Tag Archives: cooking

Black Bean Soup

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Couple of days back, one of my relatives pinged me and asked have you tried “Black bean soup”. I thought why it didn’t it strike my mind, and told her no. She told her co-sister prepares a delicious ” Black Bean Soup” and sent me the recipe. Based on the ingredients I had in my home I altered the recipe and here is my version

Checkout other soup varieties,

Ingredients:

Black bean – 3/4 cup

Yellow bell pepper – 1

Onion – 1 , big

Tomato – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Pergo Tomato garlic basil sauce – 3 tbsp

Water – as needed

Butter – 1 tsp

Olive oil – 1 tsp

Kosher Salt – as needed

Cheese – 2 tbsp

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Method:

  • Wash and Soak the black bean in warm water for 2-3 hours and drain the water. Pressure cook the black bean with 1:2 water for 2 whistles and after the stream releases naturally strain the water

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  • Add oil and butter to the pan, and when its hot add onion; sauté till the onions are translucent. Add tomato and bell pepper and cook till the tomatoes get mushy

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  • Add the cooked black bean and mix well. Add pergo sauce, coriander powder, chilli powder and cumin powder and mix well;cook for 3-5 minutes

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  • Remove the bay leaf and after the mixture comes to room temperature, blend them into fine paste and transfer it to the pan

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  • Add water according to the consistency you desire and cook till the soup thickens. Add cheese and cook till the cheese melts, switch off and enjoy the warm soup

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My Notes

  • Instead of kosher salt, regular salt can also be used
  • Instead of pergo sauce, you can use one garlic pod, one more tomato
  • Can be served with sour cream instead of cheese

Aviyal

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I love coconut based dishes, and of all the coconut based dishes I do, Aviyal is my favorite. I still remember those childhood days when I question my Amma what is Aviyal. I knew koottu, sambar, curry (dry side dish), kuzhambu etc., as these are the basic ones we frequently eat at home. My Amma somehow convinces me telling its koottu. I now disagree, as I have noticed three factors in most of the koottu – turmeric powder, cumin seeds and dal). Aviyal cooked at home doesn’t have that and so is the argument 🙂 My son is yet to start arguing with me as he is just 16 months, but knowing my history I know I have a challenge 🙂 Coming back to Aviyal, I cooked Aviyal on kaanum pongal with puliyodarai, Sakkarai pongal, coconut rice and semiya bagala bath and was it my draft for almost 2 months. Saturday is nombu for us, and I was thinking what was the recent festival. Remembered pongal and also remembered about the Aviyal in draft. Here it is 🙂

Ingredients:

Mixed Vegetables –  3 cups, peeled and chooped into bite size pieces (I used potato, white pumpkin, carrot, beans, ashgourd, drumstick, raw banana)

Thick Curd – 1/3cup

Salt – to taste

To grind

Coconut – 1/2 cup

Green Chilli – 1 (Adjust according your taste)

To Temper:

Coconut Oil – 2 tsp

Curry leaves – few

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Method:

  • Boil water in a vessel and when the water boils, add carrot, beans, potato, drumstick, white pumpkin with little salt; cover and cook. Once the veggies are half cooked add raw banana; cook till veggies are fork tender. In a colander drain the veggies and keep the water

AViyal

  • Blend the coconut and green chilli into coarse paste with little water
  • In the same pan add the cooked vegetables along with the coconut paste. Sprinkle the veggie cooked water according the consistency you desire (generally Aviyal is thick so I add very little water) and cook for 3 – 5 min
  • Add salt and curd to the aviyal cook for a minute and switch off

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  • In a separate pan add oil, once the oil becomes hot, add add curry leaves allow it splutter. Add to the aviyal.  Serve it as a side dish for variety rice or with plain steamed rice

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Checkout other coconut based recipes,

Thengai Sadam (Coconut Rice) with coconut milk

Patishapta from Aruna Panangipally – Aharam

Udipi Sambar

Kadala Curry

Sweet Kozhukattai

Paal Kozhukattai

Ammani Kozhukattai

Thengai Podi

Thengai Aracha Kuzhambu

Pavakkai Pitalai

Thiruvathrai kalI

Vengaya Thogayal

Thaala kuzhambu

Aval pidi Kozhukattai

Arisi Thengai payasam

Frozen pattani Sundal

Vegetable Stew

My Notes:

  • I sprinkle water and prepare aviyal in the thick consistency as I got use to that texture, adjust water according to the consistency you desire
  • Adding coconut oil enhances the flavor. If you use any other oil and cook curry leaves, finally add a drop of coconut oil for taste

Custard Powder Halwa – Guest post for Aruna Panangipally’s blog Aharam

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Ever since I started blogging I adore Aruna’s work. I was delighted when I got an offer from her for a guest post.

First thing I liked about her blog is her blog name “Aharam” – what a perfect name for a food blog and the way she tells the interesting fact about the food in the Intro for each post

Aharam has a wide spread of Indian and International recipes.

If I say Indian does it justify her work?

No!!

South Indian and North Indian?

Nooo!!

State wise?

Yessss, if I start  specifying all the categories that she has covered, I am sure this post will go Endless

Looking for a festive recipe, low calorie recipe, no oil recipe etc. every search  has a result in her space

I can continue writing about her, but guess its time to hear from Aruna and visit her blog

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Few words from Aruna about her space

I have been interested in cooking and collecting recipes for as long as I can remember.  In fact, it is something I imbibed from my grandmother, mother and aunts, all of whom were very interested in trying out new dishes. 🙂

ãhãram, my blog, is my attempt to catalog the recipes I love, be they recipes that are inherited or then those that I have learnt. My blog features pre-dominantly vegetarian recipes (with some egg-based recipes thrown in) from across India. You will find that I have loads of recipes from South India reflecting my ancestry (particularly, Andhra Pradesh, my native state) and those from Maharashtra, the state I grew up in. In addition, I have recipes from across other states of India and the world, reflecting my love for travel and new cultures. 🙂

You can follow Aruna on:

I was so pleased when Vidya agreed to do a guest post for me because I knew I would get “something different”, a term I hear often in my home. 🙂

Visit Aruna’s space for Custard Powder Halwa recipe

https://aahaaram.wordpress.com/2015/02/06/custard-powder-halwa-by-vidya-srinivasan-of-traditionally-modern-food/

Custard Powder Halwa 

Preparation time: 3 mins | Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients:

Custard powder – 1 cup (I used Vanilla Flavor)

Sugar – 2 cups + ½ cup (I used light brown sugar, white sugar can also be used. Adjust sugar according to your sweetness)

Water – 4 cups

Butter/Ghee – 3 tbsp (I used butter)

Cashew nuts and Raisin – for taste

Saffron – 1/8 tsp

Salt – a pinch

Cardamom powder – 1/8 tsp

Method:

  • Add a tbsp of butter to pan and when it melts and becomes hot, add cashew nut and sauté till they are golden brown. Switch off and add raisin; keep aside
  • Grease a pan with melted butter/ghee and keep aside
  • In a mixing bowl add custard powder, water, saffron,sugar, salt and cardamom powder; mix well without any lumps

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  • Take a heavy bottomed pan (I used non-stick) and transfer the mixture to the pan. Keep the pan on the stove and start cooking in high flame
  • The mixture will come to boil and start to thicken, Keep stirring till it became glossy and jelly like texture

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  • Add remaining butter, cashew nuts and raisin; mix well and reduce the flame. Keep stirring continuously till the mixture  begins pulling away from the sides

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  • Transfer the halwa to the greased pan and level the top. Chill it for an hour and cut them
  • Check out my other custard powder reccpe,Custard Powder Cookies

Notes:

  • Food color can be added
  • Halwa stays good for a week in fridge
  • Any nuts of choice can be added

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Avocado Paratha

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Avocado is one of my favorite fruit and after hearing its healthy benefits, I started buying them regurlaly. My frequent take with Avocado is Guacamole in Indian style. In our home we love this as side dish for chappati, put it in bread and do Guacamole Sandwich, few Mexican style dishes like Burrito and Quesadilla. Every since I saw Avocada Paratha in my friend Malar’s space, I wanted to try but somehow I kept postponing Finally I did it, and I regretted for delaying it, softest paratha I ever tasted. Now a days once a week I am doing this

