Thursday, November 30, 2006

Raw banana black bean curry

Raw banana is a commonly used vegetable in Indian cooking. You can either fry them into bajjis or make the South Indian version of kootu. Raw banana fry tastes yummy with rice and rasam/sambar. I added black beans to make it more nutritious. You can add any variety of beans you have on hand especially black-eyed beans. So, here is the recipe.

Ingredients 3 medium raw bananas
1 onion
1 cup black beans (canned)
A pinch of turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp channa dal
Curry leaves for seasoning
Salt to taste
2-3 tsps of oil
Fresh coriander for seasoning

Method1. Peel the skin from the raw banana, quarter them and cut into small pieces.
2. Chop the onion.
3. Rinse the canned beans.
4. Pour oil in a pan and add the mustard. Once it splutters add the channa dal and curry leaves.
5. Next sauté the onions and garlic paste.
6. Add the chopped raw banana, turmeric, red chilli powder and salt. If required, sprinkle a little water and cook covered till the banana becomes tender.
7. Add the canned beans and sauté.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander.
Raw banana and black bean curry
Serve with rice and dal/sambar.

Serving size - 1/2 cup
Number of servings - 4 to 6

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

.....And now it's Spinach Roti

I had some left over dough after making the green puris. So, tried making rotis today. And they taste very good. The ingredients are the same, just roll them out into rotis. If you want to skip the oil while making rotis, simply make phulkas.
Spinach Rotis

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Green Puris

Green Puris - yes they are made with spinach. Eat spinach in any form and they are good for you. So, when Pooja from Creative Pooja announced that the vegetable of the week is spinach I decided that I will send her a recipe this time. This was so much of a coincidence that I was talking to my mom last week and she gave me the recipe for spinach puris. So, here goes the recipe. Sure, you will turn green with envy :)

2 cups wheat flour (atta)
1 cup thawed chopped frozen spinach (or 2 cups fresh spinach)
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 to 2 tsps oil for the dough
Salt to taste
Oil for frying the puris

Method1. Blanch the frozen thawed spinach in hot water for 5 minutes. If you do not have time to thaw the spinach, you can put it in the microwave for about 2 minutes. You still need to blanch it as it removes the raw smell from the spinach. Drain and set aside to cool.
2. Once cooled, blend to a fine paste. Add very little water.
3. Mix the wheat flour, red chilli powder, coriander powder, yogurt, milk and salt. Slowly add the spinach mixture and knead into dough. Do check the consistency of the dough. Do not make it too soft as you would not be able to roll out the puris. Set the dough aside for at least one hour before making the puris.
Dough mixed with pureed spinach and spices
4. Heat oil in a pan. Make small balls of the puri dough, roll out and fry the puris.

Green Puris
Serve hot with a spicy side dish.
Recipe courtesy: Shanthi Krishnan

Monday, November 27, 2006

Kadai Cauliflower

Looks like I am running a series on Kadai veggies. Earlier, it was Kadai Paneer and now it is Kadai Cauliflower. Could not resist trying out this recipe. It came out really delicious and so I decided to share it through my blog. No complicated procedures - this recipe is very easy to make and tastes equally good.

1 medium cauliflower separated into florets
1 medium green bell pepper chopped lengthwise (you can use any color bell pepper you have on hand)
1 medium onion sliced
1/2 cup crushed tomato
2 green chillies slit
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2-3 tbsp of oil
Salt to taste
1 tsp. coriander leaves for garnish

Chopped veggies
For the masala paste
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
2 tbsp of thick curd
2 tsps of sour cream
A pinch of asafoetida

Method1. Put the ingredients listed under masala paste in a bowl and blend with a whisk or spoon. Add a few drops of water if you find it is too thick. Set aside.

Masala paste
2. Boil a big pot of water and blanch the cauliflower in it for about 4 to 5 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
3. Pour oil in a pan and sauté the green chillies and set aside.
4. In the same pan add the bell peppers and blanched cauliflower and sauté till the veggies become soft. Set aside on a paper towel.
5. Next add the cumin seeds to the pan. Once they splutter add the onion and ginger garlic paste and sauté till the onions become soft.
6. Add the crushed tomato and the masala paste and sauté till the oil comes out.
7. Add salt and transfer the veggies and mix till everything is blended.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander and the reserved green chillies.

Kadai Cauliflower
Serve with roti or pulao.

