Thursday, February 26, 2015

Semiya Upma

Semiya Upma 3

Ingredients(Serves 3 - 4):

Vermicelli / Semiya --   1 cup, roasted - I used Bambino brand
Shallots                         --   2
Ginger                            --   1 tbsp, finely chopped
Green chillies              --   1-2
Mixed Vegetables     --   ½ cup (I used frozen carrot,beans, corn & peas)
Mustard Seeds            --   1 tsp
Urad dal                        --   1 tsp
Hing/Asafoetida        --   a pinch
Red Chillies                  --   2
Curry leaves                --   3 - 4 leaves
Oil                                    --   1 - 2 tbsp
Salt                                  --   as required

Semiya Upma 2


Thinly slice the shallots, slit the green chillies, chop the ginger and the vegetables.

I used roasted vermicelli, if using the non-roasted vermicelli, then add 1 tbsp of oil or ghee to the pan and roast the vermicelli on medium heat until it turns golden brown in colour.

In the same pan, add oil and once it is hot, add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add hing, urad dal , red chillies and curry leaves and saute until the dal turns light brown.

Now add the shallots, green chillies and ginger and saute until the onions are translucent. Add the chopped vegetables and fry it on a medium flame until half cooked.

Add 2 cups of water (double the amount of vermicelli.Add salt and do a taste check. Let the water come to a bubble boil. Add the roasted semiya and mix well. Close with the lid and let it cook on a medium low flame. Stir occasionally to check the doneness and make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Semiya Upma 1

Serve hot.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Asparagus Thoran

Asparagus thoran 2

Ingredients(Serves 4 - 5):

Asparagus                  --    250 gms
Turmeric powder    --   ½ tsp
Green chillies            --    4
Shallots                        --    2 small ones
Shredded coconut   --   ¼ cup
Eggs                               --   1 optional
Black Pepper              --   ½ tsp
Mustard seeds           --    ½ tsp
Red chillies                 --    2
Curry Leaves             --   few
Oil                                   --   2 tbsp
Salt                                 --   to taste


Clean and chop the asparagus into small pieces. I usually don’t use the harder part at the end. Mix the turmeric powder, slit green chillies, chopped shallots,salt and shredded coconut into chopped asparagus.

Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the red chillies broken into small pieces and the curry leaves. Then add the asparagus mixture and sauté for a min.  Close the pan and let it cook for another 5 -6 min on a low flame. Check in between to make sure that it doesn’t burn to the bottom.

When the asparagus is almost done, break the eggs into the pan and mix well. Sprinkle a pinch of salt. Let the egg cook. Do a taste check and add more salt if required. sprinkle the pepper and give a good mix.

Asparagus thoran 2

Serve hot with rice and curries.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

White Bean Chicken Chili

White Bean Chicken Chilli 1

Ingredients (Serves 4):

Chicken Breasts                --   2 lbs, cut into small pieces
Cumin Powder                  --   1½ tsp
Chilly Powder                   --   1½ tsp
Black Pepper Powder    --   1 tsp
Salt                                        --   as required
Canola Oil                           --   ¼ cup
Butter                                   --   3 tbsp
Yellow Onions                  --   ¾ cup , diced
Garlic                                   --   3 - 4 cloves, minced
Green Poblano Chillies --   2 large 
Jalapenos                           --   2 large. optional depending upon the tolerance
All-Purpose Flour           --  ½ cup
Chicken Stock                    --   1 qt
Chili Garlic Paste              --   1½ tsp
Chipotle Tabasco®          --   1½ tsp
Oregano                                --   ¾ tsp
Brown Sugar                       --   ¾ tsp
Canned White Beans        --   2 cups
Sour Cream                         --   3 tbsp
White Rice                           --   2 cups, cooked
Pico de Gallo                       --   ¼ cup
Green Onions                      --   ¼ cup


Clean and cut the chicken into small pieces. Marinate it with cumin powder, chilly powder, black pepper powder and salt. Keep it aside for 20 mins.

Wash the poblano chillies and the jalapenos and cut into half. Remove the seeds. In a cookie sheet lined with foil, place the chillies and bake for 10 - 15 mins @ 200 F until they are roasted and the skin peels of. Remove from the oven, remove the skin and cut them into small pieces.

Heat canola oil in a large sauce or soup pot. Add the marinated chicken into the pot. Cook / fry until the chicken is ¾ done.
Remove the chicken from the pot and keep aside.

