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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.
Read More >>

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.
Read More >>

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.
Read More >>

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 >>

Eggless Wholewheat Maple Banana Oat Muffins #BreadBakers


For this month's Bread Bakers, our host Mayuri of Mayuri's Jikoni chose natural sweeteners as the theme. We had to bake using natural sweeteners like maple syrup, honey, molasses, dates, banana puree, coconut sugar, stevia, palm jaggery etc instead of  refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. I have never tried before any baked goodies with natural sweeteners, so I'm glad Mayuri chose this theme and I was excited about trying a guilt-free bake. If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.

Coming to the recipe, I chose a simple eggless muffins made with wholewheat, oats, almonds, chia seeds sweetened with pure maple syrup and bananas. Though I don't mind eggs in a bake, I wanted to try replacing with chia seeds. I used the whole chia seeds and it gave a nice little crunch to the muffins. We often find that wholewheat bakes turn out bit dense, but surprisingly these muffins were so moist and dense. The muffin batter might look slightly thinner, but do not add more flour! You can substitute almonds with any nuts of your choice. Try these no-sugar no-butter healthy and nutrient packed muffins and let me know how you like it.


MAPLE BANANA OAT MUFFINS RECIPE

{ Eggless wholewheat muffins with banana, oats, almonds, chia and maple syrup }
Recipe Source ~ Bowl of Delicious
Makes 12 muffins


Ingredients:

2 tbsp chia seeds
½ cup light olive oil
½ cup maple syrup
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup sliced almonds, plus extra for sprinkling

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 190 C | 375 F and line a 12 cup muffin pan with liners.

2. In a bowl, mix together the chia seeds and ⅓ cup water. Set aside for 10 minutes.

3. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the coconut oil and maple syrup. Add the bananas, chia seeds with the water and mix until well combined.

4. Add the baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, water and mix until well combined.

5. Stir in the oats and whole wheat flour until just combined. Fold in almonds.

6. Spoon the batter into prepared muffin pan and sprinkle the almonds on top.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use coconut oil or any neutral or light flavored oil instead of olive oil.
  • Use any nuts of your choice instead of almonds.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



Breads with Natural Sweeteners

Read More >>

Apricot Cranberry Walnut Quick Bread #BreadBakers


It's time for yet another Bread Bakers challenge. This month's host is Mireille of The Schizo Chef and she suggested stone fruits as the theme. Stone fruits are not in season now as winter has started in this part of the world. So the only option left was to use dried stone fruits. If you love baking bread and want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for further details.

I decided to bake a bread with apricots, but none of the recipes appealed to me much. Finally I settled on this recipe from King Arthur Flour. I was bit apprehensive about the recipe because of the amount of sugar, butter and number of eggs but nevertheless decided to give a try because the reviews for the bread were good.  I'm so glad I tried it because this is definitely one of the best quick breads. Soaking the dried fruits kept the bread moist and the bread was not overly sweet with a nice hint of orange. If you love fruits breads then give this apricot cranberry walnut quick bread a try.

APRICOT CRANBERRY WALNUT BREAD RECIPE

{ Quick bread with dried apricot, dried cranberries and walnuts }
Yields 9 x 5 loaf


Ingredients:

1 cup chopped dried apricots
½ cup dried cranberry
113 grams / ½ cup butter, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
Zest of 1 orange
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
½ cup chopped walnuts

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 C | 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper.

2. Soak the apricots and cranberry in hot water for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating until fluffy after each addition.

4. Add baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, orange zest and beat until well blended.

5. Stir in the flour and then add the milk ¼ cup at a time, stirring well after each addition. Fold in the apricots, cranberries and nuts.

6. Pour the batter into loaf pan. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

7. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack. 

