Saturday, November 28, 2015

Sweet Potato Curry

Sweet potatoes are plenty in the market during winter, Sweet potatoes are one of the healthy vegetable also. Preparing some or the other dishes using this vegetable is really good Idea. I have noted that Swathi Iyer has used Sweet Potatoes in her baking. That's a great idea to use Sweet Potatoes. We South Canara  (Southern part of Karnataka) people do make use of sweet potatoes in our cooking. So many dishes can be prepared with sweet potatoes. Curry, paratha, upma, payasa, papad jamoon etc etc the list goes on.

Here is a simple recipe that every one can try and enjoy having it as one of the side dish. It is easy and healthy. Not much of spices either.
I have used sweet potatoes, onions and some chilly. We had it with Poori. It goes well with rotis, chapati, dosa or idli even one of the side dish while serving with rice.
Let us see some benefits of " Sweet Potatoes " in our diet.
Sweet Potatoes are packed with nutritional values. They are filled with Vitamin A, loads of fiber and potassium. They also contain less calories. Sweet potatoes are said to be decrease the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. they help to increase the energy and lower the weight. They help to reduce the risk of low blood sugar and insulin resistance in diabetic people. They are packed with many essential vitamins and minerals. They contain minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese and potassium. They are full of fiber and good for people who suffer from constipation and it helps in easy digestion. Sweet potatoes are high in Vitamin C and beta carotene and it helps o boost immunity power in the body. Sweet Potatoes have anti inflammatory properties. Sweet Potatoes are good for Eye health. ( It contain Vitamin A which is good for Vision).

Lets see the recipe Now :

Ingredients :

Sweet Potatoes : 2 to 3 (Medium Sized)
Onions : 2 (Medium Sized)
Green Chilly : 2
Curry leaves : 5 to 6
Ginger : 1 Teaspoon (Grated).
Salt : To taste
Basan/Channa flour : 1 Tablespoon
Mustard Seeds : 1 Teaspoon
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Oil : 2 Tablespoons (Any cooking oil).

Method : 

1. Wash and remove the outer layer of sweet potatoe. Cut them into small and cook with little water. (Till soft).
2. Remove the outer layer of onions and wash. Cut it into thin stripes. Keep it aside.
3. Wash and cut green chilly and curry leaves and coriander leaves. \
4. Wash and remove the outer layer of ginger. Wash it again and grate it. Keep it aside.
5. Now keep a pan on the fire and heat. Add oil. Add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
6. Add jeera/cumin seeds, green chilly and curry leaves.
7. Add cut onions and fry nicely. Add water and let it cook till soft. (1/2 a cup of water).
8. Now add little turmeric powder and mix it well. Add required salt. Add grated ginger.

9. Add cooked sweet potato once the onions turn soft and mix it well. Let it cook for 1 minute.
10. Put channa flour/besan/Kadlae hittu in a glass. Add 1/2 cup of water and mix it well.

11. Pour this besan mix to the cooking sweet potato. Let it cook for 2 minutes. Mix in between so that it does not get burnt.
12. Shift the sweet potato curry to a serving dish. Add cut coriander leaves, mix it well and serve it with the main dish you have prepared.

Note :

You can add little garam masla to the curry (Add it when the curry is cooking). Adding garlic is optional. Adding more chilly is also optional. Adding gram flour/channa flour /besan helps to thicken the curry. Add a teaspoon of lemon extract. (It taste good). You can cook sweet potato (as whole ...just wash it and then cook) in pressure cooker is optional. But some time it will over cooked and smashed. The taste varies.
Time : 30 Minutes.
Serves : 3 to 4

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Dodda Patre (Sambara balli ) - Channa Dal Chutney

Chutney is a side dish which is prepared using coconut and it can be eaten with almost all main dishes. It can be a spicy spread on bread sandwich or even in chapati rolls. Indians do love chutney. Chutneys can be prepared in many ways using different vegetables/ vegetable peels, dals and many other ingredients.

Here I have used Dooda Patre/ Ajwan leaves, coconut and some spices to prepare this chutney. These Dodda Patre leaves contain loads of medicinal values and used in cooking also. Dodda Patre leaves have a beautiful aroma and goes well with Indian dishes.
Dodda patre is also called as Ajwain leaves because it gives the aroma of ajwain. Dodda Patre is also known as Pathar chur in Marati, Pani Kukkaraka (since it helps in chasing fever (jvara) in Malayalam and Karpooravalli in Tamil. In Hindi it is called Pan Ova (Ajwain) and in Telugu it is known as Vamu Akku. Dodda Patre is also known as Indian Oregano and Indian Borage/ Cuban oregano and Mexican Mint.

