Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Quinoa Idlies

Recently we have been trying to change our food habits and wanting to have a better and healthier life style and trying to avoid rice and starch once in a while to make up for all the party food and festival food. One of my friends mentioned about quinoa idlies and immediately I felt it was a great idea to get in more protein.

There is one big compromise- You will have compromise on the white color of idlies. You can camouflage this by making mini idlis and dunking in sambar. I have kept the idlies separate in the picture below so you can see the actual color.

You can try dosas with the same batter too. It tastes and feels like the Ethiopian bread- "Injera". I am not sure how it will taste with chutneys but I totally recommend going for a big bowl of sambar with this dish.

FYI- Quinoa is known as "Thinai" in Tamil and is a native to South America. 

So here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

Urad dal- 3/4 cup
Organic Yellow Quinoa- 3 cups
Fennel seeds- 2/3 tsp
Salt- Per taste

PROCEDURE:

  1. Soak quinoa over night after thorough washing.
  2. Soak urad dal and fennel seeds for 3-4 hours.
  3. Grind them separately in a mixie or blender until smooth paste
  4. Mix them together and add salt.
  5. Let ferment for 24 hours.
  6. Make idlies or dosas and serve with hot sambar or any chutneys of your choice.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Rajma Masala

This is one of the quickest and easiest gravies to make. It goes well with Chapathis Puris, Ghee rice, Pulao & Bread.

INGREDIENTS:

Rajma aka Red Kidney Beans- 1 can, washed in running water.
Onion-1 small, cut into small cubes
Tomatoes- 2 nos, ground into a smooth paste
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder-1/4 tsp
Cumin powder- 1 tsp
Garam Masala- 1 tsp
Red chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
Coriander Seed powder- 1/2 tsp
Amchur powder(Optional)- 1 pinch
Bay leaves- 1 no

PROCEDURE:

  1. Wash the canned rajma in running water thoroughly and set aside.
  2. In a pot, add oil, bay leaf, chopped onions & ginger garlic paste and allow to cook until raw smell is gone.
  3. Meanwhile, chop tomatoes roughly and grind in to a smooth paste and add to the onion mixure.
  4. Add all the masala powders along with salt.
  5. Add the Rajma beans and allow to cook with the gravy until oil separates and thick gravy is formed.
  6. Turn off stove. Garnish with cilantro and pour a spoon of lemon juice.



Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Tomato mint chutney

INGREDIENTS

Tomatoes-4 cubed
Mint-5 strands
Garlic-5 nos cut into small pieces
Green chillies- 3 nos
Tamarind paste-1 tsp
Channa dal-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Split urad dal- 2 tsp
Curry leaves

PROCEDURE:

1. In a pan with little oil, add channa dal, garlic, tomatoes, green chillies and sautée till cooked. Now add the mint leaves , mix and turn off stove.
2. Now add tamarind paste and salt and mix. Allow to cool.
3. Grind the above into a smooth paste.
4. Season by adding oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, asafoetida and curry leaves.
5. Mix with the ground paste. Serve with hot idlies, dosas, bajjis, puffs and anything you want.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Apple Pickle

I had this pickle at a friends party with some yogurt rice and man, I was in heaven. I was so wanting to have that pickle again that I decided to make it by myself.

INGREDIENTS:

Granny smith green apples- 3 nos, cut with the skin into small cubes
Red chillies- 8 or more depending on your spice
Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp appr
Fenugreek seeds- 1 tbsp appr
Asafoetida/Hing- 2 puffs
Sesame Oil- 4 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 2 tsp

PROCEDURE:
  1.  Cut the green apples into small cubes with the skin on.
  2. In a small pan, saute the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds with some asafoetida without any oil. Once the raw smell is gone and the seeds turn golden brown, turn off the switch and add the red chillies. This helps the red chillies keep its red color. Allow the spices to cool and grind them well.
  3. Mix the powder with the cut green apples.Add salt according to your taste.
  4. Now in the same pan, add sesame oil and mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add this to the pickle and you are done.


Friday, September 28, 2012

Coconut Chutney with Red Chillies

INGREDIENTS:

Grated coconut powder- 1 cup
Dry channa dal(Pottu kadalai)- 1/4 cup
Red chillies- 2 or more depending on your spice level
Tamarind - A pinch, size of 1/4 inch
Salt- To taste
Asafoetida powder- 2 puffs
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Split urad dal- 1/2 tsp
Channa dal-1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 bunch
Garlic clove(optional)-1 no

PROCEDURE:

1. Grind coconut powder or fresh coconut pieces with dry channa dal, tamarind paste, red chillies, salt, garlic clove(optional) into a smoothe paste.
2. Now in a  small pan of oil, add mustard seeds, urad dal, split dal,curry leaves,asafoetida and allow the mustard seeds to splutter.
 3. Now mix with the ground chutney mixture and serve with hot idlies, dosas or any tiffen item.




 





Monday, September 10, 2012

Strawberry Nutella Cupcakes

This recipes makes about 8-10 cupcakes. I have inherited the recipe from this blog:  http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/strawberry-nutella-muffins/  and made some modifications to it.

I made these cupcakes/muffins at home and they were done in a day.They are too addictive.

INGREDIENTS:

All Purpose Flour- 1.5 cups
Whole Milk- 1/2 cup
Egg-1
Canola or Vegetable Oil-1/2 cup
Sugar- 1 cup
Strawberries-1.5 cup-Cut into small pieces (make sure they are ripe)
Nutella-1/2 - 1 cup
Baking Powder-1 tsp
Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
Vanilla Extract- 1 tsp
salt-1/4 tsp

PROCEDURE:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Now place some cupcake liners on your muffin pan.
  3. Mix egg,sugar,oil,milk and vanilla extract in medium speed.
  4. Now add the flour,baking powder,baking soda,salt slowly into the wet ingredients one by one and mix completely till no lumps.
  5. Turn off your blender/whisker and fold in the cut strawberries.
  6. Now in the muffin pan with cupcake liners, pour some batter until half full. Add a spoon of nutella or how much ever nutella you want(if you are a chocoholic like me).
  7. Add the rest of the the batter until 3/4 full. 
  8. Place in the oven for 20-22 minutes or until the inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
  9. Wait till cool and enjoy as breakfast or dessert.
  10. You can sprinkle some powdered sugar on top of the cupcakes once cooled for decoration and serve.
TIPS:
  1. When baking always use whole milk for extra flavor.
  2. Also use only large eggs for baking.
  3. If you live in high altitude like Colorado, try using Hungarian brand high altitude unbleached all purpose flour for best results.
  4. You can substitute butter instead of oil.
  5. Whenever you make cupcakes, you always fill only till 3/4 th of the cupcake mold to leave room for the batter to grow when baking and not spill outside.

Okra(Lady's Finger Masala)

INGREDIENTS:

Okra- 2 pounds or about 1/2 kgs
Red Onions- 1 big onion cut into small cubes
Tomatoes-2 small, cut into small cubes
Fennel Seeds or Saunf- 1 tsp
Garlic cloves- 4 to 6 nos, cut into small cubes
Curry leaves- 1stalk
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder- 2 tbsp or more depending on spice level
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder- 1 tsp
Asafoetida- (optional)


PROCEDURE:
  1. In a pan with oil, add fennel seeds and curry leaves and allow to splutter.
  2. Now add the cut onions and garlic and saute till golden brown.Now add the tomatoes and mix well to cook.
  3. Add the Okra or lady's finger with some salt and allow to cook well till the slimy texture reduces.
  4. Now add all the curry powders and fry till the consistency of consistency. Some people leave it a little gravy and some people like the lady's finger to be crisp.
  5. Serve with hot chapathis or rice with any curry and enjoy! 
TIPS:
  1. You can also add some sambar powder for some extra flavor. 
  2. If you want you can add some garam masala powder.

    Tuesday, September 4, 2012

    Home made Ginger Garlic Paste


    INGREDIENTS:

    Ginger and Garlic- Peeled and cut into small pieces, Equal proportions
    Sesame Oil- 1 tbsp
    Salt-1/2 tsp

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a mixie, add all the ingredients above and grind to a smooth paste. You can add this paste to all curries and side dishes.
    2. This paste can be refrigerated for up to 2 months with fresh taste.
     


