Showing posts with label south indian dishes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label south indian dishes. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eggplant Rice (Brinjal rice)

Nothing thrills me like fresh stock of vegetables on display at the market. I am pulled automatically to the vegetable counter if I see some fresh stock of vegetables- I don’t know if it is their color or their vibrancy that attracts me? The other day, I was amazed to see some shimmering eggplants at my market and I loved the glistening coat and their texture. You get to see two varieties in the market- big-sized eggplants and the cute little small ones. I love the small ones, which taste heavenly in any kind of south Indian cooking.

This rice dish, celebrates the eggplants, which has been sautéed with Indian spices and will leave a lingering taste in your mouth. Creativity is the essence here- You can recreate this dish with different vegetables and vary spice level according to your palette. The recipe credit goes to my mom, who has always shown me the path to enjoy different flavors. so, Enjoy :)

Shimmering eggplants sauteed with feisty Indian spices combines with rice to create this simple & tasty delicacy!

  • Basic Ingredients-
  • 2 large onions (chopped)
  • 3-4 small eggplants (cut in cubes)
  • 3 tomatoes (chopped)
  • 4 garlic cloves (crushed & chopped finely)
  • tsp grated ginger
  • Uncooked rice- 1 cup
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Asafetida powder (just a dash)
  • 2 Green chillies- slit and cut in half
  • Spices used-
  • Cinnamon stick- ½ inch
  • Bay leaf- 1
  • Sambar powder- ½ tsp
  • Garam masala- ¼ tsp
  • Coriander seeds (sabut dhania) 100 gms
  • 3-4 dry red chilies
  • Cardamom pods -3
  1. Wash the rice & cook it in a non stick pan with two cups of water. Alternatively, you can use a rice cooker/pressure cooker for the same. Just ensure that the cooked rice is not sticky and the grains are separated.
  2. Dry roast the coriander seeds, dry red chilies, cardamom seeds and grind them to a fine powder.
  3. Heat some cooking oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Allow the seeds to crackle and add asafetida powder.
  4. Add green chillies, bay leaf, garlic and ginger. Allow the oil to soak up the flavor.
  5. Add onions and saute them well till translucent.
  6. Add tomatoes and allow them to cook for few minutes.
  7. Toss in the eggplants and cook till tender.
  8. Enhance it by adding the sambar powder & garam masala. Allow the eggplants to absorb the spices. If need be, sprinkle a bit of water so that the mixture doesn’t get too dry.
  9. Add the ground spices that we prepared earlier and ensure that the mixture has incorporated all the spices well. Adjust salt according to your taste.
  10. Add this mixture to your cooked rice and blend well till the rice has absorbed the mixture completely.
  11. Serve hot with raita and pickle!
Sambar powder is readily available at any Asian store and is normally prepared by pan roasting whole spices like lentils, coriander seeds, dried whole red chili, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves & grinding them to a coarse powder.
Published @ Honest Cooking -

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Raw banana curry/poriyal

I love raw bananas- My mom is an absolute genius when it comes to making something delicious out of them! I have literally grown up gorging on the stir fry she would make of raw bananas. Funny thing is, my husband hates them :( - He abhors raw bananas and I seldom cook them. The other day, I was shopping and found these gorgeous looking green bananas. I don't like to cook for myself but then I decided to treat myself with a stir fry that would make my mom proud. So, this dish is just for my taste buds and boy did they feel pampered :) - When was the last time you cooked to pamper your own taste buds???


