Saturday, 28 December 2013

Sweet Pumpkin or Yellow Pumpkin Dal

With sweet pumpkin or yellow pumpkin, I normally make sambhar, kootu, dry stir fry with rice flour rotis, raita, but never tried dal. But last week when I was thinking of dinner then I thought of making yellow pumpkin sambhar lying on my kitchen counter. But I was lazy to fry the ingredients and follow the procedure for sambhar and I was also feeling a bit feverish and wanted to keep something light and simple. Then I remembered of reading of pumpkin dal sometime ago, but couldnt remember where, and also the method and ingredients exactly.
So vaguely again I tried to remember, but yet thought to do it just like I do the normal dal.
But was a bit apprehensive about the sweetness of the pumpkin, not to make the dal sweet.
Then I thought of cooking the dal with red chilly powder and fry the pumpkin with green chillies and give the sharpness of red onion as well. So started experimenting as I thought.
Then what I get? a wonderful mildly sweet dal, but the sweetness is complementing with the spice of red chilly powder and the sharpness of green chillies and red onions.
To go with this I made french beans and potato stir fry and had a satisfying dinner. The dal tasted much better the next day.
I am also giving the recipe for simple beans and potato stir fry.
Hope you will enjoy!!!!!

Sweet Pumpkin Dal

Toor Dal - 1cup,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Red chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 8-10,
Green Chillies - 3-4 finely chopped,
Garlic - 1 clove finely chopped,
Red Onion - 1 small finely chopped,
Yellow Pumpkin - 1 cup skin peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes,

Garam Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon finely chopped to garnish.

Cook toor dal with enough water, turmeric and red chilly powder for three whistles or until dal is completely cooked.
Once the dal is completely cooked and cooled, mash with the spoon and keep aside.
In a medium broad pan add oil and heat.
Add mustard and asafoetida and allow mustard to crackle.
Then add curry leaves, green chillies and fry for a minute.
Add chopped garlic and fry until it slightly browned.
Add chopped onion and fry until it is transparent.
Add cubed pumpkin and fry for couple for minutes.
Add a couple of tablespoons of water and simmer and cover and cook.
Cook until the pumpkin is completely cooked, but not mushy, it should hold its shape.
Add the cooked dal. Add salt and garam masala powder.
Adjust the dal to medium consistency by adding water, if the dal is thick.
Boil for couple of minutes and switch off the flame.
Garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with hot steamed rice with any stir fry of your choice.

Beans and Potato Stir Fry

Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 5-6,
Beans - 1 cup into 1 inch strips,
Potato - 1/2 cup cut into i inch strips,
Sambhar Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Red chilly Powder - 1teaspoon,
Coriander Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,

In a broad thick bottomed pan, heat oil.
Add mustard and curry leaves, allow mustard to crackle.
Add Potatoes, and fry for couple of minutes.
Then add beans and fry in medium heat.
Turn heat to low and cover cook for 4-5 minutes or until the both the veggies are cooked, yet in shape, that is not over cooked.
Add sambhar powder or if you do not have sambhar powder add red chilly powder and coriander powder.
Add salt and turmeric. Mix well.
Fry for couple of more minutes in low flame.
Remove from heat and serve.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Aloo Tikki

The famous Aloo Tikki...A all time North Indian Snack. Just savour it with chutney or ketchup..go  a step further spread some green chutney, sweet tamarind chutney, some beaten curd , sprinkle chaat masala, onions and sev  ready to savour as chat or the famous ragda patis , if you have left over choley, then heat up choley spread on hot tikkis some green chutney,fresh onions, coriander and ready to serve..Lot of different tikkis later came on, with this basic aloo tikki, like mixed vegetable, beetroot, fresh peas and so on..but potato remains the base for the tikki..Unless replaced by raw banana, but that posts will come later.
Now I love aloo tikkis, while watching a nice movie in the evening on a weekend with family.
These tikkis are soo simple to make, can be made in less then half hour and  even be made low calories by baking them, they also feel less heavy on your tummy.It is up to you however you want to savour. I have shallow fried them with as much less oil I can. Can be sent to kids packed lunch wrapped in foil to keep fresh and crispy.

Potatoes - 4 Medium boiled, cooled and skin peeled,
Onion - 1 small finely chopped.
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Plain Flour - 2 tablespoons,
Cumin Powder - 11/2 teaspoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Lemon Juice - 1 medium lemon,
Bread crumbs - 1/4 to 1/2 cup,
Oil for frying.

Boil the potatoes until they are well cooked.
Cool them well and peel the skin.
Keep in mind, before mixing the ingredients, make sure that potatoes are well cooled, or else hot potato mashed and mixed for tikkis, make the tikkis dry.
Then mash the potatoes with masher, or grate them.
Mix rest of the ingredietns with mashed potato and make a pliable dough.
No need to add water.
Heat a inch high frying pan, pour some oil, say about a 2 teaspoon for a tikki.
Make round balls of the dough, like you make for chappatis, you can take the same size as you take to make chapaptis or a bit bigger than it.
Roll them over bread crumbs well.
Place them on the hot oil, on a medium low flame.
Cook them both sides until golden brown , carefully flipping on both sides.
Take care to flip to the other side, only when it is properly cooked, or you will end up breaking the tikkis.
Serve hot with ketchep and green chutney.

For some reason, if your tikkis becomes soggy and not able to handle and make tikkis then refrigerate for an hour and then try making tikkis and fry them.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Avarekaalu/Mochakottai/Surti Papdi Masala bhat

Avarekaalu so very popular in Karntataka, especially in Mysore, Bangalore..people crave for it. Now during november december and up till february people enjoy...It is at its best flavour during these dew days...the aroma spreads the whole house..and it is overnight left in the dew..In bangalore during this season avare mela is conducted hundred and thousands of raw, cooked and different of varieties of dishes are made with this beans in the mela...The most popular house hold dishes are upma, rice flour rotti, pulao, dosa, sambhar, usili, nipattu and some even make payasam...except for tea and coffee during the season this beans is used literally in anything and every is a sin to not have this bean. There is a special dish called chidikida avare gojju is very popular which I will be posting in my future post...heavenly to go with poori, parboiled rice idlis and raagi balls.

Basmati Rice - 2 cups soaked for 20 minutes,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Ghee - 2 tablespoons,
Onion - 1 large sliced,
Above said Beans - 11/2 cups,
Boiling Water - 4 cups.

To Grind:
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 5,
Cardamom - 2,
Green Chillies - 8-10,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon,
Mint - 1/2 tablespoon,
Ginger - 2 inch,
Garlic - 4 pods,
Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon(optional).

Pressure Cook the beans, with enough water, little salt for 3 whistles.
Grind the ingredients, under the grinding table with water to smooth paste.
In a broad pan, add oil and ghee and heat it.
Add sliced onions and fry until glossy.
Add cooked beans, water completely drained beans and fry for couple of minutes.
You can save beans cooked water, later to cook rice, as it adds aroma to the rice.
Add ground paste and fry until raw smell evaporates.
Add boiling water and adjust salt.
Drain completely water from rice, and add to boiling water.
Cover and cook, until rice completely is cooked and fluffy.
Approximately it takes 15-20 minutes, depends on the rice.
Serve with any raita.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Spinach Masoor Dal

One of the best dals with spinach that I love to savour..the masoor dal gives a lot of body unlike moong dal which makes you heavy after eating..the masoor dal though gives lot of body to the dal...but you will still feel light on your tummy. The wonderful taste of  masoor adds flavour and also nutritious.
The dal is cooked with turmeric and red chilly powder and then spinach  is cooked in the dal. Then tempered with spices. This goes well with rice as well as roti. Spinach adds more nutrition to the dal.

Masoor Dal/Red Lentils - 1 cup,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Spinach - 2 cups loosely packed,

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Whole Red Chillies - 2,
Cumin - 2 teaspoons,
Garlic - 2 cloves finely chopped,
Green Chillies - 2 finely chopped,
Red Onion - 1 medium finely chopped.

