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Archive for the ‘vegetables’ Category

Some of the visitors wanted the recipe for simple bitter gourd curry. I prepare this curryatleast twice in a month.

Ingredients

  • Bitter gourd (Karela or Pavakkai) – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 2 tbs
  • Grated Coconut – 3 tbs
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 tsp salt for marinating*.

DSC02339

Method

  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices.
  2. Add 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt and leave to marinate for 1/2 hour. Squeeze the slices well to remove bitterness.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract around 2 tablespoons of thick pulp.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add the bitter gourd slices.
  5. Add turmeric, salt and saute well. Saute on medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for some time till the juice dries up.
  6. Saute on a low flame till the slices are golden.Add chili powder and  grated coconut and saute for  2 more  minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish with rice or chapathi.

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*Marinating is optional.

Bitter gourd can also be prepared as pavakkai pitlai, Kuzhambu etc.

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Potato podimas is usually prepared on festival days. It can be prepared quickly with just a teaspoon of oil.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbs grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbs chopped
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Cashew – 4 to 5 chopped ( Optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs ( optional)
  • Salt – to taste

 

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and cashew.
  3. Saute till golden. Add chopped curry leaves and green chili.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and coconut and mix well.Take off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix well.( Optional)
  7. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves.

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Harvesting tomatoes that were never sown!

Around five years back, I suddenly planned a  face lift for our small garden area. After cleaning up the garden I bought a nice pot to be used as compost pit. We collected the vegetable and fruit waste in this pot and used it as manure. I used to throw the rotten tomatoes as well.

In our new duplex home we made planters on the compound wall and the parapet wall. My hubby mixed soil with the compost we had collected over the years  and planted some rose cuttings. After around two weeks the planters were filled with tomato plants. We re potted them and have harvested over 100 tomatoes till now. Another hundred can be plucked in a week:).

Thakkali Koottu (Tomato koottu )

Cooking with home grown vegetables is very satisfying and you know there are no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The aroma of freshly plucked vegetables is heavenly.

Ingredients

  • Raw tomatoes – 6 to 8
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the paste

  • Grated coconut – 1 tbs
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red-chili –  1 no
  • Oil – 1 tsp

For  the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5 nos
  • Red chilli – 1 no

Method

  1. Slice the tomatoes into long pieces.Place in a MW safe bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. MW high for 5 minutes
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. Roast the ingredients for the paste except coconut in 1 tsp oil, add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Add cooked moong dal, ground paste and salt to the tomatoes and mix well.Add a little water to get Koottu consistency.
  5. Mw high for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Cut the red chili into small pieces.
  7. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the mustard seeds and red chili; when the mustard crackles add the curry leaves. Add  the seasoning to the koottu.

Serve as a side dish for rotis,phulkas or rice.

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Recreating dishes my Patti lovingly prepared for us is therapeutic. Not a day passes by without Amma or I reminiscing about the joyous moments we shared with Patti. I have had the privilege of tasting the worst tasting yam dish of all seasons and centuries  while pursuing  my Masters, not once or twice, but every week for an entire two years. The Poricha Kuzhambu with Yam that my Patti prepared offers a study in contrast. The sourness of tamarind perfectly combines with the yam, rendering it itch free (post consumption that is) with a sweet ,earthy, creamy taste.  The yam was left to dry for several days before use to avoid the infamous itch, especially while cutting.

Poricha Kuzhambu was usually prepared on Amavasai (new moon) when lentil based dishes (with the exception of moong dal) were avoided.  Amavasai Tarpanam,  ritual of water oblations, was performed. Food prepared was offered to ancestors and their blessings were sought. Traditional meal planning always included holidays for consumption of specific categories of food, including avoidance of all grains on certain days.

