Sunday, February 28, 2010

Kothamalli Thogayal / Fresh Coriander Chutney

Nothing can beat the smell of Cilantro / Kothamalli in Indian cooking.  Here is my version of kothamalli thogayal.  Enjoy!!!


Kothamalli / Fresh Coriander / Cilantro -  1 cup (with stem)
Tamarind paste - 1 TBSP
Oil - 1 TBSP
Salt - to taste

To roast:

Urad dal / Ulutham paruppu - 2 TBSP
Red chilli - 1
Green chilli - 1
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - small piece
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Peanuts - 2 TBSP (optional)

  1. Heat oil in a skillet and fry all the ingredients in the roast list to golden brown.  Let it cool.
  2. Grind the roasted ingredients with salt and tamarind past with little water to a coarse paste.
  3. Now add the kothamalli/ fresh coriander and grind until well incorporated.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Brownie in a Cup

No big pans, no pre-heating the oven, no cutting, no need to make dozens and more importantly no temptations.  This easy breezy brownie takes less than 5 minutes to make.


All Purpose flour - 4 TBSP
Sugar - 4 TBSP
Unsweetened Coco powder - 2 TBSP
pinch of salt
Vegetable oil - 2 TBSP
Water - 2 TBSP
Vanilla extract - 1/4 tsp
Chocolate chips (Optional)

  1. Take your favorite coffee mug (12oz or larger).
  2. Mix in all the dry ingredients.
  3. Add in water, oil and vanilla extract.  Mix throughly.
  4. Microwave on high for 1 - 1 1/2 minutes.
  5. Wait for a minute before you dig in right from the mug.
  6. That's it!  Enjoy!!

 Have a great weekend!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Fruity, Veggie, Peanut Salad

This healthy, protein packed salad is very easy to make and tastes heavenly. All you need is some peanuts, some spices, lots of veggies and fruits.

My nephew K completed the board of review for his eagle scout and is now officially an Eagle.  There will be a Court of Honor ceremony on Sunday, where he will receive his badge.  My sister had asked me to send her some simple salad recipes  to serve at the reception after the ceremony.  So I made this yummy salad for her.  A, this tastes absolutely delicious. Congratulations K and enjoy your day!

Boil the peanuts with or without the skin in a pressure cooker with some water.  Cook for 3 whistles or till tender. Use chick peas, if you are allergic to nuts. Cut, chop and grate the vegetables and fruits.  You can use green pepper, red pepper, cucumber, carrot, tomato, green apple and  pear.  Mix in the peanuts.  Add salt, pepper, chat masala and chopped fresh coriander leaves. Squeeze in some lemon juice.  Mix well.  Leave it for 15 minutes and serve.

I am also sending this to Divya's show me your salad event.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Rava Idli with Carrot and Methi / Fenugreek Leaves

Did you know that Rava idlis were invented by the famous MTR restaurant in Bangalore during the second world war when they faced shortage of rice? (source:Wikipedia).  This simple, yet delicous treats are so easy to make with out any fermentation.  You can add any vegetable of your choice to make it even more healthier.   


Rava / Sooji / Cream of wheat - 1 cup
Curd / yogurt - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Channa dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2 small finely chopped
Ginger - 1 tsp finely chopped
curry leaves - 1 tsp finely chopped
Carrot - 1 grated
Fresh Menthi  leaves/Fenugreek/Venthaya keerai - 1/2 cup chopped
Fresh coriander leaves - 2 TBSP
Asofetida - a pinch
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt  - to taste
Oil- 2 TBSP

  1. Heat oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds to splutter. 
  2. Add channa dal and fry till golden brown.  Add green chillies, ginger, curry leaves and asafateda and fry for 30 seconds.
  3. Add rava and fry for 3-4 minutes till nice aroma comes out. Take it out and let it cool.
  4. Add  curd, salt, baking soda and 1/4 cup water and mix well. 
  5. Add the grated carrots, methi and coriander leaves.  Mix well.  Leave it for 15 minutes.
  6. Grease idli plates and pour the batter and steam for 10 minutes or untill done.
Rava idlis with Red Pepper Chutney

I am sending these to RV and Sudeshna's Lunch Box Event

Red Pepper Chutney
Red Pepper - 1 Chopped in to big chuncks
Onion - 1 small chopped
Tomato - 1 medium chopped
Garlic - 1 pod (Optional)
Red chilli - 1-2 (to your taste)
Green chilli - 1-2
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1-2 TBSP

Heat oil in a skillet and fry the onion, garlic, red and green chillies and curry leaves for 2 minutes.
Add red peppers and cook till tender.  Add the chooped tomato and cook till soft.
Let it cool completly.  Grind the cooled mixture with salt in a blender to a fine paste.

