Vegetarian cooking blog

Tuesday 30 June 2020

Amla sherbat

Amla or Indian Gooseberry is a superfood and is an immunity booster. A dose of this every day during the season, which is from December, keeps colds and other infections at bay. Amla is a versatile citrus fruit of which pickles, murabba(candy form), Supari( digestive) and many other versions are made. I tried this sherbet and everyone at home loves it and they look forward to a daily dose of this refreshing drink. 

This year the Gooseberries have been in the market non-stop and one should store all the goodness they have to give. A dose of this Amla Sherbat every day certainly keeps the doctor and diseases at bay!

While you are here please do check out other recipes by Rajjo's Kitchenn by scrolling down the contents in homepage.

PREP TIME: 5 Mins (1/2 hour to blanch Amla)   COOK TIME: 5 
TOTAL TIME: 10 Mins                                         COURSE:  BEVERAGE 
CUISINE: INDIAN                                                SERVINGS:    5                     AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM

    Amla/Indian Gooseberry 200 gm
   Salt 1/2 tsp
   Grated ginger 1/2 tsp(optional)
   Jal jeera powder 1 tsp
   Lemon 1/2 of one whole
   Water 1/2 litre (ingredients can be doubled up for 1 litre) 
 Take the Amlas in a bowl, add salt and turmeric powder and pour hot water over them and keep covered for half an hour. After half an hour drain water and cool. Cut them to small pieces and puree them in a blender using little water. We want a thick puree and not a watery one. The puree can be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week. Add some salt before storing in the fridge. When required take 1/2 litre water in a vessel/jug, put 3 tbsp Amla/ Gooseberry puree, add thof salt, Jal jeera powder, squeeze a lemon and put it in the refrigerator to chill. Alternately Add all ingredients to chilled water and enjoy instantly. Cheers to a drink of good health and immunity.  


1. Assemble all ingredients. Pour hot water over the Amlas/ Gooseberry add salt and turmeric powder and keep covered for half an hour.

2. Drain the water and cut them to small pieces and blend them to a puree. The puree can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week and used as required. If storing in refrigerator add a little salt and store.

3. Take water in a 1/2 litre vessel or jug and put 3 tbsp of the Amla/ Gooseberry puree. Add required amount of salt followed by Jal Jeera powder and squeeze half a lemon. 

4. Put it in the refrigerator to chill and enjoy. Alternately one can add chilled water to the puree and enjoy it instantly. 

  1. If storing the Amla Puree for a week then add little salt and store.
  2. If you prefer the Sherbat a little sweet honey can be added. 
  3. I have not added ginger here, but a little bit of grated ginger does a world of good for the flavour. 

If you tried out this recipe, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.


This is a very traditional South Indian sweet dish. Lord Mahavishnu is offered this sweet as prasad(holy offering). The main ingredients are Rice, moong dal, jaggery, milk and ghee. The ingredients are similar to the Sweet  Pongal but both taste very different. It tastes heavenly when served a little warm. Without much ado let’s get to the recipe right away.

PREP TIME: 10Mins                                    COOK TIME:30Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 Mins                                COURSE:  MAIN 
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                         SERVINGS: 4

                                                                   AUTHOR: Rajni Ram 


Rice 1 cup
Moong dal/ green gram 1/4 cup
Milk  6 cups
Jaggery 1 cup 
Water 1/4 cup
Sugar ( optional) 1 tbsp
Ghee 3/4 cup
Cardamom/ elaichi powder 1 tsp
Saffron ( optional) 2 pinches, soaked in warm milk
Raw camphor( optional) 1 pinch powdered
Cashewnuts 8 to 10
Raisins 8 to 10

