Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Aloo Palak Masoor dal curry or Potato Spinach Masoor lentils curry

Aloo palak masoor dal
A simple masoor dal is always a routine dish at my home. Just to give a new twist to this boring dish, I added some mashed potatoes and palak (spinach) to it. Wow! The taste was awesome and it's not boring anymore.

Cooking Essentials

  • Masoor dal                          1cup
  • Spinach                                1cup
  • Potato                                  1
  • Tomato                                 1
  • Ginger                                   1tbsp
  • Garam masala                        1tsp
  • Green chillies                          2
  • Cilantro                                  few
  • Olive oil                                  1tsp
  • Mustards                                1tsp
  • Cumin seeds                           1tsp

How to cook?
  •   Heat oil in a pan. Add mustards and cumin seeds to it and allow it to crackle. Saute Ginger, Green chilli and chopped tomato. 
  • Add Garam masala powder to it. Add spinach and Potato to it and fry well for about 5minutes until the leaves shrink in size and reduced to quarter of its quantity. You can also add boiled and mashed potatoes to it now.
  • Add the cooked mashed dal to it along with required salt to taste and let it cook for 5 minutes. add half cup water if the gravy is too thick.
  • Garnish it with cilantros and enjoy it with hot rotis or rice.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Cabbage Paratha

Cabbage is one of my favorite veggies. Personally, i feel it is the easiest vegetable to chop. This paratha is not a stuffed one. All it needs is  the addition of cabbage and other spices to the wheat flour. This is  perfect for lunch box  and tastes great with raita or pickle.

Cooking Essentials:

Wheat flour 2 cups
Cabbage 1cup
Grated ginger 1tsp
Green chilli 1
Sambar powder 2tbsp
Salt to taste
Cilantro Few
Oil 1tbsp
Water 1 1/2cup  

How to cook?

  • Take two cups of wheat flour in a wide vessel and add the rest of the given ingredients to it along with 1tbsp oil. Add water little by little and knead the flour slowly. Knead for 10 minutes and the dough should not be sticky. If the dough is very wet, add some flour. The dough should be soft but not sticky.
  • Take lemon sized ball of the kneaded dough. Press it with your hand and dust it in wheat flour both the sides and roll it out for about 3 inches using a rolling pin.
  • Heat a tava and cook the paratha for about 1 minute each side. Cooked paratha will have brown spots on it. Apply  two drop of oil if you like. I did not use oil in the parathas.
  • You can spread some ghee or clarified butter to the cooked parathas before serving.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Kosmalli or Kosamalli

A typical chettinad side dish for idly and dosai. It's similar to the kathirikkai bajji, a coimbatore recipe. A slight variations in the cooking style such as adding up cooked, mashed, brinjals and potatoes whereas in coimbatore style kathirikkai bajji, the brinjals are roasted in fire and mashed to make the dish.

Cooking essentials:
Cooked mashed Brinjals 4 no
Cooked mashed Potato 1
Medium Sized Onion 1
Tomato 1
Tamarind a small gooseberry size
Curry Leaves few
Green Chillies 4
Red Chillies 2
Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard 1 tsp
Urad Dal 1 tsp
Cilantro few

How to cook?
  • Cut the brinjals into four halves and cut potato into two halves.pressure cook them for about  two whistles and remove the skin from the brinjals and potatoes and mash them together.
  • Squeeze tamarind with four cups of water and add required salt to it. Add mashed potato and brinjal mixture to it and mix it well. 
  • Heat oil in a sauce pan and add mustards and urad dal and allow it to crackle. Throw in the curry leaves. Fry in onions,green chillies, red chillies, tomatoes, turmeric powder to it and saute for 5 minutes.Add the tamarind brinjal mixture and heat it up for 5 minutes on the stove. No need for boiling.
  • Garnish with cilantro and serve it with idly and dosai.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Guacamole dip

 This is one of my most favorite evening snacks. It is  simple to make and tastes so good with or without chips. hmmm.. yum!! Guacamole is made out of avocados. The trick is to pick the right ripe avocados to make the delicious dip. Ripe avocados are little soft when pressed and unripened ones are the hard and has thicker skins.

Cooking Essentials:
Ripe Hass avocados           2 nos 
Small tomato                     1 deseeded and finely chopped 
green chilli                         1 no
cilantro                              2tbsp finely chopped
salt                                    to taste
black pepper                       1tsp
lime juice                           1/2 lime

How to cook?
  • Cut the avocados into two halves. Deseed it and scoop the pulp out of the fruit and mash it up with a spoon.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients to it and give it a good mix.
  • squeeze the lime juice to it and garnish with cilantro. Serve it with crunchy tortilla chips.

  • Always prepare the guacomole dip before serving so as to prevent it from oxidation.
  • Addition of 2tbsp finely chopped onions and a pod of garlic will enhance the taste. i did not use onions or garlics to it.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bread upma

Bread upma is definitely a very quick delicious, evening  snack. But i usually prefer making  this for dinner as this is very filling. In my house, my hubby will expect a quick evening snack almost everyday. Since it is an everyday event at home, i either buy snacks from outside or make some at home. my hubby prefers eating at home more than anything. My Periamma  in India introduced me to bread upma when i was in school. She is a very wonderful cook who is also an expert in  variety cooking. I wonder how our ladies in India managed to cook a variety of recipes during the period of no internet, with very few cooking shows in the television and merely by learning recipes from elders and neighbors.  i would say this is the true passion towards cooking. Alright, lets come back to the lipsmacking bread upma.

