Category Archives: Curry house

Amma’s Moong curry (with freshly ground masala)

All of us have a special kind of liking towards our mother’s cooking and I am sure you all will agree that no matter which Masterchef cooks for us, our Amma’s food is the best. Why not, as she makes everything with a secret ingredient in it – Love. ❤️

My Amma too used to cook so well and the flavours of all her dishes are still in my taste buds. This moong curry was one among them and I used to take it with puris in my lunch box during my school/ college days. My friends used to love it too and I used to take extra boxes of it for them as well. The precious memory of those days is forever etched in my heart and I remember it each time I make this curry. ❤️

Now Amma can’t cook like before as she suffers from muscular dystrophy in her legs. Although she’s strong most of the days and remains happily engaged all day, there are times when she falls into self doubting sadness and I have to convince her my best that she is still very much loved and an important part of our lives. Right now, she’s going through a difficult phase and this post of mine is to cheer her up in my little way, by adding her recipe on my blog.

Amma, this is for you. ❤️ I am coming in few months to make this curry for you and you have to tell me if it tastes as good as yours or not. 😍 Loads of love to you Amma. 😘 Please be happy always as that is what makes me happy too. ❤️ Sharing some words for you which I found as best to describe our love for each other. Hope it cheers you up. 😍

Now to Amma’s recipe. Hope you all try her way of moong curry too. Tastes amazing with puris, chapatis or even with rice. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup dried whole green gram/ whole moong

1 Tbsp Oil

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

For the ground paste:

1/4 Cup Coconut (freshly grated or desiccated)

6 to 8 sprigs of Coriander leaves

1/2 a large Tomato

1 small sized Onion

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

1 small piece of star anise

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak whole moong in atleast thrice the amount of water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. When soaked, drain the water. Add fresh water enough to soak it in a pressure cooker and cook until soft. Takes 3 to 4 whistles on high in my electric stove top. Might vary depending on your cooking range.

2. Add ingredients to grind in a mixer.

3. Grind adding about 1/4 Cup water or as needed to a smooth paste. Now heat oil in a pan and add the paste. Also add red chilli powder and cook till the raw smell goes away. (About 5 mins and this paste splatters. So be careful and mix continually.)

4. Now add the cooked moong and salt. Bring it to boil and cook for 5 to 8 mins. Adjust consistency of the gravy.

5. Serve hot with Puris, Chapatis or rice meals.

Notes:

* The gravy thickens when kept at room temperature as moong absorbs a lot of water. So if serving later, add water that time to adjust gravy consistency.

* Star anise and coriander leaves make this masala very aromatic. So don’t skip it.

* The masala splatters while cooking. So be careful while sauteing.

* I also sprout moong and make this same curry.

* You can also check my mother’s other three recipes –

# Amma’s Carrot Pulao

# Amma’s Tomato Chutney

# Amma’s Alu Paratha

Paneer Butter Masala | No Onion No Garlic easy recipe | Ready within 20 mins

Ideally I should be sleeping now as my kids have finally slept after chattering and more chattering (just like me 😁) but I decided to finish writing this (blog baby calls ❤️). Had planned to give it a break, actually fully from social media as I am someone who needs quiet time to focus inwards (the other side of me 😄) but that went for a toss as I got many beautiful feedbacks from my near and dear ones. So I had to post it and hence was active on my Facebook page (perfect example of how life never goes as per my plans 😬).