    Monday, August 27, 2012

    Semiya/Vermicelli Kesari


    Ingredients:

    Semiya/Vermicelli-2 cups
    Sugar-1.25 cups
    Milk-1 cup
    Water-1 cup
    Elaichi-1 tsp
    Ghee-2 tbsp
    Saffron-A pinch
    Red color- A pinch(optional)
    Raisins,Almond flakes and Cashewnuts-Garnish to taste


    Procedure:

    1.Pour a little bit of ghee and roast the vermicelli/semiya in a pot till it turns golden yellow and the raw smell is gone.Keep aside.
    2.Add a drop of ghee and roast raisins,cashewnuts and almond flakes along with some fresh crushed elaichi or elaichi powder till golden brown and keep aside.
    3. Now Add milk and water and let it boil. Add a little bit of color powder and the roasted semiya and mix till solid.
    4.Add 1 1/4 cups pf sugar and keep stirring till it reaches a halwa consistency.
    5.Switch off. Garnish with Saffron and the nuts and serve hot.

    Tomato Vermicelli

    INGREDIENTS:

    Onions- 1 medium
    Tomato- 2 medium
    Cloves,bayleaf,cinnamon stick
    Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder,danya powder,chilli powder,cumin powder,garam masala
    Tomato paste or tamarind paste(if the tomatoes arent tart enough)
    Mustard seeds,split urad dhal and chana dal for seasoning.
    Cilantro for garnish.Mint leaves/curry leaves optional
    Vermicelli- 1.5 cups


    PROCEDURE:
    1. Fry the semiya/sevai separately till a little brown and set aside.
    2. In a pan with oil, add mustard seeds,urad dal,chana dal,curry leaves.
    3. Add onions sliced and some green chillies and saute.Add ginger garlic paste.
    4. Add all the spice powders and add tomato either by grinding in mixie or in a chopper.
    5. Let boil till it thickens.
    6. Add the semolina and fry well. Add 2-2.5 cups of boiling water to the pan and mix well.
    7. Garnish with cashewnuts,cilantro.Adding ghee ofcourse brings good taste.

    Tip 1: Always use only boiling water when cooking vermicelli or the vermicelli will be one big mass.
    Tip 2: Always use less than 1 : 1.5-1.75 ratio because Vermicelli needs less water to cook than rava(sooji).
    Tip 3: you can add tomate paste or tamarind paste if the tomatoes arent tart enough.Best when served hot right from the stove.
    Tip 4: You can use the same recipe for iddiyappam. Sorry guys I dont know the english name for both. If someone knows ,please add in the comments section.


    Rava pongal

    INGREDIENTS:

    Rava - 1 cup
    Moong dal (pasi paruppu) - 1/2 cup
    Water- 2.5 cups
    Milk - 1/2 cup substituitional if not you can add water instead of milk.
    Cashew nuts - 10
    Pepper corns -1 tsp
    Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
    Green chillies-2 or 3 nos, sliced
    Ginger - (minced)
    Ghee - as needed
    Oil - 1/4 cup or more if lumps are more
    Curry leaves - a few

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Pressure cook the dal and make it watery so it is easy to cook.
    2.Roast the rava in a tsp of ghee and set aside.
    3.In the same pan, add the remaining ghee and oil and season with pepper corns and cumin seeds.
    4.Then add the cashews, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and fry until cashews turn golden brown.
    5.Add two and half cups of the water.
    6.Add salt and let the mixture boil. Then add the roasted rava and stir in medium heat until the rava is well cooked and reaches a semi solid consistency.
    8.Now add the cooked dal, mix and cover in low heat for 5 mins.
    9.Add some ghee on the top and mix well.
    Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

    Kuzhi paniyaram

    INGREDIENTS:

    Sour idly batter

    Season:

    Onions-1/2 medium chopped fine
    Red chillies-3
    Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
    Split urad dal-1/4 tsp
    Channa dal-1/8 tsp
    Asafoetida
    Curry leaves

    PROCEDURE:

    1. Make sure the idly batter is sour.
    2.In a small pan,fry onions,tadka and mix this with the idly batter.
    3.Pour in kuzhi paniyaram pans.
    4.Serve with coconut chutney or idly podi.

    Vegetable Semiya Biriyani

    INGREDIENTS:

    Onions-1/2 medium sliced well
    Carrots,peas,bell peppers
    Tomato-1 medium cut roughly
    Ginger garlic paste-1/2 tbsp
    True or Bambino brand Vermicilli-2 cups
    Green chillies- 2 split
    Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
    Turmeric Powder, Chilli powder, Coriander powder, Saunf or Fenugreek powder, Garam masala Powder
    Frozen Mixed Vegetables-1/4 packet
    Water-4 cups

    PROCEDURE:
    1.In a pan with little oil, saute the vermicelli until the raw smell is gone and keep aside.
    2.Now add oil, add cumin seeds,onions, green chillies, ginger & garlic, vegetables and mix well till cooked well. Now add all the masala powders and then pour water in 1:2 ratio and bring to a boil.
    3. Add the vermicelli and cook covered until done.
    4.Garnish with mint leaves and cilantro leaves.
    5.Serve with chutney.

    Chilli Paratha

    INGREDIENTS:

    Frozen Plain Paratha-4
    Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
    Red Onion- 1 medium sliced
    Green chillies-3 slit.
    Ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp
    Curry leaves-Few
    Green bell pepper-1/2 cubed
    Cilantro-A handful chopped well
    Soy Sauce-1 tsp
    Ketchup or Tomato puree -4 tbsp
    Hot Chilli Sauce(Sriracha Sauce) or red chilli flakes- As desired for spice level
    Lemon juice- A splash

    PROCEDURE:

    1. Toast the parathas and cut them into small bite size pieces using a knife(I prefer Pizza cutter for ease and uniformity)
    2.In a big wok or vessel, add oil, cumin seeds, curry leaves. Once it splutters, add the onions,ginger garlic paste, bell peppers, green chillies and saute well.
    3. Add a splash of soy sauce, add ketchup, sriracha sauce and mix well till it comes to a boil.
    4. Add the cut paratha pieces and mix well with cilantro, lemon juice.
    5. Serve hot with Raitha.

    You can add more cut garlic for extra taste.

    Soft Yummy Rava Idlies


    INGREDIENTS:
    Rava-2 cups
    Baking Soda-1/4 tsp
    Buttermilk-1-2 cups

    Tadka:
    Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
    Urad dal-1/4 tsp
    Chana Dal-1/8 tsp
    Green Chillies-2 chopped finely
    Cashew Nuts-1/2 tsp
    Ginger-A small bit
    Salt-1/2 tsp

    Garnish:
    Carrot-4 baby ones,grated
    Cilantro-Chopped
    Peas-optional

    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a little bit of oil,season mustard seeds,urad dal, chana dal, cashewnuts, green chillies and ginger.
    2.Now add rava and saute till raw smell is gone and switch off stove. Allow this mixture to cool.
    3.Add Baking soda, salt& buttermilk to this mixture until it reaches the consistency of idly batter.
    4.Grease idly plates with a little oil, put a little bit of carrot,peas and cilantro. Now pour batter over this and cook until done.
    5.Serve with any kind of coconut chutney. Rava idlies are good at room temperature too.

    Makes about 20 or more idlies in total depending on the idly plate size.

    Idly Podi

    INGREDIENTS:

    Red chillies-2 cups
    Urad dal-1 cup
    Chana dal-1/2 cup
    Asafoetida-Lots
    Curry leaves
    Pepper corns-optional

    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a very little oil,add red chillies,pepper corns (optional),fry the channa dal,then add urad dal till golden brown and salt (preferrably rock salt) and then add curry leaves and keep aside to cool down.
    2.Grind dry in mixie.

