Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Vendhaya Kuzhambu ~ வெந்தய குழம்பு

Yesterday, My Hubby was reading a book, and i was watching TV, my son was playing with his car. Hubby Dear Interrupted me, on how would வெந்தய குழம்பு , உருளை கிழங்கு பொடிமாஸ் {Fenugreek Curry and Potato masal } would make a great combination. He was reading a book written my I did'nt have an idea, other than, it will be very bitter in taste. 

Today I tried it, it was not bad, or so bitter, a different taste one should give a try. It was spicy, tangy, little bitter. according to me, if you have all taste's as per the ratio, then its the perfect kuzhambu/curry. this kuzhambu is a hit at home. 

whenever i ask my hubby, what to prepare for lunch, he asks me to prepare this kuzhambu. update: i am preparing this kuzhambu quite often now a days. it goes well with the potato masal / urulaikizhangu podimaas.

Vendhaya Kuzhambu Recipe

Prep Time10 mins 
Cooking Time: 15 mins  
Recipe CuisineIndian
Recipe TypeCurry


Shallots / Small Onions - 12
Tomato - half of a tomato
Fenugreek seeds / vendhayam - 10 seeds
Tamarind - one lemon size ball
Sambhar Powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp
Sesame Oil - 3 tbsp's
Mustard - 1/ 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 10

Dry roast the following:

1 tbsp Chana dal
1 tbsp Corriander seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin
4 Dry Red Chilli's
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (roughly 8 seeds)


Peel the shallots / small onions and keep aside.

Dry roast 10 fenugreek seeds for 2 minutes in medium flame till it turns into golden color. once cooled powder it coarsely and keep aside.

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of warm water and squeeze the pulp out. add sambhar powder, turmeric powder and mix well with the tamarind water and keep aside.

Dry Roast the chana dal, corriander seeds, cumin, red chilli's, and fenugreek seeds, till they turn golden color. after roasting, cool them down and powder finely. to that add 3 shallots and half tomato to the coarsely grinded powder and gind them into a fine paste. add a tsp of water and grind into a very fine paste.

Heat 3 tbsp's of oil, add 1/2 tsp mustard, let it pop, add 10 curry leaves. fry it and add the remaining shallots and fry them till they turn translucent.

Add the grinded paste to the onion and fry them for a minute by stirring.

Add the 2 cups of tamarind water(mixed with turmeric and sambhar powder), salt to taste and stir well.

Let it boil for 4-5 minutes and remove from the flame.

Sprinkle the coarsely grinded fenugreek seed powder over the top of the kuzhambu and serve with hot rice.
It also taste's good with hot idli's and dosa's.

For Potato Podimaas / Urulai kizhangu podimaas refer suganya's recipe. I just followed her's and it turned out splendid.

Potato Podimaas

Try this combination and fall in love.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Vegetable Gravy

In Weekends, i need to cook something special and also i want it done with less labour. This Gravy is one such preparation. The highlight of the gravy is, its very creamy and has healthy vegetables on it. I have prepared this Vegetable Gravy for Vegetable Pulao and Chapathi. It complimeneted well to both the main dishes.

Vegetables in Creamy Gravy


1. Carrot - 1
2. Beans - 10
3. Potato - 1
4. Peas - 1/4 cup
5. Cauliflower - 5 small florets

6. Onion - 1
7. Tomato - 1
8. Oil - 2 tsp's [ to saute onion and tomato ]

9. Oil - 1 tbsp [For Seasoning ]
10. Cinnamon - 1/2' inch stick
11. Cloves - 3

12. Fresh Cream - 75ml
13. Chilli Powder - 2 tsp's


1. Wash and Chop the Vegetables [Carrot, Beans, Potato(skin peeled) and Cauliflower] into small pieces. Steam Cook them for about 5 minutes and keep aside. / Microwave them with little water for about 4 minutes in very high mode.

