Chow Chow Chutney / Chayote Chutney / Bangalore Brinjal Chutney

Chow chow chutney, also known as chayote chutney or Bangalore Brinjal Chutney.

Idly and Dosa are staple food in every south Indian household.  Making an Idly and dosa is not a big deal but what to serve as an accompaniment is a challenging task everyday. To provide a solution to it, Chutney recipes like this come to the rescue.

It is a great alternate for usual onion and tomato and coconut chutneys. Those who doesn't prefer to eat this Vegetable but still wanted the nutrients from it, then this chutney is correct choice for you.

As we saute and cook the chow chow, it is good to health and  prevents cancer development. Chow chow is a good source of vitamin c and it helps to convert protein into fat energy. Chow chow doesn't have any bad cholesterol and the high water content helps you to keep hydrated in this summer.

This chutney almost taste like tomato onion chutney and one can find out the chow chow taste only if it is told explicitly. It is a perfect side dish for idly and dosa.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: ~1 cup


For Chutney:

Oil – 1 and 1/2 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Dry red chilli – 4
Onion – ¾ cup
Tomato – ½ cup
Chow Chow/Chayote – 1 cup
Garlic – 3 cloves
Tamarind – a small piece
Salt – to taste

For Seasoning:

Oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry Leaves – 5 leaves
Asafoetida – a pinch

Video Recipe:

Method with step by step pictures:

1) Heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoon oil in a kadai or pan.
2) Add urad dal and fry till it turns golden brown in colour. Add 4 dry red chillies and saute till it changes in its colour slightly.
3) Add onion, tomato and chayote one by one. add 3 garlic cloves. Saute till everything cooked well.
4) Towards the end, add a piece of tamarind and salt to taste.
5) The heat in the pan is enough to soften the tamarind. You  may also soak tamarind in hot water and add it while grinding.
6) Cool down the sauteed ingredients to room temperature.
7) Grind it to a smooth paste. Add 2 tbsp to 1/4 cup of water for grinding and for rinsing the mixie jar.
8) Mix well, taste and adjust the salt if needed.
9) In another pan, heat 2 tsp of oil.
10) Throw mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
11) When the crackle sound suppresses, add curry leaves and asafoetida.
12) Mix well and add it to the chutney.
13) Serve  with idly/dosa.

Serving suggestion:
1) It can be served as a side dish for idly/dosa for breakfast or dinner.
1) Make sure to cook the chayote well before grinding.
2) Store the leftover chutney in fridge if any. It keeps well for a day if stored in fridge.
3) The colour of the chutney depends on the dry red chilli and tomato we use.
4) I have used yellow onion for this chutney and you can substitute it with red onion.
5) Adjust the water quantity according to the taste and consistency needed.

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Chickpea Biyani / Chole Biryani / Chana Biryani / Kondakadalai Biryani

It is biryani at our home every sunday without any second thoughts. So I try to include variations to it and make different types of biriyanis so that the family members can not get bored of it. Even if i serve the same biryani for seven day in a week, they eat happily :-)

Chickpea biryani is a wonderful variation to vegetable biryani. if you have the cooked chickpeas in handy, then this biryani can be prepared in a jiffy and the procedure to make this is also an easy one. As we cook it in pressure cooker, suitable for making for a big crowd. You really love the cooked chickpeas in between the rice while eating.

It pairs well with all kinds of raita (Thyir pachadi) and any mild to spicy gravy. Make sure to cook the chickpeas with basmati rice for a perfect aroma.

This chickpeas are called as chole or chana in hindi, kondakadalai in Tamil and sometimes as garbanzo beans. whatever the name is, it is been widely used across world and also India. If you have any biryani lover, try this variation.

There are many variations to make this biriyani but I always choose this method as it is easy and very mild. Both black and white chickpeas can be used for this recipe but white chickpea tastes good than black chickpea.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time:15 minutes
Soaking time: 8 hours for chickpeas and 1/2 hour for rice
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 3


For Grinding:
Ginger – 1 inch, chopped
Garlic – 3 big cloves, chopped
Green chilli – 1
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – one handful
Coriander leaves – one handful

For Biryani:
Ghee -2 tbsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Cloves – 3
Cardamom -2
Cinnamon – 1
Bay Leaf – 1
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
Onion – 1 and ½ cup, sliced
Tomato – ½ cup
Cooked chickpeas – 1 heaped cup
Basmati Rice – 1 and ½ cup
Water – 2 and ½ cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp or to taste
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Garam masala – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Video Recipe:

Method with stepby step pictures:

1) Soak the chickpeas overnight and pressure it for 4 whistles. Once done, strain the excess water and keep the chickpeas ready for the biryani.
2) Soak the basmati rice for 30 minutes.
3) Grind all the ingredients given under grinding along with 1/4 cup of water.
4) In a pressure cooker, heat 2 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil.
5) Add all the spices one by one. let all the spices crackle.
6) Add onion. Saute it well till it becomes soft and translucent. Saute till it turn in its colour.
7) Add the ground puree and mix well till the raw smell of it goes off.
8) Add the tomato. Saute till it becomes mushy.
9) Add red chilli powder to taste, coriander powder, garam masala and salt. Mix well.
10) Add the cooked Chickpeas. Mix well again.
11) Add soaked rice after draining the water. Mix it very gently and make sure not to break the rice.
12) By now, you don't see any excess water in the cooker. Now add the 2 and 1/2 cups of water. if you see the rice mixture is bit watery(before adding water), then reduce the water quantity accordingly.
13) Add lemon juice at the end and Pressure cook it for 2 whistles. Wait till the steam to suppress well and then open the lid.
14) Fluff it using fork.
15) Serve hot.

