Category Archives: Steamed

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

Rice Free Beetroot Idli

  • Difficulty: easy
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Rice Free Beetroot Idli








My blogger friend Teagan of the Three Ingredients Serial fame is the inspiration for today’s recipe, or rather her latest episode (which features beetroot) is.

Reading the episode made me realise how little I eat the vegetable even though I like it so much.

Beetroot is full of minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium. It also contains vitamins A, B6 and C, and folic acid and has the goodness of carbohydrates, protein, powerful antioxidants and soluble fibre.

This is another one of my kooky concoctions which turned out absolutely delicious and a validation that healthy food need not be boring.

nourishing beetroot, mixed sprouted beans, jowar (sorghum) and bajra (pearl millet) make for wholesome, moreish, idlis

Enjoy with some coconut chutney.

The following yields 10-12 idlis.


1/4 Cup jowar

1/4 Cup bajra

1/4 Cup urad dal (skinned black gram)

1 Tablespoon fenugreek seeds

2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Cup mixed sprouted beans

1 Large (or 2 small) beetroot

1 Tablespoon paste of minced ginger-green chilli

15-20 Fresh curry leaves

1 Tablespoon oil

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

Salt to taste

Ghee to grease idli moulds


  1. Wash and soak the jowar, bajra, urad dal and fenugreek seeds for 10 to 12 hours.
  2. Grind them till you get a fine paste. The consistency should be like a pancake batter.
  3. Leave in a warm, dark place to ferment for anything from 5 to 48 hours. Fermentation time will depend on the outside temperature so you will need to plan accordingly.
  4. Once the batter is well fermented, you are ready to make the idlis.
  5. Peel, wash and finely grate the beetroot.
  6. Wash the mixed sprouted beans.
  7. Wash and roughly chop the curry leaves.
  8. Add the quick cooking oats, ginger-green chilli paste, curry leaves, mixed sprouted beans and grated beetroot to the idli batter.
  9. Add salt to taste.
  10. Heat the oil and once it is hot, lower the flame and add the mustard seeds followed by asafoetida.
  11. As soon as the seeds start spluttering, take them off the heat and pour the tempered oil to the idli batter.
  12. Mix well. If you find the batter to be too thick, add about half cup water (remember oats will absorb some of the moisture too).
  13. At this stage, you can keep the batter aside upto 8 hours till you are ready to cook the idli.
  14. Grease the idli moulds and pour the prepared batter into them.
  15. Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.
  16. Insert a toothpick, if it comes out clean you know the idlis are cooked.
  17. Take out the idli moulds and let them be for 10 minutes before unmoulding.


  1. This recipe will also work with the traditional rice based idli batter.


Samosa, The Pot Sticker Way & Celebrating 100th Post

Samosa Pot Stickers

  • Difficulty: easy
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Samosa, The Pot Sticker Way








How time flies… I started this blog in November last year not knowing a thing about blogging, let alone food blogging. And suddenly, I find myself writing my 100th post.

So far, it has been a thoroughly enjoyable, educational and entertaining journey of old and new – traditional and unconventional – discoveries.

Along the way, I have met new people, some with totally amazing and inspirational blogs.

Thank you to my regular and new readers and followers. Knowing that there is someone out there who makes time for my writing is humbling.

To celebrate Kooky Cookyng’s 100th post, I have come up with a totally kooky recipe, but naturally ;-).

I have been fancying samosa for quite some time now. But how to make non-fried samosas? There are recipes for baked samosas on the internet. But since I don’t use an oven, for me, the challenge was to come up with a samosa recipe which could be made stove-top, in a pan, with very little oil.

At first, I thought of pan frying them but then I came across pot stickers (Chinese dumplings filled with meat or vegetables which are browned on one side and simmered in water or stock).

I searched on the internet but didn’t see any recipe for samosa pot stickers so I wasn’t sure whether the idea would work. But the kooky side in me thought, “what the heck, let’s give it a go”!

