Saturday, March 29, 2008

EAT FRESH - Wonderful Winter

This is my entry for EAT FRESH - Wonderful Winter which is being hosted by Meeta.
Here is what's in my grocery bag from Denver, Colorado.
I usually shop at H Mart which is an Asian market, and has a huge variety of vegetables especially Indian veggies compared to the local grocery store, and far more cheaper too.
The Farmer''s markets don't start until summer here, so I make do with H Mart.
I have red pumpkin, green mango, broccoli florets, carrots, french beans, cucumber, cabbage, green plantains, and white pumpkin in my picture. I'm bummed I have could not get curry leaves, there is some kind of curry leaf crisis, hopefully we will get some soon.

Vegetable Kuzhambu

I decided to make Vegetable Kuzhambu to clean out my fridge, as I had bits and pieces of different vegetables. This curry is easy to make no coconut to grind or dal to be cooked. The prep work is in cutting the vegetables.

A mixture of whatever vegetables you have cut into cubes, I used:-

White Pumpkin


French beans

Suran/Yam frozen

Drumsticks frozen

Padwal/Snake Gourd frozen

all together I would say about 2 cups of vegetables

4 pearl onions cut into half

3 green chillies slit

1 small tomatoes chopped

1 tsp tamarind paste

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp chilli pwd

2 tsp coriander pwd

1 tsp cumin seed pwd

1 tsp sambar pwd

salt to taste

1 tsp gingelly oil

1tsp rice flour mixed in 1/4 cup of water


1 tsp gingelly oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 red chillies

1/2 tsp udad dal

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1/4 tsp methi seeds

Curry leaves

Heat 1 tsp oil, add the pearl onions and green chillies.

Saute for a few minutes.

Add all the dry spices, hing, turmeric pwd, chilli pwd, coriander pwd, cumin seeds pwd, and sambar pwd.

Stir then add all the vegetables and the tomatoes.

Stir well for a few minutes then tamarind paste and some water.

Add salt and cook the vegetables, I just cook it in the pressure cooker as it's faster.

Once the vegetables are cooked add the riceflour paste and cook till there is a nice gravy.

Then get the tadka ready:-

Heat oil, add mustard seeds, red chillies, udad dal, cumin seeds, and methi seeds,

once the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves.

Pour this over the kuzhambu.

Goes well with rice of course, or chapathi or dosa.

I served mine with rosemata rice and cabbage thoran.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Pakodas with leftover besan batter

I had some besan batter left after making the Batata Vadas,maybe a 1/4 cup of batter.

Iadded 1 small grated raw potato, 1 scallion, 1/2 tsp green chutney, 1/4 tsp red chilli pwd, a little salt, and a little more besan pwd, add only if needed.

Drop a few spoonfuls add fry till golden brown and crisp.

Batata Vada/ Aloo Bonda

It's spring but there is a chill in the air still feels like winter, and I'm craving batata vadas. If I was in Mumbai, I would just step out and get batata vadas at any nook and corner. They taste heavenly with pav a kind of dinner roll, lots of garlic chutney and green chutney. Well I'm not in Mumbai, but in the US of A, and when I get these cravings, what do I do, just prepare them myself.

2 medium potatoes

1 tbsp cilantro leaves

1 tsp lime juice

salt to taste

oil for frying

Grind to a coarse paste

1/4 inch piece ginger

1 clove garlic

3 green chillies

2 tbsp cilantro leaves

For the Tadka

1 tsp oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp udad dal

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp turmeric

For the Batter

1/2 cup besan

1/4 cup rice flour

1/2 tsp chilli pwd

1/4 tsp hing

1/2 tsp salt

a pinch of soda bicarb

Boil the potatoes. Peel them and break them into medium chunks.

Heat oil for the tadka, add mustard seeds, once they splutter add udad dal, hing and turmeric.

Add the paste, saute for a minute add the potatoes, stir well add salt to taste.

Once everything is blended add cilantro leaves and lime juice.

Remove from heat and let it cool.

Then make into 2 inch balls, it makes about 12 vadas.

Heat oil for frying.

Then make the batter, mix the besan, rice flour, salt, chilli powder, hing, salt, and a pinch of soda bicarb.

Add water to make a batter, it should not be too thick or too watery.

Once the oil is hot, dip the vadas in the batter and drop them carefully a few at a time.

Fry these till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup.

Idli Fry

I'm on a leftover cooking frenzy, I don't like throwing any leftover food, my waist will confirm that. My fridge had two idlis just two for a week just sitting there, and I did not have the heart to throw them out, and nobody would eat it either. So today I had this brainwave of pan frying them, I remember eating Idli Fry when I was little at Vishwa Bharti a little Udupi restaurant in Mumbai. They were deep fried obviously and served with a sweet yogurt. But I went with pan frying.

Leftover Idlis definitely a couple of days old, as it gets harder

Chilli powder

Cumin Powder


Gingelly oil/ Canola oil

Cut the idlis into long strips, I cut one idli into four long pieces.

Sprinkle chilli powder and cumin powder on the idlis and mix well.

Heat 1 tsp oil, add the idlis.

Brown the idlis and let it form a crust.

Sprinkle a teeny bit of salt on the fried idlis.

Serve with ketchup, chutney or curds.

I made these and they were gone in a minute, and I was left craving for more. Go figure!!