Jenna’s Vegetable Raita

I have been trying to adapt myself to a whole new World of vegetables and fruits here in India that I am not too familiar with. I have found that here in South India rice is a staple food, and quite frankly that doesn’t work for my body for some reason. I gain massive amounts of weight and I don’t want that anymore than the next person. So, I have been trying to work with ingredients and find new ways to eat healthier. This following recipe is a favorite of mine because it has lots of veggies and its very good with dosa, chapathi, parota, roti, naan you name it. I just don’t eat with rice often.

2 small very ripe red tomatoes diced

2 stalks of green onion/spring onion chopped

1/2 cup of dry roasted peanuts (no fat added or salt)

2 green bell peppers/capsicum 1 diced and 1 sliced into strips to dip with

4 carrots: 1 carrot diced thin and 1 sliced into strips to dip with.

Optional: 1/4 cup cabbage; some kind of roti or Indian bread; the veggie sticks I always eat because we could all use more veggies!

2 cups of Indian Curd or Greek Yogurt

1 tsp salt

a dash of black pepper

Combine all ingredients diced together, salt and pepper, curd/yogurt well.

Ready to eat with Bell Pepper & Carrot strips on top of cabbage

Total Cooking Time: 15 minutes


Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower Curry

Hands down one of my most favorite foods of all time is this recipe below. If you like cauliflower and need a change, then this is it. Low in calories and delicious!

1 head of cauliflower cut in medium thin slices
1 large diced onion
1 – 2 green chilies diced
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/2 TBS of Red Chili powder
2-3 Tbs Canola Oil (dont use olive oil)
1-2 Tsp of Salt or to taste
1/2 cup water
1 diced roma/hothouse tomato

In a pan that has a lid heat the oil, onion and green chilies till onions translucent on medium heat. Then add the turmeric, salt and chili powder and stir well. Add the tomato and stir occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Finally add the cauliflower. Stir fry the ingredients for another 5 minutes then add the water. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until the cauliflower is able to be cut easily. Remove lid and stir fry until the liquid has evaporated to about 4 tablespoons left. Serve with Rice and Curd!


Garlic Pickle

Garlic Pickle

Yes another pickle…Andhra has so many…look forward to Tomato Pickle and dried green chilies…..and most important condiment in the South Indian house CURD!!

1& 1/2 Cup Garlic Cloves(peeled)
1/4 Cup White Vinegar
1&1/2 tsp Mustard seeds( roasted)
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds( roasted)
1 tsp Cumin Seeds(roasted)
10 Red Chillies (roasted)
1-1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1&1/2 tbsp Gingelly Oil
1/4 tsp Hing Powder
Few Curry Leaves

Take 1 cup of garlic cloves and keep the remaining 1/2 cup of garlic cloves aside. If the cloves are very big give them a smack using a knife or rolling pin. If the cloves are very small you can just leave it as they are.Wash the cloves well in water.And then add white vinegar,1/2 tsp salt and sugar in the garlic cloves and mix them well.Close the bowl with lid and soak the garlic overnight,so that the cloves absorbs the juices well.The next day morning if you see the cloves become soft and it sucks juices well.
Fry the remaining 1/2 cup garlic in 1/2 tsp of oil and take it out.In the same pan roast the red chillies,mustard seeds,fenugreek seeds and a tsp of cumin seeds separately one by one and let it cool for few minutes and grind them in the mix into fine paste.
Add the remaining oil in the pan and heat it.Add the remaining cumin seeds,once it started crackle add the hing powder,turmeric powder,1 tsp salt and Curry leaves.
Add the grind ed paste into pan and cook for few minutes,until the raw smell goes.Wait for few minutes and stir the continuously,until the gravy becomes thick and the color also changed to dark brown.
Drain the vinegar and add the garlic cloves into the thick gravy.Cover and cook for few minutes.
Don’t cook the garlic more,just for few minutes.Once the garlic becomes soft,remove the Pickle from the stove.Cool it and transfer it in a jar/bottle.
Soak the garlic for overnight.For best result you can soak it for one day so that the raw smell of the garlic will not be there and the garlic also sucks the juice fully.
After adding the garlic into the pan,don’t cook the garlic too much just for few minutes is enough.
Always use the small garlic for pickle.The taste will be nice than the bigger ones.

Amma’s Chicken Curry

Amma’s Chicken Curry
This is my recipe. I make it for my Husband all the time and he loves it. He actually taught me how to make it the way he likes it. This recipe calls for tomato which not all curries have. It makes a nice thick gravy which my Husband enjoys with his rice.

