Wednesday, March 28, 2007

BlackEyed peas Kozhambu and Dondakaya vepudu

So the first one is a tamilian thing and the second one a telugu thing.

Kozhambu is like pulusu in telugu. Don't ask me the hindi version. In English,hmmmm I guess you can call it a stew:)

This recipe was taught to me by my mother-in-law. She is an awesome cook.

BlackEyed peas Kozhambu


Dried Black eyed peas: 1 cup
Onion - 1 cup minced
Tomatoes - 1 cup minced
Garlic - 3 cloves minced
Fenugreek seeds -1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 6
Turmeric - pinch
Sambar powder or Kozhambu masala - 1 tbsp or according to your taste
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed


Cook blackeyed peas in a pressure cooker with 2 to 3 cups of water.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they sputter, add cumin and fenugreek seeds. Then add curry leaves and garlic. Add the onions immediately. Saute till onions are translucent or medium brown. Add turmeric, salt and half of sambar powder.
Fry for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, black eyed peas and 1 cup of water and cook covered for 5 minutes. Add rest of sambar powder and cook on low flame till tomatoes become soft and adjust seasoning if needed.

Notes: If you don't like garlic add asafoetida(hing or inguva)instead.
If the tomatoes are not sour add a tablespoon of tamarind juice.
For the blackeyed peas, I use the dry ones.They cook fine without soaking in water for long.

Dondakaya (tindora) Fry:

I forgot what dondakaya is called in tamil. Will ask my husband later;)

Dondakaya - 2 cups - cut length wise
Turmeric - pinch
Salt - to taste
Red chilli powder - to taste
Curry leaves - 4
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic - 1 clove crushed
Oil - as needed


Boil the dondakaya till soft in salt water and keep aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they start sputtering, add the curry leaves and garlic. Add the dondakaya pieces. Add turmeric and saute them till they are medium crisp. Add red chilli powder and saute till the raw smell of chilli powder is gone.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Saturday Night Dinner

Okra fry ( Suvir Saran's Style)

I saw Suvir Saran on PBS' show "How to cook everything" By Mark Bittman. He made this okra sald with deep fried okra, chaat masala, onions and tomatoes. Thought I would try it too without the chaat masala, onions and tomatoes.


Okra ( Bhindi/bendakaya/vendakaya/ladies finger) - 1/2 lb julienned
Salt - to taste
Turmeric - Pinch
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp.
Oil - for deep frying.


Deep fry the okra in oil. Take it out in a medium mixing bowl. Make sure you don't fry the okra till it's dark brown. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and coriander powder and toss. Serve with a lemon wedge.

And now, vegetarian look aside. The following curry might seem like it will take lot of time and too many ingredients but once you get everything together, it's very easy. Whenever I am cooking a dish with many ingredients or if it looks too complicated, I try to get everything on to the counter near the stove. That way I know what's going when into the pan.

Kheema Curry ( Suji's Style)


Kheema - 1lb
Red onions - 2 cups minced
Tomato - 1 medium - minced
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed
Water - 2.5 cups

Ginger and garlic paste - 1Tbsp
Turmeric - 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - 1Tbsp.

Marinate Kheema with above ingredients for 2 to 3 hours.

Dry grind:
Cardamom - 8
Cloves - 12
Cinnamon - Two 1" sticks

Grind to Paste:

Garlic - 4 cloves
Mint Leaves - 1/2 cup
Green chilli - 1
Red Onion - 1/4 cup

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and saute them till they are translucent. Add salt just enough for the onions, turmeric and red chilli powder. Add the Kheema, tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Put the lid on and cook for 20 minutes mixing every 10 minutes. Make sure there are no lumps while stirring. That way meat cooks evenly. Add the masala paste and half of the dry masala. Stir for few minutes and half cup of water and let it cook on medium to low flame for 20 minutes or till meat is cooked. Add salt, rest of the dry msala and cook for another 10 minutes stirring in between on medium flame. Turn off and serve with rotis or rice.

You can also add sauted peas to this if you want. Also, I do not "garnish" most of my dishes with coriander leaves. That's because I cannot stand it:). However you are more than welcome to do so if you like it.

You can cook this dish a little gravyish if you like it curry style. I usually cook it till it's a little dry because that's just how mesa likes.

One last thing. Always add salt towards the end when you are cooking any kind of meat. If you add salt in the beginning meat tends to become tough.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Corn and Egg Masala and...


