Cooking a Spicy Tale
Monday, September 11, 2006 Vegetable Korma

Well, I am returning after a long break. I have tons of recipes to post and this is the first of the lot. This is a very quick recipe and it tastes extremely yummy.

Potatoes, cubed - 2
Tomatoes, chopped - 2
Onion, chopped - 1
Corn/peas - 1/4 cup
Beans & carrot, chooped - 1/2 cup
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Cauliflower - 1/4 cup
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp
Jeera - 1/4 tsp

For paste:
Green chillies - 3
Kasakasa - 1/4 tsp

This dish tastes awesome both with rice and rotis. A little heavy coz of the coconut milk but you can substitute it by grinding the paste with 1/2 tbsp(or less) of shredded coconut and using 1/2 cup of water to boil the vegetables in.

Source: My Precious :)

Posted by The Cookie :: 10:43 AM :: 8 comments

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 Exotic Dinner

Though 'technically' we are vegetarians, The Mr and I eat most non-veg food except beef and pork. Our favorite is ofcourse, seafood and when our local grocery store had a lobster sale yday, we HAD to buy it and come home :D

Now I have never eaten lobster, much less cook it. And the fact that it is alive till you drop it in the pan added no sense of comfort. After putting the lobster in the freezer for 30 mins to make it sleep(most humane way of cooking it), we searched the web and found a simple recipe.

The corn was very sweet and kind of complemented the salty taste of lobster meat.

Well, to tell you the truth, I still can't fathom why the crowd here goes ballistic when it is a lobster dinner. Yeah, it was good but I wouldn't call it great. It's too much work for too little, if you ask me. Anyway, the fun was in the experiment plus, that's one item off the "Should try once" list :p

Posted by The Cookie :: 12:50 PM :: 5 comments

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Sunday, June 18, 2006 Move me to tears

Spicy Egg Korma

The first time I made this after our marriage, The Mr shed many a tears due to its spicy nature. The measurements I give here are my standards. If you are like The Mr, please to use discretion before following recipe to the final dot :p And this is a gravy dish.

Eggs, 4
Grated coconut, 1/4 cup *
Pepper, 1/2 tsp *
Red chillies, 8 *
Jeera, 1/2 tsp *
Onion, big, chopped, 1 (else 2)
Tomatoes, chopped, 2
Tamarind , size of smallest lemon

  • Dry sautee the STARS till the aroma makes you cough :p Grind them to a fine powder/paste.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a kadai. When hot, season with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves.
  • Sautee the onions till they are golden brown and soft. (Use Gif's tip and sprinkle some salt on them while sauteeing)
  • Add the ground masala and sautee till it is fried. Add the tomatoes.
  • Sautee for a few more minutes, till the tomatoes are soft and cooked and the oil separates.
  • Pour in the tamarind water. Add salt and bring to a boil. And if you feel the gravy is too watery, use the old trick of adding corn starch.
  • Once the gravy starts to boil, break open the 4 eggs directly onto the gravy. Reduce heat, cover the dish and simmer till the egg is cooked. Don't stir the gravy as it might break the eggs.
  • When the eggs are cooked(Err, am bad at this. Guess it should be done in 10 mins or so?), remove from stove and serve with either rotis or rice.
  • Btw, make sure you make some raita too to tide over the heat :)

Source: Soma akka, the first grand-daughter of the clan.

Posted by The Cookie :: 10:24 PM :: 1 comments

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Poricha Kuzhambu

This is another famous recipe from Tirunelveli, produced here for Shankari. The delay is coz I had to cook it and check if the recipe I took down over the phone was correct :) This is an extremely tasty and easy kuzhmabu made with NO Tamarind.

