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Bitter gourd Medley

For those who doesn't like to have bittergourd due to its bitterness,I would suggest to try this recipe.This is a sweet and tangy bittergourd dish.

"Definitely an acquired taste, bitter gourd (Latin Momordica charantia) is also called Balsam pear or bitter melon. Young immature bitter gourds are the best for cooking: the skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender. The vegetable is ridged, and the skin is pebbly in texture. Do not use mature bitter gourds, and do not eat bitter gourd if you are pregnant or nursing.
Bitter gourd contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium. From the ayurvedic perspective, bitter gourd is excellent for balancing Kapha. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver."

1 medium size bittergourd finely chopped.
1 Red Onion finely chopped.
1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
1 tbsp red chilli powder.
1 tbsp tamarind paste.
1 tbsp jaggery.
2 tbsp Oil.
Salt as needed.

1.Heat a nonstick pan and add oil to it.Once the oil turns hot add the mustard seeds.
2.When the mustard seeds starts spluttering,add the onions and turmeric powder and fry them until the onions turn translucent.
3.Now add the bitter gourd,salt and chilli powder fry them until they become soft.This might take a longer time than other stages.
4.Once they turn soft,add a tablespoon of water to the tamarind paste and pour it into the bitter gourd mixture.
5.Continue to stir for 2 to 3 minutes until the tamarind juice is observed by the bitter gourd.
6.Add 1 to 2 tbsp of water to the jaggery and mix it well.Add this jaggery mix to the bittergourd and fry for 3 more minutes or until the jaggery is completely observed by the bitter gourd.
7.It can be preserved for a week.It can be served as a sidedish for Rice with Sambar,Rasam or Yogurt.
Read the entire recipe here

Carrot Mysorepak

1 cup ShreddedCarrot.
1 cup Shredded Coconut.
1 cup Besan/Gramflour/Kadalai maavu.
3 1/2 cups Sugar.
4 cups Water.
1 1/4 cup Ghee(including 1 tbsp for frying the besan).

Method1.Fry the besan with 1 tbsp of ghee until the raw smell goes away.
2.In a food processor powder the carrot and coconut seperately.
3.In a heavy bottomed vessel,add the water and sugar and prepare sugar syrup until it reaches one string consistency.
4.Add the besan little by little to the sugar syrup.Make sure that no lumps are formed.You might need a additional hand at this stage.-Thank you Bala once again!!!
5.Continue to stir besan at medium heat,until it moves towards the center,leaving the sides.This is boiling point no :1.
6.Now, add the carrot powder to the besan mixture.You can feel the previous thickness to be lightened.Continue to stir and at the second boiling point add the coconut powder.
7.Stir along with coconut powder until the mixture leaves the sides and moves to the middle.
8.At this stage add ghee little by little(measuring 1 tbsp at a time)and turn the heat at high and continue to stir until the ghee leaves the vessel.You can check this stage by slightly moving the vessel where the mysorepak mixture would move without sticking to the vessel.
9.Transfer the mixture to a tray where ghee is used as a grease.Spread the mixture evenly and allow it cool for 2 to 3 hours.
10.Cut into your favorite shapes and ENJOY!!!
Read the entire recipe here

Carrot Banana Muffin

A delicious and Healthy muffin tweaked from a Joy of Baking recipe :)

Dry Mixture:
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup raisins
Moist Mixture:
2 large eggs
½ cup sugar
½ cup melted butter(1 stick)
½ cup orange juice(I used Tropicana)
½ cup mashed banana
1 cup grated carrot

1.Preheat oven to 400° F and prepare 12 muffin cups.
2.In a large bowl, combine the dry mixture. Make sure that the allpurpose flour,baking powder and baking soda is sifted.
3.In a medium bowl beat eggs lightly and combine with the moist mixture.
4.Add the moist mixture to the dry mixture all at once and stir just until moist but still lumpy.
5.Fill the prepared muffin cups ¾ full.
6.Bake for 15minutes. Check using fork or toothpick whether it is fully baked.It should come out clean.

I felt the I should have taken the muffin few minutes earlier because the outer layer looked dark.But, was not burnt all for sure.So depending on the oven the cooking time might vary.
Read the entire recipe here

Carrot Burfi

Yesterday, thinking that Bala is going to be the only person who will take the sweets I prepared it as less as I could.To my son its very hard to introduce a new dish.But,I gave him(with a lot of struggle!!!) a little bit of the burfi which was sticking in the spatula ,which I used for stirring .After that he started asking it again and again and I had to explain him that it needs time to cool.As soon as it was cooled,half the quantity started disappearing in minutes,there came my husband and completed the rest.

1 cup finely shredded carrot
1/2 cup shredded coconut(fresh/frozen).
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream.
a pinch of cardamom powder.
3/4 cup Sugar
1 tbsp ghee.
Any nuts to garnish

1.Add the carrot,coconut,milk,heavy cream and sugar in heavy bottomed vessel and continue to stir at low flame.
2.Stir until the ingredients forms a lump ,moving to the middle of the vessel.
3.Now add the cardamom powder and switch off the stove.
4.Transfer the mixture to a tray in which use the ghee as the grease at the bottom.
5.Allow it to cool and cut into your favorite shapes.Garnish with any of your favorite nuts as topping.
Read the entire recipe here

Carrot Pachadi

As days in the last week were very busy,I couldnt post the carrot recipes fast.The pachadi here is the fusion of two carrot pachadi recipes which I read long back.I need not tell you again that this is a quick and fast recipe.Give it a try,the taste surely differs from other carrot pachadis.

