I ain't good at drawing but I can say with confidence that I can cook quite well and make everyone happy, with a good meal. Cooking is an art and with passion & Love for it we can create so many wonderful dishes....Loving it everytime...

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dhal with Greens

Both my husband and my son love dhal made this way. My mom used to make this often and she used to mix the rice with a little ghee along with the dhal and the aroma and the taste was out of this world :) This is one of the curries that my son eats with rice without giving me much trouble. I make dhal with spinach almost every week and each time it keeps getting better.

Ingredients :-
Moong dhal - 1 cup
Spinach leaves - 2 cups chopped coarsely
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 3 cloves
Asafoetida -4 pinch
Onion chopped - 2 tbsp
For Sauting :
Mustard seeds & cumin seeds
Chili powder & turmeric powder

1. Fry the dhal before washing without oil till the aroma arises
2. Let it cool before washing it.
3. In a cooker add the washed dha, cut greens, tomato, garlic cloves, 2 pinch of asafoetida water and let it cook for around 4 to 5 whistles.
4. In a deep dish heat oil add mustard seeds,cumin seeds, 2 pinch of asafoetida and chopped onions.
5. In the meantime smash the cooked dhal and greens well with a smasher.
6. Once the onions are well done add turmeric powder and chili powder and saute till aroma arises, pour the dhal and add salt and let it simmer for sometime.

Serve hot with rice or rotis and for added flavor you can add a teaspoon of ghee to it.

I am sending this to Sangeeth's Calcium Rich Event


A spicy and sour side dish that goes well with dosa and venn pongal. This dish tastes still better a day later, it is not very time consuming but once one learns to make it, its very easy. It can be made wit chopped small onions or chopped brinjal(small ones).

To be fried and powdered:
bengal gram
dry chilies
urad dhal
In a little oil fry the above and powder finely or grind it into a fine paste.

For Sauting:
Mustard seeds
Cumin seeds
Urad dhal
Bengal gram
Dry Chili
Turmeric powder

Method :-

1. In a heavy bottom vessel pour the oil and when hot add the sauting ingredients.
2. Add either chopped small onions or chopped small brinjal of choice

3. When half done add 1 tsp of tamarind paste, half a glass of water and salt.

4. Once the tamarind smell goes add the powdered/ground masala, add very little jaggery for a sweet flavor.

5. Stir regularly as the masala is made with dhal it may get settled at the bottom of the vessel and get burnt.

6. Let it simmer for until it thickens well and then remove from your stove top.
Serve it hot with venn pongal, dosas and some may even like it with rotis and curd rice.

Onion & Tomato Kurma

Kurma normally is considered a rich side dish with vegetables and normally eaten with roti, poori, chapathi and so on. This recipe is one that I learn't from my MIL. This can be eaten with idli, dosa and also with roti and chapathi. It has all the flavors a kurma has and yet it is very light on the tummy.


Big Onion - 1 thinly sliced
Tomatoes - 3 thinly sliced
Garlic - 3 cloves chopped / sliced
Curry leaves
Mint and Cilantro leaves - a few
Coconut - 3 tbsp , Kuskus - 1 tbsp - grind the two together into a fine paste with water
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method :-

1. Pour oil in kadai add the garam masala, cumin seeds, turmeric powder followed by the onions and the garlic.
2. When done add the tomatoes, chili powder, coriander powder and stir it till the masala smell goes.
3. Now add the ground paste, salt and 1 glass of water
4. Add the mint and cilantro leaves when the gravy starts to boil.
5. Let it boil for sometime and when the aroma arises, switch off your stove top and let it set for sometime.

Unlike the other kurmas that we make, this one need not be thick, it can be a little watery.Serve hot.

Minced Raita

Normally we all make raita either with chopped or sliced onions and tomatoes. This is also made with onions, tomatoes and cilantro but just an additional step to it.

Red Onion chopped - 1
Tomato chopped - 2
Cilantro - half bunch chopped
Salt to taste
Fresh Curd/Yogurt

Place all the chopped onion,tomatoes and the cilantro together onto the cutting board and mix it together. Take the biggest knife you have and run it through until everything is almost minced together,while doing it you will find the aroma rising. Put the minced mixture into the bowl put salt and curd and serve. This way you don't have to prepare the raita very early. It can be served right away and it will still have all the flavors one needs. Serve it with biriyani or pulao.

Brinjal Poriyal

Vivek likes brinjal and I try to make it whenever i get good ones. This is a recipe i just did and it goes well with rice and dosa.


Small Purple brinjals - cut lengthwise
Onion chopped - 2 tbsp
Tomato chopped - 1
Garlic chopped - 2 cloves (it adds gr8 flavor, it is also optional)
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
For sauting:
mustard seeds, urad dhal , asafoetida,cumin seeds, curry leaves , oil

Method :-
1. Pour oil in a kadai and when the oil is hot enough add the sauting ingredients.
2. When the spluttering stops add the chopped onions and the chopped garlic
3. Once the onion is cooked add the cut brinjal and stir it regularly until it is half done
4. Now add the tomato, turmeric powder, chili powder, cumin powder, salt and mix well.
5. Sprinkle a little water and let it cook completely and till it becomes a little dry.
6. Serve it with curd rice.

