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Moru Keerai | Spinach in Coconut Yogurt Gravy


I'm "finally" back after a long gap!!! Things have been pretty crazy past few weeks and blogging took a back seat. The festival season is over and I hope all of you enjoyed eating the snack & sweets. Today I'm posting an almost forgotten recipe of Tamil Brahmins, passed on by m mother-in-law.

Moru keerai is simple and healthy dish made with spinach in a coconut and yogurt gravy. Palak is the most easily available green here so I have used that, but you can use other greens like arai keerai, mulai keerai etc. Apart from chopping the spinach fine, this dish comes together really quickly. Serve with rice and any thoran/mezhukkupuratti of your choice.

MORU KEERAI RECIPE

{ Spinach in a coconut and yogurt gravy}
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

3 cups finely chopped spinach
3/4 cup sour curd/yogurt
Salt to taste

To grind:
1/2 tsp oil
1/3 cup grated coconut
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds / vendhayam / methi seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
3-4 dry red chillies

To temper:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 dry red chilly, broken
1 tsp split urad dal

Method:

1. In a small pan, heat 1/2 tsp oil and fry the red chillies and fenugreek seeds.

2. Grind with coconut, cumin seeds to a smooth paste.

3. In a kadai add the chopped spinach, 1/4 cup water and cook till the spinach is wilted.

4. Add the ground coconut paste, salt and cook for another 3-4 minutes.

5. Whisk the curd well and add to the spinach. Cook till the curd starts to froth. Remove from heat.

6. In a small pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, red chilly and urad dal. Once dal turns golden, pour into the curry.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust the number of red chillies according to your spice preference,
  • I used palak here, you can use other variety of greens.
  • If your yogurt/curd is not sour, add little tamarind while cooking the greens.
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Mushroom Peas Curry | Dhingri Matar


It's been a while since I posted a new recipe on the blog. Every time I sit to draft the post, something comes up and then I keep postponing it. So finally here I'm today with a new post.

Dhingri matar is a semi-gravy rich and delicious curry with mushrooms and green peas cooked in a thick spicy tomato gravy. It can be served with jeera rice, roti/phulka or any pulao. This mushroom peas curry can be prepared in 30 minutes. Do try this and let me know how you like it.

DHINGRI MATAR RECIPE

{ Mushroom and green peas in a spicy tomato gravy }
Serves 3


Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1/8 tsp fennel seeds / saunf
1 big onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
½ cup tomato puree
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp coriander powder
¼ tsp crushed black pepper
10-12 button mushrooms, quartered
½ cup green peas
8 cashewnuts, powdered
¼ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

1. In a kadai, heat oil and add cumin and fennel seeds. Once it sizzles, add onions and saute till they turn golden.

2. Then add ginger-garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes or until raw smell goes.

3. Add the tomato puree and fry for 2 minutes. Then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, crushed black pepper and fry for a minute.

4. Cover and cook for 5- minutes or till the tomatoes and spices have cooked well.

5. Add the mushrooms and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the green peas, powdered cashews, ½ cup water, salt and mix well.

6. Cover and cook in medium heat until the mushrooms have cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Mushrooms will leave water, so there is no need to add more water.

7. Once the mushrooms have cooked, add garam masala and coriander leaves. Remove from heat

Notes and Tips
  • If using fresh green peas, cook them first and add to the curry.
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Kerala Parippu Curry | Sadya Recipes


Onam festival is nearing and you must be all planning for the Ona sadya. Parippu curry is one of the essential dishes of a Kerala sadya. It is made with split yellow moong dal (lentils) with ground coconut paste and tempered with shallots. Parippu curry is the first thing we eat mixing it with rice and ghee before going for the first course with sambar.

On normal days too you can prepare this lentil curry and you just need pappadam or chips and pickle as accompaniments. If you like to have some vegetables on the side, bhindi (vendakkai) fry or any mezhukkupuratti will pair well with parippu curry. Try this parippu curry for your Ona sadya this year and enjoy with family.

PARIPPU CURRY RECIPE

{ Kerala style lentil curry with yellow moong dal and coconut }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

½ cup cheruparippu / yellow moong dal
¼ tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste

To grind:
⅓ cup grated coconut
3-4 green chillies
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera

To temper:
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp cooonut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
1 sprig curry leaves
2-3 shallots, sliced

Method:

1. Dry roast the dal for 3-4 minutes or until nice aroma comes. The dal should not change color.

2. Once cool, wash the dal and pressure cook with 2 cup water and turmeric powder for 3 whistles or until soft. Mash the dal and set aside.

3. Grind coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds to a smooth paste adding water as required.

4. In a kadai, add the cooked dal, coconut paste, 1 cup salt and mix well. Bring to boil and boil for few minutes, about 5-6 minutes.

