Mind is in its own place. It can make a hell of heaven or a heaven of hell

Zucchini Chutney

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

This chutney comes under one of those regular dishes in my kitchen. As, we don't have any Indian store near to us, i make experiments with veggies available in my area. Yesterday, i bought these zucchini in local store. It jus looks like cucumber but  tastes different. Garlic, chili n tomato goes very well with zucchini n with a touch of  tamarind, no one can tell exactly, what the vegetable is..

Source: own
Preparation time: 10mins
Zucchini: 2, chopped into chunks
Tomato: 1, chopped into 4 pieces
Chili: 5-6, chopped into halves, or to taste
Red chili: 1
Garlic: 4-5 pods
Tamarind paste: 1tsp
Oil: 2tsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Cilantro: to garnish
Salt to taste

1) In a pan, heat oil n add red chili. Fry for 30secs. Now add green chili and fry for 45secs.
2) Now add zucchini n pinch of salt. Cover n cook for 5-7mins or until tender, on medium heat.
3) Add tomato,  tamarind paste,garlic, cumin seeds n cook for 2-3 mins, covered on medium heat.
4) Let them cool n  transfer to a blender. Blend to a smooth paste.
5) Add slat to your taste n garnish with cilantro.
 U can add tempering if u wish. But i like the raw taste and it is healthy too..

Enjoy with rice, idli dosa, or as dip


Capsicum fry/ Green pepper fry/Bell pepper

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I was not that great fan of peppers n i never gave them a place in my curries. I jus use them for sauce n chutneys'. Yesterday, my husband asked me to cook capsicum( he rem'd his bachelor days n asked me to cook. They always used to have jus 3 curries 4 whole week- ---dal curry, capsicum, non veg curries..)

So, i thought of cooking capsicum and not knowing how to cook this veggies. I immediately  called my mom, n asked her how to prepare capsicum fry.She is always a life saver, sweet mom. she gave me the recipe n i started cooking...

Source: Amma
Preparation time: 10mins
Cooking time: 20mins
Capsicum: 2-3, chopped into chunks
Onion: Finely chopped
Green chili: 2, chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
Mustard seeds: 1tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Peanuts or Cashews: 2tbsp
Sesame seeds: 2tsp( optional, but it gives very good taste to curry)
Dry powder: 1/2 cup(see below)
Garam masala: 1/2tsp
Coriander powder: 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder: 1tsp
Salt: to taste
Turmeric: 1tsp
Cilantro: to garnish

I always keep this powder handy. I use this powder mainly in dry curries especially in eggplant n bitter gourd.
Dry roast each ingredient individually until they leave their raw smell.
  • Peanuts: 1 cup.
  • Channa dal/ Pachi senaga pappu: 1cup
  • Urad dal: 1cup
  • Grated coconut: 1cup(optional)
  • Coriander seeds: 2tbsp
  • Sesame seeds: 2tbsp
  • Cumin seeds: 1tsp
  • peppercorns: 1tsp
  • Cloves: 1/2tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds/menthulu: 1/2tsp
  • Cinnamon: 1inch piece
  • Red chili: 7-8, or to taste
Take all ingredients in to  a blender  n grind them into a coarse powder. Keep this powder handy. It saves u lot of time n u can use this powder in any dry curries.

Lets come to the main part:
1) In a skillet, heat oil n add mustard seeds. Let them splutter n add cumin seeds. Fry for30 secs. 
2)Add peanuts n fry for 1 min. Now add sesame seeds n fry for 30 secs.
3) Add, onions n green chili. Fry until onions are translucent.
4) Add, ginger garlic paste , turmeric n fry for 1 min.
5) Now add, capsicum chunks n a pinch of salt. Fry them covered for 10 mins on medium -low heat.
6) Add chili powder, salt, coriander powder n mix it well. Cover it n cook for another 5 mins or until the skin of capsicum pieces is tender.
7) Now add, dry powder and garam masala n cook for another 2 mins uncovered.
8) Adjust spices according to your taste n garnish with cilantro.

