Beginners Guide To Indian Spices 

When it comes to Indian cuisine people get overwhelmed by the amount of spices we use in our recipes. If you get to know why we use them and what they are used for, it will be very helpful for all you beginners. 

People often think Indian food is hard to cook at home because of its elaborate cooking techniques. To make you feel at ease, I’m starting a new series called…

Indian food made simple. I have simplified all the recipes and has step by step instructions and pictures which makes it easier for you to follow and it’s made with simple ingredients and basic spices you have in your pantry. This spice post will be a wonderful prelude for the vegetarian recipes I’m going to post in this category. 

I have been blogging for a year now, I still get lots of questions regarding spices. So I  thought of updating and reposting this spice article with added details so that you get a better knowledge about the spices we use everyday. 

Get ready to go on this flavorful spice journey with me … 

Flavorings – Whole and Ground Spices 

Must Have Aromatics 

These are basic spices that makes our food very flavorful. Now I’m going to categorize them so that it’s easy for you to understand.

Indian spices are divided into 5 groups.

  1. Spices that enhance color
  2. Spices that give heat (spiciness) 
  3. Spices that thicken and flavor  
  4. Spices which add a unique aroma 
  5. Spices that give a finishing touch 


    These are the must have Flavorings 

    • Turmeric powder
    • Red chili powder 
    • Kashmiri chili powder (Paprika)
    • Cumin powder
    • Coriander powder

      1. Spices that enhances the color 

      Turmeric powder gives the food a golden yellow color. Since It has the antibacterial qualities we always use them when we cook fresh vegetables. 

      Kashmiri chili powder (paprika) which is very mild and is added in gravies to get the beautiful red color.

      2. Spices that add heat (spiciness) 

      Red chilli powder (cayenne) is very spicy it gives the food that extra kick. Milder version of the chili powder is also available.

      We always use freshly ground Black Pepper which adds an extra depth of flavor in soups, salads and gravies.


      Our Indian green chilies are very spicy we use them to make chutneys and sauces. 

      You can mellow down the spice level by using paprika or milder chili powder and milder green chilies. This way you get the flavor not the heat. 

      3. Spices that thicken and flavor 

      Coriander powder and Cumin powder are very important in our cuisine it has this wonderful aroma and it is added to almost every single dish we make to flavor and thicken it. 

      4. Spices that give that wonderful aroma 

      The best part about Indian food is the Aromatics. These following spices give a unique flavor to our dishes like, Biriyani, Kurma, Curry and masala chai.


      • Fennel seeds
      • Cardamom
      • Star anise 
      • Cinnamon sticks 
      • Cloves
      • Bay leaves

      We make our own aromatic spice blends at home. These are the famous ones – Garam Masala, curry powder and chaat Masala. Each spice mix is made with different ingredients and have a unique taste. 

      Garam Masala 

      The star of all the spice mixes is garam masala which is a dry roasted, powdered blend of cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and whole black pepper. 

      Curry Powder 

      We South Indians use curry powder which has the same ingredients as garam masala but instead of pepper we add spicy red chilli and turmeric to give that extra kick and golden color to our curries. Milder versions are also available in stores. 

      Chaat masala 

      This is one amazing spice mix we use to season our salads. In addition to other spices black salt and the dry mango powder are the key ingredients that makes it taste very unique. We use them on both veggies and fruits. 

      These are the must have spice blends in our pantry. They are readily available in stores I really recommend you to buy and keep these at home. They come in very handy when you make dishes like curry, gravy, sauté, stir fry and salad.

      5. Spices that gives the finishing touch 

      Black Mustard seeds and cumin seeds are very important seasonings in our cuisine. It’s popped in hot oil to release its flavor and poured on top of the prepared dish. This gives a finishing touch and adds a unique flavor to our curries. You can taste this on dishes like sambar, dhal and chutney.

      The spices below are very unique to our cuisine. These are the optional spices you might add to your collection. 

      Dried fenugreek leaves (methi leaves)  are used in some dishes like kadai and dhal as garnish. We also use this to flavor flatbreads. It is very similar to dried oregano leaves.

      Toasted Fenugreek seeds/powder is added in South Indian curries at the end of the cooking process to give a finishing touch. It’s a key ingredient in making Indian pickles. 

      When it comes to fenugreek, less is more. Otherwise it will overwhelm the flavors and gives a bitter taste. 


