Category Archives: curry

Fenugreek Leaves (Methi) cooked two ways

I love all green leaf vegetables. There is always kale and spinach in my fridge at the minimum. Or other greens such as chard greens, mustard greens, collard greens, amaranth leaves, and red sorrel leaves.

But fenugreek leaves is a whole different story.

While I admired the patience with which my mother extracted, cleaned, chopped and used them in cooking and enjoyed the end product, I am lazy when it comes to following the arduous process involved!

I rarely buy fenugreek leaves, but on a rare occasion I do commit and often regret, which was the case this past week. Good news is, these days you can buy fenugreek leaves in the frozen section of an Indian grocery.

The most common recipe that we used to make at home was to cook fenugreek leaves with toor dal (pigeon gram). I scoured the web for other ideas and finally decided to also try a curry recipe with it.

Here’s how I used my bunch of fenugreek leaves.

Peas, Methi Malai (Creamy Peas & Fenugreek Leaves Curry)

3/4 bunch of fenugreek leaves, extracted, rinsed and chopped
1 cup frozen peas, washed
1 small onion chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, chopped
small piece of ginger, chopped
2 Roma tomaotes, blended
3-4 tbsp of sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
1-2 tsp oil
dash of tumeric
1/2 tsp cumin seeds

Extract, rinse, chop and set aside the fenugreek leaves.

Heat oil in a pan. Add tumeric and cumin seeds and fry till lightly brown.  Add onion, garlic and ginger and fry till lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Add peas, and fenugreek leaves and continue flying for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and spices as desired.

Add milk, sour cream and a cup of water. Bring to boil, and reduce flame and continue cooking for another 15-20 minutes until the curry thickens. This is very lightly seasoned, always adjust seasoning to personal preference. You can also add paneer if desired.

Garnish with cilantro and serve with naan, roti or a bowl of rice.

Methi dal

 

I previously posted the recipe for Methi dal and you find the recipe for Methi dal here.

Note: Fenugreek leaves have a very strong flavor, and unlike other greens, using a whole lot of them in dal can make it bitter. I usually like to err on the lighter side and use less rather than more!

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Fun with Amaranth

Amaranth leaves are found  in abundance in the Tropics and growing up, I loved dal, tamarind stews, and yogurt stews made with them. It was only a few years ago, I started to use Amaranth grain or flour.

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Amaranth is not really a grain, but a seed. It is highly nutritious, packed with protein, vitamins and minerals.

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Here are some delicious recipes with this seed, flour or leaves that I posted previously:

Amaranth Grain Uttappam

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Amaranth Leaves cooked two ways

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Amaranth Dosa

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Amaranth Orange Cardamon Loaf

Amaranth Pumpkin Loaf

Amaranth Upma

The last few years I have been trying to grow Amaranth and Red Sorrel leaves in my patio garden, and it is challenging as well as highly rewarding!

Links:

Green
Patio Garden: Slow & Steady
Amaranth Plant
Amaranth Grain Nutrition
Health Benefits of Amaranth

Best of 2015

I had a lot of fun in 2015 trying new recipes from around the world. There are many keepers in the list that i cooked over and over again, and I expect, will continue to do so.

Here are some of my most favorite recipes…

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APPETIZERS & SNACKS

Baked Bajji

Baked Vada

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GRAINS:

Quinoa Dosa

One-pot Mexican Quinoa

Mango Poha

Quinoa Vangi Bath

Cranberry Poha

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BEANS & LENTILS

Cauliflower, Kale, Chickpea  Curry Pot

Black-Eyed Peas and Greens with Navrattan Spices

kumquat2

JAMS & JELLIES

Anise Flavored Kumquat Marmalade

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DIPS & SAUCES

Sun-dried Tomato and Jalapeno Hummus

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WRAPS & SANDWICHES

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

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CASSEROLE

Zucchini and Yellow Tomato Gratin

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Spaghetti Squash Burrito Bowl

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DESSERTS

Pumpkin Payasam

Cherry Swirl with Dark Chocolate & Cherry Bits

Baklava

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BREADS, COOKIES & CAKES

Farro and Sun-dried Tomato Foccacia

Cherry and Cardamon Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Airplane Cookies

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JUICES & SMOOTHIES

Watermelon Cooler

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CURRIES & MORE

Tomato in Yogurt Sauce

Eggplant Curry with Onion

CherrySalad

SALADS

Cherry and Avocado Salad

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SIDES

Honey and Sriracha Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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SOUPS

Vibrant Beets Soup

Mediterranean Grain Soup

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WHAT’S POPULAR WITH YOU?

Amaranth Upma

Amaranth Dosa

Spicy Chickpea and Brussels Sprouts Soup

Valor Papdi Bean

Baked Bajji

Edamame and Zucchini Wraps

Quinoa Upma

Mango Carrot Muffins

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

South Indian Eggplant Curry with Onion (Ulli Karam)

I don’t make this often, but here’s another variation to the Eggplant curry

EggplantCurry

Ingredients:

2 Japanese Eggplant
1-1 1/2  onion chopped
Cilantro, chopped

Seasoning:

2-3 tbsp (or as desired)  South Indian Curry Powder
turmeric
asafoetida
1-2 tbsp tamarind juice (or as desired)
Salt to taste
3-4 tbsp oil

Heat 1-2 tbsp of oil in a pan and add chopped onion and fry for 5-10 minutes, stirring as needed, until the onion are lightly browned. Transfer to the blender or food processor. Pulse gently to squash the onion.

