Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tenginakayi (coconut) chutney - the taste of my childhood

This one is straight from my grandmother's kitchen or rather, straight from her  stone mortar and pestle....paata varvanta as they call it in Marathi.

Paata varvanta

I vividly remember, she sitting with her saree tucked away on one side with one leg folded near the paata (stone platform) and the other leg stretched on the kitchen floor,  grinding this chutney to get the perfect consistency. She had an electric mixer but desisted from using it too often saying that grinding chutneys in a mixer does not impart the same yummy taste.

Tenginakayi chutney

This chutney was a regular feature  in her house as everybody just loved it mixed with hot rice and ghee. Now, I have made it quite a few times myself, using the same tried and tested recipe but in an electric mixer... and lacks that taste which my memory craves for. May be the secret of getting it perfect lies in the paata varvanta :) Miss you avva!

To grind:

  • 1 cup fresh, grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 0.5 tbsp udid dal
  • 0.5 tsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • Tamarind pulp - to taste
  • Water - to adjust the consistency
  • 2-3 red chillies, deseeded as preferred
  • 1 tbsp oil or as required
  • Salt- to taste

To temper:
  • 0.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp - til/sesame oil (Sesame oil is preferred but one can use any other oil as well)


Roast the chana dal, udid dal and sesame seeds along with the red chillies in little oil till they change color. Grind the coconut with these roasted dals, chillies and tamarind pulp with  gradual addition of water till we get our desired smooth consistency. To this chutney, add the above tempering and mix it well.

It's best enjoyed with hot rice drizzled with sesame oil or ghee.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Masala Puri Chaat

Turned out perfect!

I haven't had tried masala puri till recently ...even after staying in Bangalore for more than 5 years now!  This is something what I wanted to atone for. I tried going to Malleswaram and eat this chaat at a street vendor's stall but somehow ended up disliking it.  The peas gravy had a peculiar taste to it but I was not about to accept defeat. How could a foodie like me give up on this Karnataka's local favourite without even trying for it!

Well for the unacquainted, masala puri is a chaat item which consists of a crushed puris served with piping hot, peas masala gravy, an assortment of chutneys and sev. Many locals just vouch for its mouthwatering goodness. So what was I waiting for... I googled for its recipe and finally decided to try the recipe given on

Here it is reproduced for you all with slight variations of my own:

For the Peas Masala:

To be pressure cooked:
  • 2 cups white peas, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 carrot ( I had a huge red carrot and so I used half of it)
  • 1 medium potato
  • Salt - to taste
For the paste:
  • 1/2 onion -  chopped
  • 1 large tomato - chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped
Masalas to be added:

  • 3/4 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 heaped tsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1-2 tsp jaggery powder as per your liking
  • oil - 2 tbsp
  • water - to adjust the consistency
  • salt-to taste


Pressure cook the soaked peas with carrot, potato and salt till they are soft and ready to get mashed. In a kadhai, heat the oil and fry the onions with ginger, garlic and green chillies for a couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder and fry it more for 2-3 minutes. Once the onion-tomatoes are done and mushy, allow it cool and grind it without adding any water.

Again, using the same kadhai, add the ground paste with mashed peas and sufficient quantity of water to form a gravy. ( No need to add oil again). Add the remaining masala powders to this gravy and allow it to boil well. Adjust the consistency with water as per your liking. Usually this masala is prepared a bit thin to serve it on top of the puris.

For assembing the masala puri plate, you will need the following:
  • Flat fried puris - I used the store bought ones or you can even use the puffed-up puris which we use in pani puri
  • Sweet and sour dates and tamarind chutney
  • Green chutney
  • Chaat masala and chilli powder - to sprinkle
  • Thin Sev
  • Finely chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves


Crush around 5-6 puris in plate. Pour a ladleful or two of peas masala gravy on top of it. To this, add generous quantities of sev; chutneys as per your liking, garnish it with finely chopped onions, tomatoes and coriander leaves. Finally, sprinkle the chaat masala for that typical yummy taste!


Note: One can even use dried green peas for this recipe.