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Pacha Payaru Sundal | Green Gram Sundal

Navratri starts tomorrow and sundal is one of the main neivedhyam (offering) prepared during this festival. Sundal is like a no onion-no garlic snack made with different legumes, beans or lentils with freshly grated coconut and simple tempering of mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies and curry leaves. Sundal is protein packed, so you can make it anytime as a healthy snack.

I have already posted few sweet and savoury sundal recipes in the blog. Today I'm posting a simple sundal wih green gram/pacha payaru which requires no soaking. If you have time, you can soak it to reduce cooking time. But if you are pressed for time, you can make this in less time without worrying about pre-soaking, as most legumes and beans require. I have posted the sweet version of this - you can check out the pacha payaru sweet sundal recipe here. Let's see how to make this easy sundal.


{ Green gram with coconut and spices }


1/2 cup pacha payaru / green gram
3 tbsp grated coconut
Salt to taste

To temper:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split urad dal
Pinch of hing/asafoetida
1 dry red chilly
Few curry leaves
1 green chilly, finely chopped


1. Pressure cook the green gram for 3 whistles adding water just enough to cover it.

2. Heat a small pan and add oil. Then add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chilly, asafoetida, green chilly and curry leaves.

3. Add the cooked green gram, coconut, salt and gently combine everything.
Notes and Tips

  • The green gram should not be over cooked and turn mushy.
  • You can add lemon juice at the end.

Onion and Poppy Seed Bialys #BreadBakers

It's the second Tuesday of the month and it's time for the Bread Baker's monthly bread! This month Wendy of A day in the life on the farm suggested to bake any international bread. I was looking for an easy bread as I knew I would end up baking at the last minute with no extra time to bake another batch if my first attempt failed!! If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.

I had Bialys bookmarked long time back when I saw some posts from my fellow blogger friends. I followed the recipe from King Arthur Flour. Bialys is a chewy round Polish bread with a small depression in the middle filled with onions and poppy seeds. The original recipe calls from high gluten flour which lends the chewiness to the Bialys but if you can also use all-purpose flour with vital wheat gluten as substitute. I added a pinch of curry powder and garam masala to the onion filling for an Indian touch :) Off to the recipe now!


{ Polish rolls filled with onion and poppy seed filling }


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 cup lukewarm water

For the filling:
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large onions, finely diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp poppy seeds


1.  Add the flour, yeast, salt and water in a food processor and knead till the dough comes together.

2. Knead by hand for about 5-7 minutes or until you get a smooth and failry stiff dough. You can use your stand mixer or bread machine to knead.

3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover it. Keep in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours or until it's just about doubled.

4. To make the filling, heat a pan and add olive oil. Add the garlic, onion and fry over medium heat till it's dark brown. Add poppy seeds, pepper, salt and combine. Set aside to cool.

5. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into 8 balls. Take a ball and shape into 4" to 5" circles with a small rim. Keep the remaining dough covered.

6. Place the shaped circles on a parchment-lined or lightly greased baking sheet. Prick the center using a fork. Place about a tablespoon of the onion filling into the center of each bialys.

7. Preheat the oven to 230 C | 425 F.

8. Top the bialys with a sheet of parchment or aluminum foil and then with another baking sheet.

9. Bake the bialys for 4 minutes. Remove them from the oven, and remove the baking sheet and parchment or foil.

10. Return the bialys to the oven, and bake for an additional 7 minutes, till they're a slightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

Notes and Tips
  • Original recipe calls for high gluten flour. 
  • You can refrigerate the dough overnight after the first rise. Next day, haw for 30 minutes and proceed with remaining recipe.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to


Varutharacha Sambar | Kerala Style Sambar

Onam is coming up next week and without a ona sadya, the celebrations are not complete. Now there are several items in a sadya that are mandatory and sambar is one of them. Once we get a little taste of the payasam and have a small fistful of rice mixed with parippu (lentils) and ghee, the real feast starts with the sambar, followed by rasam, payasam and ending with curd rice.

