Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Potato and Mushroom Curry (For rice or Roti)

I never wished for a summer this hot to burn you when you are out even for a minute :(
temperature here reached as high as 105 Degree F last week and more expected in the coming months.
Though I like to have Non vegetarian dishes always, this time of the year is when we'll need to avoid rich, spicy, non vegetarian foods and concentrate on making food cooling and simple as much possible, especially for those who are out in the sun during day time.
Drinking lot of water, fruit juices, coconut water, including yogurt once in a day, having at least 1 fruit daily (Watermelon, Grapes and other fruits with lots of fluids in it)  and including herbs like mint  and other cooling vegetables like Cucumber regularly are ways to keep our body cool.

I felt guilty when I had chicken continuously for 2-3 days last week so decided to go vegetarian at least for few days, though its not an easy task to keep my family happy with the same.

This is a simple and tasty potato curry, recipe is typical way of making potato curry for rice in Kerala, I just included mushroom to make it extra nutritious,if you dislike mushrooms may avoid the same and make it even simpler :)
Used Button mushrooms here, as these are good source of Vitamins and Minerals, benefited only if they aren't overcooked, hence care should be taken while cleaning and cooking the same, a quick rinse under running water then patting'em dry using kitchen towel or tissue is the best way to clean them, as the more it gets exposed to water, more nutrients (B vitamins) gets drained away, also slicing the same just before cooking them keeps its nutrients intact.


Potatoes - 3 no's cut in to small size pieces.
Button mushrooms - 5-8 numbers ( cleaned and sliced as written above)
Onion - 1 small , sliced
Tomato - 1/2 of 1 whole tomatoes thinly sliced
Ginger & Garlic - 1 tsp finely chopped
Green Chili's - 2 no's slit
Fennel Seeds/Perumjeerakam - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Coconut Milk -(Thick) 1/2 cup
Oil - (Coconut oil or any Vegetable Oil) 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - 1 or 2 springs (Optional, I didn't use)


* Boil and cook potato pieces until cooked nicely, keep aside.

*Heat oil in a pan(Cheena chatti) , add first fennel seeds first , followed by ginger,garlic, onion and tomato pieces & Curry leaves (if using). Saute till the oils starts to separate.

* Add the powders (Coriander powder, Turmeric powder and Red chili powder) , cook for a minute and add sliced mushrooms(slice them just before adding it for cooking)

* Saute for 2 minutes in medium heat, until the mushrooms starts to sweat and release water.

* Add the cooked potato pieces along with the water in which it was cooked, add salt , stir and cook for another 5 minutes until the curry starts to boil and reduce.

* When the curry reaches the needed consistency (Thick or thin as you want it to be) add Coconut milk, stir and switch off the heat.

Enjoy potato and mushroom curry with plain rice,  Roti or any Bread.

Notes :
            Make this curry thick or thin, how ever you want it to be, if you like it thick boil the curry until very less water left before adding coconut milk.
            Coconut Milk is optional too, though it makes this dish rich and extra flavorful.
            This curry thickens a bit when it sits because of the potatoes in it.
            May omit Mushrooms and make these with potatoes alone 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Boiled Egg Sandwich (Indian Style)

I am attracted to the Roses seen everywhere here during this time,
standing heads-up in front of houses,welcoming guests with its charming smile...
can't wait to see my roses bloom...as its Summer 
Time for Mom's,  to do some extra multitasking , trying hard to keep their super energetic kids busy during the vacation. 

Very filling and nutritious sandwiches these are , easy to make too 
something worth to be in the list while you pack your food-basket for summer-picnic. 


Bread (White or any Grain) - few slices 
Boiled Eggs - 1 or more (Depending on the number you want to make)
Green Chutney - Few Tbsp's (See recipe below)
Butter - Few Tsp's 
Tomatoes slices - few 
Onion rings - few (Optional, I didn't use)
Salt & Pepper to taste.

Recipe for Green Chutney with Coconut.

