Monday, September 29, 2008

Carrot Stir Fry

A quick and easy sidedish. Infact, a multipurpose curry I would say. Goes well with any indian bread, bread, or even dosas.

Carrots – 2 grated

Onion – 1 grated like cresents or finely sliced like cresents.

Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Garam Masala – 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

For tempering

Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

Fennel Seeds – ½ tsp

Curry leaves – 1

Salt as per taste


Heat oil in a kadai, temper as given. Add the onions and saute for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and other spices and saute for another 3 to 5 minutes. Cruncy Carrot stir fry is ready to be served.

Note: This can be done just with onions also. You can use grated beetroot instead of carrots or both combined. Butter a slice of bread and fill with this curry and close with another slice and toast, serve with ketchup. Makes a great evening snack for your kids. Make a ghee roast and spread the mixture, roll it up and give your kids, would definetly love them.

Chow Chow Methi

An innovative gravy that I tried from a fellow blogger, Viji of Vcuisine. A very unique dish. A gravy without onions, tomatoes, or coconut.
I made a dry curry for chappathis with carrots, but then my in-laws being little old, would always like something of the gravy type, so gave it a try, and everybody liked it.


Chow Chow - 250 grams peeled and cubed
Kasuri Methi 2 tsp or fresh Vendhaya Keerai/methi leaves 1 small bunch (pluck the leaves and use)
Karamani/cow peas - a fistful
Turmeric Powder ¼ tspGaram Masala Powder - 1 tbsp
Red chilli Powder – 1 tsp
Tamarind - small gooseberry size or 1 tbsp paste or Amchur – 1 tsp
To grind
Roasted white sesame seeds – 1/2 cup
Fried Gram - 2 tbsp
For Tempering
Ghee/Oil - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves few
Dry fry the karamani for few minutes and soak for 5-6 hours. Pressure
cook till they are soft (2 whistles will do as they are already soaked). Peel and chop chow chow into small cubes. Pluck the methi leaves if you are using the fresh ones, otherwise soak the dried methi leaves in warm water for 10 mins and use. Grind the sesame and fried gram into a coarse powder. In a kadai, temper as given. Add the chow chow along with tamarind/amchur, turmeric powder, and salt and saute for a minute. Add a cup of water, cover and cook till they are soft. Add the cooked karamani at this stage. Now sprinkle the methi leaves on top and cook for 2-3 minutes with a lid. Add the ground powder, garam masala, and chilli powder and enough water for the gravy. Adjust the salt and chilli to your taste.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Oats Veggie Kurma

I was asked to avoid coconut for some months by my doctor. Cooking without coconut in a South Indian cuisine? Ohh… hows that possible? Thanks to the cookery show where the dietician made an oats egg kurma for people who have cholesterol problems. I tried my version with veggies…and wow…I dint miss coconut in the gravy. It was as tasty as a gravy with coconut.

Oil/butter 2 tsp
Cloves – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Bayleaf – 1
Cardamom - 2
Onion - 1 medium sized, chopped
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Tomato - 1 medium sized, chopped
Veggie diced 1 cup (carrot, beans, potato, beat root, cauliflower, peas)
Green chillies – 2
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

To grind:
Oats - 2 tsp
Fried poppy seeds – ½ tsp
Fried gram (pottukadalai) – 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp

Fresh Coriander – 2 tsp finely chopped.
Salt to taste

Heat oil/butter in a cooker or kadai, add the ingredients one by one and saute until the oil slightly separates. Add 1 cup of water and little salt, cook till two whistles.

Meanwhile, grind the ingredients into a coarse powder and keep ready. After the steam is released, bring to a boil and add the ground mixture and adjust salt as per taste. After adding oats the kurma will become thicker, adjust as per your choice by adding water.

If cooking in a kadai add 1-1/2 cups of water and cook in slow fire for 15 mins closed. After the veggies are cooked, add the ground ingredients and add salt, and adjust consistency by adding water accordingly.

Serve hot with any indian bread.

My kurma was red, as I added the beets, if you want it to be multicolored avoid it. Add a pinch of sugar while sautéing the veggies to maintain the color.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

En Samayal Arai Ragasiyangal

In this section, I would like to share some kitchen magics, make-ups and make-overs of food that I have learnt through so many sources in the course of my cooking through these years.

Let me start off with the favorite south indian dish, Idly/dosa. My grandma makes big, soft idlies. She grinds the batter in the Attu Kal(grinding machine). The Idlies made from hand ground batter cooked in the big idly pots with cloth spread on the idly plates tastes like heaven.

