Sunday, 23 August 2015

Field Beans Subzi

This recipe using dry field beans is a traditional Maharashtrian recipe and is called "Vaal ki Usal". You can also use fresh field beans. The combination of kokum and jaggery gives this curry a sweet and tangy taste. If you dont have kokum, you can use tamarind. Serve this curry with rotis/phulkas.

Adapted from Tarla Dalal.

Ingredients :

1 cup dry field beans soaked overnight in water (vaal in hindi and mochai in tamil)
4 to 5 kokum (soaked in water)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch of asafoetida (hing)
10 to 12 curry leaves (kadi patta)
1 tsp grated ginger (adrak)
1 cup onions, finely chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tsp grated jaggery (gur)
1 tsp chilli powder
4 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
1 tsp oil

salt to taste

Method :

Pressure cook the field beans for 3 whistles or till it is soft.


Soak the kokums in 2 tablespoons of water and leave aside for 10 to 15 minutes. Purée the soaked kokums in a blender to get a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat the oil in a non-stick pan and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida, curry leaves and ginger and sauté for a few seconds.

Add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent.

Add turmeric powder and chilli powder and saute for a few minutes.

Add the kokum paste, jaggery and salt and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the vaal and 1 cup of water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves.

Udupi Style Sambar (Masali Kodhel)

Udupi Style Sambar called "Masali Kodhel" in Udupi is a preparation made of ground masalas, vegetables and dal. It is very similar to the "Arachivitta Sambar" made in Tamilnadu.  I have used Mangalore Cucumber or Mangalore Southekai which is mostly used in this style of Sambar. You can have this Sambar with steamed rice, idlis and dosas.

Ingredients :

1 medium sized Mangalore Cucumber (peel removed and cubed)
1 gooseberry sized tamarind (soaked in water)
1 tsp jaggery
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 cup cooked toor dal
1 teaspoon coconut oil
a few curry leaves

for the paste :

1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon urad dhal
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1/2 cup coconut
4-5 red chillies
10-12 curry leaves
1 teaspoon oil

Method :

Boil the mangalore cucumber in a cup of water and add the tamarind extract, jaggery and turmeric powder. Let it boil till the cucumber is cooked.

Heat oil in a small kadai and add the ingredients mentioned under "for the paste" except the coconut. When the urad dal turns light brown, add the coconut and fry for a few minutes. Switch off the gas and let the paste cool down.

Grind this to a fine paste in a blender/mixer.

Add this to the sambar with dal and bring to a boil.

Heat oil in a small pan and add curry leaves. Add this to the sambar. Serve sambar with steamed rice and papad.

Note :

You can use any vegetable like white pumpkin, beans, cabbage, carrot, onion and potato for this sambar.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Beetroot Saasmi

We always get this feeling that there is not much we can do with beetroot. Here is a very unique beetroot recipe from Udipi that uses mustard, coconut and yogurt and can be prepared pretty easily.

Recipe Source : Mother

Serves : 5

Prep time : 15 minutes 

Cooking time : 5 minutes

Ingredients :

250 grams beetroot (cubed and boiled)
2 red chillies
¼ cup coconut
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 cups curd/yogurt
Water (as required)
1 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
10-12 curry leaves

Method :

1. Grind the coconut, red chillies and mustard seeds in a blender and keep it aside.

2. Take yogurt/curd in a bowl, add salt and water based on your requirement and whisk thoroughly.

3. Add the yogurt mixture and coconut mixture to the beetroot and mix well.
Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and hing. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, add curry leaves.

4. Add this to the Saasmi and serve with steamed rice.

Note :

1.You can also make this with cucumber. You don't have to boil the cucumber.
2. You can add a gooseberry sized tamarind to the coconut, mustard paste while grinding instead of yogurt.
3. You can use grated beetroot instead of chopped beetroot.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mushroom Fried Rice

Fried rice is one dish which is easy to rustle up on a weekend and also everyone's favourite at home. I have already given the recipe for Vegetable Fried Rice and Capsicum Fried Rice. Mushroom Fried Rice is also very similar. 

