Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Capsicum Tomato Thokku

Instead of just making onion tomato thokku/gravy, adding capsicum to the mix was definitely a flavor enhancer. The whole dish seemed like a brand new one :-)
 
Ingredients (2-3 servings):
 
Onions - 1 big finely chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium sized finely chopped
Capsicum/green pepper - 1 finely chopped (you can use any colored pepper)
Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Split white urad dhal - 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 2 slit length-wise
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch (optional)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Water - 1/2 cup
Cilantro/coriander - 2 teaspoons finely chopped (optional)
 
Procedure:
 
1. In a pan, heat the cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal, curry leaves, green chillies, asafetida, turmeric powder and fry until the dhal turns light golden brown in color.
2. Add the chopped onions to step 1 and fry until they become translucent.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and capsicum to step 2 and fry until the tomatoes and capsicum are cooked.
4. Add the red chilli powder, salt and water. Mix everything well and bring it to a boil. You can add more red chilli powder if you like it spicy.
5. Adjust salt and turn off the stove and garnish with finely chopped cilantro/coriander.
 
This goes very well with all types of idlis, dosas and also rotis. You can make it as a wet dish instead of a gravy too.

Potato Masala

This potato masala is a very common side dish for masala dosas and also puris. I have tasted very many variations of this and most of them differ by only a couple of spices that are used yet taste different and great, but I like my Mom's slightly better than the rest :-).

Ingredients (3 - 4 servings):


Potatoes - 5 medium sized ones

Onions - 1 big cut into long thin slices
Green chillies - 3 slit along the length (vary this to suit your taste) Dried red chillies - 2 broken into half
Cooking oil - 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon

Urad dhal - 1 teaspoon

Channa dhal - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches
Turmeric powder - a pinch or two

Curry leaves - a few

Salt to taste

Procedure:

1. Boil, peel, mash potatoes and set aside.

2. In a deep vessel, heat some cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal, channa dhal, curry leaves, slit green chillies, dried red chillies, asafoetida and turmeric powder and fry until the dhals turn light golden brown in color.

3. Add the onions to step 2 and fry until they turn golden brown in color.
4. Add the mashed potatoes from step 1 to step 3, add some salt mix everything well along with about 1/2 cup of water, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove.

You can vary the consistency by adjusting the amount of water that you add to step 4. If you are making it for masala dosas, you can probably make it less watery (or not) and stuff them inside the dosa. It can be a little watery for puris though, but it is totally up to you. The goal here is to enjoy a delicious meal :-).

Monday, January 16, 2017

Paav Bhaaji

After almost 5 years of hiding, I decided to revive my blog this year. A lot of things happened on the personal front in the last 5 years - marriage, our 3 year old son and now a second child along the way. A lot of role changes and responsibilities came along due to which blogging took the back burner. I'm ready to kick start 2017 with a post. I don't promise to post on a regular basis, but hoping that this post will help me get back to blogging even if it is slow :-).

This recipe for paav bhaji was inspired by a very dear friend of mine, Aarti Patel, while I lived in New Hampshire. I have been following only this recipe ever since I tasted her paav bhaji.

Ingredients (about 4 - 5 servings):

Potato - 1 peeled and cubed (I try to keep this to a minimum and incorporate other less favorite veggies)
Broccoli - 1 small cup
Cauliflower - 1 small cup
Carrots - 2 peeled and chopped into chunks
Green beans - a handful, roughly chopped
Capsicum/green pepper - 1 roughly chopped
Green peas - a handful
Onions - 1 big or 2 small finely chopped
MDH or Baadshah Paav Bhaji masala - 2 tablespoons (you can use any brand of paav bhaji masala if you don't have the ones mentioned)
Salt to taste
Cooking oil - 5 teaspoons
Butter - 2 tablespoons

To grind into a paste:

Tomatoes - 1.5 big or 2 small cut into chunks
Ginger - 1 inch stick cut into pieces
Green chillies - 3 (can vary this based on your taste)

For seasoning:

Coriander/cilantro - a handful, finely chopped
Lemon - 1, cut into small wedges
Onion - 1/4, julienned

Procedure:

1. Pressure cook all the veggies in the ingredients list except the onions. Mash them well and set aside.
2. Grind the tomatoes, ginger and green chillies into a paste and set aside.
3. In a wide pan, add the cooking oil and butter and let the butter melt and mix with the oil.
4. Once the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onions and fry until golden brown.
5. Now add the ground paste from step 2 to step 4 and fry until the raw smell of the tomatoes goes away. This will take about 10 minutes on medium heat.
6. Add salt, paav bhaji masala to step 5, fry for a few seconds and then add the mashed veggies. Adjust salt and paav bhaji masala if needed, mix everything well and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. You can put a lid on during this time.
7. Turn off the stove after 10 minutes and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.
8. Serve the gravy with any kind of toasted bread with a lemon wedge and some julienned onions on the side.

Enjoy your paav bhaji!!! :-)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Chow Chow (Chayote Squash) Koottu

A long time back, I had told a friend of mine how to make this koottu and the very next day he said he made it and liked it too. He asked me to post the recipe for the same so that he can refer to it whenever he wants to make it again. Since I was randomized a lot due to other things going on in my life last year, I had completely forgotten about it until last night when I saw this sitting in my drafts. Here you go Karthik, have at it! This post will also mark my return to blogging this year like I had promised in my previous post :-).