Serving size - 1/2 cup
Number of servings - 4

Friday, November 24, 2006

Hyderabadi Mirchi ka Salan

This is an authentic recipe for Mirchi ka Salan. I got it from a family friend in Hyderabad many years ago. I had noted it in one of my diaries and came across it recently. So, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients8 or 10 medium sized green chillies (I used 4 big green chillies)
1 medium sized onion
1 tsp sesame seeds (white thil)
1/4 cup coconut flakes/desiccated coconut/copra
2 tsps coriander seeds (dhania)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
1/4 cup peanuts
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 cup fresh yogurt
1 tsp sour cream
1 tsp tamarind paste/pulp (I use Laxmi brand natural tamarind concentrate)
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish
Oil for making the curry

Method1. Dry roast the sesame seeds, peanuts, coriander seeds and cumin seeds - one at a time in a pan.
2. Sauté the onion in 1 tsp of oil until transparent.
3. Make a paste of the sesame seeds, peanuts, coriander and cumin seeds along with the sautéed onions and coconut.
4. Slit the green chillies and sauté them in a little oil and set aside. You can remove the seeds from the chillies to reduce the heat. I used big green chillies, so I just chopped them into big pieces.
5. Set the chillies aside and in the same pan add some oil and sauté the ground masala paste along with the ginger garlic paste and tamarind concentrate for about 3-4 minutes.
6. Next add the yogurt, sour cream and salt and mix well till the yogurt is incorporated in the masala.
7. Add water to reach the desired consistency. Make sure you boil the masala well after adding water.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Serve hot or warm with roti, naan or pulao.

Serving size - 1/3 cup
Number of servings - 4 or 5
Recipe courtesy: Sameena's mom

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Quick Pav Bhaji masala

As a kid, I spent most of my summer vacations in Mumbai (then Bombay) at my grandparents’ house. I have great memories of the holidays, especially food. A trip to Mumbai would mean eating bhel puri, vada pav and pav bhaji from the roadside vendor. Much to the dislike of my grandma and her lectures on cleanliness, we would sneak around and make sure we ate them. Now, of course we make them at home. Here is my recipe for a quick and easy pav bhaji masala. It's simple as you need only two basic veggies and healthy as it is served with 7-grain bread. You can try out wheat bagels, hearth breads, all grain breads and buns - whichever you like.

Ingredients3 medium sized potatoes
2 medium onions chopped for the gravy
1 medium onion (very finely chopped for garnish)
1 cup of green peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup of crushed tomato
1 tsp of tomato paste
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of coriander powder
1 tsp of cumin powder
2 tsp of pav bhaji masala (any brand)
1 tsp of red chilli powder
2 tsps of lime juice
Salt to taste
2-3 tsps of oil
A pat of butter
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method1. Boil the potatoes. I usually microwave the potatoes. To microwave, I wash them and wrap them in plastic wrap. And they come out perfect every time.
2. Once cooled peel off the skin and mash the potatoes and set aside.
3. Pour the oil and add the butter in a pan and fry the onions until transparent.
4. Add the ginger garlic paste and sauté.
5. Next add the green peas and cook till soft.
6. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, pav bhaji masala and red chilli powder and sauté till the raw smell of the tomato and masala disappears.
7. Then add the mashed potatoes and salt. Add water if you feel the masala is too thick.
8. Once it boils switch off the stove and add the lime juice.
9. Garnish with coriander.
10. Serve the finely chopped onions on the side. Before serving, add ½ tsp of red chilli powder to the onions and mix well.
Optional: Apply butter on both sides and toast the bread before you serve.

Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings - 6

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Rajma Masala

Tastes great with roti or naan. I follow an easy method to make Rajma. Instead of grinding the masala I use store bought Rajma masala in the recipe. No one will be able to make out the difference and all you need is just a few ingredients. Here goes the recipe.

1 15 ounce can of kidney beans
1 medium onion
1 cup of crushed tomato
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
2 tsps of lime juice
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1 tsp of rajma masala (substitute with garam masala powder if you do not have this on hand)
Salt to taste
2-3 tsps of oil
A pat of butter
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method1. Chop the onions finely.
2. Pour the oil in a pan. Add the butter.
3. Sauté the onions and ginger garlic paste.
4. Add the tomatoes and cook till the raw smell disappears.
5. Add the red chilli powder and rajma masala and mix till they blend with the tomatoes.
6. Open the can of red kidney beans, drain the beans and rinse in water.
7. Add to the onion-tomato mix.
8. Add salt. At this stage you can add some water if you think the gravy is too thick.
9. Simmer till it reaches the desired consistency.
10. Switch off the stove and add the lime juice and fresh coriander.

