Bateta Nu Shaak| Gujarati Potato Sabzi

Bateta Nu Shaak is a hugely popular dish in Gujarati households. It refers to potato curry or sabzi, which is made in many different ways across the state. Today, I am going to share with you all the recipe for a finger-lickingly delicious version of Bateta Nu Shaak, one that I learnt from a Gujarati neighbour of ours years ago.

Bateta Nu Shaak, Gujarati-style potato sabzi

More about this Bateta Nu Shaak

This is a sweet and sour sabzi, high on the flavour quotient but very easy to put together. There is no onion or garlic used – only some basic ingredients and spice powders – yet it manages to be super delicious. You will commonly encounter this Bateta Nu Shaak in Gujarati weddings, parties, and other social and religious occasions.

This sabzi is not exactly gravy-based, but it is not a completely dry curry either. It goes very well with phulka rotis, pooris and parathas alike, and also pairs up wonderfully with Gujarati dal and rice.

A closer look at the ingredients

Potatoes are the major ingredient here, of course. Regular-sized potatoes that are not waxy are commonly used to make this sabzi.

A paste of ginger and green chillies is added, which gives this dish a gorgeous flavour and fragrance. The sweetness comes from the addition of jaggery, while the sourness comes from tomatoes as well as tamarind extract.

A little garam masala is used in this Bateta Nu Shaak, as is the combination of roasted and powdered coriander seeds (dhania/dhana) and cumin seeds (jeera/jeeru) that is typical of most Gujarati curries.

The tempering for this sabzi is simple – just some mustard, cumin, asafoetida and curry leaves.

Bateta Nu Shaak recipe

Here’s how to go about making this sabzi.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

1. 6 medium-sized potatoes

2. A small piece of tamarind

3. 1-1/2 green chillies

4. A 1-inch piece of ginger

5. 1 large tomato

6. 1 tablespoon oil

7. 3/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

8. 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

9. 2 pinches of asafoetida

10. 1 sprig of curry leaves

11. Salt to taste

12. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

13. Red chilli powder to taste (optional)

14. 1 teaspoon roasted coriander seed powder

15. 1 teaspoon cumin powder

16. 1/4 teaspoon garam masala

17. About 1 tablespoon jaggery powder

18. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


Top left, centre and right: Steps 1, 2 and 3, Bottom left and centre: Step 4, Bottom right: Step 5

1. Soak the tamarind in hot water for at least 15-20 minutes, for it to soften. Let it cool down enough to handle.

2. In the meantime, wash the potatoes thoroughly, to remove all the dirt from them. Cut them into halves. Take them in a wide vessel. Add in enough fresh water to cover the potatoes completely.

3. Place the vessel in a pressure cooker. Cook on high flame for 2 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

4. While the potatoes are cooking, peel the ginger and chop roughly. Remove stems from the green chillies and chop roughly. Grind the ginger and green chillies to a paste in a small mixer jar, using a little water. Keep aside.

5. Chop the tomato finely. Keep aside.

Top left, centre and right: Steps 6, 7 and 8, Below top right: Step 9, Bottom left and centre: Step 10, Bottom right: The tomato mixture, after cooking for 2-3 minutes

6. When the tamarind has cooled down, extract the juice from it. Keep the tamarind extract thick and not too watery. Keep aside.

7. When the pressure from the cooker has completely gone down, get the potatoes out. Drain out the water from them. Let the cooked potatoes cool down completely, then peel them and cut into large cubes. Keep aside.

8. Now, we will start preparing the sabzi. Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add in the mustard seeds, and allow them to sputter. Add in the cumin seeds and asafoetida, and allow them to stay in for a few seconds.

9. Next, add in the chopped tomatoes and curry leaves. Add a little salt. Cook on high flame till the tomatoes start turning soft.

10. Add in the tamarind extract, followed by the ginger-chilli paste. Cook on high flame for 2-3 minutes.

Left top: Step 11, Left centre and bottom: Step 12, Bottom right: Step 13, Top right: Step 14

11. At this stage, turn down the flame to medium and add in the cubed potatoes. Add salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder (if using), coriander powder and roasted cumin powder. Mix well, but gently.

12. Add in the garam masala and jaggery powder. Mix gently.

13. Cook on medium flame for about 5 minutes, stirring intermittently. Take care to ensure that the potatoes do not get mashed up.

