Monday, January 30, 2012

Capsicum rice


Ingredients:
--------------

  • Plain rice - 1 cup ( 200 g)
  • Capsicums -  3 to 4 medium sized
  • Lemon - 1
  • Grated dry coconut - 1.5 Tbl. sp.
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 3 Tbl. sps.
For seasoning:
-------------------
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp                                    
  • Black gram dhal - 1 tsp
  • Bengal gram dhal - 2 tsps
  • Red chillies - 2
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Cashewnuts - 8
  • Roasted peanuts - 1 Tbl. sp.
For masala powder:
------------------------
  • Red chillies - 6
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
  • Coriander seeds - 2 tsps
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Black gram dhal - 1.5 tsps
  • Bengal gram dhal - 1.5 tsps
Fry the above ingredients in a tsp of ghee or oil till golden brown. Powder and keep.

Method:
----------
  • Soak rice for 10 min and cook in 2 cups of water.( Just 2 whistles will do) 
  • Cool thoroughly and seperate the grains.Pour a tsp of oil to it.( to avoid sticking)
  • Heat oil and add seasonings one by one and fry till golden brown.
  • Add diced capsicums and fry till it becomes soft.
  • Reduce the flame and add grated dry coconut.
  • Fry till light brown and add turmeric powder and salt.
  • Add cooked rice to this and fry for few min till the rice becomes hot.( Make sure it does not get burnt)
  • Squeeze lemon juice and add powdered masala.
  • Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with raitha and chips.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pudina raita (mint with yoghurt)

Ingredients:

Curd                     2 cups (thick and not sour)
Mint leaves            20 to 25 leaves        
Salt                       to taste
Sugar                    1/4 tsp
Cumin powder      1/2 tsp ground
Red chilli powder  1/2 tsp

Method:

Serves 4.

Grind the mint leaves to a fine paste. You may add a bit of water or curd to do this in a food processor.
Take curd in a bowl. Add the mint paste, salt,sugar  to the curd and beat it in to a smooth paste.
Garnish with  red chilli powder and cumin.
Enjoy as a side dish for rotis or pulao



Saturday, January 21, 2012

Jamaican rice and red peas


Ingredients:

  •  2 cups of rice
  •  1 cup of fresh red peas (kidney beans)                          
  •  5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  •  3 uncut scotch bonnet pepper (1 jalapeno pepper or 3 Indian chilli may be used as a substitute)
  •  3 Scallion (spring onions)
  •  1 cup of coconut milk
  •  1 teaspoon of black pepper
  •  2 sprigs of fresh thyme (Dried Ajwain(hindi) or Omam(tamil) may be used as a substitute)
  •  Salt-  2 tsp


Method:

  • Wash and soak the peas (kidney beans) overnight .
  • Soak the rice for 10 mins and drain it. 
  • Half cook the peas in the pressure cooker.
  • Drain the cooked peas, and keep the water aside( can be used for cooking along with the rice) 
  • In a pan, add 1 tbspn Oil and saute the garlic. 
  • Add the Scallion and saute for few seconds .
  • Add rice and continue sauteing for a minute.
  • Add the Peas, coconut milk, salt, black pepper and thyme to the mix.
  • Add the Scotch bonnet whole.
  • Add rice along with 3 cups of water and coconut milk. Cook it in an electric cooker or pressure cook (2 whistles).
  • Yummy Rice and peas is ready for you!!!! 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Masala Sandwich - Potato & carrot filling with Indian spices


I wanted to make a quick breakfast at 7 a.m. before going to school. When I was looking for the ingredients in my kitchen, there was potato,carrots and a loaf of bread. Hence I decided to make a quick vegetable spread for sandwiches.It tasted awesome! Here is the recipe. Try it out and let me know!

This recipe can make spreads for 10 sandwiches.

