Friday, July 15, 2016

Cauliflower quick sabzi





Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable in our household. Here is a very easy and quick recipe to do any time and enjoy with the family. I have made it with no onion or garlic. But, you can add onion, garlic and other vegetables like cubed potatoes, carrots and peas to the cauliflower.
Try it and let me know if you and your family liked it.

Get ready


  • 1 cauliflower washed and separated into small florets
  • 1/2 can hunt's tomato sauce ( or any tomato purée)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger ( optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 2 tsp coriander powder / dhaniya powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Generous amount of chopped cilantro
Go

  • In a thick bottomed pan, add the oil. When oil is hot do the tadka with the jeera and grated ginger
  • Once the jeera crackles, add the tomato puree. Be careful as it will splutter everywhere. Cover for a few seconds.
  • Open the lid, add the turmeric powder, dhaniya powder ,asfafetida, garam masala to the tomato puree and mix.

  • Cook the tomato puree covered for 3-5 mins.
  • Add the cauliflower florets, salt to taste and toss the cauliflower well in the tomato mixture till all pieces are coated.

  • Reduce flame, and cook the cauliflower covered. The florets will get cooked in the steam.

  • Open lid and stir intermittently so the cauliflower does not get burnt. If it gets too dry, sprinkle some water, cover and cook.
  • Once you cook the cauliflower to the desired consistency, open lid and cook for few more minutes
  • Add the cilantro and turn the heat off.


Serve with rice, paratha or roti and enjoy.

Cauliflower quick sabzi





Cauliflower is a favorite vegetable in our household. Here is a very easy and quick recipe to do any time and enjoy with the family. I have made it with no onion or garlic. But, you can add onion, garlic and other vegetables like cubed potatoes, carrots and peas to the cauliflower.
Try it and let me know if you and your family liked it.

Get ready


  • 1 cauliflower washed and separated into small florets
  • 1/2 can hunt's tomato sauce ( or any tomato purée)
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger ( optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asafetida
  • 2 tsp coriander powder / dhaniya powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Generous amount of chopped cilantro
Go

  • In a thick bottomed pan, add the oil. When oil is hot do the tadka with the jeera and grated ginger
  • Once the jeera crackles, add the tomato puree. Be careful as it will splutter everywhere. Cover for a few seconds.
  • Open the lid, add the turmeric powder, dhaniya powder ,asfafetida, garam masala to the tomato puree and mix.

  • Cook the tomato puree covered for 3-5 mins.
  • Add the cauliflower florets, salt to taste and toss the cauliflower well in the tomato mixture till all pieces are coated.

  • Reduce flame, and cook the cauliflower covered. The florets will get cooked in the steam.

  • Open lid and stir intermittently so the cauliflower does not get burnt. If it gets too dry, sprinkle some water, cover and cook.
  • Once you cook the cauliflower to the desired consistency, open lid and cook for few more minutes
  • Add the cilantro and turn the heat off.


Serve with rice, paratha or roti and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Tomato Thokku / Spicy Tomato Relish



I picked up some fresh tomatoes from our local farmer's market this summer. I made this thokku which is mouthwatering and goes along well with rice, idly, dosa, toast etc


Get Ready


  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp hing
  • 1.5 tsp red chilli powder ( make it 3 if you want it very spicy)
  • 1 tsp sambar powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • 1/2 tsp jaggery/ brown sugar ( optional)
  • salt to taste
  • 2.5 tbsp gingelly oil
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • a few curry leaves

Go:

  • Wash and chop the tomatoes. set aside
  • In a dry kadai, roast some vendhayam or fenugreek till they are dark golden. once cool, powder them and set aside.


  • In a thick bottomed pan, add the oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, red chilli and curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and toss well.
  • Add the red chilli powder, sambar powder ,turmeric powder, tamarind past, salt and asafoetida to the tomatoes.
  • Cook uncovered on a medium flame. The tomatoes will ooze juice and will become mushy. You can use the back of the spoon to mush them up more.
  • Add the jaggery and cook till the tomato mixture is thick and till oil starts leaving the sides of the tomato mixture.
  • Add the vendhayam/ fenugreek powder. mix well and cook for 1 minute.
  •  Turn the heat off.
  • Once cool, store in a dry air tight container. Keep it refrigerated.

