Kitchen Star – Vidya


I love her home cooked traditional meals, simply because of the additional love she puts in everything she cooks. I have been fortunate to have tasted many of her delicacies and learned so much from her and did I mention her out of this world filter coffee? I have never had a coffee like that ever before!

I am really thankful to her that she could take some time out to share some of her kitchen secrets with all of us. She is as big a foodie as I am and also eager to learn and experiment be it baking, world cuisine or regional food.

Apart from being an excellent cook, she is also a doting mother to a very talented son. Her son and husband are the luckiest to taste the awesome food that comes out of her kitchen.

Here are some of her recipes and tips which she has shared for all of us.

Perfect Idli Batter Recipe

  • Boiled Rice – 4 cups
  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Methi seeds – 1 tsp
  • Raw rice – 1/4 cup

Soak separately overnight or for 6 hours. Then grind separately with very little water as required. Now keep for fermentation in a steel vessel and mix it with your hands. Once fermented, the batter is ready for soft idli’s and crisp dosa.

Tip: Cast Iron Tawa is the best for making dosa. Here’s how to season the cast iron tawa you have. Heat tawa very well, smear some oil, now wipe the oil. Sprinkle some salt and wipe it off again. Your tawa should be back to use.

Sambar RecipeWhatsApp Image 2017-02-27 at 21.28.17 (1)

  • Tamarind, lemon sized – 1
  • Arhar/Toor Dal, soaked for 10 minutes – 1 cup
  • Mixed Vegetable – 1/2 cup
  • Tomatoes, pureed – 2
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 4 tbs
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1 tsp
  • Red chillies – 2 (or as per taste)
  • Asafoetida – One pinch
  • Chana dal – 2 tsp
  • Oil – 2 tsp
  • Fresh Grated coconut – 1/4 cup
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – small bunch
  • Coriander leaves – small bunch


  1. Soak tamarind in warm water. Squeeze out the tamarind juice once it’s soft.
  2. Pressure cook toor dal with required amount of water until done (approximately up to 5 to 6 whistles)
  3. Cut vegetables into small cubes. Choose any of these vegetables (Baby onions, big onions, drumstick, ladies finger, white pumpkin, red pumpkin, carrot, brinjal, potato). If using baby onions, then make sambar with baby onions only.
  4. Add tamarind water to the vegetables along with tomato puree, salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida. Boil till vegetables are done.
  5. Roast the dry spices, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds,  red chilies, chana dal and asafoetida on low gas until fragrant.
  6. Grind the roasted spices with freshly grated coconut and water if required to make a smooth paste.
  7. Now, add cooked dal, ground spice mix in the pot with cooked vegetables and allow it come to a boil.
  8. Add curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  9. Once dal has mixed together well, add a tadka of oil and mustard seeds.

Thoran recipe6787c14f-b5b6-481c-b063-82e5ef78f9a5

  • French beans, chopped – 2 cups
  • Oil – 2 tbs
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Dried red chilies – 2
  • Asafoetida – One pinch
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh grated coconut – 1 cup


  1. Heat oil in a pan, once hot switch the flame to low.
  2. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, red chillies broken into half, pinch of asafoetida or hing powder and turmeric powder.
  3. Add the beans and mix well. Add salt as per taste.
  4. Cover and cook until done.
  5. Now add fresh grated coconut and mix well. Let it cook for another minute with the lid closed.
  6. Remove from heat and serve hot with sambar rice or chapati.

Note: Thoran can be prepared in the same way with many vegetables like cabbage, carrot and a mix of vegetables as well.


4 Comments Add yours

  1. Rashmi Mathur says:



    1. Nand says:

      Thanks Rashmi


  2. Bhavika A Panchal says:

    Woww…ur doing a great job…n ur food is delicious…


    1. Nand says:

      Thanks for your kind words! Do spread the word about my food blog!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s