Clean the spinach by rinsing it number of times with water and chop it finely and keep it aside.
Wash the masoor dal twice and pressure cook it with enough water, turmeric and red chilly powder for three whistles. Once the pressure cooker cools blend the dal.
To the blended dal  add the chopped spinach and cook it until spinach wilts.
No need to add water to dal while cooking spinach as the, water in dal and also spinach leaves a lot of water while cooking, it is sufficient to wilt the spinach.
In another small pan, heat oil and ghee.
Add Red chillies and allow it to blacken.
This gives the smoky, sharp flavour to the dal, which enhances the taste of the dal.
Then add cumin, when it crackles, add green chillies and garlic.
Fry until garlic turns light brown.
Add onions and fry until glossy and add to dal.
Cover the dal immediately and rest it for couple of minutes, for the spices to seep into the dal.
You can squeeze a juice of lemon if you want to.
Serve with hot steamed rice or rotis with papad pickle or any sabji and enjoy. 

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Whole Wheat Flour Laddus

Whole Wheat flour laddus are nutritious snack for growing children. The nutrition is even more increased by adding almonds and flax that way you can also add other nuts like even pistachios . I have given it to my children and still do. They enjoy in the name of laadus.
It is really great snack for kids and yes grown ups can also indulge sometimes with the goodness.
The best part is it can be made easily without any hazzle, within half hour and can be stored up till a week. Yes of course if it is there any. Trust me they are not only tasty but healthy and nutritious too.
Whole wheat flour with ghee and sugar. I do not finely powder the sugar, I keep it a bit grainy as it gives the crunch to these balls. Now it is up to you to finely powder it or keep it grainy.

Whole Wheat Flour - 1 cup,
Ghee - a little less than 1/2 cup,
Sugar - 3/4 cup,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Flax Seeds Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Almond Powder - 1 tablespoon.

Melt the ghee and keep aside.
In a thick bottom medium big kadai, add the whole wheat flour.
Fry the whole wheat flour in medium low heat, until the raw smell of the flour evaporates.
This takes approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add ghee for about 1/2 tablespoon at a time and keep frying.
Keep the heat in low medium, as this ensures even frying and avoids burning of the flour.
Continue to add ghee and fry the flour, until the flour mixture turns to a grainy lump.
This stage takes approximately 6-8 minutes.
Remove from heat and allow to cool.
While it it still warm, add almond powder, cardamom powder and flax seeds powder and mix well.
Immediately also add sugar.
Now if you want you can, like me, add a bit grainy sugar or finely powdered sugar.
Remember to add sugar, when the mixture is still warm, this will make the sugar to loosen a bit and forms binding with the flour mixture and makes easier to make balls.
Make equal shaped sized balls and allow to rest.
Store in airtight containers and enjoy.
You can also send for your children's packed lunches for snacks, or after school snacks.

Eggless Plum Cake/Dry fruit Cake

Plum Cake is one of my favourite cakes, even my husband's.
I always wanted to bake this cake without rum and eggs.
I still remember when I was little, my dad use to spoil me, with these plum cakes. I have very fond memories of plum cake of my childhood.
I was trying different recipes but nothing came close.
Then I came across different recipes of cakes of sanjeev kapoor, but many had eggs in them.
Then again I sat with a scratch pad and pen and started chocking out what measure of ingredients and egg replacer, to get the right texture and taste of plum cake.
I tried them with the measurements I has scribbled , voila they gave me a perfect Plum cake in taste as well in texture. So here I am sharing it now.

Dry Ingredients:
All Purpose Flour - 2 cups,
Baking Powder - 11/2 teaspoons,
Bio Carbonate of Soda - 11/2 teaspoons,
Clove Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Nutmeg Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Unsalted Butter - 100 grams in room temperature,
Powdered Sugar - 6 tablespoons,
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 400 grams,
Milk - 1 cup room temperature,
Vanilla Essence - 1/2 teaspoon,

Dry Fruit Mix:
Dates, Cashew, Almonds, Raisins, Pistachio, tutti fruiti and any other dry fruits you need - 1Cup.
Mix the dry fruits with a tablespoon of plain flour and keep aside.
This is to ensure that the dry fruits do not sink to the bottom of the cake.

Pre Heat Oven at 180 degree celsius/gas mark 4.
Sieve together all the dry ingredients twice, to ensure the flours are lump free.
Start with creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add condensed milk and beat well to blend.
Slowly add the milk and mix well.
Add vanilla essence and mix.
Now slowly add the dry ingredients and fold gently as to not air out the mixture.
Make sure the flours are well folded.
Now gently fold the dry fruits and do not over mix.
Grease  an 8 inch baking tray and pour the batter gently to the tin.
Bake it for 35 - 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted.
Remove from oven, cool for five minutes and place it on a wire rack and cool it completely.
Cut into slices and serve and enjoy.

All the ingredients especially milk and butter should be in room temperature.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Kidney Bean and Black Chickpeas in East Indian Bottle Masala

This is my friends V's recipe. When I tasted her mixed beans gravy in East Indian Bottle Masala..It tasted awesome..something very different and very tasty then our normal beans gravy. When I asked her the secret..she revealed that it was done in a special spice mix called 'east indian bottle masala' that she get's it from mumbai, when she visits. Then I googled and tried to make the masala recipe.. I coudn't, then again I asked her to get me the recipe..She got it from her aunt..
I will post the recipe for the spice mix recipe in one of my later posts.
Trust me it really makes a difference. Your gravy with beans will never be the same boring taste.
Though the original recipe is very simple, but I made changes to suit for both roti and rice.
To give the body to the gravy, I have added some coconut and grounded with rest of the spices and finally flavoured nicely with East Indian Bottle Masala.

For Grinding:
Dry Red Chillies -  4-6,
Onion - 1 medium,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic - 3 cloves,
Cloves - 3,
Cinnamon - 2 inch.

Red Kidney Beans/Rajma - 1 cup(soaked overnight or 8 hours),
Black Chic peas - 1/2 cup(soaked for overnight or 8 hours),
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin - 2 teaspoons,
Tomatoes - 5 medium Skin Peeled and pureed,
East Indian Bottle Masala - 1 teaspoon,
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Pressure both the kidney beans and chic peas with enough water and little salt, for 3-4 whistles and keep aside.
Ground the ingredients under grinding table with water to smooth paste.
In a Medium pan sauce pan, heat oil.
Add cumin, when it crackles add ground paste.
Fry the paste until, the oil leaves the sides.
Add pureed tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tomatoes are well cooked and raw smell evaporates.
Add East Indian Bottle Masala Powder and add the cooked beans with water and adjust salt.
Simmer the gravy for 15 minutes, until you get the medium consistency and garnish with chopped coriander.
Serve with rice or rotis.

Take care while adding salt, as you have already added some while cooking the beans.
The beans cooked liqueur
r is too much, then add as much, for desired consistency.  Either to medium thickness or thick consistency as you desire.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Eggless Dry Fruits Cake

After a long time I was craving for this dry fruits cake, as christmas is around, so more reasons for the craving. But I had no patience to soak the dry fruits, so cooked up in my head which would go closer to this christmas cake..once the cake was baked the kitchen was smelling dry fruits and cake...hhhmm tempting. I had tried quite a few recipes for this instant christmas cake without need to soak, but after many tries this recipe gave me the satisfaction of having instant christmas cake..even if you dont have all the nuts and fruits at home, you can make do with the available dry fruits at home and enjoy.

Dry Ingredients:
Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1 cup,
Corn Flour - 2 tablespoon,
All spice Powder - 1/2 teaspoon(clove, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom powder mix),
Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon,
Baking Powder - 1 teaspoon.

