Monday, August 8, 2022

SHAHI TAMATAR

 SHAHI TAMATAR


There are few vegetables that are more visually appealing than the bright red tomatoes! In our Indian vegetarian cooking, you will find very extensive use of tomatoes.

This article in WebMD.com gives details of just how good tomatoes are for our health. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find many dishes made with tomatoes as the main ingredient. Some of them are:-

Today's recipe is for Shahi Tamatar which roughly translates to a "royal dish made with tomatoes". I have adapted this from a recipe shared by Bharti Ahuja Dar in a cooking group in which I am a member. 

We enjoyed this dish as I am sure you will too!



Ingredients:-

  • Medium Sized Tomatoes, 5 or about 300 gms
  • Peanuts, 2 tbsp
  • White Sesame (Til) , 2 tsp
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 2 tbsp
  • Green Chillies, chopped, 2
  • Asafoetida ( Hing), 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste 
  • Cumin (Jeera) Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Medium sized Onion, sliced, 1
  • Dry Red Chillies, broken into halves, 2
  • Curd, 1 cup
  • Garam Masala Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Curry Leaves,1 sprig
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2-3 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp

Method:-

Wash the tomatoes, remove the heads and pierce the tomatoes from the top in a few places. Keep aside
Slice the onions
Chop the green chillies
Whisk the curds

In a pan, dry roast the peanuts, sesame seeds, and coconut gratings till they turn slightly golden
Allow it to cool
Then transfer to small mixer jar, add chopped green chillies and a little water and grind to a smooth paste. Keep aside. 
Heat oil in the same pan and add cumin seeds and when they sizzle add the asafoetida and the broken red chillies
To this add the sliced onion, a little salt. Saute till they turn slightly golden 
Next add chilli powder, turmeric powder, and curry leaves and mix well 
Now add the freshly ground paste of coconut-peanut- sesame seed and mix well
Add a little water to get the desired consistency
Bring to a boil, then lower the flame and cook covered till the gravy thickens
Add the whisked curds and mix well
Add the tomatoes, cover and cook on low flame till the tomatoes get cooked and become soft but retain their shape 
Turn off the heat 
Transfer the Shahi Tamatar to a serving bowl
Sprinkle the garam masala powder
Serve hot with rotis or paranthas





Wednesday, August 3, 2022

MASALA KARELA

 MASALA KARELA

Bitter Gourd, (which is called Karela in Hindi, Haggalakai in Kannada and Karathe in my mother tongue, Konkani) is one of the popular vegetables used in my house.

I use this often mainly because it has so many health benefits.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with bitter gourd such as:-

Today's recipe is for an easy to make yet yummy side dish from North India made with bitter gourd called Masala Karela.
In this dish, the bitter gourd can either be deep fried or shallow fried. I choose to shallow fry it.

It goes great as an accompaniment to a meal of rice and dal.



Ingredients:

  • Bitter Gourd ( Karela) , 3  or about 450 gms
  • Onions, medium -sized, 2
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste 
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander Powder, 1 and 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind Paste, 1/2 tsp 
  • Garam Masala, 1/2 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, as required- deepening on whether you deep/shallow fry
Method:-

Wash the karela, chop off the two ends and cut into equal -sized roundels
Discard the seeds if they are too hard , retain if they are tender
Apply salt to the roundels and keep aside for about 30-45 minutes
Then squeeze out the water from the karela ( this makes it less bitter) and keep aside

Peel and slice the onions

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and shallow fry the karela till they get cooked and become golden brown in colour. Keep aside
(Alternatively, you can deep fry the karela) 
In the same kadhai, heat  1 and 1/2  to  2 tbsp of oil, add the sliced onion and a little salt and sauté till they become translucent
To this add the chilli powder, turmeric (haldi) powder, coriander powder and the tamarind paste
Mix well and sauté on low flame till the onions get well mixed with the spice powders
Now add the shallow fried karela and the garam masala powder
Mix again to ensure that the karela, onions and spices are well blended  
Switch off the gas and transfer the Masala Kareal to a serving bowl
Serve as a side dish with hot steamed rice and dal 