Serving size - 1/2 cup
Number of servings - 4

Monday, November 20, 2006

Methi Mattar Curry

The more the merrier! I made this curry during the weekend and was planning to post the recipe during the week. But I saw Seema's version of Methi Mattar Malai at Recipe Junction and decided to go ahead and post my recipe too. I have adapted this recipe from Tarla Dalal's original recipe published in her book Rotis and Subzis. Of course, as usual I found some shortcuts and came up with an easy-to-make recipe.

Methi is truly a tastemaker. Complement it with any vegetable or gravy and it heightens the flavor in any recipe. The same goes with Kasoori Methi - the dried version of fenugreek or methi leaves. A dash of Kasoori Methi goes a long way in enriching the flavor of any gravy. So, go ahead and treat your taste buds with this wonderful green veggie.

1 cup chopped frozen methi leaves (check the freezer section in the Indian grocery store)
1 medium onion chopped
1 cup crushed tomato
1/2 cup frozen green peas
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 cup of half and half
2-3 tbps of oil
Salt to taste

For the paste (wet)
1 medium onion
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 tbps cashew nuts
1 tsp khus-khus (poppy seeds)

For the dry masala
2 small sticks of cinnamon
4 cloves
A pinch of cardamom powder
3-4 peppercorns
1 tsp cumin seeds

1. Put the frozen methi in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2-3 minutes or until defrosted.
2. Pour oil in a pan and season with jeera, add the defrosted methi leaves and sauté for 5-6 minutes or until soft and set aside.

3. Make a paste of all the ingredients listed for the wet masala.
4. Slightly roast the ingredients for the dry masala (except the cardamom powder) and make a powder.
5. Fry the onion and once it turns transparent add the peas and sauté until soft.
6. Add the wet masala and sauté for 2-3 minutes or until the raw smell disappears.
7. Next add the tomato puree and dry masala and sauté.

8. Add the methi leaves and half and half.
9. Add salt to taste and mix till everything is blended well.

Serve hot with naan, roti or pulao.

Serving size - 1/2 cup
Number of servings - 3 to 4

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Veggie Quesadilla

Here is a healthy and yummy recipe for quesadilla. You can add any combination of veggies or spice it up anyway you like. It's up to your imagination. Also you can use any variety of tortilla and there are so many available in the grocery store. You can get spinach, sun dried tomatoes, whole wheat, whole grain, flour - practically any flavor you want.

You can add diced tomatoes to the quesadilla but sometimes it makes it soggy. So, I skipped it in my recipe. Choose any color or a combo of bell peppers and it still tastes good. This is my version.
Ingredients 4 low carb whole wheat tortillas (or any variety you like)
1 red onion
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1/2 cup of canned black beans
1 medium green bell pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
1 tsp cumin powder
1 cup Mexican four cheese blend
Oil for sautéing

Method1. Dice the red onion and green bell pepper.
2. Pour oil in a pan and sauté the red onion.
3. Then add the green bell pepper and corn and sauté for 4-5 minutes. You can leave a little crunch in the bell pepper.

4. Add the black beans and mix well.
5. Add the paprika, red chilli powder, cumin powder. Mix well and salt and set aside.
6. To assemble the quesadilla, warm up two tortillas to begin with.

7. Place one tortilla and spread out the veggie filling as show below.

8. Next sprinkle as much or as little cheese as you like on top of the veggies.
9. Place the second tortilla on this and warm up both the sides. Take care while turning the tortilla.
10. Once the tortilla becomes a little hard and the cheese melts remove and set aside. Usually this takes 1-2 minutes.
11. Use a pizza cutter to cut the quesadilla into four pieces.
Serve with a dollop of sour cream (optional) or some guacamole.

Serving size - 2 slices
Number of servings - 3 or 4

Name confusion

Hi food bloggers

There seems to be some confusion with my name. I have been posting comments as Lakshmi Krishnan and it is misunderstood as a comment from Lakshmi from Flavors of Indian Rasoi. I am relatively new to the world of food blogging, so decided that I should not confuse the existing bloggers who have known Lakshmi of Flavors of Indian Rasoi for quite a while now.

