Indian Cuisine Archives | Happy Bellyfish

Recipe Categories: Indian Cuisine

Sweet Indian Rice Dumplings (Modak)

The recipe of the rice dumpling that we are going to share with you in this post, comes from India, whre it’s enjoyed during special festive occasions. Depending on the region, it’s called modal or pitha.

The dough for this dumplings is extremely easy to make and it’s exactly like in the 2 ingredient rice flatbread (chawal ka roti), that we have shared earlier. You literally only need two ingredients (rice flour and water), and it becomes a delicious and soft dough.

These dumplings might not look or tatse as the traditional Chinese dumplings as you know them. The dough is very thick and soft. It is, however, no less delicious, and creates a wonderful dish on its own. It’s also a great gluten-free meal, and a  tasty gluten-free warm dessert.

You can get as creative with the fillings as you can be. The base of the dough is the same, but what you put inside, can be sweet or savoury, spicy or salty. If you experiement with the fillings of your own, please don’t forget to share it with us in the comments.


  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 2 cups water
  • Sesame filling: 1 cup sesame seeds, 1 cup jaggery (or to taste)
  • Coconut filling: 1 cup fresh or dry grated coconut, 1 cup jaggery (or to taste)


Step 1. First, prepare the sesame filling. Roast sesame seeds on medium heat, then add jaggery, and combine everything thoroughly. Take it off the heat and cool down. When the mixture is cool, crush it with fingers, so that there are no big lumps formed.

Step 2. Now, prepare the coconut fillings, the same way. Roast coconut on medium heat, then add jaggery, and combine everything thoroughly. Take it off the heat and cool down. When the mixture is cool, crush it with fingers, so that there are no big lumps formed.

Step 3.  Now, let’s prepare the dough. First of all, boil two cups of water.

Step 4. Start adding rice flour to boiling water (on a low-medium flame), one spoon at a time, and keep stirring the mixture. Slowly it should resemble a dough, but make sure that there are no lumps formed in the process.

Step 5. When all the water is absorbed, take as much as you can handle with one hand and start kneading it. You’ll need to keep kneading it for about 5 minutes, until it becomes very smooth.

Step 6. Make a roll out of the dough. Divide it into equal balls, that then will be turned into dumplings.

Step 7. Take each boll and shape it into a cup. Add the filling inside and give it the desired shape.

Step 8. Steam the duplings in a steamer or a steaming basket for about 10 minutes.

The same easy rice dumpling can also be made with a savoury filling. Potato with spices is one of the best traditional options.

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Eggplant Recipe with Potato (Aubergine Roast)

There are numerous eggplant recipes (aubergine recipes), but very few are as easy and flavourful as the one that we are going to share with you today. If you ever wondered how to cook an eggplant, one of the easiest way is to simply fry it. However if you add just a couple of spices and pair it with potato and coriander, a simple fried or roasted eggplant will turn into a comforting and delicious dish.

Our recipe calls for turmeric, chilli powder and a spice mix called Panch Phoran (you can see how to make it below). If you don’t have any of these spices, you can easily skip them and create a milder version of the same dish – the rich natural flavours of  eggplant and potato will make it taste amazing in any case.




  • eggplant (aubergine) – 2 large
  • potato – 3 medium-sized
  • panch phoran spice mix – 2 tsp
  • turmeric – 1 tsp
  • chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • cooking oil (ghee / peanut oil / olive oil)
  • salt to taste
  • coriander for garnishing

How to Make Panch Phoran (spice mix, starts at 1:14):



Step 1. Cut the eggplant in large cubes and soak in salty water for 10 minutes.

Step 2. Peel and cut the potatoes in cubes.

Step 3. Heat cooking oil in a pan, add 2 tsp of panch phoran, and cook for about a minute, until mustard seeds start “jumping”. When the mustard seeds start popping, add potatoes, mix it well, so that potatoes are covered in spice. Add eggplants and mix everything again. Cover with the lid and cook for about 15-20 minutes. Stir the vegetables from time to time and check that they do not burn – if necessary, you can add a bit of water.

Step 3. Add turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Mix everything nicely to make sure that the spice is equally spread.  Cook for a few more minutes.

Your dish is ready to serve – just garnish it with some fresh coriander at the end and enjoy as a side dish or on its own.

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Cabbage Stir Fry Recipe with Coconut

This cabbage stir fry recipe will make you look very differently at a vegetable, that is considered to be rather boring – and trust us, it is not. The secret is, as always, in pairing it with the correct ingredients and spices, which create wonderful flavours. In our recipe we will pair cabbage with coconut, this combination is inspired by a delicious dish (cabbage poriyal) from the South of India. There will be no garlic and onion in this version, but a bit of ginger and cumin. The combination of coconut and cabbage might sound unusual, but give it a try, and it might become your favourite dish. You will love it even more, when you find out that it can be cooked in under 20 minutes.