But I did listen to a lot of songs on repeat from Sanam and Maadhyam bands (my latest favourites ❤️❤️). The meaningful lyrics, combined with the singers’ soulful voices soothes me so much that I wonder what my life would have been without music. It’s as important as air and water for me (I know I am going overboard but that’s the truth 😁). Don’t know if anyone can understand this but once you fall in love with music, you just fall crazily and there’s no going back. 🎶❤️

That’s why I guess it’s called “falling” in love.. We slowly fall, without our control and by the time we know it, we have already fallen quite deeply into it.. ❤️ (sometimes there’s no way out and you don’t want to come out either 😍) – proof of my craziness 😅

Now coming back to today’s post before I lose my focus in my chatter (night time gives me ample time to think and write 😄), this combination is what I regularly make especially on days when we are fasting and don’t consume onion/garlic. The paneer butter masala comes out so delicious that you can never say it is a Satvik one. I make it only this way now and it can really beat restaurant ones anyday for sure (not exaggerating. Try it to know the magic 😍)

Hope you all try this and love it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 Tbsp Butter or Ghee

1 Bay leaf

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

1 tsp Shahi Paneer Masala (I use catch brand) *substitute with any Garam masala powder of your choice

Salt to taste

2 Tbsp Milk

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves to garnish, finely chopped

To grind to paste:

2 to 3 medium sized Ripe Tomatoes

1 inch Ginger piece

2 Cloves

1 Cardamom

Step by step recipe:

1. Grind tomatoes, ginger, cloves and cardamom with about 1/4 Cup water to a smooth paste. Heat butter in a pan and add bay leaf along with the ground paste.

2. Allow it to cook, sauteing in between till the mixture turns thick (takes about 10 mins) and leaves the sides of the pan. Now add all the masala powders and salt.

3. Mix well. Now add milk and bring to a boil. Also add paneer cubes and cook for about 5 mins till paneer turns soft.

The colour looks orangy due to my kitchen lights and my mobile camera clarity. It comes out as shown in the main picture which was captured in daylight.

4. Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve with rotis, rice or pulav.

Notes:

* I serve this with Peas Pulav. For peas pulav, heat 1 Tbsp ghee in a pan. Add bay leaf. Add washed and drained 1 Cup Rice along with about 1/2 Cup frozen peas and salt. Add water and cook till the rice turns soft yet firm. Amount of water depends on the variety of your rice. Garnish with coriander leaves.

* Please use ripe and bright red tomatoes for best results as it really makes a difference in the flavour. You can increase the number of tomatoes to 3 if you want to make more of the gravy.

* Cooking the ground paste very well till the rawness completely goes away is the most important step in this recipe.

* You can also add 1 Tbsp Tomato ketchup to the curry along with the masala powders if you are not particular about “no onion no garlic”. I add when we are not fasting and it adds a wonderful flavour to the curry. ( Some brands of ketchup contains garlic paste.)

* I use Catch Shahi Paneer Masala to make this curry as the flavours are great and it does not contain garlic or onion powders. You can use any powder of your choice though.

* Milk can be substituted with cream for a richer version but add cream after cooking paneer and don’t cook much after adding it.

Aloo Corn Bharta with Milk Chapatis

I have had people tell me that social media friendship is fake and what matters is the friends we make in real life. Might be true for many but I feel finally it ends to the vibe you feel with each individual. Some people talk with so much sweetness that it might seem unreal in the beginning but when you get to know the person, you understand that they are really good natured. (my experience and I have been lucky that way to get to know many nice people. ❤️)

In real life, I talk with everyone (being the chatterbox that I am 😁) and have many friends but if I have to choose my close buddies, they are only two (my college besties ❤️❤️). Apart from that, through social media, I have many friends and some people offer so much love, encouragement and support that I have to call them my angels rather than friends. I sometimes wonder if I really deserve this love and it overwhelms me (not used to hearing praises and having had some self worth issues as a child). But these people keep me going, by motivating me with their kind words. So social media friendship can be anything but fake and gives you a chance to know genuine people too. ❤️

One among them is Ashwini Kulkarni whom I got to know through a food group. She had first tried my Masoor dal dosa and messaged me saying how much her daughter loved it. After that, she messages me whenever she makes the dosa and also sends many healthy recipes for me to try (that has been very helpful for me 🙏).

This Aloo Bhartha is also her recipe which she learnt from Binita Mangaraj but added corn to it making it Aloo Corn Bhartha. I loved the recipe so much that I tried it instantly with soft Milk chapatis (that I recently learnt from Mukherjee Mala). It came out to be such a great combination that we all loved it a lot.

