Category Archives: Flat breads

Black beans and corn quesadilla


One of the most difficult questions in life is “What to pack for lunch tomorrow?”. Throw in a kid who is not a fan of Indian food and who hates rice in particular, the question becomes a lot more complicated.

Having brought up on a diet of rice and veggies every single day, you are at a loss for what to pack. You find yourself using a good portion of your brain to answer the everyday riddle of “What’s for the grain? What’s for the veggie/fruit? and What’s for the snack? question.

The answer came in the form of nutella sandwiches last year. But this year, to complicate matters more, the lunch box has to be nut free.  So this is one of the options that I choose for the kid’s lunch. Loads of veggies, some cheese to hold everything together and a whole wheat wrap and you are done. I make the filling ahead and store it in the fridge. The filling is good for sandwiches as well.

Read on for the recipe.




Heat one teaspoon in a pan and saute one chopped onion and 2 pods of chopped garlic.


Add one small diced capsicum. Saute.


Add 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn, one can of drained black beans and one big chopped tomato.


I had about 1/3 cup of sautéed mushrooms, which I added to the mix. Add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (or per taste) and salt as needed.


Mix well and set aside. This can be made ahead and refrigerated/ frozen as well.


Heat a pan, add the whole wheat or plain tortilla.


Once the tortilla is heated up, add 1-2 tablespoon of grated cheese all over.


Once the cheese starts melting, add 2 tablespoon of the prepared filling on one half of the tortilla.


Fold the tortilla over and cook both sides. Take off the heat, cut into 2 or 4 triangles using a pizza cutter. Pack as lunch or enjoy as dinner.

Recipe source: a friend

Recipe makes : about 1.5 – 2 cups of filling.


For the filling:

  • one teaspoon of oil
  • one chopped onion
  • 2-3 garlic pods, minced or crushed
  • 1/2 of a big capsicum or one small capsicum, chopped small
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
  • one big tomato, chopped
  • one can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms, optional
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • salt

For assembling:

  • one whole wheat tortilla
  • 1-2 tablespoon, grated cheese
  • 1-2 tablespoon prepared filling


  1. Heat one teaspoon in a pan and saute one chopped onion and 2 pods of chopped garlic.
  2. Add one small diced capsicum. Saute. Add 1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn, one can of drained black beans and one big chopped tomato. I had about 1/3 cup of sautéed mushrooms, which I added to the mix.
  3. Add 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder (or per taste) and salt as needed. Mix well and set aside. This can be made ahead and refrigerated/ frozen as well.
  4. Heat a pan, add the whole wheat or plain tortilla. Once the tortilla is heated up, add 1-2 tablespoon of grated cheese all over. Once the cheese starts melting, add 2 tablespoon of the prepared filling on one half of the tortilla.
  5. Fold the tortilla over and cook both sides. Take off the heat, cut into 2 or 4 triangles using a pizza cutter. Pack as lunch or enjoy as dinner.



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Indian Food Odyssey : One state at a time

A recap of the 30 day Indian Food Odyssey. Click the link/picture to go the particular post.

Andhra Pradesh:


Arunachal Pradesh: Thukpa


Assam: Simple Lunch Platter


Bihar : A mini lunch with Sattu ka Bharta 


Chhattisgarh : Pancharatna Dal 


Delhi: A glimpse of street food 


A lunch platter from Goa


Gujarat : Mini Thali


Haryana : Halwa Poori Chhole


Himachal Pradesh : Meetha rice, Madra, Khatta and sweet chhole


Jammu and Kashmir : A mini platter



Jharkhand: Chilka roti and chana dal ki chutney



Karnataka Oota: Mini Meals


Kerala : A traditional breakfast


Madhya Pradesh : Indori Poha, Jalebi and Bhutte ki khees


Maharashtra: Poori bhaji Thali


Manipur : Mini meals




Mizoram: Cauliflower Stalk Bai


Nagaland: Dal with phool gobi and Naga chutney


Orissa: Odia thali 


Pondicherry: Simple Meals


Punjab da Khana



The desert state of Rajasthan


Sel roti from Sikkim


Pongal meals from Tamil Nadu

pongalfood (2)

Tripura Khichuri Bhog


Awadh Mini Thali from Uttar Pradesh



Uttarakhand Mini Meals


West Bengal: Luchi, Doi dharosh and Tok dal



Filed under Flat breads, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes, Thali, This, that and the other

Bengal : Luchi, Doi Dharosh and Aamer Dal


From April first, the Blogging Marathon participants have been traversing through most of the Indian states (and some Union territories) trying out the regional food, one state at a time.

