Black Bean soup in InstaPot

imageBlack bean and potato soup in #instapot – sautéed onion, tomato and potato for a min and added a can of Trader Joe’s organic black beans; added salt, red chili 🌶 powder, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom powder, pinch of dhania powder and cooked in manual mode for 10 min. I really relished the flavors of all the spices 😋😋 added the spaghetti to it and it tasted so good 😊 especially the potato is cooked very perfectly 👌🏻 kind of very nostalgic feelingimage


Majjiga Pulusu in Instapot


  • Plum tomatoes 2
  • Red onion medium size 1
  • medium size carrots 2
  • string beans 1 cup – keep them long rather than having into small pieces
  • daikon 1/2 of medium sized one
  • bottle gourd – 1/2 of medium sized one
  • drum sticks (frozen vegetable)
  • okra – 10 to 12  cut it into small pieces
  • green chilli – 6 (add more if you want more spicy)
  • ginger small piece
  • coconut – small pieces measured into 1/2 cup
  • roasted chenna dal – 1/2 cup (putnala pappu) or use besan powder (gram flour) –  I personally prefer roasted chenna dal, but I used besan in the dish being shown in the pics  – besan gives it little thicker texture.
  • yougurt 1 to 2 cups
  • little oil or ghee to sauté the vegetables
  • seasoning – little bit urud dal, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, red chilli, curry leaf and asafoetida – use little bit ghee for seasoning
  • cilantro
  • salt
  • turmeric

Preparation in #InstaPot

  • imagesauté  all the vegetables with little oil or ghee for a min or two
  • add all the vegetables except green chilly
  • Add salt and turmeric to the vegetables
  • grind ginger, green chilli, coconut and roasted chenna dal into fine powder and add yogurt and grind it for few seconds
  • add that mixture to the sautéed vegetables
  • add 1 to 2 cups of water
  • check the salt
  • Set manual, high pressure for 10 min
  • i let it cool normally
  • once it is done do the seasoning  – add all the seasoning stuff to little ghee (always use ghee for seasoning for yogurt based foods) and mix it to the cooked food
  • then add cilantro leaves



BadhushaI attempted this sweet on the New Year’s eve of 2014. The first attempt was an instantaneous hit. Of course, I tried to follow every instruction in the recipe to the tee.  I got the inspiration to try this one from my very close family circle. This sweet was made by someone for the Christmas party and everyone was praising it a lot and I did not attend the party that year. So I felt like attempting it and searched at google for its recipe. I found several but I have chosen one from it and the rest was history.

Here is the recipe.


  • Maida – 2 cups (all purpose flour)
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Curd – 2 tbsps
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup, melted
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Water – as required
  • For sugar syrup:
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Water – 1 1/2 cups
  • Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp
  • Cardamom powder – pinch (elaichi)

Method of preparation:

  1. In a wide bowl, sift maida, baking powder and baking soda. Add sugar and mix well. Make a well in the center, add curd and ghee and mix with the maida. It should resemble bread crumbs. Add a little more curd if required. Now slowly add little water and make a soft and pliable dough. Leave aside covered for at least an hour.
  2. In a stainless steel vessel, add sugar and water and allow the sugar to dissolve on medium flame. Reduce flame to low, allow the sugar syrup to thicken lightly. The syrup should be sticky on touch and it should reach one string consistency. Add lemon juice and elachi powder and turn off flame.
  3. After the dough has rested, do not knead. To prepare badusha, pinch off lemon sized dough and roll into balls. Flatten the balls lightly and make a depression in the center using your thumb. Making the depression is crucial, so do not skip this step. You can also make another shape of the badusha similar to the ones shown in the image above. Lightly flatten along the edge of the flattened ball using the tips of your forefinger and thumb and pinch it inwards to form a pleated edge. Make a slight depression in the center of the badusha.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying in a heavy bottomed vessel till hot but not smoking hot. Add a small piece of dough into the oil and if it sizzles and comes to the surface, the oil is ready for deep frying. TURN OFF FLAME. Now slowly add 3 to 4 badushas into the hot oil and allow them to rise to the surface of the oil. Do not skip this step. It is similar to how we would fry gulab jamuns.
  5. Once the badushas surface to the top of the oil, turn on flame to low and cook on both sides till golden brown. The key to a good badusha is in the deep frying. The badushas have to cook slowly and do not rush through the process by trying to cook them on high flame as they will remain uncooked inside. It has to reach golden brown color. Do not over cook it to a darker golden shade.
  6. Using a slotted ladle, remove the badushas from the hot oil and place them gently in the warm sugar syrup. Once the badusha sits in the syrup, use a ladle and allow it to sink inside the syrup such that it is coated all over. Allow to sit in the syrup till the next batch of badusha is done. In between do flip over to the othe side so that the badushas absorb the syrup evenly. Remove from the syrup and place them on a plate and allow to come to room temperature.
  7. Store in an air tight container. They stay fresh for at least 3 to 4 days at room temperature. You can refrigerate them for longer shelf life.