Wet Ingredients:
Condensed Milk - 3/4 cup/tin/300 grams,
Butter - 125 grams melted,
Vanilla extract - 1/2 teaspoon,
Fresh Orange juice - 2 tablespoons.
Dry Fruits - 1/2 cup.(I had store bought dry fruit mix which had papaya, raisins pistachio cherry, almonds, cashew and others),

Pre heat the oven at 180 degree celsius.
Grease an 8 inch cake pan.
Put the parchment/butter  paper at the bottom of the cake tin.
Sieve all the dry ingredients together couple of times, to ensure no lumps.
Cream butter and condensed milk.
Add vanilla and Orange juice.
Blend Together.
I would suggest to use freshly squeezed orange juice, rather than store bought orange juice for the fresh and citrusy, bitter taste.
Fold the sieved flour slowly as to not air out the batter.
Once you fold the flour and just before you put it to bake fold the dry fruits slowly and carefully.
Do take care not to over mix the batter.
Slowly transfer into the baking tin and bake it for 25-30 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean when inserted.
Remove from oven and cool it on a wire rack and serve with coffee or tea.

Cooking time varies according to your oven, so keep an eye after 20 minutes of baking, remove when the inserted tooth pick comes out clean.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Paneer Paratha

Parathas are the most famous punjabi breakfast.
Though I am not a punjabi, but I love most of the vegetarian punjabi food, like, dal makhani, parathas, samosas and so on..the list is long.
My family also loves paratha..I like them with nice spicy mango pickle, yogurt and butter.
Paneer is also my family's favourite, so what better it can be for a meal than paneer paratha.
So here it is,..

Whole Wheat Flour - 1cup,
Water - 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon,
Oil - 2 teaspoons.

For Stuffing:
Home made or store bought Paneer - 1 cup grated or crumbled,
Salt a pinch,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 2 very finely chopped,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander - 1 tablespoon finely chopped.

In a large bowl mix whole wheat flour and salt, mix well.
Make a well in the flour.
Pour water slowly into the flour well and bring all the flour together and make a soft dough.
The quantity of water given above will  be sufficient to make the soft dough.
This is slightly soft dough than normal chapathi  dough.
Knead the dough at least for 10 -15 minutes, this will ensure nice soft and crispy parathas.
Rub the oil on outer surface of the dough and cover and rest for 20-30 minutes.
Rubbing oil to the dough will avoid the drying up of the dough.
Mix all the ingredients under stuffing and divide into equal size balls and cover and keep aside.
Now make pedas of dough, roll it to your palm size.
Place the stuffing in the middle of the rolled dough.
Bring all the sides of the dough, to properly cover and seal the stuffing.
Make sure that the stuffing is intact inside the dough, and then roll out into medium thick chapathis.
Heat the tawa, place the rolled chapathis on the heated tawa and cook it both sides with few drops of oil.
It should be cooked in medium heat.
Serve hot with your choice of pickle, butter and yogurt.

Masala Puri

One of the favourite house hold snacks in south India..It is so apt for this winter evenings with coffee or tea. Spiced with red chilly powder and garlic. the fresh flavour of curry leaves, the crunch from the peanuts and roasted can also add fry shavings of dry coconut along with other ingredients to give with extra crunch and mild sweetness from the coconut(I couldnt add, as I didnt have them) makes it a perfect tea time snack or to munch whenever you want to. You can store in a airtight jar up till for a week. It stays fresh, above all it can be made in minutes and enjoyed.

Kadale Puri/churmuri/murmura - 1cup,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry Leaves - 20,
Garlic - 5 crushed(optional),
Peanuts - 2 tablespoon,
Dry Coconut Shavings - 1/4 cup,
Roasted Gram - 1 tablespoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 11/4 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

In a broad kadai, heat oil.
Add asafoetida and curry leaves and fry.
Add crushed garlic and fry until lightly brown. Take care not to burn garlic, as it will taste bitter.
Add peanuts and fry until roasted.
Add add dry coconut shavings and fry until crisp.
Add roasted gram and fry for a minute.
Switch off the flame.
Add salt, red chilly powder and turmeric. Mix well.
Add the Puri and mix well. Allow this to sit for few minutes in the same kadai.
The heat of the kadai will make the puri crisp.
Remove from the kadai and spread on a paper.
After it cools a bit, store in a airtight jar and enjoy.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Mutter Paneer in Gravy

Popular North Indian Gravy for chapathis or puris.
Paneer is very favourite in my family. So I keep trying different varieties of paneer for hubby and kids. As soon as the paneer is made, my little daughter comes running to have it.
There is a dry version of mutter paneer which I will post sometime later.

Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese - 250 grams(Store bought or home made),
Peas - 200 grams(fresh or frozen),
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon.

To Grind:
Onion - 1 medium,
Green Chillies - 2,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic - 3 cloves.

Tomatoes - 4 medium pureed;
Tomato Paste - 1/2 teaspoon

Dry Spices:
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Kashmiri Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon.

To Garnish:
Chopped Coriander - 1 tablespoon.

Grind the ingredients under grinding table to smooth paste, no need to add water while grinding.
Blanch the tomatoes in hot water, remove skin and puree it.
If store bought paneer, thaw it in warm water until you use.
In a medium broad pan, heat oil.
Add cumin, when it crackles, add ground paste.
Fry until oil leaves the sides.
Add peas and fry until, the peas turn white in colour and almost cooked.
Add all the dry spices, except garam masala powder.
Fry for couple of minutes, add tomato puree and tomato paste.
Cook until the tomatoes puree is well cooked, and raw smell goes.
Add Garam Masala Powder and mix well.
If the paneer is being thawed, then squeeze water well from it and then add to gravy.
If home made, add directly to gravy.
Cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve.
Serve it with either chapathi, puris or naan. Even with any rice varieties.

Blanching means, add tomatoes to boiling water.
When the outer skin starts to crack, remove from water.
Dip in cold water and remove the outer skin and grind it to fine paste.
Do not add water while grinding it.

Sweet Corn Pulao

One of the quickest rice recipes. Good option for packed lunch or one pot meal.
Today I am posting pulao recipe of sweet corn, but some time I will post sweet corn rice, which can had with any gravy.
My kids love sweet corn, I was looking for a good reicpe, but not satisfied with any I came across.
Then one night when I was thinking for next day packed lunch,(there were not much vegetables in the fridge either) then I thought of making my own variations of the recipes I came across.
Took a scribbling pad and went on writing the recipe, as I proceeded, I striked off some of the steps and ingredients, thinking it would be over powering the dish. Then finally scribbled the recipe and took it to the kitchen.
When The final product was done, I tested with my husband and son, my greatest critics, got a wonderful feedback.
So I was satisfied and next when I tasted I was very happy with the outcome and loved it.
Because I have a great problem of not getting satisfied with dish, always try to improve and make it more tasty.
So I hope you will also love it.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Bay leaf - 2,
Onions - 1 large thinly sliced,
Baby Corns - 1 cup (if frozen thawed),
Basmati Rice - 2 cups(soaked for 20 minutes),
Water - 2 cups Boiling,
Milk - 2 cups,
Mint and Coriander Chopped - 1 tablespoon,

To Grind:
Green Chillies - 6-8,
Pepper Corns - 8-10,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic Cloves - 4-5,
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 4.

Grind the ingredients under grinding table to smooth paste with little water.
In a broad pan heat oil. Add bay leaf.
Add sliced onions and fry until glossy.
Add Baby Corns and fry for couple of minutes.
Add Ground Paste and fry until raw smell goes.
Add Boiling water and milk.
Add salt and chopped mint and coriander.
Once the mixture boils well, remove water completely from rice and add to boiling water.
Adding of milk to pulao, is to get the whitish colour to the pulao.
Because after adding the paste I realised that the final pulao  would be of very pale colour.
So I added milk. Its completely optional.
Once the rice is half cooked, add ghee , it adds nice aroma and flavour to pulao.
Cook the rice until completely cooked and fluffly.
Serve with any raita or gravy.
It can be a very good packed lunch as well.

Cluster Beans Parippu Usili Karnataka Style

Parippu Usili is been my favourites, but in our family or in any other banglore and mysore brahm house it is done differently from rest of the parippu usilis, it is also called as maatodi palya in kannda brahm household. It is done in cluster beans/gorikaayi/kothavarangai or with fenugreek leaves.
The difference between this preparation and the normal parippu usili is that, along with soaked chana dal, tuar dal, coconut, tamarind, jaggery and mustard and are also grinded to coarse paste and rest of the steps are as normal. The flavour of mustard makes it soo unique and tasty, also complimented by tamarind and jaggery, makes to enjoy it more.
It is either mixed with rice and ghee and enjoyed. It can also b enjoyed as a side dish with chapathi.
My dad was an expert in preparing this dish.