5. In a small pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chillies, curry leaves and shallots.

6. Fry the shallots till soft. Pour over the dal and mix.

Notes and Tips
  • This curry is made with yellow moong dal only. Other lentils will give different flavor to the curry.
  • You can adjust the red chillies according to your spice preference.
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Instant Wheat Flour Banana Appam


Gokulastami is approaching and appam, vella aval, seedai, thattai and murukku are the most neivedhyam (offering) prepared for Lord Krishna. Traditionally nei appam is made with rice and requires little planning ahead like soaking the rice and grinding. Last year my mom shared this instant and easy appam recipe with wheat flour and banana. It turned out soft and was equally tasty as the rice flour ones. Since it does not require any soaking or grinding, this recipe is perfect for working women and beginners. 

Try this instant appam for Janmashatami this year. Take a look at other recipes in the blog for Gokulashtami / Sri Krishna Jayanthi:

WHEAT FLOUR BANANA APPAM RECIPE

{ Instant appam with wheat flour and banana }
Yields 21


Ingredients:

1 cup wheat flour
1 tbsp rice flour
1 banana, medium-sized
¾ cup grated jaggery
¼ tsp cardamom powder
2 tbsp grated coconut
Oil + ghee, as needed for frying

Method:

1. Heat a saucepan and add the jaggery and ½ cup water. Dissolve the jagggery completely. Strain to remove impurities and set aside to cool.

2. In a mixing bowl, mash the banana with a fork. Add the wheat flour, rice flour, cardamom powder, coconut and mix well.

3. Add the jaggery and mix well to form a lump-free batter. Add more water as required. The batter should be thick and pouring consistency.

4. Heat a paniyaram pan and add oil + ghee. Pour spoonful of batter into the holes and cook till both sides turn golden brown.

Notes and Tips
  • Depending on the sweetness of your jaggery and banana, you can reduce/add the amount of jaggery. 
  • You can add coconut bits (thenga kothu) instead of grated coconut.
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Broccoli Garlic Penne Pasta


For dinner on a lazy weeknight, pasta is my saviour. I rarely make pasta with tomato or cream based sauces, as we prefer the simple and quick ones with no sauce. A pasta with no sauce is one in which olive oil is used as the base for the sauce, with garlic as the other main ingredient. So it is important to use good quality olive oil for these olive oil based pasta.

One of our most favorite pasta, and one I make often is spaghetti aglio olio. It's a simple pasta recipe flavored with a garlic chilly oil. Today's pasta recipe is a variation of that pasta with broccoli and Italian herb mix. This broccoli garlic pasta has become our family favorite now. Try this healthy and 15-minute pasta with the goodness of broccoli. Check out other pasta recipes here.

BROCCOLI GARLIC PASTA RECIPE

{ Penne pasta with broccoli, garlic and Italian herbs }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

2 cups penne pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 ½ cup broccoli, cut into small florets
1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
1 tsp red chilli flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese, grated

Method:

1. Cook the pasta as per the instructions in the packet. Drain and wash in cold water. Set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat a pan with olive oil and add the garlic. Fry till it starts to turn light golden.

3. Add the broccoli and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then add the herbs, chilly flakes, salt and pepper.

4. Add the cooked pasta and toss till well combine. Adjust the salt if required.

5. Remove from heat. Add the grated cheese.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any pasta of your choice.
  • Chop the broccoli into thin florets (with stalks) so that it cooks fast and is still crunchy.
  • Adjust the red chilli flakes according to your spice preference.
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Quinoa Vegetable Pulao


Quinoa, pronounced keen-wah, is a highly nutritional seed that has rapidly gained lot of popularity because of its health benefits. Quinoa is high in protein, fiber and anti-oxidants, contains essential amino-acids and is gluten-free too. There are hundreds of cultivated types of quinoa, but the most common ones available are white, red, and black quinoa.

There are several ways we can incorporate quinoa in our diet. Salads are the most popular way and being an excellent carbohydrate substitute, you can replace rice with quinoa. Quinoa blends very well with Indian flavors and can be used to make upma, pulao etc. Following my vegetable pulao recipe, I tried this quinoa vegetable pulao. The pulao turned out so flavorful and does not really need a side dish, a bowl of onion-tomato raita is just enough. It's great to pack for lunchbox too. Do try this protein-packed healthy pulao and let me know how you like it.

QUINOA PULAO RECIPE

{ Mildly spiced pulao with quinoa and vegetables }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

1 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
¼-inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
2 cardamom
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 large onion, chopped
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
2-3 green chillies, slit
12-15 mint leaves, finely chopped
1 small potato, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
¼ cup green peas
¼ cup sweet corn
¼ cup capsicum, chopped
1 cup quinoa
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp black pepper powder
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Wash the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer few times under cold water and set aside.

2. In a non-stick kadai, heat oil and add bay leaf, cinnamom, cloves, cardamom, cumin seeds and fry till nice aroma comes.

3. Add the onions and saute till soft and transcluscent. Then add ginger- garlic paste and fry till raw smell goes.

4. Add the green chillies, mint and fry for 1 minute. Then add the vegetables, garam masala, pepper powder and fry for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add the quinoa, salt and 2 cups water. Bring to boil and reduce the heat to low. Cook covered for 10-12 minutes or until quinoa has become soft and fluffy.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any vegetables of your choice.
  • I kept the spices mild, you can add more spices as per your preference.
Read More >>
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