Nov 30, 2011

Rajma Chawal / Kidney Beans Curry and Rice

This is a North Indian classic dish made with rajma/kidney beans and rice. Steaming rajma curry served over plain white rice is rich in iron and protein from the kidney beans and carbohydrates from the rice and makes a wholesome satisfying meal.

Rajma/Kidney Beans - 1 cup (soaked overnight or atleast for 5 hours)
Onion - 1/2 medium sized
Tomato - 1
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch finely chopped
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds/Jeera - 1 teaspoon
Oil - 1 spoon
Salt to taste
Cilantro/Coriander for garnish

Soak the rajma in water overnight or atleast for 5 hours.
Drain the water and pressure cook with water until 4 whistles until the rajma turns soft and completely cooked. Alternatively, instead of using a pressure cooker, the beans can also be cooked in a stockpot with a lid for 30 to 35 minutes until the beans turn soft and tender.
In a wide saucepan/kadai, heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. once they start spluttering, add the chopped ginger and garlic and saute until the onions turn translucent.
Add in the chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute until the tomatoes turn tender.
Add the turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala and salt and mix well. Cook for a minute.
Finally add the cooked rajma/kidney beans and a cup of water.
Cover and cook on low heat for about five minutes until all the flavors blend together.
Remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.
Serve over cooked rice.

Nov 22, 2011

Coriander-Mint Pulao

I had a bunch of coriander and mint wilting in my refrigerator which had to be used up before I go on our weekly grocery shopping. I always try to use up all the veggies and herbs I buy and try to minimize wastage.. I was wondering what to make with the herbs, when I got the idea to make a simple pulao using them. I made this colorful rice dish for lunch. We had this along with potato fry, chips and raita. This rice dish makes a colorful lunchbox dish for kids.

I used leftover cooked basmati rice to make this. Any variety of rice can be used for this delicious pulao.

Cooked rice - 2 cups
Onion - 1/2 medium sized 
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Bay leaf - 1
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 3
Fennel seeds / Shah jeera - 1 teaspoon
Cashews - few for garnish
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 1 spoon
Salt to taste

To grind into a smooth paste
Coriander - 1/2 cup chopped
Mint - 1/2 cup chopped
Green chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 2 cloves

  1. Cook the rice along with water and salt and allow it to cool.
  2. Grind together the coriander, mint, green chillies, ginger and garlic into a fine paste adding a spoon of water if needed.
  3. In a kadai/saucepan, fry the cashews in the ghee until golden brown and remove the cashews from the pan and set them aside.
  4. In the same pan, heat the oil. Once it turns hot add all the spices - fennel seeds, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cardamom and clove and saute for a minute.
  5. Then add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.
  6. Add the ground paste and saute for a couple of minutes, until the raw smell goes away and oil oozes out. Take care the paste doesn't stick to the pan and burn. Add salt to taste
  7. Finally add the cooked rice and mix everything thoroughly.
  8. Add a teaspoon of ghee at this stage and mix well. This is optional though.
  9. Garnish with cashews and more cilantro. 
  10. Serve warm with some chips and raita.

Nov 17, 2011

Low-fat Aama Vadai

Aama vadai or masala vadai is a deep fried fritter made with chana dal. It serves as a great accompaniment to evening tea. I tried a low fat option by making it in my kuzhipaniyaram pan instead of deep frying. This method uses very little oil and tastes very much like the classic aama vadai. Though you compromise on the taste the deep fried aama vadai gives, this version wins in the health aspect!

Channa Dhal/Bengal gram Dhal - 1 cup
Onion - 1 small sized
Green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
Shahjeera / Fennel Seeds / Sombhu - 1 teaspoon
Coriander leaves finely chopped -1 tablespoon
Salt to taste


  1. Soak the channa dhal for about 2 hours in water.
  2. Drain the water and grind together the soaked dhal, green chillies, asafoetida and salt to form a coarse paste.
  3. Chop the onions finely.
  4. To the ground mixture, add the chopped onions, shah jeera, curry leaves and coriander leaves.
  5. Heat the kuzhipaniyaram pan and drizzle little oil, about half a teaspoon in each hole. 
  6. Once the oil gets hot, with a spoon, take a little of the ground mixture and add it to each hole.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium flame and cook for about two minutes. Take care it does not burn.
  8. With a spoon flip the vadai and cook for a couple more minutes.
  9. Once done, remove the vadais and serve hot with tea!
  10. Also tastes great with some ketchup.

Nov 14, 2011

Chicken Curry for Idly/Dosa

This is a simple and easy chicken curry which goes very well with idlies and dosas. It also tastes great with rice dishes.