  • Cook the badushas on low flame only till they achieve a golden shade. They have to cook slowly so that the insides are completely cooked.
  • Soak in sugar syrup for a longer period than specified in the recipe, if you feel the badusha needs more soaking time.
  • Try to keep the sugar syrup warm at all times. You can heat over gentle flame to warm it.

recipe courtesy:

Spinach soup

imageSpinach is one of the wonderful green-leafy vegetables often recognized as one of the functional foods for its wholesome nutritional, antioxidants and anti-cancer composition. Its tender, crispy, dark-green leaves are one of the favorite ingredients of chefs all around the planet.

Fresh leaves are rich source of several vital anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, B complex, and several minerals.

It is also good source of omega-3 fatty acids.




Spinach Soup:image

Sauté sliced onion, and washed spinach in oil/ghee.
Add mixed italian herb seasoning, chilli flakes, no salt at this stage.
Add a little milk and cook until done.
Cool and puree.
Put back in the pan, dilute puree with more milk+water.
Add salt to taste.
Warm thru, no boiling.

recipe courtesy – Meena 😍

I have added tomato, mini soya chunks, and tofu, And instead of Italian herb seasoning, I have added garlic, cinnamon, cardamom and cloves powder to it. It almost tastes like palak paneer but milk adds a very liquidy and silky texture.🍲🍲🍲🍲

Bon appetit 😋😋😋😋

Pumpkin Soup

imagePumpkin is an extremely nutrient dense food, meaning it is chock-full of vitamins and minerals but low on calories.

Pumpkin is one of the best-known sources of beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant known to give orange vegetables and fruits their vibrant color and which is converted to vitamin A in the body

Pumpkin soup:

Dice Pumpkin- 1 Cup fullimage
Finely slice 1 small onion, and 1 Tomato.
In a little extra virgin olive oil, saute onion, tomato and when well done, Add salt, dash of chilli powder/sambar powder, turmeric to taste.

Once onion, tomato masala is done , saute the pumpkin Until raw smell goes. Sprinkle a little water and pressure cook until Pumpkin is cooked.

Cool and puree finely. Add a little tamarind pulp and bring to the boil.


Recipe credits : Meena 

Sivangi pulusu

I am not sure how many of you have heard/known about this andhra delicacy 😍

imagei heard about this about 30+ years ago, here in New York, from a very close family friend, Bala Sastry garu. I used to call her ‘aunty’ very dearly and both uncle and aunty treated me like their own daughter. And through Sastry garu only (he was working at the UN at that time and had been going around the world working for UN), I have been introduced to the United Nations and started my career at the UN very reluctantly in 1983. Very reluctantly because I was in my grad program at that time and I was not quite sure whether I could handle both at the same time. And also it was a temporary job and I did not want to change from student status (visa) to diplomatic status and that too for 5 months. Now it is all history and now I am with the UN for 32 years. 😀

coming to the main story, aunty had introduced us to this delicious dish, ‘delicious’ is an understatement. I regret today that I haven’t taken the recipe from aunty. Today to commemorate my 5-day break from routine, I wanted to cook something, so I took out eggplants to make regular pulusu – then I thought why shouldn’t I make Sivangi pulusu, then I searched Google and found few recipes and then I decided to go the way whatever I felt like.image

