The Govinda Dasu South Indian Telugu Zucchini Koora

The Govinda Dasu South Indian Telugu Zucchini Koora

Govinda Dasu is neutral about Zucchini. He feels that sometimes it is kind of good. However, it is certainly not his favorite. He much prefers aloo fry. That being said, his parents want him to eat green vegetables, so they make him eat Zucchini. And, it is soft and doesn’t require too much chewing, so he finds it kind of good sometimes with annam (cooked rice), pappu charu annam, or perugu annam (yogurt rice).

Ingredients for Govinda Dasu’s South Indian Telugu Zucchini Koora

  1. Zucchini 4-5 pieces
  2. Salt 1-2 teaspoons
  3. Red chilli powder – ½ spoon
  4. Turmeric – ¼ spoon
  5. Hing – ¼ spoon
  6. Jeera – ½ spoon
  7. Mustard (avalu) – ½ spoon
  8. Peanut oil – 1 table spoon

1. Cut the Zucchini

Cut 4-5 zucchini into semi circular slices. Govinda’s mother and paternal grandmother prefer the semicircular slices, while Govinda Dasu’s father sometimes experiments with the more vertical slices.

2. Prepare the Pan

  1. Put the pan on the stove. Medium high heat.
  2. Add a tablespoon of oil (peanut).
  3. Add a teaspoon of jeera
  4. Add half teaspoon of mustard.
  5. Let mustard seeds splatter.

3. Add the Zucchini

  1. Add zucchini slices.
  2. Add 1 flat teaspoon of salt.
  3. Add a pinch of turmeric.
  4. Stir fry until zucchini is cooked

4. Add spices, apply Govinda Dasu’s family’s techniques

  1. Add 1/3 teaspoon of red chilli powder.
  2. If zucchini is watery , you can add a teaspoon of besan (chane ka dal powder).
  3. Mix it well and take it out of the stove.
  4. Eat it with rice or roti.

The Govinda Dasu South Indian Capsicum Koora

Govinda Dasu kind of likes capsicum sometimes, but he likes aloo a lot. Overall capsicum koora is neither his favorite nor his unfavorite, but his family likes capsicum koora.The Govinda Dasu South Indian Capsicum Koora

The Govinda Dasu South Indian Capsicum Koora

Ingredients for Govinda Dasu’s South India Capsicum Koora

  1. 4 Capsicum Peppers
  2. 5 potatoes (Aloo), which are Govinda Dasu’s favorite.
  3. 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  4. 2 teaspoons Mustard Seeds (Avalu)
  5. Pinch of Asafetida Powder (Hing, Inguva)
  6. Pinch of Turmeric (Pasupu)
  7. Pinch of Red Chili Powder (Laal Mirch)
  8. 1 teaspoon Salt (Uppu)
  9. 2 tablespoons Peanut / Sunflower / Sesame Oil

1. Clean and peel the Capsicum, Aloo, and Ginger

2. Prepare the Pan

  • Switch on the heat at medium high, add a couple of spoons of oil, and spread it around the pan. (1:50)
  • Add 2-3 spoons of cumin seeds, Jeera (2:12)
  • Then, add 2-3 spoons of mustard seeds, Sarson (2:30)
  • Wait for the mustard seeds to splutter. Once they splutter, add a dash of hing – 5 shakes (2:58)

3. Fry the Potatoes, Govinda Dasu’s favorite

  • Then add the potatoes (3:10).
  • Add some turmeric (3:30).
  • Then, add a spoon and a quarter of salt (3:42)
  • Stir up the potatoes, shake it up, and close it with a lid (3:58).
  • After 3 minutes, stir the potatoes so they don’t get burned (4:20).
  • Govinda Dasu likes plain aloos but we are going to make him eat green vegetables – namely, capsicum.

