Simple and Easy

Curry Leaves Rice

Few days ago, I had posted a recipe for Curry leaves chutney powder. It is such a tasty and healthy powder that can go well as a side dish with rice, idlis or dosas. I made a big batch of it when my friend shared some fresh curry leaves. For a get together over the weekend, I thought I could make this curry leaves rice. It comes together quickly and is full of flavor. If you have the powder ready, you could make this with left over rice in under 10 mins.

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked rice
2 tbl spn of curry leaves chutney powder
Oil
1 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn urad dal
1 tbl spn peanuts
Salt

Method:
Take cooked rice and lightly fluff it with fork to remove any lumps.
Heat oil and peanuts and fry for sometime.
Add mustard seeds, when they start popping, add urad dal.
Let it become brownish.
Now add curry leaves chutney powder and let it fry till a nice aroma comes out.
Add all rice, mix very well.
Adjust salt.
Serve hot.

Notes:
If using freshly cooked rice, make sure it is at room temperature.
Coconut oil works best but any other oil or ghee can also be used.

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Cumin and Ginger Potatoes

Are you tired of wracking your brain for dinner ideas that are both quick and delicious on a hectic weekday? Look no further! We’ve got just the recipe that will not only save you time but also leave your taste buds dancing with joy. In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to a simple yet incredible potato dish that’s bound to please everyone at the table. Say hello to the aromatic magic of ginger and cumin that elevates this humble potato creation to a whole new level of culinary delight. This dish is inspired by aayi’s potato bhaji that I grew up eating.

Weeknights can be a whirlwind of activity. After a long day at work or a series of daily responsibilities, the last thing you want to do is spend hours in the kitchen. But settling for bland and uninspiring meals isn’t the solution. Instead, consider a delightful and hassle-free potato dish that will satisfy your hunger without robbing you of precious time.

Our weeknight wonder is none other than the Ginger and Cumin Potatoes. This dish is a testament to how a few simple ingredients can come together to create something extraordinary. The combination of earthy potatoes with the aromatic goodness of ginger and cumin creates a flavor profile that’s both comforting and exciting.

What sets this potato dish apart is the captivating aroma that fills your kitchen as you prepare it. The combination of ginger and cumin creates a fragrant symphony that’s as delightful to the nose as it is to the palate. The gentle spiciness of the ginger and the earthy notes of cumin complement the starchy sweetness of the potatoes beautifully. It’s a harmonious blend that can turn a simple side dish into the star of your weeknight dinner.

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped potatoes
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1/2 tea spn grated ginger
1 tea spn oil
4-5 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
A pinch turmeric
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 cup chopped bellpepper(optional)
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds.
When they start popping, add curry leaves.
Add chopped potatoes, grated ginger, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder.
Mix everything very well.
Add tiny bit of water, close the lid and let the potatoes cook half way through.
Open the lid and add bellpepper.
Close the lid again and let the potatoes cook completely.
Serve hot.

Serves: 3-4
Preparation time :20mins

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Bottlegourd Thalipeeth

Lauki Thalipeeth

Thalipeeth is a famous Marathi dish. It is prepared with a variety of flours and roasted till it is crispy. There is a specific way to roast the thalipeeth but I just make it like a akki rotti/pita bhakri. It comes out good. Traditionally little holes are made in thalipeeth after it is spread on tava and oil is added to it. I tried it this time but did not execute it properly!.

Bottlegourd/lauki was not used much in our cooking. Then suddenly this vegetable became popular in India, thanks to Baba Ramdev‘s yoga programs. He often told people to eat lauki, drink lauki juice etc. I started using it after everyone was talking about it. I make ambat, khadi/burfi, paays and many more. Few days ago, I thought of adding it to thalipeeth. It came out great. I grated the lauki with its skin, which gave a bite to this.

Pictorial:
Take all different flours in a bowl.

Add chilli powder, cumin seeds, salt.

Peel and grate bottlegourd.

Add to the mix, add water a make a thick mixture.

Spread on a hot tava. Make few holes in it and add oil.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup rice flour
1/2 cup besam(gram flour)
1/2 cup almond flour
1/2 cup ragi flour
1 tea spn chilli powder
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 cup grated bottlegourd(lauki/gardudde)
Oil
Salt

Method:
Mix all the flours in a big bowl.
Add chilli powder, salt, cumin seeds.
Peel the bottlegourd and grate it.
Add the grated bottlegourd to flour mixture.
Heat tava and spread the mixture on it. (if possible, make some holes in the thalipeeth and add oil to make it more crispy).
Add few drops of oil and roast till it is crispy.
Serve topped with butter and with a side of coconut chutney.