This thokku will stay good for a week in the fridge. Well, Mine was finished in a few days.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Dahi Aaloo / Potatoes in Yogurt Gravy






I  make potato curry in 2 or 3 ways, a simple dry roast, with onions and peas or as stew with coconut milk. I had heard about potatoes in yogurt but never tasted it. I recently tried this potatoes in yogurt gravy and it was pretty good. The flavors of ginger, green chilli  and yogurt was very refreshing. My husband liked it a lot as well and commented multiple times, it is good.

Here is the recipe


Get Ready

 3 medium sized potatoes boiled, peeled and crumbled
1/2 onion thinly sliced
2 green chillies slit lengthwise ( increase if you need more heat)
1 tsp chopped ginger
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp asafetida powder/ perungayam
Salt to taste
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp besan / kadalai mavu
2 tsp oil
1 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
A few sprigs of curry leaves
Cilantro for garnish
Water as required

Go

Set the potatoes
Add the besan to the yogurt and whisk well till there are no lumps. Set aside
In a pan, add oil and add the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
Add the curry leaves, asafetida, onion ,green chil, ginger and turmeric powder and sauté till the onions are translucent.
Add the crumbled potatoes, little salt, reduce heat and sauté for 1-2 mins
Add the yogurt with besan to the potatoes and  gently stir, but continuously so the yogurt does not curdle.
If the gravy gets too thick add little water to the required consistency of the gravy.
Let it cook for 1-2 mins. Adjust salt as per taste.
Turn the heat off.
Garnish with cilantro.


Serve with phulkas, parathas or rice.




Thursday, June 9, 2016

Virgin Mojito / Alcohol free Mojito




Mojito is a famous  alcohol based cocktail drink from Cuba. It has sweetness of sugar mixed with the freshness of mint, citrus flavor and the kick from rum and sparkling water. I always go for a alcohol free mojito when we go for fancy restaurants and absolutely loved the minty citrus taste of it.I wanted to try making at home and found some recipes on line. Instead of making sugar syrup and using sparkling water, many on line resources recommended using Sprite.

The mind and lime are pounded with a muddler, but I did not have that and used a mortar and pestle instead. The day I wanted to make it ,I did not have any lime but had lemons. Sorry for using one boring cup, did not have any fancy ones!

Get Ready:


  • A hand full of fresh mint leaves
  •  a small wedge of lime/ lemon cut into 4
  • 1-2 tbsp lime juice
  • Crushed ice
  • Sprite
  • A nice glass cup to serve

Go

  • In a mortar add the mint leaves, lime wedges and pound it  for few minutes till the leaves are semi crushed. Add this to the cup in which you ar are going to serve the drink.

  • Squeeze the lime/ lemon juice and add it to the glass without seed

  • Add the crushed ice to the glass
  • Add sprite and serve immediately
  • Garnish with some more mint leaves

Enjoy this summer drink with your fmaily and feel refreshed! 

Try it and let me know if you like it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Murungai Keerai Stir Fry/ Moringa leaves Stir Fry





Recently I planted some" murungaikkai" seeds and had a small plant growing in my container. While trying to research as how to plant it in the soil, I came across a lot of information about "Moringa" which is how the western world calls our murungaikkai!

It seems Moringa is one of the health foods that has super duper healing powers to cure any ailment listed in the medical textbooks! Well, Our grandmothers and mothers knew this way before wikipedia knew! We all remember the famous Bhagyaraj movie where he uses murungakkai as an aphrodisiac. He is a genius man, I am telling you!

Many homes in south India will have a Moringa tree and we use the pods for making sambar! The aroma of well seasoned murungakkai sambar is just AMAZING. The green leaves are used to make kari, kootu, added in adai or used while making ghee!

while having a conversation with my medical assistants, I heard that one of them had this tree in their house and did not know what to do with the leaves etc. After I explained all the things we do with murungakkai, my MA brought me a whole bag of those leaves.

And, I made this stir fry with Moringa leaves. My family cooks this keerai only with moong dal, coconut ( No onion or garlic) and that is how I remember eating this. I used onions and cooked murungaikkeerai after many many years. I had some friends over and they all loved this dish. i shared this with my medical assistant who also liked the dish.  I want to share this recipe with you all.

Once you have the leaves, remove them from the stem, it is called " elai ayaradhu". The leaves are tiny and one does not need to chop them, but i gave it a rough chop! Like any other greens, once cooked the leaves reduce in quantity.




