Friday, 28 June 2013

Spinach Molagootal

This Gravy of spinach in subtle flavours of cumin, pepper and coconut tastes heaven for those wintery days, with hot rice and a dash of ghee. Very few Ingredients, but when comes together with spinach gives you the comfort of your home food just in minutes. The taste of spinach in this gravy is so flavoursome, makes finger licking food. This is sure a super hit even among those who hate green leafy vegetable, be it adults or kids.
This is authentically served with rice, but I don't mind eating with chapathis as well.
Now coming to the recipe,

Spinach - 2 large bunch,
Moong Dhal - 1 cup,
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn.

For Grinding:
Oil - 1 tspn,
Rice - 1 tspn,
Urad Dhal - 2 tspn
Cumin - 1 tspn,
Pepper - 1 tspn,
Red Chillies - 2-3,
Coconut - 2 Tblspn.

For Tempering:
Oil - 1 tspn,
Mustard - 1 tspn,
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Curry leaves - 1sprig.

In a pressure cooker, cook moong dhal with enough water and turmeric.
Wash spinach and chop them coarsely.
Once the moong dhal is cooked and pressure comes down, add chopped  spinach and cook them until spinach wilts. Mash both dal and greens to blend it together.
Mean while fry the ingredients under grinding, with oil except for coconut, until the dal is pink.
Finally add coconut and fry for a minute.
Grind the ingredients to smooth paste.
Add the ground paste to cooked dal and spinach.
Add salt and bring to boil.
Boil  for 2-3 minutes.
Temper with the ingredients under tempering and add to molagutal.
Serve hot with rice and enjoy.


Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Eggless Dates and Walnut Cake

I am strict vegetarian, in the sense I don't use eggs at all in my cooking.
So I do a lot of baking for my family without eggs and I do experiment with them.
Note down in my recipe book, when it turns out good.
This recipe I am not sure where I got it from, but always with this measurement, it has turned out great.
Here after I will try to post some of my fool proof eggless baking recipes.

Dates - 20-25,
Walnuts - 1/4 cup(roughly chopped),
Maida or Plain flour - 11/4cups,
Butter - 130 gms,
Baking Powder - 1 tspn,
Baking Soda - 11/2 tspn,
Sweetened Condensed Milk - 400 gms.

Preheat oven at 180 degree Celsius.
Seive together  maida or plain flour, baking soda and baking powder.
Deseed the dates and soak in warm water for 30-40 minutes.
Drain the water from the dates, grind it to smooth paste(without water).
Mix the ground dates with plain flour.
Add melted butter(microwave for a minute).
Add condensed milk. Mix well.
Add chopped walnuts and mix well.
Pour the mixture to a greased baking tin.
Bake it for 40-45 minutes until the skewer or toothpick, when inserted comes out clean.
Cool it on a wire rack.
Serve with coffee or tea for a evening snack.

Hayagreeva or Chana Dal with Jaggery

Somehow I have always preferred jaggery sweets than the sugar one.
I am not a sweet tooth person. I love more spicy food than sweets.
Yet I would prefer jaggery than sugar.  Moreso I prefer Jaggery in lemonade than sugar.
Now this is a recipe which has channa dal as the main ingredient, jaggery to sweeten it up with roasted whole poppy seeds or khus khus with dry grated coconut, nuts and raisins.
The poppy seeds and dry grated coconut or copra  balances the sharp intense sweetness  of  jaggery.
Of course adding of ghee makes it more of halwa to savour.

Chana Dal - 1 cup,
Jaggery - 11/4-11/2 cups(it depends on your sweet tooth)
Home made ghee -  a little less than 1/4 cup,
Poppy seeds or khus khus - 2 tspns.
Cardamom Powder - 1/4 tspn.
Dry Coconut or Copra - 1/3 of a cup.

For tempering:
Ghee - 1 tspn,
Cashew - 1 tspn (broken),
Raisins or kishmish - 1Tspn.

Pressure cook chana dal with enough water for 4-5 whistles.
The dal should have been completely cooked and soft. But yet it should hold its shape.
In a wide pan dissolve jaggery with little water.
Once jaggery is completely dissolved, strain it for impurities.
Bring back the jaggery to boil. Boil until it gives nice aroma of the jaggery.
Say approximately 2-3 minutes.
Add cooked chana dal and keep stirring until it turns to a medium thick paste.

Meanwhile dry roast the poppy seeds or khus khus they are lightly browned.
Take care not to burn, as it will tastes bitter.

Now add the ghee slowly to the chana dal and jaggery mixture and mix well.
If you think, it requires less ghee than mentioned, you can stop adding the ghee further.
Add khus khus or poppy seeds and grated coconut and mix well.
Add cardamom powder.
Temper cashew and raisins in ghee add to the mixture.
Final product should be a bit looser than halwa.
Relish hot.


