Monday, December 28, 2015

Koova (Arrow Root) Payasam


  • 3-4 tbsp koova powder
  • 1-1½ cup grated jaggery
  • 1 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tsp dried ginger
  1. Add 1-2 cups water to cover koova, mix well and let it sit for 5-10 min. Discard the water. Repeat as necessary, to clean koova.
  2. Add 3 cups water to jaggery and boil until all jaggery has dissolved and there are no lumps. Add grated coconut and dried ginger.  Cook for 1-2 min.
  3. Add 1/2 cup water to cleaned koova, stir well to get a syrup and gradually add it to the jaggery syrup, stirring constantly. Continue stirring until the mixture has thickened. Remove from heat.
Cleaning koova is essential only if impurities are thought to be present or are visible.
Cashew nuts fried in ghee can also be added to the mix, if desired.

Egg Masala Curry

  • 2-3 tbsp thinly sliced ginger
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped turmeric root
  • 4-6 fresh green chili, thinly sliced
  • ½-1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 large tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 4-5 sprigs curry leaves
  • 8-10 hard boiled eggs
  • 3-4 tbsp oil
  • 2 cups coconut milk or  almond milk
  • salt to taste 
  • 2-4 tbsp chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
  1. Grind garlic, ginger and turmeric root to a fine paste.
  2. Heat oil in a large sauce pan, add onions and stir until slightly browned. 
  3. Add garlic-ginger paste, green chili, curry leaves and stir for 2-4 min. 
  4. Add tomatoes, red chili powder and salt to taste. Stir well and heat covered on medium, until tomatoes are cooked. 
  5. Add garam masala and stir well.
  6. De-shell eggs. Slice the whole eggs, half-way and perpendicular at both ends, then add to the gravy.  Stir gently to coat the eggs with gravy and simmer low, covered for 20 min.
  7. Add coconut or almond milk, stir well and simmer low, covered for 10 min.
  8. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serves 4-6

Friday, October 9, 2015

Vazhapoo (Banana Blossom) Thoran

  • 1 banana blossom
  • ½ cup grated unsweetened coconut
  • 6-8 tsp coconut or canola oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • 2-4 dried red chili pepper
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp urad dal
  • 3-4 sprigs curry leaves
  • salt to taste

  1. Apply oil on hands before you begin, to prevent glue stains on fingers.
  2. Peel and discard the tough, purple outer layers (called bracts) of the banana blossom. Save the group of long pale yellow/brown flowers under each leaf.  Repeat discarding the purple layer and saving the flowers until you reach the white/pale yellow heart.
  3. Open each flower from the cluster and pull the stem that looks like a match stick and discard it.
  4. Chop the flower and heart to small pieces and put them in a bowl containing water and a tablespoon of yogurt or turmeric powder, to avoid discoloration.
  5. Heat oil in a sauce pan, add mustard seeds and cover the pan.  When the seeds are done popping, add urad dal, red chili pepper and curry leaves. Stir for 15 sec.
  6. Add the chopped banana flowers, turmeric powder, salt to taste and 1-2 tablespoons water.  Mix well and let cook covered on medium high. Stir occasionally.
  7. When cooked, add grated coconut, stir well and continue heating for 5-10 minutes, until all water has evaporated.


  • 1 cup rice soaked in water for 3 hours 
  • 1 small banana
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • ⅛ cup wheat flour
  • 1½ cup grated jaggery dissolved in 1 cup water and strained
  • ½ tsp ginger powder
  • ¼ cup coconut, thinly sliced and deep fried in ghee, till slightly brownish.

  1. Finely grind rice with 2 cups water.
  2. Add banana, rice flour, wheat flour, jaggery water and ginger powder. Blend well. The consistency of batter is thinner than for idli but thicker than for dosa. Add water or additional rice flour, as needed.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and stir in cocount pieces.
  4. Heat appam maker or aebleskiver pan, half fill with oil and adjust heat to medium.
  5. Then pour batter to each cup, till half full.
  6. As soon as they get bubbly around the edge and the bottom looks browned, turn over with a fork. Continue cooking until lightly browned on all sides. Remove with a skewer, drain oil and let cool on a plate lined with paper towel.
Makes approximately 50 pieces

Oil can be replaced with ghee or ¼ tsp ghee added to each cup while cooking unniappam.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


  • 2-3 lbs ground meat, chicken or finely chopped vegetables (mixture of sweet potatoes, bell pepper, carrots, beets, spinach, peas)  
  • 3 large onions, finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes or finely chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 16oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 16oz can pinto beans, drained or dry beans, soaked for 4-6 hours in water and then cooked
  • 1 16oz can kidney beans, drained or dry beans, soaked for 4-6 hours in water and then cooked
  • 2-3 tbsp oil 
  • 4-6 tbsp roasted cumin, ground
  • 2-3 tbsp chili powder, to taste
  • 1 7oz can Chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, finely chopped or 2 tbsp jalapeƱo or cayenne peppers, finely chopped
  • 6-8 curry leaves, dried and powdered (optional)
  • 2-4 cups water or broth
  • salt to taste
  • chopped green chili, yellow onions, green onions, coriander leaves (cilantro), grated cheese and/or sour cream, for garnish
  1. Heat oil in sauce pan. Add onions and garlic and fry until onions are slightly browned.
  2. Add meat, chicken or vegetable mixture. Fry on medium heat for 10 min or until the meat is no longer pink,
  3. Add all dry spices and stir well. for another 5 min.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a crock pot and mix in the remaining ingredients.  Add salt to taste and mix well.
  5. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours or high setting for 3-5 hours.
  6. Serve with chopped green chili, yellow onions, green onions, grated  cheese and/or sour cream.
Serves 8-10

Quantity of water can be varied depending on the required consistency. Less water is required for serving on a bun. Pinto beans can be substituted with other lentils like Garbanzo beans (Bengal gram), Mung bean or any dal, for a different texture/taste. Make chili 1-2 days in advance, cover tightly and refrigerate. On serving day, add extra water/broth, as desired and cook on low for 1-2 hours.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Aloo Gobi

  • 2-3 large potatoes, ½" cubes
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut to 1" pieces
  • 2 large onions, very finely chopped
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, very finely chopped
  • 6-8 fresh green chili, very finely chopped and crushed
  • 2 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp hing
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp amchoor powder
  • ½ tsp coriander powder
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed (optional)
  •  ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan, add cumin seeds and stir until slightly browned. Add hing, garlic-ginger paste and stir for 1-2 min. 
  2. Add onions, tomatoes, green chili and cook for 5-10 min or until onions turn translucent and tomatoes are cooked.  
  3.  Add turmeric, amchoor, coriander and chili powder to ¼ cup water and mix well.  Add this to the cooked tomatoes, stir and continue heating for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes, cauliflower, ¼ cup water, salt to taste and stir gently to coat the vegetables with the onion-tomato spice mix.  Cook covered on medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add thawed peas, sprinkle garam masala and stir gently.  Cook uncovered for another 5 min, to remove any excess liquid and obtain a semi-dry mix.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Nan Khatai

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup ghee, melted
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ tsp powdered cardamom
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts, finely chopped
  • a pinch of baking soda
  • pistachios, roasted (optional)
  1. Mix sugar and cooled ghee and stir well. Add flour, cardamom and cashews and knead well.
  2. Drop rounded teaspoons on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Press slightly and then add few pistachio pieces on top.
  3. Bake at 350 deg F for 15-20 min.
Makes 15-20 pieces