Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Vendakkai Thengai Puli Kuzhambu

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When I was in college my Amma was out of station and my neighbour aunt offered to give lunch for me. First I told her I will cook, but Aunty convinced me and gave this kuzhambu and potato fry for lunch. While eating I realized its different from Amma’s kuzhambu. Amma doesn’t add onions in vendakkai kuzhambu, also there is no grinding step. I got so addicted to Aunty’s preparation, till my marriage whenever she prepares this kuzhambu in home, she sends me some. My Amma learnt this recipe and started cooking at home for me, also she wrote this recipe in a notebook for my reference.

Ingredients:

Ladies Finger – 10 – 12 (depending on the size of ladies finger)

Onion – 1, chopped

Tomato – 1, chopped

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1sprigg

To grind:

Coconut grated –  1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped

Tomato – 2 tbsp, chopped

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Method:

  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till they become mushy
  • Add ladies finger and sauté till they are cooked
  • Add sambar powder and cook for a minute
  • ladiesfingervethakuzhambuAdd the tamrind juice, 1 cup  + 1/2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off

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  • Grind the items listed under “to grind” with little water. Add the grind paste and jaggery; cook for 4 – 6 minutes and switch off

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  • Serve with rice and poriyal / chips

Checkout my other rice Accompaniments,

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My Notes:

  • Brinjal can be used instead of ladies finger
  • Adjust the Kuzhambu consistency according to your desire
  • Jaggery was not in the original recipe, but I added as I got use to the jaggery flavor in puli kuzhambu
  • Though onions and tomatoes are added raw, they won’t have raw taste in Kuzhambu as they are boiled

Brinjal Rice – Vangi Bath

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When it comes to brinjal i have many favorites  like Gotsu, brinjal rice and stuffed brinjal, Enna Kathirikai Kuzhambu, Sutta kathirikai Chutney. Brinjal rice is great for lunch box. As a kid, this Brinjal Rice with carrot raita and fryoms was one of my favorite options. Even if you are not a big fan of eggplant, cant say no to brinjal rice. The powder we add is flavorful and makes the rice extra special.

Brinjal Rice

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 3

Category:Entree

Ingredients :

Rice – 1 cup (I used regular rice but basmati rice can also used)

Brinjal – 2 cups, diced

Sesame Oil – 2 tsp

Salt – as needed

Turmeric powder – a generous pinch

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Peanut – 1/4 cup

Vangi Bath Powder:

Channa Dal  – 1 tbsp

Coriander seed – 1 tbsp

Dry Red Chilli – 3 (According to your spice level) Sesame seeds – 1/4 tsp

Peanuts – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp

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Method:

  • Cook rice with 1:2 water for 2 whistles, and after the steam is naturally released, spread the rice in a wide pan
  • Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under “Vangi Bath Powder’ till they are golden brown. Switch off and set aside. Once they come to room temperature grind it without adding water

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  • Add 1 tsp  of oil to the pan and saute the brinjal with salt until the brinjal get cooked. Keep the cooked brinjal aside
  • Add 1/2 tsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves and peanut till they become golden brown, and keep aside

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  • Add the tempered ingredients, 1 tsp of oil and vangi bath Powder to the pan containing rice and mix gently. Check for the seasoning and add salt if required. Serve the vangi bath with any raita/fryoms

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My Notes:

Same recipe can be used to prepare bell pepper rice

Bruschetta

Bruschetta is one of our favorite Italian starters. Whenever we visit Italian restaurants, Bruschetta is our default order. Some dishes are easy to cook and have minimal ingredients – bruschetta is one among them. Image Bruschetta: Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Serves: 2 Recipe Category: Appetizers & Snacks

Ingredients: 

Garlic Bread – 7 slices

Garlic – 2 pods, Finely Minced

Red Grape Tomatoes- 1 pint, Halved Lengthwise

Dry basil – 1 tsp (Fresh basil is preferred. Since I didn’t  have them, I used dry basil)

Salt – as needed

Italian Seasoning – 1/2 tsp (Optional)

Olive oil – 1/2 tsp

Method:

  • Add olive oil to the skillet, over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir for about a minute. When garlic becomes golden brown, switch off the stove. Add tomato, salt and basil, give a gentle mix.  Transfer into a mixing bowl and allow to cool. Cover and refrigerate for an hour or two, if possible

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  • Before serving, give the tomato mixture a final stir, and spoon generously over the slices of Garlic bread

Image   Image My Notes:

  • I have used Grape tomatoes. You can also use chopped regular tomatoes/cherry tomatoes
  • I have tossed the tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes can be used as well

I tried this with French bread. It can be made with any other bread.