14. After 5 minutes, switch off gas and mix in the finely chopped coriander. Your Bateta Nu Shaak is ready. Serve warm.

Is this a vegan and gluten-free recipe?

This is a completely vegetarian and vegan recipe, suited to those following a plant-based diet.

In order to make it gluten-free, simply skip the asafoetida used in the tempering. Most commercially available Indian brands of asafoetida have wheat flour added in them and are, therefore, best avoided when one is following a gluten-free diet. However, if you can find 100% gluten-free asafoetida, you can definitely go ahead and use it.

Tips & Tricks

1. Lemon juice can be used for souring the sabzi, instead of the tamarind extract used here. However, I strongly suggest using tamarind as it adds a unique flavour to the dish.

2. Adjust the quantity of tamarind depending upon how sour you would like the sabzi to be.

3. Sugar can be used in place of the jaggery powder used here. I prefer using jaggery.

4. Adjust the quantity of green chillies as per personal taste preferences. You may skip the red chilli powder completely, if the spice level from the green chillies is enough.

5. Do not overcook the potatoes. They should be cooked through, but not mushy. 2 whistles on high flame in the pressure cooker works just fine for me. Some varieties of potatoes need just 1 whistle, so check and work out the cooking time accordingly. Overcooked potatoes will turn the sabzi mushy and tasteless.

6. I stock roasted and powdered coriander seeds (dhania) and cumin seeds (jeera) in my kitchen, and use them as needed. Instead, you could use dhana-jeeru powder, the quintessential spice blend used in Gujarati households.

7. Make sure you cook the sabzi on medium flame so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir it gently, so the potatoes don’t break too much – this can turn the sabzi into a mushy lump.

8. I use home-made garam masala that is quite strong, so I use very little of it. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.

9. If the sabzi gets too dry while cooking, a couple of splashes of water should help. Remember – just splashes and not too much water.

10. Sabzi masala or chana masala can also be used in place of the garam masala used here.

Some other interesting potato recipes!

We adore potatoes at home! I use them in a variety of ways, this Gujarati Bateta Nu Shaak being an all-time hit. I have documented quite a few of these recipes on my blog – Undhiyu, Dum Aloo, Assamese Massor Dailor Boror Tenga, Uttar Pradesh-style Aloo Rassedar, Aloo Paratha, Dabeli, Dhaba-Style Aloo Matar Ki Sabzi, Aloo Methi, Aloo Poha, Bombay Sandwich, Paani Poori, Bombay Saagu, Masala Dosa, Bread Rolls, Open Butter Masala Dosa, Mysore Masala Dosa and Masala Erra Karam Dosa.

A fellow food blogger, friend, philosopher, guide and potato lover, Sujata ji of Batter Up With Sujata has several aloo recipes on her blog too. Her Lemon Potato With Sesame Seeds sounds absolutely fantastic – got to try that out! In fact, I’m feeling adventurous enough to try out Sujata ji’s beautiful Eggless Potato Pie, thanks to her elaborately outlined recipe.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!


Thai Pulav In Pressure Cooker

Thai Pulav, as the name suggests, is a medley of Indian and Thai flavours. If you are smirking at that, I would tell you to wait till you give this a shot – this is an absolutely delicious dish! This is subtly done fusion, the elements from both cuisines perfectly combining with each other to create a beautiful whole.

Redolent with lemongrass, ginger and coconut milk, this vegetable-loaded pulav is a definite treat to the tastebuds. Once I got the recipe right, this Thai Pulav has become a big favourite with everyone at home. Let’s check out how to make it, in today’s blog post.

Delicious Thai Pulav!

Other Thai recipes on the blog

My love for Thai food is well documented on this blog. I have shared the recipes for many Thai dishes, using commonly available ingredients, and I am forever trying to learn more about the cuisine. Do check out the other Thai recipes on my blog too:

I’m loving the sound of the Thai-Style Roasted Corn Soup my blog friend Radha has shared. That’s next on my list to try out!

Pressure Cooker Thai Pulav

The inspiration for this dish comes from Soi Siam, a Thai restaurant in HSR Layout which closed its doors during the pandemic. They would serve a delightful Thai Pulav that I always wanted to recreate at home. I did succeed, after several trials and tribulations.

