Monday, August 18, 2008

Chole Mur Mure Sev Chat and Gud Appam

I have been unable to blog the past few days, and missed wishing my dear blogger friends a very Happy Independence Day as well as Happy Raksha Bandhan. Hope everyone had lots of fun and food, and celebrated the occasions at home with friends and family.

I have never celebrated Rakhi, and I am glad to have learnt so much about the festival and how it is celebrated through the first FF event: Rakhi – Thread of Love. I prepared Chole Mur Mure Sev Chat (as I would like to call it) when my brother visited on Thursday, and this is how it looked up-close:

To prepare the Chole Mur Mure Sev Chat in the picture, you will need:

White chickpeas/ garbanzo bean - cooked soft - 2 cups
Mur Mure / puffed rice - 1 cup
Sev- 1 cup
Onions - chopped - 1 cup
Tomatoes - chopped - 1 cup
Coriander leaves - chopped - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp (optional)
Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Tomato Chilly Sauce - 1tbsp (optional)
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt -to taste


  • Heat oil in a pan, add 1/4 cup of chopped onions, saute until light brown, add the boiled chickpeas and the powders along with salt to taste and mix well
  • Add water, and keep on low heat until gravy becomes very thick
  • Take a serving plate and serve the chickpeas masala on it and spread to form a base
  • Add the Mur Mure and Sev on top (preferably with hand)
  • Top it with chopped onions, tomatoes, and coriander leaves
  • Lastly, sprinkle pepper (and salt, if you wish) on the entire dish

  • If you have Chat Masala, you can use that in the dish. I did not have it at home, and normally do not use it.
  • If you have leftover chole, or white chana masala nothing like it.
  • Squeeze a wedge of lemon on top, or mix lemon juice with chopped onions and tomatoes before adding. It tastes even better, but I did not add it as we were having it for tea (with milk).

Another click, top view:

Serve with hot Elaichi/ Cardamom Tea

You may also be interested in: Bread Aloo Sev Chat

Now, let me get to the sweet dish. This is traditionally called Kalathappam, but my version is a variation, and I'd rather not call it by that name, for fear of ridicule from the 'purists,' and more importantly, it has never turned out as good or tasted as good as my mother's! I will call this Gud Appam, for more reasons that I will explain later. First, a look at the dish:

You will need:

Rice - washed and soaked for atleast 4 hours - 1 cup
Cooked Rice - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup (adjust for sweetness)
Coconut - grated- 1/4 cup (optional, a variation)
Ghee - 2 tsp
Cardamom pods - pounded - 3
Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
Salt - a pinch


  • Grind the soaked rice, cooked rice, grated coconut into a batter of dosa batter consistency
  • Melt the jaggery in as little water as possible, bring to boil, and strain into the rice batter while it is still hot
  • Add the baking soda to the batter and mix well, and leave for 15-20 minutes
  • Heat a pressure cooker on low flame, and grease the bottom and sides with ghee
  • While the pan is hot, pour the batter and cover the lid without the whistle
  • Leave to cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes, and check if batter has risen and cooked evenly (insert knife, it should come clean)
  • Let it cool, and with a greased flat ladle take the appam and lay on a clean dry muslin cloth/cake paper?/ aluminium foil


  • You can try adding roasted nuts or roasted coconut pieces in the batter. The badam/almond you see on top is one that I added for the picture.
  • Normally, caramelized onions are used in the recipe
  • The batter is similar to Appam batter (without yeast and fermentation process), and jaggery is also added, which is why I like to call this Gud Appam

The picture below is a version I had made earlier, with the caramelized onions, which did not turn out as good, and was not cooked evenly:-(

Serve with hot tea

Both these dishes, without further ado, go to the first Festive Food Event: Rakhi- Thread of Love.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Festive Mood, Awards, and MeMe

Ever since my dear friend Priti of Indian Khana announced the Festive Food Event along with Purva of Purva's Daawat (another dear and new friend from the food blog world), I have been elevated to a festive mood. This is the main festival season too, with Rakhi, Krishna Janmashtami, Navarathri, Ramadan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Dussehra lined up one after the other (If I have missed any, please forgive!).

Though I intend to post a sweet dish made specially on Raksha Bandhan and submit for the first FF event: Rakhi – Thread of Love, I could not help but think of Aviyal, the quintessential part of Kerala cuisine and festive occasions. Any feast is incomplete without it, and so would have been my little spread on Sunday, if I had not made the Aviyal in the picture:

Now, before get to the recipe, let me warn the Aviyal purists that this Aviyal does not have yam in it because I did not have yam at home at the time I decided to make it. Also, I used yellow pumpkin! I know, it sounds ridiculous, but then, I have grown up with Aviyal, and each time I have it, I am reminded of the story I have heard of the cook who just chopped all remaining vegetables after a feast and made Aviyal with them. So, that is exactly what I did with the vegetables that were leftover from last week in the fridge, and in a very simple way!

