Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spicy Chicken - Andhra Style

There are certain recipes I know I just have to try when I hear about them. Any recipe that focuses on authentic Andhra or Chettinad food, I'm ready to take a stab at it. I know it will satisfy my taste buds even if it doesn't turn out to be perfect. Everytime I visit India, I make sure I enjoy both Andhra and Chettinad foods in my favorite restaurants, especially the Andhra meals in a thali.

I am not against those recipes featuring extensive instructions or with ingredient lists spreading across pages, but I am sure I'm not trying one of those on a cold and dark autumn evening like today. With darkness hitting at 6 in the evening today, I'm all settled for a simple dinner and a movie. This is a traditional chicken dish from Andhra Pradesh and goes well with any kind of main dishes like rice or roti. The simple ingredients and quick preparation lets me relish this dish often at home. I have been planning to post this recipe for a long time and finally had time to post it today. Generally, this dish tastes awesome if its made a day before since the spicy flavors are enhanced over time and tastes delicious.


  • Chicken - 1 lb (I prefer chicken with bones and a little bit of skin)

  • Ginger/Garlic paste - 2 tsp

  • Onions - finely chopped - 1 cup

  • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp

  • G.chillies - 4

  • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp (optional)

  • Corriander leaves - 1/2 cup, chopped

  • Freshly ground spice powder - 2 tbsp (recipe below)

    • Procedure:

      Pressure cook the chicken pieces along with 2 tbsp chopped onions, ginger/garlic paste, turmeric and salt. Just add enough water to cook the chicken. Since this is not a gravy dish, too much water may alter the texture and taste of the chicken.

      Meanwhile, to make the spice powder, shallow fry 1 r.chilly, 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tbsp corriander seeds, 2 inch cinnamon stick, 4 cloves, 2 cardamoms in a tsp of oil until nice aroma arises. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Set aside. I usually make this extra and store in refregirator for later use. This spice mix can be used for most of the non-veg dishes.

      Heat 2 tbs oil in a wide pan, fry the remaining onions, g.chillies and curry leaves until the onions are nicely fried.

      Add the pressure cooked chicken along with the stock and mix well. Add chilli powder and let it boil until it becomes a thick gravy. Increase the heat, add the prepared spice powder and corriander leaves and stir fry gently until all the gravy dries and the chicken is roasted well. If desired, add 1/2 tsp of black pepper powder at the end after switching off the heat, mix and cover it until served.

      A very flavorful chicken dish is ready!

      Wednesday, October 26, 2011

      Enjoy Diwali with Sweet Rava Puri and Coconut Burfi


      The happy days of Diwali are here. Sweets, snacks, special food, family, friends, fireworks, new movies, new clothes, jewels, poojas - wow, so many things to look forward to Diwali! I can summarize my earlier remembrance of Diwali in three words - Sweets, Dress and Fireworks. I have always enjoyed celebrating Diwali. Who doesn't? The Diwali fever starts several days earlier and continues for several days after the festival, or until all the sweets are finished :) I end up eating just too much home made snacks & sweets and to add to it, the extra sweets that get sent in by neighbors and relatives. I'm sure I will test high in sugar for several days.

      Being in America, I have to agree that the fun has reduced to half. I can barely relate to my Diwali experiences back home. Indeed I do get into the Diwali mood here too when I see desi crowd in Indian stores, the colorful diwali lamps sold at the stores. But there's still so much msising. The sound and smell of fireworks is missing. The shopping experience is not even close to what I'm used to. Shopping for the latest trend, looking for special promotions, shopping with family amidst of the diwali crowd, showing off the dresses to family and friends - there's just so much to experience the culture. I'm the only one excited about Diwali in my family. My daugter has never experienced Diwali in India and says I'm over excited about Diwali. How much ever I explain to her, she doesn't seem to understand what my enthusiassm and fuss is all about. Its still an imaginary world for her.

      Alright, hope you all had a great Diwali. Just want to share my recipes that I made today..

      Sweet Rava Puri:

      Soak 2 cups of Rawa/Sooji with very little amount of water until its fully wet. Its better to keep sprinkling and mixing until its completely wet. You can repeat this in 10 mins intervals as the moisture is absorbed and leave it for 1 hour. If the mixture is too watery, you can add maida to make it thicker. The final consistency should be equal to regular puri dough.

      Heat 3 cups of sugar in 2 cups of water and boil for 10 - 15 mins until it becomes a thick syrup. This may take atleast 15 mins in medium heat. Add 2 tsp crushed cardamom and 2 tsp rose water. Mix it well and remove from heat.

      Make round puris of the dough, deep fry in oil and drop them in the sugar syrup one by one. Soak for 2 mins, remove and arrange in a plate. Repeat this with the remaining dough. Finally sprinkle saffron and almond slices.

      Easy Coconut Burfi:

      Mix 2 cups of freshly shredded coconut and 2 cups of sugar in a wide pan. Keep stirring for 10 mins in medium heat. Add crushed cardamom and a pinch of salt. Keep stirring until it becomes thick and starts separating from the vessel. Pour the mixture in a ghee-greased plate. Let it cool and cut into square pieces. You can also add some crushed almond/cashews powder while the mixture is boiling. This adds great flavor.

      Sunday, October 2, 2011

      Jeera Aloo - Cumin roasted potatoes

      I don't know why, but I've been craving for comfort food lately. All I wanted to eat for the last few days was some curd rice with roasted potatoes. That pleases my taste buds and tummy immensely. Especially, I love potatoes in any form. I had a long week and was tired when I came home today. I was feeling lazy to cook, and neither was in a mood to go out for dinner. Since its almost end of the week, I didn't have much stuff in the fridge too except a few baby potatoes.

      I bought these potatoes last week when I was roaming around in a grocery store to kill some time while waiting for my daughter's dance class to get over. With my craving for comfort food at its peak, I can't help buying a few pounds of these cute little red baby potatoes. Its been lying in my fridge just because I didn't know what to do with them. After peeking at my recipe list and after a long debate whether to make Dum-aloo or Jeera Aloo, today I settled with Jeera aloo, merely because it was easy to make. Jeera aloo has been in my to-try list for a long time. I know its such a common and popular recipe in many house holds, but yes you read it right, I'm trying it for the first time. It came out delicious as expected.


