Vankaya Fry / Brinjal Fry

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

Brinjal is considered as one of the favorite vegetables in Andhra cuisine. There are so many versions of Brinjal fry and this is one of them. All you need is few brinjals and my home made Curry Masala powder. I would suggest you to make the masala powder in larger amounts and use it in all vegetable dry curries….it really adds a special taste.

brinjal fry

Ingredients:

Brinjal – 4-5 No’s

Green chilli – 1

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Chana dal – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 tsp

Oil – 2 tbsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Curry Masala powder :

Grind the following ingredients into a coarse powder.

Roasted peanuts – 3 tbsp

Roasted gram  dal (putnalu)  – 2 tbsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)

Coconut gratings – 1 tbsp

Tamarind – small piece

Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp

Dhania powder – 1/2 tsp

Method:

1. Clean and chop the brinjal into cubes. Drop the cut cubes into a pot of water mixed with turmeric.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal.

3. Once the dals turn slightly brown, add slit green chilli.

4. Drain the water from the brinjal and transfer the cubes into the pan.

5. Add turmeric, salt and mix well. Cook under cover for about 10 mins till the brinjal cooks.

6. Now add 2-3 tbsp of the masala powder as per taste and mix well.

7. Garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with rice or rotis.

Carrot Peas Capsicum curry

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

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Winter is when carrots and peas are abundantly available and I love to use them in all the ways possible.  Carrot, peas and capsicum curry is not only very appealing to the eye, but also a perfect nutritional combination. The vitamins in carrots, carbs and protein in peas and antioxidant properties of capsicum make this dish a powerhouse of vital nutrients.

This dish goes well with rice, roti or puri’s. You can also use it as a stuffing for making kati rolls. Here’s the recipe..

Ingredients:

Carrot – 3-4 (cut into cubes)

Capsicum – 1 ( cut into squares)

Fresh/Frozen Green peas – 1 cup

Green chilli – 2

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera –  1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)

Roasted peanut powder – 2 tbsp

Fresh coconut gratings – 1 tbsp

Coriander – 1 sprig

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Method:

1. Wash and chop all the veggies.

2. If you are using fresh green peas, boil for 5-10 mins.

3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, jeera and urad dal.

4. Next add green chilli, carrots, capsicum and boiled peas.

5. Add turmeric, salt and cook under cover for 10 mins. Sprinkle water if required.

(Tip: I like all my curries dry, if you wish to make it like a gravy, you can add 1 tbsp of tomato puree here)

6.  Once the vegetables are cooked add roasted peanut powder, fresh coconut gratings, mix well and let it cook for 1 minute.

7. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or rotis.

Sarson ka saag (Mustard greens curry)

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time – 25 mins

Serves: 4

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Sarson ka saag (mustard greens curry) is an authentic Punjabi delicacy which is traditionally served along with Makki ki roti (Maize/Corn roti).

Mustard leaves are considered as the most nutritious leafy vegetables. They are rich in vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre, carotenes, folic acid, calcium and iron. The anti-oxidant properties of mustard greens help in preventing many chronic diseases like arthritis, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, cardiovascular diseases, asthma and colon and prostate cancers.

Mustard leaves are pungent and slightly bitter in taste. To reduce the bitterness and to make the saag creamier, we add spinach and corn flour (or regular atta) while making this heavenly dish.

Here’s my recipe for making Sarson ka saag…I followed Chef Harpal Singh’s recipe and  modified a bit as per my taste.

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Ingredients:

Mustard leaves – 1 bunch

Spinach leaves  – 3/4th bunch

Onion – 1 medium (finely chopped)

Green chillies – 4-5 (finely chopped)

Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp   (alternatively use chopped garlic and ginger – 1 tbsp each)

Corn flour (or Regular Atta) – 1 tbsp

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Ghee – 2 tbsp

Butter – 1 tsp

Salt – 1 tsp ( vary as per taste)

Lemon – for garnishing

Method:

1. Wash the mustard and spinach leaves thoroughly. Discard all tough stems and finely chop the leaves.

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2.  In a deep bottomed vessel, boil 1 cup of water. Transfer the mustard leaves, spinach and half the green chillies into the vessel. Put a lid and let the leaves cook for 10 – 15 mins on medium high.