Poricha Kuzhambu

Poricha Kuzhambu

I made Poricha Kuzhambu for the morning’s breakfast to go with some mor paniyarams.  Since I din’t have yam on hand, I used Colacasia (Seppankizhangu) which works as delightfully with this dish.

tbsp=tablespoon, tsp=teaspoon, cup= standard metric cup measuring 250ml

Ingredients

  • Yam/ Colacacia (Seppankizhangu) – 11/2 cup (steamed and diced)
  • Black Chick Peas (Kala Channa) – 4 tbsp
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Turmeric
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
For the paste
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli – 1
  • Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tsp
Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd
Paniyaram with Poricha Kuzhambu, Green Tomato Chutney and Curd
Method
  1. Soak the Black chickpeas overnight.
  2. Wash and pressure cook the Yam/Colacasia and the Black Chickpeas (with water  and a pinch of salt). Peel and dice the yam/colacasia into big pieces.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 minutes and squeeze pulp with 2 cups of water.
  4.  Heat sesame oil and roast all ingredients  for the paste, except coconut, until golden.
  5. Take off flame and grind to a paste.
  6. Heat sesame oil in a pan,  add mustard seeds.
  7. When the mustard starts to splutter,  add curry leaves, and on a low flame add the tamarind extract, turmeric, hing and salt.
  8. Bring to a boil and add the steamed yam/colacacia and the black chickpeas.  Simmer for three minutes.
  9. Add the ground paste and simmer for three more minutes.
Serve with Rice or Rice based tiffin varieties.

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Friends, I am back! I hope I will keep posting new recipes regularly.Why I stopped for almost two years does’nt really matter. Many of you kept sending me sweet letters, trying to get me back to posting new recipes. It is this love and support that made me  come back again. Thanks to one and all!

A few days back  I prepared this simple Paneer tikka for a TV show. I always wanted to use decorative skewers. I have searched many shops in Chennai and Bangalore in vain. Only simple barbeque sticks are easily available. The first time I made these using stalks from coconut leaves.

Paneer sticks. The table cloth is   hand stitched patch work made from leftover  material of  lakshmi’s frocks.

Ingredients

  1. Paneer – 200gms (cut into even cubes)
  2. Bell peppers – 1 each of green, yellow and red.
  3. Tomato – 2
  4. Onion – 2
  5. Carrot – 1
  6. Baby corn – 2
  7. Potato – 1
  8. Thick Curd – 2 tbs
  9. Salt – 1/2 tsp
  10. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  11. Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp
  12. Any mixed spice of your choice – 1 tsp
  13. Oil – 1 tbs

Method

  • Cut the bellpeppers, onions and tomatoes into 1 inch cubes.
  • Peel and cut the potatoes into one inch cubes.
  • Peel and cut the carrots into rounds.
  • Cut the baby corn into one inch pieces.
  • MW the carrots, potatoes and baby corn for 2 minutes.
  • Mix salt, Turmeric, chilli powder and 1 tsp oil in a bowl.
  • Arrange the vegetables and paneer one after the other into the barbeque sticks.
  • Spread the curd mixture on all sides and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Grease a non stick tawa with 1 tsp oil and place the sticks.
  • Close with a lid and cook in low flame for 5 minutes turning after every minute.
  • Once the vegetables are soft and paneer turns brown take off the flame.
  • Sprinkle your favourite spice powder and serve hot.

Note

You can also make these with tooth picks. Just cut the vegetables and paneer into smaller cubes.

You can use any other vegetables of  your choice.

Watch me on Srisankara TV on saturday June 26th at 1 pm IST. You can also view in the web at srisankaratv.net (timings are same)

For my friends in other countries I have requested the channel to retelecast at a time convenient for them. Will let you know timings soon.

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Amma doesn’t like to share kitchen space with anybody – she believes that it is entirely her territory meant to be left solely for her cooking glory. She has these million “never stated but understood” rules that apparently only a select few of her breed, like two of my aunts, understand.

My appa and I, of course, disagree thoroughly with this unjust discrimination – we demand our fair  share of space and more importantly the right to experiment in it. Half of the quality time I spend with amma is in the kitchen. So much so that she barred me from entering the kitchen today. Thankfully, I was fairly satisfied with the couple of dishes made yesterday – the vanilla cake and these baked stuffed eggplants.

