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Aloo Palak / Spinach & Potato Masala

Aloo palak is a subtle spinach dish with potato. This is a healthy and delicious veggie delight to go with roti or any other Indian bread. I have seen some people use pureed spinach in this. But I use chopped spinach along with stems. I believe pureeing would kill all the nutrition the spinach holds. Anyways thats all upto to you.. For me I like the texture of my aloo palak more than that of pureed spinach masala.. And also I use to saute them in brief so that I can get most of its vitamins ūüėČ Such a health freak huh??… So here’s my Aloo palak in my style.. 

Servings: 2
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level : Moderate
Ingredients:

Potato 250 gm (1 Big)
Spinach 250 gm
Onion 200 gm (1 Medium)
Tomato 150 gm (1 Medium)
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 15 gm
Green chilli 2 nos
Musturd seeds ¬ľ Tsp
Cumin seeds 1 Tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Turmeric powder ¬ľ Tsp
Red chilli powder 1 Tsp
Coriander powder 1 Tsp
Kasoori methi (Dried Fenugreek leaves) ¬Ĺ Tsp
Garam masala (Optional) ¬Ĺ Tsp
Salt as req
Vegetable Oil 1 Tbsp
Preparation:

1. Clean the spinach in cold water and drain the water. Chop them roughly.
2. Boil the potatoes with skins on and cube them into large chunks.
3. Finely chop the onion and tomato. Chop one green chilli.. 
4. Grind together garlic, ginger and one green chilli
Cooking:

1. Heat oil in a large pan.
2. Add mustard seeds and allow to splutter.
3. Now add cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4. When cumin seeds stop spluttering, add in the onion and green chilli with little salt.
5. Stir fry till onion turns brown and nicely fried. 
6. Add ginger,garlic & green chilli paste and saute well for 1-2 mins.
7. Add turmeric powder and tomato now.
8. Saute for few more mins or till the tomato softens.
9. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder and fenugreek leaves. Saute well. 
10. Now add the spinach and drizzle some water.
12. Cook in medium flame till the spinach gets cooked well.
13. Add the boiled potato and stir well.
14. Check for seasoning and adjust salt .
15. Let the gravy thickens a bit. Turn off the heat and add garam masala.
16. Transfer to serving bowl and serve with rotis.

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Poori Masala / Deep fried Indian Bread with Mashed Potato

Poori Masal or Poori Kizhangu as referred by my dear hubby is a classic south Indian breakfast combo. Pooris are deep fried indian bread made with wheat flour. And masala is nothing but mashed potato with Indian tadka.
Alas, I have a slight food aversion towards this dish since many years ūüė¶ , but on the other hand my sweetheart crave for poori kizhangu ;).. I rarely prepare this at my kitchen due to my aversion. I cooked poori masala last week since he was starving for it for long time. I am glad to dedicate this wonderful recipe to my sweet hubby.

Poori

Servings:  2 
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
Wheat Flour 200 gm
Sooji / Rava/ Semolina 1 Tbsp
Salt 1/4 Tsp
Vegetable Oil For deep frying + 1 Tbsp
Warm water For kneading


Method:
  1. Sieve the flour and salt together.
  2. Add the sooji and oil to the flour. Add warm water little by little and knead well.
  3. Dough should be little harder than roti dough.
  4. Keep covered with damp cloth.
  5. After 10-15 mins, knead the dough again by adding little oil.
  6. Divide the dough into gooseberry sized balls.
  7. Roll them round using rolling pin and rubbing oil on both sides.
  8. In a shallow pan heat oil for deep frying.
  9. Fry the poori till it puffs up by turning both sides.
Potato Masala:


Servings:  2 
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time : 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:

Potato 250 gm /1 no. Big
Onion                                                     150 gm /1 no. Medium
Tomato                                                   100 gm /1 no. Medium
Green chilli                                            2 nos
Ginger                                                    15 gm
Garlic                                                    5 cloves or 20 gm
Mustard seeds ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
Cumin seeds                                       1 Tsp
Curry leaves 8 nos
Asafoetida  a pinch
Turmeric powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬ľ¬†Tsp
Salt                                                        as required
Vegetable oil                                     1 Tbsp
Water 1¬Ĺ¬† Cups
Coriander leaves For garnishing

