Carrot – Chow chow kootu

BM #105: Week 3, Day 3
Theme : Easy side dishes for rice/roti

This is yet another of my mother in law’s recipe. Again I took stepwise pictures when she was cooking to make my life easier :-). Kootu is one of the regular dishes our households. My grandma used to make it and my in laws also make it regularly. It’s one of those dishes I used to hate as a kid, but have developed a taste as an adult.

Kootu for most part, uses up leftover bits and pieces of veggies, but for this particular kootu, we bought veggies specifically for it. Amma had prepared it recently when we were visiting our brother in law at Texas. She had prepared it for a crowd of 12 plus people. It was really delicious and I asked her to prepare it again when she was visiting us in Jersey.

Read on for the recipe.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 chow chow/ chayote, diced
  • 2 medium carrots , diced
  • 1/4 cup moong dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • Water as needed
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 3 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal

Method:

In a thick bottom saucepan, add the diced carrots, chow chow, moong dal, turmeric powder and salt.

Add enough water so that it is just a little short of covering the veggies. Mix everything well. Turn on the heat.

Let the veggies and dal cook.

Meanwhile, grind a teaspoon of jeera/cumin seeds, 3 red chilies (or adjust per taste) and half cup shredded coconut.

Grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.

When the vegetables are cooked and the dal is also done, add the ground coconut paste.

Let the kootu boil for 5 minutes. Taste test and adjust seasonings. Turn off the heat.

Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a small pan. Add 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds and once it stops popping, add a spoon of broken urad dal. Wait for the dal to turn golden brown.

Add the tadka to the kootu. Serve with rice and papad.

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

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Beans porial with fennel seeds

BM #105: Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Easy side dishes for rice/roti

Rice is the staple dish for South Indians. We serve it everyday for lunch and even for dinner some days. Rice is served along with a gravy like sambar and a vegetable on the side. The sambar and the prepared vegetable are different everyday to keep the food interesting.

Beans is usually prepared once a week. I usually stir fry the beans and once cooked add shredded coconut on top and call it a day. But I was served this version which had ground fennel seeds and I loved the flavor. So now I have a small batch of ground fennel seeds at home, just to make this particular dish. This also starts off with sautéed onions and tomatoes as the base, again a deviation from normal for me. You can replace green beans with the yardlong beans/ karamani beans too.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend Purnima

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups of cut green beans (about 1/2″ long pieces)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Method:
    1. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and once it has stopped popping, add the onions. Sauté until the onions turn pink. Now add the chopped tomatoes. Mix it in and add the spice powders and salt. Cover and cook in medium to low heat, until the tomatoes are mushy.
      Add the chopped beans. Mix it in and cover and cook, stirring in between, until the beans are done. You might have to sprinkle a little water if the curry sticks to the bottom of the pan. Taste test and adjust the seasonings, if preferred.
      Turn off the heat. Now add the crushed fennel seeds and mix it in. Cover and set aside. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

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

    Brinjal Theeyal

    BM# 101: Week 4, Day 2
    Theme : 
    1 ingredient, 3 side dishes

    At my parents house, every single day, the lunch consists of a coconut based sambar and a vegetable side dish. A bean based (Chana, rajma, moong beans, even peanut) chundal is also made on most days. There are two reasons for the coconut sambars. One – my father doesn’t like dal based sambars, he claims it gives him gas. Two- we have a lot of coconut trees in our backyard and so coconuts are available to us throughout the year free of cost.

    I have already shared my mother’s most used recipe here, it just involves grinding shredded coconut with sambar powder. Today’s post is a little more elaborate than that. This was not a frequent recipe at home, but my brother used to prepare it every now and then with great results. He prefers pearl onions or bitter gourd for theeyal. You can use any vegetable of your choice, I have used brinjal here today.

    Read on for the recipe.

    Ingredients:

    For roasting and grinding

    • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
    • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
    • 3-4 dried red chilies (or more per taste)
    • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

    For the gravy

    • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
    • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
    • A pinch of hing
    • A sprig of curry leaves
    • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (optional)
    • 2 eggplants, sliced into thin long pieces
    • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
    • 2 cups water
    • Salt as needed

    Method:

    1. Heat oil in a pan and add the coriander seeds and dried red chilies, sauté for a couple of minutes until the coriander seeds change color. Take off the heat and transfer to a blender jar.
    2. Now add shredded coconut to the same pan and sauté until it turns golden brown, this might take about 6-8 minutes or so. Keep stirring all the time and keep the heat medium-low to avoid burning. Transfer it to the blender jar and once it’s cooled, grind into a paste adding a little water as needed. Set aside.
    3. Heat 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds crackle, add the fenugreek seeds and hing.
    4. Add the sliced onions and brinjal pieces. Cook, stirring in between, until it’s almost cooked.
    5. Add the prepared coconut paste. Add one cup of water to the blender jar to dislodge the any remaining paste stuck to the jar and add this water also to the pot. Add another cup of water along with the tamarind paste. You can add more water if you want it a little thinner consistency.
    6. Bring it to a boil and cook covered in low heat for about 10-15 minutes until it turns thick and oil floats on top. Turn off heat and serve with rice and a side dish of your choice.

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

    Brinjal curry

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

    For the last week of Blogging Marathon, I will be posting three eggplant based recipes. Initially I was thinking of paneer or potatoes for this theme. Then when I was shopping with my friend she suggested eggplants. It got me thinking that we don’t give this simple vegetable it’s due. This is an everyday veggie, but it never gets the limelight.

    We use brinjal in sambar or other gravies, it also gets prepared as a dry side dish. At my home, we sauté this with salt and sambar powder until the vegetable is done. My mother in law prepares a fresh spice powder and makes podi kathirikkai (Brinjal with spice powder). But today’s post is my friend’s version which has sautéed onions and tomatoes and all the spice powders in it. It doesn’t take a lot of time to cook and tastes delicious with rice.

    Read on for the recipe.

    Recipe source : My friend Devi

    Ingredients:

    • 2 teaspoons oil
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
    • 1 medium tomato, chopped
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1 teaspoon chili powder
    • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala (optional)
    • 10-12 medium Indian eggplants
    • Salt as needed

    Method:

    1. Cut each eggplant into two halves and each half into 3 pieces each length wise. So you will get about 6 pieces for each eggplant. Else just dice it.
    1. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add onions and minced garlic, sauté until onions turn pink. Add tomatoes and sauté for a couple of minutes.
    2. Add the spice powders and salt. Reduce heat, cover and cook until tomatoes are done.
    3. Add the eggplant and mix into the tomato masala carefully. Cook under medium-low heat, stirring in between, until eggplants are done. Take off heat and Serve with rice and sambar.

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