Ingredients (2 - 3 servings):

Chayote squash - 2 peeled and chopped
Sambar powder - 1 to 2 tablespoons (adjust this to suit your taste)
Channa dhal - 1/2 cup (using a measuring cup) fried in a drop of oil until it turns light golden brown in color

To grind in to a paste:

Grated/powdered coconut - 3 to 4 tablespoons
Rice flour - 1.5 to 2 tablespoons

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches
Fresh curry leaves - a few

Procedure:

1. Grind coconut and rice flour into a fine paste and set aside.
2. In a deep vessel, cook the chopped chayote squash along with sambar powder and the fried channa dhal until the chayote squash turns soft such that it can be mashed with your fingers.
3. In a pan, heat some cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add urad dhal and asafoetida and fry until the urad dhal turns light golden brown in color. Add the curry leaves now and transfer the contents to step 2.
4. Add the paste from step 1 to step 2 and some salt, mix thoroughly, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove.

This will go well with vaththa kuzhambu, sambar, podi rice or tomato rasam.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

The past year has been a very eventful one for me - sister's wedding, new job, shifted base from one coast of the US to another (and still settling in) etc. - due to which I've not been able to keep up with blogging since February last year. I hope this year will be as much fun, happening and challenging. I plan on resuming blogging as well this year :-). Although I didn't post much last year, I've enjoyed many of your mouth-watering dishes that have helped grow my recipe diary by a considerable amount. I thank all my blogger friends for their wonderful friendship, awesome recipes and passion for cooking. I wish you all a very happy, prosperous, lovely, eventful and delicious 2011!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

North Indian Kichchadi - My Way

It was one of those "I don't want to cook; don't want to do any extensive cutting work; don't want to eat out (it had just stopped snowing, the roads were bad and snow ploughs just came out) either, but want a healthy, tasty and comforting home-cooked meal for dinner" days. And yes, agreed! I have way too many conditions, yet I managed to indulge in a very delicious and wholesome meal :-). Here goes my version of North Indian kichchadi...

Ingredients (2 - 3 servings):

Uncooked rice - 1 cup (using a measuring cup)
Masoor dhal - 1/4 cup (using a measuring cup)
Toor dhal - 1/4 cup (using a measuring cup)
Turmeric powder - a couple of pinches
Salt to taste

For seasoning:

Cooking oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Mustard seeds - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches
Green chillies - 3 to 4 finely chopped (adjust this to suit your taste)
Freshly grated ginger - 1 tablespoon
Garlic - a couple of cloves finely chopped
Fresh cilanto - a few strands finely chopped

Procedure:

1. Pressure cook rice, masoor dhal, toor dhal and turmeric powder with about 5 - 6 cups (using a measuring cup) of water until the rice and dhals get absolutely soft and easy to mash. Add salt and mash them with the back of a ladle once they are done.
2. In a pan, heat some cooking oil, pop mustard seeds, add asafoetida, cumin seeds, green chillies, grated ginger and garlic, mix everything well for a few seconds and transfer the contents to the pressure cooked rice and dhal from step 1 and mix well once again.
3. Garnish with chopped cilantro and enjoy with a side of plain yogurt.

Nothing could have beat this comforting meal that day!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Kaththirikkaai (Eggplant) Rasavaangi

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and once again, wish you all a very happy new year! I had a great, relaxing holiday season myself and tried quite a few new recipes from many of your blogs (which will be featured in the upcoming posts :-)). It feels good to get back to the business though, after all the eating that I have done in the past few weeks. I haven't been able to keep up with your blog updates lately, but definitely hope to get there slowly. Let me start the first post for this year with one of my Mom's recipes that tried over the holidays.

Ingredients (3 - 4 servings):

Eggplant - 1 lb cut in to bite sized pieces
Toor dhal (optional, but I add it to make it more nutritional) - 1/4 cup cooked
Tamarind soaked in warm water - 1/2 inch ball
(If using paste, about 1/4 teaspoon of it)
Turmeric powder - a couple of pinches
Curry leaves - a few
Salt to taste

To fry in a drop of oil separately and grind into a coarse paste:

Grated/powdered coconut - 3 to 4 full teaspoons
Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoons
Dried red chillies - 4 to 5
Channa dhal - 3 teaspoons

For seasoning:

Coconut oil (a must) - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Urad dhal - 1/2 teaspoon
Asafoetida - a couple of pinches

Procedure:

1. Extract the thick pulp of soaked tamarind and set aside.
2. Fry the ingredients to fry in oil, one after the other, grind them into a coarse paste and set aside.
3. Pressure cook toor dhal with turmeric powder until done and set aside.
4. Boil eggplants in water and turmeric powder until they are mostly cooked but not completely cooked.
5. Add the tamarind paste/pulp to step 4, mix it in and wait until the eggplant gets cooked thoroughly.
6. Add the ground paste, cooked toor dhal and salt to step 5, bring it to a boil and turn off the stove.
7. In a small pan, heat some coconut oil, pop mustard seeds, add the urad dhal and asafoetida and fry until the urad dhal turns light golden brown in color. Transfer the contents of the pan to step 6.
8. Garnish with curry leaves.

Note:
My Mom says that eggplant does not cook if the tamarind is added at the beginning of step 4.


Enjoy with piping hot steamed rice topped with a teaspoon of ghee or with sambar/rasam.