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

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

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
Tamarind juice - small lemon size
Tomato - 1 
Garlic pods - 4- 5
Curry leaves - 5-6 
Coriander leaves - for garnish
Salt - to taste

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

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

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

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
Cabbage - 1 medium sized
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1 tablespoon
Fried gram dhal - 6 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
Salt - to taste

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

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

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.

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

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

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.