Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mangalore Southekai-Avarekai Spicy Curry

Mangalore Soutekai/Bannada Southekai/Sambar Cucumber one of the  Easiest and long lasting vegetable. It used be grown mostly in Southern side of Karnataka and  it is famouse as Mangalore Southekai.
Let me tell you a story from long long ago. Mangalore Southekai used be grown in summer and kept it hanged in the inner place of the house. We call it as ola adige mane  (Additional Kitchen by the side of the kitchen) and Padsale. (Padsale is normally a pooja room where everyday's pooja is performed. Because coastal area has the continuous rainy days for days together. So it is difficult toget vegetables during those days. (Once upon a time). People used to grow these Mangalore cucumber/ white pumpkin (booda kumbla)/ Red pumpkin (Sihi Kumbala) and kept for rainy days to make use of it. I do not think this is happening in these days. There is a big problem of labourers and no one wants to work in the field. It is may be because of new way of life. Most of the youngsters wants to wail away the time or wants some easy money to enjoy their life. Whatever it is the people who have lands are struggling to keep up the life going on.
Younger generation should start looking into taking care of the fields and to be back bone to their homes.
Anyways let me come back to the vegetable, Mangalore Southekai -Avarekai (field beans) Spicy curry. I have used these vegetable and legume and some spices are used to make it more spicy.
You may wonder where to get this Avarekai in this rainy season. I have done this curry in the Avarekai season and could not post it. So it is here now. We can use any legume/Kalu instead of Avarekai. Use of black channa or kabooli channa or cow peas/black eyed beans or Rajma or even Peas goes well with these combination. Eating Legumes are good and healthy habit since the legumes helps the body to be warm and healthy.
Let us see some benefits of using Cinnamon in our diet. 
Cinnamon is a spice that is made from the inner bark of Cinnamomum trees. There are two varieties of Cinnamon. One is from Ceylon (Shrilanka), which is said to be True cinnamon and the other variety is called Cassia cinnamon. This variety is more common in the shops.
Cinnamon contain many medical properties. Cinnamon is loaded with anti oxidant properties. Cinnamon is loaded with anti inflammatory properties. It helps the body to fight infections and repair tissue damages. Lower the risk of diseases. It helps to reduces level of bad cholesterol and helps the good cholesterol to be stable. It helps to balance the blood pressure and diabetes and lowers the blood sugar levels and has a powerful anti diabetic effect.
Mangalore Southekai -Avaekai Spicy Curry has No onions or No garlic
Lets see the recipe Now :

Things Needed :

To Cook :
Mangalore Southekai : 1 Bowl (Half of one medium size).
Avarekai /Field Beans : 1/4 K.g. ( 1 Bowl)
Toor Dal : 1 Handful ( 2 Tablespoons full).
To add : 
Tamarind : A small marble size
Salt : As required
Coriander Leaves
Coconut- Spice ground mixture.
Turmeric Powder : a little
Spices to add for Masala : Fresh 
Methi Seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Urid dal : 1/2 Teaspoon
Coriander seeds : 2 Tablespoons
Jeera /Cumin seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Clove : 2
Cinnamon stick : A small piece (Half inch)
Red Byadagi chilly : 5 to 6
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6
Ingh/Asafoetida : a pinch
Coconut : 3 to 4 Tablespoons (Half cup)
Oil 1 Teaspoon
Seasong : 
Oil 1 Teaspoon
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6

Method :

1. Wash and cut soutekai and put it in water. It takes away the bitter if there is. Wash it again and cook till they turn soft and keep it aside.

2. Wash and pressure cook dal and Avare kai and leave it for cooling.
3. Dry roast/use a teaspoon of oil and fry methi seeds, urid dal, add coriander seeds and roast it well.
4. Add chilly, curry leaves, clove and cinnamon . Fry nicely for a minute and add jeera.
5. Shift the fried masala to a plate. Grate coconut. Grind coconut with fried spice and tamarind.
6. Use required water and grind it till paste. Remove from the mixi jar and keep it aside.

