Sunday, January 31, 2016

Moong Dal Broken Corn Pongal with Peanut Chutney

Pongal/ dal khichdi is one of the healthiest breakfast items one could eat. Even better if it is made out of whole grains like broken corn(maize ground coarsely). Suma has shared this interesting recipe with all of us to try and enjoy. 

Moong dal and Broken corn in equal measures(1/2 cup each)
Four times the water
2 onions slit lengthwise
2 tsp ghee/ clarified butter
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coarsely ground peppercorns
1/4 inch ginger- finely chopped
Finely chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste

For chutney:
Peanuts-2 fistful
2 green chillies
1 tomato
2 tsp coriander leaves chopped
Salt to taste
Appropriate amount of water
P:S- You could add chopped onions to this chutney to enhance it's flavour.

How to prepare: 

Heat ghee , mustard seeds, jeera seeds, sliced onions coarsely ground peppercorns and finely chopped ginger. Fry for a minute.  I have taken broken corn and moongdal in equal quantities but you could  take slightly more corn. It would taste better. Add salt and atleast 4 times the water.  You could add vegetables of your choice too. Cook for 5 whistles in a pressure cooker. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve with or without a tsp of ghee/clarified butter with each serving.

For groundnut chutney:
Take two fistful of groundnuts. Fry. Keep aside. Remove the skin of the peanuts. In the same pan, fry green chillies, tomato(optional) and coriander leaves(optional). When it cools, grind all these together using salt and tamarind. 

Mooli-Moongdal Curry

Mooli(Radish)-Moongdal curry is a special dish in this blog as it is the creation of one of our favourite contributors, Raksha. It is supposed to be eaten with Rotis/ chapatis. Both the main ingredients are very good for health.

5-6 chopped radishes
1 cup moong dal( green gram dal)
2 chopped onions
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera or cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1-2 tsp vangi bath/ rasam/ sambar powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1 chopped tomato
2-3 pinches hing/ asafoetida
1/4 bowl kasoori methi
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
Salt to taste
2.5 cups water to cook

How to prepare:

Wash and Soak about 1cup moong dal in just enough water. Make a seasoning of oil, mustard, zeera, hing. Add 2 chopped onions and fry till pink and then1chopped tomato . Then, mix 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1/2 tsp chilly powder. You could add 1-2 tsp of  vangi bath/rasam/sambar powder to add to the flavour. This is followed by 5-6 chopped radishes, soaked moong dal, garam masala and 1/4 bowl kasoori methi. Add salt, water and cook for 2-3 whistles. Garnish with a generous amount of chopped coriander. Serve hot with chapathi.
You could adjust the water consistency to make a gravy for serving with rice. 

Garlic Chutney Pudi

Requisite: Mixer/ dry grinder

Chutney PuDi means chutney in it's powdered form. As it is prepared from dessicated coconut, it's shelf life is very high. Hence, it could be stored for as long as a month and consumed. Garlic chutney puDi is my favourite out of the varied options available. While one could conveniently buy a packet of it from any local store, the advantage of homemade puDi is that it's healthier and has that personal touch to it.

Ingredients used:
Dessicated coconut/ cobri/ copra- 1/2 to 3/4th
Chana dal- 1/4 kg
4 garlic pods- cloves peeled and lightly crushed
10-12 byaaDgi long red chillies( wrinkled variety)
Tamarind- about the size of half a lemon
Salt as per requirement
2 tsp of jaggery/ as per taste or requirement, depending on how much sweetness you would like.

How to prepare:
Dry roast dessicated coconut, chana dal, crushed garlic and red chillies separately. Once they cool down, mix all of them and powder them along with the other ingredients in a mixer jar. Store in an airtight container ( inside or outside the fridge). Use a dry spoon everytime you use the puDi.
Serve with idlis/ dosas/ mix with ghee and plain rice and consume.

Konkani Bendi

Bendi is the name given to a spicy konkani preparation which is seasoned with coconut oil and garlic. The pulses usually used in this curry are black-eyed beans, green beans,  lima beans, lilva beans, soy beans or double beans. This is a coconut based gravy which is mixed with white rice and eaten. Learnt from mother darling.