I use a pressure cooker to make this Thai Pulav, to save time and effort. All of the ingredients used are easily available, at least here in Bangalore. Once you have the ingredients ready, this pulav can be put together in a matter of minutes.

This Thai Pulav is so very flavourful on its own, it doesn’t really need an accompaniment.

Thai Pulav recipe

Here is how I went about making it.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

To grind to a paste:

1. A 2-inch piece of lemongrass root

2. 1 green chilli

3. 4 garlic cloves

4. A 1-inch piece of ginger

To roast and powder:

1. 1/4 teaspoon white peppercorns

2. 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds

3. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Other ingredients:

1. 1 cup basmati rice

2. 1 cup thick coconut milk + 1 cup water

3. 3/4 tablespoon oil

4. 1 long Delhi carrot

5. 1/4 cup green peas

6. 10 beans

7. 1 medium-sized onion

8. 1 small capsicum

9. Salt to taste

10. 3/4 tablespoon jaggery powder

11. 2 small pieces of pandan leaves

12. 4-5 Thai basil leaves

13. 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander


Top left and right: Step 2, Centre left and right: Steps 3 and 4, Bottom left and right: Step 5

1. Wash the basmati rice well under running water. Drain out the water. Then add in enough fresh water to cover the rice completely. Soak for 20-25 minutes. In the meantime, we will do the other preparations.

2. Next, we will start preparing the spice paste that is needed for this recipe. Chop the lemongrass and green chillies roughly and add to a small mixer jar. Peel the ginger and garlic cloves, chop roughly, and add these to the mixer jar too. Grind these ingredients to a smooth paste, using a little water. Keep aside.

3. Next, we will prep the veggies that will go into the Thai Pulav. Peel the onion and chop finely. Remove strings from the beans and chop into large pieces. Peel the carrot and cut into cubes. Keep the shelled green peas ready. Remove the core and seeds from the capsicum and chop into large pieces.

4. Next up, the aromatics. Keep the pandan leaves, Thai basil and coriander ready.

5. Now, dry roast the white peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds on medium flame till they are aromatic. Do not burn the spices. This should take 1-2 minutes. Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate and allow them to cool down completely, then crush to a coarse powder using a mortar and pestle. Keep ready.

Top left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Centre left and right: Step 8, Bottom left and right: Steps 9 and 10

6. When the rice is done soaking, drain out all the water from it. Now, we will start making the Thai Pulav.

7. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker base. Add in the prepared veggies. Saute for a minute on high flame.

8. Add in the spice paste we prepared earlier. Saute for a minute on high flame.

9. Add in the soaked and drained rice. Turn flame down to medium and saute for a minute.

10. Add in the thick coconut milk and water at this stage. Continue to keep the flame at medium. Mix well.

Top left and right: Step 11, Centre left and right: Steps 12 and 13, Bottom left and right: Steps 14 and 15

11. Add in salt to taste and jaggery powder.

12. Next, add in the powder we ground earlier.

13. Add the chopped coriander. Roughly tear the pandan leaves and Thai basil and add them in too. Mix well, then turn the flame to high. Close the pressure cooker and put the whistle on.

14. Cook on high flame for 3 whistles. Let the pressure go down naturally.

15. When the pressure has completely gone down, wait for 15-20 minutes to open the cooker. Your Thai Pulav is ready. Now, gently fluff it up with a spoon, trying not to break the grains of rice. Serve hot.

Vegan and gluten-free

This Thai Pulav recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan. It is suited to people following a plant-based diet.

It is an entirely gluten-free recipe as well.

Tips & Tricks

1. Adjust the quantity of green chilly as per personal taste preferences.

2. I have used store-bought thick coconut milk here, from the Ayam brand. You can make your own coconut milk at home too.

3. I have used a red Delhi carrot here. You can use any variety of carrot instead, too.

4. Don’t miss out the aromatic pandan leaves and Thai basil, because of the lovely touch they add to the pulav. You may add a couple of Kaffir lime leaves too – I didn’t use them because I didn’t have any. I picked up the Thai basil from Namdhari’s (as well as the lemongrass). I have a pandan plant at home that I got online from Trikaya.