2. Heat 2 tsp's of oil in a pan,
- add chopped onion and saute it, till it turn translucent.
- add chopped Tomato and saute it along with onion for 2 minutes.
- remove from the flame and cool it down.
- grind it into a smooth paste and keep aside.

3. In a Pan, Heat a tbsp of oil,
- add cinnamon and cloves and let it fry for few seconds.
- add the steamed vegetables and fry them for a minute.
- add the grinded onion-tomato paste and mix well.
- add salt and chilli powder according to your taste.

4. Add Fresh cream and stir well along with vegetables. slow the flame and rest the gravy for about 4 to 5 minutes in the pan.

Easy Vegetable Makhanwala

Garnish with chopped corriander leaves and serve it with Rice or Roti.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Spicy Potato Curry - For Rice

Spicy Potato Curry, I prepare this dish, whenever i am in short of vegetables and in need of curry with lots of kaaram. If you have tasted the chettinaad dishes. their main spice ingredient would be the Pepper..but it will be a hidden spice, dominated spice would be of red chili's. In same way, I have added Pepper powder here.

Spicy Potato Curry

Spicy Potato Curry Recipe

Spicy Potato CurryPrep Time10 mins 
Cooking Time: 20 mins  
Recipe CuisineIndian
Recipe TypeCurry


Potatoes - 2 (peel the skin and cut into big chunks)
Red onion - 1 (medium size) - chopped very finely
Tomatoes - 2 - chopped very finely
Garlic - 3 cloves
Tamarind - a small lemon sized
Butter - 2 tsp's

For Tempering:

Sesame oil - 4 tbsp's
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp
Dry Red chilly - 3
Curry leaves - 10

List of Powder's:

Turmeric Powder - a pinch
Chilly Powder / Sambhar powder / Kuzhambu milagaai thool - 1 tbsp
Corriander Powder - 2 tbsp's
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves Powder - 2 tsp's (Optional)
Pepper Powder - 1/2 tsp


Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water for about 10 mins. then squeeze the tamarind pulp out and get the tamarind water ready.

In a thick bottomed pan, heat 4 tbsp's of oil. add mustard. when it crack's add fenugreek seeds, curry leaves, garlic, red chilly and asafoetida powder. fry them for few seconds till the garlic gets sauteed.

Now add finely chopped onions, saute them till they turn translucent. add finely chopped tomatoes. saute the tomatoes along with onions, till they mix up along. You got to saute for at least 3-4 minutes, till they mix up.

Add salt to taste and all the powder's mentioned in the order. fry them well for 2 mins, till the oil comes out on the sides of the pan.

Now add chopped potatoes and mix them well with the masala's.

Add tamarind water and mix well with the potatoes. close the pan with its lid. let the flame be low so that the potatoes get cooked in.

After 5 minutes, open the lid, add the butter mix the curry well. add little water, as per the consistency you require and mix well. close the lid.

After 5 minutes, the potatoes would have cooked. you can check that by inserting a knife into the potato. if the potatoes are not cooked, cook for another 5-10 minutes and remove from flame. Now the spicy potato curry is ready.

Spicy Potato Curry with Rice

Trying to please Non-Vegan's with some spicy stuff's with vegetables alone is little difficult. but with the above dish, i am sure you can certainly impress them with the spiciness evolving in this dish.


* The differences in the above recipe are, Potatoes getting cooked in the masala gravy. so you can expect tasty potatoes.

* Adding curry leaves powder will give you a secret can't sort it out.

* Instead of one red onion, add 10 finely chopped small onions. it will give a good taste to the curry.

Try this curry, i am sure this will become your favorite. do let me know how you and your family liked!

