One of the most common culinary plants of India, its seeds roasted and crushed or just left raw to use as spice, its leaves chopped and used to dress salads and soups, curries and cuisines of many kinds, its medicinal uses are many…be it a thrush of the mouth when we rush to mix it with warm water and use as gargle or take the case of conjunctivitis when it is mixed with cold water and used as eye lotion. Called by the name of Coriander or Cilantro, its seeds and leaves are both indispensable to spice and dress our cooking or to cure the ones who are ailing.

Extract from The Herbarius Litnus:  Mark that the juice of coriander blown up the nostrils restrains nosebleeds. . . And coriander is effective in tremors of the heart when its powder is given with borage water.”

 Dish Type:  South Indian Rice Variety Coriander Rice 1 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Serves:  4 persons


Basmati Rice       1 cup (250 gms)

For grinding:

Raw coconut grated        2 tbsp

Green chilli                      3 nos. chopped

Ginger                             1/2” pc

Cumin seeds                     ½ tsp

Saunf (Fennel seeds)     ½ tsp

Fresh coriander leaves  ½ cup packed

For seasoning:

Oil                           2 tbsp

Bay leaf                   1 (break it to slightly smaller size)

Cinnamon               ½” pc

Clove                     2 nos.

Pepper                  6 to 8 corns

Cashewnuts          10 to 12 nos. (optional)

Onion                    1 no. (medium size, thinly sliced)

Turmeric               A pinch

Salt to taste         2 tsps approx.

Ground Masala  (transfer from mixie)

Peas                      50 gms

Soaked Basmati Rice

Water                   2 cups (use same size cup that you used for measuring rice)


Wash basmati rice in running cold water. Soak it in water. Let it stand for about half an hour. Also wash coriander leaves (roots removed), green chillies and ginger thoroughly with water. Drain out the water. Meanwhile….

Peel the skin of ginger and onion. Chop ginger and green chillies to smaller bits (for faster grinding). Chop the onions into thin slices. Grate fresh raw coconut and keep aside. If the stalks of coriander leaves are tender, use them too along with the leaves for grinding. You are now ready for grinding.

Grind all the ingredients listed above “For grinding” to make a smooth paste.  Get ready for seasoning….

Heat oil in a pressure pan in low flame.  Add ingredients listed above “For seasoning” in the same order. When cashews turn golden brown add sliced onions immediately followed by salt and turmeric. When onions turn transparent, add the ground masala. Fry for about 5 min. Now drain the water in basmati rice, keep aside this water to use it a while later for cooking. Transfer rice to the pan and continue frying for another 5 min. Now add the drained water, mix them well, cover with a lid and weight on, turn the flame towards high and pressure cook for up to 2 whistles. Switch off the flame. Let it cool completely.  Fluff up the rice slowly and gently using a fork or spatula. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves if you wish.

Coriander Rice is now ready. Serve it with plain curd, spicy raitha, pickle and/or roasted/fried papad or side it with spicy potato curry or cauliflower curry.

Also view in this website, recipes of other rice varieties “Ellina Chitra Anna” “Greens Pulao” “Vegetable Biryani” “Raw Mango Rice” “Bisi Bele Bhaath” and “Veg Fried Rice


Green beans, Potatoes, Carrots, Cauliflower may also be used.

Onions can be skipped if you wish.

Adjust quantity of green chillies, pepper corns and ginger to suit your choice.

Using Coconut milk (as against just grated coconut) adds to the flavour and taste.



Wanna celebrate “No Rice Day”… think of Lord Krishna’s favourite…homely, humble Avalakki (Poha). Soak it in a bowl of curd. Garnish it, taste it….hmmm…find yourself soaking in bliss. Cool dish this….for there is nothing warm about it. Consumed best in a mildly chilled and slightly sweet state, “Mosaru Avalakki” is a fitting substitute for curd rice. Typically served at the fag end of a meal, it is known to soothe the stomach, acting as a coolant especially after eating hot n spicy stuff or rich fat food.