This is one recipe combination that I will be making regularly from on. Huge thanks to Ashwini, Binita and Mukherjee Mala for their recipes. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

4 medium sized Potatoes

1/4 Cup Sweetcorn

1 medium sized Onion

1 medium sized Tomato

2 to 3 Green chillies

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1/2 tsp Coriander powder

1/2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

1 Tbsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds

3 Tbsp Coriander leaves, finely chopped

Step by step recipe:

1. Pressure cook the potatoes till soft. Allow to cool. Then peel and grate using grater. You can alternatively mash it.

2. In a pan, heat oil and add cumin seeds. When it changes colour, add green chillies and onions. Fry till onions turn translucent.

3. Now add tomatoes and fry till it cooks and turns very soft. Now add Turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and Garam masala powder. Fry for few seconds.

4. Now add the grated potatoes, sweetcorn and salt. Mix well. Add little water and cook for 5 mins on medium flame till sweet corn turns soft. Also add coriander leaves and mix well.

5. Serve hot with rice meals or chapatis/rotis.

Notes:

* I served this with Milk Chapatis. For milk chapatis, just add wheat flour and salt in a bowl. Also add milk and water. Knead to a soft dough and make chapatis as usual. I add about 1/2 Cup milk to 2 Cups flour and add rest water while kneading. Gives really soft chapatis.

* You can mash the potatoes instead of grating but grating gives a good texture to the curry.

* You can make the curry as thick or thin as you like.

* Sweetcorn can be skipped but it gives a good bite to the bharta.

* I used frozen sweet corn which cooks quickly. If your sweet corn variety takes time to cook, boil it separately and add.

Rajma Masala | No Onion No Garlic recipe

My husband’s aunt has asked us to take the “Solah Somavar vrat” which is fasting, without rice items for breakfast and eating only one satvik meal without onion or garlic on Monday for 16 weeks in a row.

Even though I am not someone who believes much in fasting, I am following it to respect her beliefs. My devotion to God is through bhajans and sthothras, along with talking with him believing he is always there with me ( My deep thoughts, example 1 😁).

So, even though I agreed to take the vrat, making no onion no garlic curries especially on days when the husband has to take lunch box is very difficult since he takes only north Indian dishes for his box. And all north Indian curries have loads of onions in it. That’s when I put on my experimental culinary cap and this Satvik Rajma Masala was born! 😅

The most important reason for me to add this recipe on the blog is my husband loving it like anything. And mind you, he’s not someone who is easy to impress (Precisely why I call him Mr Masterchef 😂). Even though he can’t cook much, he criticises my dishes so well that even the tiniest mistake does not escape his taste buds 🙄😄. That has been very difficult as a newbie married girl leading to many crying sessions 😂.

Not now though. Now, it does feel sad sometimes but I go into my silent mode (inside my shell😅) and then think that it’s for my own good and that’s how my cooking has improved this much (deep thoughts, example 2 😂). Honestly, that’s the truth too. His straight forward nature is the reason my cooking skills have improved. I have to thank him for that. 🙏😁

So here’s sharing the Rajma Masala which my Masterchef judge of a husband loved so much that he found it perfect, much to my happiness. Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 1/2 Cups Rajma or Kidney beans

2 large Tomatoes

1/2 inch Ginger piece

2 Cloves

A small piece of Cinnamon

2 Tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin seeds

1 Bay leaf

A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

2 tsp Everest Chole Masala (the secret ingredient 😍) *can use any other masala but this is really very flavourful

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves, finely chopped to garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak the Rajma is atleast thrice the water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain the water, add to a pressure cooker and add water only to soak it. Pressure cook till it turns very soft (this step is very important to get a good, thick gravy).