Notes and Tips
  • Soaking the dried fruits plumps them and keeps the bread moist. Do not soak for more than 15-20 minutes.
  • You can use pecans or any other nuts instead of walnuts.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



#BreadBakers - Stone Fruit
Read More >>

Ennai Kathirikai Poriyal | Stuffed Brinjal Fry


Eggplants / brinjals is one of our favorite vegetables. The aubergine or the bharta baingan is available all year around here and occasionally I can find the Japanese eggplant as well. Back in India, we get the round purple and green brinjals, but sadly I get those varieties not often here. I was so excited when I spotted these purple beauties in the market last week and I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them.

I had bookmarked this ennai kathirikai fry recipe from Chitra's Food Book. Chitra has got a lovely blog with a great variety of recipes from different cuisines. Thanks Chitra for the recipe, we loved it so much. The poriyal was packed with flavors and we actually didn't need any side dish. We had it some plain rice and ghee - yum! If you get smaller brinjals, it will be more tasty. Off to the recipe now!

ENNAI KATHIRIKAI PORIYAL RECIPE

{ Stuffed brinjal fry with Indian spices, onion and tomato }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

3-4 tbsp sesame oil / nallennai
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp split urad dal
1 sprig curry leaves
4-5 big garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 medium tomato, finely chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
4 purple brinjals
Salt to taste

To roast and grind:
1 tbsp chana dal / kadalai paruppu
1 tbsp peanuts
2 tsp coriander seeds
3-4 dry red chillies
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp fenugreek seeds / methi
1 tbsp grated coconut

Method:

1. Lightly roast all the ingrdients 'to grind' except coconut. At the end add coconut and remove from heat. Cool and grind to a smooth paste adding 1-2 tbsp of water.

2. Slit the brinjals into 4 without removing the stalk. Stuff with the ground masala and set aside.

3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters, add split urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves and fry till dal turn golden.

4. Add garlic, onion and fry till it's translucent and raw smell of garlic goes. Add the tomatoes and cook till they are mushy.

5. Add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, remaining masala if any salt and fry for 4-5 minutes. Add the brinjal and toss to coat them with masala, 

6. Turn the heat to low and cover and cook till the brinjals are soft, turning them every 2-3 minutes.

7. Once the brinjals are tender, cook uncovered till the masala becomes dry. Adjust the salt as required.

Notes and Tips
  • If you prefer less spice, add 2 or 3 chillies only.
Read More >>

Cream of Mushroom Soup


With the weather getting colder, soups are a great choice to stay warm. They are easy to put together and makes a comforting and hearty meal on a chilly day. If you go through the blog, you can see there aren't much soup recipes. Why? Because I'm not really a soup person but my hubby loves soups. So I'm trying out few soup recipes once in a while. Have a look at the sweet corn soup and spiced carrot-ginger soup I posted sometime back.

As I said, soups are really quick and easy to make and you just need few slices of bread to serve along. Cream of mushroom soup is a simple and delicious soup which does not involve any grinding. The thickening agent for this soup is basic roux thinned with milk. I slightly adapted from this recipe and adjusted according to our taste. I used shallots in the recipe as I love the slight hint of sweetness. You can use regular onions too. I have tried the soup with parsley and coriander, but I prefer thyme as it pairs well with mushrooms and adds more flavor to the soup. Even if you are not a fan of mushrooms, I'm sure you would love this soup. Off to the recipe.

MUSHROOM SOUP RECIPE

{ Cream of mushroom soup }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup chopped shallots
200 grams button mushrooms, sliced
5-6 thyme sprigs / 2 tsp thyme
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup vegetable stock
2 cup warm milk
3-4 tbsp cream

Method:

1. Heat a saucepan/pot and add olive oil, butter and bay leaf. Once butter melts, add garlic, shallots and saute till they are soft.

2. Turn the heat to high and add the mushrooms. Saute the mushrooms until they turn light brown and all the water has evaporated.

3. Turn the heat to medium-low and add thyme, nutmeg, salt, pepper and mix well. Add the flour and saute for 3-4 minutes.