    Cauliflower Peas Kurma

    INGREDIENTS:

    Cloves,cinnamon sticks
    Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
    Green chillies- 4 sliced
    Onions -1 medium sliced
    Green peas
    Cauliflower
    Turmeric powder
    Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
    Chilli powder
    Danya powder
    Garma masala
    Coconut flakes dessicated- 3 tbsp
    Milk
    Sour cream - 1 tbsp

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a pan add oil. Add cloves and cinnamon sticks.
    2. After it splatter add cumin seeds. The add sliced onions and saute. Add ginger garlic paste and saute till golden brown.
    3. Now add green peas,cauliflower and fry.Add all spices and salt.
    4. Now add milk and sour cream. Add coconut flakes. Keep stirring till it boils.
    5. After it boils well,add cilantro for garnishing.

    Tip: Very good with paratha.

    Tamil Nadu Style Vegetable Kurma





    This is a very hotel style tamil recipe.
     
    INGREDIENTS:
     
    Coconut-3 tbsp
    Gaza gaza- 1 tbsp
    cumin seeds-1 tsp
    Green chillies-5 or 6 according to your spice level
    Onions-1 medium sliced
    Tamarind paste or tomato- ur choice
    Potatoes-1 big cut into chunks
    cauilflower-1/2 a flower
    peas-1/4 cup
    Cloves,cinnamon- To taste
    Turmeric powder,little bit chilli powder,danya powder- To taste
    Ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp
    Cilantro for seasoning
    Saunf optional- 1 tsp

    PROCEDURE
    :
     
    1. Lightly fry coconut,gaza gaza and cumin and saunf and grind with 2 green chillies to a fine paste
    2. In a pan add oil,cloves and cinnamon. After it pops add onions and 2 slit green chillies and all the veggies and ginger garlic paste and saute.
    3. Then add all the spice powders and then the coconut paste.Let boil till it bubbles.
    4. Keep it for 3-4 whistles and its done.
    5. Garnish with cilantro
     
    Tip 1: You can add cashews and pottu kadalai for nice texture.
    Tip 2: You can also add butter beans. I love it.

    More Kolambu-Tamil Nadu Style


    INGREDIENTS:

    Soak:

    1.Cumin seeds-1 tbsp
    2.Toor dhal-1 tbsp
    3.Channa dal- 1 tbsp
    4.Ginger-a chunk
    Other:
    1.Buttermilk
    2.Grated Coconut flakes
    3.Red chillies-1 or 2
    4.Coconut oil
    5.Mustard seeds
    6.Vegetable of your choice-Okra,white pumpkin,lauki or pakodas
    7.Curry leaves and cilantro leaves
    8.Turmeric powder,coriander seeds powder,chilli powder
    9.Asafoetida
    10.Onions-Thinly sliced is optional(hotels use them but traditionally not)
    11.Green chillies-4 or 5

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Grind coconut flakes and green chillies and the soaked ingredients to a smooth paste
    2.In a pan with oil(I mix normal oil with coconut oil),add red chillies, mustard seeds,curry leaves,onions(optional),asafoetida,vegetables and fry well.
    3.Once done,add the ground coconut-chilly paste we ground before.
    4.Let it come to a boil. Add buttermilk and allow to boil a little bit. Do NOT overcook the kolambu,then the coconut taste is gone. All you need to check for is the ends of the pot/pan,the kolambu should come to a boil and bubbles should move to the center. Switch off immediately.
    5.Pour coconut oil after cooking for extra flavor and garnish with very little cilantro leaves.

    Note:I am not able to exactly give measurement of buttermilk and coconut since I always eyeball.Its equal parts.

    Easy Kadappa Recipe


    This is a famous Thanjavur dish and they serve it in any celebrations or weddings and reminds me of home. Here is a very simple recipe that you will surely enjoy.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Moong dal-1 cup
    Potatoes-1 or 2 big
    Baby Carrot- 3 nos cut into small pieces
    Green Chillies- 2 or 3 according to spice level
    Onion-1 small, diced
    Tomato-1 small, cubed
    Bay leaf-1 nos
    Cloves-5 nos
    Ginger-1/4 inch grated or smashed
    Garlic-7 nos diced

    Saunf/Fennel seeds powder-1 tsp
    Cinnamon-1 small stick
    Coconut-1/4 cup
    Cilantro-For garnish


    PROCEDURE:


    1.In a small pan, add oil, all spices, onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies,tomatoes and saute till done.
    2.In a pressure cooker, add the moong dal after washing it well, 2.5 cups of water,coconut & the cooked vegetables from the pan and keep for 3 or 4 whistles.
    3.Open cooker and see if the curry is too thick, add water and dilute. Let boil. Add cilantro for garnish.
    4.Serve with Idiyappam,Appam,Idlies,Dosas or even chapathis.

    Note:

    If you wish, you can substitute coconut milk instead of grated coconut to thin the gravy out. Make sure you do not add too much coconut milk, then it may taste like Sodhi.

    Thakkali Kurma(Tomato Kurma)

    This dish literally takes not more than 15 minutes to make and you can eat with idlies/dosas/chapathis.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Tomatoes-4 nos
    Onions-1 small sliced
    Turmeric powder-1/8 tsp
    Sambar Powder-1 tbsp
    Garam masala-1 tsp
    Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp or more as per your taste
    Curry leaves &  Cilantro-For garnish
    Cumin seeds

    To grind into a paste:
    1.Coconut-1 tbsp
    2.Sombu/Saunf/Fennel seeds-1/2 tbsp

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pan, add oil,cumin seeds,onions,curry leaves,ginger garlic paste and saute till well done.Now add the tomatoes, masala powders and some water and allow to boil well and make sure the tomatoes are cooked well.
    2. After the onion/tomato mixture has cooked well, add the ground paste and allow to come to a boil.
    3. Turn off the stove and add cilantro.
    4. Serve hot with idlies/dosas/chapathis. Yummo!

    Paruppu urandai Kolambu

    INGREDIENTS for KOLAMBU:

    Onion-1 small, finely chopped
    Tomatoes-4 small,peel skin by boiling in hot water and grind to a smooth paste
    Garlic pods- 4 or 5 roughly chopped
    Tamarind pulp- size of a golf ball,soaked in hot water and take the extract.
    Turmeric powder-1 tsp
    Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
    Red chilli powder-2 tbsp
    Cumin powder-1 tsp
    Curry leaves-A few
    Sesame oil-1/8 cup
    Mustard seeds-1 tsp
    Asafoetida-2 puffs

    INGREDIENTS for PARUPPU URANDAI(LENTIL BALLS):

    Toor dal-1/2 cup
    Channa dal-1/2 cup
    Saunf(Fennel seeds)-1.5 to 2 tbsp
    Onion-1/2 small,finely chopped
    Red chillies-4

    PROCEDURE for PARUPPU URANDAI(LENTIL BALLS):

    1. Soak toor dal and channa dal for 1 -2 hours.
    2. Remove water and grind toor dal,saunf,channa dal and red chillies to a fine paste.
    3. In a pan with a drop of oil,saute onions till golden brown.
    4. Now add the ground dal paste and fry till raw smell.
    5. Let cool and make balls from the paste.


    PROCEDURE for KOLAMBU:


    1. In a pan with sesame oil,add mustard seeds,curry leaves,asafoetida and let splutter. Now add the onions,garlic and saute till golden brown.
    2. Add the tomato paste that you have ground. Add all the spices.Mix well/
    3. Now add the tamarind pulp extract.Allow to boil till the mixture reduces to half and oil separates.
    4. Reduce the flame of the stove to minimum and add the paruppu urandai(Lenthil balls) and close the lid and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Switch off stove.
    5. Serve hot with rice,idlies,dosas.
    You can replace the lentil balls with pearl onions or baby brinjals or fish.

    Mirchi Ka Salan

    INGREDIENTS:

    Green Capsicum/ Puebleno peppers-2 nos, cut into slivers
    Onions- 1 small, chopped
    Tomatoes- 1 small, chopped
    Ginger garlic paste -1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp

    Masala Powder Ingredients:

    1.Red Chillies-3
    2.Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
    3.Cumin seeds-1 tsp
    4.Fennel seeds-1 tsp
    5.Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
    6.Cloves-2 nos
    7.Coconut powder- 1/2 cup
    8.Roasted unsalted peanuts-1/2 cup
    9.Sesame seeds- 1.5 tbsp
    10.Tamarind paste- 1 tbsp
    11.Jaggery-1 tbsp

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Dry Roast masala ingredients 1 through 9 and grind to fine powder.
    2.In some oil, fry the capsicum till the skin is cooked and soft.
    3.Now grind the peanuts with tamarind and keep aside.
    4.In a pot, pour some oil and add the chopped onions and ginger garlic paste till golden brown.
    5.Now add the masala ingredients, turmeric powder,salt and mix well.Add the roasted capsicum or peppers.
    6.Add the ground peanut mixture and jaggery and pour water till you get a gravy consistency.
    7.Allow to boil till thick.
    8.Garnish with Cilantro.
    9. Serve hot with chapathis,parathas,dosas and any kind of biriyani.