The final stop is at West Bengal and this is what I have prepared for the state. Check out the other Bengali recipes at the end of the post.


The posts done till now were prepared from the month of February and so all I had to do was schedule the posts to go live on that particular day. But unfortunately for Bengal, I kept procrastinating until the end. So April 30th came and went and I was still clueless about what to prepare.

I had bought some ready made rasgolla with an idea to prepare cheater’s rasmalai and to end the month long marathon on a sweet note. But then some ideas just don’t materialize…in this case, the idea(rasgolla) got eaten as such before I could improvise it as rasmalai.


The good thing was the rest of the participants did their share of Bengali dishes and I was able to browse through each of them and finalize mine. After ruling out rasmalai and the chanar payesh, which some had prepared, I decided on Vaishali’s Tauk dal and doi dharosh. It’s hardly surprising, given that I have already done three states (Gujarat, Delhi, UP and now Bengal) based on her blog :-).

It was also kind of in line with the lunch platter theme I was preparing for all the other states. So, tauk dal and doi dharosh it is…along with luchis and the left over ready made rasgollas. For the luchis, I prepared a corn kurma as a side dish. It’s not a Bengali recipe.


The Menu:

  • Doi Dharosh : Okra cooked in yogurt. This is a combination with Tok dal
  • Aamer Dal / Tok Dal/ Tauk Dal : Lentils with green mangoes and tempered with panch phoron.
  • Luchi :  Deep fried pooris made of all purpose flour.
  • Rice
  • Rasgolla : A Bengali sweet prepared of fresh paneer (or chena as it’s called) and soaked in sugar syrup. The ones here are ready made.
  • Corn Coconut Milk Kurma : This dish is NOT Bengali. I served it along with Luchi as there was no potatoes to make aloo dum.
  • Chili and Lemon wedge : on the side.

This is a picture of a Bengali Thali I had prepared two years back :-). Check out here for more pictures and the recipe links. bengali thali

Some more Bengali recipes in this space:


Filed under Flat breads, Side Dishes, Thali

Uttar Pradesh : Awadh Mini Thali


We have reached the fag-end of the state wise culinary journey and today, we are in Uttar Pradesh. Regular day-to-day lunch is the common dal-chawal-subzi-roti combination (Rice with dal, roti and veggies), so I thought I would turn to the capital city Lucknow’s rich Awadhi cuisine.

Just like how I turned to Vaishali’s space for the Gujarati thali and the Delhi food fare, her Awadhi Thali was the first thing to come to my mind once I finalized on the Lucknowi food.


Awadh is the current Lucknow (and some surrounding regions) now and is known for its royal Nawabs and rich food fit for the kings. Dum style cooking (slow covered cooking over low fire) is what the place is most famous for.

This is what the wiki says: “The bawarchis and rakabdars of Awadh gave birth to the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking over a slow fire, which has become synonymous with Lucknow today. Their spread consisted of elaborate dishes like kebabskormasbiryani, kaliya, nahari-kulchas, zarda, sheermal, roomali rotis, and warqi parathas. The richness of Awadh cuisine lies not only in the variety of cuisine but also in the ingredients used like muttonpaneer, and rich spices including cardamom and saffron. “


The thali here is a simple affair with a nawabi pulao that’s cooked in milk. Sultani dal is nothing but toor dal made rich with yogurt, cream and milk. Mattar ka nimona which is a green peas preparation. The bhindi is cooked in dum, though I couldn’t make out too much of taste difference.

Boondi ka raita is a simple yogurt prepared with ready made boondi(gram flour mini dumplings).

The lachha paratha is a favourite with my son. The rice too turned out to be good for my son since it was not spicy.