White Bean Chicken Chilli 3              White Bean Chicken Chilli 4

Add the butter to the pot along with the left over oil. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent.

Add the minced garlic and the chopped chillies into the pot. Saute for 1 - 2 minutes. Add the flour into the pot. Mix well.

White Bean Chicken Chilli 5                White Bean Chicken Chilli 6

Keep stirring and add the chicken stock. Stir until there are no lumps left. Add salt as required.

Add the chili garlic paste, Tabasco®, oregano and brown sugar into the pot.

Let it boil and then add the chicken back to the pot. Simmer for 5 – 7 minutes then gently stir in the sour cream and white beans.

Serve with white rice and garnish with pico de gallo and green onions.

White Bean Chicken Chilli 2

Recipe Courtesy: Cheese Cake Factory

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Eggs in Poppy Seed Gravy

Eggs in Poppy seeds gravy3

Ingredients(Serves 2 - 3):

Eggs                               --   2, full boiled
Fenugreek                   --   2 - 3 kernels / a pinch of powder
Poppy seeds               --   2 ½ tbsp
Mustard seeds           --   1 tsp
Cumin seeds               --   ¾ tsp
Ginger garlic paste  --    1 tsp
Red chilly powder   --   1 tsp
Coriander powder   --   1 tsp
Tamarind                    --   a gooseberry size or 2 tsp pulp
Coriander leaves     --   2 - 3 sprigs
Salt                                --   As required
Oil                                  --   1 tbsp


Hard boil the eggs, remove the shells and keep aside.

Soak the tamarind in water for 5 - 10 min and extract the pulp.

In a dry pan, add the poppy seeds, fenugreek and 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and roast until they are slightly brown.Let it cool and then grind. Start with no water and once it is slightly powdered, add few tbsp of water to form a thick paste.

In a wide pan, add oil and fry the boiled eggs, turning them frequently until the sides are slightly brown. Remove and keep aside.

Add mustard seeds and the cumin seeds to the same pan and let it splutter. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.

Add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, coriander powder and saute for few seconds. Add 2 cups of water and let it boil. Add the ground poppy seed / khus khus paste, tamarind extract and cook on medium high flame for 3 - 5 mins.

Eggs in Poppy seeds gravy              Eggs in Poppy seeds gravy1

Cover with lid and cook on medium low flame for another 5 min. Stir in between to make sure that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the roasted eggs and cook on medium flame until the gravy turns thick. This will take around 15 mins or more to thicken the gravy.

Eggs in Poppy seeds gravy2

Switch off and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with chapathi / roti / nan.

Recipe Courtesy: SailusFood

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Varutharacha Fish curry / Fish in roasted coconut gravy

Varutharacha Fish curry 1

Ingredients(Serves 3 - 4):

Fish                                         --    ½ kg
Shallots                                 --   5 - 6 finely chopped
Ginger                                    --   2 tbsp, chopped finely
Garlic                                     --   7 - 8 cloves, chopped finely
Green chillies                     --   2 , adjust according to your spice level.
Tomato                                 --   1 medium size
Kudam puli                         --   2 (Or you can use a small gooseberry sized ball of tamarind) , soaked in water for 5 - 10 minutes
Turmeric powder             --   1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder             --   ½ tsp
Coriander seeds                --   1 tbsp
Whole Red Chilly              --   3 - 4 (The coriander seeds and whole red chillies can be replaced with 1 tbsp of  coriander powder and ½ tbsp of chilly powder. I have the Coriander – Chilly powder mix( 2 tbsp)  which I use mostly) 
Whole Pepper                     --   1 tsp
Grated Coconut                 --   1 cup
Mustard seeds                    --   ½ tsp
Curry leaves                        --   2 - 3 springs
Coconut Oil                          --   1 tbsp
Salt                                          --   to taste


Fry the shredded coconut with coriander seeds, whole red chillies, whole pepper, 1 shallot, 2 cloves of garlic and 1 sprig of curry leaves,  until coconut is brown in colour. Make sure you do this on a low flame and keep saute-ing as we need the coconut to be evenly fried and browned.
Remove it from the stove as soon as it is done as there are chances that the coconut burns in the pan. If using coriander and chilly powders, add them a minute before switching off the flame and mix it well with the coconut.

Let it cool and grind it to a fine paste/liquid form (check here and here).

Clean and cut the fish and keep aside.