7. Keep a big pan on the fire and heat. Add oil, mustard seeds and jeera.
8. Let it splutter. Add curry leaves and ingh. Add cooked southekai/Mangalore cucumber.
9.Add cooked dal, avarekai/field beans, salt, Turmeric powder. Mix it well.
10. Let it cook for a while. (2 to 3 minutes).
11. Add ground coconut and spice mixture. Mix it well and cook it for 2 to 3 minutes.
12. Shift the curry to a serving dish and serve with main dish.

Note :

You can add little jaggery if you like a bit of sweetness in the curry. You can also add more /less or no dal to the curry (Optional). Adding fresh spice adds to the taste. You can use any masala powder instead of home made spice powder. (optional). Adding cinnamon and clove adds taste and aroma to the curry. (Optional).
Time : 30 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4 .

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Spicy Peas -Tomato Soup

How about having some freshly prepared Soup? 
It is cold and rainy season here. Having some thing hot and a bit spicy soup really makes you happy. Soups are always refreshing and a kind of energizing drink.

There are varieties of soups and each one can just prepare using their creation. Creating something healthy is really a good habit too. Definitely not much of cream/cheese is not allowed in my cooking. I am not that fond of these things either. Thats why I can say there are different ways of preparing dishes. I am not blamming any one here. It is your creation and just go ahead do what ever you thought of.
It is a rainy season here and the weather is getting cold and cold. How about having some Tomato and peas soup? It is an easy, healthy and quick dish that anyone can easily prepare and enjoy.
I have just used some peas tomato and spice like pepper and clove. Little milk is added to it.
Lets see some benefits of having peas in our diet.
Green Peas are rich nutritious legumes/vegetables rich in minerals, vitamins and anti oxidants. Tender peas is said to be low in calories. They have no cholesterol and they contain good amount of soluble and in soluble fiber. They are rich in minerals like protein, folic acid, calcium, iron, copper, zinc and manganese. They do contain Vitamin C and it is a powerful natural water sooluble anti oxidant. They do help the human body to develop resistance power. against infections and inflammations. Vitamin A which is essential nutrient required for maintaining healthy membranes, skin an deye sight. Garden peas are rich source of Vitamin K. that helps in bone mass building function.
Let us see the recipe:

Things Needed :

Tomato : 1
Fresh/Frozen peas : 1 Cup. (100 grams)
Peppar pods : 4 to 5 pods
Clove : 1
Ginger : 1/2 Teaspoon (Grated)
Salt : To taste
Coriander leaves : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Turmeric powder : a pinch
Boiled milk. : 1 Cup
Water : 2 to 3 Cups.

Method :

1. Wash and boil tomatoes for a minute and put off the fire. Let it cool.
2. Remove the outer layer of the tomato and keep it aside.
3. Boil peas with a cup of water for 5 miunutes. It is better to use fresh peas.
4. Let it cool. Put 1 Tablespoon of cooked peas and tomatoes in a mixi jar.
5. Add clove, ginger and little water. Grind it till paste.
6. Put the ground mixture and needed water, salt and turmeric powder.
7. Let it be very watery consistency. Add crushed pepper.
8. Let it boil at least for 3 to 4 minutes. Put off the fire and add boiled milk.
9. Shift this Peas - Tomato Soup to a serving bowl. Add coriander leaves.

10. Serve it when it is piping hot.

Note :

I have used frozen peas. Wash the peas before using it. Boil it nicely. You can use fresh peas if available. (Always better to use fresh peas). You can add little butter and cream. ( optional). I have added fresh milk. Adding more vegetables like carrots, beans potatoes are optional. It taste better.
I have cooked tomato and peas together. (Optional). You can add pudina/mint leaves. It adds to the aroma. You can add some chilly powder, chat masala powder or any spice of your choice.
Time : 10 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Spring Onion - Tomato Curry

Spring Onion curry is a side dish and you can prepare this curry in a few minutes. There is no dal or coconut used and it is bit spicy, bit sweet and yummy to have it.
I just bought these leaves to prepare sambar (curry with dals) as usual. But was bored with sambar and gave a twist to this curry and enjoyed eating with plain rice and chapatis.

