Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Butternut Squash/Pumpkin Fry

We used to harvest 'n' number of pumpkins, cucumbers, melons and lemons during our summer holidays at my grandmother's place. The pumpkins would be man sized, huge and heavy and I remember my grandfather selling them to the wholesalers at the weekly farmer's market. Pumpkin fry would be on the menu list during our harvest festival's feast in the month of January. I have shared my grandmother's version of the recipe. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Butternut squash/pumpkin - 1 cup (cubed)
Green chilli - 2 (split lengthwise)
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry leaves - 10
Urad Dahl - 1/2 Teaspoon
Channa Dahl - 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt  - to taste


Method
1. Peel the outer skin of the pumpkin using the peeler and cut it into two and remove the seeds. Cube the pumpkin of your desired size.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter in it. Then add the green chillies and curry leaves followed by the Channa and urad dahl.
3. Add the cubed pumpkin along with turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and sauté until the pumpkin becomes soft. (approx. 8 to 10 mins)
         Pumpkin fry is ready to be served.


Note
* Do not overcook the pumpkin else it becomes too mushy and unpleasant to eat. 

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Gulab Jamoon

Gulab Jamoon is one of  my all time favourites and I cannot resist with just one or two at a time. This soft, smooth and spongy dessert will literally melt in one's mouth. The ingredients are very simple but it turns out to be a very rich dessert. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Whole milk powder - 1 cup
Plain flour - 1/4 cup
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) - 1/4 Teaspoon
Salt - 1/4 Teaspoon
Warm milk - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1 Tablespoon
Oil - For deep frying
For sugar syrup
Sugar - 3 cups
Water - 3 cups
Cardamom - 4 pods (crushed)

Method
1. Mix the plain flour, milk powder, baking soda and salt along with the warm milk into a fine dough (like chapatti dough) and keep it aside covered for 10 minutes.
2. Make the sugar syrup by dissolving the sugar in water and boiling it for 15 minutes. Once it is done add the crushed cardamom pods to the syrup.
3. Now heat the oil for deep frying in a thick and wide bottomed pan on a medium heat.
4. Make small roundels out of the dough by touching the ghee now and then to avoid the stickiness of  the dough.
5. Now drop a pinch of the dough into the oil, if it springs to the top in a second or two the oil is ready for frying.
6. Drop 8 to 10 roundels into the oil at a time, allowing enough space for each roundel to get cooked. Fry until the jamoons turn into a nice golden brownish colour (approx. 2 to 3 minutes) and sieve them out of the oil and place on the kitchen towels to absorb excess oil.
7. Allow 2 minutes for the oil to heat up and drop the roundels again.
8. Once the jamoons are cooled drop them in the sugar syrup. Leave them for an hour or two and serve the jamoons along with the syrup.
Note
* Oil should be only on medium heat else the roundels will be burnt outside and uncooked in the inside.
* Allow 2 minutes for the oil to heat up between each batch else the jamoons will break if the oil is not hot enough and start absorbing excess oil and become too crispy on the outside.
* Readymade jamoon mixes can also be used. I usually prefer MTR brand.

Fiery Red Hot Chilli Chutney

Red chilli chutney is one of my all time favourites which would obviously tease one's taste buds. It is a very very hot chutney which serves as a compliment with piping hot idlis and dosas. A hot tea or coffee after having this chutney will sure satisfy the palates which crave for hot stuffs. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Shallots - 15 to 20
Garlic - 3 pods
Dried Red Chilli - 20
Tomato - 1
Salt - to taste
For Seasoning
Gingelly oil - 3 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Urad dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Channa dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Curry Leaves - 20 leaves

Method
1. Grind the shallots, garlic, tomato and dried red chillies along with salt into a fine or coarse paste by adding little or no water.
2. Heat oil in the pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the curry leaves followed by the dahls.
3. Now add the ground paste and cook for 5 minutes until the raw smell goes away. Stir constantly else the chutney will be splattered all over.
4. Turn off the heat, allow it to cool and store in a air tight jar. This chutney would stay for weeks if refrigerated properly.
Note
* Using gingelly oil will ease the take of the chillies in your tummy.



