April 27, 2010

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas

Chickpeas is so versatile that it almost goes well with almost anything. I have been wanting to do something different with chickpeas since long. I happened to have some pumpkin at home & I made this really yummy curry with the two.

Pumpkin Curry with Chickpeas

I normally don't use coconut milk in my cooking. But this recipe called for some thick coconut milk & I really did love the flavor.

This isn't a very spicy curry. There is quite a bit of sweetness from pumpkin & coconut milk & a little bit of heat coming from cinnamon & green chillies. Feel free to adjust the spices as per your preferences.

You Will Need:
  • 100g Chickpeas - soaked overnight or for 5-6 hrs
  • 500g Pumpkin - Peeled & diced into medium sized cubes
  • 2 red onions - finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut - fresh
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • cinnamon - 1 small stick
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • Salt as per taste.
  • Oil
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

How To:

  • Pressure cook chickpeas with some salt until tender. Drain & set aside.
  • Grind grated coconut, cardamom , cinnamon, green chillies & turmeric into a smooth paste adding very little water
  • In a large pan, splutter cumin seeds, add chopped onions & fry until they turn pink.
  • Add the ground paste & fry for a couple of mins. Add diced pumpkin & add about less than 1/2 a cup of water & cook until tender.
  • Add chickpeas, coconut milk & salt. Bring it to a simmer & cook for about 10 mins. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
  • Turn off the stove & transfer to a serving dish.

Serve HOT with Warm Naans/Rotis .. Enjoi !!!

April 19, 2010

Homemade Garam Masala

Can you imagine your pantry without the quitessential Garam Masala?? This magical spice certainly does impart that subtle flavor to any dish, making it the King of all spice blends.

While it is very convenient to buy Garam Masala from stores, there is nothing to beat the freshness of some good Homemade Garam Masala

Garam Masala

Every home would probably have its own version of Garam Masala. But the ingredients used are more or less the same.

Here's how to make some good Garam Masala

You Will Need:

  • 1/4 cup Coriander seeds/Dhaniya
  • 1/4 cup Cumin seeds/Jeera
  • 1 tbsp cloves/Laung
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorn
  • 1 1/2 tsp Black cumin seeds/Kala Jeera
  • 1/2 tsp Black/Green cardamom seeds
  • 2 whole cinnamon sticks/Dalchini
  • 1/2 tsp ground mace
  • 4 bay leaves - crushed

Method:

  • In a large frying pan, heat all the spices over medium heat until they slightly change their color & release aroma. Turn off the stove & transfer the spices into another dish & allow them to cool completely.
  • Grind into a fine powder in a coffee grinder.
  • Store in air-tight container

Use in small amounts, at the end of cooking to add that special flavor. Do Not add huge amounts as it will over power all other flavors.

April 13, 2010

South Indies: Menasale - Summery Cucumber & Yogurt Gravy

When I first started with South Indies, as a regualr series in the blog, a lot of people came forward & shared their favorite South Indian recipes with me. Asha from Foodies Hope was first one to mail me her Grandmother's recipe, Menasala - A summery cucumber & yogurt gravy. Thanks Asha, for this wonderful recipe. Its now a regular at my home too.

Summer is at its peak here. And, what can be a better way to beat the heat ...

Menasale

You Will Need:
  • 2 cucumbers - peeled & chopped into small cubes
  • 1 cup fresh yogurt
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chillies - broken
  • Finely chopped cilantro - for garnish

To Grind:

  • 2 -3 tbsp fresh coconut - grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tbsp yogurt

Method:

  • In a tsp of oil, roast all the ingredients mentioned in the 'To Grind' list until they turn slightly reddish. Set aside to cool.
  • Once cool, grind together with coconut, onion & yogurt adding very little water
  • In a large bowl, mix together cucumber cubes, ground paste & yogurt. Whisk well.
  • Temper with mustard seeds, red chillies & curry leaves.
  • Adjust salt & garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Serve with HOT steamed rice. Enjoi !!!

The addition of roasted coriander seeds & raw onions add a kick to the otherwise regular raita. This is a perfect summer dish .. Go ahead & make it right now ...