Friday, April 27, 2012

Cabbage Stuffed Paratha

Stuffed Parathas - Yum! :). A great way to sneak in veggies and consume them.Another standard North Indian dish,served during breakfast with curd and pickle.This is my first time making a cabbage paratha. Making this kind of paratha has been on my mind for long, reminds me of my lunch time at school with friends.I had two north-Indian friends during my mid-school time and their lunch boxes often had cabbage/spinach/radish/gobi/aloo parathas and i wondered, why mom dint make them. :)

Cabbage Stuffed Paratha


Serves - 4 [Makes about 12 Parathas]
Spice Level - Not spicy

Cabbage -  1 cup, grated well
Salt - as per taste
turmeric powder - 1 Tspn
Chilli powder - 2 Tspn
Green chilli - 5 , chopped finely
Coriander leaves - a handful, chopped well

Wheat Flour - 3 cups
Oil - 2 Tbspn
Water - 1 to 1.5 cup approx.

Wheat flour - 1/2 cup for dusting the dough while making parathas.


Firstly mix the grated cabbage with the salt, chilli powder,turmeric powder, green chilli pieces,and coriander leaves in a bowl. Add 3 cup of wheat flour and oil to the bowl and mix again. Now add water slowly to make a dough for parathas. The grated cabbage will have some water content, so take care to not add too much water. Make a pliable smooth dough like we do for chapathis.

Have a bowl containing half a cup of wheat flour. Pinch golf ball sized dough , dip it in the flour. Place it on your roti-making- board . Flatten the dough with you palm. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough gently into big circle.If the dough is sticky, use the flour to dust it well and continue rolling till you get desired shape and thickness.

Heat a dosa pan. Smear the pan with some oil. Now place the rolled dough on to it. After a minute or two, flip the paratha and cook until both sides are done and you see light/dark brown spots on either sides.

Serve hot with raitha and pickle. :). We had this for dinner and enjoyed it thoroughly.

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spicy Chettinadu Pepper Chicken

This is my first non-veg recipe on this blog. Hopefully we will see many more :). I always have difficulty trying to work with the raw smell of chicken/fish/mutton etc, so I delegate the task of cleaning them and doing the basic marination of turmeric/salt to my dear S  :). Due to this problem I have stayed away from cooking non-vegetarian. As they say I do it once in a blue-moon ;).

Non-vegetarian dishes always reminds me of Sundays. When I was growing up, Sunday meant mutton/chicken clear soup in the mornings, big non-veg meals for lunch and dosai/idli with remaining non-veg curries during the dinner time. :). Infact on those Sundays when its a fried item, like Fish Fry, Mutton Chops, or Mutton Cola Urundai [mutton meat balls] , we would start eating them way before lunch beings and mom would warn us about how nothing is going to remain during lunch time.Good Old Sundays.I would like that, and from now on, Sunday's in my home would also be like that hopefully. I am going to give it a earnest try and start to gain expertise over cooking non-vegetarian food,  not forgetting S huge love for non-veg food.

Pepper chicken is a very popular spicy Chettinadu dish. Goes very well with chicken biriyani or with rice and chicken Kuzhambu and also many other things if you know what I mean ;)

Chettinadu Pepper Chicken


Recipe Source - Adapted from Solais Kitchen

Serves - 3
Spice Level - Quite Spicy

Chicken pieces - 500 gm
Onion - 2 Larges , chopped very finely
Tomato - 2 small sized , chopped into small pieces
Ginger garlic paste - 1 Tsp
Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
Pepper powder - 2 Tbsp
Lemon juice - Juice out of half a lemon
Turmeric - a pinch
Coriander Leaves - a handful , chopped

To Temper

Oil - 4 Tbsp
Bay leaves - 1
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon - 1inch stick - 1
fennel - 1tspn
Curry Leaves - 2 Sprig

To marinate chicken

Curry/Chilli powder - 1 Tbsp
Salt - 2 Tsp
Turmeric - 1 Tsp
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 Tsp


Firstly clean the chicken well. Then marinate the chicken with the items under "To marinate chicken" and keep aside for 30 minutes.

Heat oil in a kadai, and add in one item after another from the "To Temper" list. Let it roast. Add in the onions, ginger-garlic paste and saute well till translucent.Add in the tomato pieces , a pinch salt, a pinch of turmeric, and saute until the tomato pieces are soft and mashed well.Now add in coriander powder and mix well.Add the remaining salt as per need. Remember 2 Tsp was used while marinating chicken . Add 1/4 cup water and mix well with the masala and let it be for a minute or two. Now lower flame and add in the chicken pieces and wrap well with the masala. Saute well until the chicken pieces get moist. Don't wait until it gives out a lot of water. Just a little bit would do.Then close the kadai with a lid and let it get cooked in low-medium flame. Once the chicken is cooked, add the pepper powder and mix well.Saute for a couple of more minutes. Add coriander leaves and mix well. Switch off stove.

