Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hurigadale Pudi

This is one spice powder which can be stored and comes handy when you don't have time to cook any gravy or curry with rice.  I love the one my mother makes..

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 5 mins

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Roasted gram(hurigadale or kadale pappu) - 1 cup
  • Spicy red chili(guntur) - 2
  • Non-spicy red chili(byadige) - 10
  • Dry, grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste

Blend all the ingredients in a blender into a fine powder and store it!

Tastes best with...
Mix a little of this powder with rice.  Add a tspn of oil, onions(cut into small pieces) with the rice, mix and enjoy it!

This is a fast to cook dish, which is served as breakfast in India.  It can be had as a snack too. 

Preparation Time - 30 mins
Cook Time - 20 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Beaten rice(thick poha/gatti avalakki) - 4 handfuls
  • Onion - 1 medium sized, cut into small pieces
  • Carrot - 1 big, grated
  • Fresh or frozen grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • Lemon juice - 3 tspns
  • Green chillies - 4-5
  • Cilantro(coriander leaves) - a few sprigs
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder(optional) - 1/4 th tspn
  • Oil - 3 tbspns
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1 tspn
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 1 tspn
  • Pinch of asafoetida

Wash and soak the thick poha in water.  Leave it aside for 30 mins.  In this time, you could do the chopping and grating.

Heat oil in a pan.  To this add, mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, green chillies, hing, curry leaves and then onion.  Fry on low heat until the onions turn pink.  Now add the grated carrot, salt and fry for 2-3 mins.

 After 30 mins of soaking, drain out all the water and sqeeze the excess water out of the poha and add this poha to the pan and mix well.  Turn the heat to low.  Cook it covered for 5 mins.  Stir occasionally.  Sprinkle a little water if you feel it is getting too dry.

 Finally add the grated coconut, lemon juice, switch off the stove and mix well.  Let it rest for 5 mins.  The poha/avalakki will be ready!  It tastes good with Roasted Gram Spicy powder(hurigadale pudi)

If you are using thin poha instead of the thick one, you need not soak it for such long time.  Soak it for 5 mins and the rest of the procedure is the same.
Also, you could add raw peanuts at the beginning when you heat oil, then add the rest of the ingredients.  The crunchy peanuts tastes awesome.
You could add a variety of vegetables like capsicum, green peas, cucumber, tomato(not all together) to the poha.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Pearl Onion Curry/Eerulli gojju

I just made up this recipe and it turned out so yummy!  I guess this dish could be done with regular onion too.

Preparation Time - 20 mins
Cook Time - 20 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Pearl Onions - skin peeled and cut into halves
  • Green chillies - 3 - 4
  • All purpose flour(Maida) or Rice flour - 1 tspn mixed with 2 tbspns of water
  • Tamarind juice(pulpy) - 2 - 3 tbspns
  • Jaggery - 4 - 5 tbspns
  • Salt to taste
  • Rasam powder - 1-2 tspns(if it is spicy)
  • Oil - 3 tbspns
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • Curry leaves - a few

In a pan heat oil.  Add mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves, green chillies and then add the onions.  Fry on a low heat until the onions turn pink.

Then add salt, plenty of water, tamarind pulp, jaggery and mix.  Let it cook for 5-7 mins on medium heat.  Next add rasam powder.  Let it boil well for 10 mins on medium heat.  Make sure there is enough water to get a gravy. 

At this point, the
gravy will be too watery. 
To thicken this, add the
all purpose flour paste to
the boiling gravy and keep
stirring gently.  Let it boil for another 3-4 mins.  You can see the gravy thickens very fast.  If it is too thick, you can add little water to
get to the desired consistency.

The awesome curry is ready to be served with rice!

  1. Instead of pearl onions, you could add regular onions, cut into small cube sizes.
  2. The taste of sweetness, sourness and Spiciness should be equal for this dish.

