Archive for the 'Curries' Category

04
Mar
12

Mirchi Ka Salan- Dish to Salam



Mirchi mean chillies in Indian language and Salan means curry spiced with all ingredients.

Mirchi Ka Salan is a famous Hyderabadi dish accompanied along with Biryini’s, roties , naan’s and other  India flat breads.

Mirchi ka salan is peanut sesame based creamy curry with a nice kick of spice from Mirchi’s. I have tweaked this recipe to my and families taste. Also i’m not a big fan of deep fries so I shallow my chilies and drop them in the salan at the end. I use Anaheim or banana peppers for this dish.

Ingredients

10 chilli peppers (Anaheim/Banana) (wash, deseed and cut into 1/2). Heat 1/4thcup of oil and shallow fry the chillies and keep a side.
1 medium size onion finely chopped or grated 1-2 tbsp tamarind paste
Salt to taste
Dry roast all the ingredients below and grind them into fine paste adding little water.1/4th cup peanuts
1 tbsp dhaniya ( Coriander Seeds)
1 cinnamon stick
2-3 whole red chillies ( depending on taste)
1/4th  cup sesame seeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp Jeera ( Cumin Seeds) 1/4th cup fresh/frozen (defrosted) coconut.

Seasoning

1 tbsp oil (peanut/vegetable)
1-2 whole red chillies
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp kalanoji seeds/  onions seeds (optional)
Curry leaves
1/2 tsp ginger garlic paste

Procedure

Heat oil in a pan add seasoning and allow the mustard seeds to splutter , add curry leaves, ginger garlic paste and chopped onions, cook till onions are soft and golden brown. Add turmeric and ground paste and cook for 10-12 mins on medium heat or till you see the paste coming toghter/ leaving the sides of the pan. Now add tamarind paste, salt, 1/2 cup water and bring to light boil. Now add the fried chilles and cook on medium heat for another 7-10 mins gently stirring in between.

Serve it with your favorite roti/naan/briyini.

Tips

You can substitute mirchi with green peppers.

06
Mar
09

Cabbage Pappu Koora- Cabbage with Lentils

Cabbage Pesarapappu Pappu Koora
dsc_01331

Summer has already started in India and temperatures are hitting triple digits in Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. You get to make lots of pickles and papad’s around this time and you also get to enjoy all those juicy mangoes, melons and all other seasonal fruits. When you go to farmers market ( AKA Raitu Baazar) early in the morning , you get really good farm fresh veggies right from the fields. But the variety is limited during summer. Besides root vegetables, cabbage, tindora, eggplant and few varieties of gourds and leafy vegetables are available all year around.

Pulses/Lentils are the best alternative. They are consumed to a great extent in summer. Lentils and veggies combination are very popular in southern part of India. Different varieties include pappu, pulusu, pachadi, podi and pappu korra. Often lentils are mixed with cabbage, tindora, beans, cluster beans and leafy vegetables.  Its been more than 2 week, my fridge is almost empty with left with small piece of cabbage , cauliflower and some carrots. I need something for dinner and also for next day’s lunch, I couldn’t think of anything other this dish, fried some perugu merapakaya’s( got from India) and  served pickle, rasam and yogurt.

Ingredients:
2 cups/ One cabbage 1 medium
1/2 cup Pesara pappu or Mung dal

For Popu/Seasoning
1-2 tsp cooking oil (veg/peanut)
1/2 tsp urad dal
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1 Whole red chilli (broken into pieces)
Pinch of hing
Few curry leaves
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a small pan add urad dal and red chilli, add cumin seeds once the dal starts turning in brown. Allow the cumin seeds to crackle. Add hing curry leaves , remove from heat and keep aside.

Procedure:-

Soak pesarappu for 15-20 mins. Chop, clean and rinse cabbage , keep aside. In a deep heavy bottom saucepan  rinse soaked dal and add to the sauce pan with 1/4th-1/2 cup water and chopped cabbage, cover the lid , close the steam vent and turn on the stove to medium low, keep stirring occasionally, do  not over mix. This will make the dal to break it will turn into pappu instead of dry pappu koora. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until cabbage and dal are cooked, sprinkle some water if the dal is sticking to the bottom of the pan. I like my cabbage little crunchy, I turn off the heat little early. Now add the salt and stir in the fried seasoning. Mix gently until everything is incorporated.

dsc_01441

At my place pappu koora is usually served with pulusu(stew), avakaya/pachadi (pickle) and vadiyalu (papadams) along with yogurt.

Notes and tips:

Cabbage contatins natural juices adding salt at starting will not only delay the dal from cooking also is it will the cabbage mushy and will start smelling.  You can pressure cook dal and cabbage separately for 1-2 whistles. I prefer doing it on stove top for dry version.