Serves :4-5
Preparation time: 30mins

Lauki Thalipeeth

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Fried ivy gourds(Tendli talasani)

tendli talasani

Ivy gourd is the vegetable loved by most. It is one of my favorite vegetables. I love it in any form. ‘Fried ivy gourd’ is a very easy to make and amazingly delicious dish. I was not very fond of this dish when I was a kid, but recently I have become a big fan. It tastes great when it is fried till the ivy gourds become almost black and you can’t even say those are ivy gourds. Hot rice, a simple daal and these fried ivy gourd is a complete meal I would cherish anytime.

Earlier we used to smash one tendli at a time in mortal and pestle. It would take a lot of time to prep them. Now I just cut the ends, take them in a ziploc bag and smash them using a meat tenderdizer/pestle.

‘Talasani’ are the dishes prepared by frying the vegetables in oil. So water should not be used at any point. The other popular talasani is ‘batate talasani‘.

Aayi’s version does not include garlic in this. But my brother tasted this dish at one of his friend’s place and they had used garlic. So he started using it in this dish. I love both the varieties. Although aayi does not use curry leaves, I like to use it.

The other ivy gourd dish I make frequently is tendli upkari. We use these in different types of daals and sambars also.

Ingredients:
Ivy gourds(tendli) 2 cups
Red chili powder 3/4 tea spn
Turmeric a pinch
Oil 1 tbl spn
Mustard seeds 1/2 tea spn
Asafoetida a pinch or garlic cloves 2 (4-5 if Indian garlic is used)
Salt

Increase the chili powder if required.

Method:
Remove the ends of ivy gourds and crush them slightly.

tendli talasani1tendli talasani2

 

 

 

 

 

 




Heat oil in a nonstick pan and add mustard (add curry leaves at this point if using). When they start popping, add asafoetida (or crushed garlic). Add the gourds, turmeric, chilli powder and salt.

tendli talasani3tendli talasani4tendli talasani5tendli talasani6
Fry on a low flame till the gourds turn dark brown/black.

tendli talasani7
Serve hot with rice and daal.

tendli talasani

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time : 20mins

PS: These should be fried on a very low flame. If they are not fried till dark brown/black, they remain tender from inside and do not taste good. These taste great when made spicy.


Originally posted on Octbober 9, 2006. Reposting by adding a video(demonstrated by my 6 year old).

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Spicy chickpeas (Kala chana)

Kala Chana is a spicy chickpeas curry with a heady aroma of ajwain and garlic, goes well with chapatis or naan.

Kala Chana was given to me by one of our relatives many years ago. I was told that it is a North Indian dish. The name comes from the dark color that comes by cooking them in garam masala(It does not actually become black, but dark brown depending on garam masala used). I do not have any more details about this dish. This has a unique flavor from ajwain seeds. I used to make it very often as my son loved this garnished with few raw onions. I did not prepare this for many years, after my children moved out for their college. I found it back in one of my diaries while searching something.

Kala Chana is very easy dish to make. Do not substitute or leave out any of the ingredients as this one needs all the ingredients to get the real taste of it. You could adjust the level of spice according to personal preference.

Ingredients:
1 cup chickpeas(Kabuli chana)
1/2 tea spn ajwain
1 tea spn chopped garlic
1 tea spn chopped ginger
3/4 tea spn red chilli powder
1 tea spn amchoor powder
1 tea spn garam masala
1/2 tea spn cumin seeds
A pinch turmeric powder
Oil
Salt

For garnish:
Chopped onion
Chopped green chilli

Method:
Soak chickpeas in water for about 5-6 hrs (When they are soaked, they swell up considerably. Depending on the quality, it can become 1 and 1/2 to 2 cups).
Cook chickpeas with ajwain and garlic in pressure cooker till they are cooked.
Heat oil and add cumin seeds, ginger. When they fried a bit, add amchur powder, turmeric, cooked chickpeas. Add garam masala, salt, chilli powder. Slightly mash the chickpeas with a spoon. Cook till the dish becomes dark in color.
While serving, add green chillies and onions on top. Serve with chapathis.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 35mins

Originally posted on Oct 13, 2008. Updated on Aug 9 2020.
I use mixture of Black chana and Kabuli chana to give it the beautiful dark color and texture.

