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Saturday, 29 August 2015

Mixed vegetable Korma - South Indian Style


          Korma in general is a very popular side dish in South Indian Cuisine. But it differs from one region to the other. At few places it is cooked, adding yoghurt and in others, coconut-cashew paste is used. 

          Whatever the version, it is a delectable dish to be relished either with rice or chapatti. In the south, it is best enjoyed as an accompaniment along with appam, idiappam or Biryani. So here is a simple mixed vegetable korma in a step-by-step method. 







  • 1 big bowl (5-6 cups) mixed veggies
  • (raw papaya, french beans, broad beans, potato, yam, carrots, eggplants, bottlegourd, red pumpkin)
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1-2 dry red chilies
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp./ garam masala powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. fresh coconut, grated
  • 1-2 fresh green chilies
  • 5-6 cashewnuts
  • coriander leaves to garnish







          Grind together coconut, green chilies and the cashews into a paste. Keep aside. Make a paste with the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste and all the powdered spices (except salt) mixed with 1/4 cup water. Keep aside. 

          Heat oil and temper with dry red chilies, bay leaves, cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the onion and curry leaves. Saute till light brown.

          Now add the ginger-garlic paste and saute on a low flame till the oil separates. Now add the chopped veggies and salt and mix well.

          Add 2 cups water and simmer, covered for 12-15 minutes till the veggies turns soft. Add the coconut paste and 1 cup water and continue to simmer till the gravy slightly thickens. 


  


                        Heat oil and temper with bay leaves, cumin seeds, star anise, cardamoms, 
                        cloves, cinnamon and dry red chilies.



                       
                          Add the onion and curry leaves. Saute till light brown.




                            Add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste and all the dry spices, 
                            (except water) mixed with some water.




                           Add the chopped veggies and water. Cook till the veggies turns soft.




                            Add the coconut paste and some more water. Simmer till the 
                            gravy slightly thickens.




                             Serve, garnished with coriander leaves.






Bhapa Ilish Paturi (Fusion Steamed Fish in Banana Leaf with Maharashtrian Spices)


          This is a traditional Bengali delicacy called Paturi, where Hilsa fish (a favourite river water fish) is generally marinated with mustard paste and steamed, wrapped in a banana leaf. 
          
          But here, I gave a twist to the original recipe and made it into a fusion style. Instead of the usual mustard paste, I added some traditional Maharashtrian coconut-red chilies spice powder along with mustard oil, green chilies and a bit of red chili powder. 

          I also added few kaffir lime leaves for a bit of a lemony flavour. This delectable dish can be relished on its own or as an appetizer. You can substitute it with prawns instead or any boneless fish fillet.







  • 2 Ilish (Hilsa) fillet / any fish fillet (preferabley Bhetki, Large Prawns)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. Maharashtrian coconut-red chilies powder / kasundi (mustard paste)
  • 1 tsp. mustard oil
  • 1-2 green chilies, broken into half
  • few kaffir lime leaves (opt)
  • banana leaf as required


          Smear the following ingredients on the fish. Heat the banana leaf over a direct flame for a few seconds to make it pliable.

          Place the fish fillet on the leaf and fold it. Steam it on high for 5 minutes and then on low flame for 12-15 minutes. Serve then hot as an appetizer or can be had as it is. 




















Friday, 28 August 2015

Whole Moong & Whole Urad Dal Dosa / Uttapam (Green Gram & Black Gram Pancakes)


          These healthy and nutritious breakfast are just right to start your day. They are made of whole moong dal, whole urad dal and brown rice. Some coriander stalks, ginger and green chilies are ground along with the lentils & rice to add some intense flavour to the dosa. Chopped onions and idli podi (gun powder) too, can be sprinkled over the dosa while frying to make onion dosa / uttapams. Relish them hot with some coconut chutney and sambar.








  • 1/4 cup whole moong dal (green gram)
  • 1/4 cup whole urad dal (black gram)
  • 1/4 cup brown rice
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds 
  • handful of coriander stalks, chopped
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp. asafoetida
  • salt to taste
  • oil to shallow fry
  • coconut chutney & sambar to serve







          Soak the moong dal, urad dal, rice and fenugreek seeds overnight. Drain. Add ginger, green chilies, asafoetida, coriander stalks, salt and required quantity of water.

           Grind to a paste and the batter should be of pouring consistency. Keep aside. There is no need to ferment.

          Heat a non-stick tawa (griddle) and add few drops of oil. Spread evenly and then sprinkle some water. After it sizzles off, wipe clean with a tissue paper. 

          Drop a ladleful of the batter and spread it in a circular motion with the back of the ladle into a round pancake. Drizzle some oil around the edges and over it.

          Cook on one side for a minute till it is lightly browned. Flip it over and cook the other side too. Remove on a plate and continue making similar dosas with the remaining batter. Serve them hot with chutney and sambar.


































Thursday, 27 August 2015

Whole Black Gram Sprouts Sundal - South Indian Style


          Sundal is a healthy and nutritious snack preparation, generally made out of boiled white chickpeas (kabuli chana) or boiled peanuts. They are very popular in South India, especially Tamilnadu. 

