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Paneer Tikka Kathi Roll

Kathi roll is a street-food originating from Kolkata. Originally it was made with a kati kabab enclosed in a paratha but over the years, the kathi roll has got many variants. Today different types of fillings are made with mixed vegetables, potato, paneer and egg. Kathi roll makes an easy and filling on the go breakfast option and is ideal to pack for lunchbox.

South Vs North Challenge, a montly event started by Divya, is a platform to learn and try authentic recipes from different parts of India. This month, Minnie of The Lady8Home challenged the South team with these delicious paneer tikka kathi rolls. The paneer tikka by itself was so delicious that I couldn't resist gobbling up few pieces of paneer! You can have the rolls just as such or serve them with mint chutney.


{ Wheat flour rolls filled with paneer marinated in spices, capsicum, onion and tomato }
Makes 6-8 rolls


For the paneer tikka:
2 cups paneer cubes
1 medium green capsicum, cut into cubes
1 medium onion, cut into cubes
1 medium tomato, cut into cubes
1 tsp kasoori methi / dried fenugreek leaves
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

For marination:
1 tsp gram flour / besan
1 tsp chat masala powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp cumin powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
½ cup yogurt, whisked
Salt to taste

For the tikka masala:
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 green cardamom
2 cloves
1 dry red chili
2" stick cinnamon

For the salad:
1 small carrot, cut into thin match sticks
1 small cucumber, cut into thin strips
1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
1 green chilly, finely chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ tsp black salt
¼ tsp sugar

For the roti:
2 cups wheat flour / atta
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste
½ cup coriander leaves


For the paneer tikka:

1. Take paneer in a bowl and add the besan, spices, yogurt, salt and combine well. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

2. Dry roast the spices for tikka masala and ground them to a powder.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add the ground masala. Fry in a low flame for a minute and then add capsicum. Fry for 2-3 minutes and then add the marinated paneer.

4. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Then add the onion, salt and cook till it becomes soft. Then add the tomatoes, kasuri methi and fry for 2-3 minutes.

For the salad:

1. In a bowl mix carrots, cucumber, onion, tomato, green chillies and coriander leaves.

2. Add lemon juice, sugar, salt and mix well.

For the roti:

1. In a bowl mix together flour, salt and oil. Add warm water and make a soft and smooth dough. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Divide into equal portions and roll out into a thick disc. Place some chopped coriander in the middle and roll again to a slightly thick roti.

3. Heat a tawa and cook the roti on both sides drizzling some oil till brown spots appear.

4. Cook the remaining roti and keep them covered.

To assemble the roll:

1. Place a roti and place some salad in the middle. On top of that, place some paneer tikka mixture.

2. Roll and wrap with aluminium foil or butter paper.

Notes and Tips

  • Do not roll the roti too thin or too thick. Make sure not to cook the roti for long, it will become dry and will be difficult to roll.
  • You can make plain roti and stuff with paneer tikka mixture and serve the salad as a side.

Paruppu Thogayal

Paruppu thogayal is a simple and easy, coarsely ground thick chutney made with toor dal (yellow pigeon peas), dried red chillies, coconut and peppercorns. Paruppu thogayal goes well with rasam, kuzhambu varieties like vatha kuzhambu or kara kuzhambu and even with curd rice. It can be also served with idli and dosa. The thogayal stays good for 3-4 days when refrigerated.

Thogayals come to my rescue on days when I feel exhausted to cook a complete lunch meal. This paruppu thogayal with hot steaming rice and dollop of ghee alone makes a delicious and comforting meal. Traditionally curry leaves are not added, but I like the lovely flavor and aroma it imparts to the thogayal. Whenever I make vatha kuzhambu, I make this paruppu thogayal as they make an excellent combination. Off to the recipe now!


