Beans Paruppu Usili – Dry curry with lentils and string beans

Background:

K and I love the Paruppu Usili/Morkuzhambu combo. So much so it is our weekend ritual. It defines our idea of a good Saturday or Sunday. Feast on this exotic combination and wrap up the afternoon with a siesta. Because usili takes a good amount of work compared to the other dry curries we make, it is accorded a special place on our Menu Honor Roll.

Stuff you will need:

Green string beans – 2 lb – chopped into small bits
1 cup – thuvar dhal
1 cup – mix of channa dhal/moong dhal and urad dhal
Salt to taste
Long Red chillies – 10
Asafoetida – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsps
Turmeric – 1 tsp

How to make it?

Cook beans with salt and set aside. Soak the dhals together for about an hour and grind with red chillies, salt and asafoetida using little water. Steam the ground dhal paste using idli plates. Remove, cool and crumble.

In a big kadai or wok, heat a generous measure of oil. When heated, add mustard seeds and wait till the pop. Add the crumbled dhal paste and fry till golden brown and dry. When done, add the drained cooked beans and mix in. Cook on low heat for about five minutes when the curry comes together. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Serves four

Special Notes:

Paruppu usili can be had all by itself or as a side with rice and morkuzhambu.

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Baked, curried roasted potatoes – desi style

Background:

I had friends over for lunch today and I usually make potatoes in addition to a ‘green’ vegetable. Normally, I pan roast the potatoes after steaming them in the pressure cooker. It usually is a hit or miss. Over the years I have watched others bake the potatoes to perfection and have always felt it was beyond me. Today however, I was in a mood to experiment. So I oven roasted potatoes and made kheer using the crock-pot both of which turned out well. Here is the recipe for the potatoes.

Stuff you will need:

10 small baking potatoes – washed, peeled, cubed (feel free to experiment with red bliss potatoes. A friend of mine swears by them)
Sambar powder/Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Salt – to taste
Olive oil/Ghee – 3 tsp (I used a mix of both)
Curry leaves 1 sprig  – chopped
Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp

How to make it?

In a mixing bowl mix all ingredients so that the potatoes are well coated. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes while the oven is preheated to 475 F. In a baking pan spread the potatoes so they are one layer thick and bake it at 475 F for 30 – 40  mins. Stir and put it back in and broil for 15 minutes. Turn over once so it roasts evenly.

Remove to a serving bowl and serve with rice and sambar.

Serves four

Special Notes

I experimented with the heat settings and found this worked well today. Over time if I feel different temp setting yield better results, will update this post.

Medley of vegetables with rich paneer – Vegetable Jalfrezie

Background:

A recipe my cousin V shared. I am yet to try it out. She did and I am posting it because I feel the instructions are easy enough and it does sound yummy!

Thanks V!!

Stuff you will need:

1 Potato – cut into long thin fingers  – optional
1/2 Pepper each – green, red, orange cut into long thin slices
1 cube paneer – cut into thin long slices
1 Onion – Big cut into thin long slices
2 Roma tomatoes cut into thin long slices
1 inch Ginger – Chopped finely
2 Green chillies –  slit
2 Red dry chillies
3 tsp Olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp red chili powder
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder 1 pinch
Garam masala 1 tsp
Coriander leaves – a handful washed and chopped to garnish
Vinegar or Lemon juice – 1 tsp

How to make it?

Add 1 tsp oil, fry the peppers separately with little salt. Keep aside. Add 1 tsp oil, fry the potatoes separately with little salt. Keep aside. Add 1 tsp oil, add cumin seeds, red chillies, green chillies, ginger, onion and saute well till onions are cooked. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt and cook. Add fried peppers, fried potatoes and saute for 3 mins. Add the paneer slice and saute for 3-5 mins. Add tomatoes slices, little garam masala. Cook everything well for 5 mins. Add little vinegar or lemon juice. Mix well and turn off. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Serve with Roti or Parathas

Serves four

Special Notes:

Try it and let me know 🙂

Poduthuval aka Kari aka Curry – Vegetable steamed and garnished with coconut.

Background:

May be because I had subway for lunch today I am craving steaming hot rice and sambar with beans curry. As part of my continuing efforts to document the dishes I do make at home, here is a recipe that works well with any of the following. String beans, Cabbage, Carrot, Green plantain, Cluster beans, Flat beans, Snake gourd…

Stuff you will need:

Vegetable of choice 2 lbs
1/4 Coconut – shredded
Green chillies – 4 – sliced
Curry leaves – 1 twig
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds – 1 tsp (Optional)
Urad dhal – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Oil – 2 tsp to temper/season
Asafoetida – 1 pinch

How to make it?

Grind green chillies, curry leaves and coconut to a rough mixture. In a wok or large pan heat the oil and season with mustard, urad dhal, turmeric and asafoetida. When the mustard bursts, add vegetable and mix in. Add salt and sprinkle water. Cover and cook till vegetable is done i.e. cooked yet firm. Add the coconut-green chilli mixture and fold in. Turn heat off.

Serve with hot rice and sambar or rasam or just mix it in with rice and eat as is.

Serves four

Special Notes:

Add the coconut mix at the very end. Do not let it cook. The heat in the vegetable is enough to take away the raw taste. Adjust amount of water sprinkled depending on what is being cooked. I have noticed cabbage does not need water since adding salt will cause it to water. String beans on the other hand requires about half a cup of water to cook well.