Thali idea : Ribbons To Pastas

The Menu:

  • Nawabi Pulao : A simple pulao cooked in milk. I added the vegetables too at the time of cooking itself. This is then layered and baked later.
  • Sultani dal : A toor dal preparation made rich by the addition of yogurt, milk and cream
  • Dum Bhindi : Bhindi curry, cooked dum style
  • Mattar ka nimona : Green peas curry
  • Boondi raita : Gram flour dumplings (boondi) in yogurt. A simple raita
  • Lachha Paratha : A layer pattered paratha.
  • Salad : Onion rings and lemon wedges





Filed under Flat breads, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes, Thali

Sikkim : Sel roti/ sael roti


I remember the time I started making rotis/chapatis. The game that we had was “Guess the shape!”

India map was the most common one, but animal shapes like kangaroo or cheetah too weren’t uncommon. We used to have a lot of fun, letting our imagination run wild, while savouring those out of shape rotis. The good thing was, no matter what the shape is, the taste was fine.

Now when I roll out chapatis, it doesn’t come as a perfect circle, but it’s stopped being closer to a square! So I am happy…

Coming to these Sel rotis, which are quite popular in Sikkim, the shape is nowhere close to how it should look like! But again, the taste was fine, so I guess, it’s ok…for a first trial, at least.


While looking for Sikkim recipes, I came across this NDTV article which talks about the culinary changes that has come over the place. There was a mention about Sel roti in there and that helped me decide the menu.

A bit more digging showed that Sel roti is originally from Nepal and is eaten with potatoes in various forms, aloo ko achar being one amongst many. This is a nice post about Sel rotis.

Though I tried the given combination of potato and sel roti, with yogurt, I couldn’t understand the combination-connection. The sel roti was great, the potato was great, but there was no chemistry between the two!

May be, these are acquired tastes or may be I should try out the original before passing that statement :-).

I loved the Sel roti, despite its poor shape. I first used a coke bottle and the batter oozed out completely. Then I used a squeezable ketch up bottle, that’s how I got the wriggly Sel rotis. I tried pouring from my hand as well. The shape wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad either.

sikkim (2)


The Menu:




Filed under Break Fast Recipes, Flat breads, Side Dishes

Rajasthani Mini Thali


Rajasthan, the desert land, is a beautiful state with a colourful history behind it. It is the land of ‘Rajas(kings)’ (Raja-sthan) and there are many palaces and fortresses there, reflecting the state’s rich royal heritage.

Travelling to Rajasthan was a dream and we did travel to Jaipur and Jaisalmer 8 years back. It’s still an experience I relive and relish, especially the Jaisalmer fort. If possible, I would love to go there again…and again….and again


Not just the palaces, Rajasthani food is also famous. Their cooking style is a bit different. They bank on pulses and dried vegetables more than fresh veggies, since the desert is no ideal place to grow vegetables. It’s all different with advanced irrigation techniques and easy transportation now a days.

Yet you will find extensive use of pulses in Rajasthani cooking.


We had been to Choki Dhani,  a Rajasthani village resort which showcases food and art culture from Rajasthan. We went as a group and so had fun. The place was over crowded and the waiting time for each and everything was long, but since we were a big group, the waiting time was yacking time and hence a happy time as well :-).

My son enjoyed the trip a lot (‘a lot’ is really less to describe his happiness) and surprisingly, loved the food also a lot.

He finished almost everything on his plate, without much fuss. He was hungry and the food was tasty.


The menu I have here is a bit on the lines of what we had in Choki dhani. They served us phulka, puri and bajra roti…all of which my son loved. I have replaced the puri with missi roti.

They started off with churma and brought the dal and baati. Then came the kadi and gatte ki sabzi. I skipped the last one, it deserves a separate post on its own :-). There was palak paneer and an aloo ki sabzi to go with the rotis. Some 3-4 varieties of pickles and chutneys were served.

Kichidi came later and it was served with sugar. Keeping the Chennai crowd in mind, they have included rasam, sambar rice and curd rice in the menu as well.

So here I have 3 bread varieties, an aloo curry and a mixed veg curry to go with it. Kichuri, dal and kadhi with 2 types of pickle/chutney as well.