Serves : 5

Prep time : 15 minutes 

Cooking time : 30 minutes


1.5 cups brown basmati rice
½ kg mushrooms
2 finely chopped onions
1 bunch finely chopped spring onions whites
10 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring onion greens
1 tablespoon oil


1. Cook rice with 6 cups of water as given in this link and keep aside.

2. Clean mushrooms thoroughly as given the link here.

3. Heat oil in a wide pan and add mushrooms. The mushrooms will start releasing a lot of water. Cook till the water dries out. Keep the mushrooms aside.

4. To the same pan add the onions and garlic and sauté till they turn light brown. Add salt and the fried mushrooms to this and mix well. 

5. Add cooked rice and pepper powder and mix. Take care not to break the rice.

6. Lightly sauté the spring onion greens with a little oil and garnish. Serve the mushroom fried rice with chilli vegetable or just tomato ketchup.

How to clean mushrooms?

Cleaning mushrooms is a very important task unlike other vegetables. You will often find stubborn dirt on the mushrooms which cannot be removed with normal washing with water. Here is a pictorial of how to clean mushrooms.

1. Wash the mushrooms individually under running tap water or in a bowl of water to remove any dirt. Do not soak them in water for too long.

2. Add maida or corn flour to the mushrooms and clean as given below.

3. Wash off excess maida/corn flour from the mushrooms and drain excess water.

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Corn and Spinach Calzones (Indian Style)

A calzone is an Italian filled oven pizza, originating in Naples, and shaped as a folded pizza.It resembles a half-moon and is made of salted bread dough.

Here is an indie version of a calzone made with spinach, corn, paneer and cheese. You can call this stuffed paratha, quesedilla or calzone. Whatever the name, it is just delicious and healthy !!!

Adding spinach to the roti dough increases the nutrient content and adding paneer to the filling gives you the protein factor thus making this a wholesome snack or meal.

Ingredients :

for the spinach rotis:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup roughly chopped spinach
2 cups water
salt to taste

for the filling :

1 cup boiled corn (coarsely crushed)
1 cup finely chopped red, yellow and green capsicum
1/2 cup grated paneer or tofu
1/4 cup cheese (optional)
1 green chilli finely chopped
1 tsp oil
a small bunch of coriander leaves  

Method :

for the spinach roti:

Take water in a vessel and bring to a boil. Add the spinach, Wait for five minutes and switch off the gas. Dispose the excess water and grind the spinach to a purée consistency.

Use this purée to make the roti dough. Add extra water only if required. Add salt to taste.

Divide the dough into 8 equal portions and shape into balls. Keep aside.

for the filling:

Heat oil in a pan and add green chillies and capsicum. When it is soft, add the corn and salt. Mix well and switch off the gas. Add grated paneer/tofu, cheese and coriander leaves and mix well.

for the calzones :

Roll the dough ball into a flat circle as given below.

Place a tablespoon of the filling on one side of the circle/roti.

Now fold the other to make a moon shaped roti.

Take a fork and press on all sides to seal the edges and make a design.

Place this calzone on a hot tava on simmer. Add a little oil on both sides.

Turn around after a few minutes. Repeat on the both sides till the calzone is well cooked.

The calzone is ready !!!

This recipe is an entry to Monsoon Snack Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen challenges.

Submitting this to "Meat free Mondays " .

Cornflakes Mixture

Are you thinking of a healthy snack to munch on in the evenings with your cup of coffee or tea??? Here's a very interesting and healthy recipe which can be savoured any time of the year - rain or sunshine!!!

Here's why you must try this recipe:

  1. Low calorie - no deep frying required.
  2. Protein in nuts and gram.
  3. Adequate nutrients from corn flakes, nuts and curry leaves.
  4. Goes well with your cup of coffee or tea.
  5. Can be stored and keeps well for a week.
So, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and try this!

