Thursday, September 30, 2010

Ven Pongal

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Ingredients
3 cups nicely cooked rice(nicely mushed up)
1 1/4 cup nicely cooked yellow moong dal
Salt to taste

Seasonings
1 tsp whole peppercorns
1 tsp nicely mashed ginger
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder(add 1/4 tsp more if you prefer)
2 1/2 tbsp oil
A good bunch of fresh curry leaves
10 roughly crushed cashews

Method

Cook dal and rice seperately.Mix them together when they are warm with the required amount of salt.Heat oil in a pan fry the cashews and set aside to the same oil add peppercorns,ginger,asafoetida and curry leaves.Stir nicely.Pour the seasonings onto the rice and dal mixture and stir well.Add 1/2 cup hot water to the pongal and stir well just before serving.Enjoy!


Please Note:Dear Friends,for some reason comments are not showing up under the posts in the home page,please bear with me till I figure out why its not showing up.You could find post comments under the individual post pages by clicking on the posts in the archive.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yogurt Rice

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Ingredients
1 1/4 cup nicely cooked rice(almost mushed up)
2 cups non fat yogurt
Salt to taste

Seasonings
1 1/4 tsp oil
2 tsp chana dal
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a good bunch of curry leaves
two pinches of asafoetida/hing
3/4 tsp finely chopped manga inji(mango flavored ginger)
3 dry red chillies

Method

Mix yogurt and the nicely cooled mashed rice very well with no lumps.Set it aside.Heat oil in a pan add chana dal,when it turns golden add mustard when it splutters add cumin, chillies,hing,curryleaves.Add the seasonings and the manga inji to the rice and mix well.Let stand for about half an hour for the flavors to blend in.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Avial

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I had a little bit of some colorful vegetables in my refrigerator and wanted to make something out of it.It had been a long time since I made avial so I made this for lunch yesterday. Loved having it after a long time.


Ingredients

2 zucchinis cut lengthwise
1 chayote/chow chow cut lengthwise
1/2 bell pepper cut lengthwise
1/2 yellow bell pepper cut lengthwise
1/2 raw mango(mine was very sour) cut lengthwise(peeled the skin off)
1/2 tsp turmeric
3/4 cup yogurt(mine was very sour)
Salt as per taste
21/2 tbsp Coconut oil

Wet grind

3/4 cup shredded coconut(I used dessicated coconut)
10-12 medium hot chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds

Seasonings
1/4 tsp mustard seeds and cumin seeds each
Curry leaves

Method

Boil all the vegetables with turmeric and salt just till the zucchini is cooked nicely that way chayote has a nice crunch.Make a nice paste of coconut,chillies and cumin with 1/2 cup water.Add the coconut paste to the boiled vegetables and cook for 2 minutes,turn the stove on low and add the beaten yogurt,stir  and add salt if needed and switch the stove off.Heat 2 tbsp coconut oil in a pan and add mustard seeds when it splutters add cumin and curry leaves.Add the seasonings to the avial and give it a nice stir.Enjoy.


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Watercress Sambar

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Watercress is one of my favorite greens.Watercress is a great source of vitaminsB,C,E,manganese,potassium and carotenes.It is also a good source of calcium,fibre,iron and copper.

Ingredients
2 cups well cooked and mashed toor dal
1 onion chopped finely lenghthwise
1 large tomato chopped roughly
3-4 very hot thai chillies slit lenghtwise
1 cup tamarind extract(adjust to the heat)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing pwdr
1/4 tsp toasted fenugreek seed pwdr(toast and powder the seeds)
1/4 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
Sambar pwdr-optional-as per taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Fresh Curry leaves
Fresh Watercress 1 bunch

