Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cabbage Kootu

A very easy to make yet very comforting dish. You can have it either over piping hot white rice with ghee or have it as a side dish for chappathi .


1. Cabbage - 1/2 head shredded
2. Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
3. Oil - 1 teaspoon
4. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
5. Curry leaves - few
6. Coocnut - 2 tablespoons
7. Jeera/cumin seeds - 1 tablespoon
8. Garlic - 3 cloves
9. Red chillies - 2
10. Moong dhal - 1/2 cup


1. Cook the moong dhal till soft in a pressure cooker and keep it aside.
2. In a wide kadai, heat oil, add mustard seeds. Wait till it splutters and add onions and curry leaves.
3. Let the onions turn translucent. 
4. Meanwhile, make a fine paste of coconut, garlic, jeera and red chillies.
5.After the onions turn translucent, add the ground coconut mixture and cooked moong dhal.
6. Let it come to a boil, now add shredded cabbage and let the cabbages cook by covering the pan with a lid.
7. Once it comes to requirsd consistency, remove from heat.

Serve it over white rice with ghee.... Yumm :-)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Chettinad Chicken

I always thought chettinad preparation requires a lot of work. I was satisfied with the chettinad dishes from restaurants. But last weekend, I decided to cook chettinad chicken for a change and I should say restaurant chettinad chicken is no where near as good as homemade chettinad chciken. It was a big hit at home. The combination of flavors from all the spices filled the house. It was a perfect Sunday lunch!

All credit goes to Solai aachi. She has a wonderful blog with a whole bunch of chettinad recipes. When I googled for chettinad chicken, it is her blog that got listed first. And when I saw the number of comments for this recipe, I did not even care to look at other recipes. I followed exactly what is given in her blog for this dish except for the small onions part.

This chicken preparation for sure is not an easy one that you can make with few ingredients. It involves a lot of chopping, grinding and cooking. But the end result is worth all the time and effort.


1. Chicken - 1 1/2 pounds
2. Big Onions - 1 1/2 finely chopped
3. Tomatoes - 2 finely chopped
4. Garlic - 20 pods
5. Cinnamon - 2 pieces
6. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon
7. Clove - 2
8. Cardamom - 2
9. Birinji leaf - 2
10. Mint leaf - a handful
11. Curry leaf little
12. Oil - 3 tablespoons
13. Salt - as needed

For Onion Paste

1. Ginger - ½ inch piece
2. Onion - 1/2 cubed
3. Garlic - 10 pods
4. Green chillies - 2
5. Chili powder - 1 tablespoon
6. Coriander powder-2 tablespoons

For Coconut paste

1. Grated Coconut - 5 tablespoons
2. Cashew nuts - 5
3. Fennel seeds - 1 teaspoon

To Marinate

1. Sambar Powder/ Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon
2. Salt - as needed
3. Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
4. Ginger Garlic paste - 1 teaspoon


1. Clean and cut the chicken into bite size pieces.
2. Marinate the chicken with the ingredients specified under "To Marinate" and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour.
3. Grind the ingredients specified under "For Onion Paste" into a fine mixture and keep it aside.
4. Grind the ingredients specified under "For Coconut Paste" into a fine mixture and keep it aside.
5. In a heavy bottomed kadai, heat 3 tablespoons of oil and add clove, cardamom, brinji leaf, fennel seeds, mint leaves and curry leaves. Saute for just a couple of seconds.
6. Add finely chopped onions and garlic. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
7. Add the tomatoes and desired amount of salt.(Make sure you add just enough for the gravy because we have used salt for marinating the chicken)
8. Let the tomatoes become soft and mushy. Add the ground onion paste and saute it till all the raw smell from the onions go away.
9. Add the marinated chicken pieces and mix it with the masala. Sprinkle little water if needed. But chicken will ooze out a lot of water by itself. Cook the chicken for about 20 minutes.
10. Then add the coconut paste and let the gravy become thick.
11. Once the gravy reaches the required consistency, you can remove it from flame and garnish it with cilantro.

