Budding blogger : Vardhini

Meet Vardhini from Vardhini's Kitchen in the Budding blogger series

She says -

Hi everybody .. This is Vardhini from VardhinisKitchen. I am a software engineer by profession and married to a wonderful person who has been supporting me and making my dreams come true. I have 2 kids who make my life even more worthwhile. Growing up I used to look at my mom in awe as she whipped up dishes in no time.

My culinary adventures started when I completed college and I used to prepare snacks every evening by following some book or the other. But still mom was the chef and she pampered us. Reality struck after I got married and came to US where I had to cook, which was when I realised the passion I had for cooking and food. After 10 years of cooking and trying out various cuisines, I now have my space where I will be sharing what I have learned. Hubby dear was the main inspiration for me to start the blog and what started out as a food diary for me has grown to be my passion.

I should say that I am overwhelmed by the way the blogging world has embraced me and by the responses I have received for the recipes posted. Thanks to all for encouraging me.

Being from Chennai, India I will be sharing a lot of southern dishes, but since I also love to experiment you will see dishes from various cuisines as well. I strongly believe that "anybody can cook" given the right tools and recipes and that is what my blog focuses on with step-by-step instructions along with pictures.

Thanks EC for introducing me in the "Budding Blogger" series.

Baked papdis

The first column of round papdis in the pic are made from wheat flour while rest are made from all purpose flour.


1 cup all purpose flour/maida
2 tbsp vanaspati/shortening
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp ajwain

Add salt and ajwain to the flour. Mix in the vanaspati to get crumbles. Add little water as required to get a stiff dough. Keep covered in a muslin cloth for 10 mins. Knead again and roll into thick roti by dusting a little with flour. Use a round cutter to cut small rounds. Repeat for rest of the dough. Prick each of the rounds well so that it doesnt puff up.

Preheat the oven to 180 deg. Place the rounds on the MW safe plate leaving some gap in between. Bake for approx 5-6 mins in Microwave and Grill combination mode at 600W. Check how long your microwave takes as baking for a longer time would burn the papdis.

The papdis can be had as it is and is also ideal for usage in chaats.

** You can make it more healthy by trying with wheat flour, but it would not be as crisp as all purpose flour ones.
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Budding blogger : Kushi

Meet Kushi of A Girl's Diary in the budding blogger series

Hi, this is Khushi , the owner of the blog A Girl's Diary. Before 2009, kitchen was the last place on this Earth where I would step in. But everything changed with a touch of a magic wand, called Marriage. My journey began from that day to become a good cook.

I started learning how the spices blend with each other and do the wonder!! I started cooking for my husband which eventually turned into my passion and while going through several food blogs, I stumbled upon the idea of writing my own blog. I blog to share my happiness and creativity with others. Hope people will find these recipes useful and easy
to cook.

Bajra idli


3 cups broken bajra/pearl millet/kambu
1 cup blackgram dal (urad dal)
Salt to taste
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp oil

Soak the broken bajra in warm water for an hour. Soak the blackgram dal and fenugreek seeds seperately for 1/2 hour. Grind the dal first till smooth paste and then add the soaked bajra. Grind for a few minutes. Add salt and mix well. Ferment for 6-8 hours.

Grease idli plates with a few drops of oil and pour the batter in the plates. Steam for 10-12 minutes till fork comes out clean when pierced in the idlis.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar of your choice.

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Kuttu singhara thalipeeth


1/2 cup kuttu atta (buckwheat flour)
1/2 cup singhara atta (water chestnut flour)
1 boiled and mashed potato
1 onion chopped finely
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp green chilli paste
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Make a stiff dough of all the ingredients except oil. Grease a plastic sheet with little oil. Make medium sized balls of the dough. Flatten each ball over the plastic sheet with wet hands to get a thick roti. Cook this on a hot tava with little oil in the sides till brown spots appear on both sides.

Serve hot with sweetened curds.

* Kuttu and Singhara flours are used normally during fasting..In such a case, just skip the onions and go ahead.
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Pearl onion pulav

Recipe source: Priya's version at Priya's Easy and Tasty recipes with some changes


1 cup uncooked rice
2 tsp oil
2 cloves
Piece of cinnamon
1 cup pearl onions peeled
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp pulav masala or garam masala
Salt to taste
2 tbsp beaten curd
finely chopped coriander leaves

Soak the rice for 1/2 hour. Heat oil, add cloves, cinnamon and bayleaf. After a minute add pearl onions and fry till it gets pinkish. Add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, pulav masala, salt and mix well. Add the soaked rice and fry for a minute. Transfer to a vessel and add the curd and 1.5 -2  cups of water depending on the quality of the rice. Pressure cook till soft.

Seperate the grains using a fork and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with raita of your choice.

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Bread Gulab jamun


6 milk/sweet bread slices
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup water
Oil/Ghee to fry

Dip the bread slices in milk and squeeze it out completely. You can either cut out the corners of the bread or let it remain. Knead it into a dough and make balls of it. Add milk if required to make the dough. I opted for the less fat version by frying it in the paniyaram pan with few drops of oil. If you are not calorie conscious you can deep fry the balls in oil/ghee.

