Breakfast, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Everyday Simple Recipes, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Drumstick and Potato Korma

A nutritious and tasty side dish for dosa, idli, chapati, or even with rice. Very similar to Sagu, the mixed vegetable curry.

Ingredients:
Drumstick – 2
Potato – 2 medium sized
Onion – 1 medium sized
Tomato – 2 medium sized
Green chilies – 3 (adjust to taste)
Ginger – 1/4 inch piece
Garlic – 1 clove
Bay leaf/Tej patta – 1
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 1
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Coconut powder/coconut milk – 25 mg
Water – As needed
Coconut oil – 1 tbsp

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Serves: 2

Method: Peel the potatoes and chop into small cubes. Peel the drumstick. You may just scrape to remove the green outer part. The hard shell can remain. Chop into a 2-inch long pieces.

Peel and chop the onions finely. Peel and crush the ginger, garlic, and green chilies into a coarse paste. Chop the tomato pieces finely.

Add coconut oil into a wide bottomed pan. Add the crushed ginger, garlic, green chilies paste as well as the whole spices (cardamom, bay leaf, and cloves). Saute until the raw smell disappears. You may choose to remove the whole spices after the flavors are released.

Add the finely chopped onion pieces and curry leaves. Saute.

Add chopped tomato pieces. Saute until you see oil seeping out.

Add coriander powder. Saute and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add chopped potato and drumstick pieces. Stir. Add a cup of water. Empty one packet of coconut milk powder into one cup water to make a thin coconut milk. Add this to the vegetables.

Close with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring occasionally until gravy thickens and potatoes and drumsticks look well cooked.

Add salt, cover and cook for 2 more minutes. If desired, you can mix another 25 gms of coconut milk powder in warm water to make a cup of thick coconut milk and add this thick coconut milk to the dish. This is optional. Remove from fire. Garnish with freshly ground pepper, if desired.

Notes: If you do not wish to have the shell of the drumstick, you may cook drumstick separately, squeeze out the pulp and use that for the korma instead of adding whole drumstick pieces.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, South Indian, Vegan

Eggplant Rice – A One-Pot Meal

Recently I have been finding one-pot meals very interesting. I never used to like them earlier, only for the reason that I was not familiar with them. At home the only one-pot meal we knew was curd rice, tomato rice, lemon rice, and tamarind rice. Apart from these, I was not used to pilaf or biriyani simply because at home we do not use garam masala. Meal to us meant rice accompanied with a gravy and a subzi. It took me several years to get out of that comfort zone.

Karnataka cuisine has many varieties of one-pot meals. The first meal I had at MTR had some of these including Bisibele bath. Personally not a big fan of that one. But vangi bath or eggplant/brinjal rice has been a favorite ever since the first time. Eggplant rice is a very good option to make when you are expecting guests and need to make rice and roti-subzi. This one-pot meal does not need much preparation, can be made quickly, and gives you ample time to attend to other things. It is a convenient lunch to carry to schools and work places.

Let me add the disclaimer first! This recipe requires a special powder called Vangi Bath masala powder. Like many other ready-to-mix powders that are available in the market (most famous brand being MTR), this powder is also available. I am not sure if it is widely available like a puliyodarai mix! In this recipe, I have not explained how to make the vangi bath mix because I do not know how to. I bought the masala mix from my friendly neighborhood Iyengar’s Bakery that sells masalas, snacks, and some tasty dosas and meals.

Vangi bath masala mix can be prepared at home and has good shelf life. Aayis Recipe, a veteran food blogger’s version can be checked here. This one over here is good too.

Traditional recipe only uses brinjal but I used potato and capsicum as well. I quite loved the taste!

Ingredients:
Rice (raw rice/biriyani rice preferred) – 1 glass
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Brinjal – 2 medium sized
Potato – 1 medium sized
Capsicum – 1 medium sized
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Vangi Bath mix – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – of half a lime or as desired
Salt – as needed

Method:
Cook rice in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel potato, remove stalk from eggplant and capsicum. Cut in rectangular pieces (can be cut as desired). Separate the capsicum pieces from the brinjal and potato pieces. Split the green chillies. Keep aside.