Meanwhile, add 1-2 tbsp oil to the pan, turmeric, salt and add chopped eggplant and fry for 5-10 minutes, until browned. Transfer the onion to the pan. Add 1-2 tbsp tamarind juice. Mix well, cover with a lid and cook for 5-10 minutes.

Add South Indian curry powder as desired, season with some chopped cilantro and serve warm with some rice or roti.

You can also use this recipe with potatoes, tindora, chinese okra and more.

Sweet and Sour Bittergourd Stew

Bitter gourd, or bitter melon, or bitter squash is indigenous to tropical or sub-tropical climates. It’s bitter taste makes it a perfect cleansing agent. It is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. The bitterness might be a deterrent in it’s consumption. My mother cooked it two ways: Sweet and Sour Stew and Fry.

bg4Owing to the bitterness, I could never eat the fry, but the sweet and sour stew was always my favorite.

Ingredients:

2 bitter gourd, chopped
1 small onion chopped
1 cup tamarind juice
2-3 blocks of jaggery
1-2 tbsp rice flour
1 jalapeno, sliced
1 tsp oil
1 tbsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1-2 dry red chilli
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
touch of turmeric
touch of asafoetida
a few curry leaves
chopped cilantro for garnish

bg1In a pan, heat some oil. Add turmeric, asafoetida, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, dry red chillies, urad dal, and channa dal. Fry till lightly golden. Add sliced jalapeno and curry leaves and fry lightly. Add chopped bitter gourd and onion and fry till the onion turn translucent.

bg2Add about 1 cup tamarind juice (or as desired). Add 1-2 cubes of jaggery to sweeten the stew. Bring to a boil. Let simmer on medium low until cooked.

bg3Add rice flour to a little water. Mix well and add to the stew. Let simmer for a few minutes. Season with salt. Garnish with some chopped cilantro and serve warm with some rice and dal.bg4We always ate our stew with some dal!

See also:

Snake Gourd and Moong Dal
Pumpkin and Channa Dal

Aloo Gobi (Potato and Cauliflower)

My memories of this curry are from elementary school. My best friend, used to get this for lunch. Her mom used to send over piping hot food, daily during lunch time. Aloo Gobi wrapped in fresh home made roti was always my favorite. When I think of Aloo Gobi, my mind goes back to that memory and those days. Over the years, I have tried to refine my recipe to the taste I remember from those days. Here is how I make it…

aloogobiIngredients:

1 cauliflower head separated into florets
2-3 potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
1/2 tsp tumeric
1-2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp amchur (dried mango powder)
1/4 tsp red chili powder (optional)
salt to taste
cilantro to garnish

Place a large pan on medium low. Add oil, turmeric and cumin seeds. Fry for a minute until the cumin seeds turn slightly brown. Rinse and add cauliflower florets and potato.  Add salt and mix well.

Usually the water from the rinsed vegetables is sufficient for the cooking if not sprinkle a few droplets of water. Close the lid and allow to cook, mixing occasionally to preventing sticking.

Once the cauliflower softens, in 10 minutes or so, add the spices. Adjust the spices to personal preference. Mix well. Garnish with cilantro and serve with warm roti. Can also be eaten with rice.

 

Spinach and Yogurt Stew (Challa Pulusu)

It is very common to make a curry-like stew with vegetables and tamarind juice (or yogurt) in Southern India. While you can make this one with spinach leaves only, more commonly my mother would add bottle gourd, pumpkin and tomato. Occasionally I like to add other vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash or even green beans sometimes.

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Here’s how we typically made it at home:

Ingredients:
3 cups buttermilk (I used Kefir 1% buttermilk)
1 cup of cubed bottle gourd and butternut squash (or pumpkin)
2 cups chopped spinach
1 large tomato chopped
1 jalapeno sliced
a few curry leaves
chopped cilantro to garnish
1 tsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp turmeric
3-4 whole dry red chilli
a small piece of ginger minced
1 tbsp coconut flakes (optional)
2 tbsp chick pea flour
salt to taste

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I typically steam the vegetables (cubed bottle gourd, and pumpkin) in the pressure cooker. But you can also cook them stove top with a little water.

Meanwhile, heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, add turmeric and asafoetida, add cumin seeds, mustard seeds and dry red chilli and lightly fry for a few seconds. Add ginger, curry leaves and sliced jalapeno and fry for a few seconds. Add chopped spinach and continue frying for a few minutes. Add steamed vegetables, chopped tomato and continue cooking. Add salt to taste.

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Meanwhile, in a pan, mix chick pea flour and butter milk. This prevents the butter milk from cracking when boiled with the vegetables.

Add the butter milk mixture to the vegetables. Continue boiling for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with some chopped cilantro. Optionally add some coconut flakes.

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Serve warm with some rice and dal. I usually love to eat mine with Chinese Okra and dal.

Add a teaspoon of ghee…  Heavenly!

Enjoy!