      • Baby potatoes - 12

      • Cumin Seeds - 2 tsp

      • Cumin powder - 1 tsp

      • Corriander seeds - 2 tsp

      • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

      • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

      • Curry leaves - a few


      • Pressure cook the potatoes, peel the skin and leave them aside. If they are a little big in size, you can cut them into half. The pieces should be a bit bigger.

      • Heat a pan, roast the cumin powder without oil and remove separately.

      • In the same pan, roast the corriander seeds and grind them coarsely. No need to powder them too fine.

      • Heat oil (a bit extra than usual) and season with Cumin seeds and curry leaves. Add the potatoes, Chilli, turmeric, corriander and cumin powders, salt and mix well.

      • Cover and cook for 5 mins in low heat. Now increase the heat and roast them until they turn into a nice brown color.

      Ultimate combination with curd rice :)

      Wednesday, September 21, 2011

      Mushroom Kurma

      My blog posts are becoming shorter and shorter and less frequent. I'm trying my best to keep my blog active and post recipes as much as I can since my sweet friends are often checking with me about new recipes. I do know people come and check often on my recipes and read my posts and I feel bad disappointing them everytime. As my routine has become more busy lately with my school and office work, my priorities have changed, although in the back of my mind I miss blogging terribly and I just can't wait to come back to my old routine.

      Hope you all had a great summer. Sorry for disappearing without notice. Summer just flew away so fast and I had a fabulous time at India. Was excited to be with my entire family for a few weeks and had lots of fun shopping around apparels, jewelry and eating out. This time we tried a lot of new restaurants in Bangalore, including street side dosa stall :) That dosa stall was simply amazing and had some of the best dosas I've ever had. I have a lot to ramble about my India trip but just don't have the time to sit and write. So, jumping to the recipe right away.

      Rice and any curry will fit into any meal in my day. My mother-in-law made this yummy kurma when we were in India and it was delicious with plain rice. I'm now totally fond of this curry and have tried out a couple of times after I came back from India. When I grew up in India we hardly cooked mushrooms, but this time I was pleasantly surprised to see mushrooms in almost all grocery stores in India. She said she just tried this recipe on her own, by adjusting to her likes and it just came out delicious. She was right, it was delicious.


    • Button Mushrooms - chopped or sliced - 2 cups

    • Potato - 1 medium

    • Onions - 1 medium

    • Garlic - 4 cloves

    • G.chillies - 2 small

    • Tomatoes - 2 medium

    • Lemon juice - 1 tsp

    • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp

    • Corriander powder - 3 tsp

    • Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

    • Shredded coconut - 1/2 cup

    • Cashews - 10 small pieces

    • Fennel Seeds - 2 tsp

    • Curry leaves - a few

    • Corriander leaves - a handful

    • Procedure

    • Make a thick paste out of shredded coconut, cashews, 1 clove garlic and 1 tsp fennel seeds. Set aside.

    • Peel the potatoes and chop them into medium size cubes.

    • Heat a wide pan, season with 1 tsp fennel seeds and curry leaves.

    • Add onions, g.chillies, garlic, salt and fry for a few mins until the onions become golden brown.

    • Add tomatoes, chilli, corriander and turmeric powders. Mix well and fry for a few more mins.

    • Add the chopped potates and mix them well, then add the chopped mushrooms, 1/2 cup water and cover and cook in medium heat for about 15 mins. I usually pressure cook this mixture with mushrooms for 2 whistles as its faster.

    • Now add the coconut paste, a little more water if required and boil for 5 mins.

    • Remove from heat when the gravy becomes a bit thicker or to your required consistency.

    • Add lemon juice, mix well and garnish with corriander leaves.

    • Awesome mushroom kurma is ready. I let it rest for 30 mins before serving with rice.

      Thursday, July 21, 2011

      Keerai Masiyal

      Wow, it was super hot today. My car's barometer was reading in 3 digits at 7 pm. I was sitting indoor for my daughter's swimming class, and felt as if I was sitting in a warehouse that has no AC. I was just sweating so much. Its been like this for a few days now, and its getting worse tomorrow. I can't wait for this heat wave to get over. I had plans to go to our local famer's market tomorrow, but I guess I have to drop it. I want to stay indoors as much as possible until it gets a little better outside. Its frustrating when I can't enjoy summer the way I would like to. I absolutely wait for summer because we spend 8 months of the year depressed and stuck inside the house as it is brutally cold outside. I dream of living in Florida and California but I guess if I live there, I will be complaining about the heat just like I complain about the cold.

      OK, about this recipe.. I have always been attracted to traditional home made recipes and this is no exception. Simple, Delicious, Satisfying. A lot of people knock spinach, but I really love it. I make this at home often since its my daughter's favorite. Whenever I'm really strapped for time, this turns out to be such a helpful recipe. When mixed with rice or had with rotis, it is equally good.


      Spinach - chopped - 3 cups
      White or Red Onions - 1 small
      Garlic - 2 cloves
      G.chillies - 2 small (or as required)
      Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
      Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
      Milk - 2 tbsp
      Dried red chilli - 1
      Asafoetida - a pinch


      1. Wash thoroughly and chop the spinach.
      2. Heat oil in a pan, season with cumin seeds. Add chopped onions and chopped garlic, fry for a few mins.
      3. Add the spinach and salt and mix well. Cover it in low heat for about 10 mins until the spinach is fully cooked. No need to add water.
      4. Once its fully cooked, let it cool for a few mins. Add milk and run it in a blender until its a paste.
      5.Transfer it to a bowl. Heat some ghee in a pan, add mustard seeds, red chilly and asafoetida. Pour it on top of the spinach.

      Tastes awesome with plain rice.

      Thursday, July 7, 2011

      Bagara Baingan - Eggplants in a spicy peanut sauce

      Just got back from yet another amazing 3 day camping trip! It was a fantastic weekend. Highlights are awesome food, great company from lovely friends, awesome beach and ofcourse a very enjoyable campfire talk. The downside was it was a lot hotter than anticipated. Now I have a very red nose and forehead and a sunburnt arm. Contradicting the daytime, nights were super cold and the temp dropped down to lower 50s. Luckily we were pretty much equipped for the chill weather and I had a peaceful sleep all three nights. It was pretty windy too sometimes. Just as we were finishing mounting our tents, a HUGE gust of wind blew our unmounted tent rolling it across our campsite several times. We were running behind it (literally) to get hold of it, but it was rolling faster than us until it hit a big bush and stopped. That was quite funny to watch and probably I would remember forever.