      One particular spice I want to talk about is Asafetida. This has a very pungent odor. We add this whenever we cook lentils and beans since it has a medicinal quality to prevent intestinal gas. It is also a key ingredient in Indian pickles.


      Saffron and Edible Camphor are very potent spices they have a very strong aroma, just a pinch goes a long way. Its used mainly in desserts and festive dishes. Ground nutmeg and cinnamon are also used in Masala chai and dessert recipes. 

      How to store spices ? 

      We Indians have a unique way of storing the spices. This is called a Masala Dabba.

      We keep all the Falvorings – powdered version of the spices in one container because we use them in almost all our dishes and it promotes efficiency when preparing food.

      We prefer storing all the aromatics separately because not all the dishes call for it and it’s kept that way to maintain the very unique aroma of each spice.

      These are the basic and must have spices we have in our spice cabinet. Now you have a clear idea about our spices. I am going to show you how to organize them in your spice drawer or cabinet. 

      Some spices are so strong and potent they infuse other spices with its smell. These Spices have to be stored in seperate containers 

      • Always store whole black Pepper and freshly ground pepper in separate containers 
      • Dried fenugreek leaves come under this category too 
      • So is Asafetida it must be kept in its original air tight container. 

      Always keep your spices in air tight containers, it really keeps them fresh for sometime. 

      When you get spices, buy them in small packs because they lose their potency and aroma if it’s kept for sometime.

      I recommend you to store the spices which you don’t use very often, in the freezer. This keeps them fresh for a long time. 

      Additional Thickeners 

      We use ground Almonds, ground Cashews or Milk powder to thicken our curries and give a nutty and creamy taste to our curries. Chickpea flour is also used to thicken some curries. 

      We South Indians use Ground coconut paste as a thickener in many of our curries and kurmas. We also use coconut milk. 

      Grated or sliced coconut is used in sautés and stir fry and chutneys. It is also used as a garnish in dishes like upma. 

      Garnishes / Herbs

      We garnish all our dishes with fresh Coriander and Curry leaves. Mint leaves are also used as garnish is some dishes.

      Fresh Aromatics


      In addition to all the spices, freshly grated ginger and garlic are the must haves in our curries.

      Gravy Bases

      Most of our gravies are tomato based, We South Indians use tamarind pulp in many of our dishes, it gives the unique tanginess to our curries. It can be substituted with fresh tomato purée or tomato paste. 

      Cooking oils 

      We either use sesame oil or coconut oil for cooking and peanut oil is used for deep frying. 

      We use Iodized salt in cooking since It is the only source of iodine for vegetarians and it helps to maintain good thyroid function. It is advised that you keep this in air tight container otherwise the key ingredient (iodine) evaporates when exposed to air for a long time. 

          

      This is my spice drawer, these are the basic spices you need to make a good Indian meal at home. You don’t need to go and buy a whole lot of spices, I bet most of the spices are already there in your spice cabinet. So what are we waiting for? Let’s get cooking! 

      I’m so happy to know that people from around world love Indian cuisine and want to cook and enjoy them at home. Hope the information I gave was helpful in understanding Indian Spices and  this will inspire you to make and taste Indian food more often.
      .

      .

      .


      Published by Latha 
       © All rights reserved 

      Ooey Gooey Oatmeal Brownies 

      Here is the brownie recipe I promised in my last post. Brownie recipes are so versatile it could be made the sinfully decadent way or the guilt free healthy way with a simple ingredient we all have in our pantry. 

      There are so many variations, you can make it with almond flour,coconut flour, chickpea flour, mashed red beans  etc… instead of the regular all purpose flour. This time, I’m making mine with quick cook oats. 

      This recipe is eggless, nut free and gluten free and yet it’s fudgy and decadent. Hard to believe, right? 

      Here is the recipe….

      Dry ingredients 

      • Quick cook oats – 1 1/2 cups (powdered)
      • Milk powder – 1/2 cup
      • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon 
      • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon 
      • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon 
      • Cocoa powder- 1/4 cup 

      Wet ingredients 

      • Condensed milk – 1 can 
      • Butter – 1/4 cup (melted) 
      • Pure vanilla extract – 1 tbspn
      • Milk – 1 1/2 cups (warm) 

      Toppings

      • Semi sweet chocolate chips – 1/2 cup
      • Toffee bites – 1/2 cup 


      Put the oats in the food processor and make into a fine powder. (same texture as the almond flour) 


      Pour it into a bowl, Mix all the dry ingredients with it and keep it aside 

      *since we are sprinkling the top with chocolate chips and toffee bites I didn’t add any extra sugar otherwise the brownies will become too sweet. 


