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Potato Carrot Beetroot Curry

Sometimes it can be difficult task to come up with a side dish or curry for chapathi / roti. You cannot serve the same onion-tomato gravy everyday! It has to be different, interesting and healthy too, and the biggest part - it should appeal to kids. Potato is everyone's favorite vegetable and I sneaked in carrot and beetroot to whip up this healthy curry.

This curry is full of balanced flavors - it's got mild sweetness from the carrots and beets, tanginess from the tomatoes and heat from the chillies and spices. I cooked this root vegetable curry in pressure cooker as it enhances the flavor of the curry. The lovely color of the curry is sure to attract even the fussy eaters. Serve this curry with chapathi / roti or poori.


{ Mildly spiced curry with potato, carrot and beetroot }
Serves 3-4


1 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp fennel seeds / sombu
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
2 medium onion, finely chopped
½-inch ginger, grated
1 garlic clove, grated
2 green chillies, slit
Few curry leaves
3 tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 medium potato
1 medium carrot
1 medium beetroot
½ cup thin coconut milk
5-6 coriander sprigs, chopped
Salt to taste


1. Peel skin of potato, carrot and beetroot. Cut into medium sized cubes.

2. In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add cumin seeds, fennel seeds and asafoetida. Once it sizzles, add onion, ginger, garlic, green chillies and curry leaves.

3. Fry the onions till they turn light golden brown color. Then add tomato paste and fry well for 4-5 minutes or until oil separates.

4. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder, garam masala and fry for 1-2 minutes.

5. Add potato, carrot, beetroot and mix well. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add coconut milk, 1 ½ cup water, half of the coriander leaves, salt and mix well.

6. Close lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, open and add remaining coriander leaves.

Serving Suggestion ~ Roti/chapathi or poori.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use tomato puree instead of tomato paste. To make puree use 3 medium-size tomatoes and reduce the gravy until thick.
  • You can cook the curry in a kadai too. If cooking in a kadai, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
  • The curry is mildly sweet, to increase the spice you can add more green chillies or red chilly powder.

Milagu Jeera Rasam | Pepper Cumin Rasam

Rasam is one of the most comfort food for South Indians. Typically served as a second course in South Indian meals, I prefer to have rasam as an accompaniment to molagootal, kootu or thogayal. Milagu jeera (pepper cumin) rasam is a quick and flavorful rasam which is made with freshly ground spices and does not have any cooked lentils. 

This rasam is ideal to be served during winters or when you are having cold or cough. The combination of pepper and cumin helps in digestion, relieving cold and gives soothing feel to throat. My mom makes this rasam to serve along with molagootal or kootu. I served this spicy rasam with rice, garlic potato stir-fry and paruppu thogayal. Not only with rice, this rasam can be had as a soup too.  


{ South Indian tangy soup with freshly ground cumin seeds and black pepper }
Serves 2-3


½ tbsp tamarind paste / gooseberry-size tamarind
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
Salt to taste

To grind:
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp toor dal
1 dry red chilly

To temper:
2 tsp ghee
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
Few curry leaves


1. In a pan, roast cumin seeds, peppercorns, toor dal and red chilly until nice aroma comes. Cool and grind to a fine powder.

2. Soak tamarind in 1 cup warm water and extract the juice. Add 1 cup water to this tamarind extract.

3. In a vessel, add the tamarind juice, cumin-pepper powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida, salt and mix well. Bring to boil.

4. Boil well till raw smell of tamarind goes. Simmer until the rasam turns frothy. Remove from heat.

5. In a pan, heat ghee and add mustard seeds. When in splutters, add cumin seeds, curry leaves and pour over the rasam.

Serving Suggestion ~ Rice and molagootal / kootu or thogayal and vegetable stir-fry.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not boil the rasam after it becomes frothy.
  • Usually we do not add garlic in this rasam, but if you want, you can grind 1 or 2 garlic cloves with cumin and pepper.
  • Tempering in ghee not only enhances the flavor, also tones down the heat from black pepper and chilly.