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Rice VarietyMosaru Avalakki Brass 2 copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  2 min

Serves:  4 persons


For soaking:

Poha                            1 cup (paper thin variety)

Curd/Yogurt                ½ cup

Salt to taste                 ½ tsp approx.

For seasoning:

Oil                               ½ tsp

Mustard seeds            ½ tsp

Bengal gram dal         ½ tsp

Black gram dal            ½ tsp

Green chilli                 1 no. chopped to circular pieces

Red chilli                     2 nos.

Curry leaves                few

Cashew nuts                2 nos. (broken to smaller pieces)

Asafoetida                   A pinch

Optional Ingredients for garnish, nutrition and taste: (Add all, some or none of these. It’s your choice alone!)

Onion                          1 tbsp. fine chopped

Carrot                          1 tbsp. grated

Cucumber                   1 tbsp. fine chopped

Ginger                         ¼” pc grated

Coriander leaves         1 tbsp fresh and fine chopped

Raisins                         1 tsp

Pomegranate seeds    1 tbsp

Fresh green grapes     1 tbsp (big size grapes can be sliced to half)

Cumin powder              A pinch

Black salt powder         A pinch

Raw grated coconut    2 tbsps (fresh)


Wash poha thoroughly in water – preferably twice. Drain out the water. Whisk curd well with salt. Add this to the washed poha. Mix them gently. Keep aside for just 5 min. Get ready to season it….

Heat oil in a small skillet. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add bengal gram dal and black gram dal. When they turn golden brown, add chopped green chillies, red chillies, curry leaves and cashew nuts. Switch off and add asafoetida. Let it cool.

Now add any or all of the ingredients listed above for garnish, to suit your taste and convenience. Finally add the seasoning that you just prepared. Mix them well and yes, gently.

Mosaru Avalakki is now ready. Serve it straight (with / without accompaniment) or chill n serve.


Thick variety of poha may also be used. It needs more soaking time and comparatively greater quantity of water. When kept soaked for a longer time, poha mix thickens. You may have to add more curd and also water if required. Also remember to check the taste for this revised quantity. A bit more of salt….sure you can add.

Adding veggies and fruits like onion, cucumber, grapes, pomegranate not only enhances nutrition n taste, but also prevents the mixture from becoming thick.

Store it in refrigerator if needed for later use. Add milk if curd turns sour.

If you wish to pack it for travel, mix all ingredients except curd. Store boiled and cooled milk separately with just a spoon of curd added to it. Mix it well with rest of the ingredients just before serving.

Same recipe holds good for Curd Rice too. Here, in place of poha, use cooked rice. Cook rice with rice: water ratio of 1:3. Let rice cool completely before adding curd, salt, seasoning and garnish.



Down to earth traditional. Farmer’s favourite. Authentic Karnataka dish handpicked from an endless list of rasam varieties and served on a platter! Prepared by using greens, vegetables, lentils, sprouts stock (i.e., the water strained after cooking greens, grains or vegetables) this delicious Bassaaru derives its name from two Kannada words “Basidu” (which means strained) and “Saaru” (which means Rasam).

Dish Type:  South Indian Vegetarian Stew gg bassaru 2 copy

Preparation Time:  20 min

Cooking time:  30 min

Serves:  5 persons


Green Gram                            250 gms

Curry leaves                            1 sprig

Green chilly                             1 no.

Cumin seeds                            less than ½ tsp

Peppercorns                            4 or 5 nos.

Ginger                                     ¼”

Grated raw or dry coconut     2 tbsps

Jaggery                                    1 tsp

Salt to taste                             1 tbsp approx.

Tomato                                    1 no. fine chopped

Water                                      1000 ml

Dry fry green gram for a minute. Let it cool. Wash it well and drain out the water. Cook in pressure cooker along with water and salt, in low flame upto 2 whistles and then switch off the burner.

Grind cumin seeds, peppercorns, ginger, green chilly, fine chopped tomato and grated coconut to a paste. Add this to the cooked green gram and let it boil.

Green gram Bassaaru is now ready.