  Dry roast the Moong dal to a light brown colour. Stir constantly and take care not to burn the dal. It will give out a nice aroma. Put the jaggery in a separate vessel, add water and bring to a boil. Put off the heat and stir to dissolve the jaggery. Keep aside. Take a vessel that fits inside your pressure cooker and transfer the rice into it. Add in the roasted Moong dal and wash both the rice and dal together. Pour 4 cups milk and arrange the vessel in the cooker.  Close lid and cook for around 5 to 6 whistles. After pressure releases open lid, the rice should be well cooked and not grainy. Mash the cooked rice and dal while it’s hot, keep aside. In a pan or Urli( heavy-bottomed brass vessel ) pour 1 tbsp ghee and heat. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee to a nice golden colour and keep them aside. To the same pan add the cooked rice and dal. Strain the liquid jaggery into the rice directly and the sugar and the remaining milk( 2cups, to which saffron was added). Stir nicely. Add the cardamom powder and raw camphor powder and stir. Put off the stove and add the ghee finally. The divine tasting Akkaravadisal is ready. Tastes best when hot/ warm. Enjoy. Bone Appetite.


1. Assemble all ingredients.

2. Dry roast the Moong dal to a light brown colour. Take rice in a vessel that fits inside the cooker and add the roasted dal to it. Wash them a few times, add 4 cups milk and place the vessel inside the cooker with sufficient water at the bottom. Cook until  5 to 6 whistles. To the remaining 2 cups of milk add saffron and let soak.

3. Until the pressure releases let’s get the jaggery ready. In a small vessel take the jaggery, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, put out the stove and stir the jaggery to dissolve it. 

4. Once you open the cooker mash the contents while they are hot as it’s easier to do it then. Set aside.
In a pan/ Urli take a tablespoon of ghee and heat,  fry the nuts and raisins in it and keep aside.

5. In the same pan/ Urli transfer the cooked rice and dal and strain the liquid jaggery on it directly. Pour the saffron added milk to the mixture and stir. Add in the cardamom and raw camphor and turn off the stove. Lastly, add the ghee, garnish with the fried nuts and raisins and the Akkaravadisal is ready.

1. We strained the jaggery to remove the impurities from it.
2. Do not cook rice directly in the cooker as we are coking with milk, the milk may stick to the bottom and the dish will give a burnt taste and odour. That’s why we are cooking with a vessel inside the cooker.( to make directly checkout One pot Akkaravadisal recipe)
3. Saffron and raw camphor are optional, they give added flavour.
4. Be liberal with ghee. Cook the rice soft. If grainy add more milk and pressure cook again.
5. I have used normal rice( Sona Masoori/ Ponni). If using Basmathi avoid the raw camphor as both aroma and flavouring of both may clash.

If you made this recipe and liked it, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.


AVIAL( South Indian Mix Veg recipe)

Avial is a mixed vegetable dish popular in Kerala. Curd forms the base of the gravy. The coconut gives it body and coconut oil the flavour. A very simple yet healthy option for weight watchers, people on the move who want a quick dish to make that doesn't involve a lot of time.
Let's get to the recipe right away

PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                            COOK TIME: 15Mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins                                         COURSE:  MAIN 
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                  SERVINGS: 4
                                                                                 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

  • Ash Gourd 100 gm
  • Pumpkin 100 gm
  • Cucumber 100 gm
  • Carrot 1 medium
  • Beans 6 numbers
  • potato 1 large
  • yam (elephants foot) 50 gm
  • Raw Banana 1/2 a piece of 1 large one
  • Drumstick 2 not too thick ones
  • Capsicum 1/2
  • Green chillies 4( slit 2 lengthwise and add while veggies are cooking, 2 for grinding)
  • Coconut 1 half of a medium-sized one(grated)
  • Coconut oil 2 tsp
  • Curry leaves  10 leaves
  • Curd(slightly sour) 250 gms
  • Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Water 1.5 cups to vegetables
 Cut all vegetables lengthwise, preferably to the same size so that they cook equally. Boil the veggies in a little water, add salt and turmeric while boiling. Once veggies are cooked, drain excess water(do not throw) and keep it aside.  In the dry grinder of your mixie or processor, put in the grated coconut and green chillies and give it a nice turn, now add 3 Tbsp of curd and blend the contents well to form a smooth paste. Pour this paste into the boiled veggies and switch on the stove, stir it well and let cook for a few minutes. In the meanwhile just smoothen the curd with a spoon. Add this curd to veggies, give a good stir, cook for exactly 2 mins on low heat, do not bring the mixture to a boil and put off the stove. Check for salt and spice at this stage. Drizzle the coconut oil over the dish and add the curry leaves. Voila, the Avial is ready. Goes with hot rice and ghee.