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3. Once all the water evaporates and the leaves become soft, turn off the heat. Take a masher and gently mash the cooked leaves. Add the corn flour or regular atta and mix well. This acts as a binding agent.

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4. Now heat ghee in a pan and fry the chopped onions  for 2 mins till oil oozes out.

5. Next add ginger-garlic paste (or chopped ginger and garlic)  and green  chilies and fry for another 2-3 mins. Add the garam masala and mix well.

6. Now transfer the cooked leaves mixture into this pan, add salt and mix well. Cook for 2 mins  so that all the spices blend well.

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7. Transfer into a serving bowl, squeeze in some lemon juice, put a dollop of butter and serve.

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8. Enjoy with hot Roti’s or Paratha !!

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Thotakura vepudu/ Amaranth stir-fry

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 10 mins

Leafy vegetables are a good source of folates and iron (find more here).  Amaranth leaves (thotakura/chouli) is one such leaf, which can take varied cooking forms – dal, stew, stir fry, pakoras.

This simple recipe hardly takes any time and effort to make. The same stir fry can also be made with any other leaf of your choice (palak, methi, drumstick leaves).

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Ingredients:

Thotakura – 2 bunches 

Onion – 1/2 (chopped)

Green chilli/Dry red chilli – 2

Jeera powder – 1/2 tsp

Besan/ Gram dal powder/Putnalu powder – 1 tbsp (optional)

Garlic – 2 pods chopped (optional)

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Jeera – 1/2 tsp

Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Salt – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)

Method:

1. Wash, pat dry and chop the leaves. Slit the green chilli length wise.

2. In a kadai, heat oil and add mustard seeds, jeera, urad dal and let it splutter.

3. Next add green chilli, onion, garlic (optional) and fry till onion turns golden brown.

4. Add the chopped leaves and cook for 4-5 mins.

5. Now add salt and turmeric and fry on medium heat for another  4-5 mins till all the moisture evaporates.

6. Add the jeera powder, gram dal powder, mix well and turn off the stove.

7.  Serve with rice or rotis.

Grated Carrot Fry / Carrot turumu vepudu

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 15 mins

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Carrot is my all time favourite vegetable. There is not a single day where I do not eat carrot… I just love it !! January is the peak season for carrot in India and I relish all the varieties of carrots avaiable in the market at this time…baby carrots, delhi carrot( or gajar), ooty carrot. Carrot is rich in Vitamin A, fibre,  beta-carotenes, calcium and anti-oxidants and is said to help maintain good eye sight and glowing skin. So, why not use it everyday !!

Here’s a simple Carrot side dish recipe with minimun ingredients, yet awesome. Yummy tummy…here you go !!!

Ingredients:

Carrots – 3-4 (grated)

Green chilli – 2 (slit length wise)

Jeera powder – 1 tsp

Dhania powder – 1 tsp

Curry leaf – 1 sprig

Coriander – 2 sprigs

Coconut gratings – 2 tbsp (vary as per taste)

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Chana dal – 1 tbsp

Turmeric- pinch

Salt – 1 tsp

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Method:

1. In a kadai heat oil, add chana dal, mustard seeds and green chilli.

2. Next add the grated carrot, curry leaves, turmeric, salt and mix.

3. Turn the heat to low and cook under cover for 8-10 mins. Remove the lid and cook for another 2 mins.  (the moisture in carrot is enough for the carrot to get cooked. If required sprinkle some water)

4. Once all the water evaporates, add all the seasonings… jeera powder, dhania powder, coconut gratings and mix.

5. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with rice or rotis.

