The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


January 16, 2017

Hot and Spicy Yellow Cucumber Pickle

We're celebrating International Hot and Spicy Food Day with Dosaavakaya or Spicy Yellow Cucumber Pickle.


Pickling vegetables is very common in South India with its origin in Andhra Pradesh. We pickle our vegetables using a variety of spices including mustard seeds, powdered red chilies and oil. The most popular type is mango pickle made with green mangoes called Aavakaya. Other vegetables and/or fruits we pickle are lemon, lime, garlic, ginger, Indian gooseberry and yellow cucumber (Dosakaya) etc.


Below is an easy recipe for making Dosavakai or Spicy Yellow Cucumber Pickle. This pickle goes well with warm plain rice. 

- 1 medium Dosakaya (pictured above), chopped with peel into 1/2" cubes
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- 5 Tbsp Vijay Pickle Masala Mix* (as shown in picture above)

Ingredients for seasoning
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/4 tsp Methi seeds (also known as Fenugreek seeds)
- a pinch of hing (asafoetida)


Mix together yellow cucumber, pickle masala powder, lime juice, and salt in a small mixing bowl.

    Scoop out the mixed ingredients into a mason jar and let it cure under closed lid for 3 to 4 days in a cool place. Make sure to mix the mixture at least one time each day. After a few days, you will see that water has accumulated in the jar to make a sauce with the other ingredients.


      In a small saucepan, heat oil on low-medium flame. Once it is warm, add mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add methi seeds and hing. Fry this mixture for about 30 seconds, turn off stove and add to the pickled yellow cucumber mixture in the mason jar. Mix it well and serve with plain rice and some oil or ghee (clarified butter).

        Dosaavakaya mixed with plain white rice and oil

        Quick Tips
        - Vijay Pickle Masala Mix is made with Chili powder, Turmeric, Mustard powder, Fenugreek, Asafoetida, and salt. It can be found at most Indian grocers like Patel Brothers, Subji Mandi or Delight Bazaar. 

        January 13, 2017

        Pappuchekkalu - Rice and Lentil Crisps

        Happy New Year Everyone!! It's a new year filled with new dishes and experiences. We're starting it off with one of our favorite snacks, Pappuchekkalu. We enjoy eating these savory lentil crisps on their own or with a hot beverage like tea. 

        Although they are fried, Pappuchekkalu are gluten free and made with healthy ingredients. With so many benefits, they are hard to resist. Let's get to it then...  

        To make the dough, you need
        • 4-1/2 cups Rice flour
        • 2-1/2 cups Urad dal flour (White lentil flour)
        • 1-1/2 cups Soy flour
        • 1/2 cup Moong dal, soaked and drained (also known as Mung bean)
        • 1 cup peanuts, soaked, drained and coarsely crushed
        • 3 Tbsp chili powder
        • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
        • 6 Tbsp Vegetable oil
        • 8 cups water
        • 2 to 2-1/2 Tbsp Salt
        You also need the following for frying
        • 3 to 4 cups Vegetable Oil

        Here's what you need to do

        Sieve together all the flours in a large bowl and set aside. In a 6 quart pan, combine water, moong dal, peanuts, chili powder, and sesame seeds. Bring it to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to simmer and stir in the flour mixture until the water is absorbed. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool down.

        When the mixture has cooled down, mix it well to form into uniform dough. Take portions of the dough (size of walnut) and place it in between a small piece of wax paper (or greased plastic sheet) and press it flat into a circle. Watch the demo below for clarification.

        Next, prepare the flat patties or chekkalu in batches and keep them covered so they do not dry out. Heat oil in a skillet or frying pan. Drop a tiny ball of dough (size of pea) to test the temperature. Please Note: When the tiny ball of dough bubbles and rises to the oil surface, the oil is ready for frying.

        Now slowly add the patties into the oil and fry them until they turn golden brown; you need to flip them over one or two times to get that color (as shown above).  Transfer all the crackers or pappuchekkalu from the frying pan with a wire skimmer and allow the oil to continue to drain by holding it into a bowl. 

        Later, put the crisps on a paper towel or tray to cool down. Store them in an air tight container so you can enjoy for 2 to 3 weeks. 

        I love snacking on these between my breaks at work; I pack myself a few in a ziplock bag and take it with me.

        If you have any questions about this recipe, please let us know. We love hearing from you. If you liked this recipe, check out other snack recipes on our blog: Picante Peanut Poppers, Crunchy Crackling Cashews, Corn Flakes Mixture (Chivda), and Karapappalu.