{ Lentil dip with coconut, peppercorns and red chillies }
Serves 4


½ cup toor dal / thuvaram paruppu / yellow pigeon peas
½ tsp black peppercorns
4 dry red chillies
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
1 large garlic pod
4-5 curry leaves
3 tbsp grated coconut
1 tsp gingelly / sesame oil
Salt to taste


1. Heat ½ tsp oil in a pan and add the toor dal. Fry in medium flame till golden brown. Set aside to cool.

2. Add the remaining ½ tsp oil and add peppercorns, red chillies and asafoetida. Fry for 1-2 minutes or till the peppercorns start popping.

3. Add garlic, curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Then add coconut and fry for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

4. Once everything cools, first grind them without adding water to a coarse powder. Then add water and grind to a semi coarse paste.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust the amount of red chillies according to your spice level. Use 2 chillies for a milder thogayal.
  • I love the subtle flavor of garlic in the thogayal but you can skip the garlic if you don't like it.
  • Do not burn or over roast the dal, else the thogayal will taste bitter.

Aloo Beans Sabzi | Potato Green Beans Fry

Potato and green beans fry is a simple no fuss curry that can be made in just 15 minutes. All you need is potatoes, beans and some basic spices from our masala dabba. The first time I had this combo was in a small hotel in Bangalore, in their thali meal. I loved the combination of potatoes and beans, and since then I have been making this sabzi frequently. If you are looking for a quick side dish for roti or dal-chawal, this one is just perfect!

Aloo beans sabzi is healthy and is great to carry for lunch with some roti / pulao. Its a no-onion no-garlic recipe, so ideal to make during vrat days. Green beans or french beans are low in calories and a good source of fiber and vitamins. Potato is one such vegetable that pairs up with any vegetable beautifully and makes the dish hearty. Serve this sabzi hot with roti / phulka, curd and some fresh salad for a tasty and wholesome meal.


{ Potato and green beans fry with Indian spices }
Serves 2


1 large potato
250 grams green beans
2-3 dry red chillies
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp cumin powder / jeera powder
½ tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp amchur powder / dry mango powder
1 tbsp oil
Salt to taste


1. Peel the potato and cut into medium cubes. Trim the edges of beans and cut into 1 inch long pieces.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add red chillies and asafoetida. Add the potatoes and fry for a minute. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.

3. Then add beans, spice powders and salt. Sprinkle 2-3 tbsp of water and mix well. Cover and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring in between.

4. Adjust salt if required and cook uncovered for another 2-3 minutes.

Notes and Tips
  • If you don't have amchur powder, you can squeeze some fresh lemon at the end.
  • Adjust spices according to your preference.

Patterned Chocolate Swiss Roll

I feel very excited and happy today to share with you all a special post, my blog's 200th post. Blogging has made me experiment with new cuisines and baking and helped me explore my photography skills. I appreciate my visitors who take time to visit my blog, comment/like my posts, try my recipes and leave feedback, which really boosts me to keep going. I want to thank my family, friends, readers, bloggers and silent followers for their feedback, support and encouragement.

For this special post, I made this heart patterned chocolate swiss roll filled with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I was on the plan to bake a rich chocolate cake for the 200th post, when Pallavi of Thou Shalt Cook suggested a chocolate roll cake for this month's Home Bakers Challenge, an group started by Priya's Versatile Recipes. I adapted the cake recipe from here and I followed this video for the pattern.

Being a novice baker, I was sceptical to make this cake roll, but thanks to Gayathri who shared her recipe and boosted me to try out this cake. I did stumble while piping out the patterns and rolling, but somehow managed to complete the cake in one piece! And am really delighted by the end result, not bad for the first attempt! The cake turned out very light, and soft and the cream - strawberry combination lifted the taste of the cake. Off to the recipe!


