Tag Archives: Tomato

Split Moong curry | Easy side dish for chapatis

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

Usually I decide the lunch menu the previous night itself. When I put my kids to sleep, before falling asleep myself, I quickly think of what vegetables are in the fridge, what pulses can I soak and what I could make such that it caters to the liking of all of them (Motherhood diaries and I am sure its a kahaani ghar ghar ki πŸ˜…).

But since few days, me and the kids have been doing a dancing session in the evening where we put on Bollywood songs, dance however we want to, without the care in the world. πŸ˜‚ Even though I am a big zero at dancing 😁, my daughter teaches me few steps and I am learning atleast basic dancing from her. πŸ˜€ For me, it’s a form of workout and apart from my favorite walking, this dance session uplifts my mood so much. 😍

My favorite song to dance is “Tum hi ho bandhu” from cocktail movie in which this line is my favorite, “Jag mujhpe lagaye pabandi, main hoon hi nahi is duniya ki.” That’s what I have thought of myself too. Over the years, trying to fit everywhere, I now realize there’s nothing wrong in being different. We are all unique and that’s what makes us special. ❀️ Also, there is truly something magical when you dance for yourself with no one to see you (no adult, to be precise πŸ˜„), that I realize now, all thanks to my 6 year old daughter. ❀️

So after all that dancing, I fall asleep even before the kids now πŸ˜‚ and that leaves me no time to think about the lunch menu. That’s when this instant split moong curry comes handy. When vegetables are less, when you feel like having whole moong curry but have forgotten to soak it or merely if you are in no mood to make something elaborate, this split moong curry becomes a best friend. 😍

The curry tastes really delicious with chapatis and rice equally, is very filling and healthy too. I make this regularly and is loved a lot by my family. Hope you all try and like it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3/4 Cup split green moong dal (with skin)

1/4 Cup split yellow moong dal (skinned)

1 tsp Ghee + 1 tsp Oil

1 tsp Cumin seeds/ Jeera

3 to 4 Garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 inch Ginger, finely chopped

3 Green chillies, finely chopped

1 medium sized Onion, finely chopped

1 medium sized Tomato, finely chopped

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

1/2 tsp Cumin powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

1 tsp Red chilli powder

Salt to taste

1 tsp Lemon juice, for garnish

2 Tbsp Finely chopped Coriander leaves, for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take 3/4 Cup split green moong dal and 1/4 Cup split yellow Moong dal in a bowl. Wash twice and soak till use. (You can make the curry even without soaking but soaking atleast for 15 mins helps it to cook quickly.)

2. Take ghee + oil (or only oil) in a pan. Add cumin seeds and allow it to change colour. Add finely chopped garlic, ginger and green chillies. Fry till garlic turns brown in colour. Add onions and fry till onions turn translucent.

3. Now add tomatoes and fry till tomatoes turn mushy. Now add turmeric powder, cumin powder, Garam masala powder and red chilli powder.

4. Mix well frying for few seconds. Now drain water from the soaking dal and add to the pan.

5. Add water and salt. Mix well. Bring to a boil.

6. Cover and cook till the moong turns soft and water gets absorbed completely.

7. Now drizzle lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve hot with chapatis or rice.

Click on the image to save the recipe on Pinterest.

Notes:

* You can make the same curry with overnight ( or atleast for 6 hours) soak whole green gram or even sprouted green gram. I make with split ones when I forget to soak, yet feel like eating this curry.

* Combining both split green moong dal and split yellow moong dal makes it tastier.

* Skip onion and garlic for a satwik version of the curry. I do so on fasting days and it still tastes delicious.

* You can cook till the moong dal turn mushy or till it’s just done. Also you can make the curry dry or keep a little liquid in the gravy. Depends on your taste.

* I usually make this curry with chapatis but it tastes delicious with rice meals too.

* You can also try this:

# Amma’s style moong curry.

# Sprouted Moong Methi sukhe

# Muga Dali Usli

Mixed Vegetable Salad | Simple salad recipe

This salad recipe is so simple that I thought twice before adding on the blog wondering if anyone would actually even look at this recipe. But then I thought, even if one person benefits by it, then the blog is worth it. So here is sharing the easiest salad recipe ever and definitely very healthy too since it has so many vegetables in it. ❀️

My kids are huge fan of this salad and this whole bowl that you can see above is finished mostly by them only. They enjoy it as it is and then add puffed rice or Bhel to it, calling it “Charmbure Upkari” or Bhel Puri in Konkani. Whatever they call it, I am very happy that all these vegetables go into their tummy without a fuss. ❀️

When I was a child, my grandmother used to make a simple salad with just tomatoes, onions, green chillies and coriander leaves. After a while of making it, it would leave water due to salt in it and I used to love to slurp that water. 😍 Now my son is the same. The water left by the salad is reserved only for him and he enjoys drinking it. Like mother, like son. ❀️❀️

