Sunday, October 18, 2009

Diwali Wishes

Hope everyone had a safe and Happy Diwali!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Onam Celebrations

Flower Carpet

Onam Sadya-small plantain leaf with Avial, Pacchadi, Cabbage Thoran, Upperi, Ulli Sambar

Pal Ada Payasam

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spinach/ Palak Rice

I am unable to resist another entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes event at Edible Garden. We love Palak/ Spinach at home, and it features at least twice a week on the menu. In case I am too lazy to make Palak Paratha or Aloo Palak or Dal Palak or plain Palak subji, I make Palak Rice. The main advantage is I need not make any side dish separately to go with this; curd or papad or pickle or coconut chutney will go really well with it. What's more, if you have leftover rice, this is more easy to prepare.

To make the Palak Rice seen in the picture, you will need:

Rice - cooked - 2 cups 
Spinach/ Palak - chopped -4 cups
Onion - chopped - 1
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp

Water - 1/2 cup (only if required)

Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Keep cooked rice ready
  • Heat oil in a pan and add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic
  • Once the onions are cooked and light brown, add all powders except garam masala and pepper and stir well
  • Add the chopped palak and mix well and leave to cook covered and on low flame for 3-5 minutes
  • Palak will have given out water and at this stage, add the cooked rice, garam masala and pepper and mix well
  • Keep on flame for another 3 minutes and turn off heat

Note: If you wish to add water to make the rice softer like I do, add water while adding the rice, and wait for the water to dry

Serve as is or with any of the options mentioned above

This is my second entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes event. Monthly Mingle is an event started by Meeta

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Vegetable Pulao/ Vegetable Rice

I am addicted to rice. More of a bane than boon, this addiction has led to very difficult situations, especially because I cannot sleep at night unless I have had at least a little bit of rice. There have been instances when I woke up at midnight (or even at 1 pm!) and cooked rice and ate with pickle or curd. I do not think this has anything to do with being a South Indian (a Mallu), because my parents have always had chapathis for dinner. However, Amma always ensured that there was rice for me at night since I insisted on eating rice even if I had 1 or 2 chapathis.

Of course, this addiction has also led to serious weight issues as well, especially after motherhood when I totally gave up any form of exercise, and all that carbohydrate got converted to fat! All diets go for a toss when I give into the tempation for rice after 1-2 days. 

Anyway, though my staple diet is rice, I have not posted many rice based dishes on my blog yet! The only two I could find are Ajwain Rice and Curd Rice. I realized this after Nags announced that she is hosting Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes at Edible Garden. Monthly Mingle is an event started by Meeta.

I wanted to post something simple, but I decided to overcome my laziness and dedicate a post to Amma's version of Vegetable Pulao/ Vegetable Rice. I give it the alternate name of Vegetable Rice because I am not very sure if this fits into the definition of a Pilaf or Pulao. Whatever the name, I love this dish because of the vegetables and the preparation.

To make the Vegetable Rice in the picture, you will need:

Basmati Rice - 4 cups (serves 6)
Water - 6 cups (or per instructions for the Basmati Rice)

Tomatoes - finely chopped - 4-5
Onions - chopped lengthwise - 2 large
Ginger Garlic Green chilly paste - 3-4 tbsp (about 2 green chillies only)
Spring Onions 
(You can use any vegetable you prefer. We added spring onions because it happened to be in the fridge and did not add potatoes because we ran out of potatoes)
Peas - 1 cup
Carrot - chopped - 2 
Beans - chopped - about 200 gm
Cauliflower florets - 2 cups 
Coriander leaves - chopped

Bread - small pieces - 2 cups

Cloves - 5-6
Whole pepper corns - 6-8
Cinnamon - small broken sticks - 2-3
Cardamom - 3-4 pods

Cashew and Raisins - as desired

Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - 1 tsp
Red chilly powder- 2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp

Salt - 1/2 tsp for rice, to taste for the vegetables
Ghee or butter - 2 tbsp for rice, 1 tsp each for onions, dry fruits, and bread
Vegetable oil - 2 tbsp

  • Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a large pan, add the whole pepper, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and after roasting a little, add the washed basmati rice and roast for a few minutes stirring slowly, and remove to another bowl
  • In the electric rice cooker, bring 6 cups of water to boil and add the rice with 1/2 tsp of salt and leave to cook

  • Heat another tsp of ghee in the pan and add one chopped onion to this and roast well until dark brown and keep aside
  • Similarly, roast the bread and cashews and raisins separately in a tsp of ghee and keep aside
  • Heat 2 tsp of vegetable oil and saute the srping onions separately and keep aside
  • Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pan and saute the remaining chopped onion along with ginger garlic paste
  • Add tomatoes and once the tomatoes are done, add all the vegetables - carrot, peas, beans, cauliflower - along with turmeric, coriander, cumin seeds powder,  garam masala, and salt to taste, cook covered on low flame
Do not add water unless absolutely necessary (tomato and vegetables give out water which is sufficient)

  • Once the vegetables are cooked, add the spring onions and mix well 

  • In the rice cooker, start layering the rice and vegetables and cashews, raisins, bread, onions as you would in a biriyani
First, add one glass of water, then rice, then vegetables, then bread, then cashew and raisins, then onions, and repeat layers until all are added and leave in 'keep warm' mode so that all the flavours are absorbed by the rice
  • Garnish with the onions, cashews, raisins, bread and chopped coriander leaves
Serve with raita of choice

We had ours with mint chutney and cucumber raita.

This is my entry to Monthly Mingle #33 - Ravishing Rice Recipes

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prawn Curry

This was another dish prepared along with the Brinjal Masala for lunch, the recipe being Amma's and the cook being me. Normally, I prefer prawns fried. However, we wanted something interesting to go with rice for lunch that everyone would like, and prawn curry seemed the best option. 

To make the Prawn Curry seen in the picture, you will need:

Prawns - deveined - 1/2 kg
Onion - finely chopped - 2 large
Tomatoes - finely chopped - 3 large
Ginger -  peeled and pounded - 2 tbsp 
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp 
Green chilly - 1 - sliced

For the marinade:
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp

For the paste:
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Roasted coriander powder - 1 tsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Lemon juice - 1 whole lemon (optional)

Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

  • Marinade the prawns in salt, turmeric, red chilly powder and keep aside for 15-20 min
  • In a pan, heat a tbsp of oil, saute 3/4 of the onions with ginger, garlic, green chilly
  • Add the tomatoes after the onions are done and cook
  • Meanwhile, boil the prawns with one cup of water, and cook covered over medium heat
  • Grind the grated coconut, red chilly powder, cumin seeds, roasted coriander powder, to a smooth paste
  • Add the paste to the cooked prawns, mix well, and cook on medium heat for another 5 minutes
  • In a tadka pan, heat the oil and add the remaining 1/4 of the chopped onions and lightly stir until light brown
  • Add the onions to the dish, then add the lemon juice and mix well

Note: You may increase the red chilly powder quantity if you like the curry to be spicy. But if you have children who are gonna eat the dish and have a share of the prawns in the curry like A did, I suggest you keep the spice level low. Also, I mentioned that the lemon juice is optional because the tomatoes will add a tanginess to the curry. If you prefer more tanginess, the juice extract of a lemon-sized ball of tamarind can be used as a substitute for lemon, however, it should be added along with the paste and cooked.

Serve with hot rice/ chapathi

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Brinjal Masala

This is a dish, among many others, that I have been putting off posting for so long! When I went to Singapore in October during Diwali vacation, my Bhaabhi (elder sister-in-law) made this dish, and we all loved it. Though I clicked pictures of dishes prepared at home in Singapore, I never got around to posting them. 

Last week, I was browsing through  my Picasa albums (a favorite pastime!:D) and stumbled upon these pictures below. I wanted to post the recipe, however, I realized I had forgotten how Bhaabhi made it. And while editing the pictures in Picasa using 'Retouch' , with reference to Nags' Google Picasa editing article, I think I did something weird and later, I could not find the pictures!

After many attempts of locating the files and a final search and scan of all pictures in the system, I 'retrieved' the pictures (don't ask me what had happened, I have no clue!), and asked my Bhaabhi to email me the recipe, which she did. So here goes!

