Archive for the ‘Curry’ Category

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


  • 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*.



  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.


*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.


  • 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



  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.


  • 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


  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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Perfectly roasted Sepakizhangu (Taro/ Colacasia/ Arbi) – crisp on the outside, well steamed and soft inside – is a dead simple recipe that contrary to popular perception doesn’t require any deep frying or a bottle of oil.

Let me get this straight. Taro is NOT inherently gooey, mashy and ichy. Taro is more often than not badly cooked and made into a gooey mess. Roasting doesn’t require oodles of oil. Roasting require good regulation of temperature and patience. There’s isn’t much to the art of roasting, besides cooking on a slow flame and knowing when and how to turn the vegetable. It’s a one of a kind experience in slow cooking.

I turn my nose up at people who don’t like Taro (even if they are friends). How can someone not like something that tastes as good as this? I can write an ode to Taro. A bowlful of roasted Taro with a newspaper or book to read is my idea of a perfectly lazy late morning snack.


  • Sepakizhangu (Colacasia/ Taro/ Arbi) – 1/2 kg
  • Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Channa Dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal (split) – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp (or more if you like)
  • Hing – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt to Taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp


  1. Wash the Taro well. Pressure Cook the Taro with the skin till its well steamed but not mushy. (Wait for the first whistle, turn the heat to low till the cooker is on its way to the second whistle. Throw a towel over the whistle to stop steam from escaping and switch the cooker off.)
  2. Remove the Taro from the cooker when the pressure drops. Allow to cool for sometime. You can sink Taro in some cool water if you like.
  3. When mildly warm but not hot, skin the Taro and cut into discs. Add Turmeric , Salt and Hing, mix and keep aside.
  4. In a large skillet , heat the Oil, crackle the mustard seeds and toast the urad dal and the channa dal.
  5. On a low to medium flame, add the Sepakizhangu. Spread evenly on the skillet with a flat ladle. Allow one side to cook for a while. When it starts to turn the lightest of golden yellow, overturn and roast the other side. Repeat this process till all sides start turning a deep golden more or less evenly. Keep the flame on low to medium all the time. Do not try to roast on high.
  6. Add chilli powder and mix well. Roast for one more minute.
  7. Remove from flame when the Taro is crisp on all sides.

Sepakizhangu roast is a great side dish for sambhar rice vethal kuzhambu rice and all variety rices.

Other Recipe Marathoners:

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I prepared this dish for Dhivya’s potato event but could not post on time. It is good snack for children.
indian recipes


  • Large size potato – 3 nos
  • Green peas – 1 cup
  • Onion – 1
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
  • Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 2 nos
  • Coriander leaves – 3 twigs
  • Tomato puree – 2 tablespoons
  • Oil- 1 tablespoon
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt – to taste
  • Grated cheese – 3 table spoons (or cheese singles – 3 pieces)


  1. Wash the potatoes well and pressure cook. Peel and cut into two length wise.
  2. Scoop out the center. Now the potato halves will look like shallow cups.
  3. MW the peas with 1 tablespoon water and hing for 4 minutes.
  4. Finely chop the onions, green chillies and coriander.
  5. Heat oil in a kadai, add the onions and fry for 2 minutes. Add the tomato puree and keep stirring till the oil separates.
  6. Add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies, coriander leaves, garam masala and salt and mix well.
  7. Add the boiled peas and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring continously.
  8. Fill the potato cups with the pea curry, top with grated cheese or cheese singles.
  9. Place the potato cups in an oven proof dish. Bake in a hot oven till the cheese melts.

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Thalara Karamedu (kariamudu) is an iyengar recipe. Lady finger (Vendaikkai), Brinjal (Kathirikkai) and Raw plantain (Vazhaikkai) are the three vegetables that are used to make this gravy. This combination of vegetables is very important to this recipe. I’m sending this to Linda’s JFI- Toordal , Suganya’s Vegan Ventures and Easycrafts Powerless event! Since Sra has ruled out Lentil based Gravys I cannot send it to hers (though this was the initial plan).