      Combine all the wet ingredients together 

      *Make sure the milk is warm it’s very important, it soaks up the oats nicely so you get really soft brownies. 

      Pour the wet mix to the dry mix and combine it well.

      Prepare the square pan, grease the sides put a parchment paper on the bottom. 

      Pour the batter, smooth it out, tap and shake the pan to make it evenly spread. 

      *Let it sit in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes. It allows the oats to soak up the milk mixture and thickens up nicely. 

      *The consistency of this batter will be like the cake batter. It’s not going to be as thick as the regular brownie batter. 


      Now sprinkle the chocolate chips and the toffee bites to your heart’s content. 

      Meanwhile preheat the oven at 350*F 

      Now put the pan in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes 


      Oh my it’s so chocolaty and smells divine! 

      • Keep in mind the chips take a couple of hours to harden
      • If you try to cut it while the brownie is warm you will smudge the chips and it won’t retain the shape. 

      So I recommend you to let it stay in the pan for sometime. 


      Once it cools nicely , cut it into tiny bites…


      The milk powder gives the creamy and the chewy texture to these brownies. The toffee bites give a nice crunch, the chocolate chips add the perfect amount of sweetness. 

      What can I say, these ooey gooey oatmeal Brownies are sinfully delicious! These are so yummy you never know it’s made with oats. 


      It is ideal for a bake sale and for the kids with allergies. 


      I made a huge batch for the easter party, kids loved it!


      These oatmeal brownies could be a tasty treat for the snack box or a quick breakfast bite or a decadent dessert you can indulge without any guilt. Enjoy !!!

      .

      .

      .

      Published by Latha© All rights reserved 

      Fun Easter Party Ideas And Easy Spring Crafts For kids

      Spring is here that means, Easter is just around the corner! For all those moms and grandmas who are looking forward to host an Easter party, you have stopped at the right place! I have put together some unique ideas to make your party a big success! 

      A good friend of mine asked me if I could co-host an Easter party with her, I happily said yes! she is taking care of the egg hunt, egg coloring and the food. Here is what I’m in charge of, buying party favors, setting the table scape, kid friendly crafts and some homemade treats, I’m so thrilled to be a part of this fun event. 

      Let me get to work …. 

      The first thing on my list is the party favors! So went in search of some unique treats to fill their candy basket!


       Tada! I hit a big jackpot! Look what I found …. Emoji chocolate coins !!!!! 


      My next pick is Lindt’s Lindor Easter special- Egg Chocolates, look how colorful they are! And they taste amazing! 


      I’m sure the kids are going to love these emoji coins! Seriously, who could resist these luscious Belgian chocolate coins! Look how cute they are! 


      When it comes to treats, I always prefer quality over quantity. These taste far better than the ones from the party supply store. We all know kids indulge on these chocolates so why not buy the best? 


      I put them in a beautiful bowl for the display, Looks amazing! right ? This is going to be my center piece!


      These milk chocolate coin literally melts in your mouth, The egg chocolate comes in assorted flavors. My kids particularly go for the turquoise blue one because it tastes like cookies and cream😀

      The chocolate part is done…Let’s move on to other party favors and table scape.


      I love these thin glitter foam sticker cutouts, it comes in so many shapes and colors. Kids can do so many things with it, so I picked these as one of their favors..

      This is a sample of how I’m going to set the table scape…. Doesn’t this look fun and colorful ? 


      Since it’s a spring theme, I chose these glitter flowers as coasters to rest my chocolate cups.

      Kids love stuffed toys so I bought these beanies instead of a traditional chocolate bunny. Oh so cute ! Look at those eyes, The bunny on the left has that naughty look as if he is just waiting for me to move away from the table so he could quickly grab one chocolate egg and hop away! Adorable !!!! 

      I can’t wait to see the kids reaction when they see these favors. Each kid gets to take home the soft bunny, the glitter flower and the chocolate cup filled with emoji coins and eggs. 