{ Heart patterned chocolate swiss roll cake with whipped cream and strawberry filling }
Recipe Source ~ Cooking by Moonlight | Dulce Delight
Makes a 13 x 10 inch roll


For the pattern:
1 egg white
30g granulated sugar
40g all purpose flour
20g butter
Food color of your choice

For the cake:
½ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
½ cup sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp instant coffee powder

For the filling:
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp powdered sugar
10-12 strawberries


To make the pattern:

1. Beat the egg white lightly. Add sugar and flour and mix well. Add butter and stir until the paste is smooth.

2. Add the food color and mix well. Transfer to a piping bag with a small tip.

3. Place your template one one side of a baking pan and line parchment paper over the template.  I used a 13 x 10 pan.

4. Using the template as a guideline, pipe the pattern on the parchment paper. Put the pan in freezer for at least 15-20 minutes.

To make the cake:

1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and coffee powder and set aside in a bowl.

2. Take the egg whites in a large bowl and whip them using a electric whisk until it reaches stiff peaks.

3. In a bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until they become pale yellow. To this add the flour-cocoa mixture and fold in.

4. Add half of the egg white mixture and mix until well incorporated. Then add rest of the egg white mixture and fold in. 

5. Remove the template from the baking tray. Grease the parchment paper to the pan.

6. Pour the cake mixture and gently spread the cake evenly. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C | 350 F for 8 minutes.

To roll the cake:

1. Sprinkle powdered sugar on  two tea towels. Once the cake is done, flip the cake on the first towel and remove the parchment paper.

2. Now invert the cake into the second tea towel and immediately roll it with the help of the tea towel, from the side opposite to the pattern.

3. Place it on a wire rack to cool.

To make the filling:

1. Whip the cream and sugar until stiff peaks are formed.

2. Chop the strawberries.

To assemble the cake:

1. Unroll the cake. Spread the cream evenly and sprinkle the chopped strawberries. Gently roll the cake again.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not over stir the egg white mixture while mixing into the cake.
  • Instead of coffee powder, you can add 1 tsp vanilla essence.
  • Do not over bake the cake. The cake is done when it springs back when you touch the surface. 

Tomato Rasam | Thakkali Rasam

Rasam is a staple in most South Indian homes and also good to consume when we have fever and cold. Its an integral part of the sadya menu and is served as the second course. Different kinds of rasam are prepared by varying the main ingredient. I have already shared paruppu rasam and lemon rasam, today am sharing one of the most common rasam varieties -  tomato rasam.

Thakkali rasam is one of the simplest and easiest rasam recipes. Especially when you are lazy to cook or are in a hurry, this rasam is the best option as it need just few ingredients to put together. Rasam with hot piping rice and potato fry makes a simple yet heavenly meal. Leftover rasam goes well with dosa and idli. A thogayal or any thoran/poriyal pairs well with this simple rasam.


{ South Indian tomato soup with lentils and spices }
Serves 2-3


2 big tomato, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
½ tbsp tamarind paste / gooseberry sized tamarind
2 tbsp toor dal / pigeon peas
¼ tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp rasam powder
1/8 tsp asafoetida / hing
4-5 curry leaves
1 tsp jaggery
Salt to taste
3-4 sprigs coriander leaves, finely chopped

For the tempering:
1 tsp ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 dry red chilly
Few curry leaves


1. Wash and pressure cook the dal with ½ cup water and a pinch of  turmeric powder. Mash well adding about ½ cup of water and set aside.

2. Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of hot water and extract the tamarind juice. If using tamarind paste, dissolve in 2 cups warm water.

3. To the tamarind juice add tomatoes, garlic, turmeric powder, rasam powder, asafoetida, curry leaves and salt. Mix well and bring to boil.

4. Once it comes to boil, let it simmer for 6-8 minutes on low heat or until the tomatoes become soft.

5. Add the cooked dal, jaggery and mix well. Simmer till the rasam becomes frothy. Remove from heat. Add coriander leaves.

6. In a small pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add red chilly, jeera and curry leaves. Pour over the rasam.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not boil the rasam after it froths up.
  • Add lots of fresh coriander including tender stems. This lends more flavor to rasam.