The Menu:

  • Khichuri/Kichidi : Rice and moong dal cooked together with a pinch of turmeric powder and salt. Vegetables can also be added to make it healthier.
  • Bajre ki roti  : A whole grain roti made of millet flour. It’s usually made as a single thick roti, saving cooking time. The dough is crumbly because of the absence of gluten, so thick roti is the way to go.
  • Missi roti : Roti made with chick pea flour (besan). Has many versions and this is one of them.
  • Phulka : Thin whole wheat roti  which is cooked in the flame directly for puffing up. No oil is used.
  • Sabz Jaipuri : A mixed vegetable preparation from the city of Jaipur.
  • Atte ki kadhi : A yogurt based preparation which uses whole wheat as the thickening agent instead of the usual chickpea flour (besan)
  • Aloo ki sabzi : A simple potato preparation that goes all around India.
  • Dal : My friend’s preparation :-). Here is a the recipe for Pancharatna dal, which is very popular in Rajasthan as well.
  • Malai Mirch : Chopped green chillies, fried in ghee and then cooked with cream. YUM!
  • Lehsun Chutney : Garlic chutney, pairs well with the breads
  • Pyaz, Nimbu, Mirch : Raw onions, lemon wedges and green chillies. The green chillies can be fried in ghee/oil.




Filed under Flat breads, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes, Thali

Punjabi Thali – Palak Paneer, Dal Tadka, Chole, Aloo Paratha, Jeera rice


What are the dishes that come to your mind when you think about an Indian thali?

Paneer butter masala? Palak Paneer? Paneer Tikka masala? Dal Makni? Rajma? Chole? Parathas? Naan? Dal fry?

Well, almost all of these are from the state of Punjab. Punjabi food has become synonymous with Indian food.

And with a good reason. It’s absolutely fantastically tasty!


The flip side is that it’s rich. A lot of fat in the form of butter or ghee go into these dishes and it cannot be had on an everyday basis.

On an everyday basis, it can be roti or low fat parathas with simple side dishes.


This mini thali here is a balance of rich food and the simple ones. The parathas have been treated with ghee, but there isn’t much that’s gone into the side dishes. The dal is simple and plain and so is the chole. The salad provides a refreshing experience, so does the onion with lemon wedges. I have never tried eating the chillies (fried or not), so can’t comment on that!

Palak paneer is also not too rich, yet maintaining that oomph factor. You can dress it up a bit more by adding some cream.

Jeera rice is a good side for this meal. It’s mildly flavoured, so it can be enjoyed with curries without having a clash of flavours.


The Menu:

  • Palak Paneer: Puréed spinach with cottage cheese curry
  • Dal Tadka  : A simple and easy moong dal preparation
  • Chole: Chickpea cooked in a tomato based sauce. Pairs well with the Indian breads.
  • Aloo paratha : Potato and onion stuffed whole wheat Indian bread.
  • Jeera rice : Rice with a simple tadka of cumin seeds and some spices.
  • Raita : Chopped onions and green chillies in yogurt. Decorated with a pinch of chilli powder
  • Onions, chillies, lemon wedges : on the side




Filed under Flat breads, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes, Thali

Maharashtra Puri Bhaji Thali


This was one of the earliest posts I did. The state of Maharashtra. This was one of the easiest one as well, since I blindly followed Pradnya’s post, combining it with her rural Maharashtra thali and changing a thing or two here and there.

In India, you are not a mom, if you can’t make pooris. And in my case, it’s not as a mom I have been failing, but as a wife. My son doesn’t like poori, but it’s the man’s favourite food.

And with this thali, the pooris came out brilliant for a change. So the man was indeed happy!


Pradnya had made a sweetish dal with the thali. I went for a different version, a simple non sweet basic dal.

Varan-bhath (rice with dal) is a meal combination all over India and this is just one version.


Masale bhath is a spicy flavoured rice. Coconuts, cashew nuts, gherkins all go into this dish. This, apparently, is a regular item in the wedding feast menu.

I found these two write ups about food from Maharashtra quite interesting, A Cook at heart and Food For Thought.


Meal Idea : The Pumpkin Farm

Read some sweet write ups about food @ A Cook at heart and Food For Thought

  • Puri                 :  Deep fried whole wheat bread
  • Batata Bhaji :  A simple potato preparation, semi-gravy style that goes along with poori or roti
  • Shrikhand    :  Sweetened thick yogurt preparation
  • Varan Bhat  : Plain rice and dal (lentil) combination
  • Masale Bhat : Spiced rice with ivy gourd and nuts, a regular wedding menu item
  • Capsicum Zunka : Capsicum cooked with gramflour, quick and easy recipe
  • Mattha           :  Spiced butter milk



Filed under Flat breads, Rice, Pasta, Side Dishes, Thali

Jharkhand – Chilka roti & Chana Dal ki Chutney


Once upon a time in a small town, there lived a woman who knew only one breakfast to prepare. Arisi upma. And everyday she prepared it with a lot of love for her husband. But after eating it day in and day out, the husband was bored with the dish. He decided to take her to a restaurant nearby to show her that there are dishes beyond upma.

