Chinese Style Okra Fry

About a year ago on a fine day, I arranged a small gathering of friends at our home. The theme of the meal plan was chinese and I included almost easy, many indian based chinese recipes into the menu.

Ofcourse, Gobi Manchurian is one of them since it has been known/tasted by many people. I personally like this indo-chinese recipe. I love the way it is prepared especially the dry version. The crispy cauliflower florets deep fried and slightly coated in the sauce, which gives a nice crunchy taste, a bit chewy with balanced saucy taste makes it an awesome snack. Though it not a pure chinese recipe it can be termed as a fusion recipe, it still won the show amidst other recipes that we had.

A week later after the get together, I was quickly going through my fridge to buy some vegetables for the upcoming week and I noticed a huge quantity of okra/ladies finger which had been sitting idle for about a week. Making a Okra puli kulambu would make use of only few and my husband doesn't prefer to have stir fries when he sees other options being available. So I planned to make okra fry just like cauliflower manchurian. It turned out to be good and since then I started makeing it often.

Any one who doesn't prefer to eat okras will definetely fall in love with this dish.The fried okra itself, tasted good before I sauted it with sauces. Worth a Try!!!

Basic Information:
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Servers: 4


For deep frying okra:

Okra / ladies finger - 250 grams
All purpose flour- 1/4 cup
Corn starch - 2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce - 1/2 tablespoon
Water - 1 tablespoon, only when required
Oil - for deep frying

For the Final Sauting:

Oil - 2 tablespoons
Green chillies - 3 nos.,
Red onion - 2 medium size, finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Ground white pepper / black pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
Soy sauce - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Tomato sauce - 2 tablespoons


1) Wash the okra/ladies finger well and wipe using kitchen towel. You can also spread it in kitchen towel and allow it to dry.


2) Chop it finely as shown in the picture. Let it dry for sometime.
3) In a wide bowl, add all purpose flour, corn starch, salt, ginger garlic paste, soy sauce and finally chopped okra. Mix well. If required, add a teaspoon of water and mix well.


4) Deep fry in batches till it becomes crisp.


5) In another or same kadai, add 2 tablespoons of oil.
6) Add finely chopped greenchillies and red onion. Saute till it becomes very soft.


7) Add ginger garlic paste and continue sauteing it the raw smell goes off.
8) Add soy sauce, tomato sauce, white pepper and salt. Mix well.
9) After few seconds, add the fried okra and toss it well for few seconds.


10) Serve hot with any of your favorite chinese main dish.


1) You can skip green chilli and add greenchilli paste instead. Since I love fried green chillies, I added them.
2) Deep fry okra is good to have if you sprinkle some red chilli on it.
3) Mix the fried okra with the manchurian sauces just before serving. Otherwise it becomes soggy.

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Banana Chocolate Chips Muffins

Disappearing from this space is not new to me. But this time it was for a very good reason. I just finished back to back shooting in a couple of TV channels for a cookery show. I got an opportunity via few like minded friends and I simply modified my low fat banana muffins and made a muffin for presenting in the show.

The muffins were very soft, spongy and I got them in perfect shape every time when I baked. Loaded with more chocolate chips you would love them to core. I added almost a cup of chocolate chips and used it majorly for topping only. Banana goes well with nuts too. So, you can substitute the chocolate chips with nuts.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 12


Mashed banana - 1 cup
Granulated sugar - 1 cup
Egg - 1 large no., at room temperature
Oil - 1/3 cup
Baking soda - 1 teaspoon
Baking powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
All purpose flour / Maida / Plain flour - 1 and 1/2 cup
Vanilla Extract - 1 teaspoon
Chocolate chips - 3/4 cup


1) Preheat the oven to 180C or 375F. Line the muffin tray with muffin liners. In a medium size bowl, mix baking powder, baking soda, salt and all purpose flour. Keep it aside.
2) In a large mixing bowl, add mashed banana, granulated sugar, egg and oil.
3) Mix well till everything is incorporated well.

