Mango Rice

Mango rice is one of the simplest lunch box dish that can be prepared quickly. As mango is a seasonal vegetable during the summer, it has its own specialty.

Preparation: 30 minutes

1. Rice - 2 cups
2. Raw Mango - 1
3. Red Chillies - 4
4. Mustard seed - 1 teaspoon
5. Urud dhal - 2 teaspoon
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Turmeric powder - 1/5 teaspoon
8. Curry leaves - 5
9. Salt - to taste
10. Oil - 2 tablespoon

1. Peel the skin of the maango and grate the mango.
2. Cook the rice with required water in a cooker or oven. Ensure that the rice grains are separate and not overcooked. Drain any excess water and cool the rice.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds when oil is hot.
4. When it splutters, add urud dhal and asafoetida and fry until it becomes golden brown.
5. Add red chillies, grated mangoes and curry leaves, turmeroc powder and saute well.
6. Cook in a medium flame for next 10 to 12 minutes until the mango is cooked and the raw smell goes off.
7. Remove it from the stove and add it to the rice with required amount of salt and mix it without breaking the rice.

Yummy, yellowish mango rice is ready to serve. Simple potato fry would be a very nice combination with the rice.

Capsicum Curry

I wanted to try a different recipe with Capsicum this time as I mostly use chilly powder in my preparation. So this recipe is based on a fresh prepare masala with Tomato, red chillies and cumin seeds. You can substitute capsicum with any other vegetable in this recipe.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1. Capsicum - 3
2. Onion - 2 medium sized
3. Tomato - 2 medium sized
4. Red Chillies - 4 (adjust it according to your spice level)
5. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
6. Ginger/garlic paste - 1/2 tablespoon
7. Salt - to taste
8. Oil - 2 tablespoon

1. Grind tomatoes, red chillies, ginger/garlic paste and cumin seeds into a paste. Dont add water as tomates will make the paste watery.
2. Chop onions into fine pieces and capsicum into medium dices.
3. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add onions and saute until it becomes golden brown.
4. Now add the ground paste and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Add Capsicum and little water and cook the capsicum in the mixture by closing a lid. Cook in a medium flme for 10 to 12 minutes.

Garnish it with coriander leaves and spicy capsicum curry is ready to eat. It can be serve with Rice/Rotis.

1. To enrich the taste, you can add 3 to 4 strings of coriander leaves along with other ingredients to prepare the paste.
2. You can also add all colored capsicums to make the dish colorful and attractive.

Quick Pepper Rice

Pepper has enormous medicinal properties and is very good for health. But most of the times we use red chillies rather than pepper. Also many of us dont like to eat whole pepper. This is a very simple and quicker recipe with pepper. Since we powder pepper coarsely, it mixes with rice and we will be forced to eat pepper and absorb its medicinal values. This can be also made with left over rice and can serve as a good and quick lunch box food.

Preparation Time: 15 mins 

1. Rice - 200 gms
2. Onion - 2 medium size
3. Green chillies - 2
4. Pepper (coarsely powdered)- 1 tablespoon
5. Salt - to taste
6. Ghee - 2 tablespoon
7. Cashew - 15
8. Coriander Leaves - for garnishing

1. Cook the rice, drain it and keep it separately.
2. Chop onions and green chillies into fine pieces.
3. Heat ghee in a pan and fry cashews untilit becomes golden brown and remove.
4. In the same pan, add onions and green chillies and fry until onion turns transparent.
5. Now add the rice and required salt and pepper powder and mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and the fried cashews.

Spinach Dhal Curry (கீரை கூட்டு)

This is another simple and quick dish with Spinach and moong dhal. You can try this dish with any other green.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes

1. Spinach - 1 bunch
2. Moong dhal - 150 gms
3. Onion - 1 medium size
4. Green chillies - 3 vertically split
5. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
6. Urud dhal - 1/2 tablespoon
7. Asafoetida - a pinch
8. Oil - 1 tablespoon
9. Salt - to taste

1. Finely chop the spinach and wash it in water. Chop the onions finely lengthwise.
2. Boil moong dhal in enough water until it is half cooked and remove it from stove and drain the water
3. Heat oil in pan, add mustard seeds, urud dhal and Asafoetida when oil is hot.
4. Add onions and green chillies and saute well for 5 minutes.
5. Now add the spinach and the half cooked dhal and required amount of salt and mix well.
6. Add half a glass of water and cook the spinach with dhal for next 10 minutes by closing the pan with a lid in a medium flame.

Hot and tasty spinach curry is ready. This can be had with rice or rotis. You can garnish it with grated coconut for additional taste.

Yellow Pumpkin Halwa

This is my 50th recipe :) I never thought I would be able to make it here when i started, but now I am sure there is many more to come. I wanted to dedicate this recipe to my lovely husband who had been motivating me all through this. And guess what, it was also a special occasion that was coincidental... yes it is Valentine's day, and I decided to make a sweet.
I had always tried and tasted halwa made with white pumpkin, but this time I wanted to try it with yellow pumpkin and it came out well. 

