Tindora(Tendli/Dondakaya/Kovakaa/Tondekai) or Gherkins as it is called in English is one of the most common Indian Vegetable available in the US. Even in India, people dont buy or make this as much as we in the US buy it and use it :-)..because of its ease of availability.
Here are two recipes for the same vegetable..the first one is a dry fry recipe that is typically served with rice and the second is a also a dry curry but something that can be served with rice or Roti.
This is a very simple Tindora Fry recipe that is tender yet crispy. Tastes best as a side to rice with dal, sambar or curd. It can also be eaten with plain steamed rice and a hint of ghee.
You will need:
2 to 3 cups Chopped Tindora
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Sambar Powder/Curry powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
1. Wash the tindora, snip of the ends and chop into thin round slices.
2. In a pan, heat the oil. Season with mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and hing. Allow the dal to turn golden brown.
3. Add the chopped tindora, the turmeric powder,sambar powder and salt. Mix well.Saute for about 3 or 4 minutes on medium.
4.Add 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes or until the water as evaporated. Open the lid and fry well until slightly crispy on medium to low flame.
5. Serve hot with rice as a side. My kids love to eat it mixed with rice..Enjoy!
This is a Karnataka style dry curry..also called “Palya”. I typically serve this with Roti/Chapathi. You can serve it as a side to rice also.
You will need:
2 to 3 cups Chopped Tindora
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Sambar Powder/Curry powder
1 small piece Jaggery
1/4 tsp Tamarind paste (or the pulp of a small piece of tamarind soaked in water)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Oil
Grated Coconut for garnishing
1. Wash the tindora, snip of the ends and chop into long slices. I prefer chopping it lengthwise for this curry, you can chop it any which way you want.
2. In a pan, heat the oil. Seaosn with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and hing.
3. Add the chopped tindora, the turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt. Mix well and saute for a few minutes.
4. Add about 1/2 cup water and the tamarind pulp or paste. Mix well. Cover with a lid and cook until all water has evaporated.
5. Add the jaggery and mix well. Allow to cook for a few more minutes.
6. Garnish with grated coconut and serve hot. Serve this delicious curry with Roti/Chapathis.
I probably have told you this but Maharashtrian cuisine is a favorite of mine. And nothing defines Maharastrian food as much as Sabudana Vada does. The blend of Potatoes and Sabudana or Sago and the deep fried goodness of this vada is well worth the experience. If you are on a diet or are trying to loose weight dont bother with this recipe. It is definitely calorie rich and downright nasty for you 🙂 But what is life without a little cheating – especially on fried food?? Perfect for a cold winter day with some hot Chai.
You will need:
1 cup Sabudana/Sago
1 Large Potato
3/4 Cup Peanuts – Roasted and skin removed
Minced Green Chllies – 3
Red chilli powder -1/2 tsp
Chopped Cilantro – 1 handful
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
1. Wash the sabudana and soak for about 4 hours in just enough water to cover it. Every once in a while sprinkle a little water and mix. After 4 to 5 hours your sabudana is ready to be used.
2. Boil the potato in a pressure cooker. Peel and Mash.
3. Roast the peanuts. Allow to cook and remove the skin. Coarsely powder the peanuts in a blender/food processor.
4. Add minced green chillies, cumin seeds, red chilli powder, chopped cilantro and salt to taste. Combine all and Mix well.
5. Make golf ball sized balls and flatten into vadas.
6. Heat oil in a frying pan/kadai. When the oil is hot, drop the vadas into the hot oil gently. Ensure that the oil is piping hot. Allow to turn golden brown and turn over. Fry until both sides are golden brown.
7. Serve hot with ketchup/chutney of choice.
Of course if you don’t want to eat deep fried vadas, you can improvise by using the same vada mixture into making sabudana thalipeeth. Take a large round of the mixture and flatten on a griddle or tava. Drizzle some oil and cook on stove top for 3 minutes with a lid. Flip the thalipeeth over and cook on both sides until golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup/chutney of choice.
