Gravy

Bolu Huli/Plain Sambhar

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This is a unique dish from the Udupi Brahmin community. This is simple to make much like Dalithoy but with vegetables like Okra, Winter Melon/Ash gourd, Bottle gourd, Egg plant/Brinjal, it is more of a sambhar than just dal. Here it is:

What you need to have:

1. Chopped okra – 3 Cups

2. Toor dal – 1/2 Cup

3. Green chilly – 2-3 (less spicy)

4. Tamarind – A generous lump

5. Jaggery – 1 Tablespoon

6. Asafoetida powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

7. Salt – As per taste

8. Cooking oil – 2 Teaspoons

Toor Dal & ingredients of Seasoning

Chopped Okra and other ingredients

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Mustard seeds – 1 Teaspoon

2. Asafoetida powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

3. Red chilli pieces – 4-5

4. Curry leaves – 2-3 Sprigs

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and soak Toor dal in water for about 15 minutes. Cook with about 1.5 cups of water for about 20 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                        Cooked Toor Dal

2. Wash, wipe and chop okra into bite size pieces and keep it aside as shown above. Transfer it to a broad based bowl and add slit green chilly, jaggery, salt, turmeric powder, Asafoetida powder, salt, Jaggery, Tamarind  and 1.5 cups water and allow it to cook on medium flame till right.

                                                                                                                                     Okra being cooked with other ingredients

3. When cooked right, transfer cooked dal to the bowl and bring it to the right consistency by adding water in steps. Ii have transfered the whole dish to another bowl.)

                                                                                                                                           Cooked dal being mixed to cooked Okra

4. Place a spatula with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil in it on low flame. When heated add mustard seeds to it.  When it splutters, add red chilli pieces, asafoetida powder and finally curry leaves to it. Season the dish. Ready to serve Bolu huli is as shown in the image below. Enjoy with rice and a spicy papad.

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm !

                                                                                                                                               Ready to serve Bolu Huli

How long it takes: 45 mins

Number of servings: 2-3

Note: 1. Tender Okras is most prefered to this dish. Other veggies like Ash gourd, Bottle gourd is also most prefered.

2. Cooking veggies on direct flame is to cook it to the right consistency, so that one can get to relish the veggie.

3. Seasoning enhances the taste of this dish – remember, it has no as it has no masala contents.

Kokum Rasam/Birinda Saaru

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This kinda Rasam is tasty and light on the stomach and quite a summer delight (for the North Americans amongst you!). The Rasam here is made out of the dry skin of Kokum that is readily available in the market. I invite you to try this as a welcome departure from the staple Dals and Sambhars. You could drink this as a soup or with a rice meal. Here goes:

How long it takes: 20 minutes

Number of servings: 2

What you need to have: 

Ingredients of Kokam Rasam & Seasoning ingredients

Ingredients of Kokum Rasam/Saru

1. Dry skin of Kokum fruit – a Few

2. Green chilly 2 (less spicy)

3. Sugar/Jaggery – as per taste

4. Salt – as per taste

5. Water – Around 2 cups

6. Rasam powder – 1/2 Teaspoon ( i have added but optional)

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Mustard seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon

2. Red chilly pieces – 2-3

3. Asafoetida powder – 1/4 Teaspoon(optional)

4. Curry leaves – 2 Sprigs

5. Cooking oil – 1 Teaspoon

6. Cilantro – 1 Tablespoon(chopped for garnishinbg)

Kokum Saru being cooked

What you do with what you have:

1. Soak skin of Kokum fruit in water for about an hour.

2. Add required quantity of water to the extract  to bring it to the required consistency adding slit green chilly, sugar and salt to bring it to boil.

3. Finally add rasam powder to it on boiling.

4. Place a spatula with 1 teaspoon of cooking oil on low flame.  When heated add mustard seeds to it.  When it splutters, add red chilly pieces, asafoetida powder and curry leaves to it.

Seasoning in progress

3. Season the Kokum rasam and the image below shows what you end up with  (chopped cilantro garnish on top).

                        

                                                                                                               Ready to serve Kokum Rasam/Saru

Almond (Badam) – Peas Masala

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Almond-Peas Masala 

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 2-3

Badam/Almonds/Badami  in Konkani, English and Kannada respectively are used to improve the texture and consistency of most gravies, as an alternative to cashews. I find that almond-based gravy tastes better and is also healthier (than cashews).  Today I am sharing this recipe for Badam-Peas masala which can be relished by adults and kids since it is light on the appetite, not too spicy, but very tasty.

