Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Set Dosa – Soft and Spongy Dosa

Set dosa is a popular breakfast item at Udupi restaurants in Bangalore. It usually comes as a set of three soft and thick spongy dosas served usually with sago or vegetable korma. The best part of this dosa is that it is oil free and remains soft and spongy even when cold. Serve this with mixed vegetable korma and you have a complete and nutritious meal.
Like with other urad dal based dosas, proper fermentation of the batter is very important to get spongy dosa. Fermentation time may vary depending on the local climate. During summer time, 8 hours of fermentation is sufficient for the batter to raise well.

Idli/Dosa rice – 2 cups (You may also use 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice)
Aval/poha/avalakki – 1 cup
Urad dal/uzhunnu parippu – ½ cup
Fenugreek/methi seeds – 1½ tsp
Water as needed
Salt as needed

While preparing dosa:
Oil to taste

Cooking Time:
Soaking time for ingredients – 6-8 hours
Grinding batter – 20 mins
Fermentation – 8-12 hours
Dosa making time – 2 mins/dosa
Makes 25-30 set dosas

Making batter:
Wash and soak rice in water in a bowl. Wash urad dal and fenugreek seeds and soak in water. Let these sit for about 5 hours.
Wash poha/aval in water just before grinding. Drain the water.
Add soaked urad dal, fenugreek seeds, and washed aval to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smoote paste. Remove the ground paste from the mixer and transfer to a large bowl.
Add rice to the mixer. Add small quantities of water and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the bowl containing the urad dal batter. Add salt. Use your right hand to mix the batter well. The batter should be idli batter consistency. You may add water to make it the right consistency. Remember, you can always add more water if needed but if you make the batter watery, your will not get the right texture of dosa. Adding the right amount of water at this stage is very important. A very thin or thick batter may not ferment well.
Set the batter aside in a warm place to ferment for at least 8 hours.
After 8 hours, you will notice that the batter has risen well and almost doubled. Use a ladle to stir the batter and mix it well.

Making dosa:
Heat an iron tawa. When the tawa is appropriately hot, place it on medium heat and pour one ladle of batter on the tawa and gently spread it around to make a small round shape (about 5 inches/similar to the size of a CD-ROM). Do not spread thin like the regular dosa. Keep the flame in medium. If the batter is fermented properly and if the heat is right, you will notice holes forming on the surface of the dosa. You may choose to sprinkle oil around the edges. You may skip this also.
Set dosa is usually not cooked on both sides. Personally, I prefer cooking it on both sides. But, if you choose to cook it only on one side, after spreading the batter on the tawa, cover it with a lid.
When you notice the edges turning crisp, flip the dosa and cook for less than a minute.
Remove the dosa from the tawa, place on a serving plate, and serve hot with vegetable korma or chutney.

You can also sprinkle milaga podi on the dosa just before serving.

I used 1 cup unpolished raw rice and 1 cup boiled rice and hence the dosas are slightly red.
If you live in colder regions, place the ground batter near the refrigerator/warm stove to aid in proper fermentation.

Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tamarind Rasam Style Oatmeal

Simple, easy, tasty, and healthy. This recipe was on the Quaker Oats cover and I tried it with slight modifications and the result was good. This is a very easy option and good for people who don’t prefer a sweet breakfast of oats cooked in milk and sweetened with sugar/honey/jaggery.

Rolled oats – 1 cup
Tomato – 1
Tamarind – small marble size
Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp (adjust as per taste)
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Garlic (chopped) – 1/2 tsp
Water – 3 cups
Curry leaves – few
Coriander leaves (chopped) – 1 tbsp
Oil – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Jeera powder/crushed jeera – 1/2 tsp
Rasam powder – 1 tbsp

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 3 cups

Soak the tamarind in half a cup of warm water. Keep aside for 5 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind to extract all the juice discarding only the remaining pulp and retaining the water.
Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
Add chopped garlic and curry leaves. Let the garlic turn light brown.
Add coriander powder (you may replace this with rasam powder also).
Immediately add chopped tomato.
Stir and then add plain water and tamarind water.
Add jeera powder and pepper powder.
When water starts boiling, add rolled oats. Stir and cook until the oats gets cooked and the mixture thickens (approximately 5 minutes).
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot.

Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Avalakki Upkari (Mangalore Style Dry Poha)

Avalakki UpkariWhy maggi when you can cook a wholesome nutritious meal from scratch in less than 10 minutes? Avalakki Upkari is a recipe of coastal Karnataka. I tasted this first and learned about it from my colleague (Yes, the best part of going to office is the lunch time 😀 ). I was completely hooked to the humble yet brilliant taste. A great breakfast or evening snack that is easy to prepare. Probably as fast as maggi but beats maggi in taste and nutrition! Pair it with boiled sprouts and you have a perfect meal. 🙂

Paper avalakki/paper poha/thin beaten rice flakes – 2 cups
Finely chopped onion – 1/4 cup
Coconut grated – 1/4 cup
Sugar – 1 tsp
Green chilli – 1
Coriander Leaves/Cilantro/Green Dhania – 2 tbsps
Salt as needed

For Tempering:
Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves – 1 sprig
Turmeric a pinch

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 2 mins
Serves 2

In a large vessel, mix the beaten rice flakes, finely chopped onion, grated coconut, sugar, finely chopped coriander, and salt. Use your hands to mix the ingredients together.