Today, I also want to share a glimpse of my mother’s window which is her view of the outside world. Suffering from muscular dystrophy in her legs, she’s mostly sitting on her bed and this window is her best friend which offers her beautiful views of mother nature, the gleaming sky, different varieties of birds and butterflies, also of cows grazing. This picture was clicked by Amma today. Isn’t it beautiful! ❀️

Also, here is a picture of a pigeon, one among the many who come to visit Amma. How sweet is that! 😍

During my vacations, I used to lie on this bed, chatting with Amma while looking outside at nature, enjoying the beautiful scenery. Major missing since close to two years now. But really happy that Amma has this window as her friend, which makes her feel close to nature, even from within her room. That’s so blissful! ❀️

On this note, here’s sharing the recipe with all of you. Hope you all try it too. Happy and healthy cooking! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

2 English Cucumbers (about 2 cups chopped Cucumbers)

1 medium sized Carrot (1 Cup grated Carrot)

1/2 Cup grated Cabbage

1/4 Cup finely chopped Capsicum

3 Lettuce leaves, chopped into small pieces

1 medium sized Onion

1 medium sized Tomato

3 Tbsp finely chopped Coriander leaves

2 Indian lemon or to taste

1/4 tsp Cumin powder

Salt to taste (I use rock salt/ kaala namak)

Step by step recipe:

1. Get all the veggies for the salad ready. I love to keep everything set at first so that I don’t forget any of the Vegetable and also love how colourful it looks. 😍

2. First chop the cucumbers into small pieces and add to a large mixing bowl. Then peel and grate carrots, finely chop cabbage, capsicum, onion and tomato. Make small pieces of lettuce and add to the bowl too.

3. Now add lemon juice along with salt, cumin powder and coriander leaves. Mix well and serve.

Notes:

* If using Indian cucumbers, it will need peeling and removing the core. Since I used English Cucumbers, I do not peel it.

* You can skip any Vegetable in this if you don’t have. I add as per what I have available.

* You can also add green chillies or pepper powder. I skip both as I make for my small kids.

* This salad acts a good base to make Mixed Vegetable sandwiches. Just take little of this salad and mix either hung Curd or cream cheese along with little tomato ketchup. Mix well and spread between bread slices. Toast on a pan and delicious sandwiches are ready.

* Also you can use this salad to make Mixed Vegetable Bhel Puri. Just take a little of this salad and mix in red chilli powder to taste along with little curd, puffed rice/ Bhel and Bhujiya/ Sev. Add Date Tamarind chutney too if you have.

* These are the other Salads that I make regularly:

# Carrot Kismuri

# Moong dal Kosambari

# Cabbage Kosambari

# Khamang Kakdi

# Mixed Bean Salad

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 πŸ˜„) 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 πŸ˜…

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 πŸ˜„), 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 πŸ™).

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.

Barley Carrot Soup | Barley salad |Healthy soup recipe

Soup takes me back to the piping hot tomato soup in paper cups that used to be served during our 3 day long train journey to Bombay. My uncles lived there and we used to be so excited, waiting for the train to reach the destination yet enjoying every bit of the journey too. Me and my brother would sit close to the window seat, watching trees, fields and mountains pass by, counting the number of bogies in goods trains while waiting for food hawkers to come, to buy their snacks. 😍

Among them, tomato soup used to be sold early in the morning and I specially would wake up early for it (sacrificing my precious sleep for that delicious soup πŸ˜…). As soon as they started calling out, soup.. soup.. I would wake up my father asking him to buy one for me (spoiling his sleep too 😬). But the feel of drinking that tasty hot soup while looking outside the window of the train, enjoying nature come alive early in the morning with the background music of birds chirping, is something which can’t be replicated at all. Which is why even after so many years, it is as fresh in my memory. ❀️

After that, if there is any soup I loved, it is my mother’s tomato soup. I can never forget how lovingly she made it and we used to enjoy it together in small steel bowls with mickey mouse spoons (😍) sitting together chatting away (major missing 😭).

It is the same recipe that I am sharing today but have included barley in it too. Barley was brought home by my husband as he wanted me to taste it after eating it in his company “canteen” (as he calls it but it is no less than a restaurant which offers so many delicious options in the buffet). He said soup and salad with it tastes delicious and I looked through few recipes on how to cook it and combined it with Amma’s soup recipe.