    Vegetable Pulao

    INGREDIENTS:
    Cloves,Cinnamon stick,bay leaf- for flavor
    Onions-1/2 medium sliced
    green chillies-2 to 3 sliced
    ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp to as much desired
    Carrot peas(frozen)-1/4 cup
    capsicum optional
    Mint leaves,Coriander leaves- chopped to garnish
    Cashews,raisins(optional)
    Rice-1.5 cups
    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a pan with little oil,add cloves,cinnamon sticks,bay leaf
    2. Once they pop,add sliced onions,green chillies and ginger garlic paste
    3. Add frozen carrot,peas(or just peas) and saute well
    4. Add some cumin powder and garam masala powder.
    5. Add the washed rice and fry till dry.
    6. Add 1: 2 ratio water with 1/2 a cup extra for the veggies
    7. Once cooked add cashews,raisins sauteed in ghee and add chopped cilantro and mint leaves

    Tip:
    You can add little milk for flavor. If you add too much it will come out of the cooker and you will end up cleaning.

    Bisi bela Baath


    The interesting story to this recipe is that I never liked Bisibellahbaath when I was in India until I had it here. Although I wouldnt want to eat it regularly,I absolutely had times when I craved for it a lot. Then I got a variety of recipes from friends and online and finally tried it at home as a combination and thankfully I loved it and it was all done.Stories apart here is the recipe I tried:

    INGREDIENTS:

    Dry Roast and Grind:

    Pepper corns-1 tsp
    Red chillies-4 or 5 or desired
    Coriander seeds- A palmful
    Channa dal- 1 tsp
    Methi seeds- 1/4 tsp
    Gaza gaza-1/4 tsp
    Elaichi,Cloves-2 ,max 3
    Cinnamon stick
    Jeera-1 tsp
    Asafoetida- Few puffs
    Flaked Coconut-1 1/2 tbsp- add coconut in the last minute and make sure not to over roast them

    Cooker:

    Toor dal-3/4 cup
    Rice-1 cup
    Tomato -1 big
    Vegetables of your desire

    Saute Ingredients:
    Green chillies-1 sliced optional
    Onions-1/2 sliced thin,pearl onions are a good option too
    Curry Leaves
    Jaggery-1 tsp for extra taste.
    Tamarind paste-1 tbsp or more according to the tartness you like.
    PROCEDURE:
     
    1. Boil the Toor dal with rice and vegetables and the saute ingredients in a pressure cooker.Add a little bit more water to allow the vegetables to cook.
    2. Once the cooker is done. Take a separate kadai, add ghee/oil with cashew nuts and then add the pressure cooker contents,some jaggery and the dry powder that is being roasted and ground and mix well. Add tamarind paste to the mixture.(I personally liked this because I am not adding tamarind water and making the rice too mushy).
    3. Garnish with a lot of cilantro. Eat HOT!!

    Ven Pongal(savory)




    INGREDIENTS:

    Moong dal-1/2 cup
    Long grain rice or Ponni rice-1 cup
    Cumin seeds-1 tbsp
    Green chillies-2 chopped
    Ginger-Grated or finely chopped (a small piece)
    Pepper corns-1/2 tsp
    Asafoetida-Few puffs
    Curry leaves-Few to garnish
    Cashew nuts-Fried in ghee for garnish(optional)

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Pressure cook Moongdal with rice in 3 cups of water.
    2.Saute cumin seeds, pepper corns, green chillies, ginger, curry leaves with asafoetida and add cashews in ghee with a little oil till golden brown.
    3.Mix with the cooked rice and dal and add milk to loosen the stiffness.

    Sweet Pongal



    INGREDIENTS:

    Jaggery-A handful
    Moong dal-1/2 cup
    Long grain rice or Ponni rice-1 cup
    Elaichi/Cardamom-5-6 pods crushed
    Coconut Milk powder-2 tbsp
    Almond flakes, Cashew nuts, Raisins- According to taste
    Saffron strands- A pinch
    Milk- A few splashes

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Melt jaggery in water.
    2.Pressure cook Moong dal with rice with 3 cups of water
    3. Once the jaggery syrup turns into a string. Add the rice with moong dal and mix well. Add coconut milk powder and milk to make it to a thick consistency.
    4. Saute all nuts and raisins in ghee and mix with above.
    5.Garnish with a few strands of Saffron.

    Carrot Rice


    I experimented with this rice since I was out of groceries and to my surprise,it came out quite well.It literally takes 5 minutes to make.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Rice-1.5 cups cooked
    Carrots- A handful,grated
    Onion-1 small sliced thin
    Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
    Ginger- A small piece grated along with the carrots
    Green chillies-2 or 3 sliced
    Pepper powder-1 tsp
    Curry leaves-A few
    Cashew nuts- Few for garnish
    Cilantro-For garnish

    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a pan with some oil, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chillies,cashew nuts and onions and saute well till golden brown.
    2.Add the grated carrots and ginger and saute till raw smell goes away. Add pepper powder and salt and add the cooked rice and mix well and fry for a minute or two.
    3.Switch off the stove and garnish with cilantro.

    Optional: You can try peanuts instead of cashewnuts. You can also add green peas if you need some color. Turmeric Powder is not needed since the carrots give a nice color to the rice.

    Ghee rice

    A simple and very elegant rice dish that goes well with Kurma,Sodhi,Kadappa,Channa or Rajma.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Basmati rice-1 cup
    Coconut milk-Canned-1 cup
    Water-1.5 cups
    Onion-1 small, sliced thin
    Green chillies(Serreno peppers)-2 slit
    Cumin seeds-1 tsp
    Ginger-garlic paste-1 tbsp
    Mint leaves-optional.
    Cilantro-For garnish.
    Raisins and cashewnuts- For garnish,optional.
    Ghee-Ofcourse ,since this is called ghee rice-2 tbsp.
    Cloves-4 nos
    Bay leaf-1 no
    Cinnamon stick-1 small

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a pan,add oil with ghee, add cloves,bay leaf,cinnamon stick,cumin seeds,ginger-garlic paste and let splatter.
    2. Add onions,green chillies and saute the rice along with this mixture.
    3. Add some salt and extra garam masala(if you like more spice flavors).
    4. Move this mixture to a rice cooker and add the coconut milk and water. I add some saffron for extra fragrance.
    5. After rice is cooked well,add mint leaves and cilantro leaves for garnish.
    6. Saute some cashews,raisins(optional,if you like some sweetness,generally we dont use it at home) in ghee and add to the rice and mix well.
    7. Serve hot with the curries mentioned above.
    Note: Some people add peas but to me this changes the dish and makes it look like pulao.So I like to leave some dishes original and simple.





    Mutter Paneer Biriyani

    INGREDIENTS for PANEER MARINADE:

    Paneer-1 whole box,cut into small cubes
    Yogurt-2 tbsp
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Chilli powder-1 tbsp
    Ginger Garlic paste-1 tbsp
    Coriander seed powder-1/2 tbsp
    Cumin seed powder-1 tsp
    Saunf(Fennel seed) powder-1 tsp
    Garam Masala-1 tsp

    Mix all the above ingredients and soak for 1/2-1 hour.

