Okra Pepper Fry

Usually the most tasty foods are the most simple ones. Rasam rice with lady’s finger fry is a heavenly combination in the true sense. Bhindi/ okra is next favorite to potato in many households; ironically the stone like potatoes get cooked in a jiffy while tender okra takes longer to cook, but it is worth the effort. Because we love okra, ain’t we?

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Okra Pepper Fry
Serves 2
Lady's Finger Pepper Fry for Rice
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Ingredients
  1. 1. Okra - 250 g
  2. 2. Oil - 1 tbsp
  3. 3. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  4. 4. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  5. 5. Sugar - 1 pinch
  6. 6. Crushed pepper - 1/2 tsp (or a little more)
  7. 7. Salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Clean, trim and chop the okra into 1/6" thickness.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, sprinkle asafoetida and add chopped okra. Saute for 10 minutes in medium flame by stirring occasionally.
  3. Add sugar, lemon juice and stir again. The sticky texture should go off.
  4. Now sprinkle required salt, pepper powder and toss well. Turn to high heat to achieve roast texture to the vegetable.
  5. Turn of heat and serve.
Grammars of cooking http://grammarsofcooking.in/
Adikaram: அன்புடைமை

Kural: 74

அன்புஈனும் ஆர்வம் உடைமை அதுஈனும்
நண்பு என்னும் நாடாச் சிறப்பு.

Meaning:

Love brings desire to the relationship and that renders the greatness of friendship.

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Kos Porial (Cabbage Sidedish)

I see lot of people that do not like cabbage or detest its flavor. Somehow I have started liking cabbage especially in Chinese items and this very dish that I am talking about here is my all time favorite. It is satvic in the complete sense and very fresh and delectable. Moreover, this  Kos (cabbage in tamil) Porial (a dry curry usually blanched and seasoned) is simple, kid friendly and goes with sambar/ rasam rice.

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Kos Porial
Serves 2
Dry Cabbage Curry for Rice
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1. Cabbage - 1/2 Medium sized
  2. 2. Green Chili - 1 or 2
  3. 3. Salt to taste
  4. 4. Oil - 1/3 tbsp
  5. 5. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  6. 6. Urad dal -1/2 tsp
  7. 7. Curry Leaves - 1 sprig
  8. 8. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  9. 9. Freshly Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Instructions
  1. Chop the cabbage coarsely. Cut the chilies as per its heat, slit if too hot or chop them fine.
  2. Boil water in a pan and add salt and cabbage to it; cook until tender. Strain the excess water (Use this as stock elsewhere or consume as soup).
  3. Heat oil in a tadka pan, splutter mustard seeds, roast urad dal in it until golden, fry chilies & curry leaves in it and sprinkle asafoetida.
  4. Add the blanched cabbage to the tadka and mix well. Turn off heat.
  5. Mix the grated coconut and serve warm with hot rice, dal and ghee.
Grammars of cooking http://grammarsofcooking.in/
Adikaram: இல்வாழ்க்கை

Kural: 50

வையத்துள் வாழ்வாங்கு வாழ்பவன் வான்உநற்யும்
தெய்வத்துள் வைக்கப் படும்.

Meaning:

One who lives his worldly life quite virtuously is as good as a Gods that live in heaven.

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Pumpkin Side-dish/ Kaddu sabji

Pumpkin is one vegetable that’s widely used in world cuisines be it sweet or savory dishes, though in India we mostly like it in savory taste. In Tamil this vegetable is called ‘parangikai’, etymology: it was introduced to us by ‘parangiyar’ (British) and ‘Kai’ means vegetable, so it’s called parangikai, and some people call it nalla poosanikai. This recipe is one of my family favorites for phulka. It is a very simple recipe with only few ingredients and takes less than 15 min to make it in a pressure cooker.

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Continue reading Pumpkin Side-dish/ Kaddu sabji

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Baked/ Roasted Potatoes

Many of us are fond of French fries but we resist for the sake of health; potato is good while the way we cook them makes it bad for health. This recipe is a kind of solution for French fry craving in a guilt-free way. Very less oil, that too olive oil and minimally spiced; there is absolutely no reason for holding back, after all potato is very beneficial for health if we cook them right. Potato is good for skin, brain, heart, kidney and tongue also ;). People restricted for carb intake must consult doctors though.


Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

1.      Potatoes – 4
2.    Olive oil – 1 tbsp (can use as less as 1/4 tbsp)
3.    Salt to taste
4.    Pepper crushed – ¼ tsp

Method:

Step 1: Wash the potatoes well by brushing the skin to remove all dirt & mud and pat dry. Chop roughly into cubes without peeling.


Step 2: Sprinkle salt, crushed pepper and drizzle olive oil over it.



Step 3: Microwave it for 5 minutes; take out toss and again microwave for 5 minutes. Repeat if necessary, the potatoes should be soft till center; do not overcook the vegetable.
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Raw Banana Fry/ Vazhaikkai Varuval

I have been making this recipe countless times post my marriage as Kundan is so very fond of it. While people with diabetes are generally advised to avoid ripe bananas, raw bananas are quite beneficial to them; also as it is rich in fibre it is a preferred vegetable for weight loss. This might seem like a simple and silly to post recipe; but the reason I do it is because I see people adapt different techniques and each have its own set back. I have arrived at few steps to make a tasty-less oil-quick way to make Vazhaikkai Varuval/ raw banana fry; it is more a compilation of tips than the recipe itself (For people who already do it this way this might be a redundancy).


Serves:  3

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

1.      Raw Banana – 2
2.    Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
3.    Gram flour – 2 tbsp
4.    Curry powder (sambar milagai podi) – 1 tbsp
5.     Salt to taste
6.    Asafoetida – 2 pinches
7.     Rice flour or corn flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
8.    Gingelly oil – 1 tbsp
9.    Refined oil – 1 tsp
10.            Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp

Method:

Step 1: Wash, peel (avoid peeling if you can eat it with peel, it is good for health) and slice into 2-3 mm thickness. Collect the slices in a wide bowl.

Step 2: Add all dry ingredients except mustard seeds and toss well to coat the slices with spices. Then drizzle oil and toss again, rest for 5 minutes if possible. Taste and adjust spices.


Step 3: Heat a tsp of oil in a thick bottomed kadai or non-stick pan and splutter mustard seeds in it. Add the marinated raw banana slices to it.

Step 4: Mix with light hand to coat the slices with tempered oil; spread them in single layer or as thin as possible, sprinkle just 2 tbsp of water and cook closed for 5 minutes in simmered heat. Beware you don’t overcook them even a tad bit; else they tend to break while tossing or flipping.

Step 5: Open the lid, toss or flip slices with dosa ladle and cook for another 10 minutes by flipping once or twice in between for 10 more minutes in medium heat.

Step 6: Finish frying it the way you want: very crisp – stirring for 3 minutes in high heat; slightly crisp – stirring for 1 minute in high heat (Avoid corn flour/ rice flour or add a little) and for completely soft just turn off heat (Avoid corn flour/ rice flour).

Step 7: Serve with any variety rice or sambar/ rasam/ dal rice.


TIPS:

*Choosing the right vegetable is must: too young ones (small in size and thin ones) or too mature ones (ones that are spongy or turning yellow) are not the right choices for this recipe. It should be nice green, firm and matured.

*Immersing sliced raw banana in water (which people do to prevent it from getting black) will make it broken while frying. Marinating once you slice them is enough to prevent oxidation.

*Alternatively, you can mix all the dry ingredients in a small bowl and marinate the vegetable using some oil. Setting them aside for 5 minutes helps the marinade to seep into the vegetable.

*If we do not marinate and directly start adding spices to the kadai/ pan, the oil absorption would be too high; 1 tbsp + 1 tsp oil is bare minimum for a crusty banana fry.

*Cooking with lid closed with sprinkled water lets the vegetable cook well and later we fry open to get the crisp; this way the vegetable is soft inside and crisp outside. Starting to fry them from the beginning without cooking will cause the fry to be chewy but uncooked.


*For fresh serving I prefer crisp ones and for lunch pack I prefer soft or slight crisp ones as crispy ones become soggy.
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