Enjoy dry capsicum fry with rice , chapathi..


Aloo Gobi/ Potato n Cauliflower

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Aloo gobi, a favorite dish for many Indians. Potato goes very well with anything. Mixed with Cauliflower n a blend of spices, curry gives a juicy taste.. The main ingredient  that gives aloo gobi, an entirely diff taste is  amchur/mango powder and on the other side turmeric makes this dish so colorful . Rich in taste, color n nutrients, this dish is a mouth watering one for many taste buds....
Source: own
Preparation time 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
Cauliflower: 1 full flower,  Cut into medium sized florets
Potato: 2,chopped into cubes
Onion: 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Tomato: 1small, finely chopped
Green peas: 1cup
Ginger garlic paste: 1tsp
Green chili: 2, finely chopped
Cumin/jeera seeds: 1tsp
Paprika: 1 tsp
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 2tsp
Amchur/mango powder: 2tsp(adjust this to your taste)
Coriander powder: 1tsp
Bay leaves: 2
Salt: to taste
Garam Masala: 1tsp
Water: as needed
Oil: 2tbsp
Cilantro: to garnish

1) Take chopped florets into a microwave safe bowl with water covered. Cook for 7mis. ( U can cook on stove top too. In a bottom vessel, boil water n add florets. cook for 5-7 mins on medium to high heat.)
2) In a skillet, heat oil and add bay leaves n cumin seeds. Fry for 30sec
3) Add onions n pinch of salt n cook until onions are translucent.
4) Stir in with turmeric, ginger garlic paste, chili's and fry for 1 min.
5) Add potato cubes and stir it n fry for 1 min
6) Now, add cauliflower florets. Mix well and cover it n cook for 3mins.
7) Add Red chili powder, paprika, amchur powder( adjust this to your taste), coriander powder. Mix it well n cook for another 10 mins, covered on medium heat.
8) Add green peas, garam masala and salt. Cook for 3 mins, covered.
9) Taste it and adjust spices according to your taste n garnish with cilantro.
10) Switch off the stove. Cover it n leave it for 10 mins. So that curry will absorb all flavors.

Enjoy it with rice, chapathi, naan...


Vegetable fried rice

Monday, October 19, 2009

I love fried rice when it comes to rice varieties. My standard menu option, when i go to restaurants is veg-fried rice. Vishnu loves chicken fried rice very much. Fried rice is a regular dish in my kitchen. This dish is so simple to make yet tasty. when one is not in a mood to cook or running out of time, this dish stands first in line. If u have left over rice, then nothing could be so easy than making the fried rice.. Rice fried with a variety of vegetables and soy sauce makes this dish healthy n tasty..
Recipe for veg fried rice.
Source: own
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time 10 mins
Rice: 3 cups
Cabbage: 1 cup, chopped finely or shredded
Carrot : 1-2, chopped or shredded
Green onions : 5, chopped diagonally( chop the white part diagonally, green part into small slits)
Serrano peppers: 2, chopped (optional)
Capsicum: 2tbsp
Green peas: 1/2 cup
Soy sauce : 2tbsp
Hot sauce: 1tsp
Ajinomoto/MSG: 1tsp
Salt: To taste
Pepper powder: 2tsp
Sugar: 1tsp
Ginger garlic paste: 2tsp
Oil: 1-2tbsp
Vegetables for fried rice are endless, U can use them to your option, but green onions are must. U can add 1 egg to this.
1) Cook rice. Don't cook it mushy. U can use any kind of rice. Usually jasmine rice goes well for fried rice..
2) In a large pan, heat oil n add ginger garlic paste, ajinomoto, sugar. Fry for 45 secs.
3) Now add, cabbage, carrots n cook for 2 mins covered on medium heat.
4)Add, capsicum, serrano peppers,peas n cook for 5mins, covered or until veggies are soft
5)Now stir in rice slowly on low heat. Mix it well n fry for 2-3 mins.

