BitterGourd Fry

Bittergourd... I am sure it is one of the vegetable most of us would not like to eat. It is very recently I started eating and liking it as my husband loves to eat bittergourd. I made this fry a simple recipe that my mom and grand mom used to prepare.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:
Bittergourd -4
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tablespoon
Red chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tablespoon






Preparation:
1. Chop bitter gourd into round pieces and remove the seeds.
2. Add turmeric powder and salt to the chopped pieces and set it aside for 30 minutes to one hour. This process is to remove the excessive bitterness.
3. After an hour or so, Squeeze the bitter gourd and drain the water complete out of it.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add the bitter gourd, red chilly powder, coriander powder and if required additional salt and start cooking in low flame.
5. Close the pan with a lid and occasionally check and saute it and do not let it burn.
6. When it turns crispy, we are done. This will take around 20 minutes to complete.

Plain Rasam

Plain rasam which we commonly call as வெட்டி ரசம் (or)கொட்டு ரசம்  is very simple and easy to prepare. Back in my childhood days, we used to have this rasam for dinner when we have a very heavy lunch especially over weekends. This is a very good food for easy digestion. 


Preparation Time: 15 mins
Ingredients:
Tamarind juice - small lemon size
Tomato - 1 
Garlic pods - 4- 5
Curry leaves - 5-6 
Coriander leaves - for garnish
Salt - to taste


Seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Red chillies - 3 
Hing - ap inch
oil - 1 tablespoon
Alternatively you can use vadagam to season instead of mustard seeds for more flavor


To Powder:
Red chillies - 3
Pepper - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon






Preparation:
1. Coarsely powder the ingredients.
2. Extract two cups of juice from tamarind.
3. Add finely chopped tomatoes, coarsely crushed garlic pods, salt and the powder to the tamarind juice.
4. Heat a pan and add oil. When hot, add mustard seeds and when it splutters and red chillies and little hing.
5. Pour tamarind juice mixture in the pan and bring to boil. 
6. When it starts to boil, add a spoon of water and simmer the stove and continue to boil for just 2 more minutes and switch off the stove.
7. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves.


Hot, spicy and tasty rasam is ready. Coconut thogayal/pappads/potato curry is an awesome combination with the hot rasam rice.

Carrot Curry

A healthy, simple, tasty carrot curry preparation.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:
Carrot - 6 (grated)
Green Chillies - 3 (split vertically)
Moong dhal - 2 tablespoons
Onion -1 medium sized 
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Urud dhal - 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt - to taste




Preparation:
1. Grate the carrots, split the green chillies and finely chop the onions.
2. Cook the moong dhal to 3/4th in little water and keep it aside.
3. Heat oil in a pan. When hot season with Mustard seeds, urud dhal and asafoetida.
4. Add onions, green chillies and saute well. When it turns transparent add the grated carrot.
5. Add required salt and cook in medium flame for 5 minutes.
6. Grated carrot will cook very quickly and will be done in 5 minutes. 
7. Now add the cooked moong dhal and mix it and cook for another 2 minutes and the carrot curry is ready to eat.

Cabbage Curry (with Fried Gram Dhal)

This is yet another easy recipe with very simple ingredients. Fried gram dhal gives a unique flavor and taste to this dish.


Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Cabbage - 1 medium sized
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Fried gram dhal - 6 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste






Preparation:
1. Shred the cabbage into medium pieces. Dont make it very thin.
2. Make a fine powder of the friend gram dhal and cumin seeds.
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds when hot. When it splutters, add the shredded cabbage and saute well.
4. Add required salt and sprinkle handful of water and mix well. 
5. Close it with a lid and cook in medium flame for around 15 minutes until the cabbage cooks well. 
6. Now reduce it to low flame and add the powder and mix it well for not more than 5 minutes. Take care not to burn. The powder will form a layer over the cabbage and leave a mushy texture and strong flavor.