Add more water if you want a little more gravy and let it come to a boil before you remove from heat.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chick Pea Salad with Cilantro Pesto dressing

Last week, for a couple of days, the temperature here was hovering around 90's. During such days, we like for something light and cold and this salad was perfect for lunch with the cilantro pesto dressing. Pesto is traditionally prepared with basil and pine nuts as its main ingredient. I am not a big fan of basil and also did not have pine nuts in hand. So I decided to experiment with cilantro and walnuts and it was a very good combination with the chick pea salad.

Best thing about this recipe is there is no cooking involved except for pressure cooking the chick peas. What a great perk is that on a hot summer day!

1. Chick peas - 1 cup
2. Celery - 2 stems
3. Red Bell pepper - half (Chopped)
4. Lettuce - 1/2 head (chopped)
Ingredients for Cilantro Pesto dressing:
1. Cilantro - 1 cup (Tightly packed)
2. Walnuts - 5 0r 6
3. Lemon Juice - 1 teaspoon
4. Garlic - 1 small
5. Salt and pepper - to taste
6. Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
1. Soak the chick peas overnight and cook it in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles or until soft but still firm. If you are using canned chick peas you can ignore this step. Drain the chick peas and keep it aside
2. Clean and cut celery and bell pepper and mix it with chcikpeas. You can also add other vegetables.
3. For the pesto dressing, clean the cilantro. Chop it roughly.
4. Place all the ingredients except olive oil mentioned under Ingredients for Cilantro Pesto dressing and pulse it couple of times. Slowly add olive oil till you get a creamy texture.
5. Combine, chcikpeas, celery and pepper in a large mixing bowl. Slowly add the cilantro pesto dressing to the chickpea salad. Mix well till the dressing coats the chick peas evenly.
Serve it over a bed of lettuce.


The cilantro dressing can be prepared ahead of time. It stays good in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

I am sending this post to Taste Junction's Salad Spread  event.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kadai Mushroom

 I am not sure what is the connection between me and kadai preparation. Why do I love to prepare kadai dishes with every possible thing? Or why do I name my dishes kadai? I really don't know what a traditional kadai preparation is. But I love my version of kadai preparation. I started preparing this mushroom dish as kadai preparation, but I guess, it slowly emerged into mushroom butter masala. So this recipe is a hybrid between kadai mushroom and butter mushroom. But the end result was absolutely divine. As you can see, the gravy was so silky and creamy and it was a perfect combination with malabari paratha. I am sure, it will taste very good with any indian flat bread.


1. Mushroom - 1 lb cleaned and cut into bite size pieces(I used baby bella mushrooms but button mushrooms can be used too)
2. Onion - 1Cubed
3. Tomato - 1 big Cubed
4. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
5. Chilli powder - 2 teaspoons/ per taste
6. Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
7. Salt - as needed
8. Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
9. Kasoori Methi - 1 tablespoon
10. Cashewnuts - 10 -12 pieces
11. Butter - 2 tablespoon
12. Oil - 3 teaspoon


1. In a hot wide deep kadai add one teaspoon of oil, saute onion till it turns translucent.
2. Then add tomatoes, salt and turmeric. Let the tomatoes get soft and mushy.
3. Now add chilli powder, coriander and garam masala powder, saute for a couple of seconds and add the cashews. Remove from heat. Let it cool.
4. In the meantime, clean and cut the mushrooms into bite size pieces and keep it aside.
5. Grind the sauteed onion tomato mixture to a very fine paste. This is what is going to give a creamy texture to the gravy.
6. In the same kadai that you used earlier, add the remaining oil. Once it is hot, add the ground mixture.
7.Heat the gravy for a couple of minutes and then add the mushrooms.
8.Let the gravy and mushroom bubble up till it becomes thick. Let it cook with a lid on or else your stove top will be covered with this gravy.
9. Once it reached the required consistency, add Kasoori methi and 2 tablespoons of butter.
10. Remove from heat once the butter starts separating.

Serve it with your favorite bread.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Cantaloupe/ Musk Melon Milkshake

Here comes my first post on beverages just in time for summer!
Slurp this healthy milkshake for breakfast and for sure you will stay refreshed the whole day!


1. Cantaloupe / Musk Melon - 1/2 of a medium sized fruit
2. Cold Milk - 1 cup (I used low fat. Can use whole milk if you prefer)
3. Honey - 2 tablespoons (or more depends on how sweet the fruit is)


1. Remove the skin ans seeds from the cantaloupe and roughly chop it in to small pieces.
2. Place it in a blender along with honey and blend it till smooth.
3. Slowly add cold milk little by little, till you get the required consistency.

