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.


Showing posts with label peanuts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peanuts. Show all posts

December 29, 2019

For the Love of Podis - Peanut Podi

In Andhra cuisine, bhojanam or meal is comprised of rice and a variety of dishes that are eaten with that said rice, including wet/dry vegetable curries, rasam, and plain yogurt. 

SOMETIMES, WE CRAVE FOR SOMETHING MORE YUMMY THAN JUST CURRIES. In those times, we eat rice with pickles or podis. These pickles and podis are usually pre-made and in large quantities, so they are always on hand for those CRAVINGS!! 

Tonight, I ate something I haven't eaten in 2 years, and it was so good. From the moment, the rice ball mixed with the PEANUTTY PODI hit my mouth, I was in podi heaven. 😋

You may be thinking, is she crazy?  I'm not.

I just love the simplicity of Andhra cuisine. Some dishes are super easy to make with very few ingredients. Below is the recipe for Peanut podi, which is my favorite out of all the podis and by far the easiest to make.

  • 1 cup of peanuts
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Vegetable oil
  • Clarified butter (ghee), optional

Shallow fry the dry red chilies with a few drops of vegetable oil and then add the peanuts. Then fry these together for 5 to 7 minutes on medium to low heat (or until you smell the roasted aroma). Remove from heat and let the mixture cool down. Grind the peanut and chili mixture together with salt in a blender (on medium speed) until you get a coarse powder. Adjust the chili powder and salt quantities as per your taste.

If you love peanuts, then you will love peanut podi. I add enough podi to the rice until I get the peanutty flavor. I also add a couple of drops of vegetable oil to the rice and podi mixture because it brings it all together and also enhances the flavor. You can add ghee instead of vegetable oil if you are not diet conscious.

January 24, 2013

For the Love of Peanut Butter

Oh Peanut Butter, Oh Peanut Butter
You so creamy and smooth
Oh Peanut Butter, Oh Peanut Butter
And so chunky and crunchy
You go with everything and anything
Please don't ever part from me!

Today is National Peanut Butter Day and I thought I would start by telling everyone how much I love it. What do you think? I think, it's simple and right to the point. My newest trend or topic has been to follow food-related events/holidays like this one. Everyone I know loves peanut butter; it's made with one of the best ingredients: PEANUTS!!

That's a lot of PEANUTS!!
Here are some facts that you may or may not know about peanut butter (Wikipedia):
- Popular in North America, Netherlands, United Kingdom & parts of Asia
- Commonly used as a sandwich spread; especially for PB&J sandwiches
- The US and China are the main exporters
- Has some good health benefits: protein, Vitamin B3& E, Magnesium, & Dietary Fiber

Other uses include in making cookies and candy (like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups). Putting sweets aside, we love using it in many of our Indian recipes. It makes our dishes more creamy, and also enhances the flavor:

With so many different uses and varieties (smooth, chunky, nutty, organic, non-fat) of peanut butter to choose from, this is one food trend that is sure to "stick around".

Have you had your serving of peanut butter today? How do you enjoy peanut butter? 

Read all about last week's food event, International Hot and Spicy Food day which fell on January 16th.

February 28, 2011

The "Other" Dosa Chutney

Masala Dosa at Chennai Garden, NYC
What a lovely sight, indeed! Above is a great example of a dosa. It is a kind of crepe which is most commonly made from fermented rice and urad dal batter. Usually, most South Indian restaurants serve dosas with sambar, fiery chutney powder, and coconut chutney.  In my experience, the sambar is usually too spicy and so is the chutney powder. The coconut chutney is okay if it's properly made and sometimes, it's too watery which ruins the taste of the dosa. And that is why I have to speak out. I know of another chutney that deserves to take center stage and push the coconut one aside. It's creamy, a little tangy and sweet and oh so flavorful. I used to think this chutney recipe was a well kept secret but my mom only told me recently that variations of it are served in restaurants in Southern India. I guess it's not a secret anymore.
Yummy Peanut Chutney!
Feast your eyes on the one and only chutney that should be accompanied with the rice and urad dal dosa. 

1 cup of Peanuts
2 Dry Red chillies (or 1 tsp crushed red chilies)
1" ball of Dry Tamarind or 1 tbsp of Tamarind Concentrate
1 tbsp of Jaggery or Brown sugar
½ Salt tsp or as needed
1 tsp of Vegetable oil

1) Fry peanuts and chillies in oil on medium heat to low heat until peanuts give out the roasted aroma. It should take about 6-7 minutes.