When I roasted the ingridents for making the powder, I felt like I could share its #Aroma with everyone,  real killer. I am not sure I came any closer to aunty’s Sivangi pulusu, but I savoured it to my heart’s/taste buds’ content.


  • eggplant (small eggplant would be better, but I used slender, long ones today)  – 2
  • onions 1 med size
  • red chillies 6 to 7
  • urud dal – 2 tablespoons
  • chenna dal – 2 tablespoons
  • peanuts – 2 tablespoons
  • sesame seeds – 4 tablespoons
  • coriander seeds – 2 tablespoons
  • fenugreek seds – 3 tablespoons
  • cumin seeds – 1 tablespoon
  • brown sugar – few spoons ( i use brown sugar available in super markets rather than jaggery available in Indian super markets)
  • tamarind – medium lime size
  • salt, red chilli powder, turmeric,
  • oil (10 table spoons)
  • preparation:

dry roast urud dal, chenna dal, coriander seeds, sesame, fenugreek, peanuts, cumin, red chillies and make it into a powder. Since I used slender, long egg plants, I cut each eggplant into 4 to 5 pieces, and make small cut on one side of each of those pieces and stuff the dry spice powder into each one. Add some oil ( 6 to 7 table spoons) to the container, and add seasoning – urud dal, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, mustard and curry leaves – cut onion into small pieces ( they literally would dissolve in the pulusu, I was wondering whether I have added onions after the dish was done 😜, and I did add onions) , add onions pieces and add the stuffed eggplant pieces to the container, add turmeric, salt and red chili powder to the curry and close the lid for a few minutes, when the eggplant is cooked (becomes little tend, especially when we use these long ones, they become tender in no time), add few more spoons of the spice powder, add oil (depends on your taste) and add tamarind syrup to the curry (make as much tamarind syrup as possible) and add little water to it. And let it cook for another 10 minutes and add brown sugar to it and let it cook for another minute or two.

It goes very well with rice and even just like soup, 🍲🍲🍲🍲🍲 it is succulent😋😋😋😋😋🍆🍆🍆🍆

Gutthi vankaya


6 long tender egg plants
1/2 packet garlic chutney karam
Onions 2 to 3 big
Salt, turmeric, oil
Dry Coriander powder 3 to 4 tea spoons (dhania powder)
Little urud dal, cumin , mustard, curry leaves for seasoning, sliced soaked almond pieces


Cut each eggplant into 4 to 5 pieces each piece is about an inch to inch and half and cut each piece horizontally and vertically (little cut) at one side or both sides which could be used to stuff the onion karam.

Cut all the onions into very small pieces and add the garlic chutney powder, turmeric, coriander powder, little salt and 3 to t table spoons of oil and mix them thoroughly with a spoon. The whole mixture should have little moisturized texture. Stuff little bit of that mixture into each piece. Put some oil into a pan, add some turmeric powder and add these pieces and cook them for a while, once they get little cooked, add any of the spice mixture leftover to it and cook for some more time. since the eggplants are very tender, do not cook them for long time, only until the egg plant becomes little softer and just watch it carefully not to burnt the onions in the process. Add enough oil so that everything gets cooked well. Sauté some urud dal and other seasonings separately and add it the curry almost at the end so that they would be little crispier. Garnish with coriander leaves and sliced almond pieces.

Stuffed Kakarakaya curry

When I had a get together for the Satyanarayana Pooja at my place last month, I have decided to cook everything at home and very traditional South Indian. My sister cooked stuufed kakarakaya and Gutthi vankaya koora, both are instant winners and I have few requests for the recipes of these two.