2 cups black eyed beans( beans of your choice choice)
1/4 cup grated coconut
1/2 a small lemon amount of tamarind
12-15 byaadgi red chilly( the wrinkled variety) or red chilly powder equivalent

For seasoning:
10-12 cloves of crushed garlic
2 tsp coconut oil
Salt to taste

How to prepare:
 Cook the beans well with optimum amount of water in a pressure cooker( for about 2-3 whistles). While it cools, prepare a fresh paste or masala using the rest of the ingredients.
Mix the cooked beans and the masala. Add salt as per requirement. Cook till a boil with intermittent stirring. Reduce the flame and cook for ten more minutes.
Season with crushed garlic fried till golden brown in coconut oil. Serve with fresh, hot white rice.

Methi/ Fenugreek Chutney

Methi chutney is a healthy alternative for many other chutneys which are purely coconut based, although tasty in their own way. This chutney could be eaten with chapati/roti too or as a side dish in your meal. Preparation and picture by Suma Satish. Recipe credit goes to her sister-in-law.


Methi/Fenugreek leaves- 1 bunch
Green chillies-6
Tamarind - 1/4 inch
Garlic- 3-4 cloves
1-2 tsp oil
Salt to taste

How to prepare:
One bunch methi leaves without stem. Fry with one spoon of oil. Remove from flame. Bring to room temperature. Add 6 green chillies, two tomatoes and a little tamarind depending on quantity of leaves. Grind coarsely. Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a frying pan.  Add one sliced onion and a few chopped garlic cloves. Pour in the ground chutney and fry for a minute or two. Add salt. Chutney is ready to be served.

Friday, January 29, 2016

Shahi Biryani

Shahi Biryani is a Mughlai dish which is famous in the Northern parts of India. Shahi dishes are called so because of the richness in the quality of the ingredients used. Shahi items have paneer or nuts, spices or desi ghee which impart the aromatic flavour typical to them. This recipe has been shared by Raksha.

Ingredients used:
Basmati Rice: Water- 1:1.5
1/2 tsp saunf(fennel seeds)
3-4 cloves
1 cardamom(elaichi)
1 cinnamon stick( dalchini)
2 bay leaves( Tej paththa)
1 star aniseed
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 onions
5-6 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1 tomato( finely cut)

How to prepare:
 Wash and soak basmati in water in the  ratio 1:1.5, for about 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, fry  saunf, bay leaves, 3-4 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick,1 whole cardamom, 1 star aniseed, chopped onions, finely cut garlic and grated ginger. Fry some cashews. Add one handful each of chopped veggies like beans, carrot, peas, cauliflower(big thick florets so that it doesn't get completely mashed when you cook in a cooker). Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder and garam masala powder. Then, mix half a cup curd and boil for a min or two. Now, add the rice, water and salt. Add paneer cubes. Cook in a pressure cooker for one or two whistles. Garnish with coriander leaves and grated paneer. Serve hot with raita.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Jeera Pepper Rasam( Telugu style)

Rasam is also known Indian soup, which is eaten with rice for lunch/dinner. This variety is made using jeera, pepper and garlic. Being aromatic and healthy because of the spices in it, people consume it regularly during winters or when they catch a cold. People of Andhra/ Telangana origin prepare this rasam. Recipe and picture contribution by Suma.


1 tomato
One big lemon sized tamarind
Rock salt as per taste
Half tsp jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp pepper.
1 pod garlic peeled and crushed
1 sprig curry leaves
1 red chilly
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cooking oil/ghee

How to make:

Soak tomato, tamarind and rock salt in water. Squeeze out the pulp. Add sufficient amount of water depending on the sourness required. Coarsely crush roasted jeera, roasted pepper and more amount of garlic using a mortar and a pestle. Heat oil. Season with mustard, curry leaves and red chilli. Add the powder and fry for a minute. Pour in the rasam and bring to a boil. Simmer the flame and leave for 10 minutes . Hot rasam is ready.
Variation: You could add coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds also while preparing the powder. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot as a soup or with rice in your meal.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Aloo Gobhi Matar (Dry)

Aaloo gobhi matar, like the name itself suggests, is a dry subzi or curry made using potatoes, cauliflower and peas respectively. This easy to make curry is a perfect lunchbox item which could be served with chapati or pooris. Although it is originally from North India, it has made it's name all over the country as well as abroad, especially in the Indian restaurants. Picture and recipe contribution by Raksha, a very good cook, who doesn't give up until she gets the authentic/ restaurant taste in her food.