4. Add the milk, vegetable stock to the mushrooms and cook till the soup starts to thicken.

5. Once the soup has thickened, stir in the cream and cook for 1 minute. Remove from heat and serve hot.

Notes and Tips
  • Do not add salt while frying the mushrooms. 
  • Do not add more nutmeg as it can over power the flavor of the soup.
  • Instead of vegetable stock, you can use water or milk.
  • If you want a low-fat option, you can skip the cream.
  • Thyme goes well with mushrooms, but you can use other herbs like parsley or coriander.
Read More >>

Avocado Cucumber Feta Sandwich


If there is something I can have everyday for breakfast without getting bored, it's avocado. Just some mashed avocado with lemon juice, salt and pepper on toasted bread for breakfast would make me super-happy. When I posted avocado and egg salad sandwich on the blog sometime back it was a hit. Many of them tried the sandwich and loved it. 

I wanted to make a complete vegetarian version based on that recipe. And this is the after result - a delicious hearty and filling vegetarian sandwich with avocado, cucumber, feta cheese, basil pesto and baby rocket. I love the flavor of rocket, so I always prefer it over lettuce or other greens in my burgers and sandwiches, but you can use whatever you like. I used basil pesto because that's what I had in hand but again you can use any pesto or whatever sauce you like. Instead of plain feta, I find that marinated feta gives more flavor to the sandwich. You can see how versatile the recipe is - you can chose the fillings according to your taste preferences. Do try these quick and tasty sandwiches and let me know how you like it.

AVOCADO CUCUMBER FETA SANDWICH RECIPE

{ Sandwich with avocado, feta, cucumber, rocket and pesto }
Serves 2


Ingredients:

4 multi-grain bread slices
1 avocado
1 small cucumber, sliced
¼ cup crumbled feta
2 tsp basil pesto
Few rocket leaves
1 tsp lemon juice
Salt / pepper, as needed

Method:

1. Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh to a bowl and add lemon, pepper, salt. Mash with a fork.

2. Lightly toast the bread. On one side of the bread, spread the basil pesto. Place some rocket leaves or any greens of your choice.

3. Add the crumbled feta, followed by cucumber slices and top it with mashed avocado. Cover the other bread slice and press gently. Serve immediately.

Notes and Tips
  • You can use any greens of your choice. I have used baby rocket here.
  • You can add some mayonnaise and mustard sauce to the avocado mash to give different flavor.
Read More >>

Rajma Pulao | Kidney Beans Pulao


Whenever I'm in a dilemma to decide what to cook for dinner and have enough leftovers to pack for lunch next day, I go for a quick one pot meal like pulao. You can make a variety of pulao varying the vegetables, greens, lentils and legumes, so that you don't get bored. Browse through the different quick and delicious pulao recipes already posted in the blog.

Today's pulao recipe is a healthy, delicious and protein packed recipe. Kidney beans as you all know is a good source of dietary fibre and also a very good source of proteins for vegetarians. If you have some leftover cooked kidney beans or canned ones, then making this pulao is a breeze. A simple onion tomato raita is enough to complete the meal. Now let's see how to make this rajma pulao.

RAJMA PULAO RECIPE

{ Quick pulao with red kidney beans and Indian spices }
Serves 3 -4


Ingredients:

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup cooked kidney beans / rajma
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp butter / ghee
1 bay leaf
¼-inch cinnamon
1 clove
1 cardamom
1 tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1/8 tsp fennel seeds / sombu
1 medium onion, sliced
1 tsp ginger -garlic paste
1 small tomato, pureed
¼ tsp turmeric powder
 ¾ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp coriander-cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp dry mango powder / amchur powder
1 tsp kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves
Few coriander sprigs, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Soak the rice for 30 minutes. If using dry kidney beans, soak overnight and pressure cook until soft.

2. In a kadai, heat oil and butter. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, clove and cumin seeds. Once spices crackle, add onion and fry until soft.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste, tomato and fry till soft and mushy. Then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder, garam masala, amchur powder and kasuri methi.

