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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kumbalanga / Ash Gourd Moru Curry

Trying to recapture a favorite moru curry that my amma prepares, that i used to love having with some fish fry and rice. It's a lovely combination of flavors. Every time i buy Ash gourd, i call up my amma to ask for all the ingredients she puts in, for that special taste. Then i forget the ingredients, the next time i buy a Kumbalam. So this time i thought it's best to blog this recipe and save it. Green chili adds special taste to this moru curry.Here is a moru curry i grew up having and hopefully anyone trying this recipe enjoys it too.


2 cups - Kumbalanga, diced to small pieces
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Red chili powder
Salt to taste

Grind to a paste

3/4 cup - Freshly grated coconut
6 to 8 - Indian green chili ( or as to taste )
1/4 tsp - Jeera /cumin seeds
1 cup - Thick creamy & sour yogurt


1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp - Fenugreek /Uluva/ methi seeds
4 to 5 - Dry red chili
3 to 4 sprigs - Curry leaves


1 ) In an utensil, bring to a boil about 1.5 cup water. Add kumbalam pieces, turmeric, chili powder and salt to taste. Cook on medium heat till the pieces are cooked.

2 ) Grind coconut, green chili and jeera in a blender. Then add curd and grind to a smooth paste.

3 ) Add the ground paste / mixture to the cooked pumpkin. Adjust salt to taste. Bring the curry- just to a boil and immediately turn off the stove.

4 ) Heat a pan with sesame oil. Add mustard and fenugreek seeds. Let the mustard pop and fenugreek seeds brown. Once done, add dry chili, curry leaves and fry lightly. Pour this seasoning over the moru curry and immediately close with a lid so that all the aroma stays in the curry.

Serve hot with rice, pappad and fish fry.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Punjabi Masala Stuffed Tinda

Tinda, a vegetable more widely used in the northern part of India, looks more or less like a green tomato. They are also called as Indian round gourd or apple gourd. Here is an interesting recipe i had noted down long time back from a friend. Got to try it now when i got some fresh tinda, that i could slit to stuff masala powder in.


400 grams / About 8 to 9 - Fresh Tinda

Dry masala powders

1 tsp - Coriander powder
1/2 tsp - red chili powder
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 to 1.5 tsp - Amchur powder / dry mango powder
1/4 tsp - Black pepper powder
1/2 tsp - Garam masala powder
1/4 tsp - Dry ginger powder
1/4 tsp - Hing powder
1 tsp - Fennel powder/ Saunf powder
Salt to taste


1/4 tsp - Jeera/ cumin seeds
2 medium - Onion, thinly sliced
1 cup - Coriander leaves, finely chopped


1 ) Scrap the tinda skin off. Slit them slightly vertically and horizontally like a cross. Remove any hard seeds. Mix all the dry masala powders listed above together. Add salt to taste and mix well.

2 ) Now stuff this dry masala powder into the slits of the tinda, like in the picture below. Save the extra masala powder towards the end.

3 ) Heat a flat bottom pan with oil. Add jeera and splutter jeera. Then place the masala powder stuffed tinda in the pan and cook on low heat covered with a lid.
4 ) Check if the tinda is cooked and fried on the bottom. Then carefully turn over and cook on the other side. Cook till tinda is tender and browned lightly. Scoop the tinda off the oil and transfer to a plate. To the remaining oil add the onion and fry it to light brown color. Then add the remaining masala powder and fry for a second. Adjust salt to taste. Now place the cooked tinda back into the pan. Stir onion and tinda to mix in . Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with roti.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Vazha Pindi Thoran - Banana Stem Stir Fry

Banana plant is one plant, whose all parts are used either to eat or to serve food / wrap food. On the whole this plants fruit, flower and stem has natural benefits and curative properties. The plant is chopped off once it bears fruit. Mostly the stem is discarded. But then this stem is rich in fibre.Banana stem when peeled, the inner creamy core is edible and can be used to make delicious dishes.
Banana stem - cut and chopped to small pieces, in picture.
Cut the stem in round, slowly move the knife away, you will see fibre. Clean the fiber off the stem on each round cut and then chop to small pieces. Put the chopped stem into water to stop discoloration.


4 cups - Vazha pindi, chopped
1/4 cup - Toor dal ( soak for one hour )
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
Salt to taste

Coarsely Crush

1/2 cup - Freshly grated Coconut
2 to 3 - Green chili


1 tsp - Mustard seeds
1 tsp - Urad dal
3 to 4 sprigs - Curry leaves
Coconut oil

1 ) Chop the banana stem to small pieces. To a pan add chopped banana stem, toor dal, turmeric powder, salt to taste and about 1.5 cup water. Cover and cook on low heat till the dal and banana stem is cooked and tender. Alternatively, you can pressure cook banana stem and dal in little water for 1 to 2 whistles. If pressure cooking, you do not have to soak toor dal.

2 ) Heat coconut oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds and urad dal. Pop the mustard seeds and lightly brown the urad dal. Then add curry leaves and the cooked banana stem and dal. To this add the coarsely ground coconut and green chili. Stir and mix all the ingredients. Now stir and dry off any excess water. Add little coconut oil towards the end, stir and fry for a minute. Take off the stove and serve.

Serve with rice as a side dish.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Methi Matar with Paneer Pulao

My kitchen was filled with this wonderful aroma of, spices and basmati rice, which lingered in my kitchen for so long. So inviting was the aroma and subtle was the taste of methi, with matar and paneer.


For Rice

2 cups - Basmati rice (used India gate,super brand )
2 - Green Cardamom
1 - Black cardamom/ Badi Elachi
3 to 4 - Cloves
A small - Cinnamon Stick
Salt to taste

Other Ingredients

250 grams - Paneer cubes
1/2 tsp - Jeera Seeds
4 medium - Onion, finely sliced
4 to 6 - Green chili
1.5'' piece - Ginger
1/4 cup - Garlic Or one medium bulb
1 big - Tomato, crushed /puree
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 to 1.5 cup - Methi / Fenugreek leaves
1 cup - Matar / Green Peas
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil


1 ) Bring to a boil 4 to 5 cups of water in a big pan, add green & black cardamom, clove, cinnamon stick, salt to taste and little ghee to the water. Now add washed basmati rice to the water and cook till rice is cooked. Take off the stove and drain off excess water.

2 ) Coarsely grind green chili- ginger and garlic to a paste. Wash methi leaves well, then chop it. Heat a kadai /wok. Add some ghee and fry paneer cubes to a light brown color on all sides. Drain off oil and transfer to a plate.Then add sliced onion and fry till onion turns brown in color. Drain and transfer to a plate.

3 ) In the remaining oil( add more if need), add jeera and fry for a second. Then add chili-ginger-garlic paste and fry on low heat till it turns lightly brown. Now add turmeric powder, matar and methi leaves. Stir and fry for a minute. Then add tomato puree, salt to taste, close with a lid and cook on low heat till peas is cooked. Add little water to cook peas if needed.

4 ) Once the peas is cooked, add fried paneer cubes to the kadai and cook for a minute. Adjust salt to taste. Turn off the stove. Now add the cooked rice and fried onion little by little. Stir, toss and mix all the ingredients. Transfer the pulao into a microwave safe bowl and warm the pulao.This will evenly distribute the flavors.

Now serve in platter, garnish with some fried onions.

Serve pulao with raita and pappad.