Preparation time: 1 hour

1. Grated pumpkin - 1 cup
2. Milk - 2 1/2 cups
3. Sugar - 1 1/2 cups
4. Ghee - 4 tablespoon
5. Cashewnuts - 20 to 25
6. Cardamom powder - little.

1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews and remove it when golden brown.
2. Now add the grated pumpkin in the same ghee and fry for 5 minutes in a very low flame.
3. Add milk and cook the pumpkin well in the milk. This will take atleast 30 minutes, as the pumpkin has to cook in milk. Also you need to cook in a low flame.
4. When it is almost cooked, add sugar and mix well and cook for another 15 - 20 mins.
5. Add the roasted cashew nuts and powdered cardamom.

Tasty and sweety pumpkin halwa is ready. This halwa will have a pumpkinish flavor. Try hot halwa with cold vanilla ice cream. It tastes yummy yummy!!!

Spicy Egg Curry (முட்டை தொக்கு)

This is a very simple and tasty version of spicy egg curry. This can be alternatively tried as a vegetarian curry by using any other vegetables with the same masala paste. As the masala paste is freshly ground, this adds the taste to the dish and makes it yummy...

Preparation Time : 25 minutes

1. Eggs - 4
2. Onions - 1 big size
3. Tomato - 1 big size
4. Red Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tablespoon
5. Coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
6. Salt - to taste
7. Coriander leaves 
8. Oil - 4 tablespoons
For Masala Paste: 
1. Onion - 1 big size
2. Tomato - 1 big size
3. Cinnamon - 2 small pieces
4. Cloves - 2
5. Fennel seeds - 1/2 tablespoon
6. Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tablespoon

1. Grind all the ingredients given for masala into a fine paste.
2. Boil the eggs in water until it is completely cooked.
3. Finely chop the onions and tomatoes.
4. Heat oil in a pan and when hot add chopped onions and fry until it turns golden brown.
5. Then add tomatoes and red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and saute well for 2 minutes.
6. Add the ground paste and cook it nicely for another 10 to 15 minutes until oil gets separated.
7. Now cut the eggs into two pieces and add it to the masala and mix well. The masala should get mixed with the egg nicely.
8. Cook for another 5 minutes.
9. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Spicy and hot egg curry is ready. This can be served with rice/dosa/idly/rotis.

Mushroom Briyani

I wanted to try something different with Mushrooms, so this time got the recipe of Mushroom Briyani from my mother in law and it came out very well. Alternatively you can try this recipe with Cauliflower or any other vegetables of your choice if you don't like Mushroom.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes 
1. Mushroom-2pkts
2. Rice-2 cup
3. Ginger/garlic paste - 2 tablespoon
4. Curd - 1 Cup
5. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
6. Coriander Powder - 1 tablespoon
7. Cloves - 2
8. Cardamom - 2
9. Bay leaves - 2 
10. Cinnamon - 2 
12. Onion - 1
14.  Oil - 2 tablespoon
15. Ghee - 1 tablespoon
1. Coriander leaves - handful
2. Mint leaves - 5 to 6
3. Green chillies - 4
1. Grind Coriander leaves, mint leaves and green chillies into a fine paste with very little water. Finely chop the onions. Soak the rice in water for 20 minutes
2. Pour oil to cooker.Add cloves,cardmon,cinnamon,bay leaves and fry it
3. Add sliced onion fry it.
4. Add ginger,garlic paste saute it for 1 minute
5. Add ground paste fry it for another 2 minutes.
7. Now add mushrooms, coriander powder, red chilli powder and curd and fry it.
8. Add soaked rice and salt.
9. Add 1 1/2 cups of water and allow to boil closing the lid until the rice is cooked. Make sure not to overcook the rice.
10. Garnish with pudina and coriander leaves.

You can serve with raitha. 

1. Instead of using 1 1/2 cups of water, you can use 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 1 cup of water to have an additional flavor and taste.

Simple Spinach Curry (Keerai Poriyal)

Spinach is a very cheap green which has the power to supply same amount of protein that one can get from meat, fish, egg and chicken. It is a rich source of all Vitamins, Iron, Calcium, Protein etc., It is also a very good source of folic acid and good for pregnant and ladies and nursing mothers. It is definitely good for health to have spinach at least once or twice a week to gain all nutrients. This recipe made with Spinach can be done with any other greeny vegetables. This is quick and easy to prepare.

Preparation Time: 20 mins

1. Spinach - 1 packet or bunch
2. Onion - 1 medium sized
3. Red Chillies - 3
4. Mustard seeds - 2 teaspoon
5. Urud dhal - 1/2 tablespoon
6. Asafoetida - a pinch
7. Oil - 1 tablespoon
8. Salt - per taste

1. Finely chop the spinach leaves and wash it in water. Finely chop the onions.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds when it is hot.
3. When it splutters, add urud dhal and asafoetida and fry until golden brown.
4. Now add red chillies and onions and saute well.
5. Add required amount of salt and spinach and sprinkle 1/4 glass of water and cook it by closing the lid.
6. Cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.

Hot and healthy Spinach curry is ready to serve with rice/roti.

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