Moong dal (cooked), 1/4 cup
Drumstick Leaves , 1 bunch (optional)
Drumsticks, 2
Garlic cloves, 2
Turmeric powder

First Mix :
Pepper, 3 (the idea is to use it sparingly so the kuzhambu doesn't have a pepper flavour :p)
Jeera , 1/4 tsp
Red chillies, 4
Coriander seeds, 1/4 tsp

Second Mix:
Coconut grated, 2 tbsp
Jeera, 1/2 tsp

  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadai and fry all the ingredients of the first mix. Grind it into a fine paste along with the garlic cloves.
  • Grind the coconut and jeera together and keep aside.
  • Half boil the drumstick and drumstick leaves (Chances of finding drumstick leaves in USA is nil, so you can add either peas or brinjal. Or stick to just drumsticks).
  • Mix the first paste with 2 cups(tumblers) of water. Add salt and turmeric to it.
  • Heat 1 tsp of oil in the kadai, add the mustard seeds,urad dal & curry leaves for seasoning. Once they sputter add the water(paste mixed) and boil with the vegetables.
  • When the first bubbles appear, add the coconut-jeera paste and simmer it for few minutes.
  • Once the raw smell disappears add the cooked moong dal, simmer for 2 more minutes and take off stove.

I love this kuzhambu and it's special flavour comes mainly from the drumsticks/leaves, so don't miss them!

Source: Amma

Posted by The Cookie :: 9:09 PM :: 3 comments

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006 Quirky Sambhar

The following recipe must be part of every household but I am writing them here coz this is my version (which could be the same as yours) plus I am a narcissist :p There, I have said it! The Mr peeped in and said that i should credit this recipe to him. So there :)

Broccoli Sambhar

Broccoli Florets - 10
Toor dal - 1/3 cup(hehehe I always eyeball and never measure)
Tamarind, size of small lemon
Sambhar powder
Turmeric powder
Methi seeds
Urad dal & mustard seeds, for seasoning
Vadagam, optional but tastes great if you use it :)

  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai and when hot add the methi seeds.
  • Drop the broccoli florets into the kadai, sautee for 1 min, add a little water and let the broccoli cook. Maybe 2 mins.
  • The following steps are what you do for normal sambhar.
  • Add the tamarind extract, sambhar powder, turmeric powder, salt and simmer it.
  • When the sambhar is boiling add the cooked toor dal and asafoetida.
  • Fry your seasoning in a small pan and add to the sambhar. I luuuurve the sizzzzzzling sound it makes :) Take off stove and serve hot.

Of course if you have someone like The Mr who gets into the kitchen on weekends to cook you a meal, be prepared for your toor dal to exchange places with channa dal. Well, I wasn't and I ended up making the above sambhar with 'kadalai paruppu'. It still tastes awesome :D

The Mr, as always, wasted no time in making fun of this slight slip on The Chief Chef's part and decided to make dinner just to prove a point. He made a scrumptious spicy egg korma which had just one ingredient misplaced. More proof, God is woman *wink*

"Honey, why does my korma taste sweet?"

"Did you use salt or sugar?"

"Aaaaaargh! Why do you have them both adjacent to each other in similar jars?"

"Coz I am The Chief Chef and I know which one has the magic ingredient. Muhahahaha!"

Posted by The Cookie :: 9:19 PM :: 5 comments

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Monday, June 12, 2006 UlluthamParuppu Sadham

As requested by Shankari, our new visitor and a fellow Nellaiite, here is another one of my favourite recipe.

For the rice:

Black Urad dal -- 1/2 cup (Urad dal with its skin still on)
Rice -- 1/2 cup
Garlic cloves -- 6/8
Grated Coconut-- 1/4 cup

For the chutney:

Black sesame seeds --1/4 cup
Red chillies -- 4*(use accord to your limit)
Coconut pieces -- 5

  • Wash rice and dal together, add the garlic cloves and salt and cook it in your pressure cooker.
  • Once the rice is done, add the grated coconut, mis well and set aside.
  • In a hot kadai, dry sautee the chillies, sesame seeds and coconut till the aroma fills your entire kitchen. Take care not to burn them.
  • Grind them all together with salt. Chutney ready!

Now for the first round, take the rice in your plate, drizzle 1 tsp of gingelly oil(Idhayam Nallennai :p), add the chutney, mix it well and eat with whatever side dish you cooked that day and some koozh vathal/appalam.

Normally we don't cook plain rice along with this. One just adds curd to the ullutham paruppu sadham and eats :) And yeah without the garlic, it doesn't really taste that good.

