Friday, 21 February 2014

Coriander Biryani

                        Coriander leaves are a great source dietary fibre, iron and magnesium. They are rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids. This biryani is a delicious way of adding this leaves to our diet. It is an easy to make one pot meal prepared with freshly ground masala.


Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Rice – 2 cups
Mixed Vegetables – 1 cup
Curd – 1 cup
Water – 3 cup
Onion – 1
Green chillies – 4
Chilli powder – 1 tspn
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves – 3
Black stone flower / kalpasi – 1
Bay leaf – 1
Oil – 2 tbsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste
To grind:
Shallots – 6-8 nos
Garlic pods – 5 nos
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Cardamom pod – 1
Cinnamon – 1 inch
Cloves – 3
Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

Cooking Method :
             Wash the rice and soak for 20 minutes. Grind the ingredients under “to grind” to a fine paste. Clean the coriander leaves, wash and grind it to a smooth paste adding very little water if required. Chop the onion.

            Heat the oil and ghee in a pressure cooker. Add the cinnamon, cloves, black stone flower and bay leaf. Now add the ground masala and sauté till raw smell is gone. Add the chopped onion and whole green chilies. Once the onion turns transparent add the coriander paste, curd and veggies. Mix well. Add water and salt. Once it boils, check for salt and add the rice. Close the lid and cook for 3 whistles. Serve with any raita.

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Thursday, 20 February 2014

Mochaikottai puli kuzhambu

                          Winter is the season when you get fresh field beans here. My mom prepares field beans gravy in a different style using freshly ground masala. The recipe I have shared here is a simple one without any masala. I learnt this from my MIL.

Ingredients :

Mocha kottai/field bean – 1 cup
Shallots - 12
Tomatoes - 2
Garlic – 5
Tamarind – gooseberry sized ball
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Sesame oil – 2 tbsp
Sambar Powder – 2 tbsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch

Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste

 Cooking Method :
                      Pressure cook the field beans with required salt and water for three whistles. Soak the tamarind in ¼ cup warm water and extract the juice.
                     Chop the shallots, garlic and tomatoes. Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, and asafetida. Once they crackle, add the shallots, garlic, curry leaves and sauté for few minutes. Now add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Now add the cooked bean, tamarind water, turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt. Take care while adding salt as we have already added salt for the beans. Mix well.
                     Add ½ cup to ¾ cup water and boil till raw smell leaves. Simmer and let the gravy thicken. Switch off and serve hot with rice.

Badam Halwa

                 What better can you make for a sweetaholic’s birthday than the king of desserts. Yup. I made badam halwa for Vj’s birthday and he just loved. Ofcourse he would like anything that is labeled as sweet but this halwa did turn out too good, else I wouldn’t have dared to post it here J


Badam – 1 cup (heaped)
Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Ghee – ½ cup
Milk – ½ cup
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Saffron - a tiny pinch
Turmeric powder - a pinch

Cooking Method:

              Soak almonds overnight. Peel the skin and grind it alongwith ¼ cup milk to a slightly coarse paste. Crush the saffron and add it to 2 tbsp of warm milk alongwith the turmeric powder.
             Heat the sugar and water in a wide pan until sugar completely dissolves. Now add the badam paste and stir continuously. As the paste blends well with the sugar syrup, add the remaining milk, saffron milk, cardamom powder and mix well.
                 Keep stirring continuously while you add ghee at regular intervals. At one point, ghee will be completely absorbed and small white bubbles will start appearing. The halwa will start leaving the sides of the pan now. This is the right consisitency. Switch off the flame. Transfer to a dry container and refrigerate once it cools. This halwa thickens with time.
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Sunday, 9 February 2014

Methi Matar Masala Rice

                    This is a very easy one pot meal. It is wholesome and healthy. I got this recipe from my sister’s MIL. She is a great cook and just chatting with her for  10 minutes will give us many ideas for tasty dishes. This is one such recipe. I have made very few changes it came out well.

Ingredients :

Rice – 1 cup
Fenugreek leaves – 1 cup (tightly packed)
Peas – 3/4th cup
Mint leaves – a handful
Onion – 1
Green chillies - 2
Tomato – 1
Bay leaf – 1
Black stone flower - 1
Salt – to taste
Oil  & ghee – 1 tbsp each
Water – 2 & 3/4th cup
To grind:
Shallots – 12
Garlic – 5
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Desiccated Coconut – ¼ cup
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tspn
Green chillies – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cloves – 3
Cardamom – 1 (small)
Star anise – 1 (small)

Cooking Method :

Wash the rice and keep aside. Take the ingredients in the “to grind” list and make a smooth paste. Add little water if required. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker and add the bay leaf and black stone flower. Then put the onions and sauté till golden. Next add the tomatoes and cook till mushy. Now add the fenugreek leaves and peas and sauté till the greens shrink. Now add the ground masala, salt and water. Once the water boils, add the rice. Check for salt, close the cooker and cook for one whistle. Then simmer for five minutes and switch off. Open once the whistle is released by itself and serve with any raita or gravy.