After marraige, I became a fan of the Idlies made by my MIL too. They fit the phrase, Malligai Poo Idly (white and soft as jasmine flower), toooooooo soft and spongy they are. She uses the grinder though. In these seven years, I have not tried grinding the batter... Athu Avanga Area...
She maintains the proportion always.
10 cups of Idly rice (IR 20)
2 cups of Urad dhal
1 tsp of Fenugreek
Wash the rice and dhal until the water is clear and soak the rice and dhal with fenugreek separately for about 3 to 4 hrs, grind the rice first to a fine rava consistency, then grind the urad dhal to a smooth paste. Do not add too much water while grinding. Also, do not put your hands too frequently while grinding. Mix gently adding salt per taste and transfer to small containers filling 3/4th of the container leaving spac efor the batter to ferment and refrigerate immediately.

Keep the batter to ferment for 8 hrs before using it.
Idly/Dosa Tips
  • For soft Dosas, add some boiled rice (sadham) while grinding.
  • Do not beat idly batter too much, the air of which has been incorporated during fermentation will escape and idly will become harder.
  • If you add half a teaspoon of fenugreek seeds to the urad dhal and rice mixture while soaking, dosas will be more crisp and brown.
  • To prevent leftover idly/dosa batter from becoming too sour place a beetal leaf on top. Otherwise, take a basin and fill with water to cover half the size of the vessel containing the batter and leave the vessel in until you use it.
  • Have leftover idlies, we normally make Idly Upma

Idly Upma

Left over Idlies (crumble with your hands)

For Tempering

1/4 tsp of mustard

1/2 tsp urad dhal

1 tsp of channa dhal

red chillies as per the no of idlies (2 for 4 idlies)

1 pinch hing

curry leaves few

Sesame oil.

Heat oil in a kadai, add the ingredients for tempering in order, add the leftover idly crumbs and stir for 2 to 3 mins until it is heated. Serve hot with Idly milagai podi sprinkled on top or with sugar. Hot evening snack is ready.

Wait until my next post for a sweet dish out of left over idlies.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Adai and Kara Chutney

Adai is a filling meal in itself with rice and dhals. Rich in protein. I normally add a fistfull of horse gram (kollu) to it. Many people are unaware of its cooking methods. Will post recipes on Horse Gram in my coming posts. People ignore it and consider it only food for horses. Any body thought how it gets so much energy? Horse gram is very good for cough and breathing problems. Also good for people who would like to lose weight.
Let me go on to the recipe now.

Boiled Rice - ½ cup
Raw rice - ¾ cup
Thoor Dhal - ¾ cup
Bengal Gram - ½ cup
Urud Dhal - ¼ cup
Green Gram - ¼ cup
Horse Gram – 1 fistful (optional)
Red chili – 5 to 7(as per your choice)
Curry leaves – 2 springs
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Hing powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Medium sized big onion – 2 finely chopped or Small onions - ½ cup finely chopped
Murunga keerai – ½ cup (optional)
Soak the rice and dhals separately for 4 – 5 hours. Wash well and grind rice, red chilies, and ginger first to a thick batter of rava consistency. Now add the dhals and curry leaves and grind coarsely. The batter should be very thick, like vada batter
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadai saute the onions and keerai just for 2 minutes and add to the batter. Add the salt and the hing powder.
Take the dosa tava and grease with cooking oil. Pour one small cup of batter at the center and spread. Add a tsp of oil around. When one side is done turn and cook the other side. Cook in medium flame. When it turns golden brown remove it. Put one tsp of butter on top and serve.

Best combination for adai is Jaggery. The butter and jaggery combination tastes really good.

Other combination would be avial or coconut chutney.

My friend’s mom makes a kara chutney for it. It became a favorite in my family.

Kara Chutney

Medium sized big onion – 3, chopped
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 2 pods
Red Chillies – 3 to 4
Tomato – 1
Tamarind – small gooseberry size

Urad Dhal – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste

For tempering:
Oil 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Curry leaves – 1 spring

Heat a drop of oil in a kadai and roast the Urad dhal until it turns slightly brown and remove. In the same kadai add another tsp of oil and fry the onions till tender, add the other ingredients one by one. Fry until the tomato is mushy and cool for a while. Add salt as per taste and grind in a mixie little coarsely with little water (30 ml would do) and not into a paste. Add the fried urad dhal and just give 2 runs and remove to a serving bowl

Add the tempering and serve.

This goes well with idlies and dosas also.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Veggie Fingers

Kids special.
To grind
Bengal gram - 1/2 cup
Thoor dhal - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
To add
Medium sized oinion - 1 (finely chopped)
Grated carrot, cabbage, chopped beans, - 3/4 cup
Fresh Coriander, mint, and methi leaves - 1/2 cup (finely chopped or grind it along with the dhals if u prefer)
Salt to taste.

Oil for deep frying.
Soak the dhals for aboutt an hour. Drain and grind with other ingredients coarsely like vada with very less water. Mix the veggies. Add salt to taste.
In a vessel (preferably that comes with the cooker) smear some oil and grease it, pour the batter and steam cook for 10 mins. Let it cook for 5 mins and cut them into thin fingers.
Heat oil in a kadai. Deep fry the fingers in batches. Crispy veggie fingers are ready. Serve with tomato ketchup.