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Mixed Vegetable & Tofu Stew

Mixed Vegetable & Tofu Stew

Stew is typically slow-cooked, with chunky vegetables which steeps in the flavor. The last few weeks, stews/soups/salads have kept me company as I strive to eat more vegetables and limit grains. Stew comes particularly handy, if you are cooking for crowd with varying preference as it can be eaten like a soup, with or without a bread on the side or over rice or chappathi/roti. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Desi Chinese, Thai

 

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Paucity makes the heart grow fonder

Ah! Curry leaves!  I grew up in an independent house(single-family home for those in the U.S.) in Chennai and where we lived coconut & mango trees are common sight.  And so was it in our house. In addition, the house also has a curry tree – yes it is a tree, over 9 feet tall and thriving.  We picked the leaves when we needed it – for tempering (thalippu) or thogayal –  and it couldn’t have gotten fresher than that.  May be it was the easy availability or abundance or the ignorance of youth, I never quite liked these greenies.  I never understood why the elders went gaga over its flavor and was also not taken in by its medicinal value.  The only use (thanks to my mom!) I had for these leaves was when they were boiled with good old coconut oil and massaged onto my hair.  The first time I missed (or rather longed) for these leaves where when I couldn’t find them.  Yes, we always miss what we can’t have and when something gets harder to get, fonder does our heart grow. Such is human nature, I guess!

When SacramentoSpice posted her curry leaf chicken recipe (yes, you read that right!) and linked Manisha’s version, I remembered that I had bookmarked Manisha’s Kadipatta Chicken a while back.  I wanted to try a vegetarian version of this and was toying with the idea of doing it with either cauliflower or potato (paneer would work well too, now that I think of it).  When a dear friend gave me a ziploc full of curry leaves, picked fresh from her parents’ home, the timing could not have been more perfect 🙂  My recipe is very close to Manisha’s version, but am posting it again to record the minor tweaks that I did. Thanks, Manisha! Onto the Kariveppilai potato-cauliflower fry (I couldn’t make up mind I decided to use both potato & cauliflower)!

Spices

1 Tsp oil
1 Tsp black pepper
1 Tsp cinnamon powder
5 cloves
2 red chillies

1 cup Curry leaves, washed & dried
1 Tbsp Tamarind Paste (1/2 golf ball sized piece, if you are using fresh)
1 Tsp turmeric powder
1 onion, chopped fine
1 small tomato, quartered
1/2 cauliflower – chopped into florets
2 medium sized potatos – cubed into 1″ pieces
1 Tsp salt

Saute the spices in a tsp of oil till they are well roasted but not burnt in a saute pan (or kadai). Add the kariveppilai to the spice mixture and saute till the leaves are fried well. Add the chopped onion, quartered tomato and salt, wait for the onion to become translucent.

Let it cool and grind it to a paste along with the tamarind. (Tip: If you want, you can stop right at this stage and use this is a chutney / thogayal to mix with rice or use as a side dish to idli / dosai. If you want to attain kariveppilai nirvana, continue).

Add the cauliflower – potato mixture to the same pot (to keep shy happy), close it with a lid and cook till the veggies are semi-tender.

At this point, add the ground paste and cook till the veggies are fork-tender.  If you want a watery dish, you can add a cup of water at this stage.  But if you are like me and prefer a dry dish, hold the water.

This is a perfect side dish with rice & dhal or with rotis.

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2010 in Cooking, Desi, Traditional cooking

 

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Peppery Cauliflower

I was introduced to the world of blogs a few years back, when the blogs were few and far between and it was easy to follow the handful of blogs. Then, the blogs proliferated and much as I would have liked to keep myself abreast, it is just not possible to read all the blogs that pique my interest. That’s where Google Reader came to my rescue and whenever I found a blog that I liked, I followed it by adding it to my reader (*hint hint* add my blog to your reader, if you haven’t done so already 🙂 ). Anyway, my friends and I share and exchange notes on the blogs that we follow and I have come across quite a few new blogs through them.  One such gem is Mriganayani, oh I love the name, introduced by my dear friend, Arch.  I scanned through her blog and the one recipe that caught my interest was Cauliflower Pepper Fry.  I love pepper (so much that I add it to my chai, for kicks!) and the combination looked like a match made in heaven.

I followed her recipe to the T with few minor changes and made it dry, as I was going to have it with rice.  This goes perfectly with rice as well as rotis and may make an awesome sandwich filling too.

1Tsp Black pepper
1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
2 red chillies
1 Tsp ghee
1 Onion – cubed
1 onion – chopped
1 caulilfower – cut into florets
1 Tsp – Turmeric
1 Tsp -salt (more or less based on your taste buds)
1 Tbsp – Almond Butter

For Thalippu (Tempering)

1 Tsp – Mustard
Few curry leaves
1 Tsp  – Oil (Vegetable or Sesame or Coconut)

Saute the cubed onion with the spices (Black pepper, cumin & red chillies) in ghee and grind them to a paste.

In a deep dish, add the ingredients for tempering and wait till the mustard finishes it dance and cools down.  Now, add the chopped onions, wait till turns semi-translucent and then add the cauliflower, turmeric and salt.  Close the dish and let it cook till the cauliflower is almost done.  I like my cauliflower cooked but crunchy, so I just cooked for about 7-8 minutes, if you want it well done, cook for a little longer.

Add the ground paste at this point along with the almond butter and cook it for a few more minutes.   At this point, if you find it a little spicy, you can tone it down by adding another tsp of ghee or almond butter.

Eat with rice & dhal / yoghurt or with rotis or just as is, as a little snack.  It is perfect, any which way!

If you do not have access to almond butter, just follow the original recipe and add a handful of cashews (or almonds) when you grind the ingredients.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2010 in Cooking, Desi

 

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