Here we go ….


6 karela (cut them into halves)
1/2 cup garlic chutney karam (available in Indian grocery stores, I guess it is Swad company)
Onions 3 big
Red mirchi about 6
Salt, turmeric, oil
Little urud dal for seasoning, turmeric powder

imageCut the karela into halves and make a small dent in the middle of each piece which could be used to stuff the onion karam later and boil them in water with some salt added to it. Make sure to add salt for the karela pieces to absorb salt. Boil them until the green color of the karela turns into little dark color. Drain all the water and leave the pieces for a while until they become dry.
Grind the garlic chutney powder, one to one and half onions (cut into pieces) and red mirchi and little salt into a paste and stuff little bit of it into each piece. Put some oil into a pan, add some turmeric powder and add these karela pieces and cook them for a while, once they get little cooked, add any of the onion garlic paste leftover to it and cook for some more time. Make small pieces of the rest of the onions and spread them over the curry and cook everything for some more time. Add enough oil so that everything gets cooked well. Sauté some urud dal separately and add it the curry almost at the end so that they would be little crispier.

recipe credits to my sister, Geetha

Annavaram Prasadam

imageFor the past few days, somehow, Annavaram Prasadam coming to my mind very frequently, besides its amazing taste and all the beautiful memories woven around it, there is something more that is making me think of this. I lived in Anakapalli until I finish my graduation. My eldest sister lived in Kakinada after her marriage and she was attending the medical school there. So we had frequent trips to Kakinada. Swamivari prasadam was being sold at the Annavaram bus stop where the buses stop. I do not know whether they still practice this. So we used to buy Prasadam a lot in our trips to Kakinada. May be we have bought the prasadam more times than we have visited Satyanarayana Swamy.

So our SOS – came to my rescue as it does always – whenever I need anything and everything, google is always there. Takkuvemi manaku google chenthanunna varaku. I got few variant recipes. So I fixed in my mind on one and I made it today. It came out very tasty, but it needs to be little liquidy as the original one. I haven’t eaten the original prasadam in the last 35 years, so I am not sure whether the prasadam has cashews and raisins. Forgot to mention, I took the Prasadam to Baba’s temple.



1. Cracked wheat – 1 cup

2. Brown sugar (jaggery) – 2 cups

3. Sugar – 1 cup

4. Cashews and Raisins- depends on your choice

5.  Cardamom powder – 1 teaspoon

6. Saffron – little bit and few teaspoons of ghee.


1. For one cup of cracked wheat add three cups of water and cook it in pressure cooker.

2. Mix the brown sugar and sugar and add some water and cook it until the syrup gets boiling.

3. Add cooked cracked wheat to the boiling syrup and stir it for a while until it gets little thick, not very dry, cook until it is little watery.

4. Sauté the cashew and raisins in little amount of ghee and add it the cooked wheat.

5. Add the cardamom powder and saffron to the mix.

Voila the prasadam is ready 🙂

Devi Navarathrulu – Day 8

Eighth day – Chakrapongali (sweet pongal) – ఎనిమదవ రోజు – అష్టమి – చక్కెర పొంగలి


1. Basmati rice – 1/4 cup

2. Moong dal – 1/4 cup

3. Brown sugar (bellam) – 1/2 cup

4. ghee or butter – 5 to 6 table spoons

5. cashew, almond, raisins, pistachio – few of each

6.little saffron

7. little paccha karpuram (food camphor)

8. little cardamom powder

1. Pressure cook rice and dal. make brown sugar syrup – add some water to brown sugar and boil it for 5 minutes and add the cooked rice and dal to it. Stir it until the mix IMG_5392becomes thick by adding butter or ghee to it occasionally.

2. add all the nuts (make small pieces of nuts) to the mix and add saffron, cardamom powded and camphor to it.