Shahi Vegetable Kurma

Shahi Vegetable Kurma

When I got married, my SIL passed on a cook book to me called “100 delicious vegetarian curries” by Chef Mallika Badrinath. In my busy schedule, I totally forgot about the book. Three weeks ago, when my mom was making chapathis for dinner, we came across the usual weekly problem – “Whats the side dish”. That’s when I opened this cookbook. After shortlisting a few recipes based on what was available in the pantry and fridge, we finally zeroed in on this “Shahi Vegetable Kurma” . My mom made it and it tasted so heavenly! It was so yum that we have been preparing this dish every week since then. The best part was my son loved to have this chapathis with this dish. So here is the recipe.. 

Shahi Vegetable Kurma

Ingredients:

Mixed vegetables (Potato, Carrots, Peas, beans) – diced 3 cups. Please note: The original recipe suggests more veggies such as turnip, chow chow (chayote) etc 

Kashmiri Chilli Powder – 1 tsp 

Grated Onions – 1/2 cup

Oil for frying (The original recipe suggests using ghee and butter for frying)

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp 

Saffron – a pinch 

Whipped Curds – 1 and a 1/2 cups

Bay leaf – 1 

Cinnamon, cloves, cardamom – few

To grind together 

Blanched almonds – 10 

Cashew – 10 

Poppy Seeds – 1 tsp 

Preparation

1. As a first step, cut all veggies and steam or microwave cook them till they are done. Grind almonds, cashews and poppy seeds and keep them aside 

2. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot, add whole spices such as  cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf. Followed by grated onions and ginger garlic paste 

3. Add a pinch of salt and saute till onion becomes golden

4. Add chilli powder, whipped yogurt and salt and stir the gravy in medium flame. you will notice that the oil starts to float on top

5. Add the ground paste, cooked veggies to the gravy 

6. Add little bit of water and let the kurma cook till it becomes thick. Garnish with coriander leaves 

7. Tasty Shahi Vegetable Kurma is ready to be served with chapathis 

Mint Tea

Mint Tea

Last year my Gujarati housekeeper noticed me stocking fresh mint leaves. She was curious as how we use it in our South Indian cooking. I explained to her my favorite pudhina thogayal, mint chutney that’s served with idlies. In exchange she provided me this easy and tasty mint tea. It was very new to me and my family has been enjoying it since then. 

Mint Tea

Ingredients: (Serves 2) 

Milk – 1 cup

Water – 1/2 cup

Mint Leaves – 1 spring or more if you prefer a stronger tea 

Sugar – 2 tsp per cup 

Tea – 1 heaped spoon 

Preparation:

1. In a sauce pan, boil water and add mint leaves and tea powder 

2. When it boils, add milk and let the tea boil

3. Strain tea into a cup and add sugar. Stir well.Serve hot with biscuits

Milagu Rasam – Version 2

Milagu Rasam

Its festive time in India! Here in the USA, the flu season seems to have started even before the leaves turn yellow. My household is not an exception. Everyone from DH to LO have gotten cold, fever and congestion. This has given a dull start to our holiday celebration. Undeterred, I still made up some goodies to celebrate Varalakshmi Nombu. Do checkout Pal Payasam and Semiya Kesari

Before indulging in holiday goodies, I prepared this milagu Rasam to cleanse and provide relief from cold. I have already put a version of milagu rasam from my mom’s notes. This version is from a cookbook called ‘Dhinapadi Samayal’ by Menu Rani Chellam. I prefer to buy cookery books in Tamil so that I don’t miss reading my mother tongue here in the US. So here is the recipe. Do serve it with ‘Milagu Kuzhambu’, ‘ Paruppu Thugayal’ and ‘Appalam’. 