      Campfires are great just watching and they have a magical way of bringing people together. Sitting around a campfire brings back warm memories. After cleaning up from an awesome dinner, we settled around the campfire and had a hearty laugh for hours. There is a sense of friendly atmosphere and a feeling that we are all one around the campfire. Whether liquor or Smores, those are always good times to enjoy during camping. We had a great time together this year too and its just too hard to get back to work this morning.

      After coming back, as usual I long for some warm comfort food. I had emptied my fridge before I left, so had to buy some fresh veggies for dinner today. Found some fresh brinjals at store and decided to make this flavorful recipe. Bagara Baingan is one of my favorites and a friend of mine had also requested recently to post some eggplant recipes. Awesome combination for Briyani and Rotis.


      Indian Eggplants (brinjals) - 10 small sized.
      Onion - 1 medium
      Ginger / Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
      Peanuts - 5 tbsp
      White Sesame seeds - 3 tbsp
      Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
      Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
      Chilli powder - 1 tsp
      Corriander powder - 3 tsp
      Cumin powder - 1 tsp
      Tamarind Juice - 1/2 cup
      Jaggery - 1 tbsp (optional)
      Cinnamon - 1/2 inch
      Cloves - 3
      Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
      Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
      Corriander leaves - to garnish


      1. Dry roast the peanuts in a pan (I usually buy the roasted peanuts from stores to skip this step). Add the sesame seeds to the peanuts and fry until both turn to a golden brown color with a nice aroma. Finally add the shredded coconut and fry for a min. Set aside, cool this mixture and grind them together with all the spice powders and salt to a smooth thick paste. Do not add too much water.

      2. Slit the brinjals into quarters, leaving the stem intact.

      3. Stuff the spice paste into the brinjals and arrange them in a plate. Leave some leftover of the paste aside.

      4. Heat oil in a wide pan, season with cinnamon, cloves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds.

      5. Once they splatter, add chopped onions and fry for a min. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 1 more min.

      6. Now add the stuffed brinjals slowly in the pan and mix them until the brinjals are well coated with the onion mixture. If there's some leftover paste, add it now on the eggplants. Simmer the heat and cover for 5 - 10 mins.

      7. When the brinjals are almost cooked, add the tamarind juice and jaggery and check for salt. If required, add accordingly. Boil in slow heat for a few more mins until the gravy thickens. Stir the mixture slowly to retain the shape of the brinjals.

      8. Garnish with corriander leaves and remove from heat.

      Enjoy with hot rotis or briyani!

      Monday, June 27, 2011

      Watermelon Lemon Chiller - A Summer treat!

      I love watermelon - its my favorite summertime fruit - so refreshing to enjoy it on a hot summer day! The color and the texture just amaze me - one of nature's wonders according to me. I have also read articles recently that this fruit has a lot of health values when consumed regularly. Its quite filling and a few slices are sufficient to compensate a light lunch and contributes to a healthy diet. Yesterday, I picked up two mini locally grown organic melons from a local store and they were just awesome. It pretty much refueled my summer addiction. Everytime I cut this fruit, I go on eating and eating until I force myself to stop and store a few pieces in the fridge for others. Everytime the bowl comes out of the fridge, the madness begins :)

      This is a quick summer beverage - Watermelon lemon chiller. Interestingly, a few simple additions to the juice enhance the naturally sweet flavor with a new twist. I've tried different variations like adding mint, lemon, sugar and salt etc to the extracted juice and everytime it comes out good and quite different. My daughter loves this lemon flavored watermelon juice. This summer I've made it a couple of times for her and she loves preparing it with me - A good holiday activity to keep her engaged.

      Seedless Watermelon cut into cubes - 3 cups
      Sugar - 2 tbsp (adjust to your taste)
      Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
      Mint leaves a few
      Sliced Lemon wedges - 2 or 3

      Run the watermelon cubes in a blender and filter the juice through a strainer.
      Add sugar, mint leaves and lemon juice and mix for 2 or 3 mins.
      Take a glass, add crushed ice and fill with the juice. Drop a sliced lemon wedge and mix it well.

      Perfect for a hot summer day!

      Monday, June 20, 2011

      Grilled / Baked Chicken - Get Fired up!

      Its grilling season! Summer is the ultimate season I wait upon. Eventhough its hot as hell, just the feeling its gone before you know it, makes me enjoy the heat as much as I can. There are just so many things to do outside - biking, picnic, camping, grill parties... and many more. Anyway, summer is here finally and its getting gorgeous day by day. Grilling gets good in summer, but actually I enjoy grilling in the spring when the weather is more enjoyable to do - a bit of chill, lots of moisture, warm air from a grill, smoked flavor.. perfect!

      Whenever I ride through my neighborhood and smell other people cooking out, I can't help but want to take out my grill or go for a picnic. Now don't get me wrong, I've always loved grilled food, but didn't want to grill ever. I know people who just thoroughly enjoy grilling - no matter how the weather is outside - like my brother-in-law who enjoys grilling even when its snowing outside. With his winter gear and hood on, he grills awesome chicken and says he enjoys grilling. Another friend of mine never gets tired of grilling and has extreme patience and can keep grilling for several hours. There is some magic in his grilling - anything that comes out of his grill is so flavorful and tender. So, I prefer the expert grillers do the job and I just want to enjoy the outcome.

      Here is an awesome summertime recipe my sister shared with me. She said she enjoyed it at her friend's place who is an expert in grilling. A yummy recipe that requries very little preparation time, but comes out great from the grill.

      Lemon-Oregano Chicken

      • 2 garlic cloves

      • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

      • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided

      • 8 chicken thighs with skin (about 1 3/4 pounds)

      • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

      • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

      • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

      • Accompaniment: lemon wedges

      • Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a pinch of salt, then whisk together with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.

      • Pat chicken dry and coat with lemon-garlic mixture.

      • Heat 1 tablespoon butter and remaining tablespoon oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until foam subsides.

      • Brown chicken in 2 batches, skin side down, until golden and crisp, 5 to 6 minutes (chicken will not be cooked through).

      • Transfer, skin side up, to a 4-sided sheet pan.Pour off fat (and any small burnt pieces) from skillet.

      • Add broth and remaining tablespoon lemon juice and boil until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Whisk in remaining tablespoon butter and oregano, then pour over chicken.