2)  If using tamarind, use sufficient water to cover it and microwave it for 15-20 seconds. Allow it to soak for 5 minutes; this will loosen it up so you can squeeze the juice out.

3) Blend peanuts and chillies to a fine powder. Then add salt and brown sugar. Squeeze the juice out of soaked tamarind and add the juice to the mixture. Next, add water to make the mixture wet and blend it to a smooth paste. Taste the chutney to adjust salt or brown sugar as needed and remove from the blender.

Quick Tips 
- You can also season the chutney with mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves. It gives it that extra kick. 

I know you're dying to make dosas now, just so you can dip the dosa into this creamy and "nutty" chutney. Check out India on a Griddle: A Savory Dosa Recipe Worth the Effort

February 4, 2011

Picante Peanut Poppers

We transformed the nuts we love to eat into a new snack that would bring smiles to everyone. These "pop in your mouth" bits are a great addition to any party or get together. We've made a bunch of batches for the big game tomorrow.

You can either eat them on their own or enjoy them with any cocktail (alcoholic or not). The chili powder adds a bit of a kick to every bite. I've been popping these into my mouth all afternoon...I just love them. It's hard to stop once you get started.

  • ½ cup Raw Peanuts
  • ¼ cup Fine Gram flour,  also known as Besan
  • ½ tsp Chili powder, (adjust to your spice level)
  • ½ tsp Chaat masala
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • A pinch of Soda Bicarbonate
  • ¾ tbsp Vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp Whole Cumin seeds 

Let's get cracking:
1) Soak peanuts in a cup of water for 10-12 minutes.
2) Sieve flour along with chili pd, salt, turmeric, chat masala and soda to mix well.
3) Add sieved mixture into a mixing bowl and mix in jeera and oil.

4) Into the above flour mixture, add drained peanuts and mix well so that all the peanuts are coated with flour. If the mixture seems dry and powdery, sprinkle a teaspoon or less of water and mix. 

5) Spray/rub some oil onto a microwavable plate (dinner plate) and spread the peanuts on it in a single layer.

6) Microwave for 5-6 minutes based on the wattage of the microwave. If it is a high power one, try using at 80% power until the peanuts are well roasted. (Hint: you can smell the roasted aroma) Also halfway through, take out the plate and separate out the peanuts so they roast evenly.

***Quick Tip: For a different taste, replace the chat masala with amchoor powder.

January 9, 2011

New Year's Resolution - Veggie Delight!

Each new year we start off with a new list of resolutions and one that usually tops the list is eating more healthy and staying fit. That means, less junk and more nutritious meals. We know more than ever how hard it is to keeping up with those resolutions through the course of the year. That is why, we are constantly coming up with more and more recipes to keep you on track without sacrificing the taste of your meals.

Furthermore, there are a lot of products that are designed to keep calories down with the help of diet drinks, bar and cereals. However, it's important to balance your diet plan with vegetables to make sure you are getting the necessary nutrients. One of those vegetables is Okra.
It is low in calories and has a good source of many nutrients including vitamin B6 and C, fiber, calcium, and folic acid (according to We make curries with this vegetable quite often and recently discovered that adding crushed peanuts makes it even more tasty.

Ingredients for Nutty Okra:
- 1.5 lb of Fresh Okra (also known as bhindi/lady fingers)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
- ½ cup of Roasted peanuts,  (coarsely ground)
- ½ tsp of Chili powder 
- ½ tsp of Jeera (cumin seeds) 
- 3 tbsp of Vegetable oil
- ½ tbsp of Salt  (or as needed)

1) Wash and dry the okra very well between towel folds or allow it to dry in open air for 15-20min. Chop the ends of the okra and make it into quarters lengthwise.
2) Heat oil on medium heat in a non-stick pan (saucepan) and add jeera. When they sizzle, add okra and mix well. Close the pan with a lid and allow the okra to soften for 5-6 min (stir in between).
3) When okra is cooked (the color will change from bright green to dull green color), remove the lid and pan fry the okra for 5-6 min mixing frequently (add 1 tbsp oil if needed) until the oil comes out. Now add chili powder and salt and mix well for 1-2 min followed by the peanut powder.
4) Mix the contents and transfer into a serving dish. This can be served as an appetizer or as a side dish with hot rice or rotis.
Quick Tip: Salt is added after the vegetable is cooked to avoid gooeyness. 

