Green in colour, oblong in shape, tender skin, jagged ridges, gentle undulations, triangular teeth, warty surface, central cavity filled with pith and seeds, turns orange-red when ripe, bitter to taste…Mother Nature’s caring gift for us to be in the pink of health. Go bang the store for this veggie, Bitter Gourd, and chill out in the kitchen with this one of a kind cool dish for sweltering summer: Raitha.

Raitha (or Raita) is a popular Indian side dish that is made using curd (or yogurt) and served as sauce, salad or a dip.


Dish Type: South Indian Side Dish   BITTER GOURD RAITHA                                                  

Preparation Time: 10 min

Cooking time: 20 min

Serves: 5 persons


For sautéing

Mustard seeds           1 tsp

Bitter gourd                250 gms

Curry leaves              1 sprig

Turmeric pwd             A pinch

Salt to taste               1 tsp approx.

Raw ingredients to keep in a bowl

Curd                            ½ litre

Onion                          1 no.

Tomato                        1 no.

Salt to taste                 ½ tsp approx.

Green chilly                 1 no.

Chilli powder               A pinch

Coriander leaves         1 cup


Wash bitter gourd, tomato, green chilly, coriander leaves and curry leaves thoroughly in salt water. Transfer them to a colander to drain the water.

Chop bitter gourd into thin round slices or slit the gourd lengthwise and cut into thin 1” long slices.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add curry leaves, bitter gourd slices and turmeric powder. Sauté for about 10 min.  Now add salt and resume sautéing for another 10 min. in low flame. Keep alternating between high and low flame while sautéing.

Meanwhile, fine chop onion, tomato and coriander leaves separately into small pieces. Slice green chilly into thin round pieces.

Take a bowl. Add curds, salt, chilli powder and the above chopped ingredients into it.

Just before serving add brown fried and crispy bitter gourd slices into it.

Bitter Gourd Raitha is now ready.


Other common names for Bitter Gourd (compiled from various sources):

Bitter melon, balsam pear, balsam apple, art pumpkin, cerasee, carilla cundeamor, African cucumber, ampalaya, balsambrine, balsamine, balsamo, bitter apple, bitter cucumber, bittergurke, carilla fruit, carilla gourd, chinli-chih and many more.


Hey it’s summer…. time to go for Mango! Mark this season with an extremely simple, delicious, most commonly prepared, traditional South Indian rice variety. Classic rice recipe with a mild tangy taste derived by using raw green mango, balanced beautifully by the judicious use of spices and seasonings. Truly a king among the many kinds of Chitranna, this dish features prominently in the menu on festive occasions too.

 Dish Type:  South Indian Rice Variety 

Raw Mango Rice

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20  min

Serves:  4 persons


For cooking:

Rice                        250 gms

Water                   500 ml

For grinding (to make raw mango chutney):

Raw mango                       1 no. (grated)

Methi seeds                       ½ tsp (dry fried)

Mustard seeds                  ¼ tsp

Raw coconut                      ½ coconut (grated)

For seasoning:

Oil                                      4 tbsps

Mustard seeds                  ½ tsp

Groundnuts                      2 tbsps

Green chilly                       4 nos. (slit)

Ginger                              1” pc. (grated)

Curry leaves                     1 sprig

Salt to taste                      1 tsp approx.

Turmeric pwdr                  A pinch

Asafoetida                        A pinch

Raw mango                     1 no. (grated)

Raw mango chutney       4 tbsps approx. (adjust quantity as per taste)

For garnishing:

Fresh coriander leaves  2 tbsps (fine chopped)


Wash rice thoroughly. Cook rice along with water in a pressure cooker. After 2 whistles switch off the burner and let the pressure subside from the cooker.

While rice is getting cooked….

Wash raw mango, ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves in salt water. Drain out the water. Grate raw mango, raw coconut and ginger and keep aside. Slit green chillies, fine chop fresh coriander leaves and keep aside.

Now prepare raw mango chutney. For this….

Heat a small kadai. Dry fry methi seeds. Switch off the burner and let it cool.

Grind these dry fried methi seeds along with raw mustard seeds, raw grated coconut and grated raw mango to chutney consistency. Transfer the chutney to a bowl.

Now prepare the seasoning. Heat oil in a large kadai. Add mustard seeds, groundnuts, slit green chillies, grated ginger, curry leaves, ground raw mango chutney, salt, turmeric and asafoetida in that order. Put each of the above ingredients at few seconds interval between them. Saute for about 5 min. and switch off the burner.

When the cooker is cool, remove the lid. Spread the cooked rice on to a big plate. Let it cool a bit (not too much). Sprinkle a tsp of salt on this. Transfer the seasoned raw mango chutney from the kadai on to the rice. Also add raw grated mango. Mix well. Garnish with fine chopped coriander leaves.

