Bachelor-friendly, Festival Recipes, Sweets

Carrot Payasam

During winter season in India we get the red longer variety of carrots as opposed to the orange smaller thicker variety that is available all through the year. The red variety is sweeter, juicier, and more tasty. The red carrot variety is the most ideal to make this simple and yummy kheer/payasam made with minimal ingredients.

Red Carrots (diced) – 2 cups
Milk – 1/2 liter
Sugar – 3/4 cup – 1 cup
Cardamom powder – 1/4 tsp
Pista flakes – 1 tbsp

Boil the milk in a sauce pan.
Wash the carrots thoroughly, scrape the carrot skin to remove any impurities, and then dice them into small chunky pieces.
Place the diced carrots in half a cup of milk in a pressure cook and cook to one whistle. Let it rest until the pressure releases completely.
Open the pressure cooker, take out the cooked carrot pieces and after they cool down, puree into a smooth paste using a mixer.
Transfer the carrot puree to the rest of the milk and bring to boil. When the milk and carrot mixture starts boiling, add the sugar. Stir well. Taste and adjust as desired.
Add cardamom powder and garnish with pista flakes.

Notes: You can make this kheer with orange carrots also but since they have more pulp and are less juicy and not sweet like the red carrots, the taste will be very different. Red carrots give the ideal taste.

Bachelor-friendly, Everyday Simple Recipes, Festival Recipes, Salads, Snacks, South Indian, Vegan

Kosambari – Mung Beans, Carrot, & Cucumber Salad

I am happy to skip my afternoon rice lunch or evening dosa and just have a bowl full of this salad. It is so easy to prepare, very delicious, nutritious and filling too. It is a very popular and traditional Karnataka salad. This is also made during Ram Navami celebrations.

Yellow mung beans/Sprouted whole green mung – 1/4 cup
Carrot – 1 medium
Cucumber – 1 medium
Pomegranate kernels – 1/2 cup (optional)
Coconut grated – 2-3 tbsp
Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp
Green Chilies – 2
Curry leaves – 3-4
Lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Vegetable oil – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Asafoetida/hing a pinch

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Soaking time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 5 minutes

You can choose to sprout whole green mung or use soaked yellow mung beans.
If you choose to sprout, soak whole green mung in water for 6-8 hours. Drain the water completely and keep the vessel closed. Depending on the climate in your region, within the next 24 hours, you will notice tiny sprouts.
If you are using yellow mung beans, soak the beans in water for 2 hours, drain and use. If it is a last minute plan and you forget to soak the beans, you can add boiling water to the beans and let it rest for 10 minutes and then make the salad that can be served after half an hour.
Grate the carrot. Chop the cucumber to small cubes and add to grated carrot and soaked beans. Add pomegranate kernels. You can either grate the green chilies or chop it finely.
Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, and let it splutter. Add hing to the oil, add curry leaves, and add it to the beans and vegetable mixture. Add grated coconut and finely chopped coriander.
Add salt and lemon juice just before serving and mix well.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Salads

Zucchini Salad and Garlic Bread

Tired of eating spicy food? Give some rest to your tummy. Try the subtle zucchini and carrot salad and garlic bread. Simple and easy to make, tasty and easy on your tummy.

Bread and salad

Salad Ingredients:
Zucchini (a type of squash like cucumber) – 1 medium sized
Carrot – 1 medium sized
French beans – 100 gm
Garlic – 1 clove
Olive oil/butter/cooking oil – 1/2 tbsp
Crushed peppercorns – 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Garlic Bread Ingredients:
Bread – As needed
Garlic cloves – 2 to 3
Butter – 1 tbsp

Zucchini, carrots, beans

Peel garlic and chop finely. Wash and remove the edges of the vegetables. Peel the carrot. Slice the vegetables in a slanting manner (oblique cutting) so that the inner sides are more exposed.

Succulent Zucchini

Heat a wok and pour oil. Add the finely chopped garlic and cook for a minute. When the garlic begins to change color, add the sliced carrots and beans, close with a lid, and cook for a minute. Stir and add the sliced zucchini. Cook for around 2 minutes. The vegetables should just become tender and should not be overcooked. Add salt and crushed pepper. Remove from fire.

Garlic bread
Peel and chop garlic finely. Mix this with butter. Spread on the butter garlic mixture on bread and place on a hot pan. Spread the butter and garlic on the other side of the bread. Cook in medium fire for half a minute or so. Flip over and cook the other side. Remove from fire and serve with cheese or zucchini salad.

Garlic bread and Zucchini salad

Zucchini is not commonly found in India. It belongs to the cucumber family and tastes and smells very much like cucumber yet not as watery as cucumber. I used to always ignore the side of the market where the ‘exotic’ vegetables are sold. But I am so glad I gave zucchini a try.