If you prefer your cabbage to be fermented or pickled, checkout our sauerkraut recipe without salt.



  • cabbage – medium-sized (800 gr)
  • grated coconut (fresh or dry) – 1 cup
  • ginger – thumb-sized piece
  • cumin – 2 tsp (optional)
  • turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • coconut oil – 1/2 tsp
  • salt to taste


Step 1. Wash and cut the cabbage in small pieces. Soak the cut cabbage for about 10 minutes in cold water.

Step 2. Chop the ginger as small as possible.

Step 3. Heat coconut oil in a pan. When it is warm enough, add 1 tsp of cumin seeds and cook it for a minute, letting the aroma of the seeds to come out. Add the ginger, and cook for about a minute as well, until you start feeling the aroma. 

Step 4. Add the cabbage to the pan, mix everything nicely, cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for about 10-15 minutes, until the cabbage softens.

Step 5. Add salt and turmeric, mix everything nicely, so that the spice spreads evenly.

Step 6. Add freshly grated coconut, mix everything together, and cook no longer than 5 minutes.

Your easy and delicious cabbage stir fry is ready! Enjoy all the health benefits of cabbage in a new dish with a twist of coconut and cumin flavours.

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Red Lentil Soup (Indian Style, Masoor Dal)

This lentil soup recipe, made in Indian style, must be one of the easiest healthy recipes ever featured on Happy Bellyfish. It only needs three basic ingredients, no exotic spices and a very simple way of preparation. It tastes heavenly and can be served on its own (as a soup), or on a side with rice or any other grains.

This lentil soup is made with red lentils that are easily available in many countries. They don’t need a long time to be boiled and they are a perfect option for a quick lunch. Besides being extremely nutritious, this recipe is also the real immune system booster, as it is loaded with garlic and turmeric. Don’t worry about your garlic breath however, as we will show you how to cook garlic to avoid any unpleasant smells.



  • pink / red lentil (masoor dal) – 1 cup
  • fresh garlic – 2 cloves
  • fresh green chilli – 1
  • turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • cooking oil and salt to taste


Step 1. Soak pink lentil (masoor dal) in cold water for at least 30  mins. You will notice that the lentils will increase in size. Before cooking, rinse the lentils thoroughly.

Step 2. Boil the lentils together with turmeric until soft, about half an hour. You can decrease cooking time by using pressure cooker.

Step 3. Heat the cooking oil of your choice in a pan and add finely chopped garlic and green chilli. Cook them for a few minutes until the edges of the garlic start turning brown.

Step 4. Add the lentil and cook everything together for another 5 minutes. At the very end of the cooking process, add salt.


Your easy lentil soup, cooked in Indian style with garlic is ready! You can eat it on its own, or together with rice, like a sauce. Before serving, garnish it with the herbs of your choice.

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Mung Bean Soup Recipe | Moong Dal

Mung bean is one of the most delicious legumes, and a wonderful source of protein, fiber, antioxidants and minerals. In our recipe, that is inspired by Indian recipe of Moong Dal, we cooked mung beans with 6 delicious spices. This combination of flavours makes a simple bean soup irresistible!



  • mung bean – 1 cup
  • water – 3 cups
  • finely chopped onion – 1 medium-sized
  • finely chopped garlic – 1 tsp
  • finely chopped ginger – 1 tsp
  • green chilli – 1 piece (optional)
  • tomatoes – 2 medium-sized
  • cinnamon – 2 cm
  • dry red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • fenugreek leave – 2 tbsp
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil


Step 1. Soak mung beans overnight and boil 1 cup of mung beans with 3 cups of water, until soft. It will take about 30 minutes.

Step 2. Heat the cooking oil of your choice in a pan and add cinnamon. Allow it to cook for a minute, until it infuses the oil with its flavour.

Step 3. Add  chopped ginger, garlic and onions. Cook it while stirring until the onions start turning brown – otherwise you will taste raw onion in your soup.

Step 4. Add the tomato, and let tomato cook it in a medium-high heat until it becomes pulpy.

Step 5. When the paste becomes homogeneous, add the remaining spices except for fenugreek leaves and mix everything nicely. Add a bit of water, so that it reaches the consistency of a rich thick gravy. Now, add the fenugreek leaves. Towards the end add some fresh green chilli.

Step 6. When the gravy paste is ready, add boiled mung beans. Add everything very nicely, so that gravy is equally spread. Add some water to reach the desired consistency. Boil for 5 more minutes.

Your delicious mung bean soup or moong dal is ready! Serve it with some fresh coriander on top and a dash of lemon juice. It goes best with a bowl of hot rice or simply a piece. of bread.