Monday, 20 August 2012

Red Beans & Egg Plant Curry

Beans are the good source of proteins but they should be cooked properly. Uncooked or half-cooked beans will be hazardous to our body. Here I have shared a tangy curry combining the red kidney beans and baby aubergines. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Egg plant - 5 (cut lengthwise)
Red kidney beans - 100 g (soaked and boiled)
Shallots - 10 - 15 (peeled)
Garlic pods - 10 (peeled)
Tomato - 2 (medium, puréed)
Curry leaves - 10
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon
Dried red chilli - 2
Salt - as required
Tamarind juice - 2 tablespoon
Masalas
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Sambar powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)
Method
1. Wash and soak the red kidney beans for aleast 8 hours. Pressure cook the beans along with little water and keep aside. It takes at least 8 whistles to get completely cooked.
2. Heat oil in a pan allow the mustard seeds to crack. Now add the fenugreek seeds followed but the curry leaves and dried red chillies.
3. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Then add the cut aubergines and cook for another 5 minutes.
4. Now add all the masalas along with salt and fry for a minute until the raw smell of the masalas go away.
5. Add the tomato purée and cook for another 3 minutes and add the cooked beans along with the water and add the tamarind pulp as well.
6. Add little water if required and reduce the heat to medium and cook until oil separates from the gravy.
     Red kidney beans with baby aubergines curry is ready to be served.
Note
* This curry goes well with rice.
* Allow this curry to stand for atleast an hour after cooking to get better taste.
* Make sure the beans are completely cooked else they can be fatal.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Pepper Mushroom

Pepper mushroom is the favourite of my father-in-law. Unfortunately he is no more and never did I get a chance to prepare this dish for him. But whenever I prepare this dish it always reminds me of him.  Here goes the recipe.
Ingredients
Mushroom - 500 gms (any mushroom of your choice, finely chopped)
Onion - 1 (Large, finely chopped)
Tomato - 2 (Medium, finely chopped)
Garlic - 3 pods (finely chopped)
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Salt - to taste
Masalas
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Corinader powder - 1 1/2 Teaspoon
Final Seasoning
Onion -1/2 (cut lengthwise)
Curry leaves  - 10
Crushed Black Pepper - 1 Tablespoon
Fresh Coriander Leaves - for garnishing


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions and garlic until they are completely cooked.
2. Add the masalas and cook until the raw smell goes away and then add tomatoes and cook along with salt for 4 minutes.
3. Add the mushroom and mix everything together and cook covered for another 5 minutes.
4. When the mushroom is cooked and the water is completely dried add the onions cut lengthwise and cook for another 2 minutes. 
5. Add the crushed black pepper and the curry leaves, give a quick stir and cover the pan and turn off teh heat.
6. Open after 2 minutes and serve hot with fresh coriander garnished on top.
Note
* If you want the dish in gravy consistency increase the amount of onion ad tomato and add a cup of water.
* Pepper mushroom goes well with both roti and rice.

Kichidi

Kichidi is one of the quick one-pot dish recipes. The semolina is cooked with fried lentils and vegetables. It is served with coconut chutney and sambar. Cracked wheat can also be used as a substitute for the semolina. Enjoy the recipe!
Ingredients
Semolina - 1 cup
Onion - 1/2 (finely chopped)
Carrot - 1/2 (finely chopped)
Beans  - 4 (finely chopped)
Peas - 2 Tablespoon
Green Chilli - 2 (cut lengthwise)
Ginger - 1 Tablespoon (grated)
Curry Leaves - 10
Tomato - 1 (roughly chopped)
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon
Channa dal - 1/4 Teaspoon
Urud dahl - 1/4 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Water - 3 1/2 cups
Salt - To taste


Method
1. Heat a pan and dry roast the semolina in a medium heat until it turns slightly brown and keep aside in a plate.
2. Heat oil in the same pan and add mustard seeds, urud dahl and channa dahl and roast them. Then add the green chillies and curry leaves.
3. Now add the onions, ginger and tomato and cook along with salt and turmeric. Later add the rest of the veggies and cook covered for 4 minutes.
4. Add water and bring it to boil. Add the roasted semolina and stir thoroughly else lumps will be formed easily. Keep stirring constantly.
5. Check for salt and remove from fire once the semolina thickens to your required consistency.
             Kichidi is ready to be served.


