KERALA VEGETABLE BIRIYANI


India is blessed with different cultures,languages,traditions, so is the Indian cuisine too.If

you take a look at the glossary of  the types of biriyani in India,it is a long list.Today i am

going to share with you a Kerala type biriyani.This is not too spicy but has a good flavor

with  coconut milk creating the twist .Before i go into the recipe i would like to share

with you the method of frying crisp onions for biriyanis and pulaos.

Fried onions for pulaos and biriyanis 

Onions sliced fine (quantity depends on how much you need)

salt.

oil for frying.

Method

Transfer the sliced onions to a bowl.Add salt and ,mix well with your hands for 3-4

minutes and squeeze out the water from the onions .Fry the onions in oil till golden

brown.Drain on absorbent kitchen paper.Use as required

For the Kerala biriyani

500 gm basmati rice washed and soaked for half an hour.

2-3 onions sliced

5-6 green chillies sliced

2 tblsp ginger garlic paste

1-2 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cummin seed powder

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1 tsp.fennel seed powder

1 tbsp.garam masala powder

2 tomatoes coarsely pureed

few mint leaves

few coriander leaves

2 cups thick coconut milk

whole spices (3 cardamons,3 cloves,2 inch piece cinammon,sea moss a pinch,javitri a

small piece)

2-3 cups vegetables of your choice cut (peas ,carrot,beans,cauliflower,potatoes).

1/2 tsp.turmeric

1/2 cup curd

salt to taste

1/4- 1/2 cup ghee

For the garnish

1 cup fried onions

1/4 cup fried cashewnuts

a few raisins fried in ghee.

saffron strands mixed in 1/4 cup milk (optional)

METHOD

Cook the rice  with required salt until 3/4th done.Drain and set aside.

Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel or biriani pot,and add the whole spices,onions and

fry till onions are light brown.Add the green chillies,ginger garlic paste ,salt,and spices

and saute till raw smell is gone.Next add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes,and then add

the cut vegetables.Saute for a few minutes,and add 1 cup water.Cover and cook till

vegetables are cooked.Add coconut milk and remove from fire.Transfer half of the gravy

into another bowl. Top the remaining gravy in the pot with half the rice ,mint,and

coriander leaves and half of the garnish.Pour the remaining gravy on top of the layered

rice,and lastly the remaining rice and garnish the same way.Add milk and saffron

strands on top if you are using.Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on a slow fire for 10

minutes.Serve with raita and curries you prefer.

Variations:The same recipe can be done with chicken  too.

                    In addition to the vegan list tender jak biriyani,egg biriyani,paneer,or only cashew 

                    biriyani could be made with the same recipe

Try and let me know your valuable comments

 

GREEN GRAM ‘N’LEEK CUTLETS


Green gram needs no introduction or explanation to health benefits,so I would like to directly 

get into this easy recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1cup cooked green gram dal(moong dal)

1 leeks chopped finely/spring onions

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1 tsp garam masala powder

Salt to taste

1 egg

1 cup breadcrumbs or enough to bind .

Oil to fry.

METHOD

Mix all together in a bowl and bind .Make into shapes you like and fry (deep or shallow)in oil till golden brown.

Variations :You could use vegetables of your choice .

                     You can add 1/4 cup minced mutton or any minced seafood.

                     Grated paneer can be added as another variation

                     Grated boiled egg also can be added.

Anyway try all your innovations too and send me your comments and suggestions !

CASHEW ‘N’ PEAS (SIDE DISH)


This is served with biriyanis and pulaos.Some make it with pieces of chicken liver ,or

goat liver.I’m going to share with you the basic recipe.The option of adding liver is yours.

So now let’s get into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup cashewnuts

1/4 cup fresh green peas

1-2 green chillies

1 tblsp.white khus khus(poppy seeds)

3-4 cashewnuts

1/4 cup thick coconut milk

1 tblsp.curd (optional)

1/4-1/2 tsp.pepper powder

salt to taste.

1/4 cup liver boiled (cut into small pieces)

1 tsp.butter (optional)

a pinch of grated nutmeg

METHOD.

Cook the cashew and peas in 1/2 cup water.Grind the bold listed.