It tasted really good and I loved the soft texture of Barley. Funniest part is when I made the soup for the first time and was serving my son, he asked me what was in the other bowl too. I said salad. He asked me to mix both in his bowl. I told him that’s not the way to eat it but he still was confident he wanted to eat it that way. πŸ˜… So I gave in and served him exactly that way. (Tip to survive motherhood: Give in if it’s safe to do before tantrums start. 🀣)

And he could not stop saying “Amma, yummy!!” with every bite while I was very surprised at this weird combo. πŸ™„ Then, when we tried it, it was delicious for real. πŸ˜„ The bite of cucumber, carrots and onion gave a great texture as well as flavour to the soup. Since then, we have been eating this soup the same way. πŸ˜€ Huge credits to my two year old boy for showing us the right way to enjoy this soup. 😍

Sorry for the super long write up. Did not realise how lengthy this turned out to be but don’t feel like cutting it short too. You can always skip if it bores you. 😁 Hope you all try this healthy, filling and tasty soup. Happy and healthy cooking!! Happy winters too. The best time to enjoy soup! ❀️

RECIPE:

Ingredients: { Serves 4 }

1/2 Cup Barley (I make both soup and salad using this measure)

1/2 a large Carrot (about 1/2 Cup chopped)

1 medium sized Tomato

1 small sized Onion

Red chilli powder to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. Wash barley well and soak in about three times water overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. This makes barley soft and aids in digestion too.

2. Then drain water from it and add to a pressure cooker. Add water a little above the level of barley (about 2 cm) and pressure cook till soft. It takes me 1 whistle on high flame and then reduce to medium flame and keeping for 10 mins. It gives me perfectly cooked barley.

3. At this point, I remove 1/2 Cup of this cooked barley and add to my salad (will share the recipe of that in the notes towards the end of the recipe.) It leaves me with 1 Cup of cooked barley. Just add chopped carrot, onion and tomato along with 1/2 Cup water.

4. Pressure cook for about 3 whistles on high flame or cook till the carrots turns soft. Allow it to cool.

5. After it cools down, puree it in a mixer. Leave some cooked barley without pureeing as it gives a wonderful bite to the soup. I leave about 1/2 Cup of cooked barley.

6. Now add the blended puree back into the pressure cooker and add red chilli powder and salt. Also add water to make it into your desired consistency. Bring to a boil and cook for about two mins. Soup is ready! Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with croutons or bread sticks.

Notes:

* You can garnish with butter, cream or pepper or anything you like. I make it very basic as my kids love it this way.

* My son enjoys this soup along with salad in one bowl. It makes for a tasty and filling snack or a meal in itself.

* For the barley salad, add finely chopped cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, carrots, coriander leaves and green chillies (optional) in a bowl. Add cooked barley with salt, pepper powder and lemon juice. Mix well.

* Barley absorbs a lot of water when pressure cooked. So add atleast about 2 cm level of water more while pressure cooking it.

* I soak Barley when I remember. Drain the water after 8 hours and refrigerate. This lasts well for couple of days. So when I need to make it, I already have the soaked barley. So can make both the soup and salad instantly.

* Adding more carrot or onions can make the soup very thick and sweet. So if you are not a fan of sweet soups, you can reduce the amount of both.

* Don’t add all the barley while pureeing. Save half of it as it gives a good bite to the soup.

* The soup thickens as you keep it. So if you are making ahead, you might need to add little water to bring it to desired consistency.

* These are the other soups that I make regularly.

# Narangi Shorba (Orange flavoured Pumpkin soup )

# Easy Cream of Mushroom soup

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! πŸ˜…

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 πŸ˜‚). Even though he can’t cook much, he criticises my dishes so well that even the tiniest mistake does not escape his taste buds πŸ™„πŸ˜„. That has been very difficult as a newbie married girl leading to many crying sessions πŸ˜‚.

Not now though. Now, it does feel sad sometimes but I go into my silent mode (inside my shellπŸ˜…) and then think that it’s for my own good and that’s how my cooking has improved this much (deep thoughts, example 2 πŸ˜‚). 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. πŸ™πŸ˜

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” (πŸ˜€) 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. πŸ˜€

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.

Benda Uli/ Bhindi fry/ Spicy Lady’s finger fry

If there is one vegetable that I am not fond of, it is Lady’s finger. My all time favorite veggies are potato, elephant yam, beetroot, carrot ie all underground vegetables πŸ˜‹. But Mr hubby hates potato and beetroot. So all these years, we have never bought beetroot and rarely use potato except for masala dosa or chapati bhaji. Husband’s food choices replace mine (Kahaani ghar ghar ki, I suppose! πŸ˜†)

Now guess which veggie is his favorite? Yes, Lady’s finger πŸ™„πŸ˜…. So this lady makes way into our house more than quite often and he makes me eat it saying it is healthy 😬. So I have learnt to cook it in a way that I can atleast bear to eat it.

