Recipe Index

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Upma - cream of wheat - sooji, rava

click on arrow to watch video:

1 cup cream of wheat, rava or sooji
2 small green chili or according to taste
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
1 cup of chopped onion
1/2 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
1/4 cup of raw cashew nuts
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For Seasoning:
4 tablespoon of oil
1/2  teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoon of channa dal
1 teaspoon of urad dal
2 cups of water approximately

Add about 1/2 teaspoon of oil to the cream of wheat mix it and microwave it for about 40 seconds.

Heat a pan with 4 tablespoons of oil.
When hot add channa dal and urad dal.
When the dal is turning brown add the mustard seeds, wait till the mustard seeds have crackled.
Add onion and fry till the onion is almost brown.
Add chopped green chilies and ginger and saute for a minute or so.
Add 2 cups water, wait till it boils, add the frozen mixed vegetables and salt.  Cook the vegetables for about 2 minutes.
Add the cream of wheat to the boiling water slowly while mixing.  Lumps will form try breaking them.

Serve with chutney, pickle or sambar.  Serves 4

Upma is a popular breakfast item in South India.  It is mild and filling.  There is variations of this dish made with vermicelli, broken whole wheat, poha or flattened rice.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Peanut Chutney

click on arrow to watch video:

1/2 cup of unsalted roasted peanuts
1/4 cup of fresh ground coconut can substitute with dry coconut
2 small green chilies or according to taste
a few cilantro leaves
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup of yogurt
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For seasoning
1 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoon of channa dal
1/2 teaspoon of urad dal

Grind the peanuts, coconut, green chili and cilantro with a little water.  Remove from the grinding jar and pour it into a bowl.  Add yogurt and lemon juice and mix.

For seasoning:  Heat a pan with one tablespoon of oil add channa dal and urad dal.  When the dal sizzles add the mustard seeds, when the mustard seed crack add it to the chutney add the salt and mix.

This is a variation of coconut chutney.  It is served with dosa, idli, upma, pongal etc.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cucumber raita

1 small cucumber
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 tablespoon green chili or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt

For seasoning:
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds or jeera
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder or haldi

Wash and remove the skin from the cucumber.  Remove the seeds from inside and discard them.  Cut the cucumber into small pieces, add yogurt, green chili, salt and mix.

Season: Heat oil in a pan when hot add cumin seeds.  When the cumin seeds start sizzling turn the heat off add turmeric powder and pour it into the cucumber.  Mix and serve.
This raita is served with rice or chapati.  Serves 2

As cool as a cucumber.  Indian food is spicy and hot, to balance the heat raita is usually served.  It is a part of every meal.  In Southern India raita is called pachadi.  The recipe for pachadi has a slight variation in it.  Raita also serves as a great salad dressing or dip.

Asparagus and cream peas

1 lbs asparagus
1 cup frozen cream peas
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 salt
1 teaspoon of zest of orange
Clean and cut the asparagus into 1" pieces.  Heat a pan with oil add cream peas  and a little water and cook for about 3 minutes.  After three minutes add asparagus and cook till the asparagus is done it takes about 8 to 10 minutes, add salt, Italian seasoning and orange zest.  Served with rice or chapati.
Serves 2.

You find really good asparagus in spring.  It is a delicate vegetable.  Like spinach it rots fast.  If I am not cooking it right away I usually keep the cut ends soaked in water in the refrigerator.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bitter melon curry

1 lbs of chopped bitter melon (also know as bitter gourd or karela)
3 tablespoon of oil
2 tablespoon of sambar powder (recipe is in this blog, or substitute with store bought, store bought sambar powder has more chili, adjust it to taste)
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt

The bitter melon are washed and cut.  If the seeds are tender they can be used if the seeds are hard  or ripe they are discarded.

Heat oil in a pan add bitter melon cover and cook.  When the melon is cooked add salt and sambar powder, stir add lemon juice stir and turn the heat off.