Method
Pressure cook dal with half tomato,half of the onion,2 hot chillies,1 garlic clove for a few whistles depending on the pressure cooker.Mash the dal well.Heat oil in a pan add mustard,cumin seeds when it splutters add curry leaves,hing,2 chilli pepper(let the peppers roast a bit before adding onions),rest of the onions,salt and turmeric powder.When onions are cooked add the rest of the tomato and tamarind extract.Boil covered for few minutes then add the nicely cooked dal.Water it down to your preference.Add fenugreek powder,a bit of sambar powder if preferred and bring to a good boil and switch off the heat.Add 2 handfuls of watercress(which i cut roughly) to the sambar,almost like a garnish.Give it a good stir.The heat from the sambar will cook the greens in a few mins.Enjoy this nutritious sambar steaming hot with rice,idli,dosa,poori or even as a soup.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tofu rolls

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Filled a couple of tortillas with tofu burji and made burritos.Cut it in half and enjoyed as rolls with some basil and tomatoes.


Tofu Burji

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Ingredients

1 pack extra firm tofu(drained the water and crumbled)
1 onion finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
1/2 cup boiled mashed potato
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tbsp oil
Salt as per taste

To be ground
3 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds-optional
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp cayenne pwdr


Method
Heat oil in a pan and add onions,salt ,when onions are nicely cooked add ginger garlic paste and tomatoes.When gravy forms add the required amount of ground spice or sadaf garam masala and cook till the raw smell goes add the tofu,potatoes and stir on high flame till the tofu nicely blends.Stir in the coriander leaves and enjoy.I use this as a base for stuffings.It comes in handy all the time.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Broccoli Stem Salad

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Ingredients
3 cups broccoli slaw(bought it from the salad section in store)
1/2 cup almond flakes

Dressing-Mix All
3 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 tbsp honey/(as per taste)
1 tbsp cider vinegar/(as per taste)
1/2 tsp lime juice
11/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
1-2 cloves finely chopped garlic/(as per taste)
Hot water
Salt as per taste

Method
You can use store bought thai dressing or use the above prepared dressing.Add the desired amount of dressing to the broccoli slaw,almond flakes and toss well.Enjoy a nutritious salad.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Uthappam/Uttappam

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups dosa batter(Soaked 2 cups idli rice and 1/2 cup Urad dal for 8 hrs.Grinded the rice and dal with salt and let it ferment overnight)
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup deseeded and chopped tomatoes
5 green chillies chopped
1/2 cup chopped spring onions
3 tsp chana dal
1 tsp black peppercorns
Salt as required
11/2 tbsp oil


Method

Heat oil in a skillet and add chana dal and peppercorns when they are roasted add onions,chillies,salt for the onions(note the batter already has salt) - cook till onions turn translucent.When the onions cool down add it along with tomatoes and spring onions to the batter and stir well.Make thick dosas,pour oil on the sides and flip cook on both sides.Enjoy hot with chutney and podi.





Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bindi/Okra Stir Fry 1

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Ingredients
4 cups okra slit lengthwise
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 cup cilantro leaves chopped
Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil


Dry Powders

1/4 tsp turmeric
3-4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp cumin powder
a pinch of black pepper powder



Method

Wash and nicely pat dry okra.Discard the top and bottom and slit the okra lengthwise.Microwave the okra for about 2 mins.Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds,curry leaves,onions and salt.When onions are nicely done add the tomatoes,garlic and all the dry powders.Cook till a nice gravy forms.Now add the okra to the gravy,stir nicely and cover it till okra is nicely cooked and blends into the gravy.Garnish with cilantro leaves.Goes very well with yogurt rice or coconut rice.