Let us see some benefits of Using Dodda Patre/Ajwain leavs in our diet:

The leaves are used in many traditional medicines. They are good for treating coughs, sore throats and nasal congestion. They are also good for infections, malaria fever, flu, chronic astama, hiccup, bronchitis and epilepsy. These leaves improve the health of our skin, detoxify the body and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. It is good for digestion. They are very good for respiratory problems and helps to boost immune in the body and prevent bacteria or other infections. It contain Vitamin C and Vitamin A.  The acid (ascorbic acid) found in the herb helps to immune system and to be strong. Vitamin A content helps to improve vision health. It also helps to reduce the stress in the eyes. It contain organic compounds and minerals. The herbal tea prepared from this leaves are good for people who suffer from high anxiety, chronic stress and it helps to get good rest, relaxation and good sleep. It is also good for people suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and stomach upsets.
Caution : Please note that Pregnant and breast feeding mothers do not use the herb. (The chemical content in the leaf may lead to some alergy.

Dodda Patre - Channa dal Chutney can be served as one of the side dish. It goes well with almost all main dishes like rice, chapati, any type of roti or parata, dosa, idli and even palau.
Lets see the recipe now. It is easy and simple and healthy to eat.

Things Needed : 

Dodda Patre/ Sambara Balli Leaves : 1 Bowl or more than two handful
Coconut : 1 Bowl
Channa Dal : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Red Chilly ( byadagi) : 6 to 8
Tamarind : A marble size 
Curry leaves : 1 Handful
Ingh /Asfoetida : a little
Salt : to taste
Water : as required
Oil : 2 Teaspoons
Mustard seasoning with curry leaves and ingh : 1/2 tea spoon mustard seeds, 5 to 6 curry leaves and little ingh

Method : 

1. Wash the leaves nicely and slowly, keep it aside.
2. Grate or cut coconut and keep it aside.

3. Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Put 1 Teaspoon of oil, Add channa dal and fry nicely till it turns golden brown.

4. Add red chilly, curry leaves and ingh. Now add washed " Dodda Patre " leaves and fry til they turn soft. (on the low flame).
5. Let the fried ingredients get cool.
6. Grind coconut, tamarind (check to know there is no seed) and the fried ingredients nicely till they turn soft (2 to 3 minutes).

7. Add required salt and churn once or twice. Remove from the mixi jar. (Do not add much water to grind).

8. Shift the chutney to a serving dish and add mustard seasoning.

9. Serve with the main dish you have prepared.

Note :

Do not add much water while grinding. (It turns watery and will not taste good). Adding more/less chilly is optional. You can add a red chilly to the seasoning. It gives good aroma and adds to the taste. Using byadagi chilly gives good colour to the chutney and adds taste to the chutney. Fry the ingredients on low flame. Adding onions and garlic to the chutney is optional. (You can grind onions and add garlic while frying mustard seeds for seasoning. Adding cut onions on the top of the chutney (just before serving ) adds to the taste. (I did not use any onion here in this recipe).
Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 4 to 5.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chapati Upma ( Fry).

You might be wondering about the dish " Chapati Upma". It is a simple left over chapati upma. This dish is very simple and easy to prepare. Our friend Rajashree Sudhir used to tell about chapati upma that they do mostly when the chapti becomes more than the requirement and loads of chapatis remains in the chapati box, She used say that they just prepare this chapati upma and serve it. I felt thats a great idea to use left over chapatis, instead of eating again the same chapatis.
I have cut chapati into strips. I have used simple seasoning with mustard, urid dal and red chilly. Red chilly adds a flavour to Chapati Upma. We normally use one or two red chilly in the seasoning. As I said earlier it adds a good taste to the dish.
Let us see the benefits of eating chilly in our diet.
Chilli peppers are one of the very popular spices for their medicinal and health benefiting properties. Chilli has a strong spicy taste that comes from the active alkloid compounds called capsaicin. It has anti bacterial, anti diabetic properties. It helps to reduce LDL cholesterol level in obese individuals. Chilly has a good source of Vitamin C and anti oxidant and anti inflammatory properties.It contain Vitamin A and help to protect the body. Chilli contain good amount of minerals like potassium, manganese, iron and magnesium. They are good source of B complex group of Vitamins.
Chapati Upma is very easy to prepare and not much of ingredients required. You can have it for breakfast or as snack.
Lets see the recipe now:

Ingredients :

Chapatis : 5 to 6
Oil : 2 Tablespoons
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Urid dal : 12 Teaspoon
Red chilly : 2
Curry leaves : 8 to 10 leaves
Coconut : 1/2 Cup
Jaggery : 1 Tablespoon
Salt : a little
Coriander leaves : 2 Tablespoons

Method :

1. Cut chapatis in to small pieces.
2. Wash and cut curry leaves and coriander leaves into small.
3. Grate coconut and keep it aside.
4. Keep a pan on the fire and put oil . Put mustard seeds, urid dal and let the mustard splutter.
5. Add red chilly (cut it according to your wish) and fry. Add curry leaves and mix it  well.
6. Add cut chapati pieces and mix it well. Sprinkle a few drops of water,add jaggery and salt.
7. Let it cook on low flame for a minute. Mix it well and add grated coconut and  Mix it nicely .
8. Add grated coconut and mix it well again.  Add coriander leaves and shift the Chapati Upma to a serving dish.
9 .Serve with a cup of curd and some fruits aside.