Beetroot Pachadi

Pachadi is a yogurt based side dish in South India. It can prepared with a variety of vegetables like vendakkai (okra), pineapple, cucumber, tomato, beetroot, pumpkin etc in a tempered yogurt base with coconut, chillies and mustard seeds. A typical Onam / Vishu sadya is incomplete without a pachadi. 

Today am sharing beetroot pachadi, which is very common in sadya menu. Beetroot pachadi is comparatively sweet when compared to other pachadis. The green chillies and ginger adds a mild kick to balance out the sweetness. It can be served as a side dish to rice or serve with a vegetable stir fry for a light and easy lunch. This pachadi goes well with chapathi and paratha too.


{ Beetroot in a mildly spiced yogurt and coconut gravy }
Serves 2-3


1 medium beetroot, grated
½ tsp coconut oil
1 cup thick curd
Salt to taste

To grind:
¼ cup grated coconut
½ tsp mustard seeds
3-4 green chillies
½ inch ginger

For the tempering:
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves


1. Heat ½ tsp oil in a pan and saute the grated beetroot with little salt for 4-5 minutes or until its soft. Set aside to cool.

2. Grind coconut, mustard seeds, green chillies and ginger to a smooth paste adding very little water.

3. Whisk the curd and add the coconut paste. Mix well. Then add the cooked beetroot, salt and combine well.

4. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add red chillies and curry leaves. Pour over the pachadi.

Notes and Tips
  • Cool the beetroot completely before adding to the curd-coconut mixture.
  • Adjust the amount of green chillies according to your spice level.
  • Use slightly sour and thick curd.

Javaher Polow | Persian Jeweled Rice

This month, International Food Challenge is taking us to Iran and we are exploring Iranian / Persian cuisine, hosted by Savitha of Savitha's Kiitchen. Situated in the Middle East, the Iranian culinary style is unique to Iran, though is influenced from Iran's neighboring regions. Fresh green herbs and fruits such as plums, pomegranates, prunes, apricots, and raisins are frequently used. A typical Persian main dish is a combination of meat or fish with some vegetables, nuts and herbs. To achieve a balanced taste, characteristic Persian flavorings such as saffron, dried limes, cinnamon, and parsley are mixed delicately and used in some special dishes.

Javaher Polow or jeweled rice is a traditional rice served at Persian weddings and celebrations. Its made of dried fruits and nuts representing various gemstones. Saffron, carrots and orange peel make gold, barberries/cranberries make rubies, pistachios make emeralds and almonds make pearls. The flavors infused into the rice with saffron and orange blossom water are beautiful. The bottom layer of this rice forms a crust called tahdig and is considered a delicacy. Since the jeweled rice is slightly sweet, a spicy curry would be the perfect accompaniment.


{ Rice with dried fruits, nuts, orange flavored with saffron and orange blossom water }
Recipe Source ~ The Kitchn
Serves 2-3


1 cup long-grain white basmati rice
4 tsp salt
1 medium orange
3 tbsp dried barberries or chopped unsweetened dried cranberries
½ tsp saffron
3 tbsp granulated sugar
4 tsp orange blossom water
2 tsp oil, butter or ghee
2 tbsp sliced raw almonds, toasted
2 tbsp chopped raw pistachios, toasted
2 tbsp golden or green raisins
1 large carrot, cut into 2-inch long matchsticks
1-inch cinnamon stick
½ tsp cardamom powder


1. Wash the rice in a large container of water until the water runs clear. Cover again with water, add 2 tsp salt and soak for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

2. Set a small pot of water to boil. Using a vegetable peeler, peel off thick strips of rind off the oranges, including a little of the white pith. Slice these strips into very small slivers.

3. When the water is boiling, drop the slivers into the water and cook 1 minute. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.

4. Clean the barberries and place them in a sieve set inside a bowl. Cover with cold water and soak for 20 minutes. Pull the sieve and rinse under cold water. Set aside. If using cranberries, skip this step.

5. In a mortar and pestle, crush the saffron threads with a few pinches of sugar until a powder forms. Stir in 3 tsp of orange blossom water and set aside.

6. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the almonds, pistachios and sauté for a minute. Add the raisins and toss with the nuts. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

7. Heat 2 tsp of the saffron orange blossom water mixture, 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp oil over medium heat in the same pan. Add the carrots and orange peel and sauté for 2 minutes.

8. Add the remaining sugar, the remaining saffron orange blossom water mixture, the cinnamon stick and the cardamom and sauté for 1 minute.

9. Add 1 cup water, bring to a boil. Lower to medium heat and cook for about 10 minutes or until the carrots lightly caramelize and the liquid has reduced to a syrup. Drain the carrots and orange peel and reserve the syrup.

10. In a large heavy-bottomed pot with a lid, bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil. Add the remaining 2 tsp salt, rice, remaining 1 tsp plain orange blossom water to the pot.

11. Boil briskly until the rice has risen to the surface and when bitten into, a grain of rice feels soft, 6 to 10 minutes. Drain the rice and rinse with cold water.

12. Transfer and turn it to a bowl and gently mix the remaining saffron orange blossom water and the reserved carrot/orange syrup.

13. Take a large spoonful of rice at a time and gently spread it over the bottom of the pot. Give the pot a shake to even out the base. Add more spoonfuls of rice, gradually shaping it into a pyramid.

14. Wrap the lid of the pot with a clean dish towel and cover firmly to prevent steam from escaping. Cook 20 minutes over low heat.

15. To serve, arrange on a serving platter layers of rice, then the caramelized carrot - orange peel, cranberries and nut mixture.

Notes and Tips
  • Cooking the orange rind in hot water cuts down the bitterness, so do not skip it.
  • Discard the cinnamon stick from the carrot-orange syrup.
  • If orange blossom water is not available, try substituting with orange zest, but flavors may vary.

Vendakkai Moru Kootan | Okra Buttermilk Curry

Moru kootan is a classic Tamil Brahmin recipe. Its a yogurt based dish with vegetables flavored with ground paste of coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. This is different from mor kuzhambu in terms of the spices used for grinding. Moru kootan can be prepared with ash gourd (elavan), colocasia (chembu), tomato and ladies finger (okra). 

Moru kootan is perhaps one of the most easiest and quickest curry for rice. Paruppu usili is the best combination for this curry. But any mezhukkupurati or thoran/poriyal also goes well this. Moru kootan should be prepared only with sour curd. In case if your curd isn't that sour, my mom's tip is to add a marble sized tamarind while grinding the coconut paste. I served this curry with beans paruppu usili and beetroot thoran.


{ Okra in a sour buttermilk gravy with ground coconut and cumin seeds }
Serves 2


8-10 vendakkai / okra / ladies finger
1 tsp oil
1 cup thick sour curd
½ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To grind:
1/2 cup grated coconut
3-4 green chillies
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
¼ tsp vendhayam / methi seeds / fenugreek seeds


1. Grind coconut, green chillies and jeera to a smooth paste addling little water. Set aside.

2. Wash okra and pat them dry. Cut into 1 inch long pieces. Heat 1 tsp oil in pan and fry them until its soft and cooked. Set aside.

3. Pour the curd into kadai / saucepan and beat well. Add water and beat till it comes to a buttermilk consistency.

4. Add turmeric powder and heat it. Stir the curd in medium heat for 1-2 minutes. It will slowly turn into a pale yellow color.

5. Then add the coconut paste, salt and mix well. Cook for another 3-4 minutes in low-medium heat, stirring in between. Take care not to boil it.

6. Then add the fried okra and cook for a minute. Immediately remove from heat.

7. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chillies and curry leaves. Lastly add methi seeds and pour into the curry.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not boil the curd. It should be cooked in a low to medium heat. 
  • Instead of thick curd, you can use 2 cups of buttermilk. Make sure its sour.
  • If your curd or buttermilk is not sour, grind ¼ tsp of tamarind paste with the coconut.