Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Vendakka Thoran | Okra stir fired with coconut

The usual side dish prepared with okra is just a fry with lots of spices and chilly powder. But H doesn't like it that way. Recently he told me that his favourite recipe in okra is with lots of coconuts and onions. I am just waiting for people around me to say - please cook me this.... I  immediately donned my cooking hat and came out with a recipe which H relished to the fullest.


Okra/Vendakka - 350 grams
Coconut (grated) - 75 grams
Onions - 100 grams
Garlic pod - 2
Green chillies - 2
Salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1 spoon

To Temper:

Oil - 5 grams
Mustard - 5 grams
Jeera - 2 grams
Curry leaves - few

Wash and pat dry the okra. Finely chop the onions.
Cut into small pieces. Microwave with little salt for 6-7 minutes so that the okra is half cooked.
Meanwhile grind/crush the coconut, garlic, green chillies and turmeric powder without adding water.
In a kadai - add oil and mustard seeds. Once mustard splutters add the jeera and curry leaves and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the chopped onions and fry until onions turn translucent.
Add the crushed coconut paste and fry for about 2 minutes until the raw smell goes off.
Add the cooked okra and fry for about 5 minutes until the stickiness vanishes.

Vendakka Thoran is ready!!! Serve with rice or chapathis!!!!

Linking this to "Walk through Memory Lane" event happening at Motions and Emotions conducted by Gayathriscookspot

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Avial | Kerala Speciality | Veggies in Coconut and Yoghurt gravy

From the time I have started blogging I have been wanting to post this recipe. I make this dish rarely and the until now the photos were not good. So I had to postpone publishing this recipe. But this time I made this avial with the intention of taking good pictures and I was satisfied with the outcome. So here goes the recipe...

Avial is a yummy blend of different veggies in a spicy coconut and yoghurt gravy flavored with coconut oil. It makes use of vegetables like, Ashgourd, pumpkin, raw banana, yam, drumstick, yard long beans, snake gourd, carrots and French beans. Some people even add eggplants or brinjals. But I don’t add it. My mom says avial should not be made without raw banana and yam. Some people prefer to substitute yoghurt with raw mango or tamarind pulp. During mango seasons I do make avials with raw mangoes otherwise its yoghurt. Avial is made in two ways, one has more gravy and can be mixed with rice, just like Mor Kuzhambu, we call it Avial Kootan and the other is Gatti Avial, which is slightly thicker in consistency and acts more like a side dish for Sambar or Molagootal.

There is an interesting story about how avial came into being which my grandparents (in Kerala) often tell.The king of Travancore, conducted poojas, (there is some specific name - which I don't remember) for a specified period of days, every year, in which a many vedic scholars participated. One year, it so happened that there were no vegetables left for the last day of this pooja. A small quantity of different vegetables left over from the previous days was available. So the head cook, used all these left over vegetables and prepared a dish and he named it avial, which means a combination of this and that. This dish was liked very much by the king and all. The cook was handsomely rewarded and avial became a regular fare in any feast. 


Ashgourd – 100 gms
Pumpkin – 100gms
Raw banana – 1
Yam – 100gms
Carrot – 1 Medium
Drumstick – 2
Beans – 75 grams
Potato – 1 small
Salt to taste
Yoghurt – 1/4 cup slightly sour
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves a few

To Grind:
Scraped Coconut – 1 ½ cups
Green chillies – 5 ( adjust according to taste)


  • Wash peel and cut all vegetables lengthwise into about 2” sized pieces.
  • In a heavy bottom Kadai, add the Yam, plantains, beans, potato at the bottom (since these veggies take slightly longer time to cook) and then add the other veggies. Add salt to taste. Add about 1 cup of water and cook covered until the vegetables are just done. They should not get mushy. If after the veggies get cooked there is lot of water remaining, cook uncovered till the moisture has almost dried up.
  • I do it differently sometimes - I cook the vegetables (which take longer time to cook) in a pressure cooker just for one whistle and the others in a kadai with little water and then later merge both.
  • In the meanwhile, grind fresh scraped coconuts with the green chillies into a fine paste using very little water.
  • Add the ground paste and the sour yoghurt. Mix slowly without mashing the vegetables. Add curry leaves and drizzle the coconut oil. Mix carefully until the veggies are coated with the coconut and yogurt. Remove from heat.
  • Yummy gatti avial is ready. This can be used as a side dish for Sambar and rice or with Molagootal.
  • To make Avial Kootan, i.e avial of pouring consistency, use more of yoghurts and do not let the water evaporate while cooking the vegetables. This is best had with papads.