Note
* Kichidi also tastes good with sugar.
* Cracked wheat instead of semolina can also be used.   
* Dried nuts can also be added.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

Paneer Peas Masala

We used to have dinner parties with my husband's office friends once every month and this time we were asked to prepare paneer peas masala for 30 people. I have never prepared this dish before. My husband browsed through the net and came up with this recipe. He cooked the dish with me helping him in the side. Paneer peas masala tasted excellent couple of hours after its preparation. Everyone liked the dish at the party and it was almost over. Here goes the recipe, Enjoy!
Ingredients
Paneer - 250 gms (cubed)
Peas - 1/2 cup
Onion paste - of 1 big onion
Tomato paste - of 2 big tomatoes
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tablespoon
Double cream - 100 ml
Water - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 Tablespoon
Fresh Coriander Leaves - 1 Tablespoon (finely chopped)
Masalas
Cumin powder - 1 Teaspoon
Garam masla - 3/4 Teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Red Chilli powder - 1 Teaspoon


Method
1. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a pan and fry the paneer until it turns golden yellow. Strain the oil and keep it aside.
2. Now heat another tablespoon of oil in the same pan and add the onion paste and fry until the raw smell goes off.
3. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes off and add the tomatoes and sauté  for another 5 minutes.
4. Now add all the masalas along with salt and fry till the raw smell goes away. Add water and bring it to a boil.
5. Now add the paneer and peas , reduce the heat to medium and put a lid on the pan and cook until the oil separates. Do not forget to give a stir in between to avoid the paneer sticking to the pan.
6. Finally add the double cream, give a stir and turn the heat off and garnish with coriander leaves.
       Paneer peas masala is ready to be served.
Note
* You can avoid frying the paneer in oil if you wish not to.
* A pinch of kasoori methi can also be added along with the masalas.
* This dish goes well with puris and parathas.

Urad Dahl Vada / Medhu Vada (fritters)

We celebrated Tamil year in Newbury, UK with all the Tamil friends over here. Each one of us decided to prepare a dish for dinner and I was asked to prepare urad dahl vada. I tried doing it with a hole in the centre of the vada like a doughnut but found it difficult to prepare for 50 people. So just prepared them like small balls and it tasted good. It was served along with venn pongal, sambar and coconut chutney. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Oil - for deep frying
To Grind
Urad dahl - 1 cup
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Green Chilli - 4
Black Pepper Corns - 5
Cumin Seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Salt - to taste
To Mix
Onion (medium) - 1 (finely chopped)
Curry Leaves - 10 (finely chopped)

Method
1. Wash urad dahl and soak in water for not more than 45 mins - 1 hour.
2. Grind the dahl along with all the ingredients mentioned under the to grind header into a fine paste by adding very little water.
3. Mix the chopped onion and curry leaves to the dough.
4. Heat the oil in a pan for deep frying. When the oil is hot enough drop the dough carefully as little balls and deep fry until they become golden brown.
5. Drain the excess oil in a tissue paper and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Note
* Do not add too much water while grinding the dough else it will consume more oil.
* The oil should not be too hot else the fritters will brown outside and not cooked inside.
* If the oil is not hot enough it will consume more oil. Make sure the heat is in medium high.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

Tiramisu

Tiramisu, the famous italian dessert has become the heart favourites of my husband's and mine. We would grab a piece of it where ever we go. I prepared it for my husband's birthday for the first time and it was a super hit. The combination of the smooth, creamy rich cheese and the strong coffee will drift you to a different world altogether. 
Ingredients
Whipping cream - 200 ml
Mascarpone cheese - 500 g
Vanilla Extract - 1 Tablespoon
Sugar - 150 gm
Cocoa powder - 2 Tablespoon
Instant Coffee powder - 1 1/2 Tablespoon (I used Nescafe)
Water - 1 cup
Sponge fingers - 1 pack