1/2 tsp zeera or cumin seeds
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1/4 inch grated ginger
2 chopped onions
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder,
1/4 tsp garam masala powder
2-3 pinches of hing/ asafoetida
Chopped potatoes/ cauliflower 1 and a half cups each
Green peas- fresh or frozen( 1 cup)
3-4 tsp cooking oil

How to make:

Fry zeera, chopped garlic , grated ginger and chopped onions using cooking oil in a wok. Add turmeric, red chilly powder, zeera(cumin), dhaniya(coriander) powder, garam masala powder and hing(asafoetida). Now mix chopped potatoes , cauliflower florets, peas and fry-cook on a medium flame. Don't keep it too low as it' ll give you a cooked taste over the desired fried taste. Keep stirring occasionally. Ensure that the veggies are spread across the wok and not piled into a heap. This adds to the fried taste. Add salt and cook till done. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Mixed Vegetable Kadai

Mixed Vegetable Kadai is a North Indian gravy item which is eaten with any form of Indian Bread( Roti/ Kulcha/ Naan/ Chapati/ Rumali roti etc). Kadai dishes are usually spicy. So, could alter the amount of chillies you use in your curry to suit your palate. Picture and recipe contribution by Suma -a dedicated homemaker who enjoys trying out varieties of cuisines.

For masala powder-
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/ jeera
A handful of roasted coriander seeds
8-10 byaadgi red chillies roasted( long wrinkled variety)
1/2 tsp roasted methi seeds/ 1-2 tsp methi leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns

3-4 tsp cooking oil
2-3 onions
1 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
Tomato puree- 1 or 2 tomatoes
Half cooked mixed vegetables( French beans/ carrot/ potatoes/ paneer/ capsicum/ mushroom/ roasted or deep fried cashews/ peas)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilly powder

How to make:
Grind all the ingredients required for the powder and keep aside. Chop the vegetables of your choice into small sized pieces and half- cook them.
Chop onions finely(lengthwise) and fry them in a cooking pan. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook untll onions turn pink. Then, add the tomato puree and cook for about 5 minutes. Toss in the half cooked vegetables,  ground powder, chilly powder,  turmeric powder and salt. Cook covered on low flame  Garnish with 2-3 fried red chillies and coriander leaves. Serve hot.

Palak Paneer

Requisite: Mixer/blender

Palak paneer is a North Indian curry which originated in Punjab. It is prepared using spinach and Paneer or cottage cheese as the main ingredients. It tastes excellent with phulkas/ Rotis/ Chapati/ Nans and Kulchas which happen to be different bread varieties. I love this dish! Learnt from Raksha.

3 bunches of spinach blanched( cooked in boiling water for 4 minutes)
3 bunches of chopped spinach
2-3 onions chopped lengthwise
1 tomato chopped
1.5 tsp fresh ginger garlic paste
1-2 green chillies depending upon the spice level you desire
0.5 tsp garam masala powder.
Cooking oil- 1.5 tsp
250- 300g paneer/ cottage cheese cubes

How to make:
Blanch 3 bunches of spinach and pour cold water over it immediately to retain it's colour. Grind it in a mixer along with onions, ginger- garlic paste, green chillies and tomato into a fine paste.
Warm some oil in a kadai or frying pan and cook the paste/ masala until its rawness goes away. Then add the chopped spinach, paneer, salt and cook covered. When the curry is almost done, add the garam masala powder so that it doesn't lose it's flavour. Serve hot with your choice of Indian bread.

Batate Vaagu

Requisite: Mixer/ blender

Batate Vaagu is a traditional konkani dish. Vaagu means "tiger" in konkani and derives this name from it's colour and high spice level. It could be relished as a side dish especially in luncheons or eaten with dosa/ kaDubu( rice balls). Learnt from Mrs. Shyamala.

