches for between 2 and 3 weeks and it will be fine to use once throughly defrosted. Please remember to freeze the original batter without the added water to it so that it doesn't get clogged up with water when you defrost it. I will mention in the recipe when you can freeze the batter, if you so wish.

So, without further ado, let's get to the recipe! :)

Here is what it will look like when you have spread it and it has cooked on one side:


2 mugs of white rice
1 mug of urad dal (aka urid dal) - available from any Indian grocery store
1 pinch of fenugreek seeds (aka dry methi seeds)
1 pinch of whole cumin seeds (aka whole jeera)
5 or 6 whole peppercorns
1 slice of bread (ideally white)
salt to taste
1 calorie spray oil or sunflower oil


1. Wash the rice and urad dal separately in different dishes, 2 to 3 times with warm water until the water runs clear.

2. Pour fresh, clean, cold water into each dish until there is about an inch of water above the level of the urad dal and the rice in each dish; this will allow the grains to soak.

3. Add the fenugreek seeds, the cumin seeds and the peppercorns to the dish in which the rice will soak.

4. Cover each dish with a plate or lid and leave both to soak overnight for at least 12 hours in a dry place - not in the fridge - your kitchen surface should do nicely.

5.  Once soaked, do not discard the water; save it in another vessel to help with the next stage - the grinding of the grains.

6. In a robust grinder, grind the rice with the slice of bread to a smooth paste and then move the ground rice and bread to a big dish. Use some of the water saved in the vessel to grind if required - just enough to grind it.

7. Then grind the urad dal to a smooth paste - again, add the saved water very little by little only to aid the grinding process. Only use enough water to grind - one wants to create a batter that is the consistency of American pancake batter - so quite thick.

8. Once both the urad dal and the rice have been ground, mix them well together and add salt to your desired taste.

9. Leave the batter for at least another 8 to 10 hours to stand  - outside on a kitchen surface is fine; it should not be in the fridge.

10. When you are ready to make the dosas/thosai, mix the batter well first. Then take a third of the batter mixture into a separate dish and add one ladle of cold/room temperature water and mix it into the batter. Make sure that the batter is liquid enough to spread as shown in the video below (somewhere between the thickness of American pancake batter and French crepes - not too thick and not too thin).

NB: At this stage, you can freeze the rest of the batter in 2 separate batches for next time - without any water in it. Each of these 3 batches should make about 7 to 8 dosas after adding the water to make the batter more spreadable.

11. Heat a dosa/thosai pan or a large frying pan until it's searing hot and either use 1 calorie spray oil or sunflower oil to coat the base of the pan, lightly. Use a kitchen tissue to wipe off the excess.

12. Spread the batter in the pan to create a dosa/thosai:

Here is a video on how to spread your thosai/dosa:

13. When the edges start to lift up automatically after they start to brown, you know it's nearly time to flip it over.

14. Before you flip it over, lightly spray with 1 calorie spray oil. Flip it over and cook the other side until it's nice and brown. (The thinner you spread the batter, the browner and crisper your dosa/thosai will be.)

15. Take it off the pan and serve hot! :)

It is traditionally eaten with potato and onion subze/curry (recipe: in it and the final product would look like this:

This is known as a Masala Dosa

It is also served with sambhar which is a thicker version of the Gujarati dal. I will share the recipe for that soon, but in the meantime, feel free to try the Gujarati dal that I love! Here is the link: 

So there your have it my friends! Let me know in the comments how yours turned out!

'Til next time...!
Bon appetit! xx