So, I will now be posting my comments as Lakshmik instead of Lakshmi Krishnan. Also there was a comment that our blogs look similar. So, I have made a few changes to the current blog. I have retained the template as I simply love the layout.

Happy blogging!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Kaju Pakoda - Hyderabadi style

I came across this recipe on Lavanya's food blog - Hyderabadi Kitchen. I love kaju pakoda and it's my childhood favorite. We always get them from Pulla Reddy Sweets in India. I could not wait to try it out. So here is the Kaju Pakoda hot off the stove. Check out the recipe at Hyderabadi Kitchen.

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Stuffed baby brinjal curry

Okay. Here it is. My version of stuffed brinjal curry. This is adapted from my friend Anu's recipe for brinjal curry. We were discussing one day on how to make stuffed brinjal and she came up with this recipe. The entire credit for this recipe goes to her. It's so easy to make and I thought I should surely share this one. You can make this curry with a few ingredients right from your pantry. It's as simple as that.

I wanted to post this recipe a little later but as I was mentioning to Tweety of Fitful Culinaria, it's a pure coincidence that we ended up working with the same veggies. Even the pictures we click tend to be similar. So, I decided to post the recipe rightaway. As Tweety rightly mentioned in her blog - "there are as many versions to this dish as there are cooks". Check out Tweety's version of stuffed brinjal. I also have a zucchini curry recipe that looks so similar to Tweety's recipe. Will post the recipe soon.

Ingredients8 or 10 baby brinjals
2 onions
1 tsp of ginger garlic paste
1 tsp of coriander seeds
1 small piece of cinnamon
2-3 cloves
4-5 red chillies (adjust according to taste)
1 medium tomato
A pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
Fresh coriander for garnish
Oil for frying

Method1. Wash the brinjals and set aside to dry.

2. Blend the onions, ginger garlic paste, coriander seeds, cinnamon, cloves, red chillies, tomato and turmeric in a mixer. Do not add water. A neat trick for this is to add the tomato into the blender first and then the remaining ingredients.

3. Add salt to this puree. This is the only time you get to season the curry with salt.
4. Cut the brinjals into four - go down all the way to the stem of the brinjal.
5. Fill the paste into the brinjal.

6. Pour oil in a shallow pan and arrange the brinjals.
7. If you have any excess paste remaining after stuffing the brinjals add it to the pan.

8. Add the sugar to the pan.
9. Cover the pan and cook for about 8-10 minutes. The brinjals will become soft during this process.
10. Remove the lid and cook till the brinjal skin is charred on all sides.
11. Garnish with coriander.

Serving size - 2 or 3 brinjals with some gravy
Number of servings - 4 to 5
Recipe courtesy: Annapurna

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Sautéed Spinach

Simple, delicious and nutritious this spinach curry can be made in less than 10 minutes. The light hint of garlic in the background along with the onions makes this recipe a winner.

Ingredients1 10 oz box of frozen chopped spinach
1 medium onion chopped finely
3-4 broken red chillies (or green chillies)
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of jeera
Salt to taste
2 tsps of oil

Method1. Pour oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
2. Once they splutter add the jeera.
3. Add the onions and fry until transparent.
4. Next add the red chillies and the garlic paste and sauté.
5. Defrost the frozen spinach in the microwave and add to the onion mix.
6. Add salt and cook covered for about 5 minutes or until the water dries out.

Serve with rice or roti.

Serving size - 1/2 cup
Number of servings - 4

Kadai Paneer

This is an easy recipe for Kadai Paneer. Tastes just like the one you get in restaurants. The recipe is adapted from Tarla Dalal's cookbook.

Ingredients1/2 pound of paneer
2 onions chopped lengthwise
1 green bell pepper chopped lengthwise
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp kasuri methi
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup of half and half
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Fresh coriander for garnish

Method1. Chop the paneer lengthwise.

2. Sauté in a little oil until browned on all sides.
3. Keep a bowl of warm water ready. Once the paneer pieces are browned drop them in the warm water and leave them for 30 seconds. Remove and drain on a paper towel. This step is to keep the paneer soft as it tends to get tough when sautéed in oil.
4. Pour oil in a pan and add the onions. Fry till the onions become transparent.
5. Add the green bell pepper and sauté. Don't cook it till very soft.
6. Add the crushed tomatoes, coriander-cumin powder, garam masala powder, chilli powder, ginger garlic paste kasuri methi and mix till the raw smell of the masala disappears.
7. Add the paneer, half and half and salt and mix well.
8. Garnish with fresh coriander.