     1. Assemble all ingredients. 

     2. Take a flat bottomed vessel and transfer all veggies,  add salt, turmeric powder and water.

    3. Let the veggies boil, takes about 10 minutes, keep stirring from bottom to top so that they cook equally. After 10 mins check for doneness. They should be cooked, yet be stiff and not become limp. Put off the stove, drain excess water and keep aside( do not discard the water)
     4. While the veggies are cooking make your coconut, green chilli and curd paste. Grind it fine, add a little of the saved broth if required to make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the cooked vegetable and allow to cook for 2 mins. Keep stirring while it cools.
    5. Lower the heat of the stove and add the remaining curd( remember we used only 2 Tbsp for grinding), at this stage, you can check for salt and spice and add more if required. Stir nicely and put off the stove. Pour 2 tsp of coconut oil and garnish with few curry leaves. 
   6. Your Avial is ready...enjoy with hot rice and ghee...Bon Appetite! 

1. This recipe has a balance between vegetables with moisture like Ash gourd, cucumber etc and tubers like Potato and Yam, so feel free to add veggies of your choice while belong to these two categories. During Mango season add a few pieces of raw mango. The possibilities are endless, just don't add onion and garlic. 
2. Avoid overcooking the vegetables. You can add more coconut if required, it only enhances the flavour.
3. This recipe tastes best with sour curd instead of fresh, as it gives that mild sourness to the dish and helps in absorbing the spice and salt. Do not whip or beat the curd, just smoothen it with a spoon.
4. Once the second batch of curd is added,  do not bring it to boil. Just stir and blend well and put off the stove.
5. I have not added Drumstick and Raw bananas, as I couldn't get them, ( as it was the lockdown time), but do use them when you make it as the Drumsticks make the Avial really flavorful and aromatic.

If you tried this recipe and liked it, comment below. Would love to hear from you.

I served Avial with Coconut try the combination 



Raita is a yoghurt-based condiment. It usually contains cooked or raw vegetables/fruits/pulses, mixed with the Yogurt/Dahi and tempered with Mustard and Jeera. The Raita is usually served with Biriyani, Pulav, Parathas, Naans or can be served as a dip for Kebabs too.
Today I chose to make Bhindi(Lady's Finger) Raita as an accompaniment for Masala Rice( recipe given in Rice section), as the crisply cooked Bhindi combines beautifully with the spiced curd and imparts a lovely texture and flavour to the Yoghurt. This Raita goes well with both North Indian and South Indian dishes.
Let's get to the recipe right away.

PREP TIME: 5 Mins                COOK TIME: 15 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 20                            COURSE:ACCOMPANIMET    CUISINE: NORTH /                                                          SOUTH INDIAN                                                                                               AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM 


Curd /Yogurt 400 gm(fresh not sour)
Bhindi /Okra/Lady's Finger 6 to 8 big ones
Jeera /Cumin powder 1.5 tsp 
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp, for more spice, add 1 tsp
Salt as per taste( some will be added while cooking Bhindi too)
Mustard 1 tsp
Jeera / Cumin whole  1 tsp
Urad dal split 1 tsp
Dry red chilli 1 big broken to bits
Curry leaves few
Asafoetida powder/ Hing 1/2 tsp 
Oil 2 tbsp 

Take 400 gm curd, smoothen it with a ladle, do not whip or churn it. Add the spice powders- red chilli powder, Jeera powder and salt to the curd. Mix gently and keep in the refrigerator to chill. Next, take 2 Tbsp oil in a Karahi/ Pan and heat. Add the tempering of Mustard, Jeera, Urad dal, dry Red chilli, Curry leaves and Hing ( asafoetida), fry to a golden colour and add in the Bhindi. On high flame saute by stirring continuously for 2 mins, add salt and continue to saute. Keep stirring from time to time until the Bhindi is cooked and turns crisp. Put off the stove and cool it. Once cooled it can now be added to the chilled spiced curd. Yummy Bhindi Raita is ready to serve. 