      • Let it sit for sometime and then arrange the pieces on the grill and grill until completely cooked.

      • Alternatively, you can also roast chicken in oven until cooked through, about 20 minutes in about 450°F with rack in middle.
      Season with salt and pepper.

      Tuesday, May 17, 2011

      Arai Pulikulambu (Spicy tamarind gravy with green peas and yam)

      Fresh Spring produce has just begun to trickle into markets - I've started spotting my favorite spring fruits like fresh mangoes and berries in my local grocery stores. One other vegetable that I wait for in spring is fresh Green peas in shells - Sweet peas, Pod peas, Green Peas - however you want to call them. Fresh peas are the best and I enjoy the fresh taste of a pod peas which is the only version I have tasted in my chilhood, unlike the frozen and canned peas that are available now. I used to have immense pleasure in popping out the peas from their shells in my younger days because they are so much easier than chopping onions or any other vegetables. Anything easy in the kitchen, I can do it.

      This recipe is from my good friend who cooks some amazing dishes. I fall for her authentic south indian dishes that taste awesome and bring those traditional flavors back to my memory. I have got quite a few nice recipes from her which I obviously would love to share in my blog and here comes one of them. This dish is similar to vathal kulambu or kara kulambu, but uses only half of the tamarind quantity of the regular vathal kulambu and hence the name Arai Pulikulambu meaning "light tamarind gravy". It has a unique combination of coconut milk, lentils, peas and yam. Peas can be substituted with chick peas too. I've tried both versions and both are equally tasty. The peas version nicely brings out the mild yet vibrant flavor of peas combined with coconut milk and I fully enjoyed a couple of servings of this gravy with white rice.


      1. Peas - 1 cup

      2. Yam (Chenaikilangu) - chopped into 1 inch cubes - 1 cup (Frozen is fine)

      3. Cooked Tuvar dal - 1 cup

      4. Tamarind juice - 1/2 cup (not too thick)

      5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp

      6. Sambar powder - 1 tsp

      7. Chana dal - 1 tbsp

      8. Dry red chillies - 2

      9. Cumin seeds - 2 tsp

      10. Coconut Milk (not too thick) - 1 cup

      11. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

      12. Urad dal - 1 tsp

      13. Curry leaves & Corriander leaves - a few


      1. Pressure cook the tuvar dal and set aside (cooked dal should be about 1 cup)
      2. Take a wide pan and roast the chana dal, cumin seeds and red chillies in medium heat until a nice aroma rises. Cool and grind to a coarse powder.
      3. In the same pan, boil together Tamarind juice, Yam, peas, turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt. You can add additional water (about 1 cup) to this mixture and let it boil for 10 - 15 mins or until the vegetables are almost cooked.
      4. Now add the cooked dal and the ground powder to this mixture and mix well. Let it boil for a few mins.
      5. Add the coconut milk and let it boil.
      6. Finally heat oil or 1 tbsp ghee in a separate pan, season with mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add it to the boiling mixture.
      7. Mix well and boil it for 2 or 3 mins. Garnish with corriander leaves.

      In fact, this dish is best when left overnight and consumed the next day!

      Tuesday, May 3, 2011

      Cauliflower Paneer Burji (Stir-fry)

      Here is yet another yummy cauliflower dish. Have you ever heard about Paneer and cauliflower combo? It sounded new to me when I came across this recipe in Tarla Dalal's recipe book. Probably its just my ignorance but I thought this was a less popular combo. I know any paneer fans out there will like this recipe. And anyone like me who is a cauliflower fan will double like it! As mentioned in my previous post, if I had to name my favorite vegetable, cauliflower would be somewhere top in my list. Somehow the delicate taste and intricate florets make me fall for it. So, when I came across this recipe, I knew I would like it no matter how I make it. I did a few modifications from what I saw in the recipe book to suit my taste. Hope you all like it too.


      Cauliflower - 1 medium
      Paneer - 1 cup (grated)
      Onions - chopped finely - 1/2 cup
      G.chillies - 2 chopped finely
      Ginger and garlic paste - 1 tbsp
      Tomato - 1 small
      Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
      Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
      Corriander Powder - 2 tsp
      Garam Masala - 1 tsp
      Amchur powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp
      Kasoori methi (crushed) - 1 tsp
      Corriander leaves to garnish

      1. Wash the cauliflower florets thoroughly and grate them finely (I usually grate it through a food processor and just takes 5 mins). Set aside.
      2. Grate the paneer and set aside. (Use food processor if you have one).
      3. Chop the onions, g.chillies and tomatoes very finely. This brings a nice texture to the dish.
      4. Heat oil in large shallow pan. Season with Cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a min.
      5. Add onions, fry until they are soft.
      6. Add tomotoes, all the spice powders (except kasoori methi) and fry in low heat for about 5 mins.
      7. Add grated cauliflower and salt, mix well and cover in low heat for about 5 mins. They get cooked fast as they are grated.
      8. Increase the heat, add grated Paneer, Kasoori Methi and keep stir-frying in high heat for about 3 - 5mins.
      9. Add corriander leaves and fry for another min or so.

      Remove from heat immediately.

      Tuesday, March 29, 2011

      Cauliflower Stir-Fry in 3 easy steps

      My fridge always has cauliflower as its one of our all time favorite veggies and its available all year round. Its delightfully fragrant even when tossed with just mild spices. Its disappointing when I hardly find any cauliflower items in an Indian restaurant's menu except Aloo gobi and sometimes Gobi Manchurian. I do try quite a few gravy dishes with cauli, but this one is our most favorite Cauli dish. After getting used to the salads , I now even enjoy them raw. I just love the sculptural beauty itself. But it was saddening when I read recently that newspapers are now reporting that cauliflower has joined the list of least-loved and the sales have also slumped down - because people think its difficult to cook and less interesting when compared to broccoli. I thought that was strange because I think it is a wonderful vegetable and can produce great culinary effects.

      Here is a quick and easy recipe with cauliflower. Drizzle some oil, throw in the cauliflower along with salt and a tsp of chilli and corriander powders. Cook in low heat, then raise the heat until brown. There you go! Delicious cauliflower stir-fry is ready. Really, thats all you need to do. Tastes awesome with Rotis as well as any rice dish.