21
Dec
07

Gobi Manchurian

dsc03345.jpgCauliflower Fritters in spicy sweet and sour sauce
Fusion cooking is one of my favorite. Playing around with traditional and non tradition ingredients is really fun. I love Indo-Chinese dishes, it’s really easy to cook and tastes simply superb spiced up with Indian seasonings and Chinese cooking style. Gobi Manchurian falls into this category. A delicious blend of Indo- Chinese cooking, which has been Indianized by local folks to satisfy the taste buds of desi’s who crave for something spicy which serves as an appetizer and also a side dish. These kinds of dishes are found only in Indian restaurants.

Ingredients

To make cauliflower fritters
1 small Cauliflower (Gobi)
1 cup Maida (All purpose flour)
1/3 rd cup Corn Flour
salt to taste
Red chilli powder (according to taste)
water to make batter
2 cups oil for deep frying

For sauce
1 tbsp peanut oil
1 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp Ginger, finely chopped
2-3 green chilles finely chopped
2 tbsp Sweet & Sour Ketchup (Maggie or knoor)
1/2 tbsp green chilli sauce (optional)
2 tbsp Soy sauce
1/4 tsp Ajinamoto (MSG) (optional)
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp sugar
3 green onions/spring onions (finely chopped both white and green)
1 tbsp corn flour (mixed in little cold water)

Procedure

To make Cauliflower Fritters
Pluck the florets from the Cauliflower and cut them into bite size pieces.
Take a blow and mix all the dry ingredients (maida, corn flour, salt and chilli powder) slowly add water to make a batter for cauliflower fitters (similar to bajji batter).
Heat oil in a deep pan or kadai , dip the cauliflower pieces in the batter completely and fry them until light brown, remove and drain the excess oil on a paper towel.
To prepare Sauce
Heat, 1 tablespoon of oil in a skillet or wok, add chopped garlic, ginger, spring onions (white) and green chillies and fry them until they start to turn brown. Add the remaining ingredients listed below sauce except for corn flour mix and cook for 2-3 minutes. Now add the corn flour and mix well (without lumps). Add fried cauliflower fitters and mix well.
Garnish it with reserved spring onions.

Serve the gobi manchurian hot with your choice of meal. I made it wet to go along with fried rice.

For dry version
Skip adding corn flour and add capsicum and onions for crunch.

dsc03344.jpg

Notes and Tips

Depending upon how hot you like it, you can add/reduce the pieces of green chillies and white pepper. Adjust the amount of ginger and garlic according to your taste, Depending on how dry/wet you like your manchurian, you need to reduce/add the ketchup, Soy sauce and cornflour mix. For a little kick you can add 1 tsp of ginger green chilli paste to the batter before adding cauliflower .

10
Dec
07

Potato fry

dsc_0177.jpg

Potatoes come to rescue me all the time, when an unexpected guest knocks the door or a last minute dish is required or it can be a simple meal; they are always in hand. When required to turn out a good tasty but quick meal, my cooking goes something like this. Rice, Dal and potatoes go into the rice cooker. I wait for the cooker to cool down and spice up the potatoes with a simple fry, dal turns into rasam and voila there is a full meal on my table.

These pan fired potatoes are crispy outside and soft inside, spiced with salt and chilli powder. I made this with mudda pappu and tomato rasam.

Ingredients

5 medium potatoes (white)
Chilli powder according to taste
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

Procedure

Clean, cut potatoes in half and pressure cook until done (for 2-3 whistles). Cool and peel the skin. Dice and keep aside. Heat oil in a non stick skillet, on medium high, add diced potatoes and reduce the heat to medium low. Gently keep stirring in the middle so that all sides are browned evenly. Do not over mix. Once the potatoes are golden brown and crisp add salt and cook for 3-5 minutes. Now reduce the heat to low, stir in the chilli powder and drizzle little oil (1/2 tsp) and mix well. Turn of the heat and shift into serving bowl.

Serve as a side dish with rice or just enjoy as an appetizer.

Notes and tips.

To cook potatoes on stove top, bring a big pot of water to boil add the potatoes and cook until done. Do not over cook the potatoes. Potatoes will break a part and dish will turn mushy.


30
Nov
07

Chole Batura/Bhature

Spicy Chickpeas with Deep fried bread

dsc03376.jpg

Winter has knocked the doors, with shorter days and longer nights. Last week it was cold, gloomy, dark and raining. Even though it was thanks giving weekend my husband was working from home. After eating rice for two days continuously we were desperately craving from something spicy and hot. What else could be more comforting than “Chole Batura” which also happens to be one of our favorites.