Ingredients:
---------------
  • Potato             - 3 medium sized ( Pressure cooked and mashed)
  • carrot              - 1 big ( very finely chopped)
  • Onion             - 1 ( finely chopped)
  • Tomato          -2  ( finely chopped)
  • Green chillies  - 4
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
  • Tomato ketchup    - 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder  - a pinch
  • Red chilli powder  -  1/2 tsp
  • Salt                       - 1 tsp
  • Cumin / Jeera pwd - 1 tsp
  • Coriander pwd       -  1.5 tsp
  • Cinnamon pwd      - 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves    - 2 tsp ( finely chopped)
  • Oil                        - 2 tsp
Method:
----------
  • Add oil in the kadai and add green chillies,onion.
  • Saute till the onions turn translucent.
  • Add carrots and saute for another 3 to 5 min.
  • Add tomatoes and saute till its mushy.( about 3 min)
  • Add ketchup, salt, red chilli pwd, turmeric pwd, jeera pwd, coriander pwd and cinnamon pwd.
  • Saute for 3 min. Add the mashed potatoes and mix well.
  • Switch off the flame and add chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix well and use it as a spread for sandwiches.

  • Tip : When  you make sandwiches, first slightly toast the individual slices with butter/ghee (do not make it too crispy) and then fill the spread between two slices .
  • Again toast it together till its crispy.
Serve hot.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Chena curry / Tangy curry with yam


This Chena curry is an excellent side dish for molagootal, a mild dal and coconut gravy.It is avery quick recipe.

This recipe serves two.

Ingredients:
--------------
Yam / Chena             - 250 grams
Ginger                      -  one inch piece( grated)
Green chillies            - 4 ( finely chopped)
curry leaves              - just 5
Coriander leaves       - 2 tsp ( chopped)
salt                           - to taste
Lemon juice             - extracted from half a lemon ( you can add more if you prefer more tangy taste)
Oil                           - 1 tsp
mustard seeds          - 1 tsp
asafoetida powder   - a pinch ( perungayam)
turmeric powder      - a pinch

Method:
----------

  • Wash and get rid of the mud in yam.
  • Peel off its skin and chop into cubes .
  • With a pinch of turmeric powder, pressure cook the yam with water just enough to immerse it.
  • Slightly mash the cooked yam .
  • Add salt,grated ginger to it and mix well.
  • In a kadai, add oil and mustard seeds.
  • When it splutters,add curry leaves, green chiilies and mashed yam.
  • Mix well and switch off when it boils.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Squeeze lemon juice when it is warm. Mix well and serve with molagootal.

Thiruvathirai Kavathu kootu / poduthuval

Thiruvathirai kali and kootu
This kootu is the main side dish for Thiruvathirai kali.The main ingredient of this kootu is " Kavathu". This is a root vegetable which can be found only in Kerala. In other places it is very difficult to get this vegetable.

As I go to Peruvemba (our ancestral village in Kerala) during Christmas every year, I try to get kavathu and koorka (chinese potato) from there. But this time I forgot to get Kavathu.

Here is the recipe of kootu made with a combination of five vegetables.( SERVES 4)

Ingredients
---------------

Koorka
  • Koorka        - 100 grams
  • Raw banana - 1 big
  • Pumpkin      -  200 grams
  • Broad beans - 200 grams
  • Yam             - 200 grams
  • Green chillies - 4 to 5
  • Shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
  • Coconut oil            - 2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds       - 1 tsp
  • split urad dal         - 1/2 tsp
  • curry leaves          - few
  • salt                        - to taste
  • turmeric powder - a pinch
Method:
------------
  • If you are using Koorka, wash them in running water (under tap) to remove the mud completely.
  • Pressure cook on a low flame for 10 min .
  • Once taken out from the cooker, rinse in cold water again and peel off its skin.( just press with your thumb)Chop the big ones into small pieces .
  • Chop all the other vegetables into small cubes( 2cm x 2 cm approximately)
  • With a pinch of turmeric powder, pressure cook all the vegetables together for 15 min on a low flame.(Add water just enough to immerse the vegetables)
  • Grind green chillies and coconut coarsely.( Just 1 or 2 pulses will do)
  • Slightly mash the cooked vegetables along with koorka so that they merge together.
  • Add salt, ground coconut- chilli to the cooked veggies.
  • Mix well and allow it to boil.( add water if required to adjust the consistency if it is too thick)
  • Temper with mustard seeds,urad dal and curry leaves in coconut oil and add to the kootu.
Serve hot with Thiruvathirai kali.Refer to festival section for the kali recipe.