Ingredients :

200 grams plain cornflakes (Kellogg's or any other brand)
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
1/4 cup roasted gram (pottu kadalai)
2 tablespoons cashew nuts
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
a pinch of asafoetida/hing
2 teaspoons oil
10-12 curry leaves
salt to taste


1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the curry leaves and fry till they become crisp. 

2. In the same oil, add the peanuts, cashew nuts and roasted gram. Roast till the nuts are crisp. Make sure not to over brown the nuts and gram. Mix half of the chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt to this and keep aside.

3. In the same pan add the cornflakes and roast till it becomes very crisp. Mix the rest of the chilli powder, turmeric powder, hing and salt to this.

4. Now mix the cornflakes, curry leaves and nuts and your mixture is ready. Store in an airtight container.

This recipe is an entry to Monsoon Snack Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen challenges.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Chocolate Banana Bread (Eggless)

"Most of us miss out on life's big prizes.  The Pulitzer.  The Nobel. Oscars. Tonys. Emmys. But we are all eligible for life's small pleasures. A pat on the back. A kiss behind the ear. A four pound bass. A full moon. An empty parking space.  A crackling fire.  A great meal.  A glorious sunset. Hot soup.  Cold beer.  Don't fret about getting life's grand awards. Enjoy its tiny delights.  There are plenty for all of us." ~ Robin Sharma

Having a warm chocolate banana bread on a rainy day is one such simple joy I experienced. God!!! I want to make this again and again. My Son loves Chocolate in any form and he had this as a snack every other day. I am sure he will not let me make plain banana bread ever again.

I happened to see a Chocolate Banana Bread recipe on TV using dark chocolate. But I could not get hold of the right amount of ingredients. So, there began my search for an Eggless Chocolate Banana Bread using dark chocolate. I came across this version and tried it without eggs. I substituted the eggs with ½ cup of milk and made a few other changes and the results – yummy, moist, chocolatey!!!

If you are new to baking, you must try this recipe. It is pretty simple. The use of dark chocolate gives it a brownie like texture .The colour and texture is here for you to see.

Here's the recipe for you:


100 gm butter
100 gm dark chocolate
3 over ripe medium sized bananas
½ cup palm sugar
½ cup organic sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ cup milk


Pre heat oven to 180 C (350 F).

Take butter and dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute in the microwave. Mix thoroughly so that the chocolate is completely melted.

Take bananas, sugar and milk and blend to a smooth mixture in a blender/mixer.

Sieve the flour , baking soda and baking powder and keep aside.

Mix the banana mixture and chocolate mixture thoroughly.

Add the flour mixture to this little by little till it is thoroughly mixed.

Grease a loaf tin and add the mixture to this.

Bake in the oven at 180 C for 35-40 minutes till a knife inserted comes out clean.

This recipe is an entry to Monsoon Snack Challenge for The Hub @ Archana’s Kitchen challenges and "We Should Cocoa".

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Brinjal/Eggplant Stir Fry

Here is a Udupi Style Recipe for Brinjal/Eggplant Stir Fry or Gulla Palya. The udupi rasam powder and jaggery provide a unique taste to this dish. You can use any rasam powder if you do not have udupi rasam powder. 

Ingredients :

1/2 kg Brinjal/Eggplant
1 gooseberry sized tamarind (soaked in water and juice extracted)
1 tsp jaggery
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp udupi rasam powder/any rasam powder (click here for link)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal
10-12 curry leaves
2 red chillies
 a pinch of asafoetida


1) Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida and curry leaves.

2) Add brinjal, tamarind extract and turmeric powder.

3) Saute for a few minutes and add rasam powder.

4) Mix well and add salt. Simmer till it is cooked.

5) Serve hot with rasam and rice.