Heat the sugar and water to a sticky consistency. Add cardamom powder to the syrup and soak the bread balls in it for about 1/2 hr. Serve

* Since these gulab jamuns wont get bigger while frying like the normal gulab jamuns, you need to make a little bigger balls than usual.

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Eggless Wheat almond cookies

Recipe source: Priya's version at Priya's Easy n Tasty recipes


1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup powdered sugar
Bit of salt
Chopped almonds
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup butter
Milk as required

Mix the flour, sugar, salt, almond pieces and cardamom powder well and add the butter and milk to get a dough. Make balls and flatten them slightly or use a cookie cutter of the desired shape. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and bake for around 18 minutes. Remember to leave out some space between the cookies before baking them. Allow it to cool for 5-10 minutes before storing in an air tight container.

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Budding blogger: Lavanya

Meet Lavanya of My Recipe congeries in the Budding blogger series

She says-

I am Lavanya, a software engineer for profession. I love cooking right from my childhood. But never did any serious cooking till I got married. Luckily, my husband appreciates everything I cook. He is a big motivation for me to start blogging.

I try to cook different kinds of dishes every time. I have a toddler, who keeps me busy. But I never compensate cooking for any reason. That is how much I love cooking.

I came into this world of blogging about a month back and have few entries now. But I am sure, I will keep updating as and when I get time. I am totally addicted to blogging now . It motivates me to try many new dishes and my husband absolutely loves it :-) .

I was totally lost where to start introducing myself as a food blogger. Many thanks to EC for giving us this opportunity to introduce ourselves in her space. Please join my happiness through my blog and viit my space whenever you get a chance.

Mysore masala dosa


Potato filling (as in masala dosa)
2 garlics peeled
1/2 tsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
3-4 red chillies
1 small onion chopped

Grind the garlic pods, tamarind paste, salt, red chillies and onion to a paste with less water.

Heat tava and pour a ladle full of batter to make a dosa. Spread some red chutney over it and some oil in the sides.

Add some potato sabzi in the center.

When the bottom starts getting brown and crispy, fold the dosa without letting out the potato curry and serve hot with chutney/sambar of your choice.
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Palak Laccha paratha


1 cup wheat flour
1 cup chopped spinach
Salt to taste

Put the chopped spinach in a vessel and heat it by covering it with a lid. In a few minutes, the spinach will get cooked and greener. Cool and grind it to a fine paste. Add salt to the wheat flour mix well and add the spinach paste to make a soft dough. Add water as required. Keep covered for 15 minutes. Knead again and make balls. Dust with flour and roll into a thick chapati. Spread some ghee and some flour over it and fold it like a handfan in pleats. Then roll it into a round and seal the edge by pressing it in the center.

Dust with flour and roll into thick parathas and cook on hot tava with oil/ghee till brown spots appear on both sides. Serve hot with some spicy sidedish.
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Sprouted Horsegram pulav


1 cup sprouted horsegram
2 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
Piece of cinnamon
1 medium onion chopped lengthwise
2 small carrots chopped lengthwise
4-5 beans chopped
Few green peas
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder/ pulav masala
1 cup rice (soaked for 1/2 hr)
Few roasted cashews
Few raisins
Finely chopped coriander leaves

Heat oil, add cumin seeds, cloves, bayleaf and cinnamon. When the cumin seeds splutter, add the chopped onions and fry till pinkish. Add chopped carrots, beans, sprouted horsegram and peas and fry for a minute. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and finally the soaked rice. Mix well. Add 2 cups of water (depending on the rice quality reduce if required) and pressure cook till soft.

Garnish with roasted cashews, raisins and finely chopped coriander leaves.

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Brown sugar Sakkarai pongal


2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup cooked greengram dal (moong dal)
1.5 - 2 cups of brown sugar (depending on personal tastes)
2 tbsp ghee
Roasted cashews
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Heat the brown sugar with little water till it melts well and gets to a sticky consistency. Add the cooked rice and dal and mix well. Add ghee, cardamom powder and mix well. You can add more ghee as per taste.

Garnish with roasted cashews and raisins.
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Eggless Bakery butter biscuits


1 cup all purpose flour/maida
1/2 cup vanaspati/shortening
3/4 cup sugar powdered
Bit of vanilla essence

Sieve the sugar and flour together to remove any lumps. Add the essence and mix well. Add the vanaspati little by little and keep mixing till you get a dough. Make small balls of it and flatten them a bit.

Preheat oven to 180 deg. Arrange the flattened balls leaving some gap between each biscuit. Bake in convention mode for 8 mins. Cool for 10 minutes before storing in an air tight container.

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Simple Indian food blog (author- EC) is the legal copyright holder of the material and pictures in this blog and it may not be used, reprinted, or published without the written consent of the author. All the measures used in the recipes are approximate. Please adjust the spices as per your taste. For any queries, please email us at easycrafts@gmail.com