Monday, August 30, 2010

Kali Dal

Though I prefer a simple yellow dal seasoned with a blend of spices, once in a while, I love to indulge in this rich dal made of black lentils, and finished off with dollops of cream! This is a perfect accompaniment to naans.

Kali Dal

Ingredients A:
250 g Whole Black Urad Dal (Black Lentils)
Salt, to taste
5 Tomatoes, chopped fine
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
2 1/2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Ginger, minced
1/2 tsp Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder

Ingredients B:
1 1/2 cups Cream
1/2 cup Coriander Leaves, chopped
6 Green Chillies

1 Onion, sliced
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
5 Red Chillies
1 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter) or Butter

Wash the lentils. Do not soak. Put the lentils and Ingredients A in a stock pot with enough water to cover plus a little more.

Cook until the lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add Ingredients B. Cook for a further 35 minutes or until lentils are completely cooked.

Heat ghee in a small frying pan. Fry onions, cumin seeds and red chillies. Pour over prepared dal. Serve hot with naan/ rotis.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Puli Kuzhambu

This is a very common south Indian curry, made with a base of tangy tamarind and a vegetable and/or onions. Its very popular and most often served with rice.

Vendakkai Puli Kuzhmabu

(Okra in a tamarind-based curry)

1 tbsp Red Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Coriander Powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
6 cloves Garlic, chopped
6 shallots, cut in half
1 Tomato, chopped
Gingelly Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 g Okra, cleaned
1/2 tbsp Tamarind Concentrate dissolved in water OR 1 cup tamarind water
Salt, to taste
1/2 tbsp Sugar

Heat the gingelly oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek and garlic. When brown, add the shallots and saute till the onions are a little yellow. Add the okra and fry for a few minutes.

Add the tomato and saute again for a few minutes. Now add the turmeric, coriander powder, chilli powder and salt. Fry till mushy. Add the tamarind water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling until it reduces to half the amount. Add the sugar at the very end, a few minutes before removing from heat.

Serve hot with rice.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Field Beans/ Mochai

This is another wonderful mochai (field beans) recipe. Mochai is one of my all-time favorite legumes. If you can't find field beans in your neck of the woods, substitute fava beans and it'll taste as good.

Spiced Mochai/
Fava Beans/ Field Beans

2 Onions, chopped fine
3 cloves Garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Chilli Powder
4-5 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 cup Green Beans, cooked, chopped
1/2 cup Field Beans/ Mochai, cooked

Heat some oil in a pan. Add the mustard, curry leaves, onions, garlic, turmeric and chilli powder. Keep sauteing until the oil begins to separate from the rest of the spices. Add the cooked green beans and the mochai, stir well for 5 minutes until everything comes together. Remove from heat. Serve warm.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


This recipe is a huge favorite of mine. I found it in a wonderful cookbook, Flavours of the Spice Coast by Mrs. K M Mathew. If you are the kind of cookbook fiend that I am, then go out and buy this book!

Kerala Yam

(adapted from here)

2 cups Yam, diced
4 cups Water
2 tsp Shallots
3 dried Red Chillies
1/2 tsp Peppercorns
6 cloves Garlic
4 Curry Leaves
2 tsp Oil
Salt, to taste

Cook yam with the water, and add salt to taste. Drain.

Crush onions, red chillies, garlic, peppercorn, curry leaves together. Heat oil and saute the crushed ingredients.

Add the cooked yam pieces and when gently coated, remove from oil. Serve warm.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More Koozh

This is a creamy delicious breakfast that maybe takes a while to grow on you. We've always loved it in my parents' house growing up. Its simple and quick (takes about 10 minutes from start to eat!).

More (buttermilk) is combined with rice flour or semolina/ cream of wheat, cooked until creamy and seasoned with a variety of spices and lentils. Try it!

More Koozh

1 cup Rice Flour OR Semolina/ Rava/ Cream of Wheat
1 cup Yogurt
1 cup Water
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
A pinch of Asoefetida
3-4 Dried Red Chillies, broken in halves
1 tbsp Urad Dal
1 tbsp Bengal Gram/ Kadalai Paruppu
Salt, to taste

In a bowl, combine the rice flour, yogurt and water. Mix well and keep aside.

In a pan, heat about a tablespoon of oil. Add mustard seeds, asoefetida, red chillies, urad dal and bengal gram. When the mustard seeds splutter and the lentils are a golden color, add the rice flour mixture and salt. Stir just until it starts to leave the sides of the pan. Remove from heat. Serve hot.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mustard Curry

The abundance of mustard in this dishes gives it a spicy flavor that's just wonderful. Especially when combined with rasam and rice. This curry can be made with either mochai (fava beans), peas or green beans. They all taste equally good.

Mustard Curry (Kadugu Kootu)
2 cups Peas OR Fava Beans (mochai) OR Green Beans, cooked
1/2 cup Shredded coconut
6 dried Red Chillies
2 1/2 cups Water
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
Salt, to taste

1 tbsp Ghee Or Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 dried Red Chillies

Grind the coconut, dried red chilli, mustard seeds and chilli powder. Keep aside.

Heat a pan and add the ground coconut mixture and the cooked vegetable and salt. Cook until the raw smell of the mustard disappears.

Heat the ghee/ oil in another pan. Add the seasoning ingredients. When the mustard seeds splutter, add the seasoning to the cooking vegetables. Mix well and remove from heat.