Bread Uppuma

bread upumaUppuma has never been a favorite of Ad, and I remember the days when she used to spend hours at the table to finish whatever uppuma was served. Finally I gave up and stopped trying to persuade her to relish uppuma. However, variations such as poha, semiya uppuma, sabudana khichdi, or bread uppuma were fine with her. Ar loves all forms of uppuma and here goes one more in uppuma series.

Bread uppuma is normally made with bread cubed into small pieces. I prefer to shred it to flakes in a blender as it gives a good texture and the spices blend better.

Ingredients (for 2 Servings)

White Bread slices   preferably a day or two old  10 (shred to  flakes at low speed)

Tomato puree from 2 tomatoes (½ cup)

Chilli powder 1 tsp

Grated ginger 1 tsp

Salt  1tsp (or less as bread is already salted)

Curry leaves/coriander leaves  1 tsp

Oil 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Chana dal 1 tbsp

Asafotida ½ tsp

Turmeric powder  ¼ tsp

Coriander powder ½ tsp

Onion 2 medium-sized (diced fine)

Green bell pepper  1 medium sized    diced to julienne

Vegetable mix  1 big  cup

[Cauliflower  florets finely cut, ½” julienne of French beans, shelled peas, diced carrot, finely cubed potato]


  • Heat oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds. As it starts spluttering add chana dal and let it brown on low flame. Add onions, asafotida, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and saute till the onion color changes. Add bell pepper and saute for 2 or 3 minutes before adding the vegetable mix.
  • When the vegetables are cooked add salt and tomato puree and mix well.
  • Add bread flakes and cook on low flame, mixing well, for 5 minutes. To ensure that it does not get lumpy or dry cover the uppuma with a lid while cooking and maintain low flame.
  • Garnish with curry leaves/cilantro leaves.

Gooseberry Pickle



Gooseberry    ½ kg

Turmeric powder  1 tsp

Asafotida  ½ tsp

Salt  1 tbsp

Red chilli powder  2 tsp

Sugar  1 tbsp

Vinegar 50 ml


  • Wash the berries thoroughly under running water and press it dry with a soft cloth.
  • In a wide bowl all the spice ingredients and add vinegar to make a good mix.
  • Transfer the berries to the mix and blend the spice mix and berries well with a wooden spatula.
  • Transfer to a clean and dry bottle and leave for marination for 4 days before use.

Stays good at room temperature for many days

I-D Sambhar

restaurant style sambhar

I-D sambhar as I call it is sambhar served in restaurants to go ideally with idli, dosai, or vadai. It has a different taste, flavor and color (depending on the amount of chilli powder added to it) as compared with the tradional sambhar that  goes as gravy with rice. Often it is thinner, more vibrant and strong in flavors like cinnamon or fennel. It uses less tamarind and more tomatoes and thus taste also varies. Often we see people helping themselves to cups of sambhar and I guess justified in doing so.

My version of this sambhar is quite enjoyed by G and I guess that certifies this dish 🙂

Preparation 10 minutes

Cooking  20 minutes

Ingredients  (To make 1 liter)

Tamarind     size of a gooseberry

Shallots        1 cup

Drum stick  6 to 9 pieces (2″ long)

Toor dal         ¼ cup (small handful)

Turmeric powder ½ tsp

Salt  1 tsp (heapful)

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Asafotida ¼ tsp

Cinnamon ½”(optional)

Fennel seeds ½ tsp (optional)

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Cooking oil 1 tbsp

For paste

Roasted gram 1 tbsp

Coconut  grating 1 tbsp

Roasted coriander seeds 1 tbsp

shallots (sauteed) 5 or 6

Tomato  1 big

Curry leaves 3 sprigs


  • Wash the dal and add turmeric powder. Pressure cook the dal in 1/2 cup water
  • Heat oil in a wide pan and temper with mustard seeds. Add shallots and drumstick and saute until aroma starts wafting. Set aside a few shallots to add to masala paste.
  • Add the strained tamarind pulp to the pan and add salt. While the tamarind boils grind the masala ingredients to a fine paste.
  • When the raw smell of tamarind is gone add the mashed dal and masala paste and make up the volume to a liter with water. Switch off the flame as soon as it starts boiling.
  • Heat ½ tsp oil in tadka pan and add the chill powder and asafotida and switch off the flame.  Add to sambhar and mix well
  • If you like cinnamon/fennel  flavor add the spice to the masala while grinding.

Chef’s note: You can add other vegetables of your choice like yellow pumpkin, beans or carrot if you like to add to taste and color.

Cinnamon/fennel flavor gives the sambhar the signature of Karnataka1

Vegetable Stew (4 Servings)

veg stew

A healthy simple Keralite dish that goes well with Aappam, dosai or even idly. G prefers it with rice and I normally make it with Jeera rice or plain peas rice.

Often known as Ishtu in many parts of Kerala, this dish can be made with potatos alone.


Cauliflower  (cut to small florets)  2 cups

Potato  (2 medium-sized) cut to small cubes after peeling

Fresh peas  (shelled) 1 cup

Onion 2 (medium-sized)

Green chillies  3 slit

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar ½ tsp

Coconut oil 1 tbsp

Coconut milk 1 cup

Curry leaves from 2 or 3 sprigs

For the spice bag

Pepper corns crushed  1 tsp (about 15)

Cinnamon 2″ piece

Cloves 5 or 6

Ginger grated 1 tsp

Bay leaves 2


  • Crush all the spices mentioned coarsely in a mortar with pestle and make a spice bag with them.
  • Add ½ cup water to pressure pan and add the salt n sugar to water. Transfer the cut vegetables to the water in the pan and place  the spice bag and chillies among the vegetables. Place a small plate on top of the vegetables and place the onions on the plate. Close the pan and pressure cook the vegetables for two whistles.
  • Mash  the cooled onions or puree as per preference. I prefer to puree them.
  • Heat oil in a pan and saute the onion puree for a minute or two. Transfer the cooked vegetables (after removing the spice bag) to the pan and add a little water if too thick. If you are using freshly extracted coconut milk, add thin coconut milk from second extraction instead of water.
  • When it starts boiling add thick coconut milk and leave on low flame for two or three minutes. As soon as it starts boiling  garnish with curry leaves and switch off the flame. DO NOT boil after adding coconut milk.

Chef’s Note  If you like other vegetables such as carrot, beans or bell pepper you can add the same to the mix of vegetables and pressur cook.

  •  Similarly if like to get the crunchy feel of onions, you can slice them thin and saute them instead of pureeing and saute in oil  before  adding veggies.