There are couple of sambar recipes in the blog using sambar powder and freshly ground sambar masala. The recipe I'm sharing today is a typical Kerala style sambar - more like Thrissur side - with freshly ground spices and roasted coconut. Usually when we make arachuvitta (ground spices and coconut) sambar, we do not roast the sambar. Slow roasting the spices and coconut makes this sambar taste divine and fills the whole house with a wonderful aroma. I have added different vegetables in small quanties. You can add whatever you have in hand but don't skip small onions/shallots, drumstick and pumpkin. Serve with any thoran or mezhukkupuratti.

Check out other ona sadya recipes here.


{ Kerala style sambar with freshly ground spices and roasted coconut }
Serves 8-10


3/4 cup toor dal
1/4 cup turmeric powder

1/2 tbsp coconut oil
3 tsp tamarind paste / lime sized tamarind
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Vegetables: (about 4 cups)
2 drumstick, cut into 3" pieces
1 small potato, cut into big cubes
1 small carrot, cut into big cubes
1/2 cup pumpkin / mathanga, cut into big cubes
1/2 cup ashgourd / kumbalanga, cut into big cubes
10 lady's finger / vendakka / bhindi
15 shallots
2 small brinjals, quartered

For the masala:
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
4 small onions / shallots
1/2 cup grated coconut
7-8 dry red chillies
1/8 tsp asafoetida / hing
1 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds / malli
1 1/2 tsp chana dal / kadala parippu
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds / methi / vendhayam / uluva
Few curry leaves

To temper:
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp ghee
1 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves


1. Pressure cook the toor dal with turmeric powder and 1 1/2 cup water for 3 whistles. Mash the dal and keep aside.

2.  Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup hot water and extract the pulp.

3. Pressure cook the vegetables except small onions, lady's finger and brinjal for 1 whistle or until cooked.

4. Heat oil and add all the ingredients for the masala and fry in low flame till the spices are slightly roasted and coconut has turned light golden. Cool and grind to a smooth paste adding little water.

5. Heat a large pot and add coconut oil. Add the shallots, lady's finger, brinjal and fry for 3-4 minutes. Then add the tamarind extract, salt and cook till the raw smell goes.

6. Add the remaining cooked vegetables, ground coconut-spice paste, mashed dal, salt and water as required.  Mix well and bring to boil. Simmer for 5-6 minutes.

7. In a small pan, heat coconut oil, ghee and add mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Pour over the sambar. Cover with a lid for at least 20-30 minutes before serving.


Whole Wheat Challah Bread #BreadBakers

For this month's Bread Bakers, the theme is braided breads hosted by Gayathri of Gayathri's Cook Spot. I chose to bake a simple 3-braid Challah bread. If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.

Challah, pronounced as Halla, is a Jewish braided bread and typically eaten on ceremonial occasions such as Sabbath and major Jewish holidays. The Challah bread is a slightly sweet bread, and the dough is enriched with eggs, sugar and oil. The multiple risings creates a beautiful flavor, and the egg wash gives a nice golden crust. Being my first attempt in baking Challah, I'm pretty happy with the results. Though I would like to improve my braiding skills!!! We gobbled few of the slices fresh from the oven slathered with butter! 


{ Jewish yeast bread with whole wheat, eggs and brown sugar }
Recipe Source ~ Half Baked Harvest


2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup + 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp lukewarm water
1/4 cup light olive oil
2 large eggs + 1 egg for brushing
1/2 tbsp salt
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 cup all-purpose flour


1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and 1/2 tbsp brown sugar in warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes or until foamy.

2. Add the remaining sugar, salt and oil and whisk. Then add the eggs one by one and beat until combined.

3. In a bowl combine the wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Gradually ass the flour and mix till the dough holds together.

4. Transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead until smooth for about 5-10 minutes. Grease a bowl and place the dough in it.

5. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour or until almost doubled in size. After the dough has doubled, punch down dough, cover and let rise again in a warm place for another 30 minutes.

6. To make a 3-braid challah, divide the dough into 3 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Pinch the tops of the strands together.