Potato Mushroom Curry

Preparation Time: 30 minutes


Ingredients:
Mushroom - 1/2 cup
Potatoes  - 1/2 cup
Shallots - 10-15
Tomatoes - 1 
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste


For Masala
Cloves - 3
cinnamon - small piece
pepper - 1/2 tablespoon
cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Red chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
coriander powder - 2 tablespoons
Shallots - 7- 8
Coconut  - 2 tablespoons
Cashew -3- 4
Poppy seeds - 1/2 tablespoon


Preparation
1. Soak poppy seeds and cashew nuts in little water for around 20 - 30 minutes.
2. Boil potatoes in water with minced chillies and grated ginger with little salt.
3. When it is half done, add mushrooms and boil them together and strain the water when it is cooked 3/4 th
4. Dry roast, all spices given under masala, and add shallots and coconut and fry for couple of minutes.
5. Cool the mixture and grind it with poppy seeds and cashew with little water.
6. Add the ground masala to boiled potatoes and mushroom with little water and cook it in low flame for 5 to 10 minutes. Add additional salt as required.
7. In parallel, add 2 tablespoons of oil in another pan and add mustard seeds when oil is hot. When it splutters, add curry leaves, and shallots and fry until it is golden brown.
8. Now add the tomatoes and cook it until it is smashed and mixes well.
9. Add this to the potato/mushroom mixture and cook for 3 -4 minutes until it mixes well.
10. Garnish with coriander and switch off the stove.


Yummy, spicy potato/mushroom curry is ready to serve. This goes very well with Rotis/Rice. You can also substitute Cauliflower in this recipe to have a variation.


Tips:
If you don't like it much spicy, avoid green chillies. 
You can also add little curd to make the gravy tastier.

Beetroot curry











Beetroot is rich source of nutrients and vitamins and very good for health especially for women and children. Here is a very simple and easy preparation with beetroot which is easy for kids to eat as we grate the beets instead of chopping.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes


Ingredients:
Beetroot - 3 medium size
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Curry leaves - 4 to 5
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Urud dhal - 1 tablespoon
Hing - a pinch
Red Chillies - 3 to 4
Salt- to taste
Coconut(shredded) - 2 tablespoon

Preparation:
1. Peel the skin from the beetroot and grate it finely.
2. Heat oil in a pan and when hot season with mustard seeds, urud dhal, hing, red chillies and curry leaves.
3. Now add the shredded beetroot, salt and sprinkle little water and close it with a lid.
4. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes in a medium flame occasionally sitrring.
5. When it is completely cooked, switch off the stove and add the grated coconut.


Beetroot curry is ready to be served with rotis/rice.You can just mix this to white rice to make beetroot rice. Alternatively, you can use chopped beetroot with the same preparation if you wish.

Plantain Fry

Here is a simple plantain fry recipe that goes very well with any rice.

Preparation Time: 30 min (excluding marination)

Ingredients:
Raw Green Plantain - 3
Tomato -1 medium size
Rice Flour - 2 tablespoon
Sambhar powder - 1 1/2 tablespoon
Salt - to taste

Preparation:
1. Peel the skin off the plantain and cut it into round shapes of 1/2 inch thickness.
2. Cook the cut pieces in boiling water with little salt in medium flame until the plantain is cooked completely and becomes soft. It takes around 20 minutes. You can take a piece and try to break it with your fingers.If it breaks easily, remove the pieces from water and transfer it to a dry bowl.
3. Add rice flour, sambhar powder, salt and squeeze the tomato to the cooked plaintain and mix it thoroughly without breaking the pieces.
4. Let the mixture aside for 30 minutes until to allow the spices mix with the plantain.
5. Now heat a thick bottomed deep fry pan and add oil to fry. When the oil is hot, add 4- 5 pieces (based on the volume of your pan) and fry them. Turn sides when it turns golden brown.

Crunchy, hot and spicy plantain fry is ready to eat. If you have extra pieces left, you can refrigerate overnight and fry it the next day.

Puli inji (Tangy Ginger sauce)

Puli Inji is a must serve in any festive occassion in Kerala. It is made as combination of the ingredients with variety of flavors and has a tangy, sweety taste. This dish always reminds me of my grandfather who loves very simple food. I remember the way he loves to have puli inji with Idlies and curd rice and I am a diehard fan of this dish prepared by my grandma .