5. Don’t miss out the jaggery, either. It adds a beautiful, very Thai flavour to the pulav. You may use coconut jaggery or palm jaggery instead, too. I have used regular jaggery powder.

6. White peppercorns add a subtle heat to dishes, without being too overpowering. I love using them in Chinese and Thai dishes, such as this one. However, if you don’t have them, you may use regular black pepper in a slightly lesser quantity.

7. I have used a mix of orange and green capsicum here, for more colour. You can stick to one colour too, as per your preferences.

8. You may add a dash of lemon juice to the Thai Pulav before serving, or garnish it with some roasted and coarsely crushed peanuts. I haven’t.

9. I have used fragrant Daawat basmati rice here. You may use jasmine rice instead, too.

10. I have used a pressure cooker to make this Thai Pulav, for ease of preparation and to save time. You may do the same in a pan, too.

11. You can grind the roasted white pepper, cumin and coriander seeds along with the lemongrass, green chilli, ginger and garlic, in a small mixer jar. I powdered the spices separately in a mortar and pestle because I wanted a coarse texture to them.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Mango Lassi| Mango Yogurt Smoothie

Mango season is here! We are finally getting good mangoes, and I definitely cannot stay calm! 😁 I have been experimenting a lot with mangoes lately, trying out different recipes from across the country. I will be writing about that shortly but, first, let us talk about the simplest of ripe mango dishes – Mango Lassi. Now, that’s something of a permanent fixture at our place every summer. The family just cannot get by these hot months without it!

In today’s post, let’s see how to make delicious, creamy and luscious Mango Lassi at home.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi makes for a beautiful accompaniment to lunch. It can also double up as breakfast or a mid-morning power snack. We love having this any time of the day, actually.

What is Mango Lassi?

Mango Lassi is a refreshing blend of ripe mangoes and curd. Often, sugar is used to sweeten the mixture. It is almost the same as a Mango Yogurt Smoothie, which has taken the Western world by storm (yogurt is a bit different from curd, though).

Good-quality mangoes are the key to making great-tasting lassi. Kesar, Banganapalli, Mallika, Badami and Alphonso are some varieties that work very well.

The curd used should be fresh and not overly sour. Using curd that has been chilled in the refrigerator for at least a couple of hours makes the lassi all the more satisfying.

Mango, curd, and sugar are the three major ingredients in Mango Lassi. Mint leaves, fresh cherries, dry fruits, raisins or chopped ripe mango can be used to decorate it.

Other lassi varieties

I have a couple of other lassi recipes on my blog – Rose And Strawberry Lassi and Kesar Badam Lassi. Do check them out!

I am totally loving the sound of this Kiwi Pistachio Lassi my fellow food blogger Sasmita has shared. Can’t wait to try it out!

How to make Mango Lassi

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

1. 2 medium-sized ripe mangoes, about 2 cups when peeled and chopped

2. 4-5 tablespoons sugar

3. 2 cups of chilled curd, neither too thick nor too watery

4. A few pieces of ripe mango for decoration (optional)

5. A few fresh cherries for decoration (optional)


Top left and right: Steps 1 and 2, Bottom left and right: Steps 3 and 4

1. Peel the mangoes and chop the flesh into cubes. Scrape off all the flesh from the seeds too. Transfer all the mango cubes to a large mixer jar.

2. Add in sugar.

3. Add in the chilled curd.

4. Blitz everything together into a smooth mixture. Transfer to serving glasses and serve topped with chopped ripe mango and cherries for decoration (optional).

Tips & Tricks

1. Use juicy ripe mangoes for best results. They should be firm to the touch and not overly ripe.

2. Use curd that is fresh, with just a little sourness to it. Overly sour curd doesn’t taste great in lassi.

3. If the curd is too thick, you may use a little water or milk to dilute it. You can keep the Mango Lassi as thick as you prefer – we like it thick, but still runny.

4. Adjust the amount of sugar you use depending upon the sweetness of the mangoes and the sourness of the curd.

5. I have used home-made fresh curd, which was neither too thick nor too watery.

6. I have used a mix of ripe Banganapalli and Badami mangoes to make this lassi.

7. Do not over-blend the lassi in the mixer. You can grind for a few seconds, then stop, mix up the ingredients and grind again. A couple of times of this cycle and the lassi should be done.