Bitter melon as its name states is bitter tasting.  It is an acquired taste.  Adding lemon juice or tamarind to it reduces its bitterness.  

When I was a little kid I used to hate this vegetable, my dad used to get me to eat bitter melon saying "Bitter melon is so good for you that it will make your tummy so tough that if you eat a rock it will get digested".

Northern beans soup recipe

Please click on arrow to watch video:

2/3 cup of dry northern beans can be substituted with canned beans
1 cup of chopped onions
1 cup of chopped tomato
2 tablespoons of oil
2 green chili
1 tablespoon of chopped ginger
1 tablespoon of chopped garlic
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon of garam masala found at Indian grocer
1/2 teaspoon salt
Enough water to cook the beans

Wash the beans and soak them hot water for least one hour.  In a pan with two cups of water cook the soaked beans for at least 25 minutes or till it is cooked.  If the beans are not soaked before cooking they take longer to cook.

In a pan heat the oil, add onions and fry them till brown, add green chili, ginger, garlic and stir, add turmeric powder wait for a few seconds stir add tomato, stir cover and cook till the tomatoes are done (oil will separate from the tomato), add the cooked beans, salt, garam masala cook till it comes to a boil.  Turn the heat off. Add 2 tablespoon of lemon juice (optional).  Garnish with cilantro

Served with rice or chapati, serves 2

Northern beans and cannellini beans are not the same.  Cannellini beans are larger.  Northern beans skin is smother it is also used in salads.

Monday, March 26, 2012


4 cups of mixed vegetables chopped into long pieces
 (good vegetables for avial are squashes, yam, eggplant, raw banana, potato)
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder or haldi
1/2 teaspoon of salt
3/4 cup of ground coconut, can be substituted with dry coconut
1/2 of jalapeno or 2 green chilies to taste
1/2 cup of yogurt
1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate
1 tablespoon of coconut oil optional

Cook the vegetables with enough water. 
Grind the coconut with jalapeno peppers. 
When the vegetables are almost done add turmeric powder, salt and tamarind concentrate. Let it cook for a minute. 
Add the ground coconut and jalapeno mixture, turn the heat off and add yogurt. Garnish with curry leaves.  Drizzle a tablespoon of coconut oil over the finished dish.  

Served with rice, chapati, adai, pongal, upma.  Serves 2

If you have left over vegetables by making avial you can use it up.  There are very few spices used in avial.  For its simplicity avial has an outstanding taste. Squashes go well in this dish.  Raw banana also goes well.  Avial originated in Kerala but everyone loves it.

Chapati - Unleavened bread


1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon oil

Preparation:  Combine the ingredients above to make a dough. Knead for at least 5 minutes. Cover the dough and allow it to rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes. After 30 minutes divide the dough into 6 equal round parts. Roll each round into flat chapati as shown in the video. Put the chapati on a hot griddle, when air bubbles start showing flip the chapati to the other side. More bubble will form, remove the chapati from the griddle and using tongs put the chapati on open flame allowing the chapati to fluff up. Use the tongs to flip the chapati to cook the other side and remove.

2nd. method instead of cooking it on the open flame allow the chapati to cook a little longer on the griddle and flip it to the other side. Apply a little ghee or butter or oil on top and again flip it over and apply ghee, butter or oil, remove. Chapati is served with dal, vegetable and raita.
There are versions of chapati all over the world.  This unleavened flat bread made from whole wheat it is a staple in India.

http://www.easycooking321.com/  all rights reserved

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ghee or clarified butter recipe

1 lbs unsalted butter
Remove the paper wraps from the butter.  Place the butter in a pan heat it until it is clear.

Coconut Chutney recipe

1 cup of fresh ground coconut (can be found in the freezer section of Indian grocer or substitute with dry coconut found in the bakery section.  If you are using dry coconut wash and rinse it once)
2 green chill or according to taste
a few cilantro leaves
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon of salt

For seasoning:
2 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
2 teaspoon of channa dal
2 teaspoon of urad dal

Grind the coconut, chili and cilantro with enough water.  Pour it into a bowl mix and add salt and yogurt.
For seasoning heat oil when it is hot add the channa and urad dal.  When the dal sizzles add mustard.  When the mustard crackles add it to the ground coconut.