Before serving squeeze lemon juice over it. Serve with rice and chicken kuzhmabu. :)

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Jeera Aloo / Potatoes flavoured with Cumin

Jeera aloo reminds me of my initial days after wedding , I used to make this dish quite often as it was a very easy simple dish and one of S favorite. Jeera aloo, some variety rice and dal, this was one combination that used to appear on almost every weekend , a couple of years back. Some of my relatives also found out how that was my standard menu when guests visited us too. So if you are new to cooking, and want to impress somebody, this one's for you. ;)

Jeera Aloo


 Serves - 4
 Spice Level - Moderately Spicy

Potato - 5 Large, chopped into medium sized pieces.
Onions - 1 Large , finely chopped
Mustard - 1 Tspn
Jeera - 3 Tbspn
Green chilli - 4 , chopped well
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tspn
Garam Masala - 1 Tspn
Coriander leaves - a handful, chopped
Oil - 2 Tbspn
Salt - as per taste [ 1 Tbspn or so]


Add the potato pieces in a cooker and 1 cup water.Pressure cook the potato pieces for 5 minutes. Keep the flame on high , after one whistle [ will take 3 minutes for first whistle], move the flame to low and switch off after 2 more minutes. The potatoes need to cooked such that it doesn't get mushy when you make the jeera aloo. Open the lid once the cooker is cooled, drain the remaining water left in the vessel and keep the potatoes aside.

Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard, let it splutter, add jeera, and let it roast. Add onions, green chilli and saute till onions are translucent.Add the turmeric powder and garam masala, little salt and cook till the raw smell of masala vanish. Now lower the flame, add in the cooked potato pieces, remaining salt and mix well with the onion-masala mix well. Stir the potatoes well so that they are wrapped well with the masala. Saute the potatoes in kadai for 2-3 more minutes. Add the chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Switch off flame.

This goes very well with pulkas/rotis or as a side dish for rice and dal

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Easy Chettinadu No-curry powder Sambar

You can prepare sambar for idli/dosai/idiyappams in 15 minutes . Really :). This is usually my comfort food - Idli +Chettinadu sambar. When I have been deprived of Indian food for long during vacations , and get back home, this is first thing I make. This sambar is extremely simple and soothing. A week without this combination is enough for me and S to start longing for it.Now on to the recipe.

Easy Chettinadu No-curry powder Sambar


Serves - 4
Spice Level - Quite Spicy

  1.  Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
  2.  Tomatoes - 2 Large - chopped into medium sized pieces
  3.  Potatoes - 2 Medium - chopped into medium sized pieces
  4.  Brinjal -  1 Large - Chopped into 5 pieces6
  5.  Green chilli - 6 slit lengthwise, chopped in half
  6.  Onion - 1 Large - chopped well
  7.  Curry Leaves - 1 Sprig
  8.  Jeera - 1 Tspn
  9.  Turmeric - 1/4 Tspn
  10.  Water 2 cups
Salt - to taste
Thin Tamrind extract - 2Tbspn [optional]

To temper

Oil - 2 Tbspn
Mustard - 1 Tbsp
Urad Dal - 1 Tbspn
Curry Leaves - 1 sprig


Take a pressure cooker and toss in all ingredients from 1-10. The water level must be around 1 inch above the vegetables/dal.Mix well. Pressure cook for 15-20 minutes, moving the flame from high to sim after the first whistle.Let the cooker cool off. Open the lid ,heat the cooker containing sambar ,add salt and tamarind extract [if using] and stir well with a ladle.Let the sambar boil.Add more water if needed and adjust consistency according to your needs.Some people like the sambar to be more loose. Also the dal will be mostly mashed well after 20 minutes of pressure cooking.

Meanwhile heat 2 Tbspn oil in a small pan. Add mustard , once it splutters add urad dal. Once the urad dal browns, add curry leaves and switch off flame. Add this tempering to the sambar and boil for 2 more minutes.Switch off flame and transfer to serving bowl.

This is the sambar we make for idli/dosai/pongal/idyappams/vadai.


1. Tamarind extract is optional. Since i have added two large tomatoes, I haven't used tamarind extract. If you would like it to be more tangy, you may use it.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Medhu vadai / Lentil Fritters

Wishing you all a very happy belated Tamil New year. So on to some festival food. :)
Medhu vadai or Ulundu vadai is a standard item in all South Indian breakfast specials. It is the absolute favorite of most Indians I have come across. I hardly know people who don't like vadai. If I am having breakfast in any restaurant in south India, this is sure to be one of my orders. In my household, this is sure to make an appearance in almost all special occasions . I made this a couple of days back for Tamil New year. :)

This is one of the special items that took me some time to get the hang of it. I still cannot say I have mastered it. :) . It needs practice to get the round shape with the hole , you should also know what consistency the batter has to be and a few other pain points.

