Minimalist cooking | Fuss free recipes

  1. Nellikai Arachu kalakki ( gooseberry curd pachadi )
nellikai aracha kalaki or  thayir pachadi
nellikai arachu kalakki

Nellikai arachu kalakki is a popular curd based pachadi variety from Kerala, also prepared in Tamilnadu . Usually uppu manga or uppu nellikai are used, meaning baby mangoes in brine or gooseberries in brine are used to prepare this healthy Delicious pachadi ..

If you do not have amlas in brine or baby mangoes in brine, you can use fresh gooseberries or fresh baby mangoes but need to be cooked with pinch of salt .


1/4 cup grated fresh coconut

6-7 baby mangoes in brine or gooseberries in brine

If using fresh mangoes or gooseberries, cook them first with pinch of salt .
some curry leaves
2 Red chilly
2 Green chilly –
1 small piece jaggery
1/2 cup whisked curd
Salt as required

To temper
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 red chilly
4 methi seeds
few Curry leaves


grind baby mango from brine ,or cooked gooseberries ,

add jaggery , chillies, coconut , few curry leaves, grind to paste.
temper with mustard seeds, methi , curry leaves, 2 red chillies.

Enjoy chilled .

2. Dal chutney

dal chutney
dal chutney

Delicious dal chutney that is not only simple, healthy but used ingredients that most of us have in our pantry . This chutney comes to our aid when we have nothing to make chutney with, for idlis, dosas, or pongal .

The recipe needs no coconut, no onions or tomatoes as is usually used for making chutney varieties . Most of us at any time have some stock of oil, basic tempering ingredients from masala box, some lentils in stock . using these we can rustle up a finger licking chutney

Recipe :

Roast the following

1 tbsp oil
2 tbsp udad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
1 tbsp fried gram dal
1/4 cup peanuts or less
2 cloves garlic ( optional )
3 red chillies
a pinch of tamarind
pinch of hing
salt as required

Tempering :

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
some curry leaves
1-2 red chillies
1 tsp oil
curry leaves

Method :

Roast and grind ingredients mentioned

add little water to grind , add tempering to the chutney,along with curry leaves and 1-2 red broken red chillies ..

adjust consistency by adding water as needed .

dal chutney and no dal sambar
dal chutney and instant no dal sambar

3. No dal sambar and Idli batter ground in mixe

Another delicious side dish for idlis, dosa or pongal is the No dal sambar

or popularly called Tiffin sambar , although some varieties do use some dal, here i have a recipe which has no dal yet tastes super yummy , very light and can be kept in fridge for 2-3 days as it uses no coconut either .

no dal sambar
no dal sambar
no dal sambar
no dal sambar

There are days when we feel like making yummy side dish for idlis or dosas, and do not have ingredients to prepare. Esp if you have no dals of any kind, you may wonder how to prepare a sambar ! ????????

Try this yummy sambar tht has no dal and no fancy ingredients .I used to make this so often and later realized that some hotels in Karnataka esp Udupi restaurants actually follow this method of making no dal sambar, and it stays good and yummy all day long .

Recipe :


Pressure cook the ingredients given below for 3 whistles with less water
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes , use tangy variety
1/2 cup chopped shallots or full shallots
3-4 green chillies
pinch of turmeric powder
Allow cooker to cool.

Roast and grind to powder

2 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 red chillies ( mix of both kashmiri and spicy red variety )
pinch of asafoetida powder
4-5 methi seeds
1 tsp oil .

Other ingredients:

10-12 shallots
some curry leaves
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
curry leaves
chopped coriander leaves

Method :

1.pressure cook shallots, tomatoes, with turmeric powder, 3 green chillies pinch of salt , very little water to cook and give 3-4 whistles .

  1. allow pressure to release naturally .
  2. meanwhile roast and grind ingredients mentioned above with little oil .
  3. allow to cool and powder finely and keep aside .
  4. Blend the pressure cooked tomato and onion mixture in a mixie jar or using a hand blender .
  5. Take a pan, add some oil , splutter mustard seeds , add curry leaves, add the shallots and cook
  6. add the blended onion tomato mixture , add the ground powder as required
  7. Save the rest of the ground powder if any left over for flavoring sambar later for next time , a pinch of jaggery may be added .
    mix well, and allow the mixture to cook on a low flame , adjust salt, add some chopped coriander leaves .

note :

you can also grind 2 tb sp of fried gram ( pottu kadalai ) with the roasted ingredients,
so you can skip adding the besan flour water mixture at the end , as fried gram acts as a thickening agent when added to liquid.
the roasted powder can be used to flavor, several dry curries as well
adding 1/4 cup coconut milk also makes this very delicious
almost tastes like arachavitta sambar but much lighter.