Raddish - Split Green Gram Fry/Moolangi Palya

Preparation Time - 2 hrs, including soaking time
Cook Time - 15 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Raddish - 1 big, grated(big grater pieces)
  • Green chillies - 2
  • Oil - 1 tbspn
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 1 tspn
  • Bengal gram - 3/4 tspn
  • Black gram - 1/2 tspn
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Cilantro(coriander leaves) - few sprigs
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
  • Salt to taste
  • Split green gram(moong dal/hesaru bele) - 3/4 cup

Soak split green grams in water for 2 hrs. 
After 2 hrs:
Heat oil in a pan.  To this, add mustard seeds, bengal gram, black gram, green chillies, hing, curry leaves.  Then add the grated raddish, salt, turmeric powder, fry and let it cook for 5 - 7 mins on medium heat.  Mix occasionally. 

After 7 mins, add the soaked split green gram(drain the water) and mix.  Let it cook for another 10 mins or until the raw smell of the dal goes.  Sprinkle a little water if necessary, when cooking.

Finally garnish with cilantro(coriander leaves).
The dish is ready to be served with chapathi or rice.
Andhra Dal / Pappu

This recipe was shared with me by my cousin Ruks.  It is a very different dal preparation and tastes so good!

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Yellow split pigeon peas(toor dal/togari bele) - 1 cup
  • Spicy red chili(guntur) - 1
  • Oil - 2 tbspns
  • Fenugreek seeds(methi) - 1 tspn
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
  • Salt - as per taste
  • Onion - 1 small, cut into pieces
  • Cilantro  - 1 few sprigs
  • Tomato - 1 medium size, cut into pieces
  • Eggplant(brinjal/badanekai) - optional; cut into pieces


In a heavy bottom pan, heat oil.  To this, add fenugreek seeds, Red chili, hing and toor dal and fry on low medium heat for 2 mins.  Do not wash the dal. 

Add plenty of water, turmeric powder, salt and mix.  Cover it and cook for 15-20 mins on medium heat with occasional stirring.  Make sure there is enough water for the dal to get cooked.  It will approximately take 20-25 mins for the dal to cook, but not over cook.  We do not need this dal to be mashed.  The lentils has to be separate, yet cooked.

 After 15 mins, add onion and tomatoes.  If you wish, you could add brinjal too.  Mix and cook for another 10 mins.

Finally garnish with cilantro. The dal is ready to be served with rice!
Green Beans Fry/Beans Palya

This is not an authentic South Indian dish.  The actual beans palya is prepared in a different way.  Here, I am adding a few spice powders to get a flavourful fry.

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 15 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Green Beans - washed and cut into small pieces
  • Green chillies - 3-4, cut lenght wise
  • Onion - 1 small, cut into small pieces
  • Oil - 2 tspns
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tspn
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 3/4 tspn
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1/2 tspn
  • Asafoetida - a pinch
  • A few curry leaves
  • MTR multipurpose curry powder - 2 tspns

 Heat oil in a pan.  To this add mustard seeds, channa dal, ural dal, green chillies, curry leaves and hing.  Then add oinion and fry on low heat until it turns pink.

Now add the green beans, salt, a little water and cook covered for 10 mins on low medium heat.  Stir occasionally.

 After 10 mins, add the MTR multipurpose curry powder(or any curry powder you have) and mix and cook uncovered for another 5 mins.  Sprinkle a little water if necessary.
The Spicy beans fry is ready.  You can serve this with chapathi/roti or rice.
Mango Rice / Maavinakai Chitranna

I have learnt this recipe from my mom.  Here, I am trying my best to copy her :)

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Raw mango - 1
  • Non-spicy red chillies(byadige) - 10-15
  • Dry coconut flakes or grated coconut - 6-7 tspns
  • Fenugreek seeds(menthya) - a little < 1/2 tspn
  • Jaggery - 5-6 tspns or depending on your taste
  • Oil - 2 tbspns
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 1 tspn
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 1 tspn
  • Raw peanuts - 3 tspns
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Pinch of asafoetida(hing)

Grate raw mango into big pieces(not the fine grater).