4. Fry for 2-3 minutes, then add kidney beans, salt, coriander leaves, drained rice and mix well. Add 1 ½ cup water and bring to boil.

5. Once the rice is  ¾ cooked, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until the rice is soft. Remove from heat and gently fluff the rice with fork.
Notes and Tips
  • You can also use canned kidney beans (1 tin / 400g).
  • Adjust spices according to you preference.
  • You can also transfer the contents to pressure cooker at the end and pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
Read More >>

Stuffed Vegetable Masala Buns #BreadBakers


For this month's Bread Bakers, our host Deepthi of Baking Yummies suggested to bake yeasted or quick, sweet or savory rolls. I loved the Iyengar Bakery style khara buns that I had tried few months back. So I was looking for a similar kind of  Indian inspired rolls, and saw this stuffed masala buns in Rak's Kitchen. These buns are similar to the ones we get in Iyengar bakery. The buns are so easy and quick to make. They taste really good with a cup of tea. If you want to join this wonderful bread baking group, scroll to the end of the post for more details. Off to the recipe.

STUFFED MASALA BUNS RECIPE

{ Indian style vegetable masala stuffed buns }
Yields 6 buns


Ingredients:

For the dough:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
2 ¼ tsp instant dry yeast
1 tbsp sugar
¾ tsp salt
3 tbsp light olive oil
¼ cup warm milk
¼ cup warm water

For the stuffing:
2 tsp oil
½ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
1/8 tsp ajwain
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ tsp ginger-garlic paste
1 tsp tomato paste
1 large potato, boiled
1 small carrot, finely chopped
10 beans, chopped
½ cup green peas
½ cup finely chopped spinach
¼ cup capsicum, chopped
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp curry power / veg tawa masala
¼ tsp garam masala
½ tsp amchur powder
Salt to taste
Few coriander leaves, finely chopped

Oil / butter, to brush
Sesame seeds

Method:

To make the dough:

1. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, yeast, sugar, salt and mix well. Add oil, milk, water and knead well to form a smooth and soft dough.

2. Lightly oil a bowl and place the dough in it. Cover with a cling wrap and keep in a warm place for 1 hour or until almost doubled.


To make the stuffing:

1. Mash the boiled potatoes and set aside. Steam the carrot, beans and green peas until soft.

2. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, ajwain and asafoetida. Add the onions and fry till soft. Then add ginger garlic paste, tomato paste and fry for a minute.

3. Add the potatoes, cooked vegetables, spinach, capsicum, turmeric powder, red chilly powder, curry masala, amchur powder, garam masala, salt and mix well.

4. Add the coriander leaves and mix well. Set aside to cool.

To make the buns:

1. Punch the dough and divide into 6 equal balls. Place them on a lined tray for 30 minutes and cover loosely with a cling wrap.

2. Take each bun and slightly flatten them. Place 1 tbsp of the stuffing inside and bring all sides to center and cover the stuffing. Pinch the ends and roll and shape to a smooth bun.

3. Place the prepared buns in the lined tray for 10-15 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 190 C. Brush the buns with olive oil or butter. Sprinkle sesame seeds on top,

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the buns are golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Notes and Tips
  • If using active dry yeast, add yeast to milk-water mixture and let sit for 10 minutes or until yeast is foamy.
  • Add more water if required to form the dough. The dough should be soft and non-sticky. Add little flour and knead well if sticky.
  • You can prepare the stuffing with your choice of vegetables and adjust spices accordingly.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



Quick or Yeasted, Sweet or Savory Rolls:
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Pavakka Kichadi | Bittergourd Pachadi


It's been quite a while since I posted something on the blog. No particular reason this time, it's just lack of interest. But after the break I feel good and hoping to be regular hereafter. Since Vishu is coming  up next week, I thought I will start with a Vishu sadya special recipe. 