2. Grind tomatoes with ginger, clove and cinnamon to a fine paste.

3. Now heat ghee in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow it brown. Also add Hing and bay leaf. Now add the paste and allow it to cook really well sauteing in between. It should start leaving the sides of the pan.

4. Now add Turmeric powder, red chilli powder and chole masala powder along with salt. Mix well. Now add the cooked Rajma.

5. Cook till it comes together as a thick gravy. Mash the Rajma slightly using the back of the ladle or masher.

6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice. I serve with Jeera rice.

Notes:

* The main part here is cooking the Rajma to really soft that it’s almost buttery kind of soft, should easily mash between your fingers. That gives a thick gravy.

* Also don’t add much water while pressure cooking. Add water only till it soaks the Rajma.

* The number of whistles or the time for pressure cooking depends on your stove and pressure cooker. In my steel cooker and electric stove top, it takes about 6 whistles and then keeping till the cooker cools down completely.

* Everest Chole Masala really gives a good flavour to this curry. You can use any masala powder which you like.

* If you are not fasting, you can add an onion and about 3 to 4 garlic cloves and make paste with ginger, cloves and cinnamon first. Fry that in ghee and cumin seeds first till raw smell goes and then add the tomato paste. Continue the rest like the above curry. It tastes delicious too.

* The gravy thickens as you keep it and tastes best after couple of hours when the Rajma absorbs all the masala.

* For Jeera rice, Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds along with finely chopped green chillies. Add washed rice, salt and water. Cook till the rice turns soft. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Easy Kadala Curry | Kerala style chickpeas curry | Quick lunch box idea

Meet my “friend” (😀) who’s my go-to quick fix curry with no much hard work involved yet comes out lip smackingly delicious and a huge favourite of my family – Kadala Curry. I learnt to make it from our Konkani neighbour, Padma akka in Kochi. She used to bring freshly steamed puttu and Kadala Curry with love for us whenever she made it and it tasted so heavenly that I still have that etched in my food memory. ❤️

When I asked her how to make it (imagining it to be a long, laborious recipe), it amazed me as to how simple it really was to make this curry. As is said by someone (don’t know who 😬), Simple is Beautiful ❤️ and in this case delicious too. 😀

Since then, it is a commonly made curry at my place and the only way I make my chickpeas. I had also shared it in my old blog in 2013 and here is the picture from my archives. (In the same plate too. My favourite plate that is! 😍)

It was my 100th post on that blog which is no longer available now. Feels really sad sometimes that all my hard work went for a toss but console myself that I could start afresh and got this new, better version of the blog. Also, learned a lesson about how not to give my precious blog in anyone’s hands and learnt to handle everything single handedly. That does make me feel good and proud of myself too. 😊

Sharing her easy recipe with all of you. Hope you all try and love it. Makes a wonderful combination with chapatis and a great idea for lunch box. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 Cup dried Black chickpeas/ Kala Chana

1 large sized Onion { or about 6 shallots }

1 medium sized Tomato

1 Tbsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

A sprig of curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Soak dried chickpeas in atleast double the water overnight or for 8 hours. Drain the water.

2. Add to a pressure cooker along with thinly sliced Onions, finely chopped tomatoes and salt to taste. Pour water till it soaks the chickpeas and cook till it turns soft. { Takes 4 to 5 whistles on high for me on my electric stove top. Varies according to cooking range. }

3. Now open the cooker after it cools down. Keep the cooker on the stove top and add coriander powder along with red chilli powder. Bring to a boil.

4. Mash the chickpeas slightly using the back of a ladle or potato masher to make the gravy turn thick. Boil on medium flame for 5 to 8 mins till the gravy thickens.

5. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and fry till crisp. Pour this seasoning over the curry.

6. Mix well and serve hot with chapatis/appams/ puttu/ dosas.

Notes:

* The main flavour of this curry comes from the coriander powder – red chilli powder combination. So do a taste test and add accordingly as it varies with your brand of both the powders. It may require more or less than I have mentioned.