What you need to have:

1. Fresh Green Peas – 1 cup

2. Bay leaf – 1-2

3. Cumin seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon

4. Chopped Onions – 1/4 Cup

5. Green chilly – 2 (less spicy)

6.  Almonds – 10-12

7. Milk – 2 Cups

8. Oil – 2 Teaspoons/ Pure ghee

9. Chopped Cilantro – A handful

10. Salt – To taste

Fresh Green Peas

Ingredients of seasoning & garnishing

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash, peel and chop onions lengthwise. Wash and chop coriander/cilantro and slit green chilli. Soak almonds in water for an hour and peel it and keep aside as shown in image-2.

2. Cook green peas in cooker adding a little salt till done. Grind peeled almonds in the mixer with required quantity of milk till smooth.

Peeled almonds being ground with milk

3. Place a skillet with 2 Teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame. When hot, add bay leaf (tejpatta) to it after frying for a bit, add cumin seeds.  When they splutter, add slit green chilli and chopped onions and fry till transparent.  Adding salt to it helps prevent it from getting burnt.

Seasoning of the dish in progress

4. When onions turn transparent, add ground almond milk mixture to the skillet and stir well for a while till the gravy thickens.

Ground almond milk mixture being added to the seasoning

5. Add cooked green peas from step-2, the remaining quantity of milk and also a little water if necessary to adjust the gravy to the required consistency.

Cooked Peas being added to the gravy

6. Adjust the consistency of the gravy and decorate with chopped cilantro while transferring it to a bowl.

Almond Peas Masala

7. Enjoy with either Roti or Chapati.  Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm

Almond-Peas Masala with Chapati

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 2-3

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh green peas as they enhance the flavour of the dish.

2. I have used branded milk for the dish. Any thick milk will serve the purpose.

Moong Dal Rasam (Garlic version)

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Moongdal/Heserubele/Moogadali  in Hindi/Kannada/Konkani respectively. It is becoming more popular these days.  It is used in the preparation of Kosambari, Dessert like the Sweet Pongal and also another popular dish – the Kichadi with vegetables. We use it for Mooga Dalithoy too.  This thing I am putting up today is the recipe of Rasam with Garlic version which tastes a little different and tasty too.

What you need to have:

1. Moongdal – 1/4 cup

2. Tomato -1 big (Pureed)

3. Rasam powder – 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon (home made)

4. Salt – To taste

5. Sugar – A pinch (optional)

6. Chopped Cilantro –  2 tablespoons (For garnishing)

7. Tamarind – A pinch or Lemon juice – 1 Teaspoon

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Mustard seeds – 3/4 Teaspoons

2. Greeen chilly – 2-3 (slit)

3. Red chilly – 1 (cut into pieces)

4. Garlic cloves – 4-5

5. Curry leaves – 3-4 Sprigs

6. Asafoetida powder – 1/2 Teaspoons

7. Cooking oil – 3-4 Teaspoons

Ingredients and Seasoning of Moongdal Rasam

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and cook Moongdal in the cooker till smooth adding required quantity of water.  Transfer it to a broad based bowl and is as shown in the image below.

Cooked Moongdal

2. Wash and chop tomatoes and grind it in the mixer to a fine consistency (without adding water).

Tomatoes being pureed

3. Place a spatula with 3-4 Teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame.  When heated add mustard seeds to it.  When it splutters, add crushed garlic pods, slit green chilly, red chilly pieces, Asafoetida powder  and curry leaves one after the other.

Seasoning in progress

4. Add Tomato puree from step-=2, the Seasoning from step-3  to the cooked Moongdal from step-1 to it and put it on medium flame and cook it till done stiring it regular intervals as it will soon =catch the bottom and spoil  the dish.   Also add 1 and 1/2 Teaspoons of Rasam powder , salt,a pinch of tamarind  and required quantity of water to the dish to bring it to the required consistency.  Finally garnish it with chopped Cilantro.