I have used Spring Onions, tomato and capsicum and some spices.
Lets see some benefits of using Turmeric powder/Haladi/Arashina in our cooking.
Turmeric powder is made from its mature turmeric stems. Turmeric powder add colour and flavour to our food. It is also used for medicinal properties from the ancient time. It has no cholesterol and rich in dietary fiber. It is loaded with iron, potassium, magnesium and Vitamin B6. Turmeric is used in various drugs and pharmaceurtics (preparing new medicine) since it contain immununity boosting and anti oxidant properties. The anti oxidant in turmeric might help to boost immunity and maintain normal cholesterol levels and helps as an anti aging gaurd. It is also good for allergy, astama, heart diseases, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes. Turmeric contain anti inflammatory properties. Turmeric helps to cure common cold and cough. Good for sprains and swellings.
Now lets see the recipe:

Things Needed :

To Cook :
Spring Onions : 1 Medium size bunch
Capsicum : 1
Tomato : 3 to 4
To Add :
Jaggery : 1 Tablespoon
Turmeric Powder : 1/4 Teaspoon
Methi seeds : 1/4 Teaspoon
Jeera Powder : 1/2 Teaspoon
Crushed pepper : 5 to 6
Green chilly : 2
Rasam/Sambar Powder : 2 to 3 Teaspoons
Salt : As required
Coriander leaves : 1 Tablespoon (optional).
For Seasoning : 
Mustard seeds: 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves : 5 to 6
Ingh : a little
Oil : 1 Teaspoon

Method :

1. Wash and cut spring onion leaves into small pieces
2. Wash and cut capsicum into small pieces. Crush pepper and keep it aside.
3. Wash and remove the seeds from tomatoes and cut into small pieces.

4. Now keep a big pan on the fire and heat. Add oil and mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
5. Add jeera/cumin seeds and curry leaves. fry for a second.
6. Add cut capsicum and fry nicely and then add cut tomatoes.
7. Stir for a while and then add cut spring onions. Mix it well.
8. Add rasam powder, jeera powder, crushed pepper, turmeric powder, jaggery and salt.
9. Add methi seeds, crushed peppers and jeera powder. Mix it well.
10. Cook for 5 to 6 in a pressure cooker.

11. If you are cooking in a pan cover the lid and cook on low flame till it cooks soft.
12. Spring onion -Tomato curry is ready to serve.

Note :

Adding more spiece is optional. You can add little garam masala powder/chat masala powder etc.
Adding milk to this curry helps to adds taste to the curry. (I have not done). Adding onions and garlic is optional. Using pressure cooker to cook this curry is optional. ( I have used the small pressure cooker). I also have used some Spinach /palak stems along with spring onions.
Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 3 to 4   

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Oats & Dates Laddu

Oats and dates Laddu is a sweet dish and you can surely munch at any time of the day. It is always good to have some thing healthy, when you crave for food. Oats and Dates Laddu not only satisfy your sweet teeth, it helps to fill your stomach with some nutrients.
I have used Oats, dates, jaggery and little Kallu Sakkare (Rock Candy) and dry coconut. (Copra).

Lets see some benefits of having Oats in our diet.
Oats are loaded with dietary fiber. It helps to lower the bad cholesterol in our body. It is full of soluble fiber and good for digestion and obesity. Eating Oats helps to lower the blood pressure and it balances our blood pressure. Oats contain Vitamin E and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, fiber, magnesium and zinc.
These Oats & Dates Laddu is good for kids party, picnic, travelling and as some evening snack.
 Lets see the recipe now :

Things Needed :

Oats : 500 Grams
Ghee : 100 Grams
Dry coconut : 1 (Medium size)
Jaggery : 250 to 300 Grams
Rock Candy : 100 Grams
Raisins : 2 Tablespoons
Dates : 100 Grams
Cardamom : 5 To 6 Pods.
Dry Fruits : 1 Handful (I used Walnut, cashew nuts and almonds- Altoger One fist).

