Jun 29, 2011

Dahi Bhindi

Mor kulambu, Gujarathi Kadhi, Rajaasthani Kadhi, Dahi Bhindi! How many yoghurt based dishes and a lot similar in preparation! However twisting any of the above even a little, needs a name change!

I have adopted the dahi bhindi recipe from here. I guess I can blindly follow any recipe from this site and trust it will turn out fabulous!

To make this we need:

a tbsp coriander powder
a tsp cumin powder
2 tsp besan powder
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1 1/2 cup think yogurt
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
few chillies (green should be good, i had to use red though :()
cumin and mustard seeds for tempering
200 gms of bhindi, washed and dry (Pat dry with a kitchen towel, cut them into big pieces and fry in a tsp of oil for 3-4 mins. I also added a little bit of salt and a pinch of turmeric powder.. Leaves a nice aroma while frying)
1 big onion, chopped (The original recipe din't have this, Though I couldn't imagine this without onions, so...)


Heat some oil in a pan and add the mustard and cumin seeds, once the mustard seeds splutter, add the red chillies, onions, garlic and ginger and fry for a little bit.  Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and besan powder and fry for a while.. Just till it leaves aroma.. Add the prepared bhindi, fry for a few mins and add diluted yogurt. Adjust the seasoning and cook for 10-15 more mins.. Serve with piping hot rotis or rice!

Jun 28, 2011

Butternut Squash and Zucchini Fried Rice

This one is a perfect Lunch box recipe. I have used zucchini and butternut squash(Oh! I seem to have become a fan and regular eater of butternut squash! what to do. It is firm.. or soft.. or mushy.., depending on how long I leave it on the stove, and every time it turns out perfect and tastes so good and blends well with everything!). Its very quick and easy to make too! Cooking rice is in fact the most time consuming part in this preparation.

Zucchini and Butternut squash can be substituted with any available veggies, But of course, I cannot guarantee that they will not be look spoilers! 

Zucchini and Buttercup fried rice with Beetroot Raitha..
To make this we need:

1 tbsp butter
salt and olive oil as required
A tbsp of Light soy sauce
chopped butternut squash and Zucchini
Julienne onions and some shallots
few garlic cloves, chopped
slit green chillies and black pepper as required
cooked rice 3 cups

A Closer look of the fried rice!
Heat a pan and splash in some olive oil and butter. Fry the onions, shallots (Yes, don' even bother about tempering, remember this is not a traditional dish? ;)) chillies and garlic and add in the chopped veggies. add in the soy sauce and cook till the veggies are done. add the black pepper and mix with cooked rice. 
And, Voila we are ready to serve! I did with some beetroot raitha.

Beet root raitha recipe: Mix a cup of grated beets with curd, salt and black pepper powder as required.

Do not miss out the butter and soy sauce. Essential for the flavor!

Passion Fruit!

Malaysian Veg curry

I had been eating out in Malaysian and Thai recipes quite a few times in the past weeks/months and that inspired me to try this one. Especially I love the Pad see ew jay, Pad Thai jay and Thai green curry, besides this Malaysian veg curry. Original recipe can be found here

I should first mention that its not very authentic. I had to twist the original recipe to make it completely vegetarian and suit the available ingredients.

To make this we need:

To Grind:

Onion -  1 whole big onion, roughly chopped
few mint leaves
turmeric powder
red chillies according to taste, 1/4 cup chopped squash
2 green chillies
a tbsp of garam masala, 1 tbsp coriander powder, salt as needed
ginger - little more than what we normally use
Garlic - few cloves
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 tsp black pepper powder

along with oil and usual tempering ingredients

And vegetables: 2 cups of Soy chunks, mushrooms, carrots, butternut squash, all chopped and combined

Grind all the ingredients together to make a fine paste. Heat a pan with some oil and add the paste. Keep stirring till the oil separates, this might take a while. Then add all the chopped vegetables and also the coconut milk and some water. adjust the seasoning and cook till the veggies become soft and cooked.

