Vada Curry - Sidedish for Idli/dosa

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Vada curry is a famous south indian dish usually accompanied with idli / dosa.  Deep fried paruppu vadai (lentil fritters) is cooked in a spicy onion tomato base gravy with addition of coconut milk. Alternative, vadas can be steam cooked instead of deep frying to make it healthy. But I recommend to go for deep fried version. Though recipe seems to be time consuming but once vadas are ready in hands, it is such a quick cooking side dish. I'm sure its such a winning combination with set dosa. I hope you will love to try this recipe and waiting to let me know your feedback.
 
Preparation & cooking Time: 45 minutes
Yield: serves 4 

Ingredients:

Gram Dal / Kadala Paruppu – 1/2 cup
Onion – 1, chopped
Tomato – 1 (big), chopped
Green chilli - 2
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Thick Coconut milk – 1/4 cup
Coriander leaves – 4 tbsp, chopped
Cinnamon - 1/2 " piece
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – for deep frying + 2 tbsp for seasoning

To Grind:
Green chilli – 2
Dried red chilli - 3(soak in hot warm for 10 minutes)
Ginger small piece – ½” piece
Garlic – 3 cloves
Cinnamon sticks – 1" piece
Cloves –3
Cardamom- 2

For seasoning:
Bay leaf - 1 (i didnot use it)
Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
Mustard – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – few
sprigs
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped

Method:

  • Soak gram dal for 2 hours. Drain dal with no water. Grind to coarse paste. Combine with chilli, little salt and fennel seeds.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Pinch small portion of batter(like we do for pakore), drop in hot oil. Do not over-flood the oil with batter. Do in batches. Deep fry until slight golden brown. Drain in kitchen tissues.

  • Now the grind the ingredients under To Grind to coarse paste.
  • Heat oil in kadai / pan. Season mustard, and allow to splutter. Add fennel and cinnamom stick, bay leaf, few sprigs of curry leaves.
  • Add onions and saute until turns translucent. Add tomato and saute until tomatoes are tender.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder. Cook for few minutes to make tomato tender. Add the ground paste, allow to cook until raw smell disappears.
  • Pour a cup of water and let it boil for 2 minutes. Add the vadas and let it cook for some time. Vadas will absorb water so if required add some more water.
  • Finally add coconut milk and simmer cook for sometime to let the gravy thicken. Mash a bit gently using potato masher to break the vadas. Garnish with coriander leaves and remove from heat.
  • Serve hot with Idli, dosa, aapam, idiyappam and parotta.

 

Note:

  • I used store brought coconut milk, which is usually thicker than home made coconut milk. You can even use coconut milk powder if you cannot get it. Dissolve it with warm water before use.
  • Always add vadas at the last stage of cooking before serving, soon vadas sucks up moisture and leaves out very thick gravy.
  • You can even use moong dal and channa dal combination to make vada curry.
  • If you need to get restaurant style vada curry, use some amount of red chilli, coriander  and garam masala powder.
  • Adding few chopped mint leaves enhance the taste of vada curry, try it.




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Gongura Pulihora | Spicy Sorrel Leaves Rice

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Whenever we speak about Andhra food, the first thing comes to mind is Gongura pickle or pachadi. Not only pickle there are wide variety of gongura recipes can be bring into mind among gongura-lovers. Today I want to share with you one of the easiest rice preparation using gongura / sorrel leaves. The tart and bright flavor of sorrel gives a nice tartness  to any dish it is cooked on. Pick the fresh leaves whenever you find in market, wash and pat dry, saute well and make a paste of it. The paste stays good upto a week in fridge. So use it as needed for any dish that call for it.
Once the paste is ready, it is really super easy to prepare the rice. To make this rice you can use either freshly cooked rice or leftover rice. The seasoning brings the nice taste to the rice. The rice tastes even better after few hours once the flavors settle in it. So this makes perfect for lunch box. Enjoy the tasty and spicy gongura rice with pappadam and raw onion.

