Friday, November 30, 2012

#46 : Beerakaya Kandipappu Kura ~ Ridge gourd Lentil Curry

Beerakaya / Ridge gourd is one of those vegetables I recently learnt to cook with. I would admiringly look at them at the Indian Grocery but would never buy it.  I always thought cooking with this vegetable was complicated! 

I remember as a kid I never liked it and would throw tantrum to eat it. I only now realize that I was not open enough to try it. Beerakaya / Ridge Gourd has a wonderful neutral- sweet taste to it and when cooked with lentils it blends in to give a very delicate flavor. This recipe I learnt from my mom-in-law is a definite keeper.


*****Tender Beerakaya/ Ridge Gourd once peeled and cut tastes mildly sweet.
If it tastes bitter discard immediately and don't cook with it  

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 3-4 medium sized Ridge gourd / Beerakaya -Peeled and cut into bite sized pieces 
  • 1/4 cup  Tur Dhal / Kandipappu / Split Pigeon peas / Lentils
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Salt to taste
For Tempering
  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dhal
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies 
  • 7-8 Curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
  • 2 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  1. Wash and soak lentils for about 45mins. Drain away the water later
  2.  In a wide pan heat oil, add ridge gourd pieces, lentils, 1/4 cup water and cook covered for 20mins until the vegetable and the lentils are tender. Keep adding more water if required to help with the cooking process
  3. For tempering-Heat oil, add mustard seed, let them splutter. To it add cumin seeds, urad dhal, red chillies and fry until the urad dhal turns slightly golden. Add curry leaves, asafoetidared chilli powder, turmeric and fry for a minuteAdd this to the cooked vegetable-lentil mixture. Add salt. Mix well to incorporate the spices
  4. Serve with hot rice

Thursday, November 29, 2012

#45 : Badam Milk ~ Easy Almond flavored Drink

Its been a while since I wrote something soulful. The past few months have been very busy. Work takes up most of my available time. I wake up at 7 am  and keep working until midnight taking very short breaks to eat or spend time over the internet. 

Badam Milk  reminds me of Chennai / Madras ( a city in southern India ). This city holds a very special place in my heart. I went to college there, stayed away from my parents for the first time, made some awesome friends and experienced the joys of growing up. They were the most carefree days of my life. I have numerous memories of enjoying this chilled almond drink at my college canteen during the lunch hours. Let it be a long wait at the bus stop or a quick meal replacement option before exams this drink was always my first preference. I can still vividly remember the taste of it- the chilled glass bottles filled with thick saffron flavored milk mixed up with chucks of broken almonds. Oh! what joy...

This recipe is a quick-easy version of the almond flavored drink. This is low on calories and make a light refreshing drink. I like to enjoy it in lieu of dessert after a satisfying meal.

( Makes about 20 servings )
  • 1/2 cup Almonds
  • 1/8 cup Cashews
  • 1/8 cup Pistachio meats
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron
  1. Blend all the above ingredients to a coarse powder ( Can be saved in an air tight container for 2 months )
  2. For 1 serving -  (Glass of Milk)  - Bring milk to boil and add 2 tsp of the above ground powder. Stir well and add sugar as needed. Cool in a refrigerator for an hour. Serve chilled

# 44 : Bendaykaya Pulusu Kura ~ Okra- Tamarind Curry

Bendakaya(Okra)  was my favorite vegetable as a kid. I could eat it for lunch everyday all year around. Just knowing that Okra Curry was a part of my packed lunch would make me happy. 
This recipe of Okra cooked in tamarind is new to me. I learnt it from my mom-in-law this year when she was visiting us from India. It has a wonderful lip tingling tang to it and tastes awesome with rice. Yum 

  • 1/2  pound Okra- Bhendi- Bendakaya- (Tops removed and cut into big bite sized pieces)
  • 1 Tbs Oil
  • 1 tsp Jaggery grated 
  • Small lime sized ball of Tamarind - Juice extracted  
  • Salt to taste
For Tempering
  • 1tsp Oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Urad Dhal
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies 
  • 7-8 Curry leaves
  • 1/8 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  1. Heat oil in a wide pan and fry Okra covered for 15 mins stirring from time to time. The stickiness of the okra should evaporate 
  2. Add the tamarind juice, jaggery and simmer for 10 min 
  3. Tempering -Heat oil , add mustard seeds , let them splutter . To it add cumin seeds, urad dhal, red chillies and fry until the urad dhal turns slightly golden. Add curry leaves, asafoetida, fenugreek powder,red chilli powder,turmeric and fry for a minute
  4. Add this tempering to the the cooked Okra Pieces. Add salt and fry for a few mins 
  5. Serve with hot rice

Monday, November 5, 2012

# 43 : Mamidikaya Kobbari Pachadi ~ Mongo-Coconut Chutney

This is yet another Pachadi recipe I am sharing today. The sour tingle of the mango blended with the flavors of coconut and the spiciness of the chilies makes up a lip smacking pachadi . Oh! if you drizzle it up with a little bit of Ghee you can never get enough of it. I grew up eating coconut pachadi as a kid. It was made very often at home and I didn't quite like it then. But now many years later just thought of this pachadi bring back wonderful memories. My mom in law shared a version of the same coconut pacandi pepped up with mango. Love it even more now.
  • 1/2 Coconut- shell removed and cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 Raw Mango- cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1tsp - Oil
  • 13 Red Chillies
  • 2 Green Chillies 
  • 1 tsp - Urad Dhal
  • 1/2  tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 1/8 tsp - Asafoetida
  • 1/4 tsp - Fenugreek powder
  • Salt to Taste
  1. Tempering- Heat oil , add mustard seeds , let them splutter. To it add urad dhal, red chillies and fry until the urad dhal is slightly brown. Remove from flame, add asafoetida and fenugreek powder. Set aside to cool
  2. In a blender/food processor grind the coconut into a coarse paste adding very little water. Add the tempering ( fried red chilli-mustard seed mixture) to the same blender and gind untill the red chillies get incorporated with the coconut 
  3. Add green chilles, mango pieces, salt  to the coconut mixture and blend to a coarse paste 
  4. Serve with hot rice and ghee

Friday, November 2, 2012

# 42 : Onion Pakoda ~ Deep Fried Onion Fritters

The first time I made pakodas they came out surprisingly perfect. I didn't have to refer any recipe book or call up home for it. Though I  was new to cooking, I somehow knew the art of making them. May be a product of hanging out in the kitchen whenever my grand mom made them?
I have many memories of eating crunchy pakodas as soon as they are fried. Hot to hold, hot to take a bite into but joyful and heartwarming.  And really is there a bigger joy in life than staying home on a rainy day eating pakodas and sipping a hot cup of chai ?

  • 2 Big Onions finely sliced
  • 3/4 Cup Gram Flour- Chickpea Flour-Besan
  • 1/8 Cup Rice Flour
  • 1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder - Jeera Powder
  • 3 Green Chillies finely chopped
  • Oil for Deep Frying 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Chaat Masala 
  1. In a large bowl mix together onions, gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, cumin powder, green chillies and salt. Add a small sprinkling of water to help bring things together into a very thick batter
  2. Fill a medium pan half way with oil. Heat on medium- high until it reaches a deep frying temperature (To test drop a small amount of batter in the oil and it should sizzle up immediately)
  3. Once the oil is hot enough drop spoonfuls of the pakoda batter and fry until golden 
  4. Serve with a sprinkling of chaat masala and a choice of chutney