Method
1. Whip the cream and keep it aside.
2. Mix the mascarpone with sugar and vanilla extract into a smooth cream with a spatula.
3. Now add the whipped cream to the cheese and fold it evenly with a spatula.
4. Mix the instant coffee powder with water.
5. Now dip the sponge fingers in the coffee mix one by one and arrange it evenly in a square or rectangular container (at least 2" deep)
6. Now spread half of the cheese mix on top of the sponge fingers and sieve the cocoa powder on top.
7. Repeat the same for another layer.
8. Pop it into the fridge for at least 5 hours for the cream and cheese to set.
      Cut and serve according to the size of your choice. I bet you cannot stop with one!

Note
* Do not dip the sponge fingers in the coffee for a long time else it becomes soggy and breaks soon and the excess coffee with ooze out while you serve. Do not dip for more than 2 seconds. 

Onion Bajii / Fritters

I normally crave for something hot and spicy when I come back home from a hard day's work at office and onion bajji's serve the purpose without fail. Onion bajji coupled with a cup of hot chocolate milk completes my evening. Here goes the recipe, Enjoy!
Ingredients
Onion (big) - 1 (sliced lengthwise)
Curry Leaves - 10 (finely chopped)
Fresh Coriander Leaves - 2 Tablespoon (finely chopped)
Green Chilli - 2 (finely chopped)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Ginger & Garlic - 1 Teaspoon (finely chopped)
Gram flour - 3 Tablespoon
Salt - for taste
Oil - for deep frying

Method
1. Heat oil in a wide pan for deep frying.
2. Meanwhile mix the onion, curry leaves, coriander leaves, green chilli, turmeric powder, coriander powder,  ginger & garlic, salt with gram flour by sprinkling little water. Set this aside for 10 minutes.
3. Now drop the onion in small quantities in the oil and deep fry them.
4. Strain the excess oil in a tissue paper and serve the the bajji with lettuce and chaat masala sprinkled on top.
Note
* Oil should not be very hot or less hot.
* The onion mix should not be runny.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Pepper Prawn

I have become obsessed with prawns after coming to UK. Myself and my hubby would have them at least one every two weeks. To our surprise, it tasted amazing the day after its preparation, so I would always spare some for the next day. Here s the recipe of this mouth watering dish, Enjoy!
Ingredients
King Prawns - 500 gms (peeled n cooked)
Olive Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Gingely Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 1
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Bay leaf - 1
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Green Chilli - 1
Onion (medium) - 2 (finely chopped)
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Tomato (medium) - 2 (finely chopped)
Curry Leaves - 10
Fresh Coriander Leaves - to garnish
Salt - to taste
Pepper - 1 Tablespoon
Masalas
 Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
 Red Chilli Powder - 1 Teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 2 Teaspoon


Method
1. Heat both the oils in a pan and add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf, fennel seeds and cumin seeds and fry for 5 seconds.
2. Add the green chilli followed by onion and sauté in a medium high flame until the onion is completely cooked. (It takes about 7-10 minutes)
3.  Now add the ginger garlic paste and fry for 3 minutes and then add the tomatoes followed by salt and the masalas. Reduce the heat to medium low.
4. Fry until the raw smell of the masalas go away. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir the contents. 
5. Close the pan with a lid and allow it to cook for 10 minutes.
6. Now add the prawns and cook for 6 minutes in a medium flame. Prawns will give out lot of water.
7. After 6 minutes increase the flame to high and allow the water to dry. Stir constantly until you get the desired gravy content.
8. Finally add the ground pepper and curry leaves, give a quick stir and turn off the heat. Cover the pan with a lid. Pepper and curry leaves will get cooked in the heat of the pan itself.
9. Open the lid after 5 minutes, you will smell the amazing aroma of the prawns, pepper and curry leaves.
          Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Pepper prawn is ready to be served.
Note
* Pepper prawn goes well with rotis and rice.
* The amount of pepper can be altered.