Medhu Vadai


Makes roughly around 20 vadais

Urad dal - 1 cup
Raw Rice - 2 Tbspn
Toor Dal - 1 tbspn
Salt - as per taste

Onion - 1 Large finely chopped
Green chilli - 5 finely chopped
Curry leaves - 2 Sprigs , crushed well
Coriander leaves - 2 Tbspn , chopped well.

Oil - for deep frying - 2 cups


Soak the urad dal, raw rice, toor dal in water for 45 minutes, water level must be well above the dal in the container. Drain excess water and grind it in your mixer with as little water as possible. This step is very important, add as much water as needed for your mixer blade to rotate well  without getting jammed. if you are able to grind without any water - great!. Max you can add maybe 2 -3 Tbspn of water.Grind till you get a smooth fluffy texture of the dal.

Transfer to a container. Add salt, and the chopped onions,green chilli,curry leaves and coriander leaves to it. Mix well.Now the dough is ready for the vadais.

Heat oil in the kadai to fry the vadais.Now take a polythene sheet and wipe it with water. Have a bowl of water by your side - jus to dip you hands to get rid of the dough in between frying and making the vadai shape.

Pinch a medium sized ball of the dough, and place it on the polythene sheet. With you index finger , make a hole in the center of the dough and get the shape as in the picture above.Once done transfer the dough from the polythene sheet [must retain the shape you have made and must not collapse] to your right hand and drop in hot oil.The oil must be moderately hot. Let the vadais fry for a couple of minutes in medium heat, then turn it over to get the other side done. Drain on absorbent paper.

Serve hot with chutney/sambar. Idly sambar and vadai is the perfect Tamil breakfast. Nothing can beat this classic trio. :)


1. If you are not able to shape the dough as said , and it collapses, you might have used excess water while grinding. The dough needs to be tight for vadais to hold the shape.If you run into this, dont worry, just drop them like bondas, it will still taste good. :). The first time I attempted vadais, thats what I did. ;). As a remedy, you can try freezing the batter for a couple of hours and then try to shape it [This works, i have tried this]. Another fix might be to powder 2 tbspn of aval [poha/flattened rice] and mix it along with the dough, freeze it for 2 hours and try again. [My Paati's suggestion]

2. If your vadais are absorbing too much oil, again the reason is , you may have used excess water while grinding. Adding a couple of tbspn of rice flour might help in this case. I have already added raw rice to the ingredient list due to this.

3. So the key point is to make sure to use as little water as possible while grinding.


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Thursday, April 12, 2012

Paneer Butter Masala | Mughalai Paneer Curry/ Cottage-cheese in tomato based gravy [No-cream, No-Butter recipe]

Paneer curries remind me of restaurant visits during my childhood days. Panner was strictly a "north Indian dish" which was never attempted at home.So Paneer butter masala was always on our eating list when we had dinner outside. I always used to wonder then, how did they get that creamy,smooth ,orangish texture.Now i know :). This is a healthy recipe which doesn't use cream/butter but is still rich in flavor/texture. Want to know how - read on. :).

Oh and BTW this is my own creation :).

Mughalai Paneer


Serves - 4
Spice Level - Moderate

Paneer block - 200 gm, cut into medium sized cubes
Tomato - 2 medium
Cashews - 5
Badams/almonds - 5
Tomato Ketchup - 2 Tbsp
Capsicum/Bell peppers [Green] - 1/2 chopped into small pieces
Onion - 1 Large, sliced thinly
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Curry/Chilli Powder - 2 Tbsp
Cumin - 1 Tsp
Kasuri Methi/Dry fenugreek leaves - 1 Tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Ginger-garlic paste - 1 Tsp
Milk - 1 cup
Oil - 3 Tbspn
Coriander leaves  - 2 Tbsp chopped to garnish


Firstly,take a pan with water,add tomatoes , cashews, almonds to it and microwave on high for 3-5 minutes. If you don't have a microwave, boil the tomatoes along with cashews, almonds in a cup of water for 5 minutes until you can see the outer layer of the tomato shrink. Once done,cool it and remove the outer layer of the tomatoes and blend along with cashews and almonds with little water into smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat a pan, add a tbsp and half of oil. Arrange the cubed panner pieces on the pan and let it roast until it starts to brown, flip the panner cubes to slightly brown the other side too. Transfer the pieces to a tissue paper, and pat it with another tissue paper to remove the oil. Keep the paneer cubes aside. [This step is optional, you may add in fresh paneer if you like it that way]

In the same pan, heat another tbsp and half of oil. Add jeera, let it roast. Toss in the sliced onion,and ginger-garlic paste. Saute it until onions are translucent. Now add in the chopped capsicum and saute it until cooked. Maybe 3-4 minutes. Now throw in the ground tomato paste and saute till the tomato paste is cooked. Add in the turmeric powder, curry powder , kasuri methi , salt  and saute till the raw smell of the masala vanishes. Add the tomato ketchup now and give it a stir. Lower the flame, add milk. Mix well with the masala coated onion-capsicum and let it simmer.Ad more salt if needed now.When the gravy starts to thicken , add the paneer pieces and coriander leaves and bring to boil. Switch off flame.