8. Another way to make this Mango Lassi is to blend together ripe mango cubes and sugar in a small mixer jar, then mix whisked chilled curd to it. That’s how my mom makes it. I prefer the method stated above, though.

9. You may add cardamom powder to the Mango Lassi for extra flavour. We prefer not to.

10. Chopped nuts and raisins can also be used to decorate the Mango Lassi. We usually don’t.

11. I have used regular dairy curd here, due to which this recipe is not vegan (plant-based). I have not tried making lassi with a plant-based curd, but I’m guessing you could.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!

Chakka Varatti| Ripe Jackfruit Preserve

Chakka Varatti is a ripe jackfruit preserve from the state of Kerala. Let me share with you today how we make this wonderful confection at home.

Jackfruit is in season right now, and there are some pretty good ones to be found in the markets. Now is the perfect time to make Chakka Varatti – if you haven’t already been introduced to this beauty yet, you should do the honours right away. 😊 Ready-to-use Chakka Varatti is readily available in stores these days, at least in Kerala, but there’s nothing that comes close to the freshly made home-made version.

Home-made Chakka Varatti or ripe jackfruit preserve

Of summer traditions and jackfruit

At our place, it is somewhat of a family tradition to get a whole ripe jackfruit home every summer. All of us gather around as the husband cuts open the fruit and separates the kernels, then we chat about everything under the sun as we remove the seeds. Faces are stuffed with jackfruit, some is distributed among friends and neighbours, and the balance goes into making things like chips and Chakka Varatti. The seeds are carefully preserved to make summer specials like Palakottai Sambar or poriyal.

On the way back home from our stay at Savi Farms recently, we stopped at a farmer’s market in a neighbouring village to scout for fresh produce. We came across a beautiful ripe jackfruit that was just the right size, and we simply could not leave without it. We cut it open when the heady scent of its ripeness started permeating the house, and used some of the gorgeous fruit to make Chakka Varatti.

What is Chakka Varatti?

I would say the best way to describe Chakka Varatti is that it is a cross between jackfruit jam and halwa. It is neither a jam nor a halwa completely, but an in-between dish, an utterly sinful and delectable one at that.

Kernels of ripe jackfruit are de-seeded, ground to an almost-puree, and cooked with jaggery till it attains a thick jam-like consistency. It is finished off with a drizzle of ghee.

If you are like the husband and me and adore jackfruit, Chakka Varatti is something you will love too. Fragrant with ghee and the tropical fruit, you can simply eat Chakka Varatti by the spoonful. You can also store it in your refrigerator, and use it to make delicacies like payasam and elai adai whenever you please.

How to make Chakka Varatti

Here is how to go about it.

Ingredients (makes about 2 cups):

1. 2 heaped cups ripe jackfruit kernels

2. 2 levelled cups jaggery or as per taste

3. 4-5 tablespoons ghee

4. 3/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder (sukku podi)

5. 3/4 teaspoon cardamom (elaichi/elakka) powder


Top left and centre: Steps 1 and 2, Top right and bottom left: Step 3, Bottom centre and right: Steps 4 and 5

1. Remove seeds from the jackfruit kernels. Also remove any fibres.

2. Chop up the jackfruit roughly.

3. Transfer the chopped jackfruit to a mixer jar and grind to a paste.

4. Take the jaggery in a heavy-bottomed pan, along with 2 cups of water. Place on high heat.

5. Stirring intermittently, allow the jaggery to get completely melted in the water. Let the jaggery mixture come to a rolling boil. Let the mixture cook on high heat for 4-5 minutes, for it to get slightly thicker and sticky. Stir intermittently.

Top left and right: Steps 6 and 7, Centre left and right: Steps 8 and 9, Bottom left and right: Steps 10 and 11

6. At this stage, reduce the flame to medium. Add the jackfruit paste to the pan.

7. Mix well, making sure the jackfruit paste and jaggery mixture are well combined together.

8. Now, turn the flame down to low-medium. Cook the mixture on low-medium flame for 15-20 minutes, stirring intermittently. By this time, it will start to thicken nicely.

9. When the mixture has thickened considerably but is still on the runnier side, add in the ghee. Mix well. Cook for a minute more, then switch off gas.