Typically, we add Rajgira flour or Bajri flour (Millet Flour) while making this thalipeeth along with the sabudana. You can combine any thalipeeth flour with the above mixture to give you a more wholesome thalipeeth.
Also, do check out my previous post on Sabudana Khichdi – another favorite breakfast dish.
Methi or Fenugreek is by far my most favorite greens. I love the fragrant, slightly bitter taste of this leafy vegetable. Indian cooking uses methi in plenty of dishes and in various forms. Methi Parathas, Methi Dal, Methi Matar Malai, Methi Khakras etc are common methi dishes that are very popular.
However, this morning had me craving for a traditional methi rice dish that is typically made in my home. The good thing about all these wonderful food blogs in blogsphere is that you get to here stories and recipes about homemade dishes that you probably will never find in any cookboook 🙂 This is one of those kind of recipes…
Simple and easy to make…the main ingredients in this dish is “Vangi Bhaat Powder” and of course Methi.
Vangi Bhaat Powder as the name implies is typically used to make Brinjal/Eggplant Rice – “Vangi” means Eggplant/Brinjal in several Indian dialects/languages.This recipe uses the same powder except replacing the Brinjal with Methi.So, let’s start with the powder…
Vangi Bhaat Powder:
You will need:
1 Cup Channa Dal
1 Cup Urad Dal
3/4 Cup Dry Red Chillies (I use a mix of Guntur Spicy Red Chillies and Byadgi Red chillies that have the fiery red colour)
3/4 Cup Dhaniya
Hing – 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon bark (Dal chini) – about 10 small pieces
Cloves (Laung) – about 10
In a pan dry roast each of the ingredients separately on medium flame. Ensure that you keep stirring while roasting the dals. Roast the dals to a golden brown. While roasting dry red chillies, you may add the hing/asafoetida powder and add a few drops of oil. While dry roasting Dhaniya, you may roast the cinnamon and cloves with it.
Roast and allow to cool.
Combine all of the ingredients and grind into a fine powder.
My mom and aunts make vangi bhaat powder in small batches as and when needed, as it tastes best fresh. I am a little lazy, so I grind a slightly bigger batch and store in an air tight container. This stays pretty fresh too and it always easier to have this powder handy. It can be used in multiple dishes 🙂
You will need:
Fresh Methi – 1 Bunch
Vangi Bhaat Powder – 2 Tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cooked Rice – 2 Cups
Oil – 3 tbsp For Seasoning:
1. Remove the tender methi leaves and discard the stalk.
2. Wash the methi leaves and chop fine.
3. Cook the Rice in a rice cooker (I use Sona Masoori Rice, 1 cup rice to 2.5 cups water ratio). After the rice is done, spread in a large platter or mixing bowl to cool. Add salt as required on the cooked rice.
4. In a Pan, heat about 2 tsp oil. Season with mustard seeds, hing and urad dal.
5. When the dal turns golden brown add the curry leaves.
6. Then add the chopped methi and mix well.
7. Add turmeric powder and mix.
8. Add salt to taste(just enough for the methi -so about 1/4 tsp). Mix.
9. Add about 1/2 cup water.
10. Cover with a lid and cook until all the water evaporates.
11. Add the Vangi bhaat powder.
12. Mix well.
13. Add the methi mixture to the cooled, cooked rice. If it seems too dry, add about 1 tbsp oil. Mix well. Ensure that you mix gently so as to not break the rice. Mixing with hands actually works out best, it allows to mix evenly.
