Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Nimbe Thovve Saaru (Lemon Lentil Rasam/soup)

Needless to mention, during my parents & in-laws stay, they prepared soo many simple & quick rasams that my maid requested them to teach it to me & her. There used to be a fight to decide who shall cook for the day. My mom-in-law would unanimously win most of the times :D. During their stay.., nimbe saaru is one of the many recipes learnt from my MIL. If you keep this rasam thick.., it is named thovve (dal).

Here is what my mom-in-law uses to prepare this
: (Serves 3-4)
Yellow moong dal/Split & deskinned green gram/hesaru bele: a fistful
Water : Around 1 litre.
Curry leaves:2 strings (leaves separated & chopped)
Turmeric: a big pinch
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp (finely chopped for the garnish)
Green chillies: 2-3 no
Asafetida: 1 big pinches
Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder: a pinch (optional)
Coconut oil: 1 tbsp (use any oil of your choice)
Salt: According to taste
Lemon juice: 2-3 tbsp (we like it tangy)

  • Pressure cook the moong dal & allow it to cool (2-3 whistles or 15minutes must be sufficient for the dal to be soft).
  • Mash the dal gently & add the mashed dal, water to a broad pan. Add turmeric, half of the chopped green chillies, pepper powder, salt & cook on a low heat until water starts to boil. Once dal starts boiling, turn off the heat.
  • Prepare the tadka/tempering/oggarane. Heat oil in a small sauce pan. When oil is hot, add mustard & cumin seeds. When mustard seeds crackle, add the remaining green chillies, curry leaves, asafetida & pour the tempering to the rasam.
  • Add the lemon juice, coriander leaves & mix well.
  • Serve the hot rasam with piping hot rice, pickle & papad.

  • Reduce the amount of oil & drink it as a soup too.
  • This rasam is helpful to beat the cold as it is rich in Vitamin C.
  • Add a pinch of pepper powder to take double advantage for fighting against cold.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Black eyed peas 'N' pasta

Do you remember my project "shifting the house"? I had mentioned about black eyed peas starring at me in my cupboard. During that time, I was eagarly searching for black eyed peas recipes as I had almost a kilo of dried peas. During the active search, I found a recipe here. I adapted the recipe to make it suitable for Indian taste buds. Voila!!, it tasted awesome. One of the best pastas I prepared & relished until now. My hubby happened to carry that pasta to office & I got a huge fan following for black eyed peas 'N' pasta.

Secret, secret..., we both (who else other than me & my hubby) have stranger anxiety. We don't want to try anything other than penne(because of their funny shapes). So, all my pasta recipes use penne only. I am planning to try macaroni soon. I am not sure whether it will be accepted or not.

This is what I used:

Black eyed peas: 2 cups
Penne: 500gms
Tomato puree: 2 cups
Onion: 1 cup (sliced)
Parmesan Cheese: 3 tbsp (optional)
Pasta herbs: 1 tbsp
Garlic: 3 pods
Capsicum: 2 cups (sliced)
Paprika: 1 tsp
Pepper powder: 1 tbsp
Salt: According to taste
Sugar: 1 tbsp
Butter: 4 tbsp
Olive oil: 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves : 3 tbsp (finely chopped)

  • Soak the black eyed peas for 5-6 hours.
  • Add little salt & pressure cook or boil the black eyed beans until soft & yet firm (It would take around 3 whistles in the cooker). Allow it to cool & drain the water from the peas.
  • Cook the pasta as per the package instructions. ( I add 3-4 litres of water(for 500gms penne), salt & few drops of olive oil & allow the water to boil.When water starts boiling, add penne & cook on medium-high heat for 10-15minutes, until soft & firm. Refer to the tip here to find out when pasta is properly cooked).
  • Drain the water from penne & add few drops of olive oil. Olive oil helps in keeping the penne seperate & the pasta doesnot stick to each other.
  • Heat olive oil, butter in a broad pan/wok. When oil is hot, add garlic, onion & saute till they turn golden brown. Add tomato puree, pasta herbs, sugar, paprika, salt(be very careful when adding salt as we have already salt while cooking penne & black eyed peas).& cook on a medium flame. The raw smell of tomato should disappear & the sauce must become thick.
  • During midway, add capsicum & keep heating the sauce. When capsicum is half cooked, add cooked black eyed peas, cheese & reduce the heat. Cook for another minute or two. Add pepper powder.
  • Toss the pasta with the sauce, garnish with coriander leaves & dig in.

Last but not the least, I have got quite a few awards from my friends. Sorry..I missed announcing them in last couple of posts. Thanks a lot Jyothi & Sushma. I have put the awards on the sidebar. I will talk about "The honest things" in my next post. Keep waiting !!