To make the Aviyal in the picture, you will need:

Plantain - 1 (I do not peel the skin)
Carrots - 1
White Pumpkin - about a 150 gm piece
Drumsticks - 1 large
Beans - 4-5
Longyard beans - 4-5
Bitter Gourd - (shocking?) - 1
Snake Gourd - 1 medium length
Green chillies -2
Curry Leaves - 2 strands
Ginger - finely chopped - 1tbsp (optional)
Garlic - 2 cloves (optional)

Note: All vegetables can be cut into long rectangles.

For the base:
Coconut - 2 cups - grated
Curd - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds powder - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp (Use Coconut Oil for the best taste)

  • Boil the vegetables except garlic in a pan with 2 cups of water and salt to taste, adding the hard ones first, and the soft ones later
  • Grind the coconut, curd, turmeric and jeera powders into a coarse paste (not too fine)
  • Once the vegetables are evenly cooked, add the paste and curry leaves and mix well
  • Allow to simmer for 2 minutes, adjust consistency (gravy/ dry) with water
  • Pound the garlic and add at this stage and mix well
  • Add the oil on top (Neyyi Nanakkuka), and remove from heat

Serve hot with rice. We have this with chapathis too.


*Swati of Swati's Sugarcraft and Purva of Purva's Daawat have passed me the Brillante Weblog premio-2008 award. Thank you so much, girls. This means so much to me!

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere. Here are the rules to follow:

  • When you recieve the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
  • Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
  • Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’.
  • Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).

I would like to pass this to:

Cham of Spice Club

Nupur of One Hot Stove

Priya of Akshayapaatram

Sra of When My Soup Came Alive

Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons

Sunita of Sunita's World

VP of Vegetable Platter

*Priti of Indian Khana has passed me the 'Rocking Girl Blogger Award.' Priti is a rocking blogger herself, and I am so humbled by her gesture. Thank you, Priti :-)

I would like to pass this award to:

N of A_and_N at Delectably yours, (A, if there ever is a Rocking Boy Blogger award, I'd pass it to you, but you see, I'd never receive it in the first place!)

*SriLekha of Me and My Kitchen has passed two awards to me: "Beautiful Site Award" and "Best Blog Darts Thinker Award."

Thanks a lot, SriLekha, I am truly blessed!

I would like to pass these awards to:

Adam of Baking with Dynamite

Dee of Choos & Chews

Kevin of Closet Cooking

Laavanya of Cookery Corner

Lore of Culinarty

Nags of Edible Garden

Sia of Monsoon Spice

Sireesha of Mom's Recipes

Suganya of Tasty Palettes

Vaishali of Holy Cow!


Pragyan of Sorisha - Cooking at Pragyan's and Priti of Indian Khana have tagged me with The Booky MeMe. I have done this before, but I so love to read, and want to do this again!

The rules of the tag are as follows:

Pick up the nearest book, Open to page 123, Find the 5th sentence, Post the next three sentences, and Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

Nearest Book: Journey of a Master, Swami Chinmayananda. The Man, the Path, the Teaching, by Nancy Patchen. Central Chinmaya Mission Trust. (Bought it this weekend, and currently reading)

The three sentences after the 5th sentence on page 123:

  1. Then joining hands, they circled the lamp three times.
  2. After the ceremony, the parents of both the bride and groom escorted them to Poothampalli House, Manku's family home.
  3. Upon entering the home, Manku scattered grains of rice over the threshold; then she was received with honour with the lamp from the prayer room by Kouchi Narayani, the eldest woman of the household.

I would love to pass this MeMe to:

Clumbsy Cookie

JZ of Tasty Treats

Mathew of Ambrosia

Purnima of Fantasy Cooking

Sukanya of Hot N Sweet Bowl

Whew! This is one lengthy post. I need some rest after this!:-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Parwal (Pointed Gourd) Sambar

Yet another gourd! I can't help it, I am a gourd-eater. I was introduced to the Pointed Gourd (Parwal/ Potol in Hindi/ Bengali) only after I got married, just like the Teasle Gourd. R prefers to have it with potato as a curry, or sautéed.

In an effort to make my little one eat all vegetables (and become a true member of the gourd-eating family), I try to make what she likes best - Sambar! Of course, I can't ever think of making bitter-gourd sambar. Since my 3 year old ate the parwal pieces in this sambar, I feel confident enough to post this.