Idli recipe ( batter ground in mixie)

idli batter in mixie
Idli batter in mixie

2 cups idli rice
1 cup whole udad dal
1/4 cup poha or sago, soak 10 minutes before grinding,
if using sago soak for an hour at least ,pinch of methi soaked with udad dal ,
soak rice for 5 hours

soak udad dal for 2 hours after washing well, and soak in enough water to cover, keep in fridge ,
grind udad dal with methi in mixie with chilled water of udad dal ( in which we soaked ) , grind to a smooth thick foamy batter .
grind in short intervals , so that mixie doesnt get heated, transfer batter to a container,
next grind rice, poha together, to a thick smooth batter. mix both batters well,
add little water to adjust batter consistency, shouldn’t be too watery , or batter wont ferment ,
allow to ferment overnight or for 8 to 10 hours .

4. Vegetable chutney :

vegetable chutney , no coconut chutney
vegetable chutney

This is a very delicious tasty chutney using vegetables and a good accompaniment for idlis, dosas and chapatis.

The addition of  spinach stems was on a spur of the moment and it didn’t alter the taste and gave a good body and texture to the chutney.

Try it and add it to your list of chutneys that you make frequently and without coconut. this chutney can be made with as many vegetables or as few too , so do not get disheartened if you do not have all of these.

vegetable chutney
vegetable chutney
vegetable chutney
vegetable chutney

5. Mixed vegetables chutney ( another variation )

mixed veg chutney
mixed veg chutney

While the usual coconut chutney by default is made  mindlessly however tempting and tasty, we need to look beyond those three or four usual chutneys to bring a variety to the breakfast or tiffin dishes.

A wonderful way to incorporate as many vegetables in your diet in different ways is the  mixed veg chutney  which seems to be the best bet as one cannot guess what has gone into it ,  yet it is finger licking good , minus the coconut. My motto in kitchen , add a bit of veggie be it chutney, dosa adai, upma, idli or sambar , well almost all dishes. I just cannot prepare a simple bare dish like plain upma, i feel we might as well throw in some peas and carrots for good colour and healthy too.


1 cup peeled finely diced   yellow pumpkin 

 2 ripe tomatoes finely chopped

2 big onions, chopped or 1 cup of shallots 

1 carrot grated or chopped finely.

A small piece of ginger

1 tbsp tamrind paste

1/2 cup finely chopped coriander leaves

1 cup of finely chopped red bell peppers

2 green chillies


A pinch of turmeric powder

salt to taste

2 tbsp sesame oil

some curry leaves for garnishing.

1 tsp udad dal 

1 /2 tsp mustard seeds

3 red chillies


  1. In a pan, add the oil, let it heat up, add the chopped vegetables, including green chillies,ginger,  coriander leaves, . and sautee till they appear soft and cooked.

2 Remove and keep aside.When cooled,  grind to a paste .

3. Again in the same pan add some more oil, let the mustard seeds splutter, brown the udad  dal ,red chillies,  sprinkle the curry leaves, add the vegetable puree , tamrind, turmeric powder, salt.

4. By sauteing the ground vegetable mixture  again in the pan with oil and seasonings ensures there is no trace of raw taste in the vegetables and keeps the chutney good for long hours . 


You can add 2- 3 tbsp of freshly grated coconut to the vegetable s while grinding.Add garlic if you like. 

6. Rawa dosa with cucumbers

The pic below is not a video.

quick rava dosa with cucumbers
Cucumber rava dosa

This is my favourite saviour when it comes to unplanned tiffin or breakfast . Veg rava dosa with a vegetable . Here I used cucumbers and millet flour, (you can sub with rice flour ) , millet rava can sub for semolina . No maida and this easy quick dosa Can be prepared immediately . This veg rava dosa remains soft for hours . When hot from the tava you can get good crispy dosas like regular rava dosa . Rrty using other vegetables , like avocados too, makes it even more healthy or zucchini.