      Let me tell you a little bit more about the glitter foam…

      You can buy them as sheets or as cutouts in so many vibrant colors and it comes with a adhesive back, Even better right! 


      You can also use your cookie cutters to trace the shapes and cut them out..Mickey, Minnie, stars, flowers, hearts, snowflakes, the options are endless . 

      You can also buy them precut in different shapes and colors from any craft supply stores or online.


      Kids can use them in so many different ways 

      They can make really beautiful wall art with glitter cutouts of birds or butterflies in different shapes and colors and stick them on the wall, behind their bed or above their desk in a beautiful group as if they are flying, it makes a stunning wall art, you can use stars and hearts as well. 

      This is how my kids use them, as name tags…

       They stick this on the Folders, on their door, Gift bags, School bag and Lunch tote. 

      They even use this as a mouse pad, coasters and place mats. How fun is that? 


      Believe me kids go crazy for them, it is the best way to bedazzle anything! 

      Now let’s move on to the craft part …. 

      I’m teaching these little kids how to make a fun, spring themed wall art as take home gifts. 

      Me and my girls made some for our home . Let me show you how to make these with gift wrap and appliqués.

      1. Cut the wrapping paper and glue it on the card that comes with the frame or you can cut one using card stock paper. 
      2. Make sure the sides are covered so it has a finished look. 
      3. Use glue or tape to secure it, make sure there is no wrinkles. 
      4. Now stick appliqué flowers or the glitter cutouts. 
      5. Put the insert, the back and secure it. 

      Make each one in a different design and hang them horizontally and vertically, this way you can a make a beautiful collage. 

      You can easily change this to fit any themes, fall, winter, spring, Halloween…. The sky is the limit.

      Look how cute they are…. 


      For older girls, Here is another sample of wrapping paper wall art… let me walk you through the process. 

      1. Cut out a background using card stock paper or poster to fit the frame in any color you want. 
      2. Now cut the wrapping paper a tiny bit smaller than the background so that it shows a thin border. 
      3. Glue it to the background. 
      4. We used craft gems in different colors and shapes to bedazzle and highlight the design. 
      5. Then put this in a frame… Now it’s ready to hang where ever you want. How easy is that? 

      Doesn’t this look awesome! 


      Notes : 

      1. Keep in mind, the gems are not thin. 
      2. If the frame is not deep enough you wont be able to fit the back
      3.  you can either hang it without the plexi glass in the front 
      4. or instead of the clips on the frame just use masking tape to secure the back. 

      We made these personalized wall art at home for the fraction of the cost. I bet these cost a lot if you buy them ready made from any stores. 

      The best part is you can personalize this for your boys, girls, any room or any theme you want, easy to change and very cost effective. 

      Where to get these fun supplies?

      These frames are from Ikea, ($1.50) it comes in so many colors.

      *The best thing is, These are kid friendly if you are planing to hang these in a nursery or the kids bedroom. 

      They are light weight, instead of glass they either has a thin transparent plastic sheet or plexiglass. 

      I found these fun wrapping papers in Target’s ( $1 bin)

      These appliqués and glitter flowers are from Michaels. ($3.00 per pack)

      Alright the craft is done, let me show you a sneak peak of the treats I’m making for them.


      These are kid friendly, healthy and nut free brownie bites topped with chocolate chips and toffee bites. 

      Who doesn’t love these ooey gooey fudgy bites. Yum yum ! 


      The minute I saw these spring themed paper plates, I have to use them in my picture ! Look how beautiful and colorful it is! 


      Aww.….you guys! I know you are all excited but I’m not posting the recipe now, The post is already very long so …

      Stay tuned for the recipe! 😜


      I just finished setting up this small easter themed display at my home, my kids love it! They are so happy they can take one chocolate anytime! 

      Hope I gave some good ideas to throw an awesome Easter party! Don’t forget to show this post to your kids, they will really enjoy seeing all these pictures, My kids had fun helping me with all the preparations. Thank you for stopping by and reading this extra long post! 

      🌷Happy Spring🌷 

      🌾🐣 Happy Easter 🐰🌾


      Easter traditions

      In many cultures egg symbolizes life, fertility and rebirth. As an Easter tradition kids involve in fun egg related activities.