Half a grated coconut.
2 boiled potatoes( can be substituted with cashews/ double beans/ green peas)
10-12 red chillies of the wrinkled variety
2-3 spicy red chillies(roasted)
2 tomatoes diced into big chunks
1 tomato for paste
Tamarind- about the size of a quarter lemon
0.5 tsp methi/ fenugreek seeds
0.5 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp cooking oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
Salt to taste
Water for desired thickness

How to make:
Warm oil in a frying container/ kadai. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves. After the seeds sputter, add methi seeds, coriander powder and stir for a few seconds. Then add the tomato chunks and fry them well. In the meanwhile, grind coconut, tamarind, red chillies and the tomato into a fine paste.  Pour this paste into the frying pan. Add  salt, diced boiled potatoes and cook until a boil. Then, reduce the heat and cook covered for another ten minutes. Add 1-2 tsp of fresh coconut oil before serving.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Vegetable/ Chicken Biryani

Vegetable Biryani is an aromatic Indian Rice item which goes very well with tomato and onion salad or gravy. This particular variety is Telugu biryani which is usually prepared in the dum style. However, what I'm posting here is a slight variant which consumes half the time for preparation.
Thanks Pushpanjali for the recipe!

Ingredients Used:
5-6 tsp cooking oil
2 cloves
3 cinnamon sticks
5-6 green chillies slit lengthwise
2-3 medium sized onions slit length wise
1.5 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tsp coriander powder
0.5 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
2 bunches of fenugreek/ methi leaves
1 bunch coriander leaves
1 finely chopped tomato
A handful each of chopped french beans/ carrots/ sweet corn/ green peas ( Half kg chicken cut into biryani sized pieces)
1.5 cup rice
1.75 to twice the amount of water
2 tsp clarified butter or ghee
Salt to taste

How to make:
Warm oil in a pressure cooker. Add the whole spices followed by onions and fry till they turn pink. Then add ginger garlic paste followed by the powders and mix for a minute or so. Toss in the leaves and tomatoes and cook for about 5 minutes. Then, put washed and drained rice( preferably the basmati variety) and fry until the rice loses its transparency and looks white. Now, it's time to add vegetables/ cleaned chicken pieces, water, salt and close the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook on medium high flame up to two whistles. Pour the ghee on the Biryani once it's ready.
Serve with Raita.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Rava Dosa

Rava Dosa is instant Semolina dosa( pancake). It is one of the delicacies prepared in Indian restaurants and usually eaten as a breakfast or snack item. Tastes good with coconut chutney. Learnt from Mrs. Geetha.

Ingredients Used:
3/4 cup rava/ semolina
1/2 cup maida or all purpose flour
1/2 cup rice flour
2 finely chopped onions
2 finely chopped green chillies
1/4 cup coriander leaves
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste

How to make;
Mix all the ingredients using 4-5 times water. Prepare the batter to a watery consistency. Pour on heated rava/ skillet and cook well by flipping both sides. It tasted good when crispy. Serve with chutney.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Stuffed brinjal(using peanuts)

Stuffed eggplant can be prepared in various ways. This one has coconut and peanuts in it. Thanks to Poornima and Raksha for contributing this recipe.

Veggies: 5-6 medium-sized eggplants , 2 medium onions
Masala: Grated coconut 1 cup, 4 red chillies, some tamarind and jaggery, 1 cup roasted groundnuts, salt.

How to make:

Slit the egg plants vertically into 4 parts (do not not cut into separate pieces) and soak in water. Take some oil in a cooker and fry the onions. Grind the ingredients mentioned into  a dry n slight coarse masala. Drain the water from the soaked egg plants and fill the masala into the slits. Place them in the cooker. Pour the remaining masala and about half a cup of water. Close the lid and cook it for about 2 whistles. Stir gently after it  cools so that the brinjals remain intact. Serve hot with chapati.

Menthya KaDubu

Menthya means Fenugreek/ Methi. This is a one item meal dish. Learnt from Nanda Lokesh who is a very enthusiastic chef at her home.

For wheat balls
1cup wheat flour
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2-3 tsp cooking oil
Water to knead the above.

For the gravy
3-4 onions- chopped
2 pods of garlic- finely chopped-
1tsp red chilly powder
2 bunches of fenugreek leaves cleaned and chopped.
1 tomato(optional)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder.
Salt to taste.

How to make: Knead all the ingredients given under items required for preparing wheat balls like you prepare the chapati dough.
 Make small balls out of the dough. Smear a little oil to your palms so that the dumplings do not stick to each other. Put them in boiling water and keep them aside when cooked( takes about 15-20 minutes)

In kadai take oil, chopped onions, chopped garlic, chopped methi  leaves, chilly powder, garam masala and salt. Fry everything till you get a nice aroma. At last add wheat balls. Mix. Serve hot.

P.S: You could prepare this meal as a dry item or add some water and make it like a gravy.