4. Fry the Capsicum

  • After 2 more minutes, once the aloos are half-cooked, add all the capsicum to the frying pan (3:05).
  • Add a spoon and a half of salt (5:17)
  • Then, mix up the koora (5:43).
  • Cover it up, watch it for 5 minutes. (5:50)
    • In between keep stirring the koora so it doesn’t get stuck / burned at the bottom.
  • Add 1 – 2 spoons of besan powder (7:50).
  • The, add a couple of spoons of red chili powder (8:09).
  • Mix it up.
  • Reduce the heat to medium, close the lid, and let it fry for one more minute (9:00)

You can enjoy the South Indian Capsicum Aloo Koora with plain rice. Govinda Dasu prefers when you give him less capsicum and more aloo.

The Govinda Dasu South Indian Broccoli Koora

Govinda Dasu always liked Broccoli Koora as his third or fourth favorite dish after Potato Fry and Cauliflower. Broccoli was often tied with Beans in his Santa Clara home.


  1. 2 Broccoli flowers
  2. 3 potatoes (Aloo), which are Govinda Dasu’s favorite.
  3. 2 teaspoons Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
  4. 2 teaspoons Mustard Seeds (Avalu)
  5. Pinch of Asafetida Powder (Inguva)
  6. Pinch of Turmeric (Pasupu)
  7. 1″x1″-cylinder Ginger (Allamu)
  8. 2 Green Chilis (Pachi Mirpakaya)
  9. 1 teaspoon Salt (Uppu)
  10. 2 tablespoons Peanut / Sunflower / Sesame Oil
Preparing Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe
Preparing Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe

1. Clean and peel the Broccoli, Aloo, and Ginger

  • Remove miscellaneous strands from the broccoli flower and wash it in water (1:42).
  • Peel the potatoes.
  • Peel the ginger. Govinda Dasu was not always a fan of ginger but it’s growing on him.

2. Cut the Chilis and Potatoes (Govinda Dasu’s fav’s)

  • Cut the green chilis into small circles (2:09).
  • Chop the ginger into fine pieces (2:32).
  • Cut the potatoes finely as well, so the turn out crisp and like long rectangular prisms (2:55). Govinda Dasu loves the aloo part.
  • Cut off the mini broccoli flowers from the main broccoli vegetable (3:47)
  • Chop up the internal non-flower part of the broccoli, finely. Cut into the the stems as needed. (4:14)

3. Prepare the pan

  • Make sure the pan is dry, and then put 1.5 – 2 table spoons of peanut oil in the pan. (4:43)
  • Add the cumin and mustard seeds, a spoon each, to the oil that is being heated (5:07).
  • Sprinkle asafetida (inguva) over the oil mixture (5:23).
  • Govinda Dasu often prefers less ginger and more oil, but he’s learning to be healthy.

Frying the Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe
Frying the Broccoli for the Govinda Dasu Recipe

4. Fry the vegetables (Govinda Dasu loves the fry)

  • Once the mustard seeds split, then add the green chilis, potatoes, and ginger to the sizzling oil (6:55).
  • Use the spatula to distribute the vegetables within the oil mixture, using tricks like “gravity” as mentioned in the video.
  • Let the koora soften by placing a lid on the pan (7:28).
  • After 2 minutes, put the harder chopped up broccoli stem slices in the sizzling oil (7:48).
  • Add half a spoon of salt across the frying pan, and mix up the mixture (7:56). Place the pan lid on and let it soften for 2 minutes.
  • Add the rest of the broccoli into the pan. Break up the broccoli into smaller pieces if you’d like it to be a tad softer during consumption. And, add a half spoon more of salt. (8:30)
  • Add turmeric to retain the color of the broccoli (9:48) and mix. Put the lid on and let it fry for 3 minutes.
  • After the 3 minutes, mix the koora carefully so the potatoes do not become a paste (11:22). Put the lid on and let it fry for another 2 minutes.
  • After the 2 minutes, mix the koora carefully one last time (11:57).

You can enjoy the South Indian Broccoli Koora with plain rice. Govinda Dasu likes to mash up the broccoli and rice with his hands, mix them up, and eat.

Make sure to eat with your hands!

If you need help eating with your hands, consult this Wilbur Sargunaraj video.