Benda Uli is commonly made at his place and the only dish he too likes with Bhindi. Though it is made little liquidy, I make it crisp so that it does not turn slimy (which I absolutely dislike). It turns out good and even my kids like it.

Hope you all try and like it as well. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

3 Cups chopped Lady’s finger / Bhindi/ Benda

2 Tbsp Coconut oil

1 medium sized Onion, finely sliced

1 medium sized Tomato, finely chopped

1 tsp Red chilli powder or to taste

Salt to taste

Step by step recipe:

1. This is how I prepare the Lady’s fingers for any curry. Wash them well under running water. Then allow it dry completely. Just keep it as such for little while and it will air dry. Chop off both ends of the Lady’s fingers and then cut into small pieces. Put in a bowl and keep aside.

Note: Ensuring that there is no water in the Lady’s fingers avoids the sliminess in the curry.

2. Now heat oil in a pan and add finely sliced onions. Fry till it turns translucent.

3. Now add tomatoes and fry till it turns soft.

3. Add the chopped Lady’s finger and fry it continually till it cooks. Don’t add water at all or else the curry turns slimy. It will take time but the texture of Lady’s finger will be very crispy and tasty.

5. Now add red chilli powder and salt. Mix well such that everything blends well. Cook for couple of minutes.

6. Remove from flame. Serve with rice meals.

Notes:

* Towards the end of frying, I purposely allow it to get little burnt ( to a little brownish tinge and not to black ). It gives it a very good flavour to the curry.

* For Lady’s finger, the most important part is preparing the vegetable. Wash first and then allow it to dry off completely. This ensures that slimes don’t form while cooking the Lady’s finger.

* Usually Benda Uli is made little liquidy but I prefer this method of cooking it (water free) as it gives crispy and tasty curry.

* Red chilli powder is to taste.

Dhaba Style Paneer

We are a paneer loving family and our idea of a special weekend dinner is incomplete without paneer. So when my dearest friend and soul sister Sumangala posted Dhaba style Paneer on her Instagram handle @onlyvegfoodie, I could not resist trying it instantly. It looked so so delicious.

And how amazing it came out too. My kids who usually make faces during dinner time ate whole heartedly and happily that day. My daughter even ate the curry as it is which is a rarity since she always finds everything spicy. So you can imagine how much she liked it.

I also want to write something about Sumangala. We first met through our GSB youth wing Elamakkara (where we lived in Kochi) during our college days. We were (still are 😁) both talkative and got along very well. She’s very loving and a down to earth person. I still remember my visits to her house and the nearby Shiva temple with her. Now we both are busy mommies with two kids of our own but our common love for cooking keeps us connected on Instagram. So glad to see you happy Suma. Love you. The memories with you are unforgettable. 😘

Hope you all try her recipe of Dhaba style Paneer and love it as much as we did. Happy and healthy cooking!

RECIPE:

Ingredients:

To marinate:

200 grams Paneer cubes

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Coriander powder

2 tsp Garam masala powder

1/2 tsp Haldi powder

2 tsp Water

Other ingredients in order:

1 Tbsp Ghee

1 Tbsp Oil

2 Cardamom pods

2 Cloves

1/2 inch Cinnamon stick

1 Bay leaf

1 tsp Cumin seeds or Jeera

1 tsp minced Ginger

1 large Onion, blended in mixer

2 large Tomatoes, pureed in mixer

2 Tbsp Coriander leaves, while frying

1/2 tsp Kasuri methi, crushed between palm

1 tsp Red chilli powder

1 tsp Garam masala powder

2 tsp Besan/ Chickpea flour

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Step by step recipe:

1. Take Paneer cubes in a bowl. Add red chilli powder, garam masala powder, haldi powder and coriander powder along with little water. Mix well and keep aside for 30 mins.

2. Heat oil and ghee in a pan. Add jeera along with Cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, bay leaf. When jeera changes colour, add blended onion and ginger.

3. Keep frying continually till the raw smell goes away and the paste leaves the sides of the pan. Now add kasuri methi, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and besan.

4. Fry for two mins till the rawness of besan goes away. Now add tomato puree along with coriander leaves and cook covered for 6 to 8 mins till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.

5. Now add paneer cubes and mix well. Cook again covered for 5 mins.

6. Remove from flame. Garnish with Coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or rice.

Notes:

* Paneer can be substituted with mushroom or cauliflower.

* You can fry the marinated paneer first before adding to the gravy for a firmer paneer. I skipped that step since we like the softness of paneer in gravies.

* Do remember to cook well after adding onion puree, after adding besan and after adding tomato puree. All three steps need some time to cook thoroughly but is very important to get the authentic dhaba style Paneer.

* You can skip the red chilli powder in the gravy and add only to the marinate if you don’t like too much spicy gravy. My kids loved it even though I added red chilli powder in both marinate and gravy.