I made this pudalankai / snake guard dry curry with the left over methi leaves.  It was delicious.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mulligatawny Soup

Mulligatawny (according to Wiki)  is a curry flavored soup of Anglo-Indian origin.
Mulligatawny - literally means Pepper Water in Tamil. (Millagu- Pepper, Thanni -Water).
I got this recipe years ago from Udupi restaurant in Chicago.  The manager was gracious enough to give me the recipe.  Ever since I been making this soup and have got nothing but adulation from friends and family.
Now it's time to share this wonderful soup recipe to all of you people who visit my blog.


Thoor dal - 1/2 cup
Moong dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder
Onion - 1 small (roughly chopped)
Garlic - 2 small pods
Tomato - 1 medium (chopped)
Green chilli - 2 small
Black pepper - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger - small piece
Salt - to taste
some curry leaves
Oil - 1 tsp

  1. Wash both the dals, add turmeric powder and presure cook with enough water till soft.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and saute the chopped onion till soft.
  3. Add green chillis, ginger, cumin seeds, black pepper and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Now add the chopped tomato fry till soft.
  5. Let it cool completely.
  6. Grind the onion mixture along with the dal with enough water.   You can use the water from the cooked dal.
  7. Transfer the soup into a deep dish pan, add salt and bring to a boil.
  8. Serve hot.
This soup goes to Healthy Inspirations Event - Soup  hosted by Usha.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Baked Brown Rice Appam with Tutti- Frutti

Appams are usually fried in oil using appakuzhi or aebleskiver pan.   It is my all-time favorite sweet.  When I saw the announcement for the whole grain baking event using brown rice, I thought this would be the perfect recipe to bake.  For the first time I've used brown rice flour and the appams came out really good.  Try these in your kitchen and do let me know.


Brown rice flour  -  1 cup
All purpose flour -   1 cup
Rava / sooji / cream of wheat - 1 cup
Brown sugar - 1 cup
Molasses -  2 TBSP
Cardamom powder - 1tsp
Banana - 1 mashed
Apple sauce - 4 oz
Tutti-frutti - 2 tsp (Optional)
Oil - 1/4 cup
Baking powder and baking soda - 1/4 tsp each
I used a small rice cup for measuring.

  1. Mix all the ingredients with enough water into a pouring consistency. (thick batter)
  2. Let it rest for 1/2 hour.  
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F.   
  4. Line a mini cup cake or a muffin pan with liners and spray with oil. 
  5. Spoon in the batter about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  7. You can use any size muffin or cup cake pan.  I used the mini ones.

Ready to be baked

Adjust the sweetness to suit your palate.
These appams go to Maduram's  Whole Grain Baking Event.  Thank you Madhuram for hosting this wonderful event.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Vendhaya Mor kuzhambu

SE of Denu Food is hosting an event called cooking with seeds, which is originally started by Priya.  And this month it is Fenugreek seeds.  

Fenugreek seeds are primarily used as a spice in cooking, it is also used to treat variety of health problems.  It is good for digestion and weight loss.  It controls diabetes and high blood sugar.  Drinking fenugreek tea every day strengthens the respiratory and reproductive systems.

1/2 cup - White Pumpkin / Chayote squash(Bangalore kathrika or Chow-Chow) / Okra
1 cup -  Curd / yogurt
1/2 tsp -  Turmeric powder
Salt - to taste
To roast and grind:                                                         
2TBSP -  Rice
1TBSP - vendhayam / Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp - black pepper
1 tsp - cumin seeds / jeeragam
2 - Red chillies
2 - Green chillies
1/2 inch ginger
1/2 cup - grated fresh coconut

For tempering:
1 TBSP - Oil
1 tsp - Mustard seeds
Few curry leaves

  1. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil in a small skillet, and roast all the ingredients from the to grind list except the coconut till golden brown. Let it cool and grind it along with the coconut to a smooth paste.
  2. If you are using white pumpkin or the chayote squash peel the skin off and cut it into big chunks.  Boil the vegetables in water until tender.  You can also cook it in the microwave for 3 minutes.
  3. When using okra / vendaikai, cut them into 3/4 inch pieces and saute it in 2 tsp of oil.
  4. In a vessel, pour the curd / yogurt and add the ground paste.
  5. Add salt and turmeric powder and mix well.
  6. Heat the curd / yogurt mix till it becomes frothy.  Do not let the gravy boil like sambar / rasam.
  7. Add the cooked vegetables.  Reduce the heat and cook for another minute.
  8. Fry the ingredients for the tempering in oil and add it to the gravy.
Cauliflower Paruppu usili
Fenugreek Tea:

1 tsp fenugreek seeds (வெந்தயம்)
1 cup water
1/2 -1 1/2 tsp honey (Optional)
Soak the seeds in water overnight.  In the morning boil the seeds and the water.  Drain the water and add honey.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Avacado Buttermilk / Mor

Ripe Avacado - 1
Plain Curd / Yogurt - 1 cup  (soy yogurt for vegans)
Green chilly - 1 (use more if you like it to be spicy)
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Lemon Juice - 1TBSP
Curry / Fresh coriander  / Mint leaves - 1tsp each
Salt -  to taste
Cold Water - 1 1/2 to 2 cups

Grind the avacado (pitted and scooped),  green chilly, ginger, curry, coriander and mint leaves into a paste with little water.
Now add all the other ingrediants and whip for 2 minutes or until smooth.
When seving sprinkle some freshly ground black pepper.