Preparation:
  1. Boil the potatoes in a cooker or pan with skins on.
  2. Once cooked remove from heat and drain the water. Run cold water over the potatoes & peel off the skin. Mash it using potato masher or spatula.
  3. Chop the onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and green chillies finely.
  4. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida and cumin seeds. Allow to splutter.
  5. Add curry leaves and onion. Saute for 3 mins till onion turns golden brown.
  6. Add ginger, garlic and green chillies. Saute well.
  7. Add turmeric powder and tomatoes. Mix well and cook till tomatoes become soft.
  8. Add the mashed potatoes and 11/2 cups water. Mix well till it blends with the masalas.
  9. Let it boil for 5 mins. Check for salt.
  10. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and transfer to serving bowl.

Notes:

  1. Adding sooji to the dough makes crispy pooris and retain the crispyness for long time.
  2. My husband’s aunt used to add ground pottukadalai / poricha kadalai/ fried channa dal to the¬†masala while adding water to increase the gravy quantity. I didn’t use due to unavailability. But that part is best when you make masala for many.¬†

Pavakka Theeyal/Kaippakkai Theeyal/ Bitter gourd curry

Another vegetarian dish from Kerala “Kaippakkai Theeyal”. Kaippakkai meaning “Bitter gourd”. You could also use vegetables like yam, pearl onion, raw mangoes, eggplant in place of bitter gourd. It’s¬†a curry made with roasted spices,coconut and the vegetables are boiled in tamarind water.¬†¬†
When we hear the name bitter gourd most of our face changes to no no mode..  But trust me, this

recipe is full of flavours. From sourness from the tamarind, sweet from coconut & jaggery, to slight bitter from the bitter gourd makes this dish delicious.
I like my theeyal with steaming hot rice and chutta papadam (Papad toasted in charcoal or fire). Give it a try and I am sure you will like it.

Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Bitter gourd                                       100 gm
2)      Pearl onion                                        30 gm (5-6 nos)
3)      Asafoetida                                         a pinch
4)      Tamarind                                            5 gm
5)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Turmeric powder ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬ľ¬†Tsp
6)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Jaggery¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬ľ¬†Tsp
7)      Coconut Oil                                            1 Tbsp
8)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Water ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† 1 ¬Ĺ Cups¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†
For grinding:
9)      Coriander seeds                                1 Tbsp
10)¬†¬†¬†Peppercorns ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
11)   Garlic                                                 2 cloves (Optional)
12)   Dried red chilli                                   2 nos
13)¬†¬†¬†Fenugreek seeds ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
14)¬†¬†¬†Coconut¬†(Grated)¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬Ĺ Cup/50¬†gm
For Tadka:
15)¬†¬†¬†Mustard seeds¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
16)   Curry leaves                                      10 nos
17)   Pearl onion                                        2 nos
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Dry roast the ingredients given under grinding except coconut and transfer to grinding jar.
2)      In the same pan dry roast the grated coconut till brown and transfer to the same grinding jar.
3)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Grind them using ¬Ĺ cup of water to a paste.
4)      Chop the pearl onions coarsely.
5)      Slice the bitter gourd thinly.
6)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Soak the tamarind in ¬Ĺ cup of warm water for 5¬†mins. And squeeze them to extract tamarind paste.
Cooking:

1)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Heat ¬Ĺ¬†Tbsp¬†Oil in a pan.
2)      Add asafoetida and chopped onions.
3)      Fry till onions turn golden brown. Now add little turmeric powder.
4)      Add the sliced bitter gourd. Saute well to combine.
5)      Add the ground paste and salt. Stir fry for a minute till it is mixed well with the vegetables.
6)      Pour in the tamarind water, mix well and bring to boil.
7)      Once boiled, reduce the flame to low.
8)      Close the lid and cook till the bitter gourd becomes soft.
9)      Finally before turning the heat off add jaggery. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowl.
For Tadka
10)   Take another pan and heat oil.
11)   Add Mustard seeds. When it splutters add curry leaves and sliced onions.
12)   Fry till onion become golden brown.
13)   Pour the tadka onto the theeyal.
14)   Serve with steamed rice.