I finally convinced Lakshmi (my boss) to send one recipe for three events.😀

I prepared this while in Chennai as a side dish for Phulkas. This curry tastes great with rice also. Lakshmi and Satish loved the colour and flavour of the curry very much.
Thalara Karamedhu


  • Lady finger – 6 nos
  • Brinjal – 1 medium sized
  • Plantain – 1/2
  • Toordal – 1/2 cup
  • Tamarind – lemon sized
  • Redchillies – 2 nos
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Salt to taste


  1. Wash and cut the vegetables to 1 inch slices.
  2. Soak tamarind in warm water and take out 3 cups of thin water.
  3. Wash and pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water.
  4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add redchilli pieces.
  5. When redchillies are brown, add curry leaves and the vegetables.
  6. Add turmeric and hing powder. Stir for a few minutes.
  7. Add the tamarind water, cover and cook on a medium flame till the vegetables are soft.
  8. Mash the toordal and add to the cooked vegetables. Add salt and simmer for 3 minutes.
  9. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

I served it with puffed phulkas made by Lakshmi!🙂
Thalara Karamedhu Chapathis

Update: Those of who who missed the weekend post with a cute pic of our babies, head here.

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Last sunday Nov 4th was my wedding anniversary. Last year we visited Ghati Subramanya temple with Lakshmi and Satish and had lunch at US Pizza. But this year it was on a Sunday. I knew all the restaurants will be very crowded even if we book our tables in advance. My son wanted Raaga’s pizza and Pineapple juice for breakfast. I was  not in the mood to try some thing new, so I made a simple pizza with base from Nilgiris.
For lunch I prepared Chocolate Almond Fudge and Ghee rice with a Potato Baby Corn Curry.This simple breakfast and lunch took so much time as the phones never stopped ringing, with friends and relatives calling to wish us!🙂 So I could not post these recipes as planned on 4th.
Pizza with Veggie toppings

fried rice
Ghee Rice with Potato Baby Corn Curry

The Potato Baby Corn curry is my entry for Srivalli’s MW event. I am amazed at the energy and enthusiasm of Srivalli who hosts the event every month and manages her work, blog and home with elan! Thanks for hosting and hats of to you dear!🙂

Potato babycorn curry with Tandoori masala


  • Potato – 1/2 kg
  • Baby corn – 1/4 kg

To be mixed for the marinade

  • Fresh cream – 1 tablespoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Coriander powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Jeera powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt to taste.


  1. Wash peel and dice potatoes to 1 inch pieces.
  2. Place baby corn and potatoes in a MW safe container, cover and MW high for 6 minutes.
  3. Mix all ingredients for the marinade and add to the cooked potatoes and babycorn. leave for 15 minutes to soak.
  4. Spread the marinated potato and baby corn on a flat glass MW safe container and MW high for 10 minutes stirring twice in between.

The potato and babycorn are usually arranged on skewers and barbequed on a grill. I changed the method for the MW event and the curry was fantastic. Even those who do not have convection oven can prepare this.

potato n baby corn
Potato Baby Corn Curry

almond choclate fudge
Almond Chocolate Fudge

Eggless chocolate almond fudge

After reading a lot about veganism in Kumuda’s blog, I decided to atleast stop using eggs at home. So I took this eggless recipe from my handwritten note book.


  • Maida – 1 cup
  • Cocoa powder – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Butter – 3/4 cup
  • Milk powder – 1/2 cup
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Curd – 1 table spoon
  • Almonds – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Almond essence – 1 teaspoon(optional)


  1. Powder the sugar. Mix all ingredients to form a smooth cake batter.
  2. Spread on a greased baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 180 degree centigrade.
  3. You can MW high for six minutes if you do not have convection mode. You can spoon into muffin moulds to make cup cakes too.


  • Cakes with lot of fruits taste good when baked on low temperature for longer duration than quick baking in high temperature.
  • Do not leave the cake in oven once it is baked as the cake will become dry.
  • To check if the cake is baked insert a knife and if the knife comes out clean then the cake is done.
  • Cake batter should be slightly thicker than idli batter. If it is too thick add little milk. If it is thin add a little flour.
  • Curd and baking soda act as leavening agents which is a must for eggless cakes.

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