Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kootu #3

And ta-da, another popular kootu. As you might have noticed, its really a very simple way to make a curry and is packed with vegetable and lentil goodness.

Kootu # 3

2 tbsp Bengal Gram/ Kadalai Paruppu
1/2 cup White Pumpkin, cubed
1/2 cup Yam, cubed
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp ground Pepper
Salt, to taste

3 tbsp Coconut
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Coconut
A pinch of sugar

Cook the bengal gram in a little bit of water and keep aside.

Cook the pumpkin and yam with turmeric, chilli powder, pepper and salt. Keep aside.

Grind together the coconut and cumin seeds. Keep aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut and saute until a brownish color. Add the ground coconut and cumin mixture and keep frying until brown. Now add the sugar and brown. Add the cooked bengal gram and vegetables and cook until you get a thick curry.

Serve warm with cooked rice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kootu # 2

Here we go with the next kootu in the series, called, very imaginatively....

Kootu # 2

2 tsp Urad Dal (split Black Gram)
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorn
2 Red Chillies
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4 cup Coconut
1/2 cup Moong Dal (split Green Gram), cooked
1/2 cup Vegetables, cooked with water (here I've used carrots and peas)

Pan fry the urad dal, peppercorn, red chillies, cumin, coriander seeds and coconut until golden brown. Add water and blend together in the blender. Add 1/2 tbsp moong dal and blend.

Cook the moong dal and veggies and mix together.

Heat some oil and add urad dal, cumin, curry leaves, asafoetida and red chillies. When golden brown, add to the cooked dal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Kootus are a form of south Indian curry. Usually had with rice and featuring vegetables and lentils cooked together. There are several ways to make kootus and any number of combinations of lentils and vegetables. Here, I'm going to give you a series of three popular kootus that we make at home.

When I was learning how to cook, my aunt gave me this simple recipe to make a basic kootu. Good vegetables to use for kootus are gourds, beans and peas.

Kootu # 1

1/2 cup Vegetables, chopped and cooked (here I've used snake gourd)
1/2 cup Moong dal, cooked
3 Green Chillies
1/2 tsp black Peppercorn
1/4 cup Coconut
2 sprigs Coriander Leaves, chopped

Cook the vegetables and dal together with some water.

Grind the rest of the ingredients and add to the cooked dal and vegetables.

Stay tuned for Kootu # 2 coming up soon...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spinach Chicken

A few years ago I was involved in a recipe chain letter. You know those chain letters that you mail to 5 people as well as the people who mailed it to you? Well, this was the fun version of that!

One person emails a recipe to 5 people and those 5 people each add a recipe and send it to 5 others including the ones who were originally on the list. At the end of it you get hundreds of recipes! It's pretty cool. So thank you Saima, whoever and wherever you are, for this lovely recipe.

Saag (Spinach) Chicken

3 pounds skinless Chicken pieces
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 large Onions, minced
2 large Tomatoes, crushed
1 inch piece Ginger, minced
4 tbsp Milk
4 bunches Spinach, washed and chopped
2 tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 large Cardamom pods
2 Cloves
7 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Salt

Fry the chicken lightly in 4 tbsp of oil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and set aside.

Put the spinach into a deep pan, add 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. When cool, grind in a blender and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and add ginger, garlic and onions. Saute until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, salt cayenne, coriander powder, turmeric, cloves and cardamom. Sprinkle with one tablespoon water. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Add chicken and milk. Simmer until the chicken is tender.

Add spinach and garam masala. Cook until spinach starts sticking to the pan. Remove from heat. Add butter and keep covered until ready to serve.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stuffed Pizza

I'm a thin-crust person. The thinner the better, as far as pizza is concerned. Never really been one for the chicago-style deep dish. I've enjoyed many a slice of the deep dish, but give me a thin crust any day.

But when I saw this post at King Arthur Flour, I just had to try it out. And KAF posts the best recipes ever! They are always spot on. So here goes. I didn't stick to the recipe, or the directions (truth is, I forgot a lot of the process), but this is such a forgiving recipe that it still came out just awesome! Please go try this at once!

Stuffed Pizza

There were 3 parts to this pizza in the original recipe - the dough, the sauce and the sausage. I only made the dough, the sauce was store bought and I made it vegetarian and left out the sausage. If you want to make the sauce and the sausage, check the original recipe.

The dough
(I halved the original recipe)

3 cups All-Purpose Flour
3/8 cup Semolina
7/8 tsp Instant Yeast
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 cup Oil
1 tbsp melted Butter

Mix all the above ingredients. Add about 3/4 to 1 cup of water and mix together to combine. When the dough becomes soft and supple, knead for about 10 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with a muslin cloth. Let rise for one hour.

After the initial rise, the recipe suggests to retard in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to develop the flavor. But with an enthusiastic daughter and a hungry family, that was just not possible, so we made it almost as soon as the rise was over.

Punch down the dough and divide the into 1/4 and 3/4 by weight. For me, the smaller piece weighed 8 oz and the larger 16 oz. I wasn't being too particular, as you can tell. Now roll out the larger piece quite thin - enough to fit the 9" round cake pan, with some overhang. Butter the pan and drizzle olive oil over the bottom. Its easiest to go away for 15 minutes and let the dough relax, but I forgot to do that too (or was it that I couldn't wait to get going on this!). So I rolled it out as thin as I could and put it in the pan.

Place the larger piece in the cake pan. Cover the bottom with sausage. I didn't use sausage, so I layered sauteed mushrooms at the bottom.

I topped that with sweet corn, and then thin strips of mozzarella.

I topped the cheese with caramelized onions.

You can use whatever layers you want - what do you usually like on your pizza?
Then cover the entire thing with the smaller piece of dough.

Bring the overhanging dough over and crimp the edges. Cover the whole thing with a muslin cloth and let it rest for 30 minutes. This is a good time to preheat the oven to 220 deg C. When you return, cover the top with a layer of tomato sauce (the original recipe tells you how to make your own) - I used store-bought Arrabiata.

On top of the tomato sauce, sprinkle some cheese - any hard cheese (I used Grana Padano, just because that happens to be my favorite cheese at the moment). You could use Parmesan, which is the traditional way to go.

Now bake the pie for 20-25 minutes until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.

Let the pie rest for 15 minutes.

Take it out of the pan, slice into it and taste a little piece of heaven!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pumpkin Pachadi

A lovely pumpkin curry with yogurt and spices. Sweet and spicy, this curry is great with rice.

Pumpkin Pachadi

2 pieces Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Coconut, shredded
3 Green Chillies
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 glass Buttermilk
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 Red Chilli, split
3-4 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Sugar

Cook the pumpkin with turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. Add the ground masala to the cooking pumpkin. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the buttermilk. Season with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilli and curry leaves.

Add sugar to the cooking pumpkin. Let it cook until the it becomes a thick curry.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kerala Egg Curry

Kerala Egg Curry

5 Pearl Onions
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 Cardamom
1 Clove
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
2 small Onions, chopped
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Potatoes, cooked
1 cup Peas, cooked
1/4 cup Coconut Milk
6 Eggs, hard boiled, sliced halfway

Grind the pearl onions, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, coriander powder, cardamom, clove and tomatoes. In a little oil, fry the bay leaves till brown. Add chopped onions, sugar and saute till onions become brown. Then add the ground paste, turmeric and salt. Keep stirring till it becomes dark. Now add the veggies. Add one cup of water and let it boil for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk and eggs.

Egg curry is wonderful with rice and rotis. Other egg curries in this blog: traditional egg curry, egg curry.