Saturday, April 2, 2011

Spinach channa masala

    My daughter enjoys chickpeas and I always try to be creative with them. The curry I made today goes really well with roti.

Serves up to 3-4 people
Preparation time: 60 minutes


1 cup of chickpeas (channa)
1 bunch of spinach
1 large tomato
6 cloves of garlic
1 stick of cinnamon
1/4 tsp of turmeric
2 tsp of red chilly powder
1 tsp of dhal makhani powder
2 tbsp of heavy cream
pinch of dried fenugreek leaves
1 tbsp of butter
salt as required


1.Soak chickpeas overnight and pressure cook chickpeas with 2 1/2 cups of water. 
2.Heat butter in the skillet and add cinnamon  stick. Saute till nice aroma comes, then add garlic. Saute for 2 minutes.
3.Chop the tomatoes and add them. Saute till they wilt and then add turmeric, red chilly powder and salt. 
4.Then add the chopped spinach and allow to cook. Close the lid for 10 minutes and then add chickpeas.
5.Add dhal makhani powder and allow it to cook in a medium flame for about 20 minutes. 
6.When the gravy starts to thicken add heavy cream and dried fenugreek leaves. Bring it to boil. Serve with rice/ roti.

Paneer-capsicum stir fry

    This stir-fry is a great evening snack. It can be done quickly (less than 15 minutes) and is a healthy snack for kids. Green chilly can be avoided if necessary and thus reducing the spice level.

Serves up to 2 people
Preparation time: 10 minutes


100 grams of paneer
1 capsicum (green bell pepper)
2 tsp of oil
1 green chilly
1 tsp of chaat powder
2 tsp of lemon juice*
salt as required


1.Cut paneer and capsicum in to small squares. Heat oil in the pan, stir fry paneer and salt for 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
2.Add oil to the pan, add green chilly, salt and capsicum. Saute well in high flame till they turn golden brown.
3.Add paneer and switch off the flame. Add chaat powder and lemon juice and saute well.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Baby corn Manchurian

    Baby corn is very common in Asian cuisine. They are usually available fresh or in  canned form. It retains the tender and crispy texture even after cooking which makes it a choicest vegetables in several dishes.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Serves up to 2 people


3 tbsp of all-purpose flour (maida)
10 pieces of baby corn
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1/2 tsp of corn starch
1/2 tsp of sesame
1/2 tsp of vinegar
1 tbsp of tomato ketchup
1 1/2 tsp of dark soy
1 tbsp of green chilly sauce
oil as required.


1.Wash baby corn well and smear with all-purpose flour. Heat oil in the skillet and fry the baby corn till they turn golden brown.
2.Heat 1 tbsp of oil and add sesame seeds. Then add the ketchup and keep stirring for a minute. Now add the corn starch and add 1 tbsp of water.
3.Keep stirring till the raw smell disappears and add vinegar, green chilly sauce and dark soy. Stir well till they thicken. 
4.Now add the fried baby corn and mix well. Baby corn Manchurian is ready.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Swiss chard dhal /keerai kootu

 Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K and C. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein. I love the taste of Swiss chard, even if it is stir-fry.

Serves up to 3 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes


1 bunch of swiss chard
1/2 cup of toor dhal
2 tbsp of Bengal gram dhal
1/4 tsp of turmeric
2-3 cloves of garlic
3 dried red chillies (~spice level)
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
2 tsp of oil
salt as required


1.Pressure cook both the dhals along with turmeric and 2 1/2 cups of water. Fine chop the greens (swiss chard) and remove the stem. 
2.Heat oil in the pan, add cumin seeds. As the cumin sputters, add chopped garlic. Saute for a minute then add the greens. Saute well for 5-10 minutes. The flavor of the garlic infuses in to the greens.
3.When the greens are wilted add the broken red chillies, cooked dhal and salt. Close the lid for another 5 minutes. 
4.Swiss chard dhal is ready. Serve with rice/ roti.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tomato dosai

     Dosai is a staple of the south Indian cuisine. So needless to say, after a while, I was planning to improvise this dish. Recently my mom told me that she made this tomato dosai which came out really well. For the last two days, I was looking for an opportunity to experiment this and when my son asked me to make dosai with chutney, I knew exactly what would make him happy. I soaked the ingredients in the morning and prepared it for dinner.


1 cup of parboiled rice
1 cup of raw rice
1/2 cup of urad dhal
1 tsp of fenugreek
2 big tomatoes3-4 green chillies                       
1 large onion
oil as required
salt as required


1/2 tsp of mustard
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds


1.Soak both the rice, urad dhal and fenugreek in water for 6 hours. Grind them in to a smooth paste. Towards the end add 2 tomatoes and grind them with 1/2 cup of water.
2.The batter consistency should not be too thin nor too thick. Add salt and mix well. Set aside for 2 hours.
3.Heat oil in the pan and add the seasoning. once the mustard sputters, add to the batter. Mix them. Heat the tawa, add 1 ladle full of batter and pour on the tawa. Use the bottom of the ladle to make a thin layer of dosai. Sprinkle finely 1 tsp of chopped onion and about 1 green chilly on the dosai. As it turns golden brown, using spatula turn to the other side. Wait for 2 minutes. Tomato dosai is ready. Serve with chutney.
 *I tried the batter with seasoning alone for the kids..they loved it!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Avarai kai porial/ Broad beans curry

   As a kid, I always hated avarai kai and beetroot. But when I found fresh avarai kai in the Indian store, I was really tempted to make avarai kai porial due to nostalgia. When I cooked this vegetable with toor dhal, it brings out good flavor and fine taste to avarai. 

Serves up to 2-3 people
Preparation time: 30 minutes


300 grams of Avarai kai/ Broad beans 
1 small onion
1 tbsp of grated ginger
1 tsp of red chilly powder
1 tbsp of coriander powder
2 tbsp of cooked toor dhal
5 curry leaves
1/2 tbsp of oil
salt as required


1/4 tsp of mustard
1/4 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of Bengal gram dhal


1.Pressure cook toor dhal separately with water. As the dhal is cooking, heat oil in the pan and add the seasoning. 
2.As the mustard sputters, add chopped onions. Saute for 2 minutes and chop avarai like beans. Add avarai to the pan and saute well for 5 minutes.
3.Then add the spices(turmeric, red chilly powder, coriander powder and salt). Add 1/2 cup of water and close the lid. Allow it to cook well. 
4.Add the ginger, cooked dhal and curry leaves and saute for 5 more minutes. Avarai porial is ready, serve with rice.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Brussels sprouts stir-fry

   I started experimenting with Brussels sprouts recently and my friend shared this recipe. This stir-fry is very easy to make and a great low-calorie diet.

Serves up to 4 people
Preparation time: 20 minutes


500 grams of Brussels sprouts
1 chopped onion
6 cloves of garlic
4-5 green chillies 
pinch of cumin powder
1/2 tsp of Bengal gram dhal
1/4 tsp of mustard
1 tbsp of olive oil
salt as required 


1.Cut the Brussels sprouts in to 4 pieces. Cut the stem-off from the bottom of the vegetable.
2.Heat oil in the pan and add mustard, Bengal gram dhal. As the mustard sputters add the onions, whole garlic cloves and finely chopped green chillies. Saute for 2-3 minutes.
3.Now add the Brussels sprouts and saute well. Close with the lid and stir occasionally. Do not add any water.
4.As the sprouts are roasted, the dish is ready. Serve with spicy dhal and rice.


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