Get Ready


  • 3-4 cups of moringa leaves washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves chopped ( optional)
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1/4 cup moong dal washed and soaked in water X 20 mins
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1 red chilli broken in half
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt or per taste
Go:

  • In a pan, add oil and do the tadka with mustard seeds, urad dal , red chilli and as asafoetida. 
  • Once the mustard splutters and the urad dal is golden brown, add the onions and saute till translucent


  • add the chopped moringa leaves, the soaked and drained moong dal.

  • add salt to taste, reduce flame and mix all well. do not cover and cook as the greens will become dark
  • Add the sugar, this helps to keep the green color and also takes away the  slight bitterness from moringa leaves.
  • The leaves will wilt and cook everything till the moong dal is soft, but still retaining it's shape.
  • Adjust salt as per taste.
  • Add grated coconut and give everything a toss.
  •  Turn the heat off. To make it more flavorful, add a tsp of coconut oil at the end.

Serve as a side for rasam, sambar or morkuzhambu!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Diamond Cuts Sweet & Savory





Diamond cuts make me think out about my " paati"! She was very good in making all types of "bhakshanam", but will give it out to us only in a rationed way. Now, I know she was implementing portion control then! I remember her making these, mainly the sweet ones and as a kid I loved to much on them a lot. I made them recently and wanted to share the recipe with you all. I made a savory one as well for my DH. I personally like the sweet ones with some hot chai and TV!

Get Ready:


 Sweet Diamond cuts


  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp ghee/ butter
  • water
  • Oil to deep fry
Go
  • In a  bowl whisk all the dry ingredients till well combined.

  • Add the ghee or butter and mix well with your hands, rubbing it in the flour.
  • Add water little by little and make a soft dough. 
  • Add a few drops of oil and and coat the outer surface of the dough ball.

  • Cover in saran wrap and set aside for few mins.
  • Make ball in the size of a clementine and roll it out thinly like a chappathi.

  • Use a knife or pizza cutter and cut into thin strips both vertical and diagonal to make small diamonds.

  • Heat oil on medium heat, add the diamond cuts and deep fry them till the bubbles stop, they float or turn golden brown.



Savory Diamond cuts


  • 2 cups All purpose flour/ maida
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp Ajwain/ omam
  • 1/4 tsp cumin seeds/jeera
  • 1/2 tsp hing/ asafetida
  • 1 & 1/4 tsp salt or per taste
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • Water
  • Oil to fry
Go:

  • Mix all the ingredients and make a soft dough by adding water little at  a time.
  • Make them into diamond shapes and deep fry them till golden.

Keep them stored in an air tight container and enjoy as a snack

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Bell Pepper and Coconut Thogayal / chutney






Bell Peppers are on sale now and I picked up a bag of these mini peppers from safeway. I like to eat them raw with humus. What do you like to eat them with as a snack?



I made a quick thogayal with this and some coconut and it was pretty good. Our family enjoyed this with some steaming rice, ghee and okra fry.

Here is the very simple recipe for it. You can use  sauted onions and garlic instead of the coconut. I used 2 long red chillies, as my family does not eat very spicy food. But if you like spicy thogayal, u can use 4 red chillies.

Get Ready


  • Mini bell peppers ( red, orange) 5 
  • 2 red chillies
  •  1/4 cup broken urad dal
  • 3 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida powder
  •  1 tsp tamarind paste
  •  1-1 & 1/2 tsp salt or per taste.


To Temper


  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds/ kadugu



Go:


  • wash the peppers, remove the stem cut in them in big chunks and set aside. 

  • In a pan add 1/2 tsp oil and roast the red chillies and urad dal till the chillies are shiny and the dal is golden brown. set aside to cool.


  • In  the same pan, add a drop of oil and add the peppers. saute them and cook till they are soft but still crunchy. turn the heat off and set them aside to cool.


  • In a blender add the sauted peppers, red chilli, asafetida, tamarind, salt to taste and coconut and grind them till coarse. add a little water if it is dry.

  • Add the urad dal and the end and grind them again to desired consistency. I like my thogayal with a little crunchy urad dal pieces in them. 
  • In the same pan that you sauted the peppers, add a little oil and to the tadka with mustard seeds.


Serve hot with rice, idli, dosa, pongal, chapathi or spread on toast and enjoy!