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients:
1. Ginger finely chopped - 1 cup
2. Green chillies - 3 finely chopped
3. Tamarind juice - 2 cups extracted from lemon sized tamarind
4. Jaggery - 1 cup
5. Salt - a pinch
6. Turmeric powder - a pinch
7. Oil - 1/2 tablespoon
8. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
9. Curry leaves - 7-8 finely chopped
10. Urud dhal - 1 teaspoon

Preparation:
1. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan and when hot add mustard seeds and when it splutters add urud dhal.
2. When urud dhal turns golden brown, add chopped gingers, green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric powder, salt and fry for 3- 4 minutes until you get a strong aroma of ginger.
3. Now add the tamarind juice and bring it to boil for next 5 minutes until the raw smell goes off.
4. Add the jaggery and cook in medium low flame as the sauce thickens. Stir at regular intervals for another 5 minutes.

Tangy and yummy puli inji is ready to eat. 

Spinach Chicken Curry

I cook chicken very rarely as we prefer to be vegetarian. This time we wanted to eat chicken but I was bored of the same kind of preparation and thought to try something different. Then I remembered I had got Spinach also from the grocery that day, so just wanted to try a green chicken with lot of spices. I wanted to make it a very simple dinner to enjoy the taste of chicken and this curry came out so yummy, and along with the simple rasam, it was heaven.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes (Excluding the marination time)

Ingredients:
Chicken - 1.25 pounds
Curd - 3 tablespoon
Onion - 2 medium sized


G
reen chillies - 4 split vertically



Oil - 5 -6 tablespoon


For Paste:
Spinach leaves - 15
Pepper - 1 teaspoon
red chilly powder - 2 tablespoon
coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon

For Powder
Curry leaves - 6-7
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
pepper - 1/2 tablespoon




Preparation:

1. Cut chicken into medium cubes and wash it thoroughly and drain the water completely and puncture randomly with fork to help the marination get into the chicken as it soaks.
2. Make a fine paste with the ingredients mentioned to grind.
3. Marinate the chicken with the ground paste and curd for minimum 30 minutes.
4. Cut onions finely into thin pieces length wise.
5. Heat oil in a pan and add onions and fry until it turns transparent, add the green chillies and fry for another one minute.
6. Now add the marinated chicken and sprinkle handful of water and stir well .
7. Cook the chicken in medium flame for next 15-20 minutes and stir occasionally to cook evenly.
8. Meanwhile dry fry and make a coarse paste of the ingredients given for powder.
9. Sprinkle the powder over the chicken and mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Yummy yummy Spinach Chicken Curry is ready to heat. You can serve it hot with Rotis/Rice

Dhal Rasam

This is another simplest variety of rasam(our version of soup with lentils) made just with dhal water. This preparation doesnt require boiling of the ingredients.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients:
Toor dhal water - 200 ml (made from 1/2 cup of toor dhal)
Tomato - 1 medium sized
Tamarind - Small gooseberry size
Rasam powder (equal amounts of pepper and cumin seeds ground to coarse powder)  - 1 tablespoon 
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 3 
Coriander leaves - 3 -4 strings finely chopped
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chillies - 2 





Preparation:
1. In a bowl, smash the tomatoes and tamarind with your hands.
2. Add salt, rasam powder, curry leaves and coriander leaves and cover the bowl with a lid and keep aside.
3. Boil toor dhal in a pressure cooker with a pinch of turmeric powder.
4. When the pressure releases, drain the hot dhal water into the mixture prepared and close the lid.
5. Now heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a small pan and when hot, add mustard seeds. When it crackles, add red chillies and a pinch of asafoetida and transfer this to the rasam and stir it well.

Hot and simple rasam is ready to serve. You can drink this as a soup or have it with rice.


Simple Potato Roast

Here is a very simple, yet tasty and inviting recipe with potatoes. If you are brought up in a typical tamil family, you should have been used to eating the potato fry/roast in one or the other form on all auspicious/festival days of the year. This is the simplest form of the potato fry that I was brought up with. One thing I like about this dish is, you dont deep fry the potatoes and cook them with very little oil. This dish gets crispiness on its outside with the rice flour and tomato used and remains so soft inside. Tomatoes gives little tangy flavor to the dish and it goes along with the spiceness of the chilly powder.

