Friday, June 3, 2016

Bottle Gourd Kootu

Bottle Gourd is well known vegetable to most of us because of its healthy content. We can have different types of curries, dry curries even payasam and halwa also can be prepared.
I have used Bottle gourd, capsicum and some spices for this particular curry and this curry goes well with almost all the main dish. It is not that spicy. A mild curry will be surely liked by you all..

Let us see some benefits of using Tamarind in our curry.
Tamarind/Hunisekai/puli/is a fruit with sweet and sour taste and it is used both in medicinal and culinary purposes. It has many nutritional properties. It contain good amount of Vitamin C , B and E. It has a good source of calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, manganese and dietary fiber. It has anti oxidant and anti - inflammatory properites. Tamarind helps to reduce the blood pressure and cholesterol. They helps to balance diabets. They helps to boost immune system in our body and helps in proper blood circulation. It is also good for improving nerve function. They are good remedy for joint pains and inflammation.
" Bottle Gourd Kootu " has no onions and no garlic. It can be eaten with rotis, 
Lets see the recipe now.


To Cook :
Bottle Gourd : 1 (Medium size)
Moong dal : 1/2 Cup (2 handful)
To Grind 
Coconut : 2 to 3 Table spoons
Green chilly : 2
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera /cumin seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Tamarind : A small marble size
To Season : 
Oil : 1 Teaspoon
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera /Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Curry Leaves : 6 to 8 leaves
Ingh/Asafoetida : A pinch
Capsicum : 1
To Add : 
Salt : As required
Coriander leaves : 2 Tablespoons

Method :

1. Wash and remove the outer layer of bottle gourd and cut into small pieces.
2. Wash and cut green chilly, corinader leaves and capsicum. Keep it aside.
3. Keep a big pan on the fire and add a cup of water. Let it boil. Add cut bottle gourd pieces.
4. Wash moong dal and add it to bottle gourd pieces. Let it cook till they turn soft.

5. Grate coconut and grind it with green chilly, jeera, mustard seeds and tamarind.
6. Use little water and grind it till paste. Remove from the mixi jar and keep it aside.

7. Add grond coconut mixture to the cooked bottle gourd and mix it well. Add required salt.
8. Add required water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

9. Keep a small pan on the fire and heat. Add a spoon of oil. Add mustard seeds. Let it splutter.
10. Add curry leaves, ingh and cut capsicum. Fry for 2 to 3 minutes. (On the low flame).
11. Shift the bottle gourd curry to a serving bowl. Add fried capsicum and mix it well.

12. Add coriander leaves and serve " Bottel Gourd Kootu " with any main dish you have prepared.

Note :

Adding toor dal instead of moong dal is optional. Adding more chilly to make the curry spicy is optional. You can add 2 to 3 pods of pepper pods while grinding. It not only adds to the taste, is good for health. (Gas formation will be reduced by pepper). You can also add a spoon of ghee while serving.
Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 2 to 3               

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Palak - Amaranth Leaves Curry.

Amaranth/ Harive soppu (Kannada) leaves are one of the healthy leaves.  They are store house of vitamins, minerals and other healthy properties. Here I have used green Amaranth leaves +  Palak with channa dal. I also have used some mild spices.
Palak - Amaranth Leaves curry goes well with all the main dishes including naan, roti, idli, dosa and plain rice.
Lets see some benefits of eating  Amaranth leaves in our diet.
Amaranth leaves are good for boosting bone strength, lower the blood pressure and it helps to improve the immune system. It helps to maintain healthy hair and good for weight loss. They contain high amount of protein, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. They are good for bone developement since they are rich in calcium. They are good for digestion because of their fiber content. They are gluten free. They also help to balance the cholesterol level in our body.
Please note that people who are suffering from kidney stone and gall bladder problems should take care while using the amaranth leaves because amaranth leaves contain moderate level of oxalates.( A kind of salt or ester of oxalic acid). Eating amaranth leaves might lead to problem.

No Onion & No Garlic are used in this Palak - Amranth Leaves Curry.

Ingredients :

To Cook :
Channa Dal/Kadale bele : 1 Cup
Palak /Spinach Leaves : 1 Bundle (Medium)
Amaranth Leaves : 1 Bundle (Medium)
Green chilly : 2
Tomatoes : 2
Capsicum : 1
Ginger Gratings : 1 Teaspoon. (a small piece)
To Add :
Pepper pods : 4 to 5
Jeera/Cumin Seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Lemon Extract (Juice) : 1 Teaspoon
Coriander leaves : 2 Tablespoons
Salt : As required
Ghee/Butter : 1 Teaspoon
Seasoning :
Oil : 1 Tablespoon
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Teaspoon
Jeera : 1/2 Teaspoon
Ingh/Asafoetida : A pinch
Curry Leaves : 6 to 8 leaves

Method :

1. Wash and cut leaves into small.
2. Wash channa dal and pressure cook with 1/2 cup of water for 6 to 8 minutes.
3. Wash and cut tomatoes, capsicum, green chilly and coriander leaves.
4. Wash and remove the outer layer of ginger and wash it again and greate it and keep it aside.
5. Dry roast pepper and jeera and powder it. (fresh is always better)
6. Squeeze out the lemon extract and keep it aside.
7. Keep a pan on the fire and add oil and heat. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
8. Add jeera, ingh and curry leaves. Add cut palak and amaranth leaves.

9. Fry nicely and add tomatoes, green chilly and capsicum. Fry for a minute.
10. Add salt, grated ginger, little turmeric powder and required water. (1/4 Cup will do).

11. Cook on low flame till they turn soft. (I have used pressure cooker).
12. Now add cooked channa dal, powdered jeera and pepper.

13. Mix it well and let it boil for 4 to 5 minutes. Put off the fire and add lemon extract.

14. Mix it well and shift the curry to a serving dish. Add coriander leaves and a spoon of ghee.
15. Palak - Amaranth Leaves Curry is ready to serve.

Note : 

The leaves should be cooked till soft to get the good taste. Adding onions and garlic is optional. You can also add half teaspoon of garam masala to get spicy taste. Adding little red chilly powder is optional. Adding ghee or butter is also optional. Add water according to your wish. (More/Less).
Time : 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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