September 27, 2007

Pepper Rasam and Potato Masala-Rasam Recipes-Aloo Recipes

Fact: Pepper rasam is great for a sore throat. I had a terribly sore throat last weekend and roaming around entire day Saturday for a friend's birthday, didn't help it much. Sunday morning, I felt all crappy and grumbly. I started craving hot pepper rasam right about then. There were no vegetables in the house and we were too lazy to go out and get any. That's when the potatoes came handy. Quickly whipped up a lunch of pepper rasam, potato masala and rice. I have also shared my MIL's version of pepper rasam recipe for those of you who want a Brahmin-style rasam recipe. You can also find an easy instant tomato rasam recipe here, or, just browse all rasam recipes to find your favourite.

Pepper Rasam Recipe

Ingredients for Pepper Rasam:
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp
Freshly ground peppercorns - 1 tsp
Garlic - 5-6 cloves, freshly pounded
Rasam powder (I am currently using MTR) - 1.5 tbsp
Water - as required
Salt - to taste
Fresh coriander leaves - for seasoning
Curry leaves - one strand

How to Make Pepper Rasam:

1. Heat oil and temper with mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds. I love the smell of fenugreek seeds as they are roasted. Make sure they are not burnt at this stage. Add the garlic and fry for a minute.

2. Then add the curry leaves and the rasam powder, fry for a good 2 minutes.

3. Add necessary amount of water and when it heats up, add the tamarind paste and stir well. When the water boils, add the pepper.

4. Don't boil for too long. Add salt, remove from fire and season with coriander leaves.

Pepper is ideal when we have a bad throat or a cold. I always crave rasam when I am feeling feverish. With rice, its not really a favourite.

Potato Masala-Aloo Masala Recipe

I made it exactly the way we make Kerala egg curry. Boil the potatoes and add it on just you do with the eggs. We love that gravy and though its not the best combination with rasam, we still enjoyed it.

September 23, 2007

Egg Dosa with Onion-Tomato Chutney/Mutta Doshayum Ulli-Thakkali Chammanthiyum

I love egg, be it omelette, or curried, or hard boiled, or even on a dosa! (Only exception being bull's eye). Egg dosa is a favourite at home and normally we have it for dinner. Last week, we had this for breakfast though, with spicy onion-tomato chutney. Mom either makes tomato chutney or onion chutney but both are a little time consuming, especially the tomato chutney which requires a lot of time on the stove and when it boils, it falls all over the stove, dirtying it. Needless to say, I am too lazy to follow that so went for an equal amount of tomatoes and onions for this chutney.

Egg Dosa with Onion Tomato Chutney

Egg Dosa Recipe
I used readymade batter for the dosa. To make the batter at home, take rice : urad dhal in 3 : 1 ratio, soak overnight (or atleast 5-6 hours) in water separately, grind separately and then mix together, adding salt. This batter should be kept covered for another 5 hours or so before you can start making the dosa. You can check this detailed post for how to make dosa batter at home.

Using this batter, pour a dosa on the griddle, break an egg and lay on top of dosa. Lightly sprinkle with gingelly oil, carefully turn and cook till the egg is cooked. I have a new and improved version of onion tomato chutney recipe but you can also follow the below recipe. Both are delicious.

Onion - Tomato Chutney Recipe

Onions - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 2 large
Hing - 1 pinch
Red Chillies - 4-5
Garlic - 3 cloves

1. Fry onions in very little oil till it they turn golden brown.
2. Add the red chillies, hing and chopped garlic.
3. When the masala is done, add the chopped tomatoes, mix well and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
4. Cool this mixture and grind well in a coffee grinder or blender. Serve with hot egg dosa.

September 20, 2007

Toasted Sugar Bread with Honey - Breakfast with leftover bread

Weekend Breakfast Blogging #15 was announced by Nandita of Saffron Trail, almost a month back and the theme this month is leftovers. She also had a picture of a fridge full of leftover food, to get us thinking. Next day, I opened my fridge and was not really surprised to see just a couple of wilted tomatoes and a bottle of ginger-garlic paste in there. We only cook during weekends and we are experts at cooking for two. So I really had to struggle with coming up with an idea.

Then it struck me. We had some left over bread last Saturday and on Sunday, I took the few slices and made this really yummy snacky breakfast which was my second favourite 'tuck' for school. I have posted my favourite snack before - Ghee Roasted Bananas. You can also browse more snack recipes here.

