February 25, 2010

South Indies: Dry Cabbage Curry/Palya

Palya is a vegetable/ mixed vegetable stir fry typically served as a side dish with anna-saaru or chapatis, in most kannada households.

Cabbage makes way into my kitchen very often because, whenever I send my husband to buy vegetables, he comes back holding a large head of cabbage. Not that cabbage is his favorite, its just that he really finds it convenient to buy them. He wouldn't really need to test it for its tenderness. Just pick it up, weigh it, pay for it, & he's done with vegetable shopping.


So I find myself making this palya quite aften as accompaniment with some simple anna-saaru. And, it sure does make an awesome comination with saaru. Simple & homely food that is.

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups cabbage - finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup grated fresh coconut ( Optional )
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • A handful of curry leaves
  • 4- 5 green chillies - chopped finely
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • Salt as per taste


  • In a heavy bottomed pan, cook shredded cabbage with about 1 cup of water. Add turmeric powder & a little bit of salt while cooking. Cover with a pan, & cook on medium flame, till the cabbage is soft. Add more water if the water has already dried up. But DO NOT add too much water as cabbage leaves additional water while cooking.
  • Or simply, cook cabbage in the microwave. gets done pretty quickly.
  • Once the cabbage is cooked yet crunchy, Add grated coconut. Temper with mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, chana dal & urad dal.
  • Check for salt, Mix well

Serve HOT with steamed rice/chapatis .. Enjoi !!!

NOTE: You can even do without adding grated coconut. If you do not like the taste of coconut, or if you are calorie counting, give it a miss. It will taste as great.

February 15, 2010

Beaten Coffee

What did you guys do this Valentine's day & what did you get? Well, we don't really attach too much importance to this, but I got a new cellphone from my husband. It was much needed because the old one was beyond repair. So now you see, how convenient such days are?
Valentine's Day reminds me of our courtship period. Those days when we would endless hang around coffee shops to exchange those sweet nothings. We still frequent coffee shops, but its mostly with friends now :)
Anyways, in case you guys want to re-create the same ambience in your home, here's a great recipe for some instant coffee
Beaten Coffee
While I always love the classic South Indian Filter Coffee, this works well if you do not have the patience to brew coffee decoction. Or if you simply want a change. This tastes so much better than Instant Coffee. Believe me.
You Will Need:

  • 1 1/2 tsp of any instant coffee powder - I love Nescafe

  • 1 1/2 - 2 tsp Sugar

  • 1cup hot milk

  • In a coffee mug, add instant coffee powder & sugar. To this add 1 tbsp milk & beat well for about 3 - 4 mins with a spoon until frothy.

  • Pour hot milk into the mug & beat well for a minute until froth appears.

  • Add a pinch of instant coffee powder on top & make swirls with your finger tips.
And, your Beaten Coffee is ready to Serve. Enjoi !!!
This goes to Mahimaa's Cooking Basics Event ...

February 4, 2010

Spicy Bell Pepper & Tomato Rice

I heart Bell Peppers. All colors. I tend to include them practically in anything. From South Indian cuisine, to North Indian to Italian to Mexican. I can eat them raw, steamed, roasted, smoked .Yep, Bell peppers & I share a very loving relationship.

But Shankar, isn't exactly fond of these beauties. You give him anything that has diced bell pepper, & he painstackingly discards them. Anyways, that doesn't stop me from cooking bell peppers ..

Spicy Bell Pepper & Tomato Rice

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 cup bell peppers - diced ( All colors - Red, Green, Yellow & Orange )
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - fresh/frozen
  • 2 small onions - chopped finely
  • 2 large tomatoes - chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Kitchen King Masala
  • 1 tsp whole Garam Masala
  • Salt as per taste
  • Juice of half a lemon ( optional )


  • Clean Basmati Rice in several changes of water. Drain & set aside for about 15 mins. Heat a tsp of desi ghee in a pan, Roast the rice for a couple of minutes. Pressure cook the rice with 1 1/2 cups of water. Once done, set aside & let it cool completely.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, heat ghee/oil. Splutter whoe Garam Masala. Add ginger-garlic paste.
  • Saute onions till they turn pink. Add diced bell peppers, turmeric & red chilli powder & saute for about 5 mins. Add chopped tomatoes, Green peas & saute until the tomatoes are completely cooked & bell peppers are cooked yet form.
  • Mix in Rice, Garam Masala, Kitchen King Masala, Salt & give a gentle mix without breaking the rice.
  • Turn off the stove, add lemon juice & transfer to a bowl

Serve HOT with some onion-cucumber Raita. Enjoi !!!

I love this mainly because it has bell peppers in it. They give a nice twist to the otherwise plain tomato rice. Make this for your guests, if you are bored of Pulaos & Biryanis. Your guests will love it too.