Showing posts with label Dry Vegetables. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dry Vegetables. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 18

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


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


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.

Tuesday, September 17

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


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


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.


*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.

Wednesday, September 11

Pasalaikeerai Porial

Green leafy vegetables are one of the few rich nutrition sources accessible even to the poor. We see other vegetables’ prices fluctuate between tens and even hundreds due to seasons, supply, political factors and so on; while the green leafy vegetables prices stay almost intact, we only might avoid them during rainy days for hygiene reason. Though low in cost, they are rich in iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous and magnesium; there are ample of local varieties available in different places and multiple recipes through which we can relish them . This one is a simple and typical keerai porial recipe we’ve eaten as  kids with pappu-chochi (kid’s way of calling dal rice).

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  10 minutes


1.      Spinach (I used pasalai keerai) – 2 cups chopped
2.    Oil – ½ tsp
3.    Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
4.    Onion – 1
5.     Garlic – 5 cloves
6.    Salt to taste
7.     Dry red chili – 1 large
8.    Pepper crushed – a pinch (Optional)


Step 1: Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, add broken chili and sauté chopped onion and garlic in it with a pinch of salt until the onion is soft and starts to brown.

Step 2: Add the chopped spinach and stir well; add adequate salt and cook covered for few minutes.

Step 3: Open the lid, stir and cook until the greens are dry outside but still soft and moist inside. Sprinkle pepper at this stage if you want. Pepper can be substituted for chili heat or added just for flavour.

Step 4: Serve with sambar, rasam rice or dal-ghee rice as well.


*Green leafy vegetables require less salt by nature, they are rich in sodium and also they become less in quantity after cooking; so be careful while adding salt. I was given this lesson by amma during my earlier kitchen days yet I learnt only from experience.

Tuesday, September 3

Sattvic Cauliflower

I know the name sounds comical; but then I couldn’t think of a name that would be more appropriate for my blanched, mildly seasoned and sautéed cauliflower florets. I always like my cauliflower just cooked, as in it should still be firm in appearance and soft in texture. Sattvic foods are those that instil sattva guna in us. 

Ok... for those who’ve not come across this stuff: According to Bhagavad Gita, there are three gunas namely sattva guna, tamas guna and rajas guna each of which have their own traits and are there inside every being in different proportions. We would require them in varied scopes depending on our profession, personality and so on. Though these gunas are not determined merely by our food intake, food does have an influence in arousing these gunas in us. Generally, Sattvic foods are fresh fruits and vegetables that are either uncooked or mildly cooked and minimally spiced; Tamasic foods are fatty, meaty, and stale; Rajas foods are spicy, fermented, sour and pickled. Spiritual guidelines encourage us to maximize the sattvic guna while maintaining the other two just at the minimum required levels in order to lead a happy and healthy life.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  5 minutes

Cooking Time:  5 minutes


1.      Cauliflower – 1 small
2.    Salt to taste
3.    Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
4.    Oil – 1 tsp
5.     Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
6.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
7.     Chili powder – ½ tsp


Step 1: Cut the cauliflower into bite sized florets and clean in warm salted water.

Step 2: Blanch the florets in salted water by adding a pinch of turmeric to it for approximately 2 minutes and immediately drain using a mesh and pour some cold water on the vegetable to prevent further cooking.

Step 3: Heat oil in a pan, splutter cumin seeds in it, sprinkle the asafoetida, red chili powder and toss the blanched cauliflower in it. Adjust salt if required.

Step 4: Serve it as-is like salad or as complement with a rice dish.

Tuesday, March 26

Knol Khol Sabji

I have never tasted any recipe made from knol khol other the sambar my mom makes. I prepare sambar very rarely as dal replaces it in our household. I was missing knol khol for some time and I tried a dry sabji with it to have with phulkas. It came out well though I prefer sambar to it; but if I have to make this vegetable with roti then sabji is the choice. While shopping, the choice of knol khol is crucial, too mature ones will have spongy and chewy inside which don't taste well.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 2


1.     Knol khol – 4
2.     Green chili – 1
3.     Ginger – 1” piece
4.     Oil – 1 tbsp
5.     Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
6.     Coriander seeds – 1 ½ tbsp.
7.     Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
8.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
9.     Chili powder – 1 tsp
10. Salt to taste
11. Kasoori methi – 1 tsp
12.Garam Masala - 1 tsp
13.Amchoor salt - 1/4 tsp


Step 1: Peel and chop knol khol into small cubes as in the picture below. Chop green chilies as well.

Step 2: Heat oil in a non-stick pan and splutter cumin seeds in it, sprinkle asafoetida, add turmeric, coriander powder and sauté green chilies and ginger in it.

Step 3: Add the cubed vegetable and add enough salt & chili powder.

Step 4: Sprinkle some water, mix well and close with a lid.
Step 5: Cook in simmered stove and stir occasionally until the vegetable is tender.
Step 6: Crush the kasoori methi into the saji, add garam masala & amchoor salt and mix with the sabji. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes and turn off heat.

Step 7: Serve hot with phulkas.

Friday, February 22

Bottle Gourd Sabji

Yuvaraj (my brother) is fond of this sabji that I had made when he visited us once; he was surprised because probably he had not eaten anything from me that good before my marriage. My mom used to tell it is so gratifying to serve my brother as he tastes well and appreciates dishes unlike anyone else in our home. I realized this truly when I started cooking; hearing about the food (be it appreciation or criticism) from the one who tastes it is an honor for the one who cooked it. I adapted this recipe from; however the original recipe includes potato.

Serves: 2 -3
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes


1.      Bottled gourd or lauki – 1 medium
2.    Tomato – 2
3.    Green chili – 1
4.    Curry leaves – 1 sprig
5.     Coriander leaves for garnishing
6.    Oil – ½ tbsp
7.     Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
8.    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
9.    Asafoetida – 1 pinch
10.            Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
11.   Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
12. Chili powder – 1 tsp
13. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
14. Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
15.  Garam masala – 1 tsp
16. Salt to taste

Step 1: Peel and cube the bottle gourd, chop the tomatoes and green chili.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan splutter mustard & cumin seeds, sprinkle asafoetida & turmeric, add green chili & curry leaves, add ginger garlic paste and sauté tomato in it.

Step 3: Add chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and sauté for a minutes and then add cubed bottle gourd.

Step 4: Pour a ladle of water & add enough salt; mix and close to cook in simmer for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Open the lid, check if the vegetable is cooked, and add garam masala and mix well.

Step 6: Garnish with coriander leaves and serve it with phulkas.