Cook’s Notes:

  • I used normal rice for cooking. You can use basmathi rice also. In that case reduce the water quantity to 2 cups.
  • If you want to avoid coconut, add 2 tbsp kuskus instead of desiccated coconut for the masala.
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Vendaikai milagu piratal / Ladiesfinger pepper stir fry

                       This is a long pending post. It is in my draft for more than a month. I wanted to try this recipe the moment I saw it, as am a big fan of pepper and pepper flavoured ladies finger did sound good. It not only sounded good but tasted good too.


Ladies finger – ¼ kg
Shallots – 5-6 nos
Green chilles – 2 nos
Curry leaves – few
Pepper powder – 1 tspn
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

Cooking Method:

 Chop the ladiesfinger into thin round slices. Mince the shallots. Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan and temper the curry leaves. Add the shallots, green chillies and sauté till shallots are transparent. Now spread the ladiesfinger in the pan, sprinkle salt and pepper powder on top. Close the lid and cook for 5 mins in sim. Now, turn the ladiesfinger, close again and cook for another five minutes and switch off.
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Minced Soya Curry

                     Soya chunks brim with many positives like high protein, rich calcium and high concentration of iron. But one negative that keeps me away from this wonder food is its raw smell. I just HATE it. When I tried this recipe the first time I was so skeptical about the smell, that I cooked only a very small quantity. But the end result was a yummy smelling dish and it was over in a jiffy. Goes well with chapathi, roti.



Soya chunks – 20
Big Onion – 1
Tomato - 2
Garlic pods – 5
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Fennel seeds – ½ tspn
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Curry leaves – a few
Coriander leaves – a few
Chilly powder – 1 tspn
Garam masala – 1 tspn
Turmeric powder – ¼ tspn
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

 Cooking Method:

                Chop the onion, tomato, ginger and garlic. Immerse the soya chunks in plenty of boiling water for five minutes. Wash it again in cold water twice, squeeze out the water completely. Mince the soya (you can crumble it by hand or run in the mixer just once)and keep aside.

                Heat the oil and temper with fennel seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves, then add the onion, ginger, garlic and sauté till raw smell is gone. Add the minced soya and sauté for few minutes. Now add the chilli powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, tomato and salt. Cook till the tomatoes are mashed nicely and start oozing oil. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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Friday, 7 February 2014

Egg Omlette Pepper Curry

              One Sunday, chinnu was busy reading the newspaper supplement. Alright…a 10 month old won’t READ newspapers…she was busy tearing it. I saw this simple recipe while trying to save the paper from her. Made it the next day with slight changes and it tasted so good, I have started making it often nowadays.


Ingredients :

Egg – 4
Onion – 2
Tomato – 2
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chillies – 4
Desiccated Coconut – ¼ cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tspn
Pepper – 1 tspn
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tspn
Chilli powder – 1 tspn
Coriander powder – 2 tspn
Cinnamon (1 inch) – 2
Cloves - 2
Fennel Seeds – 1 tspn
Pepper powder - 1/2 tspn
Coriander leaves – few
Lemon juice – 1 tspn
Salt – to taste
Oil – 1 tspn

Method :


Fine chop the onion, chilly and coriander leaves. Break open the eggs in a bowl, add half of the chopped onion, coriander leaves and chilly to it. Add salt and mix well. Heat a pan and pour half of the beaten egg mixture and spread it. Once cooked, flip and cook the other side also. Likewise prepare omlette with the rest of the beaten egg too. Cut the omlettes into square pieces of desired size.


Fine chop the tomatoes. Grind the coconut, cumin and pepper to a fine paste. Add little water if required. Heat the oil in a tawa, add the cinnamon, fennel seeds and cloves. Now add the rest of the onion, chilli and sauté well. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté till raw smell leaves. Now add the tomato and mash well. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chilli powder and mix well. Add the ground paste, ¼ cup water and bring to a boil. Switch off the stove, add the omlette pieces, chopped coriander leaves, pepper powder, lemon juice and mix well. Serve hot with dosa, chapathi or pulao.

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