* Cooking chickpeas till soft is important so that it can be mashed easily and the gravy turns thick.

* Curry leaves in the seasoning makes this curry very aromatic. Don’t skip it.

Brinjal Rava fry on tawa and Upkari

Even though my kids eat almost everything that I cook ( touchwood!), my 5 year old daughter is slightly choosy when it comes to vegetables. So my mommy brains have to work overtime to make her eat some of the veggies. 😅

Brinjal is a vegetable she won’t eat if I make a regular curry with it (wish I could capture her face and show you all when she hears it’s brinjal curry for dinner 😂). I don’t blame her at all as I myself never used to eat any vegetable as a kid except for a few chosen ones like potato, elephant yam and beetroot. So I can totally understand her. 😃

But once I happened to make these rava fries for a change and she absolutely loved it. So now I make it regularly even as an evening snack. She loves munching on it and I am happy that a healthy vegetable is filling her with nutrition.

Hope you all will try this as well. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 small variety Brinjals or 1 large Purple Brinjal

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida

Salt to taste

1/4 Cup Rava or Semolina (or as needed)

1 tsp Red chilli powder

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash the brinjals well and chop off the stem. Slice brinjals thinly for the rava fry and finely chop for upkari. Add both into separate bowls of water.

2. Now drain water and add Turmeric powder, Hing and salt. Mix well.

3. In a plate, take rava and mix red chilli powder in it. Roll the brinjal slices one by one over the rava mix.

4. Heat tawa and place these onto the tawa. Drizzle coconut oil while cooking both sides on medium flame till it turns brown in colour and the brinjal turns soft.

5. Serve with rice meals.

Notes:

* For Brinjal Upkari, fry about 4 to 5 finely chopped Garlic pods in oil till it turns brown and add finely chopped brinjal to it. Add red chilli powder and salt. Cook till it turns soft. Don’t add water at all.

* For the rava fry, slice brinjals very thinly. It helps them cook easily and also turns crispy.

* You can make this with any variety of brinjals.

Carrot Kismuri | Konkani style salad

Most days, our dinner is just ukde pej (matta rice cooked soft, eaten with its gruel) and couple of accompaniments to go with it. As much as it may seem from my posts that I cook a lot, our daily meals are very simple and basic.

One of the reason why I don’t (or rather can’t) cook elaborate meals are my kids who hardly give me time in the kitchen (I know it’s hard to believe 😀). My son pulls my dress (he literally roams around behind me with his fingers clutching my dress 😂 #fevicolkajod 😅) asking me to play football with him while my daughter who loves colouring asks me to draw something for her to colour (One is making me a footballer and the other, an artist 😬😬).

But my time passes very well and both the activities are so good to calm the mind. Never knew drawing is such a stress reliever. And about football, try playing it with a two year old who knows only to laugh when you kick the ball. It’s such precious source of happiness that I can’t thank God enough for blessing me with both of them. ❤️

And on days when they don’t leave me to cook at all, this carrot kismuri or Konkani style salad is our accompaniment for the day. Very quick to make, hardly taking 10 mins and tastes heavenly with pej and some pickle to go with it. The kids love it very much which makes it a perfect side dish for busy days.

Hope you all try and love it too. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 large Carrots, peeled and grated (about 2 Cups grated carrots)

3 Green chillies or to taste

1/4 Cup freshly grated Coconut

3 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

Juice from 1 1/2 Indian lemons

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 tsp Coconut oil

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

A pinch of Hing or asafoetida

One sprig of curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Take the grated carrots in a large mixing bowl. Add grated coconut, green chillies, salt and lemon juice.

2. Now heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds, add Hing and curry leaves. Fry till curry leaves turn crisp. Pour seasoning over the carrots. Mix everything well. Done!

3. It’s really that simple. Serve along with white rice and rasam or matta rice gruel with some pickle. Trust me, it tastes delicious!

Notes:

* You can add finely chopped onions to this too but I skip as after a while, it starts smelling. If made without onions, I can make even couple of hours beforehand and keep at room temperature.