Cluster Beans Fry / Kothu Avarakkai Poriyal

Cluster beans fry is one of my favourites with curd rice. It tastes great when added a spoonful of grated coconut but I have avoided it being diet conscious. Enjoy!
Ingredients
1. Cluster beans - 250 gms 
2. Oil - 1 Teaspoon
3. Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
4. Urud and Channa Dahl - 1 Teaspoon
5. Curry Leaves - 10
6. Onion (medium) - 1/2 (finely chopped)
7. Green Chilli - 1
8. Salt - to taste
Masalas
1. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
2. Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon


Method
1. Wash the cluster beans and slit both ends removing the thick fibre at the sides of the beans and finely chop them.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to split and then add the urud and channa dahl.
3. Now add the curry leaves followed by green chilli and onion. Sauté until they are cooked.
4.  Add the chopped beans followed by the salt and masalas and sauté for a while.
5. You will notice the colour of the beans changing to a fine green which is when you have to add 1/4 th cup of water to the pan and close it with a lid. The heat should be on medium.
6. Say after 5 minutes the beans should be cooked. Give a quick stir and turn the heat off.
               Cluster beans fry is ready to be served!
Note
* A spoonful of grated coconut can be added towards the end to add extra taste to the dish.

Beetroot Chutney

I had beetroot chutney in a hospital canteen in Coimbatore which was really yummy and since then I wanted to try this recipe. Finally I prepared the chutney similar to that of tomato chutney. It was a bit sweet but adding an extra green or red chilli should alter the taste. It serves as an excellent combo with idli, dosa and even as sides to rice. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Beetroot (medium) - 1 (cut into small chunks)
Onion (medium) - 1 (sliced lengthwise)
Tomato (medium) - 1 (sliced lengthwise)
Grated Coconut - 4 Tablespoon
Red Chilli - 4
Garlic - 3 pods
Curry leaves - 10
Urud dahl - 1 Teaspoon
Channa dahl - 1 Teaspoon
Tamarind juice - 2 Tablespoon
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Salt - to taste


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan and roast the urud and channa dahl until they become golden brown and then add the curry leaves and red chilli.
2. Now add the onion, garlic and tomato and sauté until they are cooked.
3. Add the beetroot and salt and sauté until it is cooked completely. 
4. Allow the mixture to cool and grind it into a fine or coarse paste with tamarind juice, grated coconut and little water. 


Note
* You can also do the final seasoning with mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil.

Potato Rice

One afternoon I was lazy to prepare lunch and my laziness led to the discovery of this new dish, Potato Rice. It tasted different and good too! Enjoy!
 Ingredients
Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Potato (large)  - 2 (diced into small cubes) 
Onion (medium) - 1 (finely chopped)
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Ghee - 1 Tablespoon
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Urud dahl - 1 Teaspoon
Channa Dahl / Fried Red Lentil - 1 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 10
Salt - to taste
Masalas
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 Teaspoon


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to split. Then add the urud and channa dahl and fry until they become golden brown.
2. Now add the curry leaves followed by onion and fry until its cooked completely.
3. Add the potatoes followed by salt and the masalas. Keep stirring so that the potatoes do not stick to the pan. Do not add water. Just stir constantly until the contents are completely cooked.
4. Now add ghee to the rice and add the cooked potatoes to it and stir evenly.
    Potato rice is ready to be served!


Note
* If you do not stir the potatoes constantly, they might stick to the pan and get burnt easily.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Super Veggie Chutney

This recipe was an accidental discovery by mom in her kitchen just a couple of years back and since then has become everyone's favorite at home. You don't have to throw away the remaining vegetables anymore that are not sufficient for a meal, instead you can turn them into this tasty and healthy chutney. Enjoy this yummy chutney!!