The famous combination is Adai and avial. Check the recipe for adai here.

Other vegetables that can be added are
chayotte (chow-chow)
long beans
Tindora (Kovakkai)

Linking this to "Walk through Memory Lane" event happening at Motions and Emotions conducted by Gayathriscookspot

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Manga Murungakka Sambar | Sambar with raw mangoes and Drumsticks

Well Well Well - We are approaching Summer and ready to welcome the king of fruits - MANGOES!!!! We need to wait for about a month or two to relish nice juicy mangoes. Meanwhile raw mangoes have started hitting the markets... And here goes my first contribution - a nice and delicious sambar!!!!

Sambar is a default menu item in most of the South Indians lunch or dinner. So there are numerous ways of making sambar - with dal and coconut, with dal but no coconut, with coconut and no dal and so on.... Oh yes and also add tamarind - the permutations and combinations increase. Here I tried a sambar with coconut and dal but no tamarind. Since raw mango by itself has a tangy taste, I didn't like to add more tanginess to the sambar. So I just added tomatoes. 


Toor dal – 1/2 cup - 75 grams
Hing – ¼ Tspn
Onions – 1 - 50 grams
Green chillies – 2
Tomatoes – 2 - 100 grams
Drumstick – 4 
Raw mango – 1
Brinjal/Egg plant – 2 - 25 grams
Salt – To taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tspn
Coriander leaves – Few

To Temper:
Oil – 2 Tbspn - 20 grams
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 Tspn - 3 grams
Cumin seeds – 1 Tspn - 5 grams
Mustard seeds – 1 Tspn - 5 grams
Urad dal – 1 Tspn - 5 grams
Dry red chillies – 1
Curry leaves - few

To grind:
Coconut - 1/2 cup - 50 grams



Cook the dal with salt and turmeric powder in a pressure cooker until mushy. Separate the water and keep it aside.
Heat oil in pan, add mustard and wait for it to sputter. Add urad dal, fenugreek, cumin, red chillies and hing. Fry for 10-15 seconds.
Add chopped shallots/onions and curry leaves, sauté it till translucent.
Add green chillies and drumsticks and sauté it.
Now add chopped tomatoes and sauté till the tomato turns mushy.
Meanwhile grind the coconut and sambar powder.
Now add the dal cooked water, boil for 10 minutes, until the drumsticks are cooked.
Add mangoes and brinjals and cook for another 5 minutes on low flame.
Finally add the cooked toor dal, ground coconut paste and mix it well. Check for salt and boil the gravy.
Garnish with coriander leaves.

Manga Murungakka Sambar is ready!! Serve with hot rice and papads!!!

Linking this to "Walk through Memory Lane" event happening at Motions and Emotions conducted by Gayathriscookspot

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.

Monday, 10 February 2014

Paneer Mutter Masala | a simple gravy with Paneer and Peas

This is the season of peas and we are getting peas at 10-15 Rupees per kg and I am planning to make full use of this :-). So am making more and more mutter alias peas dishes and Paneer mutter masala is one among them. I made this gravy a side dish for chapathi.

Paneer is a favourite of H. I have also heard that paneer and peas is famous among kids. So this recipe would be a kids favourite... Try this and find it out!!!

Paneer - 1/2 pkt - 100 grams
Green peas : 1/2 cup - 75 grams
Onions : 1 no - 75 grams
Tomatoes - 2 nos - 100 grams
Green chilli - 2 nos
ginger/garlic paste - 1 tsp - 5 grams
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
cloves - 2
cardamom - 1
cinnamon - 1/2 inch
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp - 3 grams
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp - 10 grams
Coriander powder - 1 tsp - `0 grams
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp - 5 grams
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp - 3 grams
Salt as reqd
Oil - 2 tbsp - 10 grams
Fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped


  • In a pan add oil, fry the paneer cubes lightly and keep aside.
  • In the same pan heat oil, add the cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Fry them for 10 seconds.
  • Add finely chopped onions and green chillies and saute until onions turn translucent
  • Add ginger-garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.
  • Add finely chopped tomato and cook till softens.
  • Cool this mixture and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Meanwhile microwave the peas for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground paste to the pan as well as the cooked peas. Add salt and all the other powders.
  • Whisk in the yogurt and switch to very low flame Cook for about 2 minutes.
  • Add paneer cubes and coriander leaves and switch off the flame. .

Paneer mutter masala is ready!!! Serve hot with phulkas n salad!!!!