I got a very bad habit of doing every thing in the last minute. here this Spicy Potato Curry goes to The Potato Feast hosted By DK of Culinary Bazaar & ODE to Potato hosted by Dear Sia of Monsoon Spice. Now This Curry also leaves to RCI - Kongunadu, hosted by dear Priya.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tofu Pad Thai - Rice Noodles with Tofu

It's my second Thai Food post in this month, Iam enjoying cooking Thai Food and i really love it's unique flavourfull taste. This Noodles amazes by its taste and its topping's. As the original version call for shrimp / chicken, for vegetarians, it can be substituted with Tofu / Paneer(Cottage Cheese). I also tried it with egg's and loved it. To Prepare this Pad Thai, first you got to have some bean sprouts - so prepare the sprouts before in hand. Then You need to have Pad Thai Sauce, its just easy to make. and Rice Noodles is another main ingredient. I luckily happened to find Rice Noodles - Rice Vermicelli at Nut's & Spice's store.

Pad Thai Plate

Ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce: (Vegetarian Pad Thai Sauce)

1. Tamarind - small lemon size soaked in 1 cup warm water / Tamarind Paste - 2 tbsp diluted in a cup of water.

2. Soy Sauce - 1 tbsp

3. Chilli Powder / Cayenne Pepper Powdere / Red Chilli Sauce - 2 tbsp's

4. Palm Sugar /Brown Sugar - 2 tsp's

5. Worcestershire sauce - 1 tbsp

6. Salt - 1/2 tbsp

Let the Tamarind get soaked in a cup of warm water for 5 minutes. Then squeeze the pulp out.
Now mix all the other ingredients along with Tamarind water and heat them in a pan. Let it boil for about 5 minutes and start thickening. Remove it from the pan to a cup and let it cool.

Depending on the thickness, you get about 5 - 6 tbsp's of sauce with the above ingredients.

The sauce will be very spicy, tangy, sweety, but when you add this to noodles, it will all mingle up and give you a nice taste.

How to Prepare Tofu Pad Thai:

Bean Sprouts - 1 cup

Roasted Peanuts - 1 cup

Lemon Grass - 1/4 cup (chopped) - Spring Onions cal also be used.

Chilli Flakes - 2 tbsp's

Lemon Wedges - 4

Tofu - 50 gms

Shallots / Small Onion's - 5

Garlic - 4

Rice Noodles - 75 gms ( i used Rice Vermicelli)

Oil - 2 tbsp's

Pad Thai Sauce - 2 tbsp's

Salt to Taste.

Get Ready First: (as its cooking time is less, first get ready with ingredients)

Soak the Rice Noodles in warm water for about 5 minutes and Drain them. Leave them aside for 5 minutes after drained.

Though the noodles was little crisp after soaking and draining, when i started to cook along with sauce, it became soft.

1. Wash the Bean Sprouts and keep aside.

2. Roast the Peanuts(without skin) and cut them into small pieces. I just crushed them in my Mixie using pulse button.

3. Grind 5 Dry Red chilli's into flakes in your mixie.

4. If your Tofu is freezed, put it in warm water for 5 minutes and slice them into cubes.

5. Mince the shallots or finely chop them.

6. Chop the Garlic Finely.

7. Prepare the Pad Thai Sauce.

Pad Thai

Starting to Cook:

1. Heat Oil in a Wok / Pan. Add the Garlic and Shallots and bit of salt and fry till they turn translucent.

2. Now add the Tofu Cubes and fry them, till the edges get browned.

3. Now add the soaked and drained rice noodles to the Wok / Pan and stir well. (let the flame be slow)

4. Add the Pad thai sauce and stir well along with the noodles. add a little bit of salt (as the sauce has salt already) and mix well.

5. Now add the Lemon Grass, Bean Sprouts, Chopped Peanuts.

6. Stir well and remove from flame.

Now Serve it with some chilli flakes, chopped peanuts and lemon wedges on side.

We loved it so much. The peanuts and sprouts gave a crunchy taste to the spicy noodles.

