Wednesday, December 22, 2010


One of my all-time favorite breakfasts! I only recently acquired a waffle iron and have been having waffles every sunday since!


1 3/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Baking Powder
3 Eggs
2 tbsp Butter, melted and cooled
1 3/4 cup Milk
1 tbsp Sugar

Sift together the flour, salt and baking powder.

Separate the eggs into yolks and whites.

Beat the yolks well and add the butter and milk and beat again thoroughly to combine.

Beat egg whites very well until you get stiff peaks. Add the sugar and beat well.

Add the beaten yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix well. Now gently fold in the beaten stiff egg whites.

Pour onto a heated waffle iron.

Enjoy warm with maple syrup. Or Butter. Or Nutella. Or Chocolate Sauce. Or Fresh Strawberries!! mmm.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Okra Buttermilk Curry

This is a mild curry that's great with rice and/or rotis.

Okra Buttermilk Curry

200 g Okra
500 g Yogurt
1/2 tsp Turmeric
50 ml Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
4 Red Chillies
2 sprigs Curry Leaves
2 Onions, sliced
2 Green Chillies, cut lengthwise
Salt, to taste
1 tbsp Coconut Oil

Cut the okra into 1.5 cm long pieces. Whip curd with turmeric and keep aside.

Heat oil and season with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds pop, add the onions and green chillies. Saute well.

Add the okra and fry well. Finally add the whipped yogurt, salt to taste and simmer on low heat.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fenugreek Leaves Rice

This is really a crowd-pleaser! A delicate and subtle flavor from the Fenugreek leaves and so healthy too!

Fenugreek Leaves Rice

3 bunches fenugreek leaves, chopped, with stems, no roots
a pinch Mustard Seeds
a pinch of Urad dal
1/2 tsp of Bengal Gram
4 Red Chillies
Salt, to taste
1/4 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
100 grams Roasted Gram (Pottu Kadalai), powdered
Juice of one lemon
2 cups Basmati Rice, cooked

Heat some oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds, urad dal, bengal gram and fenugreek leaves. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the salt, red chillies and mix well. Add the turmeric and roasted gram powder. Stir fry for 2 minutes and take off the heat.

Add the lemon juice. Mix well with the cooked basmati rice.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Greek Potato Salad

The weather has cooled off quite a bit for this time of the year. Thank goodness for that. We had reached 108 deg F! For the last couple of weeks, we've been having rain showers every now and then, and that has really helped.

This salad was perfect for those hot days.

Greek Potato Salad

6 medium Potatoes, diced
6 tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tbsp powdered Oregano
1/2 Onion, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
1/2 tbsp Olive Oil

Boil potatoes in water until tender but not mushy. Drain and set aside.

Combine the lemon juice, oregano, onion, garlic and olive oil in a small bowl. Mix well.

Pour over the hot potatoes.

This salad is even better after the potatoes have had the chance to sit around in the dressing for a while, so might be nice to leave it to soak overnight in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

South Indian Tandoori Chicken

This is my husband's recipe for his beloved grill! He's come up with this after lots of trials and tests. This doesn't compare to the tandoori chicken in restaurants in the way it looks, but as far as he and his buddies are concerned, it tastes far better! So, this is great for those BBQ parties!

Tandoori Chicken - south Indian style!
2 lbs Chicken, mixed pieces with bone, but without skin
1 Onion
1 small piece Ginger
3 tbsp Yogurt
3 tbsp Vinegar
2 tsp Chilli Powder
Salt, as needed
1/2 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Cumin Powder
1 tsp Curry Powder
1 Lemon
2 cloves Garlic

Grind the onion, garlic and ginger to a paste. Clean the chicken and make 3-4 shallow cuts. In a large plate, beat the yogurt. Into this, add the coriander and cumin powder, the onion garlic mixture, salt, vinegar and lemon juice.