Ingredients
  1. Ridge gourd- 1 (medium sized). Peeled and diced into cubes
  2. Cabbage- 1/2 of a medium sized one. Randomly diced
  3. Potato-2. De-skinned and cut into bite sized pieces
  4. Brinjal-3 small ones
  5. Tomato-2
  6. Shallots- A handful
  7. Green chilies- To taste
  8. Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  9. Cumin seeds- 1/2 tbsp
  10. Mustard seeds and Urid dhal- 1/2 tbsp each
  11. Salt- To taste
  12. Oil- As required
Method
  1. Heat oil in a pressure pan, add cumin seeds and allow them to splutter.
  2. Add the shallots and green chilies and saute them for 2 to 3 minutes or until the shallots become translucent.
  3. Now goes in all the veggies one by one. Add salt and coriander powder. Saute all the vegetables together for 5 to 7 minutes before putting the lid on.
  4. The vegetable will let out some water. Add 1/2 a cup of water if needed. Close the pan with the lid and whistle on.
  5. Allow the pan to whistle for 3 times on low flame and turn the flame down.
  6. Let the pressure come down. Open the lid, cool the contents and blend them together in a food processor.
  7. Season with mustard seeds and urid dhal.
Note
  • You can follow this method to make ridge gourd chutney leaving out all the other vegetables.
  • This chutney best suits dosa and panniyaram.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Mixed Vegetable Korma

I was always fascinated by the spicy and creamy texture of the kormas that are served in the restaurants with paratas and chapatis. I guessed the ingredients and prepared this korma for dinner and viola! it had the same taste and texture as that of the restaurant's. Since then I have adopted this version and is a huge hit with chapathis. Enjoy!


Ingredients
Carrot - 1/2 cup (diced)
Potato - 1/2 cup (diced)
Beans - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Cauliflower - 1/2 (small florets)
Fresh peas - 1/2 cup
Onion (medium) - 1 (chopped)
Green chilli - 2 (slit lengthwise)
Tomato (medium) - 1 (cut lengthwise)
Fresh coriander leaves - to garnish
Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch stick
Cardamom - 2
Bay leaves - 2
Salt - to taste
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Masalas
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1 Teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Sambar powder - 1 Teaspoon (optional)
To grind
Coconut - 1 cup (grated)
Cashew nuts - 15
Fennel seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Poppy seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon


Method
1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and add the cloves, cinnamon, cardamom and bay leaves and sauté for 30 seconds.
2. Add the green chillies followed by onions and sauté until it is cooked.
3. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes off and add the tomatoes and salt and cook for 3 minutes or until the tomatoes are mashed.
4. Now add all the veggies (carrot, potato, beans, peas, cauliflower) along with the masalas and cook with a closed lid on the pan for 10 minutes.
5. Meantime grind all the ingredients mentioned under the to grind header into a fine paste with little water.
6. Add the ground paste to the pan along with 1 1/2 cups of water and give a stir. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for another 15 minutes.
7. Turn off the heat once the korma has become thick and creamy.
                     Mixed vegetable korma is ready to be served.


Note
* You can add any vegetable of your choice.
* You can skip either coconut or cashew nuts but they both taste good together. But remember to increase the quantity of the ingredient that you are adding because they are responsible for the creamy texture of the korma.

Carrot Rice

Carrot rice is an easy and healthy rice dish which I enjoyed the most when I was a kid. It can be prepared in  matter of no time and serves good for a packed lunch. Here is my version of carrot rice...Enjoy!
Ingredients
Boiled rice - 2 cups
Carrot - 2 cups (grated)
Onion (medium) - 1 (chopped)
Green chilli - 2 (split lengthwise)
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Ghee - 1 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Tablespoon
Yellow split peas/Channa dahl - 1 Tablespoon
White lentil/Urud dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Curry leaves - 15
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - to taste


Method
1. Boil the rice with 1/4 cup less water then the usual ratio and allow it to cool completely.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Add the channa and urad dahl and fry till they become golden yellow.
3. Now add the green chillies and onion followed by salt and turmeric powder and sauté till the onions are completely cooked.
4. Add the grated carrot, mix everything and cook for 10 minutes till the carrot is completely cooked. There should be no water left in the pan.
5. Mix the rice with the carrot mixture with a dollop of ghee and check for salt.
        Carrot rice is ready to be served.


Note
* Roasted cashew nuts can be added to the rice.