      Egg Hunt

      1. It is a tradition which is followed in so many countries during the time of Easter.
      2.  It is a fun activity specially done for the kids. Churches, local community centers, parks and country farms host these events in every city. 
      3. Kids dress up formally for this event, Girls dress up in pretty dresses and beautiful hats, boys dress up in shirts and bow ties. 
      4. They bring a basket to collect the eggs which are scattered throughout the arena, these colorful plastic eggs are filled with, candy, small toys and trinkets. 

      Egg coloring/ decoration

      Children are given hard boiled eggs and bowls of food coloring,they dye the eggs first by dipping them in their favorite color, then decorate them by painting designs on it. 

      Egg rolling

      Kids roll hard boiled eggs with a long wooden spoon to the finish line. 

      I have taken my daughters for these events and they had a blast! This time we are so excited to throw our own Easter party !

      .

      .

      .

      Published by Latha© All rights reserved


      Chocolate Almond Squares 

      Weekday mornings are crazy in every household. If you are looking for something that is healthy and protein rich to eat on the go, this recipe is for you. These almond squares are so tasty and it’s something different than your regular breakfast pastries. 

      Many of us don’t have the time to sit down and eat a good breakfast in the morning, let alone kids. Your morning meal should have a good amount of protein which keeps you satisfied and energized thoroughout the day. But most of the breakfast pastries are made with bleached flour, even though they are tasty it has no nutrition. 

      My kids doesn’t like to eat nuts at all. I found out, the best way to include them in their diet is through tasty treats. So I started baking with almond flour. This way I tricked them into eating something yummy which is a healthier option than the sugary breakfast treats. 

      Eggless/ Gluten Free – Breakfast Squares 


      Looks so good, right ? Let’s see how to make it… 

      Dry ingredients :

      • Almond flour – 2 cups
      • Gluten free or All purpose flour – 1/2 cup
      • Cocoa powder (Unsweetened) – 3 tablespoons 
      • Brown sugar – 1/4 cup 
      • Baking powder – 1teaspoon 
      • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon

      Wet ingredients : 

      • Sweetened Condensed milk – 1 can 
      • Milk (full fat) – 1 cup 
      • Butter – 1 stick or 1/2 cup (melted)
      • Pure Vanilla extract – 1 tablespoon 

      Topping 

      Sliced almonds – 1/4 cup 

      Keep all your ingredients at room temperature. 

      1. Take a bowl and mix all the dry ingredients 
      2. In a big cup combine all the wet ingredients 
      3. Now pour the wet mix to the dry mix and gently combine it well

      1. Preheat the oven at 350*F for 10 minutes 
      2. Take a 8*8 square pan.Butter the sides.
      3. Put a parchment paper on the bottom.  
      4. Pour the batter and smooth it out. 
      5. Sprinkle the sliced almonds on top. 

      *Slightly shake the pan and tap it on the table, this allows the batter to spread evenly and eliminates air bubbles which leaves wholes in your cake. 

      *Let the batter rest in the pan for 5 minutes before you put it in the oven. 

      *It gives time for the almond flour to soak up all the liquids and gives the airy texture to the cake. 

      Substitutes: 

      1. Gluten free flour can be replaced with regular All purpose flour, no need to change the recipe. It comes out great every time.  
      2. I use condensed milk as an egg substitute, Do not try to replace it or reduce the amount, it will not work. 
      3. You can also use plant based milk instead of regular milk. 

      Now let’s bake this at 350*F for 30 minutes. 

      Let it be in the pan until it cools completely. 


      Look how nicely it has baked,  It just smells amazing in here! 


      Now it’s nice and cool, let’s cut them into squares…


      It’s chocolate, almond and vanilla, guys! You can’t go wrong with this! right? 

      Oh my ! It looks so fudgy like a brownie…


      And yet it has the moist cake like texture. What’s not to like? 


      How can you resist this chocolate goodness?



      Mmm …. It’s so rich and decadent! The toasted almonds on top gives a nice crunch to the soft cake! 

      I’m going to savor this now…And store the rest for later. Just pack them in a airtight box, you are good to go! 

      It stays fresh outside for a couple of days or you can store it in the fridge also. 

      Keep in mind It tastes really good at room temperature.


      My family loved it! This can double up as a healthy snack or as a decadent dessert with some icecream. 

      There you go! Delicious breakfast squares to make your morning rush a bit easier! Enjoy !! 

