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.

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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.

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Lasooni Chana Paneer

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 3
Theme : A-Z Curries

I got this recipe from a friend of mine and she told me that it’s her regular base recipe. She makes a big batch of the below garlic paste and the uses a spoon or two as needed for various Curries or rice preparations throughout the week. Here I have used the whole batch for a single curry and as you can guess from the ingredient list, it is a very spicy dish. You can always use half of the spice paste and make it less spicer or simple reduce the amount of chilies and black pepper.

Here I have used what I had at home which happened to be Chana and paneer. You can use any vegetable you have at home. If you are using this for rice preparations, go about it the same way – Sauté the prepared garlic paste in oil after cooking the onions, then cook along with vegetables of your choice and rice.

Between pepper and red chilies, the paste is really spicy, but I find the taste quite alright and not overwhelming for us. In a nutshell, the paste contains about one whole garlic, a big piece of ginger, Handful of red chilies, a handful of black pepper and a bit of Jeera. The measurements here are based on that and you can always adjust it according to your preference. This curry goes well with rice and roti. I prefer it with rice.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

For the garlic paste:

  • 2” piece ginger, peeled
  • 10 cloves of garlic
  • 10-12 red chilies or per taste
  • 3 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon jeera

For the curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Curry paste from above
  • 2 cups cooked Chana
  • 1 cup diced paneer or more
  • Salt as needed
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

Method:

  1. In a blender jar, grind the ginger, garlic, red chilies, pepper and jeera to a paste. Grind without water first, but if needed, add a spoonful of water to help with grinding. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and sauté until it turns pink. Add the ground masala and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are soft and done. You can sprinkle some water if the curry looks dry and starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the cooked Chana, paneer, salt as needed and one cup of water. Mix everything well and add more water, if needed, to bring to the consistency of your choice. Bring it to a boil, taste test and adjust seasonings. Remove from heat, serve with rice or roti.

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Kadai Kumbh Palak

BM #112 : Week 3, Day 2
Theme : A-Z Curries

The library here was one of the first places to close when COVID 19 started spreading. They had emailed us to let us know that we should hold on to the books we borrowed until further notice. They are renewing the books from their end to avoid fines during this time. It’s a blessing that we can borrow digital copies using their App. I am fine reading a book in my phone, but somehow for cookbooks I don’t like the digital copy. I still prefer the paper copy.

So good thing is that, I am home with some really good books. One of which is Vegan Richa’s Indian cooking. I have already checked out that book couple of times and every recipe I have tried so far has been delicious. I am sure it’s a matter of time before I will be buying a copy of this book, but until then I have the library copy with me.

This is a mushroom and spinach curry with a base tomato gravy is from that book. I added some onions and peppers too to the mix, it’s a simple recipe to make and it was delicious. I had made extra servings, but it all got finished in one go – which I think is a good sign:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 cup mixed peppers, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon kasoori methi
  • 3 big tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cups packed spinach
  • Salt

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic, green chilies, peppers and onion. Sauté until onion changes color. Now add the spices – coriander powder, garam masala, chili powder, kasoori methi and salt. Cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes, mix well, cover and cook until it’s mushy. About 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add mushrooms, spinach. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two of water, if needed. Mix well, reduce heat, cover and cook until the mushrooms are done. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Serve with rice or roti.

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