Samosa Pot StickersSo I present to you samosa pot stickers which are pot stickers with samosa filling, cooked in a pan, over a stove.

Am glad to tell you that the experiment was a total success (although even if it had been a failure, I would have shared it with you!).

low fat, non-fried mode of enjoying samosa

The filling is that of conventional samosa: potato and green peas.

As for the dumpling wrapper, this was made at home with wheat flour and water.

Before we move onto the actual recipe, I would like to share my experience with those of you who may be interested in making samosa pot stickers.

I did quite a bit of research on the internet to try and understand how pot stickers are cooked. The basic idea is to make the dumpling and put it in a hot pan so that the under side is browned. After this, you add some water, cover and cook the dumpling. After about 10 to 12 minutes, you remove the cover and the water would have evaporated and the dumplings cooked in the steam. You transfer them to a plate, the browned side up and serve with a dipping sauce.

Traditionally, you don’t turn the dumplings over before adding water. In other words, you only brown them on one side, the side they are sitting on. But I did come across one blog written by a Chinese person whose family recipe involves turning the dumpling a couple of times so that it is browned on both sides. Since my end goal was samosa as opposed to a dumpling, this is what I also did. I browned the pot sticker on both sides before letting it cook in water.

Also, to try and get the texture of a samosa pastry, once the pot stickers were cooked, again I let them brown a bit longer on both sides so that they were nicely tanned and a bit crispy.

The recipe may read or look complicated but it is actually very easy (pictorial below). And this is coming from someone who doesn’t cook much with flour or pastry!

The following assumes that you are using ready wonton or dumpling wrapper. If you want to make the wrapper at home, make a pliable dough of  wheat flour and water and roll it out into 3″-4″ thin discs.

Finally, these will probably only work if you use a non-stick pan. Any other type of pan would require a lot of oil which defeats the purpose of low fat samosa. I am saying this based on my experience. I could be wrong and if there is anyone out there reading this who has cooked pot stickers in a pan other than non-stick, I hope they will share their experience.


12 Wonton/Dumpling wrappers

3 Medium sized potato

1 Cup green peas

1 Teaspoon chilli powder

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1 Teaspoon coriander powder

1 Teaspoon cumin powder

1 Teaspoon amchur (dry mango) powder*

1 Teaspoon cumin seeds

1 Teaspoon fennel seeds

Salt to taste

3/4th Cup water

1 Teaspoon oil for filling

1-2 Teaspoons oil for pot stickers


  1. First, we make the filling. For this, boil the potato.
  2. Once cooled, remove the skin and chop them very finely.
  3. Wash the green peas.
  4. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan. Once it is hot, add the cumin seeds.
  5. As soon as the cumin seeds start crackling, add the fennel seeds.
  6. Next, add the peas with 1 tablespoon of water and salt to taste. Cover, lower the heat and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
  7. In a small bowl, mix all the powders: chilli, turmeric, coriander, cumin and dry mango.
  8. Uncover the peas, add the dried powders and boiled, cut, potato. Mix well, cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Set aside, uncover and let the filling cool down completely. Check for salt.
  10. When you are ready to make the pot stickers, take a wonton/dumpling wrapper.
  11. Place a spoonful of the filling in the centre.
  12. Now, lift the edges near you and far side to you to make a half moon shape.
  13. Twist the edges a bit to ensure that the pot sticker is properly sealed.
  14. Do the same with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  15. When you are ready to cook the pot stickers, heat 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil in a frying pan.
  16. Swirl it around so that bottom of the pan is fully coated with the oil.
  17. Once the pan is very hot, reduce the heat and place the pot stickers in the pan, leaving enough space in between each. You don’t want to overcrowd the pan.
  18. After one minute, turn over the dumplings. So now, you have them brown side up.
  19. After another minute, add about 3/4 cup of water to the pan and cover it immediately.
  20. Let the dumplings cook for about 12 to 15 minutes.
  21. Uncover and flip them over. Cook for about 5 minutes till nicely browned.
  22. Flip over and cook the other side for 5 more minutes as well.
  23. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy hot.