Chicken - 1/2 kg
Onion - 1 medium sized
Tomato - 2
Coriander/cilantro and mint leaves - 1/2 cup
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1 teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Green chillies - 3 or as per taste
Cashew nuts - 5
Curd/yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Coconut - 1/2 cup grated
Oil - 2 spoons


  1. Wash the chicken well and cut into small pieces.
  2. Marinate the chicken in a mixture of curd/yogurt, ginger-garlic paste and a little salt.
  3. Chop the onions and tomatoes and slit the green chillies.
  4. Allow the chicken to marinate for about an hour. You could also, leave it to marinate overnight, by placing the chicken in a bowl, wrapping it with a plastic wrap and leave it in the refrigerator.
  5. In a saucepan/kadai, heat  one spoon of oil and add half the onions and fry it until it turns translucent.
  6. Once the onions start to brown, add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes get cooked, add the green chillies, coriander leaves, mint leaves and all the powders - chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and turmeric powder.
  7. Saute all the ingredients for a minute. Switch off the stove and allow the mixture to cool completely.
  8. Grind the mixture along with the grated coconut and cashewnuts into a coarse paste.
  9. In the saucepan, heat the remaining oil and saute the remaining chopped onions. Once the onions turn translucent, add the marinated chicken.
  10. Allow the chicken to cook for about 3 to 4 minutes and then add the ground masala.
  11. Add about one cup of water and bring it to a boil. Simmer for about two minutes until the flavors blend together. Finally add the garam masala and cook for one more minute.
  12. Garnish with cilantro. Serve warm with idlies, dosas, rice or chapatis.

Nov 9, 2011

Coffee and Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate and coffee make a classic combo and they are an irresistible combination! I made this Coffee and Chocolate Pudding for this month's Sweet Punch.

The pudding turned out to be a delectable and elegant dessert to be served on any occasion - be it a grand party or a simple weeknight indulgence! It hardly takes five minutes of preparation and twenty minutes to bake and there you have an exotic dessert at the table in less than half an hour!

(Recipe Source:
All Purpose Flour - 1 cup
Baking Powder - 2 teaspoons
Cocoa - 2 teaspoons (I used Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa)
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Melted Butter - 2 tablespoons
Milk - 1/2 cup
Egg - 1 beaten
Salt - 1 pinch
Hazelnuts/almonds/walnuts - 50 grams chopped

For the topping
Brewed Coffee - 1 cup
Brown Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cocoa - 3 tablespoons

  1. Preheat oven to 180C or 350F.
  2. Sift together all the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, cocoa, brown sugar and salt.
  3. Stir together the butter, milk, egg and nuts until well combined.
  4. Mix the dry and wet ingredients together.
  5. Spoon the batter into 4 rameins or mugs.
  6. Sprinkle over brown sugar and cocoa and then pour over the brewed coffee. but do not stir.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  8. Dust with cocoa powder or sugar or cinnamon.
  9. Serve warm with some vanilla icecream!

Sending this to Bake Fest and Winter Carnival.

Nov 1, 2011

Mushroom Biryani

Mushrooms are a favorite at our place and I try different recipes with mushrooms. I usually make soups, pulaos, fried rice or curries with mushrooms. This was the first time I tried out a biryani recipe and this recipe is sure a keeper. Thanks Ramya for the recipe! I adapted the recipe to our taste and this is quite delicious. Do try this out. The mushroom can also be replaced with other veggies.

Basmati Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium size
Mushrooms - 3/4 cup chopped
Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Yogurt - 2 tablespoons
Oil - 2 spoons
Bay leaf - 1
Salt to taste

For the masala to grind
Ginger - 1 inch
Garlic - 4 pods
Tomato - 1 small
Onion - 1/2 small sized
Cardamom - 4
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1 stick
Coriander leaves - 4 sprigs
Green chillies - 3
Mint leaves - 2 sprigs

Wash and soak the basmati rice for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
Add all the ingredients listed under masala into a fine paste by adding a little water.
Finely chop the mushrooms, onions and tomato.
In a pressure cooker, heat the oil and add the bay leaf followed by the onions. Saute till the onions turn translucent.
Add the ground paste and saute for about 2 minutes, until the raw smell goes away and oil starts to separate from the mixture.
Once the ground paste gets cooked, add the tomatoes and fry for about 2 minutes until they get well cooked. Then add the mushrooms and saute for a minute.
Finally add the rice and required quantity of salt. Also add the yogurt and lemon juice. Finally add enough water (water:rice = 1.5:1).
Mix everything together. Cover the pressure cooker and cook until you get two whistles.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot with raita or a gravy/curry of your choice!

Sending this to FaveDiets Blog Hop
A celebration of Indian Food and to
Healthy Cooking Challenge: Healthy Lunch Event guest hosted by Kavi and started by Smitha of My Tasty Curry
Winter Carnival started by Smitha.
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