Okra curry with coconut and sesame seeds

BM #113 : Week 4, Day 3
Theme : A-Z Curries

A typical South Indian meal includes rice, sambar of some kind and one or two veggie side dishes. On the days when I am not in a mood to cook all this, I just make a curry and serve with plain basmati rice or jeera rice. This is one such curry I had made with some ladies finger I had at home. When I saw this recipe in Vegan Richa’s Indian cooking book. I wanted to try it out. I have never had this combination of sesame seeds and coconut with okra, I am glad I tried this recipe, because it’s a keeper!

It doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare this recipe. It involves cooking of okra first and then making of the masala. The masala is a little different from the usual onion tomato base because of the addition of sesame seeds and coconut. It lends a nice and different taste to this gravy. This is slightly thick curry, but you can adjust it to your preference.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon oil, divided
  • 4 cups okra, cut into 1” pieces
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1” piece of ginger
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dry coconut flakes
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a wide pan. Add the okra and cook, stirring in between, until it’s done and slightly crisp on the edges. Transfer to a bowl and set aside for now.
  2. In the same pan, add a teaspoon of oil and add the coriander and cumin. Once the sesame seeds starts changing color, add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté until onions are cooked.
  3. Add the spice powders next – chili powder, turmeric, garam masala and salt. Once it’s all well mixed, add the tomatoes along with sesame seeds and coconut. Cook until the tomatoes are done and mushy. Take off the heat, let it cool completely and transfer to a blender jar.
  4. Make a paste of the onion, tomato, coconut mixture, adding about 1/2 cup water to make it a smooth paste.
  5. Add this puree back to the pan and bring it to a boil. Add the cooked okra and let everything cook on a low flame for about ten minutes. You can add more water to bring it to a consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve with rice or roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Nimona – green peas curry

BM #113 : Week 4, Day 2
Theme : A-Z Curries

This curry has been on my bookmark list for a long long time now. I had this is my mind for the alphabet G ( green peas curry), H (hare matar ka nimona), M (matar ka nimona) and finally am doing it for N. This is an easy to do recipe, almost all the ingredients are staples for me. I always have frozen peas at home and that’s what I used for today’s recipe after thawing.

This is the first time I am preparing and my family loved this dish. I already have requests for repeats 😁. I served this with jeera rice and it was a good combination. Plain rice or roti would also pair well with this curry.

I followed the recipe from this YouTube video for most part. I saw another video which didn’t use onions and used puréed tomatoes. I might try that version the next time. This particular video didn’t use any masala powders, but I went ahead and added it anyway.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 tablespoons oil/ghee, divided
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 2 cups green peas
  • 1 medium onion, sliced into long pieces
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced into long pieces
  • half a bunch of coriander leaves
  • 3 green chilies
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2” piece of ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Pulse the green peas in a blender jar couple of times until it’s a rough coarse paste. If you are using frozen peas, it needs to be thawed before using.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoon oil in a pan. Add the cubed potatoes and cook for a couple of minutes. Now add the ground green peas paste. Cook for about 8-10 minutes, mixing frequently to ensure it doesn’t burn.
  3. Remove from heat, transfer the peas mixture into a bowl. Set aside for now.
  4. Make a paste of the green chilies, ginger, garlic and coriander leaves without adding any water. Keep aside.
  5. In a clean pan, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil or ghee. Once it’s hot, add the onions. Sauté until it turns pink. Add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder and salt. Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes until the tomatoes are mushy. Add the ground coriander paste now. Keep stirring to avoid burning. Keep cooking tomatoes are completely done and mushy.
  6. Add the green peas and potato mixture to the pan now. Mix well, cook for a minute or two. Add 2 cups of water and once it comes to a boil, turn the heat to low and let it boil for about 10 minutes. You can add more water to suit the consistency you prefer. Turn off the flame after ten minutes. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Moong Sprouts Salad

BM #113 : Week 2, Day 2
Theme : Protein rich recipes

I used to be a big fan of sprouts salad in my twenties. If I didn’t have time to make sprouts from scratch, I used to pick up readymade packets from the supermarket just to make these salads. My recipe was simple – add some tomatoes, maybe onions and a green chili to the sprouts. Season with salt and then add the most important thing- lemon juice! It was the pairing of lemon juice with sprouts that I liked the most.

All that changed when I got pregnant. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t just have morning sickness. Instead, I had morning/ afternoon/ night sickness and it continued until the minute I delivered my son. I used to throw up multiple times a day and naturally my food habits changed a lot during those months. Apple became a favorite because it was the one and only food item that wouldn’t cause vomiting. It was tough in the initial months, later I figured out that it doesn’t matter what I eat, I am going to throw up anyway. So it was all fine.

The sprout salad was one of things that I gave up during my pregnancy. It took me more than a decade to give it another chance. It’s great that I am able to enjoy it now :-).

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sprouts
  • 1/2 big tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green chili, minced- optional
  • Salt as needed
  • Lemon juice as needed (I start with about 1/2 of a big lemon)

Method:

  1. In a bowl, add everything. Mix gently and taste test. Add more salt and lemon juice if needed. I like this with a lot of lemon juice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Green gram Sundal

BM #113 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Protein rich recipes

When I got married, I used to prepare Sundal varieties a lot and my husband always had this confused look. He would ask me why I am preparing something that was made only during the festival season on an everyday basis. You see, Sundal is way of preparing dry beans and lentils (commonly with coconut) and is made during the pooja holidays as an offering to the God. But in my house, it was a everyday dish.

The reason – my younger brother was a picky eater. His lunch and dinner every single day was curd rice, served with a side of (a) potato fry (b) raw banana fry (c) Sundal of any kind OR (d) potato/tapioca/ raw banana chips. The first time I saw him eat rice with sambar was when I was over 25. You really could have knocked me down with a feather at that moment!

Fortunately for my mother who was working, my brother’s eating habits came handy. Everyday she would make some kind of vegetable porial and then a Sundal as a second side dish for everyone. It’s much more easier to prepare a Sundal than a regular vegetable. Soaking overnight and pressure cooking is the major part, which is not too much effort. The sautéing part is the only active work and it takes less than 5 minutes even when you are cooking for a crowd. So no wonder we all adopted this into our regular diet.

With my husband, who grew up in a household without picky eaters, Sundal remains a once in a while dish. Or a healthy evening snack. So after our marriage, instead of making this a couple of times a week, I started making this only when the veggies run low. It’s not surprising that Sundal made a strong comeback during this quarantine time when grocery shopping wasn’t as easy as before :-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry whole moong beans
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 red dry chili
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • A pinch of hing, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the beans overnight. Drain the water and rinse the beans. Add enough water to the beans to so that there is at least an inch of water on top of it. Pressure cook for one whistle or for 1 minute in Manual mode if using Instant Pot. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Drain the beans and If possible, let it cool down for sometime. Cooking when it’s hot could make it mushy.
  3. Heat oil in a pan. add the mustard seeds, red chili and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle add the hing and let it cook for a few seconds. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt. Mix with a spatula and add the drained beans. Gently mix everything without breaking the beans. If the beans are undercooked (each batch of beans is different, so cooking times might differ slightly), sprinkle some water and cover and cook until it’s done.
  4. Add the shredded coconut and mix it in gently. Taste test and adjust seasonings, if needed. Take off the heat and serve with rice and morkuzhambu (yogurt based curry for rice).
Continue reading