Sending this post to Kiran's okra event
Sending this to Priya's Okra event


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Chickpeas Curry with a South Touch

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Ingredients
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 green chilles slit lengthwise
1 clove garlic finely chopped
Curry leaves
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 big cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
a pinch of cardamom powder
2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Roast and grind
1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1 1/2 tsp chana dal
12 red chillies(mine were not hot)
1/4 cup freshly grated coconut

Method
Heat oil in a pressure pan,add cinnamon,cloves,fennel seeds,green chillies,curry leaves.Add onions,salt and cook till onions turn translucent.Add tomatoes,turmeric,garlic,cardamom pwdr and cook till gravy forms.Add the cooked chickpeas and the required amount of water for the consistency.Now add the roasted and freshly ground powder.Cover and pressure cook for 3 pressures.Garnish with cilantro leaves. Enjoy with paratha,dosa or idli.
Note:My chillies both green and red were not hot,reduce the amount of chilles if they are of the hotter variety.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fresh Grape Juice

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Added plain sparkling mineral water to freshly juiced grapes.End result was an awesome grape drink.My child just took it and ran away so I made another one and got a picture.

Aloo Methi Poha

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Ingredients

3 cups Poha/Rice flakes
1 cup onion fine chopped
1 large boiled potato cut into small cubes
1/4 cup chopped methi leaves
3 hot green chilles chopped
Curry Leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ural dal
1 tsp chana dal
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Method

Heat oil in a skillet add mustard seeds,chana dal and ural dal when they are roasted add the onions,chillies,curry leaves and salt.When the onions are cooked add potatoes,turmeric,cilantro and stir for a few minutes add methi leaves and cayenne powder.Stir for 4 minutes.Soak the rice flakes in water for 2 minutes and nicely squeeze the water out of the flakes and add it to the contents in the skillet.Mix the poha nicely and enjoy it hot.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Chow Chow Kootu

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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups boiled and mashed yellow moong dal
1 chow chow chopped in cubes
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 garlic clove chopped
1/4 cup fresh shredded coconut
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp urad dal
Curry leaves

Roast and grind

2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
7-8 green chillies

Method

Heat half tbsp oil in a pan and add urad dal,mustard,cumin seeds when roasted add curry leaves and set aside the seasonings. In the same pan add 1/2 tbsp oil and add onions, salt, garlic and cook till onions are cooked, now add chow chow and cover. Cook till the chow chows are half done add the mashed dal and water for the consistency desired. Add the roasted and ground paste. Cook for 3 minutes for the flavors to get blended. Add the fresh shredded coconut and the seasonings to the kootu and stir well. Enjoy with rice.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Broad Beans Stir Fry

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Ingredients

2 1/2 cups chopped broad beans
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
4 gonkura leaves(substitute with tamarind if you don't have gonkura)
2 garlic cloves chopped
3 - 4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp turmeric
Salt as per taste
1 tbsp oil

Method
Pressure cook all the ingredients with 1/4 cup water just for 1 pressure. Heat oil in a skillet add 1/4 tsp mustard seeds when it splutters add the cooked ingredients and stir for 2 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp of cumin and coriander powder and stir for 2 more minutes. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Tomato sambar

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Ingredients
2 cups well cooked and mashed toor dal
1 onion chopped finely lenghthwise
1 large tomato chopped roughly
3-4 very hot thai chillies slit lenghtwise
1 cup tamarind extract(adjust to the heat)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing pwdr
1/4 tsp toasted fenugreek seed pwdr(toast and powder the seeds)
1/4 tsp mustard and cumin seeds each
Sambar pwdr-optional-as per taste
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil
Fresh Curry leaves
Cilantro stems chopped

Method
Pressure cook dal with half tomato,half of the onion,2 hot chillies,1 garlic clove for a few whistles depending on the pressure cooker.Mash the dal well.Heat oil in a pan add mustard,cumin seeds when it splutters add curry leaves,hing,2 chilli pepper(let the peppers roast a bit before adding onions),rest of the onions,salt and turmeric powder.When onions are cooked add the rest of the tomato and tamarind extract.Boil covered for few minutes then add the nicely cooked dal.Water it down to your preference.Add fenugreek powder,a bit of sambar powder if preferred.Add the chopped cilantro stems and boil for 3 minutes.Enjoy with rice,idli,dosa or poori.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Neem Flower Rice

Pin It Now! I grew up young with the gentle breeze of the neem trees near my house.My mom used to make pachadi for ugadi out of neem flowers.I have often been amazed by the neem tree.The tree is so beautiful with its lush green leaves.The neem tree is an evergreen and is quite popular in India.Every part of the tree,like the plaintain tree- from the bark to the flowers can be used.It is widely used in alternative medicine.In villages people still brush their teeth with neem branches.They are supposed to be good for the gums.My mom used to make a fresh paste of the leaves and ask us to swallow a spoon of it.It used to be soo bitter I used to run away but my mom used to convince me into swallowing it.I did in the end and it was not bad afterall.