14. Serve with papad. You can even serve with Raita…
I read in a blog by Sadhguru of isha foundation, the true significance of Mahashivratri – Kind off a long read, but very beautiful and insightful…
“In the Indian culture, at one time, there used to be 365 festivals in a year. In other words, they just needed an excuse to celebrate everyday of the year. These 365 festivals were ascribed to different reasons, and for different purposes of life. There were to celebrate various historical events, victories, or certain situations in life like harvesting, planting, and reaping. For every situation there was a festival. But Mahashivarathri is of a different significance. The fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivarathri. Among all the twelve Shivarathris that occur in a calendar year, Mahashivarathri, the one that occurs in February-March is of the most spiritual significance. On this night, the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of energy in a human being. This is a day when nature is pushing one towards one’s spiritual peak. It is to make use of this, that in this tradition, we establish a certain festival which is night-long. One of the fundamentals of this night-long festival is to ensure that – to allow this natural upsurge of energies to find their way – you remain with your spine vertical – you stay awake. Mahashivarathri is very significant for people who are on the spiritual path. It is also very significant for people who are in family situations, and also for the ambitious in the world. People who live in family situations observe Mahashivarathri as Shiva’s wedding anniversary. Those with worldly ambitions see that day as the day Shiva conquered all his enemies. But, for the ascetics, it is the day he became one with Mount Kailash. He became like a mountain – absolutely still. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is not worshipped as a God, but considered as the Adi Guru, the first Guru from whom the knowledge originated. After many millennia in meditation, one day he became absolutely still. That day is Mahashivarathri. All movement in him stopped and he became utterly still, so ascetics see Mahashivarathri as the night of stillness. Legends apart, why this day and night are held in such importance in the yogic traditions is because of the possibilities it presents to a spiritual seeker. Modern science has gone through many phases and arrived at a point today where they are out to prove to you that everything that you know as life, everything that you know as matter and existence, everything that you know as the cosmos and galaxies, is just one energy which manifests itself in millions of ways. This scientific fact is an experiential reality in every yogi. The word “yogi” means one who has realized the oneness of the Existence. When I say “yoga,” I am not referring to any one particular practice or system. All longing to know the unbounded, all longing to know the oneness in the Existence is yoga. The night of Mahashivarathri offers a person an opportunity to experience this. Shivarathri, is the darkest day of the month. Celebrating Shivarathri on a monthly basis, and the particular day, Mahashivarathri, almost seems like celebration of darkness. Any logical mind would resist darkness and naturally opt for light. But the word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” “That which is,” is existence and creation. “That which is not” is Shiva. “That which is not” means, if you open your eyes and look around, if your vision is for small things, you will see lots of creation. If your vision is really looking for big things, you will see the biggest presence in the existence is a vast emptiness. A few spots which we call galaxies are generally much noticed, but the vast emptiness that holds them does not come into everybody’s notice. This vastness, this unbounded emptiness, is what is referred to as Shiva. Today, modern science also proves that everything comes from nothing and goes back to nothing. It is in this context that Shiva, the vast emptiness or nothingness, is referred to as the great lord, or Mahadeva. Every religion, every culture on this planet has always been talking about the omnipresent, all-pervading nature of the divine. If we look at it, the only thing that can be truly all-pervading, the only thing that can be everywhere is darkness, nothingness, or emptiness. Generally, when people are seeking wellbeing, we talk of the divine as light. When people are no longer seeking wellbeing, when they are looking beyond their life in terms of dissolving, if the object of their worship and their sadhana is dissolution, then we always refer to the divine as darkness. Light is a brief happening in your mind. Light is not eternal, it is always a limited possibility because it happens and it ends. The greatest source of light that we know on this planet is the sun. Even the sun’s light, you could stop it with your hand and leave a shadow of darkness behind. But darkness is all-enveloping, everywhere. The immature minds in the world have always described darkness as the devil. But when you describe the divine as all-pervading, you are obviously referring to the divine as darkness, because only darkness is all-pervading. It is everywhere. It does not need any support from anything. Light always comes from a source that is burning itself out. It has a beginning and an end. It is always from a limited source. Darkness has no source. It is a source unto itself. It is all-pervading, everywhere, omnipresent. So when we say Shiva, it is this vast emptiness of existence. It is in the lap of this vast emptiness that all creation has happened. It is that lap of emptiness that we refer to as the Shiva. In Indian culture, all the ancient prayers were not about saving yourself, protecting yourself or doing better in life. All the ancient prayers have always been “Oh lord, destroy me so that I can become like yourself.” So when we say Shivarathri, which is the darkest night of the month, it is an opportunity for one to dissolve their limitedness, to experience the unboundedness of the source of creation which is the seed in every human being. Mahashivarathri is an opportunity and a possibility to bring yourself to that experience of the vast emptiness within every human being, which is the source of all creation. On the one hand, Shiva is known as the destroyer. On the other, he is known as the most compassionate. He is also known to be the greatest of the givers. The yogic lore is rife with many stories about Shiva’s compassion. The ways of expression of his compassion have been incredible and astonishing at the same time. So Mahashivarathri is a special night for receiving too. It is our wish and blessing that you must not pass this night without knowing at least a moment of the vastness of this emptiness that we call as Shiva. Let this night not just be a night of wakefulness, let this night be a night of awakening for you.”