* Some people add a tsp of Urad dal to the seasoning but I prefer only mustard seeds in it.

* If you add soaked moong dal and cucumbers to this, it becomes Kosambari which is another accompaniment that I make regularly. You can check the recipe here.

Palak Paneer with simple vegetable pulao | Easy meal ideas

Palak paneer reminds me of only one person, someone who is very close to my heart and to whom I owe everything in life – My Amma ❤️. This is her favorite dish and I have so many memories with her love for Palak paneer. Each time I make it, I only wish she was here with me, just to see her eat with so much happiness. 😍

One of the first memories of Palak paneer and my Amma is when she was admitted in hospital during my 4th semester engineering exams due to Vertigo. It was one of my most difficult days as I could not bear to see her suffer and wanted to take care of her but I had my exams on.

Finally I decided to stay in the hospital with her and study, no matter what happens. Those days, when I used to come back after my exams, I brought her favorite foods to cheer her up. One of them was Palak paneer from a nearby restaurant. The glow on her face while eating it is still in my memories. Can never forget the small ray of happiness which this curry brought in those sad times. ❤️

And guess what? My 4th semester exam results were my most scored one in my entire engineering studies. I always say it’s only due to Amma’s blessings. 🙏

After that, I learned to make palak paneer from my aunt Anita Pai mai who was also the reason I started my blog. She encouraged me a lot during my initial cooking days. Amma loved my palak paneer so much that she said it tasted even better than restaurant ones. So whenever I visit them, I definitely make it for her. Just to see the glow on her face. 😍

I had even made it for her and sent it with my brother when he had come here to Qatar on vacation. Here is a picture from my Facebook memories. Palak paneer with Coconut burfis and Til ki Burfi which travelled from Qatar to India, from a daughter to her mother, with loads of love. ❤️❤️

This post became quite a long one but I always wanted to write about these memories as they are very close to my heart. I know Amma will have tears in her eyes while reading this. Loads of love to you Amma. Don’t know when we can meet next but I will definitely make your favorite Palak paneer for you when we meet. ❤️

Hope you all try this curry with pulao. I thank Anita Pai mai for her recipe. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

300 grams Palak or Spinach leaves (about half a large bunch)

200 grams Paneer cubes

4 green chillies

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera

1 inch Ginger piece, finely chopped

4 to 5 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped

1 large Tomato, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Clean the spinach leaves well and wash under running water till the dirt goes away.

2. Now heat water with salt in a large pan. Add these leaves and bring to a boil.

3. As soon as it boils and the leaves start changing colour, immediately remove the leaves and wash it in cold water. Allow it to cool down.

4. Meanwhile heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. When it changes colour, add Ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute. Add onion and fry till it turns translucent.

5. Now add finely chopped tomatoes and fry till it turns soft. Mash using the ladle. You can also puree tomatoes and add. Now add Haldi powder, Garam masala powder and red chilli powder.

6. Mix well. Grind the palak leaves along with green chillies and little water to a smooth paste. Add to this. Also add paneer cubes and salt.

7. Cook till the palak leaves changes colour and turns dark green. Remove from flame. Serve with rotis or rice. I usually make my simple vegetable pulao with it.

Notes:

* For vegetable pulao, soak basmati rice for about half an hour. In a pan, add ghee. Also add cloves, cardamom pods, bay leaf and some cashews. Fry till cashews turn brown. Now add drained rice along with frozen or fresh vegetables (about 1 cup for every 2 cups rice used). Cook in enough water adding salt till the rice turns soft. You can also add little milk and saffron when the rice is almost cooked for a richer version of pulao.

* Don’t cook the palak leaves in water as it will lose the nutrients. Just blanch it ie add to the hot water, bring to a boil and immediately drain and wash in running water in a colander. This helps retain the colour of palak leaves.