      • Cauliflower florets - 3 cups

      • Chilli powder - 3/4 tsp

      • Corriander powder - 1.5 tsp

      • Oil

      • Salt


      • Heat oil in a wide non-stick pan. Toss in all the ingredients together and fry until they are mixed well.

      • Add about 3 tbsp of water and cover in low heat until cooked. Open and stir-fry once in a while.

      • When fully cooked, raise the heat, add 1 tbsp oil and fry until they are browned.

      I enjoy this best with rotis.

      Sunday, March 20, 2011

      Chocolate Chip Muffins

      Its the first day of spring! And to celebrate I'm sharing a wonderful recipe that came out delicious from my oven this evening. Since it was raining most of the day today I couldn't finish my outside chores as planned. Stuck at home, I was in a mood to bake some goodies this evening. Baking usually doesn't excite me if it requires more than the minimal effort. But its so good to know that my daughter has a great liking towards baking unlike me. To sustain her interest, I nowadays bake with her frequently and try some easy recipes in oven. Today, we tried this together and she was totally excited and amazed with the outcome.

      Since I hadn't eaten any chocolaty dessert in a while, I was inclined towards baking something chocolaty today. After scouring the internet, we decided to try this Chocolate chip muffins as its my daughter's favorite and I also wanted to use the mini non-stick muffin pan I had recently bought. This is a recipe that I found in A very simple recipe that can be put together in a few minutes. I exactly followed the recipe from the below link:

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Egg and Onions Stir Fry

      The tragedy in Japan is quite disturbing. Though the residents of Japan have already experienced their share of quakes through the years, 8.9 magnitude is quite high and followed by a tsunami is deadly. Its saddening to see the videos during the moment of the quake and the minute the tsunami hit. For the people there, the psychological trauma probably overweighs anything else. Hope the people of Japan bounce back from this tragedy soon.

      Well, the weekend is gone already! We headed up to Milwaukee, WI this weekend for a change. It was indeed cold. Yes, it sounds wierd to head north and be in a colder place at this time of the year. But just to get away from our regular weekend routine and driving for 2 hrs, checking in a hotel, enjoying an Irish breakfast early in the morning and visiting the Milwaukee museum -- all these make the weekend totally special. No doubt I enjoy a hot breakfast accompanied by hot coffee on a cold morning. This morning, we were hunting for a good breakfast place and spent almost half-an-hour just driving up and down the downtown streets looking for a traditional breakfast place. When almost ready to give up, we sighted this small corner coffee place which looked ok from outside. We decided to give it a shot and I should say - we had an awesome breakfast! The place was small and cozy with original Irish setup. The people running the restaurant were dressed traditionally like Irish. They had a variety of choices and I made up my mind to try the Brazilian breakfast - a bowl of Vanilla and Strawberry yogurt mixed with fresh berries, granola, raisins and topped with sweet mango slices. Wow - that was super delicious! A simple, healthy and delicious way to get the day started! I enjoyed it with a cup of coffee and was totally charged for the day ahead. The mango sure adds a kick! I'm sure I'm going to try this recipe at home many times in next few weeks.

      Alright, coming to this recipe.. This is one of my favorite egg recipes that I have tasted back in India in local restaurants. This was mostly available in road-side eateries that serve Parottas and Chalna and this egg stirfry is served as a side dish. Its called "Muttai Vengaya Varuval" in the menu. After I moved here, this dish was out of my mind until recently I suddenly remembered how much I used to enjoy this dish before. I tried this recipe just from the taste I remember - and surprisingly it came out pretty close to the original. Seems like I still have not forgotten the taste and its been lingering in the back of mind all these years! Another simple yet flavorful egg dish got added to my menu this week!

      • Eggs - 4
      • Shallots or Pearl Onions - 20 to 25 (You can substitute with 2 medium Red Onions)
      • G.chillies - 4 small (I make it hot, you can adjust to your preference)
      • Tomato - 1 small
      • Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
      • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
      • Urad dal - 1 tsp
      • Asafoetida - a pinch
      • Curry leaves - few
      • Corrainder leaves - a handfull
      • Salt as required
      • Hard Boil the eggs, remove the shells, cut the eggs into half vertically.
      • Mix the pepper powder and salt together and apply it to the eggs on the yolk side.
      • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and place the eggs with yolk side down on the pan. Let it brown for a min and gently turn them over to the other side. Brown for a minute. Remove them to a plate.
      • In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil, season with mustard seeds, Urad dal and Asafoetida and fry for a min. Add curry leaves.
      • Then add chopped onions and g.chillies and fry until onions are well fried.
      • Add chopped tomatoes and fry until they lose shape. Adding more tomatoes changes the texture of the dish. So just 1 small tomato is sufficient to bring the taste.
      • Add very little salt (the eggs are already roasted with salt) and mix well.
      • Now add the eggs and gently stir-fry with the mixture until no moisture is left and the dish is completely dry and well fried.
      • Garnish with corriander leaves.
      Enjoy with any rice dish.

      Sunday, March 6, 2011

      Chicken Sliders - A Party Favorite..

      I very much enjoy the free samples given away at the food stores. Those little treats taste so good that sometimes I get too tempted and buy them. But when I make the same dish at home it somehow it doesn't taste the same to me. Especially, burgers. I have tasted mini pieces of veggie and chicken burger patties in the stores and used to love the flavor and juicy texture. I buy them right away but when I try the same product at home, there is something missing. Probably its just my speculation, but there's some magic to the tiny bites given at the store. After several tries, I just gave up buying the patties and just enjoy the samples for a moment and leave the place.
      I've never made burgers from scratch at home either as I'm a little intimidated in the process of making the burger patties. But when my brother-in-law made this awesome burger for New year 2011, I realized its not that intimidating and actually its quite fun to make burgers. He really made it with lot of passion giving attention to even minor ingredients and it was all worth it. It came out awesome and was a big hit in our party. The specialty is the unique stuffing insie the patties. It turned out to be very flavorful with a soft and juicy texture. Thanks to him for this delicious recipe! He mentioned that this recipe is a combination of two recipes, the “Inside Out Burger” and the “Jalapeno sliders” from Food Network's website and modified to give an Indian twist.