Serve warm with your favorite Indian bread  or a pulao of your choice

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Roasted Aubergine Chutney

Chutneys are a great savior when you are in a hurry to ruffle up something. Also a great way to take in veggies that you may not be fond of.I use a basic kara [spicy] chutney recipe and try to include a different veggie each time to grind along with it. This was one such experiment.The end result was a very flavorful chutney which we liked very much. :)

Roasted Aubergine Chutney


Serves - 4 
Spice Level - Quite Spicy

Japanese Eggplant/Aubergine - 1
Red chilli - 5
Onions - 2 Medium sized chopped roughly
Tamarind - a small lemon sized ball
Urad dal - 2 Tbspn
Curry Leaves - a handful
Jeera - 1 Tbspn
Garlic cloves - 3
Mustard - 1 Tbspn
Shredded coconut - 2 Tbspn
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 3 Tbspn

To temper

Oil - 1 Tbspn
Mustard - 1 TBspn
Urad dal - 1 Tbspn


Apply oil on the eggplant and roast it on open flame for 10-15 minutes until the outer layer shrinks and you are able to peel it easily. I use a steel wire mesh and place it on top of the flame and let the eggplant sit on it easily while roasting.I also used a wooden skewer to insert through the eggplant , so I could rotate the eggplant to make sure it was getting roasted on all sides when put on open flame.

Once roasted well ,drop the eggplant in a bowl containing cold water to cool it. Peel the outer layer of the eggplant completely and cut into medium sized pieces and keep aside.

Heat a pan with 3 Tbsp oil in it. Add mustard seeds, let it splutter, add urad dal and jeera and let it roast.Add the chopped onions and garlic and saute till translucent. Now toss in the roasted eggplant pieces and saute for 5 minutes. Add in the dry red chilli,shredded coconut, tamarind piece and curry leaves and saute for a couple of minutes.Cool and blend into a smooth paste.Transfer this to a serving bowl , add salt and mix well.

In a kadai, heat a tbsp of oil ,add mustard and after it splutters add urad dal and let it roast till golden brown.Pour this over the chutney and mix well.

This chutney goes well with idli/dosai. You can mix this chutney with ghee and rice too or serve as a sandwich spread.

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Rosemary Garlic Potato wedges

Did you guys miss me? ;). I am back from an awesome-super-duper trip to the Swiss - so overwhelmingly beautiful that words and pictures cannot do justice to it. I will be dedicating a separate post to that very soon though. :)

Now back to these potato wedges. I looove potatoes, I can eat them any time of the day and in any quantity and in any cooked form.Potatoes really remind me of my childhood, where my mom used to scare me saying, if  I eat too much of these, I would develop cramps and calf/knee pain. :). Even now, whenever I get calf pain, I think "maybe I had too many potatoes" :P. People who know me well
know that I never share pomm frites [some eurooopean touch!!] with anybody :)

Potato wedges are an easy, yummy starter to make.You should definitely try to make them if you haven't yet.Just before my trip last week, I had to finish up some rosemary and potatoes.So got on to making some rosemary-garlic flavored potato wedges which we had along with veg fried rice.

Rosemary-Garlic Potato Wedges


Serves - 2
Spice Level - Not Spicy but flavorful

Potatoes - 5 large, cut into wedges
Fresh Rosemary - 4 stems
Garlic cloves - 4, finely minced
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Salt/pepper - as per taste
Olive oil - 5 Tbsp


Wash and cut the potatoes into wedges. In a bowl, add in olive oil,  minced garlic,  rosemary leaves,turmeric powder, salt and pepper and mix well.Toss in the potato wedges inside the bowl and marinate it well with the mixture. Let it stay for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat you oven for 10 minutes at 200 deg C. Line a baking tray with aluminum foil and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. Arrange the potato wedges in rows on top of the foil.

Now bake these wedges at 200 deg C for 40 minutes in toast mode [both bottom and top rod of oven is heated]. After 25 minutes, turn the potato wedges over so the other side also gets cooked and let it bake/toast for remaining time

Remove the tray out of the oven , serve it warm with tomato ketchup. Very easy and impressive starter. :)


1. You can para-boil potatoes and then follow the recipe to reduce the baking/toasting time.

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