Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Oats payasam- A guest post for Sweets & Spices

 September has been a festive month with Onam and over here Onam celebrations continue until the next festival pops up and that probably is going to be Eid which is almost round the corner now.

Sweet indulgence has also increased with the increase in celebrations. It was just as we were planning to cut short the sugar intake when Aara of Sweets & Spices asked whether we can do a guest post for her lovely blog. Now, for a sweet person like her who runs a blog with again a sweet in its name, we had to definitely make a sweet dish. Now, as I mentioned sweet cravings are always there but then just to justify ourselves we decided to do a 'payasam' with the staple food of today - "the humble oats".

Thankyou Aara for making us feel so special. Please hop on to Aara's space for the recipe of 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Punjabi Capsicum Masala

1 large capsicum, cut into squares
1 Tbsp cashew nuts
1 tsp black sesame seeds
1 large tomato, roughly chopped
1 medium sized onion , roughly chopped
1 inch piece ginger, roughly chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
3 green chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 cloves
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
3- 4 Tbsp oil
salt to taste

  • In a pan, dry roast the cashew nuts . Once they start to change color to light brown, add the sesame seeds too and roast until the nuts are roasted well.
  • Once cooled, powder this nut and sesame mixture and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add 1 Tbsp of oil and roast the capsicum pieces until they are almost roasted(the skin of capsicum should be speckled brown). Remove the capsicum pieces from the pan and set it aside.
  • Grind together the onion, tomato,ginger, garlic,green chilies and coriander seeds into a fine paste and set aside.
  • In the same pan that the capsicum was roasted, heat 3 tbsp of oil. Add the cumin seeds, cloves and bay leaf to the oil and saute for a few seconds.
  • Pour the grinded onion tomato mixture and cook until the water evaporates from the gravy and it turns almost dry.
  • Add the chilli powder and salt.Cook for a minute and then add 1 1/2 cup of water(you can add more water depending upon how thick you want your gravy to be). Mix well and let it come to a boil.
  • Now stir in the nuts powder and roasted capsicum. Let it cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add more water if you feel the curry is too thick.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala powder finally and mix. Serve hot with piping hot chapatis or parathas.

Recipe adapted from here with slight modifications

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Gothambu ela ada

1 cup wheat flour
a pinch of cardamom powder
3/4 cup grated coconut
4-5 Tbsp sugar(more if you desire more sweet)
1 tsp ghee 
2 banana leaves, cut into squares
  • In a bowl  mix the grated coconut with sugar and cardamom powder and keep aside.
  • Heat the banana leaves on a hot tawa quickly turning both sides just to make the leaves soft. This is done to prevent the leaves from breaking when you wrap it up.
  • Smear ghee on all the leaves so that you can remove your ada once cooked, easily from the leaf.
  • Mix enough salt in the wheat flour. Add water to the flour until you get a sticky consistency batter. It should not be too thick neither should it be watery, just in between the two stages.
  • Now add lemon sized portions of this batter on each of the banana leaf pieces.
  • Wet your fingertips and spread out the batter on the entire surface of the leaf.
  • Layer the coconut sugar mixture on top of the spread out batter.
  • Fold the leaf in half and fold the sides inside to wrap it up  entirely.
  • Steam these wraps in a steamer or idli cooker for about 15 minutes or until cooked.
  • Once cooled remove the ada from the leaf and serve with a cup of hot tea.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Parippu Pradhaman (Onam Special)

500 grams cherupayar parippu(moong dal)
1 kg jaggery
11/2 cup water
3 1/2 cups thick coconut milk
8 cups medium thick coconut milk
8 cups thin coconut milk
4 tablespoon ghee
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
a pinch of salt
cashew nuts and coconut pieces for garnishing


  • Wash and drain moong dal.
  • Melt the jaggery by adding 11/2 cup water and keep aside.
  • Heat 3 tablespoon ghee in a  pan and fry parippu for 4-5 minutes on low flame.
  • Add the melted jaggery and still well for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add light coconut milk and once it starts to boil  add medium thick coconut milk.
  • When the above mixture becomes half the quantity and the dal gets cooked, add thick coconut milk and stir well (do not boil).
  • Add salt,dry ginger powder,cardamom powder.
  • Stir well and turn off the flame.
  • Fry the coconut pieces and cashew nuts in 1 tablespoon ghee and add to payasam.
  • Serve hot.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Coriander Mushroom Curry

250 gms fresh mushrooms(any type)
3 onions, cut into chunks
a handful of fresh corinader leaves
2-3 cloves
few peppercorns
1 cardamom
1"stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp garlic paste
3-4 green chillies
2-3 Tbsp yoghurt
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp roasted cumin powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
2 Tbsp fresh cream
oil as required


  • Cook the onion chunks in boiling water until translucent. Drain from the water and cool. Once cooled grind the onions with the coriander leaves into a smooth paste.
  • Heat oil in wok and add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds and then add the green chillies(chopped fine), ginger paste and garlic paste. Fry for a few minutes or until the raw smell of garlic n ginger goes off.
  • Now add the onion and coriander paste and saute well until oil starts to separate from the sides. 
  • Now add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and fry for a minute.
  • Remove the wok from the flame and add the yoghurt and mix well. Add one cup of water too, mix well and return back to flame.
  • Cook on a medium low flame for a few minutes. Add the mushrooms and mix well.
  • Add the cumin powder and fresh cream. Mix well and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the mushrooms are cooked.
  • Sprinkle the garam masala powder on top and serve hot.