Linking this to "Only food for Growing Children" happening at shrutisrasoi conducted by Pari

Linking this to "Walk through Memory Lane" event happening at Motions and Emotions conducted by Gayathriscookspot

Friday, 7 February 2014

Kashmiri Pulav | Rice rich with fruits and dry fruits

We have tasted Kashmiri Pulav in restaurants but I have never tried this in home. This time when I had home grown papaya and pineapple - this recipe struck me...

Kashmiri pulao is unlike the normal pulao recipes will not be spicy rather it will be slightly sweet. This  pulao is garnished with both dry fruits and fresh fruits. Dry fruits gives warmth and is ideal for the cold climate of kashmir. The fresh fruits which are usually added in kashmiri pulao are pineapple, apple and pomegranate. Dry fruits which are added are generally a mix of almonds, raisins, pistachios, walnuts and cashews. Most variations of making this pulao will use a different mix of fruits and dry fruits.

H is a fan of this pulav. So needless to say - he just loved it. I served this with a spicy curry. PAneer curries would be good combination.


Basmathi Rice / Jeera rice - 2 cups - 250 grams
Milk - 1 cup - 125 grams
Saffron - 2 pinch
Papaya - 1 cup - 100 grams
Pineapple - 1 cup - 100 grams
Raisins - 2 tbspn - 20 grams
Cashewnuts - 2 tbspn - 20 grams
Cherries - 2 tbspn - 20 grams
Onion - 1 - 100 grams
Ghee - 2 tbspn - 25 grams
Mace - 1
cloves - 4
Cardamom - 3
Sugar - 1/2 tsp - 3 grams
Vegetables - 1/2 cup - 50 grams (optional)
Salt - as per taste


  • Wash the rice and soak it in water for 20 minutes.
  • In a heavy bottomed deep pan, add ghee (reserve 1-2 tsp for roasting the nuts)and add the whole spices (mace,cloves and cardamom) and add sugar.
  • Add in the soaked rice to this (keeping the water aside).
  • Saute well, without changing the colour.
  • Soak the saffron in a tblsp of warm milk.
  • Add the water and milk to the rice. Add 3/4 th of the saffron mixture.
  • Add the chopped vegetables.
  • Add salt and cook this in a medium low flame.
  • Once the rice is cooked fluff it with fork and add the remaining saffron milk mixture.
  • In a small pan add ghee and roast the raisins and cashew nuts
  • Thinly slice the onions and fry them till golden brown and add to the rice.
  • Lastly add the chopped fruits and cherries and gently mix everything.

Aromatic, mild and sweet Kashmiri Pulav is ready!!!! Relish this with a spicy gravy or with ice creams as H does....

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Chettinadu Kadala Kuzhambu | White Chick peas in coconut gravy

I have always used the white chick peas (vellai kondai kadalai) to make chole or just sundal. I came across this chettinadu style gravy in a couple of blogs and wanted to try it for a long time. This is a wonderful combination to rice - making a difference to our daily routines of rice, sambar, thoran etc...

I would say this is basically like sambar wherein we have coconut, tamarind and this chick peas. In most of the recipes I saw for Chettinadu Kuzhambu - tamarind was used. We generally don't like a very sour/ tangy taste to the curries. So I made a small change. I didn't use tamarind - just added tomatoes. Also this curry can be made either with black chick peas or white chick peas.

Ingredients :

Kondai kadalai / White channa - 1/2 cup - 75 grams
Chopped Onion - 1 - 75 grams
Chopped Tomato - 2 - 100 grams
Chopped Potato - 1 - 75 grams
Chopped Brinjal - 3 - 75 grams
Turmeric powder - 1/2 spn - 3 grams
Salt - to taste

To Grind:

Grated Coconut - 4 tbspns -  100 grams
Sambar Powder - 2 tspn - 10 grams
Black pepper - 1 tspn - 3 grams

To Temper:

Oil - 2 tspn - 10 grams
mustard - 1 tspn - 3 grams
cumin seeds - 1/2 tspn - 2 grams
Curry leaves - few


  • Wash and soak chick peas over night. Cook the chick peas with salt and turmeric powder and enough water in a pressure cooker.
  • In a kadai, heat oil. Add Mustard, once the mustard splutters - add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add chopped onions and fry it until translucent.
  • Add tomatoes, potatoes and brinjal. Drain the water from the cooked chick peas and add it here. 
  • Let these get cooked. Meanwhile Grind the ingredients under "To Grind" with a little water.
  • Once the vegetables are cooked add the chick peas and the ground paste.
  • Mix well and check for salt. Cook until all veggies are cooked enough.

