Sunday, 26 May 2013

Ridge Gourd Peel Chutney

I like to use the vegetable from the peel to the seed, if edible and make use of it in cooking.
My family loves the peel chutney of ridge gourd or chow chow or cucumber.
The best of all these peels are the aroma they really give in the chutney.
When you just taste them, it bursts out fresh flavours and rejuvenates your taste buds insantly in your mouth.
Very ideal and perfect for those lazy days and yet longing for comfort and healthy meal.
It is a perfect one dish meal to mix with rice and best as a combination with curd rice.

Ridge Gourd Peel - 1cup(peeled washed and cut),
Chana Dhal - 1 fistful,
Red chillies - 8-10,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Tamarind - 1 small marble size,
Coconut - 1 cup grated(fresh or frozen),
Oil - 2 tspn.
Jaggery - 1 tspn,
Fresh Coriander  - 1 Tblspn.

For tempering:
Oil - 1 tspn,
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn.
Asafoetida - a pinch.

In a kadai heat oil, add chana dhal, red chillies and asafoeida and fry.
Once dhal is lightly browned, add the peels and fry until soft and raw smell of the peels are gone.
Add tamarind and coconut and fry. Add coriander and remove from heat.
Cool and grind with salt and jaggery to a course paste.
For tempering, heat oil in a pan, add mustard and hing.
When mustard crackles pour to the chutney and serve.
You can also serve with idlis dosas or chapathis.


Coconut Chutney

Its Coconut chutney today.
This Chutney is from my grandmother's humble kitchen. She was a fab cook and excellent human being. Her food still lingers in my mouth. Miss those wonderful days of her cooking.
Now coming to the chutney, this is a simple plain chutney which goes very well with idli, dosa or just even with plain rice and a  dash of ghee.

Coconut - 11/2 cups,
Chana dhal - 1generous handful,
Urad dhal - 1 Tblspn,
Ginger - 2 inches,
Green chillies - 6-8,
Curry Leaves - 1 hand full,
Tamarind - Small marble size,
Coriander - 1/2 medium bunch,
Oil - 2 tspn,
Jaggery - 1/2tspn.

For tempering:
Oil - 1tspn
Mustard - 1spn,
Asafoetida - a pinch.

In a pan heat oil, add chana dhal, urad dhal and ginger.
Fry uptill dhals are lighly browned, add green chillies and curry leaves.
Fry for few seconds and add tamarind and coconut.
Fry for a minute and add coriander and remove from flame.
Allow to cool, grind with salt and jaggery and grind.
Do not grind to fine paste. Let the chutney be a bit course paste.
It tastes very good that way.
Give the tempering to the chutney with the ingredients under tempering and serve with idlis, dosas or just anything you like.


Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Pongal or Khichidi

Pongal is yet another staple breakfast of south indians. It can be savoured with sambhar or chutney.
I like it with papad and methi sweet and tangy sauce.
There is a slight difference how tamalians make and kannadigas make.
Kannadigas add dry coconut and turmeric to the pongal but tamalians dont. It is again upto you whether to add dry coconut or not.
Now coming to the recipe. I will post methi sweet and tangy sauce.

Raw Rice - 1cup(soaked for 15-20mins),
Moong Dhal - 1/4 cup,
Ghee - 2-3 Tblspn,
Dry coconut - 1/4 cup(grated),
Ginger - 1tspn(grated or chopped),
Green chillies - 1tspn(chopped),
Whole pepper corns - 1tspn,
Cumin - 1tspn,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Cashew - 2 tspn,
Turmeric a pinch (optional),
Curry leaves - 1 sprig.

Dry roast moong dhal until raw smell goes, and lightly browned.
Add boiled water and cook until dhal mashed.
Once dhal is cooked, add soaked rice, a little turmeric and cook until rice is cooked.
                                          or alternatively,
Cook dhal and rice together in a pressure cooker for 3-4 whistles.
Once cooled mix well and mash lightly with the back of the ladle.