Tastes good with roti, naan or pulao.

Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings - 6

Monday, November 13, 2006

Trail Mix - Go nuts!

I am always looking out for healthier versions and options for food especially snacks. As this is where we tend to eat more junk food. Apart from being a great snack substitute, nuts offer many advantages. They are good for your heart and they have monounsaturated fat that's good for you. Click here to read more about how a handful of nuts can make a difference to your diet.

For this trail mix I used cashews, slivered almonds, dried blackberries and raisins. You can add any variety of nuts or dry fruits like dried apricots, dried bananas, whole almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts - take a peek into the world of nuts and let your imagination run wild. I get my supply of nuts and dried fruits from Trader Joes, except for raisins (as I like the taste of Sunmaid Raisins). So, here goes the recipe.

Ingredients(I am not mentioning the quantities as you can add them as much or as little as you like).
Unsalted dry toasted slivered almonds
Roasted and unsalted whole cashews
Dried blueberries
Sunmaid raisins

Method1. Put all the nuts and dried fruits in a bowl and mix well.
2. Measure 1/2 cup of the nuts and transfer to snack bags.

Ensure that you only use unsalted nuts for the trail mix as it is always advisable to have less sodium in your diet.

Store the nuts in a cool place. Do not put in the refrigerator as they lose all their crunch.

Serving size - 1/2 cup

Simple peas pulao

This recipe is very easy to make. No masalas or complicated procedures involved. Serve this rice with dal or a spicy side dish and enjoy.

Ingredients1 cup basmati rice
1/2 cup frozen green peas
2 cloves
1 small piece of cinnamon
1 or 2 bay leaves
2 tsps jeera
3-4 green chillies
1 tsp ghee
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Method1. Soak the basmati rice in water for atleast 15 minutes. This makes the rice soft and fluffy when cooked.
2. Pour oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or a non-stick pot (it should be able to hold 1 cup of rice when cooked) and saute the jeera, cloves, cinnamon and green chillies.
3. Add the peas and saute till tender.
4. Drain the water from the rice completely and add to the pot.
5. Add the ghee and saute till the rice is slightly toasted.
6. Add the water (2 cups of water to 1 cup of rice) and salt and let it boil. Do not cover with a lid.

7. In about 7-8 minutes the rice will absorb all the liquid and you will see a few bubbles on the top. At this stage, reduce the flame to low and cover with a lid for 10 minutes. Switch off the stove after 10 minutes. Let is rest for a couple of minutes after that.
8. Carefully mix with a slotted spoon and serve.

Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings 4

Friday, November 10, 2006

Baby potatoes in red gravy

Baby potatoes are such a versatile vegetable and you can do wonders with it. Steam it, peel off the skin and add a few seasonings and it tastes great with sambar or rasam. Or just use it in gravy and you can eat it with roti or pulao. I have been looking for a recipe for baby potatoes in gravy for quite some time now. The last time I tried it, it did not taste all that good. The spices were too much in the recipe I followed. The recipe I am posting today is adapted from Tarla Dalal's recipe book. I made a few changes and ended up with the recipe just the way I like it. You can also check out how Indira makes Aloo Dum.

8 or 10 baby potatoes (preferably uniform size)
1/2 onion finely chopped
1/2 cup crushed tomato
1/2 fresh yogurt
3-4 tbps of oil
1/4 tsp of tomato paste
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander for garnish

Make a paste2 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
5 to 6 black peppercorns
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp jeera
1 tsp poppy seeds (khus-khus)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp chilli powder (adjust according to taste)
1/2 onion chopped
5-6 cashew nuts
A pinch of cardamom (elaichi powder)

Method1. Cook the baby potatoes in a big pot of water. Use a fork to check whether they are tender. Drain, cool and peel off the skin. (I avoid the pressure cooker as the potatoes become way too soft) 

2. Grind the paste (ingredients mentioned above).
3. Prick the potatoes all over using a fork.
4. Pour oil in a pan and sauté (not deep fry) the potatoes until golden brown.

5. Take out and place on a paper towel to drain off any excess oil.
6. In the same pan, add the chopped onions and sauté till transparent.
7. Next add the ginger garlic paste and crushed tomatoes and mix till they blend with the onions.
8. Add the ground paste, tomato paste and cook till the raw smell disappears and add the yogurt. The tomato paste adds a nice color to the gravy.
9. Let it boil for around 5 minutes and then add the baby potatoes.
10. Mix well and garnish with fresh coriander.