Milagu Rasam

Ingredients:

Crushed Peppercorns -½  tsp

Cumin seeds – ½ tsp

Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp

Red Chilli – 1

Tamarind Water

Salt to taste

Curry Leaves – 1 spring

Ghee – 1 tbspn

Preparation:

1. Heat ghee in a saucepan on low heat

2. Add mustard seeds. Once the mustard splutters, add cumin seeds, coarsely crushed peppercorns, red chilli and curry leaves.Saute for a minute

3. Add Tamarind water, salt and let it boil till the rasam reduces to half the quantity

4. Add water up to half of the sauce pan

5. Now, the rasam  should not boil but just get frothy. Switch off flame. Serve with hot rice

Pasta Upma

Pasta Upma

Pasta Upma – Our latest discovery. The other day we wanted to prepare upma for dinner when my mom noticed that we didn’t have enough rava or semolina but tons of pasta. That’s when we got this idea of ‘Pasta Upma’. We simply replaced rava or semolina in traditional upma. The end result – the pasta merged well with the south Indian flavoring and tasted awesome.  It was a major hit with my LO who loves both upma and pasta.  We prepared this with ‘Spinach-Zuchini flavored Rotini Pasta’ but you can try with other pasta varieties too.

Pasta Upma

Ingredients:

Rotini Pasta – 3/4 Cup

Cut Vegetables (Carrot, Beans, Peas, Onions, Capsicum, Tomato) – 1 and 1/2 Cup

Oil – To Saute

Salt – To Taste

Mustard Seeds  – 1/2 tsp

Urud Dal – 1/2 tsp

Green Chilli – 1

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a kadai. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and urud dal. When the dal turns brown, add green chilli and onion

2. When the onion turns brown, add tomatoes. Saute for 5 mins. Add the vegetables, salt and turmeric

3. Add water and rotini pasta and let it boil

4. When the pasta is done, turn off flame and garnish with coriander leaves

Paneer Bread Rolls

Paneer Bread Rolls

A very easy and interesting recipe. I saw this was posted few years ago in one of the food blogs. Unfortunately I don’t recall the name of the blog. I have been making it at home since then. Its easy to put together. Its great as a ‘to-go snack’ when we go out on those car trips. You can be creative and use any filling. Sometimes I use this to re-purpose left over curries. 

Paneer Bread Rolls

Paneer Rolls

Ingredients

1. White bread – 10 (provides 10 rolls)

2. Paneer – very small cubes

3. Onion – ½ very small cubes

4. Green Capsicum – ¼ small cubes

5. Salt

6. Garam Masala – 1 pinch

7. Coriander powder – ½ tsp

8. Cumin powder – ½ tsp

9. Oil

10. Tomato sauce – 2 spoons

Method of Preparation 

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add Onions once hot & a pinch of salt to help onions brown faster

2. Once the onions are transparent, add capsicum & paneer. Sau·té and add cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala

3. Switch off flame, add tomato sauce and mix

4. Remove the edges of the bread and flatten with a rolling pin

5. Place a little masala on the bread and bend the edges to create a roll

6. Seal the edges with a drop of water

7. In a dosa tava, place the bread and let them turn golden brown on all sides.

8. Serve with ketchup

We can be creative with the stuffing!

Tomato Nut Chutney

Tomato and nut chutney:

This chutney is specifically designed for children. This is a very nice way to hide veggies and nuts into a chutney. It pairs very well with Carrot Chapathis. You can use cashews or almonds.

Tomato Nut Chutney

Onions 1

Tomatoes 1

Carrot 1

Cashew or almond 4 to 5

Green chilli 1

Coriander leaves 1-2 springs

Mustard seeds 1/4 tsp

Asaefoetida 1 pinch

Ghee to saute and to temper

Preparation:

1. Chop onions, tomato, green chilli, carrots and coriander leaves

2. Heat ghee in a pan. Add the veggies and saute

3. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder

4. Grind the veggies into a smooth paste along with cashews or almonds

5. Heat ghee in a small pan, add mustard seeds and asafoetida once ghee is hot

6. Add this to the chutney

Plum Rasam

Plum Rasam

This is a recipe that I discovered by accident. I was captivated by juicy looking plums t a local farmers market. I bought them hoping to consume more fruit. At home when I sliced and took a bite, I realized that it was sour! Not knowing what to do next, I set it aside in the fridge. The next day, we ran out of tomatoes and I was lazy to run to the grocer. Instead, I used the plums and was amazed with the appreciation from my hubby, several servings and about how the Rasam was all gone very soon. 