4) Add dry ingredients. Mix well without any lumps.
5) At last, add vanilla extract and half of the chocolate chips. Mix well.
6)  Pour a tablespoon of the above mixture or two to the muffins liners till it is 3/4th filled.
7) Sprinkle with the remaining chocolate chips.


8) Bake it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until the tooth pin inserted into it comes out clean.
9) Once done, transfer to wire rack and cool completely.



1) Instead of white sugar, you can also use brown sugar. Adjust as per your taste buds.
2) I just blended the banana in a mixie jar for few seconds to get smooth paste out of it. You can blend it or smash using the spoon or fork. Use ripe banana for best results.
3) All purpose flour can be replaced with wheat flour.
4) Adjust the sugar as per the sweetness of the chocolate chips you use.

Keerai Masala Vadai / Spinach Channa Dal Vada

Have you ever crossed the local tea shops without ever noticing the masala vadai? Such street food delicacies are sinfully tasty, crispy and always I do wonder how do they maintain the crispness for a longer time. Don't miss to get one or two if the shop looks clean & decent.

While the medhu vadai / urad dal vada is the most popular vada variant, only occasionally we use to prepare masala vada my home. My personal favorite is the masala vadai.

I love the masala vadai that is available in the tea shop next to the temple at my native place. I get atleast one at my every visit to temple. Before I started the blog, I asked the tea master the recipe for vadai and he generously shared it with me. Since then I have been making his recipe and also here you are tasting it virtually.

I have added spinach to his original recipe and made "keerai vadai". We enjoyed every bite of it with hot tea. A wonderful combo that one should never miss during your evenings.


Basic information: 
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Soaking time: 2-3 hours
Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Channa  dal / Kadalai Paruppu - 3/ 4 cup
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Spinach - 1 and 1/2 cup, optimum packing, finely chopped
Onion - 1 no., medium size, finely chopped
Green chilli - 4 nos., finely chopped
Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
Grated ginger - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Oil - as required for deep frying


1) Wash both Channa Dal and Toor Dal together and soak it for 2-3 hours.
2) Wash the spinach well and chop it finely.
3) After 3 hours, drain the excess water and grind the dal coarsely without adding water. Make a coarse dal mixture out of it. One or few whole channa dal in the mixture is fine.


4) Transfer it to a bowl and add finely chopped spinach leaves.
5) Add onion, green chilli, fennel seeds, grated ginger, salt and asafoetida. Mix well. Taste and adjust the salt if required.


6) Heat oil in a pan. When it is not smoking hot, pinch a lemon sized dough out of the batter and pat it to round shape and gently immerse it in the oil. Keep a bowl of water nearby to wet your palms after you made each vada. It helps to pinch and pat the vada easily.
7) Deep fry the vadai in medium flame till it becomes nice golden brown. Flip it in between for even frying.


8) Once done, transfer to a plate covered with paper towel to drain the excess oil if any.
9) Serve it hot with hot tea.


1) Instead of toor dal you can also use a tablespoon of rice grains. Soak it along with channa dal.
2) Any kind of greens can be used for making this keerai vadai.
3) Make sure the flame is in medium flame to get crispy vadai.

Eggless Custard Powder Cake

My aunt visited my native for a family occasion. She left her son in my home as he had his classes. He went to school from my home, I packed lunch and snacks for him.

He is fond of cakes and pizzas and wished to bake one on his own. With no prior experience, he wished to bake a simple large cake. I suggested that he can start by baking cupcakes but from his point of view, he considers cooking cupcakes doesn't fall under the category of baking which was funny indeed. 

I suggested him to bake something chocolaty but finally concluded on this cake recipe from Divya's space as it is mentioned as easy peasy. He baked it as per the instructions and was thrilled to see the transformation from batter to spongy texture through the oven glass door. :-)

The top of the cake turned brown quickly, so I reduced the temperature to 150C and baked it for an hour. You an either cover it using aluminum foil in the middle and bake it in the usual temperature to avoid burning.