      • 6 slices turkey bacon, cut into bite size pieces (you can substitue with green bell peppers)
      • 8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
      • 2 pounds ground chicken or lamb
      • 1 large Shallot, chopped fine
      • 1.5 teaspoon cracked black pepper
      • 1 teaspoon salt
      • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
      • 4 ounces Monterey pepper jack, cubed
      • 12 mini burger buns
      • 2 tablespoons olive
      • 2 jalapenos sliced, for serving
      • 1 cup creme fraiche or mayonaise
      • 8-10 curry leaves, chopped fine
      • Place the bacon in a large saute pan and cook until crispy, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve 1 tablespoon of the bacon fat in the pan.
      • Add the mushrooms and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside to cool in a bowl.
      • In a large bowl, combine the ground chicken, curry leaves, shallot, black pepper, salt, and Worcestershire. Separate the mixture into 10-12 equal portions. Divide each portion into 2 separate patties.
      • Combine the cheese into the cooled mushrooms and bacon mixture. Take 1 patty and top with a few ounces of the filling.
      • Place another patty on top and pinch around the edges to make sure that the filling is totally covered. Make the rest of the patties the same way.
      • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Over medium-high heat, heat a large skillet with oil.
      • Once hot, add the burgers and cook for 2 minutes per side. Place the pan into the oven and cook for 4 to 6 more minutes for medium burgers. Alternately, you could cook the burgers on the skillet itself for 7mins each side or till they are cooked.
      • Lightly spread creme fraiche on both sides of buns. Place burgers in middle and pick it with a jalapeno.
      You can enjoy these mini burgers as appetizers in any party.

      Monday, February 21, 2011

      Keerai Sadham (Spinach Rice)

      Aah, finally a warm weather this week. It was good to experience a quick winter thaw and get a glimpse of spring in mid-february. As soon as the calendar hits March, my mind automatically resets to Spring and its hard for me to put up with snow and sub-zero temps after that. I enter into what I call as "rejection mode". This week was very refreshing, but it was a busy week at work and I actually couldn't really enjoy the weather much. Most of this week, I was coming up with some quick dinner ideas and hardly had any time to cook anything elaborate.

      I'm a spinach lover and due to the abundant availability of organic spinach consistently in my refregirator, I usually keep trying different recipes with spinach. I miss all those varieties of greens that I've enjoyed while growing up. After moving here, its just one spinach always, although after a long time I saw murungai keerai (drumstick leaves) in my local Indian grocery. I got this recipe from my mom at a perfect time while I was already looking for a quick recipe with spinach. This is an all-in-one recipe you can just eat without any accompaniments - may be with raita or pickle if needed. My daughter liked it too and I'm thrilled to add yet another delicious spinach dish to my lunch menu. If you are looking for a new spinach recipe, you are in for a treat.


      • Chopped Spinach - 2 cups
      • Uncooked Rice - 1 cup
      • Tuvar dal - 1/2 cup
      • Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
      • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
      • Tamarind water - 1 cup
      • Pearl onions - 10 (or 1 medium onion)
      • Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
      • Shredded Coconut - 2 tbsp
      • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
      • Urad Dal - 1 tsp
      • Ghee - 2 tbsp


      • Pressure cook the rice, dal, spinach, sambar powder, turmeric powder together.
      • Grind onions, cumin seeds and coconut together to a coarse paste (no need to be fine).
      • Heat a pan and add the tamarind water, 1 cup of water, salt and let it boil.
      • Add the paste. Mix, cover and boil in medium heat for about 10 mins until the sauce thickens a bit to a kuzhambu consistency.
      • Add this to the pressure cooked ingredients and mix gently.
      • Finally, heat ghee in a pan separately, season with mustard seeds and urad dal. Add this to the rice mixture and mix gently.

      Serve hot. I enjoyed with papad!

      Sunday, February 13, 2011

      Kollu Kulambu (Horsegram Curry with mild spices)

      My blog was about to go extinct when I suddenly got the urge to get back to blogging. Words have desserted me and I still don't seem to have much to write. Although I seem to have gotten the rhythm of posting atleast once a week, I know that my posts are boring nowadays. I'm still trying hard to get back my swing and I definitely need motivation to get back into writing. For now, these short posts are helping me gain my momentum.

      But, I have to tell this - the more I start posting, eventhough I realize my posts are dull, I am slowly recovering my lost passion. I recently read somewhere that one way to get back to blogging is to work on changing the look of your blog than actually posting any. Sounds good! Here I am trying to give a new look to my blog. I changed my title banner today, not sure if any of you noticed. Slowly I'll start working on the other areas too. Strangely, while I published my new title banner today, I was feeling a bit odd. Don't know why. You know how we feel when you get a new haircut and feel a bit odd to walk into the office or school the next morning :) I had the same feeling today - well that made me also realize how much I care about my blog!

      This is one of my favorite recipes. I enjoy anything made of kollu - I make a spicier version to go with rice, and a milder version to go with Rotis. For rotis you can make horsegram just the same way as Rajma. Here is a bit spicier version that will go well with rice.

      • Kollu/Horsegram - 1 cup
      • Onions - chopped finely - 1/2 cup
      • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
      • G.Chillies - 3 sliced
      • Tomatoes - 2 medium
      • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
      • Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
      • Corriander Powder - 2 tsp
      • Tamarind Paste - 1 tsp
      • Corriander leaves - a handful
      • Soak the dal overnight. Kollu takes a longer time to soak and cook. So, leave it a bit longer than usual.
      • Wash the soaked dal, pressure cook it with 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, g.chillies and turmeric powder. Leave it a bit longer than usual time. Make sure to add a bit extra water too for the extra time.
      • After the dal is done, release the steam and drain most of the water into a separate contaier. Set aside.
      • Mash the dal well with a ladle or masher for a few mins.
      • Heat oil in a pan. Fry the onions till they change color. Add the remaining Ginger/Garlic paste and fry for a few mins.
      • Add tomatoes and chilli and corriander powders and fry until the tomatoes lose shape.
      • Now add the strained water from the dal, add salt, cover and cook in medium heat for 10 mins or until the raw smell goes.
      • Add the mashed dal to this mixture, add tamarind water and add corriander leaves - boil for 10 more mins in medium to low heat.
      • Let it sit for atleast 30 mins before serving - to get a better flavor.

      Serve with hot plain rice.