Potato fry

Potato fry is the favourite dish of everyone which goes as a starter, snack or a side for any dish. There are different versions of preparing these fries and here I have shared my version which I learnt from my friend Sushma. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Potatoes - 5 (diced, cubed or cut into thin sticks)
Oil - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Red chilli powder - 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Urud dahl/White lentil - 1 Tablespoon
Channa dahl/Yellow split peas - 1 Tablespoon
Salt - to taste


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan and add the urud and channa dahl and roast till they become golden yellow in colour.
2. Now add the cut potatoes, salt, red chilli and turmeric powder and sauté .
3. Reduce the heat to medium and keep stirring until the potatoes are cooked.
4. As time goes, the potatoes will become crispier.
               Potato fries are ready to be served.
Note
* Keep cooking in the medium heat until you get the desired crispiness.

Curd/Yoghurt Rice

Curd rice was our hot favourite during our college days. Tharu used to get creamy curd rice once or twice a week for lunch and we used to fight for the rice literally. Her mum used to mix the rice with curd and milk in the morning and pack it for her lunch. When we open the lunch box in the afternoon the milk would have completely fermented and would be super-liciously creamy. Each morsel would slide in our mouth and it would be an excellent combo with mango pickle. God....my mouth s watering....Enjoy the dish guys! 
Ingredients
Boiled rice - 2 cups
Fresh whole/semi-skimmed milk - 1 1/4 cups
Yoghurt/curd (full fat) - 2 cups
Shallots - 10 (roughly chopped)
Ginger - 1/2 inch (finely chopped)
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
White lentils/Urad dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Yellow split peas/Channa dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Curry leaves - 15
Dry Red Chilli - 5
Salt - to taste


Method
1. Cook the rice with 1/4 cup extra water such that it is little mushy and allow it to cool completely by spreading it on a flat plate.
2. Once the rice is cooled mix it thoroughly with milk and curd along with salt. It should be nice and creamy, if not add extra milk or curd until it is creamy.
3. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter and add the urud and channa dahl and roast until they get the golden yellow colour.
4. Now add the ginger, red chillies, curry leaves and shallots sauté until they are completely cooked.
5. Turn off the heat and the shallot to the mixed curd rice and mix until they are evenly distributed.
            Yummy and creamy curd rice is ready to be served.
Note
* If you are preparing curd rice for a party you can add roasted cashew nuts and fresh fruits like pomegranate, seedless grapes can be added to add richness to this dish.
* A dollop of butter can be added to the hot rice and allowed to cool which will make this dish extra creamy.

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is one of my favourite rice varieties that I pester my grandmother to cook for me often. She used to prepare it with the orange sized limes that we grow in our farm. The lime would be super tangy and would taste amazing with salt and red chilli powder which we used to enjoy when we were kids. The rice also tastes equally good with lemons and small limes. Enjoy!
Ingredients
Boiled rice - 2 cups
Lemon juice - Juice of 2 1/2 lemons
Shallots - 10 (roughly chopped)
Garlic - 5 pods (roughly chopped)
Dry red chilli - 5
Oil - 2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
White lentils/Urud dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Yellow split peas/Channa dahl- 1 Tablespoon
Asafoetida/hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - 15
Fenugreek seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1 Teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Water - 1/2 cup


Method
1. Dry roast the fenugreek seeds in a medium hot pan and grind it into a fine powder and allow the cooked rice to cool.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the urud dahl and yellow split peas and fry till they get the golden yellow colour.
3. Now add the red chillies and the curry leaves followed by asafoetida and fenugreek powder. You will smell the aroma of them raising up.
4. Add the shallots and fry for 3 minutes then add the garlic and turmeric powder and cook until the the onions ans garlic are completely cooked. (approx. 7 minutes)
5. Once they are cooked add the lemon juice, water and salt and wait for a minute and turn off the heat.
6. Add this lemon mix to the boiled rice (rice should not be hot) and mix thoroughly. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
             Tangy lemon rice is ready to be served.
Note
* The rice should not be very soft, the rice grains should not touch each other. Add 1/4 less water than the usual ratio for cooking the rice.
* The rice should not be hot while mixing t with the lemon mix.
* Do not boil the lemon juice with the mix for a long time else it becomes less tangy.
* Boiled peanuts and roasted cashew nuts can be added before serving. 

