Friday, February 20, 2009

Simple sabjis - Dal & a quick recipe!




Oil (about 1 and a half tsp)

Cumin Seeds (Jeera - 1 tsp)

One mediun size onion - chopped

One tomato - Chopped

One green chilly - slit

Turmeric powder (1/4 tsp)

chilly powder (1/2) tsp


1. Soak any dal (toor dal / moong dal / gram dal) (in tamil...thuvaram paruppu / payaththam paruppu / kadalai paruppu) for 15 mts. For two people, 3/4 th cup of dal should be sufficient.

2.Heat Oil

3.Add cumin seeds.
When they change color, add onions and green chillies and Bring the heat to "sim".

4.Fry for 2 minutes and add Turmeric powder, chilly powder and salt

5. Fry for a minute and add tomatoes

6. Wait for 2 minutes till tomatoes are cooked and add dal. Cook in cooker for 2 whistles.

7. Finally, add chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis.

General Recipe

A standard gravy for north Indian side dishes which can be made very easily
(Roughly for two people)

oil ( 2 tsp)
cumin seeds
Onion - medium size 1 (made into paste)
Tomato - medium size 1 (made into paste)
turmeric powder(1/4 tsp)
chilly powder(1/2 tsp)
coriander powder (1 tsp)
Jeera powder ( 1/2 tsp)
  1. Heat Oil
  2. Add cumin Seeds
  3. When they change color, add onion paste.
  4. Fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add turmeric powder , chilly powder, coriander powder and jeera powder
  6. Fry for 1 minute
  7. Add tomato paste and salt
  8. Wait for 2 - 3 minutes. (time till the RAW smell of tomatoes goes off)
This is the basic gravy.
To this, we can add Potatoes and peas and call it aaloo mutter
add beans, carrot, potatoes, capsicum and call it mixed vegetable
Add potatoes and baby corn
And so on....

*You can either add these cut vegetables raw and put in cooker for 2 whistles or cook the vegetables separately (microwave / cooker) and then add to this gravy and bring to a boil.

**To bring some change in taste, you can always keep a stock of garam masala / sabji masala / kitchen king (from the brand EVEREST). Adding just 1/4 spoon of any of these masala s to the side dish as the last step while cooking will give different taste. Can use this for a change.

Finally, garnish with chopped coriander.

Hope this helps me friends who are learning to cook / trying to cook!
Happy cooking! :)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Temple trip... again!

While the koftas ( I was talking about in the previous post) came out well, I just recollected the items I cooked this month..
Chutney wale aaloo
Veg kofta
Chinese noodles and veg manchurian (for the gravy I used knorr)
Shahi Paneer

I think I am becoming more and more confident of experimentation with cooking!
(I ll post the recipes shortly)

And here I m... Just reached home after a two day trip to our native and couple of other temples.
Well, always,the trip planning always starts with "just couple of" temples and we end up planning to see about half a dozen... which was the case again... And each temple has it s own story and own speciality.

But anyways, enjoyed every bit of it... Happened to see 2 new temples this time... One was just amazing.. It was in Mayiladudurai... Govindaraja Perumal Temple. The architecture of this temple was really superb... It was such a huge one.. But, like many temples here, not well maintained. Also, they have an idol of Lord krishna, which u can hold in hand and pray for whatever u want, while the priest will be doing some chanting.

Our first temple was Thiruvalliangudi...
It is believed that if we visit this temple, it is equivalent to have visited all the (108) divya desams. (This is a huge list of temples of Lord Vishnu which lot of people visit and keep marking off the list... )

Then we went to Tittai (Near Thanjavur). Here there are two temples... One for Lord Krishna and the other one for Lord Shiva (this place is Gurusthalam.. meaning one of the navagrahas). The Krishna temple has this special Lord Anjaneya to whom u can pray for something and write it in a paper and tie it in the temple along with a coconut... U should treasure the receipt number u get and come back after ur wish is fulfilled and remove the coconut followed by an "archana" to God.

Then, Uppiliappan Temple (near kumbakonam) is the "usual" temple. And this time it was more special because they had done a special pooja (Sambrokshanai) and it is supposed to be very good to visit this place within 48 days of this spl pooja. The unique thing here is the "prasadam" is made without salt. The reason is a story in which Lord Vishnu had to marry the Goddess who had taken the form of a small girl. The girl's father told the Lord that she does not even know how much salt to put while cooking, for which the Lord agreed to eat without salt.

Then we also went to Ragusthalam nearby. Here the special thing is "ragu kaala poojai" in which milk is poured over the deity during raagukaalam.

After taking rest in the night, we started our way in the morning and went to two temples...
One was Govindaraja Perumal Temple and the other one was kethu sthalam. In this Kethu sthalam (near poompukar), we can light 7 diyas and pray.

Had a hectic and nice and peaceful trip....

Oh! look at me... talking of cooking... and temples... Looks like I am growing old!
I dont mind... cos I believe that we need to keep changing... for good :)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Chutney Wale Aaloo

So, here I m back to display my ability to cook!

Ya, these 3 years have made me a (well, I shud not say expert) fairly decent cook... And here I m sharing one of my favourite Sabji.... Chutney Wale Aaloo... This is a nice change from the usual gravies that we make with onion and tomato

See, I dont take the ownership for inventing these.... Some are from books / websites and some passed on from mom / sis / MIL / SIL etc etc...

Word of caution...this is not for people who dont like the smell of pudina / coriander.


Serves 3 - 4 people

Requirements :

*Baby potatoes (say about 15 pieces ) - in case not available, can take equivalent amount of normal potatoes cut into small pieces.
Boiled and peeled.
* 2 medium sized onions - made into a paste (can add a bit of ginger to this)
*2 small tomatoes - cut into medium size pieces.
*2 tbsp curd - beaten well
*3 cashewnuts - soaked for 15 minutes and made into a paste
* Jeera (cumin) - 1 Tsp
*chilly powder - 1 Tsp
*Garam Masala - 1/2 Tsp
*Salt - as per taste
*Oil - About 4 Tbsp

For chutney
*Amchur powder (or raw mango powder) - 1/2 Tsp
*Sugar - 1/2 Tsp
*Fresh coriander (one measuring cup) - chopped
*Fresh Pudina (mint) leaves (half cup) - chopped
*Salt - 1/2 Tsp

Blend together into a paste and keep aside.


1. Heat 3 Tbsp oil and add the boiled potatoes and cook. Keep aside

2. Heat 1 Tbsp Oil. Add Jeera and when they become brown, add the onion paste and cook for 2 - 3 minutes on low heat.

3. Add curd and cashew paste and cook for 1 - 2 minutes on low heat.

4. Add the green chutney and chilly powder. Cook till the mixture turns dry.

5. Add a cup of water and wait till it comes to boil.

6. Add the cooked potatoes an salt. Cook on low heat (uncovered) for about 5 minutes.

7. Add tomatoes and Garam Masala. Stir for 2 minutes.


Serve hot with Phulka!

Well, I am experimenting with Kofta today... Will post the recipe, if it turns out well!