Add salt. Add dry coconut.
In a pan heat ghee, add Asafoetida, jeera, pepper, cashew and fry.
Add grated ginger, green chillies, curry leaves.
Add to the cooked rice and dhal.
Mix well. Serve warm with chutney and sambhar.


Monday, 13 May 2013

Black Eyed Bean and Rajma Pulao

Pulaos are one of the favourite dish in my family.  I like to make different kinds of pulaos as they are packed with proteins and one pot dish for those days when you want something quick to be made and healthy and the whole family enjoys it. It is absolutely fantastic to pack for lunches. You can add some raita to compliment the dish. It makes a complete meal.
Now coming to the recipe,

Basmati Rice - 1 cup (Wash and saok for 20 mins),
Black eyed beans - 2 Tblspn,
Rajma - 2Tblspn.
Soak both the beans.
Ghee or Oil - 1Tblspn,
Jeera - 1 tspn,
Onion - 1 Large,(Thinly sliced)
Tomatoes - 2 Medium(Finely chopped),
Water - 2 cups.

To Grind:
Ginger - 1inch,
Garlic - 2-3 cloves,
Corinder - 1 medium bunch.
Cinamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 3-4,
Green chillies - 3-4,
Shahi jeera or black cumin - 1tspn,
Haldi - 1/4 tspn.
Grind the above with water to fine paste.

In a pan heat oil or ghee add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add onion and fry until light brown.
Add tomatoes and cook until soft.
Add ground paste and fry until the raw smell goes and nice aroma spreads the house.
Add the rice,beans , salt and water(preferably boiled).
Cook until the rice and beans are cooked and rice is fluffly.
Finally if you had used oil for cooking the pulao, add a tspn of ghee once pulao is done as it gives nice flavour and taste.
Enjoy with any raita.

Water always depends on the rice. Mostly always it is one part of rice and two parts of water.


Saturday, 11 May 2013


Apart from cooking, photography, travelling and gardening passions, I have few more of them, one of them is jewellery designing. I will be posting some of my jewellery designs here. More to follow guys.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Upma or Khara Bhath or Rawa Kichidi(semolina kichidi)

Upma is yet another staple breakfast among south indians, which can be made healthy with lots of veggies, less oil and with either no coconut or very little coconut.
The best thing about upma is you can do it on any lazy day without compromising your diet.
My hubby loves upma. He can have it any time of the day and everyday.
Rawa can also used either rice rawa or medium white rawa(otherwise called local rawa) or extra course semolina.
I always prefer extra course rawa(because my hubby loves extra course semolina upma).

Now coming to the recipe:

Rawa - 1cup,
Water - 21/2 cups,
turmeric - 1/2 tspn.
Onion - 1 medium(chopped),
Tomato - 2 large(choppd)
Beans - 1 tblspn(chopped),
Carrot - 1tblspn(either choppe or grated),
Potato - 1 large(chopped),
Capsicum - 1 medium(chopped),
Peas - 2 tblspn,(either fresh, frozen or dried. If dried saok overnight and cook before hand).
Green chillies - 4-5(finely chopped),
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs,
Corinader fresh - 1 tblspn(finely chopped)
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn,
Chana dal - 2 tspn,
Lemon Juice - 1 medium,
Asafoetida - Pinch.
Oil - 2 tblspn.


In a pan heat oil(approx 1 tblspn), add green chillies and curry leaves.
Then add onion and fry until transcluscent.
Add Beans and carrot and fry. (Alternatively you can steam cook veggies and reduce a tspn of oil).
Add potato and cook until soft. Add capsicum and peas and fry until cooked.
Add tomatoes and turmeric and cook until tomatoes are mushy.
Add water and salt. (you can boil water and add, to reduce cooking time).