Thiruvathirai kali



Thiruvathira is the name of a star in Hindu religion and the festival,"Thiruvathira"  is celebrated in the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in India. It falls on the full moon day of the month of Dhanu (Dec or Jan) .It is believed that on this day, the Goddess Parvathy finally met her spouse Lord Shiva after her long penance.

Religious details aside, Thiruvathira also reminds me of the yummy Kali and Kootu :). Kali is  a sweet dish made with rice that is accompanied with Kootu made from a mixture of vegetables. This is the first time I made this dish and I am proud of how it turned out.Here is the recipe.

This recipe serves 2.

KALI

Ingredients:
--------------
  • Raw rice (Pacha arisi)                                    -  3/4 cup
  • Jaggery ( powdered)                                      -  3/4 cup ( Powdered rice : powdered jaggery =1:1)
  • Water                                                            -  1.5 cups ( double the jaggery)
  • Elachi                                                            - 3
  • Ghee                                                             - 1 tbsp
  • Split moong dal (pasi parupu)                        - 1 tbsp
  • Shredded coconut                                         - 1/2 cup 
Method:
----------
roasted rice powder and pounded jaggery
  • Wash rice and drain the excess water completely.
  • Spread the washed rice on a towel for 6 to 8 hours to dry.(you can do this on the previous night of thiruvathira)
  • Wash and soak the moong dal in water for 10 min.
  • Dry roast the rice till it turns into light brown colour. Set aside to cool.
  • Grind the roasted rice into a fine coarse powder.(slightly finer than rawa)
  • You can pound the jaggery and take the required measure.
  • Add measured cups of water in a kadai and add the jaggery.

  • Mix well so that the jaggery is completely melted.
  • Strain the solution to remove the dirt.
  • Heat the cleansed jaggery solution in the same kadai, stirring continuously.
  • When it starts boiling, add the powdered rice, moong dal and mix well without lumps.( on a low flame)
  • Once it starts to thicken , switch off the flame.
video
  • Transfer the contents into a vessel and steam it in a pressure cooker for 10 min.
  • Add the steamed kali into the kadai with ghee, cardamom and shredded coconut.
  • On a low flame, saute for 2 to 3 seconds.
Serve hot with kavathu kootu.Refer to the festival section for the kavathu kootu recipe.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Spring onion pulao with roasted cauliflower


This recipe serves 3.

Ingredients:
  • Basmati rice                - 1 cup ( I used Jeeraga Samba / Biriyani rice. Jeeraga Samba rice  has rich aroma and also gets cooked in less time. I always prefer this to make pulao and other variety rice recipes. You can easily get this rice in Tamil Nadu.)
  • Spring onion               - 15( finely chop the bulbs and stem)
  • Chopped vegetables  of your choice ( I used carrot- 1 , peas - 1 handful , potato - 1, capsicum - 1)
  • Kabuli Chana (Konda kadalai) - 2 tbsp ( soaked and pressure cooked
  • Salt                             - to taste
  • sugar                           - a pinch
  • Cauliflower                  - 2 cup florets
  • Oil                               - 2 tbsp
  • Ghee                            - 2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste       - 1/2 tsp
  • Green chillies               -  3 to 4( slit open lengthwise)

Spices:
---------
  • Cloves                  - 2
  • Cinnamon            - 1/2 inch stick
  • Anise seeds         - 1 petal from a flower ( optional)
  • Saunf                  - 1 tsp
  • Jeera/cumin seeds  - 2 tsp
  • Pepper corns         - 10
  • Cardamom(Yelakai) - 2
Pound the above ingredients into  coarse powder using a pestle and mortar.
Chop the vegetables lengthwise. Reserve the stock of chana to cook pulao.

Method:
----------
  • Wash and soak rice for 15 min. Drain the excess water and set aside.
  • Boil water with a pinch of turmeric powder.
  • Add the washed cauliflower florets and cook covered for 5 min.Keep it closed for 10 min.
  • Drain the excess water and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil and 2 tsp of ghee in a kadai. 
  • Add slit green chillies, ginger garlic paste and spring onion bulbs.
  • Saute for few sec and add capsicum. Saute for 5 sec and add the pound spices.
  • Mix well and add vegetables in the same order ( carrot , potato , peas, kabuli chana) sauting for few seconds after adding every vegetable.
  • Add the rice and saute well till the excess moisture is evaporated.(This process ensures that the rice grains does not stick to each other when cooked)


  • Switch off the flame. Add salt, sugar and mix well.
  • For every 1 cup of rice , add two cups of water .
  • Empty the contents into a rice cooker and cook.