Heat a small ladle and to this add red chillies, fenugreek seeds with 2 drops of oil and fry for a min.  In a blender, add these red chillies, fenugreek seeds, dry coconut and jaggery and make a coarse powder(not too coarse).

Mix this powder with the grated mango.

Heat oil in the same ladle.   To this, first add raw peanuts.  Once they start changing colour, immediately add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves and hing.

Add this tempering to the mango mixture. 

Cook rice (see 'How to make mixed rice').  Mix this mango mixture to the rice and also add salt.

Mouth watering Mango rice is ready!

I haven't added peanuts, as I remember reading that, fried peanut has cholesterol, whereas boiled peanut has proteins.  Since I have added dry coconut(which gives out oil), I  skipped peanuts.  But the original recipe calls for peanuts and these fried peanuts tastes so crunchy...

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Okra curry / Bendekai gojju

My mom prepares this dish so well.  As I am writing this, I wish I could have asked her to prepare this for me :)  Yeah perhaps next time I meet her...

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Okra - washed, dried completely and cut into pieces
  • Vangibath powder - 3 tspns
  • Jaggery - 2 tbspns
  • Tamarind pulp or paste - 1.5 - 2 tbspns pulp or 1 tspn paste
  • Salt to taste
  • Sesame seeds powder(fried and powdered white sesame seeds) - 2 tspns
  • Oil - 2 tbspns
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Black gram(urad dal) - 3/4 tspn
  • Bengal gram(channa dal) - 3/4 tspn
  • Hing - a pinch
  • Curry leaves - a few

 In a pan(non-stick is preferred) heat oil.  Then add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, hing and curry leaves.  Now add the chopped okra and saute for 10 mins on low medium heat.  Do not add water.
Make sure the okra is cooked by now.  Add tamarind pulp, mix and leave to cook for 2 mins.  Then add vangibath powder/palyada pudi, salt, jaggery and mix.  Add plenty of water, mix and let it cook for 10 mins on medium heat.  Stir occasionally. 

By now, the gravy would have thickened a bit.  If it is too thick, add water and get it to your consistency.  Finally add the sesame seeds powder, mix well and let it boil for another 3-4 mins.

The bendekai gojju is ready to serve either with rice or chapathi.

Remember to dry the okra with a kitchen napkin after wash.  If there is moisture in it, you will get the okra sticky and gooey.
Vangibath Powder/Palyada Pudi

This recipe is taught to me by my granny.  She is a fabulous cook.  The dish she prepares will be the best anyone would have prepared.  I have several of her recipes which I will share at a later point.  Here, I am writing down the actual recipe she has taught me.

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Black gram(urad dal/uddina bele) - 1/2 paavu(paavu is a large measuring cup)
  • Bengal gram(channa dal/kadale bele) - 1/2 paavu
  • Coriander seeds(dhaniya) - 3/4 paavu
  • Non-spicy red chillies(byadige) - as per taste
  • Cinnamon stick - 6-7 medium size pieces
  • Little oil
  • Dry coconut - 1 half of the whole(1/2 gituku)

Separately fry urad dal and channa dal without oil.  Fry dhaniya and red chillies together with a few drops of oil.

Make a coarse powder out of the fried ingredients and keep aside.

Make a coarse powder of the coconut and add this powder to the other spice powder and mix well.  Store in an air-tight container.

My measurements(varies to the original recipe):

Urad dal - 1 cup
Channa dal - 1 cup
Dhaniya - 1&1/4 cup
Byadige chillies - 3 cups
Guntur chillies - 3
Cinnamon stick - 3/4 "
Cloves - 2
Hing - a pinch


I did not want to add dry coconut.  Since I omitted coconut, I added 1 clove and a pinch of hing for the taste.  Of course, nothing will replace the taste of dry coconut!  Also, the red chillies are more in quantity than what is seen in the picture.
Brown Rice

Brown rice is supposed to have more nutritional value than White rice, because it is not processed as much as it is done for white rice.  It tastes good with gravy or sambar or saaru.