Varutharacha Fish curry

In a clay pot, add the shallots, remaining garlic, ginger, slit green chillies, chopped tomatoes,salt, turmeric powder and red chilly powder. Mix well preferably with your hands until it is blended well and the tomatoes are slightly squishy. Optionally you can saute on low flame until these are well mixed and looks squishy. Add the soaked kudam puli with the water(or the tamarind pulp) and let it boil.
Add the ground mixture and mix . Let is boil.

Add the fish pieces and carefully stir in or swirl the pot so that the fish pieces are coated with the gravy. Let it cook and switch off the flame once done.

In another small pan, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the curry and saute for couple of seconds and pour this on top of the curry.

Varutharacha Fish curry 2

Serve hot with rice. This goes well with chapathi / idly / dosa / puttu etc too.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Vegetable Pulao

Veg_Pulao 5

Ingredients: (Serves - 2)

Basmati rice            --   1 cup
Water                         --   2 cups
Mixed vegetables --   1 cup, chopped
Onion                        --   1 medium size + 1/2 for garnishing
Green chillies        --   2 - 3
Coconut milk         --   4 - 5 tbsp, thick
Cardamom             --   2
Cloves                      --   2
Bay leaf                   --   1
Cinnamon              --   1 small piece
Cashew Nuts         --   as required for garnishing - I used ~10 - 12 cashews broken into pieces
Salt                           --   As required
Ghee                        --   2 - 3 tbsp

Veg_Pulao 6


Wash and soak the basmati rice for 15 - 20 minutes.

Thinly slice the onions and slit the green chillies. Keep aside.

Clean and Chop the vegetables. I used the frozen mixed vegetables and that includes carrot, beans, peas, corn and edamame.

Heat oil in a wide and tall vessel. Add the ghee. Fry the cashews, drain and keep it aside. Add the onions for garnishing. Saute and let it turn brown. Drain and keep aside.
Now add the the spices and saute for a minute, followed by the remaining onion and green chillies. Saute until the onions are transparent. Add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2 - 3 minutes until the veggies turn slightly crisp.

Veg_Pulao 1      Veg_Pulao 2      Veg_Pulao 3

Meanwhile in another pan, boil the water.

Drain and add the rice to the veggie mix and fry for few minutes - until the water in the other pan starts to bubble and boil. Pour the boiling water into the rice, add salt and coconut milk. Give a good stir. Once the rice starts dancing on top of the boiling water, simmer to medium low and close the pan with the lid.

The rice will absorb the water and will be cooked in 10 - 12 minutes. Open and carefully fluff the rice.

Veg_Pulao 4

Serve hot with raita or any curry of your choice and pappadam.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mushroom Fry

Mushroom 6

Ingredients(Serves 2 - 3):

Button mushroom --  12 - 15
Cashew Nuts             --  10, broken into pieces
Onion                           --  1 medium sized, chopped
Tomato                       --  1/2 of a medium sized, chopped
Ginger                         --  1 inch piece
Garlic                          --  6 - 8 cloves 
Green chillies           --  2
Curry Leaves            --  1 sprig
Turmeric Powder   --  ¼ tsp
Chilly Powder           --  1 tsp
Garam Masala           --  1 tsp
Mustard seeds          --  ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds              --  ¼ tsp
Oil                                  --  2 tbsp
Salt                                --  to taste

Mushroom 4


Clean the mushrooms, cut them and keep aside. I usually remove the skin, wash and drain it. It is better not to soak the mushrooms in water as they will become soggy at times.

Finely chop the onions, ginger and garlic. Slit the green chillies and chop the tomato.

Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Let it splutter. Add the cumin seeds followed by the curry leaves, green chillies, ginger and garlic. Saute for a minute.

Mushroom 1              Mushroom 2

Add the chopped onions and salt, saute until they turn brown. Add the cashews and tomato and saute until the tomatoes are squishy.

Now add the turmeric powder, chilly powder and the garam masala. Saute until the raw smell goes off. The mixture should be really dry at this point.

Add the chopped mushrooms and mix well. Reduce the flame to medium and let it cook without the lid. We just need the water coming out from the mushrooms, closing with the lid will add in the condensed water too which will make this watery.

Mushroom 3

It takes just 3 - 4 minutes to get it cooked. You can garnish with coriander leaves if you choose to.

Serve hot with rice or chapathi or any breads.

Mushroom 5