Pesarattu/Green Gram Crepes

Pesarattu is an Andhra recipe which I learnt after my marriage. It is a very simple and healthy dish and I prepare this as a substitute to our usual dosa. It has lot of proteins and the adding of carbohydrates (rice) becomes optional. Pesarattu tastes amazing with cocount chutney and tangy tomato chutney. You need not ferment the dough as we do for our rice crepes but again it is optional. Here is the simple version of the pesarattu that I prepare...Enjoy!
Ingredients
Whole green gram - 1 cup
Rice - 1/4 cup (optional)
Green chilli - 2
Cumin seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Salt - to taste
Oil - to drizzle


Method
1. Wash and soak green gram and rice overnight or for 4 to 6 hours in water.
2. Drain the water from the soaked green gram and rice. Do not discard the water which can be used for mixing the dough later.
3. Now grind the green gram and rice along with green chilli, cumin seeds, ginger and salt into a fine dough with little or no water.
4. Cover the container of the dough with a lid and allow it to ferment for 6 to 8 hours which is optional.
5. When you are going to use the dough add the water that we drained from the soaked green gram and rice. The dough should be neither thick nor thin. It should have an easy dropping consistency.
6. Now heat a flat pan and when it is super hot, use a big ladle full of dough and put the crepes on the pan. Drizzle some oil and when it is cooked, flip it to the other side and cook.
              Serve the crepes hot with chutney.
Note
* You can add onions, curry leaves, carrot, beans, capsicum, etc., cut into small pieces into the dough and put the crepes.

Tomato Chutney

I learnt this tomato chutney from my friend Tharunya's mum. She is an excellent cook and I relished almost everything she prepared. I spent close to 15 days during my college exam days at Tharu's home and had an awesome appetite. Tomato chutney is one of favourites that she prepared that I have shared here...Enjoy!
Ingredients
Tomato (medium) - 3 (chopped lengthwise)
Onion (medium) - 1 (chopped lengthwise)
Garlic - 3 pods
Curry leaves - 10
Tamarind extract - 1 Tablespoon
Urud dahl - 1 Tablespoon
Channa dahl/Yellow split peas - 1 Tablespoon
Dry Red chilli - 2
Salt - to tast
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
For Tempering
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Urud dahl - 1/2 Tablespoon
Channa dahl/Yellow split peas - 1/2 Tablespoon
Curry leaves - 10


Method
1. Heat oil in a pan and and add the urud and channa dahl and roast until they become golden yellow.
2. Now add the onion, tomato, garlic, tamarind extract, red chilli and salt and sauté until they are cooked completely. Allow them to cool and grind them into a fine or coarse paste.
3. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard sees to splutter. Then add the curry leaves followed by urud dahl and channa dahl and roast until they become golden brown in colour.

4. Now pour the tempered mix along with the oil on top of the chutney and give a mix.
       Tomato chutney is ready to be served with idli and dosa.


Note
* Half a cup of grated coconut can be used and ground along with this chutney if you need more quantity.

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is one of the first and foremost breakfast recipe at any south Indian home or restaurant. I have shared the recipe of this common chutney. Enjoy!
Ingredients
To Grind
Coconut - 1 cup (grated)
Fried yellow split peas/pottukadalai - 3 Tablespoon
Green chilli - 3
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Salt - to taste
For Tempering
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/4 Tablespoon
Urud dahl - 1/4 Tablespoon
Channa dahl/yellow split peas - 1/4 Tablespoon
Curry leaves - 10


Method
1. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the to grind header into a fine paste with little water.
2. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard sees to splutter. Then add the curry leaves followed by urud dahl and channa dahl and roast until they become golden brown in colour.
3. Now pour the tempered mix along with the oil on top of the chutney and give a mix.
            Coconut chutney is ready to be served.


Note
* Dry dessicated coconut or frozen coconut can also be used.