Hard Boiled eggs - 4 Cut in halves
Onion - 1 medium cut length wise
Tomato - 1 medium cut length wise
Corn - Frozen - 1 cup
Green Chilly - 1 slit length wise
Garlic - 4 cloves julienned
Water 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp or to taste
Coriander Powder -1 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1tsp
Turmeric - Pinch
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard and cumin seeds. Add garlic, green chilly and onions. Add salt and turmeric powder and saute till onions are soft. Add corn and stir for few minutes. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder. Saute for few minutes till the raw smell of chilli powder is gone

Add tomatoes and eggs and one cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook on low flame for 10 to 15 minutes. Check in between to see that there is enough water. If not add a little more.

Remove the lid and stir till the water is evaporated. Don't move the eggs too much.

Remove from heat and serve with hot rice.

English Cucumbers with soy and hot sauce

English cucumbers are just seedless cucumbers. You can use regular cucumbers too but just take the seeds out.

1 large English cucumber - Skin peeled and cut into cubes
Soy Sauce - 1Tbsp.
Hot sauce or hot oil - 1Tbsp.
Sugar - pinch
Red pepper flakes - 1 tsp.
Olive oil - as needed
Salt - to taste


Heat olive oil in a pan. Add red chilli flakes and cucumbers. Stir for 2 minutes. Add soy sauce, hot sauce and sugar. Check for salt and add salt if needed. Stir for 2 minutes and remove from heat and serve.

You can add garlic too if you like.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Recipe Lift:)

I lifted this recipe from Mahanandi. Nandyala is a district few hours from Cuddapah(kadapa) where I grew up.

Mom used to make this peanut gavy a lot while we were in cuddapah. Today I made this with Mulakkada(munagakaya or drumsticks)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Chikkudukaya(broad Beans) koora and....

Tomato and bell pepper(capsicum) pachhadi (chutney or thovayal) is on today's menu with sambar and rice.

ChikkuduKaya koora


Chikkudukaya - cut into one inch pieces - 3 cups
Onion - 1 large minced
Tomato - i large minced
Garlic - 2 cloves crushed
Curry Leaves - 6
Green Chilli - 1 slit length wise
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - pinch
Salt - to taste
Red Chilli powder - to taste
Oil - as needed

Boil the beans in salt water till they are tender and keep it aside
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering, add curry leaves and green chilli. Add onions and saute for 3 minutes. Add turmeric and salt and saute for one more minute. Add the cooked beans and red chilli powder and saute for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes ,cover and cook for few minutes or till tomatoes start breaking apart.

Once water from tomatoes evaporates, remove from heat and serve with rice or roti

Bell Pepper and tomato chutney

Green Bell pepper - 1 julienned
Tomato - 1 julienned
Dried red chillies - 4 (adjust this to your spice level)
Peanuts - 1 Tbsp.
Senagapappu(chanadal) - 1 Tbsp.
Minappappu (Urad Dal)- 1 Tbsp.
Salt - As needed
Oil - As needed

For Popu:
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Inguva(hing/asafoetida) - pinch
Curry Leaves - 4
Oil - 1 tbsp.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the red chillies. After 10 seconds take them out with a slotted spoon on to a plate. Add the peanuts, chanadal and urad dal. Once they turn into golden brown color, take them out. Add peppers to this oil and saute them till they are tender. Add the tomatoes, salt and cook them till tomatoes are wilted.
Remove from heat and let it cool.
Grind the pepper tomato mixture along with red chillies,peanuts,urad and chana dal into paste.

Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, inguva and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds start sputtering, remove from heat and add to the pachhadi.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Egg Pulusu and Long beans Stir Fry

Egg Pulusu

We use a term called "Scrap-Lifting" in scrapbooking. When you create a layout inspired by some one else's it's called scrap-lifting ( you do give credit to the original). I think this can be applied to cooking as well. Today I got inspired by this recipe from Masalamagic.

I made the following changes to it though. I had a bottle gourd(aanapakaya) that I had to use otherwise it would die:). So I cut into big chunks, boiled it and added to the recipe:).

Added ginger garlic paste instead of garlic and ginger separately ( I am all about quick and easy cooking).

Make sure you dry grind the khus khus first. It tends to blend in faster that way.

Beans and Potato Stir fry
This is a very simple recipe I created when I was forced to cook without onions for a pooja long time ago.