Coconut chutney is easy to make.  This is served as a side dish to idli, dosai, uppma, pongal and many other dishes.  Chutney gives these dishes the just right match.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Idli soft and scrumptious

1/2 cup of urad dal soaked in water for at least 4 hours to 8 hours
1 1/2 cup of idli rawa or cream of rice
1/2 teaspoon of salt
Enough water to make batter

Grind the idli rawa for about a minute and pour it into a bowl.  Next grind the urad dal with enough water to make a smooth batter.  Mix the urad dal and rawa to make a smooth batter.  Keep it in the oven with the light on for at least 6 hours or until the batter has fermented and risen.  Grease the idli plates with oil.  Fill each idli hole with batter.  Prepare the steamer add enough water, insert the idli stand into the steamer close the lid and cook for at least 30 minutes.  Starting with medium high and reducing it to medium to low.  Idli is done when a knife inserted into the idli comes out clean.
Serve with sambar and chutney.
Serves 5

PS. If the batter does not ferment add some yeast.

This is a very filling snack.  Mostly eaten as breakfast in Southern India.  Even though it is easy to make the batter has to be just right to make it soft.  Spiced sambar and chutney go well with mild idli.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Toor Dal soup "simple"

1/2 cup Toor dal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter can be substituted with oil
1 tablespoon channa dal
1 tablespoon urad dal
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
a pinch of fenugreek seeds or methi
2 dry red chili or according to taste
1/4 teaspoon of asafoetida
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
a few cilantro leaves for garnish
Enough water for preparation

Preparation:  Cook the dal in 2 cups of water in medium high heat, when the water starts boiling reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the dal cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until it is cooked.  
For seasoning heat clarified butter in a pan on medium heat add channa dal and urad dal, when the dal sizzles add mustard seeds, when the mustard seeds crack add the dry chili and fenugreek seeds turn the heat off add turmeric and asafoetida and add it to the cooked dal.  Add salt and mix.  If the dal is too thick add some water let it come to a boil.  Turn the heat off add lemon juice and garnish with cilantro leaves.  
Serve with rice or chapati.
Serves 2.
Toor dal is a very important part of Indian vegetarian diet.  It is high in protein.  In southern India toor dal is used to make a variety of soups, with and without vegetables.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Green Beans

1 lbs of fresh green beans can be substituted with frozen beans
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt or according to preference

2 tablespoon of oil
1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
1 tablespoon of urad daal
1 dry red chili optional

Wash and cut the beans.  To a pan on medium heat add oil, when the oil is hot add urad daal, wait for the daal to sizzle, add mustard seed and wait for it to crack once it has stopped cracking add the dry red chili and wait for a few seconds add the beans stir, add turmeric and salt mix cover the pan and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat.  After 2 minutes remove the cover stir and let it cook till the beans are done.  It takes a total of 8 to 10 minutes for the beans to cook stirring occasionally.  It tastes best when it is cooked el dante.  Served with rice or chapati.  Serves 2.

This is a typical Tamil recipe.  It is a simple dish to make.  The best thing about beans is that it is so filling.  Everybody loves beans.  It is cheap and available throughout the year.  To pick beans the ends should snap easily and they need to be green and free of black and brown spots.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Eggplant curry "Ennai Kathirikai"

1 lbs eggplant
5 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoon dhania or coriander seeds
1 tablespoon channa dal
2 dry red chili
1/2 teaspoon salt
Wash and cut each eggplant into four lengthwise pieces.

Dry roast the dhania or coriander seeds, channa dal and red chili until they are brown and it gives out an aroma let it cool and grind into a powder.