Note:

1)      Theeyal also can be made using okra, eggplant, raw mangoes, yam, pearl onions. 
2)      Adding jaggery is optional. Adding jaggery lessens the bitterness from the bitter gourd.
3)      The brown colour of the curry comes from the fried coconut and coriander seeds.
 So you need to fry them well.

Bhindi Fry (Okra/Lady’s finger Fry)

When I was a kid, I hated my vegetables like all other kids do. I’d always tried to get away from the veggies my mom used to pack for lunch. It was like eating something which isn’t meant for human beings ;). I never ever thought I’ll have to come across a person who loves the veggies and without them will not survive. Yes! That’s my hubby.. He doesn’t care if I haven’t cooked any curry for rice. Instead he needs a large portion of poriyal/veg side dish for his rice/roti.
I started liking subzi /vegetables after going to the beautiful city “Surat” in Gujarat. I have been there for almost 5 years and I hope that changed our palate. I can proudly say Surat food changed my perspective on food. The way they cook their food and feed the guests with lots of passion is ¬†never forgottable and will always remain with us.
My passion towards food and cooking is all started from there. And now it’s never ending journey..
From wide vegetarian dishes served in Gujarat, we love our Bhindi ki subzi (Okra/Lady’s finger). Lady’s finger is unique in taste and texture. I have posted Bhindi fry recipe with Gujarati touch, which I usually prepare to accompany roti (Indian wheat bread)¬†

Servings:  2        

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Level: Moderate
Ingredients:
1)      Lady’s finger/Okra                             250 gm 
2)      Onion                                                 200 gm
3)      Tomato                                              150 gm/1 big size
4)      Ginger                                               15 gm
5)      Garlic                                                 5 cloves
6)      Cumin  seeds                                    1 Tsp
7)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Turmeric powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬ľ¬†Tsp
8)      Coriander powder                             1 Tbsp
9)      Cumin powder                                  1 Tsp
10)   Red chilli powder                              1 Tsp
11)¬†¬†¬†Garam¬†masala powder¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬†¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
12)   Salt                                                    as req
13)¬†¬†¬†Dried Fenugreek leaves¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp
14)¬†¬†¬†Jaggery¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬Ĺ¬†Tsp¬†¬†¬†¬†
15)¬†¬†¬†Dry mango powder(Optional)¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬ľ¬†Tsp
16)   Vegetable oil                                    2 Tbsp  
Method:
Preparation:
1)      Wash the lady’s finger in running water and pat dry each one with dry cloth.  
2)      Chop them into two halves and slit them in the middle. Keep it aside
3)      Chop the onions and tomato finely.
4)      Make a paste of ginger and garlic.
5)      Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add the chopped lady’s finger. Fry for 5 mins in medium flame.
This step is to avoid the stickiness of lady’s finger. Turn off the heat when the lady’s finger
 is no more sticky.
Cooking: 
1)      Heat 1 Tbsp oil in a frying pan. Add cumin seeds.
2)      When cumin seeds splutter add the chopped onions and little salt. Salt helps to fry the onions fast.
3)      Fry the onion till golden brown and add ginger garlic paste.
4)      Sauté for few seconds and add chopped tomato. Stir fry for 2-3 mins till tomatoes are soft.
5)      Now add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chilli powder and dried fenugreek
leaves. Sauté for 1 min.
6)      Add the partially fried lady’s finger and mix well. Add the remaining salt.
7)      Close lid and cook for 5 mins in low flame.
8)      After 5 mins of cooking, add dry mango powder which is optional, garam masala powder and jaggery.
9)      Stir well and cook another 3 mins. Turn off the heat and transfer to serving bowl.
10)   Serve with roti (Indian wheat bread)



Note:    

1)      Stir frying lady’s finger alone prior to cooking will avoid the sticky texture to the dish.
2)      Dry mango powder is used to give a tangy flavour. It’s totally optional. Instead of mango powder
you¬†can use ¬Ĺ¬†Tsp¬†of lemon juice.
3)      Gujarat foods are always little sweet since they add Jaggery/Gur. Again it is optional if you don’t like
your vegetable to be sweet..