This goes very well with steamed Jasmine rice!

Jun 18, 2011

Bharwa Karela/Stuffed bitter gourd

Some days we have that intriguing curiosity to explore and try recipes from other cuisines and feel happy about the grand success :)

On one such day I tried making this stuffed bitter gourd recipe and I swore that day that whenever i m going to make bitter gourd hereafter its going to be Bharwa karela. 
Its one of those promises thats written on water! :) Hunger rules always, Isnt it? Not to mention this recipe is a little time consuming!

To prepare this we need:

bitter gourd: About 1/2 kg
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Garam masala
1 1/2 tsp Chilli powder
1 1/2 tsp Amchur powder
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
one large onion chopped
2 tomatoes chopped
salt as needed

Bharwa karela another pic: 

Slit the bitter gourds lengthwise, without cutting it into two pieces! And take out the seeds. Cook the bitter gourd in boiling water and drain. Use as little water as possible to preserve all the nutrients. Remove any moisture from the bitter gourds using paper towel.

To prepare the stuffing:

Take a pan and heat abt a tbsp of oil and fry onion. While the onions turn translucent, add ginger and garlic paste and keep stirring till the raw smell goes. Add tomatoes and all the other powder ingredients.  Keep cooking till the oil separates. Put off the stove and stuff the karela's with the stuffing prepared thus, tie the bitter gourds and shallow fry them.

The amchur powder in the stuffing makes this dish extra delicious! Don't miss out adding this particular ingredient, it adds a tangy taste which is the essence of this dish and complements the mild bitterness of the karelas well.

Yes, and I should mention that easily the quantity of consumption increases by cooking bitter gourd this way!

Jun 2, 2011

Beets and Sprouts Salad

This is just an easy snack for those mid afternoon cravings! I know!!!! Salad for a mid afternoon craving??! Instead of those bar chocolates and short breads!
Not crazy!! I also served a slightly sweetened apple tea on the side, though it cant be a real substitute for chocolates and bread crisps, at least something sweet for the sad soul! :p :) It did help!

Just throw in together some beet sticks, some sprouts (I used alfalfa and bean) and mix in some olive oil, salt and pepper and squeeze some lemon on top. I dint have croutons then, that would've been good too! Serve fresh with some hot herbal tea!

Beet on Foodista

Jun 1, 2011


This is Kiwano, a fruit that I saw for the first time in New zealand.  Yeah, it dint taste great though!

Veggie sticks with Avacado dip!

 To make this you will need:

One big ripe Avacado, 1 chopped green chilli, abt 1/4 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tomato chopped into smal cubes, one small onion, chopped into small cubes, few cilantro leaves, chopped. salt to taste. juice of 1/2 a lemon and a tsp of Extra virgin olive oil. 

 Scoop out the pulp from avacado and mash it very well, combine all the other ingredients and mix well.

Serve with Carrot and beet sticks. This is a very healthy and tasty evening snack. Make sure you use a big avacado, or the dip wont be just enough! :)

Spinach in coconut milk!

I used to like spinach gravy so much.  My mom used to make it with ground spinach, tamarind and regular spices. But last few times I had that with rice, I felt the gravy had quite a strong flavor, may be the tamarind, and suddenly stopped eating it.

After a while, I twisted the regular gravy by adding some coconut milk minus the tamarind. It turned out really well and light and my OH and I had an immediate liking to it and I prepare spinach regularly this way on week ends. On one such week end, I had enough patience to click this pic before going for it!
Ingredients: 2 cups of coarsely chopped spinach, 1 whole onion chopped, 1 cup of coconut milk, salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper, 2 whole red chillies, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 3 cloves garlic and some cardamom pods and a cinnamon stick. some curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, oil and some salt.
Heat some oil in a pan, and add some mustard seeds, once it splutters, add some cumin seeds and the cardamom and cinnamon pods. add the curry leaves and chopped onion and chopped garlic. Once the onion turns translucent, add some turmeric and red chilli powder and stir it till the onion starts turning slightly brownish. Add the ground spinach and let it cook for a few minutes. Then add the coconut milk, black pepper powder and adjust the spices. Cook till the spinach is cooked.
 Serve hot with rice!

