July 30, 2009

Herbed Green Beans & Carrots

There are times when all I would want to eat is some HOT steamed rice with some fresh vegetables. A great way to fix this simple meal is to steam your favorite vegetables & spice them with some wonderful herbs.

I usually make this dish, with green beans & carrots as they are usually lying around in my pantry & they pair up really really well.
The herbs spice up the dish adding that 'zing' to the otherwise bland vegetables.

You Will Need:
  • 250g Green Beans - Tender & Fresh (trimmed)
  • 200g Carrots ( julienned )
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary leaves - crushed
  • 1 tsp thyme leaves - crushed
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt as per taste


  • In a large uncovered saucepan, Cook Beans & Carrots in salted boiling water on medium heat for about 6-8 mins or until tender crisp
  • Drain excess water.
  • Return Beans to the sauce pan, toss with olive oil, crushed rosemary & thyme leaves. Add black pepper powder. Stir over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Let it stand for about 5 minutes before serving

Transfer to a serving bowl & serve warm with HOT steamed rice or even Fried Rice. Enjoi !!!

We had this with Steamed Rice & flavored yogurt. This is what a simple meal really is.

NOTE: You could also serve this as a salad or simple much them when you are hungry.

July 22, 2009

South Indies: Kokum Tambli

I am a huge fan of yogurt based gravies/Tambli .. And, I whip it up quite often as it is quite a convenient option for a light meal & is very very healthy.

Of the many vegetables/fruits I use to make such gravies, A not so common gravy is that of Kokum .. A very popular fruit in the costal areas of Karnataka & Goa, this is know to have various health benefits & acts as a coolant ..

Kokum is sun dried to make it available all year round. I normally buy huge packs of sun dried kokum & it can be stored for ages.

You Will Need:

  • 4 sundried Kokum
  • 3 tbsp grated coconut - fresh
  • 2 green chillies -low to medium spiced
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 5-6 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A few curry leaves
  • 2 broken dry red chillies
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp desi ghee
  • Soak sundried kokum in warm water for about 20 minutes. Squeeze the juice out & discard dry skin.
  • Grind together, grated coconut, green chillies, a tsp of cumin seeds, peppercorns & ginger into a smooth paste adding a tbsp of yogurt
  • In a bowl, whisk together kokum juice, ground paste & yogurt. Add salt as per taste & temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies & curry leaves.
Serve with HOT steamed rice ... Enjoi !!!

Kokum when soaked in water, leaves out a dark purple colored juice which adds a lovely hue to your tambli.

This goes to Monsoon Spice for RCI: Udipi & Mangalore , started by Lakshmi

July 14, 2009

Shahi Pulao

Yours Truly turned an year older yesterday .. Older but definitely NOT wiser :) Well well, this is the perfect time to post my favorite Pulao recipe of all times ..

As a kid, I would demand that my mom made this Pulao for every birthday of mine .. And, whenever my mom makes this one, she makes sure that it suffices for my breakfast, lunch & dinner.

I literally grew up eating this version of Pulao & I love it .. Thanks Mom for making this one, everytime I asked for it .. Love Ya ..

You Will Need:
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 2 onions - sliced lengthwise
  • 2 carrots - sliced lengthwise
  • 2 potatoes - sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup green peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 green bell pepper - sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tbsp Desi Ghee
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 5-10 cashewnuts

To Grind:

  • 3 tbsp grated coconut - fresh
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp poppy seeds
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 garlic pods - optional
  • 3 tsp grated ginger
  • 8 green chillies - low to medium spiced


  • Clean Basmati Rice in several changes of water & soak in water for 15 mins. Pressure cook rice with 1 cup water, such that each grain is separate. Once cooked, spread it on a plate & allow it to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, grind all the ingredients mentioned in the list adding a tbsp of water, into a smooth paste
  • Heat Desi ghee in a wok, Add cumin seeds & allow them to sizzle. Add bay leaves & onion & fry until they turn pink.
  • Add carrots, potatoes & french beans & add a tsp of salt & fry at regular intervals. Add some more oil to fry.
  • Once the vegetables are half cooked, add bell peppers & green peas & the ground paste & fry until the vegetables are completely cooked, yet crunchy. The raw smell of the ground paste should have disappeared by now.
  • Add cooked rice, Garam Masala & lemon juice. Check for salt & mix well on low flame.
  • Close the lid & let it stand on low flame for a couple of mins
  • Garnish with toasted cashewnuts.

Transfer into a bowl & serve warm with any Raita of your choice .. Enjoi !!!

NOTE: DO NOT ever skip adding poppy seeds as the pulao acquires a special taste due to the addition poppy seeds.

July 7, 2009

Masala Toast

Have you ever been to an Iyengar Bakery in Bangalore? The 'Bangalore Experience' wouldn't be complete without a visit to an Iyengar Bakery. Its is very difficult to single out a favorite bakery, because, there are so many good ones in every nook & corner of Bangalore. Howerver, the VB Bakery in VV Puram does stand out for some yummy Masala Bread & Buns.

How this orthodox Tamil speaking Brahmin sect got into the business of making English-style buns, puffs, pasteries & biscuits is quite a puzzle. Nevertheless, they dish out some of the most delectable goodies very distinct to Bangalore/Mysore region. The khara bun, bagful of crisp rusks, Cakes, stuffed buns & the By-Two Badam Milk are to die for.

One such favorite from the Iyengar Bakery is the Masala Toast.

I have literally grown up on these. I remember relishing slices & slices of this spicy Toast along with the customary 'By Two' chilled Badam Milk.

This recipe is very very easy & can be quite a hit at your place too.

You Will Need:
  • 4 slices - white/whole wheat bread
  • 1 tsp butter/desi ghee
  • 4 tbsp grated onion
  • 4 tbsp grated carrots
  • 4 tbsp grated green bell pepper
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • Salt as per taste
  • 2 green chillies
  • A pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds


  • Heat ghee/butter in a wok, Sizzle mustard seeds & green chillies. Add a pinch of turmeric & sugar. Add grated onions. Allow them to brown.
  • Add grated carrots & bell pepper & saute until completely cooked.
  • Add salt as per taste & mix well.
  • Toast the bread sliced with a tsp of ghee/butter until crisp
  • Spread the curry evenly on toasted bread

Serve warm. Enjoi !!!