Monday, August 29, 2016

Drumstick Leaves Lentil Curry/ Muringayila Parippu Curry

Drumstick leaves are packed with full of flavors, iron,  proteins and nutrients. Drumstick trees are a common sight in most of the south Indian homes. Almost all the parts of this drumstick tree are used in one or the other way. Fresh leaves are richest source of vitamin A.
Drumstick leaves have been a part of Indian cuisine for a long time. They are widely used in making soups, curries, snacks and are also very tasty. They are rich in antioxidants and controls cholesterol  and blood glucose levels. It's surprising that these small round leaves has lots of medicinal value.

I remember my mom used to include this magical greens into every dish and I refused to eat. But somehow she will make sure that I finish of my food by adding them in my favorite dishes like eggs, in the form of pakodas and so on…. Now as I grew, I simply love any food made by my mom and this is one such. Luckily I don’t have to struggle much with my little one, as she loves all the greens in any form.
Its very rare to get these leaves in Indian store here. But one day when I saw this, I was excited  and grabbed a bunch.

As easy as a dish is made with these leaves, it is hard to pluck the leaves without the stem, which is very time consuming. But we will forget about all the hard work when  once we taste this curry. This is a healthy recipe of drumstick leaves in which lentils and ground coconut are added. Hope you all will enjoy this.

  1. Drumstick Leaves/ Muringayila- a Bunch
  2. Toor dal- 1 Cup
  3. Coconut- ¼ Cup
  4. Garlic- 2 cloves
  5. Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp
  6. Dry Red Chillies- 2 nos
  7. Turmeric Powder- ½ tsp
  8. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tsp
  9. Green Chillies (slitted)- 2 nos
  10. Oil- 1 tbsp
  11. Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
  12. Red Chillies- 1 no
  13. Curry Leaves- few
  14. Salt- as required

  1. Cook toor dal with required amount of water in a pressure cooker and keep this aside.
  2. Clean the drumstick leaves by removing the leaves from the stem and discarding the stem. Wash couple of times and drain.
  3. In a bowl cook the cleaned drumstick leaves along with slitted green chillies, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt.
  4. Meanwhile grind the coconut along with garlic cloves, cumin seeds and red chillies to a fine paste.
  5. Add the cooked dal and the ground paste to the above boiling drumstick leaves. Adjust salt accordingly.
  6. Heat oil for tempering, splutter mustard seeds, red chillies and curry leaves. Pour this to the curry and mix well.
  7. Enjoy this yummy, delicious curry with a dollop of ghee along with hot steaming rice.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Burnt Garlic Fried Rice and Hot Garlic Chicken

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”
                                                       Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates
Garlic is called the world’s healthiest food. Garlic is widely used around the world for its pungent flavor. This has many medicinal values. It is highly nutritious and has very less calories. Garlic supplementation improves your immune system. This reduces blood pressure, improves bone health and cholesterol level, which may lower the risk of heart disease. So what are you waiting for??? Include garlic in your daily life and see the magic.

In my house garlic is used in almost all the dishes. We simply love the flavor of garlic. I made this burnt garlic fried rice and hot garlic chicken on a Sunday, as I was lazy to prepare an elaborate lunch. Usually it would be a one pot meal on holidays, but to go along with this fried rice, some side dish would taste wonderful and so here I made two awesome dishes out of garlic which I am sure that you all will cherish.

I had this burnt garlic rice in a Chinese restaurant back in India and as we are big fans of garlic, instantly fell in love with this rice and tried it at home which came out pretty well.  From then on this is made regularly and some of the side dishes for this rice are Chilli mushroom gravy, chilly chicken, orange chicken and so on.. This time I thought of making something that had garlic and this hot garlic chicken was perfect.

This hot garlic chicken is little bit spicy because of the chilli paste, but we can balance it by using kashmiri chillies. I have given the preparation of red chilli paste in the note on the bottom of this post. Let's see how it is prepared...
For the Burnt garlic Rice:
  1. Cooked Rice- 2 Cups
  2. Garlic (chopped) 3 tbsp
  3. Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
  4. Vegetables( Carrot, Cabbage, Beans)- ¾ Cup
  5. Soya sauce- 1 tbsp
  6. Vinegar- 1 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Pepper- 1 tbsp
  1. Chop all the veggies using hand blender so that the vegetables are finely chopped.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped garlic. Saute for some time so that the oil gets infused with the flavors of garlic. Make sure that the garlic doesn’t burn.
  3. Add the chopped vegetables along with required amount of salt. Add the soy sauce, vinegar and pepper powder.
  4. In the above mix the cooked rice till all the flavors are well blended. Serve hot.