7. Bring the right outside rope over the center rope; that rope now becomes the center. Bring the left outside rope over the new center rope; that rope now becomes the center. Continue braiding until you reach the end. Pinch the ropes together to seal.

8. Place the braided bread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Beat remaining egg and brush it on loaves. Allow the bread to rise another hour or place it in the fridge to rise overnight.

9. When ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190 C | 395 F. Brush the bread again with the egg wash. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden. Cool on a wire rack.

Notes and Tips
  • After each rise you can let the dough sit overnight in the fridge.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

This month's Bread Baker's theme is Braided Breads and is hosted by Gayathri Kumar of Gayathri's Cook Spot.

Here is the collection of all the beautiful braided breads from our team.


Murungai Keerai Poriyal | Drumstick Leaves Stir Fry

Drumstick leaves, as you all know, are very nutritious and have numerous health benefits. You can make curry, stir-fry or add them in your dosa or adai. Couple of weeks back, I was surprised to see fresh murungai keerai in the local market - for the first time here! Anyways I got a big bunch and after some debating decided to make a stir-fry with it.

Drumstick leaves have a slightly bitter taste but the addition of shallots adds a bit of sweetness which takes away some of the bitterness. There are not really any spices in this stir-fry - a simple tempering, shallots and fresh coconut imparts flavor to this healthy dish. I served with sambar and rice - happy tummy!!! Off to the recipe now!


{ Drumstick leaves stir-fry with shallots and coconut }
Serves 3


2 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp split urad dal
2 dry red chillies, broken
2 green chillies, slit
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
1 cup chopped shallots
3 cup murungai keerai / drumstick leaves
Pinch of turmeric powder
1/4 cup grated coconut
Salt to taste


1. Wash the leaves under running water and set aside in a colander to drain.

2. Heat a pan and add oil. Add mustard seeds and when it starts to splutter, add urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida.

3. Once dal is golden, add green chillies, onions and fry till the onions are soft and transcluscent.

4. Then add the drumstick leaves, turmeric powder, salt and mix well. Cook uncovered for 5-6 minutes or till the leaves are cooked.

5. Add the grated coconut and mix well.

Notes and tips
  • You can skip the green chillies and add red chilly powder or flakes instead.
  • You can use chopped brown onion instead of shallots.

Whole Grain Date Walnut Bread #BreadBakers

Yayyy!!!! I'm back with a post after a really long gap. I'm not going to make any more empty promises to be regular, but will continue blogging whenever I can.

For this month's Bread Bakers, our host Cindy suggested to bake bread with nut flours, nut meals or simply with nuts. I was looking for a simple and healthy bread recipe when I saw date and walnut bread. It sounded so good with whole wheat, oats, flax and no butter. The bread was little dense but still tender and moist. The addition of flax and walnuts gives the bread a nice nutty texture. Definitely will try this bread again but next time will try to cut down some of the sugar.

If you love fruit and nut based breads, you must try it. The bread is good as such for breakfast or snack, If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.Off to the recipe now!


{ Quick bread with whole wheat, oass, flax, dates and walnut }
Recipe Source ~ What would Cathy Eat
Makes  9 x 5 loaf


1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup oat flour
2 tbsp ground flax
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup chopped dates
1 cup boiling water
1 egg
3 tbsp light olive oil
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup raw sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup chopped walnuts


1. Preheat the oven to 180 C | 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or line with baking paper.

2. Combine the dates and boiling water in a small bowl and let stand for 15 minutes.

3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, oil, milk, sugar and vanilla.

4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, oat flour, ground flax, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

5. Stir in the dates with their liquid and the egg mixture. Stir just to combine and fold in the walnuts.

6. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool thoroughly before slicing.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use coconut oil or any neutral or light flavored oil instead of olive oil.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

This month's BreadBakers' theme is Breads with Nut Meals and Nut Flours inspired bread, hosted by Cindy at Cindy’s Recipes and Writings.

Enjoy all these creative breads using nut meals and nut flours from The Bread Bakers Group!

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