Heat an iron kadai and pour oil. Add mustard seeds to the oil. After mustard seeds splutter, add cut brinjal, potato, curry leaves, and green chillies. Add turmeric powder. Stir well to coat oil on the vegetables and close with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes in slow fire stirring occasionally. At 5 minutes, add capsicum pieces. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until all vegetables are tender. Add vangi bath mix and salt. Stir for a minute and turn off fire. Add the cooked rice. If rice is very hot, it might break while mixing. So make sure that the rice has cooled down a little bit. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, and lemon juice. Mix well. Serve with papad and raita.

I made mixed veg raita using cucumber, onion, carrot, curd, green chillies, coriander leaves, and salt. Makes a wholesome meal of carbs, cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables, curd for probiotic, and the fried papad to add a little bit of sin!

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks

Poha Cutlet

Ingredients:

Poha (beaten rice/aval) – 3 fistfuls
Boiled potato – 1 medium sized
Bread – 1 slice (optional)
Onion – 1 medium sized
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – juice of 1/2 a lime
Green chillies – 2
Asofetida – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Rava – 2 tbsp
Oil – 3 tbsp
Water – 1 cup

Method:

Moisten the poha with water and mash it. If the poha is of thicker variety, you will need to soak it in water for a minute and then drain the water. Mash the boiled potato and bread and mix it with the moistened poha. Chop the onions, coriander leaves, and green chillies finely and add it to this mixture. To this, add the lemon juice, red chilly powder, turmeric powder, asofetida, and salt and mix well. Make small balls out of this mixture and flatten the balls into rounds that are 1-cm thick using the palm of your hand. Place the rava on a plate and coat the cutlets with rava.

Heat the oil in a flat non-stick pan and shallow fry the cutlets.

Place the cutlets on a tissue paper to drain excess oil. This is a very tasty snack and easy to prepare too.

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Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Kerala Recipes, South Indian, Vegan

Vegetable Korma

A spicy and wholesome vegetable curry that goes well with almost everything.

Ingredients:
Mix vegetables diced in small cubes and florets(carrot, cauliflower, beans, green peas, potato) – 250 gms

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Turmeric – 1 tsp
Water – 1 cup
Coriander leaves – 1 cup

For gravy:
Onion – 2
Tomato – 2
Green Chillies – 4
Ginger (finely chopped) – 1 small piece
Garlic (finely chopped) – 3 pods
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Coconut (grated)* – 3 tbsp
Cardamom* – 2
Cloves* – 1
Star Anise* – 1
Bay Leaf* – 1
Cinnamon* – 1 small piece

* In case any of these ingredients are unavailable, check the alternate ingredients section for other options.

*Alternatives:
Instead of the whole spices, you could use 1 tsp garam masala powder. You can add coconut milk instead of the grated coconut.

Method:
Add some water and turmeric powder to the cut vegetables, close with a lid and boil.

While this is being done, in a wok, heat 2 tbsp of oil. Put the spices into the oil and sauté until the smell of spices waft in the air. Add finely chopped garlic and ginger. Add 2 chopped green chillies. When this is sauté-ed, add the onions and sauté. Add tomato after onions are sauté-ed. Add coriander powder. If you haven’t used the spices, add the garam masala powder at this stage. You can add a tsp chilly powder if you like it spicier. Turn off and add grated coconut (if you do not have grated coconut, you can add coconut milk towards the end). When this mixture cools, grind it into a fine paste. Note: Ensure that the cinnamon and cloves have been ground properly.

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Add this ground paste to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and cook for about 2 minutes. If you couldn’t add grated coconut to the paste, you can add coconut milk now. Turn off the fire and garnish with lots of fresh coriander leaves. Hot and tasty korma ready.

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List of accompaniments:
Tastes well with appam, chappathi, paratha, and even dosa or idli!

Skill Level:

Low

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Soups

Potato Spring Onion Soup

A delicious creamy soup. Excellent way to start the dinner on a cold winter/rainy evening.

Ingredients:

Spring onions(cleaned well and sliced) – 3

Potatoes (peeled and diced) – 2

Garlic (finely chopped)- 3 medium sized pods

Water – 3 cups

Freshly ground pepper – 1 tsp

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Rock salt – to taste

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Preparation Time: 5 min.

Cooking Time: 20 min.