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Ingredients

  • Brinjal/ Aubergine/ Eggplant – 1
  • Onions – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Tomatoes – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  • Corn – 1/2 cup
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Garlic – 2 cloves (finely chopped)
  • Coriander – 4-5 twigs (finely chopped)
  • Paneer – 100 gms (grated)
  • Tamarind – a small piece (about half a walnut)
  • Sea Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste

pb220354
Finely chopped onion with coriander, ginger and garlic
pb220356
Filling for the brinjals
Method

  1. Soak tamarind in some warm water. Cut the brinjal lengthwise into two halves. Scoop out the center to make a brinjal cup about 1/2 inch thick. Rub sea salt, some olive oil and tamarind in the insides and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Toast both halves on both sides with olive oil in a non stick pan. Cover and cook on a low flame until brinjal halves are partially cooked.
  3. Parboil the corn. Finely Chop the scooped portion of brinjal.
  4. Heat some oil in a skillet, saute the garlic, ginger, coriander and onions until onions turn pink. Add the chopped brinjal pieces and saute until done. Add the tomatoes, corn, turmeric, salt and chili powder and saute for a minute. Take off flame. Add 3/4 ths of the grated paneer and mix well.
  5. Take one half of the brinjal, scoop the filling (prepared in step  2 and 3) into the brinjal cup, top with some grated paneer. Proceed similarly with the other half.
  6. Bake at 200 C for 15 – 20 minutes until the brinjal is cooked well. Insert a toothpick into the brinjal’s flesh to check if it has turned soft and is thoroughly cooked.

Serve with rice or rotis.

Baked Stuffed Eggplants – for the Recipe Marathon

Fellow recipe marathoners:

DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii
Anu, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya M, Raaga, Lakshmi Venkatesh, Sripriya, Viji, , Kamalika,Pavani, Roochi, Karuna

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Veggie Casserole

Sra very rightly guessed that I’ve become obsessed with baking when I went and bought a book with a 1000 recipes. In fact I have become so obsessed that I baked okras in the oven. It took a whole 40 minutes to get the kind of crispness I’d achieve in 10 minutes on the stove top!!! And NO, it doesn’t take a whole lot of oil on the stove top if one knows how to regulate the temperature. But I can’t be expected to be logical in times like these when I am likely to be diagnosed with an almost borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

I baked a whole lot of bread with Poolish or the french way of pre ferment. I am particularly proud of the way the ciabattas turned out.

ciabattas

You see the holes :) – the texture and shape can improve of course but it looks so pretty already and tastes delightful.

ciabattas

Something had to be made the main course so that between my husband and myself, we could eat up all of that bread. Now given my condition that “something” obviously had to be baked. So I assembled a simple casserole with a few veggies.

Casserole

Ingredients

  • Vegetables – 500 g (Potatoes, Peppers, Tomatoes or similar vegetables of your choice)
  • Onions – 2 Medium
  • Milk – 1/2 cup (or fresh cream/double cream for a richer version)
  • Cheese – 50 g
  • White breadcrumbs – 1/2 cup
  • Salt and Paprika for seasoning (as per taste)
  • Olive Oil – 1 tbsp

Method

  1. Grease a 9 inch Baking dish with Olive Oil.
  2. Slice the Onions into rings. Saute the onions until translucent and set aside to cool. Slice the other vegetables into thin discs.
  3. Preheat an oven to 200 degrees C.
  4. Form layers in the baking dish with the sliced vegetables, starting with the tomatoes. Sprinkle white breadcrumbs and seasonings over each layer before proceeding to the next. Continue doing this till all the vegetables are used. End with a layer of either potatoes or tomatoes (never onions, unless you like black onions!!!).
  5. Pour the Milk into the baking dish. Top with the remaining bread crumbs and grated cheese.
  6. Bake at 200 C for 40 minutes or until the dish turns golden on top.

Serve with bread of your choice.

Notes: Oven timings may vary. Note the browning on top to know when to stop. I finished with a layer of tomatoes for a change this time. Finishing with Potatoes in a casserole is a better idea – browned potatoes taste doubly better than oven baked tomatoes IMHO.

Doubly Note: I also baked samosas along with my baking buddy. Check them out at Baking Buddies.

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