Rasam being cooked with Seasoning

5. Transfer it to serving bowl when ready to serve.

Ready to serve Moongdal Rasam

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 5

Good to remember:

1. Moongdal if not cooked smooth smash it well with the beater.

2. One can even add puree tomatoes and cook it in a separate bowl in the cooker and later on add it to the cooked dal.

3. Adding lemon juice is an option.  I have added Tamarind for better flavour.

4. Stirring is a must since Moongdal catches the bottom of the bowl faster than any other dal.

Tomato Rasam

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Tomato Rasam

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 2

The humble Rasam is now a popular dish, substituting for soup in the Indian cuisine and especially makes for good comfort food. It is a perfect simple food, even a relief – especially when you’re back from hectic travel, or recovering from a nasty flu. In fact on a normal day, many youngsters will refuse to have it, only craving for rasam to come to their rescue when illness leaves a bitter taste in the mouth! There are different varieties of rasam, the simplest and easiest version being Tomato Rasam or Saaru as it is otherwise known. I’ve put another version of tomato rasam with toor dal, as well as eclectic versions like pineapple rasam, masala rasam, poli saru, ginger-lemon rasam (another welcome remedy for the ill), and then rasam powder that you may make each time or store for further use. An easy and healthy recipe, one can enjoy tomato rasam with any simple curry or sip it in a cup after the lunch.  This simple tasty recipe is a good beginning for the amateurs and beginners. Here it is.

What you need to have:

1. Tomatoes – 2 Medium

2. Green chilly – 1

3. Tamarind – A pinch or pulp 1/2 Teaspoon

4. Sugar – A pinch but a must

5. Rasam powder – 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon (home made)

6. Choppped coriander leaves – A handful

7. Salt – To taste

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Mustard seeds – 1/2 Teaspoon

2. Red chilly pieces – 3-4

3. Asafoetida powder – 1/4 Teaspoon

4. Curry leaves – 2 Sprigs

5. Cooking oil – 2 Teaspoons

Ingredients of Tomato Rasam

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and chop tomatoes and puree it in the mixer to a fine consistency.  Wash and slit Green chilly and chop cilantro and keep it aside.

Tomato puree

2. Transfer Tomato puree (3/4 cup)  to a bowl and add 1/2 cup water, slit green chilly, tamarind, salt, sugar and place it on medium flame. Cook for about 15 minutes till you get a pleasant aroma  of cooking the ingredients, by then tomato puree will have been cooked.

Tomato puree being cooked with other ingredients

Tomato puree being cooked

3. Dissolve Rasam powder in 1/2 cup normal water and mix it to the boiling tomato puree mix.  Also add 2 tender sprigs of Curry leaves which will enhance the aroma and flavour of rasam.  Check for salt and some more water if needed.

Curry leaves being added to boiling rasam

4. Finally add chopped Cilantro and close it with a lid.

Chopped Cilantro being added to boiling Rasam

5. Place a spatula with 2 Teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame.  When hot, add mustard seeds and once they splutter, add red chilly pieces, asafoetida powder and curry leaves.  Season the dish with this mixture.

Seasoning in progress

6. Transfer it to bowl.  Serve hot with white rice and a simple curry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ready to serve Tomato Rasam(A closer view)

How long it takes: 30 minutes

Number of servings: 2

Good to remember:

1. Use pulpy and ripe tomatoes for the dish

2. This should be watery since we do not use dal for the dish, but makes for a tasty rasam indeed.

3. Using either a pinch of sugar or a piece of jaggery is a must for extra flavour.

Methi Mutter Malai

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Methi Mutter Malai

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 5-6

It is a tasty combination of fenugreek/methi leaves with milk cream, matar/mutter (peas) and other ingredients which in turn tastes great to enjoy with plain paratas, roti and chapati too. I have already put up alu-methi masala, methi thepla, methi pulav which were well received by my fellow bloggers and hope they would enjoy this dish too. Methi being a bitter tasting vegetable, requires ingenious ways to incorporate it into the daily platter, such as methi mutter malai. Typically a north Indian dish that is enjoyed in restaurants, I’ve putting my version of methi mutter malai that has been simple to make and can be prepared in just about 35-45 minutes. Here it is:

What you need to have:

1. Fresh methi leaves chopped – 2 cups

2. Green peas – 1/2 cup

3. Milk cream – 1/2 cup

4. Besan powder – 2 Teaspoons

5. Cumin seeds  – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Cloves – 1-2

7. Cardamom – 1

8. Cinnamon 1/2″ – 2 pieces

9. Big onion cubed – 1

10. Green chilly – 2 (Less spicy)

11. Ginger – 1/2″ piece

12. Garlic pod – 1

12. Curd – 1 Tablespoon (optional)

13. Sugar – 1 Teaspoon

14. Salt – As per taste

15. Cooking oil – 1/2 Tablespoon

Fresh Methi leaves

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash methi leaves in warm water and then wash it again in running cold water. Chop it fine as shown in the image below.