  1. If you can’t get hold of amchur powder, you can add a teaspoon of lemon juice.
  2. Samosa pot stickers go very well with tamarind chutney (like conventional samosa) and also with red chutney, green chutney or even tomato ketchup.

Making Samosa Pot Stickers 1Making Samosa Pot Stickers 2













Making Samosa Pot Stickers 3







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 4







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 5







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 6







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 7







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 8







Making Samosa Pot Stickers 9









Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Idada/White Dhokla of Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea

Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Savoury Steamed Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea Cake








I have talked about the well known Gujarati dish idada in  one of my previous posts when I had made them with cabbage.

Idada are very healthy because they are made from fermented batter and steamed. Fermented foods have many health benefits and are often overlooked in most people’s diets.

in today’s kooky version, I have added a couple of vegetables to up the nutritional quota

My previous idada experiment was so successful that I decided to replicate it with kohlrabi and fresh green chickpeas, both of which are currently in season.

Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpeas for IdadaWhen I had last cooked with kohlrabi (green pea and kohlrabi cake), I had decided to buy the vegetable whenever I saw it.

As for the fresh green chickpeas, they are very nice to look at and cook with but a pain to shell.

So imagine my delight when I chanced upon a greengrocer selling both (the fact that he was selling shelled chickpeas was a bonus!).

As you can see from the above photo, the kohlrabi leaves were very fresh and so I decided to include them as well.

At first, I thought I would coarsely grind the chickpeas in a food processor before adding them to the batter but then I decided to throw them in whole.

If you would like to make these, you can either use ready idli batter (in the UK, ready batter is available in many Indian grocers) or you can soak the rice and lentils, grind them and ferment them. As it is still a bit cold where we are, I used my ‘fermenting in cold climate‘ method to  get the batter to rise. It took nearly 48 hours for this process to happen.

if you use instant idli batter, these can be made in a jiffy

If you can’t get hold of fresh green chickpeas, you can use green peas instead.

The following method is using ready idli batter. If you would like to soak, grind and ferment, please go here for instructions and quantity.


1 Cup idli batter

1 Kohlrabi

1/2 Cup fresh green chickpeas (or green peas)

2-3 Green chillies

Fresh ginger, size of your thumb

Salt to taste

1-2 Teaspoons coarsely ground black peppercorns

1 Tablespoon oil


  1. First prep the kohlrabi. Discard any tough stems and keep the fresh leaves.
  2. Peel the kohlrabi with a regular knife, The skin will come off very easily.
  3. Wash and finely grate the kohlrabi.
  4. Wash and finely chop its leaves.
  5. Wash the fresh chickpeas or green peas.
  6. Wash and mince the chilli.
  7. Peel, wash and mince the ginger.
  8. To the idli batter, add the grated kohlrabi, chopped leaves, chickpeas/green peas, chilli, ginger and salt to taste.
  9. Grease a cake like tin with half tablespoon oil and pour the batter in it.
  10. Evenly sprinkle coarsely ground peppercorns across the surface of the batter.
  11. Steam for about 45 minutes.
  12. Once cooked, remove from the steamer and drizzle the remaining oil (and a bit more if you like).
  13. Let the idada sit for about 3 to 4 minutes before cutting in square or diamond shape and serving.