Thursday, July 28, 2022

PALAK PANEER

 PALAK PANEER

One of the most popular ingredients in Indian vegetarian cooking has to be paneer or cottage cheese. So many different types of dishes are prepared in various parts of India using paneer. These days paneer has become even more popular as it is commonly available in shops as compared to some decades ago when it was generally made at home- quite laboriously, I may add. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with Paneer, such as:- 

Spinach or palak as it is called in Hindi has many health benefits, as we all know.

Today's recipe combines both these ingredients and is called Palak Paneer. It goes great with rice and rotis. I have made different versions of this popular dish in the past. Today, I have adapted this from Palak Paneer in Sanjeev Kapoor Khazana. 

I am sure you will enjoy this as much as we do.



Ingredients:-

  • Palak (Spinach),  2  bunches of medium size
  • Paneer, (Cottage Cheese), 250- 300 gms
  • Large -sized Onion, 1
  • Green Chilli, 1 or 2
  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds), 1 tsp
  • Garlic, chopped, 1 tbsp
  • Garam Masala Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Kasuri Methi (Dry Fenugreek Leaves), Powder, a large pinch
  • Salt, to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
Method:-

Cut the paneer into 1 " cubes
Peel and chop the garlic cloves
Chop the onion and green chilli

Remove the palak leaves from their stems and wash them thoroughly 
Blanch the palak leaves by first immersing them in sufficient boiling water and after 1 minute transferring them to a bowl of ice cold water
Drain the palak leaves and place in a mixer jar
Add chopped green chilli and 1/2 cup of water and grind to a fine paste. Keep aside

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and on medium heat add the cumin seeds
When they sizzle, add the chopped onion  and sauté till it becomes translucent
Next add the chopped garlic, mix well and cook for 1 minute
To this add the freshly prepared palak-chilli ground paste, mix well and cook for 2 minutes
Add salt to taste, and garam masala powder
Gently mix in the paneer cubes and cook for 1 minute
Now add the finely crushed kasuri methi  and cook for another minute
Switch off the gas and transfer to serving bowl
Serve the Palak Paneer with rotis or jeera rice or fried rice








Saturday, July 23, 2022

DRUMSTICK LEAVES CURRY

 DRUMSTICK LEAVES CURRY

In case you didn't know, drumstick leaves ( also known as Moringa Leaves) are considered to be super healthy. It can do you a lot of good in many ways as detailed in this article from PharmEasy. "Moringa Leaves- 16 Health Benefits You Should Know".

Decades ago almost every house in Bengaluru used to have a drumstick tree in their back yard. In my parents house we had one such tree so I have been used to dishes made with drumsticks and drumstick leaves since childhood. These days of course things are very different. Yet, if you can get hold of drumstick leaves, please do use them as often as you can. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with drumstick leaves such as:-

Today's recipe is for a curry made with these health-filled drumstick leaves. I prefer to make this rather thick so that we can enjoy them with hot chapatis but you can adjust the consistency and make it more gravy- like to have with hot steamed rice. 

Do give it a try and let me know what you thought of this dish. 


Ingredients:-

  • Drumstick/ Moringa Leaves, 2 cups
  • Green Gram (Moong) Dal, 1/3 cup
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/2 tsp
  • Medium-sized Onion, 1
  • Medium-sized Tomato, 1
  • Salt, to taste
To Be Ground To A Paste:-
  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/3 cup
  • Green Chillies, 2
  • Cumin Seeds, 1 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chilli, broken into halves, 1
  • Blackgram (Split Urad) Dal, 2 tsp
  • Oil, 2 -3 tsp
Method:-

