Thursday, December 29, 2005

Curry Leaf (Karipatta, Karivepalla, Murraya koenigii spreng)

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I cannot think of cooking Indian food, especially South Indian food without Curry Leaves. It is hard to find them during winter in the Indian stores in Denver, so we decided to buy a Curry Leaf Plant instead. When Rajan went to Dallas, he bought the plant in one of the Indian grocery stores. Mine looks like the dwarf variety, which does not grow tall, but spreads its branches.
Its leaves are highly aromatic and are used as aherb or spice.. In Indian cooking curry leaves are used fresh in some recipes, while the most common method is to fry them in oil for the tadka (tempering of curries).
Curry Leaves can be stored in a Ziploc bag, in the refrigerator for a few weeks and they will remain fresh.
There is nothing like picking fresh curry leaves just the right amount when you need them for cooking.

Bhatia Nurseries in New York sells Murraya Koenigii (curry leaves) phone 212-221-7040.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Pumpkin Pachadi

We had the pachadi for lunch with the fenugreek dal from Mahanandi's website and rice.
I am home for the holidays which is a great luxury for us. I have almost three weeks off and get to spend time cooking and catching up on my reading, and now blogging.

Pumpkin Pachadi
(serves four)

White pumpkin- 1 cup cubed into half inch pieces
Yogurt- 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Mustard Seeds-1/2 tsp
Red Chillies-2
Curry leaves-4
Oil- 1tbsp

Blend the following-
Fresh Coconut- 2 thsp
Green Chillies-3
Mustard Seeds-1/4 tsp

Cook the pumpkin with 1 cup of water and salt till cooked.
Add the coconut paste and simmer for a few minutes till thick.
Let it cool add the yogurt.
Heat oil, add the mustard seeds, red chillies, once they splutter add the curry leaves, pour over the pachadi.
Enjoy with rice.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Vegetable Curry

Today is my first time blogging, we had some friends come over for dinner, and I served this Vegetable curry with Puris.

Serves about four

Cauliflower florets - 1 cup
Mushroom - 1 cup sliced
Peas - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes -2
Green chillies-2
Ginger-about 1/2 inch
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Hing(Asafoetida)-1/4 tsp
Chilli powder-1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped 2 tbsps
Canola Oil-1 tbsp

Prepare the vegetables.
Blend tomatoes,green chillies, and ginger in a blender.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add cumin seeds and hing.
Add vegetables, saute for a few minutes, till they get cooked a little, then, add the blended tomato mixture.
Add salt, chilli powder and garam masala powder, let it simmer and reduce to a thick gravy.
Add coriander leaves.
Serve hot with puris or any kind of bread.