Mix to form a thin paste. Apply into the chicken. Allow the chicken to marinate for 4 hours, covered in the refrigerator. Grill on a barbecue. I've tried to bake this in the oven and it tastes pretty good, though not as good as the grill. If baking, bake at 400 deg F for 20-25 minutes, and then broil for 5 minutes until brown.

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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kootu #3

And ta-da, another popular kootu. As you might have noticed, its really a very simple way to make a curry and is packed with vegetable and lentil goodness.

Kootu # 3

2 tbsp Bengal Gram/ Kadalai Paruppu
1/2 cup White Pumpkin, cubed
1/2 cup Yam, cubed
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
1/2 tsp ground Pepper
Salt, to taste

3 tbsp Coconut
1 tbsp Cumin Seeds

1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Coconut
A pinch of sugar

Cook the bengal gram in a little bit of water and keep aside.

Cook the pumpkin and yam with turmeric, chilli powder, pepper and salt. Keep aside.

Grind together the coconut and cumin seeds. Keep aside.

Heat about a tablespoon of oil and add the mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut and saute until a brownish color. Add the ground coconut and cumin mixture and keep frying until brown. Now add the sugar and brown. Add the cooked bengal gram and vegetables and cook until you get a thick curry.

Serve warm with cooked rice.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kootu # 2

Here we go with the next kootu in the series, called, very imaginatively....

Kootu # 2

2 tsp Urad Dal (split Black Gram)
1/2 tsp Black Peppercorn
2 Red Chillies
1 tsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/4 cup Coconut
1/2 cup Moong Dal (split Green Gram), cooked
1/2 cup Vegetables, cooked with water (here I've used carrots and peas)

Pan fry the urad dal, peppercorn, red chillies, cumin, coriander seeds and coconut until golden brown. Add water and blend together in the blender. Add 1/2 tbsp moong dal and blend.

Cook the moong dal and veggies and mix together.

Heat some oil and add urad dal, cumin, curry leaves, asafoetida and red chillies. When golden brown, add to the cooked dal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Kootus are a form of south Indian curry. Usually had with rice and featuring vegetables and lentils cooked together. There are several ways to make kootus and any number of combinations of lentils and vegetables. Here, I'm going to give you a series of three popular kootus that we make at home.

When I was learning how to cook, my aunt gave me this simple recipe to make a basic kootu. Good vegetables to use for kootus are gourds, beans and peas.

Kootu # 1

1/2 cup Vegetables, chopped and cooked (here I've used snake gourd)
1/2 cup Moong dal, cooked
3 Green Chillies
1/2 tsp black Peppercorn
1/4 cup Coconut
2 sprigs Coriander Leaves, chopped

Cook the vegetables and dal together with some water.

Grind the rest of the ingredients and add to the cooked dal and vegetables.

Stay tuned for Kootu # 2 coming up soon...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spinach Chicken

A few years ago I was involved in a recipe chain letter. You know those chain letters that you mail to 5 people as well as the people who mailed it to you? Well, this was the fun version of that!

One person emails a recipe to 5 people and those 5 people each add a recipe and send it to 5 others including the ones who were originally on the list. At the end of it you get hundreds of recipes! It's pretty cool. So thank you Saima, whoever and wherever you are, for this lovely recipe.

Saag (Spinach) Chicken

3 pounds skinless Chicken pieces
5 cloves Garlic, minced
2 large Onions, minced
2 large Tomatoes, crushed
1 inch piece Ginger, minced
4 tbsp Milk
4 bunches Spinach, washed and chopped
2 tbsp Butter
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 tsp Turmeric
2 large Cardamom pods
2 Cloves
7 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Salt

Fry the chicken lightly in 4 tbsp of oil for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned and set aside.

Put the spinach into a deep pan, add 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. When cool, grind in a blender and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and add ginger, garlic and onions. Saute until lightly brown. Add tomatoes, salt cayenne, coriander powder, turmeric, cloves and cardamom. Sprinkle with one tablespoon water. Cook for 10 minutes over low heat. Add chicken and milk. Simmer until the chicken is tender.

