Sunday, 11 August 2013

Cabbage Fry

   A simple cabbage fry as a side to the meal. Enjoy!
Cabbage (white or purple) - 1 cup (finely chopped)
Onion - 1/2 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies - 2 (split lengthwise)
Curry leaves - 10
Oil - 1/2 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Channa Dal - 1 Teaspoon
Urad dal - 1 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Water - To sprinkle

1. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter then add the channa and urad dal.
2. Add green chillies, curry leaves and onion and cook for 2 minutes.
3. Now add the cabbage along with turmeric powder and salt and stir for 2 minutes. Then sprinkle little water and cover the pan with the lid for 5 to 7 minutes with occasional stirring. The sprinkled water will create the steam in which the cabbage will be cooked.
4. Cabbage stir fry is ready to be served.

* A spoonful of grated coconut can be added towards the end for extra texture and flavour.

Courgettes Tomato Curry

    Courgettes are similar in taste to our desi ridge gourd but has a smooth epiderm compared to the ridged gourd. They come in green and golden yellow colours in the market. I have not tried the yellow ones but the green ones are really tasty and similar to cucumber in its appearance. I have shared a simple curry recipe, Enjoy!
Courgettes - 2 ( finely diced )
Onion ( medium ) - 1 ( finely chopped )
Tomato ( big ) - 1  ( finely chopped )
Green Chillies - 2 ( slit lengthwise )
Garlic - 3 pods ( finely chopped )
Curry leaves - 10
Mustard seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon
Cumin Seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - as required
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Water - 1/2 cup
1. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the cumin seeds.
2. Now add the green chillies, curry leaves and onion and cook them for 3 minutes.
3. Add the garlic and once the raw smell is gone add the tomatoes and cook until it is completely mashed.
4. Add the courgettes followed by turmeric and coriander powder and give a good stir.
5. Add water and salt, cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
6. Open the lid and give a quick stir and turn off the heat.
   Courgettes curry is ready to be served with rice or roti.

Monday, 29 July 2013

Paruppu Sadam / Lentil Rice

Paruppu sadam is one of the specialities of my grandmother. She used to make this dish on wood fire in a thick bottomed vessel and serve it hot along with ground nut oil drizzled on top which would be like heaven on earth. Here I have shared the pressure cooker version of the rice, Enjoy!
Rice - 1 cup
Red Lentils / Toor Dal - 1/4 cup
Green Gram - 1 Tablespoon
Onion (large) - 1 (sliced lengthwise)
Tomato - 2 (finely chopped)
Garlic - 4 pods
Ginger - 2 cm (finely chopped)
Green Chillies - 2 (slit lengthwise)
Curry leaves - 10
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup (finely chopped)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 Teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Sambar Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Oil / Butter - 1 Tablespoon
Salt - as required
Water - 2 1/4 cups

1. Wash and soak the lentils and rice in water for 20 to 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil / butter in a pressure cooker pan and add the mustard seeds and allow it to split. Then add the cumin seeds followed by curry leaves and green chillies.
3. Now add the onion, ginger and garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the tomato along with salt. red chilli powder and sambar powder. Cook until the tomato is mashed.
4. Add the rice and lentils to the pan along with the coriander leaves and mix thoroughly until the rice is completely coated with the masala.
5. Finally add the water and check for salt. Keep the heat on high until the water boils. Then reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pressure pan with lid and put the weight on.
6. Allow 2 whistles. Turn off the heat and wait till the pressure is released completely.
7. Now open the lid and give a thorough mix.
8. Serve hot with a drizzle of ghee on top along with onion or cucumber raitha and pickle.

* You can also add any vegetables along with the rice if you wish.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Spinach and Onion Bonda / Fritters

 During the rainy days we tend to crave for something nice, hot and crispy snack along with a hot cuppa. Here is a healthy version of the snack with onion and spinach. Enjoy!

Besan / Chickpea flour - 1 cup
Young Spinach Leaves - 1 cup ( finely chopped )
Onion - 1 ( finely chopped )
Green Chillies - 2 ( finely chopped )
Curry leaves - 10 ( finely chopped )
Ginger - 1 cm ( grated )
Red chilli powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Sodium Bicarbonate -1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - as required
Water - as required
Oil - for deep frying


1. Mix all the ingredients other than the oil as shown in the picture below. Add little water at a time.
2. Heat the oil for deep frying in a thick bottomed wide pan. Maintain the heat or flame in medium high.
3. Drop the mix as little balls in the hot oil in a spoon or by hand. 
4. Once they are cooked take them out and drain the excess oil using kitchen towels.
5. Serve with tomato sauce or red chilli chutney.
* The oil should not be very hot as the mix will be burnt outside and uncooked inside.
* You can also add potatoes into the mix for additional texture and flavour.