Method :

1. Dry roast oats nicely till the raw smell disappear. Drygrind it into powdered consistency.

2. Cut walnuts, almonds and cashews into pieces. Remove the seeds from dates and dry grind it.
3.Dry grind rock candy (Kallu Sakkare) and cardamom seeds till powder and keep it aside.
4.. Fry raisins in 1 tablespoon of ghee and keep it aside.

5..Cut Dry coconut into small pieces and dry grind, keep it aside.
6. Keep a big pan on the fire and put jaggery. Add 1/4 Cup of water. Let jaggery melt nicely.
7. Let it boil nicely till it starts bubbling. Mix it well and leave it for 1 to 2 minutes.
8. Add powdered Oats, rock candy powder, dry ground coconut. Mix it nicely.

9. Add fried raisins and mix it well. Add cut dry fruits and dry ground dates.
10. Mix it well and put off the fire. Add ghee and mix the mixture nicely.
11. Take a handful of the mixture and prepare laddu.
12. Repeat the same with remaining mixture.

Note :

If you feel the mixture is too dry and you are not able to prepare laddu (it does not hold), keep the mixture on the low flame for 1 minute, sprikle One to two tablespoons of milk. Mix it well and put off the fire. Now you should be able to prepare laddu easily.
Use of more ghee is optional. Use of more/less coconut is optional. Use of rock candy is optional. Use of more/less dry fruits is also optional. Use of sugar instead of jaggery is optional.
Time : 30 Minutes.
25 to 30 Laddus can be prepared. (According to the size).

Monday, June 20, 2016

Brinjal Palya (Udupi Gulla Palya)

Brinjal Palya is always a yummy dish that always goes with all most all the main dish. And there are different ways to prepare this Palya. (Dry curry). This kind of brinjal is normally famous in Udupi. It is called Mattina Gulla, this special kind of brinjal is grown in a place called "Mattu" near Udupi in Karnataka India. So it is called as Mattina Gulla.

This Mattu village is famous for a particular variety of brinjal (eggplant) That is grown only in this village. Mattu Gulla is is light green in colour and is in spherical. The first brinjal harvested is offered to Lord Krishna at Krishna Matt in Udupi. These brinjal seeds are said to be given by Shree Vadhiraja Swamiji and Mattu Gulla is famous for non septic in nature. (not spoiling).
I have used green chilly and little spice to cook this Brinjal Palya. (Dry Curry).
No onion or no garlic is used in this palya. You can use any variety of brinjal and cook in this way.

Things Needed :

Brinjal : 1 (Big)
Green chilly : 2
Puliyogre gojju : 1/2 Teaspoon
Salt : to taste
Oil :1 Tablespoon
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Urid dal : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ingh : a pinch
Methi Seeds : 5 to 6 seeds.
Coconut : 2 to 3 Tablespoons (Fresh and grated)
Curry Leaves : 6 to 8
Coriander Leaves : 2 to 3 Tablespoons.
Turmeric Powder : a little

Method :

1. Wash and cut brinjal into thin pieces. (Slightly longer), put the pieces in a bowl of water.
2. Wash and cut green chilly, coriander leaves and keep it aside.
3. Keep a frying pan on the fire and heat. Put oil.
4. Put mustard seeds and urid dal. Let the mustard seeds splutter. Add methi/fenugrik seeds.
5. Add ingh, curry leaves and green chilly. Fry for 10 seconds.
6. Squeeze out the water from brinjal and add it to the mustard mixture.
7. Mix it well and let it fry on low flame. Stir in between.
8. Add turmeric powder and salt. Add puliyogre mixture. (just 1/2 Teaspoon).