But, as with any festival our local temple here celebrated Mahashivratri with great “Bhakti”(Devotion) and “Sambrahma” (Celebration). Even though many spiritual seekers and devotees observe “Upvaas” (Fasting) on Mahashivratri, we did go all out and cooked a massive feast at our temple for the non observers of “Upvaas”. I will leave you wonderful readers with some pictures from our Community cooking…Hope you enjoy these and thanks for stopping by.
Okra or Ladies Finger is a favorite in my home. Any which way you make it, this vegetable tastes great with rice, roti or even eaten plain. Today’s simple recipe is a South Indian Dry curry laced with a hint of grated coconut. Tastes great as a side to rice and dal or rice and sambar. We even love it mixed with plain hot rice and a dash of ghee.
You will need:
Okra/Ladies Finger – Wash, snip of the head and tail and chop into small slices.
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1/2 tsp Sambar Powder
Salt to taste
Grated Coconut for Garnishing
3 tbsp Oil
Hing or Asafoetida
Okra is a sticky vegetable, so care should be taken to make this dish patiently and in smaller quantities.
I used about 3 cups of chopped Okra.
In a pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter and then add the urad dal. Allow to turn golden brown. Add the hing and curry leaves. Then add the chopped okra. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Saute on low to medium heat. Add the sambar powder and salt. Mix well but gently. Sprinkle a little water and cover with a lid. Cook for 4 minutes or so. Open the lid and saute until evenly roasted. If required drizzle a little oil into the okra. Gently stir in between.
When the okra is evenly roasted, garnish with grated fresh coconut and serve hot as a side to rice.
It has been a pretty hectic week in our household, what with parent teacher conferences, school, extra curricular activities and work! Working in a much globally connected world is good and bad! Good because you get to socially connect with anyone, anywhere at anytime…and bad because then you have to work at all odd hours to accomodate multiple timezones 😦 And all that translates to -Take outs and Quick fix dinners 🙂
Here are a couple of quick fix dinners that have been cooking at my home this past week:
Grilled Veggie Sandwiches
This is a version of what I learnt from my Delhi/Noida days. Noida is popular for the little “Sandwich/Maggi Noodle” Roadside carts that is typically located outside office or college buildings. I have not seen these little carts/roadside vendors in any other part of india. On a cold Delhi winter day, a hot veggie sandwich or a plate of spicy hot maggi noodles with plenty of vegetables is divine. Just standing by the carts watching the “Maggi waala Bhaiya” (translating to “Brother who makes Maggi” in Hindi 🙂 ) make these yummy sandwiches, I soon picked up the recipe and tried it at home. My family loved it and ever since, it has been a regular on our dinner menu!
For the sandwiches:
2 cups of Mixed Vegetables – I use shredded cabbage, grated carrots, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper/capsicum, chopped onions.