                        Fried rice before stirring with soy sauce
6) Add, soy sauce,salt, pepper n mix it well. (u can add more sauce if u want )
7) Stir in hot sauce. The amount u use here is entirely depends on you n hot sauce. Mine is too hot. So i jus used very small amt.

                        fried rice after stir in with soy sauce
8) Adjust salt n pepper to your taste. Garnish with cilnatro.

Enjoy fried rice as it is or with raita..

For Egg Fried Rice
1) After cooking veggies, move them aside in the pan.
2) Scramble on egg n fry for 1min. Stir with veggies.
3) Add rice n follow the same procedure..

This is going to be a part of my APS-Rice Event


Pizza Sauce

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tomatoes flavored with garlic n herbs turned into sauce make's pizza delicious. Taste n color of the sauce entirely depends on the tomatoes. So pick tomatoes that are in red color.

Here is the recipe for sauce,
Source: own
Preparation time:10 mins
Cooking time: 45 mins

Tomatoes: 6 large
Garlic: 1tbsp + 1tsp finely chopped(really small pieces)
Serrano Peppers: 2 finely chopped( u can use any kind of peppers)
Oregano: 1tsp or to taste
Basil:1 tsp or to taste
Sugar:1 tsp
Salt:2 tsp
Olive oil:2tsp
Butter: 2tsp
Pepper: 2tsp
Red color
Snauf/Fennel seeds: 2tsp(optional)
1) In a heavy bottom pan, take water n bring to a boil. Now add tomatoes to boiling water( 2 at a time). Once tomato gives crack or slit , remove it. do the same thing  with remaining  tomatoes.
2) Run them under cool water and peel the skin.
3) Now, chop 3 tomatoes into small pieces. Blend the remaining 3 tomatoes without adding water.(u can use tomato puree too, but fresh one tastes much better. I tried both, but the one with fresh puree tasted so good )
4) Now in a pan, heat oil n butter. Add garlic, and fry for appx 1 min( dnt burn it).Add peppers n fry for appx 1min.
5) Now add chopped tomatoes n stir it. Add tomato puree n stir it again.
6) Now add salt n sugar. cover it n let it boil for 15 mins or until sauce gets little thicker.( check on it in middle, dnt burn it )
7) Add oregano, basil,pepper n cover it for 10 mins. If still there is water in your sauce cover it n cook for another 5-10 mins. Make sure that u dnt burn the sauce and also not to make it too thick.Taste it n if u want to add salt or herbs go ahead n do it.
8) Cool it n apply to pizza crest. 

U can save this up to 2 months by freezing it. Save into  small portions so that u can use them later.


Spinach with dal/ palakorra pappu

Spinach n dal-- has that unique taste. Dal can be cooked  in many ways n in the same way spinach too. Combination of spinach n dal with a touch of tomato, garlic n onion puts us in a divine pleasure. Spinach is a good source of nutrients like vitamin K,C.

So here is the recipe:
Source: own
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Toor Dal/ Red Gram Lentil: 1cup ( i use rice cooker cup)
Spinach: 2 cups (I used fresh bagged spinach, if it is frozen use 11/2 cups)
Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato: 1 large, diced
Green Chillies: 3, sliced
Turmeric powder/ Haldi : 1 tsp
Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp ( or to taste)
Salt: 1 tsp
 Amchur : 1tsp or 2,3 pieces  ( i use amchur in my dal ,as it gives mango flavor. if u want to use tamarind u can use upto 2 tsp tamarind pulp)
Water: 4 cups

for Tempering/ Poppu:
Oil: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Dried whole red chillies: 2-3
Garlic cloves: 3-4, crushed
Curry leaves: 2 stems
A pinch of hing/
Salt: to taste
Ghee: 1 tbsp ( butter or ghee. i, normally use smart balance as it contains omega 3 n doesn't have hydrogenated oils)

1) In a pressure cooker, put all the ingredients . Cook up to 3-4 whistles( depends on cooker, mine takes 3) and let it cool down for 10 mins or so.
 In a small pan, heat oil and then add red chili pieces. Now add mustard seeds n let it splutter. After that add cumin seeds, hing, curry leaves, crushed garlic and butter.
3) Turn heat off n add  tempering to cooked dal. Mix it n cover, so that smell of butter doesn't escape
4) Serve with Chapati or rice.