Channa Masala – Easy Chole Masala Recipe (Pressure Cooker Method)

Channa masala is one of the most common side dishes at home for chappati. It tastes great with batura, but the oil factor in batura is scary! Luckily, it also tastes good with chapatti. There are many ways to prepare channa masala. My Amma usually cooks channa separately, prepares masala and adds the channa to it, along with ground coconut and fried gram. When we were in UK, I didn’t have blender initially, so I opted for this direct pressure cooker method. Since it is easy and simple, till date I am following this method.

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Preparation Time : 10 min | Soaking Time : 4 hours | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Channa/Chickpea  – 1 cup

Onion – 1  roughly chopped

Tomato – 1 roughly chopped

Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Channa Masala powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Amchur powder/Lemon juice/Curd – 1/4 tsp

Garam masala powder – 1/4 tsp

Cardamom pods – 2

Cinnamon – 1/8 stick

Cloves – 2

Bay leaves – 1

Fennel seeds – 1/8 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

Salt – as needed

Method:

  • Blend raw onion and tomato into a coarse paste and keep it aside
  • Put a pressure cooker on the stove and add oil, whole spices and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the onion and tomato paste and saute till raw smell goes. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, channa masala powder, turmeric powder and amchur powder. Allow it to cook for  2 to 3 mins

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  • Add the soaked Chickpea and mix well. Add required salt and 3/4 cup  of water and cover the cooker

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  • Switch off after 3 whistles. Once steam releases, open the cooker lid and garnish with onion/lemon. Channa Masala is ready to be served with batura/roti/poori

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My Notes:

  • I soaked Channa in hot water for 4 hours. You can either follow this procedure or soak it in normal water for 7-8 hours
  • I directly cooked this gravy in cooker, instead you can also cook channa and  masala separately, and finally add cooked channa to the masala
  • After adding channa you can even add coconut (2 tbsp) and fried gram (3tsp) paste

Vegetable Salna

I like vegetable salna with parotta, but almost all of the restaurants I visit offer vegetable kurma and raita as side dish for parotta. Recently when we went to have dinner in a restaurant, I saw parotta and vegetable Salna in the menu card. I was excited that I finally found it, and ordered without a second thought. One thing I noticed is the predominant coconut flavour in the Salna. It was also pretty oily. I altered mixed vegetable kurma recipe from mom’s cookbook to make vegetable salna.

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Vegetable Salna:

Preparation Time: 15 mins | Cooking Time : 25 mins | Serves: 2

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Cut Vegetables (I used carrot,beans, potato,cauliflower) – 1 cup

Onion –1 finely chopped

Tomato – 1 roughly chopped

Cinnamon Stick – around 2 inch

Fennel seeds powder- 1/2 tsp

Mint leaves – handful (Around 10)

Coriander leaves – handful

Coconut Oil – 2 tsp

Salt  – to taste

To grind:

Onion – 1, diced

Tomato – 2

Ginger – 1/4 tsp, peeled and chopped

Garlic – 4 cloves

Cashewnuts – 3

Fried Gram (Pottukadalai) – 1/2 tsp

Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp

Poppy seeds – 1/4 tsp

Red chilli – 2

Peppercorns – 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Cardamom – 2 pods

Cloves – 2 nos

Oil – 1 tsp

Method:

  • Add oil to the pan and in a medium flame, saute the  ingredients listed under ‘to  grind’ (including the masala powders, except coconut and fried gram). Once tomato shrinks, add coconut and saute for 2 mins. Switch off and cool down. Once it comes to room temperature, transfer the roasted ingredients to a mixer, add little water and grind to coarse paste. Set aside

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  • Add coconut oil to the pressure cooker. Saute onion, tomato, curry leaves, cinnamon and fennel seed powder. Saute the ingredients till the tomatoes become mushy. Add the vegetables and saute for a min. Add the masala paste and salt and mix well

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  • Add 1 cup of  water and pressure cook for 1 whistle. After the steam is released, Garnish with coriander leaves

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Bagel Pizza

When we visited my brother-in-law’s place, my co-sis prepared Bagel for breakfast, that was the first time I had bagel. I liked that, and decided I should prepare bagel for breakfast. Being Pizza lovers, tried Bagel pizzas.