Eggless Cranberry Orange Scones

For Home Bakers Challenge this month, Priya picked up some sweet and savory scone recipes to bake. Scones are a kind of cake or quick bread made with flour, butter, cream or yogurt and dried fruits. Scones are often served for breakfast or evening tea along with butter, jam and cream. Mostly scones are lightly sweetened and glazed, but they can be made savoury too.

I chose the simple scones recipe and tried the cranberry orange variation. I halved the recipe and made mini scones. These scones are really easy to put together and does not take much time. The scones turned out so moist and delicious with the light hint of orange and the sweet dried cranberries. Enjoy the scones warm with a cup of tea!


{ Eggless scones with dried cranberries and orange zest }
Recipe Source ~ All Recipes
Yields 8 mini scones


1 cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ tbsp + ½ tsp sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
55 gms cold butter (unsalted)
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ tsp orange zest
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp plain thick yogurt


1. Preheat the oven to 200 °C | 400 °F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a mixing bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the sugar and mix.

3. Using a grater with large holes, grate the butter into the flour. Using your fingers, rub butter into flour until the mixture becomes coarse.

4. Stir in the cranberries and orange zest. In a small bowl, whisk buttermilk and yogurt until smooth. Pour this into flour mixture and mix with a fork to bring the dough together.

5. Using your hands, gently press to make the dough to make a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll to a circle of ¾th inch thickness.

6. Sprinkle the remaining ½ tsp sugar. Using a sharp knife cut into 8 triangles and place on the baking sheet about 1-inch apart.

7. Bake for 14-17 minutes or until golden. Place them on a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Notes and Tips
  • Make sure the butter is cold, otherwise it will be difficult to grate. You can also chop them into small pieces instead of grating.
  • The dough will be slightly sticky, but do not add more flour. Also do not overwork the dough which will make the scones hard.

Dal Khichdi

Khichdi is an Indian dish made with rice and lentils. It's a mildly spiced dish and is served with pickle, papad, salad and yogurt. Khichdi is considered a wholesome and healthy food and is easy to digest. It is a nutritious meal for babies and toddlers. Also it does not take much time to prepare a khichdi.

It's been raining heavily and the weather is getting cooler. Dal khichdi is such a comfort food to have on cold rainy days. This dal khichdi is somewhat similar to the South Indian arisu paruppu sadam, except for the spices. I love to have this khichdi hot with pickle, kachumber salad and papad. Always serve the khichdi hot from the pot. Off to the recipe now!


{ Indian dish with rice, mixed lentils and spices tempered in ghee }
Serves 2


½ cup basmati rice
2 tbsp toor dal
2 tbsp yellow moong dal
2 tbsp masoor dal
1 small-sized onion, chopped
2 green chillies, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½-inch ginger, chopped
Few curry leaves
1 small tomato, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp red chilly powder
¼ tsp cracked black pepper
Salt to taste
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Ghee, to serve

To temper:
1 tbsp ghee
¼-inch cinnamon stick
2 cloves
½ tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1 red chilly, broken
Pinch of asafoetida / hing


1. Wash the rice and dals together. In a pressure cooker, heat ghee and add cinnamon, cloves and fry till aroma comes.

2. Then add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chilly, asafoetida and let it sizzle. Add onion, green chillies, ginger, garlic, curry leaves and fry till soft.

3. Then add tomato, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, black pepper and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add rice, dals, salt, 3 cups of water and mix well.

4. Close with pressure cooker lid and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, open and add coriander leaves. Drizzle with little more ghee.

Serving Suggestion ~ Pickle, papad, salad and plain yogurt.

Notes and Tips
  • You can add vegetables like peas, carrot, potato, beans and cauliflower to this khichdi.
  • I have used a mix of 3 dals here, you can make with just one dal or a mix of dals of your choice.
  • Serve khichdi immediately otherwise it will become dry. If it turns dry, add little hot water and adjust the consistency.
  • Ghee adds a good flavor and aroma, but if you are calorie conscious, use half ghee and half oil.

Puli Aval | Tamarind Poha Upma

Upma is one of the easiest and quickest dish that we can make for breakfast. You can make a variety of upma recipes with the simple aval / poha, so I always stock them in my pantry for a quick breakfast or even dinner. You can make a healthy vegetable poha upma,  a plain and simple aval upma or a tangy upma with lemon or tamarind.