Remove the drumstick leaves from their stems 
Discard the stems -retaining only the very tender and small ones
Wash and chop the drumstick leaves. Keep aside

Finely chop the onion, chop the tomato and green chillies

Wash the moong dal and pressure cook in adequate water adding a little turmeric powder, for 3-4 whistles
Once the cooker cools, remove the cooked dal and mash it with the back of a ladle. Keep aside

In a small mixer jar, grind together fresh coconut gratings, chopped green chillies and cumin seeds to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the urad dal  and broken red chilli and sauté till the dal changes colour
To this add the finely chopped onion and sauté till they turn translucent
Next add the chopped tomato and a little salt and turmeric powder and sauté till the tomato becomes soft and mushy 
When the tomato is cooked add the chopped drumstick leaves, mix well and add a little water
Cook the drumstick leaves on medium heat stirring from time to time
Do not cover this while cooking

Once the drumstick leaves are cooked, add the mashed dal and the ground paste prepared earlier
Mix well and add salt to taste
Add water as required to get the desired consistency
Cook for another 2-3 minutes
Switch off the gas and transfer the Drumsticks Leaves Curry to a serving bowl
Serve with rice, chapati, etc   




Tuesday, July 19, 2022

CUCUMBER PACHADI

 CUCUMBER PACHADI

From time to time, I make dishes using Yellow Cucumber. We call this Magge in my mother tongue, Konkani. It is called  "Mangalooru Southekai" in Kannada, and Vellarikkai in Tamil. While strictly speaking it is called, "Field Marrow" this is variously known in India as Mangalore Cucumber, Madras Cucumber, and even Malabar Cucumber!

Here's an interesting article about the Mangalore Cucumber and its many health benefits. 

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for other dishes made with Yellow Cucumber , such as :-

Today's dish - Cucumber Pachadi- is from Kerala. It is made with both the ordinary cucumber and the yellow cucumber. I have made this with yellow cucumber today. This recipe  has been adapted from Vellarikka Pachadi from the popular website Veg Recipes of India.

We enjoyed this side dish with hot steamed rice and sambar.


Ingredients:-

  • Medium-sized Yellow /Mangalore Cucumber, 1/2: or to yield 1 heaped cup when chopped
  • Fresh Curds, 1 cup 
  • Salt, to taste
To Be Ground To A Paste:-  

  • Fresh Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/4 tsp
  • Green Chilli, chopped, 1
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
For Seasoning:
  • Mustard Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Dry Red Chilli, broken into halves,1
  • Curry Leaves, 1 sprig
  • Coconut Oil, 1/2 tbsp
Method:-

Wash and peel the yellow cucumber, cut it and discard the core and seeds
Beat the fresh curds well and keep aside


Cube the yellow cucumber and place it in a vessel 
Add 1/4 cup water and cook the cucumber on medium flame till it is almost done
It should get cooked yet remain firm

In a small mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and green chilli to a coarse paste adding just the required amount of water 
Add this ground paste to the cooked cucumber
Mix well and cook on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes 
Switch off the gas and allow this to cool

Once it is cooled add the beaten curds and mix well 

Heat oil in a small pan and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the broken red chilli and the curry leaves
Saute for a few seconds 

Pour this seasoning on to the cucumber pachadi
Transfer to serving bowl
Serve with hot steamed rice and sambar 




Friday, July 15, 2022

TOMATO KURMA

 TOMATO KURMA

Credit for introducing tomatoes to the world, it is said, should go to the Spanish who first brought it to Europe from South and Central America. It then spread to all parts of the world. Tomatoes have numerous health benefits as they are strong in lycopene as per this article in WebMD. 

We use tomatoes in so many dishes in our Indian cooking, be it from the South or the North of India.  Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes for dishes made with tomatoes, such as:-

I have adapted today's recipe from  "Tomato Kurma" in Anusha's blog Tomato Blues. It is advisable to choose ripe and tangy tomatoes for best results when making this dish.