Green Chutney – Combine a handful of Mint leaves, Spinach leaves, Cilantro, 1/2 a tomato, 1 small onion, 1 small Garlic(optional), green chillies, ginger and salt to taste. Blend into a smooth paste and keep aside. This green chutney stores in the refrigerator for atleast 1 week.
In a pan, heat 2 tbsp oil. On high heat, add the chopped veggies all together. Stir fry on high for 2 minutes. Add salt to taste, pepper to taste and 1/2 tsp of the above green chutney. Mix well. Stir fry for another minute. Turn off the stove and keep aside.
To assemble: Take 2 slices of bread (I use honey wheat, you may use a bread of your choice). Spread green chutney on the insides. Place 1 tbsp of stir fried veggies on one slice. Sprinkle with grated cheese (optional). Cover with the other slice and grill the sandwich using a panini press/sandwich maker. Alternatively, you can grill on a hot griddle or tava. Grill both sides until golden brown. You may use butter to grill, it will make the sandwich tastier 😉
I just realized that we buy and go through a lot of Avocadoes at home! Typically we use it in smoothies or sandwiches, but ever so often we make fresh guacamole at home and that is so delicious. Very simple and easy to make.
Combine the inside of a whole Avocado with 1/2 a chopped tomato, 1 small garlic (optional), 1 small chopped onion, cilantro, 1 chopped green chilli, salt to taste and some lemon juice. Using a mortar and pestle combine all of the ingredients into a thick paste that is coarsely mashed together. Alternatively you can use a food prrocessor and pulse all of the ingredients together. Remove into a serving bowl and serve fresh with chips on the side.
Sandwiches, Chips and Guacamole – A wholesome, delicious combination for a weekday dinner!
Diya’s Delicious Spicy Vegetable Maggi Noodles
My daughter Diya is turning out to be an amazing cook. Just the other day when I was too tired she offered to make us spicy vegetable maggi for dinner. Even though I helped her some in cutting and chopping up the vegetables, she pretty much did it all on her own! So here you go..Diya’s special recipe for an Indian Favourite.. Masala Maggi 🙂
1. Chop veggies of your choice. She used Onions, Green chillies, Tomatoes, Bell Pepper and Potatoes (we did not have an carrots or green beans at home).
2. In a pan, heat some oil. Add the chopped onions and green chillies and saute.
3. Add the remaining veggies and saute
4. Add 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp Sambar powder, salt to taste and some garam masala powder
5. Saute until well blended
6. Add 3 cups of water and cook the veggies for a few minutes
7. Add the Maggi Seasoning and allow to boil for a minute or two
8. Add the Maggi Noodles and boil. Mix well and cook for about 3 minutes.
Bangalore is home to thousands of what are called “Darshini’s” which are nothing but small fast food, stand up/Seated and eat in/take out restaurants that are usually bustling with activity from early morning to late in the night. Most darshinis have no seating arrangements, just the handful of round, tall tables at which you can stand and eat or balance your plate in your hand and eat just standing or better still if there is a huge beautiful tree outside, stand below the tree and eat in the breezy divine weather. Most darshinis are self service and are usually very clean. And the food, is absolutely amazing and something to experience!
Usually fresh, hot and extremely tasty, these darshinis are very light on the working class pocket and offer a satisfying meal to its consumers. The darshinis mostly serve vegetarian fare and most darshini menus are standard with about 15 items to choose from during breakfast, Lunch thali meals during lunch (both South and North Indian), Chaat during the evening and usually North Indian fare and Lunch thalis during dinner. Most darshinis have now got innovative and even serve the basic Indo-Chinese fare. So if you do visit Bangalore be sure to stop by at one of the famous Darshinis and try the food there to experience the Darshini culture..you will definitely thank me for that 🙂
One of the more popular breakfast items on a Darshini menu is Khara Bhaat, which is nothing but Rava/Semolina Upma. Khara in Kannada meaning “Hot”or “Spicy” and Bhaat is a concoction of either rice or cream of wheat. Darshinis also serve “Chow Chow Bhaat” which is one serving of Khara Bhaat and one serving of Kesari Bhaat (a sweet version of the same Rava/Semolina). The Khara Bhaat is usually serve with Spicy coconut chutney and is usually hot and just melts in the mouth when you eat it. It is certainly one of my favorite items on the menu. 🙂
If I have made your taste glands salivate, be sure to try the recipe below 🙂
Today from my kitchen i present to you my way of making delicious Upma or Khara Bhaat.