In a another pan heat remaining oil(approx 1 tblspn), add asafoetida, mustard, allow to crackle.
Add chana dal and brown it.
Add rawa and roast it to light brown and it emits roasted aroma.
Add this rawa to the boiling water and veggies.
Lower the flame and cover and cook for 4-5 mins. (the mixture looks grainy and bubbled up).
Add chopped coriander, coconut(optional) and mix well.
Allow to cool for couple of mins and then add lemon and serve.



Have a nice weekend.  More recipes will be following

Sunday, 5 May 2013

okra in mustard and coconut curry

Okra is one of my favourite vegetables and this form of Okra, I wpuld love to hve everyday. 
This is one of my mother in law's best recipes.
I would like to post some of of my mother in law 'Janaki Samapth Kumaran' fool proof recipes and authentic in my 'mil's corner'.

She is a fantastic cook and a lady with wheels and super woman in multi tasking.

Some of her recipes I will be sharing in this corner.

The best I like and the first one is okra curry or simply 'gojju', or even 'Kayi sasive gojju'

okra - 1/4 kilo(washed, patted dry and cut into 1 inch peices),
tamarind - 1 medium lemon size soaked in water,
jaggery- 1medium lemon size,
salt according to taste.

To grind,
coconut - 1 cup
mustard -1tspn
sesame seeds - 1tblspn
turmeric - 1/4 tspn
red chillies - spicy red chillies -5
                      kahsmiri red chillies - 5


Grind above to fine paste with water as required.

In a pan heat 1Tblspn oil, add 1 tspn mustard and allow to crackle and then add a pinch of hing and 1 sprig curry leaves and then add cut okra and fry in medium flame until okra is cooked and stickiness is gone and then add ground masal past and fry until it emits a nice aroma and the rawness of the masala is gone and then add tamarind juice salt and and jaggery and oil to medium thickness and serve hot with rice or chapati.

You can educe oil to 1 tspn and cook okra in tamarind juice i.e., add tamarind juice first and then add groun masala and salt and jaggery.
Do not make tamarind juice very watery as this will make the curry very runny and the curry will not blend well.
You can follow the same recipe for bitterguord, capsicum and brinjal.

                                         My Mother-in-law Mrs.Janaki Sampath Kumaran.


Thursday, 2 May 2013

Black Eyed Bean Curry

Black Eyed Beans is one my favourite beans. I like  them fresh, frozen or dried.
I do cook them in differen ways. The beans has its unique flavour, soft buttery taste has always made me to eat more and more of the beans.  I like them in my subji, sambhar, curry, vada almost in everything. I still remember, when I was a little girl my father used to use this dried beans in the rice flour rotis and it used to love it, tastes so very yummy.
Now for the recipe,

Black eyed beans - 1cup(if using dried, soak atleast for 8-10hrs),
Onion - 1large(finely chopped),
Tomatoes - 2 large(blanced, deskinned and chopped),
Cumin - 1tspn,
Oil - 1Tblspn,

For grinding:
Coriander seeds - 2tspn,
Red chillies - 2-4.
Ginger - 1inch,
Garlic - 3-4 Pods,
Coconut - 1/4 cup.

For Garnishing:
Coriander - 1Tblspn(chopped).

Pressure cook beans with little salt, until soft but should hold their shape.
Roast red chillies and coriander seeds with little oil and grind with rest of the ingredients under grinding.
In a pan heat oil, add cumin and when it crackles, add onion and fry until light brown.
Add tomatoes and fry until they are cooked and soft.
Add ground paste and fry until it gives nice aroma.
Add cooked beans and salt(remember that you have already added salt to cook beans, so take care not to add too much).
Boil the Curry to medium consistency.
Finally add corinader chopped and serve with rice or roti.