I found this one serving of pad thai costing 170rs. in a restaurant nearby our home. In stores Rice Noodles costs around 35rs. and iam sure the other all ingredients are easily available in home. also its easy to make.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Kezhvaragu Murungai Keerai Adai / Finger Millet Roti

I was searching for my favourite childhood adai recipe and found at Nirmala's blog. But i could'nt get drumstick leaves/murungai ilai, all these days to try this adai, Thanks to our Apartment Security Guard, for he managed to get me few bunches of drumstick leaves yesterday. I remember my AVVA(Kollu Paati) preparing this for evening snack, and we will be served this adai very hot with stone ground coconut chutney. It used to taste great, as my grandmom use lots of oil to prepare this adai. I prepared this Adai Today and enjoyed the memories associated with the adai and my mom and grandmom.

Kezhvaragu murungai ilai adai
Iam now sending this Ragi Adai for Meeta's Monthly Mingle-Heirloom, hosted by Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi. also the the above picture is my entry for Click-Heirloom.

How to Prepare?

(Yields about 6 adai/roti)

* Have one Cup of Kezhvaragu maavu / Ragi Flour / Finger Millet Flour, Sieve it, add a little bit of salt to taste and keep it aside.

* Chop one Red Onion and 2 Green Chilli's Finely. (If you have Mormilagaai, crush it and use instead of green chilli's for special taste.)

* Take half a cup of Drumstick leaves and keep aside.

* In a Kadaai/ Pan, Heat a tbsp of oil, add 1 tsp of mustard and let it pop, add 1 tsp of split urad dal and weight till it gets golden in colour. Now add the chopped onions and green chilli's, bit of salt and saute them till the onions turn translucent. Now add the Washed Drumstick Leaves and fry them for a minute till they start shrinking.

* Now add the onion-drumstick mix in the kadai to the ragi flour and mix well.

* Add 5 tsp's of water and mix well, till the dough is soft and come togeather into a shape. form the dough into small lemon size ball's.

* Now Heat a Griddle or Tawa.

* Have a Ziplock cover / Banana Leaf. Apply a tsp of oil over it. and keep a small ball sized dough and pat it with your palm. Now pat them evenly on all sides with your finger's, so that the adai is thin and evenly spread.

Kezhvaragu murungai keerai adai
Adai Patted with Fingers ready to go on tawa.

* Now just put the Banana Leaf / Ziplock cover with adai facing the tawa, over the Hot Tawa and slowly remove the cover/ leaf, leaving the adai over the tawa. Its little complicated step, but you will learn it while doing.

* Cook the adai in slow flame and cook it on either side, it takes 4-5 minutes to get cooked evenly.

Enjoy the Adai / roti Hot with Coconut Chutney.

Iam sending this Ragi Rotti, which is healthy packed with Ragi and Drumstick leaves to Radhika's event Food for Seven Stages of Life - Pregnancy, which is co-hosted with Sudeshna.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chocolate Walnut Brownie

Blogging Teaches me a Lot. Iam trying to bake few goodies for my home nowadays. and this brownie is one such attempt. I have posted my first brownie recipe here. This time, it tasted more like a brownie, but i could'nt get fudge brownie's, i should try making it next time.

Chocolate Brownie

Ingredients: ( yields 12 sqaures)

  1. Dark Chocolate - 350 gms / 12 oz (Morde Dark chocolate i used 1 and half bar)
  2. All Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 cup / 6 oz
  3. Butter - 100gms / 3.5 oz
  4. Castor Sugar / Powdered Sugar - 1/2 cup / 3 oz
  5. Walnuts - 1/2 cup (chopped)
  6. Egg's - 2
  7. Baking Powder - 1/2 tsp
  8. Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
  9. Salt - a pinch
Brownie's with Tea

How to Prepare?

1. Melt the Dark Chocolate by double boiling method or microwave it for 90 secs in Microwave High.

2. Powder the Sugar by running the sugar in your mixer grinder. (do not powder very finely)

3. Bring the Butter to Room Temperature, by immersing the Butter with its carton in a bowl of water. replace the water twice or thrice, whenever it gets chilled. It takes around 10 minute's.