Source: The Pillai household :p

Posted by The Cookie :: 10:09 PM :: 6 comments

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Wednesday, May 03, 2006 Lazy Cook's Lunch

As much as I love cooking, I hate doing just that. It's too boring to have just sambhar/rasam with some subzi and too strenuous to cook Shrimp Jambalaya and the likes. Plus The Mr dons the apron only on weekends. So to keep the kitchen fires burning on such zero-creativity days, I resort to masquearing our staple diet - Rice

Onion Rice
This is the simplest of the set and adds spice to an otherwise uninteresting meal.

Onions, sliced - 2
Urad Dal, Mustard seeds
Red Chillies - 3
Turmeric powder
Boiled Rice

  • Heat oil in a kadai and add urad dal & mustard seeds.
  • Once the sputter, add the red chillies, turmeric powder and onions
  • Sautee onions well until they are soft. Add salt and take off the stove.
  • Now mix this with the boiled rice and serve with your choice of subzi/raita


Tomato Rice

Known to all households I bet but I am sure there would be slight variation. This is how we make it at home and this differs even among us cousins.

Tomatoes, chopped 3
Onions, sliced 2
Garlic cloves 6-8
Turmeric powder
Chilli powder
Green chillies 2
Mustard seeds, Urad dal
Coriander leaves for garnish
Rice( basmati or whichever kind you like)

  • Heat oil in a kadai and add urad dal and mustard seeds.
  • Once they sputter, add the green chillies and garlic and sautee for awhile.
  • Then add the onions and sautee until they are golden brown(Actually I just added that to make it sound like a Tv show. Mine never turned any darn golden colour. If i tried to hard, i had black onions!)
  • Now add the tomatoes, chilli powder(less since you've lready added chillies) and turmeric powder, salt. Cook until soft.
  • Once you are sure the raw smell is gone, add the cleaned rice, add water and cook the rice on medium heat.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with, well whatever else you had the mind to cook :D


Mushroom Rice

My favourite. From today atleast coz I created this recipe for lunch this afternoon :D

Mushroom, sliced - 1/2 cup
Peas - 1/4 cup
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2
Coconut milk - 1/2 cup
Bay leaf, cinnamon, elaichi or Shahi Biryani powder, straight off the shelf :p
Basmati rice
  • Heat ghee in a large pan and fry the ginger-garlic paste for sometime.
  • Next sautee the mushroom for a few minutes and then add the peas.
  • Add the basmati rice, coconut milk and enough water for the rice to cook.
  • Add 1tsp of biryani powder and salt, close the lid and cook the rice on medium heat.
  • Remove from stove and serve with a spicy chicken curry(my next recipe) or some other vegetarian subzi :)

My Mr liked it a lot. But then again, he came home half-famished :D

Posted by The Cookie :: 8:26 PM :: 9 comments

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Friday, April 28, 2006 A Hobbitland Delicacy

Ever since I discovered mushrooms, i've been besotted. Amma makes an excellent mushroom kurma which is a huge favourite among my friends. Infact, whenever I call ~D home, she makes sure the kurma is part of the menu, irrespective of the time of the day. Now that she is ready to leave for Australia as a new bride, the first point in her 'To-Do' list is to get the recipe from Amma. Hmm...even I didn't do that when I left home :)

Anyways, this recipe is not Amma's. This is what I found in The Mr's cook book. Tried it and it tastes yummy. Plus ~H has been on my back for days, for this recipe and I better do now, before she kicks me :p

Mushroom Kuzhambu

Mushroom,sliced - 250 gm
Onion, chopped - 100 gm
Green chillies, sliced - 3
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Kari Patha, Cilantro for garnish
Turmeric powder, salt

To grind into a paste:
Red Chillies - 5
Jeera - 1 Tbsp
Dhania - 1 Tbsp
Shredded coconut - 1/2 Tbsp

  • Dry roast the masala ingredients and grind them all to a fine paste.
  • Add oil in kadai, sautee onions, chillies, kari patha and jeera.
  • Once the onions turn a golden brown, add the paste and fry till the raw smell disappears.
  • Then add the mushrooms and sautee for 2 mins.
  • Add water(remember mushroom also gives water), turmeric powder, salt and let it cook in medium heat.
  • Once the aroma fills the entire kitchen(or when u realise the mushrooms are cooked), take it off, add the cilantro and serve with hot steaming rice.

Credits: Tuticorin Women's Club cook book

Posted by The Cookie :: 10:15 AM :: 2 comments

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