We loved this spicy and tangy South Indian accompaniment to hot idlis and idlis. You can adjust the spice level to suit your taste. 


Ingredients:-

  • Tomatoes, (medium-sized), 4 
  • Onion, (medium-sized), 2
  • Cloves, (Laung), 2
  • Cinnamon Stick, 1/2 inch piece
  • Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Chilli Powder, 1 tsp or to taste
  • Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Salt, to taste
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, 2 tbsp- for garnish
To Be Ground To A Paste:-
  • Coconut Gratings, 1/2 cup
  • Fennel Seeds,(Saunf), 1/2 tsp
  • Poppy Seeds, (Khus Khus), 1tsp 
  • Green Chillies, 3-4 
Method:-

Wash and finely chop the tomatoes - to yield a little over 2 cups
Finely chop the onion - to yield about 1 cup

In a mixer jar, grind together the coconut grating, fennel seeds, poppy seeds and green chillies to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside

Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a thick-bottomed pan, and when it gets hot add the cloves and cinnamon and sauté for 30 seconds or till they swell
Add the finely chopped onions and the ginger garlic paste
Saute till the onions turn slightly golden in colour and the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste goes 
To this add the salt to taste, turmeric powder, and chilli powder and mix well
Now add the finely chopped tomatoes and sauté till the turn soft and mushy
Next add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil
Lower the heat and let it simmer for 4-5 minutes 
Add the freshly ground paste prepared earlier and 1/2 cup of water and mix well
Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes
Switch off the gas and transfer to serving bowl
Finally, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves
Serve with idli, dosa, chapati




Monday, July 11, 2022

VAZHAKKAI PORIYAL

 VAZHAKKAI PORIYAL

Today's dish is from the State of Tamilnadu. Here Green/Raw Bananas are called "Vazhakkai" in Tamil. They are called "Kachcha Kela" in Hindi and "Balekayi" in Kannada. "Poriyal" is a stir fry of vegetables.

I frequently make dishes using raw/green bananas as they have numerous health benefits .

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes using green/raw bananas such as:-
I have adapted today's dish from "Vazhakkai Poriyal" in the popular cookery website Subbu's Kitchen. 

We enjoyed this as a side dish with hot steamed rice, rasam, and pappadam. 




Ingredients:-

  • Raw/Green Bananas, 3 or about 500 gms
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Salt, to taste
To Be Ground To A Powder:-
  • Coconut Gratings, 3 tbsp
  • Peppercorns, 1/2 tsp
  • Byadgi Red Chilli, 1
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
For Seasoning:-
  • Mustard Seeds, 1 tsp
  • Dry Red Chilli, 1
  • Black Gram Dal (Split Urad Dal), 1 tsp
  • Curry Leaves, 1 or 2 sprigs
  • Asafoetida,(Hing),  1/4 tsp
  • Oil, 2-3 tsp
Method:-

Wash and peel the raw bananas, cut off the two ends and chop the raw banana into cubes
Immerse the raw banana cubes in a vessel with adequate water to prevent discolouration, adding a little salt and turmeric powder 
Cook the raw bananas till they get done, taking care they are not overcooked. Remember that raw bananas get cooked very fast
Drain the excess water and keep aside

In a small mixer jar, dry grind the coconut gratings, Byadgi Red Chilli, peppercorns and cumin seeds together to a fine powder. Keep aside 

Heat oil in a thick-bottomed kadhai and on medium heat add the mustard seeds
When they splutter add the urad dal and sauté till the dal changes colour
Next add the asafoetida, dry red chilli and curry leaves, mix well and sauté
To this, add the cooked raw bananas and mix well
Now add the freshly ground coconut- spice powder and mix so that the raw bananas get mixed well with the spice powder
Check for salt and add if required
Switch off the gas and transfer to a serving bowl
Serve the Vazhakkai Poriyal with hot steamed rice and rasam