Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Kovakkai / Ivy gourd / Tindora / Dondakaya Thuvaiyal

Why so many names?! ha ha...true...I just wanted to find the english name of the vegetable I know of only in Tamil and found some other translations too:-) and I knew my friends from other states also use this vegetable quite commonly. So, I hope this recipe is of interest to more audience than just one. I learnt this dish very recently from the wife of my apartments watchman! Every morning when I set off to work, I would never be able to miss the aromas wafting from her kitchen and on one such morning is when I learnt this recipe :-)

Ingredients:
- 200 gms kovakkai / ivy gourd
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 tbsp urad dhal
- 2 red chillies
- 2 green chillies
- 2 cloves garlic
- small piece of ginger
- a hint of asafoetida
- salt to taste
- 1 tbsp oil



Prep time: 20 mins                                           Cook time: 30 mins

Preparation:

- Cut the vegetables into thin slices.
- In a tsp of oil roast the urad dhal, red chillies, green chillies, garlic, ginger and asafoetida and keep seperate.
- Heat the remaining oil, and fry the sliced vegetables for 15-20 mins , adding salt, until the vegetable is cooked well.
- Allow the vegetable to cool. On cooling, grind the vegetable, adding the roasted ingredients as above.
- Kovakkai thuvaiyal ready to be eaten with idli, dosa or mixed with hot rice and ghee and eaten with a pappad :-)




Saturday, January 11, 2014

Sweet lime salad- quick & easy dessert

Here's wishing everyone a very happy and prosperous new year :-) A quick and simple fruit dessert to finish off the day. This is so refreshing and can be made with any fruits of your choice. Sweet lime is usually had as a fresh juice by most however, since childhood I have always eaten it as a fresh fruit. When I told this to my hubby he was quite taken back and tried it for the very first time....and....he simply loved it. So, now, the fruit has become a regular after dinner. Now, being december, its raining oranges of all flavours in the market. While I was looking for different ways to savor this fruit...I happened to think of this simple way to relish the fruit...



Ingredients:
- 1or 2 sweet lime
- 1 orange
- 4-5 almond nuts
- 1/2 tbsp honey

Prep time: 10 mins

Preparation:

- Peel the sweet lime off its green skin. Now, with a smooth peeler, remove the white layer of skin on the fruits.
- Now, make round slices of the fruits and arrange them on a bowl or plate.
- Slice the almonds into small pieces and spread it on the sliced sweetlime and drizzle the honey over the fruit.
- Add colour to the salad by arranging the orange pulps by the corners.
- You can use strawberries or grapes too to add some more color and flavour to the dessert:-)

Monday, April 1, 2013

Tawa Idli

Had made Kancheepuram idli's recently for dinner. Had got so excited with the texture of the idlis and ended up making so many more idlis than can be eaten..:-) So, they became Tawa idli's the next morning for breakfast;-) It was raining idlis from dinner until breakfast that in the end, I had to stop making idli batter for the next 10 days:-)

Tawa idlis are the best way to use up left over idli's and will always be an instant hit and you will be surprised there is no more left over. I have earlier uploaded a different version of this Tawa idli, which is more South Indian....Idli Upma while this is more a North Indian version!

Try making any of these versions and enjoy the flavours of the left over idlis....

Ingredients:

- 8-10 left over kancheepuram idlis or normal idlis
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato finely chopped
- 1/2 cup green peas
- 2-3 green chillies
- 1/2 tsp red chilly powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste

Seasoning:
- 1 tbsp gingely oil or cooking oil
- 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp channa dhal
- 1 tsp urad dhal
- few curry leaves or coriander leaves

Prep time: 10 mins                             Cook time: 15 mins

Preparation:

- Cut the left over idlis into bite sized cubes.

- In a tawa, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the channa dhal, urad dhal and curry leaves and fry them till the dhals turn golden brown.
- Add the onions, green chillies and fry until they turn translucent. Now, add the green peas and tomatoes. To this, add salt, turmeric and chilly powder.
- Fry these until the raw smell of the chilly powder leaves and the green peas is cooked well. This may take 5-7 minutes.
- When the masala is cooked, add the cut idlis and mix up well such that the masala gets coated over the cooked idlis.

- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with any sauce or chutney.