Govinda Dasu: Pachadlu (Chutneys)

Andhra vegetarian cuisine is noted for its spicy chutneys, which are called Pachaddlu in Telugu. Andhra meals remain incomplete without a course of pachadi annam, plain rice mixed with pachadi, usually with some ghee. Pachadi is usually made with raw or partly cooked or smoked vegetable. Sourness from the vegetable or tamarind, if the vegetable itself does not have intrinsically sour taste, is important. Even more important is the usage of a healthy amount of green and/or red chili peppers. Occasionally there are non-sour varieties of chutneys. Fenugreek seeds are an important ingredient, except in pappu pachadlu (dal based chutneys), in which they don’t belong! This chapter will group several types of pachadlu together as they all have similar if not identical recipe. Because of spice, oil and sourness, often pachadi lasts long. Some pachadlu are almost pickles, lasting at room temperature for weeks without spoiling. It is a good thing that they last long, as one can not consume large helpings of pachadi at once. Whenever I was about to eat my third helping of pachadi, my dad would say: pichchi vedhava pachchadi anta tinnadu – meaning the fool ate the entire amount of pachadi. Consumption of excess amount at once is not good for your stomach. However, it is hard to keep away from mouth watering pachadlu of Andhra!

Gongura Pachadi

Gongura pachadi is perhaps the most well known of Andhra recipes. It is also my favorite. My father told me about his uncle from Guntur used to arrive late evenings with a bag full of gongura and red chili peppers that Guntur district is famous for. He worked for the Indian Railways and was a frequent guest. Apparently the best gongura pachadi that my father ate is made by his Janaki attayya, whose husband is this late arriving uncle from Guntur. My grand mother told us stories of how she had to cook late evening to feed him a hot meal. However, you don’t need an uncle from Guntur to arrive late evening to get started. You start by acquiring couple of bunches of Gongura leaves from the New India Bazar on El Camino. These sour leaves are available in most big Indian stores in US metropolis these days. My father says that it is easier to buy Gongura leaves in the USA than in North India. If you do not have whole dry red chili peppers, fenugreek and black mustard seeds, you should pick those up at the store, along with a box of LG asafetida powder. If you can buy Guntur dry hot chili peppers, you are in luck. I am assuming you stock salt and a heavy oil like Peanut or Sesame or Safflower at home. You should, if you want to cook Indian!

Gongura leaves need to be plucked (remove the red petiole entirely), washed and laid out on cloth to soak out the water on them. The task is easiest accomplished by spreading out on the kitchen table and get your family to help with the task. Most of the bunch you picked up from the store is wasted because of branches and all the tough matter – you should avoid paying by-the-pound for gongura bunches. We often do the leaf preparation the night before and collect them in a bowl before breakfast.

  1. Heat a cup of oil for preparing three bunches in a large pan.
  2. Add one table spoon of fenugreek seeds, and
  3. When fenugreek darkens a bit, add one table spoon of mustard seeds and one dozen dried whole red chili peppers.
  4. When mustard seeds start splitting, add quarter spoon of asafetida powder
  5. As the room starts to smell fabulous, add the green gongura leaves.
  6. Add two spoons of salt, mix and cover the pan.
  7. When the gongura leaves reduce to a small lump and are cooked, turn the heat off.
  8. When the cooked leaves and spices are at room temperature, grind to a rough paste in a blender, and you are done!

I hope you remembered to have started cooking some plain rice ahead of the gongura pachadi making. Your mouth will be watering and you can dive in promptly. In principle, the pachadi can keep for days at room temperature and weeks in the fridge. In practice, the pachadi will be finished long before that.


