Thursday, July 17, 2014

Dr. Mantena's Ramzan Special - Dahi Vada

Today’s update in Dr. Mantena’s Kitchen is “Ramzan Special - Dahi Vada”. The regular dahi vada is prepared with urad dal in most parts of the country. But this Ramzan special dahi vada is made with chana flour (chick pea flour). If you are a Hyderabadi, then you are familiar with this recipe. “Ramzan mein kaun bade? Dahi Vade…!” I think every Hyderabadi is familiar with this popular slogan on Dahi Vada. Such is the popularity of this dish in Hyderabad. This is especially prepared during the month of Ramzan for breaking the day long fast by Mohemmadan brothers. It is so popular during Ramzan that it is sold in every Irani hotel, haleem and tea points in the evening. Hyderabad is not only famous for Biryani but also for haleem during Ramzan season. Whether it is Hindu or Mohemmadan or Christian everyone cherish these dishes. Dahi Vada is the next popular Hyderabadi dish after Biryani and Haleem that is loved by one and all including the vegetarians. The regular dahi vada available in the market or prepared at home by many is deeply fried in oil which is really harmful to the health. Last week I felt like eating dahi vada and went to a hotel to get 2 plates of dahi vada. Since it is available once in a year I wanted to give it a try knowing that is deep fried in oil. But on reaching the hotel, I found them really unhygienic as it was kept open, placed at the roadside where hundreds of vehicles are passing throwing dust on them and flies and other insects sitting on them. I stepped back and observed other places and found the same situation till I reach home. This incident inspired me to make a healthy and delicious dahi vada at home without oil. I and my wife discussed what we can do to make it delicious and healthy without oil, salt and other harmful tastes. Last Sunday we succeeded in making a very delicious and healthy dahi vada. We even served it to a guest informing the way it was cooked without oil and salt and offered him to add salt if he wants. He was really surprised to have eaten something without oil and salt for the first time without any difficulty. Let us now not waste any time and go in the details of making this wonderful recipe.

Cooking Time:
20-25 mins

2 people


1. Chick pea flour     -        2 cups
2. Yogurt                -        ½  kg
3. Cumin seeds        -        1 tbs
4. Turmeric             -        ¼ tbs
5. Green chilies        -        5 nos.
6. Curry Leaves        -       5 nos.
7. Coriander Leaves   -      1 bunch


1. Take two cups of chick pea flour in a bowl, add little water and make soft sticky dough as shown in the picture below.


2. Light up your stove, place a pan over it and put the dough on the pan forming small vadas and press with your fingers to give the shape shown in the picture below. Then cover the pan with a lid for 5-6 minutes so that the vadas get cooked well. Then turn the vadas upside down and cook for another 5 minutes. After turning the vadas they look beautiful brown in color. After cooked for 5-6 minutes remove them from the pan and place it in a dish.

3. If it was a regular dahi vada then the work was over just by adding them in yogurt. But in this we need to make a kadi (pulusu) of yogurt for the vadas. Since we are not using any salt, we need to buy or make sour yogurt for this dish. Sourness of the yogurt will supplement the taste of salt to a great extent. Let us now make the kadi for our vadas. 


4. You need ½ kg of sour yogurt for this. Take yogurt in a dish or bowl and blend it well with a blender or spoon. Add 3 glasses of water in it and stir it well to make some butter milk for the kadi and vadas to soak. By the time you prepare kadi for the vadas; soak these vadas in 1 glass of buttermilk. Usually they are soaked in water but since we are not using any salt we soak them in butter milk.

5. Now light up the stove again and put a pan over it. Add ½ tbs of urad dal (split black gram), curry leaves, green chilies and roast them till they turn dark or brown. 


6. Add prepared butter milk into it and cook for 5 minutes.

7. Add roasted and powdered cumin seeds and turmeric in the above mentioned quantity and let it cook for another 5 minutes. In Dr. Mantena’s system of cooking herbs and spices are occasionally used for special dishes as this one. 

8. Once the kadi is cooked, take it in a dish, add vadas into it and season it with chopped coriander leaves for great taste and aroma.

Serve the dahi vadas hot and enjoy. We enjoyed this dish very much and hope you are also going to make and enjoy this Ramzan season with delicious and healthy dahi vadas in Dr. Mantena style. Most people complain stomach problems with items made with chana flour but trust me you are going to enjoy this dish without any problem. Since they are cooked oil and salt free you can eat as many without any trouble. You can take it as breakfast or evening snack.

I hope you liked this update and keep watching the space for more interesting updates in coming future.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dr. Mantena's Special - Raw Mango Coconut Chutney

Today’s Special in Dr. Mantena’s Kitchen is “Raw Mango Coconut Chutney”. The King of fruits ‘Mango’ is back again and is at the peak of its youth. I am talking about the raw Mango. People especially in the south of India use raw mangoes for making pickles with lots of salt, masalas, oil and red chily powder. They preserve these pickles for longer periods of time and consume inviting all sorts of diseases and disorders like high blood pressure, cholesterol, gastritis, ulcers, and heart attacks etc.