Toasted Sugar Bread with Honey Recipe

Bread : 6 slices
Butter : 3 tbsp (unsalted tastes better)
Sugar : 2-3 tbsp
Honey : 1 tbsp (optional)


1. Add 1 tbsp butter to a pan and when it melts, put in the cubed bread slices. Don't remove the sides of the bread, otherwise the bread will crumble into tiny pieces.

2. Keep stirring and toasting, adding on more butter as needed.

3. When the bread pieces turn golden brown, turn off fire and sprinkle with sugar. Toss the bread pieces till the sugar blends in. It will crystallize a little in the heat of the bread.

4. Dip in honey and eat warm. If you are not using honey, then add more sugar.

Simple, yummy and healthy :)

September 14, 2007

Triangle Parathas | Triangle Roti | Layered Indian Bread Recipe

I had been waiting for Coffee to announce her MBP theme for the month. I visit so many great blogs every day and bookmark quite a few catchy recipes. The theme for this month is making bread from scratch. I happily went yeast shopping last weekend but didn't come across good quality one. So have postponed the baking to this weekend. Amma used to make these Triangle Parathas when we were kids and used gingelly oil or sesame oil for layering our parathas and it gave a wonderful flavour to the parathas. The layers of the parathas would be clearly defined and you can separate them easily while eating. Serve these layered parathas hot for the best taste and ideally with this Kerala-Style Egg Roast Recipe.

Triangle Parathas | Triangle Roti | Layered Indian Bread Recipe
Triangular Parathas

These triangular parathas came out nice and soft, though I used minimum amount of oil.

Triangular Layered Parathas

Wheat flour : 2 cups
Salt : 1 tsp
Water : to make dough

How I Made It:

1. Add salt to the flour and mix well. Add water little by little till you get a medium hard dough. "The dough should be medium hard in texture. Not as soft as roti and not as hard as puri."

2. Divide into equal portions, approximately the size of a lemon.

3. Roll them out into circles and fold them thrice to make a long triangle. Smear oil in all the folds. "Do not make it too wide and thin. It should be about 4-6 inches and a little thick. Too thin and they turn out like papadams."

4. Cook on a griddle till both sides turn golden brown "and the layers start to rise and separate."

5. "The heat should be consistent in the initial phase of cooking to allow the layers to seperate. If the heat is too low, it will either turn hard and if it is too high, it will brown without cooking the inner layers."

Click here for Shaheen's photorial on how to make triangular parathas.

Changes made by me: I did not add oil while cooking the parathas. I used gingelly oil in the foldsm since I like the flavour of this added to the smell of parathas cooking.

I served the parathas with egg curry.

I was also tagged to share my three most favourite smells in the kitchen. So here goes:

(a) Ginger garlic paste frying with sauteed onions and oil.
(b) Smell of mummy's home-made ghee when its almost done.
(c) Smell of chocolate cake getting baked in the oven.

September 11, 2007

Rice with Bele Saaru & Ennegayi Palya - Karnataka Recipes

I enjoy cooking Regional Cuisines of India the most, mainly because it gives me an opportunity to take a peek into some really cool names of vegetables, dishes and even ethnic recipes. I loved researching for Karnataka recipes and as always settled for something easy, yet something I would want to cook again cuz it turned out really well.

Here is our Sunday lunch - a simple Kannadiga one!

I. Bele Saaru or Karnataka-Style Sambar
The lovely Karnataka style sambhar with a unique sweet flavour contributed by jaggery. The consistency is supposed to be thicker than rasam but thinner than normal sambhar, but since we like it on the thicker side, I made it that way. I am especially proud of the fact that I made the Sambar Powder from scratch (like I have mentioned a lot of times already :D). Forgive me, but making curry powders from scratch is a huge deal for me :D

Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste - 2 tsp
Jaggery powder - 2 tsp
Karnataka Style Sambar Powder - 2 spoons
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 3
Drumsticks - 1
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - one strand

How to Make Karnataka Style Sambar

1. Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder, drumsticks cut into long pieces, green chillies and sufficient water.

2. Once the excess pressure has left the cooker, adjust the consistency by adding water if necessary. Then add the tamarind paste and jaggery and mix well.

3. Temper mustard seeds, curry leaves, Sambar Powder, chilly powder in some oil and when it emits a nice smell, add into the above mixture. Mix and serve hot with rice.

II. Bandanekayi / Ennegayi Palya / Karnataka Style Eggplant Curry
This is a simple brinjal curry, with a lovely hot & sweet flavour that I thoroughly enjoyed. I know brinjals are not the most popular vegetales around but I like it when its stir-fried in oil. This particular dish goes well with bele saaru and rice.