 

Preparation & Cooking Time : 45 minutes

Yield :serves 2

Ingredients:

Gongura Leaves - 1cup
Uncooked Rice - 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds  - 1/4 tsp
Green chilli-3,splitted
Tamarind water -  3 tbsp
Dried Red chilli  - 2, broken
Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
Channa dal - 1tbsp
Urad Dal - 1tsp
Roasted Peanuts - 2tbsp
Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Sesame Oil- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


Method:

  1. Wash and cook rice little grainy not mushy. You can use either sona masoori or ponni rice for this rice preparation. Spread a tsp of oil to the rice and allow it to cool.
  2. Pick the gongura leaves without stems carefully and wash thrice using tap water to clean properly; allow to dry. Heat a tsp of oil in a pan, add the turmeric, fenugreek, gongura and tamarind water; saute until leaves are wilt, soon it would turn mushy. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Grind to smooth paste.
  3. Now heat sesame oil in the pan. Prepare the seasoning. Add the mustard and allow it to splutter. Followed by add channa dal, urad dal, green chilli and broken red chilli. Fry until slightly brown. Throw in some fresh curry leaves,asafoetida and ground gongura paste. Along with add little amount of turmeric and salt. Combine and saute the mixture well.
  4. Now add the cooked rice and mix well so that the rice blends with the gongura mixture. Check for salt, add if needed more. Cover the pan with lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Finally garnish the rice with roasted peanuts.
  6. Serve the spicy and tasty gongura pulihora with papaddam.

 

Note:

  • I recommend to use sona masoori or raw rice or ponni rice to this rice recipe.
  • For spicy lovers increase chillies as per taste. Also can grind two green chilli along with sorrel leaves.
  • Always use very little amount of tamarind since sorrel leaves have tart  flavor.
  • You can prepare the gongura paste in advance and store in fridge. It stays good upto a week.

 

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Eggless Butterless Dates Cake | Dates Tea Cake Recipe

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Baked these cute little heart cake for this valentine's day to surprise my dear Hus. I should probably say one of the most easiest, mess-free, super quick cake. This reminds me baking banana cake. I always love to bake banana cake with walnuts. May be it is ease of preparation, ingredients seemingly always on hand,  the satisfying and great smelling cake out of the oven after so little effort.

My Hus loves cakes that are free from lots of butter and cream frosting. So I nailed to bake dates cake for the very first time with little nervous, because wanted to try something eggless and butterless. Like bananas, dates are a delicious addition to the cake. It provides moisture and sweetness to the cake, yielding a perfect cake. This little piece of cake welcomes with a glass of milk or cup of hot tea.



 

Preparation & Cooking Time : 1 hour 

Setting time: 1 hour

Yield :Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

Pitted Dates - 20(i used brown dates)
Hot Milk - 3/4th cup
Refined Oil - 1/4 cup
Maida / All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Soda - 1tsp
Baking powder - 1/2tsp
Sugar -  1/2 cup

Method:

  1. First grind the pitted dates to little coarse paste. 
  2. Mix milk, dates paste, sugar and oil. Keep aside for an hour. After an hour, whisk it becomes smooth consistency.
  3. Fold the flour with the prepared mixture until reaches smooth texture.  If you want to add nuts, use it here. I did not add any nuts. 
  4. Line the cake pan with butter paper or parchment paper. Pour the batter and tap gently to spread evenly. Pre-heat the oven for 10 minutes. Place the cake pan in the oven tray. Keep the tray in the center of the oven. Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 45 minutes.
  5. After 30 minutes insert a tooth-pick and test check. If the tooth-pick comes out clean,  then the cake is done. If the batter sticks to the tooth-pick, put back to the oven, bake for another 10-15 minutes.
  6. Cool on a wire rack. Serve it. 
  7. The cake tastes even better the next day. It stays good for 3-4 days. No need to refrigerate.

     

    Note:

    • It's optional to grind the dates, or you can roughly chop before adding in milk. It depends on how dates should taste in cake. Whatever it is, dates gives nice brown color to the cake like fruit cake.
    • Hot milk helps sugar to dissolve faster and makes dates softer.
    • The cake stays good for 3-4 days. Enjoy as many you want....