Chole – Spicy curried garbanzo beans/chickpeas
Batura/Bhature- deep fried crispy yet soft bread made out of white flour

Generally chole is served along with batura/ bathure ,  is a mouthwatering dish originated from Punjab. Chole batura is also a popular street food snack in Northern part of India. Traditionally leveling agents like soda, yogurt and yeast are used in preparing batura dough and fermented for hours (4-6 hrs) and deep fried, which sometimes consumes lots of oil while frying. I was searching for an oil free batura recipe, I googled and found one on Tarla dalal’s website. I have been making it since then. Chole is also known as Channa Masala. Puri/Poori and Chole/Channa masala is another popular combination.

Ingredients for chole /channa masala

1 cup Chole /chickpeaks/garbanzo beans
(Wash and soak chole overnight. Pressure cook with little salt and water for 15 – 20 minutes. Do not over cook.)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 tbs ginger-garlic paste (fresh/ store bought)
2 Green Chillies finely chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 medium tomato finely chopped
1 small stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Chilli powder
2 tsp Channa/ chole Masala
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil

Procedure

Heat oil in a heavy and deep skillet on medium flame. Add cinnamon stick, cumin seeds and allow it to splutter. Now add chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies and sauté till the onions turn soft and golden brown. Add turmeric, chilli powder and channa masala powder sauté for couple of more minutes. Now add chopped tomatoes and tomato puree and sauté till the oil starts to separates and tomatoes becomes soft and mushy. Drain the excess water from the cooked beans add it to the skillet with salt and 1 cup water and mix well. Turn the heat to low and cover the lid. Let the mixture cook slowly on low heat for 20 minutes so that masala can blend well. Keep stirring in the middle. Add the chopped coriander leaves, stir well and turn off the heat. Reserve few coriander leaves and chopped onion for garnish.

new-1.jpg

Ingredients for Batura/Bhature

1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
1 cup potato, boiled and grated (1 large potato)
2 tsp oil (optional)
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying (1 ½ to 2 cups)
¼ cup plain flour for dusting

Procedure

Sieve flour and salt into a bowl, add grated potato, oil and knead into firm dough without using any water. Knead the dough very well till it is smooth and pliable. Cover with a wet muslin cloth and rest the dough for 10 minutes. Divide the dough into equal parts and roll out into circles. Mean while heat oil in a deep pan or skillet, fry batura’s one at a time till the baturas puff up and both sides are golden brown. Drain excess oil on paper towel and keep warm while you fry the remaining.

Serve hot with the chole, sliced onion and lemon wedges.

Notes and Tips

You can use canned garbanzo beans to avoid soaking and cooking. Drain all the liquids, rinse thoroughly and use the beans. You can use canned tomatoes/puree to substitute fresh tomatoes and you can use garam masala instead of channa masala or both. For thick gravy mash few cooked beans while simmering. You can serve chole with puri, naan, roti, paratha, kulcha or even with rice. Actually I was in a hurry so just too couple of pictures before everything gone. I will update it with better one’s soon. 🙂

Hop to Asha’s blog for more chole and Batura 🙂

20
Oct
07

Arati Puvvu Koora

Happy Dussehra to all of you

Banana Flower Curry

ap_h.jpg

Growing up with a banana plant in the backyard makes me feel it as a common vegetable. Every year my dad used to plant at least 2-3 plants. We had all kinds of dishes made out of bananas, right from savories to deserts. Once the plant grows the first thing you notice is the flower pod, which may also be called banana blossom or banana heart ( Arati Puvvu in Telugu), grows on the end of the stem holding a cluster of bananas. Tender banana flowers are harvested and are relished in different ways either cooked or raw. Banana flower is considered as a delicacy by many South Indians.

ap.jpgThe flower pod is in deep cherry red color. It has layers of tightly packed flaps or bracts that wrap around rows of thin stemmed flowers, which are pale cream colored and has a grayish black stigma popping out. These male flowers are used in the cooking.

One thing for sure, cooking with banana flower starts with a very laborious cleaning process. Any well formed stigma that is hard has to be removed from each flower. Also there is a wafer thin covering around the flower, which is hard to cook and hence needs to be removed.

This is my mom’s recipe which is one of my favorites.

