Friday, 23 September 2016

Beans Thoran | Kerala style French Beans Thoran | Green Beans Poriyal | Onam Sadhya Recipes

Beans sauteed in coconut-shallot tempering

I am still lingering in the Onam mood!! :) I took a 10 day vacation & was roaming and eating & visiting friends & relatives during this Onam. That is the essencce of Onam right? So I can say, that this Onam was well spent :) But what I miss now the most is the food :D as always! It's nice to have food prepared by someone else once in a while right.. I miss my mom's soul filling comfort food, the elaborate sadhyas of Kerala, the heavy biriyani & meen curry of Deeps' aunt.. 

So to relive the Onam moments, it's a simple Beans Thoran today. Very easy to make and a quintessential to the Onam Sadhya,Thoran is basically veggie cooked/tempered with coconut shavings. It's not necessarily beans but Sadhya can be served with a thoran made with any veggie. It can be Long beans or Cabbage or Beetroot or any veggie of your choice for that matter. 

So what was the thoran that you served this Onam? 

Recipe Source: Ma


I Took: 

Preparation Time: 20 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Serves : 3-4 persons

I Used:

Beans-250 gm/1.5 cups (chopped)
Turmeric powder-¼ tsp
Salt-As needed

To Temper:

Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard -½ tsp
Shallots-6-8 nos (sliced)
Red Chilly powder-1 tsp
Curry leaves-A sprig

To Pulse:

Coconut-3 tbsp
Shallots/Small Onion-2 no
Green Chilly-1 no
Garlic-1 pod
Cumin Seeds-¼ tsp

The Way:

1. Rinse the beans in water twice or thrice. And chop them finely into small quarter inch pieces.

2. In a pan, add the chopped beans along with ¼ tsp turmeric powder, salt and ¼ cup of water. Allow them to cook covered in a medium low flame until done. Check in between if water is sufficient, take care not to overcook or burn.

3. Now while the beans get cooked, coarsely pulse together the ingredients under 'To Pulse in mixie without adding water. Do not grind to a smooth paste. Just 3-4 pulse until all the ingredients get crushed and mixed well would be sufficient.

4. Heat oil in a pan. Splutter the mustard seeds.

5. Now add the chopped shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes. When they start to turn colour, add the curry leaves.

6. Now add the ground coconut paste and saute for another minute.

7. Add red chilly powder and again saute for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell goes away. Now add in the cooked beans and give a nice stir till the coconut tempering is coated evenly all over the cooked beans.

Serve along with brown rice, Sambar and pappad or as a side dish in your Onam Sadhya :)


  • Addition of garlic, cumin & shallots while crushing the coconut is completely optional. As a family who does not like the strong flavour of garlic, I always add 1 pod of it. So adjust the ingredients to suit your tastes
  • Coconut is the key ingredient for thoran. So do not compromise on it :)


Friday, 2 September 2016

Yellow Pumpkin Kootu | Poosanikai Kootu | Parangikai Kootu - without coconut

Yellow Pumpkin cooked in Mung Dal

Many think that pumpkins, especially the yellow ones, are for Halloween carvings ! It does remind you of the Harry Potter movies & the Hogwarts dining room, na? I know many a friends who do not like it as a veggie. Maybe the sweetness that it imparts is what puts off many to have it as a side dish. But it is said to be a great source of Vitamin A & antioxidant beta carotene. It also seems to decreases the risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes & promotes a healthy complexion & hair. Now that last part would make you feel that including pumpkins in your diet does not sound like a bad idea after all, right? It is also a great substitute for oil & butter in your bakes ! Now I have heard that they even make payasam (kheer) with pumpkins. So many ways to have them..

Yellow pumpkin is one of the favorite veggies of my sis, my mom, me & now Dhruv as well :) I am happy that he likes it & I do not have to run behind him to make him eat them. I was scared that he might not like them coz it's not Deeps' favorite. But this kootu recipe has impressed even Deeps as well & he eats at least 2 spoons of it when I make them (Yes, that's an achievement) Somehow, my mom's recipes do have a very positive impact on his veggie eating habits ! :) So people out there, who do not like pumpkins, do try this recipe for sure, coz it's a breeze to make & a keeper for sure and you are going to start liking them hereafter :)

Other pumpkin recipes:

Vegan Pumpkin Bread
Mathanga Erissery

Recipe Source: Ma


I Took: 30 minutes


Serves : 2 persons

I Used:

Yellow Pumpkin - 250 gm (A big piece)
Moong Dal - ¼ cup
Ginger - An inch piece
Garlic - 2-3 cloves
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - As needed

To Temper:
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard  - ½ tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Red Chilly - 4 nos
Curry leaves - A sprig
Asafoetida - 2 pinch

The Way:

1. Rinse moong dal thoroughly in water. Then soak the dal in water (I took 1.5 cups) for 20-30 minutes

2. Remove the skin of the pumpkin (and also the middle mushy part with seeds) and dice it and keep aside

3. Add salt & turmeric powder to the soaked dal and boil it till it is 3/4 done. Check in between if water is required and add accordingly

4. Once the dal is 3/4th cooked, add the diced pumpkin pieces

5. Crush the ginger & garlic and also add them along with the pumpkin pieces

6. Now cover and cook till the pumpkin pieces are cooked and becomes soft and mushy. This should take around 8-10 minutes

7. Now for the tadka/tempering, heat oil in a tadka pan/kadai

8. Add the mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the urd dal. As it slightly turns colour add the remaining ingredients and give a nice stir

9. Add the tadka to the kootu and mix and serve

Tastes awesome with Plain Rice / Rasam Sadam / Kathirikai Kara Kuzhambu / Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu


Instead of boiling the moong dal, you can pressure cook as well. Just about 2 whistles should suffice. As pumpkin gets cooked fast, I would not recommend to pressure cook it.


Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Cheera Kootan | Cheera Parippu Curry | Kerala Style Spinach Gravy with Dal & Coconut

We are the Popeye family in matters of spinach :) We love spinach. It always so happens that I end up preparing dishes with spinach at least twice a week. I like it more when spinach is cooked along with dal but Deeps loves it in any form. 

My mom is such an ardent fan of spinach that there was a time when she used to make it daily. Any day you drop by my house for lunch then, there would be a keerai poriyal or masiyal or parippu keerai, either as a side dish or as the gravy for rice ;) She is an expert in preparing any variety of the spinach. Yes, there are umpteen varieties of spinach that is available in Tamil Nadu. And there is a nuance or knack in which each should be prepared. Some should be paired up with dal & some should not be ! Some need more onions, while some need extra shallots. And there is a variety of the spinach that she says is very good for relief from joint pains, I suppose 'Mudakathan keerai', which she uses to make dosa. Trust me, they taste yum :) I am still learning all these tit-bits from her.  

Having said all that, this recipe is not from my mom and is from my mil. As Deeps loves this dish, I prepare it often. You can say that this is a mallu version of dal palak with coconut paste added to it. This is best had by pairing up with steamed rice & curd. If you have some fried fish on the side then definitely you would want extra helpings of rice :) As it was a no fish day, I made peace with some chettinadu baby potato roast :) So do try out & let me know how you liked it !

Recipe Source: Amma


I Took: 30 minutes


Serves : 2 persons

I Used:

Spinach/Keerai/Cheera - ½ a bunch (approx 100 gms)
Tur Dal/Tuvara Parippu - 1 medium sized (finely chopped)
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed

To Grind:

Grated Coconut - ¼ cup (2 tbsp)
Cumin Seeds - ¼ tsp
Green Chilly - 2 no

To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Shallots - 4-5 nos (chopped)

The Way:

1. Rinse the tur dal thoroughly & soak in water (I took 1.5 cups) for 30 minutes. Add turmeric powder & salt and pressure cook it till done (3-4 whistles)

2. Clean & chop the spinach finely. Add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & pressure cook for another 2 whistles. (Refer notes)

3. Grind together the ingredients under 'To Grind' to a fine paste, by adding a little water. 

4. Add this to the cooked spinach and give a stir. Allow it to boil for another 2-3 minutes & then switch off the stove

5. Heat oil in a small tadka pan & temper the shallots. When it turns brown in colour, add this to the cooked spinach-dal & mix. 

Serve hot with steamed rice !