Green Peas Pulao

Yet another classic rice, one pot dish.
You can use either fresh shelled or frozen peas. But I vote for fresh shelled peas.
Every trip to grocery store during the fresh peas season, I will not forget to pick up couple of packets of them or alternatively, you can shell them and store in the freezer and use them whenever you need them.
Now coming to the recipe, this is a quite easy recipe not too many ingredients, because I don't want it to be too spiced with masalas, as to lose the subtle flavour of the peas.  I want it to be mildly spiced and yet retain the flavour of peas predominantly and enjoy.
Either you can enjoy this with raw salad or raita.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup,(soak for 20 mins)
Shelled peas - 1/2 cup(fresh or frozen),
Onion - 1 medium (finely chopped),
Home Made Ghee - 1 tspn
Oil - 1 Tblspn.

For Grinding:
Cinnamon - 1 inch.
Cloves - 2,
Ginger - 1 inch,
Garlic - 2 cloves,
Coriander - 1 Tblspn,
Green chillies - 3-4,
Fresh Coconut - 1Tblspn(grated, optional).


Grind the ingredients under the grinding list to smooth paste with water and keep aside.
Alternatively you can exclude cinnamon and cloves while grinding and use it in tempering along with one cardamom.
In a pan heat oil, add chopped onions and fry until pink.
Add peas and fry, until the peas turn pale green.
Add the ground masala and fry for couple of minutes.
Add boiling water (1 rice:2 water).
Adding water always depends on the rice you are using, so accordingly add boiling water.
Add salt. Stir well.
Add rice, cover and cook in medium heat, approximately for 15 minutes. Again it depends on the rice.
Finally before removing from the heat, add ghee and mix gently.
Serve hot with any choice of raita.


Tindora or Tondekaayi Sabji

This vegetable tindora is very less cooked in my house, though it is a family favourite.
Whenever I used to visit the Indian grocery store, my son used to run to collect this vegetable in a bag.
Good for your heart. So more reasons to eat.
I love this dry subji as an accompaniment for rice, chapathi or rice rotis as well.
I even like it to to just have it in a bowl.

Tindora or Tondekaayi - 1/4 kg cut in length wise.

For Grinding:
Coconut - 1/2 cup,
Red Chillies - 4-5,
Mustard - 1 tspn.
Turmeric - a pinch.

For tempering:
Oil - 1 tspn
Asafoetida - a pinch,
Mustard - 1 tspn,
Curry leaves - 1 sprig.

Grind the ingredients under grinding list with little water and keep aside.
In a pan heat oil and temper with mustard, asafoetida, curry leaves.
Add tindora or tondekaayi and fry in medium heat for few minutes.
Add ground paste and salt and cover and cook in low flame, until the vegetable is cooked and the sabji is dry.
Serve hot with rice or chapathi.

Note: As an option you can also add a little bit and tamarind jiggery while grinding, to give a sour and mild sweet taste.

Majjige Huli or Mor Kuzhambu or Kadi

Ask any South Indian their favourite food on festivities and on special days, they would say mor kuzhambu.
This yogurt based dish is favourite for me and my son, no festival or any wedding is complete without this.
You can make this  mor kuzhambu with lots of veggies and greens.
You can make it with white pumpkin a classic vegetable with mor kuzhambu.
Or you can also use okra(yet another favourite for this recipe) or cucumber or chow chow or knol khol or spinach.
My mil prefers knol khol for her mor kulambhu.
In my family I would say there are at least ten  different recipes for this dish.
But I am posting is what my hubby and kids like.
Mor kuzhambu simply means yogurt sambhar.
Again Classic Combination with this sambhar is paruppu usili(a dry  vegetable with lentils) or papad .
Now coming to the recipe,
White pumpkin - 1/2 skin peeled and cut into cubes(or any vegetable of your choice),
Yogurt - 1litre.(preferably sour),
For Grinding:
Chana dhal - 3tspn,
Tuar dhal  - 3 tspn,
Both soaked together at least for 2-3 hrs,
Coconut - 1 cup (grated),
Green chillies - 10-12,
Coriander - 1 small bunch,
Coriander seeds - 2 tspn,
Cumin - 1 Tblspn,
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tspn,
Ginger - 2 inch,
Turmeric - 1/2 tspn,

For Tempering:
Oil - 1tspn,
Mustard - 2 tspn,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Red chilies - 2-3 broken,(optional),
Curry leaves - 1 sprig.

Cook the pumpkin or any vegetable you have chosen with little water and salt.
Grind the ingredients under the grinding list to a smooth paste with water.
Whisk yogurt and keep aside.
In a pan mix ground paste and cooked vegetable and bring it to just one boil.
Add the yogurt and lower the heat.
As high heat may break the yogurt, separating from the ground paste and vegetable.
Add salt.
Keep stirring to avoid breaking of the yogurt.
As it comes to a boil, switch off heat.
Temper with the ingredients under tempering
Serve hot with steam rice.