Meanwhile add 1 tbsp of oil in the same kadai and roast the cauliflower florets with a tsp of coriander powder, red chilli powder,little salt and rice powder.
Stir the florets till it gets a nice brown coating.


Garnish the pulao with chopped spring onion greens and roasted cauliflower florets. (Mix the florets into pulao)


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Nutritious vegetarian Burritos



A burrito is a type of Mexican food. It consists of a wheat flour tortilla wrapped or folded around a filling.My sister, Priya has given a twist to this dish with Black beans.


When it comes to three basic categories of nourishment - protein, fiber and anti-oxidant related substances - few foods have as solid a nutritional profile as black beans. Black beans, like other beans, really pack a punch when it comes to protein and fiber. On average, each cup features about 15 grams of both protein and fiber. That amount of protein is about the same as contained in two 8-ounce glasses of milk, but in the case of milk, there is no fiber to be found. Here is a yummy recipe that will definitely attract kids!

Ingredients:

  Black Beans /Kidney beans -   250 gm
  Cumin powder - 2 tsp
  Capsicum green – 2 (Chop into small cubes)
  Capsicum yellow -1(optional)
  Finely shredded cabbage - 1 cup
  Finely chopped onion- 1 big
  Garlic - 3 pods (optional)
  Sliced Jalapeno peppers- 3 (alternative: paprika powder or green chilli dipped in vinegar for a while)
  Italian seasoning - 2 tsp
  Black pepper powder - 1 tsp.
  Pizza sauce (Tomato sauce with herbs and garlic)
  Burritos - 1 packet (consists of 8)
  Shredded cheese - 1 1/2 cup (Cheddar and Mozzarella mix)

Method:

Vegetable Stuffing:

  • Soak the black beans for 4-5 hrs and pressure cook. ( After a whistle on a medium flame, lower    the flame and switch off after 10 min)
  • Drain excess water from the beans. Add little salt and jeera/cumin powder. (Use the stock to make soup. Add little salt as it is distributed and added in various stages)
  • Heat a pan and add 1 tbsp of oil.
  • When it is hot, add onions and sauté.
  • When onions turn translucent, add bell peppers, jalapeno pepper and sauté for few sec.
  •  Add cabbage and sauté again for few minutes.
  •  Add the Italian seasoning, salt, black pepper to it and mix well.

The stuffing is ready.

Pizza sauce:


   Tomatoes - 1 kg
   Onions – 3 (chopped)
   garlic - 5-6 pods
   Paprika powder -1 1/2 tsp (chilli powder)
   Pimento powder - 1/2 tsp ( optional)
   Sugar - 1 tbsp
   Basil leaves - few (finely chopped)
  Salt – 2 tsp
   
Method:

  •    Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for 5 min and remove its skin.
  •    Heat a tawa, Add 2 tsp of oil and saute onions and garlic.
  •    Add the tomatoes, spices, sugar, salt and let it boil for 10 min.
  •    Switch off the flame. Add basil leaves and a pinch of Italian seasoning to it.
  •    Set aside to cool down to room temperature and blend into a fine puree.

   Sauce is ready.

Making the final Burrito:

  •       Heat a flat pan or tawa
  •       Heat the burrito with a sizzle of oil.

  •       Take 1 to 2 tbsp of pizza sauce and spread it all around the burrito.
  •       Place a tbsp of bean, vegetables and cheese on one side of the burrito and fold it into half.



Yummy Burrito is ready to eat.Serve hot.

Pumpkin Kheer / Mathan payasam




This version of pumpkin kheer is very easy to make.

This recipe serves 6-8 persons.

 Ingredients:
  • Ripe yellow pumpkin  - 3/4 kg
  • Sugar - 350 grams (for every cup of pumpkin puree, add 1/2 cup of sugar)
  • Milk - 1.5 litre
  • Cashew - 10-12 nos.
  • Rose essence- 2-3 drops
  • Cardamom pwd - 1/4 tsp.
  • Roasted sliced almonds - for garnishing
Method:
  • Pressure cook the pumpkin with sufficient water and mash it well. You can also cook in a microwave for 7 min.
  • Avoid cooking with excess water. Cook well so that it can be mashed in to a fine puree.     
     