Vegetable Pizza

Originating in a part of Italian cuisine, the dish has become popular in many different parts of the world. Who doesn't like pizza. It makes everyone(of course irrespective of  age) carve for its melting cheese, yummy veggies, and some meat if u like...
Its too clod for us yesterday, so thought of making some hottiesss. But, i got bored with regular things, so planned to make pizza.
The spice they use to make pizza delicious  is from India,i.e marjoram/maruvam/oregano. Not only jus maruvam, but also, Basil, which come sunder tulasi family.. These two spices makes pizza so delicious. Of course, we gave so much to world to learn , may be this spices are one of thoseee....... sorry two of thoseeeeeeee many things..

Lets come to preparation part:
Source: own + web
Preparation time:30 mins
Waiting time 2 hrs
Cooking time: app.x 12 mins

All purpose flour/ maida:  3 cups + 1 cup
Active dry yeast: 4tsp
Warm water: 2 cups( not too hot, or else yeast will die)
Sugar: 1/2 tsp
Salt: 1 1/2 tsp
Olive oil: 1/2 cup
Pizza Sauce: 1/2-1 cup check here
Vegetables: Ur wish( i used tomato, bell pepper/capsicum, Serrano peppers, spinach, carrots,  pineapple.)
Mozzarella cheese: For topping appx 1-2 cups
Oregano: to sprinkle
Basil: to sprinkle
Pepper:to sprinkle

Pizza stone/ flat pan/cookie sheet to bake  
Big bowl to mix dough
Small bowl
Neat kitchen towel soaked in hot water

1)  In a small bowl, pour warm water. Dissolve yeast. add sugar, salt ,1cup flour and mix it. keep this in a warm place(best in oven/where u keep yogurt) covered for 10-15 mins.
2) In a large bowl, take flour n knead it by slowly adding  the yeast mixture until dough becomes soft. Don't make it watery or too soft. It must be like naan dough.
3) When dough is ready, pour 5 tsp olive oil n make sure it covers the dough. Jus knead it for 30 secs very gently. Don't be hard on it.  
4)  Cover it with towel.( Squeeze the water from towel, n cover it) Make sure it covers all the sides. put this in a warm place for 1 hr.
5) Now, knead it again for 1min. Cover and rest for another 30 mins.

6) Mean while prepare all your veggies.

7)Apply, oil slightly to pan with brush.
8) Sprinkle flour on surface where u want to roll pizza. Take sufficient amount of dough (Depends on your pan size/ pizza stone size)  and stretch it. Now put this on your pan and stretch it in to your pan shape. Use a fork to put holes on the crust so that it cooks from bottom.( dnt put too many holes, jus randomly poke it, gently).

9) Apply sauce from center to outwards.Don't spread the sauce too much(Jus leave the edges n spread)
10)  Now, layer your veggies evenly. Sprinkle cheese evenly ( form a thick layer). Spread oil about 1-2tsp)
11) Sprinkle oregano, basil, peeper.
12) Pre-heat oven at 400 degrees
13)On medium heat, put the pan on stove for 1-2mins, or until bottom of pan i s hot( if u r using pan,do this. if it is pizza stone u can put it directly)
14)Bake for 15 mins.( u can check whether pizza is done r not by seeing the color of cheese n outer crust. The cheese should be melted n slightly brown).
15) Cool it for 10 mins n enjoy i.......
                                                                                         Thick crest pizza
                                Thin Crest pizza


Beerakaya & Sorakaya Thoku Pachadi/ Ridge Gourd & Bottle Gourd Peel Chutney

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I love chutneys made with fresh vegetables. Every vegetable has its own unique flavor. If it comes to my husband, he jus eats whole lunch or diner with chutney. That much we love chutneys that we cant waste  a single spoon of it. These  veggies  have such a flavor which gives mouth watering smell n taste jus with a touch of chili, cilantro and garlic.

