Sunday, January 8, 2012

Carrot Curry

Love carrots for their nutritional profile and taste! but my love for carrots wasnt always like this! Mom used to make curry and I dont remember having loved it as a kid. Ofcourse, I had always loved the carrot halwa that she made. Apart from that, nothing about this root vegetable seemed to entice me.
However, this vegetable could not be ignored for long, given its antioxidant richness... J

Carrots - 1 lbs, chopped
Onions - 2 medium, finely chopped
Cloves (lavang) - 3
Garlic - 2 tsp, minced
Dried red chillies - 2, tear & deseed
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Poppy seeds powder - 1 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Green chillies - 4, slit lengthwise
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp
Milk - 3 tbsp
Water - 4 tbsp (if required)

  1. Heat oil in a saute pan and add cloves, red chillies, garlic, curry leaves. Saute for just a few seconds and add chopped onion.
  2. Add turmeric, salt, poppy seeds powder and saute until onion turns translucent.
  3. Add carrots & let fry for 5 minutes before adding garam masala, fennel seeds powder and green chillies.
  4. Cover and simmer for 15 mins. Remove lid and add water if carrots are not cooked yet
  5. If adding water, cover & let simmer for 5 more minutes
  6. Add milk mix and simmer uncovered for a couple of minutes.
  7. Adjust salt, turn off heat & add cilantro.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Spinach Dal (Paalakura Pappu)

Toor Dal - 1 cup (wash & soak in 1 cup warm water for 1/2 hour)
Spinach, chopped - 2 cups
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
Green chillies - 3, slit lengthwise
Salt to taste
Water - 1 cup
Ghee - 1tsp
Amchur (dry mango) powder - 2 tsp
For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garlic, chopped - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 1 tsp

  1. Pressure cook toor dal and spinach with onion and green chillies for upto 3 whistles.
  2. Once steam is released, open the lid and mash the dal mixture lightly.
  3. Heat oil in a pan for seasoning. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add rest of the ingredients listed under seasoning. Add this seasoning to dal mixture.
  4. Add amchur powder, ghee and adjust salt.
Serve with warm rice!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bean-Vegetable Salad

Love the various textures and color in this simple, light & refreshing salad. It will last for days chilled which makes it a great make-ahead salad for picnics and gatherings.

1 15 ounce can garbanzos, drained and rinsed
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup diced red and green bell peppers
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted or 1/2 cup of fresh corn kernels, parboiled, drained and cooled
1/3 cup diced red onion
3 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, including tender stems
1/2 Tsp pepper
Salt to taste


Mix garbanzos, black beans, red and green bell peppers, tomatoes, corn and red onion in a large bowl.
Prepare a dressing of lemon juice, olive oil, salt & pepper.
Add cilantro and dressing to the bean-vegetable mixture, toss well.
Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Panna Cotta

The first Italian dessert I ever made! When I first made Panna Cotta, I had followed a recipe from Food Network's 'Everyday Italian' for an Espresso Panna Cotta. The easiest one to make, requires very little preparation and time!
This time, I just used a store bought Panna Cotta mix that came with a Raspberry sauce mix too.

Ingredients : milk & cream, 1 cup each.

Followed directions on the box:
Bring milk to a boil, remove from heat and whisk in the Panna Cotta mix. Add 1 cup whipping cream, whisk until well combined. Pour into small ramekins or desert dishes. Chill for 2 hours or more. Turn onto a serving plate, garnish with raspberry sauce.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sorakaya-Tomato Pappu (Bottlegourd-Tomato Dal)


Toor dal - 1 cup (washed & soaked in warm water for 1/2 hr)
Sorakaya - 3 cups, chopped 1" cubes (peel the skin & chop)
Tomatoes - 3 medium, roughly chopped
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
Green chillies - 4
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp (adjust per taste)
Water - 1 cup
Amchur powder - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced
Curry leaves - sprig
Oil - 2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tsp (optional)

  1. Pressure cook toor dal, sorakaya, tomatoes, onion, green chillies with turmeric, salt and 1 cup water for upto 4 whistles. 
  2. When pressure is released, remove the lid and add amchur powder, adjust salt.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat 2 tsp oil for seasoning. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. When they start crackling, add rest of the ingredients called for under seasoning. Fry for just a few seconds and add this seasoning to dal mixture.
Stir in 2 tsp ghee for that perfect taste! Serve with warm rice!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pudina Pulav

Pudina (Mint) Leaves - 2 cups, packed (add little water and make puree)
Basmati Rice - 2 1/2 cups (I use the 'cup' from the electric rice cooker)
Water - 4 cups and Mint puree - 1 cup : to cook rice
Green chillies - 6 (adjust per taste)

Cloves (lavang) -5 
Cardamom pods - 3
Cinnamon - 1/2" piece, make a coarse powder
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - sprig
Onion - 1 medium, roughly chopped
French beans - 1 cup, chopped 
Green peas - 1 cup
a pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Pulav masala - 2 tsp
2 tbsp oil
1 tbsp butter (optional)

  1. Make a puree of mint leaves and green chillies. Set aside
  2. Start the electric rice cooker on 'cooking' . When the cooker is hot, add oil & butter and toss cumin seeds. Once they fry up, add cloves, cardamom, cinnamon powder, ginger & garlic paste
  3. Let the ginger garlic paste fry for a minute, toss in curry leaves & chopped onion. Saute onion until translucent.
  4. Stir in beans, add 1/4 tsp salt and let fry for 3 minutes. Add peas, fry for 2 minutes.
  5. Add washed rice, turmeric, salt and pulav masala. Mix and let fry for 3 minutes.
  6. Add mint puree and water, adjust salt. Cover and cook until done.
  7. To get a dry texture, remove the cooked rice to a wide bowl and spread to cool.
Is perfect all by itself or serve with any korma.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bendakaya-Soya Chunks Pulusu (Okra-Soya Chunks in Spicy Sauce)

I was wondering how soya chunks would taste in a tamarind sauce. After some thought, decided to combine okra & soya chunks. I was happy with the result! The soya chunks absorbed the spicy sauce - they were chewy & juicy! This sauce variety is good with rice.

Bhindi - 12 (wash, dry & cut into 1 1/2 " pieces)
Soya chunks - 12 (soak in warm salted water for 10 mins. wash & squeeze water)
1 big onion, thinly sliced and halved
1 big tomato, roughly chopped
2 tbsp tamarind pulp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Red chillie powder (Paprika) - 1 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Fennel seed powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 4, slit lengthwise
Cilantro (Coriander) leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 2 tbsp
Water - 3 cups
For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cloves (lavang) - 3, crushed
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillie - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 3 cloves, minced
Curry leaves - sprig

  1. Heat oil in a saucepan, do the seasoning - starting with mustard seeds. When they crackle, toss in cloves, cumin seeds, red chillie, garlic & curry leaves
  2. Immediately add onion, saute just until tender
  3. Add in tomato pieces, salt & turmeric. Mix, cover & cook until tomatoes soften
  4. Add 3 cups water, tamarind pulp, green chillies. Toss in cut bhindi & soya chunks
  5. Let boil until bhindi softens, stir in red chillie, sambar and fennel seed powders.
  6. Boil for 10 minutes, turn the heat off & sprinkle chopped coriander leaves