Note : 

You can add cooked vegetables to " Chapati Upma ". You can also add peas, Field beans etc (cook it and then add). Adding little more spice s like garam masala is optional. Adding onions and garlic is also optional. You can also add green chilly instead of red chilly. Adding coconut is also optional. Adding a spoon of ghee adds to the taste. Sprinkle very little water. (It helps the chapati to be soft). You can also add ground nuts while seasoning mustard seeds.
Time : 10 minutes
Serves : 2 to 3.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Moong Dal -Rava Spicy Dosa

Dosa or dose is very popular dish now a days. It is one of the healthy breakfast or snack dish and fill your stomach nicely. Udupi Hotel's crispy dosa is world famous. Dosas are normally prepared using Rice and Urid dal and little methi seeds. All healthy grains are always good to have and take care of our health. Now a days you get many types dosas and it is prepared using different grains rather than rice and urid dal. Moong dal, channa dal, or some other pulse or legume (dals) are used. Pulses actually adds to the good health. Moong dal or whole moong is used to prepare pesarittu (pesaru means Green gram). Pesarittu is famous in Andra Prades and around it. But they do not use much rice in it.
I have given a little twist here like always. I have used moong dal and rava/sooji/ semolina (medium sized) and used some spice too. Spices adds to the taste.  Moong Dal Rava Spicy Dosa is good to have for breakfast or as snack in the evening. As the name says it is bit spicy and yummy. Moong Dal can be soaked at night and ground in the morning. Adding some rava turns the dosa very crispy and the spice you add gives good taste to the dosa.
Let us see some benefits of using Ingh (Asafoetida)
Asafoetida/Ingh/ingu/Kayam and ting is the dried gum (latex) get from the tap root of several species of Ferula.( A perennial herb). The species is native to the deserts of Iran, mountains of Afghanistan and mainiy cultivated in India. This spice is used as a digestive aid in food as a condiment in Indian cuisine.
Asafoetida reduces the growth of indigenous in the gut. In some places in India it is used as a medicine for constipation. It is a digestion aid. It is also used as wound healer. It is good for treating  Influenza and beneficial in fighting the swine flu and H1N1 virus. It is good remedy for astama and bronchitis. Asafoetida contain antimicrobial properties and used to treat woophing cough, chronic bronchitis. In India according to Ayurveda asafoetid is one of the best spices for balancing the Vata and Pitta dosha.
We Indians know the benefits of Ingh and use it in our day to day dishes. It is good for digestion, good remedy to remove the gas content in the food we eat, good for controlling cholesterol level in our body.

It is easy to prepare and you can grind it and prepare dosa immediately. If you are preparing it as soon as you grind the dough you can use 2 tablespoons of curd to mix it with dough and then prepare dosa. Adding curd helps the dosa dough to get the consistency of fermentation and it gives smoothness to dosa. Or you can mix rava and leave the dough to get ferment and then use it. The choice is yours.
Lets see the recipe now.

Things needed : 

Moong Dal : 1 cup
Dry Ginger powder : 1 Teaspoon
Curry leaves : Handful
Ingh : a little
Red chilly powder : 1 Teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin seeds : 1 Teaspoon
Coriander leaves : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Rava/Semolina/Sooji : 2 Cups
Curd : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Salt : As required 
Oil : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Ghee : Optional

Method : 

1. Wash and soak moong dal over night or for 4 to 5 hours.
2. Wash coriander leaves, curry leaves and cut it into small.
3. Now grind soaked moong dal using very little fresh water.
4. Add coriander leaves, dry ginger, curry leaves and red chilly powder. Grind it nicely.
5. Remove from the mixi jar and put it in a big bowl.
6. Mix salt, Rava and curd. Mit it well.
7. Keep dosa pan on the fire and heat. Sprinkle little oil and clean it with a kitchen tissue nicely.
8. Now take a ladle of moong dal rava dough and spread it in a circle shape.
9. Sprinkle little oil on the top of dosa and cover. Let it cook on medium flame for a minute.