  • Pressure cooking the spinach is optional. Many do not like to do that as it is believed that the nutritional values are lost when the spinach is pressure cooked. In that case, you can add the chopped spinach to the cooked dal & allow it to cook for 10 minutes or till the spinach is cooked.
  • I used thandu keerai as this recipe suits that variety of spinach the most


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Nadan Chicken Curry - Kerala Style without coconut

Chicken cooked in onion, tomatoes & dry roasted Indian spices

All those regular readers of mine would know my love for chicken & how I love to prepare chicken dishes ! So here I am back with a basic & simple chicken recipe. This one is very easy to prepare, do not be taken aback with the number of steps, it's just a pinch of this & a handful of that from your masala dabbas/pantry & voila, you are left with a very flavorful & aromatic side dish that will definitely elevate your mild flavored rice or simple phulkas & leave you contented :) 

This is a personal favorite at home & Deeps loves to prepare this by himself, so as usual, I'm the happy apprentice then. This time we paired it up with 'Nei Choru' & we lost count of how many helpings we took while having lunch with one of our favorite 'House' series on ;) This is just one of the types in which Nadan chicken curry is made at our place. There are many variations to this which I will post in the future. So this time, try this out & let me know how you liked it :)

Other Chicken recipes:

Chettinadu Kozhi Kulambu
Chicken Masaledar | Spicy Chicken Masala

Recipe Source: Deeps


I Took:

Marination: 30 minutes

Preparation: 40 minutes


Serves : 3-4 persons

I Used:


For Marination:

Chicken - 500 gm
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Salt - As needed
Lemon juice - ½ of a small sized lemon

To Roast & Grind:

Red Chilly - 4 nos
Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard - ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp
Pepper - ½ tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 2 nos
Cardamom - 1 no
Star Anise - 1 no
Bay leaf - 1 no

For Gravy:

Onion - 4-5 medium sized (sliced)
Tomato - 2 medium sized (sliced)
Green Chilly - 2 nos
Ginger Garlic paste - 2 tbsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp
Curd - 2 tbsp (optional)
Coriander leaves - 2 sprig
Curry leaves - 2 sprig
Salt - As needed
Oil - As needed
Water - As needed

To Temper: (optional)

Oil  - 2 tbsp
Garlic - 1 pod
Pepper - 1 tsp

The Way:

1. Dry roast the ingredients under 'To roast & grind' in a pan. Add little water to it & grind  it to a fine paste

2. Marinate the cleaned & cut chicken pieces with the ingredients under 'For Marination' &  keep aside for 30 minutes

3. In a kadai, heat oil. Add the sliced onions & salt & saute well. The taste of this dish depends on how well you saute the onions. This is the key step & it may take you around 10-12 minutes. Keep sauteing occasionally till it reduces to half & becomes mushy. You can cover & cook as well in between

4. Once the the onions are nicely sauteed, add the sliced tomatoes & slit green chillies & saute well till the tomatoes becomes mushy

5. Now add the ginger-garlic paste & saute till the raw smell goes off. This may take around 2-3 minutes

6. Now add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, coriander powder & saute well for about a minute or two

7. Dunk in the marinated chicken pieces & give a nice stir. Close the kadai & cook in a medium/low flame till the chicken pieces become soft & are half-cooked. This takes about another 10 minutes

8. Now uncover the kadai & you can see that the chicken has let out some water. At this stage add the ground paste & sufficient water (if required) to bring it to the consistency for the gravy that you require. Close the kadai & cook again till the chicken is done

9. Now add in curd & give a stir. This step is totally optional. We like to add curd as it brings a tangy zing to the gravy which enhances the flavour of the dish

10. Add in the chopped coriander leaves & curry leaves & give a stir. Leave it in medium flame for another 30-60 seconds for the flavour of the leaves to sink in

11. Now for the tempering, heat oil in a kadai & fry the garlic pods & pepper separately

12. The garlic pods should slightly change colour & the pepper should just start to crackle. This tempering is also totally optional. We add it as Deeps like the crunch that the tempering adds to the gravy

You can serve hot with Nei Choru / Coconut Milk Rice / Roti / Idiyappam / Appam / Porotta / Puttu or any mild flavoured rice !


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Kiwi Smoothie

I am an ardent fan of exotic fruits. I love tasting and experimenting with new fruits & also veggies for that matter, but Deeps mostly prefer to stick to tested & approved tastes! What's your choice? Having said that, now you wouldn't mind me posting this recipe at a time when kiwis are not much in season, right? This post had been in my drafts for quite long & I feel it's high time for it to feature here.

Kiwis or Chinese gooseberries are native to some European nations & New Zealand. When ripe, they taste real sweet & can be devoured as such. Loaded with anti-oxidants, they make an excellent & quick option for making smoothies for your busy packed mornings.

I Took : 10 minutes

Serves : 1 tall glass

I Used:

Kiwi - 2 nos
Milk - ¼ cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Mint - 2 sprigs
Lime juice - From 1 lime
Ice cubes - ½ cup 

The Way:

Dunk in all the ingredients in a blender & blend to a smooth consistency. Adjust sweetness to your taste & serve chilled