Cluster Beans - 1/2 kilograms chopped into 1 inch tubes.
Oil - 2 tablespoon/1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,

To Grind:
Chana dal - 1/2 cup (soaked not more than 2 hours),
Tuar dal - 1/4 cup(soaked not more than 2 hours),
Coconut - 1/4 cup,
Mustard - 11/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind -marble size,
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Whole Red Chillies - 8-10.

Chop the cluster beans and cook with enough water and salt.
Remove water completely after the vegetable is just done and keep aside.
Drain water completely from dals.
First grind rest of the ingredients except the dals into coarse paste with little water.
Remove the paste, In the same jar pulse the dals to coarse paste, say just once or twice.
Mix both the ground paste.
Now there two ways of cooking the paste.
Either you can steam cook the paste, like how you cook idlis for 8-10 minutes and crumble it with your hands.
You can directly cook in oil.
In a broad kadai, add two tablespoons of oil and heat it.
Add mustard and asafoetida, once they crackle add the ground paste.
Keep frying in medium low heat, until you see it is well cooked(approximately 10-12 minutes),
Keep stirring while cooking the paste, to ensure it does not gets stuck to the bottom.
Once it is well cooked you can see it does not stick to the pan, or the stirring spoon.
Also it emits a good aroma of cooked dals  and spices.
At this stage add cooked cluster beans, mix well, adjust salt and serve.
If you have steam cooked the paste, crumble in your hands, then temper with one teaspoon of oil, mustard and asafoetida.
Add cooked, crumbled paste and fry for couple of minutes.
Add cluster beans and mix well and serve.
Serve it with rasam rice or sambhar rice.
It can also be mixed with hot rice and ghee or a good side dish with chapathi.

Mixed Vegetable Puli Kootu/Huli Kootu/Sour Kootu

The tambrahm household have a lot of varieties of kootu from different vegetable and also the green leaf  vegetables. In my mom's house it used to be a integral part of our lunch. Almost every time rasam was made there used to be some kind of kootu. I love kootus. but it is not very popular in my mil's family.
But I am glad that my husband and kids like me love kootu varieties I cook. My all time favourite is poosanikai/budu kumbalakai/white pumpkin pepper kootu. But today I am posting mixed veg sour kootu, which is a must in Iyengar celebrations like wedding, house warming and so on. It is one of the spread served on plantain leaf. I like to mix it with hot rice, ghee and enjoy, also with curd rice...hhmm heaven.

Vegetables - 2 cups chopped into cubes(beans, carrot, potato ...),
Tuar dal - 1/4 cup(optional),
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind - a medium lemon sized soaked in warm water,
Jaggery - 2 teaspoons,

To Grind and Roast:
Ghee - 2 teaspoons,
Chana dal - 1 tablespoon,
Urad dal - 1/2 tablespoon,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Pepper - 1/2 teaspon,
Whole Red Chillies - 2-3,
Asafoetida - fat pinch,
Coconut - 1/2 cup.

To Temper:
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Peanuts - a handful,
Curry Leaves - 15,
Dry Grated Coconut - 1 tablespoon.

Cook Tuar dal with turmeric with enough water until mushy and keep aside.
Again adding tuar dal is optional, it gives body to the kootu.
It can be done even without adding tuar dal.
Extract juice from tamarind and keep aside.
Cook vegetables with turmeric with little water until just done.
If you are not using tuar dal, then you can add turmeric to vegetables and cook.
Roast the ingredients under roast and grinding table except coconut, until brown and finally add coconut and fry for a minute and grind with water to smooth paste.
Now mix vegetables, tuar dal(if adding), tamarind juice, salt and jaggery and bring it to boil.
Boil it until the raw smell of tamarind and jaggery smell goes. Say approximately 3-4 minutes.
Add ground paste and boil for couple of more minutes and remove from heat.
Temper the ingredients, under the tempering table in the same order.
Fry peanuts well, until nicely browned.
Finally add grated dry coconut, mix and remove from heat and add to kootu.
I have not added dry coconut, as I didn't have it and realised it at the end.
But do add it, as it makes a lot of difference in the taste.
You can add peas with other veggies and omit peanuts in tempering.
Serve it hot with steamed rice or chapathi.

Ullandhu Ogarai or Ullandu Saadam or Uddina Hudi Anna

This is again one of the Iyengar Specialities prepared during different families do it on different festivals according to the family traditions followed...In my house my  m-i-l prepares this on Gokulashtami.
The literal translation is urad dal rice. Ullandhu in tamil, Uddina Bele simply means Ural dal deskinned.
It is very unique to Iyengar families as I have not seen any others preparing this rice.
Very simple, yet very tasty and flavourful rice, with no heat of spice.
The Urad dal is dry roasted to brown, either it is cooked whole in milk or coarsely powdered.
The Rice is also pre cooked, preferably in milk , but I cooked it like normally with water.
Then the cooked or powdered Urad dal is added with salt to cooked rice.
Tempered with generous amount of ghee with cashews, dry grated coconut and curry leaves.
Of course the important ingredient Asafoetida.
Finally fried plain Urad dal papads are crushed and added to rice before serving.
Try this it is unique and tasty rice.

Rice - 1 cup cooked normally or in milk, but should not be mushy, it should be a bit grainy.
Urad dal - a little less than 1/2 cup, deskinned split variety obviously not the whole
Ghee - 11/2 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Cashew - 20,
Curry Leaves - 15,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Plain Urad Papad - 5-7 fried.

Cook rice in either milk or normally, but should be a bit grainy.
It should be like a hairline overcooked, then normal pre cooked rice for any rice preparation.
Dry roast the urad dal to brown. Either cook this with milk whole urad dal in pressure cooker and add to cooked rice, while it is warm rice.
Grind to coarse powder like medium rawa consistency and add to warm rice.
The important tip here is rice should not be completely cooled while adding urad dal/powder.
But at the same time rice should not very hot, as it would become mushy when you mix, so it should be warm.
Then add salt and mix gently.
In a pan heat ghee, add asafoetida and cashew nuts and fry until roasted.
Add curry leaves and when it splutters, switch off heat.
Add dry coconut and mix well.
Add to rice.
Just before serving, crush the fried papads and mix.
Serve warm.

If you add papads too early, it becomes soggy by the time you serve.
Either you can deep fry papad in oil or mocrowave it or toast it directly on flame.
Traditionally deep fried in oil.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Potato and Brinjal Ennegai

My favourtie sabji, tastes heavenly with rasam rice or even with chapathis, on even on top of toasted bread.
Though ennagai is referred and done in different ways in Karnataka, like in North Karnataka the Masala is stuffed in slit baby aubergines and cooked in oil.
But it is so differently done in Iyengars. But both tastes yummy.
This is one of spread served in Iyengar Wedding in Bangalore and Mysore for lunch. Not only in wedding, but also almost in all festive occasions. We enjoy it with mixing with rice, as soon as it is served, or with mor kuzhambu rice, rasam rice or curd rice.
It is flavourful with  freshly ground spices  and balance of sour, spice sweet and salt.
Capsicum can also be added with potatoes and brinjal.
The important step in this sabji is that the spices are not finely powdered but to a bit coarse texture, which enhances the taste when you bite it.

Oil - 2 Tablespoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 20,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Potato - 1/4 kilo, cut into 1 inch wedges,
Brinjal - 1/4 kilo, cut into 1 inch wedges,
Brinjal Should be of Indian variety(not the aubergines),
Tamarind Pulp - 1/4 cup,
Jaggery - 1 tablespoon,

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana Dal - 1 handful,
Coriander Seeds - 1 handful,
Urad Dal - 1/2 handful,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Dry Coconut or Copra - 1/4 cup,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon.