4. Now Beat the Butter with Sugar, using a hand whisk for about 3 minutes atleast.

5. Whisk the Egg's with Yolk's and keep aside. I use my mixie to whisk the egg's. its done in a minute.

6. Sift the Flour with Baking Soda, Bkaing Powder and pinch salt. Sift the flour for atleast three times.

7. Chop the Walnuts and keep aside.

8. Pre-Heat the oven for 10 minutes at the temperature of 180 C. / 350 F.

9. While the oven get's Pre-Heated,

Add the Melted Chocolate to the whisked Butter-Sugar Mix and blend the chocolate with a spatula.

Add the Whisked Egg's to the Chocolate-Butter-Sugar mix and mix well.

Also add the sifted flour and mix well. Now add the chopped walnuts and mix well.

10. Pour the Flour+Egg+Butter+Sugar mix to a Greased Baking Bowl. Bake in the Pre-Heated oven at 350F for about 20 minute's.

11. Cool the Baked Brownie's for about 30 minute's and then cut them into sqaure's.

Cooling Down

* No Need to check for cooked, by inserting a tooth pick and ensuring it comes out clean.

Any suggestion's on how to get fudge brownie's.

Sending these Chocolate  Walnut Brownie's to Cooking for Kids Event Orginated from Sharmi, now Hosted by Hema.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Thai Massaman Curry with Eggplant and Potato

When i was bored to cook ennai kathrikka kuzhambu, i got the idea of trying Thai Eggplant Curry. I just Googled and went ahead to cook with what all ingredients i had at hand. I should tell you, that this is not an authentic Thai Recipe, this is customised recipe for an South Indian Vegetarian Palatte. But this won' t cheat you in any way. This is such a Flavourfull Curry that i have ever cooked. It was little spicy, little tangy, little sweety, little heavy. No flavours' dominated the curry and all played its role perfect.

Thai Massaman Curry

Massaman Curry Paste:

Dry Roast the following:

1. Dry Red Chilli's - 8 - 10
2. Corriander Seed's - 2 tbsp's
3. Cumin Seed's - 2 tsp's
4. Cardamon - 2 pods
5. Cloves - 3
6. Cinnamon stick - 1" inch size (2 nos)
7. Nutmeg - 1/4 (crush a nutmeg and use a small part) **
8. Peanuts - 1/4 cup (Roast it seperately)

Grind along with the Dry Roasted spices:

1. Shallots - 10 - 12 / one Red Onion
2. Garlic - 5
3. Galangal / Ginger - 1 inch size
4. Soy Sauce - 1 and half tbsp.
5. Basil Leaves - 10
6. Tamarind Paste - 4 tbsp's.

It's authentic to grind using pestle and mortar. If you feel its tough to grind, add some tamarind water and grind to a fine paste.

Thai Massaman Curry Paste
Curry Paste on Top left and Tamarind water on Bottom right.

Ingredients for the Curry:

1. Eggplant's - 8
2. Potato's - 4 (chopped cubically)
3. Coconut Milk - 3 cup
4. Cooking Oil - 5 tbsp's
5. Tamarind Juice - 2 tbsp's
6. Palm Sugar - 3 tsp's

First Heat the oil in a Pan and add the chopped potatoes and and roast the potatoes till they are semi-cooked.

Add the freshly chopped Eggplant's to the pan and fry along with the potato's, till the eggplant's start to shrink and change its skin colour. add little bit salt to cook the eggplant's fast.

Now add the Massaman curry paste to the pan and saute it along with the eggplant's and Potato's. Let the curry paste get sauteed along with eggplant's for a minute. Add the Tamarind juice and let it boil for 2 minute's.

Slow the flame and add the Coconut Milk. Mix well. add salt to taste and Let it rest in slow flame for about 10 minute's.

Add the Palm sugar and mix well. also let the curry stand on slow flame for about 5 minutes.