To make the Parwal Sambar seen in the picture you will need:

Toor Dal - 1 cup
Parwal - 4-5 medium sized - sliced, deseeded, and quartered
Water - 3 cups
Tomatoes - 3 medium sized - quartered
Onion - 1 large - chopped
Green chilly - 1 - sliced
Ginger - 1/2 tsp - peeled and pounded
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp (OR lemon juice from 1 whole lemon)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar powder - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Hing/ Asafeotida - a pinch/ 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves - chopped (optional)
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Pressure cook the toor dal along with chopped onions, tomatoes, parwal pieces, green chilly, and ginger
  • If using tamarind paste, add the tamarind paste at this stage, mix well, add salt to-taste and boil for a minute. Add the sambar powder and mix well
  • If using lemon juice, just add salt to taste along with the sambar powder and boil for a minute
  • Add water to adjust the thickness or consistency according to your preference and allow to simmer on low flame
  • Heat oil in a tadka pan, temper the mustard seeds, add hing, curry leaves, and turmeric and red chilly powder at the very end
  • Add this to the sambar, and stir well without breaking the parwal pieces
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Another view

Serve with rice.

Note: I avoid the use of tamarind as much as possible. I add more tomatoes and use lemon juice as a substitute. I also do not use red chillies in the seasoning/ tadka process.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fridge Magents, and more BFs :-)

Veda of Iyengar's Kitchen is hosting the Fridge Magnet Collection event on her blog. It is such a delightful idea, and the best part of the event is that she started by saying "It may be one, two or many. But they make you happy!" I have very few fridge magnets, and nothing to boast of, the only fridge magnets I have are all from 3 places.

The magnetic spoons and ladles and the windmill are from the Nederlands (Amsterdam), the cable car, the Golden Gate bridge, the picture frame, and the sand slipper (my daughter turns it upside down!) from the United States (San Francisco, California), and the Melbourne Finders Street Station from Australia.

My daughter loves to play with them, which is why some are in a bad condition. If you look closely, you will notice that I have used scotch tape for some of the spoons to hold the magnets behind them. As a baby, when I was alone with her, I would hold her in my arms while in the kitchen, and she always wanted those to hold or play with. She loves the picture frame too, and always points to it saying "Baby!" I replaced one of her older pictures with a recent passport sized one, and love to see that picture whenever I turn towards the fridge.

Before I ramble on and bore you, this post goes to the Fridge Magnet Collection event at Veda's Iyengar's Kitchen.

Now, to the BF's in the title. No, I didn't mean boyfriends :-P! I definitely am fortunate to have more Blogging Friends:-)

JZ of Tasty Treats has passed me the Blogging Friends Forever award.
Dibs of Chitra Amma's Kitchen has also passed me the same award.

Thanks a lot, JZ, and Dibs :-)

This is the fourth and fifth time that I am receiving this award. I am so delighted, I can't express how happy I am! I am unable to decide on passing the award again and following the rules, and will therefore link to the previous posts. A big thank you to all my blogging friends who visit and continue to boost my spirits.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Yellow Subji Served on Sunday!

I hope everyone who read the Bitter Gourd Masala post would have noticed the yellow subji in the final picture of the Sunday meal, and also guessed what the vegetable is. I had a small piece of pumpkin lying in the fridge, and since I usually clear my fridge of all veggies on Sundays to make space for the fresh batch of the coming week, I wanted to make something quick and easy with it. So, I made Pumpkin Tomato Subji.

Here is a snapshot of what I used for the dish:

Pumpkin - Cut into long rectangles - about 2 cups
Tomatoes - Blanched, peeled, and quartered - 4-5
Onion - chopped - 1 large
Green chilly - sliced - 1
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp - optional - (not seen in the picture)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Urad Dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand (not in the above picture)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, temper mustard seeds, add green chilly, ginger, and curry leaves. Add the Urad dal and stir until light brown. Toss in the onions, and keep stirring on low flame until light brown (I had forgotten about the ginger lying pounded in the mortar and added it at a later stage)

  • Add the tomatoes, a pinch of salt, mix well, and cook covered on low flame until tomatoes are cooked and mashable

  • Add the pumpkin pieces, turmeric, red chilly, jeera, and coriander powders, and mix well
  • Keep covered (DO NOT add water), and cook on low flame for 5-8 minutes, stir, and continue process until pumpkin is fork tender. The pumpkin pieces will release enough water and the steam in the covered pan will help in the cooking process. Ensure that the pumpkin pieces don't break while stirring, and are cooked evenly

Pumpkin Tomato Subji is ready!