Chettinadu Kadala Kuzhambu is ready!!!! Serve with steaming hot rice and papads.


If you want to add tamarind, take juice from a small lemon sized tamarind and add it along with the ground paste to the curry and boil.
Garlic can also be added. But generally we avoid garlic in sambar like curries.

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.

Linking this recipe to the Walk Through Memory Lane event - hosted by Motions and Emotions and conducted by gayathriscookspot

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Moong Sprouts - Green Gram Sprouts - How to make at home

Sprouted Seeds are rich in nutrients and proteins. They are rich in antioxidants,enzymes ,minerals and vitamins (vitamin C and B12).. Also, Green gram gets digested very easily and sprouted green gram is very low in calorie when compared to actual green gram. I have started adding sprouted green gram salads to our diet very frequently.

I prefer making things at home rather than buying. So started sprouting Green gram also at home. Many people have asked me - how to do this. Also some people came back saying it took 4-5 days for them to make sprouted green gram and they don't feel like eating it after 4-5 days. So I thought of sharing how I go about making it and for me this is ready in 36 hours.


Green gram - one cup - 125 grams
water - to soak
A cotton cloth - about 4 feet * 4 feet
A closed lid container


Select good quality green gram. Wash it thoroughly. Soak it in enough water. Add enough water. Remember that green gram would become double the quantity after some time. Soak it overnight or for 12 hours.

After 12 hours, remove the water from the green gram. Take the cotton cloth and wet it. Squeeze out the excess water. Put the soaked green gram into this cloth and tie the cloth loosely Keep it in a container at room temperature. Container should be dry. Close the container with a lid. I kept it in a Hot pack!!

Don't disturb the container for about 14-16 hours. Then open the cloth and check. Sprouts would have definitely started but if you want long ones tie the cloth again and keep it aside for anouther 6-8 hours. Mine was done in 24 hours.

Please check the recipe Sprouted Moong Salad to enjoy a nourishing salad!!!

Monday, 3 February 2014

Papaya Thoran - 150th Post

Yippeee 150th Post!!!!!!!!!! Another Landmark...

I changed the Look and Feel of my blog. First thing - the earlier view was not much appealing for me. Wanted to do it for sometime now.... So finally here it is.... Hope my viewers like it...

Most of the people would have enjoyed papaya as a fruit rather than a vegetable. But in our place we consume it as a fruit as well as a vegetable. This is an amazing fruit which has lot of very good properties like it protects against heart disease, has powerful anti-oxidants, Vitamin C and A, protects against Rheumatoid Arthritis etc.... Also if teamed up with green tea - papaya prevents prostate cancer. So is there a reason to avoid this? I would actually vote for consuming it daily.

I have already shared the recipe of making a dal gravy with raw papaya - papaya parippu curry. Here's a recipe for a side dish which goes with rice and any curry. Raw papaya doesn't have much taste. So we need to add coconut and some other spices to bring in some taste. Though the clicks looks like cabbage - believe me it is papaya :-)


Raw Papaya - 1/2 - 350 grams
Coconut - 3 tablespoons - 30 grams
Shallots - 5 - 15 grams
cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon - 4 grams
Red Chilly - 2 Nos - 7 grams
Oil - 1 teaspoon - 5 grams
Mustard - 1 teaspoon - 5 grams
Salt - to taste
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - few


  • Peel the skin of the papaya cleanly. The skin has a bitter taste so be careful to remove the skin completely. Also remove the seeds and a white lining along with the seeds.
  • Wash the papaya and grate it with a grater lengthwise. Finely chop the shallots.
  • Heat a kadai. Pour Oil. Add mustard seeds. Once mustard splutters, add the finely chopped shallots and the curry leaves. Stir for about a minute.
  • Add the grated papaya, salt and mustard powder. Sprinkle little water. Mix well and close.
  • Meanwhile grind the coconut, cumin seeds and red chillies without adding water. Just use the whiper.
  • Add the ground coconut to the papaya. Mix well and heat it for another 2 minutes.

Papaya thoran is ready!!! Enjoy it with Rice and Sambar/Rasam.

Since we have grated papaya , it will get cooked very fast. Sprinkling water is enough - we need not pour water.
We can also add garlic to this.

Linking this recipe to the event South-Indian Cooking conducted by anuzhealthykitchen and hosted by nandooskitchen.

Linking this recipe to the Walk Through Memory Lane event - hosted by Motions and Emotions and conducted by gayathriscookspot