Preparation Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients:
Potato - 2 medium sized
Tomato - 1 medium sized
Rice Flour - 3 table spoons
Sambhar powder (you can use the ready made powder you get in Indian groceries) - 2 tablespoon
Salt - to taste
Oil - 5 tablespoons


Preparation:
1. Boil potatoes with skin, cool it, peel the skin and dice into small cubes.
2. Add sambhar powder, rice flour and salt to the potatoes.
3. Now smash the tomato with your hands over the potato and mix the ingredients well and blend it nicely.
4. Keep it aside for minimum 15 minutes. If you have larger amount, you can refrigerate for a day and roast and serve hot.
5. Take a deep pan and add oil. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes to the oil and roast it in medium flame for next 10 minutes.
6. As the potato turns golden brown, gently stir potatoes to turn sides and roast evenly.


Spicy and roasty potatoes are ready to eat. This can be eaten separtely as a starter or goes well with rotis and rice. This is a divine combination with curd rice.

Macroni with Indian Spices

I am not a great fan of macronis, but my husband is. He always likes to taste it in a different flavor and so I decided to try my hands on macroni with a twist of Indian spices. I wanted to make it simple and easy and just used the basic ingredients of Indian cooking and married to Macroni. It came out very well and was ready in 30 minutes. And I realized I have too started liking it and the next time want to try it out with varied flavors.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

Macroni - 100 gms
Vegetables - 1 cup finely chopped lengthwise
Red Chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam Masala powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Olive oil - 2 tablespoon

Preparation:

1. Cook macroni in boiling water with little salt (to avoid stickiness) as per the directions in the packet. Drain the water and keep it aside.
2. Chop all vegetables finely lengthwise.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add the vegetable and saute well. Since you have chopped the vegetables finely, do not add water and let it cook in the oil.
4. Close the lid and cook it in medium flame for another 5-7 miinutes and add salt to taste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and cook for another 4-5 minutes untill the raw smell goes off.
5. Now add the drained macroni and saute well.
6. Cook in low flame for next 5 minutes and stir occassionally.

Hot and spicy masala macroni is ready to eat.

Simple Chicken Fry

Here is a simple preparation of a spicy,hot chicken fry. This will be a very good combination for Rotis or any rice.


Preparation Time: 1 hour


Ingredients:
Chicken - 250 gms
Onion - 1 big size finely chopped
Curry leaves- 4- 5
Coriander leaves -for garnish
Oil - 3 tablespoon
For paste:
Curd - 3 tablespoons
Chilly powder - 1 table spoon
Coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
Pepper - 1/2 tablespoon
Fennel Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste






Preparation:
1. Make a wet paste with the ingredients mentioned for paste.
2. Marinate the chicken with the ground paste and set it aside for at least 30 minutes.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add finely chopped onions and curry leaves.
4. When the onions turn golden brown, add the marinated chicken and cook in a medium flame closed with a lid. Stir occassionally and cook until chicken becomes soft and tender.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves and spicy, hot chicken curry is ready to serve.

Egg Rice

It was almost 1 PM sunday afternoon and I was yet to prepare our lunch because of my hangover from previous night long pager calls. Both of us were very hungry and I wanted to prepare something real quick. I then realized I had nothing but eggs, potato and capsicum (of very smaller quantity) and decided to prepare egg rice. It came out real yummy and we had our lunch by 2 PM.

Preparation Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

1. Egg - 4
2. Onion - 1 medium sized finely chopped
3. Vegetable - 1 cup(100gms) finely chopped
4. Rice - 200 gms
5. Salt - to taste
6. Pepper powder - 1 tablespoon
7. Oil - 2 tablespoon





Preparation:
1. Boil rice and cook it until it is done 3/4th.
2. Heat oil in pan and add finely chopped onions and saute until it is transparent.
3. Add finely chopped vegetables and saute until they are cooked well. You can use any vegetable you prefer but make sure to chop them to cook it faster.
4. Break the eggs and whisk them with little turmeric powder.
5. Pour the eggs into the pan and add required salt and pepper powder and mix them thoroughly.
6. When it is almost done, add the cooked rice and mix it well and cook for next 5 minutes in a low flame.

Hot and quick egg rice is ready to serve. You can serve it with raitha or spicy kurma of your choice.