Grilled Salmon

    Salmon is one of the best sources of protein and omega 3 fattyacids. Living here in UK, we are lucky enough to get the best salmon in the world from the freshwater Lochs in Scotland. The meat is marbeled with enough fat which keeps the flesh soft after cooking. Here is a lip smacking version of the salmon - grilled salmon and my favourite of all time. Enjoy!
Filleted Salmon (skinless & boneless) - 350 gms
Garlic butter - 1 Tablespoon (optional)

For Marinade
Red Chilli Powder - 11/2 Teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Black Pepper Powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt - as required
Dried Thyme - 1/2 Teaspoon
Lime Juice - Juice of 1/2 lime

1. Mix all the ingredients mentioned under the for marinade header and make a fine paste. Check for heat and salt and adjust it according to your palate.
2. Cut the salmon steak into equal sized pieces.

3. Marinate the salmon with the marinade and let it marinate for an hour or longer.
4. Arrange the salmon pieces with the skin side down and leave enough space between them in a baking tray lined with aluminium foil.
5. Smear the garlic butter on the top and sides of the salmon pieces.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 200 C and place the baking tray in the middle rack of the oven and cook for 8 - 10 minutes. 
7. Turn the salmon to the other side and cook for just 1 minute until the skin side gets crispier.
8. Take the tray outside and allow it to rest for 2 minutes.
9. Serve hot with a squeeze of lime and sliced onion by the side.
* Do not over cook as all the water and oil from the fish will ooze out and the meat will become harder.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013


Avial is typically a keralan dish and served mainly with the onam sadhyas. As I had an opportunity to be with Malayalis during my schooling and working days, I relished this dish every now and then. When you have few left over vegetables in your refrigerator  you can whip up this dish which is very delicious and nutritious at the same time. Enjoy!

2 cups of mixed veggies including
Baby Aubergine
Raw Banana
Ivy gourd
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - as required
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Curry leaves - 10
Turmeric powder - 3/4 Teaspoon
Yoghurt - 1 cup
To Grind
Coconut - 3 Tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Green chillies  - 3
Garlic - 2 pods
Ginger - 1 cm thick
Onion - 1/2 or Shallots - 7

1. Cut all the veggies into equal shapes and sizes and keep aside.
2. Grind all the ingredients mentioned under the to grind header into a smooth or coarse paste with little water.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow them to split open. Then add the curry leaves followed by the veggies and ground paste.
4. Add turmeric and salt and water and mix thoroughly.
5. Cover and cook for 15 - 20 minutes or until the veggies are completely cooked.
6. Finally add the yoghurt and give a good mix. Care should be taken not to break the cooked veggies.
7. Serve hot with rice or .
 * Any vegetable of your choice can be added. But should not be slimy like lady's finger. It will ruin the texture of the dish.            

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mutton Chukka / Fry

My husband is an amazing cook. He gets wild ideas when it comes to cooking. He is very good at non vegetarian dishes. Every time we buy mutton, he cooks it. Here is the lip smacking version of his mutton fry, enjoy!
Mutton - 1 kg
Onion ( medium ) - 2 ( finely chopped )
Tomato ( big ) - 1 ( finely chopped )
Green chilli - 2 ( slit lengthwise )
Ginger garlic paste - 2 Teaspoon
Coriander leaves - 1/4 cup ( finely chopped )
Mint leaves - 5 ( finely chopped )
Water - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Whole Spices
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon - 2 sticks of 1 inch thick
Cardamom - 2
Cumin seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon
Bay leaves - 3
Whole Black Pepper - 5 corns
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 Teaspoons
Coriander powder - 2 Teaspoons
Mutton masala powder - 1 Teaspoon ( optional )

1. Pressure cook the mutton along with the whole spices, half the measure of the masalas, half of the salt, water, 1 teaspoon of ginger garlic paste and green chillies.
2. The fat will float in the cooked gravy, you can either fry the mutton along with it or completely discard the fatty gravy. But I suggest to use half of the gravy to retain the flavour and can discard the rest.
3. Heat oil in a pan, add the onions and fry until they are translucent. Then add the mint and fry until the raw smell goes away.
4. Add the remaining ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell goes away and then add the tomato followed by salt and the remaining masalas. Cook until a beautiful tomato gravy is formed.
5. Now add the mutton along with half of the gravy from the pressure cooker to the pan and mix thoroughly.
6. Check for salt and cooked the mutton covered in medium or low flame for another 30 minutes until the gravy is completely reduced.
7. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
            Yummy mutton fry is ready to be served!