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    Chocolate banana marble cake
    vanilla cake

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    Mint Mushroom Tikki | Healthy Low-Calorie Snack Recipe

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    Mushrooms are my daughter's most favorite food. So I often include it in her lunchbox either as pulao or gravy to accompany with roti. Last week i bought mushrooms from fairprice, Somehow i could not prepare for weekday which later turned out to be perfect snack for weekend. Whenever I look for healthy snack which means less oil, light and tasty food which satisfy  weekend evening crave - tikkis / kebabs would be the first option strikes from my mind.


    Mushrooms are low in calorie, fat-free, cholesterol free, very low in sodium, yet they provide more nutrients that are typically found in animal meat or grains. A very good source of B vitamin. Hence serves to be best option for vegetarians. The focus of this recipe is mainly to provide low-calorie snack idea. I tired it with very minimal ingredients using mint and low-fat yogurt as a main for marinade. Worry not if you do not have tandoori or grill or oven, simply do this on a greased tava.

    Preparation & Cooking Time : 45 minutes

    Yield : Serves 2

    Ingredients:

    Button Mushroom - 1 punnet (i used brown mushroom)
    Fresh Mint leaves - 1 cup
    Coriander - 1/2 cup
    Low Fat Fresh Hung Curd / Low-Fat Greek style yogurt - 1/2 cup
    Green Chilli - 3
    Ginger - 2" piece
    Salt to taste
    Oil , as needed to fry tikki

    Method:

    1. Grind mint, coriander, green chilli and ginger  to fine paste without adding water.
    2. Wash mushroom thoroughly and pat dry. Poke the mushrooms with a fork to let the marination set.
    3. In a mixing bowl, combine curd, ground mint paste, lemon juice and salt. Add the mushroom. Mix well. Allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
    4. Heat a non-stick pan and cook the mushrooms on a medium heat, using oil. Allow it to cook evenly by turning in between until slightly golden.
    5. Serve healthy mushroom tikki immediately. 


      Note:

      • Cook the mushrooms over medium heat to avoid burning dark. 
      • Alternatively you can grill or bake in pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes.
      • If incase marination has become watery use besan to give thickness.
      • For a change cauliflower / paneer can be used following same procedure.


       

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      Palak Puri Recipe , How to make spinach Poori

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      All kids loves to eat colorful food and so my dear daughter too. This is how every mother takes pain, invest her creativity to feed her children. The previous day discussion in the dinner table  after looking at this green color puris in plate.
      DD- "Daddy how Amma can make colorful food for me, she made red chapati(Beetroot Paratha), green puri , red dosa(tomato dosa) and the list went on....."
      DH - Ämma knows how to make you eat, that's her magic".
      Me - Peeping at their discussion and was smiling.
      Though kids take time to get familiar with new foods, but soon with these colorful and attractive food they will understand the approach to their healthy life.
      Palak Puri is an excellent healthy combination of spinach and wheat flour.  Spinach gives it nice green color to attract kids. The same dough can be used to make Chapatti to avoid oil consumption. Serve it is as a breakfast with curd or pack it for the lunch box with aloo curry or with pickle.

      Preparation & Cooking Time : 45 minutes

      Yield : 20 puris

       

      Ingredients:

      Wheat Flour - 2 cups
      Palak / Indian Spinach - 300g
      Ghee - 1 tbsp
      Green Chilli - 2
      Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
      Salt to taste
      Oil for deep frying

      Method:

      • Pick fresh spinach and wash is completely to remove dirt. Blanch the spinach in boiling water. Remove from water and allow it to cool.
      • Grind to make a smooth paste with green chilli. Mix the spinach paste with wheat flour, ghee, cumin  and salt.
      • Make a soft dough by kneading well. Add water only if required. Make sure the dough is firm and tight, not too sticky. Otherwise it will be difficult to roll out puris.
      • Keep the dough covered with wet cloth for 10-15 minutes. Knead the dough again after 15 minutes and divide into 20 equal lemon size balls.

      • Roll each balls into puri . Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and fry each of the puris on both sides till golden brown.