Tips:
1. You can also prepare this as a simple vegetable rice without eggs.
2. Use Basmathi rice for nice flavor.

Poli (With Channa Dhal/Jaggery)

Poli is a very famous sweet in souther india and also is known as Puran Poli in North. This is a festive season sweet made in almost all houses in TamilNadu and Andhra on their respective new year day. Preparation of this dish is a little time consuming process. I had been always enjoying this delicious sweet at my sweet home for all these years. This is the first time I tried my hands on this tamil new year (April 14,2010) and it turned out yummy!!! I also made the mixed dhal vada along with the sweet and took to office to celebrate the new year and all my colleagues liked it too! 

Ingredients:
1. Channa dhal - 150 gms
2. Jaggery (grated) - 100 gms
3. Maida Flour - 100 gms
4. Oil - 4 tablespoon
5. Salt - to taste
6. Ghee
7. Cardamom - 3
8. Turmeric powder - a pinch



Preparation:

To make the stuffing
1. Soak Channa dhal for 1 to 2 hours and pressure cook it with required water for 4 whistles.
2. After the pressure releases, drain the water from the dhal and grind it to a paste with grated jaggery and cardamom without water. This paste would be in a semi-solid consistency.
3. Heat a pan with strong base and add this paste to the pan. Cook and stir it ocassionally until the wetness goes off and the mixture comes to a solid consistency.
4. Now switch off the stove and bring the mixture to cool.

To make the outer layer

Mix the maida with little salt and turmeric powder. Add little water and knead the dough. Add required oil and knead it without lumps and until it becomes smooth. Once the dough is ready, spread little oil over the dough and keep it aside for atleast 30 minutes.

To make the Poli
In this preparation we need to use either fresh plantain leaves or plastic sheet. Wash it thoroughly in water and wipe it with a clean towel to dry.
It is good to have atleast two leaves/sheets to use alternatively. Wash your hands and get ready to make poli as the remaining preparation needs to be done by hands only.

1. Add 2 to 3 drops of oil in a plantain leaf/plastic sheet and spread it completely. This will help from not sticking the dough to the sheet when you transfer it to the tava.
2. Take a small portion of the kneaded maida dough and make it to a ball shape.
3. Place the ball shaped dough on the sheet and start spreading it with your fingers into a circle of even size.
4. Now make a small ball of the stuffing and place it in the dough and cover it completely with the dough around it.
5. Again spread it with your fingers into a circle of even size. Try to make it as thin as possible.
6. Now heat the tava and when it is hot enough slowly transfer the poli from the plaintain leaf/sheet to the tava without breaking it.
7. Spread 1 tablespoon of ghee around it and allow it to cook. Once it cooks, turn sides and cook it for another 1- 2 minutes.


Hot, tasty and sweety poli is ready to eat. 

Kothamalli Thokku

Ingredients:
1. Coriander Leaves - a bunch
2. Red chillies - 4 (vary according to your spice level)
3. Urud dhal - 3 tablespoon
4. Fenugreek Seeds - 2 teaspoon
5. Coriander seeds - 2 teaspoon
6. Asafoetida - a pinch  
7. Oil - 2 tablespoon
8. Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon
9. Urud dhal - 1 tablespoon (for seasoning)
10. Salt - to taste




Preparation:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and fry urud dhal, red chillies, fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and asafoetida without over burning.
2. Then clean the coriander leaves with water and add it to the pan and fry well until the raw smell goes off.
3. Cool and grind it into coarse paste with required salt. 
4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil and season mustard seeds and when it splutters, add the ground paste and mix it well for 2 -3 minutes.
Spicy, tatsy kothamalli thokku is ready to eat. 
This is a very good combination for Idly/dosa and also with white rice.  


Tips:
1. You can add few curry leaves along with coriander to make it tastier.

Chole(Channa/Chick Peas) Briyani

This is a variation from the usual vegetable briyani.I wanted to try something new with Chickpeas and rice this time. 