1 kg (2lbs) of Chicken with bones cut into 1 inch pieces *leaving the bones on.
4 large onions diced
5 green chilies diced with seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 TBS of Turmeric Powder
1/4 TBS of cumin powder
1 TBS Coriander seed powder
3-4 TBS Red Chili Powder (no less than 3 tablespoons, add more if want hotter)
1 inch of cinnamon bark broke into small pieces
6-8 whole cloves
1 tsp of Hing
3 TBS Sunflower oil or Peanut Oil
3 TBS of salt to taste
1 cup water
3 deep red ripe tomato chopped or a can of chopped tomato
1 bunch of washed coriander (in USA it is called cilantro or chinese parsley)

In a large bottom vessel heat oil. Add onion and green chili. On a medium heat get onions to a translucent color dont over cook. Add tomato, and dry mixture of spices (coriander, clove, cinnamon, cumin, red chili powder, turmeric, salt, black pepper and hing) and mix well. add 1/2 cup water and cook on high stirring often to keep from sticking or burning ingredients until the tomatoes are half cooked. Now add the chicken and mix together evenly coating all the chicken. on medium high heat cook chicken for 7 minutes stirring every 2 minutes to keep from burning gravy, covered. add 1/2 cup water once the mixture has evaporated a bit and stir well. Cook chicken for about 25 minutes. Chop up fresh coriander and sprinkle on top of chicken when done and cover. Serve with rice or roti.

Avakaya Mango (Hot Mango) Pickle- Andhra Style

Avakaya Mango (Hot Mango) Pickle- Andhra Style
Pick mangoes that are green and sour. Clean mangoes before cutting and dry with cotton cloth. Clean mangoes after cutting and dry well with another cotton cloth. MAKE SURE DRY!! Indian pickles are used as a condiment with anything you want. Once the pickle is ready the whole pieces can be eaten. Beware!! Eating too much pickle can cause heat in your body and can give you boils on your skin and terrible motions.

This is a easy way to prepare mango pickle in Andhra style. Take a bowl for measurement and measure all the ingredients with the same bowl and the pickle can be made very easily.


6 bowls of chopped mangoes (approx 10 medium size mangoes)
1 bowl of mustard powder (finely ground)
1 bowl of salt
1 bowl of Red chilli powder
2 table spoons of haldi (Turmeric)
1/2 bowl of garlic minced
2 tablespoons of methi (fenugreek)
2 tablespoons of methi Powder (roasted dry and powdered Fenugreek)
3/4 ltr. Gingely oil (sesame oil)

Mix all the ingredients (Chilli powder,haldi,methi powder, garlic mashed and garlic minced, methi and salt) except oil in a large vessel. (Remember the vessel should be dry) Put the mango pieces and mix well. Pour half of the oil and mix well. Put the mixture into a air tight container or a jar and pour the remaining oil over it. Leave it for 3 days.

After three days mix the pickle well with a dry spoon and pour oil if necessary. Taste the pickle if salt is less add little salt.(if salt and oil are not enough the pickle may get spoiled soon.)

Tip: Remember the oil should be half inch above the pickle. Keep in a dry, cool, airtight container up to one year keep the oil and salt from evaporation.DSC03683



Dondakaya Fry

dondakaya fry

Dondakaya Fry

This is a traditional recipe that my Atthayya (Mother-In-Law) has taught me. It is traditional in Andhra Pradesh where my Husband’s family is from. Dondakaya is a gourd from the ivy gourd. It is also called Tindora/Tindoora. A good substitute is fresh gherkins. This is so easy yet so tasty! Ireally like the crispiness that my Atthayya gets and she salts them quite a bit as they make the dish taste more like a fresh pickle. Most of Andhran food is eaten with rice unless I specify otherwise and since this is a fry we normally eat this with Rasaam or Dal

1/2 kg (1pound) of fresh Dondakaya cut into rounds
1/2 TBS Red Chili Powder (I prefer to take dried red chili and grind it up into a powder, then add dried garlic cloves with skin on into the powder and store no longer than four months)
3 1/2 TBS Salt
3 Cups water
1 TBS oil

Soak the dondakaya in a brine mixture of the salt and water for 1-2 hours or even overnight in fridge but use less salt if so. Drain and get as much water off of them. In a pan heat oil and then add the dondakaya with the salt and chili powder. Fry the rounds stirring every minute or so for 10-15 minutes until dark brown and crispy.

Other variations: add peanuts (groundnuts) and split yellow lentils into 2 TBS oil and fry for 3-5 minutes until the nuts and lentils are just slightly light brown then add dondakaya, salt and chili powder.

Fried Gram Chutney Recipe

Most Americans do not know what fried gram is and will have difficulty finding exactly what they need in a regular store. That is why I always suggest going to ethnic markets. You can also buy online and get better deals and save some time. You can either buy roasted/fried gram/dal or make it yourself in a hot wok with no oil and do not make them brown or black. I have been looking for a vendor in USA for them online with zero luck, so if anyone has any info on that please email me.

In South India, finding roasted/fried gram/dal is very easy. This recipe is not a traditional one in my household and the reason I included it was because chutney’s are very important in India. We use them with many different fried foods and breads. My favorite dip to this chutney is bonda/mysore buji balls (please excuse my Hindi as I rarely use it as Telugu is the language more common to me in Hyder)

Fried Gram Chutney

1/2 of a coconut grated
curry leaves 5-8
fried gram- 50 g
5 Green chilies
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste
10 g of tamarind

Grinding: together grated coconut,fried gram,green chillies,tamarind and salt into a fine paste.
Tempering: heat oil in a pan. add mustard seeds.when they splutter, add curry leaves.pour the chutney paste into it and stir well. remove from fire.
Serve with masala dosas,idlis or chapatis.