Serve as a side dish to rice/ chapathi

This Yellow Subji goes to WYF: Colour in Food event hosted at Simple Indian Food - An Easy Cooking Blog by Easy Crafts

Thanks, Rekha, for reminding me of this event. As before, I forgot about the event!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Bitter Gourd Masala - Curry Mela

I keep forgetting about events, and even though I read others' entries in their blogs and leave a comment, I never remember that I too can participate and should start thinking of something suitable for the event while cooking. I have missed quite a few, and was reminded by comments for the Cauliflower with Spring Onions post, that Curry Mela is on at Cooking 4 All Seasons hosted by Srivalli.

Considering that most of my daily-meal curries are lentil based (I make Sambar almost every day for my daughter who won't eat Dosa/ Idli/ Rice without it), I was not sure what curry to make, that I could also submit for the event. I did not want to submit Moru (Buttermilk) based curries, and I already have a post on Moru Curry.

As mentioned earlier, there is always one Bitter Gourd dish on the Sunday lunch menu. Yesterday, when I was washing the bitter gourd vegetable, my mother's Bitter Gourd Masala curry came to my mind, and I decided to try my hand at it. A quick phone call (long-distance! :-() and a few jots on my kitchen post-it, and I was good to go.

To make the Bitter Gourd Masala in the picture, you will need:

Bitter Gourd - washed, deseeded, and cut into rectagular pieces - 5 cups
Tamarind paste - 1/2 - 1 cup (depending on taste preference)
Onion - peeled and chopped - 1 large/ 1/2 cup (optional)
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tbsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp
Pepper - a pinch
Hing/ Asafeotida - a pinch or 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Water - 2-3 cups
Oil - 4 tsp
Salt - to taste

For the Masala:
Grated coconut - 2 cups
Red Chillies - 2-3 depending on size
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Jeera/ Cumin powder - 1tbsp


  • Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai, add the red chillies and grated coconut until the coconut turns light brown. I used coconut pieces, cut into small cubes, instead of grated coconut
  • Add the turmeric, coriander powder and jeera powder, mix well and roast until coconut turns dark brown and keep aside
  • Pressure cook the bitter gourd along with the chopped onions, ginger, garlic, and a pinch of salt with adequate water
  • Grind the roasted coconut mixture into a think, smooth paste. While grinding it helps to add a pinch or two of salt, as the coconut gets ground faster
  • In the pressure cooker pan, which already has the cooked bitter gourd, add the tamarind paste along with salt, and bring to boil on low flame
  • Now, mix the ground coconut masala into the curry and stir well
  • Keep on low flame and allow to simmer
  • Heat 2 tsp in the tadka pan, temper the mustard seeds and curry leaves along with hing and pepper, and season the curry with this mixture

Serve hot with rice. We had it with Beans-Carrot pulao and a subji as seen in the picture below.

Though the curry did not turn out to have the delightful dark brown colour as my mother's (which I later found out to be the result of not roasting the coconut and powders well enough), the following exchange at the lunch table laid my fears to rest: "Not as good as Amma's," I said, and R replied, "Stop comparing every dish you make with your mothers'! This is really tasty."

This is my entry to Curry Mela at Cooking 4 All Seasons

Note: I wanted to mention about Srivalli's Food Blog List many posts ago, but forgot. If you have a food blog and would like to feature in the list, please visit here. I have also added a link to the list on my blog.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Tagged with a Booky MeMe

Swapna of Crafts and Cooking has tagged me with the Booky MeMe. The rules of the tag are as follows:

  • Pick up the nearest book
  • Open to page 123
  • Find the 5th sentence
  • Post the next three sentences
  • Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you
The nearest book is always far away in my case, because almost all my books are lying in cartons under the bed (as mentioned in my First Tag). The books I have bought from here are inside my cupboard, away from my curious and adventurous toddler who loves to tear up pages of any book she can lay her hands on.

Anyway, back to the MeMe. I run to my cupboard, grab the book I am currently reading, turn to page 123, count up to the 5th sentence, and read the next 3 sentences, which happen to be:
  1. Peita had put up heroic resistance and performed a stunning one-woman show in technicolour and stereophonic sound without the aid of loudspeakers.
  2. 'I will not return, not on my life.
  3. Everybody mollycoddles and pampers Eddie. ...'
From: 'Ravan and Eddie' by Kiran Nagarkar
Book: The Fiction Collection, Volume 2 (20 years of Penuin India)

I would like to pass this to:

A_and_N of Delectably yours,
Bhags of Crazy Curry
Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen
Simran of Bombay Foodie
Vaishali of Holy Cow!

Happy Friendship Day to all:-)