* If the mutton is very old and tough, you can add a teaspoon of fresh green papaya paste to soften it.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Tomato Rasam

Tomato rasam is a simple yet mouthwatering dish which can be had as a soup or as an accompaniment with rice. Whenever we have fever or cold, tomato rasam comes to our rescue at home. Ther are different varieties of rasam among which tomato rasam is my all time favourite. There had never been an afternoon lunch at home without the rasam. Such is a role played by this simple dish, Enjoy!

Tomato (large) - 2 (roughly chopped)
Green chillies - 2 ( split lengthwise)
Garlic pods - 4 ( roughly crushed)
Curry leaves - 10
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Mustard seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Pepper corns - 5
Cumin seeds - 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind - lemon sized
Oil - 1 Tablespoon
Water - 2 to 3 cups
Salt - to taste

1. Heat oil in a pan and allow the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the green chillies, garlic and curry leaves.
2. Once the garlic is cooked add the tomatoes and salt and cook until it is completely smashed.
3. Make a fine powder of the pepper corns and cumin seeds and add to the cooked tomato.
4. Extract the tamarind juice with water and add it to the pan and mix thoroughly. If the rasam is thick add some more water.
5. Bring it to a boil and turn off the heat. Add the coriander leaves and close the pan for 5 minutes. The coriander leaves will be cooked in the heat and releases a beautiful aroma when the lid is opened. 
     Serve hot as a soup or with rice and pappad.

* The rasam powder can be made in advance and stored in an air tight jar. Take 1:2 ratio of pepper corns and cumin seeds and make a fine or coarse powder for the rasam mix.
* Boiled toor Dahl ( yellow lentils) can also be added to the rasam in small quantities for additional flavour. 

Mushroom Biryani in Pressure Cooker

The word biryani would sound like a nightmare for many but I bet it is an easy one pot hassle free dish. Though the pre-prep time is a little longer the actual preparation takes not more than half an hour for any vegetable biryani. Enjoy the recipe!

Rice - 2 cups ( washed and soaked in water )
Mushroom - 500 gms ( diced into big chunks )
Carrot - 1 ( peeled and diced )
Potato - 2 ( peeled and diced )
Beans - 10 ( cut into1inch thick )
Onion ( medium ) - 2 ( cut lengthwise )
Tomato ( medium ) - 2 ( diced )
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 Tablespoon
Mint leaves - 1/2 cup ( finely chopped )
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup ( finely chopped )
Green chillies -  4 ( slit lengthwise )
Lime juice - juice of 1/2 lime
Water - 3 1/4 cups
Yoghurt -  1/2 cup
Oil - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Ghee - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
Salt - to taste
Whole Spices
Cloves - 5
Cinnamon - 3 sticks of 1 inch thickness each
Bay leaves - 4
Cardamom - 3
Cumin seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Fennel seeds - 1 Teaspoon
Whole Black Pepper - 4 corns
Chilli powder - 1 1/4 Teaspoons
Coriander powder - 2 Teaspoons

1. Heat the oil and ghee in a 5 litre pressure pan and add the whole spices when the oil is hot.
2. Add the green chillies followed by the onions and cook until they become translucent.
3. Add the mint leaves and cook until the raw smell of the leaves go away.
4. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook until the raw smell goes away.
5. Add the tomatoes along with little salt and cook until they are completely mashed. Now add the masalas and cook until the raw smell of the masalas go away.
6. Add the yoghurt and give a stir. Then add the mushroom, carrot, potato, beans and coriander leaves and mix them well with the tomato gravy.
7. Add the rice and water and stir well. Add the lime juice and check for salt.
8. Cover the pressure pan with lid and put the weight on. Reduce the heat to medium and allow 2 whistles and then turn off the heat.
9. Once the pressure is completely released, open the lid and give a quick stir.
     Serve the mushroom biryani with onion raitha.

* 1:1 ratio of water and coconut milk can be added instead of just water for additional flavour.