First roast the ingredients under roast and grind table,except copra and turmeric.
Fry until the dals are nice brown, powder this into coarse powder first.
Then add copra and turmeric and just grind it to mix, may be grind it for 20 seconds or so.
Keep this aside.
In a thick bottom kadai, heat oil.
Add mustard, asafoetida. When it crackles add curry leaves.
Add potato wedges and fry until half cooked.
Keep stirring once in a while and take care not to burn or overcook potatoes.
Add Brinjal, and cook until just done. Again take care not to overcook and make it mushy.
If you adding capsicum, add it with brinjal.
Add tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt and give it a boil.
Add ground powder and mix well.
The mixture will thicken in a minute or two.
Remove from heat and serve.

Take care the veggies should hold their shape,and do not make veggies mushy for the best flavours and taste.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Peanut Chikki

Peanut chikki is very simple, crunchy, tasty toffees.
When I was little, when we used to visit mysore palace, we used to  see vendors selling these strips of peanut chikkis, it used to be crunchy and tasty.
While going back home we used to buy a whole lot of them to enjoy later.
This is the sweet, which is enjoyed by all ages, up till today I have not heard a single person saying that he/she doesn't like chikkis.
My mil never misses out this on Krishna Jayanthi.

Peanuts - 2 cups,
Jaggery - 11/2 -13/4 cups,
Ghee to grease the plate.

Fry the peanuts in thick bottomed kadai in medium flame.
Add a teaspoon of oil to fry, so later the skin of the peanuts comes out easily.
Take care to  roast evenly, by stirring continously.
The skin of the peanuts becomes dark, once the peanuts are well roasted.
Remove from heat and cool.
Remove the skin of the peanuts by rubbing between the hands.
Clean the peanuts and separate the peanuts from the husk skin very well.
Keep the de skinned peanuts aside.
In a thick bottomed kadai, add jaggery and 1/2 cup of water.
Allow to boil, once the jaggery dissolves completely and strain for impurities.
Bring the jaggery and water to boil again.
Allow the jaggery to boil until it forms ball consistency.
That is, keep a  bowl of water by your side while making the jaggery syrup.
Once the syrup starts to thicken, pour tiny drops of the syrup in water.
If it forms a stiff ball, without getting messed up, also when you take the ball in your hand from water, it should be a stiff ball.
This consistency is very important for crunchy chikkis.
At this stage add the syrup to peanuts and mix well.
Spread the mixture evenly on the greased plate and cut immediately into desired shapes.
Remove them once cooled and store in air tight containers.

Badam Puri

After a long time a post from my mil's corner.
My mil is very popular among friends and family for this sweet.
Everytime she makes it, it comes out perfect and yummy.
I still remember her making it hundreds and hundreds of them during Krishna Jayanthi, with such ease.
I used to simply savour and enjoy.
It took some time for me to master it. Now I make it perfect badam puris just like my mil.
My husband himself has certified it.

Plain Flour/All Purpose Flour/Maida - 2 cups,
Salt a pinch.
Hot Oil - 11/2 tablespoon,
Oil to Fry.

For Syrup:
Sugar - 1/2 cup,

Mix plain flour, salt and hot oil
Take half the flour and add water to make a soft, stiff dough.
Knead the dough very well, say for at least for 10 minutes.
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai.
Take a small amount of dough and press to thin roundels.
Fold it to triangle shape  and seal it from all sides.
Put these triangles, one at a time in medium hot oil.
Immediately after putting the triangles into oil, press the triangles down tightly for couple of minutes.
This is to avoid the puffing or bloating up of puris.
Fry it until very light brown and crisp.
Repeat with the rest of the dough and keep ready.
Make sugar syrup once all the puris are fried and ready.
Now in broad pan add sugar and water, just to immerse the sugar.
Boil together, remove the impurities by adding a teaspoon of milk, while it starts to boil.
The syrup should be of sticky consistency. That is, when you take a drop of it and press between two fingers it should be sticky.
Remove from heat, cool for a couple of minutes.
Dip the puris both the sides in sugar syrup, while the syrup is still warm.
Put them away in a plate and allow to cool well and store in air tight containers.

The sugar syrup should be of sticky consistency only, if it crosses this stage, then when you dip the puris it becomes crystalised and doesn't taste good.
Make sure while frying the puris doesn't puff or bloat up, when you dip the puris in sugar syrup it becomes soggy.

Coconut Barfi/Kobbari Mithai

Barfis are the all time favourites and especially the coconut based barfi is very popular.
Somehow, being a south indian I have always love the coconut based sweets, even coconut biscuits.
This is one of my favourite barfis..not that I am a big fan of barfis.
I love the old traditional sweets of south india, mostly jaggery based.
Now coming to the recipe.

Fresh/Frozen Grated Coconut - 4 cups(loosely packed),
Sugar - 2 cups,
Ghee - 1 tablespoon,
Cardamom Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
1 teaspoon of ghee to grease the plate.

Grease a plate with ghee and keep aside.
Grate the coconut, grate only the white part, therefore do not grate to the core of the shell.
Just leave the last layer of coconut in the shell.
In a thick bottomed kadai, add sugar and water just to immerse sugar.
Boil both of them in medium heat.
Once it starts to boil pour, say about a tablespoon of mild to remove the impurities from the mixture.
The dirt would collect at the edges of the kadai, remove it from a spoon.
Allow the mixture to boil, until it comes to a single string consistency.
It means, when you take a drop of syrup between two finger and stretch, you can see it forming a thin string.
If it forms a single string then add the coconut.
Keep stirring the mixture, without leaving it for a minute.
After few minutes, say about 10-12 minute, you can see all the mixture coming together into  a single lump, without sticking to the pan.
Add a tablespoon of ghee and cardamom powder and transfer into greased plate.
Allow to cool for couple of minutes and cut into desired shapes, while still hot.
Once completely cooled, remove from plates and store in air tight containers.


One more typical karnataka sanck, just like ring murukkus/kodubale.
The only difference is that, this are pressed into flat plates and flavoured with curry leaves and peanuts.
Yum Yum....typically savoured with evening coffee.
But no coconut is added. Again this is available in all condiment stores and popularly liked snack.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Roasted Gram Powder - 1/2 cup,
Red Chilly Powder - 2 teaspoon,
Sesame seeds - 1 teaspoon(optional),
Peanuts - 1/2 cup crushed,
Curry Leaves - 20,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Hot Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Oil to fry.

Mix all the ingredients, except oil to fry.
Make sure that the oil added to the flour is right enough.
After mixing all the ingredients, if you can make a ball of the flour, then the consistency is right.
Or if the ball breaks, add a little more of oil and adjust the consistency.
Take a little flour at a time and mix with water to make a stiff dough.
Knead well ,as there are no cracks.
Heat oil.
Press the dough to equally sized, your palm sized roundels.
Deep fry in medium hot oil.
Turn the sides to ensure even cooking and fry until crisp.
Drain the excess oil on a tissue and serve with hot coffee.

Kodubale/Ring Murukku

I would credit this spicy snack to Karnataka..very yummy spicy snack..people enjoy this with their evening hot filter coffee. This is also made during festival season.  It best served with sweet kobbari mithai or coconut barfi. You could find this in all most all the condiment stores and most popularly savoured snack. It is one of my family's favourite too.

Rice Flour - 2 cups,
Red Chilly Powder - 2 teaspoons,
Roasted Gram Powder - 1/2 cup,
Fresh/Frozen Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Hot Oil - 1-11/2 tablespoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Oil to fry.

Mix all the ingredients, except the oil to fry.
Mix well and try make a ball of the flour.
If the flour holds into a ball, then it is right quantity of hot oil is added.
Or if it breaks, then it means that you need to add a little more of hot oil.
Once this consistency is reached, take a little amount of flour at a time.
Mix with water to a stiff dough.
Knead well so that there are no cracks in the dough.
Pinch a small amount of dough, roll into sticks and connect the ends to form rings.
Heat the oil. It should be medium hot.
Fry the rings until golden brown and crisp.
Keep turning the sides and fry evenly.
Remove and drain excess oil on a tissue paper and serve.
Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee.