I am sending this to Srivalli's Curry Mela.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Dry Gobi Masala

I just tried it today and it came out good. I wanted to try something different with cauliflower and it was easy too.

1.Medium Cauliflower - cut into small florets
2.Medium Onion - sliced thin
3.Chilli powder - 1tspn
4.Cumin powder - 1tspn
5.Garam Masala - half tspn
6.vinegar - 1 tbspn
7.GingerGarlic paste - 1 tbspn
8.Any chicken 65 masala - 1 tbspn
9.Lemon juice - 1 tbspn
10.Salt and oil
11.Spring onion - a small bunch chopped
12.Cilantro - chopped for garnish

Method :-

Bring a big vessel of water to a boil, add a little salt to it and add the cut florets to it. Let it boil for 5 minutes, in the mean time take another vessel fill it with water and ice cubes.Remove the florets and put them in the vessel with ice cubes and leave it for a minute or two, it is called shocking, this is basically done to stop the cooking process. Drain the florets and keep it aside. In a bowl mix all the ingredients from 3 - 8 with some water and salt, mix in the sliced onions and the florets and let it stand for 15 minutes.
In a deep kadai pour oil and when hot add the marinated florets and onions stir in very rarely, as we don't want the florets to break. The longer the gobi cooks on medium heat the better the flavor gets, vinegar helps to do that.Let it cook on medium heat and do not cover otherwise it will become wet. After 10 minutes add the chopped spring onions and stir it in followed by the lemon juice.Let it cook until the aroma arises and the florets are well done. Just before removing from the stove top add the chopped cilantro and let it stay for a while before getting it on to the serving plate.

Eight Step Biriyani

This biriyani is the one I make when I am tired to cook. It is made in the rice cooker and it is easy too. My friend Srimathy is the one who gave me the basic recipe for it and I just changed it according to my preference.I gave it a name of my own too, its that simple.


Basmati Rice - 2 cups (rice cooker cup)
Mixed Vegetables - 1 bowl (carrot, peas, beans)
Meal Makers/soya chunks - 1 small cup soaked and drained
Biriyani Masala - one and a half tbsp
Red Onion - 1 thinly sliced
Tomato - 1 thinly sliced
Green chilies - 2 sliced
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 2
Bay leaf - 2
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Mint and Cilantro leaves - chopped together
Butter - 1 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cashew nut - chopped 2 tbsp (optional)


1. In a big non-stick vessel heat the oil and butter.
2. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cashew nut and stir for a minute or two.
3. Then add the green chilies, sliced onions and once done add the ginger garlic paste and cook it till the raw smell goes.
4. Mix in the vegetables and the meal maker and let it cook for a while.
5. Put salt, tomato and the biriyani masala, cook it on medium heat and do not add water.
6. In the mean time wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes.
7. When the masala is well done add the drained rice along with the chopped mint and cilantro and fry well until the rice is well coated and all the water is gone.
8. In the rice cooker pour 4 and a quarter cups of water and mix in the prepared rice and vegetables and allow it to cook until well done.DO not add too much water otherwise the rice will break.
Remember to stir it very gently every 10 minutes.
P.S. - If u like to eat egg, u can add slit boiled eggs to the rice cooker while the rice is getting cooked, as the eggs will get the flavor too. This quantity will serve 3 – 4 people. If u like more spice u can add chopped green chilies. U can make it with chicken/shrimp but remember to increase spice and pour some vinegar as non veg dishes need more spice for flavor.

I am sending this recipe to Sia's JFI- Soya event and her blog is Monsoon Spice and this is a wonderful event too.
I am sending this dish to Sangeeth's calcium rich


Uppuma is one of the easiest tiffins we make regularly. It is made with vermicilli or sooji,the ingredients & method is the same.Vermicilli is also called semiya.


1. Finely chopped onions
2. Chopped green chillies
3. Chopped ginger
4. Curry leaves
5. Vermicilli/ Sooji
6. Coriander leaves chopped
7. Cashew nut chopped(optional)
8. Salt

In a pot start boiling water. In a kadai pour a little cooking oil along with a half spoon of ghee, once it gets hot put in a little mustard, urad dhal, bengal gram & curry leaves. Once it sputters add the chopped ginger,green chillies & onions and fry till almost cooked add one and a half cups of vermicilli / sooji and cashewnuts and fry well. Before pouring in the boiling water add salt mix well and then pour the water little by little till it gets cooked. Once it is ready put it in the chopped coriander(it is optional).
Serve it hot with coconut chutney.
P.S. - The sooji uppuma should be broken fast otherwise it would form lumps.

Makhanwala Curry

This is a quick recipe my friend Bindiya gave me. You can make it with either chicken or panneer or mushroom. I tried it with panneer and it came out good. If it is spicy the better a person would like the dish. It can be eaten with chapathi, parotta, naan, poori or even pulao.