July 16, 2010

Go "Green" with Garden Poha

The teacher (pertaining to myself) becomes the student today since I have searched through the internet to look for different meanings for explaining what Poha is. Poha is another name for flattened rice. It is widely known all over South Asia (which does not only refer to South Indians); it includes Nepal and Bangladesh as well.

Did you know that when flattened rice is mixed with any liquid, it puffs up four times thicker than a normal rice grain. I don't know how true that is but according to Wiki it does. I will put this to the test and get back to you. Also, did you know unlike rice grains, poha can be consumed raw? That's right, so just go ahead and pop some into your mouth. The only thing is that it doesn't have a lot of taste until you mix something with it like milk, jaggery (sugarcane sugar) or other ingredients. In that case, let's add some taste to it.

You in the mood to do some cookin'? I can't hear ya. In light of the hot weather we have been experiencing in the East Coast lately, we are going to make more dishes that are not so heavy and chill out.

So gear up and get into the kitchen. We are cookin' up Garden Poha. Then you can enjoy your freshly made dish with a glass of Mojito or Lemonade (keeping with the green theme).

Here are the ingredients to get you started and I know what you are thinking, the list below looks lengthy but once you see the picture,  you'll see it's not that serious.

***Please note: French Cut beans missing in picture but it is included in the recipe.

• 3 cups Poha (flattened rice), thick variety
• 2/3 cups Carrots & peas (frozen)
• 1 large Onion, chopped finely
• ½ cup French Cut Green beans (frozen)
• 1 medium Potato, peeled and chopped finely (keep in water)
• 3 to 4 Green chilies, split into half
• ½ cup Peanuts
• 1 Lime or 1-2 tbsp of Lime juice  (as desired)
• ½ to ¾ tbsp Salt (as needed)
• 2-3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
• 1 heaped tsp Turmeric powder
• 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
• 1 tsp Cumin Seeds (jeera)
• Handful of Coriander / cilantro, chopped

Now, let's get down to cooking with all these ingredients:

1. Wash poha in plenty of water in a big bowl and drain the water completely using a strainer or sieve. Allow the poha to soak for atleast 10 minutes.

2. In a wide skillet, heat oil and fry peanuts on medium heat until golden brown. Then add mustard, cumin seeds, and green chilies. When they crackle add onion, potato (drain water) and frozen beans. Next, add a pinch of salt and close the lid for 3-5 min until potato and beans are soft.

3. Add the remaining salt and turmeric and mix. Next, add poha and mix well. Cook on medium to low heat with closed lid for another 5 min.

4. Remove from stove and add lemon juice, carrots & peas and mix. Keep the lid closed for 5-6 minutes for the frozen vegetables to be cooked by the warm food.

5. Garnish it with cilantro and grated coconut (optional) and serve hot. This recipe makes 3-4 servings so invite your close friends over. Kick off those heels or sneakers, whatever you have on and have some Poha.

If you don't mind, I'm going to have some right now and I'll see you next time, right here at my blog for the next summer creation. Until then, keep those mouths hungry and I'll make sure to fill you up Real Good.

***Also check out Bread Poha @ Honey, What's Cooking? adapted from Sure to please the taste buds.***

June 27, 2010

A Real Crunch Muncher!

If you have ever read "The Namesake" or watched the movie, then you will remember this scene I am about to narrate to you. Ashima Ganguli newly married leaves her hometown in Calcutta, India to settle with her husband, Ashoke in Cambridge, MA. Ashoke is an engineering student at MIT and lives in an apartment on or near campus. Ashima wakes up in the morning and looks around their little kitchen to figure out what to eat for breakfast. Oh, I forgot to mention she's pregnant. I guess pregnant women have all sorts of cravings, something spicy, sweet or salt. All Ashima could find is a box of Corn Flakes in the cupboard. So she takes out a bowl, pours the corn flakes into it and just looks at it; it's so plain. The next scene that I remember from the movie was that she chops up onions and adds them to the cereal and tosses it with masala and salt. Note to self: every Indian household has masala for's a necessity.