Ingredients:
1. Chick peas - 1 cup
2. Rice - 2 cups
3. Onion - 3 medium sized
4. Tomatoes - 2 medium sized
5. Green chillies - 4 vertically split
6. Red chilly powder - 3/4 tablespoon
7. Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
8. Garam Masala - 1 teaspoon
9. Cloves - 2
10. Cinnamon - 2 small sticks
11. Cardamom - 2
12. Bay leaves - 3 small pieces
13. Salt - to taste
14. Curd - 3 tablespoon
15. Ginger/garlic paste - 1/2 tablespoon
16. Mint leaves - 4
17. Oil - 4-5 tablespoon


Preparation:
1. Soak Chikpeas overnight
2. Pressure cook the soaked chickpeas with little salt for 3 whistles. Meanwhile soak the rice in water.
3. When the pressure is released, strain the water and add ginger/garlic paste, curd,red chillies, coriander powder, garam masala and settle it down.
4. Now boil rice in a vessel with little salt and 2 drops of oil until the rice is cooked 3/4th and strain water.
5. In the meantime, finely chop the onions lengthwise and tomatoes in to fine pieces.
6. Heat oil in a pan and when hot, add the spices (cloves,cardamon,bayleaves) and when they splutter, add the onions and fry well.
7. Add green chillies, and mint leaves and cook well until the onions turn into golden brown.
8. Add chopped tomatoes and smash them and fry until the tomatoes are cooked fine.
9. Then add the chole masala and required amount of salt and sprinkle little water.
10. When this mixture is almost cooked, spread the drained rice over the chole mixture and close the vessel with a lid and cook for next 5 to 7 minutes until the rice is cooked completely.
11. Now mix the chole with rice without breaking rice.


Serve hot and spicy chole briyani with raitha/pappads. I also use some roasted cashews for extra crunchiness.

Strawberry Milkshake

Strawberry was not my favorite fruit until i started tasting it in the form of milkshake. This is the first time I got to try the milkshake at home and it came out very well. 


Ingredients:
Strawberries - 6
Milk - 300 ml
Sugar - 10 Tablespoons
Vanilla Ice cream - 2 scoops


Preparation:
1. Boil milk in a low flame until it becomes 3/4th of the initial volume
2. Allow the milk to cool.
3. Now blend the strawberries with milk, sugar and ice cream.
4. Refrigerate the milkshake and serve it with ice cream for more taste


PS: 
1. I use 2 to 3 tablespoons of sour cream or few drops of vanilla essence instead of ice cream for a variation in taste
2. I do not filter the milkshake as i like the little crunchiness you get out of the strawberries. If you do not prefer that, you can filter the milkshake before serving

Potato Curry

A simple spicy curry with potato. I pefer to make fresh ground powder for this preparation, but you can also try the same with garam masala. 

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Potato - 4 medium sized
2. Onions - 2 medium sized
3. Garlic - 10
4. Oil - 4 Tablespoon
5. Red chilly powder - 1 Tablespoon
6. Coriander powder - 1 1/2 Tablespoon
7. Cloves - 4
8. Cinnamon stick - 2 small pieces
9. Salt - to taste

Preparation:
1. Chop potoato and onions into fine pieces.
2. Grind cloves and cinnamon stick to a fine powder.
3. Heat oil in pan and add onions and garlic and fry well.
4. When onion becomes golden brown, add potatoes, salt, red chilly powder, coriander powder and cook well for next 15 minutes.
5. Do not add water. When the potato is almost cooked and looks little mushy, add the masala powder and cook for another 5 minutes.

Hot and spicy potato curry is ready. This curry is a very good side dish for Sambhar/rasam/curd ice.

Tomato Rasam

There are different versions of tomato rasam - either with or without dhal. Recipe presented here uses toor dhal and gives the perfect taste. Tomato rasam with paruppu thogayal would be like Amirtham if I return back home after any trip.

Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Toor dhal - 1/2 cup
2. Tomatoes - 3 medium sized
3. Red chilly powder - 3/4 Tablespoon
4. Pepper and Jeera powder - 1 tablespoon
5. Salt - to taste
6. Ghee - 2 Tablespoon
7. Mustard seeds - 2 Teaspoon
8. Red chillies - 3
9. Asafoetida - a pinch
10. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
11. Tamarind Juice - 50 ml
12. Coriander Leaves - for garnishing

Preparation:
1. Pressure cook toor dhal with required water and turmeric powder and smash it nicely.
2. Grind tomatoes to a coarse paste.
3. Mix the cooked dhal, tomato paste and the tamarind juice. Add salt,red chilly powder and pepper/jeera powder and bring it to boil in a pan.
4. When the mixture comes to boil, switch off the stove.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons of ghee and when hot season with mustard seeds, red chillies and asafoetida.
6. Add the seasoning to the mixture and garnish with coriander leaves.

