Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Baby Potato in yogurt sauce

   The potato, a name derived from the native American Indian word "batata", was first cultivated by the Inca Indians in Peru over 4,000. Potatoes are an excellent source of carbohydrates, the body's best energy
source. In October 1995, the potato was the first vegetable to be grown in space years ago.
   Did you know the potato is actually about 80  percent water? Only 20 percent of it is  actually a solid.  Potatoes can also be  quite large, with the world’s largest weighting in over 18 pounds.  And large potatoes didn’t stop with just the  vegetable itself. Pringles also made the  world’s largest potato chip.  It was  produced in Tennessee in 1990, and it measures 23 inches across. Now lets see a melt in your mouth delicious dish with the baby potatoes.

Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Ginger past - 2 tsps
Garlic paste - 2 tsps
Asafoetida - one pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Red chilli powder - 2 tsps
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Coriander powder - 2 tsps
Onions chopped - 2
Baby Potatoes - 15
Coriander leaves chopped - 2 tbsp

1) Pressure cook the potatoes and when they are cool enough drain the water, prick them with a fork in multiple sites and keep them aside.
2) Take a large bowl and add in yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, garam masala, salt,  coriander powder and mix well.
3) To this add the baby potatoes, give a nice mix and allow to marinate for about 30 - 60 minutes.
4) Heat a non-stick pan and roast onions till lightly browned (WITHOUT using any oil).
5) Then add the marinated mixture of the baby potatoes and cook till it comes to a boil. Then reduce the flame and cook for about 5 - 7 minutes till the gravy thickens.
6) Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy with chapatis, rice, dosa.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Tofu Stir Fry

    If you are a vegetarian and are looking for a rich source of protein, Tofu is the answer. Tofu is made by coagulating soy milk using mineral salt (usually calcium sulfate), and then pressing the resulting curds into blocks.
    It was first made during the reign of Han dynasty in ancient China, and since then it has become a part of staple diets in almost throughout the world.
    This is a very easy-to make stir fry recipe. You can customize the ingredients to make it suit your palate.


Extra Firm Tofu – 1 14oz package
Oil – 1 Tbsp
Soy Sauce – to taste
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Chinese Chili Sauce (like Sambal) – to taste
Salt as per taste (note that soy sauce also salt in it)

Method 1 - In the stove

1) Drain liquid from Tofu package. Press tofu between paper towels or keep them on a towel to remove water.
2) Cut tofu into bite size cubes.
4) Heat Oil in a non-stick skillet.
5) Add Tofu and cook on high heat until all sides are light brown.
6) Add Soy Sauce, salt,ginger garlic paste and Chili Sauce and toss until tofu is well coated.
7) Serve hot.

Method 2 - In the Oven

1) Drain liquid from Tofu package. Press tofu between paper towels or keep them on a towel to remove water.
2) Preheat oven to 375'.
3) In a bowl mix in soy sauce, ginger garlic paste, salt, Chinese chili sauce, salt and marinate for 10 minutes.
4) Once done add oil and mix nicely.
5) Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30-35 minutes, turning once halfway through, until a deep, golden brown and crispy on the outside but still tender on the inside. Remove from oven.


1) Marinating for a little longer adds up to the taste.
2) Try adding your favorite ingredients eg Szechuan spicy stir-fry sauce, teriyaki sauce, red chili flakes and scallions for a more delicious stir fry.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Onion Chutney

      Exactly why is it that chopping and peeling onions makes our eyes water furiously ? Apparently during the process of slicing up these literal tear jerkers, an enzyme known as allinase and another compound called isothiocyanate get together and create a type of sulphuric vapour which gets into the eyes and irritates them.
      The word "onion” comes from the Latin "unio" meaning one or unity, because an onion grows as a single bulb. This onion Chutney goes as a great condiment with dosa, idli and uttapam. So here goes the recipe.


Onion big chopped - 2
Red chilli - 2
Salt as per taste
Tamarind - 1/2 lemon size
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 2 tsp


1) Blend the onions, red chili, salt and tamarind into a very fine paste with       little water.
2) Heat oil in a pan and add in the mustard seeds.
3) Once they splutter mix in the paste and cook for about 5-6 minutes in medium heat. Keep stirring occasionally.


1) Try to cook the chutney with the pan covered to avoid spluttering of the chutney.
2) If you eat onions you can get rid of onion breath by eating parsley.
3) If you need only half of an onion, use the top half. The root will stay fresh longer in the refrigerator.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sambar Powder

     The term ‘SAMBARA’ in Kannada means “pungent or aromatic vegetable substance used as flavoring” as per the dictionary. It is a vegetable stew or chowder based on a broth made with tamarind and toor dal, and is very popular in the cooking of southern regions of India.
     The origins of this dish is uncertain though legends has it that it originated in the kitchen of Thanjavur Marathas ruler Shahuji, during the 18th century from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu.[1] It is believed that Shahji had a liking for a dish called amti which had kokum as one of its main ingredients. In one particular season, the kokum which was imported from the Maratha homeland ran out of supply and someone suggested to him that the locals used tamarind pulp for sourness. Shahji experimented the dish with the toor dal, vegetables, spices and the tamarind pulp served his coterie and his cousin, Sambhaji who was visiting him. The court liked the dish and named it sambhar after the guest of the day, Sambhaji.
     Here's my version of the Sambar powder recipe, as some of you have asked me the secret behind the finger licking delicious sambar coming from my kitchen. Thanks to Mom and here I proudly present her sambar powder's recipe.


Asfoiteda or hing powder - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 2 - 3 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/4 cup
Curry leaves - 4 springs
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Red chili - 4-5


1. Dry roast all the ingredients separately for 3 to 4 minutues except hing (hing gets burnt) on slow flame until they give a nice aroma and turns to a light brown color.
2. Let cool and dry grind everything together, along with hing and store in an air tight container.
3. Stores well for a couple of months.


1) Do not stock on large quantities of Sambar powder as freshly ground is far superior compared to months old prepared powder or store bought one.