Once the peas is cooked add butter if using ,or add the rest of the ingredients except the

curd,and cook for few minutes till it is well blended and thick.Remove from fire.Add

curd and serve.(Please do not add color)

Note: It is best if you could use the grinding stone to grind the khus khus mixture

 

CHOW CHOW CHUTNEY


Chow chow a pear shaped vegetable/fruit ,belonging to the gourd category along with

melons cucumbers and squash is rich in vitamin C and is a good coolant for summer.You

could cook with dal ,make avial,or make pies like apple,or pear pie.Iv posted  a chow

chow recipe along with other chutneys before and here’s the link to it. HEALTHY

VEGETABLE CHUTNEYS

Today i want to share another version of chow chow chutney.

INGREDIENTS

1 big chow chow (150-200 gm)

2 tblsp.ulundu (urad dal)

few curry leaves

2 tblsp.coriander

2 tsp black cummin seeds or the normal cummin seeds

tamarind (half the size of a lemon)

5-6 pips of garlic

10-12 dry chillies (reduce if you like)

salt to taste.

juice of 1 lime

1/2 -1 tsp sugar/jaggery/honey

1-2 tblsp.gingelly oil.

METHOD

Peel the chow chow and cut into tiny cubes.Heat the oil ,and add the cut chow

chow,curryleaves,garlic to it and fry till you see the vegetable turning light brown at the

edges Transfer to a plate.In the same pan,roast the rest of  the ingredients till you see the

urad dal turning brown.Remove from heat,and powder this first.Add the fried chow

chow to the powder and grind again to a coarse or fine paste.Add lime juice , sugar and

salt to taste.

Can be served with iddli,dosai,vada,bajji,or used like a dip for fries.

4 Types of South Indian Sambhar


There is no home in South India ,without sambhar for breakfast with iddli,dosai,vada

and rice too.Some sambhar is made with a mixture of vegetables.Some occasional

sambhar are made with the traditional 7-9 vegetables.Some are made with only sambhar

onions(small red onions),or any single vegetables like only drumstick,only ladies finger

,and even greens,capsicum,and you  go on  with your choice of vegetable.So here i’m

going to give you 4 recipes for quick and different  types of sambhar.

The first one doesn’t require any sambhar podi,simple and very tasty.I’m giving the

recipe for sambhar with tuvar dal.Those who love other lentils could use instead of tuvar

dal.Normally split green gram,tuvar dal,masoor dal is used .I love to use tuvar or green

gram for sambhar.

1.Tuvar dal sambhar without sambhar podi.

Ingredients

10-15 small onions

any vegetable you like (drumstick/ladies finger/or a handful of greens)

2-3 green chillies

2 tomatoes chopped

4-5 garlic cloves

few curry leaves

1/2 tsp.mustard seeds

1 tsp.fenugreek seeds

2 dry chillies

1/4 tsp.asafoetida powder

1 tsp.turmeric powder

1 tsp.chilli powder

1.5 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp.pepper powder

1/2 tsp.cummin seed powder

1 cup tuvar dal

2-3 tblsp.ghee/oil

lime sized tamarind soaked in water

salt to taste

a small piece of jaggery

METHOD

First cook the dal with a tsp of ghee ,mash it well and set aside .

Heat ghee ,and first add curry leaves,asafoetida,mustard,dry chillies ,fenugreek and

saute for a minute.Next add the onions,garlic,green chillies turmerric and salt,the

vegetable,and tomatoes.Saute for 5 minutes.Next add the chilli powder,coriander

powder,pepper powder,cummin seed powder and cook for another two minutes.

Add half cup of water,cover and cook till vegetables are fully cooked.Next add the

tamarind water,and cook for a further 5 minutes.Add the mashed dal to the mixture.

Pour water for the required amount(some like it thick,some like it thin).of sambhar.

Add jaggery.Bring to a boil,and garnish with coriander leaves.Remove from fire.

(Do not allow to boil for a log time after you add the dal.One boil is best.)

2. Capsicum Quick Sambhar.(One Pot Sambhar)

Ingredients( same as no 1.)