Add spinach and garam masala. Cook until spinach starts sticking to the pan. Remove from heat. Add butter and keep covered until ready to serve.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pumpkin Pachadi

A lovely pumpkin curry with yogurt and spices. Sweet and spicy, this curry is great with rice.

Pumpkin Pachadi

2 pieces Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Chilli Powder
2 tbsp Coconut, shredded
3 Green Chillies
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 glass Buttermilk
1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 Red Chilli, split
3-4 Curry Leaves
1 tsp Sugar

Cook the pumpkin with turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. Add the ground masala to the cooking pumpkin. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and add the buttermilk. Season with mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chilli and curry leaves.

Add sugar to the cooking pumpkin. Let it cook until the it becomes a thick curry.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kerala Egg Curry

Kerala Egg Curry

5 Pearl Onions
1 tsp Ginger Paste
1 tsp Garlic Paste
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 Cardamom
1 Clove
1 Tomato, chopped
1 Bay Leaf
2 small Onions, chopped
2 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Turmeric
1 tsp Salt
1 cup Potatoes, cooked
1 cup Peas, cooked
1/4 cup Coconut Milk
6 Eggs, hard boiled, sliced halfway

Grind the pearl onions, ginger, garlic, chilli powder, coriander powder, cardamom, clove and tomatoes. In a little oil, fry the bay leaves till brown. Add chopped onions, sugar and saute till onions become brown. Then add the ground paste, turmeric and salt. Keep stirring till it becomes dark. Now add the veggies. Add one cup of water and let it boil for a few minutes.
Add the coconut milk and eggs.

Egg curry is wonderful with rice and rotis. Other egg curries in this blog: traditional egg curry, egg curry.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mint Rice

While I was studying in the US, I would take every opportunity to go visit my sister and her family, and the big highlight was to be able to eat home cooked meals. She really makes the best rasam and pongal I've ever had! Mint rice was one of the dishes always made in her house. Its dangerously good!

Mint Rice

4 cups Rice (I used brown Basmati, but regular Basmati works fine), cooked with salt
5 Cloves
2 bunches Mint Leaves, chopped
2 bunches Coriander Leaves, chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, just the seeds
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 tsp Ginger, minced
Salt, to taste
4 Green Chillies, ground

Heat a tablespoon of oil on a slow fire. Add the cloves, mint, coriander and keep stirring. Add the bell pepper seeds, garlic, green chillies and ginger.

When the leaves are wilted, add the rice. Keep stirring until fully combined.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chilli Chicken

This isn't like the Indian-Chinese chilli chicken in restaurants. That was a disclaimer. This is more a hot, spicy chicken. This is great served with rice or as an appetizer.

Chilli Chicken
2 lbs Chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Chilli Sauce (such as Sriracha)
1 tbsp Corn Flour
4 tbsp Oil
8 cloves Garlic
10 Green Chillies

Grind chilli and garlic and mix with all the other ingredients, except the chicken.

Marinate chicken for 2 hour and then saute in a heated pan. Do not cover while cooking. Take care not to overcook the chicken.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Vegetable Adai

Adai is a sort of thick pancake made with lentils usually. Here, I have added vegetables to give it a healthier twist. This is a wonderful breakfast - packed with protein and vegetable goodness.

Vegetable Adai

1 cup Parboiled Rice
1/4 cup Urad Dal
1/4 cup Toor Dal
1/4 cup Bengal Gram Dal (Kadalai Paruppu)
6 Dried Red Chillies
1 tsp Asoefetida
3 tbsp Coconut, shredded
1 Onion, chopped fine
1 Tomato, chopped fine
1 Carrot, cooked
1/4 cup shredded Cauliflower, or cut into tiny pieces, cooked
1/4 cup Peas, cooked
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
2 cloves Garlic
Salt, to taste
1/4 cup Cilantro Leaves, chopped

Soak the rice and the dals for 2-3 hours. Grind the soaked mixture to a grainy consistency after washing well.