Gongura leaves – 3 bunches, yielding leaves that fill 1 gallon container
Oil – 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – 1 table spoon
Mustard seeds (black) – 1 table spoon
Whole red chili peppers – 1 dozen (20 if you want it hot)
Asafetida powder – quarter tea spoon
Salt – 1 table spoon

Govinda Dasu Cookbook : Tomato pappu


  • Arhar ka dal – 1 cup
  • Water – 3 cups
  • Salt 1-2 teaspoons
  • Tomatoes – 2
  • Imli (Tamarind) – a tiny lemon sized ball
  • Green chillies – 2 small
  • Coriander leaves – 2-3 strands
  • Red chilli powder – ½ spoon
  • Turmeric – ¼ spoon
  • Hing – ¼ spoon
  • Jeera – ½ spoon
  • Mustard (avalu) – ½ spoon
  • Red chiilies –  2 or 3


  1. In a vessel, add 1 cup arhar ka dal (kandi pappu or toor dal) and 2 cups water. Either cook it slowly in medium heat while adding water as needed until dal (pappu) is completely cooked and soft. Or place vessel in a rice cooker with 2-3 steam whistles.
  2. In a pan, add 2 table spoons of oil. Warm the oil in medium high heat. Add a quarter spoon methi (menthulu). Add a ½ spoon jeera and 1 big or 2 small red chilles. Add ½ spoon of mustard. Add a sprinkle of hing powder. Wait till mustard (avalus ) splutter. Add cut tomatoes and green chillies. Add 1 spoon of salt and a sprinkle of turmeric. Let it stir fry /cook.
  3. In a bowl soak a small ball of tamarind (3-4 tamarind leaves) in warm water. After 5 minutes, squeeze tamarind leaves and prepare tamarind essence/juice. Add tamarind juice (¼ cup) to the boiling tomatoes. Let it all cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Add the cooked dal to the oooked/sauted tomatoes. Taste and add ½ spoon of salt if needed.
  5. Let the above mixture simmer. Stir occasionally with heat in medium high heat. If it boils over, reduce heat to medium to medium low. Add a sprinkle of red chilli powder if needed after tasting the dal.
  6. Garnish it with finely cut corriander leaves (kothamalli).
  7. Switch off heat and cover the dish with a lid.
  8. Serve with steamed rice or chapati or roti.

Govinda Dasu Cookbook : Lemon Rice


  1. Oil
  2. Senega pappu
  3. Minna pappu
  4. Dry red chillies
  5. Green chillies
  6. Aavalu
  7. Ingua
  8. Karuvepakku
  9. Pasupu
  10. Lemons
  11. Rice
  12. Butter
  13. Cashews or peanuts


  1. In a small pan, add 2 tablespoons of peanut or vegetable or saffola oil. Switch on medium high heat. Add 2-3 tea spoons of chane ka dal (senega pappu) . After 1 minute, when chane ka dal is partially roasted, add 4-6 tea spoons of urad ka dal (mina pappu). Add 2 red whole dry chillies. Add 2-3 tea spoons of mustard seeds (aavalu). Add a sprinkle of hing (asafoetida) . Let the mustard seeds splutter. Remove the pan from stove and place it on a place mat. Add small cut karipatha leaves (karuvepakkulu)
  2. Add 2 spoons of salt and ½ spoon of haldi (turmeric i.e. pasupu) .
  3. Now squeeze 2 lemons(nimbapandulu) on top of the above tadka (thiragamatha).
  4. In a large bowl, add 1 cup of cooked rice. Add above lemon juice essence. With a spatula, gentle mix the lemon juice with the rice until juice and uniformly mixed.
  5. In a small pan, add 1 spoon of oil/ 1 slice of butter and 6-8 halved cashews.  In medium heat, roast them. Garnish lemon rice with roasted cashews. Instead of roasted cashews, you can garnish with dry roasted peanuts as well.
  6. Serve with potato chips or vadiyalu as you wish.