So off they went to a fancy restaurant. He ordered a porridge/pudding from the menu. And with great expectations, they bit into their lovely looking, all dressed up porridge.

….and the wife blurted out,”Upma!”


The scene above is not unlike my experience with this chilka roti and chana dal chutney. I didn’t believe Jharkhand dishes would taste like our everyday South Indian recipes. But one bite into this roti and I blurted out,”Ada dosa!”

And a bit of chutney had me shouting,”Parippu thogayal!


It’s amazing that people in two different zones of the country have come up with very similar dishes. Our South Indian Adai dosa has a combination of lentils and this chikli roti has only chana dal.

The chutney tasted really close to our thogayal which is made of a toor dal and chana dal combination. Though this chutney goes well with the roti, I felt it would pair well with rice and a more gravy-ish chutney would be suited for the roti. This is again because my taste buds are tamed to that way of eating. No other reason.


The Menu:

  • Chilka Roti : A dosa/pancake like preparation. Rice and chana dal (split gram) are soaked and ground together for the batter.
  • Chana dal ki Chutney : A thick chutney prepared with chana dal, coconut and red chillies.



Filed under Break Fast Recipes, Flat breads

Delhi: Paratha and Bedmi Poori Thali


For the fourth day of the month-long marathon, we are visiting the capital city.

Delhi is a historical city and we have planned to visit the place multiple times. Once we planned a trip to Rajasthan via Delhi. But because of heavy rains, the train was delayed by more than 24 hours. So we cut short the Delhi part and went directly to see the Taj. The rest of the trip was fine, but Delhi has been elusive since.

Now that I know about their street food, I am definitely planning a trip sometime soon!


Apparently the street food totally rocks in Delhi. Read more about it here. There is a ‘parathe wali gali’ itself. And there are innumerable varieties of chaats and other food.

Boy! That’s the place I should have been born!!

I tried making the paratha thali here, but without that plate where they serve the parathas, it just looks spread out and incomplete. My original menu was onion paratha, aloo curry, tamarind chutney, mint chutney and chole.

Then when I was digging Vaishali’s blog (she is from Delhi), I saw a refreshing kulle ka chaat recipe and also one for bedmi poori. These two were new to me,  so I cut out the chhole and added the chaat and bedmi poori to the menu. The aloo curry is also from her space, it turned out absolutely fantastic. Scroll down for the recipe links.


The kulle ka chaat was so easy to put together and tasted so fantastic. Like Vaishali, I too served it chilled. It has very basic ingredients, all you need to do is cook your chana and chill it. Serve them later in chilled vegetable or fruit ‘baskets’ (carved out veggies like potato, sweet potato, tomatoes or fruits like bananas, orange or apple) topped with pomegranate seeds, lemon juice, chaat masala and coriander leaves. It’s best served chill.

When you add that bit of lemon juice and a pinch of chaat masala, this simple combination waves a great culinary magic.


Bedmi poori has urad dal paste in it and the dal can be prepared as a stuffing or the paste can be mixed with the dough and made as pooris. I followed Vaishali’s recipe and made it as a filling.

The filling really resembled our South Indian Vada to some extend, which is also made with urad dal.


The menu:

  • Bedmi Poori : Deep fried pooris with urad dal filling. Served with aloo curry
  • Aloo Subzi : A potato based curry that pairs well with bedmi poori and the paratha
  • Onion Paratha : Parathas with onion filling
  • Pudina Chutney : Grind a cup of mint leaves with an onion, 2 pods of garlic, 2 green chillies, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and salt. Add a bit of lemon juice for retaining the green colour.
  • Tamarind chutney : Sweet, sour and spicy tamarind chutney enhanced with dry fruits and nuts.
  • Kulle Ka Chaat : A chaat with cooked chickpea, pomegranate pearls and a fruit/vegetable basket.



Filed under Break Fast Recipes, Flat breads, Side Dishes, Thali