Spicy Plantain Curry

Plantain is one of my favorite vegetables but cooking it can be a little tricky. If you have never cooked plantain here is one thing you should remember. Once you peel the skin and chop plantain, soak it in a bowl with water and turmeric. This will prevent discoloration. Normally, I cook plantain in some vegetable oil with mustard seeds and urad dhal. Its quick and easy. But if you want a more spicy version of a dry plantain curry then you should give this a shot. The red chilli/onion paste gives it a nice kick and tamarind adds a lovely sour taste to this dish.
Plantain su curry with wm
  1. Grind the following ingredients and make a thick paste.
  • Red chilli -6
  • Tamarind – 1/2 lemon ball
  • Onion (shallots 10 -15 or large -1)
  • Salt
  1. Chop Plantain/Vazhakkai into bite size pieces and par boil it in water with turmeric and salt.
  1. Drain it and set aside.
  1. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal and add masala paste from step 1. Sauté it till the raw flavor disappears. Then add plantain/vazhakkai and give it a toss.

(Note: if you use raw vazhakkai then add masala after you add the vegetable and then you can cook it. If you are adding par boiled vazhakkai add the masala first or else the veggie can get too mushy)

  1. Finally add 1-2 tbsp coriander powder and cook it for another 5-7 minutes.

Naadan Style Channa Curry (Naadan Kadala Kootan)

I’ve always made channa/chickpea masala by adding whole spices and store bought channa masala powder, which is a blend of a whole bunch of spices including cinnamon, cloves, amchur, star anise etc., But my friend from Kerala makes a very different version of chickpea curry. The reason I love this version is because it uses shredded coconut and curry leaves, 2 of my favorites. Oh did I mention coconut oil? So thank you Murali Erat for introducing me to this super delicious Naadan Channa curry and its already made it to my top 10 favorite recipes for this year.

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Ingredients: 

Chickpeas – 2 cups (boiled and pressure cooked)

Onion – 2 cups (sliced lengthwise)

Tomato – 1 cup (diced)

Coconut – ½ cup

Ginger paste – 1 tsp

Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Cumin seeds – 1tsp

Fennel seeds – 1tsp

Chilli powder – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 tsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Curry leaves – 2 stems

Coconut oil – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Cilantro – garnish

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  1. Soak channa/chick peas over night and cook it in a pressure cooker (3-4 whistles).
  2. Sauté 1 cup onion till it turns translucent and add shredded coconut along with chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt. Cook for another 3-4 minutes and let it cool. Now make a smooth paste out of this mixture and set aside.
  3. Heat a sauté pan and add 2 tbsps of coconut oil. To this hot oil add cumin seeds and fennel seeds. Then add the remaining sliced onion and sauté till it turns golden.
  4. Add ginger and garlic paste along with curry leaves and continue sautéing.
  5. Now add the masala paste and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. Add diced tomatoes and cook covered until oil oozes on top.
  7. Now add cooked channa and some water and let the gravy boil until it reaches the desired consistency.
  8. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

“Parupu Podi” to kick start my new year

I love organizing, be it at work or home.It saves so much time if you have an organized home or pantry. Also, if  you make some basic stocks, pickles, lentil powders it makes life so much easier, if and when you decide to cook. So to kick start my new year, I decided to stock up my pantry with all kinds of “podi”s and “thokku”. Made Parupu podi, thengai podi, karuvepillai podi and tomato thokku. All set for the next few months. Happy 2015 everyone!!!!

Here is the recipe for Parupu podi:

It is one of the easiest to make and it literally takes 10 minutes. Parupu podi with rice and ghee = Bliss!

1. Dry fry 2 cups of toor dhal, red chilli (3) and towards the end add a generous pinch of asafoetida.

2. Let it cool and grind it with salt. Done!

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Crispy spicy Paneer puff – a quick and easy snack!

Final pic

Here is a spicy snack that can be prepared easily with very basic ingredients that you have in your pantry.

Paneer – 1 cup

cabbage – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Onion – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Capsicum – 1/2 cup (finely chopped)

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Cumin powder – 1 tsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Salt

Oil

cilantro  (for garnishing)

Puff pastry sheets

Puff prep

  1. Sauté onion in some cooking oil. Add salt and all the spices including coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and garam masala and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add in the capsicum, cabbage and cook for additional few minutes. Toss in the paneer and cook.
  3. Add the masala to the center of the pastry sheet and fold according to the shape you desire and bake . I cut pastry sheets into squares and folded them into triangles after adding the masala to the center. (see package for baking instructions)