Ingredients

1 banana flower (medium)ap_l.jpg
1 red onion
1 medium tomato
2-3 green chilies
½- 1 tbsp tamarind paste/ pulp
½ tbsp jaggery (optional)
1/4th tsp turmeric
1 tsp minced ginger
Salt to taste

For seasoning
2 tbsp oil
2 dry red chilies (broken)
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp mustard seeds
A pinch of asafetida
Curry leaves (fistful)

Cleaning
As you remove each flap from the pod, it exposes a row of florets that look like a comb. Separate the cluster. Each flower instig_h.jpg the cluster will contain one hard and long stigma and a transparent covering. Discard the stigma and the transparent covering, leaving the other part of the flower. As you go down the pod, the stigma will no longer be hard and thick. You will also notice that the transparent covering is not more visible. When you reach this stage, you do not need to separate them anymore. Repeat the procedure until the layers of the pod can no longer be separated easily. You will see a pale creamy colored pod which looks like a conch. It has a slight bitter taste can be eaten raw or in salads. You can also add it to the dish, finely chopping then along with the florets. Now chop all the cleaned florets and immerse them in a big bowl of cold water. Clean them thoroughly at least 4 – 5 times. Using a drainer, drain the water, rest them for 10 mins. Now gently press and squeeze all the excess water from the chopped florets and keep aside.

Procedure

Heat the skillet/pan on medium heat along with oil. Add red chillies, urad dal, channa dal and fry them until starts changing the color (light golden brown). Now add cumin, mustard seeds, hing and allow then to pop. Add curry leaves, green chillies, onions and sauté until the onion changes to transparent color. Now add turmeric, chopped tomatoes, tamarind pulp, and jaggery and cook until the tomatoes becomes soft and mushy. Now stir in chopped banana florets and mix well. Turn the heat to medium-low, put the lid and cook. Keep stirring in the middle gently. Add salt mix well and cook for another 10 minutes or until done. Do not over mix it as it will break the florets and dish will become mushy. The moisture from tomatoes and banana florets are sufficient for them to cook.

apk.jpg

Serve it as a side dish along with hot rice and ghee (clarified butter).

Notes and Tips

It is advisable to apply little oil to your palms while separating the florets. The pod oozes sticky sap which is very tough to remove from your hands and clothes. Most often, this vegetable is available in Asian or tropical food markets and Indian stores.

13
Jul
07

Munaga kaaya or Munaga kaara Tomato kura

Drumstick curry with tomato gravy.

Update: This vegetable is being promoted by The Himalayan Universe. They are promoting munaga kaya for its miraculous properties to eliminate malnutrition among poor children.

dsc04450.jpgMunaga kaaya or Munaga kaara is popularly known as Drumsticks all over India, the reason they got the name from the fact that they do resemble the musical drumsticks. The drumstick tree is often referred as horseradish tree and the botanical name is Moringa oleifera.

Drumsticks are widely used in Indian cooking, especially in South India. The drumsticks are green skinned, tough, grows 1-2 feet long, and is a sticklike vegetable, which is surprisingly soft and fleshy inside. The opaque white flesh, surround the seeds ( shaped like a pea), covered in layers of skins, is sweetish and nutty, fragrant, and tasty to eat, when cooked.

Also the leaves are used a lot in Indian cooking which is highly nutritious, contains good source of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, protein, iron and potassium. Often these leaves are cooked with lentils and potatoes, used as a substitute for fresh spinach.
In some places even the flowers are used in cooking. This tree is a good source for calcium and phosphorus.

Drumsticks tomato curry is a simple sweet, tangy and spicy gravy curry, cooked with onions, tomatoes, minimal spices (like chilli powder and turmeric) and aromatic curry leaves .Sweet and creamy flesh drumsticks absorb all the flavors of tomatoes, onions and spices all the way when cooked has an irresistible taste and satisfies everyone’s taste which can served with rice and roties (Indian bread). Drumstick sambar (lentil stew) is a popular dish all over India.

Ingredients

Fresh tender drumsticks (4-5)
1 onion finely chopped
2-3 green chillies (chopped)
3-4 tomatoes chopped
1 twig of curry leaves
Fistful of coriander leaves (chopped)
Red chilli powder (accord to taste)
1/4th tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1-2 cups water

Seasoning
1 red chilis broken into pieces
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of hing
2 tbsp cooking oil

Procedure

Cut drumsticks into 1″-1 ½ ” long pieces. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add the seasoning ingredients and sauté allow mustard seeds to splutter, put the curry leaves, chopped onions and chillies, turmeric and sauté till onions turn translucent. Now add red chilli powder, chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes become soft and mushy (it takes around 5-6 minutes). Add salt, drumsticks and 1-1 ½ cup water, cover the pan and allow it to cook on a low flame. Keep stirring in between till done (its takes 20-25 minutes). Add water if needed and adjust the seasoning. Cook for couple more minutes, turn off the heat garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or choice of meal.

dsc04459.jpg

Notes and Tips

Do not over cook the drumsticks, don’t stir too much as the drumsticks will fall apart. You can slightly scrape the ridges (with peeler) if you want. The gravy should not be runny or thick. You can add little yogurt or cream at the end if you like. You can also add garlic. You can also use frozen drumsticks for this curry but the fresh tastes really good.

Other related dishes:-

Avial

Mukkala Pulusu or Dappalam