  1. To check for doneness, insert a knife or a toothpick, it if comes out clean you know that they are cooked.

Batter for Kohlrabi & Fresh Green Chickpea IdadaThis is how my batter looked waiting to be steamed.

delicious with some green or red chutney

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) & Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains: Plain and Masala Varieties

Rice Free Idli of Bajra (Pearl Millet) and Ragi (Finger Millet) Grains









Let me start off this post with a disclaimer: I have nothing against rice. In fact, I like rice in all shapes and form although I rarely eat it. In my quest for a healthy and nutritious diet, I try to replace rice with other grains wherever possible.

today’s recipe is a tale of two idlis which met by chance in one cooking session

Having successfully made rice-free jowar (sorghum) idlis in the past, for this recipe, I thought of experimenting with two other types of millet grains: pearl (bajra) and finger (ragi).

a successful experiment which demonstrates that it is possible to make idlis without rice

Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)
Batter for Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)

Another fortuitous discovery I made while making these is masala idli.

While the first round of idlis were merrily steaming away, I suddenly remembered that I had some shelled peas and mixed sprouts lying around in the refrigerator. I thought of adding these along with some freshly grated turmeric and green chilli-ginger paste to the second round of idlis.

Both types taste equally good. They are soft like conventional idlis although not as fluffy (absence of rice I imagine).

The following makes 24 regular size idlis.

Ingredients for Plain Idli Batter

1 Cup bajra (pearl millet)

1 Cup ragi (finger millet)

1 Cup white urad dal (white gram/white lentil)

2 Tablespoons methi seeds (fenugreek)

Salt to taste

Ghee for greasing idli moulds

Ingredients for Masala Idli Batter (Optional)*

2 – 3 Tablespoons shelled peas

2 – 3 tablespoons mixed sprouts

1 Teaspoon turmeric

1 Teaspoon green chilli-ginger paste


  1. Wash the bajra, ragi, urad dal and methi seeds.
  2. Add water and soak for 8 to 10 hours.
  3. Grind in a food processor. The end result should be a batter which is neither too thick nor too thin. Some of the ragi grains may remain whole, this is perfectly okay.
  4. Cover and place the batter in a warm, dark place to ferment. This can take anything from a few hours to 34 hours depending on the temperature (see note below).
  5. When you are ready to cook the idlis, add some salt to the batter and mix well. If you are making masala idli, you can add the optional ingredients at this stage.
  6. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter in them.
  7. Put in a steamer and let the idlis steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Remove from the steamer and leave for a few minutes.
  9. Run a knife under each idli to remove it from its mould.
  10. Serve with chutney of your choice.


  1. In warm weather, the batter can ferment in a matter of 4 to 6 hours. If the temperatures are low, the fermentation process takes much longer.
  2. For masala idli, you can add any vegetable of your choice. Grated carrots, grated cabbage and grated bottlegourd would work equally well.
  3. I had fresh turmeric root which I grated and used which is why the colour of my masala idlis is so bright! You can use turmeric powder instead.

Here are the two friends side by side – plain and masala.

Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Plain)  Rice Free Bajra and Ragi Idlis (Masala)

Carrot & Green Pea Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cake with Carrot & Green Pea

Carrot Green Pea Dhokla Batter









After the indulgent chicken dinner on Monday, I need to make up for the excess.

say hello to steamed dhokla

Traditionally, dhokla are not cooked with any vegetables. I wanted to make a healthier version of this anyway healthy Gujarati dish so decided to add carrots and green peas.

the end result is so moreish that it is definitely one I plan to revisit

This is another quick meal which takes little time to put together. However, you do need to plan a day ahead to allow for the fermentation process.


1 Cup dhokla flour*

1-2 Tablespoons ragi flour

1-2 Tablespoons quick cooking oats

1 Carrot, coarsely grated

0.5 Cup shelled green peas

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons minced green chilli-ginger paste

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (optional)

Salt to taste

1 Tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle on top


  1. Combine the dhokla and ragi flours.
  2. Add one cup of water, mix well and leave it in a warm, dry place for 12-24* hours to ferment.
  3. When you are ready to cook the dhokla, add the quick cooking oats, turmeric powder, chilli-ginger paste, bicarbonate of soda (if using) and salt to the batter.
  4. Mix well and pour it in a greased cake tin (or equivalent).
  5. Put the tin in a steamer and steam for 30-40 minutes.
  6. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know the dhokla are cooked.
  7. Take the tin out of the steamer, drizzle the sesame oil all over (make sure to spread it evenly across the surface) and let it sit for 5 minutes.
  8. After 5 minutes, cut in diamond shape and serve with green or red chutney.