To make the Brinjal Masala seen in the picture, you will need:

Brinjal - cut into cubes - 3 cups
Tomatoes - finely choppped - 2
Large onions - finely chopped - 2

For the masala:
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1-2 tsp (depending on how hot you like the dish to be)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Lime juice - 1 medium sized lemon 

Coriander leaves - chopped (optional)

Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

  • In a pan, roast the chilli powder, turmeric powder, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds along with ginger and garlic in a tsp of oil, and allow to cool
  • Grind the above to a fine paste
  • Heat remaining oil in a pan, sauté the onion until brown, add the tomatoes and fry until the oil separates
  • Add the brinjal and masala paste, mix well, and cook covered on low flame until brinjal is cooked
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the dish and garnish with coriander if you feel like it

Note: You can also use vinegar as a substitute for lemon juice, however, I am not sure of the quantity. Both taste fine.

Serve with rice/ chapathi

Friday, May 8, 2009

Mung Bean Sprouts and Potato Masala

The other day, I was busy clearing up stuff in the kitchen and dicovered a whole jar (about 500 gms) of mung beans. I was not sure how long the beans had been lying there, waiting to be used, but I knew I had to finish them before buying fresh stock. I just washed the whole quantity and decided to sprout half, while the remaining half was used in preparing the cherupayar curry. It was served with puttu for breakfast, and with chapathi(R and A)/ wheat bread (me) for dinner.

However, I still had the sprouts to finish and was thinking of making a simple salad, when I remembered a masala subji Amma used to make with mung bean sprouts.

This used to be one of my favorites with chapathi/ bread. The recipe is very simple too.

To make the Mung Bean Sprouts and Potato Masala seen in the picture, you will need:

Mung bean sprouts - 2 cups
Potatoes - 2 large - peeled and cubed
Tomatoes - 3 large - finely chopped
Onion - 2 medium sized - finely chopped
Green chilly - 1 sliced
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded - 2-3 cloves

Water- 1/2 cup

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds powder - 1 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/4 tsp

Coriander leaves - chopped - to garnish

Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Heat oil in a pan, and add onions, ginger, garlic, green chilly and stir well
  • After the onions are done, add the tomatoes and cook covered on low flame for 3-5 minutes
  • Throw in all the powders except garam masala, add the potatoes and sprouts along with half a cup of water, mix well
  • Cook covered on low flame until the potatoes are done, add the garam masala, mix well, and cook uncovered until the subji is dry
  • Garnish with coriander leaves

Serve with chapathi/ bread

Though I did not use the whole quantity of sprouts for the dish, I was happy I did not have to make a salad with all of it! Maybe what remains will end up being used in a salad.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

3-Fruit Salad

As I hope the name suggests, I recently prepared the 3-Fruit salad with 3 different fruits. After the healthy salad I posted earlier, I have been trying different ways to include a salad in my daily diet. The recipe (I watched on TV) called for just two fruits. However, I started sympathizing with the third fruit that had been left solitary in the fruit bowl (notwithstanding the 3 days of languish in it), and decided to cube and use the fruit in the salad.

Of course, you can guess the recipe from the picture above. Let me just pen... err...type it down though.

To prepare the 3-Fruit Salad, you will need:

Oranges - 2-3 medium sized
Pomegranate - 1 large
Pears - 2

Coriander leaves - chopped - 1/2 cup (optional)


  • Cut the pomegranate into two halves and squeeze each half into a salad bowl to separate the arils from the internal white pulp membranes
  • Peel the oranges, deseed, remove the skin and pith and add to the salad bowl
  • Cube the pears and add the pieces into the salad bowl
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve

Note: The original recipe also calls for an extra virgin olive oil dressing and salt. I did not use any in my version, and yet loved it! Unfortunately again, I did not click a picture after plating and garnishing with coriander leaves.

Serve as it is, or pack it for a quick healthy snack when you are traveling.