Maavinakayi Chitranna (Raw Mango Rice) is ready.

Also view in this blog “Ellina Chitra Anna


While mixing mango chutney with rice, keep a portion of the chutney aside. After mixing with rice, check the taste. If required add more of the chutney. This chutney can also be stored in an air tight container and kept in the fridge for later use.

Every grain of the cooked rice must be soft, fluffy and should stand out independently of the other grains. At the same time, rice should neither be half boiled nor too mushy. This can be checked by pressing a few grains between your fingers.

Green raw mango can also be used to make gojju, pickles or used in place of tamarind while making rasam or sambar.


Want to cook a dish really quick n easy, yet “oh so light n delicious”? Don‘t know where to begin…here it is!

Weaned your baby off mother’s milk? Wish to introduce the li’l one to a healthy, tasty, easily digestible solid food? …here it is!

Your tummy throwing tantrums? Yes we are busy cooking medicine for you…here it is!

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Stew  TOOR DAL RASAM (using lime juice)

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  30 min

Serves:  5 persons


For pressure cooking:

Toor dal                       50 gms

Water                          250 ml

Turmeric powder        A pinch

Curry leaves                1 sprig

Ghee                            A drop

For grinding:

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

Pepper corns               ¼  tsp

Ginger (grated)           ½” piece

Green chilly                 1 no.

Raw coconut               2 tsps (optional)

While boiling

Water                          500 ml

Salt to taste                 1 tbsp (approx.)

For seasoning:

Ghee                            1 tsp

Mustard seeds                        ½ tsp

Cumin seeds                ½ tsp

For flavour and garnishing

Lime juice (extracted from 1 lime) and coriander leaves


Wash dhal with water, drain and keep aside.

Wash ginger, curry leaves and coriander leaves in salt water. Drain and keep aside.

Cook dhal in a pressure cooker along with water, turmeric powder, curry leaves and a dash of ghee.

While dal is getting cooked….

You can do grinding. For this, first, grate raw coconut. Grate ginger after peeling its skin. Grind all ingredients listed under “For grinding” using a few spoonfuls of water.

Add this ground chutney, water and salt to the cooked dhal and boil it for 5 to 10 min. on low flame. As you feast your eyes watching the light and bright yellow coloured rasam boiling with the jeera-ginger-pepper combine, it’s time to reach out for a small skillet to prepare seasoning.

Heat ghee in this skillet. Put mustard seeds. When they crackle put cumin seeds. Switch off the flame. Immediately pour it on to the boiling rasam.

Squeeze out the juice from fresh lime and add to the rasam. Garnish it with thoroughly washed and chopped fresh coriander leaves.

Toor Dal (with lime juice) Rasam is now ready.

Serve hot with steamed rice or as plain soup.


Quantity of water, salt and spices can be altered to suit the consistency and taste that you desire.

While there are plenty of Rasam varieties, with a bit of experimentation, imagination and creativity, one can customize and create many more! At Sarapaaka, we present select Rasam recipes that are healthy, nutritious, tried and tested over generations, easy to prepare and kindle you with ideas that help create variations on your own.


A tried and tested recipe that tempts you no end….nutrition rich with a variety of vegetables, filled with fresh flavours from spices, mint, coriander leaves et al. Are you feeling green with envy? Dash to your kitchen and cook this dainty dish…

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Rice Variety  vb with mint raitha

Preparation Time:  15 min

Cooking time:  45 min

Serves:  8 to 10 persons


For cooking:

Basmati rice                500 gms

Water                          750 ml

Cinnamon                    2 nos. of 1” long piece

Clove                           2 nos.

Cardamom                  2 nos.

Cumin seeds               ½  tsp

Ghee                            ½ tsp

For deep frying:

Ghee                            2 tbsps

Cashewnuts                 50 gms

Raisins                         50 gms

Oil                               2 tbsps

Onion                          2 nos. (Chop them into round slices)

For grinding:

Ginger                         1” pc

Garlic                          2 nos.

Green chilly                 1 no.

Onion                          1 no. (chop it into cubes)

Tomato                        1 no. (chop it into cubes)

For sautéing:

Oil                               50 ml

Onion                          2 nos. (fine chop)

Tomato                        1 no. (fine chop)

Aloo                             1 no. (big size)

Carrot                          ¼ kg

Beans                          ¼ kg

Peas                             ¼ kg

Dhania powder           1 tsp

Jeera powder              1 tsp

Chilly powder              1 tsp

Masala powder           1 tsp

Curd                            ¾ litre

For garnishing:

Deep fried cashewnuts, raisins and onions

Fine chopped fresh coriander leaves or mint leaves or other greens like oregano, rosemary, holy basil and lettuce.