Serving size – 3 or 4 potatoes with some gravy
Number of servings - 2 to 3

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Dal and White Rice - the anytime comfort food

Whatever may be the comfort food for the rest of the world, for people from India dal and rice is what is comfort food and takes you down memory lane. Have it for lunch or dinner, dal and white rice is what I call the ultimate comfort food. Here goes the recipe for dal.

Ingredients1 cup thuvar dal
1 medium size onion
1 medium size tomato
1 tsp garlic paste
3-4 red chillies depending on taste
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp jeera
A few curry leaves
1/2 tsp of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil for seasoning
Corainder for garnish
Method1. Pressure cook the dal. Use 2 cups of water for 1 cup of dal.
2. Pour oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the jeera, red chillies and curry leaves.
3. Next add the onions and fry till they become transparent.
4. Add the garlic paste.
5. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till it becomes soft and well blended with the onion and garlic.
6. Mash the cooked dal with the back of the spoon and add to the onion-tomato mix.
7. Add salt to taste and mix well.
8. You can alter the consistency of the dal by adding a little water.
9. Garnish with fresh chopped coriander.

Serving size - 1 cup
Number of servings 4 to 6

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Potatoes in red bell pepper gravy

Easy to make and extremely delicious, this potato curry in red bell pepper gravy is truly a crowd pleaser. Try it at your next lunch or dinner party and you are sure get rave reviews from your guests.

Ingredients2 large red bell peppers
1 medium potato
3 large cloves peeled garlic
2 medium hot green chilli peppers
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbps of coriander/cumin powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp black mustard
1/4 tsp asafoetida
2-3 tbsps vegetable/olive oil
1 tsp sugar (optional)
Salt to taste
Chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method1. Peel off the skin from the potato and cut into bite-size cubes.
2. Pour oil in a pan and and saute the potates until they turn lightly brown.

3. Chop the red bell pepper into squares.
4. Transfer the bell pepper pieces into a blender; add the chilli peppers, garlic cloves, coriander and cumin powder and turmeric powder.
5. Add 1/4 cup of water and grind to a fine paste.
6. Heat oil in a medium non-stick pan and add the mustard and asafoetida.
7. Once the mustard pops add the bell pepper puree, simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
8. Add lemon juice, sugar and salt.

9. Add the cubed potatoes and mix till they are well blended.
10. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Serving size – ½ cup
Number of servings - 4
Recipe courtesy: Gowri

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Indian Chex Mix

Mixture is a popular Indian snack that is usally savoured during tea time and coffee breaks. But the traditional method is a time-consuming process that also adds on a lot of calories to your diet. I was visiting my favorite aunt, Suguna, and she offered me this delicious mixture that she made with a combination of boxed cereals. That's when I figured out that this is a healthier and easier option to make our Indian mixture with a few store bought ingredients. You don't even have to switch on the stove except for the seasoning part. This can also work as a low sodium option because we do not add any salt (other than what's found on the package). It also doubles up as a snack for kids - just tone down the red chillies during the seasoning part. Here it goes:

CerealsRice crispies - 1/2 pound
Kix - 1/2 pound
Cheerios (plain) - 1/2 pound
Cornflakes (plain) - 1/2 pound
Corn squares - 1/2 pound
Note: You can add any cereal of your choice. Make sure you avoid the sweeter ones.
One small packet of Indian mixture - any brand and any combination. I used the Madras Mix from the Indian store.
One small packet of thin sev
1/2 pound of unsalted peanuts
1/2 pound of unsalted cashewnuts

(Here again you can add nuts of your choice preferably unsalted ones)
A few curry leaves for seasoning
2 tsps of mustard seeds
A few red chillies for seasoning
1/2 tsp of asafoetida
1 tsp of canola or vegetable oil

Method1. Put all the cereals in a big bowl.
2. Add the Indian mixture and sev.
3. Add all the nuts.
4. Mix until all the ingredients are incorporated well.
5. Pour oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.
6. Once the mustard splutters add the broken red chillies and curry leaves and top it off with asafoetida.
7. Mix well and store in an airtight container.
8. You can also measure half a cup of the mixture, put them in snack bags and have them ready to be picked up.

Serving size - 1/2 cupRecipe courtesy: Suguna Laxminarayan.