Avocado Paratha

Preparation time : 10 mins | Standing time : 30 mins – 1 hour | Serves : 2

Ingredients:

Whole wheat Flour – 1 cup

Avocado – 2, small; ripe avocado pitted and mashed

Pepper powder – 1/8 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp

Lemon juice – 1/2 tsp

Oil – 1 tsp

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • In a  bowl mash avocado and add lime juice; mix well. Add wheat, oil, salt, pepper powder, coriander powder and cumin powder to the mashed avocado pulp; combine well and make a pliable dough. Moisture in avocado should be enough to make dough but if the required add 1-2 tsp of water. Cover it with damp cloth and leave it for 30 mins – 1 hour

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  • Take small portions of dough and make small balls; roll it with rolling pin, dusting wheat flour. Heat a griddle and when it is hot, place the rolled paratha. and cook for a minute or so till the chappati starts puffing , flip it over to the other side. Cook till the other side cooks

avocado paratha

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My Notes:

  • Can add onion, garlic or any other Masala like garam masala, pav bhaji masala etc. for flavors
  • I didn’t use oil while cooking the paratha but you can drizzle some oil/ghee/butter
  • Instead of lemon juice Apple Cider Vinegar can be used to prevent Avocado from changing color
  • Can add 1 tbsp of yogurt instead of oil while making dough

Paneer Tikka Masala

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Recently when I had buffet in Indian restaurant I tasted Paneer Tikka Masala. It was delicious, I could taste paneer butter masala flavor along with paneer tikka taste. I tried to combine my tofu butter masala and tofu tikka recipe; prepared this Paneer tikka Masala and happy with the results:-)

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Marination time : 2 hours | Cooking Time : 45 mins

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

For Tikka:

Paneer – 1 packet (225 gram)

For marination:

Hung Curd/Sour Cream – 3 tbsp +1 tsp (I used Sour Cream)

Pepper Powder – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Garam Masala powder – 1/4 tsp

Tandoori Masala  – 1 tsp

Chat Masala – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Lemon juice – 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

How to make hung curd:

Hang 1/3 cup curd in a muslin cloth or any thin cloth for an hour to make the required hung curd.

For Gravy:

Onion – 2

Tomato – 3

Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Heavy Cream – 3 tbsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Cinnamon Powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – as needed

Butter – 1 tbsp

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven at 400 deg F
  • Cube the Paneer and keep it aside. In a separate bowl Mix the ingredients listed under ‘for marination’ and keep aside. Mix paneer with the marinated ingredients and keep refrigerated for 2 hours (minimum an hour). Take it out and arrange the Paneer in the baking tray

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  • Bake them for 15-18 mins, turning over in between for even cooking. Paneer tikka is ready

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  • Boil onion and tomato in hot water and strain the water. When it comes to room temperature, blend them into fine paste© TraditionallyModernFood
  • Add butter to the pan. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the blended tomato and onion puree and cook for 3-5 minutes

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  • Add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and allow it to cook for 2-3mins

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  • Add heavy cream and cook till it starts boiling. Add paneer tikka and cook for 2 minutes and switch off

© TraditionallyModernFood

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My Notes:

  • Instead of fresh cream you can add 1/3 cup of milk and cook for 5-8 minutes till the gravy become thick
  • If you are using a cinnamon stick, add it while tempering
  • Can marinate capsicum and onion along with paneer while preparing tikka and use it
  • This gravy goes well with any variety rice like fried rice as well as with naan/rotis
  • I boiled the onions and tomatoes, blended them, instead can sauté them in oil and grind them

Tofu Butter Masala

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As I had mentioned in Kadai Tofu and Tofu Tikka, though I love paneer, I am afraid of the calories it adds. Happy that Tofu can satisfy my taste buds in the same way as paneer. Couple of days weeks back I had prepared Malai Kofta with paneer. I was craving for paneer dish again, and this time, tried a side dish with tofu instead of paneer.