Heat some oil and add the garlic, coconut, mustard seeds, cumin, onions and saute well. Add the vegetables and continue to saute. Add this mixture to the ground rice and dals. Add the tomato, asoefitida, salt, cilantro and mix well. If needed, you can add a 1/4 cup water to get the batter to a pouring consistency.

Heat a dosa/ crepe pan. Pour a ladle-ful of the batter onto the heated pan. Wait for a few minutes for one side to brown and then flip it over and cook for a few more minutes. Repeat the flipping every couple of minutes for about 6-8 minutes.

Serve with chutney or sambar.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


My husband's family is from Kerala and I've learnt a lot of food from my mother in law who is a superb cook! Her cooking, though, is totally on the fly and she hardly uses or writes down any recipes or ingredient quantities. I've tried my best to document her cooking.

(vegetables in a spiced coconut curry)

1 cup Toor Dal, cooked
1 cup Vegetables (any vegetable except okra, cabbage and eggplant), diced
1 cup Coconut, shredded
1 tso Cumin Seeds
1 tsp Peppercorn
1 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
Salt, to taste
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
3-4 Curry Leaves
2-3 Dried Red Chillies

Cook the diced vegetables with the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Meanwhile, grind together the coconut, cumin and peppercorn and add to the cooking vegetables. Add the cooked dal to the veggies as well.

Heat some oil in another pan and add the seasoning ingredients. When the mustard seeds pop, add the seasoning to the vegetable curry.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Lamb Roganjosh

Though I'm vegetarian, I've learned how to cook several kinds of meats and chicken dishes. I've still not attempted making any seafood, and I really don't see myself doing that any time soon! This is a no-fail lamb curry that was passed onto me by a friend. Being a vegetarian and not being able to taste as you cook, no-fail recipes are essential!

Lamb Roganjosh

600 g Lamb Filet
300 g Onions, chopped
1 cup Plain Yogurt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Coriander Powder
1 1/2 tsp Cumin Powder
2 tsp Garlic, minced
2 tsp Ginger, minced
1 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Tomato Paste
1 1/2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
2 Bay Leaves, crumbled
2 Cardamom, split open at the top
1 small Cinnamon stick, broken in half
4 Cloves
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1 tbsp Mint Leaves, chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves

Mix the yogurt with the cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, paprika and turmeric.
Trim the lamb of any fat and cut into bite-sized cubes. Put into a non-stick pan with the onions. Cook at medium heat and stir until the contents begin to sizzle.

Add the yogurt mixture, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally until the lamb has released its natural juices.

Remove the lid, increase the heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently until the sauce reduces to a paste-like consistency.

Put a kettle of water onto boil. Add the tomato paste, some salt and butter to the lamb. Reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered for about 3-4 minutes stirring frequently. Then add 1.5 cups of boiling water from the kettle, cover and simmer for about 15 minutes.

In a small pan, melt the remaining butter over low heat, add the bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and allow to sizzle for 35-40 seconds. Add the nutmeg, stir once and pour the contents over the meat. Mix well, cover and cook for a further 10-12 minutes. Stir in the chopped mint and coriander.

Serve warm with rice.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Curry Leaf Rice

Curry Leaves are very often used in Indian food. Sometimes, I'm not sure why. They add some flavor, but really, the dish tastes pretty much the same without adding the leaf too! Except in this wonderful rice that's made of crushed curry leaves and spices. Curry leaves have a very subtle flavor, and this makes the rice mild and delicious.

Curry Leaf Rice

1/2 cup Curry Leaves
2 tbsp Channa Dal
2 tbsp Urad Dal
6 dried Red Chillies
Salt, to taste
2 cups Rice, cooked

Heat a pan and add the above ingredients. Keep stirring on a low heat until the lentils are golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool. Grind in a spice grinder to a coarse consistency. Toss thoroughly with the cooked rice. Serve hot.