Wash basmati rice thoroughly. Drain the water and keep it aside for about 10 min.

Wash all vegetables (except onions and garlic) and greens in salt water.

Peel the skin of ginger, onions, garlic, carrots and fresh peas. Remove the ends of beans and the fibre at their sides. Chop onions, tomatoes and fresh mint/coriander leaves finely.  Chop aloo, carrots and beans lengthwise diagonally. Keep them all aside separately.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Deep fry cashewnuts till they turn golden brown and raisins till they swell. Remove and keep them aside for garnishing at the end. To the cooker, now add oil and deep fry round slices of onions till they turn brown and crisp. Remove and use them for garnishing later.

Now put cumin seeds on to the remaining oil in the cooker. When they splutter add cardamom, clove, cinnamon and fry lightly. Now add the soaked basmati rice along with a drop of ghee and water. Pressure cook upto 2 whistles and switch off the burner. Let it cool.

While the rice is getting cooked….make a paste of ginger, garlic and green chilly and keep aside. Remove the paste and now grind 1 onion and 1 tomato.

Heat oil in a kadai. Put ginger garlic paste, then chopped onions and a pinch of turmeric. Fry for a little while till the onions turn soft and brown in colour. Now add fine chopped tomato, onion tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Fry for some time. You will see onions and tomatoes nicely blending. Now add chopped carrots, beans, aloo and peas and continue sautéing. Add salt, dhania, jeera, chilly and masala powders. Let the flavours of the spices sink into the vegetables. Add curd, mix well and let it boil for a minute or two. Now transfer the contents of the kadai to another bowl. In this kadai, put a part of cooked basmati rice. Over this, put a part of the fried vegetable mix. Repeat the process 2 more times. Mix well. Cover the kadai with a lid and place some weight on top of the lid so that the lid is covered tight. Let the contents get cooked for another 10 min. on low flame. Now remove the lid.

Garnish with deep fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins and fine chopped fresh coriander/mint leaves or any other greens.

Vegetable Biryani is now ready…get set and head straight to the dining table!

Also view in this blog other rice varieties “Greens Pulao” “Bisi Bele Bhaath” “Ellina Chitranna” “Raw Mango Rice


Welcome to “The World of Dosas”! Call it “Crispy Crepe” in its thinner, crispier version or a “Plain Pancake” in its softer, thicker avatar, these rice and lentil based dosas made from fermented batter are here to stay!

Dosa is very common in the Homes and Darshinis (chain of restaurants) of South India. Thanks to its ingredients, Dosa is rich in carbohydrates, poor in saturated fats and sugar, free of gluten, filled with protein, fermenting process further augmenting the Vitamin B and C content.

This heavenly staple dish, indigenous to South India, has its origins linked to Udupi town of Karnataka, India. The earliest mention of dosa can also be found in the 6th century Tamil literature.

  Plaindosa batterHot Steam Dosa getting ready

Dish type: South Indian Breakfast/Supper Dish

Preparation time: 5 min

Soaking time:  5 hours

Grinding time: 45 min

Fermenting time: 12 hrs

Yield: 2 kgs (approx..)


Rice                             1000 gms

Black gram dhal          250 gms

Methi seeds                20 gms

Poha (Avalakki)           100 gms (thick variety)

Salt                              50 gms


Soak rice and methi seeds together for 5 hours. Soak poha separately for 5 hours

Soak black gram dhal for 3 hours (after 2 hours of soaking rice, methi and poha)

Pour about ½ litre water into the wet grinder and switch on the grinder.

Now start putting rice, urad dhal and poha one after another into the grinder.

Keep adding very little quantities of water and stir the batter at intervals.

The batter keeps sticking to the sides of the grinder. Keep clearing the sides off the batter by pushing the batter towards the centre.

Let the grinding continue till the texture of batter becomes smooth.

Now transfer it to a vessel big enough to hold all the batter in less than half its height. This is to prevent the batter that rises up on fermenting from spilling out of the vessel.

Now add salt and mix the batter thoroughly. Close the vessel with a lid and let it stand for about 12 hours.

Plain Dosa Batter is now ready.

Also view “Curd Dosa” and “Neeru Dosa” recipes in this blog


Procedure for preparing batter remains the same even when done with “mixie”, a popular short n sweet name for Indian mixer grinders!

You can use this batter to make a variety of dosas like steam dosa, masala dosa, vegetable dosa, etc.

Poha or Avalakki is known by many other names like “beaten rice, “pressed rice”, “flattened rice and “flaked rice”

Also view in our blog, “Instant Poha Mixture”, “Onion Chutney”, “Carrot Chutney” and many other recipes.