  1. If you don’t have access to ready dhokla flour, you can try this method of soaking rice and chana dal.
  2. Fermentation time will depend on where you are and the temperature in your home. In hot climate, the batter can ferment within 6-8 hours. In cooler climate, it takes longer. If unsure, even if you let the batter ferment for upto 24 hours, it shouldn’t go bad.

This is how my dhokla looked once cooked.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla Batter Cooked









And here’s the end result.

Carrot and Green Pea Dhokla

Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Muthia/Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Steamed Dumplings

Multigrain Mixed Vegetable Muthiya Uncooked









I  am very fond of muthia –  my go-to dinner when I am at a loss as to what to make. Since I make them often, I like experimenting with different flours and vegetables.

Today’s recipe, which has multiple vegetables and grains, came about because of what was lying around in my refrigerator. As with most of the recipes on this blog, you can improvise and substitute. The purpose is to make the most of what you have in your kitchen!


3/4th cup muthia no lot/muthia atta/muthia flour/a combination of wheat and chickpea flours with some semolina

1/4th cup ragi flour

2-3 tablesspoons jowar dalia (coarsely pounded sorghum)

1 cup finely grated cabbage

1 finely grated carrot

1 cup finely chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves

1 tablespoon minced ginger and green chilli paste

2 tablespoon white sesame seeds

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon coriander powder

2 teaspoons turmeric powder

A pinch of bicarbonate of soda (I used Eno)

Salt to taste

One tablespoon sesame oil


  1. Combine all the ingredients except oil.
  2. Make sure you mix well so that everything is amalgamated together. The end result won’t be dough like consistency but it will be soft enough for you to mould.
  3. Take a handful of the mixture in your palm and roll into oval shape.
  4. Place on a clean plate and do the same with the rest of the mixture.
  5. Now place all the muthia in a steamer and steam on high heat for 30-40 minutes.
  6. To check for doneness, insert a toothpick or a knife in one muthia. If it comes out clean, this means that the muthia are cooked.
  7. Drizzle some sesame oil before serving.


  1. You can prepare the muthia in advance and keep them in a refrigerator till you are ready to steam.
  2. I don’t put any oil in the mixture while binding but you can add a tablespoon of sesame oil if you like.
  3. Any leftover can be sliced and shallow fried in some mustard seeds and white sesame seeds.

serve with green chutney

Cabbage Idada/Cabbage White Dhokla/Savoury Steamed Cabbage Cake

Cabbage Idada

Idada is a specialty from the state of Gujarat in India. Made of rice and skinned, split black lentils (urad dal), the batter is similar to that of idli.

Idada batter before steamingThis is a versatile dish as in you can have it for breakfast, as a snack, for dinner or accompaniment as part of an elaborate Indian meal.

To my mind, there are two main differences between idada and dhokla (another Gujarati dish with similar cooking method). Idada are white in colour (and, so, called white dhokla by some) and there is no tempering involved before serving.

In my family, we tend to ferment the idada batter before cooking although you will find some recipes on the internet which skips this stage.

Here, I would like to share with you my idada recipe with a twist. The addition of cabbage increases this dish’s nutritional value without taking away from the original taste.

The above photo was taken before steaming. Not sure whether you can see the specks of green but this is what the batter looks like with the inclusion of cabbage.