Yesterday, I made ridge gourd milk curry /beerakaya palu posina koora. I always store the skin of ridge gourd to make chutney. I have some in my fridge, which i stored week back. So, now i had enough skin to make chutney. I stored some (5-6) cubes of ridge gourd for chutney from yesterday's one.
I used to through peels before, but one day my mom said, how to make chutneys from skins of veggies. Now, i wont wast even a single strand of it, Of course, i try all chutney's with all vegetable peels n they turn out to be gr8..
preparation time: 10 mins
cooking time 10 mins

Ridge gourd Peel : 2 cups.
Green chili: 3-4, roughly chopped, or brk into 2 pieces
Red chilli:1/2 piece
Tomato: 1 large, cut into 4 pieces
Garlic cloves 5-6
Tamarind: small lemon sized
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Channa dal: 1tsp
Cilantro: 1/2 cup
Oil: 2 tsp

1) In a pan, heat oil n add red chili, channa dal. fry for 30 secs. Now add ridge gourd peel, green chili, tamarind, cumin seeds n cook for 5mins.  Now add tomato n cook for 2 mins.
2) Let it cool down. Now in a mixer add the ridge gourd  mixture,garlic cloves n cilantro an grind it to a smooth paste.
3) garnish with cilantro.( if u want u can add tempering to it. U can also add finely chopped onion before serving)( can be stored up to 3 days if onions are not added)

Enjoy this chutney with plain rice with a touch of butter/gee, dosa, idli... endless list....


Sorakaya/Anapakaya/Lauki palu posina koora / Bottle gourd with milk curry

Bottle gourd is on of those vegetables which can be cooked in many ways. When i was kid, if bottle gourd is the curry,i used to rush into neighbors kitchen (its a priest's house) where my mom or grandma cant get in. I used to hate all those gourd family veggies. Whenever i got fever, they used to force me to eat these milk curries, so that body temperature regulates.
My mom cook's these milk curries with fresh drumstick's n i jus love it. Here, once i tried with frozen one's n but i dint liked it.

So, here is my recipe for delicious yummyyyyyy sorakaya paluposina koora:

Sorakaya: 1 medium sized , peeled n chopped  
Onion: 1 medium sized, finely chopped
Green chili: 2 chopped
Dried Red chili: 2
Mustard seeds:1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1tsp
Channa dal: 1 tsp
Milk: 1 cup
Water:1 cup
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Salt: to taste
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Oil: 1tbsp
Garlic: 2 cloves, finely chopped
Drumsticks( if u want 4-5)

1) In a pressure cooker, heat oil n add red chili, channa dal. once dal turns color add mustard seeds n let them splutter. Add cumin seeds n  garlic and fry for 30 secs. Add onions n pinch of salt n fry for 5 mins or until onions turn pink color.
2) Now add turmeric,bottle gourd pieces and stir it. Add red chili powder, salt and water. Cook for 2 whistles and let it cool down or util pressure escapes ( U can cook in pan too but it takes very long time)
3) Still, if there is water, jus boil it for couple mins. ( Dont worry if u have little water).
4) Add milk  n stir it for 5 mins or until milk starts boiling.
5) Switch off n let it cool for 10 mins or until gravy thickens. U can add whipping cream , this gives rich taste to gravy.
 Enjoy this delicious curry with rice or chapathi.


Green chilli paste

Monday, October 5, 2009

Handling with green chillies is the worst night mare in kitchen. U can make them in to a paste  n use when ever u want it.

Take 15-20 jalapeños and 5-8 Serrano peppers. Grind them by adding 2-3 tsp salt ,  2tbsp water and 1tsp oil.
Take it into a bottle n store in fridge.


Tamrind Rice/ Chintapandu Pulihora

 The Tamarind rice, the Pulihora is my family's any time favorite. If my husband is hungry, all he ask me to do is  పులిహోర . In south India, it is offered as a prasadam in every festival. Pulihora is made with rice by adding tamarind sauce .  