10. Add in the dry ginger powder and cardamom powder. Mix well. Your Chakka Varatti is ready.

11. Allow the Chakka Varatti to cool down completely, then transfer to a cool, dry, air-tight bottle. Store refrigerated and use as required.

Tips & Tricks

1. For best results, use ripe and sweet jackfruit kernels which are not too fibrous.

2. Adjust the quantity of jaggery you use, depending upon the sweetness of the jackfruit and personal taste preferences. The colour of the Chakka Varatti will depend upon the type of jaggery you use.

3. Do not overcook the Chakka Varatti, otherwise it will become rock hard. Remember that it will thicken further even after you stop cooking it.

4. Use a heavy-bottomed pan to cook the Chakka Varatti. Remember to cook on medium and low-medium flame only.

5. Do not skimp on the ghee. It acts as a natural preservative, keeping the Chakka Varatti well for a longer time.

6. Pieces of coconut and cashewnuts can be fried in ghee and added to the Chakka Varatti, after it has been cooked. This gives it the effect of a halwa, but it is totally optional.

7. You may skip adding the dry ginger powder and cardamom powder, but I would highly recommend using them. These spices cut through the intense sweetness of the Chakka Varatti and make it taste very flavourful. Adjust the quantities of these spices as per personal taste preferences.

8. When refrigerated and used with a clean, dry spoon, the Chakka Varatti stays well for 2-3 months.

9. Do not use any water while grinding the jackfruit. The puree will not be completely smooth – some bits and pieces will remain – and that is fine. In fact, these little pieces will add texture to the Chakka Varatti.

10. There’s no need to get the jaggery and water mixture to a syrup consistency. Just cook if till it is slightly sticky and thicker – 4-5 minutes of rolling boil is good enough.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me in your comments!

Mapillai Samba Adai|Red Rice Adai

Mapillai Samba Adai refers to a high-protein recipe made using a heirloom variety of rice from Tamilnadu. Today, we are going to check out how to go about making this dish.

Delicious Mapillai Samba Adai, served with jaggery powder

What is adai?

Adai‘ refers to a sort of savoury pancake, a traditional breakfast dish from the state of Tamilnadu. Made using rice and mixed lentils, it is very nutritious.

Typically, we make adai using idli rice, with onions and/or moringa leaves (‘murunga keerai‘ in Tamil) added in. Here is how we make Murunga Keerai Adai at home.

Sometimes, we swap the rice in the adai for millets. Here is how we make Bajra Adai, made using pearl millet.

In the recipe I am about to share today, the idli rice has been swapped with a red rice variety called ‘Mapillai Samba‘.

A closer look at Mapillai Samba rice

Did you know that there is an Indian variety of rice that is literally called ‘Bridegroom Rice’? Yes, that’s Mapillai Samba rice for you.

Mapillai Samba is an indigenous red rice variety from Tamilnadu. This rice is believed to be highly nutritious, and has a number of health benefits. It is rich in iron, magnesium, zinc and Vitamin B6, and helps in improving strength and in warding off anaemia. The high fibre content in this rice strengthens the gut and keeps gastrointestinal issues at bay. It also helps in keeping diabetes and cholesterol under control, improving immunity and slowing down the ageing process.

Mapillai Samba rice

Legend has it that mothers-in-law fed this rice to their sons-in-law (‘mapillai‘ in Tamil) to – erm! – improve their child-bearing capabilities. As per another legend, this rice was offered to young men who were required to lift heavy stones so as to prove their physical powers in order to be considered fit for marriage in the olden days’ societal structure. Now you get home this rice got its name?

Mapillai Samba is a tough variety of rice and needs a good amount of soaking for it to cook thoroughly. It is quite versatile, and can be consumed in many ways. This rice can be cooked and eaten with rasam or sambar, or can be stir-fried with coconut. It can be used in preparing tiffin items like idli, dosa and adai or used in kanji. This rice can be powdered and used to make snacks like murukku, puttu and idiyappam.

I haven’t seen Mapillai Samba rice commonly available in Bangalore, but it is easier to find in Chennai. I usually pick up my stock from the Pazhamudir Cholai in Nanganallur, one of my favourite foodie shopping destinations in Chennai that I wrote about here.

How to make Mapillai Samba Adai

Mapillai Samba Adai is an easy dish to prepare, and tastes absolutely delicious. If you are considering cutting down the amount of white rice in your diet, this recipe is something you should definitely check out.