Coconut grated - 1/2 cup 
Green chili's - 1 or 2 no's (adjust as per your preference)
Cilantro/Coriander Leaves - few springs(Use more or less as per your preference) 
Mint Leaves - few (Optional) 
Salt to taste 

Method for Green Chutney - Blend all ingredients to make a coarse paste (May sprinkle some water to make the blending easier)  
Note : The color of the chutney depends on the leaves, if you like the taste of cilantro/coriander leaves add more to make it look more green, this also makes the sandwich colorful. 

Assembling the Sandwich 

* Spread butter over one side of the bread slices & Spread Green chutney over it. 


Wish I had more Cilantro to add in my Chutney,
would have looked more green then , making this sandwich look colorful :( 
* Place Egg slices over the chutney & Sprinkle salt & pepper. 

* Place Tomatoes (and Onion -if using) over the Egg slices.

* Cover this with another piece of Bread - spread with some butter on the inside. 

* Cut its ends off , slice to make desirable shapes and Serve. 

            : Use any bread /Bun that you like , may toast the bread slices with some butter if you like. 
            : Use more Cilantro/Coriander leaves in the chutney to make it look more green, also makes the sandwich colorful. I didn't have much Cilantro to add  :( 
            : Add onion to give this sandwich some crunch, if you dislike the taste of raw onion, rinse the onion rings with some water after mixing it with little salt, drain'em nicely or else it will make the bread soggy. 
            : Health conscious ? Use the white part of the eggs alone  & enjoy it guilt free 


Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Chutney Powder for Idli / Idli Podi (Kerala Style) Recipe

"Idli" with Sambar is said to be India's most healthiest Breakfast dish as per many surveys including one conducted by the Times of India - a leading News paper there.
 though there are many controversies regarding the use of white rice in making Idli-batter, 
I believe that its super healthy, as Sambar is a perfect combination of proteins from Dal/ Pulses and all essential vitamins and minerals with the variety of mixed vegetables that we add in it.
This with Idli - a steamed , no oil Break fast with rice and Dal(Pulses) again contributes the perfect amount of Carbohydrates and protein to jump start the day. 
what ever the controversies may be, Its my most preferred  Breakfast, not just because its tasty but also because its easy to make if we have the batter prepared, it stays in fridge for a couple of days, making morning's stress free.

Idli Powder / Chutney Powder is a great accompaniment to Idli / Dosa or any variety of Dosa dishes that we can make. For me its an asset to keep in the pantry, in case if I don't have time to make Coconut chutney or Sambar every-time you make Idli / Dosa's. 
Its NA's favorite too, I think its liked by most kids, give it a try if you haven't,
 as it will make your life better if your kids like it :) 

There are different varieties of the same, I usually make it less spicy as NA is the one who likes it the most here, use more chili's or peppercorns to make it spicy also it alters the color of the same making it little dark.


Urad Dal /Uzhunnu (I use split,may use whole Urad dal) - 1 cup 
Channa Dal / Kadala Parippu - 1/4 cup
Dry Red chilies - 7 no's or more  (adjust as per your preference) 
Black Peppercorns - 1 tsp (may add more) 
Asafoetida /Hing/Kayam - 1 tsp
Curry Leaves - few springs (Add more if you have) 
Raw Brown Rice/Kerala rice  - 2 Tbsp (Optional)
Garlic - 3 to 5 No's (Optional) 
Salt to taste


* In a kadai/Pan add Urad dal(Uzhunnu) , Channa Dal(Kadala Parippu) & Raw Brown Rice (if using) Roast these ingredients in medium heat, stirring constantly until everything starts to turn lightly brown.

* Add then Dry red chili's , Curry leaves, Garlic(if using) and Peppercorns and continue to roast'em in medium heat for another 5 to 7 minutes, until raw taste of everything leaves and turns light brown.

* Switch off the heat, and add Asafoetida(Kayam) & salt to taste. Allow to cool a bit. 

*Grind these to fine powder and store them in any air tight container, stays out for several months.

*Mix this with Gingely Oil(Nallenna) or Ghee or any oil & enjoy with Idli or any Dosa.