    INGREDIENTS FOR BIRIYANI:

    Basmati Rice-3 cups
    Onions-1 big,sliced thin
    Tomato puree-1 tbsp
    Dried Fenugreek powder-1 tbsp
    Yogurt/Sour cream-2 tbsp
    Red chilli powder-1 tbsp
    Green chillies-3 slit
    Turmeric Powder-1 tsp
    Coriander seed powder-1 tbsp
    Fennel seed powder-1 tsp
    Cumin seed powder-1 tsp
    Frozen peas-1 cup
    Ginger Garlic paste-1.5 tbsp
    Biriyani powder(you can substitute by using cloves,bay leaf,cinnamon stick,cardamom pods,aniseed)
    Cilantro-1/2 a bunch for garnish
    Saffron strands-A pinch for flavor.
    Ghee-2 tbsp
    Water-6.5 cups

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a pan of oil,add the paneer and fry till the masala is brown. Remove and keep aside.
    2. In the same pan,add the onions and caramelize them. Remove and keep aside.
    3. Now add some ghee,add the frozen peas,ginger garlic paste,tomato puree and mix well. Now add the yogurt,dried fenugreek leaf powder,all the spices and allow to come to a boil.
    4. Add the rice and mix well and saute till the gravy mixes well with the rice.
    5. Add the caramelized onions and mix well.
    6. Cook in rice cooker.Pour water.
    7. After the rice is cooked. Mix with the paneer and cilantro.

    Adai

    INGREDIENTS:

    Grind to paste:
    Toor dal-1/2 cup
    Channa dal-1/2 cup
    Urad dal- a little less than 1/2 cup
    Rice- 1 cup
    Red chillies-6-8
    Fennel Seeds-1 tbsp
    Green chillies- 1 or 2 depending on size and spice

    Season:
    Onion-1 small or 1/2 medium-chopped
    Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
    Asafoetida-few puffs
    Curry leaves-chopped

    Garnish:
    Mint leaves,Cilantro-chopped fine

    PROCEDURE:

    1. Soak all the grinding ingredients for about 2 hrs and grind fine.
    2.After grinding to a paste,season and mix well and garnish with fresh cilantro and mint leaves .
    3.Once the dosa pan is hot,pour and cook on both sides.
    4.Serve with sugar,pickle,idly podi or coconut chutney.You can also add a dollop of butter for extra taste.

    Optional:
    1.You can add equal proportion of moong dal if you prefer your adai to be smoothe. I dont use it though.

    Tomato Pickle


    INGREDIENTS:

    Tomatoes-6 big cubed
    Red chillies-8-10 or as needed
    Danya seeds-A handful
    Methi seeds-1/2 tsp
    Tamarind paste-1 gooseberry size ball
    Mustard seeds-2 tsp
    Curry leaves- A bunch
    Asafoetida- A few puffs
    Garlic-5,6 pods cut into slices
    Sesame oil

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a heavy,deep pan with little sesame oil, add the cubed tomatoes. Let it boil and become mushy.Usually takes about 20-30 minutes. Do not add water.Switch off stove and let cool.
    2. In another small pan, dry roast the red chillies,methi seeds, danya seeds and grind to a fine powder
    3. In the same small pan, add a little oil and sliced garlic and saute till golden brown.
    4. Now add very little water(if needed),tamarind paste and grind the tomatoes to a fine paste.
    5. Add more sesame oil, garlic and the spice powder and tomato paste. Add salt.
    6. Allow to reduce until oil separates. Now season with mustard seeds, curry leaves and asafoetida.
    7. Allow to cool.
    8. Serve with Idly, Dosa, Chapathis or rice.
    OPTION:

    1. Use the same recipe for green tomatoes.
    2. Add a little jaggery if you wish.

    Puli kachal recipe

    INGREDIENTS:

    Tamarind Pulp- Qty equal to a golf ball, soaked in hot water and juice extracted

    Temper:

    Sesame Oil-1/8 cup
    Asafoetida- 1 puff
    Curry leaves- A handful
    Mustard Seeds-1 tsp
    Urad dal-1tsp
    Peanuts-2 tbsp
    Red chillies-4 or more according to spice level

    Grind to Powder:

    Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp appr( A palm full)
    Pepper corns-1/2 tsp
    Red chillies-5 or more depending on your spice level
    Fenugreek seeds-1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves-Few(optional)

    PROCEDURE:


    1. Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice.
    2.In a pan with no or little oil, add ingredients under Grind to powder and saute till the raw smell goes.Make sure you dont burn them. Cool and grind to fine powder.
    3.Now in a deep pot,add the sesame oil, add the ingredients under Temper section and after they splatter add the tamarind extract.
    4.Allow the mixture to come to a boil and become thick.
    5.At this stage add the ground powder and allow to boil till thick and done.
    6.Allow to cool.
    7.Mix with rice and eat or serve with hot idlies/dosas.





    Nivi's Marinara Pasta

    INGREDIENTS:

    Penne/Rotini Pasta-1/2 pack
    Garlic-1 or 2 cloves, smashed or minced finely
    Basil leaves-Few or you can use dry basil leaves powder too
    Italian Seasoning Powder-1/4 tsp
    Marinara Sauce-2 cups
    Olive oil or butter-1/4/tsp
    Red chilli flakes- As per your taste
    Shredded mexican cheese-1/4 cup
    Vegetables of your choice- sliced.

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Boil pasta with olive oil and salt until done and drain. Save a little of the cooked pasta water for later.
    2. In another pan, add olive oil or butter, garlic,vegetables of your choice and saute.
    3.Now add the boiled pasta and cheese and the powders and mix well with the marinara sauce. 4.Add little of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
    5. Serve hot in a bowl.


    Corn Bread Casserole

    INGREDIENTS:

    Whole Kernel Corn(drained of juice)-1 can
    Creamed corn(undrained)-1 can
    Butter(soft or melted)-1 stick
    Egg-1
    Shredded Cheese-1 cup
    Sour cream-1 cup
    Jiffy corn bread mix-1 bix

    PROCEDURE:

    1,Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
    2.Place mixture in a greased dish and cook for 60 minutes at 350 degree Fahrenheit.
    3.Serve with any kind of chili.

    Saag Mushroom


    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby Spinach-1 bundle or 1 box
    Onion-1/2 of a medium ,grated
    Serrano Chilli-1 or 2
    Ginger-1/2 inch
    Garlic-2-4 pods
    Button Mushroom-6 to 8 nos cut
    Tomato puree-1 tbsp
    Half and Half or whipping cream-3 tbsp optional
    Sour cream-1 tbsp
    Honey-1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder, Chilli powder, Garam Masala,Coriander powder- 1 tsp
    Cumin seeds-2 tsp
    PROCEDURE:
    1.In a chopper, grate onion,green chillies, ginger and garlic.Meanwhile boil spinach and grind coarsely.
    2.In a pan, add oil of your choice,cumin seeds and let splatter. Now add the grated mixture and then add mushrooms. Let it fry until done. Now add tomato puree,honey, all the spice powders, salt and mix well with sour cream and optional cream or half and half.
    3. Add the spinach puree and let boil until the water evaporates.
    4.Serve hot with chapathis or naan.

    Options:
    You can substitute Mushrooms with Boiled Potatoes for Saag Aloo or tofu for Saag Tofu or Chicken for Saag Chicken or even chickpeas for Saag Channa.

    Kadhi Pakori Recipe


    The first time I've had this in my life is at my dear friend's place here in Denver and I absolutely love it ever since. I was craving for the taste for a long time and finally decided to stop thinking about it too hard and just make it.

    The taste resembles more kolambu but not quite.

    Here goes the recipe.

    KADHI

    INGREDIENTS:

    Yogurt-2 cups
    Sour cream-1/2 cup
    Buttermilk-1 cup
    Besan/Chickpea Flour-1 cup
    Red chilli powder-1 tbsp
    Danya Powder-1 tbsp
    Asafoetida powder-1/2 tsp
    Salt-As needed
    Turmeric Powder-1 tbsp or until the mixture turns yellow

    TAMPERING:

    Mustard seeds
    Cumin seeds
    Ginger-1/4 inch grated finely
    Green chillies-1 finely chopped
    Cilantro- For garnishing
    Curry leaves-For garnishing

    PROCEDURE:
    1.Mix all the ingredients well to not form any lumps into a smooth paste until it reaches a buttermilk consistency.
    2.Switch on the stove, tamper with the ingredients above and pour the kadhi mixture and stir now and then until its thick and no lumps are formed. Switch off stove.