  • 1 cup basmati brown rice
  • 2 cups water

Wash the brown rice well and add water to it. 

Pressure cook it until you hear 3 whistles.  Switch off the stove and let it cool. 

Do not force to release pressure. 
The brown rice will be done.

The consistency will not be as great as white rice.  This will have a little water content even after cooking, which can be strained.  But the taste is good!
Beetroot Fry/Beetroot Palya

It is a simple fry to prepare other than the chopping part, for which there is an easy way too - grating!

Preparation Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 20 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Beetroot - 2 medium sized, peeled and cut into small pieces or grated (big chunks)
  • Spicy red chili - 1
  • Grated dry coconut - 2 - 3 tspns
  • Oil - 2 tspns
  • Mustard seeds(sasive) - 1/2 tspn
  • Asafoetida(hing) - a pinch
  • Curry leaves - a few
  • Salt to taste

 Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, hing, red chili and curry leaves.  Then add the chopped/grated beetroot and mix.
Add plenty of water and salt and let it cook covered on a medium heat for about 15 mins. 

After 15 mins, add the grated coconut.  With occasional stirring cook it uncovered for another 5 mins or until done.

Not that tough after all...
If you find it too hard to cut the beetroot into pieces, pressure cook it and it will be so soft to handle.  This tip was given to me by my MIL.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bitter Melon Fry / Haagalkai Palya

Most of them I hear, say 'I can't eat that bitter thing..'.  Some of them like the taste of bitterness with spices.  This is for the latter group of people :)

Preparation Time - 5 mins
Cook Time - 15 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Bitter Gourd(hagalkai/karela/karli) - 2
  • Oil - 3 - 4 tspns
  • Red chili powder - 2-3 tspns (depending on your spice level)
  • Coriander powder(dhaniya powder) - 2-3 tspns(in equality with the red chili powder)
  • Salt to taste

Cut the tips of the bitter gourd.  If the inside of it is ripened(if so, it will be red in colour), scoop the inside part and discard.  Even otherwise, if you do not want the seeds you can scoop it out. 

Now cut the bitter melon into thin round slices. 

 Heat oil in a pan.  To this add the chopped bitter melon slices and saute for 5 mins on low medium heat.

Then add the red chili powder, coriander powder and salt.  Mix well but gently.

Let it cook for 5-7 mins with occasional stirring the colour changes and you can see it getting roasted.


The fry is ready to serve!

It is better to use a non stick pan for this.  If you use steel pan, you will have to use more oil and stir more frequently.  If not, it will stick to the bottom of the pan.
Stuffed Eggplant(Brinjal)/Badanekai Yenngai

This is an awesome accompaniment to chapathi/roti.  You can eat it with rice too.  You can vary the measurements of spice, sweetness and sourness.  But the overall taste should have equal levels of all the three.

Preparation Time - 15 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Serves - 2

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • Small round purple eggplant(badanekai) - 5
  • Oil - 2 tspns
  • Onion - 1 small, cut into small pieces
  • Peanuts - 1 handful, roasted and powdered
  • Grated dry coconut - 3-4 tspns
  • Roasted & powdered Sesame seeds(yellu or til)-3 tspns
  • Red chili powder - 1.5 - 2 tspns(depending on your spice level)
  • Powdered or grated jaggery - 4-5 tspns (or depending on the sweetness you need)
  • Tamarind - 1/4 th size of a lemon (or your taste)
  • Cilantro(coriander leaves) - 2-3 sprigs
  • Cinnamon stick - 1/4 th of an inch
  • Cloves - 1
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tspn
  • Salt - to taste
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
  • Asafoetida(hing) - A generous pinch
  • Curry leaves - few

 Dry roast peanuts and sesame seeds(yellu) and powder them(I stock sesame seeds powder as we use it for several other recipes).

To the same blender add dry coconut, red chili powder, turmeric powder, jaggery, tamarind, cinnamon stick,
 clove,pinch of hing, cilantro(coriander leaves) and salt and powder it without adding water
Take this powder out and to this add 1 tspn oil and mix well.