Serving Suggestions:
It is served as a main course for lunch or sometimes for dinner. It can be accompanied by any raita and gravies.
Lunchbox Idea:
I paired this rice with carrot raita and egg omelette for packing it for lunch. It is suitable for both kids and adults.
1) Use the water quantity correctly to get fluffy cooked basmati rice.
2) I pressure cooked the chickpeas first and then measured 1 heaped cup for cooking.
3) Immediately after fluffing, transfer the rice to a wide pan to avoid rice sticking to each other.

Chipotle Pasta Salad / Cold Pasta Salad / Summer Pasta Salad

Salads are something that I often prefer to eat during the summer time and this will help me to reduce my time in the kitchen as much as possible. Almost all my salads would be with basic lemon dressing and for a change, I prepared a pasta salad using chipotle mayo this time.

It is one the best dish to consume for this summer. I used ready to use chipotle mayo and This can also be prepared using the plain mayo and it tastes yumm.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2

Video Recipe:


For Salad:

1 cup boiled Pasta (fusilli or farfalle)
1/2 cup romaine lettuce
1/4 cup sweetcorn
1/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
1/4 chopped bell pepper
1 /4 chopped red onion
1/4 chopped avocado
2 tablespoons coriander leaves
salt to taste
pepper to taste

For dressing:

1/3 cup of chipotle mayonnaise
3 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp paprika
½ tsp Oregano
milk to dilute (optional)


1. Mix chipotle mayo, yogurt and lemon juice in a bowl. Whisk well until it is smooth and creamy. Stir in the paprika, oregano. Mix until blended.
2. In a wide mixing bowl, add rest of the ingredients one by one.
3. Add the prepared creamy seasoned chipotle mayonnaise to it.
4. Mix well and serve.

Serving Suggestions:

1) It can be served as a main course along with a slice of bread or consumed as it is.


1) Adjust the paprika and ground pepper according to personal taste.
2) Serve this salad immediately. If you are packing it for lunch, save the dressing separately and mix with pasta just before eating.
3) Vegetables can be changed as per personal choice.

Lunchbox Recipe Idea 3 - Beetroot Chapathi, Dal fry and Jeera Aloo

Today we will see the lunchbox recipe idea which is heart and stomach filling and tasty.

For this kind of lunchbox, I used to prepare the dough in previous night itself and rest of the things in the next morning.

Lunchbox idea 3 has the below recipes. For more lunchbox ideas, please click here.

1) Beetroot chapathi
2) Dal fry
3) Jeera Aloo
4) Cucumber and Carrot
5) Cantaloupe

Making video:

How I prepared it:

1) Kept 1/2 cup dal and 3 sliced potatoes in a pressure cooker.
2) Meanwhile, chop 1/2 beetroot and grind it along with 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and 1 green chillies. Make a smooth puree without lumps. Add this puree to the 1 and 1/2 cup wheat flour along with salt. Make a smooth dough. Towards the end, add a tsp of oil and knead well. keep it side for 15 minutes.
3) By now, the pressure cooker would have completed the three whistles. Before the steam suppresses, chop onion and tomato.
4) Now, Release the steam from pressure cooker, take out the potato from the cooker and mash the dal well.
5) In a kadai, add 2 tsp ghee. Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, cumin seeds and 1 chopped green chilli. let it crackle. Add finely chopped onion and saute well. Add 1 tsp ginger garlic paste and saute for few more minutes. Add finely chopped tomato.
6) Cook till the tomatoes are soft. Add 1/2 tsp red chilli powder, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala,1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well till the raw smell goes off.
7) Add the mashed dal along with 3/4 cup to 1 cup water. mix well. let the dal cook well and reach the desired consistency.
8) Add a pinch of kasuri methi and cook for a minute. the dal fry is ready.
9) While the dal is cooking, heat oil in another pan, crackle cumin seeds and green chillies. add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and saute till it becomes soft. Add cooked potato. Add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt to taste. Let it cook till the raw smell of masala goes off. Add 1 tbsp chopped coriander and mix well. Cover using the lid and cook for few more minutes to incorporate the flavor of coriander leaves with potato. After few minutes, mix gently and the jeera aloo is ready.
10) At last, divide the dough and make circular disc. Cook it on hot tawa and smear oil if required. cook both the side.

That's it. Yummy lunchbox ready!

Avocado Banana Chocolate Smoothie / ABC Smoothie

I love engaging my kid in various activities other than studying/reading. She often finds me cooking and sometimes help me as well.

This time, when she was just back from school, I involved her in preparing this simple smoothie for her after school drink. She happily prepared it under my supervision and of course turned out super good. She was extremely happy and drunk the entire glass(happens once in a blue moon)as she prepared it on her own.

For her easy convenience, I named it ABC smoothie(Avocado Banana and Chocolate smoothie). Hope you will enjoy this smoothie as much as she did.

I added crushed chocolate as topping as per her suggestion. You may please change it according to your personal preference.
Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1, generously

Avocado – 1/2 ripe
Banana – 1 ripe
Cocoa powder – 1 tbsp
Sugar – 1 tbsp (adjust as per taste)
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 and 1/2 cup, chilled

Recipe Video:

1) In a blender, add all the ingredients one by one.
2) Blend it for 5 to 10 minutes till it becomes smooth and no lumps found.
3) Pour it in glasses and top it with crushed chocolate.

4) Serve chill.

Serving Suggestions:
1) Reduce the milk quantity and make a thick smoothie. Serve it in a bowl with seeds and dry fruits as a morning breakfast.
2) Prepare the smoothie exactly given in the above method, pour it tall glass, top it with chocolate crumble and serve it as back to school drink.

1) Increase the sugar quantity as per liking. We generally prefer our smoothie with less sugar quantity.
2) Instead of diary milk, you may use soy or almond milk for making it vegan.
3) Instead of sugar, you can also use honey.


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