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Beetroot Leaves Tambli

Beetroot leaves tambli

This year I went a little crazy with my vegetable patch. When the year started, I only wanted to grow tomatoes. I thought I would have a couple of plants, that is all. It was really hard to find time to care for the garden with a busy schedule. But then Covid-19 happened. We weren’t even getting groceries on time. I got worried and I wanted to grow everything possible in my garden. V’s cousin had brought some vegetable seed packets 3 years ago. I did not have too much hope but I put them all in the ground. It took a while but some of them sprouted and grew beautifully. One of them was beetroot. I have made all kinds of things with these fresh beautiful leaves. One of them was this refreshing, cooling beetroot leaves tambli.

Tambli is usually a raw, uncooked gravy. It sometimes has yogurt, sometimes made just with coconut. We make many varieties of tamblis. Each have their unique flavor. Here’s a list you may want to explore,

  1. Gooseberry tambli made with Indian gooseberry/avale,
  2. Palak tambli made with spinach/palak,
  3. Menthe tambli made with fenugreek/methi seeds,
  4. Kande tambli made with onion,
  5. Ankre tambli made with watercress/ankre,
  6. Beetroot tambli made with the beetroot

This beetroot leaves version is new but it worked out so well. It was spicy, had an intense cumin flavor. The ghee seasoning increased the taste many folds. On a hot summer day, this was a perfect dish to go with some rice and side of beetroot upkari.

Ingredients:
3 cups chopped beetroot leaves and stems
2 green chillies
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup thick plain yogurt/curds
1 tea spn cumin seeds
1 tea spn ghee + 1/2 tea spn oil
1 tea spn mustards seeds
4-5 curry leaves
A pinch asafoetida/hing
Salt

Method:
Heat oil and add cumin seeds.
When they are fried, add slit green chillies followed by chopped leaves and stems.
Fry for few mins till the leaves are wilted.
Grind the leaves with salt and coconut to a smooth paste.
Take the ground paste in a bowl, add the beaten yogurt/curds.
Add enough water to make it a gravy consistancy.
Heat ghee and add mustard seeds.
When they start popping, add asafoetida, curry leaves.
Add the seasoning to the tambli.
Serve with rice.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time: 20mins

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Okra Bharta (Bhende Bharth)

V’s grandmother mentioned about this dish during our last India trip, somehow it had slipped out of my mind. Cooked okra is mixed with raw onion, coconut and some other ingredients to make this delicious bharth. It makes a great combination with some spicy papad(happal). This is a classic Konkani recipe. It can be made with roasted eggplant(brinjal), cooked okra or some other vegetables.

I personally didn’t care much for it because of the raw onion. So aayi makes any bharth without onion for me and with onion for everyone else. So if you are a raw onion hater like me, go ahead and leave it out.

Ingredients:
2 cups okra(bhinde/bhende) cut into pieces
1/4 cups fresh/frozen coconut
1/4 cup chopped onion
A pinch asafoetida(optional)
4 green chillies
1/4 tea spn tamarind extract
Oil
Salt

Method:
Heat a little oil and fry okra for 5-6mins. Then add very little water and let it cook. (Traditionally it is not fried, just cooked with little water, but since it becomes too slimy that way, I fried it before adding water. Alternatively, okra could be steamed without adding any water).
In a bowl, mix coconut, onion with green chillies, tamarind, asafoetida(optional). Mix very well using your fingers. Now add the cooked okra and mix well, mashing the okra a bit. Serve with papad as a side dish.

Serves : 1-2
Preparation time : 15mins

Pictorial –

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Spicy Fish Fry

Spicy fish fry
Spicy Fish Fry

Being from the coastal region, fish was a big part of our food. While growing up, aayi would make the traditional fish dishes like this fish fry, tepla ambat, alle kande ambat, dhoddak etc. But over the years, thanks to TV and internet, our food has been influenced by other cuisines too. This spicy fish fry is one such dish I make very often now.

Whenever we go out to eat in Bangalore, my brother orders masala fry. He also figured out a recipe for that. This spicy fish fry is inspired by that. Then I started adding few curry leaves to it, inspired by Kerala style fish fry. Over the years, I tried many different masalas and realized what we liked the most was the very basic masala that aayi uses. I just skip the rava coating, add few curry leaves and it tastes just out of this world. I have tried this with many different varieties of fish – salmon, tilapia, king fish, pomfret etc. It really works well with any big fish fillet. I prepared this when I was in India couple of months ago. Aayi told me she also makes it same way – may be a mother-daughter thing :).