One more south indian snack varieties, made during krishna jayanthi and also during deewali, when we all do different kinds of snacks and savouries. This is a very easy, simple, tasty snack. No need to fry the rice and dals like other murukku varieties.

Rice - 2 cups,
Urad dal - 1/2 cup,
Cumin - 2 teaspoon,
Butter - 2 tablespoon softened,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Oil to fry.

Mix rice and dal and flour mill to a fine powder(no need to fry the ingredients).
Add salt, asafoetida, cumin and butter to the flour.
Take a little amount of the flour at a time and mix with water to a stiff dough.
Knead the dough well, so that there are no cracks in the dough.
Put the thenkuzhal plate to the mould. Stuff the dough into the mould.
Press into thenkuzhal murukkus and fry in medium hot oil.
Keep turning occasionly and ensure even cooking in both sides.
Fry until lightly browned.
Remove and drain excess oil on a tissue and serve.
Repeat the procedure with remaining flour and enjoy.

Muchore-Murukku with Moong Dal

This is one snacks prepared during Krishna Janamashtami..
Very tasty just like urad dal murukkus, good even with evening tea.

Rice - 1cup
Moong dal - 3 cups
Butter - 2 tablespoons(Softened),
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tspn,
Oil for frying.

Prepare rice as it is given here.
Fry moong dal until it is lightly browned and emits nice aroma.
Mix both rice and dal and flour mill to fine powder.
Keep enough oil for frying.
Mix salt, softened butter, cardamom powder and mix well
The flour will form crumbles.
Take little flour at a time at a time and mix to a stiff dough.
Knead the dough well, so that there are no cracks in the dough.
Heat the oil. The oil should be medium hot.
Use 3 star murukku mould plate and prepare the mould.
Stuff the dough.
Press into murukkus and fry in oil until crisp.
Keep turning occasionaly to ensure even cooking both the sides.
Remove from oil, drain the excess oil and serve.
Repeat the same with rest of the flour.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Processing Rice Flour

Processing rice flour is the base for murukkus and also idiyappam/othu shavige.
There is a slight difference between murukku flour and idiyappam flour.

The quantity of rice always depends on the measurement you needed for murukkus.
Take raw rice(not basmati rice), wash it twice or thrice and remove all the dirt and stones if any.
Drain the water completely and spread on a white cloth like veti/panche in shade.
Never dry in hot sun.
When completely dried, 
For Idiyappam Flour, just give in to the flour mill and finely powder and store  in air tight containers and use whenever needed.
For Murukkus, When dried , take a thick bottomed pan in medium low heat, once fistful of rice at a time fry it , until you feel  the rice is just hot for your hands . Take care the rice should not change colour, this will affect the colour of the murukkus.
Continue this for rest of the rice.
Flour mill with rest of the ingredients you need to make murukkus and store in air tight containers.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Boondi Chaat

My first post for chaats.
I love chaats so much and same with my hubby and sons.
At least once a week I make chaats for my son's craving for chaats.
But I wonder what took so long to post the chaats.
This boondi chaat is a easy, simple and made in jiffy.

Boondi - 1 cup spicy masala variety,
Onion - 1 small finely chopped,
Tomato - 1 medium finely chopped,
Fresh Coriander - 1 tablespoon finely chopped,
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 1 finely chopped,
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Chat Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Roasted Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,

Mix all the ingredients and serve immediately.

You can omit green chillies if you want to, but the instant burst in the mouth makes it more tasty for me.
Adjust the dry spice powders, according to your taste.

Beetroot Pulao

The pulaos are the best for packed lunches and a one pot meal.
This can be made previous night to avoid all the hazzles in the morning rush.
My son loves all the pulao rice.
Though this is made with beetroot, trust me it doesn't taste sweet at all, in the final product, it tastes like any other pulao.
Beetroot has a lot of iron content and good for growing children and for the grown ups..Best of all, it is very tasty and suits all palate.
This pulao has very few ingredients and can be made in less than 1/2 hour and can served with any raita or even papad.

Basmati Rice - 2 cups(washed and soaked for 20 minutes),
Oil - 11/2 tablespoons,
Bay Leaf - 2,
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Beetroot - 1 cup grated,
Tomatoes - 3 medium chopped,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 31/2 cups boiling,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,

To Grind:
Cinnamon - 2 inch peice,
Cloves - 5,
Cardamom - 1,
Saunf - 1 teaspoon,
Green Chillies - 6-8,
Coriander leaves - 1 sprig,
Mint leaves - 2 sprigs,
Ginger - 2 inch piece,
Garlic - 5 cloves.

Grind the ingredients under grinding table with water to a smooth paste and keep aside.
In a broad pan heat oil.
Add bay leaf and after few seconds, add onions.
Fry onions until translucent and add grated beetroot and fry.
When the beetroot starts to turn white(approximately after 3-4 minutes of frying). add tomatoes.
Fry tomatoes until cooked and mushy.
Add ground paste and fry for couple of minutes.
Add boiling water, salt, garam masala powder, and turmeric.
Stir well.
Drain water completely from rice and add to boiling water.
Cover and cook, until rice is completely cooked and fluffy.
Serve with Raita or Papad.

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

White Peas Kurma South Indian Style

Kurmas in South India are so very unique than the rest of kurmas made in India or other asian countries.
The main ingredient in most of the other kurmas is Coconut milk and very mild is taste and spice, in contrast, typical of south indian kurmas are spicy with spices and heat of chillies, fresh coconut is used instead of coconut milk, this kurma is made with white peas, kabuli chana or mixed vegetables.
It is a very good side dish with, idlis, dosas, chapathis, pooris  or even with biryani or pulao.

White Peas - 2 cups(soaked overnight or 6-8 hours,
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Bay Leaf - 1,
Star Anise - 1/2 of the a flower,
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tablespoon,
Tomatoes - 3 Medium chopped,
Red Chilly Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Coriander Powder - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon,
Chopped Coriander leaves - 1 tablespoon,
Lemon juice - Juice of 1 medium lemon,

To Grind to Paste:
Fresh/Frozen Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Cashews - 4-5,
Fennel Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Poppy Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Split Roasted Gram - 1 tablespoon,
Green Chillies - 2,
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 3,
Cardamom - 1.

Pressure cook the soaked peas in enough water with salt for 3-4 whistles.
Grind the Ingredients, under grinding table with water to smooth paste and keep aside.
In a broad pan, heat oil.
Add bay leaf and star anise.
Once the spices roasted, add chopped onions and fry until pink.
Add ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Add chopped tomatoes and fry until tomatoes are cooked and mushy.
Add the dry spices, turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder and garam masala powder.
Fry for a minute. Adjust salt.
Add cooked peas with a cup of water.
Lower the heat and cook for 5 minutes.
Just before serving add lemon juice.
Garnish with chopped coriander and serve with poori, chapathi, idlis, dosas or even with pulao and biryani.

Instead of white peas, you can aslo use kabuli chana or mixed veggies.
You can use peas cooked water to adjust the thickness of the kurma.

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Bisibele Bath and Curd Rice Classic Karnataka Combo

This is a classic kannadiga dish with curd rice, a perfect combo and a complete meal.
Savoured with fried papad, chips or sometimes even with raita.
It is one of my favourite dish since childhood, I am happy my kids and husband also love it.
It is a blend of spices, rice, toor dal and veggies.
Its perfect blend of all these and makes heavenly when had with a dash of ghee and fries.
I guess every region of India has something like this, a perfect, comfort combo.

Bisibele Bhat:
Rice - 1 cup washed and soaked 20 minutes.
Toor Dal - 3/4 cup,
Tomatoes - 3 medium,
Veggies - 1 cup (beans, Carrot, potato, peas),
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon,
Tamarind - 1 medium lemon (indian) sized soaked in warm water,
Jaggery - Small marble size,

To Grind and Roast:
Oil - 2 teaspoons,
Chana Dal - 1 fistful,
Coriander Seeds - 1 fistful,
Urad Dal - 1/2 fistful,
Cumin - 1/2 teaspoon,
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece,
Cloves - 5,
Cardamom - 1,
Whole Dry Red Chillies - 5 Normal Spicy Red Chillies,
Whole Dry Kashmiri/Byadagi Red Chillies - 5,
Pepper - 1/2 teaspoon,
Poppy Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Coconut - 1 cup grated.