    PAKORI:

    INGREDIENTS:

    Besan Flour-2 cups
    Onion-1/2 small finely chopped
    Red chilli powder-1 tbsp
    Danya Powder-1 tsp
    Salt-As needed

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Mix into a very thick batter and pour into a pot of hot oil and fry till done.
    2.Add in kadhi mixture and let it soak.
    3.Eat hot with rice or rotis. Enjoy and lick away!!

    Kadai Vegetables

    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby Carrots-5 nos cut into small pieces
    Green bell pepper-1 small,cubed into small pieces
    Mushroom-1/2 cup,cubed into small pieces
    Cauliflower-1/2 cup
    Green beans- 1/2 cup,cut into small pieces
    Frozen green peas-1/4 cup
    Onion- 1/2 big, grated in a chopper
    Onion-1 small,chopped roughly
    Green chillies-3 or 4 depending on the spice
    Tomato paste-1 tbsp
    Ginger garlic paste-1 tbsp
    Sour cream-3 tbsp
    Kasoori Methi-1 tsp
    Turmeric powder,cumin seeds powder,chilli powder,fennel seeds powder,dry coriander seeds powder,Garam masala-According to taste

    PROCEDURE:
    1. Boil all the vegetables in water separately except green bell pepper and mushrooms.
    2. Soak 1/2 the onion in the hot water to remove the strong raw smell.
    3. Remove the onion from the hot water and chop into fine paste with green chillies in a chopper.
    4. In a separate pan,add oil,add the onions,green peppers and mushroom and allow to cook.
    5. Now add the onion/green chilli paste and allow to cook well.
    6. Add the tomato paste.
    7. Add some sour cream and all masala powders and kasoori methi and mix well.
    8. Now add the boiled vegetables and add some left over hot water.
    9. Allow the water to evaporate and become a dry sabzi.Turn off stove.
    10. Garnish with cilantro.Serve hot with chapathis/naan/rice.


    Panneer Smothered Burritos


    INGREDIENTS:

    Ready made Tortillas-6 nos uncooked or cooked
    Green bell peppers-1/2
    Panneer- cubed into very small pieces
    Taco seasoning Mix
    Onions-1/2 medium
    Cilantro-For garnish
    Salsa-1/2 a bottle
    Enchilada Sauce-Green or Red of your choice
    Lemon Juice-A splash for taste
    Grated Cheese- For Garnish
    Sour cream/Guacamole for side.

    PROCEDURE:
    1. Make the ready made tortillas.
    2. In a pan, Add some oil, onions, green bell peppers and saute till done.
    3. Add some Salt and Taco seasoning mix
    4. Now add the panneer and saute till cooked.Garnish with cilantro and a splash of lemon juice.
    5. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    6. Take a baking pan and grease it with baking spray.
    7. Now pack the tortillas with the cooked mixture
    8. Cover with enchilada sauce.
    9. Garnish with cheese.
    10. Now bake in oven for 5 mins or until the cheese on top melts.
    11. Serve hot with some Sour cream.

    Pepper Mushroom


    For people who love mushrooms in anyway,here is one you will really enjoy if made right.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Onion- 1 Medium or big sliced..
    Mushroom- 1 box bought in King Soopers
    Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp
    Garlic- 2 cloves minced fine(people who dont like it,can skip)
    Curry leaves adds good taste- 1 bunch
    Turmeric powder, Chilli powder, Danya powder, Garam Masala,Pepper powder, Salt
    Cilantro to garnish

    PROCEDURE:

    1. In a pan,heat oil and add sliced onions and minced garlic till golden brown and curry leaves.Add ginger garlic paste.
    2.Add Sliced mushrooms along with onions and add turmeric powder, danya powder, chilli powder and fry well. Do not add salt till end to avoid mushrooms giving out water too much.
    3. After sauteeing for a 10-15 mins and the mushrooms looks well done, add pepper powder,garam masala powder,salt and sautee for 5 more minutes.
    4.Add cilantro for garnish and switch off. Simple but yumm.

    Mughalai Potatoes

    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby potatoes- 1 packet
    Onions-1.5 big onions,sliced thinly
    Green chillies- 3-4 slit
    Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
    Yogurt- Enough to make a light gravy
    Turmeric powder,danya powder,cumin powder, chilli powder and garam masala for taste
    Cilantro for garnish

    PROCEDURE:

    1. Boil the potatoes lightly for one whistle in pressure cooker
    2. Peel the skin and deep fry them and set aside
    3. In a pan with oil,add the sliced onions,green chillies,ginger garlic paste and saute well.
    4. Once done add the curry powders and mix the fried potatoes.
    5. Switch off the stove and add yogurt and mix well for the consistency of gravy you would like.
    6. Garnish with cilantro. You can also fry cashewnuts if you want.

    Serve hot with chapathis, parathas or rice.


    Dum Aloo


    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby Potatoes- 1 bag
    Onion-1 large
    Tomato-2large
    Tomato Puree- 2 tbsp
    Ginger garlic paste- 1 tbsp
    Yogurt-1 cup
    Green chilli-1
    Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
    Honey- 1 tsp
    Kasoori Methi- 1 tbsp
    Turmeric Powder, Coriander seeds powder, Red chilli powder, Saunf powder, Garam masala- To taste.


    PROCEDURE:
    1. Wash the baby potatoes. Make some slits with a knife.
    2. Pressure cook baby potatoes for one whistle. Peel potatoes and fry them until done.
    3. Blanch onions and tomatoes in hot water. Allow to cool and grind to a smooth paste with some chopped green chillies.
    4. In a separate pan, add oil and a pinch of chilli powder and salt and shallow fry the potatoes.
    5. Then add cumin seeds, the ground onion, green chillies, ginger garlic paste until raw smell is gone.
    6. Now add tomato puree to this mixture. Mix well.
    7. Add all the spices and kasoori methi.Now add the yogurt and mix well.
    8. Add the potatoes and toss with the masala.
    9. Garnish with cilantro and half and half and servehot with naan, chapathis, rotis or some rice.
    OPTIONS:
    1. You can add some sour cream instead of yogurt. If adding yogurt, creamy yogurt is better.

    Potato Radish Fry


    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby Red Radish-10 sliced thin
    Baby potatoes-6
    Onion-1 medium chopped
    Curry leaves
    Cumin seeds,Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp each
    Asafoetida powder-few puffs
    Turmeric powder,Coriander seeds powder,Chilli powder
    Cilantro-For garnish

    PROCEDURE:

    1,Pressure cook baby potatoes for one whistle and peel.
    2,In a pan, season cumin seeds, mustard seeds,asafoetida,curry leaves.
    3,Add onions and radish and saute well.
    4,Add salt,all the masala powders and then add potatoes.
    5,Do not add water ever.
    6,Fry till crisp and garnish with cilantro.

    Baby Eggplant/Drumstick masala

    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby Eggplant-6 nos,slit into four
    Onion-1 small chopped
    Tomato-1 small chopped
    Garlic-2 pods chopped
    Coconut-A handful
    Saunf-1 tbsp
    Mustard seeds-1 tsp
    Urad dal split-1 tsp
    Chilli powder,Turmeric Powder,Danya powder- To taste
    Curry Leaves,Cilantro-For garnish

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pan ,add oil, mustard seeds,urad dal and curry leaves and let splutter.
    2. Add the chopped onions,tomato and garlic and allow to cook.
    3. Add the baby eggplant and keep frying until well done by closing lid.
    4. Add the masala.
    5. Grind coconut with saunf to a smooth paste.
    6. After the baby eggplant is well cooked, Add the coconut-saunf mixture.
    7. Once the masala is cooked,turn off stove and add cilantro for garnish.
    8. Serve with rice or chapathis.
    Note:
    You can substitute eggplant for drumstick. You will have to cook drum stick separately in water.