Update: This recipe goes to MLLA hosted by Sia & started by Susan.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Yennegayi/Yengai (Stuffed eggplant)

I believe that for anybody to fall in love with a cuisine, he/she needs to actually taste the authentic version first. If we try the cultured/modified version, we might not appreciate it much. Take my example.., I tried pasta at a Chinese resturant (Bad choice, isn't it!!) & decided not to eat any more pasta. Thanks to my friend, she took me to an Italian resturant to make me feel how the authentic pasta would taste.Same was the case of my hubby, he being born & brought up eating Udupi Cuisine didnot appreciate North Karnataka Cuisine, until I made him eat jolada rotti + yengai in a small food joint in D.D. Urs Road, Mysore. I need not specifically mention that he became a regular customer to them :)
Though I have spent a part of my childhood days in North Karnataka, I didnot have the recipe of this. I got this recipe from my friend who has literally grown up eating them. Thanks a lot for the recipe.

Ingredients: (Serves: 4-5)
For stuffing (Spice powder)
Coriander seeds/dhania: 1 tbsp
Ground nuts: 2 tbsp
Urad dal: 1 tsp
Roasted channa da(gram)l/hurigadale: 1 tbsp
Cinnamon: 1 inch stick
Clove: 3 nos
Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
Black sesame: 1 tsp
Niger seeds/hucchellu: 1 tsp (Thanks a lot for correcting me Jayasri)
Dry coconut: 1-2 tbsp (grated)
Red chilli: 12-15 (I like it hot & spicy)
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 3 strings
Asafetida: 2 big pinches
Salt: According to taste

For the gravy:
Small eggplant: 14-18
Tamarind: 1 big grape sized
Powdered Jaggery: 1 tsp(optional but recommended)
Onion: 1 big
Garlic: 2 pods (optional)
Oil: 3-5 tbsp
Water: 1.5-2 cups
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 2 strings
Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp (finely chopped, for garnishing)


For the masala/spice powder

Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned (except coconut, roasted channa dal, asafetida & salt). Allow the spices to cool.

After dry roasting the peanuts, peel the skin & keep them aside. Mix roasted channa dal, coconut, asafetida, salt to the other spices & prepare a fine powder. Finally add peanuts & run the mixie for 5secs (idea is to powder the peanuts to a coarse powder).

For yennegayi
  1. Wash the eggplant & pat dry. Make a slit of the eggplant as shown below.
  2. Fill a tbsp or less of the spice powder to each of the eggplant. Keep the stuffed eggplant aside.Heat oil in a broad pan (ensure to take a very broad one, as it has to fit all the eggplants). Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. When they splutter, add curry leaves, garlic & onion. Saute until onion turns golden brown.
  3. Add tamarind extract, remaining spice powder, stuffed eggplants & stir well. Oil should coat on the eggplants. Add water, salt (check the taste & then add, because we have already added salt to the spice powder), jaggery & mix well.
  4. Cook the eggplants on a low heat sitrring occasionally. Add few tbsps of water if required. Cook until the gravy becomes thick & eggplants soft. (It takes around 10-15 minutes).
  5. Turn off the heat, garnish with coriander leaves & serve it with hot rotis.


  1. Yennegayi literally means kayi(vegetable) cooked in yenne(oil). The more oil you put, the tastier the dish would be.
  2. The dish would tast equally good without garlic & onion too. My mom doesn't add them & I love that version too.
  3. Try to take equal sized eggplants as all of them get cooked evenly.
  4. Nigella seeds are a must to get an authentic taste to the dish.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Veg Burger

I was clean bowled by her pictures & step-by-step procedure. I went to NTUC & bought all the things required to prepare the burger. Thanks a lot Nags for inspiring me to prepare veg burger.
I modified her patty recipe to suit our taste. Also, I used iceberg lettuce instead of the baby greens. Rest of the procedure remains same.

I offered this to my maid. She was tasting this for the first time. She struggled to bite the burger. The lettuce & onions started peeping out. She kept the vegetables aside. Just ate the bun + patty, later ate her greens :) I asked whether she liked the burger. Her answer was "this burger tastes good, but cannot be eaten outside". Me & my hubby laughed for 5 mins at her sincere & innocent answer. Ha ha...

Ingredients for the patty(This makes around 8 patties)
Potatoes: 4 medium sized (boiled)
Cottage cheese: 3 tbsp (grated)
Carrot: 1 medium sized (grated)
Green peas: 1 fistful (boiled)
Garam Masala: 1 tsp
Chat masala: 1 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Lemon juice: 1 tsp
Corn flour: 1 tbsp
Bread: 2 slices (Used whole wheat bread)
Salt: According to taste
Oil : 1-1.5 tbsp for each patty
Ingredients for burger(For 8 burgers)
Ham burger buns : 8
Iceberg lettuce: 8 big leaves
Tomato Sauce : 1 tsp for each burger (Use any spread/dressing of your choice)
Onion: 2 slices for each burger
Tomato: 1-2 slices for each burger
Cheese: 8 slices ( One for each burger)

Patty preparation:
Mash the potatoes ensuring no lumps are left. Add all the ingredients mentioned (except bread). Soak the bread in water for 5 secs. Squeeze out the water from the bread. Mash the bread & then add it to the mixture. Mix them thoroughly. Prepare 8 equal sized balls (around the size of a ping pong ball). Pat them gently. Heat the oil on a griddle/tawa. When oil is hot, place the patties & shallow fry them on a medium/slow heat for 5 minutes on each side. Remove the patties from the griddle.
Assembling the burger:
Cut the burger bun (There would be an indication in the burger bun itself. Use this to slice the burger bun). Tear the lettuce leaf & place them on the lower portion of the burger bun.
Place the cheese slice above the lettuce. Now, place the hot patty over the cheese.
Smear some sauce/spread over the patty. Place the slices of onion & tomato over the patty. Finally close the other slice of bun over the slices of tomato & onion & enjoy!!