Dishes made out of neem flowers are quite popular for their taste and medicinal benefits.The neem tree flowers are collected,cleaned and dried.The dried flowers are full of antioxidants.Research has shown that neem flowers soaked in honey taken every night can boost ones immunity.

Ingredients
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves of garlic chopped
3 red chillies
1 tsp chana dal
1 tsp urad dal
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
curry leaves
4 tsp dry neem flowers
1 1/2 tbsp oil
Salt as per taste


Method


Heat oil in a skillet and add the dals,mustard,cumin seeds and curry leaves.Add red chillies,onion,garlic and salt.When the onion is cooked add the dry neem flowers stir for a minute and then add the cooked rice and mix well.Enjoy hot with a papad.





Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Milagu Kulambu/Meriyal Pulusu 1

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Ingredients

1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 small tomato finely chopped
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 cup tamarind extract water
3 tbsp cayenne powder(adjust the heat to the sourness of the tamarind)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tsp roasted black pepper - powdered
Curry leaves
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 1/2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Method

Heat oil in a deep pan add the seeds and curry leaves. Add onions and salt. When the onions are cooked add garlic and tomatoes.When a gravy forms add the cayenne, turmeric, black pepper powder and the tamarind water.Cook till the raw smell goes. Enjoy hot with rice accompanied by papad.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Chow Chow Stir Fry/Chayote Stir Fry

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Ingredients

2 Chow Chow peeled and chopped - remove the seed
1 tsp mustard and cumin seeds
Shredded coconut as per taste
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste
1 tbsp oil/Ghee

Method

Add enough salt to chow chow as we will not be adding later blend well then cover cook it in a vessel adding just enough water or alternatively steam / cook in vegetable in water and drain the water. Heat oil in pan add mustard , cumin seeds , curry leaves and cooked chow chow.  Add coconut and stir to blend well.

Note: Do not over cook or under cook the chow chow.  Cooking chow chow separately and then doing the tempering later helps to maintain the beautiful color.  If there is any stock left just add some salt and pepper and enjoy as a soup.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Swiss Chard Dosas

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I had got fresh swiss chards from the farmers market.I already had dosa/idli batter in the refigerator.So I thought why not blend the greens with the batter and make some dosas.The dosas turned out in such a beautiful color and were flavorful and yummy to eat.







Ingredients

2 cups Dosa batter(Soaked 2 cups idli rice and 1/2 cup Urad dal for 8 hrs.Grinded the rice and dal with salt and let it ferment overnight)
11/2 cup chopped swiss chard greens

Method

Blended the greens with the fermented batter in a blender.Do not add any water.Heat a skillet make required number of dosas/crepes.Goes very well with my hot chutney and is nutritious.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Tangy Egg Tamarind Curry

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Ingredients

5 boiled egg
1 large onion finely chopped
1 medium ripe tomato finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
Curry leaves
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4-5 tsp cayenne powder
1 cup tamarind extract water
1/2 cup coconut milk(optional)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp cumin seeeds
3 tbsp oil
Salt to taste

Method

Dry grind poppy seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds in a coffee grinder finely and set aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, cumin and when it splutters add curry leaves.  Add onions, salt and stir till the onions turn translucent.  Add tomatoes, turmeric, grounded spice powder and stir till a gravy forms. Check for salt and add the cayenne powder and tamarind water.  Add coconut milk(optional) and cook for 10 min on medium flame.  Add the boiled eggs to the curry and cook for a few minutes.

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