Hot tomato rasam is ready to serve. You can serve it with rice or even drink it as a soup.

Ladies Finger Curry (வெண்டைக்காய் புளி கூட்டு)

I generally make sambhar/mor kuzhambu/karakuzhambu with Ladies Finger. At times i also make simple curry with it. I wanted to try a recipe that i tasted once in my friend's lunch box with a little variation and it came out very well.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Ladies Finger - 300 gms
2. Coconut (grated) - 3 Tablespoon
3. Cumin seeds - 1 Tablespoon
4. Mustard seeds - 3 Teaspoon
5. Urud dhal - 1 Tablespoon
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Red chillies - 4
8. Tamarind juice - 1/2 cup
9. Salt - to taste
10. Jaggery - 1 Tablespoon
11. Oil - 3 Tablespoon
12. Curd - 2 Tablespoon

Preparation:
1. Chop ladies finger to fine pieces.
2. Grind coconut, cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon of mustard seeds and red chillies into a paste with little water.
3. Heat oil in pan and when it is hot, add 2 teaspoon of mustard seeds, urud dhal and asafoetida and fry well.
4. Add chopped ladies finger and cook with required amount of salt for 10 minutes.
5. Add the ground paste and tamarind juice and cook until the raw smell goes off.
6. Now add the jaggery and curd and cook for another 5 minutes.

Ladies finger curry is ready to be served with Rice/Roti.

Yam Smashed Curry (கருணைகிழங்கு மசியல்)

Masiyal means anything that is Smashed. Yam goes well in this preparation and this is a very authentic tamil dish with easy and quicker preparation.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:
1. Yam - 300 gms
2. Onion - 1 meidum sized
3. Red Chilli powder - 1 tablespoon
4. Salt - to tatste
5. Tamarind juice - 2 tablespoons
6. Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon
7. Red chillies - 3
8. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
9. Curry Leaves - 5 to 6
10. Urud dhal - 1 tablespoon
11. Oil - 2 tablespoon
12. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
13. Jaggery - a small piece



Preparation:
1. Peel the skin from Yam and boil it in water until it is completely cooked. Meanwhile chop the onions into fine pieces.
2. When the yam is cooked, strain the water completely and smash it finely. Add the tamarind juice, red chilly powder, salt, turmeric powder and crushed jaggery and mix it well.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add urud dhal, curry leaves, red chillies and asafoetida one by one and fry.
4. Add the chopped onions and fry it until it turns transparent.
5. Now add the yam mixture and cook it for next 4 to 5 minutes with continuous stirring. You can add couple of more table spoon of oil if required.
6. Remove from flame and garnish with Coriander leaves and serve.

Tips:
1. Use non-stick pan for cooking the dish without sticking to the pan.

Spicy Mushroom Curry

Every time I get Mushroom, I want to try some different recipe out of it.  I had tried out few recipes with mushroom - mushroom briyani, mushroom kurma, mushroom pepper fry. This time wanted to give it a different flavor. It really came out very well and tasted yummy. If you are not a mushroom lover, try this recipe with Potato or cauliflower and it would be good choice too.

Preparation Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:
1. Mushroom - 500 gms
2. Onions - 2 medium
3. Tomatoes - 3 medium
4. Ginger/garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
5. Red Chilly powder - 1 tablespoon
6. Coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
7. Curd - 4 tablespoon
8. Salt - to taste
9. Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
10. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
11. Curry leaves - 7 to 8
12. Oil - 3 tablespoon


Preparation:
1. Wash the mushrooms and marinate with ginger/garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, curd and salt for 15 minutes.
2. Chop onions and tomatoes into fine pieces.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
4. Add chopped onions and cook until it turns transparent.
5. Then add the tomatoes and cook well by smashing it.
6. When the tomatoes are almost cooked, add the marinated mushroom and mix it well. 
7. Do not add water, as mushrooms will leave some water as it cooks. Also since we have used curd for marination, the mushrooms would cook in that liquid.
8. Close the pan with a lid and cook for next 15 minutes by continuous stirring.
9. When the mushroom is completely cooked and the tomato and onion paste is blended well, add the Garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves and our spicy mushroom curry is ready to serve.