Monday, 17 June 2013

Green Mango Spicy Tangy sweet curry

Yet another classic dish  of my mil.
Its so yummy, it can be mixed with rice with a dash of ghee and enjoyed.
Or as an accompaniment with curd rice, chapatti, dosa or idli. Or as a spread on toasted bread or as a base chutney for sandwich.
The tanginess of the green mango, cooked in hot red chilly powder and jaggery for long time.
Then left for the flavours and the spice, sweet and tanginess with salt to seep in, makes it finger licking and most importantly my mil preserves it for a year.
As it sits longer, the more tastier and enjoyed more.
Can be a good condiment to carry during travelling as well.
Now coming to the recipe.

Big Green omelette variety Mangoes - 6.(or any variety which is quite tangy, for the dish to turn out good)
Wash and peel the skin, chop the mangoes roughly.
Do not discard the seeds.
Red chilly powder - 250gms,
Jaggery - 100- 150gms,
Turmeric - 1tspn,
Water - 3/4 to 1 litre.

For tempering:
Oil - 100gms,
Asafoetida - a fat pinch,
Mustard - 2 tspns,
Fenugreek or methi seeds - 2 tspn
Curry leaves - 2-3 sprigs,
Red chillies - 10 broken.

In a wide pan, boil water, add chopped mangoes with seeds, salt, turmeric , jaggery and red chilly powder.
Cook until it thickens to a thick syrup.
Remove the seeds and scrape for any bits of mango on it.
Discard the seeds.
In another wide pan heat oil, add mustard, methi or fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chilies, once it starts to splutter add the thick syrup and keep stirring until it thickens to a paste.
Remove from heat, cool and store in air tight bottles and store in fridge, if you want to store it for long shelf life.


Methi or Fenugreek greens Pulao

I always love one pot dish for those lazy days.
Pulaos are favourites in my family and I make them with different masalas and veggies and greens.
It is the most efficient way to make your children and yourself to eat veggies and greens.
Add it with some raita , makes a complete, comfort meal.
Good for packed lunches as well, topped up with some fruit or yogurt.
My children love them for their packed lunches.
Today its going to be methi or fenugreek greens pulao.

Raw Rice - 11/2 cups(soaked for 20 mins),
Onion - 1 large chopped,
Tomato - 3 medium chopped,
Methi or Fenugreek - 1 large bunch(leaves picked, washed and chopped),
Oil - 2 Tblspn,

To Grind:
Onion - 2 medium,
Garlic - 3-4,
Ginger - 1 inch
Cinnamon - 1 inch,
Cloves - 4-5,
Red Chillies - 5,
Oil - 1 tspn,
Coconut - 1Tblspn grated (optional),
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn,
Coriander - 1Tblspn,


Fry the ingredients(except turmeric and coriander) under the grinding, with oil until onions are soft, finally add coconut and fry for a minute and grind to smooth paste with turmeric and coriander.

In a pan heat 2 Tblspn of oil and add chopped onions, fry until soft.
Add tomatoes and cook until mushy.
Add methi or fenugreek and fry until it wilts.
Add the ground masala and fry until raw smell goes.
Add 1:2 water i.e., 3 cups of boiling water and salt.
Drain water from the rice and add to the boiling water.
Cook until rice is soft and fluffy.
Serve with raita.

Note: The measure of water depends on the rice you are using. Some rice might take less or more than what I have said above. So it is for you to decide on how much water your rice needs.


I would say idlis are one of the classic dishes of South Indian food.
It is most households staple for the breakfast.
My family loves hot, spongy idlis with chutney, sambhar and with idli molagai podi on lazy weekend mornings. (yes of course with a dash of home made ghee)
With begginers I would say, with right measurement and grinding the dal to the right consistency, gives soft, perfect idlis.
Today I am posting idlis with urad dhal and rice rawa.  Sometime I will post dhal and raw rice idlis and also my favourite Kancheepuram idlis.

Urad dhal - 1cup,
Poha or puffed rice -1tblspn,
Rice rawa or Idli rawa - 3cups.

Wash dhal atleast for three times, so that dull husk on the dhal is washed away as this will make idlis to look whiter. Soak the dhal for atleast 6-8 hours.
Separately wash and soak poha.
Grind them to together with water a less as possible to smooth butter consistency.
Before mixing the rawa to dhal mixture wash the rawa 2-3 times and drain water.
Mix the ground dhal and rawa with salt.
The mixture should be thicker than medium consistency.
Tranfer to a dish to ferment. Cover and keep in a warm place
Take care that the dish should be half filled, so when it ferments, it rises and doubles in quantity.
It may pour out.
Once fermented , grease idli moulds.
Steam the idli cooker very well, as when you place the moulds inside the cooker they should be steaming hot for idlis to be soft and spongy.
Steam for 10-12 mins and serve with chutney and sambhar.