Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Anapakaya Paluposina Kura/ Bottlegourd- Milk Curry

Once mom planted some anapakaya seeds, which bore 3 vines with so many bottlegourds that even after distributing it in our entire neighbourhood we had many more left. So mom cooked with this very frequently. Though my father and me enjoyed them, my brother didnot like them and still doesnot.
                                      I use the bottlegourd a lot, one reason being they are low in fat and high in fiber, the second being that it one vegetable I find every week in my grocery store. I make a tamarind based curry, with tomato, chutney, use it in sambar, dappalam, pappu. But this is a simple, easy yet a flavourful dish.

1 medium sized bottle gourd, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces,
1/2 medium onion, chopped,
1 green chilly chopped,
1/2 cup milk.
1 tbsp Oil,
1 tsp mustrad seeds,
1tsp jeera,
2 red chillies, torn
2 gralic cloves,
6-8 curry leaves,
1/2 tbsp urad dal, minappappu.

  • In a vessel, add the chopped bottlegourd.
  • Place onions, green chilly, turmeric on top of the bottle gourd pieces. Add 1/4 cup water.
  • Close lid and let simmer till the bottle gourd is cooked and all the water evaporates.
  • Add salt. Combine.
  • Add the milk and cook till the curry comes together. Donot close the lid at this point.
  • Keep aside.
  • Heat oil and add the urad dal and when it starts changing color, add the mustard seeds, jeera and when they splutter, add the torn red chillies, garlic and when they turn color, add the curry leaves.
  • Add this to the bottlegourd curry and combine.
  • Serve with white rice or rotis.
  • Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Bendakaya Teepi Pulusu/Okra in Jaggery and Tamarind gravy

Bendakaya/ Okara is our all time favorite vegetable. We like it in every form, fry, curry with tomato, pulusu, stuffed (u get the gist). Bendakaya/Okara pulusu is a simple yet tasty recipe from Andhra. Okra is cooked with some jaggery to cut down the tanginess from the tamarind.

1/4 kg or 250 gms Bendakayalu/Okra (cut into 1&1/2 inch pieces)
1 and 1/2 medium onion, diced,
2 green chillies, chopped,
4-5 curry leaves,
Red chilly pwd (to taste),
Salt to taste,
A pinch of turmeric pwd,
A small lemon sized tamarind, extract thick juice,
Small lemon sized jaggery(to taste),
Oil for cooking.

  • Heat oil in a pan and then add the curry leaves.
  • Add the chopped chillies and diced onion and fry till the onion turn translucent.
  • Add the chopped okra, salt, turmeric pwd and red chilly pwd and combine.
  • Close the lid and let simmer for about 8 mins.
  • Then add the tamarind extract and jaggery. Combine.
  • Add some water (if the tamrind extract is thin, there is no need to add the water).
  • Cover with lid and simmer till the sauce thickens or till the okra is cooked through..
  • Switch off and serve with white rice.
  • Enjoy!!!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

My New Photo Blog

Last year I saw some blogs with the theme 365 day Project but did not understand what it was and left it at that. Then I saw Usha's photo blog and Sree's photo blog then Nag's and Divya . They were such an inspiration that I wanted to do it too. So, I called up Usha and she being a sweetheart helped me out and I started my photo blog on feb 22nd but then did not get to post due to some reasons(read LAZY :( ) . But here it is now http://www.aksoflife.blogspot.com (reflections of life). Pictures of what I see in my evryday life and also my travels.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Egg Pesarattu

I've already blogged about pesarattu here . Egg pesarattu is an other version of pesarattu that me and my brother enjoy. The basic batter is the same and we just add egg, salt and red chilly pwd to it. Tastes great with allam pacchadi (ginger pickle), peanut chutney or ketchup.

Pesarattu batter
Onions, finely chopped (accordingly),
3 green chillies, finely chopped,
2-3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro  ,
salt (to taste),
red chilly pwd (to taste),
turmeric, a pinch,

  • To make pesarattu follow the instructions here .
  • Spread the some of the chopped onions and green chillies.

  • Crack open an egg directly on to the peasarttu and spread it with a spatula.

  • Sprinkle some turmeric pwd, salt and red chilly pwd, cilantro and some oil and let cook till done.
  • Turn the pesarattu around and cook till done on the other side.
  • Remove and serve hot with chutney .
  • Repeat with the remaining batter.
  • Enjoy!!!

Note: Egg pesarattu taste the best when eaten hot.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Andhra Chepala Pulusu/ Fish in spicy and tangy tamarind sauce

We at IB are seafood lovers. Back home in India we used to have fish atleast thrice a month. Some say chepala pulusu tastes better the next day but I love it immediately after cooking and also the next day.Chepala pulusu is fish cooked in spicy and tangy tamarind with ginger-garlic and some cumin seeds paste. Just the mention and my mouth waters. Traditionally made with boccha ( don't know the english name....) it tastes great. But here I make it with tilapia and its pretty close.