Govinda Dasu Cookbook : Rava Kesari


  1. Rava (suji /cream of wheat) – 2 cups
  2. Sugar – 2 cups
  3. Water – 2 cups
  4. Elaichi (cardamom) – 10 pieces
  5. Saffron – a pinch
  6. Butter – 2 sticks
  7. Cashews – 10-15


  1. In a medium sized saucepan, add 4 slices of butter. Let it melt for a minute in medium heat. Add 2 cups of rava (cream of wheat a.k.a suji ) . Roast it in medium high heat until golden in color.
  2. Add 2 cups of water. Mix the rava and water nicely. Let the rava cook in medium high heat. Carefully mix the rava and water so lumps do not form. (lump formation means some rava is uncooked in the center of lump).
  3. After the rava is cooked nicely, add 2 cups of sugar. And mix the cooked and rava and sugar nicely until sugar is melted and blended in nicely.
  4. While mixing the sugar and cooked rava, add 1 stick of butter.
  5. Mix the ingredients in the container nicely. Lower heat to medium if needed.
  6. If the ingredients look sticky, add another half a stick of butter.
  7. All of above steps should take 10-15 minutes of time. Now add powdered elaichi and a pinch of saffron (kumkum puvulu) . Mix them nicely.
  8. Remove from stove and place the container on the counter.
  9. In another small pan, add a small slice of butter and roast 10-15 cashew halves.
  10. Top the rava kesari with roasted cashews.

Note: Roasted cashews and powdered elaichi (cardamom) can be prepared ahead and placed on the side for use in steps 7 and 10.


The Govinda Dasu Aloo Fry Recipe

Anyone who knows me should know that Aloo Fry has to have a chapter of its own in the Govinda Dasu recipe book. Few Friday evenings in Santa Clara went by without Aloo Fry on the menu. Besides, if you have been to my room at home or been to my grade school presentation, you would have seen my famous Aloo Fry poster.

My father tells me that his maternal grandmother owned a heavy brass fry pan, which played the most crucial role in the preparation of her famous Aloo Fry. A heavy 12-inch non-stick pan is definitely an acceptable substitute, as her brass pan has long bitten dust.

Although not part of the Govinda Dasu Aloo Fry recipe, you may want to start to cook some plain rice in the back burner before you start preparing the fry.  You will want to immediately start eating when the fry is ready!

  1. For the Govinda Dasu Aloo Fry, you should always plan on at least two medium potatoes per person, or you will not have any aloo fry left for yourselves when it comes to the concluding yogurt-rice course.
  2. The number of potatoes should be between four and ten for a 12-inch skillet, otherwise you will end up with either burnt or lumped up fry.
  3. California white rose potatoes work the best, but those rose-peeled versions are acceptable. If you are using Idaho potatoes, do get rid of those pesky black spots. I would avoid the yellow-gold potatoes from Yukon.
  4. It is of utmost importance to cut the potatoes properly. If you manage to get the potatoes peeled and cut in cubes with sides measuring 0.6 ± 0.2 cm you are doing well.
  5. I would definitely recommend practicing the peeling of the entire potato without ever breaking the peel. Such obsession will ensure that potato cubes are properly cut. My mother certainly disagrees with this recommendation, although my father approves, having passed this important tidbit to me.

  1. Put two to four table spoons of peanut/sunflower/safflower/sesame oil (do avoid using lighter canola oil) in the pan and heat at medium-high level.
  2. Before the oil fumes, add the potatoes and mix them carefully so that the oil coats all the potato pieces. Do not ever put pressure on the potatoes. Rather, you should tilt the pan slightly and mix the potatoes with the plastic spatula using gravity assistance for tossing!
  3. Do not overdo the mixing, but do not leave the kitchen to watch the TV show either.
  4. Periodic mixing till the potatoes are golden-brown does need some level of obsession.
  5. You can go to the fridge and get green curry leaves, wash, dry and keep ready for future use, to keep you occupied.
  6. You can also ensure that the water from the rice dish on the backburner is not spilling over.
  7. Do keep powdered salt, inguva (asafetida), turmeric and red-chilies handy.
  8. As the potatoes turn light brown, add powdered salt (0.5 teaspoons per person), inguva (a pinch) and turmeric (a pinch).
  9. Turn the potatoes with light touch and gravity assistance. If you have already got some potato stuck to the pan, do not fret.
  10. Try to scrape the potato mash out with plastic spatula without putting undue pressure on the remaining potato cubes. The scrapes will fry to darker brown adding texture and taste.
  11. After that minute of struggle and cussing, lower the heat and add green curry leaves and red-chili powder (0.25 teaspoons per person).
  12. Your mouth should be already watering watching the golden-brown potatoes with hues of red. You will thank yourselves for having the foresight of preparing the plain rice ahead of the Govinda Dasu Aloo Fry.