Instead of cooking the beans before hand, you can follow uptil the step of adding ground paste and then add soaked beans, pressure cook for 3 whistles.
You can also grind onion and tomatoes with the rest of the grinding ingredients and add to cooked beans.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Spinach or Palak Dal

Spinach is a mine of nutrients, rich in folic acid and whatever, I love spinach.
So What more excuse do you want to make a spinach dal.
I cook spinach dal in different ways, using different pulses, one or more sometimes. one of it is here.
Here goes the recipe,
Moong dal - 1 cup,
Spinach or Palak - 2 large bunches,
Onion - 1large(finely chopped),
Tomato - 2 medium,
Ginger Garlic paste - 1tspn,
Green chillies - 1 tspn chopped,
Red chillies - 1(broken),
turmeric - 1/4 tspn.
Oil - 1tspn,
Ghee - 1Tblspn.
Asafoetide - a pinch.

Method :Dry roast moong dal, add 21/2 cups water and cook for 1 whistle in a cooker, simmer and cook for anotherfive minutes. Cool it.
In a pan heat ghee and oil add jeera and Asafoetda let it crackle.
Add green chillies and red chillies.
Add onion and fry until soft.
Add ginger and garlic paste and fry.
Add tomatoes and fry until soft.
Add washed and chopped Spinach or Palak and fry until it wilts.
Add cooked dal and salt, mix well and give it a boil.
Switch off heat and serve with either rice or roti.

You can add juice of 1/2 a lemon.


Methi Dal or fenugreek dal

Pulses are very integral part of Indian cooking.  Be it South, North, East or West part of India, every household almost every day have one or the other dals  used in their staple diet.
I cannot just be  without rice each day, so dals are must.
Dals are cooked in various ways.  Here goes mine.
Moong dal or tuar dal(arhar dal) - 3/4cup,
Green chillies - 1tspn finely chopped,
Ginger - 1tspn(grated),
Onion - 1 medium,
Tomatoes - 2 medium,
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn,
Methi - 1cup(leaves picked, washed and chopped),

For tempering:
Ghee - 1tspn,
Jeera - 1tspn,
Garlic - 3-4finely chopped,
Curry leaves - 1sprig.

In a pressure pan heat oil and add green chillies, ginnger and fry.
Then add chopped onions nd fry until transclucent.
Add tomatoes and cook until soft and mush.
Add tumeric and methi, fry until methi wilts,
Add moong dal and fry.
Add  salt, 21/2 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Once pressure comes down and cooled, mash and mix well.
In a pan heat ghee, add jeera, garlic and fry until garlic is light brown, add curry leaves and pour to the dal, give a boil and serve.

Kadai Paneer

Paneer is one of the most enjoyed food in my house. It is the only milk product that my son loves to eat. I also love panner and an excuse for me to eat this full fat cheese because this is only milk product my son eats. I make different paneer subjis atleast once a fortnight. I would be posting one after the other later.
Now coming to the recipe, thought this is adapted from tarla dalal's recipe I have made some changes to suit the my family palate.
Paneer - 11/2 cups cubed,
Whole Kashmiri chillies - 10,
Coriander seeds - 1Tblspn,
Oil - 21/2tblspn,
Garlic - 21/2 Tblspn fnely chopped,
Green chillies - 1tspn,
Ripe red tomatoes - 2 1/2 cups,
Tomato puree - 1/4 cup,
Kasoori methi - 1tspn,
Garam masala - 1tspn.

This recipe is done in two steps. The above is the first step which I will be doing it now and then move on the next final and assembling them all.

Dry roast kashmiri red chillies and coriander until it gives nice aroma. Cool it and powder in a mixer or in mortar and pestle.

In a pan heat oil and add chopped garlic and fry until light brown and then add green chillies and tomatoes and cook well.  With the help of a masher, mash the ingredients in the pan to get well blended. Add the tomato puree ad 1/4 cup water and salt and boil and then powder kasoori methi on your palms and add to the gravy and set aside.

At this stage,in the original recipe the panner needs to be deep fried for a minute in the oil and put in warm water. Paneer should not be browned, just fried in oil for 30 secs to hold in shape.
This step I have omitted.