Serve it chilled!

I am sending this entry to ‘Serve it – Chilled’ event.

I am also sending this to Kids's delight event.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Vendhaya Saadham / Fenugreek Rice

Now that summer is here,I am more often preparing dishes that will cool down our bodies. Fenugreek has a very nice aromatic flavor and is also known for its cooling effects.

I am a big fan of my Mother-in-Law's simple recipes. She cooks everything in a jiffy. One such dish is vendhaya sadaham / fenugreek rice. It takes no time to prepare. But you will end up with a full filling comfort meal. Any tangy side dish will go perfectly with it. I made a spicy potato peas masala and it was perfect with this rice. Every bite of the rice will have the aroma and the slight bitterness of fenugreek.

Adding a lot of garlic adds more flavor to this rice.


1. Basmathi rice - 2 cups
2. Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
3. Garlic - 10 (cut each garlic roughly into four pieces)
4. Green chillies - 5
5. Vendhayam/fenugreek - 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons
6. Salt - as needed
7. Oil - 2 teaspoons
8. Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
9. Curry leaves - 4


1. Heat oil in a pressure cooker and add the fenugreek seeds. Just when it turns golden brown add onion, curry leaves, garlic, turmeric powder and green chillies. Make sure you don't burn the fenugreek seeds, as it will make the rice very bitter.
2. Saute till the onions get soft.
3. Wash the rice and add it to the onion mixture, and give it a nice stir till the oil coats the rice. Now add 4 cups of water, salt and close the pressure cooker.
4. Cook it till one whistle and switch off the heat.
5. After the pressure is released, gently mix the rice without making it too mushy.

Serve it with any spicy tangy masala.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Karela Masala

My mom and dad will definitely be shocked to see this recipe on my blog. Yeah... There is no connection between me and bitter gourd. I used to be such a fuzzy eater when it comes to vegetables. But my taste buds took a roller coaster twist after marriage :-) I was wondering how to cook karela that will suit my taste buds as well as his. And adding a small piece of jaggery did all the trick.

Ingredients :

1. Bitter Gourd /Karela - 4
2. Onion - 1 medium finely chopped
3. Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
4. Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon (or per taste)
5. Turmeric - 1 teaspoon
6. Salt - as needed
7. Jaggery - 1 tablespoon
8. Garlic - 4 finely chopped
8. Oil - 2 teaspoons


1. In a hot kadai, add oil, add cumin seeds and wait till it splutters.
2. Now add onions and garlic, saute till the onions gets translucent.
3. Add turmeric, salt and chilli powder and saute it for a couple of seconds.
4. Cut the karela into bite size pieces and stir into the masala. Add 1/2 cup - 1 cup of water, close the kadai with a lid and let it cook till the karela turns soft and most of the water is absorbed.
5. Now stir in the jaggery. Wait till it melts and remove from heat.

Serve it with Rotis or as a side with rice and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bread Roll

Kids make us very innovative in the kitchen and here is one of my creations for their lunch boxes.You can substitute the potato stuffing with any of your kids favorite. You can either bake it or shallow fry it.


1. Potatoes - 1 medium boiled and mashed
2. Peas - 1/2 cup
3. Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
4. Green chilly - 1 finely chopped
5. Oil - 1 teaspoon
6. Salt - as needed
7. Bread - 2 slices
8. Butter - 1 tablespoon at room temperature


In a hot pan, add oil, saute the onions till soft. Add the green chilli, mashed potato and peas. Add a little salt and saute till the peas gets cooked. Keep it aside.
Remove the edges of the bread. Use a rolling pin to flatten the bread a little bit. Wrap it in a wet kitchen towel for 5 to 10 minutes. Place a spoon full of the potato masala at one side of the bread. Roll it tight. Seal the edge by applying some water. Again wrap it with a wet kitchen towel. This process of wrapping the bread in a wet kitchen towel will keep the bread nice and soft without letting it dry while baking.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Unwrap the bread rolls. Apply butter on all sides of the roll. Place it in a greased baking sheet and bake for 10 to 20 minutes. You can also shallow fry the rolls till they turn golden brown.

Serve it with ketchup.