If you are tempted to eat the Govinda Dasu Aloo Fry with all courses of meal including the yogurt-rice course, it is normal. If you finish the aloo fry without sharing with anyone, you should feel free to forgive yourselves, as it is not your fault.

Potatoes and chili peppers trace their origins to South America, but make no mistake that this recipe is definitely from Krishna Region, where the ancestors of Govinda Dasu are from. After all, red chili peppers have made Guntur their home.

#govindadasu #aloofry #govindadasualoofry

For more Govinda Dasu recipes please see:

Govinda Dasu – Vegetarian Cookbook


Home is best defined by the smells, tastes and the looks of the foods, which the family partakes in, together. We go off on those long culinary expeditions, only to return home to those family meals. Our family tastes, originating in the brahmin homes of Andhra Pradesh in India, are passed on to me by my parents and grandparents, as they were raising me in the Silicon Valley. While we cannot trace back the ingredients beyond the Safeway at Rivermark, or the New India Bazar on El Camino, the recipes, minimally refined my parents, go back to my ancestors, geographically separated from us by thousands of miles and several generations. Heavily spiced they may be, but subtleties are unmistakably familial. Static, the recipes are not. There is always innovation, adaptation and amalgamation, sometimes scorned by the purists in the family, but eventually accepted with pride as our own. I am sharing these recipes with you with the hope that you will import some of them, to satiate your own palates for generations to come. I will tell some stories along the way to keep you amused.

Of particular note is the influence of mothers and grandmothers on our family palate. River Krishna and its canals meander through the rich agrarian communities near the new capital at the old city of Amaravati of Andhra Pradesh State. My grandmother’s family hails from Nuzividu, which is famous for its mangoes. However, it is her grandmother from Vuyyuru, who influenced my meals in the Silicon Valley. Much like the genes in my blood, some of my great-grandmother’s mukkala pulusu seems to flow in me! Recipes coming from this branch of my family will be labeled as from Krishna Region. My mother’s ancestors hail from a lost village south of Krishna, on the banks of the temperamental Penna River. They migrated further south to Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, and then to Delhi and Simla, way up North. Yet, my mother’s cooking unmistakably traces back to the southern cooking style of Andhra, with some traces of Tamil styles. My mother’s recipes will be labeled as from Penna Region. North of Krishna flows the mightier Godavari with its expansive delta – if there is any influence of their Kona Seema style in our recipes, it is only accidental. Hailing from Krishna and Penna Deltas, I am raised to scorn at those foreign tastes – who in the right mind would put jaggery (raw sugar) in avakaya (raw mango pickled in mustard). Although my family heritage patriarchally dates to 1400s and is documented to hail from the State of Maharashtra to the west of India, there is little from Marathi style in our palate. After all, any excessive use of besan (chick pea flour) is also to be scorned at. If there is any influence of Marathi style, it is because my grandmother spent her summer breaks in Lonavala and Parbhani, in the far reaches of Marathwada, where my grandmother’s father worked for the Deccan railways, although he hailed from Nuzividu. Apparently, she picked up the techniques of making chapathis and aloo curry with besan during those trips. Although my grandmother spent much of her life in the city of Hyderabad, there is no trace of the famous Hyderabadi cuisine in our family recipes. After some research I concluded that this aversion to Hyderabadi cuisine is only because of one particular popular ingredient that is abhorred by our family, allam-ellipai (ginger & garlic) paste. While I may positively enjoy the garlic rolls at Tomatina’s in Mercado, I would never tolerate garlic in my beans koora.

My parents entertained friends and insisted on cooking gigantic meals. They worked together and competed all day to cook up a storm. Those meals were special, but with quite a bit of corruption, for example by including recipes adopted and adapted from Punjab and beyond. I will indicate those as foreign foods. Bon Apetit!