A pachadi/kichadi is nothing but a yogurt based dish made with fruits or vegetables, ground coconut, chillies, mustard seeds and seasonings. Some of the common fruits and vegetables that we are use to make pachadi for sadya are ladies finger/okra, tomato, pineapple and beetroot.

Today's recipe is kichadi with bittergourd or pavakka. The yogurt and seasonings help in reducing the bitterness of the gourd. If you are planning to make a full-fledged sadya, try this pavakka pachadi for a change. Also check out other pachadi and kichadi sadya recipes.

PAVAKKA PACHADI RECIPE

{ Fried bittergourd in a spiced yogurt and coconut sauce }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

1 large bitter gourd
1 cup plain yogurt
Salt to taste
Few curry leaves
2 tbsp coconut oil

To grind:
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
3-4 green chillies

To temper:
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
Few curry leaves

Method:

1. Trim the ends of bitter gourd and halve it. Scoop out the seeds and slice thinly.

2. In a pan add coconut oil and add bitter gourd, curry leaves and fry till the gourd turns golden brown.

3. Meanwhile grind the coconut, mustard seeds, green chillies to a paste with 2 tbsp  yogurt.

4. In a bowl add the remaining  yogurt and whisk well. Add the coconut paste and mix well.

5. Add the fried bitter gourd, salt to the yogurt coconut  mixture and mix well. Add more yogurt if thick.

6. In a pan heat coconut oil and add mustard seeds. When it splutters add red chilies, curry leaves and pour over the kichadi.

Notes and Tips
  • Add green chillies according to spice preference,
  • You can adjust the yogurt and make the consistency as you like.
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Eggless Triple Chocolate Scones #BreadBakers


For this month's Bread Bakers, the theme is chocolate and our host Shireen Siqueira wanted us to make bread with cacao, cocoa or carob in any form, as a filling, topping or in the dough. Initially my plan was to try my hands on chocolate babka and the scones were my Plan B, in case the babka did not work out. Well I did make the babka and am so glad I tried them. Even though they did not come out perfect, they just tasted out of the world. I'm definitely going to try them again soon and will surely post it.

Coming to my backup plan!!! From the time I baked these cranberry and orange scones, I just love scones!!! Since scones are very rich and loaded with calories, I make only small batches so that we don't end up eating a lot. Chocolate scones can turn out little dry, but the addition of cream and gooey chocolate chips keep them moist. These scones are bursting with chocolate flavor - from the cocoa powder, chocolate chips and finally the chocolate drizzle. If you love bread baking and want to be part of this wonderful group, go through the details at the end of the post.

While I was drafting the post, I noticed that this is my 350th post. Thank you all for the love and support, and keep visiting the blog. Off to the recipe!

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE SCONES RECIPE

{ Eggless chocolate scones with dark chocolate chips }
Recipe Source ~ Sally's Baking Addiction
Makes 6 scones


Ingredients:

½ cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup whole wheat flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
60 grams unsalted butter, frozen
¼ cup heavy cream / thickened cream
2 tbsp thick buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
½ cup dark chocolate chips

For the chocolate drizzle:
30 grams dark chocolate chips
½ tbsp unsalted butter

Method:

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

2. In a large mixing bowl add cream, buttermilk, vanilla essence and whisk well. Set aside.

3. In another bowl, add all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, salt and mix well.

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

5. Add this mixture into the wet ingredients and mix with a fork until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and gently press to form a dough.

6. Place on a lightly floured surface. Gently roll to a circle of ¾th inch thickness. Cut into 6 triangles and place on the baking sheet about 1-inch apart.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked. Place them on a wire rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

8. To make the chocolate drizzle, melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave. Whisk until smooth. Drizzle over the warm scones.

Notes and Tips
  • It is very important for the butter to be frozen. Otherwise it will be difficult to grate and the scones will not turn flaky.
  • You can use a mix of milk, white and dark chocolate chips.
  • The chocolate drizzle is optional. I made one set of scones without the chocolate drizzle and they were equal good.
  • If the dough is very dry, add more cream or buttermilk as required.