      Notes: 

      I use Cup4Cup multipurpose flour for all my baked goods. It is my personal choice. 

      This particular GF flour is a combination of tapioca flour, potato starch, corn starch, rice flour and milk powder. 

      The milk power gives a very creamy taste and the soft texture. 

      To make it healthier, I use almond flour, coconut flour or powdered GF oats with it. 

      I use it in this ratio – 2 cups nut flour : 1/2 Gluten free flour, it comes out great every time! 

      If the GF mix you are using doesn’t have milk powder, you can always add 4 tablespoons of dry milk powder per cup. 

      There is a misconception that gluten free treats doesn’t taste good, I was under the same impression too. But once I figured out how to bake them at home, I truly fell in love!. 

      Believe me, when you taste them you never know it’s GF, It’s nutty, creamy, soft and delicious! That’s why I always include pictures to show the texture of the baked treats. 

      .

      .

      .

      Published by Latha©All rights reserved

      Flatbread Hash – Kothu Parotta 

      This is an ingenious dish we’ve invented to make use of the stale bread or flatbreads. This recipe is so simple and easy to make, it’s tangy with crisp veggies and it tastes so good. This could be a quick snack or a side or it could be a lunch or a dinner depending on how hungry you are.  

      We make this dish with a particular type of flatbread called parotta (paratha) it is a lawyered flatbread which holds up well to the cooking process. 

      • You can also use thick chewy breads like Baguette, Sourdough, Ciabatta and Focaccia.
      • If you are using regular bread or thin flatbreads like pita or tortillas make sure you toast them well so that they don’t get soggy. 

      Flatbread Hash with Yogurt Raitha  

      Looks very appetizing, right ? Let see how to make it ….

      Ingredients for the hash

      • Parotta (or any type of chewy bread) – 2 cups (shredded or diced)
      • Bay leaves – 2 
      • Onion – 1 sliced 
      • Green bell pepper – 1 sliced
      • Carrot – 1 sliced 
      • Peas – 1/4 cup
      • Corn – 1/4 cup 
      • Salt – 2 teaspoons
      • Oil + butter for sautéing 
      • Cilantro / coriander leaves for garnish. 

      For the paste 

      • Fennel seeds – 1 teaspoon 
      • Tomatoes – 2 
      • Green chilli – 1 (optional)
      • Chili powder – 2 teaspoons
      • Garlic clove -1  chopped 

      First, let’s see how to make the paste…


      1. Heat a little bit of oil in a pan
      2. Add the fennel seeds once it’s toasted 
      3. Add the tomatoes and sauté it until it’s mushy 
      4. Add the green chilies, garlic and chili powder and quickly sauté it. 
      5. Once it’s cool, put it in a blender and grind it into a smooth paste and keep it aside. 
      6. Do not add water.

      1. In a clean pan heat oil and butter 
      2. Add the bay leaves and the sliced onions and sauté it until it’s gets a slight brown color
      3. Now add the carrots, peas and corn and sauté it for sometime. 
      4. Add the bell pepper and sauté it.
      5. Don’t let the veggies cook too much, make sure it has a little crunch. 
      6. Add salt and mix it well.

      1. Now add the tomato paste and combine it well 
      2. Add the shredded Parotta or your choice of bread and mix it well. 
      3. Whichever bread you use I recommend you to slightly toast them so that it gets a nice golden color and it gives a nice flavor and texture to this dish
      4. Keep it in the pan in a medium flame for a couple of minutes so that the dry Parotta gets to absorb the moisture and the flavors well.
      5. Garnish it with coriander leaves and it’s ready to eat. 

      Transfer it to a beautiful bowl and serve it hot. That looks so appetizing! 

      This dish is often served with a creamy yogurt sauce made with onions

      It pairs very well with this hash. Let see how to make it…

      1. Beat the yogurt with a fork and make it nice and creamy.
      2. Thinly slice the onions and green chilli (optional). 
      3. And finely chop the coriander leaves. 
      4. Add salt and mix everything together and set it aside 
      5. The salt makes the onions soft which takes away the raw taste and the pungent odor.
      6. Now add this to the creamy yogurt and mix it well. 

      Oh my it smells so good! I can’t wait to dig in…


      The Parotta has soaked up the tangy tomato sauce, it is soft but not soggy. The veggies have a nice bite to it. What can I say! It is so tasty!