          They are served in temples and often can be found being sold in parks and beaches. So I decided to prepare my version of the same with some whole black gram sprouts. The end result was simply delicious and worth a try.





  • 1 cup whole urad dal sprouts (black gram)
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1-2 green chilies, hopped
  • 1 tsp. split urad dal (black gram)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves, 
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp. grated fresh coconut
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped






          Heat oil in a pan and temper with the mustard seeds. after it stops spluttering, add the green chilies, urad dal and curry leaves.

          Saute for a few seconds or till the dal changes colour. Add the sprouts and salt. Saute on high flame for a minute. 

          Switch off the flame and add the coconut. Give it a stir and serve, garnished with coriander leaves.  

















Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Shahi Chicken Kasundi (Chicken in Creamy Mustard Gravy)


          A real shahi dish to go with your pulao, jeera rice, plain Biryani, tandoori roti, naan or any fried Indian bread. In this recipe I have added paste of some dry fruits like cashew, almonds, raisins and pista to make the consistency more rich and creamy. So you have an easy and a delicious chicken curry. I used the bottled kasundi, but in case of non-availability, you can use some homemade ground mustard paste. 

          I marinated the chicken with yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, kasundi and other powdered spices before continuing with my cooking process. The end result was simply awesome with a hint of mustardy flavour and the creaminess coming from the ground paste of dry fruits. So go ahead and try this delectable dish and relish with any form of rice preparation or Indian bread. 








  • 1 whole chicken, curry cut
  • 2-3 tbsp. kasundi paste
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp. mustard oil
  • 3 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, slit
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. whole garam masala (cardamoms, cinnamon & cloves)
  • 2 tbsp. paste (of almonds, cashews, pistachios & raisins)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped





          Marinate the chicken with ginger-garlic paste, salt, yoghurt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander-cumin powder and kasundi for 2-3 hours.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with bay leaves and whole garam masalas. Saute for a few seconds. Add the onion and saute on a medium flame till light brown.

          Now add the marinated chicken and continue to simmer, covered till almost dry. Add 1 cup water, slit green chilies and cashew paste. Cook till the gravy is slightly thick.

          Adjust water according to the consistency desired. When done and the chicken turns soft, add the coriander leaves and mix well.

          Serve hot either with plain Biryani, jeera rice, pulao, tandoori roti, naan or any fried Indian bread.           



















Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Sauted Chicken with Whole Black Gram


          A great side dish of stir fried chicken, which can be relished with any Indian bread, baked or deep fried. I gave a twist to the usual dish by adding some soaked whole black gram, so you get the goodness of both fibre and proteins at the same time. 

          A very good combination for a quick frankie or paratha roll. Try having it on a toasted bread and layered with some mayo, green chutney, tomato sauce or kasundi / English mustard. The options are plenty.









  • 500 gms, boneless chicken cubes, boiled & shredded
  • 1/2 cup sabut urad dal (whole black gram lentil), soaked overnight
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1" ginger, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1/2 ts. garam masala powder
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • tomato slices, green chilies, onion slices & coriander leaves to garnish (opt)







          Heat oil and saute the onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies till they turn slightly light brown in colour.

          Add the chicken, soaked urad dal and all the powdered spices. Continue to fry on a medium flame for 2-3 minutes.

          Now add the tomatoes and the coriander leaves and saute for another minute or two. Take off the flame and garnish. Serve as a side dish with phulkas, parathas or any deep fried Indian bread.

          









Monday, 24 August 2015

Okra Stir Fry with Chickpeas - A side Dish - Andhra Style


          Okra as a side dish is very easy to prepare and takes hardly any time to prepare this delicious and simple dish. I added some boiled chickpeas to make it more wholesome. It can be had with chapattis, parathas or curd-rice / sambar-rice / dal-chawal. 

          To add some zing and to make it spicy, I went ahead and experimented by adding the flavourful Andhra spice - Nalla Karam Powder or podi. In the absence of it, substitute with some sambar powder.











  • 1/2 kg. okra, chopped into 1/2" thick roundels
  • 1/2 cup kabuli chana (white chickpeas), boiled
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp. urad dal (split back gram)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic, chopped
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. Nalla karam powder / sambar powder
  • sliced onion to garnish (opt)







          Heat oil in a non-stick pan and temper with the mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter and then add the urad dal. Saute till it changes colour.

          Now add the okra, onion, garlic, curry leaves, salt, chili powder and turmeric powder. Saute on a low flame till it turns soft and gets cooked.

          Add the boiled chickpeas and the nalla karam powder and give it a mix. Serve as a side dish with either rice or chapattis.


          




Cucumber Raita (Spiced Yoghurt with Cucumber)


          This is a very refreshing raita which can be had as a dip too. In fact raita in general is a traditional Indian dip. The cucumber can be either chopped finely or grated. It gives a very cooling effect to our system, especially during summers. 

          There are many variations to it. You can simply add coriander leaves, mint leaves, onion, tomato or anything interesting and appetizing along with some powdered spices like pepper, red chili powder, black salt, roasted cumin powder, etc. They are best enjoyed with biryani, either veg. or non-veg or as an accompaniment with some grilled delicacies. 