2 Carrots
1/4 cup Yogurt
To Grind
a fistful of dalia(pottukadalai).
4 tbsp shredded coconut(fresh/frozen).
1 tsp tamarind paste.
5 whole dry red chillies.
a pinch of hing(perungayam).
a pinch of turmeric powder.
Salt(as per taste).
For the tempering:
1 tbsp oil.
1 tsp mustard seeds.

1.Shred the carrots and steam it.
2.Grind the ingredients asked to grind to make a fine paste.
3.Mix the cooked carrot,the ground paste and yogurt and keep it aside.
4.In a seperate pan,heat the oil and add the mustard seeds.Once it starts spluttering,add it to the carrot mixture.
5.Serve it with Rice.
Read the entire recipe here

Layered Carrot Pulao(Biriyani)

For the rice
1 cup Basmathi rice
1 small piece of cinammon
2 green cardamom
1 clove
1 tsp cumin seed.
2 cups of water.
1/2 of the salt needed.
For the gravy
4 to 5 carrots(shredded)
1 Big onion finely chopped
1 small tomato finely chopped.
2 bay leaves
3 Green cardamom
1 inch pattai(cinammon)
2 cloves
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp red chilly powder
5 to 7 peppercorns.
2 tbsp sour cream.(2 tbsp sour cream+2 tbsp water)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
one fistful of mint leaves
3 tbsp Oil

Other Ingredients
1 pinch of dark red food color.
finely chopped coriander leaves.
8 to 10 whole green chillies.
salt(as needed).
Thick slices of Onion(as needed)
Oil(to carmelise the onions)

1.Soak rice in water 4 hours before cooking.Drain and Reserve.
2.In a microwave safe bowl,add water to the rice along with the stuff given for the rice preparation except cumin seeds and cook for 20 minutes at microwave HIGH.You can substitute with stovetop cooking the rice at less than medium heat.
3.When the rice is 3/4th done,add the cumin seeds to the rice.Do not stir the rice.
4.Coming to the preparation of the gravy,heat a pan and add oil to it.Once it is hot,add the bay leaves,cardamom,cinammon,peppercorns and cloves.
5.Add the finely chopped onions andginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away.
6.Add the tomatoes to it and saute till it becomes soft.
7.Carrots are to be added now along with chilli powder,turmeric powder, garam masala, and mint leaves.Also add rest of the salt needed for the preparation.
8.Saute continously until the carrots gets cooked.Drizzle water,if needed.
9.Now add the sour cream and saute until it gets well blended with the carrot mixture.Once done turn off the stove.
10.In a serving bowl,add the first layer of the pulao with the carrot mixture,on its top with the rice.again its going to be carrot mixture...So carry on with your layers and the top layer should end with rice.For the top layer of the rice:Preserve a handful of rice for the colored rice.Mix the red food color with little water and add it to the preserved rice.
11.This time,I wanted to have fleshy onions to chew,so I didn't deep fry it,caramalised it and added to the rice.I was so good.You can prefer having fried onions.
12.Insert all the green chillies inside the rice one by one.Make sure that they get inserted inside the first top layer of rice.garnish with coriander leaves.
13.In a microwave heat for 3 minutes,just before serving.You will feel the magic of the whole green chillies by doing this step...The kinda fragrance and taste,it gives...O My Goodness!!! makes me do it again and again...In case of using stove top procedure,layer the rice in a deep pan and heat at low flame with lids closed for few minutes.
14.Serve it hot with raitha(I made with yogurt mixed withonions,tomato,cucumber and carrot again...).

PS:You might substitute sour yogurt(curd) instead of sour cream,which I will try next time.
While serving take a layer of rice and gravy one by one(i.e)Finish off with the first layer of rice and carrot and then go to the next.
Read the entire recipe here

Onion Tomato Chutney

There are many ways for preparing onion chutney and the recipe which is here is not only the favorite of our family,but even our friends.I can bet that you will not count on the dosas or idli's with which you are going to have this chutney(Sorry,the idlies and dosas will become accompaniment, once you start licking this mouthwatering chutney).

1 Big red onion roughly or finely chopped(anyways we are going to grind)
10 shallots chopped
6 garlic cloves.
3 medium size tomatoes chopped.
1 fistful of curry leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves finely chopped.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
2 tbsp sambar powder/red chilli powder-I use home made sambar powder which is my all in one powder.
3 tbsp or more Oil.
Salt(as per taste)
For the tempering(optional)
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds.

1.Heat oil in a pan at medium and once its hot add the onion,garlic and saute until it becomes translucent.
2.Now add the curry leaves,coriander leaves and tomato and turmeric powder and continue to saute.
3.Once the tomatoes becomes very soft add the sambar/chilli powder,salt and saute.
4.Initially it would be watery(that is the reason the tomatoes should not be added more and the taste will differ),but after frying it for a while,it would be much more like gravy.
5.At thate state you can switch off the stove and allow it cool.
6.Once it has cooled down,using a blender or mixer grinder whatever you say,you can grind into a paste.
7.In a pan,heat oil and add mustard seeds and once it starts spluttering add it to the chutney.(optional)
Read the entire recipe here
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