      Sunday, February 6, 2011

      Cucumber Kosumbari (Fresh Salad with Cucumbers and Lentils)

      Oh boy, What a storm that was! Our area is still recovering from a monster snow blizzard that brought 3 ft of snow and below-zero temperatures. Thunder snow is something that I've never heard so far, but witnessed this week. The lightning actually reflects on the white layer of snow and causes a purple/pink color all around for a second. That was really amazing to watch - like the special effects in a movie! Though experiencing a snow storm is fascinating to me, the after effect is horrible. Driving on the icy roads, with two lanes changed to one lane, with mountains of snow piled on the side for the next few days is not fun. This week's storm has given snow that will take several weeks to dissolve.

      Alright, here is a fresh cucumber salad that I made recently. Though Kosumbari is a common recipe in southern part of India, surprisingly I've never had it until recently. A healthy snack loaded with proteins. I very much enjoyed it when I had it for the first time at my friend's place. Her mom is a very good cook and I always enjoy her dishes. I tried mimicing her recipe, and I was glad it came out pretty close to hers. Thank you aunty for this yummy and healthy recipe!

      • Yellow Moong dal - 1/2 cup
      • Cucumber - 1 medium sized or 2 small sized
      • G.chillies - 2
      • Curry leaves - a few
      • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
      • Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
      • Asafoetida - a few pinches
      • Lemon Juice - 2 tsp
      • Black Pepper powde r - 1/4 tsp


      • Cook the moong dal in a little water until soft, but still in shape. You can also just use raw dal soaked in water for a few mins until soft.
      • Heat little oil in a pan, season with mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add green chillies and fry for a min and add this mixure to the dal. Mix well. Set aside.
      • Peel off the skin from the cucumber and chop the cucumber to tiny pieces. Spread it in a cloth or paper towel for 5 to 10 mins so the extra moisture is all absorbed.
      • Add the chopped cucumber to the dal mixture, add lemon juice, salt and black pepper powder and mix well.
      • Serve immediately.

      You can also use alternatives like raw mango, shredded carrots instead of cucumbers or along with cucumbers.

      Friday, January 28, 2011

      Vazhakkai Kuzhambu (Spicy Plaintain Curry with Black Eyed Peas)

      Lately I have been seeing fresh green plantains in my local grocery store frequently. Plaintain was one of those "hard-to-find-Indian-vegetables" until a few months back. Years ago, plaintains used to be a comfort vegetable like potatoes - mom made it atleast once a week and my mother-in-law makes a variety of dishes with plantains - Puttu, Poriyal, Podimas, Aviyal - you name it. However, I haven't heard a kuzhambu made of Plantain - a hot and spicy plantain gravy. I came across this recipe in a magazine recently and when got more curious, I googled this recipe. I was surprised to see different variations of kuzhambu recipes with plantain! Hmm, I've been missing this yummy version all these days. I couldn't wait to try this recipe and immensely enjoyed it. Hope you all like it.

      • Plaintains - 2 small
      • Black-eyed peas - 1 cup (soaked overnight or you can use frozen too)
      • Garlic - 3 cloves - minced
      • Pearl Onions - 6
      • Tomatoes - chopped - 1/2 cup
      • Shredded Coconut - 1/4 cup
      • Broken cashews - 2 tsp
      • Chilli Powder any Kuzhambu powder - 1 tsp
      • Corriander Powder - 2 tsp
      • Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
      • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
      • Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
      • Curry leaves and Cilantro - a few
      • Tamarind Paste - 2 tsp
      • Peel the skin off the plaintains and chop them into 1 inch cubes. Soak in water, so they retain the color.
      • Heat oil in a pan and season with mustard and fenugreek seeds and 1 tsp fennel seeds. While they pop, add chopped pearl onions, 2 garlic cloves (retain one for later use) and curry leaves. Fry for a few mins.
      • Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli/kuzhambu powder and corriander powder and fry in medium heat until the tomatoes lose shape. You should start getting a nice aroma from the spice powders.
      • Transfer this to a pressure cooker and add the chopped plaintains, black-eyed peas and salt to the mixture. Add 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistle - just to cook the vegetables. The timings vary based on your pressure cooker.
      • While this is cooking, make a paste of coconut, garlic, cashews and 1 tsp fennel seeds. Also dissolve the tamarind paste separately in 1 cup of water.
      • After letting the steam off from the pressure cooker, open the cooker, turn on the heat and add the coconut paste and mix well.
      • Finally add the tamarind juice and boil for 5 - 7 mins in medium heat.
      • Garnish with corriander leaves.
      You can enjoy this with steaming hot white rice and papad!

      Sunday, January 23, 2011

      Spicy Mutton Curry

      After a long time, I made a mutton dish this weekend. I've been restricting to buy mutton for more than a year now, however this week the local halal store triggered my craving for mutton. I was not intending to post this recipe when I made it, as I was just doing it as a quick toss recipe with very little time. But after seeing the finished gravy and enjoying it with some rice, I couldn't resist taking a picture of what was left and post it.

      Though I adapted this recipe from a Andhra recipe book, this is very similar to my mother-in-law's recipe. Honestly, my mother-in-law used to make this dish just for me whenever I visit her place, as no one else is fond of mutton there. I enjoy this dish with idlis and parottas mostly. With a slight variation by adding some coconut paste and bit of tamarind paste at the end, this recipe can also be a converted to a mutton kuzhambu that you can enjoy with briyanis or plain rice.

      • Mutton pieces with bones - 1 lb
      • Cinnamon - 1 inch pieces broken
      • Cloves - 2
      • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
      • Chilli powder - 2 tsp
      • Corriander powder - 3 tsp
      • Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
      • Black pepper powder - 1 tsp
      • Onions - chopped - a handfull
      • Curry leaves - a few
      • Corrinader leaves - a handfull
      For Paste1 :
      • Ginger - 1 inch
      • Garlic - 4 medium cloves
      • G. Chillies - 2
      • Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
      • Cloves - 2
      • Cardamom - 1
      • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
      For Paste2:
      • Onions - 1 medium
      • Tomatoes - 2 medium
      • Make a coarse paste of all the ingredients under "for paste1". Set aside.
      • Heat oil in a pan, fry the onions until they change color. Add chopped tomatoes and fry until they lose shape. Cool and make a paste.
      • Heat a tsp of oil in a pressure cooker, add paste2 and fry for a few mins.
      • Add paste1 and fry until you get a nice aroma (about 5 mins)
      • Now add the mutton pieces, chilli, turmeric, corriander and black pepper powders, salt and fry for 5 - 7 more mins.
      • Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook together until the mutton is soft and cooked. The timings vary depending on the pressure cooker. Cook just about right without overcooking.
      • Heat oil in another pan, season with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, fennel seeds. Add the handful of chopped onions, curry leaves and corriander leaves and fry until the onion become golden brown.
      • Add it to the gravy and boil it for a few mins.
      Enjoy hot with idlis, rotis or rice.