Crackle mustard seeds in oil, add a pinch of turmeric, curry leaves, and chopped green chilly, and add this to the poha mixture. Mix well again using hands.

1. Serve with boiled green mung dal (sprout for better nutrition) with a pinch of salt garnished with grated coconut and a tempering of mustard seeds.
2. You may add roasted peanuts to the poha.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Millet Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Thinai (Foxtail Millet) Appam and Potato Mappas

Potato Mappas and Thinai AppamNever before have I thought of, collected info and ingredients, prepared, and executed a recipe with such urgency and efficiency. Appam is one of my favorite breakfasts and I wanted to try appam with Foxtail/Thinai millet. I was really excited about this gluten-free and healthy breakfast option. Soaked the ingredients (randomly without any reference), ground the batter yesterday evening. I tried to think of what side dish to prepare and suddenly remembered the vendakka mappas (a type of Okra stew, a typical Kerala preparation) curry that used to be my favorite while living in Kochi. Being unfamiliar with the dish since this is not prepared in our region, I read some recipes online and tried the same recipe with potato instead of okra. Both appam and mappas turned out to be excellent. Had to share this immediately with Samagni readers.

Foxtail Millet Appam

Foxtail millet – 2 cups
Raw rice – 2 cups
Grated coconut – 1-1/2 cups
Cooked rice – 1-1/2 cups
Salt as needed
Water as needed
Sugar – 1 tsp (to be mixed with the batter next morning)
Yeast – 1 tsp (optional – i skipped this)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Soaking time: 4-5 hours
Grinding time: 10 mins
Fermentation time: Overnight (8-12 hours depending on the climate)
Makes roughly 20-22 appams

Soak the millet along with raw rice for about 4-5 hours. Using a mixer to grind this
along with grated coconut and cooked rice to a smooth paste by adding adequate amounts
of water. Make a batter of dosa battery consistency. Keep aside to ferment overnight. In
warmer regions, overnight fermentation is enough. But in colder regions, you may need to
add yeast and keep the batter at a warm place (near the stove or closer to the
refrigerator compressor). In the morning, add a teaspoon of sugar to the batter and mix

To learn how to make appams, click here.

I did not add yeast to the batter but yet it turned out fluffy and crisp at the edges. You may choose to add skip it.

Potato Mappas

Potato – 300 gms, peeled and sliced 1″ lengthwise
Onion – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Tomato – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Green peas – 1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces
Garlic – 1 tsp, thinly sliced 1-inch pieces

Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Garam masala – 1/2 tsp (you may use whole ingredients)
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp (optional)
Green chilies – 2
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut milk powder/coconut milk – 50 gms/1 cup (I used two 25 gm Maggi coconut milk
powder packets)
Salt as needed
Cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon (Optional)

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves 3-4

Heat oil (coconut oil is preferred because this is a Kerala dish) in a pan and add mustard seeds.
When mustard seeds splutter, add chopped ginger, garlic, slit green chilies, and curry leaves. Saute for a minute. If you are adding cardamom pod, clove, cinnamon, add it at this stage.
Add sliced onion and cook for 5 mins.
Add chopped tomatoes. Stir and cook for 2 minutes. Add all the masala powders, i.e., coriander, chili, turmeric, pepper, garam masala. Saute and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add chopped potato and green peas. Stir. Add a cup of water.
Empty one packet of coconut milk powder into one cup water to make a thin coconut milk. Add this to the vegetables. Close with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until gravy thickens and potatoes and green peas look well cooked. Add salt, cover and cook for 2 more minutes.

Mix the other coconut milk powder packet in half a cup milk. Add this thick coconut milk to the dish, simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove from fire. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

You may use some cashew nuts while making mappas. Soak the cashew in warm water for 5-10 mins. Grind to a smooth paste and add this to the gravy when you add the first set of coconut milk.

Breakfast, Drinks, Vegan

Apple Beet Carrot Juice

beet carrot juiceA simple and healthy raw juice packed with goodness. Best to have any time of the day. Some beneficial substances in beet are lost when cooked so having beet raw provides maximum benefits. Raw beet has many desirable side effects. To list a few, it helps fight cancer, lowers blood pressure, and relaxes blood vessels. But don’t be surprised if your stool and urine turns red! 🙂

Beetroot – 1 small or 1/2 of a large one
Carrot – 1 medium
Apple – 1/2
Ginger – 1/2 piece
Mint leaves – 5-10
Rock salt/kala namak (optional) as needed
Water as needed


Preparation time: 7 mins
Making time: 5 mins
Makes 1 large glass

Peel and dice beetroot and carrot. Cut the apple into medium size pieces. Peel ginger.
I do not have a juicer and hence made it in the mixer. Place all ingredients in the mixer and process until liquefied. Pour the contents of the mixer into a large strainer and collect the strained juice in a vessel. Process the strained pulp once again in the mixer adding small quantities of water.
Repeat the straining process.
Enjoy fresh and healthy beet juice.