Fresh chopped methi leaves and Green peas

 Ingredients of wet masala and other ingredients of the dish

Remaining ingredients of the dish

2.  Cook green peas in the cooker adding a pinch of salt till soft and keep it aside.

3. Place a skillet with 2 teaspoons of cooking oil in it on medium flame. When hot, add cumin seeds to it and let them splutter.

Seasoning in progress with cumin seeds

4. When done add chopped methi leaves from step-1 to it and add a pinch of salt to it. Close it with a lid so that it is cooked on a low flame, stirring constantly so that it is not burnt.  In the meantime, powder cinnamon, peeled cardamom and cloves to a fine consistency and keep it aside.

Chopped methi leaves being cooked

5.  Grind chopped onion, garlic pod, ginger, green chilly, and cashews in the mixer to a fine consistency.

Ground wet masala

6. When methi leaves is cooked add cooked green peas from step-2 to it and stir well so that it gets mixed. Add the dry powder from step-4 and the wet masala from step-5 to it .

7. Keep stirring.

8. Add sugar and salt to it till the raw smell of the masala disappears and a pleasant aroma oozes out.

Wet masala and cooked green peas being added to the dish

9. Mix besan and milk cream with the beater and add this mix to the dish and keep stirring so that it does not catch / stick to the bottom of the vessel. Taste for salt and sugar, and if needed, also add a little water to bring it to the required consistency.

Besan and milk mix being added to the dish

10. Ready to serve methi mutter malai is as shown in the image below! Enjoy with phulka, chapati or roti.

 Ready to serve Methi Mutter Malai

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 5-6

Good to remember:

1. Always wash methi leaves in both and hot and cold water to get rid of most of the impurities.

2. Using garlic is optional though I personally feel that the pleasant light aroma of garlic enhances the smell and flavour of the dish. Using curds is also optional.

3. After adding besan-cream mix, make sure you stir well constantly and ensure that the dish does not get burnt. It should retain the taste and aroma.

4. Adding sugar is a must for this dish as methi is a little bitter.

Vegetable Kootu

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How long it takes: 45 mins

Number of servings: 5-6

I have already put up Kootu powder and would like to put up Vegetable Kootu using the same powder. It is a great combination with rice and papad, and can be used along with spicy rasam. We cook it using a variety of vegetables with moong dal to make this healthy side dish. The dish being mild even kids can enjoy it with rice.  Here it is and give a try too.

What you need to have:

1. Cooked veggies – 3 cups

2. Moong dal (Split Greengram dal – 1/4 cup

3. Green Peas – 1/4 cup

4. Turmeric powder – 1 Teaspoon

5. Kootu powder – 2-3 Teaspoons

5. Milk – 1/4 cup (Optional)

Ingredients of Seasoning:

1. Blackgram dal – 1 Teaspoon

2. Curry leaves – 2-3 Strings

3. Pure ghee – 2 Teaspoons

Fresh chopped veggies

Ingredients of seasoning

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and chop all veggies. Normally, we cook cluster beans (gavar), french beans, chayote squash, avrekai, snake gourd on direct flame in a broad based bowl or in the cooker as usual adding little salt. You can mix the veggies or just use one of the above mentioned ones to make the kootu. Take care to ensure that the veggies are not over cooked. I have used green peas as well for extra flavour.

Veggies being cooked directly in a bowl

2. Cook moong dal as well in the cooker separately till soft adding a pinch of turmeric powder and a little oil, so that it cooks faster.

3. Place a skillet with 2 Teaspoons of pure ghee in it on medium flame. When hot, add blackgram dal to it. When fried add curry leaves to it.

Seasoning in progress

4. Add cooked veggies from step-1. Add also cooked moong dal from step-2, add salt and kootu powder measuring 2 and 1/2 – 3 Teaspoons .

Cooked dal, salt, kootu powder and veggies being added to cook

5. Add required quantity of water and a very little milk (if needed) to bring it to the required consistency and check for salt and flavour.  If needed, add little more kootu powder for more flavour.  Once you add dal and kootu powder simmer the flame and stir every now and then to avoid from getting burnt and turning the dish bitter.

Ready to serve Vegetable Kootu

6. On cooling it will turn thicker and tastier.(If needed one can add a little water or consume as it is.)  Enjoy with Rice and Papad.  Yummmmmmmm!!!!!

A closer look at the dish on cooling

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 5-6

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh and tender veggies for extra taste.

2. Cooking the veggies in the cooker with the dal serves the dual purpose provided veggies don’t get over cooked.

3. Kootu powder should always be coarse to gain taste of the ingredients.

4. Always cook on either medium or low flame so that one can avoid the dish from getting burnt.