I personally felt the cake was a bit dry and had a cracked top while baking. The sweetness of the cake is bit less. But you can make it more sweet if needed. The color was very pleasant if you add vanilla flavored custard powder. If you use, corn flour, add some food coloring, otherwise you'll end up having a white cake.

We got nine slices out of the cake but managed to get only 2 slices for the shoot and the recipe is presented below for your treat.


Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Baking time: 45 minutes
Makes: 9 slices


All purpose flour / Maida - 1 and 1/2 cups
Vanilla Flavored Custard powder or Corn flour - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 2 and 1/4 teaspoons
Granulated sugar - 3/4 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 teaspoon
Butter - 10 tablespoons, at room temperature
Milk - 1 cup


1) Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease a square or round pan with butter and dust it with flour. Keep aside.
2) In a mixing bowl, mix both butter and milk.


3) Add sugar and vanilla extract. Continue mixing till the sugar dissolves.
4) Add all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, custard powder and baking powder) and mix until everything is incorporated.


5) Pour this batter to the prepared baking pan and bake it in the preheated oven for 45 minutes or until the tooth pin inserted into it comes out clean.


6) Once done, cool it for few minutes and transfer to a wire rack to allow it to cool down completely.



1) I reduced the oven temperature to 150 half way after noticing the top part of the cake started changing the color.
2) Increase the vanilla extract quantity to 2 teaspoons if you use corn flour.
3) Corn flour/corn starch texture would resemble a talcum powder. It is totally different from the corn meal available in the market.
4) Depending on the baking pan size and the oven temperature the baking time varies. Ideally, it would be 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Instant Cucumber Oats Crepe

Quick and instant foods are the ones I prefer when I rush to work. Sometimes it helps me on weekends as well for making breakfast/brunch. Innovative recipes are sometimes born from the leftovers available in the fridge. The same can be mentioned about fusion recipes too.

While I started making instant cucumber dosa from the available ingredients, it ended up as a crepe with loads of summer fruits. It took a quick transformation before I poured the first ladle of batter to make the crepe. I just made this recipe using the leftover ingredients from previous night's dinner at home. But believe me, you can make the crepe (dosa) part alone anytime and I hope the batter ingredients easily available at every household.

Today's recipe is savoury, instant fresh cucumber oats crepe with summer fruits stuffing. India cuisine blends with French here. :-) As I have added cucumber, it is good to have this dish during summer to cool our body. At this moment, I take a break to happily mention that this recipe of mine won the best, quick & easy healthy brunch recipe competition held across my office locations in India.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2



For Crepe:

Grated Fresh Cucumber – 1/2 cup
Quick cooking Oats – 1/4 cup
Semolina / Rava / Soji – 1/4 cup
Whole Wheat flour / Atta – 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste
Green chilli – 2 numbers, finely chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece, grated
Curd / Yogurt – 2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Water – as required to make batter
Olive oil – to drizzle

For Stuffing:

Ripe Mango – 1 cup
Pomegranate – 1/2 cup
Mint leaves – 10 leaves
Ground White pepper – 1/4 teaspoon
Salt – to taste
Chat masala – a pinch


1. Mix all the ingredients given under “For crepe” except oil and make pourable batter.


2. Heat the skillet and when it is hot, pour a ladle of batter and spread it in a circular motion from inside out. Drizzle olive oil on top of it.


3. While it is cooking, mix all the ingredients given under “For stuffing”.
4. By now, the crepe would have cooked, transfer to a plate.


5. Spread the stuffing, fold it. Voila, Here is the quick, healthy colorful brunch and enjoy.



1) If there is any leftover batter use within the same day.
2) Choose good quality of cucumber. Stuffing can vary as per your personal preference.


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