Curd - 1 cup
Cream - 3 tbspns (i used sour cream)
Onion - 1
tomato -3

Ginger paste - 1 tspn
Chilli powder
Jeera powder
Coriander powder
Garam Masala
Tandoori color - a pinch

Panneer(cubed & fried) or Chicken (cooked), Mushroom

In a blender mix in all the ingredients listed above except for butter, panneer & salt. Blend them well and make sure there are no lumps. In a deep kadai, put in 2 tbspns of butter. When it melts pour in the mixture and let it cook and simmer in medium flame add salt and once the aroma arises put in the panneer and let it simmer for a while. Serve hot.
The aroma of the curry can be rich in flavor and the masala composition can be changed as per ones comfort.

This recipe goes to Curry Mela by Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons.

I am sending this to Sangeeth's Calcium Rich Event

Yellow Pumpkin - Olan

This is a Kerala dish made with yellow pumpkin and it is a sweet & spicy dish with the blended flavor of coconut milk in it.

1.Yellow pumpkin
2.Green Chillies - slit and cut in halves
3. Coconut milk - 1 cup
4. Curry leaves
5.Coconut oil - 1 tbspn
6. Salt

Peel the pumpkin and cut it into small pieces. In a vessel put the pumkin & the green chillies and a little water and let in cook. Once half done add salt and let it cook completely. Now add the coconut milk and let it cook on low flame till the aroma arises, pour in the coconut oil and the curry leaves and remove from the stove.
Serve it hot with rice.

Idli Sambar

This sambar is one of my favorites, my mother-in-law makes. She normally would make it for idli, dosa or vada. It is a sambar made without the sambar powder and easy to remember and make too.


Toor Dhal - 1cup
Moong Dhal - half cup
Tomato - 1
Garlic (if preferred)
Green chillies - 1

For sauting:-

Mustard Seeds
Urud dhal
Curry Leaves
Onion & Tomato - thinly sliced / chopped fine
Turmeric Powder
Chilli Powder
Coriander Powder
Coriander Seeds
Coriander Leaves for garnishing

Take Toor dhal and Moong dhal and pressure cook until tender and easy to be smashed. Along with the dhal add one tomato, 1 green chillies, asafoetida and garlic (if required).
In a kadai pour a little oil and add mustard seeds,urud dhal, jeera, a pinch of fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, cut onions & tomatoes, turmeric powder and asafoetida (very little as we have already added some in the dhal). Once the onion & tomato is cooked add chilli powder and coriander powder(proportion should be [1:3]).Once the dhal is cooked smash it as much as possible and then add the sauted onions add the salt and bring it to a boil.
Powder a handful of coriander seeds finely and add it to the sambar just before removing it from the stove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves....
Can also add a little ghee in the end to make it taste rich. You can even try sambar idli with it.

Vermicilli Kheer / Semiya Payasam

Vermicilli Kheer is a regular sweet that is made almost in every home in South India.A simple and rich sweet that is fun to prepare.


Milk - 1 liter
Sugar - as per individual preference
vermicilli - 1 1/2 cups
cashew - broken 3 tbspns
raisins - 3 tbspns
cardamom powder - 1 tbspn
ghee - 5 tbspns
Saffron a few (optional)


In a non-stick heavy bottom vessel pour the milk, sugar and cardamom powder and keep stirring regularly so that the milk doesn't stick to the vessel. In a kadai pour in the ghee and when it is hot put in the cashew nuts & the vermicilli and as it is getting fried add the raisins. Once the vermicilli is fried well (golden color) add it to the milk. Keep stirring it regularly and when the vermicilli is completely cooked the payasam is ready.
It is best to serve it warm. For additional flavor can add in 2 or 3 tbspns of condensed milk too..
This is a very easy kheer to make and one that is not very heavy in taste either.
I am sending this to Sangeeth's Calcium Rich Event

Rice Kheer

It is the easiest kheer to make without having to spend too much time around it. Vivek and my son love this kheer and the mild pink color is so warm. Rice kheer is not a very heavy sweet either so it is a sweet that can be made anytime.


Basmati Rice (or any long rice) - 5 tbspn
Milk - 1 ltr
Sugar - as required for taste
Cardamam - Powdered
Cashewnuts - Broken and fried in ghee or butter


In a pressure cooker pour the milk and boil it with the sugar required (keep stirring until u r sure that the milk is not getting burnt at the bottom of the cooker). While the milk in boiling wash the rice and soak it in water for a while. Once the milk boils add the rice and stir it for a while. Then add the cardamam powder and close the cooker. Once the vapour starts to get released put the weight and let the whistle blow once then let it cook on low flame for 15 mins.
Do not open the cooker immediately, the longer u let the cooker stay closed the kheer will get its pink color. After you open the cooker add the fried cashewnuts and serve. Can also add Almonds if cashewnuts are not available

This will serve around 6 cups.