Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cabbage Poriyal

Cabbage - 1/4 Kg (Finely Chopped)
Ginger - 1 Small Piece (Chopped)
Onion - 1 (Large - Finely Chopped)
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp.
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad Dal - 2 tsp.
Curry Leaves - Few
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 3 tbsp.


Finely chop the cabbage and boil it in enough water with a small piece of
chopped ginger until they are tender but not mushy.Then drain the water
out completely.Add enough salt to the cooked cabbage and set it aside.

Finely chop the onion and keep it aside.

Heat a pan with 3 tbsp. of oil and season with mustard seeds and let it

Then add urad dal,dry red chillies and curry leaves and fry for a second.

Now add finely chopped onion and saute till they are transculent.

Finally add the cooked cabbage and grated coconut and stir it well.
Allow it cook for another 2 to 3 mins.

Remove from the heat and serve it hot with rice and curry/sambar.

Cucumber Kootu

Bored with cucumber salads,cucumber soups and cucumber raita.Try something
new - Cucumber kootu.This kootu is simple and easy to make and tastes very
good.Cucumbers are cooling to the body.This wonderful,low calorie vegetable
has more nutrients to offer than just water and electrolytes.

Recipe For Cucumber Kootu :

Cucumbers - 3 (Medium)
Moong Dal - 1 Cup
Grated Coconut - 4 tsp.
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 1 tsp.
Dry Red Chilli - 1
Curry Leaves - Few
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp.
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - To Taste
Oil - As Required.


Peel the skin off the cucumbers and dice it into medium pieces.

Boil the diced cucumbers in enough water and some salt until
they are tender but not mushy.

Dry roast the moong dal until a nice aroma emits and then soak
it in warm water for 30 mins.Then pressure cook the moong dal
until its soft and mushy.

Blend together a dry red chilli,cumin seeds/jeera and grated coconut
into a fine paste.Set it aside.

Now combine the boiled cucumbers,ground paste and cooked moong
dal together and stir gently.

Heat a pan with some oil and season with mustard seeds,urad dal,
asafoetida and curry leaves and fry for few seconds.

Add the kootu (the boiled cucumbers,ground paste and cooked moong
dal) and let it boil for few mins.

Remove from the heat and serve it hot with rice.

Health Benefits Of Cucumber:

1) Very low in calories - provides just 15 calories per 100 g.Contains no saturated
    fats or cholesterol.Cucumber peel is a good source of dietary fiber that helps
    reduce constipation and offers some protection against colon cancers.

2) It is a very good source of potassium,an important intra-cellular electrolyte.
    Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte;helps reduce blood pressure and
    heart rates by countering effects of sodium.

3) It contains unique anti-oxidants in good ratios such as ß-caroteneand
    a-carotene,vitamin-C,vitamin-A,zea-xanthinand lutein.These compounds
    help act as protective scavengers against oxygen-derived free radicals
    and reactive oxygen species (ROS) that play a role in aging and various
    disease process.

4) Cucumbers have mild diuretic property probably due to their high
    water content,which helps in checking weight gain and high blood

5) Cucumbers surprisingly have high amount of vitamin K,provides about
     17 mcg of this vitamin per 100 g.Vitamin-K has been found to have
     potential role in bone strength by promoting osteotrophic (bone mass
     building) activity.It also has established role in the treatment of
     Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.

Selection And Storage :

In the store - buy fresh cucumbers that feature bright green color,firm
and  stout in texture.Look for spots,cuts or breaks over its surface.Do not
buy overly matured or yellow colored since they tend to contain
more insoluble fiber and mature seeds.Also,avoid those with wrinkled
ends as they indicate old stock and state of de-hydration.Go for
organically grown products to get rich flavor and nutrients content.

Once at home,they should be washed thoroughly in clean
water to rid off dust and pesticides.The skin comes in a variety
of colors;do not discard the peel.They can be kept at room
temperature for a day or two,but better stored inside the
refrigerator where they stay fresh for several days.