Updated: With everyone hinting that this is perfect for summer, I have to send it to Priti's Festive Food: Summer Treat event.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Chakka/ Jackfruit Thoran

have always refrained from making jackfruit-based dishes due to the fear of getting my hands (knife, cutting board, etc. also) sticky with the white gum. Jackfruit too has played an important role in making my childhood memories special, second only to the king of fruits in India, mango. I remember grandmother choosing the ripe/unripe jackfruit that needed to plucked from the tree depending on whether it was going to eaten or cooked, ensuring everything it touched was covered in coconut oil first and then cleaning it thoroughly, peeling and removing the flesh and seeds separately. The smell of a ripe jackfruit and biting into the soft, sweet yellow fruit itself was refreshing during the summer!

Amma makes so many mouth-watering jackfruit delicacies like chakka chips, chakka thoran, chakka sambar, chakka payasam, chakka varatti (jackfruit jam), chakkakuru-muringa curry (jackfruit seeds-drumstick curry), etc. during the season when jackfruits are available in plenty.

After the Vishu feast (I did prepare a feast, but had no time to take pics of the Sadya on the plantain leaf:-(), I had the jackfruit from the Vishu Kani waiting to be cooked, and I chose to make the thoran. Of course, I was scared I would make a mess of it, especially cutting and cleaning. With lots of oil applied on the knife, cutting board, my hands and plates, I set about the task of peeling and chopping the unripe inside of the fruit into big chunks. After following Amma's recipe, the result was the thoran in the picture below (unfortunately, I did not even plate them and take some good pics:-(), and R and I loved eating it by itself, and also with rice for lunch and with phulkas for dinner! A called it 'chakka noodles' and had it with her 'mammam' and yellow sambar.

To make the Chakka/ Jackfruit Thoran, you will need:

Jackfruit - unripe medium sized fruit/ 1/2 kg of the peeled fruit
Onions - 2 - finely chopped
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Garlic - peeled and pounded 4-5 cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 3-4
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Asafeotida/ Hing - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Apply lots of oil the knife, cutting board, hands and plates, and peel the jackfruit
  • Chop the inside fruit into chunky cubes (seeds and flesh and all) and wash in lukewarm salt water
  • Boil the pieces in enough water with salt and turmeric powder until cooked
  • Pound the pieces. I transfered the boiled pieces back on the cutting board and used my rolling pin to kind of mash them
  • Heat oil in a large pan and add the chana dal, urad dal, red chillies and roast, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves and asafeotida
  • Add onions, ginger, garlic and stir fry for a few minutes
  • Mix the jackfruit into this with salt, red chilly powder and grated coconut
  • Keep stirring and mixing well on low flame until all the ingredients are blended well and a lovely smell wafts into the air from the dish

Serve with rice/ chapathi (or eat it as it is!)

Dear Priti of Indian Khana is hosting Festive Food: Summer Treat event and I am sending the Jackfruit Thoran as my entry.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Raw Mango-Moong Dal Curry

As a child, I always looked forward to the summer season; mainly the summer vacation which brought with it all the flavours of the season, especially mangoes! My mouth waters at the thought of the raw mangoes we instant-pickled and ate, or the ripe ones we tore apart with our teeth and licked the juice running down our fingers-all freshly plucked out of the numerous mango trees scattered in my grandmother's enormous backyard. Those memories will always be cherished.

At home, Amma always uses raw mangoes in a lot of dishes, raw mango and coconut chutney, fish curries with mango and coconut gravy etc. After Vishu, I wanted to use the raw mangoes I had picked out for the Kani and was wondering what to do with them, since A does not like coconut chutney much (sad, but true!). So I decided to make Mango Dal with Moong Dal with it and adding the bottlegourd vegetable too.

To make the Raw Mango-Moon Dal Curry seen in the picture, you will need:

Moong Dal - 2 cups
Raw Mango - peeled, chopped large
Bottlegourd/ Dhoodhi - peeled, deseeded, cubed - 1 cup
Onion - chopped - 1 (optional)

Coconut - grated - 1/2 cup
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 2 tsp
Green chilly - sliced - 1 small
Coriander seeds powder - roasted - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder - roasted - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Asafeotida/ Hing - 1/4 tsp/ a pinch
Oil - 1 tsp

Salt - to taste


  • Wash the moong dal well and soak for about 15 minutes
  • In a pressure cooker, add dal, bottlegourd pieces and chopped onion with enough water and boil for 2-3 whistles
  • While it cools, grind raw mango pieces, grated coconut, green chilly and ginger along with the powders and salt into a smooth paste
  • Mix the paste into the cooked moong dal and bottlegourd vegetable and adjust consistency with water and bring to boil on low flame
  • Temper mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil with hing and season the curry

Serve with rice. It also goes well with chapathi if made thick.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Vishu

Wishing everyone a very Happy Vishu!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Matthi Porichathu/ Sardine Fry

Without breaking into the reasons for not posting for over two months, let me get to the most wonderful fish dish I enjoy with rice as well as chapathi. (Vegetarians, please spare this post).