Karunaikilangu Puli kulambu/Spicy Yam gravy

I was so happy to find yam in the supermarket, a relief from all those regular veggies! So, I decided to splurge on oil and make this tastier!

So here goes the recipe:

To make this we need, a couple of yams, peeled, washed and chopped into small round pieces. I used amchur powder along with a small ball of tamarind, a pinch of asafoetida,
Salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder, few red chillies, some oil, one big onion, chopped and one tomato, chopped and a sprig of curry leaves, along with some garlic cloves, mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Abt half a tsp of garam masala too!

Heat some oil in a pan, and add some mustard seeds and once it splutters, add some curry leaves and cumin seeds. Then add all the chopped onion and garlic and once the onion starts turning slightly brown, add the red chillies and chopped tomatoes. add some red chilli powder and turmeric powder and keep stirring till the tomatoes cook and the raw smell of turmeric powder goes off. mix the amchur powder and tamarind powder with some water and pour the mixture into the pan. Add about 2 more cups of water and adjust the salt.

Let this sit on the stove for about 20 mins or so, but now the water would have reduced to less than half in quantity and the oil would  separate as seen in the picture.Switch off the stove and serve hot with rice!

Karamani Vadai/Black eyed peas Fritters

One of my friends made this for a potluck and that was the first time I had it. It tasted soo good and I also make it frequently as this makes a very healthy snack too!

Black eyed peas - 2 cups
toor dhal - 2 tbsp
onion - 1, chopped
curry leaves - chopped
green chillies - 4
cilantro leaves - few,chopped
salt, and a pinch of asafoetida and a pinch of turmeric

Method of preparation:

Soak the black eyed peas in water for about 3 hrs. Heat a pan, add a tsp of oil and fry all the remaining ingredients (Onion, toor dhal, chopped green chillies, turmeric, salt,curry leaves and cilantro.) just till the raw smell goes off. Add this with the soaked and drained black eyed peas and add the asafoetida, and coarsely grind the mixture. Make small balls and deep fry in oil. Serve hot with cilantro dressing! I also added a tbsp of rava to add to the crispness. Tastes yumm!!! :)

Apr 9, 2011

Mooli Paratha/Radish Stuffed Paratha

Mooli Stuffed Parathas!
 This is probably the third or fourth time I made stuffed Parathas and the last few times, I guess i have achieved consistency! They turned out pretty well, among all stuff parathas, I like the taste of Mooli Paratha the best!

To make this we need:

Grated Radish -  2 cups (Sqeeze the water out and it can be used to prepare the dough for the roti base)
chopped corriander leaves leaves
turmeric powder
chopped green chillies and half cup finely chopped onion

For the dough:
ashirvad atta - 2 cups
oil, salt and water as required

The onion and green chillies need to be very finely chopped, otherwise it will tear up the parathas while being rolled.Heat a pan, add some oil and add the chopped oions and fry till translucent. Add chopped green chillies and turmeric powder and salt as required. Add the grated radish and keep frying till the radish gets cookes.

Put the heat off and make the stuffing into small sized balls. Prepare the dough for the paratha and make them into small balls.

Flatten each ball with a rolling pin. Make sure its a bit thick on the middle and thinner around the edges. Stuff it with radish and close the dough on all sides. Flatten again with rolling pin and hands and cook it in medium flame on a dosa tawa..

Parathas served with butter and Curd..