Preparation And Serving Methods :

Trim either ends using sharp knife and;oftentimes the cut ends
rubbed against the trim piece to remove white color sticky,fluid
like substance in order to lessen bitter taste of tip ends.

Here are some serving tips :

1) Washed fresh cucumbers should be enjoyed as they are without
     any additions.Its cubes are a great addition to vegetable or fruit

2) It is also being used in some variety of curry preparation in south
    India with buttermilk and yogurt.

3) Finely chopped fresh slices mixed with yogurt,cumin,coriander,
    pepper and salt to make cucumber raita.

4) Cucumber juice is a very good healthy drink.

5) Fine slices also added in delicious spanish cold tomato and cucumber

6) Its rind is also used in the preparation of pickles.


Vatha Kulumbu

Sambar/Pearl Onions - 1 Cup
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Fenugreek/Methi Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Tamarind - 50 Gms
Sambar Powder - 2 tsp.
Powdered Jaggery/Brown Sugar - 1 tsp.
Curry Leaves - Few
Salt - To Taste
Sesame/Gingelly Oil - As Required.


Soak 50 gms of tamarind in lukewarm water for 30 mins.Then extract
juice from the soaked tamarind and keep it aside.

Soak the sambar/pearl onions in water for 15 mins.Then peel the skin
off from the sambar onions and set it aside.

Heat a pan with some sesame/gingelly oil and season with mustard
seeds,fenugreek/methi seeds and dry red chillies and fry for a second.

Then add peeled sambar/pearl onions and few curry leaves and saute
till a nice aroma emits.

Add sambar powder and salt to taste and fry for a minute.

Now add the tamarind juice and allow it to boil until the oil separates
from the curry.

Add powdered jaggery/brown sugar and let it boil until the curry thickens.

Remove from the fire and serve it hot with rice and papad/appalam.

Note : This curry stays good even for 2 days.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicken Fajitas

A fajita is a term found in both traditional Mexican cuisine and in Tex-Mex
cuisine,commonly referring to any grilled meat served on a flour or corn
tortilla.The term originally referred to the cut of beef used in the dish which
is known as skirt steak.Popular meats today also include chicken,pork,
shrimp and all cuts of beef.

In restaurants,the meat is often cooked with onions and bell peppers.Popular
condiments are shredded lettuce,sour cream,guacamole,salsa,pico de gallo,
cheese and tomato.

Recipe For Chicken Fajitas:

Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
Kosher Salt - 1 tsp.
Ground Cumin - 1/2 tsp.
Onion Powder - 1/2 tsp.
Garlic Powder - 1/4 tsp.
Cornstarch - 1 tbsp.
Water - 1/4 Cup
Extra-virgin Olive Oil - 3 tbsp.
Whole Skinless,Boneless Chicken Breast (about 1 pound - Cut Into
                                                                     1/2- Inch Strips) - 1
Green Bell Pepper - Cored,Seeded and Cut Into Thin Strips - 1
Medium Onion - 1 (Thinly Sliced)
Fresh Lime Juice - 2 tbsp. plus Few Lime Wedges For Serving
Flour Tortillas - 8 (Warmed In The Microwave For 1 Min 30 Secs)
Shredded Lettuce,Shredded Cheddar Cheese,Salsa and Sour Cream - For Serving.

Method :

In a resealable plastic bag,combine the chilli powder with  salt, ground
cumin,onion powder,garlic powder,cornstarch,water and 2 tbsp. of oil.

Add the chicken,green bell pepper and onion,seal and knead gently to
coat.Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Heat the remaining 1 tbsp. of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering.
Empty the contents of the bag into the skillet and cook over high heat,stirring
occasionally,until the vegetables are crisp-tender and the chicken is cooked
through,about 6 minutes.Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice.

