Archive for the tag “masala”

Masala Egg “Half” Fry

This is a recipe handed down to me by my dear friends – the Patels – yes, the same amazing cooks that brought us the gujarati khichdi and kadhi recipe. Not sure why we call it “half” fry but I suppose you can choose to completely cook the egg or leave it half cooked. It’s somewhat of a hybrid between fried egg and omelette. Either ways, this is a weekend staple breakfast dish and Nikhil’s and Girish’s favorite.

Ingredients – (for one egg)

Egg -1

Finely chopped onions – 1 tbsp

Finely chopped green chilies – 1/4 tsp

Finely chopped cilantro – 1/4 tsp

Garam masala powder – a pinch

Red chili powder – a pinch (optional)

Salt to taste


1. Heat 1/2 tsp of olive oil in a fry pan. I use the small egg fry pan but you can use any sized fry pan, preferably the non stick kind.

2. When the oil is hot, break the egg and spread the yolk slightly so it breaks.

3. Sprinkle the chopped onion, green chili, cilantro mixture.

4. Add red chili powder, gram masala and salt to taste.

5. Once the egg mixture starts to lightly brown on the sides, use a small, flat spatula and flip it over so the yolk, white and the onion chili mixture are now facing the bottom of the pan. This step is important to cook the yolk well.

6. Press the flipped egg lightly so the yolk gets completely cooked.

7. Serve hot with whole wheat toast.

Linking this post to Farmer Girl’s Kitchen food event – and the Breakfast Club. 

Healthy Paneer Butter Masala (Indian Cottage Cheese in Tomato-Cashew Gravy)

Panneer Butter Masala conjures up this image of a rich butter based gravy with equally rich chunks of paneer or Indian cottage cheese and heavy whipping cream as garnish. Healthy paneer butter masala does sound like an oxymoron.

I use the word healthy to describe this recipe  from Girish as it doen’t call for an ounce of butter or ghee (clarified butter). It uses cashew paste as  the base for the gravy and, yes, more importantly, does not use any whipping cream. The best part is that you don’t compromise on the taste at all. You still get a creamy, yummy paneer “butter” masala, without the butter. Girish made this over the last long weekend and it was the perfect accompaniment to hot chapathis and stuffed bitter melon (bharwan karela). This recipe is inspired from the Sanjeev Kapoor version though it has been tweaked enough to call it an original Girish version:)


Cottage cheese (paneer), cut into cup – 2 cups
Oil – 3 tbsp
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon – 1 stick
Dried red chillies – 5 (if you want it to be less spicy, use fewer)
Coriander seeds, crushed – 4 tablespoons
Green cardamom seeds – 1/2 tsp
Onion , sliced – 1 medium
Fresh Ginger sliced into 1″ strips – 3-5
Garlic – 4 pods
Tomatoes, chopped – 5-6 medium
Cashews – 1 cup
Salt to taste
Kasoori methi , crushed (dried fenugreek)- 2 teaspoon

1. Grind the cardamom seeds, red chilies and coriander seeds to a fine dry powder.
2. Take 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottom vessel (kadai), add cloves, cinnamon stick. When this gets heated and gives out an aroma, add garlic and ginger strips.
3. When this cooks, add sliced onions, and saute till the raw smell goes away, and it becomes light pink in color.
4. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook well till the oil separates.
5. In the meanwhile, take the cashews in a blender and blend it to fine paste with some water. If you have a powerful blender (like a Vitamix), you may not need to add water.
6. Cool the onion tomato mixture a little and transfer this mixture to the blender containing the cashew paste. Make a fine puree of the tomatoes, onions and cashews.
7. Take the remaining oil in a kadai again, add some of the kasuri methi and add the paneer pieces. Fry till the paneer is slightly golden brown, not too fried.






8. Take out the paneer and keep it separately.
9. Add the tomato taste and cook while stirring, till the paste begins to boil, and the raw taste of cashews goes away. Add the red chili, coriander, cardamom powder here, and mix well.
10. Heat for a few minutes more, add the paneer and continue to cook for 3-5 minutes.

Brunch – Pondicherry Masala Dosai

I had dosai batter coming out of my ears this weekend, thanks to my mom’s foresight and planning. That probably didn’t sound the way it was supposed to, but I mean that in a very nice way, actually. She just went back to visit India so she made sure she stocked my fridge with idli and dosa batter for those evenings when I could have a quick dosa dinner after work. Because she realizes that after almost 8 months of being here with me, I’ve had to re-learn things including quick dinners on weekdays. Not that I didn’t cook when she was here (it was mostly on the weekends to try out new recipes). Just in case you wonder why my posts were still not that frequent. All right, I’ve been busted. Excuses, excuses.

So I got around to making aloo masaal (spiced mashed potatoes with onions), spicy red chutney and was all set to make Pondicherry Masala Dosai. I’ve also heard this being called Mysore Masala Dosai. But I got this name from a chef at a restaurant in Plano, where I live. I’m not sure if this restaurant still exists so I will leave the name out, but this was a dish on their menu. When asked about the name, he said he used to live in Pondicherry and just learnt the recipe there so dedicates the dish to the name.

And so I tried this for the first time and it was so good that I decided to call this Pondicherry Masala Dosa as well:)


Dosa batter - 2 cups (for about 15 dosas)

For aloo masaal:

Potatoes – 4

Onions (red or yellow) – 1 large

Green chilies – 4-5

Ginger, crushed – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal (black gram dal) – 1/2 tsp

Chana dal (bengal gram dal) – 1/2 tsp

Peanut oil – 1 tsp

Cilantro, curry leaves, a few sprigs, chopped

Method for aloo masala -

1. Heat the oil in a kadai or heavy bottomed fry pan.

2. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. After it starts to splutter, add the urad dal and chana dal.

3. Add ginger, onions, curry leaves and fry well till the onions become transparent.

3. In the meantime, boil the potatoes and mash them well.

4. Add the mashed potatoes to the oil. Add turmeric, salt and mix well. Cook for about 5 minutes, add cilantro.

Spicy red Chutney


Dry red chilies – 10-12

Garlic pods – 2

Red bell pepper – 1/4 chopped into pieces

Tamarind paste – 1/2 tsp

Grind all the above in a blender with some salt and keep aside.

Method for Pondicherry Masala Dosai

1. Heat a flat griddle and add a tsp of oil.

2. Spread the dosa batter with a ladle on the heated griddle or tawa. Add another 1/2 tsp of oil and let it cook on the griddle. When it is half cooked or when brown/red spots start appearing, spread the spicy red chutney on the dosai.

3. Now heap the potato masala in the center of the dosai and fold the dosai. Let it cook for a minute more and gently take it off the tawa onto a plate. Serve hot with sambar.

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