Here is how to make Mapillai Samba Adai.

Ingredients (makes about 12):

1. 1/2 cup mappillai samba rice

2. 1/2 cup idli rice

3. 1/4 cup urad dal

4. 1/2 teaspoon methi seeds

5. 1/4 cup chana dal

6. 1/4 cup toor dal

7. 8-10 dry red chillies or as per taste

8. A 1-inch piece of ginger

9. 2 sprigs of fresh curry leaves

10. Salt to taste

11. Oil, as needed to make the adai


Top left: Step 4, Right top, centre and bottom: Step 5, Bottom left: Step 5 – that’s how the batter looks

1. Wash the mapillai samba and idli rice together under running water. Drain out the water, then add in enough fresh water to cover the rice completely. Soak for 8-10 hours or overnight.

2. Wash the urad dal thoroughly under running water, then drain. Add in the fenugreek seeds and enough fresh water to cover the dal completely. Soak for 8-10 hours or overnight.

3. Similarly, wash the toor dal and chana dal together, then drain out the water. Add enough fresh water to cover the dal fully. Soak for 8-10 hours or overnight.

4. When the soaking is done, drain out the water from all the ingredients and reserve it.

5. Take the soaked urad dal and fenugreek seeds as well as half of the soaked mapillai samba and idli rice in a large mixer jar. Peel the ginger, chop roughly, and add to the mixer jar. Add in the dry red chillies too, and a little of the reserved water. Grind to a smooth paste and transfer to a wide vessel.

Top left and centre: Step 6, Top right and bottom left: Steps 7 and 8, Bottom centre and right: Steps 9 and 10

6. Now, take the rest of the soaked mapillai samba and idli rice in the same mixer jar. Add in the soaked toor dal and chana dal. Add a little of the reserved water. Grind together to a coarse batter. Add this to the batter we ground earlier.

7. Chop the curry leaves finely. Add to the batter.

8. Add salt to taste to the batter too. Mix well, using your hands. The batter can be used to make adai at this stage, but we prefer letting it sour a bit before using. For this, cover the batter and set it aside for a few hours for it to get lightly sour.

9. To make the adai, place a thick dosa pan on high flame and let it get nice and hot. Then, turn the flame down to medium. Take a ladle of the batter and place it in the centre of the pan. Spread it out using the back of the ladle and drizzle some oil all around the circle.

10. Cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes or till it gets done on the bottom and starts browning. Now, use a spatula to loosen the adai and flip over to the other side. Cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes or till done. The Mapillai Samba Adai is ready – transfer to a serving plate and serve hot, along with some jaggery or peanut-ginger chutney.

11. Prepare adai from the remaining batter in a similar manner. Serve hot.

Is this a gluten-free and vegan recipe?

Yes, totally! The above recipe is completely vegetarian and vegan, suited to those following a plant-based diet. It is gluten-free as well.

Tips & Tricks

1. I have used a mix of the very spicy Salem Gundu and the not-so-hot Bydagi dry red chillies here. You can use any variety you prefer. Adjust the quantity as per personal taste preferences.

2. Red rice can be used in place of the mapillai samba rice I have used here. The mapillai samba is available in several departmental stores across Tamilnadu.

3. For best results, the batter should be slightly coarse. The adai turns out tastier when the batter is not completely smooth.

4. If the batter is too thick, mix in a little water before making the adai.

5. Finely chopped onion, cabbage, spinach, fenugreek leaves or moringa leaves can be added to the adai batter. A few cloves of garlic can be added to the batter too. That is purely optional.

6. This batter does not need to be fermented. It can be used to make adai just after it is ground. However, we prefer to keep it aside for a few hours for the batter to get a little sour before use – the adai taste better that way.

7. If you are not planning on making the adai later, store the batter in the refrigerator after it sounds. Use as needed.

8. The batter is best used within 2-3 days of grinding.

9. Adai made using only mapillai samba rice does not turn out very well, hence we mix it with idli rice. Idli rice refers to a variety of rice with fat grains, typically used to make idlis. It is commonly available in several departmental stores across Bangalore. Check out my Thatte Idli post to see what idli rice looks like exactly.

Did you like this recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!