Bachelor-friendly, Breakfast, Salads, Vegan

Fruits and Beet Salad

Fruit and beet saladDays are getting warmer. Summer is here and so are the summer fruits. Oranges, watermelon, and pineapples have already flooded the market. Just think about the caring ways of Mother Nature. During the sunny months, she provides us with juicy and watery fruits that can nourish us with the right things and during cold winter months, She gives us abundant root vegetables that can keep our body warm. When I think about this marvel, I cannot help but be thankful to Her and to the farmers and all others who have toiled to bring us this bounty. I think of them and Mother Nature with warmth and gratitude as I savor every bite of food.

During warm summer days, all I feel like eating is a salad. I find so much comfort in fresh raw and crunchy natural food. I have been trying out new salads and here is one more that you will love. This recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal’s version.

Just dont bother about proportions here. Just throw in all fruits you have at home and it would taste just fine. Try not to use fruits that do not retain their firmness for long or tend to get mushy. 🙂

Fruits and beetIngredients:
Pineapple (peeled and sliced) – 1 cup
Apple – 1
Orange – 1
Beetroot – 1
Watermelon (peeled and sliced) – 1 cup
Pomegranate kernels – 1 cup

For salad dressing:
Orange juice of 1 medium sized orange
Olive oil – 1 tsp
Rock salt a generous pinch
Pepper powder a pinch
Lemon juice – 1 tsp (optional)

For garnish:
Mint leaves – few
Crushed roasted peanuts – a fistful

Preparation Time: 20 mins
Chilling Time: 30 mins
Serves 4

Salad dressingMethod:
Boil the beetroot, peel the skin, and chop into cubes. Dice the watermelon, pineapple, and apple. Remove the orange peel of one of the oranges and separate the segments. Add this along with the diced fruits and beetroot. Add pomegranate kernels also into this.

Slice the other orange horizontally and extract the juice using a plain juicer. To this orange juice, add olive oil, salt, and pepper powder. Mix well. Pour into the bowl of cut fruits and beetroot. Toss around so that the flavors blend in. Add some lemon juice if you prefer more tart. Chill in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Before serving, garnish with fresh mint leaves and crushed roasted peanuts if desired.

Breakfast, Dosas, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Tiffin, Vegan

Ada Dosa with Drumstick Leaves

Ada dosaAda dosa is a popular traditional morning breakfast or evening tiffin in Kerala Iyer households. It is a thick dosa made of coarsely ground parboiled rice and lentils. It is a balanced food consisting both carbs and protein and after having a couple of adais, your stomach feels very full for at least 3 hours. Adai is a family favorite and we make two variations. One is with rice and multiple dals and the other one with rice and chana dal and drumstick leaves/methi leaves mixed in the batter. This is a very good way of including greens in your diet. Earlier I had shared a soft and instant dosa with drumstick leaves made of raw rice. Check it out here.

Moringa leavesIngredients:
Parboiled rice/idly rice – 2 cups
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Shallots/asafetida(hing) – a handful of shallots or 1/2 tsp hing
Dry red chilies – 6-8
Water – just enough to grind to medium consistency
Salt to taste

Drumstick leaves – 1 cup tightly packed
Methi leaves – 1 cup washed and chopped

For Dosa:
Sesame oil/groundnut oil – 1 tsp per adai

Preparation time:
Soaking: 3-4 hours
Grinding: 10 mins
Cooking time: 3 mins/dosa

Wash and soak the rice, chana dal, and dry red chillies together for 3-4 hours. Grind the soaked ingredients along with handful of shallots (or 1/2 tsp asafetida) coarsely. Since only coarse grinding is necessary, you may use a mixer to grind in batches. Add necessary amounts of water to grind the batter to a medium consistency. Do not make it too loose. Add salt and drumstick leaves/chopped methi leaves to the batter. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. Ada dosai batter does not require fermentation.

Heat an iron griddle. Use a cotton cloth to grease the griddle with sesame oil.

Ada dosaWhen the griddle is hot, spread a ladleful of batter and spread around to make a thick dosa. My grandmother never used to a ladle to spread adai. She would use her hand to spread the batter around.

Drizzle oil around the adai batter and in the middle. Do not economize on oil. Since this is a thick dosa, a good amount of oil is needed so that the batter gets cooked properly. Cook in medium heat.

When the sides start getting brown, turn over and cook the other side. Cook until both sides turn crisp.

Remove from tava and serve hot. Since this is a spicy dosa, it does not need chutney. It is traditionally served with unsalted white butter or jaggery.