Note: Pls note, idlis already have salt. So, add only salt necessary for the masala to cook.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Potato Sagu

Potatoes are all time favorites for most of us and a dish with potatoes can never go wrong....and even if by chance it messes up, it can still not taste bad:-) So much for my love of potatoes...the most versatile veggie that can be cooked easy and tasty! So, here is a recipe with the lovely dovely potatoes which is quick and easy to make and can go well with roti or dosa! Choice is yours!!!




Ingredients:

- 4 or 5 medium potatoes
- 1/2 cup fresh/frozen green peas
- 2 medium tomatoes
- 3/4 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- Salt to taste
- Masala paste

For grinding masala paste:

- 1 onion
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 inch ginger
- 1 tbsp roasted gram (pottu kadalai / bhuna channa)
- 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp khus khus
- 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 2 green chilly (optional)

Prep time: 20 mins                                Cook time: 20 mins

Preparation:

- Boil the tomatoes until the skin breaks. Let it cool, peel the skin and then puree the tomatoes and set aside.

 - Pressure cook the potatoes along with the green peas. Drain the potatoes and peas of water and peel the skin off the potatoes on cooling and mash them.



- Grind all the ingredients given above under "masala paste" with 1/4 cup of water.
- In a broad pan/kadai, heat the oil. Add the fennel seeds and once it splutters, add the masala paste.

- To this, add the turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt and cook the paste until you don't get the raw smell of the masala.
- Once the masala is cooked, add the tomato puree, mashed potatoes and boiled peas and cook together for 3 to 4 minutes. Add salt if needed.

- If the gravy thickens after adding the potatoes, add little water to adjust the consistency of the gravy and bring it to a boil.

- Transfer on to a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander leaves! Potato sagu is ready to eat with your favourite roti or dosa!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Capsicum-Peas Pulav

Come December and begins the season of Music, Dance, Drama in Chennai! Its that beautiful 2 months of the year from Dec to Jan when the city is abuzz with music concerts and dance performances all across the city halls. Some of the best talents in classical music & dance are noticed and come to the limelight every year. What an opportunity for young talented and aspiring artists from all across the globe! So glad to be a Chennai-ite for the sheer opportunities it presents in the field of music & art!

Ok, before you all think am writing a blog on Art of singing and dancing let me quickly u-turn to the Art of cooking:-) Well, come December...is not only the season for ears and eyes but also for the tummy with some of the winter veggies going cheap on the wallet and huge in the market. Time to stock up on green peas and all the bean variety that fill the market in abundance during these couple of months.

I have been dishing out a lot of peas recipes this month and want to share with you all the best of the lot so you too can relish along with me...the first of the lot is the hot and mildly spicy peas pulav which is light and delicious and so quick to make too:-) Try it and let me know your comments...

Ingredients:

- 1 cup basmati rice washed and soaked
- 1 cup fresh green pea (frozen is ok too)
- 1 cup thinly diced capsicum
- 1 medium onion thinly diced
- 1 tbsp of grated garlic and ginger
- 1 tbsp of ghee (clarified unsalted butte)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
- 2 -3 green chilies slit across (adjust to taste)
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1/2 inch cinnamon
- few cashes for seasoning (optional)
- salt to taste


Prep time: 15 mins                                    Cook time: 30 mins

Preparation:

- Wash and soak the basmati rice in water and set aside while you get the veggies ready.

- Dice the onions, capsicum and green chilies. Grate 1/2 inch of ginger and 3 cloves of garlic.

- Wash the green peas and keep all the veggies ready.

- In a pressure pan heat the ghee. Once ghee is hot, add the fennel seeds and as they splutter, add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and cashews. 

- When the cashews turn lightly golden, add the green chilies, ginger garlic and saute, later, after about a minute add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.

- Now add the green peas and capsicum and salt to taste and saute for a couple of minutes.

- Drain the soaked basmati rice off the water and then, add to the veggies in the pressure pan and toss everything together for a couple of minutes.
- Now, add one and half cup water, close the pressure pan and cook on high for 7-8 minutes and on low flame for 2 mins and remove from heat.

- Allow steam to escape before releasing the pressure off the cooker.

- The measure of water is the same even if you are cooking in a rice cooker. Quick and tasty capsicum peas pulav is ready to serve:-)





Monday, December 3, 2012

Methi Veg mixed rice with Left over Rice!