500 gms Raw bananas
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
1 green chilli (chopped)
1 dry red chilli broken into two
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
salt according to taste
curry leaves (couple of leaves, to enhance flavor)
cooking oil - 2 tbsp


Steam the raw bananas (with their skin) till they become soft and tender. Peel the outer skin and discard it.   Chop the inner pulp into cubes or slightly mash them (depending upon the extent to which they have been steamed). In a wok, add oil. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to sputter. Add red chilli pieces, green chilli pieces and curry leaves. Cook for a couple of seconds before adding the chopped/mashed raw banana pulp. Toss well. Add turmeric powder and adjust salt according to taste. Cook the bananas till light golden brown. Serve with hot steaming rice!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lemon Vermicelli

Small black mustard seeds merrily bouncing in a pan- happy, carefree till they meet up with rough and hot green chilli pieces. A savory story unfolds in my kitchen with the main star as vermicelli (type of pasta, thinner than spaghetti) and carrot pieces, green peas, green beans acting in a supporting role. The story becomes vibrant with turmeric powder in a special role and of course one can't undermine the role of lemon juice which becomes the whole essence of our savory story. The story rocks the box office with every bit of vermicelli lapped up by the hungry audience :) -


Vermicelli - 2cups
1/2 cup green beans
1/2 cup carrot (sliced)
1/2 cup peas
curry leaves (4-5 leaves)
mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
cumin seeds 1/4 tsp (omit if you want)
1 tbsp lemon juice
turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
grated ginger (1/4 tsp)
1/2 tsp gram dal (yellow lentils) 
green chillies (2 ) chopped
coriander leaves chopped for garnishing

**Generally this dish is made without the vegetables- but then my savory story had to be different! 

How did I make it?

Cook vermicelli in boiling water with a little bit of oil (so that it doesn't stick together). Once cooked, drain excess water and keep it aside. This removes the starch and makes it non sticky! Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds. As they begin to sputter, add gram dal (yellow lentils), ginger, curry leaves and green chilli pieces. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Toss in the vegetables and cook on a medium flame till the vegetables become soft and tender- sprinkle a bit of water to cook the vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooked, add lemon juice. Mix in the vermicelli and adjust salt according to taste. Garnish with coriander leaves!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ven pongal- South Indian Festive rice!

One of the 28 states, Tamilnadu has historically been an agricultural state for India- It is also the leading producer of agricultural products in India (source- Wikipedia). Come January, the whole state gets ready to celebrate "Pongal" also known as harvest festival! The idea is to thank god for the bounty harvest and is celebrated at harvest time.

When you talk about Pongal festival, you definitely gotta talk about the food delicacies prepared- sakarai pongal and ven pongal! These are rice based dishes and come in sweet (sakarai pongal) and salty flavors (ven pongal). Ven pongal is not just prepared for the festivities- It is a popular dish in many south Indian homes and is often served as breakfast/tiffin. It is rich in flavor and takes minimal effort. Rice cooked with lentils and combined with pepper, cumin seeds and curry leaves provides the flavors. Highlight of this dish?cashewnuts sauteed in butter/ghee simply catapults this dish to a different height! Don't believe me? Check out-


1 cup rice
1/2 cup moong dal (yellow lentils)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp whole black pepper seeds
1/2 tsp grated ginger
dash of asafoetida powder
chopped curry leaves (4 to 5)
2-3 tbsp ghee or butter (generally you work with ghee for this dish- but I had to substitute cooking butter)
Salt (according to taste)
oil to saute spices


Step 1 is to cook the rice with lentils- Wash the uncooked rice and keep it separate. Dry roast the lentils on a pan before mixing to your rice-Cook the rice with roasted lentils by adding 3-4 cups of water and salt according to your taste. Once cooked, keep it aside. Coarsely crush the peppercorns and cumin seeds. In a frying pan, add oil and saute ginger. Add the crushed pepper and cumin seeds with curry leaves. Mix in a dash of asafoetida powder and saute for a couple of seconds. Remove from heat and set it aside. In a separate pan, fry the cashew nuts in 1 tbsp of ghee/butter till they are crisp. Add the roasted spices and cashew nuts to you cooked rice and ensure that the spices have blended well. Mix in the remaining butter/ghee to your rice and serve!

What is ghee? Ghee is clarified butter and works great with the above dish- The nuts and ghee accentuates the flavor of pepper and cumin to make it a wonderful dish!

Happy Pongal to all! Sending this recipe to an event hosted by a fellow blogger- Pongal fest event


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