    Yellow Pumpkin Poriyal


    INGREDIENTS:

    Yellow Pumpkin-1 slice,peeled of skin and chopped into bite size cubes
    Mustard seeds-1 tsp
    Urad dal-1 tsp
    Curry leaves-Few
    Red chillies-4 or 5
    Turmeric powder-1 pinch
    Asafoetida-2 puffs
    Salt
    Shredded coconut-1 tbsp

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pan with a little bit of oil,add red chillies,mustard seeds,urad dal,asafoetida,curry leaves and let splutter.
    2. Now add the cut pumpkin,add salt and turmeric powder and sprinkle little bit of water.Cover with lid and allow to cook until soft.
    3. Add shredded coconut.
    4. Serve with rice or chapathis.


    Green Peas Masala

    INGREDIENTS:

    Frozen Green Peas-1 small packet
    Onion-1 medium,chopped finely
    Tomatoes-2 small chopped finely
    Garlic-1 nos,chopped finely(optional)
    Coconut-2 tbsp
    Green chillies-3 slit
    Cumin seeds and curry leaves for tempering.
    Red chilli powder,Coriander powder,turmeric powder,Garam masala

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pan with little oil,temper cumin seeds,curry leaves.
    2. Add the onions,garlic and sautee till golden. Add tomatoes and cook till done.
    3. Now add the green peas and all the masala powders and pour little water to allow the peas to cook well.
    4. Add cilantro,coconut powder and turn off stove after the peas are well cooked.
    5. Serve with chapathis,dosas or even rice as a side dish.

    Aviyal

    This is a very famous Kerala dish but made in Tamil Nadu as well quite often.

    INGREDIENTS:
    1. Carrots-1 big,cubed
    2. Plantain-1 big,peeled and cubed
    3. Drum stick-1 cubed
    4. Cauliflower-Some pieces
    5. Green beans-3 cubed
    6. Butter beans or Soy beans- A handful
    7. Cayote squash-1 small,cubed
    8. Pumpkin-A few pieces,cubed
    9. Yam or Potatoes-1 small, cubed
    10. Raw Mango(if available)-1 side,cut into smaller pieces.
    11. Coconut oil
    12. Red chilli powder,Coriander seeds powder,Turmeric powder-1 tsp each
    GRIND TO PASTE:
    1. Coconut powder-1/2 cup
    2. Yogurt or sour cream- 1 cup
    3. Green chillies-3 serrano 
    4. Cumin seeds-1 tsp

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pot filled with water,add some turmeric powder and all the vegetables and allow to cook till tender but not mushy.Drain and keep aside.
    2. In a bigger pan,add coconut oil,add the vegetables,salt and masala powders and mix. 
    3. Now add the ground paste.
    4. Add the yogurt, mix once and switch off stove. Garnish with cilantro.
    5. Serve with chapathis,rice,dosas,anything you like.
    Note: You dont have to necessarily add all the vegetables.A few from the list is good enough.Raw mango gives a good twist for sure.

    Cabbage Masala

    This style of cabbage is only done by grandma and I have not tried this style of cabbage at anyone else's home so far and I should say I am really proud of sharing this post. This recipe is almost similar to how we make mutton kheema back at home except that its the vegetarian version but has tonnes of flavor in it and its not the usual sad cabbage poriyal or kootu type.I made a big pan of cabbage yesterday and V finished it all within a couple of hours mostly by himself.It was a big hit at home.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Cabbage-1 small, chopped
    Onion-1 small, chopped finely
    Tomato-1 small, chopped finely
    Ginger Garlic paste-1 tbsp(I use fresh for more flavor)
    Green chilli-1, slit vertically or you can grind it with the ginger garlic paste.
    Red chilli powder-1 tbsp or more per your spice level
    Coriander seed powder-1 tsp
    Garam Masala-1 tsp or more per your desire
    Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
    Saunf seeds-1 tbsp
    Curry leaves-5 or 6

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a pan with oil, (You will need to use a little more oil than usual for more taste and flavor)add the saunf seeds,curry leaves.
    2. After they splutter, add the onion,ginger-garlic and green chillies and saute till golden brown.Now add the tomatoes.You can add a tsp of tomato puree if you want for extra tartness.
    3. Now add the spice powders and mix well.
    4. Add the cabbage and saute till well mixed.
    5. Add adequate water to allow the cabbage cook well.
    6. Allow the water to completely evaporate and keep stirring now and then to ensure that you dont burn the cabbage.
    7. Garnish with cilantro and turn off stove.
    8. Serve with hot chapathis(yum) or rice.
    You can try the same recipe with Brussel Sprouts too. It came out pretty decent.



    Wheat or Godumai Dosa

    INGREDIENTS:
    Wheat-1 cup
    Rice flour-1/2 cup
    Yogurt-1 cup
    Salt

    PROCEDURE:
    1. Mix Wheat flour with rice flour and yogurt and water until it reaches a normal dosa batter consistency and pour on dosa pan.
    2.Serve hot with onion chutney or tomato chutney.

    Berry Trifle

    INGREDIENTS:

    Strawberries-cut into small chunks-1 pack
    Blueberries-1 pack
    Blackberries-optional
    Oranges-peeled-optional
    Pound cake-1 packet ready-made
    Whipped cream-Fat free 1 box in frozen section
    Vanilla pudding or white chocolate pudding mix-1 pack
    Orange juice-2 or 3 tbsp

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Make the vanilla or white chocolate pudding as per instructions in the box.
    2.Fold the pudding with the whipped cream in a separate bowl.
    3.Cut the pound cake into small cubes.
    4.Take a big trifle bowl(if you have one) or take small individual plastic transparent cups and arrange pound cake cubes,fruits,drizzle the orange juice and the pudding-whipped cream mix in layers. The last layer should be fruits.
    5.Cover tight with a food wrap and refrigerate for at least a night and serve cold.

    Optional:
    1.You can use any flavor of pudding mix you want.
    2.You can change the white pound cake to chocolate brownies or chocolate cake.
    3.You can add nuts or oats.
    4.You can use any flavored jello instead of pudding.
    5.I do not prefer apples and bananas as they tend to brown after a while.

    Semiya(Vermicelli noodles) Payasam/Kheer

    INGREDIENTS:
    Vermicelli-1 cup
    Milk-1/2 a gallon(Whole milk is better)
    Condensed Milk-1/2 can
    Sugar-1-1.5 cups depending on the sweetness you want

    GARNISH:
    Crushed/Ground Cardamom powder-1 tsp
    Cashewnuts,Almond Flakes- As per desire
    Raisins-As per desire
    Saffron-A pinch

    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a pot,add some ghee and fry the vermicelli till the raw smell is gone and keep aside.
    2.Add the milk,condensed milk and bring to a boil. Now add the vermicelli and keep stirring till it reduces to half.
    3.Switch off and add saffron.
    4.Garnish with nuts,raisins and cardamom powder fried in ghee and add to the kheer.
    5.Serve hot or cold.

    Croissant or bread Halwa(Pudding)

    INGREDIENTS:

    Stale Croissants or Bread without the crust-cut into small pieces.
    Milk-Enough to soak the bread in the pan.
    Cashew nuts, pistachio-nuts, almonds- A handful together
    Elaichi-2
    Sugar-1/2 cup or as desired to taste.
    Ghee-1tbsp or as desired.
    Cashew nuts-As desired.
    Raisins-5 or 6.
    Saffron- A pinch.

    PROCEDURE:
    1. In a blender/mixie,dry grind cashewnuts,almonds.elaichi/cardamom and pistachionuts into a fine powder.
    2. In a spoon of ghee,fry croissants and the ground mixture till golden brown.
    3. Add milk and stir till soft.
    4. Add sugar to your taste and mix.
    5. Garnish with cashewnuts and raisins fried in ghee.Add some saffron for flavor.
    6. Serve warm.
    Tips:
    You can also add crushed pineapple or banana with the pudding for a different flavor.

    Easy Breezy Pudding Pie


    INGREDIENTS:

    Readymade Pillsbury Pie Crust-1
    Instant Pudding mix-2 boxes(Vanilla or White Chocolate pudding)
    Berries of your choice-Strawberries,Blueberries,raspberries
    Powdered sugar/whip cream -For garnish(optional)

    PROCEDURE:
    1.Make the instant pudding mix as per instructions in the box.
    2.Layer the pudding mix on the pie crust.
    3.Refrigerate for 4 hrs or more.
    4.Layer again with fruits of your choice.
    5.Garnish with powdered sugar or whip cream before serving.Enjoy!

