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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

It been just a short time I started blogging & I have got a sort of addiction to it. Daily thinking of new recipes, new thoughts…Just love doing those!! 

Well folks, for few weeks I’ll be away as I’m planning for a vacation to my homeland!! Recently I read from Archana’s blog about drafting recipes, I too plan for the same, but cannot guarantee how often can I. I will certainly be trying to do so.  

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Picture courtesy answers.com

You know I’m going to be rich soon, as Vishu is approaching…Vishu is an important festival for all the Malayalees which is regarded as New year. Of all the festivals I like Vishu as I used to get lots of Vishukaineettam ( money given in form of coins by elderly people which symbolizes prosperity).   It is also believed that the first objects which one sees on the morning of this auspicious day determine the prosperity experienced in the coming year. Hence, all of them make it a point to see all the auspicious things as soon as they wake up. This is called Vishukkani .

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Pic courtesy keralatourism.org

When we were young we used to make these arrangements the previous day & next day early morning our mom used to come & wake us…keeping our eyes closed slowly we approach the place where it is arranged and see the kani !! After that keep on asking for kaineettams! At the end of the day we start counting the amount we got & feel envious on who got more J Another important thing is the feast which is one of the best part of the day!!Vendakka kichadi is one of the Thodukari’s in this feastwhich is served for every vishu at my place.  So thought of sharing 🙂  My loving wishes for all of you….Happy Vishu!! For the kichadi

  • Okra – 20 to 25 thinly sliced
  • Curd 1 ½ cup
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying 

To grind

  • Grated coconut 1 cup
  • Green chilies 3 to 4
  • Mustard seeds 1 tsp 

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Fry the okra slices till it is brown & crisp. If in large quantity fry them in batches. Grind coconut & said ingredients to fine paste. Cook the paste with little water [say quarter cup of water]. Once it is cooked add curry leaves & salt. Add Okra & mix; switch off the gas & add curd, stir at once. The curd should be sour enough…

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I was so much happy to see this time’s JFI element in RP’s workshop to be tomatoes as it is an essential vegetable in my kitchen. I love its juicy texture which gives richness to the gravy. I don’t know anyone who hates them!!

Tomato pickle is always one of my choice of pickles, but for this theme are these beautiful small, long, grape-like clusters of brilliant red elongated grape tomatoes which are sweet, complex & rich in flavor.

  • Grape tomatoes – ½ lb [washed & thoroughly dried]
  • Garlic chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Red chilly powder 2tsp
  • Paprika 1tsp
  • Crushed mustard seeds ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp
  • Kalongi [onion seeds] 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil ¼ cup 

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Mix all spices together with little of oil. Heat oil to smoking point & allow cooling. Till the oil is just warm, add the chopped garlic, spice mixture & then the tomatoes keeping gas on slow flame.  Keep stirring for not more than 3 minutes & add salt.

This I had made in very small quantity & is hardly left, but if making in large amount, the tomatoes should be dried properly as it is very much juicy & can get spoilt. Drying can be done either sun drying for a day or 2 or oven drying at 170 F for 1 hr. This is for extended shelf life.  

Khatta Bhindi with pickled tomatoes.

 This is one of my favorite dishes which go well with rotis. khatta-bhindi-2.jpg

  • Bhindi / okra 1 lb [cut into 2 or 3]
  • Pickled tomatoes ½ cup
  • Onion sliced -1
  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Coriander powder ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil  

Shallow fry the okras & reserve. Sauté onions till transparent & add the pickled tomatoes. Add the spices & salt and stir till mixed well. Add fried okra to it & cook in low flame for 3 to 5 minutes.

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Gravies add the whole body or content to Indian recipes. As rotis & rice form the staple diet in Indian cuisines, gravy form a basic part to go along with it. There are n’ number of ways of making the same or similar kind of gravies which mainly includes onion-tomato, only tomato, green masala , curd, cashew nut, coconut, poppy seeds, roux…etc etc as even I am unaware how many of them are there.  

It is easier to make any kind of dish if the basic of making gravy is known. I was initially very much avid to know how people make so many variations with a single vegetable as I was familiar with one and only funda in gravy making; one reduced to the simplest & significant form possible without loss of generality I suppose, “Sautéed onions, tomatoes with turmeric & red chilly powder”.  

To my curiosity I started collecting the various blending ideas with recipe booklets & my own cook mentor “Google highness”, one great invention! Many of which is described in Saroj’s Cook book  Here I made two kind of gravies, where mushroom was my choice of ingredient to add up. 