Long beans - 1 lb - cut into 1/2 inch pieces
Small white potatoes - 4 cut into small pieces
Turmeric - Pinch
Red chilli powder - 2 tsps.
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed

Boil the green beans in salt water till they are soft. Right when you are ready to turn the stove off for the beans, add potatoes to it, turn the stove off and cover it with a lid. Remove the lid and drain the vegetables.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the beans and potatoes and fry on low for 5 minutes. Add turmeric and chilli powder. Stir for 5 more minutes. Remover from fire and serve with hot rice.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dosakai Pappu

Dosakai Pappu(parupu)


Kandi pappu (Toor Dal/Yellow Lentils) - 1 cup
Dosakai - 1 large ( peeled, cleaned and cut into bite size pieces)
Tomato - 1 small cut into 1 inch cubes
Green chillies - 4 slit length wise
Garlic cloves - 3 roughly chopped
Curry leaves - 8
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric - pinch
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste
Oil - As needed

Pressure cook Toor dal, dosakai,tomatoes and green chillies, turmeric together till the dal is cooked through.

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering add garlic and curry leaves. Saute for 30 seconds. Add the dal and dosakai mixture that is cooked. Add salt and half cup of water and stir for 5 mins. Add red chilli powder and stir for another minute. Remove from heat and serve with hot rice or rotis.

Note: If you do not have a pressure cooker, I recommend boiling toor dal seperately and dosakai seperately.

Asafoetida(hing/Inguva) is generally substituded for garlic.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Tomato Rice and spiced eggs

That was our lunch today. This is a very simple tomato rice with very few ingredients. I used beefsteak tomatoes from Costco. They are little pricey than the ones you get in Indian grocery store but well worth it. The tomatoes are soft, sour and cook very fast.


Rice - 2cups
White Onion - 1 large cut into big chunks
Tomatoes - 3 medium cut into small cubes
Green chillies - 7 cut into small pieces
Curry leaves - 8
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp
Chana Dal(senagapappu) - 2tsp
Turmeric - Pinch
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed

Cook 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water and keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the chana dal and stir for 30 secs. Add mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add curry leaves and green chillies. Saute for 30 seconds and add onions. Add little bit of salt. Once onions are soft and give out light brown color, add the tomatoes and half cup of water. Cover with a lid and cook or 10 minutes on medium to low flame till the tomatoes wilt.

Take the lid off and stir the onion and tomato mixture till all the water evaporates. Turn the stove off and mix in the cooked rice and adjust salt and other seasonings.

For spiced boiled eggs:
Eggs - 4
Red chilli powder - 1tsp
Coriander powder - 2 tsps
Salt - to taste
Olive Oil - 1 Tbsp


Boil eggs for 17 minutes in water. peel the shell and make tiny slits into the egg with a knife ( don't make large cuts). If you want you can even cut the egg into 2 halves

Heat oil in a pan. Add the eggs and stir for 20 secs. Add the chilli powder, salt and coriander powder. Stir for 30 secs. Remove from stove and serve.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Okra Pulusu

I am not sure if I can call this pulusu or not but here it is. It's a little liquidy:). I don't measure when I cook. I just eyeball everything. I will provide approximate measurements and ingredients and the procedure and good luck to you for the preparation;)


Fresh Okra(bhindi or bendakaya) - 1/2 lb cut into 1inch pieces
Red onion - 1 large chopped fine
Tomato - 1 large chopped fine
Green chillies - 2 slit length wise
Yogurt - 1.5 cups
Garlic - 4 cloves minced
Turmeric: 1/2 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder - 2tsps ( Adjust this according to your taste)
Garam Masala - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - as needed

Popu (Tadka) Stuff:
Mustard Seeds
Cumin Seeds
Fenugreek Seeds
Curry Leaves


Mix yogurt, turmeric, red chilli powder, garam masala and little bit of salt with 1/4 cup of cold water. Make sure this comes out as a smooth mixture. Add cut,cleaned and washed Okra to this mixture and mix well. Let okra marinate in the yogurt mixture for a minimum of 1 hour.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the popu (tadka) ingredients. Add green chillies, onions and garlic to this. Add little bit of salt just enough for the onions and saute till onions turn light brown. Add tomatoes and saute for 3 minutes or till tomatoes wilt. Add the okra along with the yogurt. To this add 2 cups of water . Stir it once and let it cook for 15 minutes on low flame covered with a lid.

Stir and add cup of water and let it sit for another 10 minutes. Take the lid off and cook for 3 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or rotis.