Thursday, January 18, 2007

Try a new vegetable - Kai-lan (Chinese Broccoli)

Greens are good for you! Just google 'benefits of eating greens' and you'll have numerous sites listing everything from reducing risk of heart diseases, stroke, some cancers, ..... to its antioxidant properties.

Kai-lan stir-fried in an mushroom flavored sauce.

Stir-fried Kai-lan, Achar and Tofu Sambal with Rice - A wholesome meal!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Happy Pongal / Sankranthi

Warmest Pongal and Sankranthi wishes to all of you!!

இந்த இனிய தைத் திருநாள் அன்று உங்கள் இல்லங்களில் பால் பொங்குவது போலவே உங்கள் உள்ளங்களிலும் எல்லா செல்வங்களும் சந்தோஷங்களும் பொங்கி வழியட்டும்!!!

(On this auspicious day of Thai month, as the milk spills over, may you be blessed with all prosperity and happiness bounty)

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Guess what's cooking - Karela/Bittergourd chips

Inspired by mydhaba, I'm posting a couple of simple guess whats...
The first one might be relatively easy!

Thanks to all for your interesting and some amusing guesses! Annu and Archana turned out to be right - I am frying bittergourd or karela for chips.

Back in our Trivandrum days, our neighbor aunty used to make awesome 'pavaikka' chips and would send some over every time she made it, cos she knew Naveen loved it! Till date, we always remember Prasanna aunty, everytime amma or I make these chips. Although I never liked bittergourd pitlai or any other bittergourd dish, this one was always an exception.
I remember the first time I mentioned pavakka chips to Kartik, he was quite eager to try out, and understandably he's been hooked to it ever since he took his first bite!

Since food in the past two weeks has been predominantly - Naveen's favorites, this HAD to be in the menu. Even if you don't like bittergourd, try it with the less intense variety(the chinese bittergourd) and I'll assure you, its a great way to get acquainted with a very interesting vegetable.


Bittergourd, salt, turmeric, red chili powder


Marinate for 20-30 mts

Deep fry in hot oil, until dark brown.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Corn and Red pepper curry

My trip to the grocery store has been a couple of days overdue. I've depleted almost everything in the fridge except carrots, a ½ used red pepper, cilantro and green chilies. Made egg curry last night for dinner, and thats when I cleaned out the tomatoes! Since Naveen left last night, and I've been down with a cold/cough for a couple of days now, I'm in no mood to go grocery shopping.

I usually stock some vegetables in the freezer but this time around, even these didn't come to my rescue!! How on earth did I get the fridge so 'dry'??? :S

After rummaging through the coffee beans, and the cartloads of sambhar powder that my mum gave me almost 3 years back, I finally spotted a lonely packet of corn staring me in the eye from the back of the freezer. battle won...another begins??

Now, how do you combine corn, red bell pepper, cilantro and green chilies in the same recipe and that too within ½hr ??(K decided to join me for lunch today!! ) Here's my concoction - with some basic help from various corn recipes obtained from the internet. Presenting *drumroll......*


Corn - 1½ cups
Red pepper (diced) - ½ cup
Onion powder - 2 tbsp (if using fresh onions, chop and grind ½ a big onion with paste ingredients)
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 2
Green Cardamom - 2
Kashmiri red chili powder- ½ tsp
Lite coconut milk - ½ can
Salt - ¾-1 tsp flat
Oil/ Ghee - 2 tsp

To make paste:
Garlic - 3-4 pods
Ginger - ½ inch
Green chilies - 4
Cilantro/coriander leaves - a fistful
Coconut - 1 tbsp grated
Khus khus or poppy seeds - 2 tsp
Cashews (optional) - 3-4 pieces


Heat some oil/ghee in a pan and add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.

Add onion powder (if available). Let it cook for a minute.

Add the green spice paste now and cook till the oil separates.

Now add the corn (yellow preferably - for the aesthetic aspect) and red bell pepper.

Add salt and cook covered for 4-5 minutes and add the kashmiri chili powder and a tsp of garam masala if needed.

Now add the coconut milk and let it cook on low flame for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with hot chapatis, parathas or rice.

Myriad of colors - yellow corn and red pepper in a green curry

Monday, January 1, 2007

Happy New Year

As you usher in the New Year 2007, we wish you and everyone in your family a year full of great health, happiness and celebrations!