1. Assemble all ingredients.                   

 2. Take 400 gm Curd and smoothen it out with a ladle, don't beat or whip it vigorously. To this add the spice mix of cumin powder, red chilli powder and add salt. Stir nicely and put it in the refrigerator to chill

3.In a Karahi/ Pan heat 2 Tbsp oil and add in the tempering of mustard, jeera, hing, urad dal, dry red chilli and fry until golden in colour. Add in the Bhindi. 

4. Fry the Bhindi on high flame for 2 mins, add salt and continue to saute. Keep at it until the Bhindi turns crisp(will shrink in size). Put off the stove and cool the Bhindi. Once cool the bhindi can be added to the chilled spiced curd.

5. Bhindi Raita is ready to serve. Serve it will Parathas, Biriyanis, Pulav's or serve with Masala Rice( recipe in Rice section). Enjoy!

1. Ensure you cool the fried Bhindi before you add it to the spiced curd mixture. If it is hot the curd will thin down.
2. Always fry Bhindi on high heat and constant stirring or else it can turn slimy. 
3. If in case the Bhindi does turn slimy, then add either Idli Podi( gunpowder that's used as an accompaniment for Idlis, Check recipes under Masala Powders) or Dal powder(check recipe under powders).
another tip is to cut Bhindi few hours prior and put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Remove it from the refrigerator and don't thaw, put it in the Karahi directly.
3. why am I giving so many instructions on cooking the Bhindi?, because a crunchy Bhindi makes a good Raita.

If you tried this recipe and liked it, comment below. Would love to hear from you.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice is one such recipe which is easy to make with minimum ingredients. It doesn't need any specific accompaniment. It can be had just like that or with Papad. It's the perfect lunchbox item. The zing and freshness of lemon is enough to bring everyone to your table for their share. 
My Grandmom was an expert at making it( not that its rocket science), but her lemon rice always had that freshness of the lemon intact. So over the years I have tried and perfected it, her way and by hit and trial have found her secret of that fresh lemon flavour. I'm stressing on the flavour here because I have seen many a time the lemon flavour fails to standout the sourness is there, but the flavour is missing. This is because of cooking the lemon juice with the tempering. As the recipe proceeds, you'll understand what I mean.
I usually don't write so much of an introduction, but this recipe is just so close to my heart that I had to.
Let's get to the recipe right away.

PREP TIME: 10Mins                                COOK TIME: 40Mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins                               COURSE:  MAIN 
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                       SERVINGS: 4

Rice 1 cup ( regular rice not Basmati)
Lemon 2 medium size
Green chillies 2
Red chillies 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Curry leaves a few
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Urad dal 1 tsp
Chana dal soaked in water( for 1/2 an hour) 1 Tbsp.
Mustard 1 tsp
Peanuts 1 Tbsp
Oil 3 Tbsp( refined or sesame)  for tempering and 3 tsp for drizzling on cooked rice.

Cook the rice in a pressure cooker. You can use 2.5 to 3 cups water for 1 cup of rice.  As soon as pressure releases transfer the rice to a large plate/ tray and spread it. Drizzle little refined oil or sesame oil on it, so that the rice doesn't stick together. Allow it to cool.
In the meanwhile take 3 Tbsp oil in a Karahi/ pan and heat it. Drop the peanuts gently into the oil and fry until you see a nice golden colour. Add the mustard, as it crackles add the green and red chillies, ginger, asafoetida, urad dal, soaked chana Dal after straining the water, curry leaves and fry them till the dals are a nice golden colour. Add the turmeric powder and salt and put off the stove.  Now add the juice of 1 lemon to it and mix well. Now add the rice little by little to this tempering. Mix well so that the tempering is evenly distributed. Now squeeze the juice of another lemon on the rice and mix gently( my secret to the freshness). There the yellow beauty is ready to serve...Bon Appetit.