Tofu is similar to paneer, except that it is made with soy milk, which is said to be protein rich. My version of Tofu Butter Masala:

Tofu Butter Masala

Preparation Time : 10 min | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves : 4

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Firm Tofu – 1 packet (225 gram)

Onion – 1 big

Tomato – 2

Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Milk – 1/3 cup

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Cinnamon Powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – as needed

Butter – 2 tbsp

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Method:

  • Boil onion and tomato in hot water and strain the water. When it comes to room temperature, blend them into fine paste© TraditionallyModernFood
  • Add butter to the pan. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the blended tomato and onion puree and cook for 3-5 minutes

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  • Add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and allow it to cook for 2-3mins

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  • Add the Tofu and salt. Saute well for 2-3 minutes

© TraditionallyModernFood

  • Add cinnamon powder and milk and let it cook for 3-5 minutes

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My Notes:

  • Instead of milk, you can add 3 tbsp of fresh cream
  • If you are using a cinnamon stick, add it while tempering
  • This gravy goes well with any variety rice like fried rice/ pulao as well as with naan/rotis
  • I boiled the onions and blended them, as it will save time while cooking blended onion. Instead, you can also sauté the onions
  • For vegan version, instead of butter, you can add oil and use coconut milk to try Tofu Butter Masala:-)

Brussel Sprouts Masala

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Two years back, I had brussel sprouts for the first time. One of my friends invited us for dinner, and she prepared an amazing south indian spread. When I saw brussel sprouts, I told my friend that I have never seen small cabbage like this. She told its called ‘Brussel sprouts’. She had prepared them with cumin and pepper powder. I loved it.  That week when we went to buy veggies, I was searching for this and got a pack.  Knowing all its healthy benefits Started cooking them regularly, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber – so many good things about this vegetable. This version goes well with both rice and Chappati.

Brussel Sprouts Masala:

Preparation Time : 10 min | Cooking Time : 20 – 25 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Brussel Sprouts – 1 lb

Onion – 1 big, finely chopped

Tomato – 2

Ginger garlic paste- 1 tsp

Garam Masala powder- 1 tsp

Smabar powder /Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (I used sambar powder)

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Oil – 1 tsp

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Method:

  • Wash and remove a layer of leaves from the top and slit the sprouts, without cutting fully

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  • Add oil to the pan, when the oil is hot add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add onions and saute till onions are cooked, and then add tomato
  • After onions and tomato are cooked, add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder and allow it to cook for 2-3mins

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  • Add the Brussel sprouts and Sauté well, and add required salt. Sprinkle some water and cover it with a lid and cook

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  •  Cook till Brussels sprouts are cooked well and Masala is well coated

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My Notes:

  • This dish goes well with plain/ variety rice  as well as with chappati
  • Instead of dry Masala, you can add water/ yogurt/ milk/fresh cream and make a gravy
  • Can add 1 tsp of tamrind pulp to make a tangy masala

Kadai Tofu

Though I love paneer, I am afraid of the calories it adds. Happy that Tofu can satisfy my taste buds in the same way as paneer.

Tofu is similar to paneer except that it is made with soy milk, which is said to be protein rich and low in cholesterol when compared to paneer. I have followed the traditional kadai paneer recipe, but  replaced paneer with Tofu.

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Kadai Tofu:

Preparation Time : 10 min | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Firm Tofu – 1 packet (225 gram)

Green Bell Pepper – 2 medium size, diced

Onion-1 diced

Tomatoes – 3 finely chopped

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Coriander seeds – 2 tsp

Red chilli – 3 (use according to desired spice level)

Garam masala – 1/4 tsp

Fennel seed powder – 1/4 tsp

Cinnamon powder -1/8 tsp

Oil- 1 tsp

Asafoetida – a pinch

Salt as needed

Method:

  • Dry roast 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp of coriander seed and 1/2 tsp of cumin seed and red chilli. Blend into coarse powder

