Monday, August 13, 2007


Another one of my favorites, this is a simple Rajma/ Kidney Beans curry that goes very well with rotis /parathas and rice.

Rajma / Red Kidney Beans - 1 cup
Onion - 1 to 2 medium sized or 3/4 large finely chopped
Tomato - 2 medium sized chopped
Green chili - 1
Garlic - 2
Ginger - 1'' piece
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1 tsp (This time Sakthi Masala)
Oil - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - a few chopped

Soak rajma in water overnight. Change and add just enough water to cover the rajma and pressure cook the rajma and salt for upto 3 whistles.
In a saute pan, heat 1 1/2 tbsp of oil and add the chopped onion, green chili, ginger and garlic and saute for 6 to 7 minutes until the onions are soft and on low to medium heat. Add the tomatoes and cook for further 5 minutes. Turn of the heat and let it cool for 2 minutes.
Grind the mixture to a smooth paste. In the same saute pan heat the rest of the oil, add the paste and cook on medium to low heat until golden brown, you should start seeing the oil separating from the mixture. You can also do it on high but you would need to keep stirring to avoid burning. I prefer to let it cook on medium. Add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Stir and fry for 2 to 3 minutes more.
Add cooked rajma(along with the water in which it was cooked). Add an additional 1 cup of water. Taste and add a pinch of salt if required. Stir well and cook over medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Bring to boil. Garnish with chopped green coriander leaves and serve hot.

The goodness of Kidney Beans.

You can put a dash of heavy cream on top when you add the garnish.

I sometimes also add 1/2 tsp of Amchur(Mango Powder) along with the dry powders for a tangy taste.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Mixed Bean Adai

My Korean friend introduced me to the mixed bean pack and I was wondering how a dosai or and idli would taste using it and searching online I came across Shaheen's Blog where she had so artistically presented the 16 bean Adai. Kudos to Saffron Hut too. Well here is my version of the same.

16 bean mix - 1 cup (You can also add any other beans you might have at hand)
Urad Dal -1/2 cup
Tuar Dal - 1/4 cup
Channa Dal - 1/4 cup
Idli Rice- 1/2 cup
Flax Seed meal - 1 tbsp
Black Pepper - 5 to 6
Green chili - 4 to 5 finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch finely chopped
Curry leaves
Onion - 1 medium sized finely Chopped
Coriander Leaves - 2 tbsp
Curry Leaves - a few
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Soak the beans, rice and the dals separately overnight or at least in the morning to make the adai at night.
Drain the grains and grind to a a smooth thick paste adding little water at a time along with the ginger, pepper, 1/2 of the coriander leaves and green chili. You might have to do it in batches. Add the rest of the coriander leaves, onions, Flax seed meal, asafoetida, salt, curry leaves and mix. Ladle and spread the batter to make dosai on a nonstick pan or a dosa kalle. Cover and steam on one side for 5 minutes or cook both sides. Use drops of oil as need over the adai. Serve with Coconut or Tomato Chutney.

Keep the batter overnight to make soft idlis's.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Beetroot Poriyal

Another one of those veggies that I literally ran away from when I was little, I think it was one those major issues with veggies having too much color - red beets, purple brinjals, green spinach and big green and sometimes weirdly red inside bitter bitter gourds - I don't know what I expected a bitter gourd to taste if not bitter!! Anyway thats a whole different story. Now I make beets at such regular intervals that I wonder how I did without them for so long. This is a very simple Poriyal/ Mezhukperutti, I normally have this with Rice, Lemon Rasam and Vattals ... don't ask me if it is a perfect combo but for me its heaven.

Beetroot - 1 1/2 cup small cubes
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Dried Red Chili - 1
Curry leaves - a few
Green chilli - 1tp 2 depending or taste , substitute - 1/2 tsp red chili powder
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a saute pan and splutter the Mustard seeds, urad dal, dried red chili and curry leaves. After a minute add green chili and followed by the beetroot. If you are using red chili powder wait for five minutes after adding the beets. Stir occasionally. Add the salt. Cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes minutes of low to medium heat. You can add 1 tsp of water if you want, but you won't need it as the beets would sweat it out.
Remove and serve hot with rice and any gravy/ sambhar or rasam.

The goodness of Beets

Semiya Upma

You will find this versatile quick fix at an early Saturday morning brunch or late Monday nights or even in lunch boxes ... Lot of people prefer this to the regular rava upma and I am no exception. But can't say the same for hubby dear..!!

Semiya - 1/2 pack
Onions - 1/2 chopped
Tomato - 2/3 medium chopped
Carrot - 1/4 cup finely chopped
Beans - 1/4 cup French cut
Soy beans - 1/4 cup - I use from a frozen pack
Peas - 1/4 cup
Red chili powder - 1/3 tsp
Turmeric - a pinch (optional- I have not used)
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 /2 tsp
Curry Leaves few

In a deep saute pan dry roast the semiya for 5 to 6 minutes until slightly golden brown. Remove the semiya from heat and keep aside. Boil 4 cups of water in a separate container. I normally microwave the water at the last minute when the veggies are almost done. In the same saute pan heat the oil and splutter the mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves. After a minute add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Then add the veggies. cook for 5-6 minutes closed on medium heat. Add the chili powder and after a minute add the chopped tomato. Cook for 5 minutes until the tomatoes are soft. Turn the heat to low and add the roasted semiya to to the saute pan and stir for 2 to 3 minutes. Add half the water and and salt to taste. This water will be quickly absorbed, add 1 1/2 cups of water and close the lid and let it boil for 5 minutes on very low heat. When you remove the lid almost all the water should have been absorbed. test the semiya to see if it fully cooked . Add the rest of the water if needed and close the lid and cook for further 2 minutes. Turn of the lid and let it sit for some time. this would finish any remaining cooking needed for the semiya and the veggies.
Transfer to a serving dish and run a fork to separate the semiya. Garnish with Coriander Leaves.

Semiya(sae-me-ya) is also used to make desserts like semiya payasam etc.
Roasted Vermicelli is available for purchase online at . Regular semiya can be easily found in Indian stores brands I have seen here Bambino, MTR.