Few years later, my friend ‘R’ and her family came home for lunch and I prepared this plum Rasam and they loved it as well. She has been insisting for a while that I do something on ‘cooking’.  She also reads this blog in between her busy life. Thanks ‘R’ for all your  encouragement.

So after her repeated requests, here’s Plum Rasam..

Plum Rasam sq

Ingredients: [Serves 3 and a half ;-) ]

Plums – 3

Juice from tamarind – 1/2 to 1/4 cup depending on the sourness of the plums

Rasam powder – 1 tspn

cumin – pepper powder – 1 tspn

Salt to taste

Ghee – 1 tspn

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tspn

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tspn

Fresh Coriander leaves – 5 springs finely chopped

Water – 1 saucepan full

Boiled toor dal – 1/4 cup

Preparation:

1. Heat water in a saucepan. Cut plums into quarters, do a taste check to determine the sourness of the plums. Immerse plums in water and let it boil for 5 to 7 minutes in high heat

2.  Once the plums lose their shape and blend with water, add tamarind water. Depending on the sourness of the plums, add more or less tamarind water

Rasam 1

3. Add salt, rasam powder, cumin – pepper powder (grind equal quantities of cumin seeds and pepper corns to prepare this powder. You can prepare in bulk and store it for future use)

4. Let the rasam boil till it reduces to half

5. Now mash and mix boiled toor dal with equal quantities of water and add it to the boiling rasam

6. Now you have to only let the rasam bubble and it should not boil

Rasam 2

7. In a separate pan, heat ghee. Add mustard seeds; Once it splutters, add cumin seeds and asaefoetida. Add this tadka to rasam and serve by garnishing coriander leaves

8. This rasam is sweet, sour and mildly spicy. You can serve this with white rice pair with a spicy curry like potato curry or Mashed Potato Curry or Gutti Vankaya Kura  or a quick microwave brinjal curry.

Carrot Chapathis

Carrot Chapathis 

Carrot Chapathis dubbed as ‘Power Packed Breakfast’ in my household is an amazing recipe which my LO loves.  My LO is a very finicky eater. There isn’t a lot of food items he approves and this is one of those few items he likes. 

This is a well balanced dish for breakfast:  whole wheat flour to provide the carbs, carrots and potatoes for the veggie content. Pair it with tomato nut chutney and we get the protein from nuts too. An easy way to make the kid eat nuts. Who wouldn’t like this? 

Carrot Chapathis

Carrot Chapathis

Ingredients:

Wheat Flour – 1 cup

Carrot – 2 medium sized

Potatoes – 1 medium sized

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder -1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Water to knead

Preparation:

1. Boil carrots and potato with a pinch of salt

2. Mash the boiled vegetables. Mix wheat flour, water, salt, red chilli powder, cumin powder and mashed vegetables and knead into a soft dough

3. Heat tava. Pinch a dough ball and roll it flat to make small chapathis.

6. Once the tava is hot, place the chapathi on the tava. Turn the chapathi over after 1 minute

7. Turn it over again till it’s done 

8. Serve with tomato- nut chutney for breakfast 

Gutti Vankaya Kura

Gutti Vankaya Kura (Stuffed Brinjal Curry)

Gutti Vankaya Kura or Vankaya Chops is an Andhra recipe where a medley of spices, the masala, is prepared and stuffed into a whole brinjal, while the brinjal is steam cooked with little oil. This is a close cousin of the popular ‘Ennai Kathirikai’ made in Tamil Nadu. 