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Akakarakaya fry / Kakora fry / Kantola fry

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

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Kantola also known as Teasle Gourd or Akakarakaya (telugu) or Kakora (hindi) is a rare seasonal vegetable and a great delicacy in many parts of India. Its appearance and benefits are similar to that of bitter-gourd (karela) except that it is smaller and is not as bitter as karela.

This spiny vegetable is said to possess many medicinal values and is a good source of dietary fibre, minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants and folates (good for pregnant women). It helps reduce blood sugar level in diabetic patients, reduces the chances of cancer, reduces kidney stones, improves skin, digestion and eye sight, aids in recovering from cough, fevers and body pains.

Tip: Select the ones that are small and dark green in color, as they are tender and not bitter. Ripened kantola tend to be yellowish in color, very hard inside and bitter in taste.

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Ingredients:

Akakarakaya – 6-7 No’s

Oil – 1-2 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Urad Dal – ½ tsp

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)

Sugar – ½ tsp (to reduce the bitterness)

Jeera powder – 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp

Putnalu/Roasted gram dal powder – 3 Tbsp (optional)

 

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Method:

1. Cut the kantola into 2 halves, remove the hardened seeds and then chop into 1 inch pieces.

2. Heat oil in a pan and then add mustard seeds and urad dal.

3. Transfer the chopped kantola into the pan. Mix turmeric, sugar and cook under cover for 5-10 mins.

4. Now mix salt and jeera powder and cook for another 10 mins till it turns soft.

5. Once the vegetable is fully cooked, mix chilli powder and roasted gram dal powder.

6. Serve with rice or roti.

(Note: If you want a deep fry, use more oil and do not use the lid)

Yard Long Beans curry/ Alasande Palya/ Karamani Palya

Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 20 mins

Yard Long beans, (Long podded Cowpea, Chinese beans, Snake beans, Alasande Choda, Chawli)  are slender, 12-20 inch long, light green colored crunchy vegetable that are closely related to the black-eyed peas. These are low calorie high energy food with good amounts of fiber, folates, Vitamin A ,Vitamin C iron, copper, manganese, calcium and magnesium. .

Alasande palya is a traditional Karnataka dish made for special occasions and festivals. Here’s a recipe for making this delicious curry.

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Tip: (Remember that Yard long beans cook faster than the usual french beans. You can directly cook them in a pan by sprinkling some water or use a pressure cooker for 1 whistle.)

Ingredients:

Yard long beans – 250 gm (Cut into 1 ½ inch pieces)

Oil – 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds – ½ tsp

Urad Dal – ½ tsp

Dry red chillies – 1 No (cut into pieces)

Turmeric – pinch

Salt – 1 tsp (vary as per taste)

Jaggery – 1 tbsp

Fresh Coconut gratings – 1 Tbsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

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Dry Masala powder :

Grind the following items into a coarse powder:

Putnalu/Roasted gram dal – 2 Tbsp

Dry coconut – 1 Tbsp (optional)

Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Cumin/Jeera seeds– 1 tsp

Chilli powder – 1 tsp

(can be made in larger quantity and stored. Use for any dry curry)

Method:

1. Cut the beans into 1 ½ inch pieces. Wash thoroughly, drain the water and set aside.

2. Heat a pan and add oil. Once oil is hot add mustard seeds, urad dal, chillies.

3. Transfer the beans into the pan. Mix turmeric, salt and cook under cover for 15-20 mins.

4. Keep checking in between and sprinkle water as required till the beans become soft. (Alternatively cook  beans in a pressure cooker for one whistle first and then use)

5. Add jaggery, curry leaves and cook for another 2 mins.

6. Once all the water evaporates, add the 2-3 tbsp of the masala powder and mix. Vary spice level as per taste.

7. Now add fresh coconut gratings, curry leaves, cook for 1 min and turn off.  Serve with steamed rice/roti.

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