Cooking Essentials:
Bread                              10 slices
onion                                finely chopped 1/2 a cup
tomatoes                           1 finely chopped
cilantro                              few
mint leaves                        few
tomato ketchup                 2-3tbsp
shredded carrot                 1/2 a cup
salt to taste

For seasoning
Mustards                         1tsp
cumin seeds                      1tsp
saunf/ fennel seeds             1tsp
oil                                      1tbsp
curry leaves                        few                              

How to cook?
  • Cut the bread or pull apart the bread slices into small pieces.
  • heat oil in a pan. splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves.
  • Fry chopped onions, tomatoes, shredded carrot one by one. make sure the onions and tomatoes are cooked well. Add little salt to cook onions and tomatoes. Throw in the mint leaves and cilantro.saute it for a minute.
  • Add the bread pieces and saute it well. Add the tomato ketchup to it and stir it for a minute.
  • adjust salt to taste and garnish with cilantro leaves.

    * i used whole wheat bread. you can use either brown bread or white bread.
    * addition of mint is not mandatory. mint adds up to the flavor.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Kalyana Rasam / South Indian wedding soup or Rasam

This Flavorful Rasam is served in almost all Tamil Wedding ceremonies. I am so delighted to post this aromatic recipe today. After relishing all the rich ghee sweets and fried foods in the south Indian wedding, this rasam is certainly a magic boon which immediately makes your tummy feel light. I could still remember most of the invitees in the tamil weddings asking for more and more  rasam and sometimes get the rasam in a a glass and gulp it too.  Drinking rasam in a stainless steel tumbler, relishing every sip of it is a sheer joy.
Cooking essentials:
Tomatoes                           2
Tamarind                           1 small gooseberry size
cooked mashed toor dal     2tbsp
cilantro                              1 handful
water                                  3 glasses
salt                                       to taste

To roast and grind
Toor dal                             2tsp
coriander seeds                 2tsp
cumin seeds                      1tsp
pepper                              1tsp
Red chilli                          1

For seasoning
Ghee                               1tbsp
mustard seeds                 1tsp
curry leaves                    few
asafoetida                      a pinch

How to cook?
  • Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes. squeeze and extract the tamarind  juice.
  • chop the tomatoes and grind it a mixer.
  • mix ground tomatoes, tamarind extract, roasted and ground powder, cilantro and salt to taste along with 2 to 3 glasses of water.
  • Heat ghee in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida. Add the dissolved tamarind tomato mixture to it. Also, add 2tbsp of coked and mashed toor dal to it and stir it well. heat up the mixture for 5 to 7 minutes until you get a nice foam layer on the rasam. do not allow it to boil. At this stage, you can remove it from stove and serve it hot with rice and papad:)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Garlic Butter naan

One of my misconception  was  that we cannot make naans at home and also, we need a tandoor oven to make naans.  I had a bad experience when i tried my hands on naan for the first time few years ago. It was a huge blunder. The dough was not in a good consistency and also, the yeast which i used was not very good and so the dough did not raise up properly. Finally, after all the hullabaloo the cooked naan from the oven was like frisbees. i went crazy because i had made the best vegetable ball manchurians of my life as a side dish for the naans and my beautiful dinner night got ruined. This made me not to turn back towards cooking naan for  couple of years. i used to buy store bought naans and just heat it up and eat with delicious gravies. Very recently, i had this huge cravings for home made naan, and thus took it as a challenge to prepare the best naans ever. And this time i cooked the best softest breads ever and it  tasted great. I used the oven to bake garlic naans. 

Cooking Essentials:

All purpose flour           3cups
minced garlic pods        3tbsp
ghee                             3tbsp
yogurt                          1cup
salt                               to taste
dry active yeast             1 packet or  2-1/2tsp
baking soda                   1tsp
cilantro                         few chopped
kalonji seeds                  2tsp to sprinkle on the naan
canola oil                       2tbsp
butter or ghee                 2tbsp
water                             as per requirement
sugar                             2tsp
milk                              3tsbp

How to cook?
  • First of all, empty the yeast content in a bowl along with 2tsp of sugar and half a cup of water. Leave it aside for 10 minutes.
  • Sift all purpose flour.baking soda,salt into a large bowl and add yogurt, minced galics (reserve some garlic for sprinkle on the naan before baking). add kalonji seeds, canola oil, butter,milk and  yeast along with warm water and knead the dough for 10 minutes. add more warm water if necessary.the dough has to be soft and elastic.
  • add little oil to the kneaded dough such that the dough does not stick to the bowl. now cover the the bowl with food wrapper and seal it airtight. let this dough sit for 3 to 4hrs.
  • After 4hrs the dough should be double the size. Now you can divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll it into the desired shape along with the lot of whole whear flour to dust. stretch the dough to 8 inches long and sprikle some garlic, kalonji seeds, cilantro.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degree and set the broil mode. also place the pizza stone or greased baking trays in the oven.
  • apply little water to the sides of the naan and just place them on the preheated baking trays and cook it for 2 minutes on one side and flip the naan the other side and cook it for 2  minutes. you can see bubbles on the cooked naan and browned sides of the garlic naan.
  • you can even cook naans on a tawa by placing the naans on heavy bottomed skillets. cook the naan on both the sides by applying butter to it. after cooking one side of the naan, gently remove the skillet and place the naan on the direct flame and cook till you get bubbles on the naan. place them on a basket and serve it with your favorite curries.


    i did not use kalonji seeds / nigella seeds.
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