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.

Advertisements

Spicy Tindora/ Kovakka

BM# 98: Week 4, Day 2
Theme : Cooking for Two

Cooking for two is a challenge for me, because I always cook a lot more than what we need. The main reason for this is that if there is excess, I can always refrigerate it for another day…but if there is not enough food, it’s just not acceptable for me. I have an excellent appetite and after growing up with two siblings whose appetite can challenge mine, one thing I realize is that even though you think you have cooked extra food, the truth might be that it still may not be enough. In the last few years, I can see a definite decrease in my husband’s and my appetite, but even now, on really hungry days, I would rather have a little extra food than a little less food.

Its very recently that there has been a change in the way I cook. My husband works from home a lot, but on the days he decides to go to work, he takes lunch from home. Recently, he has started giving me a very short notice about packing lunch for him. So I have started preparing food just for him and once he leaves for work, I will start cooking again for me and my son. So, its a combination of cooking for one first and then repeating it for two people. The rice and dal is always prepared before I leave to drop my son, so that part doesn’t affect the short notice for lunch preparation.

Here is one of such lunches prepared. Its kovakka/tindora fry, prepared for one first and then prepared again for two people. This is a very simple recipe, yet it very delicious. The more oil you add, more crispier and tastier the vegetable is. But that choice is completely yours to make. Read on for the recipe.


Ingredients:

  • 20 ivy gourds, sliced into thin rings
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the turmeric powder, chili powder and salt to the oil. Sauté for a couple of seconds until the chili powder changes color and becomes slightly darker.
  2. Add the sliced kovakka/tindora to the pan. Using a spatula, carefully mix well until all the pieces are coated with the chili powder and oil.
  3. Cover and cook in low heat for about 10-12 minutes or until the veggies are almost cooked, stirring couple of times in between. Once it’s almost cooked, take off the cover and let it cook in medium flame until kovakka is completely cooked and there is no moisture left in the pan. You will have to stir in between to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Serve with rice and sambar of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

 

 

Ragi Semiya

BM# 98: Week 2, Day 3
Theme : Dish for each meal

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet it’s one of the most neglected time in my house. My son prefers cereal over everything else. My husband has a full cup of Indian style milk coffee and calls it breakfast. And I join either of them depending on my mood that day.

Growing up, it was almost always dosa for breakfast at home on working days. That was the only thing all of us ate without bickering too much. When we were young, Amma used to make special breakfast for weekends, like poori masala, sevai or chole bhatura.

I remember amma making sevai at home. It’s a rice noodle based breakfast that’s made from scratch. It is also a time and effort consuming process. You have to press out a rice ball into noodles using a tool specifically meant for that purpose. Ours was the old fashioned one that has three legs and sits on the floor. You use your body weight (we were kids, so we had to use our weight) to squeeze the rice ball and feeling of accomplishment is high when done right.

Thankfully there is readymade sevai available now on the market and the process of making is a lot more easier. The recipe here is semiya made from ragi instead of rice. Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source : Megha’s Cooking channel

Ingredients:

  • 1 packet (180 gm) ragi vermicelli
  • 2 teaspoon oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
  • salt to taste

Method:

  1. Follow the package instructions for making the ragi vermicelli. That involves soaking in water for three minutes and then after draining, steaming in a greased pan for 5-7 minutes. Greasing is important to avoid the semiya sticking onto the vessel. I used idli plates for steaming.
  2. Take off the heat, remove the sevai to a separate vessel, fluff with a fork to stop it from forming clumps. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add the onions and chilies Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the carrots and broccoli. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the cabbage in and sauté for a couple more minutes. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the semiya and mix carefully. Add shredded coconut, if desired. Take off the heat and serve hot with chutney or even sugar.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

Keerai Mulagootal – Keerai Kootu

keerai_mulagootal1

Indian meals have at least one lentil based curry everyday. I use the term curry on a broad sense here. When we say Indian curry, the image is that of a creamy, red color gravy with ghee or oil running on the top. But that’s not what you eat at home everyday. Everyday cooking is a completely different than what you get in restaurants.

On an everyday basis, rice is served with a lentil based gravy and some veggies on the side. A popular South Indian gravy is sambar, which is toor dal or pigeon pea cooked with vegetables in a tangy tamarind base. Rasam is another one. In my house, the Kootu comes to a close third place.

There is no single recipe for sambar or rasam or kootu. There are so many different variations for each of these. You can make sambar 5 days a week and yet come up with five completely different flavors each day. For example, this kootu here is a combination of spinach with lentils and coconut. I have another version coming up soon which has pumpkin cooked with dal and with no coconut. So the taste is completely different even though the base of the dish is same.

Kootu is usually a mix of one or  more vegetables cooked with lentils and then rounded off with ground spicy coconut paste. So the recipe has three components. Cooked lentils, cooked vegetables and finally the roasted and ground coconut spice paste.  The coconut paste imparts flavor and it also helps thicken the gravy a bit. What goes into the coconut paste also differs from recipe to recipe. And sometimes its completely skipped also.

Today’s recipe is spinach kootu. This is about a bunch of spinach cooked with lentils. I cannot say that I was a big fan of this preparation when I was a kid, but it is one of my favorites now. I love my mother in law’s mixed vegetable version a lot. It is her weekend special along with masicha keerai (spinach, mashed and cooked in a tamarind base). I am yet to blog that recipe, but will do it soon.

Read on for the recipe.

keerai_mulagootal3

Recipe adapted from: Subbu’s Kitchen

Ingredients:

To saute and grind:

  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 2 tablespoons urad dal
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon jeera
  • 1/4 cup coconut
  • water as needed

For the kootu:

  • 4 cups spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup moong or toor dal, cooked separately
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 dry red chillies

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan. Roast 2 tablespoons urad dal, 3-4 red chillies. Once the dal turns brown, add 1 teaspoon jeera seeds and turn off the heat. Once cool, add to a mixer jar along with 1/4 cup coconut. Grind to a smooth paste adding a little water.

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a pan, add one teaspoon mustard seeds and 2-3 red chillies to it. You can do the tadka later, but sometimes, I prefer to do it together. Once it splutters, add about 3-4 cups of cleaned and chopped spinach. Add a little water and let it cook. 

Cook 1/2 cup moong dal (or toor dal) with 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder separately. Add the dal to the spinach once its cooked.

Mix well, add water as needed and add the ground paste. Mix everything in, adding salt to taste. Add water as needed to bring it the consistency you prefer. Serve with rice and pickle.

keerai_mulagootal2
BMLogo

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 80