      • Serve hot puris with curd and pickle or with aloo curry.

        Note:

        • It is very important to knead the dough firm and not too watery. Otherwise will be difficult to roll out puris.
        • Fry one puri at a time and fry evenly to avoid dark color.


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        Creamy Spinach n Lentil Soup (low-calorie soup recipe)

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        A bowl of nutrient-dense, hearty and healthy soup  that leaves you satisfied without over-filling.  A very basic combination of spinach and lentil for a soup makes a complete light meal with a loaf of bread. This low-calorie soup is recommended for weight conscious viewers. And the bowl of warm soup would be my preferable weeknight dinner. A delicious, spicy blend, loaded with full of iron, calcium and protein makes an ultimate food for soul, also when it gets ready under half an hour makes my tummy smile. Do try and share with me how it turned up...





        Preparation & Cooking Time : 30 minutes             

        Yield :serves 3-4                                 

        Ingredients:

        Onion-1 medium, finely chopped
        Garlic - 2 cloves, finely chopped
        Lentil (any variety)– 3 tbsp(I used Thoor dal)
        Vegetable stock or water – 3 cups
        Fresh spinach / Palak- 450g
        Low fat cream - 3 tbsp
        Salt and Ground pepper to taste
         

        Method:


        1. In a pressure pan combine lentil, spinach, onion, garlic and vegetable stock. Pressure cook for 3 sounds.
        2. Drain the water through colander and blend the ingredients to smooth paste using mixer or hand blender.
        3. Bring the ground spinach paste and water to the sauce pan. Add fresh cream and stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Allow it to cook for 5 minutes.
        4. Serve in individual bowl with bread loaf.

         

        Note:

        • You can use half portion of water and half portion of milk to make it more tasty, especially if you are serving  your kids.
        • Instead of cream use cornflour dissolved in water to give thickness.
        • Use the spinach cooked water or stock to retain the spinach fibre in soup. (Recommended)

         

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        Pandu Mirapakaya Pachadi | Red Chilli Chutney

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        Pandu Mirapakaya Pachadi is a recipe from my Amma. Before my marriage I happily enjoyed eating from amma's hand. But now it's totally different since i get very rare time to stay with her. Many recipes I learned from her, this recipe which I came across is totally new to me. Last time when she came to visit me, she taught me the chutney using fresh red chilli. At first I hesitate to taste the chutney looking at the fiery hot red color of it. But it doesn't taste so hot as i was expecting. She said these red chillies are milder in spice than  any other chilli varieties.  Adding garlic, tamarind and jaggery along with chilli gave a  distinct taste - sort of sweet, spice and tang. 


        The chutney tastes best with idli, dosa, roti and  adai. Grind without adding water to store for few days, also goes well with rice. Grind  If you are looking for simple with no onion / tomato base chutney, then try it out and tell me how it went. I used this (below) variety of chilli which is not spicy like other chilli. Next time i'm planning to try with red bell pepper.


         

        Preparation & Cooking Time : 10 minutes

        Yield :1 cup

        Ingredients:

        Fresh Red Chilli - 5 no.
        Coconut bits - 2 tbsp
        Garlic - 10 flakes
        Whole Urad Dal / Minapappu - 1 tbsp
        Tamarind - goose berry size
        Jaggery - 1 tbsp
        Salt to taste
        Oil - 1.5 tbsp
        Mustard Seeds - 1tsp
        Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp

        Method:

        1. Washand pat dry red chilli. Choose for bright red color with no wrinkled edges.
        2. Heat a tsp of oil in a fry pan. Fry the urad dal over low fire until golden. Add tamarind at the end to fry. Remove to cool. Grind to coarse powder.
        3. In the same fry pan saute red chilli, garlic and coconut separately.
        4. Pass this to the mixie / blender. Add turmeric, jaggery, needed salt. Grind chutney to the require consistency. Add very little water to grind properly.
        5. Season with mustard and asafoetida.
        6. Serve with idli, dosa.

          Note:

          • Adding coconut bits is optional but recommended.
          • Tamarind and jaggery is must to combat the strong garlic taste.


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