Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cabbage Parruppu Usili

Cabbage Parrupu Usili
Paruppu Usili is a dish made of Toor Dal & some selected Vegetables. Paruppu usili along with More Kozhambu (A spicy curry made of Curd) is a very good combination and is a prominent dish in most south Indian occasions.

My Grand mother makes it very yummy and I love it with rice and rasam and so that’s one dish which they definitely do for me every time I visit my house in Chennai. But I have never tried it myself as I thought it could be a tough process.

One day my friend ‘R’ taught me an easy way to prepare this using Microwave for cooking Dal. Tried it last week with Cabbage (as it is my favourite vege for paruppu usili) and it was a super hit!!

Ingredients :

Cabbage - ¼ KG
Toor Dal - 1 Cup
Channa Dal - ¼ Cup
Red Chillies - 3
Mustard - ½ spoon
Asafoetida - little
Salt / Oil - as required


Soak Toor Dal & Channa Dal in water for 1 – 2 hours. Grind together with Red chillies & a pinch of asafoetida and little salt.

Cook the cabbage in a frying pan with just salt. Remove from the pan and keep this aside.

In a microwave safe bowl apply some sunflower oil and add the ground paste and microwave on high for 4 – 5 minutes. The batter would be very hard after cooking in microwave. Allow it to cool and just give a round in a mixer grinder. Do not overdo but grind very coarsely only. Do not add water. This has to be dry.

In the same frying pan add oil, 1 red chilly and mustard seeds and let it splutter. Then add the dry ground dal and fry for few minutes. Then add the cooked vegetable and fry for 4 – 5 minutes until all ingredients are well blended.

Paruppu usili is ready to be served with rice and more kozhambu or with rasam.

Alternatively this can be made with one of the below vegetables also
1. Onion
2. Banana Flower
3. Beans
4. Cluster Beans (kothavarangai)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Mix Veg Kurma

Mix Veg Kurma
There are 2 ways of making this dish. We can either cook vegetables seperately and then add masalas and blend them well and bring to a boil or add all Ingredients in Pressure cooker and then cooking vegetables along with the masalas in one stroke.

I have followed method 1 here.

Ingredients :

Potato - 3 – 4 medium sized
Carrot - 2 medium sized
Beans - 100 grams
Cauliflower - ½ medium sized
Peas - 200 Grams
Onion - 3 – 4 medium sized
Tomato - 2 – 3 medium sized
Ginger Garlic paste - as required
Garam Masala /
Salt /
Coriander Powder - as required
Bay Leaf / cinnamon - 1 each
Saunf - ½ spoon

To grind together :

Grated Coconut - 2 spoons
Green chillies - 2 – 3 medium sized
Cashews - 4 – 5 pieces
Cinnamon - 1 piece
Saunf - ½ spoon
Khus Khus - ¼ spoon (soaked in water 10 minutes before grinding)


Cut all vegetables in even size and cook in pressure cooker for 1 whistle. Remove excess water and keep aside. In the same pressure cooker add oil and add saunf, bay leaf and cinnamon. When done add ginger garlic paste and fry till oil seperates. Now add onions and fry till golden brown. Add garam masala, salt and coriander powder and mix well. Then add the tomatoes and cook well till the gravy is well blended.

Now add the cooked vegetables and mix well. Do not mash the vegetables. Add the ground paste to this and cook well. Add water as per your requirement. If the gravy is watery mix 1 spoon cornflour to little water and add to the mixture.

Mix Veg Kurma is ready to be served with Parotas / Rotis.

Chole / Channa Masala / Chickpea Curry

Chole / Channa Masala

My cousin & his wife were coming for dinner and i wanted to make something nice which they would enjoy. Decided to make Puri & Chole for them. This is a less time consuming and a nice side dish. But cannot be made if unplanned as we need to soak the channa overnight. I Love Chole be it with Bread or Puri or with Plain Rice.
Ingredients ::

Kabuli Channa / Chickpeas - 200 Grams
Onion - ¾ kg
Cinnamon - 1 small piece
Grated coconut - 1 spoon
Saunf - 1 spoon
Tomato - ½ kg
Ginger Garlic Paste - as required
Channa Masala - 1 ½ spoons
Coriander powder /
Jeera Powder /
Red chilly powder
Garam Masala / - 1 Spoon each
Bay leaf - 1
Salt / Sugar - as required
Coriander - to Garnish

Method :

Soak Channa overnight in water (to be soaked for 10 hours). In the morning remove water and cook channa in pressure cooker for 2 – 3 whistles. Keep it aside.