Also view in our blog “Mung Bean Rasam”, ‘Toor Dal Rasam” and “Moong Dal Rasam


Lime juice may also be used instead of tomatoes. Squeeze the juice from ½ a lime and add to the bassaaru at the end.

A portion of the cooked green gram can be ground along with masala if thicker consistency is required.

In this recipe, excess water is added to green gram while cooking. However, you can use just the required amount of water for cooking green gram and reuse broth i.e., water strained after boiling any dal, grains or vegetables and add to the cooked green gram before boiling.


RAW MANGO RICE (Maavinakaayi Chitranna) Type 2

Go for mango …green in colour, combine it with rice…. white in colour and see it turn… red in colour. Can’t imagine cooking getting more magical!

Raw Mango is tasty. It’s great fun eating raw specially with salt and a sprinkle of chilli powder. Raw mango grows with a bounty of benefits. It prevents excessive loss of water, minerals and much more…like stroke from the sun, sickness more so that of morning, disease like scurvy since it is rich in Vit C highly. It brings to order blood disorders and is friendly to our teeth too.

 Dish Type:  South Indian Rice Variety Mango Rice Type 2 - A copy

Preparation Time:  10 min

Cooking time:  20  min

Serves:  4 persons


For cooking:

Rice                        500 gms

Water                   500 ml

For grinding (to make raw mango chutney):

Raw mango                        1 no. (grated)

Green chilli                         1 no.

Red chilli                              4 nos.

Mustard seeds                  ¼ tsp

Raw coconut                      ½ coconut (grated)

For seasoning:

Oil                                           4 tbsps

Groundnuts                       2 tbsps

Mustard seeds                  ½ tsp

Black gram dal                   ½ tsp

Red chilly                             4 nos.

Curry leaves                       1 sprig

Salt to taste                        1 tsp approx.

Turmeric pwdr                  A pinch

Asafoetida                          A pinch

Raw mango chutney       (mix that you get after grinding)

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

Now prepare raw mango chutney. For this….

Grind raw mustard seeds, raw grated coconut, green chilli, red chillies 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, red chillies, 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. Sauté 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. Mix well. Garnish with fine chopped coriander leaves.

Maavinakayi Chitranna (Raw Mango Rice) is ready.

Also view in this blog “Ellina Chitra Anna” and “Raw Mango Rice – Type 1


While mixing the seasoned raw 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, chutney, pickles or used in place of tamarind while making rasam or sambar.


When Neeru means water, then doesn’t Neeru + Dosa add up to become Water Dosa? Literally known as ‘Water Dosa”, is it made only of water? Not really…for this paper thin crepe is a batter made using only rice and coconut. Water is added in larger quantity than usual, to get the watery consistency, integral to making this variety of dosa. Coconut adds to the taste and texture of the dosa.

 Dish type: South Indian Breakfast/Supper Dish Neeru Dosa

Preparation time: 10 min

Soaking time:  8 to 10 hours

Grinding time: 15 min

Fermenting time: 12 hrs

Yield: 2 kgs

Ingredients   (for preparing batter)

Rice                             500 gms

Raw grated coconut    ½ fresh coconut

Water                          1.5 litres

Salt                              2 tsp approx.


Soak rice for 8 to 10 hours.

Drain the water after soaking time is over. Save this water for adding to batter later. Grind rice along with raw grated coconut in grinder or mixie.

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

The batter keeps sticking to the sides of the grinder/mixie. 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.

Transfer it to a vessel of size that holds the batter in less than half its height. Now add salt and mix thoroughly. Add more water since the batter must be of flowing, buttermilk like consistency. To test the consistency, dip a spoon in the batter. If the spoon has a thick coating of the batter, then more water has to be added. This batter doesn’t need fermenting and can be used immediately.

Neeru Dosa Batter is now ready.

Leftover batter can be refrigerated for later use. But when reusing the refrigerated batter, it should be brought back to room temperature. Cold batter sticks to the tawa. Mix the batter thoroughly before preparing the dosa.

To prepare dosa….

Heat a greased tawa (preferably iron) on high flame. Sprinkle few drops of water on the hot tawa. It should sizzle. Now reduce the flame to low.