      This is such a delicious week night meal which got ready so quickly and my family devoured it. Hope you all make it and enjoy it as much as we do! 

      .

      .

      .

      Published by Latha©All rights reserved

      Sweet and Savory Plantain Fritters with Coconut Chutney 

      Tea time is so special in Indian households. We not only make really good masala chai, we always make a quick homemade snack to go with it. Since I had these green and yellow plantains, I decided to make these yummy, easy to make sweet and savory fritters. For the dip I made a chutney with peanuts and coconut, a South Indian specialty. 

      Both green and yellow plantains are a pantry staple in my house, We Indians use plantains in so many ways… We make cutlets, curries, chips, sides and much more. This is my family’s favorite and I’m sure you will love it too. 

      Sweet and Savory Plantain Fritters (Bajji) 


      Doesn’t that look yummy? Let see how to make it … 

      We use the green plantains for the savory fritters and Semi ripe yellow plantains for the sweet fritters. 

      This recipe makes 10 to 12 fritters per plantain 


      Slicing tips: 

      I like to cut them in different shapes, so that it’s easy to differentiate the sweet from the savory. 

      • Cut the green plantain in half, cut the top and the bottom, it gives a square shape. 
      • Leave a little bit of peel on the sides. It actually helps holds the shape when you slice and dip. 
      • Green plantain tends to get the dark color once it’s cut so slice it just before you fry them. 
      1. Fully ripe plantain doesn’t work for this recipe.
      2. so make sure you get semi ripe yellow plantain.
      3. Make a diagonal cut, it gives the slices a beautiful oval shape. 

      Ingredients for the sweet fritters

      • All purpose flour (Maida) or Gluten free flour – 1 cup 
      • Granulated sugar – 1/4 cup 
      • Jaggery (or) light brown sugar – 1 tablespoon
      • Cardamom powder (or) vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon 

      Ingredients for the savory fritters 

      • Green plantain – 1 (Thinly sliced)
      • Chickpea flour (or) corn flour – 1 cup 
      • Chili powder – 1 teaspoon
      • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon 
      • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
      • Asafetida – 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
      • Black pepper powder – 1/4 teaspoon 
      • Salt – 2 teaspoons 


      How to make the Batter? 

      1. Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl 
      2. Use a fork or a whisk, add water slowly and mix it well without any lumps and bring it into a smooth pancake batter consistency. 
      3. Set it aside for sometime,The resting time helps the sugar dissolve and let the other flavors meld nicely. 
      4. Consistency is key, if you make it too thin it won’t stick to the plantain.
      5. If you make it too thick the coating will be chewy. 

      Substitutes 

      • It is traditional to add jaggery and cardamom in our south indian fritters, it gives an amazing sweet note which is so good.
      • If you are not familiar with these ingredients you have the option of adding vanilla and light brown sugar, tastes great too. 

      Notes: 

      • I made the batter mildly sweetened since the plantains are already sweet enough. 
      • If you want you can add more regular sugar 
      •  Don’t add more jaggery or brown sugar it gives the fritters a dark brown color and makes it slightly bitter.  

      Water temperature for making the batter.

      1. Always use room temperature water to make the batter.
      2. Using cold water makes lumps and makes it hard for the sugar to dissolve. 
      3. Using warm or hot water cooks the flour and makes lumps, it also gives the fritters a dark brown color.

      Now that everything is ready let’s fry them up…. 

      • Heat the oil, pour a tiny bit of batter in the oil if it sizzles and floats to the top the oil is ready.
      • Dip it in the batter, let the extra batter drip. So that it has a nice thin coating.
      • Then put it in the oil, Do not crowd the pan. 
      • Once it gets the golden brown color, turn it let the other side cook. 
      • Take them out and drain it on paper towels. 

      * We always make the savory ones first since the cardamom or vanilla in the sweet version perfumes the oil with its aroma which ruins the taste of the savory ones. 


      Ta da ! Your savory fritters are ready! 


      And the Sweet ones too ! 


      We like to dip it in a very tasty coconut chutney… Let’s see how to make it. 