Method:

In a wok, saute the garlic, spring onions, and potatoes in olive oil for 5-7 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Add water and bring to boil. Turn off and let it cool. Use a mixer to blend this well until pureed. Transfer the blended contents into the wok and bring to boil. Add pepper, salt, and water if needed. Bring to boil. Add cream if prefered. Enjoy creamy spring onion and potato soup.

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Skill Level:

Low

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Breakfast, Dals/OzhichuKootaan/Saaru, Kerala Recipes, Main Dish, Side Dishes, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Appam & Vegetable Stew

Mixed vegetables cooked in coconut milk and flavored with spices served along with soft and fluffy appams. A lip-smacking combo that can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Ingredients:
Mixed vegetables (cauliflower, potato, carrot, peas, beans) cut in small cubes – 2 cups
(I used potato alone)
Onion (cut in long strips) – 2 Nos
Ginger (cut in long strips) – 1/2 inch piece
Water – 1 glass
Green Chillies slit – 4
Salt to taste
Grated coconut – 1 cup (You can add either coconut milk or finely ground coconut paste)

For seasoning:
Coconut oil : 2 tsp
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Shallots – 5 nos
Elaichi pod – 2 nos (small ones)
Cloves – 4 nos
Tej patta – 1

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Vegetable stew ingredientsMethod:
Put onion, potato, ginger pieces, slit green chillies along with water into a vessel. Cook until potatoes are tender. You can lightly mash the potatoes so that they blend well with the gravy. Grind the grated coconut into a fine paste and add to the cooked vegetables in the vessel. Boil for 2 minutes and turn off. Pour coconut oil (raw-do not heat) and add curry leaves. Mix well and serve with hot appams. The traditional veg stew recipe ends here.

Here is my improvisation to the seasoning of this veg stew. Heat a kadai and pour coconut oil. Add thinely sliced shallots, cloves, and cardamom. Saute till shallots turn golden brown. Add this to stew. Mix well and serve.

Instead of the grated coconut, you can use tinned coconut milk that is available in the market. If you are using coconut milk, ensure that you do not overheat it.

Appam

Ingredients:
Raw rice – 2 cups
Cooked rice : 1/2 cup
Grated coconut : 1 cup
Coconut water – of one coconut
Yeast – 1/2 tsp
Sugar: 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Method for Batter:
Soak the rice in water for 4-5 hours. Grind the rice along with cooked rice and coconut to a smooth paste. While grinding, add only minimal water because you will need to add coconut water also. You could also add the coconut water while grinding the paste. Mix the yeast in half a glass of warm water and add that to this batter. Pour this mixture in a vessel leaving enough room for fermenting. Allow to ferment overnight. Add salt to taste and sugar to the batter and mix well with a ladle. The batter is ready to use.
Note: If you stay in colder regions, the batter may not ferment well overnight. Take care to keep the batter in a warm place for overnight fermenting.

Method for Appam:
Heat the wok or appam chatty (a vessel specially used for making appams). If the wok is not non-stick, you will need to smear oil on the wok using a clean cotton cloth. Keep fire in medium. Pour the appam batter into the hot wok.

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Hold the wok on two ends and gently swirl the wok to spread the batter around making it thin around the edges and thicker in the middle.

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A well-fermented batter will form small holes when spread.

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Cover the wok with a lid and cook on medium flame till the edges are crisp.

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The lacy edges will come off the wok when it is done.

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Serve hot along with the veg stew.

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Palakkad Iyer Recipes, Side Dishes, South Indian, Vegan

Crispy Shallow Fried Potato

Instant, crispy, peppery!

Ingredients:
Boiled potatoes – 1/2 cup
Black dried pepper corns – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 2 tbsp

*Alternatives:
Crushed red chillies can be used instead of black pepper corns. You could also use a paste of onion and red chilly powder instead of the crushed peppercorns.

Preparation Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 5min.

Method:
Cut boiled potatoes into 1 inch cubes. Crush the black peppercorns and sprinkle on the potatoes along with salt. Heat a pan and pour the oil. When the oil turns hot, add the potato cubes. Cook in medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sides of potato are crisp. Crispy, shallow fried potatoes are ready. Serve hot with rotis or rice.

List of accompaniments:
Rotis, rice.

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