In a wide pan, add the oil, mustard seeds, hing and curry leaves.  Then add the chopped onions and fry on low medium heat. 

Let it cook.  Simultaneously cut the eggplant(brinjal) length wise until the stalk.  Do not
cut it into pieces.  It should
just have an opening until
the stalk.
 Now stuff the powder into the slits.  While doing this, be careful not to cut open the pieces.  You will still have some powder remaining.

 When the onions turn pink, add the stuffed eggplants and the remaining powder to the pan.  Do not stir immediately. 

 Add plenty of water and cook it covered for 15 mins on medium heat.  In between stir it and gently turn the eggplant so that the other side gets cooked too. 

After 15 mins,
lower the heat to low medium and cook it uncovered for another 10
mins with occasional,
gentle stirring.

The curry is now ready to be served!


Gulab Jamoon/Jamoon

This is perhaps one of the easiest and quick sweet dish to prepare.  Yet, it is a favourite for most of them.

Preparation Time - 7-10 mins
Cook Time - 30 mins
Serves - ~200gms(7oz) makes 18-20 gulab jamoons or depending on the size you make

Measurements & Ingredients:
  • MTR Gulab Jamoon mix packet - ~200 gms or a little less
  • sugar - 2 big cups(juice glass measurement)
  • water - 2 big cups(juice glass measurement)
  • oil for frying
  • milk - <1/2 small glass(3 oz-4 oz)

sugar syrup:
 In a pan add equal measures of water and sugar and bring it to a boil on high flame.  Once it starts boiling well, turn the heat to a little more than medium flame and let it boil for 10-15 mins.  The intent here is to keep the syrup boiling but not on high flame which makes all the water evaporate.  At the end of 10 mins add 1/2 tspn of powdered cardamom(yelakki pudi) and 2-3 saffron strands(optional)

Gulab Jamoon:

In a deep pan add oil for frying and heat it on low-medium flame.  Simultaneously, in a bowl mix the jamoon mix with milk(add milk in very small quantities as this will need
very less milk.  We need a
firm yet soft dough.
If you add too much milk, the dough will be sticky and you can't make smooth round balls) and mix to get a firm but smooth dough.  It should not be a sticky dough.  If it turns out to be sticky, add a little more gulab jamoon mix powder and make it firm. 
You need not rest the dough or you need not knead it. 
You can imediately make 20 equal parts and make round
balls (you can grease your palms with oil if needed)

Trick I use - first take the small portion in between your palms and start rubbing them in clock-wise(or in small circles) direction with pressure(not loose) for about 5 rounds and then
release pressure and still
continue rolling them in the
same direction until you get
a nice smooth round ball.

Check if the oil is heated by dropping a tiny piece of dough into oil.  If the oil is heated, you can see the dough rising to the top of the oil and getting fried.

Before dropping the jamoon balls in the oil, lower the heat to sim.  Do not over crowd the pan by add too many jamoon balls.

 There should be enough space because the jamoon balls will double in size when they get cooked
 Fry these balls in low heat so that the inside of the gulab jamoon gets cooked too.  Initially do not figit with the frying process.  Once you see the colour changing to golden, keep turning the gulab jamoons so that the entire ball gets cooked evenly.  Otherwise, the part facing down will be dark brown and the top part will still be light golden.  When you see the whole gulab jamoon is golden brown colour, take it out in a wide bowl. 

Leave it for 5-7 mins and to this, add the warm sugar syrup.  Keep it closed for 10-15 mins and it is ready to serve.

The 'sugar syrup' process and 'heating the oil' process could be done simultaneously for saving time.

Handle with care :)
My mom says - Do not add hot sugar syrup to hot gulab jamoons.  The chances that the jamoons will break is high.  Also, if you do this, the jamoon will absorb all the syrup leaving almost no syrup.  The best temperature is - the jamoons warm(almost getting cold) and the syrup hot(not boiling hot, but switched off 10 mins back)