Monday, April 14, 2014

Avial / Vegetables in Coconut Stew | South Indian Curry Recipes

I am a little late, I know in wishing you a Happy Tamil New year. Iniya Thamizh Puthandu Nalvazhthukkal! I did not make any sweet today but I am sharing a delicious and authentic Avial recipe. "Avial", literally means boiling relating to the method in which the vegetables are cooked in this dish. Though I already have another Avial recipe here in this space, this is different because it is a vegan version. Yes, this does not have curd/yogurt in it but tastes perfect and will have people asking for a second helping.

Serves - 2-3
Pumpkin - chopped into cubes - 1 cup
Carrot - 2 - cut to thick slices
Brinjal - 2 - cut lengthwise
Drumstick - 1 - cut into 2" pieces
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry red chilli - 1 (optional)
Curry leaves - a few
Make a paste:
Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chilli - 1
Dry red chilli - 1
Pearl onions - 5

Make a smooth paste with the coconut and other ingredients in the group. Boil the carrots, brinjal, drumstick with salt, turmeric powder and 1-2 cups of water in a covered saucepan. When the vegetables are half-done, throw in the pumpkin pieces and continue cooking covered. When all the vegetables are almost cooked add the ground paste and water if needed (about a cup). Bring it to a boil and simmer for 5-7 minutes. In a small kadai heat the coconut oil and splutter the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour over the avial and serve hot.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mango Frozen Yogurt | Desserts Recipes

Hailing from a tropical country, Summer means Mango to me. I remember the days when we ate basketful of mangoes on a single day, and I am not kidding. No peeling or chopping, just eating it by the fruit. We even had a couple of mango trees in our backyard which yielded a bountiful every year. Mangoes were also a part of many dishes like Mango Rice and Mango Pachadi. After coming to the US, I was introduced to using Mangoes in Lassi and muffins. Mango flavored anything, I love 'em all. To me it reminds me the carefree childhood days of summer, visiting grandparents, meeting cousins and having loads of fun.
Serves - 2
Ripe Mango - 1 (about 1 cup chopped)
Greek Yogurt, preferable whole milk - 1/2 cup
Sugar - 2-3 tbsp
Select a ripe mango, which is not too soft. A mango with a very sweet smell is ripe and perfect for this recipe. Peel the mango and chop into pieces, and remove the seed. Puree in a blender until smooth. Add the yogurt and the sugar. Blend again. Transfer to a glass container with lid. Place a parchment paper touching the top layer and cover with lid. Freeze for a couple of hours. Remove and blend again. Repeat the freeze (with parchment paper on) and blend process again. Freeze until ready to serve. When serving transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with a sprig of mint.. yumm..
Alternatively, if you have an ice-cream maker, transfer the blended ingredients after the yogurt and sugar addition to the ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lasooni Dhal Fry / Dhal with Roasted Garlic | Indian Curry Recipes

A hearty dinner means Chapathi with dhal for me. Moong dhal with chapathi was a favorite combo for us growing up. As a South Indian our typical dinner will be dosa, idli or upma most days. But when we run out of dosa batter, which we do occasionally, chapathi to the rescue. I made this simple and earthy dhal the other day for dinner. Paired with chapathi and pickle, a perfect satisfying dinner!
Serves - 3
Moong dhal - 3/4 cup (in a 160 ml cup)
Onion - 1 cup - chopped finely
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 5 cloves
Green chilli - 1 or 2
Garam masala - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Dry roast the moong dhal until a nice aroma comes from the dhal. Add 3-1/2 cups of water and turmeric powder and pressure cook for 3 whistles. When done, drain and reserve the water. Mash the dhal slightly. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan and splutter the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the slit green chilli, chopped onions and fry until it turns golden brown. Throw in the tomato with a pinch of salt and cook until it turns mushy. Add the garam masala and the mashed dhal with the reserved water. Add more water to thin the dhal and salt to taste. Allow it to boil and then simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl. Heat the remaining oil and fry the garlic, cut into slivers until golden. Pour over the dhal and mix well. Serve with roti or rice.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Chia Pudding | Desserts Recipes

My missing in action from this space for the past two weeks was not intentional. I was a bit preoccupied with some things at home. Though I had been cooking and clicking regularly, I wasn't able to sit down and pen words. May be that is what is called the blogger's block. 
Anyway I am back now and hope to as often as I could. This is a simple pudding made with chia seeds, chocolate and peanut butter. It is a yummy and healthy dessert recipe. How can desserts be healthy, you may ask. It can, because I made this pudding with chia seeds. Chia seeds absorb ten times its weight with water and keeps the body hydrated. 

Serves - 2; Cooking time - 10 mins; Standing time - 2 hrs
Chia seeds - 2 tbsp
Semi sweet chocolate chips - 1/4 cup (you can use dark chocolate chips)
Peanut Butter - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Agave syrup - 2 tsp (or any sweetener of your choice)

Place the peanut butter, chocolate chips and about 2 tbsp of milk in a microwave proof bowl and microwave for about 20-25 secs. Whisk until smooth. Add the remaining milk and heat for another 10 secs. Add the chia seeds and mix. Set aside for 10 minutes and mix again. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight. Serve chilled topped with fruits of your choice, or just as is.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vengayathal Thovayal / Spring Onion Chutney

Scallions or spring onion greens are the essential part for garnishing soups and many asian foods. But what happens to the white part of the spring onions. I try to sneak them in place of regular onions whenever possible. This chutney is one such way where you can make the best use of spring onions.

Spring onion - 1/2 cup - chopped light green and white part
Urad dhal - 1-1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2 (see notes below)
Grated Coconut - 4 tbsp
Tamarind - size of a marble
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tsp

Soak the tamarind in 2 tbsp of water. Heat 1/2 tsp of oil and fry the chopped spring onions until wilted. Remove and set aside to cool. Heat the remaining oil and fry the urad dhal chillies until the dhal turns light brown. Remove and set to cool. Grind the coconut, dhal, chilli, onions and tamarind (discard soaked water) with salt in a blender until almost smooth. Sprinkle little water as needed. Serve as a side. 
2 red chillies was a right amount of heat for our family. You could add upto 4 based on your heat tolerance.
Serving suggestion: Put a dollop of this thovayal on hot steaming rice. Add 1/2 tsp of gingelly oil. Mix and enjoy!