Puli aval is a quick and easy upma with tamarind tempered with lentils, chillies and peanuts. You don't need any side dish for this upma. Not only for breakfast, puli aval can be served as a evening snack too. If you are a working women or in a hurry to put up a healthy yet delicious breakfast, try this puli aval.


{ Upma with flattened rice, tamarind, peanuts and spices }
Serves 2


2 cup aval / poha / flattened rice (thick variety)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp tamarind paste / gooseberry size tamarind
Salt to taste

To temper:
1 tbsp sesame oil / nallennai
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 red chilly, broken
¼ tsp asafoetida / hing
1 tsp split urad dal
1 tsp channa dal / kadalai paruppu
2 tbsp roasted peanuts
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Few curry leaves


1. Dissolve the tamarind in ½ cup water and add turmeric powder. Wash the poha just once and soak poha in the tamarind extract for 5-10 minutes.

2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add chana dal and peanuts. When chana dal starts to turn golden, add urad dal, red chillies and asafoetida.

3. When dals are golden, add green chillies, curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Then add poha, salt. Mix well gently and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Notes and Tips
  • Use only thick variety poha. Also wash the poha just once and don't soak for long else the poha will become mushy.
  • You can also add ¼ tsp sambar powder while soaking the poha.
  • You can use any oil but I recommend sesame oil as it gives a nice flavor.

Kiwi Banana Smoothie

Fruit based smoothies are an easy way to increase the consumption of fruits in our diet, and in turn nourish the body with essential nutrients. Unlike fruit juices, smoothies contain more vitamins, minerals and fiber, as we are adding the entire fruit. Making your own smoothies are easy too- you just need a blender, fruits and some milk or yogurt. 

Kiwi's are highly rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C and dietary fiber. I have already shared a kiwi mango smoothie, and adapting from that I made a smoothie with kiwi, banana, handful of spinach leaves and used orange juice instead of apple juice. The smoothie was so delicious and perfect for the hot summer weather. Start your day with this nutritious and filling breakfast smoothie. Serve along with toast or sandwich to make a complete hearty breakfast. 


{ Low-fat smoothie with kiwi, banana and orange juice }
Serves 2


2 kiwi
2 medium banana
Few spinach leaves
½ cup orange juice
½ cup low-fat milk
Sugar / honey


1. Peel the skin of kiwi and chop into small pieces. Chop the banana into small pieces. Roughly chop the spinach leaves.

2. In a blender add kiwi, banana, spinach leaves, orange juice, milk, sugar/honey and blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Notes and Tips
  • You can also add 2 tbsp rolled oats or powdered oats.
  • You can also use yogurt instead of milk.
  • Spinach leaves are optional. You can omit them.

Kariveppila Chammanthi | Kerala Style Curry Leaves Chutney

Chammanthi is nothing but a Kerala style dry chutney made with coconut, chillies and other additions like shallots, ginger, tamarind etc. In olden times, it is grind in a ammikallu (stone grinder), which gives the best flavor. Chammanthi with a bowl of steaming rice is one of my comfort food any day. Also see my Kerala style thenga (coconut) chammanthi and pacha manga (raw mango) chammanthi recipes.

Today's chammanthi/chutney is my mom's special recipe and one I relish a lot just with plain rice. This is a no-onion no-garlic chutney recipe with very few easy ingredients. The star of this chutney is the curry leaves, which imparts a lovely flavor and aroma to the chammanthi. Enjoy with hot steaming rice or serve along with rasam or molagootal


{ Kerala style curry leaves and coconut dry chutney }
Serves 3


½ cup curry leaves, packed
1 cup grated coconut
4-5 green chillies
½-inch ginger piece
1 tsp tamarind paste / marble-size tamarind
Salt to taste


1. Wash the curry leaves well and drain the water completely.

2. Grind curry leaves, coconut, green chillies, ginger, tamarind and salt to a coarse paste without adding any water.

Serving Suggestion ~ Rice and molagootal or rasam.

Notes and Tips
  • You can add 1 or 2 tsp of  water if required while grinding. Don't add more.
  • Adjust the amount of green chillies according to your spice level.