I have always loved seafood and have relished and devoured all the seafood delicacies Amma prepares at home.

Matthi or Sardine is a fish known for containing omega 3 fatty acids. Though the fish has a strong smell, the taste is divine!

To make the Matthi Fry seen in the picture, you will need:

Sardine - cut, gutted, cleaned - 4-6 -atleast one per person :-)
Red chilly powder - 3 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Freshly ground pepper powder - 1/2 tsp
Lemon juice - 1/2-1 slice
Salt - to taste
Oil - for frying (shallow or deep per preference)


  • Make slits on both sides of the fish
  • Take a mixing bowl and mix the powders into a smooth paste with the lemon juice
  • Marinade the fish and leave for 30 minutes
  • Heat oil in a skillet, and place the fish and start frying on medium heat
  • Turn the fish after one side is done
  • Remove on to a kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil

Serve with rice/ chapathi

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Yellow 'Sambar'

s soon as I noticed that FIC at Sunshinemom's Tongueticklers is going yellow this month as a tribute to the Spring season, I knew what I would post: my daughter's most favourite curry after the quintessential South Indian Sambar, which she calls Yellow 'Sambar.' The main reason that she loves this curry is because it has her most loved vegetable in it, okra/ lady finger/ bhindi/ vendaykka.

While everyone in my family knows this curry by the name 'Moru Curry,' and we do have different versions of this curry with different vegetables, I have also started calling this curry Yellow Sambar now. At home, me and my brothers always loved to have this curry with rice/ dosa/ puttu, and still do! Since my mother is with us for a few days, A was lucky to have this curry made by Amma, her Ammamma.

What always amazes me is the fact that this curry acquires its yellow colour only because of the little bit of turmeric/ haldi/ manjal powder that is added to it. Devoid of it, I would not have been posting this now!

(I had some raw manjal and dried turmeric sticks, and wanted to take a picture of them for this post!)

To make the Yellow 'Sambar'/ Vendaykka Moru Curry seen in the pictures, you will need:

Vendaykka - cut into cubes - 1 cup
Tomatoes - chopped - 2
Onions - chopped - 1
Coconut - grated - 1/2 cup
Ginger - peeled and pounded - 1 tbsp
Green chilly - 1 or 2 - sliced
Buttermilk - 2 cups
Water - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 strand
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • In a heavy bottomed pan, boil the chopped onions, tomatoes, okra, green chillies along with salt and half the turmeric powder in half cup of water, and leave to cook covered
  • Grind grated coconut, cumin seeds, ginger and remaining turmeric to a smooth paste and mix well with buttermilk (you can just run them together in a large jar on the mixer)
  • When the vegetables are cooked (ensure that the okra pieces are not over-cooked and don't worry about them getting stikcy/slimy, they don't!), add the buttermilk with the coconut paste, stir slowly over low flame
  • Just when the curry begins to bubble, take it off the heat and stir a little more (if the heat is more, the curry might curdle)
  • Heat oil in a tadka pan, splutter mustard seeds along with curry leaves and season the curry
Serve with hot rice/ dosa/ puttu

The Vendaykka Moru Curry/ Yellow Sambar goes to FIC - Yellow at Sunshinemom's Tongueticklers

Friday, January 23, 2009

White Chickpeas Curry

White chickpeas are a favorite at home, much more than the desi black chana. I have previously posted Masala Chana and Kootu Curry, both with black chickpeas. White Chickpeas Curry, as seen in the picture, is prepared very often to go with chapatis at dinner or with dosa/ puris in the morning.