2nd Step:
Oil - 1Tblspn
Onion - 1/2 cup(finely chopped),
Dhania-Jeera powder - 1tspn,
Red chilly powder - 1tspn,
Turmeric - 1/4tspn,
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tspn,
Kasoori Methi powder - 1/2tspn,
Capsicum - 1/2 cup thinly sliced,
Cream - 1/2 cup,
Coriander for garnish,

In a pan heat oil and onion and  fry until pink and add the already prepared gravy in the first step and mix well and dhania-jeera powder, chilly powder, turmeric, garam masala powder, kasoori methi powderand mix well and 1 cup water and boil and add capsicum and fry until crisp and add paneer.
If you have fried the paneer and if it is in warm water , squeeze the water and then add to gravy.
Then add fresh cream (I added single cream just to ganish). Garnish with coriander and serve.


Aloo Raita

Aloo raita is yet anoher yummy raita which will go almost with anything or just serve yourself in a bowl and enjoy.
I am writing two diferent ways of making it.
 1st method
Aloo or potato - 1 large(boiled deskinned and cute into cubes, not really into equal cubes )
yogurt - 200 ml,
green chillies - 1finely chopped,
red chillies - 1 broken,
curry leaves - 5-6
coriander - 1tblspn
oil - 1tspn,
asafoetid  - a pinch,
urad dal - 1/2 tslpn,
mustard seeds - 1 tspn,
coconut - 1 tblspn.

In a pan heat oil and add asafoetida and mustard and allow to crackle, and then add urad dal and brown it, then add red or green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves and switch of flame.  Completely cool the mixture.
whisk yogurt to smooth and add salt coconut and cubed aloo and add the tempering.

You can omit coconut, if you dont want to.
You can used chopped raw cucumber or grated beeroot(cooked) or chopped and blaunched spinach or even crisp fried okra.

2nd Method
For grinding,
coconut - 1cup,
green chillies - 2,
mustard - 1/2 tspn,
chopped coriander - 2 tspn,
asafoetida - a pinch.

aloo - 1 large(boiled and cubed)
yogurt - 200ml.

For tempering,
oil - 1tspn, mustard, asafoetida.

Grind the ingredients into smooth paste with little water.
whisk yogurt.
Mix together yogurt, ground paste, salt and aloo.
Temper with the tempering ingredients.

Instead of aloo you can use chopped and cooked choyote, or sweet pumpkin or white pumpkin or chopped raw cucumber.
The above picture of the 2nd method.


Spicy Sweet Tangy Rawa Poha or 'Gojju Avalakki'

This is one of my family's all time favourites. Whenever I think of this yummy form of poha my mouth starts drooling.

So simple to do in less than an hour but tastes so heavenly...very comfort food and ideal on the days of vrat and fasting.

Now to the recipe,
Poha - 2cups(coursely ground to  medium to thick rawa consitency),
Tamarind - 1medium lemon size(soaked and take the juice),
Jaggery - 1/2 medium lemon size,
Rasam Powder - 1 to 11/2 Tblspn,
turmeric - 1/2 tspn

For tempering:
Oil - 2Tblspn,
Mustard - 2tspn
Asafoetida - generous pinch,
Groundnut - 1Tblspn,
Chana Dal - 1tspn,
Curry leaves - 2sprigs,
Red chillies whole - 4-5 broken.

Dry coconut - 1/2 cup

Squeeze the soaked tamarind and take the juice, do not make it very runny,
To the tamarind juice add salt, rasam powder and jaggery and turmeric and mix well without any lumps of the masala especially the rasam powder, jageery and salt well dissolved.
Add the poha rawa and mix well, this mixture should be more than wet for the rawa to soak well.
Set aside this for 1/2 hour, until the whole rawa well soaked and bubbles up.
Crumble them in your hands to seperate the grains, so it becomes grainy.
In a pan heat oil, add asafoetida and mustard, when it crackles add groundnut and chana dal and roast them until brown and crunchy and then add curry leaves and red chillies and fry and then add the rawa and mix well in the seasoning.
Lower the flame and cook for 2 - 3 mins until all the flavours are combined and cooked well.
Finally add dry copra or coconut and mix well and serve hot.