BreadBakers
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.



Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form
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Soya Chunks Kurma


Kurma or korma is one of my favorite curries to have with roti/phulka, porotta and even dosa. I love all kinds of kurma - be it a mixed vegetable kurma or one with legumes / beans, I can have it anytime of the day, even by itself!!! I have already shared a few kurma recipes on the blog, so if you are a kurma lover like me, do check them out.

Today's recipe is a spicy and delicious kurma with soya chunks. What I love the most about this kurma is how the soya chunks absorbs all the flavors from the masala, and turns juicy and delicious. Soya chunks is a great meat-substitute for vegetarians. I chucked in all the spices along with the masala to grind and cooked the masala on low heat to release all the flavors. Also I find cooking in pressure cooker lets the chunks absorb all the masala very well. Do try this soya chunks kurma and give me your feedback. I'm sure you will love it!!!

SOYA CHUNKS KURMA RECIPE

{ Soya chunks in a spicy gravy of onion-tomato, coconut and spices }
Serves 2-3


Ingredients:

1 cup soya chunks
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
Pinch of asafoetida / hing
1 sprig curry leaves
1 large onion, finely chopped
Few coriander sprigs, to garnish
Salt to taste

To grind:
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
⅓ cup grated coconut
4 - 5 green chillies
1 tsp pottukadalai / roasted gram
3 - 4 cashews
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¾ tsp fennel seeds / perumjeeragam / saunf
¼ tsp cumin seeds / jeera
½ tsp coriander seeds

Method:

1. Bring a pot of water to boil and add the soya chunks. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and drain after 10 minutes. Rinse the soya chunks in water 2-3 times and squeeze out the water.

2. In a mixie jar add all the ingredients to grind along with ¼ cup water and grind to a paste.

3. Heat a heavy bottomed pressure cooker and add oil. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add asafoetida, curry leaves and onion.

4. Saute the onion till soft. Add the ground masala and fry in medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until raw smell goes.

5. Add 1 cup water, soya chunks, salt and mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook for 1 whistle in low heat.

6. Once pressure subsides, open the lid and add chopped coriander leaves. Add more water if the kurma is too thick.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust the spice level according to your preference.
  • You can also cook this in a kadai or deep bottomed vessel. After adding soya chunks, cover and cook for about 8-10 minutes in low heat.
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Pottukadalai Poondu Podi | Roasted Gram Garlic Powder


There are different kinds of powder (podi) in South Indian cuisine to serve with idli/dosa and steamed rice. One advantage of these spiced powders is that they can be prepared in bulk and comes handy when you don't have time in hand to cook. One such podi / powder that I happened to taste few months back was this pottukadalai poondu podi.

This podi needs just 3 ingredients - pottukadalai, garlic and red chillies. Pottukadalai is nothing but rosted gram, also known as chutney dal and bhuna chana in Hindi. Just mix this powder with steaming rice and sesame oil (nallennai) or serve with hot idlis. The recipe is quite simple and you need just 10-15 minutes to make this powder.

POTTUKADALAI POONDU PODI RECIPE

{ Spicy roasted gram and garlic powder}
Makes 2 cups


Ingredients:

1 cup pottukadalai / roasted gram / chutney dal
½ tsp oil
4-5 dry red chillies
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
Salt to taste

Method:

1. Heat a pan and dry roast the gram for 2-3 minutes or until just warm. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add oil to the same pan and add garlic. Fry for 2 minutes. Transfer to the plate.

3. Add red chillies and fry till crisp. Transfer to the plate and allow to cool.

4. Add to a mixie jar along with salt. Grind to a smooth powder. Once cool transfer to an airtight container.

Notes and Tips
  • Adjust the number of red chillies according to your spice preference.
  • If you don't like garlic, you can add reduce the amount of garlic cloves.
  • Use fresh roasted gram for making this powder.
Read More >>