     
  • To the hot puree, add sugar and mix well. Set aside to cool.   
  • Condense the 1.5 litre milk (keep it in the pressure cooker for 20 mins on a low flame.You can drop a  spoon inside the container so that the milk does not spill out of the pressure cooker)
  • Soak cashews in 2 tbsp of hot milk for a while.
  • Blend the soaked cashews along with the milk and add it to the condensed milk.
  • Set aside the condensed milk to cool down to room temperature.
  •  To the pumpkin-sugar mixture, add the condensed milk and mix well.
  • You can taste and add little ready made condensed milk, if you require more sweetness.
  • Add cardamom powder and drops of rose essence.
Mix well and serve chilled. At the time of serving, garnish with few roasted sliced almonds.

Note: Do not heat the kheer after you add the milk.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Kuruvi payasam ( coconut rice kheer)


Geetha (my mother in law)
Kuruvi payasam is a sweet that is easy and quick to make. I learnt this recipe from my mother-in-law, who makes a lot of interesting and easy dishes.

This recipe serves 4.

Ingredients:
--------------
Raw rice / pacha arisi          -           2 tbsp ( Wash and soak the rice in water for 15 min)
Shredded coconut              -           1/2 cup
Jaggery                               -          150 grams(  you can add more or less according to your taste)
Ghee                                   -          1 tbsp
Cashewnuts                         -          6

Method:
----------

  • Drain excess water from the soaked rice.
  • Grind the soaked rice and coconut in a mixer. (Kuruvi in tamil means 'sparrow'.  Since the rice is ground even a sparrow can enjoy this payasam.  Hence the name...)  Initially pulse once or twice in the mixer and add water little by little, grinding into a fine coarse paste.
  • Put the jaggery in a kadai. Add water just to cover it and cook on a medium flame.
  • Keep stirring. Once the jaggery is melted, strain it to remove the dirt.
  • Dilute the ground rice-coconut paste with 2 cups of water.
  • Cook on a medium flame stirring continuously.
  • Add water if it thickens too much.The consistency should be as shown in the picture below.

  • Once the mixture is cooked(this will take about 5 to 10 min) , add the jaggery solution and keep mixing for another 10 min.
  • The consistency should be thick and flowing freely at the same time as shown.


Roast cashews in ghee and garnish the payasam. Enjoy the yummy payasam.


Pachai Papaya / Raw papaya poduthuval


I had been to our ancestral house in Peruvemba village (Palakkad) for the Christmas break.  We had various traditional dishes using NADAN PACHAKARIGAL (Organic traditional vegetables).  Here is the recipe for Raw papaya poduthuval. It tastes excellent with Sambar or Rasam.

Tip : You can use raw papaya as a replacement for ash gourd in Olan, molagootal. etc. It tastes very yummy.

This recipe serves 4 people.

Ingredients:
-------------
Raw papaya           -  1 medium sized
Shredded coconut  - 1/4 cup
Green chillies         - 3 to 4 (depending on your taste)
Salt                        - to taste
Turmeric powder    - only A PINCH

To temper:
--------------
mustard seeds   - 2 tsp
red chillies        -  2
coconut oil       -  3 tsp
curry leaves      - 2 sprigs

Method:
----------

  • Peel off the skin and remove the inner seeds of papaya.
  • Slice it into small cubes ( say 1cm x 2 cm approximately)
  • Cook the sliced papaya with turmeric powder and sufficient water. (Add water such that the pieces are just immersed)
Tip: Cover the kadai with a lid and cook . Open the lid  in between and adjust the quantity of water if required. Add salt only after the papaya is half cooked.
  • Once the papaya is cooked, drain excess water if any.
  • Grind  coarsely the green chillies and shredded coconut in a mixer.
Tip: Use this stock to make your sambar/rasam.
  • Empty the cooked papaya onto a plate. 
  • In the same kadai, add coconut oil and mustard seeds.
  • When it splutters ,add red chillies, curry leaves and ground mixture.
  • Saute for a min and add the cooked papaya.
  • Mix well and saute for a min.

Serve hot with rice and sambar.


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