This goes to Siri's Healing Food Avacado event and PJ's No Cook event.  Thank You guys for hosting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pumpkin and Green Pepper Curry with Fennel Seeds

Nutrition and Heatlth benefits:

Pumpkin - is very rich in carotenoids, which is known for keeping the immune system of an individual strong and healthy.  Zinc found in pumpkins boosts the immune system and also improves the bone density.  High in vitamins A, C and E. It is very low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol.  It is also good for loosing weight.  Did You Know that pumpkins are actually fruits and they are 90% water.

Green peppers -  are an incredible source of vitamin C.  One medium green pepper has 95.7 mg of vitamin C,which is even more than the 65.5 mg found in a medium-sized orange.  I was surprised to find out that green peppers also contain the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.  One medium green pepper has 64.3 mg of omega-6 fatty acids and 9.5 mg of omega-3 fatty acids.

Fennel Seeds - These seeds are very rich in minerals including magnesium.  Fennel seeds often provide quick and effective relief from many digestive disorders.  In India, these are routinely chewed upon after meals to aid in digestion after a rich meal while acting as a herbal mouth freshener.

Today's recipe is simple, easy to make and very flavorful.

Yellow pumpkin - 1cup (cut into big chunks)
Green Pepper (Bell pepper)  - 1 meduim size ( cut into thick strips)
Green chillies - 2 sliced
Fennel seed - 2 tsp
(சோம்பு / Sompu / Badesoppu / Saunf)
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Few curry leaves
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Heat oil in a skillet and add mustard seeds and let it pop. Add urad dal, fennel seeds and green chillies.  Fry until golden brown.  Add the curry leaves.  Now add the green pepper and mix it well.  Cover it and cook for 2 minutes.  Do not over cook.  Now add the pumpkin and salt.  Cover the skillet and cook until the pumpkin is tender.  When you are mixing, try not mush the vegetables. It takes only 10 minutes to cook this dish.

This goes to Siri's JFI Fennel event.  The event was originally launched by Indira of Mahanandi
I am thrilled to participate in this event for the first time.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stuffed Jalapeno Bhajji

Jalepeno Peppers - 6
Potato - 1 medium (cooked and mashed)
Onion - 1small (finely chopped)
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Chat masala - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fresh coriander - 1TBSP(chopped)
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Wash and dry the jalepeno peppers.  Slit the peppers in the middle and scope out the seeds. 
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the chopped onion.  Add garam masala, chat masala and the turmeric powders. 
Mix in the onion mixture to the mashed potato.
Add salt and fresh coriander leaves.  Mix well.
Now stuff the potato masala in to the pepper. 

For making bhajji:
Besan(chana dal or kalalai mavu) flour - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder - 2 tsp (or to taste)
Asofodita (hing) - a pinch
salt - to taste
Baking soda - one pinch (optional)
Oil - for frying

Mix all the ingrdients (except the oil)  with enough water in to a thick batter with out any lumps (use whisk).
Heat oil in a deep pan.  Take the stuffed peppers and dip one by one into the batter and put it in the oil carefully.  Fry until golden brown.  Serve warm with your favorite sauce.

Enjoy!  Go Saints!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Green Tamarind Pickle / Chutney

I got some fresh green tamarind from the Indian store here in NJ.  These tender grayish-brown pods are very sour and has no seeds.  It's called Puliangkai in tamil and Chinthakayalu in telugu.  This chutney can be used as pulikaichal (to make puliyodharai or pulihara).  If it is too spicy, use it as a pickle for curd rice. 

Green Tamarind - 4 or 5 pods
Coriander seeds - 2 TBSP
Methi(fenugreek) Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 5 to 10 (according to your spice level)
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame oil - 4 TBSP
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste

Dry roast the coriander seeds, methi(fenugreek) seeds and the red chillies and keep it aside.
Chop the green tamarind in to small pieces. (wash it well first and dry)
In a food processor, put the dry roasted ingredients and pulse till it becomes powder.
Now add the cut tamarind pieces and pulse it roughly. (Do not add any water).

Ground Paste

Heat oil in a pan and put the mustard seeds.
Add the urad dal and fry it till golden brown.  
Add the ground tamarind paste, asafetida, turmeric powder and salt.
Fry it till the oil separates from the side of the pan.

This is one of the ways to enjoy!  Be creative and have fun!