1. Assemble all ingredients.

2. Cook the rice in a pressure cooker. After pressure settles, transfer the rice to a large plate and spread it. Drizzle some oil on it. Allow it to cool.

3. In a Karahi take oil for tempering and heat it. Put in the peanuts and fry until golden brown.
Add all tempering ingredients- mustard, soaked chana dal( water strained), urad dal, green chillies, red chillies, ginger, Asafoetida,  curry leaves. Fry until they get a nice brown. 

4. Add the turmeric powder and salt and put off the stove. Squeeze juice of one lemon. Mix well.

5. Mix the cooked rice little by little to the tempering. Finally, squeeze the juice of another lemon on the rice and mix gently but thoroughly. Lemon rice is ready. Enjoy with some Papads.

NOTES:1. Usually, Lemon rice recipes state adding the lemon juice to the tempering, which gives the taste but not the flavour. some other recipes recommend squeezing the lemon directly over the rice. This ensures the flavour, but not the taste as the juice will not get evenly mixed. 
2. In this recipe I have divided the juice into 2 halves and added one half to tempering and another half to the rice, this gave me the perfect balance of flavour and taste.
3. Potato fry(south Indian style) goes very well with the lemon rice too, just in case you aren't the papad person.
4. You could serve the Rice with Raita too.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. Would love to hear from you. 

Chinese Paratha

This recipe is one that has been sitting in my recipe book for the past 20 years. I made this as a young mother, with no success at making Veg Hakka noodles, as I did not understand what aldente meant. 
Over the years as my journey as a budding home cook begun, I mastered the Veg Hakka part, but yet hadn't tried the fusion recipe, until I started this blog and as I   was going through all my recipe collections( a manuscript from the days when digitalization was unknown) with my daughter, she said: "why not try this now"? and I gave in to the idea and don't regret it at all. That said, this fusion recipe is a Paratha(Indian bread) with stuffed Veg Hakka noodles. Let's get to the recipe right away.

PREP TIME: 15Mins                                COOK TIME: 40Mins+30mins(cooling)
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 25 Mins                    COURSE:  MAIN 
CUISINE: FUSION                                  SERVINGS: 4
                                                                  AUTHOR: Rajni Ram     

Ingredients for paratha dough.

Wheat flour--3 cups
oil-- 1 tsp
salt--1 tsp
water for combining the dough.

Ingredients for the Veg Hakka Noodles:

Veg Hakka Noodles -- 1 packet
Onion- 1 medium-sized( can use spring onions too, finely chopped)  
Carrot --1 small grated coarsely
Capsicum- 1 finely chopped
Garlic- 5 cloves finely chopped
Green Chillies- 2 finely chopped
Tomato- 1 large finely chopped
Schezwan sauce 3 tsp
Tomato sauce 2 tsp
salt as per taste
Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Directions for Parathas:
Take the wheat flour in a deep dish or a large plate. Add salt and the oil. Mix well and add water little by little as you knead to form a stiff dough. The dough must be stiffer than the Chapati dough. If the dough is loose, add a little more flour and knead again. Form a ball of the dough. Apply a little oil to your palms and spread it on the dough. Cover and rest it for half an hour.