* I add the stalk part of palak too as it is healthy. Some people add only the leaves and discard the stalk/ stem. I feel if you grind it to smooth paste, then there is no problem in using the stem as well. In fact it gives a thickness to the gravy along with being nutritious too.

* Red chilli powder can be added only if needed since we are already adding green chillies while grinding.

* I used to add milk to the gravy towards the end when I started making palak paneer but now I don’t add as I feel it masks the palak flavour. You can add milk towards the end or garnish with fresh cream if you like it.

* You can substitute paneer with boiled chickpeas for Chole Palak and with boiled cubed Potatoes for Aloo palak or even with mushrooms for Kumbh Palak.

* Our favorite combination with Palak paneer is Vegetable pulao. I also make chapatis and it tastes great with this curry too.

Mashinga palle sannamuddo | Drumstick leaves spicy idlis Konkani style

I love cooking alone in the kitchen and look for the time when my kids are super busy with their naughtiness, then sneak myself into the kitchen to cook. When I cook, some dishes bring back such beautiful nostalgic memories that they bring so much happiness in my heart. Memories are really a wonderful way to relive those precious moments which can never come back but will be a treasure in us forever, bringing us joy when we think of them. ❤️

Sannamudhos were regularly made by my grandmother and I used to wait for it to be steamed to enjoy them as soon as it came out of the pedavan or steamer with coconut oil. Even now, when I make them, I eat them the same way just to relive those childhood memories. Here is a glimpse of the sannamudhos from the pedavan which my father had gifted me many years back when I was coming here to Qatar. Love it so much. Also, see how cute it looks. 😍

Here, even though we live in Industrial area, the residents have planted many variety of trees and one among them is drumstick tree. My husband plucks the leaves from a large tree near our house and I make sannamudhos as soon as I get them. The aroma of these idlis are one of it’s kind. The whole house smells heavenly when it steams. ❤️

Hope you all try and love them. Drumstick leaves are very healthy and medicinal. So I always try to add it regularly in our diet. Konkanis know this recipe but sharing for those who are new to it. Happy and healthy cooking! ❤️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: {Makes about 13 idlis}

2 Cups Drumstick leaves/ Moringa leaves/ Mashinga pallo

1 Cup Idli Rava/ Rice Rava

Salt to taste

For the masala paste:

1/2 Cup fresh or desiccated Coconut

1 tsp Tamarind paste

5 to 6 Kashmiri long red chillies or to taste (fried in 1 tsp oil)

Coconut oil to grease the idli plates

Step by step recipe:

1. Remove the leaves from the stems. Add to a bowl. Wash well. Drain and keep aside.

2. Take idli rava in a bowl. Wash well, drain and keep aside.

3. Now grind together coconut, fried red chillies and tamarind paste with little water to a smooth paste. Add this to the idli rava mixture.

4. Add about 1/2 Cup water (I wash the mixer and add that water.) to form a thick batter. Add salt and mix well.

5. Now mix in the drumstick leaves. It is a thick mixture just like how it is shown below.

6. Grease idli moulds with coconut oil and add the mixture evenly in the moulds.

7. Steam for 20 to 25 minutes or till a knife inserted in the center of the idli comes out clear.

Just love this pedavan or steamer gifted to me by my dad 😍

8. Enjoy it piping hot with coconut oil or with rice and dalitoy or rasam. Makes such an heavenly combo!

Notes:

* You can substitute drumstick leaves with Methi leaves or finely chopped palak leaves. This sannamudho can be made adding only onion or a mix of onion plus cabbage too.

* I add two cups of leaves for 1 Cup of idli rava. You can reduce the amount of leaves if you don’t have that much available but this quantity gives an amazing aroma as well as flavour to these idlis.

* The amount of red chillies I have mentioned is apt for us as the idlis turn out medium spicy. If you like them more spicy, then you can also add chilli powder before you mix in the leaves.

* Do steam them well atleast for 20 mins on high flame, else there can be rawness in the idli rava.