3/4th cup white rice

1/4th cup skinned split black lentil

one cup finely grated white or green cabbage

1 tablespoon coarsely ground black peppercorns

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon oil for greasing

1 tablespoon sesame oil to drizzle


  1. Soak rice and lentils for 8 hours.
  2. Finely grind them in a mixer or a blender with some water. The consistency should be neither too runny, nor too thick.
  3. Now put the batter in a large container, cover and place in a dark corner of your kitchen for 8-10 hours for it to ferment. The reason we are using a large container is to allow some extra room for the batter to rise.
  4. When you are ready to cook the idada, mix the cabbage and salt in the batter.
  5. Grease a cake tin or a thaali, pour the batter in it and sprinkle the coarsely ground black peppercorns all over (see photo above for visual reference).
  6. Put the container with the batter in a steamer (or over a pot which is half filled with water), cover and steam for 30 minutes.
  7. To check whether it is cooked, insert a toothpick or a knife. If it comes out clean, you know that it is done.
  8. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Drizzle some sesame oil over the cooked idada making sure it is evenly spread, cut into diamond shapes and serve.

Idada cooked

This is what my cabbage idada looked like once cooked and oiled. The cabbage has visually disappeared!

serve idada with green or red chutney

Carrot & Cabbage Bajra (Pearl Millet) Idli

Carrot and Cabbage Bajra Idli with Tomato-Ginger Chutney

A couple of months back, I had made the most delicious jowar idli. I am currently out of jowar so decided to replicate the experiment with bajra (pearl millet) instead.  Additionally, I decided to add grated carrots and cabbage to make a nutritiously balanced dinner.

like tomatoes, carrots are more nutritious cooked


1 cup whole bajra (pearl millet)

0.5 cup urad dal (split black gram)

2 tablespoons brown rice

1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (methi dana)

2 grated carrots

Half a head grated cabbage

Salt to taste

Oil/ghee to grease idli moulds


  1. Wash and soak bajra, urad dal, brown rice and fenugreek seeds for 10-12 hours.
  2. Finely grind them making sure the batter is of pouring consistency.
  3. Transfer to a container, cover and leave in a warm, dark place for 8-10 hours to ferment. (If you are in a cool climate, place container with the batter in a larger empty container which you have just warmed. My personal experience is that this speeds up the fermentation process.)
  4. When ready to cook the idlis, mix the carrots, cabbage and salt to the batter.
  5. Grease idli moulds and pour the batter.
  6. Steam for 25 minutes.
  7. Once cooked, take out the moulds and let them rest for about 5 minutes before removing the idlis.
  8. Serve with tomato and ginger chutney.

This is what the fermented batter looks like:

Fermented Idli Batter

Here are the idlis cooked to perfection:

Idlis Hot off the Steamer


If you don’t have idli moulds, you can still make this recipe. Just pour the batter in a cake tin or equivalent and steam. Once cooked, cool and cut in squares before serving.

Cabbage and Carrot Muthia/Cabbage and Carrot Steamed Dumplings

Muthiya in Steamer

Muthia is a type of steamed Indian dumpling made with different flours and vegetables.

It is a popular, versatile and healthy Gujarati dish which can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, as a side dish or a light snack.

so what kind of muthiya did you cook today

A simple recipe of cabbage and carrot muthia with a slight twist.


1 cup muthiya no lot/muthiya atta/muthiya flour/a combination of wheat and chickpea flours with some semolina

1 cup grated cabbage and carrot

1 spoonful (or according to taste) minced ginger and green chillies

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon coriander powder

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Handful of quick cooking oats (optional)

Half cup ragi flour (optional)

Salt to taste

Pinch of bicarbonate of soda (Eno)


  1. Mix all the ingredients. Do not add water.
  2. Roll into oval shaped dumplings. Make sure the dumplings are not hard; shape them with a gentle hand.
  3. Put them in a steamer and steam for 30 minutes.
  4. Dish them out, drizzle some oil (preferably sesame) and serve piping hot with some chutney or pickle.

Muthiya with green chutney

oats and ragi flour are optional

you can add any vegetables of your choice (like gourd, spinach, fenugreek)


When you place the muthia in a steamer, put something at the base so that the steam doesn’t make them go soggy. I had placed some foil like this.

Muthiya in foil