You will need:
2 Cups Coarse Rava or Semolina/Suji
1 large Onion – Chopped into cubes
1 medium Tomato – Chopped into cubes
4 Green Chillies – Slit lengthwise
a few curry leaves (missing here because I ran out 🙂 )
1 small piece fresh ginger – grated
4 to 5 cups water
Salt to taste
4 tbsp Oil
Cilantro for garnishing
Fresh grated coconut for garnishing (optional)
Mustard seeds, channa dal, urad dal, cumin seeds, Hing or Asafoetida
1. Roast the Rava/Suji in a microwave safe bowl for 1 minute. Or alternatively you can roast the rava/suji on low flame in a pan for about 4 to 5 minutes. This is an optional step since I roast the Rava in Step 7 below.
2. In a saucepan bring the water to a boil.
3. In a separate pan or kadai, heat the oil.
4. Add the mustard seeds, allow to splutter, add the dal and cumin and allow to turn golden brown. Saute.
5. Add the chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaves and ginger. Saute for a few minutes until the onions are transclucent.
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and salt and saute.
7. When the tomatoes are mushy and half cooked, add the Rava/Suji and mix well. Roast for a few minutes and mix well.
8. Pour the boiling water into the roasted rava mixture until water just covers the Rava. If you like it softer add a little more water. In this technique you can easily adjust the water to give you the consistency you desire. Mix well to ensure there are no lumps.
9. Cover with a lid and cook for 5 minutes on low flame until all water has evaporated.
10. Garnish with chopped cilantro and/or coconut (missing here because I ran out..)
11. Serve hot with coconut chutney on the side. Some people like eating this with Pickle or Sugar.
Hope you have enjoyed my little story and post on a humble dish such as Rava Upma/Khara Bhaat. Thanks for stopping by.
Roti or Rotti to be more precise – pronounced with a stress on the “ti” is traditional Karnataka fare. Typically eaten for breakfast the popular Rotti varieties are Ragi Roti (Finger Millet Flour Rotti) , Akki Roti (Rice Flour Rotti) and Jolada Roti (Sorghum Flour Rotti). Very close to the Maharastrian Thalipeeth, this breakfast dish is lip smacking good. The thinner you make it, the tastier it is.. and serve it with any chutney or gravy on the side. In North Karnataka, roti is usually served with Eggplant/Brinjal Curry (called Badnekayi Palya) and Green Moong Curry (also called Usli). The whole thing really comes with this combination!!
The recipe here is for the Masala Roti version, spiced up with other ingredients. This version can even be eaten plain. When we were kids they served this at my home with fresh home made butter. Long gone are those days when I could eat butter without a care in the world 🙂
Today from my kitchen I share with you the recipe for Rava Roti (Rotti made with fine cream of wheat/rava or semolina). And some pictures of Ragi Roti and Akki Roti made on previous kitchen rendezvous…
You will need:
2 cups Fine Suji/Rava/Semolina
1 large Onion – Chopped fine
3 Green Chillies – Minced
a few curry leaves – Chopped fine
a handful of Cilantro – Chopped fine
2 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
Salt to taste
Grated Carrots, Coarsely powdered Roasted Peanuts – Optional ingredients
Combine all ingredients except the Rava/Suji and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the rava and mix well into a thick dough with water. The dough should be soft and pliable.
Take a large golf ball sized dough and pat flat on a greased griddle or tava much like below. The thinner the better.
Cover with a lid and cook on stove top on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Open the lid and cook until golden brown. Turn over for a minute or two. Serve hot with a side of your choice.