To Temper:
Oil/Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Peanuts - 1/2 cup,
Curry leaves - 20.

Wash and cut vegetables into two inch cubes and cook with little water until just done.
If you are using dried peas, soak overnight and pressure cook with salt and keep aside.
Pressure cook toor dal, tomatoes and turmeric for 3-4 whistles. Once the steam cools down, Mash well and keep aside.
Roast all the ingredients under roast and grind table(except coconut), until the dals are browned and finally add coconut and fry for 30 seconds. Remove from heat, cool and grind to smooth paste with water.
Extract the tamarind juice.
In a large sauce pan, mix tamarind juice, veggies, salt, dal and jaggery and bring to boil.
Once the raw smell of the tamarind is evaporated and you get the nice aroma of the jaggery and tamarind, add ground paste and allow to boil for couple of minutes.
Add 2 cups of water. Allow to boil.
Drain water from the rice and add to the boiling mixture, and turn the heat to medium and cover and cook until the rice is completely cooked.
Keep stirring it occasionally, to avoid the rice and spice mixture getting burnt.
Lower the flame to low, once the rice is cooked 90%.
Once the rice is completely cooked , remove from heat and temper with the ingredients under tempering table and serve hot with ghee and fries.

If you find the boiling mixture is too thick, then you can add water as required.
The final dish should be of medium consistency, nor too thick or too thin.
If you want add onions to the dish,
Then if you are adding shallots, you can add while cooking the dal and tomato.
Or you can chop normal onion and add while tempering, once you have added curry leaves then you can chopped onion and fry until glossy and add to the rice.
You can add 2 medium sized onions or 50 grams of shallots(small onions).
Instead of peanuts, you can also add cashews.

Curd Rice:
Rice - 1 cup cooked
Yogurt - 1cup,
Milk - 1/2 cup,
Pomegranate - 1 tablespoon,
Grapes - Red or Green cut into halves 1 hand ful,
Dried Grapes - 11/2 teaspoon soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour,
Grated Carrot - 1 Tablespoon,
Cucumber - De seeded and finely chopped 2 teaspoons,

To Temper:
Oil - 2 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Urad dal - 1/2 teaspoon,
Grated Ginger - 1/2 teaspoon,
Curry Leaves - 8-10,
Green Chillies - 2-4 finely chopped
Or Red Chillies - 2-3 broken,
Chopped Coriander - 1 Tablespoon.

Cook rice with enough water, tip is while cooking for curd rice, add 1/2 cup of milk to make the rice creamier.
Slightly over cook the rice and completely cool the rice.
Add yogurt and milk to the rice and mix well.
Adjust the consistency and taste, by adding more of milk or yogurt according to your taste.
Add salt.
Mix in pomegranate, grapes(is using soaked dried grapes, completely squeeze the water and then add to the rice), carrot, cucumber and mix gently.
Temper with ingredients under the tempering table, in the same order and add to curd rice and enjoy.

It is not compulsory to add all veggies and fruits that I have mentioned.
It is completely of your choice to add or delete any of them.
You can also completely omit fruit and veggies and make  dowith just tempering, even that tastes heavenly.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Lunch Menu 12

Okra/Bhindi/Vendakkai/Bendekaayi Spicy Stir Fry

I love okra in anything, stuffed okra, okra raita, okra sambhar, okra stir fry, or in sweet tangy sauce or just fried, salt and spice powder sprinkled. Okra is very good to improve your memory. The only thing about okra is to remove the slime, which is again very easy and many different ways using less oil.
This particular stir fry is very tasty and goes well literally with anything like rice, chapathi or just to enjoy in a bowl.

Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry leaves - 8-10,
Okra - 250 grams,
Sambhar powder - 2 Teaspoons,
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon,
Coconut Grated - 11/2 tablespoons.

Wash okra and pat dry the okras with dry cloth very well.
Cut the okras into 1/2 inch slices.
In a broad pan, add oil.
Heat oil and add mustard and asafoetida.
Once mustard crackles, add curry leaves and fry for few seconds.
Add okra and fry in medium high flame, by constantly stirring.
Once the slime reduces, cover and cook for few more minutes until okra is cooked and slime is completely gone.
Add salt, turmeric and sambhar powder. Mix well.
Fry this for few minutes until everything is blended and smells heavenly.
Add grated coconut and remove from heat and serve.

Spinach /Palak Masiyal

Masiyal is a basic dish, which is eaten with kootu or even sambhar rice..just like I would say chutney.
Its a great side dish, which is simple with few ingredients and so very flavourful and dominantly of the spinach.

Spinach - 2 large bunches,
Green Chillies - 2,

To Temper:
Coconut oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1/2 teaspoon,
Urad dal - teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2.

Clean the Spinach with lot of water and remove dirt and sand.
Remove Stalks and pick the leaves.
Blanch Spinach leaves in hot water for a minute and remove from water.
Immediately drench in cold water, to retain the gorgeous green colour.
Squeeze the water completely from the spinach and grind with green chillies to fine paste(no need to add water while grinding).
Add Salt. Mix well.
Temper with the ingredients under the tempering table.
Enjoy with kootu sadam/rice or sambhar sadam/rice.
But I also like to mix it with hot rice and enjoy.
If you dont like coconut oil, you can use any oil normally you use.
But trust me coconut oil adds lots of flavour. Its worth a try.

Ridge Gourd/Peerkangai/Hirekayi Poricha Kootu

Kootu Varieties is one of my favourite south indian cuisine with hot rice...There are varities of kootus like this one I am posting here is 'poricha' kootu...simply to mean that the spices added to this gravy is fried in little oil and ground with coconut..there are also varieties like milagu or pepper kootu, puli or tamarind kootu or pachai or hasi kootu(spices are ground with coconut without frying) on.
I will be posting each and every one of the variety whenever I get the opportunity with different vegetables and green leaf vegetables.

Ridge gourd - 1 large sized,
Peanuts - 1/4 cup,
Moong Dal - 1 cup,
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon,
Turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon.

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Urad Dal - 2 teaspoons,
Coriander seeds - 1/2 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2,
Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
Raw Rice - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Coconut - 1/2 cup.

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 12-15.

Pressure cook moong dal and peanuts with turmeric with enough water for 1-2 whistles.
Once the pressure comes down, open the lid and lightly mash the dal.
Peel skin of the ridge gourd and cut into two inch cubes.
Cook ridge gourd in, as little as water possible, with little salt, until just done and keep aside.
Do not throw away the ridge gourd water, you can use later to adjust the consistency or to grind the spices.
And also if the peel or skin of the ridge gourd is fresh you can use to make chutney.
Click here for the recipe.
Roast the ingredients under roasting and grinding table, with oil(except coconut), until the urad dal is browned. Add coconut and fry for few seconds. Remove from heat. Cool it and grind  to smooth paste with water.
Now bring the cooked ridge gourd,ground paste, salt and jaggery to boil.
Boil for 2 minutes and add cooked dal and adjust the consistency.
If the consistency is too thick add little water and allow to boil only for a minute.
Remove from heat.
Temper with ingredients under tempering table.
Serve with rice or chapathi.
It even goes well with curd rice.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Lunch menu 10

Cumin Rasam without onion and garlic

My favourite rasam without onion and garlic for those days, when I want to cook only for myself, then I want make something quick and comfortable and have it with hot rice and papad.
After that I want to indulge in some of my favourite things, like baking or reading..or listening some soulful music or gardening, just be cozy..on top of it, if it is cloudy or raining...ooohhh such a bliss to be alone and enjoy some good and comforting food like this and indulge in something you die for..finally I may end up with some nice hot ginger tea.

To Roast and Powder:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Cumin - 1 tablespoon,
Toor Dal - 2 teaspoons,
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Pepper - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch.

Tamarind - a medium lemon size(Soaked in warm and extract the juice),
Jaggery - small marble size.