  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped finely
  • 1 cup yoghurt, beaten
  • salt to taste
  • pinch of red chili powder / flakes
  • 1 fresh red chilli, chopped
  • 1 tsp. coriander leaves
  • 1 tbsp. fine sev (deep fried vermicelli made from gram flour)







             In a bowl, mix together yoghurt, cucumber, salt and red chili powder. Just before serving, garnish with the coriander leaves, chopped fresh chilli and sev. 

             Relish as a dip or as a side dish along with Biryani or any Indian bread. 



















Raw Banana Curry with Green Peas - (A Perfect Side Dish - Andhra Style)


          Turn this humble veggie into an absolutely delicious and appetizing curry. I kept it dry to be had with any Indian bread. The addition of the aromatic Andhra spice (kura karam podi) adds a distinct flavour to the preparation. 

          Substitute it with sambar / rasam powder. That will give a punch to the dish. It can also be relished as a side dish with either curd-rice, sambar-rice or a simple dal/kadhi-chawal. Do add some lime juice for a tangy flavour. Please check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.








  • 2 raw plantain, skinned & chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1" ginger, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. roasted cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp. roasted coriander powder
  • 1 & 1/2 tbsp. kura karam powder / sambar powder
  • coriander leaves & sliced onion to garnish




          Grind the onion, ginger, garlic and tomatoes to a smooth paste. Keep aside. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chopped banana till light brown. Drain and keep aside. 

          Heat remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter. Then add the ground paste and curry leaves. Saute till the oil separates from the sides of the pan.

          Now add the powdered spices and mix well. Add the fried banana, green peas and 1/2 cup water. Cover and simmer on low flame till the gravy thickens. 

          Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and sliced onion. Relish with either chapattis or rice.





                             Heat 1 tbsp. oil and fry the bananas till light brown. keep aside.



                     Heat remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds. Allow it to splutter.




                        Add the ground onion paste and curry leaves. Saute till oil separates.



                               Add all the powdered spices and mix well.



                      Add the fried banana, green peas and 1/2 cup water. Simmer, covered
                       till the gravy is thick.



                             Serve, garnished with coriander leaves and sliced onion. Enjoy 
                             as a side dish with chapattis or rice.









Sunday, 23 August 2015

Whole Moong Dal Tadka (Whole Green Gram Curry - North Indian Style)


          Whole Green Moong dal is very healthy, nutritious and easy to digest. It can be prepared as a curry, khichdi (porridge) or as a soup. It can also be soaked and sprouted to be used in salads or chaats. It simply tastes delicious in any which way it is had. It is a powerhouse of proteins and nutrients and should be had as frequently as possible. So obviously good for the elderly and during pregnancy.

          This dal recipe is slightly on the thicker side and is best had with any Indian bread. Be sure to include some sliced onion, green chilies and a drizzle of lime juice. It can also be had with rice along with some pickle and papad as accompaniment. So check for a step by step method with pictures to prepare it.





  • 1/2 cup whole Moong Dal (Green Gram Lentil), soaked for 5-6 hours
  • 1/4 cup split moong dal, soaked for 2 hours
  • 1-2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1" ginger, grated
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 2-3 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. roasted coriander-cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 1 tsp. garam masala powder
  • 1 tbsp. yoghurt
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • pinch of paprika
  • 1 tbsp. coriander leaves, chopped
  • few onion slices to garnish (opt)





          Pressure cook both the dals along with 1 chopped onion, ginger and green chilies in 2 cups water for 10 minutes on a low flame after 2 whistles. Add salt and turmeric powder and give it a whisk. Keep aside.

          Heat oil in a pan and temper with cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds. Saute for a few seconds.

          Add the remaining onion and fry till light brown. Now add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste, coriander-cumin powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder mixed with 2 tbsp. water.

          Fry till oil separates. Add the boiled dal and simmer on a medium flame for 2 minutes. Then add the yoghurt and continue to simmer for a further 2-3 minutes. Take off the flame.

          Heat ghee and temper with the remaining cumin seeds. After it stops spluttering, add the chopped garlic and fry further till it changes colour. 

          Switch off the flame and add a pinch of paprika. Immediately pour this tempering over the cooked dal and serve, garnished with coriander leaves and sliced onion.





                               Soak 1/2 cup whole moong dal & 1/4 cup split moong dal.




                           Boil both the dals, 1 onion, ginger and green chilies in 2 cups water.



                               The boiled dal.....



                               Add salt and turmeric powder And give it a whisk.




                   Heat oil. Temper with cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon, cardamoms & cloves.




                                Add the onion and saute till light brown.




                  Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato paste, coriander-cumin powder, red chili 
                   powder & garam masala powder mixed with little water.



                        Saute till oil separates and then add the boiled dal. Simmer for 2 min.





                               Then add the yoghurt and simmer further for 2-3 minutes.



                  Heat ghee and temper with cumin seeds, garlic & paprika. Pour this over the
                  dal and serve, garnished with coriander leaves & onion.
                       










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