Method:

This has to be done in a pressure cooker.Capsicum tastes excellent in these type of quick

sambhar.Here the dal is not pre-cooked.

Soak dal for minimum 10 minutes.Heat the oil in the pressure cooker,and add the

ingredients in the same order as the above one.After adding the tomatoes and the

capsicum,add the soaked and washed dal,and saute for 5 minutes.Next add 2 cups of

water.Close the lid and cook for 3 -4 whistles.Allow the steam to release on its own.Open

the lid mash the dal,(don’t mind even if the vegetables get slightly mashed .It will surely

add to  the taste.Garnish with coriander leaves.

3.SAMBHAR WITH SAMBHAR PODI

First i will get into the sambhar podi 

Ingredients

7-10 dry red chillies

1 tblsp  whole coriander

1/2 tsp.fengreek seeds

1/2 tsp.peppercorns

1 tsp.cummin seeds

3-4 tblsp dessicated coconut/dry copra/fresh coconut

1.5 tblsp.ulundu/tuvar dal

few curry leaves

a tsp of tamarind.

2 tsp ghee

Method

Fry all these ingredients till you see the urad dal (ulundu) turning brown.Grind to a fine

powder and use(This measurement is for one serving.)

You could use the same powder for bise bele bhath or sambhar sadam SAMBHAR

RICE(sambhar sadham)

Now for the sambhar recipe using this powder.For this sambhar i think a mix of many

vegetables including brinjal,drumstick,raw plantain,raw mango will be very fine.

INGREDIENTS

sambhar podi

few small onions

mix of vegetables you like

2 tomatoes chopped

4-5 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup cooked dal

For tempering

curry leaves

1/2 tsp.mustard

1/2 tsp.fenugreek seeds

2 dry chillies

1/4 tsp.asafoetida powder

oil/ghee

METHOD

Add 2 tblsp.oil,next add the asafoetida curry leaves,mustard,fenugreek,dry chillies,garlic

,and onions and saute for 5 minutes.Add turmeric and the vegetables and cook covered

for 10 minutes.Next add 1/2 cp of water and cook till the vegetables are done.Add the

powdered ingredients and dal and cook for further 5-10 minutes on a medium flame.Add

a tblsp.of jaggery,and remove from fire.

4. QUICK SAMBHAR 

This is also a very quick and tasty sambhar.My suggestions for this sambhar will be

radish,only small onions,or any type of greens(just a handful).

Cook the dal with 2 tomatoes ,turmeric powder,salt in a pressure cooker and set aside.

Grind 1/4 cup coconut,small piece of tamarind,1/4 tsp.fenugreek,15 dry chillies,1/2

tsp pepper,and 1 tsp cummin seeds to a coarse powder.Add to the dal,and temper with

the ingredients listed for tempering above (3 type sambar).Cook for 5-10 on a low

flame.

If you are able to get vadagam you could use that instead of using the ingredients for tempering.Vadagam is a dry mixture of onions and all the ingredients used for tempering.

Try each sambhar and do let me know your comments.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BESAN AND CASHEW LADOO


The besan ladoo is a traditional sweet of Northern India.This time i thought to give it a

change in my way ,by mixing in cashewnut powder,and the taste was too good.The blend

of cashewnut powder,and besan powder was awesome.The roasting of the besan flour in

ghee is too important,it should not get burnt or have the raw taste and smell.So first you

could slightly roast the besan flour without the ghee for few minutes,remove from fire

and then mix the ghee,and then again roast till you get a nice smell.(do not touch the

flour when it is hot as it will burn your fingers).

INGREDIENTS

2 cups gramflour (besan flour)

1 cup fine powdered sugar or boora sugar (these are sold in indian supermarkets)

1/2 cup pure ghee

1/2 cup powdered cashewnut

few broken cashews

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

a pinch of salt

METHOD

Dry roast the besan flour for a few minutes .Remove from fire,and mix in the ghee.Keep

on fire again and roast on medium flame till it is nice and golden,and you get a good

aroma(not burnt aroma).Transfer to another tray and allow to cool slightly.Add the

powdered sugar  and the rest of the ingredients and make ladoos.This can be stored for

more than a week.If you are using boora you can store for a month .(provided it lasts to

store…..)A very tasty and healthy sweet.!