1 cup rice flour / any millet flour/ragi/jowar etc

1/2 cup cucumbers chopped and puréed

Salt as needed

2 green chillies can be ground with cucumbers

Some chopped coriander leaves .


Purée the cucumbers with green chillies .

Add rice flour or millet flour and make a thin batter like rava dosa .

Add 1 tbsp of rava or millet rava .

Heat a tava pour batter , keep medium flame .

Add oil , flip when dosa is crisp and done

.This cucumber rava dosa can be prepared with other vegetable purée like carrots , capsicum , pumpkins , potatoes .

Millet rava is available in stores and can be used in place of semolina . Instead of having plain rava dosas we can serve such vegetable rava dosas esp for kids .

cucumber rava dosa
Cucumber rava dosa

7. Wheat rava dosa

wheat rava dosa
Wheat rava dosa

This instant Wheat rava vegetable dosa uses simple ingredients , no long soaking hours and can be made instantly . Thin and crisp or soft , which ever way you like . ( a quick tiffin under 30 minutes .)

Ingredients :

1 cup Bansi rava ( a variety of whole wheat broken rava like samba rava )
2-3 small tomatoes chopped or chopped bell pepper, or 3/4 cup of mixed chopped vegetables
3 tbsp rice flour
salt as needed
1-2 green chilly

soak the bansi rava after washing , in a vessel for about 10-15 minutes while you are chopping other vegetables .

( a 20 minutes soak will be ideal though not required )

grind all the ingredients together to a smooth thick batter .
prepare dosas as , thick or as thin as you wish ,( add some curry leaves to batter)
you can prepare thin crispy rava dosa style too by diluting batter 

8. Tomato Dosa

Tomato Dosa
1/2 cup rice flour or any millet flour
1/4 cup besan flour or moong dal flour / chickpea flour
2 nos medium tomatoes chopped
2 nos green chillies
a small piece ginger or grated ginger
some chopped coriander leaves
few curry leaves
as required  salt
a pinch asafoetida powder
oil or ghee to cook dosas


  1. grind everything to smooth batter . ( grind flours with tomatoes , chillies , ginger to combine well ) add chopped coriander leaves, some curry leaves, salt , hing
  2. heat a tava prepare dosas immediately no need to rest batter . : Suggested : can add 1 finely chopped onions to grind with the tomatoes too .

9. Millet Masoor dal adai

millet masoor dal adai
millet masoor dal adai

Little Millet Masoor dal adai …

just two ingredients gives you a delicious adai that’s not only filling but super healthy too .
When you have no other ingredients left or having just two such ingredients , like rice , or any one of the dals you can quickly make a sumptuous tiffin .

Soaking time is just 2 hours , grind and make adai immediately .

( I decided to use both little millets and the mascot dal as I had little of both and wanted to finish them . )

Add healthy greens if you have like drumsticks leaves , or spinach varieties , methi leaves etc .


1 cup little millets ( use any )
3/4 cup pink Masoor dal
Red chiliies
Pinch of asafoetida powder
Salt .
Curry leaves
( cumin seeds , ginger may be added ) I kept it simple .

Grind after 2 or 3 hours to thick a little coarse batter . Heat a tava preferably cast iron , prepare adai with sesame oil .

Serve with your accompaniment s . Usually jaggery , butter , avial are served .

Masoor Dal contain high levels of protein, including essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine and are an essential source of inexpensive protein diet.

They are a powerhouse of protein and rich in vitamin B1 and folic acid. Ayurveda says that red lentils help in balancing the vata

It also contains fiber, folate, vitamin B1 and minerals.

It helps to lower the cholesterol and helps in managing blood sugar levels since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal.

They are good source of potassium and iron.

.Lentils are rich in flavonoids a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.

little millets

benefits of millets is known to everyone now days thanks to it being made popular by doctors themselves

The little millet have a rich source of B-vitamins, minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium among others. It also provides essential fats to the body, and said to help in weight loss. .

10. Mixed veg Kootu :

mixed veg kootu
mixed veg kootu

Mixed veg kootu is a favorite in my house, as it satisfies all, with not too much spice, a yummy dish that goes well with rice, chapati and can also be made into healthy kootu saadham for kids .

