Coccinia Fry (Kovaikai varuval)

Kovaikkai is commonly called ivy gourd and has enormous minerals, vitamins and is used for treatment of blood sugar. There are not many fans for this vegetable for it does not possess a extraordinary taste so it becomes the responsibility of the one who cooks to make it more appealing for diners. Fry is commonly practiced recipe one of whose variants I share here.

Ingredients:

1. Coccinia (Kovaikai) – ¼ kg
2. Chilli powder – 1 tsp
3. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
4. Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
5. Urad dal – 1 tbsp
6. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
7. Garlic – 2 cloves
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil – 3 tbsp
10. Channa dal powder – 2 tbsp

Method:

Step 1: Wash the kovakkai and remove the edges. Then vertically cut the kovakkai into four pieces and keep it aside.
Step 2: Roughly crush the garlic cloves.
Step 3: Now heat a pan with oil, splutter mustard seeds, add urad dal, crushed garlic and curry leaves.
Step 4: Then add the sliced Coccinia, turmeric powder and salt.
Step 5: Combine well and close with a lid. Cook on low flame till they become soft.
Step 6: In-between stir well so that they don’t burn. Then add red chilli powder and sauté for a min.
Step 7: Add channa dal powder and sauté for another 5 mins.
Step 8: Adjust salt and remove from heat.
Step 9: Serve with any rice.

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Stuffed Okra

Okra or lady’s finger  is an omni-favorite vegetable  (I mean favorite of everyone) at least in India. Stuffed okra is one of the oft prepared dishes in Indian households though there are many many version of it. Whenever I get to see fresh, short, young okras is the market I grab them to prepare stuffed okras because they are very suitable for this recipe. You can also snack on stuffed okra or have them as a starter.

Ingredients:

1. Ladies finger – 25
2. Oil – 2 tbsp
3. Asafoetida – 1 pinch

For stuffing:

1.     Green chili paste – ½ tsp
2.     Ginger paste – ½ tsp
3.     Coriander powder – ½ tbsp
4.     Cumin powder – 1 tsp
5.     Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
6.     White sesame seeds – 1 tsp
7.     Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp finely chopped
8.     Coconut – 3 tbsp grated
9.     Powdered peanuts – 2 tbsp
10.  Oil – 1 tsp
11.  Salt to taste

Method:

Step 1: Mix all the ingredients for stuffing in a bowl and keep aside.
Step 2: Wash and pat dry ladies fingers. Make a slit length wise in each of them and stuff  in the prepared stuffing mix in all the vegetables and keep aside.
Step 3: Heat oil in a pan, sprinkle asafoetida and arrange the stuffed okra in the pan in a single layer. Add any left over stuffing and cook on low medium flame without lid. Every few minutes turn them to allow even cooking on all sides. Slow roasting gives better taste and texture.
Step 4: Turn off heat. Serve with rice or rotis.

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Capsicum Porial

Usually capsicum does not go as side dish for rice varieties say, for dal rice or sambar rice or rasam rice. I tried preparing it like we prepare beans porial and it went well with dal rice for lunch.
Ingredients:
1. Capsicum -2
2. Oil – 1 tbsp
3. Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
4. Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
5. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
6. Curry leaves – 5 or6
7. Gram flour – 2 tbsp
8. Chili powder – 1 tsp
9. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
10. Salt as per taste
Method:

Step 1: Cut the capsicum into long thin slices
Step 2: Heat oil in a pan, sprinkle mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and then toss the capsicum in it. Cover and cook for a couple of  minutes.
Step 3: Open the lid, stir and then add turmeric powder, gram flour, salt, chili powder and mix well.
Step 4: Again close the lid and cook for 2 – 3 minutes by stirring once in between.
Step 5: Serve warm with hot steamed rive and dal/ sambar/ rasam.

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Horsegram Green porial

Horsegram was fed primarily to the horses, hence the name. However, this is so rich in nutrients that it is consumed by humans too for it also has lots of medicinal properties as per Siddha. Horsegram or kollu as it is known in tamil, takes a longer time to cook; so it is generally soaked overnight and then cooked, sprouting makes it more healthier. And, the water used for blanching the horsegram is healthy and flavorful which is not discarded but used to make rasam. 

Ingredients:

1. Horse gram – 1/2 cup
2. Amarnath greens (Mullai keerai) – 1 bunch
3. Green chilies – 2
4. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
5. Onion -1
6. Garlic – 5 cloves
7. Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
8. Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9. Oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

Step 1: Wash and soak the horsegram overnight. pressure cook them with some salt.

Step 2: Pick the leaves from the greens bunch, wash thoroughly, drain and chop them. Chop onion, peel and chop garlic.

Step 3: Heat oil in a kadai, splutter mustard, sprinkle asafoetida, saute onion & garlic, slit green chilies and add drained horse gram into it.

Step 4: Once the left over moisture evaporates, add chopped greens. Sprinkle some salt, mix and close with a lid.

Step 5: After 3 minutes, open and stir once. Cook it opened for another 2 minutes and turn off heat.
Step 6: Serve hot with rice and kollu rasam (Prepared in the usual way except that instead of dal stock, horsegram stock is used).

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