Serve with some chopped spring onion's on top with Rice.

Thai Eggplant Massaman Curry

This is such a flavourfull curry with soft eggplant's and Potato's. It was little spicy, little tangy, little sweety, little heavy. No flavours dominated the curry and all played its role perfect.

A must try dish!!

** Do not use Nutmeg more than specified in the recipe, it makes your curry sweeter. so make sure its presence is not felt.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Baked Pasta with White Sauce

We had our friends from france for lunch on last week-end, me and my hubby were confusing each other on planning the menu for them. We wanted to show off our Tamil lunch also. Somehow we both planned the Menu with, * Badam Kheer, * Vadai, * Appalam, * Baked Pasta with Cabbage & Egg Salad, * Tomato Rice, * Curd Rice, * Chapathi, * Tomato Dal and * Chocolate Cake.

Baked Pasta with White Sauce

I prepared every food except chocolate cake, Yes, I didn't have any for dessert and finally managed with Apples. They enjoyed the Baked Pasta very much. The Vada's and Badam Kheer was also liked. the other all items were failure one's, as they felt everything spicy. I was glad that i made the pasta, credits goes to my hubby for choosing it on the menu.

Baked Pasta with White Sauce Recipe

Prep Time15 mins 
Cooking Time: 25 mins  
Recipe CuisineContinental
Recipe TypeMaincourse


Pasta - 20 nos.
Water - 2 cup's
Salt - 1 tsp

Tri - Colour Pasta

I bought Tri-Colour Pasta, took some 20 pasta in no's.
Boiled 2 cup's of water with a tsp of salt.
Added the Pasta to the Boiling water and cooked it for about 10 minute's.
I Drained the Pasta and kept it aside.

While the Pasta was getting Cooked, I Prepared the White Sauce.

White Sauce / Be'chamel Sauce :

Butter - 1 tbsp
All Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1 and half cup
Fresh Cream - 2 tbsp's
Salt - a pinch

White Sauce

Heated a Pan, then i added a tbsp of butter and let it to melt on low flame.

After the Butter got melted, i added a tbsp of all purpose flour and mixed with butter with a whisk. Don't let lump's get formed.

The flour started to change its colour to golden yellow. (Just wait till the flour starts changing its colour). Add Milk and stirr well in the low flame.

Do not allow any lumps to be formed. Keep stirring for about 2 minute's or till the sauce get's thicker, if it's too thick add some more milk and let it get thick a bit. The consistency is, it should be able to coat the spoon and little thin.

Switch of the flame. Add the Fresh Cream and Salt. Stir well and keep it aside.

How to Bake?

Processed Cheese - 3 tbsp's Grated
Mozarella Cheese - 2 tbsp's Grated
Oregano - few sprinkled on top
Pepper Powder - a pinch

Pasta with Cheese before baking

Pre-Heat the oven for about 10 minutes. While the oven get's heated, Place the cooked pasta in a glass baking bowl, add the white sauce on top and mix well. add some grated Processed Cheese and Mozarella Cheese on top.

If desired, add Oregano and Pepper Powder on top.

Place the Pasta bowl in the oven and Bake it on 180C / 350F for about 20 minute's.

Pasta Au Gratin (After Baking)

The Cheese on top should have melted and should have turned golden in colour.

Serving Suggestion:

Pasta with Egg's, Tomatoes & Potato.

Serve it with some Cabbage Salad and Boiled Egg's and Tomatoe's. I also served with boiled potatoe's.

Baked Pasta with Cheese

We all Loved this Creamy, Cheesy Pasta. I learned that this is also called as au gratin, as it is cooked till it gets golden colour top. It can be called as Baked Pasta / Pasta au gratin.

Tip at the End:

If you want to substitute the pasta, go for some spaghetti or some vegetables like corn's, broccoli, bell pepper's and mushroom's. Iam sure this would be a great dish to please your guest's.

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