Vegetable Kurma

BM# 103: Week 2, Day 1
Theme : Recreate into a new dish

This week’s theme is to give a new makeover to a dish you have already prepared. I won’t claim to be a great cook, but I am definitely past that stage where every dish turns out to be a flop. So for this theme, I had to do a bit of mind jogging to decide what to make. I found myself looking at everything I prepared for an idea to recreate into something else.

And that’s when the flop happened! I had prepared a carrot and beans porial with coconut as a side for rice and sambar. But the carrots were very sweet. Aided by the coconut and slightly sweet beans, the dish turned out to be sweet and it didn’t suit our tastebuds at all. I served it for lunch anyway but decided to use the leftover for a kurma. Mixed vegetable kurma was a good way to mask the too sweet vegetables. I was able to increase the spice level with green chilies and other spices. So the curry wasn’t sweet and paired well with chapati.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups mixed vegetables*
  • 2 tablespoons ghee or oil
  • 1 big onion, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 big tomato, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt

To grind:

  • 2 tablespoons grated coconut
  • 6 cashew nuts
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 cloves

*I used one cup of beans-carrot porial and one cooked potato and 1/2 cup frozen peas

Method:

  1. Grind everything under the “to grind” list to a smooth paste, adding a little water as needed. Keep aside.
  2. Pressure cook the vegetables with 1/2 cup water and some salt. But since I was using cooked vegetables, I skipped this step.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, add the sliced onions. Once they turn pink, add the ginger garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add the tomatoes and all the spice powders. Cover and cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are cooked and mushy. You can add a spoon or two of water if it’s too dry to prevent burning of spices.
  4. Once the tomatoes are mushy, add the cooked vegetables along with the water in which it’s cooked. Since I used cooked vegetables, I added one cup of water. Let it come to a boil.
  5. Add the ground coconut paste and mix well. Let it cook for 5 minutes. Now whisk the yogurt well and add it to the curry. Let it come to a boil. Take off the heat, serve with roti or naan.

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

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Mixed vegetable khichdi

BM#102: Week 4, Day 1
Theme : 
One bowl recipes

For this week’s theme, the dish should be either prepared or served in a bowl. So the vegetable khichdi I had prepared in Instant Pot recently, seemed a perfect choice. What I like about this dish is that it’s a “put everything inside the pot and close the lid” kind of recipe. You start off with a tadka of ghee or oil with cumin seeds and ginger. Then all you have to do is add a bunch of vegetables, spices, rice and lentils and cover and cook. Done!

The best part is that this can be served with just pickle or yogurt on the side. But of course, a yogurt based Kadhi would be excellent as well. Though this is a traditional recipe with each house having their own version, the particular one that I tried is from the book The Essential Indian Instant Pot cookbook. I have followed the recipe as such and absolutely love the results.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon ghee/oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup green beans, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup dal (1/4 cup each masoor, moong, toor and Chana dals)
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Wash and Clean the rice. Set aside.
  2. Put the Instant Pot in Sauté mode and add the ghee. Add the cumin seeds and minced ginger. Add all the vegetables, chili powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add the rice and the dals along with 6 cups of water. Stir to mix well.
  3. Cancel the sauté program and select to Rice setting. Let the pressure release naturally. Serve with pickle and Methi Kadhi.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Pav Bhaji

BM#102: Week 2, Day 2
Theme : 
Restaurant recipes

Pav bhaji is an easy recipe to make and it’s always a crowd favorite. This and Chole bhature were my son’s regular orders at Indian restaurants when he was younger. He has started sampling more dishes now, but this is still a strong favorite.

I make pav bhaji for weekend dinners every now and then. I usually buy bread from the stores, but the batch you see here is served with homemade bread. My bread baking skills are mediocre at best, so the fact that bread come out nice and soft is a great achievement for me.

The main vegetables in this dish are cauliflower and potatoes, but you can add a lot more veggies too. Sometimes I add a pack of frozen veggies to make it more nutritious. I use readymade Pav bhaji powder for the masala which is readily available in Indian stores. The bhaji is topped with some chopped onions and a squirt of lemon right before eating, this elevates the taste of the dish a lot. The bread is used to scoop up the curry.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves :4-6

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1 small green capsicum, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons readymade pav bhaji masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 tablespoon each of Oil and butter
  • Chopped onions and lemon wedges, for serving

Method:

  1. Pressure cook potatoes, peas, cauliflower and carrots with water to partially cover it. Cook for 2 whistles or until the vegetables are done. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil and butter in a pan, add the sliced onions and capsicum and sauté for a few minutes until the onions are pink. Add ginger garlic paste. Add the tomatoes and cook. Once the tomatoes are done and soft, add turmeric powder, pav bhaji masala and salt. Mix well. Add 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of chili powder if you want to increase the spice level more.
  3. Add the cooked vegetables along with 3/4th of the water in which it’s cooked. Reserve the rest of the water. Using a potato masher, mash the vegetables roughly. I like it a little chunky, so I mash it too much. Bring it to a boil and simmer and Cook until the desired consistency is reached. If the curry is dry, add the reserved water. Taste test and adjust the seasonings.
  4. Serve with pav (bread) and chopped onions and lemon wedges.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Podi Kathirikkai

BM# 101: Week 4, Day 3
Theme : 
1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

I was introduced to podi kathirikkai (eggplants prepared with a spice powder) by my mother in law. It took me a little time to warm up to this dish but soon it was a favorite. I make this when I want a change from my usual method, which is a simple eggplant sauté with salt and sambar powder. Earlier I used to add homemade idli podi to brinjal instead of preparing the spice powder from scratch. That works decent, especially if the idli podi is coarse and not finely ground, but it’s not the same as the original.

The recipe for the ingredients to grind varies from home to home. My mother in law uses Chana dal, coriander seeds and dried red chilies, but I have seen recipes that have coconut, sesame seeds, peanuts, black pepper etc. I have added urad dal also to the mix. The base recipe is the same, sauté brinjal until it’s mostly done and then add the prepared podi (powder) to coat evenly. It’s important that you take care not to overlook the vegetable. If it turns mushy, it won’t be good. So keep a close watch when cooking this curry.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves : 3-4

Ingredients:

To roast and grind

  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Chana dal
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3-4 dried red chilies

For curry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 10-12 small Indian eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat a pan and add all the ingredients under toast and grind. Keep stirring and once the dals turn slightly brown, remove to a blender jar. Once it’s cool, grind into a powder, don’t add any water for grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add the sliced eggplant. Let it cook in medium heat, stirring in between.
  3. Once it’s 3/4th cooked, add the prepared spice powder and salt. Mix gently until the vegetables are coated with the powder. Continue cooking for another 3-5 minutes and turn the heat off. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.