Spicy fish fry
Spicy fish fry

Spicy Fish Fry

Fried fish with aromatic curry leaves
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 4 big fish fillets king fish, pomfret, salmon or tilapia
  • 1 tbl spn tamarind do not use extract, it does not make thick paste
  • 4-5 big garlic cloves if using smaller variety available in India, use about 8-10
  • 1 tea spn chilli powder use more if you can handle the heat
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • Oil
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Make a thick paste of tamarind, garlic, chilli powder and salt.
  • Apply the paste to fish pieces and leave it for atleast 30mins.
  • Heat a tava and spread a little oil.
  • Cut curry leaves in few pieces.
  • Spread half of the leaves on the tava.
  • Keep the marinated fish on the curry leaves.
  • Spread remaining leaves on the top.
  • Fry from both sides till the fish is cooked through.
  • Serve hot with lemon and onion rings.

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Moringa Leaves Rotti (Maskasangi Palle Rotti)

 

Moringa Leaves Rotti

I grew up playing around moringa(maskasangi) trees. Everyone has atleast one tree in their garden in our place. My parents always told us how maskasangi was full of iron and slightly nudged us to eat it. But I had never tasted the leaves(pallo). Aayi would make phodi (which is still one of my all time favorite dishes) out of the flowers and the pods were used in many dishes. Few years ago, I started reading about leaves being used in many dishes and when I asked aayi, she also confirmed it. So I started buying it here and made up my own recipes. This Moringa leaves rotti is one such dish that I tried and we all enjoyed it very much.

The first time I tried it, I prepared this with only rice flour. But then I started adding the other flours. These days I have started using almond flour a lot in my cooking. So this time, I used it in this rotti. Adding warm milk to the flours cooks them slightly and gives a very soft rotti compared to using normal milk.

Pictorial:






Moringa Leaves Rotti (Maskasangi Palle Rotti)

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups rice flour
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup oats flour
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 tea spn butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups hot milk
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped moginga leaves
  • Ghee/Oil for frying
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat milk till it is hot (No need to boil it).
  • Take all the flours in a bowl, add butter, then pour the hot milk over it and mix well.
  • Add salt, chopped onions, carrots and chopped leaves (after removing all stems). Mix everything.
  • Heat a cast iron tava (cast iron gives very nice crispiness to rotti).
  • Spread little oil or ghee and then spread a half inch thick layer of the mixture on the tava with your fingers(Dip the fingers in water before handling the mixture to make it easier to spread).
  • Cover the tava and let it cook, after couple of minutes, turn it upside down and cook on other side.
  • For a crispier texture, spread ghee/oil on top while cooking.
  • Serve hot.

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Cucumber chutney (Taushe huLel)

 

Taushe Hulel

 

Cucumber is called  “Taushe” in Konkani.  “Taushe hulel” is a side dish which is usually a part of meal that is offered to god during festivals. I saw a similar dish here, the only difference being, we use the cucumbers (used for salads) and everything is used raw.

So this dish can be prepared in just 10mins :).

This dish is a must in Shri Krishna janmashtami festival meal. During this festival, men chant different names of Lord Krishna and offer tulsi leaves to god. After the chanting, which almost goes up to 2-3 hrs, pooja is performed around midnight. During the pooja, a variety of food is offered to god and we used to eat this “prasad”  at midnight.

Pictorial:

Cut cucumber into pieces. Fry mustards seeds and asafoetida in a little oil.


Grind coconut with chillies, tamarind and fried mustards seeds into a chutney consistency.

Mix the chutney into cucumber

Cucumber chutney (Taushe huLel)

A spicy cucumber chutney with a coconut base
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 3 -4

Ingredients
  

  • 2 cups cucumber pieces
  • 1/2 cup fresh/frozen coconut
  • 1/2 tea spn mustard seeds or a pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 to 4 green chilies
  • A small piece tamarind
  • Salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat a little oil and add mustard seeds.
  • When they start popping, add asafoetida. (Usually either mustard or asafoetida is used. I normally add both)
  • Grind them with coconut, green chilies, tamarind, fried mustard to paste using very little water (like chutney consistency).
  • Add the cucumber pieces, mix well.
  • Serve as a side dish with rice.

 

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