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Easy Flatbread Without Yeast | Healthy Recipe (Vegan)

Easy Flatbread Recipe Without Yeast and Milk, With Herbs (Vegan)

Discover an easy and quick recipe for a delicious flatbread: no yeast and no milk were used. It is a perfect healthy party snack for a vegan or a plant-based diet, as in fact for any other diet. The bread is made from wholewheat flour, chickpea flour and seeds that increases its nutritional value and protein content.

We infused our flatbread without yeast with some herbs and spices, as we always do. Hope you will enjoy this easy and healthy recipe!


  • wholewheat flour – 1 cup
  • chickpea flour – 1 cup
  • water (enough to get to the desired consistency)
  • salt to taste
  • olive oil – 1 tbsp (optional, but without oil the bread might be a little hard)
  • turmeric – 1 tsp
  • dry red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • sesame seeds – 2 tbsp
  • oregano – 2 tsp
  • basil – 2 tsp


Step 1. To a mixing bowl add the equal quantity of wholewheat flour and chickpea flour, then all the spices, herbs and oil. You can also add other types of greens, for example parsley, or fresh onion. Mix all the dry ingredients together.

Step 2. Keep mixing and start adding some water little by little. Don’t add all the water at once, because the quantity always depends on the quality of flour you use. It needs to form in a soft but stretchy dough. If it is too dry, add some more water and keep kneading for a few minutes until you get a nice soft dough. You can also knead the dough in a food processor, if you have necessary equipment.

Step 3. Make a roll from your dough and put it aside for 10 minutes, it will become softer. Don’t forget to cover it to keep the moisture in the dough.

Step 4. After 10 minutes take your dough and roll it in a long «sausage». In this way you can easily divide the dough in a few equal size parts and make sure that all your breads look the same.

Step 5. Take a small part of dough and roll it between your hands to give it a round shape. Press it between your hands and then cover it with some dry flour. Sprinkle some flour on the rolling pin as well, so that it doesn’t become sticky, and roll your flatbread.

Step 6. Heat the pan and put the flatbread on it. Cook on both sides. To make sure that your bread remains soft longer, you can add a bit of oil on top. To avoid using too much oil, don’t put it on the pan, but just wet the spoon and spread it gently over the flatbread before flipping it.

Enjoy your delicious healthy flatbread without yeast! You can roll them and use like tortillas, a wrap, or just slice them into pieces and have it as a party snack with a flavourful dip. The herbs and spices give it so much flavour, that this bread can easily be enjoyed on its own as well.

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Savoury Chickpea Pancake (2 Recipes) | Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas | Besan Dosa

Savoury Chickpea Pancake (2 Recipes) | Besan Dosa

Are you looking for healthy breakfast ideas? Today we’re going to share with you a very easy recipe, which is also gluten-free, oil-free and vegan: chickpea pancake. It can be made only with 2 ingredients!

We share with you a recipe with a twist as well, just the way we cook it in our family, and we like flavourful dishes. We will add 4 spices and some delicious surprise fillings.

This healthy breakfast idea is inspired by Indian recipe of besan dosa (besan cheela) and is often referred to as vegan omelette.

Basic ingredients (2 portions):

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan / gram flour)
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt

Optional ingredients:

  • 1/2 onion, chopped very finely
  • finely chopped fresh parsley, basil, dill or any other herbs that you like
  • 1/2 spoon grated ginger
  • spices, ½ tsp each: cumin, coriander powder, turmeric, red chilli powder
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 2-3 chopped tomatoes

Method (simple version):

Step 1. Mix the chickpea flour with salt and water, you can use a whisker or a blender for that. Make sure the mixture is perfectly smooth, like a pancake batter

Step 2. Cook on a medium flame on both sides, like a large thin pancake!

Method (our version):

Step 1. Take the chickpea flour, add the spices, salt and grated ginger. Add twice amount of water or even a little bit more. Mix the ingredients together nicely, you can use a whisker or a blender for that.

Step 2. Cook on a medium flame like a large thin pancake on both sides (or omelette).

Step 3. After cooking the pancake on both sides, add the filling (grated carrot, chopped tomatoes and finely chopped fresh parsley in our version) and fold the chickpea pancake in half.

You can serve this pancake with any savoury spread, sauce, chutney our pickle you like! We also like to eat it with tomato chutney (you can find the recipe here). Our filling is just a suggestion – you can put inside anything you want and use it as the way to eat more veggies and herbs!

Try this chickpea pancake recipe and let us know how it came out – don’t forget to add #bellyfishbreakfast hashtag, so that we can find your creations and share them!

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Easy Pumpkin Recipe With Spices

Easy Pumpkin Recipe With Spices (Panch Phoran) | How to Cook WIth Spices

Today we’re going to share with you a totally new way of cooking a pumpkin – a super easy recipe for a pumpkin stir fry with 5 delicious spices!