* Idli rava absorbs water when kept for a while. So if you keep the mixture to rest, it will absorb all the water and you might need to add a little more water to bring it to thick consistency. If steamed immediately, only 1/2 Cup water is needed.

* These idlis are traditionally had with rice and any curry like dalitoy (Konkani style dal) or rasam. You can also enjoy them as it is but don’t forget to dip in it coconut oil or drizzle over it for that heavenly flavour.

Magge Sasam | Konkani style Mangalore Cucumber curry

My husband loves gardening and that’s his most favorite pastime too. He waters the plants atleast 4 times everyday even during the peak summers here in Qatar and waters them as soon as he comes back from work even without entering the house (have to add: even after night shift 😬). That’s his dedication towards plants and I tease him that his first love are his plants and not me. 😅

Couple of years back, he had grown Mangalore Cucumbers out of the seeds that I discarded from store bought ones. The creeper had spread all over the garden and we had a yield of over 50 of them. It was really amazing and even our relatives were surprised to see them grow specially in a desert land like Qatar. All credits go to his green thumb. Here is a picture of some of them.

Since they were so many in number, we shared some with our friends who eat these. I also made Mangalore cucumber sweet dosas or Surnalis but still many were left. That’s when I got the idea of making Magge Sasam just the way we make Kuvale Sasam with Ashgourd. It tasted so yummy that it became a regular at our place and all the magges got over in no time.

So, when I got Mangalore Cucumber from our grocery store last day, I thought I must share this recipe with my readers who have not tried this yet and clicked the pictures of this curry. With my husband on vacation, he too came and held the curry bucket and said it reminded him of the temple meals in our native which we missed this whole year. I loved the click and had to share it here.

Hope you all try and love this curry too. Tastes very good with white rice and lemon pickle. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1 regular sized Mangalore cucumber/ Magge/ Vellarikka

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

Salt to taste

For the masala:

1 Cup fresh/ desiccated Coconut

4 Kashmiri long red chillies (OR 4 green chillies)

1 tsp Tamarind paste

1 tsp Mustard seeds (to be spluttered before adding)

For the seasoning:

1 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Mustard seeds

Few curry leaves

Step by step recipe:

1. Cut both the ends of the mangalore cucumber and peel it’s skin off. Cut and discard it’s core. Chop it into cubes. Now pressure cook with turmeric powder, salt and water enough to soak it till it turns soft. It took two whistles for me in my electric stove top.

2. Take coconut, red chillies, tamarind in a mixer with little water. Grind to a coarse paste.

3. Now heat mustard seeds in a pan (without oil) and allow it to splutter. Add it to the masala.

4. Pulse in the mixer two to three times. No need to grind to smooth paste after adding mustard seeds. Grind to a slightly coarse paste.

5. Now add this mixture to the cooked mangalore cucumber and bring it to boil. Cook for about 10 mins on medium flame. Also check for salt and add if needed.

6. Now heat oil in a pan. Splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and fry for few seconds. Pour the seasoning over the curry. Mix well. Remove from flame.

7. Serve hot with rice meals.

Notes:

* Don’t add a lot of water while pressure cooking the mangalore cucumbers or the curry turns watery. This is a thick curry. So add water only to soak it and pressure cook.

* Also, don’t overcook it. Mine gets done in two whistles on high flame in my electric stove top.

* I make this curry three ways. One is using green chillies alone which turns greenish white in colour. Second is this which I have shared ie using red chillies alone. Third is adding both green and red chillies in equal quantities. Three of these taste different and tasty. You can try the different variations each time for a change.

* Don’t grind the paste to smooth paste. Just add a little water and grind to a semi coarse paste. Also, don’t grind too much after adding the spluttered mustard seeds. Just pulse twice or thrice till it’s crushed.

* Remember that you have added salt while cooking the mangalore cucumber. So add only if needed later.

* This curry makes a good combination with white rice and lemon pickle.

* You can also make this Mangalore cucumber sweet dosas or Surnalis which taste very delicious.