      Ingredients for the chutney

      • Sliced or grated coconut – 1 cup fresh or frozen 
      • Roasted peanuts – 2 teaspoons 
      • Green chili – 4 
      • Ginger – small piece (chopped) 
      • Tamarind paste- 1 teaspoon
      • Salt – 1 teaspoon 

      For the seasoning 

      • Oil – 3 teaspoons 
      • Black Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon 
      • Curry leaves – few 


      I do one extra step to make the chutney very tasty…

      1. Wash and pat dry the green chilies 
      2. Make a tiny slit in the middle so that it won’t burst in the hot oil.
      3.  Heat a teaspoon of oil put the chilies and sauté it just for a second.
      4.  Remove it immediately don’t leave it too long it gets white spots on it, it completely changes the taste. 
      5. This step gives the chili an extra depth of flavor and it mellows down the heat of the chili. 


      Put everything in a blender. Dry grind it first then add 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and grind it into a paste. 

      Transfer it to a bowl. Now let’s season it .. 

      • Heat oil in a pan, add the mustard seeds 
      • once it starts to pop, switch of the stove
      • add the curry leaves and quickly close it with a lid so that it won’t splatter on you. 
      • Pour this on top of the chutney. And mix it well. 


      Tasty coconut chutney is ready , the peanuts and the ginger add a very unique flavor to this chutney

      Important things to know:

      1. I personally like sliced coconut for making this chutney, it gives a nice texture and taste. Grated is fine too. 
      2. If using frozen coconut make sure to thaw it or put in the microwave for 20 seconds before you grind it 
      3. You can also use dry unsweetened coconut. 
      4. *Always use lukewarm water, using cold water makes the fat separate from the coconut. 

      Sweet and Savory Plantain Fritters with Coconut Chutney

      It might sound odd but we really like to eat both sweet and the savory fritters with this chutney, it tastes amazing. 

      The sweet version tastes great on its own, but you have the option of …

      • Dusting it with some powdered sugar 
      • Drizzle some condensed milk on it  or 
      • Dip it in some caramel

      The choice is all yours! Mmm …Sounds yum! 

      There you go! Quick and easy plantain fritters to make your snack time special! Enjoy!!

      .

      .

      .

      Published by Latha© All rights reserved

      My Personal Thank You Note! 

      I can’t believe it has been a year since I started blogging. My blog child as my kids refer to, is exactly an Year old. It has been an amazing year!

      Thanks to all my Fellow Bloggers and Followers for the tremendous support, especially the wonderful Nominations, encouraging Comments and of course the generous Likes, I couldn’t have done it without you! 

      A sincere thanks from the bottom of my heart! ❤️

      First Blog Anniversary 💐


      How I became a food blogger! 

      Everyone blogs for a reason, I want to share a little story of mine…

      My older daughter loves to cook, she came to me one afternoon and said that she wanted to surprise her dad on his birthday with something she cooked on her own. She wanted the recipe to be simple with easy to follow step by step instructions and pictures. My husband loves noodles so gave her the instant noodles stir fry recipe with vivid instructions, She did an amazing job recreating it without my help and that impressed him so much. 

      You know how teens are… she posted that on Instagram and her friends went crazy for this recipe and that following week I ended up printing so many copies to share it with her friends. { I was not on any social media platforms that time 😀}. They came to me and said Mrs. L “You must start a blog” it’s easy to share the recipes this way. 

      A big shout out to my daughter and her friends for making me start a blog, even now they are my true fans and critics. All the baked goods are taste tested by them before they go on the blog. 

      I write all the recipes with these young kids and beginners in mind, that is why all my posts have detailed instructions which is easy for them to follow and it definitely inspires them to cook. 

      And that’s how I became a food blogger. Now I really enjoy blogging it helps me connect with people who have the same interests as me and spend my free time in a very creative way. 

      Thanks to my family, Blogging is a team effort in my household. 

      My husband who loves to eat good food is the true critic of the food I make.

      My older one, “My Social Media Guru” taught me how to take Instagram worthy pictures of food for my blog. 

      My younger one loves to help out in the kitchen, in fact she has taken many step by step pictures for the blog when I was juggling with too many things. She inspires me to cook something new all the time. I jokingly call her my talking buisness card. She made my blog so popular among friends and family.😄

      Last but not least…


      A big shout out to WordPress support team for answering all my silly questions and guiding me every step of the way when I had trouble figuring out how WordPress works 😁. You guys have been so helpful. Thank you so much!. 

      Blogosphere is a wonderful community and I’m happy to be a part of it ! 

      ♥️ Latha @ savvysouthindian.com