To Temper:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Mustard - 1 teaspoon,
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves.

Chopped Coriander Leaves for garnishing.

In oil, fry the ingredients under the roasting and grind table, until dal turns brown. Switch off heat.
Allow them to cool and powder.
In a medium saucepan, boil salt, tamarind extract and jaggery, until raw smell goes(about 3-5 minutes).
Add 2 cups of water to it and keep aside.
In a broad pan add oil and temper the ingredients under the tempering table in order.
Add ground powder and fry for 30 secs.
Add the boiled tamarind mixture.
Now take care not to boil the rasam, once it starts to foam up, switch off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Friday, 4 October 2013

Banana Rasayana

This is a typical kannadiga banana sweet dish..Savoured on all occasions..even during fasting and 'vrat' days..I love this simple banana dish whenever I am homesick or missing any festivals back in India. Now that dasara is round the corner..what better occasion to enjoy this. Dasara makes me nostalgic..My mom used set 7 to 9 steps of traditional idols and dolls..collected from generations.
Inviting friends and family in the evening ...distributing different savouries like chakali, sweets and sundals/gugri..all nine days of festivities and wear pattu dress and enjoying....miss all those ..still lot more to enjoy with friends around

Ripe Bananas - 5 sliced
Jaggery - 1/2 cup,
Ghee - 1 tablespoon,
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon.

Slice the bananas and keep aside. You can sprinkle some lemon juice to avoid darkening.
Boil jaggery with a tablespoon of water until, jaggery is completely dissolved.
The whole purpose is to dissolve the jaggery.
Once jaggery is dissolved remove from heat and add ghee and grated coconut.
Add cardamom powder and allow to cool for a while.
Add sliced bananas and mix well.
Serve and enjoy.

lunch menu 9

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Vermicelli Pudding/Sheera/keasri bhat

This yummy vermicelli/semiya sheera/keasri, I tasted in one of my family celebrations...I just loved it and asked the caterer who was serving this, as he was our family caterer he was happy to explain me the procedure and measurements..this is different from how I make my kesar bhat.
Best part is can be made in less than 10 minutes and served..tastes heavenly.

Fine or Thin Vermicelli/Semiya - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 tablespoon,
Water - 1/2 cup,
Sugar - 1/2 cup,
Food colour - a pinch orange
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 teaspoon,
Saffron - few strands(optional).

In a medium broad pan heat half the ghee and add vermicelli and fry in medium low flame, until the vermicelli is roasted to light brown.
Add water and cook until the vermicelli is cooked.
The vermicelli cooks very fast, say in two to three minutes.
Add sugar and stir well, the mixture turns watery.
Keep stirring, add food colour.
When you see the vermicelli is forming a lump, add remaining ghee.
Mix well and add cardamom powder and saffron. Remove from heat.
You can also fry 1 teaspoon of cashew and raisins in ghee and add to the mixture.

Spinach Pesarattu

One of the best from the andhra cuisine..I love this with ginger chutney and groundnut chutney.
Basically this dosa is served with onion and tomato upma, wrapped inside the dosa or with chopped  onions and green chillies sprinkled on the dosa and cooked. The best part of this dish is, you dont have to wait for it to grind it and rest it for one hour and pour dosas and enjoy.
Spinach pesarattu came to me as I was thinking to give my kids, who come home from school tired and need something more than a snack and also that among, lot of different dosas made like paneer dosa, vegetable dosa and so I thought why not spinach in pesarattu..and tried it..but at the same time I didnt want to change it completely the taste of it so, tried this by adding blanched and pureed spinach into my joy it came out very well and kids loved it.
I have made a little change in proportion of rice and whole bengal gram. I have added half and half, because the spinach makes the dosas very soft, so increasing the proportion of rice will keep the dosas crisp. Normal pesarattu will have one whole bengal gram and 1/4 rice.

Rice - 1 cup,
Whole Bengal Gram/Moong dal - 1/2 cup,
Green Chillies - 3-4,
Red Chillies - 2-3,
Ginger - 2 inches,
Spinach - 1/2 cup blanched and pureed,
Few drops of oil.

Wash and soak rice and whole bengal gram together for 6-8 hours or over night.
Grind both together in a grinder or in mixer to a smooth paste with water.
The consistency should be that of the normal dosa batter.
Grind green chillies, red chillies and ginger.
Add the ground paste and spinach puree to the batter and rest it for 1 hour.
Add few drops of oil on hot tawa and spread the batter and cook like any other dosa.
You can sprinkle chopped onions and green chillies to the spread dosa and cook.
Alternatively you can traditionally serve with tomato onion upma wrapped inside the dosa.
Or just with any spicy chutney.

This dosa is packed with nutrients like fibre protein folic acid, its filling and healthy for both kids and children.
Don't add water to spinach while grinding.

After school snack

Sonny Boy comes from school on couple of weekdays after a tiring swimming session, so he needs something more than a snack. For those days I try something like this, spinach pesarattu, and ginger and green chillies chutney, to add up for that instant energy semia sheera.
Spinach and whole green gram is packed with fibre, iron and folic acid. Healthy and filling and low in calorie.
Spinach Pesarattu
Vermicelli/Semiya Pudding/Sheera/Keasri Bhat

Monday, 30 September 2013

Curry Leaves Kuzhambu

Yet another flavourful kuzhambu, love this for those cold winter days. As I have told earlier, love this magical aromatic leaves, hmm the smell makes me hungry. I love all these kuzhambu varieties which do not have toor dal and coconut. This kuzhambu tastes heaven with hot steamed rice, with
a dash of ghee or sesame oil...hhmm my mouth is watering.Try this, you will try again and again and enjoy it.

Tamarind - Small lemon size, soaked in warm water and juice extracted.
Jaggery - 1 teaspoon(optional).

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Chana dal - 1 tablespoon,
Urad dal - 1 tablespoon,
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Black Pepper Corns - 1 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 2-3,
Curry Leaves - 3/4 cup losely packed.

For Tempering:
Sesame Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon,
Cumin - 1 teaspoon,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Fenugreek Seeds - 1/4 teaspoon,
Onion - 1 medium finely chopped,
Garlic - 2 finely chopped.

Roast the ingredients under the roasting table, except curry leaves.
When the dals are roasted, finally add curry leaves and fry until they are crisp.
Remove from heat, cool and grind with water to a smooth paste.
In a medium thick bottomed sauce pan, add sesame oil and heat.
Temper the ingredients, in their order listed.
Add the onions and garlic fry, until the onions turns pink.
Add tamarind juice, salt and jaggery.
Boil until the raw smell of tamarind is gone.(approximately 3-4 minutes).
Add ground paste and boil for 3-4 minutes.
Adjust the consistency.
Serve with hot, steamed rice.

Curry Leaves Rice

Curry Leaves is such a aromatic herb, adds lot of flavour to the food. It is a very important ingredient to most of south indian cooking. At least in most of my south indian cooking, I love this magical herb. Its just not only adds flavour to the food, but curry leaves is rich in calcium and iron.
Helps for strong bones and eyesight and lot more.
Today I am making curry leaves rice, is perfect for those quick lunch and dinners, can be in less time and with very little ingredients. Trust me it gives you a satisfaction of a tasty and comfort food.
Can be good idea for packed lunches as well.

Rice - 11/2 cups cooked and cooled,

To Roast and Grind:
Oil - 1 teaspoon,
Urad dal - 1 tablespoon,
Black Pepper Corns - 1/4 teaspoon,
Red Chillies - 6-8,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Coconut - 1 tablespoon,
Tamarind - a small marble size.

To Temper:
Oil - 1 tablespoon,
Mustard - 2 teaspoons,
Chana Dal - 1 teaspoon,
Urad Dal - 1 teaspoon,
Ground nuts - 1 tablespoon.

Heat oil and fry red chillies, urad dal, pepper corns and asafoetida.
Fry until dal turns pink. Add Curry leaves and fry until crisp.
Add tamarind and coconut and fry for a minute.
Cool and powder.(without water).
Mix this ground powder and salt with cooked rice.
Temper the ingredients, under the tempering table and add to rice.