Call it Mushroom kadai or Mushroom dahivale …the choice is left with you!!  

You just need Button mushrooms 15 to 20 for each item or paneer or any vegetables of your choice. Servings for 3 people.

  

Mushroom in cashewnut gravy

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For the gravy 

  • Onion 1 medium sized sliced
  • Cashewnuts 15 to 20 soaked in water for 15 minutes
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Red chilly powder 1 tsp
  • Jeera powder ½ tsp
  • Garam masala powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 ½ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil 

Sautee onions till its golden brown. Grind cashewnuts and sautéed onions into fine paste. In the same pan fry ginger garlic paste and add the ground masala to it. Add spice mix and keep stirring for a while till the raw taste of cashew goes nil. Add mushrooms and cook till the mushrooms are done. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Mushroom in curd gravy

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 For the gravy

  • Onions chopped finely 1

  • Garlic chopped finely 3 to 4 pods

  • Green chilies chopped finely 4

  • Ginger chopped finely 1 tsp

  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp

  • Kalongi or onion seeds 1/4 tsp

  • Red chilly powder ½ tsp

  • Garam masala 1 tsp

  • 1 tsp of any flour [corn, wheat or all purpose]

  • Curd 1 cup

  • Salt

  • Oil

Sauté onions, garlic, ginger & green chilies till transparent. Add spices together and stir for a while. Add the flour and keep stirring till everything is blend together. Add curd and cook for a while in slow flame. Keep stirring, add mushrooms & salt to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves.

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Beetroot kichadi is one of the specialities in Kerala sadyas which is included in “thodukaris”. This colorful recipe gives a centerpiece attraction for the sadya. In some places the term kichadi is substituted with pachadi, I guess.beetroot-kichadi.jpg

Many people are of the belief that Beetroot is good for the blood. This is not correct. Of course beetroot is good, but not high in iron so it will not help to prevent anemia, which many believe it will do. Beetroot’s main benefits are that it contains no fat, very few calories and is a great source of fiber.
Beetroot has for many years been used as a treatment for cancer in Europe. Specific anti-carcinogens are bound to the red coloring matter which supposedly helps fight against cancer and beetroot also increases the uptake of oxygen by as much as 400 percent. Additional studies are taking place to add support to these claims. The green leafy part of the beetroot is also of nutritional value containing beta-carotene and other carotenoids.
Beetroot contains folate, potassium and manganese. The green leafy tops are especially nutritious as they contain calcium, beta-carotene and iron.Beetroots are notable for their sweetness, they have the highest sugar content of any vegetable, but they are very low in calories[4 oz/100g = 36 calories]. beet-ingr.jpg

  • Beetroot 2 medium sized grated
  • Coconut [ground with a tsp of mustard seeds & 3 to 4 green chilies] 1 cup
  • Curd 1 cup mixed with half cup of water.
  • Mustard seeds, red whole chilies & curry leaves for spluttering
  • Turmeric powder ¼ tsp
  • Salt
  • Oil for spluttering 

Cook beetroot with turmeric powder & salt with little water. Add ground coconut and cook for another 5 minutes. Add curd and simmer for a while. Finally splutter it with said items. 

Fresh beetroot also supplies a nutritional bonus; their green tops are an excellent source of beta-carotene, calcium, and iron.

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Blogging was one just option in making me engaged in doing something. Doing something in our own interesting area is fun, which is otherwise called hobby in our early childhood. But blogging could be said above all this. A word which every time spew from my mouth like feeling bored, feeling home sick and so on, has come to an end.    

Initially I just had liking for blogging, but now I started loving & my interest has powered to high degree. I make use of all the idle time in cooking, taking pictures, writing & reading other interesting blog. I will soon be getting engaged into my professional career, but I won’t be quitting this activity as my mind always feel fresh and active when I do this. I only repent on one thing why didn’t I start this before? 

Well I read about the JFI event in Mahanandi & quickly responded for this month’s event in happy burp. I was happier when I saw the JFI for this month is potato. I thought & the very next image which spring up into my mind was Mumbai’s chaat corner where you cannot find chaat without potatoes & I knew that I was going to make Ragada patties for this event.

Though high in carbs, potatoes maintain the blood sugar control in a steady manner as it releases the energy slowly, hence best source for long term energy. Potatoes are high in fiber aiding the digestive system and they absorb water which makes one feel satisfied and less hungry. Potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, sodium free and saturated fat free. They are high in Vitamin C and potassium and are a great source of Vitamin B6 and dietary fiber. Hence they also show certain therapeutic effects. The alkaline in the potato can neutralize the acid of the stomach and relieve an upset stomach. It can help relieve heart burn or even a peptic ulcer can be helped by the alkaline in a potato.  