So here we go with the recipe

Source: Own
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

Rice: 3 cups
Tamarind Juice: 1 cup( Extracted from tamarind by soaking it in hot water or u can cook it in microwave for 
                         30 sec intervals for 2 mins).
Peanuts: 2-3 tbsp
Cashews: 1tbsp( if desired)
Mustard seeds: 2 tsp
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp
Whole dried red chillies: 5-6
Urad dal: 2 tsp ( minapappu)
Channa dal: 2 tsp (split bengal gram)
Pinch o f hing
Green chillies: 4-5 ( slit length wise)
Turmeric Powder: 2tsp
Oil: 3tbsp
Salt: 2 tsp or to taste
Curry Leaves: 2 stems

1) Cook rice such that each grain is separated (put 1tsp lemon juice. It helps to cook rice in grainy form)
Sprinkle 1 tsp turmeric powder  on the rice and spread it to cool.
2) Meanwhile, Heat oil in a pan, add red chillies,channa dal, urad dal. Now add mustard seeds n let them splutter, add cumin seeds, green chillies,hing, turmeric powder  curry leaves and fry for few secs.
3) Now add peanuts n cashews and fry for  2 mins.
 Add tamarind juice and cook for 5 mins or raw smell of tamarind goes off. Add salt.
4)Now mix the tamarind sauce with rice n mix well without any lumps.
                                                           Tamarind rice..
Tamarind rice tastes better after it rests for 2hrs or more time. If u cant wait such long time , u can enjoy mouth watering pulihora after 15 mins.


Health tip

Friday, October 2, 2009

1)  Flax seeds:  Flax seeds are the major source of omega-3 fatty acids. It is available in powder form in market.
U can use 1-2 tsp of flax seed powder in whatever curry u make. As it has nutty flavor, it doesn't change the original taste of curry or food u make.


Dal with Collard Greens

This is my first post.
Normally, i cook dal with spinach  methi and red sorrel. I was running out of all leafy veggies n started searching in my fridge. I came across these collard greens which i use in salads.So, i thought of cooking greens with dal, as it adopts the flavor of anything.
Though collard greens are cousins of mustard leaves, they do have their own distinct flavor. These greens stand out as a nutritional superstar. Really, it contains lots of nutrients that we require in our daily life such as vitamin A, K, C n omega-3 fatty acids and many more...
Lets come to preparation part:

Source : My own
Prep time: 7 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 4 people

Toor Dal/ Red Gram Lentil: 11/2 cup ( i use rice cooker cup)
Collard Greens: 2 cups ( here i used frozen one,if it is fresh, finely chopped)
Onion: 1 medium, finely chopped
Tomato: 1 large, diced
Green Chillies: 3, sliced
Turmeric powder/ Haldi : 1 tsp
Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp ( or to taste)
Salt: 1 tsp
Ginger: 1 tsp finely chopped
Amchur : 1tsp or 2,3 pieces  ( i use amchur in may dal ,as it gives mango flavor. if u want to use tamarind u can use upto 2 tsp tamarind pulp)
Water: 4 cups
for Tempering/ Poppu:
Oil: 1tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Dried whole red chillies: 2-3
Garlic cloves: 3-4, crushed
Curry leaves: 2 stems
A pinch of hing/
Salt: to taste
Ghee: 1 tbsp ( butter or ghee. i, normally use smart balance as it contains omega 3 n doesn't have hydrogenated oils)

1) In a pressure cooker, put all the ingredients . Cook up to 3-4 whistles( depends on cooker, mine takes 3) and let it cool down for 10 mins or so
In a small pan, heat oil and then add red chili pieces. Now add mustard seeds n let it splutter. After that add cumin seeds, hing, curry leaves, crushed garlic and butter.
3) Turn heat off n add  tempering to cooked dal. Mix it n cover, so that smell of butter doesn't escape
4) Serve with Chapati or rice.
                                   Chapathi with collard greens dal and black eyed peas curry

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