Anyways, after mixing everything together, she sits down by the table and eats her spicy corn flakes mixture for breakfast with pleasure. Now I have explained this particular scene to you because that was one of the scenes that reminds me of foods I grew up with and how I could relate to the movie. My mom made a similar Corn Flakes Mixture this weekend and I just couldn't help but think of the scene from "The Namesake".  And you know what, the procedure for this snack is so simple and so easy and it takes like 10 minutes. So grab some corn flakes and get cracking!!!

I'm sure you are so excited about this snack that you are dying to know what's in it, right? Well, I'm gonna tell you and then you have to tell me how it turns out. You will never look at Corn Flakes the same way again.


- 7oz box of Corn Flakes cereal
- Handful of Peanuts / cashews
- Handful of Roasted channa dal
½ tsp of Red Chilli powder
- 1 tsp of Coriander powder (dhania),  (optional)
- 1 tsp of Salt (as per your taste)
½ tsp of Citric Acid powder, (optional)
- 1 tsp of Confectioner's sugar
- 3 to 4 tbsp of Vegetable oil

1) Heat oil in a small saucepan on medium heat and fry the peanuts/cashews until golden brown.

2) Remove from heat and add coriander powder, salt and citric acid and mix well.

3) Empty the cornflakes into a microwavable contrainer and add the roasted channa dal. Then transfer the  seasoning into it and mix well.

4) Reduce the power level on the microwave oven to 70% power and microwave for just two minutes. (Please note that heating time could vary on the power of the oven).

5) Remove from the oven and sprinkle the confectioner's sugar over using a metal sieve and mix well. When it cools down, store it in a tight container to keep it from going stale.

****If you guys haven't heard of The Namesake, you can read more about it at

March 15, 2010

Pulihora (Tamarind Rice), Made Easy!

Happy Ugadi or Gudipadwa to all!

Ugadi/Gudipadwa is a Andhra, Karnataka, and Maharashtrian holiday which celebrates the arrival of the New Year, which also coincides with the beginning of Spring. This year it falls on a working day (3/16) and so my mom decided to make dishes that don't require a lot of time and happen to be our favorite. Yay for all.

The two dishes are Pulihora (Tamarind Rice) and Sooji Halwa (A Semolina Sweet). Both of these items are served as Prasad (offering to the god) at South Indian temples. Tamarind Rice is a very traditional delicacy which is often served at festivals and weddings.

One of the key components to making this rice dish so tasty, is Chaunk or Talimpu (seasoning). Also, traditional Tamarind rice making involves time-consuming method of soaking tamarind in water, squeezing the juice out, cooking it to make it into a paste, and then mixing it with rice. With semi-processed tamarind paste available these days, tamarind rice can be made in 10-15 minutes. It is a great way to turn your left over rice into a mouth-watering dish enjoyed by all.

- 2 cups Basmati Rice

Ingredients for seasoning:
* 3 Tbsp Vegetable oil
* 1/3 cup Peanuts
* 2 Tbsp Channa dal (yellow peas)
* 1 tsp Mustard seeds
* 1 tsp cumin seeds
* ½ tsp (Asafoetida) Hing
* 1 tsp Turmeric powder
* 1 tsp Methi powder (fenugreek)
* 1 to 1-½ Tbsp Tamarind paste
* 6 small Green chilies, sliced into half  (3 Red chilies, broken into 1-inch pcs)
* 8 to 10 curry leaves
* 1-½  tsp Salt to taste
* ½ Tbsp Brown sugar (or gud)

1) Cook rice with slightly less water so that the grains are separated and not sticky. Then immediately transfer into a open dish, add a tbsp oil and spread it to loosen the grains.

2) In a small skillet add oil and heat it on medium heat. Hold your hand above the skillet and feel the heat. When hot, add peanuts and fry for 3 minutes. Add channa dal and continue to fry.

3) When peanuts and dal start to turn golden brown, add mustard and jeera and fry until the seeds start to splutter.
4) Add green chillies and a pinch of salt and fry for 2 min., then add hing, turmeric and methi powder. Add curry leaves and mix well.
5) Remove from the stove and add brown sugar. Transfer the seasoning onto the rice.

6) Add tamrind paste into rice and mix it well to a uniform color of deep yellow color. Allow the rice to absorb the seasoning for atleast 30min and serve.

Hey you all, just wanted to add that, you can also make this dish with rice noodles or vermicelli. Just follow the same recipe but with cooked rice noodles versus cooked rice:

To learn more about the spices used in seasoning, click here.