To prepare, you will need:

White chickpeas - 2 cups
Tomatoes - chopped - 3-4 large
Onions - chopped - 2 medium sized
Ginger - chopped and pounded - 2 tbsp
Garlic - chopped and pounded - 2-3 cloves
Note: you may use about 3-4 tsps of ginger garlic paste, if not using fresh ginger and garlic
Curd - 1/2 cup fresh (not very sour)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp (add more if you prefer hot)
Roasted Jeera/ Cumin seeds powder - 1 tbsp
Roasted Coriander seeds powder - 2 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - chopped, for garnishing
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt - to taste


  • Soak the chickpeas overnight/ 5-6 hrs and cook in pressure cooker for two whistles
  • Heat oil in a pan, add the chopped onions, ginger, garlic and stir well
  • Add the chopped tomatoes once the onions are done, and cook covered for 2-3 minutes
  • Mix the turmeric, red chilly, jeera, coriander powders along with a little salt and leave covered on low flame for 5 minutes until tomatoes are cooked
  • Add the chickpeas and stir well adjusting the consistency with little amount of boiled water
  • Mix the curd and garam masala with salt to taste and cook on low flame for 3-5 minutes
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves

Serve with hot phulkas/ chapathis/puris/ dosa

Everytime I wanted to participate in the very popular event for the love of legumes, I ended up missing them. This time, I decided to post as soon as I noticed that the Seventh Helping of My Legume Love Affair is being hosted by Srivalli at Cooking 4 all Seasons.

This event is the brain child of The Well-Seasoned Cook Susan, and you can view the host line-up here. This curry is my entry to the My Legume Love Affair, Seventh Helping event.

Update: Thanks to Madhuram of Eggless Cooking, I am sending this curry to the JFI Chickpeas event hosted at Sometime Foodie this month.

JFI is a monthly online food event focusing on natural and Indian ingredients started by Indira of Mahanandi.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Banana Flower Thoran

A lot of things have kept me busy over the past few weeks. After a wonderful vacation to Coorg and Mysore, I returned home tired but happy that the first couple of days of the new year was spent traveling and enjoying places, food, and the company of some wonderful people. Unfortunately, most of the things that kept me busy after returning, and in the last two weeks, happened to deal with sickness - first me, then Amma, and then A. When the new year begins on a 'sick' note, you start feeling apprehensive and do not feel like doing much, not to mention blogging! Now that things are gradually getting back to normal, I wanted to post something different from the usual vegetables that I cook. Before I go on, let me wish all my blogger friends and readers a very Happy New Year 2009, and belated Happy Pongal/ Sankranthi.

The Banana Flower (also called Banana Blossom) or 'Vaazha Koombu' as I know it, can be used to make curries. As a child, I never liked it, but as I grew up I realized it is very healthy and is considered to have medicinal properties in Ayurveda. Amma always made Koombu Thoran (a dry curry) from the blossoms in our garden, and after moving to the city, I buy this vegetable whenever I find it in the market.

To make the Banana Flower Thoran seen in the picture below, you will need:

Banana Flower/ Vaazha Koombu - 1
Grated coconut - 1/4 cup
Red Chillies - 3-4 depending on taste
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Raw rice - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cury leaves - 1 strand
Oil - 1-2 tbsp
Salt - to taste


  • Peel the top layer 'petals' on the flower, remove the flowers seen inside, and chop them separately
  • Start chopping the vegetable into thin shreds from the narrow edge
  • Once the entire vegetable is chopped, rinse it in a bowl with turmeric and salt, and drain the water as much as possible (This is done in order that the vegetable does not oxidise and turn black immediately, and also to remove the sticky texture)
  • Heat a large flat pan, and cook the vegetable on low flame keeping it covered
  • Stir in between after adding salt, and mix in the grated coconut when the vegetable is fully cooked
  • Heat oil in a tadka pan, add rice and mix well until goden brown, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, and red chillies
  • Season the dish with this, and mix well while on low flame

Note: Cutting the banana flower can sometimes be messy, so you can try chopping cross-sections first through the entire length of the flower and then cutting into thin shreds. Add red chilly powder if the taste of the red chillies is not 'hot' enough.

Serve hot with rice/ chapathi