Feb 26, 2011

Butternut Squash and Masoor Dhal Kootu

Oh Gosh, I really wish there had been more vegetables on earth! :) Yes, I easily get bored of cooking and eating the same vegtables repeatedly for curry/sabzi. If this was the case in India, imagine in Auckland. There are not much green vegetables here, all we get is the so called english veggies, beets, carrots, mushrooms, bell peppers and etc. P.S: bottle gourd, ridge gaurd, bitter gaurd, drumstick etc :(  I miss you all! 

So In my utter frustration I ended up picking this Buttercup(Butternut Squash?) from the supermarket which I 'd never even bothered to look at, back in India!

I tried making kootu using this and masoor dhal(red lentils) and it turned out yummy!

And yes, the natural colors looked really beautiful tempting me to click before cooking!

Masoor Dhal and Buttercup Kootu

Colourful Goodness of Buttercup and Masoor Dhal!

To make this you will need:  (Sorry, but the measurements are all approximate! )

Masoor dhal - 1 cup
Buttercup chopped into small cubes - 2 cups
1 Whole tomato
1/2 big onion chopped
redchilles, mustard seeds, few garlic cloves, few pepper corns, curry leaves, coriander powder, salt, oil, turmeric powder and some cumin seeds for tempering and seasoning.

 Here goes the reipe:

Pressure cook chopped butter cup along with  whole tomato(roughly chopped) and masoor dhal with salt, a tsp of oil and 1/2 a tsp turmeric powder.

In a pan, heat a tbsp of oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, cuury leaves and let that splutter. add red chillies and onion and garlic cloves. Once it is cooked add the cooked dhal mixture and add all the seasonings, adjusting to taste.

Serve hot with roti or rice. 

Served with Roti and Beetroot Radish Sabzi

Sending this to MLLA 36 contest, hosted by Susan and Aqua

Feb 19, 2011

Butter Crunch and Avocado salad

Hello there!

Avocados have a great nutritional value, though its a little high on calories.So I always find ways to use avocado without adding much sugar(Hmm... i must say avocado milk shake is one of my favorite drinks, tastes yum!) So I  made this salad as an accompaniment to lunch, turned out really well, N liked it too! And I was happy I found a way to use the remaining butter crunch leaves that I had.

Here goes the recipe:


One whole avocado, skin peeled and cut into bite sized cubes.
One whole tomato Chopped
A handful of butter crunch leaves - chopped

For dressing:

1 tbsp  EVOO
2 tbsp  lemon juice
2 tsp Black pepper powder
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Just toss all the ingredients well together(except grated cheese) and top it with cheese. Healthy and attractive salad is ready!

One more closer look at the salad:

Feb 17, 2011

Its been long...

Hello readers,

Its been quite a long time since I posted last in my blog. Its been a year and a half, I must say quite some changes. In the last year and a half, my interest towards cooking has only increased and I have been clicking snaps of few items, but never had time or even interest for that matter to post them. I started this blog when I was working in the US, then I got married, moved back to India, and recently quit my job and moved to Auckland with my husband. These are simply happy days, yet I must say I m tired of packing and moving. Hope New Zealand gives me even more happiness and shelter for long! :) Just like the food, the thoughts have been so overwhelming too and i m eagerly looking forward to share them all!

Taking a break from food, I am going to celebrate the return with a favorite poem of mine from one another blogger...
Here goes the link: http://darshibaby.blogspot.com/2008_03_01_archive.html

and here goes the words, Enjoy!

You are your priority. Love, live and learn.
Don't be afraid to fall.
Don't be afraid to cry.
But most of all...don't be afraid to fly..
The noise...will cease to exist once you Surrender your all..
Time and time again...this too shall come to pass.
Nothing lasts forever, baby.
So smile..
Sunny skies await..
After all..the world didn't die on you.
Seriously...don't take life so seriously.
So come what may...feel the gift of Life pulsing through you.
And be grateful ..
Cherish every moment..cherish every person...
but most of all..cherish you for yourself, as you are. Always ...

See you soon again!