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  • Drain the water out of the tofu, pat it dry with a paper towel and keep aside
  • Add oil to the pan. Once the oil is hot, add 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp of cumin seeds, fennel seed powder and cinnamon and let it splutter. Add tomatoes and sauté till it becomes mushy. Add bell pepper, onion, and stir fry. Add salt, the ground coarse powder and  garam masala,  and saute for 5 minutes

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  • Add tofu and gently mix. Cook for 5 minutes

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My Notes:

  • Instead of directly adding can roast tofu in oil and add them
  • Can follow the same procedure and cook paneer

Potato Tikka

When we were in London, one of our friends invited us for lunch, and prepared potato tikka. Till then, when I have potato, I always prepared dry curry or put it in some gravy, but never tried potato tikka. Now I started preparing potato tikka regularly, sometimes as a starter and sometimes as a side dish.

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Potato Tikka:

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Marination time : 2 hours | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Appetizer

Ingredients:

Potato – 1 cup + 1/2 cup (Baby potatoes preferable. As I didn’t have them handy, I used diced

potato)

Hung Curd/Sour Cream– 3 tbsp (I used Sour cream)

Pepper Powder/Chilli powder- 1/8 tsp (I used pepper powder)

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Garam Masala powder – 1/2 tsp

Tandoori Masala  – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Chat Masala – 1/2 tsp

Lemon juice / Amchur Powder – 1/4 tsp (I used Amchur Powder)

Ginger garlic paste – 1/4 tsp

Oil – 1 tsp

How to make hung curd:

Hang 1/4 cup curd in a muslin cloth or any thin cloth for an hour to make the required hung curd.

Method:

  • Par boil potatoes (I microwaved potatoes for 5 mins) and mix the rest of ingredients and keep refrigerated for 2 hours (minimum an hour)

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  • Preheat the oven at 400 deg F and arrange the marinated potatoes in the baking tray and grill the potatoes for 15-18 mins, turning over the potatoes in between for even cooking

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My Notes:

  • If you are having as a starter, serve it with green chutney
  • Instead of oven you can even cook it in a skillet
  • If you are using wooden skewers, immerse them in cold water for 15 min to avoid browning

Checkout my other tikka recipe,

Tofu and Grape Tomato Tikka

Bread Upma

IMG_5108 Bread Upma is my all time favorite dish. I still remember my childhood days, whenever Amma buys a loaf of bread, she prepares bread butter jam, bread sandwich and bread upma. Amma’s Bread upma is simple and tastes yummy. To give a crispy texture to the bread I have baked the bread and added Checkout my other recipes using bread

Bread Upma: Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 10 mins | Baking time : 14 mins | Serves : 2 Recipe Category: Breakfast Ingredients: Bread – 8 slices (I used wheat bread) Onion – 1, finely chopped Tomato – 1, finely chopped Frozen Green Peas – 3 tbsp Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp Coriander Powder – 1 tsp Cumin Powder – 1/2 tsp Garam Masala – 1 tsp Sambar Powder – 1/8 tsp Curry leaves -few Salt -as needed Cooking spray / oil – to grease the baking tray (I used cooking spray) Oil – 1 tsp IMG_5107 Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree F, and place the bread in oven. Bake on both sides (around 7 minutes each and turning the bread in between) or until bread becomes crispy.  Turn off the oven and let the bread stays in the oven

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  • In a pan heat oil and when the oil becomes hot, add curry leaves and onion, saute till onion becomes translucent,  then add tomato and cook
  • Once onion and tomato are cooked, add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, sambar powder and garam masala and cook for 2-3 minutes

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  • Take the bread from the oven;cut into pieces

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  • Add the bread pieces to the masala, gently mix until the masala coats well.  Serve hot to enjoy the crispy bread upma

IMG_5106 My Notes:

  • Baking bread is optional. You can even toast/ grill the bread
  • Baked Bread upma tastes great if served immediately
  • You can use plain bread and make upma  avoiding baking
  • Ginger garlic paste can be added
  • Usually i temper the upma with mustard seeds and channa dal,  missed doing that, while taking the picture
  • You can bake the bread and keep it in the turned off oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour and  quickly saute the bread with the masala before serving. By doing this way Bread upma will be crsipy instead of soggy texture