Ingredients :
For Hot Garlic Chicken:
  1. Boneless Chicken- 250 gms
  2. Garlic (chopped)- 2 tbsp
  3. Ginger (chopped)- 1 tbsp
  4. Red Chilli Paste- 2 tbsp (see note)
  5. Oil- 1 tbsp
  6. Corn Flour- 2 tbsp + 1 tbsp
  7. Soy Sauce- 1 tbsp
  8. Salt- as required
  9. Pepper Powder- 1 tsp
  10. Red Chilli Flakes- ½ tbsp
  11. Capsicum (cubed)- 1 cup
  12. Vinegar- 1 tsp
  13. Onion- 1 no
  14. Tomato sauce- 1 tbsp
  1. Coat the cubed chicken pieces in a bowl of corn flour, pepper powder, salt and soy sauce. Keep this aside for some time.
  2. Meanwhile heat a pan with 1 tbsp of oil, add the chopped garlic and ginger. Saute well.
  3. In this add the red chilli flakes, red chilli paste, soy sauce, vinegar, tomato sauce and required amount of salt. Stir well.
  4. Add the cubed capsicum and onions. Saute for a minute. Add pepper powder and add half a cup of water and let it boil for about 2 minutes.
  5. Heat oil for deep frying. When it becomes hot, fry the above batter covered chicken till golden brown in colour. Keep this aside on kitchen towel.
  6. Mix one tbsp of corn flour along with ¼ cup of water without forming any lumps. Add this to the above made gravy.
  7. Add the fried chicken pieces in this and stir till it thickens. Switch off the flame and serve hot along with fried rice.

For Red Chilli Paste:

  • Soak 6- 7 red chillies in hot water for about 30 minutes. Drain these and grind to a coarse paste.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of  olive oil. Saute the ground red chilli paste for about 3- 4 minutes.
  • When it is cooled down, store in an airtight container and use whenever required.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Crispy Fried Okra/ Kurkuri Bhindi

Crispy fried okra is a perfect snack or appetizer which will be enjoyed by all at any time. Kurkuri means crispy and bhindi means okra.
Okra is marinated in spices, coated with flour which is then fried to perfect. This is a great side dish along with dal and rice. My little one eats them directly from the time it is drained on the kitchen towel.

I love all the curries made out of okra. As a kid, I used to tell my mom to prepare simple okra fry a lot. But my husband is completely opposite. As you all might know by this time that he doesnt like many vegetables and okra being one among them. The dish using okra is not made regularly, but sometimes I do want some dishes which are dear to my heart and which I grew up eating. Luckily my daughter loves any dish made out of okra.

This crispy fried lady finger I made one day and she loved. This is like an after school snack for her. Spicy, Crispy, crunchy okra is simply appetizing. Just try this out and let me know.
  1. Okra/ Lady Finger- 250 gms
  2. Red Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  3. Coriander Powder- ½  tbsp
  4. Turmeric Powder- 1 tsp
  5. Besan/ Gram Flour- 3 tbsp
  6. Rice Flour- 1 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Oil- for frying

  1. Wash and pat dry okra. Cut the okras vertically into thin slices.
  2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients except oil. In this mix the sliced okras slowly by slightly rubbing them till all the spices are well blended. Add small amount of water to combine the okra with the powders. Keep this for about 10- 15 minutes.
  3. Heat oil for frying. When it is hot drop the battered okra without overcrowding. Fry well till they turn golden brown. Place them on kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining battered okra.
  4. Crispy and crunchy okra is ready to be served.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Ula’s Palak Paneer using Coconut Milk

Today I am sharing a palak paneer recipe which was prepared by my friend Ula. Ula is my workout buddy who hails from Poland. She told me about this dish she prepared and was curious to know how she would have prepared and here is the recipe she shared. It has all the perfect Indian ingredients except for a bit of improvisation with coconut milk and cayenne pepper instead of the regular chilli powder which I am used to. Way to go Ula !! :-)
Take sometime to marinate the paneer in advance, for the perfect texture and flavor. Serve this paneer gravy over steaming hot rice or naan as desired.

I have made palak tofu recipe before. In this Palak paneer recipe, the spinach is chopped and added not pureed like the regular palak paneer.
Paneer is a mild fresh cheese that’s made by curdling milk with an acid and then pressing the curds. This is rich, creamy and savoury with a hint of tartness.

In this recipe the paneer is well marinated with the spices and fried. The onions are caramelized along with the tomatoes and toasting of the spices, then goes the spinach, coconut milk to round off the edges and ends up by adding the fried paneer pieces, which are well blended together. The result is an intensely flavorful spinach paneer curry to go with roti or rice or pulav.
  1. Paneer (cubed)- 250 gms
  2. Palak/ Spinach- a bunch
  3. Onions (chopped)- 2 nos
  4. Green Chillies- 3 nos
  5. Ginger (julienned)- 1 tbsp
  6. Garlic(chopped)- 1 tbsp
  7. Salt- as required
  8. Tomatoes- 3 nos
  9. Coconut Milk- 1 cup
  10. Garam Masala Powder- 1 tsp
  11. Cayenne Pepper Powder/ kashmiri Chilli Powder- 1 tbsp
  12. Turmeric Powder- ½ tbsp
  13. Oil- 3 tbsp
  14. Cumin Seeds- 1 tsp

  1. Chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies and spinach. Keep these seperately aside.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp Of oil in a pan. Meanwhile take the cubed paneer in a bowl and sprinkle some salt, turmeric powder and cayenne pepper powder. Mix well and shallow fry the paneer in the heated oil till light brown in colour. Keep the fried paneer on a kitchen towel.
  3. In the same pan heat remaining oil, splutter cumin seeds. Add the chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and garlic.
  4. Saute for a while. Add the chopped tomatoes. Mix well.
  5. Stir the coconut milk in the above mixture. Add the garam masala powder. Stir till the gravy thickens.
  6. Atlast add the fried paneer pieces and switch off the flame. Serve this along with hot steaming rice/ rotis/ naan.

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