9. Mix it well and stir slowly. Let it cook on low flame.

10. Add coconut and mix it well nicely. Add coriander leaves.
11.Shift ready palya to a serving dish.

11. Serve Brinjal Palya as one of the side dish.
Note :
Soaking brinjal pieces help the brinjal to get away with bitter taste. Wash it nicely and then soak the pieces in a big bowl of water. Any variety of brinjal can be used. Adding more spice is optional.
Adding more oil adds to the taste but it is not good to use more oil. You can use tamarind pulp ( 1 teaspoon), a very little jaggery and rasam powder to the curry instead of puliyogare gojju.
Time : 15 Minutes.
Serves : 2 to 3.
Home made Puliyogre gojju :
Take a big ball size of tamarind and put it in hot water (1/2 Glass) for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and put it in a big bowl. Keep the bowl of tamarind pulp on fire. Add salt and jaggery. (2 to 3 Tablespoons). Add turmeric powder. Mix it well and let it get thick. Add chilly powder /Rasam powder to the boiling pulp. Mix it thoroughly and remove from the pan once it gets thicke,
You can use this for dry curry or even plain rice also goes well with  this tamarind pulp. Adding more jaggary is optional.
Time : 6 to 8 minutes.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Quick Potato - Onion Curry

Making potato curry for Pooris/Chapatis or Masala Dosa one has to plan. Because the potatoes should be cooked before preparing this particular curry. People must be thinking why am I writing this simple recipe which every one knowns. I agree with people who say so. Many must be masters in cooking, but still there are many who are yet to get into lighting the stove and keeping their first steps in cooking. What ever it is always, learning is a process and each and every day we do learn a lot of things. There is no stop for learning. Keep little interest and you will be surely a Master chef.
I have used onions, green chilly and some potatoes to prepare this curry.

Let us see some benefits of having ONION in our diet. 
Onions do contain Vitamin C and it helps to improve our immunity system. They also help to regulating blood sugar. Onions help to reduce inflammation and heal infections. Raw onions helps to lower the production of bad cholesterol. Onions do contain natural sugar, Vitamin B6, Vitamin A, C and E. It contain minerals like potassium, iron, dietary fiber and flolic acid.
Potato oniion curry goes well with almost all main dishes. As I said earlier it is easy and quick and simplly superb all time favourite of many. We can enjoy almost all the main dishes with this curry.

Ingredients :

To Cook
Onions : 2 (Big)
Potatoes : 2 (Big Ones)
Green chilly : 2 to 3
To Add :
Mustard Seeds Seasoning : 1 Tablespoon
Dry Ginger Powder : 1 Teaspoon
Salt : As required
Coriander leaves. : 2 to 3 Tablespoons
Lemon : 1 Teaspoon.
Seasoning :
Mustard Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera/Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves : 6 to 8
Oil : 1 Tablespoon

Method :

1. Wash and remove the outer layer of potato ( Let it be thinner skin) and cut it into small pieces.
2. Remove the onion skin and wash it. Cut it into bigger size or layer type.
3. Wash and cut green chilly (slit), coriander leaves and curry leaves.

4. Keep a pan on the fire and heat. Put oil and mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
5. Add jeera/cumin seeds and fry for 10 seconds. Add curry leaves.
6. Add cut onions and stir slowly. (1 to 2 minutes). Add cut potatoes. Stir again.
7. Add turmeric powder and mix it well. Add cut green chilly.
8. Add cut potatoes and mix it well. Add 1 cup of water and let it cook on medium heat.
9. Cook till potatoes turn soft. Add salt and mix it well.
10. Add dry ginger and mix it well. Let all the moisture disappear. Add lemon juice,

11. Mix it again and shift the Potato - Onion curry to a serving dish.

12. Add cut coriander leaves, mix it nicely and serve with main dish.

Note :

Cut potatoes into thin so that it can cook fast.
No need the onions to be fried for a long time. Let the white layer be there.
You can adjust hot (chilly) according to your wish. Adding ginger powder at the end helps the curry to get nice aroma. You can add more water if you want the curry to be bit liquid..
Time : 25 to 30 Minutes
Serves : 3 to 4 .

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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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