Saturday, December 17, 2011

Stuffed Eggplant/ Guthi Vankaya Kura/ Stuffed Brinjal

  Guthi vankaya is an Andhra (a state in India) delicacy and it available in several restaurants in the United States as well. The flavors from the spices get nicely marinated in the eggplant and leaves a lingering taste and a craving for more. For my friends who do not like eggplant, you can substitute the eggplants with other vegetables like bitter gourd (Karela), Tindora etc.

Serves up to 3 people
Preparation time: 45 minutes


10 small eggplant (Indian brinjal)
1 1/2 tsp of red chilly powder(~spice level)
1 tsp of garam masala
2 finely chopped onions
2 finely chopped tomatoes
oil as required
salt as required

Dry powder:

1 tbsp of poppy seeds
1 tbsp of coriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of fennel seeds
2 tbsp of groundnut
2 tbsp of cashew nuts


1.Dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and poppy seeds together till they turn golden brown. Allow it to cool on a plate.

2.Dry roast cashew and groundnuts together till they turn golden brown and transfer to a plate. Grind them along with salt  in to a coarse powder. 
3.Mix them with red chilly powder and garam masala.


4.Slit crosswise in the bottom of eggplant and stuff them with the ground powder as required. Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, add the stuffed brinjal to the pan. Sprinkle the red chilly powder, garam masala and remaining ground powder on the top of the eggplant. 
5.Close the lid for 10 minutes and then turn the eggplants to the other side and allow them to cook. Add 1-2 tbsp of oil and allow the eggplants to get roasted and cooked.
6.In a separate pan, add 2 teaspoons of oil and add onion, saute till the onion becomes translucent. Add the the tomatoes, turmeric,1/2 tsp of red chilly powder and salt. Saute till the tomatoes turn mushy.

7.Transfer the onion and tomato paste to the brinjal and close the lid and allow them to cook in low flame.

8.Once the eggplants are cooked, stuffed brinjal is ready. Serve with dhal and rice.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Coriander Chutney/ Cilantro Chutney

 Coriander chutney is made in several ways across India. In south India it is used as an acompaniment for idly or dosai. In western India (a slight variation of this recipe), it is used for vada pav, chat items and other snacks. The fresh smell of the cilantro leaves gives a unique flavor to this dish which is relished by many across the globe. 

Preparation time: 10 minutes


1 bunch of coriander leaves
1 cup of coconut pieces
1 tbsp of urad dhal
1 tbsp of Bengal gram dhal
4 green chillies
cherry-sized tamarind
1 tsp of oil
salt as required 

1/2 tsp of mustard


1. Heat oil in the pan and add urad dhal and Bengal gram dhal. Saute in medium flame till it turns golden brown.Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool. Clean the coriander leaves and discard the stem.
 2.Grind the coconut, urad dhal, Bengal gram dhal, green chillies, tamarind, salt with very little water in to a coarse paste and thick consistency. Add the coriander leaves then grind them in to a smooth paste.
3.Add oil to the preheated pan, add the seasoning. Once the mustard sputters, add it to the coriander chutney.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Capsicum poricha kootu/ Capsicum kootu

     Capsicum lowers the blood pressure by breaking down cholesterol buildup. Kootu is good blend of vegetables and protein as it has higher lentil content than typical sambhar.

Serves up to 4 people
Preparation time:35 minutes


2 green bell pepper/ capsicum
1 chopped onion 
1 tsp of sambhar powder
1/2 cup of toor dhal
1/2 cup of bengal gram dhal 
1/4 tsp of turmeric
1/4 tsp of mustard
pinch of asafoetida
1/4 tsp of urad dhal 
1 tbsp of oil
salt as required

For grinding:

1 tsp of black pepper     
1 red chillies
1 tsp of cumin seeds 


1.Pressure cook toor dhal and Bengal gram dhal with 1/4 tsp of turmeric and 3 cups of water.
2.Grind the cumin seeds, black pepper and red chilly in to a coarse powder.
3. Heat oil in the pan and add mustard, urad dhal and asafoetida. As the mustard crackles, add onion and capsicum. Saute for 2 minutes.
4.Add sambhar powder and salt. Close the lid. Capsicum cooks very fast. So once the vegetable is soft, add the cooked dhal and ground powder. Stir well.
5.Cook for another 5 minutes. Capsicum poricha kootu is ready. Serve with rice and ghee.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ginger chutney/ Inji thogaiyal

   Ginger is one of the key ingredients in Indian cooking. It has several medicinal values - mainly aids in digestion and has a prominent place in Ayurvedic medicine.  In this recipe, I have made a chutney which can be used as a side for idly as well as rice.

3 tbsp of chopped ginger
2 coconut pieces
1/2 cup of urad dhal 
2 red dried chillies
raisin sized tamarind
pinch of asafoetida
1 tsp of oil
salt as required 


1. Heat oil in the pan and add urad dhal. Saute in medium flame, till it turns golden brown.Transfer to a plate and allow them to cool.
2.Grind the coconut, urad dhal, red chillies, tamarind, salt and ginger with very little water in to a little coarse paste and thick consistency.
3.Ginger chutney is ready. Serve with rice and little ghee/ sesame oil.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Snake gourd curry/puttu/podalangai porial

  Podalangai (snake gourd) is a tropical vine with a strikingly long fruit. The vegetable has a distinct mild flavor and can be made in several dishes. This is one of the common recipes of this vegetable in South Indian cuisine.

Serves up to 2 persons
Preparation time:15-20 minutes


1 snake gourd
2 tbsp of coarsely powdered roasted gram
5 pearl onions
2 red chillies

pinch of turmeric 
1/2 tsp of sambhar powder
1/4 tsp of mustard
1/4 tsp of urad dhal
8 curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp of oil
salt as required


1. Chop the snake gourd and onion in to small pieces.

2.In the preheated pan, add oil.  Once the oil is heated, add mustard and urad dhal, saute for a minute. Add curry leaves, as the mustard sputters add chopped onion. Saute for another minute.

2. Once the onion turns golden brown add the snake gourd, dried red chillies and salt. Saute well, then add the turmeric and sambhar powder along with 1/4 cup of water.

3.Close the lid. As the water evaporates, add roasted gram and 1 tsp of oil. Saute for 5 minutes in low flame.
4.Snake gourd puttu is ready.


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