What I am going to show you today is a healthy and delicious recipe which invites no diseases but boosts your overall health and immunity system. It is very simple to make and great to serve with idli, dosha and phulkas. Without wasting much time let us now know about the ingredients and making procedure.

Making Time:

5 to 10 minutes


4 persons


1. Raw Mango                             -       1 medium size
2. Putana / roasted chickpeas        -       1 cup
3. Raw Coconut                           -       ½ pieces
4. Green Chilies                           -        5-10 nos.
5. Coriander Leaves                     -        1 bunch
6. Curry Leaves                           -        5-6 nos.


1. Pour Putanas in a mixer grinder and grind them into powder.

2. Undress the raw mango and chop it into small pieces and add in to the jar of a mixer grinder. 

3. Make small pieces of raw coconut and add in to the jar of a mixer grinder as well.


4. Finally add green chilies, coriander leaves and curry leaves in the jar of a mixer grinder, add little water into it and make a thick batter.


5. Now the chutney is ready to serve.

By now you might have understood that we have not used any of the seven harmful tastes like salt, sugar, oil, ghee, tamarind, red chili powder and masalas. Raw coconut gives a sweet and raw mango gives tangy sour taste to your tongue. Putanas provide a perfect balance in the sweetness of Coconut and sourness of Mango. Green chilies add spice to it giving a great flavor to the chutney. Believe me; your tongue will not seek salt anymore.

Enjoy this chut-patee, tangy-spicy chutney with idli, dosha and phulka. In the next update I try to come up with South Indian Dosa Dr. Mantena Style. So keep watching the space for updates.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dr. Mantena's Special - Gongura Chutney

Today’s special in Dr. Mantena’s Kitchen is “Gongura Pacchadi.” It is one of the favorite dishes of Andhra people. It’s nutritious, healthy, sour, spicy, pungent and irresistible in taste.

I have come across people who can’t resist themselves from eating Gongura Chutney and end up scratching their skin, suffer from stomach ache, high blood pressure and gas trouble. I guess many of you might have faced similar problem with Gongura Chutney. And finally the blame goes to Gongura or Sorrel Leaves. Actually none of these problems are the result of Sorrel Leaves but the problem is due to the way it is often made.

Since the Sorrel Leaves is quite sour in taste people add plenty of salt in order to reduce the sourness. Sorrel Leaves is already rich in sodium by nature and addition of salt in large quantity leads to high blood pressure and the volume of oil added to it in order to preserve for long, leads to itching and inflammation of skin and stomach ache due to release of additional gases and enzymes to digest it.

As you are all aware that Dr. Mantena’s kitchen offers you the recipes that are harmless to your health and rich in nutrition. Unlike the traditional method of making Gongura Pacchadi we are about to make it in a healthy, harmless and nutritious manner keeping the taste of the chutney alive. Let me remind you that we don’t use the seven tastes that lead to diseases which are salt, sugar, ghee, oil, tamarind, red chili powder and masalas in our recipes. We try to replace all these tastes with natural substitutes available in the market.  For example we try to choose the food that is naturally rich in sodium to replace the salt. Sorrel Leaves and cauliflower stems in this recipe are such things for example. Honey is often replaced for sugar. Lemon, raw mango etc. is replaced for tamarind, green chilies for spice instead of red chili powder and curry powder for masalas etc.

Gongura Pacchadi is very easy to make and do not consume much time to cook. Let me remind you that unlike the regular Gongura Pacchadi it is not for storing and should be used instantly. Since it is not soaked in oil as it is often done to preserve it from fungus, it is advisable to use instantly. Now let us go into the details of preparing Gongura Pacchadi in a healthy way.



1. Sorrel Leaves                           -        10 bunches
2. Peanuts                                  -        1 cup
3. Sesame seeds                          -        ½ cup
4. roasted chick pea gram (putana) -        1 cup
5. Cauliflower stem                       -        10-15 nos.
6. Green chilies                            -        10 nos.
7. Yogurt                                    -        1 Cup


1. Rinse the Sorrel Leaves well in water and keep it aside in a bowl.

2. Chop Cauliflower stems into small pieces, rinse and keep it aside.

3. Roast peanuts, sesame seeds and grind them separately in a mixer grinder one after the other along with putana and keep it in a bowl.

4. Now light on the stove and cook the cauliflower stems and Sorrel Leaves for 10 minutes in a pan covered with lid. Then add yogurt and cook till the water is completely evaporated from it. Then put off the flame and let it cool down for some time. Now grind it into paste in a mixer grinder.

5. Now mix this paste with the peanut, sesame and putana powder and saute it well. The dish is now ready to serve.

You can serve this chutney with phulkas and also alongside brown rice and dall.

I hope you liked this update. Keep watching the space for more updates.


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