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Recipes: Navrathri Special



Besan (chick peas flour) - 2 cups
Orange food color - optional
Ghee or oil - to deep fry
Raisins - 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Sugar - 1 ½ cup
Water - ¾ cup
Cardamom powder - ½ tsp

Mix besan with water and make a thick batter. Add color.
Heat oil or ghee till moderately hot. (If a drop of batter is dropped into the oil, it should puff). Hold a large perforated ladle over the oil and pour some batter on it. Small drops of batter will fall into the oil and puff like beads. Fry till they are just crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Use up all the batter .Fry the raisins and cashew nuts in the same oil or ghee and add to the boondis. Mix sugar with water and prepare a two thread syrup. Add cardamom powder. Add the boondi mixture and stir till the syrup coats the boondis.

Khara Boondi : Prepare boondis with the above method but add salt to the batter and fry the boondis till crisp and light brown. Fry cashew nuts and add to the boondis. Heat 2-3 tbsp of oil, season with mustard, curry leaves, ½ tsp each of chili and turmeric powders. Add to the boondi and mix well.

Green Leafy Vegetable Vada

Black gram (urad) dal - 1 cup
Rice flour - ½ cup
Green chilies - 2-3, chopped
Finely chopped leaves (use spinach or radish leaves) - 4 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Soak black gram dal in water for 2 hours. Drain well . Reserve 2 tbsp of the soaked dal and grind the rest with salt, to a smooth, stiff paste. (use as little water as possible) Add the reserved dal and rest of the ingredients except the oil. Mix well. Take a lime size balls of the mixture and flatten to1/8" thick discs on a piece of greased plastic sheet. Drop about 4-5 discs in moderately hot oil, fry till crisp and golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Serve hot with chutney.


Milk - 4cups
 rice - 1/4 cup
Bay leaf - 2
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Raisins - 15-20
Cashew nuts - 15  pieces
 Cardamom - 3 or 4 pods
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Wash rice and soak for half an hour. Heat a pan, coat with ghee, and add soaked rice. Roast till rice turns white. Boil the milk on low heat, stirring continuously, till it loses a quarter of its volume. Add cashews, cardamom, raisins, bay leaf, rice, and half the sugar. Cook, while stirring, till the rice is cooked.When the milk acquires a syrupy consistency, add rest of the sugar and mix well. Bring to a boil, and remove from flame. Serve cooled.

Kabuli Channa (chick pea) Sundal

Sundal is served when people visit their friends’ homes to see the Bommai Kolus or doll displays.


1 cup Kabuli Chana or chick peas
Dry red chillies 2
Slit green chillies 2
Oil 2 tbs.
Grated coconut 2 tbs.
Curry leaves 1 tbs.
Salt ½ to ¾ tsp.
Chopped ginger 1 tsp.
1 tsp.mustard seeds
Juice of  ½ lemon
a pinch - asafoetida
Turmeric powder

Soak the kabuli channa overnight in water. Next day, wash well, and cook till tender. Drain and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, split black gram dal and dry red chillies. When the mustard seeds splutter, add hing powder, green chillies and curry leaves and fry a bit. Add the cooked kabuli channa, salt, and turmeric powder and fry till dry. Remove from heat, mix in the grated coconut, squeeze a lime and mix well.

Whole green gram sundal - Variation


Whole green gram dal 1 cup
Thinly sliced coconut bits 2 tbs.
Thinly sliced raw mango bits 2 tbs.
Oil 2 tbs
Salt ½ to ¾
Mustard seeds ½ tsp.
Split black gram dal ½ tsp.
Dry red chillies 2
Split green chillies 2
Curry leaves little bit
Hing powder a pinch
Turmeric powder a pinch

Soak whole green gram dal overnight in water. Next morning, wash well and cook till tender. Drain off all water, keep aside. Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds, the back gram dal, the red chillies and hing powder. When the mustard seeds splutters, add the green chillies and curry leaves. Fry a bit, then add the green gram and all the other ingredients. Mix well. Serve hot or cold.

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