Place a pan on the burner on medium heat add oil add the cut eggplant.  Cover and cook for 2 minutes.  After 2 minutes remove the cover and stir.  Let it cook for about 8 to 10 minutes till it is done. Turn the heat off add the dry powder and salt.  Served with rice or chapati.
This serves about 4 people.

There are so many varieties of eggplant - Italian, Indian, Japanese etc.  They come in many colors also.   While picking eggplant they should feel firm, free of blemish and the stem should be green.  This is native to India.  It is so popular in India that there is at least one eggplant dish served during festivities and celebrations.  There are numerous recipes for this versatile vegetable.  "Ennai Kathirikai" is a very popular Tamil recipe.


1 lbs okra
4 tablespoon oil
1 1/2 garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt

Okra is washed and cut into bite size pieces

Heat a pan (preferably a non-stick) on medium heat to it add oil.  When the oil is warm add the okra, stir, cover and let it cook for 2 minutes.  After 2 minutes remove the cover stir and let it cook till is is done.  Cook till it is crisp.  Add garam masala, salt and stir.

This serves 4 people.
This vegetable can stand heat and grows during summer.  It is available in plenty in summer.  To pick fresh okra they should be green.  If the tail end snaps easily it is fresh.  The recipe above is simple but it can be enhanced with red chili powder

Pancharatan dal composition

1/4 cup tur dal

1/4 cup masoor dal, 

1/4 cup mung dal, 

1/4 cup channa dal, 

1/4 cup urad dal

Mix them up and bottle.  Use as needed.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Curry Leaves Powder

2 cups curry leaves with stalks removed
2 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoon urad dal

If you are using fresh curry leaves roast it on medium heat until they are crispy.  Keep aside and cool.  If you are using dry curry leaves you need not roast it.  Roast the black pepper and urad dal separately keep it aside to cool.  Combine all of the cooled ingredients and grind them to a coarse powder.  
Serve with rice and clarified butter or with yogurt rice.

Paruppu Powder

1/2 cup channa dal
1/2 cup urad dal
1/2 cup toovar dal
2 red chilies
2 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Roast all of the above ingredients separately with a little oil, keep it aside.  When cool combine them together and grind them into a coarse powder.  Bottle and store, stays good for at least 3 months.  Serve with plain rice or quinoa.

Garam Masala

1/2 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds
6 cinnamon sticks 2" long
12 cloves
5 black whole cardamon
1/4 teaspoon piece of nutmeg 
4 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black pepper

Mix all of the above ingredients roast and powder and bottle.  This stays fresh for about one month.  Ideally grind small amounts according to your needs.

Rasam Powder

1/4 cup of coriander seeds
1/4 cup of black pepper
1/4 cup of cumin seeds
4 dry red chili or to taste
1 tablespoon tuvar dal
1 teaspoon channa dal

Roast the above ingredients separately when cool combine and powder to a coarse consistency and bottle.

Coconut Powder

1 cup fresh ground coconut
2 red chili or to taste
2 tablespoon urad dal
2 tablespoon channa dal
4 dry red chili
pinch of asafoetida
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Roast the coconut until golden brown keep it aside to cool.  
Roast the urad dal, channa dal and red chili with a little oil until reddish brown keep it aside to cool.  
Heat one teaspoon of oil when hot add the mustard seeds to it.  When the mustard seeds crackles add it to the roasted coconut.  
First grind the cooled dals and red chili to a coarse powder add the roasted coconut and continue grinding till all are combined to form a coarse powder.  
Serve with idli, dosai or rice.

Andhra Garlic powder

1 cup dalia or pottu kadalai
1/2 cup whole garlic cloves
4 dry red chili or to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
Roast dalia in the microwave for a total of 2 minutes, in between after one minute take it out mix it and put it back to roast for one minute.  Keep aside to cool.
Roast the whole garlic clove in the microwave for 40 seconds.  When cool remove the skin.
Combine the cooled dalia, garlic and red chili and powder to a coarse consistency.  Add salt mix and bottle.  Serve with rice.