      Monday, January 17, 2011

      Red Bell Pepper Chutney

      I always wondered why Red and Yellow peppers are expensive than the green ones. To me, its the same vegetable but just picked at different stages. Then, recently I read an article that had some explaination about it. It said that red and yellow peppers are more fragile and spoil quickly since they are extra ripe, so extra care has to be taken care of them like extra cost to transport etc. Well, that kind of made sense, but still I do not agree that the bell pepper can cost 80 cents per pound while Yellow pepper can cost $2.99 per pound.

      Anyway, I like the red bell peppers more than the yellow and green peppers. May be because of that vibrant color and definitely the red one has a different flavor than the other ones. I regularly use this in my pasta, stir-fry noodles etc. Well, here is a yummy chutney recipe made with the red peppers that goes really well with Idlis and Dosas. I enjoy it by spreading this chutney on my dosa along with some gingely oil. Yummy!


      • Red Bell Peppers - 2

      • Onion - 1 medium

      • Garlic - 2 small cloves

      • Red Chillies - 2 or 3 (I make little extra hot)

      • Shredded Coconut - 2 tbsp

      • Roasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp (I sometimes replace this with roasted urad dal)

      • Tamarind paste - 1/4 tsp (optional)

      • Salt to taste.


      • Heat a tsp of oil in a shallow pan, Simmer the heat, fry the Red chillies until they change color.

      • Now add the onions and garlic cloves and fry until the onions change color and become soft.

      • Now add the red bell peppers and fry until they lose shape.

      • Cool them to room temperature and then blend them together with salt, peanuts, tamarind and coconut.

      Delicious Red Bell Pepper Chutney is ready! Enjoy with Idlis and Dosas.

      Friday, January 14, 2011

      Kalkandu Pongal

      Wishing you all a Happy Bhogi, Pongal and Sankaranthi!

      This is one of my favorite festival sweets that I relish in my hometown. I've sometimes seen this served in weddings too. The best form of this dish I have ever tasted is in one of my local temples in Madurai as Neivedhyam. This is made with the transparent sugar candy, instead of regular sugar or jaggery. I love the flavor especially when its made with that extra ghee :) You can get the sugar candy packets in many Indian stores. Thought would make it for pongal this year for a change.

      • Raw rice - 1 cup
      • Moog Dal (Pasi Paruppu) - 1/4 cup
      • Kalkandu/Sugar Candy - 2 cups
      • Milk - 1 cup
      • Water - 3 cups
      • Cardamom crushed - 1 tsp
      • Ghee - 1/2 cup (adjust as you want)
      • Cashews - a handful
      • Roast the moong dal with a tsp of ghee. Transfer to a pressure cooker, add rice, add 1 cup milk, 3 cups water and pressure cook well.
      • Meanwhile, add a cup of water, add the kalkandu and dissolve in low heat. I usually leave it in stove in minimum heat for the entire time the rice and dal are cooking. Once completely dissolved, it will start thickening a bit. Thats fine, just keep stirring occasionally in low heat.
      • Once the pressure cooker is done, mash the rice and dal together with a pinch of salt.
      • Turn on the heat, add the sugar syrup to the rice and dal mixture, add crushed cardamom and continue stirring in low heat until the mixture becomes thick to a pongal consistency.
      • Heat ghee in a separate pan, roast the cashews and pour it over the pongal. Stir for a few more mins and remove from heat.
      Serve hot.

      Sunday, January 9, 2011

      Vegetable Kadai

      I seem to have run out of words, and my thought flow is gone. I've been trying hard to contribute something to this space, but have been postponing it continously. I know I've been disappointing my good friends by deserting my blog for several months now inspite of receiving several requests and reminders for recipes. So, yet nother try to get started again, a short post just with a recipe - may be thats what can help me get back to my pace.

      Here is a recipe I made today - Vegetable Kadai - an all in one side dish for rotis. A traditional Punjabi dish with a nice blend of spices giving that unique flavor. I used to enjoy this dish back in India in restaurants, although its usually floating on oil. We get a decent version of this dish in our local restaurants here as well, but I can't match it with the taste in India. I got this recipe from a cooking show a few years back, and have tried it at home too a few times now, ofcourse a low calorie version. You can modify it as you want.

      • Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
      • Peas - 1/2 cup
      • Carrots/Beans - chopped - 1 cup total
      • Capsicum - chopped into squares - 1/2 cup
      • Onion - 1 medium - chopped into squared petals
      • Onion - 1 medium - chopped finely
      • Tomato Puree - 1/2 cup (I make them fresh - boil 2 medium tomatoes for 5 mins, cool and peel the skin, puree it in a blender)
      • Ginger/Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
      • Cashews - 10
      • Corriander seeds - 2 tbsp
      • Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
      • Red Chillies - 2
      • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
      • Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp
      • Corriander leaves - to garnish

      • Soak the cashews in warm water for 10 mins. Then grind and make a smooth paste. Set aside.
      • Heat a pan, Dry roast Redchillies, Cumin and Corriander seeds until you get the nice aroma. Cool and powder them.
      • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Fry the capsicum and the onions petals until they start browning a bit. Remove from heat and set aside.
      • In the same pan, add 1/2 of the corriander/cumin/chilli powder and fry for a min.
      • Add ginger/garlic paste and saute well. Then add the chopped onions and fry until onions change color.
      • Add tomato puree, garam masala and salt and boil it for 3 mins.
      • Now add the vegetables, 1 cup water, mix well and cover until they are almost cooked. Don't fully cook them yet.
      • Add the cashew paste and mix well, add the fried capsicum and onion petals, mix and boil for a few more mins until veggies are fully done.
      • Transfer to a serving dish, garnish with corriander leaves and finally add the remaining corriander/cumin/Chilli powder on the top and immediately cover it.
      • Just before serving, mix the spices and corriander leaves together to the gravy. This gives a nice and fresh aroma while serving. Serve hot.
      Enjoy with Naan, Rotis or White rice.