IDDLI PODI (3 TYPES)


Delight of South Indian people.When iddli is served with sambhar,and varieties of

chutney ,most people always want this on their plates.It is served with sesame

oil/gingelly oil/olive oil made into a paste and served.Some have the art of making a well

in the centre of the powder ,and pouring oil in the centre  dipping the iddli pieces

and enjoying.There are health benefits too in these powders.Even iddli pieces with these

podi are sold now in the markets,but i think it’s a joy when you know the art of making

it at home.I will be giving you 3 types of podi.So let’s get into the recipes

BENGAL GRAM PODI

INGREDIENTS

1 cup red dry chillies (stalks removed)

1 cup bengal gram dal

1-2 tblsp.rock salt

1/4 tsp.asafoetida

white till seeds 2-3 tblsp (optional)

METHOD

Dry roast the chillies and the gram dal separately.Slightly roast the rock salt,and the till

seeds separately.Powder the chillies first,when it is done coarse,add the roasted dal,and

powder as per your requirement(some like it coarse,some like it fine)Powder the salt and

add .Check for taste and add salt.Add the till seeds.Allow to cool ,and store and use.This

can be stored for more than a month.

CURRY LEAVES PODI/KARIVEPILAI PODI

1 cup curry leaves

1/4 cup ulundu (urad dal)

1/4 cup green gram

1/4 cup tuvar dal

1/4 cup bengal gram dal ( kadala parippu)

1 cup dry red chillies

1/8 cup whole coriander

1 tsp.peppercorns

2 tsp.cummin seeds

8-9 pips garlic (peel on)

1/2 tsp.asafoetida.

rock salt powdered and added to taste after powdering

METHOD

Dry roast the red chillies separately.Set aside .Now dry roast the rest of the ingredients

,except salt.till you see the ulundu turning brown (not burnt).Powder and store in clean

dry jars.This too has shelf life of more than a month.

Kollu podi (for fat loss)

1 cup dry chillies

1/4 cup kollu or horsegram

1/4 cup urad dal/ulundu

1/4 moong dal or green gram

1 tsp.fenugreek seeds

few curry leaves

Garlic 8-10 pips.

1 tsp peppercorns.

rock salt powder.

1/4 tsp.asafoetida

1-2 pieces kokum/goraka fried slightly in oil (optional)

Method 

Same as the previous one.

(photo shows tiny dosai with podi)

FullSizeRender (2)

 

 

 

 

PANEER KOFTA IN SPINACH


This recipe is a healthy dish,and eyecatching dish ,which can be served with rotis or

pulaos.Summer calls for inclusion of fruits and veggies,and this one undoubtedly is the

best dish to serve for lunch or dinner.(vegan lovers)

So,now let’s get into the recipe.

INGREDIENTS

For the kofta

1 packet paneer(200gm)

2-3 potatoes boiled and mashed lightly

2-3 green chillies finely chopped

1 tsp.pepper powder

1/2 tsp cummin seed powder

1/4 cup cashew ground coarse(optional)

1 tsp.ginger paste.

1 tblsp.flour

salt to taste

oil to fry

METHOD

Grate the paneer and mix the rest of the ingredients ,and bind well.Make koftas and deep

fry in oil till golden brown and set aside.

 

For the spinach or palak gravy.

INGREDIENTS

100-150 gm palak or spinach leaves

2 green chillies

2 dry chillies

1-2 onions chopped fine

7-8 cloves peeled garlic

1/2 tsp.grated nutmeg

1 tsp.garam masala powder

1 tsp cummin seed powder

1 piece cinammon

1 tsp.honey

1 small tomato (for the color)

1/2 red/yellow capsicum (julienned)

1/2 tsp.red chilli powder /flakes.

juice of 1 lime.

salt to taste

2 tbsp.oil/butter

METHOD

There are two methods you could prepare the spinach puree.

1.Blanch the spinach in boiling water for 5 mins,then immedietely plunge into cold water

and drain , blend into puree and use.