Transfer the chicken and vegetables to a large bowl and serve with the warmed
tortillas,lettuce,cheese,salsa,sour cream and lime wedges.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Colorful Veggie Poriyal

Cabbage - 1 (Medium/Small - Shredded)
Grated Carrots - 1/2 Cup
Green Beans - 1 Cup (Chopped)
Green Peas - 1/2 Cup (Chopped)
Onion - 1 (Large - Finely Chopped)
Green Chillies - 2 to 3 (Slit Lengthwise)
Ginger - 1 Small Piece (Minced)
Black Pepper Powder - 1 tsp.
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp.
Curry Leaves - Few
Coriander Leaves/Cilantro - Few
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - To Taste
Oil - As Required.


Chop all the veggies and keep it aside.

Heat a pan/kadai with some oil and season with mustard seeds
and let it pop.

Then add cumin seeds and let it sizzle.Add chopped onion,
green chillies,minced ginger and curry leaves and saute till
the onion turns transculent.

Add all the veggies (cabbage,grated carrots,green beans and
green peas) and stir it well.

Add black pepper powder,salt to taste and little water (1/4 cup
approximately).Cover and cook until all the veggies are tender
and fully-cooked,stirring frequently.

Uncover the pan and add some garam masala and stir it well.
Let it cook for another 2 to 3 mins.

Remove from the stove and garnish with some coriander leaves or
cilantro.Serve it hot.

Sabudana (Sago/Javvarisi) Dosai

If you are bored with all the typical varieties of dosa,then you need to
go for a change.Try this simple one.

Sago/Javvarisi/Sabudana Dosai :

Sago/Javvarisi/Sabudana - 1 Cup
Boiled Rice - 1 and 1/2 Cup
Onion - 1 (Finely Chopped)
Green Chillies - 5 (Minced)
Ginger - 1 Small Piece (Minced)
Curry Leaves - Few
Salt - To Taste
Oil - As Required.


Wash the sago/javvarisi/sabudana and drain the water completely.

Soak the washed sago/javvarisi/sabudana  for 6 hours minimum.
Stir it frequently for the sago to rise.Leaving it over night gives
the best result.

Wash and soak the boiled rice separately for 6 hours.Then grind
 the soaked boiled rice finely.

Once the boiled rice is ground finely add the soaked sago
or javvarisi/sabudana and enough salt and grind it into a
smooth paste.Now ferment the batter for 6 hours.

Heat a kadai/pan with some oil and add the chopped onion,
minced green chillies,ginger and curry leaves and saute till
they are transculent.

Add the above mixture to the fermented batter and stir it

Heat a griddle/tawa and pour a ladle full of batter.Add a spoon
of oil to roast it.Turn the dosa and roast it on the other side too.

Sago dosa is ready.Serve it hot with mint/pudina chutney and
idli podi,if desired.

Note : Eat these dosas hot.It will harden when it cools down.

Tomato Sweet Pachadi

Ripen Tomatoes - 4
Cashewnuts - 5 (Chopped)
Clarified Butter/Ghee - 1 tsp.
Sugar - 1/2 Cup.
Cardamom - 2 to 3(Powdered).


Heat a thick-bottomed vessel with enough water and boil the tomatoes
until their skin comes off easily when pooked with a fork/knife.

Then let it cool for 15 to 20 mins.Peel the skin off the boiled tomatoes
and squeeze it to make a paste.

Discard if there is any remaining skin off from the paste.

Now add sugar to the tomato paste and stir it well.Allow it to boil
until it thickens.

Heat a small pan with some clarified butter/ghee and roast the
chopped cashewnuts till they are golden brown.

Add the roasted cashewnuts and cardamom powder to the tomato
pachadi and serve.

Goes very well with vegetable/chicken/mutton/prawn biryani and

Note : Few drops of honey and 2 to 3 strands of saffron can also be
           added before serving the pachadi.Adding honey and saffron
           increases the flavour and taste.