    Coconut chutney-Tamil nadu style


    INGREDIENTS:

    Coconut flakes- 1.5 cups
    Roasted chana dal( Pottu kadalai)- 0.75 cups
    Green chillies-3-5
    Coriander stems/leaves- to disguise the yukky brown color of dry coconut
    Asafoetida- 3 puffs
    tamarind paste

    Ingredients for seasoning(thadka):

    Mustard seeds-1 tsp
    chana dal-1 tsp
    split urad dal- 1 1/2 tsp
    curry leaves- A bunch

    PROCEDURE:
    1. Grind the ingredients into a smooth paste in a mixie or blender. Add the ingredients that have been tampered in oil and mix to the paste.
    2. Serve with hot idlies or dosas.
     

    Tip: You can soak some almonds for sometime and grind along with the chutney for some extra texture and health.

    You can also add a little bit of sesame oil after grinding for extra taste.

    Peerkankai(Ridgegourd) Chutney


    We had this chutney with rice in one of our neighbours house. It was amazing. I got the recipe from them. From then on,Vignesh absolutely hogs on this whenever I make it. Its excellent with dosas and hot rice with sesame oil.Pretty easy too.

    INGREDIENTS:
     
    Peerkankai/Ridge Gourd-Peeled
    Garlic cloves-2 or 3
    Red chillies- 5-6
    Channa dal-1 tsp
    Mint leaves- A handful
    Tomato-1 medium optinal
    Tamarind-1/2 tsp
    Asafoetida

    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a pan of little oil,add the peerkankai peel,red chillies and saute well till it almost loses its rawness.
    2.Add asafoetida,garlic cloves,channa dal,mint leaves, tomato and saute them too along with the peerkankai peels.Make sure that the peerkankai peel is completely done or the taste is not that good.
    3.Once its done ,switch off the stove and add salt and tamarind paste to the pan and let it cool.
    4. Use mixie and dry grind the above with little or no water as possible. There will not be a need to add water if you add tomatoes.The chutney should be thick/solid and not watery.Its more like a thovaiyal and is meant to be thick.
    5.Garnish with a few curry leaves and pour little sesame oil on top and eat with either plain hot rice or dosas.

    Red Capsicum Chutney

    INGREDIENTS:

    Red Capsicum-1
    Tomato-1 big
    Green chillies-2
    Garlic- 4 pods
    Tamarind paste- 1/4 tsp
    Urad dal and Channa dal-equal proportion- Appr 1 tsp each
    Salt-To taste

    Temper:

    Mustard seeds,split urad dal,channa dal,asafoetida,curry leaves in oil

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Fry Red capsicum,garlic,tomatoes,green chillies and dals in a pan with little oil.
    2.Grind with tamarind,salt.
    3.Add tempering to the ground mixture and serve with hot idlies/dosas.

    Peanut Chutney

    INGREDIENTS:

    Peanuts-Unsalted Roasted, 1 cup
    Red chillies-2 or more according to your spice level
    Tamarind paste-1/2 tsp
    Onion-1/4 of a medium or 2 cloves of Garlic
    Salt-According to taste
    Asafoetida-Few puffs
    Curry leaves-For garnish

    PROCEDURE:
    1.Grind all ingredients in a mixie or blender until smoothe.Add curry leaves after washing for garnish. No need to add seasoning for this one.
    2.Serve with idlies,dosas,pongal,upma,lemon rice or pulihora.

    Eggplant Gojju/chutney

    This is one of the dishes that everyone likes in our family.In particular, my Father-in-law is a big fan of this dish. Its really awesome with hot and soft idlies and also goes well with crispy dosas too. The jaggery gives a twist to this dish.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Baby eggplant-5 nos or Big Eggplant-1 no cubed
    Onion-1 small,chopped fine
    Tomato-2 small,chopped fine
    Green chillies-3 slit
    Garlic(optional)-1 pod,chopped fine or smashed well
    Tamarind paste-1 blob
    Jaggery-1 small bit
    Sambar powder-1 tbsp
    Turmeric powder-1 tsp
    Asafoetida-1 puff
    Curry leaves,Mustard seeds,split urad dal-For tempering
    Cilantro-For garnish.

    Procedure:

    1. In a pressure cooker,add some oil, fry onions,tomatoes,eggplant,green chillies and then add some water enough to immerse the entire mixture.
    2. Keep the whistle for 2-3 whistles depending on your pressure cooker.
    3. After the pressure has subsided. Open the cooker.Add the tamarind paste and some jaggery and let boil.
    4. Now in a separate pan,add oil,mustard seeds,urad dal,curry leaves,asafoetida.Add the turmeric powder,sambar powder and salt and mix it with the ingredients in the pressure cooker.Allow to come to a boil.This gojju/chutney is supposed to be a little thick. You can add water accordingly.Do not make it too watery.
    5. Serve hot with idlies or dosas.

    Red Pearl Onion Chutney

    This chutney is definitely worth a try. Its a bit of work to peel the pearl onions and saute the chutney till raw smell is gone but I can guarantee that you will not regret the effort taken.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Red Pearl Onions- 2 bags, peeled
    Red Chillies-5 or 6. You can add more if you want more spicier
    Jaggery or Brown Sugar-1 tsp
    Tamarind paste-1 tsp
    Salt-According to taste

    Temper:

    Mustard Seeds-1/2 tsp
    Split Urad dal-1/2 tsp
    Channa dal-1/2 tsp
    Curry leaves-3 or 4 leaves
    Sesame Oil-2 tbsp
    Asafoetida-1 puff


    PROCEDURE:

    1.In a mixie, finely grind to paste the raw pearl onions, red chillies and tamarind paste and salt.
    2.In a pan with sesame oil, temper with mustard seeds,curry leaves,split urad dal,channa dal and asafoetida.
    3.Now add the ground paste from step 1 and saute till the raw smell goes away.Now add salt and jaggery.
    4.Turn off stove.
    5.Serve with hot idlies and dosas and lick the plate clean.

    Note: You will notice that the chutney will reduce half in quantity after stirring for a while. The water will evaporate.




    Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes/Muffins


    INGREDIENTS:

    All Purpose Flour-2 cups
    Instant Oats-1/2 cup
    Baking Soda-1/2 tsp
    Baking powder-1/2 tsp
    Salt-1/4 tsp
    Sugar-1 cup
    Bananas-4 ripe big
    Semi-sweet Chocolate chip-3/4 cups or 1 cup(optional)
    Oil-1/2 cup
    Vanilla Essence-1/2 tsp

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take a 12 count muffin pan and place the cup-cake sheets.
    2.Mash the bananas with hand and pour in the mixer bowl. Add sugar and Oil and beat till mixed.
    3.Add the rest of the dry ingredients one by one and beat well until mixed.
    4.Add the chocolate chips and mix with spatula.
    5.Take a laddle and pour into each cup to about 3/4th.
    6.Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

    I got this recipe from http://www.egglesscooking.com/2010/08/09/banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/#comments and changed it a little bit to my taste. I am glad it turned out way beyond my expectations.

    Banana Chocolate Chip Bread


    I got this recipe from our friend,Meike and have been using this for the last 4 yrs almost.

    INGREDIENTS:

    Butter-1/2 cup
    Sugar-1 cup
    Eggs-2
    Vanilla-1 tsp
    Ripe bananas-3
    Milk-1/4 cup
    Flour-1 1/2 cups
    Baking powder-1 1/2 tsp
    Baking soda-1/2 tsp
    Salt-1/4 tsp
    chocolate chips-1/2 cup

    PROCEDURE:

    1.Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit.Grease loaf pan with baking spray.
    2.Combine butter,sugar,eggs,vanilla essence in a large bowl.
    3.In a separate bowl, mash bananas with milk.
    4.Beat on low speed to blend into other ingredients.
    5.Add baking powder,baking soda,salt,flour with the above mixture and beat till moist.
    6.Use a spatula to stir in chocolate chips. Do not use blender for mixing chocolate chips.
    7.Pour into the greased loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
    8. Wait for 10 minutes to cool and then remove from the loaf pan.