You can serve this with rice/rotis/idly/dosas.  

Aaloo Tikki

A quick evening snack item prepared with potatoes and green peas. There are few variations of this dish, and I love to keep the preparation simple.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1. Potato - 2 medium sized
2. Green Peas - 1/2 cup
3. Red chilli powder - 1 tablespoon
4. Salt - to taste
5. Garam Masala - 1 teaspoon
6. Corn Flour - 2 tablespoon
7. Oil to cook

Preparation:
1. Boil the green peas in required amount of water.
2. Grate the potatoes to thin strings.
3. Mix the potatoes and peas with the other ingredients (except oil) and rest for 10 minutes.
4. Make small patties with the mixture.
5. Heat a shallow pan and place the patty in it and start cooking. Add required amount of oil around the patty.
6. Turn the patty and cook both the sides until it turns golden brown.

Serve it hot as a snack accompanying tea/coffee

Garlic Rasam

This is a simple variety of rasam with garlic. Since we dont use cooked dhal in this preparation, this consumes lesser time to prepare.


Preparation Time: 20 minutes


Ingredients:
1. Tomato - 2 
2. Tamarind juice - 2 tablespoon
3. Oil - 2 tablespoon
4. Garlic - 6
5. Curry leaves & coriander leaves for garnishing
6. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
7. Red chillies - 2


To make paste:
1. Garlic - 5 pods
2. Red chillies - 3
3. Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
4. Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
5. Methi seeds - 1 teaspoon
6. Curry leaves - 4 to 5
7. Asafoetida - a pinch




Preparation:


1. Dry roast all ingredients given for paste, cool them and make a wet paste.
2. Chop the tomatoes to fine pieces and cook in 2 cups of water along with 6 pods of garlic.
3. When tomatoes are almost cooked, add tamarind juice, the ground paste and salt. Bring it to boil for 5 to 7 minutes and bring it off the stove.
4. Season the rasam with mustard seeds, red chillies and asafoetida in 2 tablespoon of oil.
5. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves.


Serve it with hot white rice.

Kathirikai MochaiKottai Kuzhambu (Brinjal and Val bean Gravy)

This is a gravy recipe with Brinjal and white Val bean (mochai) in tamarind juice and coconut paste. Freshly prepared coconut paste adds a rich flavor to this dish. 

Preparation Time: 1 hour


Ingredients:
1. Brinjal - 3
2. White dried Mochai - 1/2 cup
3. Onion - 2 medium
3. Tomato - 1 medium
4. Tamarind juice - extracted from small lemon sized tamarind.
5. Sambhar Powder - 2 tablespoon (you can vary this per your spice level)
6. Salt to taste
7. Oil - 3 tablespoon
8. Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon
9. Methi seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
10. Vadagam - 1 tablespoon
11. Curry leaves - 5 to 6
12. Garlic - 10- 15 pods


To make paste:
1. Coconut - 1/2 cup
2. Poppy seeds - 2 teaspoon




Preparation:
1. Soak mochai in water overnight and boil them in the cooker for 2 - 3 whistles.
2. Cut the stem of brinjal and slit it into 4 to 5 pieces, do not cut them separately. Chop onions into fine vertical pieces and tomatoes into fine pieces.
3. Make a paste with coconut and poppy seeds.
4. Heat oil in a pan, and when hot add mustard seeds, vadagam and methi seeds.
5. Add onions and fry until it turns transparent. Add garlic, tomatoes and curry leaves and fry well for 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Add the brinjal, boiled mochai, sambhar powder, salt and mix it well and cook for another 5 minutes.
7. Now add the tamarind juice bring it to boil and cok until the raw smell of tamarind goes off. This would take atleast 15 to 20 minues.
8. Add the ground paste of coconut to the boiling mixture. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.


Spicy, yummy kuzhambu is ready to serve. This can be served with rice/idly or dosas.


Tips:
1. You can roast the beans a little before cooking. This will give an additional flavor.