Ennegayi / brinjal - 5 medium
Onions - 2
Garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - one strand
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Hing - one pinch
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
Jaggery powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

How to Make Karnataka Style Eggplant Curry

1. Cut the brinjals into cubes and soak them in water with little salt.

2. Heat the oil and add jeera, hing and then onions.Fry a little and then add chilli powder. Fry again before adding the brinjals, tamarind paste, salt and jaggery.

3. Cook keeping the pan covered. When the brinjals are done, add the garam masala, fry for another minute and remove from fire.

4. Serve hot with rice and bele saaru. Atleast, that's what I did :)

September 9, 2007

Karnataka-Style Sambar Powder Recipe

Karnataka-Style Sambar Powder recipe (also called Saarina Pudi) is a bit different from the tamil style instant sambar powder or the South Indian sambar powder my family makes just before making Kerala veg sambar. I tried this for the first time back when I used to live in Hyderabad and have loved the flavour since then. However, I do default to my family recipe more often now due to lots of practice making that recipe over and over again.

Saarina Pudi (Sambar Powder, Karnataka Style)

Dhaniya seeds (coriander seeds) - 250 gms.
Red chillies - 100 gms
Jeera seeds - 50 gms
Fenugreek seeds - 25 gms
Mustard - 25 gms
Pepper - 25 gms
Hing - 1/2 tsp


Roast dhaniya and red chillies in very little oil till it emits a nice smell.

Dry roast all other ingredients till well done and add hing at the end.

Grind all together and store in airtight container. Use up sambar powder within 3 months and make a fresh batch after that. If you plan to store longer, either refrigerate or store in the freezer to keep it fresher for longer.

September 7, 2007

Easy Vegetable Soup Recipe

I have been meaning to make a good vegetable soup for ages now.

So here is my simple veggie soup, that comes to my rescue when I have left over vegetables, when I am too lazy to cook, and when I feel I should have something light and healthy yet filling.

Making a soup with vegetables, needless to say, is a great way to get kids and adults alike to consume vegetables. According to the rainbow diet, the more variety in colours your vegetables have, the better its nutritious value. While I am not a fan of just soup for a meal, paired with some toasted bread, it's quite filling and sets you up to tackle the rest of the day.

You may also like this easy broccoli soup or simple vegetarian tom kha soup.

How to Make Vegetable Soup

Carrots - 1 medium
Beans - 6
White cabbage - a small piece
Green chillies - 2
Spring Onions - 2 stalks
Cornflour - 1 tbsp
Garlic cloves - 8
Water - as needed
Salt - to taste
Soya sauce - one tsp


1.Cut all the vegetables in tiny pieces, add sufficient water (approx. 1 cup) and boil till its cooked.

2. Once the veggies are done, keep the pan open and bring to boil on sim. Mix the cornflour with some water and add to this. Chop the garlic in tiny pieces and add to the mixture at this point.

3. Bring to boil, adjusting the water consistency. Add salt just before removing from fire.

4. Serve hot, mixed with soya sauce (I love the sour flavour it gives out)

I know this recipe seems very crude but I am always satisfied after a bowl of this. I know many of you out there are seasoned cooks, so all suggestions to make this better, is welcome (with more or less the same ingredients, please) :)

September 6, 2007

Ghee-Roasted Bananas | Roasted Bananas | Quick Snack Recipes

Ghee roasted bananas were a regular in my tiffin box. This is one simple snack that's yummy too. It used to be my favourite 'tuck' when I was in school and my grandmom used to make it with so much of love and affection (not to mention the amount of homemade ghee that used to go into it - no wonder I was a fat child). Even the last vacation I went home for, Mary, our maid, made this and some pieces were deliberately overdone and burnt, cuz I like them that way. So here we go - ghee roasted bananas!

You need to use ethappazham or nentran pazham for this snack since those are the bananas that work well for this. So try to get ripe ethappazham to make ghee-roasted bananas.

If you like snacks with bananas, try out these banana chips made in the microwave or koftas with plantain.

Ghee-Roasted Bananas | Roasted Bananas | Quick Snack Recipes

Ghee Roasted Bananans

Ethappazham/nenthrapazham : 2
Ghee : 4-5 tbsp
Sugar : to sprinkle

How to make Ghee-Roasted Bananas:

Cut the bananas in circles. The pieces should be 1/2" thick.

Pour ghee into a pan and when it warms up, add the banana pieces. Keep fire in sim and fry them till they turn golden brown.

Sprinkle sugar generously when the banana pieces are still warm.

They taste crispy when warm and soft and spongy when cold.