It is healthy as usually some dal is added in any kootu variety, i add moong dal as not only does it cookk well, it also tastes yummy and healthier than toor dal .

The advantage of this simple recipe is that you can make it very rich by adding coconut b, or coconut milk or keep it simple with only dal, vegetables and required spice .

Recipe :


2 cups mixed veg cubed to small pieces , like carrots, potatoes, beans , cabbage
you can add some cubed potatoes, few green peas ( optional )

2 small onions finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
1-2 green chillies sliced

salt as needed
pinch of turmeric powder

1 tsp rasam powder

3 tbsp moong dal soak for 15 minutes
2 tbsp chana dal soak for 15 minutes

some curry leaves
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp rice flour to adjust consistency of kootu

for tempering

1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dal
2 red chillies broken
2 tsp coconut oil or any


1. Take a cooker add soaked dals, pinch of turmeric powder , chopped onions, tomatoes, and cubed vegetables. , green chillies, curry leaves.
add just enough water to just cover vegetables . add pinch of salt, rasam powder
pressure cook for 3 whistles .

2. Meanwhile grind coconut cumin with one or two green chillies

open the pressure cooker after it has cooled down , notice that the vegetables have cooked , and the moong dal has also cooked to a very soft
texture while chana dal remains cooked but not mashed . this gives the kootu a great taste .
add the ground paste and mix well, allow to boil on a low heat after adding coconut cumin green chilly paste
add 1 tsp rice flour only to adjust the thickness of the kootu .

temper with heated coconut oil, mustard seeds spluttered, udad dal, and curry leaves, with broken red chillies.
adjust salt if needed .

serve with rice, rotis .You can add coconut milk if you do not have fresh coconut .

mixed veg kootu
mixed veg kootu

11. Wheat rava dosa

wheat rava dosa
wheat rava dosa
wheat rava dosa
wheat rava dosa
wheat rava dosa
wheat rava dosa

Delicious wheat rava dosa can be prepred easily with ingredinets that almost all of us have in kitchen ..we can skip maida and add wheat flour


1 cup wheat flour
1/4 cup rice flour …increase to 1/2 cup if you need a more crispy dosa
1/4 rava ( sooji )
salt as required
pinch of turmeric powder ( optional )
1 tbsp chopped green chillies
1/2 tsp cracked pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 big onion finely chopped
few thinly chopped curry leaves
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
‘pinch of asafoetida powder .
make a thin batter
allow to rest for 15 minutes
pour on a hot dosa tava quickly

use ghee or oil for preparing wheat rava dosas

12. Bansi rava adai /dosa ( three ingredients adai )

bansi rava adai dosa , diiabetic friendly
Bansi rava adai dosa
Bansi rava adai

Bansi Rava Adai / dosa with 3 ingredients only. no need for rice or udad dal .
Diabetic friendly, healthy dish for all ages, elders and children .
No prior planning required , just soak for max 2 hours, grind and make dosas immediately.
1 cup bansi rava washed and soaked for 1 hour
1/4 cup masoor dal
1/4 cup moong dal
some currry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
salt as required
pinch of asafoetida powder
4-5 red chillies
sesame oil for preparing adai /dosa
wash and soak the bansi rava for 1-2 hours
wash and soak dals also for 2 hours .grind the dals first to smooth paste along with red chillies
add bansi rava and grind to a little coarse paste .
remove batter, add in salt, asafoetida powder, curry leaves
prepare adai dosa , as thin or as thick as you like
Here i have prepared it thinly without adding anything to the batter such as chopped onions , ginger etc ..This is how we like the adai dosa, as it is good for breakfast as a very light food .
The same batter when kept overnight in fridge , ferments slowly and gives you a lovely texture , colour to the batter, and can be made just like ghee roast , very thin and crispy as shown in the collage pic .
This is a super quick recipe for breakfast or evening diner also, as it doesn’t take much time or planning, avoids use of rice and therefore very diabetic friendly food and good for both elders and children .
Notes :
You can add drumstick leaves for more healthy adai or any spinach variety .
This batter can be used as a replacement to prepare paper thin crispy ghee roast , so in that case dont add asafoetida powder, cumin to batter or curry leaves, keep batter plain and use it to prepare a crispy ghee roast . It has natural reddish colour due to the bansi rava used .
check my blog for more adai dosa recipes

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