Monday, January 28, 2008

Tomato Curry

I love tomatoes - the vibrant colour and texture they add to any dish, is so appealing! There are an amazing variety of tomatoes and we have quite a variety available at our grocers. Am partial to vine-ripened tomatoes though, simply love them! but also pickup Beefsteak and Roma, depending on what looks fresh in the grocery aisles.  
I use tomatoes liberally in everyday cooking. Today, I was in no mood for lot of prep work and hence turned to tomatoes for a quick and easy curry!

IngredientsTomatoes - 6, roughly chopped (vine-ripened)
Onions - 2 medium, roughly chopped
Green chillies - 4, slit or chopped
Red chillie powder - 1 tsp

Curry masala powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Salt - to taste
Coriander leaves - 1 small bunch, finely chopped

For seasoning
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Garlic - 2 cloves, sliced
Curry leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a skillet, add seasoning ingredients starting with mustard seeds. When they crackle, add rest of the ingredients
  2. Add chopped onions, turmeric and salt. Saute for just a couple of minutes (onions should not turn soft and should be slightly crisp)
  3. Add tomatoes and green chillies. Cover and cook until tomatoes turn soft. Uncover, let all liquid evaporate
  4. Add red chillie powder and masala powder, mix well
  5. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves, turn the heat off

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Cabbage - Green Peas

A quick and easy fry... here is how I make this!

IngredientsCabbage - 1/2 a head, finely chopped
Green peas - 3 tbsp

Onion - 1 small, finely chopped
Green chillies - 3, slit or chopped
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Salt - to taste

Coriander, Cumin, Fennel seeds powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp, finely chopped

Oil - 1 tbsp

  • Heat oil in a wide skillet, add cumin seeeds, garlic and curry leaves
  • Immediately add chopped onion, saute until translucent
  • Toss in green peas, saute for a couple of minutes and add chopped cabbage, green chillies
  • Sprinkle salt and turmeric; saute on medium-high heat until done. When done, cabbage should be slightly crisp
  • Add coriander, cumin and fennel seeds powder, mix and saute for just a couple of minutes
  • Toss in fresh coriander leaves, turn the heat off

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beerakaya (Ridge gourd)

A simple variety..... no onions, tomato or masala. Just add ginger and garlic for some wonderful aroma and a touch of toasted sesame seeds powder, for a pleasant tasting curry!


Beerakaya - 4 cups, chopped (peel skin slightly - just around the ridges)
Ginger - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Garlic - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dried red chillies - 2, tear and deseed
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 4, slit lengthwise
Curry leaves - sprig
Sesame seeds powder - 2 tbsp (toasted and coarsely ground)
Milk - 3 tbsp
Oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a wide skillet and add seasoning of cumin seeds, dried red chillies, urad dal, curry leaves.
  2. Let urad dal turn pale brown, then add giner and garlic. Saute for a minute and add slit green chillies, chopped beerakaya.
  3. Add salt, mix, cover and cook in its own moisture, until done. Ridge gourd should not turn mushy - should be firm, yet soft.
  4. Uncover, let all moisture evaporate and add toasted sesame seeds powder.
  5. Saute for a couple of minutes, add milk and turn the heat off. Mix well.
Serve with rice. Also good with Roti/Phulka.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

French Beans - Coconut


French Beans - 3 cups, chopped
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped
Curry leaves - sprig
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Red chillie powder - 1 tsp (optional)
Fresh grated coconut - 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a wide skillet, add seasoning of cumin seeds, urad dal, garlic and curry leaves
  2. Add chopped onion, saute until soft
  3. Add chopped beans, turmeric, salt, green chillies. Let fry for 3 minutes, cover and cook until beans turn soft
  4. Stir in red chillie powder and fresh grated coconut
  5. Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves
Serves as a nice side dish for rasam/sambar

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Chakra Pongali (Rice Pudding)

A lip-smacking delicacy, for those special occasions!

Rice - 2 cups (wash and drain)
Moong dal - ½ cup (wash and soak in water for 20 minutes)
4 cups water to cook rice and moong dal
Fresh grated coconut - ¾ cup (lightly roast, until pale golden)
Cashew nuts - ¼ cup, halved
Cardamom (elaichi) powder - 1 tsp
Sugar and grated jaggery - to taste (I normally do 3 parts sugar and 1 part jaggery)
4 cups milk (whole milk or 2%)
3 tbsp ghee (adjust as per your preference)

  1. Cook rice and moong dal together until soft
  2. Toast cashews in 1 tbsp ghee, remove and set aside
  3. In a thick bottomed saucepan, heat milk
  4. Add cooked rice and dal to the milk, add cashews, sugar, elaichi powder and let cook for 10-15 minutes, on medium heat (do not cover the Pan). Keep stirring in between
  5. Add roasted coconut, remaining ghee and simmer until all the liquid evaporates. Stir in between
  6. Remove from heat. Add grated jaggery, mix well
  7. Serve warm
Tip: If you love jaggery, you can add all jaggery and no sugar.
      Jaggery should be added after you turn the heat off/remove from heat.

Mango & Lemon Rice (Pulihora)

Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Water - 3 1/2 cups
Raw Mango - 1, big size
Lemon juice - 2 big lemons

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Peanuts - 1 tbsp
Dried red chillies - 5, tear and deseed
Hing (asafoetida) - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 8, slit lengthwise

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
3 tbsp oil

  1. Peel the skin of mango and cut into pieces. (Discard the seed) Make a puree, either in a food processor or in regular Indian style mixie. Set aside alongwith lemon juice
  2. Cook basmati rice with water, 1 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil  and turmeric. Remove to a wide bowl and spread to cool
  3. Heat oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds. When mustard crackles, add cumin seeds, chana dal, urad dal, dried red chillies, peanuts, hing. Fry until the dals and peanuts turn pale brown
  4. Add curry leaves and green chillies, fry for a couple of minutes and turn the heat off. Let cool and add mango puree and lemon juice to this mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes
  5. Add above mixture to the rice and mix well. Let rest for an hour, allowing the rice to soak up all the flavours of mango, lemon and seasoning

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Chayote Squash (Bengaluru Vankaya)

Chayote is almost like bottlegourd; when cooked, it has a slightly sweet taste. A good dose of spices would add nice flavour to this simple vegetable.

4 cups Chayote pieces (peel the skin, discard the seed and cut into small pieces)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
4 green chillies, slit lengthwise
turmeric & salt - to taste
garam masala powder - to taste
chopped coriander leaves
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp milk

For seasoning:
2 cloves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 dried red chillie, broken into pieces
3 garlic cloves, minced
curry leaves

  • Heat oil in a pan, add seasoning ingredients in the same order as above
  • Immediately add chopped onion, saute until onion is translucent
  • Add vegetables pieces, salt, turmeric. Mix, cover & cook for 10 minutes
  • Add diced tomato, green chillies, garam masala powder. Cover & cook until done
  • Add milk, chopped coriander leaves, mix well & turn the heat off
Good with rice, roti/chapathi

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Cool Treats

A cool and refreshing treat for the New Year!

Hawaain Punch-Orange Ocean, chilled - 4 cups
Sprite, chilled - 2 cups
Strawberry Icecream, softened - 3 cups
Fresh Orange pulp - 1 cup
  • In a serving bowl, blend all above together (just use a spoon) Serve chilled.
  • If using a blender, blend Hawaain punch and icecream, remove to a bowl and add sprite and orange pulp. Blend well.
  • Serve chilled.