Had not posted any recipe under the left over section for a long time. Though I try and make the best with the left overs...they are usually done too quickly to remember to be clicked for blog post. This too was one such recipe which I started clicking mid way through the making!

There was enough rice left over from lunch and I did not want to carry it over to the next day. Usually the best way to get this done with is to make a tasty...never can say no...'bagalabath' or curd rice with garnish. However, this time I tried a mixed veggie rice for a change and I turned out quite good.

Off to the making.....If you do not want to try with left over rice, you can use freshly cooked basmati rice too..


Ingredients:

2 cups cooked rice
1 cup methi leaves(fenugreek)
1 onion
1 medium potato
1 small carrot(shredded)
1 small capsicum
1 small tomato
6-8 long beans
3-4 green chillies
2-3 cashews
2 cloves
1 tsp fennel seeds(saunf)
1 piece cinnamon
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp ghee(clarified butter) or cooking oil
Salt to taste

Prep time: 10 mins                       Cook time: 15 mins

Preparation:

Cut the veggies into thin long slices. You can use any veggies of your choice.I like to shred the carrots as it addsa rich  colour to the food.
In a wide pan, heat the oil and add the bay leaf, fennel seeds, cloves,cinnamon and once they splutter add the green chillies and onion.
Saute for a couple of mins and add the other veggies, except methi, tomato and carrots.

Add salt to taste and when these veggies are well cooked, add the methi, tomato and carrots and give them a good toss for 3 to 4 mins.
Then, add the rice and mix with the veggies. Quick and easy methi veg rice is ready to serve with your favourite raitha or chips!




Note:
- If pre-cooked rice, heat it and loosen a bit before adding to the veggies. If you add cold rice..it will tend to get sticky.
- You can make this freshly cooked basmati rice too!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Mint-Coriander Green Pulav - with simple and easy flavours!


Hi Friends....its been a really long time since I have been away from blogosphere and must say I have been terribly missing it here but for want of time. As I have said many time before in my posts...I really
admire the bloggers who manage to blog regularly despite juggling between home, kids, work and all the
odd chores....wonder how they manage everything so beautifully...it speaks so much about all of your passion and commitment towards what you are doing....with such inspiring people around me and the motivation from my friends and well wishers am sure I will never want to stop blogging even if I am a little irregular at the moment....


After many months I walked into the kitchen with my camera and cutlery for this post. Listing below the steps to make this super simple and delicious mint/coriander pulav.

Ingredients:

- 2 cups of slit veggies ( beans, potato, carrot, capsicum, onion)
- 1 cup Basmati rice washed and soaked for 20 mins
- 1 pinch cup or 1/2 measuring cup Mint leaves
- 1 pinch cup or 1/2 measuring cup Coriander leaves
- 1 pinch cup or 1/2 measuring cup green peas
- 5-6 nos small onions
- 3 nos green chilly or to taste
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp saunf
- 1 tsp of mixed spices( ur choice)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp clarified butter(ghee) or oil
- 1 tbsp cooking oil
- few cashews(optional)
- Salt as desired



Prep time: 20 mins                               Cook time: 30 mins

Preparation:

- Wash and soak the basmati rice and set aside while you get the veggies and the masala ready.


- Cut the onion, capsicum, carrot, potato and beans into thin long slice.



- Sort and clean the mint and coriander leaves and wash them well to clean off any sediments.
- Grind the small onions, ginger, garlic, green chilly and the mint-coriander leaves into a paste adding a couple of tbsp of water as necessary.
- If you like the spices to be biet size you can add them directly or if you do not like to chew on the masala, you could grind them with the masala paste.
- Heat the oil in a pan, add the bay leaf, saunf and the cashews. Later add the onions and saute for 2 mins.














- Now add the ground paste and the green peas and saute until the paste is dry of all the water and comes together with the oil.


























- To this add the slit veggies and little salt and mix everything together and saute for 2 - 3 mins. Set this aside.

- In the same pan, heat the ghee, drain the rice of water and add to the pan. Saute the rice for a couple of minutes and add the veggies to it and mix everything together.





- Now, add this into a pressure cooker or a rice cooker.


- Add 1 and 1/2 cups or 1 and 3/4 cup water just so you have a little extra water for the veggies to cook.
- Add salt as desired and pressure cook for 8 minutes on high and 2 minutes on low flame.
- Allow the steam to escape and serve hot with onion raitha for the side!