Bagel Pizza:

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

Recipe Category: Breakfast

Ingredients:

Bagels – 2

Prego Tomato Onion Basil Pasta Sauce / pizza sauce – 1/4 cup

Grated Cheese-  3 tbsp (I used cheddar and mozzarella)

Olives – 4 tsp

Onion –  4 tsp

Yellow bell pepper – 4 tsp

Mushroom – 4 tsp

Salt as needed

Italian seasoning / pepper powder – 1/4 tsp (I used Italian seasoning)

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  • Spread Pizza sauce (I used Prego Italian Sauce) onto both halves of the bagel. Add a layer of finely chopped onions, mushroom, bell pepper and olives. Sprinkle required salt and italian seasoning. Top with cheese

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  • Bake pizzas for 8-10 minutes 

ImageMy Notes:

  • MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: Top each bagel half with sauce and veggies. Place on microwave-safe plate lined with paper towel. Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Top each with cheese. Microwave on HIGH for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes or until cheese is melted and sandwich is hot
  • Instead of bagel, use Bread and enjoy Bread Pizza:)

 

Black Bean Gravy

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Now a days Mexican cuisine has became one of our favorites. After having many Mexican dishes, I liked black bean and  knowing its health benefits, I wanted to try an Indian gravy with black bean. This  black bean gravy tastes amazing and goes well with roti, rice, bread, burrito, quesadilla.

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Black Bean Gravy:

Preparation Time : 10 min | Soaking Time : 4 hours | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Black bean – 1 cup + 1/2 cup

Onion – 1  finely chopped

Tomato – 1 finely chopped

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Channa Masala – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Amchur powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Garam masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves – 1/8 cup roughly chopped

Cardamom pods – 2

Cinnamon – 1/8 stick

Cloves – 1

Bay leaves – 1

Fennel seeds – 1/8 tsp

Oil – 1 tbsp

Salt – as needed

Method:

  •  Put a pressure cooker on the stove and add oil, whole spices and ginger garlic paste, saute for 30 seconds. Add onion and saute till onion is cooked, and then add tomato
  • Once onion and tomato are cooked, add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, channa masala, turmeric powder and amchur powder. Allow it to cook for 3  to 5 mins

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  • Add the soaked black bean and mix well. Add required salt and 1 cup + 1/2 cup of water and cover the cooker. SwitcH off after 3 whistles. Once steam releases, open the cooker lid and garnish with coriander leaves. Black bean gravy is ready to be served.

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My Notes:

  • I soaked black bean in hot water for 4 hours. You can either follow this procedure or soak it in normal water for 7-8 hours
  • I directly cooked this gravy in cooker, instead you can also cook black bean and  masala separately, and finally add black bean to the cooked masala (same procedure can be followed for cooking rajma / channa / moong bean or any dal)
  • Since bean is directly cooked in gravy, add same quantity of water as bean to maintain gravy consistency

Asparagus Masala – Indian Style

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I have always heard Asparagus is very good for health, but whenever I see Asparagus in the stores, I used to wonder what can we make from it. I bought a stack of Asparagus one day, with the idea of making a oven-toasted salad with Asparagus and Grape tomatoes. As I used the Grape tomatoes for some other purpose, I got an idea to use the Asparagus to satisfy my Indian palette. I am glad I was able to use this healthy vegetable by making a subzi instead.

Asparagus Masala – Indian Style:

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 20 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients:

Asparagus- 1 stack (around 25 sticks)

Milk – 1/3 cup

Onion – 1 big size, finely chopped

Tomato – 2 Finely chopped

Jeera – 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp

Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1 tsp

Pav bhaji masala – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Garam masala powder – 1 tsp

Coriander leaves – 2 tsp (chopped finely)

Oil – 1 tbsp

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Wash the Asparagus and break the white/hard ends and discard. In white hard  side bend the asparagus
  • Cook asparagus separately (I microwaved it for 6 min and strained the water)

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  • Add oil to the pan. Add jeera after the oil becomes little hot and let it crackle. Add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds. Add onions and sauté till onions are cooked, and then add tomato
  • After tomato is cooked, add garam masala, coriander powder, cumin powder, pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder and allow it to cook for 3-5mins Image
  • Add the boiled asparagus and cook for 2 minuyes. Ad ond 1/4 cup water(adjust according to the thickness of the gravy) and mix well. Add required salt, allow it to boil and simmer for 5 mins

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  • Add milk and cook for 5-7 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and switch off

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  • Asparagus Masala is ready to be served!

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My Notes:

  • I didn’t have fresh cream so used milk. If you have fresh/ heavy cream, add 3 tbsp of fresh cream instead of milk
  • This gravy goes well with any variety rice like fried rice/ pulao as well as with naan/rotis