2.Saute the leaves directly in oil with garlic,green chillies,cummin seeds ,blend well and use

If you have opted for the no.1. method grind the garlic,green chillies,and cummin seed

with the palak,and set aside.

Heat 2 tblsp.oil ,add the onions with the cinnamon ,and dry chillies and saute till brown.

Next add the rest of the ingredients with the puree and cook on a low flame ,till partially

thick.Add the fried balls and simmer for 2-3 minutes.You could add fresh cream if you

like while serving

 

 

 

 

 

 

JAK FRUIT BOMBAY HALWA


In Chennai it is difficult to get raw jackfruit kernels,in fruit shops.You have to go to a

wholesale market to get.So whenever i see the ripe luscious variety i buy many trays.

We had a very good jak fruit tree in my paternal home,which had fruit always.My

cherished memories with my brother in my childhood days,was when we both used to

go down to the garden ,grab the closest fruit ,sit there ,enjoy the fruit under the tree

itself .It is really lovely to sit there and eat…priveleged people will know ….

This is the first time,i have tried this recipe, (small quantity)and it turned awesome..My

kids are the best food critics.There comments will be very clear,hope you

understand….They said it was awesome.So you could try your hand at it .

For the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

1 cup ripe ,sweet jak fruit kernels

1/2 cup sugar

2 tblsp cornflour+half cup water mixed without lumps

4-6 tblsp.ghee (you could add more if you like)

pinch of salt

edible camphor a pinch

1/2 tsp.cardamon powder

saffron stands a few /or yellow coloring(optional)

any type of nuts you like(cashewnuts/almonds/raisins/melon seeds)

METHOD

Remove the seeds from the kernels,and make a pulp using a blender(small bits and

pieces remaining also will be good).Heat 1 tblsp.ghee in a thick bottomed pan ,and add

the ground jak kernels,and cook till it changes to a golden color.Add sugar and mix well

till sugar dissolves.Next add the cornflour mixture,(take care at this stage  the mixture

will thicken quick).Add the rest of the ingredients and keep stirring till the mixture

leaves the sides of the pan.Transfer onto a greased tray.Apply a little ghee on top.Allow to

cool,and cut into shapes.

Note:Please do not mind the thin slices in the photo.I tried only 1 cup quantity and that gave only 6 slices.

 

PEANUT ENNAI KATHRIKAI


This is another version of eggplant /brinjal cooked in oil ,This is a spicy dish ,and very

famous in southern India.This can be served with rice ,pulaos,biriyanis,or rotis.

To get best results you have to get the tender,small variety of brinjals.If you

are unable to get the small category ,you could cut the brinjals into small sizes.

So for the recipe now.

INGREDIENTS

250 gm brinjals

10-12 red onions

2 green chillies

2-3 tomatoes

2 tsp.ginger garlic paste

1 tsp.peppercorns

1/4 tsp.fenugreek seeds

4-5 garlic cloves

10-15 red chillies

1 tblsp whole coriander

1 tsp.cummin seeds

a handful of peanuts (raw/roasted)

1/4 of a coconut cut into pieces or grated

1/4 cup gingelly oil/oilive oil/groundnut oil

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 cup thick tamarind extract

salt  to taste

1 tsp.turmeric

mustard seeds

curry leaves

METHOD

First slit the brinjal into four from the bottom leaving the stalks intact.

Put it in water till you prepare the masalas,otherwise it will turn brown.

Take 1 tblsp. oil ,and roast the bold listed till the peanuts turn brown and  grind to a fine

paste.

Take half of the masala mixture  add salt,and  stuff the brinjals and  set  aside

Heat the rest of the oil in a  kadai/wok.Add fennel seeds mustard seeds,curry

leaves,onions, tomatoes ,turmeric and cook covered till the tomatoes are soft .

Next add the brinjals and slightly toss  for 5 minutes and cook covered till the brinjal

changes color and is soft.

Next add the rest of the masalas,green chillies and the garlic cloves,with the tamarind

water,and cook on a slow flame till the gravy is thick and well corporated.

Add jaggery .Remove from fire .

Note:Jaggery is always added to curries  cooked with tomatoes ,to regulate the acidity.