Mix the batter thoroughly with a ladle. Do this for every dosa. Pour a ladleful of batter on the tawa in circular fashion starting from the outer sides of tawa towards the centre.  Actually, the batter flows by itself towards the centre. Fill big holes if any with the batter. Let tiny holes remain. No need to add oil, unlike many other types of dosas.

Cover it with a lid. Turn the flame to medium and cook the dosa for a few seconds. Neeru dosa cooks quite fast and doesn’t turn brown. So, make sure dosa is not overcooked expecting it to turn brown. When the top layer appears no longer raw and a bit dry, lift the sides by sliding a flat spatula from beneath. No need to flip the dosa to cook the other side. Fold the dosa into half and again into half to form a triangle. Place it on a platter of size bigger than the size of the dosa you prepared. Wipe the tawa clean, before making the next dosa.

When you continue to make more Neeru Dosas, place them away from each other, since they tend to stick to each other when hot. Once cool, they can be placed one above the other in a covered bowl and served warm later. A fully cooked Neeru Dosa will have a rich white colour.

Serve it steaming hot or cool, with coconut chutney, peanut chutney, ginger chutney, sambar, pickle, onion tomato curry or jaggery-coconut mix.

Also view in this blog recipes of “Plain Dosa” and “Curd Dosa


Neeru dosa batter can be refrigerated. Before using, thaw it to room temperature. Also you will see a layer of water on top and the batter settled below. Discard this layer of water and add fresh water (it should be at room temperature). Mix thoroughly and if required, do add a pinch of salt.

Typically, Neeru Dosa is pure rich white in colour. Red rice Neeru Dosa  copy

However also shown in the picture alongside is Neeru Dosa in reddish brown colour. This is because it is made using unpolished red rice. It contains high fibre and has high nutrition value. More about red rice and its recipes some time in our future posts.


Freezing collection! Cups of milk curdling, each of them crying “please use me” “find friends for me”….are you going frenzy? Don’t be crazy! Just chill…..all they need is a bit of cuddling and cajoling. Call for rice, methi, poha, black gram etc. etc. Give these crying curds their company. Soak, blend, grind, do all you can and see to it that they gel well. Let these pals enjoy a “sleepover” soaking in your kitchen. Bear with them for just one night. Better no battering for this budding batter! Next morning, they arise, up and ready. Just pour one ladleful on a hot tava and see the sumptuous surprise! Crispiest Crepe bubbling only for you…just go gobble!!

Batter type: Curd DosaCurd Dosa

Preparation time: 5 min

Soaking time:  5 hrs

Fermenting time: 12 hrs

Grinding time: 45 min

Yield: 2.5  litres (approx.)


Rice                             750 gmsCurd Dosa Batter

Black gram dhal          200 gms

Methi seeds                20 gms

Poha (Avalakki)           250 gms (thick variety)

Curds                           1 litre

Salt to taste                 50 gms approx.


Soak all ingredients except salt, in water for 2 hours. Drain out the water and then soak in curds for 3 hours.

Now the grinding…

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

Now pour the soaked ingredients into the grinder.

Keep adding very little quantities of water, stirring the batter at intervals.

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

Continue grinding 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. As an extra precaution, keep a basin (bigger than the size of the vessel which contains the batter) underneath the vessel so that any batter that spills out of the vessel collects in the basin. This batter can be transferred back to the vessel.

The above step is especially important for “Curd Dosa Batter” preparation.

Now mix the batter thoroughly. Close the vessel with a lid and let it stand for about 12 hours. Add salt just before you are ready to use the batter. Mix the batter well and let it stand till the salt dissolves.

Curd Dosa Batter is now ready.

Also view in this blog “Plain Dosa Batter” and “Neeru Dosa” recipes


This batter can be used to prepare dosas that are either thick or thin. For making thicker version of dosa, batter once poured on to the hot tava need not be spread all over, whereas for making thinner variety, on pouring the batter on the hot tava, it has to be spread all around in circular motion. By doing so, paper thin dosas can be made.