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Patties or tikkis are made of cooked and mashed potatoes & spices, which is then tawa fried [I baked it to reduce the oil content]. Ragada is used as relish for the patties, made by cooking chick peas in a spicy sauce and then pouring over the patties. The patties is finally garnished with tamarind chutney & chopped onions, green chilies, coriander leaves, curd & sev.

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Ragada

  • Chick peas 1 cup soaked overnight, cooked with salt and mashed a bit
  • Tomato 1 pureed
  • Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala powder 1tsp
  • Red chilly powder 3/4 tsp
  • Cumin powder 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil few tsp for cooking

Patties

  • Potatoes cooked and mashed 4 medium sized
  • Garlic chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Green chilies chopped finely 1 tsp
  • Ajwain ¼ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil to brush up the patties before baking
  • Tamarind chutney  

Extract juice of marble sized tamarind & raisins [4 to 5, soaked previously in water] in half cup of water & discard fibers left any. Add red chilly powder, cumin powder [¼ tsp each] to it & salt to taste. Microwave this for 20 to 30 seconds. I make this way instead of making in large quantities.


Method

Ragada 

Add pureed tomatoes in a sauce pan and cook for a while. Add all the spice mixtures & salt to it. Now add the cooked chick peas, a cup of water & let the boil come. Mash the chick peas while stirring. 

Patties

Mix all the ingredients together except oil. Make patties of any shape. I baked these patties for 30 minutes turning them in between at 375F. This is usually done by drizzling few drops of oil on a tawa / pan, placing these tikis on the tawa & frying on both sides. I thought of cutting down oil content. 

Place these tikis on a serving plate. Add the Ragada on top of it. Drizzle few drops of tamarind chutney & curd. Garnish with chopped onions, coriander leaves and green chilies. I did not have sev to garnish. That definitely gives a good taste.

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Although I make varieties of pachadis at home, I gave a variation for my tomato pachadi this time. Pachadi is always made with ground coconut mixed with curd; here I skipped the coconut part as I had a shortfall in my freezer, that’s happening for first time. 

I rather found this to be simpler than the usual one i make as the grinding part was elided. This is served for 4 and made in not more than 10 minutes.

  • Tomatoes 1 medium sized diced randomly

  • Curd 1 ½ cup [mixed with ½ cup water if thick in consistency]

  • Curry leaves few springs

  • Mustard to splutter

  • Red chilly powder ¾ tsp

  • Turmeric powder ½ tsp

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil

 

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Splutter mustard in oil. Add curry leaves and tomatoes and cook for a while till it’s soft and mushy. Add all the powders & stir for a while. Loosen the curd if thick in consistency, add salt to it. Switch off the gas and add curd to the tomatoes with continuous stirring.

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Eurasian saucy relish

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Till today I was unaware that our very own radish could be Eurasian in origin.Were their ancestors interracial? ….Forget it! I never want to bring racism in vegetables.  

Radish which is called Mooli in Hindi is found lavishly in any corner of world. But these red ones; I hardly found anywhere in India. I do not know about present day as globalization would have bought impact on them too.   When I first saw them I was pretty confused with Turnips [Shelgaum in Hindi] & beet as they were hiding between beet leaves and pinkish white turnips in the grocery store. I thought, must be a hybrid species. It was then the Google Guru who stroked  me that it is a variety of radish.  I fell in love with them on first sight itself. One among the most beautiful vegetable I guess!   

Thought of giving a tangy taste to it ….. 

  • Radish red ones – 12 to 15 ones cut into quarters
  • Tomatoes – 2 diced
  • Garlic crushed – of 2 pods
  • Green chilies – 2 chopped
  • Jeera to splutter
  • Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Garam masala – 1 ½ tsp [I use kitchen king as it doesn’t give too much of masala taste even if added little more]
  • Kasoori methi[dried fenugreek leaves] – 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil as required
  • Water ½ cup 

Method 

Heat oil and splutter jeera when hot. Add tomatoes garlic & green chilies to it. Stir it in between until the tomatoes are done & become saucy. Add all the spice powder to it. Add the diced radish to the sauce pan, stir for a while, add salt & water, stir again. Close the pan & allow them to cook for say 15 to 20 minutes & done with it. Finally add kasoori methi & make a way to your stomach ……. 

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