  • Place a relatively hot patty over the cheese slice as it helps to melt the cheese a little. This adds an extra zing to the burger.
  • Donot skip the usage of iceberg lettuce. The crunchiness of iceberg lettuce takes the burger to another level.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tava Fried Vegetables

People who are calorie conscious are requested to be away from this dish. Dont even see the pictures. Though the pictures have not come out good, there would be chances that you might feel like looking at the ingredient list. By chance if you happen to see the photo, dont ever peek into the ingredients because you might feel it is very simple & might think of giving it a try. Also, if you happen to try, dont blame me that I spoilt your diet.

If you are not calorie conscious, go ahead & try this simple, tasty tava veg that will surely be welcomed by all your family members. Do try & let me know if you liked it :)

Ingredients: (All vegetables are chopped into 1 inch cubes)
Small eggplants: 1 cup (I used green colored gulla badane & cut one brinjal into 4 parts)
Potato: 1 cup (peeled & cubed)
Cauliflower: 1 cup
Paneer: 1/2 cup
Capsicum: 1/2 cup
Shallots/Sambar onion: 1/2 cup (peeled)
Green chilli paste: 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp
Pav Baji masala: 1 tsp
Amchur powder: 1 tsp
Chaat masala: 1 tsp
Tomato puree: 1/4th cup
Salt: According to taste
Oil : For deep frying (I use canola oil)

Sprinkle some salt on all the chopped vegetables & keep them aside for 5-10mins.
Squeeze the water released & deep fry the vegetables till brown. Vegetables should get half cooked in oil.
Drain in an absorbent paper.

Heat the tava & place the vegetables on the rim of the tava (I couldn't take the picture of this)
Add a tbsp of oil. When oil is hot, add a big pinch of green chilli paste, add the few pieces of fried vegetables of your choice. Add a pinch of red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala, chat masala, amchur powder, salt & 1-1.5tbsp of tomato puree. Mix them well. Allow it to cook on a slow flame for 3-5minutes. Keep stirring in between.

Remove it from the tava & serve it immediately with roti/phulka.

  1. Prepare the veg for 1 person at a time. Dont load all the vegetables as it becomes difficult for the spices to blend well.
  2. Feel free to use other vegetables like okra/ladies finger & mushroom to this dish. I didnot have okra handy, else I never miss adding them. Okra & mushroom blend very well with the above spices.

I happened to change the photo of bhindi besan. Have a look

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tomato Masala

Though I prepare this tomato slice (as we call it) very often at home, I just cant resist the temptation & every-time postpone taking the pictures of them. To add to that, hubby says.., next time !! Now that I have got many requests for this tomato masala, I had to force myself to take pictures before jumping on them.

This is a street food of Mysore & a must after spicy churmuri. I'm missing those vontikoppal days (Vontikoppal is one of the locations in Mysore). Though it is available in Bangalore, the taste of tomato slice(masala) from Mysore is just mouth-watering. What say Mysooreans? If you happen to visit Mysore, dont forget to eat this chaat.For those who cannot visit Mysore, here is the recipe. Though this recipe yields you yummy tomato masala.., it cannot beat the roadside ones ;)

Tomato : 1 no (big one, take ripened & firm ones)
Onion: 1
Carrot: 1 small sized
Dhania powder/Coriander powder: a pinch on each slice
Chat masala: a pinch on each slice
Salt: According to taste (I add a pinch on each slice)
Red chilli powder: a pinch on each slice
Green chilli paste: a pinch on each slice
Sev: As much as you want (Refer here for the recipe or buy from Indian supermarkets)
Puffed rice/Puri/Murmura: As much as you want (I added a tbsp on each slice)
Fried peanuts/Congress: As much as you want
Finely chopped cilantro : A big pinch on each slice
Lemon juice: 2-3 drops on each slice

Note: Please dont look for sev in the photos. I didnot have sev handy & hence skipped them.

  • Finely chop the onions, grate the carrot & keep them aside.

  • Cut the tomato into slices. Place these slices next to each other on a plate.

  • Smear the salt, red chilli powder, green chilli paste. Sprinkle chaat masala, coriander powder. Put a tsp of chopped onions & grated carrot on each slice.

  • Generously sprinkle roasted peanuts, sev & puffed rice.

  • Sprinkle some lemon juice on each of the slices & enjoy immediately.

Salt, red chilli & green chilli paste have to be smeared/sprinkled first. This helps the tomato to absorb the salt & chilli well, making the dish salty, spicy & tangy.

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