Grind together onions (keep aside 2 onions separately to be served in plate) along with 1 spoon chole, little saunf, cinnamon and grated coconut. Keep it aside.

Put tomatoes in boiling water, peel off the skin and grind separately to a smooth paste.

In a kadai / pressure pan add oil and add bay leaf and 1 spoon saunf. When it changes colour add the ginger garlic paste and fry for few minutes. Then add the ground onion paste and fry till raw smell is gone and oil is separated (leaves oil on the sides). Add the Garam Masala, Channa masala, Jeera Powder, Coriander powder, red chilly powder, sugar and salt and mix well.

Now add the tomato puree and allow it to cook for 5- 7 minutes. The gravy now looks like this (Image attached).

When it boils well, add the cooked channa and mix well. Add more water depending on the consistency.

You may mix some corn flour in water and add to the gravy if it is not very thick. This also helps in blending all the ingredients together in the dish.

Serve With hot puris or Parota and some finely chopped Onions and a piece lemon in the plate.

Onion Chutney

Onion Chutney

Onion Chutney goes very well with most south indian breakfast items. I love this chutney with hot idlies or Dosas. Idly with Onion chutney and gun powder is an all time favourite for most south Indians.

This is a very simple chutney. Tastes different if you use small onions.

Ingredients ::

Onions - 1/2 kg small
Red chillies – 3 – 4 (depending on the spice required)
Tamarind - small lemon sized
Salt - as required
Garlic - 2 – 3 pods (optional)
Oil - 1 ½ spoons
Mustard - 1 spoon

Method :

Soak the tamarind in little water.

In a kadai add 1 spoon oil and add the red chillies. When it changes color add the garlic pods and onions and fry till onion turns brown in color.

Add salt and let it cool. Then grind this to a smooth paste along with the soaked tamarind.

Heat the same kadai and add ½ spoon oil and mustard. When it splutters add the ground paste and allow it to cook well. You may add some red chilly powder if you want it more spicy. When bubbles spill out reduce flame and cook for 3 – 5 minutes. The chutney is ready to be served with Dosa / Idly / Upma / Pongal.

Microwave Rava Kesari

Microwave Rava Kesari

On Saturday afternoon my son suddenly wanted me to make Rava Kesari for him. I was just cooking my lunch then so couldnt spare my stove for this. So thought will try in the microwave this time.
Making this in Microwave oven makes it more diet friendly as it can be made yummy and non-sticky with lesser ghee. It came out well and my Hubby & son were happy!!!

Here goes my receipe...

Ingredients ::

Rava - 1 Cup
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Cashews- 12 – 15 pieces
Ghee - 3 - 4 spoons
Kesar powder – a pinch
Elachi Powder - little

Method :

Fry Rava in flame for 3 – 4 minutes (This may be avoided if you want to do it in Microwave completely)

Step 1 - In a microwave safe bowl add 1 spoon ghee and add cashews. Keep in high for 2 minutes. Remove just the cashews and keep aside.

Step 2 – In the same bowl (with Ghee) add the rosted rava and mix well. Now keep in microwave high for 4 minutes. Stir once at 2 minutes.

Step 3 – Now add the Sugar and mix well. It will turn little watery due to the nature of sugar when mixing with the hot rava. Add 1 spoon ghee, a pinch of Kesar powder and mix well and microwave at high for another 4 minutes. Stir once at 2 minutes.

Step 4 – Add the remaining ghee, elachi powder and microwave for another 2 minutes. Add the cashews on top and serve hot.

Tips : Kesar powder is not good for health since it is just an artificial colouring agent. Instead you can make the kesari in white without the colour and add bananas in step 3. This will give a different taste and also make it healthy.