Side Dishes for Rotis/Dosas/ Naan.

Andhra Vankaya Gravy (Brinjals cooked in peanut tamarind gravy)

This was an amazing dish made by my friend P to a potluck at least three  years back , but she had made it with peppers. I simply loved the gravy and its tastes with the nuttiness of the sesame and the creaminess of the poppy seeds. This is pretty much a very common dish in all andhra households, but then I wanted my own spin to it. I called her last week and I told her that I really really needed to make that dish which she had brought in to the potluck. I wrote it down on the back of a Trader Joes receipt and safely stashed in in to my bills bin! And then the searcing I had to do, to get it back and try the dish when I wanted!!!!  I made this dish with eggplants and they spun out in to a completely different flavour! When made with peppers, its super aromatic and amazingly tasty too! I am guessing it could be made with bhindi too but that would be an experiment for another day! Try this one and you`ll love the tastes that it brings forth!


2 Long Japanese Eggplants ( Use 10 medium sized Indian Eggplants)

1 Onion chopped fine.

3 Spoons White Sesame Seeds.

3 Spoons Khus Khus.

3/4 Cup Raw Peanuts.( Use skinned roasted peanuts if available)

2 Tsp Dhania Powder.

2 Tsp Coconut Powder.

1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1 Tsp Ginger Garlic Paste.

1/2 Cup Tamarind Water.


Oil as needed.

1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin Seeds.


  • Roast the raw peanuts in a dry kadai, until you get the aroma and allow to cool. Set aside. If you like, you can remove the skin from the skins.
  • In another kadai, add a spoon of oil and jeera, and pop in the sliced eggplants. Allow to cook in the oil and slowly turn it around making sure that the eggplants dont break. Add sufficient salt for the eggplants and allow to cook just enough.

  • Roast the khus-khus and white sesame seperately.
  • Grind the peanuts, khus khus, white sesame to a coarse mix. Set aside.
  • In a kadai, add a spoon of oil and when hot, add mustard, jeera  and onions. Allow to brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute well.
  • Add the coarse powder and mix well. Also follow up with salt, red chilli powder, dhania powder, and coconut powder.
  • Keep the flame on SIM and add 1/4 cup water.
  • Allow to simmer and cook well.
  • Add the sauteed eggpants and then turmeric and salt.
  • Add a little tamarind water and allow to come together.When you see the oil seperating from the gravy, then you know its time to wrap it all up.
  • Switch off the flame and garnish with chopped cilantro.


Substitute this dish with peppers for another completely different taste of this dish.

The oil seeping out from the gravy is the only point when this dish is done. So allow this to happen and only then switch off the stove.

Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins. · Kid Friendly Recipes.

The best brownies ever – A brownie recipe you cant go wrong with!!!

The Best Brownies Ever!!!!

There is always a search for the best recipes for all of our favorites – Hyderbadi Biriyani, restaurant style Veg Pulav, Fried Rice, or a favorite sweet….my search was for the best brownie recipe ever. …It has to be simple , measurable, chewy, moist , yet slightly crusty and finally EASY!!! This recipe is borne out of multiple research attempts out of so many recipes over a few months. One video on Youtube helped my immensely with the procedure. One pot over a stove!!! and the rest fell in place…Try it and there is really no looking back….6 Basic ingredients, one pot over a stove, and 30 minutes in the oven!!! Go ahead and give it a try and the best brownies made at home,  would never be store bought again!!! The next search is for the best eggless brownie recipe ever!!!!

Level : Easy.

Time Taken : Under 45 minutes.

Makes : 16 Medium Sized Brownies.


1 1/2  Sticks of butter (3/4 Cup).

2/3 Cup Cocoa.

1 2/3 Cup Sugar.

1/4 Tsp Salt.

2 Eggs at room temperature.

1 Tsp Oil.

1 Tsp Vanilla Essence.

1 Cup All Purpose Flour.

1/3 Cup Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips ( Could be substitued for any good quality chocolate).


The best part of this batter preparation is that its completely fool proof AND its all done in one go – one vessel over the stove, a whisk and some measuring and adding!

  • Take a deep dish with a strong base, and add the 1 1/2 sticks of butter to it. Place a whisk in to the dish and allow the butter to  melt slowly on low flame.
  • Meanwhile butter an oven proof dish and preheat the oven to 350F/180C.
  • Lay out all your ingredients in an assembly line  on the counter so you can reach to them when they are needed.
  • Measure out the 2/3 Cup of cocoa powder and slowly dunk it in to the melted butter.
  • The cocoa laps up the butter happily and glistens.

  • Continue whisking and add the 1 2/3 Cup pf Sugar, and the 1/4 tsp of salt.
  • Whisk and at this stage it gets a little gritty with the sugar crystals. Keep going!
  • Add the eggs one at a time and whisk them in. This stage gives the brownie batter all the body it needs. You are still on low flame so make sure you keep whisking.

  • Flavour the brownie with the vanilla essence and mix it all in.
  • Now measure out exactly 1 cup of flour and add it to the pot. Slowly fold the flour it to the silky batter.
  • At the last stage add the 1/2 cup of chocolate chips and let them melt in.

  • You are left with soft silky brownie batter. Pour this in to the  oven proof tray and smoothen.
  • Bake for 30 – 35 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool considerably and then cut them in to little squares.
  • Transfer to an air tight cannister and enjoy soft, chewy brownies again and again!


  1. You can line the oven proof dish with parchment paper to cut down on the mess and the grease! Simply topple it upside down when the brownie cools and cut them in to desired shapes!
  2. Keeping the flame on LOW is very important to the whole procedure.  Baking is a science, and and art, and rules must be followed else you would be left with chocolate omlettes!
  3. The baking time largely depends on the make of the OTG oven, temperature fluctuations, size of the oven, nad of course, the quantity of the brownies made! If you have doubled this recipe, time taken would definitely be more.
  4. Try these delicious brownies and let me know your reflections, observations and any suggestions!!!


Easy LunchBox Series. · Snacks & Tiffin Items

Grilled Cucumber Sandwich

Everyday lunch for my older one has to be a creative, in bite size pieces, healthy, proportionate to her palate, seasoned, yet not filled with curry powders and masalas.  It has to be healthy, but not loaded with veggies and stay crisp yet soaked in the sauces. It has to hold shape until afternoon, yet not get too dry that you would need to wash it down your throat. I love making grilled sandwiches, as they slightly tank up the taste and hold on to their filling. As far as the fillings are concerned, really sky is the limit and is well governed by what is leftover in the refrigerator.


4 Slices of Bread.

Cucumber round slices as needed.

Egg Free  Mayo.

Salad Veggies diced.( i used a combination of cabbage, brocolli and lettuce as available in the Asian Kit)




Hummus as needed.

Chopped cilantro.


  • Warm the griller/ toaster and slather the bread slices with a layer of egg free mayo. PLace them face up on the sandwich maker.
  • Arrange sliced cucumbers over the mayo and top with cut salad pieces.
  • Now place another bread slice with hummus spread on them.
  • Add more veggies like cucumber and top with chopped cilantro.
  • Place a layer of American cheese slice and finish off with another slice of bread.
  • Grill and serve HOT with a side of marinara sauce or ketchup.