10 pieces Tilapia or any fish of ur choice
1& 1/2 medium onions, grated
6 green chillies, slit
1 inch ginger, 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 tbsp jeera, 1tbsp dhaniya, made into paste,
Salt, to taste,
Red chilly pwd, to taste,
a pinch of turmeric,
6-8 fenugreek seeds, roasted and powdered,
A little less than 1/4 cup tamarind, soak in 2 cups of warm water and extract thick juice,
2-3 tbsps cilantro chopped.

  • Clean fish and add salt, turmeric, red chilly pwd to the fish and keep aside.
  • Heat oil and when hot, add the slit green chillies and grated onion and let fry till the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the marinated fish pieces and fry for 2 mins on one side turn and fry for another 3-4 mins.
  • Add the extracted tamarind juice. Let simmer for 5 mins or till it comes to a boil.
  • Add the ground fenugreekseeds and the ginger garlic masala paste and adjust seasoning.
  • Shake the vessel. Donot use a spatula at this point as it make break the fish pieces. Add half of the cilantro now.
  • Cook till oil separates and add the remaining cilantro.
  • Switch off and serve hot or room temp with hot white rice.
  • Enjoy!!!


Dosakaya Tomato Kura/ Yellow Cucumber & Tomato Curry

  Dosakaya aka Yellow cucumber is a small round shaped and yellow-green  vegetable with crunchy texture , seeds in between  which are removed and discarded when cooking . Dosakaya are  used in Andhra cooking usually in dals or pacchadi or curry and even make dosavakai.
                 Mom makes this awesome dosakaya tomato kura  every summer when they are available in abundance. I can eat this curry every day sans rice or roti.

1 large dosakaya, peeled, deseeded and cubed,
2 green chillies, sliced
1 small onion chopped,
2  medium tomatoes, chopped,
Salt to taste,
Red chilly pwd to taste,
A pinch of turmeric,
Oil  for cooking

  • Heat oil and then add green chillies, onion and when onion turns translucent, add the cubed  dosakaya pieces.Let simmer covered for about 8-10 mins or till the dosakaya is completely cooked.
  • Then add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric, salt, red chilly pwd and 1/4 cup water.
  • Cook for another 5-6 mins till almost all the water evaporates.
  • Switch off and serve hot with rice.
  • Enjoy!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Teepi Chaaru

My parents are here as a surprise for Mr. IB's and li'l IB's birthdays(their b'days are a day apart) and we're having fun with them. They will be staying with us only for a month and we're making the most of their time here and enjoying my mom's cooking. Today she made my fav teepi chaaru/bellam chaaru. Simple to make and out of this world.

Small lemon sized tamarind ,
Jaggerey/bellam to taste,

A pinch of turmeric,
A pinch of red chilly pwd,
Salt to taste,
3 glasses of water.

8 fenugreek seeds,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
1tsp jeera,
2 red chillies, torn,
1 clove of garlic, chopped,
1 tbsp onion, chopped,
6-8 curry leaves.


  • Heat oil, add  fenugreek seeds let fry for 1 min.
  • Then add mustard seeds, jeera, torn red chillies, garlic and onions and fry till onion is translucent.
  • Add curry leaves and when it splutters , add tamarind and after 3-4 mins and jaggery/bellam and then add turmeric, red chilly pwd, salt and then add water.
  • Let boil for 10-12 mins. Adjust seasoning.
  • Switch off and serve with white rice.
  • Enjoy!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Quinoa Idly/Idli

I wanted to try quinoa but was skeptical as to whether li'l IB would like it or not. I decided to sneak it into his favourite breakfast and see, so the quinoa idlies and they were great.
Quinoa are a great source of protien, dietary fiber, is gluten free and is easy to digest (source wikipedia).

1 cup urad dal
1cup prewashed quinoa
2&1/2 cups idli ravva
salt to taste
oil, for greasing the idli plates

To prepare the idli batter :
  • Wash the quinoa for about 3 times or till it does not smell bitter any more and soak for 5-6 hrs
  • Wash urad dal  a couple of times and then soak in water for atleast 5-6 hrs .
  • Wash the dal  and quinoa again,drain the water and then grind to a smooth paste with very little water.
  • Wash and soak idli ravva for 1 hr.
  • When the urad dal forms a very smooth paste take out into a container and then add the idli ravva(squeeze the water from the ravva before adding to the idli batter) and mix very gently.
  • Place the idli batter in a warm place overnight prefferably or atleast  for 8-10 hrs.
  • After fermantation the batter rises. Add salt when  ready to make the idlis.The batter should not be too watery or too tight.

How to make idlis:
  • Grease the idli plates with oil or butter.Drop the idli batter onto the plates.Stack the plates on to the idli stand.Fill a pressure cooker with 2 cups of  water and place the idli stand in this.
  • Close the lid and cook on high heat for 3-5 mins and when the steam start coming out reduce the heat to medium and after 12 mins switch off the stove and let stay for 5 mins.
  • Open the lid. Remove the idli stand from the cooker. Dip a spoon under water and run it under the idlis,place them on a plate with chutney and sambar
  • Enjoy!!! 
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