Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stuffed Bitter Gourd (Pavakka/Kakarakaya/Karela Masala)

Lately I have been making a lot of recipes from Bitter Gourd. I am always trying to make something new and I stumbled upon one such cool recipe from Malar Gandhi's blog. I followed her recipe 90%. I could not follow it to the T due to taste preferences. You must visit her blog, she has truly a nice space. You can either get the recipe from here or from her blog, Here. (P.S: I am getting an internal error while pasting the link, will try again later)
My husband and I loved the taste and I cant wait to make this another time. Do try this and let me know.
Bitter Gourd/Kakarakaya: 4, small
Tomatoes: 2, small chopped
Onions: 2 small chopped
Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp
Garam masala: 1/2 tsp
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Salt: according to taste
Turmeric powder: 1/4 powder
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1 tsp
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 string
Oil: 2-3 tbsp

  • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly and trim the edges. Now make a vertical opening with a sharp knife, keeping the edges intact. Basically, enough slit/opening to be able to remove the seeds and stuff the stuffing. With the back of the spoon remove the seeds and pulp, making sure to keep the edges intact.
  • Steam the bitter gourd for 10 mins. (Alternatively, you can also skip this step. I personally have steamed this to soften the veggie). 
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds followed by chopped onions. 
  • When the onions are fried, add the ginger garlic paste and try for a few more seconds. 
  • Now add the tomatoes and cover and cook until tomatoes are cooked. 
  • Now add all the mentioned powders, including salt and stir. Remove from heat. 
  • Now stuff this tomato curry into the bitter gourd, one by one. Do not worry if you are unable to stuff more than 2 or 3 tbsp per one bitter gourd. You will still have some left over curry. Leave this aside for the moment.
  • Heat another pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Now carefully lower each bitter gourd and gently fry one side at a time taking care not to burn it.Try not to let the stuffing come out. Some of it will come out anyway.
  • Once the bitter gourd is completely cooked on all sides, add the remaining left over curry into this and stir gently.
Serve this hot with rice or roti.

Note: Other recipes for bitter gourd are:
1. Pvakkai Kuzhambu
2. Pavakkai Fry

Friday, May 27, 2011

Indian Broad Beans with Potatoes (aloo with chukkudukaya)

Remember my other post where I was trying to increase the quantity of the okra I have at home by adding 1 potato and I called it Bhendi Burji with Aloo ? The other time when I was increasing the quantity of okra by adding them in tomato gravy and called it Tomato-Okra? Well, here is a recipe for increasing the quantity of potatoes by adding Indian Broad beans. This is called Chukkudukaya in Telugu. Not sure what it is called in Tamil or Hindi. This will go well when we have unexpected guests and some of who love potatoes :)
Potatoes: 3 small, pealed and chopped
Beans: handful, chopped
Cumin/jeera: 1 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves: 1 string
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Red chili Powder: 1 tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add cumin followed by curry leaves. 
  • Now add the potatoes and beans. Stir fry until they get cooked.
  • After they are completely cooked, add turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder. 
  • Switch off the stove.
This will go very well with roti or even rice and sambar.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Tomato Chutney- Iyer Style

This recipe goes back to my college days from London. When I initially went there for studies, it was around the time of Vinayaka Chaviti (Ganesh Chaturthi). I was invited for dinner by one of the ladies. She was known as Iyer Akka. That's where I first had this kind of chutney. I absolutely fell in love with the taste and ever since I often make this at home. Thanks to the traditional recipes and Iyer Akka.My husband also loves this! 
Tomatoes: 1/2 kg
Green Chilies: 6 (increase or decrease this according to taste)
Cumin/Jeera: 1 tbsp
Oil: 2 tbsp

For Tempering:
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
Cumin: 1/2 tsp
Channa Dal: 1 tsp
Curry Leaves: 1 string
Hing: 1 pinch

  • Heat 1 tsp oil in big pan (enough to fit tomatoes) and add cumin and green chilies. Once chilies are roasted and softened a bit, remove from the pan to another small bowl. 
  • In the same pan add add the washed and chopped tomatoes and keep cooking until tomatoes are completely cooked. This will take some time considering you are cooking 1/2 kg of tomatoes.
  • After the tomatoes are completely cooked through, remove from the pan and cool it. 
  • After they are cool, transfer to a blender and add salt and also the fried cumin and green chilies from step 1. 
  • Blend them fine and transfer to a serving bowl. 
  • For tempering, take a small pan and heat oil. To the oil add everything under for tempering and stir for a few seconds until everything is well roasted. 
  • Add this to the tomato chutney. Also add salt for taste.
Enjoy with hot rice or even with any break fast item! 

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    Chettinad Shrimp Masala (Eral Masala)

    Prawns have always been my favorite non-veg item. Its unfortunate that never lived near waters to get fresh supply of prawns as often as I would have liked to have. I am talking about childhood days and years spent in India.
    Now we get what ever we want, fresh/frozen/cleaned/uncleaned/ bla. However, no matter how many times I try, the taste we get in India is never the same. I wonder if its because of the spice brand we use or the water or the prawns. Anyway, here is the recipe for Chettinad Eral Masala. The taste is as close to as one can expect in an authentic Chettinad kitchen.

    Prawns: 250 grams/ 1/2 lb (cleaned) I used fresh shrimp, you can use frozen also.
    Onions: 1 big or 2 small
    Ginger garlic paste: 1/2 tsp
    Garlic pods: 4 big or 8 small
    Tomato: 1 ripe, chopped
    Chili Powder: 1 tsp or according to taste
    Turmeric powder: 1 pinch
    Coriander leaves: handful
    Lemon Juice: 2 tbsp
    Cinnamon: 1 inch piece
    Curry leaves: 1 string
    Oil: 2 tbsp

    Marinate the shrimp with chili powder, turmeric powder, salt, lemon juice and ginger&garlic paste and set aside in the fridge for an hour.

    • Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon stick, curry leaves followed by chopped onions. 
    • When onions turn translucent, add tomatoes and let the tomatoes cook until they become mushy. 
    • Now add the shrimp and saute for a min. You will see the water coming out. Now, cover the dish and let the shrimp cook on medium flame. After cooking, check for salt.
    • You can switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves.
    • Do not over cook the shrimp as this would make them hard.
    • If you are using frozen shrimp, make sure to defrost it before you marinate it.