Recently, I spotted fresh small Indian brinjal at the grocery store and was immediately reminded of this recipe. I had seen this recipe in an old, tattered book in black and white that belonged to my mother  and have tried to make it every time I could get my hands on small brinjals. Over the years we tweaked this recipe to suit our taste and spice level.  

It can be served as a side to rice or with chapathis. The Brinjal stalks are retained and are served with the dish. Hold the brinjal by its stalk, take a bite and you are immediately greeted by a multitude of tastes.. the heat of the red chilli, the spice of coriander seeds that balance the red chilli, tangy tamarind, mild sweetness from the jaggery.. all amalgamated with the taste of brinjal! Bliss! It will leave one wanting more. 

These little purple beauties look great with the stalk and when served with the all spices on them, they sure do turn heads. Beautiful looks. Great taste – A crowd pleaser! 

Gutti Vankaya Kura

Ingredients:

Small Indian Brinjal – 10 – 15 

Oil to temper 

Coriander seeds – 2 tbspn

Red chilli – 2

Channa dal – 1 tbspn

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp 

Asaefoetida – 1 pinch 

Dessicated Coconut – 2 tbspn

Tamarind – juice from 1/2 lemon sized ball 

Salt – to taste 

red chilli powder – 1 tsp 

turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp 

Curry leaves – 3 or 4 

Coriander leaves – for garnishing 

Preparation:

1. Heat oil in a pan and roast coriander seeds, channa dal, cumin seeds, asafoetida, coconut powder, curry leaves. Grind the roasted spices into a powder along with little salt 

2. Wash brinjals and make a ‘+’ slit on the bottom. The slit should be deep enough to let the brinjals cook but not break. 

3. Stuff brinjals with the prepared masala

4. Heat tamarind water along with salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Place brinjals in tamarind water, close the pan and let it cook for few mins

5. Once the water is absorbed and the brinjals look cooked, turn off the heat and move the dish to a serving bowl. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves

Tasty ‘Gutti Vankaya Kura’ is ready. Serve with rice or chapathis! 

Ragi Roti

Ragi Roti

I had some ‘Sprouted Ragi Flour’ left unused after we made some Ragi dosas few months ago. I decided to use them on this Ragi Roti recipe. I followed akki roti recipe and replaced rice flour with ragi flour. It worked so well and everyone loved it. It has carrots and onions. We can also add cabbage, coriander leaves, grated beet root, cucumbers. So its a power packed roti. Its best served for breakfast or as a tiffin. We can pair it with any chutney of your choice.

Ragi Roti

 

Ingredients:

Sprouted Ragi Flour – 2 cups

Dessicated Coconut – 1 cup

Water – 2 cups

Oil

Carrot -1

Onion – 1

Green Chilli – 1

mustard seeds – 1 tsp

channa dal – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

salt to taste

Ragi Roti

Preparation:

1. Finely grate carrot, onion

2. Finely chop green chilli

3. Heat oil in a wide pan. When the oil heats up, add mustard seeds, followed by channa dal once the mustard seeds splutters

4. Add green chilli and saute for 1 minute

5. Add the carrot, onion, salt and turmeric powder

6. Saute for 2 mins or till the carrots and onions are cooked

7. Add 2 cups of water. Once the water boils, add the dessicated coconut and 2 cups ragi flour

8. Switch off the flame and mix well. Adjust salt if needed

9. Once the dough is warm to touch, make a small ball out of the dough

10. Place a wax paper on the counter top and grease it with a drop of oil

11. Take the ragi dough flour and pat it on the wax paper. the roti shouldnt be very thin. it should be thick enough to flip with a spatula

12. Heat a griddle and cook the roti on the griddle

13. Tasty Ragi Roti is ready to be served. You can pair with any chutney of your choice