Directions for the Veg Hakka noodles:

Boil around 1.5 litres of water in a wide-mouthed vessel. As the water comes to a boil add the uncooked Hakka noodles( broken to small bits around a fingers length) and a tsp of salt and cook. The noodles must be cooked aldente meaning a little undone( this comes with some practise). Keep stirring so that you know when to switch off the heat. Remove a few strands of noodles from the pot and do the cook test, that is, use a spatula to cut the noodles. If it cuts through easily, put off the heat, drain water from the noodles immediately and rinse the noodles in plain water(room temperature) 2 to 3 times, and drain the water. apply a little oil to the noodles and let it cool a bit.
As the noodles cool off let's get the vegetables ready. In a wok or Karahi, take the oil and heat. Add the finely chopped garlic and green chillies and fry till you get a good garlicky aroma. Add the finely chopped onions, followed by the capsicum and saute well. Next, add in the grated carrots and cook for a minute. Now add the tomatoes followed by salt and red chilli powder and cook for a few minutes. Once the tomatoes turn mushy add both the sauces( you can mix them ahead in the said ratio) and cook until semi-dry. Add in the cooked Hakka noodles and mix well. Veg Hakka is ready. allow it to cool. This can be made ahead and kept.

Method to stuff the parathas:
Take the resting dough and divide it into 10 equal parts. If you want bigger parathas to divide into 8 portions. Take one ball, dust it with flour and roll out into a small circle. Fill it with the noodles stuffing and seal the ends nicely. Dust it with flour again place it on the counter and flatten it with your palm, so that the stuffing spreads evenly. Now roll it out with a light hand without applying pressure into a little thick circle. Put a girdle on the stove and heat it. Place the paratha on the girdle and cook it, apply a tsp of oil and flip it, apply another tsp oil, and cook both sides well, until you see small brown dots. Repeat for all the 10 balls. The Chinese Parathas are ready, Bon Appetit.  


1. Assemble all ingredients.

2. For Parathas, Take the flour in a deep dish or big plate. Add the salt and oil. Pour water little by little and start combining the flour. Don't use too much water as we want a tough but pliable dough. As you combine the flour knead it well. It has to be smooth. Smear a little oil on the dough, cover it and let it rest for half an hour.

2. For the Hakka noodles, boil water in a widemouthed vessel. Break the noodles into finger length pieces and keep ready. When water begins to boil, drop the noodles gently into the water add a little salt and let it cook.

3. Keep stirring as we don't want the noodles sticking together. Also, we have to cook it aldente( not cook it all the way through). Once done, drain the water and rinse the noodles in plain water(room temperature), smear little oil and let it cool.

4. Prepare the vegetable mixture by heating oil in a wok/ Karahi. Add finely cut garlic to the oil and the green chillies too. Fry nicely.

5. Add the finely chopped onions to this and saute. Add in the capsicum, cook for a minute and, add in the grated carrot. Cook for 2mins on low heat.

6. Add the tomatoes, salt, red chilli powder, and both sauces( i have combined them both in the said ratio) and cook until the mixture is semi-dry. 

7. Add the cooked noodles little at a time and combine well. Put off the stove and cool the filling.

8. To make the parathas, divide the dough into 10 equal parts. Take one ball from that and dust it with dry flour. Roll this into a small circle a little smaller than your palm. fill in the filling with a spoon, about 2 tbsp into each circle. bring the edges together and seal them.

9. Dust with flour again and roll it out into a bigger and thick circle. Put a girdle to heat and place the rolled out paratha on the girdle. smear oil on the side facing up and flip it. smear oil again after flipping and cook both sides until brown spots appear.

10. The Chinese Paratha is ready to serve with some raita.

1. I have used only a few vegetables here, you can add spring onion too, but it's better to not go over the top with vegetables here as rolling the Paratha may become tough.
2. The filling has to be quiet dry or else it will start oozing out of the bread while rolling.
3. Cooking the noodles as mentioned is better, as overcooked noodles will clam together, and rolling the Paratha will be difficult.
4. I have served the paratha with Raita and tomato ketchup and not pickle as most parathas, as this  Chinese Paratha being a fusion may not go with pickle. But if you prefer it that way, do go ahead as what the palate demands is what it should get.    

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. Would love to hear from you. 


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