10. Turn the other side and cook for a minute. Dosa is ready to serve.
11. Serve with little ghee on the top of dosa and a side dish you have prepared.
12. Repeat the same and prepare the rest.

Note :

Do not add more water while grinding. Rava should be mixed well with ground moong dough.
Using ghee instead of oil is optional. You can also add grated coconut and carrots on the top of dosa while cooking.
You can add green chilly instead of red chilly powder. Cut or grind green chilly .(You can add it while mong dal grinding).
Preparing thin or thick dosa is optional. Hot dosa taste best.
Note : 30 minutes. 
Serves : 3 to 4.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Radish - Basale Sambar. ( Curry with out coconut).

Radish/Moolangi/Mooli is one of the healthy vegetable and you get plenty in almost all the season.
Basale/ Malabar spinach is a perinial vine and it is also called as Pui/Vine spinach/ climbing spinach, creeping spinach, buffalo spinach and Ceylon spinach.
Radish and Basale Saambar is a good combination and it mixes well with each other. I have used some home made powder with simple spices and added to the curry. Radish -Basale Sambar goes well with all the main dish like plain rice, chapatis, roti, dosa, idli and all most all the dishes.

Lets see some benefits of this Basale leaves.
Basale soppu/leaves are rich in Vitamins like A Vitamin, Vitamin C Iron and Calcium. They are also rich in soluble fiber and helps in  digestion.
Lets also see some benefits of using coriander seeds in our cooking.
coriander seeds contain many plant -derived chemical compounds and they are good source of anti oxidants, disease preventing and health promoting properties. They are good digestive and anti flatulent properties. Coriander seeds are good dietary fiber and help easing constipation condition. They also help to control cholesterol levels. The seeds are excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. They also contain anti oxidant vitamins, Vitamin C and Vital B. They contain anti diabetic properties and produce insulin and maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It reduces the amount of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase the amount of HDL.(Good cholesterol) in blood. (Drinking coriander water daily helps to reduce the diabetes). It is good for people who suffer from anemia. It is a good solution to detox the body. Coriander seeds contain natural compounds that helps to detoxify the body and remove toxic content from the body. It is good for our eyes. It is good remedy for conjunctivitis. They try to prevent other eye disease and problems. High anti oxidant property in coriander helps to reduce redness, itchiness and inflammation in the eye. It is also good for women who suffer from heavy menstrual flow and irregular periods. ( boil a teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water and add jaggery to it. Drink this coriander water when it is warm or hot).
I have used Mooli (Radish), home grown Basale and some spices, which are always available at home. Try this sambar and enjoy. It is easy and simple and healthy.

Lets see the recipe now. 

Things Needed :

To Cook :
Basale/ Malabar spinach Leaves : 1 Bowl.
Radish : 2 to 3
Toor Dal/Moong dal : 1/2 Cup
To Roast : (Dry or with a spoon of cooking oil) and dry grind 
Coriander seeds : 2 Tablespoons
Urid dal : 1/2 Teaspoon
Methi seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Red chilly : 5 to 6
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry leaves : 6 to 8
Ingh : a pinch
To Add : 
Cooked dal, radish and cooked basale leaves 
Tamarind Pulp :2 Tablespoons
Salt : as required
Ghee : 1 Tablespoon
Mustard, curry leaves and ingh/Asafoetida seasoning : 1 Tablespoon

Method : 

1. Wash and pressure cook toor dal for 6 to 8 minutes and allow it to cool.
2. Wash and cut radish and basale/malabar spinach into small pieces. (radish according to your wish big/small).
3. Dry roast methi seeds, urid dal, coriander seeds, red chilly, jeera one by one and add curry leaves and ingh/asfoetida.
4. Dry grind roasted spice when it is cool and remove from the mixi jar. Keep it aside.
5. Now keep a pan on the fire and put cooked dal, radish/mooli, tamarind pulp and salt.
6. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and let it cook for 2 minutes. Add dry ground powder and mix it well.
7. Let it cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in between. Shift the sambar (gravy/curry) to the serving dish.
8. Add mustard seeds seasoning and coriander leaves. Add a spoon of fresh ghee and serve with main dish you have prepared.

Note :

You can use any edible leaves instead of basale leaves. Using Moong dal is instead of toor dal is also optional. You can fry the spice with a tea spoon of oil. It adds to the taste. You can also use any ready sambar powder instead of home made powder. Adding ghee to the sambar is optional.
Time : 30 Minutes
Servings : 4 to 5

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My name is Nalini Somayaji. Teaching is my profession. Cooking is my passion. Reading, travelling, visiting new places, having fun with kids are some of the hobbies I can say. My recipes are Healthy, quick, easy and simple. Grown up being a traditional family member I love and respect Indian culture and traditions. Love classical dance and music.
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