The spices not only create a great flavour, but also boost your digestion and bring a tonne of health benefits. It is the best recipe for Thanksgiving Day or Halloween and it’s perfect for lazy and healthy cooks. The recipe features a famous Indian blend of five spices: Panch Phoran. You can easily prepare it at home, it takes just a few minutes if you have all the necessary ingredients. Despite its simplicity, this spice blend makes a masterpiece almost of every type of vegetable.


  • pumpkin (butternut squash or any other type you have)
  • Panch Phoran (mix of spices): black mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds and nigella seeds
  • turmeric
  • chilli powder
  • salt


Step 1. Prepare the Panch Phoran mix. To do it you should just mix the equal quantities of 5 spices and it’s ready. You can also find it readily mixed in the shops. 1-2 tsp is usually enough for 0,5 kg of pumpkin.

Step 2. Dice the pumpkin and soak it in water for 15-30 minutes.

Step 3. Heat some cooking oil in a pan, add 1-2 tsp of Panch Phoran and let it cook until the aromas come out., for about a minute.

Step 4. Add the pumpkin cubes (without water), mix it well to be sure that spices are evenly spread. Cover the pan and let it cook for about 15 minutes.

Step 5. Add some red chilli powder (if you like it), 1 tsp of tumeric and salt. Mix it well.

You can add some fresh dill or parsley for garnish or even some roasted seeds. Enjoy your pumkin with spices!

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Potato ginger soup

Potato Ginger Soup with Turmeric | Potato Soup Easy Recipe

In winter, when it’s cold and you don’t have many fresh vegetables available, you can easily make a great variety of dishes from simple potatoes! Today we want to share with you our family recipe for Potato Ginger Soup with Turmeric.

This soup is not just extremely easy to make and irresistibly delicious, but also a wonderful remedy for cold, soar throat or cough. Try it, and let us know how it came out!


  • (organic) potatoes – 400 gr
  • green chilli (optional) – 1
  • ginger – 2 tsp
  • turmeric – 1 tsp
  • salt to taste
  • cooking oil
  • water


Step 1. Soak potato in cold water for 15 minutes.

Step 2. Meanwhile, make a paste from ginger and green chilli: chop them, add some water and than process the ingredients in a blender, a food processor, or use mortar and pestle.

Step 3. Heat some oil in a pan and add your ginger-chilli paste, mix it nicely so that the paste gets covered in oil.

Step 4. When you start feeling the aroma of ginger and garlic, add chopped potatoes and mix thoroughly.

Step 5. Add water, mix everything, cover with a lid, and cook for about 20 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. If necessary, add more water during the cooking process.

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Beetroot Curry Recipe | Beetroot Fry

Beetroot is popular in Russian and Eastern European cuisine, but it acquires totally new flavours cooked in Indian style. Try our beetroot curry, a great healthy recipe to make your daily plant-based menu more interesting!

We pair beets with some delicate sweet spices, that bring out its flavour without giving unnecessary hotness to a dish. If you want you can add other vegetables, like carrots, aubergine or green peas.


  • beetroots – 3 medium
  • potatoes – 2-3
  • onion – 1
  • tomatoes – 2 medium
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • cooking oil
  • salt


  • cinnamon – 1 thumb-size piece
  • coriander powder – 2 tsp
  • tumeric powder – ½ tsp
  • red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  • cumin powder – 1 tsp


Step 1. Peel beetroots and potatoes. Chop the beetroots in small cubes (we advice you to put on the gloves while doing it), cut the potatoes in medium size pieces. Put them into a bowl and soak in water fore some time, this will take away the bitterness from the beetroot.

Step 2. Meanwhile, prepare the base for your curry – ginger, garlic and onion paste. Take equal quantities of ginger and garlic, peel them, add one peeled and chopped onion and 2-3 tsp of water, than process the ingredients in a blender or food processor. Chop the tomatoes aside.

Step 3. Put some ghee or another cooking oil in a pan. Add about a thumb-size piece of cinnamon. When the oil becomes warm and you feel that it smells like cinnamon, add your ginger, garlic and onion paste. Cook it for about 3-4 minutes. Stir it well to be sure that it doesn’t stick to the pan.

Step 4. Now it’s time to add basic curry spices: ½ tsp of chilli powder, ½ tsp of tumeric, 1 tsp of cumin powder and 2 tsp of coriander powder. Mix it well, allow the aroma of spices to come out. Add the tomato, mix it with the spices and cook it until it becomes pulpy. If it starts to stick, you can add a tiny amount of water. Add some salt, mix it well. Now your secret curry base is ready!

Step 5. Add the beetroots and the potatoes to the pan. Mix it well, add about ½ glass of water, cover the pan with a lid and keep cooking in a medium heat for about 20 minutes, mixing it from time to time. If your curry seems dry, add a little bit of water. Keep cooking until the beetroot becomes soft.

Your beetroot curry is ready! Enjoy the unique mix of flavours!

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